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
In my role as a journalist, last night I attended the First Herzl Conference on Contemporary Zionism last night, called from Vision to Reality. I will have more on it in a future blog but, I got to meet and shake hands with US Senator Joe Lieberman, and our President Rivlin at the meeting last night.
I will destroy my enemies by converting them to friends.
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
There are eight levels of charity.... The highest is when you strengthen a man's hand until he need no longer be dependent upon others.
Love Yehuda Lave
Free Shabbat Meals In Jerusalem Zev Stub
Free meals take place throughout the year - in Mea Shearim and by Western Wall (there is a large sign "Eshel Chabad")
Now the ticket purchase system is easier, simpler and more convenient than ever! As of 16/7/19, CityPass, with the cooperation of the Ministry of Transportation, has upgraded the ticket machines system at the stations, for your convenience:
New! From now on it will also be possible to load "stored value" on the Rav Kav card at the automated machines at the light rail stations and at the scustomer service center. A "stored value" contract is a travel contract by means of loading a certain amount of money on a Rav Kav card. You can load fixed amounts on your card for use on all public transit lines. Please note! The "stored value" contract is replacing the old kartisiyot (multi-ride tickets) and they will not be sold anymore (passengers who wlready have kartisiyot loaded will still be able to use them as usual).
Fast and easy! We have improved the user interface of the machines and now it is possible to purchase a single-trip paper ticket with one click. Please note! The single-trip paper ticket is now valid only on the day of purchase and grants a single trip without transfers.
Rav Kav Card renewal: Attention passengers! The card is valid for 8 years from the day it is issued. Passengers who have an expired card or a card about toe expire are welcome to renew it at any Ministry of Transport's "Al Hakav" stations.
*The validity of the card can be easily checked by placing the card on any of the card machines at the stations.
For more details and specific information, please visit us on our website and on Facebook.
The effort to find (or create) impeachable offense against President Donald Trump has now moved from the subjects of the Mueller investigation — collusion with Russia and obstruction of justice — to alleged recent political "sins": "quid pro quo" with Ukraine and obstruction of Congress.
The goal of the impeach-at-any-cost cadre has always been the same: impeach and remove Trump, regardless of whether or not he did anything warranting removal. The means — the alleged impeachable offenses — have changed, as earlier ones have proved meritless. The search for the perfect impeachable offense against Trump is reminiscent of overzealous prosecutors who target the defendant first and then search for the crime with which to charge him. Or to paraphrase the former head of the Soviet secret police to Stalin: show me the man and I will find you the crime.
Although this is not Stalin's Soviet Union, all civil libertarians should be concerned about an Alice in Wonderland process in which the search for an impeachable crime precedes the evidence that such a crime has actually been committed.
Before we get to the current search, a word about what constitutes an impeachable crime under the constitution, whose criteria are limited to treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors. There is a debate among students of the constitution over the intended meaning of "high crimes and misdemeanors." Some believe that these words encompass non-criminal behavior. Others, I among them, interpret these words more literally, requiring at the least criminal-like behavior, if not the actual violation of a criminal statute.
What is not debatable is that "maladministration" is an impermissible ground for impeachment. Why is that not debatable? Because it was already debated and explicitly rejected by the framers at the constitutional convention. James Madison, the father of our Constitution, opposed such open-ended criteria, lest they make the tenure of the president subject to the political will of Congress. Such criteria would turn our republic into a parliamentary democracy in which the leader — the prime minister — is subject to removal by a simple vote of no confidence by a majority of legislators. Instead, the framers demanded the more specific criminal-like criteria ultimately adopted by the convention and the states.
Congress does not have the constitutional authority to change these criteria without amending the Constitution. To paraphrase what many Democratic legislators are now saying: members of Congress are not above the law; they take an oath to apply the Constitution, not to ignore its specific criteria. Congresswoman Maxine Waters placed herself above the law when she said:
"Impeachment is about whatever Congress says it is. There is no law that dictates impeachment. What the Constitution says is 'high crimes and misdemeanors,' and we define that."
