Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Abortion: The Debate Continues By Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

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Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor

Patience Enhancing Scripts

What are some of the scripts that create patience?

"Things are going as fast as they are. I will do what I can to speed things up and I will accept the reality with serenity."

"Each second of life is precious. And I won't waste it by causing myself needless distress."

"One never knows where it is best for one to be at any given moment. I will try to make the wisest choices. But I will realize that where I am could be the best thing for me."

"I choose my emotional state and I am committed to living my life experiencing positive, resourceful states."

"Opportunities for personal growth can be found wherever one is and in any given situation. Right now I will look at the present as a gift and an opportunity."

Love Yehuda Lave

Each day we hope for Your salvation (Shemoneh Esrei).


The Talmud states that one of the questions that will be posed to each person on his or her day of judgment is, "Did you look forward to salvation?" While the question refers to anticipating the ultimate Redemption, it can also refer to the salvation of the individual.

Positive attitudes beget positive results, and negative attitudes beget negative results. Books have been written about people who have recovered from hopeless illnesses because, contrary to medical opinion, they did not give up hope. On the contrary, they maintained a positive attitude. While this phenomenon may be controversial (for many people are skeptical that cheerful outlooks can cure), people certainly can and have killed themselves by depression. With a negative attitude, a person suffering from an illness may even abandon those practices that can give strength and prolong life, such as the treatment itself.

I have seen a poster that displays birds in flight. Its caption comments, "They fly because they think they can." We could do much if we did not despair of our capacity to do it.

Looking forward to Divine salvation is one such positive attitude. The Talmud states that even when the blade of an enemy's sword is at our throat, we have no right to abandon hope of help.

No one can ever take hope from us, but we can surrender it voluntarily. How foolish to do so.

Today I shall ...

try to always maintain a positive attitude and to hope for Divine salvation.

Men's Rules    -   Finally, the guys' side of the story.    We always hear 'the rules
From the female side  -   Now here are the rules from the male side.

1. Men are NOT mind readers

2. Learn to work the toilet seat.   You're a big girl. If it's up, put it down.
We need it up, you need it down.
You don't hear us complaining about you leaving it down.

3. Crying is blackmail.

4. Ask for what you want.  Let us be clear on this one:
Subtle hints do not work!  Strong hints do not work!
Obvious hints do not work!   Just say it!

5. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.

6. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That's what we do.
Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.

7. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument.
In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 Days.

8. If you think you're fat, you probably are.   Don't ask us.

9. If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad                 or angry, we meant the other one

10. You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done.  Not both.
If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.

11. Whenever possible, Please say whatever you have to say during a commercial, at a meal or at night when we are going to bed if you want us to understand and remember what you said, not while we are watching a movie or in the middle something.

12. ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings.  Peach, for example, is a      fruit, not A color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.

13 If it itches, it will be scratched..   We do that.

14. If we ask what is wrong and you say 'nothing,' We will act like nothing's wrong.
We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.

15. If you ask a question you don't want an answer to, Expect an answer you don't want to hear.

16. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine... Really.

17. Don't ask us what we're thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as what we need to get from home depot, the women that just passed by, the next project we need to get done, or something with wheels.

18. You have enough clothes, and do have "something to wear".

19. You have too many shoes.

20. I am in shape. Round IS a shape!

21. Thank you for reading this.
Yes, I know, I have to sleep on the couch tonight.

But did you know men really don't mind that? It's like camping.
Pass this to as many men as you can - to give them a laugh.
Pass this to as many women as you can - to give them a bigger laugh.

The Zionist answer to Arab and Muslim Terror

Facts on the ground. Let the likes of Mahmoud Abbas and the Fatah and Hamas goons see before their very own eyes how their encouragement of Muslim terror results in new Jewish communities.

Victor Sharpe, 08/02/18 10:38

Victor Sharpe

Victor Sharpe is a prolific freelance writer with many published articles in leading national and international conservative websites and magazines. Born and educated in England, he has been a broadcaster and has authored several books including a collection of short stories under the title The Blue Hour. His four-volume set of in-depth studies on the threats from resurgent Islam to Israel, the West and to Judeo-Christian civilization is titled, Politicide: The Attempted Murder of the Jewish State. www.amazon.com

More from the author ►

The two wonderful women, Nadia Matar and Yehudit Katsover, founders of Women in Green and leaders of the Sovereignty Movement, have called for the application of sovereignty throughout Judea and Samaria. 

