In order to have peace of mind, prepare yourself in advance to accept with serenity whatever occurs. People who expect everything to go the way they want are caught off balance by difficult life situations. Have an awareness that difficulties constantly arise. Being prepared in advance to accept what happens makes it much easier to cope with the vicissitudes of life.
When you feel anxiety about a future event, imagine the worst and accept it. This has a very calming effect. For example, if you are afraid you will miss a bus and feel anxiety, imagine you have already missed it and accept the consequences. If you are afraid you will be fired from your job, imagine you have already been fired and accept it.
Then "reality" can only get better!
This is especially important to remember when dealing with Government buracracies. Expect the worst and be surpised when it gets better!!
This moring at 8 there will be a mucsical Scharit at the Tahilit looking over the temple mount and the city of Jerusalem. Join me!
Love Yehuda Lave
Yom Yerushalayim! Jerusalem Day Events - Official Schedule
'Bring Jerusalem on top of our joy': To mark 51 years of unification, many events will be held throughout the city and neighborhoods, including performances, tours, musical performances, colorful parades, ceremonies and more. Highlights: * A festive reception by the Mayor at the Tower of David Museum - a performance by singer Kobi Aflalo and the Jerusalem East West Orchestra, activity areas, training and more. * * Performances by the best singers in the Sultan's Pool * * Ceremony honoring Jerusalem's King David * * Dozens of events and performances singers in the neighborhoods * * The Student Day Festival at Sacher Park: Marathon of performances by the best artists - CREW LUCILLE, Hatikva 6, Eden Ben Zaken, Hadag Nachash host Hanan Ben Ari, BALKAN BEAT BOX, SKAZI * On Sunday 13/5/2018 we will celebrate the 51st anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem. During the week and between 13/5/17 - 17/5/2018 the Municipality of Jerusalem will mark these celebrations with a variety of events and performances throughout the city for the benefit of the city's residents and visitors. A special reception will be held by the Mayor and his wife at the Tower of David - a live museum and performances by singers, a ceremony for the award of the Yakir Yerushalayim, and events and official ceremonies will be held. In the city's neighborhoods we marked Jerusalem Day with many different events, and like every year there will be a white night to mark Student Day. On the festive day of Jerusalem, a transparent studio of Galgalatz will broadcast from the Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall between 10:00 and 19:00, with the leading artists, singers and broadcasters of Galgalatz. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat: "Fifty years have passed since Jerusalem was reunited forever and this year we will be marking this event with a variety of events throughout the city and neighborhoods that will allow more and more people to connect to Jerusalem and take part in the festivities. Events on the holiday of the capital of Israel. " The following are the events: Jerusalem Day - Sunday, 28/5/2018 A festive reception by the mayor and Mrs. Barkat on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the unification of the city Sunday, 28 Iyar 5768, 13/5/2018 Between 15: 30-17: 30 Admission is free The Mayor of Jerusalem and Mrs. Barkat invite the residents of the city and its visitors to a festive reception at the Migdal Museum on the occasion of the 51st anniversary of the city's reunification. In the program: Similarities from the history and present of Jerusalem, training stations and landscape observation. Jerusalem activity centers and workshops throughout the museum. Performances Jerusalem East and West Orchestra together with singer Kobi Aflalo. The mayor and his wife will greet the guests between 15: 30-17: 30. The public is invited. The museum is open to the public from 12: 00-18: 00. Admission is free. For more details, firstname.lastname@example.org
Student Day - Sacher Park Sunday, 28 Iyar 5768, 13/5/2018 at 20:01 The student associations in the city, in cooperation with the Culture Department of the Jerusalem Municipality, will hold the Jerusalem Student Festival at a huge event and performances by the best artists in Sacher Park: CREW LUCILLE - opening performance Hope 6 Eden Ben Zaken Hadag Nachash hosts Hanan Ben Ari BALKAN BEAT BOX SKAZI Headphones - Download the DEEZER application for free, and also enjoy a crazy headset! (We recommend that you download it in advance at https://goo.gl/QuQXPH Tickets for students at the campus offices and on campuses
A unique celebration - Jerusalem Day, 70 years of the state Sunday, 28 Iyar 5768, 13/5/2018 at 20:00. In the center of the city there will be a large event with the participation of the best Israeli artists. Entrance is free - details will be published below.
