Monday, November 2, 2020

The Slow Suicide of New York City and Tuesday night lecture on Shalom Bayit by Chabad Rabbi Aharon Schmidt and CDC admits many supposed Covid deaths are from other causes and Hakafot: “Will It Go ‘Round In Circles?”By Saul Jay Singer and While Cuomo Targets Orthodox Jews, Muslim Mass Gatherings Go On and FUNNIEST TRUMP CAN'T WIN COMPILATION from 2016

View in browser

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.

Love Yehuda Lave

Join my blog by sending me an email to

The Three Musketeers at the Kotel

Special Lecture

This Tuesday Evening

@7:30 pm


Rabbi Aharon Schmidt

Editor of the popular weekly Living Jewish

Topic: Shalom Bayit -

Accepting your spouse AND yourself


Facebook live:

While Cuomo Targets Orthodox Jews, Muslim Mass Gatherings Go On

While Cuomo Targets Orthodox Jews, Muslim Mass Gatherings Go On

Like Black Lives Matter riots, Muslim mobs don't spread the virus.

By: Daniel Greenfield, FPM, Oct 13, 2020:

Every year, Shiite Muslims in Flushing, Queens conduct the Arbaeen, a procession in honor of Mohammed's grandson whose death at the hands of a Sunni caliph marked the pivotal break between Shiites and Sunnis, slapping their faces and chests for their beheaded Imam Hussein.

Queens, once the borough that gave birth to President Trump and David Horowitz, now has a large Muslim population, and the fall processions of wailing crowds are a regular event.

The coronavirus didn't change that.

In early October 2020, videos show a huge knot of Muslim men packed closely together in circles, not wearing masks or with masks down, chanting and furiously beating their chests in memory of Hussein's martyrdom. Some are shirtless in the traditional fashion. The slaps are meant to be hard enough to cause real pain and there's plenty of reddened skin on display.

The Shiite procession marches down Flushing's Main Street, past rows of Chinese stores without a police officer in sight. The media also doesn't stop by to document the event.

It's one of a number of Shiite mass gatherings in New York and New Jersey, including more mourning events for Imam Hussein on Manhattan's Park Avenue in August, where few of the participants wear masks, and another in Kensington, Brooklyn around the same time.

Unlike the Orthodox Jewish prayers of the High Holy Days and the Sukkot celebrations, these Shiite Muslim gatherings were not written up by the New York Post, the New York Daily News, or the New York Times as a public threat. Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio did not blame Muslims for the spread of the virus or declare a crackdown that would close mosques.

The Ashura Jaloos event took place in late August in the Kensington 11218 zip code which is listed on the "orange zone" on De Blasio's coronavirus watchlist. The Queens procession took place in another watchlist neighborhood where coronavirus rates have been rising.

At the end of August, Governor Cuomo threatened to crack down on Orthodox Jewish weddings and blamed the "Jewish community" and the "Catholic community" for spreading the coronavirus, but made no mention of any action against Muslim events like the one in Manhattan that had taken place a few days before his threats against Orthodox Jews.

On October 4th, the Queens procession took place. A day later, Cuomo held his infamous antisemitic press conference in which he threatened, "I have to say to the Orthodox community tomorrow, 'If you're not willing to live with these rules, then I'm going to close the synagogues.'"

To bolster his argument that Chassidic Jews were to blame for the spread of the virus, Cuomo used a photo of a funeral from 2006. Once again, he made no reference to Muslim mass gatherings taking place even right before the release of the new data and his press conference.

The media widely and wrongly claimed that the outbreaks were only taking place in zip codes with large Orthodox Jewish communities. This was false, especially when it came to Queens.

There are plenty of mosques to be found in the targeted zip codes in Brooklyn and Queens, in the red, the orange, and the yellow areas, on De Blasio's watchlist. Some are quite large and in the red zone, but Orthodox Jews made a good target. Muslims make a politically incorrect one.

No Democrat would be caught dead threatening Muslims or shutting down mosques.

And the same papers that scold, sneer, and mock at men in fur hats would never dream of ridiculing shirtless Muslim men slapping their chests in public. That would be racist.

