Friday, September 29, 2017

Since life is a roller coaster, might as well try this one-Have a meaningful Yom Kippur

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Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor

Being Alive

Be aware of the tremendous value of being alive. When you realize the great treasure that lies in every second of life, you will experience the great joy that is inherent in each moment. This awareness will motivate you to utilize each moment to its fulles. 

Speaking of being Alive, see the video below of the famous BeeGees and the tragedies they had and of course their most famous song, Being Alive.

Love Yehuda Lave

Who wants to try this?

Hundreds of Greek Orthodox Protest 'Judaization' of Western JerusalemBy David Israel What a joke they just want jump aboard the Arab Band wagon

Hundreds of Greek Orthodox Protest 'Judaization' of Western JerusalemBy David Israel - 19 Elul 5777 – 

Photo Credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90Bird's eye's view of the Knesset (foreground), Wolfson Towers, and the neighborhoods of Rehavia, Shaarei Chesed and downtown Jerusalem.

Some 300 Greek Orthodox Christians demonstrated Saturday in the Old City of Jerusalem against the Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilus III, over his decision to sell a large part of the land and property owned by the Greek Orthodox Church in Israel, Ha'aretz reported.

But unlike the common land sales that make headlines in the Israeli media, the sales in question are not of lands in Judea and Samaria or in eastern Jerusalem, where Arabs regularly note that Israel is attempting to "Jewify" what must remain ethnically pure Arab neighborhoods, in the case of the Greek Orthodox faithful the sales they protest were of land in Jerusalem's central, affluent neighborhoods of Nayot, Talbieh and Rehavia, in territory that has been under Israeli rule since the war of 1948.

The church leased the land in western Jerusalem to JNF, but as those leases, pertaining to an estimated 1,000 housing units in these neighborhoods, will expire in the next one or two decades, depending on the location, few years, Patriarch Irenaios of Jerusalem and his successor, Patriarch Theophilos III, consented to selling the entire territory to an undisclosed group of private Jewish developers. Irenaios ruled over the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem from 2000 to 2005, when he was ousted for allegations of corruption. Theophilos III is now the subject of angry protest by his flock.

The Greek church is run by exclusively Greek clergy who minister to an exclusively Arab congregation, hence the tension in the community over decisions made by its leaders. The Arab rank and file members have watched helplessly as their masters have been selling large swaths of land to the Jews not only in western Jerusalem, but in other parts of "green-line" Israel, such as Jaffa, Caesarea, Ramleh and T'veria.

It is disturbing that the Arab protesters, many of whom are Israeli citizens, call the sale of church land to Jews in "green line" Israel an attempt to "Jewify" this territory, seeing as It has been part of Israel recognized by the entire world, including the Palestinian Authority as Jewish.

The Saturday protestors also condemned the Patriarchate's sale of two large hotels near the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem to companies affiliated with Ateret Cohanim, a group that does redeem parts of post-1967 Israel, returning them to Jewish ownership. The sale of the two hotels and two additional buildings nearby was made during the reign of Patriarch Irineos, which was the reason for an appeal by Theophilus on the grounds that his predecessor was corrupt. The Jerusalem District Court rejected the suit.

Two weeks ago, at a press conference in Jordan, Theoopoulos attacked the court's decision and called on the world to intervene to "protect church assets." Of course, the church should have thought about it before deciding to appoint corrupt patriarchs.

Barry Gibb goes it alone, Being Alive

Welcome to 1984: Big Brother Google now watching your every political move We aren't talking about your average car company here

Google has taken the unprecedented step of burying material, mostly from websites on the political right, that it has deemed to be inappropriate. The problem, however, is that the world's largest search engine is a left-leaning company with an ax to grind.

Let's face it, deep down in our heart of hearts we knew the honeymoon wouldn't last forever. Our willingness to place eternal faith in an earth-straddling company that oversees the largest collection of information ever assembled was doomed to end in a bitter divorce from the start. After all, each corporation, just like humans, has their own political proclivities, and Google is certainly no exception. But we aren't talking about your average car company here.

The first sign Google would eventually become more of a political liability than a public utility was revealed in 2005 when CEO Eric Schmidt (who is now executive chairman of Alphabet, Inc, Google's parent company) sat down with interviewer Charlie Rose, who asked Schmidt to explain "where the future of search is going."

Schmidt's response should have triggered alarm bells across the free world.


