"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

31 May 2011

Yom Yerushalayim

Click here to read The Muslim Claim to Jerusalem by Daniel Pipes.

For the cause

The day dawned bright and sunny as 250 women prepared to embark on a walkathon to benefit Chai Lifeline, an organization dedicated to helping people with sick family members. Volunteers of the organization visit hospitalized children, visit recuperating children and their siblings in their home, deliver gift packages, prepare meals and assist in transporting people to hospitals.
I was unable to participate in the walkathon since I had to be at work but a friend asked if I would sponsor her and I gladly agreed.
Last night, curious as to whether the event was successful, I phoned a friend who told me she would be joining the walk. She had only superlatives to describe the day. The weather was magnificent, the event was well organized and there was a great sense of unity as women from all over, walking in pants, walking in skirts, with shaytels, without shaytels, came together to participate in a common cause.
"S. is a tzaddekes," my friend related to me. "S. arrived at the bus stop with her 80-year-old widowed neighbor. She kept up an animated conversation with her during the 20 minute bus ride and then walked with her at a leisurely pace, following the path of the walk and allowing her neighbor to lean on her, as needed. They successfully completed the walkathon and S. escorted her back to the bus."
Many women used the walkathon as an excuse to get fresh air, socialize and exercise while benefitting a great cause. S. used those hours to extend her hand in friendship of a lonely woman.
"S. gets Olam Haba for what she did yesterday," my friend opined.
I agreed with her and thought to myself. "Yesterday, I did what was required of me. But S. did what wasn't required. And therein lies the difference."
This mornng, the weather is at least fifteen degrees cooler and it has been raining incessantly.
The sun smiled on these special women yesterday. May there come a time when we won't need such an organization. In the meantime, I salute those women who carved time into their busy schedules for such a worthy cause.

30 May 2011

Yes sir

In an article titled I am counting the days of Omer and Obama, Harold Witkov writes, "It is not enough for me to anticipate a new president come January 2013. I need to help things along by supporting conservative issues and candidates, and most importantly, renewing my commitment to God."

Perhaps, Mr. Witkov would like to read this article to see it's not so simple.

Below is a video of Fareed Zakariah interviewing Thomas Friedman who thinks that Prime Minister Netanyahu should have a one word answer for President Obama.
When our best friend our oldest ally our most important strategic partner in the world comes to me and makes a request there is only one right answer. Mr. President, "yes." ...."Yes sir, we will do that. Barack Obama, this Bud's for you."
But, in the same interview Mr. Friedman states, "I have no idea whether there is a Palestinian partner for a secure peace with Israel...
But again I understand 9 miles at its narrowest - I wouldn't ask Israel to take any risks that seem unreasonable."

So, Prime Minister Netanyahu should accede to the request that Israel withdraw to the 1967 borders but they shouldn't take any risks that are unreasonable so they shouldn't withdraw to the 67 borders. Good advice.

Dreams of peace

The Talmud tells us that anyone who dreams of a river, a kettle or a bird will know peace. Why do these three things represent peace? They unite disparities. The river is what connects two separate towns allowing them to communicate and conduct commerce. The kettle actually unites opposites. Only through the agency of the kettle can the fire and water co-exist as obviously one destroys the other when allowed to unite, (the bird represents two opposites-a land and an air animal-joined into one being).

The last words of Birchas Kohanim are "V'Yaseim Licha Sholom". The Medrash says, "Sholom B'Knisasech, Sholom B'Yitziasech, Sholom Im Kol Adam," peace in your coming, your going, and peace with every man.
The Iturei Torah brings the Ksav Sofer who explains this Medrash. The gemara in Brachos (59) tells us the interpretation of many different dreams. Among these dreams, three of them tell of peace; the kettle, the river, and the bird. The Ksav Sofer says that these represent three different kinds of peace. The kettle represents peace in your home, where all the household members use the same kettle. The river means peace in your country, where all the citizens share the water and benefits of the country's river. The bird symbolizes world peace, like a bird who is not limited to any specific local and can fly wherever its wings take it.
When Hashem gives us a bracha of peace it is all encompassing. The Medrash says, "Sholom B'Knisasech," you will have peace in your coming, meaning within the confines of your home. "Sholom B'Yitziasech," peace when you go outside and interact with your countrymen. "Sholom Im Kol Adam," no matter where and no matter with whom, peace will reign supreme!

