Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A Day of Sadness

I would like to say I am sorry to my regular readers for not posting before very late today.

I spent most of the day, with the exception of the trip referred to in the Gas Prices at home. As of about 8:30am this morning my little baby (This being a beautiful black long-furred cat) was no longer. He had been diagnosed about last October with Lymphoma which we had been treating him for. Then about mid-June he began having seizures. These seizures consisted of him starring at non-existent things that frightened him, he then would run around the house hissing and growling. A side effect of the fear was a loss of bowl and blatter control.

The seizure disorder is called Feline Hyperphasia. It is generally treated, we were told, with a medication that he was already taking for the Lymphoma. So we tried phenobarbitol, which is the next medication that is generally tried. His seizures continued to get worse over the last couple months dispite the increases in the med to control them. It reached a point where he was very drugged up and still having the seizures.

My wife and I discussed the situation, then compared notes with our Vet. The three of us decided that it was time for him to be 'put to sleep.' I must say that this was a very hard decision. He was only 11 years old, and was actually doing very well on his Chemo treatment for the Lymphoma. It just reached a point where we all felt he was suffering and it was in his best interest. I have been depressed about my little on all day. He was a very unique cat and I loved him very much. (My wife and I do not have children, and we treat our cats as though they are our children.)

Several things have gotten me through the day. One thing was sharing the complete day with my wife. Napping and doing other things together. Another thing that got me through the day was knowing that my baby was in a much better place and that he wouldn't suffer any more. Another thing that has gotten me through the day is reminising about all the silly and amazing things my baby did during our time together. And the final thing that has gotten me through the day: our other cat. She has spent the day with me, either cuddling me or curled up near me and paying me an uncommon amount of attention. I know my little baby loved me, how I know is a post for another day, but knowing I am loved by my other cat (not to mention my wife and our families) has really helped. Though it has been very hard to write this post, it to has helped. I will tell you more about the life of my baby, including his name, soon. But for now I feel a need to go back to my wife and my other baby. They need me and I need them.

I thank all of you for your patience with me on this. I hope you all understand my need to express myself on some of these very personal things, it has really helped me to feel a little bit better.

Welcome to the Otherside of the Looking Glass

The Knesset voted 53-28 Wednesday to approve the agreement to transfer control of the Gaza-Egyptian border from Israel to Egypt.

Why are we continuing to allow armed people who would like to kill us, closer. We have a 'peace' treaty with the Egyptians that was designed to keep Egyptian troops away from the Egyptian/Israeli border. We have allowed the Palestinian 'militants' to have weapons, which is made worse by the fact that we gave they the weapons. Now we let the Egyptians closer with much more weapons, and trained military personnel.

Why make it easier and easier for the these people to kill them.

Gas Prices

The local paper this morning had a small heading that prices of gas would go over the $3.00. I luckly purchased gas fairly early this morning at $2.59. I was on the other side of town early this afternoon and the price of gas was $3.10. I was watching CNN even later in the day and saw that some stations in Atlanta were already selling gas for $4.99.

I am in favor of our form of economy and government, I truly believe it is the best form of both. Having said that, I have only one concern, why do incredibly profitable corporations feel the need to soak the general public in times of disaster. They are going to make a profit, and still be able to raise gas prices within the next two weeks due to our lovely friend Hurricane Katrina.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Jews for Jesus

I ususally don't check Cross-Currents, and when I do rarely find anything I want to read, I often find the articles there to be annoying actually.

Having made the disclaimer the article that I linked to above was quite interesting and made a good point. It deals with the Jews for Jesus moving in to Baltimore for their annual targeting mission. Cleveland is one of the other big targets of these overly agressive messianic missionaries. And while I have a major problem with them that is not what I really wanted to take about.

The real reason for the post at Cross-Currents is what I really wanted to address and that is Jewish Education. Let me start my discussion by saying I did not have the opportunity to go to a day school, and I regret ths to this day. I have struggled to learn what I have, and plan to continue my struggle to learn much more. I would really like to say that in my opinion ALL Jewish children should go to day school. The problem today is that too many Jewish parents want their children to have a 'secular' education. To be exposed to a wide variety of people and cultures. I like this idea to, except what it does is leave our young people vulnerable religious concepts that are outside the realm of OUR religion. From personal experience, I was always in the Holiday(Christmas) program in grade school, where I did the portion on Hanukkah to make it a 'multi-cultural' celebration. It was still a Christmas program even with my portion. In High School I was in the band (Alto Sax for anyone who cares) and we always had our Christmas Program that included a variety of caroles. (At least they didn't try to make it a 'multi-cultural' program by including Hanukkah song.

I did attend Hebrew/Sunday school, this consisted of about 2 hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays and 2 hours on Sunday. 6 hours a week, to teach me the intricacies of a beautiful and complicated religion. It is neither enough to create a fully educated functional Jewish adult or someone with enough information to fend off a determined missionary. Luckily, I did always ask questions and learned things on my own, even before adulthood.

Trust me when I say, that the education of our children in our religion is very important. At some point, in our society today, they will need to be able to understand what they believe or they will be taught that what they believe is wrong and not have sufficient information to fend this off. Perhaps a problem that we have is that to many Jews see secular society as THE answer, but they are deluding themselves. To I feel that everyone should be Orthodox, well that is a whole other discussion.

I have one other point, also from a personal perspective. If you are sending you children to a secular/public school, and that school has little in the way of a Jewish population, how would you feel about your son/daughter-in-law being goyish, because that is the likelihood. And again I don't think that is what anyone wants.

All Things to All Israelis

Ariel Sharon, under apparent pressure with in his own party where he is polling far behind Bibi, and being challenged by at least 2 others, has given some idea of his plan for the future. Yesterday, statements were made by Sharon and other's in the administration about future possibilities in the peace process.

In this article
the discussion is about statements that now further 'unilateral' moves will be made by Israel and that all future changes in the status will be due to the 'Road Map'and must be negotiated.

Ariel's quotes are "I don’t see any additional disengagements. The disengagement was a one-time step and I dont see another one. ... The next step is to move to the road map. There are no more stages of disengagement. When it comes to what settlements Israel will be asked to remove, this will be at the last stage of the road map ... the last stage of negotiations. ... This subject can come up only in the last stage because anything determined today will be used as a starting point for negotiations."

This effectively puts an end for the near term on withdrawl from settlements, and puts the ball in the hands of PA Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas.

Monday, August 29, 2005

The End Of Israel.

Sam Vaknin,Ph.D is obviously a prophet. He is also so in touch with the reality of the Middle East that he makes this statement "Even now, it is not too late. Israel can transform itself into an important and benevolent regional player by embracing its Arab neighbors and by championing the causes of economic and scientific development, integration, and opposition to outside interference in the region's internal affairs. The Arabs, exhausted by decades of conflict and backwardness, are likely to heave a collective sigh of relief and embrace Israel - reluctantly at first and more warmly as it proves itself a reliable ally and friend." Prior to this statement the High-Prophet Vaknin discuss the backround of the Arab-Israeli conflict, I will discuss some of his points on that momentarily, but here we see him actually see a massive change in the way the Arabs deal with the rest of the world. A people who have been at war with other religions for over 1000 years will suddenly change because the Israeli's say "Hey, let's be friends." (After all it's not like this hasn't been tried before with Egypt and Jordan. But hey you just never know if we keep trying it could actually work with say the Palestinians. Just say "Hey let's be friends, work out a mutually advantageous situation and BOTH be better for it.) The Arabs, because of a belief that any lands they have controlled at any time in their history are their lands (And by the way this includes all of the Iberian Penninsula) that they will gladly 'heave a collective sigh of relief and embrace Israel.'

Now to the High-Prophet's other wonderous pronouncements.

"The Arabs, who first welcomed the Jewish settlers and the economic opportunities they represented, turned against the new emigrants when they learned of their agenda of occupation, displacement, and ethnic cleansing. Israel became a pivot of destabilization in the Middle East, embroiled in conflicts and wars too numerous to count. Unscrupulous and corrupt Arab rulers used its existence and the menace it reified as a pretext to avoid democratization, transparency, and accountability." Okay kiddies can we find the High-Prophets mistakes here. 1st He discusses the idea of ethnic cleansing, of course he is right which is why Israel currently has a citizenry made up of, in addition to Jews, Christians, Arab Muslims, Arab Christians (only distinguished for point making), and Druze. It has people from nearly every country that has ever had a Jewish population, including many of the Arab countries after they expelled their Jewish populations in 1948. Israel has continually tried to convince it's neighbors to live in peace, but they prefer the hudna. (A peace until I am stronger than you.) Oh yeah and lest we forget, it is obviously Israels fault that all the leaders of the Arab countries are greedy, power-mad, dictators, it wouldn't be that they just WERE greedy, power-mad dictators.

