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
Master your Desires
The pleasure one has from mastery over desires is greater than the pleasure of one who seeks to gratify all his desires. The latter will only attain one in a thousand of what he seeks and will be constantly frustrated. But a person who is master over his desires experiences great joy. Such a person has a double advantage over the hedonist. The hedonist will feel he is lacking a lot and suffers because of this. Moreover, he does not enjoy what he already has. His suffering due to what he is lacking does not allow him to feel joy with what he has.
On the other hand, the person who has mastered the art of not desiring what he is missing feels happy even though he might lack many things. Such a person is surrounded on all sides with happiness. He is happy with what he has already obtained in the past and he feels good about the future. Since he does not worry about the future, he constantly feels good.
Love Yehuda Lave
Thursday, July 11 Redeeming Eretz Yisroel
Tomorrow we will have a rare opportunity to witness the glorious and heroic redemption of our beloved land.
First, we will be the guests of "Ateret Cohanim" in Yerushalayim.We will visit the recently redeemed Jewish properties and the brave heroes of Abu Tor and the expanding Jewish presence in the historic"Yemenite Village".Very few have visited the growing and revolutionary Jewish presence in this special place.
Due to its isolated location, we will visit the brave pioneers of the Yemenite Village. accompanied by a security team.
In the afternoon we will travel to "Bet Bracha".This large tract of land was bought from an American Protestant missionary/hospital on the road from Gush Etzion to Hevron.The story of its purchase and plans for its development are an amazing one. Few even know about this long kept secret purchase. We will again be amongst the first.
We will end our day with a visit to the little known memorial site where the Six Day War first broke out in Yerushalayim
Depart from the Inbal hotel at 9:00Return at 5:00
Cost - 220 shekels
Archaeologists identify city gate from the time of King David
The previously uncovered gate found in the area last year was cautiously identified to be a part of the biblical city of Zer. By Zachary Keyser
A city gate from the time of King David was discovered after 32 years of excavation in the ancient city of Bethsaida in the Golan Heights' Jordan Park, opening up a world of new possibilities, opinions and theories about the ancient landscape of the Land of Israel.
According to Professor Rami Arav of the University of Nebraska, chief archaeologist overseeing the excavations, told the Jerusalem Post that the gate and further findings found within the ancient city give the notion that it was possible that Solomon and David might not have been the sole kings of the Israelite kingdom at their respective times, but instead chieftains of large tribes of Israelites.
The previously uncovered gate found in the area last year was cautiously identified to be a part of the biblical city of Zer, a name used during the First Temple period. However, the newly found gate dates back to the time and rule of King David, which is purportedly from the 11th to 10th centuries BCE.
"There are not many gates from capital cities in this country from this period," said Arav. "Bethsaida was the name of the city during the Second Temple period, but during the First Temple period it was the city of Zer." Arav cited Joshua 19:35, which says: "The fortified towns were Ziddim, Zer, Hammath, Rakkath, Kinneret."
The excavation and research, sponsored by the Hebrew Union College of Jerusalem, has brought together archaeologists from all over the world to help.
Findings presented by the researchers point to the possibility that Bethsaida was not an Israelite kingdom but instead an Aramaic one. Within the city limits of Bethsaida, there was a stone stele bearing the image of their bull-shaped moon god, which dates back to the 11th century BCE. This monument is one of seven other similar tombstones found from the ancient world, from southern Turkey to Egypt. Two have been found in Bethsaida alone.
Some of these monuments have been found in cities dating to later periods, such as the 9th-8th century BCE.
The rare stone stele dating back to the kingdom of Geshur was unearthed in the archaeological excavation.
THE KINGDOM of Geshur is mentioned in the Bible as having co-existed alongside the Kingdom of David. It was eventually annexed by King Hazael, who ruled what is today modern Syria. The biblical kingdom of Geshur existed in parts of what is now the Golan Heights.
Although the area of the Golan Heights is not thought to be an Israelite kingdom, the archaeologists on the dig presume that Jerusalem and David's capital in Bethsaida were actually quite similar to one another.
Seven kingdoms are believed to have ruled the ancient Land of Israel. However, according to Arav, the researchers know little about the archaeology of these capitals since they have been destroyed and rebuilt many times over.
Arav said that these types of excavations are difficult in places like Jerusalem, because researchers need to get permission from landowners as well as the government to excavate these sites. In addition, other ancient cities, such as Damascus, have been destroyed and rebuilt multiple times in the past, making it difficult to connect inferences in what actually happened there during these time periods. Bethsaida is an almost untouched archaeological heaven for getting the real story about what happened during the times of the Hebrew Bible and the Second Temple period.
Excavations will continue on site as archaeologists attempt to discover everything dating from the 11th century BCE to the period of Roman rule following the end of the Common Era.
SINCE 1987, Arav has been spearheading the excavation efforts. Last year, archaeologists uncovered the entrance gate to the biblical city of Zer during excavations carried out in the Golan Heights over a two-week period in July, the Golan Regional Council said in a statement at the time.
A group of 20 archaeologists from all over the world, together with Arav, conducted excavations in two different areas of Bethsaida. The ancient fishing village is mentioned several times in the New Testament as a city where Jesus lived.
Archaeologists said the size, wealth and impressive fortifications indicate that Zer was a major city.
Arav began carrying out excavations of et-Tell on behalf of the University of Nebraska nearly 30 years ago. In these excavations, he identified the ancient Bethsaida, and following his excavations and discoveries, masses of Christian pilgrims visited the site because of its great importance to Christianity.
Over the years, excavators have discovered in Bethsaida many remains from various periods.
Avi Lieberman, director of the Jordan Park in which Bethsaida is located, said in a previous interview, "The staff at the Jordan Park and Golan Tourism are happy for the tens of thousands of visitors who visit the park every day. The wonderful park is also an impressive archaeological site. I am amazed each time by the arrival of thousands of Evangelical visitors to Bethsaida."
Another finding made last year was discovered underneath what was apparently the floor of a Roman temple built by Herod's son Philip that which he dedicated to Julia, the daughter of Augustus.
There, archaeologists found coins, beads, jugs and house keys as well as a shield that belonged to a Roman soldier. The most significant finding was a coin dated 35 BCE, which was minted in Acre on the occasion of the arrival of Cleopatra and Marc Antony. Only 12 such coins exist.
Over the years, various findings made in the area have made waves in the world of archaeology. Several years ago, a gold coin bearing the portrait of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius, who reigned from 138 to 161 CE, was discovered by an excavator working with Arav.
Tamara Zieve contributed to this report.
Elvis, the Disappearing Jew
Though suspicious minds may find this hard to believe, Elvis Presley was both halachically Jewish and an early example of the disappearing American Jew… By: Howard Morton
It was 60 years ago this summer that a virtually unknown singer named Elvis Presley stood before a microphone at Sun Studios in Memphis and belted out "Mystery Train," ingeniously blending country music, R&B and raw testosterone-charged angst that helped create rock-and-roll and revolutionize popular music.
But as Elvis stood at the cusp of becoming a cultural icon, it wasn't just as a singer that made him ahead of his time.
It was also as a disappearing Jew.
Elvis, surprisingly, played an early role in the greatest tragedy now engulfing the Jewish people. With rampant assimilation and a rising intermarriage rate that has reached 71.5 percent among non-Orthodox Jews in the U.S., generations of Jews are completely fading away. Millennia-old paternal Jewish lines are being thoroughly cut off, and there are now countless "disappearing" Jews — maternal descendants of Jews who live non-Jewish lives with non-Jewish last names but are still Jewish according to halacha (Jewish law).
Though suspicious minds may find this hard to believe, Elvis Presley was both halachically Jewish and an early example of the disappearing American Jew.
Biographer Elaine Dundy, in her book Elvis and Gladys, discovered that Elvis's maternal great-great grandmother, Nancy Burdine, was Jewish:
"…Nancy Burdine was married to Abner Tackett. Nancy was of particular interest to Gladys (Elvis's mother) for her Jewish heritage, often remembering Nancy's sons for their Jewish names Sidney and Jerome. Nancy and Abner had a daughter Martha who married White Mansell. The daughter which they named Octavia, nick-named Doll, was Elvis' maternal grandmother.
So Elvis's mother's mother's mother's mother was Jewish, making Elvis Jewish according to Jewish law.
If this sounds all shook up, that's all right (Mama). There were many Elvis Presleys. There was Elvis the rock-and-roll rebel, Elvis the gospel singer, movie star Elvis, Las Vegas Elvis, giving-away-Cadillacs-to-friends Elvis, later-era Elvis with the studded jumpsuits and now Elvis the unlikely poster child of the disappearing American Jew.
As a halachic descendent four generations away from his Jewish root, Elvis's life foreshadows just how far and deep assimilation can go, Elvis was raised in a fundamentalist, evangelical church and eventually became what many consider the greatest white gospel singer of the 20th century. And ironically, when Elvis Presley was a teen living in an apartment below a young Orthodox rabbi and his wife, he would sometimes turn the lights on for them on Shabbat.
