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
Review Your Speech
Every week, review the things you've recently spoken about. If you find that you were careful not to have spoken negatively about others, feel joy and offer a prayer of gratitude.
Love Yehuda Lave
Chabad Rabbi: Lori Gilbert Kaye Saved my Life By David Israel
According to witnesses from the Chabad of Poway synagogue, some 20 miles north of San Diego, Congregant Lori Gilbert Kaye, a senior account manager at Pro Specialties Group, on Saturday placed herself between the gunman and Chabad emissary Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein in an attempt to protect the rabbi, and was shot to death.
In an interview from California with Reshet Bet radio, Dr. Ronit Lev told of her friend Lori who was murdered: "Our rabbi, Yisroel Goldstein, who was taken to the emergency room, told everyone that she saved his life because she stood in front of him."
Minister of Diaspora Affairs, Naftali Bennett, on Sunday morning declared, "Lori Gilbert Kaye z'l is a Jewish hero, and will be remembered as a hero in Jewish history. She sacrificed her own life, throwing herself in the path of the murderer's bullets to save the life of the Rabbi."
"But it is clear that such heroism and good deeds are not only characteristic of dear Lori in death, but this is the way she lived her life – at the heart of her community, constantly doing charity and good deeds for those in need," Bennett continued. "She has been described by those who knew her as an 'Eshet Chayil,' a 'Woman of Valor,' and I would add, a true Hero of Israel. Our thoughts and prayers are with her husband and daughter, may they find great comfort in Lori's tremendous example and courage."
"Lori is my best friend in all the world, she's the second mother of all my children," Dr. Lev said. "She was a Zionist, she went to synagogue to say Kaddish for the first time in her life, for her mother who passed away, and it was important for her to be in a synagogue."
"Her husband is a doctor in the community, and he heard the shooting," Dr. Lev recalled. "He performed resuscitation on his wife not knowing it was her. Then he saw her face and fainted."
Lev added, "There's a girl here from Sderot who was wounded. There's terrorism in Israel, there's terrorism in Sderot, but who knew there would be terrorism be terror here in Poway, California."
An 8-year-old girl and her uncle, 31, were wounded in the attack Saturday. According to the Israeli foreign ministry, the two had migrated from Sderot to San Diego with their family a few years ago,
"They left Sderot because of what is happening there and came to pursue a little better life," Dr. Lev said. "They all want the world to know that this was an act of anti-Semitism."
Yael Ridberg, a Reform clergy from San Diego, told Reshet Bet: "There is a cancer of anti-Semitism today in the United States, it is tangible racism that we can say we have not seen in a long time. After [the mass shooting in a synagogue in] Pittsburgh, every synagogue has entered discussions about security. But hate plus [the shooter] procuring an automatic weapon, it does not matter what security you have, because these things put together mean no one can have security."
Israeli Politicians Tie NY Times Anti-Semitic Cartoon to San Diego Shooting
Israeli politicians responding to the shooting at the Chabad Synagogue in Poway, San Diego, during Shabbat services tied it to a cartoon published by the New York Times which was accused of anti-Semitic themes.
In the cartoon published on Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is portrayed as a dog wearing a collar featuring a blue Star of David, guiding a "blind" President Donald Trump who is shown wearing a kippah (skullcap).
Member of Knesset-elect Michal Shir stated on Sunday that "where hatred is being printed, hate crimes will be committed."
"Lori Gilbert Kay's horrific anti-Semitic murder, while she was praying in the synagogue in San Diego, took place on the weekend when the New York Times published an anti-Semitic caricature reminiscent of the (Nazi) Der Sturmer cartoons. Where hatred is being printed, hate crimes will be committed. The time has come for a newspaper that takes an explicit anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish line to understand that the words it is writing are dangerous."
Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, statedthat anti-Semitic "words, the demonstrators and the cartoons turn into shootings against worshipers in synagogues. Anti-Semitism continues to raise its head and take victims. This is the time for action, for a determined war and not for weak and hollow condemnations that allow the forces of hate to revive dark periods in history."
