Monday, May 7, 2018

Immaculately Restored Film Lets You Revisit Life in New York City in 1911

Can't see images? Click here...

Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor

State your Goal when Impatient

Develop the habit of repeating, "This, too, will increase my patience."

How often will you say this? The more impatient you are when you start this process, the more frequently you will find this beneficial. The problem itself will be the source of the solution.

Love Yehuda Lave

Immaculately Restored Film Lets You Revisit Life in New York City in 1911

Other than one or two of the world's supercentenarians, nobody remembers New York in 1911. Plenty of living historians and enthusiasts of the city have paid intensive attention to that booming time period when the city's population fast approached five million, but none experienced it first-hand. They, and we, can get no closer to it than watching the footage above, originally shot by a Swedish documentary team which set out to capture the most celebrated places in the world at the time, a list also including Niagara Falls, Paris, Monte Carlo, and Venice. The practically immaculate condition of the film highlights both the similarities and differences between the street life of New York over a century ago and of New York today.

Take a look at the tailored or tailored-looking clothing on nearly everyone, even the one-legged man making his deliberate way past the Chinese grocery. Then as now, most New Yorkers got around on foot, and since the city's first subway line had opened just seven years before, the dominant public transit options remained streetcars and elevated trains.

New York Now and Then: 1873 vs 2014

New York Now and Then shows before and after photos from New York City shot 1872-1887 compared to my photos shot 2013 and 2014. New York Now and Then includes photographs of New York from between 1872 and 1887, and then and now part is in regard to the fact that I shot the images in present day in the same locations. This short film New York Now and Then pays tribute to a forgotten 19th century photographer. Be sure to also watch the behind the scenes video New York Now and Then: The Documentary. Behind the scenes film: Original trailer: Shot and Edited by Jordan Liles Music in "New York Now and Then" Composed by Claude Debussy

1896-1901: Visual tour of New York City (speed corrected w/ added sound)

Selection of some of the best shots of New York at the dawn of film. Set to a natural rate and added in sound for ambiance

Since laughter is said to be the best medicine, try these





Two Texans are sitting on a plane from Dallas and an old Jewish man is sitting between them. The first Texan says, "My name is Roger. I own 250,000 acres. I have 1,000 head of cattle and they call my place 'The Jolly Roger'."


The second Texan says, "My name is John. I own 350,000 acres. I have5,000 head of cattle and they call my place 'Big John's'."


They both look down at the little old Jewish man who says, "My name is Irving and I own only 300 acres."


Roger looks down at him and says, "300 Acres? What do you raise?"


"Nothing," says Irving.


"Well then, what do you call it?" asked John.


"Downtown Dallas."






 Moishe Goldberg was heading out of the Synagogue one day, and as always Rabbi Mendel was standing at the door, shaking hands as the Congregation departed. The rabbi grabbed Moishe by the hand, pulled him aside and whispered these words at him: "You need to join the Army of God!"


Moishe replied: "I'm already in the Army of God, Rabbi."


The rabbi questioned: "Then how come I don't see you except for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur?" Moishe whispered back: "I'm in the secret service."






Rabbi approaches a guest in Shul and says, "I'd like to give you an Aliyah. What is your name?"


The man answers, "Esther ben Moshe."


The Rabbi says, "No, I need YOUR name."


It's Esther ben Moshe," the man says.


How can that be your name?" asks the Rabbi.


The man answers, "I've been having financial problems, so everything now is in my wife's name."






Two little old ladies were attending a rather long Shul service. One leaned over and whispered, "My tuchas is going to sleep."


"I know," replied her companion, "I heard it snore three times."






Doctor Bloom, who was known for miraculous cures for arthritis, had a waiting-room full of people when a little old lady, completely bent over in half, shuffled in slowly, leaning on her cane. When her turn came, she went into the doctor's office, and emerged within half an hour walking completely erect, with her head held high.


A woman in the waiting room who had seen all this walked up to the little old lady and said, "It's a miracle! You walked in bent in half and now you're walking erect. What did that doctor do?"


She answered, "Miracle, shmiracle. . . he gave me a longer cane."






The Italian says, "I'm thirsty. I must have wine."


The Frenchman says, "I'm thirsty. I must have cognac."


The Russian says, "I'm thirsty. I must have vodka."


The German says, "I'm thirsty. I must have beer."


The Mexican says, "I'm thirsty. I must have tequila."


The Jewish man says, "I'm thirsty. I must have diabetes."






A visitor to Israel attended a recital and concert at the Moscovitz Auditorium. He was quite impressed with the architecture and the acoustics.


He inquired of the tour guide, "Is this magnificent auditorium named after Chaim Moscovitz, the famous Talmudic scholar?"


"No," replied the guide. "It is named after Sam Moscovitz, the writer."


"Never heard of him," said the visitor. "What did he write?"


"A check," replied the guide.






