Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money, and spiritual engagement
Teshuvah [repentance] is so great that it can convert sins [of the past] into merits (Yoma 86b).
Sins become merits only when the teshuvah is done out of an intense love for God.
This type of teshuvah is not the average kind of repentance, in which people regret having done wrong and commit themselves to avoid repeating the forbidden act. While that level of teshuvah is certainly commendable and indeed may suffice to eradicate a sin, it is not adequate to convert that sin into a merit. We may polish a pewter item to cleanse it of accumulated dirt, and even give it a luster, but it still will remain pewter. If we could find a way to convert pewter into gold, we would be changing its very essence.
In ancient history, some alchemists spent their entire lives trying to discover the magic formula that would enable them to convert base metals into gold. While this task remains impossible for metals, it is not impossible with human behavior. We can turn base acts into virtues. The "magic formula" is to develop so intimate a relationship with God that we not only regret having sinned, but feel the anguish of having displeased someone whom we love intensely.
Rabbi Levi Yitzchok of Berdichev once said to a person who was a known sinner: "How I envy you! When you will do teshuvah and convert your sins, you will have many more merits than I do."
Rather than allow the mistakes of the past to depress us, we should try to behave in such a way that we convert them into merits.
Today I shall ... ... try to strive for a relationship with God that will be so intense in devotion that my faults will be converted into virtues.
Love Yehuda Lave
Only pictures that I have of Budapest that I uploaded to You Tube before my computer was stolen
In order to have room on my camera for pictures on the following day, I would download the pictures to my portable computer and then upload them to you tube.
For whatever reason, my five days of pictures woudn't upload, but the first nights pictures did upload, so I have this You tube of that first night. It was of course exciting spending that first night in Budapest.
I have one picture of a lot of Hungarian Forints. Don't be too impressed. $100 is 28,000 Hungarian Forints.
You Have Reached Your Destination: Israeli Startup Navin Wants To Be The Waze Of Indoor Navigation | Technology News
If you've been to Tel Aviv's Dizengoff Center and didn't get lost at least once, consider yourself one of the lucky ones. The mall's maze-like interior, dead zones, and underground corridors that surprise and bedevil visitors can seem more a labyrinth than a mall at times. One of the most popular and visited shopping complexes in Israel, it is notoriously difficult to navigate.
Now, naturally, there's an app for that. Tel Aviv startup Navin has built a navigation application specifically for indoor spaces. Like the Israeli-founded navigation company Waze (bought by Google) but for airports, hospitals, malls, and other massive public structures not usually conceived with ease-of-access in mind.
Navin uses crowdsourced data to build digital maps for pedestrian guidance both indoors and outdoors, and it works where GPS does not, as satellite-based radio-navigation is largely useless in closed buildings.
The startup was co-founded by CEO Shai Ronen, a former Israeli Air Force F-16 pilot, and an expert in navigation systems. Inspired by military navigation technologies that do not rely on GPS, he saw the possibility of using the tools and experience he gained to solve a daily challenge for many people. He was joined by Lior Ronen (no relation), who serves as the company's CTO, and the two have been working together since 2011 to build up Navin.
"With more than 11 million public buildings worldwide, we wanted to enable people to find their way in every hospital, shopping mall, and even airports and train stations," Ronen tells NoCamels. "The idea was scalability. We wanted to take advantage of the fact that millions of people are moving inside public buildings every day. So instead of providing specific solutions for single buildings, we decided to turn people's smartphones into mapping devices. This was the twist," he explains.
Ronen soon found a partner and active chairman with the experienced serial entrepreneur Gidi Barak, who is also a former Waze board member. "For us, Waze is a great source of inspiration. We are following the same tracks as we believe in harvesting the power of the crowds to conquer every building", he says.
Similar to Waze for drivers and Moovit for public transportation users, Navin creates maps based on users' shared real-time info using its patented peer-to-peer crowd mapping technology. Smartphone sensors track locations anonymously and collect millions of individual data points to capture movement patterns and automatically generate pedestrian maps.
