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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Haveil Havalim #261 Is Up!

7 of the First Month 5770

This week's edition of Haveil Havalim, the world's largest Jewish and Israeli blog carnival, is being hosted by Jack at Random Thoughts.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Haveil Havalim #260 Is Up!

Erev Rosh HaHodesh HaRishon 5770

This week's edition of Haveil Havalim, the world's largest Jewish and Israeli blog carnival, is being hosted by Yachdus.

It's the Geulah Edition.

Why Doesn't Anyone Seem To Be Embarrassed By Joe Biden Now?

Erev Rosh HaHodesh HaRishon 5770

During the entire first year of U. S. President Barack Insane Obama's administration, the president's staff seemed to be spending half of its time covering up for Vice-President Joe Biden's embarrassing, public statements, and trying to prevent them from occurring in the first place. After his recent blood libel accusations against Israel, there are only two reasons why no one is running to cover up for him now.

No one in the administration is embarrassed by his statements, and no one disagrees with them.

In fact, we have heard very similar comments from President Barack Insane Obama, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as well as the apologetic validation of their statements from Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Here are some important comments from my friend Yekutiel Ben-Ya'akov regarding the illustrious U. S. Vice-President. If you would like to subscribe to his e-newsletter, you may send an e-mail to VOJ@israelnewszone.com or fill out the form on-line here.

Jews building in Jerusalem is a ‘slap in the face’, and prejudices final status talks?

The following excerpts from a story published, March 10th on the Associated Press wire say it all:

Biden's handshakes and embraces gave way to one of the strongest rebukes of Israel by a senior U.S. official in years after Israel's announcement during his visit that it plans to build 1,600 homes in “disputed east Jerusalem.” Israel apologized for the poor timing but is sticking to its plan to build the homes, enlarging one of the settlements that have impeded negotiations with Palestinians.

The vice president on Wednesday assured Palestinians the U.S. is squarely behind their bid for statehood and urged the sides to refrain from actions "that inflame tensions or prejudice the outcome of talks."

"It's incumbent on both parties to build an atmosphere of support for negotiations, and not to complicate them," Biden said, standing alongside Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Israel's announcement was widely seen as a slap in the face to its all-important U.S. ally.

Voice of Judea Commentary:

“Slap in the face” when Jews build in Jerusalem? Hmm, would His Excellence, VP Biden call it a slap in the face for Americans to build in Washington? I think it would be a slap in the face if Israelis were to demand that Americans stop building in their capital. American bias and arrogance is a slap in the face of the Jewish nation and in the face of the G-d of Israel, who promised the land of Israel to the Jews. Biden was reported to have purchased a small gold cross as a souvenir during his trip to Bethlehem. Perhaps he would do better to read his Bible and learn about G-d’s gift of the Land of Israel as an exclusive inheritance to the Jews and about the great curse bestowed upon those who curse Israel.

Do we laugh or cry when the Goyim repeat the standard anti-Israel line that building Jewish homes is an act of war that will only prejudice the final outcome of the “peace” negotiations.

Let me get this straight - when Arabs build thousands of homes and launch rockets and bombs this does not upset or prejudice in any way the final outcome of “peace” talks? But when Jews build homes in their capital, in a neighborhood less than two minutes from the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway, it does? The only conclusion available from this nonsense is that the endgame is the expulsion of Jews from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Ironically (or maybe not ironic at all), Ramat Shlomo, the “disputed” neighbourhood is even closer to Jerusalem center than Ramot, Gilo or Maaleh Adumim!

What Abbas and his American and European friends are really saying is: “No Jews or dogs allowed in Jerusalem.” We are flatly being told that we have no right to live in our capital. This is blatant Jew-hatred. Could one imagine rebuking Jews for living in a particular neighborhood on the east coast of America? Don’t laugh. Today, the Arabs and the world demand East Jerusalem ‘Judenrein’ – free of Jews – tomorrow Jews will be discriminated against elsewhere. G-d forbid, they will have nowhere to run should Israel cave in to the anti-Jewish dictates of her glorious ally.

There is a great lesson to be learned from the intensified American and Arab pressure being placed on Israel these days. It comes directly after Israel made far reaching unilateral, insane, self-destructive, even masochistic compromises to “freeze” all Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria. Israel volunteered to do this not as part of any “peace” commitments. The country alone initiated the freeze in the hope that it would help refuel and ignite “peace” talks.

Once again we learn that Jewish weakness and surrender of Jewish land achieves the opposite, it only increases expectations of further surrender and fuels the desire to terrorize Jews in Israel and worldwide.