Yeshiva University decided to field a rowing team. Unfortunately, they lose race after race. Even though they practice and practice for hours every day, they never manage to come in any better than dead last.


Finally, the team decides to send Morris Fishbein, its captain, to spy on Harvard, the perennial championship team. So Morris schlepps off to Cambridge, Mass., and hides in the bushes next to the Charles River, where he carefully watches the Harvard team at its daily practice. After a week, Morris returns to Yeshiva. "Well, I figured out their secret," he announces.


"What? Tell us! Tell us!" his teammates shouted.


"We should have only one guy yelling. The other eight should row."




Gaza: The inconvenient truth the Arabs fear most

By Victor Sharpe

April 23, 2018

Scan the internet, along with the print and broadcast media, and you would be convinced by the sheer volume of fake news about Gaza that Israel occupies it and treats its Arab population with utmost cruelty. A base lie and another enormous Arab scam.

Of course, the fact that the so-called Disengagement Plan took place in 2005 is hidden or hardly mentioned at all. During that lamentable decision, Israel unilaterally demolished the 25 Jewish villages and farms - along with the schools and synagogues - that graced the territory, forced the Jewish villagers to abandon their homes and become refugees in Israel, and handed over control of Gaza to the Palestinian Authority.

That suicidal Israeli decision was taken by then Israel Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, in the naïve hope that Israel's hand of peace would be reciprocated by the Arabs who call themselves Palestinians. It has, however, become an enormous self-inflicted Israeli tragedy as unremitting terror from Hamas occupied Gaza has reached unprecedented levels.

And it is conveniently ignored by the same fake news outlets that a bloody coup against the PA subsequently occurred when the Muslim Brotherhood's Hamas terror branch brutally expelled the regime of Mahmoud Abbas and his own Fatah terror organization. Hamas is now the occupier of Gaza, employing a despotic reign of terror on both its population and against the Israeli villages and towns that border the Gaza Strip.

That there is both a Biblical and post-Biblical four thousand year old association of Jewish life in Gaza is also little remembered in today's world. Of course many people know of the Biblical story of Samson being blinded by the now extinct Philistines and how he brought down the temple to their gods in Gaza. But very few have any idea of the rich Jewish history during the following millennia.

In the Second millennium BC, Gaza served as an administrative city and residence of the Egyptian governor of Canaan. The Bible tells us that the Jewish patriarch, Isaac, dug wells in Gerar, an ancient site between Beer-Sheba and Gaza, and in the 13th century BC the Philistines or Caphorites (Cretans) annihilated the Avite inhabitants of Gaza and made the city the largest of their five centers.

After the Israelite Exodus from Egypt and entry into the Promised Land, the tribe of Judah was given Gaza as a possession, but did not include it fully in their territory. The Bible reports in Joshua 15.47 and Judges 1:18 how the city of Gaza, and those of Ekron, Ashkelon, Ashdod and Gat became a possession of Israel but how some of them were among those places 'lying in the remaining country,' i.e., not fully possessed by the Israelites.

Down the centuries, Gaza was captured by Assyrians, Egyptians, Babylonians, followed by Persians and later still by Alexander the Great who incorporated it into his growing empire in the 5th century BC. The strategic territory, lying as it does at the crossroads of two continents, Africa and Asia, has repeatedly fallen since earliest times to invading armies.

In 167 BC, Judah Maccabee led his Jewish fighters to victory over the Syrian-Greek pagan king, Antiochus Epiphanies. Jerusalem was liberated and the defiled Temple cleansed. The miracle of this event is now celebrated by Jews during the festival of Hanukah. But it was the Hasmonean king, Yochanan, who liberated Gaza in 145 BC. He was the brother of Judah the Maccabee and it was their other brother, Simon, who sent Jews to repopulate Gaza and its environs.

In the Book of Maccabees: 1:15, it says:

"Not a strange land have we conquered, and not over the possessions of strangers have we ruled, but of the inheritance of our Fathers that was in the hands of the enemy and conquered by them unlawfully. And as for us, when we had the chance, we returned to ourselves the inheritance of our Fathers."

The Roman general, Pompey, conquered Judea in the First century BC and made Gaza a free "polis" but in 61 AD the Roman Governor, Gavinius, evicted the Jews. In the subsequent war against Roman occupation of Judea, between 67 and 70 AD, Jewish forces again liberated the town and its environs before suffering defeat at the hands of Rome's legions.

Continuing Roman excesses against the Jews led to the Second Jewish Revolt under the command of the charismatic Bar Kochba, known in Aramaic as Son of a Star. The Emperor Hadrian's legions destroyed the Jewish state in 135 AD, decimating the Jewish population in an enormous slaughter, and sending thousands into slavery and exile from the Roman slave markets of Gaza.

Under the subsequent harsh Byzantine rule, Gaza's restored Jewish community nevertheless managed to flourish and during the 4th century Gaza served as the primary port of commerce for the Jews of the Holy Land.

