web analytics
July 29, 2016 / 23 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘line’

The Most Beautiful Picture of Israelis Ever Shot

Friday, November 9th, 2012

The two men in this picture are Chief of Operations for the Southern Front Yitzhak Rabin and Southern Front Commander Yigal Allon, in 1949. It’s a cold day somewhere on the dunes east or south of Gaza. Neither man has slept much, which is evident from Rabin’s messy hair.

Alon, four years older and considered deeper than his lieutenant, is looking at Rabin with a kind of fatherly gaze. The burden of war, the weariness of daily engagements, are evident in their posture. Neither one looks particularly happy or even content.

But it’s a beautiful picture in my eyes, because it depicts a moment so suffused with potential in our history. There’s the thinker, Alon, and Rabin, an anti-intellectual if ever there was one, and at that frozen moment in time you can’t yet tell that all their efforts to lead the Jewish experience in the Land of Israel to a benign, normal, familiar, civilized conclusion would crash, one after the other, against the harsh realities of the Middle East.

Neither one of them was a fool, neither one was kidding himself that our neighbors are bursting with joy at the idea of accepting, much less embracing us into their midst. Both died having done everything humanly possible, including countless times putting their lives on the line, seeking that acceptance.

There is beauty in failure. It is quiet, hidden, humble. The beauty of two young men in the middle of a battle outside Gaza, hair blowing in the wind, eyes red from lack of sleep, daring to hope.

The boys and girls of my generation have grown up with that image emblazoned in our retinas as the best that an Israeli person could be.

I’m glad that phase is over. I’m looking forward to images of new, beautiful Israelis, like the famous young paratrooper at the Kotel in 1967. Or, better yet, a young windsurfer at the Olympic games. I’m totally open to suggestions.

Yori Yanover

Smell the Grass

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

When was the last time you walked across a field of grass?

Wait, a whole bunch of you just looked up at the ceiling and thought…what the heck is she talking about? You probably walk through a field of grass every day, don’t you? Well, if not a field, a lawn, right?

Israel is a land that was, according to the Bible and logic, very fertile. I believe I read somewhere that when the Romans conquered Judea and sent the Jews into exile, they salted the earth to prevent our return. I googled it…yeah, google is now a verb… and there are more than 50,000,000 references to it. I didn’t click on them to see if it was true or not. The bottom line is still the same.

Much of Israel is short on water – we have desert as our southern half and even towards the north, we don’t really have lush, green mountains. Where we have fields of grass, they are usually cultivated and watered. Otherwise, they aren’t really grass, but rather weeds that grow in the winter months and die in the summer.

I went to a Microsoft conference today – they put on a light and dance show that was incredible. I have to write about the amazing technologies I saw there, the wonderful things Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer said about Israel. I want a Surface computer SO badly… I would love a Windows 8 phone. I ache for a convertible laptop and have given up the idea of buying a laptop until I can afford one. Just wow…

And with my head filled with the wonders of what Microsoft is bringing to the world… I began the walk back to my car. And, as I crossed the road, I opted for the shortcut so many others were taking…across the grass.

I grew up in America – where there is so much grass – we all had front lawns and back lawns and had to cut the grass regularly. I can still remember the smell of cut grass, of grass after a rain. I stopped thinking of Microsoft and looked down at the grass – there were people in front of me, people behind me. I couldn’t stop to touch it, though deep down I longed to.

I don’t know if you’ve ever stopped to think about the wonders of grass (the legitimate kind, naturally) – but it’s important to take that time in life – to feel the grass under your feet as you walk. I’ll remember Microsoft’s products from today… but I think part of me will also remember the grass.

Visit A Soldier’s Mother.

Paula R. Stern

Miami Beach Chabad House Torah Studies Catalog

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Chabad House in Miami Beach has released its Torah Studies catalog of classes for the first season of the 2013 academic year. All classes will be held at The Chabad House, 669 North Lincoln Lane, Miami Beach. The sessions are open to men and women.

Chabad of Miami Beach values a deep and rich learning experience.

Its Torah Studies program is of the highest caliber, developed by the world-renowned Rohr Jewish Learning Institute. The program brings a series of stimulating text- and discussion-based classes on a weekly basis:

Livening The Human Core – Tues, Oct 30, 7:30 p.m. How to Get Up when Life is Down. Material worries cause emotional drain, depleting us of our inner reserves and the conviction to go on. This class introduces profound advice from the prophet Elisha about how to reignite our inner spark.

Behind the Wedding Ring – Tues, Nov 6, 7:30 p.m. Steps to Acquiring a Flourishing Marriage. Marriage is forever. Husband and wife should both feel they are getting a winning deal. These are some of the secrets we explore as we unravel the surprising biblical origins of the wedding ring.

Living to Laugh – Tues, Nov 13, 7:30 p.m. Humor as our Reason for Being.

What makes us laugh? What gives us our greatest giggles? Humor is born from the radically unexpected, unfamiliar, and abnormal. This lesson views laughter as the purpose of life, that by transcending and defying our nature we can make God chuckle.

