Friday, July 19, 2019

Shavuous Challah

Ashkenaz custom, a challah with the design of a ladder in it. For Shavuous.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Except for Acher

You likely have heard of Acher, the tanna who went off the derech and the Gemara that tells the story of how he heard a bas kol that said, "Return all my children, except Acher." His real name was  Elisha ben Avuya but he came to be called Acher, "meaning something" else or "outside".

So I heard a clever thought from the Shela that Acher should have invoked the rule of guests who must obey all orders of the baal habayis except for an order to leave the house. He should have said, "Hashem you cannot kick me out of your house."

And I was thinking how the word acher makes the Gemara relevant to all of us. We cannot do teshuvah if we are mentally outside the fold or even worse outside by way of halacha. I know people who are no longer frum who want to return but try to do it with a weak sentiment all the while staying outside. You can't really do teshuvah, meaningful teshuvah, if your only connection to Judaism is guilt or fear of punishment. It's like giving answers to a torturer. You'll tell them anything. But your heart isn't it. Your mind certainly isn't in it.

No, you have to find a place within Judaism and repent from there. That can take work. That can take thought and research.

I don't know if it matters which place, which path, but it has to be a real one, even if one you concoct. You have to be at home, feel at home, ie have a home to want to return to it. Perhaps, for some Torah Im Derech Eretz is the way, a way of being within Judaism, no longer an acher.

So Hashem, the baal habayis, cannot kick us out of His house. However, the house has to be a home for us so we are not acher. TIDE is the way for many.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

He summons you in love

"As His creating word calls forth the sun, and summons the light of the world, so has God's love appointed Israel as the bearer of the light of spirit and life, and as the bearer of Torah. O that you would be mindful of such a high task! O that you would allow heart and spirit to be infused by the spirit of the Torah and allow your life, in word and deed, to be but a copy of the contents of this Torah! You would thus surrender yourself to God in love just as He summons you in love." Horeb 628 R' Samson Raphael Hirsch

Monday, July 15, 2019

Rabbi Reuven Bauman ז"ל

The kevuro of Rabbi Reuven Bauman ז"ל will take place at approximately 4:00 this afternoon in King Solomon Cemetery in Passaic.

If you would like to honor the memory of Rabbi Bauman with a donation to KAJ, please click on Memorial Donation

People may listen to the levayo on the phone at 712-770-4160, access code 271789#.  

Rabbi Bauman, a rebbi in a day school and camp in Norfolk, Virginia, drowned last week Tuesday off the coast of nearby Sandbridge Beach, Virginia, (just south of Virginia Beach) while rescuing a camper who had been pulled into the surf by a massive current.

From Hamodia:

A colossal search effort was undertaken by the Coast Guard, local police and other authorities, and many volunteers and organizations from Jewish communities across the Northeast.
Chaveirim of Rockland, Misaskim of Maryland, Baltimore Shomrim, Achiezer, COMMSAR, Misaskim of Greater Washington and Chaveirim of Lakewood participated in the recovery operation, along with numerous individuals from the Norfolk Jewish community and beyond.
Finally, on Sunday afternoon, Rabbi Bauman’s body was found at sea eight miles from where he had been swept under by a riptide, enabling him to be brought to kevuras Yisrael, and his family to mourn him by sitting shivah.
Rabbi Bauman, 35, who had dedicated his life to teaching Torah, was a source of monumental Kiddush Hashem in death, as locals marveled at how the Jewish community mobilized in the aftermath of the tragedy.
One woman, watching the volunteers on the beach, remarked, “I see you have a really strong community.”

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Peyos pulling by the anti-Semites

Another incident of what appears to be an Israeli policeman pulling a Charedi man by the peyos.

And another:

And here's the one from a few weeks ago for which the policeman was suspended from duty. 

Video of  Mordechai Kreuzer, the man getting abused, talking about the incident

And what does this remind us of:


warning, first 30 seconds shows immodest lady TV anchor

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Charedi Power?

An old Jewish man in Nazi-era Europe used to read antisemitic newspapers. When asked why he said that it cheered him up. It says here that Jews run the banks, courts, universities, newspapers, and unions. I had no idea, he said. What good news. Likewise, in the State of Israel, an entire election will be repeated for the first time all because of fear of Charedi power. Last time I checked, there has never been a Charedi Prime Minister, President, Supreme Court Judge, Defense Minister, Chief of Military Staff, army general, Shin Bet or Mossad chief, newspaper or television station chief, major university president, Bank of Israel head, or head of any bank. Charedim have among the lowest standards of living in the country, but somehow we hold all this power. Must be magical. Who knew? What good news. 

Friday, July 12, 2019

Still Want to Make Aliyah?

MKs, Officials Slam Police Over Brutality on Autistic Boy in Lag BaOmer Incident (Hamodia)

Cop suspended after video shows him pulling ultra-Orthodox man by sidelocks (Times of Israel)

Israeli police knock prosthetic leg off of an elderly Charedi man (Gezeiras Giyus)

All of this happened this summer.

"The LORD will bring a nation against you from far away, from the ends of the earth, like an eagle swooping down, a nation whose language you will not understand, a ruthless nation with no respect for the old and no pity for the young." Devarim 28:49-50

The writing is on the walls. The State of Israel is not a safe place for Charedi Jews. Anti-Charedism, which is true anti-Semitism, is exploding. Do not move there. Do not send your children there for yeshiva. Do not even visit. The State of Israel is a fraud. It is not a geula, it is not even a Jewish country. 

“People think that the aim of the Zionists is to make a State and their means to achieve this is to uproot the foundation of Judaism. But this is a mistake.  The truth is that their aim is to uproot the foundation of Judaism and their means to achieve this is to create a State.” Rav Chaim Soloveichik

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Israel Among the Least Religious Countries in the World

Of the many lies I was told about the society in Israel (and nearly everything I was told was a lie), one of the more memorable lies is that the society in Eretz Yisroel is undergoing a religious revival. Kiruv is everywhere they said. Tel-Aviv has more than 100 kosher restaurants I was told by one heretical Religious Zionist American-born fake rabbi who is quite sure he is a tzadick because of his Zionism. 

