Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor
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
Moses Speaks To Paraoh "No Retreat No Compromise "
"And Pharaoh called to Moses, saying: Go and worship the L-rd. Only your sheep and cattle will remain – your children will also go with you. And Moses said: You will also give us offerings and sacrifices for the L-rd our G-d, and our flocks will go with us…" (Shmot 10:24-26)
The ninth plague-darkness – has struck Egypt with a vengeance and Pharaoh breaks. Step by step he has retreated and after the eighth plague – locusts – he was prepared to allow the Jews to leave except for their children. Now he surrenders almost entirely as he agrees that all the Jews can leave. He only asks one thing, one compromise, one small victory for himself, that the Jewish cattle remain behind.
Consider; the Jews have been slaves for 210 years. They have lived in misery and persecution. They suffered decrees such as the one casting their male children into the sea. They cried out unto the L-rd for freedom and salvation. Now, apparently the great moment has arrived! Pharaoh agrees that they shall go free! What does it matter that he asks for their cattle? Give it to him! The main thing is peace and salvation and we are willing to give up cattle for peace!
But Moses knows that this is not the purpose of the freedom of the Jewish people and of the story of the slavery and exodus. He is not prepared to compromise one inch because he knows what the purpose of G-d is. When Moses first entered the presence of Pharaoh and said: "The L-rd, G-d of the Hebrews, has said: Let my people go!" Pharaoh contemptuously answered: "Who is the L-rd? I know not the L-rd and will not let Israel go!" Here is where the battle was joined. Here is the purpose and aim of creation – to have the world recognize the dominion and kingship of the L-rd being challenged. Pharaoh must be made to recognize and totally acknowledge the sovereignty of the L-rd over him and his people. He cannot make compromises; he cannot strike bargains. He must submit totally!
"And I shall be glorified through (the defeat of) Pharaoh and his army and Egypt shall know that I am the L-rd." Only the total defeat of the wicked can raise and honor the name of the L-rd, says the Biblical commentator Rashi. This is why there will be no compromise with Pharaoh. He must totally submit, he must totally surrender.
And even when he apparently does this, after the plague of the first born, when he runs to Moses and says: "Get out, take your flocks with you, just leave and ask the L-rd to bless me!" Moses refuses and in the words of the Mechilta; "And he called unto Moses and Aaron in the middle of the night and said: get up and leave! Said Moses unto him: No, we have been ordered not to leave our houses until morning. What are we, thieves that we should slink out in the night? No, we will leave only in the morning with an upraised arm before the eyes of all the Egyptians!"
Not one inch of retreat here. The lesson of the L-rd being the Omnipotent, King of the universe must be seen and acknowledged.
The lesson is an eternal one and must be learned in our time, too. The question of peace in the Middle East is a question of the Arabs and the world acknowledging the total sovereignty of the All Mighty. There can be no compromise on this. It is only a peace that comes with Arabs submitting to the yoke of the heavenly kingdom that will be a permanent one and the Jew who gives up part of his land as a compromise, violates the entire purpose of the rise of the Jewish State and the demand of the All Mighty that the nations acknowledge Him as King. There can be no retreat from land because that is in essence a retreat also from the Kingship of the L-rd.
Love Yehuda Lave
I recieved this new Dayenu from my friend Sam on Friday
Dayenu for this Passover
If President Trump had only moved the US embassy to Jerusalem- Dayenu
If President Trump had only recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan- Dayenu
If President Trump had only appointed Nikki Haley as Ambassador to the UN-Dayenu
If President Trump had only closed the PLO office in Washington DC- Dayenu
If President Trump had only stopped giving US tax dollars to the PLO- Dayenu
If President Trump had only been the first sitting US President to pray at the Western Wall-Dayenu
If President Trump had only cancelled the disastrous Obama Iran nuclear deal-Dayenu
If President Trump had only placed crushing sanctions on Iran-Dayenu
If President Trump had only insisted that the ICC not target Israeli soldiers and diplomats- Dayenu
If President Trump has only banned the BDS founder from entering the US- Dayenu
For all of these blessings, we thank President Trump- the most pro-Israel president in American history.
As the Israeli ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer said: " It is true that in every generation they rise up against us...But it is a rare thing- a very rare thing- a president like President Trump and an administration like the Trump administration- it doesn't happen every generation. It may happen once in many, many generations."
