"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

29 Jul 2014

No repercussions

ITV and CNN reporter, Dan Rivers, on Sunday apologized for re-tweeting a harrowing photo purporting to be from the Israel – Hamas conflict.
What he originally mistook for a photo of a child sitting among bodies and wreckage from Israeli bombardment of targets in Gaza, in fact turned out to be of a scene of devastation in Mosul, Iraq, instead.
Continue reading: http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/07/28/itv-cnn-journalist-re-tweets-harrowing-picture-from-iraq-with-gaza-hashtag-apologizes/

If this was such a harrowing photo that Mr. Rather felt it needed to be publicized, did he re-tweet it when the photo was first published with regatd to Iraq?

NBC, CBS, Reuters, Lie About Israeli Attacks; Face No Repercussions

What Qatar didn't tell Nancy Pelosi about the 'humanitarian organization' Hamas

Hamas Uses Hospitals and Ambulances for Military Purposes

בין הזמנים יבוטל? דריכות לקראת הכרעת מרן הגראי"ל שטיינמן

What Is Our Role For “Operation Protective Edge”

Level of support

NationalnReview has an article titled Michelle Nunn’s Campaign Plan which reveals information from a document about her campaign plan.

The campaign’s finance plan draws attention to the “tremendous financial opportunity” in the Jewish community and identifies Jews as key fundraisers. It notes, however, that “Michelle’s position on Israel will largely determine the level of support here.”

David Grossman opines about An Israel without Illusions.

Inside the bubble, who can fault Israelis for expecting their government to do everything it can to save children on the Nahal Oz kibbutz, or any of the other communities adjacent to the Gaza Strip, from a Hamas unit that might emerge from a hole in the ground? And what is the response to Gazans who say that the tunnels and rockets are their only remaining weapons against a powerful Israel? In this cruel and desperate bubble, both sides are right. They both obey the law of the bubble — the law of violence and war, revenge and hatred.

Thanks for the clarification. I thought Israel trying to save its citizens would be an act of self-defense, rather than an act of revenge and hatred.

צפו בוידאו: הגר"ח מזיל דמעות בשל המלחמה

28 Jul 2014

World opinion

Ezra Aranson writes about media outrage. If nothing we do changes the world’s opinion of us, then perhaps we should start caring less about it.
...We need to focus on what we know is right, regardless of what others say; to embody Kipling’s verse, “If you can keep your head when all about you / Are losing theirs and blaming it on you”. http://www.thelakewoodscoop.com/news/2014/07/opinion-the-end-of-media-outrage.html

Anti-Semitic Vandalism Found at South Florida Synagogue

NBC Changes Story on Israeli Bombing of Hospital

"Ki Hi Chochmaschem U'Binaschem L'Eini HaAmim," (Devarim 4:6). This is the mitzva of calculating the calendar based on the moon. Rashi explains that if we do it correctly, the nations will consider us wise. If we make mistakes they will consider us fools. Why is it so critical how we appear in the eyes of the world?

Rav Shimshon Pincus answers that the nations are compared to the sun which inherently gives off rays of light. Each nation has a dominant strength or ray of light that characterizes its people. Bnei Yisrael, however, is compared to the moon. The moon does not generate any of its own light and only reflects the light of the sun.

Rav Shmishon tells a mashal about a home with many different things in it. It has a table that has a specific function. Similarly, a bed, chair, spoon, and fork all have specific functions. A mirror, however, has nothing. Yet, it can look beautiful by reflecting the right things, or bare if it is dark and reflects only the darkness.

Bnei Yisrael only shine when we reflect the light of Hashem. If we keep the Torah, we will reflect a brilliant light and be respected by the nations. However, if we choose the path of darkness, we will be totally void of any light and be considered to be fools living in the dark by the nations of the world. http://revach.net/parshas-hashavua/life-lessons/Parshas-Devarim-Rav-Shimshon-Pincus-A-Nation-of-Mirrors/5134

Hamas’ evil lurks beneath the surface

The efficacy of prayer

The Jewish Press has an article titled Rosh Chodesh Av: Global Shema for Israel's Success  and Protection of our IDF.

