"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

30 Jun 2012

A nation in isolation

"Hein Am L'Vadad Yishkon; They are a nation that resides in isolation," (Balak 23:9). The Vilna Gaon explains that Bnei Yisrael is likened to fire, "Bais Yaakov Eish," (Ovadia 1:18). The other nations are like water that try to extinguish us. However, as the pasuk says (Shir HaShirim 8:7), "Mayim Rabim Lo Yuchlu Lchabos Es HaAhava; The great waters of the world will never extinguish us and the love between us and Hashem."

When there is a pot separating the water from the fire, the water will eventually dry up in the pot. However, if the water is poured directly on the fire it may extinguish it. The only safety for the fire is the pot that protects it. The Gemara says (Brachos 56b) that seeing a pot in a dream is a forbearing of peace. The pot is the great peacemaker between the fire and water.

This was Bilam's message, "Hen Am L'Vadad Yishkon." As long as this nation lives alone and does not mixed with the nations of the world, they will successfully repel and overcome their enemies. If the barriers are broken, the waters may drown us.

29 Jun 2012

Filling time

I came across an article titled  9 Beliefs of Remarkably Successful People.

 The first item on the list was the following:

1. Time doesn't fill me. I fill time.

Read full article: http://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/9-beliefs-of-remarkably-successful-people.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+inc%2Fheadlines+%28Inc.com+Headlines%29

Improve your vocabulary

So, who is going to be the first to draw the connection beteween a German judge's ruling on circumcision and Germany's defeat to Italy in the European Chamionship football game last night?
I have just read an article by Jack Abramoff titled Romney: Tone-deaf on Israel. Whether you agree or disagree with what he has to say, it is worthwhile reading just to improve your vocabulary. Below are three new words I learned today after reading his article.

psephologist - a sociologist who studies election trends
myrmidon - a faithful follower who carries out orders without question
scelestious - wicked, evil

I hope Dick Morris is right that the 2012 presidential election will be a Romney landslide, but like most prognosticators and psephologists, I fear we’re in for a close call.
Continue reading: http://www.wnd.com/2012/06/romney-tone-deaf-on-israel/

Give a little

In his career, Jon Bon Jovi has jammed with many fellow millionaire rockers, but Tuesday night, he found himself on stage rocking out with billionaire investor Warren Buffett — on ukelele.

The occasion was the Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy, a private event in New York City that brought together philanthropists from all walks of life to discuss charitable giving. Jon was there because of the work he does through his Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, while Buffett, whose worth is estimated at $44 billion, has plans to donate 99 percent of his money to charity.
Read more: http://www.classichitsandoldies.com/v2/2012/06/27/jon-bon-jovi-performs-ukelele-duet-with-billionaire-investor-warren-buffett/

28 Jun 2012


The following is an excerpt from the State Department Daily Press briefing of June 26th.

QUESTION: Yesterday, as you will recall, we had a long back and forth about the visa issued to Mr. Al-Din, the self-proclaimed member of Gama’a al-Islamiyya, the U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.

...Based on the background checks that were conducted as part of his visa application and other additional information that has come to light since that time, we neither had then nor do we have now any reason to believe that this particular individual, who at the time of his application was a member of parliament, would pose a threat to the United States. So after careful review, we concluded that the appropriate procedures were followed, including a review of the claimed affiliations. So --

QUESTION: Isn’t the membership in an FTO in and of itself by U.S. law grounds for their said person’s inadmissibility to the United States?

MS. NULAND: In and of itself it is grounds for inadmissibility. However, there are also waiver procedures when it is in the U.S. national interest. I’m not going to get into the specifics of how this case was handled for all the confidentiality reasons. But as a general matter, yes, if you are a member of an FTO, you are excluded unless your admission is waived.
Read full briefing: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2012/06/194095.htm

Ryan Mauro writes about The other Eric Holder scandal.

Without His help

Jewishmom published an excerpt ftom an interview with Eva Sandler in the Mishpacha magazine in a post titled Eva Sandler, 3 months later.

