Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Episode 7: My Israeli Reality - Part 1

The following video is the first of a several videos I will be doing about my reality living in Israel. I will discuss issues such as visiting Israel, moving to Israel, working in Israel, terrorism, wars, Jewish/Arab relations, etc.

The song in the intro is Shalom Levan Dodi by Jo Amar.

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

War with Hamas in Gaza

Unless you have been under a rock, by now you may have heard that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are fighting against Hamas and various terrorist elements in Gaza. This was a long time coming, and in some ways is a bit too late. Arab terrorists in Gaza have been firing rockets at bordering Israel towns since the Israeli disengagment in 2005. It is estimated that almost 6,000 or more rockets have been fired in the last 7 years at Israeli citizens from Gaza Terrorists. About 4,000 rockets have been fired by terrorists in Gaza since the disengagement in 2005 with little or no response from Israel. Many of the terrorist fire rockets from civilian populated Arab neighborhoods, so that Israel can not easily respond.

At least 80 Israeli Air Force (IAF) aircraft, including both jets and helicopters, struck pre-selected targets in Gaza, reportedly dropping at least 100 bombs. According to Arab sources in Gaza, the death toll there is 205. Hamas sources predicted that the body count would reach 350. Among the targets was a Hamas ceremony for graduates of a paramilitary course. Gaza terror squads kept firing rockets at Israeli civilians. One of these rockets hit a home in Netivot, killing one civilian -- Beber Vaaknin, 58 -- and wounding six others.
The offensive began eight days after a six-month truce between Israel and the militants expired. The Israeli army says Palestinian militants have fired more than 300 rockets and mortars at Israeli targets over the past week, and 10 times that number over the past year.

The IDF Spokesman published the following announcement in the early evening hours:

"Since this morning, the IDF attacked dozens of targets affiliated with the
Hamas terror organization in the Gaza Strip. The targets included command
centers, training camps, various Hamas installations, rocket manufacturing
facilities and storage warehouses. The vast majority of the casualties are
terror operatives; most of whom were wearing uniform and working on behalf of
terror organizations."

Israeli police say a missile from Gaza hit near the city of Ashdod in the deepest missile strike inside Israel yet. Regional police spokeswoman Sarit Philipson says she was driving home Sunday when she saw the missile hit the ground near Ashdod, about 23 miles from Gaza. In Gaza, Hamas claimed responsibility for firing the missile.
Gaza's Hamas rulers have been stockpiling weapons in recent months, including medium-range missiles. Until Sunday, the deepest targets inside Israel had been the city of Ashkelon and the town of Netivot, which are closer to Gaza.

Topsy Turvy
Just like clock work various countries, many of which have really bad human rights records, are decrying the Israeli response. Countries like Russia have a lot of nerve acting like we Israelis are in the wrong for responding. Russia recently waged war against Georgia and they somehow have the right to tell us what to do when we sustain continiued attacks from terrorists. Many of the Arab nations are decrying us, but many of them have a historical hand of involvement in the situation.

The Sudanese foreign ministry issued a statement calling for an end to the Israeli attacks that it described as "brutal raids" and saying Arab states should take a unified stand to protect the Palestinians."

Ehav's Note: The Sudanese government has a LOT of nerve with such a statement. With all they have been doing in Darfur, and no missles were fired at them.

Hamas leader Khalid Mashaal called Saturday night for a "third intifada" against Israel, speaking from Damascus following the IAF attack on Gaza earlier in the day. According to Channel 2's Arab affairs correspondent, the strategy of the terrorist group is to ignite rioting in Judea and Samaria as well as inside Israel, with the aid of the Islamic Movement.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak instructed the IDF to open the Kerem Shalom Crossing Sunday morning in order to enable international humanitarian agencies to deliver supplies into Gaza.
Thirty trucks bearing medical supplies, basic food commodities and other humanitarian goods are scheduled to make their way through the crossing beginning at 11:00 a.m.

"As the prime minister said yesterday, we are not at war with the Palestinian people, but with the Hamas terrorists, and therefore we are bringing in the goods for the Palestinian people," noted IDF Major Peter Lerner, Defense Ministry Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories."

This is a reality that has been coming for a long time. It is also the result of the no-Jew zone policy that has been the agenda of the West, most Arab nations, and even the Israeli government.

That is to say that when one says that the only way to have peace with Arabs is for Jews to be forbidden to live in lands that have always been native to Jews, these are the results. The idea of forcing Jews out of Gaza was that it would make Israel safer and it would be a step on the road to peace. The goal of this plan is to create an Arab nation called Palestine by forcing Jews out of places where Jews have always lived. Yet, Arabs can live in either Israel or in the Arab areas that they want to call Palestine. The reality is that Jewish blood has been meaningless for the last thousand years, and that must be realized by us.

In order to really understand the roots of this conflict you have to understand the history of the Jewish presense in the Middle East, and also the failures of past attempts of peace with the various Arab nations that surround us. The following links a good start here and here.

I will have more thoughts about all of this soon. For the moment I have so many emotions about all of this that I may need to make a video in order to express. So with that.....The Chronicles of Ehav Ever will cotinue.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Much To Do: So Little Time

So I have been extremely busy these last few weeks with work and more work. I have so much that I want to either write about or do a video about, but I am trying to take my time with some things. So don't worry all loyal fans of the Chronicles I have not disappeared off the face of the earth. I have simply disappeared within myself, if that makes sense.

What's Nu? Beit El!

This past weekend I took part in a ZFA (Zionist Freedom Alliance) and Qumma Shabbaton in Beit El. For those don't know, Beit El is a religiously observant Israeli town and local council in the Benjamin region of Shomron, within the borders of the Matte Binyamin Regional Council.