Yair Netanyahu, Netanyahu's son, called the Times an "anti-Semitic newspaper" and charged that it "deliberately hid the news about the extermination of millions of Jews in Europe in WWII!"
Israeli Minister Gilad Erdan assailed the Times for publishing an "anti-Semitic cartoon, shocking and reminiscent of the Nazi propaganda during the Holocaust. Anyone who really fights racism and hatred of Jews should demand that the newspaper apologize and dismiss anyone responsible for publishing the Nazi-style cartoon."
Israel's Consul General in New York Dani Dayan contacted the newspaper's staff and expressed his alarm at the publication.
The Times said it will issue an editor's note in its Monday issue taking responsibility and apologizing for the cartoon.
"The image was offensive, and it was an error of judgement to publish it. It was provided by The New York Times News Service and Syndicate, which has since deleted it", said the editor's note posted on the Times Twitter account.
The note added that the cartoon, which has since been deleted it, played "on anti-Semitic tropes."
What Are They Going to Do, Kill Us All? By Yori Yanover
We are all frogs, my brothers and sisters. As the temperature around us slowly rises, we adapt and ignore the impending doom.
In director Stanley Kramer's 1965 film, "Ship of Fools," set on board a German ocean liner bound to Hamburg from Mexico in 1933, one of the Jewish passengers, Lowenthal, who is forced to share a table with other undesirables such as a dwarf named Glocken, says about the new Nazi regime: "Germany has been good for the Jews and the Jews have been good for Germany …. Anyway, what are they going to do, kill us all?"
My dear brothers and sisters in America, in the UK, in France, it is my unpleasant task to warn you: at some point in the foreseeable future, they are going to try and kill us all.
Holocausts, by definition, defy the imagination. "It couldn't possibly happen here" is probably the most notorious comforting line spoken by Jews since the first Pharaonic policeman entered the first Israelite hut demanding to be handed the newborn Jewish male child to be drowned in the Nile.
"It couldn't possibly happen here" is probably the most notorious comforting line spoken by Jews since the first Pharaonic policeman entered the first Israelite hut demanding to be handed the newborn Jewish male child to be drowned in the Nile.
I spent close to 40 years of my adult life in New York City. I am an American citizen, I love America, I follow the Yankees and the Jets but gave up on the Rangers and the Knicks, I love the Lower East Side where I used to know everybody as a local reporter and publisher, I am a registered member of the Harry S. Truman Democratic club, I used to be a regular in two different shuls in the neighborhood, and when I finally decided to leave and resettle in Israel, it had nothing to do with fear of anti-Semitism. It was entirely an economic move – things were going downhill in the US in 2007-8 and we decided to try our luck in Israel.
Ten years later, it's no longer the economy.
There is a burgeoning coalition of intersectionality in the US of anti-Semites which includes white power Aryans, Farrakhan and Al Sharpton Blacks, and several varieties of radicalized Muslims and anti-Zionist students.
They've been terrorizing Jewish students in several key universities across America for at least a decade. Now we see the first bloody attacks on synagogues. This trend will not stop, it will only get stronger, it will certainly happen here too.
Like many of you, I am the son of a Holocaust survivor, and was taught at my father's knee the lessons of a betrayal by a homeland that turned out not be my own.
My father grew up in a small town outside Łódź, in central Poland. The town's elite were the Jews and the German expatriates – the Poles were the servants for both communities. The Jewish and German communities were intertwined, united by their terrible pidgin German. My dad described his shock as kids his age he went to school with and played soccer with started wearing the swastika armbands.
The writing was on the wall for all to see, at least since 1933, when Adolf Hitler became chancellor. Then hooligan violence against the Jews became a normal thing, police mistreatment and brutality was to be expected, and double standards against Jews, later coupled with anti-Semitic laws, set the stage for the mass execution of Germany's Jews, or as Herr Lowenthal put it so eloquently, "What are they going to do, kill us all?"
