Friday, August 9, 2019

Hamas Boasts that They Can Strike Israel Anywhere and Moat Discovered Around Jerusalem Similar to Prophecy of Daniel Regarding Messiah By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz and customs when Tish Abov falls on Saturday night

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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

"See I am placing before you this day a blessing and a curse. The blessing, if you will listen to the commandments of the Almighty which I am commanding you this day. And the curse, if you do not listen to the Almighty's commandments" (Deut. 11:26-28).

On top of this, the Sforno, a renowned 15th century Italian commentator, adds "There is no middle way. If a person follows the Torah, his life will be a blessed life. If a person fails to live by the commandments, he will live a cursed life."

This seems to be a rather extreme statement. However, if we understand that life is either purposeful and meaningful or not, then we can understand that a life of meaning is a blessed life. And a life without meaning is a life devoid of satisfaction and imbued with a sense that nothing makes a difference when life is over anyway (and what could be a greater curse than that?).

Understanding that there is a God Who created the world, sustains it and supervises it -- gives life intrinsic meaning. One can always create a sense of meaning in a diversion -- acquiring wealth, following baseball or even in something as noble as helping others. However, unless there is a God and there are absolute responsibilities and values, then there is no inherent meaning to life. It gnaws at one's psyche.

A person needs to have purpose in life, to know that life is meaningful. To be aware of the Creator and to fulfill His will enables a person to experience the greatest of blessings in this world. Each day will be an exciting adventure full of the joy of doing the Almighty's will. The choice is yours to make. Choose life!

Love Yehuda Lave

Hamas Boasts that They Can Strike Israel Anywhere

Hamas terrorist leader Ismail Haniyeh has said over the weekend that his group has rockets that can strike anywhere in Israel.

"Our missiles cover all of Israel, and the leadership of the Zionist entity knows that aggression on its part will be met with a harsh response from us," Haniyeh said at a meeting with Turkish journalists that was broadcast by video conference from his Gaza office.

Asked about the relationship of his movement with Iran, the terrorist leader confirmed that a delegation of senior terrorist officials had arrived in Tehran for an official visit lasting several days.

On Saturday, Hamas also confirmed that a new round of financial assistance from Qatar is expected to be transferred to the Gaza Strip this week. The majority of the funds are expected to be transferred in the form of aid to more than 60,000 Palestinian families in need in Gaza. Each family should receive an average of about $100.

Hamas, which has ruled the Gaza Strip since it took control of the territory through violence in 2007, is on the lists of terrorist organizations drawn up by Israel and the United States. Hamas refuses to recognize Israel or the peace agreements that have been signed by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, and insists that only force can put an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.

"We will oppose an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, although Hamas agrees to a Palestinian state on temporary borders, and this is not a concession on Hamas' part on the rest of Palestine," Haniyeh said.

This past Friday, some 6,000 Palestinians in Gaza rioted at the border, burning tires and throwing stones at IDF forces.

A Review of the Customs when Tisha'a B'Av falls on Shabbat Rav Yosef Ote

After the construction of Bayit Sheini, there was disagreement regarding fasting on Tisha'a B'Av. Some Rishonim, based on Talmudic literature, wrote that Tisha'a B'Avbecame a day of festivity and joy. By contrast, the Rambam wrote in his commentary on Tractate Rosh Hashana that it was still customary to fast on Tisha'a B'Av.

