Friday, October 24, 2014

Eternal sunshine of the spotless mouse: Scientists successfully erase bad memories in rodents and the Jerusalem terror incident blessed by Abbas Aid

There Is No Time Limit On Gratitude

There is no time limit on gratitude. If you realize in the present that you hadn't expressed gratitude to someone for something that he did for you a long time ago, don't think that it's too late to express gratitude. Whenever you remember past kindnesses and favors done, express your thoughts and feelings of gratitude now.

We learn that in the bible when Moses would not hit the water to turn it into blood, because the water had saved him from death as a baby.

In my own life, I have to thank an acquaintance who was not a real friend but turned me on to the land of Israel. I will always have gratitude for him.

Love Yehuda Lave

Good Points and Bad Points :-

                                      ....Traumatised victims could overcome the nightmares of the past...(Good Point)

                                          .Before Police/ Court Investigation witness/es could be subjected to having  a blank memory by means of                                                        
                                           his Therapist.(Bad Point)

Senior Abbas Aid Lauds Jerusalem Terrorist as a 'Heroic Martyr'

Abdelrahman Shaludeh, who murdered a three-month-old girl in last night's attack, glorified and portrayed as victim in PA official's post.

By Ari Soffer
First Publish: 10/23/2014, 1:10 PM

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Flash 90

A senior aid to Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas applauded the murder of a three-month-old Israeli girl in last night's Jerusalem terrorist attack, and hailed her killer as a "hero."

In a Facebook post translated by Palestinian Media Watch, Sultan Abu-Einen hailed "the heroic martyr, Abed El-Rahman Idriss al-Shaludi," and that the terrorist, whose surname has also been spelled "Shaludeh" in English, was released from an Israeli prison in December 2013 after serving a 16-month sentence for previous terror offenses.

Abu-Einen, who is a member of Fatah's Central Committee and heads the PA office dealing with NGOs , claimed that several months after his release Shaludeh was rearrested at his home in the al-Bustan neighborhood of Jerusalem, and detained for three weeks before being released again. His father - who reportedly confronted police when they came to investigate his home following last night's attack - was also reportedly arrested in that incident.

The senior PA official ends his post with a montage of two pictures - a close-up of the killer and a still image from a video recorded by an onlooker of his arrest by police after last night's attack - and astonishingly claims that it was Shaludeh who was "killed in cold blood."

Abu-Einen's original post in Arabic Palestinian Media Watch

"The following picture shows the last moments before his death as a martyr as a result of shot fired at close-range. He was murdered in cold blood," the post reads.

Shaludeh was shot and wounded by police as he fled the scene of the attack, and died shortly afterwards in hospital.

Following the attack on Wednesday night, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu blamed Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority, saying ongoing violence was the direct result of the constant flow of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement coming from the PA, and from Abbas himself.

"This is how Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas - ed.]'s partners in government act, the same Abu Mazen who – only a few days ago – incited toward a terrorist attack in Jerusalem," the Prime Minister said.

Meir Panim with Soldiers


Real-time Video of Car Running Over Jerusalem Light Rail Passengers

Published: October 22nd, 2014

Car hitting people

Photo Credit:

0404 managed to get acquire a copy of the Light Rail's platform's video that shows the run-over happening, which we are presenting to you.

Eight people were injured when a car drive over a group of people waiting for the Jerusalem Light Rail near Ammunition Hill.

The driver was subsequently shot by police as he tried to escape on foot.

Now for some good news

They Set out to Discover something Amazing in Jerusalem- What They found was Miraculous!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

These Incredible Photos Reveal the Beautiful Transitions of Autumn and will be using fusion by 2015

 Be Honorable By Treating Others With Respect

The Sages in Pirkei Avos (4:1) define the honorable person as 'someone who shows honor and respect to other people' They are teaching us that it's not how other people treat you that makes you important and honorable. Rather, it's how you treat others.

When you realize that every human being is created in the image of the Almighty, you realize that right from birth every human being is important and valuable. By being respectful to other human beings, you add to your self-respect. You recognize that when you treat others with respect, you are expressing respect to the Creator.

