Thursday, January 29, 2009

I'll be 60 on Sun. Wish me a Happy at ROC House

From the Shlock Rock calendar page:

Jan 31st, 2009 (Sat)
8:30 PM - 10:30 PM
Shlock Rock in Manhattan
Shlock Rock at the ROC House! A Sat night Shlock Rock Show in Manhattan at Ramath Orah Congregation 550 W 110th Street For More info email Yoni Glatt

Those of you from the New York City metropolitan area are invited to wish a happy 60th to the olde dame dancin'--perhaps more gingerly than usual--in the back of the room this Saturday night after Shabbat/Sabbath, Jan 31st, 2009, 8:30 PM - 10:30 PM. This'll be the first concert I've attended since breaking both wrists, and I'm looking forward to it. See you there, I hope!

Morning mezuman :(

A mezuman is the three-adult (in traditional circles, three-male-adult) minimum required for reciting the "zimun" (invitation?) to say Birkat HaMazon/Grace after Meals. My husband has taken to calling our Mon. and Thurs. morning services at synagogue the "morning mezuman" because, even though we count women, we haven't had a minyan since before last Pesach/Passover, to the best of my recollection. It's an old story, but still a sad one.

*That's* a wrap?

Skip this post if you're bored by halachic technicalities.

I told my husband that, though I started going back to morning minyan last Thursday, I can't go back to being the baalat tefillah (prayer leader [feminine form of noun]) just yet because of what I think is called "tircha d'tzibbur, " a burden on the congregation. (Tircha d'tzibbur is the reason why, whenever possible, the sefer Torah/Torah scroll is wound to the proper place for a particular day and service before [often the night before] that service begins--it's considered a tircha d'tzibbur to keep a congregation waiting.)

Here's the story.

Some years back, a good and learnèd friend recommended that I buy a Hertz siddur (prayer book) as a reference book. (It's too darned big and heavy to use for davvening/praying.) A few months ago, I was checked the Hertz siddur--probably for a previous post--when I spotted something unexpected: Hertz's minhag (custom) for putting on a tallit (prayer shawl) and laying tefillin was to do so after Birkot HaShachar (the morning blessings), rather than before, as I've always seen it done. (Hmm, that bit of info shouldn't have been so unexpected--commenter Schvach already mentioned that minhag here.) When I mentioned this to my rabbi, he said that, technically, one is not required to wear tallit and tefillin until the (part of the service that includes the?) recitation of the complete Sh'ma, and one usually doesn't say the full Sh'ma in Birkot HaShachar. It also occurred to me that it makes sense to put on tallit and tefillin upon arriving in synagogue, and, originally, one recited Birkot HaShachar at home (see the post to which I just linked in the previous set of parentheses).

So what does that long-winded explanation have to do with me refraining from leading the minyan because of tircha d'tzibbur? Simple:
  • Since wearing tefillin on an arm with a recently-repaired wrist fracture (complete with surgical scar) can be downright uncomfortable when the fingers decide to swell, I've decided to follow Hertz's minhag and put on my tallit and tefillin after Birkot HaShachar.
  • However, in our synagogue and many others, the baal tefillah starts leading at Birkot HaShachar. Therefore, the minyan would have to wait while I took a break after Birkot HaShachar to put on my tallit and lay tefillin. And there you have it--instant tircha. :(
Then there are the interesting questions of
  • whether it's appropriate for a person wrapping tefillin so high on the arm (to avoid the scar) that there might be a question about whether it's a legitimate "wrap" should be leading services, and
  • whether it's appropriate for a person who unwraps the "finger" section of the hand tefillin/shel yad (because that's where the shel yad hurts me) immediately after the Amidah (because I've heard that the requirement is to wear the tefillin for the Sh'ma and the Amidah only--some say the requirement is for the Sh'ma only) should be leading services.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Renegade Rebbitzen returns (for real, I hope)!

Here's her latest.

In other news . . .

New York State finally gets a new senator.

U.S. House of Representatives attempts to take a bite out of the crime usually known as the U.S. healthcare "system."

International (okay, Israeli):
Aussie Dave and Jameel are back to live-blogging, keeping an eye on the sometime ceasefire. Now the Israeli government demands the release of Gilad Shalit?!

You type for a living? Not anytime soon, lady. :(

I was counting on returning to work as a part-time telecommuter in February, but my hand surgeon said that I'd need another month to recover sufficiently to do extensive typing , and insisted that I wait 'til March 1. Not that he isn't probably right, but that's a major bummer. For openers, I'm getting bored. For closers, I was in the middle of a major project (an extensive update of this one, which must be updated every few years). It won't help our bottom line, either, to have me on disability payments for another month. :(

My new built-in barometers (ouch)

After a trip to the surgeon yesterday to check on some rather delayed post-operative swelling, I found that my wrists now give achy indications of cold and damp weather. My left hand kvetched (complained) for a couple of hours. My right hand kvetched so much and was so stubborn about getting warm that I finally put on one glove and went waltzing around the apartment like Michael Jackson minus the moonwalk.

This morning, my wrists are so stiff that I could go outside and use my hands to shovel snow off the sidewalk. But I think I'll skip it.

Oh, well, could be worse.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Another sign, and the time

My "shel yad" (hand tefillin) wasn't the only sign that I put back on my hand this morning for the first time since breaking both wrists--I also put on my wedding ring again, much to my husband's delight. And this evening, after my left arm finally stopped shedding skin like a snake, I put my watch back on. It's nice not to have to check the time on the cable box. :)

Forgotten history:The 1st"minority"candidate&president

As a relatively senior blogger, age-wise--I'm 59--I remember one detail that seems to have escaped much attention in the election of President Obama, namely, that President John F. Kennedy was distinguished by more than his youth: He was also the first Roman Catholic ever elected president of the U.S. Alfred E. Smith may very well have lost the election to Herbert Hoover because he was a Catholic. It's a sign of the increasing acceptance of ethnic and religious diversity in the U.S. that a candidate's religion doesn't seem to be a make-or-break issue anymore.

A prayer for President Obama

May President Barack Obama be blessed with knowledge, understanding, and discernment. May he surround himself with good advisers. May he lead the United States of America into a new era of peace, reserving shows of strength for times when they are necessary only. May he guide the Congress into considering legislation that will help bring sufficient and affordable sustenance and housing, education, childcare, healthcare and retirement funding to all Americans. May he be successful in his efforts to repair the economy, preserve the environment, and develop sustainable energy resources for all. May he lead this country with wisdom and compassion, and be a true servant of the people.

A retzuah-marked arm: I'm back in tefillin!

Of course, I have to wrap the retzuah (strap) so high on the forearm that there's barely a hairbreadth between windings, because I'm certainly not going to wrap a leather strap around my three-and-a-half-inch surgical scar (at least not for a few months, until it's had more time to heal). But, aside from that major detail, I'm now back to davvening in the full set of ritual garments.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cast off!

