"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

29 Apr 2015

The book launch

Fareed Zakaria and Haim Saban Clash Over Israel at Book Launch

One of the more startling portions of oral arguments today at the Supreme Court was the willingness of the Obama administration’s Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, to admit that religious schools that affirm marriage as the union of a man and a woman may lose their non-profit tax-exempt status if marriage is redefined.
Read more: http://dailysignal.com/2015/04/28/obama-administration-says-non-profit-status-going-to-be-an-issue-for-religious-schools/?

22 Apr 2015

Yom HaZikaron

Bereaved Father Gives Klal Yisroel Chizuk Days After the Death of His Small Son

A new iniative for Yom HaZikaron was reported by the Jewish Press.

The initiative was launched by Rabbi Ze’ev Rothman, a Chabad Rabbi, as an attempt to connect the two minutes of silence with an older Jewish tradition of saying Tehillim (Psalms) and prayers for the deceased.

On July 28, 2014, the JC reported, 'Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket chain, says it will no longer sell products originating from the West Bank, starting this September."

April 22, 2015 - Tesco posts record £6.4bn annual loss 

Why doesn't the left criticize Saudi Arabia for doing what they attack Israel for?

21 Apr 2015

To drop or not to drop

The Reconstructionist movement is on the cusp of making a historic decision about whether to drop its longstanding ban against intermarried rabbinical school students.
...Supporters of the change argue that the ban hews to an outdated way of defining Jewish identity and community, and that eliminating the ban would reaffirm Reconstructionism’s commitment to progressivism and inclusivity. http://www.jewishjournal.com/lifestyle/article/reconstructionists_consider_dropping_ban_on_intermarried_rabbis

You remember the ad "You don't have to be Jewish to love Levy's"? If we are talking about inclusion, how about extending it to "You don't have to be Jewish to be Jewish."
Similarly, "You don't have to be American to run for U.S President."

Sharing The Pain: Finding Opportunities

A Tale of Two Heroes

The Jewish community are demanding answers over how a councillor was found not to be in breach of authority standards when he flew a Palestinian flag above the Civic Centre.
Read more: http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/newcastle-jewish-barrister-demands-council-9092933

Passive aggressive

Iran isn’t acting ‘AGGRESSIVELY’ when they chant ‘DEATH to America and Israel’ says Iranian Vice Prez!

This morning I read an article in which Roseanne Barr is interviewed and where she admits, "“I have macular degeneration and glaucoma..."

Will the macular degeneration ultimately leave you blind, I ask.

“Yeah,” Barr replies, flatly.

Did I say the blessing of "pokeach ivrom" with the proper intent this morning? Probably not.

Incidentally, when asked about her views on Hillary Clinton running for the office if President, Roseanne responded, "I would rather see the first intelligent, honest American president."

WH Won’t Deny Accusations That Hillary’s State Dept Did Favors for Clinton Foundation Donors

For the Spanish speakers, below is a devar Torah about the parsha.

19 Apr 2015

Five kinds

Jewish Flight Lesson 101: No Connections Before Shabbat

TONIGHT: Event in NY to Mark Shloshim of Sassoon Children; List your Kabbalos to be Sent to the Family

Historic German Church Finds New Life As A Synagogue

In Parshas Tazria-Mitzora we find five kinds of tzoraas, skin, clothing, head, beard, and house. Rav Itzele Volozhin explains that tzoraas is an exterior sign of internal corruption. Each one of these nega'im correspond to a certain tumah within the person.

1. The tzoraas on the skin shows a constant craving by the person to satisfy his bodily desires with food and other physical pleasures.
2. A nega on his clothing is an indication of the pursuit of material items, whether new clothing or anything else. As soon as something new hits the market, says Rav Itzele, it's out with the old and in with the new.
3. Bad character, corrupt ideology, and haughtiness are plagues of the mind and show up as a nega on the head.
4. Sins of the mouth like Lashon Hara an Rechilus manifest themselves as tzoraas on the beard.
5. The chase after wealth such as real estate result in nega'im on ones house.

Everything is dealt with Mida Kneged Mida. Appropriately the cure for tzoraas is to go to the Kohen. The Kohen is an Ish Tzadik v'Tahor. He will take a deep look at the nega and understand its source. He will then prescribe the correct cure from your sins and help you cleanse your inside and as a result your outside.

Facing a backlash

School Faces Backlash After Planning “Covered Girl Challenge”, Having Girls Spend Day In Hijab To ‘Celebrate Diversity’

NCPD: Homeless Man Arrested For scrawling Anti-Semitic Graffiti on Synagogue

Temple Israel Of Boston Must Not Host Those Who Support A Boycott of Israel

A NYT article reports on an American citizen, Mohamed Soltan, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in Egypt. The article also related in passing, "Gehad el-Haddad, a spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood, was also sentenced to life in prison."
No other information is given in this article about Mr. el-Haddad.
An article at MadWorldNews gives further clarification about the individual. "El-Haddad served for five years as a top official in the Clinton foundation."

Why did the NYT  decide to omit this piece of information regarding the man's ties to a Presidential candidate?

Additionally, the NYT article describes the calls of the State Department for the American citizen's release.

In a statement, the United States State Department said that it was “deeply disappointed” in the decision and “deeply concerned about Mr. Soltan’s health and detention.” The statement called for Egypt to release Mr. Soltan “on humanitarian grounds.”

What about releasing Jonathan Pollard on humanitarian grounds?

70 years later

Greece: MP tweets about 'attacks of Jews against all of us"

Nazi invasion of London EXPOSED: World's top Holocaust deniers... filmed at secret race hate rally where Jews are referred to as the 'enemy'

Newsweek: Largest individual donor to Clinton Foundation has trade ties to Iran

17 Apr 2015

Humility and greatness

D &  C has an article about a man named Bryan Morseman who has competed in a number of marathons to help raise medical costs for his son who has spina bifida. Last month he competed in three marathons and won them all.

..."you never know if you can do something unless you try," he said.

State Department Spokesperson, Marie Harf, answers a question posed to her about Iran's Holocaust cartoon contest.

MS HARF: Well, a couple points. Obviously, we have for a long time seen very offensive and disgusting anti-Israel, anti-Semitic remarks coming out from Iran’s leadership. And every time these kinds of remarks come out, we speak up as strongly as we possibly can against them. As I said, they are offensive and they’re disgusting and they have no place at all in any kind of dialogue, period. We’ve certainly made that crystal-clear, I think, every time. Again, I hadn’t seen the cartoon issue, but I take every opportunity I can to make clear how awful these are. http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2015/04/240762.htm#IRAN

Hillary Clinton recently made an announcement about her Presidential candidacy in an official campaign video which didn't inspire me.

“Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion.”

This morning I received an email with a Torah thought from Rabbi Yissocher Frand about Aharon not feeling worthy of taking up the tasks of Kohen Gadol. Moshe Rabbeinu also felt himself unworthy of assuming the role of leader of Bnei Yisrael. It is precisely because of their humility and feeling themselves unworthy that the two brothers were chosen for leadership roles.

IBM yesterday released a letter announcing their opposition to State Rep. Mike Johnson’s “Marriage and Conscience Act.”
Read more: http://thehayride.com/2015/04/corporate-welfare-queens-ibm-asks-the-state-to-choose-mammon-over-freedom/

Daniel Greenfield has an article titled The Deconstruction of Marriage. There are some interesting comments posted under the article including, "Everyone wants a wedding. No one wants a marriage."

MSN has an article titled 16 science-backed ways to be instantly happier.

Below is one way.

8. Say thank you. Your mum was right about this. While researchers know that materialism can make people miserable, gratitude can curb the effects, according to recent research. http://www.msn.com/en-gb/lifestyle/smart-living/16-science-backed-ways-to-be-instantly-happier/ar-AAaYEGd?ocid=MSN_UK_NL_FO35

2 Apr 2015

What we have

"We Only Have What We Give"

Trevor Noah was interviewed in the Herald Sun in October 2014.

Your influences have been broad — your dad is a white European, your mum a black South African. Does that help a broad view? Oh, definitely. My mum doesn’t fit into any category, she’s a black South African woman who’s half Jewish.

Which half?

1 Apr 2015

A lesson they'll never forget

After Mother Learned of Kids’ ‘Rude’ & ‘Awful’ Behavior, She Taught Them Lesson They’ll Never Forget

Jason Riley has an opinion piece at the Wall Street Journal titled Obama and Black-Jewish Relations

Pesach Burst Of Inspiration

Pesach 5775 - Pieces of a Puzzle

At an event hosted by Brandeis Conservatives last Tuesday, TruthRevolt editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro gave students advice on how to combat the left.

Shapiro approached the subject by laying out the four principles of liberalism and then presenting conservatism’s counter-arguments. Shapiro explained that leftism was based on the following premises: 1) “equality of outcome is more important than equality of opportunity,” 2) “group justice is significantly more important than individual justice,” 3) “truth absolutely does not matter,” and 4) “force itself, when used in the service of these other things, is praiseworthy.”
Read more: http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/shapiro-speaks-brandeis-students-about-combating-leftism

Click here to listen to Ben Shapiro.