Friday, December 31, 2010

Beautiful - stunning photography video and Don't belittle Pain and happy New Year

Don't Belittle His Pain

When someone tells you about his suffering, never say things like, "Cheer up." "It's not so bad." Or, "That wouldn't bother me." Saying these will only cause him extra pain.

Love Yehuda

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

old Tel Aviv pictures from the 30's in Hebrew and Black and White and Self Image

"This, Too, Will Build My Self-Image"

Each and every day you will have many opportunities to build yourself and your self-image. Every positive thought, word, and action builds you.

When you see that you have behaved in a positive way, you can say to yourself, "This, too, will build my self-image."

If you have not behaved the way you would have liked, you can think about how you wished to have thought, spoken, and acted. Thinking about what you want to be like conditions your mind to think, speak, and act more in that way. You can say about this pattern of thinking, "This, too, will build my self-image."

Love Yehuda

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Over 40 Yrs Later: 'The Sound of Music' and Happy New Year

To My Democratic Friends:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or explicit, my best wishes for an
environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive,
gender-neutral celebration of the
 winter solstice holiday, practiced within 
the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or
secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular
persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice
religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally
successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of
the onset of the generally accepted
 calendar year 2011 but not without due 
respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to
society have helped make America great. Not to imply that 
 America is 
necessarily greater than any other country nor the only 
America in the 
Western Hemisphere . Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, 
creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of
the wishee.

To My Republican Friends:

Merry Christmas and a
 Happy New Year!

Love Yehuda

Begin forwarded message:
This is about two years old...there have been several reunions since including one on Oprah

40 Yrs Later: The 7 Children In 'The Sound of Music'
'The Sound of Music' won the Academy Award for Best Picture of 1965 and is one of the most popular musicals ever produced.

Remember the 7 children of the Trapp family?

They were having a reunion after 40 years

and all were looking healthy and amazingly well....


It wouldn't be funny if it weren't so true.. Julie Andrews turned 69 and to commemorate her
69th birthday on October 1, actress/vocalist Julie Andrews made a special appearance at
Manhattan 's Radio City Music Hall for the benefit of the AARP.
One of the musical numbers she performed was
"My Favourite Things" from the legendary movie "The Sound Of Music.."

Here are the actual lyrics she used:

Maalox and nose drops and needles for knitting,
Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings,
Bundles of magazines tied up in string,
These are a few of my favourite things.
Cadillac's and cataracts, and hearing aids and glasses,
Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses,
Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings,
These are a few of my favourite things..
When the pipes leak, When the bones creak,
When the knees go bad,
I simply remember my favourite things,
And then I don't feel so bad.
Hot tea and crumpets and corn pads for bunions,
No spicy hot food or food cooked with onions,
Bathrobes and heating pads and hot meals they bring,
These are a few of my favourite things.
Back pains, confused brains, and no need for sinnin',
Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinnin',
And we won't mention our short, shrunken frames,
When we remember our favourite things.
When the joints ache, When the hips break,
When the eyes grow dim,
Then I remember the great life I've had,
And then I don't feel so bad.

Ms. Andrews received a standing ovation from the crowd that lasted over four minutes and repeated encores.  Please share Ms. Andrews ' clever wit  and humour with others who would appreciate it.

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Use Sadness to help others and why do good people suffer

   Use Sadness to Help Others

Sadness has a value in that when we are sad, we can learn to appreciate the suffering of others. This will motivate us to help them. Our own emotional experience will motivate us more than if we merely have an "intellectual knowledge" of the obligation to help.

Love Yehuda

The Question Says a Lot

If the question of suffering bothers us, our discomfort reveals a great deal about how we envision God. Either consciously or subconsciously, we recognize that:
  1. God is kind and just.
  2. He runs the world.
  3. Everything He does has meaning.
  4. We were created for pleasure.

A) God is kind and just. Why should suffering be an issue in the first place? Perhaps there is suffering in the world because God is angry or has a bad disposition? Or has not been properly appeased? The only reason why we are bothered by suffering is because we believe in a kind and just God. If we didn't, we would have no expectations and there would be no question about suffering. Asking "why?" reveals that we are questioning the justice in it and that we cannot accept injustice. In a spiritual person's universe, there cannot be a God who is mean or cruel.

B) God runs the world. The question of suffering reveals that you acknowledge that God is actively running the world. If we didn't believe in God, we wouldn't ask the question; there would be no one to whom to pose the question. And if we believed in a God who created the world and then left it or has limited abilities, we also wouldn't ask the question because either God is not involved or He can't do anything about it. In either case, questioning God about suffering would be akin to holding a weatherman personally responsible for the weather. If we question the existence of suffering, it is only because we understand that there is a God to whom we can direct the question – one who is ultimately responsible for what occurs.

C) Everything He does has meaning. When we ask "why?" it implies that we are looking for an answer that provides an underlying reason. When we suffer personally, this aspect of the question takes on even greater significance. Asking "Why me?" confirms that a person believes that there must be a reason for what they are enduring. They understand that what is happening is not random but rather directed.

D) We were created for pleasure. When we question suffering, we are clearly stating, "This shouldn't be." The question confirms that we understand that life is good and that God created us to give us pleasure, and suffering seems to runs contrary to that understanding. We rarely ask "Why me?" when things are going well. It's almost as if we expect life to be good.

So the question of suffering reveals that we believe in a kind and just God who runs the world, that we believe what happens to us has meaning and life is meant to be good and pleasurable. With this awareness, bad things happening seem like a contradiction and we ask, "How could a loving God let this happen?"

Ground Rules

There are four essential points that we must understand in order to grasp any meaning behind suffering. Without these four, it can never make sense. They are:

  1. Everything is a gift.
  2. There is no such thing as "fair."
  3. If life has meaning, then the pain also has meaning.
  4. There is an afterlife.
1) Everything is a gift.

