"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 Aug 2014

Please pray for Aharon ben Chulda

KikarHashabat reports about HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman's sadness regarding the disappearance of Aaron Sofer and that the Rav called for the public to pray that he should be found healthy. The Rav called upon those in the yeshivos to recite Tehillim perek 20, perek 130 and perek 142, while women should recite perek 142 and strengthen themselves in Shabbos observance.

Additionally, one can click here to particpate in reciting chapters of Tehillim for Aharon ben Chulda.

San Diego Chargers radio color commentator Hank Bauer was suspended from broadcasting the team's final preseason game on Thursday after telling an anti-Semitic joke at the end of Sunday's broadcast.
Continue reading: http://www.foxsports.com/buzzer/story/chargers-announcer-hank-bauer-suspended-for-jewish-joke-082714

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis wrties that  A new strain of anti-Semitism is on the rise.

One of the longest-running shows in television history suffered its worst tragedy this week when an audio technician for the reality program “Cops” was accidentally shot and killed by police while trying to film a robbery in Omaha.
Officers thought the suspect was shooting at them. They opened fire, killing the suspect as well as Bryce Dion, 38, a seven-year veteran of the show. When police examined the suspect's weapon, they discovered it was a pistol that fired only pellets.
Read more:  http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-cops-tv-show-crew-member-dies-20140827-story.html

I'm sure that the incident will be treated as a tragic error, since it involved American police officers. Had it been the IDF, images of the slain journalist would have been published on front pages of most media sites, Ban Ki-moon would have called the deliberate  killing of a journalist a violation of international humanitarian law, world leaders would have condemned the use of disproportionate force and would have called the act appalling and likened it to genocide, and a special commission would have been set up to investigate Israel for war crimes.

27 Aug 2014

Seven years

A small study from the University of California Los Angeles psychology department concludes absorption in digital media could be a roadblock in children’s development of the ability to read emotions.
- See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/features/article/study-smartphones-can-hinder-kids-social-skills#sthash.H41BkmhT.dpuf

Legal Insurrection reports Academic left and Islamists joined at the anti-Israel hip.

Collive has some nice photos of an Impromptu Sheva Brachos in Paris.

Shomrei Shvi'it offer an opportunity to participate in the mitzvah of Shmita which will begin at the start of the Jewish New Year in one month. The practise of not working the land in Israel is done every seven years.

It seems like Zara is also involved in a practise every seven years.

2014 - Zara apologises for striped ‘Holocaust’ shirt with yellow star after backlash

2007 -
A bag embroidered with Nazi-style swastikas was withdrawn by fashion store Zara today after a rush of complaints.

Bosses were forced to apologise and withdrew the £39 bag immediately. The bag - which also features flowers and bicycles - has four green swastikas at each corner.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-482476/Zara-bosses-forced-withdraw-Swastika-handbags-shelves.html#ixzz3BcDzuhH4

INN reports on an anti-Semitic sermon given by Sheikh Saleheoldine El Moussaoui in Spain.

Desmond Tutu Urges Dutch Pension Fund To Divest From Israel Banks

United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay spoke to Christiane Amanpour on CNN and opined that acts of the IDF amount to war crimes, while she discussed whether Hamas committed violations of international humanitarian law.

Chodesh Elul

YeranenYaakov pointed to me to a LifeinIsrael post about it being Aaron Sofer's birthday today and that his mother requested "that people please say perek bet of tehillim and in the zechut of a safe return for Aaron ben Chulda."

This morning I received an email from the Hakhel Email Community Awareness Bulletin which began with the following sentence.

1.  Rebbi Yisroel Salanter was known to say that “Truly the entire year you should feel like it is Elul--but in least in Elul you should feel like it is Elul!”

I also received the following quote in an email today.

