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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘reaction’

France Calling for Use of Force in Syria

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

French foreign minister Laurent Fabius told BFM-TV today that “if it is proven, France’s position is that there must be a reaction, a reaction that could take the form of a reaction with force.”

He added that “there are possibilities for responding,” but refused to elaborate. He did state that if the UN Security Council could not make a decision, one would have to be taken “in other ways.”

Syrian government officials said the claims of an army chemical weapons attack on its own civilians were “totally false” and the news outlets reporting those claims were “implicated in the shedding of Syrian blood and support terrorism.”

Turkey’s deputy prime minister has said only the Syrian government is in possession of the type of chemical weapons the opposition claims were used in the attack. Turkey’s foreign minister said “all red lines” have been crossed by the Assad regime.

But Iran has rejected the claims that its ally, President Bashar Assad, had deployed chemical weapons, saying the rebels would be responsible, if such an attack had really taken place.

“If the information concerning the use of chemical weapons is accurate, very definitely they were used by terrorist groups… who have shown they will not hold back from committing any crime,” Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said to the IRNA news, referring to the rebels.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague urged international supporters of the Syrian regime to “wake up to … its murderous and barbaric nature” ahead of the UN meeting, Sky News reported.

But Russia, the traditional supporter of the Assad regime, suggested the attack could be a “premeditated provocation” by opposition forces.

Officials from Russia and China are reported to have blocked a stronger press statement supported by Britain, France, the US and others, Sky News reported.

Earlier, Mr Hague said that if verified, the attack “would mark a shocking escalation in the use of chemical weapons in Syria”.

He added: “Those who order the use of chemical weapons, and those who use them, should be in no doubt that we will work in every way we can to hold them to account.”

It’s My Opinion: Trash

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Recently, a porcelain bathtub appeared atop a jetty off Miami Beach. The gleaming white object was perched upon craggy rocks. Ocean waves lapped around it. The origin of the tub was a mystery.

Some members of the South Florida community have conjectured that the tub was some strange artistic expression, perhaps inspired by the internationally recognized Art Basel festival to be held shortly on Miami Beach.

While some art aficionados might consider this exhibit a bold and creative work, there are others who consider the exploit as trash. A spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission declared the action “littering” and a potential risk to the environment.

We are all greatly influenced by our preconceived ideas. We perceive. We interpret. We filter. What we see – as well as how we see it – is more than the reflection on our retina. We might have sight, but do we have insight?

The global reaction to Israel’s recent military incursion in Gaza has been quite compelling and a prime example of how bias affects facts. The mainstream media generally spun the actions as a “cycle of violence” and not as a victim nation responding to attack. After all, isn’t Israel always to blame?

An MSNBC anchor reflected that Israel was responding disproportionately. The anchor reported that Hamas missiles were largely “ineffective” and “rarely do damage” and inferred that innocent Arab civilians were being killed. Fox’s Juan Williams characterized Israel’s defense as overkill. Throughout the world, anti-Semitic rallies, thinly disguised as anti-Zionist in nature, exploded with a fury.

The worldwide Jewish community, for the most part, is just happy that the cease-fire was called and have moved on. There are Chanukah gifts to purchase and wrap, winter vacation plans to make and busy lives to contend with. The televised images of rocket explosions have passed.

Every morning Jews recite the prayer “Blessed are you Hashem, king of the universe, who gives sight to the blind.”

Certainly we need to truly see what is going on.

Trash is trash despite the spin. The Jewish world needs to open its eyes.

National Union Reaction to New “Israel Strength” Party

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

The National Union (HaIchud HaLeumi)’s reaction to Eldad and Ben-Ari’s announcement: “The Israeli political left-wing is elated at the news that our partners are splitting away and setting up a new party, because it means that tens of thousands of right-wing votes will be wasted, and that we have returned to the type of politics that brought about the Oslo Accords. We have always promoted unity in the National and National-Orthodox camps and we are sorry that our partners, who oppose running together with the Bayit Yehudi in the upcoming elections, have not learned the lessons of the past, which brought us the ‘victims of peace’. ”

God Works in Mysterious and Especially Tiny Ways (Video)

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Whether you believe in global warming or climate change, you’ve probably run into descriptions of the green house effect. It is a process by which thermal radiation from a planetary surface is absorbed by atmospheric greenhouse gases, and re-radiated in all directions. Since part of this re-radiation returns to the surface, it results in the elevation of the average surface temperature.

As the Earth grows warmer, things start changing around the globe, including, for instance, hurricanes that are a thousand miles wide. And, whether you believe the rising temperatures are caused by man or are just part of the natural cycle of things – they’re rising. The ice caps are melting and sea levels are rising – watch out Dutch folks, the ocean is returning.

