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December 4, 2016 / 4 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘day’

A Trip To Grandparents Saves The Day

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

When parents and their married children live far apart, they enjoy visiting each other in their respective homes. This is somewhat of a vacation.

Last weekend my upstate neighbor went to Toronto from the Catskills to take a short leisurely visit from her husband’s parents’ upstate home, where they reside during the summer. The wife’s parents reside in Toronto, so this young couple and their young children decided to visit the wife’s family, allowing the Toronto parents to have some nachas from their grandchildren as well. Little did they know how much luck this mitzvah would bring them.

As they finished their weekend visit, the young husband, on his way back from Toronto, returned his wife and children to the Catskills, where they were spending their summer. Interestingly, this was their first time staying long term at the husband’s parents’. Previously, they would just come for an occasional weekend as they had to share it with his siblings , but this summer these grandparents , the husband’s family, had the availability, and pleasure, to allow this couple to come spend the summer with them, as their other children settled elsewhere for the summer.

The young husband, after a short rest, returned to his local home. As luck would have it, the father-in-law from Toronto had some business in New York, so he hopped a ride back with his daughter and son-in-law. He opted to stay with his son-in-law for a few short days in Brooklyn. After their short rest upstate, catching a few short hours of sleep, the father and son-in-law started the trek home. The father-in-law, none other than Shlomo Simcha, a popular singer, came to promote an album. He went on to do some business while the son-in-law went home to sleep, late in the evening.

A few hours later, Shloma Simcha returned home in the wee hours of the night. He smelled something funny, and aroused his very tired son-in-law (after some poking and jabbing). It smelled like a fire, though they hadn’t seen any signs of it, and quickly ran out of the house in pajamas. The son-in-law, half asleep, went back into the house to retrieve his tefillin. At that time he opened up a closed door to a room and saw billowing smoke and fire. He thought how fortunate he was that his wife and children spent their first summer upstate, and he didn’t have to drag any children out of the house.

How interesting? That the father-in-law came back with him, so he can obviously save his son-in-law’s life, as the fireman said, “Another 20 minutes, nobody would have gotten out” as it came from the attic and wasn’t visible until it was too late. And how beautiful when the young man realized his important gems were not involved (his family), he thought to go in and retrieve his other precious gem (tefillin), this special item that affords him protection every day as he dons it.

Does Hashem care for and watch over his children? Baruch Hashem!

Esther Lehman Gross

The Day After: An Open Letter to Orthodox Jews

Monday, November 21st, 2016

Last Tuesday night, Donald Trump stunned the world with his election as the forty-fifth President of the United States. Wednesday morning the rejoicing, recriminations and rioting began. One of the most fascinating stories is the “Jewish vote.” Exit polls showed that Hillary Clinton took about 70% of the Jewish vote—far from historical highs, but still an overwhelming majority. This landslide means that Jews voted for Clinton (or against Trump) in higher proportions than almost any other ethnic or religious demographic I including Latinos (65%), whose vote was touted as a lock for Clinton based on the media’s relentless spin of Trump’s immigration stance as racist. Yet interestingly and meaningfully, exit data and anecdotal evidence about Orthodox Jews suggest that we broke massively for Trump. Among other things this means that non-Orthodox Jews likely voted well over 80% for Trump. Thus the two Jewish voter demographics are not only distinct but oppositional: Jews appear to have been among the most anti-Trump and the most pro-Trump of all demographics.

Liberal congregations around the country announced grief services. Parallels to Kristallnacht exploded across the Internet. Reform temples held “shivah” events. Left-wing Jewish publications and organizations decried the abandonment of their own cherished “Jewish values” –political correctness, open borders, redefined marriage, gender and family, and abortion on demand.

Meanwhile, spontaneous dancing broke out Wednesday morning at relieved and overjoyed frum congregations in America and Israel. Giddy jokes were made about whether to say Hallel. Of the fifteen New York City neighborhoods in which Trump was strongest, ten were on Staten Island. The other five were: Boro Park, Midwood, Brighton Beach, West Brighton, and Ocean Parkway South. In Nassau County, the Five Towns similarly delivered a huge Trump landslide. Ocean County, NJ – where Lakewood is located – voted overwhelmingly for Trump, far more so than any other place in that state. Exit polls of the thousands of charedi American citizens who live in Israel showed more than 85% voting for Trump.

