Thursday, February 14, 2008

Only Israeli Judaism is Authentic!

So said Israeli author A.B. Yehoshua in May 2006, at the American Jewish Committee's (AJC) Centennial Symposium.

He reiterated similar sentiments in the clip below.

Unsurprisingly, many both in Israel and the world Jewish community disagreed.

In response, the AJC complied a booklet of responses, both for and against what A.B. Yehoshua said, entitled: The A. B.Yehoshua Controversy: An Israel-Diaspora Dialogue on Jewishness, Israeliness, and Identity

It makes for a good read.

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Are you a Zionist?

Can a Jew who doesn't live in Israel be a Zionist?

Rabbi Avi Weiss says no.

I tend to agree.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

There's no place like home...

German Jewish leader: No need for aliyah agency like Nativ here
German Jewish leaders told visiting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Monday they were not interested in Israel's offers to expand the Nativ agency's operations to Germany.

Nativ, a semi-covert agency founded within the Prime Minister's Office in the 1950s, deals mainly with helping Jews from the former Soviet Union immigrate to Israel...

German Jews were satisfied with the help being given to them by the Jewish Agency and other sources, and saw no reason to employ other such agencies in Germany.
In fact, not only are Germany's Jews in no rush to leave, but Germany is the fastest growing Jewish community in the world today.
"Berlin is the place to be," Rabbi Walter Homolka, the principal of the Rabbinical Seminary in the German capital, said.
And it seems that many in Israel are expressing agreement with their feet.

It seems as if many of our Jewish brothers and sisters still prefer the free fish they ate under Egyptian bondage over Jewish freedom which only is possible in the Land of the Living - the Land of Israel.


The Comfort of Exile...

Jewish tourist booted from Belgian cafe for wearing Kippa
An American tourist was kicked out of a cafe in Belgium for being Jewish.

Marcel Kalmann, a 64-year-old professor, told the Antwerp Jewish magazine Joods Actueel that he was ejected from the renowned restaurant Le Panier d'Or in Bruges after a waiter saw his yarmulke under his cap.

"We are not serving Jews, out of here," the magazine reported.

Kalmann also told Joods Actueel that he was mistreated at the police station where he went to file a report and was told the incident would not be considered anti-Semitic. He said he will file reports against both the restaurant and the police.

Kalmann was born in the Auschwitz concentration camp three days before its liberation.

The mayor of Bruges has ordered a police inquiry into the incident and apologized to Kalmann, the European Jewish Press reported.
Speaks for itself.

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The Fine Art of Haggling...

One of the things that all Americans learn upon making Aliyah, is that often times, the price given for a particular item is not final, but merely a starting point for negotiations.

Some of us relish the opportunity to bargain in the shuk, while others find the idea to be totally inconsistent with their upbringing - the equivalent of driving on Shabbat (l'havdil).

So, in order to help those of us who haven't yet mastered the fine art of the haggle, perhaps these two instructional videos can help.

For the second video, click here.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Take a (Virtual) Tour of the Temple Mount - Video

Have you ever thought about visiting the Temple Mount, but, for whatever reason, have yet to do so?

Well, here's your chance to take a virtual tour (until you're ready for the real thing, of course).

Below is a video preview (8+ minutes) of a tour of the Temple Mount led by Rabbi Chaim Richman of The Temple Institute. The tour was led in August, 2005.

For the complete 90 minute tour, visit here.

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

What's Your Jew I.Q.?

"A nation which does not know what it was yesterday, does not know what it is today, nor what it is trying to do."

--- Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States

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Friday, February 01, 2008

A Case of Bad Gas - Revisited

Back in May 2007, I posted about a billion dollar gas deal that Israel was contemplating entering into with the "Palestinian" Authority.

At the time, I raised the following concerns:
1)Would anyone care to guess what the Hamas led PA will buy with $1 billion? In short, this would not be the first time that the State of Israel would be funding our enemies efforts to destroy the Jewish State (See: The Oslo Accords / "Peace Process".)

The fact that there isn't a law forbidding such actions speaks volumes.

2) Equally troubling is why the State of Israel, which possesses very few natural resources, would give away a gas field off it's coast worth billions of dollars?

It seems that I was not the only one to express such concerns. I recently came across a position paper put out nearly 6 months after my post by the Jewish Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) written by former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe (Boogie) Ya'alon, entitled: Does the Prospective Purchase of British Gas from Gaza's Coastal Waters Threaten Israel's National Security?

For those who don't have the time for the full article, Ya'alon's answer is yes, it does.

Some highlights (lowlights?):
* Proceeds of a Palestinian gas sale to Israel would likely not trickle down to help an impoverished Palestinian public. Rather, based on Israel's past experience, the proceeds will likely serve to fund further terror attacks against Israel.

* It is possible that the prospect of an Israeli gas purchase may have played a role in influencing the Olmert cabinet to avoid ordering a major IDF ground operation in Gaza, despite at least 1,000 rocket and mortar attacks against southern Israel since the Hamas takeover of Gaza in June 2007.

* However, with Gaza currently a radical Islamic stronghold, and the West Bank in danger of becoming the next one, Israel's funneling a billion dollars into local or international bank accounts on behalf of the Palestinian Authority would be tantamount to Israel's bankrolling terror against itself. Therefore, an urgent review is required of the far-reaching security implications of an Israeli decision to purchase Gaza gas.
I wonder how I can get myself one of these cushy fellowship positions at a think tank?

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