So it turns out that the 100 "kosher restaurants" is mostly hole in the wall falafel stands, or candy stores that also serve decrepit pizza squares made in the micro-wave, many of them with marginal or unacceptable hasgacha.  Moreover, it's all they have amongst millions of Jews in the Tel Aviv metro area. You can walk the streets of Tel Aviv for hours as I have done before finding any eatery with any kind of pretense of keeping kosher. It's not so easy to find mezzuzos either and certainly not shuls of any kind that are being used as shuls.  Likewise, I have seen almost no evidence of a kiruv movement, have met very few Israeli baalei teshuvah, see next to no kiruv activity, events or schools. There's just a tiny little bit. Same as in America.

I mentioned the dearth of shuls used as shuls in Tel Aviv. Turns out there's a problem in Tel Aviv of what to do with unused shuls. See Haaretz article here. I know from frum neighborhoods that the moment a shul becomes vacant (prior tenants or owners move to a new facility) the old one is swept up by a minyan looking for a room. This does not happen in Tel Aviv where old shuls are being turned into hummos joints and the like. 

Also a sham are reports of widespread religious traditionalism. Note a recent survey by WIN/Gallup as reported by Haaretz.

Only 30% of Israelis say they are religious, survey finds; Thailand is most religious country in the world and China is the least. 
Israel is located in one of the most religious regions in the world, but Israelis have little faith, according to a recent WIN/Gallup poll that took the religious pulse of 65 countries.
Less than one-third of Israelis say they are religious, which is well below the norm in western Europe. It is however about equal with the level of religiosity in England and Scandinavia, the poll found, which are among the least religious areas in the world.
Around the globe, 63 percent of people polled say they are religious. Overall, the young tend to be the most religious (albeit by a narrow margin) – as are the least educated and the poorest, the poll found. Sixty-six percent of the world's people under 34 are religious, compared with 60 percent of others. (Haaretz)

Does this include Arab Israelis who overwhelmingly are religious? I would imagine it does not include the 4 million non-citizen Palestinians who, while under Israeli military rule, blockades, and constant Israeli harassment, are written off the census as if they don't exist. Likely it includes the Dati Leumi who are heretics in my view but likely are deemed as religious by Gallup. Surely it includes Charedim who comprise 1/6th of the Jewish population. What does this tell you about Chilonim? They are utterly and totally non-religious. These Chilonim who run the so-called Jewish state, who run the government, the courts, the education ministry and chief posts, the medical establishment, the universities, the police, the newspapers, and the real power in the country, the military, are non-religious all while living in Eretz HaKodesh, polluting the land with sin.

So tell me, Zionism, does it have any connection to Judaism? Does it serve Hashem in any way? The allegedly religious Jews who have embraced Zionism and aided the formation of history's most extreme desecration of Hashem's name in Hashem's palace, what is going to be their fate?

Rav Chaim Soloveichik wrote of the early Zionist leaders, “They have already publicized the fact that their purpose is to uproot the foundations of Judaism.” He said, “People think that the aim of the Zionists is to make a State and their means to achieve this is to uproot the foundation of Judaism. But this is a mistake.  The truth is that their aim is to uproot the foundation of Judaism and their means to achieve this is to create a State.” How right he was. 

Dati Leumi people are also fond of attributing Sephardi style religious feeling to the State of Israel. Recently, I encountered a Sephardi plumber who showed up at my house bareheaded and dressed in blue jeans and a t-shirt with no apparent tzitzis. He was a pleasant enough fellow even as his attire certainly clashed with the dress standards in the neighborhood. But when I gave him a cup of water to drink, a big smile lit up his face and he put his arm over his head and said a loud bracha. It was quite a sight. 

To the Dati Leumi propagandist this is the State of Israel giving Jewish feeling. Actually, this man in Morocco or Iraq would have been totally religious. Nearly one-million Jews from Arab countries lost religion when they came to the Zionist state that worked actively to pull them from religion. This man's marginal religious practice is a credit to the Sephardi neshama but is an indictment of Zionism which, as Rav Chaim said, created a state in order to destroy religion.  

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Hamodia: Israeli Police Officer Suspended for Brutality Against Chareidi Man

Beit Shemesh Police claimed that local resident Mordechai Kreuzer attacked officers and resisted arrest. “During the arrest an officer was injured in the leg, causing a fracture,” police said. 
However, video shows the police officer approach Kreuzer, shove him into a minivan, and strike him in the face, yanking his hair and dragging him by his peyos toward police vehicles. The man who was identified by the news outlet Kikar Shabbat as Beit Shemesh resident Mordechai Kreuzer, does not appear to resist. 

Kreuzer claimed that he was standing outside his home together with his wife and children observing the protest when a police officer collided with him and began to beat him. 
“He told me ‘you’re going to die today,’” Kreuzer told Kikar Shabbat. “He pulled my peyos — it was humiliating and painful. If he had pulled a little harder, they would have been torn. I couldn’t do anything, not even resist, and they say that I attacked police,” Kreuzer said. (Hamodia)

Times of Israel: Cop suspended after video shows him pulling ultra-Orthodox man by sidelocks

Monday, July 8, 2019

Rabbi Yehuda (Leo) Levi z'l

Yehuda (Leo) Levi (January 15, 1926 – June 17, 2019) was a German-born American-Israeli Haredi rabbi, physicist, writer and educator. He was Rector and Professorof Electro-optics at the Jerusalem College of Technology. Levi was best known as the author of several books on Science and Judaism, and Judaism in contemporary society, as well as on physics.

Levi was born in Germany and was educated in the United States. He received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in electrical engineering from City CollegeN.Y. and his Ph.D in Physics from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn in 1964. He studied Talmud at Gur Aryeh Institute's kollel, and received semicha (Rabbinic ordination) from Rabbi Yitzchok Hutner and additionally from Rabbi Joseph Breuer.
In 1970 he settled in Jerusalem with his wife and three sons, where he founded the electro-optics department of the Jerusalem College of Technology. He served as Rector of the college from 1982 to 1990.
Levi was a Fellow of the Gur Aryeh Institute for Advanced Jewish Scholarship, has been president of the Association of Orthodox Jewish Scientists [1], both in the U.S.A. and in Israel, and was the recipient of the Feder (Torah & Science) and Abramowitz-Zeitlin (Jewish literature) awards.
He was latterly part of the faculty at the Yeshivat Dvar Yerushalayim (The Jerusalem Academy of Jewish Studies).[1] Levi died in June 2019 at the age of 93.[2]