So, the question remains: did President Trump commit impeachable offenses when he spoke on the phone to the president of Ukraine and/or when he directed members of the Executive Branch to refuse to cooperate, absent a court order, with congressional Democrats who are seeking his impeachment?
The answers are plainly no and no. There is a constitutionally significant difference between a political "sin," on the one hand, and a crime or impeachable offenses, on the other.
Even taking the worst-case scenario regarding Ukraine — a quid pro quo exchange of foreign aid for a political favor — that might be a political sin, but not a crime or impeachable offense.
Many presidents have used their foreign policy power for political or personal advantage. Most recently, President Barack Obama misused his power in order to take personal revenge against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In the last days of his second term, Obama engineered a one-sided UN Security Council resolution declaring that Israel's control over the Western Wall — Judaism's holiest site — constitutes a "flagrant violation of international law." Nearly every member of Congress and many in his own administration opposed this unilateral change in our policy, but Obama was determined to take revenge against Netanyahu, whom he despised. Obama committed a political sin by placing his personal pique over our national interest, but he did not commit an impeachable offense.
Nor did President George H. W. Bush commit an impeachable offense when he pardoned Caspar Weinberger and others on the eve of their trials in order to prevent them from pointing the finger at him.
This brings us to President Trump's directive with regard to the impeachment investigation. Under our constitutional system of separation of powers, Congress may not compel the Executive Branch to cooperate with an impeachment investigation absent court orders. Conflicts between the Legislative and Executive Branches are resolved by the Judicial Branch, not by the unilateral dictate of a handful of partisan legislators. It is neither a crime nor an impeachable offense for the president to demand that Congress seek court orders to enforce their demands. Claims of executive and other privileges should be resolved by the Judicial Branch, not by calls for impeachment.
So, the search for the holy grail of a removable offense will continue, but it is unlikely to succeed. Our constitution provides a better way to decide who shall serve as president: it's called an election.
First Ever Sukkah At The White House
For the first time ever, a Sukkah was placed within the White House complex in Washington, DC, to celebrate the holiday of Sukkos.
While only open to White House and Treasury Dept. staff and their guests receiving US Secret Service clearance, dozens of officials took advantage of the Sukkah's presence during Chol Hamoed, with a small event just prior to the Sukkah being disassembled before Shabbos.
Netanyahu Won't Be The Only Victim By Caroline B. Glick
The ongoing criminal probes against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are reaching their climax. By the end of the month, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit will reportedly decide whether or not to end Netanyahu's political career by indicting him on corruption charges.
If Israel's attorney general does indict Netanyahu, however, he will have done far more than overthrow a political leader. He will have embraced a legal doctrine that rejects the very essence of democracy.
This truth has been largely ignored till now. It was only sounded in a significant way during the final half-hour of Netanyahu's four-day, 15-hour-a-day hearing two weeks ago. During that final half-hour, Mandelblit approved his attorneys' request to permit two senior American jurists – legendary litigator Nathan Lewin and Professor Avi Bell from University of San Diego and Bar Ilan University law schools – to address him.
The two presented points they made in a brief co-authored with Alan Dershowitz, Richard Heideman, and Joseph Tipograph. The brief focuses on the question at the heart of the two main investigations: Is it permissible to define a news organization's offer to cover a politician favorably a form of bribery?
Their answer was an unequivocal "No." The American jurists warned that if Mandelblit chooses to bow to the position of the prosecutors, he will bring about Israel's legal isolation throughout the free world.
In their brief, the American legal scholars examined court judgments and legal studies from the United States, Britain, Australia, and across Europe. The central issue in all of them was whether it is possible to limit – much less criminalize – relations between media agents and politicians. In all of the judgments and opinions, the answer was the same.
From Oslo to London to Sydney to Washington, the position of courts and senior jurists is that it is not permissible to criminalize or even set limits on such relations.
