"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

28 Jul 2013

Defender of Judaism and a non defender of a Jewish State

As peace talks are scheduled to begin in Washington tomorrow evening, the next phase of getting rid of the Jewish state has begun.

CNN's Fareed Zakaria asked Sunday why it was important that Israel be called a Jewish state.
Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2013/07/28/fareed-zakaria-why-does-israel-have-be-called-jewish-state#ixzz2aNCWH4Ce

Rabbi Dr. Jacob Immanuel Schochet, a Chabad scholar and academic, and a preeminent defender of traditional Jewish belief, passed away on Shabbat, the 20th of Av 5773, July 27th 2013, following a long illness. He was 77.
Continue reading: http://crownheights.info/notices/395525/immanuel-schochet-a-scholar-who-defended-judaism-with-passion/

Radio show personality dies at 53

David "Kidd" Kraddick, whose morning radio show aired in nearly 100 cities, has died. He was 53.

He died Saturday in New Orleans at a golf tournament to raise money for his Kidd's Kids Charity, his management company said.

...Last week, Kraddick did a humorous segment on what he'd say to his co-hosts in his "final moments on Earth."

"When I die, you have permission to take a bunch of creepy pictures of my body," Kraddick said. "I want to thank all of you guys for being at my deathbed today. I'm going to miss you so much."

Saturday's golf tournament was for his non-profit Kidd's Kids Charity, which raises money annually to send children with chronic and terminal illnesses -- and their families -- to spend five days at Walt Disney World.
Read more: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/07/28/showbiz/kidd-kraddick-death/

Breaking barriers

The New York Times has an article about Nelson Mandela serving as an inspiration for Sara Hurwitz, the dean of Yeshivat Maharat.

For Ms. Hurwitz, born and raised in South Africa during the turbulent years of apartheid, Mr. Mandela had long served as the inspiration for her journey to breaking the gender barrier in the Orthodox Jewish rabbinate.

Harry Maryles wrote in the Jewish Press, "The truth is that there are Halachic issues with female rabbis."

..."What is gained on some sort of equal rights way is lost by the radical departure from normative Orthodoxy."

The Rabbinical Council of America issued a statement about the ordination of women "as clergy" and concluded, "The RCA views this event as a violation of our mesorah (tradition) and regrets that the leadership of the school has chosen a path that contradicts the norms of our community."

Nelson Mandela and Sara Hurwitz?

26 Jul 2013

Bringing the redemption closer

This morning I came across a post from a few years ago in which Dr. Stephen Rabinowitz discusses the word eikev in this week's parsha. Below is an excerpt.

Korban Oni quotes the Gemara Avodah Zara 9a stating that the world was designed to last 6000 years.  The first 2000 were without Torah, the next 2000 were with Torah, and the last 2000 are with Torah and the possibility of the arrival of Moshiach.  The last 2000 years began 172 years (the gematria of eikev) after the destruction of the second Temple.  This tells us that we are in the period in which we will hear the ikveisa d’Mishicha, the footsteps of Moshiach. 

R. Avrohom Chaim of Zlotchov (d. 1816) in his sefer Orach L’Chaim, says the word ‘v’hoyo’ is a loshon of simcha.  Therefore, v’hoyo, there will be a great simcha in shomayim, if eikev, during the ‘ikveisa d’Mishicha,’ when there will be great nisyonos and difficulties being a Jew, tishma’un, Klal Yisroel will heed the Torah and do the mitzvos.
Read more: http://www.gns.org/archives/1963

In response to a question I posted earlier this week about keeping the Sabbath, the Torah thought below provides one answer.

Midrash Rabbah records that, while Moshe lived in Pharaoh's palace as a young man, he convinced Pharaoh that slaves work more efficiently when they are given one day of rest each week. Pharaoh instructed Moshe to implement this idea, and Moshe arranged for Bnei Yisrael to have Shabbat as a day off.