"Israel will sooner or later face the need to choose whether to institute a policy of strict and racist apartheid - or shrink into an indefensible (though majority Jewish) enclave. The fanatics of the religious right are likely to enthusiastically opt for the first alternative. All the rest of the Jews in Israel are bound to recoil. Civil war will then become unavoidable and with it the demise of yet another short-lived Jewish polity." This is another of those prophetic statements the High-Prophet made. So let's take a quick shot at this one and I will leave the rest of the article for you to 'enjoy.' If Israel continues on the course of action that Ariel has begun, and has announced additional withdrawls for, then neither of the 'prophecies' are correct. First of all there is at least one option not mentioned, and I don't advocate it, and that is the approach of Rabbi Kahane and the Kach movement. Expel the Palestinians from the land. That would be a solution that is neither apartheid or shrinking. Also, the far-left in this world seems to like to compare the Shomron (and formerly Gaza) to that of South Africa. First of all, Israel has never accepted the vast majority of the Palestinians as citizens, and would have gladly worked out a solution to this situation years ago had someone been will to work with Israel. Second the 'civil war' that is unavoidable has been predicted for the better part of a year, it was supposedly going to start with the withdrawl from Gaza, I don't seem to remember seeing any shooting, and I don't think it is very likely. The final thing in this paragraph that really riles me up is the final 'shot across the bow.' Yes we have had our 'issues' with self rule in our 3300 years of history, but guess what oh High-Prophet, we have HAD a 3300 year history. I doubt that you have.

I Think This Proves There Are Stupid Questions

Can You Convert to Non-Practicing Judaism?

Okay before I even post the complete question or discuss the answer given I have to say, if you were going to convert to another religion, why would you convert as a non-practicing member of that religion. Isn't that sort of like taking a shower in a raincoat. Yeah, your in the shower, but you aren't going to get very clean.

Why is it that if a Jew does not observe Judaism they are still considered Jewish, while a convert to Judaism must observe Jewish law to be accepted into Judaism? It doesn't seem fair. There are so many born Jews (like me) who are non-practicing . Why can't someone convert to be a non-practicing Jew?
Okay this was the actual question that was asked. As I said in my title, I think this proves there are stupid questions. Here is a person who is a non-practicing Jew who would like to know why a person can't convert to a non-practicing position. I think it would be safe to guess that this person is probably dating a goyish person and feels guilty. The goyish significant other is probably a non-practicing non-Jew, and really doesn't see the point of staying a non-practicing non-Jew if it is a problem for the non-practicing Jew.

The answer that is given in the linked article is basically "no, the person isn't really accepting Judaism if they aren't going to follow the laws by which they are converting."

I am not the most religious Jew in the world, this I readily admit. (I am working on this and as things progress I will probably discuss some of those issues as they arise.) But the answer to the question should be self evident. There is a very nice analogy, which I am not completely sure I agree with in the article that goes like this: "It's like a democratically elected official using his power to state that democracy is redundant. If he's correct, then he has no position. It was democracy that gave him power; take away democracy, and you've taken away his power. Or like a judge who declares the law to be irrelevant. If so, then he is irrelevant too, because he only has a right to judge by virtue of the law - the very law that he is rejecting." As I said I think it is a very nice analogy to explain the situation. My problem though is that many times dictators use an electoral process to rise to power and then later subvert it for their own ends.

I do recommend the article, the response is written by a Rabbi and is posted on Arutz Sheva.

I had nothing to do with it!!

Okay, I am tired of 'taking the blame' for any two-bit moron with a mouth and enough grey matter to operate it for more than chewing.

In this article some moronic anti-semitic Iraqi/Sunni crackhead, during a demonstration against the new Constitution, by the name of 'Sheik Yahya Ibrahim al-Batawi, an organizer of the protest, read a statement denouncing the "Jewish constitution," saying its goal was to divide Iraq along sectarian and ethnic lines.' ( I appologize for the organization of that sentence but I have altered it several times and can't get it to be completely correct English.)

The protesters chanted "We sacrifice our souls and blood for you, Saddam." Now they are not call for Saddam to come back from what I can tell, so I really think this is a very strange chant. Frankly, the whole opposition of the Sunni's to the 'constitution' is that they are not in control of the country any more. My response: Get over it and look at what you can do now.

Now, since I am already discussing anti-semitic crackheads how about this state for the height of that 'attitude': "Mention the word Jew in anything except reverential tones and it’s like calling the Pope a paedophile. . . . Such is the lock the Zionist propaganda machine has on the way anything to do with Israel is reported that even ‘Jews’ are not exempt from the wrath of the Zionist disinfo blitz as the various vicious campaigns being conducted on university campuses amply demonstrate against so-called self-hating Jews who don’t fall into line behind the mythology of the Zionist state testifies to." This article then goes on to babble sensely about how we are trying to take over the world. William Bowles is the anti-semitic crackhead in this case, and show nothing but unsubstantiated paranoia about how we will take over the world. (Frankly, I wish we would just get it over with so I can begin to legislative eliminate the stupid people like this one.)

"As I watched the extensive, plainly sympathetic coverage of Jewish settlers being evicted from their Gaza homes, I couldn't help but take note once again of the striking double standard applied by American news media as well as the U.S. government.I cannot recall any sympathetic coverage of Palestinians being evicted from their homes. No interviews with weeping mothers or fathers." This is the beginning of a different article which is 'published' by
Charley Reese at Palestine Monitor. I cant help but think back to the beginning of the 'Al-Aqsa (Second) Infitada' where nearly all of the interviewed people about anything that happened in 'Greater Israel' were people like Hanna Ashwari and Saeb Erekat (The Chief 'Palestinian Negotiator'). In addition I remember see the 'proud' parents of the suicide-bomber/murders discussing how proud they were that their son/daughter was the one who was chosen by Allah to become a martyr. It would be a little hard to get them crying later about being expelled from their homes. 'Mr.' Reese goes on to discuss how horrible Israel is and how many people were killed by each side. He 'gleefully' reports the difference in the numbers of dead and injured on each side of the situation and how 'so many more' Palestinians have been killed. He overlooks several things in this that really irritated me. 1. How many of the Israeli's were civilians, and how many Palestinians. 2. For the civilians, what were the circumstances in which they were killed. It is great to blame the Israelis for all of those deaths, but if the 'brave' Palestinian 'militants' were fighting from among civilians, what is crackhead Reese's 'opinion' of those brave Palestinians. 3. Why are there Palestinians wandering about with weapons who are not part of the 'Palestinian Security Services' and why are they able to build bomb-belts? 4. Why can't the Palestinians 'restrain' themselves from kill each other and Jews? (And how many of those dead Palestinians were killed by other Palestinians, like that poor boy early in the conflict when the Palestinian 'militants' engaged the IDF trapping a boy and his father out in the middle of the combat zone and the 'militants' fired shots directly at the boy in order to create a media storm against Israel. Or the outcry by Mr. Reese against Saeb Erekat for his 'report' during the Jenin campaign about the 'massacure' of the Palestinian civilians who numbered in the Zeroes.

I just find this kind of crap makes me very irate. I am not saying that 'some' of his complaints may not be acurate, but I feel that a more evenhanded discussion of the issues would be more beneficial to BOTH sides.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Are they Really Serious?

I have yet to post anything on the 'Cindy Sheehan' situation. Frankly I have to say I think the situation is a little blown out of proportion. She is a single mother with an issue that she would like to hear the President address. But the far left has turned her in to some kind of hero of the anti-war movement, and the far right and neo-cons have turned in to one of the greatest enemies of the US.

"The terrorists that are watching Cindy Sheehan's protest believe that this is something that might topple the current administration." Howard Kaloogian said. "And I have a question that I want the media to begin asking Cindy Sheehan: How many more American soldiers are going to die because you are giving hope and encouragement to our enemies?"

My first response to this is to simply laugh. On the face of the statement it just sounds ridiculus. The more I thought about this after I first heard it the more angry I became. This was coupled with another speaker with this same group saying something to the effect of "Who does she think she is to question the President? To demand that he speak with her."

So I now feel force by the stupidity of others to directly address this. First, Howard (you dumb-ass), the terrorists are not watching Ms. Sheehan. Second, if the terrorists thing it is going to 'topple the current administration' they are sadly mistaken, as this country doesn't work that way, and if this administration gets 'toppled' it will be through it's own ineptitude and nothing Ms. Sheehan does. And finally, Howard, no additional soldiers are being put in harms way by Ms. Sheehan, she doesn't have the power over the soldiers to do that. Only the President does.

Now before I address the second statement I have one additional thing to say to Howard Dumb-ass, and that is grow-up, read the constitution, understand the concept of Freedom of Speech as it applies to anyone else but YOU. Then get the F*** off your high horse.

