Friday, August 31, 2012

Where to find "Migdal Oz" by Rabbi Yaakov Emden

Bookstore in Rabbi Akivah Street / Bnei Brak

Photos: Miriam Woelke


I am a bit behind with all my blogging, as I have been busy preparing a couple of longer articles. Yesterday I had to go to appointment in Ramat Gan (next to Tel Aviv) and, as Ramat Gan is very close to haredi Bnei Brak, I walked all the way over to Rabbi Akivah Street and did my Bnei Brak trip. A brief one, as I only wanted to find a specific book, I haven't got hold of in Mea Shearim / Ge'ulah yet.

In Bnei Brak, I walked into two haredi hardcore bookstores but I was told that they don't have the book available. The good thing is that I already have the book on PDF File but in bad print. So, I thought that when I buy it, I am going to have an easier reading. However, I still haven't succeeded in finding "MIGDAL OZ" by Rabbi Yaakov Emden. Meaning, I either go to the library and order it, try another Mea Shearim bookstore or just be happy with my PDF File. Maybe one of you has an idea where I can purchase the book. Nor necessarily online but either in Jerusalem or Bnei Brak. 

As I cannot leave a bookstore without buying anything, I was happy to find chassidic teachings on Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur as well as SEFER TIFERET ISRAEL by the Maharal. Those books are a great help for the blog articles I am preparing.

Have a great Schabbes everyone. Now I need to clean and cook for Shabbat.:-) The usual Friday routine and I wish it was done already.:-)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Two Teachings from the CHAFETZ CHAIM

The CHAFETZ CHAIM, Rabbi Israel Me'ir HaCohen Kagan (1838 - 1933). 


I really love those teachings from the CHAFETZ CHAIM. His most famous writings are the MISHNA BERURA and, of course, SHEMIRAT HA'LASHON. When you read the latter, you always feel depressed after a few pages. How can anyone fulfill all those requirements in order not to express any kind of Lashon HaRah ? As a matter of fact, I never finished reading the book, as I got too upset. Instead I keep on learning Lashon HaRah while sitting at a women's table in Mea Shearim and listening to all the backyard gossip.:-)

Anyway, here are two great teachings from the Chafetz Chaim:

1) There was once a shopkeeper who, all his life, has never found the time to study Torah. He had been too busy with his shop all the time but now he needed a change. While the store was still full of customers who wanted to be served, the shopkeeper sat down to study. His wife had to serve all the customers and when she got fed up, she came over to complain:

"Don't you see that we have customers ? Just work and you can study Torah later on in the evening !"

The shopkeeper responded:
"What would you do when the Angel of Death was walking through the door ? Would you also tell him to hang on until you finish serving all the customers ?

After saying this, the shopkeeper continued studying.

Many times in life we work and act as if all our daily matters are the most important things on earth but, at the same time, we forget the true importance of life.

2) G – d invests much more time caring about the Rich. He provides them with money, property, expensive food and clothes. In other words, G - d looks after them much more than after the Poor. However, the Rich hardly give Him anything in return. When someone has a great life and nothing is really missing, he doesn't think too much about G - d. A poor person, on the other hand, is thanking G - d for any tiny gift he receives.

What G - d does is testing all of us. The Poor as well as the Rich. He provides so much money for the rich in order to see what they are going to do with their money. Are they remaining good and honest people or are they becoming vulnerable to corruption and crime. The poor person is getting tested as well and also he has to show how he is going to lead his life.

Nature in Jerusalem

In Jaffa Road

Kikar Safra (Safra Square) in front of the Municipality

Photos: Miriam Woelke

Picture of the Day

Seen in front of a store in Jerusalem

Photo: Miriam Woelke

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Shiva in Shomrei Emunim


With the Shomrei Emunim Rebbe, Rabbi Avraham Chaim Roth, died one more member of the old true Yerushalmim. 

Here are pictures from the Shiva:

Please see all photos HERE !

Daily Routine at the Kotel (Western Wall) Plaza

I made this video a week ago, giving your a brief idea of the daily routine at the Kotel in Jerusalem.