If we look at our lives and the myriad gifts we possess, we quickly see that we don't deserve any of them. Why does a person deserve the gift of sight or hearing? Why does any person deserve the gift of a properly functioning digestive, nervous or reproductive system, or legs or teeth or children or food or brains or a house to live in or any number of the literally thousands of things that we take for granted?

We know deep down that we have not earned any of the gifts we possess; everything we have is a gift. Nevertheless, we go through life expecting everything to work out the way we want it to or, at least, not badly. And when there are setbacks or tragedies, suddenly we want to know, "Why me?"

But once we understand that we do not deserve anything and realize that we are constantly receiving gifts of love, we can view suffering in a different context.


2. Life is not fair.

How often have we heard the expression "life is not fair" or "there is no justice in this world"? This is 100 percent true. Life is completely unfair. Where is the fairness in some being born rich and some being born poor, some beautiful and some plain, some seeing and some blind, some hearing and some deaf, some healthy and some sickly, some fertile and some barren, some intelligent and some simple, some mentally fit and some mentally ill, some charismatic and some painfully shy?

In fact the concept of "fair" is so foreign to Jewish thought that in the Hebrew language, there is no word for "fair." Modern Hebrew has adopted the word directly from English. If you want to complain in Hebrew you say, "Zeh (this) lo (is) fair."

To quote a cliché, life is a journey; there is no objective finish line to which we are all racing. We all die at different times and in different ways but it's not the end that matters, it's what we do while we are here, with what we are given. Just walk through a cemetery: Everyone there has the same net worth, is in the same state of health, owns the same amount of real estate and is as good-looking as the next.

We are each created with our own unique path in life. God desires the same end result for all of us, but our itineraries are personalized, each person's being different from the other. Therefore, God has equipped each of us with the custom-designed tools that we will need for our own individual journeys. It doesn't matter what your neighbor has because what he has is good for him but not for you, and vice versa.

Everything you need, you have. Everything you will need, you will receive. Knowing that God has created each of us with our personal path to tread and with all the tools and skills that we need eliminates any basis to complain about the inequities of life.

Knowing this also obviates the need to be concerned with keeping up with the Joneses. People often create their own unhappiness by focusing on what they don't have. A person who appreciates what he has will not become unhappy when his neighbor pulls up in a new Mercedes.

3) If life has meaning, then the pain also has meaning.

If life itself has God-given meaning, then so must every aspect of it, including the pain and the setbacks. Therefore, the pain of life is a part of the gift of life. A person whose life is focused on personal growth and eternal existence will understand that pain is part of the package and this knowledge enables a person to bear it. On the other hand, believing that there is no purpose to pain can be more painful than the pain itself. Meaning allows a person to endure suffering and become stronger. Meaninglessness prevents a person from even enjoying comforts.

How often has something seemed tragic while it was happening but later on, in hindsight, was actually a blessing? How often do we read about tragedies that have produced amazing results or about people accomplishing wonderful things after their outlooks on life are completely changed?

4) There is an afterlife.

Many Jews think the concept of an afterlife, Heaven and Hell, are purely Christian concepts. This is a mistake. Although the Jewish understanding of Heaven and Hell is fundamentally different than the Christian or Muslim view, belief in the afterlife is in fact one of the unequivocal foundations of Judaism.

The existence of an afterlife gives this life meaning. Since this world is full of inequities and injustice, we are left with two choices: Either there is another place where true justice is meted out, where both the righteous and the evil receive their just rewards, or the world in which we live is just cruel and arbitrary, and people are either winners or losers.

Believing the latter would mean that murder victims just had bad luck (wrong place, wrong time) and tyrants really do get away with mass murder. The little old lady who gets swindled out of her life's saving is just a poor sucker and her swindler will never face true justice if he's never caught.

Only an afterlife, where a final accounting is made, gives the trials and travails of this lifetime any ultimate purpose.

Why Suffering?

The Talmud gives us the guidelines for evaluating our suffering. If we find ourselves in an uncomfortable situation, regardless of the degree, we are to go through three steps:

1. First, we must scrutinize our actions. Perhaps we are being chastised, for our own good, to improve ourselves or abandon negative traits or behaviors. Again, this is not punishment but rather the prodding of our loving coach who wants us to win.

2. Second, if we do a self-evaluation and it does not seem to us that this is the cause, we are to evaluate our time to see if we are wasting it instead of applying it to Torah study. This is the most sincere way to have a relationship with God and He desires us to study Torah above all else.

3. And lastly, if that too is not the cause, then the Talmud attributes the situation to suffering which is good for us – even though we cannot understand it in this lifetime.

After all is said and done, there are many times when the underlying reason for our suffering remains unknowable.

God has a real relationship with us, whether or not we acknowledge or reciprocate it, and He is always readjusting our world in response to our freewill decisions. His goal is always the same – only the manner and the methods change. He reacts to our every choice and decision and constantly reshuffles the deck in order to deal us the best cards, given our choices.

He does this to guide and help us. Everything is done with an eye on our eventual best.

Sometimes God is active and will intervene and frustrate our plans. Other times He will be passive and allow our decisions to run their course. This applies to both good and evil plans.

Sometimes the only reason for suffering is to draw us closer to Him. Sometimes our suffering is designed to act like an alarm clock by focusing us on what is truly important and preventing us from wasting our lives in a dull fog. It can be a wake-up call for an individual, a nation or the world as a whole.

Sometimes our suffering can be intended to remove negative traits. Sometimes it is intended to prevent a greater evil or bring a greater good. Sometimes its only purpose is to bring out our potential. Sometimes the whole situation has to do with the Next World and not this one. In these cases, when we can't see the big picture, the suffering will seem unjust.