Now, Methane, which takes up from 4 to 9 percent of Earth’s atmosphere, is a major culprit in the creation of the green house phenomenon. Methane is created by many different natural processes, including, how embarrassing, by cows. Cows emit a massive amount of methane through belching, with a lesser amount through flatulence. Each cow emits between 26 and 53 gallons of methane each day.

According to the USDA, there are between 1.3 and 1.5 billion cows, beef and dairy combined, in the world.

And since the United States consumes beef at the rate of 52 billion pounds a year (in 2012 – it used to be as high as 57 billion in 2007), that means we have a whole lot of cows. More cows—more Methane—more warming planet—bigger hurricanes.

So God sent us His tiny little messenger of hope in the shape of a tiny tick, the lone star tick, named for the white spot on its back. Researchers say that when this tic bites you, its saliva can trigger a reaction to meat that is so agonizing, you’ll turn vegetarian.

“People will eat beef and then anywhere from three to six hours later start having a reaction; anything from hives to full-blown anaphylactic shock,” Dr. Scott Commins, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville told ABC News.

Yes, once the lone star tic bites you, you could die, God forbid, from eating meat.

Scientists are still having a hard time proving a causal relationship between the tick bites and the meat allergies, but they all agree that “blood levels of antibodies for alpha-gal, a sugar found in beef, lamb and pork, rise after a single bite from the lone star tick.”

Cases of the bizarre allergy are cropping up in areas ripe with lone star ticks, according to research presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology annual meeting in Anaheim, Calif.

“Most food allergies occur very quickly,” said Dr. Stanley Fineman, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. “It’s also a bit unusual to see adults develop a food allergy.”

But the tick bite theory could help explain the sudden onset of some meat allergies, Fineman said, adding: “Avoidance is the best way to handle any food allergy.”

Now you get it? In order to save the planet from another flood, God sends a tic to infect us so we become horribly allergic to meat, the cow population drops, green house effect diminishes, plus we now have millions of acres of land to grow vegetables and be healthy.

And, of course, we continue to eat tons of chicken. Because chicken is not meat according to the Torah, you could even have a chicken cheeseburger back around 1000 BCE, until the sages nixed it.

Have a healthy day!

MK Ariel: ‘Time to Let the IDF Win Again’

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Chairman of the Knesset State Comptroller’s Committee MK Uri Ariel reacted to the deteriorating security situation in Southern Israel, saying: “Israel’s weakness in the face of the escalating terrorism against residents of Southern Israel must end. It’s about time to let the IDF win again, to stop allowing the fear from the International Community’s reaction to paralyze us, to take military action in the depth of the Gaza Strip, and to put an end to the terror state that Israel created with its very own hands.”

Yad Hashem – Shown With A Foot!

Friday, November 9th, 2012

The following story is 100% true, without embellishment or hyperbole. I can say this because I know each of the parties involved.

As the expression goes, “Hashem fir zich der velt” – Hashem orchestrates all the events that occur in the world. Most of what Hashem does is hidden from us. However, on occasion something happens in such an open way, one would have to be totally oblivious to the world around him to not see the powerful display of Yad of Hashem.

HE was going through a challenging time. He was in his 30s, recently divorced, had limited access to his children and was dealing with parnassah issues. In addition, his grandfather who had been his mentor, advocate, guardian angel and best friend, had passed away. He was existing, but not living; surviving, but not thriving. As days turned to weeks and weeks to months, he settled into a depression, simply going through the motions.

It was a beautiful July 4th day; the sun was shining, not a cloud in the sky. Perfectly perfect – until a freakish misstep propelled his entire body to the left, with the exception of his right foot, which buckled to the right. As he struggled to get up, his body crumbled to the ground, powerless to withstand his own weight. His initial reaction to his torn ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) was “Why me? Do I not have enough on my plate? Do I need this too”? Shortly thereafter he realized that it is not our place to question, but rather to accept that all He does is for our good.

Two months pass. It was just before Labor Day and he was enjoying the company of his children. Although still walking with a minor limp, he experienced a spark of true life for the first time in recent memory. The next day, however, the sounds of glee were replaced by the deafening sounds of silence; the unadulterated joy, replaced by an emotional hangover, as his children returned to their mother. Never before had he experienced such a deafening sound as this sound of silence.

SHE was a woman in her 30s, also living a life devoid of true meaning. She had faced challenges from infancy, but embraced her obstacles, never lamenting them. She was a friend to many, yet in essence was alone. She was eager to help a friend in need, yet her personal needs and requests appeared to go unanswered. She danced at the weddings of so many, yet each time the music stopped she lay alone with her thoughts. As the years began to pass her by, she wondered if she would ever find true happiness. Was it Hashem’s plan for her to live a life fraught with unfulfilled dreams?

Many a night she cried herself to sleep; reluctantly accepting her fate, as it appeared to be the will of Hashem. She tried to hold on to the proverbial ledge, even as she felt herself slowly losing her grip on life.

HE and SHE serendipitously crossed paths on one of the Jewish dating sites. They conversed for an hour via the computer as they both wondered if this would be yet another dead-end. Skeptically, he dialed her number as the clock struck midnight. With an accelerated heartbeat she answered her phone. They were both unaware that it was Yad Hashem orchestrating the telephone conversation. I suspect, however, they were somewhat wiser when they finally ended the conversation – 7 hours later!

The conversation transformed two floundering yechidim into a potential zivug – two wandering individual lost souls connected in a most spiritual and emotional manner. They exchanged their personal life’s journeys as time seemingly froze in abeyance. Their somewhat parallel, yet totally different journeys, had them geographically thousands of miles apart, but on that night they were brought together, all human barriers and obstacles falling to the wayside. Ironically, although originally physically separated by over 6,000 miles, they now found themselves residing but a mile apart. Actually, it wasn’t ironic, it was Yad Hashem at work, but they didn’t totally grasp the magnitude of that – at least not just yet.

They consented to meet the following evening, to explore the possibilities of where this budding friendship may potentially lead. As he was still recovering from his torn ACL, and self-conscious of his mild but somewhat conspicuous limp, he reminded her that tomorrow when they would meet, she would most likely notice a mild limp, but assured her that it wasn’t a physical impediment, as he was still recovering from him knee injury.

Another Dan Rather Moment For CBS News?

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Several weeks before the 2004 presidential election, CBS News anchor Dan Rather ran a story on the network’s “60 Minutes” program about President George W. Bush’s service in the National Guard, claiming he had gone AWOL, among other improprieties. Mr. Rather cited several records and documents said to have been maintained by Mr. Bush’s deceased commander and provided by another National Guard official. As it turned out, however, the documents were later found to have been inauthentic and Mr. Rather’s career as a mainstream newsman was effectively ended.

Now comes the shocking revelation that CBS News withheld, until this past Sunday – two days before the election – a key portion of its “60 Minutes” interview with President Obama conducted within hours after his Rose Garden press conference on September 12, the day after the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi.

The newly released excerpt plainly confirms that President Obama misrepresented the facts when he claimed during the second presidential debate to have referred in the Rose Garden to the Benghazi attack as a terrorist act rather than a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Muhammad film.

It will be recalled that one of the electrifying moments in the second presidential debate was Governor Romney’s reaction to President Obama’s Rose Garden claim. Mr. Obama had been responding to a question about whether he and his administration refused to label the attack an act of terror (as opposed to a spontaneous reaction to an the anti-Muhammad film) because the administration had been boasting that terrorist groups were under control in that area.

Critics of Mr. Obama’s assertion pointed out that for weeks after Benghazi, administration officials uniformly maintained that the attack was a frenzied, popular response to the movie’s provocations. And a review of the Rose Garden transcript indicates it is quite a stretch to take Mr. Obama at his word. These are the relevant excerpts:

The United States condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack…. Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths. We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. But there is absolutely no justification for this type of senseless violence. None. The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts…. No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for….

So not only did the president frame the attack in terms of an “unjustified” reaction to the denigration of “the religious beliefs of others” – i.e., it was a riot by enraged Muslims – he also was plainly referring to “this type of senseless violence” when he used the phrase “acts of terror.”

Notwithstanding, the first clip of the interview put out by CBS on October 19, five weeks after the attack, appeared to support the president’s claim, carrying the following exchange between Mr. Obama and 60 Minutes correspondent Steven Kroft:

Kroft: But there are reports that they were heavily armed with grenades, that doesn’t sound like your normal demonstration.

Obama: As I said, we’re still investigating exactly what happened, I don’t want to jump the gun on this. But you’re right that this is not a situation that was exactly the same as what happened in Egypt. And my suspicion is there are folks involved in this who were looking to target Americans from the start. So we’re gonna make sure that our first priority is to get our folks out safe, make sure our embassies are secured around the world and then we are going to go after those folks who carried this out.

But here’s part of the newly released portion of that interview – and again, bear in mind that the interview was conducted the night after Mr. Obama’s Rose Garden press conference:

Kroft: Mr. President, this morning you went out of your way to avoid the use of the word terrorism in connection with the Libya attack. Do you believe this was a terrorism attack?

Obama: Well, it’s too early to tell exactly how this came about, what group was involved, but obviously it was an attack on Americans. And we are going to be working with the Libyan government to make sure that we bring these folks to justice, one way or the other.

For Victims of Abuse – A Warm Embrace

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Note from Harry Maryles: I usually take this time on the eve of the New Year to reflect on what kind if a year this was for me. The sudden death of my grandson Reuven who suffered from cancer was unexpected. Although his prognosis was never great, he had defied the odds by living as long as he did. People all over the world davened for him and for that I am still grateful.  But it was not meant to be.

On one unusually warm morning in early March of this year Reuven was taken from us as he suddenly collapsed – never to resuscitated. That was one of the hardest days of my life.  But I am grateful to God for all the blessings he as otherwise given me.  And with God’s help I look forward to a much better year ahead.
 
Aside from that personal note, I am going to relinquish the space I give here to any additional reflection or the Dvar Torah I usually give on Erev Yom Tov- to Rabbi Yakov Horowitz. He asked me if I would cross post an essay from his website on my blog. After reading it, I decided that there is no Dvar Torah that I could deliver that would be more important than his words.
With all the troubles facing Klal Yisroel now, I don’t think there is a single issue more important than the issue of sex abuse in our community. We all know the horror stories the survivors of abuse tell us. And we all too often hear of the devastating consequences they face – some for many years after.
 
In part the altered lives they live are a result of the abuse itself. But it is in part also because of the unfortunate negative reaction to the victims by their own community.  It is to this sad reality that Rabbi Horowitz speaks. The new year is not only a time for reflection. It is a time for change. If there is one thing we need to change as a community it is how we treat victims of abuse.
 
Ksiva V’Chasima Tova to all. The following are Rabbi Horowitz’s words.
As we prepare to stand before Hashem in the days to come, and daven (pray) for ourselves, our families and all of Klal Yisroel, those of us who work with survivors of abuse and molestation ask you to publicly show your support for them in these yemei rachamim (days of mercy).
Part and parcel of the strategy employed by many of the predators in our community is to discredit their victims who have the courage to step forward and press charges against them. Typically, the molester will point to the victim’s 1) diminished level of religious observance and/or 2) self-destructive behaviors, like substance abuse, to “prove” his own innocence.However, for those of us who work with at-risk teens, the fact that one of our tayere kinderlach engaged in hard-core drug use, self-mutilation, suicide attempts, or left Yiddishkeit, makes it MORE likely that the accusation is true, not less. Why? Because we have known for many years now that the vast majority of our kids who have descended into the gehenom of these destructive activities have done so because they were molested.Of all the horror committed by predators against our innocent, precious boys and girls, the premeditated and deliberate defamation of their character is perhaps the most unforgivable; since it abuses them all over again and adds to their disconnect from our kehila – when what they need most is our acceptance and love.
With that in mind, I respectfully ask our readers to please stand with the brave survivors and their families who have the courage to take the lonely path of coming forward and pressing charges, with the other silent and silenced victims who are watching the high-profile cases unfold very carefully to determine whether they too should risk going to the authorities, and with all survivors of abuse and molestation.Precisely because the predators attempt to discredit and disgrace the victims and their families, is all the more reason why we need to reach out to them and let them know how much we respect and care for them.Kindly take a few minutes from your busy schedules and post a Rosh Hashana bracha in the thread* following these lines, and have them in mind in your Tefillos. Previous efforts to garner public support for victims were extraordinarily comforting to them, as they help restore their faith in humanity and let them know that the vast majority of our community members are behind them.
Please include your real names and the names of the cities where you live to personalize your message and to send a clear message that we proudly stand with the survivors and their families.
Abuse survivors are our heilege neshamosour holy souls. They have endured unspeakable trauma in their lives and had their childhood cruelly stolen from them, because they learned at a very young age, at the mercy of cunning and evil predators, to never trust again. Nonetheless, the vast, overwhelming majority of survivors seek no revenge or retribution. They only hope and pray that today’s children be spared from the horror they endured.
Regardless of their observance level, we ought to welcome these survivors as full and respected members of our kehilos. We ought to commit to them that we will do everything possible to remove from our community those who prey on our innocent children and speak truth to power if necessary in the coming year to keep all our children safe and secure.If the great tzadik, Reb Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev zt’l were alive, I imagine that he would embrace abuse survivors in his shul on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur and proclaim to Hashem, “Master of the Universe, look at these heilige neshamos who have endured so much with such dignity, and in their ze’chus inscribe us all in the Book of Life.”
Best wishes for a k’siva v’chasima tova and may Hashem answer our tefilos b’rachamim u’vrazon.
*Harry Maryles: As always, I welcome all comments to this post. Rabbi Horowitz is also taking comments in the form of Brachos to survivors on his website. If you can, it would be wonderful to get as many readers of this blog as possible to do so. Once again, Ksiva V’Chasima Tova to all!

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/haemtza/for-victims-of-abuse-a-warm-embrace/2012/09/19/

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