Each time we indulge in an addiction, we are training ourselves to be cruel. Whether it's cigarettes, junk food, internet or criticism, we are sending the message, "I don't care." I don't care about myself or about you. I don't care that I am destroying my lungs, my kidneys, my relationships or my future. All I care about is the pleasure of this moment."
The way we change these patterns is to simply care - about our sanity, our stability and our sense of self-worth. When we decide to love, we are given heavenly help, in the precise measure and in the precise pace that we can handle it.
Every act of caring, no matter how small, helps us heal. Love Yehuda Lave
Shavuot 2018 in Jerusalem
Pay no attention when people say that Tel Aviv is the city that never sleeps. Spend one Shavuot in Jerusalem and you'll see what not sleeping is really all about.
Shavuot is the holiday that is the culmination of the Omer, 49 days of daily counting between Passover and Shavuot.
Tradition tells us that Shavuot is the day on which the Jews received the Torah on Mount Sinai. Because of the legendary story that the nation slept in on this important day, there is a custom to stay up all night learning Torah as a "tikkun," a reparation. This custom is called tikkun leyl Shavot.
There is an amazing amount of Torah learning opportunities available on Shavuot night in Jerusalem. And in many of the neighborhoods, if you decide to walk around to take in the Shavuot ambiance, you will find a quiet yet energetic feel on the streets.
All that being said, maybe the most special experience of all on Shavuot night, or should I say at dawn, is to join thousands of people at the Western Wall slightly before sunrise in order to experience dawn breaking at this holy site. Pay attention how as the sun rises hundreds raise their voices in the recitation of the prayer Shma Yisrael, fulfilling the tradition of reciting this prayer as early in the day as possible.
Be prepared for a cool evening and a hot morning. Bring a sweater over short sleeves, a bottle of water and a sun hat.
Shavuot falls on the sixth of Sivan. This year it falls on the eve of May 19.
The Challenge of Legacy
How to ensure "never again" when so many are erasing Holocaust history?
Editor's Note: The following is a transcript of Edwin Black's April 11, 2018 keynote address in the Michigan Capitol Rotunda for that state's official Holocaust Commemoration.
Today, I come not just to mourn nor to scorn but rather to warn our world, that is, the world of today whose memories are still whistling and bristling with the torments and tribulations of a generation now passing before our eyes. But also, for the world of tomorrow — and the day after — pulsed by a generation whose torments and tribulations may yet be in store. The outrages are audible just over the horizon. But in many cases the horizon is speeding toward us like an unstoppable tsunami preparing to crash.
Many of us dwell in the dark past hoping to immunize our future from the maniacal and ideological fires that immolated six million Jews and so many others— and left a world's hands and souls smoke-singed in the process. The Holocaust was unique among history's great cruelties, for it was a 12-year international persecution and murder machine perpetrated in the glare of broad daylight as well as the dim of night… emboldened by its own German Ministry of Propaganda advertising it and amid incessant media coverage that bled across the front pages of newspapers, crackled into regular radio reports, flickered in newsreels, and even saddened the whispers and diaries of children hiding in an Amsterdam attic. The world knew.
With study, revelation, and investigation, many now understand how we got here. Make no mistake. The Germans did it. Their allies and accomplices did it. Hitler did it.
But Hitler had help.
Der Fuhrer adopted the Jew-hating ideology of Henry Ford, whose car company distributorships mass-circulated the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the Dearborn Independent so often quoted and lionized by Hitler. Nazism was driven by the American pseudoscience of eugenics that called for the elimination and even the chamber gassing of so-called inferior social groups, a murderous medical discipline developed in America by our great universities in the first two decades of the twentieth century, but then transplanted into Nazi Germany and even into Mengele's Auschwitz laboratory by the million-dollar charitable programs of the Carnegie Institution and the Rockefeller Foundation. Hitler's troops dismounted their WWI-era horses and stormed into Poland and the rest of Europe in a never-before-seen Blitzkrieg, driving the Blitz truck and flying JU-88 bombers both manufactured under corporate camouflage by General Motors under the direct supervision of its offices in Detroit. And it was up to IBM—the solutions company—to organize all six phases of the Holocaust: identification, exclusion, asset confiscation, ghettoization, deportation, and even extermination. With its advanced punch card technology, IBM knowingly conducted the census to identify the Jews, religious or not, made the railroads run on time, and pinpointed Jewish bank accounts to seize. Every concentration camp had its own IBM customer site. The infamous Auschwitz tattoo began as an IBM number before it morphed into other serial systems.
