Archaeologists Discover Table On Which Ark Of Covenant Once May have Sat and Forbes Ranks Tel Aviv 2nd Best City To Visit In The World and Happy Secular New Year with a Hassidic story about Secular New Year
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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No great man lives in vain. The history of the world is but the biography of great men.
Music is well said to be the speech of angels. If you look deep enough you will see music; the heart of nature being everywhere music.
Under all speech that is good for anything there lies a silence that is better. Silence is deep as Eternity; speech is shallow as Time.
What we become depends on what we read after all of the professors have finished with us. The greatest university of all is a collection of books.
A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge.
The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none.
Every noble work is at first impossible.
Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand. Go as far as you can see; when you get there you'll be able to see farther. Thomas Carlyle Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle was a Scottish historian, satirical writer, essayist, translator, philosopher, mathematician, and teacher.
Archaeologists Discover Table On Which Ark Of Covenant Once May have Sat
3,100-year-old temple uncovered near Beit Shemesh may hold a link to the Ark of the Covenant, archaeologists have said.The archaeological site at a tel on the outskirts of Beit Shemesh, 20km west of Jerusalem, which has been under excavation since 2012 has now recently yielded a fascinating discovery: a stone table, which echoes Biblical narratives of a slab on which the Ark of the Covenant is said to have been placed. Full Story (The Jerusalem Post)
Treasury Plans Bringing Uber To Israel
In addition to Tel Aviv congestion charge, the Ministry of Finance is planning other measures, including a tax on the usage value of parking granted to employees by their employers, non-recognition of employees' congestion charges as an expense for their employers' tax purposes, and completely opening of the market for shared transport services, including Uber shared ride taxi services.
As reported in "Globes," the congestion charge alone is expected to raise NIS 1.5 billion a year for the state treasury from drivers. This money will be divided between improving public transport and reducing the annual licensing fee on cars. The Ministry of Finance is proposing earmarking 66.6% of this amount, NIS 1.1 billion, for reduction of the car licensing fee, and 33.3%, NIS 400 million, for boosting public transport at peak hours, mainly buses, in addition to the regular budget allocation.
Jacob's Cry for Help and the letters "vav and "yud" (Vay)
In the portion of Vayigash Jacob, in response to Pharoh's question, summarizes his life's story. Pharoh asks Jacob "How many are the years of your life?" And Jacob responds "The years of my life are short and bad".
And indeed from the very beginning Jacob had to contend with his surroundings. First with Esau, then with Laban, then with an angel and then again with Esau.
In our portion, Vayeishev, it seems at first glance that Jacob has finally found his much deserved rest and contentment. But then, suddenly, his favorite son Joseph disappears and is presumed dead. The brothers show their father Joseph's coat of many colors. "And all his sons and all his daughters came to comfort him- "vayemaein l'henachem"- and he refused to be comforted.
The letter "vav" – the first letter in the word "vayemaein" (and he refused)- is written in an unusual manner when followed by the letter "yud" sounding the syllable "vay" which, according to Sefer Rokeiach, emphasizes the pain which Jacob felt at that moment.
It appears that this form of the letter "vav" followed by the letter "yud" is found each time where the scribe wants to emphasize the degree of sadness in the episode. For example, when Joseph cries out against the advances of Potifar's wife (the "vav" and "yud" in "vayehee k'shomo") and the letters "vav" and "yud" in the Book of Exodus where the Children of Israel cry out ("vayizaku") to G-d in their pain and anguish.
Reb Shlomo's Torah Sharing Greatness
What is a really good friend? Maybe you think a good friend is somebody to whom we can pour out our hearts and tell everything we did wrong - and he still loves us. That's pretty good, because most of us are so afraid that maybe somebody will find out how low we really are and won't love us anymore. Imagine that you have a friend who will love you no matter what you do. That's already a very level of friendship. But it is not the highest level. It's a sweet level, but not the highest. This is not real friendship. Now let me ask you, do you have a friend who you can really trust, to whom you can tell the good parts of you? Do you have anybody in the world whom you can tell, "Something so beautiful happened to me," and he is as happy for you as you are for yourself? Do you have that kind of friend? Do I have a friend whom I could tell, "You know, yesterday I won a million dollars," and he would answer, "I'm so glad!" Most of my friends would say, "What a chutzpah! Why him? Really whats so big about him? I'm sure G-d made a mistake - He was looking for me bu couldn't find me. I can understand five dollars, but a million... are you crazy? What is he going to do with it? G-d, I would know what to do with it, but what does this shmendrik, this fool, know?" Or imagine I tell somebody, "Yesterday I was walking down the street and I met this absolutely beautiful girl. I'm sure she is my soul mate. I love her so much that I want to get married." Maybe this this person will say, "Yes, that's very nice." But inside he's really thinking, "I can't imagine what kind of creepy girl that is. I mean let's face it - who would fall in love with you?"
