Monday, April 23, 2012

Strong Heart, Strong Body

A Strong Heart, A Strong Body, A Strong Mind

The other day in Shilo we were surprised to receive a wide spectrum of visitors and at the same time to experience to two different types of horsepower.  Our northern countrymen visited the Shilo region from the Jezreel Valley, in the Lower Galil.  About 40-50 people from the various Kibbutzim and communities there decided to see the Shilo region from an equestrian point of view, in other words… on horseback.  It was a wonderful sight, not just because I love horses, but also because when I asked about their trip here, and why they came over to us, their response was simple… it’s a beautiful area, and it’ s our land.  We are talking about many folk from the most socialist of the Kibbutz Movements, not the National Religious camp.  When asked if they were concerned about safety and so on, again their various responses warmed us…our land, our history, and one guy came up to me and said "you might not expect to hear it from a 'shmutznick' (a derogatory term for someone who is anti-religious) like me, but I love coming to your communities and enjoying Shabbat.”  Others jumped in “one people”, “more unity”… [fuggedaboudit]… A Festival of Zionism.

We bid them Shabbat Shalom and a fun day and went back to Shilo via the “Tel” (Ancient Shilo)…and were greeted by at least 50 “bikers” coming into the village, not bicycles, but bikes…big bikes, motor bikes…you know with names like Harley, Suzuki, Honda, Royal Enfield and so on. Many wearing their leathers with “Israel Association of Motor-Cycles” on their backs.  These guys came from all over Israel and were riding all over Judea and Samaria.  The same answers once again: our land, our history.
Definitely not the norm for a Friday morning, but quickly becoming so, as more and more Israelis flock to Judea and Samaria, reconnecting, regrouping and reiterating…our land, our history and one people.

For a body to be healthy, it needs to have a strong heart pumping blood throughout.  Judea and Samaria is that heart, it is where we started as a people in our land…but you all know that, don’t you?  Do you know how many people do not know that, do you know how many Jewish people don’t know that, refuse to know that?
In Israel we watch daily as the buses and cars roll in to our communities, filled with people from all over Israel, religious, not religious, young, middle aged and older, many of them climbing to the hilltops throughout Judea and Samaria and picking out their houses and communities below.  Some, viewing Tel Aviv and Ben Gurion airport, are surprised to discover just how small a country we actually are.  So many are glad to bring their children out and connect them physically with the history they are told about in school with the reality  of the place.  But this is our advantage living in Israel.
What about the rest of our body, the extended limbs living outside our country? I am very concerned about them.  They do not come to see the reality for themselves, they are kept away or, when they do arrive, are for the most part are poisoned by the people they call “leaders”.  How many of their “Sunday schools” do not show them where Abraham, Isaac and Jacob walked?  How many of the “day schools” do not have the complete map,  an accurate map?
How many “limbs” are not getting good circulation from a strong heart?
Strong Heart, Strong Body, Strong Mind…work it, feed it properly, let it stretch out and you have health.  Abuse it with junk food, let it get lazy, stop getting around and it will get sick and disease may set in.  Germs from the outside will attack it, and if there is not a strong immune system in place, that body will become a victim, weakened to a dangerous state.
We in Israel are strengthening our heart, and from our heart, healthy blood is being pumped all over our body and our mind, we are working hard to regain and build our health… even though there are a few “limbs” here that need extra attention.
I am reminded of how when an animal is trapped, it might chew off a limb to save itself, there are some politicians, political parties and movements that are trying to chew off their heart in order to “save” themselves… I guess they don’t realize the importance of a heart.
Some simple advice to our extended “limbs”, if you wish to stay healthy, you will also have to work to strengthen our heart, you will have to work harder because you are farther away and more susceptible to the poisonous germs that surround you.  You will have to build your immune system and protect yourselves even better, especially from “inside” dangers.
It may seem like an uphill challenge, but that is all it is, a challenge, a challenge we can and will overcome, as long as we keep “working out” and keeping our “heart” and mind strong.
The heart of our land and our people lie in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria…check it out for yourselves.

We have just passed the solemn day of Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) and now Israel’s Memorial Day. We then will celebrate Israel’s Independence Day and Day of Liberation of Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria.  
Our existence in Israel is the only way to say and show the world and our enemies…Never Again.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

All Too Often

All too often we hear “we are our own worst enemy”, ok, got it, now where do we go from here?

