Monday, November 11, 2019

50 signs that you are getting old (I'm guilty of most of them) and pictures of Jews at the Kotel over 100 years ago

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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

May You Be Inscribed in the Book of Life!

From Erev Yom Kippur,Tishrei 9, 5780/October 8, 2019 never too Late

When we study the service of the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) in the Holy Temple on Yom Kippur, we begin to appreciate the incredible intensity of the day. Having immersed himself for days in preparation for his task, the Kohen Gadol must work with the utmost celerity and precision, from the very moment that Yom Kippur commences to its very final seconds. He has no breaks, no time-outs. He has no do-overs and he can't call a friend if he forgets what to do next. The Kohen Gadol must be completely and utterly focused. His mind and body and soul must move in unison, as he advances through the day, one vital task after another. He bears on his shoulders the ultimate responsibility for himself, for his family, for his people, and for the world. His task is enormous.

We are not the Kohen Gadol, but in a very real way, our task and our responsibility are no less than that of the Kohen Gadol. True, we are allowed more wiggle room on this Great and Awesome Day, but our one hundred percent presence - physical, mental and spiritual - is every bit as required. Yom Kippur provides for us an unequalled opportunity for correction and recalibration and realignment and recommitment and redirection in our lives. Opportunity literally knocks for us on Yom Kippur, with a capital K, as the Gates of Teshuva (repentance, return) open, and remain open from start to finish. G-d's absolute attention is completely focused on each and every one of us. Now is our golden moment for rectifying our past mistakes and starting again in life. And yes, the change that we can effect on this day will not only impact our own lives throughout the year ahead, but the lives of our loved ones, our communities, our peoples and all humanity. Just like the Kohen Gadol. It's an enormous task, but we are tailor-made for it. G-d has granted us this opportunity because He wants us to succeed and He knows that we will succeed.

We enter the day with no small measure of trepidation, which is only natural, but it is tempered and sweetened by the knowledge that Yom Kippur exists for one reason and one reason only: G-d loves us!

The Temple Institute wishes to extend to all our friends and supporters, to the entire nation of Israel, to those who hold dear the people of Israel and the G-d of Israel, and to all the sons and daughters of Adam, Gmar Chatima Tova - May we all be inscribed in the Book of Life!

SIGNS OF AGEING Top 50 signs you're getting old revealed in study… so how many are you guilty of? A poll of 2,000 adults by Future You found forgetting people's names, groaning when you bend down and falling asleep in front of the TV all ranked high Tom Michael

FORGETTING people's names, groaning when you bend down and falling asleep in front of the TV are among the signs you're getting old, according to a new study.

A poll of 2,000 adults also found needing an afternoon nap, finding it tricky to sit cross-legged and choosing comfort over style are indicators you're getting on a bit.

50 signs that you are getting old. I'm especially guilty of # 3,4,8, 13 and 40

  1. Forgetting people's names
  2. Losing hair
  3. Feeling stiff
  4. Talking a lot about your joints/ailments
  5. Groaning when you bend down
  6. Not knowing any songs in the top ten
  7. Misplacing your glasses/ bag/ car keys etc
  8. Getting more hairy - ears, eyebrows, nose, face etc.
  9. Avoid lifting heavy things due to back concerns
  10. Saying 'in my day'
  11. Finding it tricky to sit cross-legged on the floor
  12. Hating noisy pubs
  13. Choosing clothes and shoes for comfort rather than style
  14. Falling asleep in front of the TV every night
  15. Thinking policemen/teachers/doctors look really young
  16. Falling ill more often
  17. Saying "it wasn't like that when I was young"
  18. Complaining about more things
  19. Needing an afternoon nap
  20. Feeling tired the moment you wake up
  21. Struggling to use technology
  22. Finding you have no idea what 'young people' are talking about
  23. Having colleagues who are so young they don't know what a cassette tape is
  24. Losing touch with everyday technology such as tablets and TVs
  25. Complaining about the rubbish on television these days
  26. Spending time comparing illnesses and injuries with friends
  27. Your friends are all ill more often
  28. Not knowing or remembering the name of any modern bands
  29. You consider going on a 'no children' cruise for a holiday
  30. You know your alcohol limit
  31. Struggling to think of anything worse than going to a music festival
  32. Never going out without your coat
  33. Putting everyday items in the wrong place
  34. You move from Radio1 to Radio2
  35. You start driving very slowly
  36. You struggle to lose weight easily
  37. Buying a smart phone but having no idea how to do anything other than make phone calls on it
  38. You say 'I'm gasping for a cup of tea'
  39. Spending more money on face creams / anti-aging products
  40. Falling asleep after one glass of wine
  41. Feeling you have the right to tell people exactly what you are thinking, even if it isn't polite
  42. You like getting asked for ID
  43. Paying by cash or cheque rather than using your card
  44. Preferring a night in with a board game than a night on the town
  45. Being told off for politically incorrect opinions
  46. Joining the National Trust
  47. Your ears are getting bigger
  48. Preferring a Sunday walk to a lie in
  49. You think, 'maybe I'll drive instead of drink'
  50. Drinking sherry

