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Aug 4, 2015

The epic guide to destroying Israel

According to the Daily Mail, Ayatollah Khameini of Iran has published a 461 page book that is essentially a guide to wiping out Israel.

461 pages? so many instructions to wiping out this little country? Can I get the Cliffs Notes edition? How many pages does it take to write "aim and shoot the nuke"? If they only skim the book and don't actually read it, will that mess up their plans as they definitely won't get all the details down pat? Are they going to translate it into English? what about Hebrew?  I wonder who I need to speak to to get a copy for a book review..




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Haredi man comes out of the closet because of murder of Shira Banki (video)

I'm not sure why he cuts his peyos as part of his coming out ceremony.. this is an unexpected reaction to the murder....

according to Kooker, this fellow is already not religious and has only continued to dress in his original hassidic dress is because of his desire to see his children (from one of his divorces), but he is really already secular (Kooker has a picture). Funnily enough, Kooker seems to consider the cutting off of his peyos to be worse than the coming out of the closet - it describes the cutting off of the peyos as crossing a red line, with a lot of description.






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PM Netanyahu meets Olympic athletes (video)







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MK Oren Chazzan with Avri Gilad (video)







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Avraham Fried - Jerusalem In My Heart (video)







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Avremi Lunger and Nusi Fuchs - Tatte Hasiveinu (video)






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Aug 3, 2015

Book Review: How My Grandmother Prevented A Civil War

NOTE: I was not paid to review this book. It is an unbiased and objective review. If you have a book with Jewish or Israel related content and would like me to write a review, contact me for details of where to send me a review copy of the book.

Book Review: How My Grandmother Prevented A Civil War, by Haggai Segal


Haggai Segal, the author of "How My Grandmother Prevented A Civil War", is a member of the great Segal family of which he writes. He is the grandson of Yosef Segal, the initial focus of the book, and son of Shlomo Segal, and nephew of Yedidia Segal - the ultimate focus of the book. The Segal family is one of the families known as "the fighting families" from the time of the Saison - the time, largely pre-State,when the Hagana chased down and harassed, or worse, members of the Irgun and other underground movements.

This book, with its intriguing title, is a fascinating tale of the formation of the State of Israel and the early days of the State.

To be honest, I have had this book, and have been reading it, for a while. Some books are so good that you cannot put them down - you read it non-stop until you are finished within a couple of days. Other books are so good, and so full of information, that you take your time reading them. This book is the latter. How My Grandmother Prevented A Civil War is fascinating book and tells a compelling story, but it is not a book I could read quickly. I read it in bits, absorbing the flavor, absorbing the history, absorbing the story, absorbing the emotion.

How My Grandmother Prevented A Civil War is many things. It is the story of the early days of Haifa, specifically the Ahuza neighborhood, and how Yosef Segal, among others, founded the new neighborhood and survived there surrounded by sometimes hostile Arabs. It is the story of a visionary with religious beliefs and excitement, and optimism, about the State and its place in the redemption of the Nation of Israel, and how he educated a generation of children mixing his approach to religion and the State with secular education. It is the story of the Hagana and the Irgun, their fighting, both each other and against the British. It is the story of the formation of the State. It is the story of the abduction and murder of Yedidya Segal, the cover-up and the search for information. It is the story of David Ben Gurion, and many other Hagana and Israeli leaders, as well as that of Menachem Begin and other Irgun and Israeli leaders. It is the story of the Altalena. It is the story of a family shattered by the loss of its favorite son, while retaining optimism and refusing to allow revenge in their name and thereby preventing a civil war. It is the story of the search for information, even at some point a couple of generations old, when people are refusing to talk.

"Preventing a civil war" might sound like an exaggeration, but it probably is not. As you will see in the book, the times were so tense, the conflict so heated, the demand for revenge on each side for actions against it, and the enormity of the Yedidya Segal affair, and without the intervention and insistence of Grandma Segal, civil war is the direction it was really heading.

