Sunday, March 13, 2016

Dustin Hoffman finds out he is a Jew and his family suffered (better late than never)

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

Facial Expressions


When trying to have a positive influence on someone, it is crucial to observe the person's face very carefully. When you practice this long enough, you will gain the sensory acuity necessary to notice subtle changes in a person's face. This will enable you to become aware of his inner reactions.

Today, when having an important conversation, focus on the other person's facial expressions, and how they may change based on what you say.

Love Yehuda Lave

When will stop eating Grass????

Kahane on the Parsha

Rabbi Binyamin Kahane- Parshat Pekudei


Parshiyot VaYakhel and Pekudei are basically repetitions of Parshiyot Terumah and Tetzaveh. This naturally gives rise to the often-asked question: How can the Torah, which we know is never redundant, go ahead and "waste" so much space with all these extra verses? Why not simply state, as the Torah frequently does, "And the Children of Israel did as Moses commanded them"?

Interestingly, when the Torah devotes a lot of space to the details of other mitzvot, no one finds it strange. On the contrary, many people feel that MORE space should be devoted to various mitzvot. Why? Because everyone understands that without the mitzvot, there is no Torah.

And therein lies the answer to our question. For just like there is no Judaism without the mitzvot we fulfill today, so too there is no Judaism without the Temple and the sacrifices, which account for over one-third of the 613 mitzvot! In other words, our sense of proportion regarding what Judaism considers truly important is warped. It's true that many of us feel completely disconnected from the Temple and the sacrifices, but the fact that the Torah is uncharacteristically verbose in describing them should tell us something about their centrality in Judaism.

With this in mind, let us address our obligation to rebuild the Temple and renew the sacrifices. In general, this idea is met with immediate opposition. There are no shortage of excuses, each camp offering its own explanation why we can't build the Temple today. Some say, "The Temple will fall from the sky, and it is none of our business." Others argue, "The Temple is a project for the Messiah." And then there is this gem: "We are on too low a level to deal with such a lofty topic."

For all these excuses, there are clear and powerful answers. In this limited space, we cannot cite them, but there really is no need to do so since rebuilding the Temple is one of the 613 commandments. Case closed. Have you ever heard anyone suggest that eating matzah on Passover is a task for the Messiah? Has anyone ever said, "Family purity - what for? Family purity will descend from heaven!" Or how about, "Study Torah? A lowly sinner like me should study the holy Torah?!"

Of course these excuses are absurd. We do not seek ways to avoid performing mitzvot, all the more so a mitzvah which literally causes the Divine Presence to dwell amongst us. (Dear friends, did G-d allow us to conquer the Temple Mount 30 years ago so that the Arabs could continue to desecrate His Name on our holiest site, only now under Jewish sovereignty? Shouldn't we feel that this is the very last mitzvah to ignore?)

Many say that since there were mitzvot in the Exile which served as substitutes for the Temple service, it is not so terrible if we make do with these substitutes in Israel as well. But in the Exile, WE HAD NO CHOICE, and G-d will forgive us for neglecting the mitzvot pertaining to the Temple. But now, when we control our own fate, how can we possibly make do with substitutes?

This is similar to a man who eats grass instead of food. People ask him, "What are you doing?" He asnwers, "Look, I was once struck in the wilderness without food. I found some grass and ate it to survive." They tell him, "Fool!!! Then, you had no choice; you were FORCED to eat grass. BUT NOW?? You have REAL FOOD, so why are you still eating grass????"


Darka Shel Torah, 1999

Jewish Actor Dustin Hoffman Weeps After Discovering Great-Grandmother Escaped Soviet Concentration Camp (VIDEO)

March 9, 2016 3:45 pm             



Actor Dustin Hoffman discovered he had an ancestor that survived a Soviet concentration camp. Photo: PBS.

Actor Dustin Hoffman discovered that an ancestor of his had survived a Soviet concentration camp. Photo: PBS.

Famed actor Dustin Hoffman was reduced to tears on Tuesday after learning that his great-grandmother had escaped a Soviet concentration camp before starting a life for herself in America, People magazine reported.

The Oscar-winning star, who is Jewish, found out about his great-grandmother, Libba, on the season finale of Finding Your Roots, a PBS show in which celebrities scour ancestral records to learn about their family's history. The show revealed that Libba had been taken from her home in Ukraine to a Russian camp when the Bolsheviks targeted Jews after the outbreak of the Russian civil war in 1917. She was 53 when she entered the camp, where she remained for five years. Both her husband and son were killed by the Soviet state security force, the Cheka.

Along with many other Jews fleeing Eastern Europe, she made her way to Argentina, and ultimately to America.

Looking at his great-grandmother's medical records from Ellis Island, Hoffman, 78, discovered that Libba had entered the US in 1930 at age 62. The records show that her left arm had been amputated, she suffered from poor vision and was described as senile. Libba settled with family in Chicago, where she remained until she died in 1944 at the age of 76.