Love Yehuda Lave

Lockheed makes breakthrough on fusion energy project

Nuclear fusion has been described as the 'holy grail' of energy. The Maryland-based company said it would test a compact fusion reactor in less than a year, and build a prototype in five years.

Read the full story:

17 October 2014

If you had one prayer that you wanted the Almighty to fulfill, what would it be? Would it be wealth, fame, success? Judging by the people I meet, invariably they tell me, "Rabbi, if you have good health, you have everything!"

About 2,000 years ago the Sages redacted the Shemoneh Esray (also called the Amidah) -- the prayer we pray three times a day. It has 3 sections: 1) Praises of the Almighty (we should recognize the Source of all our blessings) 2) Personal and National requests 3) Thanks to the Almighty for all that He has given us. What do you think the first request the Rabbis instructed us to ask from the Almighty each day? Wisdom! The Almighty should grant us the ability to think, to make distinctions, gain insights and to make decisions with wisdom.

Why not ask for health first? Many years ago I asked my teacher, Rabbi Noah Weinberg, of blessed memory, that question. He replied, "What would you say if I told you about a person I know who is over 100 years old and in perfect health?" After I replied that it sounded fabulous, he asked, "And what would you say if I told you that he's been in coma for 30 years? There is more to life than physical health. Whatever the Almighty gives you -- including health challenges -- is your opportunity to fulfill your purpose in this world for spiritual growth and character refinement. For that, you need awareness and the ability to think."

The Almighty is constantly speaking to us. Whatever happens to us, who we meet, what we see -- these are messages. It is up to us to be aware and to think about our lives and how we are progressing in all aspects of our life and our relations. I once saw a beautiful quote: There are 3 types of people -- 1) Those who make things happen 2) Those who watch things happen 3) Those who ask, "What happened?".

One tool to build awareness and to aid in personal growth is to make a daily accounting before you go to sleep. Growth and accomplishment only comes through focus and effort. Each day ask yourself: 1) What am I living for? 2) What did I do towards my goal today? 3) What did I do away from my goal today? 4) What is a better goal to work towards? 5) What do I have in my life for which I should be grateful? If you do this, you will find that you will have more appreciation of life and greater accomplishment.

This week's Torah portion is Noah. The following anonymous piece was sent to me which I edited. Perhaps it's a bit whimsical, but hopefully it will encourage you to think about what you see, what you read, what you do -- and to ask, "What can I learn from this?"


Don't miss the boat
Build on high ground
If you can't fight or flee---float!!
For safety's sake, travel in pairs
Stay below deck during the storm
Don't forget that we're all in the same boat
Don't listen to critics - do what has to be done
If you have to start over, have a friend by your side
Plan ahead ... It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark
Take care of your animals as if they were the last ones on earth
When things get really deep, don't sit there and complain--shovel!!!
Remember the woodpeckers. An inside threat is often bigger than the one outside
Speed isn't always an advantage. The cheetahs were on board but ... so were the snails
Stay fit. When you're 600 years old, someone might ask you to do something REALLY big


