Hendel does Israel

While I may no longer technically be in Israel, I have no intention of stopping who I am or what I am about. We all know the timeless Chabad teaching of "Mach Doh Eretz Yisael" - its very empowering. I'll let you know about my journey, my struggles and my dreams. JaHbless.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Lag BaOmer in Pictures...

Over 100 people left the comfort of Caulfield, for a night of celebration in the forest of Rowville.

Lag BaOmer 2006, it wasn't Meron, but it got pretty close.

So many faces, so many people, could have been well over a hundred. I'm really not sure.

A group of Israeli backpackers came, and were singing their favorite songs from the Israel.

A fiddler was playing some kind of klezemer/irish/folk fusion, he was standing behind me, not wanting to get his violin to close to the fire.

The noise level raised a notch, Drums beating, shofar blowing, laughter blending smoothly with the music and song.

Everyone there had a sensation of being together, united by the warmth of the fire, and the holiness of the day.

I'm not sure when, but at some stage I passed out on my blanket and fell into a deep sleep.

When I woke up it was 4:00am, and everyone except my good friend Eli G had disapeared. The forest was back to its quiet self. The fire was still glowing but dying down. It was time to go home.

Monday, May 15, 2006

in case you haven't heard...

hope to see you tonight!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Ben Harper

Last night I went to see Ben Harper. I've waited since I've been 15 years old for the opportunity. I wasn't disappointed, the place went off. There was such a positive strong energy, I got swept away, and beyond...

But, as always, there has to be a lesson in Avodas HaShem that can be learnt from anything, even (actually especially) a Ben Harper Concert. So, what is it?

First, let me describe the venue to you. The Rod Laver Arena is a tennis court, a really big one. The stage is at the far side of the tennis court, and there are people sitting in bleachers on the three sides facing the stage (this where I was, center left, about seven rows from the front). Then there is general admission, which is a 5,000 strong mass of people, that stand on the tennis court, and are free to dance and move as they please.

Where am I going with this?

A famous musician, a big shot performer, is removed from his fans. They think about him, sing his lyrics, maybe keep a poster of him on their wall. But they hardly ever to get up close and personal with him (or her). But then, they here he is coming to town. So they get tickets to get a glimpse of what he does best.

They get to the ticket box and are left with two options:

1. Sit on a comfortable chair and watch from a distance.
2. Go into general admission, get pushed around, but have a chance to get up really close

Now the fact is, that the person sitting in the chair, doesn't risk losing the chance to enjoy the concert, they accept the fact that they won't be able to see the musician that well, but they don't really feel like pushing to get a glimpse.

But, The General admission people, they are die hard fans, they'll do anything for a chance to see their favorite musician in the flesh. They'll push, shout, scream. Anything. Sometimes even with all the pushing and screaming, they miss out, and barely get to see the band. They get stuck behind a massive six foot guy, and can't see a @*$#^ing thing!

Lets just say this is all a Moshel about our connection with G-d.
(don't get the wrong idea, I don't worship rock stars, but it still works as a G00d Moshel, so just don't accuse me of being into idols)

we have a ticket to the greatest concert in the world. We are born as Jews. Its our right, our pass to connect with the greatest most supreme being. Now we also have two options:

1. Watch from a distance
2. Dive into the moshpit

Sure, the kind of Jewish experience that doesn't demand to much from us is more comfortable, and sure you can still see and hear the same things as the people closer up.

But do we want to sit and listen, or do we want to get up and dance?

Do we want to be removed, or have a connection?

Its a struggle well worth it. An incomparable experience.

I don't know about you, but next I go to a concert, I'm going into General Admission.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Klepper !

Mazal Tov!
May your life be a wonderful series of experiences, each one more meaningful than the next.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Congratulations Olmert, you did it again.

This morning in Chevron:

These pictures were taken early this morning, as Israeli police forcibly removed three Jewish familes from their Hebron home.

Enough is enough!

There was a resistance, a small one, but a resistance none the less. I am upset that I am not able to be there to help.

I pray, with all my heart, that very soon, I will be back home.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Independence Day

Days of Remembrance , Independence and Fear -- 5766
by: Moshe Feiglin
Founder and President, Manhigut Yehudit
30 Nissan, 5766 (April 28 06)

How do Israelis feel on their Independence Day? For the past number of years, the most apt comparison would be to the feeling of a birthday party celebrated at the bedside of a terminally ill patient. You can't not attend, you can't not express your good wishes and you can't not celebrate -- at least for outward appearances.
The events of the past year of Israel's independence have only intensified this feeling. The pogroms of Gush Katif and Amona followed by the election victory of the most revolting clan of hoodlums in Israel's political history makes many Israelis eager to forgo the contrived party. There are those who go so far as to claim that it would have been best if the patient had never been born.
But what about you? Let's make you an offer you can't refuse:

Total safeguarding of what has already been built.