Tuesday night's episode also highlighted Hoffman's Jewish heritage, which his parents kept a secret.

"She was a hero," Hoffman said of his great-grandmother, as tears streamed down his face. "People ask me today: 'What are you?' I say, 'I'm a Jew…' I'm a Jew. They all survived for me to be here."

Watch a segment of the episode below:

And here is another piece from Aish Ha Torah on the subject:

Five Women from Ancient Chinese Jewish Community make Aliyah

Prager: The World Is Getting Worse, But This Time America Won't Save It

So, who can save the world now?

Dennis Prager

I cannot imagine any thinking person who does not believe the world is getting worse.

The number of slaughtered and the number of refugees from slaughter is immense and growing.

Islamic State now controls territories from Afghanistan to West Africa. Libya is in the process of being added to that list. And other sadistic Islamist movements hold additional territory.

According to Pew Research, approximately 10 percent of world Muslims have a favorable opinion of the Islamic State and terror against civilians. That's more than 100 million people.

The Iranian regime has just increased the reward it will give to anyone who murders Indian novelist Salman Rushdie, is increasing its repression at home, now has more than a hundred billion additional dollars to spend on terror and regularly calls for the annihilation of Israel.

Iran just received from Russia the most powerful anti-aircraft weapons that exist outside the United States, making a successful air attack on Iran almost impossible.

Europe is allowing in another million migrants from the Middle East, few of whom share Europe's primary moral values. One consequence is that European

women are being sexually attacked in increasing numbers. Another is that European countries are making criticism of Muslims or Islam ­ no matter how rational the critique ­ a crime punishable by jail time and/or fines.

The only thing stopping regular mass murder of Europeans and Americans is increased European and American police work. And no one believes that this will suffice to prevent future attacks.

Russia is led by a KGB man who seeks to replace American influence with Russian influence wherever possible. And he is allowed to do so by the American president and the Democratic Party.

While Russia continues to attempt, in Charles Krauthammer's words, "to fracture and subordinate" Ukraine, the United States under Obama refuses to send Ukraine weapons.

The United States is led by a president whose primary foe seems to be the prime minister of Israel, even though the prime minister's country happens to be the freest, most moral and most pro-American country in the Middle East.

The commander of the U.S. Pacific Command recently told Congress "that China is clearly militarizing the South China Sea," in order to gain "hegemony in East Asia."

Cuba now has American recognition, and as a direct result has felt free to increase its subjugation of the Cuban people. In January, the Cuban regime arrested 1,414 political dissidents, the second-most ever recorded. It will be rewarded by a visit from President Obama.

In the United States, most universities are being taken over by a fascistic expression of leftism. Student thugs take over administration offices with impunity, shout down speakers with whom they differ, and many faculty members support them. In the name of "diversity" and "tolerance," American universities, once a jewel of free thought and intellectual inquiry, have become places Americans who cherish liberty and cherish America increasingly fear to send their children.

Contempt for America and its founding ideals are indoctrinated into America's youth from high school on. If shown any of the iconic paintings of the Founders ­ such as signing the Declaration of Independence or deliberating at the Constitutional Convention ­ rather than seeing great people creating a great nation, most young Americans now only see racist, sexist, rich, slave-owning white males.

As its universities make clear, the West is committing suicide. At UCLA one doesn't have to read a single play by Shakespeare in order to receive a degree in English. But one is fully indoctrinated regarding "White Privilege," "systemic racism," "income inequality," "homophobia," "hate speech," "climate change" and whatever radicals care about.

A Republican presidential debate opens with a comment by the leading Republican candidate about the size of his penis. And the audience cheers.

The American president, a black man elected in the hope that he would unify the races, has overseen the greatest rift between the races since the 1960s. His repeated references to "Ferguson," reinforcing the lie that a white policeman killed an innocent black teenager for no reason other than the young man's race, is only one such example. One result is a rhetorical (and increasingly lethal) war on police that has led many officers to minimize proactively policing largely black areas.

The Democratic presidential race is between a socialist who has contempt for capitalism, the only economic system that has ever lifted large swaths of humanity out of poverty, and a woman who is so corrupt that she should be serving time in prison, not campaigning for president.

Meanwhile, the Republican race is led by a man who has mocks a POW as a loser; who repeats the libel that George W. Bush knew there were no WMD in Iraq; who calls for the killing of terrorists' families; and, who, as noted, proudly talks to America about the size of his sexual organ.

Many generations have believed that the world was getting worse. But since 1776, there was a great nation that one could still rely on to stem the decay. Now that great nation, under the influence of its own elites, men and women of the left, is itself in decay.

So, who can save the world now?

The In-Flight Safety Video El Al Should Show

A German Wonderland

Italian Casale Monferrato Synogogue

Look at this miracle. I am sure that you have not seen such beauty in an Italian synagogue. It is the

Casale Monferrato Synagogue which opened in 1599. The synagogue is located on the road between

Milan and Turin.

