web analytics
April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘yishai’

Only in Israel: Subaru Sprocket Menorah

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Winter in Israel is coming and rain is predicted for tomorrow – Yay! And the first rain always reminds me to… tune up my Subaru in preparation for the weather.

So this morning I headed out to Talpiot, Jerusalem, where the Subaru garage has always served me well. I like the service, I like the personnel, and, well, I like Subaru. My late father A”H had a Subaru when we lived in Israel, when I was a boy, and then as today, Subaru has remained a dependable car.

There is yet another reason to respect Subaru. From 1969 till the late 80′s, Subaru was the only Japanese car company that sold to Israel. (I even read that Subaru brand was actually created for the Israeli market). The other, bigger companies were kowtowing to the Arab boycott till they got wise. So if you’re wondering why there are so many Subarus in Israel, you got your answer.

Anyway, as I was saying, I drove into the garage to do the routine winter tuneup, but this year it was Chanukah. Now, I have a personal proclivity – I want to see some Chanukah paraphernalia when I come into an establishment. Maybe it’s my time in the U.S. and seeing how the gentiles do Christmas, but I want Chanukah to be big.

But as I looked around, I saw no secretaries eating Sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts) and no mechanics spinning draidel. I pulled over Gabi, the head mechanic. “Gabi, where is Chanukah here?”  But Gabi is a proud Jew. He dragged me over to the waiting room and showed me this:

Wow! It turns out that Avi, a mechanic in the shop, has a penchant for making the coolest Chanukiahs (menorahs) ever, from old Subaru parts, and every evening, at the prescribed time, the whole garage lights the Subaru Sprocket Chanukiah.

Avi took out his phone and showed me the other Chanukiyot that he has made. He explained how he used a mechanical press and silicone glue to ensure that the various Chanukiah car parts are oil tight so that a wick can be placed directly and lit.

When I started taking pictures, all the mechanics were so happy to show their garage’s unique Chanukah contribution. I promised them that I would put up the photo in the Jewish Press as my contribution to the pirsumei nisa aspect, the publicizing of the miracle of Chanukah. But, really, the miracle of Chanukah is the miracle of Israel and the  love of good Jerusalem mechanics for the traditions of the Jewish people.

Well, Subaru, you have done it again. You stood up to tyranny in the past, and with this new Chanukiah you once again shine. Maybe one day I will be able to afford a new Forester…

Long live Subaru! Long live Chanukah!

Chanukah Lighting on the Mount of Olives

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

Living on the Mount of Olives has its perks. Sure, we have crazy traffic every Monday and Thursday mornings because of Kotel Bar Mitzvas, and no, we don’t have any nearby grocery stores so we have to stock up on big weekly shopping trips.

But there is nothing like lighting the Chanukia right across from the Temple Mount.

When I prepare my oil candles, I look over to the place that the first and second Temples stood, and I remember the fight which the Maccabees fought against the Syrian Greeks, and the Hebrew military/cultural victory which was broadcast when the Menorah was lit in purity once again. I also remember how almost three-hundred years later the Romans would sack the Temple overcoming the Great Revolt. And I remember how Bar Kochba and Rabbi Akiva fomented yet another revolution against mighty Rome only 60 years later, and took back Jerusalem for three more years before the final destruction of the Second Commonwealth.

From my window, the jewel Temple Mount is adorned by a golden crown. To the west, I see the Beit Knesset HaChurva, twice destroyed by Arabs – the second time being blown up with dynamite by the Jordanians in 1948. Now, once again, the great dome of the Churva stands tall and glorious atop the Old City. Even more to the west, I see the walls of ancient Jerusalem as rebuilt by Suleiman the Magnificent about 500 years ago. I even see the Leonardo Plaza hotel reminding me that there is a modern western Jerusalem as well.

To the east of the Temple Mount I see the continuation of my mountain – the Mount of Olives – the mountain of Jewish History. The voices of the massive cemetery answer ‘Amen’ as I light the Chanukia. Voices like the Prophet Zecharia who foresaw the rebuilding of the Third Temple, voices like Israel’s youngest fallen soldier: ten year old, private Nissim Gini, who is buried in a mass grave along with 47 other defenders of the Old City as it fell to the Jordanian legion in 1948. Voices like Rav Kook, Rav Goren, and even Eliezer Ben Yehuda who dedicated their lives to the birth of the Third Jewish commonwealth in the Land of Israel. They all answer ‘Amen’ as I light the Chanukia with my wife and children in the construction site know as Jerusalem.