Immigration rights to Israel for Jews based strictly on Jewish law.

Authorization to settle all parts of the Land of Israel on both banks of the Jordan.

Absolutely no threat of destruction of settlements.

Restoration of personal security and solution to terror.

No corruption.

Olmert and his cohorts will not govern the country.

There's only one catch. Israel will be a British state.
What is more important to you?
The Land of Israel?
Or the State of Israel?

Israel's chance to continue to exist despite the tremendous challenges that it faces is determined by the answer to that question. It is determined by how the belief-based public relates to it. There is no other populace today in Israel that as a group shoulders all-encompassing responsibility for the fate of the Nation of Israel. There is no other sector that regards our sovereign presence in Israel as national destiny and not merely as meaningless existence. It is vital to Israel to ensure that this public -- the State's lifeboat -- continues to thrive.
But in reality just the opposite has happened. It is specifically the belief-based public that has been denounced by the State of Israel through its political, judicial, security and cultural institutions as the enemy. The Amona pogrom momentarily removed the smokescreen from the war that the State has declared on its most loyal citizens. But the assault continues all day, every day. The State of Israel has consciously decided to eliminate the pubic that affords it its only chance to survive.

This means that the struggle of the belief-based public is not sectarian. It is the battle for the existence of the State. The youth at Amona did not fight against the State. On the contrary, they defended it from its would-be destroyers.

The war that the State of Israel is waging against its most loyal citizens did not begin in Gush Katif or Amona. We can identify it roots in the very establishment of its national holidays. Their central theme is denial of Jewish destiny in the Land of Israel while eternalizing mere existence. These days create a perspective that makes the belief based public irrelevant and promotes the war against it.

Let's begin with Holocaust Memorial Day. Israel continues to use the Holocaust to justify its existence. Instead of building the Temple of our destiny on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the State of Israel has constructed the Temple of existence in the Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem. In this way, the memory of the Holocaust was cynically hijacked in order to perpetuate our status as weaklings (and therefore just). Every VIP that visits Israel is ceremoniously led through the halls of the horrors of the memorial. When he re-emerges into the daylight, he is not supposed to have any more questions on our right to the Land of Israel or how we are more just than the Palestinian children who want to be liberated from our conquest. If there is no state there are crematoriums instead, and please do not bother us any more.
This may have worked in the beginning, but the lemon has been completely squeezed and is bone dry. Holocaust Memorial Day and the entire official endeavor to preserve it are tools that serve the Zionist ethos. On the one hand we are weak and therefore just, and on the other hand we are strong and beautiful. (That is why Holocaust Memorial Day is on the day of the rebellion in the Warsaw Ghetto.) No mention of the Biblical Amalek and his war against G-d. No mention of the roots of anti-Semitism. The Holocaust could have happened to anyone and actually -- we are also Nazis. The proof? Just look at the settlers. The manner in which the State of Israel chose to commemorate the Jewish nation's most traumatic event in recent history emasculates the true significance of the Holocaust and allows for its use as a battering ram against the belief based public.

The next commemorative day is Memorial Day for Israel's fallen soldiers. This day, which on the surface reflects the widest consensus in Israeli society, transmits one clear message. The fallen soldiers did not fall for any goal. They fought for existence --or in nicer words -- for peace. In this way, the difference between a soldier killed in heroic battle and a solider killed in a car accident or a citizen killed in a terror attack is blurred. They have all fallen in Israel's battles. No glory for those who fell to fulfill a longed-for destiny. Instead, we have a day of mourning for the victims of the war of survival -- those heroes who obligingly absorbed the bullets aimed at us all. This leads to a clear conclusion: there is nothing worth dieing for except safeguarding existence -- and it is only those settlers that are forcing us into eternal wars.

Finally, we reach Israel's Independence Day. Israel's Declaration of Independence opens with the words, "In the Land of Israel rose the Jewish Nation." This Declaration is the basis of Independence Day. But we all know that the opening sentence of the Declaration is a complete lie. The Jewish Nation was created outside the Land of Israel. Abraham, the first Jew, was born outside Israel. He slowly advanced toward the Land so that he could actualize Jewish destiny. The nation as such was formed in Egypt, and came to the Promised Land on a Divine universal mission. The Nation of Israel has a Divine destiny. The very essence of Israel's Independence Day is to deny that destiny, thus promoting war against the public that represents it.
All of this, though, does not diminish the potency of the very fact that the State of Israel represents the sovereignty vital for the fulfillment of our national destiny. The appreciation of this fact is what makes the belief-based public Israel's lifeboat.

