Monday, February 29, 2016

Why G-d made Dogs

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

 Good 'n Sad 

Make a list of good deeds you can do and force yourself to do them when you feel sad. This may be very difficult. But realize that exactly because it is difficult, it is more meritorious to do "good."

Thinking, "How good it is that I can do good even when I feel bad," will help you feel better. Especially, devote time to doing acts of kindness for those who could use your assistance. The more you think about others, the less time you will have for self-pity.

Love Yehuda Lave


Fred Cherry defied Communist torture and leftist stereotypes.

February 22, 2016
Lloyd Billingsley


Fred Cherry, the African American U.S. Air Force pilot who spent seven years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam, has passed away at 87. With all due respect to Joe Louis, Fred Cherry was the real Brown Bomber.

Born in Suffolk, Virginia, Fred Cherry experienced racial prejudice and segregation first hand but did not let it hold him back from achievement. He graduated from Virginia Union University in 1951 and joined the U.S. Air Force. A skilled pilot, Cherry would soon be flying combat missions over Stalinist North Korea.

In 1965 Cherry was flying an F-105 fighter-bomber over North Vietnam when he took anti-aircraft fire and his plane exploded. He bailed out, suffered major injuries, and fell captive to the enemy. The North Vietnamese thought they had a real find and threw Cherry in a cell with Porter Halyburton, a white pilot from North Carolina. The Vietnamese Communists hoped to stoke racial friction that would break down Cherry and make him a propaganda tool. The captors' plan backfired.

Halyburton duly attended to Cherry's wounds and watched over his black countryman around the clock. Cherry credited the white southerner with saving his life, and Halyburton thought Cherry had done the same for him. The two became lifelong friends but in captivity both faced a hard road. The Vietnamese Communists slapped Cherry into solitary confinement for 702 days and the pilot endured punishment and torture for 93 straight days. Before his release in 1973, Cherry racked up 2,671 days in captivity.

The story of Cherry and Halyburton emerged in Leading With Honor: Leadership Lessons from the Hanoi Hilton (2014) by American pilot Lee Ellis. He had been shot down in November 1967 on a mission to destroy the guns that protected the Quang Khe ferry that supplied the Ho Chi Minh Trail. In the Hoa Lao prison, which POWs dubbed the Hanoi Hilton, Ellis learned firsthand about North Vietnam and its systematic torture of American POWs. As the author notes, the North Vietnamese tortured more than 95 percent of American POWs including eight tortured to death. But the torture wasn't all physical.

The captors piped in propaganda and, Ellis explains, "the afternoon broadcasts were especially disheartening because they featured Americans spouting words that could have been written for them in Moscow and Hanoi." New Left icon Tom Hayden "was a regular speaker," later joined by his wife "film star Jane Fonda." For this pair, the American POWs were war criminals and their reports of torture were lies.

Ellis charitably calls Fonda an "anti-war activist," but she and Hayden were not against war in general. They only opposed American participation in a war against the North Vietnamese regime they served as propagandists. Hayden was their voice in the cells of the Hanoi Hilton and Fonda even partied it up with a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft squad.

Lee Ellis, Porter Halyburton and Fred Cherry managed to survive, and Cherry received the Air Force Cross for extraordinary heroism as a prisoner of war. His long stretch in captivity left him with a number of family problems but the African American flyer attended the National War College and Defense Intelligence School before retiring in 1981 as a staff officer with the Defense Intelligence Agency.

James S. Hirsh wrote about Cherry and Halyburton in the 2004 Two Souls Indivisible.

Cherry's story also showed up in the public television documentary Return with Honor about U.S. fighter pilots who became prisoners of war.

Col. Fred Cherry passed away in a Washington hospital on February 16, in the midst of Black History Month. Even so, the President of the United States did not rush to the podium to honor the departed hero. That should come as no surprise.

Fred Cherry defied the Vietnamese Communists but he also explodes a common stereotype. The American left prefers to portray blacks as angry, alienated, and perpetually in need of help from the government.

Fred Cherry had endured more than his share of racial discrimination and hardship. But as Porter Halyburton told the Washington Post, "he was such an ardent patriot. He loved this country." May he rest in peace

An old geezer became very bored in retirement and decided to open a medical clinic. He put up a sign outside that read: "Dr. Geezer's Clinic. Get your treatment for $500; if not cured, get back $1,000."

Doctor "Young," who was positive that this old geezer didn't know beans about medicine, thought this would be a great opportunity to get $1,000. So he went to Dr. Geezer's clinic.

