by Moshe Saperstein


July 14, 2014

Knowing how adept I am at science, math, etc, you will understand the importance of my current project. Which is: every time I enter the smallest room in the house, the siren sounds, with accompanying sound effects. Were I to be totally deurinated and constipated, would all attacks cease? An article is being prepared, for posthumous publication, in the Bulgarian Journal of Pseudo Science.
[posthumous, ie, after eating humous]


July 14, 2014

We are making a serious if understandable mistake when complaining about the universal chorus demanding we respond to rocket fire and terrorist attacks in a proportionate manner.

It is clear that the struggle is not between six million Israelis and three million Arabs who call themselves Palestinians. Given the number of attacks on Jews worldwide, the struggle is clearly between ten million Jews and one billion Muslims.

True, not all Muslims are concerned with killing Jews. But those carrying out terrorist assaults aren't pausing to examine the social and political orientation of those they are attacking. It is sufficient for the target to be a Jew, even an atheist or agnostic or self-hating Jew, to make him worthy of slaughter.

Do the math. With ten million Jews and one billion Muslims, our response must be far stronger.


July 15, 2014

[Principle 1. You will never be surprised if you understand that no matter how bad the situation appears to be, the reality is much worse.]

[Principal 1. Herman Winter, Principal of Rabbi Jacob Joseph High School.]

[Principle 2. Believe nothing that you read, including this, and most of what you see. One picture is worth a thousand lies.]

[Principal 2. Louis Sternfeld, Assistant Principal of Rabbi Jacob Joseph High School.]

[Principle 3. Fool me once; it's your fault. Fool me twice; it's my fault. Fool me in perpetuity; I must be a Jewish intellectual.]

[Principal 3. Rabbi Max Berkowitz, Principal of Newark Yeshiva.]

[Principle 4 As long as we continue to believe, as a dear friend put it, "we are one nation, one people", we are lost. We are our own worst enemy.]

[Principal 4 Choose your own inspirational teacher, minister, priest, rabbi, shaman, holy man, wholly man.]


I don't know whether to laugh or cry, and am doing both, so some of the text may be tear-smeared. Fear not. I won't belabor you with rants about the microsnots who pose as our leaders. Initially I was going to refer to them as pygmies, but realized this would be grossly insulting to pygmies.

Rather, this will be a display of my bitterness at the population as a whole.

From 2000-2005 we in Gush Katif were subject to endless bombardment. A portion of land fifteen kilometers in length and two kilometers at its widest suffered six thousand explosive projectiles. In all that time only a single death could be directly attributed to this bombardment. Some of you may recall my writing at the time that after a night when twenty rockets landed among us causing much damage but no injuries a local Arab said to me "Your G-d protects you. He spreads His wings and protects you." And we all knew and believed this, even if much of the rest of the country ignored it.

Now hundreds of rockets have fallen all over the country, and our BTH [Brainless Talking Heads] ascribe it to luck, Obama, Iron Dome. Anything but the sole reason for these miracles, the Almighty.

Failure to learn from the mistakes of the past is a guarantee they will be repeated. As I have said so often, Rachel and I have led interesting and eventful lives. My heart breaks for the children and grandchildren.

Is there another people, anywhere, simultaneously so bursting with intelligence and devoid of common sense?


July 17, 2014

Whatever I write — if the perspective is panoramic or particular, if the prose is poetic or pathetic, if the phrasing is pithy or plangent or puerile — the great majority of you have one response: "What about the cats?" So, for those for whom the little born-out-of-wedlocks are of paramount importance, this is for you.


[Back in pre-histrionic times, the Korean War was happening. Like every other junior high school yeshiva kid I was a great patriot, and sought kits for model planes, tanks, etc. Even then, when I still had two hands and ten fingers, I was a klutz and looked for the model with the fewest and largest parts. Which was the Grumman F6F Hellcat. Of course I ruined the decals, and ended up — the shame of it — putting someone else's unused decals from a model Messerschmitt. It's a wonder I wasn't expelled from yeshiva.]

[A fellow yeshiva student, a Hispanic named Joe Katz, took upon himself the holy task of listening to our conversations and reporting anything said that did not support the Official Yeshiva Line. Kids — except for a few brain-challenged like myself, we were a largely intelligent group — think and talk, and most of us at one time or another expressed opinions that might be construed as heretical. Those snitched upon were humiliated, even suspended. So whenever Senor Katz was spotted, conversation ceased. If he entered the lav, silence reigned. If he emerged from a lav stall, speakers would tremble at the thought of what he may have overheard. Finally, underneath the 'We Aim to Please/You Aim Too, Please' sign someone wrote "go to Hell, Katz..."]

Before I start on the cats, in fairness — stop smirking — I must acknowledge that there are other gifts from Nature that drive us crazy. We are swamped with slimy slugs and snails, slithering centipedes, smelly salamanders, scary snakes and spiders and scorpions.

It would be pointless to repeat, for the umpteenth time, why I hate the FF [Furry Fiends]. You don't have to hear again how they have gotten into the crawl space between the ceiling and the rafters, and parade around in the nighttime darkness making noises that keep us awake. You don't have to hear again how they screech round the clock when in heat, which seems to be every 72 hours. Nor how they climb the screen door, making holes large enough for wasps to enter. Nor how their ever-present products of procreation whine ceaselessly. Nor how their numbers increase daily as more and more people abandon the caravillas for what is laughingly called permanent housing, and their abandoned FFs come to one of the few places where the soup kitchen still operates.

Add to the above — plus all the other things I have written about them that have dripped through my sieve-like cranial depository, which is now more of a cranial suppository — a new wrinkle: I have started giving them names, with faces to match. Interestingly, except for one I truly despise whom I have misnamed for our testicularly challenged prime minister, Ahmed Bibi, all are leftist politicians/journalists/intellectuals whose absence would not cause me a moment's discomfort.