It is located in the hills north of Jerusalem just to the east of al-Bireh. Its Pisgat Ya'acov neighborhood has a hilltop observatory with a commanding view of the surrounding hills where one may view as far away as the Tel Aviv area and even Mount Hermon on very clear days. It has a higher elevation than Jerusalem and has cool nights in the summer. Occasionally, it snows in the winter.

In Biblical times, Bethel was the site where Jacob slept and dreamt of the angels coming up and down a ladder. In that dream, described in the Torah portion of WaYetze (Gen. 28,10 - 32,3), G-d promises Jacob the "land on which you are lying," as well as "sea-ward, eastward, northward and towards the Negev." Beit El is the 10th-largest town in Judea/Samaria, with some 5,000 residents. Beit El also has a number of small factories such as tefillin factory, a winery, metal works, carpentry shops, a bakery and others. Beit El has a large percentage of immigrants from other countries and is also home to a unique community of Bnei Menashe from Manipur and Mizoram.

Being in Beit El was a really moving experience, and gave me some time to think about many of the things going on in Israel, and in my own life. This reawakening, so to speak, began before I even arrived in Beit El.

On Friday I went to Jerusalem to pick up a few Qumma people who were visiting from America to take them to Beit El, and on the way there we ended up taking a wrong turn. That wrong turn took us right into the entrance to Ramallah.

I will do a V-Log about this, but lets just say that the "kill all the Jews" and the "Jews smell like pigs" as well as more graphic graffitti was definitely a wake up call to the reality we Israelis live in. When we were outside of Israel they once shouted at our forefathers, Jews go back to Palestine and now that we are back in Israel they shout Jews get out of Palestine. Talk about being indecisive. It has been the Jewish reality for hundreds of years that we are often blamed for the world's problem, often in weird or far-fetched ways. Needless to say we made it out of Ramallah okay.

We Need to Talk

A few weeks ago I was on the phone with my mother and she told me, "We need to talk." What did she want to talk about you ask? She wanted to discuss what will happen with her estate when the day comes when she will pass away. Okay, no problem. My mother and I have always had a really open relationship and we can talk about almost anything. There was a time where this subject was off limits for me, not because of any fear about my mother one day passing away. I am quite aware and okay to deal with the reality that this will happen one day. The major problem before was that she has a lot of land that she had intended to have me assume control over to continue in her name. Yet, when it became clear that, by the hand of Hashem (G-d), I was never leaving Israel this became a tricky topic. So now she says that she wants to make sure that she has all her affairs in order.


Right now I am under a lot of pressure, and I sometimes feel like I need to take a moment to myself. The pressure that I face is what I call, "Everybody wants a piece of the Ehav." Whether it is at work, in my social environment, or with family stuff I feel like people want so much from me and I try my hardest not to ask anyone for anything. Maybe one of my problems is that I sometimes need to be more assertive with my "no's" or better yet "HELL NO!" I don't know, but sometimes I kind of wish that people didn't expect so much from me. Especially since I sometimes feel like if people really knew my weaknesses they would be disappointed. Not that this matters, but I have never been in a situation where I could just simple go with the flow. Often I have had to live up to some high expectations, and I sometimes don't feel like I have what it takes to meet the expectations that people have for me. It is days like this that I wish my father was still alive to talk to me and help me through the pressure. If only there was some way I could feel like my father was there for me when I face off against my greatest challenges.

Dragonball Z - Gohan Defeats Cell

Best Quote Out There From Scrubs

As I get older I really miss him, even though I don't remember him. (He passed away when I was three.) Maybe I should just do a video about this.

Well, that's all for now. I will post a video soon to kind of gather all my thoughts. Until then the Chorincles of Ehav Ever will continue.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Video Response: Keeping Her

Okay, so I decided to do another video response. This is a response to the YouTube user BaldButWigged. She did a video called Keeping Her, concerning why do men stop wooing a woman once they have married her. Her video can be found at the link here.

So below is my video response. I may have to do a part two because I had some other ideas that I didn't get to fully explore because of the YouTube 10 minute limit. Yet, I think this on some level sums up my position on why some men stop wooing their wives. Let me know what you think.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Video Response: Commitment and Marriage

This is my first video response on YouTube. It is a response to a video titled Understanding The Male Species - Pt 3/Marriage by YouTube user BaldButWigged. I couldn't put the video in my blog, but the link to the video is here.

So below is my video response to her video.

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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Episode 6: Traffic Wars Part 2

This is Episode 6: Traffic Wars Part 2. More talk about things while I am in traffic.

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Saturday, December 6, 2008

Introducing Y-Love - Again

When I was a kid I loved hip hop. I loved it so much I did it for a number of years before I gave it up in college. I still have some love for hip-hop but only things that remind me of my path as an Israeli. That means that I predominately listen to Israeli hip-hop, or the stuff from my childhood like Whodini, Fresco and Miz, Blood of Abraham, Black By Demand, WISE Guys, Isis aka Lin-Que, MC Lyte, Chubb Rock, 3rd Base, Eric B and Rakim, etc.

So there is a rapper that I have been hearing about a lot and that is Y-Love. I have mentioned his blog before, but now I would like to present some videos about him. The following videos are Y-Love doing what he does best. He also has a blog called This is Babylon.

Introducing Y-Love

Y-Love Live over Dead Prez at Purchase!

Y-LOVE LIVE SHOW w/ Jake Break & dj handler

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Friday, December 5, 2008

קושי בחזרה בתשובה - אדם חילוני בתהליך חזרה לאמת

מתוך הרצאה של הרב אמנון יצחק , אדם חילוני מסביר שקשה לו לחזור בתשובה ולקחת עליו פתאום בבת אחת את כל ההלכות וכו'... צפו בסרטון.

For those who don't understand Hebrew this video is of Rabbi Amnon Yitzhaq. The man asking the questions is asking how he can return to Judaism when he has been secular for years. Rabbi Amnan Yitzhaq explains to him that it is as simple as making a choice, and then learning what is correct and what is incorrect behavior based on Jewish sources. He then gives the man a first step by helping him with Tzitzit.

