Sunday, July 31, 2005


The OOS daughter wanted to know if the "Hebrew" phrase "oy vay voi" is a translation for the Yiddish phrase "oy vei"?

Gotta love it.

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Friday, July 29, 2005

Pvt. Michal 

I almost forgot to congratulate reader, commenter and fellow Kfar Saba-ite George and his wife J, on the induction into the IDF of their daughter, Michal. Three kids in the army at once (one to go), two officers, so far. Hahem Yishmor.

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Thursday, July 28, 2005

Bialik on Halakhah and Agadah 

The people who working on the Ben-Yehuda Project, are doing holy work in bringing all that is great and in the public domain in Hebrew literature to the Internet. A short while ago we noted that they had started entering the work of Haim Nachman Bialik. You can now read (in Hebrew) his notable essay "Halakhah and Agadah".

My wholly inadequate translation of a few lines:

"Halakhah and Agadah are not really two, but one; two faces of the same creature. The relationship between them is like the relationship between the word to thought or to feeling or between the deed, the perceived form and the word. The Halakhah is the crystallization, the final and necessary essence of the Agadah; the Agadah is the strength of the Halakhah."

Print out this fascinating essay for Shabbat.

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It could be that I was sleeping through my seven years at MTA and YU but I don't ever remember, in any of my very many arguments with my REITS rebbes that "Chazalic Infallibility" was one of our key beliefs. Infallibiilty was only for the Catholics. Now, it seems to be "the" thing to believe in.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Welcome Back! 

The slogan for the pro-hitnatkut convoy that is on its way to somewhere is "Return to Zionism".

Welcome back.

Where is religious-Zionism going after the hitnatkut? I have a better question, where is secular-Zionism going?

It is time for the secular elite in Israel to reinvent themselves as Zionists. The secular-Zionist elite lost its confidence in itself over 30 years ago, following the Yom Kippur War and the victory, a few years later, by Menachem Begin. Rather than react to those events by strengthening their commitment to Zionism, they lost confidence in their own project and invested their intellectual and moral efforts in "post-Zionism".

The "post-Zionist" project was meant to purge any love of land, tradition and the Jewish people from the educational system, from the high culture and from the mass culture of the country. The secular elite must negate post-Zionism (as Amnon Rubenstien and others have already done) and declare themselves, unapologetic and unabashed Zionists,

That means sending their boys and girls back to the officer corps and the more dangerous units of the army. It means that when they establish their next start-up they move it to Mitzpe Rimon or Be'er Sheva, or Qiryat Shemona, or Afula. It means that they vacation in Arad and Nahariya instead of Malta and Crofu. It means that they go and teach in Michlelet Tel-Hai and Michlelet Ashkelon instead of Hebrew and Tel-Aviv Universities. It means that they start supporting their fellow countrymen and co-religionists when talking to foreign friends and colleagues. It means that when a foreign investor points out that the proposed investment road show is on Rosh Hashanah, they embarrassingly state, "oh, then we must postpone it" instead of "that doesn't bother me one bit".

Mostly, it means that the majority of the country needs to reclaim that aspect of Zionism that matters most – settlement. That means establishing settlements on the hilltops of the Galilee or the sand dunes of the Negev. Must the religious-Zionists again be in the forefront of the settlement movement only to be told twenty years hence that, yes, it was important to settle the Negev at the time, but now we need to put legalized gambling and prostitution there, for the good of the country – and by the way, don't force your morals on us?

It is quite clear that the lesson to be learned over the last thirty years is that the only way the religious-Zionists can be accepted is to be followers and not leaders. We must see where the secular Zionists are going and follow them. We must see which army units the best of their youth enter and enlist in them. But their chance will not last long. Religious-Zionists won't let the country fall apart waiting for their cue. They must re-adopt Zionism, in its classical form, as more than its motto, and they must do it quickly.

Had we waited thirty years ago after the Yom Kippur War, when it was the kippot serugot and denim skirts who picked this country out of its emotional depression, who would be manning the combat units today? Who would have formed garinim to teach the poor in Shderot, Yerucham and other development towns? Yes, we may have spent too much time worrying about which hilltop in Yesha should be settled next, but that is not all we did. We also went north and south – we built and we taught.