At the end of the parashah we read that Pharaoh decreed (5:9), "Let the work be heavier upon the men and let them engage in it; and let them not pay attention to false words." Midrash Rabbah explains that Bnei Yisrael used to gather on Shabbat to read scrolls that had been passed down from their ancestors, in which it was written that they would be redeemed in the merit of Shabbat observance. Therefore Pharaoh proclaimed: Take away their day of rest so that they will not have time to dream of freedom.
R' Moshe Chaim Luzzato z"l (Ramchal; 1707-1747) observes that the yetzer hara uses the same strategy to distract a person from focusing on his task in this world. Man's task is to reflect upon every step he wishes to take and every action he wishes to perform and to ask himself: Will this step or action bring me closer to G-d or will it distance me from G-d? The yetzer hara knows that if man would merely think about his actions, he would certainly begin to regret his deeds, Ramchal writes. To prevent this, the yetzer hara makes sure that we are always busy with all types of activities and tasks that appear to be very pressing. (Mesilat Yesharim ch.2)

In this light, perhaps we can understand why Shabbat observance, in particular, brings the redemption closer, for it gives us the opportunity and the peace of mind to reflect on our purpose in the world and the need to become a nation that merits redemption.

Europe and the Jews

Ronald Lauder discusses Europe’s New Jewish Question.

In March 1936, Poland’s Sejm (the lower house of parliament) almost succeeded in outlawing shechita (slaughter according to Jewish law). Only the Polish Constitution prevented an outright ban. Had the majority of legislators gotten their way, many of Poland’s 3.2 million Jews would have gone meatless.
A few days ago, the ghosts of the past returned to the Sejm, when deputies rejected a government bill intended to keep religious slaughter legal.
...But was this decision really motivated by concern for animal welfare? ...As The Economist
noted succinctly, “Poland is not a country hitherto known for championing animal rights.” Indeed, it is hypocritical that hunting for sport and unsupervised home slaughtering continue to be permitted, whereas shechita, which is carried out by experienced people according to well-established procedures, is not.
Read more at http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/the-threat-to-religious-freedom-in-europe-by-ronald-s--lauder#FuuyyJTS6ZBwyL8u.99

World Jewish Congress Vice-President Boris Fuchsmann, the head of the Jewish Confederation in Ukraine, has said in an interview that anti-Semitism is on the rise in his country also due to cynical political maneuvers. “World history has shown many times that the level of xenophobia and intolerance in any country rises during times of economic crisis. Ukraine is not an exception.

25 Jul 2013

Getting married

Before you read this post, you might consider standing while reading it. A Daily Mail reporter lost  weight just by changing her habits and standing up more and she chronicles her activities over here.

As you can see from my bloglist, one of the blogs I follow is IsraelMatzav. Today Carl of IsraelMatzav writes, "Happy Anniversary to the love of my life ad meah v'esrim (until one hundred and twenty). The best move I ever made was marrying you!"

Wishing Carl and his wife many more happy years. It is fortunate that my husband doesn't have a blog because, if he did, oy va voy if he weren't to echo Carl's sentiments when it comes time for my husband and me to celebrate out anniversary.

Couples are getting married and starting work later and there are fewer young grandparents around than in previous years, according to new research.

Four out of five of those over 60 were married before they were 25, compared with one in seven under 30s, a study of 2000 adults for the Co-operative, tracking three generations of people in their 20s, 40s and 60s, found.

Before marriage, there are shidduchim and the Jewish Press has an article titled Debunking the ‘Age Gap Theory’…Again.

 1) The age gap theory is based on premises that are proven false by actual marriage statistics....
EndTheMadness pulls no punches. We give the straight truth about what is wrong and real solutions for how to fix it. There is no gentle way to tell people their values and behaviors are way off. But until more people accept that we have no one to blame for our problems but ourselves, things will only continue to get worse.

Click here to check out EndTheMadness.org.

The train ride

The Washingoton Post has an interesting article titled A Jewish-Hindu connection in which Jeffrey Stanley related an encounter on a train which involved a Lubavitcher named Lev, a secular Jew named Dan and a Hindu.               
Lev wanted to know all about Dan’s history as a Jewish man in New York and what led him to fall away. Had he gone to a yeshiva as a child? Yes. In fact, he had been on Long Island that very afternoon visiting a friend. He had taken a wrong train and wound up in the middle of nowhere. When he realized his error he hopped off but had no ready cash to pay for a return ticket. He took to the streets and asked a rabbi parked in front of a yeshiva the way to the nearest ATM. The rabbi instead gave him money to buy a ticket, no questions asked. Dan had refused at first but the rabbi insisted, telling him he could repay the favor by promising to do one mitzvah, or good deed, for some other stranger on the way home.

