JBlog Carnival Updates, HH, KCC & JPIX

Friday, March 23, 2018

Do We Really Need to Buy So Much Passover Stuff?

The other day I saw a post on facebook unfavorably comparing the Israel Passover food selection without kitnyot, legumes which Ashkenazi Jews have a custom not to eat on Passover, to what one can buy in the states. The person claimed that it was easier to find Kosher for Passover non-Kitniyot food in the states than in Israel.

In the facebook discussion that followed, one person couldn't understand what the fuss was about. "We can manage with simpler foods for a week." That is very true.

Other people seriously doubted that the data was true.

I mentioned that the Israeli Jewish Population has a high proportion of Sfardim; they can eat kitniyot. There's less of a market for the non-kitnyot foods.

One thing that wasn't mentioned, at least earlier in the discussion, was that there is a great improvement in the choice of non-kitniyot foods compared to a few decades ago.

When we made aliyah close to fifty 50 years ago, not only was the selection poor, but the labeling was awful. Now it's so much easier.

Just remember to cook simply. The holiday is just a week long. Enjoy in good health.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

GUEST POST: Rabbi Hirsch vs Reform

Rabbi Samson Rafael Hirsch vs Reform Judaism
(a guest post by Mr. Cohen)


“…Michael Creizenach, one of the leaders of the Reform Movement,
who had taught since 1825 in the Reform Philanthropin School in Frankfurt. 

Three out of four of Creizenach’s children converted to Christianity.”

SOURCE: Rabbi Samson Rafael Hirsch by Rabbi Eliyahu Meir Klugman
(chapter 3, page 28), 1996 CE, ArtScroll History Series, Brooklyn 11232,

“One of the identifying characteristics of Reform Judaism was
that the Reforms came first and then the post hoc justifications.
The adherents of synagogue reform in Hamburg and Berlin in the
second decade of the century acted primarily for social and personal
reasons – chiefly the fear that traditional Judaism would hamper
social integration and political equality. 
Only a generation later did they adapt a philosophy and ideology
to conform to their practices. In formulating that philosophy, the end
– harmonizing Judaism with modernity – determined the means.”

SOURCE: Rabbi Samson Rafael Hirsch by Rabbi Eliyahu Meir Klugman
(chapter 3, page 29), 1996 CE, ArtScroll History Series, Brooklyn 11232


“The Reformers acted in a high-handed fashion in many communities,
often using the [government] authorities and even the police to enforce
their version of Judaism, often in defiance of an Orthodox majority.”

SOURCE: Rabbi Samson Rafael Hirsch by Rabbi Eliyahu Meir Klugman
(chapter 5, page 53), 1996 CE, ArtScroll History Series, Brooklyn 11232

“Samuel Holdheim (born 1806 CE, died 1880 CE), one of the leaders
of the extremist wing of the Reform movement, moved the Sabbath
to Sunday, rewrote the prayer service into German, deleted any
mention of Mashiach and the redemption, and proclaimed there
was no bar to mixed marriages from a Jewish perspective.”

SOURCE: Rabbi Samson Rafael Hirsch by Rabbi Eliyahu Meir Klugman
(chapter 6, page 73), 1996 CE, ArtScroll History Series, Brooklyn 11232


“The efforts to reform Judaism in the first four decades of the
19th century constituted something less than a uniform movement. 
The initial changes were primarily liturgical and relating to
the synagogue service, using the Protestant Church as a model.”

SOURCE: Rabbi Samson Rafael Hirsch by Rabbi Eliyahu Meir Klugman
(chapter 7, page 82), 1996 CE, ArtScroll History Series, Brooklyn 11232


“In 1811 [CE], the Philanthropin [run by Reform Jews] instituted
a Sunday morning “devotional hour,” which consisted of German
hymns accompanied by an organ and a sermon, with no prayers
in Hebrew. Only after three years, in 1814, was it moved to Saturday.”

SOURCE: Rabbi Samson Rafael Hirsch by Rabbi Eliyahu Meir Klugman
(chapter 9, page 113), 1996 CE, ArtScroll History Series, Brooklyn 11232


“Every attempt to found a school combining [Orthodox] Torah
 and general studies in Frankfurt was met with determined opposition
from the Reformists, who used their influence with the magistrate
to have the necessary permission denied.  Until 1848 [CE], the
Reformers successfully blocked all attempts to open such a school. 

