21 August 2018

The Beginning of Global Slavery . . . and The Geulah

This Company Embeds Microchips in its Employees
(how did this come about?)

"McMullan is the president of Three Square Market, a technology company that provides self-service mini-markets to hospitals, hotels, and company break rooms. Last August, he became one of roughly 50 employees at its headquarters in River Falls, Wisconsin, who volunteered to have a chip injected into their hand.

"The idea came about in early 2017, he says, when he was on a business trip to Sweden—a country where some people are getting subcutaneous microchips to do things like enter secure buildings or book train tickets. It’s one of very few places where chip implants, which have been around for quite a while, have taken off in some fashion." To read the entire revolting article, go to technology review.

The [Age of] Technological Revolution

Technological revolution is a relatively short period in history when one technology (or better a set of technologies) is replaced by another technology (or by the set of technologies). It is an era of an accelerated technological progress characterized not only by new innovations, but also their application and diffusion.

A difference between technological revolution and technological change[1] is not clearly defined. The technological change we could see as an introduction of an individual (single) new technology while the technological revolution as a period in which more new technologies are adopted at the almost same time.[citation needed] These new technologies or technological changes are usually interconnected—as the third Kranzberg's law of technology says: "Technology comes in packages, big and small.” Wikipedia

Industrial Revolutions of Our World through Time
  • The First Industrial Revolution: 1760 – 1840 [i.e., First Steam Engine]
  • The Second Industrial Revolution: 1870 – 1914 [i.e., telegraph/Morse, telephone, first air flight and Henry Ford]
  • The Third Industrial Revolution: 1969 – 2000
  • The Fourth Industrial Revolution: the digital revolution occurring since the middle of the last century [we are in this one]
Revolutions are a result of humankind's desire to develop, expand, and grow. This has led to all the significant inventions in our society.

The First and Second Industrial Revolutions interesting engineering

How the First and Second Industrial Revolutions Changed Our World: The Industrial Revolution can be summed up as the revolution that happened to the industrial sector in the past 300 years. But it still can't be explained in just one sentence, as it doesn’t do justice to the greatness of the revolution. It brought about a radical change that was direly needed.

The Digital Revolution (i.e. Third Industrial Revolution)

The Digital Revolution, also known as the Third Industrial Revolution, is the shift from mechanical and analogue electronic technology to digital electronics which began anywhere from the late 1950s to the late 1970s with the adoption and proliferation of digital computers and digital record keeping that continues to the present day.[1] Implicitly, the term also refers to the sweeping changes brought about by digital computing and communication technology during (and after) the latter half of the 20th century. Analogous to the Agricultural Revolution and Industrial Revolution, the Digital Revolution marked the beginning of the Information Age. Wikipedia

The Third Industrial Revolution: 
How the Internet, Green Electricity, and 3-D Printing are Ushering in a Sustainable Era of Distributed Capitalism
It is becoming clear that the 
Second Industrial Revolution is dying

The digitisation of manufacturing will transform the way goods are made—and change the politics of jobs too economist [think Amazon and employee microchiping]

Since the beginning of the Great Recession in the summer of 2008, governments, the business community, and civil society have been embroiled in a fierce debate over how to restart the global economy. While austerity measures and fiscal, labor, and market reforms will all be necessary, they are not sufficient to re-grow the economy. Let me explain by way of an anecdote. Just months after arriving in office, the new Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, asked me to come to Berlin to help her administration address the question of how to create new jobs and grow the German economy in the twenty-first century. I began my remarks by asking the chancellor, “How do you grow the German economy, the EU economy, or, for that matter, the global economy, in the last stages of a great energy era and an industrial revolution built on it?” worldfinancialreview

The Fourth Industrial Revolution [think A1, Robotics]

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is the fourth major industrial era since the initial Industrial Revolution of the 18th century. It is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.[1] It is marked by emerging technology breakthroughs in a number of fields, including robotics, artificial intelligence, blockchain, nanotechnology, quantum computing, biotechnology, The Internet of Things, The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), fifth-generation wireless technologies (5G), additive manufacturing/3D printing and fully autonomous vehicles. Klaus Schwab has associated it with the "second machine age"[2] in terms of the effects of digitization and artificial intelligence (AI) on the economy, but added a broader role for advances in biological technologies.[3][need quotation to verify] It is disrupting almost every industry in every country. And the breadth and depth of these changes herald the transformation of entire systems of production, management, and governance.

