Sunday, October 19, 2014

Science and the Bible give us the same message and Japanese Surrender - Sept 2, 1945

  Positive Motivation

Be aware of how you speak to yourself in general, and what you say to yourself when you try to motivate yourself in particular. People who motivate themselves with heavy criticism likewise tend to do so with others also. Even if someone finds that this works better for himself than a softer approach, it is still not the pattern of choice when trying to motivate children and students. The harm to their self-image could be devastating.
Choose positive words of encouragement. Believe in the potential of children, students, and anyone else you want to motivate. And speak to them in a way that will motivate them to believe in their own potential

Love Yehuda Lave
Japanese Surrender - Amazing Footage Sept 2, 1945
 Please click on to Japanese Surrender below. A keeper.
 This is a 'must see' for the WWII history buff or anyone interested in history. 
Interesting the other signers to the document, from New Zealand/Australia to Europe/Russia.  This is an actual film made of the surrender ceremony of the Japanese to McArthur in Tokyo Bay in September 1945. 
Actual voice of the General.  Never been shown to the general public before. (??)
We always saw the "stills" but never the film itself.
Click here:   Japanese Surrender

HaRav Gedaliah Nadel

Rav Gedaliah Nadel was a true talmid chacham who was exceptionally brilliant with a creative mind
08/06/2009 17:15
HaRav Gedaliah Nadel was one of the greatest students of the Chazon Ish zt’l, and possessed an exceptionally brilliant and creative mind, as well as a depth of knowledge in many fields. He was born in Lithuania in the year 5693 and came to Eretz Yisrael at the age of thirteen, when he went to learn in the ‘HaYishuv’ yeshiva in Tel Aviv.

It happened that one day, as Rav Gedaliah was learning in yeshiva, that Rav Meir bar Ilan paid a visit, and in his discourse to the talmidim he expressed his admiration for the bachur Rav Gedaliah Nadel, and added that; “when he will finish learning, he should go to university.” When the Chazon Ish heard of this, he immediately instructed Rav Gedaliah to leave Yeshivas HaYishuv and to go to learn in the Lomza Yeshiva in Petach Tikva.

When Rav Gedaliah reached marriageable age he married the daughter of HaRav Eliyahu Veiner, who was a talmid of the Chofetz Chaim zt’l. Before the engagement was finalised, Rav Eliyahu sought, and received the assurance of the Chazon Ish that he had nothing to fear from the ‘college bachur’ – there was no reason to be concerned about his hashkofas.

After his marriage, the Chazon Ish appointed him as Rav of the Zichron Meir neighbourhood in Bnei Brak. During this period, Rav Gedaliah learned with exceptional diligence in the nearby town of Yehud, and would return to Bnei Brak only once every few days. Gedolei Yisrael, especially talmidim of the Chazon Ish, and also the Steipler Gaon and his son Rav Chaim Kanievsky, would frequently consult with him on halachic issues. In his personal matters he was extremely stringent, not relying on mehadrin hechsherim. He slaughtered and salted his chickens himself, and for a livelihood, he produced wine, and was extremely particular to pay his workers before the shkiah, in order to fulfil the mitzvah of ‘you shall pay him his wage on the same day’.

Rav Gedaliah lived in great simplicity, keeping far away from the public eye. He practised asceticism in all aspects of his life. It is said of him that he never ate ice cream, since it was an item of food that was eaten entirely for pleasure, without nutritional value. When he heard that a young man learning in his kollel had an air-conditioning unit installed in his home, he stopped paying that man’s stipend. All his deeds and actions were performed only after great deliberation, without any concern as to the opinions of others.

For a period of time he served as Rosh Yeshiva in Vizhnitz. When the Vizhnitzer Rebbe was asked how he could employ a litvishe Rosh Yeshiva for a chassidishe yeshiva, he answered that Rav Gedaliah was a Kotzsker (Kotzsk being a chassidus renowned for its sharpness of mind and its extreme detachment from the material.) On one occasion the talmidim of the yeshiva decided to challenge Rav Gedaliah, their litvishe Rosh Yeshiva, and they questioned his knowledge of chassidishe seforim. Rav Gedaliah replied that they were free to bring him any chassidishe sefer of their choice to test him on – so they brought Sefer haTanya, considered to be one of the most difficult to comprehend. Yet, to their surprise and wonder, Rav Gedaliah displayed a deep grasp of the entire sefer.

Rav Gedaliah was known to explain the expression ‘gezeiras ha’kosuv’ (a decree from the Torah) as meaning not that the Torah decreed something for no particular reason, but that the human mind was incapable of fathoming the depth of the matter, and therefore, it was impossible to understand it logically. Once, Rav Gedaliah was asked a question in halochah, and when he answered, his questioner queried that his teshuvah was contradictory to the words of the Shach. But Rav Gedaliah simply answered that there was no such Shach, and when this was verified, he was asked how he could have known that there was indeed no such reference. Rav Gedaliah replied that he had not known, but that it was clear to him that he had ruled correctly, and that the Shach could not have ruled otherwise.

Rav Gedaliah had a knowledge of many fields of wisdom such as philosophy and technology. Once, on a visit to a London college of technology, he revealed to the scientists there that they had erred in a particular calculation. When the matter was investigated, it was found that he had been correct.