It is 8:40pm. A rocket landed close by some 30 minutes ago and blew out our electricity. Just restored. So, to my frustration and your relief I will end this soon as I doubt I'll be able to continue rambling as the sirens are continuous, as are the explosions, as are my runs to the smallest room in the house. Rachel runs to the Sewervilla and shmoozes with the few neighbors remaining. Also in the last few minutes we learned that our Piss Partners tried to land a boat with rockets on our beach. We blew it up.

Rachel and I had been fighting about feeding the FFs. Her motherly/grandmotherly heart couldn't bear hearing them whine. So not only were they driving us crazy, they were costing us a fortune. We went from one 3kg bag of cat food every month to two bags a week. Before Rachel left for ten days for a family affair in the States, she made me promise to keep feeding them. The evening of the day she left I was stepping out to feed them, and saw they had ripped off the entire screen. Did I mention that we've had the screen fixed four or five times? So I put the food back in the bag and slammed the door. I haven't fed them since. When Rachel returned and saw the shreds of the screen, she agreed we were done. And, I am proud of her beyond words, though they line up morning and evening and scratch at the door, she has stuck to it.

On a lighter note, even our present situation has an upside. Unlike the four-legged moochers who are still around, the two-legged moochers who used to harass us daily have disappeared. It almost makes me wish the 'festivities' continue. Almost.

Finally — I can hear the cheering — something heartbreaking, certainly the toughest and most painful moment I have had since 'festivities' began. Yesterday, late afternoon, we learned that a rocket hit and destroyed the home of very close friends on a kibbutz in our area. The couple is safe, but badly shaken. Rachel was on the phone with them for an extended period, and seemed deep in depression. When darkness fell she said "I have to go for a walk" and left the house. Minutes later a siren and a series of explosions very close by. I called her cellphone. No answer. Minutes after, another siren and explosions. I called again. No answer. I went outside looking for her, calling for her. I knocked on doors, looked in sewervillas, ran through the streets shouting her name. Having no idea where she was, and in a panic, I decided to wait in the house. A mistake. The phone rang time after time and I answered, hoping it was her. Three calls were family in Israel, one from a friend in the States. All had heard we are being shelled and were checking on our well-being. When she did walk in I was hysterical, in tears. She was with friends, a doctor and his wife, and because of her depression had forgotten her cellphone.

She apologized for not calling, I apologized for yelling at her. We wept until we slept. Had something happened to her I would not have survived.


July 22, 2014

I'm confused. Yes, you already know that I am confused. But I am now more confused than usual, difficult as that may be to believe.

Growing up in New York on my mother's stories of her adventures as a young girl in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in 1929-1930, with the establishment of Israel in 1948 I understood that my purpose in life was to defend the Jewish state.

Rachel had been a student in Israel in 1959-1960, and when we married in New York in 1962 we were in full agreement that our purpose was to live in, and work for, Israel.

Arriving in 1968, we were the only people in our large group who did not take the 'temporary resident' status that afforded you three years to acclimate before becoming Israeli. Instead, we chose 'new immigrant' status so as to immediately accept our obligations as Israelis. For me, already twenty-seven, I realized that if I delayed army service until age thirty I would never be accepted into a combat unit.


There are those who have described my military career as heroic. This says more about them, and their need to manufacture heroes to emulate, than it says about me. My military career was interesting, exciting, eventful, very funny. Never heroic. I learned early that my lack of military competence could be compensated for by humor. I also learned that incompetence followed by humor was subject to punishment, but that incompetence followed by the straight-faced pretense of stupidity was never punished. Reviled, humiliated, but never punished.

An example: close to the end of our three-month basic training we were all — trainees, officers — assembled and addressed by our camp commander, a not-very-nice person.

"You have been learning when to use a mortar, and when to use a bazooka," he said. "Who can give me an example?"

Nobody answered.

"Well?" he said. "No volunteers? So I'll have to pick someone." And he picked me, to the audible relief of the trainees and the audible groans of the officers.

I stood at attention. What passes for my brain was working overtime. The camp commander lived in a two-storey house several hundred yards from where we were gathered. In his yard he kept large, savage dogs that he used to have attack us when we marched past. He thought it amusing. We were terrified.

"Well, Sir" I said, "if I were in this position and I wanted to kill your dogs, I would have to use the mortar. If I were in this position and wanted to kill you, and could see you looking out of a window on the second floor, I would use the bazooka. Sir!"

Dead silence. He stared at my straight face, then burst out laughing. To everyone's audible relief. Especially mine.


However often I've been injured or disappointed I have always believed that there is a purpose to my pain. I have always believed that the Almighty has given me the capacity to deal with and/or accept whatever challenges He has me face. In Gush Katif, which to this day I consider the place closest to Heaven on this earth, I knew that my purpose was to fight to save Israel by saving Gush Katif. I was convinced, as were most of us, that our surviving 6000 rockets in five years was clear proof that the Almighty was protecting us. The possibility of our expulsion was nil.

The crisis of faith when we were expelled was devastating. For some it was a crisis in belief, and many of these abandoned their belief. For others, belief was never an issue. We know He exists, and is responsible for everything. We know there is a reason. Our crisis was in trying to understand that reason.

I don't talk with those whose faith is unshaken. I envy them, but there is nothing to talk about.

I don't talk with those whose faith is gone. I pity them, but there is nothing to talk about.

I do talk with a handful of other confused and tortured souls. Not for the comfort; there is none. But simply out of the desperate need to talk.


Now, with the present 'festivities', something strange is happening. Is it possible that, against our will and against the will of what seems to be the whole world, we are returning to Gaza?

Can it be that I have been kept alive because He is about to restore meaning to my life?

Can it be that I will once again climb the hill near our home and revel in the unique skyscape/landscape/seascape that made being there so glorious?

Can it be that I can continue to dream the impossible dream?


by Moshe the Perpetual Fool
July 23, 2014

[So there I am, prancing around and bragging about how witty I am. Rachel makes a snorting noise. "Okay" I say, "I admit that sometimes I'm childish." "Stop flattering your self" she replies. "You're not childish. You're infantile."

Or the good friend who wrote "Moish, you think you are irreverent. What you are, is irrelevant."]

Do you believe that Lee Harvey Oswald killed President John Fitzgerald Kennedy?

