Friday, February 26, 2010

Purim Links

Long Divrei Torah

Hirhurim - Perspectives on Purim

Dreaming of Moshiach - Dramatic Secrets Of Megilat Esther



About Drinking

R' Yakov Horowitz - Parenting and Drinking Responsibly

Emes Ve-Emunah - Drunk as a Skunk

Mystical Paths - The "Mitzvah" of Drinking on Purim?

Shulhan Aruch w/ Kaf Hahayim - Orah Hayyim 695:2



For Those Already Drunk

Matzav - Matzav News Wrap-Up: A Purim Poem

Parshablog - Niskatnu Hadoros

Me, 2 years ago - Bava Blogra

Mashiach is Coming (from an email) - The Purim Story - in One Minute

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Adar Mazal Dagim

Is it me or have you also seen a whole bunch of fish stories in the news lately?

Rabbi Karp bans certain fish

Secretary Clinton will try to free carp for Pesah Seder use

Whale kills trainer at Sea-World

Leak in world's largest aquarium in Dubai sparks an evacuation of the mall.

Update

It's raining fish ... no really

Mystery Kirkcaldy Fish Identified

Oarfish omen spells earthquake disaster for Japan

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Gemara Written in Aramaic? Think Again

I always thought that the gemara was written in Aramaic. I bet you did too.

However, Google Translate tells us otherwise.

For example, when going to this page in Mesechet Ta'anit, I find out that the language of the gemara is really Indonesian. Actually, many messechtot are apparently written in Indonesian. How Ravina and Rav Ashi learned Indonesian is a mystery, but I bet they must have had a mesora for this for centuries.

Click to Enlarge



And then I find out that some messechtot like this page in Pesahim are written in Malay. Why the language was switched for Pesahim and how they knew this language is again unknown. It must have been a mesora passed down from Mordechai Hatzaddik.

Click to Enlarge



I'm surprised no messechtot were written in Elmer Fudd, Klingon, or Pirate.

Happy Purim!

Burning the Effigy of Haman With Yated Ne'eman

Ladaat.net has an article on how people burn the effigy of Haman with the pages of the Israeli Yated Ne'eman (which is different than the American newspaper with the same name).

Apparently, there's a minhag practiced by mainly Tunisian Jews to burn Haman's effigy, based on the gemara in Sanhedrin 64b.

This year, due to the lack of respect this newspaper gave to great rabbis (R' Ovadia Yosef included), they decided to use the pages of the Yated to perform this Minhag.

Now that's killing 2 birds with one stone.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Star Wars?



Shirat Devorah has a post with pictures that quotes World Net Daily, who suggests that a certain debris pattern could be shaped like a Jewish star.

To give you more information about this, the Hubble Telescope site says:
...Hubble also shows that the main nucleus of P/2010 A2 lies outside its own halo of dust. This has never before been seen in a comet-like object. The nucleus is estimated to be 460 feet (140 meters) in diameter.

Normal comets fall into the inner regions of the solar system from icy reservoirs in the Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud. As comets near the Sun and warm, ices near the surface vaporize and eject material from the solid comet nucleus via jets. But P/2010 A2 may have a different origin. It orbits in the warm, inner regions of the asteroid belt where its nearest neighbors are dry rocky bodies lacking volatile materials.

This leaves open the possibility that the complex debris tail is the result of an impact between two bodies rather than ices from a parent body simply turning into vapor. Asteroid collisions are energetic, with an average impact speed over 11,000 miles per hour (5 km/s, or five times faster than a rifle bullet).

"If this interpretation is correct, two small and previously unknown asteroids recently collided, creating a shower of debris that is being swept back into a tail from the collision site by the pressure of sunlight," says Jewitt.

The main nucleus of P/2010 A2 would be the surviving remnant of this so-called hypervelocity collision. "The filamentary appearance of P/2010 A2 is different from anything seen in Hubble images of normal comets, consistent with the action of a different process," says Jewitt. An impact origin would also be consistent with the absence of gas in spectra recorded using ground-based telescopes.

The asteroid belt itself contains abundant evidence for ancient collisions that have shattered precursor bodies into fragments. The orbit of P/2010 A2 is itself consistent with membership in the Flora asteroid family, produced by collisional shattering a few hundred million years ago. (One fragment of that ancient smashup may have struck Earth 65 million years ago, triggering a mass extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs.) But, until now, no such asteroid-asteroid collision has been caught "in the act." ...


