Musings From Israel:

Sometimes amusing, sometimes thought-provoking, hopefully never mind-numbing. Everyday life here in Artzeinu Hakedosha. North American family of 6 moves to Israel (for a year)on a trial basis, then decides to stay.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Racial profiling

I just found this in my inbox, it was forwarded by my mother.
OK, I am not telling you to forward this to everyone that you know, but haven't we all been on the wrong end of an 'interrogator' at the airport. How many of us have been told, "Let's not forget 9-11" when having our blond-yarmulke toting husbands' bags opened?! Anyway. Enjoy!

Subject: History Test

Please pause a moment, reflect back, and take the following multiple choice test. The events are actual events from history. They actually happened! Do you remember?

1. 1968 Bobby Kennedy was shot and killed by
a. Superman
b. Jay Leno
c. Harry Potter
d. a Muslim male extremist between the ages of 17 and 40

2. In 1972 at the Munich Olympics, athletes were kidnapped and massacred by
a. Olga Corbett
b. Sitting Bull
c. Arnold Schwarzenegger
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

3. In 1979, the US embassy in Iran was taken over by:
a. Lost Norwegians
b. Elvis
c. A tour bus full of 80-year-old women
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

4. During the 1980's a number of Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon by:
a. John Dillinger
b. The King of Sweden
c. The Boy Scouts
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

5. In 1983, the US Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by:
a. A pizza delivery boy
b. Pee Wee Herman
c. Geraldo Rivera
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

6. In 1985 the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked and a 70 year old American passenger was murdered and thrown overboard in his wheelchair by:
a. The Smurfs
b. Davey Jones
c. The Little Mermaid
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

7. In 1985 TWA flight 847 was hijacked at Athens, and a US Navy diver trying to rescue passengers was murdered by:
a. Captain Kidd
b. Charles Lindberg
c. Mother Teresa
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

8. In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by:
a. Scooby Doo
b. The Tooth Fairy and The Sundance Kid
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

9. In 1993 the World Trade Center was bombed the first time by:
a. Richard Simmons
b. Grandma Moses
c. Michael Jordan
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

10. In 1998, the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by:
a. Mr. Rogers
b. Hillary Clinton, to distract attention from Wild Bill's women problems
c. The World Wrestling Federation
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

11. On 9/11/01, four airliners were hijacked; two were used as missiles to take out the World Trade Centers and of the remaining two, one crashed into the US Pentagon and the other was diverted and crashed by the passengers. Thousands of people were killed by:
a. Bugs Bunny, Wiley E. Coyote, Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd
b. The Supreme Court of Florida
c. Mr. Bean
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

12. In 2002 the United States fought a war in Afghanistan against:
a. Enron
b. The Lutheran Church
c. The NFL
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

13. In 2002 reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered by:
a. Bonnie and Clyde
b. Captain Kangaroo
c. Billy Graham
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

Nope, I really don't see a pattern here to justify profiling, do you? So, to ensure we Americans never offend anyone, particularly fanatics intent on killing us, airport security screeners will no longer be allowed to profile certain people. They must conduct random searches of 80-year-old women, little kids, airline pilots with proper identification, secret agents who are members of the President's security detail, 85-year old Congressmen with metal hips, and Medal of Honor winning and former Governor Joe Foss, but leave Muslim Males between the ages 17 and 40 alone lest they be guilty of profiling. Let's send this to as many people as we can so that the Gloria Aldreds and other dunder-headed attorneys along with Federal Justices that want to thwart common sense, feel doubly ashamed of themselves -- if they have any such sense. As the writer of the award winning story "Forrest Gump" so aptly put it, "Stupid is as stupid does."
Come on people wake up!!! Keep this going. Pass it on to everyone in your address book. Our Country and our troops need our support.

Monday, July 24, 2006

playing with my mind

We (I) decided to keep 2.5 y.o. home for the next three days.
Why? You may ask. Well, I was planning on toilet training him over he summer.
Specifically why now--We were out for shabbos day and one of the kids there was toilet training (there's gotta be another term); it's before the 9 days and its laundry limitations; I hope to go away at the end of the summer;he's between school and daycamp, so it's a great transition period.
I really thought that he'd be ready.
He's sat on the toilet , both productively and not, over the last few months, he will tell me when he's wet/dirty, he knows what to do, he's got control, need I continue?
Day 2 began with us in the living room with Lego and Bristle Blocks (remember those!?!).
"Hey, cutie," I began, "where are you gonna' make?"
His immediate reply o me was, "on Lego"
"No, c'mon, where are you going to make?" I persist
"On floor!" was his bright reply
Now I'm really getting frustrated.
He's used the toilet (sitting and standing) all day beautifully the previous day, and now he's got "my new one, new potty" to use as well.
"Really, where are you going to pish, when you have to?" I come back for more--
"OK Eema, on loitet" he says (NOT toilet, but loitet!)
"and on the ..." I prompt him
"on the new one! my potty"
He's totally playing with my mind!

must-read 'matzav' articles from
(by Alan M. Dershowitz, from The Wall St. Journal)

Sunday, July 23, 2006

baby talk

My baby is actually putting together real sentences--you know more than 3 words consecutively!

Like when we were dropping off one of his sisters at a friend's and passed a playground on the way home--"Eema no home, go whee!" Telling me that he did not want to go home(duh!)and wanted to go to the park.

