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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘city’

L.A. Mayoral Campaign In Full Swing

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

The Friedman Law Offices recently hosted a breakfast reception honoring Los Angeles mayoral candidate and the city’s current controller Wendy Greuel. The breakfast was attended by numerous rabbis and other L.A. clergy members, along with special guest speaker Rabbi Eliyahu Abergel, the chief judge of Jerusalem’s Rabbinic Court.

Greuel outlined her campaign goals and discussed current city issues. The candidate prefaced her remarks by voicing deep concern regarding the current crisis in Israel and reiterated her longtime and constant support for the people of Israel. She then discussed her positions on various topics of concern to L.A. city residents, including neighborhood security and traffic congestion. Greuel also took questions from audience members.

Andrew Friedman, founder and senior attorney of Friedman Law Offices and a City of Los Angeles fire commissioner, expressed great confidence in Greuel’s mayoral bid.

Rabbi Abergel, the guest speaker, pointed out the many great women who have excelled in Jewish history, including Miriam and Devorah. He blessed Greuel, wishing that her leadership would be in the tradition of these great women.

Stabbing in Kikar Safra in Jerusalem

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

A Jew was stabbed by an Arab in Jeralem’s Kikar Safra, in front of city hall.

Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

I do not question the sincerity or intent of HaGoan Rav Chaim Kanievsky. As a religious Jew I agree that Torah protects Klal Yisroel from harm. From YWN:

Rav Kanievsky told the hundreds who inquired to simply remain in Bnei Brak, for the Torah city may rely on the words of the Chazon Ish ZT”L, that there is nothing to fear in Bnei Brak due to the zchus of the limud Torah and bombs will not land in the city.

All well and good. But I have to question why he did not mention the great Hishtadlus of the Israeli government that with the help of the United States created the “Iron Dome.” Which in large part has aided in that objective.

For those who haven’t been paying attention, Israel has in place an anti-missile system that seeks out and destroys those rockets from Gaza that are aimed at population centers. So far it has been 90% effective, although unfortunately 3 people have been killed by rocket attack, it would have been a lot worse without it.

The problem with these kinds of pronouncements is that it makes it seem like there is no Hishtadlus needed. One need not be concerned and be careful about bombs as long as one lives in the holy city of Bnei Brak.

Really? Is Bnei Brak immune from attack? …or any other evil that may befall it just because of the Torah learned there? I don’t think so. The great Yeshivos of pre Holocaust Europe were also great M’komos of Torah. The city of Vilna where many of them were located was called the Jerusalem of Lithuania. We all know what happened to them.

One might answer that the Holocaust was an exceptional circumstance where God carried out His heavenly decree which overrode the protective seal of the Torah. But I must ask, how can anyone today know that this is not the case once again?! …God forbid!

There were also similar statements by many Gedolim in Europe during the Holocaust telling people to stay put. We all know what happened to them as well, Rachmana Litzlan.

Rav Kanievsky is not a Navi.There is absolutely no Nevuah today. But there is something called Ruach HaKodesh. That is when one becomes imbued with a non specific heavenly spirit that helps guide them in making decisions. But I do not recall Rav Kanievsky ever making any such claim. His father in law, Rav Elyashiv, actually admitted that he did not have Ruach HaKodesh to Rav Nosson Kamentesky when he jumped the gun on banning his book, Making of a Gadol.

In times of trouble like these, it behooves us to remember a phrase made popular in song after the attack in Pearl Harbor during World War II. A phrase that speaks to Hishtadlus: Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition. This certainly holds true today. We indeed must pray for God’s protection but must also make the maximum effort to do whatever can physically be done to protect ourselves and defeat the enemy.

I also wish he had mentioned the contributions of the IDF. Do they deserve no credit for protecting Bnei Brak’s residents? Many Israeli soldiers from the most secular to the most religious (Zionists… and these days even Charedim) are poised and ready to go into battle for their countrymen. Which includes the residents of Bnei Brak. These young men are literally putting their lives on the line for Klal Yisroel. Why not mention that when speaking of the Torah’s protection? Does he not recognize their contribution?

I’m sure he does. I wouldn’t even be surprised if he and other rabbinic leaders have called (or will call) for a mass prayer rally for the protection of our soldiers. But it would have been nice if he had mentioned it here too. Hakoras HaTov to the IDF is better expressed before the fact than after the fact in my view. Because that would give Chizuk – strength and encouragement – to all of our fighting men as well as to their worried families back home.