In addition, they expropriated the old educational funds and
charitable trusts, made up of the contributions of generations
of pious Jews for the support of Torah study, and channeled
them to support the Reform Philanthropin school.”

SOURCE: Rabbi Samson Rafael Hirsch by Rabbi Eliyahu Meir Klugman
(chapter 19, page 219), 1996 CE, ArtScroll History Series, Brooklyn 11232


“In an article in Jeschurun in [year] 1860 [CE], Rabbi Hirsch
attacked the attitude of the Reform that to be a good Jew,
one need do no more than attend synagogue services.”

SOURCE: Rabbi Samson Rafael Hirsch by Rabbi Eliyahu Meir Klugman
(chapter 26, page 298), 1996 CE, ArtScroll History Series, Brooklyn 11232
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Do Palestinians Want a Two-State Solution?





Preparing for Passover/Pesach at Matan, 5778, 2018

This year Matan's Pre-Pesach Learning in English was on Monday. I slept over in Jerusalem the night before, so I wouldn't have to get up ridiculously early and then find myself dozing through the lectures. That gave me an opportunity to see my Jerusalem kids and my newest grandchild, ken yirbu.

As you can see from the pictures, the auditorium was packed. They had to bring in extra chairs.

At 9am, we started with Dr. Yael Ziegler, who as usual kept us totally spellbound. She discussed the similaries between the סנה, the Burning Bush, and הר סיני, Mount Sinai. There's also a linguistic connection between the two, which I hadn't noticed before. I've been taking her classes for years. She's incomparable.

Then, after a short break, we heard Dr. Aviva Gottleib Zornberg, who discussed the Biblical narrative of the Exodus from Egypt.

The program ended with Dr. Avigail Rock, who discussed different aspects of our Exodus from Egypt.

The classes/lectures were all so amazing that I had no trouble staying alert and awake for the four hours of the program. If you'd like to hear those lectures and others, click on the Matan Online website. Matan records most of its classes, and any which don't have an icon of a "lock" can be heard by the general public. For a reasonable fee, you can sign up to hear all of the locked classes, too. I'm looking forward to resuming my regular study schedule after Passover.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Future American Support for Israel Dropping

As readers of this blog must know by now, I've always been very cynical or doubtful about American support of Israel. The United States State Department has been anti-Israel from the days of Harry S. Truman, when they recommended voting against a Jewish State. And they haven't changed their approach, even though Israel has been threatened and attacked constantly over the past seventy years. The totally fokokt idea that there can be a "Two State Solution" is their ideal, and if it endangers Israel, they don't care.

Of course, American politicians claim to be pro-Israel, and it's not because of the Jewish vote. There's a minuscule amount of Jewish voters in the USA.
  • But a lot of money comes into the campaign accounts from Jews, who don't feel comfortable with an obviously anti-Israel candidate. 
  • Christian Zionist and Bible belt voters are very numerous as Hillary Clinton discovered November, 2016. They have no sympathy for the various ideologies of the extreme Left. 
Ambitious candidates/politicians claim to love Israel while they simultaneously support policies that can only endanger the State of Israel. The radically Leftist, pro-Palestinian J-Street has become the darling of the Democratic Party, academics and the international media. 

This is causing a serious drop in future Jewish support for Israel. Liberal American Jewish youth's estrangement from Israel by Matthew M. Hausman on Arutz 7.

In recent years, fundraisers from Israel have found it much easier to get donations from Christian groups, rather than from Jews. The more secular and/or Leftist Jews give their money to Left wing and non-Jewish causes. Mainstream Israel is not their priority. If they support Israeli funds, it's the New Israel Fund and NGOs that give to Arabs for humanitarian and "Jewish-Arab co-existence."

There are many Jews who do support Israel and Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria, the Jordan Valley and the Golan, but most of them don't have the financial luxury to donate much money. Jewish Life in the United States is very expensive. Synagogue dues, Jewish school tuition and university education for their children have caused many people reduce their donations. Many Jewish families are surprised and shocked to discover that their children coming home from college now sympathize with the Arabs, rather than identify with Jewish Israelis.

I am very pessimistic about future support for Israel in the United States. And the worst thing is that I don't see a solution to the problem. The State of Israel will be more and more isolated. We must get stronger and stop all dependency on foreign countries and organizations. We don't need them if we obey Gd.