They do so in a Press Release in which they condemn the latest Muslim Arab atrocity against a Jewish Israeli civilian, 29 year old Rabbi Itamar Ben Gal Hy"d (may G-d avenge his blood) who was struck down near the entrance to Ariel in Samaria.

The murderous knife attack was perpetrated by a Muslim Arab calling himself a Palestinian. His vile act, as with all other atrocities, was encouraged by the grisly terrorist, Mahmoud Abbas, whose so-called Palestinian Authority reeks of hatred against any and all members of the Jewish faith and people - including myopic liberal and left wing Jews.

The PA's territory occupies large swathes of the Jewish ancestral and Biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria – territory which too many nation states and hostile organizations still prefer to call by the Jordanian Arab name: West Bank.

Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar state that, "the application of Israel's sovereignty in Judea and Samaria will make it clear to the Arab terrorists and to those who send them that Israel will present an iron wall of resolve and tenacity against terror. Moreover, sovereignty that is also implemented in the field will make it clear to terror entities that Israel is here to stay forever and that there is no basis for them to hope that their terror will cause Israel to retreat or that it will result in any other gain".

They continue their principled address by adding the following:

"It has been proven in the past that Israeli withdrawals bolster the Arabs' hopes that they will be able to vanquish Israel through violence and terror. Israeli sovereignty will make it clear that the result will be the absolute opposite and terror will be annihilated from its roots. We call on the ministers of the government to vote in favor of the sovereignty law that MKs Yoav Kish and Bezalel Smotrich have proposed".

In my opinion, a principled Israeli government should create Jewish and Zionist facts on the ground in direct response to Islamic and Arab hate.

In the first volume of my four set work titled, Politicide: The Attempted Murder of the Jewish State, I included a chapter titled, The ultimate answer to Arab terror. I wrote:

"A direct and pure Zionist response to each and every Palestinian Arab and Muslim terror atrocity against Israelis must be the building or rebuilding of Jewish villages throughout Judea, Samaria, all of Jerusalem and the Golan, with each new village named in eternal memory of the individual Jewish victim who fell at the hands of Arab and Islamic hate and evil.

"Would that the Jewish villages in Gaza, so shamefully destroyed by the Sharon government, could also be rebuilt.

"Years of futile hope that matters will improve in the face of Arab knives, bullets, bombs, missiles, boycotts and venomous diplomatic warfare, have availed Israel naught.

"The answer to aggression from the Arabs who call themselves Palestinians is to act in ways that make it so painful for them that they will come to realize that their violence and blood-lust becomes horribly counter-productive.

"Military responses to Muslim Arab violence are effective, but only up to a point, for the Fatah and Hamas thugs welcome death as shahids while relishing the 72 virgins allegedly awaiting them in paradise.

"No, there is a far, far more devastating response that Israel must employ regardless of the howls of rage that will undoubtedly emanate from the baleful and ever hypocritical international corridors of power in Europe or in the immoral cesspit known as the United Nations. It is a purely Zionistic response."

Let me repeat. A principled Israeli government must make the irrevocable decision to finally respond to relentless Muslim Arab terror by retroactively restoring, rebuilding and creating Jewish villages and towns ((and stop calling them 'settlements' - they are towns and villages) throughout Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem and the Golan, every time the Palestinian Arabs murder or harm any Israeli man, woman or child.

And I implore again my plea that each new village and /or town (never use the pejorative term 'settlement' which delegitimizes Jewish communities) be named in eternal memory of the victims of Arab hate and evil. This should be in addition to the legal, moral and sacred imperative to restore Jewish sovereignty and to build throughout all of the Land of Israel from the river to the sea; even unto Gilead.

Create Jewish facts retroactively in direct response to Islamic hate. Let the likes of Mahmoud Abbas and the Fatah and Hamas goons see before their very own eyes how their encouragement of Muslim terror and glorification of the Muslim thugs who murder Israelis, systematically destroys their hopes for the creation, in the heart of the Land of Israel, of a fraudulent country called Palestine: one that has never existed as an independent sovereign state in all of recorded history.

And when the world rages that Jews are "impeding the peace process" by building new 'settlements,' that same immoral world must be told that in direct response to every Israeli victim of Palestinian butchery, permanent Israeli villages will be created and recreated in Judea and Samaria – each one named from the tragic and long list of Jewish victims.

