Someone who sincerely wants to do acts of kindness will do and say things to honor others.
Try it. This will give the other person pleasure, and be a great source of pleasure to you as well!
Love Yehuda Lave
Statistics brought to life, from my good friend Doug:
No trees have been killed to send you this email,
but a lot of electrons have been terribly inconvenienced.
For sale: Ben-Gurion's letters to his young lover
At 47, the man who would become the first leader of the State of Israel had an extramarital affair with a 26-year-old medical student
Love letters penned by David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first prime minister and the man who declared Jewish statehood in 1948, to a student more than 20 years his junior are set to be put up for auction on December 2 with an opening bid
The collection, which is to be auctioned off by the Kedem Auction House, includes 38 letters and nine telegrams — five in Yiddish, the rest in Hebrew — from the former prime minister.
At the time the letters were sent, Regina (Rega) Klapholz was a 26-year-old medical student in Vienna. Ben-Gurion, then 47, had been married to his wife, Paula, for 15 years, and the couple had three children. Ben-Gurion met Klapholz in Vienna in the early 1930s. The two proceeded to correspond and meet on various occasions for over four years.
"Dear beloved Rega… I have just received your letter… It's hard for me to accept the fact that I am in Europe, and so far away from you," he wrote in September 1934. "However much you want me to come to Vienna, maybe I want it more. Apparently, you still do not know how dear to me is the 'young and foolish girl,' and how much I would like to see and be with her."
In some of the other letters, Ben-Gurion suggests a Vienna rendezvous, and asks her to find a location. In others, he urges her to move to Israel.
Bar-Zohar. "They had a long romance, and I would say a very fiery one at that. Afterwards he had a girlfriend in New York, and after that he had a girlfriend in London. Ben-Gurion, in other years when he had a different girlfriend, was far more reserved in his letters. The [newly published letters] are definitely more emotional and romantic — from a young man."
The four-year affair ended in 1934, according to the auction house, when Klapholz moved to Israel and showed up at Ben-Gurion's door, only to be greeted by his wife. Paula Ben-Gurion, who knew about the affair, pointedly handed Klapholz three photographs of her and Ben-Gurion at the Dead Sea and signed them "to Rega – from Paula, 9.7.35."Klapholz was not Ben-Gurion's only lover, according to historian Michael -- They had a long romance, and I would say a very fiery one at that. Afterwards he had a girlfriend in New York, and after that he had a girlfriend in London. Ben-Gurion, in other years when he had a different girlfriend, was far more reserved in his letters. The [newly published letters] are definitely more emotional and romantic — from a young man."
The four-year affair ended in 1934, according to the auction house, when Klapholz moved to Israel and showed up at Ben-Gurion's door, only to be greeted by his wife. Paula Ben-Gurion, who knew about the affair, pointedly handed Klapholz three photographs of her and Ben-Gurion at the Dead Sea and signed them "to Rega – from Paula, 9.7.35."
Klapholz died in 2007 at the age of 100.
IDF to impose separation of Jews, Palestinians in Gush Etzion
Soldiers to keep Palestinians at physical distance from the Jewish population following military assessment that attacks in the West Bank's Gush Etzion area will continue.
Elisha Ben Kimon
Near total segregation between Israeli Jews and Palestinians is set to be enforced by the IDF in the Gush Etzion region of the West Bank, according to a recently-written open letter from head of the regional council Davidi Perel to local residents.
"Unfortunately we do not see an end nearby to the situation, nor a decrease in the motivation of terrorists to carry out attacks," the letter said. Accordingly, Perel wrote, the IDF has decided that soldiers stationed at the Gush Etzion junction will, as far as possible, keep Palestinians away from the Jewish population.
"They've known better days." The scene following a stabbing attack in Gush Etzion on Wednesday. (Photo: Eli Mendelbaum)
The decision follows an IDF security assessment conducted on Wednesday after an attack at the Gush Etzion Junction. Both Perel and Gush Etzion Brigade Commander Roman Gofman took part.
