Thursday, July 11, 2019

Hebrew Academy approves 1400 new words and just one example of the Jewish people suffered during the Shoa

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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

The wise words of a taxi driver

Anyway, as we approached the airport, he told me something fascinating, which I'd like to share with you.

He mentioned that he had heard an interview with a secular Israeli scientist discussing why religious Jews and especially charedim live longer than secular Jews.

Apparently the explanation given was that in secular society, when people get old, they don't have so much to live for.

But in religious and especially charedi society, the old are venerated for their wisdom, and they therefore find greater meaning and satisfaction in life, which helps them live longer

Keep his wise words in mine.


Love Yehuda Lave

An example of the Jewish people suffered during the shoa

While he was in Dachau, a Jew who was being taken to his death suddenly flung a small bag at my father, Judah Wallis. He caught it, thinking it might contain a piece of bread. Upon opening it, however, he was disturbed to discover a pair of tefillin. Judah was very frightened because he knew that were he to be caught carrying tefillin, he would be put to death instantly. So he hid the tefillin under his shirt and headed for his bunkhouse.

In the morning, just before the appel [roll call], while still in his bunkhouse, he put on the tefillin. Unexpectedly, a German officer appeared. He ordered him to remove the tefillin, noted the number on Judah's arm.
At the appel, in front of thousands of silent Jews, the officer called out Judah's number and he had no choice but to step forward. The German officer waved the tefillin in the air and said, "Dog! I sentence you to death by public hanging for wearing these."

Judah was placed on a stool and a noose was placed around his neck. Before he was hanged, the officer said in a mocking tone, "Dog, what is your last wish?"
"To wear my tefillin one last time," Judah replied.
"The officer was dumbfounded. He handed Judah the tefillin. As Judah put them on, he recited the verse that is said while the tefillin are being wound around the fingers: "Ve'eirastich li le'olam, ve'eirastich li b'tzedek uvemishpat, ub'chessed, uv'rachamim, ve'eirastich li b'emunah, v'yodaat es Hashem – I will betroth you to me forever and I will betroth you to me with righteousness and with justice and with kindness and with mercy and I will betroth you to me with fidelity, and you shall know G-d."

It is hard for us to picture this Jew with a noose around his neck, wearing tefillin on his head and arm – but that was the scene that the entire camp was forced to watch, as they awaited the impending hanging of the Jew who had dared to break the rule against wearing tefillin.
Even women from the adjoining camp were lined up at the barbed wire fence that separated them from the men's camp, forced to watch this horrible sight.

As Judah turned to watch the silent crowd, he saw tears in many people's eyes. Even at that moment, as he was about to be hanged, he was shocked. Jews were crying! How was it possible that they still had tears left to shed? And for a stranger? Where were those tears coming from? Impulsively, in Yiddish, he called out, "Yidden, I am the victor. Don't you understand, I am the winner!"
The German officer understood the Yiddish and was infuriated. He said to Judah, "You dog, you think you are the winner? Hanging is too good for you. You are going to get another kind of death."
"Judah, my father, was taken from the stool and the noose was removed from his neck. He was forced into a squatting position and two huge rocks were placed under his arms. Then he was told that he would be receiving 25 lashes to his head – the head on which he had dared to position his tefillin. The officer told him that if he dropped even one of the rocks, he would be shot immediately. In fact, because this was such an extremely painful form of death, the officer advised him, "Drop the rocks now. You will never survive the 25 lashes to the head. Nobody ever does."
Judah's response was, "No, I won't give you the pleasure."
At the 25th lash, Judah lost consciousness and was left for dead. He was about to be dragged to a pile of corpses , after which he would have been burned in a ditch, when another Jew saw him, shoved him to the side, and covered his head with a rag so people didn't realize he was alive. Eventually, after he recovered consciousness fully, he crawled to the nearest bunkhouse that was on raised piles and hid under it until he was strong enough to come out under his own power. Two months later he was liberated.

During the hanging and beating episode, a 17-year-old girl had been watching the events from the women's side of the fence. After liberation, she made her way to Judah. She walked over to him and said, "I've lost everyone. I don't want to be alone any more. I saw what you did that day when the officer wanted to hang you. Will you marry me?"
My parents walked over to the Klausenberger Rebbe and requested that he perform the marriage ceremony. The Klausenberger Rebbe, whose Kiddush Hashem is legendary, wrote out a kesubah[marriage contract] by hand from memory and married the couple. I have that handwritten kesubahin my possession to this day.
~~ Rabbi Yosef Wallis
Copied from Max Edelhoff (via Mordechai Makor).

The spies and Persuasion

Kevin Dutton, Ph.D., the author of Split-Second Persuasion: The Ancient Art and New Science of Changing Minds,  tells the following story:

... I once attended a New Year's Eve party, and the seven-year-old son of the hostess wanted to stay up late. His mother said, 'You know what happens when you don't go to bed on time. You wake up late and cranky and irritable.'

The boy replied, 'Well, you don't want me running around early when you're lying in bed with a headache, do you?'

The boy framed his request in terms of her desires, and was allowed to join the midnight reverie.

