web analytics
August 20, 2014 / 24 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘basis’

Avoiding Weight Gain This Winter

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

Winter seems to be a time when many people put on some extra weight. Have you ever considered why that is? Here are some of the top reasons and what to do about them.

More layers equals more room to hide. Bulky sweaters and loose coats give us that fake comfort and temporary ability to live in denial. I always tell my clients to have one summer outfit easily accessible and to try it on, on a regular basis. Aside from serving as a reminder that Summer is just a few short months away, it will be an accurate measurement of how your more fitted (and less layered) wardrobe feels.

Hot comfort drinks. Don’t we all associate those hot chocolates and creamy lattes with cold winter days? Did you know that these drinks could contain up to 700 calories? Many people falsely assume that “liquid calories” don’t count. This is obviously false. Try herbal teas instead, or lower calorie versions of your favorite drink. Substitute whole milk for skim, skip the whipped cream, and use cinnamon powder for flavor, instead of flavored syrup.

Feeling too lazy to exercise.  Many people feel a lot less energetic in the winter months and that is understandable.  The days are shorter, it gets dark sooner, and getting out of the house requires bundling up, and even warming up the car.  Outdoor exercisers find it more challenging to stick to their routine with the unpredictable weather, and it getting dark so early in the day, giving them less hours of “ideal workout conditions.”

My suggestion? Adjust your schedule or routine accordingly.  See what works for you.  Cold weather should not mean no exercise. Whether you are used to outdoor workouts, or just get lazy with the cold season, here are some tips to help you get you heated up even when the weather is cold.

1. Stock up on fitness DVDs. Make sure you pick ones that are fun and motivating (check out the Shape Fitness kosher workout DVD).

2. Find an exercise buddy. This way the two of you help each other get the workout accomplished, whether indoors or out.

3. If you are a walker or jogger, invest in warm yet comfortable gear. This should be something that is warm enough to wear outside, yet comfortable enough (and not bulky) to exercise in.  Make sure to protect your head and ears.

4. Try to exercise during daylight hours. The days are shorter but it is easier to exercise when it is light out.

Chanukah parties, office holiday parties, Chinese auctions, dinners, and fundraisers… need I say more? As always, plan ahead. Do not ever starve yourself the day of a function, planning to make up for it later on. Eat regular balanced meals throughout the day, and try drinking 2 glasses of water before the event. When you get there, scan the room and decide what you want to eat, before you fill up your plate. Treat a buffet style table as a visual menu. “see” the food there as simply a feast for the eyes, and it is up to you to make the best choices from it.

As always, having professional guidance is one of the best tools you can invest in. Whether it’s a nutritionist helping you plan your menus, or a personal trainer working out with you and measuring your results, having that professional guidance is extremely valuable.

Remember that Summer is right around the corner. With just some planning and willpower, you can avoid weight gain traps this winter.

Parshat Toldot: The Power Of A Text

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

The theme of my column is leadership. As a general rule I avoid extrapolating leadership lessons from current events. The following is my reasoning. First, the information available from current events is often incomplete and inaccurate. Even when the information is relatively complete and accurate it is unanalyzed. Therefore the basis for lessons learned may prove to be faulty. Second, current events are often too current. To attempt to draw practical lessons in a dispassionate way would be insensitive. At least a minimal amount of time is needed to create the space necessary to allow for such an article. I have relied on the publication of books and scholarly articles on a particular recent event as an indicator that an appropriate amount of time has passed, thus allowing me to write a leadership article about it.

Like any good rule, however, there need to be exceptions. The all too recent hurricane that shattered an untold number of lives is such an exception. I thank Hakadosh Baruch Hu that my family was spared during this storm, but many of my colleagues, students, and friends suffered from its power and continue to suffer in its aftermath. From them I heard stories of hope and chesed that are unbelievable. I also learned from them a more nuanced definition of leadership.

We read in this week’s Parsha how important a bracha is. Even Esav, the rough and tough warrior and hunter, cries uncontrollably because he missed getting blessed by his father Yitzchak. It makes us stop and wonder what it was that made Esav so upset. It certainly was not his losing out on the spiritual aspect of the blessing. One also wonders if he was upset at losing out at the material aspect – after all, he received a material blessing from Yitzchak and it is clear that his descendants have done materialistically well for themselves.

