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September 30, 2014 / 6 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Petach Tikva’

New Netanyahu Coalition Govt All Cobbled and Ready, Maybe

Monday, March 18th, 2013

On Monday evening, the Knesset will host the swearing in ceremony for Israel’s 33rd government, and Benjamin Netanyahu’s third term—second consecutive—as prime minister (his first term ran from June 1996 to July 1999).

Immediately after the ceremony, Netanyahu will convene a brief cabinet meeting, with a toast. Then the bunch (22 ministers and 8 deputies) will travel to the presidential residence, for the traditional group picture.

The Knesset session will open with the selection of the Speaker of the House. It will likely be Likud MK Yuli Edelstein, who will replace the former Speaker, Reuven Rivlin, who wanted very much to continue in his post but, unfortunately, had committed the ultimate sin of criticizing the Prime Minister’s anti-democratic tendencies, not the kind of slight which Netanyahu’s wife Sara easily forgives.

As usual, Netanyahu never shared with Rivlin his plan to depose him. In fact, as far back as a year ago, he assured the popular Speaker—who is also closely associated with the Settlement movement—that he’d have his support for the post of President when Shimon Peres completes his 7-year term, 2014.

Yuli Edelstein’s life’s story is fascinating: Born in the Soviet Union to Jewish parents who converted to Christianity (his father is a Russian Orthodox priest), Edelstein discovered his Jewish connection through his grandparents. He studied Hebrew back when that was considered a subversive act, for which, in 1984, he was sent to Siberia (the charges were drug related, but everybody knew it was the Hebrew thing). He made aliyah with his wife, Tanya, served in the army, and entered politics, ending up in the Knesset in 1996. He has switched between several parties, until finally landing in the Likud, and has held several ministerial portfolios. And if he doesn’t catch Sara’s ire, he could become as memorable a Speaker as Rubie Rivlin.

But the biggest losers, without a doubt, are the Haredi parties, Shas and United Torah Judaism. They were almost literally kicked out by Yair Lapid, who stated openly that, should he be seen in the government group picture with the Haredim, his voters would abandon him. Surprisingly, Naftali Bennett, his newly found brother from a different father (Yair’s father, the late MK Tommy Lapid, was a true hater of the religion), supported the dubious position that, in order to truly help the Haredi public, government had to first be cleared of Haredi partners.

Shas, a party that depends completely on patronage for its very existence, is seething with anger over Bennett’s “betrayal.” It’s hard, however, to take seriously the victimized self-pity of Shas, whose spiritual father Rav Ovadia Yosef dubbed the Jewish Home party a “Goy Home.” Altogether, it appears that, perhaps counter intuitively, the National Religious leaders as well as the rank and file, have been harboring heaps of resentment against the Haredim. The Haredi slights of several decades, including their occupation of the Ministry of Religious Services and the Chief rabbinate, doling out jobs to Haredi officials who reigned over a population that looks nothing like them—those slighted chickens have been coming back to roost.

Take for instance Rabbi Hayim Drukman, who responded to both the Haredi pols and to Netanyahu, who accused the Lapid-Bennett axis of “boycotting” the Haredi parties. Rabbi Drukman Argued that “the Haredi public are the biggest boycotters, boycotting for years the Torah of the national religious public.”

“Any Haredi apparatchik who gets elected to the Knesset, immediately becomes a rabbi, while the real rabbis of the national religious public are noted in the Haredi press by their first names (without the title ‘Rabbi’). Is this not boycotting?” Rabbi Druckman wrote in the Saturday shul paper “Olam Katan.”

Inside Shas, the short knives have already been drawn and they’re aimed at MK Aryeh Deri, the former convict who came back from the cold to lead Shas into a glorious stalemate (11 seats before, 11 after).

“We were very disappointed in Deri,” a senior Shas pol told Ma’ariv. “He did not bring the votes he promised Rav Ovadia, there was no significant change in seats, and, in fact, Deri is responsible for our failure.”

In United Torah Judaism they also seem to regret their alliance with Shas, it’s highly likely that, in a few months, they’ll opt to enter the government without Shas.

Hero’s Funeral to Settler Who Defended Soldiers from Infiltrators

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Lior Farchi, the 43 year-old chief of security in the Samaria region Jewish community of Shaarei Tikva who was run over by a 25 year old Arab from Kafr Qasem, will be laid to rest at 2pm on Monday in a military ceremony at the Segula Cemetery in Petach Tikva.

He is survived by a pregnant wife and three young children.

