Friday, July 29, 2005

Waste Water - Don't Drink!

While wondering around the zoo with my family we came across a sign that read "Waste Water - Don't Drink". My dad wanted to know what color bracelets the water wasters wore. Were they on the side of "Save Rice, Eat Potatoes" or "Save Potatoes, Eat Rice".
The question is does one need to choose sides on every issue, or are there some issues that it is ok to be apathetic to? Does apathy translate directly to consent? If you don't care about an issue, does that just mean that you agree with the leading train of thought? Does one who actually agrees with the movement have to state that they agree, otherwise they may be lost in the non-commital group?
Is it worth fighting a losing battle if your chances of making a difference are slim to none.
I am planning on joining the "shlav bet" (stage two) march this Tuesday down in Sderot. Why? Do I think that me being there will change the government's decision? Sharon is simply sitting in his office thinking he has suddenly found himself on the fence on the disengagement issue, and this tips him over to our side? No, I don't think that. I do know that I hate inaction. While this march may not change the future of world history, at least I can say I wasn't only against the decision, but I joined thousands others in stating as publically as possible the I disagree.

The sign "Waste Water - Don't Drink" was an informative sign by a sprinkler watering a garden that the water was unfit for drinking as it was waste water.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Don't Believe

Watched a movie tonight I highly recommend that no one sees. I heard about the movie from a camp director who was debating whether to show it to her campers. The movie is about a Jewish religious kid who gets turned off of religion and by 22 is a neo-facist Nazi. Aside from the main actor - who is very cute, and can act - the movie is horrible.

Friday, July 22, 2005

What I Couldn't Express...

I do not think it was mistake not to rush the security and break through the human baracade and continue on to Kissufim. I think the brotherly love, and positive feelings shared in Kfar Maimon will do more damage to the disengagement, then fighting and "winning" the march would have done. I'm proud to have been part of this civil, humane, and positively emotionally charged demonstration.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Breaking It Down

