Mum and Dad are coming up on Saturday and will be staying five nights with me. They must really like Wellington! Dad has done surprisingly well at an exhibition in Timaru so they might be feeling quite flush when they get here. I'm really pleased for him - although they're in good financial shape, he still feels a certain amount of pressure to sell his work (some of which has been applied by Mum I think). I guess the only way he knows his paintings are appreciated is if people buy them. No doubt we'll look at some open homes on Sunday.
Unfortunately my football predictions came true. Blues were a bit unfortunate to lose 1-0 in Braga after being on top during most of the first half in which they missed a penalty. And to cap it all off, Brugge came back from 3-0 down with 17 minutes to go to win 4-3 in Slovenia. You couldn't make it up. Now Blues have to beat Maribor at St Andrews and hope that Braga somehow win in Bruges. Well, for Blues fans it's been blissful escapism from the grind of league football, and don't we all need to escape occasionally.
The Vilna Gaon says there are 3 types of Amalek: (that imprison and take the life away from man)
1) Of the Heart: vices and lusts and yetzer hara
2) Of the Spiritual: The Samech Mem, and the Satan and his Bride
3) Of the Physical: Esav, Yishmael, and Erev Rav
We are all prisoners to our personal Amalek. Here is a first hand account of being a prisoner to Amalek in realtime. This may be a hint of what one goes through either in his Heart,Body, or Soul (Heart-Spiritual-Physical; Personal Amalek)
Grapel: I'm no Gilad Shalit
Israeli American Ilan Grapel, who was held in Egypt on espionage charges, recalls hellish experience
A month after his release from Egyptian prison and his return to his parents' home in New York Ilan Grapel, who was held in Egypt for four months on espionage charges, shares the story of his hellish imprisonment in Cairo with Yedioth Ahronoth
It was Sunday, June 12 at 8:30 am, Grapel was still sleeping when 30 men in civilian clothing barged to the room. Two of them asked him what his name was and which citizenship he carried.
More on Ilan Grapel:
Ilan Grapel: I was in Egypt to help Arab world
Report: Grapel deal includes US F-16 sale to Egypt
Grapel: I was treated well in Egypt
Grapel pointed to his two passports, American and Israeli and hoped that would be the end of it: "I was sure they would take me to a police station and then the US Ambassador would arrive and everything would be fine," he recalls.
Grapel after his release (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
"But when they put the handcuffs on I started to get scared. When we got to the street and I saw the black van, they called it a 'limousine' my fears grew. Then I was blindfolded and put in the van. At this stage I knew they were Egyptian security services and I told myself: God, I just hope I don't become the second Azam Azam."
He spent 150 days in a four-by-four meter room, two weeks of which he spent in complete confinement that made him nearly lose his mind. Since his release on October 27, during which 25 Egyptian prisoners were released, he has been shutting himself in his parents home, trying to get used to his new situation.
Grapel may be free, but the memories won't let him go. "At the beginning of the investigation, the Egyptian prosecutor told me I was suspected of spying.
I answered in Arabic that there was nothing to talk about; he claimed that I needed a translator. I told him: "I'm learning Arabic and I'd like to improve my knowledge of the language. He didn't smile and told me: 'Are you crazy? You're looking at five life sentences'."
In the holding cell Grapel tried to keep himself busy by exercising and in order to make sure that he didn't lose his voice he says he "hummed the songs I had heard at the youth hostel." He added: "I also tried to make every meal last as long as possible. I washed my hands before eating bread, that's five minutes and the blessing on the bread is another five minutes.
"During the month of Ramadan I fasted and only ate in the evening so that the prison guards would see that I respect them and maybe like me, time just stood still."
Not like Gilad Shalit
Even now, when he is far away from Egypt and the threat of incarceration, Grapel emphasized: "I wasn't tortured in prison. Not in the conventional sense of the word. They didn't rip out my fingernails. They didn't break my back. But I spent 150 days in a room with a bed, a chair and a barred window, without any company, without having any idea what the next move would be."
