Friday, June 8, 2018

Israel's 1st Prime Minister Ben Gurion and my trip with pictures to Sde Boker

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Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor

Co-dependents work very hard to win people's love, because they think love is something you have to earn by being spectacular.

They trust that their hard work will pay off at some time in the future and that when that happens, then the person they have tried so hard to please will love them. And if they haven't yet won that love, they think it must be due to the fact that they are not yet "good enough" - not pretty, exciting, smart, rich, submissive or "together" enough.

They are often encouraged by an "advisor" to make fancier meals, be available 24/7, have plastic surgery, be more frugal or learn communication skills. But if the person whose love you want is not capable of loving, then no matter what you do, it will never be good enough. If they could love, they would. The way to break out of this co-dependent cycle is to believe that you deserve love and respect - NOW!

Even if you have physical or emotional defects, you have infinite value. You can never please a taker. So start now to value yourself! Do not scorn, reject or abandon yourself in the hope that someone will love you. It is impossible to fulfill anyone else's dreams. Start to fulfill your own. Those with the capacity to love will love you as you are.

This does not mean that should not try to be your best. Lose weight, have plastic surgery, exercise, make fancier meals.

Just remember to love yourself now

Love Yehuda Lave

Israel's 1st Prime Minister Ben Gurion

How much do you know about Israel's first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion? Watch and learn about one of the founding fathers of the modern State of Israel. David Ben-Gurion was the primary national founder of the State of Israel and the first Prime Minister of Israel. On 14 May 1948, he formally proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel, and was the first to sign the Israeli Declaration of Independence. As Prime Minister, he helped build the state institutions, presiding over various national projects aimed at the development of the country. He also oversaw the absorption of vast numbers of Jews from all over the world in Israel. Ben-Gurion was named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Important People of the 20th century.

Love Your Fellow By Lazer Gurkow When Your Brother Does Wrong

Several weeks ago, on Shabbat afternoon, we had a fascinating discussion. How should we respond when we learn through the media that our fellow Jew has behaved improperly or even immorally? Should we jump to condemn and separate ourselves from the crime lest it reflect badly on the entire community, or should we respond with love, as the Torah commands, "Love your fellow Jew as yourself"?1

All too often, we react with instant condemnation upon hearing the allegation of a fellow Jew's crime. Our justification is that we must not give our critics an opening to paint all Jews with the same brush.

We might claim that we do so for good reasons, but the litmus test is how we feel in our hearts. Do we love the fellow that we condemn, or could we care less if he spent a lifetime in jail? Do we feel pain as we are forced to denounce his actions, or do we do it with equanimity and even a bit of self-righteousness? Have we dragged him down because we had no choice, or did we do it to pull ourselves up and make ourselves look good by comparison?

Love Your Fellow

The Torah's commandment to love our fellow requires at the very least that we shed hot tears when we are forced to condemn another. It requires that we do so with reluctance, and only in extreme cases, where it is absolutely necessary. It also requires that once we have condemned another, we treat him as family by reaching out to help him in any way we can.

But that is hardly all this commandment requires. "Love your fellow" requires that we feel as if we are condemning ourselves. This is the height of irony. Our reason for public condemnation is to disassociate ourselves from the crime and avoid being painted by the same brush, yet internally we must take responsibility for our fellow's crimes.

How could a fellow Jew have stooped so low without us noticing his slow but steady decline? Even if we don't know the sinner in question, we are still not absolved. Had we expressed our true love for the Jews we do know, it would surely have inspired them to express their true love for the Jews they know, who in turn would continue to pay it forward. If it is true that all of society was once separated by six degrees, the advent of the Internet and social media has brought us even closer. There is no doubt that our positive influence upon our friends could eventually have reached the Jew in question. Can we truthfully say that we treat everyone we know with genuine love, and that we are concerned about their worries and fears? If the answer is no, we are somewhat responsible.

