Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Prager tells liberals -don't be depressed and Springtime trip to the desert

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Rabbi Yehuda Lave

Pleasures are like Salt Water

All the material and physical pleasures of this world are like salt water. They just cause a person to desire more and more. It is impossible to quench the thirst for desires by giving into desires. Just the opposite occurs. A person becomes thirstier for more desires. Trying to acquire good traits is entirely different. When you first try to acquire those virtues, you might find it bitter. However, when you master the habit of doing good, you feel great sweetness. Therefore the person who seeks pleasure in becoming a better person will find true enjoyment in life.

Love Yehuda Lave


Springtime 2017 in the Great Canyon and Mid Desert in Israel with Shalom Pollock

Note to the Left: Four Years Ago, Conservatives Were Just as Depressed

By: Dennis Prager

Published: February 15th, 2017

Here's a news flash for Democrats and other Americans on the left: Four years ago, when Barack Obama was re-elected president, conservatives were just as depressed as you are now that Hillary Clinton lost and Donald Trump won.

I describe this as news because this undoubtedly surprises many of you. You probably never gave a moment's thought to how depressed conservatives were in 2012. (Why would you? Unlike you, we shun hysteria.) But believe me — we were.

Many of us believed that President Obama was doing great damage to America. Now we are convinced that he did more damage to America domestically, to America's position the world and to the world at large than any other two-term president. He left office with racial tensions — many of which he exacerbated — greater than at any time since the civil rights era half a century ago. He left the world's worst regimes — Iran, China, Russia, North Korea and radical Islamist terror groups — stronger and more aggressive than before he became president. Economic growth never rose above 3 percent, a first for a two-term president. He nearly doubled the national debt and had little to nothing to show for it. Obamacare hurt more people financially than it helped medically, including physicians. More people than ever are on government aid. The list is far longer than this.

Moreover, just like most Democrats in 2016, most Republicans in 2012 expected to win.

The depression among conservatives was palpable. To cite only my own experience, I turned the television off on election night. It was too painful to watch. Instead, I played hearts on the computer and listened to Strauss's "Death and Transfiguration" to lighten the mood.
But why does the level of conservative despair four years ago come as a surprise to Americans on the left?
First, unlike much of the left, most conservatives handle despair like mature adults. Most obviously, we didn't riot. In fact, in America, rioting — not to mention shutting down highways and airports, taking over college offices and protesting at peoples' homes — is a monopoly of the left.

  • Nor did we allow our conservative children to take a day off from school to demonstrate.
  • Nor did conservative teachers preach opposition to Obama in their classrooms.
  • Nor did we print posters with the words "Not My President."
  • Nor did conservative clergy declare fast days.

The second reason is that we know you, but you don't know us.

You read, listen to, watch, socialize with and study under leftists. Only if you are stuck with some immediate relatives who aren't on the left do you encounter a nonleftist (let alone a nonleftist idea). Therefore, there is no way you would know how painful it was for conservatives during that time. While liberals feel free to express their emotions and opinions to anyone, anywhere, any time, conservatives, especially those who voted for Trump, live like Marranos.

The Marranos were Jews living in Spain or Portugal during the Spanish Inquisition in the 1400s who lived like Christians but secretly practiced Judaism. That is how most Trump voters have been forced to live. They live like most people and hide their identity as Trump voters, lest they lose their job, their business, their relatives, their friends and/or their good name.

A gay professor writing in The Wall Street Journal recently echoed this analogy when he likened being in the closet as a Trump voter to being in the closet as a gay man when he was younger. He said:

"I began having gay relationships at 25 but remained closeted. I hated lying to people, but in the 1980s and '90s I feared that coming out would estrange me from family and damage my career. Similarly, I now find creative ways to avoid answering whether I voted for Donald Trump. This may be hard for some to believe, but watching protesters today call Trump supporters racists and bigots has been nearly as distressing as being told to 'die in hell, (vulgarity)' 30 years ago. … I am as afraid about acknowledging that I voted for Mr. Trump today as I was about being gay yesterday. There seems to be as little understanding of my political views as there was about my sexual orientation."Finally, leftists lack self-awareness. They think they are the apotheosis of tolerance when in fact they are far less tolerant than most conservatives. They think they embody kindheartedness when in fact the further left you go, the greater the meanness. And they think they suffer uniquely when they lose a national election.

Leftists lack self-awareness, thinking they are the apotheosis of tolerance and kindness when in fact they are far less tolerant than most conservatives: The further left, the greater the meanness

Dennis Prager

About the Author: Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio show host and creator of PragerUniversity.com. His latest book is "Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph."

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Temple Mount Crowdsifting Project Discovers Shells of Snails Used for Making Blue Fringes (Tekhelet)


The rock snail shell possibly used to make the blue dye for fringes

Murex trunculus, a rock snail shell, believed to have been used in the process of making tehelet, the blue dye for the tzitzit-fringes was discovered by the Singer family from Jerusalem, who participate in the Temple Mount Sifting Project (TMSP).


The sifting project, under the auspices of Bar-Ilan University, began in 1999 after the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement conducted illegal renovations on the Temple Mount and disposed some 9,000 tons of dirt mixed with invaluable archaeological artifacts. This illegal bulldozing destroyed innumerable artifacts which were dumped as garbage in the nearby Kidron Valley. Archaeologists Dr. Gabriel Barkay and Zachi Dvira retrieved the matter from the dump, and in 2004 started sifting through it. Their initiative became the TMSP with the goal of rescuing ancient artifacts and conducting research to enhance our understanding of the archaeology and history of the Temple Mount. Over the past 12 years, TMSP has grown into a crowdsifting project of international significance, with help from some 200,000 volunteers of all ages, and thousands of valuable finds have been discovered, unearthing the discarded history of the Temple Mount.

Making tehelet requires special skills as well as a lot of snails, according to the TMSP blog. Dye can be collected by crushing the snails, or by laboriously milking the snails and collecting the excretion. 12,000 snails might yield 1.4 grams of dye, which is only enough to color the trim of a single garment. Though, according to the Tekhelet site, approximately 30 snails are needed to make one set of strings. The production of the Royal Blue or Royal Purple dye was very expensive, making it an almost exclusive sign of kingship and royalty. Interestingly, the color of this dye becomes more vibrant when left in the sun, and it is possible that different versions of the color can be made by making the dye in the sun or in the shade.

What was the murex shell doing on the Temple Mount? When one finds a shell in a place as remote from the sea as Jerusalem, it means it was used by humans for some purpose. So far, more than 20 murex trunculus shells have been discovered in the sifting, and it could be surmised that there was a workshop for dye production on the Temple Mount, and these shells were used to create the dye for fabrics used in the Temple. The TMSP blog speculates the dye production was being kept on site for purity reasons.

TMSP has not yet dated these shells, waiting until they discover evidence linking them to another, datable, artifact. Their blog notes that carbon dating costs around $400 per test, and in order to reach statistical significance they would need to test around 20 shells, so, before they spend the money, they want to gather more scientific evidence.


Rabbi's advice

A man goes to see the Rabbi. "Rabbi, something terrible is happening and I have to talk to you about it." 

The Rabbi asked, "What's wrong?" 

The man replied, "My wife is going to poison me." 

The Rabbi, very surprised by this, asks, "How can that be?" 

The man then pleads, "I'm telling you, I'm certain she's going to poison me. What should I do?" 

The Rabbi then offers, "Tell you what. Let me talk to her, I'll see what I can find out and I'll let you know." 

A week later the Rabbi calls the man. 
He says, "I spoke to your wife on the phone for three hours. You want my advice?" 

The man said, "Yes" and the Rabbi replied, "Take the poison."  

See you tomorrow-Love Yehuda Lave

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

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