Profit was the perfidious ally of the perpetrators of the Holocaust because whether it was the Aryanization of the corner grocery store in Berlin or the millions hidden by IBM in cloaked bank accounts in Prague, the malice and the murder was made all the more morally manageable by the tintinnabulation of money. For some, the clatter of the coins could drown out the screams of the victims
So, today we know more about how we came here… but how many truly understand where we really are? Do not believe that the Holocaust is a mere scar from afar. Yes, it is a sickness but one that has re-abrupted like an irrepressible plague. We have seen the infection in Rwanda with the Tutsis, in Syria with the Yazidis and Christians, in Darfur with Black Africans.
We warn, we write poetry, we assemble in Rotundas, publish books, we solemnly chant "never again." Now, we know better. We silently whisper, not just "never again," but … "oh, no… not again."
There is no hate without fear. But hate cannot triumph in a world of enlightenment. So, what is the true challenge to both our legacy and our future. Is it men with Nazi emblems and burning crosses or is it really something else? Flags, white sheets hoods, and venomous marches, we can see. Less visible is the new emerging enemy of enlightenment, and purifying spotlight.
Inscribe their names upon your notepads and your desktops. Facebook, Google, Amazon and many more who in their misguided algorithms decide what shall be seen and what shall be shuttered, who will be heard and who shall be demurred.
The triumph of ignorance with all its well-intended coding rises to a level of censorship only imagined by George Orwell. Last Christmas, Amazon quietly informed publishers that history books about the Holocaust and even the Third Reich could no longer display a swastika on the cover when sold outside North America. So, my book Nazi Nexus about Ford, General Motors, Carnegie, Rockefeller and IBM was re-designed without the swastika for European sale. Many more famous books chronicling the hell of Nazi Germany are now being re-designed without swastikas on the covers for overseas.
A mere photo of a Holocaust history book on Facebook recently was cautioned with a warning tab to be clicked that the topic might be distressing; that book was the recently published Czech language edition of my book IBM and the Holocaust. It is now possible for routine computer programs now in use at Twitter and Facebook to create zombie accounts where the users think they are communicating with the world—but their message in quarantined and no one sees it. Goebbels needed minders sitting in newsrooms. Facebook and Twitter only to click a few keys—and most will never even know they have been muffled.
Now, nations are re-inventing their history. Poland has criminalized the discussion of the involvement and collaboration of its citizen with the Nazi killing machine. The Poles were involved. When a town's Jews were publicly marched and trucked to the shooting pits, who took their property and auctioned it off the next day in the school yard or town square? Just hours after the new law took effect, the first Polish lawsuit was filed against an Argentinian newspaper that used a war-time photograph.
Lithuania has followed suit quickly with a pending amendment to its "Law on Consumer Protection" that would outlaw books critical of the country during the Holocaust—Lithuania where 90 percent of Jews perished, and many at the hands of their Lithuanian neighbors. These laws will be used by misguided programmers in Silicon Valley to avoid liability by simply quietly shutting out the history.
What if a tree falls and no one hears the sound? What if six million people perish and no one is reminded?
Hitler declared who will remember the Armenians? When my mother was pushed thru the vent in the boxcar en route to Treblinka, her mother said, "tell someone." My father fought as a partisan in the woods for two years with her to ensure that I would be here to "tell someone."
