Beyond the Cusp

October 11, 2016

One Editorial Nailed Solution for Many Nations’ Problems

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A Great Awakening or a Rude Awakening: What Will It Be? written by Michael Brown Michael Brown Small Pic echoed our feelings on numerous levels and nailed much of the problem we have mentioned for the United States, European countries, Russia and with some adjusting would serve well here in Israel as well. The article pointed out that seeking the solution to national problems through the political front alone was simple folly. The candidates for President in the United States was sufficient proof that politics alone was a futile direction as a choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump was simply a choice between two massively flawed individuals whose ideas of truth, honesty and dignified stature in leadership leave so much to be desired and make the fact that any political solution will never be inspirational to correct the path of the public as a whole. Michael Brown noted this dilemma and his solution was for the United States to, for lack of a better phrase, to have a collective ‘come to Jesus’ moment. When we have talked of such, we have noted a return to the basic Judeo-Christian ethics upon which Europe and the United States and the rest of the Eurocentric world was based on and served it so well against previous attempts to invade and destroy and take over their areas by Islam in the past twelve-hundred years, that’s around a millennia and one quarter, also known as a very long time. The Judeo-Christian ethos solidified around 1500 through 1700 with the protestant reformation, the turning point in the wars with Islam and leading to the more open society able to embrace science and the progress and political revolutions all this envisioned and eventually produced based on the remnants of the Roman and Byzantine Empires and their adoption of the Greek representative governance which eventually led to the rule by the will of the people. This works for as long as the people are of a religious and forward looking public ready to sacrifice for the good of the community and the future of the nation and its people. That was where the Judeo-Christian ethics paid the societies great dividends. One could predict the health of a community simply by attending the churches on Sunday, and the Synagogues in the Jewish neighborhoods every morning and evening, and if they were being attended by healthy crowds then the society was healthy and if there were a sparse and paltry attendance with empty pews or seats, then the community was on a descent into oblivion. Europe has been followed by the United States by a mere ten to twenty years but inexorably the Americans have been catching up and both societies are showing the signs of ill health and decay.

 

Protestant Reformation Timeline

Protestant Reformation Timeline

 

Nobody wants to admit the problem and it can now be measured in the lack of babies in the nurseries of the hospitals, the closing of neighborhood schools due to lack of students and the dwindling reproductive rates where childbearing has dropped below, in some cases precipitously and perilously below, replacement levels demanding that immigrants be found to replace the lack of workers such that the society can afford to support their elderly and aging populations. The problem with this situation is that with time the new immigrants will become the majority of the work force and will resent their being taxed to support an aging population which is unlike them and to which they have no affinity or care. This will lead to a dangerous situation where simply ridding themselves of these old fossils will become an enticing idea and euthanizing these useless relics of the former glory will be the only solution that seems logical and these fossils will be too old, weak and few in number to prevent their slaughter. It may come quickly in a single night starting in one town and spreading across the continent with the blazing speed of an inferno and within a few weeks the problem of those who had become the other will be solved and the new majority will be rid of this burdensome and expensive problem and ready to enjoy their new found financial freedom. Imagine their joy having everything their way and the old once proud people vanquished more by their own hand and selfish “me thinking and lifestyle” than the actions of their final executioners.

 