Schwab sees as part of this revolution "emerging technology breakthroughs" in fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, 3D printing, quantum computing and nanotechnology.[4] The fourth wave of the industrial revolution is expected to see the heavy implementation of several emerging technologies with a high potential of disruptive effects.

Where are we heading . . . hopefully into the Geulah.

The Industrial Revolution 1760–1840 
At the same time: 

Generation 47 of Seder Olam:

Year 5520 – 1760 CE – Legacy of the Baal Shem Tov (the Besht)
Year 5543 – 1783 CE – Moses Mendelssohn and the Haskalah
Year 5630 – 1870 CE – The Malbim
Year 5621 – 1861 CE – When the Jews owned Jerusalem
Year 5633 – 1873 CE – The Chafetz Chayim 

(to be continued)

20 August 2018


Israel is the ONLY Jewish state we have
by Rabbi Menachem Margolin

The vast majority of Diaspora Jews know that helping Israel may be the best investment for their own futures

In an article published in The New York Times on the 13th of August, Mr. Ronald Lauder, a great man with many merits and to whom the Jewish people owe a lot for his generous and tireless efforts for them and for the State of Israel, wrote: “The State of Israel distorts Jewish values ​​and harms democracy and equality. This will cause more Jews to distance themselves from the State of Israel. The West is indifferent and even hostile to it.” In addition, Mr. Lauder wrote that the behavior of the State of Israel is “a great threat to the future of the Jewish people.”

Strong words. Coming as they do from Mr. Lauder, one must take notice. But just as one owes generous friends a fair hearing, we also owe it to them to call them out when they are mistaken. This task, on behalf of the European Jewish Association, and on behalf of traditional and authentic Judaism, falls on my shoulders today.

The language and vehemence of the arguments put forward by Mr Lauder are startling, and no doubt were designed to be so. As is the framing of the premise in absolutist and divisive terms, effectively the language of them or us, or our side or their side. This on its own is deeply regrettable. As an American, Mr. Lauder is well aware of President Lincoln’s famous quote that a house divided cannot stand. Looking at the current American political landscape, the foundations do indeed look a bit rocky, and perhaps this helped frame his thinking… But Israel? I profoundly disagree.

Let us be clear, Mr. Lauder’s arguments are nothing new. There have always been differences of opinion among the Jewish people about what will guarantee the future of the nation: assimilation among the nations, or rather separation from them.

Enough years have passed for us to know the truth today. Those who do not like Jews did everything to persecute them. They persecuted the enlightened, they persecuted the modern, and they persecuted the assimilated with as much, if not more, venom and hatred, as the traditional. Looking at Israel’s enemies today, are there any that realistically make any distinction between the branches? No, it’s the tree that they want to uproot.

That Judaism that survived is thanks to those who fought a stubborn struggle to preserve the roots: and those roots, without arrogance or boastfulness are those of authentic Judaism. The reality is that the high percentage of assimilationists among the Jewish people (over 70 percent and including those who left the Jewish people and have no traces left) were from the same group that sought safety in the nothingness.

The Reform movement has been around for well over a couple of hundred years, but anyone who enters a Reform synagogue and asks his or her neighbor whether that person’s grandfather was also a Reform Jew will receive a negative answer in 99% of the cases. Because reality has proven that in most cases, the grandchild of the Reform practitioner is no longer, in being or in practice, Jewish.

In a study published in Los Angeles by Anthony Gordon and Richard Horowitz, they researched how the situation looked with regard to 100 first-generation Jews after four generations, when spread out amongst the various groups. The answers leave no room for doubt: from the secular, four descendants will remain Jewish; from the Reform, 13; from the Conservative, 52; from the Modern Orthodox, 337; and from the ultra-Orthodox Jews, 3,398 Jews. Even with a margin factored in for statistical error, the facts are stark in their clarity.

We must take a look at the long-term — and a sober look at that — at what the future of the Jewish people is, and not be alarmed by background noise and criticism. We certainly should not take on board the criticism of Western leaders, whose very history and approach is often testament to at worst a lost, or at best a very badly broken moral compass.

There is no doubt that Judaism should be pleasant and welcoming to every person and to every Jew, and certainly more can and should be done to be as inclusive and open as possible. But in no case should we be sacrificing the roots of the tree, those of Judaism itself, for the sake of prevailing political circumstances, trend or movement. Judaism teaches us that every person must be a disciple of Aharon HaCohen, who loves peace and pursues peace, loves people and brings them closer to the Torah. But not to bring the Torah closer to them. In other words, it is up to us to embrace the Torah, not the other way around.

The State of Israel is the life insurance of the Jewish people. Every country in the world has known dark periods and the Jewish people have no insurance certificate anywhere else in the world. The vast majority of Diaspora Jews understand that their vital assistance to the State of Israel may someday be the best investment they have made for their own futures. American Jewry, which contributed so much, including driving so much that is positive in Israel, I believe, understands this well. Israel is the only Jewish state we have.

Therefore, every Jew in the world who cares about the continuity of the Jewish people must do everything he can to ensure that the State of Israel will always remain an authentic Jewish state. One that even after four generations will remain Jewish. Therefore, it must be Orthodox Jewish at its core.

It must also be sensitive, humane, behave respectfully to all its citizens and continues to be a beacon of justice and honesty. On evidence, I believe that it continues to be a beacon, and I and the many thousands of Jews that the European Jewish Association represents, continue to see it — and with pride — as such. Of course, and as I have said, more can be done to be more inclusive and to reflect modernity, but first and foremost it must and forever remain — a Jewish state. Because we have no other people and we have no other country.

Rabbi Menachem Margolin is the chairman of the European Jewish Association (EJA).
Footnote–an excellent on the target article
Israel is the “Israeli State”
Is Israel the Jewish State or the Israeli State - and is there a difference? arutzsheva

19 August 2018

"Apocalyptic Events are Happening in America!” … and Elsewhere

"Apocalyptic Events are Happening in America!"
WHY is this Happening?
Rabbi Pinchas Winston Shlit”a has written a new book, “See Ya: Regarding the Downfall of American Society.” The paperback is now available through Amazon: “See Ya”.

NJ Gov Declares States of Emergency for 5 Flood-Impacted Counties; More Merciless Weather on the Way
Gov. Murphy signed an executive order Tuesday declaring states of emergency for Bergen, Essex, Monmouth, Ocean and Passaic counties, where hundreds of homes were damaged and dozens of people and pets had to be rescued. Some communities got enough rainfall for an entire month over the last few days, he said — and more storms are expected later in the afternoon. YWN

Flash Flooding Continues New York, Delaware, 
Pennsylvania Hit Hard

Two cities, two very different responses to rising sea levels

While New York City is taking aggressive action to prevent future catastrophes like Hurricane Sandy, other vulnerable cities, such as Charleston, South Carolina, are not tackling the threat of rising sea level and climate change with the same urgency. Special correspondent Jackie Judd reports.

In Maryland Sea Level Rise Is Happening Now

In Maryland's Dorchester County sea level rise has already profoundly altered the landscape, and how people go about their daily lives. The similarities of their landscape with the low lying "reclaimed" marshlands in South Dunedin and in Thames are striking. Watch this video and take a glimpse into how the future, and see how our communities will look in a few short years

Sea level rise: Miami and Atlantic city fight to stay above water

South Florida's Rising Seas - Sea Level Rise Documentary
Two SJMC faculty, Kate MacMillin and Juliet Pinto, explore the narrative of a South Florida community under threat from sea level rise in this half-hour documentary

Going UP: Sea Level Rise in San Francisco Bay - KQED QUEST (2010)
[If this was happening in 2010, what is it like 2018? They call it “Climate Change” but we know better.] Scientists say it's no secret San Francisco Bay is rising, along with all of the earth's oceans. The reason --- global warming. This rise in sea level will affect everyone who lives, works, or plays near the bay. QUEST asks how high will the Bay rise and when? And what steps can communities take to plan for it?

The Sinkhole That's Swallowing Louisiana

Documentary 2017 | Sinkholes

In a leafy suburb near Tampa, Florida, on February 28, 2013, a giant hole opened up under the bedroom floor of Jeffrey Bush, swallowing him as he slept. His body was never found. Bush was a victim of a #sinkhole—a worldwide hazard that lurks wherever limestone and other water-soluble rocks underpin the soil. When carbon dioxide from the air dissolves in rainwater, it forms a weak acid that attacks soft rocks, riddling them with holes like Swiss cheese. Sinkholes can occur gradually when the surface subsides into bowl shaped depressions or suddenly when the ground gives way. These geological hazards have swallowed highways, apartment buildings, horses, camels, even golfers, with monster-size holes cracking the earth from Siberia to Louisiana.


8.2 earthquake rocks the Fiji Region! | New Zealand is getting constant 5.9 to 6 mags

Lessons from Holland on fighting rising sea levels

Windmills are more than just a traditional part of the Dutch landscape; they have played a key role in the war Holland has waged against the sea for centuries. Today the Dutch are using ever-more innovative methods to combat rising sea levels, strategies that may also benefit other nations confronting the effects of climate change. Martha Teichner reports. Originally broadcast on May 21, 2017.

