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
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Truth does not become more true by virtue of the fact that the entire world agrees with it, nor less so even if the whole world disagrees with it.
We each decide whether to make ourselves learned or ignorant, compassionate or cruel, generous or miserly. No one forces us. No one decides for us, no one drags us along one path or the other. We are responsible for what we are.
RABBI SCHWARTZ'S TERRIBLE RAINBOW JOKES OF THE WEEK
I once did an exam on rainbows. I passed with flying colours.
You're so old when you were a child rainbows were black and white
What is at the end of a rainbow? The w
I was caught stealing a rainbow once? Ended up getting thrown in prism
What do you call a rainbow without any colors? A plainbow.
How much does a Rainbow weigh? I don't know for sure, it's Light!
In the year 2020, the Lord came unto Noah, Who was now living in America and said:"Once again, the earth has become wicked and over-populated, and I see the end of all flesh before me.""Build another Ark and save 2 of every living thing along with a few good humans.
"He gave Noah the blueprints, saying:"You have 6 months to build the Ark before I will start the unending rain for 40 days and 40 nights."Six months later, the Lord looked down and saw Noah weeping in his yard - but no Ark
."Noah!," He roared, "I'm about to start the rain! Where is the Ark?""Forgive me, Lord," begged Noah, "but things have changed.""I needed a Building Permit.""I've been arguing with the Boat Inspector about the need for a sprinkler system.""My homeowners association claim that I've violated the Neighborhood by-laws by building the Ark in my back yard and exceeding the height limitations. We had to go to the local Planning Committee for a decision.""Then the City Council and the Electricity Company demanded a shed load of money for the future costs of moving power lines and other overhead obstructions, to clear the passage for the Ark's move to the sea. I told them that the sea would be coming to us, but they would hear none of it.
""Getting the wood was another problem. There's a ban on cutting local trees in order to save the Greater Spotted Barn Owl.""I tried to convince the environmentalists that I needed the wood to save the owls - but no go!""When I started gathering the animals, PETA took me to court. They insisted that I was confining wild animals against their will. They argued the accommodations were too restrictive and it was cruel and inhumane to put so many animals in a confined space.
""Then the Environmental Protection Agency ruled that I couldn't build the Ark until they'd conducted an environmental impact study on Your proposed flood.""I'm still trying to resolve a complaint with the Human Rights Commission on how many minorities I'm supposed to hire for my building crew.""The Immigration Dept. Is checking the visa status of most of the people who want to work.""The labor unions say I can't use my sons. They insist I have to hire only union workers with ark-building experience.""To make matters worse, the IRS seized all my assets, claiming I'm trying to leave the country illegally with endangered species.""So, forgive me, Lord, but it would take at least 10 years for me to finish this ark.""Suddenly the skies cleared, the sun began to shine and a rainbow stretched across the sky."Noah looked up in wonder and asked, "You mean you're not going to destroy the world?""No," said the Lord. " The Government beat me to it.
Once upon a time, a King wanted to have some fun....... He went on a podium and said loudly: "I will give half of my fortune to anyone who manages to tell me a lie that I, myself, admit that it's a lie."An old man walked to the King and said: "I can draw rainbows wherever I want."The King replied: "That's true, I saw you making one yesterday and it was really pretty."A soldier then walked to the King while everyone stared at him, and said: "Your majesty, I have a gun that shoots atomic bombs."The King quickly said: "That's great, and by the way, good job on Hiroshima."After hearing all that, the kingdom was discouraged to ask any further questions because it would simply end the same; the King can always find a way to dodge that lie.Almost desperate, a young Jewish boy, named Berel approached the King holding a barrel and loudly said: "I lent you a barrel of gold last week".The King said: "That's a lie."Berel than replied: "Give me half of your fortune then!"The King quickly said: "Wait, I remember, you did lend you me barrel of gold last week."Berel shouted: "Give it back to me then."
The Israeli App Offering Turn-By-Turn Directions In Cemeteries To Find Graves
An Israeli-developed app offers turn-by-turn voice directions to help visitors navigate large graveyards in search of a loved-one's resting place. Finding the exact location of a grave for a visit or to attend a funeral can be difficult in a large cemetery that is constantly changing. The "Gravez" app, which aims to help reduce that stress, is only available in Israel for now, but its developers plan to expand globally. Full Story (Haaretz.com)
WAS THE CORNER OF GOD'S ALTAR FOUND IN SHILOH, WEST BANK
The discovery, said Dr. Scott Stripling, is consistent with what he expected to find in the fields of the ancient city where the tabernacle for the Ark of the Covenant once stood.
"When the news reached Joab, who had conspired with Adonijah though not with Absalom, he fled to the tent of the Lord and took hold of the horns of the altar" (1 Kings 2:28).
This passage in the Bible may have come to life just a few weeks ago for a team of 200 archaeologists and volunteers, who have been excavating in the field of ancient Shiloh. This summer, under the guidance of Dr. Scott Stripling, they made the discovery of a horn, which was one of the four corners of an ancient altar, as described in Kings.
The corner of the horned altar found at the Shiloh excavations in the West Bank (Credit: Courtesy Associates for Biblical Research)
The find, said Stripling, director of excavations at ancient Shiloh and head of the Associates for Biblical Research, is consistent with what he expected to find in the fields of the ancient city where, according to the biblical account, the tabernacle for the Ark of the Covenant once stood.
