Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The final toast-The greatest Generation

Hashem created the world in such a way that the greatest happiness will come from giving - giving thanks for what we have, for"giving" and giving to others in whatever way we can.

Love Yehuda Lave

Yesterday, I shared with you the news of my wedding on April 10th at 4:30 Pm

We are doing the Chuppah at 4:30 in Bloomfield Garden on time (not Jewish time) as we want to make it to be on Yom Shelsie (Tuesday) April 10, 2018. Nisson 25, 5788)

Bloomfield Garden Rehov King David | Yemin Moshie neighborhood.

The entrance to the park is right on King David Street across form the King Salomon hotel.

There is an entrance that says water closet (bathrooms) and a large outdoor fountain right next to the street. There is also a parking lot right under the area by entering the parking lot on the top for Yemin Moshie and then just walk up a few stairs.

We will be in the grass just next to the fountain looking over a vista of the walls of the out city.

I hope all my friends can make it.

Love Yehuda Lave

This is why it is called "The Greatest Generation"--------------------------------------------------------------------------



The text below references the movie  "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo."  

There is a second film made in 1944 that details the "show" trials 

of the 11 airmen that were captured & tortured by the Japanese titled 

"The Purple Heart."  Three were executed as war criminals, a fourth 

died in captivity. 

These are the sacrifices made so college kids today are free to demand free 

tuition & and whine about safe zones to protect them from harmful speech; 

that professional protesters can go city to city protesting free speech and

the 1%; that attacks upon police are encouraged.  Makes you wonder if these

sacrifices by our "Greatest Generation" were worth their sacrifice and blood. 


Be thankful this generation existed and met this challenge. 



The FINAL TOAST! They bombed Tokyo 73 years ago.


They once were among the most universally admired and revered men in the United States .. There were 80 of the Raiders in April 1942, when they carried out one of the most courageous and heart-stirring military operations in this nation's history. The mere mention of their unit's name, in those years, would bring tears to the eyes of grateful Americans.

Now only four survive




After Japan 's sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, 

with the United States reeling and wounded, 

something dramatic was needed to turn the war effort around. 



 Even though there were no friendly airfields close enough to Japan 

for the United States to launch a retaliation, a daring plan was devised. 

Sixteen B-25s were modified so that they could take off from the deck 

of an aircraft carrier. This had never before been tried -- sending such 

big, heavy bombers from a carrier.  It seemed a preposterous plan.






The 16 five-man crews, under the command of Lt. Col. James Doolittle, 

who himself flew the lead plane off the USS Hornet, knew that they would 

not be able to return to the carrier. They would have to hit Japan and then 

hope to make it to China for a safe landing.


But on the day of the raid, the Japanese military caught wind of the plan. 

The Raiders were told that they would have to take off from much farther 

out in the Pacific Ocean than they had counted on. They were told that 

because of this they would not have enough fuel to make it to safety.  

And those men went anyway.


They bombed Tokyo and then flew as far as they could. Four planes 

crash-landed; 11 more crews bailed out, and three of the Raiders died. 

Eight more were captured; three were executed.  Another died of 

starvation in a Japanese prison camp. One crew made it to Russia . 












The Doolittle Raiders sent a message from the United States to its enemies, 

and to the rest of the world: We will fight. And, no matter what it takes, we 

will win. 



Of the 80 Raiders, 62 survived the war. They were celebrated as national heroes, 

models of bravery. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer produced a motion picture based on the aid; "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo ," starring Spencer Tracy and Van Johnson, was a patriotic and emotional box-office hit, and the phrase became part of the national lexicon. In the movie-theater previews for the film, MGM proclaimed that it was presenting the story........ "with supreme pride." 






Beginning in 1946, the surviving Raiders have held a reunion each April, 

to commemorate the mission. The reunion is in a different city each year. 

In 1959, the city of Tucson , Arizona , as a gesture of respect and gratitude, 

presented the Doolittle Raiders with a set of 80 silver goblets. Each goblet 

was engraved with the name of a Raider. 