"Well, when you use Google, do you get more than one answer," Schmidt asked rhetorically, before answering deceptively. "Of course you do. Well, that's a bug. We have more bugs per second in the world. We should be able to give you the right answer just once… and we should never be wrong."


Think about that for a moment. Schmidt believes, counter-intuitively, that getting multiple possible choices for any one Google query is not the desirable prospect it should be (aren't consumers always in search of more variety?), but rather a "bug" that should be duly squashed underfoot. Silly mortal, you should not expect more than one answer for every question because the almighty Google, our modern-day Oz, "should never be wrong!" This is the epitome of corporate hubris. And it doesn't require much imagination to see that such a master plan will only lead to a colossal whitewashing of the historic record.


For example, if a Google user performs a search request for – oh, I don't know – 'what caused the Iraq War 2003,' he or she would be given, according to Schmidt's algorithmic wet dream, exactly one canned answer. Any guesses on what that answer would be? I think it's safe to say the only acceptable answer would be the state-sanctioned conspiracy theory that Saddam Hussein was harboring weapons of mass destruction, an oft-repeated claim we now know to be patently false. The list of other such complicated events that also demand more than one answer – from the Kennedy assassination to the Gulf of Tonkin incident – could be continued for many pages.

Schmidt's grandiose vision, where there is just "one answer to every question," sounds like a chapter borrowed from Orwell's dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, where omnipresent Big Brother had an ironclad grip on history, news, information, everything. In such a intensely controlled, nightmarish world, individuals – as well as entire historical events – can be 'disappeared' down the memory hole without a trace. Though we've not quite reached that bad land yet, we're plodding along in that direction.

That much became disturbingly clear ever since Donald Trump routed Hillary Clinton for the presidency. This surprise event became the bugle call for Google to wage war on 'fake news' outlets, predominantly on the political right.

'Like being gay in the 1950s'

Just before Americans headed to the polls in last year's presidential election, WikiLeaks delivered a well-timed steaming dump, revealing that Eric Schmidt had been working with the Democratic National Committee (DNC) as early as April 2014. This news came courtesy of a leaked email from John Podesta, former chairman of the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, who wrote: "I met with Eric Schmidt tonight. As David reported, he's ready to fund, advise recruit talent, etc. He was more deferential on structure than I expected. Wasn't pushing to run through one of his existing firms. Clearly wants to be head outside advisor, but didn't seem like he wanted to push others out. Clearly wants to get going…"


The implications of the CEO of the world's most powerful company playing favorites in a presidential race are obvious, and make the Watergate scandal of the early 1970s resemble a rigged game of bingo at the local senior citizens center by comparison. Yet the dumbed-down world of American politics, which only seems to get excited when Republicans goof up, continued to turn on its wobbly axis as if nothing untold had occurred.

Before continuing our trip down memory lane, let's fast forward a moment for a reality check. Google's romance with the US political left is not a matter of conjecture. In fact, it has just become the subject of a released internal memo penned by one James Damore, a former Google engineer. In the 10-point memo, Damore discussed at length the extreme liberal atmosphere that pervades Google, saying that being a conservative in the Silicon Valley sweat shop was like "being gay in the 1950s."

"We have… this monolithic culture where anyone with a dissenting view can't even express themselves. Really, it's like being gay in the 1950s. These conservatives have to stay in the closet and have to mask who they really are. And that's a huge problem because there's open discrimination against anyone who comes out of the closet as a conservative."

Beyond the quirky, laid back image of a Google campus, where 'Googlers' enjoy free food and foot massages, lies a "monolithic culture where anyone with a dissenting view can't even express themselves,"says Damore, who was very cynically fired from Google for daring to express a personal opinion. That is strange.

Although Google loudly trumpets its multicultural diversity in terms of its hiring policy, it clearly has a problem dealing with a diversity of opinion. That attitude does not seem to bode well for a search engine company that must remain impartial on all matters – political or otherwise.

Back to the 2016 campaign. Even CNN at the time was admitting that Google was Donald Trump's "biggest enemy."

Indeed, not only was Schmidt apparently moonlighting for the DNC, his leftist company was actively shutting down information on the Republican front runner. At one point when Google users typed in a query for 'presidential candidates,' they got thousands of results for Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Missing in action from the search results, however, was, yes, Donald Trump.

When NBC4 reached out to Google about the issue, a spokesperson said a "technical bug" was what caused Trump to disappear into the internet ether. Now, where have we heard the word "bug" before? It is worth wondering if this is what Eric Schmidt had in mind when he expressed his vision of a "one answer" Google search future?

In any case, this brings to the surface another disturbing question that is directly linked to the 'fake news' accusations, which in turn is fueling Google's crackdown on the free flow of news from the political right today.

In the run up to the 2016 presidential election, poll after poll predicted a Clinton landslide victory. Of course, nothing of the sort materialized, as even traditional Democratic strongholds, like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan pulled the lever for Trump. As the Economist reported: "On the eve of America's presidential election, national surveys gave Hillary Clinton a lead of around four percentage points, which betting markets and statistical models translated into a probability of victory ranging from 70 percent to 99 percent."

The fact that Trump – in direct contradiction to what the polls had been long predicting – ended up winning by such a huge margin, there is a temptation to say the polls themselves were 'fake news,' designed to convince the US voter that a Clinton landslide victory was forthcoming. This could have been a ploy by the pollsters, many of whom are affiliated with left-leaning news corporations, by the way, for keeping opposition voters at home in the belief their vote wouldn't matter. In fact, statisticians were warning of a "systemic mainstream misinformation" in poll data favoring Clinton in the days and weeks before Election day. Yet the Leftist brigade, in cahoots with the Googlers, were busy nurturing their own fervent conspiracy theory that 'fake news' – with some help from the Russians, of course – was the reason for Hillary Clinton's devastating defeat.

Who will guard us against the Google guardians?

Just one month after Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States, purportedly on the back of 'fake news,' Google quietly launched Project Owl, the goal of which was to devise a method to "demote misleading, false and offensive articles online," according to a Bloomberg report. The majority of the crackdown will be carried out by machines. Now here is where we enter the rat's nest. After all, what one news organization, or alternative news site, might consider legitimate news and information, another news group, possibly from the mainstream media, would dismiss as a conspiracy theory. And vice versa.

In other words, what we have here is a battle for the misty mountain top of information, and Google appears to be paving the way for its preferred candidate, which is naturally the mainstream media. In other words, Google has a dog in this fight, but it shouldn't. Here is how they have succeeded in pushing for their crackdown on news and information.


The mainstream media almost immediately began peddling the fake news story as to why Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump. In fact, it even started before Clinton lost the election after Trump jokingly told a rally: "I will tell you this, Russia: If you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing… I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press." The Democrats, of course, found no humor in the remark. Indeed, they began pushing the fake news story, with help from the likes of Amazon-owned Washington Post, that it was Russians who hacked the DNC email system and passed along the information to WikiLeaks, who then dumped it at the most inopportune time for the Democrats.

With this masterly sleight of hand, did you notice what happened? We are no longer talking about the whereabouts of Clinton's estimated 33,000 deleted emails, nor are we discussing how the DNC worked behind the scenes to derail Bernie Sanders' chances at being a presidential candidate. Far worse, we are not considering the tragic fate of a young man named Seth Rich, the now-deceased DNC staffer who was gunned down in Washington, DC on July 10, 2016. Some news sites say Rich was preparing to testify against the DNC for "voter fraud," while others say that was contrived nonsense.

According to the mainstream media, in this case, Newsweek, only batshit crazy far-right conspiracy sites could ever believe Seth Rich leaked the Clinton emails.

"In the months since his murder, Rich has become an obsession of the far right, an unwilling martyr to a discredited cause," Newsweek commented. "On social media sites like Reddit and news outlets like World Net Daily, it is all but an article of faith that Rich, who worked for the Democratic National Committee, was the source who gave DNC emails to WikiLeaks, for which he was slain, presumably, by Clinton operatives. If that were to be true—and it very clearly isn't—the faithful believe it would invalidate any accusations that Donald J. Trump's campaign colluded with Russia in tilting the election toward him."

Blame Russia

The reality is, we'll probably never know what happened to Mr. Rich, but what we do know is that Russia has become the convenient fall guy for Clinton's emails getting hacked and dumped in the public arena. We also know Google is taking advantage of this conspiracy theory (to this day not a thread of proof has been offered to prove Russia had anything to do with the release of the emails) to severely hinder the work of news sites – most of which sit on the right of the political spectrum.

Last November, just two weeks after Trump's victory, Sundar Pichai, the chief executive of Google, addressed the question of 'fake news' in a BBC interview, and whether it could have swayed the vote in Trump's favor.

