Monday, July 16, 2018

13 Unusual Facts About Females That Are Totally True and Blue whale off the coast of Eilat

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Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor

All Action is in the Present

Everything that you have ever done in the past, you did in a present moment. Everything that you will ever do in the future, you will only be able to do in a present moment.

All your thoughts are thought in a present moment. All your feelings are felt in a present moment. And everything you actually say or do is said or done in a present moment.

Since you live your whole life in the present, moment by moment, it is wise to consider the wise thing to say and do in the present moment, in the here and now of that moment. It is also wise to prepare the wise thing to say or do in the future.

Someone who tends not to have  alacrity might be thinking about how challenging it is to have alacrity. It's actually not difficult to have alacrity. Rather, it might appear difficult when you are not in a alacrity state, or when you are thinking about having future alacrity that you don't now have. But all moments of alacrity are just present moments, and when you are in that present moment of alacrity, it isn't difficult. Someone with a tendency to do things with alacrity  will tend to look at alacrity something he only needs to have one moment at a time

Love Yehuda Lave.

13 Unusual Facts About Females That Are Totally True

All of those books on how to understand women have nothing about the biological and social facts of the fairer side of humanity. Bright Side looked far and wide to find some pretty awesome and controversial facts about ladies — and here is what we got.

Blessed are You, O God, King of the Universe, Who created everything for His glory (The Marriage Ritual).

 

The surging divorce rate in recent years is appalling. While the Torah indeed provides for dissolving a relationship, there has never been in Jewish history anything like the current number of failed marriages.

Perhaps the problem stems from the partners' primary goals as they enter marriage. In Western civilization, what is called "love" has been accepted as the cornerstone of marriage. Unfortunately, this "love" too often refers to an attraction for the partner because of how he or she can gratify the other's physical and emotional needs. If this primary goal is not adequately met, the cement of the relationship disintegrates, and secondary factors alone cannot maintain it.

In the past, the primary focus of a marriage was the establishment of a family. [The first mitzvah found in the Torah is be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:28).] While physical and emotional needs were important, they were not primary, but secondary. Hence, when problems of this nature did develop, the relationship was still held together by the primary binding forces, and these secondary problems could be rectified and resolved.


Today I shall ...

try to realize what the true primary goals of my relationship with others should be.

FIRST TIME EVER: BLUE WHALE SPOTTED OFF THE COAST OF EILAT A group of marine biologists caught the 20-meter-long mammal on video underwater. BY JPOST.COM STAFF MAY 31, 2018


A fisherman first spotted the whale Tuesday morning, and later, a group of marine biologists caught the 20-meter-long mammal on video underwater.

Blue whales are usually found in the North Atlantic Ocean and southern hemisphere. It is very rare for them to journey so far from their native habitats, making Tuesday's sighting very surprising to experts.

The world's largest mammal, blue whales can grow up to 30 meters (98 feet) in length. They used to be abundant in the world's oceans but were hunted to near extinction. Now, with conservation efforts, blue whale populations are beginning to grow, although they are still considered endangered.

 

 

 

 

 

And it shall be if you will heed the commandments that I command you (Deuteronomy 11:13).

 

The Talmud teaches that the evil inclination - the insatiable desire within each of us to experiment with the forbidden - is not so foolish as to entice a person to commit a major transgression. It does not tell an honest person to shoplift; that would certainly meet with fierce resistance. Rather, "First the evil inclination tells you, `Do this,' then `Do this,' until it gradually works its way up to the point where you may entirely reject God" (Shabbos 108b).

The usual interpretation is that the first "Do this" is a seduction to commit a minor transgression, and then it gradually works its way up to more serious ones. The armed robber began by stealing a chocolate bar. Rabbi Yosef Schneersohn said that the yetzer hara is even more wily than that. He may begin by recommending "perform this commandment, because it is a perfectly reasonable thing to do," by urging the person to perform commandments because they are logical. "Observe the Sabbath because you need a day of rest after six days of hard work. Give charity because it is only right to help the needy. Keep kosher because kosher foods are healthier." A person thus trains himself to follow the dictates of his reasoning, rather than to do something because it is the will of God. The evil inclination's next step is, "This particular commandment is obsolete. It no longer has any logical validity."

The only way to avoid this trap is to avoid its first piece of advice. We do the right thing because it is right, not because it accords with our personal likes and desires. Therefore, we preface the performance of a commandment with a blessing that states, "I am doing this in order to fulfill the Divine command." While we should try to understand the commandments, to the best of our ability, our understanding of them should not be our main motivation for performing them.


