Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor
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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Shalom Pollock tour of the Jungle Nature reserve on the Dead Sea and the Jordon River
A most unique tour
Pioneers on the furthest hill of Jerusalem. We will visit the idealist young Jewish families who are maintaining Jewish presence and life on the farthest hill overlooking Jerusalem. This community literally hugs the security wall and is the Jewish anchor on the very fringe of the city.
Pioneers on the Jordan River. A small handful of eclectic Jewish idealists are building a Paradise along the Jordan River.
They will offer their amazing products such as dates and pomegranate juice. We will visit their museum which includes the largest and most unique collection of shofars. The world's best shofar blower will share his skills with us.
A hidden, amazing jungle nature reserve on the shore of the Dead Sea. (Special permission is required for this visit).Deep within the nature reserve of Ein Tzukim (Ein Fesche) on the shores of the Dead Sea is a jungle paradise that is accessible only with special permission and training. I have them both!It is a rare opportunity to be sure.
Stand where Joshua crossed the Jordan River. Opposite the Jordanian flags on the still occupied East bank, we will be able to touch the waters that God split for our ancestors over three thousand years ago. Where the Bible comes alive!What a country!
We will have an early departure to arrive at the nature reserve before it gets too hot.
Mon. June 22
Inbal Hotel, 8:00
Cost: 220 shekels.
Bring a picnic lunch
Alit-Yam-Swallowed up by Noah's Flood?
Atlit-Yam -Swallowed up by Noah's Flood?
Atlit Yam is an ancient submerged Neolithic village off the coast of Atlit, Israel. The site is dated to the final Pre-Pottery Neolithic age, 6900-6300 BCE (8900 and 8300 years old). Atlit-Yam provides the earliest known evidence for an agro-pastoral-marine subsistence system on the Levantine coast.
Was this Israeli version of Atlantis washed away in Noah's flood? Overtaken by a prehistoric tsunami or glacial meltdown? The site was covered by the eustatic rise of sea levels after the end of the Ice age. It is assumed that the contemporary coast-line was about 1 km (a half-mile) west of the present coast. Piles of fish ready for trade or storage have led scientists to conclude that the village was abandoned suddenly. An Italian study led by Maria Pareschi of the Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology in Pisa indicates that a volcanic collapse of the eastern flank of Mount Etna 8,500 years ago would likely have caused a 10-story (40 m or 130 ft) tsumani to engulf some Mediterranean coastal cities within hours. Some scientists point to the apparent abandonment of Atlit Yam around the same time as further evidence that such a tsunami did indeed occur. Or could have Noah's flood occurred at the same time?
It is not clear how the Late Neolithic-era Atlit-Yam village, some 400 meters off the shore between Atlit and Haifa, got submerged.
Discovered in 1984 during an underwater archeological survey, Atlit-Yam was hailed as the largest and best-preserved prehistoric settlement ever uncovered off the Mediterranean coast. The 8,500-year-old village contains rectangular and round structures, 65 human skeletons, seeds of wheat, barley, lentils and flax, and thousands of fish and animal bones.
Underwater excavations have uncovered rectangular houses and a well. Submerged settlements and shipwrecks have been found on the Carmel coast since 1960, in the wake of large-scale sand quarrying.
In 1984, marine archaeologist Ehud Galili spotted ancient remains while surveying the area for shipwrecks. Remains of rectangular houses and hearth-places have been found. Also found was a well that currently lies 10.5 m (35 ft) below sea-level, constructed of dry-stone walling, with a diameter of 1.5 m (5 ft) and a depth of 5.5 m (20 ft) lower. The fill contained flints, artifacts of ground stone and bone, and animal bones in two separate layers. The upper layer contained partly articulated animal bones, which were presumably thrown in after the well went out of use. Other round structures at the site may also be wells. Galili believes that the water in the wells gradually became contaminated with seawater, forcing the inhabitants to abandon their homes.
A stone semicircle, containing seven 600 kg (1,300 lb) megaliths, has been found. The stones have cup marks carved into them and are arranged around a freshwater spring, which suggests that they may have been used for a water ritual.
Ten flexed burials have been discovered, both inside the houses and in their vicinity. The skeletons of a woman and child, found in 2008, have revealed the earliest known cases of tuberculosis. Bone fish-hooks and piles of fish bones ready for trade or storage point to the importance of marine resources.