"You know, I think fake news as a whole could be an issue [in elections]. From our perspective, there should just be no situation where fake news gets distributed, so we are all for doing better here. So, I don't think we should debate it as much as work hard to make sure we drive news to its more trusted sources, have more fact checking and make our algorithms work better, absolutely," he said.

Did you catch that? Following the tiresome rigmarole, the Google CEO said he doesn't think "we should debate it as much as we work hard to make sure we drive news to its more trusted sources…"

That is a truly incredible comment, buried at the sea floor of the BBC article. How can the head of the largest search engine believe a democracy needn't debate how Google determines what information, and by whom, is allowed into the public realm, thus literally shaping our entire worldview? To ask the question is to answer it…

"Just in the last two days we announced we will remove advertising from anything we identify as fake news," Pichai said.

And how will Google decide who the Internet baddies are? It will rely on "more than 15 additional expert NGOs and institutions through our Trusted Flagger program, including the Anti-Defamation League, the No Hate Speech Movement, and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue," to determine what should be flagged and what should not.

Feeling better yet? This brings to mind the quaint Latin phrase, Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who will guard the guards themselves? especially since these groups also have their own heavy political axes to grind.

Unsurprisingly, Mr. Pichai and his increasingly Orwellian company already stand accused of censorship, following the outrageous decision to bar former Congressman Ron Paul and his online news program, Liberty Report, from receiving advertising revenue for a number of videos which Paul recently posted.


Dr. Ron Paul would never be confused as a dangerous, far-right loony. Paul is a 12-term ex-congressman and three-time presidential candidate. However, he is popular among his supporters for views that often contradict those of Washington's political establishment, especially on issues of war and peace. Now if squeaky clean Ron Paul can't get a fair hearing before the Google/YouTube tribunal, what are chances for average commentators?

"We have no violence, no foul language, no political extremism, no hate or intolerance," Daniel McAdams, co-producer of the Ron Paul Liberty Report, told RT America. "Our program is simply a news analysis discussion from a libertarian and antiwar perspective."

McAdams added that the YouTube demonetization "creates enormous financial burdens for the program."

Many other commentators have also been affected by the advert ban, including left-wing online blogger Tim Black and right-wing commentator Paul Joseph Watson. Their videos have registered millions of views.

"Demonetization is a deliberate effort to stamp out independent political commentary – from the left or the right," Black toldthe Boston Globe's Hiawatha Bray. "It's not about specific videos… It's about pushing out the diversity of thought and uplifting major news networks such as CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC."

In light of this inquisition against free speech and free thought, it is no surprise that more voices are calling for Google, and other massive online media, like Facebook and Amazon, to become nationalized for the public good.

"If we don't take over today's platform monopolies, we risk letting them own and control the basic infrastructure of 21st-century society,"  wrote Nick Srnicek, a lecturer in the digital economy at King's College London.

It's time for Google to take a stroll beyond its isolated Silicon Valley campus and realize there is a whole world of varying political opinion out there that demands a voice. Otherwise, it may find itself on the wrong side of history and time, a notoriously uninviting place known as 1984.

The Beatles - Hey Jude 75,042,657 views

See you Tomorrow have a meaningful Fast and Yom Kippur

Love Yehuda Lave

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Ten Predictions for the future of Photography and Dov Lipman's views

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Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor

One sign of true healing is when you can think and feel: "I no longer hold others responsible for my feelings. I take responsibility for my own mental health by reminding myself that I am loved, important, and competent."

Love Yehuda Lave

10 predictions for the future of photography

Although after Rosh Hashana, my friend Lenny Solomon teaches about the holiday

Haredi draft law needed to restore the glory of Torah

SEPTEMBER 17, 2017, 2:15

Dov Lipman served as a member of Knesset (2013-2015) with the Yesh Atid party. He is the author of …

When an ultra-Orthodox young man appears before the IDF draft board to receive his exemption from serving in the army, he does not say "I am ultra-Orthodox." He declares that "his Torah study is his trade."

That phrase in Jewish tradition refers to someone who is so dedicated to Torah study that he cannot do anything else. We are talking about unique individuals who separate themselves from the physical world and engage in Torah study alone.

The Talmud teaches that these people are so committed to Torah study that they shouldn't pause their studies for prayer! The great Rabbi Yochanan comments that this category only applies to someone like Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai but it doesn't apply to people like himself. The Talmud relates that many people tried to live in accordance with Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai's way of life in which Torah was his trade and he did not work for a living — and they failed.

