Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Price of Gas in France and new IDF rules (at bottom of email) and how to treat your hosts

The brain is the most outstanding organ. It works for 24 hours, 365 days, right from your birth until you fall in love." -- Anderson Marku

Feel the Benefit of Kindness 

What if you don't spontaneously feel joy for doing acts of kindness? Be aware of how you are elevating yourself and becoming a better person.

Imagine the good feelings you would have if someone helped you in the way you are helping others. By entering his world and feeling what he is feeling, you gain a greater appreciation for what you are doing.

You may find this technique difficult, but as you begin to experience it, you increase your ability to do so.

Love Yehuda Lave



Price of Gas in France
A thief in Paris planned to steal some Paintings from the Louvre.
After careful planning, he got past security,   
stole the paintings, and made it safely to his van..
However, he was captured only two   
blocks away when his van ran out of gas
When asked how he could mastermind   
such a crime and then make such an 
obvious error, he replied,
'Monsieur, that is the reason I stole   
the paintings.'
I had no Monet
To buy Degas
To make the Van Gogh.'
See if you have De Gaulle to send this on to   
someone else....
I sent it to you because I figured I had nothing Toulouse.


Abbas lets slip: All of Israel is 'the occupation'

In recent speech to UN General Assembly, 'moderate' Palestinian Authority leader makes his ultimate intentions clear.
By Ari Soffer
First Publish: 11/2/2015, 2:34 PM

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas continued his diplomatic offensive against Israel last week at the United Nations General Assembly, leveling a wide range of accusations against the Jewish state and calling for an international "protection regime" for Palestinians.

But amidst all the usual bluster, many observers missed a subtle, yet crucial, theme within Abbas's speech: That far from the "moderate" image he has cultivated, he views all of Israel as "occupied" and illegitimate, and aspires to the destruction of the country in its entirety.

At one point, in comments broadcast live on PA TV and highlighted by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), Abbas referred to Israel's "67-year occupation" - referring not to the "West Bank" (Judea and Samaria), but to the very founding of the State of Israel in 1948.

"Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, haven't you wondered: For how long will this protracted Israeli occupation of our land last? After 67 years (i.e., Israel's creation), how long? Do you think it can last, and that it benefits the Palestinian people?" Abbas asked.

Later on in his address, Abbas returned to that theme, speaking of "[The] holy sites which have been desecrated every other second again and again for seven decades [emphasis added] now under an occupation that does not quit killing, torturing, looting and imprisoning..."

Interestingly, PMW revealed that the PA's official Wafa news agency attempted to airbrush Abbas's initial statement, mistranslating it as: "Ladies and gentlemen, haven't you wondered; for how long will this protracted Israeli occupation of our land last?"

Official PA organs regularly re-write officials' speeches after the event to cover up gaffs or incriminating statements.

Most recently, the official website of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) - the body which runs the PA - retroactively re-wrote a televised address given by Abbas in which he erroneously claimed that Israel had "executed" a teenage terrorist, who was later revealed as being alive and well in an Israeli hospital.

Abbas's Freudian slip will not be surprising to observers who follow statements by the PA, PLO or Fatah party in Arabic, however. Far from the "moderate" image often portrayed in the west, Palestinian officials regularly make clear that they view any "two-state solution" as merely "the first stage" in annihilating Israel entirely.

As highlighted by PMW, the PA's own "National Security Force" regularly portrays places in "pre-67 Israel" as parts of "Palestine."

"In the last week alone, the PA Security Forces presented Israeli cities Ashkelon, Haifa and Acre as 'occupied,'" as well as multiple maps of "Palestine" which feature the entire map of Israel, it noted.

More below but I can't bring it up higher so scroll down


GOOD MORNING! Our Sages teach us that the actions of our forefathers Abraham (Avraham), Isaac (Yitzchak) and Jacob (Ya'akov) are signs for us. They are our role models. Avraham was the paradigm for hachansas orchim, hospitality. As a rule, the Torah is extremely concise, but in this section the Torah describes the small details of Avraham's behavior with his guests. Rabbi Yisroel Meir Kagan, the Chofetz Chaim, wrote that this is to teach us the importance of hospitality.

Avraham was very old and had just undergone circumcision. Although he was in great pain, he nevertheless sat by the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day, hoping to see a sojourner whom he could invite to his home. We learn from this the fundamental principle of appreciating guests and inviting guests even when it is difficult.

In Pirke Avos 1:5 we read, "The poor shall be members of your family." The Chofetz Chaim explains that there are those who do not invite guests into their homes with the excuse that they do not have special food or that their homes are too small. Our Sages therefore tell us that we should treat the poor as members of our own family and invite them under all circumstances.

Most important, the host should serve his guest cheerfully. It is better to serve a guest vegetables with a smile, than to give him a steak with a frown! A host must greet his guest in a friendly manner and accord him honor. Also, a person should be careful not to contradict or correct his guest unnecessarily, for that may cause him anguish (Chesed L'Avraham 8:15, 8:17).

When Avraham invited the three guests for a meal, he said "Let now be fetched a little water, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree" (Gen. 18:4). We learn from here the need to be sensitive to our guest's needs -- whether it be to wash up, a bed to rest or food.

The Torah writes, "And I (Avraham) will fetch a morsel of bread and refresh your hearts" (Gen. 18:5). We learn from this to immediately offer some light refreshment to stay hunger until the meal can be prepared or served. Also, we see here Avraham's strategy to get his guests to stay if they did not want to bother him -- first he offered just a little bread; once they agreed to stay, he prepared an elaborate feast. (Rabbi Akiva Sofer in Daas Sofer, on this verse.)

"And Avraham ran to the herd, and fetched a tender and good calf, and gave it to the lad (Ishmael), and he hurried to prepare it" (Gen. 18:7). The Chofetz Chaim writes that we learn from this verse that not only should one do chesed (kindness) oneself, but he should also educate and train his children to acts of kindness. (Ahavas Chesed, part 2, ch. 3).

Even though Avraham had many servants and was suffering from his recent circumcision, nonetheless he exerted himself to fulfill the mitzvah of serving guests. We should learn from Avraham to do ourselves all that we can for our guests. (Me'am Lo'ez on this verse.)

It is important to keep focus that one should perform acts of kindness for the benefit of the recipient, and not simply for the pleasure he himself derives from them!

While we have obligations as a host, there are obligations upon the guest as well.

  1. A guest must be careful not to do anything that will annoy his host.
  2. A guest should not invite someone else to his host's home without the consent of the host
  3. A guest should not give any food from the table to the host's children without the host's permission
  4. A guest should be careful not to ask his host unnecessary personal questions about his business or belongings, or any other questions that might be unpleasant for his host to answer.
  5. A guest should appreciate that his host has spent time, money and effort on his behalf. He should always feel that every effort his host made was for the guest alone.
  6. A guest should show respect toward his host. He should also show that he cares about the host's children.
  7. Following his stay, a guest should write a letter to his host expressing his gratitude.
  8. A guest should not make a nuisance of himself by staying too long or by coming too often.

(the above excerpted from Love Your Neighbor by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin)

New Rules of Engagement Result in Safer Security Forces, High Arab Casualties

IDF soldiers are finally allowed to defend themselves and fight the terrorists...

Palestinian Arabs clash in riots with IDF troops in Bethlehem. (Oct. 2015)

( In late September, 2015, following a critical increase in Arab terrorism, Israel changed the rules of engagement for its security forces. The perceived result has been a decline in injuries and casualties among Israeli police and the military– in part, due to the use of preemptive measures, and a sharp rise in injuries and casualties among Arab rioters and terrorists.

A Red Crescent report published this week suggests as many as 2,617 Arabs were shot with live and rubber-coated steel bullets in the recent clashes. A Crescent spokesperson told Ma'an that when considering Arab rioters who were repelled with tear gas, the total figure for October comes to 8,262.

The report claims 26 Arabs were shot dead during clashes, and another 40 were shot dead after carrying out (attempted or successful) stabbing or shooting attacks against Israeli civilians or security forces. Ten Israelis were killed during the same period, every one of them from an attack by Arab terrorists.

On September 24, the Israeli government opened a new chapter in its relationship with security forces in the field. The rules of engagement for Israeli police and border guards were changed. It was a process, it involved a steady rise in Arab stone throwing and stabbing attempts, as well as sporadic shots at Israeli drivers passing through Judea and Samaria, but after a little less than a month, the rules of engagement were finally changed.