Jerusalem, Capital of the State of Israel

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

"Peace" in the Middle East? Not With Such a History

There's a better chance to find Martians who can learn English than a possibility for a real lasting peace between Israel and its enemies.

Anyone who claims that there can be peace is talking total fiction. The main uniting ideology among the Arab countries surrounding the State of Israel and those even further away is our destruction. They're not even shy about it. And this anti-Israel hate/ideology is all over the world.

Even in the United States there are periodic pro-Palestine, sic, demonstrations in which the theme is:
"from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free"

You don't have to be a rocket scientist, or a PhD in geography to know that such a country would mean the total destruction of the State of Israel, Gd forbid. There is no room for a Jewish State or even Jews in their dream world.

Unfortunately, the International Liberals, including the American Democratic Party, have adopted this very unliberal cause, which supports anti-Jewish apartheid and Nazi-like laws.

Never in the History of the World has there been a country or people named "Palestine." It was a name on maps when antisemites wanted to replace the Jewish Judea with something else. The concept of an "Arab Palestine" was invented to stymie/handicap a Jewish state, which Great Britain had been mandated to establish by the League of Nations. Britain cut off the large area east of the Jordan River and imported the Hashemite Clan to rule it. That was the invention of Jordan and the newly minted "Hashemite Kingdom." To be honest/exact, the Hashemites are occupying the East Bank of the Jordan River.

After the invention of Jordan, it was expected that Britain would facilitate a Jewish State in the remaining areas, but they didn't. Instead they gave support to the Arab terrorists against the Jews living, building and farming. After World War Two, the United Nations came up with a "plan" to allocate a totally indefensible Jewish State surrounded by Arabs who would become "Palestine."

Then after the Declaration of the State of Israel, May, 1948, well-armed Arabs attacked the Jews, but miraculously, not only did the State of Israel survive, but its borders were slightly improved. Land not under Israel's control became illegally occupied by Jordan. This occupation wasn't recognized by most nations. Jordan did nothing to modernize life for the residents.

Before the 1967 Six Days War, there was talk of trying to turn that area into something to be called "Palestine," but the world wasn't interested. At the same time the State of Israel suffered frequent terror attacks from Jordanian soldiers and others. In May, 1967, virulently anti-Israel statements were addressed to the world by Egypt including threats to totally destroy the State of Israel and push it "into the sea." The world didn't care about that, either. The United Nations even removed its peacekeeping forces to facilitate an Egyptian victory.

As everyone knows, not only did Israel survive that war, but by the time it was over, Israel had liberated all of the Land "from the river to the sea," plus the Sinai and the Golan Heights.

Post-war, the State of Israel made an awful mistake. It tried to make peace instead of annexing all the land legally won and showing strength.

Today, over half a century after the 1967 Six Days War, the fiction of "Palestine" has taken off, just like when my ESL students tried to tell me that James Bond was a real person.

There isn't a single Arab leader here who wants peace with Israel; they just want pieces of Israel. And that includes the PA's Abbas. There's nothing to negotiate about. The Arab aim is our destruction, Gd forbid.

Monday, March 19, 2018

What Makes You Happy?

In the senior citizen program I attend on Thursdays we begin with group discussions. This past week, we were asked what we love and enjoy about children. All of us who attend are parents and grandparents, so we do get to see the younger generations.

One thing many of us mentioned was the fact that children are so accepting and how they are seeing things for the first time. That enthusiasm is lost too quickly once people grow up. We get too jaded and take much too much for granted. We also get disappointed, sometimes more quickly and more deeply than youngsters who have an innate optimism.

A grandchild of someone I know from somewhere else has recently been diagnosed with cancer, and I'm always amazed at the smiles that glow from the pictures they post. It's clear that the sick child doesn't really understand the serious ramifications and lack of grantees, but the parents and grandparents also show large optimistic smiles. I guess they are doing the right thing, since as long as there is life and a chance of a complete recovery, there is no need to allow fear and depression to reign.

That optimism is the secret ingredient that makes every second we live a true blessing and pleasure. May Gd give us the strength to always see the joy in life, to see what's in the cup and not what's missing.

רפואה שלימה
Refuah Shleimah
A Complete Recovery to All Those in Need, Gd Willing

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Preparing Ourselves for Passover

For years I've loved the pre-Passover series, #blogExodus and #Exodusgram, that the Bima Ima, aka Phyllis Sommer, blogs and teaches about. That's because she reminds us that there is a lot of mental, emotional, spiritual efforts needed for us to prepare for Passover. We shouldn't think that the chametz is just in the kitchen or the house.

Here is her 5778, 2018 #blogExodus and #Exodusgram.

Today is already the 2nd of the Jewish Month of Nisan. That means that we must catch up. We have to Begin the process and Bless Gd and all that we have.

I look forward to these blog posts every year. The Bima Ima's blog used to be updated almost daily, but now it hibernates most of the time. And as Purim rolls around I start getting anxious and wonder if she'll resume posting in time for Nisan. Thank Gd, the Bima Ima is back blogging.

Begin- Here in Shiloh, we began the Month of Nisan with a special Kiddush after blessing the fruit blossoms, Birkat Ha'Ilanot, which show that Gd is giving us fruit from/via the trees. In our neighborhood we go to neighbors who have a lot of fruit trees in the yard, and some still have flowers.

Bless- I wish to bless my family, community and friends near and far that they have good health and enjoy the gifts that Gd has given us. It is truly a blessing, when we know how to see the good in our lives.

Shavua Tov, Chodesh Tov

BlogExodus Topics 2018/5778
1 Nisan - Begin
2 Nisan - Bless
3 Nisan - Cleanse
4 Nisan - Grow
5 Nisan - Hide
6 Nisan - Tell
7 Nisan - Ask
8 Nisan - Rise
9 Nisan - Thank
10 Nisan - Join
11 Nisan - Celebrate
12 Nisan - Find
13 Nisan - Welcome
14 Nisan - Praise

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Deja Vu, Another Terror Ramming

Every time an Arab terrorist uses a vehicle as a weapon against Israelis/Jews, I feel an ache. Over twenty years ago, I was most probably the very first to be injured by an Arab terrorist who drove his vehicle into a group of Jews waiting at a bus stop. Nobody can remember such a terror attack before "mine." The Israeli police tried to claim that it was an "accident," but we managed to convince them that nobody "accidentally" makes a sharp turn onto a sidewalk and another sharp turn to mow down shocked, unprepared innocent people.

Why am I writing about these terror attacks again? It's because right before Shabbat, there was another terror ramming attack.
Two killed, two injured in car-ramming attack in Samariapic.twitter.com/iRmWCrgpN0
IDF Sergeant Netanel Kahalani, Courtesy of the family (Arutz 7)
An IDF officer and a soldier were killed and two additional soldiers were injured in a car-ramming attack adjacent to Mevo Dotan in Samaria on Friday afternoon.
The injured soldiers were taken to the hospital for medical treatment, said the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.
The Arab terrorist initially fled the scene but was later caught. The IDF said he was injured and was taken to the hospital. He is being questioned and IDF troops are searching the area.
Recently this has become much too common, and that is because it really is easy. And there aren't any totally effective ways to prevent these ramming attacks.

All we can do is to stay alert, keep our eyes on the traffic. And when we're waiting, we should "case the joint," look and see where we can find protection. And of course we must always pray to Gd. Gd can protect us, but we must do our part.

Refuah Shleimah, a full and speedy recovery to the injured.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Rosh Chodesh Nissan on Shabbat...

תפילת נשים ראש חודש אייר בשילה הקדומה, תל שילה

... We won't have our usual Rosh Chodesh Prayers at Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh. That's because many of the women who come to Tel Shiloh to pray don't live in Shiloh. One year we had a small group of two on Shabbat, and instead of praying in the morning, we walked down, and then trekked up after the Mincha prayers.

We will have to wait until Rosh Chodesh Iyyar, which falls on both Sunday and Monday, the 15th and 16th of April, 30th of Nissan and 1st of Iyyar. Gd willing, we will have a joyous Women's Rosh Chodesh Prayers on the 1st of Iyyar, 5778, Monday, April 16th, 2018. So, please make your plans to join us.

ראש חודש אייר נתפלל ביחד בע"ה בתל שילה
א' אייר, יום ב', 8:30 16-04-2018
הלל בשירה ומוסף
סיור קצר בשילה הקדומה
דבר תורה
בואו ולהזמין קרובות, חברות ושכנות

Women's Prayers at Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh
Rosh Chodesh Iyyar 5778
Monday, April 16, 2018
1st of Iyyar, 5778, 8:30am
Hallel and Musaf for Rosh Chodesh
Tour of Tel Shiloh
Dvar Torah, Short Torah Lesson
Please come and invite family, friends and neighbors.

