Mentally Prepare For Challenges
The more mentally prepared you are for challenges to your being in a serene state, the greater your ability to maintain this state. The goal to strive for is to be able to remain in a serene state even when other people say and do things that could potentially cause distress. Mentally practice remaining serene regardless of what anyone says. Knowing that you can do this in your imagination will free you from worrying about what anyone may say in the future.
Love Yehuda Lave
Only in an alternate, Orwellian universe could only one group of people on earth—Jews—be enjoined from praying on the single site most holy to their faith, and, moreover, be told that their presence there is not only provocative but is repugnant and befouls the very ground on which those of another faith—Muslims—have staked a triumphalist religious claim and now wish to gather and pray.
This attempt to airbrush out a Jewish presence from Jerusalem—in fact, all of historic Palestine—is not a new message for Abbas, of course. In 2000 he expressed similar contempt for the idea that a Jewish temple had ever existed on the Temple Mount and that, even if it had existed, the offenses committed by Israel against the Palestinians negated any claim Jews might have enjoyed, absent their perfidy.
"Anyone who wants to forget the past [i.e., the Israelis] cannot come and claim that the [Jewish] temple is situated beneath the Haram," Abbas absurdly asserted in an article in Kul Al-Arab, an Israeli Arabic-language weekly newspaper. " . . . But even if it is so, we do not accept it, because it is not logical for someone who wants a practical peace."
Judging by the October 30th statement by U.S. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki, forgetting the past is something in which the John Kerry's office is also complicit. "We're extremely concerned by escalating tensions across Jerusalem and particularly surrounding the Haram al-Sharif, Temple Mount," Psaki said, pointedly, and dangerously, referring to the Temple Mount by its Arab name first and thereby fortifying, and seeming to lend equal weight to, the Palestinian's spurious claim to spiritual and territorial rights to the site, and to the wider area described now as East Jerusalem.
"It is actually critical that all sides exercise restraint, refrain from provocative actions and rhetoric and preserve the status quo," she added, suggesting that Jews not be allowed to pray on the Mount and that the status quo prohibiting Jews from praying on the site be ordered to continue so as to not incite Muslim sensibilities.
But in characterizing East Jerusalem —or any part of Jerusalem, for that matter —as territory that Israel "occupies" but over which it enjoys no sovereignty, Abbas (and U.S. State Department, too) is misreading, once again, the content and purpose of 1967's U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 that suggested an Israeli withdrawal "from territories [not all territories]" it acquired in the Six-Day War.
Critics of Israeli policy who either willfully misread or deliberately obscure the resolution's purpose say that the Jewish State is in violation of 242 by continuing to occupy the 'West Bank' and Jerusalem, including what is spuriously now referred to as "Arab" East Jerusalem. But the drafters of Resolution 242 were very precise in creating the statute's language, and they never considered Jerusalem to have been occupied by Israel after the Six-Day War. Former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Arthur Goldberg, one of the resolution's authors, made this very clear when he wrote some years later that "Resolution 242 in no way refers to Jerusalem, and this omission was deliberate[.] . . . At no time in [my] many speeches [before the U.N.] did I refer to East Jerusalem as occupied territory."
"Liberating" Jerusalem, of course, does not mean transforming it into a pluralistic, open city where members of three major faiths can live freely and practice their religions openly.
But the true danger of the Palestinian thinking about Jerusalem—and, indeed, about all of the Palestine that they covet, including Israel itself—was revealed in Yasser Arafat's own view that he expressed in a July 2000 edition of al-Hayat al-Jadida when he threatened that "They can occupy us by force, because we are weaker now, but in two years, ten years, or one hundred years, there will be someone who will liberate Jerusalem [from them]."
"Liberating" Jerusalem, of course, does not mean transforming it into a pluralistic, open city where members of three major faiths can live freely and practice their religions openly. Liberating Jerusalem for the Palestinians would be more in keeping with the type of liberation that Transjordan's Arab League effected when they burned and looted the Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem in 1948; expelled and killed its hapless Jewish population; destroyed some 58 synagogues, many hundreds of years old; unearthed gravestones from the history-laden Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives and used them for latrine pavers; and barred any Jew from praying at the Western Wall or entering the Temple Mount.
