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Tefillin are da bomb

I have always wondered what fellow passengers on trains, planes, buses, and cars have thought of the box strapped to my head with black leather. My Tefillin. What do they think of these bobbing mumbling semitic folks with outlandish headgear? Well, it seems in the age of Homeland Insecurity, and Orange Terror Alerts, these leather boxes we Jews have been strapping to our heads and arms for millennia are a perceived threat. Ynetnews reports:

A Jewish passenger on a Chicago train was arrested after fellow passengers accused him of being a suicide bomber.

The incident took place on a train that left Chicago early in the morning – when Jewish men are obligated to put on tefillin (phylacteries). The passenger began strapping the head-tefillin to his forehead and passengers unfamiliar with the custom rushed to the conductor and told him there was a man on board who was fastening a box to his head with wires dangling from it.”

The conductor approached the passenger but the latter refused to answer him as he was in the middle of the prayer, heightening the conductor’s suspicions.

Meanwhile, the passengers grew even more frantic when they noticed that

the passenger sitting next to the Jewish man had a Middle-Eastern appearance and wore a turban.

“That was too much,” said the Bob Byrd, NICTD chief of security.

The passengers panicked and the engine driver stopped the train. Police officers rushed into the train with a bomb-sniffing dog.

Police investigators soon realized their mistake and apologized to the passenger.

“This incident has given us all an opportunity to learn about other religions and their customs,” said the chief of security.

Is Bush pressuring Israel or not?

Analysis from Carolyn Glick

American folly, Israeli tragedy

November 23, 2007, 9:15 PM

 

The mood is dark in the IDF’s General Staff ahead of next week’s “peace” conference in Annapolis. As one senior officer directly involved in the negotiations with the Palestinians and the Americans said, “As bad as it might look from the outside, the truth is 10 times worse. This is a nightmare. The Americans have never been so hostile.”
On Thursday a draft of the joint statement that Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are discussing ahead of the conference was leaked to the media. A reading of the document bears out the IDF’s concerns.

The draft document shows that the Palestinians and the Israelis differ not only on every issue, but differ on the purpose of the document. It also shows that the US firmly backs the Palestinians against Israel.

As the draft document makes clear, Israel is trying to avoid committing itself to anything at Annapolis. For their part, the Palestinians are trying to force Israel’s hand by tying it to diplomatic formulas that presuppose an Israeli withdrawal to the 1949 armistice lines and an Israeli acceptance of the so-called “right of return” or free immigration of foreign Arabs to Israel.

Read More

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Olmert tells American Jews to bug off?

Olmert to World Jewry: Israel Makes Sole Decision on Jerusalem

17 Kislev 5768, 27 November 07 05:49

by Hana Levi Julian

(IsraelNN.com) Prime Minister Ehud Olmert informed American Jewish leaders Monday that Jews outside of Israel have no right to intervene in any decision regarding the status of Jerusalem.

Olmert declared at a news conference Monday following his meeting with leaders of U.S. Jewish communities that “the government of Israel has a sovereign right to negotiate anything on behalf of Israel,” making it clear that Jews outside of Israel had no right to participate in decisions about the future of Jerusalem. The prime minister told reporters that the issue had “been determined long ago.”

His remarks were seen as a slap to American Jewish leaders who oppose tentative plans by the Olmert administration to put Jerusalem on the negotiating table. Read more

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Alice’s Restaurant Massacre

Lyrics as reprinted in This is the Arlo Guthrie Songbook, New York, NY, 1969, pp. 91-95.
Additional lyrics (chorus) from Digital Tradition (file name: ALICREST)
© 1966, 1967, 1969 Appleseed Music Inc.

CHORUS:
You can get anything you want at Alice’s restaurant
You can get anything you want at Alice’s restaurant
Walk right in, it’s around the back
Just a half a mile from the railroad track
You can get anything you want at Alice’s restaurant RECITATION:
This song is called “Alice’s Restaurant.” It’s about Alice, and the restaurant, but “Alice’s Restaurant” is not the name of the restaurant, that’s just the name of the song. That’s why I call the song “Alice’s Restaurant.”

Now it all started two Thanksgivings ago… two years ago, on Thanksgiving, when my friend and I went up to visit Alice at the restaurant.

But Alice doesn’t live in the restaurant, she lives in the church nearby the restaurant, in the bell tower with her husband Ray and Facha, the dog.

And livin’ in the bell tower like that, they got a lot of room downstairs where the pews used to be, and havin’ all that room (seein’ as how they took out all the pews), they decided that they didn’t have to take out their garbage for a long time.

We got up here and found all the garbage in there and we decided that it’d be a friendly gesture for us to take the garbage down to the city dump.

So we took the half-a-ton of garbage, put it in the back of a red VW microbus, took shovels and rakes and implements of destruction, and headed on toward the city dump. Well, we got there and there was a big sign and a chain across the dump sayin’, “This dump is closed on Thanksgiving,” and we’d never heard of a dump closed on Thanksgiving before, and with tears in our eyes, we drove off into the sunset lookin’ for another place to put the garbage.

We didn’t find one till we came to a side road, and off the side of the side road was another fifteen-foot cliff, and at the bottom of the cliff was another pile of garbage. And we decided that one big pile was better than two little piles, and rather than bring that one up, we decided to throw ours down. That’s what we did.

Drove back to the church, had a Thanksgiving dinner that couldn’t be beat, went to sleep, and didn’t get up until the next morning, when we got a phone call from Officer Obie. He said, “Kid, we found your name on a envelope at the bottom of a half a ton of garbage and I just wanted to know if you had any information about it.”

And I said, “Yes sir, Officer Obie, I cannot tell a lie. I put that envelope under that garbage.” After speakin’ to Obie for about forty-five minutes on the telephone, we finally arrived at the truth of the matter and he said that we had to go down and pick up the garbage, and also had to go down and speak to him at the Police Officer Station. So we got in the red VW microbus with the shovels and rakes and implements of destruction and headed on toward the Police Officer Station.

Now, friends, there was only one of two things that Obie could’ve done at the Police Officer Station, and the first was that he could’ve given us a medal for bein’ so brave and honest on the telephone (which wasn’t very likely, and we didn’t expect it), and the other thing was that he could’ve bawled us out and told us never to be seen drivin’ garbage around in the vicinity again, which is what we expected.

But when we got to the Police Officer Station, there was a third possibility that we hadn’t even counted upon, and we was both immediately arrested, handcuffed, and I said, “Obie, I can’t pick up the garbage with these here handcuffs on.” He said: “Shut up kid, and get in the back of the patrol car.” Read more