I was impressed by the dedication of the rabbi in getting Dan to perform a mitzvah, as well as Lev, who deliberately missed his stop, so that he could assist dan in performing the mitzvah of tefillin.

V-ahavta et Hashem elokecha, bechol levavcha, uv'chol nafshecha uv'chol m'odecha

Forbes defines lashon hara

An article at Forbes describes how the haredim are making inroads at Intel in Israel and how the company takes care to respect tradition.

 Unexpected problems have arisen. Fraenkel says it’s a battle to give the haredim raises, since they are brought up to express modesty at all times. Employee reviews are even more complicated. “They didn’t want to do it,” says an ultra-Orthodox woman named Sari, who has risen to manager level. “There is something in Hebrew called lashon hara–that you cannot talk bad things about another person.”
Continue reading: http://www.forbes.com/sites/richardbehar/2013/07/24/bringing-israels-ultra-orthodox-into-startup-nation/

Speaking about Israel, the JPost reports, "Thirty-two of the 287 major five-year scientific grants by the European Research Council (ERC) to young scientists around the world this year were awarded to Israeli researchers, according to Prof. Shy Arkin, vice president for research and development at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem."
Read more: http://www.jpost.com/Health-and-Science/Israeli-researchers-stand-out-in-competition-for-European-grants-320976

24 Jul 2013

The name David

Last night there was speculation as to the name of the future King of England. A reporter thought that the baby would be named James but someone else thought that the name James is associated with an unsuccessful English king so he wouldn't receive that name.
"If you want a successful king, how about naming him David," I thought to myself.

William and Kate had other ideas as they welcomed George Alexander Louis into the royal household.

This evening I read an article by Dr. David Liepert in which he ended his words about the royal baby with the words, "And perhaps you'll consider naming him David?" So, we agreed on one thing. Dr. Liepert speaks about something that Jews and Jihadists agree upon.

However, one aspect of the conversation came as a surprise to me, because I soon learned that -- according to my Jewish colleagues in the room -- Kate Middleton was Jewish. Apparently there has been a massive worldwide conspiracy to prevent the rest of us from finding out, because of the rampant but little talked about ant-Semitism that our world still suffers from. That meant that Britain would one day have a Jewish King. ...So later on that day I did an online search, whereupon I learned that Kate's Jewishness is quite questionable. ...But I also learned something that truly astounded me: the only other group as adamant as my Jewish colleagues that Britain's one day King will be Jewish -- and that there is a world-wide conspiracy to prevent the rest of us from knowing that -- is the government of Iran, and their various allied and associated jihadists. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-david-liepert/royal-birth-news-flash-je_b_3640775.html

Speaking about the name David, mazal tov to Rav David Lau Shlit"a and Rav Yitzhak Yosef Shlit"a upon being selected as the Chief Rabbis of Israel. I looked to see if Rabbi Glazerson found the names of the rabbis in the Torah codes before the election and found the video below posted last week.

16 Jul 2013

A man's dedication

The Blaze writes about The Amazing Thing Russia’s Chief Rabbi Did Last Week to Make Sure He Kept the Sabbath.

The rabbi landed in Moscow ten minutes before the start of the Sabbath after particpating in a ceremony along with the Russian President.

Rabbi Lazar phoned his home, notifying them about the debacle and started walking back to his home. A government official, seeing him walk, offered him a ride. “We’ll do it quick. No one will know…” the man said.

The rabbi declined the offer and proceeded to set out – on foot – for the eight hour, 18 mile walk home. He finally arrived at 6:00 a.m. the next day. Chabad Info reports that during Saturday morning prayer services at the Marina Roscha Synagogue, “the Rabbi could barely keep himself standing, however he gave a speech like he had slept the entire night.”

One comment posted under the article was the following:

Much respect to this man for his dedication to what he believes and his unusual determination to walk the walk as well as talk the talk.

Chadrei Charedim has a video of Rabbi Avraham Yosef speaking about ahavat chinam in Hebrew over here.

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations criticized the international body for its anti-Israel bias after Syria and a slew other nations ordered the Jewish state to pay $1.1 million in “damages” resulting from its campaign to stop Hezbollah terrorists.
Read more: http://freebeacon.com/un-general-assembly-criticized-for-anti-israel-resolution/

15 Jul 2013

May Tisha B'Av become a Yom Tov

A pair of stolen tefillin was found in the home of a non-Jewish heart attack patient in New York, according to a paramedic in Crown Heights Brooklyn.

