There was once a wonderful man, he was actually the richest man on earth. But far from being arrogant, he was kind, merciful and loving. He was a real tzadik, צַדִּיק
He would help anyone who sincerely asked for help, and was willing to listen to what he advised. He had a lovely family, and they all worked together to help their employees succeed at their endeavors and also to achieve their dreams, if they were good and noble. No one in that family was going to be driving a get-a-way car if armed robbery was someone’s dream.
They did have rules though, it wasn’t because he was power mad, it was because when someone first started working for that company they had no idea how to be a “good” employee. The didn’t know the way the company worked, they didn’t know the other people, they didn’t know who was the boss, who was the foreman, supervisor or janitor. They didn’t even know where the bathroom was, or when breaks were given! So the rules helped the company run smoothly and ensured the employees would treat each other with respect, and pull their own weight in the company.
One month, the man decided to give a party. It was glorious. The weather was perfect, all the roads were easy to travel. There were big beautiful tents set up on the lawn of his lovely home. There was a band playing on the lawn as well and a choir of renown singing the most beautiful songs. I would have asked for Ana Bekoach and Vehi She Amda for sure! And the food! Oh my! He had so many different kinds of food! There were delicacies from every country and culture.
The man sat on a beautiful chair centrally located in the midst of the party so he could watch his family, friends, employees, the towns people and business associates all mingling and enjoying themselves.
But no one came up and talked to him. The people would go to his staff serving drinks or food and thank them for the lovely party. The people went up to his family and thanked them for the invitation. Some went to his business partners and thanked them for the good turn of fortunes they had experienced. When this happened, the staff, family or others would look at the people with astonishment and tell them they had nothing to do with it. It was the man, he was seated on a chair in the middle of the festivities.
But no one went to thank him. No one went to express their joy and gratitude. They all said he was too foreboding, too stern a figure, too powerful, he might judge them. Just pass the message along.
And so the man sat there, in the midst of all he had given mostly alone except for a few people who joyfully came up to him with reverence and expressed their gratitude and love for all he had provided, not just that day, but everyday from the start of a beautiful sunrise.
Some times I get to thinking that things I think need to happen aren’t happening fast enough. Or perhaps that I’m not doing enough to make them happen, or that I’m doing things that keep them from happening. And, perhaps, sometimes some of those things are true. But sometimes I think that it’s also that I think I have more control over people, situations and circumstances than I really do. Or that I want to have more control over them than I should. I suppose it could be a bit of arrogance. The flip side of that is sometimes it’s mired in uncertainty because I don’t know which direction to go or how to get from here to there.
A few days ago I started trying a new nail painting technique I saw on Facebook. A friend of mine had posted a video of different techniques for pretty designs that could be done at home. Of course he posted it a few months ago, but it stuck with me. So a few days ago I finally got around to trying it. I liked it. So a few days later when the polish had a chip, I decided to try it again with a couple of different colors. I chose a melon with a blue accent, then added a couple of drops of silver sparkley polish for good measure. It wound up being really pretty.
Yes, this is going somewhere.
Last month I ordered three really pretty polo shirts from The Zelman Partisans Queensboro store. Since the things are made to order, they take awhile to get here, so you never should count on them being in at a certain time, unless you placed your order way in advance. They came on Shabbat.
The Jewish Arts Festival was on Sunday. I wasn’t scheduled to work it, but I wanted to. I had a friend who had been asked to help at the Israeli Technology booth. I love Israel, and I love my technology. So a call had been placed with a plaintive request, “could you see if they would let me help in the booth?”. Call them and ask. No, I want you to call and ask. I was afraid they’d tell me no. I think I see a couple chicken feathers floating past my desk right now. To my great joy the answer was a resounding yes, and have her call me at once. I did and it was all set up.
You’ve probably guessed this part. The nails I had done a few days before perfectly matched the melon shirt and the embroidery of the design. The shirt I hadn’t seen yet and didn’t know it would be here.
