"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 Sep 2014

Seeing humanity in art

I was searching for a video of the demonstration protesting the showing of the opera "TThe Death of Klinghoffer" at the Met, when I came across an interview with John Adams, the opera's composer, which can be viewed here. At the end of the video, Mr. Adams opines, "Our opera tries to look at the terrorists and the passengers and see humanity in both of them and for some people that's an egregious mistake. I don't feel it is, I feel that for all of the brutality and the moral wrong that they perpetrated in killing this man,they're still human beings and there still has to be reasons why they did this act."
I guess his next opera will be titled, "The killing of Foley" or "The humanity of Jihadi John."

HOLY MOSES: The 10 Commandments Just Won a Massive Court Victory

In reaction to hearing the news that two suspects in the kidnapping of the three Israeli teens were killed in an operation to apprehend them, the father of Naftali Frenkel said, יש דין ויש דיין

The United States and five partner Arab nations carried out the first air strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria, the Pentagon said late Monday,...
Eight civilians, including three children, were also killed.

Where's the interntational condemnation of the killing of civilians? Oh, I forgot we're taking about the U.S., not Israel.

MRC has a headline titled Networks Refuse to Cover DOJ Baring Media from Ferguson Town Halls.
Is the DOJ forcing the media to undress or is he barring the journalists from the meetings?

נינו של האדמו"ר מויז'ניץ מונסי האברך הרב ישראל הגר, נפצע קשה בתאונת דרכים שאירעה אמש • התפללו: ישראל בן שפרה

22 Sep 2014


3-Day Yom Tov Season: Get Eruv Tavshilin Email Reminders

After listening to Rabbi Paysach Krohn recommend a book by Rabbi David Ashear titled Living Emunah, I signed up to get an emunah daily email. The first one arrived a little while ago and I was impressed and inspired. You can receive the emails as well by sending an email to  

The Pasuk says (32:4) "HaTzur Tamim Pa'aloi Ki Chol Dirachav Mishpat, Kel Emuna V'Ein Avel; Hashem action are flawless, for all His ways are just, Hashem is faithful without any injustice."  Injustice?  We talk about how righteous Hashem is, it seems strange to mention that Hashem in not "unjust".

Rav Shach says from the Vilna Gaon that it is impossible for humans to take into account all surrounding circumstances and dispense perfect justice.  For example, when someonr commits a crime that requires the death sentence, has the court also determined if his children deserve to be orphans or not?  What about the person who he says hello to every morning, has the court figured out if they cancompensate that person for the loss they are inflicting on them. 

When Hashem dispenses judgement, He has accounted for everything from the most glaring consequences to the most minute nuance.  This is truly a tribute that we humans can marvel at.   Hashem's justice system is pure justice, without the slightest trace of injustice.

Against cremation

I spent part of my Sunday making calls to relatives to wish them a good year. I spoke to an aunt who seemed a bit under the weather. She told me she had just returned from visiting the cemetery where her late husband is buried. She and her four sons go the grave together at least once a year before the High Holidays.
I reflected upon Joan Rivers' daughter and how she and her grandson had no grave to visit. Last week I came across an article in which a rabbi details the reasons why cremation is against Jewish law.

We recognize and appreciate Joan Rivers robust defenses of Israel during the summer’s Gaza War.

To learn of the circumstances of the passing of Joan Rivers was sad, but even more sad and disappointing was the fact that Joan was cremated.

“Sadly after the cremation of Joan Rivers we are once again reminded that parents must include in the Jewish education of their children,” says Rabbi Perl, “the importance of why cremations are against Jewish law.”
Read more: http://5tjt.com/rabbi-perl-to-joan-rivers-can-we-talk-the-tragic-cremation-of-joan-rivers/

האדמו"ר מצאנז פרץ בבכי: "כל יהודי הוא עולם ומלואו

Applauding an atrocity

The Metropolitan Opera stages a work that resounds in anti-Semitism

21 Sep 2014

Taking charge

Rabbi Paysach Krohn delivers an inspiring lecture titled Teshuva: Taking Charge – Guaranteeing Our Children’s Future over here. During the lecture, the rabbi recommends purchasing a book titled Living Emunah by Rabbi David Ashear. One can access the first few pages over here.

About a month ago, a relative told me about a leftist colleague who canceled her subscription to Haaretz after reading an article by Gideon Levy. Camera writes about the article in a post Ex-Haaretz Readers Walk Out of Publisher's Event.

Thank you, David Harsanyi, for concluding an article at the NYPost with the following words:
"Is Israel good for the Jews? Yes, of course it is."

Your nisayon

Rav Tzvi Meir tells a story that goes something like this. A person meets his friend after Rosh Hashana and asks him "Nu, so how did your Rosh Hashana go?" He replies "It was beautiful. The baal tefila didn't leave a dry eye in the shul. The meals were full of divrei torah and zemiros. The afternoons we learned straight without dozing or schmoozing for a minute. The kids behaved like angels" "Wow! Gevaldig. Sounds like it was perfect" his friend replies. "Well almost perfect. The kid next to me in Shul couldn't stop making noise during Musaf and the father the "Groisse Tzaddik" was so busy shukling away that he didn't do anything besides keep shuckling. I had to shissss the kid half of Mussaf, besides that it was perfect.