We've all heard the boiling frog fable. It isn't scientifically true, because frogs aren't stupid. But it's useful as a metaphor. The premise is that if a frog is put suddenly into boiling water, it will jump out, but if the same frog is put in room temperature water which is then brought to a boil very slowly, it will stay put and be cooked to death.
To illustrate: in 1939, a Jewish-German woman I once knew, who had already settled in Haifa in the '30s, packed a suitcase and traveled back to Germany, where she visited all of her relatives, warning them about the coming Holocaust and inviting them to flee either to Palestine or to any other country where Jews could find shelter.
They all thanked her for her concern and reassured her that this Nazi crisis would soon become a thing of the past. Sooner or later, the Western democracies would put an end to Hitler's shenanigans.
On September 1, 1939, half the Jewish people of my father's town huddled together in my grandfather's living room, where he had a radio. The Polish announcers described the German invasion, and everyone, without exception, according to my father's recollection, were certain this was finally Hitler's end. After all, two major European empires, France and England, had signed mutual protection pacts with the Polish government – let's see Hitler win a battle against the French and the English, my grandfather's guests were convinced.
We are all frogs, my brothers and sisters.
As the temperature around us is rising, we adapt.
Muslim members of Congress openly accuse us of controlling the banks, of dual loyalties – and they no longer get a rise out of anyone, not even us. Most Democratic candidates for president shun the AIPAC convention – and we understand, they need the Black vote. The social networks are full of conspiracy theories about how it was us, Jews, who felled the Trade Towers. Nazis march in the street of Charlottesville, Virginia, carrying torches and hollering, "Jews will not replace us," and "Blood and soil," and they're doing it again, unmolested by our government. In today's Germany, incidentally, they'd be thrown in jail.
Frankly, I don't expect a single Jewish American person to read my appeal and reach the conclusion that five or fewer years from now could make so much sense: sell while you can and come home. Honestly, I doubt even I would have heeded the same advice. It's too early. Incidentally, I must disclose my own personal interest in having a huge, Jewish-American Aliyah wave: I believe Israel so needs you – your democratic values, your open-mindedness, your academic excellence, your political savvy, your business acumen, your wealth – your culture of debate, for heaven's sake, a rare thing to find in Israeli society.
But even if you don't pack up and leave right away – I urge you to set up a second home in Israel.
I know our finance minister has done everything in his power to stop that kind of investment because, let's face it, the man is not the shiniest shekel in the coin sack. But please, take out for yourself an insurance policy against unforeseen holocausts, and purchase a home in Israel. You'll be amazed how cheap they can be if you stay away from Tel Aviv or Raanana. Use them on your vacations, send your kids to become familiar with the home country. You can sell them eventually (the home, not the kids), should I be proven wrong.
But I want you to be ready not because I expect you to flee to the home country. I only want you to take the approaching second Holocaust seriously because I love you and admire you and we're all froggies from the same pond.
Why Did They Hate Rabbi Kahane? By Rabbi Yehuda L Oppenheimer
Two months ago, I wrote an article for The Jewish Press titled "No, Rabbi Kahane was not a Racist." Some asked me afterwards why I defended Rav Kahane given that the vast majority of the Jewish world rejected his views.
Let me begin by sharing an insight Dr. Abraham Joshua Heschel makes in A Passion for Truth – his book on Rav Menachem Mendel of Kotzk and, lehavdil, Kierkegaard. He writes that the Kotzker's extreme and unforgiving desire for truth was too much for most people. Many couldn't tolerate him, and he couldn't tolerate them. Yet, he remains a vital influence on the Jewish people. His memory serves as an instant needle to prick the balloon of any overblown sense of self; his teachings make one realize what a flawed creature one really is.
Dr. Heschel's point has haunted me throughout the years. Rav Kahane was extreme. He seemed to care not a whit what people thought of him. He was fearless, he was deeply insightful, and he spoke and stood for truths that many deep down agreed with but were afraid to say openly.
