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January 18, 2017 / 20 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘risk’

It’s Not Worth The Risk

Friday, September 30th, 2016

Rav Noach Weinberg, z”l, told over a story that masterfully illustrates how we should serve God:

A king showed his servants a huge mountain of sand he wanted shoveled into the ocean. Though the mountain was in close proximity to the water, virtually all the servants sensed that digging it up and shoveling it into the sea would be impossible, so they abandoned the mission.

One servant, though, was not dissuaded for one simple reason: the king had commanded it. Determined to stick with the task, he started shoveling sand from the top of the mountain. Suddenly his shovel hit some kind of rock and he could shovel no more. He kept on pushing his shovel against the rock until it was dislodged and took the whole mountain of sand with it into the ocean.

The servant had thus “miraculously” completed the task he was asked to do.

The point is quite clear. In essence, our mission is to do what God asks of us. Whether we are successful in the ultimate task is not up to us nor is it required of us. What is required of us is our effort. We don’t have to be the one who dislodges the final rock, but we must all be diggers

There is one question I’m left with concerning this story. Let’s say you’re the type of individual who relishes the big moment and wants to carry the glory. You’re the one who wants to dislodge the rock. You were captain of your team and class valedictorian. Digging is nice, but you want to be the final piece in the puzzle. What is the takeaway for you if you are this kind of person?

Perhaps there is no better way to address this issue than by looking at the narrative of Mashiach. It’s certainly pertinent, as we believe we are in the final thousand years of the world’s existence, and there’s no greater prize than being Mashiach ben David – although the nation must achieve redemption through acting together. It’s a team game.

One may want to be Mashiach and even possess all the necessary qualities, but if he is not from the lineage of Yehuda, he is automatically disqualified. One might be overwhelmed by the reality of being out of the running through no fault of one’s own. But again, this is God’s wish. So if one desires the prize – if one wants to lead our people to redemption – yet knows he’s not the chosen one, how should he internalize this reality?

It could be that the narrative must be approached from a different angle. What is the greatness of man at all within the Jewish fold? Where does an individual’s dynamic self materialize? To this the Zohar has already provided an answer. Our greatness lies in the majesty of the Torah.

The 600,000 souls that were represented at Sinai correspond to the 600,000 letters in the Torah. Every Jewish person has his own letter in the Torah and as a person grows and develops, that letter grows and develops as well and changes the whole dynamic of the Torah, which becomes a 600,000-word developing document.

Being that Bnei Yisrael are reflected and connected through an everlasting and evolving Torah, our split existence in Israel and the Diaspora will soon come to an end as promised in the Torah itself.

However, no matter where Jews are situated at the moment, a bridge between the Diaspora and Israel can be created. The chief rabbi of the United Kingdom, Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, quotes a commentator to emphasize the importance of constant good relations between the Jews of Israel and the Diaspora. It relates to the question of why Moshe placed half the tribe of Gad with Reuven and Menashe when only Reuven and Menashe had asked for a lot in the Yarden. The Degel Machaneh Ephraim explains that Moshe realized Reuven and Gad likely would attain their own separate identities outside of Israel, thus leading to a split between the 12 tribes in Israel and the Diaspora. To avoid this Moshe created a bridge by placing half of Menashe among Reuven and Gad so there would always be a flow of people coming in and out of Israel, connecting all the tribes.

Today as well we can create a synergy between the Diaspora and Israel by drawing strength from Israel, devoting time to Israel’s causes and bolstering Israel through visits.

We still await the final redeemer to unify all Jews and bring them from the four corners of the world to settle in Israel. Whoever that redeemer is may carry the glory but he won’t feel it inside, for as the Rambam says, the redeemer will be a pure manifestation of humility.

It’s not worth the “risk” to believe you’re not Mashiach because all Jews have the potential to carry the traits of the redeemer – wisdom, growth, knowledge, and a growing fear of God.

Either way, if we each exercise our own jurisdiction over our letter to help in the salvation, a complete Torah will emerge that will bring an end to the current pain and suffering.

Steven Genack

US Group Says Nukes At Incirlik Air Base At Risk of Seizure by Turkey Government

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

A Washington DC think tank has warned in a new report that American nuclear weapons stored at the Incirlik air base in southeastern Turkey are at risk of being seized by the Ankara government.

That is the conclusion reached by the Stimson Center, a nonpartisan Washington DC think tank dedicated to promoting “global peace and economic prosperity.”

The claim was made in a report issued by the group on Monday, entitled “B61 Life Extension Program: Costs and Policy Consideration.”

“Whether the U.S. could have maintained control of the weapons in the event of a protracted civil conflict in Turkey is an unanswerable question,” the center maintained in its report.

According to co-author Lacie Heeley, “it’s a roll of the dice to continue to have approximately 50 of America’s nuclear weapons stationed at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey.

“There are significant safeguards in place… But safeguards are just that, they don’t eliminate risk,” she told the AFP news agency. “In the event of a coup, we can’t say for certain that we would have been able to maintain control.”

In response, the Pentagon said in a statement, “We do not discuss the location of strategic assets. “The [Department of Defense] has taken appropriate steps to maintain the safety and security of our personnel, their families, and our facilities, and we will continue to do so.”

Thousands of members of the judiciary, police and military have been arrested in an ongoing purge taking place in the wake of a failed coup attempt in Turkey last month.

The government is also continuing its media crackdown on news outlets that appear to be critical of its policies in any way.

Authorities ordered the closing of 45 newspapers, 23 radio stations, 16 television channels and three news agencies this month. Arrest warrants were issued for 47 former employees and executives of Zaman, a media group accused of links to Fethullah Gulen, an elderly Turkish Islamic cleric in self-imposed exile in the United States.

Hana Levi Julian

Is Portfolio Rebalancing the Best Method of Risk Management?

Monday, April 18th, 2016

Risk management is an important strategy in investing. On today’s show, Professor Lewis Mandell, financial economist, author, and former Dean of Business at the State University of New York at Buffalo, discusses risk management and explains why he thinks the popular tactic of portfolio rebalancing may be a mistake.

Doug answers a listener’s question on today’s show when he tells you what you need to know about opening a U.S. brokerage account in Israel.

Listen for a link to a free interactive tool that will guide you to what you need to know about opening a U.S. brokerage account.

The Goldstein On Gelt Show is a financial podcast. Click on the player below to listen. For show notes and contact details of the guest, go to www.GoldsteinOnGelt.com

Doug Goldstein, CFP®

US Defense Official to Court: Pollard Still Security Risk

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

National Intelligence Director James Clapper claims that recently freed Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, who spent the past 29 years behind bars in a maximum security prison, where national security information was not readily available, presumably, nevertheless still holds information that could harm American national security, which is why he must endure the strict parole conditions imposed on him for the next five years. These include not permitting him to move to Israel, where he has been granted citizenship.

Clapper submitted a document to a New York court and the parole commission handling Pollard’s case saying that Pollard continues to hold “sensitive and confidential information classified as top secret” that could harm American national security, Israel’s Channel 10 News reported Friday.

US District Court in the Southern District of New York on Tuesday granted Pollard a hearing of his appeal against the parole conditions, which require him to wear a GPS device that violates Shabbat and holidays. Also, his computers are being monitored by the government, which Pollard says limits his employment opportunities.

Pollard’s lawyers Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman wrote the judge a letter saying, “Even assuming some information [inside Pollard’s head] is still ‘classified’ as a practical matter, it is extremely unlikely that Mr. Pollard remembers, or could possibly remember, the details of 30-year old information to an extent that it could be of any value to anyone.”

The lawyers added, “There is nothing before the commission to indicate that Mr. Pollard ever memorized the documents he delivered, or that he could possibly remember any usable details 30 years later.”

David Israel

Jerusalem Intifada Puts A Third of Light Rail Out of Action

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

Jerusalem’s Light Rail cars are reduced by one third due to Arab intifada attacks, also referred to as ‘travel terror’ or ‘rock attacks.’

“Due to continued and repeated rock-throwing that inflicts damage to the trains, this morning we only have 16 operable trains out of a total of 23,” the CityPass company that operates the line announced Sunday morning (Sept. 7).

“What that means is that fewer than needed trains are active on the line, and the frequency of trains throughout the line will be harmed,” the statement continued.

The line has become a favored target for Arab terrorism particularly in the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat, where three stops were totally destroyed at the start of the summer. It took weeks before the infrastructure and the furnishings could be properly repaired.

The riots spiked over the murder of an Arab teen who lived in Shuafat that followed by a day the discovery of the bodies of three Israeli teens who were kidnapped and murdered by Hamas terrorists. It was later revealed that three suspects in the Arab teen’s murder were mentally ill, including the main suspect who was a man in his 20s, with a history of severe psychiatric disturbance.

Since that murder, Arabs have rioted regularly in that neighborhood and nearby Beit Hanina, hurling rocks and firebombs at the Light Rail as it passes through the area. Each time a car is damaged or a window smashed, the repairs cost thousands of shekels and it takes days or weeks before the cars are returned to service. Passengers are traumatized and several times service has been curtailed at stops terminating before the area.

This leaves passengers in the northern Jerusalem neighborhoods of Pisgat Ze’ev, Neve Yaakov and elsewhere without service.

The increasing phenomenon of ‘travel terror’ aimed at the Light Rail – and its accompanying phenomenon, ‘road terror,’ in which rocks and firebombs are hurled at vehicles traveling along roads throughout Israel – can be deadly.

Last month a young father from the southern Hebron Hills was critically injured in a Judea road terror attack near El Aroub, on Highway 60, while driving with his wife and baby daughter. A couple of years ago Kiryat Arba resident Asher Palmer and his baby son Yonaton died exactly the same way, on the same road, just a few miles south.

Security personnel and professional drivers all know: rocks and firebombs (Molotov cocktails) hurled at moving vehicles are as lethal a weapon as gunfire or rockets.

Hana Levi Julian

Royal Jordanian Cancels Flights to Ben Gurion Airport

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

Royal Jordanian Airlines has cancelled flights to Ben Gurion International Airport as a precaution due to the current security situation, the carrier said.

It has been a full month since Royal Jordanian flew its regular route to Tel Aviv, and the carrier only resumed its normal schedule this week due to concerns over rocket fire from Gaza.

Hamas terrorists warned commercial arline carriers not to fly to Israel Thursday, saying it was planning to target Ben Gurion International Airport with missile fire. However, there has been no rocket fire directed at the airport thus far.

Security has been increased in accordance with the current situation, and flights are continuing to take off and land on schedule with no disruptions of the routine.

Hana Levi Julian

Alert IDF Eyes Foil New Tunnel Terror Infiltration Attempt

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Hundreds of Israelis might have been dead Tuesday night if not for the alert eyes of a unit of Givati soldiers, who spotted a cell of five terrorists emerging from a tunnel shaft, ready to infiltrate and carry out a terror attack in Israel.

The soldiers spotted the terrorists suddenly emerging from a tunnel shaft late Tuesday afternoon. The terrorists, realizing they were identified, fired and the battled was joined, with the IDF soldiers also opening fire. All five operatives in the cell were killed.

During the fire fight, the IDF soldiers discovered the terrorists were loaded with numerous explosive packs, ready to be carried into suicide missions and other terror attacks.

The terrorist tunnels present an unacceptable risk to Israeli communities especially along the Gaza border, and elsewhere in the country as well, government leaders have said.

Terrorists are using the tunnels to infiltrate Israel to kidnap citizens, carry out attacks and import weapons and ammunition. As a result, eliminating the tunnels has become a priority for the IDF in Operation Protective Edge.

An IDF spokesperson also revealed that earlier in the day, an armored unit identified terrorists firing anti-tank missiles; the IDF tanks returned fire and knocked out the source.

No IDF soldiers were injured in either battle.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/alert-idf-eyes-foil-new-tunnel-terror-infiltration-attempt/2014/07/29/

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