Today I shall ...

observe all commandments because they are the Divine will, rather than only because I understand their purpose.

The Gift of Forgiveness By Yisroel Susskind

"Resentment is an acid that damages its container."

From my perspective as a family therapist, the greatest treasure in our Torah-inheritance is the instruction to free ourselves of anger and resentment, especially in dealing with close relationships. Literally hundreds of sources in Jewish writings over the ages warn us that sustained anger is forbidden, destructive and ultimately irrational. The Biblical injunction is found in Leviticus 19:17-19: "You shall not hate your brother in your heart…You shall not take revenge and you shall not bear a grudge."

 

Suddenly, the relative dies, and the man's love, long masked by a veneer of anger, erupts into awareness...The Talmud goes on to note that "anyone who foregoes revenge merits that G-d forgives all of his sins."1 It further advises2 that G‑d loves a person "who does not get angry … and who does not insist on his due measure." Maimonides goes further,3 requiring a person to "wipe the wrong from his heart entirely, without remembering it at all." A contemporary psychologist will paraphrase this as "The challenge of relinquishing anger presents an incredible opportunity for personal growth."

 

Does this mean that we should be passive victims in the face of abuse? Absolutely not! The very same Biblical portion cited above tells us that we must verbally confront someone who has wronged us, in order to avoid hating him in our heart. We must do so directly and emphatically, but without hatred and without destroying the relationship. Similarly, we have an obligation to protect ourselves and not put ourselves in a vulnerable position where the offense may be repeated. At the same time, we need to do so without speaking hostilely or taking an action that goes beyond self-protection, without vengeance, or withdrawing into a cold, judgmental contempt, or prolonged silence.

Many counselors report a recurring tragic family scenario: Over the years, a man has maintained an angry distance from a relative (a parent, child or sibling). Suddenly, the relative dies, and the man's love, long masked by a veneer of anger, erupts into awareness and the man is racked by regret and guilt. "How could I have wasted these years, when I could have….?"

Traditional Jewish philosophy offers us some protection from such tragedy. Torah says: 1) Do not believe that you cannot forgive…it is always your task to achieve forgiveness; 2) understand that anger and resentment are sustained by irrational thoughts…if you deeply examine your anger, you will identify and correct these cognitive distortions; 3) there is a negative force in the world that seeks to destroy closeness…that force is the source of those irrational thoughts; 4) in personal relationships, underneath anger there is hurt, fear and most importantly, a need to love and be loved.

Consider reaching out to someone in a spirit of loving forgiveness. May it be that, in the merit of your doing so, G‑d chooses to reach out to us with the ultimate gift, bringing in the era of Moshiach.

FOOTNOTES 1.

Tractate Yoma 22b-23a.

2.

Tractate Pesachim 113b.

3.

Laws of De'ot 7:7.

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Sunday, July 15, 2018

That's why I love our parties! Just look here

    Dude, most importantly, sit down first, and then click on the link. And be prepared for a shock!


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    The Evolution of Pleasure and 9,000 barrels of bourbon fall in Kentucky distillery building collapse and  170  rockets  fired at  Isreal

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    Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor

    Take A New Look At Life

    The Almighty creates everything anew, every single second. Each moment is like the very beginning of creation.

    Viewing the world in this light will preserve its freshness in your eyes.

    Love Yehuda Lave

    When I speak, my words are master over me. When I do not speak, I am master in that I withhold them (Orchos Tzaddikim, Chapter 21).

     

    Everyone has an inherent drive for power and control. We may use it for evil; for example, we may seek control over other people. On the other hand, we may use it for good and try to control our own drives and urges. In any case, it is often frustrating to discover that something is beyond our control.

    Words are within our control until we have spoken them;then, we cannot control their effects. At the very best, we can retract what we have said, but that only sets up an opposing force to that which we have created. The original words can never be recalled. We often find ourselves powerless and subjected to the consequences of what we have said, in which case the words we have spoken have indeed become our masters.

    How do we avoid this feeling of powerlessness? We have to take control of our speech and learn to keep silent when we have nothing constructive to say. If we do have to speak, we should choose our words very carefully.

    If we had to choose a boss, we would certainly be very careful in our selection. We should be no less cautious with words.


    Today I shall ...
    watch carefully what I say, realizing that once I have said something, I am powerless over those words.

