Personal thoughts on current events, cultural events, Israel, Judaism, Jewish/Israel innovations and life from a Jewish perspective - read into that what you may.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Holy Moses Technology From the Holyland

Have you ever heard of theoretical linguistics, nanosyntax or natural language understanding? Well neither did I until I started doing media relations for a chareidi Jerusalem start-up company, called Linguistic Agents, as part of my new job!

You must read this article to understand what this all about:"Achieving Mobility by Typing with Your Tongue"

This company has developed an award winning technology called Streaming Logic that will allow computers to understand human language!

What does that mean? Well very soon we will be able to write coherent questions into search engines or website FAQ sections and get the listing of pages with the exact answers (instead of having to browse tens of potential sites that might have the answer to our query).

Further down the road we will be able to talk to our car to open the driver's window or turn down the air conditioning, or ask our alarm clock to turn off without turning over or lifting a finger!

Earlier this week, Computerworld Magazine announced that Linguistic Agents’ natural language Streaming Logic technology was one of the 10 winners of its Horizon Award for "cutting-edge technologies on the horizon now" (together with HP and Standford University). (Here are links to the articles on the win and the technology).

This is unbelievable news for a small chareidi start up company in Jerusalem.

The future is not that far away and it is exciting to know that a Jerusalem based company will be a big part in making it all happen.

Check them out yourself:

Monday, August 20, 2007

Will The Real Refusers Please Stand Up!

This Jpost article documents the "wonderful" idea of Matan Vilnai, a Labor politician, to make soldiers swear to uphold orders - so that they won't refuse orders.

First and foremost people must begin to realize that the real refusers today are refusing to preperly defend the state of Israel and the citizens of Israel. The true refusers today are the Israeli politicians and high army officers who are refusing to defend us. Instead of soldiers taking an oath, Israeli politicians and high army officers should take an oath to do everything possible to defend the state of Israel and the people of Israel like true leaders.

What country in the world allows the enemy to fire continous rockets on its population for 7 straight years? What country, besides Israel, has leaders who tell their people that there is no "military" solution to enemy fire?

Where is the public call demanding of Israeli political and army leaders to stop refusing their duty to defend us?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

You must check out this organization - now anybody all around the world can have the privilege of fulfilling the observance of shmitta!!!

See the write up in Globes:

Jerusalem group organizes overseas observance of shmitta

The project allows Jews living outside of Israel, and those in Israel who do not own land, to participate in the seventh year service.
Globes’ correspondent 9 Aug 07 19:58

Shomrei Shviit, a Jerusalem-based group dedicated to reinvigorating the observance of Jewish agricultural laws, has launched a new program that will give many Jews the chance to observe a number of commandments as never before. The program is geared to be simple, powerful and inexpensive.

You must check out this organization - now anybody all around the world can have the privilege of fulfilling the observance of shmitta!!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Actions of a Leader?

After his victory in the Likud primary last night, Bibi Netanyahu did not let Moshe Feiglin and his supporters enter the building to attend his victory speech!

(Read the full articles here:

Upon hearing that Moshe Feiglin and entourage were locked out of the building, the journalists all ran downstairs to the building entrance to interview Moshe Feiglin! They were then stopped by the Likud bodyguards who did not let them exit the building to interview Moshe Feiglin!

What kind of behavior is that?

So, instead of media savvy Bibi Netanyahu getting media coverage for his victory speech, Bibi had no media coverage of his victory speech because all the journalists were stuck in the lobby!!!

Are these the actions of a leader? Are these the actions of a leader in a democratic system? Are these the actions of a leader who wants to unify the Israeli people to defeat the left and save Israel from the diplomatic and security mess that Rabin, Peres, Barak, Sharon (and Bibi himself) placed us in?

With all my hopes of what Bibi can achieve to help our situation, unfortunately I have no trust that he can change the situation - especially after he suggested to bring Jordanian "Palestinian" legions into the West Bank!!!

When will Israeli leaders return to understanding that we can only trust ourselves in defending ourselves?...not trusting the UN, NATO or any Arab entity! We are the only ones who have the 100% desire to protect ourselves, not anyone else! - is that such an insane concept to understand? Isn't that why we have our own army? Or why any country has its own army? especially when it is surrounded by enemies who want to destroy it???

