On tattoos and soldiers

Yesterday, I went to the Malcha Mall in Jerusalem with my daughter.

She needed some supplies for her course, and she wanted me to come for an outing.

I hate Malcha Mall, as a general rule. The gashmiut just feels so ’emptying’, the people overwhelming. That’s on a good day, when it’s quiet and I’m very focussed on what I need to get there.

(Which is usually not much…. I get dragged there by other people.)

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So the first 20 mins was OK, because the shop we needed was very close to the entrance to the car park, and like most shops at the moment wherever you are in the world, it was pretty quiet inside the store.

While there is an illusion of ‘normal’ still creaking along at the moment, there is less and less tying that illusion to ‘reality’.

So, for the half an hour we were busy with plastic rulers and watercolor paper, it was OK.

But then, she dragged me off to look at sunglasses – and that’s when the ‘yuk’ that is the Malcha Mall, and modern, materialistic so-called ‘culture’ started to overwhelm me.

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Sunglass Hut has huge video screens with famous young Israel celebs pulling all the dance moves you typically associate with hookers and rap videos.

One of those celebs is wearing leather bondage gear….. and sunglasses.

And nothing else.

Because I’m not online very much, and I’m not ‘in that world’ very much, I’m not as desensitised to it as most people. I literally felt a little pukey watching that video.

It’s yet another installment of ‘Class 101 on how to dress and behave like a hooker’.

And sadly, our children are avid students.

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So, I was already more than happy to leave and flee back home, when my daughter asked if she could just pick up a smoothie, before going to her class.

Sure!

Long story short, the smoothie took 20 minutes to get made (!) and in that time, I passed my coping limit with Malcha Mall, and just started to feel literally ill and depressed.

As I stood there waiting for my daughter’s smoothie…. possibly, an even more agonising wait then ‘waiting for Moshiach’…. I had plenty of time to take in the crowd at Malcha Mall.

If I’d have spent my time on a bench somewhere reading tehillim, it would have been a way better outcome.

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Everywhere I looked, there were miserable people sporting a bunch of ugly tattoos.

I hate tattoos, mamash.

For many reasons, including they are literally a transgression d’orayta, spelled out in the Torah very clearly, but also, because they are permanently disfiguring – and de-humanising the person who has them.

You stop seeing ‘a person’, a human created in the image of God, and instead, you can’t help focus in on the crude, usually ugly ‘picture’ that person has drawn on themselves.

The more tattoos a person has, the less they like themselves, deep down.

Because tattoos are really just another ‘socially acceptable’ way of self-harming.

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Remember, the horror we all used to feel when we read stories of Nazis tattooing numbers onto the wrists of people in the concentration camps?

Remember, the ‘shock’ we used to experience, when we’d catch sight of one of those numbers on a wrist, during a random interaction with an elderly waiter in a kosher restaurant, or in shul, or in a million and one other random ways?

Tattoos still shock me like that today.

Even though they are so prevalent in our sick society.

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And it’s not just young, stupid people who have them today.

I saw one old bag in a miniskirt and tasteful kitten heels tripping along with a huge tattoo up the side of her leg.

Sometimes, when it’s old ladies who have tattoos on their legs, it takes me a moment to figure out what I’m really looking at – some of the more ‘abstract’ stuff just looks like an explosion of varicose veins, gone septic.

Tatty, ad mosai?!

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So, I came home from Malcha feeling physically ill and depressed.

All that empty gashmius that no-one really needs just sucks it out of a person, spiritually, as the Arizal teaches.

And then, I was pondering what a low, low place this generation is in, where ‘dancing hookers wearing sunglasses’ and old ladies with tattoos is now standard.

How do we get from here, to where we need to get to spiritually, to have Moshiach come ‘the sweet way’ with no more wars or Jewish blood being shed?

I don’t know.

It’s a big ask, that’s for sure. 

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It took me a few hours to get over the trip to Malcha Mall.

Part of what is depressing me is that most people don’t even notice, don’t even care, about what’s going on.

But BH, not everyone is so apathetic and ‘spiritually numb’.

I remembered the Rav had also said something about tattoos a couple of weeks ago, so I dug that out and translated it:

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Excerpt of shiur given motzash Shabbat Naso (June 8th, 2024)

Translated from Shivivei Or 364

If a girl goes along b’tznius (modest behavior and modest dress) – then she brings the geulah.

Because all the girls who are walking around with tattoos – they are searching for meaning.

They draw a leopard on themselves, they draw a leopard, they draw a lion, they draw an eagle, they draw a snake – they draw all sorts of traif animals.

Instead of this, let them walk around with tehillim!

If a seminary is opened for the girls, and a million girls come to it, then instead of drawing tattoos [on themselves], so they will walk along with tehillim in their pockets, and with the [book of the] Prophet Shmuel in their pockets, with [sefer] Yeshayahu in their pockets.

And if not – they will end up in Gaza.

