Sunday, December 31, 2006

10th of teves

I'm sitting at my desk - cold and hungry. It is the 10th day of the month of Teves, a day that will live in infamy as the historical start of the Jewish troubles throughout the past 2000 years.
I recommend reading Yehuda Prero's description of the causes of some of our problems. We have a lot of the same problems today as the hatred is not just hatred, but used as rationale for for committing crimes against humanity in the name of our own religiosity.
In modern Israel, this is also the day of the kaddish, a day that anyone who doesn't know when their loved one died can sanctify God's name in memory of the deceased. This is like a religious Holocaust day.

May we merit the coming of Mashiach speedily in our days.

Thursday, December 28, 2006


New free calls from the US to Israel (and back). offers free calls between members.
Membership is free.

Calling a US cell phone from jajah is free but calling an Israeli cell phone costs 19 cents a minute.

The way it works is you put in the number you are calling and then hit dial on the computer. Your phone then rings and when you pick it up it says that it is connecting to the other caller and it calls the other caller. It is very cool.

Try it out and you can call us for free.

You can make free inter-Israel calls for free between land-lines. This means that you don't have to pay Bezek for inter-Israel calls either. Cell phones still cost.

The only negative is that your computer has to be on so you can click on the button to start the call. Slightly inconvenient but free.


We finally got snow. I've been waiting for 3 years for it. As I was walking home last night white flurries started slowly drifting to the ground. Then it started coming in a little bit harder. Within half an hour the ground outside was white with good packing snow. I had a little snowball fight with the neighbors. My eldest laid down on the sidewalk and made a snow angel. The kids were so excited.
I came inside after a bit to take the baby and give my wife a turn. She made a little snowman with the kids.
I brought my skis upstairs because I wanted to get a quick run before it all melted. But by the time the kids went to sleep, it was mostly gone from the street. Next time I'll have to start right away before it has a chance to disappear into the wet pavement.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

still under attack.

I've been asked, not only by the anonymous commenter a couple days ago, why I still have the Rock of Galilee under attack if the war has been over for 4 months.

Yesterday 2 boys were injured by rocket attacks in Sderot. 62 rockets have fallen in Sderot since the cease fire a month ago without injuring anybody and the government sits quietly and declares a policy of restraint. The Prime Minister kissed the leader of those sending rockets at us and welcomed him as a friendly head of state, gave him 100 million dollars, promised to remove road blocks and promised to free prisoners getting nothing in return.

Now that 2 boys have been injured there is an emergency security cabinet meeting. People are saying something must be done. This is absolutely ridiculous. Absolutely nothing has changed since the day before the boys got injured and the day after the boys got injured. The arabs didn't do anything differently, they shot the same type of rocket in the same general direction and this time 2 boys were in the way. If restraint was called for before, then restraint is called for now. If it is time to respond now, then the government is guilty of high negligence for not responding last week or last month. Why wait for someone to get hurt when that is obviously what is going to happen.

Train talk came up with a fascinating answer, declaring the inherent Judaism of this country. Until the rockets actually hit someone, the government fatalistically puts their faith in God that no one will get hurt. It is only after someone gets hurt that they see the message from God that if they don't do something they're in trouble.

This is either ridiculous or secular people's concept of God is ridiculous. The first rocket was the sign from God that we have to respond forcefully. There should be no waiting around until parents lose their children or children lose their parents before they see that rockets kill. There is a new road safety campaign going on, "Driving under the influence is murder in the first degree." I think it could just as easily read "Letting rockets fall on your cities without responding is murder in the first degree." Not everyone who drives drunk kills someone, but you don't want to take the chance.

In short, the Rock of Galilee feels that while the country is still under attack, the Galilee is also under attack. We may not be under direct missile threat at the moment but giving our enemies the green light to shower us with rockets while our leaders kneel before them will only make the enemy bolder.

The Guardian of Israel may never slumber nor sleep, but the people who are running this country still haven't gotten out of bed.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

separate seating

Most of you have heard the story of the lady who got beaten up on a Jerusalem bus because she was sitting in the front and some whack job beat her up because he wanted her to sit in the back. We almost had a similar situation today in the shared taxi down to the train station today.

This woman wants to get into the taxi but declares first that she won't sit next to men. She asks the guy in the front seat to switch seats and he refuses. I actually offered my seat because I thought that she didn't want to climb all the way into the back and I was on the first row of seats. She then stands outside saying "what are we going to do." I suggested to the taxi driver that we leave this wacko lady and she can find an all ladies van. I'm surprised no one got out and started beating her. Finally someone sitting next to his wife moved to another seat so that she could sit next to another woman. Then, I wouldn't have believed it if I didn't see it myself, this woman passes her fare up to the taxi driver by giving it to the man in front of her. No handkerchief involved, hand to hand. I turned around and yelled at her that it was completely inappropriate. She claimed that she never touched him while passing the money and I told her that wasn't an acceptable answer.

In the end we made it to the train with no other incidents.

Monday, December 25, 2006

regular day at work

We have a normal day at work and the only indication of any holiday is the reports in the newspaper about Bethlehem.

To all of my Christian readers, have a happy holiday and a happy new year.
This year Bethlehem was rocking though the visitors were a bit fearful that the Muslim radical leaders of Bethlehem would blow them all up. For some reason they didn't.
One of my children saw a decorated tree somewhere and asked me why people are decorating trees. I was very surprised that she had seen one, but I guess we do have a large percentage of non-Jews in the Galilee, so there is what to see.

In interesting news, Ethiopia attacked Somalia today with fighter jets. Does this shock anybody else? They don't even have telephones in Ethiopia!!! Where did Ethiopia get fighter jets from???? Do all third world countries have airplanes? Should this scare us?

For those who read Dag have you noticed how anti-chabad he has been in the past week? You might call him chabophobic.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

mom's gone

We had a wonderful shabbos with my sister and cousin joining us from Jerusalem. Mom won the scrabble game, though I came in a close second. When they left they took mom with them and now we are starting life again on our own. The 5th child gave way to the proposed name of a new joint venture called hydroponic pot, which is only 2 levels away from the baby's name.

Our next order of business is to make the child a US citizen. From what I understand, I just have to fill out some simple paperwork and take it to th US Embassy in Tel Aviv and presto she gets a US passport. The US passport is very valuable. It is a free ticket out if the nazis ever come to the Galilee to get us. It also means that she doesn't have to worry about a visa if she ever wants to fly to the US or any other country in the world where US citizens are welcome. We can get her Canadian citizenship too, but the only advantage of that is they would probably welcome her in Iran as well as US friendly countries.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

israeli fundraising

When I was in elementary school we had a chocolate milk machine for .10 a carton. On occassion, the milk in the machine was spoiled. When you got a milk carton that was spoiled you took it to Rabbi Freedman (may he rest in peace) who gave you back your dime. However, he wouldn't just give back your dime. He would smell it and taste it first and then sometimes tell you there wasn't any problem with it and give it back.
I was reminded of this when an employee at my office brought a carton of milk to the secretary (who is in charge of ordering food) and said this milk is spoiled, smell it. She looked at him in disgust and said, "if it smells bad, throw it in the garbage. I don't want to smell it."

Chanuka has been fun so far. The kids have gotten nice gifts and have been behaving wonderfully, especially in light of the changes that their new baby sister brought into the house.

Does anybody know if you can get items that you can put your own label on for fund-raising in Israel? Our girl's school is considering starting to a fund-raise, and I was looking at the girl scout cookie model as an opening event. For my elementary school we had sold chocolate bars (not chalev yisroel) door to door.

Israeli's don't really have the culture of fund-raising built into everything they do, because the government gives Jewish organizations a budget. However, the city is not giving the school the money it needs to fix up a lot of things that need fixing. There hasn't been a serious renovation since the school was built 40 years ago. The idea of the school administration was to go to America and get people to sponsor things, such as new playground equipment and then we would put up a nice sponsorship sign. I explained to them that in order to fundraise on that level you have to first build a connection with the people so they feel like it is their organization and only then will they donate. I suggested starting fund-raising through events and actions first and slowly building up to a level where we have the resources to fund-raise other places (if we still need to).

If anyone has any ideas, or knows anyone who wants to donate playground equipment in honor or memory of a loved one for Israeli children who were scarred by a recent war, please let me know.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Chanukah is the holiday of lights, camera, action, though not necessarily in that order. The miracles of the day started with action first, as the Maccabis beat the Greeks. Lights came second with the small flask of oil miraculously lasting for 8 days. Finally, the modern mitzva of Chanukah is camera, as we are required to publicize the miracles.

We are really enjoying Chanukah this wear with the new baby. Aura doesn't cry a lot and sleeps through the night. (or she doesn't, but I've heard she sleeps more then my new nephew.)

We had a gathering for chanukah at the office during which we lit candles, ate donuts and drank wine. The women tried to get everyone to sing chanukah songs, but the russians didn't know any of them and asked for the lyrics.

The arabs are killing each other off in the Gaza strip, which could be a good thing, if none of them are left standing, though somehow I don't see that happening. Syria is talking a good peace, but they walk like a duck so nobody believes them.

