Thursday, August 16, 2018

Beef Patties Made From Plants--Kosher of course and Jack Phillips on Monumental Supreme Court Case

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Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor

Seek To Do Kindness

A person who has a love for money will constantly look for ways to obtain more money. So, too, when you develop a love for doing acts of kindness, you will look for every possible opportunity to do so. Even though someone else might be able to do the kindness instead, you will feel a strong desire to do it yourself. Rather than looking for ways to free yourself from doing acts of kindness, you realize that you personally gain from helping others.

Today, try doing a kindness for someone even when they do not ask for your help. Be motivated because of an inner drive.

Love Yehuda Lave

Beef Patties Made From Plants

http://beyondmeat.com/

Bosses from my sister

The speed of the boss is the speed of the team. Lee Iacocca, Made cars  

You'll never get rich by working for your boss. Felix Dennis, Poet


No man goes before his time - unless the boss leaves early. Groucho Marx, Comedian  

Don't blame the boss. He has enough problems. Donald Rumsfeld, Politician


Don't hide in the dark and let someone else make your boss look like a rock star. John Rampton, Entrepreneur

  Your boss is only human and just wants the best from you. Naomie Harris, Actress


Being the boss anywhere is lonely. Being a female boss in a world of mostly men is especially so. Robert Frost, Poet

  In my house I'm the boss, my wife is just the decision maker. Woody Allen, Comedian and film maker.


Without false modesty, I feel that, when I'm on the stage, I'm the king, the boss of the situation. Vladimir Horowitz, Pianist and composer


When you're an assistant, you're executing the wishes of your boss. Brad Goreski, Fashion stylist


Nothing is as embarrassing as watching your boss do something you assured him couldn't be done. Earl Wilson, Journalist, gossip columnist, and author


I wasn't here when I was born, and, I won't be here when I die, so I have the right to exercise control over my life in between. Hadassah Goldberg

Actors Who Were Never The Same After A Role

We've all had tough days at the office. But some actors, dedicated to giving it their all, took their work a few steps too far. Though these critically-acclaimed, often award-winning performances are a delight to watch, the experience of preparing for and recovering from these roles did a number on the actors involved, and left a lasting impression — not always for the positive. Here are several actors who went the extra mile for their craft…

Isabelle Adjani - Possession | 0:21 Adrien Brody - The Pianist | 0:50 Colin Firth - The King's Speech | 1:39 Hugh Laurie - House | 2:36 Bob Hoskins - Who Framed Roger Rabbit | 3:33 Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight | 4:12 Charlie Hunnam - American TV & Movies | 4:58 Janet Leigh – Psycho | 6:03 James Cromwell - Babe | 6:33 Christopher McDonald - Happy Gilmore | 7:31

An unbelievable story about how prayer works


At the beginning of Va'etchanan, Moses recounts how he pleaded with Hashem to let him enter the Land of Israel: And I implored (va'etchanan) Hashem at that time. As Moses relates in the very next verse, Hashem while not accepting his plea, did allow him to see the Promised Land from afar. The numerical value of "va'etchanan," 515, is a remez, a hint to the 515 different prayers of supplication Moses prayed (Devarim Rabbah 11:6). Rashi adds that the word "va'etchanan" is one of ten Hebrew words for praying. Amazingly the generic Hebrew word for prayer (tefillah) also has the numerical value of 515. The Rabbis tell us that Hashem in fact stopped Moses from saying a 516th prayer (That's three times a day for 172 days), because had Moses said that additional prayer, Hashem would have accepted the prayer and that might have messed things up, so Hashem begged him to stop. It sounds very strange.

Some years back, I heard a story. I recalled parts of it, but was looking for it in full so I turned to professor Google for help. I found a version posted on the Yeshiva Bet El website by Rabbi Stewart Weiss.

He writes: Moshe's greatest wish was to enter Eretz Yisrael to live - or at least to be buried there. He prayed 515 times, until Hashem finally said, "Stop praying!" What a strange thing for G-d to say, to tell a Jew not to pray?! What gives?

So hear this story: An elderly Jewish lady living in a nursing home passed away. Her children, who always visited her and took care of her, were notified. They immediately phoned the burial society and arranged for a proper burial. The woman was buried in the presence of her beloved family; Kaddish was recited and Shiva began.

