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December 18, 2014 / 26 Kislev, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘message’

A Tale Of A Recovering Internet Addict

Friday, August 17th, 2012

What exactly is the definition of an Internet addiction? Just how out of control does one have to be to qualify as having a true addiction?

I don’t know the answer to that question but if I don’t have an Internet addiction, I have something close to it. That’s why I can never go online for any reason even for a short time. I can’t go online for the same reason a recovering alcoholic can’t have even one drink. I have no control and once I start…

My Internet habit began years ago when we got Internet access in our home for valid reasons. One of the first things I got involved with was a small frum e-mail discussion group. We were a small group of women living in various locations across the globe, who were forming a bond with each other in cyberspace. The more I met with them online, the more I felt a kinship with these new friends whose faces I didn’t know. It quickly reached a point where they were my first waking thought, and I could barely wait to get together with them.

Sadly that discussion group closed, but I soon discovered other e-mail lists. Eventually I was on more than one. Unlike the first which had few members, now I was involved with e-mail lists that had many members, and many e-mails to read or delete. This took a lot of time, leaving me with less time to attend to things in my real life.

After a while I discovered message boards and chat-rooms. I couldn’t tear myself away. On a typical day, I’d start by going online and checking my e-mail. Oh those pesky junk mails! Delete, delete, delete. I would respond to e-mails and send out new ones.

Then I’d go to one of my message boards. After spending way too much time there, I’d think to myself, “Maybe by now somebody responded to my e-mail.” I’d go to check my e-mail again. After spending time on my e-mail, I’d think, “Maybe by now someone responded to what I wrote on the message board.” Thus I went back and forth between my e-mail and the message boards.

My relentless checking for responses didn’t necessarily end when I got off the computer. I would find myself repeatedly going back for another quick check to see if anybody e-mailed or responded. It was as if I were tied to the computer by an invisible leash.

Chat-rooms were even harder to tear myself from. How can anyone tear themselves away from an interesting conversation going on in real-time? How could I leave in the middle of the party?

I had no sense of time in cyberspace. Hours would go by without my accomplishing anything. By the time I finally got off the computer, my shoulder and neck were aching. I also found if I’d stay on the computer too long, I’d feel nauseous and dizzy and I had to lie down. I believe this was due to prolonged close-range exposure to computer glare, but I can’t say for sure.

These negative consequences, the time wasted, the muscle aches, and feeling ill were certainly reason enough to try and kick this habit. But the problems didn’t end there.

I was getting too emotionally involved with strangers I met online. For example, sometimes someone on one of my e-mail lists or message boards would share a personal problem, asking for advice.

When I got off the computer, I couldn’t just put the suffering soul out of my mind and go on with my life. I would spend time and emotional energy on the person’s problem, while my own problems were left on the back burner.

Then there were the kinds of people I met on the Internet. Truth to tell, I did meet some wonderful people, some of whom I’ve formed relationships with and have invited to my simchas. But there were many other people I deeply regret having come across.

I didn’t form relationships with these people but I did read their comments online. “Intellectual” atheists who look down at us silly wishful-thinking believers from their science-educated pedestals. In my naïve pre-Internet days, I thought atheists just weren’t thinking at all. I actually thought if someone would point out to these atheists that nobody in their right mind could believe something as complicated, orderly, and purposeful as nature could create itself, they would wake up from their dream.

IDF to Test Missile Attack Alert System on Mobile Phones

Monday, August 13th, 2012

The Israel Defense Forces on Sunday began a week-long test of a text-message warning system that sends alerts to cellphones about imminent missile attacks in particular areas.

The drill will consist of messages sent to different geographic areas across Israel throughout the week, and will be sent in Hebrew, Arabic, English, and Russian. The alert system delivers location-specific warnings, according to the projected trajectory of rockets or missiles. It is seen as a more effective and efficient alert than existing air raid sirens.

