Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ezzie's Blog Roundup 11/29

Hit expand to see excerpts.
  • Chana questions why Stern students - and Orthodox Jews in general - seem unwilling to discuss sexuality.
    One of the girls was clearly uncomfortable with this and said to the teacher in an accusatory voice, "Well, it's clear he has no shame." The teacher was perplexed by this. "Do you mean he ought to?" he asked, surprised. The student found the very mention of sexuality to be somehow problematic, even though this was one of Donne's less melodramatic poems; in fact, one of his sweeter ones, "A Valediction Forbidding Mourning."

    Why is this idea so prevalent? Why this instinctive shrinking when sexuality is mentioned; why is it forbidden for the Jewish girl to admit that she too may be beautiful, that sexuality and eroticism are a part of life, and that both of these aspects to life, when sanctified within the bond of marriage, are utterly wondrous? I have had discussions with many people, some of whom have ashamedly admitted to their thoughts about those of the opposite sex or worse, in their eyes, the fact that they fantasize about their future partners.
  • Erachet writes about rejection - incredibly written and oh so heart-wrenchingly sad...
    Rejection. Rejection. Rejection.

    The sound of it reverberated inside Lily, forcing her to recognize it, to acknowledge it, to pay it her utmost attention. And because she was so aware of her own rejection, others must be, too. Strangers, her teachers, her friends. They all knew. All of them. They all talked and laughed and joked with each other, flashing her friendly smiles, no, mocking smiles, because they knew. ‘There goes a rejected girl,’ they were probably saying. ‘We are not rejected, only she is. Oh, I do feel so sorry, don’t you feel sorry? Oh quickly, smile at her lest she should feel badly.’

  • ~Sarah~'s pictures always make you smile.
  • I meant to include this a couple of days ago: RafiG discusses the posters being put up decrying the de-Haredization of a neighborhood. Very troubling.
    It seems that a number of families connected with Merkaz Ha'Rav have moved down into the Haredi neighborhood of Givat Shaul. The sign above condemns their attempts to make changes in the neighborhood and their attempts to muscle in. The sign asks if their public school system which has already become bankrupt of values and whose alumni have already abandoned all memories of Judaism, now they want to bring that to our neighborhood?

    It also asks if their mixed educations which contains no Torah and no derech eretz and whose students have taken every "infection" from the Middle East, should be an example for our children?

    The pashkevil closes cynically and hurtfully "Go to Chomesh and Gush Katif and leave us, residents of Givat Shaul, alone." It is a hurtful statement because they are suggesting that the dedication to the land is what caused their failures (true or perceived) in the notes within the letter, i.e. regarding the failure to educate their children and keep them on the path of Torah.
  • Jameel links a heartfelt post by someone who lives in Karnei Shomron, discussing their feelings about their home.
    I have written a great deal about our right to this land, about the history of the conflict, about an alternative way to solve the humanitarian problems of the Palestinian Arabs. Today, I want to write about the people who actually live in this land, the so-called settlers that everyone loves to hate.

    We live in Judea and Samaria and we love it here. We have taken rocky, barren land and turned it into a paradise. We have planted trees and gardens, built schools and shops and raised our children to love the land as we do. ...Years of accumulation. I looked at the pictures on the wall, most of which have been painted by my very talented daughter. Years of activity.
  • Treppenwitz tells a cab story that will bring tears to your eyes.
    The click of a far-away mic was followed by a laconic, "Shome'ah" [I hear you]

    "Itzik, you'll never believe where I am. I stopped for cigarettes in Kiryat Arba and I'm parked within a few meters of the Ma'arat HaMachpelah!"

    The dispatcher's voice burst over the radio... this time full of excitement and now, apparently on the public channel: "Hey Dudu, tchacho, Zvika, Hezi... everyone! Yossi's calling from the Ma'arat HaMachpelah in Hevron!"

    While this wasn't exactly true (since we were still technically in Kiryat Arba), the response was immediate and electric. The radio speaker began broadcasting a competing jumble of joyful salutations from his fellow drivers in 'far-away' Beer Sheva:

    "Kol Hakavod [congratulations], Yossi!"

    "Zachita!" [you won!]

    "Yossi, you have to say Tehilim [Psalms] for my mother at the Ma'arah [cave]... she's having an operation tomorow. [Her name is]... Sarah Bat Shifra... Sarah Bat Shifra... you hear me... Sarah Bat Shifra!"

    "Aizeh Gibor [what a hero!]"

    "Yossi... Tell us what you see."

    "Sarah Bat Shifra... Yossi, don't forget!"

    "Yossi... Hazarta B'Tchuvah? [Did you become religious?]... Kol HaKAvod!"

    "How did you get there... did you get lost"

    What does it look like... is it beautiful in the moonlight?"

    "Sarah Bat Shifra... Yossi... Sarah Bat Shifra!"

    It was like a replay of Motta Gur's famous "Har HaBayit B'Yadainu!" [the Temple Mount is in our hands!] broadcast.

    Apparently forgetting completely about how frightened he had been just minutes before, the driver turned to me and asked if we could go into Hevron to pray at the Ma'arat HaMachpelah.

  • Jonathan Rosenblum at Cross-Currents writes up the postscript on Al-Dura.

    Neither of the scenes cut out of the footage produced by France 2 in court directly relate to the Palestinian boy and his father. At most, they were more cumulative evidence that Abu-Rahma was busy that day shooting one staged scene after another. Even on the remaining 18 minutes, there are plenty of examples of obvious staging. Little boys throw stones and run away, presumably from Israeli fire, but they don’t even bother to lower their heads. And meanwhile adults are seen strolling in the same area as if they are out on a holiday outing.

    The 18 minutes that were shown did no more to restore Enderlin’s journalistic credibility. Indeed, as reported by Melanie Phillips in the Spectator, the packed courtroom on several occasions burst into spontaneous laughter at Enderlin’s tortured explanations of what they were viewing on the film.

  • JoeSettler discusses the Jerusalem Feint.
    The physical impossibility of carving this city up which has become so integrated (whether some people want to admit it or not) is far more difficult than untying a mere Gordian knot.

    The Arab residents of Jerusalem have made it clear they don’t want to be residents of the PA. They don’t want to give up their freedom, their lives, their safety, and their jobs.

    And Olmert knows his government would collapse the second he gave away sovereignty over the Temple Mount, much less allowed PA policemen into the residential sections of the Old City.

    And everybody knows this.

    I believe the whole Jerusalem discussion is a feint, a ploy, a trick.
  • A great story at BeyondBT about finding one's Jewish roots... by a Buddhist priest.

    “My host father realized that I was searching not only for a job, but for spirituality,” Jason said. “He told me that when he dies ‘there will be such and such spirit in the next world who will save me. I live this life with confidence because I know I will be saved when I die. On the other hand, a Christian person has Jesus. A Christian person has Jesus, who is a bridge to the Jewish G-d. That’s how he will be saved when he dies.’”

    “‘But you, you are a Jew. You have a direct connection to the Jewish G-d. What more are you searching for?’”

  • And finally, a good piece on BeyondBT regarding minhagim; as I noted in the comments, it's not exclusively an issue for BTs. Either way, it's an interesting question.
Enjoy!

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