    HUNDREDS OF PROJECTILES LAUNCHED FROM GAZA IN IAF AND HAMAS CONFRONTATION

    More than 40 targets were struck across the Gaza Strip following incessant rocket fire and launching of aerial incendiary devices.

    BY ANNA AHRONHEIM  JULY 14, 2018 21:50  

     

    Over 170 projectiles were launched from the Gaza Strip towards southern Israel since late Friday night with 40 of them intercepted by the Iron Dome Missile Defense System.

    According to the IDF 100 of the projectiles were launched from the Gaza Strip by Hamas from 3PM onwards.  About 20 of them were intercepted by Iron Dome Missile Defense System and another 73 fell in open areas. One rocket landed inside a kibbutz in the Shaar HaNegev Regional Council area and another rocket struck a courtyard of a synagogue in Sderot without causing any injuries.


    Three Israelis were injured after a projectile launched from the Gaza Strip made a hit a home. 

    According to Magen David Adom, one 14 year old girl was lightly injured to her limbs, a 15 year-old was lightly wounded with injuries to her face from broken glass and a 52yr-old man in moderate condition a chest injury. All were evacuated by MDA to Barzilai Hospital.

    Earlier in the day a firefighter was lightly wounded after falling while trying to take cover and damage was caused to vehicles and to a chicken coop in a settlement in the Eshkol Regional Council.

    As a precaution, the IDF instructed residents in Gaza border communities to remain within 15-seconds from bomb shelters or safe rooms, closed the Zikim beach on Saturday and restricted gatherings of more than 100 people in open spaces and more than 500 people in closed spaces across the Gaza border communities.

    Due to the flare-up along the southern border IDF Chief of the General Staff Lt.- Gen. Gadi Eisenkot held an situational assessment in the Gaza Division on Saturday with the participation of the Head of the Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Hertzi Halevi, the Head of the Operations Directorate, Maj.-Gen. Aharon Haliva, the Commander of the Gaza Division Brig.-Gen. Yehuda Fuchs and other commanders.



    During the briefing the commanders presented and assessed the readiness of the IDF to undertake and enhance operational and air strikes activities as deemed necessary, the military said.

    Earlier in the day the IAF carried out the largest daytime operation against Hamas targets since  Operation Protective Edge in 2014 with Israeli fighter jets hit 40 Hamas targets across the Gaza Strip IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis said.

    "There are three vectors here that we see in severity and can not allow them to continue: fire terrorism, terror along the fence and rocket fire, we intend to stop it," Manelis said, warning that "we will increase the power as much as necessary."

    While "it's too early to talk about a broad military operation, we have understood in recent weeks that this day will come, and once relevant conditions have been created, we will act," he added.

    A senior Israel Air Force Officer said that while "in the last few hours Hamas has chosen to fire projectiles towards communities close to Gaza border you can't take it for granted they will stop there."

    He warned that Israel would respond in a tougher manner if Hamas increase their distance of rocket fire over 10 kilometers.

    "Hamas will regret if it goes beyond that range, but we're prepared for such a possibility," the senior IAF officer said.

    The daytime airstrikes on Saturday targeted the headquarters of the Beit Lahiya Battalion with jets striking urban warfare training facilities, weapon storage warehouses, training compounds, command centers, offices and more.  

    "The battalion command's entire infrastructure has been destroyed, vaporized, turned into a giant hole," Manelis said.

    Other strikes targeted storage facilities housing various types of weapons included those which belonged to Hamas's naval terror wing.


    "This attack displays the IDF's advanced intelligence and operational capabilities and could expand as needed and in accordance with a situational assessment" the military said.

    Later on Saturday the IAF struck a high rise building in the al-Shati refugee camp, injuring at least 2 children and several other Gazans.  The IDF said that it had warned residents of the building in advance of the strike, which targeted the building because it was being used by Hamas as an urban warfare training facility and had a tunnel underneath it for underground warfare training.



    The Head of the IDF Arab Media division Major Avichay Adraee warned Gazans on social media to keep their distance from buildings and persons who serve "terrorists organizations."

    "This a special announcement for Gaza's residents. You are requested to immediately remove yourselves from every facility or infrastructure that are used by terror organizations, to stay away from every person that is known as a terrorist and from every space in which terror organizations operate.

    "Beware, you have been warned," he said, "The sights of 2018 could be much more horrific than the sights of 2014."

    The large scale daytime operation against Hamas came several hours after the IAF struck several Hamas terror targets including two offensive terror tunnels in the northern and southern Gaza Strip as well as several targets in military compounds where Hamas assembles incendiary balloons and a Hamas training camp.

