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January 24, 2017 / 26 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘foundation’

Ten Most Hateful Points about UNSC Resolution 2334

Sunday, January 1st, 2017

{Originally posted to the Elder of Ziyon website}

1) He did it on Shabbos. Many people will read this and say, “What do you mean Shabbos? He did it before Chanuka!”

They’re not wrong. Obama pushed the resolution to a vote before a Jewish holiday as if to twist the knife in that much deeper. Roseanne Barr has pointed out the similarity here to how the Nazis operated during the Holocaust.

 

Barr’s point is valid. The Nazis purposely scheduled the deportation of Jews from the Zychlin Ghetto to the Chelmno camp to take place on Purim, March 3, 1942. Half a year later, Amon Goeth and his SS-men took 50 Jews from their barracks at Auschwitz and shot them dead. Because it was Yom Kippur.

purim-nazi-deportation

 

But there is another point to make and that is that the Jewish Sabbath takes precedence over most holidays and certainly over Chanuka. It’s the holiest day of the week. And it’s the day that observant Jews take a break from all media.

By pushing the vote through on the Sabbath, Obama effectively rendered mute the people most affected by this resolution: the ones who see yishuv haaretz (settling the land) as fulfilling God’s will; the ones who set Jerusalem above their chiefest joy (Psalms 137:5-6). He, Obama, made it illegal for Jews to live in Jerusalem or pray at the wall. And he did that on the holy Sabbath day, while they were out of contact with the wider world. It is sneaky, evil, and underhanded.

2) The Security Council applauded the results. The always eloquent Nachman Kahana writes:

“The vote is not the real story here. The more damning action of the Security Council occurred after the voting, when all the members stood and clapped at the results.”

 

 

Rabbi Kahana draws a comparison between the behavior of the Philistines before Samson’s final heroic act (Judges, chapter 16) and the behavior of the Security Council to the State of Israel. The Philistines ridicule Samson and are said to be in “high spirits.” By the same token, says Rabbi Kahana, “The clapping at the end of the vote at the Security Council disparaged, denigrated, belittled, trivialized, ridiculed and discredited the Jew and the Jewish State. . .

“As a consequence of the Philistines’ ridicule and clapping, the Temple to Dagon was destroyed. The Security Council’s ridicule and clapping will bring about the obliteration of the institution that has lost its ability to discern between right and wrong.”

Amen. Can’t be soon enough for this gal.

3) The smiling Obama Christmas photo POTUS tweet. Nothing like tweeting a photo of the Obama family wearing self-satisfied smiles, because hey! O just screwed the Jews! (And any day that happens is a holiday in the Obama White House)

4) Alan Dershowitz telling us that Obama is the worst president ever. Dershowitz has been everywhere since the lead up to the resolution, playing up to the cameras, writing articles, giving interviews. And we should listen to him because? He voted for the man?? Stumped for him TWICE?

“He called me into the Oval Office before the election and said to me, ‘Alan, I want your support. And I have to tell you, I will always have Israel’s back.’ I didn’t realize that what he meant was that he’d…stab them in the back.”

Funny. Because a lot of us who didn’t go to Harvard did know he’d do exactly that. We tried to tell you, Alan. Do we now have to listen to you tell us just how bad he/this is?

5) Obama ran roughshod over American tradition by doing something lame ducks just don’t do. Seth Frantzman wrote a comprehensive list of abstentions by the U.S. on anti-Israel resolutions. This writer checked each abstention. Not one abstention occurred during a president’s final month in office. To break with longstanding U.S. policy during the lame duck period is just not done. Basically this is Obama thumbing his nose at America and its longstanding presidential tradition.

6) No one called the Arabs out for their ongoing terror during the Security Council meeting.

7) No one called the Arabs out for refusing to negotiate during the Security Council meeting.

8) The media paints Israel the violent party. Writing about the reaction of the Israeli government to the U.S. abstention, Washington Post writer Ruth Eglash characterizes MK Naftali Bennett as a “more-militant” voice (which by default must make Netanyahu at least “somewhat militant”):

“Netanyahu’s anger was matched by more-militant voices in his right-wing coalition.
“Education Minister Naftali Bennett, head of the ultranationalist Jewish Home party, held a news conference at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, one of Judaism’s holiest sites, saying the city has been the capital of Jews for 3,000 years.”

