"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 Sept 2014


Officials say a group of pro-Palestinian protesters are again blocking an Israeli-owned commercial ship from unloading its cargo at a port in California.
Continue reading: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/378a77ad67f44389ae26051656ff2ec7/california-protesters-block-israeli-owned-ship

The Israelis who buy farmland to let it lie fallow

A Ferguson police officer was shot Saturday night, according to St. Louis County Police Department spokesman Brian Schellman. The officer, a woman, is still alive, Schellman said.
Continue reading: http://theconservativetreehouse.com/2014/09/27/breaking-ferguson-police-officer-shot-on-duty-multiple-threats-documented-prior-to-attack/

YidwithLid writes, "According to Al Jazeera, more than 27 people, mostly civilians, were killed in Tuesday's U.S. led air strikes in Syria."
He concludes, "The reports of civilian casualties in Syria have drawn no condemnations from the MSM, any expressions of outrage from the White House or U.S. State Department. Maybe they don't believe the Al Jazeera report, even though they accepted the Hamas-generated reports at face value. Is it because in their minds Syrian civilians are worth less than those in Gaza or is it due to an inherent prejudice against the the nation of Israel and/or Jews worldwide? "

27 Sept 2014

Deleting a tweet

Liverpool have deleted a tweet wishing their Jewish supporters a happy new year after it was met with a series of antisemitic messages on the club’s official account.
The club marked Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year in the Hebrew calendar, with a tweet on Friday that read: “Liverpool FC would like to wish all our Jewish supporters around the world a happy new year. #RoshHashanah”. However, the tweet was removed several hours later.
Continue reading: http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/sep/26/liverpool-delete-jewish-new-year-tweet-antisemitic-messages

A NYT piece titled  Europe’s Anti-Semitism Comes Out of the Shadows contains a photo with the caption,  "RECALLING HATE Jewish residents of Mechelen, Belgium, gathered this month to remember the Holocaust." I told my friend's daughter that the caption was not true as I recognized some people in the photo as being residents of Brussels or Antwerp, certainly not Mechelen residents.
"You see, you can't believe everything you read in the paper," I told her.
"The only thing you can definitely believe that is true which is published in a paper is the price," her mother chimed in.

A Message from the Kalever Rebbe for Rosh Hashanah 5775

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will fly to the United States Sunday morning to counter-punch Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and also meet with President Barack Obama.
Read more: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/netanyahu-to-hit-back-at-abbas-in-united-nations/2014/09/27/

24 Sept 2014

Seeking wisdom

At Jewish High Holidays, seeking wisdom, rebirth

שיחת הגר"ג אדלשטיין: על מה נתפלל ב'ראש השנה'

Arab-Israeli Priest to UN: ‘Israel Only Safe Haven For Christians in Middle East’ (VIDEO)

Illinois Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn’s ongoing refusal to publicly defend the University of Illinois’ decision not to hire an academic whose anti-Semitic tweets sparked a national controversy is causing concern among local Jewish community leaders who feel that Quinn should be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the school.
Continue reading: http://freebeacon.com/issues/anti-semitism-controversy-embroils-illinois-governor-quinn/

A reminder to prepare an eruv tavshilin. Wishing you a happy and healthy new year.

23 Sept 2014

The new year

Abraham Foxman reflects on the new year.

In terms of anti-Semitism globally, by any measure the year 5774 was an annus horribilis for the Jewish people. The passions whipped up by those protesting the war in Gaza led to open displays of hostility against Israel. Those displays gave way in many instances to ugly anti-Semitic outbursts, while leading some to act out violently against Jewish institutions, homes and businesses.
Who would have thought we would hear chants of "death to the Jews" on the streets of Berlin in our lifetime? Who would have thought that Jewish stores would be marked and face boycotts, that Jews on the streets would be attacked in broad daylight?

A Chance To Wish IDF Soldiers a Sweet and WET New Year!

Short & Sweet: Mind-Blowing Insight Into Rosh Hashanah, Part I

Seeing humanity in art

I was searching for a video of the demonstration protesting the showing of the opera "TThe Death of Klinghoffer" at the Met, when I came across an interview with John Adams, the opera's composer, which can be viewed here. At the end of the video, Mr. Adams opines, "Our opera tries to look at the terrorists and the passengers and see humanity in both of them and for some people that's an egregious mistake. I don't feel it is, I feel that for all of the brutality and the moral wrong that they perpetrated in killing this man,they're still human beings and there still has to be reasons why they did this act."
I guess his next opera will be titled, "The killing of Foley" or "The humanity of Jihadi John."

HOLY MOSES: The 10 Commandments Just Won a Massive Court Victory

In reaction to hearing the news that two suspects in the kidnapping of the three Israeli teens were killed in an operation to apprehend them, the father of Naftali Frenkel said, יש דין ויש דיין

The United States and five partner Arab nations carried out the first air strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria, the Pentagon said late Monday,...
Eight civilians, including three children, were also killed.

Where's the interntational condemnation of the killing of civilians? Oh, I forgot we're taking about the U.S., not Israel.

MRC has a headline titled Networks Refuse to Cover DOJ Baring Media from Ferguson Town Halls.
Is the DOJ forcing the media to undress or is he barring the journalists from the meetings?

נינו של האדמו"ר מויז'ניץ מונסי האברך הרב ישראל הגר, נפצע קשה בתאונת דרכים שאירעה אמש • התפללו: ישראל בן שפרה

22 Sept 2014


3-Day Yom Tov Season: Get Eruv Tavshilin Email Reminders

After listening to Rabbi Paysach Krohn recommend a book by Rabbi David Ashear titled Living Emunah, I signed up to get an emunah daily email. The first one arrived a little while ago and I was impressed and inspired. You can receive the emails as well by sending an email to  

The Pasuk says (32:4) "HaTzur Tamim Pa'aloi Ki Chol Dirachav Mishpat, Kel Emuna V'Ein Avel; Hashem action are flawless, for all His ways are just, Hashem is faithful without any injustice."  Injustice?  We talk about how righteous Hashem is, it seems strange to mention that Hashem in not "unjust".

Rav Shach says from the Vilna Gaon that it is impossible for humans to take into account all surrounding circumstances and dispense perfect justice.  For example, when someonr commits a crime that requires the death sentence, has the court also determined if his children deserve to be orphans or not?  What about the person who he says hello to every morning, has the court figured out if they cancompensate that person for the loss they are inflicting on them. 

When Hashem dispenses judgement, He has accounted for everything from the most glaring consequences to the most minute nuance.  This is truly a tribute that we humans can marvel at.   Hashem's justice system is pure justice, without the slightest trace of injustice.

Against cremation

I spent part of my Sunday making calls to relatives to wish them a good year. I spoke to an aunt who seemed a bit under the weather. She told me she had just returned from visiting the cemetery where her late husband is buried. She and her four sons go the grave together at least once a year before the High Holidays.
I reflected upon Joan Rivers' daughter and how she and her grandson had no grave to visit. Last week I came across an article in which a rabbi details the reasons why cremation is against Jewish law.

We recognize and appreciate Joan Rivers robust defenses of Israel during the summer’s Gaza War.

To learn of the circumstances of the passing of Joan Rivers was sad, but even more sad and disappointing was the fact that Joan was cremated.

“Sadly after the cremation of Joan Rivers we are once again reminded that parents must include in the Jewish education of their children,” says Rabbi Perl, “the importance of why cremations are against Jewish law.”
Read more: http://5tjt.com/rabbi-perl-to-joan-rivers-can-we-talk-the-tragic-cremation-of-joan-rivers/

האדמו"ר מצאנז פרץ בבכי: "כל יהודי הוא עולם ומלואו

Applauding an atrocity

The Metropolitan Opera stages a work that resounds in anti-Semitism

21 Sept 2014

Taking charge

Rabbi Paysach Krohn delivers an inspiring lecture titled Teshuva: Taking Charge – Guaranteeing Our Children’s Future over here. During the lecture, the rabbi recommends purchasing a book titled Living Emunah by Rabbi David Ashear. One can access the first few pages over here.

About a month ago, a relative told me about a leftist colleague who canceled her subscription to Haaretz after reading an article by Gideon Levy. Camera writes about the article in a post Ex-Haaretz Readers Walk Out of Publisher's Event.

Thank you, David Harsanyi, for concluding an article at the NYPost with the following words:
"Is Israel good for the Jews? Yes, of course it is."

Your nisayon

Rav Tzvi Meir tells a story that goes something like this. A person meets his friend after Rosh Hashana and asks him "Nu, so how did your Rosh Hashana go?" He replies "It was beautiful. The baal tefila didn't leave a dry eye in the shul. The meals were full of divrei torah and zemiros. The afternoons we learned straight without dozing or schmoozing for a minute. The kids behaved like angels" "Wow! Gevaldig. Sounds like it was perfect" his friend replies. "Well almost perfect. The kid next to me in Shul couldn't stop making noise during Musaf and the father the "Groisse Tzaddik" was so busy shukling away that he didn't do anything besides keep shuckling. I had to shissss the kid half of Mussaf, besides that it was perfect.

To this Rav Tzvi Meir says, "Fool! That was your whole test of Rosh Hashana. Maybe your whole year depended on your reaction to the kid. The rest of Yom Tov was not your Nisayon!" This Rosh Hashana don't decide for yourself what Rosh Hashana is all about. Submit yourself to what the King of all Kings decides is your particular avodah. Hatzlacha Rabba and Gut Yom Tov!

Fox News panel discusses profiling over here.

A coalition of organizations will protest at Lincoln Center on Monday evening, Sept. 22, at 4:30 PM, across the street from the Lincoln Center Plaza at Broadway & 65th Street to protest the Metropolitan Opera House’s decision to air the “The Death of Klinghoffer.”
...Confirmed participants include former Governor of NY George Pataki, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Assemblyman Dov Hikind, Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, ZOA’s Morton Klein and Knesset Member Nissim Ze’ev (Shas).

An outspoken Moroccan poet has angered many of her countrymen by accusing the Arab world of imperialism and defending the Jewish people's right to a homeland in Israel.
Read more: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/185341#.VB7A2pVO7IU

10 Sept 2014

At risk

Those who suffer from anxiety or sleeping problems shouldn't become too anxious or lose sleep over an article at the Daily Mail.

Prescription sleeping pills taken by more than a million Britons may cause dementia, research shows.

Those taking a group of tablets known as benzodiazepines are 50 per cent more at risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2750042/Prescription-sleeping-pills-taken-one-million-Britons-raise-chance-developing-Alzheimer-s-50.html#ixzz3CwY9CFtg 

I missed an article by Elon Gold that was published last month, but a friend sent me a link to it this morning.

This past Friday night, instead of having my usual guests for a festive Friday night dinner in my home, I had three compassionate Los Angeles Police Department officers standing in my kitchen explaining the difference between a “hate crime” and a “hate incident.” My family was the victim of the latter.
We were walking home in Los Angeles after a Friday night dinner at a friend’s house, dressed nicely for Shabbat, easily identifiable as a Jewish family. We waited for a light to change on a corner of a major intersection when a black Mercedes SUV pulled up alongside us. Four Middle-Eastern men in their 20s were in the car. The one in the back rolled down his window and yelled, “Free Palestine!”
Read more: http://www.jewishjournal.com/hollywood/article/a_hate_incident_against_elon_gold

Mr. Gold, do you still want to give peace a dance?

An exceptional discovery

Diamond Miners in South Africa Unearth a ‘Magnificent’ and ‘Exceptional’ Discovery.

Protesters who are boycotting Israeli goods over Gaza need to be reminded that the Nazi campaign against Jewish goods ended with a campaign against Jewish lives, senior Tory Michael Gove has said.
Warning of a "resurgent, mutating, lethal virus of antisemitism", the Conservative chief whip also claimed those who compare Israel's actions to Nazi war crimes are engaging in a form of Holocaust denial.

Breitbart reports: Letter: Holder Aide Accidentally Calls Issa Staff for Help Spinning IRS Scandal.

Cruz Letter: Why is the IRS Auditing Breitbart News?

9 Sept 2014

Letting go of the guilt

Collive has a post containing an excerpt from Rabbi Dov Ber Pinson's book "Reclaiming the Self."
Fascinatingly, there is not one Hebrew word that accurately defines the sense of guilt. In Biblical Hebrew, there is a word for 'shame', busha and for 'regret', charatah, but there is no word for guilt. Guilt is not a Torah idea. Regret yes, as regret can be a positive emotion if it is focused on a deed done or not done, and coupled with a resolve to amend or alter behavior. But guilt is irredeemable as it seeks to turn the harsh judgment inward upon the doer himself, with no resolve for action. Guilt is a purely a negative feeling in and of itself, with no resulting impetus to do anything about that which makes one feel guilty. When these feelings are not accompanied by a resolve to evolve, this characterizes the static sensation of guilt.
Continue reading: http://www.collive.com/show_news.rtx?id=31863&alias=how-to-let-go-of-guilt

Scholar to UN: You Are ‘the Leading Global Purveyor of Anti-Semitism’

The first fruits

A headline at Western Journalism caught my eye this morning.
Watch: Obama Just Tried To Back-Peddle On ISIS, But These Guys Called Him Out Big Time

Shouldn't the headline read back-pedal rather than back-peddle? I refer you to an article titled Pedal or peddle?

Ki Savo contains the mitzvah of bringing the First Fruits (Bikkurim) to the Bais HaMikdash. The fruits are brought to the Kohen and their presentation is accompanied by a declaration [Devorim 26:5-10] expressing one's gratitude to the Almighty in the context of a brief history of the Jewish people.
Continue reading and see examples of how Gedolei Yisrael practiced gratitude:  http://www.torah.org/learning/ravfrand/5771/kisavo.html

There's an interesting excerpt from a book titled The Psychology of Gratitude over here.

8 Sept 2014

The Shabbos paraglide

Shabbos Paraglide Returns to Tel Aviv Beaches

Media Bias: This May Be the Best Joke I've Heard All Year...

Showing We Care

B’Tselem Sticking by Staffer Accused of Holocaust Denial

Sheluchei Mitzvah

KikarHashabat imparts the sad news of the passing of Rabbanit Chana Shteinman, the daughter of Rav Chaim Kanievsky and the daughter-in-law of Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman.

The site also reports on how Rav Baruch Mordechai Ezrachi reacted calmly to the news that the plane which he was on, along with some of his students, had to return to Israel, due to mechanical problems.

Sheluchei Mitzvah Einan Nizokin - Those who go to a mitzvah do not come to harm.

Rabbi David Hirsch speaks about the above verse over here.

Ruchoma Shain relates an anecdote based on the verse which can be accessed on pages 398-400 in the book All for the Boss.

Crown Heights info relates Chabad Hosts Special Appreciation Event for IDF Soldiers

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge expecting second child

7 Sept 2014

True bracha

The NYPost has an article titled The ‘Catholic’ girl hidden from Nazis who learned she was a Jew.

In the brachos it says (28:2) "U'Va'u Olecha Kol HaBrachos HaEileh V'Hisigucha"; The brachos will come on you and it will reach you. The Chasam Sofer asks, if the brachos come on you of course they reached you? He answers that Hashem gives us much bracha in our lives. What do we do with the riches he sends our way? Do we blow it on nonsense? Are the things we purchase transferable to the next world? When Hashem sends us bracha it must help us reach our goals or else it is not a bracha. Hashem promises that if we serve him with happiness we receive his material rewards we will spend it wisely making it a true bracha.

On Modesty

I received an email from Merkaz Anash regarding publication of a new book titled The Rebbe on Modesty, a compilation of talks, letters, and insights regarding modesty in our times. Click here to order.

Ellie Levi writes about modesty rewarded over here.

Missing Groom Causes Rare Friday Chuppah