Due to Blogger Format Changes
29 January 2010
He saw sticks turn into snakes. He didn't budge.
He saw water turn into blood. His heart remained closed.
He felt and smelled the invasion of the frogs. Nothing.
He itched from lice and ran fright from the wild animals. He barely blinked.
He watched in awe and fright as balls of fire and ice pounded the landscape. "Who is this G‑d?"
He woke up in the morning to find empty drawers, all the food consumed by grasshoppers. He sat in total darkness for three days, then for the next three days was unable to move. "I should let them free? Are you out of your mind?"
He cried as his firstborn dropped dead, and became fearful for his own life: after all he was also a firstborn…
Okay, finally he gave in; he let the Jewish people go. It had taken a while, but now his heart had softened.
Or so we thought.
The story continued.
A few days after the Jews left, when they were already far away near the Red Sea, Pharaoh regretted his decision. He begged for volunteers to join his mission, and, all invigorated, he chased after his former slaves, in an attempt to bring them back.
As he approached the Jewish camp, G‑d blocked off the Egyptian camp with a cloud, causing all the arrows and spears aimed at the Jews to bounce back.
Think he cared?
He saw the waters split. He decided to chase after them.
No "miracles shmiracles" were going to change his mind.
A stubborn mule. Nothing, absolutely nothing could push him off his crooked path.
The Kotzker Rebbe taught that we should learn a lesson from our first tormentor:
A lesson in defiance.
28 January 2010
It was not the “evil CEO’s” or the “greedy bankers” that ruined the economy. For one thing it was Obama as soon as he took office who forced the banks and car companies to take the money that they did not need or want from him just so he could later take them over and claim he was “doing it for the people”.
He told successful auto dealerships he was forcing them out of business and he cared nothing for the 50 people each (on average)was being forced to permanently lay off.
When the economy was still at better then full employment (full is 5% or lower unemployment and) of 4.5%.
The liberal media started attacking it (even before Bush got in office) and after Bush had been in office awhile and it was at 4.5% the media was saying what a terrible recession we were in (when we weren’t) and used as an excuse the fact that it had gone from 4.5% to 4.6% (still well below 5%, which again, is considered “full employment”) and started scaring people into not buying things.
So someone now does not buy that new furniture they were going to get and many others get the same scare. So now the furniture store lays people off (and appliance stores etc…) and those people cannot now pay their mortgages and the collapse starts caused in part by the media’s lies in order to attack Bush.
He said several times that he wanted “clean energy jobs” and emphasized the idea that other jobs would not be funded or supported. He specifically said that he was going to make sure that the ‘clean energy’ jobs would be the most profitable. He also specifically said he wanted all tax benefits to oil and coal companies to end. So obviously he intends to make the ‘clean energy’ jobs the most profitable not by lowering costs either to the business or to the consumer but by creating and artificially unlevel playing field where only the politically correct jobs will benefit.
This in turn will raise the cost of living for all of us and Obama’s claims of lowering taxes are bogus because the other areas of cost will go up for more then any savings from any lowering of taxes he claims to be giving us.
He further wants to destroy the family by his support of those who believe in certain forbidden practices between two men. It is not about as he falsely claimed “peoples right to be who they are” but about their untznius unkosher activities, that he is supporting along with changing the definition of what the word marriage, means.
If the government would get out of regulation our lives and get out of the banking and insurance and health care business, prices in all these areas would drop like a rock.
I have heard from a few people who said they were paying cash for their own health care and because it was cash with no insurance or forms etc…the price was at least 35% less then it would have been.
In one case I heard about a woman who had to pay $250 for a procedure and paying cash; after shopping around found a qualified fully licensed doctor who did an excellent job for $50.
I am chalishing to go on and on and point out oh so many more lies and flaws in this speech, but this post is already quite long and this should give people at least some idea how bogus this president and his plans, are.
“There is a mutual interest being exploited here,” he said. “The Bnei Menashe get help to make aliyah [immigration] while the settlements get lots of new arrivals to bolster their numbers, including in settlements close to Palestinian areas where most Israelis would not want to venture.”
The Government's decision was made possible by a ruling in 2005 by Shlomo Amar, one of Israel’s two chief rabbis, that the Bnei Menashe are one of 10 lost Jewish tribes, supposedly exiled from the Middle East 2,700 years ago....He ordered a team of rabbis to go to north-east India to begin preparing Bnei Menashe who identified themselves as Jews for conversion to the strictest stream of Judaism, Orthodoxy, so they would qualify to immigrate to Israel under the Law of Return [....]