On Passover Eve Rockland County Bared the Unvaccinated from Synagogues
Rockland County officials desperate to limit the spread of the measles outbreak before it becomes an outright epidemic on Tuesday banned all exposed, unvaccinated people from public gathering places, including houses of worship, for the next three weeks, AP reported. The order coincides with religious celebrations of both Passover and Easter.
According to health officials, 329 cases of measles have been confirmed in New York city and 184 in Rockland since last October.
On Monday, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that measles cases have risen 300% worldwide in the first three months of 2019, compared with the same time in 2018. The disease is highly contagious, but can be entirely prevented through the application of a two-dose vaccine.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have also elevated their response to the measles, with a larger team monitoring this year's outbreaks – after the measles was eliminated across the US in the year 2000.
On Tuesday, NYC health officials ordered the residents of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which is densely Jewish Orthodox, to be vaccinated for measles or face fines as high as $1,000. The same officials noted that this may be the first time in more than 100 years that such stiff measures have been used.
Back in 1905, the Supreme Court upheld an order forcing smallpox vaccinations in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and in 1922 the court upheld states' right to impose school-vaccination programs, which has since established the schools as the avenue for dispensing vaccinations.
New York City's Board of Health on Wednesday will vote on extending the mandatory vaccinations in four Brooklyn ZIP codes.
Orthodox Jews in Williamsburg told the AP they felt uncomfortable about the city's forced vaccinations, and some continue to believe the vaccines are unsafe. And New York Civil Liberties Union Executive director Donna Lieberman said forced vaccinations were an extreme measure that "raises civil liberties concerns about forced medical treatment."
On Monday, a group of parents filed a lawsuit in Brooklyn state Supreme Court against the vaccination order, which they said was "arbitrary, capricious, contrary to law and in violation of petitioners' rights under the United States Constitution and New York State law." The judge did not issue an injunction against the city, and invited the parties to appear in his court on Thursday.
Williamsburg Parents Sue NYC Over Vaccination Mandate, Judge Sides With City
by Ziona Greenwald
Jewish Press Staff Writer
They must have seen this coming: New York City's attempt to compel vaccination among residents of Williamsburg – where the incidence of measles in the city has been most concentrated – is being challenged in court.
A group of Brooklyn parents from the affected zip codes filed a lawsuit on Monday in Kings County Supreme Court against the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and its commissioner, Oxiris Barbot, assailing the mandatory vaccination requirement which followed Mayor de Blasio's declaration of a public health emergency on April 9.
On Tuesday, a judge denied the parents' request for a temporary restraining order. The city was set to file response papers and a further hearing to be held on Thursday, April 18, before Hon. Lawrence Knipel, who is also the court's administrative judge for civil cases.
In their petition to block health officials from enforcing the vaccination order, the five anonymous parents from the heavily chassidic neighborhoods claim they have a right to send their children to school without vaccinating because of the state's "religious exemption," that the current uptick in measles infection falls short of an epidemic, that the required three-in-one MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine subjects their families to additional risks, and that less drastic steps – such as quarantining those infected – could have been taken instead.
The city's targeted vaccination mandate "fail[s] to use the least restrictive means that would likely control measles yet balance the rights to individual autonomy, informed consent and free exercise of religion," the parents allege.
"The respondents have taken these dramatic steps without a blueprint for implementation, itself suggesting that a true public health emergency does not exist."
The city had said that failure to comply with the 48-hour vaccination order – which covered all residents of zip codes 11205, 11206, 11211, and 11249, ages six months and older – would constitute a violation and could result in a fine of up to $1,000, although it's unclear what enforcement would look like.
On Monday, the United Talmudical Academy childcare preschool in Williamsburg was ordered closed by the city health department due to its repeated refusal to turn over attendance and health records documenting vaccination compliance.
Read: Brooklyn Jewish Preschool Closed by Health Dept for Violation of Measles Vaccine Order
As of last week, New York City health officials had reported 285 measles cases since the fall, most in children under 18; 21 have been hospitalized, five in intensive care units. The petitioners pointed to the lack of reported deaths as a sign that this is not a serious outbreak.
Responding to the filing, the city maintained that a true outbreak exists and that "attempts at education and persuasion have failed to stop the spread of measles."
In December, the city banned unvaccinated children from attending schools in the hotspot neighborhoods, but the mayor, in issuing the vaccine mandate, said the earlier move had not been effective enough.
A spokesperson for the city's law department said in a statement that the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed the right of municipalities to compel vaccination in the midst of outbreaks.