Do you believe that Yigal Amir killed Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin?

Do you believe that gaseous excretions by bovines will result in the melting of the North and South Poles?

Do you believe that sun, stars, etc, revolve around the earth?

Do you believe that Jewish religious extremists harvest Arab infants for their blood and body parts?

If you answered 'yes' to any of the above, please remain happy in your ignorance and read no further.


First, a short history lesson: Does the word yevsektzia mean anything to you? The Secret Police in Czarist Russia had a Jewish Section or Jewish Department, staffed largely by Jews who had converted to the Russian Orthodox Church. Jews were targeted because they were both Christ-killers and Marxists. After the revolution, the NKVD that had replaced the Czarist Secret Police continued to run a yevsektzia.

From before the establishment of the State of Israel, its Secret Police or Shabak has maintained a yevsektzia to protect it from the machinations of right wing, religious enemies of the Jewish Socialist State. Dozens, perhaps hundreds, were recruited to pretend to be religious, integrate into religious communities, marry religious girls and have families, and most of all, incite immature young people into committing criminal acts.

Don't believe it? Does the name Avishai Raviv mean anything to you? Surely, you who are supposed to remember the events at Mt. Sinai so long ago cannot have forgotten Avishai Raviv just a few years ago. He has left his wife and child, lives abroad, and receives his pension of NIS 11,000 every month.

And there are so many like him. Every kid from Gush Katif was approached by the Shabak and told he/she couldn't get into a combat unit unless they agreed to act as Shabak snitchers and/or inciters. The kids refused, as far as I know, and all got into combat units anyway. So the next time you hear of a so-called 'price-tag' attack, know that these guys are busy.

[Most countries security services, east and west, have a yevsektzia. During the Six Day War an American spy ship, USS Liberty, parked off the coast of Sinai and monitored all communications between Israeli units. Heaven forfend that our American friends would betray their Israeli allies. What they did, in less time than it has taken me to write these sentences, was to inform the British about which Israeli units were low on fuel or ammunition, and Perfidious Albion informed Cairo, allowing Nasser to order attacks on vulnerable units. Two Israeli jets attacked the Liberty, blasting its communications structures. Who on the Liberty was translating the Hebrew communications? Arabs? Non-Jews trained in Hebrew? Jew-hating Jews? The yevsektzia.]

From the sloppiness of the prose you can understand that I am rather punch-drunk. Most people have jobs, families, and must keep to a schedule despite the 'festivities'. Even Rachel keeps to a schedule by working on plans for the new house. But for me, day and night have lost much of their meaning. I simply stagger from bed to computer to smallest-room-in-the-house. For a while I benefited from listening to the final movement of Rachmaninov's First Symphony, over and over. It sounds like sirens and explosions and I soon couldn't differentiate between the music and the real thing, and would just roll over and resume snoring. Alas, people passing the house would hear the music and assume the worst, and after mumbled apologies I had to turn off the music.


Several of you requested another example of stupidity-saves-from-punishment, from the last letter. So I'll close with that.

Reserve duty on the Lebanese border, 1971, a small community on the hills above Kiryat Shemona. I am asked to man the field telephone early one evening. Every soldier who has done basic training and regular army knows the drill. Not I. The phone rings. I pick it up.

"Code 3, this is Code 6." I should have known that we are Code 3 and our Brigade commander is Code 6. But not only am I an ignoramus, I have hearing problems as well. Code sounds like Kof, the Hebrew word for monkey.

"What do you think this is, the zoo?" I shout. "Stop playing around, or I'll file a report."

Within minutes a jeep screeches to a halt. The Brigade commander, a short barrel-chested Druse jumps out, with my unit commander in tow. The Druse stares at me, fire in his eyes, then turns to my commander.



I should close here, but there is a short addendum.

Two days later we are up in the hills, straddling the border. There are two of us. I have binoculars and the other soldier has a field radio, and we are watching a road in Lebanese territory. Nothing much is happening. Bored, harassed by mosquitoes the size of birds. Then we see a convoy of eight vehicles slowly heading south. My companion calls in and reports on the convoy. We are ordered to await instructions. My companion is from Bombay, very dark, a head shorter and forty pounds heavier. He is funny, and a pleasure to be with.

"Let's have some fun," he says, and turns dials on the radio until he finds All-India Radio. He starts to sing and dance to the music. The language, he tells me, is Marathi.

"We have to listen for instructions" I say nervously.

He laughs.

After a minute or so we hear the shriek of shells overhead. He adjusts the radio back to the command section.

"Did you hear the instructions?" a voice asks.

"Yes" he replies, afraid to admit he hadn't been listening.

Dozens of shells rain down on the road, three hundred yards away. Some fall short. We are terrified.

At last the bombardment stops. Several jeeps roar toward us.

"What are you doing here?" the Druse shouts. "Didn't you hear the instructions to pull back?"

My companion just stands there, trembling. I can't say we were listening to All-India Radio. We'll both be punished.

I say a silent prayer, and step forward.

"We are Israeli soldiers" I shout. "We never retreat. We're not afraid of anything."

The Druse stares at me. He stares at my commander. His eyes roll heavenward. He walks away.


July 30, 2014

[Rachel was interviewed by the BBC yesterday. She was MAGNIFICENT.]

[The shelling continues uninterrupted, but I'm sick of heart-rending heart-warming inspirational pieces. So for a change of pace...]


During a summer session at Yeshiva University prior to my sophomore [ok, sophomoric] year, we had a passionate Rabbi who lectured us on how we were to express our sorrow in the three week/nine day period leading to Tisha B'Av [the Fast of Av]. Our mourning covered much of Jewish history, but especially the destruction of the First and Second Temples, the Exile, and all the horrors that followed, to this day.

"Whatever it is that gives you the greatest pleasure," he said, "must be put aside for this period, as a sign that you are serious about mourning and repentance."

"Forgive me, Rabbi," I mumbled. "You told us that learning Torah is your greatest pleasure. Does this mean you won't be learning Torah during the three weeks/nine days?"

