Rambling ...

I'm an Irish Girl, A Dubliner, with the 'Gift of the Gab' ... I like to talk & to tell you things. In Celtic times news, views and comment were carried from place to place by wandering Seanachaí ~ Storytellers ~ who relied on their host's hospitality and appreciation. I will need that from you too, as I venture to share Politics, Poetry, Laughter, Love, Life & everything in-between ... from Bog to Blog!!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Yarzeit of Binyamin & Talya .... Kahane Chai!!

Binyamin Zev Kahane Z"l, HY"D,   the son of assassinated politician Rabbi Meir Kahane,  and his wife Talya were killed in a shooting attack by arabs near Ofra in Yesha, Israel on 31st December 2000. Kahane was killed immediately while his wife was critically wounded and died later of her injuries.   Five of the couple's children who were travelling in the car were injured with them. One child, aged 4, was seriously wounded, two sustained medium injuries and two were lightly wounded.  And today marks their 12th yarzeit.  Their 6 children are being raised by Talya's younger sister and her husband in the family's home in Kfar Tapuach.

Binyamin Kahane, who was in his early 30s, was born in New York City, but emigrated to Israel with his family at the age of four,  in 1971.  An Orthodox Jewish scholar and Rabbi, like his father,  Rabbi Meir Kahane,  the founder of the banned  Kach movement, who was assassinated by an Arab gunmen too .....  in New York in November 1990.   After his death his son set up "Kahane Chai" (Kahane Lives) with the aim of continuing his legacy.  He wrote too like his Dad.  Binyamin was the author of The Haggada of the Jewish Idea, a commentary based on his father's teachings of the Passover Haggadah read at the Passover Seder. He wrote a Torah portion sheet called Darka Shel Torah ("The Way of the Torah") that was distributed for the weekly Torah parashat. He was several times scandalously convicted by Israeli courts for advocating violence against Arabs.

And today I am posting an article by Rabbi Binyamin Kahane in his honour on this anniversary day.   Given events in Yisrael this week it is 'topical' !!!

Who Respects Women ~ Rabbi Binyamin Kahane.

"The cultural war taking in place in Israel, which is one of the subjects wehave stressed for a long time now, has reached new heights. This time we aretalking about the event in Yatir Forest which was initiated by the army-preparatory schools. The moment the rabbis of the religious preparatory schools announced that they cannot participate in the event if women singers will be performing, the media geared themselves for attack.

This time they directed their vicious arrows at the “trampling of women’s honor” by the rabbis. Does the honor of women really concern them? Is there any connection at all between the prohibition in Jewish law of hearing awoman sing and the hurting of her honor? Obviously the very opposite is true. The prohibition stems from the idea to protect the honor and dignity of women, as the sages say: “So that the daughters of Israel won’t be’hefker’” (up for grabs).

But the sad part of this story is that the hellenists succeeded in portraying themselves as the protectors of the honor of women. They who fill the streets of the cities of Israel with pictures of abominations, whose very essence is the cheapening and degradation of women – they are the one stalking about honoring women? They, who over the last few years have cheapened and degraded the integrity of the daughters of Israel to such an extent that Jewish history knows no precedent? They speak of honoring women?

We have no qualms about speaking so harshly about the differences betweenthese two cultures. For we know that what is really taking place is not an argument between “religious” and “secular”, but rather a war between a handful of hellenists obsessed with western culture versus the heritage of our fathers which the gentiles never succeeded to destroy, and which Jews won’t succeed either.

Because of this, it was sad to hear one side speak so bluntly, while the religious side spoke out of the sides of their mouths. My G-d! What are you apologizing about! Nothing will convince the public more than a sticking to one’s principles and the halacha, without trying to sound “nice”. One does not have to be “religious” to oppose the drugs, violence, and pornography which plague Israeli society today. A strong and proud stance will not alienate the masses, who still seek values for their children, and know instinctively that hellenism is not the way.

Illogical compromises do not give honor to Torah, especially when the hellenists are not interested in compromises, but rather in a total crushing of Torat Yisrael."

Saturday, December 24, 2011

How the NGO's Stole Christmas !!!

The Christmas season is being exploited by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to advance anti-peace agendas and to delegitimize Israel, says NGO Monitor, a Jerusalem-based research institution.  By manipulating traditional christmas songs, images, and messages, NGOs such as Sabeel, War on Want (UK), Amos Trust, and Adalah-NY continue to demonize Israel with crude, anti-semitic rhetoric.

“These NGOs have hijacked Christmas to promote their extremely divisive boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) and demonization campaigns,” says Prof. Gerald Steinberg, President of NGO Monitor“Manipulating religious symbols and images in this manner is deeply offensive, and clearly does not foster an environment of coexistence among Israelis and Palestinians.  These NGOs are pursuing hate-filled agendas.”

This is especially true of church groups who have totally manipulated the christmas spirit to Delegitimize Israel & to promote BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) against Israel.

Friends of Sabeel (Detroit) is selling christmas cards as a “fundraiser in support of Friend of Sabeel - North America,” one of which implies the destruction of the Jewish state by depicting a map of Israel, the 'West Bank', and Gaza as one territory filled in with the phrase “The Empire will not last!”

