Until G-d brought water to the earth, no life at all, not even plant life, was possible. Man could only be formed out of the "dust of the ground" only after water had entered the picture. As the Midrash teaches us, man is a combination of "dust and water", permanence and change. As long as man is alive this "water" is a most essential part of his being.
In contrast to this, when the Torah speaks of man's death, it says (Genesis 3:19), "you are dust, and to dust you shall return." Earth and dust refer to permanence, while water is change. When man is dead, all that is left is permanence-dust-since he can no longer grow and change.
The main spiritual concept of water is that of change and development. It represents the growth and development of the world toward fulfilling G-d's purpose and in this context, the Garden of Eden was watered spiritually as well as physically. As a result, it was an environment where man could grow and develop according to G-d's ultimate plan.
The waters of Eden therefore bring together a number of concepts. First of all, these waters represent the "womb" of the humanity, since it was with this water that G-d formed man of the dust of the earth. Secondly, these waters were the source of the rivers that Eden, which gave man the ability to connect himself with his ultimate source, even in his fallen state, and thus grow toward G-d's goals. Most important we see that water itself represents the change and flow toward G-d's goal. When a person immerses himself in a Mikvah, he immerses himself spiritually in the basic concept of change itself. Man's ego represents the element of his permanence, and therefore, when he is totally immersed in the concept of change, his ego is nullified. Thus, when he emerges from the Mikvah he is in a total state of renewal and rebirth.
Water represents two things at the same time. First, it represents change, impermanence and transience. But this very impermanence also means that no evil is ineradicable, and no sin unforgivable.
One of the most important teachings of Judaism is that repentance can wash away any sin, as the Jerusalem Talmud flatly states, nothing can stand before repentance. Water therefore also represents the concept of spiritual cleansing.
Through water, everything is ultimately brought back to the fulfillment of G-d's goal. There may be "darkness on the face of the deep," but G-d's spirit is causing motion on the face of the water-in the present tense, indicating that this is a constant and continuous process. The main vehicle for this is the Torah, which as our sages teach us, is also a spiritual counterpart of water.
Rewritten from the Waters of Eden by Aryeh Kaplan
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Liberman: 'Hypocrites, Hamas Did Not Organize a Woodstock
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Saturday slammed the calls to open an inquiry committee into the IDF's conduct in Friday's clashes on the Gaza border, including the Meretz party which issued a statement calling for self-investigation. Liberman tweeted that he was fully backing the army, suggesting the left and the media "got confused and thought that Hamas had organized a festival and we should hand them flowers."
He added: "Thanks to our soldiers, we celebrated the Passover Seder with confidence, I do not understand the choir of hypocrites who want a commission of inquiry."
"They got confused and thought Hamas organized the Woodstock Festival yesterday and we have to give them flowers," Liberman continued his attack, stressing that "IDF soldiers repulsed Hamas military wing operatives with determination and professionalism just as expected."
15 Gazan Arabs were killed on Friday. According to the IDF, they were all terrorists who attempted to use the cover of the demonstrators to shoot or otherwise harm IDF soldiers. 7 demonstrator were reported in critical condition. 1,500 sustained light to moderate injures, mostly from inhaling tear gas.
In the Meretz statement issued earlier, party chairman MK Tamar Zandberg wrote: "The harsh results and the taped testimonies require an independent Israeli examination, including an examination of the rules of engagement and the military and political preparations for the events."
Zandberg emphasized that an investigation of the events is Israel's duty and interest.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday demanded an independent investigation of the deadly clashes. Kuwait convened and emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, which did not result in any action or joint message.
10 Terrorists Killed When Hamas Used 'Great March of Return' to Cover for Terror at Gaza Border
Israel's security establishment said Saturday night that Gaza's terrorist community actually lost at least 10 of its operations on Friday — and not five, as Gaza's ruling Hamas terrorist organization claimed in a statement on behalf of its Izz a-Din al-Qassam military wing — during the so-called "Great March of Return" at the security fence along the border with Israel.
After an evaluation by the IDF and Shin Bet, Israeli authorities said they were able to identify at least 10 terrorists with a clear terrorist background who were killed during terrorist attacks that took place in the course of the violent demonstrations along the border
Netanyahu hails troops on Gaza border, says Israel acts firmly to defend itself Prime minister says soldiers guarding country's borders allowed Israeli Jews to celebrate Passover in peace
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday praised troops for "guarding the country's borders" after a mass Gaza border protest led to violent clashes that left 15 Palestinians dead, up to 10 of them reportedly members of Gaza-based terror organizations, including the ruling Hamas group.
"Respect to our soldiers who are guarding the country's borders and allowing Israeli citizens to celebrate the holiday in peace," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday evening, moments after the end of the Sabbath.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in the southern city of Dimona, March 20, 2018. (Menahem Kahana/AFP)
"Israel acts vigorously and with determination to protect its sovereignty and the security of its citizens," he went on.
Tens of thousands of Palestinians took part in the mass protests on Friday on the Gaza side of the border fence, which soon descended into violence. Dubbed the "March of Return," the protesters called for Palestinians to be allowed to return to land that their ancestors fled from in the 1948 War of Independence.