If the motto of the hitnatkut is to "return to Zionism" then they have the religious-Zionists to thank that there is a Zionism to return to.

If the hitnatkut actually causes the secular elite to return to the Zionist ideals of settling the Land of Israel (even in its smaller form) and from the disaster that was post-Zionism then maybe the hitnatkut will bring some good to this pained people. In order for that to be done though, secular leaders in the press, academia and politics must unapologetically (re)-embrace Zionism and be willing to fight relentlessly for a Zionist, Jewish and democratic state. That means not only fighting terror, but fighting the self-hatred that we read in the elite press and hear on the government controlled airwaves. It means not traveling abroad to present movies and lectures that de-legitimize the existence of our still young country in order to win cinema prizes and visiting appointments at elite universities.

We religious-Zionists have made our mistakes. Our rabbinic leadership has all too often done their very best to make religion and Zionism hateful to many. We here in this blog have criticized the religious-Zionist leadership, sometimes relentlessly. But that does not take away all of the good that we have done – even if the press never reports it.

If the slogan is true and the secular leadership is really ready to "return to Zionism" then we religious-Zionists can only say: Better late than never.

And welcome back.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2005


If you have been following the series of posts on R. David Weiss Halinvi's legacy at Canonist, the latest post is here. I was glad to see that the great scholar - one of the last (and of the youngest) of the great European trained scholars - is moving to Israel. Reading his amazing Peshat & Derash will give you a different look at where we are today. I never quite understood how YU let him get away.

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Equal Justice 

Whereas in America a ketubah, which is to be a financial guarantee to the wife in the case of divorce will have the symbolic sum of "100 zekukim kesef" in Israel many ketubot have actual amounts in New Israeli Shekel. Therefore, some grooms want to impress their brides by promising, at the signing, many hundreds of thousands of Shekel. As an Halakhically valid document singed by two witnesses you would think that the rabbis and dayanim would be strict in holding the groom to his word.

You would be wrong. In certain cases you see, the dayanim can figure out that the groom was just joking around, being a showoff – denying the wife vast sums of money that was promised to her. Of course, in the case of agunot, etc, these same dayanim have to be very strict so as to assure that the absolute letter of the each and every law is upheld.

Machmir (stringent) for the women who only want their freedom. Meikil (lenient) for the men who need the cash.

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Sunday, July 24, 2005

Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps 

From my very own IDF sources, from an "Aluf Mishne" (full colonel), it seems that some good has come out from the lockup of the anti-hitnatkut protesters last week: Shiduchim. Yes, the hitnatkut, according to this senior officer will be the first military operation in which 50% of the participants will be women – young, female soldiers and officers standing alongside young male soldiers and officers.

At Kfar Miamon last week, many phone numbers were apparently exchanged on both sides of the fence. The boy combat soldiers who suffer through bad accommodations and combat rations finally got to meet the girl soldiers as they sat for days waiting for some action. And action they got – phone numbers, dates. Marriage proposals? Not so quick. And, as we stated this happened on both sides of the fence. This was the biggest social event of the decade here in Israel and will go a long way in solving the demographic problem here in the Holy Land. Special thanks to Ariel Sharon and R. Avraham Shapiro for setting this up.

Maybe they can go to Queens and help out over there. The OOS brother of that borough, sent me a flyer (which for some reason does not want to be loaded onto blogger) from the "Queens Shidduch Committee" and it seems that political and religious issues are not enough to get the boys and girls together. Acting as good Americans – only good, hard cash will do. 2 grand to marry off a nice young (but not too young) maidele. But not just any nice Jewish girl. She needs to be a two year (minimum) resident of Central Queens as a renter or a one year home owner (or her parents must be). Renting is fine but if you can't afford a house in Central Queens you have to wait an extra year. Remember what bubbe said, "rich or poor, its nice to have money". Marry off the rich girls first, then the rest. But this program is only to be funded (so far) for one year. So you better hurry up if you have some nice young (home owning) maidele for sale.

