"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

31 Dec 2015

Touch someone

Anne Frank foundation fights plans to publish diary online on 1 January

Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz writes about feeling the pain of others.

I once accompanied the Toldos Aharon Rebbe to the home of an individual who was going through a difficult period. He asked the rebbe for something to do as a segulah to be spared from further pain. The rebbe responded that there are gemachs today for everything and organizations to help with seemingly every communal tzarah, but there is one group of people who appear to be totally neglected - people who are tzubrochen. “There are so many tzubrochene neshamos,” the rebbe said. “When you have free time, call up a tzubrochene person.”

Rav Gershon Edelstein and the Seven Bochurim Who Mysteriously Got Engaged in One Night


Shidduchim: What To Look For

Almost-Traditional Jewish Cooking

MOTZEI SHABBOS: Asifa in Lakewood for Acheinu B’nei Yisroel in Eretz Yisroel

"צפו בהוראת הרב קנייבסקי: "אם ברור לכם שזה המחבל - אל תצילו

פרשת שמות: הרב אורי זוהר בשיחה על פרשת השבוע

Gratitude and complaining

Parashat Shemot- Gratitude for Our First Grade Teacher

Rabbi Zvi Teichman has written an interesting article titled Parshas Shmos - ‘Why Oh Why?’- The Art of Complaining

"My daughter, Mrs. Dassy Freidlander, shared recently with me a remarkable original insight.

Whenever we ask G-d לָמָה, why, we should always remember that the letters in this fascinating word ל-מ-ה, stand for the sentiment: לא מבינים הכל, we can’t understand everything!"
Read more: http://baltimorejewishlife.com/torah/parsha-detail.php?SECTION_ID=45&ARTICLE_ID=68571

אבל בדרום: נפטר המקובל של התהילים

Salon Scrubs Story Of ‘Anti-Muslim’ Arson Arrest In Houston (After Finding Out Was Muslim Arrested)

An article titled SALON’S REPORT OF A HATE CRIME IS PURE FABRICATION  has a screenshot of a tweet  stating that "This is a blatant hate crime" with a link to an article which reported that "Muslim community members say the attack was a hate crime." Clicking on the link leads to an error.

You can read the cached version over here.

U.S. Spy Net on Israel Snares Congress

Speaking Fees Meet Politics for Clintons

29 Dec 2015

The forgotten

The Forgotten in Our Midst

An INN article titled Groom, 3 others from 'extremist dance' wedding arrested has a comment posted which includes presscient words from the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

Quote: The Lubavitcher Rebbe to Arik Sharon:

"the day will come when the Government of Israel will oppose Jewish People....... and will stand on the right hand side of the Arabs in the strife between them and Jewish People.”

Click here to read more from the Rebbe.

לא סומכים על נס: בסוף החשבון מגיע

Yesh cheshbon

New UK Regulations Will Prohibit Israel Boycotts by Local Councils

Opinion: Respectable: Parents at Vort ask Guests not to Snap Pictures with Cell Phones

Medgar Evers College in Crown Heights is readying a major push to attract students from the large local Chabad community, Kings County Politics reported.
Read more: http://www.collive.com/show_news.rtx?id=38568&alias=college-to-seek-orthodox-students

"הגר"מ מזוז נגד עינויי השב"כ: "יש חשבון על הכל

27 Dec 2015

Shnayim Mikra

Parshas Shemos: Shnayim Mikra is Hidden in the Words

"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".

26 Dec 2015

Two groups

"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.

21 Dec 2015

Ahavas Yisrael

Andreja Preger, Jewish anti-Nazi partisan, dies at 104

Parshas Vayechi: How Yaakov Chose to Teach the Importance of Ahavas Yisroel

The previous generation

"Bicha Yivarech Yisroel Leimor Yisimcha Elokim K'Efraim V'ChiMinashe." (Parshas Vayechi 48:20) Rashi says that every father will give his child a Bracha to be like Efraim and Menashe. Efraim and Menashe were considered by Yaakov like Reuven and Shimon but what made them even more special that make them every father's dream for his son?

I heard someone explain that we know that each generation becomes weaker in Yiras Shamayim and Avodas Hashem than the generation before. We all wish our children would live up to the standards that we grew up with and not lower themselves to the level of the current generation. "Efraim and Menashe," said Yaakov, "were like Reuven and Shimon." Quite an accomplishment for these two who were one generation lower to reach the level of their older uncles. This is the bracha we give to our sons as well.

Jamaica promotes Jewish tourism

The Many Facets Of Asarah B'Teves (Tues, Dec. 22, 2015)

20 Dec 2015

Defeating all odds

For a country the size of New Jersey that seems to always be on the verge of war, it is unlikely that Israel would be one of the world’s science superpowers. But somehow, the State of Israel defeats all odds.
...One of the secrets to Israel’s success comes from Judaism. While most Israelis are secular, much of Israeli culture comes from Judaism. In the Talmud, it is written, “Whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world.” Israelis truly live by this quote in every sector. From the army to the sciences, there exists an obsession with the value of life.
 Read more: http://observer.com/2015/12/israels-fruitful-week-in-science-and-its-secret-to-success/

There's a really moving video in which "kids from low income families were offered a gift for their family member or a gift they really wanted. What did they pick?" Click here to watch the children being asked to choose a gift for the holidays.

INN has an article titled France: Jewish store owner guilty of discrimination against Jews 
Paris court finds Dan Cohen refused to hire Jews because he didn't want them working on Shabbat. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/205154#.VnaeUfkrLcc

Here's a comment posted under the article - "A Jew cannot ask another Jew to work on Shabbat even if the other Jew is willing. This is what happenw when we bring halakic questions to the secular courts. Cohen should bring the ex employee to a beit din and try to recoup at least some of the damages."

Ben Poras Alei Ayin

"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. http://revach.net/parshas-hashavua/quick-vort/Parshas-Vayechi-Rav-Eliyahu-Dessler-Yosef-And-Ayin-Hara-Avoiding-The-Evil-Eye/3253

בחור הישיבה פרסם מכתב ציבורי לאובמה ונקרא להרצות בקפיטול

NY Times Public Editor Calls for ‘Systemic Change’ at Newspaper After ‘Really Big Mistake’

18 Dec 2015

Letting go

Rabbi Shmuel Silber on Parshas Vayigash - Learning To Let Go

Recent archaeological find confirms Talmudic passage

IDF Fought Exemplary Campaign During Gaza Conflict of 2014, Says Multinational Military Group

The Obama administration rejected a 2011 proposal to authorize officials to vet the social media accounts of visa applicants, according to a Department of Homeland Security memo obtained by MSNBC.
Read more: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/12/17/leaked-read-the-dhs-proposal-to-strengthen-vetting-of-visa-applicants-that-was-rejected-by-obama-admin/

Parents of San Jose school kids confronted a school board Thursday night after a decision to cancel a field trip to see Santa Claus followed a complaint by a Jewish mother who objected to the school-sponsored outing.
Continue reading: http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2015/12/17/san-jose-school-cancels-santa-field-trip-after-jewish-mothers-complaint/ 

There are some interesting comments posted under an article about a calligraphy task assigned to students by a teacher in Virginia to copy a Muslim statement of faith.

Title IX provides a clear distinction that a teacher is allowed to teach about a religion but a is not allowed to teach a religion. A teacher is not allowed in any way shape or form allowed to force, encourage or even trick students into taking an oath to a religion.

Students have off today b/c behind closed doors, the school administrators school board are in panic mode as to how they can reduce their liability for an imminent Title IX investigation.

I'd be very surprised if a Title IX investigation takes place or results in any findings, because the teacher was not promoting Christianity. In this liberally biased overly sensitive culture we have today, fault is only found when conservatives, Christians, republicans, or whites are deemed to have done something inappropriate.

Daniel Greenfield has written an article titled THE LEFT'S MUSLIM REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY FOR JEWS

Muslims are the new Jews. You can find this offensive claim repeated everywhere in the media. The Jews, a small ethnic minority of millions that was stateless for thousands of years, are a terrible analogy for a global Muslim population of 1.6 billion and around 50 countries that do not comprise a single ethnicity or race. Comparing the two makes as much sense as comparing the Finns to all of Asia.

Professors and Students at U. San Diego protest Trump by wearing “Muslim Yellow Stars”

William Jacobson calls it "the worst form of cultural appropriation."

16 Dec 2015

Parshat Vayigash

A Message from Yosef to Yaakov (and a joke from Mr. Vogel)

Most cases of cancer are down to unhealthy lives, rather than bad genes, doctors said last night.
They said that factors in the world around us, from diet, to sunlight, cigarettes and disease, play a far bigger role in fuelling cancer than dodgy DNA.
 Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3362965/How-cancer-ISN-T-genes-90-cancer-wiped-avoiding-triggers-caused-unhealthy-lifestyles.html#ixzz3uWvXGuoq

Kuwait Airways drops NYC-London flights after Israeli complaint

A quiet effort

"The Obama administration is waging a quiet effort on Capitol Hill to restore U.S. taxpayer funding for a United Nations organization that has long been accused of having an anti-Israel bias...
Continue reading: http://www.humanrightsvoices.org/site/articles/?a=8699

The mystery of how nearly $5 million in diamonds went missing from a Midtown jewelry store has been solved.

As it turns out, some dimwitted workers at J. Birnbach Inc. were helping their boss move to another floor and tossed three weathered wooden boxes filled with diamonds in a heap of trash without bothering to look inside, law-enforcement sources said.

How many diamonds (mitzvot) do we throw away without bothering to look at their value?

Yahoo has an article which begins with the following paragraph.

The UN voiced deep concern Tuesday over an "unacceptable" wave of Palestinians attacking Israelis, but also slammed Israeli authorities' reported "excessive use of force" in response to the attacks.

There are over 1400 comments posted under the article including, "Seriously? The level of force is excessive, but not the "wave" of terrorism? What should the Israelis do? Stand still, let the knife wielding idiot take their first stab and then measure how deep or egregious the wound is before shooting? Someone comes at you with a knife, the reasonable assumption is that they aim to inflict great bodily harm. As such, they are fully aware that force will be met with force - which is what they want of course."


Obama compares Syrian refugees to Holocaust survivors

A Virginia school district is defending a classroom assignment that required students to practice calligraphy by writing the Muslim statement of faith,.... Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/12/15/students-practice-calligraphy-by-writing-there-is-no-god-but-allah.html?intcmp=hpbt2

14 Dec 2015

Paying with lives

Did IDF pay with lives for feminist dogma?

Secret US Policy Blocks Agents From Looking at Social Media of Visa Applicants, Former Official Says

Letters of Hope

Emunah Daily lesson


Anti-Israel Protest Disrupts York University Hanukkah Party With ‘Harassment, Intimidation’

Anti-Semitism is a far bigger problem than anti-Islamic bias in this country, the most recent FBI statistics, from 2013, show. Of 1,223 religiously based hate crimes reported that year, 60.3 percent of victims — of acts ranging from verbal harassment to physical attacks — were committed by offenders motivated by bias against Jews.
Read more: http://nypost.com/2015/12/11/hey-obama-not-everyone-hates-muslims/

Advice to the Judgmental

Zos Chanukah

It is said in the name of the holy Rebbe, Rav Yisroel Rhiziner zechuso yagen aleinu that “what the tzaddikim of the generation accomplish through their lofty Neilah prayers on Yom Kippur, a simple Jew can ask and accomplish with his prayers on Zos Chanukah, the eighth day of Chanukah”.
Read more: https://www.tehilimhotline.org/online_newsletter.asp?ProductID=212

A few days ago I posted about the White House Chanukah reception in which a Reform woman clergy member was asked to recite the blessing of the Menorah and added an extra word to the second blessing.
Sheasah nisim laavoteinu - leimotenu. She also stated, "I also stand here with my fierce family of clergy and black lives matter activists who took to the streetsof Ferguson to stand firm until all members of the community would see G-d in the face of the other... and, of couse,  I stand with my sister who lit these lights at the kotel this year.