On the 5th day of the shiva, the phone rang and the daughter answered. On the other end of the phone was......her mother, whom she had just buried! The daughter, in shock, immediately fainted. The phone rang again; it was her mother complaining that no one had come to see her that entire week. The family rushed to the nursing home to see their "dead" mother alive and well! It turned out there was a mix-up at the nursing home; it was her roommate that had passed away, not their mother. The home had mixed up the names and phoned the wrong family, and so the wrong person was buried! Imagine how terrible everyone felt about such a mistake.

But now, the nursing home had the grim job of informing the children of the OTHER lady that their mother had died 5 days ago and was already buried. They called, the son answered, and as soon as they broke the sad news to him that his mother had died, the son interrupted, "Just have her cremated; we're not interested in anything else." The nursing home explained that it was too late; she'd already had a proper Jewish burial! When the son heard this, he was awestruck, and related the following story:

"We long debated with our mother about what to do about her burial when she died. She is observant, and wanted a proper Jewish burial. But we told her that we plan to cremate her, as we don't believe in an afterlife. Besides, cremation is much cheaper and definitely more ecologically correct. Our mother's response to us was: 'I will pray to G-d that I receive a Jewish burial.' Every day, our mother prayed. We told her it was a waste of time, that when she was gone, WE would be in charge of things, and do what we thought was right, but she kept right on praying anyway. And now, amazingly, it seems that her prayer was answered!"

The Rabbi comments: Prayer has an awesome power. So great, so powerful that Hashem knew that if Moshe prayed just one more time – Tefila #516 - even He, the Almighty, the Shomaya Tefila, would simply have to give in! So He asked Moshe to stop right there. The lesson for all of us: never give up, never stop praying. The answer to our prayer

Jack Phillips on Monumental Supreme Court Case

Let Freedom Speak: The Daily Signal

Stop the Palestinian Muslim crimes against nature and wildlife

By Victor Sharpe

July 19, 2018

 

"…for the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land…a land of wheat and barley, vines, figs and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey" (Deuteronomy 8:7-8)

 


I appeal to all who cherish nature and the protection of wildlife wherever it is.

That is why I must alert the world to the horrific and deliberate destruction by Palestinian Hamas and Islamic Jihad of forests, nature reserves, fruit trees, bee hives, wheat fields, avocado groves and innocent wildlife in southern Israel adjacent to the Gaza Strip security fence.

Gaza is suffering not under Israel, but under Hamas occupation which is the Palestinian junior branch of the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood. Israel withdrew fully from Gaza in 2005 hoping that the Palestinian Arabs would create a peaceful society. Predictably and tragically it was not to be for Islam never accepts a non-Muslim nation in territory Muslims once conquered in the name of Allah, even if that nation – Israel – existed for millennia before Islam was created.

Hamas has employed thousands of fire kites and helium filled balloons, which fly into Israel and explode creating raging firestorms in the fields, meadows, forests and nature reserves. It is a searing tragedy witnessing verdant forests, lovingly planted so long ago in what was desert and wasteland, now turned into blackened stumps. Once clean and fresh air is now filled with choking ash.

Wildlife, including deer, turtles and birds, have suffered in the most torturous way, burned alive in the terrible fires that have blackened and ruined over 8,500 acres of land in southern Israel. The costs are in the billions and the hapless Israeli farmers are trying desperately to bring in whatever produce they can salvage.

The destruction is monstrous. But this is one more chapter in the 1,400 years of brutality, ruin and violent destruction that epitomizes the ideology of Islam, of its followers, and of its book, the Koran, which devotes so many of its instructions to killing non-Muslims – or those which it arrogantly and pejoratively calls infidels.

But where is the outrage from all the world's environmental groups and from PETA? Their silence is deafening and reeks of hypocrisy and stark indifference to the destruction of wildlife and restored agriculture that generations of Israeli pioneers, farmers and ecologists have painstakingly redeemed from the desert and wilderness.

The embattled Israeli villagers and farmers are plagued now by the foul smell of burning vegetation and woodland with the commensurate polluted air quality which is hospitalizing many with asthmatic and respiratory health issues including bronchitis and pneumonia.

Thousands of missiles and mortars have rained down upon southern Israel's villages and towns from Gaza since Israel withdrew fully from the Gaza Strip in 2005.

Now Hamas and Islamic Jihad thugs have sunk to yet a new low by tying incendiary material to a falcon and sending it into Israel, thus marking a new evil in the terror group's catalog of crimes against Israel.

