Tucker: Our leaders dither as our cities burn (GRAPHIC VIDEO) and Piano Said to be Made of Wood from Jewish Temple Up for Auction, Wine pours out of taps for lucky village residents in Italy and OPEN MIND OFFERS POWER TO LEARN THE TRUTH
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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An Openminded Child
A Clean Sweep
One afternoon a little Chaim Karpelstein was playing outdoors. He used his mother's broom as a horse and had a wonderful time until it was getting dark.
He left the broom on the back porch. His mother was cleaning up the kitchen when she realized that her broom was missing. She asked little Chaim about the broom and he told her where it was.
She then asked him to please go get it. Little Chaim informed his mom that he was afraid of the dark and didn't want to go out to get the broom.
His mother smiled and said "Don't worry Chaim. There's nothing to be afraid of. Hashem is everywhere and he will protect you."
Little Chaim opened the back door a little and said "Hashem, if you're out there, hand me the broom."
OPEN MIND OFFERS POWER TO LEARN THE TRUTH
OPEN MIND OFFERS POWER TO LEARN THE TRUTH
I was recently asked if I was open minded. As with most people, I assumed I was. I was put to the test to find out. I started with a sojourn through the dictionary to find out that open mindedness is often confused with scientific inquiry, which uses basic assumptions and "givens" to build concrete truths. The conclusion that one can not be both open minded and have convictions comes from lack of clarity about this distinction
Clarity leads to power. The power to be open minded is not however, to have no convictions about what is wrong and what is right.
It is to be understand there may be no wrong or right, or that every statement might be both correct or incorrect on some level.
Our minds are very delicate instruments that are able to be switched on or off. When we have made up our mind about something, it is switched off and will not compute. People assume that what they have learned is correct and will not learn more.
Yet learning is a step by step process. The foundation over which the tower is built must be strong, or the tower will crumble. We must therefore constantly recheck our foundations and be willing to believe that there is a possibility that more can be learned.
Further, by painful experience, I have learned that no knowledge can be taught, it can only be learned. So no new learning will exist without the true ability to have an open mind.
Think back upon the times you have learned new things. It comes only from experience, or the ability to have confidence in a teacher willing to share experience on a heart to heart level.
I have not jumped off any cliffs lately, but my conclusions tell me that I will die if I do so. I understand, however, that if I built my tower of conclusions upon a different foundation, I could have the conviction that I could live if I jumped off the cliff, if my mind as open to the foundation.
It is so important to get your own experience or accept another who has been there that our subconscious mind will not learn without this experience.
I had lunch with a friend who asked the waitress how the coffee was at the restaurant. I immediately reacted to the uselessness of the question because of my feeling the speaker would be biased. What would she say? The coffee is bad here. Not realistically. The further pointlessness of questioning the waitress about the coffee, was even if she was honest, her life experiences might have caused her to hate the coffee, while I might have loved it. If I acted on her opinion, I would thereby deprive myself of enjoying the restaurant's coffee, until I could make my own decisions.
In my experience, every person I have met is a living manifestation of his belief system and convictions. The only actions people are capable of taking, are those which they believe their lives prove are right. If they took an action, they advise others to do the same.
This leads me to the following conclusion about learning: Be very careful about experiences that you take from others as opposed to your own life experiences. Any conclusions or convictions drawn from others could be wrong.
Convictions, however, help us function and not contemplate all day long, because it is difficult to both contemplate and act and the same time.
If we could do it successfully, we would be like goldfish swimming around the bowl. The goldfish, according to scientists, has no cognitive memory about his past life experiences, so every trip around the bowl is a new trip.
Ideas, that help explain how the world works
nscombe's Quartet: Four sets of numbers that look identical on paper (mean average, variance, correlation, etc.) but look completely different when graphed. Describes a situation where exact calculations don't offer a good representation of how the world works.
Piano Said to be Made of Wood from Jewish Temple Up for Auction
The 220-year-old Siena Piano, now in Israel after many wanderings, is expected to sell for over $1 million.
By: Batya Jerenberg
Siena piano (Courtesy Winner's Auctions)
A piano said to have been built from wood originally brought to Italy from King Solomon's Temple is expected to sell for over $1 million when it goes on auction next week in Israel.
According to Winner's Auction House, which will be overseeing its sale, the Siena Piano is legendary in the musical world. Italian harpsichord maker Sebastiano Marchisio began building it in 1799, but it was only completed by his son and grandsons in the mid-1800s.
In its description of Lot 136, the auction house wrote that the instrument's sound was unique, "delicate" like a harpsichord but more powerful, like a piano. But its special sound only complemented the singularity of the material it was allegedly made from.
According to World Piano News, it was built of Lebanese cedarwood scavenged from a ruined church, and locals in Turin claimed that the wood came from Solomon's Temple, which Roman general Titus had pillaged and destroyed in 70 BCE.
The Bible records that Solomon asked King Hiram of Tyre (Lebanon) for such wood to be used to build the Temple 400 years earlier.
The piano was given to Marchisio's granddaughter, but was used so often for public performances that the marquis of Siena decided to enrich its appearance. He commissioned Marchisio's descendants for the job and they added engravings and carvings to the instrument.
Cherubs, lions, gryphons, masks, and dragon heads cover its sides and front, as well as portraits of composers Handel and Mozart, among others.
The city of Siena bought the piano in 1868 and gifted it to the future king of Italy, Umberto I. The king described the piano to a Jewish concert pianist he heard play in Jerusalem years later, and invited him to play on it, but he never did.
The instrument then disappeared from the palace during World War II.
Strangely, it was found following the battle of El Alamein in North Africa among crates of Nazi loot buried in the sand.
Covered in plaster, it was unrecognizable, but Avner Carmi, a piano maker from Tel Aviv who was serving in the British army and was the grandson of that very pianist, rescued it to be used to entertain the troops.
It then disappeared again, but astonishingly, Carmi found it, still covered in plaster, at a Tel Aviv dealer after the war.
When he took off the plaster, he was amazed to recognize the unique features his grandfather had described to him when talking of his meeting the king. He refurbished the ancient piano and then took it with him to the United States in 1953, and concert pianists once again began playing on it, including the world-famous Arthur Rubenstein.
According to news report, Carmi brought it back to Israel in 1970, and it was sold by his daughter in 1996 after her parents died to a private Israeli collector for $1 million.
The report, written in January, said that the piano had been put on eBay with a price of $2 million. Seemingly, no buyer was interested at the time. The opening bid at the auction house is $10, but the official estimate is that the piano will fetch between $1.5-2 million.(World Israel News)
Read more at: worldisraelnews.com
Wine pours out of taps for lucky village residents in Italy
Residents in a village in northern Italy were given some respite from the coronavirus crisis when wine started flowing out of their taps. And it wasn't just any old wine, but red Lambrusco. The local winery is connected to the water system but a malfunction of valves meant that wine started flowing in the other direction and got into the general water supply. The problem was fixed quickly – but not before residents "bottled as much of the precious liquid as they could," according to local reports. The local council issued an apology for the incident on Facebook, but some residents complained the problem was fixed too quickly.
The Kabbalah of Fashion By Menachem Feldman
Is focusing on clothing superficial?
The Hebrew word for garment is beged, which contains the same letters as the word for betrayal, bagad. Since the beginning of history, the garment has been intertwined with betrayal. The Torah tells us that garments became necessary only after the sin of the Tree of Knowledge, when Adam and Eve betrayed their G‑d, themselves and their innocence.
In addition to their emergence as a result of betrayal, the function of
Like the body, the soul too has "garments."garments is also a form of betrayal and dishonesty. The very purpose of a garment is to conceal the inner core and portray an external facade. In fact, a rich person can dress as a pauper, and the pauper can dress as a rich person; a person who feels sad can dress in celebratory garments, and a happy person can don a mourner's garments, thus betraying the truth and projecting an external image inconsistent with one's inner feelings and reality.
Like the body, the soul too has "garments." The Kabbalah1 teaches that the soul has an inner "personality," its emotional and intellectual composition, as well as "garments," its ability to act, to speak and to think a given thought. Thought, speech and action are called garments because they are not the soul itself and, like the body's garments, they can betray the inner makeup of the soul. A person can act, speak or think in ways that are inconsistent with and betray his inner self.
Yet, garments, and the betrayal they represent, are not all bad. In fact, another word for garment in Hebrew is salmah, which is spelled the same as shelaimah, "complete."2 The Hebrew language is conveying a deep truth: the garment, the ability to betray one's inner feelings and perspective, can and should lead a person to be wholesome and complete. That's because garments influence how we feel on the inside. The reason people spend so much on clothing is because clothing have an effect. Although initially donning clothing is an external act, the garment has the power to influence one's mood and feelings.
The same is true regarding the garments of the soul. A person can feel cruel, yet he can don a garment of kindness by taking a kind action. A person can feel sad, yet he can smile and act happy. Initially, that action is a betrayal of the inner feelings, but, over time, the betrayal leads to completion. The external action will affect the inner feeling.
This explains why the Torah commands that the High Priest wear eight beautiful garments when he performs the service in the Temple. As G‑d commands Moses in this week's portion:
"You shall make holy garments for your brother Aaron, for honor and glory."3
One may wonder why garments are critical to the service. Aren't beautiful garments superficial and a symbol of vanity? Why doesn't G‑d focus on the priests' internal, emotional and spiritual state rather than on the external garments? The answer is that the garments represent thought, speech and action, the metaphorical garments of the soul. The Torah is teaching us that if we want to come close to G‑d, we should don beautiful garments. We should focus on positive garments, on positive action, even if those garments are a betrayal of our internal feelings. Because, ultimately, the beautiful garments, the positive action, will bring wholesomeness and completion to the internal soul.
FOOTNOTES 1. See Tanya, ch. 4. 2. See Tiferet Yonatan, Parshat Tetzaveh, for the explanation of beged and salmah. 3. Exodus 28:2.
Tucker: Our leaders dither as our cities burn (GRAPHIC VIDEO)
Black Lives matter but Jewish lives and property don't