"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 Jul 2011

Faith in G-d

America is living under an illusion: the idea that we can expunge God (broadly understood) from our national and public belief system and still operate a moral and accountable government.
Read full article: http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/07/why_its_time_to_speak_about_god_again.html

"Hashem Elokecha Imach Lo Chasarta Davar; Hashem was with you in the Midbar and you lacked nothing (Devarim 2:7)." The Imrei Yitzchok asks that the beginning of the pasuk already said this in different words, why does the second half of the pasuk repeat it?
He answers that there is a mitzva to pay a worker on the day he completes the job, and it is an aveira to delay. If so, how is it that "Schar Mitzva B'Hai Alma Leka; Hashem does not reward us for doing mitzvos in this world," when He has a Chiyuv to pay immediately? The answer is that the halacha is if you hire someone through a Shaliach, and not personally, then the issur does not apply. Therefore, Hashem who gave the mitzvos through Moshe Rabbeinu is not obligated to pay right away, and instead he saves it for our benefit in Olam HaBa.
This applies to only 611 mitzvos. However the Mitzva of Emuna which Hashem said himself on Har Sinai when He said, "Anochi Hashem Elokecha," and, "Lo Yihiyeh," does require immediate payment. In this world we live off the schar of our emunah.
The beginning of the pasuk tells us that Hashem sustained us in the Midbar. The end of the pasuk explains why. "Hashem Elokecha Imach" because we had emuna in Hashem. Therefore, he needed to pay us and, "Lo Chasarta Davar."


Fulfilling promises

The other day I told my husband that the credit crisis could be solved if the members of Congress were to be fired if they don't pass a plan. If they are incapable of doing their job, they should step down.
This morning, I came across a quote by Waren Buffet.

“I could end the deficit in 5 minutes. You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP all sitting members of congress are ineligible for reelection.”
Warren Buffet
H/T http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2011/07/warren-buffett-i-could-end-the-deficit-in-5-minutes/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheBigPicture+%28The+Big+Picture%29

In the video below, Mr. Buffet speaks about the importance of fulfilling promises, which is what was discussed in parshat Masei this past Shabbos. The parsha begins with the issue of vows and oaths. "When a man makes a vow to Hashem or swears an oath to make something forbidden, he shall not break his word; all that was pronounced from his mouth must be fulfilled. [30:3]"

29 Jul 2011

Taking refuge

by Rabbi Dr Raymond Apple
If a person inadvertently committed homicide he could flee to one of six cities of refuge (Num. 38:6). Some of the commentators add a figurative dimension to this law and say that anyone who is not certain whether they are living according to correct principles can take refuge in the six words of the Sh’ma – Sh’ma Yisra’el HaShem Elo-henu HaShem Echad.
The first word, Sh’ma, “listen”, stands for humility. Most sins are committed with the tongue. We speak before thinking when we should learn to listen and maybe remain silent. Yisra’el, “Israel”, tells us that whatever we do impacts on our community, not only on ourselves. HaShem, “The Lord”, tells us that our words and deeds are answerable to a higher power. Elo-henu, “Our God”, assures us that He is there before we sin and afterwards, and we can always return to Him. HaShem, “The Lord”, is from the Hebrew root “to be”, and it reminds us that just as He is unique in His being so each human is distinctive and must be the best possible person he or he can. Echad, “One”, tells us that God is indivisible: we too should be integrated people without any internal conflict.
Our ancient ancestors who fled to a city of refuge had to stay there whilst the high priest was alive. There are many explanations of this rule, and all need careful study, but in our metaphorical approach we might say that people must know when the time has come to return to the challenges of the world outside.


28 Jul 2011

Closer to Sinai

Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky was once travelling from Israel back to the United States, accompanied by his son and granddaughter. Sitting next to Rav Kaminetsky was one of the heads of the Histadrut, the Israeli labour federation. The two discussed many different issues. Throughout their long discussion Rav Kaminetsky’s son and granddaughter periodically came to ask Rav Kaminetsky if there was anything he needed.
Rav Kaminetsky’s companion was amazed, and told Rav Kaminetsky how he himself was not particularly close with his grandchildren, and would never expect such behaviour from his children. He asked him what Rav Yaakov’s secret was, and how it is that his children and grandchildren were so respectful. Rav Kaminetsky told him that for people who believe in Darwin’s theory of evolution, every successive generation is more developed and advanced than the previous one. In such a culture, why would the young honour the old? But in my tradition, said Rav Kaminetsky, each older generation is closer to Mount Sinai and our becoming a people. My children and grandchildren look up to me, because I am one link closer to the source.