Yet there are other voices, loud voices, that I hear, or am forced to hear, as I light the oil candles. These are the voices of the Fatah club right underneath my balcony. “Allah HuAkbar” is not a friendly invitation to serve God in the Holy City. No, the meaning behind that call is that in the name of God, Jewish sovereignty is to be snuffed out, and if I and my children are in the way, then we are to be snuffed out as well. The chant is meant to energize the adherents and strike fear into victims. But as I look unto the Fatah club through the light of Chankiah, I am filled with the determination of the Maccabees that we shall prevail over these forces of darkness.

And then there is the Temple Mount itself. In the misty night, the well placed lights illuminate the Golden Dome. On the one hand I am happy that at least the Temple Mount is respected with a memorable edifice. On the other hand, that very structure appears in every anti-Israel Jihadist propaganda. Indeed, as my friend Alex pointed out to me, our holiest place is the seed of greatest hate against us. Ironic.

Tears come down as I ponder the history of the self-sacrifice that this place engenders in our people. But I am heartened that we are part of a long chain of history, and that long chain will eventually lead, as promised, to victory. That victory will not mean subjugation of people, or the abrogation of freedom. It will mean the subjugation of evil men, and the abrogation of tyranny. Isn’t that what Chanukah is all about?

Why I Got Excited by a Jerusalem Manhole Cover

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

I had such a great Pesach! My family was in from the States, and for a brief time, and once again, we felt like a family (and then of course there was the ritual crying when everybody left.) My awesome Jerusalem apartment (rented) allows for everybody to crash while there are here, and thereby we fulfill the promise of Jerusalem being blessed with her children within her – Berach Banayich BeKirbech (Psalms 147;13)

While they were here, we got to act like tourists, that is, we got to see the amazing things that exist right under our noses. So we walked from the Mount of Olives (where I live) to Ir David (City of David Archaeological Park in Silwan, 15 minutes away) and had a tour there.

Here is the image that I wanted to share with you from that trip:

Ancient Manhole

No, this is not an alien face staring at you. If you look closely you will make out the outline of what is, amazingly, an ancient manhole cover from the Herodian period (Second Temple hayday) in Jerusalem. This actually is the face of a complex drainage system which ran below the city street and it caught rainwater and kept the street from puddling up. It is indented, concave, bowl shaped – it draws they water to itself and whisks it safely away.

You have to admit it, drainage is cool anywhere. But 2,000 year-old classy Jewish capital drainage makes me want to fall on my face and kiss the stones. My mothers and fathers walked here as they headed up and up from the City of David to the amazing Temple above. Here is what their ascent looked like – dunk at the pool at the bottom and just walk “Yashar Yasher” up the stairs:

City of David

Later that same day, I had yet another moving moment when I walked through the bustling river of people at the outdoor Mamilla shopping mall (avenue? promenade?)

Mamila

And in this modern marvel of shopping and lots-of-eating, where only a few years ago it was no-man’s land filled with dust and rocks, I saw this:

Modern Manhole

You guessed it; modern Jerusalem drainage.

And here’s what I thought: Ancient Jerusalem was destroyed by Rome, we were dispersed around the world, and now we are returning, reclaiming, and rebuilding. We have much more to do, but sometimes its nice to have a reminder from the past that our direction is right and that we are, indeed, ascending. And there is nothing like coming full circle on a full stomach!

Here are some French kids eating Matzah on their Eight Day Pesach – Yom Tov Sheini:

Kids Eating Matzah at Mamilla Mall

Paris is beautiful, but now Jerusalem is home again…

===

Stay connected with Yishai Fleisher:

Sign up to win 2 FREE TICKETS TO ISRAEL and receive the latest info about life in Israel!

Check out Yishai’s:
Facebook
Twitter
Podcast
Videos

Israeli Government Coalition Rollercoaster and IDF Draft Issue Behind It

Friday, July 27th, 2012

Nowhere else can you get this kind of in-depth radio analysis of the political situation in Israel – in English!  Understand the crazy Israeli government coalition forming and dissolving in the blink of an eye.  How Prime Minister Netanyahu manuevers among the political land mines. Hear the ins and outs of the IDF Draft legislation addressing the issue of participation of the Israeli haredi population in the IDF that caused the coalition kerfuffle. Yishai and experienced Knesset watcher Jeremy Man Saltan (author of the only Knesset Insider Daily Blog Update in English) dig into these major Israeli political currents and provide the listeners with unique insights.

Haredim in Green

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai talks further about the integration of Ultra-Orthodox Jews into the ranks of the Israel Defense Forces. To elaborate, Meir Eisenman, who as one who comes from a Haredi background gives a unique perspective to the situation, joins Yishai. They talk about all aspects of integrating Ultra-Orthodox Jews into the IDF and how it affects both sides of Israeli society. Don’t miss this segment!