What  is it that makes either of these government figures “militant?” Is holding a news conference at the Western Wall “militant?” Are Netanyahu and Bennett militant because they think Jews should be able to live in Jerusalem? Pray in Jerusalem?

The answer, of course, is that neither one of them is militant. The tag reflects only the Washington Post’s bias, or at least that of Ruth Eglash.

militant-definition

 

9) The pretense that Jews building homes is something illegal, evil, and nasty. There is nothing wrong with people building homes. Therefore there is nothing wrong with Jews building homes. There is certainly nothing wrong and everything right with Jews building homes in their indigenous territory. The thing that’s really nasty, evil, and wrong is that anyone at all would demand that even one square inch of the Holy Land be Judenrein. Absolutely. Evil.

10) Obama’s brazen effrontery to God. God gave Israel to the Jews. Forever (See: Genesis 13:14-17). Who is Obama to say it is illegal for Jews to live in the land God gave them?? (The nerve.)

But hey, it’s Chanuka. And Chanuka is when we Jews remember stuff. We remember our victory over the Greeks. We remember getting our Temple back. We remember regaining our religious freedoms and ridding Jerusalem of Hellenist culture.

Chanuka is a time to ponder all God’s miracles for us. Oil, for instance, that lasted way longer than it possibly could. Not to mention, the disappearance of a powerful culture.

Yes! We outlived the Greeks.

And we’ll outlive Obama, too.

Meantime, I rather enjoy imagining him being struck by lightning. Repeatedly. (A girl can dream.)

 

Varda Meyers Epstein

Jewish Women’s Foundation Awards Tel Aviv Sexual Assault Crisis Center

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

The Jewish Women’s Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago (JWF) on Monday announced grants totaling $345,500 to 21 outstanding projects that improve the lives of Jewish women and girls in Chicago and around the world. One of the recipients is the Tel Aviv Sexual Assault Crisis Center: Sexual Assault Testimony Project, which “helps liberate survivors of sexual violence from their hidden trauma through audiovisual documentation of their personal testimonies of sexual assault.”

According to JWF, for many survivors this may be the first time they feel they have received emotional acknowledgement or validation of their experiences. Documentation also serves as a tool to show victims that they are not alone in their suffering.

“There is no stopping a bunch of smart women coming together to tackle issues such as violence against women across the globe,” said Shari Slavin, JWF Grants Chair. “Our balanced docket represents the power of providing Jewish women with meaningful, multigenerational involvement at the philanthropic table.”

In addition, JWF has awarded a new two-year multi-year grant to the Jewish Women’s Funding Network, to support collaborative and effective efforts for women’s rights and gender equality in Israel with a focus on labor rights.

“At its core, JWF is about social change philanthropy; we use both a gender lens and a Jewish lens to determine our grantmaking priorities,” said JWF Chair Nancy Kohn. “As trustees, we use our combined voices and philanthropic dollars as a catalyst to effect positive change-and that is a powerful experience.”

David Israel

The Foundation Stone: Parshas Vayishlach: Powerless Power

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

{Originally posted to Rabbi Weinberg’s website, The Foundation Stone}
The man who was described in the previous portion as running away for his safety, has, in this week’s portion, become a man who sends messengers to Esau informing him that he, Jacob, is on his way. Jacob, after spending the night wrestling a mighty adversary, confronts Esau, from whom he has taken the birthright and blessings, and leaves having won his older brother’s blessing and love. All is good for Jacob, so much so, that when “He set up an altar (Genesis 33:20),” God proclaimed Jacob as a Power (Megillah 18a). It doesn’t last. His daughter, Dinah, is raped. What happened to Jacob’s power?

The Midrash and commentaries describe Dinah’s rape as a punishment for Jacob. Such explanations are painful: Are we to believe that God permitted a woman to be raped as a punishment of her father?