Let the Jew haters refer their bankrupt protests to the sole instigators of violence and aggression: their beloved Arabs who fraudulently call themselves Palestinians.

This must be official and non-negotiable Israeli policy. Only then will Mahmoud Abbas and his cronies in the so-called Palestinian Authority or the Hamas thugdom see where their hate and aggression is leading them.

And at the same time, each and every Palestinian act of violence, however large or small, should automatically result in an entire week of closure of the Temple Mount to Muslim worship replaced by free and unfettered Jewish worship.

In addition, law abiding registered Israeli civilians should be allowed to carry concealed weapons as a must everywhere they go throughout Israel.

It should have started long, long ago, but make it happen now, today, with a direct and irrevocable response to the Palestinian Muslim slaughter of Jewish and Christian men, women, and children.

This is the answer to the so-called Palestinians who perpetrate their loathsome sins while screaming the Muslim Arabic supremacist war cry – Allahu Akbar (Allah is Greater).

Expunge those self-defeating words permanently from the lexicon of all who support and defend Israel. I have labored almost alone for years to plea that no longer do we employ the words, 'settlers' and or 'settlements.'

Those two words - as understood in the international language, i.e. English - have come to mean an alien occupier of another people's land. By using such a pejorative words to describe Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria, the Golan and Jerusalem, we delegitimize the Jewish people in their very own ancestral and Biblical heartland.

Relentlessly, Arab communities are always called villages in the Israeli and international media, but neighboring Jewish communities are given the pejorative and self-defeating term, 'settlement.' This is utter idiocy. Hopefully, you dear readers will also finally use the legitimate and respectful words, village or town, when referring to Jewish communities in Yesha.

Indeed, I feel it is historically and politically justified in describing Arab communities in Yesha as settlements – for that is what the overwhelming majority are. It is time to describe Arab communities as settlements; never villages. Why confer such respect to them, but rarely to Jewish communities?

Remember that the mass influx of Arab illegal immigrants occurred primarily during the British Mandate period from 1920 to 1948. Thus, they have no ancient ties to the Land whatsoever. But even earlier during the Ottoman Turkish occupation Arabs from as far afield as the Sudan were brought in as slaves. These people are not indigenous to the Land through ancient and ancestral right. The Jews are the native and indigenous people by right.

So if fellow Jews and Israel's supporters in Israel and the Diaspora would ban, once and for all, the very use of those self-destructive words – 'settlers' and 'settlements' – it would go a long way to legitimizing the Jewish people in their ancestral and Biblical homeland.

After all, words have consequences.

Victor Sharpe is well versed in Jewish history and the history of the Middle East. He traces the Israel-Islam conflict in his four-volume set  (previous volumes here) titled, Politicide, The Attempted Murder of the Jewish State, and provides the reader with an immense amount of information about the biblical and post-biblical history of the Jewish homeland: Israel.


Little long, but worth the pointed punchline.

 A cowboy named Bud was overseeing his herd in a remote mountainous pasture in Montana when suddenly a brand-new 2016 7 Series BMW advanced toward him out of a cloud of dust.

 The driver, a young man in a Brioni suit, Gucci shoes, RayBan sunglasses and YSL tie, leaned out the window and asked the cowboy, "If I tell you exactly how many cows and calves you have in your herd, will you give me a calf?"
 Bud looks at the man, who obviously is a yuppie, then looks at his peacefully grazing herd and calmly answers, "Sure, why not?"

 The yuppie parks his car, whips out his Dell notebook computer, connects it to his Apple I phone, and surfs to a NASA page on the Internet, where he calls up a GPS satellite to get an exact fix on his location which he then feeds to another NASA satellite that scans the area in an ultra-high-resolution photo.

 The young man then opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop and exports it to an image processing facility in Hamburg, Germany ...

 Within seconds, he receives an email on his Apple iPad that the image has been processed and the data stored.  He then accesses an MS-SQL database through an ODBC connected Excel spreadsheet with email on his Galaxy S5 and, after a few minutes, receives a response.

 Finally, he prints out a full-color, 150-page report on his hi-tech, miniaturized HP LaserJet printer, turns to the cowboy and says, "You have exactly 1,586 cows and calves."

 "That's right. Well, I guess you can take one of my calves," says Bud.

