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
If you had one prayer that you wanted the Almighty to fulfill, what would it be?
Would it be wealth, fame, success? Judging by the people I meet, invariably they tell me, "Rabbi, if you have good health, you have everything!"
About 2,000 years ago the Sages redacted the Shemoneh Esray (also called the Amidah) -- the prayer we pray three times a day. It has 3 sections: 1) Praises of the Almighty (we should recognize the Source of all our blessings). 2) Personal and National requests. 3) Thanks to the Almighty for all that He has given us. What do you think the first request the Rabbis instructed us to ask from the Almighty each day? Wisdom! The Almighty should grant us the ability to think, to make distinctions, gain insights and to make decisions with wisdom.
Why not ask for health first? Many years ago I asked my teacher, Rabbi Noah Weinberg, of blessed memory, that question. He replied, "What would you say if I told you about a person I know who is over 100 years old and in perfect health?" After I replied that it sounded fabulous, he asked, "And what would you say if I told you that he's been in coma for 30 years? There is more to life than good health. Whatever the Almighty gives you --including health challenges -- is your opportunity to fulfill your purpose in this world for spiritual growth and character refinement. For that, you need awareness and the ability to think."
The Almighty is constantly speaking to us. Whatever happens to us, who we meet, what we see -- these are messages. It is up to us to be aware and to think about our lives and how we are progressing in all aspects of our life and our relations. I once saw a beautiful quote: There are 3 types of people: 1) Those who make things happen. 2) Those who watch things happen. 3) Those who ask, "What happened?"
One tool to build awareness and to aid in personal growth is to make a daily accounting before you go to sleep. Growth and accomplishment only comes through focus and effort. Each day ask yourself: 1) What am I living for? 2) What did I do towards my goal today? 3) What did I do away from my goal today? 4) What is a better goal to work towards? 5) What do I have in my life for which I should be grateful? If you do this, you will find that you will have more appreciation of life and greater accomplishment.
Love Yehuda Lave
As the leading targets of hate crimes, Jews are routinely being attacked in the streets of New York City. So why is no one acting like it's a big deal? By Armin Rose
The incidents now pass without much notice, a steady, familiar drumbeat of violence and hate targeting visibly Jewish people in New York City.
Early on the morning of June 15, a Saturday, two men in a white Infiniti drove around Borough Park, a vast, traditional Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in central Brooklyn. Surveillance footage posted on the local website BoroPark24 showed a man jumping out of the car's passenger side as someone in a shtreimel and long black jacket walked down the sidewalk in their direction. As the car idled, the passenger approached the Jewish stranger, lunged at him in a linebacker-like stutter-step, and then darted to the waiting vehicle, which promptly sped away. Levi Yitzhak Leifer, head of the Borough Park Shmira neighborhood patrol, said there were at least six and as many as nine reported incidents that night involving the same vehicle. Beresch Freilich, a rabbi who serves as a community liaison with the NYPD in Borough Park, said that some of the targeted individuals sensed a violent intent: "The car passed by going back and forth, and they felt it was trying to run them over."
The article is too long to produce here and it has a map of the violance, so please go to the site below to read.
How the AMIA attack changed Latin American Jewry forever
Twenty-five years after the terrorist attack that targeted the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires, leaving 85 people dead and hundreds more injured, one thing is clear: The lives of Latin American Jews were changed forever.
Latin America had the third largest Jewish population after Israel and the United States at the time, with nearly 200,000 Jews at the time from various religious and ethnic backgrounds. At 9:53 on the morning of July 18, 1994, these relatively quiet, laissez–faire communities came face to face with their own vulnerability.
Learn more about the bombing's impact or read— below.
A letter attached to the most recent municipal tax bill received by Tel Aviv residents informed those renting out apartments for the short-term, such as through Airbnb, that they will be paying almost 2.5 times the regular rate. Instead of NIS 52.20 per square meter per year, apartment owners renting out their homes through Airbnb will be paying NIS 124.01 per square meter per year.
The change does not take place with immediate effect. Although the city council has approved the change, the ministers of interior and finance also need to approve the measure. This is likely to happen before August 18 for the rest of 2019 and by the end of the year for the 2020 municipal taxes.
The Tel Aviv - Jaffa Municipality claims that the current tax rate of NIS 52.20 per year is one of the lowest for Israel's biggest cities. Following the sharp rise in the number of apartments rented out commercially and the subsequent harm to the quality of life of residents, and the effect it has on the rental market, the figure of NIS 124.01 per square meter was set, approved and now awaits approval from the ministers.