Where in Europe and Russia things are approaching drastic and may become irreversible and the disastrous end will have become inevitable. Maybe the new peoples will be kind and simply place the “old ones” on reservations and treat them much as they had treated the civilization they replaced when conquering the New World. Perhaps the Native Americans will become an important part of the New America and that will be the perfect role reversal and payback almost in all of history. The United States would be more capable of turning everything around and their salvation would come from the most ignored and considered inconsequential of places politically, fly-over country. The middle of the nation where people, according to President Obama, “… they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” This quote is the perfect example of the problem with society which the political class represents and is indicative of the societies on the two coasts. It is the clinging to their religion and the Bible that just might start the revival necessary for the return to the next golden age in the United States and perhaps bring a reverse tide which might bring the restoration of Europe if it is already not too late for Europe. Britain might have saved themselves and might perhaps allow other nations to also find the path back to their roots and return to religion which is not anti-science as even Albert Einstein believed that there had to be a G0d because the universe was simply too complex but mathematically perfect to have come into existence purely through an accident. His was the G0d which was the harmony and reflection of the order of the universe as he explained once on April 24, 1929, Einstein cabled Rabbi Herbert S. Goldstein in German: “I believe in Spinoza’s God, who reveals himself in the harmony of all that exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.” The entity in such beliefs is often referred to as the “Spinoza’s God” named after the philosopher Baruch Spinoza. Einstein is not the only science personage who believes strongly in God as many of the earliest theories of our Universe were first proposed by scientists who were also men of the cloth, some even worked from the observatory located within the complexes of Vatican City (see photo below). The Church has come a long way and no longer fights science as they did in the times of Galileo Galilei.

 

Vatican City Observatory

Vatican City Observatory

 

The truth which even science will not dispute is that as Europeans and, after them, Americans left their religions and began to live for the day and let tomorrow take care of itself are in many cases childless and their predominance in the populations of the Western World is leading to the death of these nations and their civilization. Islam is ready to take up any slack and turn Europe into a reflection of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and are already arriving with an advanced guard. The vast majority of the “Syrian refugees” are males between the ages of thirteen to eighteen up through forty or fifty. These could easily be classified as the age one could expect of a military expedition including privates, sergeants, captains all the way to generals. The strata of ages are even in close approximation to a military force and their actions depict a group intent on conquest over assimilation. The United States has a somewhat brighter picture as the most readily available immigrants are Mexicans and other Hispanics from Central and South America who are largely Christians. As long as the numbers of MENA refugees and illegal immigrants from MENA nations and keep the immigrants restrained to largely Christians, then the future may not be as drastic a change to the American societal influences while Europe has no real similar alternative unless they choose to import Christian immigrants from central and southern Africa and parts of Asia. This would require a definitive change from their current system where they are importing Muslims with little if any background checks of virtually any depth. Such is a recipe for disaster which has already been starting to crest and appear throughout Western Europe. Even Islamic strategic Imams have already claimed that this is a part of their plan for civilizational jihad and the destruction of the Western World through their own rules of freedoms using them to destroy the entire civil constructs and replacing Christianity as the main religion with Islam and then persecuting the remaining Christians and the secularists giving them the choice of adopt Islam or death. The plan is to gain sufficient numbers and then use the sword to conquer the West just as they have MENA and had conquered Spain and large swaths of Eastern Europe and the Balkans before being pushed back during World War I. That is correct, it was just about one hundred years ago when Islam was pushed from Eastern Europe and their Caliphate Empire, the Ottoman Empire, finally came crashing down at the same time the Austria-Hungarian Empire also collapsed and both were restructured and divided into individual countries by the Sykes–Picot Agreement. That is another clarification which needs correction; the Sykes–Picot Agreement altered the maps of Eastern Europe as well as areas of MENA as it forced the end of two empires, the Ottoman Empire and the Austria-Hungarian Empire.

 

What might be a good idea for the Western World would be to only accept as many Syrian and other MENA refugees in equal numbers as do Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. The claim that Saudi Arabia does not have any accommodations for the refugees is the biggest lie. They have a set of air-conditioned tents with stoves and bathrooms and kitchens and bedding and living space for four to six people which are used to house adherents joining the Haj. As the Haj just ended these tents are still up and empty and could easily hold tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of refugees (see image below). The Saudis are refusing to take the refugees because these are not refugees but the first wave of an invasion and what good would it be to have Muslims invade Saudi Arabia as they are already Islamic. If there is to be an invasion then Europe must be the target, not Saudi Arabia. Western nations importing people who are neither secular nor Christian is opening their world to invasion and steady erosion leading eventually to the complete death of Western civilization.