"We knew from the beginning that smartphone motion sensors themselves are never as accurate as high-end navigation systems. So we invented a new algorithm, that makes their computation better and enables location tracking without GPS", explains Ronen.
In this way, Navin is able to replace the satellite signal without using any additional hardware. "As long as enough people move inside a building with their smartphones, the map is created and up-to-date", he says. "Our servers then put together the puzzle of corridors and points of interest and guide you turn-by-turn."
By actively tagging places of interest in their neighborhoods, around 100,000 people are currently part of the Navin community and contributing to editing the world of indoor maps. "We see great interest from our so-called Naviners to be part of something big. Indoor navigation is a real issue, since our world is becoming more and more complex', says Navin-CEO Ronen.
To Navin, this is a logical extension of our reality. According to the company, people spend 90 percent of their time and 80 percent of their money indoors. In addition, over 50 percent of searches are conducted on mobile devices.
The startup currently has 12 employees, several of which are developers from Israeli Defense Forces elite units, Navin says. To date, it has raised over $2 million from investors and is supported by the Israeli Innovation Authority. To expand this capital, the entrepreneurs are currently applying for more European funding programs and "already see a great interest," as Ronen says.
Some of Navin's competitors include Oriient, an Israeli startup founded in 2016 that uses magnetic fields and smartphones sensors to provide indoor positioning services in the form of a plug-in, and Indoorgo which uses algorithms and data collected from multiple sensors to calculate positions on the floor plan, based on the entry point into a building.
Navin appears to be the only one providing both indoor and outdoor pedestrian guidance. "Other competitors lack scalable technologies", says Ronen, adding that time-consuming manual mapping and calibration of specific places is not as effective as Navin's crowd-mapping system.
Navin is currently active in Tel Aviv and is getting ready to spread to other Israeli cities. Pedestrian guidance for around 50 public and governmental buildings, hospitals and malls are already available on the free app. According to Ronen, the goal is to go city by city and to cover lucrative spots in order to create a critical mass and become a standard solution. The company has future plans to expand to California as a gateway into the US market and as well to Asia, seeing high potential in Singapore and Japan.
The company also foresees other applications. Not only will people be able to find friends, family and other contacts in an exact spot within an airport or mall, Navin plans to later open APIs (Application Programming Interface) to Google and Whatsapp. And connections to service providers such as Lyft could enable users to share their absolutely precise pick-up locations with drivers. By creating a more robust customer experience, Navin could add even more value, Ronen says.
Once the application has become a platform of choice for a critical mass of users, Ronen also anticipates a lot of potential for revenue from mobile advertising. Furthermore, providing analytics of (anonymous) customers' locations and movements is being considered as part of the business model.
Navin is currently focused on developing data for several million buildings worldwide by 2021. The app is available on Google Play, while an App Store version is in the works.
" K A H A N E"
The magazine of the authentic Jewish Idea
Summer 5743 -1983VIEWPOINTTHE FIRE OF JEALOUSY
"O that my people would hearken unto me and Israel would walk in my ways!
I would soon subdue their enemies and turn my hands against their adversaries."
The great day of the L-rd is near… a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress… a day of the horn and alarm… and I will bring distress upon men… because they have sinned against the L-rd… neither their silver nor gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the L-rd's wrath, but the whole earth shall be devoured by the fire of His jealousy…" (Zephaniah 1)
One walks among the revelers and cries out in dismay: But can you not see the cloud? One watches as the people swims in gluttony and splashes about in the cool waters of self-indulgence and laughter and self-assurance and confident plans for tomorrow. And the seer shouts to them: "But do you not see the fire of His jealousy?" And they see it not and hear him not and go about their lives of merry heedlessness. Who wishes to hear the sound of terror in the midst of the summer of content? Why this discordant note to disturb our melodious symphony of mental sloth? And so the joyous revelers skip mindlessly through life, the joyous city that dwelt without care, that said in her heart: "I am there is none else beside me…"
But the signs are all about us, the signs that a jealous and angry G-d – whose mercy still overtakes His wrath – sends us, beseeching us to notice and to act. The signs are all about us, who can ignore them? The signs are upon us, how much time is there?