'Tis more than a bit unnerving to watch a doctor go at one's arm with a rotating blade. Somehow, though, despite working with a blade that resembles a pizza cutter, doctors always manage to avoid slicing the patient while removing a cast. I'm happy to report that, while the left arm is not perfectly straight (as the doctor forewarned me), it's probably straight enough not to need to be hidden with a long sleeve. The arm does look a bit like a snake shedding its skin, though--after roughly 5 weeks in a cast, my left arm is shedding bits of dead epidermis all over the apartment, leaving a trail rather like Hansel's and Gretel's breadcrumbs.

To celebrate my newfound freedom, I went home and gave myself a full shower and shampoo (under the watchful eyes of my home attendant). Then came the acid test: In a minor feat of fine and gross motor coordination, I managed to put on pair of pantyhose for the first time since breaking both wrists, thereby proving my readiness to attend a Bar Mitzvah celebration scheduled for this coming Shabbat morning in shul. Finally, Mussaf with a minyan!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sharansky: Historical perspective on Gaza War

I strongly recommend that you read this entire article, in which Natan Sharansky discusses his participation, as a then-government minister, in the decision-making process concerning previous military actions, or the lack thereof, in response to terrorist attacks. (Hat-tip: Aussie Dave, from this post.)

"Elvis has left the building" :)

This evening, Ms. Two-Broken-Wrists proved herself capable of locking her apartment door with her keys, leaving the building, returning to the building, unlocking the building's entrance door, unlocking the apartment door with her keys, and locking the apartment door behind her. As soon as the snow melts, I intend to ditch the daily constitutional up and down the apartment hall and take my first unescorted walk up and down the block. Freedom!

Sh'mot notes, 5769--my husband's thoughts

I was hoping that my husband, who came home from shul yesterday with lots of interesting thoughts about the connections between Parshat B'reishit & Parshat Sh'mot, would write another d'var Torah (word of Torah/commentary on the Bible). (See his recent d'var Torah concerning the story of Yosef/Joseph, & an earlier 1 concerning sinat chinam [baseless hatred].) But he's in the midst of grading finals & doesn't have the time. So here's the Hillel version (standing on one foot):

  • Parshat B'reishit (the very beginning of the Bible) and Parshat Sh'mot (the beginning of the book of Exodus) are similar in that they squeeze quite a lot into one weekly reading. In Parshat B'reishit, we go from the creation of the world to the expulsion of Adam & Eve from Gan Eden to the murder of Havel/Abel by Kayin/Cain to HaShem's decision to send a flood. In Parshat Sh'mot, we begin with a list of the names of the sons (yes, sons--whatever happened to Dinah, anyway?) of Jacob who went down to Egypt, are introduced to the infamous "Pharoah who knew not Joseph," read of the enslavement of the Hebrews & the attempt to kill all the newborn males, and see Moshe/Moses born & rescued, fleeing to Midian after killing the taskmaster, marrying Tzipporah & spending years as a shepherd, being called to service by HaShem, returning to Egypt with Aharon/Aaron, meeting with the Hebrew elders & going before Pharoah with a petition for the 1st time, & enduring the complaints of the Hebrew slaves that he'd just made matters worse.
  • Just as Adam & Chava (Eve) were expelled from Gan Eden, so, too, the Hebrews will be expelled from Egypt, but, this time, with the intention of returning them to the nearest approximation of Gan Eden, namely, a land flowing with milk & honey.
  • HaShem hears the cries of the Hebrew slaves just as He'd heard the cry of Havel's blood, &, in both cases, takes action to avenge an evil.
See also Sh'mot notes, 5769.

Flip-top, round 2, or "baptism" by fish :) :) :)

See round 1.

Today, I managed to open a pull-tab can of tuna fish by myself for the 1st time since I broke both wrists. Of course, I then spilled a nice chunk of tuna all over my t-shirt. You can't take me anywhere. :)

To console myself for my current clumsiness, I later removed the peel-off foil top from an individual-sized cup of unsweetened pineapple chunks by myself. I'll take my manual coordination as it comes (back).

Saturday, January 17, 2009

My own favorite media quote on the Gaza War :(

From this post on Aussie Dave's Israellycool:

Canadian pundit George Jonas (hat tip: John):

" . . . Israel’s “right to defend itself,” to which its Western critics are careful to pay lip service, hinges on Israel never actually doing so. The Jewish state is entitled to armed self-defence; it just cannot shed any blood. If it does, gotcha! . . . "

Re the allegedly disproportionate response by Israel, see here and here.

Israel Matzav's "Best commentary on Gaza"

See the video here. (Hat-tip: Ezzie, here.)

Ceasefire--yes; return of Gilad Shalit--no :(

I don't get it.

Neither does Trep.

There's much discussion re the Gaza ceasefire at SM's guest post on DovBear's blog.

Sh'mot notes, 5769

Here's the original.

Some thoughts from this morning's reading:

  • Call me a faithless coward, but if someone, or even The One, told me to grab a snake by the tail . . .
  • I remembered someone having told me, in a comment to a previous post, that the idea that Yisrael (Israel)--that is, Yisrael the Jewish People, not Yisrael/Yaakov (Jacob) the patriarch--is HaShem's/G-d's firstborn came straight from the Torah, and sure enough, there it is, in Parshat Sh'mot, in Exodus chapter 4, verse 22. After doing a search of my blog, I found the aforementioned previous post, and was pleasantly surprised to see that Steg's been reading and commenting on my blog (and, in this case, citing chapter and verse) since 2005!
  • I've always been a bit ambivalent about Yosef (Joseph). What he did was, essentially, to create a feudal state in ancient Egypt, with the native Egyptians as serfs. No wonder the Egyptians had no kind feelings for the Hebrews, as my husband pointed out in his d'var Torah on the story of Yosef.

There's a good, link-filled post on Sh'mot by DovBear here.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Piamenta Concert Live at The ROC House

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Announcements #071: Piamenta Concert This Motza'ei Shabbos

Piamenta Concert Live at The ROC House

Piamenta concert live at The ROC House
Opening act: Rock Of David (ROD)

When: Sat. night Jan. 17th 8pm-11:30pm
Where: 550 W. 110th st. (btwn Bway and Amst), NY, NY
Price: $16 Gen., $12 Students
Food and alcohol will be served at the bar

Contact for more information.