The paramedic of Crown Heights, who volunteers for a local ambulance service, was sent Wednesday to the home of a non-Jewish resident after he suffered a heart attack. After treating the patient, while sitting at the table filling out a medical report, he noticed a plastic bag on a desk and what looked like a tefillin bag inside.
Continue reading: http://www.yourjewishnews.com/2013/07/n28248.html

Chadrei Charedim additionally reports that the owner of the tefillin related that they were dear to him as they were written for him by his grandfather - who was a known scribe.

As Tisha B'av draws near, people are wishing each other that Mashiach should come so that the next Tisha B'av will be celebrated as a Yom Tov.

A Hamodia reader taught me a good lesson this week when I read her letter to the newspaper about her experience sitting down at the dinner table with her family when her son ran to the window, pointing excitedly.

"Moshiach is here; look - I can see him coming."
His enthusiasm was so catchy that all my children ran to the window, truly believing that Moshiach had finally arrived! However, my husband and I didn't make a move....we knew it couldn't possibly be true.
Moments later I was ashamed of my reaction..... Oh, how I wish I were a child again.

I will end this post by plagiarizing an email that was sent to me this afternoon by a friend.

Wishing everyone an easy, meaningful ta'anis.

may Tisha b'Av become a YomTov VERY SOON.

Kol Tuv

Lib Dems and Jews

Damian Thompson has an opinion piece at TheTelegraph titled  Free schools, frozen yogurt and Jew-obsessed Lib Dems.
This week Sir Bob Russell MP equated the plight of the Palestinians with the Holocaust. And this just after David Ward compared Israelis to Nazis. What is it about Lib Dems and Jews? Remember Baroness Tonge suggesting they were harvesting organs?

Clicking on the link brought me to an article at the commentator about Bill Russel's remarks.

British Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament Sir Bob Russell has landed in hot water after comments this week that "denigrated" the Holocaust, according to critics.
Russell, who was speaking at a debate on the national curriculum in the House of Commons on Monday said, "On the assumption that the 20th century will include the Holocaust, will he give me an assurance that the life of Palestinians since 1948 will be given equal attention?”

14 Jul 2013

The upside down siddur

IsraelNationalNews writes about "two PA Arab women disguised as observant Jews caught attempting to bypass security checks."

In this instance, an officer of the Gal Battalion waved the #143 public bus over to the side of the road for a routine security check before allowing it through the Hizme checkpoint in Samaria.
While heading towards the back of the bus, he notice two women wearing the hair covering that is common to observant Jewish women. At least one was holding a siddur, a Jewish prayer book.
But something was odd: both were acting strangely, looked more tense than usual, and the one holding her prayer book was gripping it upside down.

Yes, I agree that holding a siddur upside down would be deemed to be suspicious activity.

A note of caution for those making barbecues during the summer months.

GVA writes about the death of a nine- year- old child who died after becoming infected with E. Coli bacteria from poorly cooked meat at a barbecue in her home.

Below is a video which explains what we should be thinking about on Tisha B'Av.

Contrasting views

The following was reported on July 7th.

A female Muslim student at the University of Duisburg-Essen ripped down parts of a graphic novel exhibit, which included the work of the internationally known Israeli artist Rutu Modan.
The Muslim student cut with a scissor photographs from a collage based on Modan’s seminal work Exit Wounds (“Blutspuren” in German).
The collage showed a peace demonstration in Israel with a poster containing the word “Shalom.”
After the vandalism, the university pulled the plug on the exhibit.

INN has an article by Giulio Meotti Op-Ed: I Am Going to Vandalize the Vile Museum in Paris.

I will stop at the Jeu de Paume museum, Place de la Concorde. Not to contemplate the wonderful paintings of Degas, Monet, Cézanne, Van Gogh or Renoir. No, I will be there to vandalize the Palestinian Arab photos exhibited there,  which call to murder Jewish children, teenagers, mothers with infants and elderly couples in the land of Israel.

Well, if an act of vandalism pulls the plug on one exhibit, why not?

Jewish worshippers who arrived at the Cave of Patriarchs in Hevron after Muslim prayers on Friday were horrified to find that the site had been vandalised.
Read more: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/169886

Who else will report on the desecration besides INN?