More then the yetzer hara wants you to sin he wants you to be sad that you sinned. This will prevent you from doing more mitzvos; his true aim. (Tanya)

Montgomery County Police have issued an arrest warrant for a former employee of Benny’s Bar and Grill in Potomac, who is suspected of phoning death threats to the restaurant’s owner.
...The anonymous caller “made several threats to harm the owner and made anti-Semitic remarks,” the police report continued. “The suspect also told him to take his Israeli flag down from the restaurant.” http://washingtonjewishweek.com/15145/warrant-issued-for-suspected-death-threat-phone-caller/

26 Aug 2014

Gratitude and a good eye

Sara Debbie Gutfreund writes about Elul: The Secret to Change.

Rav Noah Weinberg ztz”l used to ask a simple yet fascinating question: If you put an envelope full of a million dollars in a homeless person’s cart, but he doesn’t  realize that it’s there: Is he rich or poor? If you have thousands of gifts in your life  that you are too distracted or depressed to see, do you really have those gifts  at all? Technically, the homeless person with the million dollar envelope
is rich. And you do still have thousands of gifts in your life even if you don’t  notice them. But if you don’t look inside the envelope, you can’t use what you have. And this may be where we can begin. It is perhaps the greatest secret to change: gratitude.

Ledavid Hashem

Hamodia writes about Giving Back.

A Jewish couple, taking a walk Monday night in the upper east side of Manhattan, were attacked by a group of people who made anti-Jewish statements, Police said.
Read more: http://jpupdates.com/2014/08/26/manhattan-nypd-jewish-couple-taking-a-walk-attacked-in-bias-incident/

Caught: Hamas Reports Terrorist’s Death as a Civilian Casualty

As we begin reciting LeDavid Hashem Ori, Tehillim Perek 27, from tomorrow though Yom Kippur, it is interesting to read the third last verse which specifically mentions חָמָס .

יב. אַל תִּתְּנֵנִי בְּנֶפֶשׁ צָרָי כִּי קָמוּ בִי עֵדֵי שֶׁקֶר וִיפֵחַ חָמָס:

24 Aug 2014

Guards at our hotspots

We read Parshas Shoftim in the beginning of Elul because the first step to Tshuva is to put guards at our hotspots. "Shoftim V'Shotrim Tetein Lecha B'Chol She'arecha"; place judges and policemen at all your gates. These gates allude to the gates of your body; your eyes, ears, mouth, etc., says the Bnei Yisaschar. The gemara says the eyes see and the heart desires. This is the mechanics of Aveira. We need to watch both what goes into our mouth and what comes out of it. Once we have honest judges guarding these flashpoints from evil we are on the road to tshuvah.

If we do stumble we must have a mechanism for punishing ourselves whether it is in the form of promising to give money to tzedoka or withholding something that we enjoy for every time we slip. This effective idea was popular among the Talmidim of Rav Moshe Kordevero says the Bnei Yisaschar.

Rabbi Levi Garelik speaks about Mashiach and this week's parsha over here.

Muddying the waters

Jodi Rudoren Muddies the Waters Regarding a Hamas Port

Advertisement removed after resident expresses offense

AN old Jewish joke goes like this: “What’s the definition of a Jewish telegram? ‘Start worrying. Details to follow.’ ”
Continue reading Deborah Lipstadt's article Why Jews are Worried.

Seth Frantzman writes Why It’s So Easy for Liberal Jews to Judge Israel.


TruthRevolt asks Why Did Forbes Delete Pro-Israel Opinion Piece?

On Tuesday last week, Yasmina Haifi, an official at the National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism in the Netherlands, tweeted: "ISIS has nothing to do with Islam. It is a preconceived plan of Zionists who want to deliberately make Islam look bad."
Read more: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4641/isis-zionist-plot#

TSA Admits Lying About Illegal Aliens Flying Without Proper ID

I was in Israel a while back when I overheard someone who had come for a short visit to the country making a negative comment about Israeli taxi drivers to an Israeli woman. She became incensed and chastised the man, "Can you make a postive comment about Israelis?"
She firther reprimanded him, "It's easy for you to come from your country and criticize us, but I am in the front line and I sacrifice my kids when they join the army and fight to maintain the country so that you can come here when you want or have a place to escape to, if need be, if the situation in your country becomes intolerable."

