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November 28, 2015 / 16 Kislev, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘arms’

Spin the Chicken

Friday, September 21st, 2012

A young Jewish man waves a female chicken over his wife’s head in the neighborhood of Meah Shearim, Jerusalem, as part of the Kaparot ritual. The rite is supposed to transfer her sins from last year onto the innocent bird, and the sinful chicken is then given to the poor.

But, wait a minute, if the poor will eat the soup that was made from the sinful chicken, wouldn’t he or she reacquire the man’s wife’s sins?

Our Friend rabbi Josh Yuter from the Stanton Street Shul has tweeted recently that we should combine the two minhagim of Tashlich and Kaparot and throw live chickens into the ocean.

It should make a splash…

One of the few times I did Kaparot was under the Delancey Street bridge, back in the early 1980s. There was a kosher chicken market there for the holidays, and it smelled, well, fowl. The bird felt warm and frightened in my arms, and it endured silently the spinning and the verses I was saying, which, had he understood English should have alerted him to what came next…

I know he would have much preferred a swim in the ocean…

A Mother’s Prayer

Friday, September 7th, 2012

You brightened my life when you entered my world
My child, my treasure, my glittering pearl.
I held you and rocked you, safe in my arms
Dreaming I’d keep you safe from all harm.

I watched you and tended your needs day and night
Never letting you out of my sight,
You grew and you played, alive and carefree
Embracing each miracle your eyes did see.

Laughing and loving, you crawled, stood, and walked
Stringing words into sentences, you learned how to talk,
My child forever, our bond is so close
Yet somehow that chest of memoirs has been closed.

Now autumn leaves of crimson and gold
Whisper a story as yet untold,
It is time for you to leave my cocoon
To learn to sing a different tune.

I see your eyes shining, mirroring high hopes
Your first day of school, of climbing new slopes,
Crisply dressed, you wait near the door
I feel a prayer flutter- what lies in store?
Will the teacher be gentle, nurturing and kind?
Will s\he listen when something weighs on your mind?
Will the teacher help you create and expand?
Or will s\he be harsh and insist on demands?

Will your spirit be prodded to grow and climb higher?
Will your heart swell and feel inspired?
And the children, your peers, will they be warm and inviting?
Will they use manners sadistic and biting?
Will your smile grow wide in a circle of friends?
Or will your heart shatter, its fabric rent?

A flower needs sunlight and warmth to grow
Not winter winds to cast it down low,
And you, my child, how will you act?
Will you always speak with kindness and tact?
Do you know that with each day’s gift comes a test
And Hashem wants to see that you do your best?

Will you remember the lessons I taught you at home?
The lessons I taught you as you have grown?
Will you respect a teacher if you disagree?
Obey if your heart calls out differently?
Will you lend a hand to someone in need?
No matter the person’s background or creed?
When someone insults you, makes you feel down
Will you judge them with favor and not rebound?
Will you have the strength to leave the crowd
If they want to do something that’s not allowed?
If you do poorly on one of your tests
Will you try again with courage and zest?

As you stand, my child, and wait near my door
My heart is aflutter, what lies in store?
I wish you a year filled with success
A year where your every effort is blessed
I wish you moments and days filled with light
Brimming with joy and sunshine so bright.

May your mind learn Torah and follow its ways
May your lips whisper prayers as you walk through your days
May your hands reach out to others in need
Helping them with warm words or by deed
May you know your talents so you can achieve
Spread your wings and fly – believe!

As part of my heart cries, “Please don’t go”
The other rejoices to see you grow
Remember I’m here for you as I was then
To listen, to soothe again and again
I will wait for you when you get home
I am your mother- you are never alone.

May Hashem be your guide as you journey forward
Wide-eyed with wonder, sailing new waters.
My heart throbs in prayer with words unspoken
Hoping that you’ll be molded, not broken.
My lips graze your cheek on this, your first day
I watch you leave and continue to pray.
I will wait near the door, my precious child
Feeling some tears, yet also a smile,
Hoping and dreaming as you live and learn
May Hashem bless you, for that my heart yearns.

Will Romney or Obama Save Israel from Iran?

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

Who will save Israel from Iran? President Romney or President Obama?

On August 26th The New York Times had this to say:

Weapons sales by the United States tripled in 2011 to a record high, driven by major arms sales to Persian Gulf allies concerned about Iran’s regional ambitions, according to a new study for Congress. Overseas weapons sales by the United States totaled $66.3 billion last year, or more than three-quarters of the global arms market, valued at $85.3 billion in 2011. Russia was a distant second, with $4.8 billion in deals.