Hora Jerusalem presents "barefoot homeland" 13.5.2018, 28 Iyar 5769 at 19:30 at the Jerusalem Theater A special show marking Jerusalem Day - discover sraeli culture. Sherover Hall - Jerusalem Theater Ticket price 25 NIS www.tickline.co.il/hora
Tours at the Jerusalem Municipality Visitor Center - free of charge Hours: 10:00, 11:00, 12:00. The Authority for Quality of Service and the Visitors Center of the Jerusalem Municipality invites the public to guided tours of the Jerusalem Municipality on the occasion of the 51st anniversary of the city's reunification on Jerusalem Day. The tours will be held in Hebrew at 10:00 and 12:00 and in English and French at 11:00. A tour of the city line between 1948 and 1967, photos in stone, Yehuda Amichai singing, mayors and IDF parades, a spectacular view of the city hall and entrance to the model of the city - the model house. Tours for individuals and families free of charge. Duration: 90 minutes
Meeting place: Safra Square, opposite the No. 3 building, the pillows area. Duration: 1 hour and a half The tours are free of charge. No pre-registration required.
Shacharit Prayer Tayelet Armon HaNaziv - Courtyard Courtyard "Olamiah" May 8, 2008 On Sunday 13/5 at 8:00 am, a festive morning prayer will be held at the Armon Hanatziv Promenade in honor of Yom Yerushalayim on the holiday. A prayer of praise with the melodies of Chizki Sofer and guests like Carlebach.
"Flag Dance" Parade - Prayer and rally at the Western Wall 13.5.2018, 28 Iyar 5769 16: 30-22: 00 The march takes place every year on Jerusalem Day from 16:30. The march is accompanied by dancing, singing and raising Israeli flags and is produced by the "Am Kolbi" association. The number of marchers each year is tens of thousands of people from all over the country and the world. The flag dance parade ends with a festive ceremony at the Western Wall plaza including prayer and assembly. Event Schedule: 16: 30-18: 30 Dancing - Gathering on Bezalel and Independence Park. 18: 00-19: 30 marched 20: 00-22: 30 An assembly at the Western Wall plaza
An assembly of thanksgiving at Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva Saturday, May 12, 2014, at 20:30 A festive prayer and a mass dance. Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 18:30 A solemn assembly to mark the 51th anniversary of the liberation and unification of Jerusalem, in the presence of Chief Rabbis, Ministers, Heads of Yeshivot, MKs and public figures. Monday, May 14, 2018
Ceremony marking the 15th anniversary of the reunification of the city at 20:00 Ceremony honoring the Mayor of Jerusalem. This year, 12 Jerusalem residents will receive the "Yakir" award. The letter is given to people who have influenced and contributed to the lives of all residents of the city. The event is for invitees only.
Yom Yerushalayim in the neighborhoods Following is a list of events that will take place in community administrations in the city's neighborhoods:
Gilo 6.5.18 at 20:30 - Eshkol Pais Auditorium An evening of stories and a song with Shimon Parnes and Matti Seri
Ganim Community Administration 8.5.18 - Between the hours of 17: 00-19: 30 - at the rope park, 11 Daheumi Street A huge happening - creative workshops, stalls, activities with soap bubbles, music and more.
Gonenim Community Council 12.5.18 at 20:15 in the sports field behind the Community Administration A festive prayer in honor of Jerusalem Day, violinist Oren Tzur and guitarist Nadav Bachar.
Community Administration Baka 13.5.18 - Between the hours of 9: 00-12: 00 in the plaza of the Community Administration Songs, stories and dances to Jerusalem, marking 70 years of the State, in cooperation with kindergartens.
Katamon Community Council 13.5.18 - Between the hours of 15: 00-19: 00, at the Kangaroo Community Center: a children's play, at 17:30, a drumming workshop for children and youth. At 20:00, at the Container Terminal - Yitzhak Sadeh 17 - Shlomi Cohen
East Talpiot Community Administration A singer's evening and a food market
Morasha Community Administration 13.5.18 at 20:00 in the Community Administration Hall Exhibition, poetry on Jerusalem Day Activities in cooperation with the Museum "On the Seam"
Ganim Community Administration 13.5.18 - "Open Houses in the Neighborhood". Jerusalem Day workshops for residents. Joint rise to the water tower.
