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September 20, 2014 / 25 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Service’

Erdogan: Israel Behind Egypt Coup

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Israel was behind last month’s military coup in Egypt.

Erdogan told a meeting of the provincial chairs of his ruling Justice and Development, or AKP, party that he has evidence that Israel was involved in the July 3 overthrow of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, the Turkish Hurriyet news service reported.

“Who is behind this? Israel. We have evidence,” the prime minister said, according to Hurriyet.

He cited as proof a statement by a French intellectual he identified as Jewish, who told the Israeli justice minister during a visit to France before Egypt’s 2011 elections, “The Muslim Brotherhood will not be in power even if they win the elections. Because democracy is not the ballot box,” Hurriyet reported.

The White House condemned Erdogan’s remarks.

“Suggesting that Israel is somehow responsible for recent events in Egypt is offensive, unsubstantiated and wrong,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters later Tuesday.

Turkey downgraded diplomatic ties with Israel and later expelled Israel’s ambassador following the Mavi Marmara flotilla incident in May 2010 that resulted in the deaths of nine Turkish nationals in a confrontation with Israeli Navy commandos. The ship was trying to evade Israel’s maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized to Erdogan in March for the incident, and representatives of the countries have met for reconciliation talks. The talks reportedly are held up over the amount of compensation that Israel is to pay to the families of the Turkish casualties and how the payments are to be characterized.

Trading In Maryland for the Mediterranean

Monday, August 19th, 2013

When Sergeant Brandon Berry made aliyah (immigrated to Israel), he did not come looking for the easy life. If he wanted that, he would not have left his hometown of Potomac, Maryland to serve in the army of a foreign country half a world away from his family.

Sgt. Berry also was not looking for an easy job in the IDF – he wanted to serve wherever he was most needed. He wanted to take his talent and drive with him to contribute one hundred percent.

Sgt. Berry passed all the tests to serve in the prestigious Paratroopers Brigade. Instead the American immigrant took to the sea as a member of the Israel Navy’s Dvora-class patrol boat squadron.

It is not everyday that a young man from Potomac, Maryland travels for tens of thousands of miles to join the Israel Navy. “It was clear to me that I was destined to serve in the Navy,” he said. Sgt. Berry, stationed on a base overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, is able to indulge his love for wide-open spaces every day of his service.

Aside from his thick American accent, Sgt. Berry is indistinguishable from the other soldiers at his base – completely at home on a boat with a tan to match. He credits the Association for the Wellbeing of Israel’s Soldiers for helping him through the entire enlistment process.

“The work the association does is a blessing,” he says. AWIS helps soldiers in a number of ways, which included providing assistance to lone soldiers, running soldier homes and recreation centers, and providing support for bereaved families.

Sgt. Berry says that even though he grew up with a strong Jewish identity and attended a Jewish day school, he always felt like something was missing. Now, as a soldier for Israel, it seems he has truly come home.

Visit IDF Blog.

Israeli GetTaxi Launches New York Limo Service

Friday, August 9th, 2013

Israelis and taxis in New York — not exactly news, except that this story is not about Israelis driving taxis, but offering a hi-tech solution to taxi-starved New Yorkers.

On Thursday, GetTaxi Ltd. announced the launching of its new taxi hailing app in New York City, after many delays, partly due to resistance from the taxi union and the Taxi and Limousine Commission. The company now serves busy urbanites in London, Moscow, Tel Aviv and New York, Globes reports.

“We realized that we might not be necessary,” says GetTaxi VP marketing Nimrod May. “It’s easy to hail a cab in Manhattan. You stand at the curb and hundreds of cabs are driving around to pick you up. In contrast, at rush hour, when you need a cab, it’s hard to find one. This is where we enter the picture.”

Smart man. Anyone who spent quality time fighting over a cab at a Manhattan street corner should grab the new app.

GetTaxi, which was banned from using the noun Taxi in NYC, will operate under a special label, “G-Car,” offering a reservation service for limousines in collaboration with the city’s current fleet operators.