Visit Emes Ve-Emunah.

Rocket Attack from Gaza (Video)

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

This is the beautiful city of Shderot – it’s a quiet town filled with people who want the quieter life. They have been under attack for 12 years and counting. When they hear either an air raid siren or the announcement “Color Red” – they know they have 15 seconds to get to safety.

On Friday, it took us at least 15 seconds to move everyone from the dining room to the bomb shelter. 15 seconds. It’s taken you longer to read to this point in the post.

This is a video, taken yesterday by someone who was not very smart. I don’t want others to do the same and yet, it’s a wonderful opportunity to let you feel what it is like. Imagine your eyes were like the camera – searching the skies, looking, waiting. You know it is coming…and then the BOOM…that is so loud, the shock knocks the person down and we lose the picture – and then it comes back…look at two things at the end of the short clip.

First, look at how close it is to this person and second, notice that it is in the middle of a city. There is no military installation there – just a city, just people, who want to live in a quiet city that because of Gaza, hasn’t been really quiet in 12 years.

Visit A Soldier’s Mother.

Emunah In G-d

Friday, November 16th, 2012

The Rubles

Our forefathers were giants when it came to having faith and a belief that G-d would take care of them. Nothing worried them save that they wasted time not studying our holy Torah. They relied on G-d to take care of their needs.

The gaon and tzaddik Rav Chaim of Volozhin, one of the dearest disciples of the Vilna Gaon, established a yeshiva to perpetuate the principles and aims of his teacher. Providing sustenance for the pupils was a difficult task and Rav Chaim often suffered great privations but he never despaired, for he trusted in the L-rd.

Once, during the Franco-Prussian war, a merchant entered the yeshiva and said to Rav Chaim, “Rabi, I have just completed the purchase of merchandise for my business and I still have a thousand rubles left over. I’m afraid to carry it with me for the roads are infested with bandits who wouldn’t hesitate to take my life if they knew I had such a sum with me. Therefore, I would like to entrust it to you to keep until I return next year.”

Rav Chaim took the money and gave the merchant a receipt. The merchant was very happy that he had discovered a Rav who would take good care of his money. Ad times were tough, Rav Chaim was overjoyed at this windfall and he immediately made good use of this money.

The Merchant Returns

A number of years passed and the merchant returned to the yeshiva. He approached the secretary, showed him the receipt and asked to have his money returned.

The secretary excused himself while he went to the home of Rav Chaim. “Rabi,” he cried, “the man who entrusted you with his money three years ago has now come back and he is claiming his money. What shall we do? The yeshiva’s treasury is empty.”

“Tell him to return tomorrow,” Rav Chaim answered.

When the secretary departed, the Rav’s wife turned to him and asked, “Where do you hope to get the money by tomorrow? You know we barely have enough money to survive.”

“G-d will provide,” answered the gaon.

Rav Chaim appeared unperturbed. In the morning he arose as usual, said his prayers, studied the Torah and gave his regular shiur to his pupils, continuing as if nothing had occurred.

Help Arrives In Time

Towards evening a messenger from the baron appeared at the home of Rav Chaim. “My master, the baron, has a thousand rubles which he desires to exchange for gold,” said the messenger. “He is planning a trip abroad and he needs gold. He knows that you received gold from distant countries and he therefore requests that you write your supporters abroad to send you gold. In the meantime, he is giving you the money to use for the exchange. He realizes that it may take time to accumulate the gold, therefore, I will return in a few months.” Leaving a thousand rubles, the messenger departed.

An hour later, when the merchant entered, Rav Chaim gave him back the thousand rubles he had entrusted to him three years earlier.

To such heights did our sages trust in the Lord and the Lord reciprocated.

Profited On The Wrong Merchandise

Rav Chaim of Volozhin had a pupil, Rav Yosef Zundil, whose piety and saintliness were legend. He, too, inherited from his rebbe the strong belief in G-d, to trust in Him and He’ll take care of you.

Rav Zundil owned a small shop which his wife took care of. She did all the knitting and repairing while her husband studied Torah day and night. This way they lived a meager and contented life.

