Monday, August 28, 2017

Can A Conservative Conduct An Orchestra? By Dennis Prager - 19 Av 5777 – August 11, 2017

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Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor

Be Positive and Wise Right Now

You might feel that it's hard to keep up a positive and wise way of being. But you don't have to be positive and wise all day – you only need to be positive and wise right now, one moment at a time. Look at your life as the story of a great person. Every day, choose a number of moments that are an expression of a great way of being. These great moments add up. They create a great life.

Love Yehuda Lave

Can A Conservative Conduct An Orchestra? By Dennis Prager - 19 Av 5777 – August 11, 2017

Most Americans are at least somewhat aware of what is happening at American (and European) universities with regard to conservative speakers. Universities disinvite conservative speakers, never invite them, or allow the violent (or threatened violent) prevention of them. No non-left-wing idea should be permitted on campus.

But we may have hit a new low.

For years, I have been conducting symphony orchestras in Southern California. I have conducted the Brentwood-Westwood, Glendale, and West Los Angeles Symphony Orchestras, the Pasadena Lyric Opera, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. I have studied classical music since high school, when I first began playing piano and studying orchestral scores.

I conduct orchestras because I love making music. But I also do so because I want to help raise funds for local orchestras (I have never been paid to conduct) and I want to expose as many people to classical music as possible.

After I conduct a symphony, I then conduct select parts of the piece in order to show the audience what various sections of the orchestra are doing. After that, I walk around the orchestra with a microphone and interview some of the musicians. Everyone seems to love it.

After intermission, the permanent and professional conductor conducts his orchestra in another symphony.

About half a year ago, the conductor of the Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra, Guido Lamell, who is also a longtime member of the violin section of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, asked me whether I would be interested in conducting his orchestra. I said yes even before he added the punchline – at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

For those not up to date on concert halls, the Walt Disney Concert Hall is one of the preeminent concert halls of the world. Being invited to conduct a superb orchestra at that hall is one of the great honors of my life.

However, about a month ago, a few members of the orchestra, supported by some Santa Monica city officials, decided to lead a campaign to have me disinvited.

As I said, this is a new low for the illiberal left: It is not enough to prevent conservatives from speaking; it is now necessary to prevent conservatives from appearing even when not speaking. Conservatives should not even be allowed to make music.

To its great credit, the board of directors of the orchestra, composed of individuals of all political outlooks, has completely stood by its conductor and his invitation to me.

But the attempt to cancel me continues. It is being organized by three members of the orchestra, each of whom has refused to play that night. Readers will not be surprised to learn that two of the three organizers are college professors. Michael Chwe is a professor of political science at UCLA and Andrew Apter is a professor of history, also at UCLA. In an open letter to the symphony's members posted on the Slipped Disc website, the three wrote, "A concert with Dennis Prager would normalize hatred and bigotry."

One example of my hatred and bigotry includes my belief that in giving a child over for adoption, adoption agencies should prefer a married man and woman before singles and same-sex couples.

Another – my favorite – is my having said that if there is no God, ethics are subjective, which will offend atheist members of the orchestra.

These are the types of academics who are giving universities their reputation for illiberal closed-mindedness – which not only ruins the universities as educational institutions but also hurts them financially. The New York Times recently reported that many alumni are no longer donating money to the colleges they attended because of the war on diverse thought on their campuses.

Now they want to do to orchestras what they have done to universities.

I hereby extend an invitation to Chwe and Apter to come on my radio show to explain to my listeners why my conservative positions render me a hateful bigot and explain why people with conservative views should not be allowed to conduct classical music. I hope they accept – people will then be able to assess who is and who isn't a hater.

Not to be outdone by these professors, a former mayor of Santa Monica and current council member, Kevin McKeown, was quoted on Slipped Disk as saying: "I personally will most certainly not be attending a concert featuring a bigoted hate-monger. The judgment (or lack of) shown in inviting Prager may affect future community support for the Symphony."

However, there are other voices. Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole does not agree with the former mayor. "This city supports the arts," he said when asked by the Santa Monica Lookout whether the symphony's invitation presented difficulties. "It appears that Dennis Prager supports the arts. The city, in funding a season of musical performances, does not choose what music is played or who plays it at any particular concert."

I have devoted this column to this subject to expose the latest attempt of anti-liberal leftists – the real haters – to shut conservatives out of every form of intellectual and artistic endeavor.

Another reason is to ask readers in Southern California to attend the concert. Here is a rare opportunity to combine a terrific evening in one of the world's greatest concert halls with a chance to defeat the illiberal left. The more people who attend on Aug. 16, the greater the message that music must transcend political differences. And it rewards the Santa Monica Symphony board and conductor for their moral courage.

I will be conducting Haydn's Symphony No. 51. Like Haydn, I think music is one of those few things that can bring people together. Clearly, not everyone agrees.

. Sorry, Rabbi Riskin and Rabbi Greenberg – Homosexual relations are not permitted by the Torah August 10, 2017,

Blogger Avrohom Gordimer Rabbi Gordimer is a kashruth professional, a Senior Rabbinic Fellow at Coalition for Jewish Values, a member of the Rabbinical … [More]


In an interview (in Hebrew) that was sharply criticized even by some rabbis who generally identify with him, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin opined that the Biblical prohibition on homosexual relations only applies to one who voluntarily chooses homosexuality, but that one who considers himself wired as homosexual and feels that he can only experience intimacy with another man is exempt from the prohibition. Rabbi Riskin applied the Talmudic axiom of "ones Rachmana patreh" — that the Torah does not hold one accountable for an involuntary act — as his source for this whopper of a "heter" (halachic leniency).