“When we founded the company, we dreamed of offering our users an app that would work in every territory and in every language in the world, and we’re pleased to see our vision materializing. We’re pleased to bring GetTaxi’s innovative technology and good, convenient, and state-of-the-art user experience to the residents of and many visitors to New York,” GetTaxi cofounder and CEO Shahar Waiser told Globes.

Equality in Service to One’s Country

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Once upon a time in America, there was a military draft. That meant that every single able bodied young man in America was required to serve in the army. Reaching the age of 18, they would have to register with a draft board and get a draft card.

I remember that period very well. When I was 18 the draft was in full force. So was the Viet Nam War. And both stayed that way until the end of the Viet Nam War. After which President Richard M. Nixon abolished the draft in America. That is how things stand now. This – the greatest and most powerful nation on the face of the earth is protected by an army of volunteer soldiers.

But ‘back in the day’ I was indeed subject to be drafted into the army and sent to Viet Nam to flight in what many of us (including my Rebbe Rav Ahron Soloveichik) called an immoral war. All was not lost however. There were ways to get out of it legally. Although there were many young Americans who resisted the draft in an assortment of illegal ways (like surreptitiously crossing the border into Canada) there were quite a few legal ways to get out of serving in Viet Nam. One way was by joining the US Coast Guard for example. One could also get a deferment and finish his education.

We Yeshiva students had the best ‘gig’ of all. The Selective Service Act (the draft) provided complete exemptions for divinity students. That meant that as long as someone was studying in a Yeshiva or Seminary they were exempt from serving in the army. In fact all clergy (priests, ministers, and rabbis) were exempt – as were those of studying for those positions. It was called a 4-D exemption.

Yeshivos all over the country were packed with students who otherwise might not have been there. The beauty for those who were there for purposes of dodging the draft was that the Yeshivos allowed them to attend college towards their original goals of seeking a career -and still be a member in good standing at the yeshiva.

I mention all of this in light of the continuing story about drafting Charedim into the Israeli army. The rabbinic leadership is resisting this full force. One of the arguments they put forward is that the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) doesn’t really need them. That those who serve now are more than enough. That drafting Yeshiva students is simply a ploy to destroy the Torah World. From an article in YWN, here is how Agudat Israel party member Rabbi Meir Porush put it:

[W]e are dealing with (the holy of holies of the people of Israel),” the destruction of yeshivos R”L, the government permits itself to publically declare the draft of bnei yeshivos is a matter of a few months

Porush added the state did not even bother to explain to the court that in actuality, the IDF cannot compel the avreichim to serve for in reality; they will prefer to fill the nation’s prisons before agreeing to abandon the benches of beis medrash

Porush condemned the prime minister’s “immoral position”, for he feels that without the frum community Mr. Netanyahu would not have been elected yet now, he turns his back on this very same tzibur. Porush adds the Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will become the first prime minister in the state’s history who rejects the study of Torah as the “profession” of the avreichim and therefore, is working to compel their draft into military service.

Porush explains the actions of the administration is tantamount to a declaration of war against the chareidi tzibur and on this matter there cannot and will not be the slightest compromise towards accommodating the position of the government.

How odd. From my perspective it is Rav Porush’s attitude that is wrong – and perhaps even immoral. Prisons?! It is better for Yeshiva students to sit in jail than to serve their country?! He uses hyperbole and exaggeration to make his points and concludes that the Israeli government has declared this a war against Charedim?! And he says that Prime Minister Netanyhau is immoral?!

First of all let me explode that myth. There is a sizable minority that is willing to comply wit the draft. According to an article in Ynet, 66% percent of Charedim believe Yeshiva students should be exempt from the draft. That means 34% of Charedim think that Yeshiva students should serve in the IDF. So much for declaring a war on Charedim.

What makes Rav Porush’s postion immoral for me is the gross inequity of exempting only Yeshiva students. The claim that they are not needed is nothing more than spin. What he means of course is that there are enough secular and Dati Leumi (MO) IDF members so that it is unnecessary to draft Yeshiva students.

