Sunday, October 13, 2019

What do we do on Sukkot starting tonight and Bank of Israel Approves New Digital Bank, Ending 50 Years of No New Banks By David Israel and Gandhi's 1939 Rosh Hashana Greeting To The Jewish People Revealed For First Time

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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

The Begining

 The Hebrew letters of Rosh (ראש) constitute the root of the Hebrew word for Genesis, pronounced "Be're'sheet" (בראשית), which is the first/lead word in the Bible (Book of Genesis).

Rosh Hashanah is celebrated on the first day of the Jewish month of Tishrei, which means beginning/Genesis in ancient Acadian. The Hebrew letters of Tishrei (תשרי) are also included in the spelling of Genesis (בראשית).

The Hebrew spelling of Genesis (בראשית) consists of the first two letters in the Hebrew alphabet (אב), the middle letter (י) and the last three letters (רשת) – representing the complete/wholesome undertaking of the Creation.

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Irving Moskowitz to be commemorated in Jerusalem

Jerusalem municipality to name street after legendary philanthropist Dr. Irving Moskowitz, who helped build Jewish community in the capital.

he Names Committee of the Jerusalem Municipality decided Tuesday to name several streets in the capital after a group of rabbis, cultural figures and pioneers.

Among the people named was Doctor Irving Moskowitz, a philanthropist who helped build and restore the Jewish community of eastern Jerusalem.

Moskowitz founded the Moskowitz Prize for Zionism, which grants $100,000 to organizations and social activists in Israel that fulfill the values ​​of Zionism. Moskowitz used his fortune to build up neighborhoods in Jerusalem, including Ma'aleh Hazetim, Kidmat Zion, the Ramban neighborhood and more.

Apart from his immense support for the Jewish community and State of Israel, Irving Moskowitz founded several hospitals and donated generously to many humanitarian causes in the United States and elsewhere.

Brigadier General Avigdor Kahalani recently appealed to the Jerusalem Municipality to commemorate Moskowitz.

"I appeal to you in every language of a request to commemorate a dear Jew, whose whole heart was dedicated to the State of Israel," Kahalani wrote. "Dr. Moskowitz has made a great contribution to the State and his main contribution has been to Jerusalem."

"The Old City is full of assets it has acquired to strengthen the city. Jerusalem was blessed by this man for whom words are not enough to sing his praises. Please give respect to the person who has personally strengthened the pillars of the city. He touched the rock of our existence and deserves a corner of respect in our capital," Kahalani added.

Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Leon welcomed the initiative. "It is a privilege and a duty to pay tribute to the builders of Jerusalem and the pioneers of settlement in the city. Moskowitz had invested a lot for the city and I am glad that it fell to the right to approve his commemoration."

The Names Committee of the Jerusalem Municipality has also decided to name streets with the name of Cinematheque founder Lia Van Lear, Japanese Righteous Among the Nations Chiune Sugihara, Jerusalem resident Maurice Rajuan and Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

The Names Committee also announced the perpetuation of victims of terrorist attacks on the streets of the Old City. The steps leading to Damascus Gate will be called "Ma'aleh Hadar V'Hadas" named for the late Border Police, Hadas Malka, who was murdered in 2017 in an attack at the location.

Another square in the Old City will be called Kikar Hag'vura (Heroes Square) named for Nehemiah Lavie and Aaron Bennett, who were killed in a terrorist attack four years ago.

Gandhi's1939 Rosh Hashana Greeting To The Jewish People Revealed For First Time

Published online for the first time is a recently surfaced Rosh Hashana greeting written by Mahatma Gandhi on September 1, 1939, the day the Nazis invaded Poland and World War II began.

Sent to A.E. Shohet, the head of the Bombay Zionist Association, the timing of the greeting reflects the extent to which Nazi persecution of Jews was of concern to global citizenry at the time and in hindsight, it also presents a chilling portent of the horrors to come.

It reads:

Dear Shohet,


You have my good wishes for your new year. How I wish the new year may mean an era of peace for your afflicted people.


Yours sincerely,

MK Gandhi




The greeting came to light as part of a major National Library of Israel initiative, with support from the Leir Foundation, to review and describe millions of items in its archival collections, which include personal papers, photographs, documents and more from many of the 20th century's most prominent cultural figures. 

