"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

24 May 2016

Direct from Sinai

DOJ Investigates McAuliffe Over Donation From Chinese Clinton Foundation Donor

The parsha starts by telling us that Hashem told Moshe on Har Sinai. Then it goes on to talk about Shmita. Rashi asks, “Mah Inyan Shmita Eitzel Har Sinai”; what does Shmita have to do with Har Sinai. He answers that this teaches us just like all the halachos of Shmita with all the details was given on Har Sinai so too were all the mitzvos and their intricate details. The Chasam Sofer asks why did the Torah choose specifically the mitzva of Shmita to teach us this lesson?

He answers that the Torah promises the farmers that even though they will not plant during shmita, Hashem will bless them with such an abundant crop the year before that it will last them for three years until the next crop is ready. This is a mitzva that is obviously given from Sinai directly from Hashem and not invented by man, for who else would dare make such a promise other than Hashem alone. Therefore the Torah tells us, just like Shmita was clearly given over by Hashem on Har Sinai so too were all the other mitzvos.

Proof that Labour MP's anti-Israel outburst was anything but a one off: Naz Shah is pictured attending a series of protests against McDonald's and Sainsbury's

14-Year-Old Arrested After Snatching Boys “Yarmulka”

Down the aisle

Jonathan Tobin asks Will the Dem Platform Dump Israel?

Video, Photos: Kretchnif-Sigeter Rebbe Eats Matzah on Pesach Sheini – With Heseibah

After readng an article titled Paralyzed father uses robotic legs to walk daughter down aisle and watching the bride's father take his momentous steps, I do believe that I will say the blesssing of zokeif kefufim with more kavanah tomorrow morning.

Singles Names to Be Read at Ohel

Belgian Minister: Time to ban ritual slaughter

Sanders wins greater say in Democratic platform; names pro-Palestinian activist

The pro- Palestinian activist nominated by Sanders is James Zogby, who wrote, "In a real sense, the plight of Palestinians is to the Arabs, what the Holocaust is to Jews world-wide." http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-zogby/israel-using-wikileaks-to_b_792009.html

23 May 2016


42 Years after Ma'alot Massacre: Letter of 15-Year Old Written Hours Before she was Murdered

Op-Ed Questions Rubashkin Case

Michigan public radio station refuses to air birthday greeting to Israel
The station first said it needed two months notice to broadcast a message, but then rejected the message outright, saying in a letter to the couple: “We have determined that this message would compromise the station’s commitment to impartiality and that it crosses over into advocacy, or could imply advocacy.”

Group that pushed for Iran nuclear deal gave NPR $100,000 to support reporting
I suppose the donation doesn't influence impartiality.

המיליארדר היהודי הודיע: לא אוריש כסף לילדיי

On Friday, AP revealed that the Ploughshares Fund, a group that the Obama administration aide Ben Rhodes had identified as a key partner in creating a pro-Iran deal "echo chamber," had given over half a million dollars to J-Street:

David Bedein commented on the above article with a link to an article he wrote in 2012 about Rabbi Arnold Jacob Wolf’s organization, Breira.

Rabbi Wolf explained that representatives of the US State Department and the Carter Administration approached him, offering logistical support and funding to Breira, to bolster grass roots Jewish support for a Palestinian Arab state.

Rabbi Wolf explained that such a US government initiative convinced him that he should disband Breira.

Rabbi Wolf explained that while he wanted American Jews to support a Palestinian Arab state, he felt that it would be morally wrong to accept financial and logistical support for this effort from the US government.

22 May 2016

A single mitzvah

Zakia Belkhiri’s “Peace Selfies” (and Her Antisemitic Rants)

Anti-Semitic statements of 'joy and peace' selfie star

This Orthodox Jewish Rabbi's Home is Going High-Tech for Shabbos

How corporate America bought Hillary Clinton for $21M

King David Hotel orders Jewish band to remove kippot, tzitzit  

Jewish Woman Forced to Hide From Anti-Israel Activists at UC-Irvine

Caught on Video: FedEx Driver Shoves Yeshiva Bus Driver to Ground

Counting Yovlos

Few Tips For Happiness

The Torah tells us (Behar 25:8) to count the years, then to count each seven years for Shmita, then to multiply it get to forty nine for Yovel. Why all these calculations?