(Wikipedia, which is public domain material)

Sunday, July 7, 2019

The Idolatry of Militarism

An askan who escorts bocherim/yungerleit to their court cases, relates this week’s cases: A working boy was arrested on chol hamoed pesach. He has undergone much difficulty in his life, including never knowing his father. After twelve hearings, this week he was crushed when handed a sentence of one hundred and thirty days in jail. Another story; a yungerman was arrested this week, nine months after his wedding. In his present jail setting, he’s only allowed seven minutes a day to call home. Another story; a bocher who attended a special ed cheder, was sentenced to seventy five days in jail. Even the secular lawyer expressed his disgust at such an unjust court system. 
Updates: Orah Chaya bas Bruria has been fully released from the threat of imprisonment. She does still need to attend a hearing in two weeks. She also does not yet have an army exemption. 
Daniel ben Haddasah Ki-Tov, the jailed bocher, refuses to wear army clothes, as a punishment he is forced to sit in solitary confinement. (The Sentry)

Post script: I know this bochur and his family. In fact, I know of two bochurim who are sitting in prison. Nice boys who have no business being in a jail. They are as far from criminals as young men can be. However, an army that does not need them, that has 17,000 soldiers too many, that is so obsessed with militarism that it has the 5th most powerful army in the world even though it is the 100th largest nation in the world, that hasn't been attacked by another army in 50 years and was attacked that time in a limited assault that was avoidable by diplomacy (and arguably was just the aftershock of the war that the Zionists started in '67), is the false religion of a heretical nation called the State of Israel. And that state which is essentially a military dictatorship, demands that all Jews practice its idolatrous religion call militarism. If an arrested draft resister refuses to put on the pagan attire, ie a military uniform, he or she is put into solitary confinement. There are teenage Jewish frum boys and girls sitting in solitary confinement. This is called torture. Clothing is very important to religious Jews. We have all sorts of rules about clothing and about not wearing the clothing of gentiles. The State of Israel does not respect the religious rights of Charedi Jews. The so-called only democracy in the Mideast, which denies voting rights to a third of the people living under its rule, is not actually a democracy. It is a tyranny of the majority. True democracies give the right to vote to all and respect the rights of minorities. Israel, as any Ethiopian or Arab can tell you, doesn't do that. It is a pretend democracy just as it is a pretend haven for Jews. 

All you Orthodox Jews who didn't have any compassion on the Palestinians, that operated under the ridiculous notion that they all constitute the enemy (when in reality only some of them do), that turned away from 70 years of reports of horrible abuses by the Israelis, that weren't moved by concepts like justice and compassion, that only cared about your own group, well know the Israels are coming for you now. And they are trained in brutality. They are idol worshipers and such people are capable of every bad thing.

One way we know that the militarism is idolatry is by most of the people who comment on this blog. I have made more 830 posts here. I post material about minhag ashkenaz, I post words from Rav Hirsch, mostly recently on the idea of loving God, I post long divrei Torah from guest writers. I post about classical music. I post about different personalities who pursue Torah im Derech Eretz. On these themes, I hardly ever get a comment. If I make posts on how Jewish boys and girls are being abused by the secular authorities, I never get a comment. Nobody seems upset by that. If I highlight the state's liberal abortion laws and its killing of babies in their 9th month of pregnancy, I hear nothing from those who leave comments. But if I criticize the military in any way, even to say they really shouldn't be shooting journalists, children, and medics, I get complains of outrage, just about every time. If I question Dati Leumi doctrine that says for example that the 6-day war was not a miracle but a war which as historian Benny Morris says where the stronger side won, I'll get a dozen comments of complaint, of outrage. 

The people who leave these comments are idol worshipers.  I always wondered, how did the Jews of old worship idols. Didn't they know it was wrong? Didn't they read the thousand warnings against idol worship in the Torah? Didn't those Jews of old say shema twice a day?

And I have learned from the people who leave comments on this blog (except for Sara) that they justify it. Their heads get in this crazy knot of logic and they somehow deem their action to be in accordance with Judaism and even noble. It's incredible to watch it. It gets to the point where the suffering of Jewish teenagers doesn't even move them. Their hearts have become metallic, like steel, the material used to make weapons, the weapons that they worship like gods.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Only in Israel

A family in Bnei Brak home schooled their two girls. They were thus unaware that they must send in army exemption papers, as this is normally arranged through the school. When it came to their attention, it was too late and the army demanded they present themselves at the Lishkas HaGiyus for a religious test, which is strictly forbidden, and they refused. They therefore are legally considered draft dodgers. Last Wednesday they were at the Kosel, when they were approached by police, who demanded their identification. The mother whispered to them, “Don’t reveal who you are, thereby placing yourselves in spiritual danger of army coercion.” They remained silent, and were handcuffed and arrested. They were taken to a prison were no kosher food was available and languished there without eating. On Sunday, the mother compromised with police, they will reveal their identity, if they will not be given over to military police. The police slyly released the girls, with military police waiting outside to pick them up. They are currently jailed in military prison number four, where they refuse to don army clothes and are therefore sitting in solitary confinement. The names for Tehillim are, Moriah Leah bas Bruria and Orah Chaya bas Bruria. Two polar extremes, mesiras nefesh of the past, and unparalleled cruelty of dark chapters of our history. [the Sentry]
 The State of Israel - the most unsafe place in the world for Charedi Jews.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Anti-Charedism and Anti-Torah in the Land of Israel

The following is an article about abortion from the Jerusalem Post, one of the country's most "prestigious" newspapers. 

It is not an opinion piece officially. Not a letter to the editor. It's an article. It appears in the Israel News section. See the little category tags up top? It says Israel News. 

When there's an official opinion piece, it appears in the opinion section. 

See the little category tag up top. It says Opinion.

The article on abortion that is classified as news drops all journalistic objectivity when it comes to Charedim and traditional Jewish values. Look at some of these comments.

First, when the haredim got the abortion committees established, they never envisioned that they would become rubber stamps, and considered them a moral victory by having blocked a “right” to an abortion.
Next, as high as the approval rate is, the committees’ very existence does heavily discourage abortions and push people off the radar. Some experts estimate that half of the abortions in Israel are done illegally and outside the abortion committee system.
Reasons women might go this path could be: They do not realize the committees are a rubber stamp; they do not want to lie and say they will have mental problems; the child is from an affair; or that the committees’ process sometimes delays the abortion for a few weeks before it reaches a decision.
Haredim may not like this either, but they tend to prefer solutions that are off the radar which they do not have to publicly be a part of.