Hat-tip: Rabbi Gil Student of Hirhurim.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

"Miracle on the Hudson"

Being somewhat sleep-deprived lately--it's hard for me to find a comfortable sleeping position--I took a nap this afternoon, and, waking up, turned on the TV. Imagine my shock when I found NY1 News in the midst of a press conference regarding what's been described as possibly the most successful emergency landing on water ("ditching") in commercial aviation history: US Airways flight 1549, en route from LaGuardia Airport (in the Borough of Queens, New York City) to Charlotte, North Carolina, lost power in both engines within minutes of take-off, and the pilot, unable to return to LAG, landed on the Hudson River, with all 155 passengers and crew, to the best of anyone's current knowledge, rescued. Apparently, every commercial ferry (New York Waterway?), tour boat (Circle Line?), Coast Guard, Police and Fire Department boat, etc. within hailing distance raced to the scene within literally minutes, plucking passengers out of the water and off the wings, tail, and inflatable boats on which they were standing after exiting the plane. The pilot did not leave until walking the length of the plane's interior twice to ensure that no one was left behind. Police Department divers later double-checked the plane for passengers. (Amazingly enough, the plane is still afloat, and is now tied to the pier near the Battery Park City apartment complex [in downtown Manhattan] to which it was towed.) The New York* Police Department, Fire Department, and Port Authority police, along with the Red Cross, worked together with other emergency-response groups to ensure that everyone was rescued (to the best of anyone's current knowledge) and given warm coverings and hot drinks and/or medical treatment or a trip to one of several area hospitals in New York or New Jersey, as necessary.

A thorough investigation by the National Transportation Safely Board will ensue. Current speculation is that this was not a terrorist incident, but, quite possibly, a case of birds being sucked into & disabling the engines.

Kudos to all those involved in the rescue. A special salute to the pilot for his extraordinary skill.

Update, 7:49 PM: It was pointed out by one of the NY1 News reporters that those on the plane were extremely fortunate that the pilot was able to land the plane close to the ferry terminals. Had the plane landed nearer to the Statue of Liberty, rescue would have taken much longer.

*Update, 8:08 PM: Credit is due equally to Police, Fire, and emergency-response units in New Jersey who rushed to the ferry terminal in Weehawken and gave the airline passengers and crew general and medical care and transportation to New Jersey hospitals, as necessary.

Update, 9:05 PM: One of the NY1 News reporters said that passengers gave very high marks to the crew for their excellent job in safely evacuating all of them.

The pilot has over 20 years of experience, and is a former Air Force pilot.

9:20 PM: A caller to NY1 News reminded us to give credit to the co-pilot, as well, saying that this landing had to have been a well-coordinated effort.

9:26 PM: An e-mailer to NY1 News pointed out that the pilot [and co-pilot] managed to land at just the right angle to keep the plane reasonably intact.

Fri., Jan. 16, 2009, 9:49 AM: Here's some video shot by NY1 News during the rescue.

11:31 AM: From NY1 News--Fifty-seven-year-old former Air Force fighter pilot Chesley Sullenberger (a twenty-nine year veteran pilot, "praised by passengers and industry experts for his textbook emergency landing") and the co-pilot and crew receive honorary "key" to the city.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Quick (?) note re my recovery progress

I've been hesitant to blog too much about my 2 broken wrists for fear of boring everyone & because it seems a low priority with a war going on. But since West Bank Mama asked . . .

After my poor husband spent a month on the phone with assorted idiots, I finally got a home health aide yesterday. She'll be cleaning house & helping me shower 5 days per week for a month. I also started getting visits from a physical therapist (3 days per week) on Monday.

My right arm is now out of a cast and in a removable splint (which I wear only when sleeping or out of the apartment, for protection). I have a gorgeous "Frankenstein zipper" (scar) on the underside of the wrist from the surgery, but otherwise, the arm's reasonably normal-looking. The cast will be removed from my left arm this coming Tuesday. I've already been warned that the left arm will function reasonably normally, but that it may not be entirely straight. (After very serious consideration, the surgeon advised me not to have surgery on the left wrist, saying that it would be more for cosmetic purposes than for improved function. I've joked with my husband that it's a conspiracy by HaShem/G-d to force me to dress even more tzanua/modestly than I already do--the rabbi jokes that I dress like a Beis Yaakov girl--since it'll be cheaper to wear long sleeves than to have cosmetic surgery.) Full mobility will take time & a lot of therapy--my PT recommends that I get occupational therapy at a good hospital-based facility as soon as I can get out more.

In the meantime, I can already dress & undress myself, brush my teeth, turn faucets, lamps, and computer speakers on and off by twisting their handles or knobs, and eat with a metal fork & knife. (I was using a plastic spoon, which is lighter & easier to manipulate, for a week or so.) I still need someone to cut my food sometimes, and I often can't open jars or cans. But I'm really very happy to be able to do so much for myself & not have to bother the poor, overworked husband every other minute. I hope to return to work as a part-time telecommuter in a few weeks.

Small things, but important: To make life easier for my husband, I maintained my usual position at the dining room table in the chair nearest to the kitchen. Therefore, the hubster had to place my siddur (prayer book) and chumash--which I could barely even open, much less carry--at the other end, which, unfortunately, forced me to davven (pray) facing west for most of a month. When I was able to turn the siddur sideways, I was able to davven the Amidah prayer, at least, facing east. But this morning, for the 1st time, I managed, by hook or by crook--most by crook, carrying the siddur in the crook of my elbow--to move the siddur to my usual end of the table, enabling me to davven an entire service facing east, as is traditional, for the 1st time since my injury. Now, not only can I put on my tallit (prayer shawl) by myself again, I can also davven facing east. I'm looking forward to being able to lay tefillin again.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Death toll 1-sided 'cause Israel protects its citizens

West Bank Mama said:

"When the terrorists were busy launching rockets at Israel and using their own people as human shields, the Jews have built bomb shelters, warning systems, and state of the art medical facilities in order to protect their own.

We have trained one of the best armies in the world, and when the need arises, we use it."

Re Gaza War updates, I copied this from Ezzie's blog, because he phrased it so well:
"Just . . . a reminder . . . : Jameel & Aussie Dave are live-blogging everything from Israel (with some assistance from friends to keep it going 24 hours a day). Jack is rounding up posts and articles from all over consistently (usually twice a day). The IDF Spokesperson puts out official summaries and videos here and there. And it's worthwhile to plug an amazing blog: An Israeli Soldier's Mother.

Another wounded soldier; canon found in mosque

From Tuesday's update on Jameel's blog (& while you're there, watch the video of the anti-aircraft cannon & other weapons & ammunition found in a mosque):

12:59 PM The Mishnah (Oral Law) States: In a war that is a mitzva (Bibilical commandment, such as a defensive war, like the current one), even a Groom leaves his room, and a Bride leaves her Chuppa [wedding canopy]. (source Mishna Sotah, Chapter 8, Mishna 7 in Hebrew)

This was the first thing that came to mind, regarding the report from below at 12:48 seriously wounded IDF combat officer Aharon Yehoshua ben Chaya Shoshana [Karov], was married only 2 weeks ago. He left his troops from the Gaza front a few hours before his wedding, got married, and the following morning was back at the front with his troops

Aussie Dave's caption to the cannon-in-mosque video (also posted on his Tues. Gaza-War update here):

9:20PM: Is that a canon in your mosque or are you just happy to kill me?"