Our village charity is looking for volunteers for the next war. There are a number of volunteer positions that help support the official city workers including:
  • Delivering essentials to bomb shelters, both city and private
  • Visiting people and keeping their spirits up
  • Working in the command center
  • answering telephones
  • ...
I've been thinking of signing up, but it would mean that during the next war I would be committing to stay for the duration of the war. If my kids couldn't handle it, which they probably wouldn't be able to, then my wife would have to take them cross country by herself, which would be a hardship. OTOH, I'm not in miluim and don't currently do anything for the protection of the country, so this would be a very nice volunteer opportunity. During the next war, the office will probably be open, so I would only be able to volunteer at night. It's a toss up. A logical decision could be made now taking everything under consideration, but as soon as the missiles start falling, logic goes to pot.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Aura Tehilla

The new baby's name is Aura Tehilla. In keeping with safe Internet practices, we will not be posting pictures of Aura on the blog. This should keep her safe from Internet predators.

There are a lot of interesting nuances between this Israeli birth and all the previous American births. One thing that I thought was funny was the guy who walked into all the rooms in the maternity ward handing out his business card and asking, "Do you need a mohel?"

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

mazel tov. girl

This was the SMS that I sent out last night to the israeli relatives. Baby girl Zacks was born at 5 PM. Thank God, everyone is happy and healthy.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

no baby yet

It's very hard to blog when you have big news coming up and your wife would get very upset if you posted regular updates on the process. There is something to be said for anonymous blogs, but I don't have time for both a regular one and an anonymous.

I have a lot to say about how proud the police is that they caught the rapist after he was on the loose for 2 weeks. They only got him because an anonymous relative called them and described the car he was driving and told them what road he was on. Even after they caught him, he almost got away with telling them his name was Osama.
He was caught in our neck of the woods, about 25 minutes from our village. Thank God he didn't rape anybody (or at least we haven't heard of anybody) while he was out. The Nahariya police took him into custody on Friday evening and then the prime minister violated shabbat to call the chief of police and congratulate him. I don't think congratulations are in order. It's not like the first time they caught him, this time they let him go.

Our religious public school is finally realizing that we cannot survive on government money alone and we are considering a new fund-raising campaign to supplement it. Israeli's don't understand fund-raising because they've never really had to do it, they would prefer to protest against the municipality who should buy the kids new playground equipment. Their second thought was just to collect the money from the US. Coming from a fundraising culture, where a month doesn't go by without some sort of event for one or more organizations, I have put together a list of fundraisers that we can start locally to bring in some needed cash. Girl Scout cookies are high on the list of things to do, but we are entering the winter months, so the kids probably will not be able to go door to door selling.
The upside in our area is that there are no other organizations fundraising, so we don't have to compete with anyone.

In any case, the baby will be born this week. We still haven't picked out a name, so suggestions are welcome (either boy or girl). Remember it is our first sabra, so the names should not have any yiddish in them.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

shabbos observance by the country,7340,L-3328663,00.html
Read the two opinions, the first by Eli Yishai of Shas, and the second by Yossi Piritzky formerly of Shinui, on the desecration of Shabbos by the Israeli Electric company. Yishai writes an intelligent piece about why Shabbat is important for the country even for secular Israelis. Paritzky basically said that if he was religious then none of the shabbos violations would bother him and neither would the gay parade. He feels the entire thing is just to keep the religious and secular divided. He also indicates that he does not see any difference between what people do in private and what the state does on an official level.

It is very easy to say that something wouldn't bother you if you had the same ethos and beliefs as someone else. Itis easy to say that if you were in their situation you wouldn't react in the same way. That's like saying to the PETA people, "If I loved animals, I wouldn't care if other people hunted." He quoted a mishna, to try and make himself seem knowledgable about Jewish issues, but anyone who knows the context of the reference would not be able to understand how he made his point.

We have to remember who Paritzky is and put this all into context. Paritzky was the government minister from Shinui who tried to frame a colleague in his own party with a criminal act. It seems to me that if his buddy went to jail for doing nothing wrong, that wouldn't have bothered him either.

Paritzky may be representative of the people when he doesn't see any difference in the way people behave in public and when they are representing the country. This is why we have incidents such as the chief of staff trading his stocks right after he decided to go to war. This is why the government of Israel is considered so corrupt by the majority of the country, yet they don't feel a need to rectify this.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Etrog Orla

A friend just gave me a new esrog tree that he is growing from seeds. This is my first real orla experience. Orla, for those who don't know, is one of the few farming mitzvas that is kept in both Israel and outside of Israel. During the first 3 years of growth ou are not allowed to derive any pleasure from the fruit. In the 4th year (during the time of the bais hamikdash) you are supposed to take it to Jerusalem and eat it there. Most of the rules are the same as maaser sheni. Today, since we don't take it to Jerusalem, we redeem it on a coin and then destroy the coin. You used to be able to redeem it on a coing and then spend the money in Jerusalem, but we don't do that today for some reason having to do with Jerusalem having been destroyed and not officially rebuilt yet. I'm sure my chavrussa will be quick to correct me on the Zionist progoganda reason (having to do with tuma or something) right after he reads this.
In any case, I can use the esrog for a mitzva in 3 years after tu bshvat (rosh hashana for the trees).

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Israeli Education

I was speaking with a friend of mine last week who purportedly wants to make aliyah. His big problem, and apparantly the big problem of a lot of would be olim is that the education in Israel leaves a lot to be desired, and there is no place where they can fit into society as everyone here is an extremist.
You can either be a chareidi, in which case your kids will learn in kolel for their entire lives or a dati leumi, which means that they wear an asimon kippa, go to the army and probably go off the derech.

Comparing this to the American yeshiva education system, which is ideal (???), it is impossible to move to Israel.

OK. Now lets think about this for a minute. Do you know anyone in America who is happy with the yeshiva education system? In my yeshiva high school class, 25% went off the derech after learning one year post high school learning. There is nobody I know that is happy with the Bais Yaakov system. You deal with it because the other options in America are much, mcuh worse.

In Israel, unbeknowest to everyone, there is a middle of the road. You have 2 options, one is to be a liberal chareidi and the other is to be a torani dati leumi. Dati Leumi yeshivas have kolel programs now. The boys can stay and learn as long as they want and it is even encouraged. The hesder yeshiva boys go to the army as a unit, after 2 years of learning in yeshiva. They have each other to lean on if any questions of religion come up. Can that be any worse then going to college after 2 years in yeshiva? What is middle of the road in the US if not college after a couple years of learning.

The way the boys in yeshiva here dress reflects the way society here dresses. I'm the best dresser in my office, full of secular Jews, wearing a button down shirt every day, I didn't change my dressing habits from working in the US, where I wasn't even on the list of best dressers.

The real difference is that Americans see the kippa sruga and associate them all with modern orthodoxy. While that was definitely true 20 years ago, the dati leumi yeshiva world has made tremendous strides in the past 20 years. My Israeli friends who grew up in the dati leumi culture are just as frum as my friends back home from the yeshivish world. Learning is a priority as is tzedaka and doing mitzvos.

My children learn in a sefardi school. What that means is that they learn the same Torah and the same secular subjects and a couple of the customs are different. Sefardim wash each hand 3 times before they wash and ashkenazim wash only twice. That is something we teach our children at home, as well as the order of davening and what words to say in benching. When there is a real difference, they let the kids know. On Pesach Sheni, they announce that the ashkenaziot should wash their hands before eating matza, because sefardim say mezonot, except on Pesach. They even told my daughter that she was an ashkenazit the first year we were here, because I never thought to bring it up and she didn't know.

I look at the people my age and the teenagers who graduate as results of the education system. While I may not be happy with everything that goes on in third grade, the girls who graduate the ulpana are fine on an educational and hashkafic level. Something must get passed through at some point.

In short, I will not say that there are not problems with the Israeli system. There are a lot of problems with it. However, to base staying in America solely on the high quality of religious education is disturbing to say the least.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Pride Parade

We had a pride parade last night in our village. It took almost 3 hours to go about half a mile. There was loud music, everyone was dancing and singing in the street. The were were fireworks and the kids were given toys with lights on them to wave. A number of people held torches.

This parade was not about sexuality, this was real Jewish pride. A member of the kehilla was bringing his brand new sefer Torah into the shul.

A large protion of the community participated, each one taking a turn being in the center of the action, holding the brand new Torah scroll, with its gleaming silver crown. My kids were running all over the place, my 5 year old tried dancing with the teenagers.

The excitement grew as we got close to the shul and the other Torah's in the shul came out to meet the new Torah and they all danced together in the street. We finally entered the shul and the Torah was placed in the aron all by itself, as the new prince of the shul. The other Torahs were then placed around it and some tehillim were recited. The new Torah was then brought out and the last portion of the Torah, the "chosson torah" was read.

I remember the first time I was at a new Torah ceremony. Someone from our community was bringing a Torah to Chicago, to Telz, his alma mater. I was probably around 10 years old at the time, and I went with my father to the bg occassion. I very clearly remember holding the Torah while we were on the plane and how special it felt to be a part of the simcha.

The Torah is the true pride of the Jewish people

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Our pride parade

We had a pride parade last night in our village. It took almost 3 hours to go about half a mile. There was loud music, everyone was dancing and singing in the street. The were were fireworks and the kids were given toys with lights on them to wave. A number of people held torches.

This parade was not about sexuality, this was real Jewish pride. A member of the kehilla was bringing his brand new sefer Torah into the shul.

A large protion of the community participated, each one taking a turn being in the center of the action, holding the brand new Torah scroll, with its gleaming silver crown. My kids were running all over the place, my 5 year old tried dancing with the teenagers.

