Tuesday, March 17, 2020

100 Blessings a Day keep the Doctor away and the idea of Survivorship bias and Why The Left Calls Good People Racist By Dennis Prager and Sanitizing Soros Through Guilt by Association By Melanie Phillips

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Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor

Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher, and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money,  and spiritual engagement. Now also a Blogger on the Times of Israel. Look for my column

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A Big Catch

An Israeli man named Itzik was returning home from a fishing trip at the Sea of Galilee. He was flying down the highway, going way too fast. He felt secure among a pack of cars, all traveling at the same speed. However, it wasn't long before he saw flashing lights in his review mirror and pulled over.

The officer handed him the citation, received his signature, and was about to walk away when Itzik stopped him. "Officer, I know I was speeding," he started, "but I don't think it's fair. There were plenty of other cars around me going just as fast, so why did I get the ticket?"

The officer tilted his head and gestured at the fishing gear stowed on the passenger seat. "I see you like fishing," he said.

"Ummm, yes I do... so?" Itzik replied, confused.

The officer grinned as he turned to leave. "Ever catch ALL the fish?"

100 Blessings a Day keep the Doctor away

In the Bible book of Exodus (Shmoat in Hebrew), the largest number of pages and verses is given to the concept of a Tabernacle or Temple.

What is so important, that the Bible in which every word is Holy needed to spend so much time on the subject.

Here are some to the points that the Oral Bible or Torah teaches as the reasons why.

The sages teach that the commandment to construct a home for G‑d includes the directive to construct a figurative home for G‑d within every person. From this perspective, the detailed descriptions of the Temple and its furniture, which comprise almost five portions in the Torah, have a spiritual equivalence within ourselves.

The structure of the Tabernacle itself was a conduit for divine blessings.

The Sanctuary was built of three components. The walls were made of ten-cubit-tall wooden beams, the beams were supported by silver sockets, and the roof was composed of coverings made of wool and animal skins. To build the figurative Temple within ourselves, we need to find the beams, coverings, and sockets within our soul and dedicate them to the service of G‑d.

The one hundred [silver talents] were used to cast the bases for the Sanctuary and the cloth partition. There were a total of one hundred bases made out of the one hundred talents, one talent for each base." (Ex. 39:27)

One hundred bases were needed for the foundation of the Tabernacle; the same as the (minimum) number of blessings a Jew is supposed to make each day. (Talmud Menachot 43b and Tur Orach Chaim #46) Just as the bases were the foundation of the Tabernacle, the one hundred blessings are the foundation of the Jewish People and its sanctity.

The bases are called "adonim", which is related to "adon" as in the phrase "Adon Olam", "Master of the World". Just as the one hundred bases upheld the Tabernacle, which testified to G‑d's presence in the world, making one hundred blessings each day serves to bring a Jew to profound G‑d awareness. And today we can still build a Tabernacle, a dwelling place for G‑d in our hearts, by being mindful to make one hundred blessings every day. [Chidushei HaRim Al HaTorah- U'Moadim - Rabbi Yitzchak Meir of Gur p.145]

"The Heavens are the heavens of G-d, but the earth He has given to the children of Men (Psalms 115:16) is the description of the world before blessings, and the verse, " The Earth is the Lord's and fullness thereof," is after the blessings.

Why? A world devoid of blessings is a world without any connections between the finite and the infinite. By making the blessing, G-d's creations magnificently and miraculously come together. If the Bible has one urgent message, it is the sanctification of our physical world. Animals and people both eat and have Sex. The job of the Jew (not the Gentile-their job is to follow the seven Noahite laws) is to sanctify the physical world.

For Jews, the divine and the physical meet in an eternal dialogue, and the first expression of that dialogue in the 100 blessings a day that we make.

idea of Survivorship bias

Survivorship bias or survival bias is the logical error of concentrating on the people or things that made it past some selection process and overlooking those that did not, typically because of their lack of visibility. This can lead to false conclusions in several different ways. It is a form of selection bias.

Survivorship bias can lead to overly optimistic beliefs because failures are ignored, such as when companies that no longer exist are excluded from analyses of financial performance. It can also lead to the false belief that the successes in a group have some special property, rather than just coincidence (correlation proves casulality).

