October challenge

I started the year off with a photo-a-day challenge in January. I really enjoyed it, and it made me post every day for a month, which is what I really enjoyed.  So I'm going to do it again in October -- with a twist.

As much as I enjoy it, I have to admit that photography is not my medium. I'm not gifted, skilled, or talented.  My medium is words. So I will attempt to deliver an image in words each day.  My original idea was to write a haiku every day, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to do that without getting trite.

Should be interesting, and fun!

1. Where I stood
2. Lunchtime
3. This happened today
4. What I read
5. Shadow
6. I'm thankful for
7. Light
8. Angle
9. Red
10. Emotion 
11. Something close-up
12. On the table
13. Landscape
14. Makes me laugh
15. Dinnertime
16. Something I wrote
17. Fruit
18. Made me smile today
19. Letters
20. 4 o'clock
21. Calm
22. In my town
23. The view from here
24. Weather
25. People
26. Listening to
27. Morning
28. Looking back
29. Moon
30. Clothes
31. Whatever I please 

(I must give proper acknowledgment to fatmumslim for the list of daily prompts.)


Are we there yet?

(Photos: Carlos Latuff, Twitpic-Netanyahu on bombs @UN General Assembly)

Can't be much longer...

- how will it start?

- with the much anticipated own-goal-torpedoing of the soon-to-be-de-commissioned USS Enterprise???

- will this military madness ever stop?

London Monopoly (14): Fleet Street

This is the 14th part of my tour around the London Monopoly Board.

'Prince Henry's Room' at 17 Fleet Street, London. In the 12th century this site was the property of The Knights Templars. It is one of the few Fleet Street structures to have survived the Great Fire of London in 1666

In the UK, and possibly further afield, Fleet Street is synonymous with the Newspaper Industry. There are nine national daily newspapers and they have massive circulation

and readership figures. The best-selling Sun has over seven million readers. (In the USA the best selling paper is The Wall Street Journal with just over two million). But now the papers have all moved out to more modern locations in London's Docklands. The area is now mainly occupied by members of the legal profession.

The River Fleet now runs underground along the course of Fleet Street but it was formerly open to the skies.

An associate of William Caxton, one of the inventors of printing, was the first to publish there around 1500 but the street existed long before that. He had the brilliant name of Wynkyn de Worde (I kid you not!)

Fleet Street is a continuation of The Strand (see the previous post in this series).

Fleet Street. I guess this would be at the turn of the 20th century.

Finally, for clarity, Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street (as portrayed by Johnny Depp in 2007) is a fictional character. That means that, contrary to widespread belief, he didn't exist!


Newtown Festival takes the plunge – ‘bottled-water’ free

Almost certainly an ‘urban first’ for Australia, Newtown Festival is to go ‘bottled-water’ free this November.

Building on its eco-festival record (think bio-diesel generators, solar powered stages, and bio-degradable catering products just for starters), the community-run festival has embraced the need to reduce festival waste, and welcomes this opportunity to showcase their ability to provide water to 80,000 festival-goers without the need for 100,000 plastic bottles.

“Newtown’s having a birthday so to celebrate the big ‘1-5-0’ we’ve chosen performers and artists who have a connection to Newtown whether that’s living here now or having lived here in the past or some other unique link” explained Festival Co-Director, Sue Andersen.

“So when you’re dancing till you drop to King Tide or Regular John or rocking out to The Preatures or Collarbones, you’ll be quenching your thirst with FREE tap water from refill stations dotted round Camperdown Memorial Park.”

Unlike many highly priced festivals that are struggling both nationally and internationally to attract crowds , Newtown Festival has been free for more than 30 years and continues to draw crowds of well over 80,000.

“We love that we’re a free festival and that around 33% of festival goers donate gold coins and notes into our buckets at the site entrances,” said Ms Andersen. It’s this money, all 100% of it, that goes back to the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre to provide essential services for the diverse community that makes up Newtown.

“Just imagine what we could provide if 70% of festival goers popped a gold coin in the bucket, or if a few more coins turned into notes!!” exclaimed Ms Andersen.

When asked why Newtown continues to grow whilst some of the major festivals were having a hard time (even Glastonbury is struggling and having 2012 off!), Ms Andersen thought that “being run by the community for the community makes a big difference to the life and sustainability of a festival... and if you join us on Sunday 11 November you’ll see the Newtown community set a new benchmark for festivals when we go bottled-water free!”


Media Contact - for more information, images or interviews please contact:

Sue Andersen, Festival Co-Director, 0427 863 486, or festival@newtowncentre.org
Cathy Wills, Festival Co-Director, 0412 214 844, or festival2@newtowncentre.org

Media Images: a gallery of high res festival images are available on the Media page

What: Newtown Festival 2012
When: Sunday, 11th November 2012
Where: Camperdown Memorial Rest Park, Newtown
Time: 9.30am – 6.00pm

Further Info: Visit festival website for more information
Follow us on Facebook & Twitter


School holidays, a birthday, a missing front tooth removed by an older brother's wayward foot, and one little person (so far) with the vomits means there's not a lot of blogging going on around here. 

I can however present to you...

I don't know why but I find this highly amusing but I do
I'm guessing my sanity has taken a hit somewhere between negotiating tooth fairy rates, holding vomit bowls while remembering to all sing happy birthday to the husband on Thursday
 (that's the day between Wednesday and Friday incase you where unsure like Cassius who has asked ON THE HOUR EVERY HOUR FOR THE LAST 10 DAYS)

 I suspect I may be alone in my love for glitter cat but I don't really mind.
I hope to return to you next week with some amazingly interesting morsels of information.
If images of tinsel covered dogs start appearing you will know I have in fact lost my mind.

Have a shiny weekend and
long live Glitter Cat

(no cat's where harmed or bedazzled in the making of this post)

Shem: Finding The Whole Torah Within Haazinu


Parashat Haazinu:
Moses and Shem: A Matter Within the Matter
Rabbi David Katz
In this week’s Parsha Moses ascends the extraordinary mountain that would receive his perfected body, the same mountain that would receive Aaron and Miriam as well. What makes this mountain extraordinary is that the Midrash explains that it has four official titles [Mt. Nevo, Mt. Avarim, Mt. Hur, and Mt. Hapizga], with Mt. Nevo in particular as being perhaps the most revealing of the four, and being a  mash up of: “Nachash – Bo” – “The snake is in it.” This is a reference to Miriam, Aaron, and Moses, all being buried within close proximity of this mountain strip to the East of the Jordan, and each as having died only due to the impurity of the Snake that got the best of Adam in the Garden of Eden; thus it was not by the sins of these three Holy Souls that they tasted death, but rather because of the lack of turning back the wrath of the Snake from this World that continues to get Man to sin, and thereby come to the grave. The direct consequence of this lack of vanquishing the Snake, a pull on the heart that we can all feel in the tone at the end of the Torah, is that they must remain outside the Land until the proper resurrection of the dead, which as the Rambam explains, is the pinnacle of one’s Faith. As Moses comes to meet his destiny and death makes its final approach upon him, one can’t help but notice allusions of Shem [the son of Noah] and the similar struggles that he went through and what Torah allusions are present here in a strikingly similar stream with Shem.
There are several layers of Torah that hint to the connection between Moses and Shem in this Parsha, all ranging from the various levels of Pardes [P’shat (simple meaning) R’emez (hint) D’rush (allegory) and S’od (secrets)], yet three distinct concepts resonate on a frequency that stands out more than others.
Moses ascends a Mountain to fulfill his death, much like Shem was gathered at Sinai for 1300 years before his moving on. This concept is in conjunction with a Midrash that states that Shem was actually released from Sinai by King Solomon by the power of his Torah. We will look at the dynamics of this Midrash and how it relates to the teachings of the Vilna Gaon (Rabbi of the 18th century), namely that the “Gaon” states that the entire Torah is made up within our Parsha, and that Moses’ mountain is allegorically synonymous with Sinai. The other concept is that of the verse 32:46: “Place on your hearts these words.” It should be noted that the word for “Place” is a derivative of “Shem” in Hebrew grammar and the gematria (numerical value) of the expression, “Place it on your hearts” is the same as “Shem son of Noah” [450].
The Vilna Gaon states that there are 614 words in this Parsha. In many ways [mostly Kabbalisticly] this number “614” encapsulates the concept of “the entire Torah.”  The most basic source of this relationship here in our parsha, is that 614 is the same as 613 [in Torah / Gematria, two words being off by “1” is not seen as a problem; rather it maintains its support. This concept is called “kollel” – addition. The source for this is found in Genesis where Reuven and Shimon are “like” “Efraim and Menashe” – the difference between both sets of sons is 1, and the Torah identifies the relationship: 725 vs. 726.] in that this hints at the number of commandments of 613. This takes us right back to Shem and the Midrash where he stood at Sinai for 1300 years until King Solomon released him.
As Shem stood at Sinai for those long years [which again, note the Vilna Gaon identifies the similarities between Moses’ mountain and Shem’s mountain, i.e. Sinai], and went through Sinai and beyond, virtually guaranteeing and providing witness in the success of Torah and an eventual Redemption [namely there being a Messiah son of David] Shem needed to be released from Sinai, and be given access to ascend on High, to be a Priest to God Above. Like Moses, Shem would not be given access at this time to the Land of Israel [below]; rather he would occupy the Land of Israel Above, until the time of the Final Redemption, of which Shem takes part with his role as the “Righteous Priest.” [Sukkah 52b] Also like Moses, this would not be due to the nature of Sin, but rather the failure to remove the proverbial venom from the snake and its grip on the World. Just as Shem in his confrontation with Solomon, forced the young King to encapsulate the entire Torah on one foot [to the tune of what would become Solomon’s Three Books: Proverbs, Song of Songs, and Ecclesiastes – all the synopsis of the Torah of David his father, to which is a lineage that Shem helped design through Tamar his daughter and her unique marriage/conception with Judah, David’s forefather] so too our Parsha that contains 614 words, is Moses’ way of imparting the entire Torah “on one foot.” It is said that if one learns out each word of Haazinu, he can actually relate to the entire Torah, and even the Torah on High, through divine faculties. With this Shem and Moses are quite parallel in their “last charge” to the people; Moses with the Jewish People and Shem to King Solomon, both would suggest an essential Torah that would live on through the Messianic age.
Lastly, the Torah mentions the “Placing of these words on your hearts.” The Gematria/Numerical Value of this expression is 450 – “Shem son of Noah” – which this may very well be Moses’ hidden charge for the people, to seek out the deeper levels of Torah, on an all inclusive level, otherwise known as “Pilpul” – the spice of Torah. The Torah of Shem is not listed by name anywhere in the Torah, yet the Midrashim, and even to garner a simple pshat in some places [simple meaning] requires one to insert the importance and knowledge of Shem. The reason why Shem’s Torah often does not stick out in one’s mind from reading the Torah, is that it comes from a revelation of Torah called “The Torah’s Modest Side” [Sifra D’Tzniusa]. It is from this level of Torah that one must literally “soften” his mind, to hear the Ancient voice of Torah speak loud and clear in the “today.” The Torah of Shem in many ways is the forerunner to the Torah of the Messiah, which tradition says the Torah as we know it will not change. This is exactly what happened at the exchange between Shem and Solomon, as the Essential Torah was expressed in the Torah as we know it and as Solomon knew it at that time – going back to Moses, and in the vessels of King David, who would be the archetype of the Messiah. When the prophet speaks about the circumcision of the heart [and to remove the hearts of stone], the Torah of Shem fits the bill, as when one hears the soft voice of Shem’s Torah embedded in the Torah of Moses, the heart is seen as circumcised, as a heart of stone perforce can’t claim the frequency. It should be noted then, that the Vilna Gaon states that 614 [as per the number of words in the Parsha] is that of Charut – 614 in Gematria [חרות], which means, “engraved.” The Vilna Gaon makes a connection to the Stone Tablets that contained the original 10 Commandments. The idea would be that when one has softened his heart, to encapsulate the entire Torah, from its softly spoken side, [the modest side of Shem] then the stone of the 10 Commandments ceases to remain an impediment to the scholar, for his heart has removed the stone as it would apply to this World.
Parashas Haazinu is one that is uniquely diverse, complex, and quite compelling. In this Parsha, Moses goes to his death, for reasons that ultimately belong only to Hashem. The same can be said about Shem, and all of the ambiguity that surrounds his name and his life. The Torah is a shroud of mystery for Shem, and now it is Moses, who as an incarnation of Shem is taking a similar trek, that like Shem will culminate only at the time of the Final Redemption. Moses and Shem have successfully delivered us the entire Torah, whether encoded in Haazinu or the books of Solomon, our job is to hear the voice of the Righteous in the Torah, and for that the Tanach reaches its conclusion in prophecy. The Prophet Malachi closes with his words, a prophecy for the Righteous Priest that “Rashi” identifies as Shem, “For the Lips of the Priest should safeguard Knowledge, and people should seek the Torah of his mouth, for he is an agent of Hashem Master of Legions. Such is Shem, who like Moses, they imparted with us the entire Torah encoded within their last moments, while in ascension upon similar mountains. If only we would listen and circumcise our hearts, perhaps then the Torah of Shem would come in the form of the Righteous Priest, who is destined to come in the End of Days – May it be soon.

