Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Israeli police still suck more than I thought

Jewish date:  10 ’Av 5772 (Parashath Wa’ethḥannan).

Today’s holidays:  The Fast of ’Av (Judaism), Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Roman Catholicism), Feast Day of St. Brigham Young (Church of the SubGenius), Feast of Paschal Beverly Randolph (Thelema), Stikklestad Day (Germanic Neopaganism).

Short update on the police over here outright violating their job of enforcing freedom of religion and tolerance.  Not only did the police close the Temple Mount to non-Muslims on flimsy excuses about “provocations” (when to Muslims the very presence of Jews can be considered a “provocation”), but the Jewish reaction was refuse to go away and read the Book of Lamentations—the correct ceremony for the Fast of ’Av.  See “Police close Temple Mount to Jews on Tisha Be'av” and “Jews Read Lamentations Outside Temple Mount in Defiance of Ban” for details.  I congratulate the protestors for standing their ground and sending the police the message that “no” has consequences.  May it be the will of YHWH that every such baseless refusal of admission be met with even worse inconveniences.


The Israeli police suck more than I thought

Jewish date:  10 ’Av 5772 (Parashath Wa’ethḥannan).

Today’s holidays:  The Fast of ’Av (Judaism), Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Roman Catholicism), Feast Day of St. Brigham Young (Church of the SubGenius), Feast of Paschal Beverly Randolph (Thelema), Stikklestad Day (Germanic Neopaganism).

Today is the Fast of ’Av, the culmination of the Three Weeks and Nine Days commemorating the destruction of the First and Second Temple.

Last week I posted “משטרת ישראל היא לא גרועה כמו קודם • The Israeli Police suck less than before”, which is about my visit to the Temple Mount last Sunday.  Ideally I would have liked to go today, but I am afraid to do much of anything outside during fast days due to dehydration and overheating, which are serious concerns in the summer.  (Especially the summer in Israel, which is hot and dry.  Even more especially during the summer in Israel feeling the effects of global warming, which make me not want to leave my apartment more than absolutely necessary.)  However, some brave souls do attempt to visit the Temple Mount on fast days.  It has been reported on Facebook that a large number of Jews showed up to ascend to the Temple Mount this morning, only to be turned away because the police decided to pander to Islamic supremacism rather than do their jobs.  I therefore declare the police to have increased their level of suck, and I encourage everyone to let the government, political parties, and anyone else relevant to know.

On the Fast of Tammuz, I posted “Pathological mourning”, arguing that we should not be ritually mourning as an end in itself, but, like all mourning, should be a means towards moving on and rebuilding the Temple.  I am not the only one who thinks mourning should not be an end in itself.  “Next Year in Jerusalem — Maybe”, “What Are We Fasting For?”, and “Ninth of Av Message on Moving to Israel – Rabbi Beryl Wein, Rabbi Zev Leff and Rabbi Shalom Gold” all argue for making ‘aliyyah (immigration to Israel).

And they have a point.  The destruction of both Temples was accompanied by exile.  The Hebrew Bible has an ideal that the Jewish people should live in Israel and YHWH promises that we will return.  However, we have done a lousy job of this.  The Book of Ezra records that when the Persian Emperor Koresh (Cyrus) allowed the Jews to return and rebuild the Temple, very few did so.  We are doing a better job today (about 50% of the way there), but life in the West is still rather comfortable, and it is easy even for religious Jews to put off moving to Israel indefinitely.  I know.  I used to be that way.  Food for thought.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

משטרת ישראל היא לא גרועה כמו קודם • The Israeli Police suck less than before

תאריך יהודי:  ו׳ באב תשע״ב (פרשת דברים).

Jewish date:  6 ’Av 5772 (Parashath Devarim).

החגים של היום: תשעת הימים (יהדות), יום חג ג׳ימז (נצרות קתולית), יום חג שיילוק הקדוש (כנסיית תת־הגאון), פורינאליה (דת הרומאים העתיקים).

Today’s holidays:  The Nine Days (Judaism), Feast Day of James (Roman Catholicism), Feast Day of St. Shylock (Church of the SubGenius), Furinalia (ancient Roman religion).



הערה: זהו עוד הודעה שבה אני מתכנן לשלוח לאנשים שונים בממשל, בפוליטיקה, ובג׳רוזלם פוסט.  לפיכך, אני כותב את זה גם בעברית וגם באנגלית. רציתי לעשות את זה בשני טורים מקבילים, אבל Blogger מסרב לעשות טבלאות, ואני ממש לא רוצה לכתוב את ה־HTML באופן ידני. סליחה על הסגנון שבחרתי, שנראה לי להיות הפחות הבעייתי, למרות שיש לו מראה די מוזר.

