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January 20, 2017 / 22 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘give’

Give Him a Chance

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s blogsite, Emes Ve-Emunah}

It’s hard… really hard to move away from the Trump phenomenon. I tried to do that yesterday. But Donald Trump’s victory in the election has sucked just about all the air out of the room. It’s the story that keeps on giving. Most of the civilized world is thinking about little else.

As might have been expected, the moment Trump shocked the world with his win, the protests began.  Some of them have seen violence. Those that are violent and damaging private property are criminals that ought to be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

No one can deny the American people the right to protest whatever they want. But how should we look at these protesters? Are they right to protest the results of an election that was decided in a democratic way by the American people? I don’t think so. They are protesting a man that half of America considers to represent most of their values – even if they disagree with some of them and don’t like his character.

What about his disgusting insults of immigrants, minorities,  the handicapped, and women during the campaign?  Half of America doesn’t care what he says. They care about what he has promised to do for them. Remember, we are not talking about Neanderthal uneducated hillbillies. We are talking about half the country. And a lot of people that Clinton should have won by super majorities. Like Women.  For example, a statistic I recently saw said that Clinton won 51% of the female vote. That means that almost half the woman that voted – voted against her!

As was the case with most Americans I did not like either candidate. But I felt that Trump was so bad that there was no choice but to vote for his flawed opponent. As bad as I saw Mrs. Clinton to be, she was gold compared to Trump. And I urged others to vote for her too.

I thought (as did just about everyone else) that Hillary Clinton would be the 45th President of the United States. And that last Tuesday would be the last we’d hear much about a man who I thought was the least qualified man in the history of the United States to be President. But, as I’ve already admitted many times I was wrong about everything. And shocked that he won right along with everyone else. Although I predicted he would win back in May I had come to disbelieve that considering how bad he truly was.

What now? I never believed that what you saw is what you would get with Trump as President. True he was incompetent. But I saw that as an asset in a certain sense because he knows how incompetent he is. He will therefore surround himself with competent people who will advise him how to carry out his agenda.

What about that agenda? It appears that it has little to do with his campaign promises except in a general way. That view has been corroborated by President Obama who after meeting with Trump said he saw a different man than the one he saw on the campaign trail.

Just to cite some examples of how his campaign rhetoric differs with how he will govern: He will not deport illegal immigrants the majority of whom he said are good people. He will only deport illegal immigrants that are criminals. He will not deny Muslims entry into this country. He will only increase scrutiny of them to assure that no terrorists will slip through. He will honor all foreign alliances including NATO which he put under question during the campaign. In fact the President is currently in Europe reassuring our allies – nervous about Trump  – of his commitment to defend them. Even Obamacare will not be entirely dismantled. He plans to keep certain provisions of it. Like eliminating pre-existing conditions as an exclusion from insurance. And Obamacare will not be repealed until a new health plan is in place

As for his temperament during the campaign which was embarrassing and clearly not presidential, that too has changed. As I knew it would. It was a different ‘Trump’ I saw being interviewed on 60 Minutes than what I saw during the campaign. He was subdued. Even humble – complimenting the President and Mrs. Clinton. What about his promise to jail Mrs. Clinton?  Although he didn’t outright dismiss it, I am convinced that this is off the table. In short – all of his rhetoric during the campaign was just that. Rhetoric! Designed as red meat for his base supporters.

For his part, President Obama paid tribute to Trump acknowledging that Trump tapped into a feeling among Americans that was so strong that it overcame all of the negative things he said and did during the campaign. Things that were magnified over and over again by the media and ridiculed by comedians on late night television.

The message by the President yesterday was that Trump should be given a chance. I wholeheartedly agree. That the office itself will sober him up. Obama said that Trump is not an ideologue. He is  a pragmatist and that should serve him well. I think that’s right. Trump has a clear direction in which he wants to take this country and if he finds good people to advise him – he will do well. The American people should not judge him until he is given an opportunity to do what he sets out to do – and see if he is successful.

Will he make America great again? I agree with those who say that America is already great. So the real question is will he make it greater. That remains to be seen. But I hope he does.

Speaking of appointing good people, he has already appointed 2 of them: His VP pick was Mike Pence; and Reince Priebus is his choice for the powerful office of Chief of Staff. Today it was revealed that the 2 contenders for Secretary of State are former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former US Representative to the UN, John Bolton. I cannot think of 2 people that are more pro Israel than they are. Can anyone imagine the kind of relationship this country will have with Israel if either of these two are Secretary of State? This could put an entirely new spin on how the US sees a final solution between Israel and the Arabs. It will favor Israel’s point of view under Netanyahu.

What about ‘elephant in the room’? Donald Trump has announced that Steve Bannon will be given the title of White House Chief Strategist and Senior Council – a very powerful position of influence. Bannon has been accused of being an antisemite by the Anti Defamation League.

Which should be no surprise. During divorce proceedings, his ex-wife had accused him of antisemitic comments. (He has denied that.) Not to mention publishing an article about Conservative commentator William Kristol  that called him a renegade Jew when he threatened to find an alternative to run against Trump in the general election. Bannon’s far right conservatism has also attracted a lot of support from White Supremacist groups – indicating that he is a racist as well.  It’s hard not to see him as a racist and antisemite in light of that.

To be honest, I am not thrilled about Bannon having any influence on Trump. But in his favor is the fact that there is no actual proof that Bannon is personally either an antisemite or a racist. That he attracts racists does not make him one. His nationalist ‘America First’ rhetoric appeals to these retrogrades who see that phrase as a euphemism for racist views. But what was Trump’s primary message if not about putting Americans first? Americans that lost their jobs due to globalization and have been forgotten by the governing elites. These Americans were Trump’s core constituency and the ones that got him elected! Besides isn’t putting America’s interests ahead of the interests of other countries something we Americans should support?

One has to look at the total picture and not just one man that is unappealing to us. If people like Giuliani or Bolton are there to advise Trump on foreign policy, I don’t think we have to worry too much about what a ‘Chief Strategist’ will tell him.  Besides – it appears that Bannon is pro Israel. If that’s antisemitism, I’ll take it!

The bottom line is that when you are given a fait accompli – there is nothing to do but to look at the positive side and hope for the best. There is absolutely no point in harping on Trump’s flaws or dwelling on what he said during the campaign. Or protesting his election.

The President believes that Trump wants to unite the country. He is rooting for him to do that. As am I. It is incumbent upon us, the American people to give him the chance to do that.

Harry Maryles

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.

JNi.Media

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.

JNi.Media

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?

Probably.

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.”

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/idf-intelligence-chief-if-our-enemies-knew-what-we-can-do-theyd-give-up/2016/06/15/

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