"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 Jan 2017

Look for the good

The Daily Mail has an article about couples who divorced.

Dozens of people have taken to secret-sharing site Whisper to confess that they should never have split from their spouse - and revealing the reasons they regret their decision. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4171646/People-reveal-REGRET-divorcing-spouse.html

One person wrote, "Divorce isn't the answer trust me I regret mine every day. Look for the good and stop focusing on the bad. Just enjoy your life in the moments you're given not for the one you wish will come."

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The twitter hoax

The Daily Beast Falls For Twitter Hoax, Falsely Identifies Quebec City Mosque Shooters

"אמו של נחמן: "תודה לה' על הצלת נתן

UNSG statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day was quite good. Guess why Palestinians are upset? (update)

29 Jan 2017

The first action

Video: Rabbis Thank Montana Governor

Rav Moshe Leib Sassov says that if a person wants to make sure his day is one filled with Avodas Hashem and avoid aveiros, he should try to make sure his first deed is a good one. Since Mitzva Goreres Mitzva, once you have the first mitzva under your belt, the law of this mishna says that it should continue, as you are already propelled in the right direction. This is Mirumaz in the pasuk (Bo 13:2), "Kadesh Li Kol Bichor", the first action should be designated for Hashem. However a person may still worry that his first mitzva may not be done wholeheartedly and therefore this plan will not help. Therefore he says, have rachmanus on another Jew. Even if your intention is not pure, the mitzva will still stand tall as you have helped another Jew regardless. This is Mirumaz in the next words, "Peter Kol" to patur yourself from all worries, "Rechem" have rachmanus on a Jew.

Even with this a person may be concerned that the Jew he helped, is not worthy and therefore his mercy was misplaced and not considered a Mitzva. To this says Rav Moshe Leib, we only need to continue the next words of the Pasuk, "BaAdam U'Babiheima" whether he was a worthy man or an animal and not worthy of kindness, "Li", Hashem says, leave that to Me. You will get your S'char either way.


Last week I attended a shiur about prayer in which the lecturer based her words on a sefer called Shemoneh Esrei by Avrohom Chaim Feuer. I was so impressed that I resolved to obtain the book. In searching for it online, I came across the opening pages and urge everyone to read it so that your prayer will take upon a different and hopefully loftier approach. You can view the pages over here. Below is one sentence taken from the sefer.

"Prayer is so closely identified with our forefathers that it is popularly called davenen, a corruption of the Aramaic term d'avuhon, of our fathers."


פרק קמ"ב לרפואת מרן הגראי"ל שטיינמן

Steven Spielberg’s Jewish Roots

Nonsense: Refugees from terror lands are not like Holocaust refugees

28 Jan 2017

Turned away

A couple of weeks ago someone posted a comment on Facebook about Parshat Beshalach being only a few weeks away and she asked whether she should tweet about Shabbos Shira? Another individuual commented that it was also going to be Tu B'Shvat that Shabbos.
Speaking about tweets, the news is rife with articles about a new Twitter account.

Powerful tweets remember Jewish refugees turned away by US

A Twitter Tribute to Holocaust Victims

Kushner: Snow-Shoveling Mega Donor - Jared Kushner speaks at Chabad Harvard

The Rebbe Saw Bochur's Actions

Watch: Now that he’s president, Donald Trump admits he needs God more than ever

26 Jan 2017

Barista coffee

A relative alerted me to the composition of Nescafe Barista coffee. 97% is freeze dried while 3% is composed of ground coffee beans which are not freeze dried. Perhaps you would like to consult your rabbi about using it on Shabbos.

Parashat Va'eira: Almost Unforgivable

Today I came across an INN article that was posted over a month ago. In addition to the article, the comments posted underneath are quite interesting. - Half a year on, Duma 'suspect' found innocent of all charge

Going the extra mile

"Now The World Is Dark"

Sarsour's Defenders Choose to Ignore March Organizer's Liberal Critics

Parashat Vaera: Every Drop Counts

Emunah daily lesson

Campus Watchdogs: Student Protesters Taking Advantage of Anti-Trump Rage to Attack Israel

22 Jan 2017

An effective oppostion

'I am amazed at how modestly the haredim live'

J Street is organizing a conference at the end of February.  The conference program includes sessions with such titles as How do we help create an effective opposition to the Israeli right? and Putting J Street’s Political Capital to Work in Opposition to Trump.
These titles were posted on the J Street site before President Trump took office and yet, J Street knew that there needed to be a session on putting J Street's political capital to work in opposition to Trump?

