Breaking news--Lockdown is practically over and Kaddish for the Six Million everyday, the Kaliver Rabbi and Prayer for murdered Jews and some think that The Aliyah Apocalypse is coming and Our Dress Rehearsal for a Police State by Dennis Prager and New York business fights Lock-down
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. Now also a Blogger on the Times of Israel. Look for my column
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Why I say Kaddish everyday for the six million-the Kaliver Rabbi
Why I say Kaddish everyday for the six million-the Kaliver Rabbi
Friday, the 23rd of Nisan, (April 17, 2020) marked the first Yahrtzeit of Rav Menachem Mendel Taub, the Kaliver Rebbe zy"a. Born in Transylvania in 1923, the Rebbe was the seventh generation in a family of Chassidic leaders.
In the summer of 1944, just three days before Shavuot, he was deported to Auschwitz together with his family arriving there three days before Shavuot. There, he was tortured and experimented on by Dr. Josef Mengele.
Because of "chemical burning experiments", he was unable to grow facial hair; he also had an unusually high-pitched voice, and was rendered sterile, unable to have children. He was transferred from Auschwitz to the Breslau Death camp and later to Bergen-Belsen
Six months after the war ended, he reunited with his wife in Sweden. In 1947 they immigrated to the United States and settled in Cleveland, Ohio.
He and his wife immigrated to Israel in 1962 The following year he founded Kiryas Kaliv in Rishon Le|Zion The foundation stone was laid on 7 Adar 5723 (3 March 1963), the day of the yahrzeit of the founder of the dynasty, Grand Rabbi Yitzchak Isak Taub. Several years later he moved his headquarters to Bnei Brak. In 2004, Taub's court moved to Jerusalem
The Rebbe would often relate how shortly before liberation, the Nazis made a final attempt to burn Jews alive. Narrowly escaping death, he made a deal with Hashem:
"I cried out the Shema Yisrael and I said 'Ribbono Shel Olam (Creator of the World), this might be, Chas V'shalom (God forbid), the last time I will be saying Shema Yisrael. Soon I will be with the rest of my family in Heaven. If you give me life, then I promise You that I will say time and again Shema Yisrael, declaring Your eternity with those who will outlive the war."
A source of strength and inspiration, he traveled extensively, speaking to diverse groups - secular and religious, young and old - calling for Jewish unity and proclaiming together aloud the Shema Yisrael, fulfilling the promise he made to Hashem all those years before. May his memory be for a blessing.
During the last 60 years, since World War II, the Rebbe has dedicated his life to perpetuating the memory of the Kedoshim of the Holocaust, and to this end has traveled to millions of Jews with his story and has encouraged the reciting of Shema Yisrael, also in memory of the Kedoshim.
The Rebbe once explained the reason behind the Shema Yisrael: "Just a few hours before we were liberated, they took many Jews and threw them into the fire. I cried out Shema Yisrael and I said: Ribbono Shel Olam, this might be, chas v'shalom, the last time I will be saying Shema Yisrael. Soon I'll be with the rest of my family in Heaven. If you give me life, then I promise You that I will say time and again Shema Yisrael, declaring Your eternity with those who will outlive the war. "
The Rebbe also taught that since he was alive and the six million were dead, he would say Kaddish for the six million each day. This impressed me so much as I am a holocaust child as well that I took on the custom and now say Kaddish for the six million each day..
It was very painful that all the shuls closed. I continued the tradition outside. Then after about two weeks, outside davening was disallowed. The Chief Rabbis said that because of the emergency situation that Kaddish could be said with the Radio at home. But that is not the Halacha.
Fortunately, in 20 days (it takes 21 days to make a new habit according to most theories) we were able to start outside minyans again and I started Kaddish again. It is no coincidence that it was exactly 20 as 40 is what it takes to make a new life in Judaism
To see more on the Kaliver Rebbe and what he Promised G-d in the Warsaw Ghetto please go to YouTube.
Lockdown practically over
Israel lifts limits on leaving home, visiting family; malls to open Thursday Touting country's 'major success' fighting the coronavirus, Netanyahu says all limitations on gatherings to be removed next month if infection and serious case rates don't rise By TOI staff 4 May 2020,
Standing in front of a chart specifying circumstances in which Israel might have to reimpose restrictions if COVID-19 flares again, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announces the easing or many lockdown restrictions, at a press conference in Jerusalem on May 4, 2020 (GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other top officials on Monday announced a dramatic easing of the social distancing restrictions meant to contain the coronavirus, lifting limitations on movement and economic activity.
