Watch “Temple Mount: What’s the point in praying if you can’t bring your gun?” on YouTube

The endocannabinoid system: an explanation for cannabis enthusiasts

Here’s a treat for your brain.  Knowledge is power…learn up!

http://www.thecannabist.co/2017/05/02/endocannabinoid-system-cannabis/78767/

Jewish Students at UC Riverside Fear Spike in Antisemitism Will Follow Vote to Boycott Sabra Hummus

https://www.algemeiner.com/2017/02/02/jewish-students-at-uc-riverside-fear-spike-in-antisemitism-will-follow-vote-to-boycott-sabra-hummus/

They’re boycotting the most popular brand of hummus in the United States.

…at that bastion of higher education, University of California, Riverside.

Why on earth are they picking hummus?  Don’t they know that in the Middle East EVERYBODY eats hummus, Arabs and Jews and everybody else who eats?

Let me tell you a secret.  Anybody who knows about this, raise your hand!

A number of years ago, Lebanon tried to get an international patent on hummus.  I’m not kidding!

This caper had to go through some international court.

Meanwhile back in Israel, there is a little Arab town called Abu Ghosh.  It’s in an area where lots of Jewish and Arab communities coexist.  There are tensions that crop up when “something happens,” but in general everybody rides the same bus to go shopping in the Shuk in Jerusalem, and takes the same bus home.

Now, Abu Ghosh is famous for its delectable hummus.  I mean, it is out of this world delicious!  It’s the only hummus I eat when I’m in Israel (except for the home-made hummus at the eponymous restaurant, “Hummus.”)

So when Lebanon came up with their asinine scheme to patent hummus and prevent anyone else (read: Israelis) from making it, Abu Ghosh had a different idea: have a contest and invite various Middle East neighbors to participate, and may the best hummus win!

It was decided that each contestant would prepare a gigantic plate of their finest chickpea puree.  The judges would go around and taste, then the public, armed with pita, would devour what was left.

Abu Ghosh won.  The international court threw out the case.

And so, everyone in the Middle East still eats hummus.  Every day.  If you are under 25 and a student, or in the Army, you might eat hummus at every meal.

Gilad Shalit are nothing but hummus and pita for five years, when he was kidnapped by Hamas and kept in an underground tunnel.  He survived, but he looked very much the worse for wear when he was finally freed.

If Lebanon and Israel can agree to a hummus truce, what’s wrong with these students?  Don’t they learn history?

Apparently not.  Apparently they gobble up whatever nonsense they’re fed by the loudest and most militant factions, without checking facts or bothering to look at all the sides.  Because there aren’t just two sides in Israel/Palestine.

There are communities like Abu Ghosh that have integrated into Israeli society while keeping their own language, religion, and customs.

There are communities in Judea and Samaria (“the West Bank”) that have flourishing industries that provide thousands of jobs for Palestinians.  When Israeli employers are forced out of the West Bank, Palestinians suffer.  They lose their jobs.  Then they riot because they lost their jobs.  Way to go, boycotters!  You just did the opposite of what you said you wanted to achieve.

So if they want to boycott American made hummus, first they must think of the diverse American workforce that they would harm, just like the more than 600 Palestinians who lost their jobs after the Sodastream plant was forced to close and subsequently moved to the Negev Desert, where they now employ around 300 formerly unemployed Bedouins.

Hysteria is contagious.  Why not common sense?

Muslim-Zionist Activist: ‘Antisemitism Is the Norm in the Islamic Community, But the World Will Come to Realize Its Mistake About Israel | Jewish & Israel News Algemeiner.com

https://www.algemeiner.com/2016/11/10/muslim-zionist-activist-antisemitism-is-the-norm-in-the-islamic-community-but-the-world-will-come-to-realize-its-mistake-about-israel/

This is an amazing article.  It lights a tiny spark of hope in my heart.

Papyrus Speaks Louder Than UNESCO | commentary

https://www.commentarymagazine.com/foreign-policy/middle-east/israel/papyrus-speaks-louder-than-unesco-jerusalem/

Surprise!  It’s Birthday Season (mine)!

It’s that time of year again…the solar calendar has rolled around to September 28, which is my birthday on the civil (solar) calendar.

But my Hebrew birthday falls out on the evening of October 19, and lasts until sundown on October 20.

That’s why I call it Birthday Season!  Almost a month of continuous birthday!!  Presents welcome, if they’re good ones…😄

So far, my mother has called to remind me that I have somehow failed in…everything, and my son sent me a text asking for a loan.  Sigh.

