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
"According to the word of the Almighty they shall encamp and according to the word of the Almighty they shall travel." (Numbers 9:23)
___What lesson for life can we learn from this verse?
___When a person is in his usual place, it is relatively easy to keep higher standards of Torah observance. However, when a person travels, said the Chofetz Chaim, there are many tests that arise. When in a strange place, away from one's familiar environment, one is faced with new difficulties. Also, there is not the social pressure to maintain one's standards. A person needs to make a special effort to observe Torah values.
___This is hinted to in our verse: Whether at rest in one's home environment or traveling, all that you do should be "according to the word of the Almighty."
___Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetzky was about to take his place at the end of a long line waiting to board a bus, when someone in front of the line who knew him called out, "Rebbe, you can come here in front of me!"
___"I'm not permitted to," replied Rav Yaakov. "It would be stealing."
___"I give you permission. I don't mind."
___"But what about everybody else behind you?" said the Rosh Hayeshiva. "I would be stealing their time and choice of seat by moving them back one. Who says they allow me to?" And Rav Yaakov took his place at the end of the line. (The Jewish Observer, November, 1985)
Since I am traveling in Poland as I write this email, the point is very well taken.
Love Yehuda Lave
Archaeologists find priceless Hebrew inscriptions in the ruins of an ancient Synagogue in Lithuania
Hebrew inscriptions exposed for the first time since historic synagogue was destroyed in the Holocaust
Archaeologists have uncovered 200-year-old Hebrew inscriptions at the site of the Great Synagogue of Vilna (Vilnius) in Lithuania for the first time since its destruction during the Holocaust.
Constructed in the 17th century, the impressive Renaissance-Baroque-style Great Synagogue was razed during the Nazi occupation of Lithuania.
Lithuanian and Israeli researchers have found an inscription, dated to 1796, that was part of a stone Torah reading table in the synagogue. The table was used to read the Torah to the synagogue's congregation until the building's burning and final destruction by the Soviets 70 years ago.
The inscriptions explain that the table was donated by brothers Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Shmuel in memory of their mother, Sarah, and father, Rabbi Chaim, who had emigrated to Israel. Passages from the Bible were also uncovered.
The excavation of the Great Synagogue of Vilnius. (Jon Seligman, Israel Antiquities Authority)
Additionally, a seating plaque for the head of the organization that managed the synagogue was found as well as large sections of the synagogue's once magnificent Bimah. The Bimah, a platform from where the Torah is read, was once an ornate two-story structure within the synagogue. Other recent discoveries include hundreds of coins from the 16th to 20th centuries and buttons from Napoleon's Army, which passed through Vilnius during its ill-fated invasion of Russia in 1812.
Experts from the Israel Antiquities Authority and Lithuanian conservation officials have been excavating the site every summer for the last four years. "The project of exposing the historic Great Synagogue of Vilna is part of the IAA's 'Heritage without Borders' concept, which also includes the research of sites outside the borders of the State of Israel," said IAA director Israel Hasson, in a statement. "This arises from the perception that the IAA was entrusted by the Israeli public to serve as the 'watchtower' on its behalf for the protection of heritage and cultural assets."
Dr. Vladimir Levin of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem also studied the inscription.
The inscription was once part of a stone Torah reading table. (Jon Seligman, Israel Antiquities Authority)
The synagogue was at the heart of the Jewish community in Vilnius for hundreds of years until its destruction by the Nazis. Prior to the Holocaust, the Great Synagogue was also surrounded by a host of buildings, including other synagogues, a community council, kosher meat stalls, miqva'ot (ritual baths) and the famous Strashun rabbinical library.
The site was also home to Rabbi Eliyahu, the celebrated 18th-century Vilna Gaon, or "genius."
The Great Synagogue compound was looted and burned by German forces in 1941, and the standing remains were later completely destroyed by Soviet authorities in the 1950s. The Soviets later built a school on top of the area in 1964.
In 2015, archaeologists used ground-penetrating radar to locate the remains of the Great Synagogue and the buildings around its 'Shulhoyf' or 'shulof' community courtyard. In 2017 researchers uncovered two ritual baths in the remains of the synagogue.
The Best Jewish Fast
How can fasting help us to bring the Messiah and the Final Redemption? Is there anything we can do to repair what is spiritually wrong with the world? What caused our exile from Jerusalem 2,000 years ago?
Omar: Americans 'Should be More Fearful of White Men' than Muslims
"It has become commonplace for Leftists to assert that 'white nationalists' are a greater threat to Americans than Islamic jihadis," writes Robert Spencer on Jihad Watch.