Silence. Dead silence. He stared, his eyes glared, his skin color flared. "During this period I put aside what I learn all year and concentrate on the Laws of Mourning."

I smiled, relieved for him. And for me. Only months before I had discovered classical music, and as always has been my wont, dove into it passionately. I was buying records and listening to them and to the radio in every free moment. I was drowning, and never happier.

The Rabbi stared suspiciously. "Why are you smiling?"

"For the three weeks/nine days, I will not listen to cheerful music. Only music of mourning."

To this day I believe the sound of the bell ending the session is the sole reason I wasn't thrown out of Yeshiva University then and there.


Fast Forward. The Yom Kippur War. My unit is in Egypt, hostilities are technically over, a cease fire is in place. It is a disaster for us. Then, as now, the enemy has seemingly endless cannon fodder to sacrifice while we agonize over every loss. He shoots from fixed positions, we shoot back. Because of the so-called cease fire we cannot be mobile and creative.

You have heard the details of how I was wounded so often that the thought I might inflict them on you again is causing you to retch. Fear not. The details are as barf-inducing to me as they are to you. Let me work around it to make the point I have already forgotten I was trying to make.

A major reason for the mistaken general belief in my heroism is that I volunteered for a forward position, dangerously exposed and alone, to help a friend who was supposed to fill that position but was having a nervous breakdown. While there may be a smidgeon of truth to that belief, my primary reason was to be alone and listen to music.

I had been assigned to do guard duty with a nice guy at the front gate, and would have done anything to avoid it. When you are not alone on guard duty, politeness requires you chat with your partner. I had done hours with this guy, and he never shut up about an eczema condition both he and his wife had on their respective posteriors and its effect on their connubial relations.

So I went to the forward position, turned on the radio taped to the inside of my helmet, and reveled in the melodious noise until I was wounded.

Months later, in Tel Hashomer hospital outside of Tel Aviv, a recording crew from Army Radio arrives. To prove its cultural bona fides, Army Radio has classical music one hour a week, a request program for wounded soldiers. The crew goes from room to room but no one, mostly kids, wants to request classical music. At long last they find me.

"I was listening to Lalo's NORWEGIAN RHAPSODY when our uncultured enemy interrupted me. I would now like to hear it, uninterrupted, from beginning to end."

When the piece ends I am asked if I enjoyed it.

"Pretty much" I said, "though this time it lacked the ambience..."


Tel Hashomer had a workshop for building artificial limbs. The noise was horrific. The vista even worse. Many soldiers and a few children, some limbless by accident, others by birth defect. I could look at my fellow soldiers, but the sight of the children was killing me. So I listened to music.

"Who died?" shouted one of the workers. "What politician died? We're only forced to listen to this [fecal matter] music when some big shot dies."

Please do not commit Harry Carey. I've remembered the point I wanted to make, and am about to do it.


Tel Hashomer, months later. There are two Rehabilitation Buildings. Number 1 contains the paralyzed. I am lucky to be in Number 2, with the chopped, lopped and blind. Our building has — in addition to kitchen, offices, dining room, lavs — ten large rooms with four to ten beds in each, plus four single rooms. The single rooms are supposed to be for particularly difficult or problematic cases. One, I recall, had a young man given to particularly violent, frequent and odiferous explosions of gaseous material, which made him unsuitable to be in a room with others.

Yours truly was unsuitable to be in a room with others because of the music, which I listened to constantly.

Heaven. Gloriously alone. The Department Head, Dr. Shteinbach, was a music lover who was also the physician for the Batsheva Dance Company. He visited often. As did his assistant, Dr. Nadvorna, a beautiful Polish Catholic women who had moved to Israel with her Jewish doctor husband. Our first meeting was a disaster. I told her I loved the music of Szymanowski. "He was a pederast" she said, and walked out.


I was now regularly allowed out for Shabbat, taxied to Jerusalem on Friday and back Sunday morning. Early one Thursday I was told there was a possible new infection, and I was being kept over Shabbat for observation. This infuriated me. There was no 'observation' on Shabbat. No examinations, no doctor's visits, only minimal nursing staff. I called Rachel and asked her, if she could get someone to stay with the kids, to spend Shabbat with me.

To make a ludicrously long story short, she arrived Friday afternoon and we were having a wonderful romantic visit.

Until noon on Shabbat. The door to our room opened and Dr. Shteinbach entered, with the Head Nurse and more than twenty adults. They were all physicians from abroad on a special visit to see how Israeli hospitals cope in wartime.

Rachel, stunningly beautiful and wearing a frilly negligee, smiled sweetly and was introduced to the visitors who clearly doubted the bald, obese, ugly cripple could have a drop-dead-gorgeous wife. Dr. Shteinbach, giving me a look of 'et tu, Moshe?', turned to the Head Nurse. "He gets released tomorrow", he said, and led the visitors out of the room.

So, the point. Because of music we got to spend a wonderful Shabbat together, and I got to leave the hospital and go home to be with my family.

Music is indeed the food of love.


by Punch-Drunk Moshe
August 3, 2014

[You can decide which of the betrayals is worse.]

We spend a lot of time watching the al-Jazeera network. And not only because of the injunction to "know your enemy". Al-Jazeera doesn't pretend to entertain, has no advertisements, and has articulate presenters and guests.

One recent program was priceless. An injured child was being carried to hospital. A microphone was thrust at her and she was asked, "Who did this to you?" "Yahud" she said. The English translation at the bottom of the screen said "Israelis". But 'Yahud' means Jews, and nothing else. All attempts to describe the current festivities as a struggle between Israel and Arabs who call themselves Palestinians is utter nonsense. It is a war between Jews and Moslems, with the oft-stated goal of the Moslems being the destruction of the Jews.

Wake up, please. There is no compromise the Jews can make except to disappear, or die. Preferably the latter, as achieving that end will be so much more fun for our neighbors and piss-partners.

It makes no difference that the four boys killed on a beach were not the victims of Israeli tank fire but of a Ham-Ass rocket aimed at Israel that fell short. Nor does it matter that the UN school was not hit by IDF missiles, but by Ham-Ass explosives that were hidden in the school and were accidentally set off.