The issue of segregation is problematic for businesses in the area, which have Jews and Arabs working side-by-side. It is not clear how it will be possible to create separation or segregation at the junction, although it seems that is the intended course of action.
A separate back entrance for Palestinians to the Gush Etzion junction, set up Thursday.
Business owners in Gush Etzion have known better days. Normalized relations between Jews and Arabs in the area had persisted during the wave of violence, but were undone in one moment.
A ticking time bombA shopping complex in the area that was declared a "sterilized zone" during the recent attacks, had become an island of sanity amidst the chaos. On Wednesday, however, an assailant chose this spot to stage an attack; in contrast to previous incidents in the area, during which soldiers or police were attacked, this time the victims were civilians leaving the shopping complex.
"They always told me that the junction is a ticking bomb but I never really believed that the problems would reach here until they really did," says Hodaya Bilig, a resident of Gush Etzion who had come to shop just hours after the stabbing attack on Wednesday. A woman, Nirit Zamora, was moderately wounded in the attack.
On Thursday morning Sha'arei Tzedek hospital, where Zamora was hospitalized after the attack, said that Zamora had undergone a successful operation on where she had been stabbed along her spine and that her condition had started to improve.
Nirit Zamora, who was moderately wounded in a stabbing attack on Wednesday, with her family. (Photo: Hebron Hills regional council)
Wednesday's attack took place one day after another attack at Gush Etzion junction, in which two attackers stabbed a soldier waiting at a hitchhiking station. The soldier was moderately wounded.
In addition, last week a Palestinian ran over a 20-year-old IDF soldier and a 21-year-old Israeli citizen who were at the junction, lightly wounding both of them.
In spite of the worrying spate of attacks, workers at the complex are trying to maintain cautious optimism. "Everything here is working as needed," said an Arab employee who lives in a nearby village.
"I have Arab employees and Jewish customers and everything is running normally," said a business owner at the junction.
"While it's true that there's been a decline in customers, we have to understand that we must not be afraid or show signs of weakness," says Uzi Tzfadia, a store manager at the complex said.
"There are security personnel here who know how to respond as necessary."
Wanted: A Jewish State
The decision by the government of Israel not to allow Jews to purchase land in that part of the Land of Israel known as the 'territories' (those lands liberated in 1967) is as grotesquely absurd as it is obscenely outrageous. Not since the Nuremberg laws and the years when their legislators held sway, has there been a land in which Jews, per se, have been singled out for a ban on land purchase. A Moslem, a Christian or a Buddhist may buy land in the Land of the Bible, but not a Jew. In the lands wherein strolled Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – the children of Ishmael may do what they will with land but not the children of the Patriarchs. The thing becomes an unfunny joke. A Jew from Tel Aviv asks to buy land and is turned down. He turns around, enters a Moslem religious court and declares his fealty to Allah, emerges as a Moslem and can now buy land in Eretz Yisroel. At least Nuremberg had the logic of anti-Semitism behind it – the hatred of the gentile for the Jew. The madness of the present situation is that the ban on Jewish purchase comes from Jews. All that is needed to complete the farce is for an appeal from the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith and the American Jewish Committee, to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, citing the State of Israel for discrimination against Jews . . .
It is no answer to say that the political situation in the world demands that Israel act as she does. That very argument is the one that strips naked the secularism and the un-Jewishnesss of the Jewish government in Israel. For it is not true that the ghetto mentality of the Jew exists only in the Galut, the Exile. It is alive and sick in the Jewish State in the forms of a Jewish government which – on a dozen issues –reacts according to the yardstick: "What will the goyim say?" It is the measure of their Galut minds and their utter failure to understand the nature and destiny of the Jewish people.
When the government of Israel refuses to allow Jews to purchase land in the Land of Israel; when the government of Israel extradites Jews to non-Jewish areas, even when they are citizens, Israeli soldiers and Jewish freedom fighters; when the government of Israel refuses to ban missionaries who daily prey on the poor and the economically weak; when the government of Israel is stricken daily by the disease of Ebanism (from the root 'Eban' as in Foreign Minister)
It is a symptom of Galut mentality and the desire to create in Israel a carbon copy of the
Western, liberal, assimilated ideological state. Israel has become a state with Jewish people, not a Jewish State. Its reactions are assimilated ones for it has become like all the other states, learning from them, influenced by them, slavishly following their philosophical, ideologically a slave to the goy – but because of the ghetto mentality that makes it reject Jewish exclusiveness – in the end, a political subject too
The roots of the ultimate sin of the leaders of the State of Israel lie in that they do not recognize and never did recognize that the incredible survival of the Jewish people through two millennial of incredible exile was a simple miracle. (Usually, it is the miracle that is the more simple explanation rather than the torturous explanations that go into denying it and finding some other answer). Because they do not really believe in G-d (and let us not be put off by their evasive attempts to deny their denials) they also do not believe that the Jewish people are a people of G-d, whose past survival in the midst of seventy hungry wolves of the world was accomplished only through His power and whose incredible return to the Land, after centuries that saw the passing of every nation that once existed together with the Jews in ancient times, was part of the Jewish destiny as dictated by the hand of the All Mighty.
Everything that was miraculous, holy and special about the Jews was discarded and turned into an ordinary and profane story. Because they did not believe in G-d or in the Jewish destiny as being A Divine one that MUST be and that WILL be, regardless of "natural" or "logical" obstacles, these rulers fought against all the dreamers and the visionaries and did everything to impede the Return.
When the Nordaus demanded that Jews be thrust into the Land of Israel by the hundreds of thousands, those who then and who today, still, rule the Zionist Establishment – mocked him and exclaimed: "Impractical! Where shall we put them all? How will they live?" So they died.
When Jabotinksy demanded that Jews march out of the Exile and flee the ghettos and that the aim of Zionism be declared, openly, to be that of a Jewish State, the disbelievers, the men of "practicality", "logic" and political secularism brought forth all their mockery, the statistics and their skepticism to defeat the dreamers.
When the freedom fighters of Irgun and Stern demanded that the Jew rise up and fight for the Land of Canaan, the ruling circles of disbelievers condemned them – and condemned the entire people
In 1948, the ruling circles seriously considered putting off the declaration of a Jewish State and in 1956 they retreated from Sinai and in 1967 they listened for days to Eban and others not to go to war but rather trust the nations of the world.
The truth is, that the State of Israel, the return from Exile, the breathtaking miracles of three victorious wars, and the return to the Wall, to Jerusalem, to Hebron and to the Land of Israel, has all been miracles that have come to us not because of the rulers of Israel but despite them. For Israel is not blessed with the deep desire to be Jewish but rather with the disease of Ebanism.
Ebanism is that disease that sees Israel as a model Western, liberal, progressive state but that has no connection with the exclusive Jewish Destiny that is based upon a Jewish G-d, a Jewish heritage, a Jewish reaction and a Jewish Destiny that transcends Washington and Moscow, both.
Because Ebanism looks at the world through secular eyes, it also sees Israel's destiny in that world as a secular one. Because there is no place for G-d and the miracle of the Jewish destiny, every political question is based not on "what should Jews do and how should a Jew react," but on "what will the goyim say?" Because the Ebans of the Israeli cabinet do not really believe that there is a G-d, let alone a Hand of G-d that has returned His people and that will preserve their state under all circumstances, they refuse to allow Jews to buy their own land because of fear of Nixon. They return Jews to gentile prisons because of fear of Nixon. They refuse to limit the soul-snatchers of the Missions because of fear of all the Nixons, Catholic or Protestant. There is really no need to go to the trouble and expense of electing a new president of Israel. We already have one and he resides in Washington. . . No, there is no need for a new president of Israel – we need the old G-d.
