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
Let nothing which can be treated by diet be treated by other means.
Do not consider it proof just because it is written in books, for a liar who will deceive with his tongue will not hesitate to do the same with his pen (or today on the internet).
Silence is the maturation of wisdom.
The physician should not treat the disease but the patient who is suffering from it
Love Yehuda Lave
Senator Schumer Knows Which Way The Wind Is Blowing By Stephen M. Flatow
The decision by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to serve as one of the featured speakers at the upcoming J Street conference should trouble every supporter of Israel. It's both a boost for Jewish critics of Israel and a disturbing sign of trends within the Democratic Party.
J Street is probably the most effective pro-Palestinian lobbying group in Washington. There are, of course, many groups operating in the nation's capital with the word "Palestine" in their name. The secret of J Street's success is precisely the fact that it does not contain the word. It uses its Jewish identity to create a veneer of credibility that masks the fact that its agenda is to pressure Israel to give in to Palestinian demands.
No wonder Schumer didn't want to be associated with J Street a decade ago. Ten years ago this week – in October 2009 – the New York senator announced that he would not be speaking at that year's J Street conference in Washington, D.C., following reports that he had accepted its invitation to speak. A few months later, he was interviewed on the Nachum Segal radio show in New York and said:
"You have to show Israel that it's not going to be forced to do things it doesn't want to do and can't do. At the same time, you have to show the Palestinians that they are not going to get their way by just sitting back and not giving in, and not recognizing that there is a State of Israel."
As we all know, politicians spend a lot of time trying to figure out which way the wind is blowing. It's the nature of their job to constantly worry about where their next votes and donations will be coming from. Back in 2009, Schumer and his staff evidently sized up J Street and decided (correctly) that it was a radical group on the margins of the Jewish community.
Confirmation of that assessment was soon provided by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Admission to the J Street conference is, in the words of Brandeis University professor Jonathan Sarna, "a symbol of legitimacy." So in 2014, J Street applied for admission to the Conference of Presidents. It needed the votes of 34 of the conference's 51 member-groups. It fell far short, losing by a vote of 22-17, with three abstentions. The margin of defeat illustrated that J Street was far outside the mainstream Jewish community.
So, what has changed since then?
Not J Street. Its passionate advocacy of Palestinian demands has not diminished one iota. Which is pretty remarkable, considering that throughout the past 10 years, the PA has continued sheltering and assisting terrorists; filling its schools with anti-Israel and anti-Jewish hatred; naming streets, parks and sports tournaments after murderers of Israelis and Americans; and refusing to even negotiate with Israel. No matter what the P.A. does, J Street remains by its side.
Why, then, has Schumer, who has called himself "a guardian of Israel," reversed himself and agreed to be a featured speaker at the upcoming J Street conference?
It's that thing about which way the wind is blowing. The wind's direction has changed a lot in a decade.
Schumer's constituents in New York are still strongly pro-Israel – as are most American Jews, according to the polls. But the Democratic Party has changed. Today, the loudest members in the party are congresswomen who say that Jews bribe members of Congress with their "Benjamins" and that Israel is "evil" and has "hypnotized" the world.
Rather than resist this radical element in the party, it seems that Schumer has decided to, in effect, surrender to them. At the J Street conference, he will speak alongside chief Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat (an ironic title, since the PA refuses to negotiate); Osama Qawasmah, an adviser to PA dictator Mahmoud Abbas; PLO national council member Bashar Azzeh; and various Jewish left-wing critics of Israel.
I hope that Jewish and Zionist organizations will speak out publicly against Schumer's disturbing decision. Apparently, he needs to be reminded that the overwhelming majority of American Jews continue to reject what J Street stands for.
Air Canada To Its Passengers: Your Opinions Mean Nothing To Us By Dennis Prager
Air Canada announced last week that it will no longer use the phrase "ladies and gentlemen" on board its flights. The policy is part of a "commitment to respect sexual identity, diversity, and inclusion," the company said in an internal memo.
Instead of the gender-specific "ladies and gentlemen" (and "mesdames et messieurs" in French), flight attendants are to address passengers as "everybody" and "tout le monde." LGBT groups are delighted. Most other people are not.