Adalah-NY held its annual “Anti-Apartheid Holiday Caroling” on December 17th, 2011 in front of a New York Jewellery store owned by Israeli businessman Lev Leviev.  The protest is part of Adalah-NY’s campaign targeting Leviev because he is an Israeli, and they invited activists to sing  awkward and offensive versions of traditional holiday songs. This year, the event was held in conjunction with Code Pink, whose Stolen Beauty campaign targets the Israeli company Ahava. In their lyrics, the NGOs use the “Ethnic cleansing and apartheid” blood libels, and chanted “Selling beauty creams, / Blood mixed in with mud” other inflammatory lyrics include “That beauty cream you bought her / Makes her soul disappear.”

UK-based Amos Trust is advertising its annual Bethlehem Pack, “a resource to help churches talk about the current situation in Bethlehem at carol services and christmas events.” Exploiting charged theological images to attack Israel, this text proclaims: “If J-sus was born today in Bethlehem, the Wise Men would spend several hours queuing to enter the town” and “If J-sus was born today in Bethlehem, much of the shepherds’ fields would have been confiscated for illegal Israeli settlements.”

“Linking the suffering of palestinians to christian themes revives traditional and deep seated anti-semitic theology,”  Steinberg adds.  “By employing these tactics, and grossly misrepresenting a complicated conflict, these NGOs are making peace more difficult to achieve.”

Other anti-semitic events included .....

  • In California,  Code Pink activists wore bridal dresses while singing carols outside a Bed, Bath & Beyond store.

  • Philly BDS activists sang carols against “apartheid walls.”

  • Sydney’s Coalition for palestine sang carols again referring to the “ethnic cleansing” libel.

  • Sami Awad, Executive Director of Holy Land Trust, contributes additional demonizing rhetoric to the resource packet .... “No matter where you stand in Bethlehem, you can see the effects of the cold grip of this brutal and humiliating occupation.”

  • Amos Trust is also publicizing a nativity scene “complete with separation wall,” highlighting the theological theme in its anti-Israel campaigns.

  • War on Want, which receives British government funding, continues to promote its politicized Christmas cards that depict the security barrier paired with religious Christmas images. This radical NGO also urges supporters to “donate as much as you can afford this christmas” to “Help stop bulldozers destroying Palestinian homes.”

  • As it did last year, the Ireland palestinian Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) is promoting a number of items as “Ideal for Christmas Gifts,” including the book “Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide.” IPSC is also selling its own Christmas cards with a depiction of the three wise men at the security barrier, claiming that “Their path would be blocked by Israel’s Apartheid Wall and it’s doubtful if they would be allowed through the checkpoints.”

    In messages during the holiday season, Christian organizations Kairos palestine and Sabeel employ religious themes, recalling a long history of antisemitic theology.

    • The Bethlehem Call, a document published by Kairos palestine following its December 2011 conference, accuses Israel of “systematic ethnic cleansing and the geo-cide of palestinians.” In this Call, Kairos palestine, which has previously used religious language to deny the Jewish historical connection to Israel and to advance BDS campaigns, wrote .... “The severity of the Palestinian situation makes comparisons with apartheid in South Africa superfluous and almost irrelevant.” It also exploits religious themes to demonize Israel, attesting that “G-d does not take kindly to injustice and the perpetrators of injustice.” The authors also “reject calls to cease advocating and practising BDS.”
    • Several church groups, including the United Church of chr-st, christian Church (Disciples of chr-st), and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, promoted Kairos-Palestinian’s Bethlehem Call on their websites and blogs.
    • In Sabeel’s annual Christmas messageNaim Ateek accused Israel of attempting to “eliminate the palestinians, denying their political rights, and stripping them of their human dignity and land.”

    How 's that for Holiday Hypocrisy ?????

  • Tuesday, December 20, 2011

    A Holocaust Hanukkah!

    Even during the Holocaust Hanukkah was celebrated ~ The story of Hanukkah is one of perseverance and survival ~ never was this more necessary than through the years of the Shoah. This picture is taken at Belsen-Bergen Concentration Camp.

    In Hebrew, the word “hanukkah” means “dedication.” The name reminds us that this holiday commemorates the re-dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem following the Jewish victory over the Syrian-Greeks in 165 B.C.E.

    In 168 B.C.E. the Jewish Temple was seized by Syrian-Greek soldiers and dedicated to the worship of the god Zeus. This was an abomination to the Jewish people, and in 167 B.C.E. the Syrian-Greek emperor Antiochus made the observance of Judaism an offense punishable by death. He also ordered all Jews to worship Greek gods.

    Jewish resistance began in the village of Modiin, near Jerusalem. Greek soldiers forcibly gathered the Jewish villages and told them to bow down to an idol, then eat the flesh of a pig ~ both practices that are forbidden to Jews. A Greek officer ordered Mattathias, a High Priest, to acquiesce to their demands, but Mattathias refused. When another villager stepped forward and offered to cooperate on Mattathias' behalf, the High Priest became outraged. He drew his sword and killed the villager, then turned on the Greek officer and killed him too. His five sons and the other villagers then attacked the remaining soldiers, killing all of them.

    Mattathias and his family went into hiding in the mountains, where other Jews wishing to fight against the Greeks joined them. Eventually they succeeded in retaking their land from the Greeks. These rebels became known as the Maccabees, or Hasmoneans.

    Once the Maccabees had regained control they returned to the Temple in Jerusalem. By this time it had been spiritually defiled by being used for the worship of foreign gods and also by practices such as sacrificing swine. Jewish troops were determined to purify the Temple by burning ritual oil in the Temple’s menorah for eight days. But to their dismay, they discovered that there was only one day's worth of oil left in the Temple. They lit the menorah anyway and to their surprise the small amount of oil lasted the full eight days.