The 13th principle of Maimonides is the following.
I believe with perfect faith that the dead will be brought back to life when
G-d wills it to happen.

In a CNN article titled Winehouse burial raises Jewish questions about tattoos, cremation, a member of the Reform movement opined about cremation, "physical resurrection isn't something that progressive Jews believe in, so that isn't a concern," he said.
..."In fact, he argued, there is Biblical precedent for cremation."
..."If you go back to Biblical times, it is normal and there are references to King Saul being cremated," he said.

The verses in Samuel 1: 12 and 13 state, "they burned them there. Then they took their bones and buried them..." The Stone edition of the Tannach explains, "according to most commentators, they burned Saul's belongings. ...Radak suggests that the bodies had become decomposed and infested so the people burned the flesh, leaving the bones for burial."

As far as the belief in physical resurrection goes, I guess people feel that they are more enlightened and more intelligent than the Rambam, the brilliant court physician who authored many scholarly works.

25 Jul 2011

About Jerusalem

Two articles about Jerusalem caught my eye today.

Kazim Ali describes his visit to Jerusalem in the Huffington Post.
Where one can and can't pray is fraught here with all kinds of meaning. When a group of Jewish men came up onto the plaza the Muslim men began reciting loudly at the top of their lungs, a sonic resistance but a resistance nonetheless. One of the Arab men called the Jewish people "settlers."...
...Unlike the Jews who are not welcome inside the Dome of the Rock or the new Al-Aqsa mosque, I went straight up to the Western Wall.
He concludes by stating, "The characters are different, the events take place in different times, but one can't help but slowly realize that the story is the same."
The story is the same? Jews are not allowed to pray on the Temple Mount but the author is welcome at the Western Wall. So, I beg to differ - the story is not the same.
Read full article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kazim-ali/navigating-the-sacred-and_b_905998.html

The New York Times has an article about a case scheduled for the Supreme Court regarding Jerusalem.

Menachem Zivotofsky was born in Jerusalem. But was he born in Israel?
This fall, not long after Menachem turns 9, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in his case,...
...The Obama administration urged the Supreme Court not to hear an appeal.


Overcoming indulgence

The pasuk (Bamidbar 33:17) lists as one of Bnei Yisroel’s travels, “VaYis’u MiKivros HaTaava, VaYachanu BaChatzeiros”. The Chasam Sofer says that we see a Remez from these words that if you overcome your indulgence, you become more Kadosh and closer to Hashem. "VaYis’u MiKivros HaTaava", translates to, “they traveled from burying their desires.” VaYachanu BaChatzeiros, they encamped in the “courtyard”. The courtyard, he says, refers to Olam HaZeh. Like it says in Pirkei Avos (4:21), “Hasken Atzmicha B’Prosdor KDei SheDikaneis L’Traklin.” Once we bury our desires we then enter the courtyard to perform Mitzvos and Ma’asim Tovim to prepare ourselves for our entrance to the palace, Olam Habah.

And speaking of desires, click here to read an article by Rabbi Shais Taub titled Was the World Powerless to Stop Amy Winehouse?

24 Jul 2011

Fool's gold

After reading Holy Woman by Sara Yoheved Rigler a number of years ago, I became an instant fan of the author. So, when I received an email from Aish.com with a link to an article written by Ms. Rigler, I immediately clicked and read about "living in a world where appearances mask reality."
...In a fool's gold world, if you win an argument with your spouse, you've won.
In reality, every time you argue with your spouse, you've lost.
...In a fool's gold world, if you give a large sum of money to charity, you have less.
In reality, if you give a large sum of money to charity, you have more. (As a wise woman said at the end of her life: "All I really have is what I gave away.")

Read full article: http://www.aish.com/sp/ph/Deception.html

This evening I read a post about a diamond bracelet which someone found. The person who found the bracelet contacted The Lakewood Scoop, which promptly posted that the person who lost the bracelet should contact...
The person who found the bracelet could just have easily kept it and been a few thousand dollars richer. But that person realized fulfiiling the mitzvah of hashavat aveida- returning a lost item - would make him/her infinitely richer.