Every year, a wooden display case bearing all 80 goblets is transported to the reunion city. Each time a Raider passes away, his goblet is turned upside down in the case at the next reunion, as his old friends bear solemn witness.




Al so in the wooden case is a bottle of 1896 Hennessy Very Special cognac. 

The year is not happenstance: 1896 was when Jimmy Doolittle was born. 




There has always been a plan: When there are only two surviving Raiders, 

they would open the bottle, at last drink from it, and toast their comrades 

who preceded them in death.


As 2013 began, there were five living Raiders; then, in February, 

Tom Griffin passed away at age 96. 






What a man he was. After bailing out of his plane Over a mountainous Chinese 

forest after the Tokyo raid, he became ill with malaria, and almost died. When he recovered, he was sent to Europe to fly more combat missions. He was shot down, captured, and spent 22 months in a German prisoner of war camp. 



The selflessness of these men, the sheer guts ... There was a passage in 

the Cincinnati Enquirer obituary for Mr. Griffin that, on the surface, had 

nothing to do with the war, but that was emblematic of the depth of his 

sense of duty and devotion:


"When his wife became ill and needed to go into a nursing home, he visited 

her every day. He walked from his house to the nursing home, fed his wife, 

and at the end of the day brought home her clothes. At night, he washed and 

ironed her clothes. Then he walked them up to her room the next morning. 

He did that for three years until her death in 2005." 




So now, out of the original 80, only four Raiders remain: Dick Cole (Doolittle's 

co-pilot on the Tokyo raid), Robert Hite, Edward Saylor and David Thatcher. All 

are in their 90s. They have decided that there are too few of them for the public 

reunions to continue. 


The events in Fort Walton Beach marked the end. It has come full circle; Florida 's nearby Eglin Field was where the Raiders trained in secrecy for the Tokyo mission. 

The town planned to do all it can to honor the men: a six-day celebration of their 

valor, including luncheons, a dinner and a parade. 



Do the men ever wonder if those of us for whom they helped save the country 

have tended to it in a way that is worthy of their sacrifice? They don't talk about 

that, at least not around other people.  But if you find yourself near Fort Walton 

Beach this week, and if you should encounter any of the Raiders, you might 

want to offer them a word of thanks. I can tell you from first hand observation 

that they appreciate hearing that they are remembered. 


The men have decided that after this final public reunion they will wait until a later 

date --  sometime this year -- to get together once more, informally and in absolute privacy. That is when they will open the bottle of brandy. The years are flowing by 

too swiftly now; they are not going to wait until there are only two of them. 


They will fill the four remaining upturned goblets. And raise them in a toast to those 

who are gone.  



       Their 70th Anniversary Photo 


Damian Aspinall and his wife, Victoria, made a special trip to a gorilla sanctuary in Gabon. 

The Gorillas have met Damian before but they have never met his wife Victoria. 

This is the moment where the gorillas decide if Victoria is welcomed or not.



On the Eve of Passover, Words of Torah Heard in the White House . . .

  Hana Levi Julian
 13 Nisan 5778 – March 28, 2018 
Photo Credit: Jason D. Greenblatt / Twitter

When was the last time words of Torah were heard in the White House?

According to U.S. President Donald Trump's Special Representative to International Negotiations Jason D. Greenblatt, it was this week on Tuesday (March 27, 2018), during a visit by a group of rabbinical students from Yeshivat HaKotel just days before the start of the Passover holiday.


The brief "drosh" (discussion) was delivered by Moshe Wasserman, according to Greenblatt, who thanked him for the privilege and thanked the group for the visit.

"It was a pleasure to host all of you," Greenblatt tweeted.

Jason D. Greenblatt@jdgreenblatt45

Thank you to Moshe Wasserman for sharing words of Torah with me and some of his classmates from Yeshivat HaKotel who visited the White House tonight. It was a pleasure to host all of you.