Now as to the second speaker who asked the question "who does she think she is to demand the President speak with her?" Ah, the fun of the stupid question? The answer my friend is two fold. First, she is a citizen of the United States who is a taxpayer, in other words SHE IS ONE OF THE PRESIDENTS BOSSES, if he responds to one person he should respond to them all, but frankly he doesn't seem to be able to talk to anyone who is in lock step with him. The second part of the answer, she lost her son due to one of the Presidents policy, he apparently had the time to make political speeches while on vacation, he had time to have a 'photo op' bicycle ride with Lance Armstrong. He could make 10 minutes to talk to her, after all she went there to see him at her expense. What Jr. has succeeded in doing in this situation taking a minor story and making it a front page everyday story. Like many things with this President, he seems to believe if he ignores it long enough it will go away.

And the Peace Continues

Showing the great success of the Gaza and Northern Samaria withdrawl, a suicide bomber blew himself up in Be'erSheba. The rest of Israel is probably heaving a great sigh of relief that the Peace Process has resulted in such a long quiet to date.

Ariel Sharon, showing his unique understanding of the situation, was quoted as saying "Israel has taken the necessary steps to advance the peace process. The Palestinians have not. Without such steps, there will be no progress."

To date there has been no claim of responsibility.

CNN Report

Additional proof of the success of this quiet and success of the peace process.
IDF at Karni-Netzarim Road shot at for 2nd time Sunday.
Palestinians throw stones at cars near Shilo.

Aaah, The sweet smells and sounds of peace on the march.

UPDATE: YNET is reporting that Islamic Jihad is claiming responsibility for the attack. This article has additional details on the bomber himself.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Palestinian Paranoia or Anti-Semetism

The Palestinians always something to accuse Israel of doing. There was the famous, or infamous, Jenin Massacure. There are always those lovely stories of the poisoned candy being handed out to Palestinian children. And now, just when you though it would end with the withdrawl from Gaza, Israel has poisoned the abandoned settlements with toxic waste. This claim was made by Popular Committee for Defending Palestinian Lands. I don't know where they idiots come up with this stuff but you've got to admire their tenacity.

Hat tip to Dhimmi Watch.

Musharraf Speaks to AJC

Pakastani Perez Musharraf will be speaking to the American Jewish Congress on September 17, 2005 in NYC.

I found this to be an interesting choice for a guest on several fronts. One he has been calling for moderation in the Arab/Islamic world. Which really isn't all that suprising when one realizes that he is a likely target for assination by extremists for both his stances in side his country and his 'alliance' with the US in the 'War on Terror.'

The second reason I found this interesting is that it is occurring in NYC so close to the anniversary of 9/11/01. This just seems like it might be a 'dangerous' time to be wondering around NYC (or any major city in the US, as a 'high-profile' Islamic leader.) as there are a lot of crazy people in this country who may decide this is a good time/target to make a point to the extremists.

Palestinian Celebrations

Picture will be posted later.

The Palestinians celebrating around the Netzarim area after the withdrawl.

Sperm Banks and Cancer Patients

A Japanese study has found that male cancer patients who make 'donations' to a sperm bank prior to beginning chemo treatments will usually have a better time emotionally dealing with the cancer treatment. This is being attributed to the relief of worries about whether they are going to be able to have children later in life.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Cavalry is on the Way. (Okay, it is really just the Airborne)

In this Turkish Press story it is reported that the Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld, has added 2 battalions of the 82nd Airborne Division were being deployed for a 120 day period to Iraq. This will add a whopping 1,500 troops to the 138,000 already there. These troops are to bolster the troop levels to help increase security for the up-coming October elections. In a land mass roughtly the size of California, with hostile forces hiding everywhere with the civilians, is 1,500 additional bodies going to make a hugh difference, I DON'T THINK SO.

Stabbing in the Old City

Here is a breaking news story.

The story was less complete in its initial posting on Arutz Sheva, but they did have this update. It appears that one of the victims is in very bad shape and they are trying to revive him. I will update as I see additional information.

UPDATE: This article from has much more detail. The victims were both 'Ultra-Orthodox' youth and one had no pulse when Magen Dovid Adom paramedics first arrived. They got a pulse back and transported him to the hospital. The second victim is the one who informed the police and was in shock when a second paramedics squad arrived for him.

UPDATE: The Ynet story has been updated at the same link to report that the critically stabbed youth has died. Reuters is also reporting this. In the attached link they make a point to mention the fact that a "Jewish settler shot dead four Palestinians in the West Bank on August 17." which has nothing to do with this story.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: This article from Arutz Sheva has some additional information on the attacks, including a description of the weapon used in the attack.

The disengagement an Islamic view.

The Iranian News paper the Iran Times printed their view of the disengagement. Naturally They could stop at giving Sharon or Israel credit for the disengagement, they had to lay blame for the 'occupation' of the lands in the first place, and of course discuss why it isn't enough.

Ah well, the fact that they gave a Jew credit for something is a step in the right direction.

A Defense of Israel.

I have to say it is nice to see a defense of Israel by someone who is not in Israel, and more so because this defense also includes an attack on the UN and its' treatment of both Israel and the Palestinians.

The bad thing, it is in the New Zealand Herald.

Money, let's waste some.

"Maps will go into circulation from next week updating the south of the country and they will still have the names of these localities (Gaza settlements) but with the mention 'destruction'."

Why is the Israeli government printing maps with the settlements that we just evacuated and destroyed. They don't exist so why do the maps need to indicate that they did, and that they have been destroyed, isn't this sort of rubbing salt in the wounds of the people you just forced out of the Gaza.

Follow-up Animal Rescue in Gaza

More than a hundred assorted animals, including dogs, cats, chickens, goats, geese, parakeets, ducks and even an iguana have been saved from former Jewish enclaves in the Gaza Strip. This list of animals also included one little kitten, three weeks old who had just opened its eyes. It had suffered so much, it was very, very hard.

As an animal lover I am glad that this was animal rescue was allowed. I thought the owning of an inguana was a little strange, and felt absolutely distressed by the little kitten. So I guess the Israeli government can't be all bad if they are will to let this sort of thing go forward.

No if we can only get the PA to do to the 'cute little terrorists' what Israelhas done for 'cute little animals,' you know clear them all out and hopefully save as many as possible.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

What would Bush say then?

The Centre for Defence Studies at London's King's College has warned that future terrorist attacks in England will likely be outside of London as this would spread mass panic and avoid the British Security Services.

I suppose the response will then be "We are fighting them in Iraq and England, so we don't have to fight them here."

Oh I just can't wait to see what he would really say. (I just hope that there are no more casualties of the morons blowing up civilian sites.)


Pat Robertson wants Venuzuela's Leader Wacked.

The Reverend Pat Robertson Monday August 22, 2005, presumably after discussing the issue with G-D and getting a response, advocated the assination of Venuzuela's President Hugo Chavez saying "If he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it."

Boy, oh boy, it is a shame that Pat isn't setting the political agenda in this country directly, after all he is taking some of the credit for the opening on the Supreme Court after praying for one for over a year. (And he is still praying for more openings.)

Free Speech 2: The Blowhard Strikes Back

Yesterday I posted Free Speech in which I discussed the idea that people like the blowhard Rush Limbaugh and others put forward that some how the expressing a problem with the current policy is treason. In that post I went to Merriam-Webster and copy the definition of treason and discuss how the expression of oneself in this country is not treason, but is an exersize in free speech.

Today the blowhard is discussing how those who disagree with him are not patriotic. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Patriot as 'one who loves his or her country and supports its authority and interests.'

So let's look at that for just a moment. If one does not believe a policy is in the best interest of the country and speaks out against it are they still a patriot. I doubt, as the right-wing blowhards would have you believe, that people who are currently protesting the war in Iraq do not love this country or support its authority, they just don't believe that the policy is correct.

Now in addition to this, Mr Limbaugh feels that everything is just wonderful in Iraq and it is just not being covered because the 'liberal media' doesn't want to cover this. I really find the ability of Rush Blowhard to hide his head in his own posterior, but to pontificate about a subject without any facts to be humorous, at least for the short periods of time that I can take Mr. 'Idiocy on loan from G-D.'

Monday, August 22, 2005

Cell Phone Etiquette.

I would like to start by saying that idea for this has been hanging around my head for a short time, but was spurred by our friend Shifra at askShifa and her Restroom Rules post.

