How the Coronavirus is Killing the Middle Class By Eliza Griswold and J Street And Biden: Not An Ordinary Endorsement By Jerrold L. Sobel and another Doctor from Prager University speaks out and G-d created love to make the world go round
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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Transform painful moments by telling yourself: I am proud of myself for knowing that I can face this event like a champion--with patience, courage, faith and humility, In this way, events become transformational rather than aggravating, maddening and crushing.
The Torah believes in Love
The Torah believes in love
Judaism's views of love, marriage, and companionship.
Jewish texts are replete with the most beautiful sentiments of love and romance. Here are some quotes reflecting Judaism's views of love, marriage, and companionship. The bible teaches us that Love makes the world go round. G-d's greatest gift to man and woman was to create a sexual love for each other. Just like with food, G-d could have created everything to taste like potatoes. He created thousands of different tastes to give life variety and make it fun. He created sexual love to make a glue between husband and wife. Children are a result of the sexual love, but children are very expensive. If G-d hadn't made the desire for men and women for each other, they wouldn't have the strength to raise the children.
It is not good for man to be alone. Genesis 2:18
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and cling to his wife and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:26
The Biblical account of Adam and Eve continues to be a profound influence on the Jewish idea of love today. Marriage is the process of two halves becoming whole.
A husband and wife are one soul, separated only through their descent to this world. When they are married, they have reunited again. The Zohar, I91a
Jacob loved Rachel, so he said, 'I will work for you seven years… So Jacob worked seven years for Rachel and they seemed to him a few days because of his love for her. Genesis 29:18-20
"Love your neighbor as yourself" (Lev. 19:18) - this is a fundamental principle in the Torah. Rabbi Akiva (Rashi on Lev. 19:18)
Any love that depends on a specific cause, when that cause is gone, the love is gone; but if it does not depend on a specific cause, it will never cease. Pirkei Avot, 5:19
I am for my beloved, and my beloved is for me. King Solomon, Song of Songs, 2:16
Enjoy life with the wife you love. King Solomon, Ecclesiastes 9:9
King Solomon is known as the wisest person who ever lived. In our rather confusing world, all we really can be sure of is our relationships: find ways to be close to G-d and find joy in marriage.
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, for your love is better than wine. King Solomon, Song of Songs 1:2
King Solomon's Song of Songs is an allegory: the passionate love of a man and a woman mirrors the depth of the Jewish people's relationship with the Divine.
One who has found a wife has found goodness, and has brought forth favor from God. King Solomon, Proverbs 18:22
A person should always be careful about the honor of his wife, for the blessing is found in a person's home only due to his wife…. Talmud, Bava Metziz 59a
A man should eat and drink less than his means, clothe himself according to his means, and honor his wife and children beyond his means. Talmud, Chullin 84b
Know that this union is a holy and pure thing when it is properly conducted in the proper time, and with the proper intention... God has created everything according to His wisdom, and has not created things to be ugly or shameful... He created man and woman, and created each and every organ and their functions, and there is nothing degrading in this. Ramban, Igeret Hakodesh, Chapter 2
When a man buys his wife fine clothes and jewelry, he should have in mind that he is beautifying the Divine Presence, represented in this world by none other than his wife. Rabbi Yeshaya Horowitz
The real opposite of love is not hate, but indifference. Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
Ideas, that help explain how the world works
TIME IS NOT THE MAIN THING. IT IS THE ONLY THING. MILES DAVIS--JAZZ MUSICIAN
G-D MADE YOU DIFFERENT. DON'T RUIN THAT BY TRYING TO BE LIKE EVERYONE ELSE.
IF YOU DON'T FAIL, YOU'RE NOT EVEN TRYING. DENZEL WASHINGTON--ACTOR
"Diplomacy is the art of telling people to go to hell in such a way that they ask for directions." ― Winston S. Churchill--POLITICIAN
A WISE DOCTOR ONCE WROTE: (ILLEGIBLE, CAN'T READ IT!)
J Street And Biden: Not An Ordinary Endorsement By Jerrold L. Sobel
Last month, J Street endorsed Joe Biden for president. Said J Street: "At a time when the threats to our core values both at home and abroad have never been more serious, all of us in the pro-Israel, pro-peace community know that the path to a better future begins with defeating Donald Trump at the polls."
Biden enthusiastically accepted the endorsement, saying, "I share with J Street's membership an unyielding dedication to the survival and security of Israel, and an equal commitment to creating a future of peace and opportunity for Israeli and Palestinian children alike."
To the uninitiated, the extreme left, and Jews who view allegiance to the Democrat party as their true religion, this is all fine and good – but J Street is no ordinary organization. According to Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, who is a liberal Democrat, "J Street has done more to turn young people against Israel than any organization in the whole of history. It will go down in history as one of the most virulent, anti-Israel organizations in the history of Zionism and Judaism."