"We had to take this additional action to fulfill our obligation to ensure that individuals do not continue to put the health of others at risk," he stated. It is likely no coincidence that one of the attorneys listed for the petitioning parents is Patricia Finn, who won an injunction earlier this month on behalf of anti-vax parents in Rockland County, after challenging County Executive Ed Day's order banning unvaccinated children from schools and all public places.
Meanwhile, a group of doctors "who faithfully serve the Orthodox communities of North America," according to their website ( http://drsforvaax.org/ ) has already enlisted over 500 doctors to sign an online petition urging community members "to receive all recommended VACCINATIONS."
The petition reads, in part:
"We are aware of the dangerous misinformation campaign being spread and reject any unproven unscientific statements that contradict all available current science-based studies on vaccinations.
"It is an individual and communal responsibility to work together in the effort to prevent harmful diseases from spreading."
Rockland County in upstate New York is currently threatening a $2,000 per day fine for those who violate a countywide order to vaccinate for measles.
Greenblatt Tweets Israeli Map with Golan Heights
As you can see in the tweet below, Jason D. Greenblatt, special Middle East envoy for President Donald J. Trump is delighted to display the new, officially recognized map of Israel, which includes the no longer disputed, liberated territory of the Golan. Greenblatt wrote: "Welcome to the newest addition of our international maps system after @POTUS issued a proclamation recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights."
View image on TwitterJason D. Greenblatt✔@jdgreenblatt45
Welcome to the newest addition of our international maps system after @POTUS issued a proclamation recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights
In the First century BCE, the Golan came under the control of Herod the Great by Augustus Caesar. Following the death of Herod the Great in 4 BCE, Augustus Caesar adjudicated that the Golan fell within the Tetrarchy of Herod's son, Herod Philip I. After Philip's death in 34 CE, the Romans absorbed the Golan into the province of Syria, but Caligula restored the territory to Herod's grandson Agrippa in 37 CE. Following Agrippa's death in 44, the Romans again annexed the Golan to Syria, promptly to return it again when Claudius traded the Golan to Agrippa II, the son of Agrippa I, in 51 as part of a land swap.
All of which suggests that the Golan has been part of Eretz Israel for at least 2,000 years.
Although nominally under Agrippa's control and not part of the province of Judea, the Jewish communities of the Golan joined their coreligionists in the First Jewish-Roman War, only to fall to the Roman armies in its early stages. Gamla was captured in 67; according to Josephus, its inhabitants committed mass suicide, preferring it to crucifixion and slavery. Agrippa II contributed soldiers to the Roman war effort and attempted to negotiate an end to the revolt. In return for his loyalty, Rome allowed him to retain his kingdom but finally absorbed the Golan for good after his death in 100.
Now we're back, and Rome, in its modern form, over in Washington, DC, is on our side.
Preliminary Investigation: Genesis Crash Caused by Sensor Sending Incorrect Message By David Israel
Initial findings from the investigation of the Genesis spacecraft crash on the moon's surface show that an accelerometer sensor transmitted a failure message, following which an activation command for the component was sent to the spacecraft. The command caused the entire spacecraft to restart and the engine went out.
Of the five or six restart attempts – only two worked. The activation command led to a chain of events at the end of which the spacecraft crashed on the Moon.
The full investigation will take another two to three weeks, and at this stage investigators examine the sequence of events as seen only by the spacecraft.
The component that transmitted the failure command was backed up by another sensor.
According to estimates, if the sequence of events following the activation command had not occurred, the spacecraft would have landed safely.
Running the engine was necessary in order to slow down the falling spacecraft. When the engine had failed to come to life, the craft continued to move too fast and crashed.
SpaceIL CEO Ido Anteby said: "We experienced breaks in communication, but the spacecraft functioned well until the start of the event."
Regarding the plans for Genesis 2, Anteby said: "We have not yet begun Genesis 2, and when the time comes we will define what it will be."
Jewish Critics of Israel Have a Problem with Israelis, Not Netanyahu By Jonathan S. Tobin
The last time the outcome of a U.S. presidential election was as decisive as the vote held last week in Israel, Americans were pretty much unanimous as to what to call it. The word was landslide. And that's why those American groups and denominations that wasted no time in not merely denouncing a newly re-elected Benjamin Netanyahu, but called for the U.S. government to override the will of Israelis, should reflect on the damage they are doing to the Jewish people.