The Israeli planes that went out into the night to demolish the atomic reactor outside of Baghdad, brought joy and pride into the hearts of Jews throughout the world. Joy and pride, but not careful and deep thought. The destruction of the Iraqi atomic facility prevented the creation of a nuclear weapon. But for how long? How much more time will it take for the Iraqis to rebuild the facility? And what of Pakistan that stands today on the very verge of exploding its Moslem bomb? How does Israel bomb Islamabad?
The truth is that the bomb that Iraq and Pakistan and Libya and, only G-d knows how many others, are building is a thing that no one will prevent. And it is part of a worldwide fact of horror. Within a few years, tens of countries, including those cursed with mad and unstable regimes, will have flood of fire that will consume themselves and a world that said: "I am, and there is none else besides me." The fire is theirs; but it is the fire of His jealousy.
As some Adam, drunk with the wine of the Tree of Knowledge, man revels is his own intellect and progress. He throws off the chain of the Maker and convinces himself that He, the created, conceived Him, the Creator "Because thy heart is lifted up and thou hast said: I am a god… yet thou art man and not G-d." (Ezekiel 28). For his arrogance and for his pride, the L-rd who brought upon a generation of Noah a flood of water that consumed an earth, will this time decimate the arrogant with the flood of fire. A flood that is measure for measure, irony of ironies: the fire of man's own making, the fruit of his own prideful intellect, the fire of the brilliance and ingenuity of the King of the Dust.
The gentile is doomed because of his prideful arrogance and judgment is upon him for his persecution of the Jews. "Because thou has a hatred of old and hast hurled the Children of Israel unto the power of the sword in the time of their calamity… I will prepare thee unto blood and blood shall pursue thee… I will make thee perpetual desolations… And you shall know that I am the L-rd." (Ezekiel 35).
The end is upon a world that knew not the L-rd, and His jealousy for His name that was mocked, humiliated and defiled is come. For a world that humiliated the people of G-d and thus showed their contempt for the G-d of Israel. "For the day of vengeance that was in My heart and My year of redemption will come… And I trod down the peoples in Mine anger… And I poured out their lifeblood on the earth." (Isaiah 63).
The cloud of atoms and their nuclear crash and the hydrogen explosion will shatter a world that attempted to cast G-d out of the Garden of Eden of fools. There is nothing that will prevent that and it only remains for the Jew to understand that his fate, too, lies in the balance. The Jew can be part of a world that turns into ashes or he can find redemption. He can choose to remain with the revelers, with the self-deceivers, with those who suck in slothful contentment, or he can shake off the chains of self-indulgence and stop the race for mindless pleasure. He can cut the chains that tie him to the gentile and the gentilization and flee to the chambers: "Come my people, enter thou into thy chambers.. until the rage passeth; for, behold, the L-rd cometh forth out of His place to visit upon the inhabitants of the earth their iniquity," (Isaiah 26)
Those that daily defile the name of the L-rd and choose the Exile as their home, in contemptuous contentment and rebellious revelry – will share the fate of their fellow gentiles. Those who scorn the desirable Land of Holiness will fall in flames and ashes with the gentiles they preferred to worship. The Jew who refuses to climb Mount Zion and set there his home will be twice cursed: He will fall victim to the plague of hideous Jew-hatred that will send him reeling in Holocaust II; and he will share the fate of the gentile-who ironically will fall because of his treatment of the Jew. For the Jew, the punishment for refusing to flee the impurity and desecration of the Exile will be double fire: That of the gentile and that of the jealousy of the L-rd.
The bitter-joke is the Jew who wraps himself about in his mantle of religion, even as he treads daily in the dung of the Exile. The one who, despite his study and because of a corruption of G-d's Law and Commandments, speaks precisely as the irreligious, the atheist. All share the same blindness: All look at the Jewish State and see there the danger. None understand the salvation and safety the onlyin the Land of Israel. The irreligious without the rituals and skullcap may be excused – they know nothing and understand exactly that. But the irreligious with the kattans and heavily embroidered prayer shawls; the practitioners of ritual – what can we say about these?
"For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those that escape…" (Joel 3) How is it possible that the students of the law shall be so ignorant? Ah, possible it is; and there were such times, in the past. The priests said not: "Where is the L-rd? And they that handle the Law knew me not." (Jeremiah 2)). And the great Biblical commentator, Rashi, explains: "They that handles the Law: The Sanhedrin…"
The two millennia of the Exile have twisted and corrupted us. It is not possible to remain a normal people without a normal existence of 2,000 years. Being without a state and government and army, makes one a people that cannot understand such things. Having no land for twenty centuries makes one forget how sweet and dear it is. The religious atheist becomes one who believes in the general power of the Almighty to do anything but flees to the gentile's right arm in every particular case.
The wearer of the Kaftan and layer of tefillin becomes a practical man; he seeks logical answers. He will find them with his gentile fellow citizen. He who lacks faith and trust in the logic of the G-d of Israel, will fall beneath the double fury of the jealousy of the L-rd. But on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, in the Land of Israel, there will be redemption. No, not for all – "And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the L-rd shall be delivered." (Joel, ibid) But for those who contemptuously scorn the Land because of fear of G-d's impotence – there will be no redemption. Together they will fall, the ritualists and the non, for both share the ultimate sin, an ultimate belief in the logic of man rather than faith in the Almighty. For the Jew, there IS a choice: Zion and salvation or the fire of His jealousy.
BS"D EXILE AND REDEMPTION
The Torah goes at great length into the Egyptian Exile because we have to understand the reality of Exile. The Torah goes at great length into the Redemption through Moses because we have to understand the reality of Redemption.
It is vital to understand how Exile and Redemption are connected.
They both arrive "b'keref ayin … in the blink of an eye." Joseph was sold and suddenly the world darkened. Joseph was whisked from prison and suddenly light appeared.
The prerequisite to Redemption: we have to feel the pain of Exile. If we don't feel it, then we will not cry out to Hashem to free us. That pain causes us to beg Hashem to take us out. "The Children of Israel groaned because of the work and they cried out. Their outcry because of the work went up to G-d. G-d heard their moaning and G-d remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. G-d saw the Children of Israel and G-d knew." (Exodus 2:23-25) This passage immediately precedes the passage in which Moses is summoned to return to Egypt: "An angel of Hashem appeared to him in a blaze of fire from amid the bush." (Exodus 3:2)
Our Redeemer is waiting, but we need to cry out to Hashem.
We are dangerously in love with Exile. I am afraid that we just don't understand our condition. Several weeks ago, "out of nowhere," a decree was issued by the New York State Department of Education which, in one blow, threatened the future of our entire yeshiva system. The specter of enemies prowling through our holy institutions of Torah with the power to control them was astonishing to us who have enjoyed the tolerant attitude of America for so long.
"If the Jewish People repent, they will be redeemed .… If they do not repent, they will not be redeemed? …. Rather, the Holy One, Blessed is He, will appoint a king over them whose decrees will be as harsh [as those of] Haman, and the Jewish People will repent and [in this way G-d] will bring them back to the right [path]." (Sanhedrin 97b)
My friends, we have to know, "Halacha hi … It is a law. It is known that Esau hates Jacob …." (Rashi on Genesis 33:4) What has changed? Has this law been repealed? HHaHNothing has changed, except that we have been lulled by the acceptance we have enjoyed in the lands of the West into thinking that we are at home here.
It is Egypt all over again. We are in terrible danger. At any moment a king as cruel as Haman could appear, G-d forbid, and our entire world could be turned upside down. All it takes is the blink of an eye for Haman to appear … or Moshiach to come. We have to cry out to Hashem!
Rap Daddy D - Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball Rap 2018
Rap Daddy D sings Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball Rap 2018 Copyright 2018; all rights reserved.