Every day, girls are dying, unfortunate girls, who are being abused. Every day, there are more bodies and more bodies – each of them with tattoos.

Whoever has a tattoo, in the end he will end up in Gaza. He’ll become chiloni, and he’ll end up in Gaza.

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And we want to salvage this, we want to stop this.

So, who can salvage this?

This is the only the girls, who go along b’tzniut.

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In this flood of tumah we’re all swimming along in, on a daily basis, people are more upset by Jewish women in burkas than they are by Jewish women dressing like deranged hookers, covered in tattoos.

That’s the upside-down world we live in.

This is just a part of the ‘war of Gog and Magog’ that is raging 24/7 – and not on our borders with Gaza and Lebanon.

Within our own hearts, and homes and families – and the Malcha Mall.

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God told us all clearly when we were back in desert and fighting against the enemies who wanted to totally destroy us:

Your camp shall be holy!

And right now…. it’s really not.

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Who cares, right?

This is just the stuff that crazy rabbis in Meah Shearim talk about, and crazy ‘conspiracy theorists’ take to heart.

What can I do, that I try to take what God tells us seriously?

Even though it’s so hard, and for sure my own tznius could use some improvements.

But maybe, just maybe, when the Rav keeps emphasising that when a girl, when a woman takes the decision to dress and behave more tzniusly, that is what is going to bring the geula…. he’s right.

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Ah, I nearly forgot to also post up this other snippet I translated from the Rav, about the attempt to draft the chareidim.

It’s already 2-3 weeks old…. but still very interesting:

26th Iyar 5784 (June 3rd, 2024) – Excerpt of a shiur given to ANSH

Translated from Shivivei Or 365

[The Rav has been discussing how girls are preferable to boys, because girls have more simple emuna etc.]

The boy walks around the streets until three in the morning.

If he can’t learn Gemara, so then he’s lost. But the girl, no.

The girl helps at home, she looks after the babies, she gets married, she has children – everything is defined for her, it’s all in order, by her.

But by the boy, it’s not in order.

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If you send him to [learn] carpentry, so he’ll become chiloni (secular).

Where are you going to send him to learn carpentry, now?

So, he goes around on the streets until three in the morning – and then he’s going to be chiloni.

And this is what the chilonim claim all the time, that half the bochurim (yeshiva students) just go around on the streets, so why don’t they enlist?!

But, [if they] enlist, they’ll become chilonim.

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By the mizrachi, everyone is [now] chiloni.

Mizrachi – there already isn’t any mizrachi. The Mizrachi is finished.

There is the Religious Zionism, there is Itamar ben Gvir, Oztmat HaYehudi (Jewish Power) – but Mizrachi, there is already nothing.

They’re already chilonim, nothing is left of the Mizrachi.

==

If you go to the army, you are ruined [spiritually] straight away.

The same day, you’re already mitkalkul (ruined), you’re doing aveirot (transgressions).

So, the chilonim say at the least, bring us those who aren’t learning!

But also this, it’s impossible to give them.

They don’t realise this, so they do ‘Badatzim’, [referring to a chareidi Beit Din, the Badatz] they do ‘Bagatzim’ [referring to the secular high court], they do like that.

OK, do ‘Bagatzim’, whatever you want.

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You can read more about the MIZRACHI political party on Wiki, HERE.

Snippet:

Mizrachi (Hebrew: המזרחיHaMizrahi, an acronym for Merkaz Ruhani (מרכז רוחני‎), lit., Religious Centre) was a political party in Israel, and is one of the ancestors of the modern-day National Religious Party–Religious Zionism.

Long story short, it was just another of the main ‘trojan horses’ being put together by the secret society Sabbateans – that included Rav Kook and prominent members of the Soloveitchik family – to destroy Judaism, and religious Jews, from within.

And boy, did they succeed.

Beyond their wildest dreams.

That will do for today.

I am offline now until Sunday, BH, and working on developing more optimism and ‘simple emuna’ that things will all turn around for the best again.

Malcha Mall really took me out yesterday….

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UPDATE:

This is why my husband has to physically take the internet cable to work with him in the morning…. five seconds of clicking around, and a whole bunch of stuff starts to swing loose again.

I was trying to find out more about the ‘Zeidman case’ involving Shlomo Goren, that one of the commentators Nachum has referenced twice. So far, I can’t find anything about it – and I’m waiting for Nachum to fill in some more details.

But in the meantime, I was on Goren’s Wiki page HERE and I start to learn some more interesting stuff.

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Of course, all these people are connected to each other.

Of course.

So, here’s what it says about who he’s married to, etc:

Goren was married to Tzfia Cohen, the daughter of prominent Religious Zionist Rabbi David Cohen, the Nazir of Jerusalem, and the sister of Rabbi She’ar Yashuv Cohen, former deputy-mayor of Jerusalem and later Chief Rabbi of Haifa.

