The unexpectedly timely start of the semester, a quick trip to the US and a week in bed with the flu has kept me from the keyboard. So much to write, so little time and energy (still).
Anyways, a few starting points:
1) Want proof that Tzippi Livni is 'Englishly challenged' (and, IMHO, a boor)? See here.
2) I am very proud of being a born and bred Litvak (Minsker and Grodner Gubernyas) and misnaged. Our family is part of the Gra's 'Cousinhood' (through his grandfather R. Moshe Kremer). My forebears learned in Mir and yours truly learned, of course, for almost ten years by the Rav זצ"ל. Nevertheless, partly owing to my late father in law's inspiration and to the Rav's example, I am a great admirer of Kotzk and its subsidiary branches, Ger and Sochatchov (whose rebbeim were always respected in the Beis Medrash).
In the latter context, I wanted to tell a story about the Kotzker (IIRC, from שיח שרפי קודש). It seems that the Kotzker was adamently opposed to 'Rebbeish' trappings (tischen, pidyonos etc.) Once a famous Rebbe came to spend Shabbos with the Kotzker and the latter pulled out all of the sops and held a tisch etc. After the guest left, his hassidim asked the Kotzker: You don't believe in any of this! Why did you prave a tisch and act treat him like royalty?'
The Kotzker answered: 'I was simply obeying an explicit rule in the Shulchan Arukh (Yoreh De'ah 250:1). The din is that if a rich man is impoverished, one must provide him with everything he had lost (די מחסורו אשר יחסר לו). This person considers himself a Rebbe. I, therefore, had to be charitable and provide him with everything he lacked.'
It is with the Kotzker's comment on the spiritual poverty of contemporary Rebbeim (and with my Sfas Emes on Bereshis ready for tonight's Dvar Torah), that I refer to this (Hattip: Gil).
3) For equal time, check out the great agreement between Rav Elyashiv and Rav Ovadiah on the burning issue of.....drumroll, please...sheitlach!
4) There is no doubt in my mind that the present attempt to throw the residents out of Beit HaShalom in Hevron is politically inspired, and directly related (in any number of ways) to the upcoming elections. It also testifies to the total lock that the ideological Left has on significant sectors of the Judiciary.
Nevertheless, epecially after Amona and especially in light of the intensifying Jewish sentiment in the country, it would be absolutely disasterous for opponents of the evacuation to resort to violence. That is exactly what the commissars of Haaretz (and allies such as Moshe Negbi, Yariv Oppenheimer and Ophir Pines-Paz) are praying for (if they actually believed in God). Opposition is in order. Violence is not. In light of that, I find it incredible that the organizers of this week's protest against the decision to enforce the evacuation order allowed a lunatic like Shalom Ber Wolpe to speak. He is an off the wall extremist (who also thinks that the late Lubavitcher Rebbe זצ"ל is part of the Godhead). Haaretz made predictable hay about it.
Until I have time to fully formulate my views, consider the advice of Rabbi Yuval Sherlo, here, and the observations of Oleh Girl.