The righteous might suffer in this world because their mitzvot are the most fundamental aspects of their beings. They are spiritually oriented and it would be a waste to reward them in this temporal world, which doesn't mean that much to them. They are not interested in fame or expensive cars or big homes.

On the other hand, evil people who do some good and therefore must be paid, might get rewarded here in this world because their good deeds are the superficial part of their lives and not of great importance to them. Therefore, they get paid in this world in ways that matter to them. They would not be able to appreciate a spiritual reward.

God's decisions will always include the variable of how His actions will affect everything else in the cosmic equation. God has plans for humanity as well as individuals, and this is factored into every decision. But for reasons that remain hidden, we are not entitled to know why we suffer even as we go through the pain. Perhaps knowing why a child is born with Down's syndrome, or why a husband dies as a young man leaving a widow and orphans, or why a person develops multiple sclerosis will negatively affect our free will.

We can understand the rules, but we cannot begin to fathom all the calculations that go into God's interactions with us, balancing our eternal needs, the needs of our society and the needs of mankind. Since there is an infinite array of factors that are beyond our limited understanding, suffering may often seem arbitrary and unfair. Yet it is neither.

We have to accept that everything is done for our good and that one day, we will understand the reasons for what happened to us in our lives on Earth.

Coming Full Circle

Our lives are like a tapestry. If one views the back – an incomprehensible, ugly mess of threads of different lengths, colors and thicknesses, seemingly thrown together haphazardly and arbitrarily – it is hard to make any sense of it all, and it is impossible to form any kind of picture. Turn the tapestry around and all of a sudden everything becomes clear. The messy back makes total sense in light of the front.

After we depart from this world and enter the World of Truth, we will all come before God with our questions. And we will finally get answers. We will clearly see the reasons for every one of life's occurrences, from the most trivial to the most sublime. Not only will we have no further questions, but we will be grateful for what happened to us. And, regardless of how unpleasant our lives were while we passed through this world, it is still better for us to have gone through it than not to have been created at all. This is because, regardless of our suffering, we have a pleasurable eternity ahead of us.

This future encounter can be illustrated by the following story which I cannot personally verify, but nevertheless worth retelling. It happened in the men's room in London's Heathrow Airport on December 21, 1988. A man scheduled to fly on Pan Am 103 to New York got locked in a toilet stall and missed his flight. This was the plane that was blown up in midair over Lockerbie, Scotland, by agents of the Libyan dictator, Muammar Gaddafi.

I can imagine him becoming increasingly unhinged as he came to realize that he might miss the flight. As time continued to tick away, I can see him screaming "Help!" at the top of his lungs. And as he sat waiting for a maintenance man knowing that his flight was boarding, I can see him kicking the door with all his might while cursing the British "who can't even make a stupid door that works." Imagine how pleasant he must have been when he was finally freed—only to learn that the flight was closed and he would have to wait for the next one to New York. Imagine his sense of frustration while he sat for hours, waiting for the next flight, wondering the whole time about the fate of his luggage that was checked on that flight. How would he even explain this to others?

Imagine how his mood must have changed when the TV in the waiting area broadcast a news bulletin about the terrorist bombing of the flight, killing every person on board. Suddenly his ordeal in the men's room takes on a totally different meaning. Not only is he no longer angry, he is actually grateful that he got stuck there. He might even have said, "Thank you, God, for jamming the door." The same series of events is now seen entirely differently than it had been only a few moments before.

His experience did not change — only his understanding of it. The same experience seen through a different lens now produces a much different reaction and in hindsight, what seemed like a bad thing turned out to actually be a good thing.

When we eventually stand before God and see our lives replayed, this will be our reaction to everything that has happened to us, both good and bad. We will see all things for what they truly are: Acts of love that were done on our behalf. And we will be thankful for everything – everything – that we endured during our short stay here in this world.
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Monday, December 27, 2010

How to understand your mate with a translator and go one step at a time

Go One Step at a Time

When beginning to work on self-improvement, just try to go against a negative trait in one small way. Any positive change is already a beginning.

When you take that first step and make even a small change for the better, you have already begun transforming your entire makeup. You are taking control of yourself and your behavior.

With persistence, you will go very far toward your ultimate destination.

love Yehuda

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

What Do Men Want? Dennis Prager and one step at a time

One Step at a Time

If you have negative traits, constantly work on acting in a manner that is diametrically opposed to them. This will make those negative traits foreign to you.

Take it slow, and keep in mind that this is a lifelong process!

Love Yehuda

Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager

What Do Men Want?

It is said that the one question about men and women that even the great Sigmund Freud, father of psychoanalysis, could not answer was: What do women want?

Whether or not Freud actually said that is irrelevant. The very popularity of the anecdote testifies to one incontrovertible fact: A lot of men don't know the answer.

It is probably fair to say that a lot of women also don't know the answer. If they did, all they would have to do is tell men. That would solve the riddle -- and make most men and women very happy.

So, to the extent that this is a great riddle, it is so because most members of both sexes seem not to know the answer.

Adding support to the widespread belief that what women want is close to unknowable is the underlying presumption that just about everybody knows what men want.

The number of truly funny Internet jokes that describe what women want as complex and what men want as simple is a testament to how widespread these assumptions about the two sexes are. Three examples illustrate this:

The first example is the one that begins: "How To Impress a Woman."

Listed beneath that heading is this: "Compliment her, respect her, honor her, cuddle her, kiss her, caress her, love her, stroke her, tease her, comfort her, protect her, hug her, hold her, spend money on her, wine and dine her, buy things for her, listen to her, care for her, stand by her, support her, hold her, go to the ends of the Earth for her."

That long list is followed by: "How To Impress a Man."

And listed beneath is this: "Show up naked. Bring food."

The second Internet example:

"Q: What is the difference between men and women?

A: A woman wants one man to satisfy her every need. A man wants every woman to satisfy his one need."

And a third Internet example shows a box divided into two parts.