These are somethings that bother me.
1. No one is so important or so busy that they need to be on the phone in the restroom/bathroom.
2. If you in a checkout line trying to purchase items, get the HELL off the phone, no one else wants to hear your business, and having been a cashier for a year, it is as annoying as hell to try and communicate with someone when they are trying unload a cart, and talk on the phone.
3. If you are in a store, don't yell into your cellphone, as with #2 no one else cares about your personal business.
4. If you are on a cell phone in public, don't carry on a discussion about your intimate business. I don't want to know who you had sex with over the weekend or how drunk you were. (Actually these conversations shouldn't be in public at all.)
5. Unless it is an emergency, don't answer your cell phone when you are having a conversation with someone else. It is both rude and disrespectful.
6. NO ONE needs to be in contact 24/7. (Unless you are leader of a country/ other level of government.) Shut the Damn thing off once in a while.
7. Cell phones are phones they are not toys, quite playing with them if you are board.
8. If you need the evening out number block service on your cell phone for those night you go out drinking, perhaps you should consider the fact that you may have a drinking problem instead of taking advantage of this stupid service.
9. Children/Young adults should be taught the appropriate use of a cell phone. That they are for emergencies and for communications with family. They are not to just make random phone calls while you are wandering a store. (related to several of the above.)
And finally:
10. Put the phone away and enjoy a little peace and quite, after all G-D didn't create nature for us to waste time babbling senselessly about every little thing that pops in to our heads. (That is why G-D created Blogs. So we can type and rant with out disturbing others. Unless they want to be disturbed by them.)

Free speech

I have been hearing something that is really getting me upset.

A number of 'right-wing media types' or perhaps I should refer to them as blow-hards such as Rush Limbaugh have been discussing the issue of treason and protests against current policy. I am not going to getting in to the subjects they have been discussing in particular, but the concept in general. The general topic is that of protesting the 'War in Iraq.' Now these blow-hards want to convice people that by taking a stand against the current policy of the current administration that these individuals are somehow committing treason.

Our friends from Merriam-Websters define treason as:
1 : the betrayal of a trust
2 : the offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance or to kill or personally injure the sovereign or the sovereign's family

So lets take these one at a time.
How is conducting a Constitutionally legal protest against a government policy the betrayal of trust. It isn't, so the protests are failing under this definition.

As for the second, how is conducting a Constitutionally legal protest an overt act to overthrow the state(government) to which the protester owes allegiance, or to kill or personally injure the soveriegn or his family? Well let's see, I don't believe the 'anti-war' protesters are advocating the overthrow of the entire government, just a government policy. Are any of these people call for the death of George 'Bunnypants' Bush or his family. I haven't hear this, and though I don't discount that there may be some who feel that way, I doubt that there are many who are.

The idea tends to be that they are 'offering aid and comfort to the enemy.' I have been thinking about this and I am not sure what this means in terms of the situation with Iraq. They are not supporting the terrorists. They are not saying that the terrorists are correct in killing anyone, and I would definitely have a problem if they did.

So I guess that leaves us with a single concept, that they disagree with the simple fact that these people are on the other side of the issue and with all due respect to the right-wing blow-hard faction of this country, but that is not treason. In fact, I would go so far as to say these people are doing exactly what they should be doing if they disagree with the policies, expressing themselves. Maybe the problem is that the right-wing blow-hards can't handle it when people disagree with them. If that's the case, instead of accusing others of treason, perhaps they need to see a professional to help with the feelings of inadequacy they are obviously feeling.

Sharon in Knesset

Knesset members censure PM Sharon. The J -Post is treating this like it is a hugh deal. Several MKs have called Sharon, to his face, a variety of things include "a corrupt prime minister, a cruel and heartless liar." While I don't know that he is precisely a heartless liar, he has definitely made statements he didn't live up to, and as far a a corrupt prime minister, . . . , he has allegedly taken bribes and made other decisions because of the influence because of people outside the government so ...

I really don't think this is a big deal, some people will say what is on their mind no matter what.

The Guardian's view of the withdrawl

Why is it that what ever Israel does, they don't get any credit for it? Israel decides to unilaterally withdrawl from the Gaza region and for many people, not including the Palestinians themselves, are immediately saying how this step really means very little. The Guardian says 'Mr Sharon and his supporters will no doubt argue that Gaza has been a "painful concession" for which the Palestinians must now reciprocate, but they should not be allowed to get away with that. Compliance with international law over the Gaza settlements, after many years of illegality, is no concession.'

The territory was taken from Egypt in 1967, in the peace negotiations between Egypt and Israel that resulted in the returning of the Sinai, Egypt renounced the rights to the Gaza. This left the dispute on the territory between Israel and the Palestinian residents, this would not still be covered by International Law as it was renounced by the country that previously was the 'owner' of the territory. The same situation would be the case with Samaria and Yahudah. Jordan renounced the rights to the territory. Now let's look at that fact. It is true that both Egypt and Jordan renounced these territories with the intent of a negotiated settlement for those territories to be given to the Palestinians, but those settlements must be negotiated.

The Guardian further states 'Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian leader, is not obliged to concede anything in exchange, but he must respond - otherwise the disengagement will amount to little more than a tactical readjustment serving Israel's convenience. In Gaza, Mr Abbas has two main tasks: to ensure that Palestinian militants give Israeli forces no excuse to return; and to start rebuilding the shattered economy.' Why is Mahmoud Abbas 'not obliged' to concede anything in exchange? Several reasons actually. The first is that there was no negotiation that led to the withdrawl, and therefore no Palestinian concession is required. There is another reason though as well. Publications like Guardian, and other individuals and organizations, seem to have the opinion/belief Israel can do not right and that as long as it exists it is in the wrong.

'Mr Sharon has a history of setting goals for the Palestinians that are impracticably high.' This is the type of statement that really upsets me as well. Why is expecting the Palestinians to actually do something they have agreed to, like disarming the terrorist groups, or cracking down on violence aimed at Israeli's. Or how about actually holding people in prison that are guilty of attacking Israelis, how about not praising those who blow themselves up in the commission of murder, or something really simple like changing the Palestinian Liberation Organization Charter, which has become the PA charter, to remove the various planks that refer to the destruction of Israel, it has been 11+ years since they agreed to the last item and it still hasn't been change. Yet, asking them to actually do things like this is considered setting the bar for the Palestinians impracticably high.

Guardian Article

Saturday, August 20, 2005

I'm Torn, or Why John Bolton is My Hero (of the moment)

I find myself torn on something. I am not a John Bolton supporter for the position of UN Ambassador for our country. To me this is kind of like using dynamite to remove an ant hill. But on Thursday August 18, 2005 Mr. Bolton said that funds provided to the Palestinian Authority under the United Nations Development Program that had been used to produce a grouping of propaganda items aimed at 'future' Israeli withdrawls was "inappropriate and unacceptable."

I tend to agree as they produced bumper stickers, posters, T-shirts and mugs with the slogan Today Gaza, Tomorrow the West Bank and Jerusalem. This seems to be a wildly in appropriate use of the funds supplied by the UN to help the Palestinian Authority to communicate with its' citizens information surrounding the withdrawl from Gaza.

Timothy Rothermel, was quoted by Fox News as saying that the slogan is "consistent with the relevant U.N. resolutions and Security Council resolutions about the status of Palestine." Why is it that morons like this some how end up in positions like this. The slogans are not with in the bounds of what the money was to be used for, and several of Mr. Rothermel's superiors have said as much.

The article also had this lovely little quote by a leader of Hamas "Gaza is the first liberation, then comes the West Bank, then every inch of Palestinian land," Khaled Meshaal said. "We are at the beginning of the road, and we have not and will not give up our weapons. The battle is not over." Which Reuters report was said in front of a sign reading "Today Gaza, Tomorrow Jerusalem"

The article also has some responses from American Jewish and Israeli leaders.

State Department Without Answers

As I posted yesterday, The US State Department (or actually the Secretary of State) seemed to indicate that the US was expecting further steps in the near future. This article, which details a series of questions from the Friday August 20, 2005 press conference that the spokesman for the State Department has no real answers when pressed with a series of questions to follow-up on Ms. Rice's previous statements.

US Backtracks

Why, oh why, do THEY take the credit?

As I posted yesterday, Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) is saying that the 'small Jihad' succeeded in the 'expulsion' of the Jews from Gaza and that a 'large Jihad' would succeed in more 'expulsions' and the creation of a Palestinian State with Jerusalem as the capital.

Abbas also apparently feels that declaring a partial victory as a result of PA policies opens up the ability to hold parlimentary elections in which Fatah can win a sizable number of seats, as he has officially announced an election date.

Hamas, on the other hand, has apparently decided that they and not the PA policies are the reason for the 'victory' and are beginning to challenge the PA authority in the Gaza. The PA police in Gaza City stood by and watched as masked Hamas terrorists demonstrated in front of PA parlimentary offices. (The only 'hope' I have for this right now is that the Palestinians begin a civil war that will take their eyes off of Israel for at least a little while.)

Posters in the central square showed a masked terrorist carrying a rifle while IDF soldiers were crying and leaving Jewish evacuated Jewish communities. Other posters proclaimed, "Israel will no longer exist" and "We drove you out as corpses."
This paragraph, from the below linked article, is the type of problem I have feared all along with the withdrawl in the situation that we are doing it.

