"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 May 2012


AnashNews has an article in Hebrew about a woman who dreamed Friday night that Rav Kaduri and the Baba Sali appeared and stated that Mashiach is in Yerushalayim and he is a Sefardi.
Click here to read the article.

The last words of Birchas Kohanim are "V'Yaseim Licha Sholom". The Medrash says, "Sholom B'Knisasech, Sholom B'Yitziasech, Sholom Im Kol Adam," peace in your coming, your going, and peace with every man.

The Iturei Torah brings the Ksav Sofer who explains this Medrash. The Gemara in Brachos (59) tells us the interpretation of many different dreams. Among these dreams, three of them tell of peace; the kettle, the river, and the bird. The Ksav Sofer says that these represent three different kinds of peace. The kettle represents peace in your home, where all the household members use the same kettle. The river means peace in your country, where all the citizens share the water and benefits of the country's river. The bird symbolizes world peace, like a bird who is not limited to any specific local and can fly wherever its wings take it.

When Hashem gives us a bracha of peace it is all encompassing. The Medrash says, "Sholom B'Knisasech," you will have peace in your coming, meaning within the confines of your home. "Sholom B'Yitziasech," peace when you go outside and interact with your countrymen. "Sholom Im Kol Adam," no matter where and no matter with whom, peace will reign supreme!
Read full article: http://www.revach.net/parshas-hashavua/medrash/Medrash-Naso-Ksav-Sofer-Three-Dreams-Of-Peace/3828

25 May 2012


I just came across an article in which a Reform rabbi writes how he believes rabbis should officiate at same gender weddings. Among his reasons is that he believes in freedom as an absolute necessity. He also explains that he won't use Scripture to justify his point because you can find texts which support arguments for and against. But that doesn't stop him from selectively adopting an Orthodox rabbi's writings to support his argument.
This morning I read about a 19-year-old woman and how emergency services had to work for 8 hours to cut her free from her home because she was so obese that she couldn't walk out the door to get to the hopital. This woman was free to eat all she wanted but she was imprisoned in her home. Is that freedom?
Many Jewish bloggers are signing off for two to three days starting this evening because they are celebrating Shabbos and Shavuot. Those who live outside of Israel won't resume posting till Monday evening. Who is freer? Those who will be spending time with family and friends, praying in the synagogue, enjoying quality time with family while being disconnected from technological deviices? Or those who are glued to the computer for the next three days?
Rabbi Yaakov Menken discusses freedom in an article titled The Meaning of Freedom.

Signing off till Monday evening.


The following is an excerpt from an email I received by Rabbi Frand (which is posted at Torah.org).

The Chofetz Chaim once gave a parable to explain the expression "tzodku yachdav" in the pasuke "The laws of Hashem are True, together they are just" (tzodku yachdav) [Tehillim 19:10]: There was once a person who came down to this world and was fantastically wealthy. As is many times the case, wealthy people can be terribly arrogant with people not of their means. This person was indeed arrogant and abusive to people of less stature. He offended many poor people in this world. He came up to Heaven and was chastised for never asking for forgiveness from all these poor people he offended. It was therefore decreed that he would have to revisit the world to make amends. The soul pleaded to the Almighty – "Please Hashem send me down the next time as a poor person, as a pauper." The Attribute of Justice responded: "No, that would not be a true test. Send him down again as a wealthy man!" But again the soul pleaded with the Almighty to be sent down the second time as a destitute and broken person. The Almighty in His Compassion granted the soul his wish and it came down as a pauper, a smelly nobody. He lived a miserable existence, but he rectified the sin of his soul and cleansed it.