"We achieved major success" in containing the virus, Netanyahu said during a press conference at his office in Jerusalem, citing the declining rate of new infections and the fast-growing number of people to recover from COVID-19, while noting that "every death is a great loss… it's heartrending."
The premier chalked up Israel's success against the virus to the early steps by the government, including the closure of borders, imposition of social distancing guidelines and digital tracking. Comparing Israel to other similarly sized countries that sustained far larger death tolls, Netanyahu defended the severity of the Jewish state's social distancing measures and said they justified their devastating economic price.
He also highlighted the efforts of health workers and the public's adherence to government directives.
Among the restrictions that Netanyahu said would be lifted was the 100-meter limit on travel from home for activities deemed non-essential.
"I know you've been waiting for this for a while," he said.
Visits to immediate family members would again be permitted, including with grandparents, for the first time in six weeks. But social distancing should be maintained on visits to elderly relatives, with no hugs or kisses, he said.
Israeli children visit their grandparents in the central city of Kfar Yona on April 21, 2020. (Chen Leopold/Flash90)
Effectively immediately, gatherings of up to 20 people will be allowed in open areas, to be expanded to up 50 people on May 17. Weddings and funerals can now have up to 50 people if they are held in open areas.
Netanyahu said the cancellation of all limitations on gatherings was planned for June 14, "assuming that no red light is lit."
Turning to the economy, Netanyahu said malls and outdoor markets would be allowed to reopen Thursday, but would need to adhere to certain restrictions.
He also vowed that the process for the self-employed and small business owners to receive financial assistance from the state would be eased.
With some grades returning to school this week, Netanyahu said kindergartens would reopen on May 10, while all students will return to classes by the end of the month. However, he did not give a time-frame for the resumption of activities in daycare centers.
Universities and colleges are set to reopen on June 14.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gives a televised statement on May 4, 2020. (Screenshot)
Restrictions were also set to be eased on sports and leisure, with Netanyahu saying guidelines would soon be published for the reopening of parks, hotels, guesthouses, and other venues. Domestic flights would also resume within weeks, he said.
As for international flights, he said Israel was seeking a way to "reconnect to the world," but without exposing the country to contagion from those countries that were still grappling with far higher infection rates.
(Israel is among seven nations that have made progress in combating the coronavirus, which is joining together to promote tourism and trade between them as they look to rebuild economies battered by the virus, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday. The initiative, proposed by Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, would provide a way for the countries to begin opening borders without the fear of letting in virus carriers. Israel currently bars the entry of all foreigners and Israelis returning from overseas must quarantine for two weeks.)
In his remarks, the prime minister warned that a second outbreak of the virus was possible, and laid out criteria for a potential snapback of restrictions in the case of a fresh wave of infection.
He said that in order for the easing of the restrictions to continue as planned, the number of new infections would have to remain under 100 a day outside of virus hotspots, the rate of new cases doubling would have to be less than 10 days, and the number of patients in serious condition must remain under 250.
To achieve this, Netanyahu repeatedly implored Israelis to practice social distancing, maintain good hygiene, and wear masks.
"This is the key to everything," he said.
The announcement that further restrictions would be eased came as the infection rate has dropped off significantly in recent days, with the number of new cases over 24-hour periods consistently falling below 200 since the start of last week. On Sunday night, Israel registered only 29 new cases in the previous day, and on Monday night 38.
A Prayer for Murdered Jews on the DanubeDeep below the beautiful 'Blue Danube' River exists a dark, hidden past. Between December 1944 and January 1945, members of the Hungarian Nazi-allied Arrow Cross Party shot and killed as many 20,000 Jews along the river bank - their bodies falling into the river - but not before first forcing them to remove their shoes. 'Shoes on the Danube' is a haunting memorial to those murdered. It was created by Hungarian sculptor Gyula Pauer and filmmaker Can Togay in 2005, and contains 60 pairs of iron shoes in a row along the bank of the Danube.In January, Interior Minsiter Aryeh Deri visited the site and announced that he had obtained permission from the Hungarian government to search for the remains of those murdered and give them a proper Jewish burial in Israel, with the ZAKA emergency response organization to conduct the search. But internal politics within the Budapest Jewish community as well as complicated logistics seems to be causing a delay. I spoke with ZAKA Chairman Rabbi Yehudah Meshi-Zahav last week and he is hopeful that the search will be conducted later this month.