The excitement grew as we got close to the shul and the other Torah's in the shul came out to meet the new Torah and they all danced together in the street. We finally entered the shul and the Torah was placed in the aron all by itself, as the new prince of the shul. The other Torahs were then placed around it and some tehillim were recited. The new Torah was then brought out and the last portion of the Torah, the "chosson torah" was read.

I remember the first time I was at a new Torah ceremony. Someone from our community was bringing a Torah to Chicago, to Telz, his alma mater. I was probably around 10 years old at the time, and I went with my father to the bg occassion. I very clearly remember holding the Torah while we were on the plane and how special it felt to be a part of the simcha.

The Torah is the true pride of the Jewish people

Sunday, November 05, 2006

no gay parade

I must be the last blogger to actually write about the gay parade in Jerusalem. This is not because I have been sitting on the fence or undecided, it is because I am lazy.

The other day,DAG wrote about gay people parading in Jerusalem. He feels that as long as Israel decares itself to be a Democracy they are obligated to allow the freedom of expression. He also feels that Israel must remain a democracy. Traditionally, when a Jew disagrees with what another Jew has said he starts calling him names and does not answer the actual points made by the guy he disagrees with.
At the rock of galilee, when we disagree with someone we not only call them names, we also answer their points.

Gay people should not be allowed to march in Jerusalem. A democracy does not mean freedom of expression, a democracy is defined as giving citizens the right to vote. If the citizens vote to suppress freedom of speech, then so be it. One of the powers granted to the citizens of Israel is the right to protest. If the government shows that it completely ignores protests, and couldn't care less what the protesters want, then the protesters have to get their attention. This is when protests turn violent. We saw that the mass peaceful protests against the deportation of the katifians did not change anything. If a protest does not have the power to change anything then it is a sham of a protest.

Freedom of Expression is not absolute anywhere. The classic example is yelling Fire in a crowded theater. There are laws against disturbing the peace. The language that you use and the pictures that you show are limited. Israel would not allow the nazis to march in Jerusalem, and even Dag would be hardpressed to insist that they should. They also would not give a parade permit to a group who has a slogan "Rapists Unite" or even "Beastility is fun." Personally, I would be almost as horrified if their was a heterosexual parade. Sexuality is not something that should be paraded in public.

When a group comes in and says, we want to piss on your Torah and your values and we insist that your tax money pays for it and not only that but it will be in the center of town and we will inconvenience you at the same time, the answer must be a strong NO. Jerusalem is a holy city and it has sensitivities that must be respected. We let the Mormons build on the mount of olives, despite Mordechai ben David's best efforts. The gay people should not be allowed to march.

Until the time of Moshiach, we may not have the ability to stop people from behaving indecently, but we certainly can stop them from marching through our streets, waving their abomination in our faces.

Monday, October 30, 2006


They are doing construction work on the floor above me with some
seriously heavy drilling. I can't think and I'm going to walk out of
here with a headache for the second day in a row. Thank God, they
promised it will be over by tomorrow.
Lieberman joined the government today and I don't think it makes a shred
of difference in my life.
The basement flooded again. I spent all evening squeeging it out because
there is no drainage system. So I called my plumber, well actually my
plumbing consultant because he still lives in the old country. But I
wanted to get some good advice before I talk to the Israeli plumber, who
I probably won't be able to understand. At least I learned the Hebrew
word for drain. I made it up to the roof last night for 3 seconds before
it started raining again, but that was enough time to unplug the main
problem gutter. I'll have to play with the rest of the as well, but I
really don't want to climb on the wet roof in the dark. Something about
not wanting to break a leg.
In any case, Old Achmed never wrote me back, so I'm going to have to
figure out some other way of finding Arab doctors who trained in the US.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


I have to say that Eilat was all that. We had a great time and made all the people who brought their children very jealous. The hotel was very nice, though the couches weren't comfortable and the lobby didn't really have a sitting area. We got a little suite with a kitchenette and sitting room for the two of us.

Thursday night we had a nice bbq when we got there after the flight. We then went on a nice long walk along the boardwalk, where we saw there was nothing interesting for sale. We ended up buying some tshirts for souveneirs for the kids.
We were in bed by midnight and got up bright and early and went swimming. You would think that you could sleep in without kids, but apparantly it doesn't always work that way. Breakfast was great. Waffles and burekas and danishes and tons of other stuff. Our morning tiyul was cancelled because there was a triathlon that was blocking the bus route, so we had free time. We considered going to the dolphin reef or the underwater observatory, but we had to be back by 12 to go on the boat. So we first walked along the boardwalk for a little bit. We stopped at Kings City, the new biblically themed amusement park, and got information but we didn't go in. (It costs 118 shekel a person and you have to be about 4 feet to go on the King Solomon Waterfall ride.) We then went back to the hotel and went swimming in the pool. That was a lot of fun. They have a very funky pool with a number of different interconnected sections, so you can swim from one section to the other. There is one "bea!
ch" section, where there was sand/gravel in the entire pool section and up onto the shore. You could sit on the lawn chair and feel like you're at the beach. There was a Pantheon type section where water was pouring out of a greek looking structure, There was a sprinkler section, where you swim through water shooting at you from both sides. There were waterfalls pouring down on you and caves that you could swim in to.
They also had a huge waterslide, it took a full minute going down.

The boat was a lot of fun. It had 2 Jacuzzis and chairs and tables and mattresses, a bar with beer and soft drinks and decent music (if you discount the one bob marley song they played). We anchored in the middle somwehere and got to go swimming in the Red Sea. They also had snorkel masks, which I tried, but there was nothing to see because we were about 100 feet above the bottom and fish don't swim that high.

There was a bbq on the boat for lunch after which we turned around and went back to shore for shabbos.

Shabbos we lazed around. There was no minyan in our hotel (though there were more then 10 people with kippas), so I went to the hotel next door.

It was a great trip and I highly recommend it.

We got home and the basement was filled with water, but that's a
different story.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

general update

So now we have a minister for strategy against Iran. I saw a great comic in the yisraeli newspaper a couple days ago which had a secret meeting of the Iranian folks. The President asks, "does anyone have any comments before we go to the next step of enriching uranium" One of the advisors says that he proposes delaying the nuclear project because he heard a report that the Israelis just a appointed an important minister for strategy to work against Iran. In the next frame they all crack up laughing.
Not that I'm against Lieberman, he may be able to do some good for the good guys in this country, but taking the "Ministry against Iran" position just seems silly. I guess if we don't get nuked by the time this government finishes, then he can claim success. If we do get nuked, then we won't be around to blame him.

Anyways, we're off to Eilat this afternoon. I tried calling the russian girl and her mother now has her cell phone, and she said she was in school. Then she said that her Hebrew wasn't good enough to understand me, so she hung up.

The answering service guy I was expecting to hear back from replied with a negative, so I called someone else who was interested in working on the idea. Now we'll see what happens.

I sent an email to an arab knesset member asking for help finding
qualified non-Jewish workers. I wonder if he'll reply.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


We're heading down to Eilat this weekend on a company vacation for some fun in the sun.

A couple years ago we had 2 russian girls in the "convert the soldiers" program who came to us for a number of shabboses. One of them seemed pretty serious about asked a lot of questions. She said she was planning on maintaining a kesher with us after she converted so she could continue to grow and learn. The other one was interested but was not as exuberant about it. I went to Jerusalem and testified at the beis din and both girls converted. The one who seemed more interested called us once afterwards to come for shabbos, but we weren't home that weekend. I called her a couple of times to see how she was doing, but she never called back when I left messages. After about half a year, I stopped calling.

The girl, Olga, had to pick a Jewish name and she told us that she was thinking of Osher. I thought that "Wealth" was a very odd choice of name. She asked me if I had heard the name before or if it was in the Torah at all. I told her the word was in the Torah, though I had never heard of the name before. The pasuk I showed her was "Wealth and honor are in front of you, and you rule all." She started laughing and told me it was Osher with an aleph, not an ayin, which means happiness. I thought it was a much better choice of a name after learning this.

Olga/Osher was on an army base near Eilat which was her excuse for not coming up the 6 hours to visit us for shabbos afterwards. I am pretty sure she still lives there and I'm thinking of giving her a call to see if she's available to stop by the hotel. I am curious to see if any of the religion soaked in or if the whole thing was just a scam. The girl's father was Jewish and she was persecuted in Russia for being Jewish and she came to Israel to find out that she wasn't really Jewish, even though she felt a complete connection to the Jewish people. She also went through all the effort to learn the laws and try to become a real part of klal yisroel.

I still haven't decided if it is a complete failure if she is not religious or if it is any worse then being a non-religious Jew.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

7th inning stretch

It is starting to come out that the IDF wasn't going all out even in the air because of the potential threat of a wider war with Syria. Beyond that, it is clear now that even had the airforce gone all out, the results would not have justified it. Turns out they knew that after the second day. This is tiring. Could it be after Israeli knowhow and hardware from the battlefield was sold profitably for so many years that our militarty capability has flattened out and become commoditized?

Our bird, Mad Max, who was a cheerful and chirpy 5 year older before the war, died a while back apparently pushed too far or fatally traumatized by the noise table of incoming and outcoming coupled with the absense of his companions, us, and being fed and watered only once a week. The garden flowers in plastic containers outside, still blooming and giving color and depth and meaning to me at least - are still alive and even though winter rains have started, they remind me of the effort I made for their survival and i would do it again.

