Tag Archive | Muslim

Hamas’ Tunnel Plans

If you were wondering what Hamas was planning to do with the tunnels it was digging between Gaza and Israel, here’s the answer.  They were planning a massive massacre, to be carried out on the holiday of Rosh Hashana (in about two months).  Remember what happened to the Fogels?  Multiply that by a thousand.

Egypt, by the way, has been a good friend.  They’ve destroyed a number of tunnels (though their tunnels are different than ours; theirs are smuggling tunnels and the ones we’re destroying are meant for kidnapping, running, and hiding)  between Gaza and Sinai, and have killed quite a few terrorists.  Obviously, they have personal interest in doing this – it’s not just for us.  But it sure helps.

Shlomo’s Reaction to the Sirens

Most of you remember me writing about how Shlomo dealt with Operation Defensive Shield.  Suffice it to say that now he is dealing with the situation much differently.  Probably because of a combination of his age and the number of sirens.  In Defensive Shield, he was younger and we only had two or three sirens.  And still, if we forgot to warn him before a drill, he would sometimes get scared.

This time is different.  Much different, much worse.  And I can’t say I blame him.

Shlomo has woken up from nightmares almost every night this past week.  He’s not sleeping well; he can’t sleep well.  A few nights ago he woke up crying that the “shoshanim” (the lights in his room) hurt him.  It’s a story for another post, but suffice it to say that I was extremely happy, because at least it was his normal three-year-old fear, and not another woo-woo (air-raid siren) dream.  Every other nightmare he’s had has been about woo-woos.  He wakes up crying, sleeptalking about woo-woos.

He sleeps with us.  Either he comes to us in the middle of the night, or he insists on going to sleep in our room, or he wakes up in the middle of the night and won’t go back to sleep unless he’s with us.  We let it be.  Yitzchak feels better having Shlomo beside him, even though if you count the seconds, it takes about the same amount of time to pull Shlomo out of his spot by the wall as it takes to pick him up out of his own bed.

During the day, Shlomo goes back and forth between asking for another woo-woo and saying that he doesn’t want one because he’s scared.  He tells me what he does when there is a woo-woo in gan and what we will do if there is a woo-woo at home.   He told me that Friday’s woo-woo didn’t have a boom (the ones in the Iron Dome videos that we show him when he asks for a woo-woo do have booms, obviously, but if you’re in a shelter you don’t usually hear a boom).

Shlomo was sick these past few days.  I think a big part of it – and why it wasn’t just a 24 hour bug – is because he’s not sleeping well.  Which, obviously, is because of the sirens.

He doesn’t want Yitzchak to leave the house without him.  We live on the fourth floor, and the shelter is all the way at the entrance level.  Shlomo could walk down, true, but it would take two minutes and we only have one.  Thank G-d he’s a pretty big kid (height and weight both) and I just can’t pick him up anymore.  When we had an earthquake a few months ago I did, but I regretted it for a few days afterwards and just can’t chance having to run the day after hurting my back.  Obviously, if I had to, I would pick Shlomo up and run, but we are doing everything possible to avoid me having to do that.  So, Yitzchak carries Shlomo down to the shelter.  And because of that, Shlomo is clinging to Yitzchak.  And when I say clinging, I mean clinging – like you’ve never seen a three-year-old do.

I miss the days of Shlomo refusing to go to sleep because he was scared that the “shoshanim” would hurt him.  Yes, it was annoying.  But at least it’s a normal three-year-old irrational fear.  When I go to the bathroom, Shlomo also points out that I don’t fall in the toilet, neither does Yitzchak, and neither does he.  He insists on falling asleep with light.  And it looks like the “shoshanim” fear is instead of the fear of the drain – probably because Shlomo likes to plunge the shower drain and therefore isn’t scared of it.  But all in all, annoying as the “shoshanim” fear is (and sometimes it’s just an excuse to stay up), it’s normal.

Nightmares are not.

And nightmares about woo-woos (AKA air raid sirens) are certainly not.