NOTE:  This is another post which I plan to send out to various people in government, politics, and The Jerusalem Post.  As such, I am writing it both in Hebrew and English.  I would do it in two parallel columns, but Blogger has no built-in facilities for making tables, and I really do not want to write the HTML by hand.  Pardon the style I chose, which seems to me to be the least problematic, despite looking rather strange.

החלטתי לבקר את הר הבית ביום ראשון (ג׳ באב תשע״ב, 22 ביולי 2012). תשעת הימים הם לזכר חורבן בית המקדש הראשון והשני,  לכן זה נראה לי מתאים.

I decided to visit the Temple Mount on Sunday (3 ’Av 5772 AM, 22 July 2012 CE).  Given that the Nine Days commemorate the destruction of the First and Second Temples, it seemed appropriate.

היה כדאי לי להביא כרטיס הרשמי של בלוגר (הדפסתי חבילה של עשר) וגם תדפיס של הבלוג האחרון שלי על ביקור בהר הבית.  (יש תוצאות מסרב לי רשות כניסה, והודעתי אותן למשטרה.  בנימוס, כמובן, אבל הודעתי ​​להם.)  היה גם כדאי (בכנות) לעמוד על כך אני חושב על לעשות ספר צילומים אודות כל העיר העתיקה (כולל הר הבית) ורציתי לצלם את האדריכלות.  כמובן, הרעיון שלי של מה נחשב אדריכלות הוא כנראה קצת שונה מזו של המשטרה והוואקף—צילמתי פסולת בניין, חומרי בניין, גרפיטי, ועובדים, וגם כמה בניינים—אבל נכנסתי.  ברור שאני הפר איסור הבלתי חוקית של התפילה היהודית.  השוטר ופקיד הוואקף המלווים אותי ואת שני יהודים דתיים אחרים ברחבי הר הבית גם נתנו לי מרחב פעולה מספיק (אולי בשל איומים אמיתיים מאוד שלי) שנראה לי שאם רציתי עזבתי אותם.  אחד המבקרים האחרים ואני דיברנו על אדריכלות, מציינים איפה היו חלקים שונים של בית המקדש ומרגיזים פקיד הוואקף בהעובדה שזה לא כשלעצמו מהווה תפילה ולכן לא היה לו סיבה להתנגד.  הערה מוארת: נראה כאילו המוסלמים החלו לקרצף חלק גרפיטי.  מצד שני, הקבוצה שלי התקרב לבמה המרכזית ממה שהלכתי קודם לכן, ועוד יותר פנימה נראה שיש גרפיטי הרבה פחות. היה גם עדיין הרבה כתובות גרפיטי ברחבי בקצוות.

It really pays to bring an official blogger’s card (I made a batch of them) and a printout of one’s last blog post on visiting the Temple Mount.  (There are consequences to them refusing me, and I let them know it.  Politely, of course, but I let them know it.)  Not to mention sticking strictly to the (true) story that I am thinking about making a photo book about the entire Old City (including the Temple Mount) and want to photograph the architecture really pays.  Of course, my idea of what constitutes architecture is probably a bit different than that of the police and the Waqf—I photographed rubble, construction materials, graffiti, and workers as well as some buildings—but it got me in.  It should go without saying that I blatantly disregarded the illegal prohibition on Jewish prayer.  The police officer and Waqf official accompanying me and two other observant Jews around the Mount also gave me enough leeway (possibly due to my very real threats) that I could have probably wandered off.  And one of the other visitors and I did discuss architecture, noting where various parts of the Temple were and annoying the Waqf official with the fact that this did not in and of itself constitute prayer and thus was no cause for him to object.  Bright note:  it looks like the Muslims have started scrubbing off some of the graffiti.  On the other hand, my group went closer to the central platform than I had gone before, and further in, there seems to be a lot less graffiti.  There was also still plenty of graffiti around on the edges.

עמודות לפני הכיבוש המוסלמי.
Columns from before the Muslim conquest.

זה ברמדאן, ומאז מוסלמים שומרי מצוות הצום בחודש הרמדאן, הם שמו למעלה יריעות לספק צל כדי שלא ימותו מהתייבשות. זה מאפשר להם להמשיך חבלה ארכיאולוגית בזמן צום.
This is during Ramaḍān, and since observant Muslims fast during Ramaḍān, they put up tarps to provide shade so they do not die of dehydration.  This makes it possible for them to continue archaeological sabotage while fasting.