It Costs $532,000 to Decommission A Single Wind Turbine

Written by Isaac Orr in Climate, Energy, Environment, Minnesota Economy

It looks like Minnesota will have a very expensive mess to clean up when the wind turbines currently operating in the state reach the end of their 20 year useful lifetimes.
According to utility documents filed by Xcel Energy for it's Nobles Wind facility, it will cost approximately $445,000 (in 2009 dollars) per turbine to decommission the wind facility. This means it would cost $532,000 per turbine (in 2019 dollars) for each of the 134 turbines in operation at this facility, bringing the total cost of decommissioning the Nobles project to $71 million. However, Xcel also stated these estimates were conservative, meaning this likely represents the high-end cost of decommissioning.
Other wind turbines have six-figure decommissioning costs, as well. According to utility documents for the Palmer's Creek Wind facility in Chippewa County, Minnesota, it would cost $7,385,822 to decommission the 18 wind turbines operating at that site, a cost of $410,000 per turbine.
One would think such a price tag would at least result in a thorough decommissioning job, but one would be wrong.
According to the Nobles Wind document, "Restoration activities will include and not be limited to removal of all physical material and equipment related to the project to a depth of 48 inches."
This means Xcel will only remediate the site to a depth of four feet, leaving most of the massive concrete foundations, which go as deep as 15 feet, used to anchor the wind turbines , in the ground indefinitely.
Furthermore, according to the website Renewable Technology, Nobles Wind facility has an extensive underground collector cable system, laid at a depth of four feet, connecting the turbines to a central substation. Xcel's documents were not specific enough to determine if they would be removing these cables, but the Palmer's Wind Farm project explicitly states that cables deeper than 4 feet would not be removed:
Wind turbines and solar panels are often given a free pass when it comes to their impact on the environment even though they can cause substantial environmental degradation. In contrast, liberal politicians and special interest groups have continued to delay the replacement of an aging oil pipeline with a newer, and safer replacement.
This double standard is a disservice to Minnesotans who must pay more for their energy, and also the environment.
*This post has been updated to reflect the fact that Xcel Energy's estimates were conservative on the high end, not the low end as had been previously implied.

Asteroid alert: A NASA-tracked rock will come as close as the Moon tonight - Will it hit?

AN ASTEROID rapidly approaching the planet tonight will come almost as close as the Moon, US space agency NASA has confirmed. By Sebastian Kettley 

Asteroids 'should be taken more seriously' says expert

The incoming asteroid will scrape by the planet on a trajectory dubbed by astronomers a "Close Approach". NASA's asteroid trackers predict the asteroid will swing by after midnight, around 12.37am BST (Saturday, October 5). On its closest approach, the asteroid will reach speeds of around 16,217mph (26,100kph).

What do we know about Asteroid 2019 TX?

The speedy space rock was first spotted flying towards our planet on September 24 this year.

Astronomers dubbed the asteroid a Near-Earth Object or NEO and named it 2019 TX.

The asteroid was also found to be an Apollo-type rock, meaning it crosses Earth's orbit on a path similar to Asteroid 1862 Apollo.

All NEOs are asteroids and comets that fly around the inner solar system and come close to Earth.


Asteroid news: A speedy asteroid will swing by the planet later tonight (Image: GETTY)

Occasionally, NASA said, asteroids like TX will come dangerously close to our planet.

At least once a year, a car-sized asteroid is estimated to strike somewhere on the planet.

NASA said: "As they orbit the Sun, Near-Earth Objects can occasionally approach close to Earth.

"Note that a 'close' passage astronomically can be very far away in human terms: millions or even tens of millions of kilometres."

In this particular case, Asteroid TX is expected to approach the planet from a distance similar to that between Earth and the Moon.

Near-Earth Objects can occasionally approach close to Earth

On this scale, the asteroid is incredibly minuscule and would safely burn up in the atmosphere if it hit the Earth.

But the space rock is very fast and travelling at around 7.25km per second or 16,217mph (26,100kph).


Asteroid news: The space rock will come almost as close as the Moon (Image: GETTY)

Will the Asteroid 2019 TX hit the planet tonight?

Thankfully, NASA does not expect the asteroid to swerve beyond its orbit enough to strike the planet.

At its closest, Asteroid TX will approach Earth from a distance of 0.00320 astronomical units.

One astronomical unit measures about 93 million miles (149.6 million km) or the distance from the Sun to Earth.

Asteroid TX will cut this down to just 297,458 miles (478,713km) tonight.

The distance is comparable to 1.25 times the distance from Earth to the Moon.