What if we tell the world and the world cannot hear us. How sad that we have struggled with Holocaust denial and belief? Might we next struggle with induced collective amnesia? Ask not what you remember. Ask what your children's children will know.
The new battleground is not in some basement or backyard where hate is brewing. It's not on the street. It's in your phone and on your screen where history, anguish, and the rallying cry of "never again" to all humankind will be a muffled echo within an Internet algorithm. We must fight back against the electronic ghetto, the digital ghetto, and the algorithm ghetto. This is the new Challenge of Legacy.
Edwin Black is the New York Times bestselling author of IBM and the Holocaust and Nazi Nexus.
To Life: How Israeli Volunteers Are Changing the World. | New Film From CBN Israel
I think this is something one could say could only happen in Australia!
Dusty the kangaroo is convinced he is a dog and loves life on the farm at Wittenoom Hills,
near Esperance in Western Australia
Two-year-old Dusty the kangaroo is convinced he is a dog.
Ashley Stewart and his family farm at Wittenoom Hills, 60 kilometres north-east of Esperance, in Western Australia.
Mr Stewart rescued the joey after its mother was killed when hit by a car in a road accident.
"We weren't sure he would even survive but we fed him and of course he's just taken off from there," he said.
"He lives on the back patio. We've actually had to go and buy a third dog bed for him to sleep in because he used to pinch one of the beds from the dogs."
Mr Stewart said Lilly the golden retriever and Rosie the border collie loved their kangaroo.
"He thinks Lilly is his mum, he's always grooming her, they're always together and if Lilly goes out of the yard he pines for her and sort of hops up and down the fence until he's let out to go with her."
Mr Stewart said Dusty, the kangaroo, wore a collar like a dog.
"When he was little we let him out during the day and then we'd get him at night and lock him back up in the backyard and we couldn't find him because they don't make any noise and they just sit very still so I'd have to go out in the dark with a torch.
"So I got a collar and I put some reflective tape on it so it would shine out in the torch light and I could find him."
Sharp rise in aggressive brain cancer is linked to mobile phones with cases more than doubling over two decades
Scientists at the Physicians' Health Initiative for Radiation and Environment said the increasing rate of tumours 'raises the suspicion that mobile and cordless phone use may be promoting gliomas'.
Professor Denis Henshaw of Children with Cancer UK, which is associated with PHIRE spoke about their research.
He told the Daily Telegraph: 'Our findings illustrate the need to look more carefully at, and to try to explain, the mechanisms behind these cancer trends, instead of brushing the causal factors under the carpet and focusing only on cures.'
Scientists said the increasing rate of tumors 'raises the suspicion that mobile and cordless phone use may be promoting gliomas'.
But the study has sparked criticism from some scientists, who argue that the rise in cases could be caused by other factors.
Cancer Research UK said it was 'unlikely' that mobile phones increase the risk of brain tumors.
Gallery: 20 ways your cell phone harms your health (courtesy Best Life) 20 Ways Your Cell Phone Harms Your Health
Late Kotel Rabbi Advocated 'Clandestine' Takeover of Temple Mount
Credit: Lily Horwitz via Wikimedia
Rabbi Meir Yehuda Getz
On the occasion of the jubilee year of the liberation of the Temple Mount, the family of the late Rabbi of the Western Wall, Rabbi Meir Yehuda Getz, revealed aletter he authored, calling for applying the halachic permission to ascend to the Temple Mount and for establishing facts on the ground "without unnecessary publicity," according to a har-habait.org report on Wednesday.
Rabbi Getz's letter about changing the Temple Mount status quo / Courtesy a har-habait.org
Rabbi Getz was born in Tunisia in 1924, and moved to Israel in 1949, living in the Kerem Ben Zimra moshav in Upper Galilee. He enlisted in the IDF and rose to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. In response to the death of his son Avner in the 1967 Six-Day War, he moved to Jerusalem's Old City, and shortly afterwards was appointed as overseer of prayers at the Western Wall. He remained the Rabbi of the Kotel for 27 years, until his death in 1995.