Getting ready for Rosh Hashana

Are you prepared for Rosh Hashana ? Buying honey is one of my weekly duties. I drink lots of coffee and tea but a tea without honey is not a real tea.:-)

No kidding. If you are in Israel, buy your Rosh Hashana honey two weeks before the Chag, as prices are going up.

New shoes for the ladies in Bnei Brak

I still don't know whether I prefer a fish head or a head from a sheep. Probably neither one ...

Photos: Miriam Woelke

Welcome to the Israeli Unemployment Office

How I love this mentality ! By the way, you can experience the same at many supermarket when the cashier is suddenly taking off going to have a break.:-)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Austria: A Gentile running a hotel for Haredim


You could call it a START UP idea: The Austrian non - Jew Stefan Sommerbichler had the idea of launching a hotel for the Jewish Orthodox World only. During the summer months, his hotel is mainly occupied by famous Rabbis such as the Toldot Aharon Rebbe or Rabbi Wosner from Bnei Brak. Before his passing, also the Nadvorna Rebbe (Bnei Brak) used to be a regular guest at Sommerbichler's hotel. However, the hotel also receives non - Jews but does kasher the kitchen before various famous Rebbes arrive for their summer vacation.

The hotel itself is located in Saalbach - Hinterglemm / Austria. It is a family business and after all those years of dealing with Jewish guests, Stefan Sommerbichler himself has learned a lot about Judaism. Moreover, he visited the Toldot Aharon in Mea Shearim where he was invited to their Tish. Furthermore, he claims having some great conversation with the Posek Rabbi Wosner. Sommerbichler was asked many times whether he wants to convert to Judaism but it doesn't seem as if he would be too interested taking this particular final step. 

Last week, the haredi magazine MISHPACHA (English edition) published a long article on Stefan Sommerbichler and his hotel. Here is a shorter version of the article. Short because they, of course, want you to buy the magazine, as I did.:-)

Copyright: Mishpacha

Photos: Miriam Woelke

Treifeh Cheese at the Machane Yehudah Market / Jerusalem


Kashrut Supervisor BADATZ BELZ, Harav Yitzchak Ziegelman, at the Machane Yehudah Market.

Photo: Miriam Woelke


"Jerusalem Kosher News" confirms that the popular cheese store BASHER at the Machane Yehudah Market has no Hechsher whatsoever. I have to admit though that their cheeses look tempting. Just great and so tasty. Once I walked in 
to the store and asked an employee whether the cheeses are kosher. To tell you the truth, every Jew understanding something about Kashrut knows that the store is definitely not kosher. There are simply too many cheeses from abroad and there is no way that they could be kosher.

The employee, however, told me that some cheeses are kosher, others are not. I walked out and overcame my Yetzer HaRah for a delicious piece of cheese. Nevertheless, when I pass, I hardly ever see any religious Jew inside but the store does make money though. They just renovated but the staff doesn't look too Jewish to me.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Jerusalem, Jaffa Road

Photo: Miriam Woelke

Dream and Reality before Rosh Hashana


The month of ELUL has started and all of us should be involved in Teshuva. Prayer, Tehillim or, at least, a bit of Cheshbon Nefesh. However, the truth is that, despite all our great intentions and good will, we are still pushing everything aside by thinking: "Well, we've still got time and the Ashkenazi Selichot haven't even begun !" 

I found a great picture in a haredi forum reminding us of reality. 

The first picture on the right: "How my mother thinks we should spend the time before the high holidays". - Cleaning.

The second second picture (top left): "How my Rabbi thinks I should spend the time before the high holidays". - Studying Torah.

Bottom row, right photo: "How I think spending the time before the Chagim". - Traveling.

Bottom row, left photo: "Here is how I really spend my time before the upcoming Chagim". - Asleep. Well, not always but many times this is true. 

Where do you fit in ?

ISRAEL: Are we forced to launch a start - up ?