Daniel Greenfield writes about his reaction to her speech over here.

Perusing the commnents posted under the article, I found that someone had posted a link to an article by Rabbi Meir Kahane written over a decade ago.

If I were a Reform rabbi; if I were a leader of the establishment whose money and prestige have succeeded in capturing for himself the leadership and voice of American Jewry; if I were one of the members of the Israeli Government's ruling group; if I were an enlightened sophisticated, modern Jewish intellectual, I would climb the barricades and join in battle against that most dangerous of all Jewish holidays - Chanukah
Continue reading: http://www.freeman.org/m_online/jan01/kahane.htm

13 Dec 2015

The delayed medal of honor

A post at LegalInsurrection pointed me to a NYT article published a few days ago titled Tibor Rubin Is Dead at 86; Medal of Honor Was Delayed by Anti-Semitism.

A 15-year-old girl was brutally assaulted on Saturday evening simply because she dared to identify herself as being Jewish.
Read more: http://www.israeltoday.co.il/Default.aspx?tabid=178&nid=27956

Rashi says that the pasuk (46:29) says that only Yosef cried when he met his father. Yaakov did not cry as he was in middle of Krias Shema. Why was Yosef not saying Shema at the same time if it was the proper zman?

The Maharal MiPrague (Gur Aryeh) answers that Yosef was also in middle of Krias Shema but Rav Yehuda says in Masechtas Brachos (2:1) that you may stop in middle of Krias Shema to greet someone whom you fear. Therefore Yosef, fearing his father out of awe, stopped to greet him. Yaakov however, was halachicly unable to interrupt Shema to greet his son. The Sifsei Chachomim brings another answer, that Oseik B'Mitzva Patur Min HaMitzva and Yosef was performing Kibbud Av and was therefore patur from Krias Shema at the time.

The Sifsei Chachomim also asks, how do we know Yaakov was saying Shema and not Shemoneh Esrei? He answers that it is forbidden to walk within four amos of someone davening Shemoneh Esrei. The mere fact that Yosef approached him, shows that Yaakov was not in middle of Shemoneh Esrei.

10 Dec 2015

Lo tosifu

Lo tosifu al hadavar asher anochi mitzaveh etchem

No, I will not link to the White House Chanukah reception in which a Reform woman clergy member was asked to recite the blessing of the Menorah and added an extra word to the second blessing.
Sheasah nisim laavoteinu - leimotenu. She also stated, "I also stand here with my fierce family of clergy and black lives matter activists who took to the streetsof Ferguson to stand firm until all members of the community would see G-d in the face of the other... and, of couse,  I stand with my sister who lit these lights at the kotel this year.

Daily Emuna lesson

Vatican: Catholics should not try to convert Jews

Huckabee 'ashamed' of US response to Protective Edge

By any other name

Students at a small Pennsylvania college are demanding that administrators rename a building called "Lynch Memorial Hall" because of the racial overtones of the word "lynch."
Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/students-rename-building-called-lynch-ex-president-231758305.html

I was going to post an item regarding the U.S. Attorney General, but I'll have to wait till she changes her last name.

This evening I came across an article at the Atlantic titled How American Jews Ruined Hanukkah. The title has now been changed to Hanukkah, Why?

The first paragraph begins with the words, "As far as holidays go, Hanukkah s...." (I left out the 4 letters after the s.) Further in the article, the writer asks, " Why, then, is this holiday—the most public Jewish celebration in the United States—so silly?"

I find it offensive to call a Jewish holday I celebrate silly. But I guess sensitivity training nowadays doesn't extend to not making offensive comments about things Jewish.

CNN host Asleigh Banfield is in the news for an interview she conducted this week.

CNN host Ashleigh Banfield equated Jewish terrorists with Islamic terrorists. On air. With a straight face.
Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2015/12/cnn_host_equates_jewish_terror_with_islamic_terror.html#ixzz3trn7fIEp

CNN host Asleigh Banfield was in the news for an interview she conducted Novemeber 2014.

After Brutal Terror Attack, Dershowitz Rips CNN Anchor for ‘Parroting’ Hamas Claim That All Israelis Are Legitimate Targets Professor Dershowitz was speaking to The Algemeiner one day after he appeared on a segment with CNN anchor Ashleigh Banfield to discuss Tuesday’s terrorist atrocity at a synagogue in Jerusalem’s Har Nof neighborhood. “Soldiers come in all forms,” Banfield told Dershowitz. “And when you have mandatory conscription and service in Israel, effectively the Palestinians will say, ‘it’s war against everyone,’ because everyone is a soldier.” http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/11/19/after-brutal-terror-attack-dershowitz-rips-cnn-anchor-for-parroting-hamas-claim-that-all-israelis-are-legitimate-targets-for-terror-interview/#

9 Dec 2015

Trivial matters

The CAIR Effect: See something, do nothing

Chanukah: The Expression of G-d’s Love

Vocal Critic Of Israel, Jimmy Carter, Has Cancer Cured By Drug Made In Israel

Michelle Malkin asks Can some reporter ask Hillary this question about a Benghazi-related email that runs counter to all the spin?

