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September 29, 2016 / 26 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Man’

A Man Of High Rank

Monday, September 19th, 2016

There are those who gain their Olam Habah in one hour in this world. And there are those who spend every hour in this world infusing it with Olam Habah. Such a man was Uri Shlomai whose sojourn in this world was brief but who filled every waking moment with working for the klal.

Uri Shlomai left this world a few days shy of his 49th birthday after a 9-month battle with cancer. He left a grieving father, a heartbroken wife, a devastated son and three daughters and two distraught sisters. But more than that, he left a legacy of a life devoted to the nation and country of Israel.

Born to two Hebrew teachers who spent many years of shlichut in Canada, Uri served as a lone soldier while his family was in Montreal. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in Intelligence and had a long and distinguished army career.

After the army, in keeping with the practice of stationing an honor guard near the flag for Yom HaZikaron, he instituted a rotation of at least two people learning mishnayot every half hour near the flag on the main street of the Petach Tikvah neighborhood where he lived.

Uri volunteered for Magen David Adom and was part of an army contingent that was sent on a rescue mission to Nepal by Israel after an earthquake there in 2015.

In Nepal courtesy of ZAKA spokesperson.

In Nepal courtesy of ZAKA spokesperson.

With his high energy and commitment to contributing to the klal, Uri looked for gaps to fill. Even while in the throes of his illness he launched a Parshat Hashavua initiative.

Uri personified the ideal of the Mizrachi philosophy which has given Israel the cream of its society: people with dedication to hearth, home and community, an impeccable army service record and Torah learning.

After the army, Uri, who had a Master’s Degree in organizational consulting and strategic development as well as being a licensed life coach, sought to teach mastery of life both to individuals and companies. He not only believed in giving everyone the opportunity to live up to his or her potential, he insisted on it, but without being pushy or intrusive.

He was a devoted and loving and father to his four children and a wonderful husband to his wife Rinatya who also serves the klal in her job as an occupational therapist and matchmaker.

Despite the late hour, the heat and the humidity of August, and the short notice, hundreds of people came to say goodbye to this young man who had accomplished so much and died so young. It was a very long and difficult goodbye as he was eulogized by rabbis, his father and his children.

A few days before he died, Uri’s 11-year-old daughter Tamar, somehow instinctively knowing that to wait till his birthday would be too late, gave him a small painting she made for him depicting all the things he was best at. She called it “To the Best Father in the World.” It showed him giving her a big hug, his service to the country as a soldier, his volunteer work in MADA, and his hobbies, windsurfing and cooking. It was like she had prepared the canvas of his life to present in Beit Din shel Maalah. But she needn’t have worried. They have a record of his deeds there – an impeccable record for a soldier in Hashem’s army, one who received an early discharge with distinction.
Lillui nishmat Uri ben Asher Anschel, z”l.

Rosally Saltsman

If I Were A Rich Man

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

Place upon yourself a king…. He shall not greatly increase silver and gold for himself.” – Devarim 17:16-20

 

The Torah commands us to appoint a king to rule over the Jewish people. However, there are various warnings given to the king. He should not acquire too many horses, should not take too many wives, and should not amass too much gold and silver.

The Daas Zakainim explains each of these excesses is singled out to protect the king from a particular danger. The danger of amassing too much wealth is that it leads to arrogance.

This Daas Zakainim is difficult to understand because, as the Rambam explains, we are obligated to treat a king with great honor; it is vital for his effectiveness as a ruler. As a result, any individual, even the greatest talmid chacham or navi, who walks into the chambers of a king must bow down full face to the ground. No person is allowed to sit down in his presence. Additionally, the king himself must guard his kavod. He isn’t allowed to stand for any man in public. He isn’t allowed to use titles of honor for anyone else. If he commands a person to leave the room and that man refuses, the king has the right to have him killed.

At the same time, a king is expected to remain humble. The Torah isn’t afraid the great honor accorded to him will bring him to arrogance. He is capable of maintaining his sense of balance by understanding that honor isn’t due to him but rather his position. He is still a mortal human.

The question then becomes obvious. If the king is capable of maintaining his humility despite the extraordinary honor accorded him, why is the Torah so fearful he will become arrogant if he amasses wealth? It’s as if the Torah is saying, “Honor he can handle, but wealth? Impossible!”