Many enemies of the Jewish state know that they can get their greatest support among our own people; they are all too aware of the ignorant and misinformed hordes running in our ranks and our enemies do not miss an opportunity to exploit them for their own purposes of destroying Israel as a Jewish state.

Funds from questionable sources are flooding the arena and boosting anti-Israel activities while other funds from again questionable sources reprogram higher educational programs and facilities under the guise of promoting mutual understanding, while only teaching bias and racism.

Most often those that are seeking the truth really aren’t, they are simply looking to strengthen their own point of view. “Fact finding” missions are rarely ever that, but orchestrated treks of half-truths and deception.

“Point of view” being a key phrase, lets look at that for a second. From close-up, using a narrow-view lenses, so to say, one simply sees a larger Israel encompassing the regions of Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Someone who uses a “wide angle” lense sees the larger, more accurate picture sees that Israel is a “drop” among a sea of Arab and Muslim nations who call for its destruction.

In plain words those who are narrow-minded and, might I add, shortsighted, do not see the big picture and have a distorted view regarding Israel and its situation, and further more do not appreciate the reality of Israel’s existence today.

Those who claim “sensitivity” to the so called underdog, “care” for the minorities…step back and take a look, a good look, and they might just see a clearer picture through their clouds of distortion.

But again…what to do, what to do? Fight back, that is what to do. Enough of defending ourselves against lies and misconstrued facts, it is time to take the fight to the other side, where it belongs.

(Just to throw in another morsel, it is not just our fight, but more on that another time.)

A valuable lesson that Israel has learned and paid for with blood, is that when faced with overwhelming numbers and forces, you can’t just stand back and wait to be attacked. Sometimes even covert methods must be used to throw an enemy off balance.

Despite continued anti-Israel activity among the Left Wing in Israel, the numbers of Israelis reconnecting with our land and waking up to reality rises daily. The concept of a Two State solution fades with each passing day. Supporters of this false solution like to claim that it is only the extreme factions, both Jewish and Arab who support a One State possibility, therefore it must be a destructive move. But this is not true, with each day more moderate factions grasp this concept as a solution for all who live in Israel. Obviously, there is a lot of work to be done, many scenarios to be worked out, but this is the direction in which we are heading.

Due to this change of atmosphere in Israel, our enemies focus on Jewish diaspora communities, seeking strength and support from the Beinarts, the Friedmans, J Street and the mindless pawns of the BDS Movement.

We in Israel actually have the advantage in this challenge, we have the reality in our face, that is for those of us who prefer to walk around with open eyes. But far away, over the great pond, our brothers are not so lucky, they remain victims to organizations and groups that prefer Israel cease to be a state with a Jewish identity.

It is actually not so difficult to fight these enemies of ours, both from within and from the outside. Simple objective views on real situations often provide all the ammo you need. A small wonderful example is the ridiculous effort by the supposed “enlightened members” at a Food Coop in the Park Slope neighborhood in Brooklyn. Efforts were made to remove 5 Israeli products from their shelves due to the suffering of the “Palestinian” people. I am proud to say that there were more than a few who actually think and fought back successfully and intelligently against the corrupt thoughts of the BDS movement. Even better, the challenge was documented in the “Daily Show” ( and the BDS rep was shown to be an embarrassing example of what the liberal movement has spawned today.

In Israel we get to enjoy “Latma” ( as they expose the motives and deception in the same entertaining way. Whereas Latma is primarily in Hebrew, not to worry, more and more news segments, parodies and reviews will be available in English soon.

Of course these entertaining ways are not the only strategies to be used, though they work wonders, especially on social networks among our young people.

After a moderate bout with confusion and frustration, many of the blind followers of opponents to the progressive and modern Jewish state often change direction when exposed to simple truths, facts and ACCURATE recent history. When the establishments that they have been taught to trust are “outed” as tools of misinformation and bias, anger at those that deceived them often sets in.

I know, many are waiting to hear what methods and strategies can and may be used…sorry, some discretion must remain. This is not a one-time battle, but an ongoing challenge, that must be won, again and again for your children, and your grandchildren.