Shohet was a leading figure from the Baghdadi Jewish community in Bombay. In addition to heading the Bombay Zionist Association, he was in charge of the city's office of the Zionist organization Keren Hayesod, and served as editor of "The Jewish Advocate", the organ of the Jewish National Fund and the BZA. 


Gandhi had been reluctant to declare his views on the Arab-Jewish question in Palestine and the persecution of German Jews. On November 26, 1938, he published an article entitled "The Jews" in the Harijan, offering "satyagraha" or non-violent resistance as his solution to both problems.  The article was harshly criticized by leading intellectuals of the period including Martin Buber. Shohet replied in "The Jewish Advocate", emphasizing one fundamental difference between the Jews in Europe and the Harijans in India – the former had no home. Moreover, he argued that Jews had practiced non-violence for two millennia, yet their persecution persisted. Other statements by Gandhi and the dangers of the Indian National Congress' neutral attitude regarding the Nazi persecutions disturbed the Jews of India and pushed Shohet to continue his attempts to influence the Mahatma. 

To that end, he enlisted the assistance of Hermann Kallenbach, a wealthy Jewish Zionist architect and carpenter who Gandhi referred to as his "soulmate". Kallenbach had bankrolled the 1910 establishment of "Tolstoy's Farm" – the South African prototype for the Gandhian ashram – where he and Gandhi had lived together, sharing a kitchen and seemingly endless conversations about the proper path and meaning of life. Gandhi once wrote to Kallenbach, "Your portrait (the only one) stands on the mantelpiece in my room... even if I wanted to dismiss you from my thoughts, I could not do it."

In March 1939, Kallenbach arranged for Shohet to interview the Mahatma, which he did over the course of four days at Gandhi's ashram in Wardha. 

Ultimately, Kallenbach and Shohet never convinced Gandhi to become an active defender of European Jewry nor a Zionist, and he remained steadfast in his belief that non-violence and passivity could solve all problems. 

In 1939 and 1940, Gandhi wrote a series of letters to Adolf Hitler, which controversially included elements of both respect and admonishment, "We have no doubt about your bravery or devotion to your fatherland, nor do we believe that you are the monster described by your opponents. But your own writings and pronouncements and those of your friends and admirers leave no room for doubt that many of your acts are monstrous and unbecoming of human dignity…"


Not long before he was assassinated, Gandhi called the Holocaust "the greatest crime of our time," yet maintained that, "… the Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher's knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs… It would have aroused the world and the people of Germany… As it is they succumbed anyway in their millions."

What is Sukkot All About? Starting tonight

Sukkot (Hebrew: סוכות‎ or סֻכּוֹת, sukkōt), commonly translated as Festival of Tabernacles (traditional Ashkenazi spelling Sukkos/Succos) also known as Chag HaAsif (חג האסיף), the Festival of Ingathering, is a biblical Jewish holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the seventh month, Tishrei (varies from late September to late October). During the existence of the Jerusalem Temple, it was one of the Three Pilgrimage Festivals (Hebrew: שלוש רגלים‎, shalosh regalim) on which the Israelites were commanded to perform a pilgrimage to the Temple.

The names used in the Torah are Chag HaAsif, translated to "Festival of Ingathering" or "Harvest Festival", and Chag HaSukkot, translated to "Festival of Booths".[5] This corresponds to the double significance of Sukkot. The one mentioned in the Book of Exodus is agricultural in nature—"Festival of Ingathering at the year's end" (Exodus 34:22)—and marks the end of the harvest time and thus of the agricultural year in the Land of Israel. The more elaborate religious significance from the Book of Leviticus is that of commemorating the Exodus and the dependence of the People of Israel on the will of God (Leviticus 23:42–43).

The holiday lasts seven days in Israel and eight in the diaspora. The first day (and second day in the diaspora) is a Shabbat-like holiday when work is forbidden. This is followed by intermediate days called Chol Hamoed, when certain work is permitted. The festival is closed with another Shabbat-like holiday called Shemini Atzeret (one day in Israel, two days in the diaspora, where the second day is called Simchat Torah). Shemini Atzeret coincides with the eighth day of Sukkot outside Israel.

The Hebrew word sukkōt is the plural of sukkah, "booth" or "tabernacle", which is a walled structure covered with s'chach (plant material, such as overgrowth or palm leaves). A sukkah is the name of the temporary dwelling in which farmers would live during harvesting, a fact connecting to the agricultural significance of the holiday stressed by the Book of Exodus. As stated in Leviticus, it is also intended as a reminiscence of the type of fragile dwellings in which the Israelites dwelt during their 40 years of travel in the desert after the Exodus from slavery in Egypt. Throughout the holiday, meals are eaten inside the sukkah and many people sleep there as well.

On each day of the holiday it is mandatory to perform a waving ceremony with the Four Species.


Origins External aerial view of Sukkah booths where Jewish families eat their meals and sleep throughout the Sukkot holiday A 19th century painted Sukkah from Austria or South Germany, Painted pine, 220 × 285.5 cm, Musée d'Art et d'Histoire du Judaïsme Sukkah in New Hampshire

In the Book of Leviticus, God told Moses to command the people: "On the first day you shall take the product of hadar trees, branches of palm trees, boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook" (Lev. 23:40), and "You shall live in booths seven days; all citizens in Israel shall live in booths, in order that future generations may know that I made the Israelite people live in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt" (Lev. 23:42–43).

The origins of Sukkot are both historical and agricultural. Historically, Sukkot commemorates the forty-year period during which the children of Israel were wandering in the desert, living in temporary shelters. Agriculturally, Sukkot is a harvest festival and is sometimes referred to as Chag HaAsif (חג האסיף, the "Festival of Ingathering"), as it celebrates the gathering of the harvest.[6][7]

Laws and customs

Sukkot is a seven-day festival, with the first day celebrated as a full festival with special prayer services and holiday meals. The seventh day of Sukkot is called Hoshana Rabbah ("Great Hoshana", referring to the tradition that worshippers in the synagogue walk around the perimeter of the sanctuary during morning services) and has a special observance of its own. Outside Israel, the first and last two days are celebrated as full festivals. The intermediate days are known as Chol HaMoed ("festival weekdays"). According to Halakha, some types of work are forbidden during Chol HaMoed.[8] In Israel many businesses are closed during this time.[9]

Throughout the week of Sukkot, meals are eaten in the sukkah. If a brit milah (circumcision ceremony) or Bar Mitzvah rises during Sukkot, the seudat mitzvah (obligatory festive meal) is served in the sukkah. Similarly, the father of a newborn boy greets guests to his Friday-night Shalom Zachar in the sukkah. Males awaken there, although the requirement is waived in case of drought. Every day, a blessing is recited over the Lulav and the Etrog.

Keeping of Sukkot is detailed in the Hebrew Bible (Nehemiah 8:13–18, Zechariah 14:16–19 and Leviticus 23:34–44); the Mishnah (Sukkah 1:1–5:8); the Tosefta (Sukkah 1:1–4:28); and the Jerusalem Talmud (Sukkah 1a–) and Babylonian Talmud (Sukkah 2a–56b).

Building a sukkah It is customary to decorate the interior of the sukkah to beautify the mitzvah. Pictured: 5-by-8-foot (1.5 m × 2.4 m) wall hanging Main article: Sukkah

The sukkah walls can be constructed of any material (wood, canvas, aluminum siding, sheets). The walls can be free-standing or include the sides of a building or porch. The roof must be of organic material, known as s'chach, such as leafy tree overgrowth, schach mats or palm fronds – plant material that is no longer connected with the earth.[10] It is customary to decorate the interior of the sukkah with hanging decorations of the four species[11] as well as with attractive artwork.

Special prayers Sukkot prayers at the Western Wall or Kotel

Prayers during Sukkot include the reading of the Torah every day, reciting the Mussaf (additional) service after morning prayers, reciting Hallel, and adding special additions to the Amidah and Grace after Meals. In addition, the service includes rituals involving the Four Species. The lulav and etrog are not brought to the synagogue on Shabbat.[12]


On each day of the festival, worshippers walk around the synagogue carrying the Four Species while reciting special prayers known as Hoshanot.[12]:852 This takes place either after the morning's Torah reading or at the end of Mussaf. This ceremony commemorates the willow ceremony at the Temple in Jerusalem, in which willow branches were piled beside the altar with worshippers parading around the altar reciting prayers.[13]


A custom originating with Lurianic Kabbalah is to recite the ushpizin prayer to "invite" one of seven "exalted guests" into the sukkah.[14] These ushpizin (Aramaic אושפיזין 'guests'), represent the seven shepherds of Israel: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joseph and David. According to tradition, each night a different guest enters the sukkah followed by the other six. Each of the ushpizin has a unique lesson which teaches the parallels of the spiritual focus of the day on which they visit.

Some streams of Judaism also recognize the Ushpizot, or female shepherds of Israel, coidentified with the seven prophetesses of Judaism: Sarah, Miriam, Deborah, Hannah, Abigail, Hulda, and Esther.[15]

Chol HaMoed intermediate daysMain article: Chol HaMoed Decorations hanging from the s'chach (top or "ceiling") on the inside of a sukkah

The second through seventh days of Sukkot (third through seventh days outside Israel) are called Chol HaMoed (חול המועד – lit. "festival weekdays"). These days are considered by halakha to be more than regular weekdays but less than festival days. In practice, this means that all activities that are needed for the holiday—such as buying and preparing food, cleaning the house in honor of the holiday, or traveling to visit other people's sukkot or on family outings—are permitted by Jewish law. Activities that will interfere with relaxation and enjoyment of the holiday—such as laundering, mending clothes, engaging in labor-intensive activities—are not permitted.[16][17]

Religious Jews often treat Chol HaMoed as a vacation period, eating nicer than usual meals in their sukkah, entertaining guests, visiting other families in their sukkot, and taking family outings. Many synagogues and Jewish centers also offer events and meals in their sukkot during this time to foster community and goodwill.

On the Shabbat which falls during the week of Sukkot (or in the event when the first day of Sukkot is on Shabbat), the Book of Ecclesiastes is read during morning synagogue services in Israel. (Diaspora communities read it the second Shabbat {eighth day} when the first day of sukkot is on Shabbat.) This Book's emphasis on the ephemeralness of life ("Vanity of vanities, all is vanity...") echoes the theme of the sukkah, while its emphasis on death reflects the time of year in which Sukkot occurs (the "autumn" of life). The penultimate verse reinforces the message that adherence to God and His Torah is the only worthwhile pursuit. (Cf. Ecclesiastes 12:13,14.)[18]

Hakhel assemblyMain article: Hakhel

In the days of the Temple in Jerusalem, all Israelite, and later Jewish men, women, and children on pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the festival would gather in the Temple courtyard on the first day of Chol HaMoed Sukkot to hear the Jewish king read selections from the Torah. This ceremony, which was mandated in Deuteronomy 31:10–13, was held every seven years, in the year following the Shmita (Sabbatical) year. This ceremony was discontinued after the destruction of the Temple, but it has been revived in Israel since 1952 on a smaller scale.[19]

Simchat Beit HaShoevah water-drawing celebrationMain article: Simchat Beit HaShoeivah

During the intermediate days of Sukkot, gatherings of music and dance, known as Simchat Beit HaShoeivah (Celebration of the Place of Water-Drawing), take place. This commemorates the drawing of the water for the water-libation on the Altar, an offering unique to Sukkot, when water was carried up the Jerusalem pilgrim road from the Pool of Siloam to the Temple in Jerusalem.[20]

Hoshana Rabbah (Great Supplication)Main article: Hoshana Rabbah

The seventh day of Sukkot is known as Hoshana Rabbah (Great Supplication). This day is marked by a special synagogue service in which seven circuits are made by worshippers holding their Four Species, reciting additional prayers. In addition, a bundle of five willow branches is beaten on the ground.[12]:859 [13]

Shemini Atzeret and Simchat TorahMain articles: Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah

The holiday immediately following Sukkot is known as Shemini Atzeret (lit. "Eighth [Day] of Assembly"). Shemini Atzeret is usually viewed as a separate holiday.[21] In the Diaspora a second additional holiday, Simchat Torah ("Joy of the Torah"), is celebrated. In the Land of Israel, Simchat Torah is celebrated on Shemini Atzeret. On Shemini Atzeret people leave their sukkah and eat their meals inside the house. Outside Israel, many eat in the sukkah without making the blessing. The sukkah is not used on Simchat Torah.[22]

Jeroboam's feast

According to 1 Kings 12:32–33, King Jeroboam, first king of the rebellious northern kingdom, instituted a feast on the fifteenth day of the eighth month in imitation of the feast of Sukkot in Judah, and pilgrims went to Bethel instead of Jerusalem to make thanksgiving offerings. Jeroboam feared that continued pilgrimages from the northern kingdom to Jerusalem could lead to pressure for reunion with Judah:

If these people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will turn back to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah, and they will kill me and go back to Rehoboam king of Judah.[23] In ChristianityFurther information: Christian observances of Jewish holidays

Sukkot is celebrated by a number of Christian denominations that observe holidays from the Old Testament. These groups base this on the fact that Jesus celebrated Sukkot (see the Gospel of John 7). The holiday is celebrated according to its Hebrew calendar dates. The first mention of observing the holiday by Christian groups dates to the 17th century, among the sect of the Subbotniks in Russia.[citation needed] In the Orthodox Church, the holiday is said to correspond to the new covenant Feast of the Transfiguration.

Bank of Israel Approves New Digital Bank, Ending 50 Years of No New Banks By David Israel

The last time Israel has seen the establishment of brand new bank, as opposed to the purchase of an existing bank, was almost fifty years ago, in 1970. It was a branch of Exchange National Bank of Chicago, which was eventually swallowed up by Bank HaPoalim. Yes, Israel's banking system is rigid, unbending, centralized, some say biased in favor of the big banks, more reminiscent of downtown Havana than Wall Street.

Which is why Israeli economists were delighted when the Bank of Israel's Banking Supervision Department last November issued an announcement "encouraging the banking corporations to implement innovative technologies while properly managing their risks, including cloud computing technology."


The central bank then quickly issue a revised directive saying it still does not allow the use of cloud computing technology for core activities and/or core systems. However, said revised directive continued, "in exceptional cases, the Supervisor of Banks will be able to approve such use, for instance in case of the establishment of a new digital bank."

This was huge, and resulted on Tuesday morning with another central bank announcement, celebrating the establishment of a totally new, straight out of the box digital bank, owned by entrepreneurs Marius Nacht and Professor Amnon Shashua.

Bank of Israel Governor Amir Yaron, and the Supervisor of Banks Hedva Bar inform the two lucky winners that the Banking Supervision Department has completed the review process of their request, and the Governor is prepared to grant them a license to establish the bank and the permit to control it.

Gosh, it's almost like getting a note informing you you've been approved for an apartment with windows in Moscow.

The two entrepreneurs intend to set up a digital bank, with no street branches, focusing on providing banking services to households. Their initiative includes providing credit, taking deposits, managing accounts and buying and selling securities.

Marius Nacht, 57, is an Israeli entrepreneur, social activist, and investor. In 1993, Nacht co-founded a cyber security company called Check Point Software, famous for being one of the first to offer a commercial firewall. Since then, he has broadened his professional interests to making improvements in the fields of healthcare, banking, and cyber security. He has been a director of Check Point since its inception, and became vice chairman in 2001. In September 2015, Nacht was appointed Check Point's non-executive chairman of the board.

Amnon Shashua, 59, is an Israeli computer science professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, as well as Senior Vice President at Intel Corporation and President and CEO of Mobileye, and co-founder of OrCam.


The Future of Wine: Very, Very Dry Scientists are testing techniques for growing vines in a hot, parched future.

By Amy Yee

  • Sept. 21, 2019

MITZPE RAMON, Israel — In the Negev Desert, the sun beats down on a parched landscape of brown, undulating hills. But on a parcel of land here in southern Israel, trees grow in green rows, and fat bunches of grapes dangle amid lush leaves.

This is not a desert apparition. It is a research vineyard, where scientists are studying how grapes can best grow in this harsh environment.

Amazon Launches Israel Site, But Won't Spell Doom For Malls... Yet, Analysts Say

Amazon on Sunday launched its retail operations in Israel, a move that will make online ordering easier for Israelis. Analysts say they do not expect a huge immediate impact on Israeli shopping patterns.

The dedicated website, albeit still in English, will enable Israeli retailers to sell directly to customers in Israel using its online platform. Amazon itself has stayed officially mum about its plans, just saying in an email that the firm is "currently working with sellers in Israel to help them sell worldwide with Amazon Global Selling."

Full Story (The Times of Israel)

See you Tuesday after Sukkot being on Monday

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Rabbi Yehuda Lave

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