Monday, July 31, 2006

Chief Rabbi's Tefilla Website

Click on picture for larger view

Rabbi Yonah Metzger, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel, has launched a new website to enlist our prayers for the soldiers in Israel. The site is here with both Hebrew and English versions.

Rabbi Metzger has called for a moment of prayer at 7:00pm Tuesday, Israel time. His request:

These days, when we are “between the straits”, and in these desperate hours, our brothers Sons of Israel in the State of Israel face hard and murderous times from our enemies and those who are up to destroy us.
While in the battle front our brave soldiers in the Israeli Defense Forces risk their lives in the air and sea to repel those who turn upon us, and defend our people and the cities in Israel.
I call upon our Jewish brothers in the Diaspora, wherever they are, to pray for the well-being of our soldiers and their success this Tuesday at 19:00(Israel time , for the recovery of the wounded, and the return of the captives to the loving arms of their families all safe and sound.

As Jews, who are supposed to be compassionate people, I think that we should also have in mind the civilians who have been killed and wounded both in Israel and in Lebanon. I personally believe that eventually we will find that many of those in Lebanon have been killed by Hizbollah, either directly or indirectly, but the fact is that human life has been lost.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Aussie Arabs Showing Their True Colours

Australian supporters of the Arab cause mobbed John Howard's car yesterday after he left a Liberal Party conference in Perth. The Australian descibed it as a "violent scuffle" - read the story here. And see a newsclip of the incident below:

In response to the guy speaking about Israeli aggression at the end of the newsclip here is a map of the area showing how Israel overwhelms the Arab countries in size:

Thanks to Bagel Blogger for the video

I just read in The Age (here) that a woman was shot dead in Seattle, Washington by a mentally deranged Muslim American. The Seattle Times reports in detail here that as well as the woman who was killed 5 others were seriously injured.

Hopefully this violence will not spread - althought the Australian Jewish News reports an upsurge in antisemitic violence and incidents throughout Australia. Keep saying tehillim!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

More Stunning Photos

I hope we that I will be posting photos of these boys at home very soon and not at the front.

More photos can be found here.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Australian Casualty

The IDF has released the names of the nine soldiers who were killed in the battles in or near the village of Bint Jbiel on Wednesday. Among them was Corporal Asaf Namar, 27, of Kiryat Yam who, Arutz Sheva reports, came from Australia.

I just heard news reports that Asaf was born in Israel and came to Sydney with his mother when he was young boy. He returned to Israel 2 years ago to do his National Service. Our thoughts go out to his family and the familes of all others killed and injured in this conflict.

In related news Australian Foreign Minister, Brendan Nelson, has said that 12 of the Australian soldiers who went to Lebanon would be withdrawn from Southern Lebanon back to Beirut. See the report in the Age here.
According to Arutz Sheva Nelson said: "There is quite a degree of risk to everybody in the south of Lebanon, not withstanding the efforts of the Israelis to target their attacks on Hizbullah sites. It is very important that Australians appreciate no matter how affronted we are by what Israel is doing, they are dealing with Hizbullah and Hamas who are committed to the abolition of Israel as a state."

Thanks to YMR.

Don't Publicise These Photos!!

Why don't we see more photos like those on Yo Yenta here in the mainstream press? I suppose that it wouldn't help with their promotion of the image that Israel is a bully.

Brothers in Arms

This amazing video was brought to my attention by Jake. It is only 4 minutes long and well worth watching.

The description of the video on YouTube:

This is an eye-watering video made by the IDF spokesperson in dedication to the thousands of soldiers fighting everyday to protect the lives of the Israeli civilians from the terrorists who wish to end them.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Mivtzoim on the Front

The Baleboosteh does it again. She has some amazing and gut-wrenching photos on her site here as well as some more positive ones such as those above. Whatever one thinks of the sign on the "Mitzvah Tank" these bochrim are doing something positive for our soldiers. I am jealous of the opportunity they have to contribute to Eretz Yisroel and they certainly have my respect.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

“Be Strong and of Good Courage”

Another great photo from the Baleboosteh blog.

