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Monday, November 30, 2009

TLATD #3: Living in Israel During a Recession

The discussion of the Gemara (BB 91a) turns to the economy of Eretz Yisrael. It explains that to protect the economy of Eretz Yisrael certain staples (wines, oils and fine flours) were not allowed to be exported. The concern is that exporting these items could lead to a shortage and a price hike which would create hardships for the local population of Eretz Yisrael.

It is important to note how focused not just Tanach is on Eretz Yisrael, but even the Talmud Bavli which was written in Babylonia. The Gemara continues to explain that we are equally concerned about the economy in Eretz Yisrael if prices dropped too much (60% of its original value) and a special prayer would be recited on Shabbos in such an event. This seems much like the way Jews all over the world pray for rain in Eretz Yisrael and on Shabbos for the well-being. The Jewish people are always focused on our true Homeland.

The Gemara then makes an extraordinary statement about living in Eretz Yisrael. "One may not leave the land of Israel to go live outside the land unless two se’ah of wheat cost a sela." In other words inflation would have to reach a whopping 100% before one would be permitted to leave Eretz Yisrael according to the Rabbis. Rabbi Shimon however disagrees and holds this is only true if one can not even find wheat to purchase but otherwise, even if wheat costs double leaving the Land is forbidden.

A proof is brought for R’ Shimon's strict position from the Meggilas Rus. Artscroll's translation: "And similarly R’ Shimon ben Yochai used to say: Elimelech, Machlon and Chilyon [who left the Land of Israel during a famine and moved to Moab where they died not long after,] were the great men of their generation and the caretakers of their generation. And for what reason were they punished? Because they left the land of Israel to go live outside the Land."

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Sunday, November 01, 2009

TLATD #2: The Fantastic Tales of Rabbah bar bar Chanah

Daf Yomi this week discusses the Fantastic Tales of Rabbah bar bar Chanah, twenty or so stories that Rabbah heard or witnessed that are just so unbelievable it’s obvious they are allegories.

In one tale, Rabbah witnesses a giant frog, the size of “sixty houses” swallowed by a sea-monster which is in turn swallowed by a giant raven. The raven lands on a massive tree. Rabbah exclaims “come, see how strong that tree was!” Rav Pappa remarks that if he hadn’t been there he never would have believed it!

The Gra explains (see "The Juggler and the King" for a detailed discussion of the Gra's explanations) how the frog is symbolic of the Torah Scholars (who make noise day and night studying Torah.) The sea-monster is the evil
inclination which can doom the scholar. The raven, a bird that abandons her young to the good will of Heaven, symbolizes the solution to defeating the evil inclination sea-monster. Put all your faith in Hashem.

The tree symbolizes all those that support Torah. In Babylonia, where Rav Pappa was from, the people did not support torah learning as much as the Jews of Eretz Yisrael did. In was only after Rav Pappa came to Eretz Yisrael that he saw the incredible philanthropic acts of the people of the Land of Israel. If Rav Pappa hadn’t seen it with his own eyes he wouldn’t have believed it.

The truth is, the hand of Hashem is much more visible here in Eretz Yisrael. The entire survival of the State of Israel is completely dependent on each year’s rainfall. In short faith is a little bit easier to come by here and it’s this faith that leads to so many acts of kindness people living far away from Israel would have to come and see to believe.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

What's in your backyard?

There was a small news bite in the Israeli media which most people may not have even noticed. Today, there was a court hearing to decide the fate of a grave that was recently discoverd.

The story goes something like this. Mitch Pilcer owns a bed and breakfast in Tzipori in the lower Galilee. Business was going well so he decided to expand the hotel. But when they started digging in his yard they discovered something extraordinary.

Right there in his backyard was the grave of none other than Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Levi ! It's still being investigated to see if things pan out and it really is the grave of the important Amora sage. But it just goes to show you that when you are living in a land that contains thousands of years of our history you'll never know what you'll discover right in your own backyard!

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Must Read: Fantasy Aliyah!

Dear Yishai,

Hi, this is Fran. I was at your Kumah meeting in NY last year when you talked about the "aliyah boat". I have another idea for your listeners: I call it Fantasy Aliyah!

