"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 Oct 2014


VIDEO: Launch of New Global Women’s Movement – Ner Echad

Collive has a reponse by the Lubavitcher Rebbe to a question about weight loss over here.

Many of the questions posed at the State Department briefing of October 29th focused on Israel including the two questions below.

QUESTION: Okay. And did you see Prime Minister Netanyahu’s response, and in particular his reference to the security of – I think he said the Israeli people and Jerusalem, although he may have said Israel and Jerusalem. But implicit in his comment was that Jerusalem is theirs, which, of course, is not a position that the United States – belongs to Israel – which is not a position that the United States --

QUESTION: Right. But are you proud of the fact that the – is the Administration proud of the fact that it, quote/unquote, “boxed” Israel in or out of conducting some kind of military operation against the Iranians?
Read full transcript: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2014/10/233492.htm

I have been ending the posts the last few days with a video regarding Brachot perek 1, after reading about IsraelMatzav posting a notice requesting "people to study Mishna in memory of (Karen) Yamima Mosquera HY"D."

29 Oct 2014

A quality education

Malala Yousafzai, the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate, is to donate $50,000 (39,000 euros) to help rebuild United Nations schools in Gaza, the UNRWA said Wednesday.
... "We must all work to ensure Palestinian boys and girls, and all children everywhere, receive a quality education in a safe environment."

Let's hope they receive a quality education.

WATCH: Video Of Yehuda Glick Taken Just Minutes Before He Was Shot

On CNN, Wolf Blitzer Says Kaddish

Shidduch Group 2nd Conference

Raccoon atop a lamp post

Just came across an unusual photo which can be viewed by clicking the link to the article.

PHOTO: Raccoon Atop Lamp Post in Queens

A raccoon has been rescued after climbing to the top of a light post in Queens and clinging there for hours.

הגר"ח קנייבסקי לרב שמשון הלפרין: "חיה זיסל הייתה נשמה גבוהה"

Jonathan S. Tobin has written an article in Commentary titled Obama, Not Bibi, Created U.S.-Israel Crisis, in which he details the pejorative a White House official called Prime Minister Netanyahu, as written about by columnist Jeffrey Goldberg.

But President Obama and his foreign-policy team aren’t just annoyed by the prime minister. They’ve come to view him as public enemy No. 1, using language about him and giving assessments of his policies that are far harsher than they have ever used against even avowed enemies of the United States, let alone one of its closest allies.

Jeffrey Goldberg's article is titled The Crisis in U.S.-Israel Relations Is Officially Here and the journalist opines that the breakdown, in good part, can be assigned to Netanyahu and his cabinet.

Twitter users have pointed out to Mr. Goldberg the words he used in a 2008 article.

So, all you rumor-mongering, fever-headed Jewish conspiracists: Support McCain, if you want, and there are credible reasons for doing so, but stop smearing Obama in the face of overwhelming evidence that the man is a great friend of Jews and of Israel.

Rabbi Marvin Hier, the founder and Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, has called on President Barack Obama to “name, apologize for, and repudiate” the anonymous official who was quoted, in an Atlantic Magazine article by Jeffrey Goldberg, describing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “chickens....”

Yesterday I wrote about IsraelMatzav posting a notice requesting "people to study Mishna in memory of (Karen) Yamima Mosquera HY"D."

28 Oct 2014

A flood of Bibles

Last year there was Thanksgivukkah; This year, as Halloween falls on Shabbat, an organization is hosting a “Challahween Kabbalat Shabbat.”

Houston Mayor Annise Parker has received a flood of Bibles — somewhere between 500 and 1,000 according to a spokesman for the mayor’s office — after the city subpoenaed the church sermons of five local faith leaders opposed to the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, which the mayor signed in May.

The United Nations Relief and Works agency for Palestine Refugees has urged the international community to block Israeli plans to relocate thousands of Palestinian Bedouins from the central West Bank, in fear the move could lead to further violations of UN charter.
The UNRWA Commissioner General Pierre Krahenbuhl said on Sunday that the implementation of such a plan would stoke concerns "that it amounts to a 'forcible transfer' in contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention".

Egypt may relocate thousands of Bedouin to widen buffer zone near Gaza border
Egypt is considering expanding the jurisdiction of military courts and displacing thousands of residents to enlarge a military buffer zone near the border with the Gaza Strip following an attack on security forces in the area.

Is the Egyptian transfer considered "in contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention"?

