Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Border Patrol chief defends the use of tear gas on migrants at Mexican border (remind you of our problems at the Gaza Border?)

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Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor

And if your brother is not close to you and you do not know him (Deuteronomy 22:2).

Perhaps the reason that other people are not close to you is because you do not know them.

The Chassidic master of Apt said: "As a young man, I was determined to change the world. As I matured, I narrowed my goals to changing my community. Still later, I decided to change only my family. Now I realize that it is all I can do to change myself."

Some things in the world are givens, and others are modifiable. The only thing we can really modify is ourselves. All other people are givens. Unfortunately, many people assume the reverse to be true. They accept themselves as givens and expect everyone else to change to accommodate them.

(There is one limited exception. When our children are small, we can teach and guide them. When they mature, however, we can no longer mold them.)

Trying to change others is both futile and frustrating. Furthermore, we cannot see other people the way they truly are, as long as we are preoccupied with trying to change them to the way we would like them to be.

The people we should know the most intimately are those who are closest to us. Yet it is precisely these people whom we wish to mold into the image we have developed for them. As long as this attitude prevails, we cannot see them for what they are. How ironic and tragic that those we care for the most may be those we know the least!

Today I shall ...

try to focus any desires to change on myself and let other people determine for themselves who and what they wish to be.

Love Yehuda Lave

Ridesharing startup to launch with Tel Aviv's Dan buses

Israeli-founded company Via and Dan Bus to start on-demand transport in 2019, with users to order rides through mobile app By Shoshanna Solomon 27 November 2018,

Israeli-founded US ridesharing startup Via will jointly launch an on-demand mini-bus pilot service with the company that operates buses in the Tel Aviv area. The service will start operations at the beginning of 2019, Via said in a statement on Tuesday.

The service offered with the Dan Bus Company will use the technology and operating system developed by Via, which already operates smart public transport management systems in 40 cities, including New York, Washington, Chicago, London, Sydney, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin and Tokyo, the statement said

Via has developed an on-demand ridesharing service: its mobile app connects multiple passengers who are headed the same way, allowing riders to share a vehicle.

Users will be able to order the transport service through the special Via app created for the pilot. The vehicle will collect them at a nearby collection point, which will be set depending on real-time traffic conditions and demand. The app will also allow users to track estimated vehicle collection time and estimated arrival time to their destination.

Via's operating system uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to map out efficient routes while at the same time better allocating the various vehicles and their available space, the statement said.

First launched in New York City in September 2013, and founded by Israelis Daniel Ramot and Oren Shoval, the Via platform currently provides over a million rides per month. Via also licenses its on-demand transit technology to transportation operators globally.

Last year, Mercedes-Benz Vans said it was expanding its collaboration with Via to enter the ride-sharing market and to introduce on-demand shared rides to the European market.

Israel's Ministry of Transport  initiated the pilot with the aim of improving the public transport services through the use of advanced technologies, the statement said.



Border Patrol chief defends the use of tear gas on migrants at Mexican border (remind you of our problems at the Gaza Border?

Molly Hennessy-FiskeContact Reporter

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan praised agents' response, including the use of tear gas, during clashes on Sunday at the San Ysidro border crossing, saying their actions avoided serious injuries on both sides and "effectively managed a potentially dangerous situation."

The conflict marked a major escalation in the crisis at the border, spurring U.S. officials to shut the San Ysidro Port of Entry between Tijuana and San Diego, one of the world's busiest international crossings, for more than four hours on Sunday. More than 4,700 Central Americans have been living in a Tijuana sports complex since a large group of immigrants and asylum seekers arrived this month, fleeing increased violence in their home countries and seeking work.

There were no serious injuries among immigrants or agents; four agents were hit with rocks but were wearing protective gear, McAleenan said during a Monday briefing. He said 69 immigrants managed to cross the border during the confrontation and were being processed and could face criminal charges related to illegal entry and assaults on agents. McAleenan said he was not aware of any migrants who crossed the border and avoided apprehension.

Immigrant advocacy groups and others criticized the Border Patrol's use of tear gas on the crowd, which included women and children.

California Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom tweeted on Sunday: "These children are barefoot. In diapers. Choking on tear gas. Women and children who left their lives behind — seeking peace and asylum — were met with violence and fear. That's not my America. … And we will not stand for this.

But McAleenan defended the use of what he called "less than lethal devices" by agents who responded as caravan members — who he said appeared to be grown men — hurled dozens of rocks.

"It was done consistent with all of our law enforcement training and policy," he said.

McAleenan said the agency uses "CS gas" and "less lethal" projectiles, but not rubber bullets. Weapons like gas may cross into Mexico, he said, "but the intent is to use it at the border." He said similar "less lethal" force was used to repel a group of migrants in Tijuana five years ago.

U.S. immigration officials had warned as a large group of migrants and asylum seekers moved north that it included hundreds of criminals willing to defy law enforcement. They offered no evidence that criminals were in the so-called caravan.

"All of those concerns were borne out and on full display yesterday in Tijuana," McAleenan said, calling the clashes "an unfortunate consequence of the caravan's activities."

Immigrant advocates and others were quick to decry the agency's response as the latest effort to restrict asylum seekers' access at the border.

Archi Pyati, chief of policy at the Washington-based Tahirih Justice Center, called the use of tear gas against border crossers "appalling."

"They are coming to the border en masse because of rhetoric and new, restrictive policies this administration has put in place," Pyati said in a Monday statement. "By prosecuting asylum seekers, closing checkpoints, using racist rhetoric about immigrants, and separating families, in addition to a slew of shocking legal and policy changes, the administration has left migrants no choice but to seek safe haven however they can."

President Trump is already pointing to the border incident to portray many in the group as lawless.

Trump stirred fears of the caravan before this month's midterm congressional elections, and on Monday he tweeted that Mexican officials should disperse the migrants, "many of whom are stone cold criminals, back to their countries."

"Do it by plane, do it by bus, do it anyway you want, but they are NOT coming into the U.S.A. We will close the Border permanently if need be. Congress, fund the WALL!" he tweeted.

There have been reports that U.S. and Mexican officials are negotiating an agreement that would change how Central American migrants are processed at the southern border. But McAleenan declined to comment on what he called ongoing "diplomatic discussions."

"We have identified and deployed additional processing resources," he said, "and we are prepared to implement any diplomatic agreement that may arise" for asylum seekers at the southern border.



Copyright © 2018, The San Diego Union-Tribune


Lamed Hey and Gush Etzion two of two

Part one and the story of the Lamad Hay was yesterday. Here is part two.

The OU and take a tour to the Gush to learn of the disastrous trip of the 35 men killed in the defense of Gush Etzion in the War of Independence. We learn of the massacre at the surrender of the troops and we go to the visitor center where it all happened. A powerful trip

How I Learned to Cry Again By Blumie Abend

Cynicism tip-toed its way into my life, a soft pitter patter so quiet that I didn't realize it was coming until it was already standing at my shoulder.

It was a combination of the end of my youthful naivety,

I know that once upon a time I was different life experiences, and a world suddenly turned much smaller with the influx of social media and news-streaming outlets.


I know that once upon a time, I was different. Though never spontaneous, I was filled with a sense of adventure—excited about the little things, optimistic in the face of challenge, and definitely somewhat of a dreamer.

And I was emotional. Emotional in the sense that I allowed myself to feel happiness and sadness, and fear and hope, and wonder and amazement and empathy. It didn't take much to make me cry—a gene strongly inherited from my mother, who used to joke that she would cry when reading a kids book about a mom falling down the stairs and breaking her leg.

Then, at some point, something changed. I left my teens and early 20s behind, and with them I left behind a life of abandon and blithe.

I retained some of the carefree attitude, but life happened, and challenges arose. I traveled my own bumpy road, saw those near and dear to me hit bumps of their own. Some of them hit mountains that seemed unsurmountable. And as the Internet became a minute-to-minute update of the world around me, I was fed a constant stream of sadness that seemed unbearable in the life of others. I saw pain and heard of war and corruption. The world seemed to become harsh and unpredictable. I feared reading the news and almost lived in a state of semi-breathing, unsure if it was OK to let out air.

