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Saturday, December 25, 2004

Uri and ZAKA

Today in shul (synagogue), we had one of the heads of ZAKA, Yaacov Uri, give a speech about his organization. ZAKA is a volunteer organization that has the solemn duty of recovering all the bodies (and body parts) from a terrorist bombing in Israel and prepare them for a proper Jewish burial. They also act as an emergency task force, giving emergency care to those injured by a suicide bomb and saving their lives in some cases. Yaacov Uri, the owner of Uri's Pizza, hit upon the idea to use motorcycles (the "moped" variety) which he used to deliver pizzas, to carry the Zaka workers and their ambulatory utilities to the scene of the bombings and give immediate care. Since Jerusalem's traffic can be very busy (as anyone who has been on Jaffa Road on a Friday can attest to) the motorcycles manage to get through traffic in less time than the regular ambulance can. This makes a difference between life and death in cases where people are injured by a bomb. The Cleveland Jewish News has a more detailed article about this. Yaacov Uri also talked about his late father as well. His father, a WWI veteran from Vienna, came to Israel as a young man and joined the Hashomer Hatzair movement. He was one of the first members of one of their first kibbutzim. He eventually became religious, before such a thing was common because of the Ba'al Teshuva movement. He was also a fouth generation descendant of the famous Chasidic rebbe Rabbi Zvi Elimelech Spira (the Bnei Yissaschar). He worked as a bookkeeper for Shaarei Tzedek Hospital until he was 92 (after "officially retiring" at age 65) and passed away when he was 95. He had 11 children of which Yaacov was the youngest. Zaka in the USA Zaka Rescue and Recovery 5023-16th Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11204 www.zakausa.org (English) www.zaka.org.il (Hebrew) e-mail: zaka.usa@verizon.net

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Man Bites Dog

Literally. It seems the man felt the traditional "Wagging of the finger and yelling 'Bad Dog!'" wasn't working for him.

Tuesday, December 7, 2004

Have a Big Head

Israeli military jargon starts to make inroads into software development, at least at Joel On Software.

Friday, December 3, 2004

Cafe of Champions

A new cafe restaurant has opened on the campuses of Arizona State and the University of Pennsylvania. The name of the restaurant is Cereality, and it exclusively sells breakfast cereal. Not surprisingly, it was founded by two Jewish guys. That reminds me of one of Jackie Mason's jokes in one of his routines about food and Jews. He said that sushi was really invented by two Jewish guys who first asked the question: "How can we start a restaurant without a kitchen?" Well, here's the answer.