Friday, December 4, 2020

The Portion of VayishlachA Person's Name- His Identity and His Essence and Portugal has naturalized 23,000 applicants under Jewish law of return and The Jewish Theological Roots Of Sir Isaac Newton’s Scientific Discoveries By Saul Jay Singer and Larry Frisch, media veteran dies at 91 in Jerusalem and Jewish homes in the Muslim Quarter, three of Three

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

Larry Frisch, media veteran, dies at 91 in J'lem


Veteran filmmaker Larry Frisch died in Jerusalem on Sunday. A media man in the full sense of the word, he was a filmmaker, producer, director, scriptwriter, cameraman, narrator, and actor, as well as a television, radio and print media journalist.

Frisch began working in one or more of these capacities when he was still in high school in Indianapolis, Indiana, where the Jewish population in his boyhood was around 10,000.

In his youth, the tall, straight-backed Frisch was also an athlete. He managed to look fit for all of his life, and he was a person who had the capacity to make the most of life for all of his 91 years.

He always gave the impression of being much younger because of the very the end, he remained one of nature's gentlemen, never sitting if a woman was standing, even if she was much his junior. And if she declined the the chair on which he had been sitting, he roamed the room until he found an empty one which he would carry back to where the woman was standing.

For the last eight years, after he was widowed, Frisch's partner was Dolly Tiger Chinitz.

Frisch kept working past his mid--80s, when he completed a documentary that he narrated and in which he explained why Israel loves peace.

Over the years, he observed the phenomena of war and terrorism, and reported on them not only from Israel, but also from Beirut and Syria. His American passport enabled him to move easily through the Middle East and other conflict areas of the world.

Countries from which he reported or in which he made documentaries include Egypt, Spain, Africa, Russia, Japan, Germany, China ( where he went before the historic visits of president Richard Nixon and secretary of state Henry Kissinger in 1971- 72), various parts of South America and Yemen, wherein 1993 he shot a documentary called The Last Jews of Yemen.

But what meant most to him both personally and professionally was covering Israel.

Frisch was born into a staunchly Zionist family.

His father, Daniel Frisch, who was president of the Zionist Organization of America and the initiator and one of the prime movers and shakers for the establishment of ZOA

House in Tel Aviv, unfortunately, died before its completion. It is, in fact, located at 1 Daniel Frisch Street, and is a multi-purpose complex that includes stage and screen facilities, a gallery and lecture rooms.

AS A MATTER of fact, the first time Larry Frisch came to Israel, it was with his father in 1949, not long after the establishment of the state.

He continued to visit many times until 1959, when he bought a home in Savyon, where he lived on and off for several years. He later sold that home and bought a property in Yemin Moshe in 1973, six years after the Six-Day War. Yemin Moshe was not what it is today. A lot of reconstruction was required, and a good number of properties were completely gutted and rebuilt, while the exterior facade remained intact or was repaired and renovated.

The upshot was a truly beautiful home for Frisch and his wife, Marilyn, into which they moved in 1981. Over the course of time, the house became too big for them and they sold it, and found a pleasant walk-up apartment in the capital's Derech Bethlehem area.

Born in 1929, Frisch made his first film while still in high school. His school was a very special one, with wonderful facilities and very bright pupils. It lent itself quite naturally to a documentary that today, along with other films he made throughout his life, can be culled from the Steven Spielberg archives and watched on a home computer or cellphone.

Before he started making films, Frisch was a child actor. He also had his own radio show in 1944, and in addition, was a good amateur violinist. In the 1930s he even did a stint in a circus.

Frisch joined the US Army in 1948 and was assigned to the Army Pictorial Center. He continued working for APC as a reserve officer and as a contract scriptwriter, narrator, and director for the army, traveling to many parts of the world – including Saigon in 1966 to make a a film about the 10 rules of conduct for American soldiers serving there.

Between making films for APC, the last of which was in 1976, Frisch worked in other media in various parts of the world. Over the years he worked for CBS, UPI, AP, the BBC, Christian Broadcast News, Fox Movietone News and TeleNews Productions, among others.