In order to safeguard our sovereignty, we must apply a complex thought process. We must be able to throw out the bath water but keep the baby. We must apply "tough love" -- acting as though we oppose the State -- in order to keep it safe. Simultaneously, we must educate our youth to understand this complexity.

We do not need violence to win this battle. In the end, with G-d's help, we will triumph. It is time to prepare for that day now. We need a new Declaration of Independence based on our national destiny, a new Independence Day (maybe on Passover), a truly significant way to honor the memory of the Jews murdered in the Holocaust and a way to respectfully commemorate those that have fallen in the battles of Israel on its way to fulfilling its destiny in its Land.

All that we need is to understand that the Nation of Israel and the State of Israel are first and foremost -- us.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Burn Baby Burn!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Breaking free from...?

Back in the day, in Egypt, we knew we were slaves, we knew that our imposed masters wanted us to build their pyramids and graze their cattle. If we refused to comply, than, we were struck with whips or beaten to the ground...

But, now, 3000 years later, in Melbourne; Jerusalem or New York;

How am I a slave?
Who is my master?
Where is my punishment?

Let me explain: I was driving down the street last week with my sister. I stopped at a red light, and, in front of me was a massive billboard, I'm talking, as big as a two story building, with a picture of two half naked models. These models were staring at us, with a half smirk, half smile.

I turned to my sister and asked her "what do you think they want from us?" She didn't really know. Neither did I.

So then, prehaps, the slavery of today, is the unknown. It is the world around that seeks to cover up and contradict the truths we know and hold so dear. We are bombarded, by demands, advertising, million dollar marketing campaigns. Why? To what end? What do they want from us? And, more importantly, why does G-d allow it, and put all these stumbling blocks in our way?

Answer: So we can get over them, and through that, get over ourselves!

A connected idea: During the Seder night, we make a brocha on the karpas, and then have in mind the maror, we don't want to make another brocha later on, so we are careful, we don't want to eat more than a kezyais. I always wondered why? Why can't we have another piece of potato? After all, we are hungry at the seder, what’s the big deal if we make another brocha later!? The reason is, that we don't want to make a brocha on the marror. Even though we have to eat it, its part of the seder, its part of what we need, we don't make a brocha on it. The bitter times, the hurdles, they are real and need to be addressed, but, not blessed to the point of making an entire ritual out of them.

The Freidiker Rebbe said: You don’t fight darkness with a stick (or a rock perhaps) rather, reveal more light!

So, in our lives, when we see marror, when we see hardships and bitter times, lets not give them too much importance, lets just jump right over them. When the world demands too much from us, lets demand from our selves to maintain our integrity, our truths and our purpose.

Lets ignore the distractions and focus on marching through the red sea, right back to the Holy Land!

Have an amazing, liberating Pesach!

Amen & JaHBless.

Friday, March 31, 2006

A thought for the month of freedom...

How can I,

As me,



Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Territorial Concessions of the Inner Self

Have you ever been to the 'West Bank' (Yehuda & Shomron) ?
It is magical. Clean air surrounds rolling hills which house hundreds of beautiful warm & vibrant communities. Some people are scared to go to the West Bank, however, most who visit for the first time, immediately fall in love with the place. The land speaks to them. Sometimes it whispers, sometimes it screams. It demands, it expects them to be doing something more.

Calling the people who live there 'settlers' is a bit insulting, they are far from settled, far from content. The West Bank is a place reminiscent of ancient days, it is a revival of spirit, faith & connection, it is deeply rooted in the heart of the Jewish People.

And now, Kedima wants to give it all away…

You want to stop them?

Realise this!

We all have an inner West Bank.

Just like the real West Bank, it is not always easy to get there, the roads are bumpy and poorly lit, the path is not clearly paved out (because everyone is different right?).
It is a place of clean air (clarity) & rolling hills (experience).

It is a magical creative space. A place that grows from faith, and draws out faith.

It is our infinite light, our quest for truth, our passions, our extreme feelings and desires (holy of course).

It is our true inner self.

But, so many people are scared to access that part of themselves, why? Because, when they travel there, something demands them (you, me, us) to change!

So what’s their ‘defensive’ reaction?
Run for your life!
Deny it!
Give it away!


Too many people are scared to discover their inate desire to become 'into it' (being inspired & switched on to their neshama's needs).

Just like the west bank,each person has unlimited potential for expansion & development. And beacuse it is unlimited and infinte, there is no end, once the person is honest and admits the truth...

