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December 9, 2016 / 9 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Man’

It’s My Opinion: Be A Man

Monday, December 5th, 2016

The heroic action of a nine-year-old South Florida boy has gone viral. The youngster, Joseph Levy, caught his brother, Eitan, in mid-air as the 11 month old wriggled off of a changing table and careened toward the floor. Joseph ran over from across the room and caught the baby in his arms.

Joseph acted with prowess. The heart-stopping incident happened in a flash. His mother had turned her head for a moment and did not see what was happening. The near accident took place in the space of a few seconds.

The episode was captured on the family’s home camera. Joseph’s mother, Tila, released the footage to create awareness to other parents of what can happen in a split second of not being vigilant. Anyone who views the video will agree.

In Pirkei Avot, Hillel asserts,“In a place where there is no man, strive to be a man.” Hillel was urging his followers to be a mensch, a person who is naturally a hero because of doing the right thing. There are times in life that there is no one else to act and we are called on to take the initiative and do what needs to be done.

After the Hebrews were freed from Egypt, they stood at the edge of the yam suf. The Egyptians had changed their minds and were coming in their chariots to take back their slaves. The people cried and prayed. According to the Midrash, Hashem ordered, “Stop crying and stop praying and jump in.” Only when Nachshun jumped in to his nose did the sea part.

Congratulations, Joseph Levy. You are a role model for us all. You jumped in. You saved your brother. Kol hakavod.

Shelley Benveniste

Police Arrest Jewish Man for Saying Sh’ma Israel [video]

Sunday, December 4th, 2016

A Jewish man, 18, was arrested during a tour of the Temple Mount Sunday morning for saying Sh’ma Israel, Honenu legal aid society reported. The young man’s glasses were broken in the altercation with police.

When the young man’s tour group reached the eastern side of the Temple Mount, he asked to speak and said, “The news is full of Amona and all the fires. I don’t know about divine thinking, but I know God told the people of Israel – you don’t care about My Torah, or about the site of My Temple, so what’s the point in your thinking whether it’s the fault of the Arabs or not. It’s our fault. So we have to cry out in a loud voice, Sh’ma Israel, [Hashem Elokeinu, Hashem Echad].”

Police who were accompanying the group immediacy rushed the young man, breaking his glasses. He was arrested, and is being represented by Honenu attorney Rehavia Pilz.

In Israel, Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount is completely forbidden. Jews may enter only to visit the place, and only at limited times. Muslims are free to pray on Temple Mount five times a day, every day. Jews are forbidden from singing, praying, or making any kind of “religious displays.” These include closing one’s eyes for a suspicious length of time while moving one’s lips, and even making a blessing on an apple. Jews who are observed making those religious gestures are quickly pointed out by Jordanian Waqf agents to Israeli police on site, resulting in arrests and followed by court bans against these individuals.

During times of political tension and fear of riots, on Fridays and some Jewish or Muslim Holy Days entry to the Temple Mount area is restricted to Muslim men over a certain age, which varies according to decisions taken by security officials. The restrictions do not concern Muslim women, who can enter regardless of their age.

Israel’s Declaration of Independence states: “The State of Israel […] will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.”


David Israel

The Phantom & The Man

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

{Originally posted to Rabbi Weinberg’s website, The Foundation Stone}

In Henry James’ “The Private Life” he tells the story of one Clare Vawdrey who is visible everywhere in every conceivable situation. “He talks, he circulates, he’s awfully popular, he flirts with you.” His work is nothing like his social life for it is the work of unalloyed greatness. One evening, while Vawdrey is loitering outdoors, the narrator steals into Vawdrey’s room – only to discover him seated at his table in the dark, feverishly driving his pen. Since it is physically impossible for a material being to be in two places at one time, the narrator concludes that the social Vawdrey is a phantom, while the writer working is the real man. “One is a genius,” he explains, “the other’s the bourgeois, and it’s only the bourgeois whom we personally know.”

We meet two different Abrahams in the Torah text and the Midrash. The spiritual giant, hero, and Tzaddik of the Midrash is almost a phantom in the written text. Which is real?

I often wonder whether some people I meet are the phantom or the real person. There are ebullient and confident people who in private are depressed and insecure. Which is real and which, the phantom?

The problem is when we ask that question about ourselves: We feel one thing when praying in synagogue and another when at work. We have moments of great holiness and moments when we are very human. We often begin to ask which is real and which is the phantom, and we begin to plant seeds of doubt in our minds. Which is our real persona?

This is our challenge in this world; to learn how to simultaneously live in the spiritual and physical worlds. It is not one world or the other, or one part of us material and the other spiritual. Both are real and important. The struggle to master both is our mission and potential greatness.

The Foundation Stone™ and The Foundation Stone™Blog are filled with practical ideas and exercises, insights and suggestions, to add substance to the spiritual phantom, so as to give it more body and make it the more real part of ourselves.

Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Simcha Weinberg

The True Measure of a Man

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

{Originally posted to Rabbi Weinberg’s website, The Foundation Stone}

A span, a palm, a hand, an ohm, a knot, a stadion. How beautiful the language of measurement is and we’re not even talking iambs yet.

We probably couldn’t fit the 6,000 animals that live in the Bronx Zoo into the Intrepid, let alone into Noah’s ark that measured three hundred, by fifty, by thirty, cubits. It is as if the Torah goes out of its way to tell us that although Noah spent so many years building his massive ark, ultimately, he needed some Divine pixie dust for it to serve its purpose. The animals would gather. The lions, tigers, and bears would behave. They would all fit inside. The food would last. The roof wouldn’t leak.

The true measure of Noah was that he did not stop to ask, “Why don’t You just make the whole thing?” He worked all those years knowing that God would partner with him and make Noah’s ark far greater than his efforts; his structure, of small physical measure, would expand into a self-contained, fully functioning world.

God doesn’t need a slave to order and say: Build an ark! He could have made it in a second.  God desires a partner.  It is up to us to rise to that role. Noah’s greatness can be measured by the fact that he figured it out. He “walked with God”. Learning that we can accomplish a partnership with God is probably the biggest legacy he left, an immeasurable bequest.

Noah’s accomplishment was the stepping stone to Abraham, who takes humanity to the next stage; walking before God. This was the original intention of creation: To walk, on our own, for our own benefit.  But thank you Noah, as without knowing that we can be partners, there is little hope for us that we can be creators as well!

Thus is the true measure of every human being; his or her ability to construct a life with awareness and willingness for God to imbue the effort with His Infinite power. We are measured by our determination to build something much greater than the sum of all the effort; an eternal partnership, an eternal life.

Wishing you a 25 hour, 1,500 minute, 90,00 second, Shabbat that will become eternal and immeasurable.

Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Simcha Weinberg

Redeeming Relevance: Parshat Bereshit: Why Can’t a Man be More Like a Woman?

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

When Chava, the first woman, is created, she is immediately described as an ezer kenegdo to Adam, a helper parallel to him (Bereshit 2:18). This is a very confusing description – so much so that many commentators focus on one of these two words at the expense of the other. Some concentrate on the first word, explaining that she is a helper (see R. Y. S. Reggio), while others concentrate on the second word, and explain that she is man’s complete equal (see Kli Yakar). The rabbis (Yevamot 63a) try to take both words into account, saying that they are referring to two possibilities, depending on the righteousness of the husband: If he is righteous he will marry a woman who will help him. If not, he will marry someone who will be at cross purposes with him. While this view is adopted by Rashi as more complete, it seems to deviate from the simple meaning of the verse.

None of the explanations suggest that this new creature could be both ezer and kenegdo at the same time. But perhaps the commentators limit themselves unnecessarily. Perhaps God’s Torah reflects a different perspective – one that sometimes challenges us to stretch beyond our usual way of thinking.

From the moment he was created, Adam was told to subdue the concrete physical world. And in that world that became man’s laboratory, what is black can’t be white, and what is solid can’t be liquid. Seeing the tangible world like this, he has been tempted to think of non-physical reality in the same way: What is good could not be bad. What is heroic could not be cowardly. And what is hierarchical could not be equal.

Some contemporary feminist thinkers claim that women are less prone to think in this way. From a Biblical perspective, this can follow from their not being given the task of subduing the physical world. But maybe even more important is that their very essence is indicated by the paradoxical phrase we are trying to understand. Indeed, all of the commentators who have difficulty explaining this phrase were men.

If we think about it further, however, we would realize that the paradox of the ezer kenegdo is built into our very existence, especially when it comes to understanding God Himself. After all, being both a God of judgment and a God of mercy at the same time also seems like black and white together. Likewise, He is everywhere while inexplicably removing Himself enough for us to have our own distinct and meaningful existence.

When not applied to women, the Biblical term ezer is almost always referring to God. The various usages of the word show that its nearly universal translation as helper is correct. Yet it seems axiomatic that one who helps is following the needs of someone else, thereby making them (the helper) subservient. Of course, in the case of God, the paradox is even greater, since it is obvious that God is actually superior to those that He helps. This alone should make us understand that subservience is really not something that reduces us and makes us inferior. On the contrary, what we see is that by being subservient to others, we actually emulate God. That is to say, by helping and putting the needs of others first, we paradoxically show our true superiority, or – at least – our Divine nature. In fact, this notion is actually embedded in woman. Though she helps her partner and remains his equal, she literally nurtures her children and remains – nay, perhaps thereby becomes – their superior.

It would then seem that by being given a paradoxical nature, woman may be just a bit closer to the image of God than man. If so, it should follow – as many have suggested – that women relate more easily to the spiritual world than men. At the same time, this doesn’t mean that men are shut out from the unity of opposites manifest in the non-physical world. But unfortunately, instead of men adapting a more feminine understanding of the spiritual world, we find just the opposite.

