Showing posts from August, 2009

The Role of Women in Judaism

I am remiss: I meant to write about this months ago, and other issues got in the way. But this is such an important topic that I am writing about it now.

The issue of a woman's role in scholarship and Judaic ritual leadership, which has been 'whispered' about just under the surface for a while now, was raised aloud again and brought to the forefront recently.
This has happened particularly by the big news made by Rabbi Avi Weiss with his "Open Orthodoxy" idea, opening the door for women to have a leadership and public role in Jewish ritual observance, and also by Rabbi Yuval Sherlo, head of the Petach Tikva Hesder Yeshiva, when he created his "halachic document" enabling women to increase their participation in synagogue services, and by various other articles and blogs on the subject.
Here are some excerpts: from The Forward:
Rabbi Avi Weiss, a leading advocate for a more liberal Orthodoxy, and Sara Hurwitz, a protégé of Weiss, are now taking inquiries and…

Mashiach-er-Madonna is Coming. . .

This is a sign of the times. Madonna has come to tour the Holy Land (again). The interesting thing is, that she, The Material Girl has, as have some other celebrities over the years, found a fascination with Kabbalah and things Jewish, while many Jews never had or even worse, have lost their connection to Judaism.
Instead, they drift into the secular, spiritually purposeless lifestyle of our prevaling culture. As Rabbi Yitzhak Batzri--with whom I don't agree on everything he says, but do on this--stated on this latest visit by Madonna (oh, excuse me: by Esther):
“No one can study Torah unless he or she is converting to Judaism," he explained to Arutz-7's Hebrew news site. Madonna’s ostensible plunge into Kabbalah several years has been widely condemned by Torah scholars. Rabbi Batzri said Sunday, however, “There is no connection between what the singer learns and true Kabbalah. The foundations of Kabbalah are the Tree of Life…that no one can learn without ab…

Update on Heichal Shlomo "Missionary" Convocation

I just recieved an email today from Jewish Israel. It seems that the management at Heichal Shlomo was not aware that their facility was going to be used by Christian missionaries:

Jewish Israel feels that the management of Heichal Shlomo was deceived and that it is more than disturbing that an Orthodox landmark and synagogue in Jerusalem was almost used for a Christian or interfaith worship gathering . This should serve as a wake-up call to the Jewish community to become aware of the prevalence of evangelical missionary deceptions and it should alert the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus and Knesset members to be fully aware of the evangelizing intentions and agenda of a number of the individuals and organizations that they work with.How something like an evangelical event being held in Heichal Shlomo ever got past authorities, I have no clue. All I can say is, לאן הגענו ?

Has Israel Beat the Recession?

While my son is on a forced furlough from his company in Israel (his wife surprised him with a trip for two to Greece while he's off-what a gal!), which indicates that there are still layoffs and belt-tightening, over all the recession might be receding, according to an AP article published by Forbes of a Moody report on Israel's economy.

Recently I wrote in this blog about George Gilder's new book The Israel Test which indicated that Israel is becoming an economic force to be reckoned with and possibly a role model for capitalism.

So will somebody please tell this to Forbes, whose video about "Markets on the Up" doesn't even mention Israel?

"Interfaith Dialogue" has an Agenda

I first saw this on Shiloh Musings, republished from Jewish Israel, and was beside myself.
What is going on here? Is Heichal Shlomo becoming a venue for missionaries whose agenda, underneath, is converting Jews? Read on:
In an unprecedented and radical move, which most Torah observant Jews would categorize as an outright Chilul Hashem, Heichal Shlomo will be hosting a Christian “worship convocation” and banquet sponsored by evangelical missionary Christine Darg of Exploits Ministries. The event is scheduled for October 1, 2009 (a day before Erev Sukkot), and is being promoted as a prelude to ICEJ’s Feast of Tabernacles. The advertisement for the event calls for an afternoon “Daughter of Jerusalem” Worship Convocation in the 18th Century Renanim Synagogue of the Heichal Shlomo, followed by a banquet at the Heichel Shlomo.

Heichal Shlomo is a complex which for years served as the seat of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, and currently houses the Great Synagogue, the Jewish Heritage Museum, …

Weigh Your Words Carefully ('cause they're heavy)

There is a serious problem with Bloggersbase, which I intend to bring to the forefront and risk being the "whistleblower." It is a problem that I, personally, have already encountered several times, and after reading someone else's comment apologizing for a typo in their post title, I decided to blog about it here.