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Christiane Amanpour at Yishai’s House

Friday, July 20th, 2012

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai and Malkah kick off by talking about a special guest that they received in their home in order to interview Yishai and the range of discussion that followed between the guest and Yishai. They move on to the expiration of the Tal Law and how it has contributed to the collapse of the coalition in the Israeli government. At 12:30, Yishai and Malkah begin to discuss the recent trip to Israel by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her views on the American policy in the Middle East along with discussing how Jonathan Pollard will not be released. They end the segment talking about how everything is looking ahead in Israel and how listeners can get involved!

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Fleisher on ShalomTV: ‘Let’s Not Live in Fear, Let’s Live in Reality.’

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Yishai Fleisher, managing editor of JewishPress.com, appeared on L’Chaim, a show that has been running on ShalomTV for years. The segment appears on their new live channel, as well as on-demand.

Fleisher spoke with Rabbi Mark Golub about the fear preventing a strong, united Jewish future. He described the challenges the Jewish people face today and split them into three categories – delegitimization, division, and most importantly, fear. “Fear is everywhere,” he said. “[People] go silent when I talk about fear because they realize how much fear they live with…we need to be proud.” Fleisher wants to eliminate the fear, and in doing so, bring Jews home. He touched on many subjects during the interview ranging from the reasons behind the fear in the U.S. and the problems in the Middle East that induce it.

First, many American Jews fear that their own relationship with America will suffer if they move to Israel, or even develop a stronger connection with it than their own country. He revealed his desire to connect the American Jew with the Israeli Jew. Citing the Atlantic Ocean as one of the deepest physical boundaries between the two cultures, he said that he wants to make that border feel smaller. American Jews push their connection to Israel aside, due to a fear that choosing Israel makes them appear disloyal to the country they have lived in for years. “We’re culturally American, we watch Seinfeld, but the Jew always feels that at the end of the day, this is not his home,” he said. Fleisher’s determination is the reason he continues to appear on television and speak at college campuses and other communities throughout America. ”We have to put Israel first,” he said. “…We have to get together to build the Jewish state.”

Further, there is a duality among American Jews. They not only fear the Arab nation, but feel conflicted about how the Israelis treat them due to the negative media coverage. Fleisher pointed out that most American Jews are liberal. They’re liberal because they believe in the “intrinsic value of every human being.” He doesn’t sugarcoat it. There is a clear understanding that some liberties need to be abrogated in order for Jews to protect themselves. But what many American Jews don’t understand is that there is a mitzvah in place that sanctions such self-defense. It’s written in the Talmud that when someone intends to harm you, you have a responsibility to fight back. Jews want to live as a righteous community, but in order to do so they must survive first. It’s immoral for Israel to allow rockets to be amassed by people who will use them, Fleisher explained. “We are only 60 some odd years after the Holocaust,” he said. “It’s not a joke. Let’s not live in fear, let’s live in reality.”

Fleisher was born to Russian parents in Haifa, where he lived until age 8. His family moved to America for economic reasons. Although he went to Jewish schools, he craved more of a connection to Israel and couldn’t stay away for long. He skipped his senior year and at 17, went back to Israel to study in Yeshiva and serve in the army as a paratrooper. After an injury, Fleisher returned to America to study at Yeshiva University and obtain a post-graduate degree at Cardozo Law School. There, he met his wife Malkah. The two moved to Israel to get married and establish their home. In the interview, Fleisher didn’t deny that there’s an atmosphere of tension in Israel and that they have to be vigilant, but living in Israel and raising a family there is something he never questions.

Fleisher emphasized that at the end of the day Israel is the homeland of the Jews. Residents can be critical of the nation’s politics and of the current state of warfare, but they should do it without fear and argue about it in their own nation. There are many enticing countries out there, Fleisher said, but Israel needs to be number one.

Watch the interview with Yishai below:

Plesner Committee and a Look at Shoddy Reporting

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Alternative peace activist Baruch Widen joins Yishai and together they discuss the The Plesner Committee and how the induction of ultra-orthodox Jews into the ranks of the Israel Defense Forces affects all Israelis. Yishai and Widen specifically talk about reactions from both sides of the issue and how an army that is more diverse could be good for both religious and secular Jews. They talk about how Israeli Arabs, which are also currently not required to service, should also be required to serve. At 22:01, Yishai shifts gears and presents a piece from NPR about Christian sites in Israel that are currently in the hands of the Palestinian Authority. To conclude, they talk about the biased nature of the NPR piece and discuss truth behind the information presented.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/tv/radio/jewish-press-radio-with-yishai-fleisher-plesner-committee-and-a-look-at-shoddy-reporting/2012/07/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: