Tuesday, September 15, 2009


That was quick. Wow, folks really pop up fast in this internet world.

I have been asked to post my editorial from my Rosh Hashana issue of VOICES on my blog. So, here it is.

The cover photo of this issue of VOICES Magazine, taken by Voices Publisher Israel Katz, shows only a portion of the new olim that have moved to Efrat. We wish them and olim everywhere a blessed life in our Holy Land. You have made the right choice in joining your future with that of our People in our Land. Together, IY”H, may we go forward building Eretz Yisrael, strengthening our nation and bringing glory to our Torah and the path that Hashem has laid our for Am Yisrael.

Learning from the Other Side

There are many things we can learn from the Arabs. Their PR and creative ideas are endless.

* The Arabs have succeeded in making everyone speak the language of their lexicon - Har HaBayit is no longer referred to solely as the site of the Jewish’s people Holy Temple, but as the Arab’s “Haram al Sharif, the Temple Mount, the site where Jews claim their Temple stood.” The world doesn’t say only Jerusalem any more, but Jerusalem and its Arab name “Al Quds”, (which actually means Holy City). Shouldn’t we say, “Jerusalem the Holy City”?!
We should insist that the world (including Israel’s media) speak our language. We should demand that they term the “West Bank” as “Judea and Samaria”, that they recognize “Arab bombers and gunmen” as “terrorists” instead of “activists” or “militants”. We should demand that they call “settlers” “pioneers”.
* The Arabs won’t compromise on Jerusalem or their claim to any of the Land. They want the whole thing (look at their maps), and they want to bring millions of Arabs to live here too.
We should be as steadfast. We should not compromise on any part of our capital Jerusalem - west or east. We should not compromise on any of Judea or Samaria. This is our Land! It is our eternal G-d given inheritance. And every one of us (as well as our government) should push as hard as we can to bring millions of Jews to live here.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is working on getting the world to agree that Israel is the “Land of the Jewish People”. Good first step, sir. Well, all of Israel is the Land of the Jewish People. If we’re being technical, parts of Jordan, Lebanon and Syria belong to us too.
And if the Arabs want to bring other Arabs to live here, how much more so should we, the Jewish People, be determined to bring our brethren to every part of Eretz Yisrael. (BTW, humongous kudos to Israel’s Aliyah folks and Nefesh B’Nefesh for giving incentives to olim families to live in the Galil, which chas v’shalom, will be lost to the Jewish People unless major steps are taken there to save northern Israel.)
* Next, Arabs build and build, and spread out through the Land. They forge ahead, floor by floor, house by house, and they just do it. So, while we say, “Oy, do you think we’ll get a permit today,” they’re on the next floor of their latest building.
And you know what? Despite Jewish protests over rampant illegal Arab construction, their construction continues unchecked. Everyday, we look out the window while driving on our roads, and see yet another Arab house being completed.
Meanwhile, the Jewish people are squished into neighborhoods that can’t expand without permits upon permits upon permits that ultimately have to be signed by Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and okayed by US President Barak Hussein Obama.
As Voices went to press, Prime Minister Netanyahu had announced that he would okay construction in some communities now, to get the tractors rolling, before he puts a freeze on Jewish building.
But even 455 housing units don’t make a dent in the need for affordable housing in Yesha for our next generation.
I only pray that once those tractors start the building process in Yehuda and Shomron, they will never stop, until there is a home for all of our children and grandchildren, and those Jews who IY”H, are coming home.
* Arabs are forbidden from selling land or housing to Jews.
On this count, B”H, we’re finally getting smart too. After decades of hearing Moslem clerics announce the torturous punishments to be imposed upon any Arab who would sell real estate to a Jew, we finally have a group of rabbis meeting to discuss banning Jews from selling homes to Arabs. (No torturous punishments, chas v’shalom, but I’m in favor of a rabbinic ruling that Jews must sell only to Jews suits me fine.)
In many areas, this has become a matter of Pikuach nefesh, especially in Jerusalem neighborhoods like French Hill and Pisgat Ze’ev, where Jews are afraid to walk on their streets at night, because of local Arab gangs. And in areas like Haifa, Lod, Acco, plus of course, the Galil (where only a few months ago in August, Arabs from the Persian Gulf bought hundreds of dunams of farm land).
May the coming year be one in which the Jewish People expand across their land, and strengthen every neighborhood and hilltop.