“In the months before the shooting, as a teacher I placed much emphasis in my classroom on the blessing of asher yatzar, which thanks Hashem for the healthy functioning of the human body. I don’t know why I was so focused on this blessing. But when I stood there at the scene [of the terror attack], the words of the blessing went through my head: ‘Ee efshar l’hitkayem v’laamod lifanecha, afila sha’ah echat—without your help, Hashem, it is impossible to exist before You even for one hour.’ And I realized that it is not literally an hour, but even a single moment. I saw it with my own eyes.”
Continue reading: http://jewishmom.com/2012/06/27/eva-sandler-3-months-later/

This morning I read an article titled S.C. TV Reporter Loses Her Smile after a Bell's Palsy Attack in which Mary King details how she realized that "she couldn't move the right side of her face or blink her right eye."  Thankfully, she had had a remarkable recovery from Bell's Palsy.
"Really, the prayers and keeping the hope and believing in your heart that this will get better was the key," King said. "Perspective is everything."

I am acquainted with a number of people who had Bell's Palsy. I am sure that they pay extra attention to the prayer of "pokeach ivrim" (the blessing associated with the eyes) when they are first diagnosed and as they make their way towards recovery. But, a couple of years down the line, I think that the blessing is recited by rote and little attention is given to thanking Hashem and being cognizant that without His help, it is impossible to exist even for one hour.

21 Jun 2012

Israel and wrongdoing

The North Carolina Democratic Party (NCDP) is seriously considering passing a resolution that would criticize Israel for its “illegal occupation” of Palestine, the latest in a long line of controversial moves coming out of one of the major battleground states President Barack Obama’s team is banking on to win re-election.
Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/06/18/nc-dems-considering-resolution-attacking-israel-for-illegal-occupation-of-palestine/#ixzz1yPALZIgb
Will this move make more or less American Jews vote Democrat this fall?

During a visit to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Wednesday morning, a Jewish student was told by Islamic Waqf officials to take off his kippah. The 20-year-old from London, England, was in Israel as part of a student mission. He said he was told by three separate Waqf monitors to take off the Jewish head-covering because it was offensive to them.

More Israelnews: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/157075

On a different topic, Todd Gaziano has penned an interesting article titled Fast And Furious: Executive Privilege Is Illegitimate to Shield Wrongdoing.

20 Jun 2012


This week's parsha focuses on the dispute between Moshe Rabbeinu and Korach.

This week another dispute is playing out between the attorney general and a member of Congress.

Rep. Darrell Issa pressed ahead with a committee vote Wednesday to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, despite an eleventh-hour move by President Obama to exert executive privilege over the Fast and Furious documents at the heart of the dispute.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/06/20/house-republicans-tee-up-imminent-contempt-vote-against-holder/#ixzz1yMUOwWxq

Breitbart has posted a video which shows that "in 2007, then-Senator Obama thought it was important for the Bush administration to come clean and not hide behind Executive Privilege."
Click here to watch the video.

Bearing witness

In an article titled Israel Weighs Response After Attacks by Hamas, the New York Times reported, "A Palestinian toddler, 2, was killed and her older brother was injured Tuesday evening in a blast at their house, witnesses and medical officials said. Residents said an Israeli plane had fired a missile at the house."

Yesterday in an article titled Toddler killed in Gaza Explosion, MaanNews reported, "Wtnesses said she was killed when militants launched a rocket close by."

The following is an excerpt from an article at MaanNews titled A Palestinian plan to attract Muslims back to Al-Aqsa.

"This is also where Judaism's two Bible-era Temples once stood, the first destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC and the second leveled by the Romans in 70 AD. The Western Wall, the last remnant of the second structure, is one of the most sacred sites in Judaism."
Wow! Mashiach must be coming with such truthful reporting at MaanNews. As for the New York Times,...

19 Jun 2012

Acts of kindness

The State of Connecticut is joining Jewish communities around the world in commemorating the 18th anniversary of the passing of the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, by proclaiming June 22, 2012 as a “Day of Goodness and Kindness.”

The trademark of Chabad, based on the guidance of the Rebbe, is belief in the inherent goodness of the world and its inhabitants. Hence, every person is worthy of attention, love, and knowledge,” reads a proclamation signed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

“A central tenant of the Rebbe’s teaching is the idea that every single positive act, as minor as it may seem, contributes to a better, more perfect world.”
Read full article:

Yeranen Yaakov has translated a must read article about an act of kindness here.

And, if this is true, what are you doing to prepare?

Utilizing time

Debbie Schlussel penned a moving article about her dad the other day.