Rav Gedaliah was known for his great love for his fellow Jew, and he would customarily greet everyone he met with a warm smile. Once, somebody returned to him wine that he had purchased from Rav Gedaliah, since he believed the wine to be ‘yayin nesech’, wine that a gentile had handled. Seeing that the man was angry with him, Rav Gedaliah quipped that - to the contrary – since the man was now engaged in the performance of a mitzvah, he should instead be happy!

Rav Gedaliah did not publish his chiddushei Torah. The sefer by the name of ‘Chiddushei Rav Gedaliah’ contained only his letters, which he had originally withheld, but eventually released for publication. His talmidim brought out a pamphlet of chiddushim on Aggadah which was called ‘Shiurei Rav Gedaliah’.

Rav Gedaliah was niftar in the year 5764 at the age of eighty-one and his levayah was attended by a huge throng of people. In his eulogy, Rav Nissim Karelitz said of the niftar that; “although it is true that today there are none with the status of a true talmid chachom – yet Rav Gedaliah had the status of a true talmid chocham.”

Rabbi Slifkin on Dinosaurs and evolution:

Shabbat Shalom: Bereishit 5775 — Rabbi Riskin (text)

Shabbat Shalom: Bereishit 5775 (Genesis 1:1-6:8)

Efrat, Israel –  “And God completed on the seventh day the creative work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His creative work which He had made.” (Genesis 2:2)
On Rosh Hashana we began counting the 5,775th year since the creation of the world; this calculation is predicated upon the primordial first week of creation as having consisted of seven 24-hour days during which God made everything there is, from light to vegetation to animals to the human being.
Now, this biblical notion is in clear opposition to all accepted scientific data, which claim the earth to be millions of years old Carbon testing of fossils proves this contention, at least from a scientific perspective.
Is the acceptance of science over the literal reading of the biblical text to be considered heretical?  A good friend of mine (an upstanding Orthodox rabbi of an Orthodox congregation) was recently informed by a Haredi rabbi that a conversion he had performed several decades ago was to be invalidated unless he would declare on oath that he believes the world to be no more than 5,775 years old. Is the age of the earth a cardinal article of Jewish faith to which every believing Jew must subscribe?
Literal belief in the seven days of creation is not included in Maimonides’s Thirteen Principles of Jewish faith or even in Rabbi Yosef Albo’s three principles (Sefer Ha’ikarim). So why does the Bible express itself in terms of six days of creativity culminating in one day of Sabbath rest? Why would the Bible utilize the Hebrew word for “day” (yom) with any meaning other than a 24-hour period?
The truth is that from the usage of the word “yom” it is possible to conclude the very opposite of the Haredi dogma just cited.  The Bible is not interested in conveying literal and chronological facts in its story of Creation. After all, the sun and the moon were not created until the fourth day, and it is specifically their movements which are the determinants for our 24-hour day.  Beyond any doubt, then, the word “yom” in the context of the seven days of Creation cannot mean a literal 24-hour day.
Furthermore, Maimonides, in his Guide for the Perplexed, interprets all of the early biblical stories until the advent of Abraham as allegories, whose purpose is to convey moral lessons rather than historical fact.
And this certainly leaves the door open to maintain that “one thousand [or one million] years in Your eyes is like one day just passed” (Psalms 90:4). Each biblical day in the Creation story may well represent an epoch of thousands or millions or years.
But then why does the Bible convey the story in terms of primordial “week”?
In order to understand, I believe we must ponder a question raised by the commentary of Rashi on the very first words of the Bible: “Rabbi Yitzhak said the Torah ought not have opened with anything other than the first commandment ordained to the Israelites, which was to make the month [of the exodus from Egypt] the first month of the Hebrew calendar. So why does the Torah begin with the Creation story?”
Rashi’s assumption is that the Torah is first and foremost a book of God’s commands, and so it should have opened with the first commandment. Rashi’s answer takes the most universal verse of the Bible (all other ancient peoples spoke of local deities; only our Bible opens with a God of the Universe) and transforms into a very particularistic (and prophetic) one: “If the nations of the world charge Israel with stealing by conquering and occupying the land of the ‘seven nations’… Israel can respond: All of the earth belongs to the Holy One Blessed be He, who created it…, He has given the Land of Israel to us.”
Nahmanides provides another answer, based on a different assumption. The Bible teaches theology and historiosophy, not only laws and commands.
It is important for us to know that God owns the world and owns us, by virtue of the rights of the Creator to his creation, and God ordains the punishment of exile for transgressions of His Commandments (Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, Israel from the Promised Land).
My revered teacher Rav Soloveitchik gives a third response: this first verse is a commandment, the very first commandment of the Torah. It is based upon the principle of Imitatio Dei, that we must walk in God’s ways: “Just as God created a world, so must you humans create worlds. You must re-create the incomplete, imperfect world which God made. You must remove the darkness, leaving only the light; you must remove the evil, leaving only the good; you must remove the chaos, leaving only order.” (J.B. Soloveitchik, The Lonely Man of Faith 1, D). This is the linkage between Rosh Hashana and Bereishit, our mission to perfect the world in the Kingship of the Divine.
Hence God describes His original creation of the world as having taken place in one Divine week of six days of creativity and one day of rest; so must we model ourselves after Him, with each week of our lives being dedicated to six days of proactive change and re-creation of the world and one day of rest and appreciation of what it is.