Wednesday, August 5, 2020

A Murdered Rabbi’s Sefer By Israel Mizrahi and Don’t accept the myth of ‘Jewish privilege’ by JONATHAN S. TOBIN and Happy Or Miserable? It’s Your Choice by Sivan Rahav-Meir and lightening storm illuminates the Statute of Liberty and Dehumanizing and Demonizing Skeptics Who Don't Wear Face Masks and insulting those with a different viewpoint and Gloves may do more harm than good when it comes to protecting you from COVID-19by Lauren Leazanby andTu B'Av 2020 will begin on the evening of Tuesday, 4 August and ends in the evening of Wednesday, 5 August

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Tu B'Av 2020 will begin on the evening of Tuesday, 4 August and ends in the evening of Wednesday, 5 August

Tu B'Av (Hebrew: ט״ו באב‎, lit. 'fifteenth of Av') is a holiday. In modern-day Israel, it is celebrated as a holiday of love (חג האהבה‎ Ḥag HaAhava), similar to Valentine's Day. It has been said to be a "great day for weddings".

Six events occurred on Tu B'Av, the 15th of Av, making it a festive day in the Jewish calendar.

According to the Mishna, (Tractate Ta'anit) Tu B'Av was a joyous holiday in the days of the Temple in Jerusalem, marking the beginning of the grape harvest. Yom Kippur marked the end of the grape harvest. On both dates, the unmarried girls of Jerusalem dressed in white garments, and went out to dance in the vineyards. That same section in the Talmud states that there were no holy days as happy for the Jews as Tu B'Av and Yom Kippur.  The holiday celebrated the wood-offering brought in the Temple (see Nehemiah 13:31). Josephus refers to it as the Feast of Xylophory ("Wood-bearing").

Various reasons for celebrating on Tu B'Av are cited by the Talmud and Talmudic commentators:

  • While the Jews wandered in the desert for forty years, female orphans without brothers could only marry within their tribe to prevent their father's inherited territory in the Land of Israel from passing on to other tribes. On the fifteenth of Av, this ban was lifted and inter-tribal marriage was allowed.
  • That same year, the last of the generation of the sin of the spies, which had been forbidden to enter the Promised Land, found that they were not destined to die. For forty years, every Tisha B'av night, the Jews made graves for themselves in which they slept on Tisha B'Av; every year a proportion of them died. In the 40th year, the fifteen thousand who had remained from the first generation went to sleep in the graves and woke up the next day to their surprise. Thinking they made a mistake with the date, they did this until they reached Tu B'Av and saw a full moon. Only then did they know they were going to enter the Land of Israel with the new generation.
  • The Tribe of Benjamin was allowed to intermarry with the other tribes after the incident of the Concubine of Gibeah (see Judges chapters 19–21).
  • Cutting of the wood for the main altar in the Temple was completed for the year.
  • King Hoshea of the northern kingdom removed the sentries on the road leading to Jerusalem, allowing the ten tribes to once again have access to the Temple.
  • The nights, traditionally the ideal time for Torah study, are lengthened again after the summer solstice, permitting more study.
  • The Roman occupiers permitted the burial of the victims of the massacre at Bethar during the Bar Kochba rebellion. Miraculously, the bodies had not decomposed, despite exposure to the elements for over a year.

Modern times

Tu B'Av marks an informal "high" to counter the "low" of The Three Weeks leading up to Tisha B'Av. Tu B'Av does not have many established religious rituals associated with its celebration. However Tachanun is not said—either at mincha, the day before or on the day itself—and a bride and groom traditionally do not fast if their wedding falls on Tu B'Av

In modern times, it has become a romantic Jewish holiday, often compared to Valentine's Day, and has been said to be a "great day for weddings, commitment ceremonies, renewal of vows, or proposing". Also, "It is a day for romance, explored through singing, dancing, giving flowers, and studying.

