Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Jerusalem blinks and backs down against the churches

As children we all adopted various labels from parents, siblings, teachers and peers. We were smart or stupid, pretty or ugly, good or bad, composed or crazy, successful or failures, neat or messy, etc.

Make a list of the labels which were applied to you. Now, take a minute to imagine that you could live your life free of all labels, that you could just be you! What if you could truly believe that no label is capable of defining you.

In my classes, I have my students write their negative labels on little stickers and then stick them all over themselves. Then I ask, "Which ones are you willing to let go of?" Little by little, we peel off the labels and throw them away. Try it. You will gain a sense of freedom and inner peace.
Love Yehuda Lave
For those of you interested, please contact me for counseling and business advice


Will the Church of the Holy Sepulchre reopen?

 FEBRUARY 27, 2018 17:59
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The Jerusalem Municipality announced on Tuesday that is will halt its church property tax collection efforts in light of a decision that was made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Mayor Nir Barkat to form a commission to find a solution to the issue.

It was decided that Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi will head the special commission to solve the issue.


Earlier this month, the municipality announced its intention to start collecting taxes from properties owned by churches that are not prayer houses. Two weeks ago, the municipality notified the Finance, Interior and Foreign ministries and the Prime Minister's Office that it will start collecting a total of NIS 650 million in tax from 887 properties on which there are no houses of prayer. It said it has refrained from such tax collections thus far because the state did not allow it.

This move prompted outrage from the churches based in Jerusalem, who decided on Sunday in a rare move  to close the doors of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

In a joint announcement by the three churches running the site, the moved was dubbed a "systematic campaign of abuse against churches and Christians."

"We, the heads of churches in charge of the Holy Sepulchre and the status quo governing the various Christian holy sites in Jerusalem – the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, the Custody of the Holy Land and the Armenian Patriarchate – are following with great concern the systematic campaign against the churches and the Christian community in the Holy Land, in flagrant violation of the existing status quo," they said in a statement. 

"Recently, this systematic and offensive campaign has reached an unprecedented level as the Jerusalem municipality issued scandalous collection notices and orders of seizure of Church assets, properties and bank accounts for alleged debts of punitive municipal taxes – a step that is contrary to the historic position of the churches within the Holy City of Jerusalem and their relationship with the civil authorities. These actions breach existing agreements and international obligations which guarantee the rights and the privileges of the churches, in what seems as an attempt to weaken the Christian presence in Jerusalem.

A source close to the Greek Patriarchy told  The Jerusalem Post that the heads of churches are still discussing whether to open the doors of the church or not.

The Jerusalem Municipality said in a statement that they welcome the attempt to resolve the tax issue.

It also stressed that it is "determined to close past debts and future tax payments according to the law, for the sake of the residents of Jerusalem." 


"We have yet to find a single country in the world with a similar law."

 FEBRUARY 27, 2018 14:21
2 minute read.

Calculating taxes. (photo credit: INGIMAGE)

The "Milchan Law," which grants tax and reporting benefits to new immigrants and returning residents and is the subject of the suspicions against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the gifts case (Case 1000), was discussed Monday at the Knesset State Control Committee, chaired by MK Shelly Yachimovich (Zionist Union). Netanyahu is suspected of working on behalf of the law, which provides Arnon Milchan with extraordinary tax benefits and an exemption from reporting assets.

During the State Control Committee discussion, it emerged that not only were there repeated attempts by Asher, with the support of the minister of finance, to repeal the benefits granted under the law rebuffed, but an attempt to amend the law in the 2019 Economic Arrangements bill, so that it would not extend the exemption to 20 years, instead of 10 years, was also split off from the Economic Arrangements bill and buried.

Explaining why he tried to have the law repealed throughout his term in office, which started in 2013, Asher said, "The exemption from reporting is unjustifiable as a matter of principle, and there is no reason why it should be granted. We have been working in the dark for 10 years: we don't know how much the exemption costs, how many people received it, how many people immigrated to Israel because of it, how much they invested, how much we received, or how much we lost."

Asher continued, "The law is causing great damage to Israel's image. Another thing that should be realized is that the law encourages making investments overseas, not in Israel, because immigrants and returning residents pay tax on investments in Israel as soon as they arrive. We tried year after year to have the law repealed. Repeal passed its first reading in 2013-2014, but then it was split off from the Economic Arrangements Law and not promoted because of 'general considerations' of getting the budget passed. The attempt to repeal Section 14(D), which grants the minister of finance the option of extending the exemption by 10 more years, was also split off from the Economic Arrangements bill in the 2019 budget, with the claim that it would be treated in the ordinary way as a separate bill. In our opinion, it is time to amend this law, and the sooner the better."
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These 6 Stories Teach Great Lessons

Everyone gets a little bit down sometimes. If you're feeling down at the moment, rather than searching the internet for cat pictures or drowning your sorrows by reading some junk, check out these 6 motivational short stories. They will help to pull you from your slump, make you smile again, and hopefully inspire you.
1. Everyone Has a Story in Life

A 24-year-old man looking out of a train window shouted, "Dad, look the trees are going behind!" The dad smiled and a young couple sitting nearby, looked at the young man's behavior with pity,

Suddenly, the young man exclaimed, "Dad, look the clouds are running with us!"

