Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Passover Seder at the Technion and China builds its first 3D-printed car

Ask Advice Before Giving Up

If you are in a situation in which negative consequences appear to be inevitable, don't give up. Rather, consult others for advice. Even though it might seem there is no escape, someone else might think of an idea that will save you.

Today, think about situations when you were under the impression that negative consequences were inevitable, but the reality turned out better than you had imagined. Let this serve as a resource not to give up prematurely in the future.

Love Yehuda Lave

The best I've seen!


China's builds its first 3D-printed car capable of reaching 40km/h and sells for just $1700 

  • 3D-tech firm Sanya Si Hai unveiled China's first 3D-printed car on Tuesday
  • The electric-powered car is capable of reaching speeds of up to 40 km/hr
  • The vehicle was printed in five days, at a cost of $1700 (11,000 yuan) 

By Nelson Groom for Daily Mail Australia

Published: 02:35 GMT, 26 March 2015

Hot off the heels of 3D-printed buildings, clothing and food, a Chinese company has crossed a national printing milestone.

Tech firm Sanya Si Hai 3D unveiled China's debut 3D-printed car on Tuesday, a radiant gold sedan dubbed Shuya.

The electric-powered two-seater, which is capable of reaching speeds of up to 40 km/hr, went for a drive on the streets of Hainan province, southern China.

Onlookers watch the unveiling of China's debut 3D-printed car Shuya, capable of reaching speeds of up to 40 km/hr

Onlookers watch the unveiling of China's debut 3D-printed car Shuya, capable of reaching speeds of up to 40 km/hr

Shuya's most distinctive feature is its blazingly orange exterior, a result of the Tyrant Gold filament used to fabricate the car.

The frame of the rechargeable battery-powered car was 3D-printed with a composite material, then combined with the conventionally manufactured components.

Shuya was printed in five days, at a cost of $1700 (11,000 yuan.) It required 500kg of the Tyrant Gold material at about 10 yuan per kg, with an extra 1000 yuan for electricity and labour.

The car is not the first of its kind-that honour belongs to American company Local Motors 3D, who unveiled the Strati back in September.

The 50-part car was exhibited at the 2014 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago. 

Shuya's most distinctive feature is its blazingly orange exterior, a result of the Tyrant Gold filament used to fabricate the car

Shuya's most distinctive feature is its blazingly orange exterior, a result of the Tyrant Gold filament used to fabricate the car

The electric-powered two-seater went for a drive on the streets of Hainan province, southern China, on Tuesday

Sanya Si hai reviously created the worlds first fully functional boat in August, a two-meter long vessel which can fit two people.

The 35kg boat was printed with the companies renowned 13,000kg printer, which is capable of printing objects up to 4 metres in length with a height and breadth of about 2 metres. 

3D-printing technology is used in a growing number of industries from construction to aerospace.

Many believe it could even lead to 'mini factories' in households which allow consumers to print anything from clothing to replacement parts for broken household appliance.

5 Thoughts for Your Passover Seder

Thought-provoking questions and insights to share at your Seder.


1. Inscribe the Story on the Hearts of our Children

The central mitzvah of the Seder is to tell the story of leaving Egypt. Our Sages term the telling of the story, in Hebrew, sippur yetziat Mitzrayim, "the story of the Exodus from Egypt." Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik teaches that the term sippur, story, is related to the word sofer, "scribe," or sefer, which means a "scroll" or a "book."

What this meaning suggests is that a sofer, a scribe, who writes a sefer, a scroll, produces something that is permanent, something that will last for generations.

On Seder night, parents are also involved in the act of "writing an everlasting scroll." The child is the sefer, the scroll upon which the parent etches the beauty of this sacred night in the child's mind.

On Passover night we are to be sofrim, scribes, writing indelibly on the hearts and on the minds of our children the story that will be passed down to all succeeding generations.

According to the Midrash (Yalkut Shimoni, Ve'zot Habracha, Remez 962), when Moses died, a voice from Heaven called out, "Moses has died, the great scribe of Israel."

Why was this term used to describe Moses? Was this his greatest attribute – that he wrote Torah scrolls?

Rabbi Soloveitchik explains that "a great scribe" does not just mean that he was a scribe of Torah scrolls. Rather, Moses wrote upon the hearts of his people. He etched the wisdom of the Torah into the very soul of the nation. And he did so in a way that each generation would pass it on to the next.

This is also our goal on the night of the Seder: to impart the Torah on the very souls of our children.

Q: What traditions and values are most important to pass on to your children in today's world?

2. Breaking the Matzah as a Symbol of Sharing

We break the matzah as a symbol of the poor man's bread that the Jewish slaves ate in Egypt. One way of understanding this is that a poor person, who can never know where his next meal is coming from, breaks off a piece and saves it for later.

Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik offered a different interpretation of the "poor man's bread" that was eaten by the Jews in Egypt.

Although when we think of the enslavement of the Jewish people in Egypt, we usually think that all the Jews must have been equally burdened by it, but in truth that was not so. There were various degrees of slavery. Some Jews lived under better conditions, some worse. According to our Sages, the tribe of Levi was never enslaved. What this means is that some had access to food and some did not.