At the same time - during the war - I admit to attempting to build a parallel work life and I believe this was the correct strategy at the time and I would continue to investigate this thread even now if it develops . Our reality was so shaken, all the symptoms are there: those that deny anything has changed, those ill or limping somewhat physically or emotionally and others worse off. It reminds me of that catastrophic weather movie the day after tomorrow - but we are still waiting for the tomorrow no weatherman has told us about. The real jolt has not hit yet and it seems we are sitting ducks. A jerusalem post political commentator has repeatedly claimed that we have become tired enough as a nation that we are prepared to give it away. We can only hope that those not so tired are developing secrets for a new day and are young and serious enough to keep them secret.

The visitors scored a couple runs but we're the home team.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

intelligent life out there

I have been researching a company that I am hoping to do business with
when I came across the owner's blog. He is in the middle of
writing a book about his business philosophy, and so far I have
enjoyed everything that he has written. In fact, I have argued a
number of the points that he makes with people in the past year. The
company is an answering service, based in Oregon, that pays the highest
salary in the industry. He says this is one of the primary reasons for
his great success.

Hopefully I'll talk to him tonight, and let you know more about him

Monday, October 16, 2006

no tzavei

The shul I used to daven at in Detroit had a lot of idiosyncrasies.
One of them is that for hakofos, each hakafa was only one song (if I
remember correctly). I've never seen that anywhere else, especially
not at the shul I daven at now, where the song changes every minute
and a half. One hakafa in Detroit was always tzavei yeshuas yainkiv,
which seemed to be the rabbi's favorite. Here, they didn't even sing
tzavei once.
One of the cool things about hakafos here is that I now have a chazaka
on chazunus for ozer dalim (not on purpose, as far as I can tell)

Sukkos fun

I'm back at work after an exciting week of holiday fun. We did something almost every day and as holidays go, this one was exhausting.
The Israeli branch of my family came up for the first days (yes, days - they stayed for some of chol hamoed too). My brother-in-law had a baby the week before, so they were convalescing with his wife's family. So, including us we had 14 (+2 on the way) in the Sukka it was a nice party. The kids all wanted to sleep in the sukka, but I didn't want to turn off the lights early because that would disrupt the traditional sukka scrabble game, so I built another sukka on the mirpeset upstairs for sleeping.
We started our tiyuling on Friday morning with a jaunt down nachal keziv. We made it all the way to the springs and we were the only ones there, so it was nice and enjoyable. The kids wanted to go into the cave, but we forgot to bring a flashlight.
The first day of chol hamoed, we went all the way to the Lebanese border in Metulla, to the Good Fence. We weren't sure why it was called that, but when we drove right up to it a young soldier with a large rifle pointed at us signalled us to turn around. We then did the nachal Iyun hike. Nachal Iyun has 4 waterfalls, but they were all dry because it is the end of the season, though I heard the Hizbani is full of water and this was dry because the Lebanese are diverting our water, which is odd because last I heard they were diverting the water of the Hizbani.
After that intense hour and a half nature walk, we decided to go to the Ein Zeitim JNF park where the kids played for a couple hours. That night we had our shul's simchat beit hashoeva with the famous invei hagefen band playing. From what I heard it was much better then Mosh ben ari who was playing that night at the agam. My brother and sister-in-law went to that one. Mosh, by the way, is spelled mem vav shin in hebrew. I once met a guy named maish and his name was spelled mem aleph yud shin. (These are all nicknames for moshe. It's just funny seeing them spelled as nicknames in Hebrew).
The next day we spent at the agam, where there was a huge "happening." Happening is a Hebrew word that means event. So the kids got to see a lousy magic show, which they enjoyed, and jump on jumping toys. My oldest also got to do Omega (a zip line). Then the kids made kites and tried to fly them. Subliminal and Hetzel played at the agam that night and my sister went. Some people thought it was "veHaTzal (and the shadow)" and not hetzel, but in any case my sister reported that there was no shadow or hetzel anywhere to be seen. Tuesday morning we made our pilgrimage to Jerusalem. We spent 3 hours in the old city doing absolutely nothing and the kids weren't bored for a second. There was just so much happening every 3 steps you take. We also got to hang out with my cousin who is learning in seminary in Jerusalem for the year, and that was fun. That night we went to a huge concert in Bet Shemesh and heard Pay Daled, Shlomo Katz and Chaim David before we decided the kids had had !
enough. We also got to see my new neice and her parents and an old high school friend who made aliyah to ramat bet shemesh recently. Unfortunately, I didn't see Rafi G's message until we got back home so we didn't hook up. (we were the one's on the boys side of the mechitza, right next to the mechitza, about 20 feet from the end.) We slept at my brother's place in Modiin.
Wednesday we went to Neot Kedumim, where we had heard there was an exhibition of all the sukkas mentioned in the mishna. We hadn't heard that before the exhibition there was a two hour biblical nature walk. I really enjoyed the biblical nature walk, though we didn't bring enough water or food for the wife and kids. What made the nature walk biblical is that when the Jews returned to Israel they didn't find a lot of the vegetation that was listed in the torah and prophets. In this park they planted all the plants and trees listed in the Torah and put up signs with the sources. They have a couple of other historical mishnaic/talmudic exhibits, for example they have a little lake in the middle of the park and on the shore they have a water screw that brings water from the lake to the mikva and the argument about whether that is kosher for a mikva or not is noted on a sign there. They also had an esrog orchard and the signs said do not pick the etrogim. Other signs said, "A stol!
en etrog is no good."

We then headed for home, though the kids still hadn't eaten anything all day. I decided to stop on the beachfront in Netanya to get them a bite to eat. For some reason they all wanted to eat pasta, but they didn't have a kids menu so I asked the waitress about the size of the portions. The waitress was quite large and when she said that a single portion generally fills her up, I was satisfied that if I bought 2 portions for 3 kids that would be enough. Apparantly my children eat more then the waitress because they were not filled up by the meal and I had to order them a pizza to go as well. They also forgot to bring my sandwich. I recommend NOT going to SALSA PIZZA AND PASTA in Netanya, it is a bad place.
Thursday we went to the Achziv beach, which has a nice inlet for the kids to play in.
Friday, we relaxed at home.

Simchas Torah was very nice, we ate dinner with 10 other families. Our kids were very tired and cranky, but it was nice company. The singing and dancing was very nice. In Israel, the 2 minhagim of chul for Simchas Torah, to drink and do shtick, haven't caught on yet.

Now we're back to regular life.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

thought of the day

If a beinish is a ben yeshiva then a bat ulpana must be a batula.

The sukos post should be up tomorrow.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

holidays and festivals

I work on the 5th floor of a 6 floor building. They just started renovations of the 6th floor and it is driving me crazy. It is like chinese water torture listening to a guy with a hammer on top of my head going, bang, bang, bang, bang. Then it stops and the drills starts dhrew pause dhrew pause dhrew etc. I can't concentrate on what I'm soing and I'm developing a headache. Work is very understanding and they bought everyone earphones. The problem is they are like a sensory deprivation device and I feel like I'm not really here when I'm wearing them and then I get nauseous for some reason, so I can't handle wearing them.

Thank God vacation starts this evening and I will be gone for the entire week to celebrate Sukkos.

Lats night I finished stabilizing the sukka and put on the schach. I had to cut down some large braches that we on top of the sukkah, and they went on top of the schach. Now we just have to decorate.

There are a ton of festivals going on in the galil over the holiday. Mosh someone who people have actually heard of is playing at the agam on Sunday night. To see a list of festivals in the north you can go visit

One of the random weird things that crossed my mind while I was thinking about galilean festivals over sukkot was yeravam ben nivat. He didn't want people going to Jerusalem for the holidays, as is appropriate, so he put up his own temples with golden calves so that people would worship God where they were. This was considered a very bad thing. I would recommend heading down to Jerusalem for a quick prayer at the wall even if you are planning on coming up north for some ejoyable vacation time. We will probably be heading down to Bet Shemesh for the shemeshfest to hear shlock rock or chaim david or one of the countless other bands (depending on which day and time we actually go). That way we will be able to visit my new niece as well.

My boss asked me if I was sleeping in the sukkah this year, so I told him I wasn't sure. He said, "but it's a once a year mitzva, my children sleep in the sukka every year" (you gotta love the secular). Sleeping in the sukka will depend on the weather and the children. The children would like to, so it depends on how well they behave. I may put up a quick sukka on the mirpeset upstairs, so they can sleep out there and still be in the house.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

been atoned

Green oranges (??) are now in season and they just don't rank.

Yom Kippur went pretty well, I davened well, didn't eat or drink and took my oldest daughter with me for the last 3 hours so she wouldn't fight with her siblings.
Part of the viduy (confession) inclues a line that says "we were Hamas." I didn't think that I was Hamas this past year. Or was I? What is being Hamas? Is it only about hating and killing Jews because they are Jews? I didn't do any of that this year. Even though I didn't fully understand how I was Hamas, if it said in the book that I did it, then I must have and I was very sorry about it. Except that saying that I was Hamas gives them a more human face. If I was Hamas and I wasn't so bad, then maybe they really aren't so bad and they just get a bad rap. Except that they are that bad, and I was not, so maybe I should skip the line about being Hamas.
In the end I confessed that I was Hamas about 20 times. Then God forgave all my sins. Even for being Hamas.

I must have missed something with this whole Amish school shooting. I just don't understand why the little amish boys didn't take out their rifles and shoot the guy.