Dehumanizing and Demonizing Skeptics Who Don't Wear Face Masks

You might not think of yourself as an ax murderer. But, according to today's liberal-progressive propaganda, if you don't wear a face mask in public you're definitely, probably akin to an ax murderer.

The purveyors of fear propaganda don't use that language. Instead, they say this: People who won't wear a mask possess "so-called 'Dark Triad' traits — narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism." And they are "less likely to comply with restrictions and engage in preventative measures against the pandemic." So says Newsweek reporting on "two recent studies" that "looked at the relationship between personality traits and reactions to restrictions put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19."

In other words, if you don't wear a mask you're not a rational, logical human; nope, you're an indiscriminate ax-murderer causing the blood of little old ladies and the immunocompromised to run in the streets.

This despite the fact that "the science" demonstrates that masks are not going to stop the spread of a virus-like SARS-CoV-2. Here's how two researchers, both credentialed experts on respiratory protection and infectious diseases, put it in a report published by CIDRAP, the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota:

"We continue to conclude that cloth masks and face coverings are likely to have limited impact on lowering COVID-19 transmission, because they have minimal ability to prevent the emission of small particles, offer limited personal protection with respect to small particle inhalation, and should not be recommended as a replacement for physical distancing or reducing time in enclosed spaces with many potentially infectious people."

This bit from Drs. Lisa M. Brousseau and Margaret Sietsema was added on July 16 to their earlier report, published in April. They've also added disclaimers indicating that they support public mask-wearing, but given their actual conclusions regarding the effectiveness of masks (or the lack thereof), their disclaimers seem to be attempts to "vaccinate" themselves against being "canceled" for daring to report facts that conflict with the mainstream mask propaganda.

Mask wearing is not about stopping the transmission of a virus. It is, instead, about much more. Masking is about control and coercion, it is about psychological manipulation and conditioning, and it has a religious component, something that has been addressed by The New American already and that will be the subject of additional scrutiny in the future. But masks are also about identifying, classifying, and separating people: specifically, those who are now controlled or willing to be controlled, and those independent and freedom-loving Americans hold fast to the Jeffersonian ideals of 1776 who cannot be controlled. For the latter, those now identified by the researchers cited by Newsweek as having the "Dark Triad" traits, it is about dehumanization and demonization.

By separating the mask wearers from the mask doubters, the fear propagandists have created a population that they are now smearing as psychologically defective, and prone, therefore, to social violence. They are thus, at the very least, defective humans. Worse, they are subhuman, not worthy of inclusion in the mask-wearers' future "new normal."

This creates conditions where it is dangerous to be someone who refuses to wear a mask. Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker, a radical leftist, is explicit on this point. If you don't wear a mask, he says, "You're endangering everyone around you. The enemy is you."

That kind of irresponsible talk is dangerous, and it puts people at risk. In fact, already people have been attacked by authorities for not wearing masks. In May, a mother was violently attacked by police in a New York subway for not "properly" wearing a mask. Other examples abound. In Miami, the city has gone so far as to create a special police team dedicated to cracking down on people not wearing masks.

This is tyranny, of course. Hopefully, it will not lead to violence. But that is not a foregone conclusion. Historically, the prelude to genocide has always been a campaign of dehumanization.

Dehumanization efforts preceded the Rwandan genocide, the Holocaust, the Armenian genocide, the slaughter of babies in the womb, and others. Examples abound. Currently, in addition to dehumanizing those who will not wear masks, conservatives in general and Trump supporters, in particular, are being aggressively dehumanized. Comparison of historical trends to current events points directly to the bloody destination we are now traveling to as a nation.

It is not too late to stop the descent into hate, madness, and bloodlust. We can start by recognizing that those who doubt mask mandates have a reasonable basis for their skepticism and that their opinions, freedoms, and human dignity should be respected.

Failure will move the nation closer still to despair, devastation, and despotism.

Photo: Khosrork/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Dennis Behreandt is a research professional and writer, frequently covering subjects in history, theology, and science, and technology. He has worked as an editor and publisher, and is a former managing editor of The New American.