Under the part labeled "Women" are 40 dials and knobs.

Under the part labeled "Men" is one switch, marked "On-Off."

As with most generalizations, there is much truth to these.

Nevertheless, I take issue with both presumptions -- that what women want is a riddle that would stump the Sphinx and that what men want is so easy it could be written on the back of a postage stamp.

In fact, I believe that both are relatively simple to answer (though neither is simple to achieve).

What does a man most want?

Answer: He most wants to be admired by the woman he loves.

One proof is that the most devastating thing a woman can do to her man is to hold him in contempt. That is so devastating to a marriage that, over time, it is often more toxic than an affair. I am fairly certain that more marriages survive an affair, as difficult as that is, than contempt. Of course, this goes in both directions, but when a woman shows contempt toward her man, his very manhood is called into question.

My father and mother were married 69 years. As my brother and I have heard countless times, "She put me on a pedestal" was the quality my father most often cited in describing what a wonderful wife my mother was. She admired him, and to him, that was everything. On the other hand, in describing her love for my father over all those years, my mother never once said, "He put me on a pedestal" (despite the fact that he constantly praised her). Rather, she always spoke of what a "great man" he was, how "brilliant," etc. Of course, this is just one example, but I think it applies to the majority of men and women.

The obvious upshot of this thesis is that in order to gain a woman's love, a man must make -- and keep -- himself admirable.

Boys know this instinctively. Studies that have observed boys and young men reveal how much harder they work at anything -- sports comes immediately to mind -- when they know girls are watching them.

That is why many single men in our society (often erroneously but understandably) place so much emphasis on what car they drive: They want to impress women. Yet, men couldn't care less what car a woman drives. In fact, for most men, a woman arriving on a first date in a relatively inexpensive car renders her more desirable than if she showed up in an expensive luxury car -- unless the man is looking to be supported by a woman. But few women are attracted to a man they know in advance they will have to support.

So, although the Internet jokes are right about men wanting sex, it isn't sex men most want from their woman. They want to be admired -- and sex is one manifestation of a woman's admiration for her man. When a man is regularly denied sex, in his eyes that means that his wife does not hold him in high esteem. Worse, he actually feels humiliated as a man. That, not the sex per se, is why regular denial devastates a man.

So, then, if what a man most wants is to be admired by his woman, what is it that a woman most wants?

That is the subject of the next column.

But here's a hint. If we begin with the assumption that men and women are made to bond with one another, what she most wants must be in some way related to what he most wants.

As we shall see, it is.

Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager is a radio show host, contributing columnist for, and author of 4 books including Happiness Is a Serious Problem: A Human Nature Repair Manual.

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Friday, December 24, 2010

Lyndon B. Johnson and Experience is an Antidote for Worry

Experience Is An Antidote For Worry

When you worry that something unpleasant might happen, keep in mind that we quickly get used to new situations, even those that are extremely negative. People make a life, no matter how bad the situation. Even during the worst possible times, the healthy human being is given a gift from G-d, that they are able to cope  One symptom of those with mental illnesses is they can't focus on the positive, so they over-focus on the bad.

Experience is an antidote for worry. Make a list of things you worried about in the past. See how many of those negative things turned out better than you thought they would. Also note how many situations turned out as you feared, but you were able to cope anyway.

By being aware of how frequently your worries are for nothing, you will eliminate a large amount of needless worry.

Love Yehuda


This is really a great story.Many things have never come to light until now .Especially, the part about Galveston.



A few months ago, the Associated Press reported that newly released tapes from US president Lyndon Johnson's White House office showed LBJ's "personal and often emotional connection to Israel."  The news agency pointed out that during the Johnson presidency (1963-1969), "the United States became Israel's chief diplomatic ally and primary arms supplier."
 But the news report does little to reveal the full historical extent of Johnson's actions on behalf of the Jewish people and the State of Israel.
 Most students of the Arab-Israeli conflict can identify Johnson as the president during the 1967 war.  But few know about LBJ's actions to rescue hundreds of endangered Jews during the Holocaust - actions that could have thrown him out of Congress and into jail.  Indeed, the title of "Righteous Gentile" is certainly appropriate in the case of the Texan, whose centennial year is being commemorated this year.
 Appropriately enough, the annual Jerusalem Conference announced this week that it will honor Johnson.
 Historians have revealed that Johnson, while serving as a young congressman in 1938 and 1939, arranged for visas to be supplied to Jews in Warsaw, and oversaw the apparently illegal immigration of hundreds of Jews through the port of Galveston, Texas.