For instance, in 2010-2011, British Justice Sir Brian Leveson presided over a public inquiry into the practices of the British media in the wake of the News of the Worldhacking scandal. Among other things, Leveson investigated media mogul Rupert Murdoch's ties to British prime ministers Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair as well as to two Australian prime ministers.
The Leveson Report was published in 2012. It spans 2,000 pages. As the American jurists noted, the Leveson Report documents instances in which political leaders in both countries agreed to grant regulatory breaks and adopt policies that advanced Murdoch's interests in exchange for positive coverage during elections.
And yet, the American jurists explained to Mendelblit, the report "never suggests that Murdoch's flattering and hostile coverage could be deemed a 'bribe'" to the British leaders.
Bell, Lewin, and their colleagues cautioned Mandelblit that the reason the idea of criminalizing ties between politicians and media owners has been rejected is because the action threatens the foundations of democratic societies.
"Prosecution of the Netanyahu case would signal to journalists and media executives that favorable or damaging publicity about a candidate may be investigated by the police and by prosecutors…. If the police and prosecutors are empowered to probe the mixed motives of journalists and politicians, they can exercise arbitrary control over essential institutions of democracy," they warned.
In Israel, and throughout the free world, all politicians and media organs maintain ties with one another as a matter of course. If Mandelblit accepts the state prosecutor's position and indicts Netanyahu, practically speaking, he will render all politicians and media outlets in Israel hostage to state prosecutors.
At their pleasure, the prosecutors will be able to criminalize the routine practice of politics and journalism. They will be able to investigate anyone, at any time. They will be able to destroy reputations and squeeze politicians and media outlets financially by saddling them with legal fees – even send them to prison.
And at their pleasure, prosecutors will be able to decide not to investigate politicians and media outlets, and so leave them free to attack their less fortunate colleagues as "criminal suspects" and "alleged felons."
Some observers in Israel and worldwide may respond with a shrug of the shoulders. The prosecutors, after all, say they don't intend to abuse the power they are seizing. The only thing that concerns them, the prosecutors insist, is protecting the public from politicians and media moguls who reach backroom deals on the public's back.
This attitude of faith in the goodwill and objectivity of prosecutors is riddled with both substantive and normative drawbacks. Substantively, in democratic societies, the public doesn't need prosecutors to decide its interests. For that they have the ballot box.
The normative drawbacks have been evident throughout Netanyahu's investigation. Prosecutors and police investigators have provided anti-Netanyahu reporters with a steady flow of prejudicial leaks from interrogation rooms and from the prosecutions' internal deliberations.
As these leaks have been broadcast, the public has also been subjected to case after case in which other politicians have made deals with media owners that are substantively identical, and in some cases for more problematic than those Netanyahu is accused of having negotiated. But in all of these instances, police investigators and state prosecutors have stubbornly refused to open investigations.
Throughout their investigations of Netanyahu, state prosecutors have argued that media owners do not have a legal right to set editorial policy in their publications. In their view, if a media owner blocks the publication of articles that adversely affect their editorial line, the owner is wrongly constraining his writers' freedom of expression.
This position contradicts the right to own private property that stands at the heart of liberal democracy. Just as the owner of a shoe factory has the right to decide what sort of shoes his workers will make, so a media owner has the right to decide the editorial policy of his media outlet.
When Bell and Lewin noted this basic truth in the hearing, one of the prosecutors in the room was annoyed. "That's a capitalist position," she said.
Perhaps. And many members of Israel's elite look back with longing to the days when socialist and communist newspapers set the tone of the public discourse. But a person who longs for socialism in the name of equality is not more objective than someone who prefers capitalism in the name of freedom and liberty.
The Israeli establishment has long sought to destroy Netanyahu, the only political leader in Israeli history who was never a member of their club and never sought their approval. They haven't been able to defeat him at the ballot box and now they have placed their hopes in the politicized state prosecution.
If Mandelblit chooses to make their dream a reality, he will not merely have gotten rid of Netanyahu. He will have criminalized routine politics and so end Israeli democracy while replacing our political leaders with unelected prosecutors who have richly demonstrated their lack of objectivity and contempt for the public.