He also will tell me, "home, go home," when he feels he's ready to go home.

He's been quite vocal about "no crib, no shluffy", and after a look from me, he's quick to add "soon."

Today after hurting his hand he came over to me holding out his hurt hand, and almost more afraid than hurt, he said, "me hand ow, hand broken.'

Later when making funny faces, his Abba asked him, "What kind of face is that?" his absolutely adorable answer was, "Mine!"

Friday, July 21, 2006


Sensitive son is also generous.
We have summer neighbours next door.
(They are visiting from ChU"L for the summer.)
My son had school until R"Ch Av.
One day he declared that he would be willing to take a day-off from school so that he could keep one of the kids next door company, and so that the kids next-door wouldn't be bored.
It took a while for me to convince him otherwise.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

New aish film on the matzav

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


My 10 1/2 year old is sensitive.
I always knew it. Throughout his (whole) life he has been. Sometimes overly so. Often not really--at least when it comes to his younger sibs. But when it comes to his national family, he REALLY is.
His school has planned a day to a waterpark in Ashdod.
He was really excited about it, until just over a week ago.

Then he began davening mincha almost daily and playing military (he knows the lingo in English and Hebrew). You should see the platoon he's assembled in the back yard!
He scans the paper tensely each morning, blurting out the stats of the previous day's events, despite my telling him that I am not interested--c'mon we are trying to eat breakfast and there are little kids around. (Actually, I am not yet ready to digest anything, food or those facts, early in the morn.)
But he's right. How can breakfast be served--something so mundane and NORMAL--when families, our very own brothers and sister, are clinging to each other in bomb shelters?!?
Now he decided that he will not participate in the "yom kef" (a day of fun) along with his classmates. He feels that the stress of it all is too much (HIS WORDS!) and that it's not appropriate either. This was a decision he made, and which we support. He called one of the Rabbanim with whom we are close and spoke about it with him. He was advised to go, give chizuk to the people he sees, make berachos throughout the eretz, and to not worry!
But, he's not going.
After all, he is sensitive.


As if all the violence isn't enough.
As if all the infighting isn't enough.
As if the whole world hasn't yet gone crazy, here's another example of brotherly love!
Anti-Israel ad group floats boycott plan
By Daniella Peled

Last week’s Times advert signed by 300 Jews polarised opinions. But who are the people behind it, and what is their agenda?
Investigation: The organisation behind last week’s full-page advertisement in The Times criticising Israel’s actions in Gaza is considering a plan to become “an alternative Jewish lobby” to counter Zionist pressure groups.
Minutes from the last Jews for Justice for Palestinians meeting, seen by the JC, reveal proposals including a campaign for divestment from Israel and a possible full boycott of Israeli products.
“I think it is important to discourage Jews from supporting Israel financially and otherwise,” Deborah Fink, a member of the Jews for Justice executive, stated in a paper presented to the meeting.
“Unfortunately, I would think that most Jews who do support Israel in this way are least open to reason.”
Warning that JfJfP — which organised the £10,000 Times advert, signed by 300 supporters - was losing credibility by not overtly supporting the boycott movement, she suggested forging links with other groups internationally. In this way, “we could be a powerful alternative Jewish lobby without worrying about bringing the local shul on board.”
Accepting that more radical policies might alienate a large chunk of the group’s close-on 1,200 supporters, Ms Fink asked: “Do we want more moderate signatories? The more of them, the less we can do and the more we have to compromise our message. If they are not well known, I don’t see how they are going to influence Israeli policy.”
Another executive member, Dan Judelson, told the JC that Ms Fink’s paper was being discussed but had no status in determining the group’s policy. “It is currently being circulated for signatories to consider what it says,” he explained. “It is likely that it will be discussed at a future meeting of JfJfP.”
Danny Shek, chief executive of Bicom, the British Israel Communications and Research Centre, told the JC that while he did not deny the legitimacy of “fringe” groups%2

Friday, July 14, 2006


Wow! Pretty interesting that previous to this, my first post, I already had 32 views. Hmmm, I think I know who's responsible mostly. The truth is, the free time I have (when I would actually sit down to write at the computer) is occupied by perusing HIS blog!

Anyway. Looks like it's taken an 'escalation' to finally get me blogging.
Here things are pretty tense. But more in the way that Rafi G. describes it in The Country is Buzzing
People and their emotions are more intense.
A close friend relayed to me how emotional she's been!
Driving through a machsom (IDF barrier) she handed the baby-faced soldier there a fistfull of lollipops, as this family always does, and the soldier's entire face lit up! She drove on and burst into tears.
My kids wanted to know if it was because she thought he could be the next 'Gilad.'

My kids daven for our chayalim that have been kidnapped. My oldest asks me, as he reaches for the morning paper if they've been found.
Even the younger ones' ears are perking up. "Eema," asks my 5 year-old, "what's a terrorist?" "They're the bad guys," I tell her. She's not done, "Is that why I heard the helicopters this morning?"
This is a child who until recently was afraid to go out and play in front of our house unacompanied for even a minute because she was afraid of 'the kidnapper' and this was months ago!

Saying extra tehillim is just 'normal.'
At my son's sleepover (no b-day or real reason other than that we got a tent--but that's for another post, possibly) the boys paused and started going around the table each leading in the recitation of a chapter of tehillim!
Even the little ones who know it by heart but can't yet read are encouraging it so that our chayalim will be returned.