This past Friday, the 23rd of Nisan, marked the first Yahrtzeit of Rav Menachem Mendel Taub, the Kaliver Rebbe zy"a.Born in Transylvania in 1923, the Rebbe was the seventh generation in a family of Chassidic leaders. In the summer of 1944, just three days before Shavuot, he was deported to Auschwitz together with his family. There, he was tortured and experimented on by Dr. Josef Mengele. The Rebbe was eventually transferred to the Warsaw Ghetto and then to the Breslau concentration camp where he was marched to Bergen-Belsen before being liberated in April of 1945.Following the war, the Rebbe immigrated to Israel to rebuild the Kaliv Chassidic dynasty, founding a network of Yeshivot, institutions and Chessed organizations.The Rebbe would often relate how shortly before liberation, the Nazis made a final attempt to burn Jews alive. Narrowly escaping death, he made a deal with Hashem:"I cried out the Shema Yisrael and I said 'Ribbono Shel Olam [Creator of the World], this might be, Chas V'shalom [God forbid], the last time I will be saying Shema Yisrael.Soon I will be with the rest of my family in Heaven. If you give me life, then I promise You that I will say time and again Shema Yisrael, declaring Your eternity with those who will outlive the war."A source of strength and inspiration, he travelled extensively, speaking to diverse groups - secular and religious, young and old - calling for Jewish unity and proclaiming together aloud the Shema Yisrael, fulfilling the promise he made to Hashem all those years before.May his memory be for a blessing on this Yom Hashoah.youtube.comTHE KALIVER REBBE ZT'L WHAT HE PROMISED GOD IN THE WARSAW GHETTO Yesterda 2633753920032683http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/239792 de rebbe over President Trump.
THE KALIVER REBBE ZT'L WHAT HE PROMISED GOD IN THE WARSAW GHETTO Yesterda 2633753920032683
The difference between the situation of Jews in the Diaspora and those in Israel during the corona pandemic has led to a change in the way Diaspora Jews look at the Jewish state, from the Zionists to the haredim to the progressives.
If there is one thing we know about the post-coronavirus era that connects with the post WWII era, it is that we have no idea what the world will look like.. Who will be the winners? Who will be the losers? We do not know what industries will survive and which won't, which economies will rise, and which will crumble.
One thing we do know for certain: the Aliya apocalypse is coming.
As many have noted, for American Jews, the notion that America is a first-world country, and Israel is some kind of second world country can no longer exist. Sitting in New York hearing the harrowing sounds of ambulances all day and all night, while watching videos of Israelis singing Ma Nishtana from their balconies, can never be erased. The far superior management of the coronavirus outbreak in Israel, while we felt stranded and abandoned by state policies, will never disappear. Haredi Jews in Brooklyn and Rockland County who had seen tens of deaths a day for the past few weeks will never again be able to look down on Israel.
The contrast between the swift and effective action taken in Israel confronting the coronavirus, although it did suffer fatalities - a much lower number proportionately than outside Israel - contrasted with the slow and inadequate actions taken against it in most states in America, highlights the technological, governmental, and medical superiority Israel has been able to exercise in defense of its citizens. This is something everyone considering making Aliya will now have on their minds. This is not true only of Jews in America. It is also true of Jews in the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Australia, and more.
Then comes the economic aspect.
We do not know when economies will go back to function. We do know that many aspects of the economy may never come back. Others will be very hard hit. We do know that the world may be facing the greatest economic depression since the 1930s.
For American Jews it's a simple choice: would you like to stay here to find out what a full-blown economic catastrophe looks like during an unresolved pandemic, with no guarantee for health insurance, not able to afford your children's education, or would you like to take your chances and go to Israel? In Israel, you are guaranteed almost free healthcare—which has proven itself far superior and more effective—free or low-cost high-quality Jewish education (and low-cost higher education), and effective public policy (albeit with a civic license to complain and insane politics).