Shirat Devorah also links to Vision of Geulah's The Star of Mashiach in the Zohar

For those who speak Hebrew/Aramaic, you may want to see these Hashem1.net articles:

Zohar on the signs for the Geula in heaven

and

Worth Reading: Star Wars Soon at the end of which quotes Tosefot Pesahim 118b, which implies that the stars that fought against Sisera were small stars, which Hashem1.net suggests as possibly asteroids. Hashem1.net also says in the beginning of the post that the future war will be similar to the war against Sisera, based on Psalm 83, verse 10.

So, what does a Jewish-star-shaped asteroid collision imply?

דרך כוכב מיעקב?

Time will tell...

5 Year Blogiversary

It's hard to believe that I've been blogging for 5 years.

Thank you to all the readers and commenters who have made it what it is.

May we merit to live-blog the Geula, Bimheira Veyameinu, Amen.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

At Least Hashem is Awake!

From this week's Midrash Rabba:

Shemot Rabba 33:3:

ד״א ויקחו לי תרומה . הה״ד (שיר ה) אני ישנה ולבי ער . אמרה כנסת ישראל אני ישנתי
לי מן הקץ אלא הקב״ה ער שנא' (תהלים עג) צור לבבי וחלקי אלהים לעולם



Another explanation: And they will take for Me a gift. This the the meaning of the verse, "I am sleeping, but my heart is awake." The Knesset Yisrael said, "I have slept myself away from the Redemption." Except, HKB"H is awake. [And we know that Hashem is the heart of Israel from another verse] that says, "but God is the rock of my heart and my portion for ever".

The Eitz Yosef explains:

אני ישנה מן הקץ. פי' שאף שארכו הימים וכמעט נתיאשתי מהגאולה. הקב"ה ער ויושב ומצפה מתי יגיע הקץ וכמו שאמרו בפ' חלק שהקב"ה מחכה לגאלם שנא' ולכן יחכה ה׳ לחננכם: שנא׳ צור לבבי
מביא ראיה שהקב"ה נקרא לבן של ישראל. לפי שממנו תוצאות חיים


I have slept away from the Redemption. The explanation is that even though the days have gotten long, and I have almost given up hope for the Redemption, HKB"H is awake and sits and expects, "When will the End arrive?" As they [Haza"l] say in Perek Helek that HKB"H waits to redeem them, as it says, "And therefore, Hashem will wait to be gracious to you."

As it says "the rock of my heart". It is bringing a proof that HKB"H is called "The heart of Israel." This is because from Him, life comes out.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

עלה נעלה וירשנו אתה כי יכול נוכל לה

My parents עמו"ש have B"H made aliya this week.

They had to go through New York first, so it was a Yerida Letzorech Aliya. (duck!)

I already miss them, but wish them Mazal Tov all the same.

May we all follow in their footsteps.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Martin Grossman Should Not Die

Update below.

Did you ever see the movies where people who don't deserve to die are about to be hung in the town square, already with a noose around their neck, and the protagonist comes riding in on his horse, shooting the rope that holds the noose, thereby freeing the victims, and then he swoops up the victims on his horse, and carries them away, riding into the sunset?

Don't you wish you were the one on that horse?

Martin Grossman did a terrible thing at one stage of his life. However, he really never deserved the death penalty for this crime in the first place both according to US law and Jewish law. He is now a changed man and a Baal Teshuva. He is scheduled to die on Tuesday. Please pray to Hashem for salvation. See SaveMartinGrossman.com for updated info.

For those sending letters to the governor of Florida, tell the governor that commuting the sentence to life in prision here does not equal being soft on crime. It equals being just and fair in a way of emulating G-d. Tell him that we learn from Exodus 33:19 that just like G-d is merciful when appropriate, we should also be merciful when appropriate. This is an appropriate time.

Letter from the Aguda:
To Friends and Constituents of Agudath Israel:

We are little more than 24 hours away from the scheduled execution, Rachmona litzlan, of Martin Grossman, Michoel Yechiel ben Miriam Sorah.

I wish I would have positive news to report, but the best I can say at this time is that there is still hope his life can be spared. His lawyers have a legal motion pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, on which the Court is expected to rule by tomorrow morning. The effort to persuade Florida Governor Charlie Crist to stay the execution and grant him a new clemency hearing also continues on a variety of fronts.

