Thursday, November 20, 2014

More National Geographic and new Ben-Grunion Biography

Marriage Is For Growth

The purpose of marriage is growth. By its very nature, marriage will continuously give you opportunities to develop your character. And the more challenging one's marriage - the greater the growth possibilities!
Love Yehuda Lave

Victor Sharp's article on how the Musslems want to ruin our shabbat

Dear Friends:

Here is my new article just published in Canada Free Press.

Victor Sharpe

Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion's Place in Jewish History

November 5, 2014 12:33 pm 10 comments

David Ben-Gurion (Left) signing the Israeli Declaration of Independence, held by Moshe Sharet with Eliezer Kaplan looking on, at the Tel Aviv museum on Rothschild Blvd. on May 14, 1948. Photo: GPO.
JNS.orgThere is one sentence in "Ben-Gurion: Father of Modern Israel" that made me sit up in surprise. I thought that I knew the basic facts about how Israel came into being, but while describing what it was like in the days and hours before the state was declared, author Anita Shapira provides one important anecdote I was not aware of.
On the 12th of May, the Zionist Executive met to decide what to do. Moshe Sharrett had just returned from Washington and reported that the State Department warned him that, if the Jews declared a state, the U.S. would not support it. Golda Meir reported that her mission to persuade King Abdullah of Jordan not to enter a war had failed. Yigal Yadin, the head of the Haganah paramilitary organization, said the chances that the nascent state would survive were 50-50 at best. And then, Ben-Gurion called for a vote. It was 6-4 in favor, and by that narrow margin—the best he could cajole from a cautious Zionist Executive—Ben-Gurion declared the State of Israel.
There are few times in history when one person through one action affects the course of human events, as Ben-Gurion did that day. To take that action after attaining such a narrow margin, with full awareness that a war against six Arab armies was about to begin, required extraordinary courage and decisiveness. For this act alone, Ben-Gurion deserves a place of honor in Jewish history. Without him, there might not have been a Jewish state.
Shapira's biography, which will be released Nov. 25, is based on previously unopened archives. Unlike some other biographies of Ben-Gurion that are either worshipful or hypercritical, hers is fair and balanced. She describes him with all his warts: a fierce temper, a tendency toward hyperbole, and an ego that forgot no slight. She records his loneliness and isolation, which few people were aware of. She shows that he had many admirers and many enemies, but very few peers and true friends.
The new biography describes Ben-Gurion as a man who somehow balanced moments of incredible boldness with moments of great caution and realism. He was more concerned with bringing Jews into the country than with acquiring more territory. When his generals told him that it might be possible to capture the West Bank in 1948, he asked them what would they do with it and with the people who lived on it. He then forbade them from seizing it during the war.
Ben-Gurion stood up to America over Israel's Dimona nuclear facility, but yielded to America by giving up the Sinai after the Suez War. He understood that Israel could not survive without at least one ally among the great powers, and he chose to cast his country's lot with the Western democracies, rather than with the Soviet Union. He created a government for people who had never run one before, and he fought uncompromisingly against those who he believed challenged the authority of the state.
This book shows that, like Vladimir Lenin, who more than any other person created the Soviet Union, and like Winston Churchill, who saved England in its darkest hour by his sheer will and determination, Ben-Gurion created the State of Israel and set it on its path. Shapira adeptly records how he did it and chronicles the rest of his storm-tossed life, so that future generations may appreciate both his achievement and his faults.
"Ben-Gurion: Father of Modern Israel," by Anita Shapira, Yale University Press (November 2014), 288 pages, $25.

The Jewish Dog

Within days of purchasing a lovely dog named Moshe, Avrom notices that Moshe is very intelligent - he always comes when his name is called no matter what he was doing; he always finds his bone no matter where it's hidden; and he learns new tricks very quickly. He can even balance on one leg for 30 seconds.
Avrom realizes that Moshe is a very special kind of dog - a Jewish dog, most probably, so he teaches Moshe to wear a kippa. And because Moshe looks so frum in his kippa, Avrom starts to teach him Hebrew. Not surprisingly, Moshe quickly starts learning and then speaking some Hebrew words in a doggie kind of voice. But then one morning, Avrom, realizing that Yom Kippur is only a few days away, phones his rabbi and gets permission to bring Moshe to shul with him.
On Yom Kippur morning, they arrive in shul and the kippa-wearing Moshe is given the seat immediately between Avrom and a Mr Birnboam. The service begins and immediately Moshe can be heard by those around him praying in Hebrew in a yappy but reasonably clear breathy kind of voice, with heartfelt 'wails' thrown in every now and then. Mr Birnboam turns to Avrom and whispers, "I just can't believe what I'm seeing and hearing. It looks like your dog is davening. But he can't be, can he? I must be dreaming. If I am, please wake me up immediately."
"No, you're not dreaming Mr Birnboam," whispers Avrom, "Moshe truly is davening."
"If that's so," whispers Mr Birnboam, "you can get thousands of dollars for such an act on THE X FACTOR or AMERICA'S GOT TALENT."
"Mr Birnboam," whispers Avrom, "I can assure you that the same thoughts have crossed my mind. But my Moshe has told me in no uncertain terms that he wants to be an Accountant."

The National Geographic slide show pictures are too big to post.  If you want to see them, please write to me at and I will send them to you