It doesn't refer to Haredi activitists, Haredi lobbyists, or Haredi elected politicians, but rather - the Haredim. They talk about us like we are some kind of bacteria or plague, some amorphous group of troublemakers. We are always up to something sinister, right? Reminds you of anti-Semitic chatter in 19th century Europe; those devious Jews -- that's the portrayal. Only here they slip in the word Charedim. Zionists claim that criticism of the Israeli government is really a disguised anti-Semitism. So what about broad condemnations of those Charedim? Isn't that the same thing? This is what passes for a mainstream institution of journalism in Israeli society. 

Look at that last statement: "off the radar" and "do not have to publicly be part of." Because Charedim are hypocrites right? We are crazy right?  We are unreasonable, out of control extremists, right?  So says the President of the Esavist state Reuven Rivlin. 

“There is a dangerous enemy that poses a threat to our joint [i.e. secular and religious] future… the extremists, including those who view induction of women into the army as …יהרג וא' יעבור ." (Kol Dimama 2:27)
A dangerous enemy! Extremists! And Rivlin is one of the more civilized sounding politicians. He talks about things like getting along and listening to each other. He has even criticized Israeli society. He said that Israel is a sick society that needs treatment. He even talks about rights for Arabs. But Charedim are a dangerous enemy to him. He doesn't consider that we view the army culture as a threat to our religion. Doesn't consider that. We are just enemies. We don't interfere with the army. Many of us even say tefillas that the soldiers should be safe. I have made tefillas like that. When a soldier gets hurt or killed, I generally feel sick the whole day. It pains me so. But no, we are enemies and dangerous enemies at that. He actually uttered these inflammatory remarks, this man who wants everyone to get along. This Israeli leader of many years, a statesman of the country who said about Israelis, “I’m not asking if they’ve forgotten how to be Jews, but if they’ve forgotten how to be decent human beings. Have they forgotten how to converse?” 

Seems he was referring to Israelis when they talk about Arabs. Evidentially, the importance of civilized conversation as the mark of a decent human being doesn't apply when talking about Charedim.

Can you image disparaging comments like that appearing in the Boston Globe? Imagine an American liberal politician in high office calling an American conservative the enemy, or vice versa. It would be a scandal. Look out when an Israeli leader calls you an enemy. They don't hesitate to drop American made bombs on your heads, Heaven save us, even though we are extremist.

Somehow having the most liberal abortion laws in the world, which the JPost article acknowledges the Zionist state as having, are not extreme. 

But back to the Jpost article. The JPost comments about Charedim are followed by this: "Besides that, the haredim have their own secrets to deal with. While there are no numbers, there is a phenomena of haredi women who get pregnant outside of marriage and whose situations are covered-up to avoid shame personally and to the community."

Phenomena? I suppose it's possible that there are a handful of abortions in the Charedi community each year that are not done to save the mother's life. But the numbers aren't even close to comparable. Could there be 2 or 3 maybe as compared to 10,000 abortions from the Chilonim. But the way this author puts it, you wouldn't know that. He leaves it vague, like he's exposing a widespread problem and pervasive hypocrisy.  It's just a pot shot, an expression of hostility. It's not professional journalism. It's just insults. That's how you talk about Charedim. You just dish out insults. That's OK in the State of Israel. It's not OK in the USA or England. But in Israel, no problem. When you discuss aliyah or different ways of going about Zionism, you express opinions. When you disparage Charedim, it's not opinion. It's fact. That's the way it works in Israel.

Look at this line:

On the liberal end, between 96% and 98% of women who seek state financing for an abortion are approved. Just as crucially, Israel approves abortions as late as the 40th week of pregnancy.
This is a very high rate and a very late approval deadline relative to any Western country, and makes the US look medieval with its first trimester cutoff.

So allowing abortions in the 40th week is somehow enlightened, but the approach in the US of stopping it after 3 months is medieval! 

Here's what "What to Expect" says about the 40th week. "It's the official end of your pregnancy - though your baby might not have gotten that memo." (Source) You hear that, your baby. At 40 weeks, it's a baby.

"The average length of a pregnancy is 40 weeks starting at the first day of your last menstrual period. The stages of pregnancy can also be broken down by months. There are 9 months and 1 week in an average pregnancy duration. The 9 months alone are comprised of 39 weeks (1 week short of 40) which is why the extra week is added." (The Pregnancy Realm)

Babies start to kick in the 4th or 5th month. Babies can live outside the womb at 22 weeks, around the same time. But in the Esavist state, the government approves and pays for the abortion of babies as late as the 40th week, on their due dates!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The Israeli government allows for the killing of a baby that if allowed to exit the womb will be crying and breathing. If a boy, eight days later he'll get a bris and a name. If a girl, she'll get a name sooner that that. 

Baby at 40th week, just born

But the Jerusalem Post, in a news article, tells you how abortion in the 40th week is progressive, enlightened.

This is murder. Murderers! This is killing. Esav! It's the country of Esav. But to the Jerusalem post in an official article, not an opinion piece, any other approach is medieval, primitive, ignorant and the Charedim are up to some kind of dirty tricks for trying to stop it.

The State of Israel, the Mistake of Israel, its secular institutions, its press, its general society, is the most God-hating, Torah hating, religious Jew hating society on the planet. And that is real Antisemitism. Charedim are trying to uphold Jewish values. That makes them TOO Jewish. In Israel, they only want you to be a little Jewish. A tiny, little bit. Just a tiny, tiny litte bit, just enough to justify having a secular state, violently conquering the place,  and pushing out the local Arabs. Your grandmother was in Auschwitz. That's it. That's all the Judaism they want to see in you. In fact, that's the very kind they like to see because that in their eyes justifies the state since the military will provide the protection that God could not. That's not me talking -- I'm telling you how they see it in their heretical eyes. 

The Charedim are trying to save babies. And that makes the Jerusalem Post - a mainstream paper - just furious. The so-called haven for Jews, the place where they want to draft everyone into the anti-religious indoctrination camp called the military so that allegedly they can protect Jews, has violently killed (that's how abortion works, you have to kill something that's living) more than 1 million Jewish babies. The state approves of and pays for the majority of abortions. How dare those pesky Charedim, those menaces, those enemies, try to interfere with that? 