Seen in Tel Aviv

Photo: Miriam Woelke

Everyone is talking about the possibility of Israel attacking the Iranian nuclear facilities but Israelis should concentrate on a different problem we are going to face with the beginning of September. Prices are going up due to the raise in VAT (from 16 - 17%). When you are going to buy some groceries these days, look at the price for a kilo tomatoes and you will faint. Israeli economy sites are predicting a drastic price increase for fruit and tomatoes after Rosh Hashana. 

I don't want to sound too pessimistic but there is more bad news coming up: Thousands of Israelis lost their jobs in the months of June and July. The terrible news is: More and more companies are going to lay off staff. Not only the prices for groceries are going up but also the unemployment rate. No matter whether people work in hightech or if they are academics. 

My advice may sound a bit off but in case you are a new immigrant, look into the possibility whether you can launch your own start - up or small business. It doesn't matter in what field but if you have a great idea you could sell, look into it and try taking some action. Especially when you are older than 50 years. Israel is a start - up nation but it doesn't always have to be computer programmes or finance. There are plenty of people setting up a small business selling homemade chocolate or self - created children's books. 

No one should only rely on the company he works for but start doing something on his own. This is the sad reality we live in but, on the other hand, it does give us a chance creating something on our own.

From Ussishkin to Wolffson

One of the narrow alleyways of Nachlaot / Jerusalem. In the background you can see one of some ugly high buildings of the Kiryat Wolffson neighbourhood. Those Americans and Israelis living in the Wolffson Towers have money.

Photo: Miriam Woelke

Selichot at "Nehar Shalom"

Selichot at the NEHAR SHALOM Synagogue in Nachlaot / Jerusalem.

NEHAR SHALOM is a Yemenite Kabbalistic Synagogue and Yeshiva founded by Rabbi Mordechai Sharabi z"l.

Photos: Miriam Woelke

The RADAK's Response to Christianity


The RADAK, Rabbi David Kimchi (1160 - 1235), is mainly know for his commentary on the Nevi'im (Prophets). However, I found an interesting article on the Net where you can read the RADAK's response to Christianity and how Christians misinterpret the Tanach.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

HA’MASHGICHIM - המשגיחים



There are many great Israeli movies and a new one just came out: "HA’MASHGICHIM –  SUPERVISORS or according to the original English title: "G - d's neighbours". An Israeli movie showing one part of society you usually never come across abroad or even as an English speaking Oleh. 

Avi (Avraham), Kobi (Yaakov) and Yaniv are best friends and on their way of doing some Teshuva. They like Rabbi Nachman miBreslov but their Rabbi actually seems to be a Chabadnik. Never mind, the movie concentrates in a brilliant manner on the friendship of the three and their neighbourhood in the town of Bat Yam (south of Tel Aviv). 

One's own SHECHUNAH (Neighbourhood) is extremely important to Israelis, as Israeli hoods represent various mentalities, lifestyles and especially the inhabitants themselves. Furthermore, Bat Yam is a town with lots of Ba'alei Teshuva movements (Breslov and Chabad) as well as many religious Sephardi Jews. 

Avi and his friends are not reigning over their neighbourhood but like to put everything into order. A bunch of drunk Russians playing loud music on Shabbat are getting beaten up. The neighbours watching are glad that the Russians are gone. The young woman Miri likes to walk around in immodest clothes and is facing the criticism of the three friends. Avi is falling in love with her and Miri is actually not that kind of secular girl we first thought. More traditional, as many Sephardi Jews are. Avi and Miri are in love whereas his friends start a violent confrontation with a few Arabs.  The people involved are either getting injured or arrested. 

A great movie showing ordinary Israelis who just live their daily lives. It is impossible to translate the movie into any other language but maybe provide it with subtitles.

"Ha’Mashgichim" has become extremely popular these days and when I went to watch the movie a few days ago, everything was so real that I felt myself walking through the neighbourhood in Bat Yam.

The Trailer

The making of the movie

Israeli Car Driver against Palestinian Carjacker

 Israeli driver schools Arab Muslim Carjacker. Meet the Israeli George Zimmerman. When an Arab Muslim grabs a crowbar to smash into his car, he gets out his gun.

Giraffes are KOSHER but are we allowed to eat them ?