Some beautiful scenes in two different seasons

Tu Hwnt I'r Bont Tearoom in Llanrwst, North Wales
These Incredible Photos Reveal the Beautiful Transitions of Autumn
photo by unicorn81
These Incredible Photos Reveal the Beautiful Transitions of Autumn
photo by g7preston
Gapstow Bridge, New York, USA
These Incredible Photos Reveal the Beautiful Transitions of Autumn
photo by Jessica Jenney
These Incredible Photos Reveal the Beautiful Transitions of Autumn
photo by BooRad0859
Apartment Building Facade
These Incredible Photos Reveal the Beautiful Transitions of Autumn
Forest Lake In Poland
These Incredible Photos Reveal the Beautiful Transitions of Autumn
photo by Kacper Kowalski
These Incredible Photos Reveal the Beautiful Transitions of Autumn
photo by Kacper Kowalski
Poet's Walk, Central Park, New York, USA
These Incredible Photos Reveal the Beautiful Transitions of Autumn
photo by Eddie Crimmins
These Incredible Photos Reveal the Beautiful Transitions of Autumn
photo by Vivienne Gucwa
Hitachi Seaside Park, Japan
These Incredible Photos Reveal the Beautiful Transitions of Autumn
These Incredible Photos Reveal the Beautiful Transitions of Autumn
photo by nipomen2
Glenfinnan Viaduct, Scotland
These Incredible Photos Reveal the Beautiful Transitions of Autumn
photo by Martin Molcan
These Incredible Photos Reveal the Beautiful Transitions of Autumn
photo by Andrew Shaland
Lake Island, Poland
These Incredible Photos Reveal the Beautiful Transitions of Autumn
photo by Kacper Kowalski
These Incredible Photos Reveal the Beautiful Transitions of Autumn
photo by Kacper Kowalski
Capitol Creek Valley
These Incredible Photos Reveal the Beautiful Transitions of Autumn
photo by Wayne Boland
These Incredible Photos Reveal the Beautiful Transitions of Autumn
photo by Alex Burke
Kilchurn Castle, Scotland
These Incredible Photos Reveal the Beautiful Transitions of Autumn
photo by Mathieu Noel
These Incredible Photos Reveal the Beautiful Transitions of Autumn
photo by fen_snapz
Grand Island East Channel Light House, Michigan, USA
These Incredible Photos Reveal the Beautiful Transitions of Autumn
photo by Jim Liestman
These Incredible Photos Reveal the Beautiful Transitions of Autumn


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I accept who you are and not what you do and 2000 year old Latin inscription

Clarify Your Motivation

How can you clarify if you do good deeds because it's "the right thing to do," or merely to gain honor and approval? Ask yourself, "Would I do this if I were all alone and no one would ever find out about my good deed?"

Love Yehuda Lave

Crossing the Narrow Bridge

I Accept Who You Are, Not What You Do

'Accept me the way I am.'  The new pseudo-psychological 'mantra' that can excuse any kind of  impoliteness and insensitivity. No worries. Just go right ahead. Be boorish, self-centred, and downright rude.  That's fine. I am a very accepting person.  I'm ok – you're ok. But are you really ok?

'Acceptance' is often a veil behind which hides a lazy and non-caring person who adopts a posture of self-righteousness, staring down any accusation of character blemish, and throwing down the gauntlet of compassion: accept me as I am, otherwise it's you who is at fault, not me.

What does 'acceptance' really mean? At one end of the spectrum is ' I accept that you are a selfish individual and suggest you do something about it'. At the other end is 'I accept you, warts and all'.

In the former, 'acceptance' is being used as recognition of the fact – your silliness the result of immaturity: I recognize you to be an egotistic prima donna. In the latter, it is a statement of love affirming that your shortcomings will in no way affect my bond with you.

Whether 'acceptance' is correctly applied depends more on he who seeks acceptance rather than he who confers it. Should the request be forthcoming from a sulking, accusative, belligerent teenager, chances are that it's really a plea for love and should be responded to with loving non-acceptance. Should it emanate from a feeling of terror of facing an audience, it deserves the compassion of true acceptance. Context does count.

swirlsI have just completed my lecture tour of S. Africa and am on my way back to Australia as I write these words. One of the lesser desirable features of South African political and social climate is its acceptance of corruption. Corruption exists breathtakingly across society and administration, ranging from the President's sycophant appointments of cronies, through to the Police Commissioner tipping off an associate commissioner about imminent charges of police racketeering and fraud, through to the cop demanding a bribe to drop the 'speeding' charge.

Or it may find its expression in the public response yesterday of a senior executive of a failed major bank, himself now a multi millionaire, responding to the plight of the poor who lost their money, with the words: "f*** them". Or acceptance of the government's ill advised affirmative action program creating a cadre of excess lawyers, with many female graduates being reduced to pouring the tea and used as sexual lures for potential customers.

 All this - a sad obituary to the optimism and self-sacrifice of Nelson Mandela.
What struck me most was the fatalism – the acceptance – by the black South African community that this is the way. One must never accept anything else than a quest for equal and deserved opportunity for all people. Acceptance of evil corruption is an albatross around the neck of a country's future.
"I am bad because society made me that way" is simply unacceptable. The fact that you rationalise your shortcomings tells me you know the difference between right and wrong. 