29 May 2011

Guarding one's health

This morning I received an email about how certain fruits and vegetables contribute to maintaining one's health. Click here to access the information.
And click here to be inspired by a biker's tale of losing 50 pounds in the course of a year.

A colossal canard

Click here to read the first sentence by Scott Wilson about President Obama's trip to Poland.
Then click here to see why Leo Rennert is so riled up by Mr. Wilson's opening words.

Trust not in princes

Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz reminds us Ein lanu al mi lehisha'ein...
Read full article: http://www.yated.com/content.asp?categoryid=3&contentid=371

Israel must put its trust not only in temporal powers whose leaders — as we see with President Obama — can become a clear and present danger to both Israel and to America.
No, the people of Israel and America — two great democracies and civilizations facing Islam's threats — must always put their trust in Almighty God.

Read full article: http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/sharpe/110528

Victor Sharpe reminds us Al tivtechu binedivim, biven adam she'ein lo teshuah - trust not in princes, in men that have no salvation/hope.
Read interesting interpertation of above pasuk at: http://rabbifleischmann.blogspot.com/2010/04/teitzei-rucho-yashuv-leadmato.html

27 May 2011

An individual characteristic

“Every now and then something extraordinary comes along to remind you of how special life is”
Rangitane o Wairarapa Maori tribal chief executive Jason Kerehi comment upon the birth of a rare white kiwi chick.
Read full article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/rare-white-kiwi-chick-hatches-at-new-zealand-wildlife-park-will-have-protected-early-life/2011/05/26/AGuSVjBH_story.html

This week's parsha talks about the counting of the Jewish people in the Midbar. It reminds us of the importance of every individual. How fitting that a chick with its own special individuality, born at the beginning of the month, made his media debut this week.

It was only after a year in the Midbar, that the Bnei Yisroel were counted in order to be set up under the Degalim, where each Shevet was given their own flag. Why did Hashem wait so long to give them this mitzva?
Read answer at: http://www.revach.net/parshas-hashavua/quick-vort/Parshas-Bamidbar-Rav-Yaakov-Kaminetzky-Degalim-In-The-Midbar-Dividing-Only-To-Conquer/3783

Precarious times

An American Thinker article by Jan Suzanne Krasner details a call for a June 5th "border uprising" and a "flotilla of 15 or more ships rumored to be carrying supplies, Pro-Palestinian supporters, and over 150 activists from countries around the world, including an American vessel famously named The Audacity of Hope. (Please note that President Obama has not complained about the use of his book title in connection with this private boat.)"
Read full article: http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/05/a_coming_intifada_of_arab_suic.html

26 May 2011

Ed Schultz

OU.org explains The four steps of repentance.

This morning I came across Ed Schultz's apology to Laura Ingraham for saying something nasty about her on his show. I was so impressed with his words. It contained many elements of the steps of repentance including admitting his mistake and promising not to commit the act a second time. He apologized to the person he wronged. Additionally, he apologized to those indirectly affected by his actions, including his wife, children and co-workers. He realized he had not set a proper example for his children. His apology is worthwhile listening to.

A return to the 76 borders

Dear Prime Minister Netanyahu,
You don't know me but I know you. If I can have a few minutes of your time, I would like to suggest a peace plan that came to me in the middle of the night. (I always do my best thinking in the wee morning hours.)
I would suggest that you sign off on a one line peace agreement and make sure that Presidents Obama and Abbas sign, as well.
The text of the peace agreement would be as follows:
We, the undersigned, are committed to a Jewish state based upon the 76 borders.
If you ask President Obama to sign the document, I doubt he will notice the date flub of 76 rather than 67. After all, the President flubbed the date the other day. As for President Abbas, he is more used to reading in Arabic which reads from right to left, so I doubt he will catch the mistake.
Yippee! Israel would get back Gush Katif and the Sinai, which should be returned, with talk coming out of Egypt about abrogating the peace treaty.
If this idea doesn't work, then I would propose that you forge a document using Photoshop and copy and paste their signatures onto the letter of agreement. If they raise a ruckus about the legitimacy of the document, you can tell them that you would agree to subject the document to forensic analysis based upon two conditions.
1. That President Abbas subjects his dissertation on the holocaust to a historical analysis.
2. That President Obama agrees that the long form birth certificate held in a Hawaiin vault should be subject to forensic analysis.
Thank you for your time.
In a speech you addressed to Congress a couple of days ago, you concluded with the following words:
"May G-d bless all of you, and may G-d forever bless the United States of America."
Permit me to conclude my letter with the following words.
May G-d bless you, may G-d forever bless His people and may His people remember to thank G-d for all the blessings in their lives.

