Friday, November 21, 2014

The Future of Medical Technology and you are a visionary

Let Us Do Our Share 

The realization that our own strength may be inadequate should never cause us to sink back into inertia. Never refrain from a good endeavor because the difficulties involved seem insurmountable. Keep in mind that we have a mighty Helper in the Almighty in all our good endeavors. Let us do our share; the Almighty will do the rest.

Love Yehuda Lave


 Medical Technology.

  I need this technology now myself, too bad not available yet

> On the "Bleeding Edge" of Science...


On another note here is what Rabbi Meir Kahane said about an attack that was much lesser that happened in 1989.. Will things ever change?


Shma Yisrael vs. Allahu Akbar by Rabbi Meir Kahane ZT"L HY"D (November 1989)

Nowhere was it more clearly seen. The real meaning of the struggle in the Holy Land was never more blatantly revealed than in the stabbing of a Jew in Jerusalem, recently. And now is it important for us to understand this reality, for if we do not we will not have the slightest idea of what the struggle in Israel is all about and, far worse, how to win it.

Yehuda Avahami, a young man who prays daily at the Western Wall, was walking last week through the so-called Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. Just inside Sha'ar Shchem (Damascus Gate) he was attacked by an Arab who stabbed him in the back. And here is the crux of the story: As the Arab stabbed the Jew, the Arab shouted in triumph, "Allahu Akbar!" (Allah is great). The Jew, attacked and feeling that he was in danger of death, shouted, "Shma Yisrael!"

And herein lies the real meaning of the struggle. And herein lies the shame of the struggle.

It has become the slogan, the war call,  the triumphant  shout of every Moslem attack on Jews. Allahu Akbar! The Arab who  drove the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem bus over the cliff, shouted it.  The Arab who attacked my nephew-soldier on the streets of Jerusalem, shouted it. It is the theme of the struggle of the Moslems against the Jewish state. And it is the theme of attack, of power, of defeating the Jewish enemy,  of defeating the G-d of  the Jews, of triumph for Islam. Allahu Akbar! is the voice of the Moslem attacking the Jewish victim.

And the victim? He cries out, Shema Yisrael...

Shma Yisrael becomes the symbol of the victim, of the Jew attacked, of the dying Jew. The great concept of Shma Yisrael, which was meant to be the triumphant and powerful and resounding cry of the Jewish victory and the Omnipotence of the G-d of the Jews, becomes a thin, small, quiet voice in the desert.  The voice of Kiddush Hashem, Jewish sanctification, becomes one of degradation, of Jewish defeat and death.

And that is Hillul Hashem, desecration of the Name, and that worst of Jewish crimes dare not be allowed to continue lest His awesome wrath rage against us.

"Shma Yisrael!" Hear O Israel! This is the way the mashuach milchama, the priest who was ordained as the one who led the Jews into battle, would begin his speech to the Jewish army, prepared to go into battle:

"Shma Yisrael!  Hear O Israel! You are coming near this day to the battle against your enemies. Let your heart not be faint; do not be afraid, do not panic, and do not be broken before them. For the L-rd, your G-d, is the One who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you." (Deuteronomy 20:3-4)

Shma Yisrael is not the plaintive cry of a Jewish victim, but the clarion call of the mashuach milchama, the appointed  Priest of War. It is not a numbing prayer of defeat but a certain, assured call of triumph.  Not the voice of the victim but the roar of the conqueror.  It is the affirmation of the real meaning of Shma Yisrael: "Hear O Israel, the L-rd is our G-d, the L-rd is One - the only One, the all-powerful One, the all-conquering One, the One who is over all gods, including Allah."

Shma Yisrael is the voice of the Jewish Warrior-Priest to the Jewish warriors, not to the Jewish victims. It is the affirmation of the power and Omnipotence of the Jewish G-d and the assurance that faith in Him guarantees victory. In the words of the Talmud (Sotah 42a): "Why does the message begin with the words 'Shma Yisrael', in particular? Rabbi Yochanan said in the name of Rabbi Shimon Bar- Yochai: the All Mighty said to Israel: even though you only observed the mitzvah of 'Shma Yisrael' in the morning and in the evening, you will not be given over to your enemies."

You think that is an easy thing, Jew? Think again.

Shma Yisrael  is the symbol, the utterance of real faith.  Real faith.  Not the plastic faith of theory in which the Jew pays copious and very "frum", pious, lip service to the All Mighty, only to find a hundred "halachic" reasons why to back away from confrontation with the enemy at the moment of reality. Faith means believing the cry of the mashuach milchama whose Shma Yisrael is an integral part of, "Let your heart not be faint... do not be afraid!"  And in the words of the Sifri (Shoftim 192): "They come with the victory of flesh and blood, and you come with the victory of the All Mighty". And the Talmud, Sotah (ibid.), expands on this: "The Philistines came with the victory of Goliath; what was his end? In the end he fell with the sword and they fell with him, and you are not that way.  For the L-rd, your Gd, is the One who goes with you, to fight for you..."

We have taken a Shma Yisrael  that was meant to be the slogan of Jewish power and Omnipotence of our G-d, and turned it into a plaintive cry of a victim.  We took a cry of power and turned it into weakness. "Kol ha'Shem ba'koach! The voice of the L-rd is powerful!" (Psalms 29:4). And if that is true, so must  the voice of His people be powerful.  "Who is the King of glory? The L-rd, strong and mighty, the L-rd, mighty in battle" (ibid., 24:8). And if that is true, then we must crown Him king in battle by our being strong and mighty in battle.

The reason that the Moslem shouts Allahu Akbar is because we allow him to think so. On that glorious day in 1967 when Jewish troops, the Tzivot ha'Shem, the host and ranks of the All Mighty, swept into the Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, there were no shouts of Allahu Akbar. There was only fear and terror in the eyes and hearts of the Moslems who saw, and felt and knew - "Shma Yisrael, Hashem Echad!"

It was the Jewish retreat and fear of the world, of the nations, that reinstilled in the heart of the Moslem the belief that Allahu Akbar.  It was the  terrible lack of faith in the words of the priest of battle, "Do not be afraid.... for the L-rd is the One who goes with you, to fight for you," that brought on us this terrible resurgence in faith and strength and arrogance of the Moslem. In direct proportion to Jewish lack of faith and fearful prostration before the gentiles did the Moslems grow in certainty and confidence in Allah.  What a terrible indictment of the Jewish people! What a terrible humiliation that Jews, the small and the great, talk about "the prohibition of antagonizing the nations." As if we were still in Pinsk or Casablanca.

And so a Moslem proudly attacks a Jew and cries, Allahu Akbar, and the Jew, in fear, cries out: Shma Yisrael. Not as a war cry but as a death chant. Hillul Hashem!

(From "Beyond Words", Vol. 6)


By Laibl Wolf

You Are a Visionary

A man by the name of Henry Flagler had a vision. In the 1890's he transformed the swamplands of the south-east coast of Florida and built the world's most luxurious hotel.  But the railway company wouldn't build an extension from Jacksonville to the wilderness of his hotel so he bought the railway company and had the rails reach the backwoods of Palm Beach, Florida – right up to entry of the hotel.  But passenger ships had no moorings there, so he built a wharf that allowed the ships to moor right at the hotel entry. He brought Italian craftsmen from Florence to replicate the most ornate of Italian ceilings, arches, and chandeliers at his hotel. And he built the hotel in only 11 months! Henry Flagler had drive – and vision!

Today, The Breaker's Hotel still leads. Although the original structure burned down in 1925, the Flaglers spent over $4M (back in 1920's!) rebuilding it as the world's premier hotel. Old man Flagler's standards and vision stretched into the next generation. I just spent several days in his hotel, experiencing his vision.
We all have a vision hard-wired into our soul. It lingers tantalizingly just beneath the surface of reality. Audaciousness and courage are the levers needed to raise this sunken treasure above the water line. And then comes the hard work - to translate vision into reality.

Have you ever sat down, quietly, thoughtfully, allowing your vision to shine through the veneer of awareness? Have you allowed it to leap free from inner depths, borne on the wings of powerful emotions? Have you focused your mind giving the force of vision a compass-bearing to navigate the uncharted waters of the future? If not now, when?

The visionThe vision need not scale the tallest peaks or proclaim your earthly presence through gaudy neon lights of fame. Create a team to work with the less fortunate.  Initiate a drug-counselling centre to support life's escapists, or a delinquents' reform team to engender self-esteem and self worth. Build a website to preach love in a world of hate. Reconcile family break ups. Assist the elderly.  Bring integrity back to journalism. Achieve self-mastery. Becoming a social leader. Dare to dream, but be firmly committed to translate vision into the nuts and bolts of material reality.  

There is a secret ingredient needed for success. It is called chutzpah.  Without chutzpah the illusion of brick walls will feel real, and the empty enemy of windmills will flay you aside. Vision needs self-belief to drive it. Dreams need the wind of audacity to fill their billowing sails. A famous Hassidic master said, if you encounter an obstacle, don't try to crawl underneath it – just jump over it! That's chutzpa – not to define a challenge as an obstacle. Don't take no for an answer. Jump over the illusory barricade and it will cease to exist.

To paraphrase a wise man: You must be the change you wish to see in the world. The vision is inside you, and it is a microcosm of the world, of the universe – of creation.

Henry Flagler built the world's best hotel in the swamplands of the deep south. That opportunity was created through the spiritual template, pioneered by Abraham, who built the largest and most comfortable residential inn of his day. Both men, separated by 3600 years, shared a vision and a strong spirit of adventure and social commitment.


Now it's your turn, especially now, when the world needs the gift that you uniquely possess – you. Share your vision and help shape  the world.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

More National Geographic and new Ben-Grunion Biography

Marriage Is For Growth

The purpose of marriage is growth. By its very nature, marriage will continuously give you opportunities to develop your character. And the more challenging one's marriage - the greater the growth possibilities!
Love Yehuda Lave

Victor Sharp's article on how the Musslems want to ruin our shabbat

Dear Friends:

Here is my new article just published in Canada Free Press.

Victor Sharpe

Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion's Place in Jewish History

November 5, 2014 12:33 pm 10 comments

David Ben-Gurion (Left) signing the Israeli Declaration of Independence, held by Moshe Sharet with Eliezer Kaplan looking on, at the Tel Aviv museum on Rothschild Blvd. on May 14, 1948. Photo: GPO.
JNS.orgThere is one sentence in "Ben-Gurion: Father of Modern Israel" that made me sit up in surprise. I thought that I knew the basic facts about how Israel came into being, but while describing what it was like in the days and hours before the state was declared, author Anita Shapira provides one important anecdote I was not aware of.
On the 12th of May, the Zionist Executive met to decide what to do. Moshe Sharrett had just returned from Washington and reported that the State Department warned him that, if the Jews declared a state, the U.S. would not support it. Golda Meir reported that her mission to persuade King Abdullah of Jordan not to enter a war had failed. Yigal Yadin, the head of the Haganah paramilitary organization, said the chances that the nascent state would survive were 50-50 at best. And then, Ben-Gurion called for a vote. It was 6-4 in favor, and by that narrow margin—the best he could cajole from a cautious Zionist Executive—Ben-Gurion declared the State of Israel.
There are few times in history when one person through one action affects the course of human events, as Ben-Gurion did that day. To take that action after attaining such a narrow margin, with full awareness that a war against six Arab armies was about to begin, required extraordinary courage and decisiveness. For this act alone, Ben-Gurion deserves a place of honor in Jewish history. Without him, there might not have been a Jewish state.
Shapira's biography, which will be released Nov. 25, is based on previously unopened archives. Unlike some other biographies of Ben-Gurion that are either worshipful or hypercritical, hers is fair and balanced. She describes him with all his warts: a fierce temper, a tendency toward hyperbole, and an ego that forgot no slight. She records his loneliness and isolation, which few people were aware of. She shows that he had many admirers and many enemies, but very few peers and true friends.
The new biography describes Ben-Gurion as a man who somehow balanced moments of incredible boldness with moments of great caution and realism. He was more concerned with bringing Jews into the country than with acquiring more territory. When his generals told him that it might be possible to capture the West Bank in 1948, he asked them what would they do with it and with the people who lived on it. He then forbade them from seizing it during the war.
Ben-Gurion stood up to America over Israel's Dimona nuclear facility, but yielded to America by giving up the Sinai after the Suez War. He understood that Israel could not survive without at least one ally among the great powers, and he chose to cast his country's lot with the Western democracies, rather than with the Soviet Union. He created a government for people who had never run one before, and he fought uncompromisingly against those who he believed challenged the authority of the state.
This book shows that, like Vladimir Lenin, who more than any other person created the Soviet Union, and like Winston Churchill, who saved England in its darkest hour by his sheer will and determination, Ben-Gurion created the State of Israel and set it on its path. Shapira adeptly records how he did it and chronicles the rest of his storm-tossed life, so that future generations may appreciate both his achievement and his faults.
"Ben-Gurion: Father of Modern Israel," by Anita Shapira, Yale University Press (November 2014), 288 pages, $25.

The Jewish Dog

Within days of purchasing a lovely dog named Moshe, Avrom notices that Moshe is very intelligent - he always comes when his name is called no matter what he was doing; he always finds his bone no matter where it's hidden; and he learns new tricks very quickly. He can even balance on one leg for 30 seconds.
Avrom realizes that Moshe is a very special kind of dog - a Jewish dog, most probably, so he teaches Moshe to wear a kippa. And because Moshe looks so frum in his kippa, Avrom starts to teach him Hebrew. Not surprisingly, Moshe quickly starts learning and then speaking some Hebrew words in a doggie kind of voice. But then one morning, Avrom, realizing that Yom Kippur is only a few days away, phones his rabbi and gets permission to bring Moshe to shul with him.
On Yom Kippur morning, they arrive in shul and the kippa-wearing Moshe is given the seat immediately between Avrom and a Mr Birnboam. The service begins and immediately Moshe can be heard by those around him praying in Hebrew in a yappy but reasonably clear breathy kind of voice, with heartfelt 'wails' thrown in every now and then. Mr Birnboam turns to Avrom and whispers, "I just can't believe what I'm seeing and hearing. It looks like your dog is davening. But he can't be, can he? I must be dreaming. If I am, please wake me up immediately."
"No, you're not dreaming Mr Birnboam," whispers Avrom, "Moshe truly is davening."
"If that's so," whispers Mr Birnboam, "you can get thousands of dollars for such an act on THE X FACTOR or AMERICA'S GOT TALENT."
"Mr Birnboam," whispers Avrom, "I can assure you that the same thoughts have crossed my mind. But my Moshe has told me in no uncertain terms that he wants to be an Accountant."

The National Geographic slide show pictures are too big to post.  If you want to see them, please write to me at and I will send them to you

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Germans almost had the atom bomb berore the Allies and the beautiful African Desert

Make It Positive

When someone else speaks to you, what they say and how they say it creates either positive energy or the opposite.

Also, when you speak to yourself, you are the one who chooses whether the energy will be positive or negative. Be totally resolved to consistently create positive energy.

Love Yehuda Lave

There are no words to describe the horror of yesterday's  attack in a synagogue with people praying...To say that these attackers worship the same G-d makes a mockery of our prayers and G-d. For years, Jews just gave in and ran, but there is no place to run. The world hates us, so we have finally been given our own country, but if we don't have the courage to take care of it, we will be domed, and the Christians will follow next.  Here is the leader of the Yeshiva that was taken from us..May has family end their suffering: 

Rabbi Moshe Twersky, Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshivas Torahs Moshe

Rabbi Moshe Twersky is a lecturer at Yeshiva Toras Moshe in Jerusalem. He is the elder son of Rabbi Isadore Twersky of Boston, and a grandson of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. He lives in the Har Nof neighborhood in Jerusalem. His wife is the daughter of Rabbi Abba Berman, the late rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Iyun HaTalmud, and runs the Hadar Seminary for Women in Jerusalem.

We never know where the Lord's salvation will come from...
The Norwegians rank with Bilam... forced to bless.



The Vemork hydroelectric plant
The Vemork hydroelectric plant
On 19 November 1942, a pair of Royal Air Force Halifax bombers shouldered their way through thick winter clouds over Norway with troop-carrying assault gliders in tow. Inside each glider a payload of professional saboteurs from the 1st British Airborne Division weathered a rough ride as the planes approached their intended landing site on frozen lake Møsvatn. Somewhere in the snow-encased hills below, a team of Norwegian commandos vigilantly awaited their arrival.

The ultimate objective of the joint mission was to penetrate and incapacitate the Vemork hydroelectric plant, a fortified Nazi facility nestled high in the mountains of Norway. Though the plant's original purpose had been the production of electricity and fertilizer, the German occupiers were capitalizing on the facility's ability to collect large amounts of heavy-water-- a key ingredient in the Nazi effort to develop an atomic bomb.

Scientists at Vemork first observed the curious heavy-water in 1934 when it appeared as a by-product of their revised ammonia production process. Physically and chemically the substance is similar to ordinary water, but while the hydrogen atoms in normal H2O consist of one proton and one electron, many of the hydrogen atoms in heavy-water have the added weight of a neutron-- an isotope known as deuterium. This deuterium oxide (D2O) does exist in water naturally, though its ratio is normally only about one part in 41 million, so it had not been previously observed in significant quantities. For eight years Vemork's scientist had been collecting the exotic liquid for scientific scrutiny, supplying samples to the world's researchers for basic experiments. The Nazis' interest, however, was more considerably more sinister.

In the late 1930s a group of German physicists discovered that certain rare isotopes of uranium are fissile, meaning that their nuclei become unstable and split when they absorb an extra neutron. The nucleus shatters into two smaller nuclei-- which repel one another with great energy due to their mutually repulsive electric charges-- and shrapnel consisting of fast-moving free neutrons. Soon scientists realized that a chain-reaction would be possible inside a clump of fissionable material since the neutrons spawned during one fission could trigger subsequent fissions, and those would trigger more fissions, and so on. Depending on the conditions, this could produce a long-lived source of heat and neutrons, or a short-lived source of exploding and death. They also speculated that a self-sustaining chain reaction would be easier to maintain if they could identify a substance able slow down the loose neutrons to increase their chances of being absorbed.

Frozen heavy-water in ordinary H20
Frozen heavy-water in ordinary H20
The nuclear Nazis identified Norway's heavy-water as one of the best candidates to act as this neutron moderator, so when German forces invaded in 1940 the Vemork plant was an asset they were quick to snatch. Under tightened security, the German scientists doubled the heavy-water production capacity and began shipping barrels of the material back to the weapons laboratories in Berlin. The Norwegian civilian workers knew nothing of nuclear bombs or neutron moderators, but the Nazis' conspicuous interest in the substance prompted members of the resistance to report the activity to British intelligence.

By 1942 the Allied leaders were certain that the heavy water was a critical component in Hitler's effort to produce an atomic weapon. Such neutron moderators were not necessary in atomic bombs, but the German physicists hoped to use heavy-water to moderate a sustained reaction within their stash of rare uranium-235. They could then expose nuggets of the most common uranium isotope (uranium-238) to the slow neutrons spewing out of the reactor, allowing some of the uranium nuclei to slurp up an extra neutron to become uranium-239. U-239 atoms tend to undergo beta decay a couple times over the course of a few days, finally resulting in weapons-grade plutonium-239.

The Allies could not sit idly by as Hitler's henchmen made progress in nuclear weaponry, otherwise the war was sure to come to an abrupt and disagreeable end. The British Royal Air Force considered a nighttime bombing raid on the Vemork to be "unrealistic," so a covert ground assault was mounted. On 19 November 1942, thirty Royal Engineers crowded into a pair of troop gliders and rode to the frozen landscape of Norway towed behind Halifax bombers. In the mountains near the power plant, an advance team of Norwegian commandos waited near the landing zone while the planes struggled through the soupy skies.

As the drone of aircraft engines crept over the horizon towards Jens Anton Paulsson and his three men, there was a dull explosion in the distance. Once its echoes faded only one aircraft could be heard. One of the Halifax bombers had struck a cloud-obscured mountain. The glider pilot-- who had managed to cast off from his ill-fated tug at the last moment-- executed the most graceful crash he could given the mountainous terrain. The remaining airplane circled the area with its own glider in tow as the crew struggled fruitlessly to contact the landing beacon. Eventually they were forced to give up due to low fuel, but as the bomber set off towards home its tow line broke and sent the second glider diving into the snowy hills.

A Halifax bomber towing a Horsa glider
A Halifax bomber towing a Horsa glider
The Germans wasted no time dispatching Gestapo troops to investigate the commotion. Paulsson and his Norwegian resistance fighters knew they could not reach the distant crash sites ahead of the Germans, so they retreated to their mountain hideaway to await instructions. For three long months the men subsisted on whatever moss and lichen they were able to scrounge in the sub-zero temperatures, their diets punctuated by the occasional bit of edible wildlife. Meanwhile the survivors from the crashed gliders were captured, questioned, tortured, and executed under Hitler's top-secret Commando Order which stipulated that all enemy commandos were to be put to death without exception.

On 19 February 1943, six of the Norwegians' countrymen finally arrived by parachute with a fresh supply of food, weapons, and explosives from their British supporters. Following an exchange of greetings, Joachim Ronneberg took command of the group and laid out their attack plan. Once everyone had recuperated, the ten Norwegian men strapped on their skis and set out armed with rifles, submachine guns, chloroform rags, and cyanide suicide pills. Though they had been given no specific details regarding the power plant's purpose, the men had been assured that its destruction would prevent Hitler from gaining the ability to smash entire cities with a single strike.

At three o'clock in the morning on 28 February, the gang of intrepid Norwegians approached their target. The Vemork hydroelectric plant was perched on the edge of a six hundred foot cliff like a fairytale fortress, and accessible via a 240-foot-long bridge which spanned a deep ravine. The area was peppered with mines, and the bridge itself was well-guarded and brightly lit. Rather than tangle with sentries and landmines, the force elected to descend into the gorge and clamber up the cliff on the other side. The resistance fighters soberly exchanged wishes of good luck then skied down to the ravine floor.

The heavy water collectors in Vemork
The heavy water collectors in Vemork
After completing the long and treacherous climb up the icy cliff, Knut Haukelid took command of five of the men and broke off to assume covering positions outside the German barracks. The other four split into two demolition teams, each with a full set of explosives in case one of the teams was unable to reach the target. The four men headed to a basement door which they had been told would be left unlocked, but the undercover operative in charge of the task had fallen ill and missed work that day. The two teams separated to seek alternate points of ingress.

Joachim Ronneberg and his partner Fredrik Kayser soon located a hatch which allowed access to a narrow shaft full of wires and pipes, but the men discovered that there was sufficient room to squeeze through. As the factory's machinery softly grumbled, the pair slowly crawled through the long duct while pushing their explosives ahead of them. At the end of the tunnel the men climbed down a ladder and surveyed their target: a long row of metallic cylinders lining the wall of the heavy-water concentration room. The two raiders sprang into the compartment and caught the lone night watchman completely by surprise. He eagerly complied with their orders to raise his hands, then stood trembling as the armed intruders locked all doors leading into the room. Ronneberg dashed over to the heavy-water tanks and immediately began to place his eighteen explosive charges.

As Ronneberg worked, the factory's low, steady hum was punctured by the sound of shattering glass from the far side of the room. He and Kayser spun around with weapons at the ready. Through the window emerged the two men of the other demolition team, having been unable to find a more suitable entrance. Together the men set and checked the series of charges, and laid fuses which had been cut to provide a delay of only thirty seconds. A Norwegian civilian wandered into the room and was astonished to see a clutch of commandos putting the finishing touches on their demolition charges. He obediently thrust his arms into the air and joined his captive colleague.

The Vemork plant following an Allied raid
The Vemork plant following an Allied raid
Ronneberg lit the bombs' fuses and quietly counted to ten. He then ordered the anxiety-stricken prisoners to run upstairs as fast as they could. Hoping to prevent reprisals against the local populace, the raiders dropped a British machine gun on the floor to disguise the attack as the work of British agents. The demolition teams rejoined their comrades outside and the together they dashed away at full speed. After several long moments, a muffled thud was heard from the Vemork building behind them. Three thousands pounds of D2O sloshed out of the damaged tanks and into the factory's drains, destroying four months' worth of production and severely crippling the heavy-water-gathering apparatus. By the time the Germans realized they were under attack, the ten Norwegian men had donned their skis and slipped away to the safety of the mountains.

The saboteurs had successfully silenced the water plant, but German engineers began repairs immediately and within five months their heavy-water collectors were back in action. By the following winter the Allies had the means to attack the target by air, and during one long day in November 1943, one hundred and forty three American B-17s ambled over the horizon and pounded the Vemork complex area with over seven hundred bombs. Due to the terrain many of the bombs missed and most of the structure managed to remain intact, but the forceful series of attacks persuaded the Germans to abandon the plant.

In a last ditch effort to salvage the remains of the operation, the Nazi scientists loaded their massive bounty of heavy-water into a railcar. Under the care of a large guard detail the precious deuterium oxide began its journey to Berlin. The armed procession boarded a railcar ferry to carry it across lake Tinnsjø, and as the boat crossed the deepest portion of the lake there was a sharp bang below decks. The ferry foundered and sank, dragging the bulk of Germany's atomic bomb program into a deep and watery grave. The Norwegian saboteur Knut Haukelid-- the man who led the covering team on the raid against Vemork-- had learned of the plans to move the cargo, and smuggled a makeshift time bomb aboard the ferry before the Germans arrived. Unfortunately fourteen civilians were killed when the boat sank, but resistance leaders reasoned that these losses were acceptable considering the thousands of lives that would have been forfeit if Hitler's nuclear program had come to fruition.

Most of the Vemork raiders
Most of the Vemork raiders
Though the Norwegians' handiwork did not manage to completely halt the progress of the Nazi's atomic bomb project, it created significant stumbling blocks. According to some controversial reports, the Nazis did manage to build and test a small nuclear device just before the war ended, but it was reportedly a crude design far inferior to the bombs dropped on Japan some months later by the US. In any case, Nazi Germany certainly possessed the knowledge and skills necessary to construct a bomb; they merely lacked the resources.

In modern history there are few examples of such small works of sabotage leading to such dramatic effect. By some estimations, the raids at Vemork were all that prevented Hitler from gaining control over Europe and ruling with a plutonium fist. Indeed, had the Nazis worked unhindered, the world's first atomic mushroom cloud may have loomed over London by the mid-1940s. In that respect, these stalwart saboteurs and their daring mission in the mountains of Norway may have spared the world from a far worse fate.

Written by Alan Bellows, posted on 19 June 2007. Alan is the founder/designer/head writer/managing editor of Damn Interesting.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

More than just a picture:

My heart goes out to the Jews murdered and wounded this morning in synagogue for the crime of being a Jew..These Jews had no connection to any claimed causes other than they were Jews. We are all one.

Take a Mental Note

It is easy to take mental capabilities for granted. Don't.

Try to feel pleasure in your ability to speak and think. Appreciate that you can study wisdom. Even the greatest scholar should appreciate his ability to pronounce words, to read sentences, and to study the basics.

A person who masters this appreciation will live a life of joy.

Love Yehuda Lave

Rabbi Sprecher on Free Will:
Attachments area
Preview YouTube video The Akeida - Test or Punishment? - Nov 9, 2014

There is a story many years ago of an elementary teacher. Her name was Mrs. Thompson. And as she stood in front of her 5th grade
class on the very first day of school, she told the children a lie. Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she
loved them all the same. But that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy
Stoddard. Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he didn't play well with the other children, that his
clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. And Teddy could be unpleasant. It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson
would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X's and then putting a big "F" at the top of his

At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child's past records and she put Teddy's off until last.
However, when she reviewed his file, she was in for a surprise.

1.  Teddy's first grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is a bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners...he
is a joy to be around."

2.  His second grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is an excellent student, well-liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his
mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle."

3.  His third grade teacher wrote, "His mother's death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best but his father is overwhelmed and
his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren't taken."

4.  Teddy's fourth grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't show much interest in school. He doesn't have many friends
and sometimes sleeps in class."

By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself. She felt even worse when her students brought her
holiday presents, wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for Teddy's. His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy,
brown paper that he got from a grocery bag. Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents. Some of the
children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing and a bottle that was one quarter full
of perfume. But she stifled the children's laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing some of
the perfume on her wrist. Teddy Stoddard stayed after school that day just long enough to say, "Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled
just like my Mom used to." After the children left, she cried for at least an hour.

On that very day, she quit teaching reading, and writing, and arithmetic. Instead, she began to teach children. Mrs. Thompson paid
particular attention to Teddy. As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster he
responded. By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the class and, despite her lie that she would
love all the children the same, Teddy became one of her "teacher's pets."

A year later, she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling her that she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.
Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He then wrote that  he had finished high school, third in his class, and she
was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life. Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been
tough at times, he'd stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would soon graduate from college with the highest of honors. He assured
Mrs. Thompson that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had.

Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he explained that after he got his bachelor's degree, he
decided to go a little further. The letter explained that she was still the best and
favorite teacher he ever had in his whole life. But now his name was a little longer. The letter was signed, "Theodore F. Stoddard,

The story doesn't end there. You see, there was yet another letter that spring. Teddy said he'd met this girl and was going to be
married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit in
the place at the wedding that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom. Of course, Mrs. Thompson did. And guess what? She
wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. And she made sure she was wearing the perfume that Teddy
remembered his mother wearing.

At the wedding Dr. Stoddard whispered in Mrs. Thompson's ear, "Thank you, Mrs. Thompson, for believing in me. Thank you so
much for making me feel important and showing me that I could make a difference."

Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back. She said, "Teddy, you have it all wrong. You were the one who taught me
that I could make a difference. I didn't know how to teach until I met you."

Monday, November 17, 2014

Herod’s Castle Hidden Under the Police Station

Kishle Castle

Photo Credit: Yossi Zamir/Flash90

Remains from Herod's Jerusalem castle have been excavated and opened to the public. The castle is located under the Kishle police station in Jerusalem's Old City.

The Kishle is located right next to the Tower of David museum, in the southern part of the moat.

When Herod was king, he built many of Jerusalem's magnificent structures.

The Power of a Word

When your words are intended to uplift, encourage, influence, motivate, and inspire -- be aware that what you say can endure for many years. The ensuing benefits can help multitudes of individuals and families for many generations. Your words are powerful. Use them wisely.

Love Yehuda Lave

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Senior Haredi Sefardi Rabbi Approves Going Up to Temple Mount and getting around Jerusalem

Live and Let Live

Happy people have a vast amount of things that they consider to be okay. We all have our limits. But we can develop attitudes and reactions that enable us to accept, tolerate, and ignore many of the things that annoy, irritate, and frustrate unhappy people.

Some people need things to be "just so" for them to feel comfortable and happy. The more rules and specifics that are needed for this, the more likely that a person will experience much unhappiness.

Are there any people you dread interacting with? Those with a low threshold of okay-ness are often in this category. They demand that everything has to be exactly as they wish it to be for them to be satisfied. These people are highly critical of others. They get annoyed at others for minor and trivial matters that are not to their liking. Don't be one of them for your own benefit and the welfare of those who interact with you.

Develop a sense of perspective. Keep asking yourself, "How important is this for me to fulfill my life's mission?" The clearer you are about which values are truly important to you, the easier it will be for you to accept and cope well with trivial and minor aspects of life that are not just the way you would have wanted them to be.

Love Rabbi Yehuda Lave

Senior Haredi Sefardi Rabbi Approves Going Up to Temple Mount

By: Yori Yanover
Published: Marc
Rabbi Meir Mazuz (seen visiting a synagogue in Crown Heights, Brooklyn) declared in a public Internet psak that it is legal for a Jew to go up to temple Mount.

Rabbi Meir Mazuz (seen visiting a synagogue in Crown Heights, Brooklyn) declared in a public Internet psak that it is legal for a Jew to go up to temple Mount.
Photo Credit:

It seems that cracks are appearing in the Haredi consensus, which used to be firmly against setting foot on Temple Mount, for fear of violating the holiest Jewish site. According to Maariv, Rabbi Meir Mazuz, head of yeshiva Kisseh Rachamim (Seat of Mercy) in B'nei B'rak, has responded to a public question on his institutions' official website with the psak (decision): "min hadin mutar" – meaning that it is legally permitted. However, he said that one must restrict one's movements on Temple Mount to the areas which are not problematic.

The entrance to the Temple before the destruction was restricted to Jews who had cleansed themselves of the impurity of the dead, a 7-day process requiring two sprayings with water containing the ashes of a red heifer. Since we are no longer in possession of these means, we are unable to cleanse our impurity and so, should we set foot on an area where the holy sacrifices were being made, or, even worse, the holiest sanctuary, we would be defiling them.

But there are today many religious-Jewish experts who offer clear instructions as to where the "safe" area for walking is, mostly the perimeter of the compound.

Rabbi Mazuz's decision comes a scant few months after the passing of Rav Ovadia Yosef, who staunchly objected to Jewish ascent to Temple Mount. Rabbi Mazuz's stature in the Sefardi Haredi community might usher in a new era in mainstream religious Jewish approach to the Temple Mount.

Rabbi Mazuz is considered one of the senior Sefardi rabbis in the world, but has always been to the right of the late Rav Ovadia. He was actively opposed to the Gush Katif deportations, including adding his name to the list of rabbis who at the time called on IDF soldiers to refuse an order to evacuate.

Needless to say, Shas, the Haredi Sefardi party which may suffer a setback come next elections due to the passing of Rav Ovadia, is not happy with the public defiance being shown by Rabbi Mazuz these days. Their spokesman has already criticized the Rabbi's decision, and the question Shas seems to fear is not so much about Temple Mount but about the possibility of dissent in the Sefardi ranks over more critical issues, like politics.

Toujours la pushinesse

By car may be more comfortable, but driving on the streets is another pain.

Bus Station

Central bus station in Jerusalem. (photo credit:MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

There are four ways of getting around Jerusalem: by foot, by bike, by car and by public transportation. Public transportation means the bus, and waiting for the bus is the usual pain. The pain starts when the bus arrives and the small crowd pushes to get on, in spite of the fact that others are still trying to get off. The result is a scrum. The same also happens at lifts, and that is why the Hadassah Hospital has put up signs, "To save time, let the others off first." It does save time, but bus and lift addicts see getting on as their priority, regardless of others and time.

By car may be more comfortable, but driving on the streets is another pain.

Other drivers have to overtake, and when they see a hazard they speed up. That is the Israeli way. Abroad, when one sees a problem one slows down, but not so in Israel, where the priority is to get past it, whatever it is, and speed on.

It's the same on the pavement. Jerusalem pavements are narrow and getting past oncoming pedestrians is difficult. If they are a pair or sometimes even a threesome, one has to step into the gutter or squeeze against the wall to get past. No way will the pair or threesome divide up, or even if it's only one, no way will he or she step to one side. No, the Israeli pedestrian must march straight on and he or she does it by not looking at you and just expecting you to give way.

For them to defer is out of the question, to do it for politeness is not on, it would be sissy, as it would be sissy for a driver to make way for you, or to signal his intention to turn in front of you. On the other hand, there is the rare occasional chap or lady who will step aside for you, in accordance with the French maxim of toujours la politesse (above all, civility).

It makes one wonder what Israeli kids are taught at school. The lesson seems to be look out for number one, show purpose and always advance; to step aside, to make way, to hold back, to slow down, to defer to another, is sissy and shows hesitancy and lack of resolve.

In a recent bus queue (yes, it was a queue), I waited for an intercity bus at the head of the line. When the already crowded bus arrived, the lady behind me jumped forward, ready to board first.

"Excuse me," I said, "you were behind me."

"Yes," she said, "and now I am in front of you!" What could I do, or think, except realize that for her and all those other passengers, drivers and pedestrians, it was "toujours la pushinesse"?

The author is a scholar living in Jerusalem.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Pope embraces Evolution and the Big Bang but we said it first

Learn From Your Strengths And Successes

We all can communicate well with some people and not equally as well with some other people. Learn from your strengths. Learn from your successes. Learn from your best moments.

Your own best moments are your best teacher. So the question to ask yourself is, "With whom do you communicate well?" What can you learn from the way you speak to those people? Very likely, the way that those people speak to you and treat you has an influence on the way that you communicate with them. Even so, awareness of what you personally do right when you speak to them can help you speak better with the people you find difficult to interact with.

Moreover, if you ever have a difficult time communicating with someone that you sometimes communicate well with, ask yourself, "What exactly did I say and do when I communicated well with this person in the past?"

Love Yehuda Lave

Rashi, Rambam and Ramban said it first.

I learned it from my teacher Rabbi Gerald Schroeder a rabbi and a scientist. I will always be in his debt. You can see his bio on the blog from Wednesday. 

Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'

The theories of evolution and the Big Bang are real and God is not "a magician with a magic wand", Pope Francis has declared.

Speaking at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Pope made comments which experts said put an end to the "pseudo theories" of creationism and intelligent design that some argue were encouraged by his predecessor, Benedict XVI.

Sir Elton John Labels Pope Francis 'My Hero'

Francis explained that both scientific theories were not incompatible with the existence of a creator – arguing instead that they "require it".

Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so," Francis said. He added: "He created human beings and let them develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one so they would reach their fulfilment.

Pope Francis says Big Bang theory does not contradict role of God


A gust of wind blows Pope Francis' mantle as he leaves at the end of his weekly audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican October 22, 2014. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

A gust of wind blows Pope Francis' mantle as he leaves at the end of his weekly audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican October 22, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Stefano Rellandini

(Reuters) - Scientific theories including the "Big Bang" believed to have brought the universe into being 13.7 billion years ago and the idea that life developed through a process of evolution do not conflict with Catholic teaching, Pope Francis said on Tuesday.

Addressing a meeting of the Pontificial Academy of Sciences, an independent body housed in the Vatican and financed largely by the Holy See, Francis said scientific explanations for the world did not exclude the role of God in creation.

"The beginning of the world is not the work of chaos that owes its origin to something else, but it derives directly from a supreme principle that creates out of love," he said.

"The 'Big Bang', that today is considered to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the creative intervention of God, on the contrary it requires it," he said.

"Evolution in nature is not in contrast with the notion of (divine) creation because evolution requires the creation of the beings that evolve," the pope said.

The Church once opposed early scientific explanations of the universe that contradicted the account of creation in the Bible, famously condemning the 17th century astronomer Galileo Galilei who showed that the earth revolved around the sun.

However, more recently it has sought to shed its image as an enemy of science and the pope's comments largely echoed statements from his predecessors.

Pope Pius XII described evolution as a valid scientific approach to the development of humans in 1950 and Pope John Paul reiterated that in 1996.

In 2011, the former Pope Benedict said scientific theories on the origin and development of the universe and humans, while not in conflict with faith, left many questions unanswered.

20 Cheshvan 

Yahrtzeit of Hannah Szenes (1921-1944), a young Israeli woman who volunteered to parachute behind Nazi lines on behalf of the British Army. She spent three months in Yugoslavia working with partisan resistance fighters, but was caught when she attempted to cross the border into Hungary. She was tortured for several months, but refused to divulge any information. Szenes became a symbol of idealism and self-sacrifice, an image strengthened by the stirring set of poems she left behind. She was executed by firing squad in Budapest, and her remains were later brought to Israel.

Read more in this story in the Jerusalem Post

Hanna's letters

The extraordinarily ordinary missives of Hanna Szenes, courageous paratrooper but first, a newly minted kibbutznik.

Hanna Szenes

Hanna Szenes encounter with her brother on the Tel Aviv promenade marked their final meeting.. (photo credit:MIRI TZACHI)

While Hanna Szenes is undoubtedly a hero – celebrated for her poetry and her bravery as a paratrooper – she was also a young girl, excited by the work that kibbutz life demanded, interested in her culture, contemplative about men and dedicated to her family.

Seventy years after her execution on November 7, 1944, letters she wrote to her friends and family have been compiled into a new book, Hanna Szenes: Letters 1935-1944 (in Hebrew, At Livadech Tavini, or "You Alone Will Understand"). Compiled and edited by Dr. Anna Szalai, Dr. Gideon Tikotsky and Szenes's nephew Eitan Szenes, the letters provide exclusive insight into the woman behind the famous persona.