I used to love Birthday Season.  My Hebrew birthday falls in the middle of the joyous holiday of Sukkot, where we live outside in temporary dwellings, to remind ourselves of the tenuous nature of life.  Sukkot is a huge roving party.  The dwellings are called, well, sukkot, which is the plural of sukkah, which is one of them.  One dwelling, I mean.  A sukkah can be so small as to admit only the head and upper half of the body of a man, or it can be huge.  But it can only go up the night after Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.  And it has to come down, or at least be ritually invalidated by removing one of the parts that make it a legal sukkah, after the eight day holiday is over.  It is, by definition, a temporary dwelling, just as our bodies are temporary dwelling places for our souls.

In Israel, pretty much everyone has a sukkah, even Christians, who call it the Feast of Tabernacles.  In fact, Christians the whole world over flock to Israel to take part in the Gathering of the Nations.  A huge sukkah colony inhabited by Christians goes up in one part of Jerusalem.  There’s a miles-long parade that goes right by my former house.  How wonderful to see people from every single corner of the globe coming out to celebrate and support the one and only Jewish State!

The Hebrew calendar is mostly lunar, but there is a caveat that Passover must fall in the Spring; so when it gets to the point where Passover is getting so early in the year that it’s in danger of being in the winter, we have a leap year.  Rather than add one day every four years like the civil calendar, we add a whole month every three to four years.  

All this is to say that Hebrew dates usually don’t match up with civil ones.  Therefore, Birthday Season could last as long as a whole month, or only a few days.

At home in Israel, my birthday parties were epic!  At first, I had my own sukkah, large enough to hold at least twelve people going and coming, plus food, drinks, and musical instruments (and my street cats).  I ended up lending my sukkah to friends who didn’t have one, so then my sukkah party was on the rooftop of their building, with a beautiful view of the Judean Hills, even the Dead Sea when the dust from Egypt wasn’t blowing.

Something very special about Hebrew birthdays: we are given a tiny bit of the gift of prophesy on that day.  We use this gift to give blessings to other people, even people we don’t know.  In fact, if someone knows it’s your birthday, they will come to you and request a blessing.

These are not the garden variety blessings that we give each other many times each day (we bless each other many times a day, in the Holy Land.  Complete strangers will come up to you and give you long, complex, and specific blessings, asking your special name, your parents’ names, your children, what you need, they bless you with that and more.)  Birthday blessings are different.  They come from a different place.  You meditate, the two of you enter trance state together, and you wait for the blessing to come.  When it does, you look into the soul of the blessee, and the blessing comes out of your soul through your mouth, the blessee listens intently, taking it in.  Often, the blessing is so deep, so powerful, that the blessee bursts into tears and, if the same gender as the blesser, a long, fervent hug.  We don’t have any physical contact whatsoever with members of the opposite gender who are not related.  But we still bless!

We who observe Birthday Season have adopted the custom of blessing others during the whole of Birthday Season.  Why not?  Maybe the full power of prophesy doesn’t kick in until the Hebrew birthday, but still, the solar calendar counts in its own way.

So to kick off Birthday Season, here’s my Solar Birthday Blessing for you:

May the Blessed Holy One grant you a year of peace, harmony, happiness, enough money for your needs, satisfying endeavors, good relationships, complete healing of body and spirit.  May you be enabled to understand the value of the ephemeral nature of life, and of all living things, and of this planet, the solar system, and the mystery of the ever-expanding universe.

Amen, selah, netzakh, va’ed.  (So may it be, forever and ever, from On High.)

Israel Hayom | A bizarre attack on Israel’s legitimacy

http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=16785

Article: Faisal Mohammad, California College Stabber, May Have ‘Self-Radicalized’, FBI Says

image

Faisal Mohammad, California College Stabber, May Have ‘Self-Radicalized’, FBI Says

http://flip.it/mzbq1

This is what my home country, Israel, faces every day….except the world headlines read differently.

If this had been one of the daily stabbing, car ramming, rock throwing, or other lethal attacks on Israeli citizens (or, recently, a Christian visiting student), the headlines would have read:

“Muslim student killed by white Christian police after alleged “stabbing attack.””

That’s the way Reuters, BBC, The New York Times, and others have reported the killing of terrorists who participate in the “knife intifada,” as they have named the ongoing wave of organized attacks.

It’s so easy to try to justify these attacks as “resistance to the Occupation.”

Really?

Western brokered peace deals have been repeatedly turned down by the Palestinian Authority (Mahmoud Abbas), largely because they did not include all of Jerusalem.  Is this a good reason to kill people’s families in front of their eyes?

Yes, but what about bombing Gaza?

That’s a whole different story, but nevertheless, retaliation does not equal resistance.

No doubt this one knife attack will prompt the adoption of metal detectors in schools or some such major reaction. 

And maybe next time an Arab (there are Israeli Arabs happily stabbing away this time) gets killed at the scene, Americans might think a bit differently.

Or maybe not.

Iran Launches Long-Range Missiles Emblazoned With Slogan: ‘Israel Should Be Wiped Off The Face Of The Earth’

http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/9078.htm

Please click on the link, read, and watch the video.  You don’t need to read Farsi or Arabic or Hebrew, since it’s translated, but I’m a fan of original language since things do get left out in translation.

Many of the larger Grad (Russian) and other Iranian built missiles that have been launched out of Gaza since 2008 have had “love letters” from Iran stamped all over them.  Literally, stamped, so you can read them on the bodies of the exploded missiles.

In fact, more than one container ship has been stopped in the Suez Canal, full of Iranian “home missile kits” which, when fully assembled, make nice big missiles with warheads full of ball bearings, to do the most damage to whoever gets in the way.  Fortunately, there aren’t many habitable areas in Israel, so most of the missiles land in inhabited areas, or on the poor Bedouins who are really the ones who got screwed when they were forced out of their nomadic life in North Africa.  Like so many others, they took refuge in Israel, but since Israel is the size of Delaware, there’s not much space for them to wander.  So they get hit with missiles meant for Jews.

The concept of getting rid of Jews is not new to the world.  What is disturbing to the Jewish soul is that the Muslim world seems not to care that if they blow up Israel, millions of their Muslim brethren will also perish.  Is that the way to solve the bickering over who “owns” the land between the Jordan and the Mediterranean?  Wipe it out?  Clean the slate?  Ridiculous, doesn’t it sound that way?  Could never happen?

Well, history shows otherwise.  Even modern history, going on right now.  The wars in the Middle East have been raging on for decades, and I am not talking about Israel/Palestine/Jordan/Lebanon/Egypt.  I am talking much, much bigger players and bigger numbers: Iran/Iraq/Afghanistan/Syria, of which Serbia/Kosovo is an extension.

The reality on the ground in terms of weapons supply chain is:

Russia>>Iran>>Syria>>Hezballah, Iran>>Hamas/Fatah.

Now there is the new factor of the “Islamic State,” which is turning the ideals of Shari’a law on its head by doing things that are theoretically permitted but never done, at least not since the 7th century, specifically, capturing, using, and selling sex slaves from “enemy/infidel tribes,” specifically the Yazidis.

I’ll explain the Yazidi situation in another post, since I don’t want to get too much farther off track here.

The point I want to make is that in getting rid of Israel, Iran will happily take out millions of Muslims, not only in the West Bank and Gaza, but also in Egypt, Lebanon, and, of course, whatever’s left of Syria.

We Hebrews have our own beliefs about this process of extermination of our own people, which has been going on for thousands of years.

But for the Jewish mind, there is no way to understand a people who are willing to sacrifice hundreds of thousands of their own brothers and sisters all over the world, just to get rid of everybody else. 

Jets Are Circling: War Trauma

Here I sit in my safe little corner of America.

But jets are circling overhead.

Why?

If I were back in Israel it would mean only one thing:  war.

Israel is a very tiny country, surrounded by hostile nations on all sides.

Our greatest love, as the Jewish People, is our Holy City, Jerusalem. 

Three times a day, in our regular prayers, and after eating bread, we pray:

“U’vanay Yerushalayim, ir ha’kodesh, bi’m-hayrah u’vyameynu, ahmein.”

And (please, God,) rebuild Jerusalem (and the Holy Temple that is the definition of Jerusalem,) the Holy City, quickly and in our days, amen.”

In times of threat, the Israel Air Force jets circle Jerusalem endlessly, protecting her from harm.  Jews, Christians, Muslims, all protected by the IAF.

No other air traffic flies over Jerusalem airspace.  If it does, it gets promptly escorted out by IAF jets.  Sometimes it’s an innocent mistake, but even a private plane owner (of whom there are very few) will find himself in big trouble for inadvertently flying over the Holy City.

The jets have left now but I’m still shaking.

I think of those unfortunate people who live in countries where jets overhead mean bombs and death.

During the 2009 war with Gaza, which is such a complicated situation that I can’t begin explaining it here, my windows were in just the right position to hear the mortars and missiles coming out of Gaza, and the bombs dropped on the tunnels and munitions dumps roaring, columns of smoke belching into the air as the cached explosives went up.

And I knew, each time, that innocent lives were being torn apart, killed, burned, limbs lost….And the jets circling, always circling, and the mortars going “whump…whump…”

One day I was sitting learning Torah in my yeshiva (house of Jewish learning, study hall), when the air raid siren went off.  We students did what we were trained to do: head for the nearest miklat, bomb shelter.

But when we got to the door of our yeshiva, we ran into a group of IDF soldiers.

“Where are you going?” They asked us.

“To the miklat!  What are you doing here?”

“We came to sit and learn.  That’s the best bomb shelter!”

So we all sat down to learn together.

But still, when the jets circle over overhead, my heart pounds, my mouth gets dry…