"On the banks of the rivers of New York, there we sat and there we cried as we remembered zion..." - The thoughts and theories of a returned yeshiva student after the "year".

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Location: New York, NY, Israel

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Count Down to Apocalypse Thursday

According to Jewish tradition, on the 17th of Tammuz the walls of Jerusalem according to tradition were breached by both Nebucadnezzar and the Roman army. There were also other infamous events that happened on that day. The current war in Lebanon also started on 17th of Tammuz. On the 9th of Av both the first and second temples were destroyed, ironically on that date in 1994 a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires was bombed by our peaceful neighbors Hezbullah, 86 Jews were killed. In general the day is a bad luck date for Jews throughout history. There are 3 weeks between the 17th of Tammuz and the culmination of the 9th of Av. There have been a little bit less than 3 weeks of war in Israel.

The war with Iran and Syria starts sometime this week, before thursday. With that in mind the Uranium should start flying on thursday the of 9th Av. Is this the beginning or the end of the third temple? Well just in case, its been a nice run here on the rivers of New York.

(I thought I was the one who was against apocalyptic/messianic premonitions?)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Impending Apocalypse

Yes ladies and gentlemen, the messiah has arrived on his white donkey and lo and behold he is a she. yes the messiah is a she.

Got your attention didn't I? Well as with every disturbance in human history, someone is awaiting the imminent arrival of our beloved white donkey of the apocalypse. I'm particularly noting an article on which is linked to a page discussing the Lebanon War and its relevance to the coming Messiah. Remarkably these folks managed to get everything except list the four horsemen of the apocalypse namely Ahmadinejad, Nassrallah, Meshaal and Kim Jong Il (added to prove that G-d isnt biased against muslims). I'm assuming they also think that Ariel Sharon is gonna wake up as the resurrected Jesus only to get cruxified again for starting a new religion called christianity AND giving away the Gaza Strip.

If the Rebbe does happen to pass the four asses of the apocalypse in the opposite lane on Jaffa Street while riding his white stead (Donkey from shrek perhaps or did bilaam get him first?), I'll probably eat my shorts and my sweaty tzitiz and then calmly walk over to the Geihinom (real place on the eastern side of har-habayit) and dive in head first. By the way, I sure hope his driver doesn't hit any non-jewish kids on the way (imagine the moshiach starting the 3rd Intifadah). And thats what I have to say about predicting the Moshiach, for those of you offended go read about Bar Kochba and Shabbtai Tzvi about the last time we thought we knew about the imminent arrival of the white donkey riding hottie.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

72 Virgins! for the "queer" guy

After getting a IM about a site called which is program designed to "cure" homosexuals, I had an epiphany that will change my life and that of my helpless buddies. Most of us aren't exactly in or out of the closet, but we could use a help with our "straight" heimishe lifestyles. The plan is that we'll go to these professional "straighteners" and get ourselves "cured" with fine yiddishe yaldot. Hey, at least I'm not faking depression to get some happy pills!

Screw the "Mainstream-Media", More Funds for Blogs!

As is the general history of western journalism regarding Israel since 1982, many innocent Israeli civilians are getting killed but sorry 3rd worlders make better reporting material. As was in 1982 the journalists had a field day with every single Israeli missile and tank shell. The sad thing is that I'm here in Jew York City "Ir Ha-Kodesh" and I can't come to any kind of educated understanding about the situation there thanks to the skewed-"reporting" of the media.

The media gives me the impression that poor lebanese civilians are getting an ass whooping while the big bad Israel and slighly badder Hezullah duke it out over some conflict that is conveyed to us as being blown way out of proportion. Its all about two bullies fighting and innocent people getting hurt. Now being the mindless Israel supporter that I am (sort of), I don't quite buy what the media in the West has been saying as is similarly mentioned in this article which was shown to me by one of the abused and victimized munchkins from from a famous kids movie made a long time ago. As a result of the Jenin fiasco and the sorry story of Mohammed a-Dura, most educated people have really no reason to take massacre stories about the IDF at face value without some serious review. Mohammed was the palestinian boy shown on the cover of the NY Times who was reportedly shot to death by the IDF while hiding for cover in his fathers arms. It was later proven by ballistics experts that judging from the positions of the IDF and the terrorists during that battle it was impossible for an Israeli to have shot the boy (the article was in the atlantic monthly). Leaving only two options: a) he was never actually killed and it was staged b) palestinian terrorists shot the boy . I'll leave you to your own conclusions.

