"Where does it say that you have a contract with G-d to have an easy life?"
the Lubavitcher Rebbe

"Failure is not the enemy of success; it is its prerequisite."
Rabbi Nosson Scherman

23 Jul 2014

The last hours

AP has some incredible stories about the last hours of MH17's victims.

In a bedroom in a townhouse near Amsterdam, Miguel Panduwinata reached out for his mother. "Mama, may I hug you?"
Samira Calehr wrapped her arms around her 11-year-old son, who'd been oddly agitated for days, peppering her with questions about death, about his soul, about God. The next morning, she would drop Miguel and his big brother Shaka at the airport so they could catch Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, the first leg of their journey to Bali to visit their grandmother.
Read more:  http://news.yahoo.com/kiss-prayer-last-hours-mh17s-victims-071513447.html

Chabad Replaces Wounded Soldiers’ Tefilin


KikarHashabat writes about how Harav Shteinman discussed that we are witnessing miracles. Click here to read article in Hebrew.

Emunah Speak posts about how HaRav HaGaon Moshe Sternbuch sees the current crisis in Eretz Yisroel.

The Rav makes it clear that we are being enveloped by nissim day and night, and that we are required to take five minutes a day to intensely focus on the fact that Hashem is both knocking the missiles out of the sky and scattering the rest to the four winds. He lets us hear that Hashem has opened all of the Sharei Rachamim of Shomayim to deflect the missiles from harming Klal Yisroel and if we don’t recognize this we are sinners.

And it’s not enough that we recognize and intensely focus on these nissim. We are obligated to speak about them also.

In the video below, a reporter documents a community wide effort to collect donations for a young boy's funeral after the child was accidentally run over and a collection jar was stolen. At the end of the video, a woman opines, "This is G-d doing this- through me, and through my neighbors, the community and other commmunities."
She recognized the hand of G-d and spoke about it.

22 Jul 2014

Messengers in fighting

The State Department briefing from 07/21 includes the following Q and A.

QUESTION: On Thursday, UNRWA reported that it had found 20 missiles – or rockets, sorry, in one of its schools....

QUESTION: Well, my – over the weekend there were reports that UNRWA basically gave these rockets back to Hamas after finding them.

MS. HARF: Hmm. I can check on that. I had not seen those reports.

QUESTION: Well, in the response that I got on Friday – maybe you – it’s short. Do you want to read it?

MS. HARF: I don’t have it in front of me, so I’m not going to read it.

QUESTION: Oh. Okay. Well, you commended UNRWA for doing what – the right thing, what you said was the right thing in handing over these rockets to the local authorities. Now, in Israel, people are saying, “Well, the local authorities in Gaza are Hamas.”

MS. HARF: Understood the question.


MS. HARF: I understand. I just don’t know the answer. I’m sorry.


As UNWRA discovers more rockets, will the organization, once again, hand  them over to the local authorities?


 I received the following email today.

A letter from a soldier in Gaza:
Today our hearts are pounding in fear. Who of us will die? And who will return safely?
We are your messengers in fighting . We are fighting so you can live peacefully with your children. So you can stay alive. We are your protection. Will you be ours? We are going to this dangerous mission knowing some of us will not come back, but will rise to their next position in a storm to heaven, as Eliyahu the Navi did.
We are going with devotion and dedication.
We are asking you to be our protection with your prayers. Protect us by going above and beyond yourselves through Ruchniyus and good deeds.
Pray for us. Pray that you won't see another mother burying her son. Pray that you won't see our wives as widows raise our children in tears. Pray that our children will grow up knowing who their fathers are. Pray that we will eliminate the terrorists who aim to destroy us, and that we will not injure innocent women and children.
Please, we are begging you, as you are reading this, don't just go on to the next thing you are doing. Say a chapter of Tehillim. Wake up  David HaMelech to ask Hashem for full Geulah and peace for the all world. Take upon yourselves another good deed. And please pass this on. I'm certain that your prayer will make a difference.
Remember, we are in it together. We are on the front lines carrying the weapons and you are fighting along with us in your prayers. Each word of your prayer gives us strength, protection and success!!!!!!

A New Look at Tehillim 140

Tzitzit donations

TheYeshivaWorld reports about a man that was visiting Montreal from France who was punched by an Arab.