Anti-Semitic Sabbath Attacks on Jews in London

8 Ways to Cultivate Happiness in Your Child

In control

The Torah tells us that Moshe was 80 years old, and Aharon 83, when they stood before Paroh (Va'eira 7:7). Why is this so important to us?

Rav Shimon Schwab explains that Aharon was born at the time that Paroh told the midwives to kill all Jewish born baby boys. Moshe was born three years later when Paroh decreed that every male born child must be thrown in the river. Both these decrees were made to ward off the prediction of the star gazers who foresaw that the redeemer of the Jews would be born at that time.

Moshe and Aharon were sent to not only redeem Bnei Yisrael, but also to teach Paroh that Hashem controls the world and not him. For the first lesson Moshe asked Paroh to dig deep into his memory and recall the decrees of many decades ago. Then he proudly told him that he and Aharon were both children that should have never seen the light of day. Yet, because Hashem is in control, they both defied the decree and here they were alive and well... and ready to play the role of the redeemers that Paroh tried so desperately tried to kill.

Below is a comment posted under an INN article titled Al-Aqsa imam: Don't sell land to Jews>

And if I publicly declared no Jew should rent or sell to arabs or non-Jews or be subject to a death penalty, how fast would I be arrested and held "indefinitely" under "administrative detention" for "racist incitement"?

Using Your Mouth for Mitzvot- Mussar, Pele Yoetz


21 Jan 2017

Of equal significance

THE Jewish community is in mourning following the death of 10-year-old Thalia Hakin, who was killed in yesterday’s car ramming attack in Melbourne...

A fundraising campaign has been set up for the family.

To donate, visit www.mycause.com.au/page/143703/family-devastation-in-melbourne-rampage.

Read more: https://www.jewishnews.net.au/community-mourns-happy-bubbly-thalia/57889

Special Shiur From Haditch

Liberal Reporter Forced To Apologize To Trump’s Press Secretary Sean Spicer ON HIS FIRST DAY

Dr. Anita Turtletaub: The Beauty of Yiddish And The Merit Of Matchmaking

The JPost had an article about an online conversion to Judaism of an octogenarian who fulfilled a lifetime dream.

Sewell looked into converting at an Orthodox synagogue in Sydney — where she was living at the time — but found its traditional approach to Judaism “too restrictive.”

"Hu Aharon Umoshe" (6:26); "Hu Moshe ViAharon" (6:27) Rashi points out, that there are places where the Torah places Aharon before Moshe and there are places where it places Moshe before Aharon. This is to teach us that they are of equal significance (Shkulim Haym). The obvious question is, how can we say that Aharon was equal to Moshe? Doesn't the Torah say that there never was or will be a Navi as great as Moshe?

The Maskil L'David answers, at this point they were of equal significance. It was only after Mattan Torah where Moshe was alone for 40 days and nights with the Shechina that he elevated himself above Aharon.

R' Moshe Feinstein offers a different answer. Of course Moshe was greater than Aharon even at this point. They were of equal significance in the aspect that each one of them fulfilled his Tafkid (potential) in this world. Hashem does not look how great one is, rather if he was able to "be all that he could be". If one reaches that level, he achieved the highest level. Aharon reached that level; therefore in this sense he was as great as Moshe who also reached the level of fulfilling his total potential. This is a comforting thought for all of Klal Yisroel. We too have the potential to be as great as Moshe in this sense.

18 Jan 2017

The connection

Lakewood Yungerman launches ‘The Chavrusa Connection’

Kudos to UN Ambassador Nominee Nikki Haley for telling it like it is - Opening Statement (C-SPAN)

Connecting In a Disconnected World

"I think we're going to see people of merit rise up from every race, faith, corner of this country because that's America's strength," Obama said when asked about being the first black president. "If we keep opportunities open we're going to have a woman president, a Latino president, a Jewish president, a Hindu president." - President Obama opining at his final press conference.

As the President's term comes to a close Professor Rashid Khalidi is in the news.

