Cultivate a deep feeling of appreciation for the fact that you are alive. The Jewish practice of saying the "Modeh Ani" prayer the first moment we are awake, strengthens our awareness of the great gift of life.
Try saying the "Modeh Ani" prayer: "I express my gratitude to You, the King who is alive and always exists, for returning my soul to me, with compassion. Great is Your trustworthiness."
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3 US physicists win Nobel Prize for discovery of gravitational waves
Rainer Weiss, Kip Throne and Barry Barish all played leading roles in an experiment that led to the historic discovery of gravitational waves – ripples in the fabric of spacetime first predicted by Albert Einstein.Oct 3, 2017, 9:50AM
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm announced on Tuesday that the winners of the Nobel Prize in physics are three Americans who discovered gravitational waves.
Rainer Weiss, 85, from MIT, will be awarded half of the $1.1 million prize. Kip Thorne, 77, and Barry Barish, 81, will share the other half. The three physicists conducted an experiment that led to the first-ever discovery of gravitational waves in September 2015.
Photo credit: Channel 2 News
The waves, which are ripples in the fabric of spacetime first predicted by Albert Einstein, occur following the collision of two black holes.
"This is something completely new and different, opening up unseen worlds," the academy said in a statement when announcing the winners. "A wealth of discoveries awaits those who succeed in capturing the waves and interpreting their message."
How to find true joy in life? To the ancient sages, the act of leaving the stability of home for a week to live in a fragile booth and appreciate our reliance on G-d's constant protection and kindness is the perfect training plan for a life of balanced happiness. Perhaps the central message of the Festival of Sukkot is that gratitude for what we have, not material excess, is the key to satisfaction. At risk of contradicting that message, there will be plenty of material excess happening around Israel throughout the holiday. We've rounded up the best things happening around Jerusalem over Chol HaMoed here. And don't forget to check Janglo for anything you need, from vacation rentals to shared sukkot. Chag sameach!
Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) guide for the perplexed, 2017
Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, "Second Thought: a US-Israel initiative" Based on ancient Jewish sages, October 4, 2017, http://bit.ly/2xg0YS6
More on Sukkot and other Jewish holidays: http://bit.ly/137Er6J 1. Sukkot and Senator Robert Byrd. The holiday of Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles) is dedicated to the study of the Book of Ecclesiastes, which was often quoted by the late Senator Robert Byrd, the longest serving Senator and Member of Congress in US history, who was known to quote Biblical verses. For example, on November 7, 2008, Senator Byrd announced his retirement from the chairmanship of the Senate Appropriations Committee: "'To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven.' Those Biblical words from Ecclesiastes 3:1 express my feelings about this particular time in my life." On September 9, 1998, Senator Byrd made the following Senate floor remarks on the Lewinsky affair: "As the book of Ecclesiastes plainly tells us, 'there is no new thing under the sun.' Time seems to be turning backwards in its flight. And many of the mistakes that President Nixon made are being made all over again."
2. The Book of Ecclesiastes, written by King Solomon accentuates Solomon's philosophy of the importance of humility, morality, patience, learning from past mistakes, commemoration and historical perspective, family, friendship, long-term thinking, proper timing, realism and knowledge. The Hebrew name of Ecclesiastes is Kohelet, (), which is similar to the Biblical commandment to celebrate the community-oriented Sukkot holiday - Hakhel (), which means "to assemble," as well as "public" () and "community" (). Solomon's call for the realization of human fallibility, vulnerabilities and limitations is consistent with a central message of Sukkot: a seven day relocation from one's permanent residence to the temporary, humble, wooden Sukkah (booth).
3. The temporary structure of the Sukkah highlights the historical significance of the permanent Jewish State in the Land of Israel – which must not be taken for granted - while commemorating the fragile and vulnerable nature of Jewish sovereignty and the Jewish people: the destruction of the two Temples (586 BCE and 70 CE), the ensuing exiles, the expulsion of Jews from England (1290), Venice (1421), Koln (1424), Milan (1489) and Spain (1492) and the Holocaust.