The Chofetz Chaim explains that this is the interpretation of the pasuk "The laws of Hashem are True, together they are just." We would look at this fellow and ask "Why is he unable to make a living? Why is he so down-trodden? What did he do to deserve it?" We cannot understand it. But ultimately it is "Tzadku Yachdav". If we take into account the entire picture, his earlier existence and sins in that situation, the fact that he was here once before and had abused his privilege of wealth...then the matter becomes clear and sensible. It only makes sense when the two things are taken together. Read full article: http://torah.org/learning/ravfrand/5772/bamidbar.html


Miami's Temple Israel yanked a program featuring Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz after a high-profile Republican donor quit the congregation in protest of the Democratic congresswoman's involvement.
Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2012/05/temple-israel-cancels-wasserman-schultz-speech.html#storylink=cpy

As we read Parshat Bamidbar this coming Shabbat which discusses a census of Bnei Yisrael, there is another counting of people that is the focus of a Senate Amendment which is in the news today.
Read article: http://freebeacon.com/redefining-refugee-status/

24 May 2012

Begetting children

Click here to read a Torah thought by Rabbi Eli Mansour about parenting, the Ten Commandments and how disrespectful children may be the consequences of envy.

Internet filtering

Anew law calling for the automatic censorship of pornographic websites by Internet service providers was being proposed in the Knesset on Thursday.
Read full article:  http://www.timesofisrael.com/knesset-to-consider-pornography-censorship-law/

Wise words and unwise words

AnashNews reports about a Rav from Breslov who was asked about the tragedy that befell the Attias family this week and why young children who didn't sin were fated to such a death. The Rav replied that there is a time to be silent. There are things we don't understand and which are incomprehensible. He added that therefore it is not for us to ask questions or to investigate. Rather, we should wake up to do a complete teshuva and remember that there is justice and there is a judge.

Wise words coming from a wise man. As a friend always cautions me, "never ask why because you don't want to be taken up to heaven for the answers."

I have deleted the rest of the post regarding the Ten Commandments because I have been advised that there there is a different numbering system used by the Gentiles. I apologize to Mr. Beck.

The drone attack and happy countries

NBC has reported the following:
"A U.S. drone strike on suspected militants killed at least 10 people Thursday morning in northwest Pakistan, officials have told NBC News."

Below is an excerpt from a comment posted under the article.

Funny how under obama, these attacks are applauded as complete successes, but if it were under Bush, the headline would read "10 dead, mostly civilians, at mosque following US led drone attack"

And what if it would have been Israel?

Speaking of Israel, Yahoo has an article titled The Happiest Countries in the World.
Israel ranks 6th!! The U.S. didn't figure in the top ten.

23 May 2012

The Mountain

Click here to see "When Moses brought the tablets down from the mountain."

Speaking of mountains, Ynet reports about a young Israeli who sacrificed a dream to help someone in need.

Only 300 meters were between Nadav Ben-Yehuda and the title of "the youngest Israeli mountain climber to conquer the Everest summit." But Ben-Yehuda didn't hesitate for a second when he saw a Turkish climber lying unconscious on the ground.
Read more: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4233225,00.html

Rabbi Baruch Taub has an article at INN about the location of Mount Sinai. At the end of the article he relates an incident about Mark Twain.

... In the 1800’s, The Boston Globe advertised a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, the grand finale being to scale Mount Sinai and read the 10 Commandments atop the mountain. The price of this sea-mission was exorbitant and could only attract the rich and famous. None-the-less, the paper attracted many potential participants.

Twain wrote a letter to the Globe which put a sudden end to the expedition. He wrote: “Instead of spending a fortune on this trip to climb Mount Sinai and reciting the 10 Commandments on the mountain’s peak, I have a better idea. Save your money, stay home and keep the Commandments in Boston.”
Read full article: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/11687

The same goal

It was only after a year in the Midbar, that the Bnei Yisrael were counted in order to be set up under the Degalim, where each Shevet was given their own flag. Why did Hashem wait so long to give them this mitzva?

Rav Yaakov Kaminetzky (Emes L'Yaakov) says that in principal creating the Degalim was a dangerous move. By dividing up a group of people with each one having their own banner and motto, competition could evolve with feelings of nationalism. However, if all of the groups have the same goal, and each contribute to the cause in their own unique way, this danger doesn't exist. The eyes don't compete with the ears since their roles are different. This way various factions can work together towards their mutual goal.
The Mishkan was only put up in Nissan of the second year. Hashem wanted to wait for the Degalim until the Avodas HaMishkan become the focal point of life in the Midbar. Only then, was it safe to give a clear identity to each Shevet. That is why the pasuk says (Bamidbar 2:2), "Ish Al Diglo B'Osos L'Bais Avosam... Saviv L'Ohel Moed Yachanu," only when their lives revolved around the Mishkan did Hashem divide them up and give them each their own specific mission.