You don't get a dime for setting up a boychick though – probably because if you set up a good Jewish Central Queens boy with a non-Central Queens girl … its like … gneva – stealing an eligible boy for the sake of a foreign girl … phuya as they say in gan.

Its time for the local Queens rabbis to set up some kind of semi-legal protest – maybe against the non-kosherosity of the water in the Big Apple – have them locked up in the Bronx Zoo for a few days. Maybe some phone numbers will be exchanged. You can give the 2 grand to the walruses.

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Thursday, July 21, 2005

Los(t) Leaders 

The people, most of them kids, at the protest at Kfar Maimon realized before the leadership that they were not going to Gush Qatif. And they left. What lessons in democracy they have learned from their incarceration it is difficult to say. Evelyn Gordon has a take on it in today's JPost.
The sky is still up above so we shouldn't jump to any conclusions, but with anti-Western rabbis on the one side and cynical politicians on the other, we better hope they are independent minded.

And for those of you who insist that 14 year old girls get not be allowed to see their parents and should sit in jail while awaiting trial for blocking roads, you should definitely read this little news item:

"Hundreds of angry farmers from the Galilee and the Golan blocked the main Kiryat Shmona to Rosh Pina road near the turnoff to Yesud Hama'ala for almost an hour on Thursday morning to press for urgent government aid."

Since their protest is part of a "Zionist enterprise whereby the land is farmed and the region is green and blossoming" ... no arrests were made, as far as I can see.

Lessons in democracy. Part II.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

March of the Lost 

In about 15 minutes (7pm Israel time) those protesting the hitnatkut are scheduled to "break out" of Kfar Maimon and try to march to Gush Qatif. Benzi Leiberman, head of the Yesha Council and chief spokesman for the group is risking a fateful confrontation with our police and military in an attempt to ... do what? To march into Gush Qatif and reverse the edict? That is something I would expect of a teenager, not a seasoned politician. Seasoned politicians need to look one step ahead and prepare for the next battle.

But before the next battle we need to get through this without poisoning the army more than it has already been poisoned. The soldiers involved will use this experience in order to shape their future views as to the country – its Jewishness, its democratic foundation. It is from this that they will learn civics, not from their bagrut (matriculation). This is a real life lesson for us all – most of all for our soldiers, for our children.

Will they end up being cynics or believers in a better country? Will they feel like they helped to get the country through this? Or will they think at the end of this – for this I risked my life?

There are two people who can bring us back from cynical abyss – Ariel Sharon and R. Avraham Shapiro. Both are failing – the former because of ego and belief in force and the latter because of a misguided view of Jewish peoplehood.

You want to march? March to Sharon's estate. You want to be a leader? Let people speak their minds.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Lockup, or the Hate-fest Continues 

Although my own view is that the police are correct to prevent a march into Gush Qatif, since it is too dangerous and that Moetzet Yesha should find another venue for protest (my own choice would be to march to Sharon's country estate, better known as Havat HaShikmim), the latest move ordered by Sharon to lock the estimated 40,000 protesters up in moshav Kfar Maimon can only lead to violence. No one is allowed out except by police busses to Netivot with the promise to go home. What will the Supreme Court say to incarcerating 40,000 people without trial or arrest?

Did I hear someone say Kent State?

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On Disowning Children 

Although my mind is where everyone else's is here in Israel – on the hitnatkut, I have been planning on writing on changing attitudes in modern-Orthodoxy – one more liberal and one much less so.

A few days ago Mirty wrote her story on her blog of being raised Orthodox, leaving the fold, intermarrying, being disowned by her parents and eventually returning to live as a Jew. We have dealt with intermarriage before in an interesting exchange with Braita but would like to comment brieflyl with the fact of "disowning" the child who has intermarried.

My father was a rabbi in mostly non-Orthodox congregations in small towns and finally in New York City. In the 1950's, when he first had a pulpit in upstate NY the parents of children who were to intermarry would come to him in tears and wonder where they went wrong. When the child of the ex-president of the synagogue in NY (his last pulpit in about 1990) decided to intermarry, no visit occurred.

