"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 Jul 2014

The holy Ari

I received an email the other day from Tzidkat Rashbi regarding the Yahrtzeit of the Holy Kabbalist, the Ari .

Thursday evening July 31, is the passing of Rebbe Isaac Luria known as the holy Ari. ...Tzidkat Rashbi can have your prayers recited on at the grave on the Yahrtzeit, Hai Av by a group of Rabbis from Tzfat and your Prayer – Kvitel placed on the tomb of the Ari Hakadosh.

Click here to send kvitel.

Below are the first few paragraphs of a devar Torah by Rabbi Eli Mansour.

The Arizal (Rav Yishak Luria of Safed, 1534-1572) taught that all the troubles we experience are due to the destruction of the Bet Ha’mikdash and our exile. That catastrophic event is the source of all our problems. The Mikdash served as a protective force that shielded us from harm, and thus its loss is the cause of all our problems.

This itself would be sufficient reason for us to cry over and mourn the Temple’s destruction. All the suffering and anguish which Jews are experiencing are a direct result of this tragedy, and we continue to feel its effects each and every day.

But there is also another reason for us to cry and mourn.
Continue reading: http://www.dailyhalacha.com/WeeklyParasha.asp?ParashaClipID=508

Books of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov

Rabbi Nachman's books have inspired many, now you can order these books at non-profit prices and have them shipped out of the USA. We also offer many books for free download.
Learn more at http://breslovbooks.com/

A cesspool of hate

A June 2014 article in the Tower titled Why Are Student Leaders and Jewish Bruins Under Attack at UCLA? begins with the following words:

One of America’s most prominent campuses has become a cesspool of anti-Israel hate, intimidation, and cyberbullying. A student reports from the front lines of the boycott battle..

It seems like the use of the word "cesspool" was prescient as reports are emerging of flooding at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion after a water main break.

UCLA unexpectedly turned into a water park today.

The University of California, Los Angeles campus experienced a shocking flood after a massive water main break shortly before 3:30 p.m., sending millions of gallons of water and counting on to Sunset Boulevard and the campus. Fire officials reportedly compared the freak accident to a flash flood.

Rabbi  Eisenman,of  Congregation Ahavas Israel, Passaic, NJ , writes stirring words in a vort titled  "To Live and to Die."

The idea that one of Hamas’ main command bunkers is located beneath Shifa Hospital in Gaza City is one of the worst-kept secrets of the Gaza war. So why aren’t reporters in Gaza ferreting it out?
Read more: http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/180730/top-secret-hamas-command-bunker-in-gaza-revealed#undefined

In August of 2010, almost three years before Lois Lerner announced at a law conference that the IRS had indeed targeted certain groups, Z Street filed a lawsuit contending the IRS was targeting them because they disagreed with the President’s policy on Israel. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Clinton State Department may have worked with the IRS in discriminating against pro-Israel organizations.

Early Tuesday morning, several Molotov cocktails were thrown into the entrance of the synagogue in Wuppertal Germany. Three people were believed to have committed the crime and one, an 18-year old was arrested.
Read more: http://yidwithlid.blogspot.be/2014/07/arson-attack-on-german-synagogue.html

Exodus: Why Europe's Jews Are Fleeing Once Again

29 Jul 2014

MSM reporting

DeMorgen.be has an article titled Regering wil label voor voedsel uit door Israël bezette gebieden.
(Government wants to label food from territories occupied by Israel)

Additionally, there is a survey at the same paper as to whether the reader would change his/her buying behavior if products from Israel and the occupied territories are denoted as such.

מרגש: בת 61 ילדה בן בכור לאחר ברכת מרן הרב עובדיה יוסף

A nine-year-old girl was killed and another girl was injured when a rocket hit their house in Egypt's restive Sinai peninsula, an official said Tuesday.

