Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Blown away by a Summer wedding

Sunday was my sister's wedding - a beautiful windy summer New Zealand wedding.

The Chuppa was beautiful, although we were blow away by the ceremony - literally, there was a huge windstorm and each of the siblings ended up holding on to a Chuppa pole, just to make sure that the whole structure didn't get blown away.

A kosher wedding in New Zealand presented more than the normal logistical challenge - finding a chef prepared to work with the rabbi to make sure that everything was kosher. The solution to making a kosher wedding at a non-kosher venue - Barbecue. Rabbi Chaim Dovrat shechted lamb and chicken especially for the event, and spent the better part of the week before the wedding in and out of the venue to watch them prepare the side dishes and salads.

My older brother David (AKA "Rabbi Sedley") was the Mesader Kiddushin made the ceremony very personal and I think that it meant a lot to our mother to see her eldest son marry off her youngest daughter.

The music and dancing was very lebedik. Finding a DJ that could entertain a frum wedding was a challenge in New Zealand, but the happy couple put a disc together themselves and said to the DJ that if the crowd looks like they're having a good time, just keep playing this disk.

And most importantly it looked like my parents both had a wonderful time seeing their youngest daughter begin a life together with a wonderful young man like Simon.

May they know many years of health and happiness together as the build a Bayit Neman B'Yisrael.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Now that I've voted, I'm outta here (for a couple of weeks)

I went out and performed my civic duty this morning (I wont tell you who I voted for, but for the first time there was no ב on my voting slip).
If any Israeli readers have not yet voted, I encourage you to brave the stormy weather and do your bit for democracy.

In about 2 hours I'm off to the airport, I'm flying tonight to New Zealand for my baby sister's wedding on Sunday.
Not sure if I'll have much opportunity to write while I'm there, but if I don't have a chance, stay tuned for a wedding report in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

'She Had to Work Diligently'

This was in today's "Best of the Web", published by the Wall Street Journal.
I'm reprinting it as written, I don't think that I could improve on Taranto's comment.....

'She Had to Work Diligently'

There's a curious omission in a New York Times report from Baghdad on the arrest of Samira Ahmed Jassim al-Azzawi, a quinquagenarian woman who goes by the nickname "Um Huda" ("mother of believers") and who confessed to Iraqi police that she had recruited at least 28 female suicide bombers for al Qaeda:
Her remarks suggested that she had to work diligently to persuade women to become bombers, speaking to them many times.
She also appeared to confirm what many military and intelligence officials had asserted: that insurgents prey on women in dire social and economic situations who are often suffering from emotional or psychological problems, or abuse.

What does it mean, "she had to work diligently"? What the Times leaves out can be found in many other news accounts, such as this one from London's Times:

She has apparently confessed to helping to organise the rape of young women. She would then play on the shame associated with victims of rape in Iraqi society to convince the women to become suicide bombers as their only means of escape, according to a prison interview with the Associated Press.

The London paper notes that "it was not possible to verify independently the claims of using rape as a means to turn women into suicide attackers" -- a fair disclaimer, but one that does not justify ignoring the claims altogether.
In any case, assuming the rape story is true, consider the many levels on which this is depraved. A Muslim woman is arranging for Muslim men to rape Muslim women in order to shame those Muslim women into committing suicide for the purpose of murdering other Muslim men, women and children. And all of this is done in the name of Islam.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Zionism Today

The nature of Zionism has changed over the years.
In the past, the Zionist ideal may have been fulfilled by moving to a Kibbutz and picking oranges.

Today, Israel doesn't need orange pickers as much as it needs good housing, jobs, and other incentives for people to move here and be proud of the country.

If you want to see how much Zionism has achieved in our generation, look at the cities and towns throughout this beautiful country that were built on barren rocks.

To illustrate this point, I looked up my house in Google Maps,

The amazing thing is, if you look at the satellite image, the image (which is only 2-3 years old), shows barren, undeveloped land:

For those familiar with the area, the houses on the right are Reut, the construction area in the top half of the image is Buchman Tzafon, and the undeveloped area at the bottom is Buchman Darom, including m house.

If you look at it with street names superimposed, you get a better idea:

Hard to believe that the empty space on the corner of Shivtei Yisrael and Ester Hamalka (at the end of Menashe street) is now a fully developed neighbourhood.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Queer Jews to End the Occupation

This is kinda old news, but I thought that it was still worth posting.

Among the signs in the Anti-Israel demonstration recently in San Francisco (where else) was the following sign:

(Photo courtesy of Zombie Time)

Now this individual seems clearly not clear of the concept, but somehow links three concepts: Queers, Jews, and Occupations.

Now, to help the individual out, I compiled a list of all openly homosexual people and organizations in Gaza, which I am happy to reprint here:

I also have a complete list of Jews in Gaza:

  • Gilad Shalit

ohhh - and just so there is no confusion, here is a list of all the "occupied" areas in the Gaza Strip:

Now, could someone please explain to me what the person in the photo is demonstrating for or against....