In the modern-Orthodox community throughout the same period and up until today I sense a changing attitude towards relationships with intermarried children. While the opposition to intermarriage is still strong, I don't know that most parents would cut off all ties with their children if one were to intermarry. In a discussion with the OOS wife, we both agreed that, difficult as it would be (and living in Israel it would also be very strange) we could never cut off ties with our children over intermarriage.

What does that mean about our commitment to Judaism? What does that mean about our relationship with our children? Does this statement send a wrong message to our children? Does it, so to speak, take the pressure off of them? Should we condemn Mirty's parent's actions … or our own views?

I don't really know.

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Monday, July 18, 2005


The hate-fest continues as we seem to be failing the "sinat chinam" test.

Last night the opponents of the hitnatkut were at Kissufim Junction at the entrance to Gaza, taunting soldiers. With God's will on their side, they knew very well that they were the true heroes and not the soldiers. Meanwhile, the police have vowed to stop a peaceful march in a vein attempt to stop the hitnatkut.

While watching a few minutes of a news show on Channel 10 called "London et Kirchenbaum" it was quite obvious as they interviewed Rav Sherlo that they had no clue or any interest in what it means to be a religious person. There are "all religious-Zionists" and "all hesder students" … all agreeing, all violent, all against the State of Israel. Opposition to the hitnatkut means there should be a quota on religious officers in the army, that hesder should be disbanded, that religious-Zionism has given up the right to exist. These very liberal men couldn't even understand that sentencing a 14 year old girl, arrested during a demonstration, to live in any home but her own - even before she is to be put on trial – is a troublesome thing.

On the positive side, the Israeli Civil Rights Organization has condemned the police for their actions preventing today's demonstration. Also, the head of the Kiryat Shemona hesder yeshiva, Rav Tzefania Drori has told any officer in the IDF that if a soldier refuses orders he should call him directly and he will set him straight.

I am not really a believer in the apocalypse or in chicken little so I don't think this is something we will not survive. But libeling some of your best citizens does not bode well for the future of the country.

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Ha'aretz and the Big Lie 

Ha'aretz's editorial in support of the police's decision to take away the free speech rights from those who oppose the hitnatkut is fascist, plain and simple. It uses the "big lie" by stating that the "Yesha leaders know very well, from their experience with similar demonstrations, that violence is implicit in their plans" – eventhough Moetzet Yesha demonstrations have never been violent. They continue to malign a large group of people who oppose government policy. They claim that protesting against a policy legally adopted by the government is "not waging a campaign for Gush Katif, but a campaign against the State of Israel". Only fascists belief that the State is the source of all legitimacy and must be followed blindly.

Nothing bothers me more than a curtailment of free speech and nothing promises violence in a democracy more than dis-allowing legal protests against government policy. Everyone, left, right and center understands that in a parliamentary democracy at 180 degree turn in policy by the government needs to be followed by elections. Everyone, left, right and center understands that "legal legitimacy" is different than "political legitimacy" – that you need both if you want to implement a policy that is controversial. Sharon has legal but not political legitimacy for the hitnatkut and we are all paying the price for it now.

This is not an "anti-hitnatkut" post, but a plea to allow freedom of speech before Ha'aretz's fascism spreads.

The Sharon government has not allowed a large protest to go forth eventhough it is organized by a recognized group – Moetzet Yesha. The plan was to march from the town of Netivot over the course of three days to the green line. Although agreements between the police and Moetzet Yesha were reached, they recinded them.

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Some kids waiting for the bus to the protest in Netivot. Posted by Picasa

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Four of the seven policeman at the Kfar Saba Central Bus Station ready to prevent a bus from going to the protest in Netivot. Posted by Picasa

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Sunday, July 17, 2005


As some of you may know, I took a week or so off from most things serious. This morning I got back on the train and this afternoon I started catching up on my favorite Jewish blogs.