The Israeli military said the protesters threw firebombs and rocks at soldiers, rolled burning tires at them, sought to breach or damage the border fence, and in one incident opened fire.
Gaza's Hamas terrorist rulers released these images of members of its military wing who it acknowledged were among 15 Gazans it said were killed by Israeli fire during clashes along the security fence on Friday, March 30, 2018.
It said troops opened fire only when necessary, against those taking an active part in violence. It also said there were attempts to damage the fence and break through into Israel, as well as an attempted gun attack against troops.
IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis said on Saturday that all those killed were engaged in violence, adding that Gaza health officials exaggerated the number of those wounded, and that several dozen at most were injured by live fire while the rest were merely shaken up by tear gas and other riot dispersal means.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Saturday rejected those calls, writing on social media: "I do not understand the choir of hypocrites who are calling for a commission of inquiry. They got confused and thought Hamas organized a Woodstock festival and we had to give [the marchers] flowers."
Netanyahu's spokesman to the foreign press, David Keyes, told the Times of Israel that the United Nations was "hardly the right forum given its decades of anti-Israel obsession. What the UN should be investigating is Hamas — its brutal terror attacks, calls for genocide of Jews, quest to destroy Israel and use of children as human shields."
The Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the security fence between Israel and Gaza "separates a sovereign state and a terrorist organization… a state that protects its citizens from murderers who send their countrymen into danger.
"The fence separates an army that uses force in self-defense and in a focused and proportionate manner, and Hamas, an organization that sanctifies murder and death, that for years – yesterday included – has been intent on harming millions of Israelis. Anyone who mistakenly views in this murderous spectacle even an iota of freedom of expression is blind to the threats the State of Israel faces," the statement went on.
In a statement on Saturday, the IDF said its forces faced "violent riots and terror attacks" on Friday and that it operated "in strict accordance with the rules of engagement, firing only when necessary and avoiding civilians strategically placed by Hamas in harm's way."
Gaza's protest organizers have said mass marches would continue until May 15, the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel. Palestinians mark that date as their "nakba," or catastrophe, when hundreds of thousands left or were forced to leave during the 1948 War of Independence. The vast majority of Gaza's two million people are their descendants.
Hamas praised the march and the planned 6-week camp demonstration, with Gaza leader Ismail Haniyeh saying on Friday that the protests marked the beginning of the Palestinians' return to "all of Palestine."
"We are here to declare today that our people will not agree to keep the 'right of return' only as a slogan," he said.
Islamist Hamas terror group leader Yahya Sinwar shouts slogans and flashes the victory gesture as he takes part in a protest near the border with Israel east of Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip, on March 30, 2018. (AFP/ Mohammed ABED)
Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas leader in Gaza, said in a speech to protesters Friday that "The March of Return… will not stop until we remove this transient border." Friday's protests, he said, "mark the beginning of a new phase in the Palestinian national struggle on the road to liberation and return [of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to their former homes inside Israel]."
The "March of Return," Sinwar added, "affirms that our people can't give up one inch of the land of Palestine."
At previous peace talks, the Palestinians have always demanded, along with sovereignty in the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, and the Old City, a "right of return" to Israel for Palestinian refugees who left or were forced out of Israel when it was established. The Palestinians demand this right not only for those of the hundreds of thousands of refugees who are still alive — a figure estimated in the low tens of thousands — but also for their descendants, who number in the millions.
No Israeli government would ever be likely to accept this demand, since it would spell the end of Israel as a Jewish-majority state. Israel's position is that Palestinian refugees and their descendants would become citizens of a Palestinian state at the culmination of the peace process, just as Jews who fled or were forced out of Middle Eastern countries by hostile governments became citizens of Israel.
| New technology will enable computers to run 100x faster
Researchers have created technology that will enable our computers, text messages and phone calls to run 100 times faster through terahertz microchips.
Until now, the major challenges that stood in the way of creating the terahertz microchip were overheating and scalability. However, following three years of extensive research, Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU) physicist Uriel Levy and his team have shown proof of concept using flash memory technology.
"This discovery could help fill the 'THz gap' and create new and more powerful wireless devices that could transmit data at significantly higher speeds than currently possible," said Levy, head of HU's Nano-Opto Group.
"In the world of high-tech advances, this is game-changing technology," he added.
In a paper published in the journal Laser and Photonics Review, Levy and HU emeritus professor Joseph Shappir showed proof of concept for an optic technology that integrates the speed of optic communications with the reliability and manufacturing scalability of electronics.
Optic communications includes all technologies that use light to carry information through fiber-optic cables, such as the Internet, email, text messages, phone calls, the cloud and data centers, among others. These forms of communication can be extremely fast but become unreliable in microchips and difficult to replicate in large quantities.
By using a metal-oxide-nitride-oxide-silicon (MONOS) structure, Levy and his team have come up with a new integrated circuit that uses flash memory technology – the kind used in flash drives – in microchips.
"It will now be possible to manufacture any optical device with the precision and cost-effectiveness of flash technology," said Meir Grajower, the leading HU PhD student on the project.
This technology, if successful, will enable standard 8-16 gigahertz computers to run 100 times faster and will bring all optical devices closer to the terahertz chip.
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