4. The Hebrew root of Sukkah stands for key characteristics of the relationship between the Jewish people, the Jewish Homeland and faith in God: Sukkah () is "wholeness" and "totality" (), the "shelter" of the tabernacle (), "to anoint" (), "divine curtain/shelter" () and "attentiveness" ().
5. The US covenant with the Jewish State is accentuated by Columbus Day, which is celebrated around Sukkot. According to "Columbus Then and Now" (Miles Davidson, 1997, p. 268), Columbus arrived in America on Friday afternoon, October 12, 1492. It was the 21st day of the Jewish month of Tishrei, in the Jewish year 5235, on the 7th day of Sukkot, Hoshaa'na' Rabbah, which is a day of universal deliverance and miracles. Hosha' (הושע) is "deliverance" in Hebrew and Na' (נא) is the Hebrew word for "please." The numerical value of Na' in Hebrew is 51 (נ – 50, א – 1), which corresponds to the celebration of Hoshaa'na' Rabbah on the 51st day following Moses' ascension up to Mt. Sinai.
6. Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles(in Hebrew), is named after the first stop during the Exodus, the town of Sukkota (סכותה) - Exodus 13:20 and Numbers 33:3-5. It commemorates the transition of the Jewish people from bondage in Egypt to sovereignty in the Land of Israel; from nomadic life in the desert to permanence in the Promised Land; from oblivion to deliverance; and from the spiritual state-of-mind during the High Holidays to the mundane of the rest of the year. Sukkot aims at universal – not only Jewish – deliverance.
7. Sukkot is the 3rd major Jewish holiday – following Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur - in the month of Tishrei, the holiest Jewish month. According to Judaism, 3 represents divine wisdom, stability, integration and peace. 3 is the total sum of the basic odd (1) and even (2) numbers. The 3rd day of the Creation was blessed twice ("And God observed that it was well done"); God appeared on Mt. Sinai 3 days following Moses' ascension of the mountain; there are 3 parts to the Bible, 3 Patriarchs, 3 annual pilgrimages to Jerusalem, etc.
8. The commandment to erect Sukkot (booths), and celebrate a 7-day-holiday, was specified in Leviticus 23:42-43. For more on Sukkot and other Jewish holidays: http://bit.ly/137Er6J
The Secret to Success
Is there a "secret" to success? Yes, but it's not a secret. Michele Tafoya, Sideline Reporter for NBC Sunday Night Football, shares the secret...that you already knew. From Prager U.
.Concessions to Palestinians: choking or inflaming terrorism?
Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, "Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative"
In 1949, following Israel's War of Independence, which overcame an Arab military attempt to eradicate the reborn Jewish State, Prime Minister Ben Gurion was aware that appeasing rogue regimes would provide a tailwind to radicalism and terrorism. Therefore, he repulsed the aggressive US and global pressure to concede land acquired during a defensive war ("land-for-peace") to Arab aggressors. Israel's area was expanded by 50%, to 8,000sqm, and the liberated areas of Western Jerusalem, the Galilee, the Negev and the Triangle were resettled. Thus, Ben Gurion's rejection of "land-for-peace" upgraded, dramatically, Israel's posture of deterrence, and motivated the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs-of-Staff, General Omar Bradley, to recommend the upgrading of Israel's stature to a major strategic ally of the US. That recommendation was rejected by the US State Department, the mentor of "land-for-peace."
In May 1985, Israel concluded the Jibril Agreement with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command, releasing 1150 Palestinian terrorists in exchange for three Israeli prisoners. Many of the released terrorists planned and commanded the 1987-1991 wave of Palestinian terrorism (the First Intifada), which produced an unprecedented level of terrorism, especially suicide-bombing.