Since I was a last minute addition to the roster, I just wore my own shirt rather than accepting the Jewish Arts festival volunteer shirt they were giving volunteers. They were thrilled, guess medium is a popular size.
Many, many people saw that Zelman Partisans logo that day as I spoke on my topics of ReWalk and Netafim’s Flexnet drip irrigation system.
It prompted some interesting comments, “Are those guns on your shirt???” “Why yes they are”. From there the discussion went to my extreme aversion to cattle cars and ghettos. The history of gun control laws, the Weimer Republic and living life as a free person. The people that point blank asked me about it seemed very interested in discussing it, and it was an excellent conversation all the way around. They actually already leaned that way, but they thought TZP was amazing. It is.
So here’s the thing. For some reason I decided to chose the soft melon orange over the brighter orange. I chose the blue accent rather than the green or pink or purple.
I don’t know that G-d is fixated on my nail polish color, but I do think he can urge us to do things if we are open to hearing him.
Little miracles and big ones, he gives them all to us. I want to be open to seeing the little miracles, matching nail polish and shirt for a very put together look at a public appearance. A beautiful sunset or sunrise. The very corral panels I wanted being on sale just when I’m working enough hours to buy them, and they are the only corral panels on sale. Passing my ACLS class when I really didn’t get to study as much as I wanted or needed to study. Little and big miracles, he gives them to us all. I do not want to throw the little miracles back in his face because they weren’t “big enough” to suit me, or impress me enough, or the “right” ones. The more aware I am of the little miracles, the more I realize how many of them there are. I want to be attuned to his voice, to his presence to his will.
And sometimes I just feel like I flounder. I know he loves me, I know he wants what’s best for me, and for me to be happy. I also know sometimes the path that I think will bring those things will not bring them. But he knows the path that will. Things happen, to make me a better person, for soul correction, to help me empathize with others. I’ve learned to appreciate the little bits of happiness when I have them. For me to fixate only on my problems, and worry will not necessarily change anything. But when I do that, to the exclusion of the little bits of happiness I was offered along the way I am being foolish. It does not cause the problems to sort themselves quicker, it does not shorten the time of trouble. It only prevents me from having some peace and happiness along the way that I was offered. Arrogance and lack of emuna (faith).
So, I’m going to take my new shirt, and perfectly matching nail polish and design coupled with a wonderful chance to talk about Israeli technology as a love note from G-d. Sybil, I know what you need, I know when you need it, and I put things into place and play before you even know they are important. You concentrate on doing the things I put in front of you today, and remember child, I love you. I’ve got this.
I just can not seem to let the injustice that is occurring in Amona, in Samaria, Israel go. I just can’t.
For some background on this issue, I’ve already written about it at The Zelman Partisans. This will give you the historical part that you might need.
The residents of Amona have excellent reason not to trust the government. The government is offering them a chance to move to a different spot on the same hill. There are some big problems with this.
First, you can’t trust the Israeli courts about this issue. David Wilder has an excellent column, Amona, on this detailing his experience with a similar situation involving the Shuk in Hevron. He also mentions how the eviction from Gush Katif has turned out pretty much the same way.
Government: Leave your homes, we will provide an alternative location for you to live, or you can come back in a few months and live here legally.
Threatened Citizens: Gee, I don’t know, you haven’t been good about keeping your word.
Government: Don’t worry baby, I’ll still respect you in the morning, you can trust us.
Until today, the 18th of Kislev, the 18th of December the residents of Amona had rejected the governments “generous” offer to let 24 of the 42 families losing their homes stay in the town on the hill known as Amona. If you haven’t read the background, and you should, this town was built with government help and blessing. Yes, the same government throwing them out now. Because of the absentee arab landowner that hasn’t paid taxes on it for years, ever, and may not even know they own it, who knows? The previous agreement was only going to let 12 families stay, so my my, how much more generous this is! I’ve found no mention yet of how the residents decide who gets to stay. Nor have I found where the ones that don’t get to stay are going to go. Who is going to handle the arrangements for those families. The government says it’s going to build 52 new homes and buildings for the residents of Amona. Yeah, you can take that one to the bank.
So why am I so angry? I love Israel, I love the land and the people (the coffee), but I am angry, very. Because it’s wrong, so very wrong all of it.
Let’s start with this, Amona has been evacuated before,
No, this isn’t the same video that I have up on TZP’s column. WHAT. THE. HELL?
This year Israel went after a young soldier, Elior Azaria who shot a wounded terrorist because there was fear that the terrorist who was wearing a heavy jacket on a warm day might have a explosive device on him. But luckily there was an Israeli hating group call B’Teslem around to film (without audio) the whole thing. The whole mess is a steaming pile of crap. This was a terrorist that wanted to kill Israelis, and the court and military will go after the soldier that protected innocent Israelis. But go after Police and soldiers that attacked innocent residents of Amona? That beat and killed them? Oh, no, that’s not such a big deal. They’re just “settlers”, and we’re coming back to that. OH we are SO coming back to that.
Ariel Sharon was Prime Minister when this travesty occurred. His coalition at the time was made up of Kadima, Likud, Agudat.
“It is absolutely forbidden to raise a hand against soldiers or policemen. I hope this expulsion will be passive and nonviolent,” she said. “The demolition of a town in Israel is not an everyday occurrence. It’s a very painful and difficult event, and a democratic country must accept all forms of passive protest.”
But Minister Shaked is not the worst. This is the opposition to Jews and the Likud, Hertzog
“We’re talking about good people and Israeli citizens. It really does hurt a lot to have to leave your home, but we’re talking about an act of theft. Zionism was built on redeeming land, not stealing land. It really hurts me these settlers refused the solution offered to them,” he said.
Hurts you? I didn’t see you out there with Effie Eitam getting your head whacked open trying to keep the Jewish residents of Amona in their homes. Hertzog doesn’t believe Jews should be living in Judea and Samaria. Not really. But he’s not very truthful about how things have turned out for Gush Katif either. Hurts to leave home? Doesn’t that just smack of the left wing stuff we’ve heard? “I feel your pain”. Sure you do. No wonder his nickname is Bougie, it should be Buggy.
Seriously? Do these people forget what the heck happened to those residents a mere 10 years ago? It wasn’t the residents that were violent. I wouldn’t blame the residents for wanting to sit on their mountain with a Davidka this time around. Or perhaps a Sho’t Kal. I suppose one would have to check eBay and Amazon.com.
They’re back on duty now, but some soldiers even left base because they didn’t want to be part of the assault team. I don’t blame them. But it seems that the Israeli Police get to have all the “fun”.
But, it’s all settled now, the residents of Amona have agreed to the deal with the devil. The government.
But it’s wrong, it’s all so very wrong.
You see, in my opinion, and since this is my column, Jews belong in Israel. In all of Israel. Judea and Samaria are in Israel, it’s listed in a really big book, called Torah, or Bible. None of this “green line” or “occupied territories” crap. You hear Israel crying they want Jews to make Aliyah. Why? Where are you going to live? In the housing units in Jerusalem that haven’t been built? And if you don’t want to live in a city, in Judea or Samaria where the government will kick you off your land violently? Land you have lived on for years? Land they said you could live on till some left wing loon “human rights (except for Jews) group” turns up with a Falestinian to claim ownership without proper proof? As anti-Semitism increases around the world due to the influx of different countries own imported Falestinians. Why would Jews want to consider moving to another country where arab rights are far more important than Jewish? Why do I say that? Oh, maybe because arab buildings that really are illegal are still up after 8 years?
שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל Shema Ysrael. If you want your children to come home, you have to show them they are valued and treasured. The world is not going to love you because they do not want to hear the message you are suppose to bring to the world. J street, the ADL, B’Teselm, Yesh Din, the Falestinian Authority, Hama$$, John Kerry and Obama and the demoncrats are not going to approve of your actions unless they are something like kicking Jews out of their homes. They like that, because they don’t really believe that Jews should live in the land G-d gave them. That’s why they use terms like “green line” “occupied territories” and “settlers”. They are not “settlers”, they are residents of Israel living in Amona. Words matter, and the words you chose sends a message. These are all terms used to delegitimize the people living there.