In the Jewish newspapers in NY they are advertising a Glatt Kosher, Shomer Shabbat Fantasy baseball camp with one of the NY major league teams. I root for the OTHER NY team, but in any case I would not spend ridiculous sums of money to go do such a thing since being a baseball player is not my fantasy.

However, I really wish I could make aliyah, but for personal family reasons I am not yet in a position to do so. My husband and I are working on a longer term plan, but meanwhile we are bringing the family to Israel this summer.

Instead of vacationing in the expensive tourist bubble of four or five star Hotels and fancy tours, I planned a trip where we are renting a house for three weeks in a community we would consider living in where we have some friends. We will be attending an unveiling ceremony, and also a wedding. We will visit friends, do some fun things for sure. Most important is that I want to learn to ride the buses, the train, shop in the supermarket, shop at the mall, visit the community pool, the library and practice my Hebrew. I may even rent a car and try driving in Israel (scary thought!)

At first I was calling this my pre pre pilot trip, but now I am calling it Fantasy Aliyah! For three weeks I'm going to imagine that I'm really an olah chadasha! My daughter even picked up an NBN hat for me at the salute to Israel parade!

I'm hoping that this will be a good experience, and make the idea of aliyah less scary. I'm hoping that I will get more comfortable with being in Israel, and that one day G-d willing we can make aliyah for real.

Meanwhile "Fantasy Camp" in Israel, is better than not coming at all! We hope to turn our Fantasy into reality some day soon.

You may read this email on air as an idea for your listeners, and I hope to visit Beit El and all my radio friends at INR.


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Sunday, June 07, 2009

Ynet Author Threatens Jewish Yesha Residents with Violence

I've read some pretty outrageously anti-religious and anti-Right pieces on YNet before, but this might take the cake so far. The author is convinced that every "settler" considers every Israeli soldier and police officer to be a Nazi and that their punishment for using such a word should be a long prison term. Ironic how somebody who rejects being classified as a Nazi wishes to throw people in prison for leading a different lifestyle than him, or even for using language he doesn't like hearing. He also goes on to say that the religious and settlers of this country are trying to provoke a civil war (interesting seeing as how they are more patriotic than most secular Israelis I've ever encountered) and how they better watch out because they've never had to deal with the secularists when they have their guns in hand. I guess if the threat of prison terms doesn't work to try and get somebody to agree with your point of view, the only other option is to try and kill them!

I'll let his vile words of (self)hate speak for themselves but before I do I'd just like to make one point. While my list of complaints against this government could fill volumes, even I don't think that everything the state does is wicked and I personally try my best to avoid using the term Nazi to describe even the most wicked Jews... that being said it is interesting to note that aside from Soviet Russia, what was the last country before the modern state of Israel to destroy Jewish communities, kick Jews out of their homes just because they were Jewish (and thus deemed not able to live there) and given money to those who wish to harm or even kill Jews? You guessed it- Nazi Germany. Shame on ANY soldier who has kicked a Jew out of his home or actively dismantled Jewish communities in our holy land of Israel, shame on the Israeli government for committing such atrocities and shame on YNet for publishing this disgusting filth.

Don’t ever call me Nazi

Settlers who refer to IDF troops as Nazis to provoke civil war

Yoram Kaniuk
Published: 06.06.09, 15:08 / Israel Opinion

The word “Nazi,” which is being hurled at both Jews and non-Jews these days, must be banned by law. Referring to someone as “Nazi” is an act that should prompt a long prison term.

The Jewish people cannot bear with the curses uttered by Judea and Samaria residents, who hurl the word “Nazi” at police officers and soldiers, as well as any other person, regardless of whether he is Jewish, German, or Arab. Those residing in the occupied territories would do well to learn some history. They should learn that those who refer to a Jewish policeman or soldier as “Nazi” are similar to those who deny the Holocaust.

We cannot have a situation whereby protestors hurl this term at the soldiers who protect them, in the presence of a Knesset member who confronts security forces, as was the case in the recent outpost evacuation. We cannot have them direct this term at all of us.

Many of us had relatives who perished in the Holocaust. However, it seems the children of Judea and Samaria residents don’t know what happened there. Many years ago, Menachem Begin said that Arafat is like Hitler in his bunker. The Shoah survivors who supported Begin earlier were stunned. After all, no Arab is Hitler, either in or outside a bunker. Not every murderer is a Nazi; neither is every enemy, and certainly not a Jewish policeman or soldier.