Nonetheless, it is clear that when Tisha'a B'Av falls on Shabbat, we do not fast. This year, 2019, Tisha'a B'Av once again falls on Shabbat and there is no mourning on Shabbat. Hence, we pray that this will be a good omen bringing a speedy redemption for Israel.
1. Shabbat Preparations:
a. One must not show signs of mourning on Shabbat (although some Ashkenazim are accustomed to mourn in private).
b. Ashkenazim are accustomed to bathe in lukewarm water in honor of Shabbat KodeshSephardim are permitted to bathe in hot water. (One who finds it difficult to bathe in lukewarm water may bathe in hot water.)
c. Ashkenazi men are accustomed not to shave from Rosh Chodesh Av and that applies to erev Shabbat Chazon as well (and especially applies to erev Shabbat Tisha'a B'Av). Sephardim are permitted to shave but it is good to be stringent upon themselves.
d. It is customary to dress as one would normally for Shabbat
2. The Transition from Shabbat to the Fast of Tisha'a B'Av:
a. We will daven Mincha this Shabbat afternoon at 5:00 pm. After Mincha, one must go home and eat seuda sh'lishit which is also seuda mafseket. It is a regular seuda sh'lishitlike any other shabbat (wine and meat are permitted).
b. Bentching must be finished before 7:33 pm at which time the fast begins.
c. Although the fast begins at 7:33 pm, the laws of mourning do not go into effect until 7:59 pm.
d. At 7:59 pm one should say the words, "Baruch hamavdil bein kodesh l'chol."
e. Change to weekday clothes (not freshly laundered).
f. Change to non-leather shoes. Some poskim are stringent and prohibit wearing comfortable shoes even if they are not leather.

3. Maariv:
a. We will daven Ma'ariv in shul at 8:30 pm. During the Shemoneh Esrei we will recite
 "Ata Chonantanu".
b. After davening, we will recite the blessing "Borei Me'orei ha'esh" on a candle. One who will not be in shul should recite "Borei Me'orei ha'esh" after davening at home.

4. After the fast (Sunday night):
a. After Arvit, we recite Kiddush Halevana.
b. Havdala is made without the b'racha on be'samim (only ha'gefen on wine and the havdala b'racha).
c. Since the date is the 11th of Av, we do not practice any more customs of mourning. 

Amazon To Launch In Israel In September

 Amazon has set its Israeli launch for September. Israeli retailers who have opened an Amazon store in anticipation of the launch told Calcalist that they have received notice of the planned launch earlier this week. Amazon is set to release a large campaign in August to increase awareness among Israelis, with an emphasis on the new local sellers, according to several people familiar with the matter who spoke to Calcalist on condition of anonymity.

At least for the time being, Amazon will not open a dedicated website in Hebrew. The company's general preference is to avoid setting up local language websites, as they tend to double the operating costs for sellers. Even after the September launch, Israeli consumers will continue placing their orders on Amazon's main website, and the shipping time for overseas sellers will not change. The system will begin identifying customers with an Israeli IP and boost local retailers on the searches accordingly.

Local retailers told Calcalist that Amazon is waiting until it has signed at least 100 Israeli shops prior to the launch.

Local delivery companies are getting ready for the launch as well, according to the people familiar with the matter. Delivery company Orian has set up a local logistics center per Amazon's demands and partnered with taxi-hailing company Gett to cater to local sellers. UPS has partnered with eCommunity — which helps sellers set up shops on e-commerce websites like Amazon and eBay — to set up warehouses in Israel's center.

Logistics are the Achilles heel of e-commerce, said Nir Zigdon, co-founder of eCommunity, in an interview with Calcalist. Most existing warehouses in Israel are not suitable for Amazon, which requires synchronization between the company and the warehouse, seller, and customer.

"Once an Israeli customer buys a product, the software will send an order to the warehouse, and the product will be sent to the national sorting center, and from there to the buyer's residence within 24-48 hours," Zigdon said.

Moat Discovered Around Jerusalem Similar to Prophecy of Daniel Regarding Messiah By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz

Yerushalayim until the [time of the] anointed leader is seven weeks, and for sixty-two weeks it will be rebuilt, square and moat Daniel 9:25

A recent archaeological discovery confirmed that moats, as described in Daniel's 70 weeks prophecy, played an essential role in Jerusalem and were a sign of Israel's return from the Babylonian exile. A rabbi gives an in-depth explanation of the prophecy that Daniel himself got wrong.