The relevancy of Torah

INN has published two articles in which two individuals share their beliefs in the relevancy of the Bible nowadays.
Land of Israel activist Itamar Ben-Gvir was recently offered an opportunity many would love to have – a guaranteed spot on the next season of the popular reality TV show Big Brother. However, he has turned it down in favor of Sabbath observance and modesty.
Read full article: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/145989

The Bible is an “ancient holy book” that is irrelevant to the Palestinian Authority's aim to take over all of Judea and Samaria from the Jews, a PA activist said in a rare debate last week with a “settler” in a Washington synagogue.
Read full article: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/146005

Moshe emes v'Toraso emes. Moshe is true and his Torah is true.

23 Jul 2011

En route

by Rabbi Dr Raymond Apple
You can’t help listening in to people on mobile phones. In the street, on the train, in bank queues – wherever you happen to be people are making calls or answering them. Almost every call begins, “Where are you?” It is not meant as a philosophical question. Nor is there any philosophical implication in the other common question, “How are you doing?” But read today’s sidra and you see that questions like these ought – at least sometimes – to have a deeper content.
Mass’ei begins, “These are the journeys of the Children of Israel when they went out of the land of Egypt” (Num. 33:1). It is not so much the journeys that are enumerated but the stopping places. This leads to Rashi to ask why the list was necessary. Presumably the people needed no reminder of where they had been. But the Torah’s purpose was to show the lovingkindness of the Almighty. He not only ordained that they should move and migrate through the wilderness but also that they should have stopping places where they could settle, at least for a time, and enjoy some rest and stability.
“Where are you?” in those days would have been easily answered – “We are en route” or “We have arrived”. Today too, “Where are you?” can mean “Are you making progress in life? Have you settled down for the moment to take stock and recharge your energies?” “How are you doing?” is also a good contemporary question – not just, “what is happening?” but “How are you handling it?”

As we react to the death of Amy Winehouse at the age of 27 with shock, one can't help but regret the loss of a young talented singer who suffered from addictions.
Let's take time to ask ourselves if we are making progress in life and how are we handling it?

22 Jul 2011

Terror and security

After today's events in Norway, one can only ask, is Bruce Bawer prescient? Click here to read an article titled Oslo Car Fires Highlight Threat to Norway’s Future.

And while on the subject of terrorism, this morning I read an article which featured a video titled FEMA Partners with Homeland Security on Psyops campaign.
At the 3'02" mark, the words in the video read "aquiring funding and supplies."
I don't know about you, but, if the Department of Homeland Security is responsible for the misspelling of the word "acquiring", then I am quite nervous about the department's ability to identify people on no fly lists. Can you imagine allowing terrorists into the country because their names were misspelled? Thankfully, as one can see in the video, terrorists have easy names to spell like Jihad Jane and Timothy.

A time of mourning

Click here to donate to the Leiby Kletzky memorial fund.

21 Jul 2011

The new host?

After giving a nearly six-month tryout for the Internet talk show host Cenk Uygur, the cable news channel MSNBC is preparing to instead hand its 6 p.m. time slot to the Rev. Al Sharpton. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/21/business/media/sharpton-close-to-being-msnbc-anchor.html?_r=3&partner=rss&emc=rss

Click here to read a 2003 article by Jeff Jacoby about Al Sharpton.

U.S. Pledge

Evelyn Gordon writes an article titled By Israeli Left’s Standard, U.S. Pledge Would Be Fascist, Too.

Michelle Lancaster writes about a court which "decided that they no longer wanted the records to reflect that the Pledge of Allegiance and Invocation were said for fear it would give the perception that it is the courts official stance."

Just when I thought nothing could be as outrageous as my recent post “God Bless Our Military … just not at the Houston National Cemetery” where veterans are being censored for religious speech, I hear about what is happening in our furthest county of northeast Texas.
Seems the Bowie County Commissioners Court voted on June 13, 2011, to remove our country’s Pledge of Allegiance and Invocation from their county meeting minutes.

Read full article: http://biggovernment.com/mlancaster/2011/07/20/my-country-tis-of-thee-sweet-land-of-removing-the-pledge-of-allegiance/

20 Jul 2011

Teaching Judaism via Wikipedia?

And the award for quote of the day goes to the former IDF chief rabbi who said the following in response to the former head of IDF Personnel Directorate, Avi Zamir's recommendation of "transferring Jewish education matters from the Rabbinate to the Education Corps."