 

one hundred thousand airconditioned tents Saudi Arabia to accommodate pilgrims on Hajj each has kitchen bathroom fireproof and never intended for refugees

 

There is one nation which has a civilization similar in many ways to the past Western World and their religious Judeo-Christian civilization and that is Israel. Israel has an open democratic parliamentary governance with freedom of religion, freedom of the media, freedom of speech (largely), as well as equality of women and men, no persecution of sexual deviants, freedom of sexual orientations, and most of the other freedoms and equalities as well as an independent judiciary and equality before the law. The difference is instead of a complete Judeo-Christian civilization it has a Judean civilization based on Torah as well as modern free democratic society. The main difference is that Israel is more Judeo than Christian and is moving further in that direction. Israeli population is currently heading in a number of desirable directions. The first and potentially most important is that the nation is becoming more religious. Another is the population is intermarrying which can only improve relations. There have been moves to change from having two separate Chief Rabbis to having a single Chief Rabbi for all Jews. Personally with an Ashkenazi father and a Sephardic mother I am all in favor of the merging of the two main bodies of Judaism. This will also have another effect as the secular members of Israeli society marry more religious members they will more often become more religious themselves rather than tear the other from their faith. As Israel is a young nation it still had an old soul and many are simply giddy with having returned to our homeland after almost a two thousand year exile. Some will claim that we have not been exiled anywhere near that long as we do not look old enough to have been exiled for almost two thousand years. Perhaps it will help if we also inform that every Jew is to believe they were slaves in Egypt, were part of the Exodus from Egypt, received the Law, Torah, at Mount Sinai, witnessed the presence of Hashem on the mountain, and were with the Israelites on their entry into the Promised Lands and experienced every calamity and exhilaration the Jews the world over throughout history have experienced whether that be suffered or celebrated. We have said “Next year in Jerusalem,” at the end of every Seder and after numerous prayers and it has been a dream of generation after generation of Jews. We have been instructed to have lived with every exiled Jewish family as we are a family and all related in some way, some distant, others very much closer. This has steeled us and made the Jew one of more resilient of peoples of the world and this has made the return to Eretz Yisroel all the sweeter. With our religious strength growing, we are going in the opposite direction than the growing secular Western world, and this is to our credit and will serve us well with larger families and greater closeness to Hashem who in return provides miracles large and small for each and all of us at the same time. These miracles only strengthen our faith and begin a growth in faith for some who had none at first. We can tell you that if you wish to see the difference between those who are a part of a growing religious community and those who are forfeiting their faith. One can simply make a study of the religious Jews of Israel and compare their faith with that of the least religious, leftist, progressive, liberal Jews in the United States. One group is growing and the other is heading towards extinction. The loss of our brothers and sisters and the coming of more in the coming months saddens us here in Israel as they were so close to coming home where being Jewish is something so much easier to pursue than it is in the United States which leads to more observance and a closer society which assist one another instead of compete against one another. Israel will grow in strength and religious power as time proceeds and we need not fear as faith increases and Hashem becomes more with us. We will fear no evil even in the shadow of death for Thou art with me.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

March 16, 2016

Should the Haredi be an Israeli Priesthood?

 

There are a number of schools of thought on whether or not the Haredi should be permitted to study Torah and allow that to be their contribution generally to Israeli society. Some are demanding that the Haredi face mandatory enlistment into the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) exactly the same as the rest of Jewish youths. Some are in favor of just young men while permitting the women not need to be enlisted with some claiming they be encouraged or made to serve in alternate public service. Then there are those who desire to allow the entirety of Haredi population simply lead pious lives dedicated to learning Torah with the referencing the numerous Haredi who spend as much as twelve hours every day except Sabbath either in services or learning Torah. Some less observant Israelis have pointed out the appearance of Haredi young men apparently strolling parks or in other non-study activities as proof that such a deferment for Torah study has been abused by some Haredi with which they broad brush the entirety of Haredi. There are few who desire to force the true and studious Torah scholars to not be permitted their honest scholarly pursuits as thus too is an important service whether all understand or even believe such dedication actually serve the State. Any serious answer to this situation, this challenge to the leadership of both the State of Israel and the Haredi society must find a reasonable and sensible solution which also takes into account some obvious demographic realities of the situation.