Gilad Gabai, a National Parks Authority ranger, discovered the bird on Monday with the flammable material tied to the hapless bird's tail. The bird was dead after being burned alive in the fire it had ignited.

Gabai told Israel Radio on Tuesday that "animals are already being burned as a result of the fire kite and balloon terrorism. Now we see that they [Hamas] have moved on to using animals as a weapon. This is very distressing. Apparently it's not enough to destroy nature with fire kites, now birds are being used for arson and terror as well."

The use of innocent and abused animals is not new to Palestinian terrorism. Donkeys with bombs strapped to them have been used in the past by the terrorist Palestinian organizations to kill and maim human victims. In Islam, dogs are considered unclean.

The burning kites and balloons launched by Hamas and Islamic Jihad over the security fence have ignited over 1,000 fires in southern Israel adjacent to the Strip in the past three months, laying waste to more than 8,500 acres of forest, agricultural land and several nature reserves, with damage totaling tens of millions of dollars. This is catastrophic in a country like Israel which is only the size of New Jersey.

The Gaza-based arson terrorists ignited 24 fires in Israel's south on one day alone.

I do so earnestly hope that you, dear readers, can help condemn this Palestinian crime by forwarding this information far and wide – facts that the liberal and leftwing mainstream news hardly mention at all or, if it does, so often dementedly blames the victim – embattled Israel.

By publicly exposing this inhumane vandalism, perpetrated upon nature itself by Palestinian Hamas and Islamic Jihad there will, hopefully, be an outcry that will shame even Hamas and put an end to this monstrous crime being perpetrated by the overwhelmingly Muslim Arabs who call themselves Palestinians.

These same Arabs demand a state to be called Palestine, but it would be one which has never existed as a sovereign nation in all of recorded history.

The geographical entity called Palestine has merely been a territory occupied over the centuries by alien conquerors who had no ancestral roots in the Land, unlike the Jewish native population whose Biblical and post-Biblical ancestry spans nearly 4,000 years of continuous history.

And even during the loss of sovereignty in the Land, the Jews nevertheless always maintained whatever numbers they could sustain under often hostile alien rule until Israel was again reconstituted as a state in its ancient and ancestral homeland.

Please also help expose the silence of organizations devoted to protecting the environment and wildlife such as The Sierra Club, World Wild Life Fund and PETA, to name a few, yet who remain mysteriously unwilling to fully censure Hamas in the face of Palestinian destruction of innocent wildlife and of what was a green and pleasant land.

Thank you.

© Victor Sharpe

9 Cars With Extreme Big Engines

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See you tomorrow

Love Yehuda Lave

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

2850 Womble Road, Suite 100-619, San Diego
United States

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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Basic Law: ‘Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People’ Approved by Knesset 62-55 By Hana Levi Julian - 7 Av 5778 – July 19, 2018

Yehuda Lave, Spiritual

Advisor and

Counselor

Take a moment to adopt an attitude of gratitude. Close your eyes, breathe deeply and let it sink into your bones, "Dayenu. Whatever I have right now it is enough for right now, because if I was meant to have more, I would have it now. Since this is what You decided to give me right now, it must be perfect for right now."

Now, apply this attitude to the people around you.

Think, "Whatever amount of love, understanding, approval and appreciation I am getting from others, is perfect. Dayenu.

If I was supposed to get more, I would have it." Each time you interact with someone, think "Dayenu."

Bless them for whatever they are giving you - or not giving you - because even insults and indifference are teachers.
Love Yehuda Lave

Basic Law: 'Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People' Approved by Knesset 62-55

By
  Hana Levi Julian
 -
 7 Av 5778 – July 19, 2018

The Knesset voted 62-55 with two abstentions overnight Wednesday into Thursday to approve the 'Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People' — the bill that for the first time officially enshrines Israel as "the national home of the Jewish people" in the Basic Laws which guide the country's legal system as a quasi-Constitution.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called its passage a "pivotal moment in the annals of Zionism and the State of Israel," in remarks following the vote.

The law underscores Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the Hebrew calendar as the official calendar of the nation and sets Independence Day, national days of remembrance and Jewish holidays, as well as designates Arabic as a language with "special" standing, stipulating that "this clause does not harm the status given to the Arabic language before this law came into effect — a referral to the fact that up to this point, Arabic was the second official language of the state.