Wake up, please. We live in an age when truth is irrelevant. There is only their narrative, and our narrative. And the zeitgeist is that they are the oppressed, and we are the oppressors. The world believes nothing they do, however vile, can be condemned as they are simply fighting oppression, and nothing we do can be condoned as we are the oppressors.

Our articulate invertebrate leaders and their sometimes well-meaning rectal cavity supporters are making the right noises, at the moment. ETH, Empty Talking Heads, flood the networks with blather about an alliance between Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Dubai. Are we so desperate not to be what the Almighty commanded us to be, a nation that dwells alone, that we embrace the flimsiest of fantasies?

Then there are the malevolent spermatozoa receptacles, internal and external, who work incessantly for our destruction. The external are easily identifiable, but why do we fail to see the danger from the internal? By 'internal' I do not refer to Arabs born in Israel; they are just doing what comes naturally. I refer to Jews, the people who hail what JPost columnist extraordinare Sarah Honig "suicidal democracy". Is everyone blind?

La Passionara, the person closest to me, most important to me, the sole creature who, despite my decrepitude, arouses passion in me, has betrayed me... Rachel has returned to feeding the cats. I should have sensed it. Though I kick them, spit at them, hit them with a broom, spray them with bug spray, etc, they keep coming back. I caught her, inadvertently, and despite her having pledged to support my efforts to get rid of them, she — except for a nano-second of embarrassment — displayed no contrition. What am I to do?


A very good friend, a Moroccan lady named Malka, works in the large Ashkelon mall supermarket I most frequent. We have a long relationship, going back to the days when I came in from Gush Katif to shop there. Whenever Tamar, Oshri and the Wrecking Crew are coming to visit I let her know and she puts aside items that would burn a hole in my mouth, and in Rachel's. Items that delight my Tunisians, even Tamar who has adopted their tastes.

During a visit a few days ago the siren sounded and, as employees ran to the shelter, Malka said to me "Thank G-d for the Arabs. If we didn't have them, we would spend our time killing each other." I agree, and wanted to have a discussion about what had specifically set her off, but the circumstances weren't conducive. Now, curious but not wanting to be intrusive, I wonder if I should bring it up.


Finally, for those scientifically inclined, a puzzlement: Whenever I enter the smallest room in the house for an extended session, the sirens sound. Ditto for Rachel, who apparently sets off the sirens whenever she takes a shower. Is it possible that there is a connection between those activities and the sirens? [I am not a believer in coincidence.]


by Awe-Struck Moshe
August 12, 2014

Britain's Margaret Thatcher, 'The Iron Lady', was merely a soggy strand of spaghetti in comparison with my Rachel. Whatever the crisis, for however long it lasted, Rachel stood firm and did whatever had to be done with nary a whisper of complaint. As the prime beneficiary of her strength, through my numerous woundings and extended hospitalizations, I was awe-struck and uplifted by her calm. And dependent upon it.

When the crisis ended, even if the calm was clearly going to be of limited duration, she would collapse. Crying, lying in bed or seated before a blank tv screen. "I'm breaking down!" she would shout, "I'm breaking down! Help me. I can't take it any more." But even these breakdowns had a quality that was uniquely hers. Between shouts for help she would stop to call her hairdresser for an appointment, her manicurist for an appointment. "What do you want to eat?" she would ask. Or, "You can't go out looking like such a shloomper. People will think I don't take care of you." What recently floored even a veteran like me was, just before we went off for a Shabbat of r&r away from the war zone, "Get the car washed. I will not be seen in that dusty, filthy thing."

In the fifty-two years we have been together I have learned that her breakdowns, whatever their seeming theatricality, are absolutely genuine. There is not a deceptive or artificial note in them. I have come to call them DQB's, or Drama Queen Breakdowns. And my awe of her and affection for her are beyond any limits.

In candor I have also come to realize that I am worthy of being her mate. When I break down I never just assume the fetal position and yowl. I make certain there is music on, and cigars at hand. Thus I achieve a DPCB, or Drama Prince Consort Breakdown, state.


by One-Eyed Moshe
August 17, 2014

As I begin this, 3am Monday, 11.8.14, the thud of rockets exploding around us is constant. According to news reports a cease fire is in effect. You choose. Is the media lying? Am I telling the truth?

We have lost. And like all losers who are not forced to parade with a white flag of surrender, we declare that we have won. And those who defeated us — not militarily, but in the all-important area of the world's perception — are using the time-honored practice of urinating on us in celebration of their victory. And we losers pretend it's just a slight drizzle. And when the drizzle continues, like the Englishman in the theatre who was being whizzed upon by someone in the balcony above, we whine "I say, old chap, could you wobble it a bit?"

That is what is happening now with the on-again off-again cease fires, where we accept some of their demands, then some more, then some more, while they accept none of our terms. Indeed, we congratulate ourselves on how tough we are. In the first hours of the latest cease fire our area was brutally rocketed. HamAss claimed it was not responsible. My extensive research has shown the two groups claiming credit for the attacks are Martian Munchkins for Muhammad and Malevolent Marsupials for Muhammad. We pretended nothing serious has happened. Pathetic losers.

Worse than pathetic losers. On all three local tv stations the leftist media rules the roost. Leftists politicians, leftist Empty Talking Heads, Arab citizens of Israel weeping over the suffering of their Gaza brethren, and the occasional right-winger who is mocked and drowned out by the wailing sufferers. If all these stations were to disappear, we would at least have the much more trustworthy al-Jazeera...

Those of you living abroad have no conception of the degree to which the collaborators with our enemies control discussion here. Tamar's Oshri recently published JIHAD IN PALESTINE. It was reviewed by a group called Puerile Professors for Peace with Palestine [PeePees]. After raving about the brilliant scholarship, the accuracy of the translations from Arabic, etc, the PeePees conclude that the book cannot be recommended. The author sees no prospect of peace with our neighbors in the foreseeable future, they declare, choosing a view of Israel as Sparta, while we PeePees view Israel as democratic, peace-loving Athens. [I trust you are not among those who believe the nonsense that Athens was peace-loving and democratic. Athens had much in common with Socialist Israel: If you share our views, you are peace-loving and entitled to the protection of democracy; if you oppose our views you are, by definition, racist/fascist/religious and not entitled to the protection of democracy.] This Sparta/Athens theme is a media constant, especially among those who argue that B. Hussein Obama is the best friend we have ever had and has pledged to protect us, so there is no need to maintain a strong military. Pathetic losers.


