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New York City is used to tragedy. Terrible things happen here all the time. But New York cannot move on, neither can the country, because the murderers are still on the loose and what happened on September 11 was not an isolated incident, but part of a pattern of attacks taking place in a clash of civilizations. New York, the crossroads of civilizations, is a natural target for the attacks. New York is to the world what Mecca was to Arabia and the new Mohammeds are eager to do to it what Mohammed did to Mecca.
Rabbi Kook explains that this misplacing of priorities between the means and the goal stems from the sin of the earth during the days of Creation. By understanding the depth of this teaching, we can learn to be happy, not only when we finally attain our goals and ideals, but also at every moment of our lives.
Kids are going back to school, and that means getting them up earlier and trying to get them to eat breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Research has shown that children who regularly eat breakfast have better test scores, better behavior and are less hyperactive than children who skip breakfast.
Rabbi Kook explains that t’shuva comes about in two distinct formats, either suddenly, or in a gradual, slowly developing fashion. Both of these pathways to t’shuva are readily found in the baal t’shuva world. Some people will tell you how their lives suddenly changed overnight. Others describe their experience as a long, challenging process which unfolded over years. Many factors influence the way in which t’shuva appears.
The expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden describes man’s existential plight. In effect, the sum of world history is mankind’s journey to return to the Garden. Not only man, but the world itself wants to return to its original state. This yearning is one of the most powerful forces of Creation. Thus the world “roars like a mighty lioness” to return to its original, ideal closeness to God.
The month of Elul is known for being the time of the year most favorable for t’shuva - generally known as penitence or repentance. But t’shuva is much more than feeling bad over the transgressions which we have committed. Rabbi Kook teaches that t’shuva is the force that makes the world go around.
I recently saw a picture of the first Agudah convention taken almost 100 years ago. There were people in all manner of dress: light suits, dark suits, vests… some had hats, some caps, some just plain Kipot. Many clean shaven, few with peyos… All were there and all were the equivalent of the Charedi world we have today. This was the Agudah of Yesteryear.
PM Benjamin Netanyahu: "The index sheds light and helps us prepare ourselves and avoid the mistake of not understanding with whom we are dealing with, who cooperates with and initiates this awful incitement. The Palestinian leadership is bequeathing this incitement to the coming generations and...it itself is incapable of adopting a dialogue of peace."
The Israel Ambulatory Pediatric Association is calling for an end to a controversial circumcision-related rite that is also under fire in New York. Direct oral-genital...
There is a fundamental difference between the times set for reciting the Shema and all other prayers. Whereas our sages linked the times for prayers to the times of the Temple sacrifices, the time for reciting Shema is fixed by the Torah itself – “beshochbechah uvekumechah” – when you lie down and when you get up.
New testimony from one of the Israeli women injured in the attack sheds new light on the investigation.
There's a big difference between a free country and a country of free things. You can have one or the other, but not both. A free country isn’t obsessed with free riders; only a country of free things obsesses over making everyone pay their fair share to the people who want the free things. The rugged individualism of Colonial America has given way to stifling crowds, co-dependent on each other, clutching at each other’s wallets, crying, “Take from him and give to me.”
In an interview with Ha'aretz last Friday, Israel’s Minister for Strategic Affairs Moshe Ya’alon made clear that for Israel the red line is Iran’s capability to produce a nuclear weapon and not Khamenei’s order to produce a bomb. He also said that Israel is not bluffing when it comes to decisive action to stop Iran and does not need an American ‘green light’ for a military strike .
Notice the amazing historical confluence of the ingathering with the communications revolution: just as the Jewish people were set to start off on the adventure of building a state in the Middle East, so too did the technology to communicate and broadcast globally explode - from the wire, to the radio, to the TV, to the internet, to the iPhone - there are no boundaries to the exchange of information.
My family and I were certain it was going to be a tasteful, Jerusalem version of some of the better Disneyland rides, like Pirates of the Caribbean: dark, with stunning images and light displays and haunting music.