My sukka is standing, somehow miraculously it didn't fall down even though when I arrived home last night, both sides were standing at a 60 degree angle. I tell you it is God's own hand that holds up the sukka. Tonight I will finish it so I can get to all the other projects I need to do. We're having a big party for the first couple days, as the whole Israeli family is coming up north. We're thinking of Nachal Kziv on Friday, as a nice practice hike and then Nachal Iyun, (up near Metulla) with its 4 waterfalls on Sunday morning.
Here's hoping for good weather.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

out to dinner

In ancient times when one wanted to express appreciation to God he would bring a sacrifice and have a nice meal. It is only after eating serious meat that one can truly express his feelings of gratitude towards God. Today, because of our sins, we do not have a temple where we can sacrifice to God. However, we do have steakhouses, which are very similar. Today, in recognition of God's symbolically wishing us a good year, we will be going out to eat (if my wife finds a babysitter) after which we will praise god for the food which he supplies the world and for this great land which he has given us.
In my experience, whenever we are in a bit of a need, God comes through at the 11th hour. (90th minute in hebrew) .
When my wife was almost due with our first child and I needed a real job to pay the bills, I found one. When my second daughter was born and we needed some more money, I found a new job the first month that we kept a balance on the credit card. When we moved to Israel, I found a job the month that the money was going to run out. Now, after the war and the end of the year, when finances were just starting to overtake us, a large tax credit check came in that should tide us over till the end of the year.
There are plenty of other examples of God letting us know that he is watching us. For example, my car window was broken in Canada (by Canadian hooligans) and it cost me $250 to fix it. When we got to the border later on the way home, they told me that my wife's visa had run out and it would normally cost me $250 but they would let it slide this time.

Immediately after rosh hashana is the time to look for signs of what to expect for the coming year. Some people get computer viruses, other people get checks in the mail. I thought we were going to start the new year in debt, but God had other plans. I think I was written in the good book again this year.

I think every reader should take a minute and think of some coincidence that happened to him/her, whether it be good or bad, and try to attribute that to God's showing his presence in the world.

I imagine that we will be heading to moshav liman, right below rosh hankira, for a nice dinner.

I also wanted to wish all of you an easy fast and a "good sealing." May we merit the coming of the moshiach this year, in the near future.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

holy city of tzfat

Last night I met my daughters and their school in the holy city of tzfat for a tour of the old city and then selichot. (It was slichot and not slichos, because it was done in the abuhav shul in the Morrocan tradition.) There were a number of small skits at the different places we went to about the holiness of Israel, in general, and Tzfat specifically. Parents were encouraged to accompany the children so I took the car to work and drove straight to tzfat.

First of all, the drive was amazing. From Haifa towards Karmiel and then continue on the Karmiel road to the Meron Interchange, and then up past meron to tzfat. This is some of the most gorgeous countryside in Israel. Driving, with the windows down and the music loud, is one of the most relaxing experiences (Warning: If you are doing it for 12 hours, listening to "It's the end of the world as we know it" by REM the entire trip it may make one of your passengers a bit crazy.) So I drove and drove and drove, about an hour from Haifa and really enjoyed the scenery.

Tzfat was enjoyable as well. The problem was they split up my kids classes for part of the time so I could only be with one of them at a time. I stayed with the younger one mostly, but also got to spend time with number 1.

The drive home was nice, thoug hit was pitch black. At one point there was what seemed to be a bad accident, with glass all over the highway and a bus stopped on the side, but I didn't see a really smashed up car. A minute later, I see some people on the highway waving people around the large body of a cow. It was very dark, so I probably wouldn't have see the cow if not for those people.

At work, my boss got a nasty virus on his computer.
He asked me how this was possible, as he always has virus checker running and is the only one at the company who gets the latest security patches for his computer and he doesn't open unexpected attachments, etc..

I replied, "and right after rosh hashana too"

He ignored my comment.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Lions Lost Again

I haven't seen a football game in over 3 years and I don't even know who any of the players are. Yet somehow it really bothers me that the Lions lost to the Bears. What makes it even worse is that I ride the train every morning with someone originally from Chicago. Its not like I have pride in the city of Detroit or a great hatred of the city of Chicago. Somewhere deeply ingrained in me is a need for the team of the city that I grew up in to win. God knows that the Lions will never make it to the Super Bowl, but if they did I would probably stay up all night watching them lose. I don't know what it is about sports that creates that magnetic pull that you are unable to break. It must be the first 18 years of life when every breath you take includes statistics and who is better and the most addictive part of all sports - the rivalry.
Because when it comes down to it, if the lions lose to the colts or
someone, I couldn't give a damn but after a loss to Chicago (or Green
Bay for that matter) I just have to say to the Lions, In the name of
all the people who have a connection to Detroit sports, you let us down.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

not today

I have a cold and it is really hampering my ability to think.

Monday, September 18, 2006

rosh hashana ramblings

My brother got a job after being in the country only 2 months :-) It
is so much easier to settle down after you have that whole earn a
living thing under control.

I walked into the production wing of our building with our production manager and the SMT Line manager starts yelling at her that she gave him the wrong cable. I turned to him and said, you don't have to yell. And he replied, there's already history involved. So the production manager counted to 10 slowly and then she blamed someone else for giving her the wrong information.

I just thought I would share that story with you. Normally, our office is very chilled out but it can get tense at times.

Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year, is this friday evening. This is an evening where we begin to renew our acceptance of God, as our King. In order to prepare for it, the entire month beforehand is set aside in preparation. The reason why this can be such a fearful day is that once you stand in front of God and accept the crown, you also accept his intrinsic right to determine your fortune for the next year. On Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, He will look over you and say, you crowned me and that means that you also accepted my rules.

This year Rosh Hashana comes in the aftermath of the second Lebanese war, which the government is steadfast in its denial of a war ever happening or their responiblity for causing and then mismanaging it. This is a year that we can truly look at the sorry state of the human governance of the people of Israel and ask God to be our king. To lead us. To guide us. To represent us. Democracy isn't working for the people of Israel, and it never will. Power corrupts, only absolute power grants the ability for the leader to say, I don't need to be corrupt, for I have everything.

Only if we accept God as our king and he accepts us as his people can the Jewish people overcome the humiliation that democratic elections have thrown over us. That there needs to be a vote in the knesset as to whether Sodomites can proudly march in the holiest city in the world is an embarrassment to us as a people.

For those soldiers that were killed fighting for our country in Lebanon: May God avenge their blood.

Happy New Year.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

whats a beinish?

This shabbos I learned a new word - beinish means hesder boys. It's not deragotory, as far as I can tell, it stands for bnei yeshivat hesder. Sometimes you need a break from blogging for a good week in order to clear out your brain. I took a week off but didn't clear anything.

Does anyone know how to get invited to the Warren Buffett cocktail party at the King David? I really would like to get an invitation.

The police said they were probably going to indict the president because he couldn't refute _all_ of the claims against him. He completely wiped out about 80% of the claims as being utterly false.

I'm not saying that he didn't sell pardons for cash (though I would highly doubt it), but I don't get the impression that he raped anybody. Especially not 7 women who are all making ridiculous claims. One woman who claims she was violently raped walked out of his office right afterwards smiling. Shelly Yachminovich says her claims are very believable. Another couple women requested jobs from him after he raped them. I am not pro-rape, far from it - I am actually anti-rape. But just because a woman claims that it happens doesn't mean that it did. Women, for all their wit and charm, do not always tell the truth (I know this is hard to comprehend).

The president of the supreme court retired last week and we are very happy to be rid of him. He did not do vry much to advance the position of the Jews in the land of Israel.

I have to finish the first part of my sukka project this week. I am in the middle of straightening the land where i want to put the sukkah (and the pool next summer). Our land is very slanted and I started a straightening project with a spade/hoe and garden rake. About 25 square meters. At the very bottom I am 3 bricks high, as I built a little retaining wall to hold in the dirt. It's about 75% finished, but i have to work at night now in order to finish it.

On Friday we took the kids down to the agam to ride their bikes. One of the things about living in mountian country is that there are very few flat areas to teach children how to ride their bikes. So every once in a while we go down to the agam and teach them there. My number 2 got her training wheels off and she is proving to have very good balance. She only flipped over the handlebars once.

The new year is almost upon us. I want to wish all of you a happy, healthy sweet new year.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

its been a long couple weeks

I'm in a writing slump right now.
Hopefully I'll continue writing in the very near future.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

media media media

It is unclear what the purpose of the media is in Israel. Are they strictly a powerful force with an agenda that they are trying to push into reality, is their goal to get the regular folks to hate everything to do with authority or are they just publishing unethicval stories because that's what people want to read and they want to sell newspapers.

One of the lead stories today was about a car crash that killed 5 people.
A citizen called the police and said a car was driving recklessly. The station he called was not the correct one for the road he was on, so they told him who to call. He called the other station and they told him to fax in a report and they would look at it. Two hours later the car crash happened and it was the same type of car that the citizen had reported was driving recklessly.
The police responded to the story by saying that they send a police car out on the road and didn't find anything and are not positive that it was the same car that the guy complained about.
The point of the story was how bad the police are. Obviously they promised an investigation and there are certainly some things that could have been done better. For example, if you call 100 (911 in Israel), the people there should say thank you we'll check it out as soon as we can. If they aren't responsible for that section of the road then they should coordinate
with the people who are. They shouldn't tell the citizen to call someone else. He isn't reporting a stolen bicycle, he is reporting a real and current danger.
That being said, the reports that are out there have a very very minor aspect of the police version of the story. There was no reporting as to the possibility that the car crash was in fact the same car that the guy reported on. It happened to be the same make.
I agree that it is much sexier to have a report where the guy called and reported and the police ignored him and then the car got into an accident, but there was no investigative reporting to see if that actually happened. That is what could have happened.