Two contrasting views on the Zimmerman verdict invoking the name of G-d.

One by MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes.

The second by Pamela Geller.

13 Jul 2013

Religious rights

In a case of political correctness run amok, a young boy was denied water on the hottest day of the year at a British primary school out of fear that it may upset a Muslim classmate who was fasting in observance of Ramadan.
Read more: http://www.bizpacreview.com/2013/07/13/teacher-denies-water-to-students-to-be-fair-to-fasting-muslim-classmate-79592

Poland's parliament on Friday rejected a government-backed bill that would have allowed slaughterhouses to produce kosher meat, angering Jewish groups who said the decision violated their religious rights.
Read more: http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/news/international/Jewish_groups_assail_Polish_ban_on_kosher_slaughter.html?cid=36447166

12 Jul 2013

The art of rebuke

I received the following poem in an email and, since it tied in to this week's parsha about Moshe Rabbeinu 's rebuking bnei Yisrael, I thought I would share it with you.

The writing on the wall
A weary mother returned from the store,

Lugging groceries through the kitchen door.

Awaiting her arrival was her eight year old son, 

Anxious to relate what his younger brother had done.

"While I was out playing and Dad was on a call, 

Dovid took his crayons and wrote on the wall!

It's on the new paper you just hung in the den.

I told him you'd be mad at having to do it again."


She let out a moan and furrowed her brow.

"Where is your little brother now?"

She emptied her arms and with a purposeful stride,

she marched to the closet where her son had gone to hide. 

She called his full name as she entered his room.

He trembled with fear - he knew that meant doom!


For the next ten minutes, she ranted and raved

About the expensive wallpaper and how she had saved.

Lamenting all the work it would take to repair,

She condemned his actions and total lack of care.


The more she scolded, the angrier she got,

Then stomped from his room, totally distraught!

She headed for the den to confirm her fears. 

When she saw the wall, her eyes flooded with tears.


The message she read pierced her soul with a dart.

It said "I love you mummy" surrounded by a heart!


Well the wallpaper remained, just as she found it, 

With an empty picture frame hung to surround it.

Check out the details before you react - and scold.

11 Jul 2013

Shemeh Rabba

This morning I received an email with a fascinating devar Torah on the parsha by Rabbi Eli Mansour and thought I'd share it with you.

The Hachamim were very particular in the way they scheduled the weekly Torah readings, ensuring that each week’s reading would be relevant to that season. There is always some connection – either obvious or subtle – between the weekly Parasha and the time of year when it is read.

Each and every year, we begin the Book of Devarim on the Shabbat before Tisha B’Ab, during the period of mourning for the destruction of the Bet Ha’mikdash. Undoubtedly, some connection exists between this transition from Bamdibar to Debarim, and the period of mourning for the Temple.

Our Sages teach us that while we are in exile, the Name of G-d is not complete. The final verse of Tehillim states, “Kol Ha’neshama Tehalel Y-H” (literally, “Every soul shall praise G-d”). The word “Neshama” is related to the word “Shama,” which means “desolate,” and it thus alludes to our period of exile, when the Mikdash lay in ruins. The verse tells us that during this period of “Neshama,” of destruction and desolation, “Tehalel Y-H” – we can only praise “Y-H,” the first two letters of the divine Name of “Y-H-V-H.” In the times of Mashiah, the final two letters – “Vav” and “Heh” – will be added to the “Yod” and “Heh” to complete the divine Name. This is what we pray for in the Kaddish prayer, when we say, “Yeheh Shemeh Rabba.” The word “Shemeh” means “Shem Y-H,” and we pray that this Name shall be made “Rabba” – great, or complete, with the arrival of our final redemption.

Continue reading: http://www.dailyhalacha.com/WeeklyParasha.asp

Israel and terrorists

Jonathan Schanzer writes, "Qatar’s ambassador to Washington, Mohammed Bin Abdullah al-Rumaihi, is about to receive a letter that will put his diplomatic skills to the test.
Congressmen Peter Roskam (R-IL) and John Barrow (D-GA) are circulating a “Dear Colleague” letter on Capitol Hill this week, collecting signatures to challenge the uber-wealthy Persian Gulf emirate over its financial ties to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.3
Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/07/congress-qatar-stop-funding-hamas-93965.html#ixzz2YhlnGlFP

Stephen Marche opines about America's obsession with Israel.