Sincerely yours,

UPDATE: Check out this great cartoon about the 76 borders.

25 May 2011

Never too late

The Daily Mail has a wonderful story about Eloise Godfrey, a 90 year old woman who hit her first hole-in-one 50 years after taking up the game of golf.
Read full article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1388913/Golfer-Eloise-Godfrey-90-hits-hole-one.html

In the period of Sefirat Haomer we are reminded of the great Rabbi Akiva who began Torah studies at the age 40, inspiring us wth the message that it's never too late.

A return to 67 borders

An INN article by Joseph Farah points out an interesting fact.

In the year A.D. 67, Roman General Vespasian, along with 60,000 soldiers, invaded Israel and conquered its northern territories, killing old and young Jews alike and selling the rest as slaves. Eventually, the Romans would conquered the entire land of Israel and, finally, in the year A.D. 70, destroy Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple.
Farah states, "I would like to suggest that the pre-'67 borders are OK with me – as long as we are talking about A.D. 67, not 1967."
Click here to read full article.

The proper etiquette

The following is an excerpt from an article titled Protocol and Etiquette: a Very Royal Perspective. Perhaps it should have been required reading for President Obama before his visit to England.

The National Anthem

It is really most vexing to see people who do not know what to do when the National Anthem is played at a formal event. It is most correct to stand (not to do so is quite beyond the pale) and place one's hands by one's side. It is expected that everyone present will sing; do remember that it is "God save The Queen" at the end of each verse, not "God save our Queen," which is the wont of many.

Click here to read all the rules. You never know when it might come in handy.

And perhaps someone should have told him that the year is 2011, not 2008. Click here to read Obama Signs Westminster Abbey Guest Book…Using 2008 Date!
Can you imagine the ridicule Sarah Palin would have been subjected to for committing the same faux pas?

19 May 2011

Three things

...Contemplate three things, and you will not come to the hands of transgression: Know what is above from you: a seeing eye, a listening ear, and all your deeds being inscribed in a book.
Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) 2:1

BBC news reports that "A 23-year-old man has been jailed for stealing a mobile phone from a woman as she lay dying in a Manchester street.
...He was caught on CCTV taking the phone."
Read full article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-13457442

And here's an article I came across this afternoon which raises some disturbing questions about President Obama's short-form COLB. I would love some answers to the questions that are posed.

And speaking of the President, tonight he stated, "In Tahrir Square, we heard Egyptians from all walks of life chant, “Muslims, Christians, we are one.”
This evening the Washington Post is reporting, "An Egyptian security official says clashes have broken out between Muslims and Christians over the reopening of a Cairo church the former regime closed years ago."

True peace

Wouldn't it be something for Prime Minister Netanyahu to propose a peace plan based upon this week's parsha? What if he were to read the opening sentences of Parshat Bechukotai at the Knesset?

Chapter 26
3. If you follow My statutes and observe My commandments and perform them,...
6. And I will grant peace in the Land, and you will lie down with no one to frighten [you]; I will remove wild beasts from the Land, and no army will pass through your land;

Read in full at http://www.chabad.org/parshah/torahreading_cdo/aid/15586

The following is a devar Torah from Revach.

"V'Nasati Sholom BaAretz UShichavtem V'ein Macharid;I will give peace in the land and you will sleep and not tremble." Is that the best reason for peace? The Maharal Tzintz brings the Gemara in Brachos (55) that says that Dovid HaMelech never had a good dream at night during his entire reign. The reason is that he was constantly fighting wars. Even though he was victorious, the mere fact that he was constantly engaged in warfare did not let him have a peaceful dream.
Hashem promises us that if we keep the mitzvos, we will live in an era of true peace. Warfare will not be on anyone's mind, and we will all sleep peacefully.