"We enshrined in law the basic principle of our existence," Netanyahu said. "Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people, that respects the individual rights of all its citizens. This is our state — the Jewish state. In recent years there have been some who have attempted to put this in doubt, to undercut the core of our being. Today we made it law: This is our nation, language and flag."

Joint Arab List Knesset Member Jamal Zahalka, who has consistently represented the interests of the Palestinian Authority and in some cases those of Hamas from the podium, ripped to pieces a printed text of the bill before the plenum.

His faction colleague, Knesset member Ahmed Tibi, said in a statement delivered in Arabic, "I declare with astonishment and sorrow the death of democracy. . . The funeral takes place today in the plenum."

Following is a translation of the final version of the bill:

Basic Law: Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People
1 — Basic principles
A. The land of Israel is the historical homeland of the Jewish people, in which the State of Israel was established.
B. The State of Israel is the national home of the Jewish people, in which it fulfills its natural, cultural, religious and historical right to self-determination.
C. The right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.

2 — The symbols of the state
A. The name of the state is "Israel."
B. The state flag is white with two blue stripes near the edges and a blue Star of David in the center.
C. The state emblem is a seven-branched menorah with olive leaves on both sides and the word "Israel" beneath it.
D. The state anthem is "Hatikvah."
E. Details regarding state symbols will be determined by the law.

3 — The capital of the state, Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel.

4 — Language
A. The state's language is Hebrew.
B. The Arabic language has a special status in the state; Regulating the use of Arabic in state institutions or by them will be set in law.
C. This clause does not harm the status given to the Arabic language before this law came into effect.

5 — Ingathering of the exiles
The state will be open for Jewish immigration and the ingathering of exiles

6 — Connection to the Jewish people
A. The state will strive to ensure the safety of the members of the Jewish people in trouble or in captivity due to the fact of their Jewishness or their citizenship.
B. The state shall act within the Diaspora to strengthen the affinity between the state and members of the Jewish people.
C. The state shall act to preserve the cultural, historical and religious heritage of the Jewish people among Jews in the Diaspora.

7 — Jewish settlement
A. The state views the development of Jewish settlement as a national value and will act to encourage and promote its establishment and consolidation.

8 — Official Calendar
The Hebrew calendar is the official calendar of the state and alongside it the Gregorian calendar will be used as an official calendar. Use of the Hebrew calendar and the Gregorian calendar will be determined by law.

9 — Independence Day and Memorial Days
A. Independence Day is the official national holiday of the state.
B. Memorial Day for the Fallen in Israel's Wars and Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day are official memorial days of the State.

10 — Days of Rest and Sabbath
The Sabbath and the festivals of Israel are the established days of rest in the state; Non-Jews have a right to maintain days of rest on their Sabbaths and festivals; Details of this issue will be determined by law.

11 — Immutability
This Basic Law shall not be amended, unless by another Basic Law passed by a majority of Knesset members.

Knesset Decriminalizes Private Use of Cannabis

The Knesset plenum on Thursday gave its final approval to a bill making possessing and using cannabis for personal consumption no longer a criminal offense for an individual, up to three times within a five-year period. The count is reset after five years.

The bill was approved by a vote of 41-1, with one abstention.

 

The new law dictates that an individual caught for the first time with up to 15 grams (roughly half an ounce) of Marijuana would pay a fine of $275; $550 for the second offense within five years of the first; and would enter a "conditional arrangement" for the third offense, which would require the cannabis user to pay a fine or do community service in lieu of a criminal charge.

Under the new legislation, users can ask to go to trial instead of paying the fine – but if they are then found guilty, they must pay a fine no less than three times the original fine (roughly $800).

Minors, soldiers, prisoners and previous criminal offenders are not covered under the new law, which will remain in effect for only three years, as a temporary order, so that its effects and implications can be observed and studied.

 

The Gates of Jerusalem Then and Now, Part I Zion Gate

Posted: 22 Jul 2018 09:30 PM PDT

Updating first posting in Israel Daily Picture in preparation for Book 3, Jews and Holy Sites in the Holy Land, Revealed in Early Photographs .

The walls of Jerusalem's Old City that we see today were built in 1540 during the days of the Ottoman Sultan, Suleiman the Magnificent.  

The location and name "Zion Gate" appear on maps dating back to the 12th century.  It is one of eight gates in the Old City Wall. 