For example, if three of the five students with the best college grades went to the same high school, that can lead one to believe that the high school must offer an excellent education. This could be true, but the question cannot be answered without looking at the grades of all the other students from that high school, not just the ones who "survived" the top-five selection process. Another example of a distinct mode of survivorship bias would be thinking that an incident was not as dangerous as it was because everyone you communicate with afterwards survived. Even if you knew that some people are dead, they wouldn't have their voice to add to the conversation, leading to bias in the conversation.

 As example In finance:

In finance, survivorship bias is the tendency for failed companies to be excluded from performance studies because they no longer exist. It often causes the results of studies to skew higher because only companies that were successful enough to survive until the end of the period are included. For example, a mutual fund company's selection of funds today will include only those that are successful now. Many losing funds are closed and merged into other funds to hide poor performance. In theory, 90% of extant funds could truthfully claim to have performance in the first quartile of their peers, if the peer group includes funds that have closed.

Why The Left Calls Good People Racist By Dennis Prager

A few weeks ago, I devoted my column to an article about me published in Newsweek under the headline "Conservative Radio Host Ridicules Anne Frank." As the full context of my comments in the video made clear, it was a lie.

To its credit, after its editor was notified of this fact, Newsweek changed the headline and made revisions to the article and issued a correction.

Since then, two more smears have been spread about me, one by an official at Purdue University and the other by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the major source of news in Canada.

The Jan. 21, 2020, issue of The Exponent, the Purdue University student newspaper, published the following in a story about John Gates, Purdue's newly appointed vice provost for diversity and inclusion: "John Gates has seen quite distinct viewpoints at Purdue, even in his first week at Purdue in early 2019. When he attended a Turning Point event that Dennis Prager spoke at, he noted that he was one of three black people in the room.

"'His central thesis was as follows: Diversity is bad. Every dollar spent on diversity is a dollar wasted,' Gates said. 'He said slavery was not bad. In fact, every civilized nation was founded in slavery, and that blacks should just be happy to be in this country. And he got a rousing ovation.'"

A vice provost of Purdue University quoted me as saying, "Slavery was not bad."

Needless to say, I never said anything remotely like that.

After mentioning this on my radio show, some of my listeners wrote to Gates, which prompted him to write to me – not with a retraction or an apology but an invitation to have a chat.

I wrote Vice Provost Gates a letter, which began:

Dr. Gates:

I am attaching eight video files of my speech at Purdue. See if you can find where I said, implied or hinted that slavery is not bad.

Allow me to react to your invitation to chat over the phone. Had I, as a Jew, written in some publication that you said, 'The Holocaust wasn't bad,' and then invited you to have a chat, would you agree to do so? Or would you first demand that I retract such a vile smear of you?

When you unequivocally retract in The Exponent what you said and apologize for saying it, I will be happy to chat with you. In fact, I will even invite you on to my national radio show.

I never received a response from Gates.

Then, about a week ago, on my radio show, I discussed private speech versus public speech, as well as character, using former President Harry Truman as an example of a good man who used foul language privately, specifically using "kike" when writing or talking about Jews, and the N-word when talking about blacks.

A listener called to ask me why I could say "kike" but not the N-word. I told him that the left had rendered the N-word the only word unutterable in the English language, even when merely discussing it, as I was with regard to Truman. And, of course, I added that to ever refer to a black using the N-word is "despicable."

On Sunday, the CBC published an article headlined "It's 'idiotic you can't say the N-word,' says radio host Dennis Prager, soon to speak at Calgary conference."

The headline was an echo of the Newsweek headline, using an entirely out-of-context quote to make it sound as if I want to use the N-word in referring to blacks.

Now, why would the CBC bother writing about an American talk-show host, and how did it come up with this smear?

The answer to the first question is that the CBC – described to me by former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper at a PragerU event as "to the left of MSNBC" – wants to charge Canadian conservative organization The Manning Centre with inviting racist speakers. (I will be speaking in Ottawa at the Centre's annual conference next month.)

