Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Its What I'm Here For

I was sitting in my apartment today getting ready to work, flipping through the news sites, and I came across Arutz7 live broadcast of the roadblockings (little background, they announced like two or three weeks ago that today at 5 is roadblock day to protest disengagement). Anway, so I was listening to them go on and on about Bar ilan street in Jerusalem being blocked, and I said to myself, for sure the entrance to the city has more action then little Bar Ilan street. Its like sports, everyone has their favorite team, my favorite team is the City Entrance Blockers. So I went to check it out. I walked down the hill toward the city entrance junction, but couldnt even get close. The streets where open, and the police had blocked off the whole sidewalk area. Anyone wanting to actually cross the street had to go one by one past the cops, who then escorted them across. All the people where either crowding on top of the hill (Gival Shaul street), or were hanging out on the mountain overlooking the city entrance street. You can jump the stone wall on Givat Shaul street, walk down the mountain, get to another little dead end street, and then jump down onto the highway. I got there around 5:15, traffic was flowing, the cops were all over, everyone was yelling, but nothing was really happening. there was a little scuffle with a reporter but that was all. I sat down on my stome wall and just waited. I think they tried to block the highway, cuz the cops got angry and started pushing us up the hill. I slowly made my way up, getting slightly pushed by the cops behind me, but nothing more. Then all hell broke loose. The cops, in their infinite wisdom, were guarding the crosswalk at the end of the highway. But like two hundred meters into the highway, the dead end street ends, and theirs steps that go to the highway. So they ran their and blocked the highway. Imediately, everyone, cops and protestors together, ran to the action. I sat on my stone wall for a bit longer, but they didnt come back, so I went to check it out. I climbed down the mountinside and found a good spot, overlooking the highway, like 10 feet up. This was good for me, as I look at this as more of a spectator sport. The cops started bringing people back, one by one, it took like 3 kids per kid to drag them to the cop vans. In the meantime, they managed to block both sides of the highway. There were 3 guys on motorcycles wearing Peace Now shirts and waving blue ribbons (the color of the disengagement) It put a nice twist to things. Anyways, the cops then brought in the riot tank, a huge white tank thing with a hose on top. It took up a line of traffic, so even when cars could get thru, they were sill beign stopped by the tank thing and all the cops around it. The first spray from the tank (I think its called zarnuka) hit a ranking policeofficer, which I just found hysterical. After that, they got the aiming correct and started spraying the crowd. Then they sprayed the spectators on top. I ducked, and only got hit by a few drops. The guy next to me said its a hot day and he didnt mind, so he stood up and got soaked. meawhile, they were grabbing bunches of people, mostly kids. One guy it took four cops to carry him, one of the cops was undercover. He was wearing a red and white tshirt. They jsut kept stuffing people into the same police van, then I think the people tried to get out cuz there was a whole fight over there. meanwhile, the sprayer kept going, but it moves really slow so you have time to run or duck before it gets to you. At this point, there was no more cars. Cars coming into the city had been rerouted to another entrance, and cars leaving the city I think were stuck at another protestor block further in. So everyone was sitting in the street with no cars coming anyways, and the cops still chasing em down. there was a little girl taken with her backpack on, couldnt have been more then 10. She still fought the coppess, suddenly falling every few steps. Like in any game, I cheered for my team, but didnt do much else. I've become a stronger fan of Gush Katif since the last protest, but I still dont believe in highway blocking. Another thing I noticed was the amount of cops with camcorders. Of course there was like 20 papparazi filming the event, but there was at least 4 cops also filming. I smiled and waved at one. I wonder if I'm in a database somewhere now...At that point it was almost 6 and I had to go home, so I left. End Score Protestors 17, Cops 8. The cops got points cuz when they were pushing us up the hill, they let people to stop to get their kippot. I thought that was nice. Also, the water gun truck was cool. I jsut wish I'd brought my Super Soaker...Protestors got points for accomplishing their goal of blocking the highway, getting arrested, and just making the cops crazy. One protestor got a lot of points for breaking free from the two cops pulling him, and runnign away. They started chaing him, but then they gave up. charaidim also scored well in this, they were well represented. And Chabad. After the road was entirely blocked, two Chabadniks started walking down the middle with Mashiach flags and a big mashiach poster. It was good to see their yellow flags after so much orange. As last time, I dont know what was accomplished, but I had fun.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Which One?

