Tuesday, August 30, 2011

This and That Around Town

Seems like every place in Israel is UP! And this is the half-way mark!



Fire on the hill behind our daughter's house! That night Pesach started and she had quite the mess to clean up. In putting the fire out the firemen sprayed the house (open windows) Everything smelled burnt for quite some time.
Two streets honoring two great US Presidents.
Think we'll see Obama Lane anytime soon??




Milk sold in 1 liter bags. Imagine having 5 teenagers and buying enough milk!  We had to shop every day when we first made Aliyah in '89. We were used to buying in gallons...!!

The famous 'Son-in-Laws-Wings' on our teeny-tiny Israeli grill


Sheep outside our village
The Bedouin Shepherds who wanted 4 shekels for taking their photo (they got ice cream instead and a copy of the picture)

Haven't we seen this little guy in the States dressed in red sometime in December?

Our Favorite 'Beggar'

Rolos in Israel means we get a great snack! Place one Rolo on each pretzel. Warm a few seconds in the oven. Press one pecan on each and 'squish'. Let cool and ENJOY!


Girls scores~ won't show the Boys scores since they lost :-) Did I mention is was bumper bowling?
Fabric from a friend to make linens for the orphans. Don't forget to make your donation!~ Help them keep their home!                                                                                                           http://www.rootfunding.com/campaign/1526


A Safe Place

The anti-Israel, anti-Jewish outcry is getting louder and more insistent. Governments are being shaken and foundations are shifting. Most of what we have depended on and taken for granted is falling away. The positive side of this?  Many Jewish people are considering making Aliyah. Because of this The 2 Spies is reposting this article from last November. Be encouarged~ you are moving into G-d's best for you!


 Back when I was a child, which was some time ago, we lived in neighborhoods that were quite safe. I actually lived in a house very much like this one.... including the color! Everyone knew each other. We could walk to the local park alone and play all day with our friends, coming home when the noon whistle sounded for lunch. We stayed out with our friends playing 'until the streetlights came on' -- our signal it was time to go home. We walked each other  to and from school each day.  In the unforeseen circumstance that a child got sick or hurt, or another child was picking a fight;  there were 'safe places' sprinkled throughout the area. These were homes had been approved by the police and had a sign in the window signaling to us children that they were a 'safe place' should we need help. Inside, we would find someone, usually a mother, who would give us the needed band-aid, drink of water or use of the toilet. If necessary, she would call our house and let our mother know that we were there. It was very reassuring as a child to know that these 'safe places' were there for me should I get hurt or worse, should a bully bother me.

Usually, our lives roll along without too many bumps on our journey. We can handle most of the problems that come our way. If the situation in our country stays relatively 'sane', we are able to go with the flow. For many, however, the 'climate' in our countries is changing. There is an increase in anti-Jewish sentiment to the point of becoming dangerous. The new antisemitism is being voiced as anti-Israel. There has been an upswing in violent anti-Israel (re: anti-Jewish) out-lash that it is almost frightening. BUT, like when we were children, in the back of our minds there is the 'safe place' to where we can run for help if needed ~ Israel. We tough it out in our home countries, not really wanting to believe that things are as bad as they are BUT if it is THAT bad, we reason,  there is always Israel.

The 2 Spies would like to challenge this line of thinking:

G-d never intended for Israel to be our 'fall-back' plan~ the just in case we lose it all, if it gets too uncomfortable, should we lose everything, run to the 'safe place' plan. This thinking makes a judgment that the nations have more to offer us from the get-go than G-d's promise of Israel. Israel is G-d's first best. It is His only 'best'. If you are Jewish, there is a destiny waiting to be fulfilled for you that will not happen any place else other than in Israel. Israel is a 'safe place' because that is where your future is written.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Gilad Shalit

This day in History:28 August 1986-Gilad Schalit
(גלעד שליט),was born. 
He is an IDF soldier who was kidnapped from Israel by Hamas.
Gilad is held in Gaza Strip since 25 June 2006.
We pray that you will be free soon!



