It can take a long time until something is invented. But once one person has already broken through the creative barrier, others can easily follow suit and produce the same results.
For example, it took many years until someone invented the first railroad train. But after one person invented it, many others built similar railroad trains. It doesn't take a genius to model the work of a genius!
The same principle applies to spiritual growth. There were people in previous generations who reached great heights. They were innovators in the field of Jewish metaphysics. Since we now have them as models, the knowledge of how to reach spiritual greatness is available to all of us.
Today, think of five great people you have met or read about. What qualities do you most respect in each one? As you reflect on these qualities, consider how you would apply these same attributes to yourself.
Love Yehuda Lave
Bombshell report reveals Iran finally admits to facilitating 9/11 terror attacks. Here's how.
For the first time in public history, Iranian officials admit to facilitating the 9/11 terrorist attacks by aiding Al Qaeda operatives traveling to the United States to carry out the attacks.
What are the details?
Mohammad-Javad Larijani, an international affairs assistant in the Iran's judiciary, admitted in an interview broadcasted on Iranian state TV on May 30 that Iranian intelligence officials facilitated the terrorists' travel to the U.S.
"Our government agreed not to stamp the passports of some of them because they were on transit flights for two hours, and they were resuming their flights without having their passports stamped. However their movements were under the complete supervision of the Iranian intelligence," Larijani said, according to Al Arabiya.
Larijani added "that al-Qaeda members were in permanent contact with Iran's intelligence ministry and that they used Iran in their flights to Afghanistan and other countries," Al Arabiya reported.
Iranian officials did not stamp terrorists' passports, Larijani said, in order to obscure the terrorists' movements and confuse opposing foreign governments, like Saudi Arabia, which Larijani said would have prosecuted the terrorists for having an Iranian stamp in their passport book.
As the Washington Free Beacon noted, the U.S. government has yet to comment on the admission, but did post about Larijani's comments in a tweet on the State Department's Arabic-only Twitter.
A federal judge ordered Iran to pay billions of dollars to families of 9/11 victims last month after determining the Iranian government, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran are partially culpable for the attacks.
Kissinger puts it bluntly
Recently, Henry Kissinger did an interview and said very amazing things regarding President Trump. He starts with: "Donald Trump is a phenomenon that foreign countries haven't seen."
The former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger gives us a new understanding of President Donald Trump's foreign policy and predicts its success:
"Liberals and all those who favor (Hillary) Clinton will never admit it. They will never admit that he is the one true leader. The man is doing changes like never before and does all of it for the sake of this nation's people. After eight years of tyranny, we finally see a difference."
Kissinger knows it and he continues with: "Every country now has to consider two things: One, their perception that the previous president, or the outgoing president, basically withdrew America from international politics, so that they had to make their own assessments of their necessities. And secondly, that there is a new president who's asking a lot of unfamiliar questions. And because of the combination of the partial vacuum and the new questions, one could imagine that something remarkable and new emerges out of it."
Then Kissinger puts it bluntly: "Trump puts America and its people first. This is why people love him and this is why he will remain in charge for so long. There is not a single thing wrong with him and people need to open their eyes."
When he boasts that he has a "bigger red button" than Kim Jung Un does, he so transcends the mealy-mouthed rhetoric of the past that he forces a new recognition of American power.
Kissinger once wrote, "The weak grow strong by effrontery. The strong grow weak through inhibition." No sentence better captures the U.S.-North Korea relationship.
Trump is discarding the inhibitions and calling the bluff on North Korea's effrontery.
His point is that the contrast of American retreat under Obama and its new assertion of power under Trump creates a new dynamic that every one of our allies and of our enemies must consider.
Our allies grew complaisant with Obama's passivity and now are fearful due to Trump's activism. And they must balance the two in developing their policies.
They realize that the old assumptions, catalyzed by Bush 43's preoccupation with Iraq and Obama's refusal to lead are obsolete. So, Trump is forcing a new calculus with a new power behind American interests.
Those — here and abroad — who rode the old apple cart worry about its being toppled.
But, as Kissinger so boldly states, Trump "is the one true leader" in world affairs and he is forcing policy changes that put America first.
True Facts : Pangolins Posse
"The tamandua, or lesser anteater... is not quite as graceful with the walking on the ground bit though. A bit like a bro after chest and tri's day at the gym."
For the first time in many years, a friend of ours traveled from his rural town to the city to attend a movie.
After buying his ticket he stopped at the concession stand to purchase some popcorn. Handing the attendant $1.50, my friend couldn't help but comment, "The last time I came to the movie, popcorn was only 15 cents."
"Well, sir," the attendant replied with a grin, "You're really going to enjoy yourself. We have sound now."
News | White Night in Tel Aviv: the ESSENTIAL guide! Zev Stub
If you're looking for a great night out in June, Tel Aviv opens its heart and soul with the annual White Night shindig.
Pretty much the entire city will be alive with various concerts, shows and other happenings, headlong into the wee hours. In the spotlight on this long, long night: the city's extraordinary architecture and its amazing nightlife.
What is White Night?