I was reading Hirhurim and, regarding a discussion on Conservative Judaism by Judith Hauptman he wrote: "Note that she is not Orthodox and the opinion piece does not reflect Orthodox views. Do not read the following quote if you are not prepared for a non-Orthodox view."

Then, regarding Alan Yuter's letter to the Jewish Week, he wrote: "note that, while Orthodox, he is not right-wing and those sensitive to left-wing Orthodoxy should not read the following quote".

Finally, regarding Steven Weiss and his Canonist blog: "note that he is not a rabbi and the general content of his blog has not been rabbinically approved".

I don't have time to look through the entire blog for hints that this is a joke .... please Gil, tell me it is.

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Heads they win ... 

I was hoping that my previous posts (see side) on the hitnatkut (withdrawal from Gaza) would be the last I would write on it, but circumstances have a way of forcing the issue. This is not a political blog and I have tried to approach this and other issues from the perspective of religion and religious sociology. The challenges of the hitnatkut to Judaism in general and to religious-Zionism in particular are tremendous, from an organizational, theological and political perspective.

With less than a month to go until the withdrawal I would like to give my views on the various forces and groups that are in the middle of this mess. First, I would like to break my own political silence and give my own view of the hitnatkut so that I will not be accused of having a secret agenda.

I think that unilateral withdrawal in general is only good when used as a tactical withdrawal in order to put a country in a better offensive or defensive military position. For this tactical withdrawal to work the enemy has to understand it as such and it cannot have long-term strategic elements to it. Unfortunately, the hitnatkut fails on both points. Even if it puts us in a better objective military situation the fact that the enemy views this as a victory for terror and a defeat for Israel makes this a looser from a military perspective. Regardless of Norman Podhoretz's newfound trust in individuals over ideas and policy thinking the best of Sharon or Bush does not negate the fact that the Palestinian leadership and citizenry look upon this as a defeat. However, that being said, much of the damage has already been done. The Palestinians have already gained a psychological and strategic victory whether we go through this or not and will (they have already started to) redouble their efforts to attack Israeli civilians on either side of the "green line". Stopping the hitnatkut will not change that element in the equation – which clearly favors the Palestinians. It might be argued that not going ahead with the withdrawal at this point will give them yet another victory in that since we have already committed to unilateral withdrawal, there will need to be another concession to the Palestinians just to get us back to the line of scrimmage.

From the human perspective, the terrible tragedy of forcing people out of their homes and farms will resonate for many decades. This is a problem that the government has refused to deal with. For those who "just" have homes, they will probably come out okay financially (but not necessarily psychologically or religiously), for those with farms, they will be ruined.

That said – my view is that the hitnatkut was a horrible idea but at this stage it is better if it goes forward than if it doesn't- on three conditions: That the opponents to the hitnatkut be allowed to voice their opinions without fear of being criminalized: That we first take care of the Kassam rocket situation: That the residents whose are being relocated be given fair value for their homes and businesses.

Now to the "situation". I feel that the main religious-Zionist rabbis are coming to understand that their calls for soldiers to refuse orders and their plan to disrupt the country in order to force a policy reversal were mistaken (the exception here remains Rabbis Eliyahu and Shapiro who are slowly loosing their authority with the adult population). The rabbis (not all, to be sure) have toned down their language. We are not hearing the incendiary anti-Zionist language we hared a few months ago. My second son received a letter from his principal (at Yeshivat Bnei Akiva in Ra'anana – known to have rabbis that are young and very right wing) explaining that as much as this is difficult for all of us, only doing good deeds and mitzvot will help our situation. They seem to have understood that they will need to explain in September that this is not the end of the "geula" and that we can't loose faith in God, in the country, in the people or in the army.

I wish I could say the same thing for the justice system in the country which has completely broken down. I just read a letter from two attorneys who visited five teenagers (two boys and three girls ages 13-17) who are accused and awaiting trial for blocking roads. They are being held without bail in tiny cells with only one hour outside the cell in the morning and one in the afternoon. All of the other prisoners at the Ma'asiyahu Jail (including convicted rapists and murderers) are given most of the day out of their cells and are allowed regular visits from relatives. The kids are only allowed visits from lawyers and are not given reading material. The Israeli justice system is known to be very lenient with children (too much so when it comes to rapists – but that is for another day).