This life-and-death defect is. . . your posting set in stone. Yes. It's true. Once you left-click that mouse of yours with your trusty little itchy pointer finger on the button that says "publish," you have altered the universe. Your post is now out there in the hot sun, like an overripe, wormy fruit hanging half off its branch in the peach orchard about to splat all over the ground, for all to see. And it is absolutely unchangeable, irreversible, IMMUTABLE FOREVER. Then, it might actually even disappear!

With your kind indulgence (or not), I will explain: I have experienced this phenomenon several times, as I mentioned above; the first time…

Jewish vs Goyish

Ok, this is not original as I received it in an email from my famous relative, my "sister-in-law's sister-in-law," you know the one. (-and there is absolutely no offense meant to either Jews or non-Jews.)
But it's still, maybe just have a laugh (or cry, whatever!)


Judges Are Jewish
Juries Are Goyish

Packing all the mini hotel shampoos is Jewish
Using them is Goyish

Ordering family style is Jewish
Ordering a la carte is Goyish

Cruises are Jewish
Walking tours are Goyish

Laugh-In was Jewish
Hee Haw was Goyish

Grabbing lox from the back of the buffet first, is Jewish
Grabbing melon from the front is Goyish

Bunions are Jewish
Flat feet are Goyish

Simon Says is Jewish
The Hokey Pokey is Goyish

"Bewitched" is Jewish
"I Dream of Jeannie" is Goyish

The Limbo is Jewish
Line dancing is Goyish

Picking from your mate's plate is Jewish
Not wanting even a "little taste" is Goyish

Fruitcake is Goyish
Fruit and cake is Jewish

Reading &quo…

The Pressure of Victory, the Agony of. . .

I don't believe it. I have to write something. But I must, even though I don't wanna.

Why? Because they said so. That's right. THEY, the Bloggersbase powers-that-be, said I'd better get out there and write something quick or I will (horrors) lose my big chance at my FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FAME or something. And in addition, I might--IF I write a blog post, that is--actually WIN (applause appropriate here) enough to buy a Starbuck's Grande Vente Mocha Latte or whatever the hell they call them these days.

But as I said before, I don't want to write. I'm exhausted. My daughter just left today. I'm missing her and I'm in a bad mood. I'm not even prepared to teach my class tonight (well, semi-prepared; did it last week...). All I want to do is vege-out, lie in bed and sleep and/or watch a movie.

Ever have one of those days? You have a GA-Zillion things to do,
-wash the dishes

Haveil Havalim #231 is up, and. . .

. . . at Ben-Yehudah's עשר אגורות* . Looks like many, many interesting posts are included in this edition.
As I've said before several times, so many blogs, so little time! But do take the time to read at least some of them, for it will be well worth it (and you'll be the richer for it too).

My daughter left today, and that makes none. An empty house. Don't feel like blogging right now...

*Esser Agoroth, Ben-Yehudah's blog. Means in Hebrew "10 agorot," or the equivalent of about 2 cents American.

The Importance of Family

After a very (unusually) busy summer, with our traveling out of state to visit and care for our grandchildren, and then having one grandson visit here with his aunt (my middlest, Toodles) , and then for a few days all three of our daughters being here together--the "three sisters' --first time in years--the importance of family relationships and missing them is starting to set in, again...

Our youngest daughter, here for a 30-day leave from the army (which she had to divide among 3 states because that is where her family and friends are), left in the beginning of August, for several days in New York and then back to Israel. This had been her first trip back here in four years, because of the commitments of school and then the army. We had seen her previously one-and-a-half years ago at her oldest brother's wedding in March, 2008.

Our middlest just graduated from college in Israel, and is back in the States for a year-no, not at 'home' (where is home, these days?),…

Is Social Media Our Future?

Saw this incredible video first on Twitter at Yigal's page. This is part of the reason my husband is out of work. The paradigm is changing. . .(you can follow me on Twitter as well!)

What do you think? Do you agree that this is the future of communications?

Let’s Hear it for Comic Sans!

What’s all the ruckus about in articles I am reading regarding the font called “Comic Sans MS*?” It seems that everyone is railing against it, vilifying it, and advocating banning it. This is starting to make me nervous, because I myself can not understand what all the fuss is about.Does that mean that I am not ‘with it?’ Not ‘cool?’ Have pedestrian tastes? Unintellectual? Or just plain stupid?I was afraid to think about it, because I sensed in myself leanings towards--horrors—liking Comic Sans!I use it to email readers of my blog, for one thing.I mean, it seems like a friendly font to me. So I did what any person would do--I quickly researched the history (it’s short) and origins of Comic Sans Serif, to see if that knowledge would enlighten me as to all the brouhaha.Here goes: Comic Sans was invented by Vincent Connare, a former Microsoft font designer, and was released by Microsoft in 1995:Kelson writes "The Wall Street Journal profiles Vincent Connare, designer of the web'…

Are We At a Crossroads?

