Saturday, September 30

'Chutzpah Israeli:' from 23rd to 15th place in world economic index

This comes as an interesting counterpoint to the previous entry on "making it" in Israel...

Israeli is ranked 15th in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) 2006 Global Competitiveness Index, up from 23rd place in 2005. The US fell from first to sixth place. Israel outranks Canada, Austria, France, Australia, Belgium and Ireland, which follow it in descending order.
Read more.

And this:
The damage to Israel's economy from the war this summer appears to be less than initially feared. "The data we see right now confirms... the effects of the war were temporary and relatively mild," said Eldad Shidlovsky, acting head of economic research at the Finance Ministry.

Read more.

'Making it' in Israel - vs - overseas

Blogger 'Ask Shifra' post one of those entries that make you wonder why you even bother writing, because she's so "there" and has reams of talkbacks of genuine people that write from the heart.

Dealing with financial success, "making it," "getting by" here in Israel versus Jewish communities in the diaspora, this posting literally and figuratively get me where I live, as I cope/survive/scrape by for a "living," and, yes, toy with the option of going to the States for a period to make enough to hurl at bills and debts here.

Your replies are welcome, too.
Today I was emailing with another blogger who said something like "Wouldn't it be great if there was a blog where frum people could anonymously talk about their financial problems? I don't think I look that different than any other man in shul but I'm up to my eyeballs in debt while everyone else seems to be doing just fine!" (OK I added the bit about the eyeballs but the rest is kinda, almost accurate.)

Great stuff.

Via Israelity

Yom Kippur: The difference between perfection & purification

I try to deal with the following article (from Aish Hatorah), appreciate it, "live it" - but still... find it difficult to absorb. Not to mention trying to be "spiritual" and introspective as the fast-induced nausea, vertigo, shakes and cold sweats take over as the day wears on...

Anyone out there have any ideas to deal with this? Thoughtful replies are most welcome.
This Yom Kippur, leave the guilt at home.

The venerable 19th century sage, Rabbi Yisrael Salanter, once asked an obvious question and offered a penetrating response. "Why did God choose to position Yom Kippur after Rosh Hashana? Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement; Rosh Hashana celebrates God's dominion over the Universe and the unique role that we, His Chosen People, play in that cosmos. Wouldn't it be far more logical to enter that glorified state after we have undergone the spiritual refinement of Yom Kippur? It is actually very much the contrary, explained the wise rabbi. We don't need to be totally purified to attain the exalted status of membership in the Heavenly Corps. We achieve that holy status just by being who we are -- yes, with all of our blemishes and imperfections and weaknesses. It's called being human.

Read more.

As for the physical needs, at least someone understands me...

(Cross-posted at Israelity)

Protocols of Zion: The Movie

This 92-minute documentary is Marc Levin's firsthand exploration of resurgent anti- Semitism in the wake of 9/11. Starting with the examination of a long-discredited piece of 100-year-old propaganda, Levin's film was inspired by an encounter he had in a New York taxi, in which his driver, an Egyptian immigrant, made the disturbing claim that Jews had been warned not to go to work at the World Trade Center on the day of the attacks. The driver added that "it's all written in the book," referring to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a notorious forgery created 100 years ago, purporting to be the Jews' master plan to rule the world.

Armed with his camera, Levin engages in a free-for-all dialogue with Arab Americans, Black nationalists, Christian evangelists, White supremacists, Kabbalist rabbis, Holocaust survivors, and even the founder of the astonishingly popular "Jew Watch" web site. Levin's genuinely curious, sometimes- humorous, often-confrontational conversations combine to form a probing and provocative portrait of our so-called modern civilization caught in the grips of a most ancient hatred.

Learn more here.

Victor Hanson examines the updated version:

The renewed hatred of Jews in the Middle East - and the indifference to it in the West - is a sort of "post-anti-Semitism." Islamic zealots supply the old venomous hatred, while affluent and timid Westerners provide the necessary indifference. The danger of this post-anti-Semitism is that, ever so insidiously, radical Islam's hatred of Jews is becoming normalized. The result is that the world's politicians and media are talking seriously with those who not merely want the West Bank, but rather want an end to Israel altogether and everyone inside it.

Read more.


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