Aussie Dave later posted the following:

9:49PM: Some mind-blowing statistics:

  • Number of rockets fired into Israel since Dec 27: 565
  • Number of mortar shells fired into Israel since Dec 27: 200
  • Number of rockets fired into Israel since beginning 2005: 5700
  • Number of mortar shells fired into Israel since beginning 2005: 4000
  • Number of rockets fired into Israel in 2008: 2000+
  • Number of mortar shells fired into Israel in 2008: 1600+
  • Number of rockets fired into Israel during 6-month “truce”: 361
  • Number of mortar shells fired into Israel during 6-month “truce”: 303
  • Number of people killed by rockets and mortar shells since firing began in 2000: 37
  • Number of people wounded by rockets and mortar shells since beginning of Operation Cast Lead: 1272

Among Jack's updates for today is the "Hamas Dictionary."

Re Gaza War updates, I copied this from Ezzie's blog, because he phrased it so well:
"Just . . . a reminder . . . : Jameel & Aussie Dave are live-blogging everything from Israel (with some assistance from friends to keep it going 24 hours a day). Jack is rounding up posts and articles from all over consistently (usually twice a day). The IDF Spokesperson puts out official summaries and videos here and there. And it's worthwhile to plug an amazing blog: An Israeli Soldier's Mother.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Video of booby-trapped school; homes, ditto

See this post of Jack's for video & the following report, plus a gazillion links:

"The IDF Blog has a summary of today's events. Here is a brief excerpt:

“We continue to face an insane reality of booby-trapped tunnels and booby-trapped schools. In one neighborhood of 150 homes, over 30 homes were found to be rigged with explosives,” IDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Avi Benayahu said. “Hamas is booby-trapping every home that is abandoned by its residents.”

Re Gaza War updates, I copied this from Ezzie's blog, because he phrased it so well:
"Just . . . a reminder . . . : Jameel & Aussie Dave are live-blogging everything from Israel (with some assistance from friends to keep it going 24 hours a day). Jack is rounding up posts and articles from all over consistently (usually twice a day). The IDF Spokesperson puts out official summaries and videos here and there. And it's worthwhile to plug an amazing blog: An Israeli Soldier's Mother.

I'm sorry to say that I'm not surprised. :(

From today's live-blogging update on Jameel's blog, The Muqata:

9:39 AM MUQATA SCOOP: As first mentioned on this blog at the start of the war, it is now acknowledged that Hamas terrorists are hiding in bunkers built under the Shifa hospital and are connected by tunnels to the rest of Gaza. The Shifa hospital was seriously refurbished and upgraded by Israel for the Gazan residents when Israel still controlled that part of Eretz Yisrael. Many of the terrorists are hiding under Building 2 of Shifa hospital.

Israel built these "bunkers" under the hospital originally as a basement and strong foundation for Building 2 of the hospital (which Israel built). It was meant for the laundry machines and other services.

9:38 AM Earlier this week, IDF uncovered an entire school (next to the Gaza zoo) which was booby trapped.

Re Gaza War updates, I copied this from Ezzie's blog, because he phrased it so well:
"Just . . . a reminder . . . : Jameel & Aussie Dave are live-blogging everything from Israel (with some assistance from friends to keep it going 24 hours a day). Jack is rounding up posts and articles from all over consistently (usually twice a day). The IDF Spokesperson puts out official summaries and videos here and there. And it's worthwhile to plug an amazing blog: An Israeli Soldier's Mother.

Sticks and stones break bones

Re the international outcry against Israel's "disproportionate" response, if a person throws a stone at you with the clear intention of injuring or killing you, are you forbidden to defend yourself just because the weapon you use is a gun? Isn't a stone embedded in the brain just as deadly as a bullet?

Re Gaza War updates, I copied this from Ezzie's blog, because he phrased it so well:
"Just . . . a reminder . . . : Jameel & Aussie Dave are live-blogging everything from Israel (with some assistance from friends to keep it going 24 hours a day). Jack is rounding up posts and articles from all over consistently (usually twice a day). The IDF Spokesperson puts out official summaries and videos here and there. And it's worthwhile to plug an amazing blog: An Israeli Soldier's Mother.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The story of Yosef/Joseph

See these recent posts on my blog:

Yosef/Joseph: Lording well is the best revenge

Much has been made of the fact that Yosef never took revenge on his brothers for having sold him into slavery. I'm not impressed. I think that it was quite sufficient revenge for him to know that his brothers owed him their lives and would spend the rest of their days at his mercy.

See The story of Yosef/Joseph for links to other recent posts re Yosef on my blog.

Lots of debate on DovBear's blog re the war

Just start with the Jan. 6th posts & work your way up.

To keep up with the latest online news and views concerning the Gaza War, read Jameel's & Aussie Dave's blogs for live updates, the IDF spokesperson's blog for official updates, & Jack's blog for round-ups of links to Gaza-War articles & posts.

Map proves Hamas uses civilians as shields

Check out the IDF's video explanation (in English) of the map that they captured, which shows the deliberate placement of weaponry in a residential area.

To keep up with the latest online news and views concerning the Gaza War, read Jameel's & Aussie Dave's blogs for live updates, the IDF spokesperson's blog for official updates, & Jack's blog for round-ups of links to Gaza-War articles & posts.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

"Semi-Conservative": 4 levels of kashrut

i'm not observant enuf 2 meet the rabbinical standards 4 a Conservative Jew, but i'm within hailing range, and i don't think that my 4-level approach to kashrut (the jewish religious dietary laws) is particularly atypical of conservative jewish laypeople:

1. what i eat "out"

i used 2 observe what's sometimes been described as "biblical kashrut," meaning that i wouldn't eat any animal forbidden in the bible itself, but would politely ignore the many rabbinic laws regarding plates, pots, cooking methods, & kosher slaughter. the only thing that's changed is that i no longer eat non-kosher meat--i gave it up about a decade ago as a farewell present 2 a departing rabbi.

hints 4 those who eat in non-kosher restaurants (which, 4 the record, is against official conservative rabbinic standards) but wish 2 avoid major errors--this is what i learned the hard way:

  • avoid egg foo young in a non-kosher restaurant, even if it's supposedly vegetarian--just because it doesn't have meat in it doesn't necessarily mean that it doesn't contain every imaginable variety of (treif/non-kosher) shellfish.
  • if u don't eat non-kosher meat, avoid tuna salad in salad bars, because it can b difficult 2 tell the difference between tuna & chicken salad just by looking.
2. what i eat "in"

we no longer bring home treif chinese food & eat it from paper plates, but, occasionally, we'll bring home something (non-meat) without a hechsher (rabbinical seal indicating that a product is kosher), usually either by accident or because some1 gave it 2 us. i've been known 2 check the ingredients & eat it anyway, but we keep such items separate from hechshered food.