It makes me mad that my kid is waking up from nightmares every night because of a stupid, inhumane, terrorist group that kills its own children, tries to kill ours, and then blames us for everything.  It makes me mad that because of terrorists – who are murderers, by the way – my kid can’t sleep.

Hamas, and terrorists everywhere, I have a message for you:

אשרי שישלם לך את גמולך שגמלת לנו.  אשרי שיאחז וניפץ את עולליך על הסלע.

This post was written on July 20, while we were waiting for the daily siren, which had not yet come.  Thank G-d, it didn’t come, and hasn’t come – the two in a row on July 19 were the last two so far (watch me jinx myself by writing this . . .).  However, Shlomo is still getting over the trauma, little by little.  It’s going to be a long process, I think.  And Yitzchak and I still jump at unexpected loud noises, especially engines starting up and ambulance sirens.

Why Do Orthodox Women Cover Their Hair?

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As some of you may have noticed in this post, I cover my hair.  It sounds so funny to say it in English, but that is what it is.  I guess I am just used to the Hebrew.

The question that many ask is: Why?  Why do Orthodox Jewish women cover their hair?  And is this similar to what Muslim women do?

We’ll start with the second question, since it’s a lot shorter.  Jewish women and Muslim women cover their hair for different reasons, and in different ways, and therefore, there is pretty much no comparison between the two.

In short, Jewish law does its utmost to protect women.  Jewish law – and Jewish practice, excepting a few crazies who are not/were not accepted in mainstream Judaism – has always been kinder to women than the world around us, excepting perhaps (and only perhaps) today’s modern “feminism”.  2000 years ago, Jewish women were of enviable status, and thus it continued until today.  Muslim values (not Muslim laws – I have not read Islamic holy books; Muslim values – i.e., how much of the Muslim world today behaves.**) are the exact opposite.  Women are not respected, they do not have equal rights in any way, and they are not valued.  A woman is seen, in many ways, as an object, and it is her responsibility not to tempt men.  I know that many of my readers will have a lot of questions on Jewish womens’ dress – and possibly some objections to the simplistic way I have spoken about Jewish and Muslim law – and I welcome them.  This post, however, is solely about hair covering.

Another difference is that Jewish women cover only their hair.  Muslim women cover their hair, parts of their faces, and their necks.  This is a huge difference, both to the woman and to how society views her.

Now for the first question of why Jewish women cover their hair at all.

The source for Jewish women covering their hair is in Bamidbar (Numbers) 5:18, where it speaks about a sotah.  A sotah is a woman who has been accused of adultery (today we do not accuse women of this because we do not have a Temple; if her husband accuses her they are forbidden to live together permanently).  The Chumash (Pentateuch) states that the kohen (Jewish priest), “. . . reveals the hair of the sotah.”

Since we are talking about deciding whether or not a woman committed adultery, this woman is not being seen in a positive light.  Therefore, the kohen uncovering her hair is part of the process of shaming her into admitting her crime.  Which means, therefore, that her hair is usually covered, and it is considered shameful for her to reveal it.  And since we are talking about adultery, and a single woman cannot commit adultery (because she has no husband), we learn (though there are differing opinions) that only married women need to cover their hair.

This analysis of the Chumash (Pentateuch) was written as a law already in the times of the Gemara (Talmud) in Ketubot 72a.  Modern halacha (Jewish law) also states this in the Shulchan Aruch, in the section of Even Ha’ezer (Code of Jewish Law, section 3) 21:2.*

Some of you will ask why it is shameful for a Jewish woman not to cover her hair.  The reason is simple: Most people who are married (we hope) are happy with that fact.  Just like a woman proudly wears a wedding ring, Jewish women proudly cover their hair.  And, in fact, in previous times, a hair covering served the purpose that a wedding ring serves today – to show people that she is a married woman and unavailable to others.  Think about it.  Have you never, ever met a single mother who was not embarrassed, at some point, that she did not have a wedding ring?  Have you never heard of someone who put on a ring that resembled a wedding ring, so that she would fit in?  This is the idea.  The kohen, in order to embarrass her so that she will admit her wrong and not have to be punished as severely, is taking off her wedding ring in front of a crowd – except that taking a ring off a finger is much less obvious than taking off a hair covering.  She is embarrassed.  It is shameful for her.  She acted as if she had the right to act like she was single, and now she is being portrayed as someone who forgot her commitment or didn’t care enough.