Elvis as a disappearing-Jew prototype, on the other hand, also sheds some hope to a generation where disappearing Jews are fast becoming a greater part of American Jewry. A closer look at Elvis's life reveals the pintele Yid, the spark of the Jewish soul, that's always present no matter how distant it may seem. How? Elvis knew about his Jewish ancestry and was proud of it.
According to biographer Elaine Dundy, Elvis's mother Gladys imparted this pride to Elvis "at a very early age." Perhaps this was why Gladys waited to give him his first haircut when he was three years old, which is the age Jewish boys traditionally get their upsherin (first haircut ceremony). And when Elvis was a teen, according to Jewish Celebrity Anecdotes, he would listen to the cantorial records of Shlomo Koussevitsky and Moishe Oysher playing through his Orthodox rabbi-neighbor's window while he was on the street below washing his 1942 Lincoln Zephyr coupe.
Elvis's parents, though, advised him not to broadcast the fact he descended from Jews because "people don't like Jews." He eventually ignored that advice.
Elvis started paying tribute to his Jewish heritage, according to the Elvis Presley News website, after his mother died in 1958 when he designed a Star of David on her tombstone.
Even more publically, Elvis wore a "Chai" necklace both on and offstage throughout 1977 (the last year of his life). It was said that Elvis's personal hairstylist and spiritual mentor, Larry Geller, introduced Elvis to the Hebrew alphabet as well as Kabbalah. Once, a member of his "Memphis Mafia" entourage asked Elvis why "Chai," the Hebrew word for "life," was so meaningful to him. Elvis responded, "I don't want to miss out on going to Heaven on a technicality."
Elvis also gave charity to local Jewish organizations. He even donated a room to the Memphis Jewish Community Center. But most legendary was this story: The Memphis Jewish Welfare had hoped to receive $1,000 from Elvis along with other charities he donated to every Christmas, so they sent a delegation to Graceland. Elvis agreed to see them, and they told him how they help the Jewish poor and needy, including orphans. Elvis asked to be excused for a moment, then came back with a check. When they took it, they were astonished; it was for $150,000. They asked him if he made a mistake. Elvis answered, "I know what I'm doing."
Elvis Aaron Presley died on August 16, 1977 at the age of 42 (which makes his yahrzeit the 2nd of Elul). Had he lived longer, had he been introduced to emuna and Torah and Shabbat, would he have made teshuva? Would he have traded his trademark sideburns for sidelocks? "Jailhouse Rock" for "VeAfilu BeHastara"?
It's too late to say.
But for the countless disappearing Jews today who are halachic Jews like Elvis was before them, it's not too late. No matter how far down the maternal line, there's always hope that a halachic Jew can come back to the Jewish people, to Torah and to Hashem.
Arugot farms and retreat center 042319
Just 20 Minutes south of Efrat lies The Arguot Farm and retreat center, put together by Rabbi's Ari Abramowitz and Jeremy Gimpel, an attempt at extending out hold on the Judean Mountains
NOW A CHANCE TO REFLECT
. Kindness is in our power even when fondness is not. ~Henry James Henry James, was an author regarded as a key transitional figure between literary realism and literary modernism, and is considered by many to be among the greatest novelists in the English language.
Compassion is language the deaf can hear and the blind can see. ~Mark Twain~ Samuel Langhorne Clemens, known by his pen name Mark Twain, was a writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer. His novels include The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and its sequel, the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the latter often called "The Great American Novel".
Carry a heart that never hates, a smile that never fades, and a touch that never hurts. unknown
Today, I bent the truth to be kind, and I have no regret, for I am far surer of what is kind than I am of what is true. ~Robert Brault~ operatic tenor
It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice. Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he or she sees all day. If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. unknown
I always prefer to believe the best of everybody. It saves so much trouble. ~Rudyard Kipling~ Joseph Rudyard Kipling was a journalist, short-story writer, poet, and novelist. He was born in India, which inspired much of his work. Kipling's works of fiction include The Jungle Book, Kim, and many short stories, including "The Man Who Would Be King".
Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you , not because they are nice, but because you are. Never look down on anyone unless you are helping them up.
Don't be yourself — be someone nicer.
Never miss an opportunity to make others happy, even if you have to leave them alone in order to do it.
Love your enemies. It will confuse them greatly.
There is one word that may serve as a rule for all one's life: Reciprocity Grownups know that little things matter and that relationships are based on respect.
A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you will remember. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble. unknown