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September 30, 2014 / 6 Tishri, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘line’

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

We Will Never Be Uprooted Again

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

(The following is adapted from the Israeli prime minister’s address to the United Nations last week.)

Three thousand years ago, King David reigned over the Jewish state in our eternal capital, Jerusalem. I say that to all those who proclaim that the Jewish state has no roots in our region and that it will soon disappear.

The Jewish people have lived in the land of Israel for thousands of years. Even after most of our people were exiled from it, Jews continued to live in the land of Israel throughout the ages. The masses of our people never gave up the dream of returning to our ancient homeland.

Defying the laws of history, we did just that. We ingathered the exiles, restored our independence and rebuilt our national life. The Jewish people have come home. We will never be uprooted again.

In Israel, we walk the same paths tread by our patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But we blaze new trails in science, technology, medicine, agriculture. In Israel, the past and the future find common ground.

Unfortunately, that is not the case in many other countries. For today, a great battle is being waged between the modern and the medieval.

The forces of modernity seek a bright future in which the rights of all are protected, in which an ever-expanding digital library is available in the palm of every child, in which every life is sacred.

The forces of medievalism seek a world in which women and minorities are subjugated, in which knowledge is suppressed, in which not life but death is glorified.

These forces clash around the globe, but nowhere more starkly than in the Middle East.

Israel stands proudly with the forces of modernity. We protect the rights of all our citizens: men and women, Jews and Arabs, Muslims and Christians – all are equal before the law.

Israel is also making the world a better place: our scientists win Nobel Prizes. Our know-how is in every cell-phone and computer that you’re using. We prevent hunger by irrigating arid lands in Africa and Asia.

And Israel’s exceptional creativity is matched by our people’s remarkable compassion. When disaster strikes anywhere in the world – in Haiti, Japan, India, Turkey, Indonesia and elsewhere – Israeli doctors are among the first on the scene, performing life-saving surgeries.

In the past year, I lost both my father and my father-in-law. In the same hospital wards where they were treated, Israeli doctors were treating Palestinian Arabs. In fact, every year, thousands of Arabs from the Palestinian territories and Arabs from throughout the Middle East come to Israel to be treated in Israeli hospitals by Israeli doctors.

It’s because Israel cherishes life that Israel cherishes peace and seeks peace.

We seek to preserve our historic ties and our historic peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan. We seek to forge a durable peace with the Palestinians.

Israel wants to see a Middle East of progress and peace. Yet the medieval forces of radical Islam oppose this. They seek supremacy over all Muslims. They are bent on world conquest. They want to extinguish freedom.

Some seventy years ago, the world saw another fanatic ideology bent on world conquest. It went down in flames. But not before it took millions of people with it. Those who opposed that fanaticism waited too long to act. In the end they triumphed, but at an horrific cost.

We cannot let that happen again.

At stake is not merely the future of my own country. At stake is the future of the world. Nothing could imperil our common future more than the arming of Iran with nuclear weapons.

To understand what the world would be like with a nuclear-armed Iran, just imagine the world with a nuclear-armed al-Qaeda.

It makes no difference whether these lethal weapons are in the hands of the world’s most dangerous terrorist regime or the world’s most dangerous terrorist organization. They’re both fired by the same hatred; they’re both driven by the same lust for violence.

Just look at what the Iranian regime has done up till now, without nuclear weapons. In 2009 it brutally put down mass protests for democracy in its own country. Today, its henchmen are participating in the slaughter of tens of thousands of Syrian civilians, including thousands of children, directly participating in this murder.

Jerusalem Walking Tour (Along part of the 1948 armistice line)

Friday, September 28th, 2012

For 19 years Yerushalayim was a city divided, cut in two by the 1948 armistice line. After Israel’s War of Independence on November 30, 1948, at the time of the official cease-fire, Moshe Dayan sat with Abdallah Tell and UN mediators, slicing up Yerushalayim. Using a map scaled at 1:20,000, each side used a different coloured wax pen to delineate the furthest point under its control. Israel drew a red line and Jordan a green line. This is the origin of the phrase used to describe land that is “behind the green line.”

Beit Israel Shul of Yemin Moshe

The 1948 armistice line in Yerushalayim stretched from Armon HaNatziv in the south of Jerusalem to Ammunition Hill to the north of the City. In many places the two lines converged. In addition, as the wax of the China graphic pens dried, the coloured ink lines spread out until they coved two millimetres of the map which equaled 200 meters. The drying ink caused a delicate problem as to where the exact boundaries were. For example, part of the neighbourhood of Musrara remained in a deadlock until an agreement was reached in July 1951.

Mount Scopus, where the Hebrew University and Hadassah Hospital are situated, remained in Jewish hands, although it was unequivocally within the Jordanian boundary. Twice a week, our soldiers disguised as policemen would travel in a convoy in order to be able to reach Mount Scopus to guard the area. The original sites of Hebrew University and Hadassah Hospital were technically under the protection of the United Nations, but despite the “Mount Scopus Agreement,” the institutions were not permitted to reopen.

Jordan was a threatening enemy state.

Along the seam of the division line on the Israeli side, people lived in danger and anxiety. At any given moment the trigger-happy Jordanian soldiers might open fire on innocent civilians. Many times children playing in front of their homes were shot at. Mothers would scream to their children to take cover.

As time passed, both sides built walls and fences for defence and security reasons. The Jordanians had 36 posts around the City, as compared to Israel’s 19.

Entrance to Cable Car Monument on Rehov Derech Hebron

Our starting point on the walking tour is the gas station next to Liberty Bell Park. We begin our brisk walk though the suburbs, facing the old city walls that had been turned into a frontier-like no-man’s land from 1948 until 1967. Our first stop is the Har Tzion Hotel, at the Cable Car Monument, on Derech Chevron. Here, the Duke of Kent, who was member of the British Order of the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, built a hospice for eye diseases in the 1880’s. At the time there were about four hundred different eye afflictions. The Ottoman army used the building as a weapons storehouse during the First World War. During the War of Independence fire from the Arab League made it impossible to reach positions on Har Tzion from the west of the City. At first the connection was maintained by means of a tunnel though the wadi. The tunnel made it possible to transfer supplies and evacuate the injured. This method obviously had its limitations.

Uriel Hefetz formulated a solution in December of 1948. A 200 meter (656 foot) steel cable was stretched across the Hinnon Valley, linking the Eye Hospital to the Israeli position on Har Tzion. It was only used at night, so that Jordanian Legion soldiers would not notice any activity. At the end of each night, the cable would be lowered down into the valley. The cable car reached a height of about 50 meters (164 feet) above the wadi. The rail cart could carry a maximum weight of about a half a ton. Three soldiers on each side were responsible for operating the cable car manually. The journey lasted about two minutes in each direction. Although it was used for only half a year, the IDF maintained it in perfect working condition from 1948 until 1967, in case it needed to be used again. The cable car was kept a military secret for twenty-four years, and its existence was only revealed to the public in 1972.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/travel/jerusalem-walking-tour-along-part-of-the-1948-armistice-line/2012/09/28/

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