That is ridiculous. The way the draft should work is that every single young man no matter what strata of Israeli society he comes from has an equal chance of being drafted. Sure – the way things have been structured until now required the government of Israel to fill its quota only with secular and Dati Leumi Jews.

But in an ideal and equitable world that should have never happened. Every single able bodied young man should register with a draft board. Why should only secular and Dati -Religious Zionist boys be put in harm’s way? Is Charedi blood redder? Is secular and Dati Leumi blood cheaper? The system is unfair from the get go. That Charedi Yeshiva students have all been exempt until now doesn’t mean that this unfair paradigm should continue.

This is why the government has changed the law and has made everyone subject to the draft. It is about fairness and has nothing to do with being anti Torah!

What about a divinity exemptions – like the one that existed in my day in America? Yes. I think there should be some Yeshiva students that are exempt… as there should be students of other disciplines that are vital to Israel’s existence. But it can’t be full exemptions to every single Yeshiva student as was the case in the America of my day.

There are 2 major differences between America and Israel. One is that Israel is and has been under constant siege from the very first day of its existence. It is under direct deadly conflict with its neighbors who threaten to annihilate it daily. The other is that its population is too small to allow that many exemptions. Especially to only one segment. America – even at the height of the Viet Nam War was huge! …and easily could fulfill its draft quota.

That said, I suppose that a fair and equitable draft in America should have included Yeshiva students too. Perhaps. But the Viet Nam War was not a popular war. It was not a war for survival. There were very few young people who supported that war. And no one clamored that this exemption wasn’t fair. It was widely accepted and respected.

Israel simply does not have enough manpower for the luxury of mass exemptions. Especially when there are so many young soldiers that have given up life and limb for their country. Israel is in a war for survival. Unlike America of the Viet Nam Wra era – popular opinion in Israel today is on the side of military service.

Charedi Rabbanim counter that it is the Torah study of Yeshivos that actually protects the country. I do not argue the point. The importance of the spiritual army does not however preclude the need of a physical army with a fair and equitable draft.

I think it is a gross misrepresentation for Rabbi Porush and other Charedi Rabbonim to suggest that the motive of the Israeli government is tantamount to declaring war on the Torah. Are Hesder boys also part of that war? This is not about fighting Torah. This is about fairness.

With 34% of the Charedi world agreeing that Yeshiva Bachurim should not be exempt, I’m sure that the government of Israel can devise a way for an equitable solution to this problem. There are over 60,000 students studying in Yeshivos and Kollelim. The better students can remain with their “4D” exemption. 66% of them. 34% can voluntarily subject themselves to the draft. That’s over 20,000 new Charedi recruits. That – at the very least – is the right thing to do.

Visit Emes Ve-Emunah.

How To Feel Love

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

Dear Dr. Yael:

I have an issue and it is causing problems in my marriage.

The home I grew up was not a warm one and I never received much love. For that reason, showing love to others is difficult for me – and for my husband. He is a warm and caring person and does not deserve my lack of affection. While I am working hard to change, I was wondering if you could offer some suggestions that might be helpful to both him and me.

Anonymous

Dear Anonymous:

Research shows that adults who do not receive a lot of love and physical closeness during their early years have a hard time showing love to their future spouses. Oxytocin is a hormone important in the development of children and adults, and is transmitted initially by the young baby being closely held to his mother when being fed. With this knowledge, parents whose children are in the NICU (neonatal ICU) will be encouraged to touch and hold the infants no matter how small they are. In fact, mothers are encouraged to do the “kangaroo,” whereby the mother holds the child skin to skin. Research shows that babies who are fed with bottles that were propped up (i.e., not held) have a harder time showing and giving affection to others as adults.

Children who are not taught to talk about their feelings and are not shown how to be warm and caring often have difficulty showing love to others when they are adults. Thus, if you grew up in a home where talking about one’s feelings and showing warmth were not taught, that may be why it is hard for you to act lovingly toward your husband. Other factors like self-esteem and trauma can also play a part in hindering one’s ability to demonstrate love and affection.

