"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 Nov 2018

The faith of Yosef

Parashat Vayeshev- Yosef’s Faith

Doing the rounds: This video of CNN Political commentator Marc Lamont Hill at the UN’s International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, endorsing violent resistance against Israel and calling for a “free Palestine from the river to the sea.”
Read more: http://www.israellycool.com/2018/11/29/cnn-commentator-marc-lamont-hill-endorses-israels-destruction-defends-palestinian-terrorism/

Chanukah - Building for the Future

27 Nov 2018

Overcoming temptation

Parshas Vayeishev: Yaakov Longs To Be A "Real" Tzaddik

Man arrested

Police exploring background of Seattle man arrested in vehicle attack outside L.A. synagogue

Few in the mainstream media have reported about the incident. In an accompanying video to an article about the attack,  Newsweek wrote regarding the rise in hate crimes in 2017. "Over 58% of religiously motivated attacks targeted Jews."

BDE: Chiena Greenwald, Mother of 6

Sebastian Gorka responds to Alexandria Ocasio Cortez's tweet:

Asking to be considered a refugee & applying for status isn’t a crime.

It wasn’t for Jewish families fleeing Germany. It wasn’t for targeted families fleeing Rwanda. It wasn’t for communities fleeing war-torn Syria. And it isn’t for those fleeing violence in Central America.

Your comparison @Ocasio2018 is disgraceful.

There is no genocide occurring South of our border targeting millions for death or shipping whole families to labor camps for extermination.

Hollywood – where are you?

25 Nov 2018

The Butler's Dream

Parashat Vayeishev: The Butler’s Dream Of Redemption 

When Yosef told the Shevatim his dream, that their bundles of wheat bowed down to him they replied, "HaMaloch Timloch Aleinu, Im Mashol Timshol Banu." This question the Shevatim asked Yosef seems to ask the same question twice. "Do you dare think you will rule over us?"

The Vilna Gaon says otherwise. He says that the Shevatim inadvertently spoke words of Nevuah. The word Melech means King who is willfully accepted by his subjects. The word Moshel means ruler by force. What came out of the mouths' of the Shevatim was as follows, "HaMaloch Timloch Aleinu; Will you ever be king (Melech) over us? No, of course not, because we will never accept you. Im Mashol Timshol Banu; If you do rule over us, your power will be by brute force and you will be a Moshel over us."

This is what the pasuk in Tehilim means (22:29) "Ki Lashem Hamlucha, U'Moshel BaGoyim; Hashem is our Melech, whom we accept. However over the Goyim he is only a moshel who dictates what will happen by force.f" In the future, "V'Alu Moshi'im B'Har Tzion...V'Hayisa Lashem HaMelucha; When Moshiach comes, then all the nations will realize the greatness of Hashem and accept His Kingdom. Only then will Hashem's Kingdom be complete over all the inhabitants of the world."


Beverly Hills boycotts Airbnb

Rabbi Moshe Hauer - Humility: Have We Lost It

Jews and Thanksgiving

14 Nov 2018

Yaakov's ladder

Jewish Woman Robbed, Pistol Whipped Outside North Miami Beach Grocery Store

French Jewish Mayor’s Home Vandalized

'Honoring my mother saved my life'

The Klausenberger Rebbe zt"l says Yaakov's ladder symbolizes the two approaches to self improvement. One way is to decide what you want to improve and map out a plan where you improve step by step until you reach your decided goal. This slow but steady journey has a good chance of success. If you work hard you will ultimately get there. That is what the pasuk says "V'Hinei Sulam Mutzav Artza V'Roishoi Magiah Hashamayma"; if the ladder is planted firmly on the ground, by climbing it one rung at a time you get you all the way as far as the heavens.

The second way is to go straight to the top and immediately begin to act according to your loftiest ideals, like the perfect tzaddik. This method usually ends rather quickly in miserable failure. To this the pasuk says "V'Hinei Malachei Elokim"; if you want to be like a malach right away, then "Olim V'Yordim Boi" you will rise very quickly but you will go right back down just as quick.

13 Nov 2018

Empty handed

Parshat Vayetse: When the ‘I’ Is Silent

There were more attacks on US Jews in 2017 than all other religious groups combined — and they only make up 2 percent of the population

Rashi (Vayeitzei 29:11) brings Chazal who say that Yaakov cried when he saw Roche because he came empty handed without gifts. The reason was because Elifaz was commanded by his father Eisav to kill Yaakov, but since Elifaz was a talmid of Yitzchok he reached a compromise where he left Yaakov penniless which is considered like dead.

The Shnayim Mikra brings in the name of the Steipler Gaon that we see an important lesson from here. Yitzchok invested a great deal of time teaching Elifaz the son of Eisav. For what? So that he will only be a Ganav and not a murderer. The lesson is do not give up on those who are destined to lead lives contrary to the Torah. Even if your teaching can at best minimize the aveiros that he will commit it is still worth it!

