Saturday, 30 July 2016

Mussar Kitzur SA 12:2 - Ahavat Yisrael and Achdut

טוב לתן צדקה קדם התפלה, שנאמר אני בצדק אחזה פניך. גם יקבל עליו קדם כל תפלה מצות ואהבת לרעך כמוך,

* ויכון לאהב את כל אחד מישראל כנפשו,
כי אם חס ושלום יש פרוד לבבות ישראל למטה אזי גם למעלה אין התאחדות אבל התאחדות בגופיהם שלמטה גורם התאחדות ודבקות נפשותיהם למעלה,
ועל ידי זה גם תפלותיהם מתאחדות. ואז בהיות תפלותיהם כלולות יחד, היא רצויה לפניו יתברך שמו ...*

Kol Tuv,
RRW

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Nishma-Parshah: Pinchus

Take a look at what's on
for Parshat Pinchus

Parsha: Pinchas, "Leadership"
http://nishma-parshah.blogspot.ca/2016/07/parsha-pinchas-leadership.html

H. Of Pinchas, is it the rarest?
http://nishma-parshah.blogspot.ca/2016/07/h-of-pinchas-is-it-rarest.html

 

Michael Jordan Speaks Out‏

From RRW
A friend of mine's son met Michael Jordan at a Make-a-wish foundation‎ dinner. While usually held on Saturday, special accommodations were made for a Non-Shabbat date and for Kosher Food.

Michael was described as a "real mensch"

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Palestinians plan to sue Britain over 1917 Balfour act

From RRW
"Palestinian leaders haven't been interested in peace for some time already," Mr Erdan was quoted as saying by Israel's Haaretz newspaper.

"The only goal is to de-legitimise Israel," he said.

Rabbi Eliyahu: Rabbi Berland must be incarcerated

From RRW

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/215456

Monday, 25 July 2016

How many occupied countries are there in the world today?

From RRW

https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100329084548AA50q3f

The "Missing" Link‏

From RRW

Just some rambling musings..

There are many movements today in judaism
O C R
Open Orthodox
Recon
Secularist
You name it

One very powerful group that is nowadays  dead or almost dead is "the Non-Observant Orthodox"

In my parents generation they were common.
They were members of Ortho shuls, many sent their kids to Jewish day schools. They often had Kosher Homes and lit candles Friday Nights. 

Like Theodore Bikel, they didn't always go to shul, but when they did, it was to an Orthodox shul.

They were not interested in Secular Judaism, nor C nor R. They were Traditional in Outlook, and they supported many Jewish causes, EG OU, YU,  Torah Umesorah or Mizrachi, etc.

Many of their kids went to NCSY, etc. Their kids were primed for Kiruv.  

We have almost completely lost that demographic. 

I believe the Eidot Mizrach communities still might have them. They seemed more immune to C and R and secularism and more prone to being Orthodox without necessarily being 100% observant.   

‎I believe their absence is missed because they were like buffers between the Obsercant and the other streams.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Jewish Baby Boom Alters Israeli-Palestinian Dynamic

From RRW

http://www.wsj.com/article_email/jewish-baby-boom-alters-israeli-palestinian-dynamic-1468499825-lMyQjAxMTA2NDExNDYxODQ4Wj

Orthodox Rabbis are becoming more prominent as US Military Chaplains‏

From RRW

Chaplaincy amongst the Orthodox, both in military and health institutions, is beginning to flourish.
Military chaplains: An Orthodox rabbi mixes faith and patriotism in Afghanistan - CSMonitor.com
http://m.csmonitor.com/2007/1113/p20s01-usmi.html
 
JWB Jewish Chaplains Council – JCC Association
http://jcca.org/what-we-do/jwb/

Friday, 22 July 2016

Does Israel actually occupy the Gaza Strip?

From RRW

"Tizz Al Nabi
For me this is a classic case of singling out Israel and yes antisemitism. Egypt physically occupied Gaza under a very strict military regime from 1948-67 and the world stayed silent. Israel uprooted thousands of its citizens and left Gaza completely and yet the world bleats that it is occupying Israel? Does the world criticize Egypt for closing the border on Gaza'a other border? No. Did the world criticize Egypt from 1948-67? No."