Community Council of Har Choma 13.5.18 at 20:30 on the sports field The musical performance of Aharon Raziel
Neve Ya'akov Community Council 13.5.18 at 20:00 in the Community Administration Hall The singer Idan Sela in a Mediterranean concert, Entrance 30 NIS
Yuvalim Community Administration 13.5.18 at 10:00, at Beit Rachel, singing in public At 20:30, at the Ramat Sharet community center "Rest in Nachlaot", Dvir Sormello and Avi Ofek in songs and stories. 14.5.18 - at 20:00 - at the Philippe Leon Sports Hall Evening dances with Yaron Ben Simhon and Aviva Avidan, Entrance 30 NIS
Beit Hakerem Community Council 10.5.18 at 18:30 in the garden of the old committee building Musical Performance "Hamamir"
Kiryat Moshe Community Administration 13.5.18 at 19:00 - the Blind Education Center Midreshet Amakim, Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi, and Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu A performance by Benny Landau and Harel Tal
Ramot Alon Community Council 15.5.18 at 20:30, at the Dalia Ramot kindergarten, The concert of singer Yonatan Raziel and the band Ohman
Community Council Pisgat Ze'ev 17.5.18 at 20:30 - Emmanuel Moreno Park The big goat band and Yizhar Cohen
Events "This is Jerusalem" Ramot Alon Jerusalem tour and stories for young families. 9.5.18 - at 17:00 - to register email@example.com Katamon - 10.5.18 - Between 17:00 and 19:00. A unique theatrical performance for Jerusalem Day, the story of the city in cooperation with the audience and singing in public. In the Bruria garden, behind the Mishan nursing home Ginot Ha'Ir Community Administration - 11.5.18 - From morning until Shabbat. "My Jerusalem" - volunteer tours led by residents of the neighborhood, following their personal stories and areas of interest, the tours were launched by the Ginot Ha'Ir Community Administration. Registration by email: Avigailm@ginothair.org.il Beit Hakerem - 13.5.18 - at 19:00 "The Gypsies in Jerusalem Community on the Edge" A lecture by Ofra Regev, at the old committee house Ramat Sharet - 13.5.18 at 19:30 A panel for Jerusalem Day with live music, Ramat Sharet community center, in "Menashe Elyashar" Nayot neighborhood - 13.5.18 at 16:30 "Dancers of Jerusalem" - a huge wall painting and activities for children. On the basketball court, Nayot The railway park 13.5.18 - 16:00 - The Jerusalem March - a community march on the railway track. East Talpiot - 15.5.18 at 19:30 "My Jerusalem is a song and taste": an evening of songs and tastings of local residents' recipes. Community Council branch, young Arnona. the station area Sacred Poetry Circle - The varied Jerusalem under the guidance of Shimon Lev Tahor 9.5.18 at 18:00 and on 11.5.18 at 17:00. Jerusalem Welcomes Shabbat 13.5.18 at 19:30. Believers - Interfaith listening and prayer for listening and the Holy City 14.5.18 at 20:00 Libby in the East - Poetic love from a variety of traditions to the Land of Zion Jerusalem
Entrance to all events is free. For details on this event Jerusalem: www.50reasonsforhope.com On the menu click on: Events "This is Jerusalem"
Ceremonies and State Events: Jerusalem Day: Sunday, 28/5/2018 12: 00- A memorial ceremony for the Ethiopian community on Mount Herzl The official memorial ceremony for Ethiopian Jews on Mount Herzl.
14:00 Memorial ceremony for the fallen of the Six Day War on Mount Herzl State Ceremony for Yom Yerushalayim - Memorial Ceremony for the fallen of the Six Day War.
16:00 Memorial ceremonies for the fighters Memorial ceremonies for the fighters near the paratroopers' memorials and the gathering of veterans of the Paratroopers Brigade and the fighters will be held at Ammunition Hill and in monuments: Ammunition Hill, Ed Joz, Nablus Road, Lions' Gate and the Rockefeller Museum.