22 May 2012

Views about the internet

A friend sent me a link to the clip below of a rabbi discussing his views about the internet, asking me my opinion. I responded that I thought the rabbi gave too much credit to people in terms of overcoming weaknesses. If people could overcome their eating addiction, there wouldn't be so many weight loss surgeries being performed.
Someone posted a comment on something I posted regarding the internet asifa.

I do not want to give my name. But I can tell you the agony I am going through because I can't stay off the computer. I have a 'routine.' Certain news sites and blogs are mandatory morning ritual with my coffee. The problem is once I start I can't stop. I am looking for something. I don't view any porn or gossip sites yet I can spend literally hours looking going from one worm hole to the next. I can't tell you how many times I've missed davening and opportunities for mitzvah and even just getting done every day what every person must do. It has taken a toll on me emotionally. I am wracked with guilt because it has interfered with my relationship, my daily interaction with G-d. The Internet is a tool but a very dangerous tool. We got rid of our television. How can we get rid of our computer? According to Derech Hashem by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto of blessed memory, we are not to be like the goyiim or involve our selves in the mundane matters of this world. That we are to direct ourselves and our lives and interests into the holy. This to me is a very big test. G-d forbid when we go before the heavenly throne will there be just one image Hashem shows us that describes our life - a Jew pathetically peering into the computer as if it was some kind of an oracle?

AnashNews reports that Rav Kanievsky, upon hearing of the terrible car accident that claimed the lives of eight members of a family, stated:
 "כל המחלות והמיתות המשונות שפוקדות את עם ישראל הגיעו אך ורק בגלל התפשטות האינטרנט בבתי ישראל"

A relative thought there will be a new question added to the list of shidduch questions. What type of internet filter does the family have?

A horrific tragedy

A Bible was the only possession that was not damaged in the horrific car crash Monday night that left one seven-year-old girl alive to mourn for eight family members.
Read full article: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/156084

Click here and here for steps to be taken if your car brakes fail.

A Toronto native living in Jerusalem literally got away with his life when Arab school students smashed the windows of his car and tried to attack him Monday morning.
The near-deadly rock-throwing attack occurred as Ephraim Silverberg was making his annual pilgrimage to the Mount of Olives Cemetery for the anniversary of the death of his grandfather, who was brought to Israel for burial after he died in Toronto.
Read full article: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/156081

18 May 2012

Simple mistakes

Breitbart reports that "Miriam Goderich, who helped edit a 1991 booklet for Barack Obama's then-literary agency, Acton & Dystel, which erroneously stated that Obama had been born in Kenya, has issued a press release.
...I hope you can communicate to your readers that this was a simple mistake and nothing more."
Read full article: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/05/17/A-Fact-Checking-Error-Repeated-Multiple-Times-Over-Several-Years-by-Different-Agencies

There's a story at Yahoo about an honest employee at Goodwill Industries who was sorting through donations when she found "$14,505 in cash. The only problem is it appears to have been unintentional rather than a literal act of goodwill."

...For her part, Wells, 36, said she never intended to keep the money for herself.

"I can go home and sleep at night now," Wells said. "Otherwise, it'd come back and bite me. I really do think honesty is the best policy."
By the way, a number of people have called up to claim the money.

17 May 2012

Bringing about the final Bais Hamikdash

This morning The Lakewood Scoop reported the tragic news about the levayah of a young boy.

The late night Levaya of the young Yosef Meir Z’L drew a crowd of close to 1,000 men and women. Yosef Meir’s father noted how Yosef Meir Z’L must have had a special Neshama for the mere fact that he was able to unite tens of thousands of Yidden around the world and bring them to be Mekabel on themselves various Tikunim.

Earlier the website reported about the "Petirah of Ha’Bachor Yosef Meir Berger Z’L, who was Niftar this evening. Yosef Meir, 13, son of Reb Ezra, was critically injured Erev Taanis Esther when he was struck by a bat, just days after his Bar Mitzvah. He was in a coma ever since."

Someone named Goldy, who was instrumental in keeping the Tehillim going, posted the following:

We kept the tehillim going through 53 cycles and were in the middle of the 54th. The last chapter I assigned was chapter 24.

The introduction to this chapter in the ArtScroll edition says: Dovid composed this psalm on the day he purchased the land of the eventual Temple site. Land, brick and stone were not enough to build a Jewish Temple. Man himself must be worthy of ascending the mountain where
G-d’s presence rests. This psalm describes the personal qualities that qualify a Jew for such a lofty aspiration.”
May each of us find within ourselves the desire and strength to do whatever we can and should do to help bring about the buildiing of the third and final Bais Hamikdash.

Speaking of the Bais Hamikdash, for those of you who missed it, there was an interesting VIN article about the origins of the lyrics of a new song released by Avraham Fried "which state that the third Bais Hamikdash will be built by the tears of Klal Yisroel."
Click here, for those of you who missed it.
Finally, I received an interesting comment about a post from a couple of days back dealing with the word "yashchena."

Apropos to this verb you bring, note it also finds itself in the word "Moshiach" - as if to suggest the more we all talk about Moshiach the more certain is his speedy arrival - where Moshiach is pronounced "Mee-Siach" - from talk!

Thank you in the vanguard.

Some articles

Some articles I came across this morning.....

Adam Kredo reports:
An employee at the pro-Tehran National Iranian American Council had an anti-Israel and anti-Semitic meltdown on Twitter yesterday, accusing Israel of intentionally murdering Palestinian citizens and claiming that pro-Israel advocates bribe members of Congress in order to get their way.
Beheshteh Farshneshani is a NIAC research associate, prolific tweeter, and occasional contributor to the Huffington Post.
Read full article: http://freebeacon.com/anti-semitism-in-140-characters/

Click here to read Obama’s Half-Uncle Gets Driver’s License Back.

Click here to read Did a WikiLeaks document doom Iranian ‘Mossad agent’?

Click here to read Iranian Clerics Issue Fatwa Justifying Killing of Anti-Government Rapper.

16 May 2012

Whom you serve

This week I read a devar Torah that began with the following words.

We all know the story, HaShem created tablets containing the 10 Commandments which were miraculously spiritual in their disposition (which reflected the lofty state of the Jewish people at that time).

This morning I was at a meeting with a few women and we were talking about the concept of "kochi veotzem yadi"- when one attributes successes to oneself rather than to Hashem. One acquaintance related how she complimented a woman this week about how well behaved her children were. The woman thanked her and acknowledged that she put in a lot of effort in child rearing. My acquaintance felt that the woman should have at least included how Hashem had also helped her.

Last week I posted about a judge who was "overseeing a lawsuit challenging the display of the Ten Commandments in a Virginia public high school " who urged the sides to consider removing those Commandments which have reference to G-d. Perhaps we have lost our merit because we don't mention Hashem enough.
The World Jewish Review has an article by Dennis Prager in which he discusses a speech made by Mitt Romney.

On Saturday, Mitt Romney delivered a speech to the 6,000 Liberty College graduates.
Romney: "You know who you are. And you know whom you will serve. Not all colleges instill that kind of confidence . . . ."

This is a truism. Most American universities seek to graduate men and women who are as committed to secularism as nearly all the members of faculty are. In contrast, at traditional Christian and Jewish schools, the aim is, as Romney said, to produce students who know "whom [they] will serve."
What Romney is asking is this: If one is not morally accountable to God, to whom or what is one morally accountable? Most universities will respond: to one's conscience. But those who adhere to Judeo-Christian values do not trust the conscience alone.
Read full article:  http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0512/prager051512.php3

Finally Chadrei Charedim reports that a big simcha took place at the Mir Yeshiva when an "alte bachur" who is 52  got engaged yesterday to a 40-year-old woman. Mazal Tov! There is a G-d.

For those who understand Hebrew, there is a wonderful article at Anash News.

Why worry?

I just finished reading As long as I live, the life story of Aharon Margalit, who was stricken with polio and cancer.
The following is an excerpt from the book. (p. 437)

Shlomo Hamelech said, with his divine wisdom (Mishlei 12:25): "If there's worry in a person's heart, he should suppress it." The word for suppress is "yashchena." Chazal derive an alternative meaning through a different pronunciation: "yasichena la'acheirim" - he should discuss his worry with others.

Here's a nice poem titled Why worry about tomorrow?

15 May 2012

Individual acts

An article in the New York Times published this week quotes "the Rev. Jim Wallis, another religious adviser to Mr. Obama and the president and chief executive of Sojourners, a left-leaning evangelical organization."

This evening I came across an interesting article by Rabbi Aryeh Spero concerning the statemnets made by the reverend about the redistribution of wealth.

"The Bible calls for acts of charity from the individual, for in being direct and personal, charity has the ability to elevate and ennoble the giver and provider. The direct act of giving changes the person and involves and partners him with God. Unlike Marxism, the Bible emphasizes the individual, not the state, the personal and not the “masses.” Those who receive charity are taught the virtue of gratitude. When given everything by the state, however, through redistribution of wealth, recipients are taught not gratitude but a sense of entitlement."
Read full article: http://www.caucusforamerica.com/opinion.art.php?pID=446

Finally, I am dedicating this week's posts to the six constant mitzvot. Below is Rabbi Noach Weinberg explaining the third mitzvah.

One good turn...

Sean Hannity interviewed author Edward Klein the other day. Click here to listen.
YidwithLid discusses the interview.

The Department of Health and Human Services last week announced it had awarded a $5.9 million grant to a University of Chicago Medical Center program tied to Michelle Obama and run by Eric Whitaker, one of President Obama’s closest friends.

Read full article: http://www.laoartist.com/forums/Whitaker.html

Scroll down the forums page above to read some other articles about the good doctor.

Here's another one.

Refuah Sheleima

This morning's e-mail brought the following.

Please say tehillim for:

Yisrael Refael ben Sarah Nesha, a young man with a large family who lost a daughter to cancer a year ago

who is suffering from an aggressive form of cancer.

He needs great rachamei shamayim.

May he see a yeshua. Puts things into perspective, doesn't it?

There's a fascinating interview and article with  Dr. Nora Volkow regarding addiction, free will and control at the Huffington Post.

14 May 2012

Paying attention

A New Jersey town took to ticketing pedestrians caught texting while walking after a rise in jaywalking incidents. Police in Fort Lee., N.J., say people are constantly putting themselves at risk of being hit by cars because they do not pay attention while walking.
 ...Offenders can be charged $85 per offense — the fine for jaywalking. In the last month and a half, 117 tickets were issued, according to the report.

The other day my mother told me how she missed the days when you walked ito an elevator and people would talk to you. Nowadays, everyone is busy talking on their cell phones and nobody greets you anymore.
This afternoon I noticed a woman strolling a carriage. Beside her was a young boy whom she must have just picked up from school. But, instead of giving him her undivided attention, she was busy talking on her cell phone. "What a message she was sending to her child," I thought to myself. After a whole day of separation, the mother wasn't interested in what the child would tell her about his day but was more interested in talking to thin air.
So, let's not wait for a ticket to make us more aware of our surroundings. Let's pay attention to one another and let's pay attention to Hashem.

The return

Yesterday CrownHeightsinfo reported, "The six Torah scrolls that were recently stolen from the Tzemach Tzedek shul in the old city of Tzfas were found today by three children in an abandoned cave in the city."

I echo the thoughts of a comment posted by Yossi.

Mazal Tov! Mazal Tov! A day of much simcha for all of klal Yisroel, and particularly for Eretz Yisroel and the Holy City of Tzfat!

Likewise, the state of Hester of Mashiach Tzidkeinu should become beGilui and we should be redeemed, bekarov umiyad mamash!!

Another comment posted about one of the boys in the pictures identidied as finding the Torah scrolls is as follows:

The tall blond boy was recently orphaned of his mother just before Pesach. Surely her pure neshama guided him to this important discovery. The Rabbi should be sure to contact the father in Tsfat, Dovid Ravitch, if there is reward money. The family needs support at this difficult time.

Anashnews reported that what the police couldn't find, the children did. They report that there will be a parade through the city streets today as the sifrei Torah are returned.

Jeffrey Shapiro writes about Stephanie Rose who was "recently nominated for a lifetime appointment by President Obama in the Southern District of Iowa."
...Rose’s appointment is controversial within the Orthodox Jewish community because of her previous involvement in the prosecution of Sholom Rubashkin;;;"
Read full article: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/05/13/Orthodox-Jews-Angered-by-Obama-Nominee

13 May 2012

The six constant mitzvot - Number 1

Last week I posted about a case involving the Ten Commandments.

A federal judge overseeing a lawsuit challenging the display of the Ten Commandments in a Virginia public high school sent the case into mediation Monday.

Media outlets report that instead of making a ruling, U.S. District Judge Michael Urbanski urged both sides to consider whether the display could leave out four commandments that have "God" in the wording.

In honor of the judge, this week I will be posting videos related to the six constant mitzvot. Here goes.

A mosquito

The Gemara (tractate Gittin 56b) tells about when Titus defiled the Holy of Holies in the most unspeakable way, then destroyed the Holy Temple altogether. He shook a fist to the sky and boasted, “I have defeated You!”

A voice came down from the heavens and declared, “You haven’t even defeated the smallest of creatures in My world.” Hashem then sent a mosquito, which entered Titus’s nostril and penetrated his brain. It pecked away at his brain like a woodpecker for seven excruciating torture-filled years before he finally died his miserable death.

Ahmadinejad Calls Israel "an Insect Challenging Iranian Nation"

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad downplayed the Zionist regime's warmongering rhetoric against Iran, and said Israel is nothing more than a mosquito trying to challenge the Iranian nation.

12 May 2012

On kashrut and marriage

A New York law regulating the marketing and labeling of kosher food doesn’t violate the U.S. Constitution, a federal appeals court ruled, rejecting a First Amendment challenge.
Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-10/new-york-s-kosher-act-doesn-t-violate-constitution-court-says.html

Click here to read Romney Defends Marriage, Judeo-Christian Values At Falwell's Liberty University.

11 May 2012

On health, nutrition and change

Soveya has an article about "indulgence in the temporary physical pleasures of this world."

Rabbi Wallerstein talks about growth and change.

PJMedia has an article about an exemption to ObamaCare.

The morning blessings

Below is a video of a U.S. marine who returns home to a special surprise. His six-year-old son, who has cerebral palsy, shocks his father when he sees the young boy walk for the first time.
Today the morning blessing of zokef kefufim, "Who straightens the bent," takes on an extra significance.

The other day JTA reported about a N.Y. Chasid who resorted to a hunger strike after being held nearly a year in a Bolivian prison.

What's certain is that Jacob Ostreicher, a 53-year-old Chasidic Jew from New York, is in a state of limbo, sitting in a jail in the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz waiting to be tried or released on bail.

Today the morning blessing of matir asurim,"who sets the captives free," takes on an extra significance.

Someone posted a comment on a post titled Moving videos which featured a rally on behalf of Jacob Ostreicher.

Yaacov Yehuda ben Shaindel. Please go to the "Free Jacob Now" website or Facebook page to sign our petition to President Obama to intercede on behalf of Jacob to free him from captivity in Bolivia

'He reiterates that those detained must be charged and face trial with judicial guarantees, or released without delay.'

Above is a quote from UN chief Ban Ki-moon about Mr. Ostreicher's situation, sorry, my mistake, scratch that.
Above is a quote from UN chief Ban Ki-moon about Palestinian hunger strikers.

6 May 2012

Israel First

13 questions were asked at the end of the May 4th U.N. Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.
5 out of the 13 questions addressed the issue of Palestinian prisoners in Israel.

In a March 3rd article, MJ Rosenberg, who recently resigned from Media Matters, wrote the following:

But I will do so without using the term "Israel Firster."
... I will not be using it again, for many reasons including the fact that some good people were genuinely offended by it.

It took till May 1st for Mr. Rosenberg to tweet, "Israel First is back baby!"

Finally, I'd like to pose a question to the HuffingtonPost and Mr. Rosenberg. Who does your editing? In a May 5th article, Mr. Rosenberg wrote about  "Harris's implication that Obama is perceived as week on "national security."
Do you check your editing once a week? Or is your editor too weak to catch the glaring mistake?

Pesach Sheni

Yanki Tauber writes about second chances and teshuva in an article titled A Second Chance.

 “It’s never too late. There’s always a second chance.” This, according to Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn (the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, 1880–1950), is the message of Pesach Sheni, the biblically ordained “Second Passover” for those who fail to bring the Passover offering on its designated time. http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/470880/jewish/A-Second-Chance.htm

5 May 2012

American Thinker articles

Nidra Poller opines about the French elections in an article titled French elections: Virtue, the Debt, and the Jewish Question.

Ghozlan, president of the BNVCA (National Office for Vigilance against anti-Semitism), tireless defender of the safety of Jews and indomitable opponent of the BDS movement, has consistently noted the greater incidence of anti-Semitic violence in municipalities governed by communists, with peaks after demonstrations, exhibitions, and anti-Israel rallies. Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/05/french_elections_virtue_the_debt_and_the_jewish_question.html#ixzz1u28CwzOB

JanSuzanne Krasner discusses the JPost conference held in New York this past week.

 During the Q&A that followed the morning's discussion, one question seemed to stand out and take the panel off-guard. A gentleman from the audience asked for a yes-or-no answer to the following question: "If Israel were to give the Palestinian Arabs all that they desire, including all of Jerusalem and other Israeli cities, historical and religious sites, removal of the settlements under dispute -- hand Arabs the natural resources of the land; supply them with medical, technological, military, and nuclear capabilities; and the 'right of return' -- would the Jewish people be able to live there in peace?"
Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/05/jpost_conference_message_stand_united_stand_strong.html#ixzz1u2APNPYv

4 May 2012

A potpourri

The Belgian National Railway Company SNCB "strongly condemned" an announcement made Thursday in a train over the loudspeaker by an unknown person "Welcome to the train to Auschwitz. The Jews are asked to get off at Buchenwald."
Read full article: http://www.ejpress.org/article/57743

Click here to read corrections and clarifications at the Guardian regarding Israel's capital.

Shirat Devorah posted about instant gratification and self-control.

Here is another thought about physical indulgence.

Finally, I leave you with an acapella video I came across this week.

The Guardian


Moving videos

IsraelMatzav posted a moving video of a woman who woke up one morning at the age of 24 paralyzed from the chest down due to a stroke in her spinal cord.
Moran Samuel won the gold medal in a rowing competition for the disabled in Italy. Since the organizers didn't have a tape of the Israeli national anthem, she picked up the microphone and sang it herself.
The following advice she gave when she was interviewed is a lesson for all.

"If you look at an obstacle as an obstacle, there's a good chance it will knock you down. If you look at an obstacle as a challenge, then you'll do the maximum to overcome it."

Below is a video of  a rally being held on May 3, 2012 in front of the Bolivian Mission in Manhattan for Jacob Ostreicher, a businessman who has been imprisoned in a Bolivian jail for close to a year, without charge.

3 May 2012

Prayers and Psalms

I received an email from Kupat Tzidkat Rashbi regarding "Lag B'Omer Wednesday evening, Iyer - May 9 Receive the blessing of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai."
To learn more and donate or to send a free kvitel, click here.

INN has an Op-Ed titled What You CAN do to Help Jonathan Pollard.

So let’s not forget the spiritual side – let’s do acts of chesed, give tzedakah and say Tehillim to merit Jonathan Pollard’s release. The Worldwide Jonathan Pollard Tehillim Chaburah on www.CholimList.org was created to help organize the recitation of all Sefer Tehillim every day until the day that Jonathan Pollard is released, IY’H soon. There are currently Chaburah members from across the world and across the US reciting most of Sefer Tehillim every day. The Worldwide Jonathan Pollard Tehillim Chaburah can be found on www.CholimList.org, a website that organizes cholim lists and tracks cholim status.
Read full article: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/11588

Presidential proclamations

President Obama has issued a Presidential Proclamation declaring May 3, 2012 to be a National Day of Prayer.
Click here to read full text.

The White House has issued a Presidential Proclamation declaring May to be Jewish American Heritage Month.
Click here to read the full text.

Meanwhile, the Algemeiner discusses the inclusion of Gertrude Stein in the list of those who made contributions to American society.

The American Thinker has a cartoon which pokes fun at the new Presidential campaign slogan, "Forward."