Orthodox Jewry has taken another great step forward as a distinct voting bloc, revealing concerns and priorities very different from those that animate Jewish progressives.

Orthodox voting priorities are not hard to understand. The Orthodox commitment to Jewish continuity and knowledge of Jewish history has always been far stronger than that of non-Orthodox Jews. Combined with the imminent connection of virtually every frum family to Jews in Israel and the norm for Orthodox Jews of all stripes to spend at least a year and often many years in batei medrash and seminaries in Israel, most Orthodox Jews – regardless of conflicting religious views on the medinah – count the security of the

Israel’s Jews as a top priority. By way of contrast, when polled among all Jews, concern for Israel hovers low on the priority list, consistently between eight and tenth –far behind a raft of liberal causes and concerns far more central to contemporary progressivism than to traditional Judaism.

The assault by the left on our rights as Jews has gotten more and more aggressive. Democrats have ceased speaking of religious liberties and now concede only that there is a “right to worship”. That is intolerable to frum Jews. We see what is happening again in Europe – the challenges to bris and shechita in the name of progressive secular values – and know that many groups (too often led by ethnic Jews) are agitating for the same battles here. Just weeks ago a judge in California at the instigation of chickens’ rights advocates prevented Jews from performing the ancient pre-Yom Kippur custom of kapporos. Traditional religious institutions and consciences – Jewish and otherwise – already are under siege from activists seeking to strip away religious exemptions, not satisfied with equality under the law, but demanding the surrender or destruction of any traditional worldview. The specter of Democrats having the power to appoint more federal judges was terrible to contemplate.

Jews make up less than 2% of the American population. As a subset of American Jewry, frum Jews are an anomaly – a small albeit growing minority. Considered this way, it’s unclear why this sociological and demographic tale is of anything but marginal interest to the political calculations of those in Washington.

Yet upon closer scrutiny, this election provides evidence of vast potential power untapped by Orthodox Jews. The mass of ethnic, unaffiliated and “social justice” Jews have depleted their political significance even as they have enervated their religious identity. They appear willing to follow the Democrats everywhere, no matter how extreme, immoral, anti-religious, anti-Israel, or anti-Semitic. Orthodox communities, on the other hand, stand on the cusp. If we choose to see ourselves as just another ethnic minority engaged in the kinds of transactional politics that sells out our principles and our future to the highest bidder, we will have failed, relegated to footnotes as an outlier. If however we take stances for our principles and for our survival we will emerge as spiritual, moral and intellectual leaders in the battle that now rages between left and right in this country.

It is no coincidence that the party that grants nuclear weapons to the “Death to Israel” Iranian mullahs and that stands poised to be led by a BDS_supporting Member of Congress who slanders Israel as an apartheid oppressor of innocents, also opposes traditional morality at home. It is no fluke that those who elevate the protection of innocent life and religious exercise and conscience above almost all else, also see the security of the Jewish state as America’s most important foreign policy goal.

Those who carry the Torah’s messages have always been few in number, but they have transformed vast civilizations. For decades, we have been turned inward, focused on rebuilding a community almost lost in the European inferno, while secular progressives have dominated the Jewish presence in Washington. Today, their communities are in crisis, having assimilated and eroded to the point of tragedy. Meanwhile, Orthodox communities which have maintained fidelity to ancient Jewish law and custom are flourishing as in the first vigor of youth. But we too stand at a crossroads. We can continue to ignore the world around us and be essentially irrelevant, losing sight of our people’s raison d’être. Or we can be the tip of a mighty spear: leaders of the literally tens of millions of American Faith and Values voters for whom religious freedom and the security of the Jewish state are also always top priorities.

Bruce Abramson and Jeff Ballabon

A Prayer For Veterans Day

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

{Originally posted to the website, The Lid}

Lord who grants salvation to kings and dominion to rulers, whose kingdom is a kingdom spanning all eternities; Who places a road in the sea and a path in the mighty waters – may you bless protect the military of these United States of America, may they complete their mission quickly, and return home safely.