 

The one problem is that the Haredi community is a growing sector which would eventually reach a critical percentage where they would exceed the ability of the nation to support their complete absence from the societal productive engines. Simply stated, at some point in the not far distant future the Haredi community will be required to become productive if only to offset any costs their entire segment of society places on the State. The claim that the Haredi cover their own costs may be accurate to a point but at some point just producing sufficient food and clothing would exceed the potential of the state to produce and/or import even if the Haredi pay for their consumption as should they become over half, if not merely a lesser percentage, the production of the remainder of the population could not produce sufficient without employing the entirety of the remainder at a pace to support twice their population. At some point the Haredi will be made to make a judgement of which of their population show a particular promise or special talent lending them capable of receiving support to dedicate themselves to Torah study and such deferment should also be provided for any Israeli judged and desiring such dedication. There should be similar requirements as exist for professors at universities and colleges or teaching at Yeshivas. Also the Yeshivas should also be teaching at the least a basic education in addition to Torah study and perhaps a Torah curriculum for the public schools could be taught by religious scholars not just at Yeshivas. Such dispensations could and should be pursued with a plan to utilize those best suited in Torah scholarship to pursue such ends while it will soon be imperative for parts of the Haredi community to join the workforce and also serve in the IDF in special units which would allow for their observant lifestyle and restrictions not be challenged either intentionally, as has been the appearance in some instances, or through misunderstanding. These units will also likely require that a percentage, if not majority, of the officers and command chain be Haredi such that the sensitivities of these units will be better accommodated and understood by their commanders. If Israel is going to be serious about incorporating the Haredi into the society as a whole and especially into the IDF then some accommodations will be required and some give and take will be necessary on both sides. This will even include some arrangements with employers which will benefit all religious Jews and give some additional freedom to secular Jews and Israelis who are not particularly or even slightly Jewish. These accommodations will necessarily include scheduling such that the Sabbath is a say free of work with the obvious exception should rotation require a Haredi combat or mission necessary unit be scheduled for a rotation which counters Sabbath as defense of the nation is an exception recognized under Torah and universally.

 

 

Haredi Soldiers Taking Time for Morning Prayers in the Field During Training

Haredi Soldiers Taking Time
for Morning Prayers in the
Field During Training

 

The accommodations in the workplace would be no different than the accommodations granted Islamic religious members of the workplace who require prayer five times each day with the times set fairly rigidly. There should also be a liberalized attire universally applied for any group which had certain requirements for their appearance and attire. As stated, such accommodations should be universal and inclusive such that every group is comfortable and not unnecessarily required to break with traditional attire whenever possible. Needless to point out, should the required attire of a workplace stand counter to one’s religious requirements they should not seek employ in such locations such as nightclubs, clothing stores with secular progressive clothing requirements, and any place equally obvious which would be stated up front such that those who objected to the requirements would know not to seek employment in such places. There has to be certain rights both respecting the employer as well as the employees. An upscale and modern liberal clothing store would not be a place where Haredi or Islamic attire would be an accepted uniform, of sorts, attire which would necessarily show off such attire as part of being a salesperson. Some things should be obvious even to the most casual of observers, and the law should recognize the right of an employer to have appropriate attire and acceptance of the cliental and activities. A disco might not be an acceptable place for a strictly religious person of many faiths to choose work and such a place could have expectations which would exclude such employees in the first place. Such things should be obvious, period.