3. what i heat "in"

i've gotten stricter about this over the yrs. i will no longer cook or reheat anything that doesn't have a hechsher. i've even switched to hechshered cheese, tho the conservative rabbinate doesn't require it. (my understanding is that the conservative rabbinate considers any cheese produced in the U.S. kosher, trusting the U.S. Department of Agriculture to ensure that we don't get pig's milk in our cheese.) since we live in new york city, we can buy hechshered cheese reasonably easily, tho we have 2 leave the neighborhood 2 do so.

4. what kashrut standards i expect in a synagogue

i think everything served in a synagogue should be under rabbinical supervision, period. i don't think that pot-luck meals are appropriate for a synagogue, because people have different standards of kashrut &/or different levels of knowledge of what the dietary laws require.

pls pardon poor typing--2 broken wrists

i don't think yosef or yaakov did t'shuvah (repented)

i don't remember where i read this, but some1 suggested that yosef/joseph never took any responsibility for the arrogant behavior that led his brothers 2 hate him. as 4 yaakov/jacob, he was so oblivious 2 his part in his son's disappearance that he perpetuated the crime of favoritism right down 2 the next generation, choosing the younger efrayim/ephraim over the older menashe/manasseh.

update: See The story of Yosef/Joseph for links to other recent posts re Yosef on my blog.

pls pardon poor typing--2 broken wrists

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Hamas targets schools, world shrugs

thanx 2 jack 4 linking 2 this post asking y palestinian war crimes r ignored

pls pardon poor typing--2 broken wrists

To keep up with the latest online news and views concerning the Gaza War, read Jameel's & Aussie Dave's blogs for live updates, the IDF spokesperson's blog for official updates, & Jack's blog for round-ups of links to Gaza-War articles & posts.

Updated list of wounded Israeli soldiers & civilians

Thanx 2 jack 4 linking to this list posted by Mother in Israel:

"I am reposting the following from an email list called Survival During Hard Times. Please send updates or corrections to
When Jews pray for the sick, they include the patient's Hebrew first (and middle) name, the word "ben" for son of or "bat" for daughter of, and the mother's Hebrew name.

January 8, 2009

Please pray for our wounded soldiers and civilians. There are 40
soldiers being treated in several hospitals. This list below is
incomplete. Please send us any more names that should be included
here, mother's names where missing, corrections and/or any other
updated info about the condition of these soldiers.

May we only hear good news and may they all be healed b'ezrat HaShem
(G-d willing).

Gilad ben Aviva Shalit - kidnapped Israeli soldier that Hamas claims
was injured in air raids on Gaza;
Li'el Hoshea ben Miriam – critical head injuries;
Wahal Mijan – critical, has metal shards in his brain, has
had three operations and doctors are battling to save his life;
Ben ben Netiva – critical with head injuries & has had 1 hand
amputated and doctors are battling to save his other hand;
Neriya ben Rivka – very serious head injury;
Noam ben Aliza - one leg amputated; doctors fighting to save the
Yosef Chaim ben Ziva – very seriously injured on the entire left side
of his body- regained consciousness yesterday BH (thank God);
Dvir ben Laya - seriously injured in his legs;
Raphael ben Dina – very seriously injured;
Elishama Shalom ben Rivka Leah
Oren ben Chaya – seriously injured shoulder & hand – has had one finger
Ronen Chai ben Leah – seriously injured
Ron ben Havatzelet – seriously injured with shrapnel over all of his
Eitan ben Sarah – very serious leg injury;
Gal ben Hedva – seriously injured with shrapnel to his jaw & mouth;
Ran ben Merril – moderate shoulder injury;
Idan ben Nadi – moderate shrapnel injuries;
Yitzchak ben Navah - moderate shoulder injury;
Netanel ben Navah - moderate shrapnel wounds to a lower extremity;
Ohad ben Bracha – moderate facial injuries;
Maxim ben Olga - light lower leg injury, operation to remove shrapnel;
Yisrael ben Ilana - light shrapnel injury to an ear;
Yo'ad Ido ben Frieda Elka- light shrapnel injuries;
Idan ben Liora - light shrapnel injuries;
Nadav ben Miriam (Maria) - light shrapnel injuries;
Sagi ben Osnat – light shrapnel injuries to his leg;
Omer ben Dorit – light shrapnel injuries to legs;
Evgeny ben Elizabeth – leg injury
Lior ben Mazal
Oleg Dizengoff
Avi Cohen
Roni Rapaport
Yaakov Wolf - hit by shrapnel in his neck that miraculously missed
his jugular vein BH (thank God)
? Moshe ben Eidi – head injury

Wounded civilians:

Gavriel ben Sarah from Sderot – child in severe shock from kassam
Yakov ben Rivka - very seriously injured from kassam rocket;
Bat El Hila bat Phoebe – moderately injured from kassam rocket that
fell in Netivot
Gila bat Odelia – moderately injured by kassam attack in Netivot

Kidnapped & Missing Soldiers:

Ron ben Batya (Arad)
Guy ben Rina (Hever)
Tzvi ben Pninah (Feldman),
Yekutiel Yehuda Nachman ben Sarah (Katz),
Zecharia Shlomo ben Miriam (Baumel)"

For the latest news and views concerning the Gaza War, read Jameel's & Aussie Dave's blogs for live updates, the IDF spokesperson's blog for official updates, & Jack's blog for round-ups of links to Gaza-War articles & posts.

Hamas's use of civilian areas for combat long planned

Very early Friday report from Jameel's crew:

12:07 AM Army discovers Hamas map in the field detailing sniper and terrorist positions. Details use of civilian infrastructure for terror attacks. IDF uses it it to turn the tables."

An even earlier (Thurs. night) report from Aussie Dave:

9:53PM: IDF soldiers have discovered a Hamas map in Gaza that confirms everything we have been saying about Hamas’ cynical use of human shields.

Soldiers from the Paratrooper’s Brigade operating in the northern Gaza Strip uncovered a map prepared by Hamas that shows how the terror group prepared for the IDF’s incursion by deploying different types of bombs as well as snipers throughout the town of al-Atatra.

The map is handwritten and is based on a bird’s-eye view of the town, likely taken from Google Maps. On the map, Hamas split up the town into three different sectors - red, blue and green. On the map, Hamas highlighted several important sites such as mosques, a gas station and a fuel depot.

“Inside the map, the terrorists also marked sniper positions, as well as the location of roadside bombs, anti-tank bombs and landmines,” Chief Intelligence Officer Brig.-Gen. Yuval Halamish said Thursday.

The map was discovered by soldiers from the Paratroopers Brigade during operations in al-Atatra and was translated in the field and used by the troops to avoid casualties.

Halamish said that the map showed how Hamas does not hesitate to use civilian infrastructure for its terrorist activity. On the map, a brown dot is marked next to a mosque representing a nearby sniper position.

“This is a civilian area and you can see on the map how Hamas booby-trapped the entrance to homes in order to hit the IDF,” Halamish said. In another case, a large explosive device was marked on the map next to a gas station. Had it been detonated it would have likely destroyed the gas station as well, killing and wounding civilians who live in the area.