INN writes about an early recitation of the Shema prayer.

At 2:30 A.M., Jews Blast Shema Prayer at Muslim Neighborhood

Tired of waking up to muezzin calls on loudspeakers in the middle of the night, Jews mount an aural counterattack.
Read more and listen to the prayer at: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/183405#.U9XMZ_mSyK0

NY boy has Bar Mitzvah in Polish town his grandfather once fled

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal skirted a question of whether his group would ever recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, saying only that Palestinians would make that decision once they had a state of their own with no Israeli presence.
Continue reading: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/will-hamas-recognize-israel-as-a-jewish-state/

The young people of Bnei Yisroel who were about to go into Eretz Yisroel. Moshe Rabbeinu in his last address to them retold the story of their parents' mistakes in the Midbar. When retelling the Cheit of the Meraglim, Moshe says that they were punished and routed by the Emori in their effort to go to Eretz Yisroel without permission. After this defeat they came back to the Machaneh and began to cry. The pasuk says (1:45) "V'Lo Shama Hashem B'Kolchem", Hashem did not listen to them. The next pasuk says that they stayed in Kadeish many years. Rashi says that they stayed there for 19 years without wandering around. The Netziv says that we see from here that even when Hashem does not listen to our tefilos and does not grant our request, the tefila still helps. While their tefilos did not repeal the gezeira of staying in the Midbar for 40 years, it helped that they settled in one place did not need to wander for 19 years. We can't always get what we want but we always get something! http://revach.net/tefila/article.php?id=3949

27 Jul 2014

Saying the Shema

I received an email regarding the recitation of the Shema tomorrow evening.

MONDAY JULY 28TH AT 19:00 (12:00 pm EST)


שמע ישראל ה׳ אלוקינו ה׳ אחד


When I read that "Four children were killed and five other people were injured when a rocket landed near their homes," I waited for accusations of war crimes and a special convening of UN members to discuss the intentional massacre of innocent children. As I continued reading the article, I learned that the children had been killed in Rafah, Egypt. I further read that "Three security sources said the rocket was likely fired by Islamist militants operating in the Sinai peninsula." Reuters went on to report that "The three security sources said the rocket fired on Saturday had been targeting an army compound or check point but had fallen instead by mistake near civilian homes."

So, in the case of Islamic militants, a mistake can be made, whereas Israel is accused of intentionally targeting children.

When CNN host Erin Burnet interviewed Ron Dermer about the shelling of a Gaza school which initial reports indicated came from the Israeli side, she stated "the reason we are showing these pictures- because these are dead children."
Did CNN show the pictures of the dead children in the Rafah attack?

Incidentally, CIF Watch reports BREAKING: Video suggests IDF mortars did NOT play role in Beit Hanoun killing.

A Canadian Muslim leader quotes various texts from The Old Testament to try to prove a point.

Everything Hashem promised to Abraham is contingent on the actions of his children and his household after him. ...So for everything He's said about Abraham to come to pass, you have to step up and do the right thing first. And the "right thing" is clearly linked to the well-being of the Palestinians, because of Deuteronomy 29: 10-11:

All of you are standing today in the presence of the LORD your God -- your leaders and chief men, your elders and officials, and all the other men of Israel, together with your children and your wives, and the aliens living in your camps who chop your wood and carry your water.


So, the right thing is to have them carry water and chop wood?

The tombstone's correction

There's an incredible story at Collive about a Chabad rabbi who discovered that a relative had been buried in a military cemetery with a cross on his tombstone. Click here to read the sequence of events that led to the stone being replaced with one that contained the star of David.

But the "most amazing thing of all," Rabbi Richter says, is that the new Jewish tombstone was switched on the same week of Henry Dienstein's 50th yartzeit anniversary on the 7th of Tammuz.