 

Military uniforms and other specific requirements for position are also understandable. An elite force which is designed to deploy places where the requirement might include wearing of a gas mask that people with full beards would have difficulties with such a mask and thus might not desire such an assignment or must be willing to remove their facial hair. As far as working in close proximity with women offending some stridently observant individuals, there should be accommodations and allowances whenever and wherever imaginable with a very liberal interpretation if such is possible. The scheduling women singing before a Haredi unit should never even cross the minds of commanders and if such were to be scheduled, then those wishing to excuse themselves should be granted alternate assignments and not just necessarily set free of any work related requirements. They might perhaps be assigned other duties such as cleaning communal areas or guard duty or other duty as seen fit in place of the setting they find objectionable. There is always something that requires doing in a military setting or they could be assigned policing the area of the performance after its completion. Such assignments would be at the discretion of the commanders of each unit.

 

The Haredi community should be granted generous liberties to define who amongst their community show and should be granted liberal special rights classifying them as a Torah sage or an astute and capable educator capable of inspiring students in the ways of Torah and the Written and Oral Laws. Whether or not a quota or percentile of the Haredi population will be permitted special observance privileges to spend their lives studying Torah or teaching Torah and the commandments and traditions in an inspiring fashion will largely depend on the responsible response and classification of their population between dedicated Torah scholars and teachers and those who will serve in the IDF or social services will, in the best possible of worlds, be left to the Haredi for as long as they perform these functions responsibly. Such a compromise needs to be reached such that both the Haredi and the general population are served through a mutual agreement and not through actual legislation, laws, court cases and general animosity. The reality is both the general Israeli public and especially the Haredi are majority Jewish populations and it would be nice to believe they could reach some accord which satisfies both communities. One can only hope that such an agreement is possible and can be attained with minimal if any acrimony as we are both majority Jewish, right?

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

February 1, 2016

Blessings We Have Found in Israel

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Israel gets some bad public relations if one depends on the news, editorials, talk radio and just about any mass media, even movies and other entertainment. Living in Israel very quickly dispels all the lies. Are there a few choice people who might make one take a less than superb view, but such are rare and even they warm with time. Needless to say, not knowing or speaking the language causes some difficulties but there is almost always somebody there to lend a translating hand. There was the time we were at a McDonalds and the woman at the counter spoke no English and two what had to be young High School age girls came in and realizing the communication problem immediately became our translators without being asked. Generally there are those who willingly offer to give directions to whatever place you need to find in ten minutes to make the appointment and it is your first time in the city and you got off the bus where you thought was the closest stop. That time we only missed by one or two stops and had to walk about a mile or so, you get used to walking in Israel because so much living is city center style European life, an initial system shock after life in the outer suburbs in the United States.

 

Our friends, acquaintances and relatives are quite surprised when we relate the ease and general atmosphere in Israel. When we tell them that we have found Israel more accommodating and generally having a softer and more easy and comforting nature they tend to express great surprise. One might expect that in Israel life would have an edge on it with the constant threats from virtually any direction and the added unpleasant surprise with the Iranian nuclear threat and President Obama and his team’s animosities and threats thrown at Israel but they would be quite wrong. Probably the best description we could give as a true barometer of Israel and Israelis would be to take everything ever attributed to Israel and her people by the United Nations General Assembly and the United Nations Human Rights Commission or virtually any other United Nations agency etcetera and take it all and place the initials of the United Nations in front of them but in small letters and then read the entirety as one word. An easy example would be if some United Nations commission claimed Israelis harbored a genocidal hatred then all one need do is take the two words and place the letter un in front giving you ungenocidal and unhatred and you would produce an honest appraisal. Sure it would take ignoring your spellcheck and do some translations where ungenocidal would become accepting of others people who are different and unhatred would become lovers making the entire accusation translate into accepting and caring for peoples who differ from Jews and accepting, caring and considerate of people who are of any other stereotypical, racial, religious or nationality different from Israeli or Jewish. A closer inspection of Israeli actions around the world will better exemplify this example.