The men are thought to have dived for seafood, as four skeletons have been found with ear damage, probably caused by diving in cold water. Anthropomorphic stone axes have been found. The lithics include arrowheads, sickle-blades, and axes.
An excavation was mounted by the University of Haifa on October 1, 1987. A complete human burial, in an excellent state of preservation, was discovered under 10m of water on October 4 with the skeleton oriented in a fetal position on the right side. Subsequent carbon dating of plant material recovered from the burial placed the age of the site at 8000 +-200 years.
Animal bones and plant remains have also been preserved. Animal bones come mainly from wild species. The plant remains to include wild grape, poppy, and caraway seeds. Granary weevils indicate the presence of stored grain. Pollen analysis and the remains of marsh plants indicates the local presence of swamps.
The village was washed away. Was it a tsunami or Noah's Flood? Many commentators have said that Noah's Flood was not over the whole world, but only in the Mediterranean basin. Alit-Yam fits into that version of the story.
Speaking of doubts, here is one in this story:
Rivkah sprang to the telephone when it rang and listened with relief to the kindly voice in her ear. "How are you, darling?" she said. "What kind of day are you having?"
"Oh, mother," said Rivka, breaking into bitter tears, "I've had such a bad day. Baby Levi won't eat and the washing machine broke down. I haven't had a chance to go shopping for Shabbos, and besides, I've just sprained my ankle and I have to hobble around. On top of that, the house is a mess and I'm supposed to have two couples for Shabbos dinner this week."
The mother was shocked and was at once all sympathy. "Oh, darling," she said, "sit down, relax, and close your eyes. I'll be over in half an hour. I'll do your shopping, clean up the house, and cook Shabbos for you. I'll feed the baby and I'll call a repairman I know who'll be at your house to fix the washing machine promptly. Now stop crying. I'll do everything. In fact, I'll even call David at the office and tell him he ought to come home and help out for once."
"David?" said Rivkah. "Who's David?"
"Why, David! Your husband…Is this 223-1374?"
"No, this is 223-1375."
"Oh, I'm sorry. I guess I have the wrong number."
There was a short pause and Rivkah said, "Does this mean you're not coming over?"
Defund the Police? Only if You're Willing to Sacrifice Jewish Security
The obligation to pursue justice is not negotiable. Neither is the rule of law. Jews and all minorities need both to feel safe.
By: Jonathan S. Tobin
If your synagogue were under attack from a shooter, would you want a social worker to arrive in response to your 911 or a squad of armed policemen? You may think that when you're in danger, a cop with a gun is your best chance of survival. But the murder of an African-American man by a Minneapolis policeman and America's history of racism has led some to demand revolutionary change, rather than merely justice for the perpetrators and better police training. And to them, you're part of the problem.
In the course of the last week, support for a movement to "defund the police" has spread across the nation. Protesters, liberal groups, and many in the media have embraced the notion that the answer to police violence is to get rid of the police.
The actual facts about police shootings don't back up the notion that there is an epidemic of police murders of unarmed African-Americans caused by systemic racism. But the perception that this is true has become so deeply embedded in the national consciousness that an idea about disarming and even abolishing the police, which would have been dismissed as a crackpot notion not long ago, is now being seriously debated in the mainstream media, and even advocated by some community leaders and politicians.
Indeed, as part of his response to the furor over the murder of George Floyd, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that he was going to seek to cut the budget for the LA Police Department by $100 million to $150 million.
While some will cheer if this money is diverted to programs to benefit the African-American community, it may not sound like such a good idea to some of the city's citizens who want more security, rather than less, after this week's protests led to rioting and looting. Among them are the LA Jews who were cleaning up the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel graffiti on one synagogue, as well as the owners of Jewish businesses that were attacked and looted.
In the wake of increased incidents of anti-Semitic violence in the last two years, including two murderous shooting attacks inside synagogues, American Jews have been rightly focused on providing greater security for their institutions. This has meant communities and Jewish organizations have been relying on greater cooperation with law-enforcement agencies and seeking a greater police presence at potential Jewish targets.
A report produced by the Secure Community Network, an initiative of the Jewish Federations of North America and the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations created in response to this rising threat, recommended that synagogues hire police officers to guard them rather than security guards.
But the push for more police protection for vulnerable Jewish targets has placed even liberal groups like the Anti-Defamation League on the wrong side of an argument in which some Jews are joining with other leftists to denounce the whole idea of the police. Indeed, a group calling itself Jews for Racial and Economic Justice is promoting a campaign to demand that the New York City Council shift funding from the police to social services. As an op-ed in The New York Times recently argued, what we need are more social workers and less police.