The test is the culmination of years of development, and officials have stated that the alert system would become operational in September. The IDF has been fine-tuning the system over the past few months, with special focus on ensuring its resistance to cyber-attacks, from which IDF officials said the system “must be immune.”

Officials at the IDF Home Front Command said that the goal is simple – save more lives in case of war or other emergencies. One official told Xinhua, China’s official news agency, that the system could also “help civilians who are not in a dangerous area carry on with their routine and also help save lives of those traveling on the road while an attack takes place.”

Recent statements from the upper echelons of the Israeli government suggesting that a military strike on Iran’s nuclear program may be in the offing have brought Israel’s home front preparedness -or lack thereof – to the fore.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed claims that Israel’s home front was unprepared to deal with impending military threats. “I think that there has been a very great change during our Government’s term in office…We are investing billions in home front defense, in Iron Dome, in the Arrow, and in other systems that are under development. We are investing a lot of money in defending facilities, institutions and homes. We are holding preparedness exercises for various scenarios regarding home front defense.”

In reference to the new text-message alert system, Netanyahu said, “we are thoroughly upgrading our warning systems, in which Israel is among the most developed in the world.” At the same time, he acknowledged that “one cannot say that there are no problems in this field because there always are.”

Netanyahu concluded by again reiterating that Iran is Israel’s greatest threat: “All of the threats that are currently being directed against the Israeli home front pale against a particular threat, different in scope, different in substance, and therefore I reiterate that Iran cannot be allowed to have nuclear weapons.”

Saudi Will Shoot Down Israeli Planes to Iran

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

The US has passed a message on to Israel that Saudi Arabia informed them they will shoot down any Israeli planes that flies over their territory on the way to attacking Iran’s nuclear weapon development facilities.

Some Israeli officials believe the idea for the message was instigated by the US in order to place additional pressure on Israel to not attack.

A Modesty Request in Williamsburg – Or Is it?

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

http://haemtza.blogspot.co.il/2012/08/a-modesty-request-in-williamsburg-or-is.html

Whenever my wife and I visit New York, we try and “take in” all the Jewish neighborhoods. Among the places we visit are Boro Park, Monsey, and the Satmar enclave of Williamsburg.

A couple of years ago as I was walking down Williamsburg’s famous shopping district of Lee Street, I recall seeing a sign in one of the stores that had a message written in both Yiddish (Hebrew characters) and English. The English sign said “Closed”. The Yiddish sign said “Offen” – which is Yiddish for “Open”.

I smiled when I saw it. How clever, I thought for this storeowner to avoid “unwanted” customers. But that smile was immediately followed by the realization that not only was he guilty of Geneivas Daas (deception), he may very well have been guilty of ethnic prejudice.

I thought that the store owner  wanted to avoid the ethnic minorities that share the wider Williamsburg neighborhood with him. Among the 45,000 Satmar Chasidim that live there are significant numbers of Black and Hispanic people.

But perhaps it was something other than prejudice. Maybe the issue was one of modesty in dress.

A sign was posted recently posted in one of those stores that read in English, “Please… do not enter in immodest clothing (i.e. short sleeves pants…).” This was obviously directed towards women.

That sign has caused quite a controversy. In these hot summer days where people tend to dress as comfortably as they can – modesty by Orthodox Jewish standards goes “out the window.” If one is not Orthodox one would hardly be expected to cover themselves up by Orthodox standards of dress. So when these signs went up, cries of “discrimination” were heard.

This is not discrimination. Requiring that patrons observe a dress code does not discriminate against a class of people. People have a right to require dress codes for their establishment. A restaurant for example is well within their rights to require jackets for their patrons. As long as it is all patrons and not just – say… black patrons. The same thing should be true of dress codes for religious reasons.

I therefore side with the Chasdim on this one.

But still… in the back of my mind is that deceptive sign from a couple of years ago: “Closed” in English – “Open” in Yiddish. Was it prejudice or modesty that motivated them? That there was deception involved makes me wonder what the real motivation is.  Is this just a legal way of eliminating unwanted patrons?

Who knows?

But the way the sign reads now, there is certainly nothing wrong with it. Not any more than if I would put up a sign saying that only people wearing underwear on their heads would be allowed in the store.

Gov Cuomo Vetoes Orthodox-Endorsed Religious Special-Ed Bill

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday vetoed a bill that would have made it possible for many special-education students to be placed in private schools using public funds, the NY Post reports.

Under the school districts would have been obligated to consider a child’s religion when placing them in a school.

Under the current law, families of special-education students are able to get tuition reimbursement from the government if nearby public schools do not provide the services their child need.

According to Cuomo, the new bill created new criteria that were too open-ended.

Catholic and Orthodox Jewish groups had lobbied for the bill, arguing that children learn best in settings that resemble their home environment.

Public school advocates lobbied against the bill, saying it would start a slippery slope towards a voucher system.

“This bill unfairly places the burden on taxpayers to support the provision of a private education,” Cuomo said in his veto message.

He argued that the measure would “result in incalculable significant additional costs to be borne by every school district and taxpayer.”

The bill gave school districts 90 days to act on parents’ requests and 30 more days to reimburse the family for their child’s private-school tuition.

What the Iranian People “Really Think”… and How to Help Them

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

In totalitarian societies, people are wary of telling others what they “really think.” Given the Iranian government’s ability to suppress its internal opponents, we should be extremely suspicious of public opinion surveys: the Iranian people are simply not going speak openly to anyone other than intimates and long-trusted friends, or it might not be “good for their health.”

Even so, this does not mean that we cannot know what they are thinking. In such circumstances, the joke, the proverb, and satire are key: today’s joke and proverbs about their rulers are stinging to say the least. Iranians know how to insult their leaders subtly, without making direct references to the tyrants that rule them.

For example, a well-known satirist, known as Aali Payam, recently stood before an audience in Iran and said: “I will not speak about the [Iranian] elections any more… We are at a sensitive time… They [the Iranian government] took a colleague in for questioning and asked him, ‘Don’t you realize we are at a sensitive period?’ The colleague replied: ‘We have been at a sensitive period for the last 333 years. Did you hear that Qaddafi told Saddam [both in hell] to get ready, they are going to have a guest? One of these days Bashar Assad will arrive!’” As the satirist cannot criticize the Iranian government directly, he does the next best thing: he pokes fun at Syria’s Bashar Assad, one of the Iranian regime’s strongest allies, to imply that if the Iranian regime supports Assad, Qaddafi and Saddam, Assad’s days on earth, like Saddam’s and Qaddafi’s, are numbered. (See video)

Another video called “2 + 2 = 5″ makes the point even more clearly. Elementary school boys are in a classroom. Suddenly the teacher comes in and the boys instantly stop their banter. The teacher tells them that the principal is about to speak to the whole school over the Public Address system with an important message, which turns out to be that their teachers are about to teach them an important message. Thereafter, the teacher writes on the board: 2 + 2 = 5. The boys say that the answer is 4. The teacher sternly repeats 2 + 2 = 5, and tells the boys to write this in their notebooks. Most of the boys follow the teacher’s instructions, but one insists that the answer is 4. A moment later, three older students with red arm-bands come into the class and the boy who said “4″ is told to go up to the board. The teacher yells at him to write 2 + 2 = 5. The boy writes 2 + 2 = 4. The three older students with red arm-bands then take out guns and shoot the boy. As blood spurts out, the boy falls to the ground. The teacher then instructs the three boys with the red arm-bands to remove this “object from the room.” The other boys are petrified. The teacher tells them to write in their books 2 + 2 = 5. All do so, except one boy then erases the “5″ and writes “4.” [Note: This video was clearly made by Iranians outside the country: it has subtitles in English and Thai.]

When Iranians escape their country, they are usually perfectly willing to say privately what they think, so long as they can maintain anonymity. They know that members of the Iranian regime are skilled at spying on Iranians abroad and could threaten their relatives still living in Iran. In totalitarian societies, only family relationships can be trusted; Iran is no exception.

Over the past year, more and more Iranians have been finding ways to communicate with their friends and relatives abroad in ways which should encourage the world to ratchet up the pressure on the regime.

It is now quite common to hear Iranians say that life is becoming unbearable in Iran. During the past year, the cost of living has become so expensive that even middle class people can no longer afford the basic necessities of life. People are finding ways to tell their friends and relatives outside the country that they are waiting for the day that this regime is gone so that they can lead some sort of normal life.

9th of Av Message of Peace and Messianic Yearning from Turkish Muslim Leader

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

I’ve interviewed Adnan Oktar (also known by his pen name Harun Yahya) in the past and introduced him to the readers of the Jewish Press. He is a prominent Turkish intellectual and religious leader with a mass following, who has communicated and met personally over the past decade with many Orthodox rabbis from Israel and abroad, expressing his friendship to the Jewish nation and his reverence to the Torah.

On Motzai Tisha B’Av I received a note from Mr. Oktar, with a message about Jews, Muslims and the Messiah.

The message began with a note from Oktar’s staff:

We long for the days that we will see the reestablishment of Solomon’s Temple and hopefully we will pray there together in the near future. This will definitely happen as the days of Messiah—Yamot HaMashiach—are imminent.

And this day—Thisha B’Av—will no longer be a day of mourning but joy and celebration of peace, love and brotherhood. Insha’Allah / Be’ezrat Hashem.

It was followed with a few paragraphs by Adnan Oktar himself:

First of all I would like to have the building [Hazrat Solomon's Prayer House] constructed exactly the same as the one before and I want it to be decorated exactly as it was, with the same beautiful ornaments. I want it to be reinstated with all its glamour, all its beauty. However it would be very useful for it to be very big. I mean it would be best if it can be as big as possible. It would be best if we could adorn the surrounding area with very beautiful gardens, with fruit trees.

The land there is very convenient in that respect, I mean it can be placed just a little away from Qubbat As-Sakhrah, a little ahead of Masjid el-Aqsa. There are very wide, big areas there, those places can be made use. Let us construct and build the Masjid of our blessed Prophet Solomon (Peace Be Upon Him) there, with all its glory insha’Allah… Everyone should be able to perform his own prayers in joy and awe. But it is everyone’s aspiration for that city to be adorned, to be beautified, to regain the magnificent glory it had in the days of the Prophet Solomon (PBUH). Every Christian, every Muslim, every Jew would want that. Let us accomplish that beauty all together.

… It is of course very exciting to remember those beautiful days, to rebuild this beautiful building, this beautiful masjid that is referred to in the Qur’an. This very much excites me as a Muslim and excites other believers as well. It will excite the Christians and also the Jews. Christians, Jews and Muslims, by rebuilding this beauty altogether hand in hand, rebuilding this beautiful masjid, they can be able to worship in it as well. It is a matter of joy. But of course it will be much better if we perform it altogether. Let’s adorn it in the same way as it was before. I would like to see Jerusalem in its most beautiful and brilliant state, just like it was in that period. When this happens we will feel relieved. It will be a joy for us. To live those beautiful days of the Prophet Solomon (PBUH) will give joy to every believer.

Genuine Jews and genuine Muslims should not forget that artificial events ignited particularly in Masjid al-Aqsa are specially planned to distance believers from one another. It is of great importance for sincere believers not to believe in such provocateurs’ inculcation but consolidate brotherhood and friendship among one another. Once the feelings of brotherhood and spirit of unity is strengthened among believers, devout Jews, devout Muslims and devout Christians will pray God in the Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount) all together in peace.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/yoris-daily-news-clips/9th-of-av-message-of-peace-and-messianic-yearning-from-turkish-muslim-leader/2012/07/29/

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