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
What lessons can we learn from Noah
Noah walked with the Almighty" (Genesis 6:9).
What lesson about life is the Torah teaching us through this verse? What does it mean that Noah "walked" with the Almighty?
Rabbi Obadia Sforno, a classic commentator, explains that Noah walked in the Almighty's ways, which means to do good to others. How? The people acted corruptly and Noah tried to teach them how to improve their actions.
There are different levels in helping others. We find in the Rambam (Maimonides, Mishne Torah, Gifts to the Poor 10:7-14) that there are eight levels of giving tzedakah (the Hebrew word used for charity; there is no word in Hebrew for charity. Tzedakah means "justice, righteousness.") The highest level is to help a person earn a living on his own. Why is this the highest level? When one helps a person become self-sufficient, he is helping him not just once, but for the rest of his life. Similarly, when you help someone become a better person you are not just helping him for the moment; you are helping him accomplish more his entire life.
Not only will he do many more good deeds, but there will be a positive influence on his children and grandchildren. The more elevated a person is, the more he will share his high ideals with his family. You are helping this person's future generations! Strive to do the ultimate -- help others to become better people.
Love yehuda lave
The Fast of Esther: What, Why and How
The Fast of Esther (Taanit Esther) is a dawn-to-nightfall fast held on the day before the jolly holiday of Purim. It commemorates the fasting of our ancestors in response to the dramatic chain of events that occurred during their exile in the Persian empire. These events are recorded in the Book of Esther, and the salvation that came about at that time is celebrated on the holiday of Purim. (Click here to find out what times the Fast of Esther starts and ends in your location.)
This year the Fast of Esther is held on March 20, 2019, and Purim is celebrated thet evening and the following day, March 21 (March 22 in Jerusalem). While the fast is generally celebrated on the day before Purim, when Purim is on Sunday, the fast is moved from Shabbat to the preceding Thursday.1
The Fast of Esther, or Ta'anit Esther, is not one of the four public fasts that was ordained by the prophets. Consequently, we are more lenient in its observance, particularly when it comes to pregnant women, nursing mothers and others who are weak.2
Fasting is associated with some pivotal moments in the Purim narrative. One such moment is when Esther approached King Ahasuerus without permission in an effort to intercede on behalf of the Jewish people. Before she went to the king, she fasted for three days, and asked that all the Jews fast as well.
Another dramatic turnaround occurred on Adar 13 (the default date for the Fast of Esther), the date that Haman had set aside for killing the Jews. Instead the Jewish people soundly trounced their enemies. This triumph was accomplished while the Jews were fasting, as they prayed to G‑d that they be successful.3
Click here for more on why this fast is named for Esther.
As on other fast days, we make the following changes to the daily prayer routine:
● During the morning prayers we recite selichot (penitential prayers), which are printed in the back of the prayerbook. The "long Avinu Malkeinu" is recited during the morning prayers (and the afternoon prayers, if the fast is not on the day before Purim) .
● The Torah is read during the morning and afternoon prayers. The reading—the same for both morning and afternoon—is Exodus 32:11–14 and 34:1–10, which discusses the aftermath of the Golden Calf incident, how Moses successfully interceded on the Israelites' behalf and obtained forgiveness for their sin. After the afternoon Torah reading, the special fast-day haftarah, Isaiah 55:6–56:8, is read.
● During the Amidah prayer of the afternoon service (Minchah), those who are fasting add the paragraph Aneinu in the Shema Koleinu blessing. (It is also added in the cantor's repetition of the Amidah in both the morning and afternoon services as its own blessing between the blessings of Re'eh and Refa'einu.) Additionally, the priestly blessing is added in the repetition of the Amidah in the afternoon service.
● If the fast is on the day before Purim, we do not say Tachanun (prayers of supplication) or Avinu Malkeinu at Minchah, since the joy of the holiday is already upon us.
In commemoration of the half-shekel contributed by each Jew to the Holy Temple—which the Talmud says counteracted the 10,000 silver talents Haman gave to King Ahasuerus to obtain the royal decree calling for the extermination of the Jewish people—it is customary to give three coins in "half" denominations (e.g., half-dollar coins) to charity on the afternoon of the Fast of Esther before Minchah. The three half-dollars given for every member of the family commemorate the three contributions the Jews gave for the building of the Tabernacle and for its sacrifices.
In many synagogues, plates are set out with silver half-dollars so that all can purchase them to use in observance of this custom.
If you didn't manage to give machatzit hashekel before Minchah, you can do so afterwards, or before the Megillah reading on Purim night or morning.
Click here to learn more about machatzit hashekel.
Onward to Purim
Now that we've got the Fast of Esther settled, let's focus on Purim, the joyous holiday that comes next.
If you're looking for the basics, we suggest you start with What Is Purim?
You can then check out the How-to Guide to learn more about the day's four special observances.
Since a big part of Purim is reading the Megillah (Book of Esther), you may want print one out so you can follow along with the reader.
