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September 1, 2016 / 28 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘HAPPY’

Israelis Not Happy Over Pharrell Williams’ Notice

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

If you live in Israel and are a fan of Pharrell Williams — the Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter who is known best for his music video “Happy” — you won’t be happy to read the following news.

For reasons unknown, Williams has cancelled his much-anticipated July 21 concert set to be held in Rishon Lezion this summer.

Promoters told media that “unexpected scheduling conflicts” were behind the sudden cancellation and apologized to ‘Happy’ fans, saying the star hoped to reschedule.

There was no mention of pressure on Williams by supporters of the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement that backs the Palestinian Authority against Israel.

Full refunds to ticket holders are set to begin on Sunday, July 17.

Hana Levi Julian

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Monday, June 27th, 2016

Simple? Yet, not a single person on the face of this earth knows how to make me. This sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? Especially when it is realized that there are about one and one-half billion of my kind produced in the U.S.A. each year– I, Pencil by Leonard Read, 1958

 

In his essay, Read explains that even though billions of pencils are produced every year, not one person can make one. In fact, it takes millions of people to make a pencil, from the loggers who cut down the cedar trees, to those who mine the graphite, to the chemists who make the lacquer, and the truckers who transport the materials from one place to another.

Read asserts, “There isn’t a single person in all these millions, including the president of the pencil company, who contributes more than a tiny, infinitesimal bit of know-how.” Yet, regardless, there are billions of pencils produced every year. The same goes for more complex products like computers, smartphones and dining chairs.

Why do I bring up “I, Pencil”? I recently read Matt Ridley’s uplifting book The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves which focuses on how the world is a much better place now than it was a century ago. And, “I, Pencil” fits right into his theory.

Ridley argues that as a society we are constantly building on an exchange of ideas. With all other species, as the species becomes more populous, it become less prosperous and eventually die out. People are the only group that has become more prosperous as they have become more populous. This is because they build on each other’s ideas. Even the seemingly insignificant pencil represents an exchange of ideas and collaboration on the part of millions of people. He writes, “At some point, human intelligence became collective and cumulative in a way that happened to no other animal.” For this reason Ridley believes we should live in a state of rational optimism.

“Rational optimism,” he says, “holds that the world will pull out of the current crisis because of the way that markets in goods, services, and ideas allow human beings to exchange and specialize honestly for the betterment of all. So this is not a book of unthinking praise or condemnation of all markets, but it is an inquiry into how the market process of exchange and specialization is older and fairer than many think and gives a vast reason for optimism about the future of the human race. Above all, it is a book about the benefits of change…”

He offers a sunny view of the world: “First, I need to convince you that human progress has, on balance, been a good thing, and that, despite the constant temptation to moan, the world is a good a place to live as it has ever been for the average human being – even now in a deep recession. That it is richer, healthier, and kinder too, as much because of commerce as despite it.”

 

Does optimism always work?

In American culture, there is a large emphasis put on optimism. We are told that if we think positively things will work out. For a lot of people (like Ridley), this type of outlook is beneficial and healthy. However, optimism is not a one-size-fits-all affair. Positive thinking works for some, but not for all. For people who have anxiety, optimism can be very difficult and unproductive. Instead, anxious people can harness their anxiety and use it in order to ensure that they do succeed.

This approach is what Julie Norem, the author of The Positive Power of Negative Thinking, calls defensive pessimism. She explains that defensive pessimism encompasses an entire process by which negative thinking transformed anxiety into action.”

“Don’t worry, it will all work out” does not always come true. Worrying and preparing yourself for the worst can help. And that is exactly what defensive pessimists do. Before going into a stressful situation, they set low expectations for themselves and then follow up with a list of all the things that can go wrong. Once they have figured out all of the bad things that can happen, they can prepare to prevent them or to prepare to deal with them when they occur. This gives those with anxiety a sense of control.

In reality, roughly thirty percent of Americans are defensive pessimists, and then tend to also be highly successful. Their belief in the fear of negative outcomes tends to motivate them to perform better in the future.

 

Register now for a Social Thinking workshop by Michelle Garcia Winner on November 16. Please call Mrs. Schonfeld at 718-382-5437 for more information.

Rifka Schonfeld

Rejuvenation: Harvests, Humanity and Humility- Happy Jerusalem Day [audio]

Friday, June 10th, 2016

What will you say on Judgement Day? Was the 1967 War a victory for mankind? It’s Jerusalem Day and we’re home in the heartland again.
Bible scholar Dr. Yael Zeigler and Eve Harow discuss the Book of Ruth, read on Shavuot next week, as the antitheses of the Book of Judges in the pre-Davidic period. Social justice, leadership, concern for the ‘other’, unconditional brotherly love- are all rooted in the Tanach, and part of ancient and modern Judean thought and action. Israel of today is collectively rising to the challenge, despite threats against us from within and without. A wheat field is so much more than its sheaves….and Israel so much more than the sum of our parts.

The Land of Israel

UNSC Unanimously Condemn Tel Aviv Terror Shooting, State Dept. ‘Happy to Once Again Condemn’

Friday, June 10th, 2016

The credit for this one belongs entirely to Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon, who, in less than one year at a job to which he was appointed to get him out of PM Netanyahu’s and DM Ya’alon’s hair, appears to be making a difference in effectively representing Israel’s case in the most hostile international arena outside Khartum, Sudan. In a manner reminiscent of another UN envoy, Benjamin Netanyahu, Danon is not a complainer, he is an attacker, and he makes demands. Such as the demands he has made of the UN to at last treat the murder of innocent Jews by Arab terrorists in Tel Aviv as seriously as the did, say, the murdrer of innocent Frenchmen in Paris by Arab Terrorists. Well, last night they did.

For the first time since the wave of Arab terrorism began, on September 2015, on Thursday at 11:30 PM, the UN Security Council condemned the deadly shooting in the strongest terms, calling for the individuals behind “these reprehensible acts of terrorism” to be brought to justice. The council statement was approved by all 15 members. It expressed sympathy for the families of the four civilians killed and those who were injured, and “reiterated that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable.”

Also on Thursday, in the daily press briefing by Mark C. Toner, Deputy Spokesperson for the US State Dept., reporter Arshad Mohammed asked Toner if he had anything more to say about the terror attack. Toner answered: “I’m happy to once again condemn yesterday’s terrible terrorist attacks in Tel Aviv.” Oh, for sure, this is gotcha’ journalism on our part, because, of course, Toner didn’t mean to say he was happy there was a terror attack — but the officious, businesslike manner in which the spokesperson treated the story and the statement conveyed how much empathy he really felt, which was probably somewhere between zero and one on the eleven-notch Spinal Tap volume scale.

The original State Dept. response, on Wednesday, sounded real, though: “The United States condemns today’s horrific terrorist attack in Tel Aviv in the strongest possible terms. We extend our deepest condolences to the families of those killed and our hopes for a quick recovery for those wounded. These cowardly attacks against innocent civilians can never be justified. We are in touch with Israeli authorities to express our support and concern.”

So we probably shouldn’t begrudge Toner his unfortunate expression of happiness.

The same reporter on Thursday continued, saying “the defense minister over there, Avigdor Liberman, has said that in the future Palestinians that are killed while carrying out attacks– their bodies will not be returned to their families. They’re going to be interred somewhere. Israel has a cemetery for enemies, I think.”

The Internet is rife with Arab media stories about Israel’s “cemetery for enemies.” It’s a real place, in the Jordan valley. Back in 2011, Prime Minister Netanyahu approved the transfer of 84 bodies from the Jordan Valley cemetery of enemy combatants to the Palestinian Authority. The Liberman new decision to stop returning terrorists’ bodies is a blessed step in the right direction, and a clear change in the IDF soft arm policy of Liberman’s predecessor. Turns out Israel now has a rightwing defense minister. Liberman also revoked thousands of entry permits issued to Judea, Samaria and Gaza Arabs for the month of Ramadan, added two IDF battalions to Judea and Samaria, and sent security forces to Yatta Village, home of the cousin terrorists who murdered four Israelis in Tel Aviv. If Liberman also gets those two the death penalty he could probably be Israel’s next prime minister.

About which Toner had to say: “We understand the Israeli Government’s desire to protect its citizens, after this kind of terrorist attack, and we strongly support that right. But we would hope that any measures it takes would also take into consideration the impact on Palestinian civilians, who are just trying to go about their daily lives.”

We’ll see what we can do.

David Israel

Israelis to Get ‘Happy’ at Pharrell Williams Concert in Rishon Lezion

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

Israelis are preparing to get “happy” this summer when Grammy Award-winning American vocalist Pharrell Williams arrives in the Holy Land.

Pharrell is scheduled to appear on July 21 at Live Park in Rishon Lezion.

His monster hit “Happy” is probably the most successful and well-known of his tunes, but Pharrell is a multi-talented musician.

Numerous ‘Happy’ videos were made in Israel when his hit came out.

He has scored many international number one hits as a solo performer. He’s also written top hits for other performers as well, including Madonna, Beyonce, Kanye West and the Rolling Stones, among others.

Pharrell has won 11 Grammy Awards for his work as a performer and producer. He’s currently a judge on the American hit talent show, The Voice.

Hana Levi Julian

The Sacrifice Was Worth It – Happy 68th Israel!!

Friday, May 13th, 2016

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Do the Israeli holidays, created by the secular state, have as much meaning and importance as the Torah holiday’s? Rabbi Mike Feuer joins Yishai on Spiritual Cafe to give meaning to remember on Memorial Day and usher in Israeli Independence Day. Then, the Lone Soldiers Center hosts a very special English-speaking memorial for fallen IDF soldiers and Yishai was there.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Moshe Herman

A Family Holiday: Happy Birthday Israel

Monday, May 9th, 2016

At the end of every Shabbat, Eliyahu the Prophet sits under the Tree of Life and inscribes the merits of Israel — Medrash

If you’ve been watching the news, listening to the radio or keeping up with your Facebook or Twitter, you’ve surely noticed that the world is not a very friendly place. In fact, it can be downright daunting.

Nonetheless, recent polls have shown that the vast majority of Israelis (84% of those polled) are not only among the world’s most frequent and vivacious complainers (we tend to complain non-stop just about everything), but are also among the happiest and most satisfied people in the world. Our “happiness quota” places us 11th in the Western world, much higher than the U.S. and other leading countries. We seem to feel (after we’ve finished complaining, of course) that despite all the dreadful things there are to complain about, this is a great country to live in.

How does one explain this strange phenomenon?

Some of our kids have a simple explanation. “Obviously,” they say, “things aren’t so bad here after all. In fact, they’re pretty good.” They prove the point with a simple new minhag they’ve adopted.

Every Saturday night, immediately after Havdalla and before anyone runs off to turn on his phone or start his weekday activities, each family member relates one good thing he saw, heard or took part in during the week. Here’s what my grandson had to say:

“I’ll often ask people to relate something nice that happened to them during the week. They’ll respond with ‘Hmm… I can’t think of anything.’ But how could that be? An entire week went by without one single good memory? Didn’t anyone smile at you on the bus? Or help you out? Or return a lost object? Didn’t anyone do you, or someone else, a favor?

“Noticing nice things is like exercising a muscle. We’re so busy running around that we don’t take time to see what’s actually happening. If only we’d pay attention, we’d see that the world is full of good people. And the more we get in the habit of developing an ayin tova – a good eye like Avraham Avinu – the better the world looks and the less cynical we become.

“Some people,” continued my grandson, “think being more observant just means you’ll see more things to aggravate you. But it’s not true. We have to concentrate on the good. And there’s so much of it! From individuals, from organized groups, and from the government.”

Here are a few stories I’ve personally heard.

A fellow arrived at an emergency aid station and had to be transferred immediately to a hospital. But he insisted he needed to go home first to get some money. The paramedic handed him fifty shekel as a gift from her own pocket and sent him to the hospital. When he was released, he came back to the station three times until he found the paramedic and returned her money.

A boy left a pair of expensive new Tefillin in a taxi in Eilat. They were a gift from his grandfather. His name was in the bag, but not his address or phone number and he didn’t know the number of the cab or the name of the driver. Three weeks later, he received a call. The cab driver found the Tefillin and waited for a passenger going to Jerusalem. The passenger brought them back and called all the same family names in the Jerusalem telephone directory until he found the boy’s family. He refused to take any payment for returning the Tefillin. He himself was not a religious man.

Yaffa Ganz

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/features/features-on-jewish-world/a-family-holiday-happy-birthday-israel/2016/05/09/

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