During the interview Grapel shared one of the toughest moments of his time in Egyptian captivity: "After two weeks in solitary confinement I told the investigator: Give me the death sentence. He answered: 'That's not possible; there isn't war between Israel and Egypt."
Grapel says that during his imprisonment he often thought of Gilad Shalit but asks that no comparisons be made between the two cases. "The circumstances are different," he explained. "He was taken hostage as a soldier in uniform; I was a civilian who came to help. I told myself that if Gilad was enduring fore fie years, I can't break. I would not have felt comfortable if I had been released in exchange for terrorists."
In retrospect, Grapel still finds it hard to understand exactly what the Egyptians wanted from him. "I think I was arrested because I am Israeli and I was released because I am an American. And I think it took such a long time because the Egyptians didn't know how to climb down the proverbial tree."
Moshe built an altar and called it Adon-ay-Nissi [G-d is my banner] saying, "The hand is on G-d's Throne. G-d will be at war with Amalek for all generations." (Shemos 17:15-16)
Will Amalek be blotted out in 5772?
It is a worrying trend that more and more content in the Sydney Morning Herald broadsheet is either media release or opinion trotted out by unnamed journalists ("After the uprising, a revolution in education begins", November 26-27).
To have seven hundred and seven words surrounding a large emotive photograph unattributed to anyone is of significant concern. In fact it leads me to wonder why the SMH has reported so little opinion from the ‘other’ side in Libya (you know, the one that required North Atlantic Treaty Organisation bombers & fighter planes to ignore the principle of state sovereignty) and to wonder also whether Article 1 of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation treaty still stands (you know the one where NATO undertakes to settle any international dispute in which it may become involved by peaceful means).
I would really like to know who is behind this particular ‘opinion’; why so often there are no 'journalist' names for background search purposes; and whether this type of journalism is actually insidious propaganda for NATO's continued 'mission creep'?
I went swimming last night and will take a break from it for a while. I've got a skin condition - it seems to be dyshidrosis (awkward spelling). Lots of tiny bubbles appear under the skin of my hands, mostly around the base of my fingers and in between my fingers. The bubbles burst, the skin cracks, peels and sometimes bleeds. The Wikipedia page mentions chlorinated water, which seems quite likely given how much worse it has got since I started swimming, so I'll give it a rest and see if it improves.
My new boss mentioned the dreaded E-word - exams - in yesterday's weekly catch-up meeting. He recommends that I resume them sooner rather than later. Oh no. At Monday's autism group I said I'd like to be my own boss one day; some people there thought that would be very stressful. My dad has been his own boss since 1977 and has never been unduly stressed by it.
Tomorrow morning (our time) Birmingham play Braga in Portugal in the penultimate group-stage match of the Europa League. Win and Blues are into the next round, but that's a very tall order. My prediction is that Braga beat Blues while Brugge beat Maribor in the other match. Then Blues thrash Maribor in the last round of matches but it will all be for nothing because Braga and Blues play out a draw that sees them both through. Blues would miss out despite an impressive haul of ten points. Let's hope I'm wrong.
Just how deep is Israel and its Mossad in Iran? Maybe this is why Gog V' Magog will only last under 10 minutes! Iran is probably rigged like the Twin Towers - waiting to fall!
Is this the Messianic Dream of Iran urging to fulfill itself? Something just isn't normal In Peras.
Iranian news agencies reported an explosion Monday in the central Iranian city of Isfahan, which hosts a nuclear research facility, but on Tuesday the provincial deputy governor denied there had been any explosion.
It was never made clear where the reported blast occurred, although there was nothing to link it to the research facility attached to the city's university.
But the explosion-that-never-was, the Iranians say, underlines how the country is being spooked by covert operations against its nuclear program by U.S. and Israeli intelligence services.
The Isfahan episode occurred just more than two weeks after a massive explosion at a ballistic missile base near Tehran killed the architect of Iran's strategic missile program, Maj. Gen. Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam.
It also came hard on the heels of an Iranian announcement that security authorities had captured a dozen "CIA spies" targeting the nuclear program. That followed reports earlier in the week that other alleged CIA operatives had been rounded up in May.