"Who are the officers in this corps? These are just guys from Tel Aviv! They can't teach Judaism – where will they get their information from, Wikipedia?"

And here are two articles which highlight differences between religious and secular Jews.
Click here to see Kevin Collins' take on religious Jews versus secular Jews on Obama.

Click here to see what the president of the Orthodox Union says on the intermarriage statistics of secular versus Orthodox Jews.

Never give up

After Bnei Yisroel returned from the war with Midyan with the spoils, Moshe taught them the Halachos of Hagalas Keilim, Kashering the utensils through boiling water and fire. The parsha begins with the words Zos Chukas HaTorah (Matos 31:21). What is so special about the Halachos of Hagala that the Torah uses the strong words Chukas HaTorah?

Rav Moshe Feinstein answers that from the ability to make treif utensils kosher by boiling them we learn that a person who sullies his neshama with aveiros can also kasher it and cleanse it as if he never sinned. This is a pillar of the Torah, as it teaches people never to give up no matter how far they have gone away from the Torah.

Moreover we see that keilim used in fire need to be kashered with fire, libun. And keilim used in boiling water become kasher with boiling water. This teaches us that we must do tshuva the same way we did the aveira. If a person sinned with the burning desire of taava, so too must be the tshuva. And if the taava was less passionate then the tshuva can be on the same scale.


19 Jul 2011

Now you see it - now you don't

Daled Amos writes about an editorial by the New York Times rallying against Israel for passing a new law banning calls for boycotts. A few days ago, the New York Times published an article about the passage of the law which contained the following paragraph.
“For years now there have been laws in the United States that come with fines and prison sentences for anyone who calls for a boycott of Israel, and yet the Israeli who persuades American companies to boycott us is completely exempt. That is ludicrous,” Mr. Elkin was quoted as saying in the popular Yediot Aharonot newspaper. He was referring to a federal law in the United States that forbids Americans from complying with, furthering or supporting a boycott of a country that is friendly to the United States.

If you click on the NYT article titled Israel Bans Boycotts Against the State you won't find the above paragraph. But it is quoted in a Forbes post which references the NYT article. Conclusion - that paragraph was scrubbed.

How could the NYT write an editorial criticizing Israel's new law when America also adopted anti-boycott laws, as well? Well, the first step is to remove the paragraph about the American anti-boycott laws from an article published a number of days prior to the editorial.

This morning I discovered a screenshot of a National Post 2009 article about the President titled Obama's bio a state secret in Canada.
The following is an excerpt from the article. The full article can be read here. However, if you try to access the original article, you will find it disappeared.

In blacking out the biographies of the president and his entourage,officials cited a section of the act that allows the government to refuse records whose disclosure could be "injurious to the conduct of international affairs, the defence of Canada or any states allied or associated with Canada."

The 17th of Tammuz

by Rabbi Dr Raymond Apple
The wall of Jerusalem was breached on 17 Tammuz, enabling the enemy to enter Jerusalem and destroy the sanctuary. The fast we observe that day is, according to the prophet Zechariah, one of four that commemorate the destruction of the city and the Temple. In messianic times all four will change their character and “be to the House of Judah joy and gladness and cheerful seasons; therefore peace and truth shall you love” (Zech. 8:19). It is one thing, and a most welcome one, to have faith that darkness will turn into light and sorrow into joy. But what is the connection with loving peace and truth?

It points to one of the two approaches to the destruction of the Temple – the external and the internal. The external interpretation blames the enemy; the internal interpretation blames us ourselves. Without excusing the enemy’s cruelty and savagery, the internal interpretation says that in a community in which truth and peace are not honoured there will be such social disintegration that the enemy will find it easier to enter and do its damage.

Conversely, if we raise the quality of our society we will achieve such inner strength that we can overcome any odds and find that no dream, even the rebuilding of the sanctuary, will be impossible.


18 Jul 2011


A Charedi site has an article in Hebrew about missionaries seeking to capitalize on the tragedy of last week by going door to door in Borough Park, dressed as Orthodox Jews and distributing pamphlets describing how not to lose faith in the wake of the Kletzky tragedy.

A New York Post article states, "Cops believe that the twice-married Aron was "simple-minded" and appeared to have acted on just a bizarre "fondness" for kids, freaking out after snatching the boy,.."

