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
God called unto man [Adam] and said to him, "Where are you?" (Genesis 3:9).
We read in Genesis that after Adam sinned, he tried to hide in the Garden of Eden. Was Adam so foolish to think that he could hide from God? Certainly not! He was hiding from himself, because it was himself that he could no longer confront. God's question to him was very pertinent: "I am here. I am always here, but where are you?"
Adam's answer to God describes man's most common defense: "I was afraid because I was exposed, and I therefore tried to hide" (Genesis 3:10). Since people cannot possibly conceal themselves from God, they try to hide from themselves. This effort results in a multitude of problems, some of which I described in Let Us Make Man (CIS, 1987).
We hear a great deal about people's search for God, and much has been written about ways that we can "find" God. The above verse throws a different light on the subject. It is not necessary for people to find God, because He was never lost, but has been there all the time, everywhere. We are the ones who may be lost.
When an infant closes it yes, it thinks that because it cannot see others, they cannot see it either. Adults may indulge in the same infantile notion - if they hide from themselves, they think they are hiding from God as well. If we find ourselves by getting to know who we are, we will have little difficulty in finding God, and in letting Him find us.
Today I shall ... ... try to establish a closer relationship with God by coming out of hiding from myself.
Love Yehuda Lave
We Need More Jewish Power, Not Less By Alan M. Dershowitz
When I hear that Jews are too powerful, my response is, we are not powerful enough. When I hear that AIPAC is too influential a lobby, I say it must become even more influential. When I hear that Jews contribute too much money to support pro-Israel causes, I say we must contribute more.
When I hear that Jews control the media, I ask "Why is so much of the media so anti-Israel?" When I hear that Jews have too much influence on the outcome of elections, I say we need to increase our influence.
Jews have contributed enormously – disproportionately – to America's success. Along with other immigrants, Jews have helped change our country for the better – academically, scientifically, economically, politically, militarily, medically, legally, technologically, and in so many other ways.
We have earned the right to act as first-class citizens. No other group is ever accused of having too much power and influence. That false claim – dating back to times and places where Jews had little or no influence – is an anti-Semitic trope that tells us more about the anti-Semites who invoke it than it does about Jews.
History has proven that Jews need more power and influence than other groups to secure their safety. During the 1930s and early 1940s, Jews had morality on their side, but they lacked the power and influence to save six million of their brothers and sisters from systematic murder.
If Israel had existed, with the powerful army it now has, the history of European Jewry might well have been different. If Jews had more political power in the United States during that time, the doors of our nation would not have been shut to our brothers and sisters seeking asylum from Nazism.
In the Middle East, Israel must have more military power than all of its enemies and potential enemies combined. As Benjamin Netanyahu wisely put it: "If our enemies lay down their arms, there would be peace. If Israel lay down its arms, there would be genocide."
So Israel must maintain, with or without the help of the United States, its qualitative military superiority in the region. And the region of its enemies has now expanded to Iran and Turkey, two non-Arab Muslim extreme anti-Israel nations with powerful armies. So Israel must get stronger, not weaker, despite its current military superiority.
Elie Wiesel once said that the lesson of the Shoah is: "We must believe the threats of our enemies more than the promises of our friends." For me, an additional lesson is that Israel and the Jewish people must be more powerful than their enemies.
The Psalmists wrote, "Hashem oz l'amo yiten; Hashem yivarech et amo b'shalom." I interpret this wonderful verse to mean that G-d will give the Jewish people strength, and only through that strength will they achieve peace.
So if anybody ever complains about Jewish power and influence, remind that person that Jewish power is the best road to peace: that history has proven that Jews without power are vulnerable to the oldest prejudice known to human kind – a prejudice that may abate, as it did for several decades following the Second World War, but will always rears its ugly head as it is now doing in England, France, Eastern Europe, and on the hard left in the United States.
If Jewish power and influence are used in the cause of peace and justice, we should not be ashamed of it. It should be a source of pride.
En Hemed National Park -right outside Jerusalem
National parks of Israel are declared historic sites or nature reserves, which are mostly operated and maintained by the National Nature and Parks Authority. As of 2015, Israel maintains more than 400 nature reserves that protect 2,500 species of indigenous wild plants, 20 species of fish, 400 species of birds and 70 species of mammals.
Brexit is pushing Jews to seek passports from countries that persecuted their ancestors
— Portugal used to be little more than a sunny holiday destination to Adam Perry, a 46-year-old Londoner who works in procurement.
But following the United Kingdom's 2016 vote to leave the European Union, Perry, who is a Sephardic Jew, applied for citizenship in the Iberian nation. Since 2015, legislation there and in Spain allows for the naturalization of descendants of refugees persecuted 500 years ago.
Amid growing uncertainty over Brexit, whose deadline is March 29 (for now), applying to become a Portuguese citizen "was a pragmatic decision," said Perry, whose 5-year-old daughter may also be naturalized once his application is approved. But, he added, it was "also a form of protest action against Brexit, with which I deeply disagree."
Perry is just one of thousands of British Jews and non-Jews who have been prompted by Brexit to apply for citizenship in other European Union member states — most notably countries from which their ancestors had fled to escape persecution.
Portugal, for example, last year saw a 25-percent increase in naturalization by British citizens, though only a few dozen of the 3,832 Brits who became Portuguese last year were Sephardic Jews. The other are mostly non-Jews who have been living in Portugal as residents long enough to get citizenship.
Hundreds of them have asked for assistance from Britain's Association of Jewish Refugees — a group founded in 1941 by Jews who fled the Holocaust to Britain, according to its chief executive, Michael Newman.