כפי שצויין בהודעות קודמות, עדיין יש הרבה הריסות במקומות רבים בהר הבית בתוצאת החבלה הארכיאולוגית.  פקיד הוואקף לא יכול לתת כל הסבר אמיתי מדוע עוד לא ניקו את זה. (לשם השוואה, אחד תימצא שום הריסות זרוקה ליד הכותל המערבי.)
As noted in previous posts, there is still plenty of rubble in many places on the Temple Mount due to the archaeological sabotage.    The Waqf official could not give any real explanation why they not cleaned it up yet.  (For comparison, one will find absolutely no rubble lying around at the Western Wall.)

חומרי בניין.
Building materials.

נראה כי הם באמת עושים עבודה בתוך מבנה כיפת הסלע.
It appears that they really are doing work on inside the Dome of the Rock.

על הקצוות, אין הריסות בלבד, אלא שפע של צמחים גדלים בין האבנים.
Out on the edges, there is not only rubble, but plenty of plants growing between the stones.

ספונסרים גאים של חבלה ארכיאולוגית.
Proud sponsors of archaeological sabotage.

עובד על הגג. הוא לא היה שמח להצטלם, אבל אף אחד לא עצר אותי ואחד מהמבקרים היהודים הדתיים האחרים מצלם אותו.
A worker on a roof.  He was not happy being photographed, but no one stopped me and one of the other observant Jewish visitors from photographing him.

מכונת ניקוי.
A cleaning machine.

יש עדיין הרבה כתובות גרפיטי בערבית. המוסלמים עדיין נראה הרבה יותר לכתוב על המקומות הקדושים מיהודים.  (נראה לי שאולי טוב לי לחפש גרפיטי גם בכנסיית הקבר ובמסגדים…)
There is still plenty of Arabic graffiti.  Muslims still seem to write much more on holy places than Jews.  (Come to think about it, arguably I ought to also look for graffiti at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and at mosques...)

זה היה בשער של הר הבית שבו יצאתי. מישהו לא יודע בבירור שיש חדל להיות גבול בתוך ירושלים בשנת 1967.
This was at the gate of the Temple Mount where I exited.  Someone clearly does not know that there ceased being a border inside Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) in 1967.



ניסיון ביקור:  6.

Attempted visit:  6.

ביקור מוצלח:  3.

Successful visit:  3.

מצב פיזי: הרס מתמשך של כל דבר שאינו מוסלמי, עם ההריסות שנוצרה.

Physical state:  Ongoing destruction of anything non-Muslim, with resulting rubble.

התנהגות המשטרה: משופרת, אבל עדיין בכניעה לעליונות האיסלאמית.

Police behavior:  Improved, but still kowtowing to Islamic supremacism.

התנהגות הוואקף: עדיין באשליה שהם מחזיקים במקום. פרנואיד עדיין על יהדות, גם על הדיון של האדריכלות הדתית היהודית היסטורית.

Waqf behavior:  Still under the delusion they own the place.  Still paranoid about Judaism, even the discussion of historical Jewish religious architecture.

עיין עוד:

See also:



Thursday, July 19, 2012


Jewish date:  29 Tammuz 5772 (Parashath Maṭṭoh-Mas‘e).

Today’s holidays:  The Three Weeks (Judaism), Thursday of the Fifteenth Week of Ordinary Time (Roman Catholicism), Feast Day of St. Dr. Doom/St. Thulsa Doom (Church of the SubGenius), Lucaria (ancient Roman religion), Feast Day of the Magi: Krishna (Thelema).


I know two posts in one day is very unusual for me, but I just read an article and started to complain about it on Facebook, and I realized my commentary was turning into a mini-article of its own.  So I just decided to post here instead and let it get automagically reposted to Facebook.

The article in question is “Christians Flood Knesset with ‘New Judaism’”, which deals with members of the Keneseth finding literature promoting the New Testament from the “Bible Society of Israel”, a Christian/Jewish-rite Christianity (“Messianic Jewish”) group, in their mailboxes.

This is a textbook lesson of how not to make converts.  As such, I am presenting rules for would-be missionaries to follow whenever trying to make converts.

WARNING:  There is no way to be gentle about this, so the rules are extremely blunt and are guaranteed (to the extent that one can reliably predict future) to offend missionaries.  Here we go:



Rule 1:  Never try to convert people who are hostile to you trying to convert them.  (E.g., knowledgable Jews are generally hostile to attempts by Christians to convert them.)  They are practically guaranteed to be offended and not listen.

Rule 2:  Never try to imply to people that you know their religion better than they do.  That may sometimes be true, but it is a very easy way to cause offense and ruin your chances for making converts.  If you are unlucky or foolish enough to deal with people who know their own religion better than you do, you will just end up looking like an idiot and make no converts.

Rule 3:  Do not ask people who may be offended and think you are an idiot to help you in your quest to make converts.  They most certainly will not, and the level of the offense automatically is increased.