According to an article in The Forward, the impetus for this movement is the belief that Jews of color see police as a threat to their security, rather than as protection. But support for this notion seems more about intersectional ideology in which Jews are labeled as white, and therefore, by definition, members of the oppressor class. Part of this is the effort by BDS groups like Jewish Voice for Peace to promote the anti-Semitic blood libel that Israel is training American cops to kill blacks.
The radicals who seek to exploit a unique moment in history think that divisions about race, President Donald Trump and the use of force to put down the rioting have all created an opportunity to get something more than just police reform.
Sensible people know that we don't have to choose between justice and preserving the rule of law. And if anyone ought to know that, it is a Jewish community and other minority groups that depend on both in order to feel safe.
While the ideologues are successfully promoting the slogans about abolishing and defunding the police, polls show that both black and white Americans, including those who think the cops are prejudiced, want more police protection, not less.
Indeed, the problem in many poor urban areas with minority populations is that high crime rates and violence there are in part caused by neglect of these neighborhoods by law enforcement, rather than systemic racism and police violence.
The police are not perfect. Some can be bullies or corrupt. And as we saw in Minneapolis, some are capable of murder. But the overwhelming majority of officers are brave individuals who do a difficult and dangerous job with a far greater chance of suffering injury or death in the line of duty than their critics want to admit. And if you're in trouble, then they're likely to be your best bet for survival—no matter your race or religion.
The impulse to demonize law enforcement or to treat all efforts to maintain public order—and to defend the safety and the property of citizens at risk from rioters—as illegitimate or evidence of fascist oppression is madness.
Fashionable liberal opinion has been hijacked by extremists who teach contempt for American ideals, and who see the country and our police as irredeemably racist. But it's also particularly foolish for a community that has endured a surge of anti-Semitic attacks in the last year to join with those who wish to abolish or defund to the point of irrelevance the only group that can deter or adequately responds to such incidents. Any Jewish group that wants to defund the police isn't just wrong. Those who succumb to this delusion will have on their hands the blood of future victims of violence that only the cops could stop. (JNS.org)
Jonathan S. Tobin is editor in chief of JNS—Jewish News Syndicate. Follow him on Twitter at: @jonathans_tobin.
Prager's Perspective The Left Couldn't Care Less About Blacks By Dennis Prager
Virtually every conservative in America knows the title of this column is true. Virtually every leftist knows it, too, but lying for the cause is what the left does (think "Russian collusion").
And those liberals who have become increasingly indistinguishable from leftists know it's probably true but won't say so – lest they side with conservatives and, more importantly, be branded "racist" by the left. How the left brands a person now determines many people's moral and political positions.
If the left cared about blacks, leftists would work to raise blacks to universal academic standards, not lower and abolish standards as they have done for decades, most recently in abolishing the SAT exam at the University of California.
If the left cared about blacks, leftists would work to elevate all people, including blacks, not only to universal academic standards but also to universal personal/moral standards. Perhaps the most obvious of these is that women should marry before having children, and men should stay in the lives of children they conceived – ideally as the husband of their mothers, but at least as a father, mentor, and breadwinner.
But when the University of Pennsylvania Law School professor Amy Wax wrote a column advocating such "middle-class, bourgeois" standards, leftists denounced her as a "white supremacist" (as if those are "white" values – a racist view if there ever was one) and "racist." Nearly half her Penn Law colleagues denounced her.
If the left cared about blacks, they would encourage a vibrant religious life in the inner city (and everywhere else, for that matter). What proportion of black (or non-black) murderers had attended church the Sunday before they committed murder? But the left despises traditional Judeo-Christian religions as much as it despises America.
If the left cared about blacks, leftists would increase – not lobby and demonstrate to decrease – police presence in black neighborhoods, where blacks are murdered, raped and beaten in the thousands each year by other blacks – almost never by whites, whether policemen or anyone else. In 2016, the last year for which I could find FBI data, 2,870 blacks were murdered. Of those, 2,570 of their murderers were black; 243 were white.
A typical left-wing reaction to all this was written in June 2019 by journalist Michael Coard in the Philadelphia Tribune: "Today's black so-called thugs/monsters are created by the evil American system that miseducates them, unemploys them, underemploys them, over-polices them, and over-incarcerates them. America is Dr. Victor Frankenstein." Note "over-polices."