One Piece

Furthermore, the Torah teaches us that the entire Jewish nation is a single unit. If one piece is defective, the entire unit is impacted. Just as the arm cannot claim to be unaffected by the leg's illness and the leg cannot claim to be unaffected by the arm's amputation, so can no Jew remain untarnished by a fellow's sin, nor can we claim to be unaffected by the condemnation of our fellow. We are one body.

We learn this from the Torah's description of the menorah, the candelabra in the ancient Temple. The Torah says, "This was the form of the menorah: hammered work of gold, from its base to its flower it was hammered work."2 The menorah was a single piece of gold, hammered into 49 components. There were cups, flowers, buttons and branches. Each was distinct from the other, but they were all of a piece.

From the base to the flower, they were one. The base is at the bottom; the flowers were (among other places) at the top. The base represents the "simple" Jew, and the flowers represent the scholarly, pious and righteous Jew. Further, the Hebrew for "flower," perach, has the same etymological root as the Hebrew word for "soaring," pore'ach. The holy Jew's rituals are performed with such passion and enthusiasm that they soar heavenward and touch the Divine. You would think this kind of Jew has little in common with the basic Jew at the very bottom, yet the Torah tells us they are of a single piece.

"Love your fellow Jew" doesn't just require us to love another, but to feel that this other is part of ourselves, a limb of our body. Just as the legs may trip and fall, causing the arm to break, we are affected by the sin of our fellow.

One Circle

If you look carefully at the verse describing the the menorah, the final words seem redundant: "This was the form of the menorah: hammered work of gold, from its base to its flower it was hammered work." Why repeat the words "hammered work"?

The first mention of the menorah being of hammered work reminds us that we are separate limbs of a single body and that we require and depend on each other, as we have discussed till this point. The second mention of being hammered from a single piece takes us to a much deeper level.

At this point the Torah wants us to recall that before we became separate parts, we were a single ball of gold. Before we became separate limbs, we were a single embryo. Just as the same life-force that animates the arm flows through the leg, so is part of me in you and part of you in me. A fault in you may have originated in me, and by the same token, a strength in me may have originated in you. If I rise and you fall, we are still part of the same organism; we share the same vitality and character.

With this mindset, it is nearly impossible to condemn another without feeling that we are condemning ourselves. Sometimes circumstances require our condemnation of another, but it should be as traumatic as confessing our own sin and as condemning our own behavior. For we are hammered of one piece.3

Footnotes 1.Leviticus 19:18. 2.Numbers 8:4. 3.This essay is based on Likkutei Torah, Behaalotecha 32d–33a, and Sefer HaMaamarim 5730, p. 247. By Lazer Gurkow

my trip with pictures to Sde Boker

Nefesh BNefesh took us to Sde Boker, the home of Ben Gurion. We then went on a beautiful 45 hike in the desert up to a waterfall.

Israel's economy praised by the Economist Intelligence Unit
Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, "Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative"
Straight from the Jerusalem Boardroom #229, May 30, 2018,
 1. According to the May 24, 2018 issue of the London Economist Intelligence Unit:"…

The country [Israel] has several key advantages, particularly its high level of skills and technology and its favorable demographic profile.  This should ensure that the economy continues to expand more rapidly than that of most developed countries….

"Offshore hydrocarbon discoveries will boost the economy and external accounts over the long-term…. The Economist Intelligence Unit forecasts that the long-run trend rate of growth will average 3.5% a year in 2018-50 and 2.1% a year in per-capita terms, which should keep average incomes around those in wealthier developed countries….

"A $38,440 GDP [$40,140 at market exchange rate] in 2017, roughly on a par with South Korea and Italy…. [However, unlike all other developed countries], Israel does not have formal relations with most of the other countries in its region, limiting its ability to participate in regional trade or investment flows…. Israel has developed resilience to political uncertainty and security concerns, and has successfully forged markets further afield….

"The country has largely overcome relatively low rainfall owing to desalination and water recycling, and is now a major exporter of water technologies.