And how did the CBC come up with the phony headline and story? The author himself wrote how in his piece: from Media Matters for America, a left-wing site that each day distorts or lies about what conservatives say. The author never bothered to listen to my broadcast. He took what Media Matters wrote and recycled it.

So, then, why do left-wing media do this?

There are two major reasons.

First, truth is not a left-wing value. As I have said and written ever since studying communism and the left in graduate school at the Columbia University Russian Institute, truth is a liberal value and a conservative value, but it is not a left-wing value.

However, destroying opponents by destroying their reputations is a left-wing value – whether it's charging Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh with multiple rapes, preoccupying the country with the fake charge that Donald Trump's presidential campaign colluded with Russia to manipulate the 2016 election, or lying about what I said.

Second, smearing opponents is not only a left-wing value; it is the left's modus operandi. And the reason for that is: The left does not win through argument. It wins through smear. If you differ with the left, you are, by definition, sexist, racist, bigoted, intolerant, homophobic, Islamophobic, xenophobic, fascist, and/or a hater. The proof? You cannot name a single opponent of the left who has not been so labeled.

Readers can fight back by contacting the president of Purdue, Mitch Daniels, at president@purdue.edu. Contacts from Purdue alumni would be particularly helpful. And readers can contact the CBC through FacebookTwitterInstagram or an e-mail to its ombudsman: ombud@cbc.ca.

The CBC needs to change its headline and issue a correction, as Newsweek did. My e-mail to the author of the article, in which I asked for these changes and explained the entire context, did not receive a reply. You can read the letter on my website and send it or link it to the CBC.

If good liberals and conservatives don't fight the left, truth loses. If truth loses, all is lost.

It's that simple.

Sanitizing Soros Through Guilt by Association By Melanie Phillips

he law professor Alan Dershowitz has thrown a legal hand-grenade into America's political civil war by claiming to have evidence that former President Barack Obama "personally asked" the FBI to investigate someone "on behalf" of Obama's "close ally," billionaire financier George Soros.

He made his cryptic remark in an interview defending U.S. President Donald Trump against claims he interfered in the prosecution of his former adviser, Roger Stone.

Dershowitz, a confirmed liberal, drew the ire of the left by joining Trump's impeachment defense team—not because he's a Trump fan, but because he cares about upholding the rule of law and the U.S. constitution, which he believes (with good evidence) are being trashed in the anti-Trump witch-hunt.

Now, though, Dershowitz has crossed yet another line. For to criticize Soros, the principal funder of treasured activist causes, means automatically turning into a bogeyman of the left.

Predictably, therefore, Dershowitz has been painted as a wild conspiracy theorist. Other critics of Soros, a Jewish Holocaust survivor, find themselves labelled anti-Semites.

Last December, Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani suggested that Soros was involved in the Ukraine-Trump imbroglio, controlled various ambassadors and had employed FBI agents who the Trump camp believe were involved in a criminal conspiracy to bring down the president.

"Don't tell me I'm anti-Semitic if I oppose him," he told New York magazine. "Soros is hardly a Jew. I'm more of a Jew than Soros is. … He doesn't belong to a synagogue, he doesn't support Israel, he's an enemy of Israel."

Cue outrage among American Jewish groups. Anti-Defamation League national director and CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said: "For decades, George Soros's philanthropy has been used as fodder for outsized anti-Semitic conspiracy theories insisting there exists Jewish control and manipulation of countries and global events."

It's undeniable that Soros has been targeted by anti-Semites who depict him as a caricature Jew trying to manipulate the world.

Focusing on his Jewishnesss is gratuitous and irrelevant. But just because he's a magnet for anti-Semites does not mean there aren't well-founded grounds for complaint against his behavior.

In the last few years, Soros has been trying to control local U.S. law-enforcement agencies by pumping massive amounts of money into backing radical candidates in key district attorney races.

In December, radicals who ran on a platform of not prosecuting certain crimes and reducing other state felonies to misdemeanors were elected as top prosecutors for three suburbs of Washington, D.C.

In Virginia's Fairfax County a defeated prosecutor, Jonathan Fahey, said: "We have a world right now where the president picks the U.S. attorneys and George Soros picks the top state prosecutors. And that's a scary world to live in."