Standard foreign-policy wisdom holds that Israel is the key, that once the crisis there is solved, everything else in the whole of the Muslim world will improve. The terrorists will no longer have the necessary symbolism for recruitment. But the only thing that would satisfy the terrorists is Israel's ceasing to exist, and Israel, rather gauchely, insists on existing. The symbolism cannot be solved; only its power can be diminished. The real historic opportunity at the moment is for the secretary of state to stop going to Israel, and for everybody else to stop talking about what there's no point discussing.
Read more: America's Israel Obsession - - Esquire

Click here to read Op-Ed: Terrorist Release? What About the "Jewish Terrorists"?

4 Jul 2013

July 4, 1863

Marc Saperstein has an interesting article at the Huffington Post titled 'Four Score and Seven Years Ago': A Jewish Connection regarding a sermon delivered by R. Sabato Morais on July 4, 1863, which also fell out on the 17th of Tammuz.

July 4, 1863 was a Saturday, and Rabbi Sabato Morais, a Sephardi immigrant from Italy serving as religious leader of Philadelphia's Mikveh Israel Congregation, delivered his Sabbath morning sermon. His sermon contains a phrase that might well have influenced the most celebrated speech in American history.

...Needless to say, some three months later, for the dedication of the Gettysburg cemetery, Abraham Lincoln elevated the level of his discourse from "eighty odd years" to "four score and seven years, our fathers brought forth to this continent," possibly borrowing from the published text by the Philadelphia Sephardic preacher who, without knowing it, may have made a lasting contribution to American rhetorical history.
Read full article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marc-saperstein/gettysburg-address-jewish-connection_b_3539959.html

Speaking of sermons, below are some excerpts from  English translations of Rabbi  Nit Ben Artzi's messages from the past few weeks.

27 June 2013 Message for the Week of Parshat Pinhas 5773

Egypt thinks everything is good and quiet - everything is not quiet. In Egypt there is a complete mess economically, politically and socially. They're not calm, they are a nervous wreck about to explode and it will happen - there will be a revolution in Egypt.

19 June 2013 Message for the Week of Parshat Balak 5773

there will be a revolution in Egypt.

06 June 2013 Message for the Week of Parshat Korach 5773

Egypt is gently bubbling and boiling, soon it will crack open and everything will boil over. They won't be able to make any order there. Everything is going to fall apart for them before their eyes, no less than in Syria.

3 Jul 2013

Expressing gratitude

I attended a wedding one month ago and sat next to two women. One looked quite down and exhausted and she explained that she was having a hard time with shidduchim for two of her children. Her face showed signs of the anguish she was going through and she cast a damper on the high spirits of those in her close proximity.

A woman seated next to her started berating her and told her to be grateful that she had children to worry about. She advised her to stop complaining and focus on the positive in her life and reminded her how many childless couples would love to be in her situation.

I don't think the words penetrated because she left a little while later, with a despondent expression.

This morning I caught a post at Tomer Devorah titled "Prayer of Thanks."
I recited the prayer in its entirety and have been concentrating on expressing my gratitude to Hashem, particularly after reading In Forest Fields, by Rabbi Shalom Arush.

Telling the truth

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has apologized for a “clearly erroneous” statement he made to Congress over the National Security Agency’s surveillance activities.

In a letter to Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), released publicly on Tuesday, Clapper said he was mistaken when he told Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) that the United States did not collect data on millions of Americans.
Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/policy-and-strategy/308979-clapper-apologies-for-erroneous-statement-to-congress-on-us-data-collection#ixzz2XxRrpXwm

A prosecutor in George Zimmerman’s murder trial...asked the judge to strike from the record a statement Detective Chris Serino made Monday in which he said he found credible Zimmerman’s account of how he got into a fight with Trayvon Martin.
...Judge Debra Nelson told jurors to disregard the statement. ...“This is an improper comment,” the judge said http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/07/02/zimmerman-trial-day-7-detective-testifies-he-found-zimmermans-story-credible-jurors-ordered-to-disregard-improper-comment/

Dr. Robert McWilliams (Infertility & Gynecology) of Houston, Texas is closing his practice because of additional costs he will incur under Obamacare,... ...If you add millions of — 20 million, 50 million medicare patients to the system, but you have no doctors to take care of them, what good is the system?