So, instead, they take the 'safer' more 'secure' option, of establishing 'defined borders' - a bare minimal connection to Judaism.

While we may not be able to directly influence what happens in the physical land of Israel, we can affect what happens inside of our selves.

Let us rise to the challenge, and not make any of our own inner territorial concessions.

Let us not be afraid to take a ride into our inner West Bank.

Let us listen to it, as it speak the truth to us, and then, make some real change in our lives.

Remember though, in the Wild West Bank, there is no room for fakers!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

keep on climbing, to another hill.

Purim's over. Now its time to begin.
Its like when you leave Yeshivah, you can finally start learning.

You see, its easy to be happy on Purim (as long as you've had some sleep). You wear a mask, a costume, and you get drunk. There is a problem, its not really you. Or is it you, but the only way you can accsess that part of you is by drinking?

What about today? You have your old skin back on. You have to go back to work.
Can you sing the same songs?
Can you laugh and smile like a childrens party clown?
Can you enjoy giving charity?
Can you hand out presents to 100 friends without thinking twice?


but, its a challenge.

So, the real Purim starts today.

Happy Purim everyone.

Teffilin at Monash University

Just a little thaught I read from Rabbi Ginsberg.

Out of all the things we can learn from the Golden Calf, one stands out more than anything. Even if we sin, even if we sin the worst possible sin in the entire world. We can always, always do Teshuvah. In fact, we can use the sin to reunite with the very thing we just disconnected from, and then go a little deeper.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

What was Haman thinking?

Haman, our enemy was a smart man. He knew that within G-d’s constructed order of expression (seder Hishtalshelus) he could never cause any harm to the Jews. Why? Because within that expression, the Jews always end up best.

Within seder Hishtalshelus G-d decided to contract his light, in order to create and relate to the world. In His contraction, there is an order, a system. The system dictates that G-d bestows kindness to the Jewish people. The systems does not allow for evil villains to naturally persecute the Jewish people.

So Haman had to act beyond the system, not to bend or change the rules, but he had to bypass them altogether.

Beyond the system, beyond (or before) the contraction of G-ds light, is a reality where essentially, everything is nothing - in relation to G-d. It is a place where light and darkness are one in the same. Nothing is more or less important. There are no rules, intellect is not taken into account.

So, Haman thought to himself, if he wants to act against the Jewish people, he will have to accsess a reality, where they are not significant to G-d.

This is where Purim fits in. Purim comes from the word ‘pur’ which means lot, or gamble.
When does someone use a ‘lot’ or ‘pur’ to make a decision? Only when they can’t make that decision by using their own intellect or emotion.

Using a lot is tapping into a place beyond rules, beyond intellect.And so, Haman threw a dice, cast some lots, and they landed on the 13th of Adar, he bypassed intellect and order, and tried to issue a decree against the Jews…


Friday, March 03, 2006

JDL in Melbourne

No, I can't take credit for this graffitti that I found at a Melbourne Train Station... I did really enjoy seeing it though. I smell a revolution.


Thursday, March 02, 2006

Moish & Jade's L'Chaim!

Click the link to see some photos I posted from the L'chaim!


Rushing and then some peace...

What a rush, to get out of bed, make some lunch get to shul, and head to uni to get in time, its a challenge.
Someone else (a goy prehaps) doesn't need as much time. They don't need to wash negel vasser, daven, they can buy food at uni itself...

A Yid on the other hand is lucky, we have a process, everything is set in an order, we appreciate the small things. We take nothing for granted, especially time...

So, I drove to uni today, and took along a blanket and pillow. Right near my uni is the beautiful Fitzroy Gradens, during my lunch break, I lay out under some trees, and had the best sleep ever.

Here is the sky I was looking up at (in black and white)

Friday, February 24, 2006

Amona Demonstration

Here are some pictures of the demonstration yesterday.
Click to enlarge.
The point is, a negative reaction, is still better than no reaction.
We just want people to know what happened. And this way, they couldn't avoid it.We stood at the entrance to Beit Weizman, and every one had to walk through us in order to enter the building.
One woman, head of the Zionist Orgainisations of Victoria
was so angry with what we were doing, banners held up on the street.
"what will the goyim say?!" she screamed.
Doesnt she get it? the only reason that Israel is in this current situation is because Jews are asking "what will the goyim say?!" -
who cares about the goyim?
we have to ask "What does G-d want!?" & "Is it good for the Jewish people?!"

She saw the pictures we had displayed of Amona, of the blood, the violence, the police brutality and still refused to belive that they were true. After a while, she walked away with questions in her head and a troubled mind, she began to see our perspective.
And that, is exactly why we came.

How do we do it?

How do we spread light in the world
without forgetting about the darkness?

Do we whitewash the walls
in order to elevate souls

where, where does justice fit in?
justice to the victims of evil

How do we love our fellow Jews
when they spit in our face?

How do we understand our purpose in the world
when we don't understand the world itself?

How do we get over ourselves
without losing our uniqueness?

We are told that there is a long but short way,
but its seems to be too damn long!

are there really two sides?
maybe there are no sides!

should I feel for people who have forgotten how to?
I do feel for people that I don't want to!

and that hurts

more than anything else.

I went and demonstrated today
I hated every minute of it
But I had to be there
to do something

One thing was missing though

A Chossid, A Yid, has a geshmuck in Ahavas Yisrael
I want it back.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

In the Media (again)

It is an interesting article, also published (surprisingly) by the Australian Jewish News, who simply refuse to reply to my emails, letters and stories. I wonder if I should speak to Aish, since they used my photo without asking my permission, perhaps, next time I am in Jerusalem (soon I hope) I will be allowed to give a shiur in Chassidus over there??? http://www.aish.com/jewishissues/israeldiary/Demonizing_Settlers.asp --------------------------------------- Tonight a small group of people will stage an Amona awareness demonstration outside Beth Weizman (the zionist center) - there is a left wing journalist giving a speech about Israel tonight, we intend on breaking the silence in Australia about Amona. Obviously, full report and pictures to be excepted.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Settler in Amona...

Click on this link to see me playing settler machine in Amona the night before the police started the pogrom.


Sunday, February 19, 2006

Thinking Big - Moichin DeGadlus

It didn't take me too long, actually, I was in Melbourne for less than and already felt like I needed to get away! So off I went, with my good friend Eli G camping at cumberland river.
You know I like camping?
I love camping because nothing is rushed. Every aspect of the day, is at a pace where it can be appreciated as an end in itself, rather than means of accelerating to the next task. The food preparation took a lot longer because we were without the convenience of a modern kitchen, but it didn't matter! We were happy to spend an hour making breakfast and than another hour eating it. We collected firewood, and we sat by the fire till the early hours of the morning, drinking beer and wine, eating sunflower seeds and watching the flames crackle and dance.
So quiet, so peaceful. I got my first long night of sleep in about a month (12 hours!) - yes, it was on the floor of a tent, in a sleeping bag, but I loved every minute of it... eating sunflower seeds and watching the flames dance.
So quiet, so peacefull.

I got my first long night of sleep in about a month (12 hours!) - yes, it was on the floor of a tent, in a sleeping bag, but I loved every minute of it...

We learnt a peice from Kedushas Levi on Parshas Yisro:
He spoke about having a small mind and a large mind. Small minded people look at G-D (and any relationship) in terms of what it does for them. It is subjective, "I love you because.....", people who can zoom out, and love G-D objectively, operate at a higher level. They can handle challenges, the challeneges allow them to reveal a deeper part in their existance. They are not afraid, they have no claims against G-d.

The Jews came to this level at Har Sinai, they graduated Egypt and were given all the eye candy they needed, (10 plauges, splitting of the sea) they had plenty of subjective reasons to love G-d, after all, for the first time in over 200 years G-d actually (in a revealed way) cared about the Jews. But then, they wanted more, they wanted the level of "I" Anochi, of G-d himself, a true objective realtionship.

That is what being open minded means. Being able to look beyond our own subjective reality, and take a stand and expeirence something larger than ourselves.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Tu B'shvat

what is Tu B'shvat all about?
Fruit trees. Growth. Roots. Connection. Planting. Seeds. Continuation.

A fruit platter I made for Tu B'shvat

Sunday, February 12, 2006

a tribute to the 'settler youth' - missing nothing!

On Shabbos, someone asked me, "Nu, what is the Hoyroah ( positive practical lesson) in avodas HaShem (service of G-d) you learnt at Amona.

I told him as follows:

"You know, the media has tried to criticize the settler youth, calling the wild and violent. However, there is one thing that stands out with them, that we can learn so much from.

When I was 15, the kids in my class who were 'into it' (being frum and chassidish) were always the kids who were seen as missing out on things. They missed out on the girls, the cigarettes, the movies, the non cholov yisrael chocolate bars, the drugs...

The kids in Amona are different. By them being strong in their yiddishkait, being into what they believe in, they are not missing out on anything, in fact, they are the coolest kids, they are the heros of their class and their school.

Its truly amazing, when you see 15 year olds, boys and girls, willing to sacrifice their lives for something real.