"We are well aware of the irony of the situation," he said. "It's one of the many unexpected results of this chaotic thing called Brexit."
Since the Brexit referendum in June 2016, the German embassy in London has received more than 3,380 applications for restoring German citizenship under article 116 of the German constitution for descendants of people persecuted by Adolf Hitler's party. In previous years, only about 50 such requests were made annually.
To some applicants, becoming German is a purely pragmatic decision.
Gaby Franklin, an author and interior designer, described getting a German passport as "an insurance policy" in an interview published earlier this month with Politico. Beyond ownership issues of family assets in France, she said, "We don't know what the travel arrangements will look like." EU countries waive visa and passport regulations for their citizens within the bloc and with some foreign countries.
The Association of Jewish Refugees' Michael Newman, right, and British politician John Attlee in London Nov. 21, 2018. (Courtesy of AJR)
The status of British citizens in the European Union is unclear also because the British parliament has twice rejected the terms of a deal worked out between Prime Minister Theresa May and Brussels. May is expected to ask for a delay to avoid Britain crashing out of the union without a deal – a scenario whose practical consequences are as yet unclear.
But getting a German passport specifically can get tricky for some prospective applicants for German citizenship.
One prospective applicant, journalist Adrian Goldberg, wrote about his conflicted feelings in an op-ed for the BBC in December, titled "Sorry, Dad — I'm thinking of getting a German passport."
For most of his life, the idea that he might seek German citizenship "would have been utterly laughable," Goldberg wrote.
"I'm British through and through," he added, and "I can't deny that a rare England football victory against Germany always brings a special satisfaction."
Brexit, though, "has changed the way I think."
As a German citizen, Goldberg would have the right to work and travel freely across 27 nations without any visa requirements, as does any other EU citizen.
"That might well come in handy if I decide to wind down my radio career on an English language station in, say, Mallorca," in Spain, he wrote. "Even more importantly, my three young daughters would share the same entitlement."
But "it's not such a straightforward calculation," Goldberg also wrote. "Sure, I can get a passport which might conceivably make life easier for myself and my children. But only if I adopt the nationality of the country that murdered most of my dad's family."
Yet getting German citizenship can also feel like reclaiming a part of one's identity, Rabbi Julia Neuberger, a member of the British House of Lords, argued in an essay she wrote after the Brexit referendum.
"It doesn't make me any less British, but it does allow me to reclaim a bit of my history," Neuberger, whose mother was a refugee from Germany, wrote in The Guardian. "It also declares a belief in Europe, an admiration for how Germany has dealt with its Nazi past, and a real belief that [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel's welcome of migrants was both right and brave."
Still, dilemmas about the subject are "causing internal debates, with some passionate disagreements" among many British Jews who may claim German and Austrian citizenship, Newman, 44, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
Newman, who has two children, personally is grappling with a related dilemma.
He is entitled to a Polish passport through his paternal grandmother. But a recent Polish law that outlaws accusing the Polish nation for having responsibilty for Nazi crimes "creates a serious moral dilemma" for Newman, he said. The law, he added, "places limitations on studying the Holocaust and I'm not sure that's something I can agree to and just become a citizen of a country that does that."
For Jews especially, Brexit is not the only uncertainty making foreign citizenship look appealing in Britain, where anti-Semitic incidents have reached record levels for the third year straight in 2018.
According to a survey from September, almost 40 percent of British Jews would "seriously consider emigrating" if Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, often accused of condoning or promoting anti-Semitism, became prime minister.
Also making Jews uncomfortable is the nativist sentiment that begot Brexit (harassment of foreigners for speaking languages other than English has become commonplace in the United Kingdom).
This means that applying for a foreign citizenship is not always socially convenient, Perry, the applicant for a Portuguese passport, conceded.
"But in London, which is very cosmopolitan, this is not really an issue," he added. "I speak openly about seeking a foreign passport as a result of Brexit."
Yet, upon hearing that Goldberg, the Jewish journalist, is seeking German citizenship, one of his closest friends told him: "You'd be a traitor, wouldn't you?"
"Anti-Zionism is the New Anti-Semitism" Says Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks at AIPAC
Addressing throngs of attendees at a previously held national policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which is known as the nation's largest and most influential pro-Israel lobby organization, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks of the United Kingdom announced that "Anti-Zionism is the New Anti-Semitism." Praising AIPAC for its unwavering support for Israel, Rabbi Sacks went on to speak of the alarming escalation of anti-Semitic attacks all across Europe, including France, Belgium and the Netherlands.
By: Fern Sidman
In medieval times, the Jew was attacked because of his religion; in the 19th and 20th centuries the Jew was attacked because of his race, and in contemporary times, the Jew is attacked because of his state. The reason may change, but not the hate."
Rabbi Sacks recalled that he had never experienced anti-Semitism until his youngest daughter, (who was attending a British university) came home in tears after attending an anti-globalization rally. She said that the organizer first began attacking America, then Israel, then the Jews. She told him that, "They hate us."
Referencing the Passover Haggadah, Rabbi Sacks said that he never understood the part of the Haggadah that speaks of Jew hatred rearing its ugly head in every generation. "I had only thought this to be applicable to our parents generation; those who had experienced the Holocaust but not for us who were born and raised after the Holocaust, but now I see things quite differently"
He added, the phrase "Never Again" has come to mean ":Ever Again"
See you tomorrow
Love Yehuda Lave
Rabbi Yehuda Lave
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