And in case you've been invited to a Purim celebration, you can prep with our What to Expect page.
Normally, when a fast falls on Shabbat, we delay the fast until Sunday, but because Purim is meant to be a festive day, we fast on the preceding Thursday. In honor of the Shabbat, we even refrain from fasting on Friday. (If, however, you forget to fast on Thursday, you should fast on Friday.)
Generally, we do not eat until after Megillah reading. If you find yourself in extenuating circumstances, consult with a rabbi to find out whether you can eat after nightfall but before the Megillah reading.
Purity of Arms? Try Warped Morality By Moshe Feiglin
Last week, Zehut candidate Nadav Halamish publicized a speech of Benny Gantz – former Chief of Staff of the IDF and head of the new Israel Resilience Party – in which he brags that he gave orders to Golani soldiers in Gaza to delay their attack on Hamas' headquarters during Operation Protective Edge in 2014.
This delay cost Shawn Carmeli – a lone soldier from the U.S. – his life. Shawn was one of 12 soldiers killed in Saj'a'iyah during Operation Protective Edge.
In the speech, Gantz brags that despite the fact that shots were being fired relentlessly at Israeli soldiers from the Wafa hospital (which had become Hamas' headquarters), and despite the fact that the IDF had already spoken with hospital/Hamas HQ administrators to ensure there were no civilians there, he refused to attack before checking with the hospital once again – just in case.
In other words, the IDF High Command gave up the element of surprise, making it possible for the enemy to prepare itself well for the Golani attack. The Chief of Staff also did not take advantage of his immense firepower superiority; instead of turning the hornets' nest into dust by bombing it from the air, he preferred to send Golani infantrymen into fire.
"Woe to the evil person and woe to his neighbor," says the Jewish fighting ethic. The Geneva Convention also places responsibility for the death of civilians who are used as human shields upon the shoulders of the side that used them as such.
But Gantz decided to be more Catholic than the pope. Gantz, motivated by different "ethics," fashionable and expedient, explicitly admitted in his speech that although he had warned the evil terrorists' neighbor, he constrained his solders and "took the risk on the Golani Brigade."
For Gantz, a dead IDF soldier is better than a photo of a destroyed hospital. The farcical Chief of Staff said that to the best of his knowledge, no Gazan civilians were hurt. But a Golani soldier was.
Media reports from the battle reveal that enemy command centers and arms stockpiles were in the hospital and that the enemy was shooting automatic and anti-tank weapons at IDF forces "over many long days." The website of the Golani 13th battalion states:
"The El-Wafa hospital served in effect as Hamas HQ according to intelligence…. Shawn Carmeli, a machine gunner by military training, a lone soldier…realizes that the machine gun ammunition belt on top of his APC was stuck…and it had to be fixed in order to continue to fire at the terrorists across the road from the hospital….
"Shawn…gets out of the APC to fix the stuck ammunition belt…doesn't succeed…around him shots are being fired from all sides but Carmeli goes out again…. The Unit Commander asks him not to expose his entire body, but Carmeli answers him immediately, 'I am doing it quickly and will finish.'…
"The Unit Commander goes out to help…. The Unit Commander comes back in but Carmeli doesn't return with him…it took about a minute to pull him back in…. Carmeli was hit by enemy fire and killed…the first casualty of the Golani Brigade in the operation."
Shawn Nissim Carmeli was 21 when he fell. David Ben Gurion formulated the ethical bar required of an IDF commander: "It is not enough for the commander to know his work. He must love people, the life of his soldier must be dear to him…. Every Hebrew mother should know that she has deposited the fate of her son in the hands of commanders who are worthy of it."
Today, Jewish mothers deposit their sons in the hands of generals who prefer enemy lives (and the foreign forums where they can brag about this preference) to the lives of their children. Do they know that?
The values of the distorted "fighting ethics" that the offshoots of the New Israel Fund have embedded by means of commanders like Benny Gantz and his friends in the IDF have already brought about the deaths of hundreds of soldiers, perhaps more.
About half a year ago, my son Avraham, a soldier in one of the infantry brigades, could not remain silent and publicly condemned this phenomenon. He was dismissed from his position. Was Benny Gantz worthy of commanding my son? Your sons? Is a person who preferred the walls of the Waffa hospital/Hamas terror command over the life of Shawn Carmeli, may God avenge his blood, worthy of being an Israeli leader?
One last word: The defense minister during Operation Protective Edge was Bogi Ya'alon. The prime minister was Binyamin Netanyahu. The responsibility they bear for the abandonment of our sons is not less than Gantz's. It is greater.