Jacob’s Ladder – Tues, Nov 20, 7:30 p.m. Actualizing Your Higher Calling. Climbing from who we are to what we can become is perhaps life’s greatest challenge. This lesson introduces a practical daily meditative exercise to keep our potential in sight and the tools to actualize it.

A Love Called Hatred – Tues, Nov 27. The Fascinating Story of King Menasheh. The opposite of love is not hatred but indifference. Hatred is love turned sour. When people are too gripped by love to let go and be indifferent, they instead redefine their strong relationship as hate. This lesson examines the biography of a hateful Jewish king who ultimately uncovered the love behind his hatred.

The Tune of Ambivalence – Tues, Dec 4, 7:30 p.m. Navigating Through Tough Existential Dilemmas. Discover the guiding principles that help us make critical and courageous decisions. Torn between temptation, hesitation, and cognitive dissonance, this lesson examines three biblical tales of everyday struggle that share a common tune – literally!

Decorate, Then Sweep – Tues, Dec 11, 7:30 p.m. (Chanukah). Starting Out on a Positive Note. You need to rid yourself of bad habits to inculcate positive ones, but if you don’t start with the good right away, you may end up waiting forever. This lesson explores the pros and cons of cognitive versus behavioral therapy and the wisdom in the order of the Chanukah candles and of Joseph’s sons.

Reconstructing Crossed Lines – Tues, Dec 18, 7:30 p.m. An Exploration of the Workings of Teshuvah. When we cross a line, we become desensitized to the line and prone to cross it again. How do we return to our former selves? This lesson explores the innovative, three-step process Joseph used to aid his brothers return, including reconstructing their original circumstances to prove they had truly changed.

Deaf to Nuance – Tues, Dec 25, 7:30p.m. The Positive Side to Selective Hearing. Subtleties sometimes dilute and distort the lines of truth, and complexity gets in the way of us standing up for what is right. This lesson amplifies the story of Chushim – the deaf grandson of Jacob – who stood by the obvious when others were blinded by the details.

Shelley Benveniste

Rosenblatt v. Silverman: A Culture War

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

The numerous comments we’ve received on Rabbi Rosenblatt’s Open Letter to Sarah Silverman are fascinating. Once you get past the expletives, you can learn a lot about the culture that produced them. The statements and the tone of the comments demonstrate the differences, even the massive gap between Jewish culture and Jewish-American culture.

Rosenblatt addressed a public figure who has no problems exposing her inner self and saying whatever is on her mind on any subject, no matter how offensive or inappropriate it might be to anyone. Rosenblatt questioned what her underlying motives might be and offered what he believes is the answer. He couched his message, as Silverman sometimes does hers, using his notion of Judaic values and cultural identity.

And that’s when it hit the fan.

Certainly it’s permissible, possible, even easy to disagree with Rosenblatt’s explanation and worldview. I certainly expected to see some intelligent conversations developing around the article. But why all the openly hostile obscenity?

Silverman’s father’s foul mouthed reaction was the first indication that Rosenblatt had inadvertently hit a very raw nerve.

By and large, the commenters were using an obvious double standard. They claimed the Rabbi crossed the line. The Rabbi was offensive. The Rabbi was [fill in the obscene word], and followed it up with their thoughts on Judaism (in some cases displaying ignorance and hatred).

Yet, Silverman, who prides herself on her “potty mouth” and crossing the verbal line on many social mores is untouchable and can do no wrong.

When Sarah Silverman, on video, propositions Sheldon Adelson, using her doggie in mock soft-porn as substitute for the elderly billionaire — that’s humor and acceptable.

When Rabbi Rosenblatt tells Sarah Silverman to get married and have children — that’s an expression of hatred and intolerance.

The question is, why?

I propose that many of the Jewish-American commenters got so upset because the Rabbi crossed a line. But the line he crossed was not about his views on motherhood, but rather his views on the role of the Rabbi and of Judaism.

Judaism, to some of those commenters, belongs locked in a box in a synagogue, and should never be allowed out to offer any moral observations, opinions or guidelines that disagree with the most permissive of Western cultural values.

As expressed by some of these commenters, Silverman actually represents “Judaism” to them.

Some of them might have a list of humanitarian/liberal values and call them Jewish values, while taking traditional Jewish values like Shabbat and Kashrut (as well as Judaism’s own social values), and relegating them to archaic, comical, even dark places in the culture.

For them, Judaism is Liberalism. A definition and identity where anything is permitted, alongside a strong pride in their cultural/ethnic identity as Jews, regardless of whether that identity actually represent a Jewish value system, or an accident of birth.

The question is certainly open as to whether the Rabbi was right or wrong in his analysis of Silverman, but one thing is clear, Rosenblatt rattled something deep and painful in the psyches of those who define themselves as cultural/ethnic Jews, without any actual Judaism to go with it.

Finally, we don’t moderate comments on our website, because we believe in the free exchange of ideas. But as our guests, we request that you refrain from obscenities and Antisemitism in your remarks.