A key resource for uncovering LBJ's pro-Jewish activity is the unpublished 1989 doctoral thesis by University of Texas student Louis Gomolak, "Prologue: LBJ's Foreign Affairs Background, 1908-1948."  Johnson's activities were confirmed by other historians in interviews with his wife, family members and political associates.
 Research into Johnson's personal history indicates that he inherited his concern for the Jewish people from his family.  His aunt Jessie Johnson Hatcher, a major influence on LBJ, was a member of the Zionist Organization of America.  According to Gomolak, Aunt Jessie had nurtured LBJ's commitment to befriending Jews for 50 years.  As young boy, Lyndon watched his politically active grandfather "Big Sam" and father "Little Sam" seek clemency for Leo Frank, the Jewish victim of a blood libel in Atlanta.
 Frank was lynched by a mob in 1915, and the Ku Klux Klan in Texas threatened to kill the Johnsons.  The Johnsons later told friends that Lyndon's family hid in their cellar while his father and uncles stood guard with shotguns on their porch in case of KKK attacks.  Johnson's speech writer later stated, "Johnson often cited Leo Frank's lynching as the source of his opposition to both anti-Semitism and isolationism."
 Already in 1934 - four years before Chamberlain's Munich sellout to Hitler - Johnson was keenly alert to the dangers of Nazism and presented a book of essays, 'Nazism: An Assault on Civilization', to the 21-year-old woman he was courting, Claudia Taylor - later known as "Lady Bird" Johnson.  It was an incredible engagement present.
 FIVE DAYS after taking office in 1937, LBJ broke with the "Dixiecrats" and supported an immigration bill that would naturalize illegal aliens, mostly Jews from Lithuania and Poland . In 1938, Johnson was told of a young Austrian Jewish musician who was about to be deported from the United States.   With an element of subterfuge, LBJ sent him to the US Consulate in Havana to obtain a residency permit.  Erich Leinsdorf, the world famous musician and conductor, credited LBJ for saving his live.
 That same year, LBJ warned Jewish friend, Jim Novy, that European Jews faced annihilation. "Get as many Jewish people as possible out of Germany and Poland," were Johnson's instructions.  Somehow, Johnson provided him with a pile of signed immigration papers that were used to get 42 Jews out of Warsaw.
 But that wasn't enough. According to historian James M. Smallwood, Congressman Johnson used legal and sometimes illegal methods to smuggle "hundreds of Jews into Texas, using Galveston as the entry port.
 Enough money could buy false passports and fake visas in Cuba, Mexico and other Latin American countries.   Johnson smuggled boatloads and planeloads of Jews into Texas.   He hid them in the Texas National Youth Administration.   Johnson saved at least four or five hundred Jews, possibly more.
 During World War II Johnson joined Novy at a small Austin gathering to sell $65,000 in war bonds. According to Gomolak, Novy and Johnson then raised a very "substantial sum for arms for Jewish underground fighters in Palestine."   One source cited by the historian reports that "Novy and Johnson had been secretly shipping heavy crates labeled 'Texas Grapefruit' - but containing arms - to Jewish underground 'freedom fighters' in Palestine."
 ON JUNE 4, 1945, Johnson visited Dachau.  According to Smallwood, Lady Bird later recalled that when her husband returned home, "he was still shaken, stunned, terrorized, and bursting with an overpowering revulsion and incredulous horror at what he had seen."
 A decade later while serving in the Senate, Johnson blocked the Eisenhower administration's attempts to apply sanctions against Israel following the 1956 Sinai Campaign.  "The indefatigable Johnson had never ceased pressure on the administration," wrote I.L. "Si" Kenen, the head of AIPAC at the time.
 As Senate majority leader, Johnson consistently blocked the anti-Israel initiatives of his fellow Democrat, William Fulbright, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Among Johnson's closest advisers during this period were several strong pro-Israel advocates, including Benjamin Cohen (who 30 years earlier was the liaison between Supreme Court justice Louis Brandeis and Chaim Weizmann) and Abe Fortas, the legendary Washington "insider."
 Johnson's concern for the Jewish people continued through his presidency.   Soon after taking office in the aftermath of John F. Kennedy's assassination in 1963, Johnson told an Israeli diplomat, "You have lost a very great friend, but you have found a better one."
 Just one month after succeeding Kennedy, LBJ attended the December 1963 dedication of the Agudas Achim Synagogue in Austin . Novy opened the ceremony by saying to Johnson, "We can't thank him enough for all those Jews he got out of Germany during the days of Hitler."
 Lady Bird would later describe the day, according to Gomolak: "Person after person plucked at my sleeve and said, 'I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for him. He helped me get out.'" Lady Bird elaborated, "Jews had been woven into the warp and woof of all [Lyndon's] years."
 THE PRELUDE to the 1967 war was a terrifying period for Israel, with the US State Department led by the historically unfriendly Dean Rusk urging an evenhanded policy despite Arab threats and acts of aggression. Johnson held no such illusions. After the war he placed the blame firmly on Egypt : "If a single act of folly was more responsible for this explosion than any other, it was the arbitrary and dangerous announced decision by Egypt that the Strait of Tiran would be closed [to Israeli ships and Israeli-bound cargo]."
 Kennedy was the first president to approve the sale of defensive US weapons to Israel , specifically Hawk anti-aircraft missiles. But Johnson approved tanks and fighter jets, all vital after the 1967 war when France imposed a freeze on sales to Israel . Yehuda Avner recently described on these pages prime minister Levi Eshkol's successful appeal for these weapons on a visit to the LBJ ranch.
 Israel  won the 1967 war, and Johnson worked to make sure it also won the peace. "I sure as hell want to be careful and not run out on little Israel,"  Johnson said in a March 1968 conversation with his ambassador to the United Nations, Arthur Goldberg, according to White House tapes recently released.
 Soon after the 1967 war, Soviet premier Aleksei Kosygin asked Johnson at the Glassboro Summit why the US supported Israel when there were 80 million Arabs and only three million Israelis.    "Because it is right" responded the straight-shooting Texan.
 The crafting of UN Resolution 242 in November 1967 was done under Johnson's scrutiny. The call for "secure and recognized boundaries" was critical. The American and British drafters of the resolution opposed Israel returning all the territories captured in the war.   In September 1968, Johnson explained, "We are not the ones to say where other nations should draw lines between them that will assure each the greatest security.   It is clear, however, that a return to the situation of 4 June 1967 will not bring peace.   There must be secure and there must be recognized borders.   Some such lines must be agreed to by the neighbors involved."
 Goldberg later noted, "Resolution 242 in no way refers to Jerusalem and this omission was deliberate." This historic diplomacy was conducted under Johnson's stewardship, as Goldberg related in oral history to the Johnson Library. "I must say for Johnson," Goldberg stated, "he gave me great personal support."
 Robert David Johnson, a professor of history at Brooklyn College, recently wrote in The New York Sun, Johnson's policies stemmed more from personal concerns - his friendship with leading Zionists, his belief that America had a moral obligation to bolster Israeli security and his conception of Israel as a frontier land much like his home state of Texas. His personal concerns led him to intervene when he felt that the State or Defense departments had insufficiently appreciated Israel's diplomatic or military needs.
 President Johnson firmly pointed American policy in a pro-Israel direction.   In an historical context, the American emergency airlift to Israel in 1973, the constant diplomatic support, the economic and military assistance and the strategic bonds between the two countries can all be credited to the seeds planted by LBJ.




