Monday, October 26, 2020

What Will Happen If the Democrats Pack the Supreme Court? By Dennis Prager and Two different Jewish tribes choose different candidates by Johnathan Tobin and Forget anti-Trump media and polls—Trump will win big By Dr. Laurie Roth, CFP and dumbing down the ‘Jewish Nobel Prize’By Jonathan S. Tobin

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Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher, and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money, and spiritual engagement.

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The Three Musketeers at the Kotel


Dumbing down the 'Jewish Nobel Prize'

By Jonathan S. Tobin - 1 Heshvan 5781 – October 19, 2020

Did the Jewish people really need their own Nobel Prize? To the three wealthy Russian Jewish business "oligarchs" who endowed the Genesis Prize with $50 million in contributions, the answer was "yes."

The Genesis Prize Foundation was set up in coordination with the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Prime Minister's Office in 2012, and started handing out the annual award in 2014 to a group of rich, accomplished and, above all, famous honorees, who were then given the task of handing out $1 million in grants to worthy causes. The conceit of the exercise was to draw attention to well-known Jews who cared about Jewish causes, thereby setting a laudatory example to the next generation that being truly successful ought to also mean not forgetting about the need to feel connected to your fellow Jews and do good Jewish philanthropic deeds.

As a piece of public relations, it's been a brilliant success, as the "Jewish Nobel Prize" is the kind of brand that, while absurd, is also the sort of thing that's hard to forget.

But as an example of how to inspire young Jews, it's a flop. Worse than that, it replicates all the worst aspects of organized American Jewish life. Its emphasis on toadying to big donors and celebrities has resulted in it being nothing more than a publicity stunt, even if the end result is that some good causes may get a bit of money out of it.

As foolish as the Genesis Prize has been in its first seven years, it's gotten a lot worse. A committee won't pick the next "Jewish Nobel" winner. Instead, it will be the result of an Internet vote by the public, which is being asked to choose between seven very different famous people.

Like the first seven prizewinners, there's nothing wrong with any of this year's nominees. They are all accomplished individuals who have done some things that are worthy of applause from a Jewish perspective.

Even so, there's a fatal flaw to the contest. By attempting to mix in one person who is truly great by the traditional measures of greatness that Jews have respected for millennia to a group of celebs and fat cats, the geniuses behind the Genesis PR machine have actually exposed it as a parody of the Nobel Prizes rather than a Jewish variation on the theme.

Like a child's game in which you are asked to choose what picture doesn't belong with the others, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks doesn't really fit in with the rest of the nominees.

The former Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom, Sacks is the sort of person that countless generations of Jews have been taught to admire. He's a communal leader, philosopher, author and Torah scholar. He lives and teaches Jewish values, and embodies the notion of being a light unto the nations while also staying true to the heritage and traditions of his people.

He has already been repeatedly honored by British Jewry, as well as the government of the United Kingdom that made him a member of the House of Lords—something that signified the respect with which that nation viewed a man who had so nobly represented his people in so many ways.

As such, putting him on a ballot where he must compete with singers, actors, movie directors and business moguls exposes the entire exercise as not so much an effort to honor greatness as a joke.

To point this out is not to show disrespect to Barbra Streisand, Steven Spielberg, Gal Gadot, Marc Benioff or even U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, who is the only other nominee who can be remotely compared to Sacks as a figure of genuine consequence. All of them are impressive in their own ways. And if this contest were, say, an Internet poll asking which of them you would like to be stuck on a desert island with, the results would be more interesting and the votes cast would say more about us than the nominees.

But as a competition for a Jewish Nobel, suffice it to say that having him compete against the others on the ballot does not enhance the reputation of Rabbi Sacks. That's especially when you consider that the average Internet voter is a lot more likely to lean towards one of the celebrities than a great Jewish educator.

There was something to be said for past winners of the Genesis Prize though violinist and conductor Itzhak Perlman (2016), and refusenik and Soviet gulag prisoner Natan Sharansky (2020), were the only ones who could be said to have lived truly inspirational lives, as well as being beloved figures in the Jewish world. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg also fit into that category, but as a U.S. governmental official, she refused the award and was given a different honor.

The others were either celebrities like actors Michael Douglas and Natalie Portman (the latter who stirred controversy in 2018 by refusing to attend the ceremony, lest she be seen associating with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu), or simply big givers like Michael Bloomberg and Robert Kraft (the latter who received the prize in spite of being arrested as part of an investigation of a prostitution ring not long after being named the winner in 2019).

But as idiotic as an Internet poll that pits a great rabbi up against "Wonder Woman," "Borat," a seminal film director, an idolized singer, a liberal tycoon and a judge may be, the Genesis Prize is still stuck with the same problem it had when its selection process was slightly more dignified.

