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December 7, 2016 / 7 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘give’

Days Before the Elections Adelsons Give Trump $10 Million

Sunday, October 16th, 2016

Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, finally gave $10 million in September to mega-donor Todd Ricketts’s pro-Trump super PAC Future45, according to the latest filings with the Federal Election Commission. The group raised another $2.3 million from Todd Ricketts’ billionaire father, TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts, and energy executives Joe Craft and Jay Bergman.

According to a Politico analysis, only $68.7 million out of the $212 million Trump collected over the past three months in joint ventures with the RNC and state parties ended up in his campaign coffers, with $63.5 going to overhead expenses: consultants, catering, space rentals, list rentals, direct mail and online ads. Another $9.3 million is earmarked for special RNC accounts for convention expenses. The rest was split with the RNC and state parties. According to the FEC filings, the Hillary Clinton campaign spent only 22 cents on overhead for every dollar raised, compared with Trump’s 30.

Back in September, The Guardian reported that Adelson was planning to donate as much as $25 million to Future45. Later that figure was reduced to a mere $5 million, and now, apparently, they settled on $10 million.

Last week, Trump mentioned Adelson at a rally in Nevada, when he referred to the Las Vegas Review Journal, the largest newspaper in Nevada, which Adelson purchased through a proxy last year. “Good paper, owned by a great guy — Sheldon, Sheldon, Sheldon Adelson,” Trump said, adding that Adelson is a “big supporter of Israel.”

Statements from both presidential campaigns made on Saturday showed Clinton leading with $154 million raised in September and $150 million cash on hand, to Trump’s $100 million raised and $75 million in the hand.


Goldstein on Gelt: What’s the Best Way to Give Your Children Financial Assistance?

Monday, September 19th, 2016

Parents often want to give financial assistance to their children. How much should parents give, and what’s the best way to do it?
On today’s show, Doug Goldstein, CFP® examines generational giving. Learn about the tax considerations involved in gifting money to your children, and how the wrong kind of assistance can make your children more dependent on you and less able to manage their money.
Apart from the issue of helping your children financially during your lifetime, is it important to leave them an inheritance? Attorney Jeff Condon, author of Beyond the Grave: The Right and Wrong Way of Leaving Money to Your Children, explores how estate planning can affect family relationships. Listen for tips on appointing executors, protecting your estate from taxes and how to preserve your estate’s value.
The Goldstein On Gelt Show is a financial podcast. Click on the player below to listen. For show notes and contact details of the guest, go to www.GoldsteinOnGelt.com

Doug Goldstein, CFP®

Survey: Jewish Voters Give Hillary Lowest Support of All Democratic Nominees Since 1980

Saturday, September 17th, 2016

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) has issued a survey of American Jewish opinion, conducted by the research company SSRS based on telephone interviews from August 8 to 28, with a national sample of 1,002 Jews over age 18 and a margin of error of +-3.57%, showing the Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton enjoys the support of 61% of the voters who identify themselves as Jewish. And although her opponent, Republican nominee Donald Trump, only gets 19% of the Jewish vote, Hillary’s figure is the lowest scored by a Democrat among Jewish voters since Jimmy Carter only took 45% of the Jewish vote against Ronald Reagan in 1980.

The highest Jewish vote in the 20th century went to FDR in 1940 and 1944, 90% each time; LBJ also took 90%, in 1964; JFK received 82% of the Jewish vote in 1960; Humphrey 81% in 1968; Bill Clinton 80% in 1992; Gore 79% in 2000; and Obama 78% in 2008 and 69% in 2012.

Even George McGovern, with 65%, did better with the Jewish voters than Hillary has been doing. Trump, by the way, is doing about as well as GW Bush did in 2000. Bush later took 24% of the Jewish vote against Kerry in 2004, McCain 22% in 2008, and Romney 30% in 2012. (Source: Jewish Virtual Library)

Only 51% of the American Jews surveyed identify as Democrats. 26% are Independent and only 18% Republican. The Green Party attracts 2% of the Jewish vote, the Libertarians, despite their admiration for the strong ideas of one Russian Jewish lady, only attract 1% of US Jews to their ranks.

US Jews are still more left- than right-leaning: 51% are Liberal or lean Liberal, 24% Conservative or lean Conservative. 23% say they are moderates.