 He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks on with amusement as the young man stuffs it into the trunk of his car.

 Then Bud says to the young man, "Hey, if I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give me back my calf?"

 The young man thinks about it for a second and then says, "Okay, why not?"

 "You're a Congressman for the U.S. Government", says Bud.

 "Wow! That's correct," says the yuppie, but how did you guess that?"

 "No guessing required." answered the cowboy. "You showed up here even though nobody called you; you want to get paid for an answer I already knew, to a question I never asked. You used millions of dollars worth of equipment trying to show me how much smarter than me you are; and you don't know crap about how working people make a living - or about cows, for that matter.

 This is a herd of sheep.

 Now give me back my dog.


What's in a Lichen? How Scientists Got It Wrong for 150 Years

For 150 years, scientists believed lichen were defined by a symbiotic relationship between a fungus and algae. Meet the team of researchers who upended this belief in this short film by Andy Johnson, Talia Yuki Moore, Chris A. Johns, and Kate Furby.

Abortion: The Debate Continues By Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks - 23 Shevat 5778 – February 8, 2018

Behind Jewish belief in Torah she'be'al peh (Oral Law) lays a fundamental truth. The meaning of a text is not given by the text itself. Between a text and its meaning lies the act of interpretation – and this depends on who is interpreting, in what context, and with what beliefs.

Without an authoritative tradition of interpretation – in Judaism, the Oral Law – there would be chaos. To be sure, there were sectarian groups within Judaism – Sadducees, Karaites and others – who accepted the Written Torah but not the Oral Law. But in reality such a doctrine is untenable.

The Babylonian Talmud demonstrates this elegantly and with humor. It tells of a certain non-Jew who sought to convert to Judaism, and went to the great sage Hillel to do so. He made one proviso. "Convert me on condition that I accept the Written but not the Oral Law." He was willing to be a Jew, but only a heretical one.

Hillel made no protest, and told the man to come to him for instruction. The first day, Hillel taught him the first four letters of the Hebrew alphabet: alephbetgimeldaled. The next day he taught him the same letters in reverse order: daledgimelbetaleph. "But yesterday," protested the man, "you taught me the opposite." "You see," said Hillel, "you have to rely on me even to learn the alphabet. Rely on me also when it comes to the Oral Law" (Shabbat31a). Without agreed principles, there can be no teaching, no learning, no authority, and no genuine communication.

One passage in this week's sedrah shows how differences in interpretation can lead to, or flow from, profound differences in culture. Ironically, the subject concerned – abortion – remains deeply contentious to this day.

The text deals not with abortion per se, but with a fight between two people in which a bystander – a pregnant woman – is hit, with the result that she miscarries. What is the punishment in such a case? Here is the text:

"If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she has a miscarriage but there is no other fatal damage [ason], the offender must be fined whatever the woman's husband demands and the court allows. But if there is fatal damage, you are to take life for life…" (Exodus 21: 22-23).

The word ason means "mischief, evil, harm, calamity, disaster." Jacob uses it when his sons tell him that the second-in-command in Egypt (Joseph) insists that they bring their youngest brother Benjamin with them when they return, if they are to be cleared of the charge of spying. With Joseph missing, Benjamin is the only son left of Jacob's beloved wife (by then dead), Rachel. Jacob refuses to give permission for Benjamin to leave home, saying, "If you take this one from me, too, and he meets with disaster (ason), you will send my white head down to the grave in sorrow" (Genesis 44:29).

The meaning of the law about fighting men, then, is this: If the woman miscarries but suffers no other injury, the person responsible must pay compensation for the loss of the unborn child, but suffers no other penalty. If, however, the woman dies, he is guilty of a much more serious offense. (The sages, in Sanhedrin 79a, disagreed as to whether this means that he is liable to capital punishment.)

One thing, however, is clear. Causing a woman to miscarry – being responsible for the death of a fetus – is not a capital offense. Until birth, the fetus does not have the legal status of a person.