It is hard to imagine this will be a difficult choice. Once the airways reopen, and a ravaged world economy emerges, it is likely we will see an Aliya apocalypse. Americans from all walks of life are likely to find the fast track back to Israel.
Another group that is likely to find their way back are Israeli yordim, thosewho emigrated to other countries. Many of them decided to take a risk and relocate so they could succeed at building a better standard of life in New York, Florida, Berlin, or Los Angeles. When economic opportunities are at a one hundred year low, when they are guaranteed a better healthcare system, when the world is far less globalized than ever before, many of them are likely to jump on the first flight back to Israel available to them. Many have already.
Every day I turn with horror to the various sites to see if there is anyone I know, a family member, a friend, or a known community leader. Another change we are likely to see in Israeli-Diaspora relations is between the haredi sector and Israel. My heart bleeds as I think of the dozens who died and die every day in Brooklyn, Rockland County, Lakewood, Kiryas Joel, and more. Every day I turn with horror to the various sites to see if there is anyone I know, a family member, a friend, or a known community leader. Sadly, this happens almost every day and I hope is on a downward trend.
Seeing this happen in our community (I see myself as part of this community in many ways) while sister communities in Israel go almost unscathed - and seeing the IDF helping haredim in Bnei Brak with food and transportation to hotels to save the elderly) is going to change attitudes towards Israel. No longer can Israel be viewed as the Nebach subject of pity and America as the benevolent stable one. There is likely to be a reversal of roles which is likely to impact decision making. More haredi and Yeshivish Jews will see Aliya as a sensible and desirable decision.
I vividly recall standing in my home in New York, at the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, getting one of the usual charity calls from Israel. "You know the situation here is very difficult," was the pitch. I couldn't even pretend to listen. Hundreds of people were dying in New York and they were asking for sympathy? Thank G-d, they did not need it as much as we do! American Jews will realize that not being the big brother—benevolent uncle Sam—is not much fun.
Earlier this year, Rav Ahron, one of the two current Satmar Rebbes, came from Brooklyn to Israel, greeted by thousands, donating five million dollars to non-Zionist institutions. There was a subtle message about his arrival. The drones on the way to the airport, the private jets, the fancy motorcades, dashing out cash to supporters, all gave a simple message: American dollars can outdo Zionism. Rabbi Mordechai Berkovitch, a leading figure in the Satmar community in America, said it then outright: "the Zionists bought the Jews of Israel for a few dollars, we are going to get them back with millions of dollars. We are going to fight them face to face."
If indeed this was a battle between the Brooklyn dollar and the Israeli Shekel, the outcome is not looking great for Brooklyn. Time to begin opting for Jerusalem over a beleaguered Brooklyn.
This symbolism is not just true for Brooklyn. Jews in haredi communities in London, Manchester, and beyond will do the same. It is hard to imagine Jewish communities like Antwerp, Belgium, which are now bracing an 85% coronavirus infection rate, soon forgetting how much better off their cousins in Israel were during this period. Israel will become a far more appealing option than ever before.
Progressive Jews won't fall far behind either. Especially young ones. Reflecting on my days of hitting the job market during the 2008 recession, I can say with certainty there is nothing exciting about hitting a job market in decline. No matter what you think about Netanyahu, he did not abandon his citizens during the coronavirus outbreak just because they didn't vote for him. Those who lived in blue states during this outbreak felt, although unjustifiably, abandoned and stranded by the federal government. The possibility of a country with nationalized healthcare, effective public health systems, an economy that is open both to the West and the East, is likely to appeal to many young Jews.
During this coronavirus outbreak, we should be thinking about our friends, family, grandparents, and members of our community. We should be thinking about how to get over this 21st century horror alive and well, care for others, and look out for anyone we can. Israel has done so in a spectacular way. For that reason, Israel should also be preparing for the Aliya Apocalypse. Once the airways are open, many Jews will be saying: this year in Jerusalem. Israel should prepare to embrace them.
Our Dress Rehearsal for a Police State by Dennis Prager
Dennis Prager is a columnist for The Daily Signal, nationally syndicated radio host, and creator of PragerU.
