Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Hativah, Dershowitz on the founding of the state, Lenord Nimoy, the dress that took over the internet and Shumley Botech on Susan Rice

Hatikvah like you never have heard it before by the IDF at the western wall
Love Yehuda Lave

Video: Israel's Legal Founding

by Alan M. Dershowitz and Prager University
Despite Israel's lawful origins, it is the only country in the world whose legitimacy has been questioned.

10 Spock Quotes to Remember Leonard Nimoy

"Live long and prosper" and "the needs of the many" are just a few of the actor's finest lines.

Spock Reborn (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)

Leonard Nimoy died at 83 Friday, leaving behind a body of work spanning decades.

For nearly 50 years, Star Trek's Spock has been the most prominent philosopher in movies and television, mixing the logical mind of Sherlock Holmes and the inspirational messages of ancient proverbs.

In memory of Nimoy, let's take a look back at 10 of Spock's finest quotes.

10. "May I say that I have not thoroughly enjoyed serving with humans? I find their illogic and foolish emotions a constant irritant." - Star Trek, season 3, episode 7 ("Day of the Dove," 1968)

See more Remembering Leonard Nimoy's Career (Photos)

9. "Computers make excellent and efficient servants, but I have no wish to serve under them." - Star Trek, season 2, episode 24 ("The Ultimate Computer," 1968)

8. "Insufficient facts always invite danger." - Star Trek, season 1, episode 24 ("Space Seed," 1968)

7. "In critical moments, men sometimes see exactly what they wish to see." - Star Trek, season 3, episode 9 ("The Tholian Web," 1968)

6. "After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing after all as wanting. It is not logical, but is often true." - Star Trek, season 2, episode 1 ("Amok Time," 1968)

5. "Without followers, evil cannot spread." - Star Trek, season 3, episode 5, ("And the Children Shall Lead," 1968)

4. "When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." - Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, 1991

3. "I could not deprive you of the revelation of all that you could accomplish together, of a friendship that will define you both in ways you cannot yet realize." - Star Trek, 2009

Nimoy's Spock spoke these words to a younger version of himself (Zachary Quinto), explaining why he asked young Kirk (Chris Pine) not to reveal his existence. It is among the most poignant summaries of the Kirk-Spock relationship in Trek lore.

2. "Live long and prosper." - First spoken in Star Trek, season 2, episode 1 ("Amok Time," 1968)

In the interview above, Nimoy revealed his Jewish heritage influenced the famous Vulcan benediction.

1. "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." - Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, 1982

Spock shared this philosophy with Kirk earlier in the film, and later used it to explain why he sacrificed his own life to save the Enterprise. The line is possibly the most famous in Trek history.

Purim & the Dress that Took Over the Internet

Appearances can be deceiving.

by Yvette Alt Miller

What color is this dress?What color is this dress?

What do you see when you look at this dress: blue and black – or white and gold?

Congratulations, you've just joined the biggest internet sensation in years – possibly ever. The garment in question has been dubbed the dress that burned the internet, and it's easy to see why: in less than a week, tens of millions of people across the globe have taken a peek – and disagreed about what color it is.

It all began when the mother of a bride-to-be in Scotland e-mailed her daughter a picture of the dress she was planning to wear to her wedding: her daughter saw a white and gold gown, while her fiancé thought it was black and blue. They posted a picture of the dress on facebook, where some viewers saw a blue and black frock; others were sure it was cream and gold. Interest intensified at their wedding on the small Scottish island of Colonsay on February 21, 2015: guests couldn't agree what color photos of the dress were. (The dress is consistently one color in person: read to the end to find out what it is!)

A member of the wedding band was so intrigued she posted the picture on Tumblr, and it became a viral sensation. By Friday afternoon, less than a week after the wedding, one social media site recorded 28 million views of the dress, and pictures of it were blanketing the internet. Kim Kardashian West spoke for millions when she tweeted "I see white & gold. Kayne sees black and blue, who is color blind?"