In Sefer Devarim (Deuteronomy), G - d gives us a list with all kinds of kosher animals including the conditions on how to determine a kosher animal. A week ago, we read Parashat RE’EH and it is there where we find the exact list: Sefer Devarim 14:5 lists a kosher animal called ZAMER which Rabbi Sa'adia Gaon as well as the RADAK identify as a GIRAFFE. So, a giraffe is a kosher animal but, the question is, whether we are allowed to eat it's meat. 

Giraffes are considered kosher because they have split hooves and chew their cud. As we all know, a pig, for instance, cannot be kosher, as it only has split hooves but does not chew its cud. In order to be regarded as a kosher animal, both conditions have to be fulfilled and not only one of them. 

There is an opinion that we still cannot eat the meat of a giraffe because a Shochet wouldn't know where exactly to schaecht the animal due to its long neck. This, however, seems to be a false rumour because the neck may be cut anywhere. 

The reason why Jews still do not eat the meat of a giraffe is a lack of tradition. It is simply not part of Jewish tradition to go into a store and buy some giraffe meat or does anyone of you know a Jew having put giraffe meat onto a grill ? 

Those of you who would like to have a deeper look into the subject should go to the  Site of Dr. Ari Zivotofsky. It actually is very interesting to learn more about the animals mentioned in the Torah and the Talmud. A topic we usually treat as a minor issue.


- Sefer Devarim, 14:5 

- Natan Slifkin: "Sacred Monsters", page 76

Friday, August 24, 2012

Shabbat Shalom

At the Kotel (Western Wall) Plaza in Jerusalem

Photo: Miriam Woelke

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Yahrzeit of the Satmarer Rebbe Yoel Teitelbaum


Just a few days ago, Chassidut Satmar commemorated the Yahrzeit of its famous Rebbe and founder, Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum. There are plenty of Yahrzeits passing by and someone just reminded me that, the day before yesterday, the Yahrzeit of Rabbi Kook took place. Believe me that I am aware of all those Yahrzeits, as a special app on my Smartphone is reminding me every day. I wish I would have the time writing about all the Yahrzeits, however, I am only one person running this blog and going into everything is impossible.

Nevertheless, I found a video of the Satmarer Rebbe's Yahrzeit taken in Kiryat Yoel.

The Shomrei Emunim Rebbe passed away


He has been sick for quite a while but when I heard the sad news today, I was shocked. The Rebbe of Chassidut Shomrei Emunim, Rabbi Avraham Chaim Roth, passed away last night. He had been hospitalized at the Shiba Hospital near Tel Aviv. First, the Rebbe's body was put in front of the Aron HaKoidesh at his Beit Midrash in Bnei Brak until the dead body was transferred to Jerusalem and laid to rest on the Mount of Olives. 

Rebbe Avraham Chaim Roth was a son of the original Toldot Aharon founder, Rabbi Aharon Roth (Ratha) who died in the 1940ies. Coming from Hungary, Rabbi Aharon Roth, had built the Toldot Aharon Chatzer from scratch. After his passing, his son Rabbi Avraham Chaim expected to be announced as the new leader but he was wrong. Instead, the majority of the Chassidim chose Rebbe Arele's son - in ' law, Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kahn, as the new Rebbe. The result was that Rabbi Avraham Chaim left the Toldot Aharon and founded his own group called "Shomrei Emunim - Guardians of Faith" with the "headquarter" in Bnei Brak. 

I have been quite a few times to the Shomrei Emunim Tish in Mea Shearim. An extremely popular Tish and when the Rebbe started, it was always late. He hardly ever started the Tish before midnight and I heard that he also finished late. A few times, I visited his main Synagogue in Bnei Brak too. The building there is bigger that his tiny Beit Midrash in Mea Shearim where the Ezrat Nashim (women's side) was always packed and most women climbed up the Mechitzah in order to see the Rebbe.

As far as I heard, Rebbe Avraham Chaim Roth was open - minded and had been in touch with the Baba Sali. He accepted Ba'alei Teshuva as new group members and didn't get involved with all the Mea Shearim disputes.