Once upon a time, a settler called me a “Nazi” as well. It happened a long time ago, when this term was new in the country. I attempted to explain to him that the Shoah indeed happened, and that 60 of my relatives died in one day, in one pit, in one forest in Galicia. In response, he called me a traitor.

Years have passed. For several years now, Israeli soldiers and police officers have been dubbed “Nazis.” If we had worthy army chiefs and defense ministers and police commissioners, they would have detained anyone who uses this term a long time ago. The law should have silenced this malady.

Detached from the State

Yet it appears that Israel’s defense ministers and police are also unfamiliar with the history of our people. They fail to realize the power of precedent inherent in this terrible nickname. Israelis must not desecrate the memory of the Holocaust and reject its reality with their despicable words.

There are more and more people among the settlers who have detached themselves from the State of Israel. They apparently know it will end with a civil war, because a day will come where we can no longer remain silent in the face of the wickedness we see in the territories. The killings. The razing of homes. The destruction of Arab trees. The worst thing may be the way they treat Israel’s citizens as enemies.

We are nearing the day where a civil war will break out. Especially after a retiring commander recently smeared Tel Avivians, classifying them as bad ones, as opposed to the wonderful settlers. After all, he doesn’t know how many thousands of Tel Avivians fought and died for the existence of this state. He is an ignoramus, yet he is no different than a defense minister who allows us and our sons to be dubbed “Nazis.”

It may be that we, the secular Israelis who served in the army and today wish to sit at a café or in a library, to learn and teach at the universities that are the foundation of our economy, appear to be geeks and nerds to the Shoah deniers in Judea and Samaria. Perhaps. Yet they have not encountered us with weapons in our hands, and we need to protect our children and our grandchildren from those who view us as Nazis. We have lost hope that their malice will vanish.

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Rain Drain

I am writing this on Rosh Chodesh of the month of Shevat. "Jewish Arbor Day" is coming up in 15 days and I am dreading it and wishing that someone would stick in a leap-month of some kind. When I see the beautiful white flowering of the almond tree I am sickened.

Why? Because I know that no rain has fallen. January has been the driest one on record in Israel. The Lake Kineret water supply is so low that ecological damage has set in. The summer is going to come very soon and it will dry up the rest of our precious water supply. The country is on the verge of dehydration and I just wish that winter had another month to do its thing - but to no avail.

All the commentators explain that we are in a drought. Low pressure this, high pressure that. But why is there no rain? No commentator has an answer. It's a fluke; it's nature; it's bad luck...

Judaism has always believed that rain, or lack of it, is under the direct supervision of G-d, and He doles it out in accordance with our behavior. If we are good, we are wet. If we are bad, we dry up. It's a simple, effective and direct causal relationship. It's also very kind, because it's a barometer of how we are doing as a nation. A period of drought is a period of self-reflection, prayer and repentance.

I am not G-d, but I figure He wants me to think about some reasons why there is a drought. It's like when a parent sends you to your room and says, "Think about what you did."

So here is some self-reflection:

Maybe the rain isn't coming because of Gilad Shalit and Jonathan Pollard.

In the last few weeks they were both on the verge of freedom, but they were denied that basic human right. Gilad Shalit has been held captive in Gaza for almost three years. During Operation Cast Lead, Gilad probably heard Israeli bombs landing hits on Hamas targets close by to him. He probably thought, "They are finally coming for me." Maybe he even though that this whole war was started just to bring him home. Alas, the war has ended, but our pain remains. Gilad is not home yet; instead, he is in the brutal hands of our haters. Why did our beloved country stop the war prematurely without bringing him back?

Jonathan Pollard may have also thought that his day of release had arrived. He has been rotting for 22 years in prison for the crime of passing vital information to Israel from a friend. In George Bush's final moments in office, Jewish activists pulled every political string to get a last-minute pardon from the President. Days before Bush's presidency came to a close, the White House actually suspended the comment line - they shut it down - so they wouldn't have to hear any more of the numerous calls begging for Jonathan's release. But while Pollard activists were doing their part, the political echelon never mentioned Jonathan, and we never heard that the State of Israel brought pressure to bear on America.

The redeeming of captives is one of Judaism's greatest commands. It speaks of everything we hold so dear, including, "Love thy neighbor as thyself." If we can't get them released, why would the clouds release their precious blessings on us?

Or maybe the rain isn't falling because of Israel's Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court ruled against the Jewish National Fund's policy of selling land only to Jews. Yet the JNF collected that money from Jews throughout the world with the express purpose of buying property in the Land of Israel for Jews. How could that foundational Zionist activity be made illegal?

Recently, the Supreme Court ruled that the State can evict Jews from a building that was purchased in Hebron from Arabs. Yet the Jewish community had every proof that the house was legally bought, including video tapes of the seller admitting the sale and the receipt of money in return. Now, that house stands empty and boarded-off after an army eviction. How can legal purchases be overturned so arbitrarily?

Even more recently, the Supreme Court overturned a bi-partisan Election Committee decision to ban anti-Israel Arab parties from running in the upcoming election. The Knesset Election Committee felt that blatantly disloyal parties should not be allowed to run. But the Supreme Court, asserting itself in Israeli politics, overruled the committee and allowed those parties to run even though they openly support the destruction of Israel.

G-d in Heaven hates injustice, but it seems that the highest law in our land has no law at all. Their anti-Israel bent coupled with their immense power, untamed by any checks and balances, makes the Supreme Court the most dangerous entity in Israel today. How can we expect the Heavenly Court to judge us favorably when our own court has no regard for truth?

Or maybe the rain isn't falling because we waste the water we are given.

If you went to a venture capitalist and asked for a million dollars for a project, you would not be surprised if you got only a part of that money with the rest of the cash contingent on how you use the seed money first. Rain from heaven is the same. G-d says to us: "Here is just a bit of rain, and if I see you use it wisely, I will send down some more."

In many dry countries, like Australia, water capture technology is widespread. Roofs collect rain and siphon the water into big storage buckets. That water is later used for gardening or for toilet. Dish water and shower water is routinely recycled into the gardens in many countries. Israel should be a leader in this kind of technology, pioneering better ways to capture and utilize every drop of rain. But it is not. Most of the water that goes to the gutter on a rainy day gets dumped out into the desert with no practical usage. It simply gets wasted.

Now why would G-d send us more rain when we waste His gifts? Why would He give us blessing when we tolerate injustice? Why would He give us a hug when we forget to hug those who need us most?

Think of the drought as a gift, as a personal wake-up call to the nation. We can wake up. We must wake up. Or maybe instead we should just go back to our dry sleep. You know, dust to dust. Low pressure this, high pressure that. It's a fluke; it's nature; it's just bad luck.


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Thursday, December 11, 2008

You just don't know how good you (could) have it

Recently a close friend of mine came up with an amazing idea. He, I, and another friend rented a car and spent the day driving all over Israel to visit and pray at kivrei tzaddikim (the graves of very holy and righteous Jews). Notice I said pray "at" and not "to." Praying at the graves of tzaddikim is an age old Jewish custom. As Jews, we believe that there is a whole other world after this one... even though somebody may have appeared to have left us they are definitely still around. Not only that, Chassidus teaches us that when a tzaddik dies, he becomes spiritually more powerful and more able to affect changes in this world than he ever could when he was alive. Therefore many people who are much lower in spiritual standing than the tzaddikim will pray to G-d at their graves in order that they should couple their merit with that of the holy person they are standing near, hopefully increasing the chances of a successful prayer.

As far as our little trip went, we hit up some pretty big names. First we prayed at the grave of Rebbe Meir Baal HaNes and that of his main pupil. Rebbe Meir was a Torah Scholar of unbelievable proportions and whenever there is an anonymous line in the Mishna it is attributed to him. Next we went to the grave of Rachel, the wife of Rebbe Akiva. When she met Rebbe Akiva he was already 40 years old, had no money and didn't even know how to read the Aleph Bet. Yet she was so holy that she was able to see the potential within him and gave up a life of luxury to live with him in a barn. With her love and support he was able to become one of the greatest Torah scholars of all time, learning secrets it is said even Moses didn't know.

The next stop on the list was that of the Rambam, Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, and his father. It's said that since the time of Moshe Rabbeinu (Moses) until the Rambam nobody named their child Moses because nobody had enough merit in Torah to have such a name. Next we went to the graves of Rebbe Akiva and one of my absolute favorite Rabbis and kabbalists- the Ramchal (Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzatto). Apparently they are buried next to each other because while Rebbe Akiva didn't start learning Torah until he was 40 years old, the Ramchal passed away at 40, and it is held that he was a reincarnation of Rebbe Akiva who lived those first 40 years teaching the deepest secrets of the Torah to make up for that period of Rebbe Akiva's life that he missed out on.

All of these graves were in the Tiberias reigion, and while there were many more in the area we moved on to the forest kever of Amuka. There is a grave of a tzaddik there, and it's a tradition that those who pray there will have assistance in finding their soulmate. Regardless of traditions, it's worth going just for the amazing views (pictured above). After that we traveled to the mountain-top mystical city of Tzfat. We dipped in the mikvah of the famous kabbalist the Ari, and prayed at his grave as well well as that of the Beit Yosef Rabbi Yosef Caro (author of the Shulchan Aruch, the most widely followed book of Jewish law today). We were also able to track down Rav Kennig, the head Breslov Rabbi in Tzfat and get a bracha from him. I've been told that he once met with the Lubbavitcher Rebbe who told him, "Some say you are the head Breslov rabbi of Tzfat, but I say you're the head Breslov rabbi of the world." The humbleness of the man was amazing. He answered the door himself, and though we came totally uninvited to his private home, he was excited to see us and greeted us with a beaming smile. We topped off the night with a trip to pray at the grave of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, Tanna and author of the Zohar. We then returned back to Jerusalem (not so shabby itself- home to the site of the Temple), and wanted to continue on to Kever Rachel (grave of our Matriarch Rachel) and Hevron (burial city of Abraham, Sarah, Issac, Rebecca, Jacob, and Leah... and tradition holds Adam and Eve as well) but were prevented to only by lack of time.

If that amazing road trip wasn't enough, this past Shabbat, I was able to spend it in Beit El, site of Jacob's famous dream of the ladder to heaven, during the exact Torah portion in which this event takes place! And several days ago I was able to attend a class and receive a bracha from Rabbi Yaakov Hillel, possibly the top English speaking kabbalist in the world today.

I don't mean to brag, as often my life isn't this jam packed with excitement. So what is the point I'm trying to make here? Many of us who live here in Israel often take for granted the holiness of the place and all the opportunities to access Hashem in different and exciting ways. For roughly 50 dollars a piece and a day of our time, my friends and I were able to visit the graves of some of the holiest and most famous people in Jewish history. To even come to the land of Israel itself was a privilege most Jews in the past 2000 years couldn't have. And before the days of car travel such a trek would have taken weeks instead of a single day. Just for hopping on an Egged bus I was able to make the Torah real and live out the words on its pages in my own life. These are the opportunities available to any Jew who lives here and wishes to take advantage of them. So to anyone who does live here in Israel please take some time to remember what you have here, and do something about it! And to those who have yet to come join us... if you have any appreciation of Torah or spirituality, then I don't care how comfy your house or job is, how settled you feel, or how prestigious the day school you send your kids to is... the way I see it none of that compares to being able to have all this at your fingertips.

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Three Amazing Letters - What do YOU say?

Dear Yishai,

I just have some questions that maybe your organization could answer for me. I am definitely not anti-semitic, however I have a problem with the Zionist movement. While I am an Arab-American woman who practices Islam as my religion and does not believe in causing pain or suffering to others, or shoving my belief system down another person's throat. I find it horrible at the state of affairs in Palestine at present. I believe myself to be a fairly open minded individual at an adequate level of intelligence. I would like to better understand what could make anyone support zionism when there is so much horror going on in Palestine.

The genocide that is occuring there reminds me of the holocaust and I wonder how your organization could support that ideology. I have respect for all people and religions. Please explain to me how having people move to Israel/Palestine and taking away the land that belongs to the people there by force, not allowing them medical help, poisoning their water supplies, closing roads, shutting off electricity etc. isn't exacly what Hitler did? If you believe that there is a GOD and the three religions that are montheistic believe that we all came from one creator then why do you support the atrocities going on there? I am not trying to attack you, but I don't really understand how any civilized person could support this. Feel free to e-mail me back. I thank you for your consideration.



Dear Sir,

If the Nation of Israel truly rests in the hearts of its people regardless of its physical location; why not petition the governments of the United States and possibly Canada for a land grant? I don't really believe that the Arabs will every grant you peace so long as you remain in the Middle East. But in North America; your children could finally thrive in security and safety.

If you don't think my suggestion is too insane; with your permission, I would be happy to start this very long process by writing to my congressman.

Thank you for considering my suggestion.
Susan, living in Arizona


Dear Yishai,

Because of the fiscal crisis in the USA and the world, I'm scared that people are going to start blaming the Jews, and I haven't heard of a fiscal crisis in Israel. I'm not so much afraid of the economy hurting me, but I'm afraid of the antisemitism that might occur. So, I'd like to make aliyah. However, my husband doesn't want to. Is it possible for me to do it without him, yet still stay married to him? BTW, we're Jewish, though not frum. Would I be comfortable not being frum in Israel?


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Thursday, September 25, 2008

This Rosh Hashana - Bees Need Our Prayers

Honey in short supply as Rosh Hashanah nears: "There is a decline in production in the world," said Alon Ron, CEO of the Emek Hefer honey company. "It was a drought year, and when there's no rain, there's no blossoming and no nectar. Nature is changing, and we can see it in the harvest."

Israel no longer Land of Milk and Honey after 60% fall in honey harvest: The bad weather has compounded already reduced levels of honey production caused by the mysterious global phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) where hives across the world have suddenly been deserted.

Israelis discover cure for bee colony collapse-associated virus: At Beeologics, scientists are convinced that IAPV is the primary cause of CCD. "If you look how the disease spreads, it's very reminiscent of flu. Flu also starts in the fall and hits hard in the winter, the same is true of this bee virus," explains Paldi. "It's very contagious like a flu. In our opinion, we have something that's interacting very strongly with the environment to cause CCD. It could be interacting with pesticides, with improper nutrition, general stress - but that's not what's killing the bees. What's killing them is a virus and we believe that virus is IAPV."

ISRAEL: Bee-rating in the land of milk and honey: But there are problems, too. Many Israeli farmers suffer from agricultural thefts, targeting anything from livestock to pipelines -- and beehives. Hives are small, often remote and unguarded, and hundreds are stolen every year, in many cases taken to the Palestinian territories. Beekeepers complain of lax enforcement and ridiculously low fines for apprehended thieves.

An ancient Israeli site yields the oldest known archaeological example of beekeeping: The Bible refers to ancient Israel as the “land flowing with milk and honey,” so it’s fitting that one of its towns milked honey for all it was worth. Scientists have unearthed the remains of a large-scale beekeeping operation at a nearly 3,000-year-old Israeli site, which dates to the time of biblical accounts of King David and King Solomon.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Getting Israelis To Make Aliyah

One of the saddest phenomenons I have witnessed since making Aliyah is the apparent apathy so many Jews living here show for the Land. Don’t get me wrong. There are so many Jews living here that are a true inspiration to the “Keep Making Aliyah” spirit. But there are far too many I meet (indeed even one is too many) that simply don’t feel anything special about this land.

When Jews living in America are apathetic toward living in Eretz Yisrael at least we could blame it on them being blinded by the “good life” of the “golden medina.” But when Jews who grew up drinking the water and breathing the air of Eretz Yisrael, and are still apathetic to the idea of living here and even warm to the idea of making Yerida – what excuse can we invent to explain this?

Actually that’s not really the question we should be asking. There are many answers we could give – ranging from government frustration to pure desensitization due to familiarity with the Land. Whatever the case may be here is the challenge I present to the reader and to my fellow Kumah bloggers.

What could we do to encourage all Jews – even though born and raised and still living in Eretz Yisrael – to keep making Aliyah?

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Dangerous Threats?

We usually don't post about American politics but I figured since there's already precedence why not?

Well this ad came out today:

It's supposed to appeal to Americans that care about Israel I guess... well it's nice to know at least someone thinks Americans care about Israel...

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Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Identity of the Land

Tzafrir Ronen at the Jerusalem Conference speaking on the true identity of the land disputed between Jews and Arabs.

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