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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Card from your lawyer and Outcome Thinking

Think about the Outcome

Even if someone has done something wrong to you, before getting into an argument about it, think of the outcome you are striving for. If there will be no practical benefit from your argument, avoid it.

"Outcome thinking" is wisdom. A wise person considers the outcome before speaking.

Be wise!

Love Yehuda

Subject: Fwd: Card from your lawyer

Subject: Fw: Card from your lawyer
----- Original lawyer


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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

You and your Spouse are Unique and Great Photos with song

You and Your Spouse are Unique

Bible principles give us the wisdom and concepts that are needed for a harmonious marriage. But just knowing these ideas will not automatically guarantee a happy marriage. Bible ideas need to be internalized and practiced.

You have strengths and weaknesses, positive qualities and faults - and so does the person you marry. You have a unique life history; you came from a specific family - and so did your spouse. You have a unique genetic makeup, with a unique combination of intellect and emotions - and so does every other human being on our planet.

Your temperament, personality, communication style, and myriad other factors need to interact with the temperament, personality, and communication style of your spouse. This will inevitably create many challenges. Your response to these challenges will either create problems, pain, and quarrels... or will be the source of great spiritual and emotional elevation.

Love Yehuda

Great photos...nice song















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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Holograms: Seeing double and Morality of taxing dead people and John's Cancer

"You aren't paying anything in that case because you'll be dead."

Democrat Rep. Anthony Weiner about whether taxing people when they die is morally corrupt:

I spent two hours  yesterday (December 20, 2010) with John's (my son-in-law) cancer dr, and his cancer has spread, but he is at stage two, which is still early. The Dr  went over all the options with me.. The least invasive treatment is radiation treatment, which will done over the next two months. 

The Dr. said there is a 90% chance that he should be cancer free after the treatment, but he will have to watched the rest of his life by scans and blood work and his cancer Dr.

Love Yehuda

This is a picture of the hologram:

For my more modest friends, this a cartoon of a computer girl dancing, open at your own risk.

Holograms: Seeing double

Holograms have come a long way since the blurry images of the 1980s – and they're letting people appear in two places at once, discovers Holly Williams

Wednesday, 24 November 2010...

Hatsune Miku is a dream pop star. She's cute and perky, with extremely long blue pigtails; she's hit the number one spot in Japan and never hits a bum note. She won't ever cancel a gig because she's "exhausted" or get papped doing something she shouldn't – and she can even wear stockings with thigh-skimming schoolgirl skirts without anyone shrieking jailbait.

Why? Because she isn't real. She's a hologram.

Miku was first created as a piece of Vocaloid – voice meets android – technology. Powered by Yamaha and developed by Japanese company Crypton Future Media, Hatsune Miku was basically a bit of software you could buy and create pop tunes on. Real-life singing was broken down into a bank of tiny snippets of sound, that could be reassembled to create any words and phrases, letting program users type in their own lyrics and hear them sung right back at them.

It gets stranger. As the Miku program got more popular, so did the cartoon face of it: the animated avatar named Hatsune Miku. Soon, you could get a tool that allowed you to create a 3D Miku, in all her virtual glory. Events for Miku fans followed, culminating in a recent series of sell-out concerts where Miku appeared as a hologram, strutting her stuff onstage in front of crowds of excited Japanese fans. She's the biggest pop star going – and she's just a trick of the light.

It's not the first time a hologram has taken the place of the real deal: a virtual has duetted with an in-the-flesh Cheryl Cole onstage, while German band Tokio Hotel have done whole holographic tours. When it comes to cartoons, Gorillaz got there a while ago, appearing "live" as 3D holograms at the Grammys in 2006 – thoroughly confusing the audience by appearing to be accompanied by a real Madonna, who turned out to be just a projection too.

A British company, Musion, has also been exploring the potential of holograms. Applying recent technology to a 19th-century theatrical trick, it creates images which walk and talk in real time and have a brain-fooling, 3D appearance (the and Cheryl Cole performance at a German awards ceremony in January was reported in one newspaper without any mention that the Black Eyed Peas singer was an optical illusion).

So how does it work? Different companies may use slightly different systems, but Musion's director James Rock explains the company's technique. A large reflective surface is put at a 45-degree angle to a stage; historically, glass was used, but Musion has patented an "eyeliner foil", made of very tightly stretched, thin, transparent Mylar plastic. An image is then projected down on to a screen that's flat on the floor in front of the stage. The precise angle of the reflective foil means that the image appears as if on the stage. For the trick to work, the projected images have to have been filmed against a black background, and the stage must have a dark backdrop, so that the background of the projection "disappears" into the dark, leaving just the colourful hologram.

Professor John Henry Pepper came up with essentially the same trick in the 1860s – named Pepper's Ghost – but using glass. "For a large piece of glass to support its own weight on the 45-degree angle, it has to be very thick," Rock explains, "and that means you get a double image. It was called a Pepper's 'ghost' as the image wasn't very bright when using pre-electric light sources." The discovery by German inventor Uwe Maass in the early 1990s that polymer foil could be used instead, plus the advent of high-definition video and much brighter projectors, means the image no longer looks ghostly; it looks disarmingly real.

The last experience of holograms for many of us, apart from the little authenticating panels on our credit cards, was probably those novelty floating red and green 3D images around in the 1980s. So how did we get to these lifelike apparitions? Rock confesses that what I've been watching are not – technically – holograms. "We use the term 'holographic effect'. But the general public think of lots of things as holograms, and we sort of ride on the back of that. It's usually people who've seen Star Wars and Princess Leia going 'Help me, Obi-Wan' as a hologram." However, Musion isn't quite at Star Wars level yet – there is no such thing as a volumetric hologram (one you could walk around), and you have to sit face-on to see their creations.