There is speculation that the municipality may introduce further measures such as restricting to 90 days per year the amount of time an apartment can be leased to vacationers. Paris, for example, already has such a restriction of 120 days, while Barcelona restricts the number of licenses given for vacation apartments. Barcelona's residents are up in arms about 'over tourism' and the protest movement it has spurned concerned not only by overcrowding in public spaces but also the tourists bustling up and down their apartment staircase. There is a long list of other prominent European cities, including Amsterdam, Berlin and Vienna, have asked the EU to take action over Airbnb.
According to the Tel Aviv Municipality, while the city has 10,500 hotel rooms, 17,000 rooms are available for short term rental. 81% of them are complete apartments rented out at an average price of $186 per night. Most of these apartments are in central Tel Aviv.
The municipality has calculated that this works out to one apartment rented out to tourists for every 25.4 residents. This compares with a ratio of one apartment for every 113.4 residents in Rome and every 45.1 residents in Amsterdam.
In Tel Aviv, the municipality has found that 70% of the properties on short-term rentals are concentrated in the hands of a very small number of owners. For example, the municipality found that the 3,087 apartments advertised on Airbnb had just 191 owners. The municipality said that, "After the ministers approve the new clause, these properties would be located by the municipality by the means at our disposal and they will be charged accordingly."
The Airbnb phenomenon has also taken thousands of apartments off the market, which would otherwise be available for regular rentals, pushing up prices and making options scarcer for young people looking to rent in Tel Aviv.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on July 11, 2019
It doesn't take much imagination to extrapolate the message to the rest of Europe - and possibly to the rest of the world.
THIS WAS IN A SPANISH NEWSPAPER: "EUROPEAN LIFE DIED IN AUSCHWITZ"
By Sebastian Vilar Rodrigez
"I walked down the street in Barcelona and suddenly discovered a terrible truth - Europe died in Auschwitz ... We killed six million Jews and replaced them with 20 million Muslims. In Auschwitz we burned a culture, thought, creativity, talent. We destroyed the chosen people, truly chosen, because they produced great and wonderful people who changed the world.
The contribution of this people is felt in all areas of life: science, art, international trade, and above all, as the conscience of the world. These are the people we burned.
And under the pretense of tolerance, and because we wanted to prove to ourselves that we were cured of the disease of racism, opened our gates to 20 million Muslims , who brought us stupidity and ignorance, religious extremism and lack of tolerance, crime and poverty, due to an unwillingness to work and support their families with pride.
They have blown up our trains and turned our beautiful Spanish cities into the third world, drowning in filth and crime. Shut up in the apartments they receive free from the government, they plan the murder and destruction of their naive hosts.
And thus, in our misery, we have exchanged culture for fanatical hatred, creative skill for destructive skill, intelligence for backwardness and superstition. We have exchanged the pursuit of peace of the Jews of Europe and their talent for a better future for their children, their determined clinging to life because life is holy, for those who pursue death, for people consumed by the desire for death for themselves and others, for our children and theirs.
What a terrible mistake was made by miserable Europe .
A lot of Americans have become so insulated from reality that they imagine America can suffer defeat without any inconvenience to themselves.
Recently, the UK debated whether to remove The Holocaust from its school curriculum because it 'offends' the Muslim population which claims it never occurred. It is not removed as yet. However, this is a frightening portent of the fear that is gripping the world and how easily each country is giving in to it.
It is now more than sixty years after the Second World War in Europe ended. This e-mail is being sent as a memorial chain, in memory of the six million Jews, twenty million Russians, ten million Christians, and nineteen-hundred Catholic priests who were 'murdered, raped, burned, starved, beaten, experimented on and humiliated.' Now, more than ever, with Iran, among others, claiming the Holocaust to be 'a myth,' it is imperative to make sure the world never forgets.
How many years will it be before the attack on the 'World Trade Centre' 'NEVER HAPPENED' because it offends some Muslim in the United States ? If our Judeo-Christian heritage is offensive to Muslims, they should pack up and move to Iran, Iraq or some other Muslim country.
We must wake up before it's too late.
"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch and do nothing" - Albert Einstein
The Fourth Reich picks a new Führer. July 22, 2019 Bruce Bawer
No sane person could have witnessed the coronation this week of the new grand poobah of the European Union without recognizing just how utterly undemocratic – and dangerous – this institution is.
Her name is Ursula von der Leyen, a name that instantly communicates two important facts: (1) she is German; (2) she is a member of a hereditary elite.
