Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Tish Abov today, and Artist Jacob Pins exhibit and the Ticho house in the Center of Jerusalem

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Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor

Judge Yourself Favorably

Years of guilt feelings over a specific matter can sometimes be overcome in a surprisingly short time if a person adopts a different perspective in viewing the matter.

Frequently, people blame themselves unnecessarily. If you have irrational guilt feelings, give yourself a speech why you need not blame yourself. Take a piece of paper and write a list of ways to judge yourself favorably.

Be careful not to do this with matters you should really try to correct. We are referring only to irrational guilt feelings, not to situations where a person wants to rationalize his failure to make difficult, but necessary, changes.

If you find it difficult to judge yourself favorably, ask yourself, "How could I judge someone else favorably in this matter." Guilt-ridden people often find it easier to excuse others than to excuse themselves and this can be utilized as a tool for lessening their own blaming thoughts.

Use your guilt constructively today and mourn for the loss of our holy temple and for the fact that although we took over the temple mount 50 years ago in the great 1967 vicotry we gave soverignty of it back to the Arabs this week. How we spit on the gifts that G-d has given us. No music videos today as well, so you won't have too much joy. Back to joy tomorrow but never forget the pain of Jerusalem.

Love Yehuda Lave

Despite threats on her life, Sara Zoabi – a brave Israeli Muslim woman – decided to stand up for the truth and bashes UNESCO's resolution. This relative of the infamous Arab MK Hanin Zoabi once described herself as "an Arab, a Muslim, an Israeli, and a Zionist," adding: "I may get killed for saying this, but I truly believe that we as Arabs have no better place than Israel."

Ticho House and Artist Jacob Pins

Jacob Otto Pins (17 January 1917 – 4 December 2005) was a German-born Israeli woodcut artist and art collector, particularly of Japanese prints and paintings.

Jacob Pins was born in Höxter, Germany, the son of Dr Leo Pins, a veterinarian, and his wife Ida Lipper. He immigrated to Palestine in 1936 to study art. His father tried to discourage him from becoming an artist for financial reasons.[1] Pins' younger brother, Rudolph, ( 1920-2016)[2] moved to the United States in 1934. His father was sent to Buchenwald. In July 1944, both parents died in the Riga ghetto.

Pins first lived on a kibbutz, which was disbanded in 1941. He moved to Jerusalem and studied woodcut and linocut under woodcut master and painter Jacob Steinhardt, also a German immigrant, at his small private school. He lived in poverty in a tiny room, subsisting on a meagre diet. He continued his studies at the new Bezalel Academy of Art and Design.

Pins was married to Elsa, the subject of a number of his prints. They had no children.

Pins bought his first Oriental print in 1945, and acquired a house on Ethiopia Street, opposite the Ethiopian church, where he lived for the rest of his life. He continued collecting until his death and was one of Israel's foremost art collectors. His book on Japanese Pillar Prints, Hashira-e is the definitive work on the subject.

Pins died in Jerusalem in December 2005.

Art career

Pins' artwork was heavily influenced by German expressionism and traditional Japanese wood block printing. From 1956 to 1977, he taught at Israel's leading art schools, most notably Bezalel, where he later became a professor. He was known as a demanding teacher, emphasizing strong technical skills and discipline.

In the 1950s, Pins helped to found the Jerusalem Artists' House, a centre for the city's artists to meet and exhibit.[3]


Pins' extensive collection of Japanese woodprints, paintings and sculptures was left to the Israel Museum, where it forms the Jacob Pins Collection. Most of his own artwork was left to his home town and the Forum Jacob Pins museum opened there in 2008. Nimrod Erez made a feature-length documentary about Pins, and this is in the permanent collection of MOMA, New York. A shorter documentary is on exhibition at the Jacob Pins Forum, Höxter.