She ends the article with, "And no, I don’t expect any “reporter” who’s granted access to Clinton to bring it up. Too many of them are busy competing to be her press secretary to bother with such trivial matters."

A Secret Ingredient for a Delicious Marriage

8 Dec 2015

The school calendar

Saving their sworn enemy: Heartstopping footage shows Israeli commandos rescuing wounded men from Syrian warzone - but WHY are they risking their lives for Islamic militants?

Some parents in Howard County are up in arms, confused over a new proposal to the school board that would remove the two existing Jewish holidays from the school calendar.
Read more: http://wtop.com/howard-county/2015/12/howard-co-school-district-considering-a-calendar-without-jewish-holidays/

We are told that when Pharaoh asked for Yosef to be taken out of prison to interpret his dreams, they ‘quickly’ brought Yosef out (41:14). Why do we need to know that Yosef was granted his freedom so speedily?
Continue reading: http://www.shortvort.com/mikeitz-parasha/11757-smile-for-the-redepmtion-flash

Light over darkness

Outraged over the vandalization of a Menorah near his official residence, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio joined Chabad to celebrate Chanukah.
Read more: http://www.collive.com/show_news.rtx?id=38228&alias=mayor-stands-with-new-york-jews

Dashcam proves woman lied about cop aiming gun at her (VIDEO)

The student government’s ethics committee at the University of Michigan unanimously voted on Sunday not to take disciplinary action against a Jewish student who was under investigation for challenging anti-Israel demonstrators on campus, The Algemeiner has learned.
Read more:  https://www.algemeiner.com/2015/12/07/ethics-committee-clears-jewish-student-who-argued-with-anti-israel-demonstrators-on-michigan-campus/#

Attorney General Walks Back Threats on “Hate Speech”

7 Dec 2015

Fire and lights

State Department Spokesperson, John Kirby, began today's briefing by talking about a clock.

MR KIRBY: Hello, everybody. Okay, just a couple of things at the top here. Hey, we have a new clock in here, huh? A bigger one. See that? A little easier for me to see all the way up here. Bigger numbers and everything. That’ll keep us all honest.

Personally, I wouldn't mind if bigger clocks were hung at various politicians' abodes and places of work. Let's include bigger clocks at television studios, as well as the U.N.

Netanyahu lights Hanukkah candles with IDF

Menorah in Mayor De Blasio’s Backyard Vandalized

“Last night we gathered to kindle the menorah, bringing light to the world and this morning we found that we were met by an act of darkness,” said Rabbi Elie Weinstock, of Cong. Kehilath Jeshurun (KJ). “But light always overcomes darkness, and tonight we plan to light the menorah again.” http://jpupdates.com/2015/12/07/menorah-in-mayor-de-blasios-backyard-vandalized/

NYPD sends elite squads to arson-stricken Bukharian neighborhood

Google News Search Reveals Original Title Of Daily News Article Blaming Victims In San Bernardino - Just goes to show how difficult it is to delete an action.

...Know what is above you: an eye that sees and an ear that hears, and all your deeds are recorded in the Book. (Ethics of the Fathers 2:1) Perhaps these days we can state, "all your deeds are recorded in the Wayback Machine/ Google cache."

Fuego (fire) volcano is putting on its own display of lighting up during the holiday of lights.


Contrasting views about the President's speech last night.

America still has far more “hate crimes” against Jews.

This wasn’t a national-security speech, it was a political effort — and a weak one. The real message is that this president isn’t going to let facts shift his chosen course.

President Obama’s Tough, Calming Talk on Terrorism

The Blaze writes about a public university publishing “guidelines” for employees regarding its holday parties.

“Holiday parties and celebrations should not play games with religious and cultural themes — for example, ‘Dreidel’ or ‘Secret Santa.’

"ראיתי את המוות מול העיניים. ניצלתי רק בזכות החסד"

Fmr. FBI Counterterror Agent Just Exposed A Disturbing Truth About ‘Vast Majority’ Of US Mosques

6 Dec 2015

Six Alephs

After getting a very unfriendly welcome from Yosef, the pasuk says (Mikeitz 42:21), "Vayomru Ish El Achiv Aval Asheimim Anachnu; The brothers said indeed we are guilty as we saw the pain of our brother Yosef, and ignored his pleas."

The Shnayim Mikra brings from the Megaleh Amukos that six consecutive words starting with Ish, begin with the letter Aleph. These six Alephs each represent one millennium of the world's six thousand years of existence. The Torah is telling us that the mistake of selling Yosef will haunt us throughout the entire history.

U.S. congressional leaders have protested the construction of a monument in Hungary to a government minister who ordered the death of some 500,000 Jews during the Holocaust.
Read more: http://jewishva.org/node/113613

De Blasio: Syrian refugees are just like Jews fleeing Nazis

Do nothing

The New York Times has an article about the victims of the shooting at San Bernardino. It quotes from a Facebook page of one of the victims, Robert Adams, 40.

He recently posted a quote from Albert Einstein to his profile: “The world is a dangerous place not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/04/us/where-they-shared-their-working-hours-and-their-dying-moments.html

Wnen I read the above quote, I thought to myself that nowadays, one is better off doing nothing than reporting suspicious activity and risk facing charges of indulging in the opposite of PC behavior.

Breitbart report on comments made by Republican presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee, on the Fox News Channel. He further stated, “we hear these people say, and you see the signs in the New York subways. If you see something, say something. Now, people are afraid if they say something they’re going to be labeled a xenophobe, a bigot, a hater, a racist. Nobody wants to be labeled that. Nobody wants to be ostracized. So now, because of political correctness, the cops may tell us see something, say something, people understand, say something, get a label on you, and be plastered on the front page of the papers. It’s not going to happen.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently invited Britain’s Prince Charles to make an official visit to Israel, the Telegraph reported Saturday, but such a visit is unlikely as long as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict remains unresolved.