And it's the same thing when it comes to my service of G-d. Imagine that there was someone in the world whom I could tell, "Thank G-d, I have reached another level in my davening and my learning." Why do we always hold back? Why can;t we tell something good to other people? Because there is so much jealousy that they can't stand it. Let's assume I finish learning the whole Talmud. So I walk up to somebody and say, "I'm happy - I know the whole Talmud." What do you think would happen? It would be the end of our friends. Do you know why? Sadly enough, people don't want me to be strong in my learning. They say to themselves, "You really think you know what the whole Talmud is all about? That's crazy - because I know you are a dope."
When G-d created the world, He wanted it to be a place where one human being could tell another, "Something so beautiful happened to me," and the other person would be so happy it would blow his mind. And one friend would say to the other, "I'm so glad it happened to you." But if this isn't what the world is like, then what do I do with my light all year long? I close the doors fast; I'm afraid to show what's really inside me. I cannot tell somebody else, "Do you know how much light I have in my soul? Do you know how beautiful my home is, how much it is shining? Do you know what kind of a Shabbos I have?" I have to lock the door - I'm afraid. But on Chanuka something happens to the world. I can put my light at the door,, and I can tell the whole world, "My house is filled with light."
Let's go one step further. Do I have one friend in the world whom I can tell how special my children are? There isn't. But on Chanukah I tell my children, "Kindle a little light and put it by the door." What am I really doing? I am telling everyone, "Do you see my child's light? What a light...what a light!"
I want you to know, sweetest friends, when I see someone else putting on tefillin, I don't have to say a blessing over it. When I put on tefillin, I say a blessing, but I don't need to make a bracha over someone else fulfilling the mitzva. And the same thing is true of all the commandments except one - Chanuka. If I go for a walk on the street and I haven't yet kindled the light in my own house, and I pass by someone else's house and I see his Chanukah candles, I have to make a bracha. Do you know why? Because, to be honest, all year long. I don't really care if somebody else puts on tefillin. I pretend that I do, but I don't really care. But on Chanukah, when I see somebody else serving G-d, it blows my mind. I say to myself, "I knew my neighbor was beautiful , but I didn't know he was shining so much. I already kindled Chanukah lights in my house, but how does my light compare to my friend's? He is even deeper." So I make another bracha over my neighbor's light. Then maybe later that night, the same person takes a walk and passes by my house. He sees my Chanukah candles and says, "Ribbono Shel Olam, Master of the World, I made a bracha over my light. But my neighbor's light is so much more beautiful. Thank you, G-d, for my friend's light." Friends do you know what this is? Do you know what would happen if this was the way people were to each other? It mamesh would be the redemption of the world. And this was the whole thing with Yosef HaTaddik. Yosef was on such an exalted level - it was like after the coming of Mashiach. He thought he could tell his brothers, "Do you know what level I have reached? I have reached the level that I can be Mashiach, that I can be the king." But his brothers weren't on the same level yet. They were holy, but they still have jealousy inside them. They couldn't be happy for their brother. And this was the beginning of the downfall of the world. Sweetest friends, do you know ho broken your life is when you cannot stand somebody else being beautiful? Do you know how sad it is if your heart isn't deep enough to say a blessing on somebody else's light? So during the same week that we read the story of the brothers selling Yosef, we make a great fixing - by kindling Chanukah lights.
But he adamantly refused. (Bereishis 39:8)
You know, sweetest friends, we look at Eretz Yisrael, at the Holy Land. On the one hand there might be a ray of hope for peace, but on the other hand we see so much darkness, so much darkness. And something we think, "Ribonno Shel Olam, if You want to redeem Israel, don't You have a better way?" I want you to know, friends, Yosef was rotting away in prison. Then the wife of Potiphar came to him and said, "Listen brother, if you will be with me just one time, I will let you out of prison. Otherwise, you will rot here forever."
Do you know what Yosef HaTzaddik told her? "Do you know who I am? I am one of the twelve tribes, and we are so holy. If G-d wants to get me out of prison, He has to do it in a better way than this." And then Yosef HaTzaddik mamesh looked up to heaven and prayed, "Ribbono Shel Olam, thank You so much for this little ray of hope. But Master of the World, if You want me to be free, isn't there a better way?" Sweetest friends, we all have to look up to our Father in heaven right now and say the same thing.: Thank You for this little ray of hope. We all want Israel to live peacefully. But cant You do it in a better way? Isn't there a better way?
Forty four (44) is indeed the total number of the candles lit during Chanukah.
In Hebrew the word פח has several meanings:
2. jar (of oil)
פח has the numerical value (Gematria) of 88.
When it's broken (as in the above verse) into two halves then we get a half of 88 = 44.
Forty four (44) is indeed the total number of the candles lit during Chanukah.
Forbes Ranks Tel Aviv 2nd Best City To Visit In The World
Tel Aviv appears in second place on the list of top destinations for 2020 recommended by the editors of the Forbes Travel Guide.
"Ancient history and modern living meet in this bustling beach city along Israel's Mediterranean coast. While no day in this urban hot spot would be complete without a few hours on the golden sands (check into The Setai, Tel Aviv for a front-row seat to sea), you'll also want to make time for the newly opened White City Center. Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus architecture movement, the museum spotlights the city's unique look—the UNESCO-designated White City zone is home to more than 4,000 Bauhaus-style buildings, the largest such collection in the world," the entry reads.