Police Brutality! OR Middah Kneged Middah?

In Israel it is Jew Against Jew.
Hilltop youth's parents sue police for alleged assault
"Despite all the complaints, the police didn't do enough to curb the officer's aggression and anger towards young people," the lawsuit says.


In Bucharest it is Goy against Israeli

Israeli tourists beaten by police in Bucharest
The Israeli embassy in Bucharest is protesting after Romanian riot police allegedly removed two Israeli tourists from a taxi and beat them


18 August 2018

Mystery Russian Satellite – Trouble in Alaska

Russian Strategic Bombers Deploy near Alaska

MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian military says that two nuclear-capable strategic bombers have flown to the easternmost Chukotka Peninsula, near Alaska, as part of an air force exercise.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that the Tu-160 bombers flew about 7,000 kilometers (4,350 Miles) from their home base near Saratov in southwestern Russia to Anadyr, on Chukotka, before returning to their home base. The ministry said the mission was the first time the bombers had flown to Chukotka, which faces Alaska across the Bering Strait.

The ministry said the air force exercise also involved the Tu-95 strategic bombers and tanker planes.
The Russian military has increased the intensity and scope of its drills amid strain in relations with the U.S. and its allies. The flight demonstrated that Russian bombers could be deployed close to the U.S. the Intelligencer

Navy Guided-Missile Destroyer Visits Anchorage

The U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer Momsen docked at the Port of Alaska on Wednesday. The ship's visit to Alaska coincided with the Arctic Maritime Symposium, a multi-agency discussion of the challenges and opportunities presented by Arctic maritime operations.

The USS Momsen will be docked at the port until Saturday and will host small community groups. There will not be any public tours.

The Momsen's crew of roughly 320 will be visiting Anchorage throughout the week, enjoying a few days of shore leave before the ship departs Saturday. ADN

Mystery Russian Satellite's Behavior Alarms US Officials

A mysterious Russian satellite displaying "very abnormal behaviour" has raised alarm in the US, according to a State Department official.

17 August 2018


By Roy S. Neuberger

Recently, my wife and I were privileged to travel to Russia for a brief but fascinating trip under the leadership of Rabbi Aryeh Katzin, a principal force behind Russian kiruv in the U. S. Rabbi Katzin heads RAJE (Russian-American Jewish Experience) and founded Sinai Academy. He grew up under Communism in Russia, learned Torah in Yerushalayim, and was recruited some thirty years ago by American godolim, principal among them Rabbi Elya Svei zt”l

Our trip was fascinating for many reasons, but what came across intensely was the amazing fact that Jews in Russia, for the first time in centuries – perhaps since the Churban! – are unafraid. This impression comes not from propaganda, but from personal conversations with many people. 

Despite intense controversy over Vladimir Putin in the Western World, there is no doubt that he is beloved by observant Jews in Russia. They walk in the street with yarmulkas and, by their own testimony, there is no evidence of anti-Semitism in Russia today. I am not saying that “esev sonai l’Yaakov …Esav hates Yaakov”has been repealed. What I do say is that government policy, from the top down, is strongly sympathetic to Torah life and Torah institutions. 

I first heard the following story several years ago from a distinguished rosh yeshiva at a large yeshiva outside Moscow: Mr. Putin was a mediocre student in high school, but he had a teacher named Mina Yuditskaya Berliner who saw in him tremendous potential. She taught him to identify and strengthen his koach, and from this moment began his spectacular rise. 

This teacher was a Jewish lady.

To Mr. Putin’s everlasting credit, he never forgot what he owed to her. 

Because of this and other childhood experiences with kindly Jewish neighbors, Mr. Putin’s attitude toward Jews in general became extremely benevolent. When he achieved power, he remembered his beloved teacher, to the extent that he bought her an apartment in Israel and visited her there on official state trips as president. One Jewish lady changed the world!

Can you imagine: because of her, millions of Russian Jews benefited! Jewish communities in Russia have no problems with the government. Many large buildings and facilities housing Jewish institutions have been given to them gratis by the government. Amazingly, Mr. Putin himself contributed one month of his salary toward building the enormous and sophisticated Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow! 

