Tuesday, December 12, 2017

How to Change the World by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and Happy Hanakah tonight and Haley defends Israel at the UN

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Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor

Be Humble, Be Happy

A person who is sincerely humble will be constantly happy. A humble person realizes that nothing is owed him, and therefore feels satisfied with what he has. He does not have expectation of receiving what is above him. He constantly has peace of mind and always feels the joy of life.

Tonight is the first night of Hannakuh. Jews all over the world love this holiday of light and are united in all but one thing. How to spell Hannakuh in English.

Love Yehuda Lave


Hanukkah || Mayim Bialik

Hi everyone! Mayim Bialik here. You may know me as Amy Farrah Fowler from The Big Bang Theory, or from Blossom, but hopefully these videos allow you to get to know me better as Mayim, too!

Hanukkah is ​coming up...think you know everything about it? Here's a little quiz ​and some ridiculousness from me to help you 'grok' Hanukkah. Check it out!​

1 MYSTICAL MEANING of the HEBREW ALPHABET 4 of 4 - Rabbi Michael Skobac (Torah Jews Judaism Shabbat) Jews for Judaism 1:05:42


• Unlike other languages, where letters have no meaning and words are simply conventional, Jewish mystics asserted that Hebrew is different. Each letter in the Hebrew alphabet has profound spiritual meaning and words are not arbitrary. This presentation examines the uncanny congruence between the Hebrew language and the world around us. We explore the meaning of Hebrew letters by analyzing their names, shapes, numerical equivalent and the significance of their first appearance in the Bible. The presentation also includes a fascinating look at startling gemmatrias and Biblical codes. Questions should be directed to RabbiSkobac@JewsForJudaism.ca. JEWS FOR JUDAISM is dedicated to countering the growing multi-million dollar efforts of Christian missionary groups that target Jews, the impact of cults & eastern religions, assimilation & other challenges to Jewish continuity. JEWS FOR JUDAISM strengthens Jewish pride and identity and wins back Jews who have been influenced by missionaries & cults. We achieve our goals through FREE educational programs, materials and counseling services that connect Jewish people to the spiritual depth, beauty and wisdom of Judaism and keep Jews Jewish. Please contact us if we can help you: RabbiSkobac@JewsForJudaism.ca

Literal death machine offers a way to peacefully slip out of existence


Heart-warming moment Damian Aspinall's wife Victoria is accepted by wild gorillas OFFICIAL VIDEO

In June 2017 our Chairman, Damian Aspinall and his wife, Victoria, made a special trip to our project in Gabon to oversee the transfer of a young gorilla group from the sanctuary where they met, to our Gorilla Protection Project in the Batéké Plateau National Park. During their trip, Damian and Victoria met up with Djalta and Ima; two male gorillas from Howletts Wild Animal Park in Kent, who made the journey back to the wild in 2003. To find out more about our gorilla reintroduction projects and to support The Aspinall Foundation's vital conservation work please visit:

How to Change the World By Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

 In his Laws of Repentance, Moses Maimonides makes one of the most empowering statements in religious literature. Having explained that we and the world are judged by the majority of our deeds, he continues: "Therefore we should see ourselves throughout the year as if our deeds and those of the world are evenly poised between good and bad, so that our next act may change both the balance of our lives and that of the world."1 We can make a difference, and it is potentially immense. That should be our mindset, always.

Few statements are more at odds with the way the world seems to us most of the time. Each of us knows that there is only one of us, and that there are sevenWhat conceivable difference can we make? billion others in the world today. What conceivable difference can we make? We are no more than a wave in the ocean, a grain of sand on the seashore, dust on the surface of infinity. Is it conceivable that, with one act we could change the trajectory of our life, let alone that of humanity as a whole? Our parsha tells us that, yes, it is.

As the story of Jacob's children unfolds, there is a rapid rise of tension between his children that threatens to spill over into violence. Joseph, eleventh of the twelve, is Jacob's favorite son. He was, says the Torah, the child of Jacob's old age. More significantly, he was the first child of Jacob's beloved wife Rachel. Jacob "loved him more" than his other sons, and they knew it and resented it. They were jealous of their father's love. They were provoked by Joseph's dreams of greatness. The sight of the many-colored robe Jacob had given him as a token of his love provoked them to anger.

Then came the moment of opportunity. The brothers were away far from home tending the flocks when Joseph appeared in the distance, sent by Jacob to see how they were doing. Their envy and anger reached boiling point, and they resolved to take violent revenge. "'Here comes that dreamer!' they said to each other. 'Come now, let's kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a wild animal devoured him. Then we'll see what comes of his dreams.'"

Only one of the brothers disagreed: Reuben. He knew that what they were proposing was very wrong, and he protested. At this point the Torah does something extraordinary. It makes a statement that cannot be literally true, and we, reading the story, know this. The text says, "And Reuben heard and saved him [Joseph] from them."

We know this cannot be true because of what happens next. Reuben, realizing that he is only one against many, devises a stratagem. He says, Let us not kill him. Let us throw him alive into one of the cisterns and let him die. That way, we will not be directly guilty of murder. His intention was to come back to the cistern later, when the others were elsewhere, and rescue Joseph. When the Torah says, "And Reuben heard and saved him from them" it is using the principle that "God accounts a good intention as a deed."2 Reuben wanted to save Joseph and intended to do so, but in fact he failed. The moment passed, and by the time he acted, it was already too late. Returning to the cistern, he found Joseph already gone, sold as a slave.

On this, a midrash says: "If only Reuben had known that the Holy One blessed be He, would write about him, 'And Reuben heard and saved him from them,' he would have lifted Joseph bodily onto his shoulders and taken him back to his father."3 What does this mean?