Those that did, claims Rabbi Soloveitchik, broke their bread and shared it with other Jews who had less. The Jews who were enslaved in Egypt would split their piece of matzah and share it with the poor who needed it; hence the term "poor man's bread." This is symbolized by the act of breaking the matzah in half: Yachatz. When we break the matzah as our forefathers did, it is a symbol of the hesed, the loving-kindness, and the solidarity of Jews toward their fellow Jews, their brothers and sisters, even under the harshest conditions.

Q: How do we learn to become more compassionate and giving people?

3. Why Eat Bitter Herbs?

The Hasidic master, Reb Yehuda Aryeh Leib of Ger (1847–1905) in his commentary, the S'fat Emet, (Pesach, 1873) cited his grandfather, Rabbi Yitzchak Meir of Ger, known as the Chidushei HaRim who poses the question, "Why do we eat bitter herbs?" He answered the question in the following way: "Feeling pain, the 'bitterness,' is actually a sign of redemption. Just feeling the bitterness is itself the first glimmer of freedom; for the worst kind of slavery is when we grow so accustomed to it that we accommodate ourselves to it."

Rav Kook interprets the meaning of the marror, the bitter herbs, in a similar way: There is a danger that a slave will become so accustomed to his condition that he prefers not to go free. But this was not the case with the Jews. We Jews felt the bitterness – we knew that this was not the life that we were destined for. We knew that we had come from a holy heritage and that we were "princes of God."

Eating marror at the Seder, while indisputably a reminder of the bitterness of our lives as slaves, should also be viewed as a sign of the special quality that we possessed. We always managed to maintain our sense of self, and we always knew that we were a unique people. We "thankfully" tasted the bitterness and knew that we were destined to lead lives that were more noble and dignified.

Q: How do we break away from societal influences that can dull our sense of self and impinge on attaining our personal aspirations?

4. Discovering the Torah in You

"Had He brought us before Mount Sinai, and not given us the Torah – dayeinu – it would have been enough for us!"

This verse in the Dayeinu song seems to make very little sense, says the Hasidic master, Reb Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev.

The song culminates in these lines: "Had He brought us to Mount Sinai and not given us the Torah, it would have sufficed, dayeinu."

But what would be the purpose of coming to Mount Sinai and not receiving the Torah?

The answer, he says, lies in what happened in the days and the precious moments preceding the giving of the Torah. Each person who was present so sincerely and deeply opened themselves to God and to the Torah that they were able to discover that the Torah, the will of God, was already implanted within their minds and hearts. Each of us contains the Torah within us, says Reb Levi Yitzchak. The problem is that we so often are preoccupied with the superficialities of life that it prevents us from turning inward and discovering what is truly meaningful and right.

Says Reb Levi Yitzchak, coming to Sinai alone and casting aside all material concerns to hear only the word of God was sufficient to evoke this discovery: the experience of an inner awareness of God's will, even before experiencing God's revelation. This is the deeper explanation of these words: Had we only been brought to Mount Sinai and not given the Torah, Dayeinu, it would have been sufficient!

Q: How do we strip away the many distractions that often limit us in developing a real closeness with God?

5. The Heroic Act of Personal Change

"…you were naked and bare" – Passover Haggadah

It is one of the most obscure verses we cite on Seder night.

The author of the Haggadah quote a verse from the book of Ezekiel which describes the Jewish slave in Egypt: "I caused you to thrive like the plants of the field, and you increased and grew and became very beautiful…but you were naked and bare ( Ezekiel 16:7).

What is the meaning of this cryptic verse?

Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik explains that the life of the Israelite slave was a "naked one," a beastly one. They had been negatively influenced over hundreds of years living a culture that was debased and depraved. Unfortunately, many Jews were living lives that did not reflect a moral and noble behavior, they had succumbed to a life which was "naked and bare," uncouth and unrefined.

And then something almost unimaginable happened, a miracle far greater than all the signs and wonders in Egypt. The Jewish slaves transformed their lives, lifting themselves up and opened their hearts to accept the Divine will. They chose a new path devoted to higher ideals and goals. This says the Rav, required wondrous courage, what the Kabbalistic tradition terms 'gevura'; conquering destructive desires and implementing self-restraint and self-sacrifice.

This heroic and transformative act on the part of the Jewish people in choosing a sacred way of life remains one of the most important and enduring lessons of the Exodus story; an inspiration for us in our own religious growth for all time.

Q: Passover is a time for personal change. What can do to begin making the changes we want to make in our lives?

These and many other Passover teachings can be found in the new best-selling Haggadah, 'The Night That Unites'

Biden: American Jews Can Only Rely on Israel, Not US

US Vice President makes shocking statement, telling American Jews 'no matter how involved you are in the US, the only guarantee is Israel."

By Ari Yashar, Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 3/30/2015, 1:40 PM

Joe Biden
Joe Biden

An incredible admission by US Vice President Joe Biden has been revealed, in which he told Jewish leaders that should the American Jewish community be in danger, it has only Israel to rely on - and not America.

Journalist Jeffrey Goldberg reveals in the April issue of The Atlantic how at a Rosh Hashana event in Biden's home last fall, the vice president told Jewish leaders and Jewish officials in US President Barack Obama's administration how he met former Prime Minister Golda Meir when he was a young Senator.