Originally initiated in 2005 to celebrate the recognition of Tel Aviv's White City (Tel Aviv's magnificent collection of Bauhaus buildings – see our full guide) as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), Tel Aviv has since made White Night an annual bash, usually celebrated on the last Thursday in June (mark your diaries!). This year (2018) it's on Thursday 28 June.
What to see on White Night
At the same time throughout the city, dozens of events take place in cultural and art centers, commercial establishments and clubs citywide, many of which stay open late, and outdoor performances are held until the early hours of the morning. The events are open to the general public, mainly free-of-charge or for a nominal fee, and tourists, visitors and locals can enjoy a wide variety of great events.
Some of the annual highlights on White Night in Tel Aviv (I believe most are free to enter):
Many of Tel Aviv's Bauhaus buildings on Rothschild and Bialik Streets are lit up throughout the night with special spotlights highlighting unique architectural elements.
Rothschild Street is going to be buzzing with action, including circus acts, street bands, and dancers dressed in white and "lit up" flitting through the crowds. Rothschild Street is very much at the heart of the action!
Kikar Rabin will have its usual headphone party, with music and dancing (all via headphones) kicking off at 8pm and continuing way past midnight.
Jaffa Flea Market is usually open all night long.
Join legendary Israeli singers at dawn on Tzuk beach (usually starts at 1am).
Tours conducted by the Tourism Association of Tel Aviv-Yafo.
Many great restaurants/bars offer a one-off deal especially for White Night.
For a complete guide to what's on and where in Tel Aviv, and there's A LOT, see the "official" guide on Facebook (in Hebrew only unfortunately) here.
The sin of Moshe and Aharon, which precluded their entry into Israel, has been the subject of voluminous commentary. I would like to share one such interpretation which takes as its point of departure the following question (Panim Yafos, Chukas): HaShem commands Moshe to take the staff and speak to the rock in the presence of all of Israel (20:8). If Gd's intention was for Moshe and Aharon to speak to the rock, why tell him to bring along the staff? Moreover, isn't it no less a miracle for a rock to produce water regardless of whether it is hit or spoken to?
Both the Netziv (19 C.) and Rav Moshe Feinstein, zt"l, (Darash Moshe, Chukas) attempt to answer these questions by offering a fascinating interpretation of this Biblical event. I would like to conflate both and draw out an important lesson.
The People, now about to enter their Promised Land, needed to transition out of an existence of the miraculous into a life of normalcy. Where once they could expect open and immediate divine intervention to provide for their needs and rescue them from their enemies, they would now have to learn to obtain and evoke that same Divine help differently. Upon arriving in the Land, both the power of speech and their deeds would be the triggers for Gd's salvation. HaShem tells Moshe to bring along the staff not to use it, but to demonstrate to the People that by speaking, in this case, by the power of sincere and genuine prayer, what the staff was once able to elicit, can now be accomplished by entreaty and supplication.
Instead of following this plan, in a fit of anger (Rambam), Moshe rebukes the People. The opportunity to teach the People the extraordinary power of speech was tragically lost. That HaShem's boundless kindness and providence could be attained by the power of the word would have a been a glorious sanctification of His Name (20:12).
However, in addition to the efficacy of the speech of prayer, there was another lesson – a valuable educational message - that HaShem wanted to teach Moshe. One might have assumed that there was no benefit to speak to a rock, an inanimate object, when hitting it accomplishes that same desired result! Rav Moshe explains that while this might seem to make sense on the surface, it is not pedagogically sound. A teacher – or for that matter anyone - should not erroneously presume that there is no need to educate or instruct others. The frustrating lament of all teachers, "my words will fall onto deaf ears," should never diminish the enormous effect their efforts can have on the young minds of their charges. To bemoan and belittle the value of sound instruction with the rationalization that words are so fleeting and transitory is to make a terrible mistake. For who can know what benefit, in the long run, might accrue to the growth of a young student or child precisely because of the patient and laborious efforts of a dedicated teacher and parent. Indeed, if the rock, a lifeless object, can respond to speech and give forth water, how much more so a living vibrant human being, brimming with intellectual and spiritual potential, when exposed to the majestic sanctity of the d'var HaShem, the word of the Almighty.
As parents, educators and leaders, we should never become despondent and conclude that our words do not impact and make little difference. True, our rearing and teaching may not show immediate results. Children typically discount the importance of school and complain about their classes; they frequently disrespect their elders and can't wait to "fly the coop." But, much later, when maturity and wisdom slowly set in, they often experience a retrospective glance back to their younger years and, sometimes in a flash, appreciate the knowledge and insightful understanding of a loving parent, of a hardworking, dedicated teacher, both of whom attempted to pass on so much goodness to them.
Moshe and Aharon erred by the "waters of Meriva." In light of the explanation above, the event is recorded to encourage us as parents and educators to remain ever valiant in our efforts to transmit to future generations what we have learned from our forebears. And to pray and trust that our children, students and community will listen and rise to our expectations and exceed their own.
I take a moment to note in sadness the passing of Dr. Charles Krauthammer, a man of extraordinary heroic fortitude and brilliant cutting wisdom who understood the power of the word to fearlessly promote a principled upright agenda in commenting on the political, social events of the day. An unabashed defender of Israel, he courageously generated a moral and ethical conscience that elevated the good and the right as a norm to be reckoned with. His word will be missed.