Join the Neo-Zionist

  • Receive our Kummunique:
    unique and informative emails
    about events, articles, and info
    to keep you in touch.

Kumah Mascots

Kumah Awards


Friday, February 19, 2010

Lori: Practicing what was preached

Once upon a time Malkah posted a clip from Aish Hatorah's Lori Platanik where she praised her students for making Aliyah, but felt that was only possible because she, personally, stayed behind in America. So as much as she wanted to make Aliyah, she was needed where she was in D.C.

Yechiel (Jonny) posted a followup post where Rabbi Pinchas Winston rebuts that argument. The Rabbi explains that it's not her personally that is needed in D.C. but her role. And that Rav Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg, shlita, explains, just like Hashem decided the role was needed and then filled that role with her - if she made Aliyah Hashem will find someone else to fill that role, if that role was indeed still needed. He speaks from the experience of his very own Aliyah when he asked his Rosh HaYeshiva for advice.

Well Rebbetzin Platanik just spoke about Aliyah again. She remarks how it's hypocritical to teach our children how important Eretz Yisrael is but get upset at them when they decide to make Aliyah. An excellent point and a very good watch.

Check it out above!

I just wonder if it's also hypocritical to teach our children about the importance of Eretz Yisrael, not get upset when they make Aliyah, but still not make Aliyah yourself?

At Kumah, we hope to greet Lori and everyone else in the airport when they make Aliyah very soon! Amen!

Labels: , , ,

Full post and comments...

Monday, February 08, 2010

Phat New Anti-Israel Film!

I am a sucker for a good piece of political propaganda. I have been continually impressed with the way the Dark Side slams Israel - sometimes war-making, sometimes victimized. I don't know about you, but I always fall for a little Good Cop, Bad Cop, and so I have to give this one some props for:

1. Awesome use of music from the hit film "The Matrix". WE ALSO LOVE THE MATRIX! Sweet!

2. Cool typing. The reading/picture changes factor is mesmerizing, and gives me that Israel-loathing high I've been looking for.

3. Novel angle. "I am Israel". I like it - so definitive.

4. Wily promotion. Who isn't interested in seeing a "documentary" about Israel? Maybe I'll spend an hour making my own counter-"documentary" on Powerpoint.

5. Smatterings of history. Hell, this person has used Wikipedia, people! Step off! If that a documentary does not make, I don't know what does. Little misrepresented allusions to complex historical events makes this a dependable account of yore.

6. Ahmadinejadian rhetoric. Where have I heard "Jews from Europe pounced on the land of highly photogenic people who had been living there for thousands of years" before? It's right on the tip of my tongue... give me a few minutes, I'm sure it will hit me like a nuclear bomb.

7. Re-heroization of failed Zionists. Begin and Sharon are back, and better than ever!

8. The Zionist Wishlist. Control of America AND the UN?! Ken Yirbu!

9. World class production. If it's on Youtube, it has to be true.

I want to give this one two keffiyahs up. Inshallah.

Labels: , , ,

Full post and comments...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Video: Kosherfest with Yishai and Malkah

Monday, November 23, 2009

Nefesh B'Nefesh Hanukkah Flash Mob

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Music Keeps The Spirit Up and Up!!

Here is an email testifying to the efficacy of the album:

"Just got the AR disc and loaded into onto my mac. Playing it. It is GREAT. The Moshav Band song really pulls at my heart strings. I am there in SPIRIT. Pray that the goof catches up as quick and gets there. For now, I continue to long daily for THAT day. Thanks so much. Best present. You made my month of Kislev. Toodles from Chutz. Shimmi from NJ"


Labels: , ,

Full post and comments...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

NBN 5769 In Review - Shana Tova!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Talking with Mike Huckabee about Israel

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Elephant Aliyah

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My New Tisha b'Av Video: Rectifying the Sin of Spies

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Born in the USA, Making Aliyah Today

Thursday, July 09, 2009

A Message from Rabbi Tendler On the 17th of Tammuz

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Eishet Chayil Show for 3rd of Tammuz

The 3rd of Tammuz reminds of G-d's special miracles, some more miraculous than others. Parshat Korach tells the story of a near mutiny and a symbol of G-d's will. Plus - getting things done with joy, so we can end the sinful cycle that leads to destruction.

Part 2

Labels: , ,

Full post and comments...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Samaritans, Noahides, and Christians

Yoel Keren, ex-Messianic Christian, now Restorationist Jew, helps us understand the mystery of the Samaritans, the gift of Noahide offerings, and how Christians can drop the "New Testament."

Part I

Part II

Labels: , ,

Full post and comments...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Yishai and Malkah on WeJew

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The Temple's Response To Obama

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Shavuot Awesomeness

Please check out the amazing video of our Klean-Up in Hebron at the Tomb of Ruth and Yishai (just in time for Shavuot!)

Labels: , , ,

Full post and comments...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Swedish Life

Monday, April 13, 2009

Stephen Frees His Jews

Friday, March 20, 2009

New Full Film: Rabbi Tendler on Temple Mount!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Falafel King

They call him the Falafel King. If you ever stop by Afula in northern Israel be sure to drop by and buy a falafal just to watch him make it. He installed special stainless steel on the ceiling over the counter, cleaned daily, so don't get too grossed out by the falafal balls that hit the ceiling. This video is just a small taste of what he could do, as I didn't have time to film some of the cooler tricks.

Labels: , ,

Full post and comments...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

On the Tendler Mount

Rabbi Moshe Tendler was my rebbe at YU and he is the rabbi of The Community Synagogue of Monsey, and a professor of Jewish Medical Ethics and biology at Yeshiva College. He is also the son-in-law of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, and helped that Torah giant write the famous Igrot Moshe responsa. On Monday the 24th of Tevet, Rabbi Tendler paid a visit to the Temple Mount in the company of the Temple Institute Director Yehudah Glick, broadcaster and anti-missionary Rabbi Tovia Singer, broadcaster and activist Yishai Fleisher, and Temple Mount patron Yehuda David, and other good Jews.

During the course of the visit the group recited prayers, including Kadish, Birkat Kohanim, and Barchu. Rabbi Tendler encourages his students to ascend Har Habayit (the Temple Mount) in ritual purity.

I took this video.

Labels: , ,

Full post and comments...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Satire: The International Media

Unfortunately, this satire by the Israeli sketch comedy show 'Eretz Nehederet' is not as much of a stretch as some might like to think...

(I found the clip on the Jerusalem Post's blog called 'Must Sees'...

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Full post and comments...

The Secret Weapon II of the IDF

Handing out Tzitzis to Soldiers

Labels: , , ,

Full post and comments...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Working To Bring Redemption Safely

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Zee Talks About Fighting Terror

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Fifth Night!

Chabad rocking the Machne Yehuda Shuk in Yerushalayim!

Labels: , , , ,

Full post and comments...