I love Israel, I think it would be a wonderful place to live. But not like that. The people in the government need to change their thinking. I listened to a webinar today. I very much enjoyed it. It was a presentation of how the Israeli political party Zehut intends to conduct some internal matters. Beyond that, I’m not at liberty to say anything. It was a members meeting, and I, your lowly scribe, am a card carrying member of Zehut. Membership has it’s privileges. But at the end of the world wide conference, I asked about Amona. Aryeh said he thought an agreement had been reached. I replied Amona is why we need Zehut. And for my Israeli friends, in case you think it doesn’t matter to you, you might want to know there is a bill in the Knesset right now to allow Israelis living outside of Israel to vote in Israeli elections for Knesset.
One of the things I find shocking and appalling is the residents of Amona were to have been out by the 24th of Kislev, 24th of December, the first night of Hanukkah. Apparently the people on the court don’t realize there is a Jewish Holiday called Hanukkah. I’m pretty sure they have no clue what it was or what it means either. But then, when you give away Har Habayit, the Temple Mount, why wouldn’t the arabs think you will give away any other land as well? If you will give away the site of the Holy Temple, what’s a few homes and a Synagogue in Amona, or Gush Katif, or, or, or.
Where is Judah Maccabee?
There is something I read recently, the book of Obadiah, it’s not long. Only one chapter, and well worth reading to those who condemn the Jews living in Judea and Samaria. Who think they have it coming to them and secretly, and sometimes openly look down on them.
But, hey! It’s all good now! An agreement has been reached!
On Sunday morning, the extreme left-wing organization “Yesh Din,” claimed that they have succeeded in thwarting the most recent plan for saving Amona proposed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Education Minister Naftali Bennett.
The organization claims that a Palestinian Arab owns “parcel 38,” which is where 24 of the 42 families currently living in Amona are supposed to settle, according to the latest plan.
Still jet lagged I think, so I will just give you a link to the column on TZP about the Six-Day war and the reunification of Jerusalem. Last week I was very aware of the miracles. G-d can indeed take things meant to harm or kill us and create undreamed of miracles. I Believe in Miracles.
Today is Pesach Shani, the second Passover. The first, and big Passover was celebrated a month ago. I didn’t get to celebrate as I would have liked, I was at work. But I was still very blessed. I was able to take some of the things I needed with me and made a little Pesach at work. So I had boiled egg, romaine, mince (closest I could come to charoset) kosher for Passover matzah and Kedem, which is Kosher grape juice. I read the story and did the best I could from that and the memory of the one Pesach I’ve celebrated a year ago. I didn’t get all of it right, but as a friend of mine Y.B. reminded me, G-d smiles when we try, because we are trying. But still, I was a bit sad. More than I would have thought.
But I’m in Israel, on Pesach Shani. Pesach Shani is the second Passover. It came about when the children who were not allowed to observe the first Passover in the desert went to Moshe (Moses) because they had been contaminated or were unpure, and wanted to know what to do. They didn’t want to be left out, they too wanted to give their offering to G-d. So Moshe went to G-d who told him to establish Pesach Shani, a one day holiday for those who had been unable to observe the first, for whatever reason.
There are some differences. Pesach is a week long, Pesach Shani is but one day.
Then there is the tone of Pesach Shani. Here are some statements from some articles on Chabad.org regarding Pesach Shani.
We celebrate Pesach Sheni by eating matzah once again, but this time, we do not have to rid our homes of chametz (leavened products, which represent our arrogant natures). We bring ourselves to G‑d as we are — defects and all. It doesn’t matter how old we are, how lost we’ve been, or where we are holding in our lives today. We beg Him to give us a second chance. He obliges. What an incredible gift.
The lesson of Pesach Sheni is that it’s never too late.