In our wildest dreams, we hope that the youth of Melbourne will be able to break out of their apathy and discover their hidden potential, and give up some of their comfort for a higher cause. If only they (and all of us) realised what we are capable of when we are pulled and stretched to the limit.

The settler youth are not wild of and out of control, they are switched on, inspired and alive.

My wish is, one day, with G-ds help, I too will have kids, who have that much conviction, and that much belief.


In other news, we made our first Melavah Malka this week, it was great, plenty of live music, good vibes, and of course, a Reb Levi Yitzchak story! Well on our way to lighting up melbourne!

lighting up and elevating
the sparks!

happy faces
isser, sruli & me

eli g, a bit bored?
adam trying out a bamboo flute

loving it,
mach doh eretz yisrael!

good vibes

Shavua Tov - A week of peace in Israel and the whole world!

Friday, February 10, 2006

dancing at amona!
this tent was latter
turned into a
makeshift hospital

singing, me and
my good friend
Aron 'roots'

an outdoor shiur

a couple of boys,
jonathen silverman

the houses

me on the roof

protecting the roof
from water cannons


saying tehillim


the blog is here to stay.

Here is a copy of a letter I put around yeshivah shul on shabbos.

I have been back from Israel for just two days, and many people have spoken to me and asked me questions about Amona. I find it quite disturbing how many people have taken sides with the media, and justified police actions against the protesters. However, what is more disturbing is how little people know about what really happened last week.

I am in the middle of writing a full account of the events in Amona, but it won’t be ready for a while. In the meantime, I feel a sense of urgency in shedding some light on the event.

First let me tell you about Amona.
Amona is a small village with about 40 residents and is located 30 minutes north of Jerusalem, in the Binyamin area. It is beautiful, surrounded by olive trees and rolling hills. In fact, the hill where HaShem showed Avraham Avinu all the land he was destined to inherit, is a few kilometres from Amona. Amona has a Shul, a Mikveh, a goat farm, two water towers, a kindergarten and a children’s playground. The people of Amona live in small caravans and were getting ready to move into their newly built houses, which now lie in ruins.

It is important to get the facts straight. I was there. I saw what happened with my own eyes. The media completely twisted the true events of Amona.


* The whole confrontation could have been avoided - if the police wanted it to. The police did not have to let all the protesters in to Amona (like in Gush Katif), nor did they have to say which day they were going to destroy the homes. People would not have camped out in Amona for more than a few days, the police could have come two weeks later, and destroyed Amona in the middle of the night. There would have been a small protest that could have been controlled in a peaceful way.

* The majority of people who came to Amona were under the age of eighteen and were not looking for a fight. The days leading up to the clash, were full of singing, dancing, learning Torah, simply hanging out and having a good time. It was more like a festival than a protest.

* The majority of protesters were sitting inside the houses when the police arrived, They were unarmed and had no intention of using violence. They were beaten for no reason, they pleaded for police to stop, but they refused.

* Contrary to media reports, the violence was not started by the settler youth. The first act of violence was by baton-swinging policeman mounted on horses, charging a crowd of people who were sitting on the ground and singing songs. Then, about 2000 police marched through a crowd, batons extended, smashing anyone and everyone in their way. They were followed by another 4000 police, all carrying wooden clubs or metal batons.

* The Torah demands a person to protect fellow Jews if they are in danger or being abused – even if the abuse is being carried out by a Jew. What would you do, if you saw your 15 year old daughter or sister, being beaten on the head with a metal baton? Just stand there? Give the policeman a hug and sympathise with him? Or, do anything in your power to stop him?

* No rocks were brought on the rooftops to throw at police. There were cinder blocks that were brought on to the roofs to hold down the barbwire around the perimeter of the roof. Only after seeing the police aggression against young kids, did some people (including myself) break the cinder blocks into small pieces and throw them at helmeted policeman, in order to stop them beating people. In one case we actually caused the police to retreat and rethink their strategy.

* No one anticipated the kind of violence that police used. By the end of the day, more than 200 protesters were seriously injured, the most severe being 15 year old boy who was beaten on his head, resulting in a coma from a fractured skull.

* The police did not intend on arresting anyone. They only brought two cars to transport prisoners. Out of 3000 protesters only 40 were arrested. Their intention was to ‘teach us a lesson’.