I was reminded of the conversation when I came across an article in the New York Times in which the author speaks about the end of liberal Zionism and criticizes Israeli racists, Israeli actions and ideologies. I wish the author would spend some time with the Israeli woman who would state her case. If the author comes to Israel, lives under the constant threat of rocket attacks and sends his children to the army, then he could have the option of writing an email to the Prime Minister to express his views. But, in the safety of the diaspora, I believe the man should keep his opinions to himself.

22 Aug 2014

Performing mitzvos

Chazal tell us (Kidushin 39b), "Schar Mitzva B'Hai Alma Leka", there is no reward for Mitzvos in this world, only in the next.  The pasuk by Tzedaka (Re'eh 15:10) seems to contradict this as it says נָתוֹן תִּתֵּן לוֹ, וְלֹא-יֵרַע לְבָבְךָ בְּתִתְּךָ לוֹ כִּי בִּגְלַל הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה, יְבָרֶכְךָ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, בְּכָל-מַעֲשֶׂךָ.  If we give Tzedaka Hashem will give a bracha to all our work.  Is there reward in this world or not?

The Ksav Sofer answers that for the mitzva itself there is no reward in this world.  However for the Simcha, the joy with which you do the Mitzva, there is a reward in this world.  If we look carefully at the pasuk we see that the pasuk clearly says this. נָתוֹן תִּתֵּן לוֹ, give tzedaka.  וְלֹא-יֵרַע לְבָבְךָ בְּתִתְּךָ לוֹ, there should be no ill will in your heart when you give it, only joy in doing Hashem's mitzva. כִּי בִּגְלַל הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה, יְבָרֶכְךָ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, בְּכָל-מַעֲשֶׂךָ, because of this aspect of the mitzva , the simcha you had, you will be rewarded in this world. 

Hamodia has an editorial titled More Ammunition is Needed.

Many of us spend much time closely following, discussing, and analyzing current developments in Eretz Yisrael. It would be highly beneficial to take some of that precious time and dedicate it to doing something practical on their behalf. Every moment of learning Torah, every perek Tehillim that is recited, and every mitzvah that is performed, arouses great zechuyos and provides desperately needed ammunition in Shamayim.
Our brethren in Eretz Yisrael are relying on us. We dare not turn them down.

11 Aug 2014

A pilgrimage

A dozen "Israeli tourists" made a pilgrimage to Bradford this weekend, after local MP George Galloway said they were not welcome in the city.

Yorkshire Police have since said they will investigate comments made by the Respect MP, who was caught on video standing in front of a Palestinian flag, declaring Bradford and "Israel-free zone".

The 20 Oddest Things People Actually Claim to Believe about the Hamas/Israel Conflict

Rallying for Israel

Goldberg: Many Jews In Hollywood Liberal First, Jewish Second

Sara Yoheved Rigler writes An Open Letter to Wolf Blitzer Re: Blood Libels.

An Unexpected ‘Bar Mitzvah’ at Israel Rally in Baltimore

The tragedy, the joy

Flyers in Rome call for boycotting Jewish-owned stores

Collive reports on the levayah of R' Yosef Raksin hy"d in North Miami Beach.

"The grief at the funeral was unbelievable," a woman who attended told COLlive. "Many people were crying hysterically. One reporter was asked if he would like to put on Tefillin in memory of the victim, and he did it for the first time in his life. He said after covering this story and interviewing people from the community he felt so much more connected," she said.

The Meaning of Tu B'av

10 Aug 2014

An interview about rockets

Therightscoop has an interview between Jake Tapper and Israeli spokesperson Mark Regev.

is this just the future of Israeli-Palestinian relations they launch some rockets - you retaliate...
But rockets didn't land anywhere that hurt any Israelis...

Unbelievably sick.

Two Belgian Jewish groups said they would complain to police about a local politician who appeared to justify the Holocaust.