In September, 1993, the Israel-engineered Oslo Accord was signed in the White House, providing Palestinians more political freedom than experienced by them under British, Jordanian and Egyptian rule. Instead of "a new Middle East" (as enunciated by the late President Shimon Peres), the Oslo Process ushered in an unprecedented wave of terrorism, in general, and suicide-bombing, in particular, exacerbated monetary incentives to terrorists, as well as by an insidious infrastructure of hate education and incitement in the Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas-controlled k-12 education system, mosques, community centers and media. Furthermore, the Oslo Accord doomed Arabs in Judea and Samaria to be ruled by one of the most ruthless, intolerant Arab regimes.
In May 2000, Prime Minister Ehud Barak retreated, hastily, from Southern Lebanon, indicating that Israel could not sustain the average annual loss of 24 soldiers in Lebanon. It was perceived as a symptom of vacillation, which was reinforced by the July 2000 Camp David Summit between Barak, Arafat and Clinton, when Barak conceded unprecedented Israeli ground on the issues of Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees. These two Israeli retreats generated a robust tailwind to the September 2000 – February 2005 wave of Palestinian terrorism (the Second Intifada), which consumed the lives of over thousand Israelis (mostly civilians) and over 3,000 Palestinians, many of whom were killed by fellow-Palestinians.
In August 2005, Israel carried out, unilaterally, another "land-for-peace" operation, uprooting a critical Israeli military presence and 9,000 Israeli civilians from 25 Jewish settlements in northern Samaria and (mostly) Gaza. As expected, this fueled Palestinian terrorism, bolstered Palestinian firepower in Gaza, led to the Hamas takeover of Gaza, transformed southern Israel into a routine target for Palestinian missiles, incubated three wars (December 2008 – January 2009, November 2012 and July-August 2014), radicalized terrorism and diminished the prospects for peace.
The US is aware that terrorists bite the hand that feeds them. For example, in April and October 1983, 300 US Marines were killed by suicide car-bombs in the Marine Barracks and the US Embassy in Beirut, despite the brutal US pressure on Israel to desist from hot-pursuit of the PLO in Lebanon. On December 21, 1988, 270 passengers of PanAm-103 were murdered by a suicide-bomber, a week after the startling US recognition of the PLO on December 14. The August 27, 1998 blowing up of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania – 257 murdered and over 4,000 injured – occurred while US President Clinton leaned relentlessly and brutally on Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu to yield to Palestinian demands. The October 2000 murder of 17 sailors on the USS Cole, by suicide bombers, in the port of Aden, Yemen, took place at a time when both the US and Israel offered the Palestinian almost the entire store.
The concept of "land-for-peace" has underlined well-intentioned attempts to advance the cause of peace between Israel and the Palestinians, ignoring the track record of all prior attempts – since the 1993 Oslo Accord - which failed to advance the cause of peace, while inflaming Palestinian terrorism.
These attempts have underestimated the significance of the systematic track record of Palestinian terrorism, subversion and violent incitement – mostly against fellow Palestinians/Arabs, as well as against Jews – dating back to the 1920s, well before the 1948 reestablishment of the Jewish State and the 1967 reestablishment of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank).
This well-documented track record identifies the cause of the conflict, and the trigger of Palestinian terrorism: the existence - not the size – of the Jewish State in an area, supposedly, divinely ordained to Muslim, Arab "believers."
The "land-for-peace" attempts have made light of the collaboration of the Palestinian establishment with Nazi Germany, the Soviet Bloc, the Ayatollahs, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea.
Moreover, they have also overlooked the Arab perception of the Palestinians, and mostly the PLO – which legally and effectively supersedes the Palestinian Authority – as the role model for sabotage, turmoil and terror in the Arab sphere. Hence, the enormously pro-Palestinian Arab talk, simultaneously with indifferent and negative Arab walk, reflecting awareness of the Palestinian trail of violence in Egypt (1950s), Syria (1966), Jordan (1968-1970), Lebanon (1970-1982), Kuwait (1990) and Iraq (1990s-2003).
Will Western policy-makers and peace negotiators finally learn from precedents by repeating, or avoiding, past critical and costly errors? Will they heed Winston Churchill's warning, following Britain's "land-for-peace" agreement with Nazi Germany: "an appeaser is one who feeds the crocodile - hoping it will eat him last"?