You are bad because you chose it, with eyes wide open, attracted by its darker lures, and seeking its thrills and ego satisfaction. You got caught up with a pitiful acceptance of a distorted norm of society.I accept that you have erred. But I don't accept the errant behaviour

- See more at:
MORGENBLATTER ~ Johann Strauss ! ! !
  Exceptional nice



New Year's Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic 2010 The venerable live concert is the largest world-wide event in classical music reaching over a billion peop...

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Rare 2,000 Yr Old Monument to Emperor Hadrian Found in Jerusalem

A 2,000 year old stone fragment bearing an official Latin inscription dedicated to the Roman Emperor Hadrian is found in Jerusalem.
Published: October 21st, 2014

Photo of the Latin inscription set against the Rockefeller Museum, seat of the Israel Antiquities Authority in Jerusalem.

Photo of the Latin inscription set against the Rockefeller Museum, seat of the Israel Antiquities Authority in Jerusalem.
Photo Credit: Yoli Schwartz, courtesy IAA

A rare find of tremendous historical significance has been discovered in Jerusalem: a fragment of a stone engraved with an official Latin inscription dedicated to the Roman Emperor Hadrian.

Researchers say this is among the most important Latin inscriptions ever discovered in Jerusalem.

The fate of Jerusalem following the destruction of the Second Temple (70 CE) and prior to the Bar Kokhba revolt (132-136 CE) is one of the major issues in the history of the city and in terms of the Jewish people's connection to it.

In the past year, the Israel Antiquities Authority has carried out salvage excavations in several areas north of the Damascus Gate to the Old City of Jerusalem. It was in one of those areas that the stone fragment bearing an official Latin inscription from the Roman period was discovered.

According to IAA excavation directors Dr. Rina Avner and Roie Greenwald,  "We found the inscription incorporated in secondary use around the opening of a deep cistern.

"In antiquity, as today, it was customary to recycle building materials and the official inscription was evidently removed from its original location and integrated in a floor for the practical purpose of building the cistern. Furthermore, in order to fit it with the capstone, the bottom part of the inscription was sawed round."

Upon finding the inscription it was immediately clear to the excavators that they had uncovered an especially significant discovery, as indicated by the size and clarity of the letters.

The inscription, consisting of six lines of Latin text engraved on hard limestone, was read and translated by Avner Ecker and Hannah Cotton of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The English translation of the inscription is as follows: (1st hand)To the Imperator Caesar Traianus Hadrianus Augustus, son of the deified Traianus Parthicus, grandson of the deified Nerva, high priest, invested with tribunician power for the 14th time, consul for the third time, father of the country (dedicated by) the 10th legion Fretensis (2nd hand) Antoniniana.

According to Ecker and Cotton, "This inscription was dedicated by Legio X Fretensis to the emperor Hadrian in the year 129/130 CE." Their analysis shows that the fragment of the inscription revealed by the IAA archaeologists is none other than the right half of a complete inscription, the other part of which was discovered nearby in the late nineteenth century and was published by the pre-eminent French archaeologist Charles Clermont-Ganneau. That stone is currently on display in the courtyard of Studium Biblicum Franciscanum Museum.

Only a small number of ancient official Latin inscriptions have been discovered in archaeological excavations throughout the country and in Jerusalem in particular.

There is no doubt that this is one of the most important of them.

The significance of the inscription stems from the fact that it specifically mentions the name and titles of Hadrian who was an extremely prominent emperor, as well as a clear date. The latter is a significant and tangible confirmation of the historical account regarding the presence of the Tenth Legion in Jerusalem during the period between the two revolts, and possibly even the location of the legion's military camp in the city, and of one of the reasons for the outbreak of the Bar Kokhba revolt several years later and the establishment of 'Aelia Capitolina'.

Even after 2,000 years the inscription is in an impressive state of preservation. Once the excavation findings are published, the inscription will be conserved and put on display for the public.

The events of the Bar Kokhba revolt are ascribed to the reign of the emperor Hadrian. He is remembered in Jewish history for having issued dictates imposing the persecution and forced conversions of Jews, which the sources referred to as the 'Hadrianic decrees'.

The history of the Bar Kokhba revolt is known from, among other things, the works of the contemporary Roman historian Cassius Dio, who also mentions Hadrian's visit to Jerusalem in the year 129/130 CE, within the framework of the emperor's travels in the eastern empire. These travels are also documented on coins issued in honor of the occasion and in inscriptions specifically engraved prior to his arrival in different cities. This is apparently exactly what happened in Jerusalem.

The completion of the two parts of the text reveals an especially large inscription that is quite impressive. According to Dr. Abner, "The inscription itself might have set in the top of a free-standing triumphal arch on the city's northern boundary such the Arch of Titus in Rome."

We know from ancient writers and the inscriptions on coins that the new city, which Hadrian established, was granted the status of 'colonia' (that is, a city whose citizens and gods are Roman) and its name was changed to Aelia Capitolina (COLONIA AELIA CAPITOLINA in Latin). That name incorporates within it the emperor's name that is in the inscription, whose full name is Publius Aelius Hadrianus, and Rome's main family of deities.

There is no doubt that the discovery of this inscription will contribute greatly to the long-standing question about the reasons that led to the outbreak of the Bar Kokhba revolt, IAA archaeologists said.

It is possible that the reason for the rebellion lay in the construction of Aelia Capitolina and the establishment of the pagan temple on the site of the Jewish Temple Mount.

Conversely, perhaps the above were the results of the revolt, researchers theorize: punitive action may have been taken by Hadrian against those who rebelled against Roman rule.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Julian Beever chalk art And why can't woman and men get along

Patience is Learn able

Patience is a learnable skill. Even those who have been impatient their entire lives can learn to become more patient. Your present resolve and determination will transform you.

Love Yehuda Lave

Julian Beever is an English chalk artist who has been creating chalk drawings on pavement since the mid-1990s that create the illusion of three dimensions when viewed from the right location. These trompe-l'oeil drawings are created using a projection called anamorphosis and appear to defy the laws of perspective.
Besides the 3D art, Beever paints murals and replicas of the works of masters and oil paintings, and creates collages. He is often hired as a performance artist and to create murals for companies. Beever is interested in advertising and marketing, as well. He has worked in the UK, Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Denmark, the USA and Australia.
Julian Beever


Commissioned by Britain's Channel 4 for its Midnight Special during the 1997 general election, Beever chose to draw "Politicians Meeting Their End" outside the Bank of England.
The pavement drawings have included both renderings of old masters plus a wealth of original inventive pieces of work.


People are actually avoiding walking in the "hole"
Julian Beever has made pavement drawings for over ten years. More chalk drawings from Julian Beever. Scroll down slowly and stop at each new frame. Incredible!!!!!

The Hosepipe

Beever's work is so convincing that people swerve to avoid potholes he has drawn in the street.
Girl On Beach Mat
Below is Beever's self-proclaimed best-known drawing, "Swimming-pool on High Street." "My art is for anybody. It's for people who wouldn't go into an art gallery. It's art for the people," explained Beever, when asked why he prefers the pavement to more traditional artistic mediums.


Remember, both his feet in reality are flat on the pavement!
Since 2004 a chain letter containing his art (sometimes mixed with similar art by Kurt Wenner) has been circulating on the Internet.
For more insight please read my hub about Kurt Wenner. You can find a lot of pictures and a video how his art is done in this hub. Enjoy!

Is this the real thing!

No, this is not a cut-and-paste of a real coke bottle in Photoshop. This coke bottle is drawn. In chalk. On pavement. Really incredible, I'm sure you'll agree.
Which is the real guy & which beer is real?
Featured in Treasure Hunting magazine, Beever's mounds of gold were part of a series used by White's Electronics of Inverness, the world's leading metal detector manufacturers based in Inverness, United Kingdom. See the picture below.
Treasure Hunt!