Lior Farchi

Lior Farchi

In an interview with the Israel HaYom newspaper, friend Dvir Carmon stated that he and Farchi were taking video of Palestinian Authority residents illegally crossing a security barrier when two IDF soldiers began running after the lawbreakers.  When a car began heading toward the soldiers, Farchi joined the chase, and drew his gun, signaling the car to pull over when it seemed the driver the soldiers over.  When Farchi aimed his weapon at the car, rather than slowing down, the vehicle veered toward him, sped up, and ran him over.

The incident, which is still being categorized as a hit-and-run accident by police rather than a terror attack, occurred at the intersection between Shaarei Tikva and Oranite on Route 505.  Farchi was treated by emergency medical personnel at the scene and evacuated to Beilinson Hospital’s Rabin Medical Center in Petach Tikva, where he succumbed to his wounds.

The suspects abandoned their vehicle down the road.  Following a broad manhunt including helicopters, two suspects were arrested in Jaffa.  Investigations determined that the car had likely been stolen from a resident of Rosh HaAyin, who reported a missing vehicle sometime later.

Major General Amos Yaakov, commander of the Shai District police, called the hit intentional, and Danny Dayan, head of the Yesha Council of Judea and Samaria, called the event a terror attack.

Reports indicate that Carmon was able to capture the event on the same camera used to film the illegal PA infiltration.  A gag order has been put into place, and no footage is being released.

Farchi is being officially recognized as an IDF soldier who fell in the line of duty.

Police are searching for additional suspects.

New Immigrant Real Estate Quest Is Determined By a Variety of Issues

Monday, November 21st, 2011

The wave of Anglo immigration to the Jewish State during the past decade has played a key role in changing the demographic complexities of towns and cities across Israel, as well as improving the bottom lines of more than a few private and public building companies.

In pristine suburbs such as Beit Shemesh and Modi’in, the influx of new immigrants has raised the quality of life quotient, as well as local real estate prices. Though exact figures are hard to determine, there are numerous indicators which show that Anglo immigrants have invested a minimum of $300 million dollars into Israel’s burgeoning real estate marketplace during the past decade (according to a variety of real estate brokers, most Anglo immigrant families will spend anywhere from $250,000 to $600,000 towards the purchase of a home or apartment). And with an additional 3,000-4,000 new olim making the move to the Promised Land on an annual basis, local real estate agents and builders will continue to reap the benefits.

According to Nefesh B’Nefesh, most new immigrant couples and families tend to rent apartments during their first year in Israel, as part of getting acclimated to their surroundings. Once couples and families have integrated themselves into Israeli society, the quest for a dream property begins in earnest. The ‘quality of life’ checklist to determine if a particular town or city suits a new immigrant’s needs could include: Job opportunities, reputable education, variety of religious and cultural outlets, easy access transportation, parks, shopping and activities for children.

In cities such as Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh and Modi’in, living close to friends, family and business colleagues have impacted local real estate markets. Up until late 2010, when the Bank of Israel changed the interest rates and tax rules governing “buyer’s groups”, a sizeable number of new immigrants had banded together to purchase entire residential complexes!

Which cities continue to offer a variety of real estate opportunities, as well as a high-quality of life quotient to current and potential olim? Here is an abridged list of the Top 10 marketplaces:

Jerusalem-The idea of owning a property in the Holy City continues to lure a select group of singles, couples and families alike. There is nothing like experiencing the history and unique lifetsyle within the city’s fascinating neighborhoods. However, a lack of new building projects and skyrocketing rental rates is pushing many young couples and families to more affordable suburban regions in close proximity to Jerusalem.

Beit Shemesh-This city of over 100,000 residents, along with its Haredi satellite, Ramat Beit Shemesh, was the first suburban Jerusalem region to benefit from the initial wave of Anglo immigrants via Nefesh B’Nefesh. The affordable housing, large green parks, quality schools, as well as direct rail and bus service to hi-tech and business centers in nearby Jerusalem (20 minutes) and Tel Aviv (45 minutes) has lured thousands of English-speaking immigrants.

Modi’in-Equidistant between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, with a direct rail link to Ben-Gurion Airport (15 minutes), Tel Aviv and beyond, the country’s fastest growing metropolitan region, has attracted hundreds of Anglo families to the newly constructed Kaiser and Buchman neighborhoods. As a result, prices in Modi’in have risen dramatically in recent years. The city of Modi’in continues to work closely with the Anglo community in developing more educational options, religious centers and activities for youngsters. During the past few years, Beit Shemesh and Modiin have boasted quality Little League and adult amateur baseball programs.

Rehovot-A massive construction boom is underway within close proximity to the city’s various hi-tech zones and the Weizmann Institute. Many of the residential projects are beginning to attract significant interest from established and new immigrant Anglo families. The city, which is located in the heart of the Coastal Plain, highlights an excellent educational, religious and cultural infrastructure. Upgraded bus, rail and highway links can whisk residents to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in less than an hour.

‘What’s Happening In The World? – I’m Afraid’

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Special Note: I would like to thank the many people who have written expressing their appreciation for my series of columns titled “When Children Fall Through the Cracks.” I am most grateful for the overwhelming response and I hope everyone who wrote will understand that while I would have liked to publish all the letters, for the time being I am closing the discussion to focus on the many other subjects that have reached my desk.

The following are just two letters that convey the fear and worry people have regarding the rapidly deteriorating world situation.

Letter # 1: Fear of Tomorrow

Dear Rebbetzin:

The world is a scary place right now. The Middle East situation threatens our safety; our economy is nearer to collapse than many people would even imagine; natural disasters are hitting with alarming frequency and devastation, and being a Jew is more of an inherent risk, even in our “civilized” society, than it was before.

I’m just a regular frum woman struggling financially, trying to raise a family and terrified for the future of my children. What can we do? Clearly, Hashem is telling us something. Clearly, something is brewing, but I don’t know what to do with this knowledge. Many say to move to Eretz Yisrael. That’s not an option for everyone. I know the obvious answer is do teshuvah and daven. I know a FFB (frum from birth) woman is not supposed to say these kinds of things, but before and during the Holocaust many people, many mothers like myself, davened plenty and it didn’t save them or their children.

Maybe I am being childish and shallow and shortsighted, but when it comes to the safety of my family, I can’t stomach the “sometimes Hashem says no” line of reasoning. I want to know how to get a “yes” – how to make sure that whatever happens, we will be fed and warm and together and alive.

Spiritually, the world situation makes me feel farther from Hashem than ever. I feel small and helpless, doomed to go with the tide. I can see the writing on the wall and there is nowhere to run. Anyone I have tried to bring this up to, including my husband, either thinks I’m an alarmist and paranoid or gives me tired clichés that really don’t answer any of my specific concerns.

You, Rebbetzin, are a Holocaust survivor and have seen times like this before in your life, at least in some respects. You have a strong faith and are blessed to be able to see through some of the smog to a glimmer of truth and make it understandable to the masses. What can a frum mother with shaken faith and fear for the future do, in practical, realistic steps, to protect herself and her children from the turmoil brewing in the world and whatever it cooks up?

Letter # 2: From a Holocaust Survivor

Dear Rebbetzin Jungreis:

I hope you will get this letter. I have been told you only respond to e-mail, but I do not know how to write e-mails. I am eighty-five years old, and though my little great-grandchildren have no difficulty getting on the computer, I cannot get used to it. All this new technology bewilders me and makes me feel out of touch with this generation. I have shared my feelings with some of my friends, and they agree – we all feel so unintelligent, so lost in these times. Very often, my friends and I feel like has-beens, and that, I must say, that is not a pleasant feeling.

It’s not easy getting old, but I’m not complaining. I’m most grateful that I’m not, G-d forbid, in a hospital or a nursing home – that I’m here, alive and comparatively well, while most of my friends no longer are. I must add that I’m even grateful to Hashem that I am able to collect my thoughts and write this letter to you. I know very well that, sadly, not all people my age are able to do this. Nevertheless, I still feel frustrated, not only because of the technology, but because I feel my thoughts and concerns are dismissed.

Ours is a youth culture, and people have no respect for the elderly. When I speak, my children and grandchildren listen respectfully – but they dismiss my words and attribute everything that I say to my Holocaust experiences and my age. I don’t want you to get the wrong impression – they are good children, but I can see by their reactions that they don’t take me seriously. So let me share my worries with you.

I was born in Poland. My parents were wonderful people who were always kind and considerate of others.When the Holocaust began, we were all taken to Auschwitz. My parents and younger brothers were immediately taken to the gas chambers and my sister (three years younger than me) and I survived.

After our liberation, we were taken to a D.P. (displaced persons) camp where I met and married my beloved husband, a”h. We came to America in 1947. My sister, on the other hand, went to Israel and settled in Petach Tikva where she lives to this day. She is also a widow; her husband, a”h., passed away six years ago. She has two children – one lives in Tel Aviv and the other in Ranana.