But it's not just the Jerusalem Post or the President. It's also the government ministers and radio hosts. If you can tell me how the anti-Charedi sentiments in the Esavist state sound any different from those of Nazi Germany, I'd be interested in hearing it. The Nazis called us parasites and the Chilonim call us parasites.

The State of Israel:

“They are useless,” he said, “they don’t produce anything, don’t contribute anything, they don’t plant a tree or a tomato, don’t manufacture high-tech.” 

“They are parasites of the worse kind, and as far as I am concerned – if it was realistic – I would pack them up in one package and send them to their primitive brothers in the dark courtyards of Brooklyn, Queens and all the other places they should live in; let Americans handle them.” (Source)

Of the worst kind. The worst! Wouldn't a parasite of the worst kind be one that latches his teeth onto your neck and literally sucks your blood or eats your flesh or something like that. The worst kind! This is Nazi talk.

The first guy is a radio host, the second guy, Mickey Levy is the deputy finance minister!

The former defense minister said, "the time has come that something be demanded of them in return for once”and "we won’t allow for the whole country to become Shtreimel wearers”. That's like an American leader mocking the baseball cap, l'havdil. Lieberman doesn't like shtreimels. Meanwhile, the male ancestors of the majority of the Ashkenazi residents of the country wore shtreimels. If he is actually Jewish, then his likely did too. 

And then there's Zionists of every type and stripe:

Note the quote used in the subtitle, got to get the word parasites in there. Sums up how the JPost feels about it. Doesn't say much for the schools of journalism at Israeli universities. 

Some examples from the article:

“It’s shocking because a lot of the protest is illogical,” said Aurora Carlson. “Why shouldn’t they contribute to the public good? Why should they be parasites? I view this as desperate, because they’re scared to take any responsibility for the land they live in.”

Any responsibility? In Israel, there's only one kind of action that is deemed indicative of a sense of responsibility evidently. Military service. That's it. If you don't do that, you must be a bum. Somehow the military is a universal value in Israel. It's the religion really, the state religion. Sorry, Charedim have a different religion. 

Don Graber said, “This would be more honorable if they didn’t accept money from the state and benefit from it in so many ways,” he said. “But it’s not honorable, because they take hundreds of millions [of shekels] in welfare and give nothing in return.”

Nothing in return? In the eyes of the typical Israeli, the only way to contribute to a society is via the military. If you don't do that, you are doing nothing. At the least they can do national service, they say. 

Do these communists need a course in capitalism? Is the only way to contribute to a society via a government program where you do make work. Doesn't a guy with a plumbing business contribute to society? How about a teacher? According to IDF radio correspondent Yossi Joshua, the military has 17,000 soldiers too many. So does a young person contribute to society by being yet another solider who is not needed? Or can he contribute more by doing something in the private sector? Israelis think they gave up socialism and now have a free enterprise system, but they still have this nostalgia for government control of people's lives.

Meanwhile, most Charedim work. The State of Israel has a paltry welfare system and a high cost of living. Nobody can live on the meager government handouts. Charedim are not getting their money from the Israeli government. But why would a Charedi hater ever check facts? No need when it comes to Charedim. Rather, just pass along what  you heard from your loudmouth uncle. And every Israeli has a loudmouth uncle.

I say again, young Charedi males are not allowed to work lest they lose their draft exemption and be forced into the heretical brainwashing machine called the military. The biggest source of unemployment in the Charedi community is the Israeli government and the Israeli obsession with its military.

The typical government kollel stipend is $100 a month. You can't get an apartment for less than $1,000 a month in most places. In Jerusalem, it's quite a bit more. Charedim are not living on government handouts. In fact, the paltry yeshiva grants are a money maker for Israel. For every dollar the government gives to yeshiva gadolas 6 dollars are raised in overseas contributions. That money goes into the Israeli economy. The Israeli yeshiva system is a profit center for Israel. That's for operational costs. On top of that are construction donations. If you see any Charedi building of any quality in Israel, you'll see also place names like Brooklyn or Los Angeles on it. The money doesn't come from the Israeli government. It comes from overseas Charedi donors and goes into the Israeli economy. 

Meanwhile, Haaretz reported some time ago that the State of Israel has received more than a quarter of a trillion dollars from the American government over the decades. That plus the billions and billions supplied by donors in chutzeh l'aaretz, pushkas and bonds and trees for the JNF. Handouts and handouts and handouts. How quickly they forget!!! Israel gets 4 billion dollars a year from the US government even as it claims to be an affluent society with a cutting edge technology. So it claims. But the Charedim are parasites. Ah the hypocracy.

In this article in the rag called the Jerusalem Post, there's a photo of some soldiers walking past some Charedi boys at a protest. The Post puts this caption on the photo

  IDF soldiers help provide security for the protest.. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

In case you think I'm making this up:

I have seen a few protests in my day, there is no security offered by the military, nor the police. It's not necessary with regard to Charedi actions. Outside of burning a garbage can or two (which happens some of the time), there's no vandalism or violence, except by the police. You see how non-violent the Charedim are because the police walk right up to them, which is something they do don't with Arabs. It is non-violent, civil disobedience. If the police do anything, it's arrest people. The Charedim need protection from the police. They also need protection from Chilonim who I have seen beat and spray mace at Charedim. The JPost caption is so obnoxious and ridiculous. It's a pure lie. It's a 100% lie. This is the Jerusalem Post, the main Anglo paper of the alleged capital city. And these people claim to have a modern Western democracy with respectable institutions. 

And speaking of propagandists and liars:

Nazi Germany:

Translation: the Jew as world parasite. 

“Whenever the strength of the soaring Nordic spirit begins to weaken, the earth-bound Ahasver sucks on the tiring muscles; whenever a wound appears in a nation’s body the Jewish demon finds the sick place and as a parasite benefits from the weak moments of the world’s great. He does not wish to achieve domination through the heroism of battle, but rather to make the world “pay” (zinsbar machen) the fantastically strong parasites. Not fight, but inflitrate, not advance values but exploit decay, that is the law that he follows and can never escape — so long as he lives." (Alfred Rosenberg writes about the Jews in The Myth of the Twentieth Century in G. G. Otto, Der Jude als Weltparasit (Munich: Eher Verlag, 1943)
Note how the Nazi propaganda condemns Jews for not being interested in being part of German militarism. Sound familiar?
The world has sufficient space for settlements, but we must once and for all get rid of the opinion that the Jewish race was only created by God for the purpose of being in a certain percentage a parasite living on the body and the
productive work of other nations. (Adolf Hitler, January 30, 1939, Shoah Research Center

[N.H. Baynes, ed., The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, I, London, 1942, pp. 737-741. See Document 4.] 