If we really care about building Jewish life, especially in the United States—where the demographic collapse of non-Orthodox Jewry places the entire infrastructure of the community in peril—placing so much importance on a famous individual is a distraction from the necessity to breathe new life into our failing institutions. What the Jewish world needed was not another vehicle for applauding people who are already famous.

We spend far too much time caring about celebrities and the wealthy with Jewish charitable groups kowtowing to the whims of these individuals and their insatiable need to be recognized. What's needed is a focus on the ordinary work that our communal organizations try to do keep Jewish life going and to stand up for Israel, as well as standing against anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias.

If we are to have a Jewish Nobel, it should go to a Jewish teacher or a group that does great good. Such a prize might do more to inspire the next generation, who understandably regard the attention given to celebrity-driven honors with the sort of cynicism that is currently hemorrhaging Jewish life. In other words, just give it to Rabbi Sacks, rather than to any of the more popular figures on the ballot that are sure to best him.

Any award, no matter how smartly branded, stuck in the same failed paradigm of Jewish philanthropy that was already obsessed with wealth and fame simply does more harm than good.

Forget anti-Trump media and polls—Trump will win big

By Dr. Laurie Roth, CFP

The deception polling game has blanketed the country
with 'Biden is way ahead' and 'It will take a miracle for Trump to win.' Most of the media does and pollster gurus act like they are the 4th person of the Trinity. They know what will happen and expect us 'stupid people in America' to understand Trump has already lost because of the telemarketer questions they ask at dinner time.

Just a small little thing that Americans already know is that pollsters don't get real information by calling night and day into our homes. Only this week, a prerecorded message called me at dinner time and even though it said 'Hi, this is Donald Trump'….and went on with the push to vote, I hung up because I was busy, didn't want a pitch or interruption and already knew I was a Trump supporter and had already voted for him.

People see the greatness in President Trump

The truth is, masses of people see the greatness in President Trump, his courage, brilliant and fair leadership. Most people with a brain aren't distracted or turned off when he stands against attacks and liars while appearing gruff. Whoop-de-do, He loves America, God and is committed to stand against anyone or anything who would crush our freedom, greatness and ability to achieve.

The nation has watched Trump conquer fake news and assaults, over and over, while standing alone with little or no media help. We have watched the deep state and Democrat on the slot of invented scandals and lies blow up in Biden and the Democrats faces. It is like a 'Ground Hog Day' movie that never ends.

Americans these days are keeping their voting cards close to their chests and don't intend to be accosted by most pollsters, really annoying telemarketers, nor give them their real and detailed thoughts at dinner time. We see how the Democrat leftists handle different opinions with the endless riots, protests and criminal displays across the country.

America also sees, because it is all over now, that Hunter Biden was involved in money schemes, huge payments from China, Russia and elsewhere, where he was supposed to give Dad half the money collected, highly questionable. He was clearly using his Dad's power as Vice President and doing all the wrong things. We also can see with all of the email and communication evidence trails that Joe Biden lied about knowing or being told about his son Hunter's dealings and ethical, national security risks. It is clear however, that he was told and lied to all of us about knowing anything. It's simply called…'corrupt, lying, politician' who plans to carry this lying, smooth and deceptive style of behavior to the White House if given a chance. America won't give 'lying Joe' that chance.

Christians, don't get seduced by the teleprompter lies of Biden and Kamala about them being anything Christian

Christians, don't get seduced by the teleprompter lies of Biden and Kamala about them being anything Christian. Talk is cheap and Satan knows more Bible scriptures than anyone. That doesn't mean he is a Christian. What do they happily stand for all through both of their careers, but high taxation, big, controlling Government, gay marriage, all kinds of abortion, open borders and rewarding illegal immigration, trashing our real history and using schools as propaganda machines? Soon after their election, the 2nd amendment would be assaulted along with the 1st amendment if you are a real Christian or conservative.

Vote, the rough, sincere, committed and real Christian, Donald Trump in again. Don't be fooled by teleprompter dressing from hell.

Get ready pollsters, mass media, deep state and Democrats to watch once again the real votes of the American people who really aren't the stupid fools Democrats and Biden think they are. Trump will win by such a huge margin that the mail in ballot schemes where Dems can call in a victory later will appear 'dumber than a post' and more desperate and foolish than the rotten wood they built it with.

We intend to keep our God at the helm, not replace God with Biden and Kamala. We intend to secure our freedom safety, moral traditions and ability to achieve, not lie in shame, failure and Godlessness.

Pray, believe, vote right and watch the power and miracle of God work yet again and create a bold, Trump victory. I have no doubt what is coming. I don't bow down to lies, political corruption, immorality and shame. Don't you either.