A very fine and intelligent gentleman who works tirelessly to protect Israel's reputation, and whom I admire enormously, chastised me for inappropriate humor in these serious times. He suggested I aid him in his work, and when I failed to respond he said I was just kicking the can down the road which, if I understand properly, means shirking my duty.

He is probably right. But my can is very rusty, already half crushed, and nearly empty. And there is no road that I can see. Before us lies only disaster. Whether it is two days, or two weeks, or two months, or two years, doom awaits. Talk to people here. No sense of relief that the shooting may stop. Only a sense of despair that our fortitude in the face of endless rocket fire will be rewarded by a pause in which HamAss prepares the final blow.

Forgive me for repeating myself, but I pray with every fibre of my being that my despair is not the result of clarity of vision, but of the blindness of bitterness and worry over my children and grandchildren. We know He is All Merciful. May our generation witness that mercy.


[The fun never stops: You may recall we were burglarized and our car stolen about six months ago. We were robbed again over Shabbat. I was up at 4:30am, arguing with the Lord, then morning prayers in the house, then Cheerios and back to bed by 6. When Rachel awoke at 7:30 she saw the door to the garden wide open, plus some furniture re-arranged. What was taken was her jewelry, watch, earrings. We are both in shock. What is fascinating about her misery is that it is less for the jewelry than for the simple small ceramic bowl in which the jewelry was kept. Rachel had purchased it during a trip to Romania, in the Transylvanian town where her parents had lived. I now recall that when our car was stolen, I was more upset about the loss of compact discs than about the car.

The police have been here several times today, and we were told we were part of a spate of Shabbat thefts that included cars, tvs, computers, etc. So I suppose we should consider ourselves lucky, though my heart breaks for Rachel. With every cent allocated to the new house, replacing the stolen items is quite problematic. But we have been through worse.]


by Smoke-Still-Coming-Out-of-my-Ears Moshe
August 19, 2014

[It is 10pm as I write this, and if I weren't Old Baldy the hair on my head would be standing in anticipation of the missiles to come. Of course HamAss will deny responsibility, and credit for the assault will be claimed by four organizations: Paleolithic Platypussies for Palestine, Ponderous Pachyderms for Palestine, Rectal Reptiles for Ramallah and Gay Godzillian Geeks for Gaza. And we will pretend it is just a drizzle to be ignored. We won't even ask them to wobble it a bit. Well after midnight. Zilch. Zip. Nada. My sources inform me that the four organizations were called to a meeting by Insipid Idiots for Islam who convinced them to hold off for another day or two. Sigh...]


In excruciating detail, and fury undiminished by time, I recall how the members of kibbutzim stood at the roadside and mocked us every Friday from noon to three as we drove home to Gush Katif. They chanted "End the Occupation! End Gush Katif!" while holding signs with the same message.

Over the years we became friendly with some of these people. As long as the subject was not politics or ideology they could be quite charming, but let the subject touch on Gush Katif or religious belief and it was as if a curtain had descended between us.

"Our Arab neighbors only want to live in peace with us," they would say, "but you religious fanatics and occupiers make it impossible."

Nothing we could say made the slightest difference. The intensity of their secular belief made our supposed religious fanaticism pale in comparison. Like Climate Change/Global Warming, Save the Whales/Snails/Quails, etc, their once-scientific belief had become Holy Writ, and even though scientifically it was Wholly Spit, was enforced with a frenzy that would have thrilled The Inquisition.

After our expulsion, when their loving neighbors began to pound them with mortars, the kibbutzim made a deal with our government to maintain the fiction that all was quiet. However badly they were hit, however serious the damage, no public report was made and the government saw to it that they were well compensated within twenty-four to forty-eight hours. Only when there was human injury — animals didn't count, there being no Bovine Weekly or Chicken News or Donkey Radio — was the media informed.

A subsequent conversation with one of these people, in which I asked if she was now prepared to acknowledge that we were right, drew this response: "NO. NO. NO. If only you had left sooner, our neighbors wouldn't be so angry."

So now, as many abandon their homes and others, dulled with despair, await their inevitable destruction, I find it difficult to shed a tear over their plight. Though I have been know to weep for the animals...


Many Sderot residents had similar attitudes, though they expressed themselves in kindly and non-ideologically-charged terms. They genuinely felt sorry for us, but hoped our expulsion would lead to protracted quiet. Once they began to suffer the barrages we had learned to endure in Gush Katif, Rachel volunteered to aid an organization created to publicize their suffering. Once or twice a week I would drive Rachel to Sderot, and wait outside while she edited their English publications in their office, which was in a residential area. I would park in an open lot nearby, sit on a folding chair and smoke cigars while listening to classical music on a small radio. Occasionally a resident would ask me what I was doing, and I replied "My job is to sit here and guide incoming missiles." They would stare, then smile, realizing what you all know, ie, that I am nuts. When the siren would sound, which it did regularly, they would scurry for shelter while I sat there laughing.

Most residents of Sderot were Sephardic, religious, Ethiopian or Russian immigrants. Not the sort of people that our secular, progressive white leaders particularly cared about. My sympathy for them is as great as my lack of sympathy for the kibbutz members.


Shortly before our expulsion there was an art exhibit in Ashkelon. Rachel participated as her teacher was from Ashkelon. The mayor approached the Gush Katif participants and said "Why are you wasting your time there? Come live in Ashkelon, enjoy the peace, the quiet, the safety." When Rachel and others said the barrages we suffer in Gush Katif will fall on Ashkelon if we are expelled, the mayor gave us a pitying look, then a sneer, then mumbled an obscenity and walked away.