The traditional benchmark for a landslide is 55 percent of the popular vote. Since the start of the 20th century, that total was matched or exceeded 10 times by American presidents. Ronald Reagan's 1984 re-election was the last such occasion.
I bring this up because it's important to place the outcome of the April 9 Knesset election in Israel in perspective.
To place Israel's electoral system alongside that of American presidential votes would appear to be comparing apples to oranges. With voters casting a single ballot for one among many lists of candidates for the Knesset, it's easy to misunderstand the outcome. Israeli elections always come across to Americans as a chaotic muddle with no party ever gaining a majority.
But if you think Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud Party won only a razor-thin plurality over Benny Gantz's Blue and White Party, you don't understand what really happened. Israelis knew that when they cast a ballot for a party that pledged to support Netanyahu's bid to lead the next government—even when it wasn't the Likud, but one of the prime minister's allies or frenemies—it was as good as a vote for the Likud. The same goes for those who voted for parties other than the Blue and White, but which were prepared to back Gantz's bid to be prime minister.
So, if you want to know how many Israeli voters really voted for Netanyahu, you need to total the votes of all the right-wing and religious parties that were pledged to him. That total was approximately 55 percent. That's why few (even among the prime minister's die-hard foes) are pretending that the election was anything but a decisive victory for him.
This is important because the immediate reaction from much of the organized Jewish world in the United States was to treat Netanyahu's victory as an event that called into question the ties between Israel and the Diaspora. Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the head of the Union of Reform Judaism, stated that Netanyahu was causing "a dramatic rupture with many in the American Jewish community." Jacobs helped organize a letter signed by nine Jewish groups that demanded that U.S. President Donald Trump ignore the wishes of Netanyahu and his new government, and insist on the creation of an independent Palestinian state and to oppose the extension of Israeli law to West Bank settlements as the prime minister promised.
These nine groups (which include some entities associated with Reform and Conservative Judaism, the left-wing Israel Policy Forum and the formerly mainstream Anti-Defamation League) have, of course, every right to oppose Netanyahu's positions, just as many among the minority of Israelis who voted for his opponents may do. But they should be honest about what they're doing. By speaking out in this fashion only a couple of days after the dust settled post-voting, they are trashing the verdict of Israeli democracy.
Given that some of the same sources were among the most vocal in expressing worries about the future of Israeli democracy, this is highly ironic. Israel's democratic system is in no danger, but these critics are angry that most Israelis don't vote the way they would like them to.
The issue on which they are prepared to discard the ties between Israel and American Jews is one that is hardly worth such a split. Netanyahu made it clear that he's not talking about annexation of the West Bank, but applying Israeli law to settlements where, it must be pointed out, Israeli law already is applied as a general practice. Doing so wouldn't prevent a two-state solution were the Palestinians ever inclined to accept one, which Jacobs and his friends know very well they have repeatedly rejected.
What is really at stake here is nothing more than the anger of American Jews who are still shocked that Israelis don't value their advice. The clear majority of Israelis, including many who voted for Blue and White because of disgust with Netanyahu's legal problems and because Gantz offered no substantive disagreements with the prime minister on security issues, have rejected the blind belief of Jacobs and his friends in withdrawal from the West Bank as an end in and of itself.
We know Jacobs and ADL head Jonathan Greenblatt oppose Netanyahu and Trump. But it's time to acknowledge that their real beef is with the Israeli people, who have repeatedly rejected their opinions by margins of landslide proportions. Most Israelis believe that endangering their security by creating a hostile sovereign power in Judea and Samaria—the way Ariel Sharon did in Gaza with his 2005 withdrawal—would be madness.
Writers like former Forward editor Jane Eisner and Peter Beinart, who are open about rejecting the political will of Israeli's people and in abandoning the notion of Israel's centrality (Eisner) or working to subjugate Israel to the will of foreign powers who wish to impose a solution on it (Beinart), are more honest than Jacobs and Greenblatt about their goals.
Regardless of their own opinions about Netanyahu or the conflict, it's likely that many Reform and Conservative Jews, as well as donors to ADL, aren't comfortable with having these organizations express such contempt for the people of Israel or for them to attempt to sabotage the U.S.-Israel relationship. Nor should they be. These unelected leaders of American Jewry who have the nerve to lecture the people of Israel about Jewish values and morals deserve to be ignored.
A Korban Pesach In 2019? By Tzvi Fishman
Once again this year, the Temple Institute in Jerusalem conducted a symbolic Korban Pesach ceremony near the Kotel Plaza at the foot of the Temple Mount, complete with priestly-garmented kohanimand blaring silver trumpets.