Monday, December 22, 2008

Film Maker Tries To Improve Image of Settlers

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Modern Day Miracles

Monday, December 15, 2008

My Time With Geert Wilders

Dutch Parliamentarian Geert Wilders screened his controversial film Fitna in Jerusalem on Sunday, calling on Europe to restrict immigration "from backward Islamic countries" and describing Islam as a totalitarian ideology "full of hate, violence and submission."

"Europe is in the process of 'Islamization.' We need to fight it," Wilders said. "We have to win the war against Islam. If we don't... we will lose our cultural identity, our rule of law, our liberties and our freedom."



Labels: , , ,

Full post and comments...

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Sandra and Moshe

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Release Pollard Now (Hebrew Video)

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Yartzheit of our Mother

Rachel, our Mother, died on the 11th of Heshvan 3,562 years ago.

Below is a live feed from Kever Rochel.

Or click here to watch.

Stream provided by Please visit thier site!

Labels: ,

Full post and comments...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Yearning...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Chag Sameach from Kumah!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Kumah Call - Golan Heights!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Next Year in Shul (or Temple) in Jerusalem!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Na, This Guy Isn't Dangerous

Viral Video: Who Shall Live

This was forwarded to me from three people already.

I have a few serious issues* with it. But aside from those it's great.

(*See the full post for those issues.)

*1. Who are they to claim Naftoli Smolyansky, z"l, died before his time? Are they implying he was being punished by dying young for being a bad person and more importantly how will his family feel when they see this?

2. Using the images of the Merkaz Harav attack is in very poor taste and seems to imply they deserved it.

3. Is AIDS, a completely preventable STD, really a "plague?"

4. The Gush Katif expelled still wander, and it's their fault?

5. If these are all evil decrees, and repentance, prayer, and charity remove the decree... either that is false or we really blew it last year! Or is that the point they are trying to make?

Labels: , , , , ,

Full post and comments...

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Temple Mount is HOT!!!

The Temple Mount is in the news:

Check out this article called "Rising Global Muslim Incitement: Jews 'Defiling' Jerusalem". In it you will find an amazing video of the Nazi-hate which fill the propagandized minds of our neighbors.

Then, check out the hottest debate in the Chareidi world regarding the Aliyah to the Temple Mount by my rebbe, Rabbi Moshe David Tendler. Rabbi Tendler is accusing Chareidi Rabbis of politicizing Halacha by disallowing Jews to go up. The Chareidi world is up in arms.

You know my opinion regarding going up. It's truly amazing to follow in the footsteps of Abraham and to be so close to Hashem. IMPORTANT NOTE: There are serious Halachic restrictions with regard to Temple Mount ascension, including the need to immerse in a ritual bath beforehand. If you do decide to go up please consult our Temple Mount Aliyah guide first. Shalom!

Labels: , ,

Full post and comments...

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Yishai Speaks at Jewish Bloggers Conference

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...

Labels: , , , ,

Full post and comments...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Rebranding Israel: FM Just Doesn’t Get It - Still!

This is not the first time Kumah has written about this.

Last week I attended the Nefesh B’Nefesh First International Jewish Bloggers Convention along with the rest of the Jblog world. One segment of the program featured Zavi Apfelbaum, the Director of Brand Management of the Foreign Ministry. At the time I did not know that she represented the State of Israel. (I didn't read the program, okay?)

(Click the video for a transcript we posted on YouTube.)

Which is why when blogger Moshe Burt (“Israel and the Sin of Expulsion”) began screaming at the top of his lungs “this is a Jewish State!,” though I agreed with him, I thought he was taking the wrong approach. But now that I realize exactly what was going on I think he was exactly right and that might be the only way to keep making the point, as Burt wrote, “until it sinks irrevocably into their consciousness.”

Let’s start at the beginning. The Foreign Ministry spent millions of shekel of taxpayer money to figure out that, guess what, the world thinks Israel is a bunch of thugs and a very cold (not weather-wise), dull, place to live or visit. Well obviously the world has branded us waaay wrong! Apfelbaum, again blaming the victim, claimed it was not the world that did it but we did it to ourselves. Perhaps I’ll grant that as a half-truth but that’s for another discussion.

So once again the Foreign Ministry plans to spend waste millions of shekel “rebranding” Israel.

Akiva, summarized it like this:

The future brand and marketing image of Israel:
1. Tel Aviv Fashion Brands
2. Tel Aviv Modern Dance Troupes
3. Tel Aviv Beach Life
4. Israeli High Technology Developments
5. Tel Aviv Night Life
6. Israeli High Technology Medical Developments
7. Israeli Wine
With the exception of 4 and 6, basically they are trying to brand Israel as Italy, France or Spain.

When will they learn? Israel is a Jewish Country!

Here’s what I wrote a year ago:

Once Israel becomes "a nation like any other" we are thrust onto a world scale we have no right being on. On that scale, Israel appears to be a pretty crummy nation with nothing special at all. Hence the post-Zionists. But if we stay on the scale we are supposed to stay on, the "light-to-the-nations" scale we are untouchable! When we promote G-d, no nation anywhere can come close in terms of history, culture, food, family life, beauty, and spirituality. Indeed we have something no other nation has.
To summarize, Israel already has an excellent – but discarded - brand. The powers-that-be in the government just don’t like it very much. But this brand has been around for over 3,300 years! Let me explain it in simple terms:

New York is to “The Big Apple” as Israel is to “The Holy Land.”

Gee, whiz. Brilliant! Why didn’t anyone ever think of that before? It’s a brand we have and it’s a brand we should use. It’s a brand that will stick because it already sticks, much to the dismay of the government. Basically the country is spending millions because we don’t want people to think of us as holy! Stop pretending to be the Europeans we are not, because the world is not dumb enough the fall for it. Start being yourself, Israel, and good things will happen. In the 60 years since she was founded Israel never got to be herself - not for one day.

And Moshe Burt is right. In terms of Holy we are talking Judaism. No Muslims are going to view Israel more favorable if we tell them Israel is important to them. And the Christians already know the real deal and love the Jewish people for it. Just talk to any Christians you meet. They know the Holy Land is G-d’s gift to the Jews and they are cool with that. Very cool with it.

So here is a small part of Pinchas’s plan for “rebranding” (that’s "re" as in repeating something not as in changing something):



Jewish Tradition

Jewish Children

Holy Things

The problem is the government is working backwards. Instead of displaying the beauty of Judaism and Shabbat for the world, the government does everything it can to destroy our image as a holy nation by doing things like attempting to have buses run on Shabbat. Sometimes the only way to get the message across truly is to yell it, and to yell it again, again, and again!

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Full post and comments...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Video Blog: Witness NeoZionism - 43 New Members of Israel and the IDF

At Kumah we call it NeoZionism. It's that spirit of giving it all to rebuild our Homeland. Witness it yourself in this video. 43 young adults (age 20, plus or minus - usually minus - 3 years) gave up the "good life" in America to join the IDF. The ingathering of the exiles is well in progress as our Nation is infused with this new energy, this new passion, for returning home and contributing to the growth of the Jewish Nation.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Full post and comments...