Our Gedolei Yisroel have asked us to do whatever we can to help save our brother's life. Therefore, at this moment of ne'ilas she'arim, let us continue to let the Governor know how strongly we feel about this matter. Please, even if you have already contacted his office, call him tonight or tomorrow morning at 850- 488-5603 to respectfully request that Martin Grossman's life be spared. (Note: This is a different number than the one we circulated last week; we are told that the other number, 850-488-7146, may not be operative at this time.)

The community's response to this tragic situation has been nothing short of overwhelming. May our display of ahavas Yisroel, together with our ongoing tefillos, find favor in the Eyes of the King of all kings, in whose Hands the hearts of all earthly leaders reside.

Chaim Dovid Zwiebel


Unfortunate Update: Martin Grossman was executed. Baruch Dayan Ha'Emet.

Hurva News

With 1 month left until the rededication of the Hurva synagogue, Ladaat.net reports that the pictures on the wall of the synagogue have been restored.

Meanwhile, Ma'an News (as quoted by VIN and Shirat Devorah) reports that:
Palestinian Supreme Judge Sheikh Tayseer Tamimi warned on Monday that Israeli institutions, settler groups and the current Israeli government are working to fulfill the 18th century Rabbi Vilna Goan's prophecy declaring that the Third Temple would be re-built by 16 March 2010.

שָׁמְעוּ עַמִּים, יִרְגָּזוּן; חִיל אָחַז, יֹשְׁבֵי פְּלָשֶׁת


The peoples have heard, they tremble; pangs have taken hold on the inhabitants of Philistia.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Rabbi Yosef: Ahmadinejad a New Haman

Rabbi Yosef: Ahmadinejad a New Haman

(IsraelNN.com)
Speaking Saturday night, former Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef called Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a modern Haman, equating him with the villain of the biblical Purim story. "Just like in the days of the first Haman, we have had Hamans in all the generations. Today we have a new Haman in Persia who is threatening us with his nuclear weapons. Their swords will strike their own hearts, and their bows will be destroyed," Rabbi Yosef said.

Friday, February 12, 2010

More on Persia in Avoda Zara 2b

As noted in the article I linked to yesterday, Avoda Zara 2b is very enlightening as far as Aharit Hayamim is concerned.

Much of what the article said can also be found on Shema Yisrael's insights on that daf, from which I will excerpt. Links are added by me:
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4) MODERN WORLD POWERS

QUESTION: The Beraisa presents the arguments of the Roman and Persian nations at the time of their final judgement. The Beraisa does not mention the arguments of the other nations. The Gemara explains that the Beraisa mentions only the arguments of Rome and Persia because those two nations are the most esteemed, since their dominion will last until Mashi'ach comes.
We know that the nation of Rome still retains power today in the form of modern western civilization which, to a great degree, is based upon the foundations of ancient Rome and the Holy Roman Empire. However, what dominion does Paras (Persia) still have today? The modern nation of Persia, now known as Iran, is a single nation like any other and is not a world power.
Hold it right there! Can we still say such a thing nowadays? Is Iran still just another nation? It could be that the question doesn't even start when looking at the world in 2010, when they have declared themselves a nuclear state.
In addition, the Chachamim tell us that the nation of Yavan (Greece) took control of the world from Persia, and thus it seems clear that Persia will *not* remain in power until the arrival of Mashi'ach! (TOSFOS RID, Mahadura Kama)
Again, not a question looking at the world picture nowadays.


ANSWER: The IBN EZRA in Daniel (7:14) discusses Daniel's dream of four powerful animals, which allude to the four powerful nations that will rule the world. The Chachamim (in Vayikra Rabah 13:5) explain that the animals allude to the nations of Bavel (Babylon), Paras (Persia), Yavan (Greece), and Romi (Rome). The Ibn Ezra wonders why the Chachamim do not identify one of the powerful nations as the nation of Yishmael, since the descendants of Yishmael were a world power from about six hundred years after the Churban (they conquered Yerushalayim in the year 638 C.E.).
Interestingly enough, one of the derashot the midrash in Vayikra Rabbah has the strange order that I noted previously: את הגמל זו בבל... את השפן זו מדי ... ואת הארנבת זו יון ... ואת החזיר זו פרס


The RAMBAN (in Bamidbar 24:20, Chavel edition) answers that perhaps the dominion of Yishmael will end before Mashi'ach comes. Moreover, the Romans were the ones who exiled the Jews to the present Galus, and the nation of Yishmael did not add any new element of exile, nor did they take over all of the countries into which the Jews were exiled.
I guess this is only in the Chavel edition - I didn't see this in the Mikra'ot Gedolot version.
Perhaps, we can understand the Ramban in that very few Jews live in Arab countries nowadays.