Returning to Bibi's actions last night - Whether one agrees or disagrees with Moshe Feiglin, this immature action of Bibi Netanyahu's shows weakness and fear and gives all the more reason for people not to vote for him or the Likud. In essence Bibi's actions will allow for Olmert or Barak to become the next Prime Minister of Israel, instead of a Likud candidate!

Bibi's actions hurt the chances of the Likud and of the national camp in general to lead the country. He did this same trick after the last primaries, trying to kick Moshe Feiglin out of the Likud before the elections and the Likud ended up with 12 seats when it should have been much larger. Bibi is making the same mistake again - another sign that he is not a good leader (one is supposed to learn from one's mistakes not repeat them).

I guess the Jewish people need a few more years of suffering before they wake up and realize that only Jewish leadership (that can unify the whole Jewish people around the values that connect us all) will help us out of the social, political, diplomatic and security mess that we are in today.

I pray that that time comes sooner than later. Until then, we all have to do our part in raising the awareness of those around us to this understanding.
Likud Primaries - What will be tomorrow's headlines?

Today the likud members voted for their next leader.

My guess is that tomorrow's headlines will be the following:

1. If Moshe Feiglin gets less than 30% of the vote the headlines will focus on how Netanyahu succeeded in getting out 40% of the vote and Feiglin's strength in the Likud is therefore not strong and he must be ousted from the party anyway.

2. If Moshe Feglin gets more than 30% of the vote the headlines will focus on how the Likud has to oust Feiglin from the party.

Too bad neither the press nor Bibi focused on the issues behind the candidates, as is customary in primaries.

It is also too bad that neither the press nor Bibi will focus on the issue that is usually discussed after a primary, which is - how the #1 and #2 leaders of the party will figure out how to work together for the benefit of the party and future elections! Instead, the focus will be on the undemocratic talk of ousting the #2 of a party!

As Uri Dan used to say about Ariel Sharon 'Whoever doesn't want Ariel Sharon as Defense Minister will receive Ariel Sharon as Prime Minister'. He said that for years and he was right!

Well today one can say 'whoever doesn't want Moshe Feiglin as Head of the Likud will receive Moshe Feiglin as Prime Minister'. It is only a matter of time....until then may the journey of awakening continue.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Ariel Sharon on using IDF to uproot Jews,
and on the results...

Written and Printed in 1994

(Wow - I'm not alone in my thinking...Too bad he didn't listen to his own conscience!!!)

It wasn’t easy for me to come out with a public call last week to Israeli residents to oppose the evacuation of Jews from Hebron. Hebron is Jerusalem, NOT Yamit.

I called for passive, non-violent resistance against the declared intentions of the government in Hebron. It was only because I am convinced that the security and inalienable rights of Jews in every part of Eretz Yisrael will be irreversibly eroded if the government carries out its plans in Hebron, that I decided that we must arise and passively resist the uprooting of Jews from Hebron. And if, G-d forbid, the government does carry out its intention, it should know, in advance, that we will return to Hebron.

I have no doubt that the Jews in Israel and abroad feel that the government of Israel has lost its sense of Jewish-Zionist direction. The mere thought of sending IDF soldiers to evacuate Jews from Hebron is clear proof of this. Jews feel, justifiably, that the fate and future of the State of Israel is being threatened.
For most of my life I have obeyed orders as well as issued them as a soldier and commander in the IDF. Therefore, I am aware of the absolute importance of the duty incumbent on every soldier to carry out the legal orders, in order to preserve the military system which defends us.

At the same time, warning must be given, that if the Israeli government dares to uproot Jews from the heart of Eretz-Yisrael – a situation will develop in which the military will eventually have nothing to defend except itself, and will ultimately fall apart and disintegrate. After all, the IDF was organized to defend the Zionist settlement drive, which was threatened from the start as a result of Arab aggression, even before we returned home to Hebron. It was only with tremendous pain that we were able, in 1948, to retain part of Jerusalem.

