Yom Kippur (which ended earlier this evening) is a special event for the whole country in different ways. This piece from The Times of Israel gives you one perspective, from which I offer the following extract:
Every Yom Kippur, on a voluntary basis, more than 99 percent of all Israeli Jews refrain from driving. The corresponding statistic, quoted each year on the day after Yom Kippur, is the precipitous drop in air pollution. A 2011 Environmental Defense Ministry report states that the normally high level of air pollution in the Dan region “disappears almost entirely” every Yom Kippur.
Now that’s what you call making a difference.
To put it in a personal perspective, we live near one of Israel’s major highways. (Think M25 if you are British, or Route 66 if you are North American.) When I went out to shul this morning, there were no cars on the road as far as I could see in all directions. There were, in true Israeli Yom Kippur style, a few cyclists riding on the empty road. (In true Israeli style, some of them were riding the wrong way down the road…)
Final thought: given how bad the driving is in Israel, there’s a part of me that would like to work out a way for every day to be Yom Kippur!
As it’s Yom Kippur from tomorrow night, I doubt I’ll have time to blog till after the fast is over.
(It’s amazing that, year after year, the day before the fast zips past at the speed of lightning, but the fast itself crawls along so s l o w l y…)
So, let’s finish off for now with something I should have tackled before. To any friend, relative or acquaintance whom I may have harmed in the past year – sorry.
And to those who are fasting, have an easy one.
According to the Palestinian Authority, I am a demon. And worse.
If you can bear the sickening onslaught of Jew hatred – officially sanctioned Jew hatred – check out this overview of a Palestinian Media Watch report. Well done CiFWatch for publicizing this.
As I said a few days ago:
But while there are various types of anti-semitism, all are fueled by the mainstream Arab and Muslim media. Quite why the West doesn’t ‘get’ this is beyond me. Why the West doesn’t appreciate the ramifications is also beyond me. And, regardless of partisan politics in America, isn’t it time that the White House said: “No more.”
This is a game about the Soviet attack at Tolvajarvi, Finland in December 1939. Each hex is 425 yards, each turn is 90 minutes (day) or 15 hours (night), and most combat units are company sized. The game comes with a single standard sized map, one countersheet, play aids, a rule book, and playbook. The designer is Mark Mokszycki. Continue reading
First, there was one.
Then there were two.
Do you think the fact tomorrow night is the start of Yom Kippur is significant? What does repentance or annulling vows have to do with a sad trio of supermarket trolleys? It’s a mystery. A teasing, troubling, triple trolley, tough nut. And it’s in our building!
The clocks go back one hour tonight (22 September 2012) in Israel. This is earlier than most of the rest of the world, and therein lies a story. Continue reading
Setting: New York, Paris, Baltimore, Zagreb, Berlin. (I may have missed one or two stops on the journey.) Continue reading
Setting: Aberdeen, Scotland. (Cold, wet, windy. And that’s the summer.) Continue reading
Setting: Moscow, Siberia and Hungary. (Out of the cold, into the freezer.) Continue reading
Apparently there’s another Gaza Flotilla on the way. So, let me save some time by posting a copy of a graphic I found at BDS Gone Bad.
As it says there, here’s a message to the wannabe heroes:
If you want to be real heroes, Travel 280 kilometers north. True, the Syrian army is much more likely than the IDF to shoot activists or throw them in jail – But nobody said being a hero is easy…
As for everyone else, I recommend bookmarking BDS Gone Bad.
Update: Here’s another pictorial pointer for you.
I don’t know how accurate the figures are, or where they come from, but I don’t think anybody is seriously disputing it’s been a bloody civil war.