 We pray for those who sacrifice daily — men and women who serve to protect, in our local communities and around the globe – those who serve in our armed forces and our veterans who served.

Compassionate God, creator of the Universe, may you bless the veterans who have served in the past, and may they be treated with the honor and respect that they deserve. 

Lord please also protect the families of those who serve. Let us be mindful of their great sacrifice as well. As their loved ones fight for us, let us extend our hands and our hearts to them.

Lord who grants salvation to kings and dominion to rulers, whose kingdom is a kingdom spanning all eternities; Who places a road in the sea and a path in the mighty waters – may you bless protect the military of these United States of America, may they complete their mission quickly, and return home safely.

 We pray for those who sacrifice daily — men and women who serve to protect, in our local communities and around the globe – those who serve in our armed forces and our veterans who served.

Compassionate God, creator of the Universe, may you bless the veterans who have served in the past, and may they be treated with the honor and respect that they deserve. 

Lord please also protect the families of those who serve. Let us be mindful of their great sacrifice as well. As their loved ones fight for us, let us extend our hands and our hearts to them.

Jeff Dunetz

The Day After the Election

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

With the world’s attention focused on the presidential election, some attention must be devoted to the problems we will continue to face the day after the election, regardless of who is elected. Here are some of these problems:

  1. Following the election, President Obama may try to tie the hands of his successor, regardless of who it may be. During the lame-duck period, when presidents can act without political accountability, he may foolishly send the Israel-Palestine conflict to the United Nations. This would mean the end of the peace process. Palestinians would be dis-incentivized from entering into the kinds of direct negotiations without preconditions that the Israeli government continues to offer, which is the only realistic road to peace. The only hope of stopping this counterproductive move would be for the president-elect to insist that her or his hands not be tied by the lame-duck president.
  2. The problem revealed by FBI director Comey’s ill-advised statements over the past four months will not end with the election. Comey is a good man, but he has demonstrated an inability to control himself and his agents. The problem of unlawful FBI leaks has become pervasive, and it must be addressed by the new administration. Replacing Comey will not be enough; the entire culture of the FBI must be changed and it must be restored to its rightful position as the silent investigative arm of the Justice Department. Indeed, even more fundamental structural changes are now required. The entire DOJ, of which the FBI is one component, has become too politicized. In most other western democracies, there is a sharp division between the minister of justice, who is a political aide to the president or prime minister, and the director of public prosecution, who is a civil servant completely removed from politics. Only the director of public prosecution decides whom to investigate and who to prosecute. The political minister plays no role in such decisions. But, in the United States, we merged these two distinct roles into the job of Attorney General.  This must change if our system of justice is to be de-politicized.
  3. This election has exacerbated the long-standing problem of criminalizing policy differences. We are quick to confuse differences in policy with charges of criminal behavior. During this election, both sides accused the other of criminal conduct — Trump more so than Clinton, but even some Democrats were quick to cry “crime.” I have long railed against this development, whether it involved accusations against Democrats like Hillary Clinton, or Republicans like Congressman Tom Delay and Governor Rick Perry. The criminal law must be reserved for willful deliberate and clearly defined crimes.  We are moving away from that understanding and toward a dangerous expansion of the concept of crime in the context of political differences.
  4. Finally, the healing process must begin the day after the election. Lincoln’s words should be our guide: “With malice toward none, with charity for all.” It is unlikely that either the winners or the losers will be able to avoid malice and extend charity following this most contentious of elections, but it is essential that the loser accept the result and that the winner be gracious. Both Richard Nixon and Al Gore provide somewhat different models of appropriate responses.

This election revealed that there are deep divisions within the American electorate. Some of these divisions are reasonable and indeed desirable. These include differences over economic policies, foreign policies and other political issues  But this election revealed that there are divisions across impermissible lines: racial, ethnic, gender, religious, class and a willingness to resort to violence. These divisions will be much harder to heal. But the process must begin on the day after the election

Alan M. Dershowitz

Happy Aliya Day, Everybody!

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

Today Millions of American Jews woke up with the sense of excitement that only happens when two essentially contradictory holidays take place on the same day, like Hanukkah and Christmas, Passover and Easter.