And from this, we learn that if uncovering her hair is so shameful (because covering it is a sign she is married), then married women must cover their hair.  If you see a woman with a head covering, you know that there is no point in trying to start with her.  Simple as that.

Here’s another thought: How long do women spend doing their hair each day?  Yeah, that’s what I thought.  If so, she obviously thinks that her hair is very attractive and very important to her good looks.  Shouldn’t that attractiveness be reserved for her husband?  Why is she flaunting her gorgeous hair to the whole world?  She has no need to flirt with any of them.  Of this reason, I say, hmmm.  It is something to think about.  I was never one to spend a long time on my hair, never one to flaunt it, never one to flirt.  But there are many others who are not like me.  And it is the majority, not the exception, who are the basis for creating laws.  So, take it or leave it.  It is something to think about.

At the end of this post, I would like to refer you to two sites:

1) AskMoses, who generously provided me with the sources (the answers I knew already, but I was too lazy to find the sources myself).  This site answers many, many, many questions about Judaism, and they do an excellent job.

2) Wrapunzel, a site dedicated to hair covering.  She uses mostly (if not only) scarves, and it is a beautiful site that gives the idea of hair covering a much nicer rap (pun not intended) than it usually gets.

*Just for your knowledge – this is the only part of womens’ dress that is actually mentioned in the Chumash (Pentateuch) and in Shulchan Aruch (the Code of Jewish Law).  The rest of the dress code was written for men and later adapted to both men and women.  Meaning, men are also required to dress modestly; the onus is not solely on the woman. 

However, a Jewish woman is not allowed to decide to dress immodestly, because of what we call, “The Law of Judith” (das Yehudis); i.e., Jewish women took these stringencies upon themselves over the years, and it became incorporated into what a Jewish woman is required to do.  So yes, it was a choice for previous generations, and they chose to follow a certain dress code.  But after a few decades (or hundred years), the rabbis gave this dress code their approval, and now it is binding.  But it is by no means on the same level as a Biblical command.

**As I have long suspected, there is a large gap between what the Quran dictates and what is actually practiced.

From Davidka to the Shuk (Jerusalem, Part I)

Today, Shlomo and I went to Katamon, for a doctor visit for me.  Since we don’t have a car, Katamon is pretty annoying to get to.  We stick with this clinic, though, because they are into preventive medicine – something that hasn’t yet caught hold fully in Israel.  (We’re getting there, slowly.)

Since I we prefer to be able to go to the doctor just for a checkup, and Israelis don’t seem to have patience for that, we go to a clinic that works with American doctors.  It goes against our philosophy and lifestyle to do anything specifically “the American way”, but health is health.  Don’t get me wrong – Israelis, and Israeli doctors, are terrific.  But, not always do they have patience for routine checkups.  It’s more of a problem-solving way of looking at things, instead of problem-preventing.  Which is good for some people, but not so good for obsessive worrywarts like us.

Anyways, we (i.e., Shlomo and I) got out of the house late enough that I wasn’t sure we’d make it on time.  And, long story short, we didn’t.  But, they took me anyways, and I only had to wait fifteen minutes.  On the way back, I started taking pictures (which means that yes, these pictures are from my camera).

This is Kikar HaDavidka (Davidka Square), close to the city “center”.  In it, you can see a security guard drinking coffee, a sign for the police station, and two women – one Muslim, one Jewish, talking to each other.  They are at a “train stop”, waiting for the light rail train.  You can also see, in the windows of one store, red writing covered by black graffiti.  I have to say, I have never, ever been able to read the words.  On the rare occasions when the window is clean, I was always on a bus passing it too quickly.  (Yes, there used to be buses here, instead of trains.  That was back in the good old days.)  But, someone always makes sure to re-scribble it immediately.  Once, I saw a hand sticking out, cleaning the window.  It looked pretty funny.