When the police arrived, they tried to discourage the victim from filing a police report, according to the victim’s brother-in-law. “They told him that he was going to France anyway, and that the descriptions were too vague for them to find someone,” he said. ...“It’s ironic that my brother-in-law is from France and throughout his visit he kept telling us how lucky we are that we’re safe here,” he added. “Then this happened. He was attacked for being a Jew, and the police were not supportive or helpful at all.”
 - See more at: http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/headlines-breaking-stories/249191/knockout-frum-tourist-sucker-punched-by-arab-assailants-in-montreal.html

American Jews, Other 'Lone Soldiers' Serve Israel

Tzitzit for soldiers

KikarHashabat writes about a Brooklyn man who donated 5000 pairs of tzitzit for Israëli soldiers, leilui nishmat one of the soldiers who was niftar during the current fighting.

IDF: One of 7 soldiers killed Monday still missing

The Torah lists for us the names of the Nesi'im who would represent their Shevet in the division of Eretz Yisroel (Masei 34:19-29). The Ba'al HaTurim asks why before each Shevet does it say "L'Mateh Bnei..." for the sons of the shevet of..., whereas by Yehuda and Binyomin it only says L'Mateh Yehuda and L'Mateh Binyomin and omitting the word Bnei? He doesn't offer an answer.

Rav Chaim Kanievsky answers that all the nesi'im worked tireless and exclusively for the people of their shevet. However within the territory of both Yehuda and Binyomin lay the Bais HaMikdash which belonged to all of Klal Yisroel. These two nesi'im represented not only their own shevet in the division of Eretz Yisroel but all of Klal Yisroel, so it would be misleading to say "L'Bnei", meaning only for the sons of their shevet.

21 Jul 2014

Chairman Ed Royce interviewed on CNN

A must see video here, starting from the 6:11 mark when Wolf Blitzer interviews Rep. Ed Royce, California Republican and chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

A rally in support of Israel was held Sunday in Louisville, Kentucky. Local Chabad Shliach Rabbi Shmully Litvin set up a booth at the event and helped many Jewish men put on Tefilin and gave Jewish women Shabbos candle sets.

המקובל רבי בניהו שמואלי חילק "פיטום הקטורת" למען חיילי צה"ל

Eleph L’Mateh אלף למטה – Daven for a IDF Soldier

הראשל"צ: תפקידנו ללמוד ברצף בלי הפסקות

ABC News reports on a newlywed couple who were supposed to be on the Malaysian flight but changed their plans in the last minute.

Also supposed to be on the flight was Dutch cyclist Maarten de Jonge, who remarkably escaped death on a Malyasia Airlines jet not once buy twice.

Not only was de Jonge scheduled to fly on Malaysia flight MH17, he was also scheduled to fly on Flight 370, which went missing in March.

Accidental news

Let’s Finish Tehillim for Our Brothers at War: Reserve a Chapter

KikarHashabat reports on an individual who found out through WhatsApp that his brother was one of the soldiers who had been killed in Gaza. Only later did the army come and notify the family.

Families and friends of the soldiers who were killed today expressed outrage over the sources in social networks that spread names of soldiers who were killed. Due to the rumors, there were those who learned about the deaths of their loved ones through Whatsapp. Others received such news accidentally.

A February 8 Facebook posting from a soldier who was niftar in the ground invasion reads as follows:

Hey guys, the holidays have passed and we've been in 2014 for a little over a month now. One thing I want to do this year is to help raise money for the troops, specifically for the guys I serve with. We could really use the help now more than ever. I know things aren't easy back home in the states, but if you or someone you know can help we would be beyond grateful. You can click on the donate now button in following link ( http://conta.cc/HbsdOB ) and enter "Golani 13 Mesayat 5" with my name and your donations will come straight to us. Thanks for taking the time to read this and a huge thank you to those of who have already started donating. Every dollar helps. And please Share- a minute of your time goes a long way. See you guys soon, take care! Much love.

CrownHeightsinfo reports:

At a pro-Israel demonstration in Amsterdam’s Dam Square on Friday, local Shliach Rabbi Mendy Evers helped Jewish attendees put on Tefilin as part of the worldwide ‘Tefilin 4 Israel’ campaign. A photo of this was posted to a Dutch media website with the caption “Jewish youngsters wearing some primitive GoPro cameras on their foreheads.”

INN reports on a sermon made by an Imam in Berlin in which he called for the destruction of the Zionist Jews.