It so happens that on the day the United States is celebrating its Election Day, Israelis are joyously marking Aliyah Day. And should the results of today’s elections drive US Jews to make Aliyah, then the connection is absolutely self-explanatory.

Yom HaAliyah-Aliyah Day is an Israeli national holiday celebrated annually on the seventh of the Hebrew month of Cheshvan. This date in itself is a celebration of the unique connection that existed during the time of the Second Temple between the Jews of Israel and their brothers and sisters in the diaspora: the rainy season officially begins on the rabbinic calendar on Shmini Atzeret, the holiday that seals the string of high holidays from Rosh Hashanah until Sukkot. But the rabbis decreed that we not begin to actually pray for rain until the 7th of Cheshvan, to allow the Babylonian Jews who just celebrated in Jerusalem to return home before it started to rain.

Strangely enough, the Knersset legislation known as the Aliyah Day Act 5776-2016 states that on the 7th of Cheshvan the country will celebrate the Israelites’ entrance into the Land of Israel on the 10th of Nissan. We called up the Knesset Aliyah Committee, and blessed Tzipi, who picked up the phone with “Happy Aliyah Day,” which absolutely made her day. As to the discrepancy between the two dates, she explained that the Cheshvan date was picked because the Nissan date falls on a school holiday, which is also a Knesset holiday, just before Passover. So they went with Cheshvan 7, when everybody is still fresh and full of zest at the start of the season.

Also, Cheshvan 7 usually falls on the week of Parshat Lech-Lecha, in which our biblical patriarch Abraham was told by God to leave his home and his family and go up to the Land of Israel.

So, if you want to show up your Israeli friends today, just wish them a Happy Aliyah day and watch them squirm…

JNi.Media

South American Illegal Immigrants Rushing To Cross Border Before Election Day

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s blogsite, The Lid}

AP and CBS News are reporting a surge of Illegal Immigrants  Criminal Alien Trespassers, rushing to come into the United States via our southern border before election day.

Immigrants have been streaming from Mexico through the streets of McAllenTexas on a daily basis, according to CBS News. And it’s not just adults and families. The flow of unaccompanied minors at the U.S. border is up nearly 50%.

Border Patrol Agent Chris Cabrera says, they’ve been seeing “mass spikes” in  crossings of illegal immigrants criminal alien trespassers via the U.S.-Mexico border, thanks in part to the election. Apparently the illegals trespassers believe that Hillary Clinton is going to win the election and they want to make sure they are in the U.S. early enough to be granted amnesty by Clinton.

“The smugglers are telling them if Hillary [Clinton] gets elected, that there’ll be some sort of amnesty, that they need to get here by a certain date,” Cabrera said. “They’re also being told that if [Donald] Trump gets elected, there’s going to be some magical wall that pops up overnight and once that wall gets up, nobody will ever get in again.”

Cabrera added that they’ve encountered up to 1,000 immigrants along McAllen’s stretch of the border some days.

“We’re getting mass spikes of people crossing and turning themselves in,” he said.

Experts told CBS News the number of immigrants crossing the border won’t drop after Election Day.

The people smugglers are correct, although there is probably no rush. Part of a Clinton speech given to a Brazilian bank in May 2013 was included in one of the  Wikileaks releases. The speech included Hillary’s desire for open borders:

“My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere.”

Even if she doesn’t get the open borders she desires, the Center for Immigration Studies’ Steve Camarota has projected that, based on the minimal figures Clinton has put forth thus far, Clinton could add 10 million new immigrants to the U.S. during her first term alone – in addition to the 11 million illegal immigrants Criminal Alien Trespassers Clinton has said she plans to amnesty within her first 100 days in office.

On the other hand Donald Trump opposes any legal status for immigrants in the U.S. illegally. In his plan, they would have to return to their home countries and apply for legal entry should they wish to come back.

Also interesting is that the Illegals Criminal Trespassers are turning themselves in—they know that Barack Obama will not enforce U.S. immigration law.

Watch the video report below:

 

Jeff Dunetz

24 Hours in the IDF

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Video of the Day

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/multimedia/video-picks/24-hours-in-the-idf/2016/10/31/

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