While it is helpful to understand why you have an unloving nature, it is more important to try to make a change – a difficult task for an individual to accomplish. Most people find it easier to initially change their behavior, even if it does not feel natural, as over time this can lead to a more substantial change in feelings and personality.

You can begin with your husband by showing him love. If expressing it verbally is too challenging, perhaps writing him notes will be easier. So this even if it is not something you have ever done and as I said, feels a little strange. If you are going to try saying the word, then practice what you want to say in advance, so that it will be easier for you in the moment. Try using loving speech often, as this will help it become a part of your nature. Metoch shelo lishma, ba lishma – behaving in the right manner, even if not for the sake of Hashem, can become for the sake of Hashem. The same is true with a person’s nature. From behaving lovingly, even if you are not doing it from of a loving feeling, will become a feeling of love. Furthermore, just by giving more to your husband, you will begin to feel closer to him.

It also may be helpful to figure out what your husband’s “love language” is. Individuals are programmed to feel loved in different ways, and often, we may think we are acting in a loving manner, but are not really giving our spouse what he/she needs.

Here are some examples of love languages (based on the work of Dr. Gary Chapman):

Meir and Shani come into my office feeling very frustrated with each other. Everyone thinks that they are a perfect couple. They are financially well off, they are an absolutely stunning looking couple, they have five beautiful children, and two homes. They are viewed as the “perfect couple” and both are active in many chesed projects. However they are miserable.

Shani says that Meir is a workaholic and has no time for her. Meir says that he feels Shani has no appreciation for all of his hard work and the lifestyle he provides for her and their family.

What is missing? When I ask each of them to list the other spouse’s positive qualities Meir lists all the things that Shani – cooking, taking care of their home and the children etc. He says he appreciates all that she does and that he tells her so very often. Shani says that Meir is a hard worker and that she does appreciate his work, but she needs him to spend time with her. Meir wishes Shani would verbalize more appreciation for him.

Rebbetzin Chave Hecht And Camp Emunah To Be Honored

Friday, July 20th, 2012

On Sunday, July 22, Ulster County Chabad, in association with the Ellenville Jewish community and Camp Emunah, will hold the 10th Annual Empowerment Breakfast at Congregation Ezrath Israel on Rabbi Herman Eisner Square in Ellenville, N.Y. The program will start at 9 a.m.

Every year, the Jewish community of Ulster County centered in Kingston, N.Y., gathers to give respect and honor to elected public servants and law enforcement officials.

This year, the committee has chosen three prominent individuals who have “shown selflessness, diligence and professionalism in their various leadership roles in the community.” Captain Bob Nuzzo of New York State Police Troop F Zone will receive the Public Safety Award; Assemblywoman Jeanette Provenzano, who is an Ulster County legislator, will be presented the Public Service Award, and New York State Assemblywoman Claudine Tenney will receive the Community Service Award.

In addition to the local public officials being honored at this program, a very special milestone in New York State history will also be noted. The summer of 2012 marks the 60th Anniversary/Jubilee of Camp Emunah, in Greenfield Park, N.Y. A special honor and recognition will be given to the person who has devoted her life to the ideals, the goal and principles of Camp Emunah and to the thousands of young Jewish children who have attended Camp Emunah over the last 60 years.

Camp Emunah was established in 1953 by Rabbi and Rebbetzin Hecht following the directorship of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Rebbetzin Chave Hecht assumed the role as director when there were just a few dozen campers, four bunk houses, a main building and a beautiful 40-acre Lake. Over the years that her late husband, Rabbi Jacob J. Hecht, served as executive director of Camp Emunah, the camp expanded to three divisions, three swimming pools, multiple sports fields and courts, dozens of bunks, staff houses, dining room and kitchens and activity buildings. Today, more than half of the 300-acre property is being utilized for the exciting programs and healthful activities for the children of Emunah. In addition, Camp Emunah sponsors a Travelling Teen Camp that operates on the West Coast from Vancouver to the Mexican border for a four-week program.