The rocket was apparently targeted at a security patrol passing near the house in south Sheikh Zuweid city in Egypt's North Sinai province bordering Israel, the official told Xinhua. http://www.newswala.com/International-News/Egypt-Rocket-attack-kills-a-nine-year-old-girl-in-Sinai-71538.html

If it were Israel, the article would have read, "Israel deliberately targeted nine-year-old girl in what a UN official called a war crime."

The Muqata reports: 9:03pm Channel 2 Ehud Yaari reports than UNRWA has found for the THIRD time Hamas rockets in one of their schools. Waiting for the press release of shock by UNRWA...

Ms. Strauss asks, "Do you think this is enough of a chazaka to assume that ALL UNRWA schools have rockets hiding in them?"

The link to an article titled ‘Yeah, nice try': AP ‘revises wording’ of its anti-Israel tweet  should be sent to all your email contacts to show how unbiased the MSM is regarding MiddleEast reporting.
H/T IsraelMatzav

מסר הרב ניר בן ארצי שליט"א

יום א' כ"ט תמוז - פרשת דברים תשע"ד - שבת חזון

H/T the Lakewoodscoop for the video below.

No repercussions

ITV and CNN reporter, Dan Rivers, on Sunday apologized for re-tweeting a harrowing photo purporting to be from the Israel – Hamas conflict.
What he originally mistook for a photo of a child sitting among bodies and wreckage from Israeli bombardment of targets in Gaza, in fact turned out to be of a scene of devastation in Mosul, Iraq, instead.
Continue reading: http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/07/28/itv-cnn-journalist-re-tweets-harrowing-picture-from-iraq-with-gaza-hashtag-apologizes/

If this was such a harrowing photo that Mr. Rather felt it needed to be publicized, did he re-tweet it when the photo was first published with regatd to Iraq?

NBC, CBS, Reuters, Lie About Israeli Attacks; Face No Repercussions

What Qatar didn't tell Nancy Pelosi about the 'humanitarian organization' Hamas

Hamas Uses Hospitals and Ambulances for Military Purposes

בין הזמנים יבוטל? דריכות לקראת הכרעת מרן הגראי"ל שטיינמן

What Is Our Role For “Operation Protective Edge”

Level of support

NationalnReview has an article titled Michelle Nunn’s Campaign Plan which reveals information from a document about her campaign plan.

The campaign’s finance plan draws attention to the “tremendous financial opportunity” in the Jewish community and identifies Jews as key fundraisers. It notes, however, that “Michelle’s position on Israel will largely determine the level of support here.”

David Grossman opines about An Israel without Illusions.

Inside the bubble, who can fault Israelis for expecting their government to do everything it can to save children on the Nahal Oz kibbutz, or any of the other communities adjacent to the Gaza Strip, from a Hamas unit that might emerge from a hole in the ground? And what is the response to Gazans who say that the tunnels and rockets are their only remaining weapons against a powerful Israel? In this cruel and desperate bubble, both sides are right. They both obey the law of the bubble — the law of violence and war, revenge and hatred.

Thanks for the clarification. I thought Israel trying to save its citizens would be an act of self-defense, rather than an act of revenge and hatred.

צפו בוידאו: הגר"ח מזיל דמעות בשל המלחמה

28 Jul 2014

World opinion

Ezra Aranson writes about media outrage. If nothing we do changes the world’s opinion of us, then perhaps we should start caring less about it.
...We need to focus on what we know is right, regardless of what others say; to embody Kipling’s verse, “If you can keep your head when all about you / Are losing theirs and blaming it on you”. http://www.thelakewoodscoop.com/news/2014/07/opinion-the-end-of-media-outrage.html

Anti-Semitic Vandalism Found at South Florida Synagogue

NBC Changes Story on Israeli Bombing of Hospital

"Ki Hi Chochmaschem U'Binaschem L'Eini HaAmim," (Devarim 4:6). This is the mitzva of calculating the calendar based on the moon. Rashi explains that if we do it correctly, the nations will consider us wise. If we make mistakes they will consider us fools. Why is it so critical how we appear in the eyes of the world?