Cairo Genizah Project Reveals 11th Century Passover Haggadah

 12 Nisan 5778 – March 28, 2018 
Photo Credit: Courtesy Haifa University
A page from the 11th century Haggadah

An ancient Haggadah from the Cairo Genizah, probably from the 10th-11th centuries CE, opens a window to the Jewish customs of the Middle Ages: the Passover Seder guidelines are written in Judeo-Arabic (Arabic in Hebrew letters, similar to Yiddish); the blessing for washing hands, "al netilat yadaim," is expressed as "al rechitzat yadaim"; and this Haggadah follows the Eretz Israel tradition, which disappeared around the 12th century.

There's a greeting at the bottom of one of the pages, from the Haggadah's owner or, perhaps, scribe: "This is the siddur (meaning agenda, same root as seder), Yosef ben Amrom, may he live long, by His Name, Amen v'Amen."


"Hundreds of thousands of Cairo Genizah documents continue to provide us with direct information about Jewish life in the Middle Ages," Said Dr. Moshe Lavie, head of the Cairo Genizah Center at Haifa University, which partners in the international project Scribes of the Cairo Genizah.

"It is fascinating to see again and again how much our traditions have changed over the years, and to what extent they have remained almost the same," Dr. Lavie said.

Solomon Schechter at the Cairo Genizah / Photo credit: unknown

The Cairo Genizah is a collection of some 350,000 Jewish manuscript fragments that were found in the storeroom of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Fustat—Old Cairo, Egypt. These manuscripts outline a 1,000-year continuum of Jewish Middle Eastern and North African history and comprise the largest and most diverse collection of medieval manuscripts in the world.

The first European to note the collection was Simon van Gelderen (a great-uncle of Heinrich Heine), who visited the Ben Ezra synagogue and reported about the Cairo Genizah in 1752 or 1753.

The results from Scribes of the Cairo Genizah have the potential to rewrite the history of the pre-modern Middle East, Mediterranean and Indian Ocean trade, and the Jewish diaspora, according to the project's  website.

Until now, most of the information has remained locked away in undeciphered manuscript fragments; less than one-third of the 350,000 items have been catalogued in the 120 years that the cache has been known to exist. Virtually all scholars who have studied these texts have come away with a transformed sense of the history of the region and the long ties of intimacy among its people.

Students and the general public will have the opportunity to benefit from encountering these fragments online and from learning how to sort and eventually transcribe them as members of this citizen scientist community. We see this project as a way for people with shared interests and different skill levels from around the world to meet in a common endeavor and unlock this storage chamber of ancient fragments.

A page from the 11th century Haggadah / Photo credit: Courtesy Haifa University

In honor of Passover, the project's researchers have presented two pages from one of the ancient Haggadahs found in the Genizah, which is located in the JTS library in New York.

According to Vered Raziel-Kretzmer of the Eliyahu laboratory at the University of Haifa, the fact that the Haggadah is written on a square parchment indicates its antiquity. "Beginning in the 10th century, Jews in the East begin to write on paper," she said. "By the 12th century the use of the parchment was almost completely abandoned. The fact that this is a Haggadah written on parchment, together with the almost square shape of the page and the shape of the letters, all indicate that it is probably from the 10th or 11th century."

"We've received a few Haggadahs from the first millennium CE, making this one of the oldest surviving Haggadahs – in the Genizah and in general," Raziel-Kretzmer said.

On the second page of this Genizah segment, another Eretz Israel tradition is revealed: the top of the page features the title "Psalm for the end of the Passover," followed by Psalm 126, also known as "The Great Hallel." According to this custom, a special psalm was said at the beginning of the evening service of each holiday – and on the seventh day of Passover, Psalm 126 was recited. This indicates that this Haggadah was part of a prayer agenda for the entire Passover holiday, beyond the Seder.

See you tomorrow Thursday, in the evening the seventh day of Passover starts.

Love Yehuda Lave
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