לפרטים נוספים For more information about our Rosh Chodesh Prayer Group, please email shilohmuse@gmail.com with Rosh Chodesh Prayer Group as subject, thanks.

There are always fantastic activities for young and old at Shiloh Hakeduma during Chol Hamoed Pesach, besides the usual daily tours and more. Contact them for more information, www.telshilo.org.il, art@telshilo.org.il, visit@telshilo.org.il.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Brexit Made Easy, Ever Wonder Why?

There's nothing like PragerU to make intelligent easy to understand informational videos. I highly recommend listening to this one about Brexit.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Migron, Still Counting

Migron is/was a quiet community in a great location, just off Highway 60, north of Sha'ar Binyamin and the turnoff to Psagot, Kochav Yaakov and Tel Tzion, across from the southern end of the Alon Road. It's not far from Jerusalem, and many young families were living there in temporary homes. But instead of building permanent homes, a nuisance case was brought by Peace Now, the anti-Jewish settlement group claiming to represent "true Arab owners*," and the Israeli Lefit courts ordered Migron to be destroyed and moved.

In compensation, the government promised that the residents would get a new totally approved location, and while waiting they would be set up in state of the art caravillot (temporary prefabricated homes) nearby. This "temporary" setup has been going on for quite a few years already. The community set up a large electric sign, which you can see below. It shows the amount of days Migron has been waiting for a new location and permanent homes.

Yesterday when I passed by the number had reached 2,142 days exiled and waiting. That is why so many of us do not consider the present Israeli Government coalition to be Right, pro-Jewish rights/settlement. The truth is that we have no one to vote for. The most reliably pro-Jewish rights/settlement party is Jewish Home, but the coalition agreement/conditions really ties the hands of the more dedicated Knesset Members. Bibi sure knows how to write a very tight contract, and nothing can be done effectively by a party out of the coalition.

The real problem is that the Israeli High Court makes policy according to the judges' ideology and doesn't decide according to law. Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, Jewish Home, is trying hard to change this, but it isn't easy and will take a long time.

*The so-called owners had been offered land by Jordan on the condition that within a certain period of time they developed it. But prior to the 1967 Six Days War, when Jordan was illegally occupying land west of the Jordan River until the Israeli border, they did nothing to make the areas habitable. Nobody was interested in living or investing here. The "gifts of land" were considered worthless. All of the modern infrastructure, electricity, water, sewer, telephone etc have been built by Israel, post Six Days War.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Haredi Anti-Army/Draft Riots

I have absolutely no tolerance nor understanding for any anti-draft/IDF actions/riots etc here in Israel or any place else. The State of Israel is under constant threat and periodic attacks. From the Jewish point of view, that makes serving in the IDF a great mitzvah, Torah commandment, because it saves lives.

Prior to the Israeli Declaration of Independence, while we found ourselves defending ourselves against the Arabs and British, the "underground" forces, Haganah, Palmach, Etzel and Lechi had a complete cross-section of volunteers of all types of Jews in the Land of Israel. That included secular, traditional, religious and hareidi. 

In the early days of the State of Israel, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion made an agreement with the hareidim that they could get a deferment for full-time yeshiva students and religious women. The yeshiva students were expected to support the state by their prayers and learning. Of course, many of us believe that Ben-Gurion was "generous" in granting a deferment, because he wanted to isolate the then small number of hareidim from the rest of the population. He didn't want religious interference or influence in the IDF.

While there has been great improvement and changes in the IDF for strictly religious soldiers, certain  hareidi factions have become dangerously and violently more intolerant of the army and soldiers. Jerusalem has been plagued by frequent violent anti-draft riots. Last week, I found myself waiting for buses that couldn't come to the stop, because they had been rerouted. There was no notification. Public transportation and many main thoroughfares were closed or rerouted when possible.

Ordinary citizens, young and old, religious and secular have suffered physically due to travel difficulties. This is all because young, fit hareidi men are wasting their energy rioting, rather than serving the Jewish People, rather than doing mitzvot, Torah Commandments.

They claim that their time in the Batei Midrash, Study halls are too precious to waste in the IDF, but they have lots of time to riot, attack the police and endanger the health and welfare of innocent Jews. There is absolutely nothing to support their behavior in the Torah.

Senior citizens touring the Underground Museum, Russian Compound, where Jewish fighters were held prisoners  by the British Mandate before the establishment of the State of Israel.