The Forbes destination list is topped by Las Vegas, and Macau comes in third after Tel Aviv.
"Pharaoh took his ring off his own hand and placed it on the hand of Joseph" (Genesis 41:42). What a divine revelation! What an open miracle! Mere minutes before, Joseph was a lowly prisoner. Now, in the blink of an eye, he had become Pharaoh's viceroy by whose command all food would be distributed in Egypt.
This sudden turnabout was a devastating response to Joseph's lack of trust in G-d when he asked the chief steward to save him. The Midrash states, "Joseph really only deserved 10 years in prison...yet because he asked the chief steward, 'Remember that I was with you...say something about me to Pharaoh' (Genesis 40:14), two years were added [to his sentence]" (Shemot Rabba 7:1).
A Jew who seeks help from a non-Jew out of despair and fear, lest G-d not help him, commits a grave sin. Had Joseph approached the steward with a DEMAND, because the steward OWED HIM A FAVOR, his act would not have been considered a sin. But instead he approached him with a REQUEST, indicating that he needed a favor from a non-Jew, and thus profaned G-d's Name by implying that he did not trust the Almighty, only flesh and blood.
From here we derive a major principle regarding aid from non-Jews: If the non-Jew offers support as part of a MUTUAL aid agreement, or payment for what he owes the Jew- we may accept it. Otherwise, we must reject it. Approaching a non-Jew or a country with a REQUEST for support- like a pauper standing at the door- demonstrates lack of faith in G-d and constitutes the ultimate Chillul Hashem.
The Jewish Idea
When Reb Levi Yitzchak of Berditchov Wished His Kehillah Blessings for The New Year, on December 31st By Rabbi Yehuda Winzelberg
It was late at night one New Year's Eve, December 31, and the beit midrash of Rav Levi Yitzchak of Berditchov was still filled with his Chassidim, who were sitting and learning. Close to midnight, the door to the private office of the Rav, which was adjacent to the beit midrash, opened, and the Rav shouted out to his Chassidim : תכתבו טובה לשנה ותחתמו' ,May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year!' He then returned to his office and closed the door behind him. The Chassidim were mystified. Didn't the Rav know, that this was the secular New Year and not the Jewish New Year? A short time later the same thing happened, and the Berditchover Rebbe came out to bless them. And then this happened again for a third time. The Chassidim were totally baffled! As not just anyone could approach the Rav, the men asked an elderly Chassid to approach him and ask for an explanation. The Rav told the elderly man the following: The previous Rosh Hashanah, the teffilot and shofar blowing of the city of Berditchov were especially beautiful and heartfelt, and went directly to Heaven. Hashem was so taken by these teffilot that He immediately inscribed the entire city in the Book of Life, and bestowed on each and every one of them, a year of health and wealth. When Yom Kippur came, Hashem was so taken by their fasting and crying. The people poured out their hearts into their prayers. Hashem was about to seal the inscription that He had written on Rosh Hashanah, when suddenly the Satan spoke up. "True, the people have been praying fervently, but, this is only one day! How can You inscribe them favorably for an entire year, based on their actions of only one day?" Hashem therefore held back, and the inscription was not sealed. Immediately after Yom Kippur, the people started to build their succot, in preparation of the upcoming Yom
Tov. The defending angel spoke up, "Hashem, see how Your people are involved in doing the mitzvah? Even the poor people are building their succah to the best of their abilities!" The Satan was not to be deterred. "Again, I object! True, they are building succot for You. But, look at the houses they live in, permanent structures of brick, stone and glass. But for You, Hashem, they merely build temporary shacks, that can barely last the week!" Again, Hashem held back from sealing the inscription. Simchas Torah came, and the shuls were filled with dancing and joyful happiness. Again, the defending angel came to Hashem and spoke up. "Hashem, don't You see how your children are rejoicing for Your Torah? Shouldn't the inscription be sealed?" Hashem was about to seal the inscription, when again the Satan spoke up. "I object yet again! True, they are rejoicing with the Torah tonight. But, how can You inscribe them favorably, based on their actions of one night? When Yom Tov is over, they will go back to their old ways! They are undeserving!" Hashem once again held back from sealing the inscription. So it was, that the inscription that was written on Rosh Hashanah, remained unsealed through Yom Kippur, Succot, Hoshanah Rabbah, Shmini Atzeret and Simchat Torah. Tonight, on New Year's Eve, however, the defending angel spoke up. "Hashem, King of the Universe! Do You see how non-Jews celebrate the New Year? Shouting and drinking in the streets, and all manner of carrying on! Do you remember how your children celebrated their New Year? They did it with prayer, atonement and holiness." "This time the Satan had no response. Rav Levi Yitzchak concluded, "Therefore, after all this time the inscription was finally sealed! I felt it appropriate to bless everyone with a Shanah Tovah!"