A Massive Yom Tefillah

Politicians Swore "No Rockets"

MK Meir Sheetrit, Kadima (Formerly Likud): There is an argument according to which there will be a threat… a threat and a fleeing… a threat on the Negev communities… I have never before heard such a ridiculous argument

MK Ran Cohen, Meretz: The disengagement is good for security. The right wing people stood here and talked about Kassams flying from here to there… I'm telling you, whoever wants to spare not only Sderot but also Ashkelon, both of them, must understand: if we don't go out of the Gaza Strip in two or three years, maybe after one year, the range will reach Ashkelon.

One dead as rocket hits Ashkelon home

The Truth About American Jews and Israel’s Borders

Thousands Join Gedolim And Pack Kosel Plaza In Massive Yom Tefillah

11 Nov 2018

The Closest Connection

When Yaakov woke from his dream, he realized he was in a Makom Kadosh, Yerushalayim. He appropriately named the place Bais Kel, the house of Hashem. The pasuk (Vayeitzei 28:19) tells us that the original name was Luz. Rabbeinu Bachaye asks why is this relevant to us?

He answers that the pasuk is hinting to the fact that Yerushalayim was the beginning of creation, and the rest of the world continued from there. Luz, he explains based on the Medrash (Vayikra Rabba 18:1), is the bone in our spine that we will be recreated from during Techiyas HaMeisim. Just like the original wondrous creation started from Luz, so too will the miracle of Techiyas HaMeisim will start from Yerushalayim, for Yerushalayim is the center on Hashem's universe, and the closest connection to Heaven.

Anti-Semitism watchdog Canary Mission exposes Jewish Voice for Peace in new report

Terribly shaken

Post-election musings: Whither America? Whither US Jews?

מצמרר: תמונות חדשות נחשפו מליל הבדולח

"Mah Pishi U'Mah Chatosi Ki Dalakta Acharai.," (Vayeitzei 31:36) When Lavan caught up with Yaakov and accused him of stealing his idols Yaakov asked, "What is my sin that you chased after me?

Rav Meir Shapiro explains this as Yaakov giving Mussar to himself. Yaakov was terribly shaken by Lavan's behavior. As soon as Lavan found out his idols were missing, he takes off like a madman with all his men to chase Yaakov, who Chazal tell us, were much stronger than Lavan and could have easily killed him and his group. Yet Lavan did not care. His idols were stolen and he would stop at nothing to get them back.

Yaakov saw this crazed behavior and said, "Mah Chatosi? How guilty am I?" Now you have set such a high benchmark of Mesiras Nefesh for your religion. "KiDalakta Acharai; That you chased me with suicidal fervor." My Mesiras Nefesh does not compare, and for this I will need to answer!

8 Nov 2018

The nuclear response

Letter from Holocaust Survivors to Pittsburgh Jewish Community

The New York Times reported a number of years ago about and activist being removed from the White House after heckling the President.

President Obama displayed little patience with the heckler, telling her, “You’re in my house” before having her removed.

Trump Bars CNN’s Jim Acosta From the White House

The decision to yank Mr. Acosta’s credentials, effectively denying him access to the White House and the president’s staff, was a nuclear-level response by the president and the administration’s communications staff after more than two years of escalating tensions...

A couple of weeks ago, I took a quiz which was titled, "How well can you tell factual from opinion statements?"
Does the statement above fall into the fact or opinion category?

A comment posted under the NY TImes article included the following words:

It seems to me that a lot of people forget that Mr Trump is a public servant. The people that voted for him did it because he promised that he was going to do things for the country, and the press is the intermediary for us to know what he is doing so that we can judge his performance. The White House is NOT his castle, but a public building,...

Did the person who post the comment make the same assertion when President Obama called the White House, "my house?"

Rosh Chodesh Kislev - No Complaints

Rabbi Alon Anava offered some excellent advice last night and his words can be heard on the video below. Let's all try to jump on the bandwagon and heed what the rabbi has to say.

Jewish students remember "Night of Broken Glass" in Berlin

Justin Trudeau apologizes for Canada's refusal of German Jewish refugees before World War II
Parashat Toldot- The Flourishing of Torah She’be’al Peh

2 Nov 2018

For Shabbat


I received the following in an email the other day. - Author unknown.

קצת פרופורציות בחיים

גבר בן 78 התמוטט והובל לבית החולים. נתנו לו חמצן במשך 24 שעות כדי לתמוך בו. לאחר זמן מה, כשמצבו היה טוב יותר, הוגש לו חשבון על סך 5000 דולר. כשהוא ראה את החשבון, הוא התחיל לבכות. הרופא אמר לו: אל תבכה על הסכום הזה. האיש ענה, אני לא בוכה בגלל כסף, אני יכול לשלם את כל הכסף. אני בוכה כי רק 24 שעות של שימוש בחמצן, אני צריך לשלם 5000 דולר, כבר 78 שנים אני נושם את האוויר החופשי של הקב"ה ואף פעם לא שילמתי כלום, אתה יודע כמה אני חייב לו? הרופא הוריד את ראשו ודמעות בעיניו.

Parashat Chayei Sarah: Middot Middot Middot