Sounds Israeli: The music of Efrat Gosh

Efrat Gosh grew up in Herzliya and went to music school with a concentration in Jazz. The following song by Gosh is about what it feels like to wake up in the morning after a great night out on the town.

Have a wonderful Purim!

(Sounds Israeli is edited by Stefan Babjak)

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A letter to CiF Watch from the Guardian, via King Ahasuerus?

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Dear Mr Levick,

I am writing to inform you that we have been reviewing our codes of practice at ‘Comment is Free’ and have decided that closing your account and deleting your previous comments was unjustified.  We have therefore decided to re-open your account. Unfortunately your previous comments have already been removed from our systems and cannot be returned, but we would be happy to have you return to the below the line commentary.

Furthermore:

In the course of our review we came to several conclusions with regards to the character of the above the line writers at ‘Comment is Free’ and have reached a number of conclusions:

  1. We shall no longer be publishing commentary from contributors associated with terrorist groups.
  2. We will be seeking a greater breadth of above the line copy, including more commentary from Zionists.
  3. Our moderators have been instructed to adhere to the working definition of anti-Semitism as laid out by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency and to delete comments that do not adhere to this standard.  We have asked the Community Security Trust for help in this regard.

In short Mr Levick, thanks to organisations such as CiF Watch we have decided to fundamentally alter the way we approach contributions to ‘Comment is Free’ and the way that we deal with below the line comments.

Yours Sincerely

Natalie Hanman

Editor, ‘Comment is Free’ 

 

(This Purim Spiel was written by Marc Goldberg)

Revealed: CIA is reading your mail!

A guest post by Green Glenwald

purimAs part of my ongoing series about the way the CIA, the Mossad, the Zionists, the Obama administration, MSNBC, The New York Times, the Washington Post and the little green people under your bed are controlling your lives, this revelation should finally lay any doubts you might have to rest.

The CIA is reading your mail! 

Yes – the CIA, not content with sending drones from Afghanistan to Mali to kill innocent civilians, are using them to intercept the letters you should have received that contain tips for dodging their illegal activities and keeping your RPGs and human shields safe!

Without a doubt this represents the most outrageous proof of the prima facie illegal, warrantless mail-tapping, contrary to the Geneva conventions and international law (which only applies to the USA and Israel) that is one of the disgusting hallmarks of this administration and its relentless attempts to keep America insecure by creating thousands of new terrorist postmen.

This is happening under the direct management, right from the top, of the most evil administration this country has known. Wikileaks revealed, and now we have proof, that there are weekly meetings at the White House in what the people running this program call “the mailroom” (something they find amusing, no doubt) where the President himself selects the mail that will be intercepted and read.

A source on an unknown Internet TV channel where I appear weekly (we keep it secret so that the CIA and others cannot watch it and I can post little videos of myself talking to myself in this column) has revealed that Obama’s poor performance during the first debate with Mitt Romney was due to the fact that he was not trying to read his talking points, as many have assumed, but debating with himself as to which envelope he should open first.

As I learned in law school:

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… any person who—

…. knows, or has reason to know, that such device or any component thereof has been sent through the mail or transported in interstate or foreign commerce; or

(iv) such use or endeavor to use (A) takes place on the premises of any business or other commercial establishment the operations of which affect interstate or foreign commerce; or (B) obtains or is for the purpose of obtaining information relating to the operations of any business or other commercial establishment the operations of which affect interstate or foreign commerce; or

(v) such person acts in the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any territory or possession of the United States;

The President (who live in the District of Columbia, in case you did not know that) is clearly in violation of allowing al Qaeda to continue its regular business operations pursuant to the very laws he is sworn to uphold and should  be impeached.

Update:

Following publication of this article, I was asked for advice on how to defeat this program.

In case your envelope has been intercepted, here are a couple of tips from one that made it past the CIA’s illegal mail-tapping that have proven useful:

The document includes advice such as “hide under thick trees” (believed to be bin Laden’s contribution), and instructions for setting up a “fake gathering” using dolls to “mislead the enemy”. 

If dolls are not available in your cave or under your tree, make use of the local population – local women and children are convincing alternatives you should use to keep yourself safe.

 Happy Purim!

Sounds of Purim: Rapping poetical about Haman and Ahmadinejad

This week’s video is titled ‘Purim Poetry Slam’, and written and performed by Ari Lesser.  Lesser is a singer, songwriter, rapper, and spoken word artist from Cleveland, Ohio.  He recently spent time in Israel studying at Yeshivot in Tzfat and Jerusalem, and has performed all over the world.

 

Israel Unmasked: Costumes, Ciggies & Rockets

A guest post by Gidon Ben-Zvi, a freelance Israeli writer

Purim in Nachalot, Jerusalem, 2012: Photo taken by Assaf Astrinsky

A weekend that ended with over 200 rockets and mortar shells being launched from the Gaza Strip toward Be’er Sheba, Ashkelon, Ashdod and other Israeli cities began with an explosion of another kind: that of light, color, dance and general mayhem.

Before the skies turned fat and dark with plumes of grey-black smoke, there was Purim 2012 – and what a holiday it was!

Officially, Purim celebrates the deliverance of the Jewish people in the ancient Persian Empire from destruction in the wake of a plot by Haman.

Unofficially, the holiday is a license for grizzle-faced security guards to sachet through Machne Yehuda in skirts, wigs, rouge and high heels; normally prim and proper school teachers to get dressed up as sexy, whip-wielding librarians and well-scrubbed Yeshiva bochers to stay up into the wee small hours – smoking, yelping and imbibing the night away.

I had the great good fortune to experience Purim 2012 in the heart of all the madness – the hip, artsy, freewheeling neighborhood of Nachlaot, Jerusalem. With an endless supply of blind alleys, improvised schuls and sidewalk troubadours, Nachlaot infuses the city with a checkerboard study in contrasts: tin roofs rubbing up against the neighborhood’s drive to gentrify.

While Purim celebrations in such Jerusalem garden communities as Rechavia and Baka provide wholesome fare for one and all, Nachlaot is a roving spectacle of hastily organized block parties, bearded ladies and magically appearing DJs – piping out an irresistible medley of traditional holiday songs, hip hop – courtesy of “Dag Nachash” and Lady Gaga.

My wife Debbie and I attempted to infuse the party atmosphere with a semblance of that Old Time Religion – by attending a perfectly sane and somber Megillah reading from the Book of Esther at one of Nachlaot’s many synagogues. However, a “quick” detour to Machne Yehuda forced us to revise our plans. With the neighborhood’s Kurdish, Ashkenazi and Sephardic synagogues all overflowing with the bewigged and bejeweled – we decided to take the digital path towards revisiting Mordechai’s triumph – courtesy of YouTube.

While YouTube provided the text, the synagogue located directly above our heads provided the uproarious soundtrack. Whenever Haman’s name was read out during the synagogue service, the congregation engaged in noise-making – meant to blot out the evil prime minister’s name.

With the passage of time, my mental faculties will inevitably dim; my hairline will continue its march towards oblivion and my eyesight will probably fade – forcing me to experience the world as a moving procession of shadows and fog.

Yet, the memories made during Purim 2012 – of costumes, ciggies and even rockets – will provide me with warmth, succor and tenacious hope in the remarkable endurance of the Third Jewish Commonwealth – forged in hellfire and consecrated by countless acts of heroism – until my soul slips the surly bonds of earth.

Purim in Nachalot, Jerusalem, 2012: Photo taken by Assaf Astrinsky

On Remembering: Purim in Israel, 1932 and 2012

Indifference, to me, is the epitome of evil – Elie Wiesel

Purim commemorates a time (roughly 423 BCE) when the Jewish people living in Persia were saved from extermination.  The hereos of the story are Esther, a young Jewish woman living in Persia, and her cousin Mordechai, who raised her as if she were his daughter.

Esther was taken to the house of Ahasuerus, King of Persia, to become part of his harem, and made her queen, as the king did not know that she was a Jew.

The villain of the story is Haman, an egotistical advisor to the king.  

Haman hated Mordecai because he refused to bow down to him.  So Haman plotted to destroy the Jewish people.  Haman told the king,

“There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from those of every people; neither keep they the king’s laws; therefore it does not profit the king to suffer them.”

The king gave the fate of the Jewish people to Haman, who planned to exterminate all of the Jews.

Mordechai persuaded Esther to speak to the king on behalf of the Jews, though this was very dangerous for Esther to do because going before the king without being summoned could result in execution.

However, Esther went to the king, who actually welcomed her.

Esther told the king of Haman’s plot, who was moved by her plea, and the Jews were saved.

Purim is a joyous holiday. In addition to hearing the reading of the book of Esther, known as the Megillah, we are also commanded to eat, drink and, well, be merry.

Carnival-like celebrations are typically held to celebrate the holiday and, in Israel, its hard to forget the holiday as the sight of costume-adorned Israelis, both children and adults, fill the streets.

When I first came across the following video of Purim celebrations in Tel Aviv in 1932 I was amazed to see a glimpse of life in the country 16 years prior to Independence – the joy, spirit and merriment in the first Hebrew city.

But, it was also impossible not to recall that 1932-1933 marked the rise of the Nazis regime – fateful years which ushered in the rise of an the era’s new Haman who, though ultimately vanquished, extinguished one half of European Jewry.

Our day’s Persian Haman is given subsistence due to cynicism, indifference, ignorance and  forgetfulness.

Whether secular or religious, being a Jew means remembering. 

Elie Wiesel wrote:

I marvel at the resilience of the Jewish people. Their best characteristic is their desire to remember. No other people has such an obsession with memory.

No, Judaism isn’t defined merely by adherence to Torah (the Hebrew Bible) or Halacha (Jewish law) but, rather, to a collective historical memory regarding those who have sought, and currently seek, our destruction – and the stubborn refusal to be assigned to the dustbin or history.

Today is the day to remember what the committed few can do against the powerful many.

Purim Sameach!

Raise Your Masks: Happy Purim!

Purim, told in the Biblical book of Esther, commemorates a time when the Jewish people living in Persia were saved from extermination.

The heroes of the story are Esther, a young Jewish woman living in Persia, and her cousin Mordecai, who raised her as if she were his daughter. Esther was taken to the King of Persia, to become part of his harem, and was made queen. But the king did not know that Esther was a Jew, because Mordecai told her not to reveal her nationality.

The villain of the story is Haman, an advisor to the king. Haman hated Mordecai because Mordecai refused to bow down to Haman, so Haman plotted to destroy the Jewish people.

In a speech that is all too familiar to Jews, Haman told the king,

“There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from those of every people; neither keep they the king’s laws; therefore it does not profit the king to suffer them.”

The king gave the fate of the Jewish people to Haman, to do as he pleased to them. Haman planned to exterminate all of the Jews.

Mordecai persuaded Esther to speak to the king on behalf of the Jewish people, which was a dangerous thing because anyone who came into the king’s presence without being summoned could be put to death, and she had not been summoned.

Esther, after fasting for three days to prepare herself, then went to the king, who welcomed her. She told him of Haman’s plot against her people, and the King, moved by Esther’s plea, ordered Haman hanged on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai.

The Jewish people were saved.

To our readers observing the holiday, Purim Sameach!