Aside from that in todays exciting news, we have the guy in charge of intelligence in the northern area where the soldier kidnapping took place before the war broke out getting a promotion. This is in line with Olmert removing the blockade on Lebanon and saying "screw you" to the people of Israel. The cartoon in the yisraeli newspaper today was olmert talking to blair looking out over the big protest in rabin square yesterday saying, "they think I care."

It turns out his entire prime ministry is just one big "screw you" to the people of Israel. He thinks he is Louis XIV, in the grand words of train talk.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

talking points

I was once very cynical of talking points. Listening to all the pro-Democrat people talking about how algore had more gravitas then Bush. Each interview or news story had the exact same points, all dreamed up and written down by some spin doctors in the deomocratic national convention.
It was like nobody had any personality anymore and nobody had their own ideas on what issues were important.

"Now I'm a little bit older, I like to play just a little bit bolder," I realize how important talking points are in getting across a message that you believe in. Having 100 people talk about the exact same issue in their own words gives it much more weight and creates a much greater impression. The main problem with the democrats is that they weren't creative enough to give over the message in their own words and they just read the talking points sheet each time they were interviewed.

Using blogs, we have the power to promote our own agenda. To do this similar minded bloggers must unite under a loose umbrella where everyone maintains their uniqueness, yet talks about the issues that the central organization has determined is of critical importance at the moment. If everyone is talking about it, that will keep the issue on the table.

I think its time to start publishing talking points for pro Israel bloggers. What are the issues that the pro-Israeli blogging community want on the agenda. How can we promote that, etc.
This idea may start gaining steam over the next couple months, keep your eye out for it.

more on olmert's tactics

Here's a new spin:
Olmert purposefully made an improper request of the comptroller,
through the media, forcing him to respond publicly. He now has the
ability to claim that any reports against him from the comptroller's
office are a vendetta against him and should not be taken seriously.

Olmert's been reading way too many spy novels.

Monday, September 04, 2006

lindenstrauss is pissed

Happy Labor Day to those unfortunate of you still in America (or
Canada as it may be). Those of us here in the holy land are working

As I predicted, it was not a good idea for Olmert to take potshots at the comptroller via the media. The guy is responsible for finding corruption in the government and he let him have it. A large report was delivered to the attorney general's office with a recommendation to open a criminal investigation against the prime minister.
The prime minister responded, we would prefer the attorney general
investigates us. Could that be because they trust that the attorney
general will not find a problem with Olmert's abuses? We'll find out in the next couple weeks.

We decided to start getting prepared for the winter, which is rapidly approaching. So tonight, possibly, we are going to write up a list of what needs to be done so that we won't have leakage and other problems. This might mean that I will have to stop working on setting up a base for the pool, but technically I can do that right before the summer starts so I still have time.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

kfar natoosh - abandoned village

A kfar natoosh is a village in Israel that the Arabs abandoned when they fled from Israeli army during the war of independence. For various reasons, mostly because the village was considered too dangerously anti-Israeli or too close to the border for national security, Israel did not allow these villagers to return to their homes. Last summer we visited Baram, a kfar natoosh that included an ancient synagogue from the time before the arabs had taken over the land that they fled. From what I understand, every year the former villagers and/or their children petition the Supreme Court to let them return home and every year the supreme court says no. They have a yearly visit back to their ruins and point at their old houses and talk about what might have been if their army had been stronger and destroyed the Jewish State. It is now a national park and nobody is allowed to build on it, not Jew nor Arab.

Sarah recently went to a Jewish kfar natoosh, it was forcibly abandoned by the Israeli army last summer. Jews are not allowed to go there anymore, but Sarah and her daughter Rivki went back to look at what once was. The arabs in the area have not taken over the area, they have not built anything or used the land for anything. Its as if they are saying to us, you took away your people for no reason, we don't even want that part.

I wonder how many parallels there are between Baram and Chomesh.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

looks to be hot next week

A number of generals are meeting with the chief of staff, Dan Halutz, to suggest that he mismanaged the war and it is time to "hang up his uniform."
If he doesn't have the confidence of his top people, it becomes almost impossible for him to run his office effectively.

While the general inquiry hasn't even started yet, meaning that nobody has been officially blamed for the screw up, Dan Halutz can take the fall for everyone by claiming that he was a screwball and is leaving military life, most probably to go into politics.
Amir Peretz, a guy who I generally don't agree with, has been lashing out at his predecessors, most notably Shaul Mofaz, who was the chief of staff and then the defense minister from the retreat from Lebanon until this recent election. While one problem might be that Peretz has no real military experience, he was given a rotten apple to sit on. I would pretty much exonerate him, unless the inquiry comes back saying that he actually tried making military decisions instead of trusting the army to do that.

Olmert is busy sticking his middle finger out at the Israeli public and every time he is quoted in public it sounds like a big "screw you." I was happy to see Lindenstrauss told him where he could go with the investigation request that he requested via the media.

This weekend it looks like we will be going fruit picking in the Golan Heights. Since Olmert's condensation plan has fallen through he has been looking for other things to give away and the Golan is ripe for picking. Some of his senior advisors have been talking up peace with Syria recently. We figured we should get the fruit while it is still Israeli.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

who set up Katsav?

When a public official, without any prior scandals, is accused of violantly raping a woman in his office more then once there is something strange going on. It seems that no one can get out of Israeli politics without having some serious dirt thrown on them. How Benny Begin made it out with people's respect will be recorded as one of life's unsolved mysteries.
Is a foreign country funding a scandal manufacturer in Israel, where Israeli politicians are being set up or put into situations where they will most likely fall? Or are Israeli politicians just stupid?

I think one of the key elements that we are missing here is to check into the complainants finances and see if there isn't something just a little bit strange going on.

In any case, if Katzav is forced to resign I think Sharansky would make a great President. Start preparing his nomination. He is already a highly respected statesman . There are no scandals to his name (that I know of). He is already seen as a national symbol of Israel. He quit the government when he felt that his conscience would not let him be a part of a bad government decision.
Sharansky is the man.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

ron arad

The mere mention of his name evokes such passion in your average Israeli and Zionistic foriegner (maybe we'll just call them expats). Is he alive and what have they done to him. Even if he comes home, will he be psychologically able to cope with freedom?

The big question, of course, is "what are the Lebanese up to"? Is this video to stick their tongues out at us and say, you can bomb our country all you want, but you can't find your pilot"? Is this video to remind us what will happen to the 2 soldiers who were kidnapped in Lebanon recently if we don't play ball with them?

Are they going to show us a video of a Muslim Ron Arad with his new Muslim family?

I sure hope not.
Whatever their reasoning, this is just a small part of the major psychological warfare initiative that the Lebanese/Iranians are putting together in their battle against Israel.

The media should consider that before printing reports which can further demoralize us.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Hizballah boosts Olmert

Nasrallah, the leader of the Hizballah terrorists, made a statement today to try and impact Israeli support of our prime minister, Ehud Olmert. He has been widely quoted as saying that if he would have known that there would have been a war then he never would have kidnapped the soldiers.

This statement is disinformation warfare at its best. It is meant to confuse the Israeli people and to make us think that we actually gained something from this war. One of the primary problems with not winning the war, as we could and should have, is that people feel that Israel lost its deterrence capability. There is mounting pressure on Olmert, Peretz and Halutz to quit because of their apparent incompetence. However, Olmert, Peretz and Halutz are the three best things that could have ever happened to Nasrallah and the Hizballah. Can you imagine a chief of staff who announced on the first day of the war that we already won? A month later and he's talking about how we won on points while everyojne else in the country knows how badly we lost.

Nasrallah wants to keep these people in power and confuse the Israeli people. He therefore makes a statement that says Israel has regained their full deterrence capabilities. They never would have started up if they thought Israel would attack them.

On the train this morning, I read right through what he was saying and thought that everyone else would too. I commented to train talk on what a snake that Nasrallah was. Then, two ladies sat down next to us, looked at the headline and said, see the war was worth it.

Yes, it looks like we have problems.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

still a couple booms left

I got home from shul on friday night and all of my children were still up, to my great surprise. My wife said that she was upstairs with the boys and she heard a big boom and the house shook. There were no sirens, no warnings, no nothing, so the kids stayed up for the entire friday night dinner (and behaved excellently) and there were no more interruptions so they went to sleep in their own rooms and we weren't sure what it was. The next day we ate lunch at our neighbors and in the middle of lunch there wasn't so much a boom as a rumble which caused the house to shake. We're still not sure what it was, but the general feeling is that an unexploded katyusha got exploded.

I was thinking about one of the big culture differences between the north and the center of the country, especially Jerusalem where we lived out the war. In the north, if you speak to someone in accented Hebrew, even in broken Hebrew, they will smile, help you out and reply to you in hebrew, probably slower then they would have spoken normally. This is true even for Israelis who speak perfect English. They like to help immigrants integrate and they even expect it of them.
In Jerusalem, if you speak to someone in Hebrew with an English accent they immediately switch to English. It doesn't matter how good your Hebrew is.

There are probably a lot of reasons for this, one of them being that big city life is just so busy that they don't have time for language issues.