No matter what the Western media say, Vladimir Putin’s record toward Russian Jews and Jewish institutions cannot be equaled by most statesman around the world. From whom did I learn this? Among others, a rosh yeshiva; two observant businessmen who emigrated from New York to Moscow; a dayan, a businessman who runs a large Jewish publishing house, a law professor and distinguished rabbonim in St. Petersburg and Moscow. We met with Rabbi Alexander Boroda, president of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia. Articulate even in English, Rabbi Boroda operates kiruv centers throughout Russia and is one of Mr. Putin’s close advisors. 

At this season of teshuva, it is instructive to contemplate how one person can affect the lives of millions of our brethren. Mrs. Berliner’s innate goodness and desire for tikkun olam was part of her Yiddishe neshoma. She changed the world. We can all change the world by cultivating chessed and acting with dignity, living up to the example inherited from Avraham Avinu, who changed the entire world by demonstrating the nobility of the service of the Ribono shel Olam

In our era, “politics,” which really should be the service of mankind, has become a term signifying corruption and obsession with power. Monarchy is archaic; there are very few, if any, real kings. The celebrated Queen of England, for example, is a powerless figurehead. 

This week’s Parsha, lehavdil, reveals the Torah view regarding the head of government, a subject which I think it is vital to contemplate. “When you come to the Land that Hashem, your G-d, gives you, and possess it, and settle in it … you shall surely set over yourself a king whom Hashem, your G-d, shall choose. From among your brethren shall you set a king over yourself; you cannot place over yourself a foreign man, who is not your brother.” (Dvarim 17:14-15)
It is fascinating to examine the view of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch on the role of the Jewish king: “The king, who is at the head of the nation, holds all its powers, and – with none above him but Hashem his G-d – directs his people in the way of G-d’s service.” (Hirsch Chumash Vayikra 4:22) Rabbi Hirsch indicates that the king is the prime teacher of the nation in the ways of serving Hashem, like a powerful mussar rebbe

Rabbi Hirsch continues, quoting Chazal: “Fortunate is the generation whose ruler seeks atonement by making an offering for the wrong he has committed in error. How must the conscience of the ordinary citizen be stirred by the conscientious conduct of the king! And if he is so deeply affected by a transgression he has committed in error, how much more deeply will he be affected if he has been guilty of an intentional sin!” (Horayos 10b)

We live in a cynical world, but the Torah is not cynical; we believe in the perfect goodness of a world governed by Torah and we are awaiting ben Dovid, the Moshiach

“The Chachamim and Noviim did not yearn for the Messianic Era in order to have dominion over the entire world, to rule over the gentiles … or to eat, drink and celebrate, but rather … to be free [to involve themselves] in Torah and wisdom without pressure or disturbance, so that they would merit the World to Come….” (Rambam, Hilchos Melachim)

May we see it soon in our days!   

Left to right: the author, Rabbi Alexander Boroda, 
Rabbi Aryeh Katzin

*          *          *          *
Roy Neuberger, author and public speaker, can be reached at roy@2020vision.co.il.

© Copyright 2018 by Roy S. Neuberger

Parshas Shoftim – "Judges You Must Establish . . ."

Parshas Shoftim PERCEPTIONS
by Rabbi Pinchas Winston Shlit”a

This week’s PERCEPTIONS and 
is dedicated in memory of 
Sara Chana bat Sarah Imeinu, z”l, 
a friend, supporter, and someone who 
was clearly devoted to Hashem and His Torah.

Judges and law enforcers you must 
establish in all your communities . . .(Devarim 16:18)

EVERY YEAR WHEN I get to Parashas Shoftim, I am reminded of the world in which we live. The truth is, I do not need this week’s parsha to do that. All I have to do is read a newspaper. I mean something else.

The Torah is God’s program for history. It is built upon ideal concepts that are supposed to help a person achieve personal perfection, and the world, ultimate fulfillment. It pre-dated Creation by thousands of years and will outlive history as we know it. It is the word of God, eternal, and FAR above our everyday mundane reality. 

So how is it that the Torah talks about such mundane matters as court systems and police forces? These sound like issues for societies that do not have Torah, and which have a difficult time getting their members to rise above crime and strive for loftier goals. It’s as if the Torah is giving up on the Jewish people before they even have a chance to try and set themselves up as a Torah nation. It’s as if the Torah is saying, “You’re going to be just like everyone else.” How disappointing.

We’ve discussed this idea in the past, how the version of Torah we currently learn is not the ideal version we were supposed to have received, prior to the sin of the golden calf. When Moshe Rabbeinu broke the first set of tablets, we lost our opportunity to receive that Messianic level of Torah. That one is based upon the same eternal concepts as our rendition of Torah, but expressed in a far loftier manner. 