It’s been almost five years since I lost my father, H.L. Schlussel, MD, to pancreatic cancer. It seems like it was yesterday. And I miss him every single day. But even though he is gone, he is with me every day in the lessons he imparted to me as a loving, caring, concerned parent. I realize every day how lucky I was to have him in my life. How lucky I was that he was around and involved in my life and my development. Today, fewer and fewer Americans are so lucky. ...Give your father a hug today and tell him how much he’s meant to you in your life. I wish I could tell my father that again, today. I’m glad I got to tell him while he was still here. I love you, Dad.

After reading the article I immediately thanked Hashem for being fortunate enough to have two loving living parents.
Last night I was walking to a restaurant in theneighborhood when I bumped into a woman in her seventies who is a remarkable example of living life to the fullest. She suddenly became a widow many years ago, she has had two knee replacements during the past couple of years and I've never heard a word of complaint from her. She told me that she would see me the next day at the shiur that she and I attend every Wednesday. I told her that I would see her in two days as tomorrow was Tuesday, not Wednesday. She looked at me in surprise. She told me that she had accomplished so much that day, between visiting sick people in the hopital etc. that she thought she had put in two days and that it was Tuesday already. She is a woman that utilizes her time to the maximum.Let's follow her example and use our time right now to go over to our parents and thank them for all they have done for us. And to those who have lost touch, isn't it time to make amends?

18 Jun 2012

Ten commandments

To many he is known as the "Ten Commandments" judge who was removed from office when he refused to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments he placed in the Alabama Supreme Court. courthouse. Now Judge Roy Moore is making news again for stating that secular governments enable Sharia law.
Read full article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/29/secularism-leads-to-sharia-law_n_1554106.html

Yitzchok Adlerstein has penned an article titled The Ten Commandments – The Sequel.

Here is a comment by David Aharon Lindzon posted under an article about the Tenth Commandment of "You shall not covet."
It seems to me that lo Tachmod is to be understood in a different way. To illustrate:

I want a wife that is like yours does NOT violate the law of Lo tachmod.

I want your wife does violate the law of Lo Tachmod.

In a deeper sense as was explained by PT Barnum, in The Art of Money Getting, the big sin is in 'the obsession to keep up with the 'Jonses'

Your neighbour buys a new leather sofa so you gotta buy one too. If you didn't see it in their home you would not consider buying it in the first place.

You get a raise. so you buy a new sofa, but that doesn't match so you gotta buy matching chairs ... then you gotta paint up the room to match... then you gotta redo the whole house or even move to a bigger house...ALL because of that first desire to copy your neighbours. She wears a mink stole. You gotta wear a Fur equal to her.

The Torah is reaching deep into your heart and thought to teach us how to live by not looking at everyone's else's things and letting it become an obsession.

The legacy

Rabbi Benjamin Blech writes about a legacy in an article at Aish. He describes a friend of his who encountered a stranger at his father's grave on the anniversary of his death. The stranger had vowed to visit the grave annually because of the debt he owed to the man who was his rabbi.

"It was then," my friend confided to me, his eyes welling with tears, "that I wondered who other than those bound by familial obligations would come to my graveside after I'm gone to give thanks for what my life had meant to them. I've made money, lots and lots of it, but my father made people. And it was then that I decided that I would from that day forward commit a significant portion of my time and my funds to make a difference in the lives of others.

Read full article: http://www.aish.com/ci/s/Defining_Success_Steve_Jobs_or_Bill_Gates.html

VIN writes about the hundreds of people who attended the levaya of a "fourteen year old Israeli boy whose beautiful middos and golden voice captured the hearts of countless listeners."

...“We put tefillin on him on the day of his Bar Mitzvah,” reminisced Bein Ish U’Bein Achiv volunteer Mordechai Aron Tirnauer, “but when Dovid came out of the coma he was shaking because he had missed the opportunity to put on tefillin on the day of his Bar Mitzvah. We told him that he had indeed worn his tefillin on that day but Dovid was concerned that perhaps since he was in a coma he hadn’t properly fulfilled the mitzvah. One month after his Bar Mitzvah, Dovid put on tefillin for the first time with the Skverer Rebbe.”