IsraelMatzav posted a notice requesting "people to study Mishna in memory of (Karen) Yamima Mosquera HY"D."

The last moments

The Yeshiva World writes about MK Yoni Chetboun being menachem aveil the family of Chaya Zisel Braun HY”D.

The pained young father turned to Chetboun and shared his last moments of his daughter’s life. “I pointed out the Har Habayis to Chaya Zisel explaining this is where Avraham was ready to sacrifice Yitzchok Avinu. A willingness to be moser nefesh for Kiddush Hashem. And I also was moser my only daughter”.
- See more at: http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/headlines-breaking-stories/267717/bereaved-father-to-mk-chetboun-protect-the-bnei-torah.html#sthash.dQ27uoZu.dpuf

Another Anti-Semitic Hate Crime At Claremont McKenna College

Weasel Zippers has a post titled UC Berkeley Libs Trying To Get Bill Maher Disinvited From Speaking At Graduation For Criticizing Islam… which opines, "If Maher stuck to bashing Christianity he’d still be in good standing with his comrades on the left."

The State Department question and obfuscation session of October 27th had more than its share of questions about Israel including an answer by Jen Psaki in the video below in response to a question regarding Israeli settlement units.

A few other questions asked included the following exchange.

QUESTION: In the case of the Palestinian American teenager who was killed on Friday, are you – do you know the circumstances under which he was shot?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t have any more details.

QUESTION: There are – okay. The reason I ask is because there are reports out there that he was throwing Molotov cocktails at cars on a highway. And I’m wondering, if that is the case, would you have still been so speedy in putting out a statement and offering your condolences to the family? The argument that is being made by some in Israel is that this kid was essentially a terrorist. And you don’t agree with that, I assume, but I don’t know, so that’s why I’m asking.

MS. PSAKI: Correct, we don’t. I don’t have any more details on the circumstances now.

QUESTION: So you – does that – that would apply even if he was throwing Molotov cocktails?

MS. PSAKI: I’m not going to speculate. I don’t have details to share.

Read the entire briefing at http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2014/10/233404.htm.

27 Oct 2014

Mi'Yagon l'Simcha

Kikar Hashabat writes about a hachnosat sefer Torah to take place this Thursday in the merit of the two young Gross girls who were niftar earlier this year after an exterminator visited their home.

Collive posts A mother writes a painful public letter to the happily married classmates of her daughter.
The letter has garnered over 100 comments, just as the Mishpacha article by Shlomo Rechnitz evinced many opinions about how to go about solving the shidduch crisis.

Rabbi Lazer Brody has an article titled The real Shimon Cohen.

Real "winners"

THE French municipality of Valenton (near Paris), has just named a street after Marwan Barghouti, the Palestinian terrorist convicted in 2004 of murdering at least five Israelis.
At the inauguration of the street, Valenton mayor Françoise Baud called Barghouti “the face of the unwavering resistance of the Palestinian people against the occupation, the crimes, the destruction, the apartheid and the colonization perpetrated by the Israeli government”.
Continue reading: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/15843#.VE3vGJtATIX

Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa on Sunday condemned last Wednesday's terrorist attack in Jerusalem.
The condemnation came hours after a citizen of Ecuador, 22-year-old Karen Mosquera, died of injuries sustained in last week’s attack, in which three-month-old Chaya Zisel Braun was murdered as well.
"We will reject violence from wherever it comes," Correa wrote on Twitter, according to AFP, expressing his solidarity with the woman's grieving relatives.

What took so long for the condemnation? Is it violence only when it affects a citizien from your country?

Cosmic X reports:
Do you remember the "intermarriage of the year", when Moral Malka "wed" Mahmud Mansour a couple of months ago? Well, it looks like Moral picked a real "winner":
Continue reading: http://cosmicx.blogspot.be/2014/10/mahmoud-mansour-arrested-for-drug.html

Yid with Lid reports on a debate between Democrat Sen.Jeanne Shaheen and Republican Scott Brown.

The collapse of the incumbent Sen.Jeanne Shaheen's campaign continued Sunday morning at a candidate's forum taking place at Reform Synagogue Temple Adath Yeshurun. The heavily liberal crowd (Reform Jews tend to be the most liberal skewing Jews) booed the incumbent and called her rude after she interrupted Republican Scott Brown during his concluding remarks:
Does the Senator have to worry about the outcome of the election, particularly with voting machines reported about in the article below?

Voting machines that switch Republican votes to Democrats are being reported in Maryland. “When I first selected my candidate on the electronic machine, it would not put the ‘x’ on the candidate I chose — a Republican — but it would put the ‘x’ on the Democrat candidate above it,” reported Donna Hamilton. - See more at: http://www.teaparty.org/another-calibration-error-machines-flip-gop-votes-democrats-maryland-64063/?

26 Oct 2014

Your name shall be Abraham

לבכות: האמא בירכה שהחיינו בברית
In the week that we read in parshat Lech Lecha, "your name shall be Abraham," a baby has received the name Avraham (Chaim) after his father who was niftar before the bris. 

A woman, 22, has died Sunday, four days after she was mortally wounded when a terrorist plowed into a Jerusalem crowd with his car Wednesday.
She is the second victim of the attack to die. The first, baby Chaya Zisel Braun, died Wednesday.
The woman is a citizen of Ecuador who reportedly came to Israel with the intention of converting to Judaism.

BREAKING: NYPD Officer Shoots Man Who Ran At Him With A Box Cutter

As I read the headline, I immediately thought if anyone would remark that this was a disproportionate response and I have already seen a comment posted,  "I can hear it now...it was unfair because he only had a boxcutter and the cop had a gun.."

Many of composer Johann Sebastian Bach's best-loved works may have actually been written by his wife, an academic has claimed.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2808296/Did-Mrs-Bach-write-composer-s-finest-works-Handwriting-analysis-proves-musician-s-second-wife-penned-best-pieces-academics-claim.html#ixzz3HHcuAxKK

A moderate approach

Virtue, Maimonides taught, is found in the middle path....the ideal is to be found in moderation (Shemonah Perakim 4:3). Maimonides wrote, "In truth, it is the middle way that should be praised (Shemonah Perakim 4:2).

I was reminded of the Rambam's golden mean as I read an interesting article in the New York Times this morning titled The Problem With Positive Thinking.

Positive thinking is pleasurable, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for us. Like so much in life, attaining goals requires a balanced and moderate approach, neither dwelling on the downsides nor a forced jumping for joy.

There are actually two Biblical commands that say Lech L’cha, one here (Gen. 12:1) and one next week (Gen. 22:2) when the Akedah is prefaced by God telling Abraham to take his son and lech l’cha (“Go for yourself!”) to the land of Moriah.
This Hebrew phrase, as Nachmanides points out, is a grammatical idiom, but the commentators read a special significance into it. Rashi, utilising a famous Midrashic comment, explains that the l’cha means “for your own benefit and good”. Literally the command is, “Go to yourself”: in other words, “Go, and follow your destiny” or “Go, and find out what you really are”.
Continue reading Torah thought by Rabbi Dr Raymond Apple: http://www.oztorah.com/2014/10/two-lech-lchas/

Fiery Email Leads to Correction

FreeBeacon reports Tufts University Hosting Islamists to Train Students in ‘Direct Action’

Jerusalem City Council Member, Arieh King, visited the Mount of Olives Saturday night, and returned from the trip shaken.
"The Israeli government has decided to abandon the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives and in recent weeks, terrorists have taken control of large parts of the mountain," King wrote of the ancient site on his Facebook page.
Read more: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/186589#.VEzC9ZtATIU

14 Oct 2014

Gmar tov

On Hoshana Rabba we wish people a Gmar Tov.  The Minhag Yisroel Tovah brings from the Eretz Tzvi that this means that although our fate, whatever it is, is already sealed, it should turn out for the best.  Koheles says sometimes great wealth is bestowed upon his person for the bad.  We therefore wish each other that whatever they were granted should be for the good.

The Darkei Chaim V'Shalom says we should not wish people Gmar Tov because the word Gmar means "final end" and telling someone  to have a "good end" is quite ominous sounding.  He suggests saying Gmar VChasima Tova.

Her also says that when someone give you a bracha you should not respond "V'Chein L'Mar", as in same to you.  Mar also means bitter and we do not want to wish the person giving us a bracha that he should have a bitter year.  For a response to a bracha, he recommends saying "Gam Atem".

The Chasam Sofer however was very makpid that when he gave bracha to his talmidim they should answer the words V'chein L'Mar.  The source for this is the gemara (Megila 27b), where Rav complained to someone whom he gave a bracha to that he did not say V'Chein L'Mar.