Jerusalem will never again be re-divided. Jews have been a majority in Jerusalem since the 1840s. Jerusalem was never an Arab capital, even when it was occupied by the Jordanians from 1949-1967. The only claim Arabs have on Jerusalem is that Muhammad reputedly travelled to the "northernmost" mosque on a night journey that ostensibly occurred while he was asleep in Medina. On that basis alone, the Mosques were built on the ruins of the Temple mount. But the Arabs never used Jerusalem as a political center or the seat of any of the Muslim Caliphate.

During the restoration of the Jewish presence in the Land of Israel, the overwhelming impression of Western visitors in the nineteenth century was that there were few Arab inhabitants. The British Consul General, James Finn, wrote in 1857 that "the country is in a considerable degree empty of inhabitants." He added that the land's "greatest need is that of a body of population." Mark Twain visited Eretz Israel in 1867, traveled through the Jezreel Valley, and related, "there is not a solitary village throughout its whole extent." (The Innocents Abroad, New York: Oxford University Press, 1996, p. 349.) Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, the great British cartographer, reached similar conclusions in 1881: "In Judea it is hardly an exaggeration to say that for miles and miles there was no appearance of life or habitation.

Jews building in Jerusalem is a slap in the face, and prejudices final status talks?
Anyone who could say such a thing brings evidence that we’re getting closer to the days of Moshiach and redemption. As the Talmud states, in the days preceding the coming of Moshiach, chutzpah (extreme arrogance) will prevail.

Joe Biden Libels the Jews just Weeks before Passover

During his visit to Israel, U.S. Vice-President Joseph Biden said that Israel’s current policies jeopardize the lives of American soldiers serving in the Middle East. (Yediot Aharonot, March 11, 10).

Voice of Judea Commentary: Did we get that right? That was Joe Biden? Obama’s V.P.?

But isn’t that Osama bin Laden’s contention? Indeed, isn’t that the same message that Al Qaeda has been trumpeting since 9-11? See the linkage made by Bin Laden, blaming U.S. foreign policy in Israel for the fatal attacks. Who, in the end, does Joe Biden work for?

And isn’t that also standard anti-semitic tripe – the kind of garden variety Jew hatred that we’ve seen for centuries that blames Jews for the deaths of (your nation here) at the hands of far off Afghanis and Pakistanis and Iraqis?

Got to hand it to him. Mr. Biden’s blood libel comes just in time for the Jewish Passover, when Jew-hating Christians and Muslims have typically accused Jews of killing their children to make the Jewish spring festival’s matzah.

Will it be any surprise if the Jew-haters use Mr. Biden’s words to go on a Passover rampage in Baltimore or Toronto or Los Angeles on seder night or sooner?

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Sunday, March 07, 2010

Doctor, Lawyer, Broker, Loser

22 of the Twelfth Month 5770

You have probably all heard the joke about the first, Jewish President of the United States...
The first Jewish Presient of the United States invites his mother over to the White House for Thanksgiving. He meets with a lot of resistance, but eventually convinces his mother to come.

After the plans have been formalized, his mother receives a call from a friend who asks her what she is doing for Thanksgiving. The President's mother says that she will be going to her son's house. Her friend asks, “Oh! You're going to your son, the doctor's house?”

The President's mother replies, “No, I'm going to the other one.”

Here is another joke you also may have heard....
An elderly, Jewish lady who is frought with anxiety over a dilemma she is in, meets with her friend in the park to discuss it. You see, she is very upset after being informed that her grandson is gay.

Her friend asks her, “So, nu? What's the dilemma?”

The grandmother replies, “Well, he IS dating a doctor.”

Enjoy the funny jokes during this month of Adar. The truth is, though, that these are anything but jokes, depicting the true prestige of being a doctor in the American, Ashkenazy world, where if you are not a doctor or a lawyer or a broker, then you are a loser.

There is, of course, a symbolic drop of leaway here. Many such families will tolerate one “creative type” (actor, musician, or other artist), one academic, one scientist, and even one “rabbi,” but only one, and not even one of each. Women may become therapists, but men who choose such a profession are always referred to as “the son who didn't become a 'real' doctor.”

Cousins who have absolutely nothing in common with each other are often thrown together into the same box in conversation, their parents vying for the title of who had to raise the more difficult, “problem child” or the blackest sheep.

I am writing of men primarily, but women feel the pressure, too, either to become, or to marry, one of the above.

I have a friend who has always been down on himself for not having gone to college. “But what about the eight years you spent in yeshivah?” I would ask him. “Is that not worth anything? Did you not learn and grow and become a better person from that experience?” But, this friend would just continue to sulk.