By World Israel News Staff
Amid the controversies surrounding Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), a Muslim congresswoman who favors boycotting the State of Israel, a 2018 interview with Al-Jazeera has resurfaced from before she entered Congress in which she says that Americans "should be more fearful of white men across our country" than Muslims "because they are actually causing most of the deaths within this country."
"And so if fear was the driving force of policies to keep America safe – Americans safe inside of this country – we should be profiling, monitoring, and creating policies to fight the radicalization of white men," said Omar in the interview, as reported by Fox News on Wednesday.
"It has become commonplace for Leftists to assert that 'white nationalists' are a greater threat to Americans than Islamic jihadis," writes Robert Spencer on the Jihad Watch website, in an article in response published on Thursday.
The argument, Spencer writes, stems from a study conducted by the New America Foundation which, he says, "ignored the many, many foiled jihad plots, and the fact that jihadis are part of an international movement that has killed many thousands of people, while right-wingers and white supremacists are not."
The study is also "based on the number of those killed by jihadis and by right-wing extremists since September 12, 2001, leaving out 9/11," he adds.
Even so, Spencer writes, "Counting the Orlando jihad massacre, which took place after the study was published, but leaving out 9/11 as the NAF study did, the death toll stood at 76 killed by Islamic jihadis, and 48 by purported right-wing extremists (I repeat 'purported' because to get to its count of 48, the NAF counted as 'right-wing' attacks killings that were perpetrated by people who were obviously deranged psychopaths devoid of any ideology)."
Regarding the 9/11 attacks, Omar has been challenged about comments she has made about Al-Qaida, in particular at a Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) fundraiser earlier this year where she referred to the horrific September 11 attack as "some people did something."
Omar had said that "CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties."
Recorded from AMC's backstory series in 2001. Enjoy.
A little on the Risque side. You are warned if you don't like Mel Brooks humor
Roman church unearthed in northern Israel
Byzantine church matches location of Bethsaida, archaeologist says.
Excavations in Israel's Galilee have uncovered remains of an ancient church said to mark the home of the apostles Peter and Andrew, the dig's archaeological director said Friday.
Mordechai Aviam of Kinneret Academic College, on the shore of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) in northern Israel, said this season's dig at nearby El-Araj confirmed it as the site of Bethsaida, a fishing village where the two are said to have been born.
The Byzantine church was found near remnants of a Roman-era settlement, matching the location of Bethsaida as described by the first century AD Roman historian Flavius Josephus, Aviam said.
The newly-discovered church, he added, fitted the account of Willibald, the Bavarian bishop of Eichstaett who visited the area around 725 AD and reported that a church at Bethsaida had been built on the site of Peter and Andrew's home.
According to Willibald, Aviam says, Bethsaida lay between the biblical sites of Capernaum and Kursi.
"We excavated only one third of the church, a bit less, but we have a church and that's for sure," Aviam told AFP.
"The plan is of a church, the dates are Byzantine, the mosaic floors are typical... chancel screens, everything that is typical of a church."
"Between Capernaum and Kursi there is only one place where a church is described by the visitor in the eighth century and we discovered it, so this is the one," he said.
Christians believe that Peter, originally a fisherman, was one of the first Christians and the leader of the early Church following the ascension. The Catholic Church also venerates him as its first pope.
El-Araj, known as Beit Habeck in Hebrew, is not the only candidate for the site of Bethsaida.
About two kilometers (more than a mile) away at e-Tell, digging has been going on since 1987 and according to the National Geographic website has unearthed major ninth-century BC fortifications and "Roman-period houses with fishing equipment, including iron anchors and fishing hooks, and the remains of what may be a Roman temple."
Aviam is convinced that he and his international team, with Professor R. Steven Notley of New York City's Nyack College as academic director, are digging in the right spot.
"We have a Roman village, in the village we have pottery, coins, also stone vessels which are typical of first century Jewish life, so now we strengthen our suggestion and identification that El-Araj is a much better candidate for Bethsaida than e-Tell," he said.
"It has been excavated for the past 32 years. We started digging two years ago because we thought it's the better one and now we have the proofs."
Notley, interviewed in Israeli daily Haaretz, is a little more cautious, saying the clincher will be if complete excavation of the El-Araj church reveals an inscription.
"It would be normal to find an inscription in a church of the Byzantine period, describing in whose memory it was built, for instance," he told the paper.
See you tomorrow, bii neder as I continue my tour of Poland