No one is ever too lost or too forgone to make amends in their lives. When we stray or mess up, if we recognize how far gone we are and we are shaken to our core, we can rebound. But what’s fascinating is that this rebounding is not the regular step-by-step conventional formula. In a single instant—or in this case, in a single day—rather than the seven-day process of Passover, we can redefine our past and mold our future.
In light of this, we can explain why the mitzvah of Pesach Sheni came about in response to the sincere request of individuals who were impure. One of the goals of Judaism is to draw holiness—downward, so to speak—into the world. A more important goal, however, is to elevate the world and the worldly aspects of man, to transform all aspects of our being, and bring to the surface the essential G‑dliness within us.The institution of Pesach Sheni was prompted by the heartfelt desires of those who, despite their impurity, protested, “Why should we be prevented from bringing the offering of G‑d? The mitzvah was given not as a commandment from above, but as an expression of man’s inner need to establish a bond with G‑d.
So as someone who has made more than a couple mistakes in her life, Pesach Shani gives me great hope. G-d loves me, just as I am. WOW! Of course he has hopes for me to grow and get better, but he still loves me where I am.
Which brings us to the great matzah hunt of 2016. I’m in Israel, I didn’t get to do Pesach right, and it’s Pesach Shani. And I WANT matzah!
I went next door to the shuk. I asked the places that looked like they might have it. One guy was kind of rude, he told me it was after Pesach. I told him TODAY is Pesach Shani. He looked a little surprised. I also asked at the liquor store that had a lot of things that looked like they might have matzah. That guy said the same, but he was kind. I told him the same, aval hy yom ze Pesach Shani. He looked surprised too, but told me Tov Meod, not many people know that, so good for me.
I came back to the apartment & Deb & I visited for little, she said my best bet would be the Sufersal (supermarket) a 30 min walk away. I’ve been once. At worst, I figured G-d would know I really tried. I was in the shuk over an hour looking.
So I pulled up google map and started walking. I found the store and looked all around. I couldn’t find any. I asked a couple of people working there. They explained it’s after Pesach. I thought the lady was the man’s boss. I guess not. When I said hy yom ze Pesach Shani, he asked if that was why I wanted it? I said yes, oh yes (in Hebrew of course) and HE told her to go look for some, and if they had it to get if for me. She went back and looked in the store room. She wasn’t happy about it. I just bowed my head & talked to G-d about it. She came out and told me there wasn’t any, then she glanced up on a top shelf……there was one box! She got it down and gave it to me!It was only 10 sheckels for a BIG box! I flew home! I think I have the last box of Matzah in Tel Aviv! I had a long talk with G-d before I opened it and ate. I shared with Deb, so we both ate Matzah!
The last Matzah in Tel Aviv?
But it’s Pesach Shani and I’m eating Matzah in Israel!
I will leave you with this beautiful song by a group I love. Kippalive.
France has helpfully drafted a proposal to the U.N. to internationalize the Temple Mount, Har ha-Beyit. They feel that seizing control of a section of Israel’s sovereign and most holy ground will somehow calm the violence. I never accused the U.N. of being clever, but I never thought them that stupid either.—-
Israel and gunowners are both under attack. And we are both under attack by the same kind of people. Liberals who see no difference between the life of a arab with a knife killing and a Jew killing in defense of his and/or his families life. The same with gunonwers, or police now. Don’t believe me? Don’t remember obama’s son Trayvon Martin? The black panthers openly, publicly putting a bounty of Zimmerman’s head? You don’t find horror in how Governor Jay Nixon reacted by allowing part of a city to be burn and rather than standing behind police officer Wilson would have burned him as well. Yes, by the same kind of people.
I really, really, really do think there is a connection between what happens in Israel and what happens in America. I read an interesting column the other day called “Does Disaster Strike America when it pressures Israel“. They make a pretty good case it does, by relating things America has pressured Israel into that were not in it’s best interests and what happened in America within days, sometimes within hours. It’s pretty interesting reading and not that long.