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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Remembering Those Lost in Mumbai

Words can't realy express the horror that terrorist have recently unleashed in Mumbai over the last few days. It is truly sad to see that there are people who will murder people regardless of who they are and what they do. For those who think that terrorist need to be understood or appeased Mumbai is proof that none of that works. So in memory of those who were murdered and so that people don't forget here are some videos to keep it fresh in our memories.

For more insight go to Reveda's blog entry My Nation Under Attack.‎ Read Entire Post!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Episode 5: Stuck in Traffic Part 3

So I am getting back to doing the Episodes of the Chronicles. I have taken a bit of a break to do some other videos, as you have seen in the previous posts. This video was filmed several weeks ago when I was stuck in traffic. I decided when that happens to do some studying of Hebrew and to talk about current events. This is actually part 3, and I will go in reverse order similar to that famous Seinfeld Episode.

The Chronicles of Ehav Ever will continue.........‎ Read Entire Post!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Training in Abir: Part 1

So you may have been wondering where I have been, or maybe you haven't. In any case I have been training more in the self-defense/fighting style I have mentioned on this blog before called Abir. Abir is a Jewish martial art that was preserved by the Jews of Habban in southern Yemen. I have been fortunate to learn Abir from the Aluf Abir - Grandmaster Yehoshua Sofer, and I have also been teaching Abir to a kid at my synagogue here in Maale Adummim.

I have also been working on some videos for Abir, and here is my first offering. I am hoping to do about 4 or 5 in total. This video also provides sources from Jewish texts concerning Abir. All of the sources are in Hebrew, but anyone who wants a translation let me know.

You can read more about my experience with Abir in the following posts.

So What's Nu?

The Way of the Israeli Warrior
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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mixed Chicks Chat Interview: Part 3

As some of you know I keep up with the Mixed Chicks Chat (נשים מערובים) on Talk Shoe. Mixed Chicks Chat is the only live weekly show about being racially and culturally mixed. It is hosted LIVE every week by Fanshen Cox and Heidi Durrow.

I recently made my third appearance on the show. Last night's topic was one that I sent in and it was titled, EPISODE 76 - Weirdos, Stalkers, and Confrontation: The Mixed Experience. It was a really good discussion about how sometimes being mixed and having a presence either on the internet or in person can bring you into contact with some strange people. Note: The joke we have on the show is that I am the Middle East correspondent for their show.

If you click on the button and it is not the episode on stalkers, etc. go here and look for Episode 76.‎ Read Entire Post!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

בית כנסת תפארת תימן מעלה אדומים

The following is a video I created for my Beith Keneseth (synagogue) here in Maale Adummim, Tifereth Teiman. The video is in Hebrew, but the short version of what is being said is a history of how the synagogue got started in Maale Adummim, and about the culture of the synagogue. Tifereth Teiman is a Yemenite Jewish synagogue, going by the Baladi tradition. This was filmed during Hol HaMoed of Sukkoth, 2008. So enjoy.

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Saturday, November 8, 2008

My Kind of Tag

So I got tagged by Invisible Woman today. Though I am not a big fan of being tagged, when it comes to movies I will do it whole heartedly. I am a big movie buff, and I am very picky about movies. Also, about half of my English is made up of movie quotes, so how could I turn down Miss Invisible Woman on something like this.

So the tag is to come up with the ABC's of my favorite films, called "The Alphabet Meme", started by Blog Cabins.

A - Airplane

B - Batman Begins

C - Cooley High

D - Death on the Nile and Dark Knight, The (This was a HUGE toss up for me so I had to include both.)

E - Event Horizon

F - Five Deadly Venoms, The

G - Goonies, The

H - Hav Plenty

I - I Am Legend

J - Johnny Dangerously

K - King Kong Lives

L - Lost Boys, The

M - Meteor Man

N - Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

O - Outsiders, The

P - Purple Rain

Q - Quarrel, The

R - Raiders of the Lost Ark

S - Snake Eyes

T - The Chronicles of Riddick

U - Uptown Saturday Night

V - Van Helsing

W - When We Were Kings

X - X -Men

Y - Yeelen

Z - Zoro, The Mask of

Doing this made me realize something. Many of my favorite movies start with the letters D, S, and T. The hardest movies for me were K and Z so I wouldn't exactly say those two are the best.

So now I need to tag 5 people. I choose the followig bloggers.

Jacob Da Jew

Light-Skinned-ed Girl

The Happy Go Lucky Bachelor


Artsy Wings, Loops and Things

So stay tuned because the Chronicles of Ehav Ever will continue.

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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Blogs to Check Out

One more note before I go to bed tonight. I don't often talk about other blogs as much as a should. Yet, there are a few blogs that either have kept my attention since I started blogging or I have recently come across.

First up, is Y-Love's blog. Y-Love is an African American Hassidic Jewish Rapper. His blog covers a number of topics from Jewish issues to political issues. Check him out and you may learn something new.

Second up is that mix of cool, funny, and informative blog Jewliscious. If you have read my blog long enough you will find a video of Dave from Jewlisious during the Jewish Blogger's Convention that took place in Jerusalem a few months ago. Jewiliscious is really a bomb site for the modern Jew who is hip, cool, and doesn't run from his/her Jewish roots. So check them out.

Third up is Invisible Woman's Black Cinema at Large Blog. I have been a fan of the Invisible Woman for some time now. Her blog is witty, funny, and very informative concerning the issues of Black cinema, or the lack of it, in America. She also has some lingo that really makes me laugh. You will never have a dull moment reading her blog. So check out her blog and tell her that Ehav Ever sent you.