"I'll never forget talking to her in her office with her assistant - a guy named (Yitzhak) Rabin - about the Six-Day War," he recalled. "The end of the meeting, we get up and walk out, the doors are open, and...the press is taking photos. ...She looked straight ahead and said, 'Senator, don't look so sad...Don't worry. We Jews have a secret weapon.'"

Biden states he asked Meir what the weapon was, noting "I thought she was going to tell me something about a nuclear program" - an ironic comment given the US's recent declassification of documents revealing Israel's nuclear program in a breach of understandings with the Jewish state.

But according to Biden, "she looked straight ahead and she said, 'We have no place else to go.'" Addressing his guests at Rosh Hashana, Biden paused for effect and repeated, "we have no place else to go."

"Folks, there is no place else to go, and you understand that in your bones," Biden said. "You understand in your bones that no matter how hospitable, no matter how consequential, no matter how engaged, no matter how deeply involved you are in the United States...there's only one guarantee."

"There is really only one absolute guarantee, and that's the state of Israel," he stated.

Responding to the statement, Corey Robin of Salon wrote how disturbing the statement is, given that it consists of "a sitting vice president telling a portion of the American citizenry that they cannot count on the United States government as the ultimate guarantor of their freedom and safety."

"The occupant of the second-highest office in the land believes that American Jews should look to a foreign government as the foundation of their rights and security," she added. "A country that once offered itself as a haven to persecuted Jews across the world now tells its Jews that in the event of some terrible outbreak of anti-Semitism they should…what? Plan on boarding the next plane to Tel Aviv?"


Monday, March 30, 2015

AN AMAZING STORY about challenging the Justice Department and eat Kitniyots on Passover

You Need Self-Love To Give Love

"Only a person who inwardly feels good about himself will be able to fulfill the commandment of love your neighbor."

Love Yehuda Lave

Rabbi gives halactic permission for Ashkenazim  to eat Kitniyots on passover


wow – some people know how to use their courage







The amazing story about what one person can do.


By Rabbi Brenner Glickman,


Tonight, I will tell you a story. It is the true story of a seemingly inconsequential man who, driven by passion and determination, has accomplished the extraordinary. It is a David and Goliath story of our times, and it continues to unfold. When you hear this story, I think you will agree that someone needs to write a book about this man. I can't believe that no one has yet.


Our hero's name is Stephen Flatow. He is a real-estate attorney in northern New Jersey. He does title work, mostly, out of a small, cluttered office. He is well-regarded in his field, but not especially well known. He makes a living.


He is famous, however, in other circles, as an activist. His courage and determination are unmatched. This lone man has stood up to the greatest powers and has not blinked. He has challenged the State Department, the Justice Department, the courts, and the largest banks in the world.


He has failed and prevailed, stumbled and triumphed, over and over again. He does not quit. He is driven by the love of his daughter, a daughter who was killed by a suicide bomber twenty years ago. This is his story.


Alisa Flatow was a student at Brandeis University. She chose to spend a semester studying abroad in Jerusalem. After a few months in Israel, she and her roommates decided to spend a weekend at a beach resort in Gaza. This was 1995, soon after the Oslo accords, and Gaza was still under Israeli control. It seems unfathomable now, but people used to vacation in Gaza at the beach resorts. On the way to the beach, their bus was struck by a van filled with explosives. The terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the killing. Seven Israeli soldiers riding on the bus were killed. Alisa was severely wounded, but she did not die right away. The terrorist van was filled with shrapnel that exploded through the windows of the bus and struck her head. She was unconscious, but her body was unharmed.


The doctors called her father in America, and told him to come right away. When he landed in Ben Gurion airport, government agents met him on the runway, and escorted him straight from the plane to the hospital. By the time he arrived, Alisa was brain-dead. The doctors offered their condolences, and asked the father if he would be willing to donate her organs.


This was not a simple question. The Flatow family was Orthodox and observant. It was not customary for Orthodox Jews to donate organs, and they were not sure it was allowed by Jewish law. So the parents called their rabbi and asked what to do. He told them to donate the organs, and so they did.


That single act became a sensation in Israel. To understand its significance, I need to give a little background information. There is much in Jewish law and custom that would discourage organ donation. It has been our longstanding tradition to treat a dead body as sacred. Our custom is to watch over it, cleanse it, and prepare it carefully for burial. The body is buried whole and unaltered. That is why rabbinic authorities have generally discouraged autopsies.


But organ donation is special. It presents the opportunity to save a life. In Jewish law, the saving of a human life takes special precedence. You can violate just about all the other commandments if you can save a life. Therefore, Jewish law does not just allow organ donation, it requires it. Reform and Conservative rabbis immediately encouraged organ donation, and by the 1970s, Orthodox rabbis did as well.


The problem was that most Jews in Israel were not aware of this. The rates of organ donation were extraordinarily low. Israel was part of a European consortium of organ sharing nations, but was suspended because too few Israelis were registered donors. It was a stunning irony for a nation famous as an innovator of advanced medical technologies. The problem was that Israelis knew about the tradition of burying a body whole; they were not so aware that their rabbis allowed organ donation.