Moat Discovered From Crusader Period

Last week, archaeologists announced the discovery of an 11th-century moat outside the walls of Jerusalem. Researchers believe the moat was from a five-week battle for Jerusalem between Crusader armies and the Fatimid Caliphate which controlled the region in 1099 C.E. According to historical accounts, the Muslim defenders dug the moat to protect against French Crusaders attacking from the south.  The French count promised golden dinars to all Crusaders who would help fill the ditch so he could build a stable siege tower against the wall. Archeologists were working at uncovering a ditch when they noticed that the dirt layers were not sloping away from the city wall, but rather toward it, in a manner consistent with a ditch or moat which had been filled in, confirming the account of the moat being filled in. The siege was ultimately successful.

Over five years, the team mapped and dated the layers and artifacts, revealing a 13-foot-deep, 56-foot-wide moat. A blackened layer found atop the moat is believed to be evidence of the 1153 civil war between Crusader King Baldwin III of Jerusalem and his mother, Queen Melisende.

Moats have frequently been prominent features in the defense of Jerusalem. Visitors to the Old City can still see the remains of a large moat surrounding the Tower of David.Josephus Flavius, a first-century Romano-Jewish scholar,  described a moat built in the Second Temple Era to the north of the city.

Daniel's Moat Prophecy

It could be that this moat described by Josephus was the one mentioned in the prophecy in the Book of Daniel whose reconstruction was a necessary component signifying the return of the Jews from the Babylonian exile, a prophecy so difficult and complex that Daniel himself was wrought with delf-doubt over how to understand it.

Rabbi Tovia Singer, who has taught Torah around the world, emphasized that the only way to understand the prophecy was to see it from Daniel's perspective.

"The context is that Daniel is standing in the first year of Darius the Mede, the father-in-law of Cyrus," Rabbi Singer explained to Breaking Israel News. "The Babylonian empire collapses and the Persian Empire emerges."

Darius the Mede is mentioned in the Book of Daniel as king of Babylon between Belshazzar and Cyrus the Great, but he is not known to history, and no additional king can be placed between the known figures of Belshazzar and Cyrus.  Most scholars view him as literary fiction but Biblical scholars rely on Daniel's account as being factually accurate. 

Daniel Fears Seven Fold Punishment: 490 Years of Exile

"Cyrus tells the Jews to go back to Israel 50 years after the destruction of the First Temple," Rabbi Singer explained. "But Daniel has a problem. Although the Babylonian Empire has collapsed, The Jews are not going back. Daniel is petrified because of what is written in Leviticus."

I will act against you in wrathful hostility; I, for My part, will discipline you sevenfold for your sins. Leviticus 26:28

"Daniel is afraid that if the Jews refuse to return to Israel, the Exile will become seven times 70, or 490 years," Rabbi Singer said. "He based this understanding on two prophecies in Jeremiah." 

When the seventy years are over, I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation and the land of the Chaldeans for their sins—declares Hashem—and I will make it a desolation for all time. Jeremiah 25:12

For thus said Hashem: When Babylon's seventy years are over, I will take note of you, and I will fulfill to you My promise of favor—to bring you back to this place. Jeremiah 29:10

The two prophecies describe separate aspects of redemption. Chapter 25 describes Babylon collapsing but does not describe the Jews returning. The following prophecy is about seventy years and the Jews returning.

"When Daniel realized that the year 3390 was at hand, and there was no sign of the impending redemption, he became deeply agitated," Rabbi Singer said. "Daniel thought that the sins of Jewry had caused the date to be delayed, or worse – canceled. This terrifying thought compelled Daniel to fast and pray for the restoration of Jerusalem and its Sanctuary."

Daniel's Mistake in Calculations

"Daniel's mistake was that he tried to figure out the two prophecies of Jeremiah concerning the 70 year period. But he miscalculates," Rabbi Singer said. "Nebuchadnezzar was king for one year before capturing Jerusalem. 18 years Later he destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple. Daniel started counting when Nebuchadnezzar came into power. In the Book of Daniel, he finds out from the angel Gabriel that he made a mistake and that the two prophecies in Jeremiah are not synonymous. The angel Gabriel responds to Daniel's prayerful inquiry of God by carefully outlining the course of events which was to unfold over a crucial period of time that spanned 490 years, or "70 weeks""

It is in the ninth chapter that Daniel is made to understand by the Angel Gabriel that the two prophecies of Jeremiah are in fact not identical, and each one of them referred to a separate, but overlapping, 70-year period of time. Whereas the prophecy of Jeremiah 25:12 was, in fact, referring to the 70-year time span that began in the year 3320, when Jerusalem was subjugated, the prophecy that promised the restoration of the Jewish people to their land (29:10) was not to begin for another 18 years.

The Babylonian exile lasted 70 years, plus the 420 years which the Second Temple stood.

"Thus, the angel was not only revealing to Daniel when the Second Temple would be restored, but when it would be destroyed as well," Rabbi Singer said. "Gabriel also reveals that once these 70 weeks were completed, the Messianic Age could begin."

Angel's Explanation: Redemption is at Hand

"The angel reassured Daniel that God was answering his prayers of repentance and that the Exile would not be lengthened," Rabbi Singer said.

This lends a different understanding of the 'seven weeks' described by Daniel.

Rabbi Singer emphasized that Messiah described by Daniel is not the Messiah who comes in the end-of-days. He explained that the English word 'Messiah' comes from the Hebrew word 'Moshiach', meaning anointed and should always be translated as such.

"Who is this anointed prince who gives the command to rebuild Jerusalem?" Rabbi Singer asked rhetorically. "As per Isaiah, that would be Cyrus."

"Thus said Hashem to Cyrus, His anointed one— Whose right hand He has grasped, treading down nations before him, Ungirding the loins of kings, opening doors before him and letting no gate stay shut." Isaiah 45:1

"Cyrus was God's anointed to call the Jews back to Israel, rebuild Jerusalem, and rebuild the Temple," Rabbi Singer said. "And once these 490 years are completed, it would indeed be up to each subsequent generation to turn back to God in order to bring about the glorious arrival of the final Messiah."

Rabbi Singer noted six elements described by Gabriel that will characterize the world in the Messianic Age yet to come.

  • termination of transgression 
  • end of sin 
  • removal of all iniquity
  • ushering in of everlasting righteousness 
  • sealing of vision and prophet 
  • anointing of the Holy of Holies. 

About the AuthorAdam Eliyahu Berkowitz is a features writer for Breaking Israel News. He made Aliyah to Israel in 1991 and served in the IDF as a combat medic. Berkowitz studied Jewish law and received rabbinical ordination in Israel. He has worked as a freelance writer and two works of fiction, The Hope Merchant and Dolphins on the Moon, are available on Amazon. He lives in the Golan Heights with his wife and their four children.   By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz


New app tracks beach conditions in Tel Aviv-Jaffa

Municipality project offers up-to-date information on weather at the shore and allows users to rent sun beds and chairs by phoneBy JESSICA STEINBERG

If you see a pink-and-white ice cream cart rolling along the Tel Aviv beach this week, you should know that it's part of the city's campaign to promote its new app, Tel Aviv-Jaffa Beaches.

Tel Aviv-Jaffa Beaches was created by Digital, a Tel Aviv resident membership, which offers discounts and promotions on services and facilities in the city, and which made the app available to residents and tourists.

The app includes information on all 13 beaches in Tel Aviv and Jaffa, offering details on wave height, water temperature and air temperature. Users can also rent 15 different items from the app, including sun beds, beach umbrellas and beach chairs, at a 66% discount from the regular rental facilities offered along the beachfront.

The app is currently available in English and Hebrew and will soon be available in Arabic.

Screenshots of the new beach app offered by the City of Tel Aviv-Jaffa, as part of their Digital app. (Courtesy City of Tel Aviv-Jaffa)

The ice cream truck, however, is only available from July 22 through the end of the month, so go and get your ice cream cones now.

See you Sunday bli neder Shabbat Shalom

Love Yehuda Lave

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

PO Box 7335, Rehavia Jerusalem 9107202


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