But false irredentist claims, Islamic supremacism which compels Jews and Christians to live in dhimmitude under Muslim control, and an evident cultural and theological disregard for other faiths— while troubling in the battle over sovereignty in Jerusalem—are not, according to Dore Gold, Israel's former ambassador to the United Nations, the most dangerous aspects of a diplomatic capitulation which would allow the Palestinians to claim a shared Jerusalem.
In his engaging book, The Fight for Jerusalem: Radical Islam, the West, and the Future of the Holy City, Gold pointed to a far more troubling aspect: in their desire to accede to Arab requests for a presence and religious sovereignty in Jerusalem, the State Department, EU, UN member states, and Islamic apologists in the Middle East and worldwide may actually ignite jihadist impulses they seek to dampen with their well-intentioned, but defective, diplomacy.
Latest update: November 21st, 2014
Following the Six-Day War, Israel's Chief Rabbinate promulgated a ban on Jews ascending the Temple Mount. This decision, along with the continued effective control of the site by the Waqf, has severely limited the Jewish civilian presence on the mount. As a result, many Jews and non-Jews ignore its significance in Judaism. The recent attempt to rectify this situation by organizing group visits to the mount has ignited a passionate legal debate.
Several biblical commandments regulated entrance to the various sections of the Temple, including the establishment of a guard system to enforce these rules (Num. 18:1–4). The Torah (Lev. 19:30) further commands a general reverence for the Temple, interpreted by the sages to include respectful behavior within permissible areas, such as not carrying a stick or wallet, wearing leather shoes, or walking around for mundane purposes (Berachot 54a).
Medieval commentators debated whether these restrictions became dormant following the Temple's destruction. Raavad (twelfth century, Provence) contended that although the rest of Eretz Yisrael retained its sanctity, the Temple Mount was desacralized by its non-Jewish conquerors (Nachmanides, Makkot 19a; Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 6:14).
Rabbi Menachem HaMeiri (Beit HaBechirah, Shavuot 16a) understood this position to allow for Jews to walk on the Temple Mount, and he reports that they have historically done so. Indeed, as noted by Gedalia Meyer and Henoch Messner ("Entering the Temple Mount – in Halacha and Jewish Thought," Hakirah, volume 10, Winter 2010), talmudic stories (Makkot 24b) and medieval travelogues indicate that Jews ascended the Temple Mount until Muslim conquerors banned entrance by non-Muslims in the twelfth century.
Maimonides, however, insisted that the entire compound has retained its sanctity, and that sacrifices may still be offered there, even without the Temple (Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 6:14).
In fact, as Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Chajes points out, several talmudic passages indicate that many Temple rites – particularly the Passover sacrifice – continued into late antiquity (Darchei Horaa, p. 261).
Rabbi Tzvi Kalischer, moved by messianic aspirations, attempted to renew such activity in the nineteenth century (Derishat Tziyon). Yet his proposal was shot down by figures like Rabbi Yaakov Ettlinger, who contended that sacrifices were not permissible without finding the altar's exact location, priests with proven pedigree, and various Temple apparatuses (Binyan Tziyon 1).
Maimonides's ruling, which demands continual reverence for the Temple Mount and restricts entry to it (Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 7:7), was widely accepted by medieval (Kaftor VaFerach 6) and modern (MB 561:5) authorities.
According to Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, even Raavad believed that the area remains holy, but that entry is punishable only when the Temple stands (Mishpat Kohen 96). As Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron noted, these laws also prohibit tour guides from encouraging unrestricted visits to the site by non-Jewish tourists (Tchumin 11).
Yet the sages permitted entry into some of the sacred areas following appropriate ritual preparation, including immersion in a mikveh, a ritual bath (Kelim 1:8), even for people who had contracted impurity through contact with corpses (MT Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 7:15).