Throughout the 1970s and 80s, various medical groups and the government in Israel tried to educate the public, but nothing worked. Organ donation rates were terribly low. People were desperate for organs, but few were donating. It just wasn't what people did.


And then the Flatows offered their daughter's organs to the people of Israel. The news made headlines in every newspaper throughout the nation. Her heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, pancreas, and corneas were able to save six lives in Israel. Notably, at least one of the recipients was Arab Palestinian. The people of Israel were amazed, and grateful. They had felt so alone in suffering against terrorism, and here this family from America made such a gesture. They felt that the world Jewish community was with them. We were one.


Days later, Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin came to Washington DC and spoke before a gathering of 12,000 American Jews. What he told them would be printed in newspapers throughout America. He spoke about what Alisa's gift meant to the Israeli people. "Today," he said, "her heart beats in Jerusalem."


There is more. After Alisa's death, the Flatows lives were shattered. Alisa's mother withdrew into herself and her home. But the father, Stephen, decided to take action. He wanted justice. It was widely reported that the State of Iran was the sponsor and financial backer of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. It angered him that there were no consequences for Iran. They had funded his daughter's murderers, and no one was doing anything about it. The bomber himself was killed. The terrorist ring was being pursued by Israel. Stephen Flatow decided to take it upon himself to go after Iran.


A lawyer by training, he sought justice through the courts. He had a brilliant idea. If he and other victims of terror could file suit against Iran, they could exact punishment on the regime. They would make it costly for states to sponsor terror, and then maybe Iran would think twice about doing it again.


But there was a problem. United States law did not allow private citizens to sue foreign governments. It was expressly forbidden. So Stephen Flatow went to Washington to change the law. His senator, the Jewish Frank Lautenberg, happened to be in Israel at the time of Alyssa's death. He took a special interest in her family and drafted legislation. Flatow testified before congress, and even gained the backing of President Clinton. Congress passed the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1996 to make an exception to the longstanding rule. In cases of state-sponsored terror, individual US citizens could sue foreign nations for damages in US courts. It was the first victory.

It did not last. The courts threw it out. So back to Washington he went for a new law, one written specifically to override the objections of the court.

Once again he sued the state of Iran in a US court. But his time, one of his allies became an adversary. The Clinton administration began to see Flatow as interfering in national diplomacy. The White House was against Iran, but they did not want Flatow dictating the terms. So the U.S. Department of Justice intervened in the case, and actually filed a brief in support of Iran and against the victims of terror. Once more, Flatow returned to Congress and this time he got a third law that gave citizens even more strength to sue foreign governments, this time with teeth.


Finally, in 1997, he received his judgment. A court ruled in favor of the Flatows and against Iran. The family was awarded $26 million in compensatory damages, and over $200 million in punitive damages.


But the issue was hardly over. How do you collect money from a rogue state? They weren't paying. Stephen Flatow devised a plan. Since the United States had ended diplomatic ties with Iran following the rise of the Ayatollah, the Iranian embassy in Washington and the residence of the Iranian ambassador have been in control of the United States Government. The State Department holds them in trust with the goal of returning them to Iran someday when relations resume. Stephen Flatow now had a ruling that said the Iranian government owed him $247 million. He sought possession of the embassy and the residence, property owned by Iran. The State Department refused. They feared that if the United States confiscated sovereign property here, our embassies and properties abroad would become threatened. So instead, they paid Flatow $20 million from US funds with the understanding that the United States would collect that money from Iran someday.


Stephen Flatow was furious. His goal was not to get money. His goal was to make Iran pay so they would stop sponsoring terror. He had won in court and he had received money, but Iran had still not paid one cent.

And this leads to the third chapter of this amazing saga. Stephen Flatow did not give up. He began to look for other assets in the United States that were owned by the government of Iran. Officially, there were none. United States sanctions prohibited Iran from doing any business in the United States, or for anyone to do business with Iran in the United States. But Flatow had suspicions that a charitable foundation in New York was actually a front, laundering money for the Iranian regime.


Why would the Iranians funnel their money through New York? Because the financial exchanges are there, and you can't get anything done internationally without going through New York's markets. Iran's economy, its nuclear weapons development, its sponsorship of Hezbollah and other jihadists groups – all required moving money across currencies. They needed a secret foothold in New York. The Alavi Foundation was established decades ago by the Shah to promote Iranian culture abroad. It owned a gleaming skyscraper on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, between Rockefeller Center and the Museum of Modern Art. Ivan Boesky used to office there. Stephen Flatow did a lot of digging, and then filed papers in court demonstrating that the foundation and the building were secretly operated by the Iranian government. And if they belonged to the state of Iran, they were subject to his financial ruling.