The Dubno Magid explains with a Mashal. There was a poor beggar who spent many years collecting money from door to door. Later in life he managed to escape his plight and become a regular Ba'al HaBayis in a small town. In this town he bragged to the other townspeople how wealthy he was despite being a man of meager means. "Fool!" said one his neighbors to him. "All the years you were a beggar you counted your money in pennies. Even now that you earn a meager living, you are still counting your wealth in pennies and are proud of your thousands upon thousands of pennies. However if you count your money in the larger denominations that normal people use, you have but a few gold coins which does not make you rich."

Our life in this world is fleeting, says the Dubno Magid. We are here today and gone tomorrow. However we mistakenly measure our life in years, days and hours, and we think we've been here forever and will continue to be here for a very long time. Not so says the Torah. Count Shmita and Yovel. You will see from seven years you have one shmitta. You'll only be here for a few shmittos, and probably not even two Yovlos. Think of it that way and you will be less concerned with your temporary dwelling and more concerned with your permanent one. Then, instead of collecting trivial events worth mere pennies, you will instead focus on collecting gold coins in the form mitzvos. Each one is worth not a Shmita or even a Yovel, but an eternity.

רבנים ועסקנים קיימו יחד את המצווה הנדירה

Nefesh HaChaim

Saying no

J-Street received more than half a million dollars to advocate for the Obama administration's controversial nuclear deal with Iran, it has been revealed.
Continue reading: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/212592#.V0DYifmLTIU

A friend gave me a number of Mishpacha magazines from the past year and I perused some of them over Shabbos. An interesting comment written by a reader regarding an article about chinuch and saying "no" caught my attention.

Saying no is what we are placed in the world to do - to set limits on ourselves. Notice there are more negative mtzvis than positive, and that the number of negative mitzvos is 365, suggesting that every day of the year should have a "no." The Hebrew word for no is spelled with a lamed and an alef, which can be an acronym "for G-d." Because a "no" is like a korban, a sacrifice.
Mishpacha Magazine - September 9, 2015.


20 May 2016

What's the point?

Pesach Sheni - What's the point? is it really helping to bring Mashiach? - Rabbi Alon Anava

Below is a question posed at the State Department Brieifing yesterday.

A group of Belgian parliamentarians want to – they’re gathering support and some sort of signatures to offer the peace prize to a Palestinian political parliamentarian who is in prison, who’s been in prison for a dozen years – Marwan Barghouti. Is that something that you would not look too kindly on, would you support, or anything like this? Or would you rather wait until this comes to light, this issue?

MR KIRBY: I’ve not heard about this particular decision or this group’s desire to nominate this individual. So I think I’m going to refrain from commenting on that until we can get a little bit more information about it. I just have not heard about it, Said.

Torah Wellsprings - Emor 5776

השבת אבידה לארנק המשוררת • קידוש השם בטוויטר

Parashat Emor: Kiddush Hashem and Hilul Hashem

19 May 2016

A wonderful run

Reaching Their Hearts

  צפו: ניצול הטביעה מברך 'הגומל' בדמעות

“60 Minutes” correspondent Morley Safer has died at the age of 84, CBS News announced Thursday.

Safer retired just a week ago after 52 years as a reporter, CBS News reported.

“It’s been a wonderful run, but the time has come to say goodbye to all of my friends at CBS and the dozens of people who kept me on the air,”...
Read more: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/60-minutes-correspondent-morley-safer-has-died-2016-05-19

Safer was born to an Austrian-Jewish family in Toronto, Ontario, the son of Anna (née Cohn) and Max Safer, an upholsterer.
Below are two 60 minutes clips which Mr. Safer narrates.

Cell phones and crying babies

Rabbi Moshe Hauer: What on Earth is Holiness?

This week I attended a shiur where a woman brought a baby who started making noises which disrupted the lecture. Instead of taking the child out, she continued to stay at the shiur, oblivious to the disturbance her baby was causing to the speaker and the audience. This morning I was listening to a shiur titled Parashat Emor: A Ben Torah Is A Mench. A few minutes into the shiur, a cell phone rings and the person to whom the phone belonged said "hello" loudly enough for the lecturer to hear. The rabbi giving the shiur, without missing a beat, responded, "hi."
How about we leave cell phones and crying babies outside of the lectures we attend?

Brooklyn Heights Shliach Rabbi Aaron Raskin was listed as one of Forward's 32 most inspiring Rabbis of 2016.

Divine Justice and the Mysterious ‘Vov’