 

When Haiti was struck by that devastating earthquake, the Israelis were amongst the first to have responders on the ground evaluating any special needs. Israel had the first field hospital which was equipped with X-ray equipment, a gynecological unit, a neonatal unit, burn center, surgical rooms, prosthetics and physical therapy, emergency room, and virtually every department and specialists which was on the ground and set up within six days of the earthquake. This hospital remained on the ground even after the search and rescue units had stood down. Israel also opened clinics in areas where urgent care not requiring the abilities of a full hospital were present and when the Israelis left Haiti a number of these clinics remained completely equipped with diagnostic, monitoring and other equipment and Israel had trained people in the area such as orphanage, school or other personnel who would be capable of offering care after the Israelis had left.

 

When Typhoon Haiyan spread destruction throughout much of the Philippines, Israel arrived with an one-hundred-forty-eight person team, including search, rescue and medical services and a fully functioning field hospital with one-hundred tons of aid. Making rescue and aid assistance even more difficult was when the typhoon struck, the region was still reeling from the Bohol earthquake in October before. One of the more interesting reports on the Israeli presence at the time was on television news where an on the scenes reporter had been directed to a small village not on one of the main Islands by the Philippine government when she requested assistance in reaching the “most remote village” to report on how they were coping with the aftermath of the storm. Imagine her surprise to find a clinic operated by Israelis already set up and operating while training the local villagers on how to treat people for emergency aid and familiarizing them with the equipment which the Israelis would leave behind as well as the clinic itself with one Israeli aid worker to remain behind and work for the next six months or so with the villagers to assure that they have received whatever training might arise.

 

When Nepal recently had their massive earthquake, once again Israel was amongst the first to respond and the operation was much like the one in Haiti with one exception which was remarkable; Israel took care to the most remote of places, some of which had rarely if ever seen support even from the Nepalese government where Israel set up satellite care units often referred to as clinic in a backpack, though we would hate to have to carry such a backpack, they are quite heavy (pictured below). These remote aid clinics provided urgent and critical care close to the, and often on the, mountain slopes treating climbers and vacation goers as well as native Nepalese citizens. They also operated as a remote triage for when victims were stabilized and given what treatment was available at the clinic and once the patients were stabilized for transport having them taken to the main Israeli or other field hospital.

 

 

The Israeli and Nepalese medical staff who operated the IsraAID mobile clinic in the village of Tar, ten hours northeast of Kathmandu. (Photo credit: Melanie Lidman/Times of Israel)

The Israeli and Nepalese medical staff who operated the IsraAID mobile clinic in the village of Tar, ten hours northeast of Kathmandu. (Photo credit: Melanie Lidman/Times of Israel)

 

 

Israel has sent aid groups to other areas struck by natural calamities with teams having gone to Japan after their earthquake and tsunami disaster, Myanmar after the tsunami, Turkey after they suffered an earthquake and offered assistance to the United States after hurricane Katrina swamped New Orleans and destroyed entire fishing towns along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, and reportedly one of a very remote few to offer assistance to the United States. When one considers the Save a Child’s Heart program and how it saves children of all ages who have debilitating if not life-threatening heart problems as well as setting up entire departments in hospitals around the world and training their staff and physicians on how to diagnose and treat these children including training the heart surgeons on how to perform these sensitive and vital surgeries, Israel leaves all the equipment the staff was trained on with the hospital.

 

And the Israelis you meet, see, work with and just generally run across are some of the most patient people and really do try to help in their own manner. They may sometimes have difficulty in expressing things in English but many are actually happy and anxious to use their English and respond well when one states the words in the correct syntax as that is important to them. Sentence structure in Hebrew is different than in English and thus literal word for word translations quite often makes for what at first one takes as Yoda speak from Star Wars, perhaps it was direct translation of Hebrew to English that was the basic transference used to make Yoda syntax. Our Hebrew is embarrassingly inadequate to even make a scheduled appointment and get the day of the week correct not to mention the time as some places use a twenty-four hour clock which reminds all of military times.