After that, the space rock will make three more close approaches of our planet.

The first will take place on February 11, 2020, followed by another approach on August 5, 2030.

The last close approach will take place on January 27, 2031.


The Talmud (Shabbat 138b-139a) states, "In the future the Torah will be forgotten by Israel." The prophet Amos proclaims, "They will run to seek the word of the L-rd but won't find it" (Amos 8:12). How do we reconcile these statements with the verse in our parsha that declares the Torah "will NOT be forgotten by their descendants" (Deuteronomy 31:21)?

Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai in the Talmud (op. cit.) explains: The meaning of Amos's dire prophecy is that "a clear halacha and a clear teaching will not be found in the same place." The Torah itself, however, will never, G-d forbid, be forgotten by Israel.

The era preceding the redemption will be a tragic one. G-d will "send a famine upon the land...a famine for hearing the word of G-d" (Amos 8:11). People will seek the truth, they will want to know what to do- but no one will be able to tell them. Truth will have no address.

The Talmud (Sotah 49a) states that before the Messiah's arrival, matters will deteriorate to such a degree that people will despair and proclaim, "Upon whom, then, can we rely?" And they will answer, "Upon our Father in Heaven." On these words, the Chofetz Chaim comments: This is a terrible curse. Since there will be no great men to lead us, everyone will be forced to rely solely on G-d. In other words, fate.

Of course there will be great men of Torah in the era preceding the redemption- men proficient in Talmud and pilpul. But, "a clear halacha and a clear teaching will not be found in the same place." No "clear halacha"- no practical plan of action- will emerge from these great men who know the Torah's "clear teachings." In other words, no one will take the Torah concepts of faith and trust and apply them to real life. No one will demand, for example, that we rely on G-d and not pay attention to what the non-Jewish nations have to say about our future in Eretz Yisrael. "Teachings" and "halacha" will operate in separate spheres. Faith and trust in G-d will remain theoretical concepts while security and sovereignty over the Land of Israel will be considered "politics."

Peirush HaMaccabee

Rabbi Meir Kahane HY"D

Jews at the Kotel on Yom Kippur (circa 1904) See analysis of the graffiti on the wall for dating this picture. The graffiti on the Wall are memorial notices (not as one reader suggested applied to the photo later).

Yom Kippur 100 Years Ago -- Or More: Photographic Treasures from the Library of Congress from Jerusalem, New York and a French Battlefield

A few weeks ago Jews around the world commemorated Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.  For many Jews in the Land of Israel over the centuries the day meant praying at the Western Wall, the remnant of King Herod's retaining wall of the Temple complex destroyed in 70 AD.
We present here a reprint of our 2013 Yom Kippur posting.

Several readers commented on the intermingling of men and women in these historic pictures. It was not by choice.  The Turkish and British rulers of Jerusalem imposed restrictions on the Jewish worshippers,  prohibiting chairs, forbidding screens to divide the men and women, and even banning the blowing of the shofar at the end of the Yom Kippur service.

View this video, Echoes of a Shofar, to see the story of young men who defied British authorities between 1930 and 1947 and blew the shofar at the Kotel.

Another view of the Western Wall on Yom Kippur. Note the various groups of worshippers:
The Ashkenazic Hassidim wearing the fur shtreimel hats in the foreground, the Sephardic Jews
wearing  the fezzes in the center, and the women in the back wearing white shawls (circa 1904).
For the 19 years that Jordan administered the Old City, 1948-1967, no Jews were permitted to pray at the Kotel.  The Library of Congress collection contains many pictures of Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall over the last 150 years.

After the 1967 war, the Western Wall plaza was enlarged and large areas of King Herod's wall have been exposed.  Archaeologists have also uncovered major subterranean tunnels -- hundreds of meters long -- that are now open to visitors to Jerusalem.  Click on the photos to enlarge. Click on the captions to see the originals. Photos of Yom Kippur in New York 115 Years AgoThe Library of Congress Archives also contain historic photos of Jewish celebration of the High Holidays in New York.  Original caption: Men and boys standing in
front of synagogue on Yom Kippur (Bain
News Service, circa 1907)

Worshippers in front of synagogue (Bain
News Service, 1907)

