Monday, July 22, 2019

16 Fascinating Facts About Dr. Ruth’s Incredible Career By Arielle Kaplan (her new film will be part of the Jerusalem film festival) and Young at Heart by Sinatra 1965

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Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor

Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works  with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money,  and spiritual engagement


 Think of grief as like a river. It needs to flow.

Whether we are faced with a sudden loss or have time to say goodbye to a loved one who is dying from cancer or other chronic illness or is losing their identity to dementia, we need time to process the pain and get used to living with grief.

At first, we might feel as if we are fighting just to survive from minute to minute. But then we let the river flow.

Love Yehuda Lave

16 Fascinating Facts About Dr. Ruth's Incredible Career By Arielle Kaplan

Standing just four feet and seven inches, Dr. Ruth Westheimer says she feels like she's six feet tall. The Holocaust survivor, known as "America's sex therapist," has helped countless people reclaim their sex lives, gain ownership of their bodies, and feel like they're "normal." 

Then again, according to Westheimer, 91, who is known to everyone as Dr. Ruth, "Everything is normal." 

When she entered the public sphere in the 1980s with her radio show, Sexually Speaking, talking about sex and normalizing taboos was basically unheard of. She was met with immense criticism from people who thought she was blasphemous, or gave out advice too frivolously. But as a Jewish immigrant who prioritized education, nothing could stop Westheimer from preaching sex-positive gospel. 

Her charisma belies her short stature — when Westheimer talks, people lean in to hear her say things like, "short people make the best lovers" (something we here at Kveller wholeheartedly agree with!) or "size doesn't matter." With her thick German accent, she became a vocal and formidable figure during the AIDS epidemic, and she fought homophobic misinformation by educating people about the disease. She also fought for a woman's right to abortion, and became the point person to ask things no one dared ask anyone else. 

Just how did a Holocaust survivor wind up being one of the most famous sex therapists in the world? Well, a new documentary, Ask Dr. Ruth, now streaming on Hulu, unpacks the myriad fascinating tidbits of her unlikely journey from sniper — really! — to sex therapist. Naturally, we rounded up some of the most remarkable facts about Westheimer's life and work. Read on for 16 of them. 

1. Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer was born Karola Ruth Siegel in Germany in 1928. When she emigrated to Israel (Palestine at the time) after World War II, there was so much hatred towards Germany that Westheimer changed her German-sounding name. She used her middle name, Ruth, with the hope that if her parents or other family members survived the Holocaust, they could still locate her. In a particularly moving scene of Ask Dr. Ruth, Westheimer learns that her father died in Auschwitz

2. Since emigrating to the United States in 1956, she has lived in the same apartment building in Washington Heights, New York. When asked if she wanted to move, following her fame, she said: "This is a neighborhood of immigrants, and I said, 'No, I'm very comfortable here.'"

3. She first had sexual intercourse when she was 17, "on a starry night, in a haystack, without contraception." She later told The New York Times that she was "not happy about that, but I know much better now and so does everyone who listens to my radio program." What's spicier is that the man Westheimer had sex with was her ex-boyfriend's younger brother. 

4. When she moved to Israel, Westheimer joined the Haganah (now known as the IDF) and trained as a sniper. She nearly had her legs amputated after being caught in an explosion during the 1948-1949 Palestine War. Always on brand, while recovering in the hospital, Westheimer pretended that she couldn't use her arms — only her legs were injured — so that the hot doctor would feed her. 

5. She was married three times, but the last one was the "real" one, she said. Her first husband was the man she lost her virginity to in Israel; they divorced because she wanted to study in France. While there, she got pregnant with her daughter, Miriam, and married a second time. The third time was the charm — she married Fred Westheimer (whom she met skiing in the Catskills!) in 1961 and the pair remained together until his death in 1997.

6. She was a single mom. It's fitting, really, because Westheimer was always ahead of the curve! In the 1950s, single motherhood was very taboo. It didn't last for long, though. Once she married a third time, the Westheimers had a son, Joel. 

7. While giving a talk at Oklahoma State University, an attendee tried to make a citizen's arrest for obscenity. 

8. The only possession she has from her parents' home in Frankfurt is a washcloth with her name embroidered on it. She always keeps it by her, and never forgets where it is. "It kind of links me to my past," she said. 

9. When she was 10, her parents sent her to an orphanage in Switzerland on the Kindertransport. "My parents gave me life twice," Westheimer. "Once when I was born, and once when they sent me to Switzerland." There, she helped to take care of the other orphans.  

10. In addition to two children, Westheimer has four grandchildren. As a rule, she doesn't talk about sex with any of them. 

11. Despite the wishes of her granddaughter, LeoraDr. Ruth doesn't call herself a feminist. What she will agree to is that she's a "non-radical feminist."


12. She also doesn't call herself a Holocaust survivor, because she never endured the pain of living in a concentration camp. "I call myself an orphan of the Holocaust," she said.

13. There's a mundane Hebrew word that means a lot to her: lada'at. It means "to know," but it also means "to have sex." In the documentary, she said: "It's wonderful because the word sex means to know each other, and it means to take the time to listen and talk to each other. By not having parents at the age of 10, I was very much aware of the importance of being touched, and being loved. So that's one of the reasons I became so interested in the issues of the family, and relationships, and then, eventually, of sexuality."

14. Education as a Jewish value was of the utmost importance to Westheimer. In the documentary, she said being forced to make big decisions early in life taught her that women need to take initiative. A major component of that included financial independence — which meant that Westheimer needed to get a job. After the war, when Dr. Ruth emigrated to Israel, she was allotted reparations in order to afford school. So she flew to France, got her degrees focusing on marriage and family planning, schlepped to the United States, and worked at Planned Parenthood. It was there she realized she needed to learn more about human sexuality so she could answer people's questions. 

15. Sexually Speaking, her first radio show, debuted in 1981 and catalyzed the sex therapist's tremendous career. The show was more successful than expected — she initially hosted it as a volunteer from Cornell Medical Center, but it was shortly renamed the Dr. Ruth Show. Mostly all of her following shows — Ask Dr. Ruth, The All New Dr. Ruth Show, to name a few — included her name in the title. 

16. She has written more than 40 books, and counting! She published three books in 2018, and her latest children's book, Crocodile, You're Beautiful! Embracing Our Strengths and Ourselves, comes out this August.


Ask Dr. Ruth - Official Trailer and being shown at the Jerusalem film festival on July 28, and 29

Ask Dr. Ruth chronicles the incredible life of Dr. Ruth Westheimer, a Holocaust survivor who became America's most famous sex therapist. With her diminutive frame, thick German accent, and uninhibited approach to sex therapy and education, Dr. Ruth transformed the conversation around sexuality. As she approaches her 90th birthday and shows no signs of slowing down, Dr. Ruth revisits her painful past and unlikely path to a career at the forefront of the sexual revolution.

Rafi Peretz Undergoes Snap 'Conversion Therapy,' Reverses Earlier Position By David Israel

After the international storm he had caused (See: Homosexual Luxembourg PM Boycotts Israeli Event over Peretz's Conversion Therapy Statement), Education Minister Rafi Peretz (Habayit Hayehudi) made it clear in a letter he sent on Tuesday to school principals in Tel Aviv that he is strongly opposed to conversion treatments and has never referred his students to such treatments, Kan 11 News reported.

Minister Peretz wrote to the school principals in Tel Aviv (possibly because Israel's first Hebrew City is estimated to be 25% homosexual): "I know that conversion treatments are wrong and severe, this is my unequivocal position. I understand that this is an invasive treatment that is not compatible with the human psyche, causes patients more suffering than relief, and even causes patient suicide that could be prevented."