Stephen Flatow's case was a civil matter, but it came to the attention of a young analyst sitting in a cubicle at the Manhattan District Attorney's office. If what Flatow was saying was true, there was some serious criminal wrongdoing going on. That young analyst's name was Eitan Arusy. Before he starting working for the District Attorney, he served in the Israel Defense Force as a spokesman. He was one of the first responders to the scene of the carnage on the day that Alisa Flatow's bus was bombed. He had a special interest in the case. The district attorney's office did their own digging, and came to the same conclusion as Flatow – the Alavi Foundation was actually a front for Bank Melli, the State of Iran's government-owned national bank. But how did the Iranians do it? How did they get their money in and out of the United States? The district attorney's office soon discovered that two European Banks, Credit Suisse and Lloyds of London, were moving money and falsifying documents for the Iranians. When the FBI raided the records of the charity, they found vast deposits from Credit Suisse and Lloyds. The banks cooperated with investigators. They provided emails and memos detailing how they took Iranian money and sent it to the United States in their own names. Without admitting guilt, Lloyds agreed to pay a fine of $350 million, and Credit Suisse $536 million.


They were not alone. It was soon discovered that most of the major European banks were laundering money for the Iranians into the United States, in direct violation of US law. Barclays Bank settled in 2010, paying the United States $298 million. In 2012, ING, Standard Chartered, and HSBC also settled. HSBC agreed to pay $1.9 billion.

Then came the big one. While all these banks were making deals with the US government, two employees of BNP Paribas became whistleblowers. They shared with investigators that their bank had laundered tens of billions of dollars of Iranian money. They had also laundered money for Sudan while its regime was committing genocide


BNP is the largest bank in France. This summer you may have seen the news. BNP became the first bank to admit guilt in laundering money for the Iranian government. They agreed to pay $8.9 billion in fines to the United States. It was far and away the largest penalty ever paid by a bank in history. The New York Times headline said it best: "A Grieving Father Pulls a Thread that Unravels BNP's Illegal Deals." A dad lost his girl. The hole in his life will never be filled. He thinks about her every day. He never gives up. He is a small-time attorney doing title work in New Jersey. But his tenacity and his grit and his smarts were beyond anyone's estimation. This one man in New Jersey uncovered an international conspiracy of bank fraud


The story is not over. Stephen Flatow is not done. The man who instantly changed the culture of organ donation is Israel is trying to do the same here in America. He takes every opportunity to speak to Orthodox congregations to encourage organ donation. Though the rate of donation consent in America is strong at 60%, the rate among Flatow's fellow Orthodox Jews is only 5%. He is on a mission to change that.He and his wife have also established a foundation in Alisa's name. They sponsor young Jewish women from around the world to take a semester of study in Jerusalem. The money they have received in their fight against Iran is now sponsoring women's Torah study and the vitality of the State of Israel.


And, in the months ahead, he may finally achieve his goal of making Iran actually pay. A federal judge has the ruled that the assets of the Alavi Foundation be liquidated. The gleaming office tower in New York and other properties around America will be sold and the proceeds will go to the victims of Iranian-sponsored terrorism. That will be Iranian money. Finally, Iran will pay a price.


All of this because of one man in Northern New Jersey. One man who never quit.


Earlier this summer, I did my own digging and I found Stephen Flatow's contact information. I sent him an email.




Dear Mr. Flatow,

My name is Brenner Glickman and I am a rabbi with a congregation in Sarasota, Florida.


I admire you and am writing a sermon about you and your family for this High Holidays.

Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do for Israel and America.

You are an inspiration.


He replied the same day:



Dear Rabbi Glickman,

Thanks very much for your note. But it's really Alisa who has been the source of strength and encouragement these past 19 years. As I like to remind people, I'm still her father and we do anything for our children.


Stephen M. Flatow, Esq.

Stephen's Title Agency, LLC

165 Passaic Avenue, Suite 101

Fairfield, NJ 07004

Email address:    sflatow@vested.com



Web Site:            www.stephenstitle.com




























Barry Marks







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Passover & Jewish Destiny

Passover & Jewish Destiny

Matzah symbolizes hope, especially this year.


It's been noted that more Jews observe the Passover Seder than any other Jewish ritual.

It is a powerful affirmation of our collective kinship in a historic moment that allowed for the birth of our people. With Divine aid, we went from slavery to freedom. The Seder permits us to remember and to give thanks. It is our opportunity to reflect upon the miracles of our past. It is our tribute to history.

But the very first Seder of our people makes clear that this is not its major message.

Remarkably enough, the Jews in Egypt were commanded to celebrate the Seder on the very night before their departure and deliverance. They were not yet free. Nevertheless they ate the matzah and the bitter herbs and they fulfilled the required rituals. Clearly they were not celebrating an event which had already occurred but rather demonstrating their faith in the inevitability of a Divine promise they were anticipating.

The Passover Seder began with an emphasis on destiny, not history.

The first Seder took place not after the Exodus but before it. It was a Seder not of gratitude for what was but of hope for redemption yet to come. The Passover Seder began with an emphasis on destiny, not history; on the future, not the past.

And that is what makes Passover so relevant from generation to generation. Even as we retell the story of old to our children we make clear that its purpose is meant to resonate with us as a harbinger of hope. "In every generation they rise up against us to destroy us but the holy one blessed be he saves us from their hands" – just as the Almighty did then against our ancient Egyptian oppressors.

It is the only certainty of history. God always comes to our aid. He may be depended upon, unlike any other temporary political alliances or allegiances. History has a preordained plan – an order, or as it is expressed in Hebrew by the word Seder. The Seder of history has a preordained conclusion. The story of our redemption from Egypt is but a prequel to the final redemption of messianic fulfillment. So certain are we of this for the future that we ask our children, those who will surely be the beneficiaries of this Divine promise, to open the door for Elijah at every Seder to welcome the prophet whose assigned task is to announce the coming of Messiah.