Last up is a blog a just came across about a week ago. As soon as I saw the title I knew I had to stop by and take a look. This blog is She Blinded Me with Science. This is the blog of The Science Girl. She is currently a student somewhere in Chicago. Sorry I don't know more, but this is a blogger's world.

So I hope you enjoy some of the blogs that I have been enjoying of late. There will be more to come. Until then...........The Chronicles of Ehav Ever will continue.

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Saturday, November 1, 2008


Hey All. Sorry for the delay in the video log, but I had a huge emergency. The monitor on my laptop died on me. As I contemplated what I should do I began to realize that my entire life is on my laptop, and that is when madness began to ensue. Yet, there was a light at the end of madness. I went out and bought a new 20" monitor and even a new Canon digital camera. My current camera has had a broken screen for a number of months. So now with my computer area/library looking like the Bat Cave this week the Chronicles will continue.

In the meantime, I have to admit something. I love Snicker's commercials. They seem to come up with some of the weirdest ideas that make me laugh. So here are the latest offerings.

Snickers Feast - Entire Movie

Batman snickers ad

Snickers Great Googly Moogly
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Friday, October 24, 2008

Commercial Break

I just got back from Jerusalem where I was filming Episode 3. It will be up some time next week. While I am working on Episode 3, I thought I would take a commercial break with some things that I find funny. I had never heard of Terry Crews until a few months ago when I saw some scenes from the movie click and White Girls. These two scenes from both movies make me laugh every time.

Terry Crews and Adam Sandler in Click

Terry Crews in White Chicks

Now the below video was created by someone on YouTube, and though I find it funny I also found it a little scary. This is the Scary Mary where he took scenes from the Disney movie Mary Poppins and made it seem like a horror movie.

Mary Poppins the Horror Movie

Of course I love the Airplane movie from the early 1980's. This song reminds of when I accidentally walked into a cult like meeting at UC Berkley. I found myself trying to figure out what windows I could escape through if they started going psycho and Heaven's Gate. Long story, that I will get into later.

Airplane - Funny Scene - Jill Whelan

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Episode 1: The Introduction

Well, here it is. My first VLog aka VBlog entry on YouTube and I am working on at least four more. This may turn into my new way of blogging. Thanks to Tiffdjones at the Mulatto Diaries for turning me on to this concept.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

The Mulatto Diaries and the New Path

So I was on YouTube and I came across the VLog (Video Blog) of TiffDJones and her videos The Mulatto Diaries. Tiffany is Bi-Racial woman living in New York, I think, and she posts videos on YouTube about her experiences as well as her thoughts about being mixed. She has some really interesting topics that I have been finding very interesting.

I have to give her a lot of credit for the things that she is willing to openly talk about in terms of being racially mixed. There are some areas of the mixed experience that I choose not to talk about because of my experiences with it in America. Her mixedness is within her parents generation, but mine is withing my great-grandparents so there are differences as well as similarities in experiences. Part of the mix my family experienced was of an international, cultural, religious, and linguistic nature (also within my parents generation) and because most Americans would associate me as something based on the American standard I have found it easier to just ignore race since for the most part it doesn't affect me as much.

As an Israeli, I also don't live in America anymore so the concept of being "black" in the American sense doesn't affect, even though it didn't affect me much after high school when I did live in America. I also grew up in an isolationist type of community when I was younger, we lived in a closed off neighborhood, so I sometimes have a xenophobia about opening up to people that I perceive as being outsiders or even potential threats. Yet, maybe that is something that I need to deal with in my upcoming videos.

So getting back to Tiffdjones and the Mulatto Diaries. Instead of me going on and on, you can just watch a few or her videos.

Mulatto Diaries #66 etymology

Mulatto Diaries #60 who is black

Mulatto Diaries #37 too light to matter

The New Path

So after watching Tiffany's videos and others like it I am now inspired. (Dramatic music playing in the background) I am going to start doing my blog partially in written form and partially in VBlog form. As I mentioned in the last few posts I have the VideoSpin software, which I used to do the Year 1 video in my last post. I am now uploading a video I did as an introduction to the video Chronicles of Ehav Ever and as soon as it is finished uploading to YouTube I will post it. I may do one per week since it takes some time to edit the videos and also upload them. Note: it takes me all night and part of the morning to load videos to YouTube. I wonder if it is because I am doing it internationally.

Originally, I said I was not going to allow comments because sometimes commentors on YouTube can be a would I say......SPECIAL in how they comment. Yet, I think I will use moderated commenting like I do on this blog. Don't worry Hochmah and Musar fans I will post each VLog video on this blog. Also, if there are any topics you guys would like to hear me talk about, rather than write about let me know.

So when you are on YouTube be sure to check out the Mullato Diaries and coming soon the Video Chronicles of Ehav Ever.

The Chronicles of Ehav Ever will in two formats.....
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Monday, October 13, 2008

A Year In Review: 5768 to 5769

So in my last post I mentioned that I found some new video and imaging software called VideoSpin. Here is one of the first videos I did with it. It is a year in review. Now I know what you are saying, Ehav you have already done the 1 year thing at least twice on this blog. I know, I know. Yet, it is a big thing for me since this year has been an interesting mix of things. I have to also say that I have felt the most alive in this last year. This is the stuff that I was created for, or at least that is what I think. Also, I know a number of people who did not even make it a year living here, let alone I knew people who talked about moving to Israel, or moving back to Israel, and never made it happen. So I can say תודה לאל (Thank G-d) that a year and some spare change is a thing to be excited about.

As mentioned before I have been here in Israel for more than a year, and things are going well. At this point I am saying that I am 2/3 Israeli since I have my תעודת זהות (Israeli ID) and my רשיון נהיגה (Israeli Driver's License). The only thing I need to get now is my דרכון ישראלי (Israeli passport), which I won't need for a while since I don't plan on leaving the country any time soon. Once I get that I will personally feel like I am 100% Israeli in the legal sense, although I am 100% in all other respects.

