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September 29, 2016 / 26 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘chance’

What’s Important to America?

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

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.

Obama is a known quantity, struggling again to run not on his record, but on words again. I don’t believe he should be given that grace again. Romney isn’t asking to be judged by his words, and that is refreshing. He wants us to look at what he has done in his life – built a successful business, raised a successful family, governing successfully for his state.

Obama lied. I listened to his suddenly claiming from the start that Libya was a terrorist attack. He said that the day after the attack, before flying off for his next fundraising trip in Las Vegas, that he had condemned the Libyan Consulate attack as a terrorist action and said the U.S. would hunt down those who had perpetrated the crime. That’s not what he said at the time. In fact, it was many lies and two weeks later, before he admitted it was, without question, not the movie but terrorism.

The fact that Candy Crowley tried to help the president out should, justifiably, be ashamed. If there was a loser in last night’s debate, I think it was the moderator. She had the chance to be fair; she wasn’t. She had the chance to truly shape a debate of the people; she chose questions that were what she wanted and asked her own questions.

The president lied about licensing for federal lands. It’s been proven that Romney was, again, speaking the truth and the president was lying. Why were lies allowed?

I had heard this would be a debate focusing on foreign policy and I was interested to hear what Obama thinks about Iran and Israel. It wasn’t covered and I’m still not sure why. Israel was mentioned only once – by Romney in an accusation that Obama has not been supporting Israel. Obama did not respond, did not say anything about Israel. Iran, a major threat to my country, was not mentioned at all.

Again and again, I listened to the questions and I watched Obama. The simple fact is that after being absent at the first debate, as most people felt he was, there was no question that he would do better – and he did. But I don’t think it was enough.

The simple truth is that few are likely to change their vote based on this debate – but hopefully, people will take the time to swim through the lies. Again and again, I turned to my husband and said – well, that’s nice, if only that was the question.

Again and again, the questions came back to what seems to be the most important issue for America – the economy. I heard plans from Romney; I heard words from Obama. When he did speak of plans, I kept wondering why he did not implement those in his first four years. He accused the Republicans of blocking his plans – he is always quick to blame others for his failures. But for the first two years, he had the full support of a Democratically-controlled Senate and House for the first two years he was in office. The Republicans couldn’t have blocked him from doing anything…no?

I found the president to be filled with words…words aimed at creating a picture that he has failed to create in four years. Why should he be given another four? Worse, why would we want to put in a lame duck president at this critical time, who won’t be able to run for another four years and therefore will do whatever he wants.

In short, putting Obama in the White House is just not an option…at least for me, and hopefully not for the majority of Americans.

Visit A Soldier’s Mother

Paula R. Stern

Designer Sukkah

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

I went looking for interesting Sukkah images online, and most of them repeated the familiar decoration themes, some with more natural ingredients, others with the more common, colorful paper cutouts. They were pretty, and I’m sure there are hundreds, if not thousands of Sukkot out there that are breathtakingly original and beautiful.

But so far, the image that hit me with its daring to say something brand new about the very concept of the Shukkah – and do it within the halachic guidelines, appeared two years ago on the website Tapuz.co.il.

So elegant, so different, so very designer…

We have gone the less imaginative route of the prefab Sukkah, which still looks delicious.

I’ve started to count the minutes until I get the chance to bench lulav in my little Sukkah, in Eretz Israel, Monday morning…

But for now, let’s all covet our neighbor’s designer Sukkah…

Yori Yanover

Kipah-Wearing Teen Wows ‘America’s Got Talent’ Semis

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Edon Pinchot, a kipah-wearing Jewish day school student, won cheers from the live audience and the judges in the semifinals of “America’s Got Talent.”

Pinchot, 14, of Skokie, Ill., performed One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” on the popular NBC reality show and received a standing ovation from the live audience. Judge Howie Mandel told Pinchot that he is “the best singer of the competition.”

The teen was among 12 acts performing live Tuesday night. Other semifinalists joining Pinchot, a singer and pianist, included singers, a dancer, a dog ventriloquist, an acrobat, a mind reader and a comedian.

The second set of 12 semifinalists will perform Sept. 4.

Should enough TV viewers cast their votes for Pinchot, he will advance to the finals and a chance to take home the $1 million prize. He has performed an audition, in the Vegas round and in the quarterfinals to reach the semis. His kipah has made him a focal point for viewers.

Pinchot, who is Sabbath observant and keeps kosher, is the fourth of five children and has been playing piano since he was 9. His grandmother, Ginger Pinchot of Silver Spring, Md., says Edon is “very athletic. He’s one of the stars of his soccer team, and he’s also a straight A student. He’s just kind of an all-around guy.”

The show’s three judges — Mandel, Sharon Osbourne and Howard Stern — are Jewish.

Pinchot will be starting high school soon at the Ida Crown Jewish Academy in Chicago.

JTA

Kipah-Wearing Teen Set for ‘America’s Got Talent’ Semis

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Edon Pinchot, a kipah-wearing Jewish day school student, will be performing in the semifinals of “America’s Got Talent.”