Why would it be so difficult for him not to be conceited if he acquired wealth? The answer to this question is based on a deeper understanding of the human personality.

The Antidote to Honor

Honor is a difficult life test. When a person is given status and accord, it is natural for him to feel different, apart and above the rest of the human race. Power, too, is a grave test. When a person feels he can control the destiny of other people, he runs the risk of feeling self-important, significant, and mighty. However, these are situations a person can deal with.

The antidote to honor is to remember where I came from and where I am going. I must understand that today I am being given great honor, but it will pass quickly. Today they sing my praises; tomorrow they will forget my name. That is the way of the world.

Power is also something a person can learn to deal with. As I stand here now, I control the destiny of others. But do I? Do I really have power? I can’t even control whether I will be alive tomorrow or not. When I lay my head on the pillow this evening, it is not in my control to will myself alive tomorrow. When my time is up, it’ll be over, and there is nothing I can do to change that. The big, powerful, mighty me can’t even control whether I exist or not.

In that sense, honor and power are potentially dangerous, but a person can be humble despite them.

Great wealth is different. Wealth brings a person to a much more dangerous sense of himself – a sense of independence. “I am rich! I don’t need anyone! I don’t need my wife. I don’t need my children. I don’t even need Hashem! I can buy and sell the whole world!”

This seems to be the answer to the Daas Zakainim. Because this sense of independence is almost a natural outgrowth of wealth, the Torah warns a king of Israel not amass too much of it. He may be a great man, and he might be able to keep his sense of balance despite many temptations, but wealth will almost certainly lead to arrogance, and it is something even a man as great as a king in Israel will not be able to resist.

In Our World

This concept has great relevance to us. Whether we are wealthy as compared to others or not, the reality is that we enjoy great berachah living in the 21st century. We enjoy material possessions, luxuries, and opportunities that were unheard of in previous generations.

One of the great dangers of living in these times is the sense of independence. “I am young, strong, and healthy. I can forge my own way. I don’t need anyone; I can make it on my own. I am independent.”

While on one level this sense is central to being an effective human being, it is also fraught with danger. A person must remain clear-headed in his understanding of Who really is in charge here. I am not the Master of the universe, nor even the master of my destiny. I am dependent. I depend on my Creator for my daily bread, my health, my success, and my existence. With this understanding, a man can enjoy great berachah and still remain humble.

When a person is humble, the rest of his character traits naturally fall into place. But when a person is arrogant, the rest of his middos are out of balance as well. An arrogant person becomes angry easily. A humble man doesn’t. An arrogant individual doesn’t feel the pain of others, but a humble man does. The pivot point of all good middos is humility.

Just as humility is the center of a person’s character development, so too is it the cornerstone of his avodas Hashem. Any sense of arrogance is a denial of my dependence upon Hashem.

This sense of dependence upon my Creator brings a person balance and internal happiness because he is in synch with his himself. He doesn’t need to self-inflate and create illusions about his worth. Ultimately, it leads a person to success in this world and the World to Come.

Rabbi Ben Tzion Shafier

Jewish Man Arrested for Bowing on Temple Mount

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

A Jewish visitor who was on a tour of the Temple Mount Thursday morning committed the crime of bowing, which was immediately detected by the Wakf authority running the compound and Israel Police was alerted. The man, in his 60s, was arrested at once. He is represented by legal aid society Honenu’s attorney Rehavia Pilz.

David Israel

Jewish Man Arrested for Saying Shema on Temple Mount

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

A young Jewish man was arrested on the Temple Mount Thursday afternoon, for suspicion of saying “Shema Israel,” legal aid society Honenu reported. The detainee is being represented by a Honenu attorney.

The latest time to say the Shema on Thursday according to Jewish law was 9:27:29 AM, which suggests the young man was only reading the verse, rather than uttering it as part of his daily prayer, and should argue for a reduced sentence (Berachot 10b).

On the other hand, the young man could have been a Hasid, in which case he may have considered his uttering of the Shema to be part of his morning prayer, and his punishment should thus be more severe.

