Krispy Kreme Owners Who Discovered Ties to Nazis Donating $11 Million to Survivors By David Israel and How The Open Skies Reform Taught Israelis To Love Flying and The Hanukkah Expulsion of American Jews
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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Always hold on to your sense of self-worth in the face of critical people. This requires that you remind yourself that, "This is just this person's opinion. It does not define all of me. I am a Bas/Ben Melech (daughter/son of the King) and Hashem loves me as I am right now."
Krispy Kreme Owners Who Discovered Ties to Nazis Donating $11 Million to Survivors By David Israel
Back in March, the German newspaper Bild reported that the Reimann family which owns Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and Panera Bread, supported Hitler during the war and used Russian and French slave laborers. The tabloid's four-page report resulted in a statement from the Reimanns that went: "We were ashamed," and, "These crimes are disgusting."
Peter Harf, the family's spokesman and a managing partner of JAB Holding Company, told Bild: "Reimann Sr. and Reimann Jr. were guilty. The two businessmen have passed away, but they actually belonged in prison."
Bild cited documents uncovered in Germany, France and the US suggesting that in 1943, at least 30% of the work force in the chemical plants belonging to Albert Reimann Sr. and Albert Reimann Jr. were slaves captured by the Nazis.
The Reimann family announced it would donate $11 million to various charities to atone for their forefathers' sins, and on Thursday, the family announced it is donating $5.5 million to Holocaust survivors. The money will go to the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, to help thousands of needy survivors, according to the Reimann press release.
"Elderly, poor Holocaust survivors need food, medicine and heat in the winter. These funds will enable thousands of survivors to live in dignity," conference president Julius Berman said in a statement.
The family's wealth is estimated at around $35 billion.
How The Open Skies Reform Taught Israelis To Love Flying
The decade about to end could well be called the decade of Israeli tourism. On both sides of the travel balance, figures for tourists coming to Israel and Israelis traveling abroad have soared to record levels. The pivotal date for this phenomenon is April 2013: That was when the first stage of the Open Skies airlines reform with the European Union went into effect. It brought new airlines flying in and out of Ben-Gurion International Airport, most importantly low-cost carriers. Airfares fell in the tens of percent and scores of new destinations were added to schedules.
A Journey Back in Time: Visiting the Graves of the Righteous in Ukraine By Sofya Tamarkin
As I boarded Ukrainian International Airlines on the way to trace my roots and visit the graves of the righteous, I felt like I was entering a time capsule.
Time has passed, and so much has happened since I was a child in Soviet Russia, yet I feel an undeniable connection to this land where so many righteous tzadikim are buried.
Jews from all over the world and from all walks of life flock to visit the graves of these rabbis whose lives continue to inspire, even hundreds of years after their passing. But by making this journey, I didn't just pay respect to the lives of the righteous. I discovered my own true self.
My group leader encouraged us to connect with the teachings of each rabbi and learn from their kindness, depth and connection.
We visited the graves of the Baal Shem Tov in Medzhybizh, Rabbi Levi Yitzchok of Berdichev, Rabbi Nachman of Uman, Rabbi Zusha of Anapolia, the Maggid of Mezeritch and Rabbi Natan of Breslov.
As the Lubavitcher Rebbe taught, when we visit the graves of the righteous, we must stop and contemplate how they accomplished such lofty levels of wisdom, selflessness and Torah values.
A cemetery in Berdichev, a grave of one of the righteous with a tree that is believed to bring blessings for children. Pieces of the tree are often cut of by the visitors, leaving it looking bare.
While visiting each grave, we learned about the lives of the righteous. Listening to the niggunim (chassidic melodies) associated with each one, we immersed ourselves in prayer and meditation. We felt incredibly connected, sensing each other's positive energy and empathy. An unbelievable feeling of gratitude for the continuity of Jewish people filled my heart. My soul sang as I finished the book of Psalms on Friday night after welcoming Shabbat in Uman.
It was incredibly beautiful to pray for all Jewish people for our shared destiny. I felt that each tzadik taught me something about myself. The graves of the tzadikim are places of holiness and unconditional love, where one is able to connect and open up to the true essence of one's beautiful soul and feel tremendous peace. I have never felt such an overwhelming desire to embrace every single person with unconditional love and understanding. This has been one of the most meaningful, spiritual and wholesome experiences of my life.
A second, more personal journey took place during these unforgettable six days. I was able to find the grave of my great grandfather, Ezra Krakopolsky, buried in 1971 in Zhmerinka. When I found his grave, I found my place in the link between generations.
The grave of my great-grandfather, Ezra Krakopolsky.
I lit a candle at the grave of my grandfather, Ezra the shochet (ritual kosher slaughterer), who was born in a different world, lived through two world wars and never gave up his commitment to Torah. His house and the synagogue where he prayed still stand, frozen in time.
Born in 1896, he survived the Revolution, communism, wars, hunger, poverty, anti-Semitism, the Holocaust and oppression, yet nothing severed his connection to his faith. He lived and died as a Jew, his body carried for more than two miles by community members to be laid to final rest.