The Bnei Menashe belong to an ethnic group called the Shinlung, who number more than one million and live mainly in the states of Manipur and Mizoram, close to the border with Myanmar. They were converted from animism to Christianity by British missionaries a century ago, but a small number claim to have kept an ancient connection to Judaism [....]
“I believe we are very close to the time when the Messiah will arrive and we must prepare by making sure that all the Jews are in the Land of Israel. There are more than six million among the lost tribes and they must be brought to Israel as a matter of urgency.”
27 January 2010
65th Anniversary of the Liberation
Wednesday, 27th January, 2010 — Former Auschwitz II-Birkenau Concentration Camp
• 2.30 pm — Main ceremonies will be held in a heated tent (located in the so-called BIIf sector) put up specially for that purpose. On account of limited space passes will be required. Those without passes are requested to enter through the former women’s camp (the so-called BI sector). The participants staying outside the tent will be able to watch the ceremony on a big screen mounted specially on this occasion.
Over 150 former prisoners (including 115 from Poland) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek will attend the 65th anniversary ceremony at the Auschwitz Nazi death camp in southern Poland today.
The main ceremony, at 14.30 CET will be led by former prisoner August Kowalczyk. Władysław Bartoszewski, Marian Turski and Edward Paczkowski will also contribute. Other speakers will include President Lech Kaczyński, Prime Minister Donald Tusk, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and Russia’s minister of education, Andrei Fursenko.
* * * *
Auschwitz victims mourned on 65th anniversary
KRAKOW — Auschwitz survivors, Soviet veterans and leaders including Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu gather on Wednesday for emotionally-charged ceremonies marking the 65th anniversary of the notorious Nazi death camp's liberation.
Ahead of a commemoration at the site of the World War II camp in German-occupied Poland, 700 participants started assembling in the southern city of Krakow for a morning memorial event organised by the European Jewish Congress (EJC). Krakow
Lithuanian-born Holocaust survivor and Tel Aviv resident Baruch Shub, 85, said he still bore the emotional scars of his suffering.
"There's a lot of sorrow, because when I came home, I found nobody in my family alive. But also a bit of happiness because the war was over and I'd somehow stayed alive," Shub told AFP.
"We encounter the worst evil in the history of mankind together with the greatest courage in the history of humanity," Netanyahu said at a former railhead where the Nazis sent more than 300,000 Jews to die.
"This is not an easy encounter but it gives us hope and direction for our future. May God avenge the victims," said the Israeli leader alongside his wife Sara, whose father was the only member of his family to survive the Holocaust in which some six million Jews were murdered.
Tel Aviv's Polish-born Chief Rabbi Israel Meir Lau -- a Holocaust orphan who survived as a child in Nazi camps -- will recite a Jewish prayer of mourning. Related article: Survivors span the history of Auschwitz
"We started meeting huddles of people. They came towards us, in prison stripes. Some had covers over their heads. We could only see their eyes. And in those eyes, we could see what they were feeling," he said.
"But we didn't know what it was. We only understood after the war," he added.
Kantor, 56, who is from Russia, said he feels extra emotion when he thinks of 1945.
"The majority of my family was murdered," he said.
"My father was in the Red Army. I always remember his feelings, his attitude being a soldier of the Red Army whose family disappeared in the Shoah. Those feelings created mine," he said.
Children of Auschwitz recall liberation 65 years ago
WARSAW — Kazimiera Wasiak is a 76-year-old Polish pensioner who will forever remain a child of Auschwitz.
When she was only 11, Wasiak spent six months in Nazi Germany?s largest and most infamous World War II death camp, barely surviving on "a slop of water and rye flour". Severely malnourished, she became gravely ill but believes this may have saved her life.
Today, as treasurer of an Auschwitz-Birkenau survivors' association in Warsaw, she meets regularly with a dwindling number of members, many of whom shared her fate like 78-year-old Stanislaw Przeradski.
"After living five years in Warsaw under the Nazis we were no longer children when we came to Auschwitz," said Przeradksi, who was only 13 at the time.
"We'd seen it all -- firing squads shooting innocents in the street, brutality, air raids," he told AFP. Warsaw.
25 January 2010
Visit here for complete blessing in Hebrew
For the first time ever, the Council president, Ambassador Luis Alfonso de Alba of Mexico, rejects a speech as "inadmissible" and bans it from ever being delivered again.
"Council President Luis Alfonso de Alba ruled the remarks inadmissible. . . in the depths of the U.N., this was of course logical: Mr. Neuer's commentary had been accurate..."
— Wall Street Journal
24 January 2010
The mitzvah to redeem our firstborn sons (pidyon haben) appears at the end of parashat Bo, and requires us to redeem our firstborn sons who belong to G-d, because G-d spared the lives of the firstborn children of Israel during the plague of the birstborn (the tenth and last plague). He commands, "Consecrate to Me, from among the Israelites, every firstborn of man or beast which is the first issue of every womb; it is Mine.
From the time the Jewish people entered the Land of Israel, redeeming the firstborn has been performed by giving five silver coins to a Cohen when the baby is a month old, as 'payment', as it were, for the priest functioning in his stead. Indeed, the name of the parasha, Bo, alludes to this commandment as its letters (בא) are the initials of 'the firstborn of man' (בכור אדם), an idiom found only once in the Torah, in our parasha, in the description of this mitzvah.
Since the mitzvah of redeeming the firstborn son appears in context of the termination of the Ten Plagues and the ensuing exodus from Egypt, it serves as a spiritual model for redemption.
Indeed, following the Torah's lead, Chassidic commentaries and Kabbalistic works discuss the mitzvah of redeeming the firstborn in connection with our own final redemption, who future description is likened by the prophets to the exodus from Egypt, 'Like the days when you came out of the land of Egypt, I will show you wonders.' (Michah 7:15)
The Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds differ on the question of upon whom the Torah places the responsibility of redeeming the firstborn son: the father or the firstborn himself. According to the Babylonian Talmud the responsibility is the father's; however, the Jerusalem Talmud places the responsibility on the firstborn himself. [...] just as a baby cannot circumcise himself, the son is unable to redeem himself, thus the Torah temporarily gives the obligation to the father. But once the firstborn son is old enough the responsibility reverts back to him to redeem himself if his father has not yet done so.
Who holds the key to redemption?
Because of the parallel between the mitzvah of pidyon baben and the redemption from our present exile, we may interpret the difference between the T almuds as representing two opinions regarding this question of 'Who holds the key to reemption?' In other words, who is responsible for acting in order to redeem us from our current exile, G-d or we, the Jewish people? [...]
Revelation or consciousness?
[...] Is the redemption about 'revelation' or about 'consciousness'? In more technical terms, is it about 'wisdom' or 'knowledge'?[...]
Redeeming your firstborn donkey.
This past Wednesday, I was on a flight from San Fransisco heading to New York. Just before take-off, a man walked onto the plane carrying a metal box with wires coming out of it.
“Do you mind if I put this here?” he asked me, as he stowed a big knapsack in the overhead compartment. “That depends,” I answered. “Is it going to blow up?” He said, “It’s a charger,” and slid into the window seat.
The man appeared to be Muslim and the flight ended in Istanbul (after stopping in NY) - and it appeared that was his destination.
He had what looked like a padded CD case around his neck with wires hanging out of it and a metal flask of some kind also strapped to him. He put the metal box into the seat pocket in front of him. I didn’t know what to do (so I just davened…HARD!).
The flight attendants seemed oblivious. I tried to tell a TSA guy when I got off the plane – just in case this was a dry run for something unthinkable, but he ignored me.
And the funny thing was, when I went through security in San Fransisco, I noticed the TSA folks patting down a little old lady…
22 January 2010
Parashat Bo contains the narrative of the final three plagues, culminating in the dramatic release of the Jewish people from the oppressive exile and the first leg of their momentous journey into the desert. In this Parashah, we witness the mighty Egyptian empire brought to its knees, its idols crushed and its arrogant Pharaoh reduced to begging for his life. It also includes the origin and details of the observances meant to commemorate the Exodus - the Passover sacrifice and holiday and the consecration of the firstborn.
Since the Egyptian exile is the prototype of all exiles and the Exodus is the precursor of the final Redemption, the dynamic contained in the name of this parashah will be repeated at the end of the present exile.
We must take our cue here from how G-d told Moses to crush Pharaoh - to aim for the jugular vien and attack evil at its root.
If G-d seeks to free us from our personal constrictions and distractions, He assuredly seeks to free us collectively from the constrictions and distractions of our collective exile. It is therefore our duty to entreat G-d to put an end to our existential exile and usher in the final, Messianic Redemption.