"Israel has invested heavily in education and technology and spends a higher proportion of its GDP on civilian research and development than any other country [in the world].  Moreover, Israel's high spending on military research has had positive knock-on effects for the civilian technology sector.  The local workforce is highly educated with more than 50% of the population enrolling in tertiary education….

"In contrast to many other developed economies, Israel's labor force will continue growing over the long-term [due to high fertility rate and net-immigration]. The unemployment rate is low by historical standards, and the government is seeking to encourage greater labor force participation among previously excluded groups [e.g., a substantial expansion of ultra-orthodox workforce, including in high tech]. Population growth will remain faster than in most high-income countries….

"Israel will continue to develop trade ties with Japan and major emerging markets such as China and India and mid-size Asian economies.  Israeli exports will continue to compete on quality and innovation rather than on price….

According to the London Economist Intelligence Unit, Israel's population is projected to grow from 8.7MN in 2018 to 11MN in 2030 and 14MN in 2050;
GDP – from $350BN (2018) to $770BN (2030) and 2.3TN (2050);
GDP per head – from $40,140 (2018) to $71,710 (2030) and $167,310 (2050);
Export – from $101BN (2018) to $262BN (2030) and $924BN (2050);
Import – from $96BN (2018) to $192BN (2030) and $692BN (2050).
2. Israel's defense industry exports surged, in 2017, to $9.2BN, a 40% increase (over 2016 - $6.5BN), mostly due to transactions concluded with India.  The lead export items are missile defense, air defense, electronic warfare, avionic and other upgrades, ammunition, telecommunications, cyber technology, unmanned aerial vehicles, space satellites, etc.). The leading Israeli defense industry exporters are Israel Aircraft Industry (IAI), RAFAEL Advanced Defense Systems, Israel Military Industries (IMI) and Elbit International Defense Electronics (which is about to acquire IMI). Israel's defense industries employ 150,000 persons. Asia absorbed most of Israel's defense exports, followed by Europe (e.g., upgraded combat planes to Croatia) which accounts to over 20% (Globes, May 3, 2018). 

3. The NY-based International Flavors & Fragrances – a global leader in the market of taste, scent and nutrition - acquired Israel's Frutarom for $7.1BN in a cash and stock transaction. Frutarom is focused on natural products, selling 70,000 products to customers in over 150 countries (Globes Daily Business, May 8).

4.  Intel – which has operated in Israel since 1974, employing 11,000 persons in Israel - will invest $5BN in the expansion of one of its production facilities in Israel, while completing a previous investment of $6BN in its production facilities, mostly in the research & development area.  Intel's exports out of Israel totaled $3.6BN in 2017 and $50BN during the last 45 years. In March, 2017, Intel acquired Israel's Mobileye for $15.3BN (Globes, May 16).

5. Amazon has rented a 130,000 square feet facility in Israel for its research & development, electronic trade and logistic activities (Globes, May 16).

6. Japan's TDK, a multinational electronics employing 103,000 persons throughout the globe, which produced $11.6BN in revenues in 2017, is setting a second research & development center in Israel, expanding its production line there. TDK negotiates with a number of Israeli startups to develop products, to be distributed globally by TDK. TDK's first R & D center in Israel employs 260 persons. Recently, TDK invested millions of dollars in Israel's StoreDot startup, specializing in high-speed charging of lithium batteries (Globes, May 28).

7. Japan's Canon, a digital imaging giant, is buying Israel's BriefCam, a video-synopsis and machine-learning solutions company for $90MN.

8.  Israel's pharmaceutical company, Eloxx, raised $50MN on NASDAQ (Globes, April 27).  

9. Israel's Ormat, a $3BN geothermal global company, acquired the Idaho-based US Geothermal for $110MN (Globes, April 25). Ormat received a $125MN loan from OPIC (Overseas Private Investment Corp.), in order to erect a geothermal power plant in Honduras (Globes, May 7).

10. Israel's Delta Galil Industries signed an option agreement for the acquisition of France's Eminence for 125MN Euros (Globes may 7).

See you Sunday, Shabbat Shalom

Love Yehuda Lave

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

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