Events - Things to do in Jerusalem for Hanukkah and How The Shekel Made Israelis 40% Richer In A Decade and El Al Announces Fare, Schedule For Trial Australia Flights and Trumps Host Hanukkah Reception At White House | NBC News (Live Stream Recording
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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Events - Things to do in Jerusalem - Hanukkah Over 20 Events
Steinsaltz Biography of the Rebbe a Hebrew-Language Best-Seller 'My Rebbe' by Rabbi Adin Even-Israel (Steinsaltz) is now in four languages By Motti Wilhelm
The Steinsaltz Center in Jerusalem, the umbrella institution for the activities of Rabbi Adin Even-Israel (Steinsaltz), is a hub of publishing and disseminating Torah in multiple languages, especially Hebrew and English. In the past few months alone, the center, in conjunction with Koren Publishers, released the final volumes of the Noé Talmud Bavli, containing Rabbi Steinsaltz's explanations on the Talmud in English, and published the English version of his translation and commentary on Prophets and Writings. The center is currently working on a new edition of Steinsaltz's commentary on the Tanya, and the complete set of the Steinsaltz Mishna is set to hit the shelves in the near future.
Among the center's recent publications is a Hebrew translation of the ground-breaking work My Rebbe. More than just a biography, the work and its Hebrew edition, HaRabbi Sheli, lays out in a concise but moving 250 pages Steinsaltz's personal connection with his mentor and teacher, the Lubavitcher Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory.
In a conversation with Chabad.org, Rabbi Amechaye Even-Israel, son of the author and director of projects at the Steinsaltz Center, related the decades-long process of writing the book. "In 1994, after the Rebbe's passing, my father was approached by donors who wished to fund a biography of the Rebbe. My father agreed, and started to compile the book. It did not take much time until he felt unable to continue. The emotions were too deep, the sentiments too raw, to transcribe them to paper."
"Over 10 years and many editors later, we finally found a team of interviewers who sat with my father and worked with him to write the book," said Even-Israel. "The editing itself took several years; finally after almost two decades, the book was ready."
The English version was published in 2014, in time for the 20th anniversary of the Rebbe's passing, and was an instant hit among English readers worldwide. Opening with chapters that define a "tzaddik," and explain the concepts of "Moshiach" and the Chassidic movement, the book then continues with a few conventional biographical chapters. However the main bulk of the book, in Steinsaltz's words "… is not a conventional biography … this book is actually a biography of the Rebbe's mission and of the movement he built."
Such content—the encounter of the scholar and the Rebbe—has touched a chord with audiences and made for a thought-provoking read.
Dispersed throughout are many personal encounters that Steinsaltz had with the Rebbe, and describes the effect that the Rebbe had on Steinsaltz's life, giving the book an intimate feel not usually found in biographies. My Rebbe also contains the author's insights in the role of a rebbe, a discussion of Chabad outreach and a concluding chapter on the Rebbe's legacy in the decades since his passing.
In the years since it was published in its original English, the work has been translated into Russian and French. Even-Israel noted that Hebrew was chosen to be last "mainly to find a proper translator and editor. We wanted ones who would be professional, but at the same time, understanding and sensitive to the feeling in every chapter."
The Hebrew version is fast becoming a favorite among Hebrew speakers, just as its English counterpart after its publication.
"HaRabbi Sheli" and other books by Rabbi Adin Even-Israel (Steinsaltz) can be purchased online here.
Rabbi Adin Even-Israel (Steinsaltz). (Photo: Erik Tischler)
How The Shekel Made Israelis 40% Richer In A Decade
It was the world's second-strongest currency against the dollar. But the next decade may be tougher for investors
One of the most amazing things to happen to Israel and Israelis over the past generation was that they become rich without lifting a finger, a result of the shekel having become one of the world's strongest currencies. In the past decade the shekel appreciated nearly 10% against the dollar. The effect on our lives has been enormous.
When this yield is examined from an investment perspective, it becomes clear that the shekel more than made up for the weakness of other investment options in Israel. Globally, and particularly in the United States, stock markets posted record gains over the past decade and are trading at record highs.
Following are the seven biggest investment stories of the decade between 2009 and 2019.
1. The past decade was the era of the Israeli shekel. The only other currency to outperform it was the Thai baht, which appreciated by 10.4% against the dollar, to the shekel's 9.2%. Other currencies, with the exception of the Swiss franc, struggled to show gains against the dollar.
The next-strongest currencies — if you discount such bit players as Guatemala, Iceland and Brunei — were the Taiwan dollar (a gain of 4.9%), the Swiss franc (3.5%) and the Singapore dollar (2.7%). The result is that based on exchange rates alone, Israelis are 40% wealthier than their peers in Britain and 10% more than those in America. Over the last 20 years, those gains have been 50% against the pound sterling and 20% against the dollar. It's no wonder Israelis haven't taken to street protests — we're a world financial power.
2. Among traditional investment categories, the second decade of the 21st century belongs to the stock market. But not all stock markets. The S&P 500 index rose 243% over the past decade including dividends and 180% without, or 11% a year.
The MSCI World Index, a broad global equity index that represents large and mid-cap equity performance across all 23 developed markets, rose 94% and 179% when you add in dividends. The U.S. stock market outperformed other developed markets, and developed markets outperformed emerging markets. The last gained just 38%, including dividends, over the past decade. In Israel, the local market returned 55% over the decade and 60% in dollar terms.
Trumps Host Hanukkah Reception At White House | NBC News (Live Stream Recording
El Al Announces Fare, Schedule For Trial Australia Flights
This morning, El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (TASE: ELAL) announced the schedule and fares for its trial non-stop flights between Tel Aviv and Melbourne. El Al will operate three trial flights, taking about eighteen hours, to Melbourne and back. El Al's longest scheduled route at present is a fifteen-hour flight between Tel Aviv and Los Angeles. The trial flights to Melbourne will test the physical ability of passengers and crew to endure such a long flight, and the worthwhileness of operating the route from a business point of view. The airline says that return fares for the trial flights, including airport taxes, luggage and seating, will start at $1,199. If flights to Melbourne become part of El Al's regular schedule, the fare will presumably be much higher. Full Story (Globes)
JERUSALEM LIFE:Mayor Moshe Lion gives green light to permanent US embassy projec
The Mayor of Jerusalem, Moshe Lion, has announced that the city's municipality gave the green light to the project of building a permanent headquarters for the US embassy in Israel's capital.Lion and deputy mayor Fleur Hassan Nahoum discussed the project's details in a meeting with embassy personnel and US State representatives Addison Ted Davis and Thomas J. Quanzo on Monday. Full Story (Jerusalem Post)
Global Fans Love Israeli Couple's Webcomic About Marriage
Fans always do a double take when they see Yehuda and Maya Devir at a comic convention, or in a New York City subway, or wherever. The young Israeli couple looks like they jumped right out of their virally popular webcomic, "One of Those Days."
"I suppose it's like meeting a real Bart Simpson in the street," muses Yehuda. "We act exactly the same as our characters."
Indeed, about 7 million social-media followers know that Maya loves super hot showers and hates folding laundry. They know Yehuda's a big baby when he's sick and is willing to say "I'm sorry" after an argument. They sympathized with the couple's struggle to get pregnant.
Most of all, fans smile at the humorous spin the webcomic puts on everyday scenes in a marriage, from dishes in the sink to kisses on the couch.
"We get lots of emails and messages from around the world about how we changed the way couples look at their relationship and how they talk to each other," Yehuda tells ISRAEL21c. "It's amazing that we can make such a difference for people, that our work can connect Muslim, Jewish, black, white, rich, poor… it doesn't matter."
"One of Those Days" won the Most Creative Content Maker Award at the Inflow Global Summit 2019 Awards for social media influencers due to "its creative, original and different content."
