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.

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!

the last stand in Hebron

I'm not sure if its even made the news, but this week the IDF plans to clear 9 families out of chevron. Its hard to get information to know exactly whats happening, but the last I have heard is that the residents are asking people to come down to help their cause. Tomorow morning the army is bringing in 7000 soliders to remove these familes (a bit of an uneven ratio) - we will see what is going to happen...
in the meantime I am heading to chevron, I'm not sure if I'm going to get in or not, it may be a closed military zone. I'm not sure if im going to get in, but i feel its my duty to give it a try...

more on this soon....

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

the Heligeh Ruzhiner and other great men...

Have you heard of the Heligeh Ruzhiner?

He was the sweetest child.So innocent, so pure and so holy.

Story 1:
When he was a little child, he was learning in cheder the segya in Gemorah about a person who gets lost in the desert and doesn't know when shabbos is (we are learning that Gemorah now...) He raises his hand and tells his teacher
"Rebbe, I don't understand the Gemorah"
"What don't you understand about the Gemorah?"
"I don't understand how someone could get lost and not know when shabbos is...on shabbos, the sky looks different, I can SEE that its shabbos..."

Story 2:
Another time the Heligeh Ruzhiner was walking down the street and saw a prison, not knowing what a prison was he asked father to explain what the big buliding with high fences was for. His father explained that there are some poeple who do bad things, so they put them in this building and lock the door so they wont leave. Once again the Heligeh Ruzhiner didn't understand, he said:
"if they don't want them to leave, why lock the door and get high fences? just take away their negel vasser from next to their bed, and they wont be able to go anywhere!"

---> No wonder he was called the Heligeh Ruzhiner

On sunday, we had the privelge to have two great guests, Rav Mordichai Eliyahu (former chief Rabbi of Israel) and the Bialeh Rebbe. The came for a Hascholas Sefer Torah (begining of writing a new sefer torah, for the Mayanot Yeshivah).
Rav Mordichai said "the last letter of the torah is a Lamed, and the first a Beis. Just like a person can function, without many of his limbs (especially when he is asleep) if his heart stops, he will die. So to, the torah, is the heart of the Jewish people, and the heart of the world, it can never stop, we can never stop learning, and we have to realise how valuable it is..."

We were all also lucky enough, to each write a letter in the sefer torah.
Its strange, because the first few puskim of the torah, look pretty shakey, after all, I'm not exactly famous for my neat handwriting, so I asked a Rabbi, and he told me, one of the ways of seeing if a Torah is Kosher , is by checking if the first and last parts of the torah are messy! (which shows that it was written and filled up in the regular jewish way...)

Monday, January 23, 2006

The chosen people...

This past shabbos, I went to the Novotel Hotel, to spend shabbos with an American birthright group. Every time I have been with birthright groups, there have been emotional and spiritual moments, which literally move both the participants, and the madricim to tears. This week was no exception. I want to share one story from this past Shabbos:

At shabbos lunch, one girl from the trip, Sonia, stood up to speak. She began by saying, that she is in fact, not Jewish. Her father comes from a family of holocaust survivors, but her mother is catholic. She was raised with little pieces of every religion, except of course, Judaism. As a child, she would always ask her Jewish grandmother about the holocaust. What was it like? How did you feel? How did you manage to survive?

Her grandmother always answered: “the Nazi’s could take everything away from us, except one thing, our G-d, I am Jew, and will always be a Jew”.

Sonia related, that on last Friday she, together with the group had visited Yad VaShem (Jerusalem’s Holocaust museum), and it had a tremendous impact on her. The words of her grandmother echoed in her mind, as she observed and learnt of all the atrocities the Nazi had committed.

Sonia began crying. She said “you know, the Nazi’s took everything away from my grandmother and her family except her Jewishness. That was the one thing they could never, ever take away. But me! Me! they managed to take it away from me, I am not Jewish, and now I don’t really know who I am! I feel Jewish, it’s the only thing I really connect to, that makes sense to me, but I wasn’t born a Jew, I am not a Jew!