Whatever the reason, I prefer the north.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

going camping

We may be going camping tonight at Achziv Beach or we may just have a bbq there in the evening or we may do nothing. Apparantly, this is what we agreed on with our friends who we discussed going out with. Achziv Beach is a very nice area. It was a Cananite village that was destroyed in the time of Joshua and later on it had a Byzantine church built on it that was destroyed, probably during the Ottomans.
There is a nice shallow inlet, blocking the waves with a row of rocks, that makes a very pool for the kids to play in. The tents are pitched on the grass and it is pretty comfortable. The main problem is that it is right next to the Banana Beach with is open all night, often playing loud music.

Anothre big advantage is it will probably be empty. Most people prefer to camp around the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) because of its fresh water. This palce is also very close to the hot zone. We're not expecting any conflagrations tonight. But if you hear of any booms, start to pray for us.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

protest at the technion

My taxi took me up to technion campus this morning as usual and the gate was closed. This was strange because we weren't expecting anything like this. So he drove me to the main gate and there was a large protest going on there against the Technion. There were some interesting signs up for example:
"A katyusha leaves point X at a speed of Y, how long will it take to injure a student"
"The Technion is an embarrassment"
"Give Students a break"

Apparantly, they are not happy with the way the Technion is dealing with the students in the aftermath of the war. Keep in mind that a large number of students are in reserve duty and were called up. They want tests to be postponed and to be given better benefits.

When we got to the main entrance, the taxi driver asked me to do him a favor and walk the rest of the way to the office because he had to take his father in law to chemotherapy. The main gate is much farther away from my office (a 15 minute walk at a decent pace), but I agreed because I wouldn't want someone to miss a chemotherapy appointment just because of a little protest.

There was one small gate open for traffic this morning, but from what I understand there is such a backup it is taking a long time to get in.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

life goes on

The problem with war, or at least one of the problems with war, is that there is so much to write about and talk about. As soon as you are out of the conflict everything else seems so mundane compared to what you wrote about over the past month.

I could continue talking about the public inquiry, the chief of staff's stocks or the movement to topple the government. There are plenty of other Israeli scandals to go around as well. Yair Lapid, a journalist who I enjoy reading and don't agree with in general, said that the media carries a lot of the blame for the way they covered this war. (Kudos to my wife for giving me that article)

Maybe I'm just tired because my littlest didn't sleep well last night. I'm getting the feeling that he is having anxiety attacks. Also my email address was stolen, sort of. I didn't renew my domain (I was busy dodging a war) and someone else picked it up. Anyone who was trying to send me emails, please let me know and I'll send you my new address.

The kids got their school supplies yesterday and they were very excited about that. It looks like school will actually start on time, though the building needs a lot of work. There was a family moving to our village from Canada this summer, and they had raised some money to help fix up the school, but then because of the war they decided to move to Beersheva. She told me she was still getting the money for us, but I haven't heard from her since they arrived.

I had a religious discussion about this war with Jameel when we visited him last week, and I'm planning on sharing that with you in the coming days.

Monday, August 21, 2006

comission of inquiry

Israelis are very focused. They like to have one issue and talk about it for some time and then find another issue and forget about the first one.
Nobody cares about the chief of staffs stocks anymore, now we are talking about commission of inquiry. This will last 3 days until it is time to talk about some other scandal or problem with society here.

The question is what will a commission of inquiry tell us? Will it say that the Prime Minister and defense minister had no clue what they were doing? If it does will they care? Will it condemn government ministers for not going to the north to show support while the northern residents were in their bomb shelters?

The stories that you hear are that everyone was disorganized, the orders didn't make sense and the commanders didn't know what was going on. I've never been in a war before, is this common?

The only positive that everyone agrees on is that the soldiers themselves were very motivated and displayed a high degree of professionalism. It's too bad the politicians and upper echelons of the government thought that they were toy soldiers meant to be thrown around at whim.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

This is an awesome video clip.

Everything is getting back to normal. My parents were with us for shabbos and they are leaving Israel tomorrow morning. Yesterday, we got together with a bunch of friends who we haven't seen in a while. A couple of them had been called up in the reserves, both of them paratroopers, so there was a lot of army talk going on. It seems like everyone agrees that the war wasn't run very well. I try to stay out of army talk because I was never in. We are thinking about going camping this coming weekend with a couple friends, though some people think it's too early for that.

I figure if its quiet now then we can consider it quiet until it gets noisy at which point we should consider it noisy until it gets quiet. Deep thoughts, but that way we don't let the uncertainty run our lives.

My daughter went out to a youth activity yesterday and my wife asked if I told her what to do if the sirens went off. I laughed and said, no but I know exactly what she'll do. She'll start shrieking. The truth is there really isn't anything you can do, but I will make a point to let them know to lie on the ground next to a building.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Good Morning Israel - Part IV

Been back since Thursday and morphed back into a private person. Its nice to be home and its nice to daven in your own shul. Its nice to see friends. Its amazing to see how much your friends' kids
have grown in one month. Its amazing to find your own grapes matured, sweet and ready to eat before the bees get them. Its distressing to find out about all the things that went wrong and its distressing to note that the only real consensus is the hope we will all be home for a while. Its distressing that the real cost of corruption is something like the national budget without even factoring in the human loss, agony and despair it causes directly or indirectly or the future cost of renewal. Its encouraging the good will of people who care and its encouraging the resilience of getting up to begin a new day.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

no pool

Yael Dayan, daughter of the late Moshe Dayan, feels that " is unacceptable that as I can buy shawarma someone can buy a woman." I also don't feel that it should be as easy to buy a woman as a shawarma. That being said, I don't feel it is that easy. There are shawarma kiosks all over the place and I have never seen or heard of a place to buy a woman. I've heard that it is possible, but more in theory then an actual woman store. Maybe I just don't hang out in the same kind of places as she does.

We had a nice BBQ last night and I tried to put up the swimming pool for the kids, but it didn't work. The ground was too slanted. I'm probably going to dig up the ground and make a flat surface. There's a lot of that kind of work that I have to do before the winter comes. I have a strong feeling that I am not going to get most of my summer work done this year because of the war. It will take a little while before things get back in order.

Today there was a siren malfunction and it went off in areas northeast of us. Completely freaked people out. I heard stories of people jumping out of windows, though that seems a bit exaggerated to me. If you jump out of your window that doesn't do anything for you. A moving target is only harder to hit if they are aiming at you. If they are shooting randomly, a moving object is just as likely to be hit as one standing still.

It was good to sleep in my own bed last night and it is good to be home.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

we're home

Just wanted to let everyone know that we're home.
Posting should continue as usual

inside trading on a national level

Well the family is on their way home, they just left Ramat Bet Shemesh where they said good by to our sister in law. We're hoping for a long lasting peace and quiet and I may even fill up the new swimming pool when I get home so they can enjoy it for the last month of summer. Last night we ended our last day as refugees by going to the big Arts and Crafts fair in Jerusalem with my brother, his wife and my sister. A nice time was had by all, though the concert sucked. We experienced what Joe Settler termed "synchronous clapping," though one girl who was trying to get it out of herself for about 20 minutes finally got up walked into the aisle and danced.

A lot of Israelis don't understand what the big fuss is about the chief of staff selling his stocks right before the war. I'm not sure if they just don't understand how the stock market works or they aren't sure exactly what is wrong with this. The way the stock market works is someone can only sell shares if someone else is interested in buying them. That's how the share price is worked out. The higher the interest the more people will pay.
If someone knows something that other people don't know he can buy shares from someone who wouldn't have sold them if he had know that information or sell shares to people who wouldn't have bought them if they had known the information. If you know specific information about a company then it is called insider trading.

But lets say you own shares in a company and you are the head of the army and you know that we are about to shoot rockets at their world headquarters. If you own stock in that company you know the stock price will go down and you will want to sell it. But if you sell it someone who doesn't know it is about to get blown up will buy it because he thinks the company has a good chance of earning a higher profit. Selling shares in that company is therefore harming other people.

An hour before you order troops into Lebanon is the wrong time to sell your shares. It says that you are not the person who should be entrusted with privileged information because you are using that information to make a profit.

I think he should get fined and/or fired.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

shabbos at home

It looks like we'll be going home on Thursday. My wife missed her first ultrasound appointment in Nahariya hospital last week. Her next appointment is in Jerusalem on Wednesday night. The next one available was in Haifa next week. So we didn't want to risk missing all of them due an an unplanned escalation early next week.

The kids really want to go home, as do we. Being on a forced vacation hasn't done them much good, though psychologically it is much better then the option of staying there and listening to the constant boom.

We're planning shabbos at home with my parents.

We may be going home Wednesday as an ultrasound appointment has opened up in Haifa on Thursday morning.

dissolving and solving

I was in town as I have been once a week since we were away. The bird was fine but the grass was drier. From Haifa and northwards, though less in Nahariya and Maalot, people and cars were visible and it was quiet with people smiling and taking first steps back to normalcy. The first morning after the cease fire, there were not enough people travelling out of town in the morning to fill up the sherut and bus service was still not back to normal just yet. But I saw a passenger train on its way north of south Acco and there was an announcement that bus service will be free for residents moving back home upcountry. I felt tears coming to my eyes as I was looking over some vital mail relating to the school year and catching some sense of belonging as I was on the bus as though sharing a movie in the old style movie theatres. And I heard stories about bedrooms for 250 shekel a night in Tel Aviv and 500 shekel a night hotel rooms in Eilat. The regular Mercedes taxi driver wanted to take 20 shekel instead of 9 for the ride to Nahariya. From macro us and them, its back to micro dog eat dog. The town is remarkably clean and inviting looking and few really trust that savescreen but certainly prefer it (or not) to the others they have come to know this past month. Or as CSN&Y used to sing - I am yours, you are mine, you are what you are....And you make it hard. ("suite: judy blue eyes")

Monday, August 14, 2006

Ceasefire is good for israel

Its been a very quiet day. No running down to the bomb shelter, no loud, annoying air raid sirens and no booms. There are actually people out on the street walking around and enjoying the hot weather. Last week you wouldn't have seen a soul walking around. Hopefully we'll even be able to go home soon.