It is my contention that people who break the law should go punished. However, when the truck drivers, taxi drivers and port workers blocked roads over and over again over the last few years, none of them were arrested, let alone jailed. People (especially children) must be punished for their crimes not their political views – and their punishment must come after conviction and must be commensurate with their crime.

The justice system has broken down on so many levels that it is creating a situation where all is allowed (especially to corrupt politicians) as long as it does not interfere with the hitnatkut. When opposing the hitnatkut, people are being treated as enemies of the State. These children broke the law and should pay what other people who broke the same law pay. Doing otherwise turns them into political prisoners.

We must all take a step back and understand that we have to live regular lives after this happens. For those on the right, they have to understand that they can't educate their children against the state and for those on the left, they have to realize that destroying the religious-Zionists will destroy the Jewish state along with it (see Caroline Glick last week).

My son often feels that all of the many crises we encounter in this country are tests ("nisyonot") from God. I don't know that I agree with him – but if it is so, this "nisayon" is about "sinat chinam" (hatred of brothers) – we will either pass the test or allow what the prophets promised would never happen – cause a "Churban Bayit Shlishi".

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Friday, July 15, 2005

Mac Baseball End 

Done. A full week of Macabiah baseball came to an end today. Yesterday, Canada beat the US for the first time in the tournament and ended with a 4-2 record. Today, the US beat up on Israel once again, taking the gold and ending with a 5-1 record. All in all it was an exciting and interesting week.

On the one hand I got the feeling of what it would be like to be one of those "Sports guys" – you know, they eat, sleep and breath sports and don't really care about the rest of the world. No wars, no terrorism, no Halakhic issues. You know what – it wasn't have bad. But, it would be against my nature to let the great issues of the day go by without putting my two sense in … so we will probably return to that next week.

It was great meeting all of the players, coaches and parents from the US and Canada and seeing how the Macabiah is an important connection to Israel for them. One hopes that this is not the last time they visit Israel or that the kids form some sort of connection to this country and to their people. I don't have much of faith in these short term, minimal education, no effort type connections – but its something. And the kids (or their parents) did have to pay a nice some of money to come and participate – so it was not a freebie.

All in all, I had a good time and from the looks on the faces of the people, so did many others.

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Bronze Medal, Israel National Team Posted by Picasa

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Silver Medal, Team Canada Posted by Picasa

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Gold Medal, Team USA Posted by Picasa

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Medal Ceremony Posted by Picasa

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Team USA head coach, Jerry Weinstein Posted by Picasa

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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Wednesday Mac 

Although it's tough to loose every day, the Israeli Macabiah baseball team is hanging in there. They lost to Canada today 10-2, but showed much grit and courage. They continue to make great plays in the late innings and threatened to come close at one point. The fans have been great. Parents from the US, Canada and of course Israel – and lots of kids who play baseball at the IAB. The atmosphere is a mix between the minor leagues and little league.

And the hot dogs are kosher.

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As promised, Israel team hair crew. Posted by Picasa

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And a bit more. Posted by Picasa

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And more hair. Posted by Picasa

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This much dirt before the game. Posted by Picasa

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Team Canada coaches, Howard Kideckel and John Elias. Posted by Picasa

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005


Team USA had a tough day today in baseball. They came back from the opening ceremonies sometime around 1am and had to play a doubleheader today – first against Israel and then against Canada. They took a quick 2-0 lead over Israel after coming late to the field and not taking batting practice. Then, in the second inning, Israeli pitcher Nate Rosenberg struck out the first two batters …. Well, anyway, the US went on to win 19-2. But things went downhill from there. They only beat Canada by 11 runs (view all results here).

But that's okay … the Israel team has the best hair! (Pics tomorrow.)

If you didn't show up, not only did you miss some great Zionist style baseball, you missed dancing umpires and ball-girls.