    This is the miracle of the Hanukkah oil that is celebrated every year when Jews light a special menorah known as a hanukkiyah for eight days. One candle is lit on the first night of Hanukkah, two on the second, and so on, until eight candles are lit.

    “Through the mitzvah of the Chanukah lights, we come to recognize Hashems Glory, which is elevated and magnified throughout the world. Those who are distant from holiness are awakened to return to G-d; and we attain awe of Hashem, peace in our homes, and the power of prayer. All strife and evil ...speech are nullified and universal peace spreads through all of the worlds” 
    ~ Likkutei Moharan I:14 ~ .

    The Poem below is for Helaine Berr ...

    Hélène Berr lived in Paris and actively resisted the Nazi invasion of her homeland. She attended the Sorbonne, played violin, fell in love and tried to make the best of her family's dire situation. Rather than trying to downplay her Jewish identity, she opted to wear her yellow star as a badge of pride in her heritage. Sadly, she was sent to Auschwitz in 1944 and died in the Bergen-Belsen camp only five days before the liberation. Her diary was retained by her fiance and passed on to her niece, who finally chose to publish it. In 2008, the newly-released journal touched and moved readers, causing Hélène Berr to be called "the French Anne Frank". I hope I have done justice to her memory. While this poem is not specifically about Ms. Berr, it was written in her honour to commemorate the experiences of many families in similar circumstances during that dark time.

    Saturday, December 17, 2011

    Chanukkah Candlelight!

    Chanukkah is NOT Christmas.     Neither is it just a symbolic light to brighten the dark days of Winter .... although it is the 'Festival of Lights' !!!!

    Chanukkah is probably one of the best known Jewish holidays, not because of any great religious significance, but because of its proximity to Christmas. Many non-Jews (and even many assimilated Jews) think of this holiday as the Jewish Christmas, adopting many of the Christmas customs, such as elaborate gift-giving and decoration. It is bitterly ironic that this holiday, which has its roots in a revolution against assimilation and the suppression of Judaism, has become the most assimilated, secular holiday on our calendar.

    The story of Chanukkah begins in the reign of Alexander the Great. Alexander conquered Syria, Egypt and Palestine, but allowed the lands under his control to continue observing their own religions and retain a certain degree of autonomy. Under this relatively benevolent rule, many Jews assimilated much of Hellenistic culture, adopting the language, the customs and the dress of the Greeks, in much the same way that Jews in America today blend into the secular American society.   More than a century later, a successor of Alexander, Antiochus IV was in control of the region. He began to oppress the Jews severely, placing a Hellenistic priest in our Temple, massacring Jews, prohibiting the practices of the Judaism, and desecrating the Temple by requiring the sacrifice of pigs (a non-kosher animal) on the mizbe'ah.

    Jews opposed Antiochus, & led by Mattathias the Hasmonean and his son Judah Maccabee,  revolted against both the assimilation of  Hellenistic Jews and oppression by the Seleucid Greek government. The revolution succeeded and the Temple was re-dedicated.   According to tradition as recorded in Talmud, at the time of the re=dedication, there was very little oil left that had not been defiled by the Greeks. Oil was needed for the Menorah (candelabrum) in the Temple, which was supposed to burn throughout the night every night. There was only enough oil to burn for one day, yet miraculously, it burned for eight days, the time needed to prepare a fresh supply of oil for the menorah. An eight day festival was declared to commemorate this miracle and this is Chanukkah!!!

    Our rabbis taught the rule of Chanukkah: ... on the first day one [candle] is lit and thereafter they are progressively increased ... [because] we increase in sanctity but do not reduce. 
    ~ Shabbat 21b, Babylonian Talmud

    And each day we light a candle in our Menorah (or Channukiah) which is displayed in our front window, for all to see our celebration of our Jewishness.  What a bright & beautiful holiday Chanukah is !!!!!!!

     Candlelight ~ The Maccabeats !!!!!

    Friday, December 16, 2011

    A Holy Land Grab !!!

    "The Vatican is now reiterating demands for control of religious sites in Jerusalem. Jordan's occupation 1948-1967 didn't bother them".   ~  Giulio Meotti, Italy  ~

    Italian Journalist Giulio Meotti is the author of this piece & today's Guest Blogger!

    “Peace negotiations in the Middle East must tackle the issue of the status of the holy sites of Jerusalem”, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, head of the Vatican’s Council for Interreligious Dialogue, declared several days ago in Rome.  The Vatican’s former foreign minister asked to place some Israeli holy places under Vatican authority, alluding to the Cenacle on Mount Zion and the garden of Gethsemane at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.The first site also houses what is referred to as King David’s tomb.  “There will not be peace if the question of the holy sites is not adequately resolved”,  Tauran said.  “The part of Jerusalem within the walls ~ with the holy sites of the three religions ~ is humanity’s heritage. The sacred and unique character of the area must be safeguarded and it can only be done with a special, internationally-guaranteed statute”.

    The Israeli government and the Vatican are deadlocked in discussions over the status of the religious sites. Vatican officials are now reiterating their demand for control over the religious sites in the ancient and holy city founded by King David as the capital of ancient Israel and now the capital of the reestablished Jewish state.     Danny Ayalon, Israel’s deputy foreign minister, declared that Israel might consider giving the Vatican “a greater role” in operating the sites. In the last weeks, the Roman Catholic Church’s authorities increased their political initiatives for Catholic control over some sites in Jerusalem.  The Vatican’s former arcibishop in Jerusalem, Michel Sabbah, just promoted an appeal to the European Union and United States to “stop the Hebraization of Jerusalem”.