How about not inviting the royals to Israel until the British ask for the return of a great portion of the land of Palestine which they illegally ceded to Jordan.

5 Dec 2015

Irresponsible journalism

The Gaon indicates that there is a relation, a Remez, between Chanuka and the fact that we always read Parshas Mikeitz during Chanuka. At the end of each parsha, the Masora gives the number of Pasukim, but for strangely enough for Mikeitz it also gives the number of words - 2025.

The Vilna Gaon says that it is to teach us if Poti Phera is one word or two. Secondly, 2025 is a Remez to Ner Chanukah. The gemara in Shabbos (21b) say we should light Ner Ish U'Baiso for 8 day. The Gematria of the word Ner is 250 If you multiply that by 8 days, 8 x 250 = 2000. The remaining 25 is for the 25th of Kislev.

State Department spokesperson Elizabeth Trudeau said Friday that the State Department stands behind the visa process that allowed a terrorist into the United States.

“Are you satisfied that Malik’s application process followed the proper protocol?” one reporter asked Trudeau, referring to San Bernardino shooter Tashfeen Malik, who had previously pledged allegiance to the Islamic State on Facebook.

“Yes,” she said.

“How can you say that with such assurance?” the reporter asked.

Trudeau said that she is confident that this case followed protocol because the State Department is confident in its visa process.

“Because we stand behind our screening process for visas,” she said.
Read more and watch video: http://freebeacon.com/national-security/state-department-satisfied-with-visa-process-that-allowed-terrorist-into-u-s/

Robert Spencer references a NYT article titled What Investigators Know About the San Bernardino Shooting.
"If investigators confirm the link, attacks by self-proclaimed Islamic jihadists will have killed 45 people in the United States since Sept. 11, 2001. Attacks by antigovernment, racist and other nonjihadist extremists have killed 48."

Mr. Spencer refers to the graph in the NYT article and opines, "It begins after 9/11. Including nearly 3,000 jihad deaths on 9/11 would make it look significantly different."
Read more: http://www.jihadwatch.org/2015/12/ny-times-non-muslim-extremists-more-lethal-than-jihadis

The NY Daily News published an article titled San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook reportedly told Jewish colleague and eventual victim ‘Israel doesn’t belong in the Middle East’ two weeks before massacre.

I was surprised by the term "Jewish" in the headline as I had posted two days ago that I read on his Facbook page, "He ALSO assumes I'm a JEW - a great Compliment..."

A reader of his Facebook page posted a few hours ago, "Setting the record straight. My dear late friend Nicholas Thalasinos was not Jewish. Any publication that claims he was, classifies as irresponsible journalism!" She also links to an article Messianic San Bernardino victim was ‘gentile’ supporter of Israel, the Jewish people.

3 Dec 2015

A great compliment

I was alerted to the death of Nicholas Thalasinos by a headline at OnlySimchas titled Practitioner of What is Called "Messianic Judaism" Among Victims of Terror Shooting.
His Facebook page is replete with pro-Israel links and comments including one posted on December 1 regarding someone he identifies as an "ANTISEMITIC BRAIN SURGEON" who wrote to him, "you will never sucsseed to make a country for jews , because you are criminals and cowards ,you are juste using usa and europe to fight for you ,...  you will die and never see israel as country believe me never."
Mr. Thalasinos further posted, "Besides his SPARKLING SPELLING SKILLS and FLAWLESS GRAMMAR he seems to forget ISRAEL IS ALREADY A COUNTRY! He ALSO assumes I'm a JEW - a great Compliment, I should keep him around for that reason alone!.."

In the meantime, AP quotes Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

"We don't know the motives. Is it work, race-related, is it mental illness, is it extreme ideology? At this point, it's really unknown to us and at this point it's too soon to speculate,"

Less than a day after purchasing over $200 worth of groceries for a mother and her 5-month-old son, Matt Jackson was killed in a car crash. Now, the woman is hoping to honor the kind-hearted 28-year-old and his good deed.
Read more: http://abc7ny.com/society/good-samaritan-dies-in-car-accident-less-than-24-hours-after-paying-for-a-strangers-groceries/1104472/


An emotional event was held in Lakewood on Sunday, which marked what would have been the Bar Mitzvah of David Sassoon Z”L, one of the family members who perished in the tragic Brooklyn fire. - See more at: http://www.thelakewoodscoop.com/news/2015/12/video-photos-mrs-sassoon-attends-siyum-in-lakewood-in-honor-of-her-son-david-zl.html#more-115112

Rabbi Uses ALS Disease to Uplift

Parshas VaYaishev: Yaakov - The Man Of Truth

2 Dec 2015

Thanksgiving and Chanukah

The gemara in Masechet Sanhedrin (94) states that Hashem was ready to appoint King Chizkiyahu as the Mashiach (messiah) and Sancherev (the general of the Babylonian [Assyrian] forces that put a siege around Jerusalem in that era) as Gog and Magog. However, subsequent to the miraculous defeat of the forces of Sancherev (Hashem caused the deaths of the soldiers in one night), Chizkiyahu did not sing in thanksgiving to Hashem. King David did not merit overt miracles; yet he sang and praised Hashem. If he was not appointed as Mashiach, certainly Chizkiyahu should not merit such an exalted status. A marvelous opportunity for the redemption was missed.
Read more: https://www.shaalvim.org/yeshiva/torah/view.asp?id=515

Seal of Biblical King Hezekiah Found in Jerusalem

The auction of a flag from an iconic ship that tried to take Jewish Holocaust survivors to what would later become Israel was cancelled Wednesday after it was bought by a public institution.
Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/auction-iconic-jewish-ships-flag-called-off-164815870.html

This Hanukkah, Michael Hochberg will be lighting the menorah with a Polish Catholic who pretended to be his big sister — and helped ensure his life was not extinguished during the Holocaust. Continue reading: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/jewish-man-reunited-polish-big-sister-who-saved-him-holocaust-n472236

ElderofZiyon wites, "Ben Norton at Salon wrote an incredibly one-sided anti-Israel piece about the partition of British Mandate Palestine."