It's not only the color of the dress that has people divided; scientists have also put forward differing theories about what's going on, ranging from the difficulties our eyes have processing some colors, to our brains' need for clues about color from ambient light. Getting into the craze was Lee Hsien Loon, the Prime Minister of Singapore, who explained one theory on his facebook page: "We think of the colour of things as being something fixed, a property of the thing. But in fact what colour we see depends on the context in which we see the thing…."

Purim Perspective

The wonder of the dress comes at a perfect time in the Jewish calendar – the season of Purim, which is celebrated by making seemingly-ordinary things become slightly off-kilter. Of all the Jewish holidays, Purim can be the most raucous; we enjoying dressing up in costumes, going to parties, and infusing the day with humor through funny jokes and plays. The special redemption the Jews witnessed on Purim is "v'nahafoch hu" – everything was turned about, and it reminds us that God can bring about stunning reversals of fortune in an instant.

Purim describes a world that seems utterly mixed-up and confused: Esther the Queen of Persia is really a Jew; Mordechai, who saved the king's life, is really Esther's uncle, but nobody knows; Haman, the trusted advisor to the king, thinks he will be honored but in reality it's his arch-nemesis Mordechai, who is rewarded instead. Haman is hanged on the gallows he had built for Mordechai. The Jews, a weak people scattered throughout the mighty Persian Empire, are marked for genocidal destruction, but it is they who triumph in the end.

The biggest puzzle of all in Purim is the fact that the Almighty's identity, too, is hidden in Purim's narrative. The Book of Esther is the only one of the Torah's 24 books that fails to mention God by name. The Divine is everywhere in Purim's story, but His hand is hidden, disguised as coincidence, camouflaged as chance and lucky turns of fate. It's only when we step back and look at Purim in its entirety – when we view the sweep of its many coincidences, look afresh the ultimate meanings of its many seemingly unimportant details – the whole story of Purim emerges.

Purim reminds us that we don't always have all of the details we need to make a final judgment; we can't always see the big picture. It's a day for asking ourselves if what we really perceive is the whole story, and for reminding ourselves that there's room for doubt.

The dress that burned the internet is a great Purim lesson, coming just in time for this festive day. Appearances are deceptive – whether we're reading about Mordechai and Esther thousands of years ago in ancient Persia – or viewing one mystifying Scottish dress – black and blue in person – but of variable color, on our computer screens today.

Rabbi Boteach: Jews Must Rise as a Lion

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach defends anti-Susan Rice ad, says: 'Iran needs a nuclear program like I need a ham sandwich.'
By Uzi Baruch, Washington

In an exclusive Arutz Sheva interview, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach defended the New York Times advertisement that he put out, in which he accused US National Security Advisor Susan Rice of turning a blind eye to genocide, and highlighting Rice's politicization of the slaughter in Rwanda.

"Our principles are what they are," he declared, noting that he has traveled to Rwanda three times to visit the site of the terrible slaughter, and exhibiting his personal knowledge of the details of the massacre there.

Rabbi Boteach said that he has seen "too many Jews dying" – whether it is in Copenhagen, Brussels, Jerusalem or Kansas City. The Jewish nation "must rise as a lion to fight back," he said, against enemies who cannot be changed into friends through dialogue.

Iran, he noted, needs a nuclear program "like I need a ham sandwich."

Appearing in Saturday's New York Times, the controversial ad says: "Susan Rice has a blind spot: Genocide." It also features skulls in the background. 

The ad appears to be a reaction to comments Rice made on a recent interview with Charlie Rose, where she argued Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's speech before Congress could be disastrous to US-Israel relations

After Shabbat ended, Jewish groups were quick to denounce the ad. The American Jewish Committee called it "revolting," while the Anti-Defamation League labeled the ad "spurious and perverse."

Other organizations condemning the ad were the Orthodox Union, J Street, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, and the Rabbinical Assembly of the Conservative movement. 

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