Regarding Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, the 2010 US State Dept. report on religious freedom round the world apparently finds it disturbing that “a government policy since 1967, upheld repeatedly by the Supreme Court and routinely enforced by the police, denies religious freedom at the Temple Mount to all non-Muslims, although the government ensured limited access to the historic site to everyone regardless of religious beliefs. Only Muslims were allowed to pray at the site, although their access has been occasionally restricted due to security concerns. The police accompanied Jewish visitors to the site and removed them if they appear to be praying. Since 2000 the Jordanian Waqf that managed the site restricted all non-Muslims from entering the Dome of the Rock shrine and Al Aqsa Mosque.”

However, the 2014 DOS report on religious freedom appears to approve of the fact that the Israeli government limits Jewish religious observance at the Temple Mount, “though some Jewish groups sought to either legally overturn this policy or modify it to permit Jewish prayer, actions that were at times followed by a violent response from Muslim worshippers.”

David Israel

Mayer Herskovic Accused of Leading Beating of Brooklyn Black Gay Man [video]

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

Mayer Herskovic, a Hasidic man who is on trial for his role in an assault on gay African-American Taj Patterson that left the latter blind in one eye, was accused on Wednesday by the victim of being the “ringleader,” the NY Daily News reported. Herskovic is looking at 25 years in prison for his role in the attack. His DNA was found on the heel of Patterson’s sneaker, which was found on the roof of a nearby building.

Police presented security camera footage showing a large group of Hasidic men converging on a street corner.

Patterson, 25, testified in Brooklyn Supreme Court that on Dec. 1, 2013, around 4:30 AM, following a birthday party, he was walking home to Fort Greene through Williamsburg, and was chased on Flushing Ave. by three Hasidic men who screamed “something negative” at him. Moments later, Patterson testified, as many as 17 more Hasidic men joined the attack.

“They threw me to the ground, dragged me on my knees, told me to ‘stay on the ground you [expletive].’ I was kicked in the face and saw a flash of white,” Patterson told the court.

He testified that he was pinned down against a chain-linked fence and was kicked and punched by his assailants. “That same individual who stood in the middle of the three men kicked me in the face, the ringleader,” said Patterson. But he was not able to identify Mayer Herskovic as one of the assailants to police or to Judge Danny Chun. He was, however, able to punch the alleged leader and break his glasses, the defense found out during cross-examination.

Patterson has undergone three surgeries to treat facial fractures and severe retinal damage that’s left him blind in one eye.

Charges were dropped against two Hasidic men who had been indicted in 2014, and two other men, Pinchas Braver and Abraham Winkler, pleaded guilty to unlawful imprisonment and were sentenced to 150 hours of community service and a $1,400 fine.

JNi.Media

Can A Man Be Motzi A Woman?

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

This week’s parshah, Parshas Vaeschanan, contains the second set of Aseres Hadibros. The fourth dibrah is keeping Shabbos, but there are variations between the text of this dibra in Parshas Vaeschanan and Parshas Yisro. In Parshas Yisro, the dibrah reads, “Zachor es yom hashabbos lekadesho.” In this week’s parshah, it reads, “Shamor es yom hashabbos lekadesho.”

The Gemara (Shevuos 20b) states that Hashem actually said both these pesukim at the same time and that this is a phenomenon which a human cannot do or even hear. It states further – based on this dibrah – that women are obligated in the mitzvah of Kiddush m’d’Oraisa on Shabbos despite the fact that it is a mitzvas assei shehazman grama. The mitzvah of Kiddush is derived from the pasuk of zachor and the pasuk of shamor is the source for the negative prohibitions of Shabbos. The Gemara says that the fact that “shamor” and zachor” were said at the same time teaches us that they are connected, and therefore anyone who is obligated to keep the negative commandments of Shabbos, which includes women, is also obligated to keep the positive comandments of Shabbos, namely to recite Kiddush.

The halacha is that even if a person has already fulfilled a mitzvah he can still be motzi another who has not yet fulfilled it. Therefore, even if a person has already made Kiddush for himself he can still recite it for another person who has not yet heard it. This is known as “af al pi she’yatza, motzi” (Rosh Hashanah 29a).