So what was Esav upset about? That he lost out on the encouraging good words from his father. He missed out on the emotional laden blessing that could have served as Esav’s lodestar throughout his life. It could have served as a source of strength and hope when things were not so good, and a moral compass for when things were going well. Fortunately for us, the children of Yisrael, our forefather Yaakov received this blessing and we benefit from what the descendants of Esav missed out on.

Members of Lev Leytzan’s ElderHearts visited with residents of the Atria Riverdale Senior Community during Hurricane Sandy.

We see from here how important a simple string of words can be.

Leaders often focus on the big vision and the mega-decisions, but the primary role of leadership is to give hope and guidance to one’s followers and organizations. In this regard everyone who helps another person get through a day is a leader.

One of my friends who has suffered tremendously from the storm told me the following story.

On the Sunday following the storm, she was surveying the extensive damage to her house. She had just thrown out all her ruined sefarim, books, and furniture. Looking at her damaged home, wondering how long she and her family would remain nomads, how she was going to rebuild, and where she would find the moral energy to move forward, she became totally overwhelmed. Although she had been strong during and after the storm, she had finally reached her breaking point. Then suddenly out of the blue, at 1:20 p.m., she received a random text from a friend saying how inspired she was by her, because despite everything she was experiencing, her thoughts and prayers were about other people! This text, my friend told me, gave her and her husband the boost they needed. Her message to me was simple: while victims of the hurricane need lots of help in so many ways, people should not underestimate the power of a thoughtful word and a sympathetic ear, in addition to an outstretched helping hand.

What do “Palestinian elections” Actually Mean?

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

Those of us who live in countries where freedom of opinion, of worship, of political viewpoint and the right to express ourselves as we wish are core values tend to lose sight of life is like where those values don’t exist. In the towns ruled by the Palestinian Authority, for instance.

They held elections of a sort there two weeks ago. As the Palestinian Arab journalist Khaled Abu Toameh writes ["Palestinian Elections: Which Fatah Won?"], the Fatah party of President Mahmoud Abbas won a majority of seats.

To understand, let’s carefully define some terms. Like “president”, “Fatah”, “elections” and “won”.

These municipal elections, held in 93 municipal and village councils across the PA’s fiefdom (historically called Judea and Samaria) but not for the so-called Palestinian parliament, were the first voting opportunity in the PA-controlled region in more than six years.

They were boycotted by the opposition, meaning the Islamist terror group Hamas. However there was a different sort of opposition, and they did well. As Abu Toameh points, the candidates who were fielded by the Abbas-controlled Fatah leadership found themselves running against Fatah members who formed themselves into an independent ticket. Guess how it turned out?

“The Fatah “rebels” scored major victories in important cities, such as Jenin, Nablus and Ramallah, as well as many villages. Abbas and the veteran Fatah leadership tried up to the last minute to dissuade the disgruntled members of his faction from running as independents, but to no avail. The Fatah Central Committee, a body dominated by Abbas loyalists, later decided to expel all the Fatah candidates who insisted on running in the election separately… Many of the Fatah candidates who were dismissed scored significant victories. Candidates who were expelled from Fatah defeated those who expelled them: Abbas and old guard Fatah leaders. Even in places where Abbas’s Fatah candidates won, the vote was on the basis of clan affiliation. Many Palestinians voted for Abbas’s Fatah candidates not because they were satisfied with the old guard leadership of Fatah, but simply because the candidate happened to belong to their clan. What is perhaps most worrying for Abbas is the fact that a large number of his policemen and security officers voted for the dissident Fatah candidates who ran against the Palestinian Authority’s nominees.” [Abu Toameh]

As for president Mahmoud Abbas, we’ve posted numerous times about the absurdity of calling this lifelong denier of the Holocaust and booster of terrorists/terrorism a moderate. (Many journalists and their editors don’t agree with us.) But beyond that, he’s also an illegitimate political fraud. As Sultan Knish points out

Western media outlets insist on referring to Mahmoud Abbas as the President of the Palestinian Authority, even though he’s currently on the 7th year of his four year term… Abbas has no political legitimacy since his term expired in 2009. Salam Fayyad has even less legitimacy since he was never elected by anyone and his appointment to Prime Minister was never even confirmed by the Palestinian parliament, who have no legitimacy either because their last election was in 2006. But even though the Palestinian Authority’s president, prime minister and parliament have not been elected by anyone, the terrorist democracy experiment is still going on with with local councils.