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Nishma-Parshah: Balak

Take a look at what's on
for Parshat Balak

Parsha: Balak, "Schadenfreude I"
http://nishma-parshah.blogspot.ca/2016/07/parsha-balak-schadenfreude-i.html

Counterfeiter, Rodeif, Hatra'ah
http://nishma-parshah.blogspot.ca/2016/07/counterfeiter-rodeif-hatraah.html

Parsha: Balak, "Defining Evil"
http://nishma-parshah.blogspot.ca/2016/07/parsha-balak-defining-evil.html

 

Huffington Post: We Need To Be Able To Question Our Own Opinions

Of course, in taking any action, a person must think he/she is correct. But we presently, it would seem, are living under the oppression of people whose views we can only describe as dogmatically correct. They believe they are right because they believe that they are right. The only way to challenge such a person is with the question -- specifically the call to question oneself.

I develop this idea further in my latest Huffington Post blot -- We Need To Be Able To Question Our Own Opinions -- at http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/rabbi-ben-hecht/questioning-oneself_b_11055358.html

My original title for the post, btw, was 'Questioning Oneself' but it was changed by the editors.

Feel free to comment here or there.

Rabbi Ben Hecht

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Support for Israel At RNC - Judea for the Judeans‏

From RRW

RNC Supports Israel - AMAZING
The Republican National Platform Committee unanimously adopted the pro-Israel Amendment presented by South Carolina delegate Alan Clemmons.
00:05:53
Added on 13/07/2016
1,309 views

"Terrorism is about Ideology, not Guns,"

From RRW
Arutz Sheva

Terrorism is about Ideology, not guns

In denying the role of Islamic radicalism, Mr. Obama seems more concerned about shielding extremists from critical scrutiny than protecting U.S. citizens from terrorism.

Matthew M. Hausman

After the recent mass shooting in Orlando, President Obama predictably refused to blame radical Islam, although in a break from his usual practice he at least identified it as an act of terrorism.  But in addressing the nation shortly afterward, he displayed more anger at Republicans who chided him for refusing to identify the enemy. 

Mr. Obama petulantly mocked his critics, asserting that using the term “radical Islam” would not make ISIS less radical.  He seemed oblivious to the fact that jihad today is being waged by a variety of organizations and regimes besides ISIS – including Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Islamic Republic of Iran – and that it is indeed motivated by religion.  He concluded by polemicizing about gun control, which has absolutely no causal connection to Islamist terrorism, instead of extremist religious doctrine, which does. 

And many in the American Jewish establishment followed his lead, treating the massacre as a hate crime fueled by lax gun laws.  
  
The mainstream media had a field day speculating whether the shooter, Omar Mateen, was secretly gay and whether his murder of forty-nine and wounding of fifty-three was an act of self-hatred.  Ignored in such glib analysis was the fact that Mateen seems to have had a history of radicalization –travelling to Saudi Arabia twice before the attack, openly pledging allegiance to ISIS, and bragging to coworkers about supposed connections to Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Is the this the first Jewish Muezzin?‏

From RRW

Call to Prayer
שמע ישראל יהוה אלוהינו יהוה אחד Hear O Israel Hashem is our God Hashem is the One and Only והיה יהוה למלך על כל הארץ ביום ההוא יהיה יהוה אחד ושמו אחד HaShem will be King over all of the world on…
00:01:53
Added on 02/10/2015
159,126 views

The Controversy over the Eishet Yefat To'ar statements‏

From RRW

This view appears leaning to the left a bit but I feel it does score some good points.

Using Torah leniencies to undermine current sensibilities can be a dicey game. It may border on condoning "Naval Birtshut Hattorah.". The Torah permits polygamy, too but modern sensibilities seemed more advanced.
Israel's Army Doesn't Need a Rabbi to Settle 'Debate' on Wartime Rape - Bloomberg View

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Mussar M'sirat Nefesh, a Constant Struggle or a One Time Sacrifice

first posted on August 17, 2013

From Derech Emet -
***********************************************

Sefer Pele Yoetz, chapter Copheh, paragraph 4:

Behold, our eyes have seen that almost all Jews may be
assumed to be proper Jews who would sacrifice their
lives to glorify the Name of G_d [when necessary].

But no one can control his temptation [yitzro] completely, to be a completely righteous person in the world who [only] does goodness and never sins at all.