(photo at right: Gil Yohanan at YNet News:,7340,L-3750813,00.html )

I have been reading the recent news items about serious breaches of the law by prominent religious rabbis and raucous "demonstrations" (read: rioting) against other Jews by "religious" Haredim (Ultra-Orthodox) in Jerusalem, and my mind is reeling.

Instead of a public outcry from the Haredi leaders against the lawless rabbis, there is mostly silence. Unfortunately, there is also mainly silence from these leaders with regard to their own sect violently clashing with police and overturning and burning city dumpsters while strewing trash all over the streets and sidewalks, turning parts of Jerusalem into a veritable stinking garbage dump. This is at best a disgrace, and at worst, in my opinion a big chilul Hashem (desecration of G-d's name).

I said mainly silent, because except for one article I read in which a Haredi protester was interviewed. He stated that the vi…

The Answer to Noise Pollution, Israeli Style

What does one do when the Arabs (who have no consideration for others) make incessant noise way above the maximum decibel allowance at dawn? Blast them with Beethoven, of course.

Personally, I would add all the songs from before the inception of the State of Israel; all the halutznik songs, and then we should blast them with Yo Yah.

*Copyright alert: No infringement of any text or graphic copyright is ever intended on this blog. If you own the copyright to any original image or document used for the creation of the graphics or information on this site, please contact the blog administrator with all pertinent info so that proper credit can be given. If you wish to have it removed from the site, just say the word; it shall be, ASAP.

Not Intel; rather: Israel Inside*

Judging from world opinion vociferously protesting the Israeli so-called "occupation" and 'oppression of Palestinians' and 'apartheid' policy (and 'atrocities in Gaza,' and blah blah blah) one would think that little Israel (wasn't it the French ambassador who once called it "that shitty little country?") is not worth more than a passing thought, and a negative one at that.

However, everyone who really knows the country (and the people and the culture), including countless bloggers (yours truly among them), have often written about the seemingly miraculous birth of Israel and it's developing global greatness.

Enter George Gilder with a new future blockbuster book (you heard it here see Israel Matzav) entitled The Israel Test. In it he shines the light on Israel's emerging greatness as a world class player on the science, technology and economic global stage, (read Mr. Gilder's riveting essay in it'…

My Family

I know. Explains a lot.

Where Was Obama Really Born?

The question of Barack Hussein Obama's true place of birth is still not-so-quietly percolating.
World Net Daily's Joseph Farah has offered a $10,000 reward to anyone who can prove that he or she was present at Obama's birth.
"Barack Obama claims to have been born in Honolulu Aug. 4, 1961," explains Farah. "His entire constitutional claim to the presidency rests on this premise. Yet, he refuses to release a copy of his long-form birth certificate – the only document that could possibly corroborate his claim. Therefore, in the interest of truth, justice and the Constitution, I am making the extraordinary offer to entice someone to come forward with the facts of his birth – whether it took place in Hawaii or elsewhere."
On the other hand, you would think that the Governor of Hawaii, Linda Lingle, would have scoped out the facts on Obama's birth certificate way back during his campaign (especially since she is Republican), so it seems unlikely that he coul…

More on the Jews from Mark Twain

I had a request from a commenter to post some things other famous Gentiles said about the Jews, so I am posting the really famous one from Mark Twain, which most people I would guess are somewhat familiar with. If you are not, enjoy it, as seen here:
If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one quarter of one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous puff of star dust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly, the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk.His contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine and abstruse learning are also very out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in this world in all ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself and be excus…

Perceptions of the Jews by Renowned Gentiles

My sister-in-law's sister-in-law, who is a wonderful human being (and she's also funny) sent me this in an email. Normally I just delete them, but this got me to thinking-with the indictments and fraud and money laundering going on in certain segments of the Jewish population-that maybe we need to look at the forest as well as cauterize the blighted trees:


"The Jew gave us the Outside and the Inside - our outlook and our inner
life. We can hardly get up in the morning or cross the street without
being Jewish. We dream Jewish dreams and hope Jewish hopes. Most of our
best words, in fact - new, adventure, surprise, unique, individual,
person, vocation, time, history, future, freedom, progress, spirit,
faith, hope, justice - are the gifts of the Jews."

-- Thomas Cahill, Irish Author

"Some people like the Jews, and some do not. But no thoughtful man can
deny the fact that they are, beyond any question, the most formidable
and the most remarkable race which ha…