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

Love Yehuda Lave

Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor

Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto.


The new normal-If you disagree you are insulted or attacked

The new normal-If you disagree you are insulted or attacked

In the final book of the Torah, called Devorim or Words in English, Moses, our teacher, gives a five-week speech before his death.

The former tongue-tied leader who didn't want the job as leader because he couldn't speak well, now gives the most eloquent speech in the history of the world, that is unmatched until today.

What was especially special about his speech, is that he made his points indirectly instead of attacking his nemesis head-on. In this speech, he foretells the future of today, where if you disagree you are insulted or attacked or even stoned. I added the word stoned now, which is what I wanted to say in the headline to this story, but if I had it wouldn't have been published so you wouldn't be reading it. I took what I learned from Moses and said it indirectly at first and more directly in the body of the letter, which is usually less censored than the headline.

Moses alludes to the places that traveled in their 42 stop itinerary, as an indirect way to refer to the constant rebellions. If he had mentioned directly the rebellion, no one would have listened to his speech, and worse, of course, turned on him and tossed him out as the leader. Moses himself learned from his Great-Grandfather Jacob, who gave a similar speech on his death bed as well. People think and hear with emotions, not their logical selves. You can't make your point, unless people open not only their ears but their brains. Early in my career as a psychologist, I learned that if a person closes his brains, the ears are not open. If a person doesn't accept the possibility that there is another side besides their own, you might as well be talking to the wall, to be able to make your point.

Today, nearly all the news we read is censored by the publication you write for. Google and Facebook go farther, and if the narrative you write is different than the party line, it won't be printed. As a result, the majority of the people are now brainwashed before you can make your point. And when you do make your point, it is not heard because of their brainwashing before they read your piece. The fact that people make up their mind emotionally and not logically is not wasted on Google and Facebook, all they have to do is bombard you with the point of view they want to get across, and they have achieved their goal of brainwashing. If a magazine like the New American allows publication of a piece that I read this morning written by Dennis Behrendt "Dehumanizing and Demonizing Skeptics Who Don't Wear Face Masks" ( ) it is attacked by the comments of which I will quote a couple:

UPDATE: Fauci Responds; Busted: People Aren't Happy With Dr. Fauci's Mask Hypocrisy

7/24/20 Katie Pavlich – townhall dot com

Marlene writes:

"Dr. Fauci says he was dehydrated and therefore, pulled his mask down. "I had my mask around my chin. I had taken it down. I was totally dehydrated and I was drinking water trying to rehydrate myself" Photos taken by the Associated Press show Fauci failing to properly wear a mask while being seated directly in between two other people, one who was also not wearing a mask & not social distancing

And Tim H responds:

Fauci wasn't dehydrated from the mask. He was dehydrated because it was almost 100 deg. at the baseball game, he was attending. Taking your mask down temporarily to get a drink isn't violating mask protocol. The story goes to show just how low a gutter the anti-mask science deniers will climb into.

So if a point is made that disagrees with your narrative, Marlene was insulted by Tim to say first of all she was an "anti-masker", similar to a person who believes that the world is flat, and therefore can't be taken seriously, but worse to say that she belongs in the gutter because she disagrees with the new narrative that everyone must be masked, both nose and mouth.

The deliberate making up of news stories to fool or entertain is nothing new. But the arrival of social media has meant real and fictional stories are now presented in such a similar way that it can sometimes be difficult to tell the two apart.

While the internet has enabled the sharing of knowledge in ways that previous generations could only have dreamed of, it has also provided ample proof of the line, often attributed to Winston Churchill, that "A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on".

So with research suggesting an increasing proportion of US adults are getting their news from social media, it's likely that more and more of us are seeing – and believing – information that is not just inaccurate, but totally made up.

There are hundreds of fake news websites out there, from those which deliberately imitate real-life newspapers, to government propaganda sites, and even those which tread the line between satire and plain misinformation.

Dennis Behrendt goes on in his story to point out that violence or getting stoned is not far away. It was not very long ago that if a person was smoking, you walked away from him if you didn't want to smell his smoke. Now is the person who slips the mask from his nose, he is allowed to be ostracized. The brave new Normal. I could live without it.

Asparagus for Sale

Moishe from Moishe's Kosher Grocery always had trouble selling his asparagus. So he put up a sign that said, "Asparagus: 25 cents each/ three for a dollar."

At the end of the day, one of his customers, Mrs. Rosenbaum, came in exclaiming: "Don't be ridiculous! I should get four asparagus bundles for a dollar!"

Moishe capitulated and packaged four asparagus bundles. Moishe's new clerk turned to him and asked him, "Are you going to fix the mistake on your sign?"

"What mistake?" Moishe asked. "Before I put up that sign no one ever bought more than one asparagus bundle before."

ABOUT THE AUTHORYehuda Lave writes a daily (except on Shabbat and Hags) motivational Torah blog at Loving-kindness my specialty. Internationally Known Speaker and Lecturer and Author. Self Help through Bible and Psychology. Classes in controlling anger and finding Joy. Now living and working in Israel. Remember, it only takes a moment to change your life. Learn to have all the joy in your life that you deserve!!! There are great masters here to interpret Spirituality. Studied Kabbalah and being a good human being with Rabbi Plizken and Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher, my Rabbi. Torah is the name of the game in Israel, with 3,500 years of mystics and scholars interpreting G-D's word. 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

A Murdered Rabbi's Sefer

By Israel Mizrahi

During the Holocaust, the Nazis systematically murdered millions of Jews, often not just ending their lives but erasing any memory of them.

Many victims left behind no possessions – i.e., no trace of their existence for future generations. It is thus always an emotional moment for me when I find a book whose owner was a Holocaust victim as it may serve as the only tangible memory of the deceased's existence.

One such book I recently acquired is a 19th-century edition of Ginat Veradim with a beautiful lengthy dedication to R. Shlomo David Frankel upon his wedding in 1928. R. Frankel's father – R. Meshulam Feish Frankel – was a rav and dayan in Debrecen, Hungary. R. Shlomo David married Miriam Blum, the daughter of R. Ben Zion Blum, author of Shivat Zion, and a granddaughter of R. Amram Blum, author of Shu"t Bet Shearim.

R. Shlomo David Frankel assisted his father-in-law in the rabbinate until the war years, during which he was taken to a slave camp and suffered terribly. His health deteriorated rapidly, and by the time the camp was liberated by the Russians, he was critically ill and passed away shortly thereafter.

The inscription in the book is from a Yisrael Eisenberg upon the occasion of R. Shlomo David Frankel's wedding. Following lavish praises of the chatan, an acrostic poem featuring his full name appears, with blessings and good wishes for the newlyweds.

Although R. Shlomo David Frankel died at the age of 42, his daughter survived and married R. Menashe Klein, the Ungvarer Rav and author of numerous sefarim including Shu"t Mishneh Halachot.

Don't accept the myth of 'Jewish privilege' by JONATHAN S. TOBIN

Jews reclaimed a hashtag by writing about anti-Semitism. The problem is how extremists seek to shame them into silence or acquiescence to radical schemes.

For one day at least, Twitter became a forum for some honesty, as opposed to the usual orgy of nastiness and pointless memes. After seeing the hashtag #Jewishprivilege used to spread anti-Semitic smears, a Jewish activist responded—and the result was a tidal wave of tweets testifying to the fact that the phrase has generally meant that Jews have been singled out for persecution.

Hen Mazzig, an Israeli writer and public speaker, began the effort to reclaim the hashtag. Soon some Jewish celebrities, such as comedian Sarah Silverman, used it to recount incidents of anti-Semitism, as well as the list of relatives lost to the Holocaust and other stories of bias, insults, violence and persecution. That provided an education to the Twitterverse about the lachrymose nature of much of modern Jewish history.

