Archive for April, 2012

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Independence Day fireworks

April 25, 2012

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Independence Day

April 25, 2012

Happy 64th birthday to the State of Israel! Today, the 25th, is the memorial day for fallen soldiers, but at sunset this sorrow turns to gladness, and we celebrate Independence Day on the 26th, from sunset to sunset.

 

Relevant readings:

Deutronomy 30:1-13

Isaiah 44:26-28, 49:14-23, 52:1-12, 60:1-62:12

Jeremiah 16:14-16, 31:1-40, 33:6-26

Ezekiel 36:8-37:28

Micah 4:1-13

Zephaniah 3:18-20

Zacharia 4:1-14, 8:1-23

Psalm 126

Romans 11

 

“When the LORD brought us back to Jerusalem, it was like a dream! How we laughed, how we sang for joy! Then the other nations said about us, “The LORD did great things for them.” Indeed he did great things for us; how happy we were! LORD, make us prosperous again, just as the rain brings water back to dry riverbeds. Let those who wept as they planted their crops, gather the harvest with joy! Those who wept as they went out carrying the seed will come back singing for joy, as they bring in the harvest.”

The official blessing for the State of Israel that is being read in synagogues today:

Our Father in Heaven, Rock and Redeemer of Israel, bless the State of Israel, the first manifestation of the approach of our redemption. Shield it with Your lovingkindness, envelop it in Your peace, and bestow Your light and truth upon its leaders, ministers, and advisors, and grace them with Your good counsel.

Strengthen the hands of those who defend our holy land, grant them deliverance, and adorn them in a mantle of victory. Ordain peace in the land and grant its inhabitants eternal happiness.

Lead them, swiftly and upright, to Your city Zion and to Jerusalem, the abode of Your Name, as is written in the Torah of Your servant Moses: “Even if your outcasts are at the ends of the world, from there the Lord your God will gather you, from there He will fetch you. And the Lord your God will bring you to the land that your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will make you more prosperous and more numerous than your fathers.”

Draw our hearts together to revere and venerate Your name and to observe all the precepts of Your Torah, and send us quickly the Messiah son of David, agent of Your vindication, to redeem those who await Your deliverance.

Manifest yourself in the splendor of Your boldness before the eyes of all inhabitants of Your world, and may everyone endowed with a soul affirm that the Lord, God of Israel, is king and his dominion is absolute. Amen forevermore.

 

 

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The Love That in Battle is Forged

April 24, 2012

It is the memorial day for the fallen soldiers of Israel. Today we remember them.

A total of 22,993 men and women have been killed defending the land of Israel since 1860, the year that the first Jewish settlers left the secure walls of Jerusalem to build new Jewish neighborhoods.
Since the end of the War of Independence, 2,457 people have been killed in Israel in terror attacks – 14 in the past year.

In the past year, since Remembrance Day 2011, 126 members of the security forces – police, IDF, Border Police, Israel Security Agency and other organizations – have been killed in the service of the state.

I wish I could say that I hope it’s over now, and we will see eternal peace from now on. However, I don’t see that. I only see things getting worse and worse. Hamas is further away than ever from accepting our right to exist, and the PA recently executed a man for selling land to a Jew (Ringing a bell about Germany in the 30’s?)

This is for the friendship of these young people who gave their lives for me, without knowing me.

They are gone from our midst,
All their laughter, their youth and their splendor.
But we know that a friendship like that,
We are bound all our lives to remember,
For a love that in battle is forged,
Will endure while we live, fierce and tender.

 

(Yes, I copied a lot from my blog post in 2009 in my previous blog. I was a much more serious blogger back then – and got a lot less done IRL…)

 

El male rachamim, shochen bamromim, hamtse menucha nechona al knafei hashchina bemaalot kdoshim tehorim vegiborim, kezohar harakia mazhirim, lenishmot hakdoshim shenilchemu bechol ma’arachot Israel, bemachteret uviTsva Haganah LeIsrael veshenaflu bemilchamtam umasru nafsham al kdushat haShem, ha’am veha’aretz, ba’avur she’anu mitpalelim le’ilui nishmoteihem. Lachen, ba’al harachamim, yastirem beseter knafav le’olamim vayitsror bitsror hachayim et nishmoteihem, Adonai hu nachalatam, beGan Eden tehe menuchatam, veyanuchu veshalom al mishkevoteyhem veta’amod lechol Israel zchutam, veya’amdu legoralam lekets hayamin, venomar Amen.