The sin of the calf greatly lessened our spiritual capacity. After that we were no longer capable or worthy of receiving the Torah of the Messianic Era. The Torah we have now is meant to try and lead us in that direction, and to allow us to rectify the world to whatever level we can. How’s it working out so far?

In the incredible work, “Yesod v’Shoresh HaAvodah,” by Rav Alexander Ziskind, in the section about the “Ten Days of Repentance,” he mentions the real damage of a sin. By doing a sin, the person has lowered himself spiritually and become worthy of punishment in the process. But the ultimate damage is the profanation of God’s Name that the sin caused. 

Any time a person sins, less Divine light enters the world. The sin blocks the spiritual pipe, and prevents God’s light from positively impacting Creation. Just as a child who misbehaves denies his parents’ the pleasure of giving him nice things, likewise a sinning person denies the Divine Presence an opportunity to do what it likes most: bless mankind. 
The prophet Yechezkel says that this situation will be so bad at the End-of-Days that God will be forced to bring the Final Redemption just to end the “Chillul Hashem,” the profanation of God’s Name constantly committed amongst the nations of the world. The amount of light entering the world will be so minimal that if God doesn’t change the situation Himself, the world will fall apart on its own.

A person might ask, “What difference can it possibly make to Creation if I personally improve myself and work on sanctifying the Name of God? I’m only ONE person against millions of others who are profaning His Name!” 

As the Nefesh HaChaim points out, a person never knows how much their effort is worth in the eyes of God. It can be capable of a far greater impact than they might have otherwise thought. And does it matter anyhow? The main thing is that a person does whatever they personally can to make the world better, and it starts by being more concerned about God’s Name than their own.  


Reincarnation is a hot topic, as I have written about already. This has caught the attention of my distributor of Sha’ar HaGilgulim (Hardcopy), who would like me to package up “Reincarnation Clarified” and “What Goes Around,” into a single hardcopy book for worldwide distribution. To cover the cost of the printing, I need to raise the money through dedications. If you are interested in dedicating the entire sefer, or contributing to its publication, please let me know at pinchasw@thirtysix.org at your earliest convenience.

Also, attached is a sample of my latest book, “See Ya: Regarding the Downfall of American Society.” This is a book in need of dedication as well. If anyone is interested, please let me know. The paperback is now available through Amazon. Click here.

AUGUST 12-18, 2018, ISSUE #1

I stopped writing CTD for two reasons. The last American election brought out the worst in the media and, between the new levels of deceit and childishness, I had a difficult time stomaching it. I began to greatly limit my exposure. The second reason I stopped CTD is that Amazon made it much easier for me to constantly publish new books. The books themselves are where I do most of my “dot” connecting. 

Though I am REALLY enjoying the book writing, b”H, and do a fair bit of dot-connecting in Perceptions, I felt that some element of what I do best was still missing. This has been confirmed to me on several occasions by readers who have urged me to return to at least a bi-weekly CTD. This week’s mailing represents a compromise: a tag along CTD at the end of the parsha sheet, with a twist.

I’m asking YOU, the READER, to supply me with an issue to be addressed. I would like to receive questions from YOU for me to deal with. This will save me the time of scanning the news, which I have little patience for these days, and allow me to focus on what people are thinking about. No names need to be attached to the question.
I was actually asked this last week:

I am aware that there are many who condemn the recent passage of the Basic Law declaring Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish people. I'm not interested in the political implications of the law and all the people who think it means the end of a democratic Israel. I'm intrigued by the fact that it happened at all—that the government of Medinat Yisrael openly declared that Israel is a Jewish state just eight months after the US recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. These are Biblical realities that secular governments are openly validating . . . I’m looking for your thoughts about how these two validations happening less than a year apart, are connected to geulah.

Redemption, explained the Vilna Gaon, is kind of two-steps forward, one-step back process. But, even the step backwards, he added, is really a step forwards as well, when everything is taken into account. It just looks to US as if it is backwards. What this means is that history can be difficult to read, from a redemption point of view. It can be hard, even impossible to properly interpret everyday events, and what they ultimately mean to the redemption process. 

Therefore, it cannot be downplayed when at such a late stage of history, and especially while Liberalism is so strong around the world, that America has acknowledged Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, or that a secular Israeli government is bold enough to declare Israel first and foremost a Jewish state. It is easy to let these happenings to get buried among the many issues impacting world history today. But the person with an eye to redemption knows that they are signs of the geulah times, not just something else randomly catching the attention of the public.