Dr. Young: "Dr. Geezer, I have lost all taste in my mouth. Can you please help me?"

Dr. Geezer: "Nurse, please bring medicine from box 22and put 3 drops in Dr. Young's mouth."

Dr. Young: "Aaagh! - this is Gasoline!"

Dr. Geezer: "Congratulations! You've got your taste back. That will be $500."

Dr. Young gets annoyed and goes back after a couple of days figuring to recover his money.

Dr. Young: "I have lost my memory, I cannot remember anything."

Dr. Geezer: "Nurse, please bring medicine from box 22 and put 3 drops in the patient's mouth."

Dr. Young: "Oh, no you don't - that is Gasoline!"

Dr. Geezer: "Congratulations! You've got your memory back. That will be $500."

Dr. Young (after having lost $1,000) leaves angrily and returns after several more days.

Dr. Young: "My eyesight has become weak: I can hardly see anything!"

Dr. Geezer: "Well, I don't have any medicine for that so,here's your $1,000 back" and hands him a $10 bill.

Dr. Young: "But this is only $10!"

Dr. Geezer: "Congratulations! You got your vision back. That will be $500."

Moral of story - Just because you're "Young" doesn't mean that you can outsmart an "old Geezer"!

Remember: Don't make old people angry. We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to annoy us.

The digital jigsaw to piece together 15,000 Dead Sea Scroll fragments

Thousands of tiny scroll fragments are being scanned using the latest techniques so scientists in Israel can piece them together and reveal texts that, until now, have remained a mystery.

Read the full story:

24 February 2016

Get ready for Li-Fi: Ultrafast new technology shown off at tech show

At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, French start-up Oledcomm demonstrated the capabilities of Li-Fi, using just an office lamp to start playing a smartphone video.

Read the full story:

24 February 2016

Why Say Kaddish for a Dad Who Abandoned Me?

What's the point, if all I feel is spite?

By Tzvi Freeman

Dear Ask-the-Rabbi Rabbi,

My father ran away when I was two years old. Disappeared. No child support, nothing. Now I'm twenty-four. Last year I tracked him down. Don't ask me why. I felt I had to, without knowing what I would say or do when we met. Just to discover he had died two years ago.

Now I'm torn. On the one hand, I figure I have to say kaddish on his yahrtzeit—in two months. On the other hand, what connection do I have to him? I mean, he abandoned me and Mom for all those years. And he never tried to make a connection with me or support me in any way, so why should I say kaddish for him?

Maybe this is not the real sort of situation that kaddish is meant for. Doesn't saying kaddish imply at least some kind of emotional attachment or respect?

—Yitz Gadal (pseudonym)


Hi Yitz!

Yes, it's the pits. It's the kind of pain that's so deep, you don't want to acknowledge how much it hurts. Because you don't want to have to visit that place inside. There's something about us that wants—really badly wants—to put our parents on a pedestal. There's something about us that really badly wants to put our parents on a pedestal.But then you find Dad and realize that he doesn't belong on a pedestal, because he never had a pedestal to begin with.

Do you have to say kaddish for him? Let's say Dad was sexually abusive or a relentless child-beater. For such a parent, you probably would have no obligation to sit in mourning for him. Mourning is a way of honoring a parent, and someone so blatantly wicked has foregone that honor.1 Saying kaddish may be another matter, as we will see.

But I don't think that's the case here. It sounds more like someone who was just irresponsible. You've still got a valid grudge—he never cared to contact you, or make up for all those years of abandonment.

And that's important to face up to. When we don't acknowledge the faults of our parents, we end up shifting the blame from them onto ourselves. It's when that pedestal falls that you free yourself from the burden of guilt so you can get on with life.

So I suggest you first try to acknowledge that grudge, visit the place of that hurt, and then, when you're ready, get on with healing it. And a kaddish on his yahrtzeit could well be the right place to start with that healing.2

The Prototypical Orphan's Kaddish

I'll explain why. This may seem strange, but although it may seem like you are one in a million, you're not. In fact, the classic Talmudic story of kaddish said by a child is a case of one who never knew a father—and whose father was not worth knowing. There are many versions, but it basically goes like this:3

Rabbi Akiva sees a man running through a cemetery. The guy is naked, black with soot, and burdened with a load of wood.

Rabbi Akiva yells, "Stop! What on earth are you doing?" And, being Rabbi Akiva, he continues, "And what can I do to help?"

Turns out, the guy was dead. In his past life, he had been a tax collector with an important government position who squeezed the life out of the poor to give to the rich. He also committed adultery—on Yom Kippur, no less.

As a punishment, he now must collect wood each day to build a pyre upon which he is barbecued each evening, only to have to run through the exercise again the next morning. (Today, this is called being an employee.)

Rabbi Akiva asks whether this dead man has any clues how he could be granted a pardon.

"Yes," the man answers. "I heard my supervisors saying that if I had a son, and that son would stand among the congregation and say kaddish and the congregation would answer, 'Amen! Yehei shmeih rabba mevorach!'4—then I would be off the hook for his sake."

"No problem!" exclaims Rabbi Akiva. "Let me take care of it."

"Big problem," the man replies. "I didn't leave a son behind."

"Yes, that's a problem," I heard them say that if I had a son who would say kaddish more me, I would be off the hook.Rabbi Akiva says.

"On the other hand," the man continues, "I think my wife was pregnant when I died. But I don't know whether she gave birth, and whether it was a boy or a girl. And if she did, the boy certainly wouldn't have learned any Torah, because the people weren't exactly my friends."

"You've got me as a friend," answers Rabbi Akiva. "Just give me your info. Your name, your wife's name and the name of your town."

"Name is Arnuniya. Wife's name, Shishchaya. Town, Ludkiya."

Rabbi Akiva is immediately on his way to Ludkiya. Once there, he's asking the townspeople about Arnuniya. The response is worse than he imagined.

"May his bones grind in hell," they mutter, spitting on the ground and grinding the spit deep in.

"How about his wife, Shishchaya?" he asks.

Not a good question. "May her name and her memory be eradicated!" they answer, spitting again.

So he asks about her child. Good news and bad news. Shishchaya had a boy. But she had never even bothered to circumcise him.

Rabbi Akiva gets hold of this child, circumcises him and sits him down to learn. The kid just sits there blinking. His skull is so thick, nothing can enter.

Rabbi Akiva is a man of love and compassion for every one of G‑d's creatures—even tax collectors and their children. What does he do? He fasts for forty days. After forty days, he hears a voice from heaven: "Akiva, you're fasting for who?"

"Master of the Universe!" Rabbi Akiva shouts out. "Just trust me on this one. Open up the kid's heart so I can work with him."

As this is Rabbi Akiva talking, G‑d complies. Next thing you know, the kid is reading Torah like a pro, saying the Shema Yisrael, the Silent Prayer and even Grace After Meals.

As soon as he's ready, Rabbi Akiva stands him before the congregation. The boy says "Barchu" and they answer him.

Finally, he says kaddish and they answer him, "Amen! Yehei shmeih rabba mevorach!"

The end of the story: The father is released from the barbecue business with a ticket to heaven. We know that because he returned to Rabbi Akiva in a dream to thank him.

The Soul's Interface

Now, I'm not judging the father who abandoned you. I don't know the whole story. What I do know is that there are two souls here that need fixing as a result of his parenting, or lack of it: Yours and his. When you fix your parent's past, you fix your own future.And kaddish is a powerful tool—along with others we'll get to later—to do just that. It's a two-way street that runs through the avenues of the heart and mind, right into the soul: When you fix your parent's past, you fix your own future.

That requires some explanation. Which Rabbi Yitzchak Luria (Tzfat, 16th century), known as the Arizal, provides:5

The first thing you have to know is that we are not like automobiles coming off a factory line. Whatever happens at the Honda plant in Indiana today doesn't affect my Accord that came off its lines two years ago. But with the people we came from, we are forever connected.

A father can walk out on his kids, but he can't divorce them. He can't even truly and completely separate himself from them. And neither can the kids divorce their father. A father is forever a father and a child forever a child, for better and for worse. At the end of the day, the memory of a child is indelibly engraved in the mind of the parent, and the imprint of the parent pervades every cell of the child. Geographically they may be light-years apart, but like entangled subatomic particles, what happens in one immediately affects the other. An essential part of you emerges out of your parents and remains forever connected to them.

The reason for that, the Arizal explains, is because it's not just chromosomes that you receive from your parents. An essential part of you has not only emerged from out of your parents, but remains forever connected to them. It's not your soul and it's not your body. It's something in a certain way even more important than either of those.

Who are you? In essence, the Arizal taught, you are a divine soul, sent here on a mission. The principal target of your mission is a body of sinews and blood driven by the instincts of self-preservation and gratification. Your soul must enter that body so that it can bring it to realize that it too is divine—and to get it to behave that way.

But how can a divine soul, the ultimate spiritual being, relate to an earthly physical body? The answer is that it's provided a kind of interface, in the form of a thinking human personality.

Think of the interface between you and the device that's in your hands or on your desktop as you are reading this. You and that hardware reside in two very different worlds. That's why companies such as Apple, Google and Microsoft spend billions of dollars designing an elegant interface—a visual and audible means of presenting what's going on inside that plastic, metal and silicon box—that is meaningful, intuitive and speaks to you, while efficiently driving its hardware within.

As a human being, you have a similar interface, and it's not just your physical brain. Your divine soul operates through the medium of a human mind and heart that is capable of seeing beyond instinct and immediate gratification, a being that can hear what the divine soul is trying to say and be inspired by it. Yet at the same time it's a human mind and heart, very much a part of this world. It acts as the go-between, reining in the beast while teaching it to conform to the vision of the Divine soul.

Fixing Upstream

Here's the hitch: While the body is a product of Mom and Dad's DNA, and the soul is a forever Divine piece of business handpicked by the Creator to fulfill its particular mission on the planet, this intelligent interface that is at the guts of your personality, this is something, the Arizal teaches, that emerges from the inner mental and spiritual state of your father and mother at the time of conception.

Whoa, you're saying, that might not be a good deal, because my parents' mental and spiritual state at the time they were making me might not have been so healthy. No matter how great the divine soul that breathes within you, it's still needs that interface.Or worse. Yes, that is the problem. No matter how great the divine soul that breathes within you, if it doesn't have a clear pathway to the human animal in which it is invested, it's going to be riding a bucking bronco without saddle or reins.

That was the problem of the little child of the tax collector in Rabbi Akiva's story. His body was healthy. His Divine soul was perfect, as every Divine soul must be, and all its programming was there in place. It's just that because of who his parents were, how they behaved and where their heads were at, the interface between that soul and the body was a disaster. Torah could not enter, and prayer could not come out.

But there's a fix. Because the personalities of child and parents remain networked. Which means that the direction you take in life affects your father's state. And vice-versa: Once the things are fixed upstream, the water runs downstream crystal clear.

Kaddish is one way of accomplishing that. People assume that kaddish is a prayer for the dead, or some way of honoring them. Read the words, and you'll see it has nothing to do with that. When you say kaddish for a parent, you are leading the community in declaring the greatness of their Creator. By doing so, you're picking yourself up to a whole new level.

The same with learning Torah, giving charity, or any other mitzvah you now do. You're not doing it for him—you're doing it to illuminate your own inner self, you're doing it to lift up your entire world. And by doing so, you're affecting your father, fixing the problem at its source.

That's what Rabbi Akiva was out to do with this boy. He had to extricate him from the pit of thick, gooey mud in which he had been born. He had to be circumcised, taught Torah, and become a leader in prayer. In the place of all the darkness his father had brought into the world, he had to bring tremendous light. He had to become a different person, the opposite of who his father had been—and through that, automatically, his father's soul was able to find respite.

Because the two are really one. Just as the son was messed up by his father's life, so the son was able to fix up his father by changing that life his father had given him.

Do It Now

Everything in this world, the Arizal taught, is a two-way street. Everything in this world is a two-way street. And that's something to celebrate.Fortunately, you don't have to wait until a parent is gone to know what you've got—and to do something about it.

Yitz, your father may be gone, but your mother is still with you. When you provide her with the most valuable things a child can give to a parent—respect, honor, love and dignity—your own persona rises higher along with hers.

There are those who feel their parents don't deserve that respect—and, in some cases, they may be right. Some people have abusive parents. Some need to stay far away from home. Some even have to avoid all communication.6

Yet despite all that, we're never passive victims of this universe. The same One who deals the cards is the same One who gives us the opportunities to win. We may not be able to change the people around us directly, but we can do our best to fix ourselves, our attitude and how we treat others. When we do that, all those connected to us move up a notch, in this world and in the next. And it all bounces back to the place from which it came.

There's a lot to celebrate. The whole universe is in your hands.



Concerning mourning for a wicked person, see glosses of Rema (Rabbi Moshe Isserles) to Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 340:5; Siftei Kohen 340:8; Chochmat Adam 156:3. Furthermore, the Torah does not demand that a person place unbearable strain on his or her psychological wellbeing for the sake of honoring a parent. For a full discussion of such cases see Rabbi Mark Dratch's article in Hakirah12 (2011): 105–119.

2.Since the news was heard over a year later, there is no seven-day mourning period, or thirty days, or year of mourning. One simply sits on the ground for a short time. Keriah (ripping of upper garments) is also performed, but this should be done with the assistance of a rabbi or someone experienced in the specifics of this obligation.

Nevertheless, it is certainly worthwhile to make up for the lost year of mourning by such things as leading the congregation in prayer, reading the haftarah, and certainly by giving charity and taking on more mitzvahs on behalf of the deceased.

3.Ohr Zarua II, end of chapter 50; Responsa of Rivash 115; Menorat Hamaor (Abohav), Ner Aleph 2:1, quoting Kallah Rabbati 11 and Tanchuma Noach; Seder Eliyahu Zuta, end of chapter 17; Zohar Chadash.

4.Translation: "May His great name be blessed forever and ever!" That's the standard response to kaddish. The main point of kaddish is that you lead the congregation in saying that.

5.Likkutei Torah (Arizal), Parshat Va'eira.

6.When asked, "What is the proper response when in-law interference causes marital problems?" the halachic authority Rabbi Moshe Shapiro responded with the following:

"When such interventions erode peace and harmony in the home, couples should deny their parents entry. If that doesn't work, they should send the parents away in a manner that makes it clear that their parents' intervention has generated this alienation. This is the husband's responsibility. It is obvious that the rule of honoring one's father and mother does not apply here; one is not obligated to put his life aside for his parents' honor. But it is advisable to first consult with an impartial Torah scholar." [Sefer Binat Hamidot: Pirkei Hadrachah (Jerusalem: Binat Halev, 5767), p. 86, free translation.]

By Tzvi Freeman


At the YU Book Sale, books with 10,000 different viewpoints are sold, including Kosher Jesus and books from the extreme Leftist .The book that IS banned from sale is Kahane on the Parsha. Students are not allowed to buy this book and decide from themselves if the Parsha as written by Rabbi Meir Kahane and Rabbi Binyamin Kahane is what they believe in or even something to think about. YU doesNotallow freedom of thought when it comes to Kahane.

Please protest, here are addresses: students claim Rabbi Brander is at fault)

Now, let us learn Parshat Ki Tisa as written by Rabbi Meir Kahane HY"D and submitted to the Jewish Press just hours before hisassassination

Kahane on the Parsha

Rabbi Meir Kahane- Parshat Ki Tisa


For many years I have pointed out the clear halachic status of a non-Jew in the Land of Israel, which is in total contradiction to Western democracy, which postulates complete equality of all peoples regardless of ethnic, national, or religious background. I have pointed out that he has, at best, the status of a ger toshav, assuming that status is still applicable nowadays when yovel is not in force.

I have also pointed out that a non-Jew who wishes to live in the Land of Israel MUST ACCEPT upon himself the obligations of misim and shibud (tribute and servitude) under which he cannot ever hold sway over any Jew in Israel and cannot hold any position of authority (see Hilchot Melachim6:11). In a word, I have pointed out the clear halacha of a non-Jew with absolutely no NATIONAL (as opposed to personal) rights in the Land of Israel that was given to the Jew as a Holy Land in which he must live alone and in isolation, creating his own unique and holy Torah state.

Today, after deep contemplation and study of the situation, I believe all this applies to every non-Jew--except for the Arabs who call themselves "Palestinians." They, unlike any other people, have the halachic status of the ancient Canaanites. Let us consider my point.

We clearly find in halacha a difference in status between ordinary non-Jews and non-Jews from the seven Canaanite nations--a difference that is expressed only in part by the fact that refusal to surrender on the part of ordinary nations leads to the killing of all their male adults (not their women and children), whereas similar refusal by the Canaanites leads to TOTAL extermination. Why this halachic distinction? Because there is a FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCE between non-Jews who have origin in the Land of Israel (but wish to live there now) and those who stem from it--i.e., those who were there before the Jews arrived or came during the absence of Jewish sovereignty in the land.

To understand the nature of this difference, consider the words of the great Biblical commentator, the Abarbanel, on the following verses, "Behold, I drive out before you the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Be vigilant lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land to which you come, lest it be a snare in your midst" (Exodus 34:11-12). The Abarbanel writes:

"Since the Almighty drives out His enemies, it is unseemly that we should make a covenant with them because this would be a desecration of His honor. [Furthermore], a treaty with them will not succeed since there is no doubt that they will ALWAYS seek evil for Israel considering that the Israelites took their land from them. And this is the meaning of the words 'the land to which you come'--i.e., since you, Israel, went into that land and took it from its inhabitants, and since they feel oppressed and robbed of it, how will they preserve a treaty of friendship? Rather it will be the opposite; they will be 'a snare in your midst'--i.e., when war breaks out they will join your enemies and fight you."

What a stupendously true and incisive comment by the great Abarbanel and how much it understands the reality of human nature. And how different from that of the sad Moderdox of our time, who not only prattle about equal rights for the inhabitants of the land under the Jews who took the land from them but who ignore--because they lack the courage to face up to it--the reality of human feelings and the unwillingness to accept crumbs rather than the sovereignty that was.

The Abarbanel lays down the clear fundamental reality that non-Jews who were in the Land of Israel before the Jews arrived will never accept their defeat. They will always dream of revanche and the day when they will take the land back. They will never see themselves as equals in a land that was once theirs and now belongs to the Jews who "graciously" consent to give them "rights." And herein is the fundamental difference in feeling between nations who were in the Land of Israel first, before the Jews arrived to take it for themselves, and other non-Jews who have no sovereign claim to the land but wish to live there now.

And, indeed, this postulate--which equates ALL peoples who were in the land before the Jews with the Canaanites--is also advanced by the holy Ohr HaChaim in his commentary to Numbers 33:52, which instructs the Jewish people to "drive out all the inhabitants of the land." He writes: "It's true that the [Torah says] concerning the seven nations, 'You shall utterly destroy them,' but this verse refers to nations OTHER THAN the seven nations found there. And that is why the Torah specifically states 'ALL the inhabitants of the land'--i.e., even those who are not of the seven nations."

And so we see: The seven nations do not have their special status alone, but rather all people who were in the Land of Israel before the Jews arrived, and who see the Jews as robbers who stole the land from them, have the same kind of attitude and approach of hate and revenge--and thus, the same legal status.

The Jewish Press, 1990 Editor's note: This Dvar Torah derives from the very last article Rabbi Meir Kahane wrote for The Jewish Press. The article was published in two installments. Rabbi Kahane submitted the second half to The Jewish Press onNovember 5th, just hours before his assassination

This Is Why God Made Dogs


Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Israel Supreme Court meets Yehuda

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

Cheer Yourself On

Every hour on the hour, create an inner mental cheer for being alive. Hear an inner enthusiastic voice shouting, "It's great to be alive!" Imagine a stadium crowd cheering for your being alive.

When you control your anger or other character trait you're working on, see and hear the same immense crowd cheering for you!

Love Yehuda Lave

Yehuda goes to the Supreme Court (fortunately just for tour)

PragerU: "What is Crony Capitalism?

RARE- Rabbi Meir Kahane speaks at Faith Baptist Church in Sarasota, Florida

When contractors began work on four classrooms of Emerson High School in Oklahoma, they knew their remodel would improve education — but they never expected it would impact local history.

Looking to upgrade the rooms with new whiteboards and smartboards, the workers had to first remove the outdated chalkboards. But when they began to pull away the old boards, they made a startling discovery
Beneath the current boards rested another set of chalkboards — untouched for nearly 100 years. Protected and totally undisturbed, the century-old writings and drawings looked like they were made just yesterday. Here, a November calendar rolls into December. A turkey marks the celebration of Thanksgiving.
A multiplication table gives us a glimpse into the curriculum and methods taught in 1917, techniques perhaps lost in the passage of time. When regarding a wheel of multiplication, Principal Sherry Kishore told The Oklahoman, "I have never seen that technique in my life."
But Oklahoma City school officials aren't just shocked by what is written, but how it is written. Penmanship like this is clearly a lost art. This board reads, "I give my head, my heart, and my life to my God and One nation indivisible with justice for all."
Within each of the four rooms, the subject matter and lessons mirrored one another — indicating, as an Oklahoma Public School Twitter caption reads, "aligned curriculum in 1917."
And though the boards' style and subject matter might be unfamiliar to younger folks, they certainly resonate with older generations. Principal Kishore told The Oklahoman what it was like to show her 85-year-old mother the boards: "She just stood there and cried. She said it was exactly like her classroom was when she was going to school."

like her classroom was when she was going to school."

But these boards actually predate Principal Kishore's mother by 13 years. Two dates were found on the boards: November 30, 1917, and December 4, 1917.
Some of the writings and drawings were done by students, while others were made by teachers — but i's not always clear whose is whose.
Regardless, the work is a striking look into days long gone. While reading the boards — like this one listing "My Rules To Keep Clean" — the past comes alive in a very personal way.
English teacher Cinthea Comer told The Oklahoman, "It was so eerie because the colors were so vibrant it looked like it was drawn the same day. To know that it was drawn 100 years ago… it's like you're going into a looking glass into the past."

like her classroom was when she was going to school."

But these boards actually predate Principal Kishore's mother by 13 years. Two dates were found on the boards: November 30, 1917, and December 4, 1917.
Some of the writings and drawings were done by students, while others were made by teachers — but i's not always clear whose is whose.
Regardless, the work is a striking look into days long gone. While reading the boards — like this one listing "My Rules To Keep Clean" — the past comes alive in a very personal way.
English teacher Cinthea Comer told The Oklahoman, "It was so eerie because the colors were so vibrant it looked like it was drawn the same day. To know that it was drawn 100 years ago… it's like you're going into a looking glass into the past."
Hopefully, the spirit of these teachers and their students will be enjoyed for many years to come. Who knew that scribbles on a chalkboard could become such a precious piece of history.

Op-Ed: The Lubavitcher Rebbe's plan to beat terror

The Rebbe saw the danger hovering over the Jewish state and gave sage advice for the Jews in the Land of Israel.


Published: Monday, February 22, 2016 9:56 PM

Rabbi Joseph Gerlitzky

The writer is the Rabbi of Central Tel Aviv and Chairman of the Rabbinical...

There is a popular joke about a man standing trial for the murder of his own parents. After he is unequivocally proven guilty, the judge turns to him and asks: "Do you have anything to say in your defense?" The defendant replies, unhesitatingly: "Yes. I beg the court to show leniency due to my unfortunate situation. I was recently tragically orphaned of both my father and mother..."

Today, regrettably, this is no longer a joke, but a fact of life. We are constantly being bombarded by claims that Israel is "stuck" in the current political situation. That our inability to quash the murderous wave of terror now sweeping our streets leaves us no option but to return to the bargaining table; in other words – to surrender, to retreat, and to offer our enemies ever more gifts, beyond the capitulation and weakness we have already shown by freezing settlement construction, evicting Jews from their homes, and more.

The absurdity of the situation screams out to heaven; for it is the Israeli governments that created the current situation – by promoting the warped idea that by "giving up a little here, giving up a little there, we will gain a little peace and quiet."

We ourselves have convinced the Palestinian Arabs that they can defeat us with their rocks and knives and guns.

We ourselves have given them weaponry, money and power, self-identify and a seditious media.

We ourselves have granted the Arab citizens of Israel the "equal right" to identify themselves as Palestinians and to teach their children to seek the destruction of Israel, all the while enjoying "affirmative action," and other benefits, while we foot the bill.

We ourselves have convinced America and Europe that the Palestinian Arabs are a "peaceful and enlightened nation," who deserve their own country, rather than showing them the sad truth – that they are one anti-Semitic entity. And now, we announce:"There is nothing to do! We have to stop ruling over them. And don't forget about for the demographic threat!" – and all the other empty slogans we have been hearing for thirty years.

And all the while, those clever pundits, with their dangerous slogans, shoot back at us: "Nu, so what is your solution? Should we just leave this awful situation the way it is, with innocent Jewish blood being spilled day after day by those murderers, while our security forces stand helpless?"

G-d forbid! The Torah forbids us to say: "That's how it is," or (as we hear from some of those in the media and Israeli security forces) "We have to learn to live with it."

There is an authentic Jewish answer. Maimonides writes, at the beginning of the Laws of Public Fasts, "It is a positive Torah commandment to cry out and sound trumpets over every misfortune that threatens the community... this is one of the paths of repentance – that when misfortune strikes, and the people cry out [to G-d] and sound trumpets, everyone will realize that these tragedies occur on account of their misdeeds. This [repentance] will bring an end to the misfortune. However, should the people not cry out [to G-d], or sound the trumpets, but rather, claim that 'what happened to us is simply a natural phenomenon, and this misfortune is a mere chance occurrence,' then he is being cruel..."

If a person says: "Sorry, there is nothing to do. There will always be one 'wave of terror' or another," or offers some version of Maimonides words: "this misfortune is a mere chance occurrence" – he is, in the eyes of the Torah, being "cruel" and heartless.

For over four months, Jewish blood has been spilled in our streets on a daily basis. Men, women and children have been attacked and killed in our shops, our homes and in all places. We must think deeply about the situation and fight against it with all our strength.

We don't have to be anthropologists or intelligence agents to find an answer. It's enough to listen to every terrorist who has been caught, every Palestinian protester, and even the Arab members of parliament. The Israelis are scared, they have lost faith in themselves and no longer believe that the land on which they live was given to the Patriarchs Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov – that Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel, actually belongs to them. Proof? They have already folded up their tents and retreated from large tracts of Eretz Yisrael, and they plan on doing so even more. All we have to do is keep exerting pressure, keep striking them, killing and wounding them, frightening them and causing them to despair. For the more pressure they feel, the more they will give up and give in – until (as the Jewish Code of Law writes) "the land will be easy to conquer."

This is just one of the ways the Palestinian Arabs rationalize their actions and at times, it's the actual motivation inspiring a terrorist who kills Jews with rock or knife, gun or missile. The Oslo Agreement, the Hevron Agreement, freeing prisoners, political negotiations, the "ranch," the disengagement, the construction freeze, and the goal of "two states for two peoples" – all of these are deeply etched in the consciousness of every single Arab who wants to feel part of the historic victory over the Jewish people in the Land of Israel. This is more than simply a "tail wind" to terror; it is both the fuel and the gas pedal that drive it.

As much as forty years ago, the Lubavitcher Rebbe spoke precisely about our current situation. Even his own hassidim didn't always understand what he was so adamant about and wondered at his heartfelt cries because things didn't look so grim back then. Today, however, everyone realizes that the Rebbe simply saw everything. And that by merely reading the well-known laws in the Shulchan Aruch (OC 329), he foresaw the pain that is now being etched into our very flesh. He cried out as though he beheld, with his own eyes, the knife plunged into the heart of an innocent Jew merely walking down the street.

The Rebbe said explicitly, in his famous talk with Rabbi Elimelech Naimon. "I see with my own eyes the danger hovering over all who dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem, in Ein Harod, and in Tel Aviv, by handing over parts of Eretz Yisrael to the goyim. Therefore, I will in no way change my mind about this."

The Rebbe foresaw how even the mere suggestion – not an official declaration – of withdrawal and concession in the face of pressure and terrorism would lead to more terrorism, more suicide attacks, and more innocent blood being spilled.

In thirty years of terrorism, have we ever seen the residents of an Arab town evicted? In the midst of various confrontations, have we ever seen the general Arab public suffer from the violence or terrorist attacks that they themselves initiated? Never! Yet, we have seen dozens of Jewish settlements cruelly dismantled, synagogues demolished, and Israeli soldiers retreating under fire. What does the Palestinian Arab stand to lose with his wars and his cruelty? After all, he continues to receive our aid (or from the rest of the world, through us), as well as electricity, money, weapons, and more. It is a win-win situation, and they stand only to benefit further, by increasing their attacks.

This brings us to an even a more difficult question: everyone has seen where the Oslo agreements and the disengagement brought us – Palestinian incitement, the tunnels that continue to be dug from Gaza, the monstrous increase in the strength of our enemies, and the Jewish blood that is being spilled like water. Has any of the architects of Oslo and the disengagement ever been brought to trial? Have we ever heard a word of regret from any of them? Have they ever shared some soul-searching with the public? Just the opposite is the case. They continue crying out "We are orphans! The situation is unbearable! There's no way out but to concede!"

The time has come to stop living with these lies and to start living with the truth. There is only one way to stop this cycle of blood and it is to uproot the main incentive and goal of all the terrorism and bloodshed. It requires those who formulated the Oslo Accords and the disengagement who continue to work in key positions in the Israeli government, to stand up before the entire world and declare: "We are guilty, we have acted wrongly... this whole long road of negotiating and concessions has been one awful mistake from the offset. We take responsibility for all the innocent blood that has been spilled due to our egregiousness. Henceforth, the entire Land of Israel will remain under Israeli control, unconditionally, and in spite of
There is only one way to stop this cycle of blood and it is to uproot the main incentive and goal of all the terrorism and bloodshed.
anything the rest of the world has to say. This is not up for negotiation."

It is clear that neither the right-wing government nor the slogans of a "war against terror" will actually stop the murder and incitement. Only a clear and historic pronouncement that the period of negotiations has ended, the false equation of "land for peace" will no longer be tolerated, there will never be a Palestinian state and the Oslo Agreement and everything it implies is thoroughly annulled.

One of the ways to accomplish this, according to the Rebbe, is to publicize, by every means possible, the psak din (halakhic decision) of the great Rabbis of Israel, that any negotiations concerning the handing over territories are a threat to the Jewish people (as the Shulchan Aruch states, OC 329), and forbidden.

Today, even the blind can see just how true this is – to our great misfortune. Each and every one of us must publicize this psak din and to do all that is in his or her power – for the sake of our lives, the lives of our children, and the lives of all Jews who live in the Holy Land.

Our lives depend on it, and with G-d's help, we will be victorious.