Friday, May 27, 2011

Too Hot To Handle

As I wrote in my last post, I ran a race in Lower Manhattan last week, put on by the American Heart Association to raise money and awareness about the nation's Number One killer. I wore a top, custom designed by me, with the REBUILD flag in front and Osama's bullet-riddled ugly mug in back. The Heart Association posted a photo album with pictures of the race and the people running it to its Facebook page, and sent an email to all participants asking us to upload photos of our own. I sent two photos that I asked a fellow runner to take of me in my top celebrating after the race - celebrating the first fulfilling warm-weather run of the year and, in my case at least, the demise of our archfoe who killed thousands of us on the very ground we ran past; I gave a fist pump when I ran past it. The pictures are here, along with the captions I sent them with:

Here's the front of my shirt - Build 'em BOTH and build 'em TALL. Show the murdering bastards who's boss in New York.

I ran this year; I try to run it every year even though I don't work in the area. While crossing the bridge from the staging area to the start, I said a prayer for the 3000 good Americans killed for the greater glory of Allah, and pumped my fist and shouted "Build 'em tall" when we passed where they died. My custom-made shirt said "Ding Dong the witch is dead." So shall all your enemies perish, Lord.

The next day I discovered that the photos were no longer in the album. I emailed the Heart Association, and its communications director confirmed that he deleted them, since "[w]e don’t feel your photos are appropriate for our audience or the intention of our page." Well, who does "our audience" consist of? Mostly patriotic Americans, I hope. Maybe some tourists, maybe an evildoer or two casing the joint. Why not let them know that we are defiant and we will do whatever it takes to maintain our way of life? And what was our intention? To celebrate, and this pregnant year gave us a little bit more to celebrate.
Have we really reached the point where Old Glory, a plea to see two skyscrapers destroyed by a foreign enemy not even ten years ago rebuilt [Don't we pray three times a day for the rebuilding of the Beit Mikdash, destroyed nearly two millenia ago?] and happiness over a significant triumph of American arms are too hot for a charity that raises funds from good Americans to handle? What is this country coming to?

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead

Okay, witches are supposed to be female, but see Rashi to "Mekhashefa lo tehayeh." And we usually don't rejoice at people dying, but in certain cases, e.g. Adolf Eichmann, we make an exception. And so we do here. Osama bin Laden, arch-terrorist, mastermind of the attacks on the American Marine barracks at Beirut, the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the U.S.S. Cole, and of course the murder of some 3000 good Americans at the World Trade Center, is no longer among the living. In scenes reminiscent of the celebrations at the end of World War II, throngs gathered in Times Square, the site of the destroyed Twin Towers, the field in Western Pennsylvania where passengers brought down a hijacked plane before it could reach its target, and other places around the country, throngs gathered to celebrate.

Good riddance to bad rubbish - Crowds gather
at Times Square to celebrate the death of Osama
bin Laden at the hands of elite Navy SEALS

The treasure trove of intelligence captured in Osama's hideout (actually a veritable palace a stone's throw from a major Pakistani military facility) showed that Osama was no mere figurehead. Until the very end, he was actively involved in plotting attacks against us and our allies, with the aim of placing the entire world under a seventh-century Islamic caliphate. Nonetheless, our troubles with Islamic terrorism are far from over. There are "sleeper cells" that will activate and seek revenge. Haman al-Zawahiri, Osama's second in command, needs to swing from the gallows. Freedom-loving people the world over must still remain vigilant; we must get it right all the time, while the enemy need only get lucky once. And those on the front lines against terror should include more - much more - observant Jews in American uniforms; it is our country, our values and our freedom that are being defended.

I must now retire my running top with REBUILD on the front and the N.Y. Post wanted poster on the back. A few days after Osama's liquidation I ran the Wall Street Heart Run, passing the World Trade Center site, in a new shirt featuring Osama's bullet-riddled mug on the back. One fellow runner told me I was giving witches a bad name.

Macabre, bad taste, gloating over the violent death of another human being? Perhaps. But we are not burdened with Christian love-your-enemy nonsense. When the Egyptians drowned in the Reed Sea and the angels sang praise, God stopped them: My handiwork is drowning in the sea and you sing praise? It is instructive that He did not stop us, and Shirat Hayam remains part of the daily service. Men at war cannot be expected to behave like angels, and when an archfoe like Osama bin Laden bites the dust, we are unabashedly happy.

So shall all Your enemies perish, Lord


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