"We dedicated our award to our followers and supporters around the world. We have fans in Brazil, Japan, Trinidad, Iran, Iraq — basically every country," Yehuda says.
"People thank us for making them happy once a week and making them feel they are not alone. It's an amazing journey we've been on."
An unusual apartment search
The Devirs' journey began in September 2016, when they packed up their diplomas in visual communication from Jerusalem's Bezalel Academy of Art and Design and moved to Tel Aviv.
The starry-eyed newlyweds hoped to find an affordable apartment in a nice neighborhood. And they hoped to make a living in illustration and design. Neither aspiration was terribly realistic.
"A friend suggested we post a selfie on Facebook asking friends to help us find an apartment," says Maya. "We didn't know how to take a good selfie, but we can draw really well. So we did a cartoon of ourselves and posted that."
Not only did that illustration help them find an affordable flat in a very expensive city, but it also formed the kernel of "One of Those Days."
While working as a freelance illustrator in the fashion, music and startup industries, Yehuda posted funny snippets on social media about being a new husband.
"Very quickly I joined him because I wanted him to make me look good," Maya says with a laugh," and because the story belonged to both of us. The concept was to illustrate moments we both experienced."
In May 2017, BoredPanda posted a piece about the Devirs that went viral. "After a week, we gained half a million followers on Instagram," Maya tells ISRAEL21c.
"Since then we never stopped gaining followers. We got tons of emails and Yehuda couldn't manage by himself. So I left my job as art director in an ad firm and joined him full time in October 2017. This was our dream to create something of our own."
They take complementary roles in each cartoon. "We start the idea together and the actual illustration is Yehuda's talented hand," says Maya. "Then I add my suggestions about color composition and typography. I also manage the business."
Yes, "One of Those Days" has fulfilled the impossible dream of making a living from visual communication.
"I opened an ecommerce shop. At first, we sold only autographed A5-sized prints of 'One of Those Days' comics and Yehuda's other comic illustrations," says Maya. "People who were into art and comics appreciated that."
The online shop now sells three "One of Those Days" books plus merchandise including apparel, shower curtains, calendars, phone skins and other items imprinted with favorite cartoons.
The Devirs' YouTube channel has 46,000 subscribers. They have a Patreon subscription content service. They've appeared at comic-cons in Europe, India and soon the United States. And they are in great demand to give talks and lectures.
"Everything we do is because our fans suggested it," says Yehuda. "Now they want a TV show and we are going to try to do it. We are working with a scriptwriter at a studio in the US."
From couplehood to parenthood
Relationships proved to be a universal kind of language for the Devirs. Would pregnancy and parenthood also strike a common chord?
"When we decided to move into the stage of being parents and saw it wouldn't be that easy for us, this was a turning point," Yehuda confides. "Would we really talk about the unpleasant experience of trying to get pregnant? It's a super personal subject."
Maya felt that Yehuda's humorous and colorful style would put the right spin on the topic and could be supportive for other couples in a similar situation.
And so they introduced comics about ovulation, periods and lovemaking on demand. Messages offering support and advice came pouring in. It was like a worldwide group therapy session, Yehuda says.
The cartoon announcing Maya's pregnancy got 16 million likes and shares. The first illustration of baby Ariel got 13 million. As of December 1, she had 219,000 Instagram followers at just six months old.
"It was unbelievable to see the amount of love we got from people we didn't know," says Yehuda.
"As Israeli and Jewish people, it was especially unbelievable to get supportive reactions from our huge fan base in the Arab world. The Israeli part is not important. We're just the cartoon couple about love."
Now living on Maya's childhood kibbutz, the couple puts Ariel in the care of her two grandmothers when they travel to shows and lectures. The difficulty of parting with their baby became another comic that went viral because it was so relatable.
"It's hard for Maya and me to leave her," says Yehuda,"but when she's older she'll join us."