Aliyah Blog

Moving UP in the World, since 5764/2004

Archive for May, 2005

How they get here

without comments

My blog software (b2evolution) lets me see what are the searches that people use to reach the blog. About 75% come from Google, 24% from MSN and Yahoo. Most of the search terms have the word “aliyah” in them (in a straight Google search for “aliyah”, I am currently 13).

Occasionally, someone reaches me through Walla, a hebrew language search engine. By itself is no big surprise. The interesting part is that people are coming to this blog by searching on Walla for ערום – “naked”. If you search for ערום on Walla, the first four links, and six of the first eight links in the results point back to this blog (specifically, to my post about Naked Dreams – don’t worry, it is about Torah).

I hope they weren’t too disappointed. (And now that I have made this post, I have further secured my monopoly on the word ערום among non-pornographic websites across the Internet!)

Written by Yaakov

May 31st, 2005 at 7:35 am

Posted in Misc Stuff

Sand & Stone

with 2 comments

I have seen this story before, but it is easy to forget. I do not know who wrote it (if you search for it on the Internet it appears with a few slightly different versions, but no author).

A story tells of two friends who were walking through the desert. During some point of the journey, they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face. The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, she wrote in the sand:


They kept on walking, until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but her friend saved her. After she recovered from the near drowning, she wrote on a stone:


The friend, who had slapped and saved her best friend, asked her, “After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand, and now, you write on a stone, why?”

The other friend replied: “When someone hurts us, we should write it down in sand, where the winds of forgiveness can erase it, but when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone, so no wind can ever erase it.”


Written by Yaakov

May 27th, 2005 at 9:14 am

Posted in Stories

What is your Perspective?

with one comment

In follow-up to my recent post recalling a conversation I had with a teacher of mine a number of years ago, take a look at Religious Zionism Debate V from Rav Gil Student at Hirhurim. In this post, Rav Gil gives his own definitions to how people view Zionism today. According to his definitions, the conversation can be explained by saying that I am a Messianic Zionist (some would say Neo-Zionist while the Rabbi in question is a Hopeful Zionist.

Where do you fit in?

Written by Yaakov

May 26th, 2005 at 11:34 am

Posted in Aliyah

Perspectives and Priorities

with 4 comments

A number of years ago while I was still in school, I attended a shiur given on Messila Yesharim, given by a Rabbi who traveled more than an hour each way once a week. Sometime in the middle of the year, the men in the shiur were invited to spend a Shabbat with him and his family in Lakewood (women were invited for a different Shabbat). On Friday night at the Shabbat table, I posed the following question (not a direct quote – my memory is not that good):

“Why is it that so much of the American Chareidi world is seemingly indifferent about aliyah and Eretz Yisrael. It doesn’t seem like something that is seen as having such a high priority for many in the Yeshiva world – this is despite that fact that nearly all Rishonim say that it is a Torah commandment to live in Eretz Yisrael.” This seemed like an appropriate thing to ask in the conversation, since we had just been talking about how one of his children had gone to kollel in Yerushalayim (if I remember correctly) and had decided to come back to America.”

(By the way, did you know that the branch of the Lakewood Yeshiva located in Yerushalayim is called “Lakewood East”? Such chutzpah! I would not be surprised if to do so would be transgressing the negative prohibition of speaking disparagingly of the Land of Israel and its Jewish inhabitants – the sin of the spies. But I digress…)

The response that I received:

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Yaakov

May 25th, 2005 at 1:06 pm

Posted in Aliyah,Experiences

In-Flight Zmanim

with 4 comments

From comes a very useful site that – given a departure and arrival location, date and time – will calculate the amount of time after take-off until you reach significant halachic times like Sof Zman Kriat Shema, Tefilla, Sunrise, Sunset. (Here is an explanation of how these are calculated). Very useful for traveling to Israel.

Written by Yaakov

May 21st, 2005 at 11:55 pm

Posted in Misc

Arab Demographic Threat?

with one comment

Read about the 1.5 Million Population Gap between the actual palestinian population (approximately 2.4 million) and the fictional palestinian population (approximately 3.8 million) publicized by the Palestinian Authority (and used by left-wingers in Israel to scare everyone into thinking that in 10 years there will be more Arabs in Israel than Jews).


The claim that Jews will become a minority in the region are incorrect. Since 1967, Jews have maintained their 60% majority in Israel, West Bank and Gaza and since 1990, the Jewish population has grown by 2.5% a year, only a slight fraction below the growth rate in the West Bank. The declines in Palestinian Arab growth rates and the vitality of Jewish growth rates which are the highest among Western democracies, will preserve this ratio.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Yaakov

May 18th, 2005 at 11:40 am

Posted in Aliyah,Misc,Political

Hopefully one day soon, Israel will be a democracy again…

without comments

They have a long way to go.

Check out this article.

And happy “Catastrophe Day” to everyone! May we merit many similar “catastrophes” in the future.

Written by Yaakov

May 15th, 2005 at 7:43 pm

Posted in Political

My “Kosher” Food Story

with 22 comments

Today I went on my very first over-night, out-of-town business trip. My extremely generous, religiously-sensitive and nice company has arranged in advance that all of my meals will be Kosher. We are just outside of Chicago, so I checked with out office manager, and she told me the name of the caterer – since they were on the CRC’s list and they knew that I had to be served the food while the seals were unbroken, I wasn’t too concerned.

That was a few weeks ago. Just in case something got messed up with the food, this morning before I left my wife packed me a backup (bagel, plum, Dunkaroos…the good stuff!). But you know, everyone else had some delicious looking treif wraps, salads, etc…so when they told me that they were bringing out my food, I was ready.

A waiter came into the room that we are using for our conference with my food, and put it down onto the table in front of me.
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Written by Yaakov

May 12th, 2005 at 10:48 pm

Posted in Experiences

Jackie Mason for Prime Minister!

with one comment

Check out this story on Arutz-Sheva:

“…My opinion is that we should do to terrorists what America did to Afghanistan,??? Mason told Israel National Radio’s Tovia Singer. You go in and if they persist in bombing your buildings and destroying your lives and sending in suicide bombers, then there should be an unconditional determination to just tell them either you get out of our land or we will destroy all of you…”

Makes more sense than this guy.

Written by Yaakov

May 11th, 2005 at 12:36 pm

Posted in Political

Chag Sameach

with one comment

I know it’s a little late, but this will only take a minute.

Written by Yaakov

May 9th, 2005 at 2:54 pm

Posted in Misc,Misc Stuff