Once his wife came to him and said, “There is a large fair opening in the main city where merchandise of various countries will be on display. While I don’t want to disturb you from your studies, if you will visit this fair and purchase a year’s supply of thread and cotton, I’ll never have to waste your time and mine for the next year in purchasing it from our local dealers. Also, we’ll be able to save a lot of money.”

Friday Morning Overnight Update

Friday, November 16th, 2012

7:35 AM NYC closed the area around the Israeli Consulate in light of the protests and for security reasons. Security has also been increased around other Israeli sites in the city.

The Federation announced they are donating 5 million dollars to Israelis in the South.

A Suspicious Object was found near the Jerusalem light rail at the Herzl train stop.

IDF was busy pounding terror targets overnight.

6:55 AM Missile hits house in Ashdod. No injuries.

 

Rockets Hit Ashdod

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

9:29 AM Rockets landing in Ashdod. Sirens sounding throughout the city.

I Love Tel Aviv

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

My wife and I were in Tel Aviv this week to accompany her mother to the very modern and professional Ramat Aviv Medical Center for a treatment her mom needed. Thank God, everything is OK with the biopsy they took. Afterwards, we strolled around the city a little to enjoy the change of atmosphere.

What’s amazing about Tel Aviv is that everyone speaks Hebrew! At first glance, it doesn’t seem like the most religious place in the country, but everyone there, no matter how weird or secular he looks, speaks the Holy Tongue. Even a drunk who approached us for a handout spoke to us in Hebrew! The only people we met there who didn’t speak Hebrew was a busload of kids on some study program from America.

“Who do you think is closer to God?” I asked my wife. “These Jewish kids from America who don’t know Hebrew, or anything about Judaism, or the Jews in Tel Aviv who know Hebrew and not very much more about Judaism?”

“I’m not privileged to know God’s rating system,” she answered wryly. “It seems to me that God loves everyone equally.”

My wife is a very nice person. I’m very lucky to have married her.

Tel Aviv is filled with beautiful boutiques, sidewalk cafes, theaters, and art galleries. Its architecture along the seaside is very modern artsy and creative. It has a bohemian, Paris-like feeling about it. My wife noted that the women were very fashionably dressed, though modesty wasn’t one of their strong points. I kept my glance down at my shoes, so I can’t confirm her report. I know there are many devout Diasporians who are always screaming “Gevalt! The immodesty in Israel is terrible! Gevalt! There are so many heretics there! Gevalt! Tel Aviv is worse than Las Vegas!”

There is an interesting Midrash in “Yalkut Shimoney, Eichah” that describes God’s great anguish that His children are in exile, dwelling amongst the gentiles. “Gevalt!” G-d moans. “If only My children were with Me in Eretz Yisrael, even if they contaminate My Land with their sins.”

Our Sages tell us that God cries out at midnight with pain over His sadness that His children are in foreign lands. “Woe to the father that has exiled his children!” He roars. In contrast, God is happy when His children are in Israel. Look what He has done in returning us to our borders! The city of Tel Aviv began as a sand dune. Today, a few short decades later, it is a booming modern metropolis, spreading for miles and miles in every direction. God has done all this! Only a blind person can’t see it.

I know there are people who aren’t happy with this state of affairs. They don’t agree with the way God is bringing about the Redemption. If they were God, they would do things differently. For one thing, they would limit the Redemption to religious Jews only. But, like my wife said, God loves all Jews, the religious and the not yet religious. So in His great love and wisdom, He decided to give the secular Zionists the great mitzvah of resettling and rebuilding the Land of Israel after an exile of nearly two thousand years, a mitzvah that is equal in weight to all of the commandments of the Torah!

God loves Tel Aviv too! Look how He has built it up out of the sand dunes to being such a thriving dynamic city! Some “Ultra Religious” Jews maintain it’s the work of the Satan. What ignorance! The Gemara teaches that everything is from God, even the path of a leaf as it falls from a tree. When you stick your hand in your pocket to pull out a dime, and a nickel comes out instead, that’s from G-d too. So something as enormous as the city of Tel Aviv, and the rebuilding of Israel into a world superpower, isn’t from God?

For me, strolling around Tel Aviv and seeing how the words of our Prophets have come to pass in our generation, is as much of a spiritual experience as spending a day in the holy city of Tzfat. I can’t wait to go back to Tel Aviv for another uplifting visit!

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/felafel-on-rye/i-love-tel-aviv/2012/11/14/

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