Columbia Professor Accuses Right-Wing Jews of ‘Infesting’ American Politics

Rashid Khalidi was in the news during President Obama's 2008 campaign.

It was a celebration of Palestinian culture -- a night of music, dancing and a dash of politics. Local Arab Americans were bidding farewell to Rashid Khalidi, an internationally known scholar, critic of Israel and advocate for Palestinian rights, who was leaving town for a job in New York.

A special tribute came from Khalidi's friend and frequent dinner companion, the young state Sen. Barack Obama.

On the same side

J-Street and the BDSers: On the same side on Capitol Hill

The Eternal Passport: Daf Yomi Bava Basra

VIDEO &  PHOTOS: Agudah Yarchei Kallah and Kever Rochel

How many times have we heard this? Moshe knew even before Hashem sent him back to Mitzrayim to take out Bnei Yisrael, that he would not be zocheh to go into Eretz Yisrael. Moshe tells Hashem (Shemos 4:13), "Shlach Na B'Yad Tishlach." Rashi explains that Moshe said, "Don't send me since I will not lead them to Eretz Yisrael." Yet at the end of the parsha (6:1 Rashi "Ata Sir'eh") Hashem tells Moshe, "Because you complained about the way I treat Bnei Yisrael, you will only see them redeemed from Paroh and not the conquest of Eretz Yisrael." Then again in Parshas Chukas (20:12) Hashem tells Moshe that his punishment for hitting the rock is that he would not be allowed into Eretz Yisrael. How many times is Moshe going to be punished with the same punishement?

The Maskil L'Dovid answers that this is similar to our yearly G'zar Din. On Rosh HaShana Hashem decides our fate. We then have until Yom Kippur to change it before it is sealed. After it is sealed, it is not over yet. Only on Hoshana Rabba is it double sealed and placed in the envelope. Even then, the envelope is not given to the malachim whose task it is to carry out the Din, until Shmini Atzeres.

Moshe knew that his fate was not to go into Eretz Yisrael. When he complained, his fate was sealed. After he hit the rock, it was double sealed. However, the envelope was still not given to the malachim. This is why, in Parshas V'aEschanan, we find Moshe pleading to Hashem not to finalize his fate.

No matter your plight, there is always place for hope, tshuva, and tefila.

17 Jan 2017

Separate seating

Air India is set to launch women-only seating to protect female fliers from sexual harassment after a number of women were allegedly groped by male passengers.
Read more: http://heatst.com/culture-wars/airline-debuts-female-only-seat-section-to-combat-sexual-assaults-on-board/?mod=fark_im

What next? Mechitzas down the aisle?

WHAT IF IT WAS ISRAEL? Nigerian Military ‘Mistake’ Kills At Least 50 In Strike On Refugee Camp

Rav Kanievsky calls to aid Torah scholar

VIDEO: Guard Your Tongue: Worse Than Murder – by Rabbi Ben Tzion Shafier

The name of each shevet

This is rich! Get a load of why Rep. Keith Ellison’s skipping Trump’s inauguration

FIGURES. John Lewis Lied About This Being the First Inauguration He Will Miss (VIDEO)

Trump’s Jews and Obama’s Jews

The Ramban says that Sefer Shemos is called Sefer HaGalus and also Sefer HaGeula since it is the story of both the Bnei Yisroel's descent into Gauls Mitzrayim and their ultimate redemption. Not only is it the story of Galus and Geulas Mitzrayim but also encompasses the future Galus and Geulah.

Rav Elyashiv in Divrei Aggadah explains that Shemos is not simply the first significant word of this Sefer it is the actual reason for the Geula. The Medrash Yalkut Shimoni says that the name of each Shevet represents the future Galus. Two examples are Levi "V'Nilvu Goyim Rabim El Hashem" and Yosef "V'Haya BaYom HaHu Yosif Hashem Sheinis".

This says Rav Elyashiv explains the significance of the fact that they did not change their names in Mitzrayim. They kept these names and guarded them carefully because they did not give up on the Geula. Their names gave them hope and showed their faith. Because of this faith which was expressed by the keeping of their original names they were eventually redeemed. That is why the Sefer of Galus and Geula is called Sefer "Shemos". Similarly the future Geula will come if we have faith and live our life waiting for that day.