How about that famous Jewish optimism about the future of America? Not a whole lot of it is left, apparently. When asked if their children would be better or worse off than their parents when they grow up, 39% said the kids better get ready for a worse future; 29% believe in a better future; 27% don’t see a big change coming in either direction.

A whopping 57% of the American Jews questioned identified anti-Semitism on US campuses a problem, 23% of them think it’s a very serious problem at that. Only 6% don’t see it as a problem at all.

Here’s a kind of nice surprise, although in an underhanded sort of way: only 15% of the Jews asked are married to a non-Jew. But wait, don’t celebrate yet: only 35% are married to a Jew, either from birth or a convert, and a full 49% are not married. In other words, close to half of the American Jewish community is probably not involved in promulgating the Jewish community.

52% of the Jewish respondents have never been to Israel (that percent goes up when you exclude the Orthodox – of which 85% have visited Israel), 21% have only been once. So that when they were asked what they think of the fact that Orthodox Judaism is the only denomination recognized by Israel as an official form of Judaism, and 48% said it “Weakens Israel’s ties with American Jews,” it’s likely most of them have not forged their opinions based on personal experience.

And when they were asked what they consider the most important change necessary in Israeli Judaism, and 41% answered, “Securing legal recognition of equality for all streams of Judaism,” that answer, too, was provided based mostly on op-eds and Facebook posts. Likewise when 74% insisted “legal recognition should also be extended to non-Orthodox weddings, divorces, and conversions,” this opinion was mostly theoretical.


Parshas Reeh: Give With Faith

Friday, September 2nd, 2016

The mitzvah of giving charity is one of the hallmarks of Judaism. The number of charitable organizations members of our community have formed and the donors who support them are a testament to our dedication to helping our brethren. But even greater than how much we give is how we give it. A Jew must do his utmost to ensure that the recipient does not feel shamed or embarrassed for his neediness. As we say in Shabbos davening, “Who is like Your people Israel, one nation in the land?”

If there shall be a destitute person among you… you shall not harden your heart or close your hand against your destitute brother… You shall surely give him, and let your heart not feel bad when you give him, for it is because of this matter that Hashem, your G-d, will bless you in all your deeds and in your every undertaking” (Devarim 15:7-8).

The Sages constantly stressed the tremendous importance and merit involved in giving charity:

  1. We are obligated to be careful in regards to the mitzvah of charity, more so than any other obligatory mitzvah… The throne of Israel is not prepared, and the law of truth does not stand except with charity… Israel will not be redeemed except with charity… (Rambam, Matnos Aniyim 10:1).
  1. The mitzvah of charity is tantamount to all other mitzvos (Bava Basra 9a).
  1. One is obligated to give charity with joy and a good heart (Sefer HaChinuch, mitzvah 479).
  1. One who gives charity with a doleful face loses his merit (Rambam, Matnos Aniyim 4).
  1. We do not recite a blessing when giving charity because we are obligated to give joyfully and most people lack that level of joy and enthusiasm when giving (Meor V’shmesh, Parshas Pinchas).

Why is this mitzvah so valuable that it is equal to all other mitzvos? Also, why are there so many nuances and additives involved in giving charity? Isn’t it hard enough to give up one’s hard-earned money? Why should one be obliged to give joyfully?

Nesivos Sholom explains that charity is not merely about giving away money. The ability to give away one’s own resources in order to help another must be rooted in faith in G-d. If one truly believes that he will get whatever he is destined to receive from G-d (as long as he does his part) it will be far easier for him to give.

This idea is expressed in the Mishna: “Rabi Elazar of Bartosa said: Give Him from His own, for you and what is yours are His” (Avos 3:18). Whenever a person gives charity he is essentially giving back to G-d what is His. G-d ensures that money and resources are granted to whomever He deems should have them. Our role in giving charity is the opportunity to overcome our nature and receive merit and reward for taking part in G-d’s Work, as it were. But in the end, our actions and efforts notwithstanding, every penny only ends up where, and with whom, G-d wants. This attitude and mindset is an integral part of giving charity.

A person who gives charity dolefully or begrudgingly demonstrates that his faith is somewhat wanting and he has not fully fulfilled the mitzvah of giving charity. On the other hand, a person who is able to feel joy when giving demonstrates that his faith in G-d is strong. Such a person has essentially achieved the underlying goal of all mitzvos, i.e. to fulfill the Word of G-d by subjugating ourselves to His Will and demonstrating our faith in Him. Therefore, when fulfilled properly, the mitzvah of giving charity is equivalent to all other mitzvos.