This is from a very talented friend of mine. Not my style, but very creative
Jeff Bienenfeld Torah
When Moshe is commanded to announce the advent of the first plague upon Egypt, HaShem instructs him to stand by the river's edge to greet Paro (7:15). On this verse, the Talmud comments, "He is the king and you must show him reverence" (Zevachim 102a). Similarly, we also find HaShem directing Eliyahu HaNavi to run before the wicked King Achav as a show of respect (Melachim I, 18:46). The question is rather plain: why show deference to a rasha (a wicked person)? To simply answer that the honor bestowed in both cases was to their kingly rank only begs the question: doesn't such flattery undercut and compromise the moral-religious rebuke of the prophet?
One answer is suggested by the Seforno (R. Ovadia b. Yaakov, Italy, 15-16 C.) in his comments on the phrase in Devarim (10:17), "And [the Almighty] takes no bribes …" He explains that Gd will not reduce the penalty for a sin no matter how meritoriously another mitzvah is performed. Similarly, the Talmud declares, "A mitzvah shall not extinguish a transgression (Sotah 21a). If then one is rewarded for a mitzvah even as he is punished for a trespass, we can understand why the honor accorded to a king does not in any way mitigate or nullify his iniquitous behavior. (See also Sanhedrin 101b) Paro will get his due and still suffer the punishment of the plagues.
The important lesson from this first approach is in its sharp admonition to those who blithely assume that their many good deeds will more than offset the negative consequences of their misdeeds. The uncomfortable truth is that there is no escape from confronting one's sins forthrightly and dealing with them in the only legitimate way a Jew knows – teshuva, repentance.
There is, however, a second way of understanding the homage given to Paro. The Yalkut Yehuda (R. Yehuda Ginsberg, 20th C.) comments on Ramban's well known analysis of Paro's successful attempt to beguile the Jewish People into slavery (see Shemos 1:10) and opines that for all of Paro's wickedness, there was a sufficient shred of moral decency to prevent him from openly persecuting Israel. That HaShem sees fit to warn him prior to many of the plagues suggests that Paro had the will and wherewithal to reverse his cruel and evil ways. In fact, according to the Midrash, Paro ultimately does repent and become a charismatic spokesman for the word of Gd (Yonah 3:6 and Yalkut Shimoni 550:3 ad loc). If so, why should Moshe not see fit to honor Paro? Without forgiving one iota of Paro's crimes - for which he is severely punished with the devastation of his kingdom not to speak of the death of his firstborn - Moshe can still show him some measure of respect based upon minute sparks of decency that HaShem detects in His human creation and the prophet intuits in the soul of his adversary. (See also Radak's comments re: Achav in Melachim I, 18:41).
The lesson in this observation of the Yalkut Yehuda is no less relevant for us. All too often, we are put off by another's offensive behavior. We make judgements quickly and fail to appreciate the profound insight of our Sages which enjoins us to judge kol ha'adam, the whole of man (Pirkei Avos 1:6) and not just focus on blemishes. Therefore, when tempted to dismiss an irksome individual because of some perceived moral infraction or uncouth behavior, we need not fear compromising, in the slightest, any of our moral/religious standards by still finding some way of complimenting such a person when noticing some genuinely good deed, however small that act might be in the sum total of that person's behavioral repertoire. If the Almighty Himself is alert to a righteous deed performed by an otherwise unsavory character, we ought to be no less charitable in our treatment of others. We might even discover that in so doing, we may gain a friend and exert a positive and healthy influence on his life going forward.
People are complex. Their behavior is a composite of reason and emotion, traits and talents, all of which combine and play out in ways that defy easy interpretation. As Rav Soloveitchik once put it, if we can hardly understand our own private mysteries, how can we presume to fully understand another's. What follows then is this important ethical teaching: it is a true chesed, a supreme act of kindness, to attend to the good in others, recognize its worth and tell them so. In showing that in spite of our differences with them, we are prepared to affirm their positives, then that sincere expression of caring can turn an erstwhile enemy into a trusted comrade.
See you tomorrow
Love Yehuda Lave
Rabbi Yehuda Lave
2850 Womble Road, Suite 100-619, San Diego United States