Tag: Jerusalem

If I Forget Thee…


Disclaimer: My son says words cannot capture what went on. I am trying anyway. This is the week before the 9th of Av, the date of the destruction of both temples, so the date (and recent unrest) makes it seem like now is the right time to post this.

Some months ago, I realized that I had an opportunity to get to Israel. Perhaps more importantly, I saw it as an opportunity to bring my #2 son, @Blessedblacksmith, to spend a few days in Israel. I knew it would be a journey of tears.

Trump and Netanyahu on Israel: Enough Lies


I’m tired of the lies about Israel that have been perpetrated by the world and that have been supported by the United States for many years. It’s time to set the record straight on the history of Israel and the truth about the Palestinians. I’m hoping that Donald Trump will step forward and transform our relationship with Israel and call the world to accept the truth and the necessity for changing the narrative. 

In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, Max Singer, founder of the Hudson Institute, suggested a path for Trump to pursue regarding Israel: “If Mr. Trump wants to advance the possibility of peace, he should begin by challenging the five big untruths that sustain the anti-Israel consensus.” To summarize his points, Mr. Singer offered the following myths (the information in brackets are my additions):

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10:15AM, Jerusalem. Terrorist in vehicle opened fire with automatic weapon on the light rail station at Ammunition Hill. proceeded on towards the next train station at Shimon haTzaddik. Six people injured, two of them critically. Terrorist has been killed. Preview Open

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Brothers of Israel, Part 3


israel-645x250Continued from Part 2

“Think of the Middle East as a football field. Israel is the size of a matchbox on that football field. A matchbox! And the world says Israel should give up half of their matchbox.” — Rabbi Ken Spiro

Entering the Israeli Army base on the border of the West Bank, we were given an opportunity to hone our Krav Maga skills (or, in reality, to demonstrate we had none) and perform countless push-ups under orders from a 25-year-old Army Commander. When he wasn’t yelling at us 40- to 70-year-old flabby desk jockeys, he was tasked to ensure his young regiment of Israeli soldiers was ready to handle the threats from Islamic terrorists (yeah, I said it).

Brothers of Israel, Part 2


The following occurred in 1 day:

Continued from Part 1: “You will not sleep on this trip.” Never have words been more true. Going to bed around 3am and waking at 5am takes it’s toll, but adrenaline is Gods way of getting you through it. “We sleep when we die“.

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Some mayors, such as the mayor of New York, incite violent crime. Others, such as the former mayor of New York, bring down violent crime. And then there is Nir Barkat, the mayor of Jerusalem, who personally brought down a violent terrorist today. Abraham Goldstein, a 27-year-old Haredi father of four, was walking along when, […]

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Jerusalem Diary: Shabbat


I arrived in Jerusalem a week ago on Friday afternoon — just as the Jewish Sabbath was about to begin. Mindful that, on the Sabbath it is hard to find anywhere to get a bite to eat in Bakah (where I was staying), the Provost of Shalem College invited me to join his family for dinner that night. Thinking that I would be exhausted and not a suitable guest, I declined and ordered takeout from a burger joint that delivers to hotels and homes. The next day, however, I took a taxi to Ramot Bet — some distance away in northwestern Jerusalem — to join my host and his family for the mid-day meal and for the dinner held at the end of the Sabbath.

This was for me a treat. I have a great many Jewish friends in the United States, and some of them are what they call “observant.” What that word means in Jerusalem, however, is something else again. Within Israel, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem have become opposites. The pious have gravitated to Jerusalem. The hedonists tend to live in or near Tel Aviv, which has the feel of Miami Beach. The Israelis of Jerusalem and many of the Jews from abroad who come to the Holy City for a visit are strictly observant. On the Sabbath, they not only do not work. They do not answer the phone, make phone calls, check their email, turn on or off the lights, drive, cook. The list is long. Instead, they pray, they read, they converse with the members of their family, they relax.