A memoir to the fallen

Excerpts from a poem written by my brother Joel Jaffe in memory of those who sacrificed their lives during Operation Pillar of Defense.

Death makes man to hero, hero to legend, legend to inspiration,                                                                                                                Inspiration to bring about a change In mankind as a whole.
Men devoted to a service, cause, and country.
These men become statues, but not of concrete or bronze;
Beacons of light for ships lost or looking for shore.

They are paintings, but not of canvas;
Reflections, but not mirrors.
To bring about a change in the human race cannot come from mere flesh and bones,
But ideas, and strength, and honor, and valor.
To call these men heroes heroes does not due them justice,
As halls of fame must be supported by pillars.
They may be cloaked, all but lost in the shadows of those who do not know what their life was about-
– but I may swear,
by the blood that courses through my veins,
This warrior will not be forgotten
by those who call themselves
his brother-in-arms.

What other country would tolerate this?


“What other country would tolerate this?”

What other sovereign nation in the world would allow such a blatant violation of its borders and its security without a full-scale response? Targeted reprisals are a start, but they fall short of the response such attacks require. Part of the reason for Israel’s measured actions is that Israel is held to a standard that no other country in the world is called upon to uphold, and Israel values the world’s opinion.

The world calls on Israel time and again to “exercise restraint” in the face of baseless attacks on its population, and to this I ask but one question: “Under what precedent?”

-Israeli soldier who wished to remain anonymous


(Daily Prompt) CNN: Corrupt, Nefarious News

Daily Prompt: CNN: Corrupt News


CNN makes me mad. Brutally and passionately angry.

By now, most of you have probably heard of the rockets that have rained down on Israel since the beginning of this week. In fact, maybe you’ve even heard of the 14,000+ rockets that have terrorized Israel since 2005, when Israel granted Gaza its own state.

Yesterday, Israel finally decided to defend itself. As Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “No country in the world would accept such a situation where rockets are fired at one fifth of its citizens.”

No one cared about the damage Hamas inflicted on Israeli civilians and infrastructure since they began firing rockets into southern Israel on Tuesday. And yet, when Israel defends itself, carefully targeting terrorists to avoid killing Palestinian civilians, the world gets worked up into a frenzy for the justice to Palestinian civilians. No innocent people should be killed, and I don’t deny that and I’m truly sorry for their losses. But why was no one sorry for the losses Israel endured until Obama and Tony Blair finally came out today and gave Israel the green light to defend itself?

Besides, what other country needs a green light to DEFEND itself against terrorists?

After these statements, CNN and Fox objectified their articles a little more, citing both sides and portraying their thoughts and feelings. Yet CNN is still mostly showing pictures of the damage inflicted to Palestinian infrastructure and citizens. Don’t tell me they couldn’t find a single shred of evidence from the hundreds of rockets fired into Israel this week.

They waited for someone to finally speak on the matter to objectify their articles. Why should they wait for celebrities to speak out their position to write an objective article on the middle east? Where do their moral and journalistic principles lie?

In what other discipline is inconsistency so valued?

CNN must have forgotten that SPJ dictates objective and unbiased reporting.

Oh wait. They just don’t care.


New Year’s in a new light

The following is a recent blog post I did for Chabad on Campus about an experience in Israel two years ago.

Anyone who’s spent a year in Israel knows the challenges of finding a host for Shabbat every week. One week I got hold of a phone number from a classmate, and I called them to request if they could host two friends and me for Shabbat. We were warned to bring casual clothes and sneakers, but nothing could have prepared us.

When we got there, our host showed us where we would be sleeping, which was, believe it or not, in a dusty old freight container, near the main house. We looked around, and finding ourselves surrounded by rugged wilderness with a donkey and a couple other trailers, began to panic. We tentatively ventured into our host’s main house, which was no bigger than a large shed, with a bathroom, bedroom, and a small main room for the kitchen and dining area. Fly tape graced the window above the kitchen sink.

As Shabbat arrived, it started raining, and we walked up the hill in the muck to the tiny shul, which didn’t have a minyan. During dinner we sat on thin Israeli mattresses on the floor in lieu of chairs.

The next day, we took a long, guided hike through the area, and saw the compost that neighbors created, as well as the lodgings that they had constructed with their bare hands.

We learned that originally, soldiers had camped out there, and the land turned into an outpost. It never took off as a city, but was still inhabited by a few close-knit families. Near there, Koby Mandell was brutally murdered by Palestinians. These families are committed to living out their lives there to maintain our land, despite the nearest grocery store being miles away. When my friends and I learned that, our perspectives reversed. They are our real heroes!