In ‘The Catcher Was a Spy,’ Paul Rudd is a Jewish baseball player turned Nazi hunter and a week from tomorrow, July 17th new live classes on the Temple and Tisha Bov at the Kahane Yeshiva from 4:00 to 6:00 Pm
Develop even more enthusiasm for doing good deeds and spiritual growth - than you have for financial gain and physical pleasures.
Love Yehuda Lave
Live Classes next Tuesday the 17th at the Kahane Yeshiva
Yom Iyun on the Holy Temple at Yeshivat HaRa'ayon HaYehudi In time for Tisha B'Av, come join us at the Yeshiva for a session of study and contemplation of the Holy Temple of Jerusalem (Hebrew date 5 Av). The shiurim will be in English.
Speakers: 400 PM Menachem Gottlieb: "Why did the Tzadik fall while trying to expel the non-Jews from entering Eretz Yisrael?" 445 PM Avraham Sheinman: "Why is National Kiddush Hashem necessary for the Redemption?" 530 PM Rabbi David Bar-Chayim: "Can the Miqdash fall from Heaven?"
Not to be missed - Tell all your friends!
Come early to ensure your place Refreshments will be served.
Yeshivat HaRa'ayon HaYehudi, 11 Shmarya St. Jerusalem
In 'The Catcher Was a Spy,' Paul Rudd is a Jewish baseball player turned Nazi hunter
(JTA) — It's rare enough for a Jewish baseball player to make it to the major leagues. A New York Jew named Moe Berg took it even a step further — he added war spy to his extraordinary resume.
Berg pulled off the feat over 60 years ago. As a catcher in the majors for 15 seasons during the 1920s and 30s, he was known more for his intelligence and introverted personality — famed manager Casey Stengel once called him the "strangest man ever to play baseball" — than his athletic skills. He read several newspapers each day, spoke more than 10 languages (seven fluently) and graduated from Princeton at a time when Jews normally weren't admitted.
During World War II, after his baseball career, Berg worked for the U.S. government and eventually rose to a position in the Office of Strategic Services, or OSS — a precursor to the CIA. He went on missions in then-Yugoslavia, where he tracked resistance groups, and Italy, where he interviewed physicists about the German nuclear program.
The story sounds like great fodder for a movie, and that's what it has become: "The Catcher Was a Spy," based on a 1994 biography of the same name by Nicholas Dawidoff, opens Friday in theaters. Paul Rudd (who happens to be Jewish) stars as Berg alongside Mark Strong and Sienna Miller.
The film begins in 1939, his last season as a player, with the Boston Red Sox, before picking up several years later when Berg has a boring desk job at the OSS. His boss, Gen. William Donovan (played by Jeff Daniels), eventually assigns him a mission in the field, and with Sam Goudsmit (Paul Giamatti), Berg helps rescue the Italian physicist Eduardo Amaldi from the Nazis.
A more crucial assignment is to kill the famous German physicist Werner Heisenberg, a task with which Berg is not completely comfortable. There is no certainty that Germany has the resources to build a bomb (the Brits don't believe they do) or even that Heisenberg, despite being a loyal German, will help them build a weapon of mass destruction. But Donovan decides not to take a chance and orders the hit.
Sienna Miller stars alongside Paul Rudd in the film about Moe Berg. (Courtesy of IFC Films)
Berg was an enigma to most who knew him, and the film, directed by the Australian filmmaker Ben Lewin, paints a nuanced portrait of the complicated character. Though he had a longtime girlfriend, Estella (Sienna Miller), some questioned his sexual orientation. The general asks him point blank at one point if he's "queer," but Berg doesn't answer. (Later in life, Berg became unemployed and subsisted with the help of relatives.)
As a whole, though, the movie falls in a bland area between truth and fiction. While Berg's missions are fascinating on paper, the content isn't particularly cinematic, the way a good James Bond film is. So while the end product stays honest to the facts, it sacrifices some enjoyment for the viewer.
The film does address Berg's Jewish identity, however, and conveys how uncomfortable he was in his Jewish skin. At one point he tells a new acquaintance: "I'm a Jew. Not a practicing Jew. But I was different than the other boys. I never even told them my real name. I wanted to blend in … I don't fit in even now."
(Rudd's personal story mirrors Berg's a bit on this front — he explained last year on the genealogy show "Finding Your Roots" that he grew up in places with few Jews and was called "Jew boy" despite his attempts to blend in to his communities.)