I have always thought the idea of having a Dave Jr was very cool. Having it flow thru the generations, Dave IV and V and on. I have a friend, William Styx Schwab III (or is it IV?). For me that was always the ultimate. Not just the name Styx, but the whole Jr thing. But now, after calling hundreds of people a week, I realize the fallacy to such a plan. I also realize that after years abroad, I can still use the word fallacy. Very often, I call a house and ask for someone, lets say William Smith. One minute, they tell me, and go get him. He comes to the phone, and I give the usual speech, eye exam, etc. He says, in a surprised voice, who do you want to talk to? Again, I say, William Smith. Oh, you must mean William Smith Sr. Then they have to go find Grandpa. Why would someone bring such confusion on themselves? Ever time someone asks for William, they have to clarify which William. Incidentally, one house asked me if I wanted William Jr or Sr. I said the one born in 1920. They said, oh, you want Jr, and went and got him. How old is Sr?? Anyway, no more dreams of Jr me. At least theres Nephew Dave.

You know those old email forwards, Strange Facts, or something like that. this probably goes back to 9th grade or so, when I still read forwards. Two strange facts have never left my head. 1. A ducks quack doesnt echo, and no one knows why
2. The word facetious has AEIOU in order. And sometimes its facetiously, for the sometimes Y.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Testing Testing

To the two different people from two different countries who found my blog searching "topless blogs". I hope you some day find what your looking for. I dont think this is it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Kol Hazman Tzanchan

Ordinarily, I wouldnt write anything about tneffim, paratroopers, who I think of as overglorified infantry that the nation has become infatuated with for no reason. But today is different. My brother-in-law just had his tekes kumta for duvdevan. tekes kumta being "graduaton" from training, after a 90 kilometer hike, duvdevan being the elite tzanchan unit that no one knows too much about....So he know has his red beret. It was fun to be there, this time from a spectator side. As the ceremony ended, everyone was asked to wait a minute. Then they asked a girl from the crowd to come forward. One of the soldiers also came to the podium. They kept calling out the girls name, and the soldier was standing looking very nervous. Finally she came forward, he got down on one knee, and his friend held up a big sign, "will you marry me?" Everyone was quiet as she stood there, then she gave him a big hug. The crowd went wild! Now this poor girl is engaged to a guy who has over two years til he finishes. Oh well. Today was also Uncle-in-law Avi's wedding. it was nice, out in Mitzpe Yericho. It was very nice, especially cuz they had sushi! One of the few things I regret in life was when I was in Long Island for a Shabbat, and we went to a kiddush, and it was a sushi kiddush. At the time, I didnt eat sushi, so I stood around bored. Now I have become a big sushi fan, and I bet that was really good sushi I missed out on.
I had an interesting thought the other day. People look at laziness as a bad thing. But I dont think I'm lazy, I think I'm patient. Patience is good. I dont walk up the stairs cuz I have the patience to wait for the elevator. I dont get up cuz I have the patience to sit and relax. Some people feel the need to wash a plate rigt after its used. I have the patience to wait til the morning. You get the point. I have a massive test tomorrow, macreconomics, I need a 70 to pass, but I'm still wasting my time blogging. That way I'll have an excuse for failing....OK, hopefully not.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Golani Balagan

What a story!! After I read the Arutz7 story, I always like to check another source to get a bigger picture. Jpost has a slightly different variation, but same idea. Golani is not going to do hitnatkut. According to the article, they are too scared of soliders refusing orders. I had two favorite parts of this article. One was a typo near the beginning:
"The IDF has decided to relieve the prestigious Golani Brigade of the task of removing Jewish residents za from their homes, fearing mass refusal and lack of motivation among soldiers and officers. "
Whats the "za" in the middle? A reference to Zacks, the golani soldier? My other favorite part was someone named ari abramowitz saying how golani is first and second generation immigrants from Arab countries. How many abramowites are there from Arab countries???
Maariv quoted the whole story, but at the end said Golani has been relieved of hitnatkut due to worries about it being a disengagement under fire. Either way, I'm glad my boys arent a part of it.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Things I Hate