In the video below, Glenn Beck discusses Pastor Hagee's sermon about Israel, which was interrupted by protestors. In the full video on Beck's website, Pastor Hagee remarks, "this is what the liberal left does. They believe in free speech but not for anybody but themselves."

The King of kings

Queen Elizabeth II extended her "deep sympathy" to all those who suffered in the turbulent, intertwined history of Britain and Ireland, in the keynote speech on Wednesday of her historic state visit here.
The first British monarch to visit the Republic since it won its independence from London in 1922 said the two countries were now "firm friends and equal partners" at a state banquet at Dublin Castle, the former seat of British colonial power.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/queen-expresses-sympathy-for-victims-of-angloirish-troubles-20110519-1etm6.html#ixzz1MkAAjUCd

Watching Queen Elizabeth this evening, her tiara and jewelry sparkling as she addressed an audience in Ireland, one couldn't help but be impressed by her regal bearing.
Speaking of royalty, Rabbi Lazer Brody has an excellent post titled Seeing Royalty.

18 May 2011


The Maccabeats - four more years

An op-ed by Ezra Friedlander contrasts last night's White House reception of many Jews at the opening of Jewish Heritage month with the White House reception of 400 Rabbis who marched to Washington on October 6, 1943.

But for me, yesterday’s event signified something more. In 1943, Jews were considered persona non grata at the White House. Fast forward to the present, and the Jewish community is celebrated for our everlasting contributions and accomplishments.

We should be thankful for the reception given last evening which stood in stark contrast to that of 1943.

Read full article: http://www.vosizneias.com/83942/2011/05/18/new-york-op-ed-thank-you-mr-president-an-important-milestone-and-message

In the remarks made by President Obama, he said, "I want to thank the Maccabeats for their outstanding performance. They just did an outstanding number for me. It was very brief. It said, four more years. It was good . I really liked it."

Pesach Sheni

Shais Taub of the Chabad.org editorial team discusses Pesach Sheni which occurs today. Those who were impure at the time they were supposed to bring a Paschal offering were given a second chance a month later.
...Now that the Temple is destroyed, there’s no real practical way to perform this mitzvah until Moshiach comes. But chassidim, you know, always appreciate a reason to celebrate. So, chassidim like to mark the day anyway. Once, a scoffer said to a certain great chassid, “Do you realize that you choose to celebrate a holiday for the impure?” The chassid replied, “Not a holiday for the impure, but a holiday for the impure who became pure—and there is no greater holiday than that!”
Read full article: http://www.chabad.org/magazine/default_cdo/jewish/Magazine.htm

17 May 2011

President Obama's speech on Israel

There are leaks in the media about what President Obama is going to say on Thursday regarding Israel. So, it should come as no surprise.

Do you really want to know?

A new blood test could help predict how long someone has to live, based on how fast they are ageing.
Researchers have developed the $700 test, which they say accurately measures the length of a person's telomeres that is thought to be linked to longevity.


Do you really want to know?
Click here to watch a video about telomeres.

Two different sets of rules

On Sunday Arab protestors were killed in Israel border clashes and Syrian protestors were killed by Syrain security forces. On Monday, what was discussed at the United Nations and which issue wasn't brought up? I would suggest to Israeli officials, in all seriousness, not to allow foreign journalists into the country. Or any journalists, for that matter. Oh well, only those from Israel National News.

At least seven people were killed in Talkalakh, western Syria, on Sunday during a crackdown by security forces, activists have said.
They died after "indiscriminate shelling" from the military, the Local Coordination Committees said.
Earlier, a resident told AFP news agency that three protesters were shot dead as they left a mosque in the town.
...Across Syria, more than 700 people have died in more than two months of protests against President Bashar al-Assad's regime, activists say.
...However, reports from Syria are hard to verify independently as foreign journalists are not allowed into the country.

First question at the daily press briefing by the office of the spokesperson for the Secretary-General by Masood.