The young couple couldn't resist and said to the dad, "Why don't you take your son to a good doctor?" The old man smiled and said, "I did and we are just coming back from the hospital. My son has been blind since birth and he just got his eyes today."

Moral of the story: Every single person on this planet has a story. Don't judge people before you truly know them. The truth might surprise you in the end.

2. Colonel Sanders – Kentucky Fried Chicken

Once there was an old man, who was broke, living in a small house and driving a beat-up car. He was living off $99 social security checks. When he hit 65, he decided that things had to change. So, he sat down and thought about what he had to offer the world. His friends always talked about his chicken recipe, so he decided that this was his best bet at making a change.

He left Kentucky and traveled around America to try to sell his recipe. He told restaurant owners that he had a mouth-watering chicken recipe. He offered the recipe to them for free, in exchange for a small percentage of the returns. Sounds like a good deal, right?

Well, not to most of the restaurant owners. He was declined over 1,000 times. However, despite these rejections, he never gave up. He knew his chicken recipe was something special. After the 1009th rejection, he got his first yes.

With this one success, Colonel Hartland Sanders changed the way Americans eat chicken. Kentucky Fried Chicken, popularly known as KFC, was born.

Moral of the story: Never give up and always believe in yourself in spite of rejection.

3. Value

A popular speaker started off a seminar by holding up a $50 bill. A crowd of 200 people had gathered to hear him speak. He asked, "Who would like this $50 bill?" All 200 hands went up.

He said, "I'm going to give this $50 to one of you but first, let me do this." He crumpled the bill up.

He then asked if anyone still wanted it and all 200 hands shot up again.

"Well, what if I do this?" he replied. He then dropped the bill on the ground and stomped on it with his shoes. He picked it up and showed the crowd. The bill was all crumpled and dirty.

"Now who still wants it?" All the hands still went up.

"My friends, I have just showed you a very important lesson. No matter what I did to this money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still $50. Many times in our lives, life crumples us and grinds us into the dirt. We make poor decisions or have to deal with unfortunate circumstances. We feel completely worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you'll never lose your value. Don't you ever forget that!"

4. A Very Special Bank Account

Imagine that you had a bank account that deposited $86,400 each morning. The account carries over no balance from day to day, does not allow you to keep a cash balance, and every evening cancels whatever you failed to spend during the day. What would you do? Draw out every single dollar each day?

We all actually have such a bank. Its name is Time. Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night, it writes off, as lost, whatever time that you failed to use wisely. It carries over no balance from day to day. It allows no overdraft so you cannot borrow against yourself or use more time than you have. Each day, the account starts anew. If you fail to use the day's deposits, it's your loss and you cannot get it back.

Time management is yours to decide how you spend your time, just as with money you decide how you spend it. It's never the case of us not having enough time to do things, but the case of whether we want to do them and where they fall in our priorities.

5. The Right Place

A mother and baby camel were lying under a tree. The baby camel asked its mother, "Why do we have humps?"

The mother camel took a moment to consider this and said, "We are desert animals so we have the humps to store fat so we can survive with very little food."

The baby camel thought for a moment and then said, "Okay…why are our legs long and our feet rounded?

The mother camel replied, "They are meant for walking in the desert."

The baby paused, and then asked, "Why are our eyelashes long? Sometimes they get in my way…"

The mama camel responded, "Those long, thick eyelashes protect your eyes from the desert sand when it blows in the wind."

The baby thought and thought. Then he said, "I see. So the hump stores fat when we are in the desert, the legs are for walking through the desert and these eyelashes protect our eyes from the desert…so how come we're in a zoo?"

Moral of the story: Skills and abilities are only useful if you're in the right place at the right time. Otherwise, they go to waste.

6. The Dean Schooled Them

One night four college students stayed out late, partying and having a great time. They paid no mind to the test that they had the next day and did not study. In the morning, they hatched a plan to get out of taking the test.

They covered themselves with dirt and grease and went to the Dean's office. Once there, they said that they had been to a wedding the previous night and on the way back they got a flat tire and had to push the car back to campus.

The dean listened to their tale of woe and thought. He offered them a retest three days later. They thanked him and accepted his offer.

When the test day arrived, they went to the Dean. The dean put them all in separate rooms for the test. They were fine with this since they had all studied hard. Then they saw that the test had only two questions.

1. Your name (1 point)

2. Which tire burst? (99 points)

Moral of the story: Always be responsible and make wise decisions.

See you tomorrow
Love Yehuda Lave
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