Rav Shimshon Pincus answers that the nations are compared to the sun which inherently gives off rays of light. Each nation has a dominant strength or ray of light that characterizes its people. Bnei Yisrael, however, is compared to the moon. The moon does not generate any of its own light and only reflects the light of the sun.

Rav Shmishon tells a mashal about a home with many different things in it. It has a table that has a specific function. Similarly, a bed, chair, spoon, and fork all have specific functions. A mirror, however, has nothing. Yet, it can look beautiful by reflecting the right things, or bare if it is dark and reflects only the darkness.

Bnei Yisrael only shine when we reflect the light of Hashem. If we keep the Torah, we will reflect a brilliant light and be respected by the nations. However, if we choose the path of darkness, we will be totally void of any light and be considered to be fools living in the dark by the nations of the world. http://revach.net/parshas-hashavua/life-lessons/Parshas-Devarim-Rav-Shimshon-Pincus-A-Nation-of-Mirrors/5134

Hamas’ evil lurks beneath the surface

The efficacy of prayer

The Jewish Press has an article titled Rosh Chodesh Av: Global Shema for Israel's Success  and Protection of our IDF.

INN writes about an early recitation of the Shema prayer.

At 2:30 A.M., Jews Blast Shema Prayer at Muslim Neighborhood

Tired of waking up to muezzin calls on loudspeakers in the middle of the night, Jews mount an aural counterattack.
Read more and listen to the prayer at: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/183405#.U9XMZ_mSyK0

NY boy has Bar Mitzvah in Polish town his grandfather once fled

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal skirted a question of whether his group would ever recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, saying only that Palestinians would make that decision once they had a state of their own with no Israeli presence.
Continue reading: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/will-hamas-recognize-israel-as-a-jewish-state/

The young people of Bnei Yisroel who were about to go into Eretz Yisroel. Moshe Rabbeinu in his last address to them retold the story of their parents' mistakes in the Midbar. When retelling the Cheit of the Meraglim, Moshe says that they were punished and routed by the Emori in their effort to go to Eretz Yisroel without permission. After this defeat they came back to the Machaneh and began to cry. The pasuk says (1:45) "V'Lo Shama Hashem B'Kolchem", Hashem did not listen to them. The next pasuk says that they stayed in Kadeish many years. Rashi says that they stayed there for 19 years without wandering around. The Netziv says that we see from here that even when Hashem does not listen to our tefilos and does not grant our request, the tefila still helps. While their tefilos did not repeal the gezeira of staying in the Midbar for 40 years, it helped that they settled in one place did not need to wander for 19 years. We can't always get what we want but we always get something! http://revach.net/tefila/article.php?id=3949

27 Jul 2014

Saying the Shema

I received an email regarding the recitation of the Shema tomorrow evening.

MONDAY JULY 28TH AT 19:00 (12:00 pm EST)


שמע ישראל ה׳ אלוקינו ה׳ אחד


When I read that "Four children were killed and five other people were injured when a rocket landed near their homes," I waited for accusations of war crimes and a special convening of UN members to discuss the intentional massacre of innocent children. As I continued reading the article, I learned that the children had been killed in Rafah, Egypt. I further read that "Three security sources said the rocket was likely fired by Islamist militants operating in the Sinai peninsula." Reuters went on to report that "The three security sources said the rocket fired on Saturday had been targeting an army compound or check point but had fallen instead by mistake near civilian homes."

So, in the case of Islamic militants, a mistake can be made, whereas Israel is accused of intentionally targeting children.

When CNN host Erin Burnet interviewed Ron Dermer about the shelling of a Gaza school which initial reports indicated came from the Israeli side, she stated "the reason we are showing these pictures- because these are dead children."
Did CNN show the pictures of the dead children in the Rafah attack?

Incidentally, CIF Watch reports BREAKING: Video suggests IDF mortars did NOT play role in Beit Hanoun killing.

A Canadian Muslim leader quotes various texts from The Old Testament to try to prove a point.