In another case, Halamish said that soldiers discovered a mannequin dressed like a soldier at the entrance to a home. Had soldiers entered the home, the mannequin would have exploded, collapsing the floor and causing the troops to fall into a tunnel where they would have been abducted by Hamas operatives."

For the latest news and views concerning the Gaza War, read Jameel's & Aussie Dave's blogs for live updates, the IDF spokesperson's blog for official updates, & Jack's blog for round-ups of links to Gaza-War articles & posts.

"A fleishig cast" :)

That's what my husband said i got when i splashed meat sauce on my left forearm. Yaakov/Jacob had spotted calves--i have a spotted cast. :)

fleishig=meat (b'sari)

ok, jake had spotted sheep. so sue me. :)

"Go West, Young Jew" is back!

(Thanx 2 Mommy's Going Meshuggannah 4 spreading the word.)

GoldaLeah, the Western Jew is trying 2 keep a balanced view on the middle east & teach her hebrew high school students a little history as background 2 the current war.

pls pardon poor typing--2 broken wrists

Rotten news: Katyushas strike Nahariya, in North

Quotes copied from Jameel's crew here:

Reshet B reports. Katyusha rockets falling in Israel's North on the town of Nahariya. At least 3 rockets in the barrage.
. . .
9:00 AM This morning's attack up North hit a Nursing Home.
. . .
11:22 AM Reports that Katyushas fired this morning from next to UNIFIL base.
. . .
2:59 PM Finally, someone takes credit for this morning's Katyusha strike on Israel's north. The PFLP-GC which takes orders from Damascus seems to be behind the rocket attack on Israel."

Aussie Dave reports:

10:06AM: Current toll from Nahariya Katusha attack: 3 injured, 14 suffering shock.
. . .
11:55AM: The IDF Spokesman in the GOC Northern Command:

“The rocket fire on the Western Galilee was carried out by Palestinian elements in Lebanon, wishing to drag Israel into war.

Israel holds the Lebanese government and its army responsible for thwarting any fire on Israel.”

. . .

1:38PM: The Home Front Command has instructed all municipalities in the North to open their bomb shelters.

For the latest news and views concerning the Gaza War, read Jameel's & Aussie Dave's blogs for live updates, the IDF spokesperson's blog for official updates, & Jack's blog for round-ups of links to Gaza-War articles & posts.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

West Bank Mama: This is *war,* dammit!

DovBear & guest bloggers debate land for peace

See here, here, & here.

On a lighter note . . .

Gila attempts yet another diet, a "serious hobby" described in a not-at-all-serious post. Go here for a grin.

I, on the other hand, am not dieting at all at the moment, but, rather, am taking serious measures to ensure that my daily supply of chocolate goes uninterrupted despite my current inability to break a refrigerator-chilled chocolate bar with my own 2 hands:

  • Remove chocolate bar from "fridge," but not from wrapper.
  • Place bar on edge of counter or table, being careful to position it so that the groove between rows of chocolate squares is precisely on top of the edge.
  • Holding bar flat on counter or table with 1 elbow, smash other elbow into row of chocolate hanging over edge.
  • Open wrapper, & enjoy a row of chocolate squares. Yum! :)

Jack links to Gila,who supports war&right of dissent

Thanks to Jack for his round-ups of links to Gaza-War articles & posts, including today's. Following 1 of his links, I found Gila defending not only the war, but the democratic right to express disapproval thereof:

"I would just like to remind everyone that having a minority opinion does not necessarily mean that one is part of a fifth column. Yes, I believe that the war is justified and no, I do not believe that diplomacy is going to quite cut it at this juncture. And yes, I do take issue with those who are screaming and yelling now, but who never thought to do so during all the years rockets were falling on Israeli cities. Nonetheless, each person is entitled to his opinions and to his (peaceful) protest. Of course, this does mean that each of us is liable to hear things that we do not agree with, that we find disagreeable. Consider this the price of the privilege of living in a democracy. One could argue that it is also the benefit received; minority opinions force us both as individuals and as a society to think about our own stances."

I recommend that you read the whole post.

Another of Aussie Dave's not-to-be-missed reports

Here are excerpts from his live-blogging on Israellycool today:

9:02PM: Israel started bombing the smuggling tunnels after dropping the leaflets asking residents to leave, and giving them enough time to do so.

9:01PM: According to Israel’s Channel 2, Israeli intelligence is concerned about Katusha rocket attacks against Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.

. . .

In yet another blow to Israel’s genocide credentials, the IDF earlier dropped fliers on Rafah urging residents living nearby to vacate the area.

“Because Hamas uses your houses to hide and smuggle military weapons, the IDF will attack the area, between the Egyptian border until the beach road,” the leaflet said, according a local UN official.

8:13PM: Canadian pundit George Jonas (hat tip: John):

What news on the Rialto? Try a re-enactment of The Merchant of Venice. Shylock, played by Israel, vacated Gaza in favour of Antonio, a.k.a. the Palestinian Authority, for the surety of a pound of peace. To make room, Israel dragged Jewish settlers kicking and screaming from the land. Instead of peace, it got Hamas and its daily bombardment of rockets exploding among the civilian population.

When Shylock confronted Antonio demanding to collect his pound of peace, the Duke of Venice, going under the name of UN-EU these days, turned for advice to Portia, masquerading as Nicolas Sarkozy, the President of France, leading a delegation of EU dignitaries.

“Is the Jew entitled to his pound of peace from the death-merchant Hamas?” the ducal UN-EU wanted to know.
“Well, it’s a valid contract,” Portia-as-Sarkozy replied. “Shylock is entitled to collect his pound of peace.”

“Oh, drat!” said the UN-EU “You sure? Double drat and boo!”

“Do not despair, though,” Portia-Sarkozy continued. “We’re not doctors of law for nothing. Shylock can collect his pound of peace, but the contract says nothing about blood. Sure, Israel is entitled to peace, but only if he can get it without shedding any blood.

“If he does, he’s a war criminal.”

“Oh learned judge,” said Hamas & Co., visibly relieved. “Oh, second Daniel!”

And there the matter stands. Israel’s “right to defend itself,” to which its Western critics are careful to pay lip service, hinges on Israel never actually doing so. The Jewish state is entitled to armed self-defence; it just cannot shed any blood. If it does, gotcha! [Bold added.] Shylock drawing blood commits the capital offence of disproportionality."

See also a video by a young woman living in the S'derot area describing what it's like to live under constant threat of death by Qassam.

As noted below, Jameel & crew are also doing a fine job live-blogging the war, & Jack is posting round-ups of links to Gaza-War articles & posts. In addition, the IDF spokesperson's blog has official updates.

Jameel & his blogging team doing incredible job

See Jameel's Muqata blog, especially for today's live-blogging--complete with parodies, cartoons, videos, & links (some downright scary)--of the Gaza War from the ground in Israel. From today's post:

2:55 PM For those of you who wish to say Tehillim/Pray for the full recovery of our wounded soldiers, the following is a recent list of IDF soldiers wounded in action in Gaza.