And by eating matzah at the Seder we make a stunning declaration about the way in which we see this come to pass. It is counterintuitive. It goes against the common proverbial assumption that "history doesn't change overnight." But it is the method of historic change utilized by God himself – and incorporated by way of symbol into the Passover holiday. Redemption, as illustrated by the matzah, came speedily and unexpectedly. They did not even have time to let their bread rise. Suddenly, in the blink of an eye, Egyptian slaves were free.

Our ancestors were told that at the very first Seder, before they left Egypt, to sit "with their loins girded, with shoes on their feet, with traveling sticks in their hands" ready to begin their journey. Only faith that God would fulfill his promise made it possible for them not only to believe, after 210 years of bitter oppression, their salvation was near but that its implementation was but a matter of moments away.

Matzah demonstrates the speed of Divine intervention.

Human progress may take centuries. The matzah demonstrates the speed of Divine intervention.

Indeed, the rabbis long ago told us to be attuned in particular to dramatic historic changes that came about in unprecedented and seemingly incomprehensible speed. The haste of events is one of God's chosen ways to indicate his direct and personal involvement.

Who Knows Nine?

That is why there is a unique tradition in Judaism that the Messiah will be born on Tisha b'Av. Redemption at the end of days is viewed as a dramatic turnabout, a total and speedy transformation from the tragic to the jubilant, from weeping to joyous wonderment. It is precisely when we are enveloped by darkness that we need to be certain of the nearness of dawn.

It is at the very close of the Seder that we find a perplexing line in the famous passage which alludes to the theological significance of numbers. We ask "Who knows one?" and we all respond: one is our God. So too we get the significance of two as the two tablets, three as the patriarchs, for as the matriarchs, five of the books of the Torah, six the number of sections of the Mishnah, seven the days of the week, eight the day of circumcision… and then comes the link which seems totally out of place. "Who knows nine?" and the response is nine are the months of pregnancy. Many have wondered at the pertinence of this connection. Nine months of pregnancy are simply a biological fact. What in the world is it doing in the list meant to offer religious significance of numbers on the night when we reflect on redemption?

I would like to suggest that the nine months of pregnancy indeed have a very special link with the theme of the Seder night. The prophets long ago taught that the final redemption will be preceded by what they called "the pains of childbirth." Just as the prelude to the glorious moment of birth is the mother's pain during labor, so too will the time of messianic fulfillment, sequel to the Passover story, be preceded by a painful and difficult period for the Jewish people. In the aftermath of a seeming Tisha b'Av , final redemption will break forth, speedily and almost in the blink of an eye just as for the Jews in Egypt in the ancient biblical story.

A Difficult Year

As Jews prepare to observe Passover, we cannot fail to note that the Jewish people in Israel and around the world have had a most difficult year. Growing anti-Semitism, the war of Gaza against Israel this past summer, the ongoing fear of Iran's nuclear capability threatening our annihilation and now the strained relationship between the President of the United States and Israel have left us with great cause for concern.

But perhaps the meaning of these painful moments needs to be understood in context of the prophetic warnings of the terrible trials immediately preceding the messianic age. And perhaps, as we prepare to celebrate the Seder in the year which on the Jewish calendar is spelled TISHA, the very word for nine in Hebrew, we may express the hope that this will be the time alluded to in the nine months of pregnancy.

May our pain be prelude to ultimate joy and may our history finally turned into the blessing of our promised destiny.


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Dilbert's Laws of Work and Eight rules for successful work instead

As a Child to his Father

The Chafetz Chaim  (one of our great sages from the past century) used to say that when you feel heavy-hearted, speak to the Almighty just as a child speak to his father.

One does not need formal prayer for this. Rather speak to your Heavenly Father in any language you wish.

You know, Daddy, help me!!!

Love Yehuda Lave

Flash mob song on the Light Rail:


Dilbert's Laws of Work

A pat on the back is only a few centimeters from a kick in the rear.

Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.

You can go anywhere you want if you look serious and carry a clipboard.

Eat one live toad the first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.

When the bosses talk about improving productivity, they are never talking about themselves.

If at first you don't succeed, try again. Then quit. No use being a fool about it.

Everything can be filed under "miscellaneous."

Never delay the ending of a meeting or the beginning of a cocktail hour.

To err is human, to forgive is not our policy.

Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn't the work he/she is supposed to be doing.

If you are good, you will be assigned all the work. If you are really good, you will get out of it.

You are always doing something marginal when the boss drops by your desk.

People who go to conferences are the ones who shouldn't.

If it wasn't for the last minute, nothing would get done.

When you don't know what to do, walk fast and look worried.

When confronted by a difficult problem you can solve it more easily by reducing it to the question, "How would the Lone Ranger handle this?"

No matter how much you do, you never do enough.


Eight Thoughts successful People think every day


Cornell Dean Welcomes ISIS and Hamas on Campus - News from America - News - Arutz Sheva


Palestinian Authority School Children: Boycott Israel by Killing Jews

Has anyone asked Obama why Netanyahu should even think about agreeing to a Palestinian Authority country?
Published: March 27th, 2015

Palestinian Authority TV broadcasts incitement from children's school theater.