ברוך הבא ה''תשעג

NWO Coming Out of Iran?!



...And Now NWO from Ahmadinejad?!


Despite the clock ticking down to military action against his country, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad largely ignored current events in his United Nations speech Wednesday and chose instead to call for a “new world order” free of the domination of the ruling big powers.

In what was the controversial leader’s eighth and last UN speech as Iranian president, Mr. Ahmadinejad laid the world’s misery at the feet of the “arrogant” few powers who rule from the UN Security Council, and offered the Non-Aligned Movement, which groups more than 120 developing countries, as a better model for governing the world.

Iran holds elections in June, and Ahmadinejad is barred by the constitution from seeking a third term.

Ahmadinejad did refer once to Israel and to the international crisis over Iran’s advancing nuclear program, saying the unfair and militaristic global system is what led to “the uncivilized Zionists threatening military action against our great country.”

In years past, the Iranian leader’s provocative pronouncements – denying Israel’s right to exist, doubting that Islamist terrorists carried out the 9/11 attacks – have prompted walkouts by delegations as he spoke. This year Ahmadinejad stood before a hall about three-quarters full, with the Canadian delegation one of the few to walk out.

The US announced beforehand that it would not attend the speech in protest of comments Ahmadinejad made earlier in New York rejecting Israel’s legitimacy, and because the speech fell on a Jewish holiday.

Saying Ahmadinejad had been “spouting … repulsive slurs against Israel,” the US Mission to the UN said in a statement that “it's particularly unfortunate that Mr. Ahmadinejad will have the platform of the UN General Assembly on Yom Kippur, which is why the United States has decided not to attend.”

The theme of a “new world order” is not a new one for Ahmadinejad, but it was the first time he dedicated his UN speech to it. He said “Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus” and other religions and cultures could live in harmony and peace if it weren’t for the “arrogance and hegemony of the ruling minority [and its] oppressive international order.” Those words did nothing to sway international human rights activists, who have used the occasion of Ahmadinejad's New York visit to register alarm over human rights in Iran.

“President Ahmadinejad's mix of attacks against 'Zionists' and 'hegemonic' powers for their rights abuses fails to distract from Iran’s own appalling rights record," says Philippe Bolopion, UN director for Human Rights Watch in New York. Singling out recent setbacks for women in Iran, Mr. Bolopion calls Ahmadinejad's "celebration" of the “spring of all the justice-seekers” in Arab countries particularly "perplexing ... in light of his government's support for the Syrian Government’s bloody crackdown.”

Ahmadinejad did not address Iran’s nuclear program, nor international concerns – expressed by the UN’s nuclear watchdog agency, as well as the Security Council and Western powers – that the program has Iran on a path to building a nuclear weapon. Iran insists its program is for peaceful purposes only.

In interviews on the margins of his UN visit, Ahmadinejad has said Iran remains open to dialogue, but he has dismissed both the threat of military action to stop the program and the impact of international sanctions designed to compel Iran to negotiate with world powers.

That dismissiveness appears to ignore a more somber mood just below the surface at the UN. Syria’s civil war, the trajectory of the Arab Spring countries, and instability in Africa’s Sahel region may top the list of priority concerns, but worries that a military confrontation of unforeseeable consequences may lay on the global horizon are not far behind.

President Obama put the General Assembly on notice Tuesday that a nuclear-armed Iran is not acceptable. Other leaders have seized on that statement to warn that the current trajectory – Iran's continued progress in a fuel-enrichment program as dialogue remains stalled – means a more devastating confrontation could become inevitable.

“Everyone knows that an Iranian [nuclear] weapon will not be accepted – so to do nothing and allow the program to advance is to risk war,” French President François Hollande said at a press conference Tuesday. The only way to turn the world off its current course, he said, is tougher sanctions on Iran and a return to dialogue.

But Ahmadinejad ignored the gathering clouds, at least in his speech. He did, however, manage to find a place to reiterate his conception of womanhood and how a materialistic world has soiled it.

“Woman’s sublime role as heavenly being has been abused,” he said, by the “moneyed powers” that now rule the world but that would be overcome under his new world order.
...And from Bibi - More NWO?

Our right to choose wind in our hair

(Photos: 'Our girl' Princess Mary, Clean Technica)

Fair Go for all cyclists – move over, Sport of Cycling, the road’s for sharing!

Fed up with bicycle helmet laws that have dogged Australia and New Zealand for the past 20 years, utility cyclists across the Antipodes are taking matters into their own hands.

The Melbourne-based ‘Freestyle Cyclists’ are acting upon their successful web petition for removal of bicycle helmet compulsion and are launching a national campaign for law reform on Saturday 6 October 2012 in East Brunswick. Widely acclaimed Professor Chris Rissel from the Faculty of Public Health at the University of Sydney will address the crowd, and will highlight the fact that helmet laws discourage cycling even though health benefits from cycling far outweigh actual risks. Other speakers will include Councillor Jackie Fristacky from the City of Yarra, independent film-maker Geoff McLeod from Queensland, and cycling activist Sue Abbott from NSW.