The only good news, to me, in this article is "Two terrorists were injured Friday when an explosive device they were carrying accidentally blew up before they could plant it near IDF soldiers guarding the Kfar Darom community, whose residents have been expelled." I don't know about anybody else, but I always feel like cheering every time one of these dimwitted morons blows himself up, and injures no one else.

Mortar Attacks

Friday, August 19, 2005

Shabbat Sholom Av 15th

Candle lighting.

Shabbat shalom. Shabbat Tov.

May your day of rest be both restful and regenerative.

I had planned on posting a picture of the lighting of Shabbat Candles, but my photo link button is acting up today so I have just posted a link to the site of the picture.

Little Wolf

Man or Woman?

Okay, I have no explination for this article other than it confused me. An Australian man is sueing some of his doctors for mis-diagnosing him as a woman. Would somebody please explain to me how you do this? I have images in my head that are just not right. I just have no idea how you make this mistake.


Please let me know if there is a link issue. I had a terrible time with the main website trying to get to the article.

Abbas Praises, This is a First Step

Why do the Palestinians need to turn everything into a reason to praise the idiots they have convince to blow themselves up, not to mention taking a good thing as a good thing and acknowledging it.

Abbas said“We want on this occasion to pay homage to our martyrs, to our prisoners, to our wounded and all those among our people who have made sacrifices.” This was followed byThis step is only the first step that will be completed in Jenin and in the West Bank and in Jerusalem, God willing,” added the Palestinian leader, reiterating his refrain that Israel make additional pullbacks.

Our friend DovBear posted:

"During an interview with reporters and an editor from The New York Times at the State Department, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice offered sympathy for the Israeli settlers who are being removed from their homes in Gaza but also made it clear that she expected Israel and the Palestinians to take further steps in short order toward the creation of a Palestinian state.

"Everyone empathizes with what the Israelis are facing," Ms. Rice said. But she added, "It cannot be Gaza only."

I don't agree. The next move belongs to Abbas. If he can transform Gaza into an Arab Signapore, perhaqps we can talk about more than Gaza. But until he at long last demonstrates control over his radicals, and a willingness to punish criminals, it must be Gaza only and it is obscene for a senior representative of "Israel's best friend" to be calling for additional sacrifices from the Israelis."

My problem with Dovie's comments are that while he, and I must say I, thinks that Abbas has the next move, Abbas still thinks Israel does. This does not bode well for the future, and has been one of the things that I was concerned about with this unilateral move. The Palestinians are taking credit for something they did nothing useful to attain, and now feel that more is due them.

It also appears from the quotes by Abbas in the article that he has no intention of reigning in the terrorist groups in the Gaza.

UPDATE: And so it begins. No matter how much Israel does to accomidate the murders and their enablers on the other side without any kind of steps in response, others always want more.

The Bush administration said go"to work on other issues such as the Sharm el-Sheikh understandings" , which involve the removal of 5 more Yahudah and Samaria villages. We haven't seen the resolution of this step, and everyone already wants more. It will not end until Israel no longer exists.

Could you tell me the way to Tel Aviv

Umm . . . I am not sure this is going to help. Apparently 2 of the teenage Gaza protestors who where arrested by Israeli military/police forces have escaped from the transport and run into a near by palestinian area.

This sounds like the recipe for a sure fire disaster.


Rockets Fired at US Warships

For the "What were they thinking?" department, comes the 4 Al-Qa'eda geniuses who attempted to hit 2 US warships in the port of Aqaba, Jordon. The 4, of Egyptain and Iraqi origin, apparently fired the rockets in an attempt to attack Israel, but these, fortunately inept morons, missed anything but water.

The rockets were apparently to be aimed at Elat, but none hit a useful target. The one that did make it into Israel hit just outside the airport and caused no damage or injuries.

The rockets that came near the US Warships were way off target, and one final rocket was so far off target that it apparently hit a Jordanian military hospital, killing one Jordanian soldier. So, to sum up 4 rockets aimed at Israel, 1 hit Israel with no casualties, 2 hit the water in the harbor with no damage and 1 that hit a Jordanian Military Hospital killing one soldier. They tried to kill Jews (no surprise there, and ended up killing an Arab.)

The Al-Qa'eda website that claims responsibility has these statements on them "Zionists are our rightful target", and "We bombed them in Taba and we attacked them today in Eilat and we will shake them up in Tal Al-Rabih (Tel Aviv), God willing."

Go to know that they are so willing to let by-gones be by-gones.

Stories of the Disengagement 6

An now we return to our regularly scheduled format for this series.

Animal rescue workers from Israel's 'Society to Protect Animals' have petitioned the government, and be given permission, to enter the 21 abandonned settlements to round up any loose animals which appear to include Cats, Dogs, Horses, and Chickens. They believe some of these animals are pets that have been left behind by people who were dragged-off.

Ain't Ohio Grand

USA Today Article

Gov. Robert (Bob) Taft(R) becomes the first Governor in Ohio history to be found guilty of a crime while in office. A teary-eyed Taft appologized for the impropiety that lead to this situation. He failed to report approximately $6,000.00 in gifts while he was Governor.

My biggest problem with this whole situation, the Democrats and the Democratic National Committee completely ignored the Staete 3 years ago when Governor Milktoast was running for re-election with the same basic campaign slogan he won with the first time. "Hello I'm Bob Taft, Great-Grandson of a former President, and the son and grand-son of Former Senators. Therefore I should be Governor."

This guy can't even have a decent scandal, I mean it involves not reporting something like 53 golf games. My G-D, Golf games, what was this moron thinking.

Do to some issue with my browser pop-up blocker, which is turned off, blocking the picture addition window. If I can resolve this latter, I will add a picture of Milktoast then.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Stories from the Disengagement 5

While I had intended to make this series about the small stories, and intend to continue to do so, I am going to take a break from that today for the discussion of the 'non-violent' resistence to the withdrawl from Gaza.

Photo of violence A hat tip to DovBear as I was looking for this image when this was originally posted.

I was fortunate/unfortunate enough to watch some of the live CNN coverage of the removal of people from the synagoge in Kfar Darom. While I understand the position of the protesters, and find that I am in agreement, at this point, with the opposition to the withdrawl from Gaza, I do have a problem with some of the ways the protest is being conducted. They were throwing a greenish liquid on the soldiers and the police today, and according to the reporter on the scene, it appeared to have some kind of chemicals in it that was causing injury to the soldiers and police.
This is where I draw the line, that is not a form of non-violent protest.

Unfortunately many of the protesters are not even Gaza residents, they are 'imports' from Yahudah and Samaria. This causes me an additional problem. While I agree with the sentiment, I really dislike having to watch a Jew hurt a Jew. Perhaps the withdrawl is the wrong move, but the people they are attacking and hurting are not problem, and injuring them is really not going to resolve the problem and will likely land many, if not all, of these protesters in jail for an extended period of time. This will have an affect on future withdrawl discussions and protests because they will not be in a position to participate, and they will likely lose out in the long run.

My final comment on this whole issue is that I hope that PM Sharon's plan works, I just fear it won't, and the problems will be much worse after this.

This posted was updated as of 12:10pm EDT on 8/19/05 for the photo content.

Fun with photo angles

I like to start this post by saying that I am sorry that I could not find the picture I was looking for today. I will continue to look and hopefully I will find it soon.

Instead I have included the video from the Daily Show that I saw.
Justice Sunday 2

The picture is from the Justice Sunday II from this past Sunday August 14, 2005
In the picture our friend Former Senator Zell Miller of Georgia(D) was speaking to the group in the church and those who were watching on the National Broadcast in churches all around the country. The backdrop for the speech is a large copy of the 10 Commandments. From the camera angle behind Senator Miller's head is the Commandment, Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery. Unfortunately from the angle the word Not was covered by Zell's head. So the genius Christian conservative political movement broadcast across the country a shot of Zell Miller speaking in front of a sign that appeared to say "THOU SHALT COMMIT ADULTERY"

(I sure hope that I will be able to locate the picture.) I say it on the Daily Show last night during their report on Justice Sunday. This is definitely a picture worth 1000 words.

On a related note these two pictures came up on a photo search for the Zell Miller picture. Any one else think this is strange.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Stories of the Disengagement 4

Okay, todays story is a follow-up on something I posted a earlier in the day.

15 Chabad teens are in the basement of a Gaza shul and are threatening to set themselves on fire if they are force out.

Okay I understand protest, but as I said earlier, I really don't get this idea of hurting themselves in protest. It certainly isn't Jewish. (I mean it isn't like the Gush region is Masada. I think all of the comparisions to The Shoah has caused people to react as though there life was being threatened.)

If any one has any ideas, to help me understand this, I would appreciate it.

My fears come true.

Picture from Arutz Sheva. Appears to be from Al-jezeera TV

Okay, I hate to say this. (Well maybe not hate to say it.) But this is what I was afraid of with the unilateral disengagement from Gaza. The terrorist groups are all celebrating how they drove Israel out of Gaza and plan, as one terror leader said, to continue and advance to campaign until the get more concessions and 'their' Jerusalem. The same murderer said also that this was "The beginning of the end for Israel."