Beever's "Beneath Every Car Park" reveals the hidden treasures buried under our feet. "The important thing for me is to get a photo of it at the end," said Beever. "For me, I'm working toward building a photograph as my end result"

Pavement Picasso

To promote an article written about him in the British newspaper The Sun, Beever drew himself drawing himself. He admits that some people do see his work as graffiti and don't believe it has a place on public streets.

The Artist At Work! The Fountain of Youth.

The Lobster

Beever's "Rescue" was meant to be viewed through an inverting mirror. "I used to do portraits and conventional drawings on the sidewalk," explained Beever. "One day I saw a particular sidewalk where there were rectangles of tiles and that gave me the idea to create [3D drawings]." Beever continued to experiment and eventually realized that "if you could make things go down in the pavement, you could also make them look as if they're coming out of the pavement." Below is the picture.

The Rescue

Below is, "Portable Computer," drawn on the Strand in London. Typically, Beever's drawings take three days to complete and remain as long as the weather and pedestrians permit. However, months of planning and preparation go in to his creations. "When you're working outdoors, you never know what's going to happen -- it can always go wrong. It's a pleasure and relief to get it finished."



Above is the masterpiece, taking inspiration from his tools, Beever constructs his own rendition of a Rembrandt. The full effect of Beever's work is truly appreciated only when viewed through the wide-angle lens on his camera. To construct these masterpieces, Beever painstakingly double checks each stroke through that lens to make sure it achieves the desired effect. "It's very hard work but running about between the camera and the drawing keeps me warm, and I just keep aiming at my final result," he said.

Post Modern

It looks like a piece of the pavement has been taken out.
Many of his creations are optical illusions, such as this one, where Julian appears to be perched on a ledge, waiting for Batman and Robin to climb the building and rescue him.
In reality, there is just pavement in front of him, and the street below together with the expectant crowd, plus the blazing building below him, are all tricks played on the eye (a modern example of trompe l'oeil - a French term that means literally 'trick the eye').
An absolutely insane chalk drawing on the pavement. Batman an Robin are going to save a man from a burning building. Don't you get high anxiety when you look at this drawing ? Note the level of details : the real pavement is actually casting a "shadow" on the buildings below it.

Friendly Neighbourhood

Spiderman, Spiderman!

Beneath Every Street

Beneath Every Street! Beever's "Beneath Every Street" unearths the mechanics behind the luxuries the Western world takes for granted every day.

The Fly Killer


Time to take bath now!
Some images of the street drawing
on the Flickr site are attributed to
Julian Beever when the actual artist
is Kurt Wenner (
You'll notice that Kurt's artwork has
a much more classical flavor to it than
Julian's. That being said, both artists
are incredibly talented. You can also
refer to the hub Awesome Kurt Wenner
Check it out!

Latest Works

Ok. Now you must be real bored scrolling down all this way. Although I have many more in my collection, I will stop this with one last picture. Thank you for your patience and support. Please do not forget to comment. Do you know that Julian also makes fine art paintings?

Tired, Need a drink now!

Placing the Orders. This one was published in The Daily Mail on Christmas Eve 2007
Pavement Chalk Artist: The Three-Dimensional Drawings of Julian BeeverPavement Chalk Artist: The Three-Dimensional Drawings of Julian Beever
Amazon Price: $19.07
List Price: $29.95
Carpet of Dream: A Book of Pavement ArtCarpet of Dream: A Book of Pavement Art
Amazon Price: $19.99
List Price: $19.95
Asphalt Renaissance: The Pavement Art and 3-D Illusions of Kurt WennerAsphalt Renaissance: The Pavement Art and 3-D Illusions of Kurt Wenner
Amazon Price: $10.23
List Price: $24.95
Anamorphic Breakfast. This drawing is, unusually, on paper. It was featured on NBC's Today show
a colony of leaf-cutter ants builds a bridge
This drawing was the subject of Episode 1 of the Gallery HD television series Concrete Canvas shown in the USA.
Feeding the fish.
Eiffel Tower. This drawing in Paris was the subject of Episode 8 of the Gallery HD television series Concrete Canvas shown in the USA.
This drawing in Amsterdam is thought to be the first anamorphic still-life ever to be drawn on a pavement. The real-life arrangement was set up in situ.
Superheroes III - A Transformers robot leaves the New York subway.

Why Can't We Get Along?

Understanding the Male/Female Dynamic

By Rochel Holzkenner

Jacob: Sara, what shall I buy you for your fiftieth birthday? Would you like a new Cartier?
Sara: No, not really.
Jacob: Let's take a trip to Paris!"
Sara: No, thanks.
Jacob: How about we finally get that yacht…
Sara: No, no!
Jacob: Sara, tell me what would make you happy?
Sara: A divorce.
Jacob: Well, I wasn't thinking of spending that much.

If we were meant to be biological partners, shouldn't it be easy to work as a team?Today's divorce rate is high. But while the divorce rate has been gradually increasing with each passing decade, making marriage work has never been easy. Somewhere in the beginning of my marriage, my mentor told me unequivocally: "Marriage is not for the feeble and weak-kneed." It takes a lot of focus and resolution to get along.
But why should it be so hard? If G‑d created men and women as a match then shouldn't marriage be a smooth and natural transition? If we were meant to be biological partners, shouldn't it be easy to work as a team?
Five hundred years ago, a Talmudic scholar and Jewish mystic addressed this very question. His name was Judah Lowe, better known simply as the Maharal. Born in 1520, he served as the rabbi of Prague for most of his life.
What would a 16th century rabbi understand about a modern marriage, one based upon equality and individualism? More than we'd think. In his fascinating commentary to the Torah, the Maharal picks up and examines an unusual phrase in the beginning of Genesis (2:18): "It is not good that man is alone; I shall make him a helpmate opposite him."
After creating man, G‑d decides that it's time to create a woman, and before doing so He expresses the dynamic of their relationship: "a helpmate opposite him." This description is a classic oxymoron; a "helpmate" implies assistance, while "opposite him" implies resistance.
The Maharal sees in these words a very telling instruction about the intent of marriage. A person, he writes, can be a helpmate to his parents, for example, but shouldn't ever stand to oppose them. "But a woman," he continues, "who is of equal value and importance to a man, will help him and oppose him."
Perhaps she can help him by opposing and challenging his viewpoint at times. Disagreements in marriage can be a real exercise in humility and maturity and force us to transcend our subjectivity. If we embrace the discomfort of the dispute we can come out with a lot more than a wounded ego.
We grow when our opinions are challenged. The Talmud tells us about two great sages, Rabbi Yochanan and Reish Lakish. They were close friends and study partners (brothers-in-law, too). When Reish Lakish died, Rabbi Yochanan mourned him so deeply that he was unable to be consoled. Without his study partner he could not go on with life. Rabbi Yochanan's students begged him to return to the study hall and study with them. Rabbi Yochanan agreed and his students were relieved. But Rabbi Yochanan was not consoled; he cried out loud saying, "Alas! When I laid out my initial proposition you showed me numerous supporting proofs for my argument—but when I learned with Reish Lakish he would bring the same amount of arguments to disprove the validity of my argument."
We grow when our opinions are challenged.
And then the Maharal brings a second understanding of the words:
A woman's power, he says, is the direct opposite of a man's. When two opposing powers join into one force, an entirely new force emerges, one that has much more intensity than either one individually. If peace and unity prevail between the male and female energy, then the two are indeed very lucky.
It's not only about tolerance and humility, it's about utilizing differences to create a powerful team. In my mind I see it as the weight and thrust dynamic used to launch a rocket. The tug-of-war of forces propels the rocket out of its native atmosphere and into a whole new orbit.
So maybe it's okay to be opposite, and even to challenge one another. After all, woman was created as the helpmate opposite him.
By Rochel Holzkenner

Rochel is a mother of four children and the co-director of Chabad of Las Olas, Fla., serving the community of young professionals. She is a high-school teacher and a freelance writer—and a frequent contributor to She lectures extensively on topics of Kabbalah and feminism, and their application to everyday life. Rochel holds an MS in Brain Research from Nova SE University.