Gilad in Captivity




When Gilad was 11 years old he wrote a story about a shark and a fish.  8 Years later he was captured by Palestinian terrorists. Below, listen to children reading Gilad's story and his heart for peace.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Adon Olam

As this week comes to a close there is much that has happened that can make one's heart heavy. For us here in Israel, there is still shelling in the south and from Gaza~ people being wounded or killed ~ having to run to their  shelters. In our home state in the US, there has been a raging fire, an earth quake, and now evacuation for the coming hurricane. This week, we sat with friends and listened to their troubles about marriages and children and life situations. We have watched as those who loved G-d turned their backs and walked away. Sometimes it is all too much to carry.

As we enter Shabbat we remember the command to not carry a burden on the Shabbat. This was written against carrying goods into the city in order to sell on the Shabbat. But we also see it as an injunction and encouragement to not carry the burdens of our heart into the Shabbat. As we light the candles later today~ opening the door to our Shabbat~ we will lay all these heavy, hurtful things down. How can we do it? It is an act of trust. We remember the One who created everything. Who knows everything. Who is our Everything. And for the next 26 hours, we will not pick up the burden but trust Him that all is in His very capable hands. We will enter into the Rest He has provided knowing that in the Light of His Love.... we will find Peace.

Shabbat Shalom ya'll

The Lord of the Universe who reigned
before anything was created.
When all was made by his will
He was acknowledged as King.

And when all shall end
He still all alone shall reign.
He was, He is,
and He shall be in glory.

And He is one, and there's no other,
to compare or join Him.
Without beginning, without end
and to Him belongs diminion and power.

And He is my G-d, my living G-d.
to Him I flee in time of grief,
and He is my miracle and my refuge,
who answers the day I shall call.

To Him I commit my spirit,
in the time of sleep and awakening,
even if my spirit leaves,
G-d is with me, I shall not fear.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Orphans in Israel

Today we are reposting an older column about the Orphans in Israel. We have been helping the Re'ut Boys Home of Jerusalem. Our fundraising campaign will end December 31. We are asking all our friends to consider partnering to help these boys keep their home. Below is the original article and information. Thank you for your consideration.


A lot of the orphans in Israel are what might be termed 'social orphans'. They may have parents or family but for circumstances beyond their control, they are not able to be in their home. It could be from neglect, parental mental illness, physical and/or sexual abuse. Orr Shalom has seen that the children at risk that are placed in their care have the best possible chance at a new life. Here is the link to the Orr Shalom website for you to learn more about them: Orr Shalom

The 2 Spies along with our grand daughter visited the Re'ut Home. The website describes Re'ut:
Re'ut Home is a residential intensive treatment center for boys, ages 7-14, who suffer from severe emotional and behavioral disturbances as a result of core damage and neglect at the earliest stages of life.  Most of the boys act in a destructive and self-destructive manner as an expression of their deep-seated mistrust and suspicion which is a result of their past experience. Re’ut was created as a last-stop safety net for children who were rejected or expelled by all other institutions, and for whom the only remaining options are psychiatric hospitals or closed juvenile detention centers.

We were very impressed with the staff we met and the description of the care the boys receive. Because of their severe damage, the boys live mostly at the home. They are not able to go to regular schools so they also have school at the facility. Their tender, broken spirits need continual attention, nurturing and care. At the Re'ut Home they receive round-the-clock supervision and attention. Re'ut is the only place for them. There is no where else to go.

Recently the Ministry of Welfare informed Orr Shalom that the Re'ut facility is not up to standards and would be closed. After a bit of negotiation, Re'ut has been given the opportunity to make the necessary improvements. They have a limited amount of time to do so.

The 2 Spies have begun a campaign to raise funds to help with some of the $600,000 costs. If you are interested in helping orphans with the side benefit of blessing Israel, please go to our funding website to learn more and to make your donation. Any amount is a help. You may want to consider passing this site on to others so they may join in the blessing! Click here:  Re'ut Home for Boys Funding website

Toda Raba~ from us~ for the boys!