All my life, I have dismissed paranoids on the right ("America is headed to communism") and the left ("It can happen here"—referring to fascism).
It's not that I've ever believed liberty was guaranteed. Being familiar with history and a pessimist regarding the human condition, I never believed that.
But the ease with which police state tactics have been employed and the equal ease with which most Americans have accepted them have been breathtaking.
People will argue that a temporary police state has been justified because of the allegedly unique threat to life posed by the new coronavirus. I do not believe the data will bear that out. Regardless, let us at least agree that we are closer to a police state than ever in American history.
In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance.
"Police state" does not mean totalitarian state. America is not a totalitarian state; we still have many freedoms.
In a totalitarian state, this article could not be legally published, and if it were illegally published, I would be imprisoned and/or executed.
But we are presently living with all four of the key hallmarks of a police state:
No. 1: Draconian laws depriving citizens of elementary civil rights.
The federal, state, county, and city governments are now restricting almost every freedom except those of travel and speech.
Americans have been banned from going to work (and thereby earning a living), meeting in groups (both indoors and outdoors), meeting in their cars in church parking lots to pray, and entering state-owned properties such as beaches and parks—among many other prohibitions.
No. 2: A mass media supportive of the state's messaging and deprivation of rights.
The New York Times, CNN, and every other mainstream mass medium—except Fox News, The Wall Street Journal (editorial and opinion pages only), and talk radio—have served the cause of state control over individual Americans' lives just as Pravda served the Soviet government.
In fact, there is almost no more dissent in The New York Times than there was in Pravda. And the Big Tech platforms are removing posts about the virus and potential treatments they deem "misinformation."
No. 3: Use of police.
Police departments throughout America have agreed to enforce these laws and edicts with what can only be described as frightening alacrity.
After hearing me describe police giving summonses to, or even arresting, people for playing baseball with their children on a beach, jogging alone without a mask, or worshipping on Easter while sitting isolated in their cars in a church parking lot, a police officer called my show.
He explained that the police have no choice. They must respond to every dispatch they receive.
"And why are they dispatched to a person jogging on a beach or sitting alone in a park?" I asked.
Because the department was informed about these lawbreakers.
"And who told the police about these lawbreakers?" I asked.
His answer brings us to the fourth characteristic of a police state:
No. 4: Snitches.
How do the police dispatchers learn of lawbreakers such as families playing softball in a public park, lone joggers without face masks, etc.? From their fellow citizens snitching on them.
The mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, set up a "snitch line," whereby New Yorkers were told to send authorities photos of fellow New Yorkers violating any of the quarantine laws.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti similarly encouraged snitching, unabashedly using the term.
It is said that about 1 in every 100 East German citizens were informers for the Stasi, the East German secret police, as superbly portrayed in the film "The Lives of Others." It would be interesting, and, I think, important, to know what percentage of New Yorkers informed on their fellow citizens.
Now, again, you may think such a comparison is not morally valid, that de Blasio's call to New Yorkers to serve a Stasi-like role was morally justified given the coronavirus pandemic. But you cannot deny it is Stasi-like or that, other than identifying spies during World War II, this is unprecedented in American history at anywhere near this level.
This past Friday night, I gathered with six others for a Shabbat dinner with friends in Santa Monica, California. On my Friday radio show, I announced I would be doing that, and if I was arrested, it would be worth it.
In my most pessimistic dreams, I never imagined that in America, having dinner at a friend's house would be an act of civil disobedience, perhaps even a criminal act.
But that is precisely what happens in a police state.
The reason I believe this is a dress rehearsal is that too many Americans appear untroubled by it; the dominant force in America, the left, supports it, and one of the two major political parties has been taken over by the left.
Democrats and their supporters have, in effect, announced they will use state power to enforce any law they can to combat the even greater "existential" crisis of global warming.
On the CNN website this weekend, in one of the most frightening and fanatical articles in an era of fanaticism, Bill Weir, CNN chief climate correspondent, wrote an open letter to his newborn son.
In it, he wrote of his idealized future for America: "completely new forms of power, food, construction, transportation, economics, and politics."
You cannot get there without a police state.
If you love liberty, you must see that it is jeopardized more than at any time since America's founding. And that means, among other things, that at this time, a vote for any Democrat is a vote to end liberty.