Zion Gate, picture by Bergheim, circa 1867.  Today, the walls are pock-marked from
bullets and artillery shells fired during the1948 war in the Jews' attempt to resupply and 
relieve the Jewish Quarter besieged by the Jordanian Legion.
Zion Gate (circa 1898)  The photo was captioned "Jerusalem" 
with no further detail. While the American Colony photographic
 department was established in 1898, its founder, Elijah
 Meyer, was an active photographer prior to that date.

 
Zion Gate circa 1900























Camels leaving " David's Portal" (circa 1910)


Expulsion of Jews from the Jewish Quarter in the 1948 War
through the Zion Gate (John Philips for Life Magazine)
Located between Mt. Zion and the Jewish and Armenian Quarters, the gate was the setting for fierce fighting during the 1948 war.  A small Palmach force, commanded by David "Dado" Elazar (later IDF chief of staff in 1973), attempted to break through the gate on May 1948 to relieve the besieged Jewish Quarter.  They were met with stiff resistance by the Jordanian Legion and were forced to withdraw.
 
On May 28, 1948 the Jewish Quarter surrendered.  Jews were expelled through Zion Gate and didn't return until the city of Jerusalem was reunited 19 years later in the June 1967 war.
 
 


Tisha B'Av, the Day of Jewish Mourning

Posted: 22 Jul 2018 05:37 AM PDT


Jewish men sitting on the ground at the " Wailing Wall" (circa  1935).
From the Library of Congress collection.

Tisha B'Av is commemorated today (on the 10th of Av), Sunday July 22, 2018.
 
The ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av -- Tisha B'Av -- is the day in the Hebrew calendar when great calamities befell the Jewish people, including the destruction of both Temples in Jerusalem, the fall of the fortress Beitar in the Jewish rebellion against Rome in 136 CE, and the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492.  The day is commemorated with fasting, prayers and the reading of Lamentations.  In Jerusalem, thousands pray at the Kotel, the Western Wall.
 
" Devout Jewish women" at the Wall (circa
1900). View another photo of devout women here
 
The American Colony photographers frequently focused their cameras on the worshipers at the "Wailing Place of the Jews."  The Colony founders who came to Jerusalem in 1881 were devout Christians who saw the return of the Jews to the Holy Land as a sign of messianic times. 
 
Of the dozens of pictures at the Kotel there are several of elderly men and women sitting on the ground or on low stools, customs of mourning practiced on Tisha B'Av.
 
"A Jewish beggar reading at the Wailing Wall" (circa 1920).
Note others sitting on the ground. The day is almost
certainly Tisha B'Av and he is probably reading the
book of Lamentations.

 
Jews straining to see the Western Wall (circa 1929)
 
 
Other pictures presented here show the very narrow and confined area of the Kotel over the ages until Israel's army captured the Old City in 1967 and enlarged the Kotel plaza. 

The tragedies that occurred to the Jewish nation are also evident in the pictures of the deserted plaza after Arab pogroms in 1929.  The area was deserted, of course, during the 19 years of Jordanian rule of the Old City when Jews were forbidden to pray at the site.
 
A story is told of Napoleon passing a synagogue and hearing congregants inside mourning.  To his question who they are mourning, he was told they were weeping over the destruction of the Jewish Temple 1,800 years earlier.  Napoleon responded, according to the legend, "If the Jews are still crying after so many hundreds of years, then I am certain the Temple will one day be rebuilt."


Western Wall deserted in 1929. View looking south.



"Jews' wailing place without mourners.
Deserted during 1929 riots." View looking north.
A Jordanian soldier (and policeman in the background) at the Western Wall
one month after Jews were expelled from the Old City's Jewish Quarter
in May 1948.

t's Happening!

By
  Photo of the Day
 -
 14 Av 5778 – July 25, 2018 
0
 
 

Photo Credit: David Michael Cohen / TPS
 

OK, maybe it's not happening just yet.

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Unfortunately, the crane wasn't there to build the Third Temple.

It was there on Wednesday morning to pick up the  large stone that broke off and fell from the Western Wall near Robinson's Arch.

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10 Facts Every Jew Should Know About the Shema Prayer

The Shema prayer is not simply the Jewish declaration of faith that G‑d exists. It is an affirmation that G‑d is the only true existence. One G‑d is the essence of everything (more on this later). We are commanded to accept the kingship of Heaven twice daily by reciting the Shema.