Dr. Laurie Roth Just Who is this Annie Oakley of the airwaves?Laurie Roth has a Ph.D. in counseling and a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, is happily married and currently resides in Washington State. She is a singer/songwriter with five CD albums to her credit.

Two different Jewish tribes choose different candidates

By Jonathan S. Tobin, JNS

It's no surprise that Israelis want Trump while American Jews back Biden. The split isn't so much about Middle East policy as it is about the nature of the two societies.

Among the least surprising poll numbers to be published recently were the results of the Pew Research Center survey that reports a sizable 70 percent of American Jews say they are voting for former Vice President Joe Biden, while 27 percent are planning to cast their ballots to re-elect President Donald Trump. Those figures show that despite all that has happened in the last four tumultuous years, none of it has changed the minds of Jewish voters; in 2016, the exit polls produced similar results with 71 percent backing Hillary Clinton and 24 percent choosing Trump.

Equally unsurprising were the results of two other polls. One was an Ami magazine poll that showed that American Jews who identify as Orthodox backed Trump over Biden by a whopping 83 percent to 13 percent. Another, from I24News showed that 63 percent of Israelis preferred Trump while only 19 percent wanted Biden. That last number could be seen as a matter of self-interest on the part of Israelis. But about half of the respondents also made it clear that they thought their American cousins were mistaken with 48 percent saying that U.S. Jews were wrong to embrace the Democratic Party and 35 percent saying they were right to do so.

That Israelis like a president who likes them so much is hardly a shock in much the same way that most citizens of the Jewish state didn't like President Barack Obama, despite the fact that most American Jews loved him.

But once we go beyond that obvious conclusion, how do we explain these clear differences? The glib response is to merely put it down to most American Jews being liberals, while the Orthodox and Israelis lean to the right. There's truth in that, but the answer goes much further. The results say relatively little about the issues or the merits of the candidates and everything about the differences between the Orthodox and the non-Orthodox, as well as the contrasting nature of American and Israeli societies and their political cultures.

The only interesting thing to note about the Pew results is that many Biden and Trump supporters have a hard time understanding the people on the other side. To the majority who are generally liberal and loyal Democrats, the election isn't so much about Biden as it is in opposing Trump, whom they believe isn't merely wrong but the epitome of evil.

Biden supporters simply don't understand how Jews could support Trump, whom they regard as a threat to their safety. While they oppose his conservative policies, they also see his style, manners and speech as embodying the worst elements of American society, in addition to an expression of hate that they link to violence against Jews and fear that another term will lead to an authoritarian fascist regime. It's not for nothing that the Jewish Democratic Council has produced ads that more or less accuse Trump of being a Nazi despite the offensive nature of these deeply inappropriate analogies.The Jews that support Trump are just as befuddled. They look at the president's record and wonder why any Jew would oppose him. They see the most pro-Israel present America has ever had, as well as one who has taken more action against anti-Semitism, especially on college campuses, than any of his predecessors. They also trust someone with the kind of close personal connections to Jews that Trump has in the form of a daughter who converted to Judaism, Jewish grandchildren and close Jewish associates who have played roles in shaping his policies.

But these talking points don't really explain the way the votes break down.

At the heart of the difference between Jewish Biden and Trump voters is faith. Liberal Jews who see voting for Biden as a no-brainer are in many instances the product of a culture that is far more interested in the universalist aspects of Judaism and Jewish identity than its more parochial ones.

For the overwhelming majority of non-Orthodox Jews, the liberal social-justice agenda of the Democratic Party is what they consider to be the core of Judaism. The old and somewhat unfair joke that holds that non-Orthodox or Reform Judaism is the Democratic Party platform with holidays thrown in remains apt here. Though a growing number of Jews on the left have embraced anti-Zionist groups, many liberal Jews still care deeply about Israel and its security. Nevertheless, it is not anywhere close to being their top priority.

By contrast, Orthodox Jews and the small number of non-Orthodox who identify as politically conservative do regard support for Israel as a litmus test issue. Trump's stand on Israel seals the deal for them. It's also true that many Orthodox Jews simply don't identify with the sort of tikkun olam Judaism that liberals embrace.

American society is, by definition, avowedly nonsectarian, rather than a nation-state whose purpose is to provide a home and security for one specific people that had been persecuted for 20 centuries. The American ethos is rooted in universal values that seek to break down the barriers between peoples and faiths. Like most other nations on the planet, Israel is an expression of particularism. Its priority is to reconstitute and defend Jewish sovereignty in the ancient homeland of the Jews and not to be the last and best hope of the world.

The Orthodox and most Israelis don't necessarily reject universalist values. Yet they see the necessity for preserving Jewish life and the Jewish state as being just as important, and Trump's sympathy helps tip the balance.