19:45 A ceremony marking the reunification of Jerusalem on Ammunition Hill A State Ceremony to Mark the Release and Reunification of Jerusalem In the presence of the President of Israel, The prime minister, ministers, the mayor, the chief of staff, the police commissioner and the bereaved families. The program includes lighting flares of the combat brigades and an artistic performance.
Jerusalem Day - If I forget you, O Jerusalem
This year, Yom Yerushalayim, has particular significance. The United States, officially, will be opening its embassy in our city. But, of course, for those of us who vividly remember the 3rd day of the Six Day War when Yerushalayim was reunited and who can never forget Motta Gur's historic and emotionally-charged declaration, "Har HaBayit be'yadeinu, the Temple Mount is in our hands," this day has deep religious significance.
Recently, I came across a stirring d'var Torah by HaRav Shlomo Goren, zt"l, who was among the first to reach the Temple Mount and the Kotel during the Six Day War. It captures the very essence of the central importance and profound meaning of this day.
At the beginning of Parshas Bechukosai, the very last bracha reads (26:13): "I am HaShem, your Gd, Who took you out of the land of Egypt from being their slaves; I broke the pegs of your yoke and I led you erect (komemiyus)." Rashi translates komemiyus as "komah zekufah, erect bearing."HaShem will allow us to walk with pride in our Land. Chazal (Bava Basra 75a), however, have another level of interpretation. The word "komemiyus" signifies two measures of height, two different stories.
Rav Goren (as well as Rav Shaul Yisraeli in a different drasha) explains that one story was physical and the other, spiritual. In 1948, we experienced the first great source of our proud bearing. After almost 2000 years, the "yoke" of our exile was shattered (ואשבור מטת עלכם) and we enjoyed the blessing of living in our Land in grateful sovereignty. But, but we didn't have Yerushalayim. The physical komah (story) was set, but we were lacking the second. In 1967, we experienced ואולך אתכם קוממיות. With Yerushalayim in our hands, we merited an additional komah, a profoundly spiritual elevation, a great religious awakening that inspired thousands of Jews worldwide and launched the Ba'al Teshuva movement. Our Yerushalayim "below" switched on and activated the sacred and mystical connection with YerushalayimShel Ma'alah, our heavenly Jerusalem, and our "komemius," our proud and noble bearing was complete.
Then, Rav Goren added this amazing observation. In the month of Iyar, we were blessed with two holidays, Yom HaAtzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim. Yom HaAtzmaut follows closely after Pesach and represents our physical emancipation and national independence (the first komah). Yom Yerushalayim comes immediately before Shavuos which bespeaks our great spiritual endowment and signifies Jerusalem as our spiritual komah, implanting into the Land its spiritual center and sacred heritage.
Yom Yerushalayim reminds us that if we want the "first story" to be a komah zekufah, we have to make sure that the first story fits with the "second story." We have to maintain our spiritual connection to HaShem and use Yerushalayim to spread our ideals and values throughout the world.
"And many peoples shall go, and they shall say, 'Come, let us go up to the Lord's mount, to the house of the God of Jacob, and let Him teach us of His ways, and we will go in His paths,' for out of Zion shall the Torah come forth, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem."
May we all be privileged to witness the fulfillment of this great prophecy
Chag Yom Yerushalayim Sameach,
Jerusalem March , Yom Yerushalayim 2017
Good Fences make Good Neighbors
I want you to be concerned about your next-door neighbor. Do you know your next-door neighbor? Mother Teresa
Considered one of the 20th Century's greatest humanitarians, she was canonized as Saint Teresa of Calcutta in 2016.
A good neighbor is a fellow who smiles at you over the back fence, but doesn't climb over it. Arthur Baer
Arthur "Bugs" Baer was an American journalist and humorist.
When one neighbor helps another, we strengthen our communities.
Where ignorance is bliss it's foolish to borrow your neighbor's newspaper.Kin Hubbard Frank McKinney Hubbard was an American cartoonist, humorist, and journalist
No lusting after your neighbor's house - or wife or servant or maid or ox or donkey. Don't set your heart on anything that is your neighbor's.The Lordfrom the Book of Exodus
Nothing makes you more tolerant of a neighbor's noisy party than being there. Franklin P. Jones
A man is called selfish not for pursuing his own good, but for neglecting his neighbor's. Richard Whately American Journalist,
It is your concern when your neighbor's wall is on fire. Horace
The impersonal hand of government can never replace the helping hand of a neighbor. Hubert H. Humphrey 38th Vice President of the United States
If your neighbor's reality changes, yours will change as well.