20 Jul 2014

Facing danger

KikarHashabat writes about a soldier who went to the Sadigere rebbe to get a brocha before the ground invasion in Gaza. The rebbe gave him a blessing and advised him to take the Sefer "Noam Elimelech" with him. A bullet penetrated his chest but was deflected because of the sefer. http://www.kikarhashabat.co.il/חייל-ניצל-בזכות-הספר-נועם-אלימלך.html

MK Feiglin: End the 'Misplaced Pity' That Endangers Our Soldiers

Just read a Facebook posting by a soldier who was niftar in the ground invasion in which he asked people  to donate to the troops.  I was going to post the what he wrote, but, since most sites haven't identified him, as yet, I will wait.

In their merit

Kerry Caught Mocking Israel on Hot Mic: ‘It’s a Hell of a Pinpoint Operation’

Read the Unexpected Tweet a State Department Leader Sent Out. Was it a Mistake, or Did He Mean to Reject Israel?

The Muqata writes, "IDF Major General (ret.) Giora Eiland on Channel 2 TV news: The construction cost of the terror tunnels in Gaza is in the hundreds of millions of dollars. To all those who wonder why Gazans live they way they do -- instead of using money from the international community to improve the quality of life and build Gaza's infrastructure, Hamas used the money for the sole purpose of terror against Israel."

Hatikva at London Solidarity Rally for Israel

This afternoon I listend to Rabbi Ephraim Wachsman speaking at last year on Tisha B'Av and was inspired by his words concerning lashon hora. I will strive to do better in that regard. May it be a merit for those soldiers fighting to protect the citizens of Israel.

Chizuk at the White Shul

Daniel Greenfield wrote about an interview with a Palestinian spokesperson.

Following are excerpts from an interview with Hamas Spokesman Fawzi Barhoum, which aired on Al-Aqsa TV on July 11, 2014:

Fawzi Barhoum: We say to [Israeli Arabs], living in Haifa, Jaffa, Acre, Lod, Ramla, and the Negev: The rockets fired by the Al-Qassam Brigades will not hit you. We know those parts. We are familiar with the geography and with the history. Not a single Arab Palestinian child will be hit by one of our missiles. Our rockets are aimed at the Hebrews, the murderers, the Israelis, the criminals. http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/dgreenfield/hamas-tells-israeli-muslims-not-to-worry-their-rockets-only-hit-jews/

An Israeli Beduin security guard was killed and three others were wounded, including a three-month-old baby, when a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip struck a Beduin area of the Negev near Dimona on Saturday.
Read more: http://www.jpost.com/Operation-Protective-Edge/IDF-soldiers-wounded-as-Gaza-terrorists-attempt-to-infiltrate-Israel-363446

A rocket probably fired from the Gaza hit Egypt's Rafah border crossing with the embattled Palestinian enclave on Saturday, wounding a soldier, a  security official told AFP.
The rocket "was most likely fired from Gaza and fell into Egyptian territory by mistake," the official said.
Read more: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/183084#.U8tveJUU_IU

Let's see if the security official is just as accepting of Israel saying "it was a mistake."



A cartoon and a letter

American Thinker has an article titled Sickening: Washington Post cartoonist depicts Netanyahu punching baby in the face.

WND reports Leaked: New truce deal scores wins for Hamas

You might think it’s ironic that young people vote in big numbers for Barack Obama, but rising numbers of them can’t support themselves under his economic policies - so much so that the Washington Post reports Growing numbers of people in their 30s are going back home to live with Mom and Dad.
Read more: http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/64676

Legal Insurrection has an article titled U. Illinois Prof: Zionists partly to blame for recent outbursts of anti-Semitism.

CrownHeights info has published a letter from the Lubavitcher Rebbe which can be read here.

18 Jul 2014

Dwelling alone

BaltimoreJewishLife reports Family Shocked by Anti-Semitism at Cairo Hotel.

Rebbetzin Esther Jungries wrotes about a nation destined to dwell alone.

Once again we find ourselves alone – a little lamb among wolves. Can it be that Hashem wants us to realize that we indeed are a nation destined to live alone? Can it be that Hashem wants us to turn to Him to acknowledge that He and only He is our shepherd who can protect and save us?