    "The IDF retaliated to the terror attacks that were committed during the violent riots on the Gaza border fence on Friday and the ongoing balloon terrorism," the army said.

    As Israeli jets struck targets in Gaza, Hamas launched 31 projectiles towards southern Israel communities with six of them intercepted by the Iron Dome system.

    According to official Palestinian news agency WAFA, IAF jets struck sites across the entire Gaza Strip, causing significant damage and lightly injuring one Palestinian in the Beit Hanoun area in northern Gaza overnight.

    The IDF said that Hamas, which is responsible for all violence emanating from Gaza, "continues with its terror acts against troops and against security infrastructures attempting to hurt Israel's citizens."

    The military accused Hamas of "sabotaging the humanitarian efforts" and of using Gazan civilians as human shields and continues to endanger them by carrying out terror attacks against Israel.  

    The terror group which has ruled Gaza since 2007 "is responsible for the events transpiring in the Gaza Strip and emanating from it and will bear the consequences for its actions against Israeli civilians and Israeli sovereignty. The IDF views Hamas' terror activity with great severity and is prepared for a wide variety of scenarios," the army said.

    The overnight strikes came after violent clashes took place along the security fence separating Israel and the Hamas-ruled Palestinian enclave over the course of the day on Friday.

    During the clashes an IDF major was moderately injured by a grenade thrown at him and his troops by Palestinians rioters  near the old Karni crossing near Kibbutz Nahal Oz.  He was hit by shrapnel in his upper body and airlifted to the Soroko Medical Center in stable condition.

     In response the troops opened fire towards the Palestinians who threw the grenade with one hit  identified.

    The IDF is investigating the incident which is one of the most serious to have occured since the weekly demonstrations began on March 30 as part of what organizers have called the "Great March of Return." 

    Demonstrators have launched hundreds of kites, balloons and helium-filled latex condoms with incendiary and explosive devices on a daily basis into Israeli territory, sparking fires that have destroyed thousands of acres of farmland, parks and forests.

    Hamas officials have said that the protests, which also demand an end to a grinding Israeli and Egyptian blockade on Gaza, will continue until their demands are met.

    According to official Palestinian news agency Wafa, two Palestinian youth were killed Friday and another 200 were injured.  The two fatalities were identified as Mohammad Nasser Shurrab, 20, from Khan Younis and 15-year-old Othman Rami Halles.

    The Ministry of Health in Gaza said their deaths brings the total killed by Israel since the start of the protests at the Gaza border to 139 with thousands more injured.

    9,000 barrels of bourbon fall in Kentucky distillery building collapse

     

    https://edition.cnn.com/2018/06/22/us/thousands-of-bourbon-barrels-crash-trnd/index.html

     

    video

    Pardon bourbon lovers for crying in their beer after half of the barrels being aged at a Kentucky distillery building fell to the ground when part of the structure collapsed.

    About 9,000 stacked bourbon barrels plummeted to the ground Friday at Barton 1792 Distillery, home of the brand 1792 Bourbon.The building, which holds up to 20,000 barrels, was having a wall repaired. The collapse brought down half of the structure.Bardstown Police Chief Billy Mattingly said there was no one inside when the roof caved in, so no injuries were reported.

    It is unclear whether the bourbon spilled from the containers, but a nearby creek was of concern because of the structure's position on a hill. Representatives from the state's Department for Environmental Protection were dispatched to the scene.

    Half the building was still intact after the collapse in Bardstown.Water samples came back clean, according to CNN affiliate WLKY.Distillery officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The building's owner, the Sazerac Company, also could not be reached. Typically, each barrel holds 53 gallons of bourbon and weighs about 550 pounds, according to WLKY.

     

    You shall stand in awe of your God. This includes Torah scholars as well (Pesachim 22b).

     

    On 16 Nissan, it was explained that the true fear of and reverence for God refers to the fear of doing anything that would estrange one from Him. Inasmuch as the commission of transgressions causes such estrangement, the fear of God thus refers to fear of sinning.

    Since reverence for Torah scholars is derived from the verse referring to fear of God, it means that we should be afraid to behave in a manner that would alienate us from Torah scholars or them from us.

    This is a commendable fear, because it fosters closeness to scholars. There is another type of fear that has the polar opposite effect, in that it leads to estrangement. This is the fear that because scholars are more learned or more spiritual, one feels so inferior that one withdraws from them. Or perhaps out of fear that scholars may reprimand one for one's dereliction, one may shrink from being close to them.

