In the big inning

andre_sternberg.jpgDo you know where there is a source for Baseball in the Torah? It’s in the very first sentence of Breishis/Genesis: In the big inning….

The first ever professional baseball league in Israeli history got off to start this weekend with nearly 4000 fans watching the Petach Tikva Pioneers get clobbered by the Modi’in Miracles.
Albeit quite corny names, the baseball was real enough.

The Israel Baseball League has six teams, made up of players from around the world.

Perhaps my favorite footnote to this: no one had created a lexicon for baseball in Hebrew for the announcers to use.  There is no way to say the common expressions that make baseball, well, baseball. Not yet.

Puzzled broadcasters calling the first professional baseball game in Israeli history struggled with rendering baseball lingo into the holy tongue of Hebrew.

After a valiant effort at translating some of the terms, they gave up _ lacing their broadcas

t with Hebrew-accented versions of ball, strike, out, majors, pitcher and base hit….

“How do you say ’home plate?’” asked one of the announcers on the cable sports channel, which carried the game live. No one came up with an answer.

Will Israelis tune in for the slow paced game of baseball? The league is hoping for a miracle, maybe even praying for one.

Pictured: Andre Sternberg, a native of Berkeley, California, who recorded the first win in IBL history.



June 22, 2007
Dear Friends,

I am not writing about the latest cool Jewish programs that we are doing or anti-Israel activity on campus. Today I am writing for a special mitzvah…
I need your help to make a wedding for a poor bride/kallah and groom/chatan who are very special souls. The wedding is next week in Israel, and they don’t have enough money. It’s the saddest and happiest story. Sad because they really have no one to help, and happy because they have such beautiful faith in G-d and want to build a Jewish family in Israel.
Supporting a poor bride brings healing to those who are ill, and help for those in need of a match/shidduch!
Please help me in this huge mitzvah, and read their story below.

Please PAYPAL your contributions to this worthy cause to:

I have personally verified this story and spoken with their Rabbis.

Dear Rabbi Yonah,
    Hello! My name is Deborah* and Baruch Hashem, I am a kallah! I am getting married IM”YH in a week and two days. It is very hard for me financially to fund my own wedding. My mother lives in Chicago* and is in a very tough financial situation. On Shabbas she sleeps in her car so she can walk to shul. She is on the verge of bankruptcy and has no means in which to help me.
    My father is completely against the wedding. He doesn’t understand that I have found my soulmate, why I want to live in Israel, why I have chosen a more spiritual life and future. He won’t give a dollar.
My chatan’s family are in a lot of debt , they are an older couple and it is tough for them as well to help us. They want to help, but just have no way.
    We cannot put off getting married any longer. We are looking for all the help we can get. We found the cheapest hall to do it in. We still need money for food, and a band. We are borrowing the money to do everything and it is all very tough. If there is any way which you can help, even for after the wedding to pay of the loans, that would be the biggest blessing for us.
    We are trying to get everything done a.s.a.p. with Hashem’s Help. Thanks for everything . Hopefully we can everything done . Everything is through faith.
*Names changed for privacy

Thank you for taking the time to read this story. I have spoken with their Rabbis and verified their story. Please help me bring joy to life and support this couple. Everything you send to the Mazal Tov Fund will be sent directly to them but is not tax deductible.


Rabbi Yonah Bookstein


Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinech: How do you say “Israel must be wiped off the map”?

Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinech were the only members of congress to vote against a call to charge Ahmadinajad with violating the 1948 Genocide Convention.

The U.S. House of Representatives urged the U.N. Security Council to charge Iran’s president under genocide conventions.

The non-binding resolution, initiated by Reps. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Steve Rothman (D-N.J.), passed Wednesday by 411-2. It cites an Oct. 27 speech in which Mahmoud Ahmadinejad allegedly called for Israel to be “wiped off the map” in its call for the Security Council to charge him under its 1948 convention for the prevention of genocide.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) attempted to have read into the record alternate translations of Ahmadinejad’s remarks that suggest the Iranian leader was calling Israel to come to an end through democratic means, and not through violence.

The two Representatives who voted against the resolution were Ron Paul (R-TX) and Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), both running for President who doubted the translation of Ahmadinejad’s comments. Kucinich cited faulty information leading up to the Iraq War as grounds for concern about the accuracy of Ahmadinejad’s comments. In other words, Kucinech and Paul thinks that this is all part of a new “war with Iran” propaganda.

Rep. Rothman asserted that Ahmadinejad had expressed the desire to “wipe Israel off the map” in an October 2005 speech and had made subsequent comments of a similar nature. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), expressing her support for the bill, stated: “Let us be clear, [Ahmadinejad] is calling for the genocide of Jews.”

Under the 1948 Genocide Convention, “direct and public incitement to commit genocide” is illegal.

Michael Rubin writes in the National Review online that revisionists and apologists have tried to soften the wording of the famous call to”Wipe Israel off the map.” He points out that Juan Cole wrote:

So, I have a suggestion for my readers. Every time you see a newspaper article that alleges that Ahmadinejad said that Israel should be wiped off the face of the map, please write the editor. Say that this idiom does not exist in Persian, and that what Ahmadinejad actually said was, “This occupation regime over Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time.” And you can cite me.

Well, the real quote is there for the taking on an official Iranian News site:

Ahmadinejad: Israel must be wiped off the map
01:34:13 È.Ù
Tehran, Oct 26 – Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday called for Israel to be “wiped off the map”.

“The establishment of the Zionist regime was a move by the world oppressor against the Islamic world,” the President told a conference in Tehran entitled ‘the world without Zionism’.

“The skirmishes in the occupied land are part of a war of destiny. The outcome of hundreds of years of war will be defined in Palestinian land,” he said.

“As the Imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map,” said Ahmadinejad, referring to the late founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Imam Khomeini.

Does not leave much room for “interpretation” or misunderstanding.

So Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinech – are your coffers so empty that you hope to fill them with some Iranian Oil profits? Not that anyone is going to vote for these two candidates for President—but they should get voted out of Congress for their blatant tuches-kissing to of all dictators, the one that wants Israel gone.

Juan Cole— we always knew which team you played for, so it is no surprise to see that YET AGAIN your credibility as a so-called scholar of the region has been cast into great doubt. Perhaps you and Finkelstein can get jobs in Tehran?


Jimmy Carter: Give Hamas a Chance

Jimmy Carter: Give Hamas a chance
Former president says U.S. should not cut off aid to Palestinians

Thursday, February 2, 2006; Posted: 7:12 a.m. EST (12:12 GMT)
(CNN) — Hamas deserves to be recognized by the international community, and despite the group’s militant history, there is a chance the soon-to-be Palestinian leaders could turn away from violence, former President Jimmy Carter said Wednesday.

Carter, who monitored last week’s Palestinian elections in which Hamas handily toppled the ruling Fatah, added that the United States should not cut off aid to the Palestinian people, but rather funnel it through third parties like the U.N.

“If you sponsor an election or promote democracy and freedom around the world, then when people make their own decision about their leaders, I think that all the governments should recognize that administration and let them form their government,” Carter said. (Watch the former president cautiously defend Hamas — 4:35)