None of the reports have been verified and the CIA declined comment, although agency officials had in recent days admitted -- unusually -- that bungled operations in Beirut against Hezbollah, Iran's key proxy in Lebanon, had led to the capture of a dozen Lebanese informants.
"The U.S. and Zionist regime's espionage apparatuses were trying to damage Iran both from outside and inside with a heavy blow, using regional intelligence services," declared Parviz Sorouri of the Iranian Parliament's national security committee.
Iranian officials say the Nov. 12 blast at the al-Ghadir base, a storage and testing area for Shehab-3 ballistic missiles, was an accident that occurred during the testing of a new missile.
Israel's foreign intelligence service, the Mossad, has been widely seen as responsible for the explosion as part of its clandestine campaign to sabotage Iran's nuclear program. However, Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani denied that Israel was involved.
Israel has made no direct comment on this. However, Intelligence Minister Dan Meridor observed elliptically after Monday's report of an explosion that in dealing with the Iranian threat "there are countries that impose economic sanctions and there are countries who act in other ways."
Meantime, Brig. Gen. Ithai Baron, head of the research directorate of Israel's Military Intelligence, told Parliament's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Monday that al-Ghadir explosion could delay Tehran's drive to produce intermediate-range ballistic missiles capable of reaching the Jewish state.
But he stressed, "We must emphasize that Iran has other development tracks in addition to that facility."
The al-Ghadir blast followed the assassination and defection of several Iranian nuclear scientists and a formidable cyberwarfare assault, suspected to be run by Israeli intelligence, that damaged Iran's nuclear program.
Iranian officials have copiously accused Israel and the United States of covert operations but insist that the al-Ghadir blast was an accident.
In recent days, Iran's leading generals have been falling over themselves to warn the Americans and Israelis of the dire and terrible retaliation they face if the Islamic Republic is attacked, as Israel has threatened to do.
Veteran Middle East analyst Mahan Abedin sought to explain this paradox by observing: "Mischievous Israeli posturing notwithstanding, there is no evidence or credible information at this stage to suggest that the explosion at the al-Ghadir base was anything but an accident caused by an important experiment involving ballistic missiles and high explosives.
"But assuming the explosion was the result of sabotage, senior Iranian officials have two overriding reasons to insist on an accidental cause.
"In the very short term, an admission that sabotage is the cause runs the risk of inflaming public opinion with the resulting overwhelming demand for immediate retaliation," Abedin noted.
"For various reasons -- not least the desire to avoid escalation -- Iranian leaders are not overly keen to respond to Israeli and American provocations which they view as a trap.
"At a deeper level, this remarkable forbearance in the face of seemingly intolerable provocations is the result of Iranian leaders' strategic calculus.
"Iran's leaders long ago concluded that enormous pressures -- including sabotage operations -- would be directed against the country to coerce the leadership to discontinue the nuclear program," Abedin observed in an Asia Times analysis.
"By refusing to retaliate against the country's enemies, Iranian leaders are sending yet another signal that they are committed to staying on the same strategic trajectory regardless of the costs."
Maybe its True,and Moshiach will come in 2011...otherwise...2012 is looking like the real deal.
So many points converging at once - in every sector of the World!
Remember, that in Jewish Time, every year is connected to the year before and after it: thus according to Ramban's calculations, 5771 is virtually the same in emphasis as 5772.
Will Chanuka usher in some Geulah Shleimah flavor? - as Chanuka is the ongoing saga of Moshiach Ben Ephraim (Yosef) - fighting for God...And it looks like the fight is really on at this point! - Last Round of Erev Rav and Amalek?
Will Iran have had enough?
How much more does Erev Rav have in the tank to instigate the World?
5772 - The Final Frontier. Is this the year we can finally Be Jewish in the Jewish Land with the Jewish Temple in the Jewish City learning and teaching Jewish Torah?
Moshiach Ben Ephraim...Being Jewish...Chanuka 2.0....2012/5772
The Brompton arrives in Newtown from Scone!