Rabbi Getz supported the excavations at the Temple Mount, and in July 1981, Getz and a team of associates cleared a tunnel under the Temple Mount near to where he believed the Ark of the Covenant had been hidden following the destruction of Solomon's Temple, directly below the Holiest Sanctuary (Kodesh HaKodashim) of the Second Temple.
In the detailed letter that has been revealed now, more than thirty-five years after it was written, Rabbi Getz appeals to government and chief rabbinate officials, including then Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren—himself a renowned advocate of returning to the Temple Mount—calling for instituting a gradual change in the Temple Mount "while observing the necessary restrictions and with all opinions."
Rabbi Getz challenges contemporary religious authorities who forbid ascending to the Temple Mount altogether: "There is no disputing the fact that according to Jewish law it is permitted to enter very broad areas on the Temple Mount, even without any preparation," he writes. "In other areas, entry is permitted after ritual purification (in the mikveh or even in spring water), removing the shoes, etc. Only in a relatively limited area (the Yisrael, women azarot/courtyards and the sanctuary) is it absolutely forbidden (according to the opinion of most of the poskim), and where one should fear the punishment of Kareth (extirpation), God forbid."
In his letter, Rabbi Getz laments the conduct of the authorities against Jews who wish to pray on the Temple Mount:
"The heart is pinched when one sees a Jew standing even on the threshold of the Temple Mount, and if he has a prayer-book in his hand (and not a newspaper, l'havdil), he is banished with disgrace and curses, contempt and humiliation by gentiles and their Jewish helpers."
"The difficult question must be asked," he continues, "Who handed Jacob over to become loot (Isaiah 42:24), placing the most sacred area on Earth under the exclusive control of the gentiles, with the active assistance of the Israeli government? How appropriate is still the cry of the holy poet, "O God, the nations have invaded Your inheritance; they have defiled Your holy temple, they have reduced Jerusalem to rubble (Psalms 79:1)."
A man of action, Rabbi Getz suggested the Chief Rabbinate appoint an ad hoc committee composed of teachers, archaeologists, historians and jurists, to "dwell in the depths of halakha, and to define the legal boundaries inside which Jewish entry be permitted with all the necessary restrictions according to a broad consensus."
Rabbi Getz envisioned full Jewish practice within those broadly-accepted boundaries, and, aware of the worldwide objections this return to the Jewish sanctuary would generate, he counseled resorting to the old Zionist method of instituting big changes "without publicity, apart from the minimum needed legislation, and—not slowly—facts will be established on the ground. The people of Israel are experts at this."
El Al to offer low-cost flights to Europe
El Al offers new ticketing model, offering lower costs and increased flexibility.
Ido Ben Porat,30/04/18 19:34
Israel's El Al airline is introducing a new model for purchasing tickets, offering low-cost options, as well as an option for priority seating and boarding.
The new model divides flight packages into Lite, Classic, and Flex.
El Al Marketing and Relations Vice President Micky Strassberger said, "This new model will allow our customers to choose, with complete transparency, the flight package which is most suitable for them. At the same time, it offers the option to combine the various tickets."
"For instance, a family of four can purchase two Lite tickets with an option for seat selection, and two Classic tickets for the parents, while enjoying a $140 discount. Business customers will enjoy relaxation and flexibility with their tickets, as well as hours which are better suited for business activity, and an option to fly business class to various destinations in Europe."
The Life ticket is new for El Al, and includes hand luggage, a light meal, and a drink. Purchasers can opt to check luggage for an extra fee. Seat selection is also available for an added fee.
The Classic ticket will include hand luggage, a light meal and a drink, seat selection, and one checked bag. Advance seat selection will be available for an added fee.
Flex tickets will include 2 items of hand luggage, a light meal and drink, advance seat selection, one checked bag, ticket cancellation, and ticket changes (requires additional fee). Ticket cancellation in certain classes will require an additional fee. It will also allow priority boarding and priority check in for those flights leaving from Tel Aviv.