Both Goren’s father-in-law and brother-in-law were also prominent rabbinical vegetarians.

Rabbi Goren and Tzfia Goren had three children: retired justice Tchiya Shapiro; psychologist Drorit Tamari; and Abraham (Rami) Goren, executive vice president of Elbit Imaging.

Vegetarianism

Goren was a strict vegetarian after he visited a slaughterhouse in Canada in 1967 to perform an inspection of kashrut.

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I brought the snippet about ‘rabbinical vegetarianism’ too, as it’s one of the little clues that suggest you are dealing with a cabal of people who are not actually following the same sort of ‘Judaism’ we are.

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Goren’s BIL is the now deceased SHEAR YASHUV COHEN.

I first looked him up a couple of years ago, when I was exploring who was associated with ‘interfaith’ trojan horses like THE ELIJAH INSTITUTE, which had big plans to build a massive ‘interfaith building’ right in the heart of Meah Shearim, on the grounds of the ORT institute.

I don’t know what happened to that plan. BH, it got permanently shelved once it became more public knowledge, but who really knows, with these people?

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Snippet:

Cohen was active in interfaith dialogue. He was awarded Israel’s Sovlanut (tolerance) award in 1991.

He served as a chief of the senior council for dialogue between the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and the Vatican, and recently became Chair of the council for dialogue between Judaism and Islam; he acted as an emissary of the Israel Chief Rabbinate to interfaith meetings and was on the Board of World Religious Leaders for The Elijah Interfaith Institute.

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So, he was part of the THE ELIJAH INSTITUTE, and also, a mason.

Snippet:

He was a senior rabbinical adviser to the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. He was the president of the Jerusalem Lodge of Bnai Brith, and of the Bnai Tsion “Sons of Zion” association in Israel.

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I am keeping the bit in about the Chief Rabbinate, because it’s important to understand this institution was politically conceived, and spiritually-corrupted, right from the start.

Just another ‘trojan horse’ from the Sabbatean secret society guys, trying to wreck authentic Judaism from within.

That will do for now… I really am going offline now for a few days.

7 replies
  1. AK
    AK says:

    I try to avoid all malls given the problems of Shmirat Ainayim. Regarding tattoos, I am glad you mentioned it here. I remember a while ago telling my wife how I see so many people today with tatoos, then I can remember seeing 10 years ago. Definitely the Anti-G-d culture infiltrating again.

    I also am trying to work on simple Emuna. I have my ups and downs, but I just try to keep going.

    Reply
  2. Shimshon
    Shimshon says:

    Malcha used to be nicer, when it opened and throughout the 90s, at least. It was more American in style. Back then, it was so crowded, you almost couldn’t move at times. Now it’s like a grungy Israeli bus station with all the kiosks filling formerly empty space and huge indecent displays.

    Were there empty storefronts? How crowded was it?

    There are alternatives to vegetarianism. There are better and worse hashgachas. I know a rav who slaughters his own meat. Why would a meat eater suddenly eschew all meat after visiting a single slaughterhouse? Did he say something about what he saw?

    Reply
    • Rivka Levy
      Rivka Levy says:

      Not so crowded, (relatively – still way too crowded for someone like me) – and some empty store fronts.

      Jerusalem stores are in quite a difficult space – they never really recovered from the ‘stabbing intifada’ of 8-10 years ago, and then there was Covid, and now war.

      It’s truly amazing things are doing as well as they are still, at least superficially.

      That’s in the more ‘secular’ neighborhoods. In chareidi places like Romema – the gashmius is still blinging away, for the most part.

      It’s the olam hafuch.

      Reply
  3. Nahman
    Nahman says:

    It is incredible what the Rav says, because the girl is not modest she is in Gaza, because of Tattoos on bodies idem, because of Internet idem, wow …. and the poor neshamot suffer, lo alenu velo alechem b’chasdei Hashem!
    Ad Matai we accept to be a Jew holy and pure sigh!

    Reply
  4. Daisy
    Daisy says:

    Rivka,

    Frankly I don’t understand why you make such a big issue of being a vegetarian. I have been a vegetarian for years – it does NOT mean vegan! Big difference! – and frankly I feel a lot better physically this way. Granted, on Shabbat I will eat fish, and sometimes even touch a little beef, and certainly also for the Chagim; but physically and emotionally I feel a lot better avoiding meat and fish, and even eggs most of the time. They are so heavy, give me so many symptoms, it’s simply not worth it. And you feel a lot lighter this way, it’s so much easier to meditate – what you call hitbodedut.

    But of course if we had the REAL korban Pessach, I would gladly eat it -although not with delight, considering how I dislike the smell of lamb.

    There is no religious commandment to be a carnivor: actually I read somewhere that Adam HaRishon was a vegetarian, and that during Moshiach times Am Yisrael would return to vegetarianism.

    Maybe some Rabbonim have something to say about that?

    Reply

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