We are told that Dinah was liable because, “Dinah, the daughter of Leah, went out,” in contradiction to the code of modesty befitting Jacob’s daughter. Dinah, we are taught, copied her mother Leah, who, “When Jacob came from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, ‘It is to me that you must come’ (30:16).” Did not Jacob also “go out,” as in, “Jacob went out from Beer-Sheba”? Are we to believe that Jacob, the Power, is punished by his daughter being raped when she went out, which, parenthetically, is wrong when emulating Leah, but right when done as did Jacob? What happened to Jacob’s power?

Jacob has been struggling to balance God, the Infinite Creator, and Elokim, the Power of Providence, since his wonderful dream of the ladder. Jacob insisted that God, Who appeared in his dream, demonstrate His involvement in Jacob’s life by providing food and clothing. A dream is not enough. Jacob wants unequivocal Providence. Jacob, Rachel and Leah, all struggle throughout the previous portion to balance God with Elokim. When Jacob was able to confront Esau, he finally understood that God’s Providence was intended to empower. God’s providence, expressed as Elokim, was meant to empower Jacob to achieve his dream. When God, Elokim, blew a soul into Adam’s nose, He was empowering humanity with free choice. That breath was empowerment. It is at that point that God describes Jacob as a Power. What happened to that power?

Jacob failed to derive the final lesson from the empowerment by Elokim, Divine Providence: The purpose of empowerment and power is to empower others. Dinah went out in weakness, as did her mother Leah. Dinah was raped and it was Jacob’s fault, not punishment. He failed to empower his children. Jacob, in all his power, became powerless.

Jacob learned his lesson. He empowers his sons to deal with Shechem, the rapist and his supporters. Jacob pushes them to deal with the tragedy even against his will: “You have made me ugly!” “Shall we allow our sister to be treated as a harlot?” (34:30-31)

After Jacob empowers his sons, and prepares them for their greatness (35:2-5), Elokim, the Empowerer, appears and adds the name, Israel. Only after learning to use his power to empower others, can Jacob become Israel.

My most intense experience of empowerment is when studying Talmud, making a judgment in Jewish law, and discovering new layers in the Torah’s words. Yet, when offering a different perspective to masters of Torah, people, powerful thinkers, who cannot bear to hear something that challenges traditional thinking, often block me. It is as if these powerful people have been disempowered, as if a certain mode of thought has been imposed on them, as Shechem imposed himself on Dinah!

We disempower our children when we teach them to withdraw in fear from the world, rather than share with them the ability of our tradition to empower us to deal with any challenge. We impose our traditions on them. We make them weak and vulnerable, as was Dinah when she went out in weakness.

We fail to empower each other when we share magical prayers, remedies and merits to ward off the Evil Eye against which we are powerless. “Hear O Israel, God is our Lord,” is our constant declaration that God empowers us to achieve our dreams, and that, is the magic of the Shemah!

Jacob’s power was powerless until it was used to empower his children. Talmud’s great power to nurture complex thinking is powerless until it is used to empower us to think, question, and challenge anything and everything. The great power of the Mitzvot is powerless if not used to empower people to master themselves so they can reach for the top of Jacob’s ladder.

We have such great power in our grasp, a power that can only be fully expressed when used to empower our children, others, and ourselves. It is only then that we become the Children of Israel, the empowered, and the ones who empower others.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Simcha Weinberg

Wikileaks: Chelsea Clinton Used Foundation Money to Pay for Wedding

Monday, November 7th, 2016

An email sent by former President Bill Clinton’s top aide, Doug Band, and hacked by Wikileaks among the 50,000 documents stolen from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta’s gmail account, complains about Chelsea Clinton using Clinton Foundation cash to pay for her wedding to Jewish investment banker Marc Mezvinsky, as well as living expenses and taxes on cash she took from her parents, the NY Post reported Sunday.

Chelsea married Mezvinsky in an interfaith ceremony in Rhinebeck, New York, on July 31, 2010. Mezvinsky is the son of former members of Congress Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky and Edward Mezvinsky, and was raised in the Conservative Jewish tradition. Following their wedding, the couple lived for three years in New York City’s Gramercy Park neighborhood, then bought a condominium in the NoMad district of Manhattan for $10.5 million. They have a daughter, Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky, 2, and a son, Aidan Clinton Mezvinsky, born June 2016. The family just moved to the Flatiron District in Midtown Manhattan.