Coard is correct about one thing: Today's blacks are often miseducated, which leads to their unemployment, underemployment, and other terrible consequences. Who has been running America's schools for decades now? (Hint: Not the right.)
But that doesn't cause violence. Black murderers and rapists are the only people in America told that no matter what they did, they are not responsible for it. America is. And the people telling them that are all on the left.
Why does the left do this?
First, because, as opposed to liberals, the left – everywhere in the world – hates America. And why does the left hate America? Because it is a living refutation of left-wing ideology. America is the most successful country while also being the most capitalist, most religious, and most nationality-affirming of all the industrialized democracies.
The left-wing mantra of "America is racist" has little to do with caring for blacks; rather, it is indispensable to bringing America down.
Second, without a lopsided black vote for the left-wing party, no Democrat could get elected to national office. It is therefore imperative to repeat as often and as vociferously as possible how anti-black America is. The angrier a black person is in America, the more likely he or she is to vote Democrat. Some years ago, after talking to listeners of every race on my radio show for decades, I came up with this riddle:
"What do you call a happy black person?"
Answer: "A Republican."
To the left, blacks are not real people as much as they are an electoral bloc. How else to explain Joe Biden's recent comment, "If you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't black." The contempt for blacks – from the sentiment that one is "not black" unless one is a Democrat to his use of the word "ain't" – is obvious to any non-leftist.
Further proof that the left doesn't care about blacks is that the left doesn't care about any group in whose name it speaks. The left uses groups to attain power and to give themselves moral legitimacy.
The communists never cared one whit about workers, but they preached incessantly on workers' behalf.
Left-wing feminists don't care one whit about women. Girls in Connecticut and elsewhere routinely lose track competitions to biological males who identify as female. Every rational person knows this is unfair to female athletes. But feminists, with very few exceptions, side with the biological males who identify as female.
And whereas liberal Jews constituted a bedrock of support for Jews and the Jewish state, left-wing Jews, like George Soros, don't care one whit about Jews or Israel. Likewise, their support for Palestinians has nothing to do with care for Palestinians; it is all about hatred for Israel and America.
Tears for George Floyd are universal and justified. Anger at what happened to him is universal and justified. But for leftists, that poor soul is little more than a weapon to be used in their ongoing rage against America, the police and white people. And to further enrage blacks against them.
45-minute youtube explains the KVER RACHEL story with my friend Evelyn Hayes who has a center there
Are Rabbis Less Deserving Than Michael Cohen And Michael Flynn? By Nathan Lewin
Michael Cohen, 53, a former lawyer for President Trump, has been released from Otisville Federal Prison because he was at risk of contracting Covid-19. Meanwhile, the criminal prosecution of Michael Flynn has been dropped because he was the victim of an FBI perjury "trap."
Compare the two Michaels with two rabbis – Rabbi Mendel Epstein and Rabbi Jay Goldstein (ages 74 and 66) – who have been denied coronavirus release from Otisville by federal Judge Freda Wolfson and the Bureau of Prisons.
The two rabbis are victims of a 2013 FBI "sting" that targeted them for trying to enforce rabbinic orders directing divorced husbands to give their wives a get. Most rabbis condemn violence against recalcitrant husbands, but some condone it, relying on a Maimonidean authorization.
Violent crime in America is normally deterred by after-the-fact prosecution and imprisonment. Victims report assaults and cooperate in prosecuting perpetrators. But in this case, the FBI's front office decided that it was necessary to root out – in advance of any violent act – rabbis who might condone assaults.
So the FBI embarked on a "sting" that required (1) front-office approval, (2) extensive training of two undercover FBI agents at a dedicated acting facility in Quantico, Virginia, and (3) fabrication of a ketubah.
The FBI then hunted for rabbis who might fall into their trap. Agents exploited the phony ketubah and the FBI's trained thespians to deceive the Beth Din of America into issuing summonses and a contempt decree against the fictional husband. With these tools in hand and a stellar performance by an FBI agent as a weepy divorcee who would be unable to remarry and bear children, the FBI snared rabbis who were known to be sympathetic to the religious plight of agunot.