Read full article: http://www.vosizneias.com/108125/2012/06/17/brooklyn-ny-talented-teen-that-captured-thousands-mourned-by-crowds-at-borough-park-levaya

17 Jun 2012

Not one donkey

Moshe complains about the accusations hurled against him and says, "Lo Chamor Echad Meihem Nasasi", I didn't even take a single donkey from them (Korach 16:15). Rashi says this refers to when he came down to Mitzrayim to redeem them on a donkey, and he paid for it from his own money. Rav Shimon Schwab asks, why would Moshe think that he should have taken the money from Bnei Yisroel.
Rav Schwab answers that the gemara in Sanhedrin (98a) says that when the geula comes, if we are zocheh Moshiach will arrive on clouds, if not then Moshiach will come come as a pauper on a donkey. Why? The whole world needs to know that Hashem is bringing the geula and Moshiach has no power by himself. If Bnei Yisroel are Maaminim and Ovdei Hashem then Moshiach can come in grand fashion and we will all place thanks in Hashem and not Moshiach. But if we do not recognize Hashem's hand, then Hashem will need to send a Moshiach who is powerless and destitute to show that it is not his charisma, brains, or money that will release us from the galus.
Moshe was the Goel in Mitzrayim. Bnei Yisroel was not Zocheh and Moshe came riding into town on a donkey lacking any pomp or grandeur. He came with the stick in his hand and the shirt on his back. To show his poverty he should have asked Bnei Yisroel to pay for his donkey. Even then he did not, since he did not want to take anything from any member of Klal Yisroel.
Read full article: http://revach.net/galus-geula/moshiach/Parshas-Korach-Rav-Shimon-Schwab-Picking-Up-The-Tab-For-Moshes-Donkey/5099

Baseball, American pie and the Caliphate

Two articles at the Times of Israel caught my eye this morning.

Sandy Koufax knew when the time was not right to play Major League Baseball, and so did Max Ungar. While Koufax decided back in 1965 not to pitch Game 1 of the World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur, Ungar has just decided to decline a contract offered him by the Washington Nationals, and to go to college instead.
... When asked whether he thought that his Jewish upbringing and education might have influenced his decision in any way, Unger said it likely had. “After going on the Israel trip and learning Jewish studies and Torah for thirteen years… the values you get out of that are that learning is important,” he reflected. “You learn that you shouldn’t grab the biggest marble. It’s better to take things step by step.”
Read full article: http://www.timesofisrael.com/jewish-day-school-grad-says-no-thanks-to-the-major-leagues/

An international organization that advocates jihad to re-establish a global Islamic caliphate will hold a conference Sunday in the Chicago area. ...A location for the conference has yet to be announced, after organizers decided to move the event from its originally planned venue.
Read more: http://www.timesofisrael.com/group-advocating-global-islamic-caliphate-to-hold-conference-in-chicago-area/

Pamela Geller wrote that the site which was supposed to host the conference cancelled after receving letters of protest.
"We regret to inform you that the venue that had agreed to host our event previously is no longer willing to accommodate our Khilafah Conference."

Anti-Israel and excluding Israel

Adam Kredo has penned an article titled Anti-Israel for pay.
J Street’s opposition to a military strike on Iran’s nuclear sites is less a matter of conviction than a concern of fundraising, according to Harvard law professor and pro-Israel author Alan Dershowitz, who lambasted the liberal fringe group as “the least transparent lobby in Washington” during a Friday interview with the Free Beacon.

Read full article:  http://freebeacon.com/anti-israel-for-pay/

Eileen Toplansky writes about the exclusion of Israel form the GCTF.

In a letter penned on June 11, 2012, Senators Joseph Lieberman and Mark Kirk wrote to Secretary of State Clinton to "express [their] surprise and disappointment of the absence of ...Israel, from the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF)" which she attended in Istanbul last week.

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/06/excluding_israel_from_counterterrorism_conference.html#ixzz1y0C9kQpr

15 Jun 2012

A rant and a moan

An official at a State Department-sponsored school in Jordan defended her right to post an anti-Semitic rant in the comments section of a website that aims to combat anti-Semitism, a move that has stoked concerns about the school’s curriculum.

Read full article: http://freebeacon.com/schoolhouse-hate/

Below is an item from Twitchy. H/T Memeorandum

 Obama bemoans ‘people hurting out there’ at Sarah Jessica Parker’s $40,000-per-person fundraiser.

The letters of chalah

No facet of our lives is bereft of Avodas Hashem. Even our basic needs can be steeped with Holiness. The Chinuch says a person's life depends on eating bread so Hashem wants to infuse this mundane necessary activity with Kedusha. Therefore He commanded us to separate a piece of the dough and give it to the Kohen. This not only helps in the world to come but also adds bracha to the physical dough itself.