My feelings about Ashkelon are much closer to my feelings about the kibbutzim than they are to the Sderot unfortunates. Most rockets fall in the southern part of the city, the part whose residents are largely poor or lower middle class Sephardim. Those in the northern part pay lip-service sympathy but are clearly indifferent.


What does it say about me that I derive such perverse pleasure from their suffering? Keep this in mind when you next try and cast me in some heroic mold.


by Even-More-Confused-than-Usual Moshe
August 22, 2014

Oh, Joy!!! No sooner had I completed my unseemly whining over the apparent success of the cease-fire, when our Piece Loving neighbors — renowned for their decency and kindness — took mercy on me and resumed the shelling.

Three missiles fired at Beersheba early in the afternoon marked renewal of the festivities.

It was shortly after 9. We were watching a special, Who Can Be More Irritating: Judge Judy or Dr. Phil ? The special was hosted by Ellen Degenerate. Rachel said she heard explosions. I apologized, saying I had been eating potato chips. No, said Rachel, these are non-odiferous explosions. Within seconds the siren sounded signaling the return of comforting normalcy. Sirens/explosions non-stop thru now, 1:15am. Rachel has collapsed from exhaustion, and even the constant thudding rattling the house cannot rouse her.


One scene in the film THE HEART OF DARKNESS opens on a battlefield with an officer saying "I love the smell of napalm in the morning". It was pretty close to that here this morning, with a thick haze covering everything and the smell of gunpowder very strong. We are supposed to get visitors later in the day, but they may not come because of the situation. If they do come, I'll try and get Rachel to return with them to Jerusalem for several days. She really needs to get out of here for a while.


These are truly special people, genuinely gutsy, who spent the last weeks in our home in Gush Katif. A rabbi and his wife have been our spiritual guides for years, and trusted friends. They have three sons in the army. A Dutch Christian couple... I can only describe them as soulmates. They have an exceptional son in the IDF.

They called to say they were bringing food with them, and indeed they brought enough for a platoon for a week. But Rachel lives on the 'what if?' principle and ordered me to Ashkelon to buy food, just in case...

I was in a pharmacy in a mall when the sirens sounded. To my amazement/amusement, except for eyes rolling and a few groans nobody headed for the shelter in the back of the pharmacy. When I tried to exit with my purchase I found the front door locked. The girl who unlocked the door explained that in the past when the staff and customers ran to the shelter, people would enter the store and steal whatever they could.

If it was strange inside the pharmacy, outside was surreal. More sirens, sounds of explosions, and people walking around as if nothing was happening. Even young mothers and fathers pushing carriages and strollers, smiling and seemingly unconcerned. Here and there someone stood silent, generally an older person, nervously scanning the skies.


The guests arrived, sirens sounded at fifteen minute intervals, everyone had a splendid time. And Rachel agreed, with little argument, to return with them to Jerusalem and stay through the weekend.

So here I am, awash in sirens and explosions and music and cigars and food. Heaven.

May G-d protect all who believe in Him, even idiots like me.

Shabbat Shalom.


by Moshe Chicken-Heart
August 24, 2014

Rachel is furious with me for forcing her to go to Jerusalem, and refusing to join her there. She says she needs me and I have abandoned her. There she is, surrounded by friends and family who adore her, in a peaceful atmosphere that allows her to get the rest she desperately needs. But she may be right. Alone, I can eat what I want, when I want. I can watch/listen to what I want, when I want. I don't have to look at home furnishing magazines and comment on French Provincial furniture. I don't have to listen to tales of how the builders attached a toilet bowl to the ceiling in house X. And not just to the ceiling, but upside down.

So why am I miserable? Without her, there is an emptiness, a sense of desolation, a longing that has me on the edge of despair. Better that she should annoy me, nag me, criticize me, than not be here at all. And much as I hate to admit it, my wearing shmattes just to infuriate her gives me no pleasure if she isn't here.]


Yes, I have a way with words. I use this way to hide what I really feel. I don't know if I'm afraid you will see me as I really am, or more likely, that I will see me as I really am.

You are well aware that on my most civil days I am both anti-social and angry about just everybody. Beyond the anger there is a hatred that scorches everything. It is not a hatred of those trying to destroy us. We live in an area surrounded by Predatory Barbarians or Barbarian Predators [take your choice], and must take every measure to protect ourselves. They can't help being what they are, and we can only help them by speeding their journey to the Paradise they long for.

My hatred is reserved for those who are technically my co-religionists.


My people are genetically deformed. No nation/people since the beginning of mankind is so intelligent and creative. No nation/people since the beginning of mankind is so lacking in common sense and the willingness to protect itself.

We are the Chosen People. But we did not choose to be Chosen. Nor were we left a choice; 'accept or die' limits your options dramatically. From the first we have fought against the obligations the Creator demands of us. 'From the first' means from the time of Abraham. Our two thousand year exile did not cause our genetic deformation; the exile merely exacerbated it.


From politicians to Empty Talking Heads, academics to journalists, the willfully blind and the crassly stupid, we are inundated with co-religionists who work for our destruction while pretending to work for our salvation. These are the people for whom my hatred is unabated.

You cannot imagine how I envy those who believe man created G-d in order to sanctify and justify whatever man wants to do. Such a belief makes comfortable gibberish of all belief.

Those who have been reading my rants for years, and know my history, understand why I know — as opposed to merely believing — that there is a Creator. Past, present, future are all one to the Creator, and whatever the Creator does is — however difficult for me to understand — all for the best.

I am very tired. Seventy-four is my chronological age, but given all I have been through my age, as a doctor smirkingly declared, is well past ninety. There are two reasons I fight to stay alive.

The first is my passion for Rachel, who needs me to provide a host of services for her. But even with my love for her undiminished, I am breaking down at an ever-increasing rate. I have already had 40+ surgical procedures, and would need forty more from head to toe just to keep functioning. It ain't gonna happen.

The second reason I fight to stay alive is my hatred for those who work for our destruction. I don't simply want to see them dead. I want to torture them to death, to hold each and every one's head down in a feces-filled toilet bowl until they drown. Would I actually do it, if the opportunity presented itself? Probably not. I am, after all, Moshe Chicken-Heart.