On Jan. 4, 2012, Doug Band sent an email to Podesta, saying, “The investigation into her getting paid for campaigning, using foundation resources for her wedding and life for a decade, taxes on money from her parents…. I hope that you will speak to her and end this. Once we go down this road….”

Band, who called Chelsea a “spoiled brat kid,” also told Podesta that Chelsea had told one of the Bush twins about money transfers from the Clinton Global Initiative to the Clinton Foundation. “The bush kid then told someone else who told an operative within the republican party,” Band lamented.

JNi.Media

Liberman Tells New Lone Soldier, ‘To This Day I Speak With Mistakes and A Thick Accent’

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman went out of his way Tuesday to make new immigrants feel comfortable during the traditional welcoming ceremony in his sukkah for Lone Soldiers and Diaspora Volunteers.

Among them was hareidi soldier Nissan Bloom from the Netzach Yehuda (Nahal Hareidi) battalion.

Bloom, a hareidi volunteer from the United States who enlisted into the army right after arriving alone in Israel, shared his personal story, touching all those present.

“Where is Nisan Bloom?” asked Liberman during his speech. While doing so, he addressed a direct statement to him: “To this day I speak while making mistakes and with a thick Russian accent.

“As I have said many times before, in Israel the sky is the limit. It makes no difference if you are a new immigrant or a native Israeli. If you are determined and seek to fulfill yourself and your dreams – everything is possible.”

During his speech Bloom described the debates he had prior joining the army, and described how he dealt the various difficulties. “I have always wanted to come and live in Israel but at the same time I was always nervous about the gaps I would have in the language and culture, and also the quality of education. I believed that going into the army would be the best way to integrate and to learn more about Israeli lifestyle while at the same time I can live by my principles.

Blood said that he chose to serve with the Netzach Yehuda battalion because he figured that was the best way to serve as a fighter for the army, “and as a religious believer, who serves his God.” For those reasons, he said, he chose to leave his home, “although this was very hard for my family, and to give of myself to the country.

“Being a combat soldier means you must overcome the difficulties no matter how challenging they are, as we are fighting for something big, something bigger than us. Faith is stronger than all and can overpower everything,” Bloom said.

The Nahal Haredi Foundation supports Nissan and his friends throughout their army service.

“Just like Nissan, you can find dozens of hareidi soldiers in the battalion who are originally from abroad, who volunteered to serve in the Israeli army, leaving behind their families,” the foundation said in a statement. “There are dozens of hareidi Lone Soldiers who are also Israeli citizens disconnected from their families, due to their choice to serve in the army.

“We would like to thank the hareidi families who support and provide the Lone Soldiers with a second home, so that the integration between their lives with Torah and Mitzvot along with significant army service is complete. We do all we can at all times and will continue to do so, to ensure that no soldier feels lonely during their army service.”

Hana Levi Julian

NY State Attorney General Let Clinton Foundation Hide Foreign Donors

Monday, September 12th, 2016

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, is letting the Clinton Family foundation break the law. According to NY State Law, Schneiderman is supposed to make the Clinton Foundation and Clinton Health Access Initiative (and all charities) publicly disclose the names of foreign governments and the millions they donate each year to the charities but he’s not doing it.

Law Newz reports that New York’s charity law clearly states: “Organizations that received a contribution or grant from a government agency during the reporting period shall include the name of each agency from which contributions were received and the amount of each contribution.”

This type of information about the Clinton Foundation may disclose whether the foreign governments that gave money to the Clinton charities also had special access to Hillary Clinton when she was ran State.

Funny thing is that with Schneiderman as the AG, NY has a reputation of requiring “more transparency from non-profits operating within its borders than many other regulators.”  Perhaps the AG is allowing the Clinton Foundation avoid transparency because Schneiderman is also a member of Clinton’s “leadership council” in New York. After all, this AG’s actions suggest that he lives by the motto “politics first.”

A Scripps Washington Bureau review of tax returns and regulatory filings found that year after year the Clinton charities have ignored New York law and related instructions. However, the office of Attorney General Schneiderman, a Democrat whom Hillary Clinton named to her campaign’s “leadership council” in New York, did not respond to Scripps’ questions about the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), which has never publicly disclosed in New York filings the identity of its foreign government contributors or the amounts they give each year. Scripps also discovered CHAI did not report hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign government donations to the state.

However, Schneiderman’s office said it considers the Clinton Foundation, which is a separate charity, “in step” with state rules.

“He’s not doing his job in that case,” said David Nelson, an attorney and former partner at the accounting firm of Ernst & Young who served on the regulations and legislation committee of the Council On Foundations, the philanthropy industry’s equivalent of the American Bar Association.

In 2009, Secretary Clinton’s first year heading the State Department, the Clinton Foundation disclosed to New York only a lump sum of $122 million in foreign government donations, listing the amount on a required form that directs all charities to “list each government contribution (grant) separately.” The foundation continued to provide the lump sum disclosures for foreign governments in every year that followed.

Nelson said, “The Clinton Foundation cannot say they are in compliance with New York regulations.”

Schneiderman’s own office issued detailed instructions for all charities warning them to make sure the total amount of contributions by government disclosed to the state is equal to what the charities report to the IRS. From 2010-2014 Schneiderman allowed the Clintons to ignore his rule, allowing Bubba and Hillary to hide $225 million in foreign government donations.

Just last week, on August 29th  Schneiderman won a victory in federal court against the right-leaning Citizens United forcing them disclose key information about its major donors. Following the decision Schneiderman bragged:

 

“Today’s decision is a victory for common sense oversight of New York’s vast nonprofit sector. New Yorkers deserve to know their donations are protected against fraud and abuse, and today the court protected that right.”
Schneiderman meant every word of the above, but omitted the part that he only enforces transparency laws against conservative organizations.  After all, the Clinton Foundation’s been getting off scot-free.

Schneiderman’s also attacks conservatives in other ways. For example, with former VP Al Gore he formed a group called “AGs United for Clean Power.” This Schneiderman-led organization’s mission is to come up with ways to prosecute people, organizations, and companies who are climate skeptics. The politically oriented prosecutor convinced 25 other progressive Attorneys General from 25 states, territories, cities and counties to join his assault on free speech (perhaps, these attorneys skipped their law school constitutional law classes when the topic was the 1st Amendment).

Another example of Schneiderman’s equal justice for all liberals only, is his vendetta against former AIG head Maurice “Hank” Greenberg (yes he got the nickname in the Army because of the Hall-of-Fame MLB star).  For over a decade, the New York State AG’s office has stalked Mr. Greenberg. The legal action was started by liberal New York Attorney General and famous client #9 Eliot Spitzer, but was kept alive by the liberal bloodsuckers who succeeded him. The latest of these political vampires is Eric T. Schneiderman (by the way the reports that the “T” stands for “tough shit I am going to make stuff up and screw you anyway” are not true).

Originally there were nine civil charges filed against Mr. Greenberg. Right off the bat seven of the civil charges were laughed out of court. It was revealed that Schneiderman sat on potentially exculpatory evidence in their civil lawsuit (something my lawyer friends tell me is a bad thing). Actually the witness’s statements debunk the remaining two civil charges.

In March 2015 a Wall Street Journal editorial said, “This Spitzer/Schneiderman production is a political case to win headlines and should be dismissed as a first step toward reform of the AG’s office.”

In fact Eric “no justice for conservatives”  Schneiderman, has already conceded that money damages are off the table even if he manages to prevail on the remaining two claims – which he can’t.

The real reason Mr. Greenberg is being pursued is that he committed an immoral act for someone who lives in the People’s Republic of New York he dares to spend millions of his dollars supporting conservative candidates. To Schneiderman that’s a terrible offense, one worth him using his supposedly non-political office to pursue his personal political agenda.