Diego Luna Diego Luna Alexander is a Mexican actor, director and producer
Good fences make good neighbors definition. Good neighbors respect one another's property. Good farmers, for example, maintain their fences in order to keep their livestock from wandering onto neighboring farms. This proverb appears in the poem "Mending Wall," by Robert Frost.
Rabbi Riskin among 5 Olim Recipients of Nefesh B'Nefesh Builders of Zion Prize
Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Riskin, whose visionary contributions to Israel and world Jewry over the course of the past half-century have impacted the lives of thousands while redefining Modern Orthodox leadership, will be one of five recipients of the 2018 Sylvan Adams Nefesh B'Nefesh Bonei Zion (Builders of Zion) prize. Rabbi Riskin will be honored with the Education prize, alongside four olim who will receive prizes for their impact in Israel on Science and Medicine; Community and Non-Profit; Culture, Art and Sports; and Israel Advocacy.
Rabbi Riskin made Aliyah from New York in 1983, to become the founding rabbi of Efrat, a city which did not yet exist, but is now home to more than 12,000 residents. Efrat is where Rabbi Riskin established the first school in what would eventually become Ohr Torah Stone (OTS), a comprehensive network of 27 unique educational institutions, women's empowerment programs, leadership development, outreach initiatives, and social action projects.
Rabbi Riskin will be retiring in July from Ohr Torah Stone school system, and it will be taken over by Rabbi Kenneth Brander. Rabbi Riskin, at age 77, will continue to the be the Chief Rabbi of Efrat.
The recipient of the Science and Medicine prize, Prof. Marcia Javitt, MD, FACR, FSAR, FSRU, made Aliyah from Maryland in 2013 to become head of Radiology at Rambam Medical Center, as well as part of the faculty at the Technion. One of the founders of the field of Women's Imaging, Prof. Javitt pioneered imaging techniques aimed at early diagnosis of breast, ovarian, and uterine cancer. At Rambam, she saw an opportunity to integrate clinical excellence, translational research, and quality education while managing a complex full-service tertiary care academic department.
Community and Non-Profit prize recipient Kalman Samuels made Aliyah from Vancouver in 1983. He and his wife Malki experienced the injury of their second son, Yossi, at the age of 11 months, from a faulty vaccination, which rendered him blind, deaf and acutely hyperactive. After 7 years with no communication, Yossi experienced a breakthrough – he learned to communicate via sign language using the palm of his hand and later achieved speech. 28 years ago, Kalman and Malki established Shalva, the Israel Association for the Care and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities, which began as a small program in a rented apartment and later developed into round-the-clock programs for 2,000 individuals at the Shalva National Center.
Culture, Art and Sports prize recipient Linda Streit, who made Aliyah from London in 1978, founded the "Daniel Amichai Center for Rowing and Nautical Studies" in 2004, in memory of her son, Daniel Amichai Marcus, z"l, a promising young athlete. The Center is the home of the national Olympic & Paralympic teams, and a leader in nautical studies, providing classes for schoolchildren and after-school activities such as rowing, sailing, coastal rowing and kayaking classes, which are open to all.
Israel Advocacy prize winner Arsen Ostrovsky, originally from Australia, who made Aliyah from New York in 2012, is an International Human Rights Lawyer and Executive Director of The Israeli-Jewish Congress, an Israel-based NGO serving as a bridge between Jewish communities in Europe and Israeli leaders and officials, while supporting the Jewish State around the world in the fight against Antisemitism, BDS and delegitimization. Arsen is considered an expert on Anti-Semitism and the BDS movement, as well as International Law and Middle East foreign policy.
The Lifetime Achievement prize recipient Morris Kahn was born in South Africa, and in 1956, at the age of 26 moved to Israel with his late wife Jacqueline and his two sons, David and Benjamin. He published Israel's first Yellow Pages in 1968, inaugurated the first underwater observatory in Eilat, and established companies in diverse fields. He was instrumental in introducing AT&T and AIG into the Israeli market. In recent years Mr. Kahn has increasingly focused his attention on philanthropy and venture philanthropy, supporting cutting-edge cancer stem cell research. At the age of 88, with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren by his side, Morris continues his far-reaching philanthropic activity.