Pinchot, 14, of Skokie, Ill., will be among 12 acts performing live Tuesday night on the popular NBC reality show before a a television audience that could top 10 million. The second set of 12 semifinalists will perform Sept. 4.

Other semifinalists joining Pinchot, a singer and pianist, on Tuesday’s show include singers, a dancer, a dog ventriloquist, an acrobat, a mind reader and a comedian.

Should enough TV viewers cast their votes for Pinchot, he will advance to the finals and a chance to take home the $1 million prize. He has performed an audition, in the Vegas round and in the quarterfinals to reach the semis. His kipah has made him a focal point for viewers.

Pinchot,  who is Sabbath observant and keeps kosher, is the fourth of five children and has been playing piano since he was 9. His grandmother, Ginger Pinchot of Silver Spring, Md., says Edon is “very athletic. He’s one of the stars of his soccer team, and he’s also a straight A student. He’s just kind of an all-around guy.”

The show’s three judges — Howie Mandel, Sharon Osbourne and Howard Stern — are Jewish.

Pinchot will be starting high school soon at the Ida Crown Jewish Academy in Chicago.

JTA

Sheikh Boycotts Interfaith Conference Because of Jews

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

This might be the funniest story so far this week: according to Egypt Independent, the head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, has announced that he will boycott the 8th Doha International Center for Interfaith Dialogue conference, a three-day event is scheduled to begin on Tuesday.

Al-Qaradawi said he opposes any discourse with Jews in principle. Sources close to the Sheikh tried to soften the message, saying he rejects Jews based on their political, rather than religious, affiliation. Which, means he will meet with Neturei Karta and, maybe, Satmar, but that’s where he draws the line.

Indeed, sources said al-Qaradawi has met with representatives from Naturei Karta.

Maybe Noam Chomsky and Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, too.

A statement from al-Qaradawi’s office last Monday said he took part in the first three conferences, at which only Muslims and Christians participated, but that he refused to attend when Jews began participating.

“How can we conduct a dialogue in a time when they seize lands, shed blood, burn farms, and demolish houses? Palestine’s conundrum has to be resolved first before we sit together at the same table,” the statement quoted al-Qaradawi as saying.

Al-Qaradawi’s stance is supported by a number of Al-Azhar scholars. What a shock.

“There is no need to engage in a dialogue with Zionists,” said Abdel Mouty Bayoumi, a member of the Islamic Research Academy. “But Jews who denounce the Zionist occupation of Palestinian territories are welcomed, and we had supported al-Qaradawi in meeting with Jews of this second kind.”

There’s a third kind of Jews, of course, over in Auschwitz – those are the best.

You know, if it were just a few quirky, fanatical individuals, we could give them a pass. But I suspect this notion—of the Jews’ independence as a militarily strong nation being beyond the pale—is the pervasive Arab view.

They won’t even wrestle on the same gym mat as us at the Olympics.

Shouldn’t we, too, set up some preconditions to a dialogue? Like, promise you won’t round me us the first chance you get and send me somewhere to die. I think that would be a nice start. Tell me you’re impressed by this amazing Western, affluent, technologically superior country we’ve built here, where Arabs enjoy the greatest degree of freedom on the planet. That would be a step, too.

On second thought, not such a funny story after all.

Yori Yanover

Obama For Sale

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

http://sultanknish.blogspot.co.il/2012/07/obama-for-sale.html

Summer is traditionally a weak shopping season, but lately the bargains just keep on coming. First there was an offer to have dinner with Obama and now a chance to have him there in your family photo. You can bid on an opportunity to wish Obama a happy birthday in person with the present that he likes best… money.

The prices are reasonable, and there are so many ways to buy Obama. You can play the dinner lottery or ask your wedding guests to gift to Obama. The Barack Obama website accepts all payments, Visa, Discover, Master Card, foreign donations and stolen credit cards.

The opportunities are endless. Birthdays, wedding anniversaries, major disasters; everything is just another reminder to give till it hurts. All you have to do is click one of the many buttons beneath the color-tuned hues of Instagram photos of Obama or his worse half smiling while the country slides deeper into poverty and debt.

There’s a reason that they call America “The Land of Opportunity.” Sure it’s gotten a lot harder to come here and make a fortune with your own business, but buying time with the man at the top has just gotten a lot more affordable. You may not have the big wallet of a Warren Buffett or a George Soros and you won’t cash in to the tune of a few billion dollars like they did; but for 25 bucks you might end up briefly exchanging pleasantries with the man who is slowly sending you to the poorhouse.

The designers are working overtime digging up retro fonts that summon up the image of a more prosperous America. There are so many Obama portrait shirts that they will be filling up landfills for generations. More likely, they’ll be shipped over to the Third World, along with all the other surplus clothes that people donate once the trend has passed or they no longer fit, and, somewhere in an African village, children in the year 2021 will run around playing in “Obama 2012” t-shirts and Islamic terrorists in the Sahara will execute rebellious women while wearing “Forward” shirts.

You can get a “This is Change” shirt that lists all the things that Obama has done on the back, but the text is too small to read on the website, so, like ObamaCare and Obama 2012, you will have to buy it to find out what’s in it and on it.