This is off topic, but congratulations to Homer Bailey for pitching the 2nd no hitter of his career.

2 Jul 2013

One of his parents

A blogger identified Andrew Pochter as an American Jew in an article about the young man who was killed during Egyptian protests.
A comment at the end of the article states, "Too much of this article is riddled with falsehoods. Andrew Pochter was and still is one of my closest friends. Although one of this parents is jewish, he was raised christian and did not identify as a jewish american."

Another blogger wrote, "he was the child of a Christian mother and a Jewish father." http://onbeingboth.wordpress.com/2013/07/01/mourning-andrew-pochter-bridge-builder-from-a-christian-and-jewish-interfaith-family/

I wondered whether those who wrote the headlines in articles about Mr. Pochter were aware of his family roots when they identified him as being Jewish. Orthodox Jews identify someone as Jewish only if the individual's mother was Jewish.  

Kirk Douglas has penned an article titled On Jews and Justice.

I've lived a long time. Almost 97 years. I've seen a lot of fear-mongering, bigotry and discrimination.
... Meanwhile, I will never forget my first bloody nose. It always reminds me of why I'm proud to be a Jew.

Would Kirk Douglas's son, Michael, be described as Jewish?

Created by the Jews

In an interview with Pamela Geller, Sean Hannity asked about Ms. Geller being banned from England. She explained that England deemed her visit not to be conducive to the public good. She then stated that Muslim cleric Arifi, who spoke about smashing the skulls of infidels, was allowed in to the country.

As I googled the name of the cleric, I came across an article which refers to two young Iraqi men who assaulted him in London. The article quotes a witness to the attack who called the cleric, "a terrorist, a member of the Wahhabi movement, which movement was created by the Jews to discredit Sunni Islam and make it appear a violent and extremist religion."

Wow! Another something for which to blame the Jews.

1 Jul 2013

Parshat Matos

Lo Yachel Devaroi, K’Chol HaYotzai MiPicha Yaaseh”, do not profane your words; do as your mouth spoke.  The torah tells us that we must keep our word and not violate it. Rav Levi Yitzchok MiBerditchev in the Kedushas Levi makes a play on the words to explain how mortal people can perform miracles.

He reads the words as follows.  If “Lo Yachel Devaroi”, you do not profane your words, then they will be holy and meaningful.  Therefore, “K’Chol HaYotzai MiPicha Yaaseh” whatever comes out of your mouth will happen.  This is the concept of “Tzadik Gozer, VHaKadosh Boruch Hu Mikayem”, a tzaddik decrees and Hashem makes it happen.

He further explains that this why the Parsha is called Matos.  Matos also means to turn (Netia).  When a person watches his mouth, Hashem turns the Midas HaDin into Midas HaRachamim.

Speaking of words coming out of one's mouth, Kikar Hashabat has a video in which Yehuda Barkan speaks about the process of becoming a baal teshuva.

He says that what helped him though major financial problems was the belief and knowledge that when you get hit with a difficulty, it is not to hurt you but, rather to get you to wake up.

Ingratiating themselves

The NYPost has an article titled ‘Waist’ of money at Guantanamo Bay as detainees get prison’s ‘infidel’ gym replaced. Gitmo is no longer a prison camp; it’s a state-sponsored madrassa.
...Each inmate at Gitmo costs roughly $800,000 a year to detain...
Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/international/fitmo_ZMCwnFHLCgWlWCIcgmgZqN

Andrew Bostom writes about Andrew Pochter in a fascinating article titled A Young Jewish Man's Lethal Arab Spring Delusion

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach responds to Jeffrey Goldberg and Peter Beinart in a Huffington Post article titled Did I Make Cory Booker 'Too Jewish'?

I ask colleagues like Beinart if they themselves are reaching out to the non-Jewish community to promote rather than just assail Israel and call for boycotts against it. I have often witnessed that the most serious opposition to my work of reaching out to non-Jews comes often from Jews themselves who lack the confidence in their own heritage to believe that Judaism has anything constructive or refreshing to offer our non-Jewish counterparts and who believe that jumping on an anti-Israel bandwagon provides the means by which to ingratiate themselves with others. My message to them is that perhaps they should have taken an interest in Cory Booker well before he started running for the United States Senate.
Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi-shmuley-boteach/did-i-make-cory-booker-to_b_3524964.html