I treasure our history and value the sacrifices made by our people. This makes us into a strong and undefeated nation that can proudly walk in the path of faith in G‑d and remember those who came before us.
Our trip lasted less than a week, yet it felt like a lifetime, and by the end of it I felt completely transformed.
As I drank the water from the well of the Baal Shem Tov, I felt that the knowledge and faith of past generations spilled into my soul. We are truly one. As long as we are connected to the past, we bring the light of those who lived before us into our present, and, of course, into the future of collective Jewish destiny.
The Baal Shem Tov's well.
By Sofya TamarkinMore by this author Born in the Soviet Union, Sofya lives in Philadelphia, runs an orthopedic company, and holds an MBA degree. She teaches Torah, travels the world, and is involved with RAJE (Russian American Jewish Experience) and other outreach organizations. Email Sofya for questions about self-growth and achieving life purpose.
Watch: IDF soldiers' surprise on a Jerusalem train
Pharaoh had a strange dream. Seven thin and unhealthy cows swallowed seven robust cows, but the thin cows showed no signs of weight gain. Joseph interpreted the dream, predicting that Egypt would experience seven years of plentiful crops, followed by seven years of drought. The ensuing famine would be so severe that the years of plenty would be entirely forgotten.1
The commentaries pose an interesting question. Why did the thin cows swallow the robust cows? If the purpose of the dream was to imply a severe famine that would erase the effects of the years of plenty, the healthy cows could have become—or even been replaced by—sickly and thin cows, and the message would have been the same. Why the swallowing?
The years of plenty would be entirely forgotten
Rabbi Ovadiah Sforno offers a deep psychological insight. This detail of the dream informed Pharaoh that the famine would sow panic and desperation even among the wealthy, for they knew that their limited supplies would eventually run out.
Our rabbis taught that you cannot compare one who has bread in his basket to one who does not. The two might enjoy identical meals, but the one who has nothing saved for tomorrow will panic with every bite, for each mouthful carries him closer to starvation. The one who has plenty stored away for the next day will eat with confidence. If we are filled with dread, every mouthful is a form of torture. If we are filled with confidence, every mouthful is bliss.
The time would come when the entire region would suffer from famine, and people would stream to Egypt to purchase food. But even the well-stocked Egyptians would not escape the wrath of famine, for with each bite they would worry that tomorrow they might join the ranks of the hungry.
Pharaoh's dream informed him that he would gain no satisfaction from his rich meals. He would suffer emotional starvation, and come to hate mealtime with a passion.
The Scarcity Mentality
Imagine an encounter between an Egyptian family with plenty and a family from a starving country. The Egyptian family might moan about the desperation they feel with every bite. The visiting family wouldn't be able to relate to this problem. "If we had that kind of food," they would say, "we would have no problem. Yet you have all this food, and complain?"
Can you imagine a scenario in which you are surrounded by luxury, but feel desperate and deprived? It is the ultimate irony. You have everything, and enjoy nothing. In fact, you might be better off with poverty
You might be better off with poverty than with a wealth that haunts and taunts you.
It is impossible to relate to such difficulty when you are surrounded by real problems. When your children are hungry and you have nothing to feed them, you wish for the kind of problems the Egyptian family experienced. Yet from the Egyptians' standpoint, the problem was real. It couldn't be dismissed merely because others had more serious problems.
Today we have irrigation, production and preservation systems that enhance crop survival and mitigate the effects of droughts. For the most part, people in the developed world are able to meet their basic needs and then some. But feelings of desperation and deprivation are still common. Only the believer can live in the moment. The believer knows that everything is in good hands, G‑d's hands. As much as we strive to work hard and provide for our families, ultimately our sustenance comes from G‑d.
The Weak Bully
There is another lesson from this enigmatic dream. How often do you encounter aggressive personalities who love to dominate? These people feel compelled to make every decision and control every exchange. If someone stands up to them, they tear into him and figuratively eat him alive. Having swallowed each of their challengers, and even many of their supporters, such people appear to be invincible, but they often feel weak and beleaguered.
You see, very few people tear into others because they are strong. They often do these things because they lack self-esteem and suffer emotional starvation. They might perceive almost any exchange as a slight, and convince themselves that others are poised to attack them. They put up a brave front and are on the offensive precisely because they feel vulnerable. In their minds, others want to swallow them alive, and they have no choice but to swallow first.
They are like the skinny cows, swallowing their perceived attackers but showing no signs of gain. They "won" the battle, but gained no
They have no choice but to swallow firstemotional satisfaction from it. It is the height of irony. They are the strongest in the group, but in their minds, the weakest.
When we understand that bullying behavior is often rooted in emotional starvation, we can respond with compassion and loving strength.
Pharaoh's dream highlights a psychological phenomenon to which we are still subject today. Emotional starvation can manifest in many ways, but with faith in G‑d, we can perceive the abundance in our lives.