The Rebbe’s Torah
21 January 2010
2 Local Jews Are The Men Behind The Scenes Helping Israel's Relief Effort:
20 January 2010
"Over the past year, Turkey has become increasingly critical of Israel’s relations with the Arab world. Turkey has tried to mediate, for example, between Syria and Israel. Now, Turkey has made it known that it holds Israel responsible for these failures. Even so, Turkey remains Israel’s major ally, albeit informally, in the Muslim world. Turkey is also a growing power. Uniquely in the region, it provides Israel with a dynamic economy to collaborate with. Turkey also has the most substantial and capable military force in the region. Should Turkey shift its stance to a pro-Arab, anti-Israel position, the consequences for Israel’s long-term national security would not be trivial."
"Turkey has been shifting its position on its role in the Islamic world in recent years under the Islamist-rooted government of President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. While increasingly critical of Israel, the Turkish government also has tried to bridge the gap between the Arabs and Israelis, albeit to promote Turkey’s position in the Muslim world. Thus, Turkey is far from being confrontational with Israel. Moreover, tensions in Turkey between secularists in the military and the civilian Islamist-rooted government are substantial. Turkish internal politics are complicated, and therefore politics between Turkey and Israel are complicated."
Classical Muslim view of Jews as subjugated 'dhimmis'. Under sharia law, Jews surrender their rights to self-defence to Muslims, buying their safety through payment of the poll tax or jizya. "If the Prophet Mohammed had asked me to deem Christians or Jews heretics, I would have deemed Mohammed himself a heretic," Sheikh Ahmed Hassoun, the Mufti of Syria, was quoted as telling a delegation of American academics visiting Damascus...." source
'It felt really strong. Each aftershock is frightening. We feel it right here (pointing at his stomach) because after last Tuesday you never know how strong it is going to be,' said Lenis Batiste, camped out on some grass with two children.
'It kind of felt like standing on a board on top of a ball,' said US Army Staff Sgt Steven Payne who was preparing to hand out food to refugees in a tent camp of 25,000 when the aftershock hit. The new quake struck about 35 miles north-west of the capital of Port-au-Prince at a depth of 13.7 miles.
STRONG EARTHQUAKE IN GUATEMALA
A strong earthquake has rocked Guatemala and parts of El Salvador.
More than three millennia have passed since that day. That is quite a long time. Yet the children and grandchildren of the slaves who departed Egypt still commemorate this event annually. To this day, Passover remains the most widely observed and celebrated Jewish holiday. Many Jews who deem themselves as remote as can be from tradition and religion are still compelled to participate in some sort of Passover seder.
The significance of this cannot be overstated. It is easy to celebrate the miracle of freedom when you are free. Yet for most of their history the Jewish nation found itself exiled, oppressed, dominated—physically, emotionally and religiously—by tyrants and dictators of all stripes. If Passover represents the journey from slavery to freedom, what became of it after the Babylonian destruction of the First Temple and Israel’s subsequent exile? Or after the Greek and then Roman conquest of the Jewish land and the exile of its inhabitants? What happened to the celebration of liberty following the destruction of the Second Temple, the failure of the Bar Kochba rebellion, the horrific Hadrianic persecutions and the long, tragic series of events that led to the greatest exile in Jewish history? Could Jews celebrate emancipation under oppressive circumstances? Could Jews still sit down annually and sincerely declare, “We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt and G-d has liberated us?”
To finish reading this very interesting portrayal, visit Rabbi YY Jacobson
19 January 2010
MASH units continued to serve in various conflicts including the Vietnam War. In October 1990 the 5th MASH, 44th Medical Brigade, XVIIIth AirBorne Corps, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, deployed to Saudi Arabia and was the first fully functional Army Hospital in country. This unit moved forward six times, always as the first up hospital for the region. In March 1991 the 5th MASH was operationally attached to the 24th Infantry Division to provide Forward Surgical Care (often right on the front battle lines) to the Combat Units that attacked the western flank of Iraqi Army. In March 1991, the 159th MASH of the Louisiana Army National Guard operated in Iraq in support of the 3rd Armored Division during Operation Desert Storm.
Worldwide, the last MASH unit was deactivated on October 16, 2006. The 212th MASH — based in Miesau Ammo Depot, Germany — was the first U.S. Army hospital established in Iraq in 2003, supporting coalition forces during Operation Iraqi Freedom. It was the most decorated combat hospital in the U.S. Army, with 28 Battle Streamers on the organizational colors. The 212th MASH's last deployment was to Pakistan to support the 2005 Kashmir earthquake relief operations. The U.S. State Department bought the MASH's tents and medical equipment, owned by the DoD, and donated the entire hospital to the Pakistani military, a donation worth $4.5 million.