Now is not just the time just to defend, but to fight against the ignorant and the manipulators of our weaker, less understanding brothers, a time to bring them back in, to be united again, no matter how diverse. The future generations of diaspora Judaism are at stake. Without Israel they will not thrive, some maybe to return to the “Shtetel” and Ghetto lifestyle, while the others will disappear in the whirlpool of assimilation.

Pesach is upon us, those who chose to be one free people left Egypt and eventually were as one at Mount Sinai. That challenge remains today, let’s not let our internal faults split us up to be used and exploited by our enemies. We can fight them, but let’s fight them to win, and not just to survive.

The Great Divide

United we stand, divided we fall...not just words but an efficient offensive strategy.

I admit that I continue to be surprised by the lack of knowledge regarding Israel in the so-called Zionist camps outside of Israel. Truthful information regarding Israel is readily available, more than ever, the web, speeches, lessons and so on.

Though I am not surprised by the orchestrated ignorance running amok among various congregations and communities allying themselves with the likes of J-Street and the New Israel Fund, I am very disturbed by this increasingly common characteristic among those who identify themselves with the Pro Zionist movements, even more so by those who study our holy scriptures and claim identity with our land.

The term I used before "orchestrated ignorance" was chosen because simply today many of the truths and facts regarding the conflict in Israel, specifically our historic heartland of Judea and Samaria, are keep strategically one sided, and hidden. Indeed, many of the historic truths read aloud every Saturday, or studied in Hebrew or Sunday schools are not identified with what today is branded as disputed territory. The chances of "hell freezing over" and a non-biased trip to our historical heartland, made by the less religiously affiliated or Conservative and Reform Jewish groups, showing our historic and present connection to areas such as Hebron and Shilo, are almost equivalent.

This keeping as many as our people ignorant as possible, or better yet misinformed, serves our enemies quite well by reducing the numbers of those outside of Israel who might otherwise support the Jewish state with fervorAn understandable strategy to say the least.

Sadly this strategy has an aftertaste resulting in too many cases of assimilation and extinction of a number of Jewish families. A definite existential threat to say the least.

On the other hand, it is disturbing to see the children who are sent on their "gap" year to study in Israel, their year in Yeshiva in Israel, and are not given the chance to connect and identify more with our land and the land of our forefathers.

Most of these institutions will simply not venture out to see our heartland, our historical and present day biblical sites, claiming parental fear and insurance issues. Needless to say that the parents of these boys are investing quite an amount of money for these gap "years" spent in Israel. The Israeli students pay a fraction for the same conditions.

The reasons these kids are sent to Israel vary, obviously they can receive the same learning where they hail from, so what are they getting here or what do their parents want them to get here in Israel?

There is no doubt, being, walking, living in Jerusalem and its environs is an experience, in all spectrums. But most of these kids do not fortify a true concrete connection to Israel. They return to their homes, and that is it. Israel is Jerusalem and the other tourist sites they have visited....the playground, end of story.

True opportunity is being missed, and criminally dismissed. These kids return to the outside, they face growing anti Israel acts in their lives, be they in campuses or everyday living outside their bubble. This is their chance to get a deeper understanding, to forge a true connection through knowledge and experience and to become true advocates for Israel, rather than the script carrying activists that frequent so many institutions today. I would like to think, to hope that maybe their parents would also hope for a deeper more meaningful experience for their children while they are in Israel. Most of the parents who send their children are strong Zionists. For the money spent, much more can be had, a stronger Jewish identity, a connection to our history, not just through words, but through actions, sights, smells and emotion. The passion they would come home with would stand up to any enemy or Soros/New Israel Funded activist.

Unfortunately most still come home not having experienced visits to the places they only study about, not even knowing how to find these places on a map. Don't believe me? Just ask them.

It doesn't matter who adheres to this policy of orchestrated ignorance, the results are seen and read about everyday. In this world where hatred against Israel grows daily, fueled by constant misinformation, petrol dollars and good old hatred, this great divide among our people is one of our true adversaries. We have plenty of enemies that are promoting this divide among our land and us. When we have a chance to close that gap, it must be taken advantage of.

Fighting it must remain among the top of our challenges; the battle against it must be ruthless, and one that must be won.