16 Jan 2017

The note

A Jewish woman in Great Britain opened a parcel with a toy intended for her niece only to find an anti-Semitic note written by an Amazon employee, who was only fired after the woman’s friend shamed Amazon on social media.
Read more: http://www.dailywire.com/news/12464/amazon-worker-fired-after-sending-pro-hitler-note-hank-berrien

Obama Tells '60 Minutes' He Made Decision to Abstain on UN Israel Vote

The Crown of a Good Name

VIDEO: The Vehicles Tell a Powerful Story of Unity

V'eila Shemos

"And these are the names of the Children of Israel" (Shmos 1:1). In conjunction with the public reading of the parsha, our Chachomim require that every individual learn it on his own and be familiar with its basic pshat. To achieve this level of mastery, they instituted a three‑tiered review of the parsha: The text itself must be read twice, followed by Onkelos. Shnayim Mikrah Ve'echod Targum, "twice the text and once the translation of Onkelos", is the name of this mitzvah. A G‑d fearing man should study Rashi's commentary in addition to Targum.

The Levush writes that it is hinted at (remez) in the first pasuk of this week's Parsha. The Hebrew letters of the pasuk "V'eila Shemos Bnei Yisroel" are an acronym for: V'chayav Adam Likros Haparsha Shnayim Mikra Ve'echod Targum Vze Chayavim Kol Bnei Yisroel".  

Applied Chassidus with Rabbi Simon Jacobson

Five Anti-Israel Offenses In Paris ‘Peace’ Summit Final Declaration

15 Jan 2017

Stolen items

Recidivist Car Burglar Returns to Crime After Release

Israeli Police Raid Uncovers Astounding Collection of Stolen Items

Sighing and crying

"Vayei'anchu Bnei Yisrael Min HaAvodah Vayizaku; Bnei Yisrael sighed from the work and they cried." (Shemos 2:23). The Kli Yakar asks, "Why does the pasuk separate the sighing and crying instead of putting them together?"

He answers that there were two distinct reactions to the Koshi HaShibud. The first group were the good people. When they could no longer shoulder the pain, they cried to Hashem to relieve them. The second group cried but not to Hashem. They lamented their plight and complained against Hashem. "These two groups," says the Kli Yakar, "needed to be mentioned separately and not in the same breath."

History has shown this time and time again. Bnei Yisrael has faced many periods of oppression. Some people scream to Hashem, while some blame Hashem and walk away altogether. The Kli Yakar adds that pasuk ends, "Vataal Shavasam El HaElokim; The cries were heard by Hashem." But whose cries were heeded? "Min HaAvodah," only the group who cried to Hashem from the Avodah, and not the ones who rebelled because of it.


Rebbe's Reply to Whining Chossid

My 20 Favorite Videos that almost disappeared from the internet

103 Year Old Man Shares Secrets Of Life…

13 Jan 2017

A bit of dissonance

Parshas VaYechi - Ani Yehudi

Parshas VaYechi - Why Today’s Mitzvos Are Priceless

Parashat vayechi: Being In The Right Place At The Wrong Time

Below are excerpts from yesterday's State Department briefing which included a number of questions regarding Israel.

QUESTION: Are you saying – you’re saying then that the Secretary, the Administration more broadly, feels obliged to go to protect Israel from a one-sided statement? Is that --

MR TONER: I think we just – again, I think we feel obliged to be there, to be part of the discussions, to help make them into something that we believe is constructive and positively oriented towards --


MR TONER: -- getting negotiations back up and running, and doesn’t attempt to in any way kind of dictate a solution or --

QUESTION: Right. It’s just – I don’t know, it’s a little bit odd --


QUESTION: -- to hear you say that you want to be there to make sure that it’s not one-sided, because critics of the Administration – including the man who has been nominated to succeed Secretary Kerry – have been very critical of the Administration’s most recent actions, the abstention at the UN on the Security Council resolution and then the Secretary’s speech saying that that – they say that it was a betrayal, that you stabbed Israel in the back. And now you’re saying that you want to go to this conference, or you feel like you have to go to this conference in order to protect Israel from a one-sided result. Do you see that there is a bit of a dissonance there?