Palestinian Authority TV broadcasts incitement from children's school theater.
Photo Credit: Screenshot: Palestinian Media Watch

Palestinian Authority media and schools have escalated incitement of violence against Israel by interviewing children who justify killing Jews for the objective of boycotting Israeli products.

Of course, if the children kill all the Jews, there won't be any Israeli products to boycott, and that is precisely the point.

Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) translated and published a video of an official PA broadcast of a Hebron school's theater activity aimed at promoting a boycott against Israel.

One charming boy, with a kefiyeh headdress, said:

I came to rehearse the play in order to boycott Israeli products and fight the Jews, kill them, and defeat them. The goal is to boycott Israeli products.

A PA television reporter explained to anyone, such as the U.S. State Dept., who might not understand what was going on, "Instilling the culture of boycotting occupation products in the hearts of children and adolescents was the goal that led the Ministry of Education to place this issue at the center of all school activities throughout the homeland… Through creative activities, [students] expressed different views about support for national products and resistance through boycott.

It is no wonder that Palestinian Authority children think the way do. PMW pointed out that the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Education last year "held a sporting event named after a terrorist who placed a bomb in a refrigerator in the center of Jerusalem, murdering 15 and injuring 60."

Also last year, "The Minister of Culture last year presented an award at a cultural event to Egyptian poet Hesham El-Gakh after he read his poem with the words 'our enemy is Zion, Satan with a tail.'"

The head of the PA Sports Authority sponsored a ping-pong tournament named after Dalal Mughrabi, who led a bus hijacking that ended with the murder of 37 Israelis.

Boycotting Israel justifies killing Jews, ping-pong honors terror, poetry is awarded for defining Zion as Satan, athletic events memorialize terrorists, and the Obama administration insists that peace will come to Israel when it runs out of Judea and Samaria and half of Jerusalem.

President Obama has to think that way. Otherwise, how could he justify sending American taxpayers' dollars to the PA?


Friday, March 27, 2015

Beautiful pics about snow and winter as we say goodby to Winter

It's Not Over Until It's Over

There is a rule in competitive games: It's not over until it's over. As long as the game is still going, there is a chance that someone who started out not doing so well can "make a comeback" and do much better.

The same applies to living life: It's not over until it's over. As long as you are alive, you have the opportunity to do more and be more.

As you know, your own self-image is based on what has already happened in your life, what you have already done, and how you have already acted. As long as you are alive, you can choose thoughts, words, and actions that will greatly elevate your self- image.

You might complain about your self-image because you view your current self-image as a final reality. It isn't. We human beings are works in progress as long as we are alive. If you aren't satisfied with your self-image right now, say and do things that will raise your self-image.

Love Yehuda Lave

The OU team does the streets of Tel Aviv Part Two

Streets of Tel Aviv Two

Fiddler on the roof in Japenese:


A flash Mob in a whole foods store:


Biblical Hebrew: A Story of Survival

A new book explores the unique nature and incredible survival of the world's holiest language

Rabbi Doniel Baron

Rabbi Doniel Baron is a senior lecturer at Aish HaTorah's Discovery Seminar. He received his law degree from NYU School of Law and practiced law at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft. He presently lives in Jerusalem with his wife and children.
Biblical Hebrew: A Story of Survival

Biblical Hebrew: A Story of Survival

by A new book explores the unique nature and incredible survival of the Hebrew language

Open Letter to House Speaker John Boehner


It has come to my attention that you have plans to visit the Holy Land in the coming days. If this is still the case, I would like to wish you a safe and enjoyable trip.


As King David writes, "Man's steps are established by God." This is true for every detail of every private person's life, but becomes immensely more significant for those whose lives have proven to be of crucial influence on the overall history of mankind. It is for this reason that I am writing to you today.


Ours is the first generation in modern times to understand the truly universal human condition and to seek to bring all peoples of the earth together in peace and harmony. We are the first generation to understand that we are faced with the choice of either inhabiting our planet harmoniously or not inhabiting at all, God forbid. Filling our future is the fundamentalism that threatens to pit one religion against another. But our different relationships and understandings of God should not be the reason for conflict but the source of goodwill in building our relationships with one another and our ability to understand others.


The covenant with the Jewish people was not the first made between the Almighty and mankind. Before the revelation at Mt. Sinai, God commanded Adam and then made a covenant with Noah, giving them the guidelines for the universal religion of mankind. The most well-known part of this covenant is the seven universal commandments, or the Seven Noahide Laws. For this reason, Judaism and Jews do not proselytize, but rather seek to guide the nations of the world in developing their own relationship with the Almighty and implementing these potentially unifying laws of basic human nature.


In our times, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson brought the Laws of Bnei Noach to the forefront of our efforts to bring lasting peace and prosperity to the Jewish people and the entire world. Time and again, the Rebbe explained that the world is ready to accept responsibility for these laws and to renew the covenant made between Noah and the Almighty after the Flood, as recounted in Genesis.


The Noahide Laws are not a religion. Rather, they are the framework for creating a better world, a better humanity, based on the bond that every human being can enjoy with his or her Creator.