Reality never seems to be conveyed in a proportional manner through the media. It just gives you some sad eyed little kid and shows you Israeli artillery and then leaves you to decide whos right. I for one at least try to educate myself with the situation and almost never leave my opinions to be made up by some talking head's 10 o'clock presentation. But what about the other working Americans who don't have the time and motivation to educate themselves about the world? The ones who leave that education to their post-dinner study session with anchor man bob and wild bill and his reporting live from the wild wild west bank or in our case southern lebanon? When they vote are they gonna support the cute looking giant firebreathing metal dragon or the teary eyed Lebanese kid? Who gives a damn if his daddy's launching or not launching rockets at some other teary eyed kid in Haifa or Tzfat?

Speaking of Tzfat, I was just wondering if anyone has anyone come up with some kind of anti-rocket segula system yet? anti-Katyusha wrist bands anyone? Shtriemel-mounted patriot missiles, with a special shabbos-use heter?

My point is that while Israel must do what it takes to secure its Northern Border for the sanity of its kids, and that the media isn't going to tell you that. The media won't tell you that the international community and the Lebanese government were supposed to carry out UN resolution 1559. And rarely will it mention that the soldier kidnapped was a father doing reserve duty. It will leave you with a highly emtional load of nonsense.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Wait So You Do Have An Army??

Lebanese army involvement if ground invasion launched

After giving Israel and the world the understanding that Lebanon could not control it's southern border due to its lack of strength and divided nature, the prime minister of the so-called "country" of Lebanon has come out with a statement saying that his army will help defend lebanon in case of invasion. I don't get it, I first thought that it was unfair to punish Lebanon whose army is unfortunately too weak to resist Hezbullah, but I suppose it can stand up to the IDF. What a load of shit, nuke Lebanon already.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I'm Coming Home! (ideologically)

After spending a year in Israel disgusted by what I heard from people claiming to represent the views of the so-called religious-zionist movement I believe I have finally found the way that I will synthesize my religious beliefs with the Zionist movement. The answer is Meimad a small party founded by Rav Amital of Yeshivat Har Etzion, which seems like it is able to accept Jewish sovereignty over parts of eretz yisrael, remain democratic while at the same time not being forced to accept Kahanist Facism. Baruch Hashem (I can't believe I just said that)

"The welfare of the Jewish people and its state takes precedence over maintaining control of the whole Land of Israel. The pursuit of peace is a Jewish value. It is the obligation of every Israeli government to do its utmost to reduce bloodshed and prevent war. An extremist position, that places the Land of Israel above all other values, does not represent the Torah of Israel. Therefore, we support the continuation of the political peace process, even with the painful concessions this may entail. In a final agreement on Judea and Samaria, concentrated areas of Jewish settlement are to be transferred to Israeli sovereignty. No foreign army is to cross the Jordan River, and Jerusalem is to be under Israeli sovereignty.
" - Meimad Website

I urge all frum yidden to test their "frum"ness User Test: The Orthodoxy  Test.

Now They've Done It!

"Rockets also struck Kiryat Shmona, Rosh Pina, Dishon, Moshav Sde Eliezer, Hatzor Haglilit, Amuka and the Jezreel Valley. There were no injuries in those strikes." - Haaretz

First the Bastards hit Jesus's hometown and now they go after the dead Yonatan ben Uzziel in his grave in Amuka!? If Hezbullah hasn't offended just about every yent-ing frum yiddishe girl until now they've definitely on their bad sides now. And take it from a pro, don't ever mess with Orthodox chicks, especially the high heeled ones.