Roni, the director of Re'ut, in one of the activity rooms.


 
Gaming area
Weekly schedule. Notice how tightly packed each day is, from morning until bedtime.This helps build order into their lives and predictability. Very important for children who have had none.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Kaddish

A troubling few days in the Land. Many dead. Many wounded. Too many in pain. Times like these cause us to take an assessment of our priorities- search our hearts to see where our trust lies. In the middle of pain and death, the Kaddish calls us to remember the giver of Life and to lay all on His scale and trust that He is still the Creator of the Universe and therein put our hope and our trust. Erroneously called the prayer for the dead, the recitation of this prayer draws our eyes upward from the chaos and swirling evil, to the Giver of Life,the One on the Throne who holds all in His hands and keeps it in balance.

Kaddish

Glorified and sanctified be G-d’s great name throughout the world which He has created according to His will.

May He establish His kingdom in your lifetime and during your days, and within the life of the entire House of Israel, speedily and soon; and say, Amen.
 
May His great Name be blessed forever and to all eternity.

Blessed and praised, glorified and exalted, extolled and honored, adored and lauded be the name of the Holy One, blessed be He, beyond all the blessings and hymns, praises and consolations that are ever spoken in the world; and say, Amen.

May there be abundant peace from heaven, and life, for us
and for all Israel; and say, Amen.

He who creates peace in His celestial heights, may He create peace for us and for all Israel; and say, Amen.

http://kaddishjerusalem.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/kaddish_hebrew.gif

Israel Lacrosse

Dr Jazz and Band
Last Motze Shabbat, we were pleased to be part of the first Lacrosse tournament in Israel. There is a grassroots effort taking place to bring Lacrosse to Israel. If Saturday night's game is any indication of what is in store for us, we do hope that it happens soon. It was a marvelous evening with entertainment by Dr Jazz and his band, t-shirts and games and prizes for the children (this Spy walked away with a Israel Lacrosse polo shirt) and 'entertainment' at the breaks.
Yuval and Ben

video

The website tells us that it was a 'standing room only' crowd. And it was! Kraft Stadium isn't very big, so that was not a difficult task. Because there were only a couple hundred of us (counting the players) the atmosphere was quite neighborly~ with the referees even coming at half-time to answer questions about the game!


"Tel Aviv"

"Jerusalem"

The Lacrosse Israel club was formed just this past April with players coming from all over Israel. One player we talked with actually had never played Lacrosse but is an ice hockey player from the northern part of Israel. The photos above look rather impressive. What you don't see~ 'The-turn-your-shirt-inside-out-switch'

Quick-Change Artists
The final score was 12-11 with Jerusalem as the winners of the 'Zimmerman Cup'. It was an exciting evening and a privilege to be spectators of the first ever Lacrosse game in Israel. Kol HaKavod men and we hope to see more of you in the future!

 
Adam Goldberg~ high scorer for Jerusalem
To learn more about Lacrosse in Israel click here Israel Lacrosse

Friday, August 12, 2011

Shabbat Shalom Challenge

This Shabbat we offer a challenge to all our readers~ and to ourselves. Is there anything that we have that we did not receive? Is there anything we are able to do that was not instilled in us from above? Is there anyway possible that we can out-give the source of our supply? Is it not possible to say one more kind word, utter one more prayer of support and healing, empty our pockets once again, go an extra mile and give from beyond ourselves to those around us?  

We want to share this inspirational video with you of a man who knows how to give. May we see his good works and give glory to our Father in Heaven who is the source of our supply and strength.
Shabbat Shalom. ( Please be sure to leave a comment )

 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tisha B'Av~ The Day of the Evil Report

Today is Tisha B'Av~ a day of fasting, reflection and repentance~ when we mourn the destruction of the Temple. Many evil events happened on this day in the Jewish history~ but the root of them all was the day of the 10 spies~ the evil report from the spies on the Land of Milk and Honey. Following is an edited repost of an earlier blog. The 2 Spies find it appropriate to repeat this blog on this sad day.