Using the mouse and associated icons - you can see everything clearly in Panorama and Zoom .

Yes, Israel Is an Apartheid State

By: Mark Cohen

Published: March 10th, 2016
Latest update: March 9th, 20116

Map of Israel

We cannot ignore it any longer. Israel may vehemently deny accusations of practicing a form of apartheid, yet an entire population within the country suffers at the hands of an awful policy of discrimination.

One need not subscribe to any specific political ideology in order to admit the failure of the Israeli government to rid the country of this abhorrent partiality whereby basic rights of a particular population of citizens are trampled on daily. The time has come to note these injustices in order that we may begin building toward a brighter future.

So let us speak of the real discrimination the Jewish population of Israel suffers daily. And just as South Africa's apartheid policy involved the majority suffering at the hands of the minority, so too Israel's majority of Jewish citizens continue to suffer at the hands of a minority Arab population. The discrimination is manifest in numerous ways. Here are but some examples:

  • While the Jewish sector is required to fulfill its civil obligations, the Arab sector simply does not. The government is all but silent as the Arabs of Israel consistently avoid paying income and city taxes. Knesset Member Faina Kirschenbaum described the reality as such: "The Arabs are an economic burden on the state. They barely pay taxes and yet receive huge budgets from the state." Additionally, as a result, many positions and full industries have come to be dominated by Arabs, with Jews unable to compete. What could be more discriminatory than imposing a tax on Jewish citizens while sanctioning wide scale tax evasion on the part of Arab citizens?
  • While Israeli law requires Jewish towns and their businesses and institutions to employ and admit Arabs, Arab towns are virtually Jew-free. Additionally, while these same towns are never the focus of international accusations of illegal building, Arab residents (who, unlike Jews, are offered free professional government assistance to aid with housing permits) rarely seek permits before proceeding to build.
  • While Jewish citizens of Israel are required to serve the state in the form of military or national service (unless contributing in some other form), the Arab citizen is free from any service or contribution to the country that provides him enormous benefits. As the Jewish citizen gives years of his life for his country, the Arab citizen uses this time to pursue his personal education, obtain a job, and advance his own career early on. When national and military service veterans are offered benefits that are hard earned, the Arab fights these with legal claims that they discriminate against the Arab community (which does not serve), often winning.
  • Jerusalem is the most precious city to the Jewish people, with the Temple Mount at its center regarded as the holiest site on earth. While Arabs are free to visit and pray as they please, Jewish citizens of the Jewish state are not as privileged. Visits for Jews must take place at restricted hours with constant and humiliating supervision by Muslim religious council officials and accompanying Israeli security. Any prayer on the part of a Jew in this part of the Jewish capital will land him in police custody.
  • While Jewish citizens are prohibited from even whispering their prayers on the Temple Mount, the Arab is free to sound his prayers throughout the day and at untimely hours (including pre-dawn) on loudspeakers that can be heard for miles. Additionally, the Arab community regularly blasts loud music, sets off firecrackers and performs festive shootings at late-night celebrations. While anti-noise legislation pursues Jewish car alarms, leaf-blowers, and even ill-timed piano lessons – so as not to disturb the peace – the Arab communities are immune to prosecution due to fears of escalating tensions.
  • While Israel's Supreme Court continues to allow Arab political parties – which openly support terrorism against Jews and reject Israel's right to exist – to run for and sit in parliament, Jewish parties with far milder stances remain disqualified.
  • While a Jew accused of murder will likely sit in prison for several decades to life, Arab murderers of Jews are likely to be released every so often as part of goodwill gestures or political agreements.
  • Lastly, the most basic right of any citizen is that to live freely and securely. ‎While Jewish citizens are stabbed, run over, and gunned down in any and all areas of the Jewish state, Arab citizens are essentially free of fears of Jews doing the same to them. While an Arab child may go skipping through any Jewish section of the Jewish state at any hour without a care in the world, Jewish adults are fearful in broad daylight to stroll in vast areas of the Jewish state, with Arab areas being genuine danger zones for Jews at any hour. In fact, Jewish firefighters have been attacked countless times by Arab residents in Arab towns as they were in the midst of saving Arab families from flames. And while Jewish citizens are privileged to live with security guards at bus stops, malls, restaurants, and public venues throughout the country, the Arab citizen does not know of any of these precautions in his towns, for he does not need them.
  • These are just some of the discriminatory policies of the state of Israel. Many more injustices are overlooked on an unofficial level, lest the Arab community become "aggravated."

    So tell your friends who have been raving about Israeli apartheid that they are right. Israel is guilty of inexcusable discrimination. But let us understand just who the victims are.

    About the Author: Mark Cohen made aliyah nearly 15 years ago from the United States and currently lives and teaches in the heart of Jerusalem.

    World's fastest Juggler