Rule 4:  Do not act surprised when people get offended and think you are an idiot and try to apologize for causing offense.  No one with any sense will believe it, and since the offense was completely predictable, you end up looking even more like an idiot.

Rule 5:  Expect people who are offended by missionaries to act against you.  Some intelligent, knowledgeable people will enjoy rhetorically cutting your arguments to pieces.  If you are really unlucky, the offended party may become physically violent.

Rule 6:  Never do anything that will offend people in power and make you look like an idiot in their eyes.  They may decide to make your life harder or shut you down completely.


Now, as for what your humble blogger thinks of these people, what I have written on the New Testament ought to be quite enough.



Protest against the police kowtowing to Islamic supremacism

Jewish date:  29 Tammuz 5772 (Parashath Maṭṭoh-Mas‘e).

Today’s holidays:  The Three Weeks (Judaism), Thursday of the Fifteenth Week of Ordinary Time (Roman Catholicism), Feast Day of St. Dr. Doom/St. Thulsa Doom (Church of the SubGenius), Lucaria (ancient Roman religion), Feast Day of the Magi: Krishna (Thelema).


If I can take a break from my series on Neopaganism—I still have a lot of work to do on my discussion of Gerald Gardner—I would like to talk about a protest I went to yesterday in Yerushalayim near the Prime Minister’s residence.  As regular readers of this blog or my Facebook friends should know, there is a lot of fighting going on over the police being blatantly discriminatory against openly observant Jews and allowing the Waqf (an Islamic trust) to do pretty much anything they want on the Temple Mount, including rampant destruction of any and all Jewish artifacts they can find up there and, most recently, putting scaffolding directly on the Foundation Stone, the place where the Ark of the Covenant rested, while they do repairs on the Dome of the Rock.  It should go without saying this is a gross violation of freedom of religion and Israeli law.  Please see the relevant article “A-G: Israeli law is applicable on Temple Mount” and the article in which the Palestinian Authority gives its response, nothing less than the equivalent of a temper tantrum, “PA Slams A-G for Saying Israeli Law Applies on Temple Mount”.  Also please see “Second Temple-era mikveh discovered under Al-Aqsa mosque”, which goes into the Waqf’s attempts to erase Jewish history from the Temple Mount.

Further relevant articles dug up while writing this post:  “Police Admit Permitting Arab Construction at Temple’s Foundation Stone for Six Years”, “Why the Temple Mount Should Matter - to Everyone”, “'Stop Wakf from destroying Foundation Stone'”, “Is Israel losing Temple Mount war?”, “Chabad Temple Course 'Scares' Muslim Groups”, “Anti-Semitism on the Temple Mount”, “'Israel has no right to interfere on Temple Mount'”, “A Found(dation) Stone Lost”, “Arab Rage: Putin Notes Jerusalem's Jewish Past”.

Back to the protest.  This is the flyer announcing the protest:

Being protested are the banning of Rav Yisra’el ’Ari’el of the Temple Institute and 18 others from the Temple Mount for the horrendous “crime” of opening praying there and the aforementioned desecration of the Foundation Stone.  (See “Likud MK denounces Temple Mount ‘infringement’” and “Astonishing Footage Of Jerusalem Day Prayer, Song And Blessings On The Temple Mount!”.)

This flyer reproduces a letter from Binyamin Nethanyahu to Yehudhah ‘Eṣyon of the Ḥay weQayyam Movement in which he affirms his support for freedom of worship of all on the Temple Mount, regardless of religion.  This is from 1995, 17 years ago.  Some of us expect him to actually keep his word.

Both of these flyers complain of discrimination on the Temple Mount.  The one on the left complains that wearing a kūfiyyah is OK, but a ṭallith is not.  The one on the right complains, “Enough, enough of discrimination, we have a right of prayer.”

This one announces a planned ascent to the Temple Mount this Sunday (July 22, 2012) for the merit of Rav ’Ari’el and those forbidden to visit the Temple Mount.  Not listed is this is planned for 7:45 AM.  I hope to be there, though I probably will not get there in time.

The flyer on the left says, “Enough of coercion, enough of discrimination.  Enough of trampling right of prayer.”  The one on the right has already been discussed.

This flyer complains that bringing a Qur’ān is considered OK, but a copy of Psalms is not.

Anyone who can visit the Temple Mount on Sunday—or any other day—please do so.  The police need the message that we will not bow to intimidation and will demand our rights.  Do not be quick to accept “no” for an answer, and please hang around as long as possible if you do get “no” for an answer.  You are not obligated to make the lives of those who enforce discrimination easy.  Feel free to write up your experiences visiting or trying to visit the Temple Mount; I will be happy to publish them—and you may tell that to the police.

Also, please sign this petition:  “Petition Stop the Desecration of the Temple Mount”.

Thank you.