On the situation in the Middle East, which is spiralling, again spiralling out of control, on which the Secretary-General has issued a statement, I just want to know, maybe I don’t see anything in it. Why is it that the Secretary-General is so understated when it comes to condemning the killing of… I mean, he expressed his concern about the killing of 12 people by Israeli authorities at the border, but when it comes to condemning three people or two people anywhere else, rightly so, he does it quickly. Why is he so understated about Israel, when it comes to Israel?

And yet another question.
The question is: what can you share about what actions the Secretary-General may take, whether it’s asking for action from the Security Council or from anyone else within the United Nations? Security Council draft resolutions usually wind up in the same place, that are anti-Israel, are vetoed. It feels like a road that we’ve travelled down many times before. When Israel does one thing… it seems that there is two different sets of rules — those for Israel and those for the rest of the world. Is the Secretary-General considering any sort of original type of an action, maybe something different, because the same things often seem to wind up yielding the same results?
Read the whole thing.

Or perhaps, better not. Much wiser to read a perek in sefer Tehillim.

16 May 2011

Glenn Beck - Rally in Israel


Last night I read a post by Rabbi Lazer Brody about the steps to be taken towards teshuvah. He introduced the acronym SCAR as an easy way to remember what must be done.
First, one must Stop with his wrong action. The he should Confess to Hashem. He should then Apologize. Finally, he should Resolve not to commit the wrongdoing again.
The acronym reminded me of another one I heard from a friend who was on the OA program for people addicted to food.
She told me that her counselor has said that next time she reaches for some nosh, she should remember HALT. She should ask herself if she is eating out of Hunger or is it because she is Angry with someone. Maybe she is eating out of Loneliness or Tiredness.
I made the mistake of relating the acronym to my son. Now, when he sees me reaching for something in the pantry he says, "HALT." in a loud voice. It does give me a moment's pause to reflect on whether I am eating out of hunger or a combination of other reasons.
Let's take a moment's pause to reflect on SCAR, as well.

15 May 2011

Doers Vs. the United Nations

Henry Lamb has written an article in Renew America titled Time to dump the U.N.
Even the most enthusiastic Progressives have to be thoroughly disgusted with the U.N. officials who, like Navi Pillay, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, demand a full report from the U.S. about the bin Laden operation.
...There is no justification for the United States to pay 22-percent of the U.N. budget, and 25-percent of the U.N. peacekeeping budget. ...This money goes to pay the expenses of many of the delegates from developing countries who consistently vote against the interests of the United States. This is nothing short of madness.
...It is high time the U.S. got out of the U.N. and kicked the U.N. out of the U.S.

After a post I wrote titled Ignoring Dictators about the United Nations, I received an email from Gary Stark in which he asked, "Why does the world ignore dictators? His response was as follows.

"Because UN allows dictators to join. That's fundamentally the problem and MUST be addressed if we're ever to achieve world peace."
Mr. Stark's solution to a better U.N. can be seen in the video below as well on the website http://www.UnitedDemocraticNations.org

I wrote back an email to him in which I stated, "I give you a lot of credit for doing something instead of just complaining, or in my case, writing about it."

I will never forget an article written by Rav Aryeh Zev Ginzberg titled Doers Vs. Bloggers.
The world has always been divided into two categories, the doers and the non-doers: the minority who dedicate their days and nights for the community at large, and the majority who are content to just sit on the sidelines and be passive observers to all that goes on around them.

I congratulate Mr. Stark on being a doer and wish him success in his endeavors. Now, let's all go out and change the world for the better by being doers.

Not an indictment

In A Reuters article about the arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the word "Jewish" is mentioned.

Sarkozy, who won the ensuing 2007 presidential election and is expected to try for a second term, has little in common with the suave, multilingual Strauss-Kahn, whose golden childhood in a secular and liberal Jewish household in Morocco and Monaco explains a lot of his character.

UPDATE: Article now reads, "Brought up in a secular and liberal Jewish household in Morocco and Monaco, Strauss-Kahn launched into an academic career before entering politics."

In a Reuters article about the arrest of Imams in Florida, the word "Muslim" is not mentioned.

Let me be clear that this is not an indictment against a particular community or religion. ...," the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Wifredo A. Ferrer, said in a statement.