1. The Shema Consists of Three Paragraphs From the Torah

Shema is technically not a prayer. It consists of three biblical paragraphs: Deuteronomy 6:4–9, 11:13–21, and Numbers 15:37–41. The first two sections ( Deuteronomy 6:4–9 and 11:13–21) declare the oneness of G‑d and our duty as Jews to love Him, to study the Torah and teach it to our children, to follow his mitzvot, including binding tefillin on our arms and heads and affixing mezuzot to the doorposts of our homes. The third section ( Numbers 15:37–41) speaks of the mitzvah of tzitzit and of the Exodus from Egypt.

Read the Three Paragraphs of Shema.

2. We Say Shema Twice Daily

In the first paragraph, the fourth verse tells us: 1 "And you shall teach them to your children... when you lie down and when you rise up." From this verse, we learn to recite the Shema twice daily, in the morning and in the evening. In order to fulfill one's obligation of saying Shema, ideally one should say all three paragraphs. In a pinch, there are varying views among the rabbis as to what one can do to fulfill the minimal obligation; but certainly, one should at least recite the first paragraph.

Read: An Overview of the Shema

3. We Cover Our Eyes For the First Verse

While reciting the first verse, we cover our eyes with our right hand. The basic reason 2 is to eliminate distractions during this essential prayer. There is yet a deeper reason: during the Shema prayer we declare that everything is G‑d, so that when we uncover our eyes we discover a new reality. A reality that centers on G‑dliness. The physical world that we see is not all that exists; there is a greater reality above the mundane.

Read: Why Do We Cover Our Eyes for Shema?

4. The Shema Is One of the First Things We Teach Our Children

In the Laws of Torah study, in the Code of Jewish Law 3, we are told that when a child starts to talk we should teach them two verses: "The Torah that Moses commanded us is a heritage for the congregation of Jacob" ( Deuteronomy 33:4). And the second is: "Hear, O Israel: The L‑rd is our G‑d; the L‑rd is One"( Deuteronomy 6:4, the first verse of Shema). These two verses are the fundamentals of our faith.

Read: Jewish Education 101

5. The Second Line of Shema

The second sentence of this prayer, which is said quietly, reads: "Blessed be the name of the glory of His kingdom forever and ever." This verse does not appear anywhere in the bible, and there are differing views as to its origin. One source is a discussion and story in the Talmud, tractate Pesachim 4 , where this very question is asked: Jacob is on his deathbed, questioning his sons' allegiance to the one G‑d. His sons respond with the first verse of the shema which led Jacob to exclaim: "Blessed be the name of the glory of His kingdom forever and ever." The Talmud concludes, since it is not a Biblical verse it is said quietly.

Read: What Is the Origin of the Second Line of Shema?

6. A Deeper Meaning, More Than Monotheism

The idea that "G‑d is One" means not only that there is one G‑d, but that G‑d and the whole of creation are actually one. There is nothing apart from G‑d. Nothing exists outside of Him; everything that we perceive, every particle of existence, is nothing but a veiled manifestation of G‑d. For this reason, everything in the universe is totally dependent on G‑d at every moment. G‑d created the universe a long time ago, but He also perpetually recreates its existence. The Sages speak of a stream of energy emanating from the infinite essence of G‑d, recreating the universe at every moment. Were He to remove this life-giving force, the universe and all therein would cease to exist.

7. The Shema Expresses Two Levels of Unity

Rabbi Schneur Zalman was a Chassidic luminary and the first Rebbe of Chabad, whose seminal work is titled, Tanya. In the second section of Tanya, The Gate of Unity and Faith, he explains how the first two sentences of Shema refer to two levels of divine unity. The first verse describes how G‑d relates to the world from G‑d's perspective, how in truth everything is G‑d. The second sentence employs the word 'kinship,' referring to the lower level of unity, the perspective of His creations. For there cannot be a king without a nation. From our perspective, we are dependent on G‑d to sustain our existence.

8. The Shema Is About Love

In the first paragraph of the Shema we are commanded to "[L]ove G‑d with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength." This means that we must harness our human desires, (i.e., animalistic passions) to serve Him—developing a love for G‑d to the point that we are excited to fulfill His wishes. We must dedicate our very life-force, our soul to Him. We must be prepared to sanctify His name, as many Jews have done so to the extent of putting their lives on the line. And lastly we must use our entire strength to serve G‑d, with at least the same energy we generally use to make a living.