...MR TONER: Till the end of this Administration, it will be our policy that moving – relocating the embassy to Jerusalem would be a mistake, would be --



QUESTION: So does that mean that you would not see a document that comes out of this that warns the incoming administration against moving the embassy – you would not see that as boxing them in?

11 Jan 2017

Superstitious ballplayers

Rav Moshe Schapiro zt”l

How About Some Respect?

Jewish-American pros look to boost baseball in Israel

Members of the team that won the qualifying round in September agreed to wear a Jewish skullcap for the national anthem during the first game of the tournament. But then — superstitious ballplayers that they are — they continued the ritual as they rode a winning streak until beating Great Britain to advance to the tournament.

Shema Yisrael

In sweeping decision, High Court rules for women’s Western Wall prayer

Group Hands Out Candlesticks

The 70 Nations That Will Meet In Paris On January 15th Are Going To Publicly Commit To Dividing The Land Of Israel

The Medrash asks, "From where were we zocheh to Krias Shema?" It answers that when Yaakov was about to depart this world, he questioned whether all his children were loyal to Hashem, and they answered, "Shema Yisrael." Why does the medrash ask this about this particular mitzva?

The Maharsham answers with the Gemara in Chulin (98b). The Gemara says that Bnei Yisrael are greater than Malachei HaShares. Malachim say Hashem's name after saying, "Kadosh," three times. Bnei Yisrael say Hashem's name after two words, "Shema Yisrael," and then, "Hashem."

"Why?" asks the Medrash, "What are they, greater than Malachim?"

The Medrash answers that we got this from Yaakov who fought with a Malach and proved to be superior. This is why we say. "Shema Yisrael." With the name Yisrael that was given to Yaakov by the Malach to commemorate his superiority, we say Hashem's name with greater access than the Malachim.

10 Jan 2017

The volunteer

Emuna Daily lesson

Terror Victim Shir Hajaj, Beloved Volunteer for Colel Chabad

Montana Rabbi to Neo-Nazis: Torah Topples Hate

Thoughts and words

I received the following email last night and I thought I would share it with you. Click here to get Think Hashem daily emails.

Thought of the day....

Why do the words דבר (thing) and דבור (speak) share the same letters?

Because everyTHING created was through Hashem's WORD.

And it is only Hashem's WORD that continues to give everyTHING it's existence.

From the first Shiur of many that I was Zocheh to hear in person from Harav Moshe Shapiro זצ"ל whose Levaya was yesterday in Yerushalayim

On the Terror Attack in Jerusalem

Below is an excerpt from yesterday's State Department briefing.

QUESTION: The first has to do with the passing away of the former Iranian President Rafsanjani. Over the weekend, there was a comment attributable on background to U.S. or a State Department official offering condolences for his passing. Do you – can you put that on the record for us?

MR KIRBY: Sure. I mean, former President Rafsanjani has been – or was, excuse me – a prominent figure throughout the history of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and we do extend our condolences to his family and to his loved ones.

QUESTION: So there have been some people who are highly critical of the Administration on Iran policy in general, but also on this specifically, taking issue or questioning, rather, the appropriateness of offering condolences to Mr. Rafsanjani given activities that Iran was involved in in terms of supporting terrorism back when he was in charge and also in his roles in the Iranian parliament. What do you have to say about that?

MR KIRBY: Well, look, I – no question, as I said, he was a prominent figure, and the history’s complicated. We’re not going to debate the history, and I don’t think it’s valuable for us to try to comment on the potential internal implications of his death, of the potential impact on Iran today. He was consequential in terms of the recent history of Iran and we send our condolences to the family and loved ones. And whatever there is to say about his complicated history, you’re still dealing with a family that’s dealing with grief and dealing with a loss, and so it’s not inappropriate for us to simply offer our thoughts to a family that’s grieving right now.

QUESTION: Okay, but – but, I mean, this is a guy who when he was in senior leadership positions repeatedly did and said things that this --

MR KIRBY: Absolutely.

QUESTION: -- that this government, whether this Administration or previous administrations --

MR KIRBY: Yeah. Sure.

QUESTION: -- have adamantly rejected – his position on Israel, for example – and condemned.

MR KIRBY: Sure. Sure. Sure. Absolutely.