It is brought down that the letters of Chalah (Ches, Lamed, Hey) is an acronym for Chelek L'Olam Habah. Maybe not coincidentally it also is Chelek L'Olam HaZeh.

Similarly, the gemara says that food of Jews has a special ingredient called "Shabbos". We all know that when cooking and baking food for Shabbos if one has in mind that it is special for Shabbos and says L'Kavod Shabbos Kodesh, the food has a special heavenly taste on Shabbos.

14 Jun 2012

Incitement question

The president of a Paris University launched an administrative investigation on Thursday into a Gaza question “of a polemic nature” set to students of the Bichat Hospital Faculty of Medicine, Agence France Presse reported.

...“As it stands, this question constitutes an absolute incitement to hate Israel”, stressed Richard Prasquier, president of CRIF. “It has no place in medical education much less in a university and amounts to a violation of the neutrality (demanded by) professor Oberlin (in his capacity as an educator)”.
Read full article: http://obamareleaseyourrecords.blogspot.be/2012/06/sheriff-joes-lead-investigator-says.html

8 Jun 2012


This past Shavuos I attended a shiur in which the lecturer spoke about the prayer of "Modeh Ani," the first prayer we recite when we wake up in the morning and thank Hashem for returning our souls. The rabbi called our attention to the fact that the prayer doesn't begin with the word "Ani" (I) because the first thing is not to think about ourselves but rather of admitting and thanking Hashem for giving us life. He related a story of a Gentile who had a 45 minute audience with a Torah sage. The man walked out flabbergasted. He said that in 45 minutes of conversation, the sage never mentioned the word "I."
Go ahead. Try indulging in conversation and see how long you last without saying "I."

An article at Matzav by Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz reminded me of the above thought.
Click here to read the article titled Greatness, Leadership, Humility and What Hashem Wants From Us.

7 Jun 2012

Touched by two stories

The Lakewood Scoop has a happy ending story about a missing diamond, a bracha and a donation to tzedakah.
Click here to read what happened.

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis writes about the gift of unity.

Let us not forget that in the generation of Dovid HaMelech the people were meticulous in their observance of mitzvos, but just the same they were doomed and failed in battle.

On the other hand, evil King Achav, an idol worshiper, was granted success. What was the secret behind this failure and victory? Despite its dedication to mitzvos, the generation of Dovid was fragmented by divisiveness and jealousy. On the other hand, Achav’s generation, despite its idolatry, was united by brotherly love – and in front of the Throne of Hashem, that unity outweighs all else.
Read full article: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/rebbetzins-viewpointrebbetzin-jungreis/the-gift-of-unity/2012/06/06/2/


I received an email from the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation regarding the power of saying "Amen Yehei Shemei Raba."
Click here to order free Amen cards.

Incidentally, I won't be saying "amen" to Nigel Barber's article titled Atheism to Defeat Religion By 2038 becaise I don't believe it.

6 Jun 2012

Vayehi binsoa haaron

Looking at the beginning of Chumash Bamidbar we seem to see a very ideal situation where Am Israel is in the desert learning torah, traveling according to G-d's commandment and all united to do the right thing. It is just after the pssukim of "Vayehi binsoa haaron" that we witness a horrifying downfall. Am yisrael begin to complain, they want more food and in a sudden reaction Moshe tells Hashem that he can not stay as a leader with such a nation.. Moshe does not seem like a teacher that his best student just failed a test but rather as a teacher who already gave up hope. How is it that after such a beautiful beginning of Chumash Bamidbar Moshe acts like Am Yisrael - his students - are so bad. If it only a single downfall, where does this reaction come from?
Read full article: http://www.torahmitzion.org/eng/resources/show.asp?id=695

Proof of identity

Last Thursday an incident occurred in Belgium when a policewoman asked a woman wearing a niqab to produce proof of identity.

"She refused to remove her niqab and was taken to a Molenbeek police station for questioning. At the police station the woman injured a female police officer by head-butting her.
The policewoman had been trying to frisk the woman. She sustained a broken nose and lost two-teeth in the attack. Another policewoman also sustained slight injuries in the attack."

Nieuwsbald.be has reported that the woman has filed a complaint against the police.
GVA.be is reporting that Prime Minister Elio de Rupo wants to ban groups such as Sharia4Beglium.
The Progress Lawyers Network are against a ban of Sharia4Belgium. 
"A law that prohibits radical organizations may sooner or later be used against political or trade union opposition."