... "I see this as the fulfillment of the verse in Torah that 'During this Jubilee year, you shall return, each man to his property' (Behar 25:13). No Jewish soul is ever lost," Rabbi Richter concludes.

Mashpia Tells of Dream About War

Channel 4 journalist Jon Snow has tweeted a "deep apology" for presenting photos of injured Syrian as if they were Gazan children. It’s good to correct the record, of course, but careless tweets are not really the problem with his reporting....
No, the real problem is political; Snow has three disabling illusions about Hamas.
1. Snow thinks Hamas are a negotiating partner-in-waiting being ignored by Israel, but they aren’t.
Continue reading: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/alanjohnson/100281431/channel-4s-jon-snow-is-deluded-about-hamas/

Jeffrey Goldberg tweets about a  NYT 2013 article which deals with one response to the tunnels in Gaza.

The Egyptian military is resorting to a pungent new tactic to shut down the smuggling tunnels connecting Sinai and Gaza: flooding them with sewage.

A NYT article  about Ron Derrmer begins with an assignment tasked to him by a professor who asked him "to argue that Israel should be condemned for its treatment of Palestinians." If he didn't do the assignment, the professor would flunk him.

After he was declared the victor of the debate, Mr. Dermer placed a call to his mother.

“How did you do it?” Yaffa Dermer recalled asking incredulously.
“I lied,” Mr. Dermer said. “Like they do.”

25 Jul 2014

Thorns in your sides

Parshat Masei 33:

55. But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the Land from before you, then those whom you leave over will be as spikes in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they will harass you in the land in which you settle. נה. וְאִם לֹא תוֹרִישׁוּ אֶת ישְׁבֵי הָאָרֶץ מִפְּנֵיכֶם וְהָיָה אֲשֶׁר תּוֹתִירוּ מֵהֶם לְשִׂכִּים בְּעֵינֵיכֶם וְלִצְנִינִם בְּצִדֵּיכֶם וְצָרְרוּ אֶתְכֶם עַל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם ישְׁבִים בָּהּ:

Thank you to the individual who commented on a recent post of mine with the following poem.

To Israel i write with abundant love
it is only in G-D that you are allowed to trust
Not in an iron drone to protect your homes
but rather in the prayer we pray each night
Where G-D will protect us with all G-D’S might
where a thousand will fall at our left indeed
And a myriad at our right if only we heed
to the Sinai miracle in which we believe
Why should we the worlds opinion behold
we must adhere to Torah like we been told
We are not weak or scared but very bold
may G-D please have mercy on every Jewish soul

Today’s letters: Honouring those who make sacrifices on behalf of the Jewish people

Living with Moshiach: Massey

VIDEO: CEO of Arachim Visits Lakewood; Speaks of his Fascinating Journey from Secular Jewish Businessman to CEO of Arachim

Write to an IDF Soldier


This morning I read about vaious initiatives in providing support to the Israeli soldiers. Unfortunately, the first initiative I saw disturbed me greatly and is antithetical to the values of Jewish women. I would hope the campaign will disband.

The Lakewood Scoop has a post titled  Harav Blech: Miracles We’re Seeing in Current War Exceed those of Gulf War; Excel in 1 Bracha.
I urge you to click on the link and read comment number 2.

Harav Simcha Bunim Cohen Shlita Calls for ‘Yom Torah U’Tfillah’ in Lakewood in Response to War in Eretz Yisroel

הגר"צ בוארון במכתב מיוחד: "קדשו יום צום

Hello my name is Avi

Rabbi Avraham Cohen relates a devar Torah from Rabbi Frand in an article titled Parshas Masei - The Special Role of the Kohen Who Reminds Us of the Source of Success at War.

Jeffrey Goldberg has written an article titled Obsessing About Gaza, Ignoring Syria (and Most Everything Else).

24 Jul 2014


A friend of mine sent me an email with a subject line of "Moshiach is here" where the reader is instructed to forward the email to at least 12 other people regarding a mekubal's dream that his grandfather said Moshiach is at his door. My friend asked me what I think.