One of its developments does have a distinctly sci-fi whiff to it, however: telepresencing. This allows you to appear as a hologram in real time, at multiple locations around the world. You can even chat to an interviewer, or take questions from an audience. The Telepresence technology relies on super-fast fibre-optic cables, which transmit the image and ensure there's no time lag (latency is a minuscule 0.2 seconds), but these are not available everywhere yet. It seems bound to take off, though: keynote speakers could address several conferences at once; those worried about carbon emissions could cut down on air miles; anyone who gets sweaty palms when facing the prospect of public speaking could deliver their speech from the safe haven of their office. Indeed, Prince Charles has already used the technology to deliver a keynote speech at the Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi, while staying in the UK and eliminating carbon footprint guilt.

So that's the tech – but what's the experience like? I have a go at becoming a hologram, and while I may be beaming into Musion's studio only from a little room upstairs one floor, I feel as excited as if I'm about to be beamed up, Star Trek-style. The reality, however, is far from that. It's a very simple set-up – I'm in a small room against a black backdrop, with panels of bright LEDs aimed at me. A small mic is looped over my ear, so I can interact with my "audience" downstairs. In front of me is a television screen, on which I can see a sort of see-through version of my holographic self on the stage, as well as the sofas facing it (where my listening – and potentially questioning – audience would be). An unobtrusive HD camera sits underneath the screen, recording me. I feel a little awkward, knowing I'm being watched in a totally different space, but at my end it's no more remarkable than the first time someone turned their camera phone on me.

Far more fun was being downstairs, watching Musion employee Jude Collins demonstrating the holographic Telepresence onstage. There she was, life-size, walking her walk, talking her talk. Her legs seemed to disappear (she was wearing black tights, but dark clothing is a no-no if you want to look like you've got a full complement of limbs), and faded in and out slightly as they tweaked the light – bright enough to appear real, but not so bright as to be luminescent.

I also have a go onstage, next to a hologram. Rock is enthusiastic about the many applications for Musion's holographic effects; one of the most popular is sure to be hologram karaoke. Forget Rock Band – this could give you the chance to duet with David Bowie, become a BeyoncĂ© to a holographic Gaga, or Lennon to a Musion-McCartney. It's already been used at Abbaworld, where you could sing along next to cartoon versions of the Swedes.

So I take to the stage in an attempt to fill Cheryl Cole's shoes, for her duet with (actually, I just dawdle about feeling self-conscious and making no attempt to sing; the nation's sweetheart can rest easy). Again, the experience is much less strange when you're behind the scenes – the audience is visible through the foil, but slightly hazily as there's also a "heads-up" video display, so you can see how you and the hologram appear to the audience. This helps you to avoid sticking your arm through the hologram's face while busting out some particularly hot dance moves, which would somewhat give the game away – because you can't actually see the hologram when it appears to be standing next to you. A face-to-face meeting between me and my own hologram is, therefore, rather weirder for those sitting on the sofa than for me and my shadow onstage.

Holograms are already proving lucrative in advertising and corporate markets, and Rock even tells of some market research suggesting that 3D images are more memorable than looking at standard 2D video, because you have to use both sides of your brain. "You're processing more and hence it becomes a more memorable experience. There's a big ramification in that for advertising," Rock says.

Of course, the technology is not cheap, costing thousands or tens of thousands to hire, meaning that for a while, the technology is likely to be used mostly by big corporations, for flash entertainment, and in advertising. But with "stars" such as Miku in Japan proving the mass appeal of the unreal, and the business potential of telepresencing, a world in hologram could be closer than you think. Beam me up!

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Monday, December 20, 2010

the 29TH OF NOVEMBER--the vote on the creation of the Hebrew State and Accomplishments

Uncover Your Accomplishments

There are many accomplishments in life that are often overlooked as being accomplishments. For example, developing your character is a great accomplishment. Maimonides writes that this is a fulfillment of the mitzvah (commandment)  to walk in God's ways.

Each difficulty that you cope well with is an accomplishment.

Doing an act of kindness for another person is an accomplishment. (And the less you feel like doing it, the greater the accomplishment!)

Love Yehuda




few days ago was kaf-tet b'november -- the 29th of November.  This was the day on which the UN General Assembly voted for the partition of mandatory Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state.


video that gives a glimpse into the dramatic history of this day:


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Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Digital Story of the Nativity (If Google and Facebook had been there!!)

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David Copperfield makes Yehuda Disappear!! and Snake! Gotta see this!

Last night we went to see David Copperfield at the MGM.

What a show!! At 54 he still has it.. And he put me on the show last night with 12 others and made me disappear.. but amazingly I am still here.  I couldn't take pictures once the show started, but here is a little you-tube video of our beautiful room at Ceaser's palance and the opening video at the MGM of the opening of David Copperfield.

Awareness of the Almighty

Awareness that the Almighty loves you, cares about your welfare, and orchestrates events in your life for your ultimate benefit is a powerful foundation upon which to build your life. Integrating emunah (awareness of the Almighty) and bitochon (Trust in Him) gives you a life of joy and serenity.

Love Yehuda

Now this will give you reflux!


Dinner in Arizona: Pass the Tums!

    These pictures were taken by one of the the road crew at Cloudbreak , Arizona last week.

       It took a total of 5 hours for the Snake to finish off the Goanna. (Sand Monitor)

     As you can see, they put some signage up so it couldn ' t be run over


NOW . . .... THAT's A MEAL...Burp!

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Friday, December 17, 2010

The best day of fishin' ever!!! (for deer) and today is a fast day called the Tenth of Tevet

One day commemorates a variety of Jewish tragedies.
by Rabbi Berel Wein

One day commemorates a variety of Jewish tragedies.