Jacob Pins: Woodcuts: Herzliya Museum of Art, December 92 - January 93

Published works

  • Jacob Pins Woodcuts. Exhibition catalog, Boston, Boston Public Library, 1953. Paperback, 15 pp with six black and white woodcuts.
  • Master woodcuts by Jacob Pins. Oblong octavvo, staples paper covers, 12pp., b/w illustrations. Introduction by Ruth Eis. A short catalog of the exhibition, May 5-June 30, 1974, Judah L. Magnes Museum, Berkeley, California, 1974
  • The Japanese Pillar Print, Hashira-e London Robert G Sawers Publishing, 1982, 389 pages, 14 pages in color and 1039/XXV11 illustrations in black and white.
  • The Pins Collection: Chinese and Japanese paintings and prints. Israel Museum, Israel, 1980
  • The Jacob Pins Collection of Japanese Prints, Paintings and Sculptures. Israel Museum (Jerusalem) 1994 (ISBN 9652781614).

School Choice Saved My Life, Dennis Prager

Mazel Tov: Court Overturns Shelly Silver's Conviction

The man who was the stalwart leader of the Jewish community on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and the strongest Democratic politician in NY State, former Assembly Speaker Sheldon "Shelly" Silver, is free of all charges.

Writing for a unanimous three-judge panel of the Second Circuit in Manhattan, Judge José A. Cabranes noted that although "we recognize that many would view the facts adduced at Silver's trial with distaste, the question presented to us, however, is not how a jury would likely view the evidence presented by the government. Rather, it is whether it is clear, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a rational jury, properly instructed, would have found Silver guilty."


On November 30, 2015, a unanimous jury found Silver guilty on all seven counts of making illegal investments through private vehicles, netting a profit of $750,000. The conviction triggered his automatic expulsion from the Assembly. On May 3, 2016, federal judge Valerie E. Caproni of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York sentenced Silver to 12 years in jail, and ordered him to pay $5.3 million in ill-gotten gains and $1.75 million in additional fines. Silver received two prison terms: 12 years for six criminal counts against him and 10 years on the seventh, to run concurrently. But he remained free on bail, while the panel of judges considered his appeal based on the US Supreme Court's decision in McDonnell v. United States that reversed the corruption conviction of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell.

The appellate court cited the McDonnell ruling, which narrowed the definition of official conduct to be used as the foundation of a corruption prosecution – leading to the conclusion that the judge in Silver's case misled the jury with his instructions – or the same jury might not have found Silver guilty.

It should be noted that the appellate court's ruling still leaves the door open for prosecutors to retry Mr. Silver.

Trillion-Ton Iceberg Created by Antarctica

A trillion-ton iceberg was created this week when a 5,800-square kilometer (2,200-square mile) chunk of polar ice snapped off the Larsen C ice shelf of Antarctica.

"The calving occurred sometime between Monday, July 10 and Wednesday, July 12," the Swansea University said in a statement. "The iceberg weighs more than a trillion tons, but it was already floating before it calved away so it has no immediate impact on sea level."


The iceberg chunk, about 350 meters (1,100 feet) thick, is larger than the state of Delaware in the U.S.

Larsen Crack 2016-2017, Jan. 30, 2017

A crack in the Larsen-C ice shelf in on the Antarctic Peninsula first appeared several years ago, but recently it has been lengthening faster than before.

Carrying radar that can 'see' through the dark, the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites are monitoring the situation. The animation shows that the fissure had opened around 60 km since January last year. And, since the beginning of this January it split a further 20 km so that the 350 m-thick shelf was held only by a thread. The crack had extended around 175 km.

The iceberg created is one of the largest ever recorded. The neighboring Larsen-A and Larsen-B ice shelves suffered a similar fate with dramatic calving events in 1995 and 2002, respectively.

These ice shelves are important because they act as buttresses, holding back the ice that flows towards the sea.

The Sentinel-1 two-satellite constellation is indispensable for discovering and monitoring events like these because it continues to deliver radar images when Antarctica is shrouded in darkness for several months of the year.


The Urchins' Revenge

By Elchonon Isaacs

Yaakov Abulafia and Yitzchak Shraga were both orphaned at a young age, and united by their common fate, they became best friends. They passed their days on the streets of Baghdad and supported themselves by taking what did not belong to them. There was no crime in the neighborhood that did not have their names on it, and they often sat behind bars.