Lewin, 71, the son of Polish Holocaust survivors, migrated with his family at a young age to Australia, where he grew up in an observant Jewish household. He had never heard of Berg before the film opportunity arose and, though now Los Angeles-based, has never been to a baseball game other than his sons' Little League contests.
But he told JTA his Jewishness informs his "sense of connection with the subject matter." In 1985, Lewin directed the award-winning "The Dunera Boys" a miniseries about 2,000 English Jews who were somehow suspected of being Nazi spies and deported to Australia.
In one scene late in "The Catcher Was a Spy," Berg attends a Kol Nidre service at a Zurich synagogue during his mission to kill Heisenberg. While the film is based on true events, the Yom Kippur moment almost certainly never occurred. It was a conceit added by Lewin (even though Robert Rodat wrote the script).
Lewin doesn't know whether Berg actually attended services, but he finds it a plausible possibility.
"[Berg] was a very modern and secular Jew, but at the same time he couldn't escape his Jewishness," the filmmaker said. "Before going out to kill someone, I don't know that he didn't go inside a synagogue. I know myself as a secular Jew that I find comfort in that kind of environment. I go to Kol Nidre services every year even though I'm not a believer because I have that one day to reflect on my life."
What are we? What are our lives? ... What can we say before You? (Siddur).
One way to read this prayer is to see the last phrase as an answer to the series of questions posed earlier. Read it: "What are we, and what are our lives and traits? Only that which we say before God." In other words, I can only know that much about myself which I have the courage to reveal to God. That which I cannot own up to, that which I keep so concealed that I cannot verbalize when I communicate with God, remains alien to me.
The Rabbi of Kotzk interpreted the verse, There shall not be a foreign god among you (Psalms 81:10), to mean, "Do not let God be foreign to you." To the degree that we alienate ourselves from God, we also alienate ourselves from ourselves.
Tachanun, the practice of daily soul-searching and teshuvah, is more than a ritual. By disclosing ourselves before God, we become aware of ourselves. While tachanun does contain prescribed prayers of confession, it is highly commendable that following them, we enter into a spontaneous conversation with God, telling Him all our innermost thoughts. In this way, we remove the barriers of denial and repression that both cause us to disown part of ourselves and put our correctable character defects out of reach.
Today I shall ... try to confide in God, and tell him, both in silent and verbal expression, all my innermost thoughts and feelings.
JOHN WAYNE SKIT
If you can identify very many of the people in the video you are REALLY OLD! You may have to play this a couple of times in order to identify everyone. The video is special to me because so many of the people in the video are gone now and the younger gen-kids probably won't even appreciate all that talent in one place.
Mexican presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) called for mass iillegal mmigration to the United States by all of Latin America during a speech Tuesday declaring it a "God-given human right" for all North Americans.
"And soon, very soon — after the victory of our movement — we will defend all the migrants on the American continent and all the migrants in the world who seek a life in the USA," Obrador said, adding that immigrants "must leave their towns now, and find a life in the United States." He then declared it as "a God-given human right we will defend," eluniversal.comreports.
While the election is not until July 1, Obrador is by far the frontrunner.
So this guy is going to be the next President of Mexico.
American citizenship is a "God-given human right" for Mexicans and all North Americans, he says.
This country, Mexico, is not our ally. It is not our friend.
All the people whining about how Trump's border wall will "ruin our relationship with Mexico" and alienate an ally: is this how an ally behaves?
The Mexican government relies very heavily on remittances sent back from Mexicans living here in the US. Last year immigrants sent at least $36 billion in remittance payments back to Mexico.
This is exactly why they encourage illegal immigration, and this is why their presidential candidates appeal to Mexicans living in the US.
Build the wall. Mexico is not our friend.
Do not curse God (Exodus 22:27).
I frequently heard my father quote this verse and interpret it to mean, "A person with Godliness does not curse."
Few things were as absolutely forbidden in our home as uttering a curse. I know that my father was severely provoked many times, but even when angry, no malediction ever crossed his lips. He would tell us that when someone would provoke his mother beyond tolerance, she would say, "May he have soft bread and hard butter." That was the strongest curse Grandmother could utter, but from my father I never heard even that.
How often have we regretted harsh words that were spoken in rage? Such remarks may cause as much pain to the speaker as to the one to whom they are said.
Since we are vulnerable to rage, perhaps we would be wise to provide ourselves with an array of expressions that we can draw upon so that when we are provoked to fury, we will be able to discharge our emotions without being malevolent. One tried-and-true example? "May he have soft bread and hard butter."
Today I shall ...
scrupulously avoid pronouncing a curse in anger, regardless of how furious I may be.