This has consequences. Abu Toameh says “Palestinian analysts are convinced that had Hamas participated in the elections, turnout would have been much higher and the Islamist movement would easily have defeated a divided Fatah“. This is quite worrying, but not new.

If you have the misfortune to live under the control of Abbas and his henchman, here’s a taste of what you can expect (hat tip to Challah).

A gentleman with the not-so-gentle name Jihad Harb is a newspaper columnist. This past Tuesday, the head of the PA’s Department of Public Prosecutions called him in for a conversation. He was informed that a complaint had been filed against him under the Jordanian Penal Code (in force under PA law) by no less a personage than “the Chief of Staff of the Palestinian presidency“. The charges: libel and slander and directly insulting the employees in the Office of the President arising from an article he had written two months ago. There’s outrage in certain very specific corners of the Palestinian Arab world – at the optimistically named Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms, for instance. But otherwise, it’s an invisible story – as if it never happened.
Sultan Knish, reflecting on the ‘elections’, points out some things that the rest of us ought to take away:

If Fatah can’t win local elections, it certainly can’t win anything bigger. Its political institutions have no legitimacy and derive their support entirely from the backing of Western diplomats. If the Fatah regime has no democratic legitimacy, then on what basis is it regarded as the legitimate representative of Muslims living within the West Bank and Gaza? And on what basis is Israel being asked to negotiate with it? And finally, on what basis is any bid that it makes at the UN being taken seriously and on what basis are American tax dollars being funneled into a two state project, when the the West Bank and Gaza are already two states, one run by Hamas, one run by Fatah, and neither holding any real elections?

Visit This Ongoing War.

Givati Officer Seriously Injured in Gaza Terror Attack (Updated)

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

A Givati company commander was injured near Kissufim (Gaza border). The officer’s unit was on morning patrol to ensure that the path was clear of bombs near the fence which Palestinians try to place on a regular basis.

Details are still unclear as to whether the officer was injured by a roadside bomb or by sniper fire.

The officer was treated on site, and transported by helicoptor to Seroka hospital and originally listed in moderate condition.

His condition deteriorated and he is now listed as in serious condition.

UPdate: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the incident in the Gaza Strip at the start of his Tuesday morning meeting with the President of Bulgaria Roussin Flvenliib. He said that “Israel will respond very harshly to this entire chain of terror.”

Netanyahu congratulated the Bulgarian president and said that the terrorist attack that killed five Israelis in Burgas is “an example of the fact that we are in the kidst of a difficult campaign against a global terror network organized in Iran and working in wide circles.”

 

 

Correction: Captain Ziv Shilon is not a Golani battalion commander as originally stated, but a Givati company commander.

Ahmadinejad’s Lies at the UN

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Defying historical fact, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad continued his existential verbal attacks on the State of Israel, claiming Israel has no historical basis in the Middle East Region.

Speaking to reporters at the United Nations before his address to the General Assembly, Ahmedinejad claimed that Israel has no Middle East roots and would be “eliminated”.

“Iran has been around for the last 7,000, 10,000 years. They [the Israelis] have been occupying those territories for the last 60 to 70 years, with the support and force of the Westerners. They have no roots there in history,” he said. “We do believe that they have found themselves at a dead end, and they are seeking new adventures in order to escape this dead end. Iran will not be damaged with foreign bombs,” he continued, referring to Israel.

“We don’t even count them as any part of any equation for Iran,” he added. “During a historical phase, they represent minimal disturbances that come into the picture and are then eliminated.”

Ahmedinejad has a long history of incendiary remarks targeting Israel’s existence. In 2005, Ahmadinejad called Israel a “tumor” that should be “wiped” off the map. This theme has become a common element of his speeches, since echoed by other high ranking Iranian officials, including Supreme Leader Khamenaei.

The modern State of Israel was founded in 1948 on a 3300 year land claim tying the Jewish people to the land of Israel, grounded in the Bible. A continuous part of the demographic landscape, Jewish independence was a key theme in classical and late antiquity, last establishing independent rule under the Hasmonian Dynasty during the 2nd century BCE.

