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October 26, 2016 / 24 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Rock’

Border Guard Female Officer Wounded in Rock Throwing

Monday, September 12th, 2016

A female Border Guard officer was injured from a barrage of stones thrown at her unit by Arabs in a village near Tekoa in Gush Etzion.

The officer received first aid and was evacuated for further treatment in a hospital.

David Israel

The Left’s ‘Rock Stars’ Blew It

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

{Originally posted to the Commentary Magazine website}

Day one of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia was all about healing, but the patients in need of therapy seemed to prefer their condition to treatment. The procedural portion of the day was devoted to an airing of grievances among Sanders supporters while the night was designed to provide them with catharsis and a means by which they could reconcile their remaining objections to Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. To facilitate that purification process, Clinton brought in the biggest progressive guns she could: Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders himself. Their performance was, to say the least, underwhelming, and it underscores the extent to which their reputations are utterly undeserved.

For much of the evening, the tension in the hall between Clinton and Sanders supporters was palpable. A small band of the self-described socialist’s backers did their best to inflate their numbers by being as obnoxious as possible; they booed, barked, chanted, and mocked every speaker and every mention of Clinton’s name.

It was still that tough, tense room when first lady Michelle Obama took the stage and delivered what many saw as a passionate, compelling, and transcendent speech. Mrs. Obama’s speech was powerful because it was almost entirely dedicated to reminding the voters in that room of their party’s true adversary in November. It was a subtle vivisection of the anxiety-fueled Trump movement. It was a patriotic defense of the virtues that make America great today, contradicting the downcast Trumpian account of a nation in terminal decline. It was emotional at times, resolute at others; funny when it should have been, and deadly serious when it needed to be. By the end of it, even the Sanders supporters who seemed dedicated to martyring of their dignity in protest had quit jeering.

Now, Michelle Obama is not exactly an obscure Democrat, but nor is she the progressive heroine that Elizabeth Warren has been made out to be. Nor is she Bernie Sanders, who, judging just from the blubbering puddles into which his supporters transformed last night, has attained near godlike perfection in the minds of his devotees. These two speakers were scheduled after Michelle Obama’s strong speech, and they proved that it was an impossible act to follow.

Warren was selected to deliver the keynote address on Monday—an honor that reflected both her support within the Democratic Party and her status as an anti-Trump attack dog. Her tone was marmish; her style subdued. Warren’s criticisms of Trump felt half-hearted—placeholders that were forced and designed to sate a frothing mob only long enough for her to get to the real meat of the speech: Financial regulatory reform! The stock market, corporate profits, student loans, banking restructuring, Medicare, Social Security, 401Ks, and, of course, campaign finance; these were the issues that excited Warren. The fire in the Massachusetts senator’s eyes lit up precisely as she was extinguishing it in those of her youthful, heartbroken audience.

Sanders, too, delivered a lackluster speech for all but those initiated into his flock. It was a boilerplate stump speech, a fact which was given away to those who are unfamiliar with the Vermont senator’s campaign trail rhetoric by the Sandernistas who virtually sing along with the most road-worn lines. When Sanders became truly fired up about the prospect of defeating Trump, he was focused on the downright false notion that the GOP nominee is a just another vanilla Republican. From health care to taxation to regulation, Sanders said that Trump represents the “same old Republican contempt for working families.”

This is remarkably lazy campaigning. Trump is no garden-variety Republican. He is not a hard-hearted supply-sider who is dedicated to reducing the tax burden on the rich. Quite the opposite, in fact. He has no interest in the culture wars; be they transgender bathrooms or abortion rights—Trump has demonstrated time and again that his instincts are, in fact, center-left. Every time a speaker tried to frame Trump as a standard Republican, they normalized his radically irregular policy preferences.

Those Democratic speakers who did take a bite out of Trump’s hide—the victims of his allegedly fraudulent schemes, the disabled who were wounded by his irresponsible rhetoric, the Democrats who dared suggest that America remains a first world nation—they damaged Trump’s image not by casting him as a typical Republican but as an unacceptable threat to cultural progress and social cohesion. Neither Warren nor Sanders pulled that message off.

The disappointing show put on by the Democratic Party’s so-called rock stars exposes the extent to which their personae are fabrications. Absent the help of an industry dedicated to erecting elaborate support structures designed to keep their absurd cults of personality aloft, these progressive heroes are shown to be the mediocre political talents they always were. In the same way that octogenarian Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg has attracted a transparently contrived following with all the circumspection and maturity of your average ‘tween, the compulsion among liberals to make idols out of outspoken progressives has become an unattractive habit. When those idols demonstrate how unworthy they are of the veneration they receive, it exposes their dedicated image-makers as dishonest. It’s about time, too.

Noah Rothman

Artist Robin Antar ‘Envisions’ America in Stone

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

What does the child of Brooklyn Syrian Jews have in common with Manhattan glitterati on a freezing cold night in an Upper East Side mansion?

Diamonds and other stones. Art and design.

This past week New York’s top interior designers gathered in a house on East 63rd Street and Fifth Avenue to celebrate the season and raise money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Among the artists whose creations were requested by designers who contributed their skills to the cause was sculptor Robin Antar. Her work had been noticed by designer Michael Tavano during a show at the Waterfall Mansion, where some of her other pieces are still on display.

Tavano removed her “detached retina” from that show for the room he created at Holiday House NYC. The event shows off the best in interior design and holiday entertaining, and is open to the public from now until December 21. Tavano’s eye-catching room was packed on opening night.

Few of those in their suits and evening gowns at the gala, however, realized the petite Antar wielded a jackhammer and a seven-inch diamond blade saw to carve the stone for her larger-than-life-size sculpture.

“I did it just before I went into surgery for a detached retina,” Antar told JewishPress.com in an exclusive interview. “It was my interpretation of vision.”

But Antar takes the long view in her art. She began her love affair with stone carving as a Brooklyn teenager and created as her first piece a graceful alabaster swan which she has kept in the family collection.

She is also known for the sleek silver Sephardic Torah cases she creates. Not one is left sitting on a shelf unused. The first was cast from a mold formed from a limestone sculpture of a prayer shawl draped on two “shoulders” of the Western Wall.

Little did she know that some day she would use that same mold as the basis for a one-of-a-kind tribute to her youngest son that only an artist mother could produce – sadly, for a tombstone. Antar’s son passed away last year at age 26 of a drug overdose after years of struggling to overcome emotions from early childhood abuse suffered at the hands of a daycare operator. Two more sons — a married businessman and an artist with a special flare for color and design — carry on the family traditions.

Salt from the tears that were shed for the life cut short eventually was poured (in a virtual sense) into unique semi-precious salt cellars she now creates for the light and joy of the Sabbath table. Antar had a huge pile of stone chips left over from other sculptures carved from stone such as blue onyx, rose alabaster and honeycomb calcite, and “didn’t want to waste them,” she says. What began as an experiment is now functional art for the interiors market, with those and larger table bowls both much in demand.

But her pride and joy is the Realism in Stone series, she says; a line of art she calls the “virtual record of contemporary culture” in America.

“I ask myself, ‘Will a bottle of Heinz ketchup really exist in another hundred years?’ and then I begin to see the product emerge from the stone,” Antar explains. Different sculptures are carved from different types of stone, depending on what she is creating – but all require heavy power tools that demand precision in their use.

“You cannot do this work without the right equipment,” Antar warns. “Don’t even THINK of starting to carve stone without a face mask for breathing, and especially not without goggles to protect your eyes.”

Hana Levi Julian

Gas from the Sky

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

The caption to this picture, presumably written by the Palestinian photographer, goes:

Palestinians watch as exploding tear gas canisters fall from the sky during clashes at a protest against the expansion of the nearby Jewish settlement of Halamish, in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah on January 24, 2014. Photo by Issam Rimawi/Flash90

We’re learning the Book of Joshua in my shul, between Mincha and Maariv on Mondays, and so I quickly grasped the historical significance of the phrase: Palestinians watch as exploding tear gas canisters fall from the sky.

A mysterious hand threw gas canisters on these Arabs from the sky, on Shabbat, as they were trying to thwart Jewish life in the Jewish promised land – I say it’s a sign.

Yori Yanover

Images of ‘the Other’

Monday, September 30th, 2013
Once again I find myself on a plane flying back from yet another wonderful Yom Tov experience in Israel. As I have said in the past, the community in Ramat Bet Shemesh where I spend time with my family is physically and spiritually beautiful… and so are all the people I encountered there.
But I was disappointed at the way the Charedim there see Chilonim (secular Israelis).  And by the same token I am aware of the fact that many Chilonim have an entirely negative attitude about Charedim. A young Charedi teenager I spoke to told me that whenever he passes though a secuar neighborhood, he gets stares and whispers. This young man would not hurt a fly. All he is interested in is studying Torah in his Yeshiva.
Why is this the case?
Images of ‘the other’ are heavily biased by what the media report about them. When the secular media report on the vile actions of extremist Charedim – that is how all Charedim are perceived.  They don’t know about the relatively peaceful nature of the vast majority of Charedim. They only see what the media reports. They see screaming, rabbinic leaders and politicians. They see rock throwers spitters.  The media does not report  about the peaceful lives and good deeds of this community because that isn’t news. Rock throwing and spitting is. Even if it is only done by the few, that is how the Charedim are seen as a whole.
I am reminded of a story I read in one of the Charedi magazines. I do not recall the details but a Charedi woman saw a void in how patients are treated and filled it with tons of Chesed. She does so without discrimination – giving of herself to anyone in need regardless of how religious or secular they are
One time when she was serving a Chiloni woman , she was thanked and then was asked a ‘favor’: “Would she mind telling her people to stop throwing rocks at her?”
The Charedi woman took umbrage at that since she had never thrown so much as a pebble at anyone in her life.  I can understand why she felt that way. But she should have asked herself, why do they hate us so much? And what can be done to change attitudes?
In my view, the problem is that the two communities do not interact with each other. They therefore have no clue what the other side is really like. Their perceptions are driven by a secular media whose job it is to present hard news and not fluff pieces…. And by the rhetoric of by which the Cheredi media characterizes the Chiloni world. Each side rejects thee other and will have nothing to do with each other.
Jonathan Rosenblum had an article in the Sukkos edition of Mishpacha Magazine wherein he tried to make this point. He quoted a Drasha that explains each of the Daled Minim (Lulav and Esrog etc.) as the four segments of Jewry, The Esrog represents those Jews who have both Torah and Mitzvos; The Lulav –those with Torah alone, The Hadassim – Mitzvos alone; and the Aravos – those with neither Torah nor Mitzvos. While this is certainly an oversimplification of reality – one might say that the Aravos apply to the Chiloni world. But God tells us to combine all four Minim for the Mitzvah to be properly fulfilled.
The point is that all segments of the Klal are needed to fulfill the Mitzvah of The Daled Minim.  And this should be the attitude of us all. We all need each other. We ought to interact with each other and get to what we all are really like. We can discuss the issue that divide us and hopefully come to a resolution that will be acceptable to all. But even if we don’t we will have accomplished a very big step toward Achdus.

Visit Emes Ve-Emunah .

Harry Maryles

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