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.

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.