Following Menachems trend, I decided to blog about something that has just pissed me off for too long. Its 3 in the morning, your walking home cuz you have no money, your tired and the hang over is starting to kick in and BAAM! a cab driver hits the horn behind you. Do I look like I want a cab? Am I looking at the street at all? Does he think if he hits the horn, I'll suddenly change my mind? Half the time they dont even slow down, just instinctively they see someone they hit the horn. On some walks home I would get 6 or 7 cabs hitting their horns, all I wanted to do is walk home quietly in my own world, but no, I couldnt, cuz cabbie saw me. I always wanted to go over and tell the cabbie, "Ya know, I wasnt planning on taking a cab. But since you hit the horn, now I want to". I just never knew how to say it. Now that I know how to, I'm never walking home at 3AM. But now I wait for the bus at the city exit, and all the sheruts stop there for people going to Bnei Brak. They pull over on the side and hit the horn to announce theyre their. Acceptable. Then they just sit their on the horn, over and over again. Noone new came to the bus stop. We all know that hes there. Why doesnt he stop? One of them was sitting by for abt 10 minutes just hitting the horn. When he started to pull out he looked at me to see if I wanted a ride. Like I hadnt noticed him til then, maybe I was interested now. I yelled out "Sorry, I really want to go with you, but you didnt honk enough." I dont think he heard me but I felt better.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Thank You God!

I love parades. theres just something about them that does it for me. I used to love watching the July 4th Parade going 'round Oak Park Park (yes, thats a real place), looking at all the old cars, the floats, marching bands, etc., I loved the Israel Day parade in NY with all its masses of people joining to celebrate Israel, and now I love the parade in Jerusalem for Jerusalem Day. The day our capital was reunified, our borders extended, the day of "Har Habayit Biyadenu", the Temple Mount is in our hands. Whatever political decisions are made in regard to that terrority we won doesnt take away from the miracle that happened, how in 6 days we went from a tiny country that was laughed at to a military force to be reckoned with, how "five of ours chased a hundred, and a hundred chased 10,000". Gods hand was shown during those six days, and may he show it to us again to deal with our current enemies.
The parade goes from city hall (Kikar Safra), through town, and ends up at Gan Sahker. First is the tractors. Dozens of tractors, new and old, with signs hanging from which area they came from. Last year Sharansky was on one, this year we missed the beginning so I dont know who was there. Then each area of Israel has a float, with kids marching or dancing behind, the police marching band, Magen David Edom volunteers, and I dont know who else. Gush Katif had a float, there motto said something about them guarding Jerusalem forever. There was a lot of orange in the marchers, mostly ribbons or stickers, but almost all settlers from all over marched in orange Gush Katif shirts. From what I saw, it was all peaceful, no cop fighting or anything, just clapping and cheering for everyone who walked by.
After the parade we went to the Kotel. It wasnt nearly as packed as I thought it would be, but I heard people dont come til really late and then they stay there til the morning and daven. We davened a special holiday davening, and then danced around a bit. It was beautiful. tomorrow is more parading, when everyone marches the other way, from Gan Sahker to the Kotel and then theres a concert at the kotel, as well as concerts all over the city (and all free!!). More about all that later. For now, Chag Sameach to All!!

Thursday, June 02, 2005


A lots been going on in school recently (not learning, dont worry!). First, we had Student Day, and then the play. I dont know if they do this in America, Student Day is a day there are no classes, they have a huge fair on campus, the dizzying rides and the stands selling all those little things, beads and clothes. the main part is the music. We started with Eyal Golan, then Ivri Lider, followed by Hayehudim, and ended with Benny Sacharov(cant find a link to him-wasnt that good anyway). All in all, it was very nice. Ivri was the best performer, though Hayehudim is the kinda music you like to hear when youre at an outdoor music festival-really rocked up.
Last night was BIAS (Bar Ilan Acting Society) production of The Princess Bride. Wasnt sure what to expect, but my friends were in it, so we went. It was amazing. Just amazing.
Nothing else is going on, I'm going to have to go to school now just for class :-(