There are some interesting comments posted under the Salon article.

WWII veteran honoured

70 years later, late WWII veteran honoured for saving Jewish-American soldiers from Nazis

Some thoughts on the Paris attack and the Bataclan's Jewish owner

Parashat Vayeshev

30 Nov 2015

Light over dark

Hillary Clinton has appointed to her leadership team a former congressman who blamed his defeat on “Jewish interests” and the “Jewish media,” her campaign announced earlier this month.
Read more: http://freebeacon.com/politics/clinton-appoints-ex-congressman-who-blamed-defeat-on-jews-to-leadership-team/

VaYimtzaayhu Ish Vihinay Soeh BaSadeh" - "A man found Yosef and he was blundering in the field". Rashi tells us that this "man" was. Malach Gavriel. If you take a look in Parshas VaYishlach the pasuk says, "Vayaovek Ish Imo Ad Alos HaShachar". There Rashi says that the "Ish" was "Saro Shel Esav" - Esav's Malach. How did Rashi know to diffrentiate between the 2 words "Ish"?

I once heard a pshat, if you look in Parshas VaYishlach the pasuk says that this Ish was fighting with Yaakov ("Vayaovek Ish Imo") - that was the Middah of Esav (Yadayim Yiday Esav) - therefore Rashi says that it was Esav's Malach. However, in Parshas VaYeishev, this Ish asked Yaakov, "Mah Tivakesh" - you look lost, what are you looking for? This was a Malach that was concerned about the welfare of another person. This had to be Malach Gavriel!

The expulsion

On Monday Israel will hold the first annual commemoration of the expulsion of some 850,000 Jews from Arab and Muslim countries in the course of the 20th century.
Read more: http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/israel/94025-151130-jewish-nakba

Jewish Lives Matter

Former NYPD Jewish Cop Reveals ‘Hard to Listen to’ Recordings of Antisemitic Abuse From Fellow Officers

How Chai from China became a Hasidic Jew


British Jewish students attempt to silence my mention of Israel

פוטין נגד טורקיה? המשיח בפתח

After the Paris attacks and Brussels raids, Belgium's Jews consider new exodus

Under Threat: Belgian Jews Living Amidst Terrorists

29 Nov 2015


VIDEO: 7th grader calls school board ‘liars’ over ‘God is myth’ lesson cover-up

Despair and Hope in Israel

Being In Israel at this Difficult Time Remembering Ezra Schwartz.

Yosef was punished with two years additional years in jail because he asked the Sar HaMashkim to mention him to Paroh in the hopes of gaining his freedom. This request, says Chazal constituted a lack of Bitachon. The Meforshim ask that Yosef was merely doing Hishtadlus and trying to procure his freedom through normal ways. Isn't Hishtadlus not only permissible but required? To understand this we must first understand the true meaning of Bitachon and Hishtadlus.

Does Bitachon or reliance on Hashem mean that when I am faced with a problem I must be confident that things will turn out the way I'd like them to? No, says the Chazon Ish. Bitachon is an offshoot of Emuna, and the definition of emuna is that I believe that nothing in this world is by chance and everything is directed by the hand of Hashem. It follows that no matter what situation you face you must believe the outcome is the will of Hashem, and that Hashem can bring any outcome he desires without anything standing in His way. So back to our question. If I am facing danger I can't know if I will be saved, but I must believe that whatever happens is Hashem's will, and since Hashem only wants what's good for us, whatever happens is by definition good. There is no bad outcome to any problem.

So then what is Hishtadlus? How can my efforts change what Hashem knows is good? One would reason that the only Hishtadlus needed is to daven to Hashem, for everything else is for naught. So why would I work on my behalf at all? The Chazon Ish explains that Hashem wants us to take action that in the eyes of the the world seem to achieve our goals because Hashem wants to run the world according to the laws of nature. Hashem wants to remain hidden as much as possible and not need to reveal His hand in running the world.

This seemingly logical explanation has far reaching implications in dictating how we must behave with regard to Hishtadlus. Since Hishtadlus means achieving our goals in a perfectly natural way, it rules out any action that has only a remote possibility of succeeding. If one takes action that has little chance of working or doesn't make too much sense, that is not Hishtadlus. Once something falls out of the realm of Hishtadlus it becomes an act of desperation and is forbidden since it shows a lack of emuna. It shows that you don't believe Hashem can solve your problem and will do anything to help yourself however remote.

The proper way to solve your problems is to daven to Hashem and hope for his salvation. At the same time you should take normal steps to solve your problem. Anything beyond that is a waste of time and a lack of emuna, so don't take a desperate shot in the dark. It will hurt you spiritually and won't help you come close to your goal even one iota. Rav Dov Yaffa says that the Chazon Ish explained that this was the charge against Yosef for asking the the Sar HaMashkim to remember him. A minister of the stature of the Sar HaMashkim is not of the nature to return favors by humbling himself and rehashing his shameful past before the king. Yosef's request crossed the line of Hishtadlus and bordered on desperation, and for that he was punished.

28 Nov 2015

Blue eyes

The NYT has an article about Paris's new vulnerability, in the wake of the attacks this past month.

Below are two excerpts from the article in which various individuals opine about the attacks.

A small older woman hovered near the statue of Marianne, fumbling with her umbrella and her purse. She brought a candle to honor the dead, but it was too wet that day, she said, so she would come back later.
“I came also to pay respect to the victims of 1939-44,” she said. “The victims of the Holocaust are the same,” casualties of the same kind of hatred.