Expanding Voices

IY”H, as the New Year rolls in, Voices is expanding too – expanding its presence on the web. And IY”H, a web presence is just about limitless. http://www.voices-magazine.com/
I’ll never have to say, “Sorry, ran out of room.” The length and the amount of stories is not limited. Photo essays (one of my favorite Voices features) can be abundant, as well.
Best of all, VOICES Media - print, web, video, photography - is going to fulfill my personal dream of giving you, my dear readers and soon to be viewers, total accessibility to the media.
Every business can reach its public with affordable print and web advertising. We’ve even got affordable fun commercials for you.
All those human interest stories that I love about positive people throughout our country (in your neighborhood - when you clue me in), fabulous places in Israel and important events will be accessible for the world to see through Voices TV. Actually, maybe I’ll call it VTV.
For those of us from Gush Etzion/Efrat, we’ve got GE/E TV, or perhaps GTV - filled with all the local happenings and news that we can bring you without collapsing from exhaustion. (Catchy motto, eh?)
Further, we’re going to expand on our mission - showing folks what’s RIGHT about living in Israel.
Hopefully, one day soon, when you google “Israel”, instead of pages of Arab propaganda, you’ll come up with a positive video on the Voices website.
Our thanks to webmaster Beth Lanin for her hard work in actualizing our site, and WEJEW.COM for hosting our videos.

Accessibility and Affordability

Voices print magazine will continue in a new more compact format next month - with our editorial and selected stories. Its affordability will open the door to all potential advertisers, so that their message is more accessible to the public, IY”H. An expanded version of Voices will be found every month on the web. And you’ll be able to watch on-line interviews, an on-line editorial and chats with our columnists.
You’re going to love it. We want you to keep reading Voices, and we want you to watch Voices too. It’s all about you, well, all of us. It’s about our lives here, our love of Israel, our devotion to our brethren, our land and our Torah. Starting in the New Year, IY”H, I’m going to ask you to:

Numbers of Note

Before we end this issue, I wanted to point out some interesting statistics and numbers that popped up last month, courtesy of Israel National News.
Although PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas commented last month that Arab terror would continue unless “Jerusalem will be returned, clean of settlements and settlers,” the Jewish People are overwhelmingly united on preserving the unity of a Jewish Jerusalem. Israel National News reported that 66% of Israeli Jews believe that “Jerusalem in its entirety is Israel’s capital and that Israel’s right to build anywhere within the city is undisputable.”
Another interesting statistic, thanks to INN, “National religious soldiers from rural areas are the most motivated to serve in IDF combat units, but secular Tel Aviv youth are less interested.”
So, when your kids tell you that the majority of their commanders’ courses are made up of religious soldiers, who are both highly motivated and very idealistic, believe them.
Judea and Samaria Regional Commander Brigadier General Noam Tibon believes them. And he’s pretty concerned that these soldiers might not be happy to participate in any of the future evacuations the government might be planning.
He’s even put together guidelines to deal with soldiers who might refuse orders to remove their fellow Jews from their homes. Their number is estimated at 33% of the IDF!
And last numbers - 300,000 European citizens live in Israel today, with thousands in rocket range of Gaza. INN reported that a French EU citizen, currently living in Sderot, has gone to court to demand that the EU ensure his safety from rocket attack.
INN quoted the attorneys for Frenchman Eyal Katorza as saying that Article 3.5 of the European Treaty states that the EU will contribute to the protection of its citizens, even if they live abroad.
So, Katorza wants the EU to reinforce the buildings near Gaza and stop sending money to the PA in Gaza, which is funding terrorism. Kol hakavod, Mr. Katorza. That’s creative thinking!
Shana Tova

Friends, as Rosh Hashana quickly approaches, I wish each of you, Hashem’s choicest blessings. May Hashem keep you and your loved ones safe, healthy and prosperous. May He bring home Jonathan Pollard, Gilad Shalit, Amichai Steinmetz and all those Jews who need salvation. May He protect our Land and our communities. May our brethren from Gush Katif finally receive justice, proper employment and permanent housing. May we put an end to evacuations and destructions, and put our efforts into expansion and construction, IY”H.
Friends, there are many crises facing Am Yisrael.
There is only one way to survive these trying
times - Achdut - by
uniting with our brethren, no matter the differences,
helping one another. Remember, we are family!
We’ve got to stick together and stick up for one another. It’s our only hope. We must stop hating one another for what we are, and because of our many differences. We must love one another for who we are, and because of our many commonalities.
Thank you to all those who included their Shana Tova greetings in this issue. Enjoy your yomanim! Your support of Voices gives us the encouragement to continue, even in difficult times. Your kindness will always be remembered. IY”H, here’s to a year of brotherhood and a year of building - our nation, our towns, our families, our spiritual selves and ultimately Our Holy Temple.
Shana Tova. IY”H, 5770 is going to be great. Let’s keep sharing good news. Please click on voices-magazine.com and help us tell the world what’s RIGHT about living in Israel Let your Voices be heard.

Sharon Katz
If I get courageous enough to post it, you can watch a video-version of the Editorial on http://www.voices-magazine.com/ .

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