Amuka whose name comes from the hebrew word Amoke which means deep, is in as the name says in a deep valley near Tzfat . It's claim to fame is that it houses what is supposedly the tomb of the great tanna Yonatan ben Uzziel who our modern legend has it is the Hebrew G-d of shidduchs (yeah so much for monotheism). Many single Jewish guys and girls go on a pilgrimage to the tomb of the great scholar in hopes that it is a segula (merit) to find their partner. So far its been a 2 months and no such luck for this loser, but then again I didn't take a dive in the mikve before hand.

If Sheik Hanan ever decides he needs to find another wife or pleasure camel, let him now beware that if he ever shows his face in Amuka he now runs the risk of getting hacked and beaten to a pulp by an assorted array of lipstick, cellphones and diet pills. I'd take a cannon shell or a hellfire missile over that any day of the week.

By the way the two people killed in todays rocket attack on the heilige city of Nazareth were arab childran playing in the street. I guess thats what they mean when they speak of pluralism (is there such a concept in Hezbola land?).

Monday, July 17, 2006

Daily Ethical Resolution:

I will never sit down on a on a subway or bus unless I see that everyone else has found one.

sponsored by malaah ba'kodesh v'ain moridim inc.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

"Rockets strike deeper into Israel, near Nazareth"

Hezbullah appears to be going in for a confirmed kill or at least postpone the second coming for a little while.

And wheres the outrage now? Kind of reminds me the Bethlehem siege a few years ago, it appears that Nazareth just isn't as cool.

Peace and Sovereignty for Lebanon (and Israel) = Destruction of Hezbullah

Avinu Shbashamayim Tzur Yisrael v'Goalo U'Varech et Medinat Yisrael...

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Whats is next for the Israel-Hezbullah exchange of rockets? Are we going down the road of 1982 with Israel invading up till the Litani and then beyond (big pines/little pines anyone?)? probably not. However the question is what exactly is the goal on the part of the IDF planners are this point? Perhaps the idea is to reassert its will to respond militarily to a challenge and thus regain a detterent affect on the northern border while at the same time force the lebanese government to reassert sovereignty in southern lebanon.

What happens when Lebanon doesn't move its army into southern Lebanon, could we be seeing a UN peacekeeping force move into Southern Lebanon? Probably not if Hezbullah remains as a force to reckoned with in that territory. My bet is that Israel hopes to destroy Hezbullah's infastructure and cause enough damage to Lebanon that a) the civilian population will see hezbullah as the cause of their troubles and thus weaken support for the terrorist, and b) enough to weaken it and perhaps clear the road for an attempt by the Lebanese army to move in. Of course this is assuming that it manages to remain as a coherent group and doesn't crack into the splintered militias of the civil war era.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Israel's situation, at least on its northern border is back to where it was in 1982, if not in an even more high stakes situation. Once again it is in the position where it is going to at least try to punish the Lebanese government and civilian population into controling its southern border. Unlike the pre-82' situation Hezbullah apparently has missiles that can reach large Israeli population centers like Haifa, something that the PLO did not have in their time.

The IDF is currently using overwhelming force in both Lebanon and the Gaza Strip mostly because it must restore its traditional weapon of detterence. As a result of its neglected use of detterent Hezbullah is now testing the IDF and hoping to open this all up into the grand show that it seems to headed to.

As far as the kidnapped soldiers go, they are doing everything in their power to prevent them from transfered out of the general area which they were kidnapped in. In Gaza they are trying to prevent the soldier from being transfered into the Sinai and then transforming this from a short term operation which is designed to recover him into a long term strategic issue similar to that of Ron Arad. Similarly in Lebanon every second that those soldiers are not recovered means that they are closer to moving them out of Lebanon and into Syria or Iran exactly as what happened to Ron Arad in the 80s. This is of course all under the assumption that they are still alive, as was not the case with the 3 soldiers kidnapped a few years ago.

On the other hand it seems to me that the goals of Hamas and Hezbullah are to use these soldiers as bargaining chips in exchange for their own prisoners held in Israel. The only problem for them is that it seems that Israeli policy is going to opt against making making any prisoner exchanges and instead opt towards punishing these terrorist organizations into doing something. At this point it seems unlikely that Hamas and Hezbullah will just admitt their mistakes and kindly return their soldiers. It is unclear how they could end this situation even if they decided that they wanted to.