Yay, I was right. Excuse me while I go sob in a corner until I feel better about this.

Terrorists celebrate

What is the point?

A Binyamin region resident has shot and killed 3 Arab workers, and shot another Arab worker.

I just understand this story even more that some. This resident had regular contact with the 2 workers he killed. He drove them daily to and from work. He apparently was preparing to drive them home when he walked back to his car from the guard shack and opened fire with out warning.

I find any kind of terror to be disgusting, but this type of stupidity just drives me nuts. I just can't see kill 3 innocent people no matter who they are.

I do of course reserve the right to change my opinion if it turns out there was a GOOD reason for this, I just can't imagine what that would be.

Torah Sages

I have to say that Anonymous and I have continued to discuss the issue of kippot and the 'Uniform of the Army of HaShem.' I have been enjoying the conversation, but it has brought about another question in my mind that sort of spun off while thinking further on the issue of the story of Yosef.

The argument that has been presented to me is that HaShem has dictated what one should wear. (Dark dress pants, a white crisply pressed dress shirt, black velvet kippah, etc. - the Uniform of the Army of HaShem.) The center piece of the argument is that The Rambam made a statement about emulating the Torah Sages, and that this is in more than just a spiritual ideal.

I have been thinking on this and I like the idea, it is sound thinking, after all the Torah Sages certainly know more than I do about a great many things.

Anonymous has accused me of being arrogant because I refuse to acknowledge that I am off the 'path of true Judaism' by refusing to accept the 'uniform' as HaShem's ideal clothing. He has asked how I rectify the fact that I am refusing to accept the 'uniform.'

My initial thought was 'well I could say arrogance of knowledge,' but the flipness of the response really isn't what I am trying to accomplish. While I tend to be sarcastic frequently, this is not a subject that requires that kind of response.

Torah Sages, Yes that is what I am supposed to be discussing. Perhaps I may be off on this, but I think we need a definition here. The reason I am saying that is it seems to me that both Heshy and Anonymous are taking a ridged view of what a Torah Sage is, especially in the last 250 to 300 years. How do I mean this? Well, it seems that if the Torah Sage is one that fits a very defined view of the that term. They must be dressed a certain way, believe a certain way, etc. The problem with this: It eliminates people who may be scholars and sages, but don't fit their definition. Alternatively if you are going to say, dress/behave according the way Torah Sages dress/behave I believe that telling some one that it must be a certain set of Torah Sages is going against The Rambam's law. One who may be a Torah Sage to me may not be to Heshy and Anon, and visa versa.

Is it bad to have a Sage that isn't a Chassid. Well now that really is the question?

I don't have a solid answer, but I will say this, I believe that a true Torah Sage has to have several things, insights in to Torah that do not conflict with Halakhah or the Torah/Writings themselves. I also believe that the true Sage will not limit his interpretations to what he was told before simply because he was told. HaShem gave us the ability to think, to decide. Why must the most educated in our society be limited to only a certain view or views.

If a great Torah Sage of the modern generation where's a knit kippah, are Heshy and Anonymous going to ignore his legitimate insights into the Torah, because of his dress style?

Oh well, I have a feeling this thought process will go on for a while.

Can someone explain this.

I have heard the same report several times today, and I have not had time to go and look for an article yet but plan on doing so later.

The report is about a Gaza resident who set herself on fire in protest of the disengagement. I just do not understand how hurting yourself accomplishes anything here. Okay I am really upset with the government so I am going to badly burn, and perhaps kill, myself.

I really don't understand.

While writing this I just heard a reporter use the phrase 'Jew on Jew tensions.' I found the way it was said and the wording itself to be rather disgusting.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

A Memorial

This post is one of the more personal I have, or probably will post. As it is the first time that I have had a public forum for this I felt a need to do this today.

Today, the 12th of Av 5765 marks the 34th yahrzeit of the death of Chananyah Ben Velvel, my father. This was 3 August 1971 on the common calendar.

I can only hope that I have never disappointed my father. That has always and will always be proud of me. And that the direction I feel myself pulled in will make my father feel that all has not be lost.

Daddy, I love you. I miss you.

Stories from the Disengagment 3

The attached article is todays article dealing with the disengagement and the stories that I am trying to find.

This article is about a family that has not packed anything up dispite the fact that deadline to move has passed. If what has been threatened comes to pass, this family will like loose everything to the bulldozers (not to mention The Bulldozer.).

Hope you find this story interesting.

Defiant Couple

Kippot and Clothing.

I want to formally thank Heshy. This may surprise both him and a lot of other people, but Heshy's rather extreme posts really get me thinking about an issue that I hadn't thought through before. Now I know this is going to sound a little on the odd side, but while I don't agree with Heshy, it has helped me think 'out of the box' about some of the issues as I try to determine both what he is thinking and how I can clarify my own thinking.

As a statement of my way of thinking. I will try to determine both sides of an issue and then try to formulate my own opinion. Because of this in future posts you may find that I 'change' positions as my thoughts on an issue evolves, or as I learn something about the issue that I didn't know before.

Now, having completely wonder around on this post, it is time to get to the point. While carrying on the ongoing debate with Anonymous in the Great Kippah Debate we have discussed what he and Heshy have referred to as the 'Uniform of the Army of HeShem.' (As an aside here, for some reason this gives me the impression of some kind Judea-Christilogical Military Cult.) In the discussion I have been trying to determine the basis of the position postulated by both Heshy and Anon. While driving home from work this evening, and thinking about nothing but getting home and seeing my cats (mostly because my wife is visiting relatives this week) a thought had occurred to me. I realized that I had a partial answer to one of my questions to Heshy and Anon and that was is there a source from Torah or Halakhah that stipulates what we are supposed to wear. (Meaning, in their postulation black pants, white shirt, black velvet kippah) So any way I was thinking and the Story of Yosef and his multi-colored coat came into my head.

My initial reaction was, this is so obvious, then I thought some more. Obviously if you are espousing Heshy's 'Uniform of the Army of Heshem' you would definitely need to ignore the fact that colors are okay to wear, after all to say that they are not is sort of saying that Yaacov didn't know that colors were bad to wear, and this seems to be at least marginally sacrilegious to me.

Now the flip side of that last comment is that Yosef's coat caused his brothers to be envious of him and his coat and lead to the nastiness of his sale to his cousins/cousins men. (The Yismaelim) So could colorful clothing be a bad thing?

I suppose so, but then I had another thought. If colors were a bad thing, and HaShem wanted us to only dress in dark pants and white shirts, why give the ability to see the beautiful colors, or even create beautiful colors?

Okay so let me see.
Yosef's coat colors' good
Reaction to the coat colors bad
Colors existing/being seen colors must be good.

Still doesn't solve my problem, but it does start me on a road to figuring out a reason for my position.

As an unrelated aside: While spell checking this post, the blogger spell check suggested at every occurance of Heshy's that the word I might have been looking for was hashish. Is it me or does it seem to anyone else that blogger's spell checker might have an inadvertent, ironic sense of humor. (and as they say on Fox News, We report/You decide.)

Do you feel safer?

Apparent we are safer now than were were before. A Pakastani national and several others were arrested in LA over the last month do to a 'target list' being found in the appartment of one of those arresst who was being investigated for a series of robberies. The target list included the LA Israeli Consulate, several synagoges, and some CA National Guard facilities.

Aaah,... yes we are safer now. I feel the muscle tension flowing from my body even as I type.

Ariel Speaks

PM Sharon addressed the nation by tape today and 'explained' the reasons for the disengagement. On thing about this that bothers me is that he is justifying it as leading to the legitimatization of Israel in the world fight against terrorism. I think the rumor's of Ariel's progressive loss of touch with reality may be showing here, I have to question this as a motive. Not because I think it is a bad motive, but because I think that the world will never believe Israel has a right to legitimately fight terrorism.

"A grim-looking Sharon said in a pre-taped 5-minute television and radio address that it is now up to the Palestinians to clamp down on terrorists and stop violence" PM Sharon addressed the nation by tape with one commentator, according to the article quips means "that only he and bin-Laden were the only leaders who communicated to their people in that manner" Looks like the move isn't even providing legitimacy for Sharon inside Israel if he is being compared to the elusive Osama Bin-Laden.

UPDATE: This is not a direct update but a related story that I thought I would add. In a letter that was released to the public PM Tony Blair praises Ariel and states that he has Brittain's support. Oh, goody. Maybe if we give up all the territory we control (including 'Israel proper') Brittain will make a promise to protect us no matter what. Wouldn't that be nice.

A reason to avoid milk

Sometimes I find odd news stories on a couple of the websites that I surf on a regular basis looking for those kinds of things. Here's one that I thought was very odd though, it seems that in Russia this winter they will be feeding cow marijuana instead of the standard practice of burning it for seizure disposal.