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Good timing

April 22, 2012

When we are looking for a new apartment, and I have a bunch of important deadlines coming up at work – that’s when I have to try out my wife’s unicycle, fall and strain my foot. Now I’m sitting at home with my foot up feeling totally useless instead. On the bright side, I could utilize this opportunity to finally get some rest for the first time in 7 years.

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We need your help!

April 19, 2012

Dear all my readers.

We are about to move from our home in Maale Adumim. We have been suffering from mold and humidity problems every winter at this apartment, and we decided not to renew our current rent contract.

Searching for something new is not easy. Prices have soared during the last few years (you saw the mass protests in Tel Aviv in summer 2010). Finding something that is not too small for our family, within walking distance to a congregation (we don’t have a car) within our budget, is really a challenge.

Our double bed and our sofa are mold infested, and we won’t be able to bring them with us to the new apartment. In addition, our old apartment included wardrobes, which the new might not.

I am qualified, and I do earn a living. I earn slightly more than the average salary in Israel. But supporting a family of 4 children on my own is not easy. Call us crazy, but we want to keep homeschool, and my wife wants to stay at home. This is a principle we’re not ready to change.

As for costs of living we are saving wherever we can. I am a big fan of becomingminimalist.com and we try to own as little as possible. We do not own a car, and no TV. We don’t pay any cable bills. My wife does most of the baking and cooking. We never eat out. We use cloth diapers instead of disposables. We struggle hard to hold on to every penny we can.

Our current direct needs:

  • New double bed
  • New bed for one of the kids
  • Wardrobes
  • Sofa
  • Cost of moving

These are only the specific right-now one-time needs. And we will probably get some help from friends and family. And we will of course also turn to organizations for help too. But if you who read this has anything you can help us with, every dollar would be a great blessing at this time.

Our monthly expenses will probably increase with the higher rents, and the higher costs of heating in Jerusalem (plus, it seems like the kids are growing…), so if anyone feels motivated to support us monthly, we’d of course be very grateful.

You can send any sum through paypal to the email address **slipsnisse at gmail.com**. If you don’t have paypal, just contact me directly, and I will give you our bank details for transfer.

I’d be more than happy to give you any kind of evidence you might need that I am a real person and that these are our real needs.

God bless!

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April 19, 2012

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Holocaust Memorial Day

April 18, 2012

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On April 19th, it is the memorial day of the Holocaust in Israel. The TV channels show only a flickering candle during the entire day, at 10:00 AM the sirens will go off and the entire nation will stop for two silent minutes. Wherever you are, in a bus, on the street, in the office. Everyone stops and stands still for two minutes. That is fifty thousand victims per second. All schools have ceremonies with songs and poem readings. It is a solemn day that is hard to miss when you live in Israel.

Here in Israel, the Holocaust is not an abstract event one must try to get emotional over.  It is our family history.  Thousands of survivors and their direct descendants live in Israel. Their pain is not from lessons learned in text books, it was they that are pictured in those very books. We are a nation born from the ashes.  And we are a nation determined to never forget.

Today, we remember the holocaust.
Because we must never forget.

Many Jews also remember being beaten in the freezing snow while hearing the christmas songs of the guards in Auschwitz. And they still remember the belts the guards wore that said “God is with us”. How do you think that has shaped their view of Christianity?

On a personal note I’d like to use this opportunity to give a tribute to Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer. A true Christian who opposed the Nazi regime as much as he could, and with all he had. And he also saved my grandfather’s life.

We, as a nation, are determined to never forget, and to never allow such an event to ever happen again.

Never again.

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