Someone who met Mr. Aron told a relative that the man was slow and acted like a young boy. It reminded me of the movie Big, where Tom Hanks looked like an adult but was, in reality, a young boy.
So, I was quite perturbed with the speculation posted on the internet. - "He must have been a...." - Why the rush to judge and speculate?

Presidential problems

A Spanish lawyer has formally accused Barack Obama of crimes against humanity for ordering the assassination of Osama bin Laden.
Daniel Fiol lodged a written complaint at the International Criminal Court accusing the US president of breaching the Geneva Convention.


Did Mr. Fiol lodge a complaint against Osama bin Laden after the 9/11 attacks?

And speaking of the President, "Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver conceded Sunday that President Obama has a problem among Jewish New Yorkers, but said electing a Republican to fill ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner's seat is not the answer."
Read full article: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2011/07/18/2011-07-18_stick_with_dems_shelly_tells_jews.html

And in an article about whether the President's birth certificate is a forgery, someone had the audacity to post an anti-Semitic comment about how "the Owners of Mainstream Media physicly live in Israel.."

17 Jul 2011

The last challenge

The following is part of an email I received this evening.
"For those that are seeking a way to express their sympathy to the family of Leiby Kletsky OB"M. Write condolence email to the family tell them something special you will do in this little boys honor -
leibykletsky.letters@gmail.com. take on a Mitzvah however small, you can give 5c to charity, put on tefillin, light Shabbos candles... may this be the last challenge that we need to overcome to bring Moshiach now!!!"

As klal Yisrael lost another towering figure in European Jewry today, with the passing of Rabbi Aba Dunner, Executive Director of the Conference of European Rabbis, let us hope that the words of the email come true - that we have faced "the last challenge to overcome to bring Moshiach now."

The Guardian's bad example

I glanced at the headline of a Guardian article with incredulity.
Beckhams a 'bad example' for families
With a fourth child, the couple have joined the ranks of the irresponsible, population experts say

I find it ironic that the Beckhams, in a committed stable marital relationship, are identified as a 'bad example'. As the latest breakup of a Hollywood marriage was announced this week, subjecting the children to custody battles and the problems associated with divorce, the stable marriage of the Beckhams is viewed in a negative light?

16 Jul 2011

The three weeks

The "Three Weeks" between the 17th of Tammuz and the Tisha B'Av have historically been days of misfortune and calamity for the Jewish people. During this time, both the First and Second Temples were destroyed, amongst other terrible tragedies.
These days are referred to as the period "within the straits" (bein hametzarim), in accordance with the verse: "all her oppressors have overtaken her within the straits" (Lamentations 1:3).

1.No weddings are held. (However, engagement ceremonies are permitted.)
Read full article: http://www.aish.com/h/9av/oal/48943916.html

The fast of the 17th of Tammuz takes place this Tuesday, July 19.
Five days later, same gender marriage will be allowed in New York.

15 Jul 2011

Shalom Aleichem

Rabbi Y. Eisenman discusses what should be learned from the tragedy of a lost nine-year-old boy who was murdered this week.
Click here to read the article.

Let's not get lost in our own world, talking on the cell phone or checking the BlackBerry so that we become oblivious to our environment.
Hevei Makdim B'Shalom Kol Adam. Let us greet those we meet with a friendly countenance and words of shalom.
Good Shabbos.

10 Jul 2011

And the plague stopped

"Pinchas Ben Elazar Ben Aaron HaCohen Hayshiv Es Chamosi Mai'al Bnei Yisroel"; "Pinchas, son of Elazar, son of Aaron the Kohen, turned back my anger from upon the Bnei Yisroel" Instead of saying "Hayshiv"- "turned back" my anger - it should have said "Bateil"- "nullified"?
Dovid HaMelech says in Tehillim,"Pinchos arose and executed judgment and the plague stopped. It was counted to him "LiTzdakah"- as a righteous deed - for all generations forever." What does the act of Pinchas have to do with Tzdakah?
The Vilna Gaon answers, according to the Torah every Jew is obligated to give annually a Machatzis HaShekel - a half Shekel- for the purchase of Korbonos Tzibur - communal offerings. The word "Machatzis' consists of 5 letters, the middle one being a "Tzadi", the first letter of the word ‘Tzdakah". Immediately flanking the Tzadi are a "Ches " and a "Yud", which spell the word "Chai" - life - and at the outer ends are the letters "Mem" and "Tof", which spells the word "Mais" - death. This is an allusion to the adage "Utzedakah Tatzil MiMaves" - Tzedakah saves from death.
Pinchas through his zealousness removed the plague from the Bnei Yisroel, thus committing an act of Tzedakah whereby life prevailed and death was excluded.
In the word "Chamosi" - "my anger" - it is the reverse. The middle letters are "Mem" and "Tof", which spells "Mais" - "death" - and the outer letters "Ches " and a "Yud", which spell the word "Chai" - life. Hashem was saying that Pinchas "Hayshiv Es Chamosi" - inverted the word "Chamosi " - chasing death away and bringing life.