From Rabbi Pinchas Frankel (here):
Chazak VeEmatz - “Be Strong and of Good Courage”
The basic charge given by Moshe to the People of Israel (Devarim 31:6) and to Yehoshua (Devarim 31:7), as well as the charge given by HaShem to Yehoshua on the eve of his assuming the leadership of the People of Israel (Devarim 31:23), is "Chazak VeEmatz," Be strong and of good courage! And HaShem concludes his words with Yehoshua with "VeAnochi Eh’ye imach," And I will be with you. This belief that HaShem was with the Jewish People and with its leaders over the millennia is the only reason that we have had to face our otherwise insurmountable enemies with courage.


Friday, July 21, 2006

Report from Sefat

Yeshivah Gedolah shaliach at the Melbourne city rally for Israel on July 17
(Photo by Peter Haskin of the Australian Jewish News)

The following email was sent by Rabbi Shaul Leiter of the Ascent Institute in Sefat to a friend in Australia. I am reprinting the letter as I believe it gives those of us thousands of miles away a feeling of what it is like "on the ground" in the north of Israel.

Yankel, Shalom, hope you and family are well. Though the last two days have been relatively quiet, only 10 missiles in or very near Safed, there have been altogether more than 100 ketusha missiles to Safed in 7 days. Altogether, 30 people injured, 2 people killed. Of the missiles, 15 were near our home and another 10 near Ascent. Thank G-d, most fall in empty spaces and many do not explode because they have not been serviced and in storage for years. One slammed into our next door neighbors basement that thank G-d did not explode, one to the top floor of the building next door to my newly married daughters apartment, that also did not explode, and the one that exploded was in our back yard. Beside totally traumatizing my 20 year old and my 4 year old, all it did was break 15 double glass windows, fill the house with smoke and glass and leave shrapnel holes up the western side of our building. Katushas fell 100 feet in every direction of Ascent. The Lebanese claim that many more of their citizens have died than Israelis. It is certainly not for want of trying. People say that each missile is filled with nails or ball bearings or small pieces of metal meant injure people. I can only say from the damage it did to my house.

The Chabad shul is packed every evening for mincha/Maariv. Most community leaders all over town are staying. Rabbis, principals, politicians.
There is a definite feeling that someone has to stay. We are soldiers in Hashem's army, where else where would I want to be but on the front where G-d put me? Nevertheless, the city is 80% empty. Ascent which was full on Wednesday evening, emptied out Thursday and Friday when it was clear this was not a one day aberration and more important, Ascent does not have a bomb shelter (My next project,) Even though I want to be here (Chaya Brocha would not agree to leave anyway), it is hard to concentrate. Everything is closed, nowhere to get even a pizza. The city is distributing free food because almost all of the stores are closed, banks and post too. A lot of time helping in the house or keeping an eye on the kids, keeping them occupied. Obviously, the worst is the shelling. The barrages come in groups. Once you hear one boom, you wait to hear the others, if they are getting closer or farther. Sometimes there are sirens and then we go to the 'safe room'. But there is rarely an all clear siren and sometimes you just wait there in a hot and stuffy little room. On the other hand, I was caught downstairs during a close by barrage yesterday. The loud shrieking of the bombs paralyzed me for a few seconds but then my wife starts screaming, Shaul, get up here to the Mamad/safe room. We have to listen to our wives sometimes. I ran with all I had and was thankful to make it.

Just two days ago, they pinpointed the hospital and while ba"H there have been no direct hits, they have managed to break most of the windows in a 6 story building filling almost an acre. Bombs have also fallen in Gush Chalav and Nazareth, Arab towns near Jewish ones. The Talmud at the end of Sotah says that the Gallil needs to be destroyed for Mashiach to come. Let this be the last war that will herald in a millennium of peace. Then Ascent will really really be busy and double the size will not be any where near enough!

For the last 18 hours there have been non-stop planes and explosion, 99% ours as the air and ground war heat up. There is a relief that the passive tide is changing and we pray for the wellbeing of all of the servicemen. Not just me, but everyone around is buoyed. We hope for good news soon.

No need to call, thank G-d we really are fine, the big kids are working, the middle kids are in camp all out of Safed. The two little ones are with us. (If you want to send this out to others be my guest).