To be sure, the "von" is courtesy of her husband, who belongs to an aristocratic family. But her own blood also runs blue. In addition to having a tony Teutonic lineage – she was born into the patrician Albrecht clan – she's descended from a couple of the biggest slave traders in the American South. Her grandfather, Carl Albrecht, was a psychologist famous for his studies of "mystical consciousness." Her father, Ernst Albrecht, was one of the very first bureaucrats to tread the corridors of power in what would later become the European Union
Raised in Belgium, von der Leyen studied in Germany and Britain, and lived for a while in the U.S., along the way picking up degrees in economics and public health and also becoming a gynecologist. But she eventually settled on politics, hitching her wagon to Angela Merkel and climbing the ladder of power in Germany, getting herself elected to the Bundestag and serving in turn as Minister of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women, and Youth; Minister of Labor and Social Affairs; and Minister of Defense. In the last-named position, she didn't exactly cover herself in glory: as President Trump has pointed out, Germany has consistently failed to pull its weight in NATO; British journalist Andrew Neil recently referred to her as a "failed" Defense Minister and as "the second most unpopular politician in Germany."
None of which should come as a surprise, because the top Brussels jobs are routinely the next stop for failed, unpopular European politicians. You don't need to be competent to get tagged for a leadership position in the EU, and you definitely don't need to be popular. Von der Leyen got picked to be the most powerful official in the EU – with a population upwards of 500 million – by the twenty-eight members of the Council of Europe. On Tuesday, the European Parliament got to weigh in on her appointment and to vote to ratify her selection, but it was hardly an exercise in democracy: as in the Soviet Union and other Communist states, it was an "election" with one candidate.
And von der Leyen won. It was a close vote, but she still won. Consequently, as the EU continues its long metamorphosis from a coal and steel community into a hyperstate, the closest thing it has to a president is a woman who has said that she looks forward to a United States of Europe and is eager to build an EU military. Perhaps one reason for her disastrous tenure in the German Defense Ministry (as Andrew Neil put it: "Sixty percent of their planes can't fly. A hundred percent of their submarines can't take to the sea") was that she wasn't really all that interested in upgrading her own country's armed forces and keeping NATO strong – her real goal is to establish the EU as a major military power, effectively replacing NATO.
Before the EU Parliament voted on her candidacy, von der Leyen was given a chance to address its members. Her speech was a cavalcade of clichés about "turn[ing] challenges into opportunities" and "tak[ing] bold steps together," not to mention developing "frameworks," creating "mechanisms," and introducing new "schemes." Banal stuff. But the actual content was frankly scary, even for those of us who are already onto these people's dark intentions. Speaking in the chamber of the EU Parliament, von der Leyen sounded for all the world like a dictator, calling for her subjects to march in unison, to "move together" in "solidarity," because "we all share the same destination." She made it clear that there is something called "the European way," and she knows what it is – it is now her job to define what it is – and everybody had better get on board pronto and move in lockstep into the golden future time. She promised a new "European climate law," a new EU unemployment-insurance arrangement, and a variety of other new laws and regulations. She vowed to order member states to provide equal numbers of male and female EU commissioners – and she vowed that if they failed to comply, she would reject their nominees and force them to bend to her will.
"The world," she pronounced, "is calling for more Europe. The world needs more Europe....Europe should have a stronger and more united voice in the world." Note that "more united" bit – this is a canny way of saying that the duly elected governments of supposedly sovereign EU nations should henceforth be even more obedient to her than they were to her predecessor, Jean-Claude Juncker. Then there was this: "We must have the courage to take foreign policy decisions by qualified majority and to have the courage to stand behind them." This is a sheer power grab: what she's saying here is that she plans to compel member states, whatever the will of their citizens, to subscribe to a single foreign policy to be determined by Brussels.
She even compared the EU to a marriage. Nor was it possible to ignore her fondness for the words "strong" and "strength." The idea of herself as Führer of a mighty realm stretching from Portugal to Finland, from Ireland to Cyprus, manifestly gets this woman's juices flowing. After the European Parliament confirmed her as President of the European Commission, she gave an acceptance speech in which she actually told the legislators that "your confidence in me is confidence in Europe." Translation: L'État, c'est moi. What is it about the spectacle of a power-hungry German envisioning an omnipotent European empire – with herself at the helm – that sounds so unsettling? Who was it, again, who said "Ich bin Deutschland, und Deutschland bin ich"?
As Nigel Farage commented in the European Parliament on Tuesday, von der Leyen is plainly out "to take control of every single aspect of our lives....she wants to build a centralized, undemocratic, updated form of communism." The second the word "communism" passed his lips, the hall was filled with cries of outrage. But it was scarcely an exaggeration. (Imagine if he had said "Nazism"!) Noting von der Leyen's enthusiasm for an EU military, Farage pointed out that "what is there for defense can also be used for attack." Indeed, there can be little doubt that one reason von der Leyen and company are itching to build a European army is that they want to prevent any more Brexits: try to pull your country out of the EU a few years from now and, if she has her way, Brussels will do to you what Moscow did to Hungary in 1956 and to Czechoslovakia in 1968.
Welcome, then, to the new Europe. Just make sure to stay in line and keep your mouth shut – except, of course, when singing the "Ode to Joy."