    The Talmud states that a shy person does not make a good student, because he will be hesitant to assert himself to ask when he does not understand something. He may be afraid that asking will expose his ignorance.

    Feelings of inferiority can cause people to be strangers to one another. Ironically, sometimes each person may withdraw from the other because each one considers himself inferior. A healthy self-esteem will enable one to be close to others, to be a good friend and a good student.


    Today I shall ...
    avoid withdrawing from people more learned than myself.

    For a Few Dollars More - Clint Eastwood's Entrance (1965 HD)

    Eastwood is so good, his bullets change course in mid-air to hit his targets.

    The Evolution of Pleasure

     Based on the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe


    Courtesy of MeaningfulLife.com

    Israel settled in Shittim, and the people began to stray after the daughters of Moab. They called the people to the sacrifices of their gods . . . and Israel joined themselves to Baal Peor . . .

    Numbers 25:1–3

    What was the cult of Peor? The Talmud relates the following story:

    There was once a gentile woman who was very ill, and who vowed: "If I recover from my illness, I will go and worship every idol in the world." She recovered, and proceeded to worship every idol in the world. When she came to Peor, she asked its priests: "How is this one worshiped?" Said they to her: "One eats greens and drinks beer, and then one defecates before the idol." Said she: "I'd rather return to my illness than worship an idol in such a manner." (Talmud, Sanhedrin 64a)

    Idolatry is the deification of an object or force of the created reality. Ancient man worshipped the sun because it kept him warm, lighted his way and nurtured his crops; the moon, wind, earth, water and trees were also gods, to be thanked and beseeched for the gifts they bestowed upon man. This was like thanking a hammer for building a home, or a scythe for the year's harvest, rather than the manufacturer and wielder of these tools; nevertheless, every idolatry has a certain logic, however misguided—one is venerating a (presumed) source of life and nourishment.

    But what was the point of the idolatry of Peor, which is the worship of one's own excrement? Here the idolater is venerating waste—that which remains after all nutritive potential has been extracted from a substance. What would attract a people to such a practice?

    The Chain

    The chassidic masters explain that the essence of Peor is the severing of pleasure from its supernal root.

    What is pleasure? We use the word in relation to so many and diverse things. What do a steak, a musical composition and an idea have in common? Pleasure is how we describe our experience of a meal, a concert or an intellectual revelation. For as different as the sensations derived from these activities may be, they share a common essence: the capacity to impart a sense of fulfillment to the human soul.

    Indeed, all pleasures flow from the same font. According to the teachings of Kabbalah, all pleasures are one in essence, and this quintessential Pleasure is the soul of creation.

    The Kabbalists describe the created reality as a chain of evolution (seder hishtalshelut). The uppermost link in this chain is G‑d's pleasure in His creation, which spawns the divine desire to create. Thus Pleasure (ta'anug) and Desire (ratzon) are, respectively, the inner and outer elements of the highest sefirah (divine attribute), keter.

    This divine desire, enfolding the divine pleasure within it, then passes through many stages and metamorphoses, evolving into worlds and realities of increased tactility. Every object, force or phenomenon in creation is simply another form of the genesic divine desire; the differences between them lie only in the manner and extent of their evolution. The higher a thing's place in the chain, the greater its awareness of its source; it is therefore more spiritual—more subservient to the divine will, less possessive of a sense of being and self. The further down it passes through the chain, the more distant it becomes from its source—less aware and subservient, more tactual and egocentric, more physical.

    When a person experiences desire and pleasure towards and from a thing in G‑d's creation, he is making contact with its soul and core—the divine desire that it be, and the divine pleasure in its being. Hence, the degree and intensity of the pleasure is governed by the thing's place in the "chain": the more spiritual a thing is, the more profound the pleasure it yields, for it is closer to the source of all pleasure. The ultimate pleasure lies in the experience of union with G‑d through the fulfillment of His will—an experience that relates to the very first link in the chain, where pleasure resides in its most pristine, unprocessed form.

    Pleasure As Displeasure

    In its lowest reaches, the chain of evolution yields things that are inconducive—or even contrary—to what G‑d desires.