Others, however, give a different answer to the question of the Ibn Ezra. The TOSFOS RID (Avodah Zarah 2b, Mahadura Tinyana) explains that that the kingdom of Yishmael is included in what the Chachamim describe as the kingdom of Persia. Regarding the question how Persia can still be considered a world power if Yavan conquered it, the Tosfos Rid answers that Yavan conquered the portion of Persia which was subjugating the Jews in Eretz Yisrael at the time. However, the kingdom of Persia remained in control of all of the other North African and Middle-Eastern countries. The nations of Rome and Persia will remain in control of their respective areas in which Jews live until the coming of Mashi'ach. (The MAHARAL has a similar approach.)

According to this approach, the two nations whose dominion will last until Mashi'ach are the two other descendants of Avraham and Yitzchak -- Yishmael and Esav. They are considered to be the leaders of all of the other nations (see Insights to Sukah 55b). This is why Hashem offered the Torah specifically to those two nations before giving it to the Jewish people (see RASHI to Devarim 33:2).
The fact that Iran supports Hamas and Hizbollah supports this view well.

As the CHIDA writes (in NACHAL KEDUMIM), the Jewish people responded to Hashem's offer with the words "Na'aseh v'Nishma" to counter those two nations. They said "Na'aseh" to counter Esav, and "Nishma" to counter Yishmael.
I could not find this in נחל קדומים. If someone can show this to me, please let me know. Nonetheless, it is a good devar Torah for this week's perasha.

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Shabbat Shalom!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Rabbi Fingerer on Iran and Mashiah

Very interesting article here.

And, in case you missed it, here is his article from 4 months ago.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Earthquake in Chicago?

The nice thing about living in Chicago (or so I thought) is that although we get lots of snow, we don't have to worry about earthquakes.
Californians, on the other hand, have to worry about earthquakes, but not about snow.
However, it seems that here in Chicago, we now have to worry about both snow and earthquakes - and on the same day!
I slept through this 3.8 magnitude tremor, but who knows if another one will hit or not?
We here in Chicago know how to live through the snow - as most schools remained open today, unlike East Coast schools. However, no one here knows what to do in an earthquake. It's as if Hashem is saying, "You think you're so tough? OK, try this out for size!" Yes, it was "only" magnitude 3.8, and Californians are laughing "Ha! We get 25 of those a day!" For Chicago, though, it's another part of the global fear engulfing the world.

The Righteous Suffering for the Generation - a Jewish Concept

I recently posted about how Rav Mordechai Eliyahu (may he have a Refuah Sheleima) is suffering to bring Mashiah. An anonymous commenter took issue with this idea and said:
I am not aware that it is a Jewish concept that one Jew should suffer for another Jew's sins.We know that Teshuva and Ahavat Yisroel will bring the Moshiach,and that this is the work of every G-d fearing Jew.

While I agree with the second half of this statement, I will show that Talmidei Hachamim suffering for the sins of the generation is not something another religion made up - it was stolen from Jewish belief and then bastardized.