I do not think that I can do justice to the march by attempting to write an emotional piece. I have therefore decided to break it down for you, and give you the facts. (I will use the names of places, if you are unfamiliar with where things are, there is a glossary on the bottom)
The march was supposed to start with a demonstration in Netivot on Monday, and then continue throughout 3 days until reaching Kissufim entrance to Gush Katif. The police declared the march illegal, and because the yesha council would not cancel it, therefore the entire thing including the Netivot demonstration was declared illegal.
I was planning on going down for the first day with two friends DHH - who I went through the Jerusalem part with and B who met us in Netivot - sleep over, and come back up to Jerusalem the following afternoon.
Busses were supposed to leave from Binyanei Hauma at 2pm. At 1:45 when I got there there were no busses yet. My friend and I decided to grab some lunch in the tachana merkazit instead of waiting in the heat. Pizza was delicious. We were walking back to binyanei hauma when we were passing by people decked out in orange going the other way. They told us the busses were cancelled and we should take public transportation. Not wanting to just follow blindly, we rushed to binyanei hauma to find about 1000 people there, and no busses in sight. Someone was on a megaphone calling for a "revolution", most people were ignoring him and trying to figure out what was going on. Apparently the police had ordered the busses not to allow people to board. Any driver who did had his license taken away, and then threatened that if he drove without a license he'd be arrested.
There were people organizing private shuttles (10 person vans) to go down to Netivot. I discussed this with my friends, but our fear was we would get stopped and just be 10 ppl on the side of the highway and that would not be as big a statement as being with the 1000 people in Jerusalem. Someone came over and told us that it was a secret, but busses were waiting by a Yeshiva about five minutes away. We, along with hundreds others made our way to the yeshiva. When we got there, there were already police spread out, and the busses had been surrounded. The decision was made to go to the trempiada and tachana merkazit and find ways down. The police did not want us to cross the street. They brought riot horses and water canyons to discourage us from going in our desired directions. People who tried to go otherwise were nudged back by the horses or pushed back by the police. One of the Parlimentary Ministers, Benny Alon, was in our crowd. He went to talk to the head police officer. They threated him with a water gun, but in the end he won and we were allowed to walk to the trempiada.
At the trempiada there was a bus that had come up from Psagot. The bus had been stopped by the police, and the passangers joined our protest. Led by Benny Alon a large part of the group decides to start "walking" to Gush Katif. (I am forced to stay back, because I was watching someone's bag who decided they needed to find a bathroom.)
There are about 200 people left with me up at the trempiada. Rav Shapiro comes and gives a shiur. Mincha and tehillim are started. After about 1 1/2 hours David shows up. He had been on a bus coming into the city, stuck in traffic b/c of the traffic jams the protesting had caused (We were not blocking the street, however the police were blocking lanes b/c we were there) As Dav and I were talking most of the remaing protesters decided to bypass the police and go back into the city, and down a different exit - joining the "walk to Gush Katif" group.
Seeing that there were only a handful of protesters left the police came over to David, DHH, and myself telling us we had to move farther up. I tried explaining that we had been sitting there for almost 2 hours, and can't they just leave us alone, but they insisted we move - and so we did.
A car with 2 empty seats stops and offers us a ride, they're going to the beach in Tel Aviv. We decide to go with them, and as we pass the "walk to Gush Katif"ers - who had not made it very far before being stopped by police - we get out and join them.
On the side of the highway there is a slight cliff, and a number of houses on the bottom. Kids from those houses started coming up, bringing us fruits and watermelon. The protesters themselves were all sharing water, pita, wafers and whatever else they each had. There was a true feeling of camaraderie.
After a few hours 3 busses pulled up and police told us we were allowed to get on the busses. Being that there were more people then seats on the busses, there was still a large group left on the side of the highway when the three busses left packed - standing room only. Not long afterwards we were told there are busses in the city that we can take. We thanked the police for hanging out with us (no really...) and went to find the busses. We filled 3 or 4 more busses and left for Netivot.
It was just after 9 pm when we reached Netivot. The rally had just ended and the march had begun. We began marching toward the first stop - Kfar Maimon - about 7 KM away. A few KM before our campsite police and soldiers again blocked our way. We emptied into a field on the side of the road. police and soldiers linked arms and tried to corral us in. There was no violence that I saw, in fact mostly the participants sang to the security forces that they are not against them, and they are brothers.
People did continuously try to run through the blockade. It felt a little like "Red Rover". About an hour 1/2 later the security forces were beginning to tire, and everyone as a group ran the human blockade.
We then continued on to the camp site, just outside Kfar Maimon. We reached the campsite with no problems.
The next morning we were awoken around 5 with a loudspeaker repeating that the security forces are on their way. Please wake up, davven, so we can start our day. The soldiers, now 3 person deep lines, once again linked arms and tried to block us from entering Kfar Maimon. We were able to quckly break through that block and within minutes we were all within the fence of the kfar (village). The plan was to spend the morning there; learning, playing ball, walking around, napping, shmoozing, etc.. and continuing to march after the heat of the day around 4:30. I had to leave at 10. I was not blocked into the kfar. I caught a ride down to the end of the service road, and then hung out at the trempiada for a ride to Netivot.
That's when I spoke to David and heard he was 5 minutes away. David filled me in on the media talk, and I filled him in on the truth through my eyes. Soon, David went into the kfar - again without any problem or blockade - and I started walking with DHH and B to Netivot.
Along the way we passed a group of soldiers who were on break. One came over to us and asked us why we were leaving. We told him that was our original plan and we simply could not stay for longer. He asked if we were planning on coming back, stating how important this is. Wow.
I made it back to Jerusalem at 2, my apartment at 3:30, and I was at a wedding that night at 7.
I only wish i was a better writer so more people can understand the feelings of what it ws really like.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Gush Katif...

Three in one day, one has to be politcal, eh. Sorry about the eh's, they keep falling in....
Tomorrow is the start of a three day solidarity/protest march. I'm catching a bus in Jerusalem around 2pm, and heading down south to Netivot. I'm bringing a sleeping bag and some food. We're going to start off towards Gush Katif. Somewhere, almost immediately after we leave Netivot, we're going to stop for the night and camp out under the stars. The next morning we're going to start marching over towards Kissufim, the blocked Gush Katif entrance. In the heat of the day, there are going to be tents set up and shiurim (classes) given, and we should make it to the tzomet (lit. intersection, but this is the crossing) late afternoon. About just in time for me to turn around and head back to Jerusalem for a wedding...
If they are going to break through the blockade, I won't be there to see it.
I will fill you in on all the info after...