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Further down at the same stop (there are two shelters per stop [the shelters are pretty but useless; why do those words go together so often?] ).

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And the train comes (going my way, not theirs).

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I took the train one stop, to the shuk (marketplace).  It was lazy, I know, but I had a bus transfer, and during that time of day, the stroller is free, so why walk any more than I have to?  (Understand:  I’m not anti-exercise.  BUT, I was walking with a stroller, and I had already walked for about twenty minutes pushing a stroller, up and down hills, on an empty stomach.  So, I will walk some more later.)

These people are getting onto the train that I just got off of.

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The other side of the train stop at the shuk.

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We live in a country of constant renovations (and construction).  This store, at a diagonal from the shuk, for years, was a cheap clothing and blanket/slippers/etc. store.  Last year, it closed.  It was renovated (and, I assume, sold), and turned into a steak and fish restaurant.  Now, it is again a cheap clothing etc. store – with the interior design of a fancy restaurant.  This is normal – if you don’t absolutely have to renovate, then you leave it as is.  Don’t you wonder what the story is, and who owns it now?

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The [redone] square opposite the shuk.  In the background, you can see the above shop.

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That’s all for now, folks.  I have more pictures, but I also have stuff to do.  I will keep posting . . .

What Is Israel Fighting For?

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A rocket is launched from Gaza towards Israel.

A few days ago, I got involved in a comment thread over here.  (This was my mistake; it just got me worked up, and to no end anyways.)  There was a comment that “Palestinians” are treated badly in Israel; I provided a list of real-life examples for why this is not so.  Many Israelis actually feel that Muslims are treated better than everyone else, and sometimes feel that way for very good reasons.

Then someone made a comment that irked me.  They said,  “If I were to tell you, ‘Black people in my country can let their children play in any park they want!’ how would this sound?”  This irked me, really, really irked me, and has irked me since.  So, contrary to my no-politics attempts, I will discuss it.

First of all, black people in America are a completely different situation than Muslims here.  All the African-American community wants is to be accepted and have equal rights, equal choices, and equal respect.  Give it to them, and they become productive members of society, just like everyone else.  In other words, they deserve to have that recognition and those rights, and there is no reason not to give it to them.

Muslims, and more specifically, religious, radical Muslims, including, but not limited to, “Palestinians” do not want to be accepted, or have equal rights, equal choices, and equal respect.  Now, you are going to tell me that this is not true; that some of them do.  You are right; these are the irreligious Muslims.  The more religious ones do not care about these things.  Their issue with Israel is that it is a Jewish country.

Religious Muslims will take acceptance, as well as equal choices, rights, and respect, but that is not their aim.*  They take these things because it aids them in their goal.  And their goal is to “throw the Jews into the sea”.  This is not a war of equal rights.  If it were, it would have ended long ago.  It is a war against infidels, a religious war, and we Jews are the greatest infidels of all.  The reason Morsi will not say “Israel” is not because of how we treat his people.  It is because, for a religious Muslim to say “Israel” is tantamount to disbelief in Islam.

Islam functions on a replacement theology, meaning that Muslims and Islam have replaced Jews and Judaism.  One of the traditional proofs for this replacement theology is that Muslims, for a long time, had control over Israel.  When the British came around, the Muslims didn’t like it, but it wasn’t a religious crisis.  However, for Jews to have control over the State of Israel undermines the very precepts of Islam.  Christians were bad enough.  Jews are intolerable.  That is why we are fighting this war; that is why the Muslims (those of whom live in Israel or Gaza are commonly called “Palestinians”) wish to push us into the sea; that is why they are firing rockets at us and claiming that we stole their land.  That is why they hate us.

And we do not like them, either.  Not because of who they are, but because of what they do and how they act.  (By the way, a refugee camp that has stone buildings, running water, electricity, and third-generation residents is no longer a refugee camp, but a proper city – by anyone’s standards.**)

What if I said to you, “Listen, we have a couple of young adults here who want to study in your college.  There’s a 65-70% chance that they’ll blow up the college, knife you, or shoot you, but we need to be fair, so can you admit them?”  Would you?  I don’t think so.  But you know what?  Israel accepts not just a few of these people, but hundreds, and possibly thousands of them.