But it will take more than one day of trending tweets about the hashtag to reverse the way those on both the far right and the left have promoted the notion that Jews use some mythical "privilege" in order to manipulate the world or need to repent of an equally false status as beneficiaries of "white Jewish privilege." Both are intended to intimidate and shame Jews into silence or acquiescence to radical agendas that are inimical to Jewish interests.

The notion that Jews are both the masterminds of some elite international conspiracy intended to rob, cheat or otherwise misuse non-Jewish victims was a popular trope of Jew-hatred long before it was formalized in the anti-Semitic conspiracy text, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a fictional pamphlet first published in Russia by tsarist agents in 1903. The spread of that forgery helped fuel the acceptance of these lies around the globe. To this day, the Protocols still help to fan the flames of hatred in the Arab and Muslim world after having helped set the stage for the Holocaust in Europe.

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So when extremist white supremacists write of Jewish privilege, they intend it to signify the way they think Jews benefit from some imaginary advantage that is denied to non-Jews. ut it's just a lie used to justify hate.

As those who tweeted in response to the use of the hashtag by anti-Semites, the only privilege most Jews have experienced is being singled out for hatred, discrimination and violence.

That doesn't only refer to the Holocaust but also encompasses centuries of persecution that preceded that genocide, as well as the many instances in which Jews were subjected to discrimination since then. In the last 72 years, the State of Israel has become the stand-in for traditional Jewish scapegoats by hatemongers, including those from the Arab and Muslim world, as well as Western elites who think that Jews—alone of all the peoples—must not only be denied sovereignty over their ancient homeland, but the right to live in peace there or of self-defense.

That's one way the phrase has been weaponized to harm Jews. The other is the way the intersectional left has promulgated the notion that Jews are merely a branch of an oppressive international culture of white supremacy.

This notion of "white Jewish" privilege is one that has, sadly, been embraced by some Jews who think that unless they atone for their part in the Western crimes of imperialism, colonialism and racism, they will stand accused along with the rest of the white world.

This version of Jewish privilege, however, is just as toxic as the one floated by white supremacists.

The notion of white Jewish privilege fits in with a mindset that sees the world divided into two groups: evil white people and virtuous people of color victimized by whites. In that formulation, American Jews are participants in the outrage of systematic racism. Israeli Jews fall into the category of oppressors of Third World people, even though the majority of its citizens are actually "people of color," according to the criteria of the ideologues.

Both assertions are as false as the more traditional tropes of right-wing Jew-hatred.

While America is far from perfect, the idea that it is an irredeemably racist nation and that Jews are part of that problem is simply untrue. America remains an exceptional nation when it comes to anti-Semitism; Jews have been accepted in virtually every sector of society. It's also true that anti-Jewish hate crimes remain the most prevalent form of religious bias in this country, according to two decades of FBI statistics.

Jews are not the beneficiaries of some mysterious privilege, either in the sense of the conspiracy mongers of the right or the intersectional ideologues of the left.

As far as the Jewish privilege of Israel, it remains singled out as the one nation on the planet that is the focus of an international movement focused on its extinction. That it has thrived and grown just makes its enemies all the more frustrated and angry.

As the posters on Twitter noted as they seized back the Jewish privilege term from the haters, the story of modern Jewish life has been one in which tragedy looms large. It was necessary to point out that the only privilege Jews have been given throughout history is that of being despised. They've been hated for being poor and for being rich, as well as for being insular and for seeking to assimilate. Anti-Semitism has little if anything to do with Jewish actions.

As much as it was appropriate to make that point, it would be equally mistaken to embrace the mantle of eternal victimhood. In 2020, Jews are no longer a weak, powerless people at the mercy of others, ripe for persecution. Hatemongers should be answered with the truth, but not by a mindset in which Jews compete for sympathy. In both the United States and Israel, Jews need not apologize for their freedom or their prosperity. Nor should they accept any attacks on their legitimacy. If holding onto such basic human rights is seen as Jewish privilege by anti-Semites, then so be it.