Rabbi Riskin's position was celebrated by Rabbi Steven Greenberg, who refers to himself as "the first openly gay Orthodox rabbi". In a new Times of Israel post entitled Homosexuality and the Human Condition, Rabbi Greenberg quotes Rabbi Riskin's words from a 1993 Jerusalem Post article:

How can we deny a human being the expression of his physical and psychic being? If there's a problem with the kettle, blame the manufacturer. Is it not cruel to condemn an individual from doing that which his biological and genetic makeup demand that he do? The traditional Jewish response would be that if indeed the individual is acting out of compulsion, he would not be held culpable for his act.

Other liberal Orthodox rabbis have suggested the same approach as Rabbi Riskin; his idea is not new. But it is fatally flawed and is squarely invalidated by the Talmud itself.

In discussing intimacy under compulsion, the Talmud (Yevamos 53b) states that one who plays an active role in such relations (i.e. the "male role") is not deemed to be in a state of Ones (involuntary action) and is thus fully subject to the sexual prohibition at hand. This principle is undisputed and is the codified Halacha. (See Maimonides – Hil. Isurei Bi'ah 1:9.)

Hence, Rabbi Riskin and others who invoked "ones Rachmana patreh" to permit homosexual relations are wholly in error and are contradicted by the Talmud and all halachic codes. This important point needs to be made.

Furthermore, how could Rabbi Riskin and others sincerely believe that this gaping-hole exception exists, in light of the fact that it is totally absent from the Talmud, all subsequent halachic codes and all writings of rabbinic commentators? Such a massive exception would surely have appeared in large print, so to say, in the canonical sources of Jewish Law.

Another liberal Orthodox rabbi this week penned Why This Orthodox Rabbi Marched for Pride in Jerusalem, in which he defended his participation in the Holy City's "Pride Parade". In an attempt to divorce the homosexual act from the Torah's classifying it as a To'eivah, an abomination (Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13), this rabbi quoted one of the homiletic interpretations of the Talmud (Nedarim 51a), which explains that the Hebrew word "To'eivah" signifies "to'eh atah bah" – "you are going astray with it (the act of homosexual intimacy)". It is crystal clear from the Mefarshim (Commentators), and from a reading of the Talmudic passage itself, that the homiletic play on words does not at all replace the Torah's branding of the homosexual act as an abomination, but that it rather comes to provide additional insight.

Several other liberal Orthodox rabbis likewise endorsed and/or marched in the recent gay pride parade; please see here and here. These rabbis are all members of Torat Chayim, the Open Orthodox clergy organization (Facebook page), and most of them are connected to Yeshivat Chovevei Torah (YCT – the Open Orthodox rabbinical school), either as members of its Advisory Board, as lecturers at its programs, or as graduates.

The balance between unapologetically standing up for the Torah's position on homosexual acts while at the same time embracing the Torah's mandate of compassion is beautifully captured by Rav Aharon Feldman in his famous letter about homosexuality; please click on the link and read the letter. Please also see Rav Feldman's comprehensive analysis in his article, The Torah View of Homosexuality.

Continuing along its trajectory of attempting to impose the values of secular society onto the values of the Torah, liberal Orthodox/Open Orthodox clergy has sadly blown away a major section of the fence of Halacha by effectively canceling the Torah's prohibition on the homosexual act and the Torah's value statement thereon. Open Orthodox leadership has already lobbied for legalizing gay marriage, and has suggested that sensual gay acts other than intercourse, and marital unions that do not use the word "marriage", may be acceptable (in contravention of Halacha and Torah values). This latest development of actually permitting homosexual intercourse was predictably the next major breach.

It's time to say to Open Orthodoxy, "to'eh atah bah" – you have gone astray and should seek to return. Torah values must be derived from the Torah and not from secular society; Torah observance must come from an objective commitment to the halachic codes and their traditional interpretation rather than from creative suggestions that contradict Halacha; Torah life must be one of surrender to the Will of God and not to the will of man.

Baking Soda to clean mattress

She Poured Baking Soda All Over Her Mattress And 30 Seconds Later Something Startling Takes Place 

Do you ever ask yourself how often do you actually clean your mattress? If you answered 'not enough', then you need to learn these very basic ways to clean your mattress!

Along with refreshing your bed, our easy cleaning DIY ensures a better night's sleep. No need for harsh chemicals or expensive concoctions — all you need is a box of baking soda for this cleaner. The addition of essential oil gently scents your bed, helping to soothe and lull you to sleep.

Before beginning, flip or rotate the bed, which is smart to do every six months to extend mattress life and prevent sagging. While you're working on your mattress, toss your bedding in the wash, and fluff duvets or feather beds in the dryer.


Open the box of baking soda and add 10 to 20 drops of your favorite essential oil. Close the box and give it a good shake to distribute the essential oil and break up any large clumps. Lavender, chamomile, sandalwood, and ylang ylang are all soothing scents that would be wonderfully calming. And, essential oils are naturally antibacterial.

Sprinkle the baking soda over the bed, using the entire box. Now it's time for a mattress massage! Rub the baking soda mixture into the bed, which really gives your mattress a deep cleaning. Let the baking soda and essential oil work its magic for at least an hour.

While you're waiting, wipe down the walls around your bed and the bed frame, creating a nice and clean sleeping area. After an hour, vacuum the mattress, working slowly to ensure all the baking soda has been removed.

Along with freshening your bed, the mixture helps lift dirt and residue while wicking away moisture. And giving your mattress a good vacuuming sucks away any lurking dust mites, which makes everyone sleep easier. Make the bed, and now you're ready for some serious slumber.


The average human spends about 3,000 hours per year in bed! That's a lot of time. During this time, we shed an enormous amount of dead skin and it can be pretty gross!


See you tomorrow

Love Yehuda Lave

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

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