Quotes on flying from my sister
Unlike the boundaries of the sea by the shorelines, the "ocean of air" laps at the border of every state, city, town and home throughout the world. Welch Pogue, attorney
I've never known an industry that can get into people's blood the way aviation does. Robert Six, founder of Continental Airlines
To invent an airplane is nothing. To build one is something. To fly is everything. Otto Lilienthal, pioneer of aviation
Aeronautics was neither an industry nor a science. It was a miracle. Igor Sikorsky,pioneer in aircraft design who is best known for his successful development of the helicopter
No bird soars too high, if he soars with his own wings. William Blake,poet, painter, and printmaker
To most people, the sky is the limit. To those who love aviation, the sky is home. Anon, a good friend of mine
Flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. Douglas Adams,author and humorist
The higher we soar, the smaller we appear to those who cannot fly. Anon
When everything seems to be against you, remember that an airplane takes-off against the wind, not with it. Henry Ford Edsel Ford' father
The bad news is time flies. The good news is you're the pilot. Michael Althsuler, motivational speaker
Choosing A Therapist Just Became Much Easier By Dennis Prager
The American Psychological Association has, in its words, issued "its first-ever guidelines for practice with men and boys." These guidelines "draw on more than 40 years of research showing that traditional masculinity is psychologically harmful and that socializing boys to suppress their emotions causes damage."
1) The last thing American males need today is less masculinity.
If you need proof, ask women who are looking for a husband whether the men they date exhibit too much masculinity, too little masculinity, or just the right amount. I have talked to hundreds of women on my radio show (every week I have a "Male/Female Hour"), at speeches, and in private who are dating to find a spouse. Not one has said men today are too masculine. Virtually all of them have said men today lack masculinity.
And why wouldn't men lack masculinity? A vast number of boys grow up either with no father or with a father they rarely see. Their lives are dominated by women – their mother, virtually all their teachers, probably their school principal, and probably their therapist.
As if that were not bad enough, many of the single mothers of these American boys are angry at the man who never married them, or at the man who divorced them, or at men in general. In addition, these boys' women teachers suppress their natural testosterone-driven male behaviors. And now their teachers increasingly tell them they may not even be a boy.
Of course, some men are boors. But most men know boorishness is not masculinity. Such behaviors emanate, not from masculinity, but from poor upbringing and/or the 1960s sexual revolution.
As psychoanalyst Erica Komisar wrote in the Wall Street Journal last week, it is "a recipe for mental illness" to tell boys that "aggression, competitiveness and protectiveness is a sign of sickness."
2) This is another example of the most important rule of contemporary life: The left ruins everything it touches.
The left has ruined the arts; the universities; high schools; the nuclear family; mainstream Protestantism, Catholicism, and Judaism; the Boy Scouts; and journalism. And it is now doing the same to the sciences: Universities are increasingly choosing science faculty based on gender and race rather than scientific expertise.
Psychology and psychiatry have long been homes to left-wing fools (recall the 1964 example of 1,189 psychiatrists declaring then-presidential candidate Sen. Barry Goldwater "psychologically unfit"). But the APA statement will do even more harm.
The American Psychological Association goes beyond defining "traditional masculinity" as "on the whole, harmful." It urges therapists to help men "identify how they have been harmed by discrimination against those who are gender nonconforming."
That's right. Your son's psychotherapist will explain to him how it is entirely normal for a boy his age (beginning in kindergarten) to wear a dress, and that regarding an 8-year-old boy in a dress as not quite healthy is what is not quite healthy. In addition, the APA hopes this therapist will reassure your son that he, too, may well choose to be a girl.
In the words of Komisar, this is "an ideological claim transformed into a clinical treatment recommendation." That "ideological claim" is, of course, leftism.
3) The APA statement makes choosing a psychotherapist simple.
The hardest part of starting psychotherapy is figuring out how to choose a psychotherapist. If you choose the wrong one, you will not only be wasting a great deal of time and money; you will not be helped, and you might well be harmed.
So how does one go about choosing a psychotherapist? The APA just made the task much simpler: Just ask any therapist you are considering for yourself or someone else, "Do you agree with the American Psychological Association that 'traditional masculinity is psychologically harmful'?"
If the therapist agrees, thank him or her and leave. If the therapist starts giving a prolonged response, leave. Any therapist who cannot unequivocally condemn the APA statement is unworthy of your time and your money, let alone your psyche.
Many will try to weasel out of directly agreeing (or disagreeing) with the statement. They will tell you that sometimes masculinity is a problem. But they are just being careful not to lose you as a potential client. Such a statement is meaningless: There is nothing that cannot be harmful at times. That includes femininity as much as masculinity, and it includes such normally good things as water (a lot of people drown, after all).
Without "traditional masculinity," civilization is lost. Ask anyone you know who agrees with using the term "the greatest generation" to describe the generation that fought World War II whether the men of that generation would have fought, much less won, without "traditional masculinity."
Do not trust therapists who will not condemn the APA statement. They are either fools or cowards. They may well be very kind and sincere. But that means nothing. You or your child will not be helped by kindness and sincerity. You or your child will only be helped by wisdom.
Love Yehuda Lave
See you tomorrow
Rabbi Yehuda Lave
2850 Womble Road, Suite 100-619, San Diego United States