Every Jew is innately kindhearted and benevolent. It is part of our genetic makeup, dating back to our patriarch Avrohom. But there are certain Jews who dedicate their lives to being charitable and helping others. The truest level of chessed is accomplished by one who seeks to help others altruistically, for the sole purpose of being a giver.

The great chassidic master, Reb Mendel of Rimanov, was once learning with his students when he was interrupted by an impoverished individual begging for charity. The man appeared bedraggled and disheveled, his clothing was torn, and his face looked gaunt. Reb Mendel immediately turned to his gabbai and instructed him to go into his private room and take a gold coin from his coat to give to the poor man. When the poor man received the sparkling and expensive coin, his face lit up. He thanked the Rebbe profusely and left in a state of great joy.

Reb Mendel immediately resumed his studies. But about five minutes later he stopped again. After a moment of silence, the Rebbe again called over his gabbai. He asked him to please hurry and find the poor man who had just left his home and ask him to return immediately. The gabbai rushed out and soon found the poor man wandering through the market place, apparently trying to decide the best way to spend the generous donation he had just received. When the poor man heard that the Rebbe wanted him to return he looked crestfallen. He was certain that the Rebbe realized that he had given him too much and wanted to exchange it for a silver coin.

The poor man begrudgingly made his way back to the Rebbe, his eyes downcast. But as soon as he walked in, the Rebbe apologized for bothering him to return and handed him a second gold coin. The poor man was beside himself with joy and confusion. “Holy Rebbe, if the Rebbe had intended to give me such a magnanimous donation in the first place why didn’t the Rebbe just do so?”

Reb Mendel explained, “When I originally gave you the gold coin it was given wholeheartedly. However, after you left I realized that I had really given it to you out of compassion. I felt pained by your appearance and was struck by pangs of compassion. That would mean that I had given the coin to you in order to assuage my conscience.

Rabbi Dani Staum

Give The Good Guys Guns

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

Last week, Daniel Haiken, a young resident of Nesher, was murdered. Haiken delivered pizzas for a local shop. On Monday night, he returned from a delivery straight into an armed robbery in the pizzeria. The robbers shot him, grabbed some money, and escaped.

Apparently, nobody – not the pizzeria owner, not Daniel, not the customers and not passers-by – had a gun with which to defend themselves from the robbers.

What would happen if more citizens who met basic criteria – for example, anybody who had a license to carry a gun in the army – walked around armed? Would Daniel Haiken be alive today?


A titanic struggle is being waged between the proponents of liberty and the proponents of servitude in Israel and throughout the world. The path to servitude is strewn with calls for us to deposit more and more of our liberties in the hands of the state (and to deposit the state in the hands of one oligarchy or another). In this way, parents of school aged children, for example, were convinced to deposit the education of their children in the hands of the state. For if we, heaven forefend, leave the children’s education to their parents, children will obviously just loiter in the streets.

Now they explain to us that if we allow citizens to bear weapons for self-defense, they will all kill each other. For that reason, they say, we must confiscate all weapons and allow the state to save us from ourselves.

In the days when liberty was the guiding light of America’s Founding Fathers, the authors of the U.S. Constitution were careful to include the right to bear arms as a basic right. The forces of servitude are trying to change that. That is nothing new – the first thing that any dictatorship does is to confiscate guns from the citizens.

What would have happened in Nesher if Israel was a truly liberty-oriented state and the right to bear arms was a basic right for every upstanding citizen? First of all, the robbers would clearly have thought twice about embarking on their dangerous venture. Today, unfortunately, the armed people in Israel are mainly criminals and people hostile to Israel. Regular citizens must wait for the police. In other words, the existing situation affords a huge advantage to the bad guys and encourages crime.

Even if the robbers would have decided to go ahead with their crime, the chance that Daniel or any passer-by could have dealt with the situation with no harm to innocents would have been much greater.

The state’s ardor to limit the amount of licensed guns in public hands has nothing to do with protecting us. When a wave of terror breaks out, the heads of the police publicly call for all licensed gun owners to carry their weapons. They know that the police cannot be in every place at all times. The state’s will to limit the amount of guns in public hands stems from its natural will to amplify its power at the expense of the public.