The Persians were actually a key ancient ally of the Israelites, permitting their return to Jerusalem under Cyrus the Great in the 6th century BCE and in the 7th century CE, before the area fell to invading Roman and later Muslim armies. Ever since, there has been a continued Jewish presence in the Land of Israel.

Abbas Says He Will Go Ahead with UN Bid Speech

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated on Wednesday that he will deliver a speech at the General Assembly of the United Nations to ask for recognition of Palestine as a non-member state, Ma’an reported.

The comments, which were posted on the president’s Facebook page, added that the speech would most likely take place on September 27.

“As in every year I will be tell the whole world about the suffering of my people under the Israeli occupation and its settlements, settler attacks and violations on a daily basis which contradict the United Nations and international law,” the comments said.

“We are determined despite all pressure and I am confident that you will all support my request.”

Abbas also announced that he will make a 10-day visit to Turkey in the coming week, noting that the country has always supported the Palestinian cause.

The United States opposed Abbas’ 2011 bid for UN membership, which got stuck at the Security Council, where the US has veto power.

Meanwhile, Maariv reported, citing Palestinian sources, that Abbas is planning to retire and has instructed his aids to find a replacement by the time he is back from the U.S.

Living With The Past, Not In It

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness…” (Dr. Martin Luther King).

“I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense that once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain” (James Arthur Baldwin).

There is a verse in Ki Teitzei momentous in its implications. It is easy to miss, appearing as it does in the midst of a series of miscellaneous laws about inheritance, rebellious sons, overladen oxen, marriage violations and escaping slaves. Without any special emphasis or preamble, Moses delivers a command so counterintuitive that we have to read it twice to make sure we have heard it correctly:

“Do not hate an Edomite, because he is your brother.”

“Do not hate an Egyptian, because you were a stranger in his land” (Deuteronomy 23:8).

What does this mean in its biblical context? The Egyptians of Moses’s day had enslaved the Israelites, “embittered their lives,” subjected them to a ruthless regime of hard labor, and forced them to eat the bread of affliction. They had embarked on a program of attempted genocide, Pharaoh commanding his people to throw “every male [Israelite] child born, into the river” (Exodus 1:22).

Now, forty years later, Moses speaks as if none of this had happened, as if the Israelites owed the Egyptians a debt of gratitude for their hospitality. Yet he and the people were where they were only because they were escaping from Egyptian persecution. Nor did he want the people to forget it. To the contrary, he told them to recite the story of the exodus every year, as we still do on Passover, reenacting it with bitter herbs and unleavened bread so that the memory would be passed on to all future generations. If you want to preserve freedom, he implies, never forget what it feels like to lose it. Yet here, on the banks of the Jordan, addressing the next generation, he tells the people, “Do not hate an Egyptian.” What is going on in this verse?

To be free, you have to let go of hate; that is what Moses is saying. If they continued to hate their erstwhile enemies, Moses would have taken the Israelites out of Egypt, but he would not have taken Egypt out of the Israelites. Mentally, they would still be there, slaves to the past. They would still be in chains, not of metal but of the mind – and chains of the mind are the most constricting of all.

You cannot create a free society on the basis of hate. Resentment, rage, humiliation, a sense of injustice, the desire to restore honor by inflicting injury on your former persecutors – these are conditions of a profound lack of freedom. You must live with the past, implies Moses, but not in the past. Those who are held captive by anger against their former persecutors are captive still. Those who let their enemies define who they are have not yet achieved liberty.

The Mosaic books refer time and again to the exodus and the imperative of memory: “you shall remember that you were slaves in Egypt.” Yet never is this invoked as a reason for hatred, retaliation or revenge. Always it appears as part of the logic of the just and compassionate society the Israelites are commanded to create: the alternative order, the antithesis of Egypt. The implicit message is this: limit slavery, at least as far as your own people are concerned. Don’t subject them to hard labor. Give them rest and freedom every seventh day. Release them every seventh year. Recognize them as like you, not ontologically inferior. No one is born to be a slave.

Give generously to the poor. Let them eat from the leftovers of the harvest. Leave them a corner of the field. Share your blessings with others. Don’t deprive people of their livelihood. The entire structure of biblical law is rooted in the experience of slavery in Egypt, as if to say: you know in your heart what it feels like to be the victim of persecution; therefore do not persecute others.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/living-with-the-past-not-in-it/2012/08/29/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: