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An end, and a new beginning

You knew this was coming…you did.

While I love the people I’ve met through this blog (shout out to Be Enough, MeMyselfandKids, and others), I don’t feel this blog is accomplishing what it was created to accomplish.

This blog was created to accomplish two purposes:

  1. To give a sane perspective of what is happening in Israel, and to make Israelis more “human.”
  2. To showcase some of my writing, because a prospective client had asked if I have a blog and I had to say no.

Since then, I have realized two things:

  1. This blog does not have enough exposure to actually make a difference like I wanted to do in #1.
  2. My writing has improved over time, and I do not want to go back and edit every post. Also, I have since become a solopreneur and started freelance writing – but guess what? None of my clients care about my  blog, have asked to see it, and *no one* has ever become my client through my blog.

So, I am closing this blog. I am not yet sure how, and what, if anything, I will leave up.

But the bottom line is this:

I am going to be blogging on IsraelBlogger. And because of that, I am moving all of my best posts on Israel to their platform. This will accomplish the first goal of this blog, and my posts will get more exposure than they would here.

As each post is transferred, it will be turned “private” on this blog.

I invite all of you to come over to IsraelBlogger and follow me – us – over there.

 

New Year, new start?

I spaced. Big time. So what?

I didn’t space *just* on this blog. I spaced completely. I only realized that I had to cook for a two-day holiday, less than a week before.

I only realized that today is a fast day after seeing someone post about it online. Good thing I hadn’t eaten yet, huh?

I feel like a world-class space cadet. And the thing is, I’m not usually a space cadet.

But on the other hand, this past month has been crazy. We both feel like we’ve been running from one thing to the next, not even thinking a week ahead.

I started writing down what has to be done, so I won’t forget. On Sunday, I made a list of projects that needed to be done today. (I’m about a third of the way through, thanks for asking.) Tomorrow there’s something else.

And all I can say is: Thank G-d it’s all good or neutral. I can think of a lot worse ways to be busy.

I meant to call some people before Rosh Hashana. Well, I forgot my phone down in the bomb shelter (where we keep our stroller) and YItzchak only found it two hours before the holiday. So I missed a business call, a friend, and probably some others, too.

I guess I can make my new-year phone calls this week. Better late than never, right? And a whole lot less stressful.

So my apologies to my readers, and…..I hope to rebrand this blog soon. I’m not yet sure what exactly I want to do, but I think the time has come for a revamp.

 

Kids Planet: An Honest Game

A while ago, MIL bought Shlomo a tablet. We’re not fans of electronic toys, but okay. It’s had its ups and downs.

Recently, Shlomo found a new game: Kids Planet Discovery. It had been there since he beginning, but we hadn’t noticed it before.

This game is basically a geography game. It teaches a bit about other cultures, and has an activity that involves placing countries, states, and provinces in their proper place on the map. This activity has two levels: easy and difficult. In the easy level, you get outlines to guide you. In the difficult level, it’s just one big land mass and you figure it out for yourself.

kids_planet_discovery_2

Naturally, I tried out the Middle East section.

It had Israel with a piece cut out (Judea and Samaria). So I was peeved. But you know who got that extra piece?

Not some made-up country that never existed, called “Palestinian Territories.”

Jordan.

Jordan got that extra piece.

And I’m happy.

Because before 1967, Judea and Samaria were part of Jordan. The Muslims who lived there were Jordanian citizens. And then Israel won the war, and Jordan decided that they didn’t care what happened with Judea and Samaria anymore – let Israel have it, for all they care.

So Israel took it.

It was never, for one second, “Palestine,” or “Palestinian Territories.” Judea and Samaria, as well as parts of Jerusalem, used to belong to Jordan.

When it was “Palestine,” *all* of Israel was “Palestine,” and it was under British or Turkish rule. “Palestine,” as an independent country, never existed.

Jordan decided that it wasn’t worth fighting Israel for. And Israel conquered it from Jordan, and took control.

Muslims who lived in Judea and Samaria during the 1967 war say, “One day we were Jordanian citizens, in the middle of a war. The next day, the war was over, and Israel had won. And then someone took the star out of our flag and told us that we’re not Jordanian citizens anymore, we’re Palestinians. And we were like, huh?? What just happened?”

Okay, so I paraphrased and translated. But that’s how people remember it.

One day they were Jordanians. And the next day someone declared them Palestinians, and took the star out of the Jordanian flag, to create a new one.

Out of the blue. Completely and totally.

Now, the same world that wrote, “Jews, go to Palestine!” a few decades ago, is saying, “Jews, get out of Palestine.”

And they’re making up pretend countries to prove it.

But I’m happy with Kids Planet Discovery.

They didn’t give Judea and Samaria to Israel, it’s true.

But they DID give it to the only other country that can actually lay claim to that land – Jordan.

Because if you don’t like Israel, at least be honest about it. Don’t make up pretend countries.

 

How I Knew Esti Weinstein Wasn’t Missing

When I saw that a woman, a mother of 7, was missing for a few days, I raised an eyebrow and was kind of worried. I knew they’d find her in the end, and I knew she wouldn’t be alive when they found her.

I also was about 90% sure that she’d committed suicide.

How?

Simple. People go missing in Israel for three main reasons:

  1. Terror attack – in which case we usually know that there was a terrorist involved and that they were kidnapped. Here, the article made no mention of hitchhiking, terror, or anything related. Also, there wasn’t a terror attack near her when she disappeared.
  2. Kidnapping – this usually happens when the person is a minor and was kidnapped by a psycho family member. Sometimes it’s a psycho friend, but that’s even rarer than the family member. She wasn’t a minor, so this wasn’t a kidnapping.
  3. Suicide- someone, usually an adult, disappears mysteriously, after a longstanding estrangement or after a history of mental illness (LGBT counts as mental illness, too).
  4. (Really, 3a.) Once in a while someone gets lost while on a hike, after refusing to take a cell phone, not taking a hat, and not bringing enough water. Or maybe he walked into a dangerous area. I’m never sure if these people should be awarded Darwin awards for their stupidity, or if they wanted to commit suicide in a less obvious fashion.

Since numbers 1 and 2 were obviously *not* the reason this woman (who I later realized was named Esti Weinstein; at first I just looked at her picture without reading – you know, because that’s what good citizens do) disappeared . . . it was clear to me that she’d committed suicide.

Unfortunately, as is the case in most of these kinds of things, I was right.

Let’s leave aside the issue of blame for a minute. It really doesn’t matter if the community is to blame, if her family is to blame, or if she suffered from her own decisions. There’s something that needs to be pointed out here:

This woman had a mental illness. She had a history of suicide attempts. And she was, in three words, a tortured soul.

I don’t know who suffered more – her, or her family. I know that her personal suffering has ended, and I think that is a good thing. She is at peace, finally.

And I don’t think we should be judging anything, or anyone, except ourselves.

Every community shuns those who don’t live up to its standards. EVERY community.

If we don’t want to see any more suicides, we need to learn to identify the warning signs, and how to wrap every member of our communities – even if they break some of the rules – in a blanket of love.

Suicides happen in every community. And anyone who says otherwise is playing Ostrich, and should join Obama Bin Laden, king of Ostrich, in his white cave.

Trump Gets It, Obama Doesn’t

Okay, I have finally decided. If I vote, I think it will be for Trump.
 
Yitzchak is going to call me a one-issue voter, and tell me that he votes not just based on a candidate’s policy towards Israel/ PA, but also based on a lot of other factors: internal policies, economics, whatever. But you know, he has his vote and I have mine.
 
If I choose to vote (and I’m not sure ANY of the candidates are worth that amount of effort, since I’m voting overseas – and neither is he), then I am going to have to say, Trump seems the most honest, and the most sane, when it comes to my personal worries – which are mostly centered around Israeli security.
 
You know why we stopped Operation Protective Edge? Because of Obama bin Laden. The two-faced liar.
 
So while I don’t believe that Trump loves Jews or Israel, I do believe that he is an equal-opportunity hater, and hates everyone who isn’t a WASP – and I also believe that Muslims are higher on his “most-hated” list than Israel and Jews. Plus, at least he tells us what he thinks, instead of lying to our faces like everyone else does.
 
IF I vote, I will vote Trump.
 
IF. That’s a BIG “if”.
 
And you know, if Yitzchak votes for the other guy, well, we just canceled each other out, right? No biggie. That’s what we did in 2008 – he voted Obama (because he was scared of Palin), and I voted McCain (because I was scared of Obama).
 

Do You Like to Gossip?

Growing up, I was always the “big-mouth.” If I had a penny for every time I was told that I have “diarrhea of the mouth,” “don’t know when to stop talking,” “don’t care about other people’s feelings,” “never think before I open my mouth,” “my word is mud,” or other such things – I would have been a millionaire before my twenty-second birthday. Maybe even a billionaire.

At some point, I stopped sharing personal information because I couldn’t trust those around me to keep things confidential, and promises were never kept.

And at some point, I stopped being mad at the people who blabbed. Because I just stopped caring.

It just ain’t worth the effort. So, I moved on.

A few days ago, I received an invitation to answer a survey. I’ve been answering surveys online for a few months, because it’s good pocket money and they’re interesting.

The one I answered last week asked about political views and morals.

One of the sections asked how often I gossip. What I think about gossip – is it okay? Is it not okay? Do I like hearing gossip?

And suddenly I realized something:

I don’t gossip. As in, not at all. Maybe once in a while, a sentence or two slips out when I’m frustrated and someone asked in a way that doesn’t leave too many options to be nice. And then I get a bit carried away. Once in about six months, maybe six sentences.

That’s it.

And otherwise, I don’t talk about people. I don’t gossip. I don’t blab.

The only exception is to Yitzchak. And even then, I don’t gossip, I just vent.

But come on, guys. Yitzchak is my husband. I tell him *everything*. He tells me *everything*. And the rest of the world – well, why waste time talking to them, since most people couldn’t care less, anyways?

So, we don’t.

We tell each other. And that’s it.

I see no point in gossiping. It’s stupid. It’s the mark of someone who has nothing better to think about. It’s the mark of someone whose nose is *so* stuck in other people’s business, that they have no idea who they are inside, at all. If, that is, they even have something inside. And all it does is hurt the subject and the listener – and most of all, the person doing the gossiping . . . because people who like to gossip are, honestly, pitiful people.

But, walla. I never realized that I’m *not* a big mouth, that I’m *not* a gossip, that I *don’t* actually have “diarrhea of the mouth,” and that I *do* actually know how to keep my mouth shut and stop talking.

(Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t have opinions. And it doesn’t mean that I don’t say politically incorrect things, at bad times, on purpose. But gossip and being politically incorrect are two separate, very different things.

I mean, there is *never* a “proper time” to ask a smoker to stop smoking around you.

There’s *never* a proper way to say, “The Iran deal that Obama pushed is what’s allowing Iran to give $30,000 to the families of terrorists,” or “‘Palestinian’ workers in Israel commit terror attacks – maybe they shouldn’t be allowed into Israel anymore.”

I mean, come on. Some things are *never* politically correct. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be said. It just means people will get mad. Because people are stupid (and that’s not PC, either).

But so what? PC is stupid. That doesn’t mean that not being PC is the same as being a gossip, or someone who doesn’t know how to keep their mouth shut.)

I never realized that I am actually a very prudent person, someone who it is *worth* confiding in, not just for the advice, but because I don’t gossip.

Walla. I never realized that.

That’s cool. That feels really good, to know that I never gossip. That must be why people ask me for advice. Huh. I can’t believe I didn’t know this earlier.

And what’s cooler is that I learned this from an internet survey.

 

Good(?) News from Israel

We have a new Attorney General.

Instead of that awful Yehuda Weinstein, an unashamed Israel-hater who tries to defend terrorists – murderers – from paying the price of their actions, and who orders the Security Agency to torture minors who have not even been found guilty of anything except expressing an opinion –

we have Avichai Mandelbilt.

And Avichai Mandelbilt, whoever he may turn out to be, has just ordered an investigation into Zoabi-the-terrorist’s visit to “comfort” the families of the terrorists who were killed.

Like, seriously. Who goes to comfort the family of a terrorist?

Would any of you be interested in comforting Arafat or Bin Ladin’s families, after they died? No, of course not.

So for an MK (member of Knesset – Israeli parliament) to pay an official visit to the families of dead terrorists is simply insane.

Not just insane. Dangerously insane. It gives the absolute wrong message.

And Mandelbilt is investigating. What that means, I don’t know.

But I do know that Weinstein would never, ever, ever have ordered this investigation.

And I think that Mandelbilt has done a great thing.

If he keeps this up, Israel might actually become a safe, sane country.

Here’s a “Duh” Eyeopener

I know I haven’t posted in a looong time. I know.

I’ll explain why later. But of course, it won’t really be a good excuse, right?

At any rate, I just came across this video (thanks, Janglo!) and it is too good not to share. Corey put people on both sides of the Israeli-Muslim conflict on the spot. And while the Israelis aren’t amazing, what the “Palestinians” say should be an eyeopener for anyone who *doesn’t* believe that Israelis aren’t the responsible party.

Yes, I know that the claim is that we stole their land. But at the end of the day – the UN gave us the land. And 60+ years later, people who have never lived anywhere else, people who have good lives, objectively, here in Israel, say . . . oh, I’ll let you see for yourself.

Leave me a note in the comments and tell me what you think.

No, Shoshanim! And Other “Stories.”

I wrote this post on April 20, but never published it. I think I was waiting to write up a few more stories. But it’s better to brush off the dust and press “publish” than it is to let this post sit for another year or so.

One Shabbat, Shlomo was running back and forth from his room to the guest room (other end of the hall). Tova was with me, in our room (next to Shlomo’s), nursing.

Apparently, Shlomo wasn’t too happy with the shoshanim (lights in his room, remember?). He ran into his room, said, “Shoshanim, don’t hurt Tova! Behave!” shook his finger at them, and ran to the guest room. Then he turned around, ran back to his room, shook his finger at the lights, and said, “Shoshanim, don’t hurt Tova! Behave!” Over. And over. And over. And over again.

Hmmm . . .

—————————–

Ducky is more than a doll.  Ducky is a friend, companion, baby, snuggle buddy, and much more.  Sometimes, Ducky is afraid of the shoshanim.  Sometimes Ducky wants to drink Mama milk (this is allowed only when Tova is nursing – I don’t have patience to nurse one after the other).  Sometimes Ducky wants me to swaddle him and put him in his “bed” (the lid of the hamper).  There was a period of time when Ducky wanted a diaper and wore clothes.

Shlomo is not afraid of the shoshanim, by the way.  But Ducky is.  Ducky will need to go to the miklat (bomb shelter), and we need to be careful to take him down with us.

A few times when I was pregnant with Tova, Ducky threw up.

When Shlomo doesn’t want to talk, we can ask what Ducky is feeling. Sometimes Ducky feels sad, because he doesn’t want to make a poopy. Sometimes Ducky is tired and wants to sleep (but no, Shlomo doesn’t want to sleep).

Ducky never liked taking a bath in the washing machine. But now that he has Sheep (Tova’s snuggle buddy), he doesn’t mind so much. It’s much more fun to take a bath with a friend, and then dry on the laundry rack together.

Safety In Numbers?

As a kid in America, I grew up hearing about safety in numbers.

If you have to go out at night, my mother said, go with a friend or two. The bigger the group, the better off you are. There’s safety in numbers.

My father never dropped me off at a bus stop unless there was another woman waiting there. Sometimes, that meant taking me almost all the way (or all the way) to school. It’s not safe to wait alone (or with a man). There’s safety in [female] numbers.

If you’re walking in an unfamiliar place, it’s better to be with a group. There’s safety in numbers.

If you get separated from me in the subway station, my mother told me, don’t panic. Find a worker, or a cop, and just sit tight. As long as you’re not alone, you’ll get back to where you started from. There’s safety in numbers.

Beaches during the day are safe, because there are plenty of people there. At night, when there’s no one, it’s dangerous. There’s safety in numbers.

I guess that worked, at least to some degree. Until terror came to America, and any large group of Jews was considered to be a target.

Until there were terror attacks on full buses. In 2001, there were lots of terror attacks involving suicide belts. Who wants to waste a suicide belt on an empty bus? There’s safety in *less* numbers.

I remember seeing posters asking for donations, to buy schoolchildren bulletproof vests. I always wondered what happened to their legs and heads, and why there couldn’t be bulletproof suits. I was in grade 7-8, I think.

Sbarro, the bombing in a pizzeria. A busy pizzeria. Maybe there *isn’t* safety in numbers. The less people you are, the less worth the explosives you are.

A tower with thousands of offices.

A concert.

A jam-packed restaurant.

A parade.

A school in Boston.

The streets of Paris on a Friday night.

A college in California.

Busy places.

There’s safety in numbers?

Only if the threat is mugging, robbery, or perhaps rape.

But there’s gang rape, don’t you know? And crowds of observers watch and do nothing.

There’s safety in numbers?

Somehow, I think not.

The quieter the place, the less people are around – the better.

There’s safety in *less* numbers.

Unless you’re on a road in Samaria. Then, being the only car is dangerous.

But so is being on a busy road when there are terrorists throwing burning tires, or waiting in ambush with rocks or guns.

Or walking in a mall, when there is an “innocent” Arab who’s just bought a kitchen knife.

There’s safety in numbers?

Perhaps not. The more crowded the place, the better a target it becomes for Arab terror.

There are no “innocent” Arabs anymore. They are *all* potential terrorists.

To be watched from afar, avoided, and possibly reported to the police.

Even an Arab nurse, even an Arab telephone technician, even the Arab kitchen worker in your school, who everyone likes and trusts.

Give them enough money, and they will turn on you . . . with a knife, a gun, a suicide belt, a tractor, a truck, or a car.

No Arabs can be trusted. Ever.

Except for those who turn on their comrades, and fight alongside us for peace.

But those who are quiet? They are terrorists in the making. Terrorists in waiting.

Preschoolers are terrorists in training.

“How will you kill the Jews?”

“With a knife.”

“Why do you want to kill them?”

“Because they stole our land.”

As Drizzt so eloquently writes, “Conditioned hatred is rarely a rational emotion.” [Long live Drizzt. But unless he is killed, he will live almost forever.]

There is no safety in this world. We can only pray that G-d watch over us,

and save us from the hands of our enemies, “friends”, and the international community.

Until we take out all the terrorists and their entire families.

And then we will all be safe.

Golda Meir, where are you?