Stephen Leavitt

How Marriage Can Make You Richer

Monday, October 15th, 2012

Comedian Billy Connolly once said, “Marriage is a wonderful invention; then again, so is a bicycle repair kit.” However, what Mr. Connolly probably was not aware of when he said this was that marriage can also prolong your life more than a bicycle repair kit would.

Once retired, married couples tend to live longer than single people do, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. But they don’t just live longer. They also accumulate more wealth during their working years. Of course, every retired person’s situation is different. Some have managed to accrue enough savings and successful investments in their working years to have a comfortable life, while for others, when their income drops post-retirement they have very few resources.

Some people can retire well even though they have minimal savings. This is because they may have assets, such as a house and pension benefits, that allow them to live comfortably.

What was interesting in the National Bureau of Economic Research’s study was that it showed that single people accrued far fewer assets than married people, even though they had fewer people to support during their lifetime. Interestingly, 57% of single-person households were left with no housing wealth or just $10,000 in savings when they passed away. While the surviving spouses of married folks were often hit hard financially when they were widowed, they still did better in terms of asset accumulation than their single peers.

The bottom line is that in financial terms, marriage may be justified. For example, although there are usually more dependents in a marriage situation, such as children and/or a stay-at-home spouse, couples are more likely to put down roots and buy a house, which can significantly boost their net assets, post-mortgage payments. And when both partners in a marriage have worked, then the differences in asset accumulation are even more obvious.

While comedians often like to make fun of marriage and family life, there is nothing funny about its potential to make you richer, or your retirement more comfortable. And if you and your spouse are so inclined to go bike riding, don’t forget to bring along your bicycle repair kit.  It, like marriage can make your future more secure.

Doug Goldstein, CFP®

Shariah Card: Charge Your Way to Mecca

Sunday, October 14th, 2012

Users of a Shariah-compliant credit card from the United Arab Emirates can charge their purchases according to Islamic law, direct their prayers toward Mecca, and even put a little aside for the Hajj.

Al Hillaj Bank’s new credit card charges no interest on loans, keeping in line with Shariah law forbidding the charging of interest.  The card gives a percentage of the money spent to charity, and features a small compass which can help the Muslim devotee direct his or her prayers toward Mecca 5 times a day.

And it may help him get there in person.  Card users are eligible for travel vouchers which help pay their way to Mecca on the obligatory pilgrimage which occurs there annually.

Malkah Fleisher

Why They Love Osama, Hate Obama, and How Obama Uses the Same Tactics at Home

Friday, October 5th, 2012

Visit Rubin Reports.

Why are tens of thousands of Middle Eastern Muslims chanting about how much they love Osama bin Ladin and how much they hate Barack (Hussein) Obama?

Simple. Because bin Ladin was a Muslim and an Arab (for the Arab demonstrators) and thus he was one of their people, someone from their side, whatever tactical disagreements they might have had with him. And Obama isn’t. No amount of groveling, apology, or money will change that fact. Isn’t that clear?

I should quickly add that many Muslims don’t support the Islamists. In elections in Libya and Tunisia, a majority voted for non-Islamist parties. Even in Egypt when the showdown came in the presidential election the Muslim Brotherhood candidate won by only a narrow margin. Most Lebanese don’t support the Islamists (the main force of which is Hizballah, a Shia group). There are, of course, plenty of Islamists and they have lots of sympathizers. They can cite chapter and verse from Islamic holy texts.

Yet that doesn’t make all Muslims supporters of revolutionary Islamism or advocates of Shia totalitarian states, no matter how many times people who are ignorant about Islam and the Middle East run their little rants. Those rants are just as false as the “Islam is a religion of peace” nonsense.

But that’s not my point here. The key element for this article is this:

When solidarity along group lines takes priority and the line is that all of “us” must unite against the “other” no matter what truth, logic, or justice dictates then that means serious trouble.

Well, guess what? That is the line of the Obama Administration and its Newest Left supporters. All African-Americans should support the regime because Obama is Black and anyone opposing him is a racist. All “Hispanics” should support the president because he really wants open borders and the turning of all illegal immigrants into citizens, while everyone else is a racist.

All women should support the ruling group and leftist ideology because it wants to give them free birth control and anyone on the other side hates women. And everyone who receives a government check has to support the regime or someone might take away their check. Actually what’s most likely to take away their check is the bankruptcy of the programs due to over-spending.

In other words, the dominant forces in the mass media and academia and the current government and their supporters are tearing America apart by inciting interest groups to hate each other, make war on each other, and give loyalty primarily to their group no questions asked.

And this is precisely the kind of thing that makes Middle Eastern Muslims who even if they were Islamists–like the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafist groups—hated bin Ladin when he was alive opportunistically turn him into a martyr. The creation of a hysterical mob mentality for political gain is not restricted to the Middle East.

Visit Rubin Reports.

Barry Rubin

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/rubin-reports/why-they-love-osama-hate-obama-and-how-obama-uses-the-same-tactics-at-home/2012/10/05/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: