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

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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?"