Only blessings,
Shaul and Chaya Brocha Leiter,
Director of Ascent, Safed, the holy city.
July 19th, 2006. Bein Hamatzorim, 5766


Thursday, July 20, 2006

Rabbi Gorelik is still fighting

Rabbi Yerachmiel Gorelik is still fighting for the right to display a Chanukah menorah in Fort Collins, Colorado (see previous post here).

The Coloradoan pubished an article by Karen Schwartz defending the right to display the menorah on city property and pointing out the narrow mindedness of this town.

See also the post in Shturem here.

Tehillim at Yeshivah Shul

The front of the Tehillim booklet
(click on the photo for a larger view)

The above Tehillim brochure was given out last night at the gathering in Yeshivah Shul to say tehillim for the situation in Israel. There was a fairly large crowd present and, after communual tehillim (and the mandatory video), Rabbi Meir Sholomo Kluwgant spoke briefly.

It is always good to get together to say tehillim - every little bit helps - but I still don't understand why Yeshivah organised a separate evening the night before the communual event at Caulfield Shul. In any case, please turn up tonight at 7:00pm at Caulfield Shul for the "Communual Solidarity Tefillah" gathering.

Let's hope that the situation in Israel concludes very quickly in a positive way.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Gathering at Yeshivah

As well as the gathering organised for Thursday night at Caulfield Shul (see previous post here), there will be a gathering at Yeshivah Shul tonight, Wednesday July 19, Tammuz 23.
The announcement as I received it:


Due to the dangerous and critical situation of our
brothers and sisters in our Holy Land, Eretz Yisroel, a gathering
for Torah, Teffiloh and Tzedokoh, will take place
at the Yeshivah Shul,

Wednesday evening 7pm
19th July

The programme will begin with Ma'ariv

We urge all men women and children to participate in this important event

We also remind all, of the Communal Solidarity Gathering
that will take place this coming Thursday evening,
at the Caulfield Shul

The Gabboyim
Yeshivah Shul

Photos from the Front

I saw these and other photos on Baleboosteh blog here.

Monday, July 17, 2006

להוסיף בתורה, תפילה וצדקה

I am sure that everyone has been closely following the events in Eretz Hakodesh and adding in Torah, Tefillah and Tzedokah as Jews have always done in times of trouble.

This Thursday July 20 - 24 Tammuz - there will be a "Communual Solidarity Tefillah" organised by the Rabbinical Council of Victoria and the Council of Orthodox Synagogues of Victoria at Caulfield Shul. The evening starts with Maariv at 7:00pm and will conclude by 8:00pm. I understand that there will be tehillim recited and speeches by Rabbi Mordechai Guitnick and Rabbi Yaakov Sprung.

In any case, it is suggested that as well as adding to charity the following chapters of Tehillim should be recited: 20, 22, 69, 105 and 150.

We need Moshiach NOW!!!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Aussie Fighting for Menorah Display

Rabbi Yerachmiel Gorelik, shaliach in Fort Collins, Colorado, has been trying to get a menorah displayed in that city since last Chanukah (see here). Despite having the mayor on his side, and a positive article in the Coloradoan reproduced in Shturem here, unfortunately the bid was unsuccessful (see here).

Rabbi Gorelik still has a lot of fight in him. The follow up post in Shturem here is a summary of the news report on ABC here.

I wish him hatzlocho rabbo in his mission.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

The Day The Rabbis Marched

I was always under the (admittedly ignorant) impression that the various Jewish communities outside of Europe did little to try to influence their governments to help European Yidden during the holocaust. I knew that there were individuals who worked hard to do this but didn't know much about the various organisations which were trying to help.

The Emergency Committee to Save the Jewish People of Europe (Va'ad Ha-Hatzala) in America was one such organisation. An article on Arutz Sheva alerted me to a "demonstration" by 400 Rabbis in 1943 in Washington DC. The web site of the David S Wyman Institute has details of this march here. There are original documents and photos which make for quite fascinating reading and viewing.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

More Gimmel Tammuz Photos

From COL - Photos from the Ohel - Gallery 4 and Gallery 5
From Shturem - Photos from the Ohel here and here by Shaya Katz
And some great photos from Reuters photographer Mike Segar on here

Also from COL - Photos from the Rebbe's home here