The original account of the 12 spies is in Numbers 13 and 14. When the spies returned, the report they gave Moshe was:

"We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But the people who live there are powerful....we can't attack those people, they are stronger than we." And they spread a bad report about the land they had explored.  They said, " The land we explored devours those living in it. The people we saw there are giants and we seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes...."


Joshua and Calev's report:
"The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the L-rd is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them."


Giants in the Land. So big and overwhelming that they looked like grasshoppers in their own eyes. That is intimidation! To make these people forget all the encounters with the Creator, the miracles, the personal deliverance from slavery on their behalf. How mighty these giants must have been to make all these men of valor forget the Living G-d. Forget him so much so that they spread a bad report about the land. The same Land, the object of G-d's promise to Avraham, the place of their ancestry~ they had no fear in speaking against all of this. But their evil report was actually against G-d Himself. This was their great error. In speaking evil against G-d and his promises, they caused all of Israel to follow them. Had they have known what the consequences would be, would they have put their hands over their mouths and kept quiet. I wonder.

Two spies saw the same giants and agreed that they were there and that they were fierce. These two spies, however, had not taken their eyes off of G-d nor had his greatness dimmed in their hearts. They knew they could take the land. Because they were mighty? No. They did not trust in horse and chariots. They had seen those of Egypt thrown into the Sea. They trusted in G-d as the keeper of his covenant. The 10 who did not believe~ who rebelled, died in the desert. The two were rewarded. They believed G-d and they entered the land.

The same scenario presents itself to us today who make Aliyah or who are eligible to make Aliyah. There are giants in the Land. We can read about them in the news or experience the giants in our own lives ~ terrorism, political unbalance, religious persecution, poverty, culture shock, a sense of never belonging, loneliness, frustration over bureaucracy, feelings of inadequacy because of language, age or cultural background.

The inability to fully adjust to all the challenges of a new life, the danger of becoming depressed, the desire to do anything to make the pain go away, the draw to make an unreal world to live in. The ever pervading tiredness at mundane tasks taking so much energy.

The inability to get anything done in a government or business office in less than three visits. The soul-racking humiliation as people look past you, medical staff not understanding your problem, even children laughing because your Hebrew is less than adequate. The desire to stand on a soap-box somewhere and shout, 'I AM NOT AS STUPID AS I SOUND! I AM A COLLEGE GRADUATE!!'

The dark, cold, loneliness because life-long friends are left behind and at you may never really make that good of a friend again. In the Land of the Bible, the confusing, mind-boggling convoluted thinking that washes over you as you try to sort out your spiritual life and doctrine and keep it to the solid simple truths unmasked with religion and hypocrisy.

The inability to keep hate from your heart over people who put your children in a position they never should be in ~ a uniform, like a target~ when they should be in college and dating and having fun.The confusion when some of those people become your dear friends~ how to keep the friendship and not have politics tear you apart.

For every person who lives here, there is a different, and maybe similar, list of personal giants in Land. Some are all too real. Some are perceived. But all are giants none-the-less with the power to make us look like grasshoppers in our own eyes.

The 2 Spies have written about the Giants for two purposes.
First, to let the readers know that we are not looking at Israel through rose-colored glasses. We have our eyes wide open and we engage the giants ~ real and perceived~ on a daily basis. We know personally how engaging the battle can be~ for some of us, almost to the point of death. We are not naive nor unscathed.

We have studied the passages in Numbers often enough to understand what our determination must be. By choice, we choose to NOT be as the 10 spies and bring a bad report. Joshua and Calev agreed that there were giants in the Land. They chose to believe G-d and because of that they KNEW they could swallow the giants. The giants would be defeated, with G-d's help.

This is our second purpose in writing about the Giants. We choose to be like Joshua and Calev and believe G-d. We know through experience that there are giants here. Legions if you will. We also know that the L-rd gave us the Land for our inheritance. We choose to see Him in this place. We choose to give the good report that it is indeed and land flowing with milk and honey. It is a Land where the G-d of Avraham, Yitzak and Ya'cov chooses to dwell. And...if G-d be for us, who then shall be against us?