Another friend recently told me about how not having a college degree is affecting his search for a shidduch (match), even in Israel. “What about all those years you spent in Hesder Yeshivah?” I asked. “Doesn't that count for something? Who cares if you have some piece of paper?”

His response was one word: “Women.”

And, he is right,...unfortunately. In most every Religious Zionist or Modern Orthodox, shidduch ad I have seen in Israel, women are looking for a man who is “academi” (has a college degree).

But, where did this mentality come from? Jews in America often talk about their respect for education and their support for educational institutions. And, they think this is it. Afterall, this is how Jews not only survived in Galuth (exile), but excelled. Jews were not only able to compete with the goyim, but often beat them. Now that we no longer have to compete with the goyim, let us get our priorities straight.

Yes, we need doctors and lawyers and even brokers. But we also need plumbers, electricians, and garbage men.

“Oh, don't worry, in the U. S. we have the goyim for that; in Israel that's what the Arabs are for!”

Sorry, but that attitude is just not going to cut it, depending on others for what we need to learn to do for ourselves.

Just like in the U. S., these guys do pretty well financially in Israel. Yet, my friend the garbage man (Yes, such creatures as Jewish garbage men do exist), who has always made more money than I have as a teacher (and isn't that one of the American, Ashkenazy ideals? Money, money, money...), is now a supervisor of garbage men, and making even more money than I am. Still, I see it in his eyes. Pride in providing for his family, their security, and his children's Jewish education is not enough. Unfortunately, neither is pride in keeping our Holy, Jewish Homeland clean, nor doing more to protect its environment than most other professions. Society still looks down upon him because of what he does, and because of what he doesn't do.

The fact that he is intelligent, friendly, and working in his free time on projects to help his community garners nothing more than a forced smile, from the “cultural elite” to acknowledge how quaint he is. But, the reality is that the elite does not even see him as being quaint. Rather, there is something wrong with him.

By now you are probably all saying, “That's easy for you to say, Ya'aqov. You HAVE a college degree,...two of them!”

I, myself, currently work with my hands (Oy! Geeeeeeeeevaaaaaaaaaaaaald!), and get treated as “less than” by those patronizing my work. Some still even think that I am a volunteer. After all, no self-respecting [American, Ashkenazy] Jew would ever do such a thing for parnassah!

You can only imagine what parents would say about Jewish farmers. (Yes, such creatures also exist in present day.)

“David went to experience the outdoors for a while. Don't worry. His therapist
says that he'll grow out of it.”

“Michael is just going through a phase. He'll be going to Harvard next year,...whether he wants to or not!”

“What's with my daughter Rachel? Oh, you know. She's just 'finding herself.' When she comes home to visit this summer, I have three young eligible bachelors in the wings to whisk her off her feet. Then she'll gladly turn in her shovel and rake for diamonds and choice of china patterns.”

Even worse, this mentality, this virus, has long since infiltrated Israeli society. Sephardim and Teimanim now feel they have to get that piece of paper, or else they are “less than.”

And, what of those with learning styles which do not cut it in the Western classroom? Well, let's just say that the world needs ditch diggers, too!

The non-religious, Ashkenazim started it, looking down on the Sephardim and Teimanim for not sharing their culture, language, nor dress, and for having that “holy” college degree. What was a Hacham (scholar) with 20 years in yeshivah worth to them? Absolutely nothing. It was a battle between East and West. The East didn't have a chance, now that the Ashkenazim were in charge, pushing their culture and agenda on everyone else, who they considered to be inferior.

The Iraqim who came were given tent cities for their dwelling places, and told that the must give up their traditional (Read: too authentically Jewish) garb for the preferred, Western clothing of assimilation amongst the nations.

Teimanim were told that they did not need their simanim (side locks) anymore; they were in Eretz Yisra'el now.

Shomrei Torah HaS'phardim [Sha”S] the Sephardi, Haredi, political party and movement was a great idea at its inception, yet went horribly wrong. Raising up Sephardi pride, creating a community no longer willing to take it from the Ashkenazim anymore was a noble goal. Now look what has happened. With the exception of celebrating with different foods and music, including eating qitniyoth (various legumes and seeds) during Pesah, and pronouncing Hebrew differently, Sha”S has turned into a group of Sephardim which tries to out-Ashkenazy the Ashkenazim.

There is even a verb in Hebrew for the process of turning Ashkenazy: le'hishtaknez. I kid you not.

Racism you say? I'll let you be the judge.

There is one “ism,” though which simply cannot be swept under the carpet.

The attitude and practice in communities where differential respect is accorded not to professions, but to people themselves, based only on their professions, is nothing less than classism.
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