Sixty-six billion dollars. That is a lot of money for a cash-strapped country. (Compare that to $48 billion – the budget of the Department of Homeland Security in 2012). Now, let’s say you were working in the Pentagon, or at Northrop Grumman, or you were a Senator or Congressman for an arms manufacturing state – would you go to sleep at night praying for world peace? No, you would not. Instead, you would thank God for the success of your business, and especially for the guys you owe it all to, Ayatollah Khomeini and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. They are responsible for all that business – 66 billion Dollars.

As Israel waits for a green light from the US to attack Iran so as to deal with the Iranian threat, some in America prosper from the arms escalation in the Middle East. And while we hear palliatives to the effect that this or that president will help Israel with Iran, it is all just a game, and a delay tactic. Iran is too lucrative to US arms manufacturers to allow Israel to have total victory over the Mullah regime. For the powerful arms industry, nothing could be better than a bunch of far-away Middle East folks who have disposable cash and who love to buy American made arms. The USA may talk peace but it sells war.

The Iran problem is not the making of Barack Obama. Fifteen years ago I was an intern in AIPAC’s Washington DC office. Back then,  Middle East analyst Keith Weissman was constantly warning that Iran had the will and the capacity to pursue a weapon of mass destruction. Netanyahu himself has been making this issue public for over a dozen years. This problem has been festering and no American leader, Republican or Democrat, has really tried to deal with it – maybe because for them there is no problem, but rather, a financial opportunity.

The current Republican candidate for US President, Mitt Romney is not more pro-Israel or anti-Jihad then Reagan, Bush I or Bush II. He is cut of the same cloth and he has not made one indication that he will seriously take on Iran, Saudi Arabia terror sponsorship, southern Lebanon, or Gaza. Nor has he made any signs that he will curtail that other favorite policy of US presidents – that of shrinking Israel and forcing a “Two-State solution.”

The odds are that a Romney White House will not change the course of American foreign policy, just as, ironically, President Obama has not.  In fact, there has been little change in US policy for the past 40 years, and the last 9 presidents. When it comes to the Middle East, the US has consistently allowed radical Islam to flourish, and sold arms to the region, all the while trying to shrink Israel.

The one thing that the Obama administration has changed is the tone and the rhetoric – and this has brought visibility to the rest of their actions including the arms sales, the friendliness to Jihadist Islam, the open antagonism to Israel, and the will to shrink it.  But during the George W. Bush years – the closest thing to Mitt Romney we have had – the very same policies did not show because Bush II ‘loved Israel’. All the while he was in bed with the Saudis as they were exporting Wahabbi Jihadism all over the globe (including US campuses), he created the Palestinian Dayton ‘security forces’ (terror army), did nothing to curb Iran’s ambitions, and effectively stopped the US’ recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

For four years, George W. was in office after Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 which calls for the embassy to be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999. The law also said that “Jerusalem should remain an undivided city…[and that] Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel.” To sidestep the law, President Bush, used a proviso loophole and waived that law every 6 months. Every six months for the remainder of his term President Bush said NO to an Israeli Jerusalem.

UN Watch: Iran Elected to UN Arms Trade Treaty Post

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Iran was elected to a top post on the UN Arms Trade Treaty conference, UN Watch revealed on Sunday. The Geneva-based human rights group is calling on UN chief Ban Ki-moon, who addressed the conference on the same day, to condemn the selection of the Tehran regime.

“Right after a UN Security Council report found Iran guilty of illegally transferring guns and bombs to Syria, which is now murdering thousands of its own people, it defies logic, morality and common sense for the UN to now elect this same regime to a global post regulating the transfer of guns and bombs,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a non-governmental monitoring group based in Geneva.

“This is like choosing Bernie Madoff to police fraud on the stock market. And the U.N.’s scandalous choice of Iran is exactly why we fear that Syria’s declared bid for a U.N. Human Rights Council seat is not impossible.”

Although the U.N. conference website and summary fail to name the 15 members elected to the bureau on July 3rd, UN Watch has discovered that the countries elected to the five regional groups include Iran, Japan, and South Korea for the Asian group; Kenya, Egypt and Nigeria for Africa; Azerbaijan, Belarus, and Ukraine for Eastern Europe; Australia, Netherlands and Switzerland for the Western Europe & Others Group; and Mexico and two others for Latin America.

The United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty, which opened last week and runs until July 27, promises to deliver a new agreement to regulate the transfer of arms.

UN Watch called on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who addressed the conference on the same day as the election, to condemn the decision to give Iran a position of responsibility in regulating the arms trade.

“He should remind the conference that the Security Council has imposed four rounds of sanctions on Iran for refusing to halt its probited nuclear program, and that Iran continues to defy the international community through illegal arms shipments to the murderous Assad regime,” said Neuer.

US: Russia Shipping Attack Choppers to Syria

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton charged Russia with delivering attack helicopters to Syria.

“We have confronted the Russians about stopping their continued arms shipments to Syria,” Clinton said Tuesday at an appearance with Israeli President Shimon Peres. “We are concerned about the latest information we have that there are attack helicopters on the way from Russia to Syria.”

Clinton suggested that Russia was showing bad faith in the international effort to oust the Bashar Assad regime in the 15th month of its crackdown on opponents by claiming that its arms transfers were not used in the crackdown.

“That is patently untrue,” she said. Syria has used helicopter gunships in attacks on civilians, according to reports.

Israel is furious at the arms transfers; its leaders are concerned that the Assad regime may attempt to draw Israel into a conflict as a distraction.

“What happens in Syria matters greatly to the U.S., but matters drastically to Israel,” Clinton said.

She said the United States would give until mid-July to see results from an effort led by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to achieve a peaceful transition, adding that she had made clear to Annan that Iran could not be involved.

Peres, in remarks at a lunch hosted by the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center, said the Arab League should take the lead in assuming responsibility for the Syrian transition.

Clinton gave the Russians higher marks for their role among the major powers seeking greater nuclear transparency in Iran.

Moscow is due to host the next round of talks with Iran on June 18-19, and Clinton suggested that the Russians share the Western perception that the Iranians are stalling.

“The Russians have made it clear they want the Iranians to advance the discussion in Moscow, not just to come, listen and leave,” she said.

What if God Stopped Believing in You?

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Many atheists carry a theological crutch.  Most are unaware of it.  And, if you show it to them, most will deny it’s there.

It is the silent belief that, should they ever change their mind about God, God will always be there for them.

One of the great comforts of being an atheist is the assumption that if one day the skies parted and God appeared and said “thou shalt choose,” thou could choose God then.  Or perhaps later in life, on your deathbed, or at some distant time in the future when you find yourself looking for something more – you could choose what’s behind “Door #2” then.  Until then, atheists feel free to spend their Sabbaths partying or at the beach or at that quiet, new hipster brunch place down the street (before it’s overrun by hipster wannabes).

This is the atheist’s backup plan.  A theological crutch.  The belief that, should you ever decide to open “Door #2,” God will always be there waiting for you with open arms.  It is a belief built on an assumption about the character of God: that He is more of a sap than any ex-boyfriend or girlfriend you have ever dumped, and He will gladly spend all of eternity waiting patiently behind Door #2 in the hopes that you will someday open it.

But what if there was a consequence to not believing in God?  What if you opened Door #2 and God was no longer there?

What if God stopped believing in you?

IAEA Inspectors Uncovered Higher Grade Iranian Enriched Uranium

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Evidence found in an underground bunker in Iran could signal the country’s having moved one step closer toward the uranium threshold needed to make nuclear arms, International Atomic Energy Agency diplomats said today.

IAEA inspectors found traces of uranium enriched up to 27 percent at Iran’s Fordo enrichment plant, the Associated Press reported.

While still well below the 90-percent needed for a nuclear weapon’s fissile core, the figure is Iran’s highest-known enrichment grade yet. It also is well above the Islamic Republic’s main stockpile, which can only be used for fuel at around 3.5 percent.

The diplomats stressed this did not necessarily mean that Iran was pushing ahead toward weapons-grade level material. One possible explanation, they explained, was that the centrifuges that produce enriched uranium initially over-enriched at the start of the process as technicians adjusted their output.

Calls to Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran’s chief delegate to the IAEA, were rejected and the switchboard operator at the Iranian mission said he was not available. IAEA media officials said the agency had no comment.

Iran started enriching to 20 percent last year, mostly at Fordo, saying it needed the material to fuel a research reactor and for medical purposes.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/iaea-inspectors-uncovered-higher-grade-iranian-enriched-uranium/2012/05/25/

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