This line of reasoning all lies under he assumption that this is all simply a Hezbullah/Hamas vs Israel situation however if there are other factors involved such as the Syrian government, Iran or internal Lebanese politics, this may just be the start of this party

G-d help us all.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

According to my understanding of Orthodox Judaism, the Seven Noahide laws are pretty much the only Universalistic principle of Judaism. Everything else appears to solely apply towards Jews.

The question then is, how is it realistic for G-d to expect that people who have no exposure to such principles and ethics will ever undertake to accept these values? How can this concept of Universalism exist if it seems that realistically speaking there are peoples in the world who will never be exposed to them. In fact there were and are whole societies based around the negation of some of those principles.

Specifically I am refering to Idolatry and the worship of anything other than the one omnipotent G-d. According to Jewish law one who engages in such practices in ideal circumstances would be put to death. How is it fair or realistic that human beings residing in parts of the world where the norm is to the contrary to possibly become monotheistic. Perhaps one will argue that it is each persons job in the world to come to further understand G-d along these lines. Not to mention that today at least monotheism has spread throughout the world. However my ideal counterargument would be to cite the Native Americans in the New World before the arrival of colombus (or perhaps the norsemen). Here you have an entire society which to my understandings did not espouse the values of monotheism and had absolutely no connection with any monotheistic faith for a rather long time. How is it possible to argue that since the seven noahide laws are universal all the members of these societies deserve the death penalty? Even assuming that ultimately speaking one will arrive at monotheism how can one possibly punish (from a hypothetical intellectual standpoint) this entire group of people who has absolutely no realistic reason to take on basic monotheistic belief? Does Halacha really state this or am I missing a crucial point here?

According to the Talmud it is possible for a gentile to enter the world to come if he fulfills the seven requirements. The talmud is saying that a gentile has the ablility to find purpose in his or her life by following these regulations without actually entering the covenant of abraham. However from our standpoint regarding the clear majority of the residents of these other societies and civilizations we have absolutely no reason to even suspect that they would take on the seven laws. What kind of purpose do they serve in G-ds or at least rabbanic judaism's sceme of the world? According to my current understanding of the world whole civilizations had absolutely no contact with judaism or monotheism and thus had no clear purpose in their existence at least according to rabbanic judaism. Is it possible that G-d created an entire civilization of human beings without any purpose in what us Orthodox Jews consider to be the ultimate purpose; His service.

G-d help me, or at least one of the gods anyways.

Boredom is worse than public speaking or death

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Prediction: Like Rashi and Rambam, 100 years from now all Artscroll Gemaras, Chumashim, and other assorted translated works will be said to have been written with ruach hakodesh (divine spirit). Instead of reading the text twice and targun unkulos once each week before shabbat we will read the text twice and the holy artscroll once before shabbat. Wait till we start applying higher critical analysis to our lovable torah cheatsheets as well.

In all seriousness what kind of fool should actually be willing to believe that Rashi or Rambam wrote with ruach hakodesh? Unless of course you want to argue that all great works were written with divine inspiration, which is fine with me as long as one respects those other works. But to say that Rashi to the exclusion of most others wrote with ruach hakodesh, he was just a regular human like the rest of us, albeit with a knack for torah study.

You heard it first, rabbis are just people who can be wrong.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Were we I wrong? Thats the million dollar question I've been asking myself for the greater part of the past week. Was disengaging from the Gaza strip really the wrong move? Perhaps if the IDF were still in Gaza since last july there would be no Kassams landing on Israel and the soldier would be back safely with his unit. Or maye this is the right type of strategy and the price the Israelis are now paying is merely the cost of an effective policy, afterall nothing comes free. Perhaps after this episode ends and Hamas has been pounded into the ground by months of bombardment and siege Israelis will finally be able to negotiate a final status settlement with Abbas and others who seem to be willing to compromise in a peaceful fashion.

Only time will tell...