You should read How My Grandmother Prevented A Civil War - to learn about the perspective offered on the early days of the State and its formation, to learn more about the Hagana and Irgun, and especially to learn about the compelling Segal family and their central role in the history of that time.



buy How My Grandmother Prevented A Civil War on Amazon.com

buy How My Grandmother Prevented A Civil War on Gefen Publishing



NOTE: I was not paid to review this book. It is an unbiased and objective review. If you have a book with Jewish or Israel related content and would like me to write a review, contact me for details of where to send me a review copy of the book.



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Picture of the Day



some Haredi young men went to the memorial rally for Shira Banki, killed by Yishai Shlissel at the Gay Pride Parade, and they distributed popsicles to other attendees.


maybe it is these types of Haredim, more modern (based on their appearance) and more connected, that can be the bridge between the general haredi community and the general Israeli society...




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Tefillin in garbage in Tel Aviv show value

Here is a great story that happened in Tel Aviv.

It seems that it happens often enough that someone in Tel Aviv might throw out in the garbage an envelope of money, or some valuable jewelry, by mistake of course. They call City Hall and I guess City Hall tries to help whenever possible locate the valuable items - whether in the garbage or at the main dump.

For what they say is the first time ever, someone accidentally threw his tefillin into the garbage. He called them for help to retrieve the lost tefillin.

The mistake happened when the fellow was going out to throw out his garbage on his way to davening. He had his tefillin in one hand, and the garbage in the other. Accidentally he threw his tefillin in the garbage can, and continued holding the garbage.

"הוא היה נסער מאוד". החיפושים אחר התפיליןIt does not seem like a big deal - just go through the garbage and look for the tefillin - they would be near the top of whatever is in there. The problem is that this was not ina normal garbage can, but in one of those massive cans that get buried in the ground with only the top exposed to the public. these cans are a few meters deep and are not accessible to the public. The garbage trucks that empty them use a sort of crane to lift them out of the ground and dump the contents into the truck, before replacing the can. This makes it difficult to retrieve a mistakenly disposed of item, like this fellow's tefillin.

When he called City Hall for assistance they immediately realized, even though they say they have never before experienced this, that the tefillin have tremendous value to the person and agreed to help right away. They sent the truck to lift the can out of the ground. After dumping the contents on the ground, they searched through the garbage for the tefillin, and sure enough found the tefillin. 
source: Mynet

Someone in Tel Aviv City Hall definitely has acquired a special zchus for himself with this assistance. 
.
And who knows - maybe someone there, or someone else reading the news story, was or will be  impressed with how dearly this person holds his tefillin and will consider wearing tefillin once, or more often, or doing other mitzvos as a result.








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potential budget cuts threaten government

The fights over the budget have begun in full force. While such fights happen every year (or two) when it is time to prepare and pass the budget, with the government holding only 61 votes, such fighting becomes more critical.

Bennet is threatening that if the education budget is cut he won't vote in favor of the budget. Deri is threatening if the budget doesn't include certain tax cuts he won't vote in favor. There is talk about a possible stand down regarding the budget for culture. And normally there is a fight over the defense budget, which I am sure will be coming in the near future, along with other ministries fightng over their budgets.

While this is expected and normal, in a normal year the government could survive easily even if a few people are upset about their budgets being slashed. With a government that only has a bare majority, each and every coalition member has to be happy and satisfied or could carry out his threat and bring down the government. And with each and every coalition MK wielding so much power to bring down the government over anything, even if it is a trivial matter, the PM and Finance Minister become that much more squeezable.

So, it looks like we are in for an interesting week, from a political perspective. As if the week was not already interesting enough..


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Jews and Muslims Stand Up Against Violence in Joint Prayer (video)







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Modest bathing suit company making waves (video)

nice!

and these Orthodox Jewish women and their company were also written up in the Wall Street Journal





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mk STav Shafir against Habayit shel Meshugaim (video)








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Aug 2, 2015

the judge that wants the Beit Hamikdash built

a bunch of years ago some kid in Rishon LeTzion threw a rock at a Haredi kid from a nearby school. The rock hit the kid and injured his eye.

