Jimmy Carter’s BDS Problem

Good news for former US President Jimmy Carter. He announced this week that his melanoma cancer is in remission.

Jimmy Carter

The experimental drug that he used Pembrolizumab, also known as Keytruda, was developed by an Israeli company, and clinically tested in Israel, where Melanoma occurrence ranks nearly highest per capita in the world.

Any chance that Carter will turn a softer tongue to Jerusalem?

Israel Car License Plate Lost or Stolen? Here’s what you do…

In Israel, your car’s license plate number stays with your car from it’s birth until the junk yard. When you sell or trade in a car in Israel, the license plate stays with car and is transfered to the new owner.

Last week we noticed our front license plate was missing on our car. It looks like it fell off, but then again, it was bolted on. We weren’t sure if it had been stolen or simply fell off on a bumpy ride. Since this is a very rare occurrence, I thought I’d share with you what steps you need to take to get it replaced.

Here’s what you do:
1. File a police report – without a police report, you won’t be able to get a replacement plate. In Bet Shemesh, the police station is on route 38, just next to the Nacham industrial area. You can just walk in to the station (remember to bring your teudat zehut and driver’s license, or won’t be permitted into the station). A police officer will take your information and file a “lost property” report. Remember to take your copy as you will need that later.
FYI – the police officer was very friendly and efficient. That whole process took less than 5 minutes. She told me that kids are known to ‘take’ license plates for their collections. The police sometimes stumble upon a cache of plates. She also said that there aren’t known cases of ‘cousins’ stealing plates for devious reasons, or theifs thinking they can circumvent Kvish 6.
2. Don’t go to the misrad harishui – Although their website tells you to come to the misrad harishui in your area, they don’t actually handle new plate requests. They will send you to the musach murshe (designated car mechanic garage). Instead call the Misrad Harashui in your area and ask them where is the musach that makes replacement plates. Here’s the website for the Transportation Ministry, which has all the appropriate numbers (in Hebrew) http://www.mot.gov.il/wps/portal/Default.jsp

In Bet Shemesh, the musach murshe is just next to the test center in the northern industrial zone (about 200 meters from the new Paz gas station).
3. Go to your Musach Murshe – The musach will take your police report (they need it in order to process your request), and 60 NIS for each new plate needed. They have a machine that punches out your new plate in minutes, which they also paint the numbers, and wait about 10 minutes for it to dry. The best part is that they bring out a new plate holder and bolt it on to your car for you! The whole process was very efficient and pleasant (under the circumstances) and took about 15 minutes.

That’s it…

BTW – you will need to speak some Hebrew to get your point across, so here’s a quick lexicon of phrases to know for this effort:
A license plate in Hebrew is a luchit – ?????
Front ??????
Back ??????
I want to report a lost license plate ??? ???? ????? ?? ????? ????? ?????? ?? ???? ???

Jerusalem Is Ours

Nadav Shragai does a good analysis in today’s Haaretz of how Jerusalem is the key to the entire Mid East peace process.

When it comes to Jerusalem, there is no need to mention either natural growth or natural development; what is at stake is nature itself, the nature of our connection to this city and the realization of the right that is rooted in our religion, our history, and 2,000 years of memory and longing, during which the Jewish presence in Jerusalem never ceased to exist.

I wonder how many of our political leaders adhere to this sentiment?

Who Does Israel Want to Win in Iran’s Election?

Today’s Haaretz suggests that it may even be better for Israel if Ahmadinejad wins in Iran.

Ahmadinejad, with his Holocaust denial and his long series of provocations, drew most of the attention, but apparently had less influence on the nuclear program. There are even senior members of the Israeli defense establishment who share the public stance of former Mossad chief Ephraim Halevy, who claimed that the Iranian president’s behavior, perceived in the West as quasi-lunatic, advanced Israel’s security interests.

In other words, the enemy that you know is better than the enemy that you don’t know…

Crazy Pronunciations for Hashem’s Name

I was in synagogue the other day and the chazan (the one who leads the prayer service) is going along at a fine pace. His diction was good. He sounded typical middle-of-the-road ‘pareve’ Israeli Ashkenaz Hebrew. Then, he gets to a bracha, and says Hashem’s name with a Eastern-European pronunciation “Adee-Noy”.

The second syllable was said like an “e” to rhyme with tree.

“Baruch atah Adee-Noy.” What the heck was that???

I can (sort of) understand the Polish Jews and Chasidim, who anyways have different pronunciations for everything. I’m not sure from where their masoret (tradition) comes, but at least they are consistent.

This guy, typical blue and white flag waving Israeli is perhaps trying to sound ‘stylish’? Where else could that e sound have come from? Saying G_d’s name is a very serious thing. As a matter of fact, so serious that it’s one of the Ten Commandments (Not saying God’s name in vain ?? ??? ?? ?? ?’ ????).

I know I’ve heard of a psak (Rabbinical ruling) that says this is not acceptable, and that you can’t even say Amen to a bracha that is uttered other than in the way the word is spelled. I just can’t find the source. If you know of the source of this ruling, please let me know ASAP so that I can bring it to the attention of this well-meaning soul.

Photos of Israel Collection – Part 3

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Independence Day Memories – Yom Haatzmaut Jerusalem Convoy Remnants

Olive Trees Near Beit Jimel Monastery


Dawn of a New Day

If Trees Could Talk

Flora at Park Brittania

Open and Shut in Old City Jerusalem

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Night Fall

Chabad at the Jerusalem Shuk

Sunset over the Shefelah

Arab Man Selling Keffiyehs in Akko

Jerusalem’s Old City & Western Wall in Infrared

The spot where Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin was assasinated in Tel Aviv.

The sign says “Forgive Us”

Celebrating a New Torah

Panoramic View of Tzfat (Safed)

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3 Men to Take Out the Torah – Peticha in America

An old joke waiting to be told:
How many Jews does it take to open the Ark and take out the Torah? Normally, the answer is one. Ok, I’ve seen in some synagouges two. How about three?

The synagouge service on days were the Torah includes an honor called “peticha” which litterally means “opening”. The honor is bestowed on a member or guest to go an open the Ark where the Torah scrolls are kept. He then takes out one of the Torahs and hands it to the Chazan (cantor) who brings the Torah to the bimah where it is unwound and read.

Three beats one:
I was visiting a synagogue in Chicago. This is a typical modern-orthodox American model. Here, the ceremony is as important as the actual prayers. Spotted as a guest, I was asked by the gabbai to go and take out the Torah and hand it to the chazan.

I walked up to the Ark and I saw two other men standing there as well. I turned back to the gabbai and asked what gives. He said each of the men would open one of the doors of the Ark and I would then take out the Torah.

I said, “if you need three guys to open the Ark, how many men does it take to do Hagbah (lifting the Torah after the reading)?”

In case it wasn’t already clear, in Israel we are used to brass-tacks prayers. No time for ceremony. Just like the Israeli people. We are an open and warm people, and we don’t stand on ceremony.

Share your experiences
What have you noticed different in your experiences in the Diaspora than what you are used to in Israel? Likewise, if you are from the Diaspora, what do you notice different when you visit the Holy Land?

Israel has made recycling a top priority

Imagine if all the power needed to run Israel’s cars was harnassed from the rooftop sun collectors and sent to the Israel Electric Company for a net gain in GDP with no additional outlays

Israel is a country with little natural resources coupled with expensive sea-based transportation of imported goods. What can be done to keep the cost of energy and products down? In short – recycling and use of renewable energy.

Cleaning Solar Panels
Cleaning Solar Panels

With the hot and sunny climate, Israel is the ideal location for widespread use of solar energy. Nearly all homes today are installed with solar panels for heating household water. Soon, the Israel Electric Company will begin a pilot program to allow individuals to collect energy from solar panels and send them to the Israel power grid, and get paid!

Israel established in the late 90s a government ministry (????? ??????) to deal with environmental issues. This ministry – Eychut Hasviva, has worked diligently over the last 5 years to establish many new recycling programs. All plastic and glass bottles under 1 liter in size are purchased with a deposit fee, with convenient recycling ‘vending machines’ at the supermarkets for return and cash payback.

Most major cities in Israel now have collection points for larger plastic bottles (over 1 liter), and a new pilot program has been initiated for paper materials collection in designated bins.

Plastic Recylcing Bin
Plastic Recylcing Bin

According to the Israel Export Office hybrid car sales have risen 300% since 2007.  Brace yourself, Israel has committed to creating a green / electric car network by 2011.   Imagine if all the power needed to run Israel’s cars was harnassed from the rooftop sun collectors and sent to the Israel Electric Company for a net gain in GDP with no additional outlays.  What a way to reduce foreign energy dependence and to reshift the power balance in the Middle East.

Yom Kippur – Day of Awe, Go Mobile

This is the Golden Age…Everyone’s gone mobile!

Is it Awe or the Atonement that gets us nervous?  Either way, this Thursday is the most special day of the year.  It’s the day above all others when G_d is listening and expecting you to fess up.  What better way to prepare for this day than with a visit to the holy sites in Jerusalem?

I visited the Kotel yesterday.  The Western Wall is on the top five list of the Jewish people’s holiest places.

This wall was built over 2,000 years ago towards the end of the 2nd Temple era.  It was one of the retaining walls that surrounded the Temple which sat atop what is today the Al-Aqsa Mosque (with the golden dome).

A well-known Jewish custom is to place notes to G_d in the cracks between the bricks. This man decided to go mobile and phone in his prayers 🙂

Western Wall - Jewish custom - notes to G_d are placed in the cracks.
Western Wall – Jewish custom – notes to G_d are placed in the cracks.
Mobile Prayers - phoning in to G_d
Mobile Prayers – phoning in to G_d