While Sonia was speaking, a girl from the group leaned over and whispered into my ear a few words which hit equally as hard, she said: “I’m not Jewish either, I’m in the middle of a complete spiritual and identity crisis. My father was a Levite, my mother a (non Jewish) atheist, and me, well, I’m nothing…”

The account I heard from Sonia, showed me how deep and dark Golus is, and how much we need Moshiach. Generations of Jews are being lost, and generations of Jews are confused and have no identity. Sonia begged all of us, who are Jewish, to realize how important and valuable it is to be Jewish, and also to act, to be involved, and to live an authentic Jewish Lifestyle. I felt her pain, it is so hard to imagine, she could have and should have been a Jew, but she isn’t. So us, who are lucky enough to know who we are, lets do something about it!

It’s the strangest thing, how the deepest lessons, are learnt in the least likely of places. Sometimes we need someone else, who is somewhat objective, to teach us, how precious we really are…

and now for some pictures...

Yes, It was my 22nd birthday!
thanks, Abba Imma & Avital
and the rest of the family
for getting me such a nice

Me enjoying it!

Everyone in Mayanot loves to call me hendel,
especially Rabbi Vichinin, who won't let me
be called Moish, or Moisha or Squasha
or anything other than Moshe HENDEL,
so I gave him the best peice of the cake.
I have never seen someone get so
excited over a peice of cake!!!

An action shot of my farbrengen,
it was nice and intimate,
celebrated with good friends
old and new,
together. I couldn't be more
happy! what a blessing to be
able to celebrate a birthday
in a holy way, and out of all places

Thats, avram, only he could go around
in a singlet when its about 5 degrees
and make havdalah with a cigi
dangleing from his mouth!

and holding the besamim
is none other than
avrams old time
right hand man
moishe silverman!

I took this pucture of myself and
Dave Komer,
it wasn't meant to be this freaky
but somehow, I think we both
look kind of OK, in a weird
kind of way....

More coming soon! have an amazing week! Shavua Tov, all the blessings in the whoel world!

Monday, January 16, 2006

rasberry toothpaste

Its been way too long since i've updated my adventures, I have exactly three weeks left here in Israel, and although its been going so quicly, melbourne is a very distant memory from me. I can even remember what its like to drive a car, or not be checked at a supermarket for explosives and the all the rest.
Besides not sleeping, and grabing every learning, music, party, davening, connecting and spirtual expereince possible, I realise that soon the expreince will end, and i know have to think about intergration. The concept of 'making here eretz yisrael' applies to every person's mind and heart. Please G-d , i'll be taking every thing in, and then sharing them - with whoever has an open mind and heart! But, in the meantime, I have three amazing weeks coming up! and I'm going to live in the moment as much as possible , and love every single second!

peace and blessings!

The lights of chanukah
in pictures!

my menorah on the 8th night
(click to enlarge)

Ain Pskik in front of the menorahs...

Dreidle Dreidle Dreidle Game

at Itta & Matthue place

Itta and Matthue on the 8th night
chanukah Party

whereever avram lives
even if with his israeli girlfriend
in chaifa,
there is a basketball court nearby!

the first time for me
playing sport
in years!

Besides Jerusalem

my favorite place in the whole world


As always

moke me and ronnie

acting so stupid


I'm in the middle of writing something about my recent birthday so check the blog later this week, until then.....
JaHbless &
shavua tov!!

Friday, January 13, 2006



I know its been ages since i've last written , and I'm sorry...by sunday night, there will be a full updated post, with pictures and stories of my recent adventures...
until then, here is a clip of myself and moses ekman, who by 'chance' happened to be in the same felafel shop as a few right wing t.v. show producers, after telling them about the 'settler song' they became so excited that they filmed us and put us at the end of this weeks 'voice of judea T.V.' segment!
enjoy , have a good shabbos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


when the video starts playing, go right to the very very end, and just when it looks like the clip is over, we start playing!