It’s progressives like Schneiderman who label people by their income or their politics. That’s why he allows Bubba and Hillary Clinton off the hook and persecutes Greenberg. Those of us who are ruled by morality instead of politics evaluate people by their character and  their actions. Hank Greenberg has proven he is a man with a big heart and a concern for people. As my friend Kurt Schlichter wrote:

He lied about his age to enlist as a soldier in World War II and marched through Europe with Patton’s Third Army, where he saw firsthand the bloody carnage of National Socialism [during his WWII service he not only saw horrors as he rushed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day but participated in the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps]. Later, he returned to active duty to fight in Korea. He earned the Bronze Star and was recently awarded the French Legion of Honor for his service on D-Day. Back home, Greenberg turned AIG into a global giant but, mindful of the chaos he witnessed firsthand as a young man, he devoted significant time and effort to philanthropy and to promoting peaceful trade and international relations to help avoid repeating the mistakes of the past.

Based on his actions and character, Eric T. Schneiderman does not believe that justice is blind.  Rather it seems he believes justice is his tool to score political points. In NY State progressives running for president don’t need to follow the law. However a war hero who has donated his time as well as money to a full range of medical and cultural charities is a target– not because he committed some violation, but because he donated to the wrong politicians.

 

 

Jeff Dunetz

Shabbat, The Foundation Of Our Heritage

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

The term for Shabbat as an “Oasis in Time” belongs to Abraham J. Hershel. While describing the Shabbat and its beauty he suggested that the Shabbat is an oasis in time. For a brief moment, as we usher in the Shabbat, time, as we know it, stands still. All our unpaid bills, office hassles, and professional aggravations are put on hold as we dedicate one day to God.

For six days prior, we pretend to believe that we are in control of our lives and our destiny. We think we have the power to make choices and to effect change in this world – that we are in control of our own destiny. Shabbat comes along and sobers us up. It literally becomes a reality check. No, we are not in control. In reality, we can only affect a very small portion of our lives.

When I describe the central theme of Shabbat to my students, I always focus on that point: that Shabbat is a time when the Jewish People recognize their mortality and in essence declare that G-d is in control of the universe.

Almighty G-d is truly the one who shapes our destiny and the destiny of the entire world. When Shabbat enters, we acknowledge this with modesty and introspection. We recognize that we are only a speck in this great world and only a small impression in the unfolding of time.

For me Shabbat represents one of the foundations of Judaism. There are so many laws and concepts in Judaism that baffle me and that I have little understanding of. But Shabbat is the one practice in Judaism that resonates so clearly of its authenticity and truthfulness.

As an educator I have always believed that teachers should realize this as well. Shabbat is not a time to burden students with extra homework assignments. Instead, it is a time for students to focus on their families and the interrelationships of a successful family. When we really get down to it, the basis of all of Judaism is centered around the family. Synagogues and day schools are both important but they take a secondary role to the importance of one’s family. The essence of Shabbat is the uniting of one’s family; completing homework assignments only serves to take away from the spirit of the day.

In the secular world this idea became a reality in the small town of Ridgewood, N.J. Parents were so concerned and involved with the success of their children that they loaded them down with every conceivable extracurricular activity. They became “hyper” parents, transporting their children to and from sports, music and dance activities, losing site that they were destroying the very essence and fiber of what a family should be. They finally recognized that they were working against themselves. “Let’s plan a night where nothing is planned,” said Marcia Marra the original organizer of this evening. The idea was “designed to let families do whatever they wanted.” This would be a time when families would focus solely on improving the dynamics of their family. No baseball games, no ballet lessons, no band or sports activities – just a time to relate to what is really important in life: loved ones and family.

The experiment was successful. People started looking forward to doing it again next year. It afforded families a chance to step back and appreciate the true blessings that they had in their transient existence. It made them realize that all those extracurricular activities that they provided their children, though important, pales to the importance of the time spent with family.

The Jewish people were given this gift every week. Those Jews who take advantage of this great treasure savor every minute of it. They focus on the enduring aspects of their lives: our Torah, our families, and our children. For the Jewish people, the experiment in Ridgewood was not something new.

For us it is called the Shabbat, an oasis in time.

Rabbi Mordechai Weiss

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/parenting-our-children/shabbat-the-foundation-of-our-heritage/2016/09/08/

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