Thursday, December 27, 2007

Arthurian Passage

In Sanherdrin (21b), Rav teaches that Adoniya, son of David and Chagit, tried to steal the throne, but was unable to, as the throne rejected him. Rashi explains that some of David's descendents had an indentation on their skulls. David's crown had a golden bar from one side to the other, and it would fit only certain offspring of David, thus choosing the next in line.

When learning this, it reminded me of the sword that Arthur pulls out of the stone. There are many more similarities between the legends of Arthur and David the King. Does anyone know of any more?

David Landau: Desecration

According to Wikipedia, David Landau is an orthodox Jew from England who took over as editor-in-chief of the Israeli paper, Ha'aretz. However, if you read what he said to Secretary Rice a few weeks ago, you will see that this man is far from orthodox, and even further from a concerned citizen of Israel.

Arutz-7 reports, and this story is confirmed by Mr. Landau himself, that he had a foul-mouthed, dirty-metaphor talk with Secretary Rice. You can read some of it there, and see what filthy language this supposedly pious man used. The most hick-town hick would never have used such words when speaking to an important person. And yet, an educated, successful Jew opens his mouth in the most crass way, in front of the world! What a profound חילול, desecration, of God's name! Mr. Landau, this is the hardest sin to do penance for.

However, what bothers me even more than his despicable speech was that he called Israel a 'failed state'. He is of the opinion (and believe me, I am phrasing this in a far more genteel manner than he did) that Israel needs the US to step in and force it to make political descisions for it. I cannot imagine a more traitorous feeling.

David Landau, if you feel Israel is failed, go back from whence you came, and let those who have hope, faith, idealism continue to run things.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Great Financial Idea

I know I have not written in a while, and I apologize. I am planning to get posting regularly again within a few days. I just wanted to share the following for anyone traveling outside the US.

In this article, foreign transaction fees that are tacked on by Visa, Mastercard, and most banks are discussed. Most people end up paying about 3% extra on foreign purchases. This can be a real drain when living, shopping, or visiting in Israel (or anywhere else).

After some research, I have found that CapitalOne has a policy that they do not charge any fees for foreign purchases. Now here is the real kicker: not only do they not charge you any extra fees, but they even cover the 1-2% charged by Visa or Mastercard! You only pay the real value in dollars of what you purchased. This beats currency converters or banks, and is the absolute best deal I have seen (and the best possible) in a credit card. (You can get cash or rewards benefits in the deal, also.)

I am in no way connected to CapitalOne, and am posting this as a public service announcement, especially since the Jewish community does so much foreign travel. Check it out at the CapitalOne website.