The Secret to Making it in Israel... knowing how to eat Hummus.

The video below will guide you through the learning process.

Labels: , , ,

Full post and comments...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Boycotted Israeli Car Commerical

This Israeli commercial for Nissan's new Tiida (or Versa, in the US) automobile, which is supposed to save its owners lots of money on gas, was pulled off the air as a result of Arab pressure.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Full post and comments...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Video Blog From The Kotel on Tisha B'Av 5768

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.

Labels: , ,

Full post and comments...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Video: Yishai Flies With NBN!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Growing Up Frum

For some Jews, the under-35-frum-from-birth crowd, the name Uncle Moshy invokes many of the fondest childhood memories. What Orthodox child, growing up in North America, didn’t attend at least one Uncle Moshy Chol HaMoed concert? What Frum child didn’t own all the Uncle Moshy records or tapes?

I recently happened upon some Uncle Moshy clips on YouTube of all places. One was the song Uncle Moshy sings at the very end of his albums. This is how it goes:

Now it’s time to say Shalom*
Uncle Moshy is going home
But you know he’ll be back again
Teaching the mitzvos of Hashem

Let us hope and let us pray
That Moshiach will come our way
And we will hear that Shofar blow
To Yerushalayim we will go


*This line is from memory.

And then it hit me… like a truckload of bricks! It always bothered me why, especially among FFBs the most prevalent attitude is that when Moshiach comes everything will magically change and poof we will all be transported to Yerushalayim in a snap. And until that happens everything is just fine and we should continue living here in New York.

Popular belief is that this is the only way Moshiach will come and there is no reason to move to Yerushalayim before Moshiach comes. I was never able to pin down exactly where this notion originated. But now I think I’ve got it. From Uncle Moshy! “Let us hope and let us pray/That Moshiach will come our way/And we will hear that Shofar blow/To Yerushalayim we will go.”

It might sound far-fetched but children of Uncle Moshy listening age are extremely impressionable. And influences introduced at that age easily stay with someone their whole lives. So there is a generation of Uncle Moshy fans davening every day for Moshiach, and waiting for that “great shofar,” so that we can finally return to Yershalayim, when in reality Hashem has already answered our prayers and is sounding the great shofar! And if we will only hear it we could simply board an Aliyah flight as a couple of hundred Jews are doing next week (look for Yishai on that flight!) and return to Yerushalayim in ten hours!

In truth I’m being a little hard on Uncle Moshy. I’m still a fan and think he is great and has contributed more to the Jewish Project, as Kumah calls it, than almost anyone I could think of. But sometimes we have to stop thinking like children and we have to grow up. There are a great many Jews that made and are making Aliyah, both from those that did and from those that didn’t grow up with Uncle Moshy and his Mitzvah Men. I wonder if we could learn from them how to see Judaism though adult eyes and not continue to live Judaism through the eyes of a child.

To be fair this issue existed long before Uncle Moshy was even born. Rabbi Yisachar Shlomo Teichtal zt"l, wrote about it in 1943 in Eim Habanim Semeichah:

"Do not be so quick to conclude that we should sit back and do nothing about redemption, and that we should wait for Mashiach to come and carry us off on the wings of eagles to our Land and our inheritance. Many of our fellow Jews, even rabbis and Gedolei Torah, imagine that the redemption will occur in this way. One great rabbi [even] preached in public that we must not act at all, not even build and settle the Land. Rather we must wait for Mashiach to swoop down and carry us to Eretz Yisrael on clouds. He came to this conclusion because he did not delve into this halachah, which is one of the deepest and most obscure halachot. He who does not delve deeply into it has no grasp on it whatsoever."(p. 268)

Rabbi Teichtal concludes:

"He who says that Mashiach ben David will initiate the redemption, as the lowly masses anticipate, is like someone who says the sun will rise before dawn. Nonsense! The great evil that arises from this harmful outlook is tangible, as experience proves. It is a mitzvah to publicize this matter to the ignorant, and blessed is he who sanctifies G-d's name among the multitudes. In my opinion, he who hides this matters, desecrates G-d's name in private."

Labels: , , , , ,

Full post and comments...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Home Made

Rivkah Lambert Adler, the great Aliyah Guru of the Bat Aliyah blog posted this:

"Tamar Weissman and Chanina Rosenbaum from Baltimore made this film as a gift to Noah and Risa Lasson, who are making aliyah next week. It's a 22-minute long love letter about Israel and the power of Coming Home.

If you haven't got time to watch the whole thing, make sure to see the first few minutes and the last part where Chanina is speaking, first to Noah and Risa and then to the rest of us (this part starts 19 minutes in).

May we all merit to have people in our lives who care so much about us and about bringing the family (literally in Tamar's case) Home."

Labels: , ,

Full post and comments...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Yishai Speaks in Passaic NJ!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Merkaz HaRav - a flame that can't be extinguished

This last March Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav was the site of a gruesome arab attack against the heart and soul of religious Zionism. Yet just a few months later throngs of people showed up for their annual Yom Yerushalayim celebration. At one in the morning people filled the streets as the block was closed off and the sounds of singing and dancing could be heard in all the surrounding neighborhoods. No matter what tragedy our enemies may hurl at us, people like those at Merkaz HaRav show that the Jewish people are dedicating their lives to Hashem and our land and we won't be stopped or intimidated. Kol hakavod to all the bochurim and rebbeim there, may you only hear good news from now on.

Labels: , , , ,

Full post and comments...

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

When Non-Jewish Friends Visit Beit El

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Kumah Kall 2 - At The Grottos

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Priestly Blessing - Jerusalem 5768

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Videos: Pesach, Our Past and Our Future...

First see this following AWESOME video - reenacting Pesach, which was posted on It's really worth a watch!

Note: In IE you may have to hit play again after the intro plays.
Or launch it in an external player.

Next, watch this video of the Temple Institute who recreated the way a korban pesach was actually done. It's important to view because it's obvious in the not so distance future, G-d willing, every Jew will have to partake in a Korban Pesach in the third Bies Hamikdash! (Warning: It IS very graphic!)

Labels: , , , ,

Full post and comments...

Monday, April 07, 2008

Charlton Heston Has Passed Away

The Ten Commandments is one of my favorite films to watch during the Pesach season. Makes me feel as though I too have made the Exodus from Egypt, and isn't that the real point? Charlton Heston sure made a good Moshe Rabeinu though, and it seems he was a man of character as well. Here is a nice eulogy for him by Doug Patton called Charlton Heston Made History

“Some people make headlines while others make history.” - Philip Elmer-DeWitt, American Writer and Editor

There are few of the old stars left in Hollywood, men who loved their country enough to show her the respect, service and loyalty she deserves. Charlton Heston was one of those stars.

Heston joined the military during World War II. After his discharge from the U.S. Army Air Corps, he went on to become one of the most famous actors of his generation.

Hollywood director Cecil B. DeMille is said to have been struck by the muscular, 6-foot-3-inch Heston’s likeness to Michelangelo’s famous statue of Moses. Heston’s portrayal of the Old Testament prophet in DeMille’s 1956 biblical epic, “The Ten Commandments,” etched his image upon the American consciousness.

A few years later, Heston starred in “Ben-Hur,” a movie that stood for a generation as the most honored film in Hollywood history, receiving eleven Academy Awards, including best picture and best actor (Heston).

Both these movies dealt with great themes that stirred moviegoers to consider the nobility of their spiritual legacy. These two films stand as a testament, not only to the contribution of a great actor in a golden age of filmmaking, but also to the willingness of Hollywood to inspire us and to reinforce our faith, rather than degrade us and make us ashamed of our Judeo-Christian heritage, as does so much of today’s Hollywood fare.

Charlton Heston remains the enduring face of both these films, as well as many others, such as “The Agony and the Ecstasy,” a 1965 telling of the story of Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel ceiling for Pope Julius II.

But Heston was much more than just a handsome face or even a great actor. He was an activist. Long before he became known for his passionate leadership of the National Rifle Association, and long before it was fashionable in Hollywood, he joined the cause of desegregation. When an Oklahoma movie theater refused to allow blacks to attend the premier his 1961 film, “El Cid,” Heston joined the picket line outside the theater. Heston also accompanied the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., at the 1963 Washington, D.C., civil rights march.

Back in 1960, Heston had been a supporter of John F. Kennedy for president; but by 1980, he had switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican and became an ardent supporter of his old Hollywood friend, Ronald Reagan. A consistent foe of racial discrimination, Heston spoke out against affirmative action. He even resigned from the Actors Equity Association because of the union’s refusal to allow a white actor to play a Eurasian role in the stage version of “Miss Saigon.” Heston called the action “obscenely racist.”

And in an era when most of Hollywood was refusing to criticize violence and obscenity in “the arts,” Heston rebuked Time Warner at a stockholders meeting for releasing a violent rap album featuring the song “Cop Killer.”

Heston’s five-year tenure as president of the National Rifle Association, from 1998 to 2003, gave the organization visibility it had never had before. Perhaps the most memorable moment of his presidency came at the 2000 NRA convention. The group was strongly opposing the presidential candidacy of then Vice President Al Gore, who favored restrictive gun control. At the convention, Heston was presented with a hand-made Brooks flintlock rifle. To the delight of the crowd, Heston held the weapon over his head and declared, “From my cold, dead hands, Mr. Gore!”

In 2003, diagnosed with Alzheimer ’s disease, Heston stepped down as NRA president. In a stunning example of the lack of class displayed by today’s Hollywood nitwits, actor George Clooney joked about Heston’s affliction, saying that Heston deserved whatever was said about him for his involvement with the NRA. Heston, always the gentleman, said he felt sorry for Clooney, since he had as much chance of developing Alzheimer’s as anyone else.

Charlton Heston was a culture warrior. He was unapologetically pro-life, pro-family and pro-American. He once characterized political correctness as “tyranny with manners.”

When this great man died last Saturday with his beloved wife of 64 years at his side, he was 84 years old.

Thank you, Charlton Heston, for making history, not just headlines. May you rest in peace.

Labels: , ,

Full post and comments...

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Answer

Esther said to relay to Mordechai: "Go and gather all the Jews who are in Shushan and fast for my sake, do not eat and do not drink for three days, night and day. My maids and I shall also fast in the same way. Then I shall go to the king, though it is unlawful, and if I perish, I perish." (Esther 4:15-16)

Labels: , ,

Full post and comments...

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Kosher-Style 3

Monday, March 03, 2008

Video: Exposing The New Christians

(Or click here.)

Last year on a flight to New York I was seated with a group of what I thought were traditional American Christians. But I noticed they were all wearing a logo I had not seen before. It was a combo of the fish (you know which one I mean), the Star of David, and a seven branch menorah. I now know this is the symbol for Messianic Judaism , the latest religious craze sweeping across America. Here is just one of many lists of Messianic Congregations in North America today.

Movements and organizations have sprung up with names like:

Chosen People Ministries
Coalition of Torah Observant Messianic Congregations
Southern Baptist Messianic Fellowship
International Alliance of Messianic Congregations and Synagogues
International Federation of Messianic Jews
First Fruits of Zion
Messianic Bureau International
Messianic Israel Alliance
Messianic Jewish Alliance of America
One Law Messianic
Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations
Union of Torah Observant Ministries

Now many of these “messianics” have their eye on Israel and even Aliyah! "MiTzion Productions" put together a five minute informative video about what’s going on and why you should care.

Labels: , ,

Full post and comments...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Video: American Olim Rock!

An immigrant from Seattle opens an American-style dog grooming parlour in Raanana, Israel!

Labels: , , , , ,

Full post and comments...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Second Snow, Yawn, in Jerusalem (Video & Photos)

A second heavy snowfall hit Yerushalayim today. Unlike last month's this one did not shutdown the city at all. Below is what it looked like...

Labels: , , , ,

Full post and comments...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Only Israeli Judaism is Authentic!

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

He reiterated similar sentiments in the clip below.

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

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

It makes for a good read.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Full post and comments...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Art of Haggling...

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

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

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

For the second video, click here.

Labels: , , ,

Full post and comments...

Monday, February 11, 2008

Tour of the Temple Mount - Video

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

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

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

For the complete 90 minute tour, visit here.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Full post and comments...

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Kumah Kall 1 - In the Snow

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Video: Snow in Jerusalem

An uncommon heavy snowfall hit Jerusalem today turning bustling streets and busy shopping centers into ghost towns. This video was taken on Jerusalem’s usually very busy Kanfei Nesharim Street which is also in one of the higher altitude areas of the city.

Photos, Bez"H are on the way!

Labels: , , ,

Full post and comments...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Get Behind Me Satan!

(Must see video above) I am always trying to bring across to people the concept that Amalek wants to stop the Jews from coming home. The Baal HaTurim on the beginning of Parshat Ki Tavo explains that there is a reason why Ki Tavo, the Torah portion dealing with entering the land and tithing to Hashem there, is directly preceded by Parshat Zachor, the Torah section dealing with the commandment to blot out Amalek's name. Why? Because we are only commanded to get rid of Amalek when we are in the Land of Israel:

"Therefore it shall come about when the LORD your God has given you rest from all your surrounding enemies, in the land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance to possess, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven; you must not forget."

Only when we are united in the land do we have the power to fight this dark force. When we are in the Diaspora, we are not in our natural element, and we are divided. This is the source of Amalek's strength against us. Here is the Amelekite creed:

"Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, "There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom; their laws are different from those of all other people and they do not observe the king's laws, so it is not in the king's interest to let them remain."

The Baal HaTurim further explains that Amalek will do everything in his power to stop the Jewish people from coming home. It was Amalek who told Laban that Jacob had fled Haran and was en route to Israel: "It was told to Laban on the third day that Jacob had fled." It was Amalek who told Pharoah the Jews had fled: "The king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his servants had a change of heart toward the people, and they said, 'What is this we have done, that we have let Israel go from serving us?'"

Why did he tell them this? Because he wanted to stop the Jewish from reaching home. Finally, when Amalek saw that he could not use puppets to do his dirty work, he went after the Jews himself: "Then Amalek came and fought against Israel at Rephidim."

Amalek is alive and well today. He is out there. Call him the Serpent, Satan, or Darth Vader, whatever. The point is that the dark force of this world will stop at nothing to keep us away from home. All the wars against us are instigated by this energy. More importantly, all the wars within us are supported by this power. Division within our ranks is a classic tool of Amalek who always attacks those who are weakest, who are holding on least tight: "Remember what Amalek did to you along the way when you came out from Egypt, how he met you along the way and attacked among you all the stragglers at your rear when you were faint and weary; and he did not fear God."

Once you are attuned to this you can begin to hear the shrieking cry of Amalak as the the Jewish people continue to ingather. It is certain death for him. The death of cynicism and doubt, the death of division and darkness. This is why I love the video I posted above. The gospel singers knew that on the way to Canaan Land, Satan is going to do all he can to stop you. "Get behind me Amalek!" is what they are singing.

KNOW THIS: if you are being attacked by doubt and cynicism about making Aliyah and making your life here, you are probably very dangerous to Amalek. You are probably a great asset to the Jews and to Israel and the dark energies want to keep you down and darken your eye. Don't let 'em. Keep coming and keep singing "I'm on my way...."

Labels: , , ,

Full post and comments...

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Thank You CNN For Spreading The Truth

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

New Israel Videos

Remembering Gush Katif: Home Game the Movie is finally on the web

Jacob Richman has put a list of Israel-related YouTube videos - hours of fun - check it out.

Labels: ,

Full post and comments...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Chinese Food On Christmas

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Message to HappyJoel - When You Make Aliyah You Will Sing a Different Tune

I saw half of your video (see warning below), man, and I hope you are having fun blowing smoke up the Christian folks', ummm, toes.

Maybe I should have seen the light side of it, but to me it looked like you just want to get on the good side of the folks in power at the expense of your home team. Which is really the essence of being a galut Jew.

Notice: contains obscenities. And like I said, I only watched half, so be careful.

Labels: , , , ,

Full post and comments...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Jerusalem Chanukah Lights Ceremony

Friday, December 07, 2007

Publicizing the Miracle At The Kotel

A new, large and magnificent Menorah was placed at the Western Wall Plaza this year and festivities are being be held every night! This is what the third night looked like with Mayor Uri Lupolianski, mayor of Jerusalem, the Rabbi of the Western Wall and holy sites, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz and Police Commissioner Aharon Franko.

Don't miss out!

Labels: , , , ,

Full post and comments...

Thursday, December 06, 2007

New Chanukah Music by Rocky!

Monday, December 03, 2007


I believe in good movies and television. I think that moving picture media is full of junk, but there are gems out there. I have to thank Yehuda HaKohen for indtroducing me to this film. He showed it once at a Am Segula Shabbaton in Gush Katif. Ever since then I have been waiting for it to be released on DVD - and it finally has!

Plot summary: Flavius Silva, commander in Roman Palestine, wants to reach a reasonable compromise with the Jewish Zealots and withdraw his legion. Events and personalities in Rome, however, lead to his besieging the fortress of Masada. There, the Romans must fight both the harsh climate and landscape, and the passion and ingenuity of Eleazar Ben Yair and his people.

I found this writeup on the net:
"Masada is amazing, in part, because it is a true story and also because it is truly a fascinating drama. Originally filmed as a mini-series, at 6 plus hours, it has been released in short (movie length) form but don't bother with that edition. Even though it (the six hour video set) is quite long, not one minute will bore you. It is a story of the a battle of wits against (Jewish) patriots. The cast is superb, with Americans playing the Jews and British actors as the Romans. The lowly soldiers speaking in "middle class" dialect while the officers sound more aristocratic...a really nice touch. Peter O'Toole has never been better in his role as Flavius Silva commander of the Roman regiment dispatched by Rome to capture the Jews holding out at Masada...a huge, almost impregnable mountain fortress. Anthony Quayle and David Warner also do some of their best work ever. Peter Straus as Eleazar, leader of the Jews is passionate in his convictions and the rest of the cast shines also. The mind games they utilize on each other are fascinating and make for engrossing drama. It is truly one of the best mini-series, or historical epics ever put to film. The newly released 4 video set consists of 90 mins. per video so one can enjoy Masada over four evenings. Note: As of 2007 it is now available on DVD. The viewer will feel it is time well spent."

I agree, and think it is a great educational film which really gives you a sense of the time and puts you in the Hanukah zone. You can order it, as I did, on Amazon.

Labels: , ,

Full post and comments...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The New Cult Classic

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Many Faces, One Country

Congratulations to the winner of the Nefesh b'Nefesh "Israel In a Minute" video contest, recipient of $3,000 (that's 11,871 shekels for people in Israel THIS minute - cha-ching!), and maker of one kickin' PR piece. Reminds me of some of the material I received when applying to college - young, edgy, idealistic, and there's a chick with dreads - all the necessary components!

If you like it, and you live outside of Israel, click HERE.

Labels: , ,

Full post and comments...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Guess What I Spotted On My Way Home?

I guess it's not unusual to spot flashing lights and blaring music and other strange things on the street at the end of October. What about children running around with torches? Well last week on my way home from work this is what I spotted.

(Thank Ezra for teaching me to always carry around a camera.) It was a Hachnosas Sefer Torah - a dedication for a new Torah scroll - and it's a very ordinary occurrence in Yerushalayim and all over Eretz Yisrael! Borach Hashem!

Labels: , , , ,

Full post and comments...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Messiah Musical

I have been inundated lately with tons of pro-Jesus email. This is due to the fact that I regularly dismiss Christianity as untruth, and dis Jesus as a false prophet-deity. My Christian listeners sometimes wonder why "my heart has been hardened" against their Messiah. It is with this in mind that I share the quite-offensive but funny video.

Labels: , ,

Full post and comments...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Jewish GPS

Monday, October 22, 2007

Live Feed From Kever Rochel

Rachel, our Mother, died on the 11th of Heshvan 3,561 years ago.

Below is a live feed from Kever Rochel.

Stream provided by Please visit thier site!

Labels: ,

Full post and comments...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Rainbow Connection

Why are there so many songs about rainbows? And why does it always rain on the week of Parshas Noach? Those are questions people always ask. And sure enough the first two Parshas Noachs after I made Aliyah it poured! So this past week as the sun shined brightly we thought we were in trouble there. But have no fear! Sure enough clouds moved in later in the afternoon and delivered a light but steady sprinkle which I guess could be considered the very first rain of 5768 in Yerushalayim.

Tonight however I walked home from work surrounded by an awesome lightening show. The rain, very heavy at times, started falling as I got home. We started praying for rain just a few weeks ago on Simchas Torah! Rain in Israel in the winter months is a sign of blessing and a great simcha (joy)! What a country where we videotape the rain falling!

In a related note all this rain and Parshas Noach remined me of Kermit the frog and his words of pure genius! This song is SOOOO deep! Enjoy!

The Rainbow Connection

Written by Paul Williams and used by Kermit the Frog, of The Muppets, Jim Henson Productions

Why are there so many songs about rainbows
And what's on the other side?
Rainbows are visions, but only illusions,
And rainbows have nothing to hide.
So we've been told and some choose to believe it
I know they're wrong, wait and see.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Who said that every wish would be heard and answered
when wished on the morning star?
Somebody thought of that
and someone believed it,
and look what it's done so far.
What's so amazing that keeps us stargazing?
And what do we think we might see?
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
the lovers, the dreamers and me.

All of us under its spell,
we know that it's probably magic....

Have you been half asleep
and have you heard voices?
I've heard them calling my name.
Is this the sweet sound that calls the young sailors?
The voice might be one and the same.
I've heard it too many times to ignore it.
It's something that I'm supposed to be.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
the lovers, the dreamers and me.
La, la la, La, la la la, La Laa, la la, La, La la laaaaaaa

Labels: , , , , ,

Full post and comments...

Monday, September 24, 2007

Kumah Exclusive: Sacha Baron Cohen and Sara Silverman Are Mossad Agents

by Aaron Fox

The famous question: Could a holocaust every happen on American soil? Not yet famous answer: It already happened.

Simple math. In the year 1950 there were were 150 million Americans and around 5 million Jews. Today there are 300 million Americans and around 5 million Jews. American population doubled. Jewish population stayed the same. That's a loss of 5 million Jews. Then to take into account that there are only 3.5 million Jews that sport a Jewish mother from this count of 5 million. Since the 1950s count of Jews it's safe to assume all had Jewish mothers, let's add another 1.5 million to the loss. Add it up and we get 6.5 million Jews lost on American soil. At least the German holocaust had the mercy of making itself known as a destructive force. The American holocaust has us smiling down the aisles of Walmart as we quietly waste away.

The American holocaust is amongst us, the only question is how long will it linger on until the Jews of America are no more.

The Israeli government is asleep on many issues but lately the American holocaust has taken top priority amongst top officials. During the Sharon government a classified agency was formed to save the American Jews from perishing altogether. This agency's objective is to bring the American Jews back home to Israel.

Knowing full well that the American Jew would not leave on his own volition, a special strategy was devised. World history has proven that the only way the Jews leave their host country is by the host country itself expelling the Jews by violent means. A tall order of old fashioned antisemitism was needed.

Enter special Israeli Mossad agents Sacha Baron Cohen and Sarah Silverman. Specially trained to infiltrate American culture and plant the seeds of Jew hatred and general racial hatred for good measure. Click on their names to see them do their holy handiwork. Notice that these aren't just your run of the mill comedians. They are able to sing and write clever tunes; act and write for movies; there is no end to their creative talents. Their success has been enormous. It has become cool once again to hate Jews.

Stand by for stage two where special agent Michael Bloomberg will single-handedly bring Wall Street and all of New York to its knees thereby creating a world panic and economic disaster. And we Jews know what that means.

This just in: many smart Jews are coming to Israel just because Israel is better. If only all Jews were so wise, these covert actions by Mossad's celebrity spies would not be needed.

Editors note: Aaron Fox discovered the story while being a candidate for the Celebrity Mossad agency. He went half-way through a grueling 6 week comedy training camp whereby he was dismissed. The fatigued Aaron noted being unfunny as the reason for his abrupt termination.

Labels: , ,

Full post and comments...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Aliyah Is Something Only Russians Do, Right?

Jewsweek reports about The Jewish Reconnection Project which joins five young Jews in New York with four young Jews in Jerusalem. (Why not five on five? I guess Israel always does more with less!) In the series a host of issues are discussed. Naturally the one of most interest to Kumah is Israel vs. Diaspora. Some thoughts of mine follow below the clip.

When asked what "Aliyah" is, one young American Jew (or Jewish American depending on who you ask) responded matter-of-fact-ly, "Aliyah is like coming from Eastern Europe." She caught herself and very quickly added "or coming from wherever, and immigrating to the land of Israel."


Here's something odd:

Secular Israeli guy remarks how if he grew up outside Israel he might have a stronger Jewish identity because here he takes it for granted because "everybody is Jewish." Now aside for the fact that the rate of Jewish intermarriage in America has proven that statement to be utterly ridiculous and of flawed logic, I was struck by something else I saw. On the words "[in Israel] everybody is Jewish" the film editor cuts to, if I'm not mistaken, scenes from Maron on Lag B'Omer. We see hundreds of Chassidim dancing. This is curious. When this Chiloni said he was surrounded by Jews in Israel I don't think he was thinking of Maron. He was more likely thinking of night clubs in Tel Aviv. And yet when the American producer of the video heard the words "everyone is Jewish in Israel" he thought of Chassidim dancing at the Kever of Reb Shimon Bar Yachi. Most curious indeed! Pray tell, why?


Israel is a bad place for a Jew to live another American concludes because it's "too easy" to be Jewish and you don't have to "think about it." And here we are at Kumah using the very same logic to promote Aliyah! (Truth be told you ALWAYS have to "think about it" no matter where you are. It might just be a bit easier to find kosher pizza and falafel here. That's a bad thing?)


Best line. "Well I find that kind of sad!" remarked by a young secular Israeli lady responding to a religious American Jew when he explains he doesn't wear his Kippa in college because he wants to hide his Jewish identity. Sad indeed.


Other words of wisdom from the same chiloni, responding to the Americans who said how important the "Homeland" is (it's nice to visit, but they wouldn't want to live there):

"If you feel that Israel is a place for the Jews, and it should be there, then you should step up and do something about it." We, here at Kumah, agree.


She also (the very same chiloni) got the last word in:

"I don't love this county because it's the prettiest country or it's the nicest country, you know, I love it because it's mine, and it's the only - the only home I've got."

Excellent! But, just for the record... it IS the prettiest! :)

Labels: , , , , ,

Full post and comments...

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Fun with Shmittah!

Are you ready for some Shmittah?

Well first let's get one thing straight once and for all. The word "problem" should never EVER be used when referring to one of Hashem's commandments and certainly not by anyone living in Eretz Yisrael regarding Shmittah. Shmittah is not a problem! It's a mitzvah! And what's more? It's a mitzvah only us Jews zoche (worthy) to be living in Eretz Yisrael this year can keep! Yes, by the use of exclamation points in this post you could tell I'm a bit "pumped" and excited about what begins in just a few short days! I just got back from an awesome shuir on Shmittah that cleared up a whole bunch of questions I had.

Do you realize you get a mitzvah for every bite you take out of something that has Kedushas Shvius? And you get a mitzvah when you treat that Holy produce the right way as well. You know what else? All those Jews sitting in Brooklyn, New York... no better... all those Jews sitting in Lakewood, New Jersey know less about Shmittah than your average four year old playing on the monkey bars in Ramat Beit Shemesh! Here is a whole important section of the Torah that these Jews just "don't care about" because it "doesn't apply." I don't know about you... but if Hashem gave us a few more mitzvos to do, and all we have to do to keep these mitzvos is change our zip code... ehh, nevermind. Just a thought...

Now for the important points. The halachos of Shmittah are detailed and numerous with many different opinions and many different approaches. I was thinking of somehow trying to summarize them right here and now but I tell you, the best summary I have ever seen online was written by Rav Asher Balanson of Yeshivat Ohr Yerushalim. It is an absolute must read if you are just waking up now and realizing that Shmittah is just a few days away. Aside from that it is recommended that you go into any bookstore and ask about books on Shmittah. Many bookstores have them all laid out on tables in front. And finally ask questions to your LOR. If you don't have a Rav to ask all your halachic questions now is a VERY good time to get one. And in Eretz Yisrael B"H rabbis are not hard to find.

Okay... now for the fun part. Various organization put out "Shmittah calendars." These calendars contain three important dates.

1. When a certain produce can be considered to have Kedushas Shvius.
2. When a certain vegetable or grain can be considered Sefichim.
3. The date that Biur must be done on the produce.

These dates vary for all different grains, fruits and vegetables. To understand what these dates mean read the Rav Balanson summary.

In any case I have obtained the Council of Young Israel Rabbis in Israel's "Shmittah 5768: A Practical Guide" (which you can order for yourself here.) It was compiled by Rabbi David Marcus who I had the pleasure of meeting tonight. And I do recommend you get the guide!

So here's the plan. Here at Kumah, Bez"H before every Rosh Chodesh we will post the important dates that will become relevant for various produce that month. It should be exciting and we'll get to learn a lot more about how, when and where things grow. For example much to my chagrin I now know that both cashews and pistachios (that I would bring to NY to brag about how great the produce here are) are actually imported! (The good news about that is that this mean I can still bring them outside EY to NY.)

Anyway stayed tuned to this blog as a whole lot of produce can already be considered to have Kedushas Shvius come sundown on Wednesday night!

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Full post and comments...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Great Blogging Material and a Video of Spoiled Westerners in Shechem

*My photo feature from Homesh. A trip.

*This video probably deserves its own post. Rich kids from America and Europe play cops and robbers with an IDF they know is castrated in the middle of Shechem. You can hear shouts of Allahu Akbar and see martyr posters as the Canadian-sounding girl says: "You're not gonna shoot us man!" and "Six internationals run over by an army jeep will look really bad in the papers!"

*Yuli Tamir, the Education Minister, responds to Sderot parents' decision to protest government's failure to crush Gazan terrorism by keeping their ids home from schools: "Homes are less safe than the schools."

*Avoda Ivrit at the Knesset (Hebrew)

*British paper compares Marva program with Hamas day camps

*Mmmmm. Sacrelicious.

Labels: , ,

Full post and comments...

Monday, September 03, 2007

YU Madness!

Spiderman is a joke compared with these guys!

Labels: , ,

Full post and comments...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Christian Jews - Scary Stuff

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Neo-Zionist Vidyas - Anarchists, Confirmed Kills and London, Oh My!

Three things for Kumite viewing:

(And you have to click "Full Post n' Comments" to see the third - way better than our old "continue" - Thanks Pinchas!)

Click here for an added bonus!

Labels: , , , , , ,

Full post and comments...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

"Noah's Route, Your Route,"

"Armenia is gunning for its spot on the tourist map by marketing its religious attractions. The country's current slogan is "Noah's Route, Your Route," a nod to the belief that Mount Ararat is the place where Noah's Ark landed."

Now that's a way to promote a country, not with a push for gay tourism, and not by prostituting young girls for Maxim photo shoots. The time time has come to throw away the bikini-brand in favor of Holy-Land...

"Bikini-Brand or Holy Land?" By Yishai Fleisher

In a bid to "rebrand" Israel's unpopular world image, Tzipi Livni and the gang at the Foreign Ministry are about to embark on a massive PR campaign. Livni plans to paint Israel as a sexy modern country with beautiful beaches and a successful high-tech industry to boot. Livni believes that by embarking on this "nation branding" campaign, she can move Israel's perception away from war-torn and fanatical, to an image of the great Israeli dream - normalcy.

No doubt Israel does have something to offer those looking for beaches, night life, and technology. But as the focus of a public relations campaign, this direction is doomed for failure.

The Lubavicher Rebbe told a story to illustrate this point:

After the Six-Day War, France, unhappy with Israel's grand victory over the Arabs, stopped their sales of the Mirage fighter jets to Israel. Israel, in need of fighter jets, turned to the United States with a request to buy American jets.

The US sent a delegation to Israel and the Israelis wanted to impress the American group and promptly took them to what the Israeli's thought the American's would be most interested in. They took them to Tel-Aviv, to the playhouses, to the bars, to all the modernity that Israel could muster up at the time.

However, the delegation was nonplussed. They returned to America, gave a lukewarm report to Congress, and the sale did not go through. A few months went by and again the Israelis requested the sale of fighter jets. Again a delegation was formed and was flown to Israel. This time, however, the Israelis took the delegation to the Kotel, and to the Yeshivas of Mea Shearim where the Americans saw the old study benches that were brought over from Europe.

When the Americans returned home and testified in front of Congress they said: "We saw the Holy Land." The sale, of course, went through.

The point is so obvious, yet Israel's image makers cannot grasp it.

Israel's image strength is NOT in its limping normalcy. Nor can Israel ever compare to the US's flesh-pots, Amsterdam's night life, or the beaches of South America.

Israel's real image strength IS in its unparalleled link to the Bible. Have you ever seen the ecstasy of a person, Jew or Gentile, as he or she sees the Kotel for the first time? Is it a coincidence that both Jews and Gentiles cry when they arrive in Israel? Israel has emotional impact, not because of the beaches or the Hi-Tech, but rather because this place is the Spiritual Capital of the world.

How can you beat the branding effect of the most widely read book in the world?! The Bible is the globe's all-time bestseller and Israel should capitalize on it. Israel's image makers, however, do everything in their power to distance Israel from this kind of image. Their world view is dissonant with Jewish history and religion, and therefore they do not see, nor want to see, the public relations benefit of Israel's Biblical/spiritual PR image. Moreover, they fail to see the Biblical Israel's economic potential.

Yet it is precisely by embracing and not blunting our image as the real-life successors of the Biblical past that we will create a winning PR campaign.

