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Dec 29, 2005

Maurice Cohen talks about his brother..

Read about Eli Cohen

What more can I say? A true hero who should be brought to a proper burial..

I read this when it was first published a few weeks ago, but had to read it again.

Being a lazy Jew?

Ha'aretz article
My wife had a carpet cleaner come to the house yesterday. He was a Yemenite Jew who used to be religious but now is not. He stopped keeping everything. A few years ago he went to the U.S. and stayed there for 3 years. Every day he put on tefillin. He says he never missed a day. Now he is back in Israel but it is only temporary. He is trying to get a green card to go back to the U.S.
He said that here in Israel he feels Jewish and does not need to keep any of the mtizvos in order to feel part of the Jewish Nation. In the U.S. he naturally feels the need to do some mitzvos (like tefillin) just so he can feel Jewish, as being surrounded by goyim makes him need to be more active in his Jewishness.
While I disagree with the premise that one can be a lazy Jew in Israel and just be Jewish because he is here, look at the spark of Judaism burning in our blood. Here is a Jew who was so disassociated and disenfranchised with being a Jew that he gave it all up and was "chozer b'sheilah" (became not frum). Yet, he still feels the need to be and feel Jewish. He does not want to just be an American or a plain old person. He so wants to be a Jew and wants to feel as part of the Jewish Nation, that he will even do mitzvos that he rejected in order to be part of us.
Mi Ke'Amcha Yisrael!

The fascination with Kadima

Why is Ariel Sharon's new political party "Kadima" so wildly successful in the polls?
We have all seen the polls that show that most people believe Sharon is corrupt and a liar. He faced tremendous opposition to the disengagement (he was successful in it, but so many people were against him). Yet greater and greater percentages of people seem to be flocking to his leadership. Why? What is it about him that is so attractive and allows people to ignore the moral and ethical issues? Why do people say they will vote for Kadima when all along they have been against Ariel Sharon's policies (and let's get it straight - he is the one setting policy in Kadima. Not Tzipi Livni or Ehud olmert or anybody else who jumped on Sharon's popularity bandwagon)?

After speaking to many people I have come to the conclusion that Israel is plagued by a lack of real leaders. You never know what Netanyahu will believe next. He talks right wing but then goes and signs away Hebron. He cannot withstand too much pressure (e.g. he backed off many threats when his bluff was called). He is not looked upon as someone who can make tough decisions and lead the country properly.
Obviously nobody likes Shimon Peres enough to vote for him, as he loses every election he joins.
Peretz is an inexperienced politician and Labor is quickly losing the popularity boost they enjoyed after his election.
In short, there is a shortage of leaders. Ariel Sharon remains, like it or not, in an exclusive group of people who are tough enough to be considered real leaders. David Ben Gurion was of that caliber. Menachem Begin was of that caliber. Golda Meier was of that caliber. Maybe even Yitzchak Shamir. Ariel Sharon is the only modern day leader who is a member of that group. These are people who gave everything they had. Ariel Sharon gives everything he's got to running the country.
In the 80's and 90's he was a pariah in everybody's eyes after the Lebanon War. The courts decided he was unfit to be Minister of Defense. Most people would have ended their careers right then and resigned. Sharon did not give up. He kept plugging away working for the success of the State. If you read history books of the wars Israel has fought in, Sharon was a brilliant leader and was the soldier most responsible for Israel's victories in the various wars. This despite the fact that his commanders always criticized him because he did what he felt was right and necessary and did not necessarily get approval. He, at times, avoided the chain of command because he had to do what he knew to be right.
This is what Sharon has done politically as well. He does what he believes is right and does not give a second thought to what other people think. He finds ways to push his agenda through. Even though many often do not agree with his agenda, they still follow him. Because he is a leader. The rest of the intrigue surrounding him does not matter.
It is time for a change. If only there were another leader capable of exciting and leading the people..

Dec 28, 2005

Baruch Dayan Ha'Emes

Baruch Dayan Ha'Emes

I was a big fan

It's about time!

While this is pretty much what Moshe Feiglin has been saying for a number of years already.. he has been mainly rejected by most, even right wing, Israelis, until now.
The Right / Religious Zionism sets its sights on leading the country

The Religious public in Israel has never been interested in taking the leadership of the country in their hands. They have always been more concerned with salvaging what they could for their followers, generally by joining various coalitions that often even went against the religious interests on many issues but were willing to compromise on some. The religious have always been a divided group and very sectorial. Always worried about what it can get from the government - some money for yeshivas, some money for this, a bit of shabbat observance in public, etc...
Finally, they are realizing that with the birthrate factor, the voting power of the religious hs been and will continue increasing relative to the voting power of the general public. If someone can mobilize the religious/right to vote together, they can take much more power and influence than they have ever wielded before. It can happen and, eventually, will happen.

My Orthodoxy test proves what I always said

NerdTests.com User Test: The Orthodoxy  Test.
I somehow confounded the test.

I always tell my wife that I am not anything specific. My thoughts and ideas are mixtures of many varieties. On some issues I am more liberal, while on others more conservative. On some, more right wing, and on others more left wing.

While I would bet that this test is so inaccurate and way too general to actually indicate a person's leanings, and I would also bet that if the same person took the test twice, he would get 2 different sets of results (I am not bored enough to take it twice), my results are pretty indicative of the way I think. You can't fit me into a stereotype (at least not a typical one...)

Go Bears!

While it is difficult to follow the NFL in Israel (I guess this is what the internet was created for), the Chicago Bears are having an amazing year and have captured the NFC North.
Go Bears!
What a year in sports for Chicago. the first World Series championship in decades (though it was the White Sox and not the Cubs, but still Chicago..) and now the Bears are making a run for the title. There must be a God.

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