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July 27, 2016 / 21 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘today’

With Tzipi Livni Declaring Today, Polls Give Likud a Clear Lead

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Ma’agar Mochot (brain trust) poll conducted for the Channel 10 morning news program Tuesday reveals that the “Likud Beiteinu” list has preserved its wide lead over everyone else in the running. At the same time, former Kadima chair Tzipi Livni, who is about to announce her run at the helm of a new, center-left party, today at noon, Israel time, will receive as many as 9 seats, while the former king of the center-spot, journalist and TV host Yair Lapid, is crashing.

If the elections were held today, according to MM, the Likud-Beiteinu block would get 37 seats, which is 5 short of its current combined strebgth in the outgoing Knesset. Labor would get 20 seats, Shas 14, and Jewish Home, the National Religious party, 9 seats.

Tzipi Livni, who was deposed by Shaul Mofaz from the leadership of the Kadima party, is expected to announce a comeback at a press conference today, and the poll already gives her 9 seats, at the expense of prime minister wannabe Yair Lapid, whose list “Yesh Atid” (There is a future), whose future now appears murky with a mere 5 seats (down from 11 and 13 in earlier polls).

Mofaz and Kadima are not expected to make it into the Knesset this time around.

The Jewish far-left would maintain its 3-seat hold.

At the same time, should Tzipi Livni announce today that she will be running on the Labor list, then Likud-Beiteinu gets 38 seats, the fortified Labor goes up to 25, and Yair Lapid gets 8 seats.

Clearly, Tzipi Livni has a lot more to gain from running on her own, with eyes at a possible coalition government with Labor.

But, alas, such a coalition could not happen in the foreseeable future, not based on this morning’s poll, since the right-wing block is expected to collect 70 seats, based on today’s poll, while the center-left, including the Arab lists, would have 50 seats at most.

Surprisingly, 44 percent of those asked said they think Ehud Barak should stay on as defense minister, as opposed to 39% who’d like to see someone else in that post.

Jewish Press Staff

What Came Out of Operation Pillar of Defense

Monday, November 26th, 2012

There are so many ways to show the difference between what is important in Gaza vs. what is important in Israel. Perhaps, to be fair, I should say the difference between the leaderships in both places but since we Israelis and those in Gaza voted in our governments, it really does amount to the same thing.

What came out of Gaza is the knowledge that they can indeed hit Tel Aviv and though they didn’t manage to hit Jerusalem, they took aim and got close. The Fajir 5 is a missile they created to kill our people. At least one couple in Gaza named their new born baby “Fajir5”.

What came out of Israel is a new defense missile called “Magic Wand” that will protect Tel Aviv and Jerusalem from these missiles that can fly 75 kilometers to kill and maim.

This morning, an Arab crossed into Israel from Gaza and broke into a Jewish home very close to the border. Inside the house, the Arab stabbed a Jewish girl before soldiers caught him and killed him.

In Syria today and yesterday, the government opened fire on its people, murdering dozens and destroying buildings, property and lives.

In the United Nations, they are likely soon to discuss and condemn Israel for this aggression or another. The Fajir5 will not be discussed. The deaths of 5 innocent Israels are nothing to the world, though they are everything to their families.

What came out of Operation Pillar of Defense is almost exactly what went in – one culture determined to injure, murder and destroy another; one culture determined to defend its people at all costs; and one world, silent, oblivious, fooled.

And lest you think I am silent, oblivious and fooled, what also came out of Operation Pillar of Defense is knowledge spread among a few, shared with friends – who love Israel and support her. They were not silent in giving us their support; they were never oblivious and I am so grateful that they are not fooled by endless claims of massacres that never were; destruction that was on a huge scale completely justified by the offense weapons that were destroyed within their walls.

I am grateful, again, for the swift and tireless efforts of the Israel Defense Forces – but also of the IDF Spokesperson’s Office and tireless bloggers who didn’t let them get away with re-using pictures from Syria (and even Israel, if you can believe that) and say it was Gaza.

What came out of Operation Pillar of Defense is a few days of quiet for our children in the south; no sirens in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Last evening, Aliza called as she walked home. She said we didn’t have to keep talking, she wasn’t afraid of a siren. She just wanted me to know she would be home soon. What came home, for so many of us, were our sons. We know that had there been a ground invasion, more mothers would not be saying that today. We know the future, but it won’t be today. We believe today will be quiet, another day to heal our children, our hearts.

It’s too early to know whether Netanyahu’s folding before Washington’s pressure was a good thing or a bad thing in the long term. Few believe we won’t be going back in to Gaza in the future to stop the missiles at our cities, the Fajir 5 and its next generations. But we are a people that look to today and the sun is shining, it is a beautiful, clear, pleasant day here in this most holy land. There were no missiles this morning as our children went to school and we need to believe there won’t be any as they return in several hours. The early morning threat to one Jewish home ended in their loss – the child is in fair condition and though she will be traumatized, we’ll take care of her with love and she will be fine.

So, today is good – and yes, part of that is a result of Operation Pillar of Defense.

Visit A Soldier’s Mother.

Paula R. Stern

Syrian Gunfire on the Golan

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

For the second time today, gunfire from Syria crossed the border into Israel on the Golan Heights.

An IDF vehicle was nearly hit. No injuries were reported.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Thanking Our ‘Squantos’

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

It’s the classic image – the pumpkins; the berries; the squash, the turkey. It’s the beginning of a season that brings with it a sudden, exciting feeling. It’s the crisp fall air turning to gray winter; the strings of perfect, colorful leaves decorating doors and houses, the bright hues of reds and oranges. It almost feels like the cinnamon in the pumpkin pie is somehow in the air.

It’s Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving. It’s a time of gratitude. Gratitude for the freedom we have in the United States. So many Jews celebrate this holiday, thankful that after so much oppression, Jews can live peacefully in this great country.

The theme of the season forces me to think back to the very first Thanksgiving. This was a celebration the pilgrims made when they first came to America. After so many hardships in the New World, they finally harvested food and had a chance of survival. They were thankful for Squanto, a Native American, who helped the early settlers through.

These thoughts overwhelmed me with a sense of gratitude I feel the need to express. Have you ever thought about who holds up our Jewish communities? Who keeps the world turning? Whose zechuyos keep us alive? Have you ever stopped to thank the people who keep our chinuch system going?

What about thanking our gedolim?

I once heard a teacher say, “At a certain point in my life I knew more names of actors and singers than I knew of Gedolei haTorah.” It struck me. We spend our lives chasing after a society and culture which have so little to do with us, and we never stop to notice what is right in front of us. Do we ever stop to contemplate and appreciate the people who devote their lives to disseminating Torah?

Your son’s Rebbe deserves respect; no matter what grade he gave your son on his Gemara test. The rav of your shul deserves a lot more respect than chatter during his short lecture. The Gedolei HaDor deserve much more than a careless shrug of the shoulder at the news of their illness or petirah.

Most of the time we do not focus our appreciation on the talmidei chachamim in our neighborhoods – that includes the young men sitting in kollel, the balabatim who run to shiur before or after work and the retired men who after years of working are now spending their time in a yeshiva setting. How much do we appreciate the rabbanim who lead our communities? Do we thank them for their time, for their hours of service?

What generation has had access to so much – shiurim on a variety of levels, website where one can download divrei Torah, at no charge? When in our history were there any so many schools to choose from? When did we ever have so many interesting speakers, teaching Torah on a daily basis?

There is so much knowledge available, and yet, many of us don’t even stretch out a hand to grab onto it. So many opportunities, yet we don’t care. So many lessons, yet we never take them in. We chase after a government. We chase after their way of life. How many names of gedolim do you know?

This lesson is clearly evident in the Purim story. The spiritual leader of the time, Mordechai, advised the Jews not to attend to royal party. The Jews scorned his opinion, claiming he was “an old Rabbi, stuck in ancient times and unaware of the political dues they had to pay.” Then tragedy struck, and all the Queens connections were worth nothing; what saved them was following the “old leader’s” suggestion to pray and fast.

We can chase after all the political leaders we want, but at the end of the day, what will save us is the Torah learning of our talmidei chachamim and of our young children.

It’s the season. It’s Thanksgiving – let us give thanks for what we have that actually matters: our Squanto, the people who throw away careers, throw away sleep and are there, twenty four hours a day, supporting our world with Torah.

Chazal teach, “Asay licha Rav”; I’ve heard it paraphrased numerous times to, “Asay licha Rebbetzin.” Each of us needs a guide or a mentor who can see clearly when we can’t.

Alti Bukalov

I Am a Loser Today

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

First we must admit we lost the war with Hamas.

It will allow us to begin healing from our wounds. For until we make the admission that we are on the losing side in the war and remain in a state of denial about it, no recovery is possible. We are thankful to be alive, of course, there is that to be grateful for – we can write letters like these and feel some satisfaction in the small pleasures of daily life, but we lost the war, yes, we did.

If we all make the admission simultaneously it will be an even stronger spur to our recovery, for we will be able to move on and examine our options. But until we as a nation, say it out loud, we’re trapped in fear, despair and disappointment.

We lost the war with Hamas. Please, don’t be afraid to say it out loudly and clearly. Say it to yourself. Say it to your family and friends. Say it at work and in the streets. Let’s own our defeat and see how it feels before condemning it as defeatist or negative. I think it will do us a world of good, actually. Today, this Thursday morning, this week of Parshat Vayetze, we were defeated by Hamas.

We’re alive, unapologetic and eager to find the positive in the situation, but we are defeated. We lost the war with Hamas this week, you know. It hurts a lot. We were sure it was going to be a resounding win, a victory and a new beginning for Israeli citizens everywhere but especially in the south. Unfortunately, we lost the war with Hamas.

They won, you see, because they have two advantages over us, superior tactics and a superior strategy. I’m not writing an analysis; that’s for the historians and the war-college professors to do. I’m merely stating what needs to be said out loud for our health’s sake, today. We lost the war with Hamas.

I cry for us, for those who survive unscathed and for those who mourn their losses, all our collective losses. Their children are our children, their parents, our parents. We are all living in Sderot, we are all about five seconds from a devastating trauma – we all have the scars this morning from the war with Hamas which we lost.

We are a noble people, for the most part. God knows we seek no one any great harm, and rarely dream, as a nation, of committing genocide, rapine or plunder. But we must, for our health’s sake, admit that we are locked in a deathly embrace with Hamas who have beaten us this week, who have reduced us to the role of the vanquished, to the point where we were forced to sue for peace on their terms, on any terms. We need to internalize the simple fact that Islamists have forced us to settle, not for peace on any terms, but with a lull, a not-even-truce. They have graciously, as the victors, agreed to allow us a short respite, for as long as it takes them to rearm, regroup and reposition for the next battle in the war we have lost.

I am not ashamed to say I am an Israeli Jew, I am a loser today in the war with Hamas.

I’m ashamed of the men and women we voted into political power, whose duty it is to protect us, let us not sully our lips with their names, they know who they are. I will look for more savage politicians to vote into power next time, lesser practitioners of the reasonable arts – with frothier spittle and madder eyes.

I am ashamed for us, I’m crying for us. We seem to have lost our vision and our insight. We are lost in broad daylight, blinded by the truth and crippled by common sense.

Because it’s true, I admit it. We lost the war with Hamas.

Join with me, friends and family. Let us make the admission with contrition in our our hearts and all the earnestness at our command; We lost the war with Hamas.

Sheni Leumi

What if the Siren Goes off When I’m Alone?

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

I’m in the office today until late. I spoke to Aliza shortly after she came home. I explained I’d be here for a while, at least. She’s home alone until my husband returns from work and some errands.

“Ima, what if the siren goes off when I’m alone?” she asked me.

“Go quickly into the bomb shelter and close the door,” I told her, my heart clenching at the thought of her in a  bomb shelter alone.

“I’ll take my phone with me,” she said, and I quickly agree.

“I’ll call you right away and you can call me,” I answer back.

“Can I take Simba in with me?” she asks. Simba is our dog.

“Of course you can. That’s wonderful. You take care of Simba and call him into the room.”

What world do we live in that a 12-year old has to consider going into a bomb shelter alone? If I could leave now, I would but Al Jazeera English contacted me and asked me to be on their show. Check out my next post on that…

Visit A Soldier’s Mother.

Paula R. Stern

Ride To Forever

Monday, November 19th, 2012

The taxi driver was old and rather shriveled, with a crop of white hair fringing his head.

Ah, I recognize this one, I thought with relief, hurrying to open the door. If I recall correctly, he knows Lakewood. You would think that a taxi driver, being that his/her job is, well, driving, and being that the town they are driving in is, well, Lakewood…Well, I would tend to think that knowing how to drive around Lakewood would somehow come along with the job; if not before, then at least afterwards. The reality, unfortunately, is that I am usually forced to keep a sharp lookout for turns in the opposite direction of which I am supposed to be going.

This time I lay back in relief and closed my eyes. Maybe I could catch a quick power nap before my appointment.

The car jolted to a stop and my eyes popped open. Oh, it was this corner. I had to admit that even I was often caught off guard by the intersection’s unusual traffic patterns, so I would have to forgive even a veteran driver for this one. Cars were coming and going busily to and from all directions, and mistakes were almost inevitable here. When it was quiet you could get away with it, but…

“Why is it,” the gravelly voice of the driver reached me, “that this town goes crazy every day at two o’clock?”

I couldn’t believe my ears. “You’re from Lakewood, right?”

“Seventy years in Lakewood,” came the gravelly response.

“Seventy years in Lakewood, and no one ever told you what happens here at two o’clock every day?” A taxi driver, for heaven’s sake?

“Nope.”

Wow, was this a teaching opportunity. A historic moment. I mentally rubbed my hands in glee and attacked my subject with gusto.

“You know the yeshiva, right?” I wasn’t taking anything for granted, but the guy wasn’t blind. Well, I would assume not.

“Yep. But it’s back there.” He motioned vaguely towards the center of town.

“Right. But this town, it revolves around the yeshiva. And, you know what the yeshiva’s schedule is?”

“Nope.”

“Well, they start between nine thirty and ten in the morning. And they get out between 1:45 and 2:00 in the afternoon!” I nearly crowed with triumph. A seventy (well, almost) year old mystery, solved by yours truly!! “So at two o’clock, until four o’clock, when everyone is back in yeshiva this town is on wheels!!!”

I was about to launch into a description of babysitting schedules, moms at work, and dads with strollers, when another gravelly comment cut me short.

“I was here before the rabbi came here.” Well. Maybe bein hasdarim was different in those days, then. Talk about time warp.

“I used to drive him to Brooklyn.”

I nearly jumped out of my seatbelt. Well, I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, to be honest. But if I had been…

“You drove Rabbi Kotler? To Brooklyn??”

“Yep.” He said this in the same tone of voice he would have used to tell me that the price of eggs was down, or that the real estate market was nonexistent, or that his neighbor had died.

“They should interview you for The Voice!” I exclaimed excitedly. “What’s your name?”

“Ed Skinner.”

I was on it. Reporter on the scent. “Ok, I gotta hear this. So, did you ever talk to him?”

“Well, yeah. Not much. About prices, and where we were going…”

I tried to pump as much as I could. Apparently, Rav Aharon had often had to go into Brooklyn, I imagine for simchos, fund raising, etc. Mr. Ed Skinner, who had then worked for a limousine service, had had the distinct honor of being the driver called upon to convey the rosh yeshiva to his destination.

“Was a good price in those days, too,” he added.

Unfortunately, I could not tease out any more juicy tidbits of information. I was hoping for a Genuine Gadol Story. If it existed in the memory of Ed Skinner, however, it was not making itself known to me. Still, I couldn’t get over it. I felt like I was touching history.

“He was the man, you know,” I tried to impress upon the driver. “He created this town. I mean, not the town, but the Jewish community. He was a holy man, and a brilliant man.

Chava Adams

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/potpourri/ride-to-forever/2012/11/19/

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