Read: The Miracle Within

9. Crying Out Shema Is the Climax of Yom Kippur

At the height of the holiest day of the year is the Neilah prayer, the fifth prayer recited as the day slips away. The climax of this prayer happens just before the shofar blast, and includes three verses. The first, said once, is the opening verse of Shema: "Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One." The next, said three times, is the second sentence of the Shema: "Blessed be the name of the glory of His kingdom forever and ever." And the third verse, said seven times, is: "G‑d - He is the Only G‑d." At this moment we are taught that we must be willing to give up our very lives for the sake of heaven.

Read: Neilah, The Closing Service Of Yom Kippur

10. We Say Shema at Bedtime

Before settling down for the night, many have the custom (that derives from the Talmud 5) to recite an order of prayers that includes the Shema (this is in addition to the evening service which also includes the Shema). Many reasons are given for this custom. The end of the day is an ideal time for introspection, a chance to look back at our day and see what can be improved, so these prayers can help us grow in the right direction. The Talmud also tells us that it is proper to go to sleep with words of Torah on one's lips; therefore, we recite the Shema again.

Read: The Many Benefits of the Bedtime Shema

Footnotes
2.

Code of Jewish Law, Orach Chaim 61:5

3.

SA YD 245:5

4.

Pesachim 56a

5.

Berachot 60b.

Kahlon, Bennett, Regret Parts of Nationality Law, Promise Amendments

By
  David Israel
 -
 14 Av 5778 – July 26, 2018
0
 
 
 
Photo Credit: Hadas Parush/Flash90
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (R) and Education Minister Naftali Bennett
 

The Druze community remains critical of the new Nationality Law, and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) on Thursday admitted in an interview with Army Radio that the legislation was made hastily. "There was pressure, we made a mistake and we have to correct it – the last thing we want is to harm the Druze community," Kahlon said.

The Finance Minister stressed that the High Court of Justice petition against the new law by a Druze member of his party, MK Akram Hasson, was submitted with his consent.

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Kahlon also admitted that there were mistakes in the legislation of the new surrogacy law, which bars same-sex male couples from using the services of a surrogate mother, while permitting surrogacy to same-sex female couples. "The surrogacy also suffered the same problem (haste to legislate, DI) – and we will amend the legislation," Kahlon said, adding, "These are lifelong laws that will shape the image of the State of Israel."

Minister of Education Naftali Bennett has been criticized in recent days regarding the Nationality Law, especially the timing of the legislation. On Wednesday, Channel 2 News reported that Bennett, like Kahlon, was also considering amending the law. The Education Minister has already declared that "the Israeli government bears a responsibility to find a way to heal the rift" with the Druze community.

Bennett has also been criticized for discovering the loyal Druze community's protest against the law only now, when for weeks, while the Nationality Law was being debated in committee, he was ignoring the Druze' vociferous protests, including those from former MK Shakib Shanan, who served in the IDF and is bereaved father: his son, border policeman Kamil Shinan, was murdered in a terror attack on the Temple Mount in July 2017.

Minister Bennett explained that he is now examining two possibilities for rectifying the problematic areas of the Nationality Law: enact a new, separate law, which would protect the special status of Druze in Israeli society; or amend the Nationality Law to include non-Jewish Israelis "whose fate is tied with the Jewish people," meaning members of minority groups that serve in the IDF.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also become aware of the problems with the new law and has invited Druze leaders to a meeting with him next week to discuss remedies.

But Bennett continued to defend the validity of the Nationality Law, despite the above disturbing detail. "My leftist friends, the Nationality Law became crucial because the High Court of Justice, in a series of rulings, gradually emptied the Jewish aspect of the state," he said, citing the cases of Adel Kaadan v. Israel Lands Administration, which forced Zionist land redemption groups to sell to non-Jews; the family unification ruling that allowed a flow of hostile Arabs into Israel; and the infiltrators ruling which barred the Interior Ministry from deporting illegal migrants.

These rulings, and many more, Bennett argued, have strengthened the "democratic" definition of the State of Israel while diminishing its definition as "Jewish.'

"There is a specific flaw in the law concerning our Druze brothers which must be rectified, but the law itself is essential and will remain in place," Bennett vowed.

See you tomorrow
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