The Talmud makes it clear that "Torah is his trade" is a category limited to a select few in each generation. It doesn't apply to the great Rabbi Yochanan, and didn't apply to most of the people in generations filled with the greatest of Torah scholars.

The 400 ultra-Orthodox men whom Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion agreed to exempt from army service fell into this category. These 400 young Torah scholars – constituting 0.07% of the population in Israel at that time – matched the historic tradition of a select few in each generation who studied Torah day and night as their only pursuit.

As time went along, more young men started to learn in yeshiva, and the issue of ever-increasing blanket exemptions for yeshiva boys arose again and again. This ultimately led to a decision in 1975 that limited the number of exemptions to 800 — a ruling that was never adhered to. That small number and percentage of the population exempt from serving has now reached over 60,000, creeping toward 20 percent of all draft-eligible males.

Many have bemoaned the inequality and unfairness of such a high percentage of young men receiving draft exemptions. While I agree with these claims, there is another reason why these numbers are disgraceful: they disgrace the Torah.

The term "his Torah is his trade" is not simply a code word to say "I am ultra-Orthodox." It means that all the person ever wants to do is study Torah. But when every single Haredi who wants to study in yeshiva claims "Torah is my trade" it reduces the meaning of that phrase, and dishonors the glory of Torah.

No one would ever consider exempting 95% of yeshiva boys from prayers due to their non-stop Torah study without distraction. They are not on this level, which has always been reserved for a select few in each generation. Anyone who has spent any time in a yeshiva or kollel knows that most of the young men there do not fall into this category. This is not to say anything negative about them — these fine yeshiva students simply don't spend every moment they have studying Torah.

But more so: the moment every single yeshiva boy claims that "his Torah is his trade," we as a people have lost the meaning and reverence that should be attached to that phrase. And those young men who truly fall under this category — who deserve their exemption from military service and are worthy of the admiration and praise of the entire nation — become instead the subject of the nation's derision amid the controversy surrounding their not serving in the IDF.

The time has come to make a clear distinction between the elite scholars who do nothing other than study Torah, and those yeshiva students who study Torah but have other interests, and do not spend all their time studying Torah.

Those who can truly claim that "his Torah is his trade" should stay in the study halls and reach the highest levels of Torah scholarship imaginable. Their days and nights engrossed in nothing but Torah study should serve as their service to the State of Israel and the Jewish people. And all the rest — the overwhelming majority of students in the Haredi yeshiva system — should study Torah for a few years after high school if they choose to do so, and then serve the country, either in the IDF or National Service.

And this is precisely what the Yesh Atid law passed in 2014 — which the current government cancelled — accomplished. It identified the Torah study of select, elite scholars as their service to Israel, and required those who are not being accurate when declaring "his Torah is his trade" to leave yeshiva after a few years, and serve the country through a variety of service options. Full implementation of this law would put this source of tension between the secular and religious communities to rest, would enable tens of thousands of yeshiva boys to combine Torah study with IDF or National Service, help pave the way for their joining the workforce, and restore the glory of the Torah and the scholars who truly fit the time-honored category of "his Torah is his trade."

Trust is established in the first year of life

Trust in people, oneself and the world is established in the first year of life when a consistently loving mother enjoys being with the baby and responds to his distress with alacrity. Children who are abandoned, abused, rejected or neglected during this crucial first year of life are very likely to have problems trusting that they can love or be loved. An abused, neglected or abandoned child thinks, "I cannot trust that anyone will be there for me. No matter how much they give, I'm sure to be rejected at some point. No matter how nice someone is, the abandonment can come when I least expect it."

Temple Mount to be Closed to Jews on Rosh Hashana and Yom KippurBy Jewish Press News Briefs - 28 Elul 5777 – September 19, 2017

The Hijri, the day Muslims mark the beginning of the Islamic new year and where the only celebration is a day off from school, falls on the same day as Rosh Hashana this year, and this has led to a police decision to close the Temple Mount to Jews for Rosh Hashana, according to the Har HaBayit news site.

In addition, the Temple Mount will also be closed to Jews on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish year, because the Temple Mount is always closed to Jews on Saturdays.

If anything changes between then and now, we'll let you know.

On the anniversary of his death, September 9 watch Zero Mostel's stunning performance of If I Were A Rich Man!

See you Sunday after Yom Kippur

Love Yehuda Lave

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

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