The reason [for this apparent contradiction] is that
sacrificing our lives is a temptation we can control,
because every Jew appreciates the severity of the sin. of abandoning the faith [when being threatened with
death by evil Gentiles].

But this is not true for other sins because our spirit
of temptation [Yetzer HaRa] makes them [the other sins]
seem small in the eyes of people, as has been explained
with respect to Bereishit, chapter 6, verse 5.

More reasons [for this apparent contradiction] are:

Death is only felt for a moment; and everyone eventually. dies anyway; and when he sacrifices his life to glorify the. Name of G_d, he is immediately saved from his temptation; and he is prepared for the afterlife of the righteous [Olam HaBa].

This is not true for other sins, where it is more difficult
for him [a Jew] to suppress his temptation, because his
temptation pursues him always, and the Satan stands
on his right side to instigate him [to commit sins].

***********************************************

Best Regards,
RRW

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Hilchot Betzi'at haPat‏

From RRW

http://etzion.org.il/vbm/english/archive/blessings/16berakhot.htm

BDS: The Newest "Mask" for Anti-Semitism?‏

From RRW

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, says "I think BDS is an unfair, discriminatory movement based on a moral double standard that is, in the final analysis, anti-Semitic [...] BDS is in fact trying to harm every Israeli citizen and not only the government. In reality what BDS wants is to make life in Israel intolerable so the Jewish nation will not be able to have a normal existence in its state. BDS does not only want to change the government's policy, it wants to empty the country of Jews."[143]

I don't see EG Desmond Tutu asking China to relinquish Tibet or for Russia to handback Crimea etc.

"Occupation" seems a thinly veiled form for an Anti-Semitic diatribe to sound politically correct

Monday, 11 July 2016

Robert Kraft speaks at YU Graduation‏

From RRW

Robert Kraft's 2016 Yeshiva University Commencement Address
Robert Kraft, founder, chairman and CEO of The Kraft Group and owner of the New England Patriots, delivers the keynote address and received an honorary doctorate at Yeshiva University’s 85th…
00:18:12
Added on 26/05/2016
55,536 views

My son Zvi graduated Sy Syms School Of Buesiness
On 25 May, 2016.

RRW

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Mussar: P. Korach - the Symbol behind the Drash

Originally published 6/25/11, 10:06 pm.

Rashi quotes a Midrash or Aggadah about how Korach belittled Mosheh Rabbenu using

1 the Tallit shekulo T'echeilet
And
2 the room filled with Sifrei Torah


Korah makes Moshe's reasoning seem silly to require one more thread of T'cheilet for the Tallit - And to require 2 more Parshiyot for the room already filled with Sifrei Torah

-------------------

While the story reads fine as is - many may notice the underlying symbolism and others may tend to overlook it.

The point of Korach's rebellion was madua titnas'u on K'hal Hashem? Meaning he advocated anarchy in order to dispose of the leadership whom he grew to resent due to the appointment of Elizaphan ben Uziel as per Hazal

Thus, the M'zuzah and the P'til T'cheilet are symbolic that EVEN a fully holy garment or room STILL needs a special symbolic "leader". And so, too, a K'hal Hashem - no matter how holy - needed a specific "p'til t'cheileit" or a "m'zuzah" anyway, in this case Moshe and Aharon.

This "chap" is not originally mine, but it is imho the key to reading between the lines of this Midrash for a further tremendous psychological insight of WHY Korach davqa picked these items to underscore his K'tatah.

Shalom,
RRW

Monday, 4 July 2016

Sing the Fourth On the Fourth‏

From RRW

Here are the inspiring lyrics to the 4th ver‎se of the Star Spangled Banner. I have used them for invocations and the like. 

O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto – “In God is our trust,”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

God & The 4th of July

From RRW


God & The 4th of July--by  Meir Soloveichik
--in WSJ--7/1/16

Asked to propose a national seal in 1776, Adams and Jefferson chose religious themes.