For the 60 years of Rebbetzin Hecht’s leadership, she has always emphasized her personal involvement with every child under her care. During her years as director, she has actively developed the programs, the guidelines, the framework and the activities, as well as designed the special trips and outreach programs which Camp Emunah has been famous for.

Rabbi and Rebbetzin Hecht were pioneers in summer camping, and many camps that later followed have often approached Rebbetzin Hecht for her guidance and mentorship in helping developing their camps.

The Empowerment Breakfast will provide the opportunity for all those who wish to show their respect and thanks to Rebbetzin Hecht to join the Kingston and Ellenville Jewish communities in bestowing this honor. The program is free of charge and there will not be any solicitation of funds at the program. A catered brunch will be served.

Despite Declarations for Equality – Knesset Shoots Down Universal Service Bill

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

The Knesset was humming with the sound of bells on Wednesday as the calls to vote for an equal service bill filled the building. The Supreme Court’s decision to cancel the Tal Law has caused a crisis in the Knesset to create a new and acceptable law before August 1.

The Yisrael Beytenu party, under Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, proposed the bill. Yet despite previous claims of fairness and equality by many Knesset members, as well as the government’s previous support of the bill, an overwhelming majority (74-20) voted against the bill.

This concept of equal service is one that the Yisrael Beytenu party has always supported, and they promised to vote for any bill that included that statement, according to a spokesperson for the party. This proved to be true when the party voted for an almost identical bill proposed by the Ha’atzmaut (Independence) party of Ehud Barak.

“Despite all the talk, there is no seriousness about change coming from any other party, as no one has created a written law in response,” someone close to the Yisrael Beytenu party told JewishPress.com. “We’re days away from the end of the Knesset and the August 1st deadline is looming,” he said.

The vote occurred the day after the Kadima party pulled out of the coalition and entered the opposition, specifically because of the draft issue.

The service options covered under the new bill could include military service, national service or community service, but the point is to create one rule for everyone to create a greater equality among Israelis.

“You have a responsibility to contribute to your country, to the state that you get benefits from,” a Yisrael Beytenu spokesperson said. “Those who serve will receive,” he added, using a phrase very similar to one Prime Minister Netanyahu used regarding compromising and negotiating with the Palestinians.

The opposition in large part comes from the Haredim.

Avraham Chasida, 32, is a Hassid from Yerushalayim and also an army veteran. He believes that the army is just one tool for protecting the Jewish people. But in turn, he also said that continuing to learn Torah is the only way the Jewish people will really be protected.

Chasida set up a tent in Wohl Rose Park outside of the Knesset in protest of the new bill. He explained that there has already been a natural increase in army service among the Ultra Orthodox community, without force or punishment – and specifically because of the Tal Law. Annually, there are around 7500 Chareidim who come of draft age. In 2007, 305 Haredi men were enlisted, while in 2011 that number has increased to 2,372. The Tal Law was working, he told us.

“Don’t just be right, be smart,” he said. “After 64 years, you can’t take people and turn them around and change them in one shot.”

Netanyahu also believes that it’s not practical to force the Ultra-Orthodox into service and is therefore attempting to create a proposition with more carrots and less sticks.

Some Knesset members are also aware that the transition must be smooth. “We can’t have a revolution, we have to have evolution,” MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) said. That is in reference to society from both sides. The army needs to be prepared for the Haredim just as much as the Haredim need to be ready for service.

However, time is sensitive, and not only because of the August 1 deadline. Hotovely said that the window of opportunity is now, because in the near future, it may not be possible to pass due to Knesset representation changes.

A spokesperson for Yisrael Beytenu echoed her statement, but with some criticism. “We’ve had 64 years to evolve,” he said. “Demographically, it will be impossible to pass this bill 20 years from now.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Netanyahu is now working on a bill that is a variation of the Plessner bill, that if all goes well, could be passed before the end of the month.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/the-knesset/despite-declarations-of-equality-knesset-shoots-down-universal-service-bill/2012/07/18/

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