The injured student has sued the Iryah of Rishon and the insurance company as a result of his injury.

Whatever happened in the court case happened, and the court ruled payment of damages of 70,000nis to the injured child.

The interesting part is in the decision, handed down during the 9 Days just over a week ago, the judge wrote that "we should be able to overcome the baseless hatred that consumes us, on the way to the building of the Third Beit Hamikdash, which should be soon speedily in our days"
source: Kikar

how many judges write such things in their court decisions?


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who knows 10? I know 9!

in the lead-up to the new program of paid parking around Bet Shemesh, the Iryah is going on a media blitz announcing the program and promoting it. They are putting ads in all the papers making sure people know that soon parking in many areas around town will be paid, along with promos of why it is so good and beneficial to the residents.

The ad below has a little snafu...

It is titled "10 Things you should know about parking, and parking lots, and everything in between"..

yet in the body of the ad there are only 9 bullet points.

Oops.






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Police out of control in response to Shlissel attack on LGBT Pride Parade

There are reports that the police were not allowing people with a Haredi appearance to pass in the direction of downtown Jerusalem last night, towards Ben Yehuda street.

The reason for blocking Haredim from going to Ben Yehuda was to keep them away from a rally against the violence and the stabbing that happened by a Haredi man at the LGBT parade the other day.

As if all haredi-looking people are threats for potential stabbings, because one was.

On the one hand it is a bit surreal to see Haredi websites (Ladaat, Kikar) supporting Haredim to go hang out on Ben Yehuda street, or even just being upset that the police were not allowing them to. I could probably imagine a few of my rebbeim from back in my yeshiva days that would give a sigh of relief to such reports and be happy the police are stopping the yeshiva boys and frum Jews from going there.

On the other hand, the police preventing all such people from going there is collective punishment, probably with no threat (at least there was none reported in the news).

This is similar to the barriers put up around Jerusalem in front of some bus stops and train stops to prevent car attacks. Instead of dealing with the terror, they put barriers up all around town. Instead of dealing with violent people, they'll just stop everybody looking a certain way from going there.

The police failed at their job. This Shlissel guy had been in jail for 10 years for doing the exact same thing 10 years ago at another LGBT parade. He got out 3 weeks ago. The police couldn't keep track of him, considering him a real potential threat? There is no reason he should have been allowed within a kilometer of this parade.

And to cover up their own failures, the police are taking it out on everybody else.

The police are failures in general. Between the sexual abuse accusations against much of the top echelon, and the accusations all over of undue violence by the police, and now such a failure like this, it is fair enough to say the police system in general is a big failure and needs to be revamped. They hardly provide any personal security to citizens around the country, and are mostly an authorized terror organization at this point.

Another example is a report that the police arrested someone in Kiryat Malachi. The cause? He wrote something on Facebook in support of Shlissel. They arrested him and sent him for psychiatric evaluation. source: Srugim

This fellow might be warped. He might have misplaced priorities. But saying something in support of Shlissel is not a reason for arrest. If the police of Israel are now also the thought police, if they decide what people can and cannot say, we are all in big trouble.

According to another report on Kikar, they arrested/detained a woman whose husband opposed the pride parade. They arrested the wife because they could not find the husband.

Is that a thing now? If a husband does something illegal, they can arrest his wife? According to the report the husband did not even do anything illegal, unless by now the police have declared it illegal to be opposed to a pride parade and express that verbally. The police are deciding on their own whim, which in my opinion is not reliable in any way based on the internal problems within the Israel Police, what people can and cannot say, what they can and cannot think, and who they feel like arresting.

Give Shlissel the electric chair. I don't really care. Put him away for life. Shlissel is not the story here. The real story is the police. The Minister of Internal Security, the man responsible for the police force, should be pressured to revamp the police system.


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