In 1991, US Congress officially recognized the Noahide Laws as part of joint resolution to designate an annual Education Day in tribute to Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.


To quote Public Law 102-14:

     Whereas Congress recognizes the historical tradition of ethical values and principles which are the basis of civilized society and upon which our great Nation was founded;


     Whereas these ethical values and principles have been the bedrock of society from the dawn of civilization, when they were known as the Seven Noahide Laws;


     Whereas without these ethical values and principles the edifice of civilization stands in serious peril of returning to chaos;


     Whereas society is profoundly concerned with the recent weakening of these principles that has resulted in crises that beleaguer and threaten the fabric of civilized society;


     Whereas the justified preoccupation with these crises must not let the citizens of this Nation lose sight of their responsibility to transmit these historical ethical values from our distinguished past to the generations of the future...


What do we learn from the above? That the answer to the present-day conflicts date back to Adam, and in recent times, the joint resolution by the 102nd Congress.


God is waiting for the Jewish people to become the teachers to the nations, what Prophet Isaiah called a "light to the nations." This is what will return the world from the present-day darkness of hatred and terrorism. God is waiting for the nations of the world to observe the Noahide Laws, and benefit from the light of the Torah-the Five Books of Moses, Prophets, Writings, and so forth.


This is the call of the hour. Now is the time to both stand strong in face of darkness, and redouble our efforts to spread light.


With blessings,


Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh

Just a change of pace.  This shows the nice side of winter.

Ice And Snow Formations That Look Like Art
The formation of ice is subject to a million variables, and the tiniest change in humidity, temperature or wind speed can create wildly different results, producing some of winter's most beautiful and fascinating sights.

#1 Baikal Ice Emerald


#2 Frozen Bubbles


#3 Frozen Flower Buds


#4 Folded Snow


#5 Frosted Lace


#6 Frozen Lighthouses On Lake Michigan Shore


#7 Frozen Lakes


#8 Ice Blossoms


#9 Flower After Ice Storm


#10 Frozen Tree


#11 Frost On The Fence


#12 Frozen Pond


#13 After Freezing Rain In China


#14 Frozen Berries


#15 Frosted Pine


#16 Frost Flowers In The Arctic Ocean


#17 Frozen Grass


#18 Icicles On The Blooming Apple Tree


#19 Fudgesicles


#20 Grass After Freezing Rain


#21 Rabbit Or Frost Flowers


#22 Icicle Bush


#23 Snow Roller


#24 Winter in Finland

 Winter in Finland


Chris Borland's Early Retirement
Mom with a View

Chris Borland's Early Retirement

The football player is really using his head.


It would seem like a no-brainer (no pun intended and you will see why!): Chris Borland, 24, a young, prominent football player, is walking away from the game. What amazes some die-hard fans and players is that he could walk away from the game at all! But what stuns others is that he is walking away from potential millions in earnings. It is not sour grapes; it's not "I'll fire them before they fire me." He's a good player with a bright future in the game should he choose to stay. He is a widely sought after and talented young man. He would have been snapped up – and paid a lot. Yet he is choosing to walk away from the money.

He is also walking away from the pleasure of the game, from the rewards of being successful, from the adulation of the fans and teammates and coaches. What could possibly be the reason for such a dramatic decision? Mr. Borland is in excellent health and his prospects seem bright. Yet he came to a definitive decision. "From what I've researched and what I've experienced, I don't think it's worth the risk," explained Mr. Borland who has already suffered a number of concussions.

Now that the connection between concussions and future brain damage has been demonstrated incontrovertibly, Chris Borland is saying no. He is saying that a healthy mind is worth more to him that present and future earnings. Again, this seems like a no-brainer. And yet it's big news.

Because almost no one else does it. Yes there are few more early retirees this season and perhaps this medical issue has played a factor in their decisions as well. But for every retiree, I can't even begin to guess the number of young men lined up eager to take his place, eager to risk it all (and I'm not speaking metaphorically) to play the game they love and earn the big bucks.

I don't mean to minimize their choices. I understand love of the game. I love it myself (although I can't explain it rationally and I've given up trying! A beautiful pass and catch, an amazing long run, a kickoff return – I could wax poetic about the creativity, skill and excitement!). But the risk just seems too great. It was one thing to start smoking before we knew it causes cancer but it's hard to comprehend why anyone would start now. The same is true with football. Although I never played pro ball, I can imagine the high, the excitement, the thrills. (And the paycheck.)

The future seems so distant. I'm 24; I can't worry now about brain damage in my sixties. Yet that is exactly what Chris Borland is doing. He's doing something that almost no one his age ever does or is even capable of doing. He's fulfilling the sages' maxim: Who is the wise man? The one who foresees the consequences. He's looking down the road and he doesn't like where it takes him. So he's turning off now.

Some part of me would hate to see the end of football. But the saner, more logical part says there's no choice. How can I participate in allowing these young men to risk their precious brains? How can they? Thank you Chris Borland for not just recognizing there are more important things than money (easy to talk about and acknowledge) but actually doing something about it.

Video: The Chris Borland Story

by Rabbi Yaakov Salomon
A powerful reminder that money isn't everything.