You have three more chances to see Macabiah baseball and here Israel's leading baseball PA announcer. If you miss tomorrow and Thursday due to that work thing some of you insist on doing, then come down Friday for the finale – Israel vs. USA … closing ceremonies … medals and surprises.

It's your Zionist duty to have some fun.

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Mac 17: Opening Ceremony 

I am not sure why the opening ceremonies of large international sporting events always take place days after the actual sporting events start … but the Maccabiah is a mini-Olympics, so we must do as they do.

59 Jewish communities in countries around the world, sent athletes to the 17th Maccabiah. The US had over 1,000 athletes, the loyal Australians sent 559. Granada sent one athlete and India sent a Cricket team. The Israeli team numbered over 2,000.

There is something about sporting events that bring out the very worst in art and this was no difference. The kitsch was oozing out of every corner as two or three gazillion dancers pranced around the floor of Ramat Gan Stadium with multicolored plastic in hand. But … this is not a time for seriousness or art (although there was a memorial to the four Australian athletes killed by Israeli negligence in Maccabiah 15). This is a time for Jews to just have fun.

The worth of the Maccabiah is in giving Jewish people a chance to play games just for the sake of playing games in Israel. During our history of pain and seriousness, "magiah lanu" (we deserve) a little lightheaded fun every four years or so. We all get to celebrate a little Zionism, sing the Hatikva a hundred times watch our kids and our neighbor's kids win, or loose, while participating in some game in our Jewish country.

Kol haKavod to those who originated these games and kol haKavod to those who continue to organize them every four years.

Instead of arguing about Halakhah, texts, land and lifestyles, we get to argue about hits, errors, missed goals and swimming strokes. We all know that we will soon return to our abnormal existence of debating the worthiness of life on a regular basis – but for a week or two, we get to just play games in a Jewish country.

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Maccabiah torch. Posted by Picasa

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Olympic gold medal winner, Gal Friedman, running with the torch. Posted by Picasa

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Israeli team, "marching in". Posted by Picasa

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Team USA. Posted by Picasa

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Italy Loves Israel! Posted by Picasa

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Australian long jump team. Posted by Picasa

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Dancing, dancing, dancing... Posted by Picasa

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Monday, July 11, 2005

Mac 17 

Israel's second baseball game, vs. Canada didn't turn out too well - loosing 9-1. That said, the level of Israeli baseball has improved dramatically over the last 4-5 years (no correlation to the OOS coaching philosophy of yours truly.
Today, Team Canada lost a gutsy game to Team USA, 6-4. They overcame a 2-0 deficit to take a 4-2 lead - only to loose it in the next inning.
Too bad for the Canucks - they will have two more chances to beat up on Israel and two more shots at the US.
Tonight is the opening ceremony. We will be there, reluctantly. Traffic, crowds, general "balagan". Then back to baseball. We will be announcing games on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday - so come to Baptist Village and stop by.

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Team Canada dugout. Posted by Picasa

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Two guys from Team USA. Posted by Picasa

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Baseball stuff. Posted by Picasa

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Former Atlanta Braves pitcher, Marty Clary. Posted by Picasa

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Sunday, July 10, 2005

Maccabiah 17 

We will take a short break from the serious business of saving the Jewish people so that we can advance the cause of baseball in Israel. The OOSJ was the opening game PA announcer as Team USA beat Israel 13-3 at Baptist Village. We will also be scorekeaper when we are not announcing the starting lineups and playing music between innings.
If you are in Israel, come on by to Baptist Village - Yarkon Sports Complex outside of Petach Tikva - off of route 40 between Tzomet Hayarkon and Tzomet Segula.
Come to the announcer's tent and say hello. Admission 10 shekel.
To follow baseball on the Maccabiah, go here.
If you can pick out the OOS son - in the pictures, you win a free cup of coffee at the OOS household.
We will try to photoblog this event as much as possible.
For softball news, although Israel's mens team lost their opening game, the women came through and beat Canada 5-1. All softball and baseball is at Baptist.
Come on down. Let's play two!!!

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Team Israel, introductions Posted by Picasa

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Team USA (in white), introductions Posted by Picasa

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