Everything Hashem promised to Abraham is contingent on the actions of his children and his household after him. ...So for everything He's said about Abraham to come to pass, you have to step up and do the right thing first. And the "right thing" is clearly linked to the well-being of the Palestinians, because of Deuteronomy 29: 10-11:

All of you are standing today in the presence of the LORD your God -- your leaders and chief men, your elders and officials, and all the other men of Israel, together with your children and your wives, and the aliens living in your camps who chop your wood and carry your water.


So, the right thing is to have them carry water and chop wood?

The tombstone's correction

There's an incredible story at Collive about a Chabad rabbi who discovered that a relative had been buried in a military cemetery with a cross on his tombstone. Click here to read the sequence of events that led to the stone being replaced with one that contained the star of David.

But the "most amazing thing of all," Rabbi Richter says, is that the new Jewish tombstone was switched on the same week of Henry Dienstein's 50th yartzeit anniversary on the 7th of Tammuz.

... "I see this as the fulfillment of the verse in Torah that 'During this Jubilee year, you shall return, each man to his property' (Behar 25:13). No Jewish soul is ever lost," Rabbi Richter concludes.

Mashpia Tells of Dream About War

Channel 4 journalist Jon Snow has tweeted a "deep apology" for presenting photos of injured Syrian as if they were Gazan children. It’s good to correct the record, of course, but careless tweets are not really the problem with his reporting....
No, the real problem is political; Snow has three disabling illusions about Hamas.
1. Snow thinks Hamas are a negotiating partner-in-waiting being ignored by Israel, but they aren’t.
Continue reading: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/alanjohnson/100281431/channel-4s-jon-snow-is-deluded-about-hamas/

Jeffrey Goldberg tweets about a  NYT 2013 article which deals with one response to the tunnels in Gaza.

The Egyptian military is resorting to a pungent new tactic to shut down the smuggling tunnels connecting Sinai and Gaza: flooding them with sewage.

A NYT article  about Ron Derrmer begins with an assignment tasked to him by a professor who asked him "to argue that Israel should be condemned for its treatment of Palestinians." If he didn't do the assignment, the professor would flunk him.

After he was declared the victor of the debate, Mr. Dermer placed a call to his mother.

“How did you do it?” Yaffa Dermer recalled asking incredulously.
“I lied,” Mr. Dermer said. “Like they do.”

18 Jul 2014

Dwelling alone

BaltimoreJewishLife reports Family Shocked by Anti-Semitism at Cairo Hotel.

Rebbetzin Esther Jungries wrotes about a nation destined to dwell alone.

Once again we find ourselves alone – a little lamb among wolves. Can it be that Hashem wants us to realize that we indeed are a nation destined to live alone? Can it be that Hashem wants us to turn to Him to acknowledge that He and only He is our shepherd who can protect and save us?

The moment we forget our Guardian above, G-d forbid, we will be rendered easy prey once again. Iron Domes are wonderful but they are only as strong as Hashem allows them to be. Nothing in this universe is invincible except He who is above us.
Read more:  http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/rebbetzins-viewpointrebbetzin-jungreis/a-nation-destined-to-dwell-alone-part-one/2014/07/17/

R' Eliezer Bulka begins his weekly parsha article with the following words.
I recently signed up with a very special program, The Shmira Project, which pairs ordinary people with soldiers putting their lives on the line in defense of our Nation. The Weekly Shtikle is therefore dedicated bizchus Amir ben Tzipporah im kol chayalei Yisrael.

Elder of Ziyon quoted two paragraphs from a WashingtonPost article which I couldn't find when I clicked on his link, but was able to find in a cached version of the article.


Civilian deaths and a deleted tweet

The Jewish Press has an article about State Department Spokesperson Jan Psaki's words regarding civilian deaths in Gaza that "certainly there's more that can be done." At the end of the article there is a comparison of civilian deaths in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.
Click here to read the article.