“Following the presentations” said Mr Alan Todd, Campaign Launch Co-organiser, “a number of us will stage a demonstration of civil disobedience by riding our bicycles along the nearby Merri Creek bike track unhelmeted!”

“Victoria became the first place in the world to enact bicycle helmet laws and then, regrettably the rest of Australia jumped on the band-wagon without even waiting for an evaluation of the effects of the legislation!” explained Mr Todd.

“All in all after 2 decades, give or take a few states in the US and a few provinces in Canada, we are pretty much on our own in the world with bicycle helmet laws – and you know why...because they simply don’t work.”

Studies have shown that helmets do not make the cyclist safer – in fact the risk of head injury per km cycled showed no measurable change after helmet laws were introduced, whilst the risks of other injuries actually went up. Immediately after helmet laws came in, numbers of Australians and New Zealanders cycling dropped dramatically, particularly amongst women and teenagers. To date despite years of cycling promotion by governments and public health agencies, participation in cycling of all kinds is less per head of population than it was in 1986, and 1 in 5 Australians report that they are put off riding a bike by helmet requirements.

“It’s high time we ditched this petty, irksome and pointless barrier, and Freestyle Cyclists intend to coordinate the groundswell of public bike-love so that we can get them (bicycles) dusted off, out of the garage and onto the roads,” exclaimed Mr Todd.


Media Contact - for more information, images or interviews please contact:

Alan Todd, Campaign Launch Co-Organiser, +61 400 502 325, alanunderscoretoddatwestnetdotcomdotau

Sue Abbott, Cycling Activist, +61 418 237 021, infoatbettercorridorsdotorg

Geoff McLeod, +61 438 808 345, geoffmatsputnikfilmsdotcomdotau

What: Freestyle Cyclists’ National Campaign Launch
When: Saturday 6 October 2012
Where: CERES Community Environment Park, Cnr Roberts & Stewarts Sts, EAST BRUNSWICK
Time: 1pm

Further Info: Visit Freestyle Cyclists website for more information
Follow us on Twitter


I loved working in this London Soho salon back in my former life.

The vibe was laid back but professional and buzzed with an effortless cool that often felt more like a bar than a salon. The Beer/Smirnoff fridge was constantly stocked for clients and stylists for end of the day knock offs!

The place the stylists and the clientele was as hip as it gets.
 I'm not surprised that Tommy Guns has expanded and now has salons in Regent St London, Shoreditch in London's East end as well as Brooklyn and Manhattan New York.

Great salon great memories!

images via Tommy Guns

Bored games? No way

My brother and his fiancée arrived last Tuesday. I just gave him a quick call; they went to Christchurch today and rented out a flat in New Brighton. I asked him about buying a car, momentarily forgetting his (second) driving ban which lasts till February. My parents arrive on Wednesday. I'll be flying down south at Labour Weekend. I hope I manage to see my brother, and my future sister-in-law, but he and I do have a knack of missing each other.

We had a wonderful weekend of Wellington weather and it continued today. It would have been nice to have had someone around to enjoy it with. Just something simple like a walk along the waterfront. Sometimes sunny weather can make me more depressed because I see people enjoying themselves in the company of others while I'm on my own.

I can't complain though. Compared to how I was feeling six months ago, well there is no comparison. Those "head-banging" days, when I couldn't see for my thick depressive fog, appear (for now at least) to be over. Changing roles at work certainly helped, even if my current environment isn't somewhere I want to be in the long term.

Last Monday I went to Tracy's flat in Kilbirnie to play some board games. Four of us (that's always a good number) played. We started off with a quick game called (I think) Tsuro, where players follow tracks laid down by square pieces on an 8x8 board. It was a fun game if a little chaotic: you could easily be whisked away to a different part of the board, and then sent off the board entirely, in which case you were dead. The game continued until only one player remained.

The main game we played was Ticket to Ride, where each player had to form train routes to and from various cities across Europe (there are several versions of the game including the European one we played). A lot of the skill in the game revolved around the decision to accept or decline routes based on their length and location, and various other features. I bit off more that I could chew, accepting pretty much everything and although I made some nice long routes, my incomplete ones counted against me in the finish and I came third.

The games were a lot of fun and I hope we can do something similar again.

The iPhone 5 is out, and will be appearing in New Zealand on Friday. Inevitably there will be snaking queues then at various stores as people clamour to get their hands on the Holy Grail. This is all good news for me because it puts us one step closer to the iPhone 10. When the iPhone 10 comes out, I'll be able to snap up a crappy iPhone 4 or 5 for under fifty bucks and finally see what all the fuss is about.

Shir HaShirim: Insights to Geulah!

Click Here For Shir HaShirim Chapter 8 Verses 3 & 4!

  • Ashrei
  • LeRoshi = Yisrael!
  • Gog Magog
  • Love From God
  • Left -Right: Dance With God
  • Glory or Fire
  • Brit Chadasha
  • Korach and the Levi - Kohen of Ezekial
  • Geulah of '74?
Enjoy, as we trek towards the Siyum of Shir HaShirim - all available on TorahAnyTime.com!
[there wil be cd's made once the series is finished; over 100 lectures! of Chiddushei Torah]

Hurry Up, NU!

The Eighth King That Didn't Die: Heil King Bibi!

In the Torah there is a portion that deals with the 8 Kings of Esav. As the Arizal learns out that this is the source of the Kabbalistic concept of the "shvirat ha-kelim, breaking of the vessels of creation, there are many levels of depth to the passage.

Since Rabin began giving away Land "for Peace" Bibi makes for the 8th Prime Minister when one counts Livni, since she technically was elected and even ruled Kadima.

An interesting notion from Rav Kaduri was that the Sharon Government would be the last, and we kind of are still in that tekufa, again being that Livni DID win the election, only Shimon Peres decided to go with King Bibi.

The pussuk itself hints at the American-Israeli-Political pipeline in the loshon, and as a play of words "לבני ישראל" can spell: Livni, Yisrael - Yisrael being where the Bibi government will give way to Moshiach hopefully.

The eighth King is called Hadar, and not only do the meforshim describe him and his wife [he is seen as having not died, and is special because of his wife] in a way that fits Bibi, but the concept Hadar basically sums up Bibi. Not to mention that this is his second term, thus to literally return is what he did. For more insight, look to the commentaries about "Mehitavel" [Genesis 36:39] and as she is Bat Mi Zahav: explained as "worthless money" and "Liquid Gold" - economy gone bad, oil, etc. The Pussuk seems to fit times people and actions.

וְאֵלֶּה הַמְּלָכִים אֲשֶׁר מָלְכוּ בְּאֶרֶץ אֱדוֹם לִפְנֵי מְלָךְ־מֶלֶךְ לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל

Allegorically explained:
"And these are the Kings that ruled in the Land of Edom - Inside you, a king; ...Livni - Yisrael [until Moshiach's revelation. Thus 8 Kings, all going back since Rabin, which the Zohar says the year "56" was the beginning of Geulah, hinting at the end of rabin's life, that began the Galus of the Erev Rav and ceding Israel. The Zohar then goes on with the famous "dates" - 60, 66, 72/3.
May it be so, in '73.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's selection as Man of 5773 - that is, of the Year to Come - is so painfully obvious that maybe it even begs to be set aside. Netanyahu is indeed the man of the year in which Iran, according to the minimalist forecast, is expected to become a member of the nuclear club - or at least to reach the threshold of the club. Unless the United States does the dirty work for him, the premier is the man who, in the next few months, will make the most critical decision in these parts since David Ben-Gurion decided to declare Israel's statehood.

To attack or not to attack, that is the question: to try and obstruct or at least delay the Iranian nuclear program by military means, or to lower one's head and come to terms with a nuclear Iran?

When Netanyahu was asked this week if the Iranian threat would be removed in the year to come, he answered, "If only." There isn't a single concerned citizen in Israel who would phrase it any differently.

One senior political figure said that Netanyahu is acting as if he were one of the biblical judges. And indeed, the prime minister often tells people around him, "I am motivated by the mission of ensuring the existence of the State of Israel."

"I see things in a logical manner. I am the last of the dinosaurs," he adds, cynically, "who did not err in seeing the progress and the brotherhood of the Arab Spring galloping full speed at us. It is the nature of human beings to repress, repress, repress. Most people fold under criticism. I am not among them."

In his opinion, the criticism that is being leveled at him for his scathing reactions to President Barack Obama, and his demand to set red lines on Iran, is no more than political criticism. He radiates the feeling that he is apathetic to such criticism. Even his supporters are hard pressed to understand a strategy that has led to a deterioration in relations with the United States. No red line is going to be set. The Americans have very publicly made that clear. Obama now seems to have an immeasurably better chance of being reelected for a second term than Romney has of unseating him. So why is he knocking his head against a brick wall?

"I am saying what needs to be said," he responds to these nudniks. "I said the same things 15 years ago. In 2005, I was the only one talking about applying pressure on the Iranian economy. There were no sanctions then. I will continue to say these things."

This November, Netanyahu will surpass Yitzhak Shamir to become the second-longest-serving prime minister of Israel, with an aggregate total of six years and eight months: between 1996 and 1999, and since April 2009. The elections will be held in 5773. "All of the partners expressed a desire to approve a budget and to keep on moving ahead," Netanyahu said this week, at the end of a round of discussions with his coalition partners. "Unless they make excessive demands, we will approve a responsible budget and will keep on serving until the last day [late October 2013, which is the start of 5774]."

If the budget is submitted to the Knesset in another month and a half, there is no doubt that it would be the big surprise of October. The treasury is no longer talking about a budget. The Knesset is no longer talking about a budget. And the various ministries cannot see even the faintest shadow of a budget being formulated for the year to come. Either Netanyahu knows something that the others don't, or he simply wants to get through the holidays, stride into the Knesset at the opening of the winter session on October 15 and joyfully announce early elections.

It is difficult to forecast how an election 13 months from now will turn out. It is easier to forecast what will happen in another four months - the earliest date on which elections could be held. In this scenario, Netanyahu would evidently be elected to another term, for three reasons:

1. There is no serious candidate for prime minister running against him.

2. In the polls, the Likud is still the largest party.

3. In the current electoral system, the Likud-right-ultra Orthodox bloc is the largest political bloc in Israel. The demographics carry the day in favor of this bloc - every day, every week, every month. Even the immigrants now arriving from Russia and France have a right-wing political orientation.

So there will be elections in 5773, and Netanyahu will piece together a coalition. And then what? Nothing will change. He will continue to fall out with Obama (if the latter is reelected ); he will continue to put the brakes on the peace process with the Palestinians (true, that predicament is not only his fault ); he will be hyper-engaged in the Iranian affair; he will make deep and painful budget cuts, in the hope of the electorate forgetting them by the next election; and he will be compelled to legislate a bypass to the Tal Law that would regulate the draft of Haredim and Arabs.

Deviating from the norm

But wait a second: This was the story of his first term, too. Then he quarreled with President Clinton and looked forward to a victory for the Republican candidate. Then he went a good part of the way in negotiations with the Palestinians, but took a step back at the last minute. For Netanyahu, the son of a historian, history has a tendency to repeat itself.

Toward the end of his present term, the Palestinians are still on the agenda, but only in the sense of maintenance and prevention of the Palestinian Authority's collapse. Netanyahu assists them economically, but only so they don't abandon the arena to Hamas. If it depends on him, the same will hold true for the next term.

Obama will challenge the premier quite a bit in the Palestinian arena; if elected, Romney would leave him alone. The Republican candidate who doesn't miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity is heard saying - in the leaked cell phone video that documented him besmirching half of the American public at a donors' dinner - that the Palestinians are committed to Israel's destruction and that there is no chance of a solution.

Someone asked Netanyahu if Romney was speaking for him. "What do you mean, speaking for me? What rubbish!" Bibi said angrily. Really now, that would be truly unthinkable.

If Netanyahu is reelected in 5773 for a second term, that would be a deviation from the norm. Few of his predecessors managed to do it. In the past three decades, Ariel Sharon did it in 2001 and 2003, and Begin did it in 1977 and 1981.

But unlike Sharon, Netanyahu missed a rare opportunity to be a candidate who crossed party lines - he remained the candidate of his own camp. This sort of golden opportunity was in the offing following last year's release of Gilad Shalit, on October 18. Another opportunity could have presented itself if he would have made the historic decision to draft the ultra-Orthodox. He headed a mega-coalition of 94 MKs, most of them secular. But at the last minute he got cold feet and opted for his natural partners, the Haredim.

This is the coalition that raised him to power in 1996; this is the coalition that secured him the premiership in 2009; this is the coalition that did not abandon him in the face of the freeze with the Palestinians, the deterioration of relations with the United States, the social protest, or even the recurring farces in his own bureau.

In his third term, there is a fear (or a chance, depending on the beholder and the voter ) that Bibi will no longer surprise us. President Shimon Peres will no longer consult secretly with world leaders and tell them that Netanyahu is interested in entering history as a peacemaker. Ehud Barak will not provide an erudite and coolheaded assessment that, in the choice between Shamir's dogmatism and Begin's brazen and mountain-uprooting leadership, Bibi will take the latter's path.

At age 64, people don't change. And certainly not people who believe that the sun rises and sets on them. Netanyahu is conservative. He does not text. He doesn't have an email address. He doesn't believe in a settlement with the Palestinians.

During this term, in June 2009, he delivered a speech at Bar-Ilan University and announced his support for the two-state solution, freezing construction in the territories for 10 months. He did so, not because he was convinced of the two-state solution or the national need for suspending construction in the territories, but because he was dragged kicking and screaming into it by an American president at the beginning of his term.

It may be that Obama will also push him into a corner during the coming year as well. What would come of it? He is not Shari Arison, who declared that peace begins within her. He is proud of the fact that, in this term, he made the Palestinians fully understand that they will never again receive a proposal the likes of which they received from his predecessor, Ehud Olmert. Nor will they receive a proposal that comes even close to the ones they've rejected.

When he is asked what we can expect in 5773, he focuses on two key issues: continued activity on Iran, and continued maintenance of the economy. And what about the Palestinian problem? "If Iran is armed with nuclear weapons," he says, "that question is moot."

Voice of moderation

Last week, this column reported on a meeting held by Defense Minister Ehud Barak in his office. Fifteen or so people were in attendance - most of them writers, professors and cultural figures who were signatories to a petition stating that a "black flag of illegality" fluttered over an Israeli attack on Iran. The invitation list included two retired security mavens: former Mossad director Shabtai Shavit and former deputy defense minister and reserve brigadier general Ephraim Sneh.

In the wake of that story, Sneh asked that it be noted that he did not sign the petition. He says Shavit did not sign it, either. I asked him what he learned from the three-hour conversation with Barak. "When they telephoned me from his office," Sneh says, "I thought I was being invited to a strategic security consultation, of the sort that Barak sometimes likes to hold with veterans of the defense establishment. When I arrived, I looked around me and saw Prof. Yehuda Bauer, Prof. Joseph Agassi and [actress] Gila Almagor. Respectable people all, but I don't remember them scrambling up the hills with me back in my 669 days [the Israel Air Force's search and rescue unit - Y.V.]. Then I realized that I'd arrived at a parlor meeting for the Atzmaut [Independence] Party."

The common political wisdom holds that Barak needs the voices of the left and the center to get enough votes to surpass the minimum threshold to get in the Knesset. The meeting with a bunch of people who constitute the heart of the "deep left" was meant to send the message that Barak is not some messianic figure who can't see the reality, but an experienced security pro and a levelheaded statesman who is attentive and moderate.

This is also how other figures in the political arena feel. Barak is working on the next election, and is aiming at the center-left camp - where there is not a single experienced figure with his security pedigree. If Atzmaut - which is currently twitching about in that nether minimum-threshold zone - eventually stabilizes in the polls in the region of two or three Knesset seats, we will know where it all began.
King Bibi really does seem like King Hadar! [King of the Return]
Funny, Our World is More Hollywood Than Reality Nowadays

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The True Ger Tzedek, Relating With Shem


Parashat Vayeilech: Finding Shem Over There
Rabbi David Katz
In this week’s Torah Portion of Vayeilech Hashem addresses a unique group of six distinct categories amongst the Greater Jewish Nation: Priests, Elders, Men, Women, Youths, and “Gerim” [“converts or “potential” converts in theory.] The setting and tone of the nationwide announcement in this shortened Torah Portion can be found in the verses of Devarim 31:10-13: “Moses commanded them, saying “at the end of seven years, at the time of the Sabbatical year, during the Succos festival, when all Israel comes to appear before Hashem, your God, in the place that He will choose, you shall read this Torah before all Israel, in their ears, Gather together the people – the men, the women, and the small children, and your stranger [Ger] who is in your gates  - so that they will hear and so that that they will learn, and they shall Fear Hashem Your God, and be careful to perform all the words of this Torah. And their children who do not know – they shall hear and they shall learn to Fear Hashem Your God, all the days that you live on the Land to which you are crossing the Jordan, to possess it There.” The points of interest that resonate the loudest in this passage is the usage of the “Ger” [convert/stranger/dweller] in its association with the Nation of Israel, and the culmination of the verses reaching a climax of “crossing the Jordan” as “the inheritance is Over There.” The Ger is clearly the Noahide / Ger Toshav – Tzedek as we will explain and the inheritance is direct hint at the association of Shem and Ever [the forefathers in Torah], as the Hebrew and Bible commentaries support these revelations that compose the simple meaning in the text. The “understanding of the matter within the matter”, or “Pilpul” [spice of Torah, an expression of the Torah of Shem] is the concept that even to arrive at a “simple meaning” [“Pshat” in Hebrew of the inner dimension of Torah learning deemed: P’ar’d’es (Orchard), which is an acronym for the Simple meaning, along with hints, allegory, and secrets] going through a revelation is in of itself a revelation! We see in this week’s Parsha that the Simple Meaning requires scholarship and Pilpul, and intentionally it seems this involves the revelation of the Torah of Shem – in more than one way.
The Bible commentator Even Ezra on our verse Devarim 31:13 makes a few key distinctions in the verse, that turn one’s attention to the Noahides and Shem into the next verse: “Gather the Nation, the Men, the Women, the Youths, the Gerim that are in your gates, so that they will hear and so that they will learn and Fear Hashem your God, and you will guard to perform all the words of this Torah.”
When the Torah says “so that you shall learn”, the Even Ezra [who is assuming the command to listen has fallen on those who have a sufficient knowledge of Torah] states three scenarios that support the notion that the “Ger” of our verse is of quite clarity a reference to the Ger Toshav – Tzedek [Noahide who desires to live amongst/in Israel and has a potential inclination to become righteous]. These scenarios in reference to the Ger are: The Shabbat, his “conversion” [or non-conversion], and his knowledge level.
The verse says that at the end of the 7-year cycle in the Land [“Shmittah, the 7th year where the Land has a rest and Torah Law caters to this] we must gather the Nation [including the Ger!] and read the entire Torah at the location of the Future Holy Temple in Jerusalem. The Even Ezra then states, not just today or this year, but every year we must learn the whole Torah, every day – even Shabbat! This would imply that the Ger is in fact a Ger Toshav/Tzedek, as this is consistent with the reference of the Ger Tzedek and his affiliation with Shabbat in Devarim 5:14, the second rendition of the 10 Commandments in the Torah. Here [in conjunction with the Even Ezra that he is specifically referring to the reference of “Ger” in the verse] the Even Ezra is clearly stating that Torah learning for the Ger must be constant, even of and on Shabbat! The Prophets speak about how the Shabbat Learning of the Ger is the deep secret and source of his relaxation of his day to be with God, i.e. the Shabbat.
The second scenario that elucidates our Ger spoken of here, is the essence of the Even Ezra here, as he says, “(in relation to the Ger’s hearing the Torah) perhaps he will want to convert.” From hearing the Torah, the message of the commentary here is that he will fulfill the rest of the verse in that he will then immediately seek to learn more Torah and come to Fear God. The basis of all conversion is the Fear of God, [coupled with the Ger’s Love of God] and the Ger, who is a Ger Tzedek [who is IN converSION rather than having convertED] may decide that his process of being a Ger has come to a conclusion, and that now he feels that he has reached a destination in his process of returning to God. This would be a conversion to Judaism, one that the Even Ezra mentions based on the details of the verse. One must always keep in mind the inner meaning of the commentary here, in that he uses the word, “Perhaps” – meaning maybe he will convert and maybe he won’t. There is no command, pressure, or inclination either way, as it is simply a possibility that might arise from this type of reading the Torah and his association with the Nation of Israel in the Temple where Unity is as its maximum influence. [*For a later note, if he does not seek to convert, he may find that he reaches a destination in any case, as will be explained at the end of this article in connection with “crossing (the River) There” – the secret of Shem and  Ever.]
The third scenario of the Even Ezra is that by hearing the Torah [the Ger], he may ask of those who heard with him for Understanding, from those mentioned in the beginning of the verse [the Men and Women], and the Ger will seek out to Learn more. This additional Learning would either strengthen his righteousness as a Ger Tzedek, illuminate Holy matters such as Shabbat, or could even bring him to the grips of conversion. The usage of Ger here is “stranger”, thus the connotation is that he is engaged in a passionate return to God: from a place far and devoid of Understanding, to one of Love and Fear of God in the highest sense. 
There is yet a 4th option [that was hinted at above] of a scenario of the Ger who hears Torah on the level of the sublime: and that is to reach the distant plane where a select few go to. The allegory of this place is to “cross the river.” This is what Shem did, along with Abraham and Ruth to name a few, and it is a place where one’s soul has converted from its impurity of being far from God, and enjoys the closeness of God. The Torah hints at this at the end of 31:14: “to cross over There as an inheritance” – the goal as of having Learned the Torah on this deep level. Crossing over in Hebrew is spelled as “Ever”, as in “Shem and his grandson Ever” and “There” is a name of the Heavenly Jerusalem, a derivative of Shem in Hebrew, as Shem is a Priest to God Above in this Heavenly realm.
Thus what we have found in these two verses along with the Even Ezra, is that the Ger mentioned has a whole new world opened for him when he hears the Torah on the level of the sublime: he may come to keep Shabbat, he may convert, he may utterly fall in love with learning and find his soul bound up with God on High and seek to attain levels of righteousness, like his forefather Shem before him.
Hashem desires at this unique period of time to gather what he calls the Nation, one consisting of Gerim, to unite in the Holy Temple and hear the Torah. The Kabalistic work the Bahir mentions that instruments in the Temple are channels of ascent on High in spirit, and the Arizal [Tzfat Kabbalist 1600] says that the Priests and the Levites have the ability to bring one’s spirit on High as if to stand before God, in the great secret of the “Priestly Levite.” The ultimate goal is to approach Hashem and enjoy his closeness at his Holy Temple, and allow the journey of the soul to go where it feels it needs to go: Jew and Noahide alike. As verse 31:13 hints at the many possibilities of the Ger, it is verse 14 that really resonates with Shem and Ever, the fathers of Torah, in that one can literally reach a distant Holy Place, far from being far. Everyone present in the Temple is under the influence of the Levites and the Priests who open the path to God Above, as the Torah is being read. It is there where one can potentially join or receive the Blessing of the Priest of God Above, the Righteous Priest – Shem the son of Noah! The soul has a journey; there are many paths one may take, yet it is our choice [Gerim and Jews] whether or not we desire to cross over and go There – to the Place of the Heavenly Temple while remaining on Earth. One can join the fraternity of Holiness that has been established with the same conditions since Shem son of Noah brought the Torah into the new post - flood world, one built of Kindness and Righteousness, as was entrusted to Shem, and thereby destined to be delivered to Mankind, in the name of a Torah of Truth, to be read in the Temple – a Temple that can only be built by sons of Shem. [Yoma 10a]
שבת שלום



Elected by the people, dumped by the parliament

An end of an era

Lights, camera, action

Clover Moore & Alex Greenwich (new independent candidate)

...more lights, camera, action

Clover Moore, Alex Greenwich & their partners

'It's the final countdown!

Outrageously, the Shooters and Fishers played a role in this sorry state of affairs... (they've also played a role in the mayhem and slaughter coming soon to a National Park near you!)