To this Rav Tzvi Meir says, "Fool! That was your whole test of Rosh Hashana. Maybe your whole year depended on your reaction to the kid. The rest of Yom Tov was not your Nisayon!" This Rosh Hashana don't decide for yourself what Rosh Hashana is all about. Submit yourself to what the King of all Kings decides is your particular avodah. Hatzlacha Rabba and Gut Yom Tov!

Fox News panel discusses profiling over here.

A coalition of organizations will protest at Lincoln Center on Monday evening, Sept. 22, at 4:30 PM, across the street from the Lincoln Center Plaza at Broadway & 65th Street to protest the Metropolitan Opera House’s decision to air the “The Death of Klinghoffer.”
...Confirmed participants include former Governor of NY George Pataki, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Assemblyman Dov Hikind, Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, ZOA’s Morton Klein and Knesset Member Nissim Ze’ev (Shas).

An outspoken Moroccan poet has angered many of her countrymen by accusing the Arab world of imperialism and defending the Jewish people's right to a homeland in Israel.
Read more: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/185341#.VB7A2pVO7IU

20 Sep 2014

Returning home

The Belgian authorities have prevented several attacks by jihadist fighters returning home from Syria and by sympathizers with the Islamic State extremist group, a report said Saturday.

The daily L'Echo cited unnamed sources as saying the planned attacks could have been similar to the one on the Jewish Museum in central Brussels in May which left four people dead. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4573092,00.html

A Jewish museum in Vienna returned a painting that was seized by the Nazis in 1938 to the artist's grandnieces on Friday, part of a wider move in Austria to deal with art illegally acquired after Germany annexed the country in 1938. Read more: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/380099/lifestyle/artandculture/vienna-s-jewish-museum-returns-painting-seized-by-nazis-to-heirs

Lapid Holds Press Conference - On Shabbat?

19 Sep 2014


This morning I came across a headline which should give us pause.

Double Standard: NBC Gives News Christie Innocent In Bridgegate Scandal Only 38 Secs; Devoted Nearly 5 Mins When Scandal Broke

KikarHashabat writes about the Satmer Rebbetzin reciting Perek Shira for 40 days in the merit that her two grandsons, who were divorced, should get engaged. Lo and behold, at the end of the 40 days, both her grandsons got engaged! Mazal tov! Mazal tov!

Collive has an amazing picture of an agent at the airport, showing a Lubavitcher bochur a picture that she has of the Rebbe over here.

In this week’s edition of Letter & Spirit, we present a letter of the Rebbe in which he explains the importance of getting married early on, even if the young couple is not yet financially independent.
Continue reading: http://crownheights.info/letter-and-spirit/453896/letter-spirit-marriage-before-financial-independence/

Speaking of marrying young, Kikar Hashabat points to a study on the low rates of autism amongst the Charedim, which is attributed to having children at a young age.

18 Sep 2014


Rosh Hashannah - The Beginning of Change

A few months before she died, Joan Rivers agreed to contribute to a book about Jewish food.
She began with some old family stories and some old Jewish jokes.
"What does a Jewish woman make for dinner? Reservations."

"Vihayah Bishomo Es Divray HaAlah HaZos Vihisbarech Bilvavo Lamor Shalom Yihyeh Li" - "And it will be when he hears the words of the oath, he will bless himself in heart, saying, "I will have peace, though I go as my heart sees fit etc" The Meforshim explain that there are people who feel that since they are fine, upstanding citizens who treat their fellow Jew with respect and kindness, this will protect them from the punishment of not being a good Jew when it comes to serving Hashem- Bain Adam LaMakom. Therefore the pasuk says, "Vihayah Bishomo Es Divray HaAlah HaZos Vihisbarech Bilvavo"- "And it will be when he hears the words of the oath, he will rely on BILVAVO- his good heart and good nature- to save him from his sins to Hashem. The pasuk continues - "Lo Yoveh Hashem Siloach Lo" - Hashem will not be willing to forgive him. His Mitzvos Bain Adam LaChavaro will not save him from his Avaros Bain Adam LaMakom.

A systemic problem

A friend sent me an email with these inspiring words, "Don't feel bad if people remember you only when they need you. Feel privileged that you are like a candle that comes to their mind when there is darkness."

Wiesenthal Center calls for arrest of Denmark-based imam

Federal taxpayer funds continue to flow to a slew of U.S. universities that are spending the cash on programs that promote anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, and anti-American viewpoints, according to a large group of Jewish and civil rights organizations that are now pushing Congress to rectify what they call a systemic problem.
Read more: http://freebeacon.com/issues/u-s-government-funding-anti-israel-anti-semitic-anti-american-school-programs/

17 Sep 2014


See the Surprise 16 Israeli Soldiers Got From American Tourists After a Meal

This afternoon I was at a shiur where the rabbi spoke about the upcoming holiday of Rosh Hashanah. He said that if we were facing, heaven forbid, a court case, we would be running around with worried looks on our faces, unable to function normally in the days leading up to our day in court. In contrast, we are facing our day in court in one week and people are conducting their daily business, as usual. His words were a  jarring message for me and a reminder to WAKE UP.

After the lecture a woman approached my friend and me with a warm smile.
"We are approaching the year "עה," she said. "You know what "עה" stands for?" 
We waited for her to answer.
"עת הגאולה" - The time of redemption.

There are a few other suggestions for the acronym  תשע"ה over here.
 תהא שנה עזרת 

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