Esteemed writer Caroline Glick agrees: "J Street is an anti-Israel, pro-Iranian and pro-Palestinian lobby run by American Jews…. The tools it employs are demoralization and deceit."
In a shocking 123-page fully-annotated report entitled "J Street Sides with Israel's Enemies & Works to Destroy Support for Israel," Morton A Klein, president of the ZOA, Elizabeth Berney, and Daniel Mandel leave no stone unturned in proving the malfeasance of this sinister group.
Considering that he spent 36 years in the Senate and eight years as vice president of the United States, Biden is presumably aware of J Street's beliefs and activities, leaving us to wonder about his judgment or intent in accepting J Street's endorsement.
The truth is that Biden has a history of siding with opponents of Greater Israel. In a 1982 meeting with then-Prime Minister Menachem Begin, Biden threatened that "the United States doesn't look favorably upon Israeli settlements and would endanger support for foreign aid to Israel."
Begin shouted in response, "Don't threaten us with slashing aid. Do you think that because the U.S. lends us money it is entitled to impose on us what we must do?… We are grateful for the assistance we have received, but we are not to be threatened. I am a proud Jew. Three thousand years of culture are behind me, and you will not frighten me with threats."
Fast forward to 2016 when Biden found himself at odds with yet another Israeli prime minister: Benjamin Netanyahu. Speaking to J Street, Biden expressed "overwhelming frustrations" with Israel's premier.
Just hours prior, a bus bombing in Jerusalem had severely injured 21 passengers. The former vice president eventually got around to saying he "stands with the state of Israel," but he stuck with prepared remarks: "The present course Israel's on is not one that's likely to secure its existence as a Jewish democratic state, and we have to make sure that happens."
During that same 2016 appearance before J Street, Biden addressed a far-left woman in the Labor party stating, "May your views begin to once again become the majority opinion in the Knesset." To rousing cheers, he said, "[S]he reminds me of my young progressive self, when elected to the Senate at 29."
In an article in The New York Post, Benny Avni noted, "Biden spent more time Monday thanking the organization for its support of the Iran deal than addressing that day's terrorism in Israel." He also wrote, "You don't have to be a Netanyahu fan to wonder about the symbiotic relationship between J Street and the Obama administration" – an administration that pursued anti-Israel policies which Biden strenuously supported for eight years as vice president.
Considering the number of times Biden has addressed J Street over the years, it's beyond credulity that he isn't aware of the group's true pernicious intentions toward the Jewish state. So what does that say about him?
How the Coronavirus is Killing the Middle Class By Eliza Griswold
Kelly Bates is a forty-one-year-old single mom who lives with her nine-year-old daughter, Danielle Lucky, in Collingdale, Pennsylvania, a middle-income neighborhood of aging red-brick row houses a few miles from the Philadelphia airport. Bates, who is willowy, with large brown eyes, had grown up in South Philadelphia in the seventies and eighties, as part of the city's burgeoning African-American middle class: her father was a heating contractor, and her mother worked for the Bell Telephone Company. But over the decades' crime in the neighborhood increased, and, in 2015, Bates bought a three-bedroom house in Collingdale for seventy thousand dollars, hoping to escape the violence.
"I wanted Danielle to go outside and play and not worry about getting shot," Bates told me recently. Since 2016, Bates has worked as an assistant director at Kinder Academy, a chain of five child-care centers around Philadelphia. Through her work there, she received a grant to earn a bachelor's degree in early childhood education and is about a year away from graduating. "Babies are my passion," she told me. "I'm part mom, part dad, part therapist, part doctor, and part food-program officer."
On March 16th, as the coronavirus spread in Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Wolf ordered all nonessential businesses, including child-care centers, to shut down indefinitely. That evening, Leslie Spina, Kinder Academy's fifty-four-year-old owner, decided that she was going to have to lay off all hundred of her employees. The state had allocated some money to support child-care centers, but Spina didn't think it would last more than a month or so. She also worried that the longer she waited to let her employees go, the longer the line would be for unemployment. She'd known most of her employees for decades and had helped raise their children at the centers. "The decision almost broke me," Spina said. "It's not like other businesses. They are my family." One of the workers she had to lay off was her own mother, Debby, who is seventy-three.
The day after the centers closed, she met with her employees on Zoom and read them a letter she had written, announcing the layoffs. She didn't allow her mother on the call so that she wouldn't have to break down in front of her. "We're used to turning to Leslie to fix every problem," Monica Hernandez, a center director, told me. "Here was a problem she couldn't fix." Spina offered to set up one-on-one tutorials with her employees for navigating the state's arcane unemployment-benefits system. She and her assistant spent days helping employees who didn't have computers submit claims. Spina's mother had to apply twice after an initial application was lost.