Moreover, the current rectangular Temple Mount complex, which was expanded in the Herodian era to about 150,000 square meters, includes sections not within the original Temple area, which formed a square (500 amot x 500 amot) with sides of roughly 250 meters (Middot 2:1).
Maimonides himself walked and prayed in the permissible areas when he visited Eretz Yisrael in 1165 (Iggerot HaRambam 1, p. 224).
As such, two sixteenth-century rabbis, David ibn Zimra (Shut HaRadbaz 2:691) and Yosef di Trani (Maharit, Tzurat HaBayit), attempted to delineate the exact Temple location and permitted Jews to walk on certain areas of the mount. Yet their calculations are highly disputed, leading many scholars – including Rabbi Yisrael of Shklov, leader of Jerusalem's Jewish community in the nineteenth century (Pe'at HaShulchan 2:11) – to prohibit entrance to the Temple Mount (which was regularly banned by the ruling authorities anyway).
This position was adopted by numerous authorities following the Six-Day War, including Rabbis Ovadia Yosef (Yabia Omer YD 5:26), Yitzchak Weiss (Minchat Yitzchak 5:1), and Eliezer Waldenburg (Tzitz Eliezer 10:1).
Others contend that this stringency has led to neglect of the sacred space. Most prominently, Rabbi Shlomo Goren dedicated a book, Har HaBayit, to determining the permissible areas of entry.
While the efforts of Rabbis Mordechai Eliyahu (Tchumin 3) and She'ar Yashuv HaKohen to build a synagogue on the Temple Mount have been thwarted, other scholars – such as Rabbis Nachum Rabinovitch and Chaim Druckman – recently advocated Jewish entry (after strict halachic preparation) into areas they claim are indisputably outside the restricted zones.
Yet other religious Zionist leaders – including Rabbis Avraham Shapira and Shlomo Aviner – have opposed such entry, maintaining that modern-day Jews are spiritually unprepared for the Temple's holiness.
About the Author: Rabbi Shlomo M. Brody is the author of the just released "A Guide to the Complex: Contemporary Halakhic Debates" (Maggid Books), which presents over 130 of the most provocative, controversial topics in Jewish law today and from which this article was adapted. Rabbi Brody is the founding director of the Tikvah Overseas Seminars for Yeshiva and Midrasha Students and teaches at Yeshivat Hakotel in Jerusalem.
EXERCISE FOR PEOPLE OVER 60
Begin by standing on a comfortable surface, where you have plenty of room at each side.
With a 5-lb potato bag in each hand, extend your arms straight out from your sides and hold them there as long as you can. Try to reach a full minute, and then relax.
Each day you'll find that you can hold this position for just a bit longer.
After a couple of weeks, move up to 10-lb potato bags . Then try 50-lb potato bags and eventually try to get to where you can lift a 100-lb potato bag in each hand and hold your arms straight for more than a full minute. (I'm at this level).
After you feel confident at that level, put a potato in each bag.
Police curtail Jewish rights
By Laila Caron
Published November 15, 2014, issue of November 21, 2014.
1. The first Jews to set foot in North America arrived in New York as a group of 23 in 1654. However, there are indications that Columbus and many of his crew were Jewish.
2. Congregation Shearith Israel, founded in New York in 1654, was the first synagogue in the colonies. It was the sole purveyor of kosher meat until 1813.
3. By the late 19th century, there were over 5,000 kosher butchers and 1,000 slaughterers in New York.
4. In 1902, the Beef Trust raised the price of kosher meat on the Lower East Side from 12 to 18 cents per pound. After butchers' boycotts proved ineffectual, 20,000 Lower East Side women stole meat from kosher butcher shops and set it on fire on the streets in protest. The Forward supported their efforts, running the headline "Bravo, Bravo, Bravo, Jewish women!"
5. On March 25, 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist fire claimed the lives of 146 garment workers, the majority of whom were Jewish immigrants. Reporting on the tragedy, the Forverts wrote that 'the disaster is too great, to dreadful, to be able to express one's feelings."
6. When entertainer Al Jolson came to New York City at age 14, he held jobs in the circus and as a singing waiter. Born to a cantor, Jolson's career took off when he began performing in blackface.
Al Jolson, 1930.
7. In 1903, the Lower East Side Chinese and Jewish communities formed an unlikely partnership when Chinese organizers put on a benefit for Jewish victims of the Kishinev pogrom, raising $280.
8. In 1930, there were over 80 pickle vendors in the Lower East Side's thriving Jewish pickle scene. The briney delights were brought to America in the mid-19th century by German Jewish immigrants.
9. The egg cream is thought to have been invented by the Jewish owner of a Brooklyn candy shop. musician Lou Reed was a famous admirer of the frothy drink.
10. From the beginning of the 20th century till the close of World War II, the Lower East Side's 2nd Avenue was known as the Yiddish Theater District, or the Jewish Rialto. It extended from 2nd Avenue to Avenue B, and from 14th Street to Houston. Considered Broadway's competitor, the Jewish Rialto was home to a variety of productions including burlesque and vaudeville shows, as well as Shakespearean, Jewish and classic plays, and were all in Yiddish.
11. The Jewish Rialto's most popular haunt was the Cafe Royal on Second Avenue and 12th Street, where one could find performers such as Molly Picon and Charlie Chaplin sharing blintzes.
12. Pushcarts were all the rage among Jewish vendors on the Lower East Side from the turn of the century until 1940, when Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia banned their use. Jewish pushcart operators sold everything from vegetables to cigars to stockings.
13. At Sammy's Roumanian Steak House on Chrystie and Delancey, every table is provided with a bottle of chicken fat as a condiment; resident emcee Dani Luv entertains diners with renditions of Jewish standards and punchy Borsht Belt humor.
14. One of the first kosher Chinese restaurants in New York was Moshe Peking, whose all-Chinese waitstaff wore yarmulkes.
15. The Second Avenue Deli opened in 1954 in the then-fading Yiddish Theater District. It featured a Yiddish Walk of Fame on the sidewalk outside its original location on Second Avenue and Tenth Street, and served up such Jewish specialties as matzo ball soup and corned beef. In 2007, it closed and reopened in Murray Hill.
A feast at the Second Avenue Deli
16. Famed music club CBGB was opened in 1973 by Jewish founder Hilly Kristal.
17. Mayor La Guardia, who served for three terms from 1934 to 1945, was born to a Jewish mother and descended from Rabbi Samuel David Luzzatto, but practiced as an Episcopalian. 18. The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center was named in honor of the Jewish U.S. senator, who served from 1957 to 1981.
19. Sig Klein's Fat Men's Shop opened in the late 1800s at 52 Third Ave., and carried plus-sized clothes for men. Its sign featured the slogan: "If everyone was fat there would be no war."
20. Abraham Beame was the first practicing Jew to become mayor of New York. He held office from 1974 to 1977.
21. The popular and proudly Jewish mayor Ed Koch, who served from 1978 to 1989, was known for the phrase "How'm I doing?" which he would ask passersby while standing on street corners or riding the subway. Newsday called him the "ultimate New Yorker."
Ed Koch reads the Forward
22. The erection of the Brooklyn Bridge in 1883 and the Williamsburg Bridge in 1903 catalyzed a Jewish exodus from the Lower East Side to Southside Williamsburg. Crossing the bridge on foot, the LES's Jews left in search of better living conditions.
23. By 1930, more than 40% of New York City's Jews lived in Brooklyn.
24. Jewish-fronted band The Ramones formed in the Forest Hills neighborhood of Queens in 1974.
25. Allen Ginsberg moved to New York to attend Columbia in 1943. He was purportedly related to seminal Zionist thinker Ahad Ha'am.
26. Poet and kabbalist Lionel Ziprin entertained visitors including Thelonius Monk, Charlie Parker, and Bob Dylan in his Lower East Side living room, expounding for hours on Jewish esoterica and history.
27. The bagel originated in Poland, and arrived in New York City in the 1880s in the hands of Eastern European Jewish immigrants.