Sad to see a popular and guttsy leader forced out of our Parliament by our Parliament...

♩♪♫♬God only knows what we'll be without her♩♪♫♬


I love me some natural beauty products.
 I love the idea of the whole natural/organic food and beauty world and over the last few years I've been slowly clearing out the crap and cleaning up my act. There's so much information out there and I do get overwhelmed but in the fake it till you make it game I think I'm winning.

 The Vitamix is periodically subjected to binge smoothie making and for some time now I've been able to pronounce quinoa confidently in public. The unopened coconut oil eyes me up and down every time I venture near the cupboards but I've promised I'll bring it out of hiding soon. Clearly I'm no expert but I'm learning, for no other reason than to be a better healthier me inside and out.

 So why do this post...

I discovered the joy that is Carla Oates (the beauty chef) and her Inner Beauty Powder.
I was given this little tub of probiotic tummy love recently and thought yeah I can give that a whirl, I can handle the commitment of mixing 5 grams of yum with water once a day. A product that
  looks after inner health helping to replace beneficial flora in turn nourishing your skin from the inside sounds good to me!

 There's something about Carla and her philosophy and vibe that really appeals to me. It's seems so simple, pure and honest and so importantly for me...easy.
 Maybe it's that I just love the pretty packaging!

This fellow Bondi girl is literally a glowing add for her beautiful products. I'm hooked, I have a small Carla crush and I want know more...

“My organic skincare blends selected food ingredients with a natural fermentation process to bring out the very best in all of our ingredients and keep the skin’s ecosystem strong and healthy. I have embraced the time-honored art of fermentation for the clever way that it naturally bio-activates nutrients in ingredients to make them more available for the body and skin to use. By increasing the biological value of already nutrient rich organic ingredients, we offer you supernatural skincare to help keep your skin healthy, radiant and resilient inside and out. We employ a unique and natural fermentation process, backed by twenty years of research to make powerful and active extracts for our bioactive skincare that is truly good for you.” - Carla Oates

The Higgs Fantasy: Cha-Ching!

Higgs Shmiggs

Let's make this perfectly clear and concise: The Higgs Boson God Particle WAS NOT FOUND. What they did find was something that could be the Higgs. This is called "they have a plausible theory" and not "we have the Higgs."
This is where science has gone all wrong - they have poskened out the need to test theories and bring them to a status of proof. For that reason alone, Torah won the race/war against science, because Torah by nature must be proven to move forward.
Money, Power, Prestige, etc fuels the scientist; a far cry from the moral standard of Fearing Hashem.

Now, they want to move physics forward [on the Higgs Premise] with bigger faster colliders and all science based on a giant "maybe."

Remember - this has not been confirmed [the finding of the Higgs], but they can't afford to have it NOT be "found." They in unison want the Higgs found, and they are throwing physics [and anyone who opposes] under the bus to get a blank check.

Around the same time of the Higgs was the "discovery" that a particle moves faster than light. It turned out to be a false flag, but the very concept was heavily scrutinized. But where is the scrutiny for the Higgs?!?! -----SCAM-OLA!

At any rate, this is a scam, a ripoff, probably tax dollars, and an outright lie. For this Torah will gain [in my way of seeing it] a massive aliyah in wisdom; the more they cheat, the more Hashem itches to bring Moshiach and his Torah to revelation.

The Australian:

SCIENTISTS at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research - or CERN - are drawing up plans to scrap the giant Large Hadron Collider that found the Higgs boson and replace it with an even bigger machine designed to hunt down more exotic particles.

One idea is to remove the $4.6 billion particle accelerator and build a more powerful one in the same tunnels under Geneva in Switzerland. Another is to build an entirely new accelerator up to 80km in circumference, three times the size of the LHC.

Such a machine is likely to cost several billion dollars, shared between CERN's 20 member states, and would likely be built sometime after 2025.

It follows CERN's July announcement that it had found the elusive Higgs boson, the fundamental particle that gives matter its mass.

The idea that such a particle might exist was put forward by Peter Higgs, emeritus professor of physics at Edinburgh University, in 1964.

He is now 83 and many physicists hope that he, along with CERN and perhaps fellow physicist Francois Englert, 79, whose own 1964 paper broke similar ground, will be rewarded with a Nobel Prize this year.

However, they are also concerned about the 44 years that elapsed between Higgs's proposal and the construction of a machine capable of finding his particle - which is why they are already drawing up plans for the LHC's successor.

The designs for a new machine are part of a paper written by 18 scientists, including John Ellis, CERN's former head of theoretical physics.

It said: "The new machine could be installed in the LHC tunnel . . .. Alternatively, it could be installed in a new, longer tunnel, using a tunnel circumference of 80km." The suggestion will be discussed by the European Strategy Preparatory Group in Krakow in Poland this week.

Jon Butterworth, professor of physics at University College London, who represents Britain on the group, said finding the Higgs was just the beginning.

"It means we have a wild new frontier of physics to explore. Now we need to find out far more about it. We can do some of that work by upgrading the LHC, but in the end it will need a more powerful machine."

The timescale and technological challenges are huge. The LHC was first proposed in 1983 and was finally built in 2008, 25 years later.

Much of that delay was due to the cutting-edge technologies that had to be developed to control and focus a tiny beam of particles packed with the energy punch of a car travelling at 2500km/h.

Such a machine might help resolve some of the questions raised by Albert Einstein, who could not reconcile the forces operating at the level of atoms with the force of gravity, which governs the movement of stars and planets.

Meanwhile, the most immediate question for physicists is who might be in line for a Nobel Prize over the Higgs discovery. Higgs is the obvious candidate, but he was beaten into print in 1964 by Englert and Robert Brout, both Belgian, who put forward a similar theory, albeit without predicting a particle.

Brout died last year, but there are also three other physicists, Tom Kibble of Imperial College London, and Americans Gerry Guralnik and Dick Hagen, who published a similar idea soon after - with Kibble going on to build the experimental model on which the LHC was based.
May Hashem's response be: Welcome to Atzilus [by Torah scholars - Divine Physics!]
Welcome to Atzilus

משיח צדקינו


ב''ביאת משיח