On a Thursday night, the Netanyahu Security Cabinet approved unanimously a series of decisions to assist in the fight against stone, Molotov cocktail and fireworks throwers in eastern Jerusalem and elsewhere. The Cabinet decided, among other things, that police officers would be "allowed to open fire when faced with a threat to the life of any individual." In addition, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan accepted the police argument that it is impossible to tell if the stone throwers are minors or adults, and insisted on removing the clause stating that the rules of engagement apply only to adults. It meant that police were given a green light to shoot minors who throw stones or Molotov cocktails.

The change was major not only because of the obvious understanding the cabinet was showing, of the difficulties being faced by its security men and women on the ground. It also, shortly thereafter, delivered the message to the same officer on the ground that the Netanyahu government is finally ready to protect them against the Attorney General apparatus which in the past was inclined to limit their range of responses when carrying out their assignments against violent Arab mobs.

The AG put up a fierce fight against both ideas: that police be allowed to shoot at rioters even if they don't pose a direct threat to the policeman but are endangering the lives of others; and the allowance for cops to shoot at anyone posing such a threat, without having to verify his or her age. There were intense debates between the AG staff and police over these new rules, and, eventually, Netanyahu came down on the side of police and, with that, changed everything. His decision also carried a message to the AG and his office, that while they are appointed civil servants, and must support him, the elected executive who ultimately makes those decisions.

The new atmosphere that followed matched the changes in the IDF command's approach to its own set of rules of engagement. Back in mid-August, OC Central Command Chief Col. Roni Numa revised the rules of engagement in Judea and Samaria during riots and terrorist attacks, to require that if the attacking terrorist does not endanger the security forces, and, having carried out his attack is now running away from them, firing should be in the air and not at the terrorist's body. The purpose of the change was to "avoid escalating the tense situation in Judea and Samaria and to avoid raising the number of Palestinians being killed."

The revision came in response to criticism of the IDF and security forces for indiscriminate shooting of innocent people, or unarmed terrorists, heard time and again from the Palestinians and from human rights groups. A report released by the Breaking the Silence NGO, allegedly based on soldiers' testimonies from Operation Protective Edge, argued, for example, that there were "indiscriminate firing policies, and an extensive moral lapse in the IDF operation policy, reaching from the top command down."

The IDF's approach to the rules of engagement was also changed shortly thereafter, when it was discovered that the softer methods did nothing to quell Arab violence, quite the opposite, it encouraged a steep rise in Arab acts of terrorism.

This new Israeli approach to protecting the lives of the security forces has not gone without outside condemnation. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Raad al-Hussein, said: "The high number of casualties, in particular those resulting from the use of live ammunition by Israeli security forces, raise concerns of excessive use of force, and violations of the right to life and security of the person."

Amnesty International said only last week that Israeli forces "ripped up the rulebook and resorted to extreme and unlawful measures."

Palestinian, Israeli and international rights groups have been claiming that in the majority of cases, Israeli forces needlessly killed their attackers, who posed no imminent threat. Israeli NGO B'Tselem called it "extrajudicial executions."

As was the case during the 2014 Gaza war, the extreme left is angriest when Israel turns its disproportionate might against its enemies. It should be noted that even if human rights advocates were correct, and every single Arab who rushed an Israeli policeman or soldier with a knife didn't pose a real threat (which is debatable) — in most Western democracies such an attack would result in the killing of the perpetrator. Likewise with a civilian who would light up a Molotov cocktail and throw it at a patrol car —that individual would likely be signing his or her death warrant, regardless of whether or not the firebomb managed to blow up its target.

The wave of terror continues as November rolls in, with fresh riots leaving more Arab youths injured this past Sunday. Interestingly, a report by the Gaza Health Ministry of a shooting of two Arabs by Israeli forces in the central Gaza Strip acknowledges that both Palestinians were hit in their lower extremities, following which they were taken in moderate condition to Shuhada al-Aqsa Hospital. A simple analysis of the news report belies the extreme left's claims of "extrajudicial executions." If an enemy soldier wants to execute you, he probably won't aim at your legs.