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.