That Tuesday afternoon, Bates filed for unemployment. When I spoke to her on the phone, several days later, she was feeling disoriented. "I've always been able to provide for me and my daughter," she said, "and now I've just applied for food stamps for the first time in my life." Bates normally makes about forty-one thousand dollars a year. "I am a person who lives check to check," she told me. "But I take care of my responsibilities and I don't live beyond my means." In 2019, she used her tax refund to take Danielle on their first cruise, to the Bahamas. This year, with no income, she used it to pay her mortgage, car payment, water and gas bills, and car and life insurance. After that, she had eight hundred dollars in her bank account.
Spina called Bates privately to offer help. About ninety-five of the ninety-seven children at the Oxford Circle, Northeast Philadelphia, branch of Kinder Academy, where Bates worked, are on some form of public assistance, and the day-care center operates in partnership with a diaper bank and food pantry next door. (Across all of Kinder Academy's locations, about ninety percent of families receive public assistance.) Bates was accustomed to helping the families at Kinder Academy find a little extra assistance when they needed it. Now she found herself needing some aid, too. "I never imagined anything like this would happen," she told me. That Wednesday, she drove to the shuttered center and packed a grocery bag with applesauce, fruit cups, mini-pancakes, cereal, and the small cartons of milk used at Kinder Academy for the kids' snack and lunch.
Of all of her mounting concerns, Bates was most frightened of not being able to pay her mortgage. "If I lose my house, I would feel like a failure as a parent," she told me. Every other bill would come second: "If my lights get cut off, we'll use candles."
In the last four weeks, as large sections of the global economy have shut down, more than thirty-three million Americans have filed for unemployment. People with jobs that aren't deemed essential, or that render telework impossible, are suddenly without work, and, in many cases, savings. According to the C.E.O. of Feeding America, the pandemic is likely to leave an additional seventeen million Americans needing food assistance in the next six months. Recently, in Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and Irving, Texas, people waited outside food pantries in lines that stretched miles. Tens of thousands of people who can't pay their bills have gone on rent strikes.
The disaster has become so dire so quickly owing, in part, to the legacy of the 2008 financial crisis. Minimum wage, in real terms, is more than thirty percent lower than it was fifty years ago. (Since the nineteen-eighties, most of the benefits of America's growing economy have gone to the wealthy.) Meanwhile, housing costs have more than doubled since 2000. "When people say they live paycheck to paycheck, it's not that they're managing their money poorly," Sharon Parrott, a senior vice-president at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, told me. "Instead, their housing costs are taking up a disproportionate share of their incomes." The result is a slim margin of error: forty percent of Americans don't have four hundred dollars cash to spare in an emergency and would need to rely on credit cards or friends and family to come up with the money. "We know for low-wage workers, three unpaid days away from a job threatens their ability to buy food for a month," Vicki Shabo, a policy expert at New America, a nonprofit think tank, said.
"This is worse and weirder than anything I've ever seen," Heidi Shierholz, a director of policy at the Economic Policy Institute, said. Shierholz served as the chief economist at the Department of Labor from 2014 to 2017 and dealt firsthand with the slow recovery from the 2008 financial crisis. "We know how to wrap our brains around the bursting of an asset bubble of seven trillion dollars in the housing market, or the end of the dot-com boom," she said. "But we don't have practice in dealing with the fallout from this pandemic." We are beginning to see who will be most affected by the economic downturn. Women are losing jobs at a higher rate because there are more of them in the service sectors most affected by the virus. The crisis has also been increasing racial economic disparities: black and Latino workers are more likely to work service-industry jobs—in restaurants, bars, hotels—and that sector were the first to shut down, and the least likely to fully reopen in the near term. "We always see this during recessions, but this one is likely to be worse," Shierholz told me.
In late March, to mitigate the disaster, Congress passed a two-trillion-dollar stimulus package, the CARES Act, which included cash payments to workers, loans to small businesses, and a broadening of the categories of Americans eligible for unemployment assistance. "Our normal system has holes you could drive a truck through," Shierholz said. Yet there were also flaws in the stimulus package, most notably a lack of safeguards, which has allowed federal money to be funnelled to executive bonuses and shareholder revenue instead of workers' salaries. There was also an arbitrary deadline set for July 31st, at which point some provisions will expire. "Pulling back on provisions then, when unemployment is likely to be at least fifteen per cent, is nuts," Shierholz told me. "It's a huge mistake." She hoped that, in the coming months, the government would take more ambitious steps: in the U.K. and Denmark, for example, the state has been directly paying some workers up to eighty and ninety per cent of their salaries, respectively. "I don't say this all the time, but right now we don't have to worry about deficits," Shierholz said. "We'll be better off if we make sure that people have enough money to not go into foreclosure and make their car loans."
Modi live Passover 2020 show
still funny after Passover--since it didn't happen
Modi is an established headliner at comedy clubs and colleges across the United States and is a regular fixture on the comedy scene in both New York and Los Angeles. His home club is the Comedy Cellar. Modi's background and ability to adapt to a variety of audiences has allowed him to create a niche within the Jewish community, performing for Reform and Orthodox audiences around the world. He performed at the launch party of the late IsraeliastronautIlan Ramon in Houston before takeoff.