Like the Black Lives Matter riots and the Sharpton 50,000 rally in Washington D.C., Islamic religious rituals somehow don't spread the virus. Not even when they're taking place in areas on the watchlist. Orthodox Jewish prayers, like Trump rallies, are blamed for spreading it.

The same hypocritical doublethink extended not only to the rituals, but to the reactions.

When a group of Chassidic Jews protested the discriminatory restrictions by Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, by burning masks and waving Trump flags, the media was furious.

"Brooklyn's Orthodox Jews burn masks in violent protests as New York cracks down on rising cases," a Washington Post headline blared. That's the same paper which has repeatedly described Black Lives Matter riots that wrecked entire cities as being "mostly peaceful".

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, who had falsely claimed that Antifa violence was a myth, and expressed support for Black Lives Matter, despite the repeated riots, demanded that, "those responsible must be held to account for such violence" and expressed support for Cuomo's crackdown.

Nadler also tweeted a petition of support for Cuomo and De Blasio's crackdown on Jews from "300 Rabbis" representing something called the New York Jewish Agenda which had been created earlier this year to fight for "social justice."

The letter was headed by Sharon Kleinbaum of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, a gay temple, much of whose membership defected when it decided to pray for Hamas terrorists.

"Recent events have demonstrated that CBST is far more committed to a progressive political agenda than to the Jewish people," Bryan Bridges, a former board member, wrote. "I couldn't imagine raising a child in this congregation, and have that child hear, just before we recite Kaddish, the names of people who are trying to kill her grandparents."

But, to give Sharon Kleinbaum credit, she doesn't limit her antisemitism to Jews in Israel.

Kleinbaum supported providing space to Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, but is quite happy to see apartheid implemented by her Democrat political allies against Orthodox Jews in America.

The differing treatment meted out to Orthodox Jewish and Shiite Muslim religious gatherings is a troubling demonstration of how antisemitism is baked into the intersectionality of the Left.

It's not about Israel. And it never was.

Pierre Leroux, who coined the term 'Socialism', wrote, "Every government having regard to good morals ought to repress the Jews". This was a century before the rebirth of the modern State of Israel. It wasn't Zionism that the founder of Socialism was objecting to, but Judaism.

Is it any wonder that Leroux's socialist successors like Bill de Blasio are taking him at his word?

There is no systemic racism in America. But there's no question that when you look at the very different treatment for Black Lives Matter rallies, Shiite Muslim gatherings, and Orthodox Jewish events, that systemic antisemitism is alive and well. Especially among New York Democrats.

"My message to the Jewish community, and all communities, is this simple: the time for warnings has passed," Bill de Blasio had tweeted in April.

There was no such warning for Muslims who, unlike the Chassidic Jews of Brooklyn, were not harassed or threatened in any way. They went on conducting Islamic events with no interference. The New York Post did not spy on their weddings, the New York Daily News did not ridicule their religion, and the mayor and governor did not threaten to come after them.

Cuomo threatened to close synagogues. He did not threaten to close mosques. Nor did he display any pictures, like the one above, of mass Muslim religious gatherings. Instead, he found a photo of a Jewish funeral from 2006 to suggest that Jews were spreading the coronavirus.



CDC Reveals Hospitals Counted Heart Attacks as COVID-19 Deaths

The latest numbers from the CDC reveal hospitals have been counting patients who died from serious preexisting conditions as COVID-19 deaths. One America's Pearson Sharp has more, as the CDC counts over 51-thousand patients who actually died from heart attacks, as opposed to the coronavirus.

The Slow Suicide of New York City

Eric Kampmann / Alec Klein / October 05, 2020

The vitality of New York City has been struck down. Tourism is practically a thing of the past. Hotels lay in waste. Broadway remains dark. Offices spaces are just that—vacant.

Eric Kampmann has been a New York publisher for five decades.

"The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and beauty in the world." —F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Great Gatsby"

Listen: The sound you just heard was of a distinct lack of traffic, a dearth of hum, the slight sound of a great city in a death spiral.

Is New York committing suicide?

