Israel is a land that was, according to the Bible and logic, very fertile. I believe I read somewhere that when the Romans conquered Judea and sent the Jews into exile, they salted the earth to prevent our return. I googled it...yeah, google is now a verb... and there are more than 50,000,000 references to it. I didn't click on them to see if it was true or not. The bottom line is still the same.
Haveil Havalim is a great idea (I'm not going to post the normal shpiel here - just let me say it's our way of sharing a whole bunch of interesting blogs and blog posts that were posted this last week in the Jewish-Israel blogsphere.
I keep hearing the words of Charles Woods as he speaks of his son Tyrone. Tyrone was a Navy SEAL - who did what Navy SEALS have been doing for as long as they have existed - he went to the aid of his fellow Americans. For 7 hours, he fought terrorists. He and Glen Doherty managed to hold them off, managed to kill 60 of them, according to some reports. And in all that time, no Americans arrived to help them, to save them. No one came to their aid despite repeated requests, despite available assets.
Ever have a day going along just fine until something comes and floors you? I wasn't feeling well last night and thought of skipping work...but I had to do this, I had to do that...so I came in saying that maybe I'll crash tomorrow. Yesterday morning started sluggish, but I hit my stride and I chugged along happily cleaning things off my desk. I'm tried to watch what is happening with the massive hurricane hitting the U.S.; trying to switch windows, worrying about whether Gaza has decided to fire another rocket at Israel. And then, I saw this message on Twitter and I just stopped and took a deep breath.
Both men are, above all else, pragmatic. They will defy logic and critics to shake up the political spectrum. Bibi has done it several times. A few months ago, polls guaranteed him a sure win if he called early elections. The announcements were made; dates were discussed and then, in the dead of night, he made a deal to unite with Kadima. No surprise to anyone, that deal fell apart rather quickly and Israel is once again on the path to elections.
I've been reading about the airstrikes in Sudan. I first read about it as part of a threat from Khartoum, that they reserve the right to strike Israel back. It was, according to the Sudanese, a foregone conclusion that Israel was responsible. My first reaction was a snicker that combined two thoughts simultaneously, "yeah, like they can reach us" and "sheesh, something explodes and they blame us." I stand by the first response, but retract the second one.
There's a superstitious thought that when you invite tragedy, it happily walks through the door. A second, more pragmatic view, is that when you prepare for it, you are better able to cope. Israel takes the second view as today we once again take part in the Turning Point 6 nation-wide exercise preparing us not only for earthquakes, but several other disasters.
The entire walk through the canyon lasts about an hour - you walk through it, sliding down in some locations, squeezing between rocks in others. Then, you have a choice - this way back to the parking lot; that way to go deeper into the canyon. The sun was setting and the colors were amazing; as the sun touched the mountains, the red stone deepened and the golden sons glistened. We turned back to the parking lot because I didn't want to be out there in the dark.
Here on vacation I woke up in the middle of the night to watch the second debate. I had not seen either the first one or the VP debate, though I saw and read clips. I thought I would be bored; I wasn't. I hoped I would be impressed - I was...by Mitt Romney.
Eilat is a different world from most of Israel - they like it that way; they want it that way. But more and more, security is coming down here. My overwhelming memory of Eilat remains that one visit, four years ago, on our 25th wedding anniversary, when Elie's unit came under terror attack in Jerusalem as they were walking to the Western Wall days before Rosh Hashana.
What sets us apart from most people can be summed up so easily. Did you know that Sunday was the anniversary of the death of Shimon HaTzadik? He died about 2,300 years ago, give or take, and we know who he was, who his father was, what he did in his life, and where he is buried. And yesterday hundreds of Israelis likely visited his grave.
As the men danced around below us, I had a lot of time to notice the people who were there - many are friends and neighbors of mine; children and grandchildren of people I know. The rabbi that is so loved in this community; a woman who regularly collects food for needy people. This one has a child who is ill; a boy with Down Syndrome who is so loved and cherished. This family has more boys than I can count; this one just had a daughter who got married. She's a grandmother now. Her son just got engaged. That one there is married to her over there. And on and on - a community of people.
On Simchat Torah we celebrate having successfully read the entire Torah over the space of a year.
Once again, the nonsense that a child is wiping up blood in Gaza as a picture is used again. This time, it is claimed by Syrian rebels to be a child there. In defending the Syrian rebels, Linda Juniper attempts to set the story straight...and misses completely.
Whatever is meant to happen, will happen. The best thing we can do is simply have faith.
One inevitable fact I have learned after almost 20 years here is that tomorrow will come, as planned, as designed, no matter what I do.
I clicked on the link and came to a YouTube video called "Dignified Transfer." I watched every second of it. Tears began to fall just as the plane came into view the first time.
Honestly, that message could have been delivered from New York.
The Egyptians have never proven themselves to be particularly open or honest in their dealings with Israel. At least four wars have been fought between our countries. Peace is a fragile thing that must be nurtured. It must be built on honest dealings and trust. Moving tanks and anti-aircraft missiles violates not only the agreement, but the trust as well.
We would have three minutes if an attack came from Lebanon. Three minutes to get to shelter - and worry about where everyone else is and if they got to shelter in time. That's if the missiles come from Lebanon. I don't know how much time we'd have if the attack came from Syria or Iran...more, less, who knows.
Can you understand the concept that a young mother was happy that her son now had a gas mask? When you can, you'll understand what it is to be Israeli - at least in part.
I wonder if anyone in the Olympics has thought of the reality that people in Israel's south live with every day.
There is one great truth that all Israelis know; that all Jews have accepted. Today's modern Jew, at least in Israel, is different than the Jew of yesteryear.
I read an article today. My emotions went up and down as I read it, ending with the thought that the man in the story was about to embark on a journey of a thousand steps and that somewhere along that journey, his grandparents would smile.
Yesterday, Gaza supporters began tweeting that Israeli helicopters were randomly firing... I saw the video. It does not look random to me.