G-d's sexual love for his People Israel and old List found of 12,000 Nazis in Argentina with money in a Swiss bank and Ilhan Omar ‘one of the greatest people I know’: Sanders at Super Tuesday rally March 2, 2020, By Aiden Pink and The Vatican opens its wartime archive and Check this morning before you go to synagogue--Many are closed!!! Call me in the morning and if there are no synagogues open we can make a minion at my house at 9:00 AM
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
Love Yehuda Lave
Check this morning before you go to synagouge--Many are closed!!!
New emergency regulations went in last night barring more than 10 people to be together. I would think that we should still be able to have minions, but many synagouges are closing.
Please check before you go!!
A Blessing in Disguise
The Goldberg family was having Friday night dinner at their grandmother's house – Bubbie Adella. Seated around the table little Moishe Goldberg dug into the food immediately.
"Moishe!" his mother exclaimed. "You have to wait until we make the blessing."
"No I don't," the little boy replied.
"Of course you do," his mother insisted, "we always say a blessing before eating at our house."
"That's at our house," Moishe explained, "but this is Bubbie's house and she knows how to cook."
Ideas, that help explain how the world works
Compassion Fade: People have more compassion for small groups of victims than larger groups, because the smaller the group the easier it is to identify individual victims.
G-d's sexual love for his people Israel
Prophets including Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and especially Hosea, metaphorically represent the relationship between God and Israel as that between husband and wife bound by a covenant of marriage. Israel, the "wife", stands accused of unfaithfulness to her marriage covenant; idolatry is harlotry. The concept of the "jealous" God (Ex 20:5; Dt 5:9 etc.) fits this image, as does the commitment "you will be my people and I will be your God" (Lev 26:12; Dt 29:12, cf. Hos. 2:4), a legal formula taken from the sphere of marriage, as attested in various legal documents from the Ancient Near East.
Erotic Love of God
Although the first three chapters of Hosea are deeply problematic in how they view women, when viewed in their cultural and historical context, their central theme is a reminder that love of God, in its most visceral sense, is a central component of biblical religion, an element that would remain important to Judaism as it developed over time. But what is the nature of this love? Western thought typically distinguishes between several types of love, most especially between eros—erotic love, and agape—platonic love. (Both "eros" and "agape" are loan words from Greek.)
Given Hosea's sexually charged depiction of the relationship between God and Israel, it is evident that here the Tanakh and later Judaism differ from the Christianity reflected in the New Testament, in that they can view the love of God as erotic.
As has been demonstrated by scholars such as Howard Eilberg-Schwartz, erotic love, oreros, is basic to a Jewish understanding of divine love, while platonic love, or agape, which plays such an important role in Christian theology as the higher form of love, is less central to the Jewish understanding. It is Hosea's use of erotic love that has made these chapters so powerful and enduring throughout the ages since this type of love speaks to the most basic and visceral experience of the human condition
The ark was the repository for the tablets of stone, which contained the Ten Commandments.
A golden cover (Kaporet or Parokhet) was placed over and above the ark, from which two cherubs were hammered out on either side. Rashi cites the Midrash: "They had the form of the face of a young child." (B.T. Sukkah 5b)
The cherubs were formed to be looking at each other, and the Almighty communicated with Moses from between the two cherubs. (Ex. 25:10-30) The Sages described the special qualities of these cherubs, and the way in which our Gentile captors viewed these images: Rav Katina said, "When the Israelites would ascend to Jerusalem during the three Pilgrim Festivals, the (Temple custodians) would show them the cherubs, who were embracing each other. They would say to the pilgrims, See how your love before the Almighty should be as the love of a man for a woman'" Said Resh Lakish, "when the destruction (of the Temple) came about, the Gentiles entered (the sacred shrine) and said: 'These Jews, whose blessing is a blessing and whose curse is a curse, are involved in such a sculpture?'
They derided the Israelites, citing the verse, 'All who (formerly) respected her, came to mock her because they saw her nakedness'.
And what was her nakedness? The cherubs, embracing each other!" (B.T. Yoma 54a)
Why did out Holy Temple feature sculptures like the cherubs-in-embrace, which allowed the Romans to revile Israel as worshipping their God through pornography?