QUESTION: And so you don’t see any – you --

MR KIRBY: But should we – so we should hold the family and loved ones accountable for things that he did in his past that we didn’t like? I mean, the man died; we offered condolences to the family. We went through this, I think, when Fidel Castro passed too. I mean, no question – another individual with a history of actions and decisions and policies and rhetoric that we didn’t approve of in many, many ways, but you still have a family that’s grieving. And again, I don’t think we should make more of this than needs to be made. We offered our condolences, thoughts, and prayers to the family, and we think that’s appropriate.

7 Jan 2017

Asara b'Teves

"Ben Poras Yosef, Ben Poras Alei Ayin." (Vayechi 49:22) Rashi says that this means that Yosef will multiply and be beyond the reach of Ayin Hara. As a reward for not taking his master's wife, no one will be able, through jealously, to inflict any harm on what belongs to him.

The Shulchan Gavo'a brings from Rav Eliyahu Dessler, that no matter how rich a person is, no one is ever jealous of a totally selfless person whose whole life is about giving. An element of jealousy stems from the intended or even unintended flaunting of oneself before others.

Yaakov gave Ephraim and Menashe a bracha, "V'Yidgu LaRov; They should multiply like fish." There are two attributes of fish that Yaakov had in mind. Fish are not seen from the dry land. Moreover the fish live a life totally separated from the inhabitants of the land. They don't compete with them in any way. That is why the Ayin Hara does not affect them.

If a person lives a life of Yosef, where he doesn't want what doesn't belong to him, and he lives and enjoys his material assets out of the public eye, he, too, will not suffer from any unwanted evil eyes.

Penny-Wise And Pound-Foolish

Israel cuts UN funding following 'anti-settlement' resolution

Below is an excerpt from yesterday's State Department briefing.

QUESTION: Well, it’s – among the things that Maliki said while he was in Tehran was that Israel is the greatest terrorist threat in the region. Is it? The United States is supporting the Baghdad government, and he’s the vice president of the Baghdad government. How do you feel about someone saying something like that?

MR KIRBY: Well, we certainly don’t agree with the sentiment.

QUESTION: Do you condemn it?

MR KIRBY: We certainly don’t agree with the sentiment that Israel is a terrorist threat. I mean, that just flies in the face of fact. And there’s just – but I – I’m not – again, I’m not going to try to characterize everything he said. It’s for him to speak to.

5 Jan 2017

The presidential inauguration

Last night's post included the following words.

A friend pointed out that Donald Trump will be sworn into office on Friday, January 20th 2017, Parshat Shemos. Shemos Perek 1, posuk 8, begins with the words 'Vayokom Melech Chodosh Al Mitzrayim'--A new king arose over Egypt.

On January 14, 2009 Rabbi N. Daniel Korobkin waxed lyrical about the upcoming inaugauration of President Obama.

We are at the eve of our new president’s inauguration, a time of new beginnings. How appropriate it is to begin a new book of the Torah, the book of Exodus, with its story of freedom and emancipation from the shackles of the past.

As rabbis are wont to do, I find the ancient biblical words shouting the headlines: “A new king arose over Egypt” (Exodus 1:8). And yet, the end of that verse states that the new king “did not know Joseph,” whereas President-elect Barack Obama surely does know and has great affection for the Josephs, Cohens and Bernsteins of the world. http://www.jewishjournal.com/torah_portion/article/inauguration_anticipation_20090114/



Torah Wellsprings - Vayigash 5777

January 2017
Republican senators introduce bill to move US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem

Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 - An Act
To provide for the relocation of the United States Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, and for other purposes.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said there are “signs” that the United Nations Security Council, instigated by the Obama regime, could attempt another anti-Israel resolution forcing Israel to recognize a Palestinian state (with no reciprocal recognition for the Jewish state), whose borders would be determined by the UN, in the coming weeks before Obama leaves office January 20th.
Read more: http://www.barenakedislam.com/2017/01/04/is-americas-muslim-in-chief-planning-yet-another-united-nations-security-council-attack-against-israel/

4 Jan 2017


A friend pointed out that Donald Trump will be sworn into office on Friday, January 20th 2017, Parshat Shemos. Shemos Perek 1, posuk 8, begins with the words 'Vayokom Melech Chodosh Al Mitzrayim'--A new king arose over Egypt.