Eventually, I developed my own protective measure of defense. I needed something to combat the intense feelings that arose each time I heard or read of something that pulled at my heartstrings. Sharing in the pain of others around me was so draining, so tiring.

So I became numb. It was easier not to think. Not to ponder and discuss and dissect.

Easier not to hope and expect and anticipate.

I tried not to feel, and if I did have to feel, I kept a close tab on reality and tried not to let optimism overweigh the starkness of actuality.

That's how I felt until one day I realized that it had been some months since I had allowed myself the luxury of crying. Had I forgotten how to cry?

Last Shabbat, I found myself with the incredible

I wondered how I would react when we saw the Kotel experience of meandering my way through the narrow streets of the old city in Jerusalem with my husband. It was a cool morning, in the low 50's, and the air was thin and light. The cobblestone streets were rough and smooth as only those streets can be, and every turn brought a breath of delight, a sense of wonder. There was something so fresh and pure about the very atmosphere that it tingled along the hairs on my arms and traveled straight inside me through every limb. I was filled with a sense of magic, pride, and gratefulness—all at the same time.


I wondered how I would react when we saw the Kotel. It had been eight years since I was there last. I was 20 at the time, visiting Israel with friends to celebrate the wedding of our good friend. It almost seemed like a lifetime ago. I was so young; I still carried that innocent, glorious expectation for life. So many milestones had been accomplished. My life had been filled with an overabundance of love and joy and wisdom and thankfulness. Yet it had also been witness to the new numbness that had stolen my feelings. I had changed. Time had changed me.

We rounded a corner and lightly ran down the steps to the landing overlooking the Western Wall plaza. There it was, covered partially by new construction that I didn't remember being there in the past, but still strong and sturdy, the light of the morning sun shining on just the right places, the shadows caressing those nestled against it.

I felt my heartbeat quicken, and we fastened our gait, eager to approach.

We parted ways in the courtyard, and I was pleased to see that only a smattering of people milled around—some praying, some watching, some all the way at the wall, their faces touching the stones and their shoulders shaking with silent cries.

I found a spot right up against the wall and took out a book of Psalms. I was on three different groups praying for the recovery of three different people, all near and close to my heart, and I started whispering the words of the first chapter.

Almost immediately, I felt a familiar pressure mounting in my temples.

A burning behind my eyes.

The quickening of my heartbeat.

And then a lone tear, followed by another and another.

I breathed deeply. I touched the stones, and laid my forehead against them and allowed myself to pray. To hope. To believe. To feel.

To cry.

It was heavy, and it was cleansing. And more than anything, it was coming from a part of myself that was so real and authentic. It was me—feeling the pain of those around me, using that pain to request with a deep, sincere heart from the All-Seeing, All-Feeling.

It was breaking down the barriers of fear inside my heart and allowing for feelings of empathy and love to surface.

Later, I told my friend about my experience at the wall. I described the intensity of the prayer—the way it moved me

It's good to feel and took up so much of my energy, but allowed me to access so many feelings that had lain dormant.


"It was draining," I said. "So many feelings. So many emotions. So many people to cry for and ask for. But I felt cleansed and lighter somehow when I was done ... "

"It's good to feel," she responded.

It's good to feel.

I let the words sink in.

It may be hard, but at the end of the day, it is good to feel.

NASA's InSight spacecraft lands on Mars after perilous six-month, 300-million-mile journey by Marcia Dunn Associated Press Nov 26, 2018

NASA spacecraft designed to drill down into Mars' interior landed on the planet Monday after a perilous, supersonic plunge through its red skies, setting off jubilation among scientists who had waited in white-knuckle suspense for confirmation to arrive across 100 million miles of space.

Flight controllers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, leaped out of their chairs, screaming, dancing and hugging, upon learning that InSight had arrived on Mars, the graveyard for a multitude of previous missions.

"Touchdown confirmed!" a flight controller called out just before 3 p.m. EST, instantly dispelling the anxiety that had gripped the control room as the spacecraft made its six-minute descent.