Consider what would have happened had Reuben actually acted at that moment. Joseph would not have been sold as a slave. He would not have been taken to Egypt. He would not have worked in Potiphar's house. He would not have attracted Potiphar's wife. He would not have been thrown into prison on a false charge. He would not have interpreted the dreams of the butler and baker, nor would he have done the same two years later for Pharaoh. He would not have been made viceroy of Egypt. He would not have brought his family to stay there.

To be sure, God had already told Abraham many years earlier, "Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there."4 The Israelites would have become slaves, come what may. But at least they would not have had this happen as a result of their own family dysfunctions. An entire chapter of Jewish guilt and shame might have been avoided.

If only Reuben had known what we know. If only he had been able to read the book. But we never can read the book that tells of the long-term consequences of our acts. We never know how much we affect the lives of others.

There is a story I find very moving, about how in 1966 an eleven-year-old African-American boy moved with his family to a hitherto white neighborhood in Washington.5 Sitting with his brothers and sisters on the front step of the house, he waited to see how they would be greeted. They were not. Passers-by turned to look at them but no one gave them a smile or even a glance of recognition. All the fearful stories he had heard about how whites treated blacks seemed to be coming true. Years later, writing about those first days in their new home, he says, "I knew we were not welcome here. I knew we would not be liked here. I knew we would have no friends here. I knew we should not have moved here …"

As he was thinking those thoughts, a woman passed by on the other side of the road. She turned to the children and with a broad smile said, "Welcome!" Disappearing into the house, she emerged minutes later with a tray laden with drinks and cream-cheese and jelly sandwiches which she brought over to the children, making them feel at home. That moment – the young man later wrote – changed his life. It gave him a sense of belonging where there was none before. It made himIt gave him a sense of belonging where there was none before realize, at a time when race relations in the United States were still fraught, that a black family could feel at home in a white area and that there could be relationships that were color-blind. Over the years, he learned to admire much about the woman across the street, but it was that first spontaneous act of greeting that became, for him, a definitive memory. It broke down a wall of separation and turned strangers into friends.

The young man, Stephen Carter, eventually became a law professor at Yale and wrote a book about what he learned that day. He called it Civility. The name of the woman, he tells us, was Sara Kestenbaum, and she died all too young. He adds that it was no coincidence that she was a religious Jew. "In the Jewish tradition," he notes, such civility is called "hessed – the doing of acts of kindness – which is in turn derived from the understanding that human beings are made in the image of God." Civility, he adds, "itself may be seen as part of hessed: it does indeed require kindnesses toward our fellow citizens, including the ones who are strangers, and even when it is hard." To this day, he adds, "I can close my eyes and feel on my tongue the smooth, slick sweetness of the cream cheese and jelly sandwiches that I gobbled on that summer afternoon when I discovered how a single act of genuine and unassuming civility can change a life forever."

A single life, says the Mishnah, is like a universe.6 Change a life, and you begin to change the universe. That is how we make a difference: one life at a time, one day at a time, one act at a time. We never know in advance what effect a single act may have. Sometimes we never know it at all. Sara Kestenbaum, like Reuben, never did have the chance to read the book that told the story of the long term consequences of that moment. But she acted. She did not hesitate. Neither, said Maimonides, should we. Our next act might tilt the balance of someone else's life as well as our own.

We are not inconsequential. We can make a difference to our world. When we do so, we become God's partners in the work of redemption, bringing the world that is, a little closer to the world that ought to be.

Footnotes 1. Hilkhot Teshuvah 3: 4. 2. Tosefta, Peah 1: 4. 3. Tanhuma, Vayeshev, 13. 4. Genesis 15:13. 5. Stephen Carter, Civility, New York: Basic Books, 1999, 61-75.
6. Mishnah, Sanhedrin 4: 5 (original manuscript text). By Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

Haley to the UN: 'The United States will not be lectured to by countries that lack any credibility'

During an emergency UN Security Council meeting on Friday, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley defended US President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem: "The president and this administration remain committed to the peace process."Dec 9, 2017, 3:00PMAmit Boukai


The United Nations Security Council convened Friday for an emergency meeting to discuss US President Donald Trump's announcement on Wednesday recognizing Jerusalem.

"We still support a two-state solution, if agreed to by the parties," US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said during her statement in response to the heavy criticism. "The president and this administration remain committed to the peace process."

Haley concluded by criticizing the UN itself calling it one of the "world's foremost centers of hostility toward Israel" that has done "much more to damage the prospects for Middle East peace than to advance them."

"We will not be a party to that. The United States no longer stands by when Israel is unfairly attacked in the United Nations. And the United States will not be lectured to by countries that lack any credibility when it comes to treating both Israelis and Palestinians fairly."

"The United States has credibility with both sides. Israel will never be, and should never be, bullied into an agreement by the United Nations, or by any collection of countries that have proven their disregard for Israel's security."

Israel's Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon (Archives) Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

At the end of the meeting, ambassadors of Sweden, France, Britain and Italy issued a joint statement denouncing the US decision saying the decision is "not in line with Security Council resolutions and was unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region."

Israel's ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, who was invited to speak before the council, called Trump's declaration "a courageous decision," as he presented an ancient coin found under the Temple Mount dating back to the year 67 AD with the Hebrew words "Jerusalem the Holy" inscribed on it.

"The announcement on Wednesday revealed a sad truth about some people around the world. The people who threaten to ignite a wave of violence against Israel and Jews everywhere," Danon said. "The people who claim they want peace, but whose actions speaker louder than their words.

See you tomorrow and Happy Hanakuh

Love Yehuda Lave

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

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