If the government uproots the Jews of Hebron, it will be uprooting a vital cornerstone of the IDF -- which is indispensable for the defense of all parts of Israel. Therefore, although every soldier and commander must obey the legal orders of the government, so too, must every citizen in a democratic country ask himself what he is supposed to do when he is convinced that the policy of the government endangers him, his future and his family.
This question is a particularly burning one, with regard to the security of the Jewish state which is increasingly being jeopardized as the government continues to give the PLO a hold on our land by undermining and uprooting Jews from their homes.

Every Jew must feel as if he is personally going to be ousted from Hebron. Each one of us must understand that if we will not stand up to stop the uprooting of Jews form Hebron, we may very well – in the future – be uprooted from Tel Aviv, Haifa, Beer Sheba or from any other place.

In contrast to the days of exile, it is not only the right, but the obligation of every Jew, in a Jewish democratic state, to stand up and warn his government, through passive resistance, of the disaster that it is bringing upon all of us. What Jews could not do in Germany and Poland before their extermination, they must do in their own country. They have to rise en masse and resist.

Ariel Sharon, April 15, 1994, “Israel Is Being Used As A Guinea Pig for The Oslo Peace Experiment” The Jewish Press.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

"Refusal and Democracy in Israel"

Let's start with a joke...

The Interim Weinograd commision on the Second Lebanon war places blame on consecutive Israeli governments (starting with Ehud Barak's!) for allowing the Hizbullah to entrench themselves on the Northern border of Israel for 6 years without doing anything to prevent the ultimate war that took place (the second Lebanon war in 2006).

Isn't it funny that Israel once again is doing absolutely nothing to stop the arming and entrenchment of Hamas, Hizbullah and Al Qaeida in Gaza as they prepare for war against us? And still nobody mentions this reality that exists the same time that the final Weinograd report is being drawn up? Irony is so powerful!

Now for the meat of the issue...

To all Soldiers, Officers, their loved ones and friends

Whether it is days, weeks or months away, the Israeli government and the Israeli army will give the orders for Israeli soldiers to pull out of their positions in Judea and Samaria in order to continue the "peace process" (sic) and speed up the establishment of a 'Palestinian State.

Even the army officers know that this troop movement will bring suicide bombers throughout Israel, road killings in Judea and Samaria as well as the addition of kassams and other rockets being fired at Israeli cities from Judea and Samaria including Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan, Netanya and Jerusalem.

It makes no difference if the ones perpetuating these acts are from the Fatah, Hamas, Hizbullah, Al Queadia or any other enemy group. They all have the same goal – the destruction of the state of Israel.

Israel pulled out of Lebanon – we got one war behind us and one on the way thanks to that pullout.

Israel pulled out of Gaza (and gave it on a silver platter to Abu Mazen!) – thanks to that pullout we have continued fire on the south of the country, with a full coordinated attack together with Hizbullah, Syria, Iran and Al Qaeida waiting to happen.

We have Iran pulling the strings up North, we have Iran pulling the strings down South, do we really want Iran pulling the strings on our Eastern border as well?

Why would Israel now pull out of Judea and Samaria? As the saying goes…"fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me!!! But fool me three times????

Since it is inevitable that any Israeli troop pullout from Judea and Samaria will bring even more bloodshed to Jews and Israelis throughout Israel, it is safe to say that a troop pullout is an immoral act. No soldier should leave his position when he knows that it will cause fellow countrymen to be killed! This is immoral!!!

I expect that any soldier or officer who receives the order to abandon his post in Judea and Samaria to refuse and stay put!

It has been proven time and time again that the best defense for the State of Israel and the Israeli people is our presence in Judea and Samaria. (FYI - The army even requested to set up a base on the destroyed community of Chomesh last year to assist in defending Israel, yet the government refused because it would have been an admission of mistakenly expelling Jews from there homes for no reason)

People, any person, including soldiers, first and foremost have to obey their conscience. If a law or an order is given that is immoral, it is the duty of the individual or the soldier to not obey! If he then gets sent to jail for disobeying the order, then so be it. That is the price one pays for standing up for ones conscience.

That is democracy!

That is what is necessary today to save the Israeli army from itself and for saving the country. Following orders when they are immoral ruins a society and ruins the army!

The army today must be saved from the high commanding officers who are running it!