There are all sorts of reasons that motivate Jewish voters, including the president's flaws, as well as the illiberal nature of the increasingly influential left wing of the Democrats. However, the stark split about the election also points out something that was long denied by those who have, for all the best reasons, sought to portray American Jews and Israelis as members of a close-knit family.

The "we are one" slogans that were once used to promote Jewish philanthropic giving were always more aspirational than descriptive. Americans and Israelis are part of the same Jewish people, but they are also two very different tribes with mindsets and priorities that, while not always in conflict, are also distinct. The same is true of the Orthodox and the non-Orthodox. Those who seek to explain why it is that these groups view the election through contrasting prisms must first acknowledge that what we are looking at is not a family split but a tribal one.

Jonathan S. Tobin is editor in chief of JNS—Jewish News Syndicate.

What Will Happen If the Democrats Pack the Supreme Court?

By Dennis Prager - 28 Tishri 5781 – October 16, 2020

Exponential growth. It's why plagues are so dangerous and compound interest is so wonderful. It's also why the Democrats' flirting with court packing could destroy the Supreme Court and, with it, America as we know it.

The following is a reasonable scenario:

Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed to the Supreme Court, which gives conservatives a 6-3 advantage (or 5-4, given that Chief Justice John Roberts has essentially become a swing vote).

Then, in January, having retained the Democrat-majority House, President Joe Biden and a newly Democrat-controlled Senate decide to undo the advantage. Congress passes and Biden signs a new law expanding the Court to 15 members. Biden appoints six new liberal justices, handing the left a 9-6 majority – a 60 percent advantage.

What happens when the Republicans regain power and they want a 60 percent conservative advantage? They'd have to expand the Court by 7.5 members. Of course, they can't nominate half a justice, so they'd probably round up to eight.

The parties would surely continue to insist upon a 60 percent advantage, meaning that, with each switch in power, they'd have to expand the Court's size by 50 percent. The key thing to note is that they would have to expand the Court not by a constant number but by a constant percentage. This is what would cause exponential growth. If, for example, one side insisted on a 65 percent advantage and the other followed suit, they'd have to expand the Court by 86 percent at each switch in power.

How often would such switches in power occur? Full transfers of power occurred in 1992, 2000, 2008 and 2016. If the polls are right, another may occur this year. Such power switches occur about every eight years, perhaps slightly more frequently.

Let's err on the side of being less alarmist and assume that such switches would only occur every 10 years. Let's similarly assume that the parties would only insist upon a 60 percent advantage.

Under these minimal parameters, the Court would expand by 50 percent every 10 years. In 100 years, the Court would grow by a factor of approximately 58 (1.5 raised to the power of 10), and instead of nine justices, the Supreme Court would consist of 522 justices.

Surely, one would be tempted to think, voters and the two parties would see these problems, and accordingly, such growth wouldn't continue. But why not? Imagine the following scenario: In the year 2120, the Court comprises 522 justices (313 conservatives and 209 liberals). That November, the Democrats retake the House, Senate, and presidency. Following precedent, they decide to regain their advantage and expand the Court to 783 justices (470 liberals and 313 conservatives).

Some voters might say, "Enough is enough." However, Democrats could reasonably counter that (1) "It's what the Republicans did last time. It's our turn now"; (2) "Is 783 really that much larger than 522?"; and (3) "Only by expanding the Court can we do things such as guarantee a woman's right to choose and ensure racial and social justice. Do we really want to sacrifice those goals just to keep the Court a smaller size?"

Further, in such a scenario, no voter would be able to remember when the Court was smaller than 40 justices, much less just nine. Would they really care if it were expanded a little more?

Of course, the scenario would continue to repeat.

In other words, if the Democrats do as many of their leading members want them to do (including Gov. Jay Inslee, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg), as The Atlantic urges them to do, as vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris told The New York Times she is "absolutely open to," and as at least one New York Times columnist advocates, we will no longer have a legislature and a supreme judicial branch.

We will essentially have two legislatures (at least when Democratic appointees – justices willing to read political and social goals into the Constitution – hold the majority of seats). It will be the end of the Supreme Court as we know it, the end of the balance of power among the three branches of government and, therefore, the end of America as we know it.

Would the Democrats do it? Given the left's record of destroying whatever it touches – most obviously, the universities, high schools and journalism, and, most recently, sports and the sciences – if you are a betting person, you should bet on it.

This is yet another reason everything is at stake in this election.

See you tomorrow bli neder
We need Moshiach now
Love Yehuda Lave
Yehuda Lave, Spirtiual Advisor and Counselor

Jerusalem, Jerusalem

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