Ladaat info has an article about Rav Kanievsky denying rumors that he said certain things regarding the arrival of the Mashiach.

A photo taken from space that purports to show explosions in Gaza and rockets flying over Israel went viral Thursday, posted on dozens of Facebook pages and blogs, including the official blog of NASA, the US space agency. Just one problem – it’s a picture of routine nighttime lights in Israel, not blasts.

And to the person who sent me an email with an image of a Malaysian Airlines ad with text referring to the ad as "This is scary!!! LITERALLY!!!! Malaysia Airlines ad a few years ago! The irony of this commercial of 2 yrs back," I refer you to an article titled Malaysia Airlines Hoax: Boeing 777 ‘Lose Yourself on Journey’ Ad is Fake.

Gaza tunnels

"לוחם שנפל בקרב בעזה במכתב אחרון למשפחה: "לחמתי בכבוד 

Ruth Dudley Edwards asks "why is outrage not shown towards victims of Hamas rocket attacks in Israel?
Last week ISIS (the Sunni Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham al-Qaida splinter group of terrifying jihadists) gave Christians an ultimatum in Mosul, Iraq's second city, where their community has lived for 2,000 years: convert to Islam, pay an enormous tax or be killed. As hundreds of families ran, ISIS attacked churches and wrecked tombstones, and continued as well with the killing, terrifying and driving out of Shias and the destruction of their mosques. 
I live in central London and have so far seen no demonstrations in support of these Christians and Shias.

The enemy population

Time Magazine has an article titled Why Obama Wants Israel to ‘Do More’ About Civilian Deaths.

Israeli officials say that of course they don’t want to bomb hospitals—but that they’re in an impossible position. Hamas fighters operate in civilian areas, and store weapons or plan battles from places like homes and hospitals, they say. The Israelis even argue that Hamas actually welcomes and facilitates the death of its people. Hamas has urged Gazans to ignore Israeli evacuation orders. In recent footage from Hamas’s television network shown to TIME by an Israeli official, a Hamas leader says: “We, Hamas, call on our people to adopt this practice” of “sacrificing themselves to defend their homes."

The JPost reports on Meretz chairwoman Zehava Gal-On calling on the Attorney General to open an investigation into Rabbi Dov Lior for incitement after he published a letter this week.

“At a time of war it is permitted for the people who are attacked to punish the enemy population with measures such as blocking supplies or electricity and to shell the entire area according to the considerations of the minister of the army and not to needlessly endanger soldiers but rather to take crushing warning steps to exterminate the enemy,” Lior wrote.
Read more: http://www.jpost.com/Operation-Protective-Edge/Rabbi-Lior-Jewish-law-permits-destruction-of-Gaza-to-bring-safety-to-Israel-368605

Perhaps Ms. Gal-On will investigate incitement in all the synagogues around the world who read this week's Torah portion.

Rashi explains a phrase in one of the verses. And you shall clear out the Land: You shall vacate it of its inhabitants, and then you shall“settle in it.” Only then will you be able to survive there, but if you do not do this, you will be unable to survive there.

Emannuel Navon asks Why does Israel supply Gaza with electricity and cement?

Barton Gellman wrote an article in the Washington Post in 1991 after the war in Iraq.

The worst civilian suffering, senior officers say, has resulted not from bombs that went astray but from precision-guided weapons that hit exactly where they were aimed -- at electrical plants, oil refineries and transportation networks. Each of these targets was acknowledged during the war, but all the purposes and consequences of their destruction were not divulged.
Among the justifications offered now, particularly by the Air Force in recent briefings, is that Iraqi civilians were not blameless for Saddam's invasion of Kuwait. "The definition of innocents gets to be a little bit unclear," said a senior Air Force officer, noting that many Iraqis supported the invasion of Kuwait. "They do live there, and ultimately the people have some control over what goes on in their country."

Finally, Wiki has an article titled Civilian casualty ratio.

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.