Noam ben Elza - leg was amputated as a result of a mortar in Nachal Oz a month ago. Doctors fighting these days to save his other leg

Li'el Hoshea ben Miriam - critically wounded -- head trauma

Nerya ben Rivka - seriously wounded -- head trauma

Yitzchak ben Na'ava - moderately wounded in his shoulder

Netan'el ben Na'ava - moderately wounded by shrapnel in his leg

Maxim ben Olga - lightly wounded in his leg - doctors operating to remove shrapnel

Yisrael ben Ilana - lightly wounded by shrapnel

Yo'ad Ido ben Freida Rivka - lightly wounded by shrapnel

Idan ben Leora - lightly wounded by shrapnel

Nadav ben Miriam - lightly wounded by shrapnel

Dvir ben Leah -- seriously wounded.

Ben ben Netiva -- critically wounded, entering surgery now (3 PM)

Refael ben Dinah

May they all have a complete recovery among the wounded and sick of Israel."

I'm heading over to Aussie Dave's Israellycool blog for more live updates, then to Jack's Random Thoughts blog for links to other coverage & commentary.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

oops, completely forgot about fast day

have spent a good chunk of today following gaza war news & views on tv & on jameel's & aussie dave's blogs, & reading posts 2 which jack has linked. just went over 2 dovbear's blog for 1st time today & saw 2 posts re half-fast (sunrise-2-sunset) of 10th of tevet. now u remind me?! oh, well, i'll try 2 remember next yr.

pls pardon poor typing--2 broken wrists

Monday, January 05, 2009

debate: is jordan palestine?



thanx to dovbear 4 hosting this discussion

c jameel's & aussie dave's blogs 4 live updates on the war, the IDF spokesperson's blog 4 official updates, & jack's blog 4 gaza-war link round-ups

pls pardon poor typing--2 broken wrists

a woman,a"tallit,"&Rav Soloveitchik's alleged trap

from the comments to my recent post "different perspectives re holidays"

Shira Salamone said...

. . . don't b so quick 2 write us off. isn't there a saying in rabbinic literature that a person who begins observing a mitzvah 4 what some may consider the wrong reason may eventually come 2 observe it 4 the right 1?

Tue Dec 30, 09:36:00 AM 2008
Anonymous jdub the curmudgeon said...

You are thinking of b'tokh she'lo lishma, ba lishma. I call that wishful thinking.

. . .

There's a story told about Rav Soloveitchik that a woman kept asking him if she could wear a tallit. he said, "try wearing it for a month without tzitzit." She came back after a month and said "Rabbi, this was wonderful, I felt so spiritual." I don't recall his precise rebuttal, but it was something along the lines of "since the four-cornered garment you wore wasn't really a tallit since it didn't have tzitzit, clearly, this was something going on in your own head totally unconnected to the mitzvah."

The mitzvot aren't given for us to find what we perceive, usually erroneously, as our spiritual needs. they are to cultivate a mindset of servitude to God. Of recognizing that He's the boss, (or Boss) not Tony Danza. Or us. (pardon the '80s pop culture reference). We don't wear tallitot to feel spiritual. We do it because He commanded us to do so, in order to remember the mitzvot.

. . .

Tue Dec 30, 11:29:00 AM 2008

i've read this story about Rav (Rabbi Joseph) Soloveitchik b4 on other blogs ( & also in a comment on my own blog--see link below), & i'm inclined 2 agree with those who've theorized that just about anything that that would-be tallit-wearer might have said could have been used against her. if she had insisted on wearing a real tallit--that is, a tallit (prayer shawl) with tzitzit (ritual fringes) on the 4 corners, as required by the torah/bible--Rav Soleveitchik could just as easily have chastised her for challenging his rabbinic authority. (the end of the story, as i've read it, is that Rav Soleveitchik forbade the woman 2 wear a tallit on the grounds that her motive was something other than to fulfill the mitzvah of wearing tzitzit.)

"The mitzvot aren't given for us to find what we perceive, usually erroneously, as our spiritual needs. they are to cultivate a mindset of servitude to God."

What good did the proper motivation do 4 this young lady, who simply wished 2 use "G-d-given prayer aids?"

"b'tokh she'lo lishma, ba lishma. I call that wishful thinking."

i don't, & 4 good reason. i began wearing a tallit because i was a member of an egalitarian synagogue, & figured that equal rights came with equal responsibilities. i continued 2 wear a tallit after we moved & joined a non-egalitarian synagogue because it didn't seem right 2 stop wearing 1 after having worn 1 for over 10 yrs. now, i wear a tallit because the torah tells the children of israel 2 see the fringe & remember all HaShem's commandments. if i hadn't started wearing a tallit 4 the "wrong" reason, i would not now b wearing a tallit 4 the only reason that u consider right.

maybe we should all take a hint from the folks doing kiruv (attempting 2 persuade non-orthodox jews 2 become orthodox)--stop asking why a person performs a mitzvah (fulfills the requirement[s] of a commandment), & just b happy that they do.

Don't b so quick 2 write us off. "B'tokh she'lo lishma, ba lishma."

pls pardon poor typing--2 broken wrists

i can put on a tallit again!

i davvened shacharit (prayed the morning service) in my tallit/prayer shawl 4 the 1st time since breaking both wrists!

update: c my next post, "a woman, "a tallit," & . . .

for spite: re palestinians' preference for martyrdom

time & time again in the reporting on the war in gaza, i've heard or read claims that, just as the israelis love life, the palestinians love death.

commenter jordan hirsch put it much better on trep's blog here:

" . . . "The reason why countries adhere to the Geneva Conventions is because it ensures mutual protection of captives. i.e. if an American soldier is held captive in another signator's POW camp, we americans know he will be safe because the other signator is counting on our keeping their soldiers safe.
The terrorist groups, by their ample and frequent use of the Suicide bomber, have already demonstrated that they don't care what happens to their own soldiers, much less ours. So we haave nothing to hold over their heads . . . We can't beat them, because they don't care if they all die. Civilian casualties are only important to them insofar as they provide leverage with the Western world against Israel."

how can the cycle of encouraging martyrdom b broken? in all seriousness, i literally don't know how israel can make peace with people who don't care, or, at least, profess not 2 care, whether they live or die

c jameel's & aussie dave's blogs 4 live updates on the war, the IDF spokesperson's blog 4 official updates, & jack's blog 4 gaza-war link round-ups

pls pardon poor typing--2 broken wrists

Sunday, January 04, 2009

"IDF Has Less Than A Week To Win"

thanx 2 jack's many posts of gaza-war links for this beauty, by mere rhetoric:

Diplomatic Pressure Means The IDF Has Less Than A Week To Win

"There's never any limit on how long Hamas can fire at Israeli civilians: at worst that produces only "concerns." But let Israel launch an operation that looks like it might be successful and the clock starts running:

The army believes the incursion into Gaza will do significant damage to Hamas' standing army and at the same time give Hamas leaders a palpable sense that their rule is in danger. The ground invasion will also accelerate the diplomatic stopwatch. A delegation from the European Union "troika" (Germany, France, Great Britain) will reach Gaza on Sunday, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy is expected on Monday. Translated into military terminology that means the IDF has less than a week to make genuine progress in Gaza."

israeli gov't provides for its students under attack

thanx 2 ezzie, in his "where to read about the war" post, 4 reminding me about this post by west bank mama

ms. 2-broken-wrists dresses self

for 1st time since falling. even pulled on socks, sneakers, & tied sneakers with double bow. as pain decreases, ability 2 care 4 self increases. still seeking home health aide, tho--can't shower or brush teeth

right wrist, now in removable splint, recovering nicely from surgery, tho stiff as a board. awaiting ok from dr. 2 begin physical therapy

we now return u 2 to ur (unfortunately) regularly-scheduled war coverage--c jameel's & aussie dave's blogs 4 live updates

Avinu sheh-bashamayim, barech et medinat Yisrael, yoshveha v'chayaleha/Our Father in heaven, bless the State of Israel, its inhabitants and its soldiers.

sad news: 1st Israeli death in chanukah war combat

6:26 PM Name released for publication of IDF soldier, killed in action today in Gaza: IDF First Sergent, Dvir Emanualuf from Givat Ze'ev, near Jerusalem"

copied from this post on jameel's blog--see photo there

in case u didn't c plea 4 support 4 hatzalah

c here (pls pardon poor typing--2 broken wrists)

informative comments:


Anonymous Mordechai Y. Scher said...

So Jameel, maybe you can answer a serious question I have. It also effects where I direct my limited Tzedakah funds. Why is there a need for Hatzalah, in addition to the well established Magen David Adom?

Way back when, MDA covered the needs of Israel pretty well. From the Golan to Eilat, and the Yarden to the Med. At some point, when I wasn't looking, Hatzalah sprang up. Now, it seems to me that Hatzalah is duplicating efforts and 'competing' for resources. How and why did this come about?


4:14 AM, January 02, 2009
Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Dear Mordechai,

MDA and United Hatzala work together -- in fact, you cannot be a Hatzala volunteer unless you are certified by MDA and volunteer with MDA. (I volunteer for MDA, by being an MDA ambulance driver).

However, Hatzala is the organization that provided me with equipment and 24/7 cellular (meers) radio service. The radio on my belt is paid for by Hatzala, as is the medical equipment in my car; Basic Life Support, Oxygen, and an Defribrillator.

Hatzala helps expand the range of volunteers for MDA, and allows for a quicker, "first response".

Besdies ambulances, MDA handles a national infrastructure of command centers, the "101" phone dispatcher (like 911 in the US), and training.

So the 2 organizations are very important, and they compliment each other....and I volunteer for both.

8:36 AM, January 02, 2009
Anonymous D said...

It would seem to me that Hatzalah is a complimentary rapid response citizen unit to the more official MDA. While the MDA handles a large scope of services, the specialized focus of Hatzalah should allow it to excel in it's first-response area of expertise. Specialization always provides for the highest degree of skill and efficiency. That being said, it would indeed be a duplication of effort should they try to expand into the full range of services that the MDA provides and is responsible for.

One of the aspects of focus that seems to separate Hatzalah from the MDA is the decentralized model of using on-call citizens where they live and work. This type of distributed network is a brilliant supplemental system to regional level medical services, and does not compete with it, but rather adds to it by providing smaller, faster "nodes" of localized service that can respond faster than a centralized service. By using people "where they are", it opens the door to service to thousands of people who are already "onsite" in various locals where emergencies occur.

Indeed, in reading Jameel's comment, it would seem to me that the Hatzalah model allows him to serve the people at a personal level, on-call where he happens to be at any given moment, beyond his more general MDA service. In a way it is like he spends part of his time as a centralized resource (MDA ambulance driver), then converts into a "field" resource where his normal life places him out in the world almost like an MDA person "on patrol". In this sense Hatzalah would be a natural extension of the MDA, and it's easy to see why Jameel is involved with both. The fact that Hatzalah is self-managed from a volunteer organization means a negligible expense structure that is of tremendous benefit to the MDA, who likely could not afford to organize, support, and maintain a similar "extended force" of their own.

1:10 PM, January 02, 2009

Saturday, January 03, 2009

new seal for ethical kashrut effort

some good news: c ny jewish week article re magen tzedek here

pls pardon poor typing--2 broken wrists

trep re "sacred muslim values"

c here:

" . . . unfortunately, when the wolves make a regular practice of hiding among the sheep... often with the willing cooperation of the flock... regrettably, some wool is going to fly."

pls pardon poor typing--2 broken wrists

gaza ground invasion, total naval blockade begun

c jameel's & aussie dave's blogs 4 live updates

note: jameel reports that jerusalem is now within missile range--c map here

pls pardon poor typing--2 broken wrists

gila finds the world's reaction frustrating

c here

" . . . What, because Hamas has either bad luck or lousy aim, the missiles they have been lobbing over for the last ten years do not count? There is the frustration in hearing that old, worn-out canard “disproportional response”. This is war, not a high-school judo match. Besides which, a proportional response would be to respond to each missile fired at us with an identical missile, sent with an equal level of concern for civilian populations. A proportional response would be to respond to each suicide bomber on a bus with an identical bomb (sans the bomber) on one of their buses."

pls pardon poor typing--2 broken wrists

Thursday, January 01, 2009

gila, finally on internet in new home, re the war

good links & video on gila's blog here

pls pardon poor typing--2 broken wrists

tel aviv is now within missile range

From Magen David Adom ambulance driver & Hatzalah paramedic Jameel at the Muqata’s latest post live-blogging Operation Cast Lead (the Chanukah War) here:

"The following list is far from exhaustive and contains a list of cities...and well known places that are now within the 60 kilometer range of Gazan rockets.

Alon Shvut
Bat Yam
Beer Sheva
Beit Shemesh
Ben Gurion Airport
Nof Ayalon
Ramat Beit Shemesh
Rishon LTzion
Tel Aviv
Yad Binyamin

pray 4 the soldiers & residents of israel

rav todot/many thanks 2 the whole blogging team at jameel's--apparently, they're working in shifts:

Blogger Ezzie said...

I think you should make sure to get more sleep, Jameel. :) 11:59-4:30!?

4:50 AM, January 01, 2009
. . .
Blogger Litvshe said...

We have a group of people blogging. I do the morning shift as I'm an early riser. Jameel goes to bed much later then I do, taking the night shift.

7:35 AM, January 01, 2009
Anonymous JoeSettler said...

I usually do the 10pm-6am shift, and random times throughout the day when everyone else is too busy (but I keep falling asleep on the job - I hope they don't fire me).

8:31 AM, January 01, 2009

pls pardon poor typing--2 broken wrists

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