The primaries

Last night, Breitbart News contributor Rabbi Shmuley Boteach won the Republican primary in New Jersey's 9th congressional district--and his campaign received an additional boost when his most likely opponent, incumbent Democrat Rep. Steve Rothman, lost to Rep. Bill Pascrell, a fellow Democrat incumbent whose supporters include some notoriously anti-Israel members of the local Arab and Muslim communities.
Read full article: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/06/06/Rabbi-Shmuley-Boteach-Has-a-Shot-in-NJ-09-After-Pascrell-Defeats-Rothman-in-Primary

Incidentally, according to this article, Rabbi Boteach is in Israel, attending his sister-in-law's wedding.

Tony Lee writes about Michael Shear, a New York Times' political reporter, in an article titled New York Times Preemptively Spins Wisconsin Recall Results in Obama's Favor.

Shear lists five reasons why national implications should not be taken from Wisconsin’s recall. He and the rest of the mainstream media have begun a wholesale attempt to soft peddle of the national implications of Wisconsin’s recall election even as the Obama campaign has.

Mr. Lee, I think you meant "pedal", not "peddle of".

soft-pedal something to play something down; to de-emphasize something. (Alludes to the soft pedal on the piano, which reduces the volume.) Try to soft-pedal the problems we have with the cooling system. I won't soft-pedal anything. Everyone must know the truth.

Below is a video of an interview with a person who didn't want Governor Scott Walker to win. He claims democracy has died in the U.S. because "we just got outspent." If a liberal camdidate wins an election because he outspends a more conservative one, I don't think the man in the video would have the same complaint. H/T The Blaze

5 Jun 2012

Attacks and responses

Crown Heights Info furnishes new details about the attack in Lyon this past weekend including that one of the victims is scheduled to be married this week.

Three Chabad Rabbinical students were brutally attacked in Lyon, France on Shabbat afternoon, June 3rd, by a large group of Muslims. The victims were returning home from a Shabbat meal with friends, and were passing through a predominantly Muslim neighborhood when they were verbally and physically assaulted.

Mrs. Azulai, a mother of one of the victims, spoke to Lubavitch.com. “At first there were only three thugs who attacked my son and his friends, screaming ‘Dirty Jew’ and spitting at them. Soon they recruited a group of their friends—another 10-- who were waving hammers, iron bars and a knife, and they all began beating the boys up.”

The response to the attack was as follows:

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on Monday condemned a weekend assault on three Jewish youths, as Jewish organisations warned of an increase in anti-Semitic attacks in France.

The following is an EJPress report from April 2011 about a victim of another attack in France.
As he was walking home from the synagogue late Thursday night, the two aggressors, in their twenties, asked their victim’s name.
After hearing his response, the two told him: "you don’t look to be named Antoine, you look Jewish, you are a Jew."
...A police source quoted by Agence France Presse said "the tone heightened between the three youths. There was an exchange of blows and two youths of North African origin took out a gun ball and possibly a truncheon."
...In a statement, the mayor of Villeurbanne “strongly” condemned "this intolerable act."

The following are comments made by Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, after the attack on a Jewish school in Toulose.

"Whoever did this is looking to target the Jewish community at its weakest point, its youth, in the hopes of spreading fear throughout the community," Mr Kantor said.
"They will not succeed, the Jews of Europe in general and the Jews of France in particular have a long history of standing firm against hatred and violence," he added.
"I know as a community French Jewry will send a message of strength and resilience in the face of those who wish to terrorise them."
He continued: "The greatest defence against race-based murder is not by creating higher walls and more effective security systems, but by teaching and imparting tolerance in the classrooms."
Read full article:

Wow! The condemnations and responses really seem to be working in minimizing attacks in France.

Holocaust education

In 1994, Florida made news as one of the first states to mandate Holocaust education in public schools. Students in kindergarten through 12th grade were required to learn about the systematic destruction of Jews by the Nazis during World War II and the importance of tolerance and diversity in a democratic society.

Eighteen years later, this requirement, despite sincere efforts from teachers and school administrators, suffers from a lack of funding and depends on the largesse of wealthy donors, who are courted at cocktail parties and other elaborate events in an attempt to maintain the program.
Read full article: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/palm-beach/fl-holocaust-video-20120602,0,4559991.story
Maybe this princess will be willing to foot the bill.
Below is an interview from a number of months ago with Samuel Pisar, a Polish-born Holocaust survivor and acclaimed international lawyer, author and human rights activist.