If you have kept up with my blog since the summer of 5768 (Gregorian calender 2007) you have seen some of my pictures from this last year here in Israel. You have also read my reasons for moving here as well as some of the things that have taken place since I have moved. Yet, just in case you are new to this blog below is a video log, made using VideoSpin, of this last year. The song in the video is Terega by favorite Israeli rap group HaDag Nachash. I hope you all enjoy it, because it took all last night and part of this morning to upload it. (whew!)

The Chronicles of Ehav Ever will continue.....

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

So, What's Nu?

I know what you are probably thinking. What is going on with Ehav and this recent on and off blogging? First, my calender is filled with recent Jewish holy times, not to be confused with holidays. Rosh Hashannah, Yom Kippur, and this week Sukkoth. I also have a lot of things going on at work, as well as some serious studying that I have been needed to do for some time. Yet, fear not I am still in the blogging mood and there is still a lot to talk about. Here a few things that I can share until I get the other things in order.

Anna's Visit

A few weeks ago a friend of mine from France came to Israel to visit her sister and to interview with some companies in Tel Aviv. Her name is Anna and we met in New York more than a year ago before I moved to Israel through an organization I am involved with called Fuel For Truth. We went out one night, and I showed her my old hang out spots near the beach in Tel Aviv.

Anna and Ehav in Tel Aviv

Blog Heaven

I have a number of things that I have been considering blogging about, but for a while I was a bit down. You see, some of my favorite bloggers have called it quits and I have contemplated where do blogs go when they are laid to rest?

Two of my favorite blogs/blog friends Mes Deux Cents and Bohemian Abstractions have thrown in the towel. Mes Duex Cents had been on a blog hiatus for a while, so I kind of figured that her blog was nearing its end. Bohemian Abstractions recently caught me by surprise. Both of these bloggers have been my favorites and they were both instrumental in inspiring and taking part in last year's A Week of Positive Blogging. It was truly great being able to read both of those blogs and I will miss them dearly. The blogsphere won't be the same without them.

Rioting in Akko

Maybe you have heard, and maybe you have not heard, but over Yom Kippur there has been rioting in Akko, in northern Israel. The source of the riots is a bit complicated if you have never lived in Israel, but Arutz 7 has some articles about it starting here and here. This is one of the difficulties about this idea of the two state solution and the reality that the fast way to go to jail in Israel is to hurt an Arab. The quickest way to get off here in Israel is to be an Arab and to hurt a Jew. The laws here are funny that way, and though you may hear differently in the West, living here and seeing it for myself has been a real shocker.

New Software

I recently got my hands on some great software called VideoSpin. It allows one to take videos, photos, music, etc. and put them together in a number of video formats. I have to tell you that this software is the BOMB! I have done two videos for my martial arts class Abir, and I feel like I could be the next big movie maker. Now I am going to have to do more videos of myself here in Israel. So Speilberg and Lucas look out, Ehav Ever may start giving you a run for your money.

This software is a lot better than what I was using before to do videos. Prior to this golden find I was using a program to convert power point to video. That software was tired and outmoded. It often took me ages to try and get the time just right with the music, and lately since I updated to Microsoft Office 2003 the audio on that software doesn't work. Yet, now with VideoSpin all my prayers have been answered.

If you are looking to try to put your videos into one package along with photos and audio I HIGHLY recommend it. It was easy to learn and it is extremely powerful. Also, did I mention it is free? When I get permission from my Abir instructor I will post the videos I made with VideoSpin. I also have a video of my 1 year of living in Israel in pictures and video, that I will post tonight when I get home from work. Until then.....

The Chronicles of Ehav Ever will continue......

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Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Library of Ehav Ever

If you have read this blog long enough, you may notice that I am well versed in a number of things. The reason is that we have a tradition in my father's family, and that is that each male must build his own library. It is a tradition that has died out somewhat of late ever since my great grandfather, Shoham Lyon's library was destroyed, long story.

I have heard stories how my great grandfather was an avid scholar versed in many things. He was fluent in about 4 or 5 languages, he was well versed in the medicine of the day, and he was a scholar of geography. He was such a fan of geography that he named one of my grandmother's older sister's Asia-Minor Lyons. I was told that my great grandfather's library was enormous and voluminous with books on almost every topic imaginable.

In any case, after my father passed away I inherited his library. Much of what he had I left with my mother in America, and I started several years ago working on my part of the library. Instead of just telling you about my library, I would like to show it to you.

Section 1: Downstairs (Books, DVD's, VHS, and CD's)

Section 1a: Torah, Tanakh, and Other Biblical Texts

Section 1b: Jewish Religious Legal and Ethical Texts

1c: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Judeo-Arabic Dictionaries

1d: My Favorite Movies

Section 2: 2nd Floor (World, Regional Histories, Languages)

Most of the books I am reading now a days are in Hebrew or Aramaic, so I keep most of these books on the 1st floor for easy access. I have been slowly phasing out my English books on history for my love of reading in Hebrew and Aramaic. I am going to start working on my Judeo-Arabic probably in the next two years. I am going to start collecting in this area soon.

A few of the books that I read of late are:

Of course the Weekly Torah portion

Sefer Ha-Yashar

Diwwan of Shmuel HaNagid

Of course I could not forget the book that this blog is named after

The Chronicles of Ehav Ever will continue.....

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Rosh Hashannah A Year in Review

So Rosh Hashannah begins tomorrow night, Monday night. I am going to be with my family here in Maale Adummim, as well as visiting a Moroccan family that lives near me. So to all my readers I say Shannah Tovah (Good Year), and may you all be written in the book of the living and remembrance. For those who want to know what Rosh Hashannah is all about, here is an excerpt from the Encyclopedia Judaica pages 254 to 258.
"In the earliest times the Hebrew year began in autumn with the opening of the economic year. There followed in regular succession the seasons of seed-sowing, growth and ripening of the corn under the influence of the former and the latter rains, harvest and ingathering of the fruits. In harmony with this was the order of the great agricultural festivals, according to the oldest legislation, namely, the feast of unleavened bread at the beginning of the barley harvest, in the month of Aviv; the feast of harvest, seven weeks later; and the feast of ingathering at the going out or turn of the year (Ex. 23:14-17; 34:18, 22-23; Deut. 16:1-16).