Are Dells Haunted

Can computers be haunted? I have a funny problem with my laptop. Sometimes the cords stop working. They'll stop working for a week, or two and then just start again, not really for any reason. I haven't done anything different. I understand I'm not the only one. Chayei Sarah blogged that her Dell had a similar experience, and judging by the comments she received ""I warned you about that connector issue!", Avi posted and Minday posted, "I just had a similar story... "
My usual problem is with the part of the cord that goes from the computer into the power box. If it is not in the perfect spot then the computer won't accept power. I have gotten the postioning down to a science.
Last night everything was fine. I watched a movie with my roommate and a friend on the computer, played a little game of Go, checked my mail and went to sleep with a fully charged computer. This morning I turn my computer on, see that I'm on battery source. I figit with the cord, but the charging signal won't come on. I then notice that the green light on my power box is not on! I check that the power source hasn't blown a fuse, but other things are charging....
Dead as a doorknob. D-E-D, dead!
No suicide note, no known illnesses, no previous symptoms, just upped and outed one day!
I had borrowed my brother's power charger for a previous time my computer was having issues, and I haven't returned it yet. The problem is the battery won't recharge with that power box, I can only use AC power.
Tonight I decided to see if maybe the computer had just been playing a trick on me.
I plugged in the d-e-d dead one, and it started beeping at me!
I wasn't sure if it was going to explode or what, but I kept holding it. Suddenly, the green light turned on!!! I plugged it into my computer and it started charging! Whoo-hoo I thought. I walked out of my room, to get a drink, and returned to find the light was off and the computer had gone to sleep - which it does when it's not plugged in and it's bored. So, now i'm stuck to the AC cord, with the knowledge that all can be lost if the cord, which doesn't 100% fit in this computer, gets knocked out...

Revenge On The Flying Bugs

We have a problem. It seems that a moth mommy and daddy were flying around the world looking for a nice place to raise a few generations, and voila! they thought our kitchen was the perfect spot. I opened my cabinet door about two weeks ago and saw a few itty bitty moths flying around and hanging out on my cabinet doors. I quickly killed them - they are not fast moving moths. The next couple days there many moth spottings in my kitchen. Some were killed some were ignored, some survived the assassination attempts. On Wednesday I was in my kitchen and saw what appeared to be an inch worm. I gave it a curious look before I killed it and threw it away. Looking in the cabinet I saw 3 more. All were promptly killed and disposed of. Thursday I opened the cabinet {I feel like the very hungry caterpiller story} and saw a cacoon! Ok, not the giant fun caterpiller ones, small ugly yellow ones. I dumped out the entire cabinet, and found a huge nest of "inchworms", and many many caccoon...under cans, in open boxes, under was, to say the least, DISGUSTING! We threw away everything, i mean EVERYTHING that was open...they got into boxes of tea and made cacoons between the individual tea bags!!!! They are grosssssssss. We bleached the inside of the cabinets and killed all flying bugs that would land for us. We put back all the bug free packages and went to sleep happy in the knowledge that we saved the kitchen cabinets. They didn't leave. I think we must be up to 4 generations of little moths that have been born in our cabinets. Shabbat found us with bugs in the cabinets, and I saw a few "inchworms", but as it was Shabbat there could be no killings - which just frusterated me more. Sat. night I started going through the cabinets again, and found more inchworms, new and old caccoons and of course the regular moths...
I decided that's it.
Today I did something about it. I bought "Death To The Flying Insect Raid" I have now covered my kitchen in poison - hmmm
Moths are falling like flies - again....hmmm
I rebleached the cabinets, and I'm hoping that this is enough...
Worst case scenario, eh, I'm moving Sept 1st.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

It's Cool

So, Aliyah is now cool. Everyone's doing it. There's not even a need for an Aliyah for Dummy's anymore - it's been dummyproofed. But, with all hype, and with all the increases in the numbers, with all the people who have been wanting to come, realizing now that it's has to ask oneself...
Should everyone move here now? Are we required to worry about those who won't/can't/aren't coming? Do we just think what's best for ourselves.
I'm here.