That's a fair question in the wake of the relentless pandemic choking major American cities. The Big Apple is plagued with joblessness, peaking with a 20% unemployment rate this summer, double the national rate.

Want more bleak numbers? Take your pick: About 1,200 restaurants have permanently shuttered since March. The city has around 600,000 fewer jobs than a year ago. About one-third of the city's small businesses may never reopen.

But, of course, it's not just about numbers.

It's the vitality of the city that has been struck down. Tourism is practically a thing of the past. Hotels lay in waste. Broadway remains dark. Offices spaces are just that—vacant.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates the subways, is hemorrhaging $200 million a week. Nobody, it seems, is going anywhere. Take a look at the platforms at virtually any subway station: a ghost town.

Imagine the wreckage occurring to the city's tax base.

Forget foot traffic. Nightlife is practically kaput. The beehive of midtown Manhattan? Vanishing.

The New York of the mind's eye is lost. The city has always been about the emerald imagination. Making it big a la Sinatra. The scrum of street jockeying. The oasis of Central Park with its nooks and crannies. The bubbling concoction of diversity and greatness.

A favorite activity: Walking up Broadway, stopping for a hotdog at Gray's Papaya, getting a slice at Famous Original Ray's Pizza, listening to snippets of arguments, of passions, of cabals being formed along the broad boulevard, from one end of the city to the other.

Call it pop-up entertainment on the go. Let's not forget, this is the city that stood up to 9/11. It's the city where George Washington prayed to God upon becoming the first president of this republic.

Meanwhile, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo continue to impose various COVID-19 restrictions on travel, dining, and people's movement.

If the pandemic doesn't kill New York, the reaction to it just might.

The city never was about its soaring skyscrapers; it has always been about its towering people. But people are being turned away in droves. Others are fleeing en masse.

The dark days of early COVID-19 are no longer gripping the city; indeed, New York has managed to keep infection numbers low for several months. But even as the city has quelled the number of coronavirus cases, New York has witnessed the rise of another affliction: A startling surge in shootings and other violent crimes.

Shooting victims rose 81% and shooting incidents increased 76% from Jan. 1 through Aug. 2, compared with the same time a year ago, according to the New York Police Department. The recent rioting and looting have cast a long shadow over the city, the likes of which we haven't seen in half a century.

The last time the city felt this dangerous was way back when New York was financially destitute in the 1970s, when, if you took a stroll down Times Square, you were liable to see an unconscious body prone on the sidewalk, as undisturbed people stepped over and around it.

But even New York of that hard time wasn't as bad as it is now.

What happened to New York, the capital of the world? The Rome of the 21st century? The center of culture, media, finance, theater, food, fashion—you name it.

A recent New York Times article declared, "Is New York City 'Over'?"

What's happening to New York is happening to other great cities across the nation—and, for each metropolis, it's largely not a medical event. It's a conscious decision about how we live and what we do.

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.

350 Business Owners Vow To Fight New Lockdowns

By Jewish Press Staff - 20 Tishri 5781 – October 7, 2020

Re-Open New York, which successfully defied New York's lockdown orders in May, is vowing to do so again should Mayor Bill de Blasio make good on his threat to close all schools and businesses defined as non-essential in areas that have seen a rise in Covid-19 cases.

The group comprises New Yorkers of all ethnicities and religions but was founded by five Orthodox Jews, four of them women.

"[W]e were successful in the spring and we will be successful once again," the group said in a statement released on Monday.

"We are re-activated in a new campaign to once again save our businesses and communities from the economic devastation that is born of lockdowns which do not work and have not been effective despite the constant lies from our power-hungry elected officials," said the group.

"These closures are irrational and dangerous to the mental and physical health of children and the entire citizenry…. We will do all that is in our power as New Yorker's and proud American citizens to fight these draconian measures. The last lockdown was to flatten to curve; any future lockdown will almost certainly flatten the people."

Hakafot: "Will It Go 'Round In Circles?"

By Saul Jay Singer - 19 Tishri 5781

Every yom tov has a halachic source in the Written or Oral Law – except for Simchat Torah, which stands alone as the only chag rooted entirely in minhag (custom). There is no Talmudic tractate for Simchat Torah, and even the Shulchan Aruch gives the festival short shrift with only a few lines, essentially concluding that "each community follows its own custom."