This system of dating the New-Year is that which was adopted by the Semites generally, while other peoples, as the Greeks and Persians, began the year in spring, both methods of reckoning being primarily agricultural and based on the seasons of seed-time and harvest. Josephus asserts (l.c. i. 3, § 3) that while Moses appointed Nisan to be the first month for the sacred festivals and other solemnities, he preserved the original order of the months for buying and selling and for the transaction of other business.

It is altogether probable that the beginning of the year was celebrated from ancient times in some special way, like the New Moon festival. The earliest reference, however, to such a custom is, probably, in the account of the vision of Ezekiel (Ezek. 40:1) which, as stated above, took place at the beginning of the year, on the tenth day of the month (Tishri). On the same day the beginning of the year of jubilee was to be proclaimed by the blowing of trumpets (Lev. 25:9). According to the Septuagint rendering of Ezek. 45:20-25, special sacrifices were to be offered on the first day of the seventh month as well as on the first day of the first month. This first day of the seventh month was appointed by the Law to be "a day of blowing of trumpets." There was to be a holy convocation; no servile work was to be done; and special sacrifices were to be offered (Lev. 23:23-25; Num. 29:1-6; comp. ib. 10:1-10). This day was not expressly called New-Year's Day, but it was evidently so regarded by the Jews at a very early period.

The observance of the 1st of Tishri as Rosh ha-Shanah, the most solemn day next to Yom Kippur, is based principally on the traditional law to which the mention of "Zikkaron" (= "memorial day"; Lev. 23:24) and the reference of Ezra to the day as one "holy to Hashem" (Neh. 8:9) seem to point. The passage in Psalms (81:1-5) referring to the solemn feast which is held on New Moon Day, when the shofar is sounded, as a day of "mishpat" (judgment) of "the G-d of Jacob" is taken to indicate the character of Rosh ha-Shanah.
So much has changed for me in this past year, and I expect so much more to change. I have twice contemplated ending this blogging, and twice I have been convinced to continue. I have been challenged at work, and I will continue to be challenged. I have been put to the test physically in martial arts, and I will continue to meet each challenge. I have fallen in and out of love, and I expect to continue to learn what love really is. I have lost weight, and I have gotten in better shape. I have made mistakes, and I have mended fences. I have fallen flat on my face, and I have gotten back up stronger than before. I have been lost in Hebrew conversations, and I have gained better understanding.

As a whole, here in Israel we have experienced terrorism and we have felt peace. We have been betrayed, and we have been inspired. We have been left with questions, and we have sought out the answers. In the end the struggle for our purpose continues, and our search for the real path of Israel continues.

אדם צובר זכרונות - אברהם טל

Yet, this is not the end, it is only the beginning. So with that........

The Chornicles of Ehav Ever wishes you all a Shannah Tovah
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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Yemenite Music and Dance Break

So I am a bit busy right now with work, martial arts, and also getting ready for Rosh Hashannah. It is hard to believe that this will be my second Rosh Hashannah here in Israel. Where does the time go? Either before or after Rosh Hashannah I will have a year's review in pictures. I am waiting for my mother send the photos from her visit here.

Until I have time to post something new, enjoy the following videos of Yemenite Jewish dancing here in Israel. I hope this will hold you over until I do my next post.

ריקוד חבני

ריקוד תימני

Though I have posted this song a few times, it is one of my favorites so I will do it again. It is one of my favorite Yemenite Jewish love songs.

Zion Golan, Ya Mahije ציון גולן - יא מחיג'ה

Of course I could not forget a classic by Ofra Haza, one of the most well known Yemenite Israeli singers.

עפרה חזה בריקוד יהודי תימני - צור מנתי
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Friday, September 19, 2008

Mixed Chicks Chat Interview: Part 2

As some of you know I keep up with the Mixed Chicks Chat (נשים מערובים)on Talk Shoe. Mixed Chicks Chat is the only live weekly show about being racially and culturally mixed. It is hosted LIVE every week by Fanshen Cox and Heidi Durrow.

I recently made my second appearance on the show concerning how being mixed affects where and how I live here in Israel. As always, it was a really good discussion, and I often learn so much about myself by simply being interviewed.

Further, congratulations to both Fanshen and Heidi on winning the coveted 2008 Black Weblog Award for Best Podcast. It goes without saying that both Fanshen and Heidi are doing wonders to advance the issues concerning people of mixed ancestry, and its affects worldwide. They are truly trailblazers in both their diversity in topics, as well as their efforts which bring together people of so many different types of mixes.

You can find my second appearance on the show here. It is under Episode #67 title Location, Location, Location (מקום מקום מקום). You can also hear my first appearance on Mixed Chicks Chat on the same page under Episode 43: Black and Jewish.

For more information about what those Mixed Chicks are about you can visit their blog at Mixed Chicks Chat Blog. Check them out, and most important join the discussion.
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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Internationally known, locally reconized, and publicly accepted

When I lived in America, I used to tell people this as I traveled the world. I have always loved to travel and see interesting places and meet interesting people. This is one of the beauties of blogging, since it has put me on track to areas of the world I have yet to visit and areas that I more than likely will never be able to visit.

During my attendance of the Jewish Bloggers Convention in Jerusalem a few weeks ago, there was a suggestion that was made that adding a counter helps let you know how many people actually visit your site. Though I prefer the comments of visitors, since it lets me know what they think about my posts, I decided that I would look into adding a counter of some type.

