Showing posts from April, 2016

The Absent Son

One of our sons was absent from our seder table this year. Raphael was in jail. Raphael is the leader of the "Return To The (Temple) Mount" Movement (Chozrim LeHar). The series of events began when Raphael, his wife and two children arrived at our home on Thursday evening to join us for the first day of Passover.  Awaiting Raphael, outside our house, were two patrol cars and a crowd of police officers, who served Raphael with a restraining order, forbidding Raphael to visit Jerusalem. This was in order to prevent Raphael from going to the Old City on Friday (Passover Eve), where he might make attempts to bring a Passover Sacrifice. Unperturbed by the restraining order, Raphael set out Friday morning to the Old City of Jerusalem. He was met there by police officers, who arrested Raphael along with about 20 other young folks, for "disturbing the peace" and, in Raphael's case, breaking his restraining order.  Whereas the others

Why the decline in stabbing terror attacks?

(Notwithstanding today's report about an explosion on a bus in Jerusalem...). After 6 months of almost daily terror attacks, the pace of mayhem and murder has noticeably slowed. Since October, 2015, Arab terrorists have attacked Israelis, generally acting without organizational logistics, but rather solo individuals or, at most, small groups of friends, using knives, cars and sometime guns, resulting in a tragic death toll of 36 Israelis. In the past month and a half, however, these horrors somewhat and thankfully abated. Of course, the future is uncertain, and who knows what tomorrow may hold, heaven forbid. But the recent past is incontrovertible fact. Less attacks. According to the IDF, March saw an overall number of 6 terrorism incidents (including shootings, stabbings, and vehicle rammings), compared to 56 in February, 45 in January, and 40 in December. April appears to have followed, so far, the same pattern of dramatically decreased number of

Passover Sacrifice to be Reenacted Facing Temple Mount Next Week

Guest Author: Batsheva Cohen The public reenactment of the Passover Sacrifice, which has become a popular spring-time event these past few years, will be getting closer to the actual site of the Temple Mount next week. In addition, the organizers are offering a ( k'zayit -sized) piece of the Paschal Sacrifice in order to fulfill the biblical commandment, should that become a possibility. This year's reenactment may prove to be an even more festive event than ever as many new participants are planning to arrive from all parts of the country in order to take part in this free but priceless opportunity! The past Paschal Reenactments were held in a school courtyard which became more cramped each year due to the growing popularity of the important event. For this reason the organizers decided to move the event this year to the more spacious location of Mitzpeh Beit Orot, between Mount Scopus and the Mount of Olives, near Emek Tzurim, which faces Judaism's holiest and most re

Extraordinary Measures

I gave a guy a hitch/tremp the other day. It transpired he is closely involved in the Duma case (the arson which killed three members of the Dawabsheh family). During the ride, he told me about an astounding aspect of the case which was unfamiliar to me, and probably to you too, as the only media outlet which has agreed to publish the story was Haaretz  (in their Premium section). You will recall that on 2nd August, 2015, the Israeli Cabinet approved introducing "extraordinary measures" in interrogating suspects of Jewish terror. It has been widely reported that these measures included administrative detention (ie imprisonment for long periods without charges or trial), physical force (stretching, electrocution), sleep deprivation (considered a form of torture under international law) and causing emotional stress (harassment, sexual assault). My passenger told me about an additional level of "extraordinary measures" which have recently been used for inte