Soliciting funds

I don't know about you, but I was put off by the DNC solicitation for campaign donations for the President's re-election. Click here to see an article detailing a letter sent out by the DNC to solicit funds. I don't particularly like when a political party can't stand on its own merits and has to resort to attacking the other side. But, that's politics.

8 Jul 2011

Dwelling in solitude

It is quite ironic that one of the few times the Torah gives us a description of Acharis Hayomim via prophecy, it is done so through Bil’am HaRasha. Nonetheless, his visions in Parshas Balak, while somewhat cryptic, provide us with both the events and the lessons that will help us approach Acharis Hayomim, the end of time. In one such pasuk it says “Hen Am Levadad Yishkon Uvagoyim Lo Yischashuv” -“Behold it is a nation that will dwell in solitude and not be reckoned among the nations.” (23, 9)
Read full devar Torah at http://www.cckollel.org/html/parsha/bamidbar/chukas-balak5763.html.

The Pasuk above spoke to me this morning as I read the UN daily briefing from yesterday. With world problems including malnutrition in Somalia, conflict in Sudan, Libya, and Syria, click here to see what preoccupied the minds of those asking questions to the UN spokeperson.
The 2010 flotilla, the 2011 flotilla, reports of 4 Iranian prisoners in Israeli jails, the Israeli blockade,Israel and Lebanon...
Israel being singled out once again. - Hen Am Levadad Yishkon Uvagoyim Lo Yischashuv

Parshat Balak

Here's a Torah thought on the Parsha by Rabbi Eli Mansour titled Parashat Balak- “Ma Tobu Ohalecha Yaakob” – Blessing or Curse?

And here's a devar Torah by Rabbi Yissocher Frand titled Three Differences Between Bilaam and Rabbi Yosi ben Kisma.

7 Jul 2011

Google cartoon images

Many of you may have read about Richard Falk posting an anti-semitic cartoon on his blog. At first, he denied it and then he removed it.

Yesterday, Mr. Falk posted an apology for including the cartoon.
In a blog post today, Mr. Falk wrote, "I found the cartoon through a Google image search on the page devoted to the International Criminal Court."

I checked it out on Google and, sure enough, the cartoon is there for all to see. How reassuring that an anti-semitic cartoon is only a click away.
Although, I must admit, googling the right combination of words regarding other religions produces some not in good taste cartoons, as well.

Count your blessings

In an article at Aish.com, Slovie Jungreis-Wolff details 6 Keys to Outsmart Stress.
Come on, it’s not all bad all the time. Of course it’s easier to see the dark side and fall into despair. But you do have some good going on, you just need to open your eyes and stop complaining.
“My in-laws are coming for the weekend, I can’t take it.”
“These Sunday carpools with the kids are driving me crazy. I am so stressed out from them.”
“My baby was up crying the whole night. I’m ready to explode.”
Well, at least you have family to share your life with!
“My boss is nuts! He is a pressure cooker.”
Thank God you have a job!
It’s all how you see the situation. Will you focus on the good or just always be a complainer?
The more we complain, the more stressed we feel.
Happiness and a ‘feel good‘ mentality is in our hands.

The point struck home as I was reading an email I had received last night.


6 Jul 2011


What great news. Controversial billboards which "are part of a campaign claiming to promote religious tolerance" have been going up in parts of Australia.
In the video below, Shane Yoder promotes a site for people who have misconceptions about one of the world's main religions inlcuding the thinking that most terror attacks are carried out by members of one religion.

You can click here and find out about a shared golden age with the Jewish people when Muslims conquered Spain. Apparently, times were good for Jews when they were paying a tax to their rulers. Understandably, with the decline of the Muslim Empire and the rise of Zionism, relations aren't that great nowadays.
So, what is it going to take to reestablish a shared golden age? The rise of the Caliphate, the fall of Zionism and the Jews accepting dhimmi status?