I have no trust in the upper echelon of the Israeli army:

- They have taken the word "enemy" out of the army lexicon.

- They drew up long term plans for the army that changed the role of the army from fighting enemies to dealing with Israeli civilians to "protect Israeli democracy"(taken from an internal army paper. The article is currently in Hebrew for anyone who is interested in receiving it.)

- The Northern border was quiet until 2006 because the army instituted a policy called "No targets", allowing the Hizbullah to set up rockets and road side bombs along the border without the Israeli army doing anything to stop them. Instead, the army ordered all patrolling troops and pillboxes to pull back from the border so they wouldn't be in shooting distance from the Hizbullah on the other side of the border - all to maintain an "aura" of quiet even though in the long run it would endanger Israel!

Although the army soldiers and young officers are willing to run into battle to defend Israel against her enemies, the army leadership is valueless - they have no will to win or the proper values to beat our enemies. Todays army has the following goal - to maintain a "low-flame conflict" so the peace process can continue - hence the continued kassam rockets on the south of the country for 7 years (7 straight years!!!) almost emptying out the Israeli city of Sderot, with the Israeli army doing almost nothing to stop the rockets!!!

Instead the army is constantly used (by the thousands(!!!) to stop Jews from settling hills and taking them from their homes (the families of Hebron are being removed tonight - and thousands of soldiers have been bused in from all across the county to help make sure it happens. Too bad the army doesn't use them instead to stop the kassam rockets from Gaza.

Only if the soldiers and officers would say NO to immoral orders will the upper echelon of the army understand that they have no soldiers to carry out their immoral orders.

Disobeying the immoral orders is the only way to fix the army, return it to its proper state of protecting the Israeli people and bring back the moral fabric to our army and society.

Following laws and orders because they were "decided" in a democratic manner relegates morality and the conscience of man to be impotent in our lives. The United States would still be a segregated society today had such an attitude been accepted.

For the morality of our soldiers and for the morality of Israeli society, tell the soldiers to say NO when asked to pull out of Judea and Samaria.

By the way, regarding the role of soldiers taking part in any "circle" to ensure Jews are removed from their homes, that is already obvious to all to be an immoral act – it only strengthens our enemies and causes more deaths at the hand of our enemies.

As for me refusing to take part in the Lebanon war (Yes, I was the soldier who refused to take part in the Second Lebanon war because I had no faith in the army leadership even then) it was already obvious that the war was a farce without any real leadership to make sure the army was being used to defend the Jewish people:

- what army sends in soldiers with orders NOT to shoot the enemy in a war zone because civilians might be killed? (e.g. soldiers were ordered to act as decoys to draw fire so that other soldiers can shoot the enemy precisely without harming civilians)

- What army sends soldiers into batle with old maps that are no longer relevant (that cause whole units to be confused and ambushed in enemy territory) yet sends in soldiers to expel fellow Jews from their homes with maps that have the family names written on each house?

- What army spends hundreds of thousands of dollar on catered food, swimming pools, nice blue baseball hats and blue vests for soldiers in order for soldiers to expel fellow Jews from their homes, but does not have enough money to have proper weaponry, protection or food to send in to battle for the troops to beat our enemy in a war that was predicted for ages (as a reserve soldier in the Northern command, my unit was told every year that a war would break out on the Northern border very soon, yet the army was not prepared?!)?

The answers are obvious to anyone willing to look at the harsh reality straight in the face and not ignore it - Today we have an army with leaders that have lost their values and morality.

We must do what is right to bring morality back to the army and back to Israeli society. It takes a robot to obey a command, however it takes a human being with a conscience to know when it is right to say NO in order to fix a very bad situation. That time is now.

That is democracy and don’t let the politicians or the Rabbis fool you otherwise. You know what you must do, now just do it. The price you will pay for it is your badge of honor, that is why you will be respected because you said NO knowing that you would pay a price for your action. I know, I paid that price too.