Everyone is saying that Israel lost this war big time. We didn't accomplish any of our goals. The terms are demeaning and humiliating. The war will probably break out again in another 6 months. We, as would all the other refugees and bomb shelter dwellers, would prefer to keep our status for another couple weeks if that's what it takes to actually win.

Why would I say that the ceasefire is good for Israel? You have to look at the reason why Israel lost this war to understand that. Israel has no leadership. The prime minister has said on more then one occassion that he is "tired of defeating our enemies." He was a reporter in the army and has no fighting experience. The defense minister worked in the supply chain and has spent the past number of years holding Israel hostage as the head of the labor union. This is like a beevis and butthead movie, though we certainly don't want to insult beevis or butthead. The fact is that as long as Olmert and Peretz are running the show the Israeli army is fighting with both arms tied behind their backs and clear instructions not even to try and spit at their enemies. It would be a complete massacre to try and actually win this war without leadership.

Lets thank God that we were only humiliated this time, throw out the crappy politicians and put some people in power who are not tired and who want to win.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

I saw the rocket

This time I actually saw 2 rockets land in the Haifa Bay. As I was
walking downstairs I saw first one big splash and then the blur
following it and another big splash.

That's it for the day. Back to Jerusalem.

my brain is fried

I have learned that "my brain is fried" is not an Israeli expression. 2 sirens later, and this time we actually heard the booms, I am finding it incredibly difficult to actually think. I spent most of today doing more hardware oriented things where I don't need a lot of concentration. I decided that would be best after spending a number of quality minutes trying to figure out why in the world I would want to do what I just did. I know there was a good reason, I just can't figure it out yet.

Tomorrow will be a better day.

knitting donations

My apologies to Safranit for taking so long in putting this up.

Safranit has donated and is organizing more donations of knitting materials for peopole stuck in the bomb shelters. There are a ton of people just sitting there with nothing to do and they appreciate the effort.

busy day at work

It's been busy today at work. We spent an hour running up and down the stairs as the Hizballah figured out that if they shoot rockets at 15 minute intervals it will be sure to tire us out. It worked, by the 3rd siren our pregnant (8th month) secretary didn't even bother to get up and by the 5th one they didn't even break up a meeting. I went downstairs for each one with my zalzel backup in hand.

A zalzel backup is a special onetime backup that protects the company in case our building gets hit by a zalzel missile and all our data gets fried.

Supposedly we are having a cease fire on Monday so the Hizballah wants to empty its current stock so they have room for the more advanced stuff the Iranians and Syrians will be passing to them on the unsecured border starting on Tuesday.

The cease fire includes humiliating terms for Israel. We will have a new multinational force on the Lebanese border to protect the Hizballah. Remember when they took a video of a kidnapping about a year ago and "forgot" that it existed for a couple months. This new force will include French and Lebanese troops (you don't have to laugh when we use French and troops in the same sentence). That the Lebanese and the French will protect us against Hizballah is ridiculous.

The soldiers that were kidnapped were not even put into the cease frie text, rather they were included in the introduction that the hope is that there will be a prisoner exchange.

Not only that but Israel is expected to give some territorial concessions.

The only good part is that we'll be able to return home, no small matter. The obvious question is when we'll be forced to flee again in the face of a more advanced Hizballah.
Getting rid of this government with its complete lack of military experience or competence is an absolute must in this day of military threats against our country.

Friday, August 11, 2006

shabbat in the shomron

I'm standing here at Jameel's computer deep in the shomron where we are for shabbos. We're actually staying at our neighbor's parents house with his wife and kids. Our neighbor himself has been called up to serve and protect our country by wiping out the bad guys in Lebanon. He is part of a special paratroopers unit. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers. For reference this is the niurse's husband. His wife, the nurse, is kind of stressed out right now so pray for her too.

In interesting news today:

Rav Meidan, a 70 year old rabbi from Gush Etzion volunteered to hand out food to residents of Nahariya. He feels that it is the least he can do to help and wants to set a personal example for his students. Kol Hakavod.

Our friend's sister's neighbors house in Nahariya was completely destroyed by a katyusha hit today.

Next week they are planning to evacuate the weaker sector from border communities. There are no hotel rooms available in the country so we're not exactly sure where they're going to put them.

Have a good shabbos. I'll be at work on Sunday and I'll be able to let you know of a new initiative to help out the northern communities who have a factory that manufactures Judaica and Jewish Art items that are really hurting right now because they can't work.

Docs Wife

Its me again, had two cups of coffee and was thinking about rules of war, are there any? Yesterday was a day that one little boy with big eyes will remember for the rest of his life, it was the day that a katushya landed beside his house and killed his brother and his Mother wounding him, removing a limb. He is Arab from Deir el Asad and under the rules did not deserve it to happen to him, I made aliya and made a concious decision to live here do I deserve it? No I don't either.


Hi this is Docs Wife
There are rules and there are rules and having a warning siren BEFORE seven is definately not in the rule book!!! Now my miklat is a mess, I have 12 years of National Geographic,three bed matresses, a beanbag chair, knitting for a sweater, and two beach chairs and a phone system made up of wires, and if Hetzballah expect me to have a coffee machine too I could do that too but I do need time to gather myself together and if anyone messes with me before that cup it means war.......
I hope they get rid of all the katushya rocket launch sites before they make a cease fire, I would like this to be done but done cleanly and finally? before they stop. Good?? Morning!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

third siren

This exercise is doing me good, that and I'm eating a salad for lunch.
Peres thinks that we should delay the ground action for 48 hours to give diplomacy a chance. I think if he had his choice he would be French, because he is so good at working against his country's best interest and surrendering.

We're BBQing tonight in Nof Ayalon, near Shalavim (out of range) and I am trying to figure out how to get their. It looks like the best option is train to Lod or Ramle and then get picked up from there.

intangibles and fragrances

The most wonderful thing about our temporary residence is the fact that it has a penthouse-type exposure to the elements. Now in even the hottest summer days, there is a light breeze. I can forget about superficial things like furniture and wonder consumer appliances and the bank account and I can ride the breeze. Right now I prefer that to surfing the net. Its going to be our fourth week away from home and its time to buy new spray cans for freshening the air in the bathroom so I make a point of buying the same fragrances we have in our Real House. I met a housepainter who is incensed with the operation/action/hostility and would love to experience the home front battlezone. That was after listening to a Pek'in Druze who works in a high tech telecom firm who brought two busloads of neighbors to stay in a hotel. His house was hit twice. It was nice hearing the Arab bartender giving him advice and some pointers. They left together. This wasn't the collective chatter of the follks you know and live with but after a bit of Guinness and a bit of abstraction and distraction it could just as well have seemed to have been.

the agreement

2nd siren of the day. One of my co-workers is in her 9th month now and she only made it down 3 flights of stairs before giving up. The problem with the sirens is that they are like the boy who cried wolf. At least at home in the middle of the siren you hear them crashing down so you have some sense of reality. Here, they fall somewhere but it doesn't impact you as much as a big boom.

So my boss and I yelled at each other for about an hour this morning. He apologized for what he wrote and blamed it on the language, because he wrote it in English. I don't buy it but I do the same thing when I speak in Hebrew, so I accepted it. We ended up agreeing that we disagree with each other in principle.

Starting Monday, I will start coming in to the office 4 times a week and Tuesdays I will work from Jerusalem. They won't give me a car because they think the bus is fine.

I'm not happy, but they're not happy either and that makes it even.

I'm not looking for a new job yet, mostly because I like this company, and that's what counts.

back at work

The morning started off with a siren at 9:05 AM. We all walked down to the bomb shelter, waited 5 minutes and came right back up. I arrived at work at 8:40, so I had time to sit down at my desk before running downstairs. We didn't hear the bang so I don't know where it hit.

Interesting News.
The house of the mother of Mayor Krumla of Maale Yosef got a direct katyusha hit. She is fine, though a bit stressed out.

According to a source in paratroopers, the UN is actively helping the Hizballah transfer weapons. We assumed this, but apparantly they actually know it.

The Rav of Moshav Strula, a known Kabbalist, said that Nasrallah was going to die last night at 10. So far they haven't reported this.

A grandmother who is a shepard in a border community who won the Israel prize lost one of her sheep across the border and she is requesting Hizballah to return it safely.

In the middle of a gunfight, one paratrooper yelled out that if they make it out alive he would have a bbq at his house in Jerusalem. The rest of the firefight the other soldiers were trying to get exact directions to his house from the different places they would be coming from.

A camp was organized for kids (aged 9-15) from the North in the center of the country. The only glitch was that the parents who had already left would have to take their kids back to the north so that they could be evacuated.

We had a refugee bbq last night with some friends and they announced that within 2 weeks we will be back home.

A divorced father yelled at a social worker for allowing his ex-wife to take refuge in a city in the center with his child because it ruins his visitation rights.

A woman just complained that she is forced to buy her meat for shabbos at an Arab store because she was afraid that the Jewish store in the village right next door was going to get bombed.

I have a new source for actual stories from the north.