Jonathan S. Tobin is editor in chief of JNS—Jewish News Syndicate. Follow him on Twitter at: @jonathans_tobin.

Happy Or Miserable? It's Your Choice

By Sivan Rahav-Meir

Photo Credit: Jewish Press

How do we gather the strength needed for our journey through life?

"These are the journeys of the children of Israel who left the land of Egypt" is how Parshat Masei starts, followed by a list of the 42 places where we camped during our desert journey. Some of the places have beautiful names such as Shefer (beauty) and Mitkah (sweetness) while others are named Haradah (fear) and Marah (bitterness).


These are not names that previously existed. Instead, the children of Israel gave names to these places according to their behavior and spiritual status at each locale.

What's the conclusion? You write the story of your journey through life. You choose whether to give pleasant or unpleasant names to the stations along the way.

This week, I broadcast a report about a Chabad couple living in Bolivia. They left that quarantined country with their seven sons – among them a two-month-old baby boy. Due to the situation in Bolivia, he had not yet received a brit milah.

They decided to travel to Israel to hold the brit, and this journey took four consecutive days of exhausting flights. This story is most appropriate for Parshat Masei since, instead of crying and complaining, the parents made their kids part of an exciting journey, reminding them enthusiastically at each airport of the number of wonderful flights that remained. The kids didn't stop singing and dancing at each stopover, in jubilant expectation of the brit that would soon be celebrated in Israel.

In the end, you really are the one who gives names to the stations you stop at during your journey through life.

Gloves may do more harm than good when it comes to protecting you from COVID-19

by Lauren Leazenby

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

People want to debate whether wearing a mask works against COVID-19, but the CDC says it's the gloves you should take off.

The CDC and the European CDC have both released guidelines stating that glove use isn't a necessary preventive tactic when it comes to COVID-19. CDC guidelines say gloves "will not necessarily protect you from getting COVID-19 and may still lead to the spread of germs."

Gloves can trick the wearer into complacency, said Allison Bartlett, associate medical director of the Infection Control Program Pediatric at the University of Chicago. She said gloves are not a substitute for good hand hygiene.

"I think that disposable surgical gloves don't really have a place in coronavirus (protection)," Bartlett said. "People get the false sense of security that their hands are clean and protected when that's not the case at all."

She said you might accidentally contaminate your hands in removing gloves, so if you don't wash your hands after you take your gloves off, your hands aren't clean—assuming your hands were clean when you put the gloves on.

"You might feel protected because your skin is not touching a surface," Bartlett said, but as soon as you move from touching that surface to touching your mask or face, that's contamination, even if you are wearing gloves. "And you've accomplished nothing in the way of safety," she said.

According to the CDC guidelines, reusable gloves can be used while dishwashing or deep cleaning your home, but this is more about protecting your hands than transmission prevention, Bartlett said. The CDC also recommends wearing disposable gloves if you're taking care of someone who is sick and there is an increased risk of coming in contact with their secretions.

Gloves are most needed in medical settings where health care workers know how to use them, Bartlett said. Widespread use of gloves by the general public can deplete the supplies of those who need them most. She said there is not the same level of shortage now as when the pandemic started, but keeping up that supply is more difficult as the pandemic continues.

Bartlett said there's also an environmental aspect to consider. Gloves are single use. "The only thing that irks me more than seeing people out and about in the grocery store with gloves is on my walk home from the the hospital when I see the new COVID garbage on the ground," she said.

In preventing the spread of COVID-19, Bartlett said it's important to focus on what works. "It's all that we can do to redirect people's energy, anxiety and wanting to keep themselves and others safe to the activities we know are really impactful—like staying home, wearing a mask when you're out in public, washing your hands and keeping frequently touched surfaces clean."

See you tomorrow bli neder

We need Mosiach now

Love Yehuda Lave

Yehuda Lave, Spirtiual Advisor and Counselor

Jerusalem, Jerusalem

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