At the same time that the Sages in Israel were teaching this law, there was a significant Jewish community in Alexandria, Egypt. A passage in the Talmud describes the great splendor of the synagogue there. The Alexandrian Jewish community – whose most famous member was the first century philosopher Philo – was highly Hellenized. It developed its own traditions, at times quite different from those of the rabbinic mainstream. In one of his works, Philo, explaining the main principles of Jewish law to a non-Hebrew-reading public, turns to the biblical passage under review, and paraphrases it in these words:

But if anyone has a contest with a woman who is pregnant, and strike her a blow on her belly, and she miscarry, if the child which was conceived within her is still unfashioned and unformed, he shall be punished by a fine, both for the assault which he has committed and also because he has prevented nature, who was fashioning and preparing that most excellent of all creatures, a human being, from bringing him into existence. But if the child which was conceived had assumed a distinct shape in all its parts, having received all its proper connective and distinctive qualities, he shall die; for such a creature as that, is a man, whom he has slain while still in the workshop of nature, who had not thought it as yet a proper time to produce him to the light, but had kept him like a statue lying in a sculptor's workshop, requiring nothing more than to be released and sent out into the world. (The Special Laws, III: XIX)

Philo understands the word ason to mean not "calamity," but rather "form." The meaning of the two verses is now completely different. In both cases, they are talking about damage to the fetus only. The first case, "there is no ason," means that the fetus was "unformed," i.e. at an early stage of development. The second verse speaks of a fetus "that has form," i.e. at a later stage of pregnancy. Philo puts this rather finely when he compares the developed fetus to a sculpture that has been finished but has not yet left the sculptor's workshop. On this view, feticide – and hence abortion – can be a capital crime, an act of murder.

Philo's interpretation – and the views of the Alexandrian Jewish community generally – were to play a significant part in the religious history of the West. This was not because they had an impact on Jews, for they did not. Rather, they had an impact on Christianity. The decisive victory of the Pauline Church over the Jerusalem Church, headed by Jesus's brother James, meant that Christianity spread among gentiles rather than Jews. The first Christian texts were written in Greek rather than Hebrew. They were, at the same time, intensely dependent on the Hebrew Bible. In fact the one serious attempt to divorce Christianity completely from the Hebrew Bible – made by the 2nd century Gnostic Marcion – was deemed to be a heresy.

Christians were therefore dependent on Greek translations of and commentaries to Tanach, and these were to be found among Alexandrian Jewry. The result was that early Christian teaching on abortion followed Philo rather than the Sages. The key distinction was, as Augustine put it, between embryo informatus and embryo formatus – an unformed or formed fetus. If the fetus was formed, i.e. more than 40 or 80 days had passed since conception (there was an argument over the precise period) then causing its death was murder. So taught Tertullian in the second century. So the law remained until 1588 when Pope Sixtus V ordained that abortion at any stage was murder. This ruling was overturned three years later by Pope Gregory XIV, but reintroduced by Pope Pius IX in 1869.

This is not to say that Jewish and Catholic views on abortion are completely different. In practice, they are quite close, especially when compared to the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome, or the secular West today where abortion is widespread and not seen as a moral evil at all. Judaism permits abortion only to save the life of the mother or to protect her from life-threatening illness. A fetus may not be a person in Jewish law, but it is a potential person, and must therefore be protected. However, the theoretical difference is real. In Judaism, abortion is not murder. In Catholicism, it is.

It is fascinating to see how this difference arose – over a difference in interpretation of a single word, ason. Without tradition and all the Sages meant by the Oral Law, we would simply not know what a verse means. Between a text and its meaning stands the act of interpretation. Without rules handed down across the generations to guide us, we would be in the same position as Hillel's student – unable even to begin

The Opening of the Academy Awards in 1967

Bob Hope opens the 39th Academy Awards in 1967, and Raquel Welch and Dean Jones present the Oscar® for Sound to the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studio Sound Department (accepted by Franklin E. Milton, Sound Director) for "Grand Prix." Introduced by Arthur Freed with orchestra conducted by Johnny Green. Featuring red carpet arrivals and overture with James Stewart, Glenn Ford, Patricia Neal, Rock Hudson, Anouk Aimée, Ginger Rogers, Robert Mitchum, Dick Van Dyke, Jocelyne LaGarde, Andy Devine, Vanessa and Lynn Redgrave, Franco Nero, Claude Lelouch, Candice Bergen, Ida Kaminska, Pierre Barouh, John Clark, Wendy Hiller, Ronald and Nancy Regan, Alan Arkin, Steve McQueen, Walter Matthau, Mike Nichols, Joan Blondell and more.

See you tomorrow

Love Yehuda Lave

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

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