Israelis live, every day, alongside potential murderers.  Religious Muslims work in the hospitals, where Jewish patients, in addition to their own worries, worry that the Muslim doctor or nurse walked in with explosives. Religious Muslims work in factories, in schools, and everywhere else.  They are permitted to walk any place where Israelis walk; the reverse, however, is not true.  There is no danger to any Muslim, ever, no matter where they go.  But there are places where Israeli Jews cannot go, because it is dangerous for them to go there.

You want to know why Gaza needs humanitarian aid?  Because it is run by a terrorist group, whose leaders pocket all of the world’s money, using it to build themselves beautiful homes, and using it to fund terrorism, create weapons, and kill people.  Gaza’s leaders do not care about their own people.  If you want to send aid to Gaza, send food, send clothes, send volunteers to teach them.  Do not send money.  And I cannot promise that the food and clothes will not be used to light fires meant for burning U.S. and Israeli flags.  I can only hope.

In other words, the situation in Gaza is not Israel’s fault.  It is the Gazan leaders’ fault, or in simple words, Hamas’ fault.

Israel removed thousands of its citizens from their homes in order to give the “Palestinians” a present and a gesture of peace.  We have been repaid by thousands of rockets, and the world has remained silent, preferring to consistently lay the blame on us.

Here are a few other fun facts:

– The electricity in Gaza is provided by the Israel Electric Company. Gaza has not paid their electric bill (which now amounts to 700 million NIS) in a long time, but the electric company still services them – this despite the fact that it is dangerous to do so, and the electricity is used to aid murdering Israelis. And the Israeli government is helping cover the deficit caused by Gaza electric usage.  When was the last time YOU didn’t pay your electric bill, but they kept providing you with electricity, anyways?

-Israel also provides water to Gaza.  It is pretty safe to assume that Israel funds Gaza’s water, in addition to funding their electricity.  In return we get rockets fired at us.  Who in their right mind would provide water and electricity to people attempting to murder them?  Only Israel.

– If a Jewish Israeli builds his home without the proper paperwork – and sometimes even when he does have the proper paperwork – he can count on it being destroyed. If a Palestinian builds without the proper paperwork, he can count on living there until the end of his long life.

– They do not have to put their sons’ lives on the line in order to make sure that their sons are not killed by terrorists and that their workplaces are not blown up.  In other words, Jewish Israelis get drafted, and have to spend three of their best years in the army, pushing off college, marriage, and jobs.  Muslims are free to do whatever they want, whenever they want.  They are never required to join the army.  Jews who do not join the army are placed at a serious disadvantage by Israeli society.  Not so Muslims.

– Palestinians do not usually get murdered in cold blood when they are at home, in their beds, with their children – and with no prior warning, war, or antagonism. Jewish Israelis do.

– Israelis do not usually get on Palestinian buses and blow them up. Nor do they leave bombs at phone booths, walk a few meters away to set it off, and then proceed to watch the carnage with great satisfaction.

Now, just as background information, consider this:  Israel, if it so desired, could completely erase all of the Gaza Strip in four minutes, without using either nuclear weapons or their ground forces.  That’s right; Israel could turn all of the Gaza Strip into a pile of burning rubble in FOUR minutes, using ONLY the air force.  They could; we could; we have the abilities and we have the backup plans to do it.  But, we don’t, nor do we threaten it, or talk about it.  Think about that.  Let it sink in.  Jews are humane.  We do not do this, because we do not want to kill innocent people.  We only want to kill the murderers (also known as terrorists) among them.  (I am not sourcing this for security reasons.)
* If you are a religious Muslim who does not believe in killing Jews, and supports the state of Israel, please let me know, and I will apologize for offending you.  I am also aware that there are some Muslim clerics who are attempting to resolve their replacement theory crisis in a non-violent way.

** See here, just for kicks (and truth).