Civilian drone deaths in Afghanistan tripled last year, according to a report by a UN agency.
...The report, by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (Unama), found that drone strikes accounted for at least a third of all civilian deaths in air strikes last year.
... The UK and US are the only countries to operate armed drones in the conflict. http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2014/02/08/civilian-drone-deaths-triple-in-afghanistan-un-agency-finds/

CNN has removed correspondent Diana Magnay from covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict after she tweeted that Israelis who were cheering the bombing of Gaza, and who had allegedly threatened her, were “scum.”

CrownHeights info reports about a rabbi who read an article regarding a Jewish man "who found 7 pairs of Tefilin for sale at a lost-luggage clearance shop in Alabama – all of which were subsequently returned to their owners."
The rabbi decided to go back to the store and he found another four items. Click here if you want to check out whether one of them belongs to you.

זאת לא כיפת ברזל, זה הקב"ה

גדולי ישראל בקריאה חריגה: לקיים יום תפילה בגלל המבצע הקרקעי בעזה

17 Jul 2014


With reports of a ground operation underway, please take some time to recite Tehillim.

Yeranen Yaakov writes:

  • Don't Rely on Iron Dome (by Rav Gamliel Rabinowitz Shlit"a)

    • In the Tocheha, it says וְשָׁבַרְתִּי, אֶת-גְּאוֹן עֻזְּכֶם; וְנָתַתִּי אֶת-שְׁמֵיכֶם כַּבַּרְזֶל [And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron].  There is a hint to כפת ברזל [Iron Dome] in that there is a curse that it breaks the pride and power to pray to Hashem.  
    • And the Rambam famously berates people for not crying out to Hashem at times of trouble.
    • Rather, we pray that all our enemies מהרה יכרתו [quickly be cut off], whose Rashei Teivot have the gematria of טיל [missile].  This means, we pray that the missiles should explode before it comes to Israeli territory.
    • It is forbidden to be complacent and rely on Iron Dome, ח"ו, but rather, we must do Teshuva, etc.
    A must read about remembering the fish at AhavasIsrael.org.

    Hamid Dabashi, a Columbia University professor has an article at Al Jazeera titled Does Hamas provoke Israel to attack Gaza?

    Given the sophisticated defence system Israel possesses, courtesy of US taxpayers, none of these rockets hit any targets and fortunately no Israeli man, woman, or child has lost any life or limb because of them.

    All your recorded deeds

    Pirkei Avot 2:1
    ...Reflect on three things and you will never come to sin: Know what is above you--a seeing eye, a hearing ear, and all your deeds recorded in a book.

    The Toronto Sun gives us an example of how a seeing eye can be witness to your actions, even three years after the fact. As far as all your deeds being recorded in a book, that goes for mere mortals, whereas IRS deeds may not be recorded due to hard drive crashes.

    Google maps filmed the two gun-toting crooks who ransacked and robbed an Oklahoma City woman's home at the scene of the crime three years ago.

    A neighbour of the woman, who does not want to be identified, was recently checking out their street on Google map and texted her a photo showing the two suspects walking together in front of her house, KFOR.com reported.

    16 Jul 2014

    The Pew survey

    Jews are the most warmly regarded religious group in America, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center.
    Read more: http://www.jta.org/2014/07/16/news-opinion/united-states/pew-survey-jews-most-popular-religious-group-in-u-s#ixzz37ed3UfYx

    George Jonas has a great article at the National Post explaining the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Click here to read.

    Alyce Lomax, columnist for Fool.com and an analyst for Motley Fool One, has written an article titled Why I'm Finally Selling SodaStream.

    Click here to read the article and scroll down to read some of the comments including:

    Alyce. I've always enjoyed your articles and your belief system. However, ethical investors such as yourself also have a moral responsibility to learn. If one is divesting in Israel then the reasons behind this political action must be based on facts, not feelings and emotions. The truth is what makes action ethical. Here is the truth. If one wants to divest in Israel, then one is “morally” obligated to do the following:
    1. Stop using their cell phones.
    2. Stop using their computers.
    3. Don’t get an MRI.
    4. Don’t take generic drugs.
    5. Don’t ever get on a commercial airline...

    Perhaps I'll write an article titled Why I'm finally unsubscribing from The Motley Fool.

    Giving that little extra

    Ladaat info pointed me to the video (in Hebrew) below of what it will be like when the news sites report on the arrival of the Mashiach.

    I received an email regarding a project pairing IDF soldiers with individuals who sign up.

    The Shmira Project is an ongoing, grassroots program that pairs IDF combat soldiers with Jews around the world who do acts of kindness, prayer or Torah learning to increase the soldier's spiritual merit and protection.

    Click here to sign up.

    Yesterday the Guardiam reported on Jean-Claude Juncker, former Luxembourg prime minister, being confirmed as the European commission president.

    After after the shooting at the Jewish museum in Brussels, Mr. Juncker issued the following statement.

    "I was profoundly shocked to learn of the tragic deaths yesterday in Brussels. My heart goes out to the victims' families, whose senseless loss I can only fathom.

    That the attack seems to have been anti-Semitic and targeted at the Jewish museum makes this tragic act all the more disturbing. Religious intolerance has no place on our continent."

      I received the following email this morning.

    Rabbanit Mizrachi was at a women’s convention last week. On the stage was a group called “Playback”. They asked members of the audience to share stories which they would then act out. One young woman got up. This is her story.

    “”I work as a resource room teacher with children who have learning disabilities. A few years ago a young boy began taking lessons in my resource room. I could not figure out what had brought him to seek my help. He clearly had no difficult with his lessons and did well in all his tests. Yet, time after time he consistently came to my resource room for his lessons. I was determined to find his area of weakness, but as hard as I tried, I could not find any type of learning difficulty or disability. Finally, out of frustration, I took him aside and told him I could not continue giving him lessons. It was a waste of his time and his parents’ hard earned money and he clearly did not need any sort of remedial help.

    The boy turned to me and said “I will tell you why I am here but I am asking you not to tell anyone else. I have a friend with a learning disability. Our teacher told him that he needed remedial classes in the resource room. He was so embarrassed to be singled out as having to go to your classes, I told him that it was no big deal and that I also take remedial classes. That is why I come to you – so that my friend will not be embarrassed.”

    The boy who came to my class so as not to embarrass his friend was Gilad Shaar alav hashalom. He was 10 years old at the time. As we enter the difficult period of the three weeks, let us be inspired by Gilad and the other pure neshamos to look at those around us with an ayin tova – to go out of our “comfort zone” to help others and to give that little extra of ourselves to bring joy to our fellow Jews.

    15 Jul 2014

    Critical thinking

    BD"E. May Israel suffer no more fatalities.

    An eighth-grade English assignment that was meant to develop students’ critical thinking skills has, instead, created some 50 new Holocaust deniers.
    Continue reading: http://eagnews.org/shock-districts-critical-thinking-assignment-led-at-least-50-students-to-conclude-holocaust-never-occurred/

    CNN reports about the collapse of the ceasefire.

    Hamas on Tuesday closed a crossing between Gaza and Israel but allowed 25 Palestinians -- some of them needing medical attention -- to cross into Israel at Erez.

    Remarks by The President at the Annual Iftar Dinner, July 14, 2014

    Four fronts

    Israel Attacked On Four Fronts On Same Day For First Time Ever: Sinai, Lebanon, Syria, Gaza…

    Ancient synagogue mosaic depicts bloody jewish legend

    Ladaat info reports on some Jewish women who entered a clothing store in the center of Antwerp, Belgium, only to be told to leave by the owner of the store who called them dirty Jews.

    14 Jul 2014

    Waging war

    “VaYitzbi’u Al Midyan KaAsher Tziva Hashem”, they fought Midyan the way Hashem commanded.  The Sifri says that when you wage war on a city do not surround it on all for sides.  Surround it from three sides and leave a fourth side to allow the enemy to escape.  The Smag and the Ramban both hold that this is one of the 248 mitzvos Aseh.  The Rambam (Milachim 6:7) brings this down L’Halacha but does not count it among the Mitzvos Aseh.

    The Radvaz on the Rambam says the reason for this Mitzva is to allow people to flee death.  It is the last chance for Rachamim.  This last gesture is granted despite the fact that they were already offered to surrender and live in peace yet refused.  All this says the Radvaz, is because the ways of the Torah are “Sholom”.

    The Ramban gives the same reason as the Radvaz and adds another strategic reason.  If someone has their back to the wall with no way of escape, they will fight viciously until the bitter end.  Do not strengthen their resolve against you, says the Ramban.  Let them know there is another option.

    Teens' 1,000 #TefillinforIsrael

    Teens from Aliya in Crown Heights are working to get 1,000 people to put on Tefillin in the merit of the safety of Israel.
    Read more: http://www.collive.com/show_news.rtx?id=31136&alias=teens-1-000-tefillinforisrael

    Rabbi Yair Hoffman writes about The 17th of Tammuz and the Three Weeks over here.

    Michael Widlanski writes for the NYPost about Living Under Fire.

    The UN secretary-general calls these terror attacks merely “irresponsible”; we know that he and his UN colleagues will condemn us for defending ourselves. Sorry: We’d rather have their condemnations than their condolences.

    6 Jul 2014

    Always alone

    The two Parshas before Pinchas, Chukas and Balak, are often read together (in Eretz Yisroel only). The two parshas afterwards, Matos and Maasei are almost always read together. Pinchas which is between these parshios is always alone. Why??
    This teaches us that when you are Kana'i (zealot) you should be prepared to spend your life alone. People do not have the courage to fight for what is right and even if they start out behind you by time you turn around they will be gone.

    "however, since there is an ongoing investigation, it would be premature to comment on this specific video segment without reviewing the entire incident."

    The California Highway Patrol issues statement after viewing video of an officer using excessive force. 

    "We are profoundly troubled by reports that he was severely beaten while in police custody and strongly condemn any excessive use of force,"

    State Department issues statement after viewing video of officers using excessive force.

    The highest honor

    The 49th Karlovy Vary Film Festival kicked off Friday night with its highest honor awarded to Mel Gibson amid protests from the Czech Jewish community, which said the actor was spreading anti-Semitic views in his work.
    Continue reading: http://blogs.wsj.com/emergingeurope/2014/07/05/mel-gibsons-award-draws-criticism-from-czech-jewish-community/

    רצח הנערים - כפרה על עם ישראל

    Popular religious singers Yonatan Razel and Yosef Harakdan ("Yosef the dancer") have combined forces in a new single, in which they sing a prayer written by former Sephardic Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu z''l, who passed in 2010.
    Read more and listen: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/182514#.U7iJsJUU_IU

    4 Jul 2014

    Returning lost objects

    Tne NYDailyNews has an incredible article titled Florida rabbi finds seven pairs of tefillin being sold in unclaimed airline baggage store in Alabama.

    He then posted photos of each bag on Facebook explaining that he was looking for their owners. Within hours the post had been shared nearly 2,000 times and six of the owners have been found. Four live in New York.

    Continue reading: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/mitzvah-rabbi-finds-returns-pairs-tefillin-article-1.1854447

    Rabbi Frand writes about a chossid who came to the Apter Rebbe to ask him where an allusion to Ahavat Yisrael could be foiund in Parshat Balak.

    The Rebbe looked at the Chossid in surprise and told him there was an obvious allusion -– the name BaLaK is an acronym for the words V'ahavta L'Reacha Kamocha [You shall love your neighbor as yourself] [Vayikra 19:18]! The Chossid looked at the Rebbe and protested, "But Rebbe, Balak is spelled Beis Lamed Kuf and the words in the pasuk [verse] teaching we should love our neighbor begin with the letters Vov Lamed Chaf? – You are matching a Beis with a Vov and a Kuf with a Chaf to make this allusion!" [The matched letters make the same sounds, but are different letters.]