The moment we forget our Guardian above, G-d forbid, we will be rendered easy prey once again. Iron Domes are wonderful but they are only as strong as Hashem allows them to be. Nothing in this universe is invincible except He who is above us.
Read more:  http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/rebbetzins-viewpointrebbetzin-jungreis/a-nation-destined-to-dwell-alone-part-one/2014/07/17/

R' Eliezer Bulka begins his weekly parsha article with the following words.
I recently signed up with a very special program, The Shmira Project, which pairs ordinary people with soldiers putting their lives on the line in defense of our Nation. The Weekly Shtikle is therefore dedicated bizchus Amir ben Tzipporah im kol chayalei Yisrael.

Elder of Ziyon quoted two paragraphs from a WashingtonPost article which I couldn't find when I clicked on his link, but was able to find in a cached version of the article.


Civilian deaths and a deleted tweet

The Jewish Press has an article about State Department Spokesperson Jan Psaki's words regarding civilian deaths in Gaza that "certainly there's more that can be done." At the end of the article there is a comparison of civilian deaths in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.
Click here to read the article.

Civilian drone deaths in Afghanistan tripled last year, according to a report by a UN agency.
...The report, by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (Unama), found that drone strikes accounted for at least a third of all civilian deaths in air strikes last year.
... The UK and US are the only countries to operate armed drones in the conflict. http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2014/02/08/civilian-drone-deaths-triple-in-afghanistan-un-agency-finds/

CNN has removed correspondent Diana Magnay from covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict after she tweeted that Israelis who were cheering the bombing of Gaza, and who had allegedly threatened her, were “scum.”

CrownHeights info reports about a rabbi who read an article regarding a Jewish man "who found 7 pairs of Tefilin for sale at a lost-luggage clearance shop in Alabama – all of which were subsequently returned to their owners."
The rabbi decided to go back to the store and he found another four items. Click here if you want to check out whether one of them belongs to you.

זאת לא כיפת ברזל, זה הקב"ה

גדולי ישראל בקריאה חריגה: לקיים יום תפילה בגלל המבצע הקרקעי בעזה

17 Jul 2014


With reports of a ground operation underway, please take some time to recite Tehillim.

Yeranen Yaakov writes:

  • Don't Rely on Iron Dome (by Rav Gamliel Rabinowitz Shlit"a)

    • In the Tocheha, it says וְשָׁבַרְתִּי, אֶת-גְּאוֹן עֻזְּכֶם; וְנָתַתִּי אֶת-שְׁמֵיכֶם כַּבַּרְזֶל [And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron].  There is a hint to כפת ברזל [Iron Dome] in that there is a curse that it breaks the pride and power to pray to Hashem.  
    • And the Rambam famously berates people for not crying out to Hashem at times of trouble.
    • Rather, we pray that all our enemies מהרה יכרתו [quickly be cut off], whose Rashei Teivot have the gematria of טיל [missile].  This means, we pray that the missiles should explode before it comes to Israeli territory.
    • It is forbidden to be complacent and rely on Iron Dome, ח"ו, but rather, we must do Teshuva, etc.
    A must read about remembering the fish at AhavasIsrael.org.

    Hamid Dabashi, a Columbia University professor has an article at Al Jazeera titled Does Hamas provoke Israel to attack Gaza?

    Given the sophisticated defence system Israel possesses, courtesy of US taxpayers, none of these rockets hit any targets and fortunately no Israeli man, woman, or child has lost any life or limb because of them.

    All your recorded deeds

    Pirkei Avot 2:1
    ...Reflect on three things and you will never come to sin: Know what is above you--a seeing eye, a hearing ear, and all your deeds recorded in a book.

    The Toronto Sun gives us an example of how a seeing eye can be witness to your actions, even three years after the fact. As far as all your deeds being recorded in a book, that goes for mere mortals, whereas IRS deeds may not be recorded due to hard drive crashes.

    Google maps filmed the two gun-toting crooks who ransacked and robbed an Oklahoma City woman's home at the scene of the crime three years ago.

    A neighbour of the woman, who does not want to be identified, was recently checking out their street on Google map and texted her a photo showing the two suspects walking together in front of her house, KFOR.com reported.

    16 Jul 2014

    The Pew survey

    Jews are the most warmly regarded religious group in America, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center.
    Read more: http://www.jta.org/2014/07/16/news-opinion/united-states/pew-survey-jews-most-popular-religious-group-in-u-s#ixzz37ed3UfYx

    George Jonas has a great article at the National Post explaining the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Click here to read.