Oh yes, the Nazis called us parasites as do many Israelis.

And like Israelis, the Nazis called us enemies.

State of Israel
 "In Israel the supposed enemy is the Charedi society. The media is obsessed with it and the only thing apparently that Israel has to fear is that there will soon be more Charedim in its midst. But again this is a false enemy." R' Berel Wein
 Tiveria Mayor Ron Kobi, who won in a landslide said during the campaign, “It is preferable to have an(d) Arab city than a chareidi one.” You can imagine what he says about Arabs. And Tiberia is one of the four holy cities of Israel. The Rambam is buried there! But the mayor doesn't want religious Jews there. He thinks the Keneret is for water skiing. And as we showed earlier:
“There is a dangerous enemy that poses a threat to our joint [i.e. secular and religious] future… the extremists, including those who view induction of women into the army as …יהרג וא' יעבור ." Israel President Reuven Rivlin (Kol Dimama 2:27)

Nazi Germany
The Jewish watchword "Workers of the world unite"will be conquered by a higher realization, namely "Workers of all classes and of all nations, recognize your common enemy!" (Adolf Hilter, 1939)
[Shoah Research Center, Yad v'Shem, N.H. Baynes, ed., The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, I, London, 1942, pp. 737-741. See Document 4.]

Is that enough examples for you? Shall I go on for a 100 more pages? This kind of talk, these kinds of attitudes permeate the society. I grew up in America where I didn't experience much anti-Semitism. Very little. I didn't understand anti-Semitism until I moved to the land of Israel. Only there did I learn what it's like to be hated, to be slandered, lied about, despised. 

The most anti-Semitic society on earth is Israeli society. If you want to understand Jewish history, if you want to get a sense of the persecution that your ancestors endured, if you want to see what your great-great grandmother's grandmother went through living in a society whose state religion differed from hers, who had to fight, to battle in order to keep the Torah, battle against enemies of God, then come to Israel. I don't recommend it, but you will learn something if it doesn't destroy you.

Monday, July 1, 2019

To love God

"'To love' means to feel one's being only through and in the being of another. 'To love God' therefore, means to feel that one's own existence and activity are rendered possible and obtain value and significance only through God and in God. You exist and are something only through God; and therefore in all that you are and do, you have only to strive to reach God -- that is, to perform His will." 

R' Samson Raphael Hirsch, Horeb, 9.

Please say a tefillah for the refuah sheleima of Dovid ben Deba Sarah.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Clearly labeled as avodah zarah by Gedolei Yisroel

Rosh Yeshivas Tifrach,Harav Aviezer Piltz shlit”a recently spoke at an Asifa. He noted that thousands of years of persecution have not broken Am Yisroel, and neither will the current persecution at the hands of the Zionist rulers. He said that the obsession of the Zionists and their followers on the primacy of Yishuv Eretz Yisroel was clearly labeled as avodah zarah by Gedolei Yisroel, and that although many could not understand their harsh opposition to Zionism at the time, today it is clearly understandable to all who have eyes to see.

He cited the Chazon Ish zy”a who stated that unfortunately far from heralding the geulah, the Zionist state will not advance the coming of Moshiach at all and Moshiach will have no association with any of their projects. Similarly, Harav Shach ztz”l, would observe the celebrations of “Yom Yerushalayim” and cry out, “Treif!”

Harav Piltz also addressed the growing interference of Misrad Hachinuch in chareidi education. “They no longer allow us to teach our children about Akeidas Yitzchok, about Beriyas Haolam – baruch Hash-m that there are still people who stand up to them…”

Kol Demama, Shemini

Thursday, June 27, 2019

It's not just about us

"You should pray for the welfare of the whole world and feel other's pain. This is the way of the righteous. David HaMelech said, "And I, when they were ill, dressed in sackcloth, I afflicted myself with fasting." (Tehillim 35:13) Do not pray and beseech God only for your own needs. Pray also that all humanity should live in peace. When there is peace among governments, there is peace in the world."

Rabbeinu Yona of Girona, on Pirkei Avos 3:2. Rabbeinu Yona, d. 1263, who is referenced several times in Tosfos, was the teacher of the Rashba. He is the author of the classic Gates of Repentance.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Thinking for yourself

R' Nosson Kamenestky z'l in an interview talking about the traditional Litvish approach which was actually to use one's own mind in running his life.

Q: Is there a halachic source for blindly following a rabbi in matters that are not related to Jewish law, such as politics or other matters? 
“The Mitnagdim (non-Chassidic Jews) always thought for themselves. If they had a specific question they could not decide, they would come to get advice from a wise and knowledgeable man who had the Torah behind him, but things a person can figure out on his own, it is forbidden to depend on others’ judgment. In his commentary to the Mishna, Rambam describes the great power of the human mind to make decisions, a man must use his own mind, do not denigrate your own intelligence. If you have a doubt about something, go ask someone wiser, after you hear what they say, you do not have to follow their advice like a blind man, you have to digest it and decide if it was good or bad. The Mishna asks, ‘Upon whom should one rely?’ And it answers, ‘On God.’ It does not say ‘On Rav Elyashiv,’ or ‘On Rav Shteinman.’ It is obvious that we talk of individual issues, but in issues concerning the entire community, great Torah scholars are the leaders of the community and guides of all of Israel.”
Q: From what, in your opinion, comes the adoration and complete obedience that currently permeates the relationship to the rabbis in the Lithuanian world, which is reminiscent of the way Hasidim act? 
“You’d be surprised to hear that Hitler, may his name be erased, is responsible for this. Most of the Jews who survived the Holocaust were from Hasidic areas, and this was their approach. If there is a change in the upbringing of the Lithuanian Jews of today, it is this, that we teach them to be Hasidim of the Lithuanian Rabbis - that is my opinion. I, in any case, was not raised this way. I was raised in the best Lithuanian fashion. Healthy skepticism, respect for wisdom, and having some knowledge of true modesty. But that was my problem –I wrote from that perspective.” 