  ...Asked about the attacks in Paris, Mahdi, 21, born in France to Moroccan parents, said, “It’s a Zionist plot.” Why? “I’ve seen these videos that prove it,” he said, declining to provide his last name. “It’s the Zionists and it’s all about money.”
His friends all agreed.
Another video, he said, proved that Mohammed Merah, who in 2012 killed Muslim French soldiers and then Jews in Toulouse in the name of Al Qaeda, “really had blue eyes” and was not a Muslim at all. “They pretend that Muslims are the terrorists, but it’s not what religion is about,” Mahdi said. “We as Muslims are always humiliated.”

Swastika is a symbol of peace, elite school tells sixth-graders

Tony Schwartz writes about his atempt to spend less time on the internet in an article titled Addicted to Distraction. If you find yourself agreeing with what he wrote, perhaps it's time to rethink how much time you spend on the internet.

I was spending too many hours online, checking the traffic numbers for my company’s website, shopping for more colorful socks on Gilt and Rue La La, even though I had more than I needed, and even guiltily clicking through pictures with irresistible headlines such as “Awkward Child Stars Who Grew Up to Be Attractive.”

27 Nov 2015

Parshat Vayishlach

Parshas Vayishlach - A Dose of Inspiration

Charges after alleged assault at Adass

Ancient Jewish community endures on Tunisian isle

Parashat VaYishlah: We are the Answer to Yaakob’s Prayer

INN has an article titled Germany: Teacher fined for erasing swastikas

Court fines elementary school teacher 1,000 euros for painting over swastika graffiti to hide them from students.

One comment posted under the INN article caught my eye.

"We live in a day when right is wrong, black is white, good is bad and day is night."

Compare and contrast

Parshas Vayishlach: Jealousy Rots; Envy Can Redeem

"האדמו"ר מויז'ניץ: "ממחלוקת לא רואים ברכה

Compare and Contrast
"We are free to worship the Almighty as we choose....Let us thank G-d for the bounty and goodness of our nation."
Thanksgiving message, President Regan, 1985

"Thanksgiving is a day for food and football and for hoping the Turkey didn't turn out too dry." Thanksgiving message, President Obama, 2015

26 Nov 2015

Two choices

CNN wipes Israel off the map

Help a lost Family in a Tragic Time

Law students in huge show of support for UT-Austin Israel Studies Prof. attacked by BDS

Glenn Beck interviews, a man who was diagnosed with ALS.

“If I were only given two choices, choice one is to be totally healed but return to my former relationship with God or, choice two, live with this wretched disease but have my current relationship with God,” Paine told Beck. “I’ve already made the choice. I’ll keep what I have.”
Click here to watch a powerful excerpt from the interview.

His words remind me of the curse received by the snake. Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb writes about the insight we can learn from the snake's punishment. Below is an excerpt from his article.

This idea is reminiscent – and the inverse – of a famous insight of R. Menachem Mendel of Kotzk regarding the punishment of the nachash, the snake, after the sin of the Etz Ha-da’as. The nachash is punished for its role as the instigator of the whole affair by having to eat the dust of the earth. (3:14)

The Kotzker is bothered by this choice of punishment; after all, it resulted in the fact that the snake is never wanting for sustenance. While other creatures must struggle to find food, the snake never experiences that problem. This actually appears to be a great blessing; where is the punishment?

He suggests that the very fact that the snake is never wanting is itself the punishment because there is, therefore, no need for it to be dependent on Hashem. And when there is no dependence there is also no relationship. And the absence of a relationship with God is the ultimate curse that any creature can receive.
Read full article: http://www.yutorah.org/lectures/lecture.cfm/739260/Rabbi_Dovid_Gottlieb/Parshat_Toldot-_Relationships

A relative once related to me, "If I had tons of money, I would donate millions to Chai Lifeline."
She had seen the amount of help Chai Lifeline provided to her nephew and niece, who had a number of children with medical issues.
This past weekend, a Shabbaton was held in Lawrence for 150 children, family members and Chai Lifeline counselors. Due to a miscommunication with the caterer, there was no Shabbos lunch awaiting the crowd who had assembled at the synagogue. When women in Lawrence heard the news at shul, they went to their homes to bring food from their Shabbos tables. A veritable feast was prepared in a matter of minutes.
Mi keamcha Yisrael.

25 Nov 2015

Feeling the pain

Feel the Pain

Emuna Daily lesson

Guests Fly to Cheer Grieving Bride

Students Forced to Pay Attention Achieve Higher Grades

Documents Reveal How Anti-Israel Group at California Public Universities Got Campus Funding for Highly Charged Political Activities

Reuters has an article titled Palestinian stabs Israeli soldier and is shot dead: army
The violence, fueled in part by Muslim agitation over increased Jewish visits to East Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque compound - Islam's third holiest site and also revered by Jews as the location of two biblical-era temples, prompted Kerry to come and sound out both sides on Tuesday.
Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/25/us-israel-palestinians-idUSKBN0TE1QI20151125#fLyXUyaEOkDlZRZ1.97

EXCLUSIVE: Texas School District Assigns Islamic State Recruiting Homework to Teach ‘Critical Thinking’

The holiday ad

A Yeshiva student and his grandmother represent the joy of Chanukah in an ad for one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies.
Read more and view ad: http://www.collive.com/show_news.rtx?id=38018&alias=bochur-in-tylenol-holiday-ad

Mrs. Sigal Buchris Speaks About Her Daughter, Terror Victim Hadar Buchris HYD

Why 20,000 Israelis are suing Facebook over Palestinian attacks

מסר הרב ניר בן ארצי שליט"א ליהודים בארץ ובעולם כולו - וישלח - י' כסלו תשע"ו

The Obama Administration and the Anonymity of Jewish Death

Owner of New England Patriots Pays Shiva Call to Ezra Shwartz's Parents During Game

Einstein once kept kosher, and 7 other Jewish facts for relativity’s 100th b-day

The Blaze reports Leaked Emails Reveal Suspended CNN Reporter Worked With Clinton Aide to Target Rand Paul in 2013.