Instead I found something better and that is the Feedjit that you see on the right side. The Feedjit allows me to see where in the world people are viewing my blog from. Though I get a lot of hits from here in Israel, from America, and London, I now see that I am getting hits from over the world. After the first week of adding the Feedjit, I noticed that I was getting hits from Europe, Asia, Australia, India, and I even got a hit from Iran.

I have been Japan, Ethiopia, Switzerland, Italy, Mexico, and some day Senegal, Mali, and maybe Brazil. So to all the people who visit my blog from various parts of the world. Hello from Israel, and welcome to my blog. Please, sign in and let me know your thoughts. You never know I may someday visit your home, and we may just pass each other on the streets in your local town.

A Tribe Called Quest - Award Tour

So hello world here I am. Because now I see that I am living up that statement that I used to tell people. I am truly am Internationally known, locally recognized, and publicly accepted.

The Chronicles of Ehav Ever will continue!
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Monday, September 1, 2008

Living with Addiction: Part 1

I have a confession to make. I have an addiction that I have been trying to hide. It is a problem, and I know I have to deal with it if I am going to go on with my life. They say that the first step to dealing with addiction is to admit that there is a problem. What is my addiction, you ask? I hold back because I am afraid to tell people of my shortcomings. Yet, because you are all my readers and my friends I will share it only with you.

Yes, I am addicted to cooking and cooking shows, specifically Iron Chef and Iron Chef America.

The First Taste

I remember how it all began, on that sunny afternoon while I was living in Union City, CA. The year was 1999 and Ioved watching Japanese shows on the International Channel. It was on that fateful day in 1999 that I got my first glimpse such a glorious show for those of us who love to cook and that show was Iron Chef. Forget Tony Stark and Iron Man, he holds nothing to the fame, glory, and honor of being an Iron Chef.

As time went on I found myself long to hear those beautifully spoken by the Chairman, Hai Cousine. Thus when I moved to NYC, I was thrilled to find out that Iron Chef was now a show in America as well. Yet, I had to hide my addiction from those close to me. Some of them more than likely knew of my addiction, because I was always inviting them over for lunch or dinner. A few of them I invited over for breakfast. I found myself dreaming of becoming the first Kosher Iron Chef, and I would day dream of lentals and cous cous.

I also found that I was not alone in my addiction for Iron Chef. There were others who aspired to learn whose cousine reigns supreme. We were a hearty lot, and we found comfort in each others weakness. My particular weak spot was that as I watched Iron Chef I found myself having to cook something and eat during the show. Side Note: for those who don't know I have a condition I inherited from my father. When I eat and I hear someone talking or I am watching something whatever I hear and see becomes 40% more interesting to me.

Iron Chef America - Battle Mango

The Change

When you become addicted to something it changes you inside and out. You may think everything is okay, but in reality you are not the same. You may start avoiding people in fear that they will know your secret. Once my friends found out about my addiction to cooking, and they were appalled, yet starving so not a word was said. Yet, I could feel their eyes rolling in contempt. Wait, that's not why their eyes were rolling. Their eyes were rolling in delight of my mastery of Moroccan cuisine and juices mixed with ginger.

You may feel fear that someone is watching you, and you may feel guilt. I no longer feel anything, for as I have said before I am man and I am hungry. I now accept my addiction to cooking and that comes with it.

I am not afraid to admit that I caramelize some of my sauces.

I am not afraid to admit that I carefully choose and dice my ingreadiants.

I am not afraid to admit that I use Yemenite Hwaj for certain dishes.

I am not afraid to admit that I use rice milk.

I am not afraid to admit that I add honey to some of my dishes.

In the end I am the one who has to live with my culinary creations and if I am fed and fed well, there is nothing any of you can do to stop my fall into cooking madness. I am a man of faith, and I am a man of the kitchen. Ask anyone who has known me, I am well versed in the ways of the knife, the blender, and the sauce pan. Laugh if you will, but my thirst for freshly squeezed juices will not be denied. It is a thirst that must be quenched day and night.

You can think what you like about me, but until you have cooked a mile in my kitchen you cannot judge me.

The Final Analysis

So here I sit in my apartment in Maale Adummim, Israel. Waiting, watching, and hoping that someone will download another video of Iron Chef and Iron Chef America. I sit by my computer with a special You Tube button, shaking at the thought that there will be a new video for me to savor and later imitate.

Is it wrong that for years I desired to be a place where the Jacknun and the Malawach runs free? Is it a crime to dream of Falafal and Lachuch running freely down the mountainside? Is it a sin to have enjoyed both Ethiopian and Turkish coffee, even though I am not a coffee drinker? Well, if it is a sin then I am a sinner I admit it, are you happy?

My addiction to cooking and to the Iron Chef could cost me everything; my job, my home, my family, and my friends. Okay, I am being a bit dramatic that won't actually happen, but play along with me here.

I know that you all now hate me for my addiction, and I stand to lose your friendship. So I beg of you, while you still can. Please, look away...............I'm hideous.

The Chronicles of Ehav Ever will continue, unless I can find something else to cook.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Way of the Israeli Warrior

When I moved to Israel I had several things in mind that I wanted to do with my life. That is to say there were several motivations I had for making such a move.

1) I wanted to be in my ancestral homeland.
2) I wanted to be in a place where kosher food was everywhere.
3) I wanted to be a part of the struggle to make Israel a better place.
4) I wanted to train in the ancient Israeli martial art called Abir.

English Video About Abir

Israeli Fighting Traditions

When one looks in ancient Biblical and Israeli texts one finds numerous accounts of Israelite warriors who often took on impossible odds and won due to their faith and their skill. The Western view of course focusing more on their their faith rather the truth being a combination of the two.

According to the Midrash Sefer Ha-Yashar [Chapter 56:9], it was the request of the Biblical patriarch Jacob on his deathbed to his son Judah that the Hebrew combat art be passed down to his progeny forever:

ויאמר יעקב אל יהודה: ידעתי בני כי גביר לאחיך אתה ומלך עליהם ובניך ימלכו על בניהם עד עולם. אך למד נא את בניך קשת וכל כלי מלחמה למען ילחמו את מלחמות אחיהם המלך בכל אויביו

And Jacob spoke to Judah: 'I know, my son, that you are a master to your brothers and king over them, and your sons will reign over their sons forever. However, please teach your sons Qashath [the Hebrew weaponless combat art] and every weapon of war, in order that they will fight the wars of their brother the king, against all his enemies.

This fighting tradition was the very distinguishing mark of a Hebrew from an Egyptian. The Sefer Ha-Yashar explains that when Yoseph, whose identity was unknown to his brothers, orders his Egyptian guards that Shim`on be incarcerated (Genesis 42:18-24) and his guards attempt to seize him, Shim`on lets out a roar that utterly confounds and frightens them. Finally, Yoseph orders his own son Manashe to arrest Shimon. It is mentioned that in the process Menashe and Shimon engage in boxing each other when Manashe delivers a him a blow that humbles Shimon instantly. As he is being taken away before his astonished brothers, Shim`on calls out to them (Sepher HaYashar, parasha Miqetz):

איש מכם אל יאמר כי מכת מצרי הוא, אין זאת כי אם מכת בית אבי

Let none on you say that was the strike of an Egyptian; this is none other but a strike from the house of my father.

Often the post Biblical stereotype of the religious Jew is one of weakness and the constant target of persecution. Very few people know of the religious warrior poet Rabbi Shmuel HaNagid, who was the leader of a Jewish army in Spain. Even fewer people know that there was a Jewish community in Mali (West Africa) who had an army of 1,500 fighting men in the early 16th century. Yet, even less people know that warrior Jews of Habban and Dagastan. In the past I have posted about the Jews of both Habban and Daghastan and I have written an article on Wikipedia about the Jews of West Africa (The Songhay Empire)

The Aluf Abir Preparing to give a lecture to the class on Torah

The Starting Point

About a month after I moved here I began to train in Abir in Jerusalem, until we moved to Tel Aviv. From the start I wanted to make sure my commitment to training was serious. You see I had trained in Karate as a kid and later I trained in Caperiera as an adult. Yet, in both situations I never was able to commit myself to them fully and thus I never went far in them. Looking back it was because on some level I never felt a connection to them. I wanted a system that I had a connection with, and that on some level was just as much me as my internal organs. So when I found out about Abir and its history, I knew that I had another reason I needed to be in Israel.

The Aluf (Grandmaster) Abir Yehoshua Sofer Training our class in Tel Aviv

I have only posted a few times about my training in Abir a few times, mainly because I hadn't taken any pictures during class until recently. At the time of this post I have been training in Abir for more than a year, and I enjoy every moment of it. I was told by the Aluf Abir Yehoshua Sofer (Aluf means Grandmaster in Hebrew) that he has seen good progress in me and that I pick up many of the movements really quickly. I still have a long way to go, and I am still working on building up my endurance level.

Me Training with Yitzhaq

Several months ago my cousin and I here in Maale Adummim started sparring with each other on Friday mornings in a local park. He was training in Akido, but I needed someone who had never seen any of the Abir techniques to spar with. Unfortunately, our training together didn't last long because I accidentally hurt him with a move he wasn't expecting. He also has a daughter now that needs more of his attention. Personally, I think he just wimped out. ha ha.

There are several important factors that I wanted to master within myself, that served as a side reason for taking Abir. One of the major reasons was because when I was a kid I was picked on a lot, and it gave me a complex about trusting people, and also it gave me fear of what people would do if they had the chance to stab me in the back. So I had been searching for something that could help me get past these two issues I have, but with a focus on doing it the way that applies itself to an Israeli/Jewish Torah based lifestyle.

Ehav and Yitzhaq Training

My focus has also been to build up my reaction time and skill. In any fight the first 1 to 2 seconds, and the first 1 to 2 moves are extremely critical. In martial arts it is important to be able to react in a number of different ways to a threat. The reason is because a person never knows in a real life or death struggle what the other person, or persons, will do.

Why Train in an Israeli Martial Art?

That is the question I get often, or better yet why train in martial arts at all. In my daily walk here and there I get a lot questions about my I train in martial arts so much. I once dated a woman who just didn't get it, even with all of the things that happen here randomly. I even have a co-workers who make jokes about having to watch out for me or I may break them. There side of the question has come up in the few times I have been injured during training. I was once dropped on my neck, I have hurt my arm, and I recently pulled some muscles in my hand. Yet, I am the kind of guy who simply bounces back from things like, and I don't mind getting hurt while training. These thins happen when one trains, but with time you learn how to minimize injuries with proper preparation and exercise.

The Grandmaster of Abir training students

My personal perspective on why I train, and even better why I train in a Jewish/Israeli martial art, is that in these days and times we Israelis need to get back to the practice of being both religious and able to defend ourselves. We have a long history of our ancestors having both elements, and there is a need for Israelis who can combine both. The other issue is that Abir is not a "sport" martial art in the sense that it is strictly a self defense oriented fighting skill. The difference being that in a sport you compete for points, while in a self defense situation you are fighting for your life or the lives of others.

As we learn in Abir, no matter how good you are and no matter how much you train we know that if Hashem (G-d) is not with us our ability to win or lose is up in the air and subject to the whims of chance.

If your interested in reading more about Abir you can read the article by Rabbi Michael Shlomo Bar-Ron here or the web-site I am creating on Jewish combat skills here.

Ehav Eliyahu Ever an Abir Warrior

אהב אליהו עבר ספרא וסייפא של אביר
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