It says that he left a will which will be opened during the Shiva. There is a speculation going around that his three sons will lead the group in the future but we have to wait until the official announcement. 

See more pictures HERE !

Rabbi Avraham Chaim Roth z"l at the Yahrzeit of his father in the month of Nissan this year. The video was taken at the Shomrei Beit Midrash in Mea Shearim.


The Toldot Aharon Rebbe spent Rosh Chodesh Elul in Dinov / Southern Poland

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The ETZ CHAIM YESHIVA in Jerusalem

Jerusalem's ETZ CHAIM YESHIVA located right next to the Machane Yehudah Market has a long history. I only took a few pics from the backside of the empty building but have to admit that I just love being there. Local papers claim that the place around the Yeshiva has become a slum where drug addicts gather at night. This is a pity when you consider the great history of the Yeshiva. 

The Yeshiva doesn't exist anymore and I don't even know who the owner of the building is and what his plans are.

Photos: Miriam Woelke

Mermaids and other half - human Beings


Don't we love those movies where a  kind of monster is shown ? Half human and half animal such as a mermaid or the beast in "The Beauty and the Beast". The X - Files as well as other similar TV series have been extremely successful showing us the unbelievable. The hidden side of our existence. I am not too familiar with psychology but there must be a reason why we humans are attracted to "half - humans" (half animal, half human). The question is whether these creatures do really exist and if it is possible that an animal and a human begot a baby.

Even the Talmud Bechorot 8 is dealing with half humans. In this case with dolphins. The mammals have sex the same way as humans. They are intelligent and called "the men of the sea" but are they really like us ?

Rashi does believe in the existence of mermaids although not due to a relationship between a human and a dolphin. Other Rabbis totally disagree with the Rashi opinion and say that there aren't any half humans around. This would be completely impossible after the Flood of Noach. However, Rashi's opinion doesn't surprise, as quite a few medieval Rabbis thought that mysterious creatures exist and that Talmudic and Midrashic stories referring to them are actually true.

The generation of Noach used to have sex with animals, as the Talmud Tractate Sanhedrin is teaching us. Due to a different human DNA in the days of Noach, men were able to procreate from animals. Thus, the entire G - dly creation got messed up, as there were strange creatures running around. A cow half human, half man, for instance. Even the different animal species had sex with each other and procreated. A chicken with a dog and just imagine what came out of that. If we had a time machine and went back into the days of Noach, we would definitely faint. The pure Rocky Horror Picture Show and Hollywood would be so jealous !

After the Flood, G - d changed the human DNA and therefore, it became impossible procreating with an animal. It simply doesn't exist anymore although some horror movies will tell you the opposite. We don't get that old anymore, as the people before the Flood. We are vulnerable too illnesses (the people in Noach's generation were not sick) and we don't have such a long life - span anymore. In other words, we are completely different from Noach's Generation.


New Photos from Jerusalem


At the Machane Yehudah Market

View onto the King David Hotel

 View to the Old City

The holes at Zion's Gate (Sha'ar Zion) are bullet holes from the Six - Day - War in June 1967. 

Copyright / Photos: Miriam Woelke

New Age "Kabbalists"


It seems as if everyone is calling himself a KABBALIST these days. Everyone learning a few pages or concepts from the ZOHAR or the history of Kabbalah suddenly becomes a Kabbalist. No doubt that this kind of "Profession" attracts plenty of people and can gain you lots of profits. As soon as you are a Kabbalist, giving lectures or presenting some books, cash is floating in. There are millions of people out there interested in Kabbalah and Yehuda Berg already showed you how to improve your standard of living. So, be a Kabbalist even if you have no clue about the meaning of Kabbalah. Cheat people, as those who call themselves Kabbalists are cheaters. 

Any learned and well – respected Rabbi would never call himself by that name although they mostly do have some knowledge in Kabbalah. I find it an amazing how the self – appointed Kabbalists can get away with their claim but today, people want quick answers provided by the Kabbalah. If you mumble "Abracadabra", many people already consider you a Kabbalist.