The practice of removing Torah scrolls from the Ark on Simchat Torah dates to Talmudic times, but the true origin of Hakafot on Simchat Torah is lost to antiquity.

Hakafot Stationery, early 20th century.

Hakafot are mentioned by the Maharil (1365-1427) and then not mentioned again until the end of the 16th century by the saintly Rema (1530-1572), who writes, "It is the custom to circle the bimah with the Torah scrolls, just as they circle it with the lulav [on Hoshanah Rabah]." According to Avraham Yaari, writing in Toldot Chag Simchat Torah – probably the best source for the development of the minhagim of Simchat Torah – the Rema had in mind only a single hakafah.

R. Chayim Vital, a student of the famous "Ari Hakadosh" (1534-1572), writes that his teacher did seven hakafot. Kabbalistically, seven circuits represents completion and perfection, particularly with respect to G-d's creation of the world. However, it took over another century for the practice of Hakafot to disseminate broadly with Jews traveling from Eretz Yisrael helping institute the practice in other countries.

Some commentators argue, however, that if the Rema cited the custom, it must have been practiced in Ashkenazic communities for a long time. Moreover, R. Shlomo Yosef Zevin, the first editor of the comprehensive Encyclopedia Talmudit, characterizes Hakafot as "an ancient custom" and quotes R. Isaac Tyrnau – who was born in the 14th century and who died more than a century before the Ari was even born – who writes of Hakafot in Sefer Minhagim (1420): "We remove all the Torah scrolls from the ark and the chazzan takes one scroll and begins [to recite] Ana Hashem while circling the migdal, the congregation accompanying him with the remaining scrolls."

In any event, below are some interesting items from my Hakafot collection.

* * * * *

Exhibited here are two works by Ze'ev Raban. The first is a beautifully hand-drawn original sketch of a hakafah scene in synagogue depicting a procession led by a hunched over elderly man draped in a tallit and leaning on a cane, followed by several men carrying Sifrei Torah.

Ze'ev Raban's original Hakafot.

Standing aside the procession to the left are two young boys holding flags and a young woman watching the action. In this compact scene, the artist beautifully captures the traditions and characters of Hakafot.

The second work, which is signed and annotated in the plate "Zev Raban/Bezalel/Jerusalem/1928," is the artist's depiction of Simchat Torah from his famous Chagenu ("Our Holidays," 1925), a lovely collection of color illustrations of the Jewish holidays.

Ze'ev Raban's Simchat Torah from Chagenu.

On the lower left, Raban has drawn two crossed flags and, on the lower right, an open Torah scroll. The central focus is a classic Hakafot scene set in synagogue with all the traditional symbols – open arc, men carrying scrolls, children with flags, etc. – rendered in the gorgeous color that characterizes much of his work.

Raban (1890-1970), who acquired his reputation through the designs he made for Bezalel, was undoubtedly one of the most important artists and designers in pre-State Eretz Yisrael. Recognizing that the traditional European style did not fit the growing style of the newly emerging Jewish arts, he synthesized European techniques with authentic Jewish art based on specifically Jewish motifs.

He developed a visual lexicon of Jewish themes with decorative calligraphic script and other decorative devices which came to be characterized as the "Bezalel style" and, in doing so, he drew freely from Persian, Oriental, Classical, and Art Nouveau elements.

Seder Hakafot (1891).

The Seder Hakafot rare prayer booklet displayed below was handwritten in Genoa, Italy in 1891, and contains verses, piyutim, and songs according to the order of the Hakafot on Simchat Torah, as well as a stamp of the Genoa Jewish community (not shown). (Note: I have covered Hashem's name in the scan to avoid any sheimos problem.)

Hakafot cut-out.

Shown at right is also a bright, colorful, and exceptionally artistic Jewish lithographic die-cut depicting a hakafah led by top-hatted men holding Sifrei Torah accompanied by two young boys holding flags bearing a Magen David. Unusual for the time, it also shows a man handing a scroll over to a young girl. Such die cuts, also known as "prasim," became very popular at the turn of the 20th century and were often used for prizes awarded to Jewish children.

