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
For the conductor, a psalm of David. When Nathan the Prophet came to him, as he had come to Bath-Sheba ... Cleanse me abundantly from my sin, and purify me from my transgression (Psalms 51:1-4).
In this psalm of contrition, we hear David's heart-rending plea for forgiveness and, indeed, Nathan informed him that God had accepted his prayer and that he was forgiven (II Samuel 12:13). What was it that earned David prompt forgiveness? Rabbi Sholom Shachna of Probisch points to the opening verse of the psalm: "When Nathan the Prophet came to him, as he had come to Bath-Sheba." The depth of David's contrition when the prophet reprimanded him was no less intense than his earlier passion for Bath-Sheba.
During the Ten Days of Penitence, we confess our sins and beat upon our breasts, but too often this is a mere ritual. Even when we do understand the words we utter and do regret having done wrong, the emotion accompanying the regret is nowhere near the emotion that accompanied the sin to which we confess. If we regret having offended someone in the heat of anger, the pain of the awareness that we committed a wrong is rarely of the same magnitude as the anger that ignited our insult. Seldom do we shed genuine tears while confessing our sins, something that would occur spontaneously if our regret was both sincere and profound.
Guilt can be as healthy and constructive as the pain we feel when we touch something extremely hot, because the discomfort of guilt will make us avoid repeating an improper act, and this avoidance is what elicits forgiveness. To accomplish this end, the pain of guilt must be as profound as that of a burn, because only then do we stay on guard not to be hurt again.
Today I shall ... ... concentrate when reciting confession, so that my resolve not to repeat sinful acts will be sincere and profound.
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YouTube clip of Israel's UN Amb holding 'deed' to Israel goes viral
WATCH a YouTube clip that's going viral, with Israel's Amb. Danny Danon as he looks directly at the Palestinian delegation at the UNGA and quotes the Bible & Koran as evidence of the Jewish people's right to the Land of Israel.
By David Lazarus
In what can only be considered an historical speech before the world's governing authorities, Israel's ambassador to the UN gave a surprising defense for the right of the Jewish people to the whole Land of Israel-the Bible.
The unparalleled presentation by Ambassador Danny Danon delivered to the UN General Assembly just after Passover a few weeks ago has gone viral on social media where it has been translated into numerous languages. In the 18-minute defense of Israel's right to the Land, Ambassador Danon covered the biblical, historical and international facts proving that the entire Land of Israel, including Judea and Samaria, belong to the Jewish people.
Quoting from God's promise to Abraham in Genesis, Danon looked squarely into the eyes of the Palestinian delegate sitting across from him at the assembly, lifted his Bible high for all to see and said, "This is the deed to our land." Danon then read the Bible in Hebrew, and then in English, from Genesis 17:7-8: "I will give this Land as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you."
Using the Bible to defend the Jewish ownership of the Land of Israel is an extraordinary move in modern political realities. Until now, Israeli politicians have shied away from turning to Scripture in defense of Israel's claims.
As expected, mainstream liberal media are reacting with scorn and rage, shaking their heads in disbelief that a government official, Israeli at that, would dare use the Bible in support of Israel's right to the land. In interviews after the speech, CNN and Al-Jazeera hosts openly mocked the idea that the Bible would have anything to do with the Jewish people's claim to a homeland in the Land of Israel.
Danon, however, remained unfazed. "The Jewish people's ownership of Eretz Yizroel (meaning the whole land of Israel) is well documented in the Hebrew Bible and beyond (apparently a cryptic reference to the New Testament). The entire connection of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel begins right here," he said, again holding up his Bible.
The ambassador pointed out that it is not only the Hebrew Bible that gives the Land of Israel to the Jewish people, but this is also true in Christianity and Islam. "The Koran itself accepts the divine deed of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel," Danon told the assembly while pointing his finger directly at the Palestinian delegate. It was clear to all those watching that Danon is referring to the whole Land of Israel including Judea and Samaria (aka the West Bank).
In the unprecedented speech, the Israeli ambassador went on to show that the Jewish claim to the Land of Israel is confirmed not only in the Bible and Jewish history, but in the history of the world as well. "The twelve tribes of Israel lived in this land for thousands of years," he said. The largest tribe of Judah lived in the area now known as Judea."
Again, staring down the Palestinian delegate, Danon declared, "You all know the names Jew and Jewish. Jew and Jewish come from Judea. It was the home of our King David and Jerusalem, the capital of Israel," he said.
'It's All For The Jewish People:' Four Decades Of The Jeff Seidel Story
After nearly four decades of working with college students, [Jeff] Seidel can spot from across the Western Wall plaza those who could use a home-cooked Shabbat meal or a warm family embrace—the kids with the potential for a deeper connection to their Jewish souls, their people and their homeland. At the center of Seidel's bulls-eye is the cadre of college and graduate students in Israel for a semester or year abroad, as well as Birthright travelers and those on gap-year programs.
Seidel, who at 61 is recognizable by his trademark saddle shoes and Midwestern friendliness, has been a fixture at the Kotel since 1980. That's when he arrived in Israel with a freshly minted master's degree in psychology from Roosevelt University in Chicago and a determination to give young Jews the taste of a traditional Shabbat. But these days, Seidel doesn't just rely on catching college kids there and sending them off to a Shabbat table where the food and the family are both warm; he runs a multi-pronged keruv ("Jewish outreach") operation.
Seidel by the Numbers
• 13,605 young Jews reached each year
• 20,000 prayer books, Bibles and other Jewish books given to students over 15 years
• 10,000 Shabbat meals arranged each year
• 3,000 students attending programs at the three Jeff Seidel Centers annually
Do I Have a Right to Read My Spouse's Texts and Emails? By Yehuda Shurpin
The Right to Privacy
Although text and email are relatively new inventions, the answer to this question takes us back more than a thousand years to the time of Rabbeinu Gershom (960–1040 C.E.), the earliest prominent rabbi of Ashkenazic Jewry. Rabbeinu Gershom is known for enacting several bans and communal regulations, such as forbidding polygamy (among Ashkenazim). One of the better-known bans is "not to look at a letter that one friend has sent to another, without his knowledge. If it was discarded, it is permitted."1
Reasons for the Ban
There are a number of reasons given for this ban:
We do not look at others' correspondence so that we do not come to reveal gossip or a secret, as that would be rechilut (forbidden talebearing).2
Reading someone else's writings without permission is like borrowing something without permission, which is a form of theft.3
It is incompatible with the rabbinic teaching, "Don't do unto others that which you do not want [to be done] to you."4
What is Included in the Ban?
There is a disagreement whether the ban includes something like a postcard, where the writing is clearly visible on the outside and there is no envelope or seal. Some are of the opinion that since it was sent openly, that is proof that the person doesn't mind if others read it.5 Others contend that perhaps the sender doesn't mind if some anonymous mail carrier reads it, but he very well may mind if people in his social circle read it.6
However, it seems clear that this ban would include email, texts or direct messages,7 since the prohibition is about the invasion of privacy.
How About a Spouse?
According to Jewish law, whenever a person entrusts either articles or money to a colleague, he does so with the understanding that his items may be placed in the care of the colleague's spouse, adult children or other household members.8
Since one reason for the ban is that reading someone's mail is considered borrowing without permission, some rabbis explain that you would indeed be able to read your spouse's mail, since it is similar to an item lent to the spouse.9
The assumption is that the sender is aware that a spouse may see the communication, and the receiver (your spouse) presumably has no problems with it. However, in a scenario in which your spouse doesn't let you see his or her private communications, it may (at least generally) be problematic to do so. If that does not sit well with you, I recommend that you read Cell Phone Privacy in Marriage, which discusses the question from a relationship perspective.
Also, if you need to see your spouse's communications to prevent adultery, theft, or monetary or physical damages, etc., speak to a competent rabbi. The ban may not apply in such a situation, for the purpose of the ban was to minimize sin, not enable it.10
See responsum of the Rashba 1:557; Mishpitei Hatorah 92; Rabbi Chaim Plagi in Chikikei Lev, vol. 1, Yoreh De'ah 49; see, however, Shematin, no. 45, 46, 48, for a discussion about the parameters of this exception. See also Am I Permitted to Reveal Private Conversations?
By Yehuda Shurpin A noted scholar and researcher, Rabbi Yehuda Shurpin serves as content editor at Chabad.org, and writes the popular weekly Ask Rabbi Y column. Rabbi Shurpin is the rabbi of the Chabad Shul in St. Louis Park, Minn., where he resides with his wife, Ester, and their children.
See you Sunday -bli Neder
Rabbi Yehuda Lave
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