"Nevertheless, it is the right of individuals with a homosexual tendency to seek an attentive ear and help with professionals, in a respectful and loving way, and that is what I meant in the interview."

People in Peretz's circle suggested that after the storm that erupted following his remarks, the new leader of Habayit Hayehudi decided to dig deeper and understood what these treatments entail. According to them, when asked in the television interview Saturday night whether conversion treatments are acceptable, Peretz talked solely about psychological counseling or referral to social workers, and not to other things to which he was exposed only this week.

Rafi Peretz retracts comparison between intermarriage and the Holocaust

The Education minister also reaffirmed that he respects and cherishes "the entire Jewish people, in Israel and in the Diaspora," according to a letter released by the Jewish Agency. By JERUSALEM POST STAFF July 17, 2019

Education Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz retracted his remarks comparing intermarriage to "a second Holocaust," in a letter sent to Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog on Tuesday.

The minister also reaffirmed that he respects and cherishes "the entire Jewish people, in Israel and in the Diaspora," according to the document released by the Jewish Agency.

"In my remarks, I described how worried I am about the future of the Jewish people, particularly in light of the increasing rate of assimilation within Diaspora Jewry, a phenomenon over which I am losing sleep," Peretz wrote. "Out of deep concern for the fate of the Jewish people, I used the word 'Holocaust,' an expression that expresses the depth of my agony about the issue but probably was not an appropriate term to use. It goes without saying that I had no intention of insulting a single person in Diaspora Jewry."

Peretz's comments during a cabinet meeting earlier in July sparked outrage and criticism across the political spectrum, in Israel and abroad.

The statement by the Jewish Agency explained that Herzog asked Peretz to clarify his words in order to prevent an unnecessary rift among the Jewish people.

However, it added that his appeal to the education minister came prior to the crisis sparked by his remarks regarding the LGBTQ community, on which the Jewish Agency is also seeking clarification.

A copy of Peretz's letter will be sent to Jewish leaders throughout the Diaspora, and especially to Jewish Federations in North America.

small child playing the drums with an orchestra

cute as could be

Young at Heart by Frank Sinatra 1965

Frank Sinatra Fairy tales can come true It can happen to you if you're young at heart For it's hard, you will find To be narrow of mind if you're young at heart You can go to extremes with impossible schemes You can laugh when your dreams fall apart at the seams And life gets more exciting with each passing day And love is either in your heart or on it's way Don't you know that it's worth Every treasure on earth to be young at heart For as rich as you are It's much better by far to be young at heart And if you should survive to a hundred and five Look at all you'll derive out of bein' alive And here is the best part, you have a head start If you are among the very young at heart And if you should survive to a hundred and five Look at all you'll derive out of bein' alive And here is the best part, you have a head start If you are among the very young at heart Songwriters: Carolyn Leigh / Johnny Richards Young at Heart lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

See you tomorrow

Love Yehuda Lave

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

PO Box 7335, Rehavia Jerusalem 9107202


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Sunday, July 21, 2019

17th of Tammuz: History, Laws, and Customs-fast is today and Restoration Underway at Cuba’s Oldest Jewish Cemetery

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Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor

Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works  with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money,  and spiritual engagement.

Have an easy fast today with its purpose to think about our soul and G-d.

Love Yehuda Lave

17th of Tammuz: History, Laws and Customs-fast is today

The fast of the 17th of the Hebrew month of Tammuz, known as Shivah Asar B'Tammuz, is the start of a three-week mourning period for the destruction of Jerusalem and the two Holy Temples.

The fast actually commemorates five tragic events that occurred on this date:

  1. Moses broke the tablets when he saw the Jewish people worshipping the Golden Calf.
  2. During the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem, the Jews were forced to cease offering the daily sacrifices due to the lack of sheep.
  3. Apostomos burned the holy Torah.1
  4. An idol was placed in the Holy Temple.2
  5. The walls of Jerusalem were breached by the Romans, in 69 CE, after a lengthy siege. (Three weeks later, after the Jews put up a valiant struggle, the Romans destroyed the second Holy Temple on the 9th of Av.)
    The Jerusalem Talmud maintains that this is also the date when the Babyloniansbreached the walls of Jerusalem on their way to destroying the first Temple.

Practically speaking:

  •  A fast day is an auspicious day, a day when G‑d is accessible, waiting for us to repentadults—bar- or bat-mitzvah age and older—abstain from eating or drinking between dawn and nightfall. Click here for exact times in your location.
  • Pregnant and nursing women may not have to fast. Someone who is ill should consult with a rabbi. Even those exempt from fasting, such as ill people or children, shouldn't indulge in delicacies or sweets.
  • It is permitted to wake up early before the fast begins and eat, provided that prior to going to sleep one had in mind to do so.
  • During the morning prayers we recite selichot (penitential prayers), printed in the back of the prayerbook. The "long Avinu Malkeinu" is recited during the morning and afternoon prayers.
  • The Torah is read during the morning and afternoon prayers. The reading—the same for both morning and afternoon—is Exodus 32:11–14 and 34:1–10, which discusses the aftermath of the Golden Calf incident, how Moses successfully interceded on the Israelites' behalf and attained forgiveness for their sin. After the afternoon Torah reading, the special fast-day haftarahIsaiah 55:6–56:8, is read.
  • During the Amidah prayer of the afternoon service (Minchah), those who are fasting add the paragraph Aneinu in the Shema Koleinu blessing. (It is also added in the cantor's repetition of the Amidah in both the morning and afternoon services, as its own blessing between the blessings of Re'eh and Refa'einu.) Additionally, the priestly blessing is also added in the repetition of the Amidah in the afternoon service.
  • If the 17th of Tammuz falls on Shabbat as it is this year, the fast is postponed until Sunday (today). 

Abstaining from food and drink is the external element of a fast day. On a deeper level, a fast day is an auspicious day, a day when G‑d is accessible, waiting for us to repent.

The sages explain: "Every generation for which the Temple is not rebuilt, it is as though the Temple was destroyed for that generation." A fast day is not only a sad day, but an opportune day. It's a day when we are empowered to fix the cause of that destruction, so that our long exile will be ended and we will find ourselves living in messianic times; may that be very soon.


Historians have long debated when this occurred: some maintain that Apostomos was a general during the Roman occupation of Israel, while others contend that he lived years earlier and was an officer during the Greek reign over the Holy Land.


This event is also shrouded in controversy: some say that this too was done by Apostomos, while others say that this was done by King Manasseh of Judea.

Sefira Ross is a freelance designer and illustrator whose original creations grace many pages. Residing in Seattle, Washington, her days are spent between multitasking illustrations and being a mom.More from Sefira Ross  |  RSS

Restoration Underway at Cuba's Oldest Jewish Cemetery

Next November, Havana will officially be five hundred years old. To mark the event, the city council has decided to give the city a new look. As a result, streets are being paved, monuments "refreshed" and historic sites are being restored. Among them is the oldest Jewish cemetery in Cuba.

It was in 1906 when the city's first Jewish community bought land in Guanabacoa, a district located east of Havana. Four years later, a Jewish cemetery was built there, where Jews who had come, for the most part, from Central or Eastern Europe were buried. Many of these people fled persecution in the period between the two world wars.

According to David Prinstein, the community's vice-president, many Jews have left Cuba after the communists came to power in 1959. This has gradually led to the gradual deterioration of the cemetery as a whole.  For years the local Jewish community has not managed to raise the $200,000 needed for a complete renovation of the cemetery. At best, some American Jews have provided funds for the maintenance of specific graves.

In an interview on Cuban television, Pilar Vega, an engineer working at the site said that there were about a thousand graves in the cemetery, of which about 50 had already been restored and that another 150 should be repaired before the end of the year. She also confirmed that the burial chamber where the "Tahara" of the deceased was performed had also been restored.