Monday, July 11, 2005

One's Own Hands...

I heard of an interesting peula (educational program/activity) over the weekend. It was discussing passivity. Have students sit in a circle. Inform them there is not enough food in the world. Within 50 years we will all starve, unless we take some food we have now and replant it. We will in essence be starving some people now to save the world. If a student is willing to starve vegetables in the hospital move your chair out of the circle creating a second ring. All those people who move out are willing to kill to save the world. If you are against them starving people and you're willing to kill them to stop them from killing others move your chair into the center of the circle creating a third ring. After much research it is discovered that we need to take more food from people now to save the world. If you would be willing to starve those over 90 years old to save the world move your chair to the outer circle. Again if you are willing to kill those starving the seniors in their attempt to save the world move your chair to the middle ring. The list continues with criminals, mentally & physically handicapped, and adding on as many cateragories as the leader wants. In the end you will have most of the people in the middle ring with a few on the outside ring, and a few in the center ring. Those in the middle were not willing to take a stand. They don't agree with the killings, but they're not willing to stop it.

There is a great "poem" referring to the WW2 Germany era by Pastor Martin Niemöller
First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me--
and there was no one left to speak out for me

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Green Thoughts...

I bought a green bracelet today that says:
צה"ל - אנחנו איתכם
I was not wearing my orange bracelet because I gave it to my sister who landed here yesterday and did not see them being sold today. Tonight I went to a party, where someone noticed my green bracelet. They asked what political group or activism it stands for. I showed it to him, and said it's not political, I appreciate the soldiers. He asked me if it's for the soldiers who are refusing orders, or all soldiers. I answered that it was for all soldiers, and that started quite a discussion.
I have the utmost respect for any soldier who stands up against his unit and states that he disagrees with what is being done.
I have the utmost respect for soldiers who listen to orders given ever when they don't understand them, and would never give them themselves.
I am very glad I do not have to make the choice between those two paths.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Color War Debate Panal

I have looked at many blogs of new olim (term used for someone who moved to Israel), and have spoken to many olim who have stated they are undecided on the disengagement issue. I know some of them from the States, and have spoken to some about their lives before aliyah (term for the act of moving to Israel). I think most of them would have been against the Disengagement in America. I think they are confused here by all the roundabout issues. They do not know how they feel about disobeying orders. They do not appreciate traffic being blocked. They are upset about the teens and younger children that are involved in the fight. What is about making aliyah that leftifies some? Why would they have proudly stood at the Israeli Day Parade in Orange and held signs up, and written articles against the disengagement if they were still living in USA, but here in Israel they're not sure which way to go? I don't have the answer, just thought I'd throw this out into the color war debate panal

Friday, July 01, 2005

MK's In 'da Street - Paint the Town ...

I was in town during the start of the 'Gay Pride' Parade. I was not there during the stabbing (apparantly 3 people were stabbed by an anti gay parading person), nor did I see the 13 people get arrested for blocking the street so the parade couldn't go.... I did however see people arguing over the matter. I watched people get interviewed for the BBC, and watched people get riled up over a sign that read "homo sex is immoral, source: leviticus.". I watched people putting up signs that read I'm the proud father of a gay son, and watched on as other people yelled at him for letting his son be gay. I walked down a street on my home that was lined with the rainbow flag, where our soldiors were standing guard making sure no one took down the flags.

One marcher said the colors of the rainbow are used to bring everyone together. That the "theme" is love without borders. They welcome anyone regardless of color, religion, sexual preferance, etc... All they did today was promote hatred. They sparked anger and disgust with every flag they waved. I am not pro the idea of gay people, but I would not protest their lives. I would not burn "crosses" into their yards, but do not parade yourselves throughout a city. This is not liberal Boston. This is Jerusalem. Holy to all the major religions.

The mayor tried to stop the parade. He refused to sign the parade papers. He was taken to court and lost, and was actually fined about 1/2 the cost of the parade. I understand that two knesset members were among the protesters and they actually sat in the street blocking the parade until police had to move them. To them, and to the mayor of our holy city, thank you. Thank you for trying to fight. Thank you for keeping the youths inspired. The youths who are being sent to jail for what they believe in.