    The Apter Rebbe responded with something that was more than just a whimsical quip. He responded with a profound insight saying: "You have been my Chossid all these years. Haven't you learned yet that when it comes to 'Ahavas Yisrael', you can't be so precise about the exact lettering (ven es kumpt tzu Ahavas Yisrael ken mi'nisht medakdek zayn mitt de'oysiyos)"?
    Read more: http://www.torah.org/learning/ravfrand/5768/balak.html

    3 Jul 2014

    Shalosh Regalim

    Baltimore Mishnayos Campaign in Memory of Our Boys: Ayal, Naftali and Gil-Ad, H'yd

    A Healing Pain by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz.

    This week's Parsha records the incident of Bilam with his donkey, on his way to curse the Jewish People. The donkey has strayed from its normal path and veered off the road. As an immediate reaction, Bilam strikes the donkey numerous times. Hashem miraculously puts words in the mouth of the donkey which then asks Bilam "Why did you strike me these three times?" The term referring to 'times' used in this passuk is "Shalosh Regalim". Why is the word 'Regelim' used here instead of the word 'Pe'amim'- which is the normative choice of word?
    Continue reading: http://baltimorejewishlife.com/torah/parsha-detail.php?SECTION_ID=45&ARTICLE_ID=50128

    Seeing the good

    הרבי מצאנז מנחם את אמא של אייל יפרח

    2 Jul 2014

    The interview

    An interview of Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer by Charlie Rose at Bloomberg TV. At the 1:00 mark of the video , he is identified as Isreal's ambassador. Just a note to change the word "Isreal" to "Israel."

    The poster child

    Nazi 'perfect Aryan' poster child was Jewish

    Two decades ago the Jewish community united in support of landmark religious freedom legislation. Now the Supreme Court’s application of that law has Jewish groups divided.
    Leading Jewish advocacy groups denounced the court’s 5-4 decision Monday in the Hobby Lobby case granting religious freedoms protections to companies, while Orthodox groups lauded the ruling.
    Read more: http://www.jta.org/2014/07/01/news-opinion/politics/jewish-groups-stand-by-religious-freedom-law-but-supremes-take-divides-them#ixzz36GCYz3U9

    On Monday, in a joint resolution, the NJ State Senate and Assembly unanimously declared July 1, 2014 as a “Day of Good Deeds” throughout the Garden State. This date was chosen to coincide with Hebrew date commemorating the 20th anniversary of the passing of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Scheerson, the most influential Jewish leader in modern history.

    The following is an excerpt from the State Department briefing of July 1st.

    QUESTION: Well, I guess – not to beat a dead horse, but --

    MS. HARF: That’s probably not the right choice of words here.

    QUESTION: Not the right choice of words, but I covered too many cases where children, for example, would disappear, there would be massive community outcry, and then it would turn out that a parent or another relative was responsible. I covered too many cases of women who disappeared and it turned out that their husbands were responsible for their murders. And so on.

    And so to be skeptical, particularly when we’re talking about the Israelis and the Palestinians and the amount of mistrust that there is for both sides, why should the general public believe the Israeli Government and the U.S. Government when they say we have reason to believe, ample reason to believe that it was Hamas and not some other horrible incident that led to these young men’s deaths?

    1 Jul 2014

    The name Bilam

    According to Targum Yonason Ben Uziel, (31:8), Bilam was notorious for 4 attempts to destroy the Jewish people. The name Bilam hints at these four attempts.

    1) He was Lavan HaArami, who wanted to destroy our forefather Yaakov.

    2) He advised Pharaoh to torture the Jews in Mitzrayim.

    3) He incited Amalek to declare war against the Jews.

    4) Upon Balak's invitation, he came to curse the Jews, and he advised Balak to encourage Z'nus among the Jews.

    The word Bilaam (Bes, Lamed, Ayin, Mem) is an acronym for Balak, Lavan, Amalek, and Mitzrayim.