Young Leadership prize recipient Major Keren Hajioff was born and raised in the UK and made Aliyah in 2009, right after high school. A month after moving to Israel, Keren enlisted in the IDF as an Instructor in the Artillery Corps. She was selected for the IDF Officers' Training School, finishing as the Exemplary Cadet of her company. Having earned the rank of Lieutenant, Keren was assigned as an Instructing Officer in the officers Training School, training the future generation of IDF officers. She later became Head of Information and Policy in the Ground Forces Foreign Relations Branch, then the Foreign Relations and International Student Officer at the Israel National Defense College, where she was promoted to the rank of Captain. Keren is currently serving as the Head of Public Diplomacy in the IDF Spokesperson's Unit, as well as completing a degree in Political Science and was recently promoted to the rank of Major.
Trump Proclaims May 2018 Jewish American Heritage Month after Diplomat Ostracized by State Dept.
"Two hundred years ago, in April 1818, Mordecai Noah delivered his famous discourse before the members of America's first synagogue, Congregation Shearith Israel, upon the consecration of their new house of worship," states President Donald Trump's April 30, 2018 proclamation of May 2018 as Jewish American Heritage Month.
The president could have chosen any one of literally thousands of notable American Jews whose contributions have made the US a beacon of light unto the nations. The fact that he picked the one Jewish American statesman who was penalized for his religion and became one of the earliest and most dedicated Zionist Americans says something profound about Trump's understanding of the Jewish-American psyche.
A diplomat, journalist, playwright, and utopian, Mordecai Manuel Noah (1785 – 1851) was an early prototype of Major Alfred Dreyfus whose unjust conviction of treason in 1894 so inspired Theodor Herzl to seek a homeland for the Jews in the old-new land of Israel. In 1811, Noah was nominated by President James Madison as consul to the Kingdom of Tunis, where he rescued American citizens who had been captured by pirates and kept as slaves. But in 1815, Noah was removed from his post by US Secretary of State James Monroe, who informed him that his religion was "an obstacle to the exercise of your Consular function." The incident caused outrage among Jews and non-Jews alike.
The Trump proclamation states that "reflecting on Jewish history as well as on the unique rights and privileges afforded to American Jews, Noah proclaimed that, 'for the first time in eighteen centuries, it may be said that the Jew feels he was born equal, and is entitled to equal protection; he can now breathe freely.'"
But Noah harbored no delusions about the status of American Jews, and, in fact, his speech at the dedication of Shearith Israel's new building in Manhattan, on April 17, 1818, was about the ancient longing of the Jewish people for Zion. It is interesting that President Trump has picked this fervent Zionist Jew to represent Jewish American life, since after his bout with Monroe, Noah reached the conclusion that the Jews must endeavor to conquer Zion and settle there.
"They (the Jews) will march in triumphant numbers, and possess themselves once more of Syria (Palestine was then known as Southern Syria), and take their rank among the governments of the earth. This is not fancy. I have been too much among them in Europe and Africa – I am too well acquainted with their views and sentiments in Asia, to doubt their intentions…. Let us then hope that the day is not far distant when….we may look forward toward the country where our people have established a mild, just and honorable government, accredited by the world, and admired by all good men…."
However, as a realist, Noah recognized that "until the Jews can recover their ancient rights and dominions, and take their ranks among the governments of the earth, this is their chosen country; here they can rest with the persecuted of every clime, secure in person and property, protected from tyranny and oppression, and participating of (sic) equal rights and immunities. Forty years of experience have tested the wisdom of our intuitions' and they only will be surrendered with the existence of the nation."
So, America is a nice place to visit, but we don't want to stay here for too long, we belong in Southern Syria.
"In reaction to Mordecai Noah's 1818 discourse, Thomas Jefferson wrote that American laws protect 'our religious as they do our civil rights by putting all on an equal footing,'" the proclamation concludes. "'The American Jewish community is a shining example of how enshrining freedom of religion and protecting the rights of minorities can strengthen a nation. Through their rich culture and heritage, the Jewish people have triumphed over adversity and enhanced our country. For this and many other reasons, the American Jewish community is deserving of our respect, recognition, and gratitude.'"
"NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2018 as Jewish American Heritage Month. I call upon all Americans to celebrate the heritage and contributions of American Jews and to observe this month with appropriate programs, activities, and ceremonies."
And make Aliyah at your earliest convenience, Southern Syria really needs you.
How might we explain the custom to study the mishnayos of Ethics of Our Fathers (Pirkei Avos) during the weeks from Pesach to Shavuos
From: Jeff Bienenfeld
How might we explain the custom to study the mishnayos of Ethics of Our Fathers (Pirkei Avos) during the weeks from Pesach to Shavuos? The Avudraham (Spain, 13th C.) opines that there is no better preparation for Shavuos and the giving of the Torah than the refinement and cleansing of our traits of their ethical impurities. This insight comports well with the Chazal which states that "Derech Eretz (proper, virtuous behavior) precedes the Torah (Tana d'bei Eliyahu 1)."
Rabbeinu Yona, in his commentary on Pirkei Avos (3:17) takes this idea one step further. The Mishna there reads, "Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah says: If there is no Torah, there is no derech eretz, and if there is no derech eretz, there is no Torah." Other than the necessity for both, what does this statement add?
Comments Rabbeinu Yonah: If one is ignorant of Torah, he will simply be unable to improve upon his personal attributes. How will he know whether his actions require any amelioration? And if they do require an ethical upgrade, where can he look to for instructions as to how to proceed? The Torah and our Mesorah have much to say, in a rather exacting and comprehensive sort of way, about the appropriate moral code that must be adopted.
On the second part of Rabbi Elazar's statement, Rabbeinu Yonah adds this amazing observation. For Torah to take root, one must first engage in serious middos rectification. Unless a person first prepares the "content of his character" properly, Torah, as a life-giving force, will be unable to reside within that person. In fact, to study Torah in the absence of such preparation is much like rain falling on parched earth that has not first been thoroughly plowed and seeded. The result will be nothing but weeds, thorns and thistles. Analogously, if Torah inhabits a person of depraved moral qualities, it will become a sam maves, a lethal poison (Yuma 72b).
And then, Rabbeinu Yonah concludes with this unconventional homiletic: This is the meaning of the "na'aseh v'nishma" pronouncement that the Jewish People declared upon receiving the Torah. Usually, this phrase is understood to express the willingness of the People to first observe the mitzvos and then study and understand them. Rabbeinu Yonah offers a different interpretation. "Na'aseh" enjoins the Jew to construct an ethical and moral personality. Being a mentch comes first; then, and only then, may the "nishma," the study of the Torah, commence.
The importance of forging a high ethical default for our behavior need not be gainsaid. The Kotzker Rebbe once famously said on the verse, "And a holy People shall you be unto Me. (Shemos 22:30). "Anshe kodesh …" "Anshe," first be a mentch; only then can you be "kodesh", holy to Me.
Could this insistence upon studying Pirkei Avos during the Omer period explain why, during this same interval, the students of Rabbi Akiva died (Yevamos 62b)? If, as the Talmud tells us, they died because "they did not display honor towards one another," then we, acutely aware of that disastrous ethical failing, must commit to repair that sin by the committed enterprise of our own study and ethical betterment and enrichment.
Last week, I heard this story about Rav Soloveitchik from my dear friend and colleague, Rabbi Avishai David, who witnessed the event. The Rav had just finished delivering a lengthy shiur when a beggar, who, unseen by the Rav, had been waiting rather impatiently in back of the room for the shiur to end and receive some tzedakah. He proceeds to shout at the Rav complaining that he had been forced to wait such a long time for a donation. The Rav, visibly sympathetic and concerned, publicly apologizes and immediately takes out a $100 bill from his pocket and gives it to the poor person.
There is no greater religious lesson than to see a preeminent Torah scholar engage in an ethical gesture whose significance is in no way diminished by the seemingly inconsequential small-scale nature of the act.
We have much preparation to do before commemorating the revelation of the Torah on Shavuos. Aspiring and striving to be a better person is central to that preparation.