One day, they noticed a large crowd assembling outside one of the mansions in the city; it was the house of the local magnate Avraham ben Chasdai. The two blended into the crowd, and seeing the tables lavishly set with all kinds of delicacies, they entered the house. They did not waste any time filling their plates.

Suddenly, the loud sound of a bell was heard. A band started playing, and a children's choir began singing. Everyone stood up at the sight of a young man of 17 dressed in fancy clothes, with a white tallit over his head. He was escorted by his parents, and three rabbis stood behind them.

When the young man reached the podium, the band stopped playing and the chief rabbi took out a scroll and began reading: "We, the undersigned, are giving our approbation and ordaining the young man, the honorable Rabbi Yehuda ben Chasdai. From now on he may instruct and adjudicate any halachic [Jewish legal] matter."

The chief rabbi then invited the new rabbi to speak. After his opening remarks, in which he thanked his parents and teachers, he proceeded to dazzle the crowd with an erudite Talmudic and halachic discourse. The two boys, Yaakov and Yitzchak, were awed by the knowledge of their peer, and they started pushing their way through the crowd until they were visible to the young speaker.

When the young new rabbi saw the pair, he interrupted his discourse and blurted out, "What are you two doing here?" Ashamed, they quickly disappeared.

They were burning with an urge for revenge. "Let us ambush the new rabbi at night and beat him to a pulp," Yaakov suggested.

Yitzchak hesitated. "What are we going to gain from a beating? He embarrassed us in public, which is equivalent to murder.1 I have an idea, we should do the same and embarrass him in public, and then take the honor and praise."

"But how?" countered Yaakov.

"We will leave Baghdad, and we will go to a place of Torah study for five years where we will study day and night diligently until we will be on par with our arrogant friend. Then we will be able to pay him back," Yitzchak said.

Their desire for revenge was so strong that they made a pact to execute the plan come what may.

They came to the city of Borsippa where there was a great yeshivah. There was a rich man who was willing to support the duo, and they boarded with him. Slowly, they mastered the language of the Talmud and began advancing in their learning.

After five years passed, they decided to extend their learning for a few more years. Eight years passed, and they became known as great sages. They were in high demand as marriage partners, and they soon married and started families.

Once they attained the status of great sages, the time had come to execute their plan. They took leave of their wives and began the trip back to Baghdad. When they arrived, they saw a notice on the town bulletin that the wise Rabbi Yehudah ben Chasdai would be speaking at the great synagogue.

The next day they were in attendance at the synagogue among the large crowd who came to listen. It was a complicated lecture and connected to practical halachah. Yaakov and Yitzchak could not help but notice that the premise was flawed.

Yaakov wanted to shout out and refute the rabbi, but Yitzchak nudged him with his elbow and whispered, "Let us not embarrass him in public. It is only in his merit that we are where we are today."

At the conclusion of the lecture, they approached the rabbi: "We heard your talk but we have a refutation. If the talk had been given on the Aggadic [narrative] parts of the Talmud we would have remained silent, but since it concerns practical halachah, we must make our case known."

They detailed their reasoning, and Rabbi Yehuda exclaimed in awe, "Such knowledgeable Torah scholars I have never met!"

"You did meet us in the past," they retorted. "You also embarrassed us in public."

Stunned by the claim, the rabbi insisted that he had never met them.

"Try to remember when you embarrassed two people that did nothing wrong to you," they said to him.

After a pensive moment, the rabbi began, "Only once in my life did I embarrass anyone in public, and that was at my ordination ceremony when two local gangsters stood in front of me, and I chased them out. I have regretted that moment ever since."

The two smiled and said, "We are those gangsters!"

The rabbi was shocked and invited them over to his house to continue the discussion.

The next day, Rabbi Yehudah assembled the townspeople, and in an emotional voice he recounted the story from the beginning. He also retracted what he had said the day before. "It seems that I was made to err by heaven so that I could atone for my past sin," he said.

At that moment, all those who were assembled accepted upon themselves not to embarrass any person. Rabbi Yaakov Abulafia and Rabbi Yitzchak Shraga went on to become great sages in different regions in Iraq.

See you tomorrow

Love Yehuda Lave

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

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