It just has to be the most perfect bicycle for Australian train travel conveniently fitting into a bag thus conveniently fitting into Countrylink's inconvenient parameters for bicycles!
Not for me the joys of a train without changing in Newcastle though - I'd have buckley's getting my bike into a bag - CityRail it'll still have to be!
The Latest In Pakistan: An American Crusade!
And so it came to pass that Big Helma ensured 'eager-beaver' mainstream media received all helmet safety facts necessary to support Big H's position on mandatory helmets.
Consequently fact-finding and scientific debate morphed into fact-fighting and misinformation as the 'discrediting duel' continued within the ranks of academia.
Methinks this smacks of a great big public relations exercise!
Interminable tedium whatever!
Click Here For More Information On The Erev Rav And Who They Are Today!
Chanoch - Sinned with Erev Rav, Ignored Them
Noach - Sinned With Erev Rav, Did Not Eradicate Them; Brought Them To New World
Elijah - Sinned With Erev Rav, Tried To Just Kill Them
Moshe - Brought Out Erev Rav; Did He Sin?
Moshiach - Will Finish Moshe's Job With Erev Rav, Thus Completing Neshama Status Of Moshe; With Mercy Moshiach Will Defeat Erev Rav
-Arizal on Erev Rav
Erev Rav (And Katan) Reference In Talmud: (By Rabbi Bakst)
On last night's news, there I was! My first ever TV appearance, as far as I know.
I've always quite liked elections even though I switch off from a lot of the political machinations that take place in between. The first election I clearly remember was the UK election of 1992 when I was twelve. You had more charts and graphs than you could possibly shake a stick at, and boy did I love that! Peter Snow was very excited by his swingometer and so was I. Unlike Kiwi elections, the polls in the UK don't close until 10pm and the bulk of the results aren't known until after midnight, which was well past my bedtime. Mum and Dad let me watch for a bit, but it was only the next morning that I learnt that John Major's Tories had won a close race. We happened to live in Major's constituency of Huntingdon. It's true blue there, so under FFP your vote is rendered pretty much meaningless.
By the time '97 rolled around, the Tories had been in power my whole life, and I have to admit it felt good to see Labour sweep to power in a sea of red, a landslide win largely brought about by the disproportionality of FPP. In 2001 I was old enough to vote but was living in France; I could still have voted if I'd wanted to but in that particular election I couldn't see the point.
So I voted in a general election for the first time at the age of 25, and as I was out of my electorate I got to cast a special vote. Boy did I feel special. For some reason I found the NZ election of 2005 fascinating. Just like in the UK, urban areas tend to go red while rural electorates vote blue, but the way the votes are counted means the story plays out very differently on the night. In the UK, the votes for each constituency are pooled together and counted in one location, so the very compact urban (left-leaning) areas are counted quickly, while remote areas (the Orkney Islands being an extreme example) take all night. So Labour tend to sprint out to an early lead only for the Tories to come back strongly at the end. In NZ, each polling station counts its votes separately; some booths in the back and beyond in Canterbury may only get a dozen (probably National) voters, but in urban electorates like mine some stations will take thousands. This all means that the pattern you see in the UK is reversed in NZ. This wasn't something I'd thought about, so when Labour overturned a big deficit to sneak home, it took me by surprise.
Three years ago we had a change of government but everything played out almost as expected. This time I found the whole thing a lot more interesting. The biggest highlights and lowlights for me:
- The Greens. It'll be 11% when the specials come out; maybe a 14th MP. Both Turei and Norman are highly intelligent people, they ran a great campaign, and I think the party will continue to do well until green policy becomes so "obvious" that such a party no longer needs to exist. In Wellington Central (yes I know we're all hippies here) the Greens trailed Labour by just twelve votes (in the party vote) on the night.
- Winston First. I didn't see that one coming. He will add some flavour to the next three years even if I wouldn't trust the man as far as I could throw him, and he come with the nice little side benefit of preventing National from getting an overall majority. John Key's asset sales just get that little bit harder.
- John Key himself. National didn't really score a resounding win in this election, but Key sure as hell did.