28. Three hundred all-Jewish New York bagel craftsmen formed a trade union in the early 1900s, the Bagel Bakers Local 338, which established standards for bagel production and conducted meetings in Yiddish.
29. In December 1951, New York City was hit with what The New York Times termed the "bagel famine," when a dispute between the members of the Bagel trade union and the Bagel Bakers association led to the closing of 32 out of 34 of the city's bagel bakeries.
New York bagels
30. As a result of the bagel outage, the sale of lox dropped nearly 50%. Murray Nathan, who helped resolve an earlier lox strike in 1948, was brought in to mediate the situation. The outage lasted until February.
31. Coney Island Bagels and Bialys, the oldest kosher bagel shop in New York, was set to close in 2011 until two Muslim businessmen, Peerzada Shah and Zafaryab Ali, bought the store and promised to keep it kosher. Ali had previously worked at the shop for 10 years. 32. Lou Reed was born in Brooklyn, and in 1989 released an album whose title, "New York," paid tribute to the city.
33. In a reinterpretation of Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven," Lou Reed asked the four questions at the Downtown Seder at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in 2004.
34. Musician Lenny Kaye was born in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan in 1946. He met Patti Smith while working at Village Oldies on Bleecker Street and went on to become a member of the Patti Smith Group.
35. Starting in the 1970s, hundreds of thousands of Jews left the Soviet Union for New York, many settling in Brighton Beach, which came to be known as "Little Odessa."
36. Established in 1927, Kehila Kedosha Janina at 280 Broome St. is the last remaining Greek Jewish synagogue in the Western Hemisphere.
37. Streit's Matzo Company, the last remaining neighborhood matzo factory, stands at 148-150 Rivington St.
38. The oldest Orthodox Jewish Russian congregation in the United States, Beth Hamedrash Hagadol, is still active at 60 Norfolk St.
39. On the corner of Essex and Rutgers, down the street from the original Forverts building on Seward Park, the Garden Cafeteria served as a gathering place for Jewish actors, artists and playwrights such as Sholem Aleichem and Isaac Bashevis Singer from 1941 to 1983. It became Wing Shing, a Chinese restaurant, in 1985, and now houses Reena Spaulings Fine Art.
40. Seward Park on the Lower East Side was created in 1900. New immigrants worked in the park's artisan market, and on special occasions such as elections, thousands gathered in the park to watch the Forverts's flashing news sign in Yiddish.
41. Jewish gangs rose to prominence during the Prohibition; at a conference in New York in 1931, Jewish gangsters agreed to partner with Italian Americans, and together remained the most dominant groups in organized crime until several decades after WWII.
42. After an appeal from a New York judge, Nathan Perlman, Jewish gangster Meyer Lansky and members of Murder Inc. broke up Nazi rallies around the city for over a year, with the one stipulation that there be no killing.
43. Lines of a sonnet by Sephardic poet Emma Lazarus, who was born in New York City in 1847, are inscribed on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.
44. The house that stands at 770 Eastern Parkway in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn is the center and spiritual home of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement. Formerly inhabited by Chabad's late leader Menachem Mendel Schneerson, Lubavitchers have built replicas of the building all over the world to serve as movement outposts.
45. The first Reform congregation in New York City, Temple Emanu-El, was founded in 1845 by 33 mostly German Jews, and moved to its present location in 1929. Members have included Joan Rivers and Michael Bloomberg.
46. As large numbers of German Jews fleeing Nazi persecution made their homes in Washington Heights in the mid-1930s, the area was dubbed "Frankfurt on the Hudson."
47. Sweet 'n' Low was invented in 1957 in Brooklyn by Benjamin Eisenstaedt.
48. Bronx-born Milton Glaser designed the "I♥NY" logo in 1977.
49. Eight hasidic dynasties are headquartered in the Borough Park neighborhood of Brooklyn.
50. Outside of Israel, New York City is home to the largest population of Jews in the world.
51. As of 2011, 1 in 6 households in New York were Jewish.