Daniel probably paid for that with his life.

Moshe Feiglin

IDF Intelligence Chief: If our Enemies Knew What We Can Do They’d Give Up

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

At a session headlined “Israel in a Turbulent Middle East: Strategic Review & Intelligence Assessment” held Wednesday at the 2016 Herzliya Conference, Maj. Gen. Herzl (Herzi) Halevi, Chief of the IDF Military Intelligence Directorate warned Israel’s opponents against initiating a conflict, saying, “I am sure that had Nasrallah or any of our enemies known our military capabilities they wouldn’t risk additional conflict.”

Halevi discussed Israel’s challenges and opportunities in today’s middle east, saying “there are a lot of people who live in the Middle East with no electricity. Looking at the GDP per capita or unemployment rates it is noticeable that very big gaps have formed between us and our neighbors. It should not make us happy – A poor Middle East is a hotbed for terrorist organizations.”

“The Game board in the Middle East has changed,” he added. “Instead of few states, there are now many players. The transition from nation states to organizations is very significant. There are no good and bad guys, and players on the field change their identities.”

Halevi continued to discuss the new ways in which conflicts and wars are formed in the Middle East, in what he calls Dynamics of Escalation’. “We live in an era in which it is most likely for wars to begin even though neither side is interested in it,” he explained.

Regarding Iran, Halevi said: “The nuclear agreement was a great achievement for Iran, allowing them to be accepted among the world’s nations and we believe they will honor [the nuclear deal] for the first few years. At the same time, Iran is investing great efforts against Israel. Iran is supporting the three main threats Israel faces: Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad – in fact, they support 60% of [the threat]. It is [a case of] a Shiite nation giving money to Sunni organizations – they would do that to hurt Israel.”

Regarding Lebanon & Hezbollah, Halevi said, “We have no offensive intentions in Lebanon. We do not want a war but we’re ready for one more than ever. No army has had more intelligence on their enemies as we do about Hezbollah today.”

“The next conflict will not be easy. Hezbollah is suffering heavy casualties in Syria but also experiences significant achievements, and in this process they learn a lot and gain access to new means of combat.”, said Halevi. “Iran is sending weaponry to Hezbollah – some of it gets so Syria, but some of it stays in Lebanon. Syrian industries have resumed the production of weaponry for Hezbollah, and neither the world or Israel should accept it – it could escalate the next conflict.”


Don’t Give the Fox the Keys to the Henhouse

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s website, Abu Yehuda}

The Oslo accords divided Judea and Samaria into areas A, B and C. Area C, where most settlements and few Arabs are, was placed under complete Israeli control. Area B, strategic areas with large Arab populations and the smallest of the three, was under Palestinian Authority civil governance but remained under Israeli security control. And Area A was supposed to be under full PA control.

The Oslo plan was that we and the US would help the PA build up their ‘security forces’, with which they would ‘fight terrorism’. One of the comments heard at the time was that this was like expecting Kellogg to fight cornflakes; but in any event, the idea resonated in the US and with the ‘peace’ establishment in Israel. Why should we risk our soldiers and be vilified for brutality when Yasser Arafat would do our dirty work for us?

Predictably, this didn’t work. When the Second Intifada began, terrorists found it convenient to base themselves in places like Jenin in Area A, to commit their atrocities against the Jewish population on both sides of the Green Line, and then run back to Area A where we were not permitted to pursue them. Sometimes the PA would arrest the terrorists, in which case they were usually released quickly, or ‘escaped’.

In March 2002, in one of a series of deadly attacks – there were fifteen suicide bombings and multiple shooting and other attacks that month – a Hamas bomber exploded at a Passover seder at the Park Hotel in Netanya, killing 30 people and injuring 140. Two days later, the IDF launched Operation Defensive Shield, a massive incursion into the territories to find and destroy the terror networks that had been established there.

The operation was costly for Israel with 30 soldiers killed, but also in other ways:

On April 2, the IDF reached Jenin, from which 23 of the 60 terror attacks in 2002 had emanated. There, the army waged a pitched battle, involving house-to-house fighting with Palestinian gunmen in the city’s refugee camp.

Booby-trapped houses were primed to collapse on the Israeli forces. By the time the fighting ended, 23 IDF soldiers and 52 Palestinians (of whom 14 were civilians) were dead. Ultimately the Palestinian Authority, Human Rights Watch and the United Nations corroborated these figures.