Jews are falsely and maliciously accused of manipulating countries and global events. But as Soros has himself acknowledged, that's precisely what he has set out to do.

Quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s remark that "the arc of the moral universe is long, but bends towards justice," he told the U.K.'s Guardian: "I don't believe that's true. I think you need to bend the arc."

In his book Soros on Soros, the financier wrote: "I do not accept the rules imposed by others. … I recognize that there are regimes that need to be opposed rather than accepted. And in periods of regime change, the normal rules don't apply."

What that means is that he has tried to re-order the world according to how he thinks it should be run. And that means opposing the U.S. and its values.

He has called America "the main obstacle to a stable and just world order," and said E.U.-style socialism "is exactly what we need."

Through his Open Society Foundations, which started out genuinely aiding freedom behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War, his billions have been used to institutionalize policies such as the legalization of drugs, the promotion of illegal immigration or backing for anti-white groups such as Antifa—initiatives which attack Western values, undermine the nation-state, and damage cultural resilience and cohesion.

He has funded a plethora of anti-Israel and anti-Zionist groups. According to leaked documents, the OSF has financed NGOs in the United States, Europe and the Middle East to pressurize and delegitimize Israel. He has given millions to groups which support BDS and accuse Israel falsely of war crimes and ethnic cleansing.

He has also lent credence to the anti-Semitic claim that the "Israel lobby" has exercised undue influence over American foreign policy and in silencing criticism of Israel.

Now he appears to be stepping up yet further his attempts to delegitimize America and destroy the nation-state. At the World Economic Forum in Davos last month, he declared that the United States, China and Russia all remained "in the hands of would-be or actual dictators."

In that speech, he announced a new $1 billion Open Society University Network to fund education programs around the world—described by the Financial Times as a plan to "educate against nationalism."

Soros is entitled to hate Trump, despise the nation-state and support the idea of a transnational utopia. But when one single individual spends billions of dollars buying up and thus transforming public debate and global politics outside the normal democratic process, people are entitled to express significant concern.

Yet those doing so run a gauntlet of abuse. The left routinely employs smear by association against anyone who shares a platform with someone deemed to be (however falsely) a racist, fascist or some other kind of thought-criminal.

This happened recently over a conference in Rome discussing "national conservatism," organized by the Israeli scholar (and Orthodox Jew) Yoram Hazony, whose book The Virtue of Nationalism seeks to restore support for the nation to conservative thought.

Although this conference featured solid conservative thinkers such as Chris DeMuth and Ofir Haivry of the Edmund Burke Foundation and John O'Sullivan of National Review, it also included figures such as Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orb├ín, Giorgia Meloni, whose Brothers of Italy party is supported by members of Mussolini's family, and Jean-Marie Le Pen's niece Marion Marechal.

All these are demonized as "far-right" by the liberal establishment, which in turn demonizes anyone who shares their platform.

Appallingly, British Jewish leaders rushed to stoke the flames of this auto-da-fe of political heretics.

The Board of Deputies attacked the Conservative MP Daniel Kawczynski for attending the conference, claiming the Conservative party ran the "serious risk of the public assuming that they share his views" unless it disciplined him. Which it duly did, issuing Kawczynski with a formal warning and forcing him to apologize for his attendance.

Thus the Board of Deputies has also implicitly and absurdly smeared Hazony, one of the most impressive Jewish thinkers of current times.

In a mirror image of this tactic, anyone who criticizes George Soros is accused of being an anti-Semite—because anti-Semites have attacked him.

The point about anti-Semitism is that it is based on paranoid and deranged lies. There is, however, good evidence to believe that Soros has used his vast wealth to promote policies that undermine and weaken democracy, the West and the State of Israel.

By defending him in such a Pavlovian fashion and using character assassination to silence his critics, Jews and others engaged in such witch-hunts do no favors to the Jewish people or the causes of fighting anti-Semitism and defending freedom, which they thus trivialize and undermine.

See you tomorrow bli neder

Love Yehuda Lave

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

PO Box 7335, Rehavia Jerusalem 9107202

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