They Clapped while They Took Away Jerusalem from the Jews

Below are excerpts from the January 4th State Department briefing.

QUESTION: All right. And then I just want to – I have one other thing that I – last month – or last year, the end of last year, did nothing to improve the relations between this Administration and the Israeli Government, in particular the prime minister of Israel. And in light of the fact that peace is not breaking out all over there, and in light of the tensions that do exist, is it safe to assume – with that backdrop, yesterday there was legislation introduced by three senators that would require the movement of the U.S. embassy currently in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and require the Administration to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Given your past – or this Administration’s past feelings, am I right in assuming that this current Administration would oppose that?

MR KIRBY: Yes, you are correct in assuming that.

...MR KIRBY: I know that. I know that. But we continue to believe – it’s our policy and it’s been – and it was policy of previous administrations as well – that moving the embassy to Jerusalem is not a good idea. It’s not constructive to the overall peace process. It could actually put some of our people, some of our troops, those that work at the embassy, in harm’s way, and needlessly so. So we don’t support that move. We stand by the policy that we’ve been supporting now. And if the next administration wants to move forward, that’s certainly their prerogative, but under President Obama – and he’s still President of the United States – we don’t support that. And we at the State Department here wouldn’t support efforts to move in that direction while we’re still in office. https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2017/01/266433.htm

Daily Emunah

Yesterday I received a daily Emunah lesson by Rabbi David Ashear and was struck by something that he wrote.

The Chovot Halevavot writes in the name of someone who deeply trusted in Hashem in his days, a thousand years ago. He said: "מעולם לא קרה שהשכמתי בבוקר במצב מסוים והשתוקקתי להמצא במצב אחר"- "I never woke up in the morning wishing that I had a different life. "

To listen to the full transcript, click here.


An antidote for jealousy

Ukrainian nationalists in Kiev chanted “Jews out” in German at a New Year’s Day march celebrating the birthday of a Nazi collaborator whose troops killed thousands of Jews.
Read more: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/222718

A couple of questions from yesterday's State Department briefing.

Yesterday, the UN Human Rights Council was formed and elected Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, China, Cuba, Iraq, Qatar, Burundi, Bangladesh, United Arab Emirate to the council. I guess you know they pick members on the basis – on the merits of their own record of human rights. Do you have any comment on that?

Okay. Fine. Of course, the speech came in the aftermath of Resolution 2334, which said that the settlements were illegal and so on. But I reviewed all the settlements that preceded it, which is 446, 452, 465, 478, and they are all – they all had much stronger language, but the reasons the settlements went unabated and with such vigor is the fact that there was no mechanism. So would you recommend – either would you take some steps now in the remaining time that this Administration has, let’s say between now and the 20th, to perhaps introduce a mechanism to make these – to make good on these UN resolutions? Or would you recommend to the coming administration – suggest a roadmap on how you can come up with the kind of mechanism to give teeth to these resolutions? https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2017/01/266401.htm

2 Jan 2017

Appreciating brothers

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Alan Dershowitz 2008 Nothing could help more in this important effort to shore up liberal support for Israel than the election of a liberal president who strongly supports Israel and who is admired by liberals throughout the world. That is among the important reasons why I support Barack Obama for president.

Alan Dershowitz 2016 Alan Dershowitz: Kerry, Obama have set back the peace process tremendously

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1 Jan 2017

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A Window into the Past

Our Parsha begins with Yehuda drawing close to argue with Yosef on Binyomin's behalf. He tells Yosef that he is more involved than the rest of his brothers because he took responsiblilty for Binyomin by telling his father, if he doesn't return him alive he will lose his Olam HaBa.

The Vilna Gaon says that this is hinted in the Truppe (notes) of the first words of the Parsha. KADMA V'AZLA R'VI'I, ZARKA MUNACH SEGOL. KADMA V'AZLA - The 4th (son) went forward (in confrontation with Yosef), because he had thrown away(Zarka) his place among the Chosen (Nation)- "Munach Segol" -(when he promised Binyomin's safe return). It was therefore Yehudah who entered in to the controversy more than his brothers.

Zos Chanukah

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“This Is Chanukah”

That's Chanukah http://www.torah.org.il/learning/dvartorah/5772/chanukah.html