    Two weeks ago Msgr. David-Maria Jaeger, who was recently appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to the Vatican’s highest court, talked in Washington about a current U.S. Supreme Court case over whether an American boy born in Jerusalem should add Israel after the name of the historic city on his U.S. passport. Jaeger said that the question about Jerusalem is not “whether it is the capital of Israel, it is a question of whether it is a part of a national territory”.

    A few days earlier, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal, gave a speech to greet the bishops of Europe and North America during their annual pilgrimage in Israel, in which Twal denounced “the Israeli right wing invading more and more of Jerusalem and trying to transform it into an only Hebrew-Jewish city, excluding the other faiths”.  Claudette Habesch, the Caritas general-secretary in Jerusalem, a Vatican NGO that works in social activities, just released an interview to Zenit news agency, in which he “christianized” the Palestinian Intifada against “what we call the Checkpoint of Humiliation”.

    In September, Patriarch of Jerusalem Twal was at the White House for a meeting with the American administration as well as to support the PA statehood bid at the UN. Twal repeated Benedict XVI’s speech of May 13, 2009 in the Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem, one of the most political speeches ever pronounced by Ratzinger during his pontificate. It was given in front of the most eloquent symbol of the conflict: the security wall between Israel and the PA areas.  On that day the Pope spoke specifically of an “independent Palestinian state”.  The Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi, the Vatican’s powerful agency for worldwide pilgrimages, just organized a “marathon for peace” in Jerusalem to protest against the security fence near Bethlehem and to support "palestinian political rights". The march began on the Mount of Olives, “where the Last Supper took place”.

    On December 1st, several Christian and Muslim dignitaries met in Beit Sahour for a conference on “How to live together in a future palestinian state?”.   Patriarch Emeritus of Jerusalem Michel Sabbah and Sheikh Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, also attended the event organized by Al-Liqa, a Vatican ecumenical center based in Bethlehem.  Sabbah said that “recourse to the UN for a Palestinian state is a step toward peace”. Last summer, Latin Patriarch Twal took part in a meeting in London with Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury, in which the Vatican envoy denounced the “more than 550.000 Israelis living in East Jerusalem and the West Bank” and “the demography of Jerusalem changing rapidly with the sacred space being threatened”.

    In 2006, then Israel’s Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, negotiated to give away the “holy basin” to the Vatican.   At the time, President Moshe Katzav, in the face of increasing public pressure, was forced to deny any plans to sign away the King David’s complex in Jerusalem.   It now appears that this option has once again surfaced. A major voice for the Vatican’s plan is Hanna Siniora, the elder statesman of Palestinian 'peace' activists, whose office is in the Vatican’s Tantur Institute for Ecumenical Studies in Jerusalem.

    The site known as King David’s Tomb is the major target in the Vatican’s plan. It’s a complex of buildings of some 100,000 square feet where David and Solomon, and kings of Judea, are said to be buried, although this is disputed by historians.  The Upper Room, or Cenacle, as it is known, is on the second floor of the Crusader-era building. During his visit to Israel in 2000, Pope John Paul II held Mass there. The Roman Catholic Church has been fighting for more than 450 years to win back control over the sanctuary, which was seized from Franciscan monks during the Ottoman Empire's rule around 1551.   The building was granted to the Diaspora Yeshiva over 40 years ago, and yeshiva heads fear that the Vatican wishes to turn it into a pilgrimage site for hundreds of thousands of Catholics and hold religious services there.

    The Vatican wants Israel relinquishing sovereignty at the Western Wall and the Temple Mount. The Holy See uses the expression “Holy Basin”, which refers to the area of the Temple Mount, the Mount of Olives, Mount Zion and a variety of Christian holy sites which the administration of former U.S. President Bill Clinton began reccomending be administered under a “special regime”.  The Obama plan also calls for resolving the two thorniest issues in the conflict by sharing Jerusalem and settling Arab refugees in Arab countries or a future palestinian state, but not in Israel. According to Obama, the Old City of Jerusalem would be designated an “international zone”.

    Israel’s President Shimon Peres,  who has no authority,  also agreed to hand over to the Vatican the sovereignty of the holy sites.

    Any Vatican claim to a seat at the negotiating table is undermined by the complicity of the Vatican between 1948 and 1967. During the Jordanian occupation, Judaism’s holiest sites were desecrated and Jews were barred from visiting these shrines. The Jordanians built a hotel and a road through the Jewish cemetery on Mount of Olives and they used the broken headstones to build the latrines in the construction of the Intercontintental Hotel, which likely rests on burial grounds.  As was its practice during the Holocaust under Pius XII, the Vatican then turned a deaf ear to these gross violations of Jewish human rights.

    If Israel would cede Jewish sovereignty on the holy sites, it would mean returning to a time when Jerusalem was separated by a seven-kilometre wall, barbed wire, minefields and bunkers. A tourist visiting the holy city would have found signs warning “Danger ~ Frontier ahead!”, “Snipers nearby” and “shetah hahefker”, which in Hebrew means ... No-Man’s Land!   It would be Sarajevo, not the Holy City of Jerusalem.


    The guest writer of today's blog, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a weekly column for Arutz Sheva, Israel's National News.  He is the author of the book "A New Shoah", that researched the personal stories of Israel's terror victims, published by Encounter.  His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, YNet, Frontpage and Commentary.

    Thursday, December 15, 2011

    A Porcelain Unicorn!!

    A Superb Movie Short for you to Enjoy!!!!

    CREDITS: ~

    Written & Directed by Keegan Wilcox

    Trevor Teichmann
    Fiona Perry
    Rita Zohar
    Bruce Schroffel
    Griffin Prechter
    Clayton Brown
    Collin Hoffmeister
    Ron Carlson
    John C. Crow

    Anselm Clinard
    Keegan Wilcox
    Adam Biddle
    Ryan & Eric Berg
    Alexa Roland
    David Acevedo
    Kiersten Ronning
    Georgia Jacobs
    Charlotte Scovill
    Phil Badger
    David Baldwin
    Mark Wiercioch
    Scott Uhlfelder
    Carrie Sheldon
    Lisa Gillespie
    Hillary Hanak
    Paul Hart
    Ryan Gee
    Karlton Hester
    Kyle Harnett
    Samuel Sakai
    Greg Nicolett
    Jeffrey Alan Jones
    Damian Drago
    Sebastian Perez-Burchard

    This movie may also be viewed at the official website ...   http://www.porcelainunicorn.com/

    Saturday, December 10, 2011

    It's been a Year .... Yarzeit of Haifa Heroes !!!!

    Today the entire area has been replanted, Baruch Ha'Shem!

    It  was dramatic,  disturbing & devasting  ... the Carmel Forest Fire of last year saw the death of 43 people.  Another 3 were critically injured & horribly maimed, and hundreds lost homes & possessions ~ 17,000 were evacuated at its height.  Although the blaze was small by international standards, it was considered a Calamity in Israel, where only 7 percent of the land is wooded.   The fire destroyed more than 50,000 dunam (12,300 acres) of land and damaged three communities ~ 74 buildings burned down in Kibbutz Beit Oren, Ein Hod, and the Yamon-Ord boarding school, and 173 buildings were partially burned.
    Israel is a tiny country & it's society was touched. I wasn't there then, I didn't experience the sights or sounds or smells or terror of the encroaching flames.  But,  today Israel has recovered.  It was one year ago this week, and on their Yartzeit, we have a duty of Zachor & so today I remember .....  Haifa Police Chief Assistant Comander Ahuva TomerSixteen-year-old Elad Riven, who lost his life while volunteering in battle, the youngest victim of the flames and Prison Rabbi Uriel Malka, father of five from Karnei Shomron.

    Haifa Police Chief Ahuva Tomer.
    Four days after suffering burns over 90 percent of her body when she rushed to save lives of prison wardens in a burning bus, Ahuva Tomer died at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Centre and was buried at the Haifa military cemetery. Tomer was caught by the flames after she insisted on following the ill-fated bus carrying police cadets into the fire so she could help in saving lives. After four days of fire raging through the North, light rain finally fell on Monday, as Tomer’s comrades, family and friends wept at her graveside. During the funeral, Police Commissioner David Cohen, who posthumously promoted Tomer to Lieutenant-Commander, said she had “waited to ensure the fires were out before leaving us.”

    Dedication to Duty ... that is what Ahuva Tomer was all about.  Tomer was captured on camera minutes before the tragedy, driving together with police commander Itzik Melina towards the blaze, telling reporters that she was on her way to check firsthand what the situation was in the Carmel forest. Seconds before she sped off in her police car, Tomer expressed concern for mothers and children in nearby Kibbutz Beit Oren, who were being evacuated.

    Tomer was born in 1957 in the former Soviet Union, and immigrated to Israel with her family when she was two years old. After completing her military service, she joined the police force in 1982, and during her first year on the force, she was recognized by her commanders as being “an exceptional officer,” according to Northern District police head Comander Shimon Koren.

    She soon successfully completed an officers’ training course, and became a supervising officer in the Haifa Traffic Police. Tomer was then promoted to a series of positions, including the post of operations officer in the Haifa police station, and then operations officer for the Northern District. She next served as the head of the patrol and intelligence bureau of Haifa police, before being promoted to head of Nahariya police station, becoming the first female police station head.

    Tomer became deputy head of the Haifa police station, and then, in October 2008, she became the first woman to command a major urban police station when she was appointed head of Haifa police. She often downplayed her accomplishments, and shortly after her history- making appointment in 2006, she told 'The Jerusalem Post' that she did not see the promotion as exceptional.

    “I have frequently been the first woman to hold the position in almost all of the positions that I have held in the police,” she explained. “I don’t feel like I’m special. I do function in a predominantly male society, but I am an equal among equals and I try to be the best I can. But women need to understand that this is not just a question of equality of opportunity, but also equality of responsibility.” She lived as she died ~ a true Hero of Israel!

    Sixteen Year Old Volunteer  Elad Riven
    Elad was an only child who decided to volunteer and help battle the huge wildfire in the Carmel hills, when he got caught in the flames and lost his life near kibbutz Beit Oren. He was killed while trying to rescue the IPS cadets who were trapped on a bus which was taking them to evacuate prisoners in the Damon Prison. (It is nothing short of an abomination that their behaviour on hearing of his & all the Jewish deaths on that dreadful day was to clap & cheer ~ horrific not heroic!).

    Elad had just celebrated his 16th birthday & Birthday Balloons still adorned his home onthis final leavetaking. He studied at the prestigious 'Re'ali' (Science-oriented) High School in Haifa. His classmates said that when Elad saw flames and smoke billowing during school, he quickly called his mother and asked her to bring his uniform and take him to join his unit at the site of the fire. He got dressed in the car, on the way to the fire.

    "Elad was a hero who ran toward the fire instead of running away from it and saving his life," his mother said on IDF Radio. A close friend of his, Bar Ashkenazi said ~ "He was an amazing guy, a kid with a heart of gold. He always helped people. He heard about the fire and was on his way immediately."  He lived & died a Hero of Humanity & Ahavat Yisroel.  Let us Remember Elad Rivan today!

    Prison Rabbi Uriel Malka

    Prison Rabbi Uriel Malka, father of five from Karnei Shomron, was one of the 36 prison cadets to be consumed by the Carmel fire. Rabbi Malka, 32, is survived by his wife Ortal and five children, aged 9 and younger. He was an officer and rabbi in the IDF, served in the Paratroopers Commando Unit, taught in Canada and the U.S. for two years, and was studying to be an Israel Prison Service (IPS) rabbi. During the Second Lebanon War, he told of how he engaged in hand-to-hand combat with Hizbullah terrorists.

    His last SMS message, sent to Rabbi Yehuda Vizner, Chief Rabbi of the IPS, from the ill-fated bus that overturned in the fire, stated simply, “I am on my way to rescue Jews. We’ll be in touch.”

    At his Leviah Rabbi Levi Brachman rememberd "If there is one thing I learned from Rabbi Uriel Malka it is his unwavering and unfaltering dedication and self-sacrifice to the Jewish people. Whether it was as a warrior, as a teacher, as a rabbi or as a chaplain, Uriel’s unrelenting dedication and self-sacrifice to his people will remain his legacy and a powerful example to us all."

    I think this remains true of All these Haifa Heroes.  May their Neshamot have an Aliyah !!!!

    Saturday, December 3, 2011

    Israel Is ......

    Sixty-four years ago this week,  On the 29th November, 1947,  the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution calling for the establishment of a Jewish State in Eretz-Israel ~  the General Assembly required the inhabitants of Eretz-Israel to take such steps as were necessary on their part for the implementation of that resolution. This recognition by the United Nations of the right of the Jewish people to establish their State is irrevocable.  Resolution 181's passing may be seen in video footage below. 

    In May 1948,  Israel declared its independence with the following words.....

    "The Land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and political identity was shaped. Here they first attained to statehood, created cultural values ...of national and universal significance and gave to the world the eternal Book of Books.

    After being forcibly exiled from their land, the people kept faith with it throughout their Dispersion and never ceased to pray and hope for their return to it and for the restoration in it of their political freedom.

    Impelled by this historic and traditional attachment, Jews strove in every successive generation to re-establish themselves in their ancient homeland. In recent decades they returned in their masses. Pioneers, ma'pilim [(Hebrew) - immigrants coming to Eretz-Israel in defiance of restrictive legislation] and defenders, they made deserts bloom, revived the Hebrew language, built villages and towns, and created a thriving community controlling its own economy and culture, loving peace but knowing how to defend itself, bringing the blessings of progress to all the country's inhabitants, and aspiring towards independent nationhood.

    In the year 5657 (1897), at the summons of the spiritual father of the Jewish State, Theodore Herzl, the First Zionist Congress convened and proclaimed the right of the Jewish people to national rebirth in its own country.

    This right was recognized in the Balfour Declaration of the 2nd November, 1917, and re-affirmed in the Mandate of the League of Nations which, in particular, gave international sanction to the historic connection between the Jewish people and Eretz-Israel and to the right of the Jewish people to rebuild its National Home.

    The catastrophe which recently befell the Jewish people - the massacre of millions of Jews in Europe - was another clear demonstration of the urgency of solving the problem of its homelessness by re-establishing in Eretz-Israel the Jewish State, which would open the gates of the homeland wide to every Jew and confer upon the Jewish people the status of a fully privileged member of the comity of nations.

    Survivors of the Nazi holocaust in Europe, as well as Jews from other parts of the world, continued to migrate to Eretz-Israel, undaunted by difficulties, restrictions and dangers, and never ceased to assert their right to a life of dignity, freedom and honest toil in their national homeland.

    In the Second World War, the Jewish community of this country contributed its full share to the struggle of the freedom- and peace-loving nations against the forces of Nazi wickedness and, by the blood of its soldiers and its war effort, gained the right to be reckoned among the peoples who founded the United Nations.

    On the 29th November, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution calling for the establishment of a Jewish State in Eretz-Israel; the General Assembly required the inhabitants of Eretz-Israel to take such steps as were necessary on their part for the implementation of that resolution. This recognition by the United Nations of the right of the Jewish people to establish their State is irrevocable.

    This right is the natural right of the Jewish people to be masters of their own fate, like all other nations, in their own sovereign State.


    WE DECLARE that, with effect from the moment of the termination of the Mandate being tonight, the eve of Sabbath, the 6th Iyar, 5708 (15th May, 1948), until the establishment of the elected, regular authorities of the State in accordance with the Constitution which shall be adopted by the Elected Constituent Assembly not later than the 1st October 1948, the People's Council shall act as a Provisional Council of State, and its executive organ, the People's Administration, shall be the Provisional Government of the Jewish State, to be called "Israel".

    THE STATE OF ISRAEL will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles; it will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

    THE STATE OF ISRAEL is prepared to cooperate with the agencies and representatives of the United Nations in implementing the resolution of the General Assembly of the 29th November, 1947, and will take steps to bring about the economic union of the whole of Eretz-Israel.

    WE APPEAL to the United Nations to assist the Jewish people in the building-up of its State and to receive the State of Israel into the comity of nations.

    WE APPEAL - in the very midst of the onslaught launched against us now for months - to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions.

    WE EXTEND our hand to all neighbouring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighbourliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land. The State of Israel is prepared to do its share in a common effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East.

    WE APPEAL to the Jewish people throughout the Diaspora to rally round the Jews of Eretz-Israel in the tasks of immigration and upbuilding and to stand by them in the great struggle for the realization of the age-old dream ~ the redemption of Israel.


    David Ben-Gurion

    Daniel Auster
    Mordekhai Bentov
    Yitzchak Ben Zvi
    Eliyahu Berligne
    Fritz Bernstein
    Rabbi Wolf Gold
    Meir Grabovsky
    Yitzchak Gruenbaum
    Dr. Abraham Granovsky
    Eliyahu Dobkin
    Meir Wilner-Kovner
    Zerach Wahrhaftig
    Herzl Vardi Rachel Cohen
    Rabbi Kalman Kahana
    Saadia Kobashi
    Rabbi Yitzchak Meir Levin
    Meir David Loewenstein
    Zvi Luria
    Golda Myerson
    Nachum Nir
    Zvi Segal
    Rabbi Yehuda Leib Hacohen Fishman
    David Zvi Pinkas
    Aharon Zisling
    Moshe Kolodny
    Eliezer Kaplan
    Abraham Katznelson
    Felix Rosenblueth
    David Remez
    Berl Repetur
    Mordekhai Shattner
    Ben Zion Sternberg
    Bekhor Shitreet
    Moshe Shapira
    Moshe Shertok

    AM YISRAEL CHAI !!!!!!!

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

    Valerie Carlton ~ A Woman Scorned!!

    Jewish American Mother Valerie Carlton still languishes in Jail, and will continue to do so for at least another two weeks. 
    Tortured in solitary confinement in America because she lights Shabbat Candles with her daughter. Jailed for being Jewish !!!!

    Rockland County Supreme Court Justice, Judge Kelly  said he has been made aware that the Governor of New York has asked for 30 days to review the case, so it is not yet in the judge's jurisdiction to make a decision about extradition. But, Judge Kelly refused to grant bail to Valerie. It is time to pressurise to educate Jewish America and influence the Governors of both New York State and  Maryland.  This Jewish lady needs our help .... YOU can help by sending EMAILS to the Governor's of New York & Maryland County.

    Affidavits from a leading forensic psychiatrist, (Dr. Mark J. Mills), a former prisoner (whom I will not name), a Rabbi, a former attorney, (Roger Malik), three advocate-witnesses, (Dr. Leora Rosen, Michelle Etlin, and the maternal grandmother, Lenna Gordon), have been submitted on Valerie’s behalf in the hope that Judge Kelly, of Rockland County, will not extradite her back to Maryland or back to Harford County where she faces “sure torture and probable death” at the hands of the authorities. These affidavits were submitted in evidence at a hearing at the Rockland County Courthouse in New City.  To No Avail!!!

    Valerie Carlton also has letters and affidavits from leading Rabbis about her being a Balaat T'shuva and about her terrible suffering. Rabbi Sheftel Meir Neuberger of Baltimore, Rabbi Hershel Kranz of Baltimore, and the Rabbinical head of Aleph, have all spoken out on her behalf. As I reported in my initial blog    Valerie ~ Victimised for Being Jewish !!! ,  Valerie was severely punished for practicing Judaism with her daughter!

    This is quite possibly the worst custody case in 20th and 21st century America. What Valerie Carlton’s ex-husband, Russell Carlton, and the judicial and penal authorities in Harford County, Maryland, did from 2009-2010, and what they are still trying to do to this poor mother, in Harford County, Maryland is as bad, and possibly worse, than what was done to Elizabeth Parsons Ware Packard in the 19th century in Illinois.  The tale I will tell today!!!

    Like Valerie Carlton, Elizabeth Packard (above) was also married to a christian Minister (Valerie’s ex-husband is a christian missionary). Elizabeth Packard dared to disagree with her husband about the existence of original sin ...  she believed that people are born innocent, not guilty.  For this, her husband, Theophilus, accused her of “insanity” and, in 1860, had her forcibly removed to an insane asylum where she languished for 3 ½ years.   She was kept in isolation for periods of time, sexually harassed, and once, almost strangled by the Director of the Asylum, one Dr. Andrew McFarland. Freed by the Trustees, she returned home, it was the only way she would be allowed to see her six children.  However, Elizabeth’s husband tormented and isolated her and again threatened to have her psychiatrically incarcerated.

    This time, in 1864, she demanded and got a jury of twelve men who pronounced her “sane”. When she again returned to her husband’s custody, she found that he had mortgaged her dowry-bought house and fled to Massachusetts with their children.   Elizabeth supported herself by selling copies of her autobiography .... 'Modern Persecution. Insane Asylums Unveiled (volume 1) and Married Women’s Liabilities (volume 2)'.  She ultimately battled for custody of her still underage children with whom she was finally reunited in 1869, after a nine year separation.

    But this is 21st Century America.  The laws concerning custody and the rights of married, divorced, and single women have changed.  Improved.  Thus, the incredible mistreatment of Valerie Carlton is less justified, less understandable, and  certainly less legal, than the atrocious treatment meted out to Elizabeth Packard.

    According to her advocate, Dr. Leora Rosen, Valerie’s mother is a Jew.  Her father is a christian who does not like Jews and who was abusive to Valerie who suffers from a learning disorder, one which he absolutely refused to recognize or treat.  Only after her parents were divorced, did a teenage Valerie finally receive a diagnosis of “Auditory Processing Disorder.” According to Dr. Leora Rosen, Valerie's auditory processing disorder means that she has “difficulty processing the meaning of sounds when there is background noise  ~ even a little noise".    She is actually exquisitely sensitive to sound and can actually hear sounds that no one else can hear when there is complete silence around.  However, when people turn away from her while talking, especially when there are other noises in the environment,  she may have difficulty understanding what they are saying.  People have to face her so that she can read their lips.  People do not believe that there is anything wrong with her because she is not deaf.  They don't understand her disability and think she is making things up to be "difficult.”

    Valerie’s father treated her like a failure.   Nevertheless, disabled people ~ even very smart and good-natured and only slightly disabled people are easy to view as “mentally ill” or even retarded.  Or as difficult.  Such a woman may be viewed as exceptionally vulnerable prey.
    Although Valerie nearly completed all the work for a Degree in Social Work and planned to study Horticulture, she was, essentially, waiting to marry and have a family. This is no crime, in fact it is seen as the highest for a Jewish Woman in life .... it does involve some risk.

    A woman like Valerie is utterly dependent upon the goodwill of her protectors ... Her husband,  her Rabbi, her Synagogue.  If they fail her,  she has little recourse.  Thus, Valerie followed in her mother’s footsteps and married an xtian. She attended church with him. But, Russell was not merely a “christian.” He was a Christian Evangelical missionary who lived in a small predominantly white (80%) and christian county in Maryland, Harford County.

    Wait and see what these presumed “christian” church goers did.   According to Valerie’s advocate, Dr. Leora Rosen, “Valerie never objected to Russell continuing to take their daughter to church. But when Valerie began her return to Judaism and began to light Shabbat candles with her daughter present,”  both Russell,  his church, and the judges and sheriffs they controlled viewed her religious practice as a crime. And treated it as a high crime.  Her Crime ..... Practicing Judaism !!!!!

    In court papers, one of her previous attorneys, Roger W. Malik, Esq. said that “During my representation of Ms. Carlton, I became aware that, at the onset of the criminal case against her, an application for a search warrant of her domiciliary premises had been made, and that the search warrant was judicially signed and issued. The application for the search warrant states in substantive part Ms. Carlton’s status as an “Orthodox Jew who practices with her religion with her daughter.”    Did they accuse her outright of being a Jew? Did they list it as a crime? Not exactly.

    They (her ex-husband and his church-related law enforcement associates) came at Valerie in another way.  According to one of her New York attorneys, Michael Ettinger, and her advocate, Dr. Leora Rosen, Russell  had allowed their five year old daughter to be sexually abused by his nephew, Winnifer began acting out sexually in school.  And that’s when Russell falsely charged Valerie with sexually abusing her own daughter and a neighbour’s daughter as well ~ a neighbour who has a history of making such false charges.

    The way the Harford County prosecutor and Judge (Judge William Carr) decided to treat Valerie was not only to falsely charge her with 28 counts of child sexual abuse but to put her in solitary confinement for thirteen months (2009-2010). And in a detention centre with male (as well as female) inmates and guards, all of whom had been informed that Valerie was a lesbian pedophile. You see, since prisoners hate pedophiles, they had to keep her in lockdown for 23 hours every day “for her own protection.

    Valerie needed protection from her guards.  During this time, they often kept Valerie in restraints, often tightly shackled, both hands and feet. She was threatened. Her food was contaminated. She was cursed as a “kike” and a pedophile. She was seriously “roughed up” by the guards when they transported her and at other times. In one instance, “she was ‘helped’ into a transport van while chained. They also rammed her head, hard, into walls. Her jailors denied her medical treatment after these beatings.     According to a former inmate, (this is contained in an affidavit), he “personally witnessed”  Valerie’s 'Kosher food' opened and handled by numerous male prisoners inappropriately. It was then partially rewrapped and taken to her,  for Valerie to consume.”  She was also constantly taunted.

    “She was singled out for this treatment especially by the ‘Black Muslims’ working in the kitchen. They wanted to contaminate her food because she is Jewish.”  In addition, “There were numerous stories (circulated by the inmates) of Valerie and what she looked like while sleeping, in the shower, and in situations in which any person has a right to privacy."

    Why did the authorities allow these injustices to occur? Because they wanted to literally drive her crazy so that she would never be allowed custody of her daughter or even visitation. The sheriff and various law enforcement officials,  kept offering her a way out ..... If she pled to being “Not Criminally Responsible,”  she would be allowed out. But she would forever after be seen as an “insane” mother whose visitation, if any, would have to be supervised and very limited. Valerie absolutely refused to sacrifice her rights as a mother or her right to protect her daughter.  Or her right to be a Jewish Mother ..... She was literally tortured because she loved her daughter and wanted to share her Jewish faith with her.

    Many prisoners subjected to solitary confinement become Psychotic. Valerie did not. A major psychiatrist has literally testified to that. (His is one of the affidavits being submitted into evidence in Rockland County). But, there is no way to endure this kind of terror and isolation without becoming afflicted with a serious case of post-traumatic stress disorder.  It is the normal human reaction to torture. Even so, this does not mean that Valerie is “insane” or incapable of being a good mother to her child.  

    Let Valerie Go.  Return Winnifer to her mother. Let Valerie live with her loving mother, the maternal grandmother of little Winnifer who has only recently been allowed to see her granddaughter again.  This is a Miscarriage of Justice.  And a Jewish Mother needs our Assistance.