Finally, have President Obama's predictions about the push to freedom and democracy in Egypt been realized?
An angry mob attacked a group of mainly Christian protesters demanding drastic measures to heal religious tension amid a spike in violence, leaving 65 people injured, officials said Sunday.

8 May 2011

Counting the years

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.

7 May 2011

The burial

Andrew G. Bostom in the American Thinker asks a disturbing question in his article titled Did Naval Burial Ceremony for Bin Laden Curse Jews and Christians, and Confer Pardon and Paradise on the Muslim Mass Murderer?
Read full article: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/05/did_naval_burial_ceremony_for.html

Ron Radosh has an article in Pajamas Media titled Tony Kushner’s Newest Drama: Playing the Victim of McCarthyite Attacks.

6 May 2011

Judging favorably

As my grandmother got older, her eyesight deteriorated. She was nervous that people would think she wasn't friendly because she didn't greet them when passing them on the street. In truth, she didn't say hello because she hadn't seen them.
So, did most people jump to the conclusion that my grandmother was a snob because she failed to acknowledge them? Or, did they come up with the right conclusion that she hadn't seen them?
The other day I came across an article titled Judging Favorably: A Middos Workshop based on the shiurim of Rav Dovid Siegel which began with an incident where Rav Shimon Schwab chanced upon a community leader eating treif food and judged him favorably.
Click here to read the story.
Yesterday I received an email with information about a contest to complete a story by judging a person's actions in a positive light.
Click here to read the beginning of the story and then try to compose a favorable ending.
Finally, click here to download a submission form.
I think it's a great idea to discuss over the Shabbos table. Why not train the family to give people the benefit of the doubt?

Here's a wonderful story about the world's oldest newlyweds.

No regrets

Claude Choules - The very last World War One serviceman

I've had wonderful life, you know. If I had my time over again, I would do exactly what I did. No regrets.

How many of us can say the same thing?

5 May 2011

When it is expedient

There is a non-Orthodox rabbi who quotes from the Torah when he wants to use the verses as justification for his thoughts and policies. But, he feels free to reject certain verses by saying it is not applicable these days and how halachah is not binding. Only when it is expedient for him, will he substantiate his writings with Jewish teachings. If the verses don't conform to his thinking, they can be rejected.

This morning I was treated to the same type of thinking when I came across an item in Snopes.com which deleted information that didn't conform to what they were trying to prove.

One item that Snopes used to prove that President Obama was born in America was an article describing the testimony of Barbara Nelson who stated that Dr. Rodney West had related to her the news of the President's birth.
An excerpt from the article that Snopes references states the following.

“I may be the only person left who specifically remembers his birth. His parents are gone, his grandmother is gone, the obstetrician who delivered him is gone,” said Nelson, referring to Dr. Rodney T. West, who died in February at the age of 98.

Since the birth certificate released recently identifies Dr. David Sinclair as the physician who delivered the president, I was curious if Snopes would delete the article which references Dr. West as the physician. They didn't. But the Snopes article is missing a few words that were in the original article.

“I may be the only person left who specifically remembers his birth. His parents are gone, his grandmother is gone, the obstetrician who delivered him is gone,” said Nelson.

Role models for marriage

This week's parsha, Parshat Emor, contains the prohibition of a kohen marrying a divorcee. (21,7)
"They shall not marry a woman who has been divorced by her husband." The Shach explains the reason why a Kohen may not marry a divorced woman. He says that a Kohen symbolizes unity. He brings Klal Yisrael close to Hashem. Aaron was Ohaiv Shalom V' Rodef Shalom. Therefore, he should not marry a woman that went through a process of Pirud - separation. When a woman gets divorced, not only is there separation on this world; the couple's souls are separated in Shamayim, too.

Rabbi Benjamin Blech recently published an article about the Royal wedding and role models for marriage. The following is an excerpt.

