Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Packing it in Israel

Here in Israel we have just completed the Holiday of Shavuot, commemorating the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai.  For various reasons that will not be expounded at length here, it is celebrated one day in the Land of Israel and two days outside of the Land of Israel (which means that the holiday is still in progress in the USA).

Israel is still reeling from the terror attack at the Sarona Market complex in Tel Aviv.  Much has been written and reported and punditized about the incident; I have little to add at this time, but gratuitously note that (1) Israel Police, along with military personnel carrying their weapons, have shown a higher profile these past few days; and (2) during this coming week I expect to ride a bus that passes within 2 blocks of Sarona. 

What I will mention, though, is that during the past two days at my Shul worship services (Saturday, of course, was Shabbat, and today was Shavuot), I saw a heretofore unprecedented number of individuals packing heat.  Two I know to be law enforcement officers, but that did not explain the others.  Turns out that word was informally passed that those licensed to carry should carry to shul during the holiday.

Before we departed from the USA I had a discussion with my rabbi.  He had made the decision to enlist armed security for Rosh Hashanah services, and was considering asking some congregation members who are licensed to carry (including two retired police officers) to carry on a regular basis.  Another rabbi of another congregation caught some heat (pun intentional) from his resident leftards for doing that.  With the strong encouragement of the Rebitzin, my Rabbi told everyone that they would be welcome to carry.  Most of the congregation members backed him on it.

In Israel everyone seems to understand the need for defensive measures, but these days it must be difficult to be a Jewish hoplophobe in America.

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Sunday, June 05, 2016

Yom Yerushalayim

Today is the 28th day of the Month of Iyar in the Hebrew calendar.  It is Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, which commemorates the reunification of the Holy City of Jerusalem in 1967.  The Holy City came back into Jewish hands for the first time in nearly 2000 years.

My wife and I spent Shabbat with some friends in the City and saw some of the festivities last night.  My wife got out before the worst of the traffic and came home so that she could go to work today.  I stayed because I had a meeting scheduled in the Holy City today.  I'm done with that gig but am still here, waiting to meet my son for dinner.

The world cannot hack it when the Holy City of Jerusalem is in Jewish hands.  UNESCO is now trying to deny the Holy City's Jewish past, and would prefer to destroy it than to allow it to remain in Jewish hands.

UNESCO is not in charge.  Obama is not in charge.  The EU is not in charge.  G-d is in charge, running things.  The Holy City will remain in Jewish hands if G-d wants it to (and I do believe that He does). 

אִם אֶשְׁכָּחֵךְ יְרוּשָׁלִָם תִּשְׁכַּח יְמִינִי
תִּדְבַּק לְשׁוֹנִי לְחִכִּי אִם לֹא אֶזְכְּרֵכִי,
אִם לֹא אַעֲלֶה אֶת יְרוּשָׁלִַם עַל רֹאשׁ שִׂמְחָתִי

"I forget thee, O Jerusalem,
Let my right hand forget her cunning.
Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth,
If I remember thee not;
If I set not Jerusalem
above my chiefest joy.

  -- Psalm 137

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