We have seen that the menorah is a golden tree, symbolically reminiscent of the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden. The first couple was banished from the primordial Garden of Perfection, and humanity prevented from eating of the tree of eternal life, because Adam and Eve sinned by partaking of the fruit of knowledge of good and evil. Our major commentator, Rashi suggests that the forbidden fruit injected within the human personality what Sigmund Freud would call the libido, substituting lust for love, illicit passion for sexual purity. That is the original sin.
The ultimate goal of Torah – also referred to as a "tree of life" in the Biblical Book of Proverbs as well as in our liturgy – is to re-fashion our imperfect world into the Garden of Eden, to enable a perfected humanity to finally eat the fruit of the tree of eternal life.
According to Rashi's interpretation, this ultimate feat can only be achieved when sexual purity will be restored, when familial love rather than extra marital lust will be normative human behavior. Then we will have righted the wrong, done penance for the sin, which caused our existential exile in the first place.
The Roman conquerors missed the point of the cherub symbolism. Our Sages insist that "they had the form of the face of a young child", symbolizing purity, innocence, and whole-heartedness. The physical embrace of such male-female winged beings -with the pure faces of children – express love without lust, sexual unity which enhances family rather than sexual depravity which destroys the family.
Undoubtedly, the family – that which has such powerful potential for creative supportiveness and spiritual continuity – can tragically degenerate into crippling destructiveness and pathological dysfunction.
I heard it said in the name of the great Hassidic sage Rav Aharon Karliner that it is difficult to see the compassion with which God created the world – unless you take into account the fact that Adam and Eve were born without parents. Nevertheless, our religious tradition holds great store in the importance and ultimate potential of family as the matrix from which a perfected society will one day emerge – and therefore our Sabbath, festival, life-cycle and family purity rituals laws and customs, all aim to protect, strengthen and deepen the most positive family ties and relationships. Dysfunctional family – Adam and Eve blaming each other for their own weaknesses – produces the first murder (Cain and Abel);
The unified family, – when the hearts of the parents turn to the children, and the hearts of the children to the parents – will herald national and world redemption.
Family depraved banished humanity from Eden; family redeemed will return us to Eden and the tree of life.
The sacred objects of the desert Sanctuary teach us that the most important vehicle for the transmission of our tradition is the family. Only by nurturing family purity and unity will we succeed in protecting Torah and properly utilizing it to perfect all of society.
List found of 12,000 Nazis in Argentina with money in Swiss bank
The list was found in an old storage room at the former Buenos Aires Nazi headquarters, having survived the burning of documents by Argentina's pro-Nazi leadership in the 1940s. By AARON REICH
An investigation by Argentine investigator Pedro Filipuzzi revealed a list of 12,000 Nazis in Argentina that apparently have money in accounts at the Zurich-based Credit Suisse investment bank, the Simon Wiesenthal Center said in a statement. The list, which Filipuzzi gave to Simon Wiesenthal Center's international relations director Dr. Shimon Samuels and Latin America director Dr. Ariel Gelblung, was found in an old storage room at the former Buenos Aires Nazi headquarters.
Nazi presence in Argentina is well documented, and dates back to the pro-Nazi regimes of Argentine president José Félix Uriburu and Agustín Pedro Justo. However, Justo's successor in 1938, Roberto Ortiz, did not share his predecessor's pro-Nazi sympathies, and established the "Special Commission to Research Anti-Argentine Activities" in an effort to root out Nazi influence in the country. Until that point, there was an official number of German National Socialist Party Foreign Organization (NSDAP/AO) members based in the country, as well as 12,000 members supporting the German Union of Syndicates and a further 8,000 individuals linked to other Nazi organizations."These included such German companies as IG Farben [the company that supplied Zyklon-B gas that was used in concentration camps] and financial bodies such as the 'Banco Alemán Transatlántico' and the 'Banco Germánico de América del Sur,'" Samuels explained in the statement. "These two banks apparently served for Nazi transfers on the way to Switzerland."During a raid on the German Union of Syndicates, the special commission captured a complete cache of documents, which led to the lower chamber of the Argentine congress printing a report in the early 1940s regarding Nazi bank transfers from the country to Swiss-based banks. The list of Nazis based in Argentina included several account holders of funds that were sent to Credit Suisse, known then as Schweizerische Kreditanstalt. According to Gelblung, the list included several names that were related to companies that the US and UK blacklisted during the Second World War due to being supportive of the Nazi regime.