  • Mesechet Nega'im 2:1:
    רבי ישמעאל אומר בני ישראל אני כפרתן (Ribbi Yishmael says: Benei Yisra'el - I am their attonement) and Ribbi Ovadia MiBartenura explains what Ribbi Yishmael means as: כל העונש שראוי לבא עליהן אני מקבל על עצמי כדי לכפר עליהן (any punishment that is worthy to come upon them, I accept upon myself in order to atone for them)
  • Tanna DeVei Eliyahu Rabba 27:4:
    עליו הכתוב אומר (ישעיה נג)מעמל נפשו יראה ישבע וגו' . מכאן אמרו הת׳״ח שבדור הוא סובל עונות הדור שבתוכו בינו לבין עצמו ואין כל בריה יכולה להכיר בהן אלא הקביה לבדו ועליו הכתוב אומר (שם) ועונותם הוא יסבול
    ...Upon him, the verse says, (Yishaya 53:11) "Of the travail of his soul he shall see to the full..." From here, [Haza"l] said: A Torah scholar of the generation suffers the sins of that generation by himself and no creation is able to recognize this - only Hashem alone. Upon him, the verse says, "and their iniquities he did bear."
  • Bava Metzia 84b-85a: Ribbi Elazar BeRibbi Shimon had terrible suffering. Kohelet Rabba 11:7 quotes his wife, who quotes him as saying "All the suffering of Israel should come upon me," and it did. (והוה אמר דכל יסוריהון דישראל ייתון עלי והיינון אתיין)
  • Sanhedrin 39a: After a Min asked Ribbi Avahu why Yehezkel had to lay on his sides, he replied:מנהגו של עולם מלך בשר ודם שסרחה עליו מדינה אם אכזרי הוא הורג את כולן אם רחמן הוא הורג חצים אם רחמן מלא רחמים הוא מייסר הגדולים שבהן ביסורין אף כך הקב"ה מייסר את יחזקאל כדי למרק עונותיהם של ישראל The conduct of the world is that when a country rebels against a king of flesh and blood, if the king is cruel, he will kill them all. If he's merciful, he will kill out half. If he's full of mercy, he will cause the great men of them to suffer. Similarly, Hashem caused suffering to Yehezkel to wipe away the sins of Israel
  • Ramban Shemot 32:32: ולפי דעתי כי משה אמר ועתה
    תשא חטאתם ברחמיך ואם אין מחני נא תחתם מספר החיים
    ואסבול אני ענשם כענין שאמר הכתוב והוא מחולל מפשעינו
    מדוכא מעונותינו מוסר שלומנו עליו ובחבורתו נרפא לנו And according to my opinion, Moshe said, "And now, bear their sin with Your mercy. And if not, please wipe me out in their place from the book of life, and I will suffer their punishment, as the verse says, "But he was wounded because of our transgressions, he was crushed because of our iniquities: the chastisement of our welfare was upon him, and with his stripes we were healed." (To which Hashem said, "No - for this sin, only those who sinned will be wiped out.")
  • Derech Hashem 2:3:8:

    ואמנם ע״פ שורש זה, נסדר שיגיעו צרות ויסורין לאיש צדיק, ויהי׳ זה לכפרת דורו.
    והנה מחיוב הצדיקים, הוא לקבל באהבה היסורין שיזדמנו לו לתועלת דורו.
    כמו שהי׳ מקבל באהבה, היסורין שהיו ראוים לו מצד עצמו. ובמעשה הזה
    מטיב לדורו שמכפר עליו, והוא עצמו מתעלה עילוי גדול. שנעשה מן הראשים
    בקיבוץ בני העוה״ב וכמ״ש. ואולם מזה הסוג עצמו, ימצא עוד מין אחר
    יותר גבוה במעלתו מאותו שזכרנו, וזה כי מה שזכרנו הוא שילקה הצדיק
    על בני דורו, שהי׳ ראוים לעונש גדול מאד, וקרובים לכליה או לאבדון, והוא
    ביסוריו מכפר עליהם ומצילם בעוה״ז, ומועיל להם גם לעוה״ב. אמנם יש
    עוד יסורין, שנותנים לחסידים היותר גדולים המושלמים כבר בעצמם, והם
    לעזור למה שצריך לכלל גלגולי ההנהגה, שיגיעו אל הסוף שהוא השלימות.


    However, according to this concept, we can arrange [to say] that troubles and suffering will reach a righteous man, and this will be as an atonement for his generation. And one of the obligations of the righteous is to accept suffering that will occur to him with love for the benefit of his generation just as he accepts with love the suffering that were worthy for him for his own self. And with this act, he does good for his generation for he atones for it, and he himself ascends a great ascent - since he becomes one of the heads in the gathering of those who are worthy for the next world, as I stated. However, from this category itself, another type that is on an even higher level from what we mentioned can be found. And that is because what we mentioned is that the righteous man will be punished for the members of his generation, who were deserving of a very great punishment, and they were close to destruction or annihilation, but he with his suffering atones for them and saves them in this world, and it also helps them in the next world. However, there is yet further suffering that is given to the pious who are greater and have perfected themselves already. This [suffering] comes to help what is needed for the cycle of direction, which will reach the end, which is the perfected world...
    This last part seems to say that there are those that suffer to help bring Mashiah. The Derech Hashem goes on to explain this concept further. Look inside for his explanation.


Many more proofs exist for this concept, especially in Zohar.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Shekalim Message for Iran

We read in the gemara megilla that the reason why the giving of Shekalim starts from Rosh Hodesh Adar is because Hashem saw in the future that Haman would use 10,000 talents of silver against the Jewish people, so in order to preempt him, he needed to give this Mitzva of Shekalim starting from Rosh Hodesh Adar.