 

Then there is a tight knit group of what are referred to as Anglos, basically English speakers, and we have events, trips, sightseeing, Torah, Talmud and Bible classes for men and women and we have found our level of social activities is vastly more active and on a level of friendliness equal to our best of times and friends back in the United States. Another thing which leads to such is that Israel is a rather small nation, approximately the size of New Jersey, though that is misleading as the southern two-fifths, or forty-percent, of Israel is made up of the Negev Desert which is rather sparsely populated. Where New Jersey has a population of nine-million, Israel’s population is just over eight-million. Of course there are some groups who pretty much stick to their own group of like-minded and religious viewpoints such as the Haredi. In much of Israel where there is a mix of Arab and Jewish populations there is no evident difference in the treatment and the interactions are natural and as normal as humanly possible. In the area we reside there are Arab and Muslim stores and employees in larger stores or other places of employment are seamless as to their fitting into the society as a whole. At the regional hospital there are Muslim and Arab nurses, physicians, technicians and all positions and everything functions, as we said, seamlessly. The street signs are all written in Hebrew, Arabic, and English with some towns sporting French or Spanish or Russian, though we have yet to see one which had more than four languages and usually just the three required languages. What is always amusing is when a store has its name actually an English name but the letters on their sign is in Hebrew. What gets confusing is that when you read some of these signs you try to think what the prefixes and suffixes are as Hebrew has many words result only in a letter prefix or suffix. Some examples of prefixes are the ‘v’ which means ‘and’ along with an ‘h’ which means ‘the’ while the suffixes often give one the gender of the word as well as if it is singular or plural or includes the speaker or listener in the plural group and so on. Over half of learning Hebrew are the prefixes and the gender and singular versus plural of the words. Someday we will get a reliable translation program for our phones, or should we call them what the phones have become, life assistants and general applications from pictures to recordings, getting e-mail, surf the Web, record our every move and change of mood on Facebook, well, not quite, and most important movie or still camera and recorder.

 

Basically, virtually everything UNcomplimentary about Israel are UNtrue. Contrary to popular belief they are not contrarians. Israelis are like all peoples, there are the great, the good and the we wish they were nicer types. Many fall all over themselves attempting to make our lives as stress free as possible which had to be stressing on them. Of course it might be that as the ancient Hebrew scholars made a point of hammering into our stories and writings, people will only treat you as well as you treat them and life can be like a mirror to one’s soul which is revealed by ones actions when it appears nobody is watching, because, as we are taught in Judaism and is likely taught though with a slight difference, there is always somebody watching us from on High and nothing escapes that view as our innermost thoughts to our most expressed emotions. We can also count that such observations tell whether we’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake. Still, there is something else which permeates through the society at large. There is an air of optimism and hopefulness. You feel a vigor for living life and finding meanings where other places simply ignore and accept things as is. In Israel there is this striving to be better as a people and as individuals. There is also a level of acceptance which makes one more comfortable simply being themselves as all will be just fine in the end. There are more young children than we were used to in the United States. This too adds to the optimism as a society with declining populations is what is destroying Europe right before our eyes. They are dancing their last dance in Europe and if things continue as has been the scenario we in Israel will become all the more isolated and an Island of freedom and democracy in a sea of misfortune. There is still hope for Europe but only if they turn their ship of state around and rediscover what gave them the impetus to live life to the fullest and explore the world, that spark of life which made passing their ideas and ideals on to the next generation, something difficult to do when there are so few children born to the indigenous Europeans. Israel will only grow stronger as the Jews of Europe make their final decision and that plague may soon prove to be a prophesy for the United States though that need not be their future written in stone. The United States has a far better opportunity to reverse the slipping trend before the slope becomes too steep and wet for any traction and down becomes the only direction. We are both glad we have come to Israel and Israel has proven to be a wellspring of optimism and life, a future of light and enlightenment, more than a completion as it is an opportunity to grow with such splendor and a kaleidoscope of choices each colored so vividly and vibrant. It is really hope eternal or as close as we have seen on Earth. It is great to be at home, the home which was destined and a good, no, great home it is and will grow from there. Needless to say, but we do not expect the United Nations to understand as they are the people of ‘UN’ and that sums them up in total.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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