    Alyce Lomax, columnist for Fool.com and an analyst for Motley Fool One, has written an article titled Why I'm Finally Selling SodaStream.

    Click here to read the article and scroll down to read some of the comments including:

    Alyce. I've always enjoyed your articles and your belief system. However, ethical investors such as yourself also have a moral responsibility to learn. If one is divesting in Israel then the reasons behind this political action must be based on facts, not feelings and emotions. The truth is what makes action ethical. Here is the truth. If one wants to divest in Israel, then one is “morally” obligated to do the following:
    1. Stop using their cell phones.
    2. Stop using their computers.
    3. Don’t get an MRI.
    4. Don’t take generic drugs.
    5. Don’t ever get on a commercial airline...

    Perhaps I'll write an article titled Why I'm finally unsubscribing from The Motley Fool.

    Giving that little extra

    Ladaat info pointed me to the video (in Hebrew) below of what it will be like when the news sites report on the arrival of the Mashiach.

    I received an email regarding a project pairing IDF soldiers with individuals who sign up.

    The Shmira Project is an ongoing, grassroots program that pairs IDF combat soldiers with Jews around the world who do acts of kindness, prayer or Torah learning to increase the soldier's spiritual merit and protection.

    Click here to sign up.

    Yesterday the Guardiam reported on Jean-Claude Juncker, former Luxembourg prime minister, being confirmed as the European commission president.

    After after the shooting at the Jewish museum in Brussels, Mr. Juncker issued the following statement.

    "I was profoundly shocked to learn of the tragic deaths yesterday in Brussels. My heart goes out to the victims' families, whose senseless loss I can only fathom.

    That the attack seems to have been anti-Semitic and targeted at the Jewish museum makes this tragic act all the more disturbing. Religious intolerance has no place on our continent."

      I received the following email this morning.

    Rabbanit Mizrachi was at a women’s convention last week. On the stage was a group called “Playback”. They asked members of the audience to share stories which they would then act out. One young woman got up. This is her story.

    “”I work as a resource room teacher with children who have learning disabilities. A few years ago a young boy began taking lessons in my resource room. I could not figure out what had brought him to seek my help. He clearly had no difficult with his lessons and did well in all his tests. Yet, time after time he consistently came to my resource room for his lessons. I was determined to find his area of weakness, but as hard as I tried, I could not find any type of learning difficulty or disability. Finally, out of frustration, I took him aside and told him I could not continue giving him lessons. It was a waste of his time and his parents’ hard earned money and he clearly did not need any sort of remedial help.

    The boy turned to me and said “I will tell you why I am here but I am asking you not to tell anyone else. I have a friend with a learning disability. Our teacher told him that he needed remedial classes in the resource room. He was so embarrassed to be singled out as having to go to your classes, I told him that it was no big deal and that I also take remedial classes. That is why I come to you – so that my friend will not be embarrassed.”

    The boy who came to my class so as not to embarrass his friend was Gilad Shaar alav hashalom. He was 10 years old at the time. As we enter the difficult period of the three weeks, let us be inspired by Gilad and the other pure neshamos to look at those around us with an ayin tova – to go out of our “comfort zone” to help others and to give that little extra of ourselves to bring joy to our fellow Jews.

    15 Jul 2014

    Critical thinking

    BD"E. May Israel suffer no more fatalities.

    An eighth-grade English assignment that was meant to develop students’ critical thinking skills has, instead, created some 50 new Holocaust deniers.
    Continue reading: http://eagnews.org/shock-districts-critical-thinking-assignment-led-at-least-50-students-to-conclude-holocaust-never-occurred/

    CNN reports about the collapse of the ceasefire.

    Hamas on Tuesday closed a crossing between Gaza and Israel but allowed 25 Palestinians -- some of them needing medical attention -- to cross into Israel at Erez.

    Remarks by The President at the Annual Iftar Dinner, July 14, 2014

    Four fronts

    Israel Attacked On Four Fronts On Same Day For First Time Ever: Sinai, Lebanon, Syria, Gaza…

    Ancient synagogue mosaic depicts bloody jewish legend

    Ladaat info reports on some Jewish women who entered a clothing store in the center of Antwerp, Belgium, only to be told to leave by the owner of the store who called them dirty Jews.