Politico reports on Mitt Romney speaking at a campaign fundraiser.

Speaking of the Obama campaign, he got a laugh with, "Forward is his new slogan, forward what, over the cliff!"

2 May 2012

Spanning the generations

Avi Shafran writes about the close connection between two families which spans four generations. It startes with a visit to a supposedly dying man in Siberia and continues with the great-granddaughters playing together in the neighborhood of Ramapo, New York.
Click here to read Fourth Generation Software.

Jack Cohen writes about a series of lectures being given by Gloria Mound about Marranos.
In one case Gloria found that the first inkling that a family from Brazil was of Jewish origin was that they knew a certain song. It was only after much coaxing that the grandmothers both admitted their Jewish origins. By tracing their families back for 300 years, Gloria was able to confirm their Jewish identity and the granddaughter was accepted as Jewish by the Israeli Rabbinate and was able to marry and live in Israel.
Read full article: http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/course-on-the-anusim-marranos/
As coincidence would have it, I had a long conversation with a woman this afternoon who admitted to me that her mother and many other members of the family would light candles Friday night in a hidden place. Because her mother had died at a young age, the woman was unable to ascertain her true lineage and was advised to undergo full conversion, which she did.

Commemorating war

The city of Vorden in the Netherlands will commemorate soldiers who died fighting for Nazi Germany as part of its official memorial ceremony.
Read full story: http://www.jta.org/news/article/2012/05/01/3094396/netherlands-town-to-honor-german-ww-ii-soldiers

This morning I cae across an article titled The Holocaust in Support of Rebellion.

Last night I listened to a video in which Rabbi Lazer Brody spoke to an audience on the eve of commemorating Holocaust day. He spoke about the German leader of yesteryear who made no distinction between various classes of Jews. The rabbi said that we all died together, why can't we all live together? The rabbi's words make for worthwhile listening.

1 May 2012

The tweets

Glancing at the Twitter account of Mitt Romney, I came across the image to the left.

President Obama's account had the following tweet: "Last call for Clooney's—today is the last day you can enter to be George's guest when he hosts the President in May:"

The following is an excerpt from an article about Mitt Romney.

It’s not often that Mitt Romney omits from his remarks that he’s running for president, but today the presumptive GOP nominee did just that, secretly dropping by a New Hampshire police station to offer his condolences to a unit grieving over the sudden death of their police chief. “There was no mention of votes, he didn’t talk about any political issues,” said current Police Chief Tara Laurent in an interview with ABC News. “He kept his remarks exclusively to offering condolences to the officers here.”
Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/04/mitt-romney-secretly-drops-by-grieving-police-station/

Joel B. Pollak opines about Jewish support for the Presidential candidates.

I'm often asked by fellow conservatives why so many Jews support Barack Obama, given how bad he is for Israel. The answer is that Jews who care most about Israel, and about U.S. security, don't--but also that most Jews don't put those issues first.
Read full article: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2012/05/01/Jews-Who-Put-Security-Israel-First-Want-Romney-Other-Jews-Want-Obama

Mitt Romney


A punch and a slap

A number of years ago my uncle was walking down one of the neighborhood streets on Friday evening when he was approached by a man brandishing a gun who demanded his wallet. My uncle explained that he was Jewish and did not carry money on the Sabbath. Fortunately, the man did not harm him.
I recalled this incident when I read an article this morning titled Young Bochur Assaulted for Not Having What to Steal. It seems the 15-year-old youth was walking home from shul on Motzaei Shabbat when he was accosted by two men demanding his cell phone. The boy was punched in the face after the would be robbers searched his pockets and came up empty.

Chadrei Charedim has an article about a man who had passed away and appeared to his son in a dream. Years before, the son had been falsely accused by a student in the class of taking his Gemara. The maggid shiur went up to the boy and slapped him, not realizing that the boy had been unjustly accused. The father of the boy related in the dream that a judgment was taking place in the heavens relating to the incident. The boy consulted with Rav Kanievsky. It was ascertained that the teacher was in the hospital and, in the presence of a minyan of men, the son forgave the maggid shiur.

Here's an article titled Bluffton teacher accused of assaulting student, commenting about Nazis, Jews.