While officials in Dallas scrambled to calm public hysteria over news of the first Ebola transmission on U.S. soil, Barack Obama hit the links for his 200th golf game as president.
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Rabbi Benzion Twerski talks about the arba minim in a lecture titled The Hero Is The Aravah. At the 6 minute mark, the rabbi opines, "When we have the four species in our hands, we have the ability in our tefilos to be on the level of a tzadik who can be gozer - who can decree and Hashem will fulfill our requests. So it is an incredibly powerful opportunity for tefilah at that time."
Needless to say, after hearing the rabbi's words, as I took the four species in my hands today and recited the brocha, I uttered heartfelt requests to Hashem which I hope will be answered for the good.
Yehuda Shlezinger writes about "a 'renewed interest' in Jewish tradition" in Tel Aviv.
One of the young people taking part in the reawakening of interest in Judaism is Natan Bashevkin, a participant in the reality television show "Survivor" who attends the North Central Synagogue. "At first I went to the nearby synagogue until an older man told me that they needed help bringing people in for the minyan [basic quorum of 10]. He told me that people might attend because I was well-known. We were seven people at first, and every time they would send me outside to 'hunt' for people to make the minyan."
...Bashevkin also attributes the Jewish awakening in Tel Aviv to Operation Protective Edge. "There's more awareness of Jewishness," he says. "After the military operation, people realize that it's impossible to live without a drop of faith or a path. Those who have no path and no goal get lost. Recently, it has seemed to me that people are starting to become stronger in their faith.