Stripling is a "biblical archaeologist." He has been excavating the land of Israel for decades. He directed excavations at Khirbet el-Maqatir from 2013 to 2017, served as a field supervisor of the Tall el-Hammam Excavation Project from 2005 to 2010, and was a supervisor of the Jerusalem Temple Mount Salvage Project, as well.
His Shiloh team is made up of archaeologists and volunteers from 11 universities around the world – an interdisciplinary team of scientists, historians and biblical scholars. In the last three years, they uncovered multiple large pithoi – "famous Israelite collar-rimmed jars" – inside a series of "storage rooms" that they found surround the ancient city.
The group also discovered a kobaat, a goblet or ritual chalice, which could be linked to religious use.
A MOST exciting find at the end of summer 2018, Stripling said, was a ceramic pomegranate.
"The pomegranate is a sacred motif," he said. "The only sites in Israel where we have found pomegranates like this one have been Levitical sites."
The pomegranate measures between 2.5 and three inches and has hooks by which it could be hung, he explained. Stripling said a similar pomegranate was found nearly 100 years earlier by another excavation team. He said the Bible describes pomegranates hanging from the bottom of the robe of the High Priest, who served in Shiloh for more than three centuries – after the conquest of Canaan and until King David established Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the Jewish nation.
"Make pomegranates of blue, purple and scarlet yarn around the hem of the robe, with gold bells between them," reads Exodus 23:33 in reference to the High Priest's dress.
There are seven sacred foods in the land of Israel – two grains and five fruits, Stripling explained. But only one of them "goes into the presence of God, only one of them is sacred, and that is pomegranate… The pomegranate is a major motif of the Tabernacle and the Temples.
Scott Stripling (Credit: Courtesy Associates for Biblical Research)
"The Bible and other ancient religious texts is what has driven archeology in this region," Stripling said, proud to hold the holy book in one hand and a shovel in his other. "We have to recognize the validity of the Bible… I am comfortable with the biblical story – and now we have proof of that story, really."
But not everyone agrees.
WHILE THE site was first excavated nearly 100 years ago in 1922 by a Danish expedition, which returned two more times in 1926 and 1932, the most recent excavation – and the most extensive one before Stripling's – was done by a team led by Tel Aviv University Professor Israel Finkelstein from 1981 to 1984.
Finkelstein discovered a large bone deposit that was dated to the Late Bronze Age (around 1483–1177 BCE, according to Stripling), which he said provided evidence of a Canaanite sacrificial system at Shiloh.
The timing also works with the biblical narrative, and Stripling saw the ancient Jewish text in those bones, as well.
"These were kosher and young animals, many with signs of burn or butcher marks on them, and they were mostly from the right side of the animal," Stripling explained. "This did not mean much to Finkelstein. For me it was Leviticus Chapter 7: The right side of the animal was the priest's portion, which would have been consumed at Shiloh. It would have been sacrificed, eaten by the priest and the bones disposed."
He uses a big word to describe when this happens: verisimilitude.
"It means consistency between what we read in the text and what we find on the ground," he said.
There are essentially two schools when it comes to biblical archaeology: maximalists and minimalists.
"Maximalists are those who really dig with one hand and read the Bible with the other," explained Jacob Wright, a professor of Hebrew Bible at Emory University in Atlanta. "They see the Bible as primary source on par with the archaeological witness."
In contrast, Minimalists, he said, try to disconnect their findings from the holy text and often have a political agenda of delegitimizing the modern State of Israel.
He said Maximalists and Minimalists hold extremist views and that most archaeologists fall somewhere in the middle.
"ARCHAEOLOGY HAS one story to tell and the biblical narrative has another," according to Wright.
"Let's imagine we find a lot of things related to a cultic sanctuary at Shiloh and the Bible describes it the same way: Does that prove the biblical narrative is true?" Wright asked. "No. But it does indicate this site was an important cultic center. Who knows? You don't want to jump to conclusions."
With this, Stripling expressed similar sentiments. As such, he said that he uses the most modern technology to help him on his scientific yet faithful journey.
Six years ago, his excavation team used their first drone to take pictures and create a site map of a different site. "Everyone stopped working to take pictures of the drone," he recalled.
Now, the team takes 1,000 drone shots every day and compresses them to make 3-D images so they can see the site from many different angles. They don't draw plans; they hover the drone over the field to capture the perfect picture and take notes directly onto the image.
Supervisors use iPads to jot down findings; the data is automatically collected on Stripling's own iPad simultaneously, allowing him to make data-driven decisions in the field.
Most recently, he built a unique wet-sifting station at Shiloh, modeled after the one used for the Temple Mount Sifting Project.
Volunteers are trained to use the washing station, water tower, hoses and nozzles to go through the finds, capturing at least 80% more evidence than they did in years prior. Now, the Associates for Biblical Research are writing up their wet sifting process and will create a blueprint on which other archeology teams can model.
Dr. Eilat Mazar, of the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem – the granddaughter of Benjamin Mazar who excavated the land of Israel under the British Mandate – is known for her advice: "Let the stones speak for themselves."
"We can discover the date of a structure," said Brent Nagtegaal, Jerusalem representative of the Armstrong International Cultural Foundation, "but without the Bible, we don't understand its context… The Bible is the best tool that archaeologists have in Israel."