The 10th of Tevet, a fast day which commemorates when the Babylonians first laid siege to Jerusalem, takes place this year on Friday, December 17th.
10th of Tevet

The Tenth of Tevet is one of the four fast days that commemorate dark times in Jewish history. The others are Tisha B'Av (the day of the destruction of both Temples in Jerusalem), the 17th of Tammuz (the day of the breaching of the defensive wall of Jerusalem by Titus and the Roman legions in 70 CE), and the third of Tishrei (the day that marks the assassination of the Babylonian-appointed Jewish governor of Judah, Gedaliah ben Achikam. He was actually killed on Rosh Hashana but the fast day was advanced to the day after Rosh Hashana because of the holiday).

The Tenth of Tevet marks the onset of the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylonia, and the beginning of the battle that ultimately destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple of Solomon, and sent the Jews into the 70-year Babylonian Exile. The date of the Tenth of Tevet is recorded for us by the prophet Yechezkel, who himself was already in Babylonia as part of the first group of Jews exiled there by Nebuchadnezzar, 11 years earlier than the actual destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem itself.

The Tenth of Tevet is viewed as such a severe and important fast day that it is observed even if it falls on a Friday (erev Shabbat), while our other fast days are so arranged by calendar adjustments as to never fall on a Friday, so as not to interfere with Shabbat preparations.


However, there are other commemorative days that fall immediately before the Tenth of Tevet and their memory has been silently incorporated in the fast day of the Tenth of Tevet as well. On the eighth of Tevet, King Ptolemy of Egypt forced 70 Jewish scholars to gather and translate the Hebrew Bible into Greek. Even though the Talmud relates to us that this project was blessed with a miracle -- the 70 scholars were all placed in separate cubicles and yet they all came up with the same translation -- the general view of the rabbis of the time towards this project was decidedly negative. The Talmud records that when this translation became public "darkness descended on the world."

This translation -- the Septuagint -- eventually became the basis for the Old Testament section of the Christian bible a few centuries later. The Greek translation of the Bible also further aided the advance of the agenda of the Hellenist Jews to bring Greek culture into Jewish life, and to attempt to reform Judaism in the image of Greek values and lifestyle. The "koshering" of the Greek language by its use in translating the Hebrew Bible had wide ramifications in Jewish society and undermined some of the efforts of the rabbis in combating the allure of Greece in Israel of then.


The ninth day of Tevet is held to be the day of the death of Ezra the Scribe. This great Jew is comparable even to Moses in the eyes of the Talmud. "If the Torah had not been granted through Moses, it could have been granted to Israel through Ezra." Ezra led the return of the Jews to Jerusalem from their Babylonian exile. It was under his direction and inspiration, together with the help of the court Jew, Nechemiah, that the Second Temple was built, albeit originally in a much more modest scale and style than the grandeur of Solomon's Temple.

Ezra also renewed the covenant of Moses between Israel and God, staunched the flow of intermarriage that afflicted the Jews returning to Jerusalem, strengthened public and private Sabbath observance, and created the necessary schools and intellectual tools for the furtherance of the knowledge and development of the Oral Law of Sinai within the Jewish people.

A man of incorruptible character, great compassion, deep vision and erudition and inspirational charisma, Ezra the Scribe is responsible for the survival of Judaism and the Jews till this very day. It is no wonder therefore that Jews marked the day of his death as a sad day on the Jewish calendar. Since fasting on the eighth, ninth and 10th days of Tevet consecutively would be unreasonable, the events of the eighth and ninth were subsumed into the fast day of the Tenth of Tevet.


The rabbinic policy has been to attach other sad commemorations onto the established fast days, so as not to fill the calendar with so many days of sad remembrances. Thus the memorial for the destruction of the Jewish communities of Worms, Speyers and Mainz by the Crusaders in 1096 is marked on the fast day of Tisha B'Av, even though that destruction actually took place in other months.

This policy of minimizing the number of days of commemoration of sad events became accepted practice throughout the Jewish world until the Holocaust. However, the enormity of the tragedy of the Holocaust subsumed everything that preceded it in the story of the Jewish people in the Diaspora. Hence, it is understandable why the Knesset would look to designate a specific day alone for Holocaust remembrance. Nevertheless, the rabbinic policy of minimizing days of tragic remembrances played a role in assigning the Holocaust remembrance to the Tenth of Tevet for a large section of the Israeli population.

May we only commemorate days of goodness in our future.


Love Yehuda

I've heard of salmon jumping into boats but. . . . . . 4 had to be the daily limit I'm sure!

 Four young Sitka black-tailed bucks fell upon good luck Sunday as they were pulled from the icy waters of Stephens Passage, Alaska by a group of locals on Tom Satre's 62-foot charter vessel.  Four juvenile Sitka black-tailed deer swam directly toward the boat    ..

Once the deer reached the boat, the four began to circle the boat, looking directly at the humans on board.  Clearly, the bucks were distressed. With help, the typically skittish and absolutely wild animals came willingly onto the boat.  Once onboard, they collapsed with exhaustion, shivering.

Here the rescued bucks rest on the back of Tom Satre's boat, the Alaska Quest. All four deer were transported to Taku Harbour.  Once the group reached the dock, the first buck that had been pulled from the water hopped onto the dock, looked back, then leapt into the harbour, swam to shore, and disappeared into the forest. After a bit of prodding and assistance from the humans, two others followed suit, but one

deer needed more help.  Here he is being transported by Tom Satre 

Tom, Anna and Tim Satre help the last of the "button" bucks to its feet. They did not know how long the deer had been in the icy waters or if there had been others who did not survive.  The good Samaritans (humans)  describe their experience as "one of those defining moments in life."  I'm sure it was for the deer
, as well.

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