In the M*A*S*H series, about four surgeons are depicted as being assigned to the unit, the administrative staff consists of the C.O. and his assistant, and few soldiers were shown to be present. By comparison, the 8076th Army Unit Mobile Army Surgical Hospital had personnel including twelve nurses, eighty-nine enlisted soldiers of assorted medical and non-medical specialties, one MSC [clarification needed], one Warrant Officer and ten Commissioned Officers of assorted specialties. On one occasion, the unit handled over 600 casualties in a 24 hour period.
“Thank G-d, we’re able to help, but these people need so much more,” [...] Rabbi Shimon Pelman, director of Chabad-Lubavitch of the Dominican Republic, said that things were chaotic outside the hospital as droves of hungry and thirsty Haitians surrounded a truck driven by a visiting rabbinical student from New York. Pelman and another rabbinical student emptied the truck of its 20,000 pounds of supplies, handing out such carbohydrate-rich foods as bread and pasta, and bottles of water. Chabad
"IDF field hospital in Haiti the “only ones operating”
Wow a pig must have just flown by because CNN has done a story praising Israel and the IDF for the medical aid they are providing in Haiti following the devastating earthquake. [...] ABC praised the Israeli mission which had assisted a birth using a complicated procedure. The network’s reporter, himself a trained doctor, came across a woman on the point of giving birth. First he tried to assist, but when he discovered the baby was turned sideways, he knew there was trouble. This baby had to be born via C-section and even then there were risks. He consulted experts in the U.S. but they wrote back things like “this baby will be IMPOSSIBLE to deliver alive in Haiti.” Then he remembered the Israeli field hospital, called the Israeli consulate in New York and was directed to the IDF camp. The mother’s life, it turns out, was also in extreme danger as she was suffering from pre-eclampsia, the biggest killer of pregnant women in Haiti. Source OlehGirl
"Israeli Teams to stay on in Haiti another Month"
[...] "The foreign rescue teams operating in Haiti are streaming the injured and sick to the Israeli IDF field hospital at the Antoine Izmery soccer field, still the only medical facility with a fully-equipped operating theater, intensive care units, child and maternity wards, laboratories and an X-ray facility operated by 250 staff." Debka
But the other is a child who lives in a 'tomorrow' completely alienated from the 'today'. A powerful gulf separates the weltanschauung of the parents and the children.
17 January 2010
The hospital has an emergency room, pediatric, orthopedic, internal medicine, obstetrics and surgery departments, clinics and other facilities. The delivery room and premature baby unit are prepared to function but have not yet received any women or infants.
"The people here see it as very important that the State of Israel has come to help," said Mati Goldstein, commander of the ZAKA mission to Haiti. A rescue team made up of religious volunteers, has been working overtime in the quake-stricken Haitian capital of Port au-Prince.
"There was not really a Shabbat, but on Friday night we said Kiddush with delegations from Mexico, England, and Scotland …."With all the hell going on outside, even when things get bad Judaism says we must take a deep breath and go on to save more people." […] "We did everything to save lives, despite Shabbat. People asked, 'Why are you here? There are no Jews here', but we are here because the Torah orders us to save lives… We are desecrating Shabbat with pride."
Goldstein said cooperation between the international teams, which had arrived from 30 different states, was strengthened by the Sabbath prayer. "We sat with Jordanian security guards, an Israeli team, and people from Qatar and Egypt. It was strange."
…. He added that despite his experience in aiding in disasters worldwide, the scene of the 7.0-magnitude quake was one of the worst he had observed. "I've been to Mumbai, and several other terror attacks, but it's really hellish here."
The Israeli delegation to Haiti has managed to rescue a survivor trapped under the rubble, four days after a strong earthquake rocked the country.
Gilles, a Tax Authority worker who sent a text message with a sign of life from his cellular phone. Gilles has a 20-year-old daughter and a wife. They both live in Connecticut and still think he is under the rubble. The rescue forces dispatched to the area found equipment believed to be left behind by another rescue team, which left after failing to locate the survivor….Major Zohar Moshe, the rescue force's commander, explained that the team began attending to the survivor before he was completely removed from under the rubble. "The moment we managed to break the wall, we began treating him while continuing the rescue efforts," he said. After many efforts, the rescuers managed to attach an infusion to his body ...."When Gilles was removed on a stretcher, exhausted and covered with dust, the residents outside clapped their hands and shouted, 'We love Israel," added Major Moshe.
Sources from several posts on: VosizNeias
The Pischei Teshuva on Yoreh De'ah 194:3 cites a responsa from Rabbi Elazar Fleckeles in Teshuva Me’ahava: עי ' בשו " ת תש...