Picture of the Day

Seen in Jerusalem

Photo: Miriam Woelke

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

VIDEO: At the Kotel (Western Wall) 20 August 2012


One of the videos I made at the Kotel in Jerusalem last night:

Book Recommendation


Some readers may not like this particular book recommendation; I, on the other hand, have nothing against him and do enjoy reading his books. Natan Slifkin was facing a tremendous controversy after publishing his books on animals and creation.You can go to his website ZOOTORAH and learn all about it and him.

Here are two of his books I recommend reading. Especially SACRED MONSTERS where Natan Slifkin refers to unicorns, mermaids, sea monsters, the Shamir, dragons or werewolves. Its an interesting reading and for those of you who, for one reason or another, won't get his books: I am going to refer to some of his content in my blog articles. 

What Natan Slifkin did in his books is providing the reader with all kinds of sources. He definitely did his homework.

Photos: Miriam Woelke

Rabbi Jeremy Gimpel & the Christians


These days, Jeremy Gimpel seems to be very busy promoting his new party running for the Knesset. Especially among the Anglo - Saxon communities all over Israel. For quite a few years, Jews doing research on fundamentalist Christian missionary groups have been telling me about Gimpel and his Christian involvement. The Rabbi seems to like the Christians too much. Either them, their money and support or everything together. 

If you ask me, keep away from Gimpel and his new party. It is simply a disgrace how Rabbis, Shlomo Riskin included, leave Orhtodox traditions in order to get involved with Christian missionary groups.

My question:

How is Gimple financing his new party and where does the money come from ?

Latest Israeli report on LEV TAHOR & ""Shlomo Helbrans, Part 2


The truth is that I was quite disappointed after reading the second part of the series on LEV TAHOR and its "Rabbi" Shlomo Helbrans. About ten days ago, I wrote about the Israeli daily ISRAEL HAYOM publishing various facts on the self - appointed chassidic group LEV TAHOR.

However, in its second part, ISRAEL HAYOM quoted a few former group members having left Lev Tahor. A brother and his sister now living as secular Jews in Israel. The brother is a soldier in the Israeli army and both siblings escaped from Canada after brainwashing and punishments carried out by Shlomo Helbrans. The girl was supposed to get married at the age of 14 and she preferred to escape after her brother had done so before.

Furthermore, ISRAEL HAYOM quoted a married couple having escaped from Lev Tahor and now living in Europe. They still lead a haredi lifestyle and the woman even dresses like the Taliban ladies. Both of them were Baalei Teshuva but couldn't cope with "Rabbi" Helbrans. 

LEV TAHOR sent a two - page message to ISRAEL HAYOM which the paper published. Lev Tahor says that anyone is free to join the group but also to leave the group if he feels unable to follow the strict Takanot. There are no people being punished and no force is being used towards the group members. The group does not go against any Canadian law and it is the Zionists spreading all kinds of rumours. 

The Israeli police stated that they do not get involved when parents complain about their children being stuck and abused at Lev Tahor in Canada. The police says that those parents must file complaints at the Canadian police and not in Israel.

Personally, I am just having one more question:

"Who is actually financing LEV TAHOR" or in other words "Where do they get their money from ?" A topic ISRAEL HAYOM didn't even investigate.

Changing location after making a Bracha


Photo: Miriam Woelke

An interesting issue showing us that we Jews never stop learning. I don’t know about you but I have never thought about a cup of coffee, it’s Bracha (blessing) and me changing the location. However, I know about the topic from saying the Birkat HaMazon. When Benching, one should sit on this particular chair where he first said HaMotzi. 

There is a great site telling you all kinds of Halachot and the particular blessing issues. Lets say you are drinking a cup of coffee in your office and take your cup to a different location after making the Bracha at your office. Is the Bracha then still valid ? Generally speaking NO because a new location requires a new Bracha unless you may finish your cup of coffee in your car. There are exceptions you can look up HERE !

Monday, August 20, 2012

Maariv, Maariv

Tonight at the Kotel in Jerusalem

Photo & Copyright: Miriam Woelke

Africans in the US and Israel


Although many American Jews I have met in Israel told me that, for instance in New York, Jews and Muslims generally get along with each other, the fact that American anti - Semitism is on the rise cannot be denied. The above video refers more to Islam, Sharia Law and Christianity, however, I assume that also the Jews living in Minnesota are involved. 