In Jewish tradition, the Kohanim, the priests, were required to live by higher standards in order to serve as role models and teachers. A priest was forbidden to marry a divorcee. Not because divorcees were considered inferior. Indeed divorce itself is permitted by biblical law. But the Torah wanted to discourage unnecessary dissolutions of marriage by making clear that divorce carried with it religious consequences. By not allowing a Kohen to marry a divorcee, that helps ingrain in everyone the ideals of marriage for life.
Read full article: http://www.aish.com/ci/s/The_Royal_Wedding.html

Finally, Shirat Devorah posted a letter from the Lubavitcher Rebbe where the Rebbe was asked about a kohein who was contemplating marriage to a divorcee.
...it is certain that the Creator of the world knows best what is good for His creatures, and since He has so strictly prohibited such a marriage, there can be no doubt that it is harmful.
Read full letter: http://shiratdevorah.blogspot.com/2011/05/forbidden-marriage-of-kohen.html

Lubavitcher rebbe and shiduchim


4 May 2011

Hear no evil

The most effective defense against temptation is this: Shut your eyes.
Ibn Gabirol

Never tell evil of a man if you do not know it for a certainty; and if you do know it for a certainty, then ask yourself: "Why Should I tell it?"
Author: Johann K. Lavater

When a Jew heard biting loshon hora (defamation, slander) against a local rabbi (and found himself believing it), he intentionally started to go to that rabbi's shul to pray and to call that rabbi for shaalos (Jewish law questions), until he conquered that yaitzer hora to believe the loshon hora (and to hold it against that rabbi).

This afternoon I came across some photoshopped pictures of President Obama and others who were watching the operation to capture Osama bin Laden. The first picture where somebody inserted royal bridesmaid Grace van Cutsen with her hands over her ears reminded me of the principle to "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil."
Click here to see the photo with the royal bridesmaid.
Click here to see a photo of the people in the situation room wearing Princess Beatrice's headwear - guaranteed to make you laugh.
Oh, the advantages of photoshop. A great tool for producing birth certificates.

The people of Israel

Rosh Chodesh Iyar - 2 days
On the first of Iyar, in the second year after the Exodus, the first census of the Jewish People began, at the command of G-d. A unique feature of this census was that each member of the People of Israel knew and could trace his or her lineage back to the sons of Yaakov, some two hundred years earlier.

Wishing you a good Chodesh.

The video below is the last part of a program in which Louis Theroux interviewed Israelis living in the West Bank. At the 7' 53 mark, a young Israeli asks the reporter a question, "You told me you're an atheist?"
Listen below to the young man's remarks.
Click here to watch the hour long program.

3 May 2011

Words uttered

Michael Savage responds to a caller's question about the Judaic teaching that you are not supposed to rejoice in the death of an enemy.

"Some rabbi wrote it 1000 years - who? Rabbi Akiva wrote it so therefore it's gospel? He was just another man.... I think his view is wrong. I think there are times to rejoice in the death of your enemy."

Mr. Savage, for your information, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach wrote an article in the JPost about the verse, “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles.” (Proverbs 24:17)
You can take note that the book of Proverbs was written by King Solomon known for his great wisdom and sound advice.
Click here to read the rabbi's article titled No Holds Barred: Hate bin Laden, don't rejoice at death.

Perhaps Mr. Savage would like to take back some of the words he uttered.
And speaking of words uttered, here is a fascinating comparison by John Hideraker on Nancy Pelosi's words in 2006 versus 2011. Mr. Hinderaker concludes with the following.
"It is unfortunate that many public figures are unable to view events otherwise than through a partisan prism."

The Conservative win

"vaAvarcha mevarachecha" - "I will bless those who bless you" ( Bereishit 12:3)

Congratulation to Canada Prime Minister Steven Harper and his Conservative party upon winning a majority in elections held yesterday.

2 May 2011


Rabbi Lazer Brody opines, "In answer to all the emails asking for my reaction to the demise of arch-terrorist Bin Laden, I wish that all the dancing in the streets were replaced by massive thanksgiving to Hashem."
Read full article: http://lazerbrody.typepad.com/lazer_beams/2011/05/sleepless-nights-for-arch-terrorists.html

Regarding the May 2 hearing about President Obama's eligibility, here is one opinion from birtherreport.com.
"Note: the Court should give its ruling in the next day or so... My guess is they will uphold the lower court ruling and dismiss it for lack of standing..."
Read full article: http://obamareleaseyourrecords.blogspot.com/2011/05/live-updates-from-obama-eligibility.html