This protest was not about 9 houses, or Amona, or the entire West Bank for that matter. We knew, from the day we got there, that we would never be able to prevent the destruction of the houses. The government would bring in 100,000 police if it needed to. That is not why I or anyone else came to Amona.
We came to defend the Land of Israel. We came to make a Kidush HaShem (which I believe we did make). We came to protest against a secular Government who does not care about the Biblical (Torah) rights of Jewish people to live in the ENTIRE LAND OF ISRAEL.
We came to protest Gush Katif, where people hugged and cried with soldiers, earning the temporary sympathy of Israeli society. These people are now left without schools for their children, they are homeless, jobless, and have received zero compensation from the government.
We came to tell ourselves and the world that we will not remain silent and do nothing, as our brothers and sisters lives are being ruined, as the land of Israel is being destroyed and given away for political gain and as a victory for terror.

In Amona I protested and cried many tears. I cried for the Land. I cried for the wounded children. I cried for the policemen who have forgotten how to cry. I cried as I watched a young girl defiantly climb to the top of a huge bulldozer – only to be pulled down and beaten by three policemen swinging clubs. I cried for the man who spent his entire life savings ($100,000) on his home, only to see it turn to rubble in minutes. I cried after seeing policemen smile and laugh, despite being humiliated and being called Nazis. I saw a boy being beaten by a policeman. I kicked him, as hard as I could. I was beaten and dragged away.

Something happened to me at that moment. As I was being held down by two vicious policemen, my faced pressed into the gravel, my entire being became aware of something. This land is worth fighting for. It is real, and it is where I belong.

I will not forget, nor will I forgive.

Good Shabbos,

Moshe Feiglin

Monday, February 06, 2006


A chosid, never says goodbye. I've even left some of ny belongings in Israel so I know I'll have to come back so soon.

I managed to get some pictures of my rooftop in amona, and as soon as I get back to Aussie, and I will finish my personal account from amona and put the pictures in as well.

it been a amazingly insightful spiritual emotional trip and i've had some life changing expreiernces. I cant wait to bring them and share the light with my family and friends back in Australia.

Very soon, I'm opening a new blog called 'melbourne inspired' - hopefully there will be plenty to write about!



Sunday, February 05, 2006

if I forget thee jerusalem...

Its been a couple of difficult days. I am so angry. I feel like I have been raped by the israeli police. Friday, everyone I saw in uniform i felt rage against - its going to take a while for me to get over Amona. Images of destruction and brutality replay in my head, I can't get them out.
Shabbos, as I was davening, I burst into tears. I was crying my eyes out. Its all very overwhelming. Then, at shabbos lunch, some people tried justifing the actions of the police.I nearly vomited. How dare, anyone, ever, say that beating 15 year old kids, with metal rods, is ever justified.
I couldn't sing niggunim, I couldn't share torah, I didn't even have a story to tell. What has happened to me?!
So much for my last shabbos in Jerusalem...
Yes, I'm leaving Monday, but I haven't given it a thaught. I don't have room in my mind right now.

I will finish my personal story on Amona soon, also, there was a photographer on my roof, and I am getting his pictures tomorow which I will post on the blog.
I am praying so hard for Moshaich, it must be coming soon.

Friday, February 03, 2006

to love a fellow jew...

The question everyone has, is why. Why did 6000 policemen come to destroy nine houses built in the land of Israel? Why were there 3000 protesters, on the roofs, in the houses and lying on the streets attempting to stop them? Why were they charged by horses and beaten with clubs by Israeli policeman? And why, why was I there, defending a rooftop, and hurling stones and the heads of helmeted Yassam riot police?

First, let me tell you a little bit about Amona. Amona is a small village with about 40 residents and is located 30 minutes north of Jerusalem, in the Binyamin area. It is beautiful, surrounded by rolling hills that our forefathers once walked on. Amona has a Shul, a Mikveh, a goat farm, two water towers, a kindergarten and a children’s playground. The people of Amona live in small caravans and were getting ready to move into their newly built houses, which now lie in ruins.

I arrived to Amona on Monday night. I had hitched a road from a ‘trempiada’ (hitching spot) on French hill. When I got there, I was greeted by hundreds of teenagers, there were girls handing out maps of Amona, others organizing places to sleep. A family had placed an urn with hot water and tea outside their caravan, another a table of food, and yet another had their doors and windows open as they played Jewish folk music from a stereo. The air was abuzz, the mood festive. It was ironic, it seemed more like a festival then a protest. Dozens of people arrived every minute, the crowd was growing from hundreds to thousands, kids began erecting tents on the grass fields.