Rashi on the Gemara explains that a person may be motzi another even if he has already fulfilled his obligation because all of klal Yisrael are areivim for each other regarding their mitzvah obligations. The Ran adds that since we are all areivim for each other, a person has not really fulfilled his obligation (even if he did the mitzvah) as long as another person has not yet fulfilled it. Therefore, he may perform the mitzvah and recite a berachah on behalf of a second person.

But does this apply to a man reciting Kiddush for a woman? Can he make Kiddush for her even if he already made Kiddush himself? The answer to this question depends on whether men share arvus with women.

The Gemara (Berachos 20b) discusses whether a woman is obligated to say Birchas Hamazon m’d’Oraisa or only m’d’rabbanan. If she is only obligated m’d’rabbanan, she cannot recite Birchas Hamazon for a man who is obligated m’d’Oraisa. The Rosh explains that she cannot do so because women are not included in arvus with men. There is a machlokes regarding the correct interpretation of the Rosh’s statement.

The Noda B’Yehudah (in Dagul Mervavah) understands the Rosh literally, and rules that women are not included in arvus with men. Rav Akiva Eiger understands the Rosh differently. He explains that the Rosh made his statement only regarding the opinion that women are not biblically obligated to say Birchas Hamazon. According to this opinion, women do not share an arvus with men because the latter are biblically obligated to say Birchas Hamazon. Generally speaking, though, women do share an arvus with men.

Returning to the question of a man making Kiddush for a woman if he already made Kiddush himself: According to the Nodeh B’Yehuda, a man would not be allowed to do so. According to Rav Akiva Eiger, though, he would. Since both men and women are obligated to make Kiddush, there is arvus between them regarding this mitzvah.

This machlokes is also relevant in regards to making Kiddush for a woman on Friday night if she has not yet davened. According to most opinions, men fulfill their obligation m’d’Oraisa to recite Kiddush when they daven shemoneh essrei. Reciting Kiddush on a cup of wine at home is only a d’rabanan obligation. But if woman has not yet davened, her Kiddush obligation is d’oraisa. How, then, can the man (whose obligation is m’drabanan) motzi the woman (whose obligation is m’d’Oraisa)?

Rabbi Raphael Fuchs

Lakewood Man Loses Bid to Change Guilty Plea in $200 Million Ponzi Scheme

Monday, August 15th, 2016

Eliyahu Weinstein, 41, a Lakewood man sentenced to 22 years in prison in 2014 for a Ponzi scheme that defrauded members of the Jewish Orthodox community of an estimated $200 million, on Friday lost his appeal to withdraw his guilty plea.

The new Weinstein plea argued that the federal judge who presided over his case, in which Weinstein admitted defrauding fellow Jewish investors on a Facebook initial public offering, was biased against the defendant because he was also involved in a case in which Weinstein pleaded guilty to a real estate scheme. Weinstein also accused his own lawyer in the 2014 Facebook IPO case of a conflict of interest because he had advised some of Weinstein’s investors, and feared his own prosecution. Weinstein’s new plea also argued that the Facebook case constituted double jeopardy.

On Friday, a three-judge panel with the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Weinstein’s plea, finding that judge’s participation in the real estate scheme was too limited to suggest a bias and that Weinstein’s plea was based on “unsubstantiated hearsay.” The panel also absolved Weinstein’s original attorney of the accusation of conflict of interest, because when that lawyer was counseling clients on the IPO investment his assumption was that their money would be invested, not end up in Weinstein’s pocket. Which meant that the attorney had nothing to worry about and could represent Weinstein without fear for his own prosecution.

According to court documents, in February 2012 Weinstein and two co-conspirators offered two investors a chance to purchase large blocks of Facebook shares before the initial IPO in May 2012. Between February and March of 2012 the two “Facebook victims” wired millions of dollars to an account set up by Weinstein and a co-conspirator. That’s the last time they saw their money. Around the same time, Weinstein and his two co-conspirators talked the same investors into buying the Belle Glade Gardens apartment complex in Florida. The investors wired $2.83 million, of which Weinstein sent $1.8 million back to his victims as “return” on their Facebook investment. In July 2012, Weinstein scammed a different group of investors over purchasing seven condominiums in Florida at a discounted price of $3 million, and pocketed the money.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/lakewood-man-loses-bid-to-change-guilty-plea-in-200-million-ponzi-scheme/2016/08/15/

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