Noah's ark

Got an email last night - author unknown - thought I'd share it with you.

Noah's Ark Everything I need to know, I learned from Noah's Ark .
ONE: Don't miss the boat.
TWO: Remember that we are all in the same boat!
THREE: Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark.
FOUR: Stay fit. When you're 60 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.
FIVE: Don't listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.
SIX: Build your future on high ground.
SEVEN: For safety's sake, travel in pairs.
EIGHT: Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
NINE: When you're stressed, float awhile.
TEN: Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.
ELEVEN: No matter the storm, when you are with G-d, there's always a rainbow waiting.

5 Jul 2011

Our day in court

Years ago, my mother passed a stop sign. A policeman pulled her over and she went on to explain that she hadn't seen the sign, to no avail.
My father took pictures of the sign which was not visible to my mother, due to the foliage which had obstructed her view.
My mother's day in court arrived and my father had his day in court, cross examining the policeman, asking questions about the angle where he was standing from the stop sign and so on.
After his interrogating the policeman, my father introduced the pictures he took into evidence.
The judge took one look at the pictures and asked my father, "Why didn't you show this to me in the first place? Case dismissed."
I thought of the incident when I read Rabbi Yaakov Salomon's article at Aish.com about his day in traffic court.
He described his feelings in court as follows.

"I started feeling a bit light-headed and a slight quiver emerged on my bottom lip.
Wow, I thought, I am really nervous about this thing. How absurd is that?"

Click here to read how the case turned out.

As I was reading the article, I couldn't help but think that if the author of the article was nervous about a day in court regarding a traffic violation, can we imagine how much more nervous we will be at our day in court after 120 years?
How about if we spend the rest of our ad meah veesrim shana in building up a strong defense in the most important case yet to come?

The audacity of comparison

Ethan Bronner's piece in the New York Times about the Gaza flotilla begins with the following sentence.
"SOME see a parallel with the Exodus, the ship filled with Jewish refugees that tried to break the British blockade of Palestine in 1947 and helped sway world opinion toward Zionism."

Leo Rennert discusses the New York Times article in the American Thinker in an article titled NY Times likens pro-Hamas Audacity of Hope vessel with 1947 Jewish refugees ship, the Exodus.

One comment posted was the following:

Whenever you read or hear a mediapuke use the following phrases: "some say" "but critics charge" "but some believe" "but others say" or any permutations you can be sure that the aforementioned mediapuke is now injecting his/her/its own leftist opinion and that everything that will follow will be yet another piece of propaganda; devoid of any sense of balance, objectivity of journalistic integrity. Journalistic integrity? Please forgive my oxymoron, i don't know what i was thinking.

Finally, click here to read an Israel National News article about a new movie starring Colin Firth which won't portray Israel in the same light as that in the Exodus move.

In the NYT article, Mr. Bronner writes, "Shlomo Avineri, a historian and onetime director general of Israel’s foreign ministry, wrote in the Haaretz newspaper..."
Yesterday I blogged about hastening the arrival of the Mashiach. I think one sign that will portend his arrival will be when Mr. Bronner quotes from Israel National News rather than Haaretz.

4 Jul 2011

Do something

As Americans celebrate Independence Day, JB WIlliams discusses the divisions in American society.

The term E Pluribus Unum dates back to the founding of our once great nation. It was a very simple concept, a Latin term chosen by our Founding Fathers as the official National Motto for the newly formed United States of America, which translates in English to – “Out of many, one.”

As the Yom Hillula of the Lubavitcher Rebbe approaches this evening, let us take heed of the message the Rebbe delivered to Prime Minister Netanyahu many years ago.

"Mashiach still hasn't come so do something to hasten his coming."

How about if we focus on the words, "E pluribus unum" and become a united people?
Let's do our part to hasten Mashiach's arrival.

The journalist

An article about Yair Lapid caught my attention last night. The secular Israeli journalist spoke to a group of Orthodox students in Jerusalem. He said that the secular had thought that the Orthodox were destined for a museum, but he conceded that the Orthodox had emerged victorious.
Read full article in Hebrew: http://www.bhol.co.il/article.aspx?id=29391

After googling "Yair Lapid" I came across an article he had written in 2008 which has been translated to English in which the journalist asks, "Why do they hate us so much?"
Click here to read the article.
P.S. Mr. Lapid doesn't supply an answer to his question.