It is interesting to note that in 1967, archaeologists discovered the beautiful mosaic floor of a 6th century synagogue situated on the Gaza seashore, attesting to the size and prominence of the Jewish community of the time.

The great medieval kabbalist Rabbi Avraham Azoulai lived in Gaza where he authored his famed work, Hesed L'Avraham, along with a commentary on the Torah (the first five books of the Bible). The Jewish inhabitants made Gaza a great center of study and towns and villages from Rafah to Yavne sprung up as centers of Talmudic learning.

Many Jews fled to Gaza at the end of the 15th century where they joined the Jewish community by working in various trades after escaping from the ravages of the Catholic Inquisition.

During the 17th century, Gaza was again home to a thriving Jewish community, which boasted its share of prominent rabbis, including Rabbi Israel Najara, author of Kah Ribbon Olam, the popular hymn sung in Jewish homes around the world every Sabbath. He served as Gaza's Chief Rabbi until his death in 1625.

The great scholar, Rabbi Yaakov Emden, ruled centuries ago that Gaza is an intrinsic part of the Jewish people's national heritage. "Gaza and its environs are absolutely considered part of the Land of Israel," he wrote in his work, Mor U'ketziyah, adding, "there is no doubt that it is a mitzvah (commandment and blessing) to live there, as in any other part of the Land of Israel."

Over the millennia Jews have been expelled from Gaza by many different conquerors but have always managed to return. The Crusaders killed many Gazan Jews, leaving few survivors. Ottoman Turks ruled a vast empire from 1517 to 1917, including the geographical backwater known as Palestine. They also frequently expelled the Jewish residents but then allowed them to return. This pattern has continued for centuries.

Napoleon, marching through Gaza from Egypt in 1799 failed to restrain many of his French soldiers who were joined by local Arabs in abusing the Jewish residents. As a result of Arab persecution, the ancient Jewish presence in Gaza and the near by villages died out in the first years of the 19th century only to return yet again in the 1870s.

In August 1929, when Arab rioters threatened to slaughter Gaza's Jews – as they had in Hebron – the British army under the Palestine Mandate forced the community to evacuate their homes. In October 1946, on the night following Yom Kippur, the Gaza Jewish village of K'far Darom was established on land corresponding to the biblical Jewish village of Darom. It lasted just a year and a half until the outbreak of Israel's War of Independence in 1948, when Egypt overran the Gaza Strip and occupied it.

In June 1967, in a war of self-defense, Israel liberated Gaza from Egyptian occupation, making it possible once again for Jews to reside there. In 2001, during Palestinian Authority control under Yasser Arafat and his Fatah organization, Kassam rocket attacks began to pound the restored Jewish communities in Gaza.

After Arafat's death, rocket fire continued under his Fatah successor, Mahmoud Abbas. But in 2005, Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon forcefully evicted from their homes the nearly 10,000 Jewish villagers and farmers from Gaza as part of the Disengagement Plan. At the time, Sharon explained the purpose of the Israeli pull-out:

"These steps will increase security for the residents of Israel and relieve the pressure on the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and security forces in fulfilling the difficult tasks they are faced with. The Disengagement Plan is meant to grant maximum security and minimize friction between Israelis and Palestinians."

Sharon had believed that by removing the flourishing Jewish villages and farms from Gaza, the Arab residents would build a civilized and peaceful society, thus proving to both Israel and the world that they could live in peace with the Jewish state. It was not to be and Sharon's hopes now lie shattered.

In an election pushed by Condoleezza Rice, the Palestinian Arabs in Gaza voted eagerly for Hamas and against Fatah knowing full well that Hamas fundamentalist ideology calls for the destruction of Israel or any non-Muslim state existing in territory previously conquered in the name of Allah. Hamas will thus never live in peace with Israel, a Jewish state, even though the Jews are the indigenous and native people of the region and predate Islam by millennia.

Will the pattern that has existed for thousands of years continue; a sequence of Jewish exile from Gaza, followed by inevitable restoration? Those Jews who were driven out by the Israeli government of Ariel Sharon and his successor, Ehud Olmert, now wait as refugees for the opportunity to again return.

One such Israeli refugee from Gaza, Rachel Saperstein, a disabled victim of Palestinian Arab terror, lamented that not a thing now grows in the Jewish village in Gaza she was forced to abandon during the Disengagement Plan. The greenhouses that were given freely to the Palestinian Arabs have been trashed.

"We know the reason why," she suggests. "Only when the Jews return to their land will the land bring forth its bounty. No Israeli government is to give away any of our land ever again ... This is my message."

Despite Gaza's rich Jewish history little is known of it to most people. The events unfolding today in Gaza now take preeminence, clouding perceptions that might otherwise be better shaped through a knowledge of history.

© Victor Sharpe

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Rabbi Yehuda Lave

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