And a Picture of Jews in the Prussian Army Worshipping on Yom Kippur 140 Years Ago
We were a little surprised to find this picture of a lithograph in the Library of Congress archives.  The caption reads, "Service on the Day of Atonement by the Israelite soldiers of the Army before Metz 1870."  No other information is provided.Kestenbaum & Company, an auctioneer in Judaica, describes the lithograph in their catalogue (downloaded in 2012):
This lithograph depicts the Kol Nidre service performed on Yom Kippur 1870 for Jewish soldiers in the Prussian army stationed near Metz (Alsace region) during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71.
   The Germans had occupied Metz by August of 1870, however were unable to capture the town's formidable fortress, where the remaining French troops had sought refuge. During the siege, Yom Kippur was marked while hostilities still continued, as depicted in the lithograph.
Rabbi W. Gunther Plaut, a scholar and Reform Jewish leader (1912-2012) provided more facts about the picture.  In fact, he called it a "fraud." 
In Eight Decades: The Selected Writings of W. Gunther Plaut. In a chapter entitled "The Yom Kippur that Never Was, A Pious Pictoral Fraud" he wrote:  Of all the things in my grandfather's house, I remember most vividly a large print.  It was entitled "Service on the Day of Atonement by the Israelite soldiers before Metz 1870."  Later I was to learn that this print hung in many Jewish homes.... It was reproduced on postcards, on cloth, and on silk scarves. The basic theme was the same: in an open field before Metz, hundreds of Jewish soldiers were shown at prayer. Rabbi Plaut cites a participant in the service who reported:  A considerable difficulty arose in relation to the place for the services. Open air services were deemed impossible for Tuesday night because of the darkness and were ruled out for Wednesday because of the obvious reasons [it was a battlefield].... My immediate neighbour was willing to grant me the use of his room so that the service took place in our two adjoining rooms.
Another participant in the unusual Yom Kippur service reported, according to Plaut:
Of the 71 Jewish soldiers in the Corps some 60 had appeared. Amongst them were several physicians, a few members of the military government, all of them joyously moved to celebrate Yom Kippur.  The place of prayer consisted of two small rooms.

Nissan -5737   April-1977



Once upon a time a plague broke out in the forest and all the animals gathered to discuss what to do about it.  One wise old animal suggested that the plague was undoubtedly due to the sin of one of the community and it was agreed that each animal should confess his sins and it would be decided whose guilt had brought the plague.  The fox was the first to rise and he said:  "I was walking by the farmer's chicken coops last week and I crept in, seized three chickens and ate them. But after all, it was not my fault; I was hungry!"  The animals considered the case and unanimously agreed that the fox was not to blame.  After all, he was hungry. 


The bear was the next to speak.  "I passed by a tree last week and saw honey flowing from where the bees had made it.  I took the honey from them and ate it.  But, after all, it was not my fault; I was hungry!"  Again the animals considered the case and agreed that the bear was blameless.  After all, he was hungry…


Finally it came the turn of the sheep, who said:  "It was a bitter, cold night and my little lams were freezing.  So I went into the barn and took some straw to keep my little lambs warm as they slept."  No sooner did the sheep say these words, than the entire community of animals leaped to their feet and, pointing their paws, claws, and hoofs at the sheep, shouted: "There is the criminal!"


For two weeks the Arab mobs, thirsting for Jewish blood and Israel's destruction, rampaged through the streets of Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.  They stoned soldiers, attacked cars, burned tires, blocked roads.  And so the gentilized Jewish animals in Israel gathered to discuss whose sin had brought this upon our heads.  Who had caused the Arabs to riot?  There was all manner of evidence for the animals to consider.  For example: "We are opposed to occupation and we want to be free." (Bethlehem Mayor Elias Freij, 3/18/76);  "It is the continued occupation to which I object." (Shchem Mayor Haj Masri, 3/16/76); "Palestine is Arab" (banners carried by Arabs in a procession in the town of Abu Dis, March 23, 1976).


But this was hardly sufficient evidence for the Jewish animals.  Leaving the foxes, the bears and the rest – LEAVING THE ARABS – the animals sought the culprit amongst the Jews.  And so we had Knesset member Yitzhak Ben Aharon say: " Jewish secular and religious nationalists provoked the unrest in great part.  Gush Emunim at Kadum, Betar on the Temple Mount and…our plans to step up settlements in the Galilee were all responsible. (March 22, 1967)  And, added Jerusalem's Mayor Teddy Kollek: "The deeds and declarations of (Jewish minority extremists has provided ammunition to extremist elements in the Arab population." (March 18, 1976)


The poor Arabs!  Unfairly blamed.  After all, we can understand why they riot and stone and attack.  They are hungry – hungry for Jewish flesh and blood.  Perfectly understandable.  But the culprit – the real culprit – is the Jew.  The Jewish militant, the Jewish extremist, the Jewish Rabbi Levinger who is going to a military trial while Hebron Mayor Ja'abri strolls free. The anti-Semites have always accused Jews of being to blame for everything.  They still do, but now the anti-Semites can be found in the Knesset, in the government, and in the state that we once hoped would be Jewish but which has become a poor caricature of every gentile culture that exists today.  We will yet pay – with Jewish blood – for this. {And we are paying with Jewish blood as Rav Kahane spoke and wrote about bg}


See you tomorrow bli-neder

Love Yehuda Lave

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

PO Box 7335, Rehavia Jerusalem 9107202


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