Kafka Was the Rage

At a Catholic school, a professor fighting the academic boycott of Israel is investigated on secret charges

R' Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz Speaks at the Mir Yerushalayim Sukkah on Chol HaMoed Sukkos 2014 / 5775  

Speaking about parrots

Rabbi Yisroel Miller writes about "Hoshana Rabbah, the last day of Succot, when we beat the hoshanot -- the cluster of five willow branches -- on the ground" in an article titled Beating the Branches. It might pay to read it to get some insight into what we are going to do tomorrow on Hoshana Rabbah.

Red Alert Politics writes about students at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas being outraged at Hillay Clinton's $225,000 fee for a speech to be delivered at a dinner.
...UNLV President Don Snyder has also called parts of Hillary’s speech contract “distasteful.”
In Clinton’s defense, he may not have been referring explicitly to the $225,000. He could, of course, have been eluding to her demand for a presidential suite, rooms for her staff and private air travel, among multiple other things.
Read more at http://redalertpolitics.com/2014/10/13/official-hillary-clinton-shunned-unlv-students-asking-return-225k-speaking-fee/#HZ70r0dsTvglVIUg.99

A comment posted at the end of the article calls attention to the word "eluding" which should be replaced with the word "alluding."

Eluding, huh? Are you guys hiring editorialators for grammaticationalizing?

For the record, if the university offers me a speech contract, I will accept a substantially lower fee.

Three swastikas appeared on the campus of Yale University, according to an email sent by Jonathan Holloway, the Dean of Yale College, addressed to the campus community.
Continue reading: http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/three-swastikas-chalked-yale-university-campus

A pet parrot that spoke with a British accent when it disappeared from its home four years ago has been reunited with its owner — and the bird now speaks Spanish.

The parrot story brings to mind an email I received this morning with a quote attributed to Will Rogers.

Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.

13 Oct 2014

Studying Jewish texts

I would like to thank Rabbi Paysach Krohn for recommending Living Emunah by Rabbi David Ashear. After hearing Rabbi Krohn's lecture at TorahAnytime, I signed up for a daily email at Emunadaily@gmail.com. The emails I have been receiving are very inspiring. Today's one about being joyous during the holiday of Sukkot was fabulous.

A new institute in Jerusalem has been awarded $2.2 million to help Christians and Jews study Jewish texts, launching what’s being billed as a new kind of Jewish-Christian cooperation.
The Herzl Institute was awarded what’s being called the first ever multimillion-dollar grant in Jewish theology by the U.S-based Templeton Foundation, a philanthropic organization that has focused much of its giving on science-related projects.
Continue reading: http://www.religionnews.com/2014/10/13/israel-based-institute-awarded-2-2-million-help-christians-study-jewish-thought/

צפו בוידאו: הווארט של הגרי"מ לאו לחג הסוכות

Tee time

While officials in Dallas scrambled to calm public hysteria over news of the first Ebola transmission on U.S. soil, Barack Obama hit the links for his 200th golf game as president.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2790237/war-rages-middle-east-dallas-confirms-second-ebola-victim-s-obama-hitting-links-200th-golf-game-president.html#ixzz3G0suGXZ8

Rabbi Benzion Twerski talks about the arba minim in a lecture titled The Hero Is The Aravah. At the 6 minute mark, the rabbi opines, "When we have the four species in our hands, we have the ability in our tefilos to be on the level of a tzadik who can be gozer - who can decree and Hashem will fulfill our requests. So it is an incredibly powerful opportunity for tefilah at that time."

Needless to say, after hearing the rabbi's words, as I took the four species in my hands today and recited the brocha, I uttered heartfelt requests to Hashem which I hope will be answered for the good.

Yehuda Shlezinger writes about "a 'renewed interest' in Jewish tradition" in Tel Aviv.

One of the young people taking part in the reawakening of interest in Judaism is Natan Bashevkin, a participant in the reality television show "Survivor" who attends the North Central Synagogue. "At first I went to the nearby synagogue until an older man told me that they needed help bringing people in for the minyan [basic quorum of 10]. He told me that people might attend because I was well-known. We were seven people at first, and every time they would send me outside to 'hunt' for people to make the minyan."
...Bashevkin also attributes the Jewish awakening in Tel Aviv to Operation Protective Edge. "There's more awareness of Jewishness," he says. "After the military operation, people realize that it's impossible to live without a drop of faith or a path. Those who have no path and no goal get lost. Recently, it has seemed to me that people are starting to become stronger in their faith.