In this case, I think we will see in America what they are seeing in Israel with the terror stabbing attacks. I mean why wouldn’t we? Barry is importing them like crazy and we have no idea what countries they are from. In Europe they have found out about 80% of the “refugees” are not Syrian. Muslims consider America the Great satan and Israel the little satan.
It seems the collective reaction from the world to the terror attacks, the ones they know about, which certainly are not all of them, is “meh”. Then there is the media, MSLSD has been caught lying on camera about some of the attacks, and CNN is as reliable as it always is, which is to say, not.
This column on TZP should give you a better idea of what Israelis are facing, and I think we need to be standing with them a lot more. Secretary of State Kerry is dumb as a pile of rocks, or just taking orders from barry. Come to think of it, I think barry’s requirement for selecting a Secretary of State is #1 They must hate America. After that I think he’s pretty “flexible”.
This violence is NOT going both ways folks, the “peaceful palestinians” are attacking Jews, and the Jews are dying. This is not a cycle of violence, I don’t care where you hear that crap.
I have a pretty good idea this is how the rest of the world and the UN will respond when we are under attack in this country too from the muslims. Or when they start going after political dissidents.
Day 1–Yafo, the Hagana and Etzal Museums It turns out that June 1st is a very appropriate day to visit the Hagana and Etzal museums and originally the Irgun was to have been disbanded on June 1st. The first item on the day’s menu though (literally) was breakfast. Which we enjoyed at Benedict’s. It’s won the best breakfast in Tel Aviv for 5 years running. Not only does the food look beautiful, it tastes beautiful! The eggs Florentine were fantastic, as was the salad, breads and the Cafe. Ha Fouk required two cups. Just to be sure it was as wonderful as it seemed. It was.
From there we just walked a few buildings up to the Hagana Museum. This is an awesome museum! As it turns out, they have a monthly pass deal which we bought! It covers not only the Hagana museum but the Etzal museum and if I need to go back to double check something? No problem! We were met outside the Hagana museum by the very pleasant security man. I liked. Him despite the fact he wouldn’t let me have the ginger tabby that was hanging around outside the museum. It reminded me so much of Macabee. He said no doubt the cat would love to go with me, but it was the museum’s cat. The first floor of the building had the part that originally been the Hagana commanders home set up as it had been at the time. I loved looking at the furniture, the wallpaper and ceilings, all of it was intact as it had been. The museum was wonderful, and I felt like I learned alot! The next stop for the day was the Etzal museum by Yafo, and it was at that point I realized that Sheila in Israel without a writing pad was never going to work well. Lucky for me that Deb had a small notebook in her purse and I cabagged a couple pages for notes. Memo to self, acquire steno pad STAT!!! From there we had a very pleasant walk up the beach of the Medeterrainian to Yafo. Have I mentioned I adore Yafo? I adore Yafo!!!! We prowled the old streets of Yafo, did some shopping and then had dinner at Dr Shakshuka’s. Have I mentioned I adore Dr. Shakshuka’s? I do. The very nice waiter treated us to dessert with our kafe after dinner.
And, the age old question of potatoes in shakshuka or no? YES!
Potatoes clearly belong in shakshuka
From there we kind of wandered around trying to find a bus home. We finally ended up walking home to Tel Aviv. It was a beautiful night for a walk, and it gave me a chance to get a photo of this tower. If you want the story behind that, you can read about it when I get it up for The Zelman Partisans. All in all? A fabulous first day back!
This weekend, the crack reporting team of Mike Vanderboegh and David Codrea (the bloggers who broke the Fast & Furious scandal) revealed another scandal-to-be. Or perhaps we should say “scandal that should be” since chances are this one will get swept under the rug, its significance ignored.
They’re reporting that the NRA made a deal to save the ATF’s bacon.
Does it just drive you nuts when Hollyweird hypocrites open their mouths and the junk just pours out? Not to mention their total disconnect with how reality works? Harvey Weinstein having recently shown his butt, dissecting his remarks seems useful.