4 Jun 2012

The June 5th election

The Algemeiner writes that because "of redistricting, Rep. Bill Pascrell (D, NJ) is running for re-election this coming Tuesday against a fellow Democratic incumbent Congressman." The article also details  "his troubling associations with Muslim figures who have espoused fiery anti-Israel rhetoric and turned a blind eye to Hamas sympathizers."
Read full article:  http://www.algemeiner.com/2012/06/03/the-friends-of-bill-pascrell/

Former President Bill Clinton has stumped for Bill Pascrell and said he's with him because “I like him and because I worked with him and because I know how effective he is for you.”
Read more: http://www.nj.com/njvoices/index.ssf/2012/06/steve_rothman_bill_pascrell_ge.html

The Hasidic court's leader

Jason Zengerle writes about Peter Beinart in an article titled The Israeli Desert.

In talking to various Jewish journalists about Beinart over the past few months, I heard the words shmegegge and “Sammy Glick,” as well as this joke: “A yeshiva student goes to his rabbi and says, ‘Rabbi, I had a dream last night that I was the leader of a Hasidic court and I had 300 followers.’ The rabbi says, ‘When 300 Hasidim have a dream that you’re their leader, come back and we’ll talk.’ 

...Beinart and Goldberg’s biggest disagreement on Israel may have to do with how they acquired their understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Although ­Beinart has been to the West Bank on several occasions, he readily concedes that he derives much of his knowledge of the situation there from what he reads....Goldberg, by contrast, has reached most of his conclusions from firsthand observation during his fifteen years reporting from the West Bank and Gaza, and he ­bridles when, for instance, Beinart argues that Hamas has made certain statements that suggest a greater (albeit ­insufficient) openness toward accepting a two-state solution. “I’ve spent a lot of time with Hamas over the years, and I feel like I have a better sense of Hamas than Peter does,” he says. “I hereby invite Peter to Gaza with me, and we’ll spend a couple of weeks in the mosques, and then he’ll tell me if he thinks that they’re philo-Semitic or non-anti-­Semitic or non-annihilationist in their ­fundamental outlook.”
Read full article:  http://nymag.com/news/features/peter-beinart-2012-6/

And here's an article about a Rav with a number of followers.

Baruch Hashem

A reader writes to Rebbetzin Jungreis about two words - Baruch Hashem.

Dear Rebbetzin Jungreis:

Your articles speak to each and every person and always touch a sensitive chord in the heart. The letter in last week’s column was a case in point. The writer found strength and courage for herself and her ailing mother in your story of the prima ballerina.

The column that spoke to me most powerfully was “Our Calling Card: ‘Baruch Hashem,’ ” in the May 11 issue.

I have been married for thirty years. We have five children, and that is a “Baruch Hashem.” We have never been wealthy but have always been able to make our mortgage on time, pay school tuition, send our children to camp and take a family vacation now and then – and for all that, I can once again say, “Baruch Hashem.”
Read full article: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/rebbetzins-viewpointrebbetzin-jungreis/two-magic-words/2012/06/01/

Dangerous tampering

Dana Evan Kaplan asks Why Did Facebook King Move Away From Reform Judaism?

So how does a devoted Jewish family attending an exemplary Reform synagogue have a young man come out of that experience with no discernible interest — not even to speak of commitment — to the Judaism with which he had supposedly been raised.
Read more: http://forward.com/articles/157074/losing-zuckerberg/?p=all#ixzz1wl56b7xr

Tzvi Fishman reminds us of a letter by Rabbi Meir Kahane to a Reform Jew.

After all, if Reform Judaism is based on the fact that the Torah is not Divine and can be rejected or changed as we see fit, then surely you can tell your rabbis that the time has come to reject their dangerous tampering with the foundation of Judaism.
Read full article: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/blogs/felafel-on-rye/letter-to-a-reform-jew/2012/06/01/

3 Jun 2012

Anti-Semitic attack

The Interior Ministry says an attack by 10 assailants on 3 people in southeast France was anti-Semitic, and has called for the assailants to be brought to justice. Two of the victims were hospitalized.
Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/International/2012/Jun-03/175553-2-jews-injured-in-anti-semitic-attack-in-se-france.ashx#ixzz1wky6s9Xr