Needless to say, Air Canada never polled its passengers or its employees. The left believes in democracy only when it wins a popular vote. When it loses a popular vote, it regards democracy as defective. That's why the left in Britain and the rest of Europe are trying to overturn the British people's vote in favor of leaving the European Union (also known as Brexit). Because the left lost, it regards that exercise in democracy as invalid.
Everyone knows that had there been a vote among Air Canada passengers – say, all those enrolled in the airline's frequent flier program – even liberal Canadians would have voted to retain "ladies and gentlemen." Even the infinitesimally small number of Canadians who are transgender would almost all vote to retain "ladies and gentlemen." (Remember, transgender individuals strongly identify as male or female.)
So, whom, exactly, is Air Canada making more comfortable? Not the 99-plus percent of Canadians who identify with their biological sex, and not the fraction of a percent of Canadians who are transgender. They are allegedly making the most rare of all human beings comfortable: those with no sexual identity.
(Not even every member of that group would vote to have Air Canada drop "ladies and gentlemen." I recently interviewed one such individual on my radio show, Professor Camille Paglia, one of the major thinkers of our time. She told me she identifies as neither female nor male but she thinks society is going mad in its rush to obliterate male and female.)
The truth is no one but LGBT activists approve of Air Canada's change. So why did Air Canada do this?
To feel good about itself and buy goodwill with some of the most powerful social forces in the English-speaking world: LGBT activist groups. There are no other reasons for Air Canada's decision. Air Canada has offended nearly all its passengers. But this means nothing to Air Canada. And it is likely that U.S. airlines will follow suit. For there is no left-wing position – no matter how radical or absurd – that hurts a business.
Only taking a conservative position can hurt a business. The owner of Chick-fil-A believes in the only definition of marriage that has ever existed until a few years ago – the union of male and female – and is boycotted, closed down, or never allowed to open. That Chick-fil-A hires and serves homosexuals (including those legally married) makes no difference to left-wing haters.
Forbes reported last week that just eight days after a new Chick-fil-A was opened for business, "the Oracle shopping mall in Reading, outside London …yanked its lease." It explained, "The outlet in Reading, about 35 miles from London, was an effort to test the metropolitan area's waters. But, campaigners from Reading Pride, an LGBT organization, called for a boycott of the American brand because of its foundation's support of groups they say are hostile to gay rights."
Earlier this year, the San Antonio Airport banned Chick-fil-A from opening a restaurant there, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel tried to prevent Chick-fil-A from opening in their cities.
Air Canada will pay no price for a decision that insults the vast majority of its clients and undermines one of the most beautiful and essential building blocks of civilization: the existence, and even celebration, of the two sexes. No company pays a price – from Air Canada to Gillette (whose "toxic masculinity" video snubbed nearly all its male clients) to Nike (which has appointed as its national spokesman a football player who won't stand for the national anthem and loathes America).
Such is the power and stranglehold of the left today – in big business as much as in journalism and our schools. This is not new. As the famous quote attributed to (but perhaps not actually said by) Lenin put it, "The capitalists" – in this case, Western businesses – "will sell us the rope with which to hang them."
If the West sinks, you can thank big businesses like Air Canada as much as the universities and the media.
NOW A CHANCE TO REFLECT
. Kindness is in our power even when fondness is not. ~Henry James Henry James, was an author regarded as a key transitional figure between literary realism and literary modernism, and is considered by many to be among the greatest novelists in the English language .
Compassion is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see. ~Mark Twain~ Samuel Langhorne Clemens, known by his pen name Mark Twain, was a writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer. His novels include The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and its sequel, the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the latter often called "The Great American Novel".
Carry a heart that never hates, a smile that never fades, and a touch that never hurts. unknown
Today, I bent the truth to be kind, and I have no regret, for I am far surer of what is kind than I am of what is true. ~Robert Brault~ operatic tenor
It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice. Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he or she sees all day. If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. unknown
I always prefer to believe the best of everybody. It saves so much trouble. ~Rudyard Kipling~ Joseph Rudyard Kipling was a journalist, short-story writer, poet, and novelist. He was born in India, which inspired much of his work. Kipling's works of fiction include The Jungle Book, Kim, and many short stories, including "The Man Who Would Be King".
Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you, not because they are nice, but because you are. Never look down on anyone unless you are helping them up. Don't be yourself — be someone nicer.
Never miss an opportunity to make others happy, even if you have to leave them alone in order to do it. Love your enemies. It will confuse them greatly.
There is one word that may serve as a rule for all one's life: Reciprocity Grownups know that little things matter and those relationships are based on respect. A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you will remember. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble. unknown
If There Was A Big Bang, What Caused It? An Interview with Bar Illan University Professor Natan Aviezer By Tzvi Fishman
Is the world 15 billion or less than 6,000 years old? To answer this question, and to discuss the Torah's account of creation more broadly, The Jewish Press spoke with Natan Aviezer, professor of physics at Bar Ilan University for 50 years. Professor Aviezer has also published three books on Torah and science, including, In the Beginning, which focuses on the striking similarities between the story of creation and contemporary scientific theories.
The Jewish Press: Do scientists still believe in the "Big Bang"?
Prof. Aviezer: The Big Bang is still the number-one theory of cosmology, backed by a large majority of scientists and taught in every university.
According to their understanding, what caused the Big Bang? An explosion of gases?
No gases. Light. Just like in the Torah's account of creation.
Where do they say the light came from?
They say that isn't a scientific question.
You mean they don't want to deal with the mystery?
They say the light suddenly appeared. For them, that's the beginning of the universe. Nothing existed previously.
Have you ever discussed with secular scientists the similarity of their theory with the Torah's statement, "Let there be light"?
Many times. They always reply that it's a funny coincidence, but nothing more.
"Creation" is a standard term used by all scientists. Suddenly, there appeared a big ball of light from out of nowhere. Now, this is exactly what the Torah describes. In the beginning, there was no sun, or moon, or stars. The light which appeared had no physical source.
Thousands of years after the Torah account was given to us at Mount Sinai, scientists say this is exactly what happened. Scientists, a wide majority of them atheists, have finally discovered what the Torah said all along.
Do scientists still believe in Darwin's theory of evolution?
Darwin postulated that the evolution of the different species came about gradually, and no scientific evidence has been found to prove this. All changes happened in a sudden fashion.
While there are many meaningful aspects to Darwin's writings, evolutionary biologists don't accept his theory of gradual change. In 1859, Darwin spoke about the existence of intermediate forms – what people call "missing links." He said that if scientists searched for them, they would discover them.
Over the last 150 years, a wide range of expeditions have searched around the world for fossil evidence, but very few intermediate forms have been found. The animal kingdom evolved, but in bursts – not gradually. In the Torah account, we indeed see a distinction in creatures on the fifth and sixth days, and this could be seen as a sort of evolution, but not in the Darwinian sense.
Many newcomers to Judaism are bothered that the age of the universe according to the Torah seems to be so different from the age of the universe according to science.
The world is 14 billion years old. That's a scientific fact. How does this jive with the six days of creation? First of all, our count of 5780 years begins with Adam, not "Let there be light." The Rambam speaks about the six days in his Guide for the Perplexed. He explains that not every word in the Torah has the same meaning that we assign it today. Often the Torah employs figurative language.
He explains, for example, that "days" in the account of creation refers to periods or phases in the development of the universe. Regarding the first three days – before the creation of the sun and moon – the Torah uses the language, "There was evening and there was morning." Obviously, these words don't refer to regular days as we know them since the sun and moon hadn't been created yet and there were no solar and lunar cycles to be calculated.
These days could have been billions of years each.
When I became a baal teshuvah and asked about the age of the universe, I was told that just as Hashem created Adam as a 30-year-old man, so too He created a world that looked like it was billions of years old. Another explanation I was told was that the Great Flood caused cataclysmic geological changes, which made the Earth appear to be older than it is.
If you were told that, I'm surprised you became a baal teshuvah. You can throw those theories away.
The first theory you mentioned can't be proven wrong, but it raises many, many questions. Why would G-d place so many dinosaur bones and other ancient fossils in the earth? Why would G-d place so much evidence of ancient cities in many archaeological sites? Why would G-d produce the astronomical data that supports Hubble's law, which is strong evidence for a multi-billion-year-old universe?
Why would G-d produce the extensive isotopic evidence for radioactive dating which is evidence for an ancient universe? The list goes on and on. Is G-d just trying to fool me? If so, He did a good job. I am fooled into believing the vast array of evidence that points to an ancient universe.
Regarding the theory of the flood: An enormous flood would have only had a negligible effect on the geology of the planet.
When we understand that the Sages' count of the age of the world begins with Adam – not creation – we don't need to invent fanciful explanations to defend it.
In your opinion, will scientists ever come to the conclusion that Hashem created the world?
They will have to. Even now, there are scientists – Nobel Prize winners among them, totally atheist – who speak about the "miraculous" aspects of creation. For example, the biologist Francis Crick, states, "The origin of life appears to be almost a miracle – so many conditions would have had to be satisfied to get life going."
Among the many conditions he mentions is the fact that the Earth remains exactly placed – not too far from the sun, so we don't freeze, and not too close, so we don't burn. Any tiny change would be catastrophic. Coincidence? Or is there some mysterious Guiding Hand at work?
The more science advances, the more scientists will have to recognize that the Big Bang of light came from the one and only creator, just as it says in the Torah.
* * * * *
Rav Kook's Shitah on Science and Torah
The Jewish Press: What was Rabbi Kook's take on modern science?
Rabbi Ari Shvat (archive director at Beit HaRav Kook): Rav Kook writes in a letter: 'There is no conflict at all between the Torah and science. We do not have to accept scientific theories as fact, no matter how popular they are, for they are like flowers that fade away. Within a short time, scientific technology will be advanced, and all of today's theories will be rejected and scorned, but the word of Hashem will endure forever' (Igrot, Letter 9).
Rav Kook also stressed, though, that in the war of ideas, we should not immediately reject a theory that [seemingly] contradicts something in the Torah. Rather, we should build the palace of Torah above it.
So how should one regard the creation story and Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden?
Rav Kook writes, "The Torah obscures the actual act of creation and speaks in allegories and parables. Everyone knows that the stories of Bereshit are part of the secrets of Kabbalah and not to be taken literally" (Igrot, Letter 91). Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai states this clearly in the Zohar (Bamidbar 152b).
Rav Kook emphasizes that the essence of the story of creation is the fundamental moral teaching that Hashem is the creator and that mankind is bidden to follow in His paths.
Scientists claims the universe is billions of years old. What did Rav Kook think?
He points out that it is generally accepted amongst the Sages that there were many earlier eras before our present one. The Midrash states that before the Torah's account of creation, Hashem was building worlds and destroying them. What is important for us is the period of time from the creation of man.
If the world is billions of years old, why didn't Hashem reveal this fact in the Torah?
Rav Kook explains that if primitive man would have known about all the continents and planets, and that man is quantitatively just a speck of dust in the universe, he would not have realized the importance of his actions. Only when humanity matured and grew confident of its place as the center of existence did Hashem reveal the Torah and eventually [scientific knowledge], balancing our feelings of self-importance with modesty.
Rav Kook calls on us to remember that the G-d of history is also the G-d of science, gradually revealing to mankind different aspects of creation at different stages of man's development. … Rav Kook viewed the theory of evolution, not as a threat to Jewish belief, but as a tool to substantiate the understanding that the redemption of Israel is a slowly developing process, which evolves little by little like the gradual rise of dawn (Jerusalem Talmud, Berachot 1:1).
Rav Kook met Albert Einstein in 1923. What do we know about this meeting?
Rav Kook invited the famous scientist to visit him during his trip to Palestine. Rav Kook had great respect for writers, artists, and scholars from all fields. Einstein was amazed that a rabbi with no academic background understood his new theories of physics and relativity, which Rav Kook explained could already be found in the Zohar and writings of the Maharal.