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
Where were you when I established the earth? (Job 38:4).
One who reads the book of Job cannot but have compassion for just and pious Job, who appears to be unfairly subjected to suffering. All the rational arguments that his friends offer to account for his innocent suffering appear hollow, and the only acceptable answer is God's remark to Job, "Where were you when I established the earth?"
In other words, a human being can see only a tiny fragment of the universe, an infinitesimally small bit of time and space. Our vantage point is much like a single piece of a huge jigsaw puzzle, a tiny fragment of the whole picture, which makes no sense on its own. Only when the entire puzzle is assembled do we realize how this odd-shaped piece fits properly. Since no human being can have a view of the totality of the universe in both time and space, we cannot possibly grasp the meaning of one tiny fragment of it.
This explanation does not tell us why the innocent may suffer, but only why there cannot be a satisfactory explanation. Acceptance of suffering therefore requires faith in a Creator who designed the universe with a master plan in which everything that happens has a valid reason. This belief may not comfort a sufferer nor prevent the sufferer from becoming angry at the Designer of the universe. The Torah does not in fact condemn the anger of the sufferer (Bava Basra 16b), but does require that he accept adversity with trust that God is just (Deuteronomy 32:4).
Acceptance does not mean approval, but it does allow us to avoid the paralyzing rage of righteous rage, and to go on with the business of living.
Today I shall ... ... try to realize that nothing ever happens that is purposeless, and that I must go on living even when I disapprove of the way the world operates.
Love Yehuda Lave
Going in the Same Direction
RABBI MORDECHAI WEISS
We are at the threshold of the time of Geulah-redemtion. It was during the month of Nissan that the Jewish people- after two hundred and ten years of slavery-left the land of their persecution-the land of Egypt-and began their dramatic story which was to become the spectacular story of the formation of the Jewish people as a people.
This journey has lasted even until the present day as still today we are found in different stages of our redemption and we are asked to react and overcome challenges that we face daily as a people .
What was strange about the leaving Egypt was that though we all left as one people we comprised twelve unique and different tribes-each with their special flag and no doubt each with their special customs and each with their separate views.
The Midrash relates that when the Jews crossed the sea, the sea split in twelve parts giving each of the tribes a special path to follow. One would expect that Almighty G-d would have provided or at least preferred that all of the tribes would proceed in unison --that there would be only one lane for everyone-as a sign of harmony and agreement-"achdut"- as Rashi states when the Jews received the Torah "keish echad b'lev echad" as one person with one heart. Yet each tribe, according to this Midrash, was provided with a special path-a special direction. Perhaps the message at this time of redemption was that the Jewish people needn't be all alike. We can be different!
But the most important characteristic, however, is that we are all pointing and going in the same direction. How we get there is of little concern. What is important is that we all have our sights on the same goal.
A remarkable occurrence is happening in the state of Israel Today. The vast majority of the people living there-whether observant or non observant-ultra religious or not-a very high percentage observe the holidays as national or religious events in their lives. Well into the eighty or ninety percent of Israeli citizens celebrate Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, Purim Succoth and Pesach.
Whether their reasoning is based on Torah law, or on nationalistic pride-the bottom line is that these holidays are being observed! And the results are truly amazing. To me it is a sign that we are experiencing the Messianic era.
There is no doubt in my mind that over the ensuing years those who observe these holidays because of nationalistic reason will realize the historic one as well and the religious aspect will also be their drive for observance.
The difference in living in Israel verses outside of Israel is that in Israel Judaism is the basis of the country's daily operations. On the radio on Friday they will wish you a Shabbat Shalom. On Pesach they will tell you Chag Kasher V'sameach. On Purim everyone gets dressed up in a costume and on Succoth all the stores sell decorations for your Succah and people wish each other a Chag Sameach. The entire nation is moving in one direction-which is heartwarming.
A church is a place in which gentlemen who have never been to heaven brag about it to persons who will never get there. H. L. Mencken, JOURNALIST
I like the silent church before the service begins, better than any preaching. Ralph Waldo Emerson, ESSAYIST
The first time I sang in the church choir; two hundred people changed their religion. Fred Allen, COMEDIAN
Too many church services start at eleven sharp and end at twelve dull. Vance Havner, EVANGELIST
The Bible and the Church have been the greatest stumbling blocks in the way of women's emancipation. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, ACTIVIST
People don't come to church for preachment, of course, but to daydream about God. Kurt Vonnegut, AUTHOR
Most of us spend the first six days of each week sowing wild oats; then we go to church on Sunday and pray for a crop failure. Fred Allen, COMEDIAN
Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand. Leo Durocher, COMEDIAN
Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God. Lenny Bruce, COMEDIAN
We all know that a church is not a building. Robert H. Schuller Minister
Joining a new church and starting a new life is never easy and often frightening. Joseph B. Wirthlin, Religious Leader
Many come to bring their clothes to church rather than themselves. Thomas Fuller, RELIGIOUS LEADER
NO REST IN THE EXILE (Parshat Noach)
Rabbi Meir Kahane
"'And [Noah] sent forth a dove...but the dove found no rest for the sole of its foot, and it returned to him into the ark' (Genesis 8:8-9). Rabbi Shimon said: Had it found a resting place it would not have returned. And similarly does it say: '[Israel] sat among the nations and found no resting place' (Lamentations 1:3). Had they found a resting place they would not have returned to Eretz Yisrael. And similarly: 'And among those nations you shall find no peace, neither shall the sole of your foot have rest' (Deuteronomy 28:65). Had they found a resting place they would have never returned" (Bereishit Rabba 33:6).