I would be concerned about both contaminated milk and high cows. (Although I am already afraid of the non-high variety cows. I know everyone says that they are gentle, but they are so much bigger than me.)

Russian Cows

Monday, August 15, 2005

Stories from the Disengagement II

As I promised last night, I will attempt to find at least on story everyday to give a little different perspective on the disengagement. I, as I have said before, am not really sure whether this is a good idea or not, but I am just trying to do my part by bringing something different from the daily coverage of the 'settlers' who are refusing to move and are causing problems for the IDF.

Palestinian Reaction

As you can tell from the title of the posted article, today's article deals with the reactions of the Palestinians from near the Gush region. Hope you enjoy.

B'nei Yisrael II

I have done some more thinking today about my discussion last night. (This was around learning some very interesting things in a class today about Microsoft Powerpoint.)

The first think I would like to add to the discussion is about the seeming dislike between different groups of Jews is that there have always been differences in belief and interpretation amoung Jews. There is Ashkenas and Sfard. There are different branches of Chasidic. There were difference among our fore-fathers. These differences are nothing new, and until Moshiach comes not likely to be different.

Yet dispite the proof that things were 'always' contentious in what we believed and how we practiced, we have statements like these from Heshy today:

"They mad a pact with the devil and enemy of Torah and G-d.That enemy is is secular zionism.Foolishly these religious knitted kippah leaders got their flock to put their emotions and trust in the enemies of G-d."



First of all if a goyish religious leader made statements like this about any Jews the cries of anti-semitism would be heard around the world. So why are these kind of stupid statements accepted from someone who is Jewish. I find the statements to be sickening and disgusting.

Heshy's statements are hate-filled statements of a bigoted person, unfortunately this bigot against Jews is Jewish. Heshy likes to believe he is mister religious because he 'follows' Halakhah. I would state that frankly with Jews with these attitudes we have more problems than solutions.

It is my belief that Heshy, and other like him, have spent so much time in Christian countries that they have adopted the Christian attitude of I better than you. Heshy isn't living the life of being 'a light unto the nations' he is living the life of being 'a pox upon my nation.' His 'hate' of other Jews will drive more people away from Judaism than all the anti-semitism in the world. I have tried, on several, occasions to explain this to Heshy, but is either unwilling or unable to understand how his spewing of this like the above are hurting the Jewish people. If they make him feel better I hope it helps, but for every Jew that believes as he does 5 are pushed away for fear of becoming Heshy.

I will continue to address this issue as time goes on, I feel very strongly about it and feel it is time for the Heshy's of the world to come back to how Hashem expects us to treat other Jews, not how Heshy believes he is to treat other Jews.

The Great Kippah Debate Continued

Note: This post has been edited for readability, nothing is being removed and the changes will be in read.

Anonymous, much as I expected, responded on Heshy's blog yet again. The reasoning behind his response is that I was making an ad hominem attack because I took his/her argument, as detailed in a separate post, about knit kippot being anti-Torah and made the exact same statements about people who where black velvet kippot and the 'uniform of Hashem's Army' as they put it.

The first, as I have repeated pointed out in that discussion and in my previous post, the type of attacks that are being made are simply on the subject at hand. The '3 step argument' that was returned at Anonymous involved only changing the words that needed changed to make an identical argument about him/her and theirs.

By Littlewolf's 'rule', *all* respected poskim and rebbeim over the last century are 'arrogant Jews'. People in your position always resort to the 'well they wore different clothes 300 years ago' argument. But the truth is, that's irrelevant.
Anonymous opens his/her response with these statements. Let me address this entire statement quickly. My 'rule' is not a rule at all but a use of Anonymous' own argument style. I never said I believed the argument to be true. I realized I never said I did not believe them to be true here, thought I did imply such at the time and in the other post on this blog. The second statement about can not be irrelevant if the quote you are going to go to is Rambam for the source of your clothing statements. Rambam did not wear the 'uniform' that is being espoused by Heshy and Anonymous, if you are going to use that as the basis of your argument then when the clothing you wear came in to fashion is entirely relavant. The Rambam would have worn Moorish style clothing similar to what modern Arabs wear. If I am going to dress as the sages, wouldn't dressing as say the Rambam be just as good of an argument as someone who was a Torah scholar 100 or 200 years ago.

Our Torah sages set an example for how we should live and interact with the world TODAY, not back then. If you are looking for how to interact today, dress for today, if you are looking to dress as a Torah Sage, why limit yourself to a single style of dress. This is a little bit of a silly argument after you just got done telling me that I was silly for bring up the relative age of the dress code you adhere to.

I have said nothing which could be construed as antipathy for other Jews. I am simply stating that people who wear knit yarmulkes are not going in the ways of our Torah sages. This statement appears to me to be self defeating and I will not address it beyond that. I have decided that this needs further addressing. Anon the simple fact that you are attacking other Jews for the type of kippah they wear, at least in some peoples mind's, would be a defining quality of having antipathy for other Jews.

The Rambam says explicitly that we are obligated to emulate our Torah sages. And since they all wear black yarmulkes, we are therefore obligated to adopt what Heshy called this 'uniform' as we are, figuratively, all members in army of Hashem. As I have already addressed these statements in my first paragraph of response I will say no more about it. Once again I feel the need to add something here. Thefact that the Rambam says we are to emulate our Torah Sages is of great interest to me as this is one of two basis that Anon and Heshy have used over and over. I would like to say several things here. 1. The modern Torah Sages (last several hunderd years) have worn black kippot, what our ancient sages wore is not known. And the 'uniform' that is discussed over and over is one of the points that I find interesting. If someone could speculate for me, as I don't know the answer, who was the GREATEST TORAH SAGE of our history I would be curious. It would be a much more compelling argument to dress like that sage, in my opinion.

Littlewolf, as you bandy about accusations of bias, I think you should carefully consider that you are the only one who has made ad hominem attacks against our Torah sages (e.g. 'arrogant') and, l'havdil, me. I understand you have a personal interest in wearing your knit yarmulke, but you must be able to appreciate the fact that your are following your own path, not the holy path prescribed by our contemporary Torah sages. I will address this final section dispite the fact that I have already discussed a couple of the issues. I have never said I wasn't biased, in fact I firmly believe that everyone has a bias, I do believe I am addressing these issues in as unbiased a manner as I can. Yes I have a 'interest' in wearing a knit kippah, and my interest in wearing the knit kippah is in fact proof of why the whole argument about knit kippot is ridiculus. (For those who have not read the entire discussion at Heshy's House, the knit kippah that I tend to wear was my father's kippah and is one of about 7 things (books aside) that I have of my father's) I do not see from this discussion how a knit kippah is 'off the Torah path.' The only fact I have gotten from this discussion, as it went a long, is that a specific community of Jews have made a decision that the knit kippah has some given significance, THEY have given them (knit kippot) this significance, I did not, and do not agree. How this, wearing a knit kippot and disagree with Heshy and Anon, makes me a 'bad' Jew is an (false was orginally inserted) argument which, dispite Anonymous' repeated statements he has, (should) does not appear to me to be either based in Torah or Halakhah, but on a communities bias about a political subject, nothing more nothing less.

I will strive in the future to not need to do this much editing in the aftermath of a posting. It was a re-reading of the post that had me realizing how unreadable it was. If there are other post like this, now or in the future, I am very sorry.

LW Reposted as of 6:38 EDT 8/16/05

Sunday, August 14, 2005

B'nei Israel

I was thinking about somethings after my last post about The Great Kippah Debate . I think the thing, after thinking some about it more, that really disturbs me about the stupidity of that whole debate about velvet vs. knit kippot is what it really is, and that is meaningless.

What I mean is this, if we accept the Torah as being true (and the divinity is not the point of this post) then we have to think about this. We are not a people, we are not a religion, we are not even a culture. What we are is a family. I really think this concept has been lost to us since we began to call ourselves Jew (or Jewish). First this implies, which is not true, that we are all decendents of Yahuda. But with the acceptance of the Ethiopian Jewish communities as the Tribe of Dan, and the B'nei Menashe as at least a portion of the Tribe of Menashe the idea of us all being Yahudean is really not true any more. (And to be honest was never true, as the Levi'im and Cohanim were never Yahudean, but were the decendents of Levi. And not all of the others were Yahudean either.)

So the question is what do we call ourselves? We really have become so used to the idea of 'being Jewish' that we just accept that, and I think to our detriment. So, why do I think it is a detriment? Well first of all, I think as I was sort of implying in the last paragraph, that it tends to cause us as a people, to forget were a family. That we can have our crazy cousin Heshy, or our caring cousin Shifra. Our humorous, if not slight bad-boyish, cousin Amshinover, and our 'trust-fund baby' cousing DovBear. Hey, I will even through in our cousin Mobius (from Jewschool) who, while I have disagreements with find quite fun to read. What we tend to forget that were here, as a family, for a far greater reason than worrying about kippot materials, or what someone is wearing, with the idea of modesty being fore-most not what those modest clothes look like.