Also shown below is the well-known depiction of Hakafot by Arthur Szyk in which, using his iconic style characteristic of his work, he renders a multiplicity of characters, ranging from Jewish scholars to common Jews to a disparate group of children holding flags. Some of the congregants, and a child to the bottom right, are following the service in their siddurim, but the focus of the piece are the two bearded and tallit-clad men at the center holding Sifrei Torah.

Szyk's Hakafot

Szyk (1894-1951) was renowned as one of the greatest illustrators of his time, and his work was particularly noted for its refined draftsmanship and calligraphy in the style of medieval manuscript illumination executed in close imitation of medieval illuminated manuscripts. His colors have the brilliance of Gothic stained-glass windows, his Hebrew lettering is exquisitely decorative, and his illustrations and illuminations evidence profound familiarity with Jewish tradition and folklore.

Shown on this page is also an invitation to participate in the fifth hakafah at the Great Synagogue in Tel Aviv: "Give Respect to the Torah" and "You Shall Rejoice on your Holiday."

Hakafot at the Great Synagogue.

The Great Synagogue, located on Allenby Street, was designed by Yehuda Magidovich in 1922, was completed in 1926, and was renovated in 1970 with a new eternal façade of arches. Its glass windows are replicas of windows of European synagogues destroyed in the Holocaust.

Exhibited below is an original and striking Jacob Steinhardt interpretation of a joyous chassid lovingly dancing with a Sefer Torah atop a Jerusalem roof, signed in both Hebrew and English by the artist.

Steinhardt's Simchat Torah.

One of the 20th century's preeminent artists, Steinhardt (1887-1968) was a German Expressionist whose graphic works, especially woodcuts and etchings, are masterpieces of the medium. Recognized today as one of the most prominent woodcut artists using a neo-Gothic or Biblical style, he is credited with refining the technique of block printing. As a teacher of graphics and later director of the Bezalel Art School in Jerusalem, he influenced a whole generation of Israeli artists.

Simchat Torah Holocaust card.

Also exhibited here is a dramatic early 1940s Succot/Simchat Torah card with the words: "Fortunate are you Israel, Fortunate are you Israel, that Hashem has Chosen you" followed by "The time of our rejoicing, the Simchat Beit Hashoevah, and Simchat Torah." The body of the text undoubtedly refers to the Holocaust: "Let us be only mighty, let us stand strong in these difficult days. Days will pass, years will change, and the golden days of glory and honor will certainly arrive to The Eternal People."

The text ends with the beautiful verse from Shir Hashirim 2:2: "Like a rose amongst the thorns, so is my beloved amongst the daughters," a metaphor for G-d's choice of the Jewish people from among all the nations.

Joseph Budko's Simchat Torah.

Also shown on this page is a classic example of the beauty of Joseph Budko's etching work, a signed decorative woodcut illustrating an ornately-designed open Torah scroll, inside of which the artist has rendered a circular drawing of bearded men holding Sifrei Torah. At the four corners, the artist has etched in Hebrew: "Rejoice and delight on Simchat Torah."

Budko created a whole new Jewish iconography ranging from Zionist symbols to representations of the world of the shtetl of his youth. Developing a unique style that combined personal attitude with Jewish mentality and synthesized Jewish tradition with a modern artistic approach, he was among an influential group of graphic Jewish artists who embraced the revival of the woodcut, a medium that lent itself perfectly to express the views of Israel and Jewish culture in various lands. He used the expressive form of the printing methods – etchings, woodcuts, and lithographs – to revive the use of graphic and book illustration in the Jewish art world.

Wishing a joyous Yom Tov to all.

Four German Simchat Torah cards, circa early 20th century.

See you tomorrow bli neder Election day in America

We need Mosiach now !

Love Yehuda Lave

Yehuda Lave, Spirtiual Advisor and Counselor

Jerusalem, Jerusalem

facebook twitter instagram

You received this email because you signed up on our website or made a purchase from us.