But if only I were Moshe Lion-Heart.... I'd bathe in those bastards' blood.


[A curiosity: Many people tape concerts off the radio. >From the start of the current 'festivities' just about every piece is interrupted by a voice-over, "Warning! Rocket attack Ashkelon" (or wherever). Longer works can be interrupted three or four times. I wonder if those who taped these concerts will erase them, or preserve them as memorabilia of a truly unique time.]


by Moshe Chicken-Heart
August 27, 2014

[Rachel called. She has been making the rounds of the children and grandchildren, and enjoying herself enormously. "Come and get me!"

< I had been hoping for a few more days. "The rockets are falling like crazy (just at that moment, a siren and several large explosions). Did you hear it?"

"I don't care. Enough is enough. I want to go home. Come and get me!"

On the way home she said "We have to go to the building site first. There are a few things to be taken care of."

Did it bother me that the building site was a full ninety minutes out of the way? Or that I tried to listen to Brahms' First while Rachel chattered on? Or that Brahms and Rachel were overridden every few minutes by "Red Alert! X or Y or Z under attack."?

But Merciful G-d took pity on Chicken-Heart and we found the site in turmoil. Most of the workers are Druse, and just that morning their villages in Upper Galilee and the Golan Heights had been rocketed from Lebanon and their families were in a panic and demanded they return home. So they were running home. So we continued home.

Minutes after arriving home Rachel went in for a shower. A siren, and three very large explosions.

"Welcome home" I said.

"What's for lunch?" she said.]


"Cluck, cluck, cluck, Chicken-Heart" wrote a good friend. "You had the nerve to tell us what you would do to the bad guys. But you didn't have the nerve to tell us who the bad guys are. Cluck, cluck."

Sorry I have to repeat myself: Israel is a democracy. If you have opinions more or less synchronized with those who control the media, the justice system, the movers and shapers of academia, your freedom of speech is indeed protected. If, however, your opinions are different... for the sake of argument, say you are believed-to-be religious, racist, fascist, right-wing, settler, fanatic, etc, you have a problem. You are clearly anti-democratic. And if you are anti-democratic, why should you be allowed to use the freedoms protected by our democratic system, to undermine that system?

So, Clucky, were I to reveal the identities of those I wanted to drown in the feces-filled toilet bowl, I would certainly be arrested and prosecuted for insulting a public official, at best, and incitement to murder, at worst.

Even an attempt to disguise my target — say, I wrote Lickey Louse instead of Mickey Mouse — would offer little or no protection.

Still, to satisfy your childish needs and the needs of others like you, I will give you three TOTALLY FICTITIOUS characters who CANNOT BE MISTAKEN FOR ANYONE LIVING OR DEAD.

First, Boozy Woozy. Boozy is a midget, and the leader of the opposition in Tiny Town, as seen in the epic film TERROR OF TINY TOWN. Boozy may also be a liar, or a moron, or a moronic liar. But he certainly is a midget.

Second, Chubby Robbins. Chubby is obsessed with ice cream, and convinced that if he can shovel enough ice cream into those determined to kill us, all will be well.

Third, Simian Putz. Simian is living proof — unless he's a zombie — of the power of evil to keep one alive. So old that we've run out of numbers, he believes that the world must conform to his view of it. And if it fails to conform, better it should cease to exist.



[A new cease fire. Our so-called leaders have totally surrendered and are, naturally, declaring victory. And our media collaborators are flooding the airways with IAI — Idiotic Apologists for Islam, explaining that our enemies don't really and truly want to kill us. May He have mercy on us.]


by Moshe Chicken-Heart
August 28, 2014

I have been repeatedly, and justifiably, criticized for the insipidity of my humor in these perilous times. 'Can't you show some seriosity in this desperate situation?' So, to make amends for my HamAssininity, I present a bit of wisdom gleaned from my days in a yeshiva high school — Rabbi Jesse James, on Manhattan's Lower East Side — lavatory: No Matter How You Shake and Dance, The Last Few Drops Will End in Your Pants.

Thus was a generation of young yeshiva men taught the ultimate philosophical and physiological truth: Whizzing yourself, like all other unexpected 'pleasures', is inevitable and unavoidable. To put it poetically, Feces Occur. Live with it.]


There are four basic categories of adult Israelis today, as reflected in their public faces. Some of these overlap to some degree.

First are the blank-faced, or what I call 'the zombie look'. They are so shell-shocked or punch-drunk that they go about their daily tasks with faces registering no emotion.

Second are the fright-faced, the nervous who are always looking about in anticipation of some imminent catastrophe. The sad-faced and hopeless are part of this category. This is by far the largest of the four groups.

Third, the angry-faced, seething with a fury they can't express and feelings they can't control. This is the second largest group.

Last, and very definitely least, the smilers. Most have grins indistinguishable from the grimaces of those suffering severe constipation. Others, like moi, grin from the Happy Pills we are forced to take every day to keep from incessant weeping. There may be another group, though I can't yet confirm it: rumor has it that the insane asylums are being emptied to create space for Israel's leftist intellectuals.

[Instead of the stupid jokes, Moshe, do you have a possible solution to the problem?

Yes, and I offered it years ago, but no one followed up. So here goes, again:

Scholars have to announce that the Koran has been misinterpreted. When a shahid dies killing the enemies of Mohammad, and arrives in Paradise, he finds that instead of seventy-four renewable virgins, he gets one virgin and she is seventy-four years old. So simple. So effective.] {with apologies to my ever youthful and beautiful spouse...}

Moshe Saperstein and his wife Rachel were among the thousands of Jews kicked out of their homes in Gush Katif in the Gaza strip in 2005. They were forced into temporary quarters so dismal, their still-temporary paper-based trailers in Nitzan seemed a step up. This remarkable couple has had the fortitude to reconstruct their lives. They've withstood the government and the bureaucracy. Now, nine years after seeing the government destroy their home and community in Gaza, their new home going up. Contact them by email at

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