Many feared supporting him or believed the time wasn't right for his message. Yet, they appreciated that – like a lighthouse – he shone the light of truth. They appreciated him reminding them that political correctness was hiding a dangerous reality – that liberal Judaism, secular Zionism, and intellectual elites are spiritually killing many more Jews than Hitler, yemach shemo, ever did, and that we lemmings are too genteel to do anything about it.
Rav Kahane initially gained fame by starting the Jewish Defense League and defending forgotten Jews. But his main message was that Jews should feel pride in who they are and stand up for themselves. That the time of cowering before non-Jews was over. That we should no longer be held back by fear of what the goyimwill think.
His first, and probably most important, book, Never Again, was misunderstood. I remember one of my rabbeim in yeshiva delivering a mussar schmooze during which he exclaimed, "'Never Again' is apikorsus!" Our fate is in the hands of the Ribbon Shel Olam. Does Kahane think he could have prevented the Holocaust?"
But Rav Kahane never said he could. What he argued was that the American Jewish establishment was guilty of doing virtually nothing to get Roosevelt to bomb the tracks to Auschwitz, to allow the St. Louis to land on American shores, or to otherwise save what could be saved. They were too busy thinking, "What will the goyim say?"
Kahane refused to accept the status quo. He rejected the "wisdom" of being quiet and waiting for great people who will perhaps do something behind the scenes if they are given enough kavod and endless time. He knew Jews needed to be defended now. He knew Israel had to stand up for itself now.
Kahane was not a rabble-rouser seeking trouble (although, unfortunately, he did attract followers of that sort whom he was not always able to keep in line). He was a Jew who loved other Jews with every fiber of his being and could not stand what was being done to them, most often by their fellow Jews.
He hated how Reform and Conservative (and some Orthodox) leaders were destroying the neshamos of young Jews. (Hence his work Why Be Jewish?, an incredibly effective reflection on intermarriage, which includes the best chapter title ever written: "Artists, Intellectuals, and Imbeciles.") He hated what the Israeli government did to Yemenite Jews and so many Sephardic Jews, who voted for him in droves.
Kahane wanted to wake up sleeping Jews. He wanted to rouse us out of our apathy, laziness, and irresponsibility to stand up for other Jews.
In the early 1980s, Kahane wrote They Must Go. Was he right about the need to expel all Arabs from Israel? I don't know. As I write these words, three pleasant Arab women are cleaning my house downstairs. We talk to each other and exchange pleasantries. I am not worried that they will do anything to my family. (They are not like the Arabs of East Jerusalem or Yehuda and Shomron who are raised on hatred and incitement.) But many in Israel saw him as a voice of truth, standing up to starry-eyed dreamers who gave us Oslo and intifadas. Many say that if we had listened to him, many of today's problems would not exist.
Why was he vehemently rejected by so many people? Partially because they hated him for speaking truth and partially because they feared his popularity. He was predicted to get up to 10 seats in the 1988 election, so they took him out of the game by declaring him a racist.
I once attended a talk he gave for yeshiva bachurim in Yerushalayim. After his stirring remarks, I asked, "Everything you say sounds true, but as far as I know, none of the gedolim agree with you or your derech – is that not a problem?"
He replied, "First of all, many of them do agree with me privately, but for one reason or another will not say so publicly" (a fact that has since been amply documented). "But more importantly, although we have gedolim today, we do not have manhigim. They speak out, but only reactively, never proactively to anything outside the limited concerns of the frum community. Given that they refuse to lead, b'makom she'ein ish, hishtadel liyot ish. That's why I do what I do."
In summary, Rav Kahane was a fearless leader who taught true pride in Judaism, the Torah, and the Jewish people. In Israel, they may continue to slander him and his supporters, but the truth will ultimately prevail.
See you tomorrow
Love Yehuda Lave
Rabbi Yehuda Lave
2850 Womble Road, Suite 100-619, San Diego United States