On July 4, 1776, after voting to approve the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress advanced the following resolution: “That Dr. Franklin, Mr. J. Adams and Mr. Jefferson, be a committee, to bring in a device for a seal for the United States of America.”
Of these three founders, two suggested seals that incorporated profoundly biblical images. Franklin, according to his own notes, proposed the following as the national seal: a picture of “Moses standing on the Shore, and extending his Hand over the Sea, thereby causing the same to overwhelm Pharaoh who is sitting in an open Chariot, a Crown on his Head and a Sword in his Hand. Rays from a Pillar of Fire in the Clouds reaching to Moses, to express that he acts by Command of the Deity.” Underneath the image, Franklin added, would appear the following motto: “Rebellion to Tyrants is obedience to God.”
Jefferson, as described by John Adams in his correspondence, suggested a seal that bore a different image, but also from the Hebrew Bible: “the Children of Israel in the Wilderness, led by a Cloud by day, and a Pillar of Fire by night.”
While the Declaration’s approval on the Fourth of July is still celebrated throughout the land, the tale of the seal that began on the same day in 1776 has been all but forgotten. Bruce Feiler, author of “America’s Prophet: Moses and the American Story” (2009), reflected that when he first encountered the story, it “stunned me. Why hadn’t I heard about this before?” The legal historian Michael I. Meyerson, in his 2012 book “Endowed by Our Creator,” reported that he had used Google Books to search more than 200 Thomas Jefferson biographies published since 1950 and had found only 12 describing Jefferson’s national-seal proposal.

The messages behind the two Founders’ proposed images are quite different. In the biblical tale of the splitting of the sea, Franklin chose a scriptural story in which God himself miraculously intervenes into the natural order and redeems his people. The book of Exodus emphasizes that, in this event, only the Almighty was actively engaged: “And the Lord saved Israel from the hands of Egypt, and Israel saw Egypt dead on the shores of the sea.”
Jefferson’s symbol, by contrast, focused on the courage of the people of Israel in journeying into the desert; it celebrated not so much the miracle performed by God as much as the human spirit. This, too, is lauded by the Bible, in the book of Jeremiah: “I remember thee, the loyalty of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown.”
Religious Jews to this day observe two separate holidays that commemorate these disparate themes. In the spring, they observe Passover. It is a remembrance of God’s miraculous intervention against a tyrannical Pharaoh, when Jews emphasize at the Seder that the Exodus occurred through the Almighty’s hand alone, “not by angel nor any other intermediary.”
Then, six months later, Jews celebrate Sukkot, or Tabernacles, and build huts to commemorate, according to one opinion in the Talmud, the ramshackle shelters in which Israelites dwelled as they followed God through the desert.
As Britain’s former Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks has written, Sukkot can thus be seen less as a celebration of divinely wrought miracles than of Israel, of a people’s courage to begin a journey “with no certainty other than faith itself that they would reach their destination.”
Taken together, these two national-seal proposals uncannily presaged what the young nation would experience during the Revolutionary War that following the Declaration’s adoption.
The American victory against the most powerful empire on earth was seen by many patriots as a miracle, a re-enactment of the Exodus itself. This sentiment was expressed by George Washington, who, in his 1789 letter to the Jewish community in Savannah, Ga., concluded his correspondence by invoking the “wonder-working Deity, who long since delivered the Hebrews from their Egyptian oppressors . . . whose providential agency has lately been conspicuous in establishing these United States as an independent nation.”
At the same time, as miraculous as the American victory may have been, Washington himself, and the soldiers he led, remind us that the Revolution is also a tale of human endurance. “These are the times that try men’s souls,” Thomas Paine famously reflected in 1776, and his next words ring true today: “The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”
Ultimately, the Continental Congress adopted the Great Seal familiar today. The front shows a bald eagle clutching an olive branch and 13 arrows (for the original states), and the back bears an unfinished pyramid of 13 layers—with the Eye of Providence overhead.
As we observe the Fourth of July, it is entirely apt for Americans to thank God for the miracle of the nation’s founding—and to express gratitude as well for the courage of the men and women who helped bring it about.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Passing of Eli Wiesel o"h

We join with the many around the world who mark the passing of Elie Wiesel o"h.

T'hay nafsho tzrurah b'tzror hachaim 
May his soul be bound up in the bond of life

Friday, 1 July 2016

Rumseld: Why I will vote for Trump

From RRW


Pause to reflect on Hilary. Is she any different than Jonathan P. was in her own way?

This post is not an endorsement of Trump
It is intended to highlight a blatant double standard in the media and in society that holds SOME accountable and Allows others to skate free.‎  

Tzedek Tzedek tIrdof
Equal Justice under Law.