The Belgian League Against Anti-Semitism, or LBCA, and the Flemish Forum of Jewish Organizations announced their intention to file a complaint for incitement to hatred against Assan Aarab of the Christian Democratic and Flemish party, or CD&V, on Thursday.
Read more: http://www.jta.org/2014/08/08/news-opinion/world/belgian-politician-hassan-aarab-sorry-for-holocaust-comment#ixzz39xpSkYF5

The YeshivaWorld reports, "Due to rocket fire in the area of the commercial crossing, Israel has closed the Kerem Shalom Crossing between S. Israel and Gaza." http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/headlines-breaking-stories/253689/kerem-shalom-crossing-closed-due-to-rocket-fire.html

Wait till Jake Tapper questions the Israeli spokesperson about the halt in the transfer of food to Gaza just beacuse a few rockets were lobbed at the crossing.

The other day I thought that Israel should make Nobel laureate Professot Aumann the Prime Minister of Israel as he can apply the rules of game theory to the conflict.
Lo and behold, I discovered an article yesterday at INN which begins with the sentence, "Nobel laureate Professor Yisrael (Robert) Aumann has an idea that could turn the tables on Hamas's rocket terror against Israel."
Read more: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/183873#.U-cGB5VO7IV

An exclusive

Breitbart has a very interesting Exclusive: New Details Surface in Hamas Murder of IDF Soldier Hadar Goldin which contians a story about a female suicide bomber and the "shema yisrael" prayer.

Collive reports Rechnitz Takes on Shidduch Crisis

Speculation abounds as to why a rabbi was shot and killed in Miami including whether it was a hate crime or a robbery. In an article titled Rabbi Shot, Killed While Walking to North Miami Beach Temple, NBC news reports that two black males approached the rabbi.

I was reminded of when my uncle was walking down the streets of a European city when he was approached by two Polish men who demanded money from him  on the Sabbath. He nervously laughed and explained to them that he is Jewish and doesn't carry money on the Sabbath. Fortunately, after realizing he spoke the truth, the two thugs ran away.

Gov. Jerry Brown reversed a parole board and denied on Friday the release of a former Charles Manson follower who served more than 43 years in prison. ... he wrote in his five-page decision that the evidence shows Davis "currently poses an unreasonable danger to society if released from prison."

Perhaps Israel can learn a thing or two from Gov. Jerry Brown next time prisoner release negotiations come up.

Chadrei Charedim reports on the tragedy of a Rosh Kolel who was niftar this Shabbos,  three days before the wedding of his son was scheduled to take place. BD"E.

9 Aug 2014

Rabbi killed in Miami

Police are searching for two suspects who shot and killed an Orthodox Jewish rabbi while he was walking to his temple in North Miami Beach on Saturday morning.
Continue reading: http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/Jewish-Rabbi-Shot-Killed-While-Walking-to-North-Miami-Beach-Temple-Police-270608571.html

When anyone tries to take the floor of the United Nations Human Rights Council and reveal the truth about abusive states, watch the abusers press their buzzers and demand that the truth-teller be stopped from speaking. Expecting the UNHRC to carry out a fair, balanced or accurate investigation of anything involving the State of Israel is rather like expecting the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to carry out investigations into persecution of Christians in Muslim countries.
Read more: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4573/united-nations-human-rights-council

8 Aug 2014

Nachamu nachamu ami

Rabbi Chaim Zvi Senter offers a Torah thought for this week's parsha over here

This week’s Haftorah from Yeshaya begins with the famous words, 'Nachamu nachamu ami yomar elokaychem', 'comfort comfort my nation, so says your G-d'.

The Medrash cryptically comments, that when Yeshaya said the words 'Nachamu nachamu Ami', Klal Yisroel wanted to kill him; i.e. they were very upset and angry with him, until he continued and said, 'yomar elokaychem [so says your G-d]'.

Why was Klal Yisroel so upset with Yeshaya, and how did he defuse their anger with the words, 'yomar elokaychem'???
Read more: http://baltimorejewishlife.com/torah/parsha-detail.php?SECTION_ID=45&ARTICLE_ID=51531

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis writes about Still a nation that dwells alone.

ראש הממשלה כתב אות בספר התורה לזכות חיילי צה"ל