As women have entered the material world that used to be the near-exclusive domain of men, many try to define themselves with male choices and decide to be either subservient or equal – or at least to sometimes be one and at other times the other – but no longer, both simultaneously.

Whatever the reason, mankind is getting further and further way from the spirituality that is at his (and especially her) very essence. And for that reason, it would serve us all well to appreciate the reality of the ezer kenegdo.

Rabbi Francis Nataf

Rightwing Paper Crowns Shooting Medic Azaria ‘Man of the Year’

Friday, September 30th, 2016

On Wednesday, Hagai Segal, editor of the right-leaning Makor Rishon, directed at the National Religious public, revealed on Twitter the Friday cover page of his newspaper’s Shabbat supplement Dyokan (Portrait) dedicated to their pick of Man of the Year 5776, with a flattering image of Sgt. Elor Azaria, the medic whose shot that killed a terrorist on the ground at a Hebron check post last Purim Day also appears to have killed a long-held belief that the IDF’s values and priorities were synonymous with those of the Jewish nation in Israel.

“The court will rule on the severity of his action,” says the subheadline on the same cover, “but there’s no doubt that the single bullet he shot at the terrorist ignited the stormiest debate in Israel’s society this year.”

Many readers confuse the meaning of a publication’s Man of the Year pick with an endorsement, even praise of his actions. Segal’s team made certain to convey that they picked Azaria not because they necessarily agree with his shooting of an already “neutralized” terrorist, but because of his strong influence on Israelis — the majority of whom rebelled publicly and in no uncertain terms against a confused military and political leadership that actually considered charging an IDF soldier with murder of an Arab terrorist who had already stabbed another soldier in the neck.

The military prosecution finally gave in to the tide of public rage and settled for a manslaughter indictment, which did not make it or the man at the helm of the defense apparatus, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon (Likud), more popular in the least. In the end, Ya’alon was ousted, replaced by Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu), allowing Prime Minister Netanyahu to kill two birds with one convenient stone, getting rid of an increasingly unpopular (and preachy) defense minister, and adding a crucial coalition partner to give him a safer edge in the Knesset.

Despite the fact that Israelis were preoccupied with the passing of the late Shimon Peres this week, the Segal tweet received its share of boos and applause, much of it revolving around the difference between picking the MOY because he was influential vs. being praiseworthy.

Former Peace Now chief Yariv Oppenheimer tweeted back that he’d pick Hagai Klein, the man who was shot by an Arab terrorist gunman at the Sarona Market in Tel Aviv, and despite his injury managed to tackle the shooter with his bare hands. Obviously, a brave man worthy of a medal, but few Israelis would recognize his name without Googling it.

There was one tweet suggesting the man of the year award should be given to the B’Tselem cameraman who captured the shooting — which makes sense in a big bang theory kind of way.

Meretz Chairwoman MK Zehava Galon attacked the choice on it’s merit: “Enough already,” she wrote. “Azaria didn’t ignite a debate. He shot the head of a neutralized terrorist.” She then rebuked Segal’s choice, saying that “choosing him as man of the year sends a clear message to anyone who understands it.” Meaning, obviously, that Azaria wasn’t only influential, he was also right in the eyes of many Israelis, and that in itself is dangerous.

It so happens that another Israeli newspaper, Ma’ariv, which hovers around the center-right political zone, on Friday published a column by journalist Ben Kaspit who also picked Azaria as his choice for man of the year. “One shot from Elor Azaria, a simple soldier from the Kfir Brigade, woke up all the sleeping demons in Israel’s society,” Kaspit wrote, adding, “Like it or not, Elor Aazaria was the most influential man of the year 5776.”

We will be revealing our choice for Man of the Year Saturday night. Here’s a hint: she’s not a man. Unless, of course we’ll have one of those editorial brawls today and come up with someone else. Stay tuned.

JNi.Media

Man Shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ Shot Outside Israel’s Embassy in Turkey [video]

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

A man brandishing a knife and shouting “Allahu Akbar” was shot by police as he was storming the Israeli embassy in Ankara, Turkey Wednesday afternoon, an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman and Turkish police said in a statement. Turkish police told Reuters that the attacker shouted “Allahu Akbar” as he was rushing the embassy before being shot in the leg.

“The staff is safe,” said the statement, “The attacker was wounded before he reached the embassy. The assailant was shot and wounded by a local security man.”

The area outside the embassy was cordoned off and Police examined the bag the attacker was carrying and it either did not contain explosives, or the explosives were not activated, according to Reuters.

CNN’s Turkish channel reported the man had attempted to stab embassy personnel before being shot in the leg, and appeared mentally unstable. Turkish NTV reported two assailants had tried to storm the embassy.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/man-shouting-allahu-akbar-shot-outside-israels-embassy-in-turkey-video/2016/09/21/

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