It is important to note, that this cemetery also houses a monument, three meters high, dedicated to the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust. Half a dozen soaps, which the Nazis manufactured with Jewish fat, are buried at the foot of the memorial.


The Israeli innovation which may replace sugar

The Israeli company "Gat-Foods" hopes to replace white sugar with a new all-natural sweetener called "Fruitlift".


I think togetherness is a very important ingredient to family life.

Barbara Bush


Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten. David Ogden Stiers


My siblings are my best friends. America Ferrera

The oldest sibling always knows things that the younger ones don't.

Mike Mills


Sometimes siblings can get in each other's space. Gisele Bundchen


In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future. Alex Haley


I know a lot of people who've lost their siblings and blame themselves. Kelsey Grammer


We all have competitive relationships with our siblings. John Benjamin


The family is one of nature's masterpieces. George Santayana


There's something unnatural about losing a sibling when they're young. Carlene Carter


Siblings are often very opposite. Alycia Debnam-Carey


Whether it be with your parents or your siblings, everyone is dealing with different kinds of things. Justin Hartley


When you have a lot of siblings, you always do something to feel special. Lee Daniels


Soup is a lot like a family. Each ingredient enhances the others; each batch has its own characteristics; and it needs time to simmer to reach full flavor. Marge Kennedy


I would ask my parents something, but then go to my siblings. We were encouraged to bounce ideas off everyone. Ahmet Zappa


Sibling relationships figure in a lot of my books. You don't often see relationships between adult siblings explored in fiction. Dara Horn


There's something about the kind of unconditional wild joy of creating that you have with your siblings that I am always trying to get back to.

Jill Soloway


You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them.

 Desmond Tutu 

Kippalive - We Are Home -

Kippalive - We Are Home ----------------------------------------­--------------------------------------- Itunes: Digital Album: Bookings: Facebook: Official Site: ----------------------------------------­--------------------------------------- Original song: 500 Miles by Hedy West Arranged by Natan Gropper (Kippalive) Lyrics by Kippalive Members Recorded at Levitan Sound Lab by Ralph Levtian Video by Rafi & Maggie Sandler Cinematography: Maggie Sandler Location: המרפסת של המדינה, פדואל ----------------------------------------­

 Lyrics: Left it all to be with you Distant dreams have now come true Walked the streets of legends told We've come home We've come home We've come home And we'll never stand alone After 2000 years, we are home Not a native of this land Bring me up and take my hand Sapphire seas and golden sand A place called home We've come home We've come home To a land of our own After 2000 years, we are home זאת ארצי, מולדתי על אדמתי צעדתי עברי עתידי זה ביתי We've come home We've come home And we'll never stand alone After 2000 years, we are home We've come home We've come home To a land of our own After 2000 years, we are home After 2000 years, we are home We are home

Meet the scientist who went to the moon without a spaceship

Moon rocks still awe, and scientists hope to get their hands on more.

Darby Dyar says that as a kid, whenever Apollo astronauts returned from the moon, she and her classmates would get ushered into the school library to watch it on TV.

She remembers seeing the space capsules bobbing in the ocean as the astronauts emerged.

Dyar is one of the lucky scientists picked to do experiments on this pristine sample. She's spent her whole career studying the moon rocks she first saw on television as a child, although way back then she never would have guessed it.

Nearly a half-ton of moon rocks were collected by the six Apollo missions to the lunar surface. And as the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 first landing mission approaches, NASA has decided to open up a still-sealed, never-studied moon rock sample that has been carefully saved for decades, waiting for technology

See you tomorrow--bli Neder

Have a meaningful fast today. Even if you didn't know about and you learned about it now, G-d will appreciate if you fast the rest of the day or at least think as you eat or drink about your fellow Jews who are fasting.

Love Yehuda Lave

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

PO Box 7335, Rehavia Jerusalem 9107202


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