However, when the fascist Pedro Pablo Ramirez Menchaca took over Argentina in 1943, the special commission was disbanded and their findings burnt, including the lists printed by the lower chamber. However, the list of 12,000 names ostensibly survived this purge."We believe very probable that these dormant accounts hold monies looted from Jewish victims, under the Nuremberg Aryanization laws of the 1930s," the center said in a letter addressed to Credit Suisse vice president Christian Küng. The center added that, "We are aware that you already have claimants as alleged heirs of Nazis in the list," and requested access to the bank's archives in order to somehow settle the issue."Mr. Küng, in 1997, we organized a major conference in Geneva, together with Winterthur Insurance, on 'Restitution: A Moral Debt to History,'" Samuels noted, according to the statement. "A few weeks before our conference, I received a telephone call from Credit Suisse, requesting to co-sponsor our gathering... In the spirit of the conference's title, I asked for access to spoliated accounts for our expert researcher. There was no response."The current story and the remaining assets, arguably looted, of 12,000 Nazis will, we hope, be viewed differently, for the good name of Credit Suisse."The issue of transfers of Nazi money out of South America is the subject of numerous efforts by the center in order to properly give restitutions to the dwindling number of still-living Holocaust survivors. An ongoing investigation by the center focuses on the transfer of gold out of Venezuela, which may have originated from Zahngold, gold ingots made by the Nazis from golden teeth pulled from Jewish corpses in concentration camps prior to their cremation.
Ilhan Omar 'one of the greatest people I know': Sanders at Super Tuesday rally March 2, 2020 By Aiden Pink
Sen. Bernie Sanders campaigned with Rep. Ilhan Omar in Virginia on Saturday, where the presidential candidate called the controversial congresswoman "one of the greatest people I know," Patch reported.
The two of them will also be campaigning together in Minnesota on Monday night.
Virginia is one of the 15 states and territories that will be voting on Super Tuesday, as are Sanders and Omar's respective home states of Vermont and Minnesota. Speaking at the rally in Springfield, Va., Omar predicted a Super Tuesday victory. "We are going to win because we are building a movement that is multiracial, multi-generational, multi-ethnic, multi-religious," she said.
After her fulsome introduction of him, Sanders joked, "I don't know what I can say that Ilhan hasn't already said. So I'm going home."
Omar was accused of anti-Semitism last February after she claimed that the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC paid politicians to be pro-Israel (AIPAC does not donate to candidates but its members do). Sanders defended her during a Fox News town hall two months later, saying that she wasn't anti-Semitic but had to do a "better job in speaking to the Jewish community."
At the time, he also said that he had only talked to her twice ever, but since then, the two have grown closer. Omar was the third member of Congress to endorse him, doing so in October, and the two subsequently appeared together at a rally in Minnesota the following month, where Omar, one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress, said she was "proud to stand with the son of a Jewish refugee who survived genocide."
Sanders: Ilhan Omar 'one of the greatest people I know'
The Vatican opens its wartime archive
For many in the Jewish world, it will be a seminal moment in the relationship between Catholics and Jews since the Second Vatican Council of 1965 famously exonerated the Jewish people of the charge of "deicide"—collective, eternal responsibility for the suffering and death of Jesus.
One of the most persistent and controversial debates about the history of World War II concerns the role of the Catholic Church during the Holocaust, and specifically, the actions of Pope Pius XII. In the view of some historians, Pius manifestly failed to protect the Jews of Europe or effectively protest their fate, even those who were under his own nose in Rome, during the Nazi Holocaust. But other historians take a diametrically opposite view, holding that Pius actually did all he could to defend the Jews of Europe, and that he will ultimately be remembered for having saved—to quote the late, distinguished historian Sir Martin Gilbert—"hundreds of thousands" of them.
In other words, it is a polarized debate, often bitterly so. On Monday, when the Vatican opens the secret war archives of Pius XII, new layers of evidence will emerge that should offer unprecedented clarity on what the pope and the church did and didn't do in the face of the greatest moral challenge in the history of Europe.