The ritual slaughter of an animal, and the pouring of its blood from silver vessels on a model altar designed by the Temple Institute to meet halachic requirements was accompanied by detailed explanations and lectures.
Rabbi Yisrael Ariel – founder of the Temple Institute, which is devoted to educating the nation about the Beit HaMikdash – has a special attachment to the Temple Mount as one of the paratroopers to capture Israel's most holy site during the Six-Day War. Ever since, he has staunchly insisted that Israel must demonstrate its sovereignty over the Temple Mount in a concrete fashion by allowing Jews freedom to pray on the Mount and to offer the Korban Pesach.
The Jewish Press: What is the purpose of these annual Korban Pesach ceremonies?
Rabbi Ariel: On the first of Nissan, the Mishkan was inaugurated, but for a full seven days before that, Moshe, Aharon, and Aharon's sons assembled the Mishkan, over and over again, until they were deft at the practice. They were like soldiers in basic training, learning how to perform the required tasks, so they would be ready when the real moment arrived.
This is what we're doing each year in performing the exercises involved in bringing the Korban Pesach. We are learning and preparing.
But we are doing more than that. Since our world is connected to the spiritual worlds above, our physical actions relating to the mitzvot we so long to perform in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem create a ripple affect that reaches up to the celestial Jerusalem, stimulating exalted forces which help to bring the awaited day closer.
What stops us from offering a real Korban Pesach today?
The Korban Pesach has to be offered on the Temple Mount in the Azarah. Needless to say, this would arouse the wrath of the entire Arab world against us. But let's say we could overcome this obstacle. We conquered the West Bank and the sky didn't fall down. Perhaps we forget, but we also reconquered Har HaBayit in the Six-Day war, and there is no reason why we shouldn't be in total charge there today.
Rav Yisrael Ariel standing next to Rav David HaNazir and Rav Zvi Yehuda Kook after Israel's capture of the Kotel in 1967
We have just had elections in Israel. Hypothetically speaking, suppose a new coalition is formed that allows Jewish prayer and ritual observance on Har HaBayit. Let's say that the prime minister, chief of police, minister of defense, the Suprme Court, and the Chief Rabbinate all agree. When that happens, we will be ready with the Korban Pesach.
Aren't there halachic obstacles?
As with every matter of halacha, there are authorities that say yes and others that say no regarding different elements involved in offering a genuine sacrifice.
A kosher lamb is available; 50 trained kohanim are waiting; the necessary priestly garments have been fashioned; the Temple Institute has constructed an altar that can be used; there are areas on the Temple Mount where it is permitted to walk, including a 10-by-10 meter area where the Altar can be placed in its halachic position.
Since the Korban Pesach is a communal public offering, it can be brought even when the congregation is in a state of spiritual impurity, like it is today. Therefore, the absence of a parah adumahis not a prohibiting factor.
I am simplifying the debate, but, in my opinion, the foundation to carry out the mitzvah of Korban Pesach exists this very moment.
Even in the absence of the Beit HaMikdash?
Of course, we yearn for the building of the Beit HaMikdash, may it be this year, but its absence does not prevent the Korban Pesachfrom being sacrificed. There are many historical sources informing us that the sacrifice was offered on the Temple Mount throughout the generations [despite] Jerusalem's destruction, and leading poskim from the past and the present maintain that the Korban Pesach offering is not dependent on the existence of the Temple.
There is no need to argue this point or that. We have a positive Torah commandment to offer the Korban Pesach, just as we have a commandment to eat matzah on Seder night. The injunction is so important to the individual and the nation that the penalty for not obeying is karet – being cut off from the Jewish People, may Hashem have mercy, a severe, severe transgression.
Part of our weakness in many areas of our national life stems from our reluctance to perform this supreme national mitzvah, out of the fear of what the non-Jewish nations will say – even though this is the very mitzvah that Hashem gave us in Egypt to declare our national independence and separation from the nations.
Precisely because of the miserut nefesh (self-sacrifice) we showed in Egypt in defying the most powerful empire of the time, by slaughtering their god in the face of their wrath and retribution, we merited to leave Egypt and its idolatrous culture.
The same miserut nefesh is needed today in order to move Am Yisrael to a higher level in our national service of Hashem, strong not only economically and militarily, but strong in our national allegiance to Torah as well.
See you tomorrow-enjoy this first day of Chul Hamoed
Love Yehuda Lave