Okay, it is late and I may be rambling a bit. I feel a need to think on this more. I have made the statement in the past about us being family, but the more I see of us in the jblogosphere, the more I realize just how much of this we have forgotten as a family. Hopefully, with some more thoughts on this, and a little sleep, I will be able to begin something that I am more and more beginning to believe we need to do. And that is forget the differences. You know Reform, Conservative, Orthodox anything else you like to add. Remove the ideas that we are different, we aren't, last time I check all of B'nei Yisrael are human. (Unless some one from Mars or else where snuck some genes in to the gene pool.)

We like to use the terms like Klal Yisrael, when it is useful to our agenda, but not when it is really necessary. And that is when the person we disagree with is the cousin we've overlooked. So in the 'shadow' of the commeration of the destruction of the Two Bet HaMekdosh, and with the on-going issues in our homeland, I ask Please think about this with me, and if you have any ideas on how to get the message out a little more I would love to know.

Shavouah Tov. I will talk to(at) you again soon.

Little Wolf

Velvet Kippot vs Knit Kippot

I really didn't want to address this argument here, but after reading the responses to several things I wrote over at Heshy's House I felt the need to do so on my own forum.

In this post Heshy postulates that the only authentic Jews are those who were Black Velvet Kippot. On of his readers, thought I suspect from the situation that I am really discussing this with Heshy in disguise, and I have a long discussion about this issue.

My basic concept is that Heshy's belief that velvet Kippot are somehow better than knit Kippot is really nothing more than a bias statement. The anonymous reader response with this:
1) The Torah opposes Zionism.
2) Knitted yarmulkes represent support for Zionism. (It doesn't really matter how that came to be or whether it's fair, that fact is the two are associated in most people's minds so that's enough)
3) The Torah opposes knitted yarmulkes.

My response to the almighty un-named one was as follows:
1.) The Torah opposes arrogant Jews.
2.) Black velvet kippot and 'uniform' (modern suites and black fedora's) show who is an arrogant Jew. (It doesn't really matter whether this is true or not. Enough people believe it and accept it that it is associated in many people's minds)
3.) Therefore the Torah opposesJews who wear black velvet kippot and the 'uniform.'

To clarify at this point, I do not 'agree' with my argument in that I do not believe that all black velvet kippot and 'uniform' wearing Jews are arrogant, and more than I believe that every single person who wheres a knit Kippah does so because they are Zionists. I believe, frankly, that arguments that use extreme generalizations are useless as they eliminate the ability to actually discuss the issue.

I also in the discussion asked several times for some one to point out where in the Torah or Halakhah it specifices what a kippah must be made of. The closet thing to a response to that issue that I got was this statement by Heshy: "IF OUR GREAT SAGES WORE YELLOW HATS than all of us would wear yellow hats to show our alegiance to the Torah community.The fact is all authentic yeshivas have a dress code.Every student must wear a black velvet yamulka and hat afterr bar mitzvah with a white shirt and jacket.This is Judaism.You want to look at outside movements like reform,conservative,jews for j,etc.they wear whatever they want.We are addressing authentic Judaism and thats where we have a dress code for men and women just as the police,the army.the fire department have dress codes. "

My response to Heshy is was as follows: Your dress code statement is entirely ridiculus on its face, the Torah Sages that ALL Jews look to did not wear suites or fedoras. They dress in something that was completely different, depending on where/when they lived. The most ancient of our sages would have worn robes similar to what the Saudi royal family wears, if you want to use that argument, I expect to begin to see pictures of you and all of your 'authentic' Jews in long flowing robes with desert (read kifiyah) style headcoverings.

This argument I will stand by fully. I would like to state that I am open to discussions on this subject. As I had stated early in that discussion that I am trying to learn the reasoning behind the idea being stated. But I will not follow a nonsensical 'modern' decision that is neither based on a legitimate Halakhic reason (or reasoning) and that is based on a single communities bias. I believe it would be much more important to wear a kippah, than to worry about what type of Kippah. I also believe that it would be much more important to wear nice 'modest' clothing than some 'uniform' that was developed in that last 250 years. The 'uniform' that Heshy advocates is based on a recent (last couple of hundred years) development in clothing styles and dressing that way because it is 'accepted' by the person or people that are, in Heshy's mind at least, 'Authentic' Jews is just as useless.

I appologize for the length of this post, but the issue became a 'bigger' issue than I felt it was worth at Heshy's and was hoping someone may have a different perspective that could possible create a 'different' opinion for me. For you see, unlike Heshy, I realize that my position is also my opinion and that of the community in which I was raised.

Stories from the Disengagement 1

As the disengagement begins/continues over the next week or two, I will try to find stories that are both interesting and may not be scene else where to give a little different look to this whole process.

As such I found a story today about members of the B'nei Menashe who are involved in the disengagement situation.

B'nei Menashe

The start of the disengagement

I have stated many times that I have problems with the situation that the disengagement is being conducted under. I am not really sure how I feel about the idea of withdrawing from the settlements in general.

Having said that, again, I am really going to find it hard to support the Gush residents if events like the one reported in the attached article are going to be the rule of the day. I believe that the residents of Gush and Israel have the right to peaceful demonstrations, but the minute the begin attacking IDF vehicles or personnel they lose my support. I understand their situation, I just do not condone attacking the military personnel of your own company when they are just doing what they are being ordered to do. I also dislike the fact that Gush residents are attacking IDF units on Tisha B'av, somehow that doesn't seem to be the type of morning rituals that should be done, then the government shouldn't have picked this week for the activities to have begun either.

(I also don't like the fact that Shimon Peres is giving 'pep rally' type speaches to motivate the troops to do something many of them may not feel comfortable with.

Settlers and Peres

Friday, August 12, 2005

Shabbos and Tisha B'Av

May you all have a good Shabbos and a easy and meaningful fast..

See you all on Tuesday because I will not be available until late afternoon on Monday.

Bush and Iran; The next move.

When asked if the use of force was an alternative to faltering diplomatic efforts, Bush said: "All options are on the table."

"The use of force is the last option for any president. You know we have
used force in the recent past to secure our country," he said in a clear reference to Iraq.

"I have been willing to do so as a last resort in order to secure the country and provide the opportunity for people to live in free societies," he added.

Okay, I will post the complete article in just a moment but I had a couple of problems with the above statements.

  1. The use of force in Iraq was not a 'last option.' I was, and to a high degree still am, in agreement with the invasion of Iraq, my primary problem with the situation is that I feel this administration has very badly mismanaged the entire endeavor, but I don't believe the planned invasion was the last option in anyway, shape, or form.
  2. The implication in the second statement is that the invasion of Iraq was for the purposes of securing the US, but that was clearly not true. The initial purposes were covered with those types of purposes, but in my opinion the invasion was for only a couple of reasons. 1st was to clean-up daddies mess, 2nd to secure the oil production in a way that would help the US in the long-term, and 3rd to establish permenant basis in the middle east that were not in Saudi Arabia because the Royal Family wanted us to clear out of our bases. (yeay allies.) Final thought, I also think this was to appear to help Israel by removing a potential threat, and also to take some of the pressure off Israel.
  3. These statements were made to Israeli television, and I have a feeling this was to prompt the IDF to begin making plans for bombing Iranian facilities without the US engaging Iran directly. (Like the situation with Iraq and Nuclear facilities) After all we didn't sell Israel Daisy-cutters and deep earth penetrating bunker-buster bombs for the fun of taking our money back from them.
  4. We don't have the military forces to do anything about Iran right now. The only way a new front of this size could possibly be opened would be by re-instituting the draft.

Bush on Iran

Is anyone surprised?

Hamas: No farewell to arms
Hamas said it won't give up its weapons
after Israelis Gaza withdrawal, so it can force Israel out of additional

"Arms is a holy issue", Ahmed Al-Ghandour, one of the
terrorist group's military leaders, was quoted as saying in Ha'aretz. "It is
impossible for us to abandon our arms even if we all get killed. The issue of
arms is not one for discussion." He also said Hamas would not initiate attacks
during the Gaza pullout but would reserve the right to respond to Israeli

The Palestinian Authority is obligated to disarm Hamas under the 'road map' peace plan, but P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas has refused to do so.
Does this attitude actually surprise anyone that follows the events in the middle east?
I suspect that 'Mr.' Al-Ghandour will be a bit nervous in the near future. After all Israeli missles have an odd habit of hitting the military leaders of the 'militant' groups in the 'territories.'
So one more thing before off I go, does anyone beyond fundamentalist nut-jobs and 'gun-nuts' believe that weapons are 'holy?'

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