Similarly, I heard Rav Avigdor Miller, who talked often about the importance of seeking the advice of gadolm, say that one must be responsible for his own life. It is dangerous to rely on another too much. 

None of these means that one should rely only on himself. None of it means that a person should not study the words of the wise in order to acquire wisdom. As one Litvish Rav told me a person should strive to stay within the 6 line highway that the gadolim of his generation traverse, but within those 6 lanes you have choices. But with freedom comes responsibility. We are responsible for our choices and pay the price for bad ones.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

They rebelled also against God

“Benny Morris on “A New Look at the 1948 Arab-Israeli War,” Wilson Center, 43:15

“The war was definitely not a jihad or a religious war on the Israeli side. On the Israeli side, the Jewish population in Palestine, the yishuv, was 90% secular at the time. And the leadership of the yishuv was almost totally secular. The military leadership, the political leadership. It was a very secular society. You get an optical illusion when you look back from 2016 when Israel has become much more religious or a larger part, segment of its population is religious. But in 1948 the people who counted and actually the vast majority of the population was of course non-religious. In fact they were children, or actually the people themselves, who had rebelled against religion. This is what Zionism was all about, partly, against rebelling against the old world of their fathers, which was a religious world. They rebelled also against God. So they didn’t approach the war at all as a religious war, not the generals, not the politicians, not Ben-Gurion, not Sharet, not Allon, not Dayan. They were irreligious people. Maybe even they were anti-religious, so the religious people saw them.”

Benny Morris is one of Israel's most respected historians. He is not sadly a religious Jew, yet even he could see what the founders of Zionism were all about. They were rebels against God.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Do You Care About Jewish Life?

Here's a case for you. An unmarried Israeli woman gets a sperm donation. Genetic testing as interpreted by one physician showed that there was a 30% chance of the kid having some kind of intellectual delay. (Those are quite common these days -- all pregnancies have a 2.5% risk.) 

The physician immediately told her the hours of the pregnancy termination committee because the pregnancy was late term. 5th month! "You don’t want to deal either with ADD or delayed development," the physician told her. (How ironic it would be if autism or ADD - attention deficit disorder - is indeed caused by the vaccines physicians inject.) 

Says the mother:
I cried but we reached the conclusion that it would be out of the question for me to give birth to a baby with disabilities. I am a single parent with limited resources. There was no way I could cope with that.

A single mother?  She chose to be a single mother. This woman had an artificial sperm injection. She tried to get pregnant as a single mother. People hear that term "single mother" and lose all reason. All you have to say is "single mother" and all conceptions of responsibility and culpability go out the window. 

The pregnancy termination committee approved the abortion immediately.

She went for two other opinions that put the odds of problems at around 4% or 7%. She chose not to abort and gave birth to a perfectly healthy daughter.

That's a close call, but the first doctor as well as the "committee" will get gehennom anyway for what they tried to do here as well as the many other cases where they ended pregnancies with injections and forceps and blades of various kinds.

Says Shanny Littman of Haaretz:

Anywhere else in the world, physicians would probably not have even raised the abortion option, nor would Yael have done the CMA test. She was in her 23rd week (fifth month) when she heard the results of the tests. In most countries abortions are not performed from the date at which the fetus could theoretically live outside the womb (other than in cases of danger to the mother’s health), and every country defines that point differently. Some countries don’t allow abortions after week 12, others are willing to go as far as week 20 or 24. Israel is one of the few countries in the world where the law explicitly allows termination of pregnancy after week 24 because of potential birth defects.
Here's how they do abortions after the 24th week of pregnancy at which time the fetus theoretically can live outside the womb. They kill the fetus by injection of a substance into its heart, then give birth to it. 

So let us repeat: "Israel is one of the few countries in the world where the law explicitly allows termination of pregnancy after week 24 because of potential birth defects."

Chillul Hashem from the State of Israel, as usual. The State of Israel leading the way in sin.

In Canada, you know that goyish country with those nasty inferior goyim, termination of pregnancy after week 24 is allowed only in extreme cases. Prof. Yoav Yinon, director of the fetal medicine unit at Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer said he knows of an Israeli couple that flew from Canada to Israel to abort a late term fetus on the fear the baby would have Down syndrome.

In Israel, the percentage of late term abortions is on the rise. In England, another goyish country with nasty goyim some of who dare to criticize Israeli government policy, only 0.1 percent of the abortions in 2017 were performed after week 24. In Israel, that supposedly Jewish country, the percentage is 1.8%. 17 years ago it was 1%.

HaGaon Moshe Feinstein zt'l, posek hador, ruled that abortion in general is murder and absolutely prohibited to prevent birth of a baby with birth defects. (Iggros Moshe- Choshen Mishpat- 2:69) Furthermore, he ruled that even amniocentesis is forbidden if it is performed only to evaluate for birth defects for which the parents might request an abortion.

In 2017, the State of Israel permitted and performed through its "physicians" 302 late-term abortions on the grounds of potential birth-defects. That is 9x the amount of death caused by terrorism in 2017 (34 deaths, may their blood be avenged). It is more death than was caused by terrorism in all but one year in the State's history. Only 2002, at the peak of the 2nd Intifada, was worse.

Every year the State of Israel performs 18,000 to 19,000 abortions. In 2012, the number was over 21,000. Yes, the State of Israel performs them. The State's committee approves the abortions and State "doctors" perform them. 10% of pregnancies end in abortion in the so-called Jewish state.

So since this is a blog that concerns Torah Im Derech Eretz which is the religious philosophy of Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch, a great defender of Torah Judaism against all forms of reform, including Zionism, I will assume that the readers are Orthodox Jews. So, Rav Hirsch tells us, Judaism is built around the Torah. It is defined by the Torah.

It was not the land that Moses had been commanded to proclaim to his people at the outset of his mission as מורשה, as the inheritance they were to preserve (Ex. 6,8). The Law, to be translated into full reality upon that soil, was to be the true מורשה, the one true, everlasting inheritance, the one true center around which the nation and its leaders were to gather as one united community. Herein lay the goal and the destiny, the character and the significance of the people. (Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch "The Kehillah," Collected Writings, Vol. VI, p. 62)

But the Torah prohibits abortion except when necessary to save the life of the mother, which is the rare case. Since 1948, the State of Israel has ended more than 1 million pregnancies. That's more children than the Nazis killed. And you want to call this "The Jewish State"? 