After analyzing dozens of successful instances of persuasion, Dutton came up with several key commandments, one of them being this wise child's tactic of leading with the other person's perceived self-interest.


This  Torah portion Sh'lakh describes the episode of sending out spies to "check" the Promised Land.


The People of Israel had received the Torah on Mt. Sinai and were ready to enter the land of Israel.


There was a consensus of opinion amongst the people that we should send spies to see if it was feasible to conquer the land.


Moses sends twelve spies to the land of Canaan.




Moses knew that the Almighty's promise to give the land included a guarantee to conquer it.


However, one of the principles of life which we learn from this portion is: The Creator allows each of us the free will to go in the direction he chooses.


Therefore, Moses sent out twelve heads of the tribes to spy out the land.


Forty days later they return, carrying a huge cluster of grapes, a pomegranate and a fig, to report on a lush and bountiful land.


However, out of the twelve spies, ten came back with a report of strong fortifications and giants - they rallied the people against going up to the Promised Land.


Two spies - Joshua and Calev tried to stem the rebellion, but did not succeed. The Almighty decreed 40 years of wandering in the desert, one year for each day they spied in the land of Israel.


This happened on the 9th of Av, a date noted throughout Jewish history for tragedy -- the destruction of both Temples in Jerusalem and the expulsion of the Jews from Spain amongst them.


After hearing out the ten spies who stirred the crowd, people of Israel were agitated and even rebellious toward the idea of entering the Land of Israel and toward Moses who was leading them. 




But then Calev spoke and was immediately able to silence the crowd.


How was he able to do so? What was his strategy? 


The Torah states:


וַיַּהַס כָּלֵב אֶת-הָעָם, אֶל-מֹשֶׁה; וַיֹּאמֶר, עָלֹה נַעֲלֶה וְיָרַשְׁנוּ אֹתָהּ--כִּי-יָכוֹל נוּכַל, לָהּ.


And Calev stilled the people towards Moshe and said: 

We should certainly go up and possess the land for we are well able to take it" (Numbers 13:30).




The Midrash tells us that before the above statement, following the complaints of the other ten spies, Calev cried out:


 Is it this the only thing that Moses has done to us?





The question is:

Why did Calev cry out in seeming condemnation of Moses?


Calev did not say anything that was not true.


But, those who heard this statement were under the impression that Calev was about to speak in their interest and in disparagement of Moses, because what is said could be interpreted as:


"Is it the only BAD thing that Moses has doene to us?"


Since they had hard feelings towards Moses because of the words of the spies (that we can't conquer the land of Israel), they all became silent eagerly waiting to hear his words against Moses.



It seems that Calev used the same the psychological principle of communication as was described earlier in the seven-year old boy case of framing his wishes as their desires.  


If a listener is not open to the ideas of the speaker, and speaker attacks the listener's point of view, this creates more hostility and then the listener does not pay any attention to what the speaker has to say.


But, if the speaker seems to adapt the listener's point of view, the listener becomes receptive of the speaker. 


So, speaking with people, it is better to start in a positive and agreeable manner.



Our lesson could be that to have a positive influence on others we can use the approach of starting the communication in an agreeable manner to reach that goal.




In Hebrew 'influence' is - השפעה - HASHHPA'AH 

To influence - להשפיע - LE'HASHPI'A


These words are derived from the root שפע - SHEFA, which means abundance 


So, in Hebrew 'to influence' has actually a very positive connotation - 'to provide abundance' to others. 




Hebrew language academy approves 1,400 new words

Range of legal terms coined to replace use of English terms; some spiders and scorpions get new titles, including daddy longlegs


The Academy of the Hebrew Language on Monday published a list of 1,400 new words and phrases it had recently approved, many of which formalized legal terms that in the past had relied on English instead.

Among the phrases approved was the Hebrew hatara lefee hahok meaning "permitted under law" instead of the English word "legalization," and the Hebrew for "illegally obtained evidence," rayaa habaa b'avera, instead of a Bible-inspired phrase meaning "fruit of the poisonous tree," an idiom borrowed from American law.

The new words were added to a dictionary that has been worked on for the past 30 years by the academy's Committee for Legal Terms, which counted among its members various legal experts, including Supreme Court justices.

Other phrases approved for use were the Hebrew for "temporary fees" — s'char tirha iti — instead of the awkward use of the English word "retainer," and "corporate body," in Hebrew ta'agid hakuk, instead of the clumsy "tagid statutory," a phrase that combined the Hebrew word for "corporation" and the English word "statutory."

In addition, some new Hebrew phrases were endorsed for use, such as words for a legal statement (amara), a train-turning device (sovevan), a vending machine (mehonat mimkar) and the Hebrew for "reciprocal system," (ma'arechet gomlin) meaning an ecosystem.

There was also a specific phrase added, at the request of environment activists, for the waste product from the process of extracting oil from olives, which has been polluting rivers in the central region of the country. The new term, "mohal," has its origins in Talmudic texts.

The academy also approved new names for various scorpions and spiders, among them some species of opiliones, commonly known as "daddy long legs."


Happy July 4th --US Independence Day--see you tomorrow

Love Yehuda Lave

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

PO Box 7335, Rehavia Jerusalem 9107202


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