There’s a collar for cats that says, “I Meow for Michelle” and an 85-dollar Vera Wang tote bag with Obama inside a scrawled heart. There’s an Obama-themed dog collar, to express the relationship between the administration and its lapdogs, and a t-shirt with an all-red American flag that has a distinctly Soviet feel to it. There’s a 65-dollar polo shirt designed by rapper and Farrakhan supporter Russell Simmons; which is just a generic polo shirt with a small Obama logo.

A Joe Biden cup holder sits next to a knit Obama dog sweater, a silver Obama brooch, an Obama basketball jersey, an Obama University hoodie, which has a seal but no motto, along with beanies, keychains, more dog collars, water bottles, tumblers, lanyards, cuff links, duffel bags, tube socks and a dog bowl with the Obama logo inside for your dog to drink out of.

Obama isn’t just a politician; he is a Walmart of useless crap. A one-man Ralph Lauren, Abercrombie and Fitch and Ed Hardy with enough t-shirts, polo shirts and bandanas to outfit a small army of young men and women with more credit card limits than taste. And upstairs on the third floor of his cyberspace Target, you can find a plethora of 90-dollar reusable canvas bags from major designers that have become the stamp of consciously responsible consumption.

You can buy Obama and wear Obama all over your body. You can read Obama at the beach, stick him on your toddler, your dog and your cat. You can cover your car, your house and your barn with his stickers. And, if you are truly lucky, you may even win a chance to spend 72 seconds in his presence before you are firmly ushered out to go back to your Obama 2012 car and drive back to your Obama 2012 yard sign where your dog is barking for food in his “Obama Best Friend” collar and then sit down to read through the Help Wanted ads in the paper while wearing an Obama Hope Lapel Pin.

Daniel Greenfield

Peace and the President’s Conference: Can a Realist Believe in Miracles?

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

When I was a little girl I dreamed of becoming Miss America. I wanted to wear the crown, the sash and stand on the huge stage in a sparkling floor-length gown talking about world peace. As I got older, I realized that the likelihood of that dream was slim, but still took pride in carrying around the regal air of positivity. I looked on the bright side and did what I could to make sure the grass on my side of the fence stayed a bright Kelly green. As I walked around the President’s Conference today though, I couldn’t help but feel jaded. Despite President Peres’s plea last night to stay strong about peace, people today were finally saying out loud that it just is an impossibility. After assessing the situation with greater depth each day, I realize that I have a better chance of becoming Miss America than the Middle East does at achieving the serenity it needs.

Sure you can call it cynical, but it’s the truth being expressed by more and more people. We had the chance to speak with Irwin Cotler today, a Member of Parliament for Mount Royal from Canada, who believes in a two state solution. He calls that term short-hand though. He believes that a two state solution is one that involves two states for two peoples. The Israeli government has to recognize the Palestinian state for the Palestinian people and the Jewish people need to be legitimized too. While this could potentially solve problems, it is clear that the chances of this happening are nearly impossible.

In a conference emblazoned with messages about the need for optimism, it could be a mood killer to be the pessimist in the room. But it’s a debate that’s making it into sessions focused on more than the political. “The difference between pessimists and optimists is that they are born the same way and die the same way but live differently,” according to Mr. Maurice Levy, Chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe in France. Levy made the audience laugh with that response during the What’s New in New Media plenary, after he was teased by moderator Dr. Yossi Vardi for being so positive. He said that what we are today has nothing to do with what we will be tomorrow, and has high hopes for the future of technology.

Mr. Stephane Richard, Chairman and CEO of France Telecom Group also shared some upbeat news. His venture fund made an investment in Israel for the first time, and he spoke at the conference as a part of his first trip to the country. Those firsts are echoed in the entire notion of new media’s role in the future. The ability to completely transform everything is what new media is about, according to John Chambers, Chairman and CEO, Cisco Systems Inc. Chambers suggested thinking like a teenager, that young people know where the future of this new media lies better than anyone. Although uplifting, the session didn’t feature any groundbreaking information, only reiterated the importance and ubiquity of connectivity. But it will take way more than technological advancements to put a positive dent in the Middle East crisis. While connecting Arabs and Israelis through smart phones is obviously far more favorable than warfare, the thought is just too far off the radar screen to even fathom.

Despite my negative attitude about dove-like peace descending on Israel anytime in the near future, I will say that Israel’s strength is clear and its defense force is the best chance we have at maintaining stability in its citizens’ everyday life. Because of the military, Israelis and tourists alike can walk around and feel safe. Indeed, it’s unfortunate that an 18 year old boy or girl should have to serve in an army, but it’s a harsh reality that Israelis both accept and are passionate about. That spirit is what will keep Israel not only existing, but flourishing. I think David Ben-Gurion said it best with the quote, “In Israel, in order to be a realist, you must believe in miracles.” With what Israel has been through, it’s a miracle that the nation is still standing today. Miss America or not, let’s keep that positivity coming.

Alex Abel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/special-features/president-conference-israel-2012/peace-and-the-presidents-conference-can-a-realist-believe-in-miracles/2012/06/21/

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