David Slaying the Giant

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Update

Just a quick update on A. and his progress. A. is the little boy who had a tumor removed from his brain-stem and is in rehab as well as receiving treatment for cancer. If you missed the first blog about the need for prayer you can find the details here: Prayer & Squares

We heard last night that he is continuing to get stronger physically. Is still in a wheelchair but making some progress in walking and speaking. It will be a long road for him but he is advancing. He is finishing his radiation therapy and will have a month break. After the break he will begin more aggressive treatment against the cancer.

As always, he and his mother L. appreciate your continued prayer and are thankful for the healing that is taking place~ they know it is because of answered prayers.

Thank you for those of you who are sending squares towards a Comfort Quilt for the Mother. There is still time if you have not sent yours yet.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

'The Best Revenge for Terror - Live Well'

'The Best revenge for terror~live well' is a quote by Kay Wilson.
Kay is a neighbor and a friend of many of us in Israel. She and her friend Kristine Luken were brutally attacked while on a hike near Jerusalem. (Original story) Kay lived. Kristine did not. it was a horrendous day that we will never forget. We are eternally thankful that Kay lived. We are grieved that her dear friend, Kristine Luken, did not. You can read The 2 Spies tribute to Kristine here: Hidden Honey.

Kay has been invited to participate in a conference on terrorism in Paris~ the aims of which are to raise the profile of terrorism world-wide and gather ideas how to combat it. At this a-political conference and as a terror victim, Kay has been asked to tell her story. To quote Kay:

        'I also consider it an honor to represent my country and am hopeful that maybe just something in my     story will motivate many more to work against this global, yet ghastly personal, evil.'
 
We would like to share a recent interview with Kay and her amazing attitude. We are inspired by her courage and perspective.
   
As told to Julie Stahl~ CBN Mideast New Correspondent:CBN News

The crime made headlines around the world -- two hikers stabbed by Palestinian terrorists and left for dead. But Kay Wilson survived the attack, and she's using her life to encourage others not to be afraid.

Last December, Wilson -- an Israeli tour guide -- took her friend Kristine Luken hiking on the Israel Trail outside Jerusalem.What happened that day changed her life forever.
"We were walking not far from here," Wilson recalled. "We were caught by surprise by two Palestinian terrorists... they stabbed us both, each one of us 12 times."

Wilson survived by playing dead. Then she and her dog Peanut -- who was also stabbed -- walked almost a mile to a nearby picnic table where she found help.Police found Luken's body the next day.

During the attack, Wilson said she stabbed one of the terrorists. DNA from her pen knife helped police arrest the attackers.

"I think she's a real brave and great woman because what she did that night was really unbelievable," one investigator said.

Wilson recently returned to the park where she was attacked, as a tour guide and to encourage Israelis not to be afraid."I feel in some ways it could be redemptive. I think the best revenge for terror is to live well and to live a life of meaning," Wilson said."And not stop what we're going to do," she added. "Not sit at home because that's exactly what they want."

Despite the attack, Wilson said Israel is no more dangerous than anywhere else, and tourists should still come visit.

She would also like people to remember the enthusiasm of her slain friend Kristine Luken, an American Christian."She was never bland about anything. Enthusiasm was contagious so that's what I'd want to convey to people," Wilson said. "Also she really did dedicate her life to the Jewish people."

Another friend, Annie Selibowitz, told Wilson although the terrorists stabbed her 12 times, God had actually saved her life 12 times."I've just learned that when one is faced with such incredible violence and such a terrible evil attack that God is always there, and that we have so much to be grateful for," Wilson said.

That's exactly the message she wants to convey to others.

"I'll never know why Kristine died and I survived, (but) the thing that made me get up when I had those terrible injuries… it was the fact that I wanted to live," Wilson explained.
"It's this idea that my life is being given back," she said. "And we have a mandate to live."