Parashat Vayishlach: The Shelah HaKadosh Reveals The Amazing Underpinnings Of Yaakov’s Encounter With Eisav

24 Nov 2015


Rabbi Shmuel Silber on Parshas VaYishlach: Vayishlach: Introspective Identity - Excellent Torah thought.

Everything or a lot – the key to happiness

Staying on the topic of happiness, the Daily Mail reported today about Samra Kesinovic, 17, and Sabina Selimovic, 16, who had fled Austria to Syria. It seems that "Sabina insisted she was enjoying life in Syria, where she felt free to practise her religion in a way that she did not in Austria."
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3331846/Teenage-Islamist-poster-girl-fled-Austria-join-ISIS-beaten-death-terror-group-trying-escape-Syria.html#ixzz3sRw2g0bq

Unfortunately, one can't ask the girls if they are still enjoying their lives as they don't seem to be alive anymore.

A reader at TLS posted an idea if an offer to donate money to a charity of his choice is rejected by an individual who gets to decide whether his brother should be cremated or receive a Jewish burial.

In the event that the large amount of money raised is not taken, it would be very appropriate to it donate to Poile Tzedek – the shul in New Brunswick that had a fire where all the Sifrei Torah were burnt.

Mark Knoller tweeted about President Obama bestowing the Presdential medal of freedom on the likes of Steven Spielberg, Barbra Streisand and Itzhak Perlman.

"I didn't know you were Jewish, Barbra," kids Pres Obama, as he mentions Streisand's childhood in Brooklyn.

Listen to Itzhak Perlman play John WIlliams' theme from Schindler's List. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qLePhm-xGs … Hard not to tear up.

No difference

Watch: New England Patriots' moment of silence for Ezra Schwartz

Below is an excerpt from the State Department briefing of November 23rd regarding Ezra Schwartz.

...it has come to the notice of some people that both the – when the President and the Vice President spoke about American victims of terrorism last week, they mentioned the Americans who died in Mali and in Paris, but didn’t mention the American who died in the West Bank. And I’m not asking you to – the White House is the place to ask about why that happened or why they said what they said, but I’m just wondering, in the Administration, more broadly, does it regard these acts – all of these acts as terrorism? And if so, does it have – do you have a different – are there different kind – does the Administration believe there are different kinds of terrorism?

MR TONER: No, I don’t think so. You’re speaking about the death of Ezra Schwartz, and John spoke about it from the podium on Friday. And I know the – Secretary Kerry did reach out to his family personally today. Look, I mean --

QUESTION: So you believe that – so the Administration believes that the attacks that killed --

MR TONER: I don’t want to – also want to parse out the --

QUESTION: -- all three of these people are the same? There’s no difference between one terrorist attack and another attack?

MR TONER: Again, I don’t want to necessarily parse out the word – the definition of terrorism, but we – yes, I think we would view them as terrorist attacks. http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2015/11/249907.htm#TERRORISM

Scottish university staff accused of anti-Jewish discrimination

One student told Scojec: "I was told by my university that either I sit exams on Shabbat or I fail."

In another case, a student said she no longer went to the business school or library and was worried about attending classes "due to fear of being harassed or attacked". http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/14096083.Scottish_university_staff_accused_of_anti_Jewish_discrimination/

PJMedia reports MSNBC's 'No-Fly List Is Islamophobia' Poster Boy Arrested in Turkey as Part of ISIS Cell

Disinvited: College cites ‘safety concerns’ to cancel Robert Spencer speech

Judicial Watch opines on what led to Harry Reid's abrupt retirement.

CHAZAQ Event with R’ Dovid Orlofsky on the “Power of Kindness/Chesed”

23 Nov 2015


Attorneys representing the family of Ahmed “clock kid” Mohamed sent a letter to Irving, Texas, officials demanding $15 million in compensation for “damages” as well as written apologies from the city’s mayor and police chief.
Read more: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/11/23/ahmed-clock-kid-mohameds-family-demands-10-million-from-city-of-irving-and-thats-not-all/

Is Ezra Schwartz's family suing for damages?  Is an AVIS customer suing for damages?

As many are aware, the AVIS car rental company found itself in the news regarding employees denying rental of a car to a man with an Israeli driver's license. The man had no problem renting from the company on previous occasions.
AVIS writes on its Facebook page:

...We are aggressively investigating the customer’s allegations regarding the handling of this matter, as we do not tolerate any form of discrimination. So far, our ongoing investigation suggests that this customer is unfairly maligning us with unfounded allegations.

The post has been replaced and the comments under the post have been deleted. The page now reads:

We have investigated the denial of a rental that recently occurred in Manhattan. We have found that we have been inconsistent in applying our policies with respect to documentation requirements with this customer, who has rented from us in the past without providing a second form of identification. We are committed to providing an outstanding car rental experience to our customers and believe that we should have done better here. We have spoken with the customer and apologized for the misunderstanding that occurred as a result of this inconsistency in applying our documentation policy, and the customer has accepted our apology.

An individual asked if any employee had been fired but AVIS responded, "the customer has requested that no one lose their job over this."

The FBI has published its 2014 Hate Crime Statistics, anti Jewish hate crimes tops the religious list.

These Interviews Of Muslims In Paris Are Mind-Boggling: ISIS Terror Attacks Were ‘Jewish Actions’

Vayishlach - Rabbi Yitzchok Isbee