Preparation of the archive for use by scholars has taken about 15 years; in that time, doubts were continually sown about whether the archive would be opened at all. On March 4 last year, Pope Francis announced definitively that its doors would open with the observation that the Catholic Church was "not afraid of history—on the contrary, she loves it." Francis added that he had taken the decision to open the archive "with a serene and confident soul," certain that the documents in the archive would showcase Pius XII's "moments of exaltation" during the Nazi era, as well as those "moments of serious difficulties, of tormented decisions, of human and Christian prudence."
The fate of the Jews is, of course, only one element of this enormous archive, and so the church will be able to make the case for the saintliness of Pius XII by referring to what Pope Francis called the "pastoral … but also theological, ascetic, diplomatic" activities that the wartime pontiff engaged in on behalf of Catholics living under Nazi occupation. At the same time, however, church leaders seem convinced that the controversies over Pius's stance during the Holocaust will be laid to rest in his favor.
In a recent interview with Vatican News, Monsignor Sergio Pagano—Prefect of the Vatican Apostolic Archives—was asked whether the archive contained unseen documents that would prove "the Church's work under the papacy of Pius XII to save Jewish people" during the Holocaust. "Without a doubt," replied Pagano. Researchers would now have access to documents, he explained, that contained "numerous testimonies of the assistance given by simple Christians, as well as by religious institutes and the bishops themselves for the salvation of this poor population so cruelly persecuted."
Canadian soldiers visiting with Pope Pius XII following the liberation of Rome in 1944. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
Even more importantly, perhaps, the archive would provide answers to the complaints about Pius's "silence" during the Holocaust, exemplified by the fact that he never once mentioned the Jewish people as a victim group of the Nazis in his entire time as pope. According to Monsignor Pagano, the documents in the archive provide "a new, more detailed explanation" for that silence.
For many in the Jewish world, the opening of the archive will be a seminal moment in the relationship between Catholics and Jews since the Second Vatican Council of 1965 famously exonerated the Jewish people of the charge of "deicide"—collective, eternal responsibility for the suffering and death of Jesus. Abraham Foxman, the former national director of the Anti-Defamation League who survived the Holocaust in Poland after he was hidden by his devoted Catholic nanny, told me that it was no accident that Pope Francis, whom he called "very sincere in his understandings and sensitivities towards the Jewish people," had authorized the opening of the archive.
Nor should we underestimate the enormous significance of what Foxman called "one of the most secretive organizations in the history of human society"—i.e., the Catholic Church—opening itself up to scrutiny. For those reasons, Foxman argued that the archive will not allow for a simple whitewash of Pius XII. If a consensus does finally emerge among scholars of the period, Foxman believes that this will recognize that the Church "did more than we know about, but less than it could have done."
To some extent, this more nuanced interpretation of Pius's role has already surfaced. A 2011 book by the historian Paul O'Shea titled A Cross Too Heavy: Pope Pius XII and the Jews of Europe, made a powerful case that Pius was certainly not a Jew-hater or Nazi sympathizer, but neither could he be seen as a "lamb without a stain."
According to O'Shea, Pius's behavior was governed "by his conscious and deliberate choices to do all within his limited economic and political power, as he perceived it, to help European Jewry while keeping the fiction of papal neutrality, and not endangering the position of the Catholic Church in Germany or occupied Europe." On the question of the pontiff's "silence," O'Shea described this as a "strategy to protect Vatican interests, including rescue activities." Within these parameters, therefore, there will always be differences between those who insist that Pius did have the power to be more assertive in the face of Nazi savagery towards the Jews, and those who argue that he showed wisdom in deploying his skills to save as many Jews as possible without endangering his own institution.
In William Shakespeare's "Hamlet," the Danish prince of the title says of his late father, the king: "He was a man. Take him for all in all. I shall not look upon his like again." With the opening of the papal archive, we may well reach the same conclusion about Pius XII. Regardless, the opportunity has finally come to learn more not only about the wartime pope, but about the church he headed. Many Catholics endured persecution under the Nazis at the same time that many of their fellow believers, as Foxman put it to me, "killed Jews from Monday to Friday, and then went to church on Sunday." Amid all this heat, those scholars who will now enter the archive have a vital responsibility to shed light as well.
Ben Cohen is a New York City-based journalist and author who writes a weekly column on Jewish and international affairs for JNS.