Upon arriving in America, I was determined to learn English and educate myself. I wanted to become a productive person in my new environment. My husband and I built quite a successful business, which my children are now running, and I retired ten years ago. Sometimes I think I should have stayed in the business. My days are long – I have too much time to think – but then again, I realize that nowadays business transactions are done by computer, and that is a foreign world for me.

I follow the news regularly and, frankly, am terrified by what I read, see, and hear. I see pre-Holocaust Europe being repeated all over again and no one is paying attention. And now that Eretz Yisrael is being surrounded on all sides by Muslim terrorists who openly proclaim that their main agenda is to, heaven forbid, annihilate our people, I am overwhelmed by fear. It doesn’t leave me for a second!

When I speak to my sister (we call each other once a week) she expresses the same fears. And even as no one takes me seriously here and attributes all my worries to my Holocaust past, so she finds the same reaction to her worries in Eretz Yisrael. It seems that people who did not experience that gehenom first hand cannot understand – just like we couldn’t understand what was happening in Europe before the barbaric evil of the Nazis became a reality.

Rebbetzin, my fears do not leave me. I am not afraid for myself – I am already eighty-five – but I fear for my children and grandchildren and for all our Jewish people. So I am writing to you now because you too are a Holocaust survivor and you never hesitate to speak out. You are a woman of great faith, committed to our Torah and mitzvos and if there is anyone who can understand and give some guidance, it is surely you. I hope you will receive this letter and that you will respond to it through your column. Again, I emphasize that I’m not seeking this guidance for myself – I am old, but I am worried for our people.

(To be continued)

Reflections Of You And Me

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

I had to catch the 6:13 a.m. train from Petach Tikva to Modiin. Otherwise, I would be late for the bar mitzvah. I showed up at the train station at 5:45. It was locked. I asked the guard when they would be opening. He said, “Soon.”

I began to feel anxious.

True, it would take only five minutes from the time I entered the station to board the train. But I have always liked to be early, in plenty of time.

I threatened to complain. The guard was unfazed. Eventually, more people arrived and he opened the gate. The cashier at the ticket booth had not yet arrived. It was 6:05. A young female guard said that if the cashier didn’t come in time, I could pay on the train.

“But why wouldn’t the guard tell me when the station opened?” I asked her.

“It depends,” she answered sweetly.

“On what?”

“We have regulations.”

“What are the regulations?”

She shrugged.

“I might miss my train!”

“Everything is from Above.”

Meanwhile, the ticket booth lady had arrived. Though filled with anxiety, I decided not to complain. It is my job in this world to fix myself, not other people. I felt ashamed of my mounting negative feelings. Though the guard had angered me, he had not actually caused me any harm.

Since I was struggling to make a living, I didn’t think it was auspicious to threaten someone else’s job. I decided to let it go.

My trip required me to change trains in Tel Aviv. I had planned to get off at the last stop, but something made me get off at the central terminal. I had about 20 minutes before my connecting train, and sat down on a bench to say Tehillim.

A scruffy, bareheaded man wearing an earring and smelling of cigarette smoke passed by.

“Tehillim is a good thing,” he said. I acknowledged his remark and called after him, “So say some!”

He walked back to me.

“I have a Tehillim in my bag but I don’t use it.” He took out a book to show me.

“Why don’t you?” I asked.

“Because I don’t know what to say.”

I explained that the Tehillim book was divided into days of the week and days of the month. He decided to say Tehillim for that day, a Thursday.

“I need to cover my head, right?” He rummaged through his bag, pulled out a scruffy kippah, and placed it awkwardly on his head.

He sat down next to me on the bench, and we proceeded to say Tehillim together in whispers. I felt Divinely blessed. These were special moments.

When we finished, I showed him the prayer he could say after reciting Tehillim. He said he’d recite it on the train. He then expressed an interest in learning more Torah. He told me he went to a kollel every morning to put on Tefillin. I made a suggestion or two for Torah classes.

We parted with blessings for one another as the train pulled up.

This fellow passenger was obviously a Divine emissary. After all, something had made me get off at this station, and our meeting had great significance.

The two incidents, the one with the guard and the one with the man, took place half an hour apart. I contemplated on the tremendous difference in the interactions.

The Ba’al Shem Tov said that we are all reflections of one another. We show others what they have inside them, and they reflect our flaws and virtues back to us.

At any moment, we can either inspire others or bring out the worst in them. The choice is ours.

We are all like trains passing each other on our journeys, stopping briefly to make deliveries at each other’s stations.

The female guard was right.

Everything is from Above!

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/jewish-columns/lessons-in-emunah/reflections-of-you-and-me/2010/01/13/

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