R’ Avigdor Miller: 

In Eretz Yisroel in the past year, there were 20,000 legal abortions. Among Jews. Arabs don’t abort.… That’s 20,000 legal abortions, and most of them are in the army. The girls in the army get abortions from the government. Do you know what a ruination that is? From 1948 until about five years ago [in the 1980s], one million abortions took place in Eretz Yisroel. Do you know what that means? A million Jewish babies were murdered. That’s why we are against abortion. Terrible crime! And you should know, there’s no kaparah for that crime. No kaparah for that crime. An innocent unborn child wanted to breathe the air and enjoy this world, have a chance to do mitzvos, and these selfish people consider relations between men and women just for recreation and fun. And then when they have to have the responsibility to bear a child, they dodge it by murdering a baby? Oh, you have to know, HaKadosh Boruch Hu will not keep quiet. We’re afraid what’s going to happen in Eretz Yisroel. Their blood cries out from the earth. 
(R’ Avigdor Miller, Audio Lecture #600, “What to Acquire,” 1:27:15; Q&A, Thursday Nights with Rabbi Avigdor Miller (Columbus Publications), pp. 67-8.)

Caring about life

I keep hearing, the Charedim don't want to defend the country. This because they don't want their children subjected to the intense, brutal anti-religious brainwashing of an army that doesn't need them. 

IDF Radio:

You ask: 'Do we need more Chareidim in the army?' The answer is: No. About three thousand chareidim enlist every year – most of them into combat units; any more would just cause more [administrative] headaches. Every chareidei framework costs tons of money and inhibits our new project of increasing the number of women in combat units… In two years, the number of soldiers in the army is [expected] to grow to a surplus of 17,000. 17,000 soldiers that the army does not know what to do with. A committee has been established to find a solution for all those extra soldiers – how to let them go. In two years, we are looking at a surplus of soldiers… Everyone knows that the army has no need for chareidi soldiers… They cost too much: every chareidei soldier costs double that of a regular one. This whole debate was unnecessary. (Y. Joshua, Military Correspondent for “Latest News,” on IDF Radio)
Heart that? The army doesn't need them. If Zionists care so much about Jewish life, let them start by doing something about late term abortions. Then we can move on to reducing the promiscuity that produces pregnancy as pregnancy is nearly always preceded by a voluntary act of consenting adults. Then we can move on to the topic of second hand smoking which kills 800 people a year in Eretz Yisrael. Then we can talk about reckless driving that kills far more than are lost in any altercations with Arabs. But somehow, the hottest topic in the county is not abortion, smoking, or reckless driving, it's Charedim and the army. 

The reason isn't a mystery. The State was founded as a rebellion against Hashem. Israeli historian Benny Morris: "This is what Zionism was all about, partly, against rebelling against the old world of their fathers, which was a religious world. They rebelled also against God." 

Nothing has changed. The State was a replacement for God and Torah. 

That's why Charedim and the draft is the hottest topic, the one that prevented Netanyahu from forming a government, the one that is the cause of an unprecedented second round of elections. In the State of Israel, the state religion is the military. 

Anshel Pfeffer of Haaretz:
But as far as any form of Israeli secularism, or religion, goes, the IDF is the most powerful one Israel has today. It’s the closest thing we have to a state religion. It’s certainly the strongest stream of Judaism.
Imposing the draft on Charedim is the same as pagans imposing idolatry on the Jews of old. It's the same battle. Only difference, in the end of days, in this final challenge to Torah Jewry, people born to Jewish parents - Chilonim and the Dati Leumi that support the them in their war on Charedim - are the culprits. Whether they know it or not, they are separating themselves from authentic Jewry. And when Moshiach arrives, look out!

We know from Zionist thwarting of rescue efforts during the Holocaust that Zionism is not concerned with Jewish life. 
When two options are offered: the chance to save multitudes of Jews in Europe or redemption of the Land, I choose without a moment’s hesitation redemption of the Land. Speaking too much about the slaughter causes a weakening of our efforts to increase Hebrew might in Israel. If it were possible to buy food packages with funds from Keren Hayesod and send them by way of Lisbon, would we do so? No, no! (Yitzhak Greenbaum of the Rescue Committee of the Jewish Agency.)
If I knew that it would be possible to save all the children in Germany by bringing them over to England and only half of them by transporting them to Eretz Israel, then I opt for the second alternative. (David Ben-Gurion)
In 1943, New York newspapers publicized Romania’s offer to release 70,000 Jews at the price of $50 each. Here's what happened next:
Stephen Wise the president of the American Jewish Congress and leader of U. S. Zionists publicly denied the authenticity of the offer and declared that no collection of funds “would seem justified.” The Jewish Agency in England also ridiculed the news of the Roumanian offer, but Undersecretary of State A. A. Berle affirmed privately that the Roumanian government had actually made such an offer to the State Department. Some time later, when all the Jews who could have been rescued had been annihilated, the facts of the offer were confirmed by Bartley Crum, an expert on affairs of the Near East, who declared that the 70,000 Jews could easily have been transported through Turkey by a few days’ travel in trucks, but the State Department had refrained from publicising the news of the offer due to Jewish (Zionist) pressure. (R’ Avigdor Miller, Awake My Glory, #759) 

We know from Zionist lobbying efforts to thwart immigration from anti-Semitic countries like Russia to any place but the State of Israel (90% of Russian Jews wanted to go to America but the Israeli government and its lobbyists interfered) that Zionism is not concerned with Jewish life. We know from the abortion policies in the State of Israel that Zionism is not concerned with Jewish life. It's primary concern is rebellion against Hashem.

There are people out there who really don't care about Jewish life at all. They care about their personal identification with a political entity such that loss of life that is tied into that in any way is what really matters. I say again, if you worship Hashem, you will love His people. If you worship the State, you will love its army, not the soldiers in the army who were shipped off in the '80s into that unnecessary occupation of Lebanon to become cannon fodder, not the soldiers who risk their lives protecting the fanatical settlers in Hebron, just the concept of an army. Ever wondered what Avodah Zarah looked like in the days of old? Just look around you.