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
Love is a concept that is often distorted. For example, someone will say that he loves fish. But what does he do with fish? He cuts them up, cooks them, and then swallows them. He doesn't really love fish, he loves himself!
The Torah definition of love is feeling positive about someone because you appreciate his positive traits. When your love for someone is based totally on love for him (and not on self-love), you will have great patience. In the Torah, Jacob waited seven years before marrying Rachel!
Today, ask yourself if your "love" for others is based on your perception of how they can benefit you, or based on your perception of their positive qualities.
Love Yehuda Lave
Report: 28,000 Illegal Arab Structures Erected in Area C, Ushering Palestinian State
Following months of intensive mapping work, the Regavim movement on Friday revealed new, worrisome data regarding the Palestinian Authority's takeover of land in Area C in Judea and Samaria, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's tacit cooperation.
According to the Oslo agreement, Area C is under complete Israeli control, both in terms of military and civilian rule. Initially it comprised 74% of the "West Bank," but under the 1998 Wye River Memorandum, Israel withdrew from an additional 13%, officially reducing Area C to about 61% of the land between the Jordan River and the 1949 armistice line.
According to Regavim, the Palestinian Authority with support from the European Union is creating facts on the ground across Israeli-controlled Area C with zeal and decisiveness reminiscent of the Zionist settlers of the 1930s and '40s.
In essence, the Arabs have been applying former PA prime minister Salam Fayyad's plan for territorial contiguity for the establishment of a future Palestinian state, which suggests that statehood "is something that will grow on both sides as a reality […] creating a belief that this was inevitable through the process, a convergence of two paths […] from the bottom up and the top down."
Number of Illegal Palestinian Authority structures in Area C / Regavim
According to Regavim's data, the number of illegal Arab structures in Judea and Samaria has almost doubled over the last decade, from the start of Prime Minister Netanyahu's second term in 2009.
In 2009, the number of illegal structures in Area C stood at 29,784.
In 2018, it has mushroomed to 58,435 structures.
But the even more worrisome figure is the size of the illegally captured land which on paper should be under Israeli controls.
In 2009, illegally built Arab structures stood on 11,000 hectares.
In 2018, Arab illegal expansion reached almost 19,500 hectares.
For the sake of comparison, Israeli settlements in Area C account for only 2.5% of the area. During the Netanyahu decade, the settlements grew by less than 2,471 hectares.
In 2008, the settlements occupied 11,694 hectares compared with 14,010 hectares in 2018.
These figures are accompanied by an "agricultural takeover" carried out by the Palestinian Authority – the illegal cultivation of hundreds of thousands of acres of state land, in order to grandfather facts on the ground: if you grow there for a certain length of time and the state doesn't challenge you, it's yours.
Illegal Arab structures are scattered across the Israeli-controlled Area C / Regavim
These figures have been revealed in recent weeks to heads of local municipalities in Judea and Samaria, who are expected to come out with a fierce campaign rebuking the prime minister for his failure to enforce the law in order to stop the Palestinian Authority's vast illegal expansion.
While the Netanyahu government has been eager to obey every high court order to uproot Jewish settlements, it is reluctant to follow the same court's orders to demolish illegal Arab settlements. The heads of local Jewish communities will demand that the Netanyahu government launch a viable plan to prevent the continued establishment of a Palestinian state in Area C. They will also demand a verifiable schedule of removing the PA's presence from Israeli territory.
Regavim director Meir Deutsch said in a statement: "One can debate feelings, but the figures speak for themselves and they're not subject to debate. There is no status quo on the ground – the Palestinian Authority is constantly working to create irreversible facts on the ground, while the State of Israel and its leaders are simply asleep at the wheel."
"If the Israeli government does not wake up now, the citizens of Israel will wake up one day to the reality of a terrorist state across the border. These figures are a wake-up call," Deutsch said.
Supreme Court Agrees With Halacha On Christian Cross By Nathan Lewin
In a 31-page opinion issued last week, seven justices of the United States Supreme Court confirmed a view of religious crosses maintained by leading rabbinic scholars from the thirteenth century to our day.
The American Humanist Association and nine "friend-of-the-court" briefs argued that a huge government-financed Latin cross erected as a World War I memorial along a highway in Bladensburg, Maryland, constituted an endorsement of Christianity, which violates the First Amendment's prohibition against the "establishment" of a religion.
The Supreme Court disagreed. Writing for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito argued that the memorial is constitutional because the cross in this case also symbolizes "a symbolic resting place for ancestors who never returned home," and "a place for the community to gather and honor all veterans and their sacrifices for our nation."
I helped draft, and filed, a friend-of-the-court brief that supported the constitutionality of the memorial. The brief, which was approved and authorized by five national Orthodox Jewish organizations – the Agudas Harabbonim of the United States and Canada, Agudath Israel of America, the Rabbinical Alliance of America, the Rabbinical Council of America, and the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce – began with the following observation:
"The cross has, over many centuries, been a symbol that may be emblematic of hostility to, and persecution of, Jews. But a distinction is clearly drawn in Jewish law and tradition between the cross as a religious object and its use for secular commemorations and awards."
My brief then explained that Jewish scholars have ruled, over a span of more than 750 years, that halacha distinguishes between a cross created and used in a Christian religious ceremony and a cross that is ornamental or secularly ceremonial. Never in the history of the Supreme Court has so much halachic authority been presented in a brief.
The review began with Rabbi Mordechai ben Hillel (known to Talmudists as "the Mordechai") who, in elaborating on a passage in the TractateAvodah Zarah, distinguished between a cross worn by Christian clergy and a cross used in a Christian religious service.
The distinction drawn by the Mordechai was approved by the Ritva (1260-1328) and by the Meiri (1249-1316) in their analysis of Avodah Zarah 42b. And when the Rema wrote his notes on the Shulchan Aruch in the 16th century, he cited the Mordechai approvingly and ruled like him.
So did a leading 19th century authority on Jewish law, Rabbi Yosef Shaul Nathanson, the chief rabbi of Lvov, Poland (1810-1875). In volume three (response 71) of his six-volume Shoel U'Meyshiv, Rabbi Nathanson ruled that it was permissible for a Jewish recipient of a cross-shaped medal to wear it publicly, citing the Mordechai and others.
In a radio lecture (which was published in Yechave Daat), Rav Ovadiah Yosef (Sefardi chief rabbi of Israel, 1972-1983) also distinguished between a decorative cross and a religious cross, citing many authorities beginning with the Mordechai. He observed that Rabbi Jacob Meir (1856-1939), appointed in 1921 as the first Sefardi chief rabbi of what was then Palestine, was photographed wearing a cross-shaped medal awarded to him.
This array of Jewish law authorities was paraded before the Court in a short brief. It supported a constitutional stance that is beneficial for America's Orthodox Jewish community – limited application of the First Amendment's prohibition against "an establishment of religion" so that Jewish day schools and other religious institutions can receive direct financial assistance from the government.
Justice Alito opinion did not explicitly write that the distinction the Supreme Court drew between Bladensburg's cross as "a Christian symbol" and "everything else" that that the Bladensburg cross "has come to represent" was foreshadowed by Jewish legal historians. That fact may, however, become a footnote for Supreme Court historians.
With Rabbi Sinclair, we follow the footsteps of Rav Kook to first to Ness Ziona, then Rishon LeTsiyon, with lunch at the Weisman Institute at Charlie's and then to Rehovot to more Beit Kennesets and more of the history. At the beginning of the Youtube is pictures from the Jerusalem gay parade and the shiva at the Presidents house where I participated in a Shiva for the wife of the President.