Because of the distance between Earth and Mars, it took eight minutes for confirmation to arrive, relayed by a pair of tiny satellites that had been trailing InSight throughout the six-month, 300-million-mile journey.

The two satellites not only transmitted the good news in almost real time, they also sent back InSight's first snapshot of Mars just 4½ minutes after landing.

The picture was speckled with dirt because the dust cover was still on the lander's camera, but the terrain around the spacecraft looked smooth and sandy with just one sizable rock visible — pretty much what scientists had hoped for. Better photos are expected in the days ahead, after the dust covers come off.

Engineers celebrate as the InSight lander touch downs on Mars in the mission support area of the space flight operation facility at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, in Pasadena, Calif.

(AL Seib / AP)

It was NASA's — indeed, humanity's — eighth successful landing at Mars since the 1976 Viking probes, and the first in six years. NASA's Curiosity rover, which arrived in 2012, is still on the move on Mars.

"Flawless," declared JPL's chief engineer, Rob Manning. "This is what we really hoped and imagined in our mind's eye," he added. "Sometimes things work out in your favor."

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, presiding over his first Mars landing as the space agency's boss, said: "What an amazing day for our country."

InSight, a $1 billion international project, includes a German mechanical mole that will burrow down 16 feet to measure Mars' internal heat. The lander also has a French seismometer for measuring quakes, if they exist on our smaller, geologically calmer neighbor. Another experiment will calculate Mars' wobble to reveal the makeup of the planet's core.

A image transmitted from Mars by the InSight lander is seen on a computer screen at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, in Pasadena, Calif.

(NASA via AP)

"In the coming months and years even, history books will be rewritten about the interior of Mars," said JPL's director, Michael Watkins.

Seven hours after touchdown, NASA reported that InSight's vital solar panels were open and recharging its batteries.

Over the next few "sols" — or Martian days of 24 hours, 39½ minutes — flight controllers will also assess the health of InSight's all-important robot arm and its science instruments.

Many Mars-bound spacecraft launched by the U.S., Russia and other countries have been lost or destroyed over the years, with a success rate of just 40 percent, not counting InSight.

NASA went with its old, straightforward approach this time, using a parachute and braking engines to get InSight's speed from 12,300 mph (19,800 kph) when it pierced the Martian atmosphere, about 77 miles (114 kilometers) up, to 5 mph (8kph) at touchdown. The danger was that the spacecraft could burn up in the atmosphere or bounce off it.

The three-legged InSight settled on the western side of Elysium Planitia, the plain that NASA was aiming for. Project manager Tom Hoffman said the spacecraft landed close to the bull's-eye, but NASA did not have yet have the final calculations.

He said that it was hard to tell from the first photo whether there were any slopes nearby, but that it appeared he got the flat, smooth "parking lot" he was hoping for.

Museums, planetariums and libraries across the U.S. held viewing parties to watch the events unfold at JPL. NASA TV coverage was also shown on the giant screen in New York's Times Square, where crowds huddled under umbrellas in the rain.

The 800-pound (360-kilogram) InSight is stationary and will operate from the same spot for the next two years, the duration of a Martian year. It will take months to set up and fine-tune the instruments, and lead scientist Bruce Banerdt said he doesn't expect to start getting a stream of solid data until late next spring.

"It's going to be awesome. I can't wait to start seeing marsquakes," Hoffman said.

Mars' well-preserved interior provides a snapshot of what Earth may have looked like following its formation 4.5 billion years ago, according to Banerdt. While Earth is active seismically, Mars "decided to rest on its laurels" after it formed, he said.

By examining and mapping the interior of Mars, scientists hope to learn why the rocky planets in our solar system turned out so different and why Earth became a haven for life.

Still, there are no life detectors aboard InSight. NASA's next mission, the Mars 2020 rover, will prowl for rocks that might contain evidence of ancient life.

The question of whether life ever existed in Mars' wet, watery past is what keeps driving NASA back to the fourth rock from the sun.


See you tomorrow

Love Yehuda Lave

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

2850 Womble Road, Suite 100-619, San Diego
United States


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