The rabbis were fooled by the FBI's meticulously orchestrated theatrical performance into believing that they would free the agunah if they arranged a meeting in a New Jersey warehouse with her stubborn husband, who had allegedly refused, before fleeing to South America, to grant her a get. A group of Orthodox Jewish men – many of whom did not expect that violence would be employed – were recruited to assist in the performance of a religiously-encouraged venture.
The FBI had rigged the warehouse with cameras and recorders. All who joined in the trip were arrested while they waited for the arrival of the fictional husband, including those who never contemplated that the husband would be assaulted if he refused to do as they asked. There was, of course, no violence because, in the real world, there was no husband. The entire scenario was an FBI fabrication.
Rabbis Epstein and Goldstein (who joined the group as a sofer qualified to write a get) have completed four years of 10- and 8-year prison terms imposed after a trial in a federal court in Trenton. (I represented a co-defendant who was also convicted but has, thankfully, completed his prison term.)
Judge Freda Wolfson excluded at their trial all evidence of their religious motivation on the preposterous ground that such evidence would lead the overwhelmingly non-Jewish jury to "nullify" federal kidnapping laws by acquitting the defendants even if the jury concluded they were technically guilty.
Judge Wolfson has now rejected motions for "compassionate release" under federal law. In a 17-page opinion issued on May 19, she acknowledged that Rabbi Epstein contracted Covid-19 at Otisville and has medical conditions that place him in a highly vulnerable class.
Nonetheless, Judge Wolfson – whose conduct of the trial and in-chambers off-the-record remarks manifested her antipathy to "ultra-Orthodox" Jews – found that Rabbi Epstein not only received "adequate care" from the Bureau of Prisons but that "one of the primary reasons" for his recovery from Covid-19 "is the medical treatment that the BOP is providing."
Why, one wonders, was Michael Cohen sent home if the Otisville doctors provide such fine treatment for Covid-19? And why has the Department of Justice dropped its prosecution of Michael Flynn – who was also the victim of an FBI "sting" – and not sought the release of the two rabbis?
President Trump's readiness to pardon Flynn should now extend to all those who were victimized by the FBI's ill-advised "getcha" project to trap rabbis.
Tel Aviv to Double Bike Paths to 200 Miles by 2025 By David Israel
The Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality this week approved a strategic plan aimed at doubling the length of bike paths in the city from 140 km to 300 km (186 miles) by 2025. The plan also aims to increase the amount of personal vehicle journeys in the city in the next five years, from 11% to 20%, significantly higher than the average Israeli city nowadays, which accounts for about 3%.
The Municipality also announced last week that it plans to add 11 pedestrian streets; this is done as part of an overall urban policy that prioritizes pedestrians and cyclists and encourages local trade.
Ron Huldai, Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo said in a statement: "The city of Tel Aviv-Yafo has undergone a revolution in recent years and bicycles and personal vehicles have become an integral part of the urban culture. We continue to work and pave additional kilometres of bike paths while keeping three main goals in sight: "returning" the streets to pedestrians; reducing traffic congestion, reducing air pollution."
Meital Lehavi, Deputy Mayor for Transportation at the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality said in a statement: "It is a revolutionary plan that for the first time turns segments of bike paths into one uninterrupted network. The program is based on models designed according to cyclists' demands and needs of accessibility while mapping the most crucial streets for bike paths, all staying in accordance with law enforcement guidelines. On top of that incorporating aspects of education, cultural and behavioral adjustments through the distribution of information and accurate law enforcement. There is no doubt that a good bicycle alternative can lower the cost of living and improve air quality and the environment for the city and its residents."
The Municipal investment in improving the city's biking experience is part of an overall upgrade that bicycle cities around the world have achieved. The benefits linked to these improvements include the reduction of traffic congestion, more bustling urban neighborhoods and high accessibility to faster, cheaper and healthier modes of transport. In addition, the implementation of the plan is expected to reduce traffic congestion in the city by 30%, therefore, people who depend on their vehicles will also profit from the improved infrastructures. The municipality also aims to reduce the number of accidents caused by cyclists by 40%.
The main points of the strategic plan include paving tens of kilometres of new bike paths which will create an uninterrupted and safe bike path network; installing bicycle ramps on public stairs to facilitate walking a bicycle up or down the stairways; creating innovative bicycle parking facilities such as the installment of bicycle docking stations in the courtyards of private buildings; and continuing to cooperate and promote the use of shared electric vehicles while improving the regulations in order to keep pedestrian and riders safe.
See you tomorrow bli neder We need Moshiach Now
Love Yehuda Lave