We waited so long for the miracle of return and, finally, when it occurred we were cheated. We were robbed of the sweetness and the deliciousness of its pleasure. The state for which we waited centuries became just as any other state, and the uniqueness of the Jew does not lie in a tank or jet – even if they are better than those of the gentiles. We waited for the return to the true lands of the Bible and now we have them – and no Jews can live there. Ebanism has taken a miracle and profaned it, taking it an ordinary thing. It has taken Eretz Yisroel, the unique and special land of the Jews and made it into any state, acting and reacting on the basis of realpolitik and power politics, making decisions on the basis of western secularism rather than on Judaism. This is what happens when Ebanism rules, when the waters that sprinkle the fields of policy making are drawn from the wells of Oxford and Cambridge rather than Jerusalem and Hebron.
The time is long overdue for the malady of Ebanism to be overcome with the healing herbs of Judaism. It is time for Israel to believe in G-d so that it can stop fearing man. On that day we will begin to allow Jews to purchase land in their own country; on that day we will allow Jewish freedom fighters to arrive in Israel without fear of extradition; on that day Israel will return to its true role – its only role – the servant of the Jewish people.
Written: May 18, 1973
In the opening scene of our Parsha, we sorrowfully watch as Avraham returns home only to discover that his beloved Sarah has died. "And Avraham came to eulogize Sarah and cry over her" (23:2).
Many commentators note the unusual order of Avraham's expression of grief: first, the eulogy and then the weeping?! Ought not the order be reversed? Upon hearing the tragic and unexpected news of a death, are not tears shed before the formal speech extolling the merits of the deceased? The Talmud in Moed Katan (27b) advises precisely that grieving sequence.
Additionally, Ba'al Haturim points to the curiosity of the small caf in the word, וְלִבְכֹּתָֽה and opines that Avraham's crying was minimal. How can this be understood? Avraham sheds only a few tears for the woman who partnered with him from the moment he set out on his pioneering religious journey; the woman who courageously stood by him, wisely counselled him; the woman who was his close companion and devoted wife through all the many trials to which he was subjected!?
Rav Soloveitchik suggests that, of course, Avraham cried upon hearing the news of his wife's death. What the Torah wished to underscore, however, was something entirely different. The death of Sarah was much more than a personal loss. True, Avraham was devastated, desolate and terribly alone, but even he realized that something far more important needed to be done.
The Talmud, in many places, takes a rather dim and condemning view of those who do not properly eulogize a deserving person (Yevamos 78b, Sukkah 29a, Shabbos 105b). Is it simply because due honor was not accorded to a meritorious human being? Yes, it is that but so much more.
If a person led an exemplary life, positively influencing the lives of many, if such an individual created meaningful religious value for them, uplifting them spiritually and impacting them ethically, then the inspiring narrative of that life must not be forgotten. Thus, to be remiss in this obligation and neglect to articulate to a mournful gathering the true greatness of the deceased is to consign that noble and upstanding life to benign oblivion. There is a good reason why our Sages (Devarim Rabbah, Zos HaBracha) tell us that righteous people in death are called alive. Even in death such righteous souls still give; they bequeath to us powerful lessons to live by. They live on through us!
Sarah was a great woman, the first matriarch of our sacred Mesorah. She was gone but her mission, her hopes and vision would continue. And it was this message that Avraham spoke of when he eulogized her as only he could have done. When he concluded, he cried again as the Torah relates, but not as much. Knowing that everything Sarah stood for would not collapse and vanish with her death was a consolation to Avraham. He could now arise, bury his dear wife and ensure that his only son would marry the proper mate to carry on the fulfillment of the Divine covenant.
These thoughts come to mind as we prepare to commemorate the first yahrzeit of the brutal massacre of the five righteous men who were murdered in a Har Nof synagogue a year ago this Shabbos. They were each precious souls whose loss is still felt by those who knew and revered them. May HaShem avenge their deaths and may we all be the better for the deeds and teachings they left for us to cherish and emulate.