- The badly-designed referendum. If you answered yes to the first question, do you answer the second? Who knew? And how many people had the foggiest idea of what all the other voting options were? I've got a maths degree and STV messes with my head (despite that I still thought it was the best non-MMP option).
- The tied vote in Christchurch (specials still to come). What are the odds of that? And it goes to show your vote really does count - who would have thought that?
- The TV3 coverage. Really good I thought, even from Paul Henry who I haven't always had much time for. Just one thing - I wish they'd stop saying "60% of the votes have been counted." No, 60% of the polling places have been counted, which is a totally different thing.
It's been another glorious day in Wellington (even if it's blowing a gale now). This morning at the waterfront market there was some march involving drums and bells. I had no idea what it was about. But I love the fact that Wellington people care about stuff and like to express themselves. That's the sort of place I want to live in.
We've got the autism group tomorrow night. No doubt the election will take up a fair old chunk of proceedings. If you're autistic, I'm guessing a big National win isn't quite what you want.
A phrase I've heard a lot during this election campaign, especially from National, is "getting ahead", as in "if we raise tax rates for higher earners, hard-working New Zealanders will find it harder to get ahead." The phrase is bandied about as if everyone can get ahead. Well I'm sorry, but for someone to get ahead, somebody else has to fall behind. Then when you put in the hard yards and overtake a few people, guess what, there are a whole bunch of people who are still ahead of you! The thing is, hard work absolutely should be incentivised, but for many people, whether they get ahead or fall behind is due to circumstances as much as anything, and a lot of people work their butts off just to stand still.
It might be breaking the law if I were to post election predictions on voting day, lest I influence the thousands of swing voters who frequent my blog, so I'd better do them now (two hours before the deadline) just in case. I'm picking National to have enough seats to govern alone, despite getting below 50% of the vote, due to a fairly large proportion of "wasted" votes (I don't think either Winston First or ACT will make it).
When the question is...
"WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?"
...I have found the most satisfactory answer to be...
"WHO THE HELL WANTS TO KNOW?"
Tum-ti-tum! - Monday's exchange as I 'blended' into Market Street near David Jones!
Click Here For Parashas Chayei Sarah With Ramban!
- The Genetics of Cham Ben Noach
- Abraham and Keturah
- Yitzchak, Yishmael, Moshiach Ben David
- Shem and Abraham: Lovers of God
- Brit and Jacob
- Abraham One With God
- Yitzchak The Individual
- Jacob The Tzaddik
- Tzaddik Yesod Olam
- Mazal In This World And The Next
- Two Tables: Torah And Parnassa
- The Time Of The Woman
Click Here For Knowledge Of Who Is Erev Rav According To Zohar And Gra!
- 5 Types Of Erev Rav
- The 6th Level
- Erev Rav And Erev Katan?
- Noahides Tikkun Of Erev rav?
- Moshe Bringing Out Erev rav
- Erev Rav In Gematria
- Machlokes, Erev Rav, And Amalek
- Chanuka Geulah Shleimah Defeats Erev Rav?
- The Jewish Weapon
- Tefilah and 3rd Temple
We have 3 central themes in this post :
- The Final Redeemer is like the First Redeemer (Moshe Rabbeinu, and Moshe as Moshiach Ben meNashe)..in that he is compared to a gazelle; it is revealed, then hidden, and then again revealed - in the fashion of always, "Approaching" - such is the Geulah, its "Coming", just with revelation and concealment.
- בראשית starts with a ב...yet Chazal say there is a hidden א before the ב. If we isolate the Alef with the Beis, it forms the word, "בא", meaning to come/approach. Genesis is begins with 2 ב''ב...Bereishis Bara [Elokim]...long thought by science to imply the other B'B...The Big Bang..which science is recreating in Geneva at the LHC.
- Neutrinos have been found while looking for the God Particle/Higgs Boson, traveling faster than the Speed of Light, which Einstein had said would be impossible!
- Neutrino is faster than Light
- Alef is the revelation of Light = Being..Just "To Be"..Yud Kay Vav Kay!
- The nature of Redemption is to be "Approaching", not "Moving"