The divine proclamation is clear: There will be no rest for the Jew in the Exile because if there would be rest and tranquility and comfort and ease, the Jew would NEVER return to Eretz Yisrael. How well the Rabbis knew the Jews!!!
No amount of halacha, no amount of admonition, no amount of religious observance would ever convince the overwhelming majority to leave an Exile in which they find ease and rest for the soles of their feet. And that is why there is an iron law of Judaism that decrees that the Exile shall never be anything but a place of terror and fear and tragedy.
I wonder if the average Jew knows how much he is hated in America. I wonder if the average Jew has the slightest knowledge of the immense, deep, poisonous venom that is Jew-hatred in the United States. I doubt it. We live in our ghettos, our increasingly golden ghettos, and see and hear nothing, and we sit satisfied in our glatt isolation that so enables us to escape from the reality of the vicious bile and venom. We live in our worlds of dreams and illusions and know nothing.
Can we imagine what will be if, G-d forbid, there is an economic collapse of massive proportions? Can we imagine what will be if the American economy bursts- an economy that is one huge balloon filled with the gas of huge debt, unbridled spending and borrowing, trade deficit, a banking and savings and loan system that sits on the thin ice of loans that can never be repaid, an economy that is one huge fraud as jobs and products slip away into the Japanese-Asian orbit?
Can we imagine what will be when the violent American who has been hopelessly spoiled by 40 years of unprecedented prosperity and wallowing in the mud of materialism suddenly faces economic ruin? Can we imagine what will happen when the life of three automobiles to a family, VCRs, a TV in each room, vacations, fun, fun, fun - suddenly comes to a screeching stop?
Such a person will become a wild animal, literally incapable of accepting a life of sharp economic displacement. He will follow anyone who promises to restore him to the days of beer and daisies. And the scapegoat will be - the Jew.
And so, I do not even bother any longer to persuade Jews of the halachic obligation to live in Eretz Yisrael, of the positive reason for going there. They will not go. Together they sit in the fleshpots, in a sensational display of Jewish unity against leaving the golden land. Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, ultra-Orthodox, all bound in a pledge of allegiance to the good life and all that for which it stands.
I can only warn them about the ultimate halachic scholar for the Jew in the Exile. Who is that? Why, surely, the gentile.
The Jewish Press, 1989
Rabbi Meir Kahana HY"D
JOKES OF THE WEAK
The problem with political jokes is that sometimes they get elected.
Turning Vegan can be a missed steak.
Beer Nuts for Sale: $1.25 a bag. Deer Nuts are under a buck.
Huge fight at seafood restaurant. Battered fish everywhere.
I don't like Cows because they lactose.
I'm friends with 25 letters. I don't know Y.
My relationship with whisky is on the rocks.
Well, to be Frank, I would have to change my name.
Life and beer are very similar. Chill for best effects.
Cow stumbles into Pot Field. The steaks have never been higher.
Double negatives are a no-no in English.
Stop worrying about world peace. Visualize using your turn signal.
We live in the Space Age with brains from the Stone Age.
I'm pining for a good tree pun. I wish they were more poplar.
Sweet dreams are made of bris. Who am I to dis a brie?
When the smog lifts in Los Angeles, UCLA.
People are making apocalypse jokes as if there were no tomorrow.
Electricians have to strip to make ends meet.
Well, well, well. If it isn't the consequences of my own actions.
First, think. Second, believe. Third, dream. And, finally dare. Walt Disney
WHY SUCH A SURGE OF WORLDWIDE ANTI-SEMITISM by ALAN DERSHOWITZ
Why are so many of the grandchildren of Nazis and Nazi collaborators who brought us the Holocaust once again declaring war on the Jews?
Why have we seen such an increase in anti-Semitism and irrationally virulent anti-Zionism in Western Europe?
To answer these questions, a myth must first be exposed. That myth is the one perpetrated by the French, the Dutch, the Norwegians, the Swiss, the Belgians, the Austrians, and many other western Europeans: namely that the Holocaust was solely the work of German Nazis aided perhaps by some Polish, Ukrainian, Latvian, Lithuanian, and Estonian collaborators.
The Holocaust was perpetrated by Europeans: by Nazi sympathizers and collaborators among the French, Dutch, Norwegians, Swiss, Belgians, Austrians and other Europeans, both Western and Eastern.
If the French government had not deported to the death camps more Jews than their German occupiers asked for; if so many Dutch and Belgian citizens and government officials had not cooperated in the roundup of Jews; if so many Norwegians had not supported Quisling; if Swiss government officials and bankers had not exploited Jews; if Austria had not been more Nazi than the Nazis, the Holocaust would not have had so many Jewish victims.
In light of the widespread European complicity in the destruction of European Jewry, the pervasive anti-Semitism and irrationally hateful anti-Zionism that has recently surfaced throughout Western Europe toward Israel should surprise no one.
"Oh no," we hear from European apologists. "This is different. We don't hate the Jews. We only hate their nation-state. Moreover, the Nazis were right-wing. We are left-wing, so we can't be anti-Semites."
The hard left has a history of anti-Semitism as deep and enduring as the hard right. The line from Voltaire to Karl Marx, to Levrenti Beria, to Robert Faurisson, to today's hard-left Israel bashers is as straight as the line from Wilhelm Mars to the persecutors of Alfred Dreyfus to Hitler.
The Jews of Europe have always been crushed between the Black and the Red - victims of extremism whether it be the ultra-nationalism of Khmelnitsky to the ultra-anti-Semitism of Stalin.
"But some of the most strident anti-Zionists are Jews, such as Norman Finkelstein and even Israelis such as Gilad Atzmon. Surely they can't be anti-Semites?"
Why not? Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas collaborated with the Gestapo. Atzmon, a hard leftist, describes himself as a proud self-hating Jew and admits that his ideas derive from a notorious anti-Semite.
He denies that the Holocaust is historically proved but he believes that Jews may well have killed Christian children to use their blood to bake Passover matzah. And he thinks it's "rational" to burn down synagogues.
Finkelstein believes in an international Jewish conspiracy that includes Steven Spielberg, Leon Uris, Eli Wiesel, and Andrew Lloyd Webber!
"But Israel is doing bad things to the Palestinians," the European apologists insist, "and we are sensitive to the plight of the underdog."
No, you're not! Where are your demonstrations on behalf of the oppressed Tibetans, Georgians, Syrians, Armenians, Kurds, or even Ukrainians? Where are your BDS movements against the Chinese, the Russians, the Cubans, the Turks, or the Assad regime?
Only the Palestinians, only Israel? Why? Not because the Palestinians are more oppressed than these and other groups.
Only because their alleged oppressors are Jews and the nation-state of the Jews. Would there be demonstrations and BDS campaigns on behalf of the Palestinians if they were oppressed by Jordan or Egypt?
Oh, wait! The Palestinians were oppressed by Egypt and Jordan... Gaza was an open-air prison between 1948 and 1967, when Egypt was the occupying power. And remember Black September, when Jordan killed more Palestinians than Israel did in a century? I don't remember any demonstration or BDS campaigns -- because there weren't any. When Arabs occupy or kill Arabs, Europeans go ho-hum. But when Israel opens a soda factory in Maale Adumim, which even the Palestinian leadership acknowledges will remain part of Israel in any peace deal, Oxfam parts ways with Scarlett Johansson for advertising a soda company that employs hundreds of Palestinians
Keep in mind that Oxfam has provided "aid and material support" to two anti-Israel terrorist groups, according to the Tel Aviv-based Israeli Law Group.
The hypocrisy of so many hard-left western Europeans would be staggering if it were not so predictable based on the sordid history of Western Europe's treatment of the Jews.
Even England, which was on the right side of the war against Nazism, has a long history of anti-Semitism, beginning with the expulsion of the Jews in 1290 to the notorious White Paper of 1939, which prevented the Jews of Europe from seeking asylum from the Nazis in British-mandated Palestine... And Ireland, which vacillated in the war against Hitler, boasts some of the most virulent anti-Israel rhetoric.
The simple reality is that one cannot understand the current western European left-wing war against the nation-state of the Jewish people without first acknowledging the long-term European war against the Jewish people themselves.
Theodore Herzl understood the pervasiveness and irrationality of European anti-Semitism, which led him to the conclusion that the only solution to Europe's Jewish problem was for European Jews to leave that bastion of Jew hatred and return to their original homeland, which is now the State of Israel.
None of this is to deny Israel's imperfections or the criticism it justly deserves for some of its policies. But these imperfections and deserved criticism cannot even begin to explain, much less justify, the disproportionate hatred directed against the only nation-state of the Jewish people and the disproportionate silence regarding the far greater imperfections and deserved criticism of other nations and groups including the Palestinians.
Nor is this to deny that many western European individuals and some western European countries have refused to succumb to the hatred against the Jews or their state. The Czech Republic comes to mind. But far too many western Europeans are as irrational in their hatred toward Israel as their for-bearers were in their hatred toward their Jewish neighbors.
As author Amos Oz once aptly observed: the walls of his grandparents' Europe were covered with graffiti saying, "Jews, go to Palestine." Now they say, "Jews, get out of Palestine," by which is meant Israel.
Who do these western European bigots think they're fooling? Only fools who want to be fooled in the interest of denying that they are manifesting new variations on their grandparents' old biases.
Any objective person with an open mind, open eyes, and an open heart must see the double standard being applied to the nation-state of the Jewish people. Many doing so are the grandchildren of those who lethally applied a double standard to the Jews of Europe in the 1930s and 1940s.
See you tomorrow, bli-neder
Love Yehuda Lave
Rabbi Yehuda Lave
2850 Womble Road, Suite 100-619, San Diego United States