In the streets of Tel Aviv, we don't usually see the thousands of illegal Africans praying from the Koran but what we do see is that they don't want to integrate into Israeli society. So far, the illegal Africans live in their own ghettos and follow their own rules and customs. What they want is another Africa in the middle of Tel Aviv.

Sometimes the same is happening regarding the self - appointed Indian "Bnei Menashe". Indians moving to Israel claiming that they are from the tribe of Menashe. A totally ridiculous claim, as only Meshiach is going to announce who is from which tribe. 

This way, Israel has turned into a shelter for Third World countries. The Africans crossing the border between Israel and Egypt on an illegal basis and the Indians arriving by plane proclaiming that they are Jewish. In the end, many of them stay together and follow their Indian customs; whatever those customs are.

BALABASTA Festival 2012: "How to draw a Picture"


It seems that most Haredim actually do keep away from the BALABASTA Fair taking place at the Machane Yehudah Market in Jerusalem this month. The Edah HaCharedit had placed a ban but my guess is that most Haredim keep away because there is nothing interesting to watch. 

The annual August BALABASTA is nice but you won't too much going on. However, it gives you a different perspective of Jerusalem's Machane Yehudah Market but I also must say that the sellers at the market show a real hostile behaviour towards visitors from Tel Aviv. I have never seen this before but I was actually yelled at by a few sellers while making the videos. They accused me of being from Tel Aviv and only coming to film but not to buy their fruit and vegetable. 

I am not from Tel Aviv anymore but moved back to Jerusalem three months ago. However, I have never experienced such behaviour at the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

VIDEO: "BALABASTA Culture Event at Jerusalem's Machane Yehudah Market"


Here is a little bit of the famous Machane Yehudah Market atmosphere. Today was also another day where the summer festival BALABASTA took place. 

Enjoy the short video ! I am going to put some more Balabasta videos into the blog. Nevertheless, the upload on Youtube is taking me a tremendously long time.

"Rabbi" Shlomo Riskin and the Christians


Before I start publishing new articles and going through all your comments, I would like to mention the latest JEWISH ISRAEL article on the wheeling and dealing of Efrat's Chief Rabbi Shlomo Riskin and his remarks towards Christianity.

Baruch Hashem, I have had never anything to do with Riskin and today I avoid his teachings, articles or any of his publications. My personal opinion is that Riskin is not into Christianity himself but loves the cash coming from Christian groups. In order to get the money in, he is prepared to do anything and Jewish Israel or any criticism from the Orthodox side won't teach him better. 

As I said many times before, in our days, money is more important than moral and ideology. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The new Palestinian terror: ARSON


Last week, an Israeli paper finally referred to the new kind of Palestinian terror against Israelis: Arson. 

During the Israeli summer months of May, June, July, August and September, you won't find any rain. Instead the weather is unbelievable hot and dry. Anyone throwing away a cigarette bud can cause a catastrophe. In fact there are radio and TV spots asking the public to watch out and avoid causing any fire in open spaces such as forests or fields. 

It has been going on for a while now that the Israeli fire department hardly finds any time to breathe. The guys are hurrying from one fire to the next and most of those fires were caused on purpose. By Palestinians. Almost all of those fires take place close to Jewish buildings. Last week there was another huge fire between Jerusalem's Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital and Moshav Even Sapir. The day before yesterday, there was another fire right in front of my windows. Nearby living Palestinians and kindled another fire in the woods and the fire department arrived with two vehicles. 

About a month ago, me and a friend were witnessing some Palestinian youths kindling a fire in the woods across the building where I live. The lit the fire and ran away. It is well known that most fires in Israel were caused by Palestinians. Just for fun in order to upset the Jews or even in order to kill. I am sure that people abroad have not clue about what is going on here, as your local media stations definitely won't report about Palestinian arson. 

The fire

The fire department

Photos: Miriam Woelke