    The capacity of these things to give pleasure is an existential paradox. All pleasure is but the embodiment of the divine pleasure in creation, while these pleasures are divine displeasures—things contrary to G‑d's will. Yet they, too, are products of the divine desire, since their capacity to give pleasure fills a certain function in G‑d's purpose in creation: G‑d desired that we be confronted with a free choice between good and evil so that our deeds should be meaningful and significant. But G‑d wants that these things should exist only in order that man should reject them as contrary to His will; so theirs is an existence whose inner essence—whose function and raison d'ĂȘtre—is not to exist.

    Chassidic teaching employs the metaphor of digestion to explain this phenomenon.

    Digestion is the process by which food passes through the various organs which break it down and separate its finer elements from its coarser ones. At each phase of the process, this separation grows more and more defined; ultimately, the finer elements in the food evolve into body-building cells and energy, and its coarser elements are ejected by the body. Both the nutrients and the waste are products of the digestion process; but the former is generated to be used, while the latter is generated to be rejected and thereby enable the body's absorption of the former.

    By the same token, the chain of evolution is like a cosmic "digestive system" in which the essence of creation is processed into the substance and energy of the universe that G‑d desired. This process (like every process we know) also generates waste—elements that must be separated and disposed of in order for the desirable product to properly develop.

    (Of course, G‑d could have evolved His world in such a manner that the good develops without any separation of waste; or, for that matter, He could have not evolved it at all. But G‑d desired that the good in creation should be all the more sharply defined by its contrast with the rejected evil; that human life should be an exercise in refinement—in distinguishing between the calories of divine energy and the sludge of putrid waste in our own self and character, our environment and our world. Indeed, the very concept of good, as we know it, would be devoid of all meaning were it not for the challenge of rejecting the evil that vies for validation and indulgence.)

    Based on the above, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi explains the following incident related in the Talmud:

    Rabban Gamliel, Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah, Rabbi Yehoshua and Rabbi Akiva were traveling, when they heard the sounds of the crowds of Rome from a distance of one hundred and twenty mil. They began to weep, but Rabbi Akiva laughed.

    Said they to him: "Why are you laughing?"

    Said he to them: "Why are you weeping?"

    Said they to him: "These barbarians, who prostrate themselves before statues and sacrifice to idols, dwell happy and secure, while we—the footstool of our G‑d [i.e., the Holy Temple in Jerusalem] was consumed by fire. Shall we not weep?"

    Said he to them: "That is why I am laughing. If for those who transgress His will it is so, how much more so is it for those who do His will." (Talmud, Makkot 24a–b)

    Rabbi Akiva is saying: if the waste produced by the divine desire in creation can yield such pleasure for the hedonist, imagine the pleasure to be derived through the fulfillment of His will, which is the source and essence of all pleasure!

    In the Fortieth Year

    Therein lies the deeper significance of the idolatry of Peor, and the explanation as to how and why the people of Israel succumbed to it on the eve of their entry into the Land of Israel.

    On the face of it, the worship of Peor was a particularly repulsive activity. In truth, however, this was but the physical enactment of what a person does every time he prefers an unG‑dly "pleasure" over a G‑dly one: he is worshipping the offal of creation, venerating something whose only significance is its need to be rejected in favor of the energies that are extracted from it.

    This is why Israel's vulnerability to Peor came about at the close of their forty-year sojourn in the desert, as they camped on the eastern bank of the Jordan River poised to enter and settle the land of Canaan.

    For forty years, the people of Israel had enjoyed a wholly spiritual existence. They were fed, clothed and sheltered by daily miracles, leaving them free to pursue the divine wisdom of Torah without the distractions of the material state. Most telling of their state was the fact that the manna, the "bread from heaven" on which they lived, was wholly absorbed by their bodies, engendering no waste. They inhabited a spiritual idyll, in which the waste of creation was unknown.

    But now they stood at the threshold of a new era: they were to settle the land, till its soil, engage in commerce and politics—i.e., to live a physical life sustained by physical means. For the first time in their history as a nation, they were to be in direct contact with the nether levels of the chain of evolution—with that part of the cosmic digestive tract which separates the waste from the body of creation. For the first time, they were called upon to differentiate between vital matter (matter that nourishes a spiritual end) and dead matter (matter as an end in itself).

    Not all were equal to the challenge. There was an outbreak of Peor worship in the Israelite camp, as many were enticed by the pseudo-pleasures to be found in the undesirable byproducts of creation. Until one man—Pinchas—came, and with his selfless commitment, unclouded vision and decisive action, put a halt to the plague of Peor.

    Based on the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe Based on the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson; adapted by Yanki Tauber. Originally published in Week in Review.

    PALE RIDER AXE HANDLE SCENE

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