Oh, I forgot to mention. The second our enemies begin their coordinated war effort from the North, East and South fronts – we will all be there fighting to protect this our country and countrymen whether we get called up or not - this next war is for real, not the farce that Olmert started up North in response to Israeli soldiers being kidnapped for the upteenth time on the Northern border (yes, for all of you who forgot, Israel started the rocket attacks on Hizbullah and not the other way around. That is why I knew the war was a farce and would only end in a disgraceful ceasfire. It was a just war, but the political and army leadership were leading it in order to expel more Jews from their homes, not to protect Israeli civilians in Haifa or Kiriyat Shmona. This next war, however, will be the real deal that we will have to fight to win despite our leaders).

All of us who refuse the immoral orders of today do so because we want our army to be used to fight our enemies in order to defend ourselves and our homeland. We will be the first ones to run into battle when it happens.

Only by enough of us refusing the immoral orders today will we be able to cause a shockwave to cause change to the army leadership and values. Otherwise the situation will not change.

Our not showing up for immoral duty today will not weaken the army or our security situation (we have weak political leaders who do that today without our help).

Face the facts of history - every war in Israel was won despite the political and military leadership in Israel, not because of it.

It is the little soldiers who made it all happen and there is only one explanation for that. Someone up above runs the world, in general, and runs what happens to our people in this holy country, in particular. Miracle upon miracle took place that helped us defeat our enemies time after time. Only thanks to the one above did Israel come into existence and still exist today, not because of our “elected” politicians or army leadership, DESPITE THEM!

It is time that we all begin to recognize that fact as well.

Boker Tov Am Yisrael!

We live in amazing times and we are privileged to be alive today during these miraculous days. I thank G-d every day that I live in this country, even with all I write above.

Why? Because I get to be here in order to do something about it and make a difference in this special homeland of ours. I wouldn't trade that with anyone for the world. If only every committed Jew would be here to help make a difference in this holy land, it would make the uphill battle fought by the rest of us a little easier. We need every one of you.

Ultimately, the real struggle today is not between the Jews and the Arabs. The real struggle taking place today in Israel is an identity struggle between the Jewish Israelis who want Israel to be a Jewish country for the Jewish people based on Jewish values and the Israeli Jews who want to shed their Judaism and just be another country - France for the French, Italy for the Italians and Israel for the Israelis.

That is the major conflict today - the Arabs are just G-d's way of reminding us who we really are and why we are in this holy country. Once our identity struggle is over we will be able to easily defuse our struggle with the Arabs.

I pray to G-d that that day comes soon. We are a people with a mission - let's get together on the right path!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Returning to Blogging Once Again

It has been a long long time since I have written my blog. Ever since the uprooting of Jews from Gush Katif and the Northern Shomron my life has changed and I hardly have had time to breath! My life has turned into producing and promoting "Home Game" the movie all over the world. Add to that a full time job and a family and basically my life has been extremely hectic without the time to continue to write a blog.

Well now I feel I must write. There is so much to say and I must start somewhere.

So first I'll start with a little humor...

Reading the paper the other day I thought to myself that every country in the world should have a leader like Israel – not only does our Prime Minister Ehud Olmert know what his country wants but he knows what his country's enemy wants as well!!! Every country should have such a leader - Peace will be achieved in no time!

"Olmert: We don't want war, and neither does Syria"
PM makes secret trip to meet Abdullah in Jordan. Rice again postpones visit to Israel
HERB KEINON; Jerusalem Post; Jul 13, 2007; pg. 01

I continued reading the paper and found myself feeling so secure (sic) with the future of the Jewish people. It seems that Shimon Peres, the Israeli leader who back in 1996 upon losing the elections to Bibi Netanyahu said "The Jews won and the Israelis lost" is now in charge of plans to safeguard the future of the Jewish people. I'm so glad someone who does not care about the "Jews" is in charge of our future!

Peres to oversee draft of new proposals for safeguarding the Jewish future

HAVIV RETTIG; Jerusalem Post; Jul 13, 2007

The Israeli leadership never ceases to amaze me, however, what amazed me more is the utter ignorance and denial of the Jewish people who actually believe what our leaders say and continue to let them rule us through their perpetual lies and deceit.

The future of the Jewish people is up to us, the people!!! The Jewish and Israeli leadership will only make our future better when we - "the little people", "the nation" lead them in the direction we want to be led. Until that time, we will continue to run backwards under a leaderless leadership.