This Thursday, February 11th, Iran plans to show a "stunning punch" against the West.

Rav Shmueli in his weekly shiur (from the 1:30-2:30 mark), said that this month, he will hold his Erev Rosh Hodesh (Yom Kippur Katan) prayers on Wednesday. He explains that Rosh Hodesh falls out on Sunday, so it cannot be done on Shabbat and also, cannot be done on Friday. On Thursday, they already have the last fast for Shovavim with other prayers planned. Therefore, the Erev Rosh Hodesh prayers will be done on Wednesday.

Nice way to preempt the Ayatollah.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Links of Interest

Rafi quotes and links to the Temple Institute which discusses the previously discussed topic of the rebuilding of the Hurva Synagogue's connection to rebuilding the Beit Hamikdash. We're just weeks away.

Chicago Lampoon thinks Chicago's Jews should apologize for supporting a Jewish candidate for lieutenant governor who was pressured into resigning and did so during halftime of the Super Bowl. I say that we'll apologize right after all blacks apologize for supporting Obama.

Mystical Paths has an update to his original Global Fear post, which talks about Iran and Feb. 11th as being an interesting day. Too bad it's not in Adar.

Which reminds me - I have a court date for a speeding ticket on Feb. 11th. Should I push it off until Adar due to the gemara that says ולמצי נפשיה באדר דבריא מזליה? I don't know if it's possible to push it off - just putting the question out there assuming it is possible. (Not planning to use the answers I receive here as psak, but perhaps to see if it's worthy of asking a she'eila.)

Finally, please pray for Rav Mordechai Eliyahu, Shlit"a, who is in need of Tefillot.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Whose Elections are Crazier - Israel's or Illinois'?

Updated - see below

I think they're both crazy. The politics of both entities with the abbreviation "IL" can make a person ill if he/she pays too much attention to it.

Last night, Illinois had a primary election. The senator races were decided pretty early into the night, but both the governor races were too close to call.

In the Democratic side, both candidates for governor (current Governor Pat Quinn, who took over for the disgraced Blago, and Comptroller Dan Hynes) were at about 50%, but Dan Hynes did not concede even though he was down by about 7000 votes. This race included a TV ad which brought back the late Chicago Mayor Harold Washington badmouthing Quinn, regretting ever hiring him. This race was particularly bloody.

On the Republican side, there was a 7-person race, and in the end, State Senator Bill Brady is only up by 700 votes over Republican Obama-supporter State Senator Kirk Dillard (while according to Dillard, it's only 100 votes). Brady, from downstate, basically came out of nowhere to win this, at least according to Chicagoans. This morning, the Republicans had a "Republican Unity Breakfast" where they were supposed to unite behind one candidate. Party Chairman Patrick Brady had this to say:
Congratulations to all the candidates — those who won, those who didn’t and those who don’t know yet.


Recounts may occur for both races.

As interesting as this was, it doesn't beat 2006 where Tony Peraica, in a losing bid for Cook County Board President, stormed the County Building at midnight with camera crews abound, demanding all votes be counted. That was just nutty.

In Israel, elections have a different feel to them - voter turnout is high because people care and because under a parliamentary system, more than one person/party can be the winner. In a country of 5.5 million Jews plus 1.5 million Arabs, there are bound to be at least 10 million opinions out there. And because a higher percentage of people care, tensions run very high, and craziness prevails. If only there were an Orthodox Jewish Unity Breakfast post-elections...

Update
Surprise! Quinn's newly elected running-mate with a Jewish last name, who just became the Democratic nominee for lieutenant-governor, had an arrest in 2005 for domestic battery which nobody knew about until the day after the election. No one really expected him to win so no one really checked into his background, I guess. Quinn asked him to step down for the good of the party's ticket if he cannot explain himself. He refused. Never a dull moment in Illinois politics.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Websites, Mashiah Blogs Predict War With Iran

What's a good Mashiah blog without an upcoming war prediction? And with Iran BeDavka?

Debka: US speeds up its own and Gulf allies' preparations for clash with Iran

Fox News: U.S. Missile Shield in Gulf Ups Ante With Iran

VIN: Tehran - Ahmadinejad : 'Iran Will Deliver Telling Blow To Global Powers on Feb. 11'

Mystical Paths: Global Fear?

Jewish End of Days: Edom Continues to Up the Ante

Shirat Devorah: Ahmad Gears Up for Purim

Vilna Gaon Geula several posts