Ultimately. But before that happened, a media campaign was waged against the IDF by the PA, British reporters (especially Philip Reeves, now NPR’s Pakistan correspondent), and the “human rights” NGOs. Hundreds, even thousands, of Palestinian civilians were said to have been killed, buried by Israeli bulldozers with the “sweet and ghastly reek of rotting human bodies” wafting from the ground, in the words of the execrable Reeves.

An Israeli-Arab filmmaker, Mohammad Bakri, made a film called “Jenin, Jenin” that repeats the libels. It continues to be shown around the world. Like the Mohammad Dura incident, the “Jenin massacre” has been placed into history despite the fact that it didn’t happen.

After the trauma of the Intifada, the IDF returned to carrying out hot pursuit of terrorists in Area A. But now we seem poised to repeat the mistake of Oslo, as the IDF prepares to concede security control of Area A to the PA:

The Palestinians are demanding that the Israel Defense Forces withdraw simultaneously from all the cities and rejected an initial Israeli offer to withdraw completely from Ramallah and Jericho first, and to restrict activities elsewhere in the West Bank to arrests of Palestinians suspected of intending to carry out imminent attacks.

The IDF and Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon believe that the Palestinian security services are capable of undertaking a sizable chunk of the work that the army does today.

I have great respect for Moshe Ya’alon, who became Chief of Staff immediately after Defensive Shield, and carried on the work of suppressing the Second Intifada. But surely he must understand that the PA’s “security forces” cannot be depended upon to protect Israeli Jews, and his support for this is surprising. The Shabak [internal security service], several cabinet ministers and numerous MKs strongly oppose the idea.

Apparently the IDF favors it. I suppose that’s understandable. Everyone wants to avoid unpleasant situations or to put them off as long as possible. Most of the high-ranking officers in modern technocratic armies like the IDF are managers first and warriors second (well-known exceptions are Sharon, MacArthur and Patton). They see fighting as disruptive to their organizations. Minor conflicts detract from their long-term planning and use up stocks of equipment and budgets. Operations in Judea and Samaria are hard on soldiers who have to deal with demonstrations, harassment by women, children, and Israeli and international activists.

There is also a smell of international arm-twisting about this. Although I have no evidence at this point, there could very well be a connection with the upcoming attempt to pass a resolution in the Security Council declaring Jewish settlements illegal. There are also the ongoing negotiations with the Obama Administration over the memorandum of understanding on future military aid. Finally, there is Israeli concern over talks between the US and Russia on a solution to the Syrian civil war which could possibly include the Golan Heights. I wouldn’t be shocked to hear that the US is using these issues to pressure Israel to agree to the PA demands.

In view of the fact that both Hamas and Hezbollah have been beefing up their defensive and offensive capabilities – and despite repeated claims from Israeli officials that these organizations don’t want conflict with us – it seems to me that the wisest policy would be to prevent the build-up of what would be yet another front in the next war. But that is exactly what will happen if the IDF does not keep the pressure on the terrorists in Area A.

As happened in Judea and Samaria before 2003 and in southern Lebanon after 2000, when we allow our enemies to enhance their capabilities unmolested we find ourselves in a situation where we are deterred from taking action because of the expected cost. Ultimately we are forced to fight, and then we pay the price anyway. Like the withdrawals from southern Lebanon and Gaza and the Oslo accord, turning over security control to the PA purchases temporary – perhaps very temporary – quiet, in return for longer term weakness.

There is another reason not to do this: If the IDF backs off today it will be a boost to the enemy’s morale. Any concession we make will be seen as a victory for the decentralized terrorism of the Intifada of Knives. No matter how much our officials say that the withdrawal has nothing to do with terrorism, they won’t convince the Palestinians, who will celebrate the success that their ‘martyrs’ have brought them.

Our enemies see the conflict as a long, historic struggle, and we should too. Every war, every battle, every terror attack, every inch of land gained or lost, every Jew or Arab that enters or leaves the Land of Israel moves the cursor of history. From 1948 to 1993 there is no question that we were in ascendance. Oslo was an inflection point. Since then, our trajectory has turned downward.

Are our leaders paying attention?

Vic Rosenthal

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/dont-give-the-fox-the-keys-to-the-henhouse/2016/05/18/

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