For example, in terms of tourism:

The festival of Sukkot should be mega-season for spiritual tourism. Sukkot is the holiday when world citizenry was traditionally invited to Jerusalem to take part in the celebrations, and this custom should be revived. While this trend has already begun, it needs to be bolstered. Instead of making flights outrageously expensive during the Sukkot season, Israel should charter flights to encourage a world-wide pilgrimage.

Hebron is the great burial place of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs and the first capital of young King David. Hebron is a must-see for anyone seeking to connect with the roots of monotheism, yet Israel's image makers couldn't get themselves farther away from it. This special place should be transformed from a neglected and governmentally-rejected "fringe" town into a bona fide tourist site. Hebron could be a big winner if Israel would rebrand itself in Biblical terms.

The Old City of Jerusalem is a natural-habitat, authentic biblical experience. In order to further this atmosphere, the Old City should be made off-limits to car traffic on Shabbat. Tourists from Israel and abroad should be able to walk the stone lined streets of the Old City with complete freedom, into an atmosphere of transcendent calm and warmth. The Kotel, the Quarters, and the Old City's diverse communities, will all benefit by the creation of a unique cultural zone in the heart of the world's most special city.

In terms of Hasbara:

In our continuing struggle with the war on terror, Israel would do well to paint its story in a Biblical context. Today's Israel and yesteryear's Israel are the same -- the same nation, the same land, and the same problems. By providing such historical perspective, we can help people reframe the conflict in the Middle East. Suddenly Ahamedinajad's Iran is akin to Haman's Persia and Palestinian suicide-bombers are not unlike to the ancient Philistine guerilla attackers. Girded with Biblical perspective the world will root for Israel, just as they do when they read the Bible.

Another important aspect of a Biblical Hasbara perspective is Tikvah, hope.

The Bible is full of hope for the Jewish people and for Israel. In today's dreary climate we need to broadcast that message of positivity loud and clear.

In the long run:

We can create a successful image of Israel abroad, but we need to start by creating the right self-image within. Israel must learn to see itself as a light unto the world, and not just as a bastion of normalcy. Israel's 'light' includes a unique blend of medicine and technology, law and spirituality. Where else in the world can you find a country that is a world leader in microchip development, in-vitro fertilization, farming innovation, Talmudic law and Kabbalah?

A practical way to sow this image in the long-run is by creating mega-schools that would teach medicine, environmental sciences, and technology to the people of the world. Israel is already an internationally respected educator in a variety of fields including counter-terror, health, and agriculture. This role should be increased into all fields of Israeli and Jewish expertise. Israel should be seen as the world's educational destination, and while foreign students study here, they will learn to love Israel and will always be its greatest ambassadors. Indeed there are thousands of ways that a Biblical Israel can flourish once this way of thinking crystallizes in the minds of our leaders and our nation.

For the last 3000 years the Holy Land has been the pre-eminent destination for all mankind - travelers and conquerors all sought this piece of real-estate. Today, maybe more than ever before, Israel can quench the world's thirst for authenticity, spirituality, and purpose -- but it has to rise to the occasion. Let's not cheapen and degrade the image of Israel by Bikini-branding it. Let us market it for what it is: the most special place on the Earth -- the Holy Land.

Labels: , ,

Full post and comments...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Baseball in Israel

Monday, June 25, 2007

Good Info!!!


Life is getting hectic, but my friend just emailed me this, and its a GREAT and informative slide show about Israel and its history.


Enjoy :-)

~ Shulamit

Labels: , , , ,

Full post and comments...

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Brainwashing a Nation

Former KGB agent and Soviet defector Yuri Alexandrovich Bezmenov explains Communist psychological warfare methods and results - does this sound familiar?

Labels: , ,

Full post and comments...

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Glenn's History of the Middle East... in a Couple of Minutes

Glenn Beck is perhaps the only thing worth watching on CNN... This is an oldie but a classic!

Labels: , , , , , ,

Full post and comments...

Sunday, June 03, 2007

You Just Don't Get It!

My Sefardi former roommate used to tell me that Ashkenazi Jews have no idea how to deal with Arabs. That only the Sefardim understood how to because they lived with Arabs for hundreds of years and understood the Arab mind set. And so when a Torah Giant like Rav Mordechai Eliyahu, shlita, (former Sefardi Chief Rabbi) implores the Prime Minister to carpet bomb Gaza to stop the Arab attacks - he is not only speaking with the full wisdom of the Torah but also from an intimate knowledge of Arab culture. But when Western thinking people hear this they will cringe - like shooky who commented on this very blog - "And last time I checked, killing of innocents is forbidden by Judaism." Yet anyone who feels this way and can't understand how a great rabbi could advocate such "an evil notion" feels that way simply because they are clueless as to Arab culture and to Arab ideology.

My Rebbe back in Queens, Rabbi Shafier, ( discussed this in depth. If you want to truly understand the middle east conflict in a new light you must watch this video. It will be an hour very well spent. It gets really good 20 minutes into it - though I strongly recommend listening to the whole thing as the first 20 minutes are necessary to explain the last 10 minutes.

Here are some excerpts:

...and the fact that the United Nations doesn't have a clue, the fact that the European Union doesn't get it, is a rather curious fact. But what is even more astounding is the fact that most secular Israelis don't get it. They don't get it. They assume it's our fault. Clearly we've been too oppressive. Clearly we're a totalitarian regime. We've occupied their land - even though again, there was no Palestinian people before 67 - Jordan is their place - they're not oppressed - the Arabs in Israel have a better standard of living than the Arabs in all the other Arab countries. But we're too oppressive and the average secular Israeli feels guilty and has a real problem dealing with our participation in the "Palestinian oppression."

...There is no answer to anti-Semitism. There's no logical reason, no sociological factor, no logic based on history, it's a very different sort of animal you are dealing with.

...If you'd like to understand why is it that western culture can't get it it's because the Palestinian people, what they speak about, what they dream about, has no basis in Western culture. You see, if you live, eat, sleep and drink the acquisition of wealth, if making it means a bigger house, a fancier car, and you assume everyone is like you, you have a very difficult problem understanding why a 20 year old will strap 20 kilos of explosives to his chest, to destroy himself just to take a few Jews with him. And because there is no logical answer within the context of your ideology the answer clearly has to be that Israel is doing something so heinous to them, so criminal, that we can't even understand it, but it's clear that they're being oppressed.

But the Palestinians make no beef about it. They say clearly. It's not about the homeland. It's not about occupation. It's about religion. It's about God. It's about the Jews. Their charter says it. They say it. And no one gets it. And the reason why no one gets it is because it doesn't fit in to Western culture.

Because you see, when you talk about God I get a bit uncomfortable. I'm not really sure I believe in God to being with, and to believe that people actually give up their lives for God? It doesn't make sense!

And rather than believe what they say, rather than listen to their words, the UN, the European Union, the vast majority of the population of the world, believe some very, very silly ideas.

Labels: , , , , ,

Full post and comments...

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Kahane Moment - 1977