At nine pm, an announcement was made over loudspeakers that a shiur was being given by the Rabbi. His words hit a raw nerve in the people who crowded in the shul to hear his words. The shul was packed beyond capacity, outside, people listened through open windows. The rabbi spoke about the campaign in Gush Katif to hug and cry with soldiers. Then he pointed to the door and said: “whoever came here to hug soldiers or policemen, here is the door, go home!.” He spoke about when you are required to love your fellow Jew, and when you must hate your fellow Jew. Now he said, is a time to hate. He asked the crowd if there is a difference between a policeman taking Teffilin off another Jew’s head and trampling them, and pulling a Jew out of his home and destroying it. He didn’t wait for an answer. He said, the people coming to destroy Jewish homes, were waging a war against HaShem. It was clear that the battle for Amona was not going to be with hugs and kisses. We were not going to walk out, heads bowed in shame, embarrassed to be Jews. We were going to fight ‘Ad HaSof’ – until the very end.

As the night progressed and more people came, we were fed tuna sandwiches and sweet tea. A well-known musician, Aron Razel, came to play and inspire the youth. The mechitzah from the shul was brought to the grass field so that both girls and boys could dance modestly side by side. It was beautiful to witness, so much passion in the youth. As I was watching, I looked back at my life when I was 15 years old. What was I doing? Where were my passions? What was I fighting for? For G-d? For truth? No, I was just an angry kid, chasing alcohol and girls. I realized how special these kids are. Kids raised in the land of Israel. The are alive, they are enthusiastic, they are fearless and they are willing to fight for a cause.
After a sleepless night on a cold stone floor, I stood around a bonfire in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The air was frosty, and I was eager to warm up. Breakfast, was pita and chocolate spread, the staple diet for the next day or so. There were minyanim everywhere, on the hills, in the shul, on the grass field. I chose an outdoor minyan, and then headed toward the second house, to begin fortifying the roof, where we were to have our last stand. We prepared the roof, with cinder blocks, barbed wire, tyres, water balloons, and metal and wooden rods. Each rooftop of the nine houses, has another team working to build the defenses. The numbers in Amona swelled to about three thousand as the night decended on the village.


in the media...

click to enlarge

Thursday, February 02, 2006

'safe' in jerusalem

after a long few days, i am back in jerusalem, my body is aching after being beaten by yassamniks (riot police), i am sunburnt and tired, but most of all, i am proud that i was able to take part in an awsome battle for the holy land.
i'm going to sleep now (haven't in 3 days) I'll do a full write up of my exprerince in amona, defending the land with pictures, tommorow.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Hebron to Amona...

Just to recap the events of the past 12 or so hours...

Right now I am sitting in an apartment in French Hill, with a friend I met in Chevron. He is well clued in into the settler happenings so I'm joining him wherever the path takes us.

Last night, after an interesting bus ride into chevron, where kids where yelling at soliders to 'refuse orders' - the head officer told the soilders they didn't have permission to speak to the settlers, I arrived at the Marat Hamachpelah.
Chevron was extremely quiet, and no one there really knew what was happening with the houses slated for removal...
The place was though, swarming with a lively group if teenage boys and girls who took off school to support the cause. The town set up rooms of bunkbeds, and tables of chumus and bread for the guest who arrived to help. I claimed a bed, and chatted to a few kids who, with balaclavas on their faces headed out, to cause a 'balagan' in this case , puncturing police tyeres...

In the morning we were told the news that the resdidents voted, and came to a resolutions that they will leave peacefully - the army didn't really give them much choice, either:

1. they leave peacefully and thus might be able to move back in in a few months
2. leave with force and their houses destroyed completely

So, all the kids, me included, packed our things and are making our way to a yishuv in amona, amona is near ofra about 20mins north of Jerusalem, and is slated for destruction...

once again, I have no idea if they will reach an agreement with the army, I have no idea if I can help, but, I'm going to try...

I'm leaving israel in eactly a week (if i'm not in prison) - so, I feel now is the oppertunity, to leave formal learning (yeshivah) for a little bit, and do my part in helping fight for this holy holy land.

Just to explain:

when i say fight, i do not mean beating soliders, I will not hit another jew, what I mean is struggle and protest.

Here is a quote from Israelnn.com:

"All attention is now turned to Amona, overlooking Ofrah north of Jerusalem. No agreement has been reached, and some 7,000 police and soldiers have been training to forcibly destroy nine Jewish-built homes. Hundreds of Land of Israel supporters are expected to try to arrive, and violence is expected.MK Uri Ariel (National Union) and his family moved to Amona last night. "Olmert has no god, he'll do everything to look strong and determined," Ariel said, "even if the entire society has to pay the price."

Yeah!Yeah!Settler Machine!

These photos might take a while to load, i couldn't compress them...

These are the houses
in chevron that are being discussed

Soldiers patrolling the area of the houses.
On the houses are banners which
say that this land is Jewish land
and the Jews were forced to leace after massacres in 1928

This is where I spent the night
with the hilltop hoodlems
it was like the wildwest
meets Gan Izzy camp!