12 Oct 2014

Sukkot 5775

Two Penn State students who pleaded guilty to spray-painting anti-Semitic graffiti on a mostly Jewish fraternity house were sentenced to community service and probation.
Read more: http://www.jta.org/2014/10/12/news-opinion/united-states/penn-state-students-sentenced-for-painting-anti-semitic-slogans-on-jewish-frat#ixzz3Fx2kkrRn

Rabbi Elimelech Goldberg – CNN Hero, and Mine - Be sure to cast your vote.

Arab vandals destroyed the gravesite of the Hassidic leader, the Grand Rebbe of Modzitz, according to Modzitz hassidim who visited the site. The gravestone of the leader, Rabbi Yisrael Dan Taub, who died in 2006, was destroyed, along with dozens of others, including several well-known rabbis. The destruction took place at a special section of the Mount of Olives cemetery reserved for rabbinical leaders.
Continue reading: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/186080#.VDr-mptO7IU

I stumbled across a nice thought on Sukkot titled Beauty and Simplicity – Sukkot 5774 that was posted last year. Click here to read.  Here's another one titled  Second Is the Best – Sukkot 5775.

Finally, as today is the yahrzheit of Rav Shimon Kornitzer, the son of Rav Yosef Nechemia Kornitzer, click here to read an interesting Torah thought by the former Rav of Krakow.


Accuracy in Media (AIM) is urging a full inquiry into a report that a Saudi billionaire caused the Fox News Channel (FNC) to dramatically alter its coverage of the Muslim riots in France after he called the network to complain.
Read more: http://www.aim.org/press-release/saudi-billionaire-boasts-of-manipulating-fox-news-coverage/

A Michigan teacher asked students to create Islamic propaganda for a school project. Jenison High School officials are now under fire for promoting Islam and spreading misinformation.
Continue reading: http://www.redflagnews.com/headlines/michigan-teacher-asks-students-to-make-islamic-propaganda

Britain's security services are monitoring thousands of terrorism suspects in London and are involved in operations on a daily basis, the capital's mayor Boris Johnson said in an interview published on Saturday.
Read more: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/10/11/uk-britain-security-mayor-idUKKCN0I00AV20141011

Anne Bayefsky tweets finally worried sick about Islamic radicals in UK. Ya mean Israeli apts not the problem?

Watch Juan Williams defend Harvard students who say America THREATENS world peace MORE than ISIS

8 Oct 2014

Not to complain

Just a reminder for those celebrating Sukkot outside Israel to make an eruv tavshilin in preparation of the three day Yom Tov and Shabbos.

Collive reports the sad news that "Mendel Cotlar, the 13-year-old who inspired many to say Tehillim and do a Mitzvah, passed away from GSD disease."

I had a post about him titled The Tehillim advocate a little while ago. I am reposting the video in which he speaks about Tehillim at the end of this post. In his short life, he inspired many individuals. May he be a meilitz yosher for us and let's recite a perek Tehillim for someone in need.

Rabbi Avraham Kohan gives a 5 minute Torah thought about not complaining on Sukkot, particularly since the Sukkot remind us of the ananei hakavod, the clouds of glory, which protected the people of Israel during their sojourn in the desert. They never complained about the way Hashem protected them with the ananei hakavod.
Particularly after I read reports that there is a 25% chance of  rain in Israel the first day and it has gotten colder in the area where I live, let us remember not to complain but to be besimcha!!!!

Dad Claims Superintendent Told Daughter She Could Not Pray Before School Lunch…

Click here to watch Harvard Students Say America Poses Bigger Threat To World Peace Than Islamic State

Seth Mandel writes about Roger Cohen, the “Nakba,” and the Falsification of History regarding an article at the New York Times.

In the NYT article, Roger Cohen ends with the words, "The words of Leviticus are worth repeating for any Jew in or concerned by Israel today: Treat the stranger as yourself, for “you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”

I just love when people use the Scripture to justify their positions while disregarding many other verses which are antithetical to their way of thinking. I noticed this the other day when I read about a Conservative rabbi who came out and wrote a letter to his congregation.

A text I’ve sat with for years is from the Babylonian Talmud (Yoma 72b) and states, “Rabbah said, any scholar whose inside does not match his outside is no scholar. Abaye, and some say Ravah bar Ulah, said [one whose inside does not match his outside] is called an abomination.”

Don't use a quote from Scripture when I can also quote you another one.