Sunday, November 27, 2016

We didn't start the fire (yes we are responsible for letting this insanity continue)

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Rabbi Yehuda Lave

Believe You Can Become an Action-Oriented Person

If you presently find it difficult to believe that you can become an action-oriented person, you will benefit greatly from a teacher, mentor, friend, or coach who believes in you and your abilities. Having someone you respect believe in you is inspiring and motivating. You will gain a stronger and deeper belief in yourself.

Love Yehuda Lave


We didn't start the fire!!!

From the Old tv program Latma (from the last time the Arabs torched our land)..How long will we let this insanity continue?

Rabbi Kahane from 1989 on the torching of our forests!!

Best surfing you will ever see

Hebrew connections from Yehuda Steinberg

Gen. 12:4 - And Abram went, as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him.

The author of Avnei Shaish proposes a common theme to three words containing the letters לט (LT), as follows, namely: מלט, פלט and שלט – all related to defense/salvation, as follows:

1. The root מלט refers to fleeing from danger (vis. Gen. 19:17, Ps. 124:3).
2. The root פלט means escaping war (e.g. Gen. 14:13, Jer. 44:25, Ps. 17:13).
3. The root שלט in the Holy Tongue refers to: 1. a shield (e.g. IISam. 8:7, Song 4:4), and to: 2. national rulers (e.g. Gen. 42:6, Ezra 4:20) - charged first and foremost with defending their nations.

I would humbly suggest adding other words of the לט family, all relating to various aspects of defense/salvation: 4. קלט 5. עלט 6. חלט 7. לטא 8. לטש 9. לוט.
4. The root קלט – means: 1. Refuge, shelter (Num. 35:11), 2. Closure (Lev. 22:23 – closure is a form of protection).
5. The root עלט – Darkness (Gen. 15:17, Ez. 12:6) – darkness in general is often described as cover/concealment (vis. Ps. 44:20); so too is עלטה used in this sense (e.g. Abarbanel, Ez. 12:6; RSRH, Deut. 17:14). Others suggest a direct connection between עלטה and וילט –wrapping/concealing– (Ba'alil La'aretz' p. 115; Agra DeKalla (Gen. 15:17), Ohr Chadash (ibid.).
6 The root. חלט – RSRH (Gen. 15:17) cites an instance of חלט in the sense of snatching (see I Kings 20:33, Targum ad loc.). He comments that both חלט in this usage and עלט denote types of concealment from sight. As above, concealment is a form of defense.
7. The root לטא – This is the root of לטאה, the lizard referred to in Lev. 11:30. Onkelus renders the word וחלטתא. Perhaps this Aramaic word is related to ויחלטו referred above – snatching. The lizard is among the quickest of reptiles, disappearing into cracks and crevices in split-seconds, as if "snatched" – hidden from the eye and thereby saved.
8. The root לטש – In Gen. 4:22 we find Tuval Cain (a descendent of Cain) referred to as a לטש –sharpener. While sharpening is a skill applicable to peaceful purposes like agricultural or artwork, Rashi emphasizes that Tuval Cain's talents were directed in the main to implements of war. Moreover, most instances of the root לטש in Scripture relate to war and violence (e.g. Ps. 52:4 [so too regarding related words such as שנן – e.g. Ps. 64:4]). We in fact find the foreign rulers of the Land of Israel prohibiting all sharpening metal of implements there for fear that the honing would be applied to tools of war (vis. I Sam. 13:19).
Up to now we have described defense methods such as hiding, fleeing and enclosing. However, an all-important aspect of defense is that which seeks to prevent armed conflict before it even starts: deterrence. That is, the very knowledge that one's neighbor possesses an arsenal of weapons at the ready ironically often serves to encourage peaceful coexistence. And if all else fails, the best defense is a good offense – with sharpened spears at hand.
Additionally, the equivalence of the letters לטש to שלט (ala כבש-כשב, שמלה-שלמה) may allude to a shared or similar meaning as well. As we've seen above, the biblical שלט is in fact a shield, and the שליט-ruler is first and foremost charged with defense of his nation.
9. The root לוט – This root denotes wrapping (e.g. I Sam. 21:10 + Rashi). Derivative meanings are concealment/secrecy (see Ex. 7:22 + Rashi, Sanhed, 67b + Rashi).
Additionally, Rashi (Jer. 43:9) comments that the word מלט (mortar, cement) derives from the biliteral root לט; cement seals, envelopes, protects (see also Yerios Shlomo, 1:104a).

We may also suggest that the name of לוט itself alludes to the core meanings of לט: defense, hiding/concealing, fleeing, as evidenced at every critical juncture of his life: 1. We are introduced to Lot as the orphan son of the murdered Haran (vis. Rashi, Gen. 11:28), escaping and finding refuge under his uncle Abraham's wing. 2. He then "escapes" from Abraham -perhaps feeling overwhelmed by the latter's soaring greatness (more on this below), settling in Sodom (Gen. 13:11 ff.). 3. He is then saved by Abraham, finding refuge once again in Sodom (ibid. 14:16). 4. Finally, he escapes from the destruction of Sodom (ibid. 19:20).
Note that the root מלט itsef (escape, finding refuge) is found only five times in the Pentateuch (in contradistinction to נ"ך) – all exclusively in connection with Lot (vis. ibid. 19:17 [2x], 19:19, 19:20, 19:22). The angel warning Lot to flee uses the word three times, never using synonyms for escape such as לנוס or לברוח. Lot uses the term twice, adding the word לנוס only in verse 20. Why is the word מלט special, and why did Lot conclude with an alternate word?
A hint maybe found in Gen. 19:17, where the angel urges Lot to "flee to the mountain" (ההרה המלט). Rashi comments that "the mountain" alludes to Abraham, who lived on a mountain. Lot refuses, adding an explanation (ibid. v 19): "I cannot flee to the mountain, lest the evil overtake me, and I die." The commentators explain that Lot was simply afraid that he may not run fast enough to complete the journey in time. But in the next verse Lot offers his reason for choosing to flee to Tzoar instead: "Behold now, this city is near to flee there, and it is small." While the statement "near to flee" is fair enough, how is "and it is small" connected? The commentators again offer explanations, but perhaps one could suggest that Lot here hinted to the central motivator in his life. Lot's great fear was to again find himself in the shadow of his towering uncle, where in comparison Lot himself was miniscule; where compared to Abraham's righteousness, he himself was a fiend. Ergo: "lest the evil overtake me, and I die" –I'll have nowhere to run or hide from his greatness and uprightness there. In contrast, in Tzoar –a small, young town– I'll be considered important and righteous, the "head of the foxes" (see Avos 4:15).

This may explain Lot's use the term לנוס for the first time, in reference to Tzoar:

בר' יט:כ – הָעִיר הַזֹּאת קְרֹבָה לָנוּס שָׁמָּה...

I would suggest that the word לנוס indeed refers to the physical feasibility of fleeing to and arriving at the destination on time, as per commentators cited above. Lot explains that in fact Tzoar is a more achievable destination per its proximity. But he then switches back to the root מלט at the end of the verse:

... וְהִוא מִצְעָר אִמָּלְטָה נָּא שָׁמָּה

That is, Tzoar has the added advantage of being small and young – a place where I can be honored as an elder and be revered as a saint... and hide from the true righteousness of Abraham. The addition of אמלטה here suggests that even if לנוס to "the mountain" was logistically possible, that alone would be insufficient, because Lot's ego could not abide Abraham's prodigiousness.

Lot's name therefore expresses with extraordinary accuracy his essence: evasion, avoidance, escape from trials. In contrast who triumphed in all his trials, thereby rising to spiritual greatness, Lot remained eternally mired self-absorbed, enwrapped and enveloped in darkness.

Ours is to learn from Lot's tragic failure and to aspire to the greatness of our father Abraham, Prince of the Lord.

Yehoshua Steinberg
Complacency is tantamount to complicity;
Serenity is prerequisite to accomplishment.

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See you tomorrow my friends

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

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