And he was my friend for the last 20 years


Jewish Homes in the Muslim Quarter three of three

On a beautiful November day, Shalom Polock and Daniel Lourie - Executive
Director of Ateret Cohanim Founded in 1978, ( originally known under
the name Atara Leyoshna (lit. "[returning the] former glory"). opened as
a new association called Ateret Cohanim with a yeshiva. While the
activities of Atara Leyoshna focused mainly on locating Jewish assets in
the Muslim Quarter and transferring them into Jewish hands through
legal means, the activities of Ateret Cohanim involves acquiring houses
in the Muslim quarter or renting them from government companies and
populating them with Jews. The association owns many buildings in the
Old City, where over 80 families live. Some estimate that 1,000 Israeli
Jews live in houses that Ateret Cohanim purchased in the Old City since
The head of the association is Mati Dan

Portugal has naturalized 23,000 applicants under Jewish law of return

(JTA) — Portugal has granted citizenship to about 23,000 people who applied under a 2015 law granting citizenship to descendants of Sephardic Jews.

That figure means that the government has thus far approved about 30% of the roughly 76,000 applications submitted since 2015. Officials did not say how many applications were declined.

About 25,000 of applications were submitted in 2019 alone, many of which have not yet been processed.

The figures were released in a statement on Oct. 22 from the Washington, D.C.-based Sephardic Heritage International organization.

Both Portugal and Spain passed laws in 2015 granting citizenship to the descendants of Sephardic Jews, measures both governments said were intended to atone for the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Jews from the Iberian Peninsula during the Inquisition.

The window for the Spanish law was supposed to close last year, but has been extended until further notice. The Portuguese law is open-ended. In both countries, the task of vetting applications has been handed over to local Jewish organizations.

Domingos Fezas Vital, the Portuguese ambassador to the United States, said in an online video conference co-hosted by Sephardic Heritage International on Oct. 22 that the Inquisition was a mistake. The region "subjected itself to what we would call today, a form of brain drain," he said.


The Portion of Vayishlach

A Person's Name- His Identity and His Essence

A person's name is his spiritual property which accompanies him from birth to old age, and remains with him even after he departs this world.

The child's parents choose the name of their newborn offspring. They do so based on their understanding of the world in which they live. Together with this, however, G'd's holy spirit helps to guide them to spiritual worlds that are usually closed before them. From that moment a person's name encloses him. As he grows, his name grows with him. An individual's self-image, the way that others see him and relate to him are all connected to the name which represents his very essence.

It is for this reason that a person whose life is in danger adds a name in order to change his luck.

While still in his mother Rebecca's womb, Jacob already finds himself in a war of survival. Esau wants to leave the womb first and Jacob holds on to his heel in an attempt to prevent that from happening. And it is for this reason that he is named Jacob.

Jacob's receiving the blessing from his father Isaac is also obtained through trickery, and Esau cries out "You've held me back twice" (Genesis 27;36).

The entire time that he spent in the house of Lavan Jacob had to contend with Rachel being switched with Leah and with the various means that he was forced to in order to be paid for shepherding Lavan's flocks.

In preparation for the showdown with Esau, Jacob divides his camp in half and sends gifts ahead to his brother. Here to he must struggle with the angel at Maavar Yabok.

Jacob refuses to release the angel unless the angel first blesses him. The angel changes Jacob's name to Israel "because you have struggled with G-d and with men and prevailed" (Genesis 32;29).

The letter "shin" in the words "Yisrael" (Israel) and "sarita" (you struggled) are decorated with numerous crowns to teach us that the Almighty is proud of Israel and that Israel is proud of the Almighty.

(Remazei Rabbenu Yoel)

Raymond KurzweilI nventorand futurist
He is involved in fields such as optical character recognition(OCR), text-to-speech synthesis, speech recognitiontechnology, and electronic keyboard instruments. He has written books on health, artificial intelligence(AI), transhumanism, the technological singularity, and futurism.
Kurzweil is a public advocate for the futurist and transhumanist movements and gives public talks to share his optimistic outlook on life extensiontechnologies and the future of nanotechnology, robotics, and biotechnology.
Kurzweil received the 1999 National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the United States' highest honor in technology. ]He was the recipient of the Lemelson-MIT Prizefor 2001. And in 2002 he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, established by the U.S. Patent Office.
He has received 21 honorary doctorates, and honors from three U.S. presidents. The Public Broadcasting Service ( PBS) included Kurzweil as one of 16 "revolutionaries who made America" along with other inventors of the past two centuries.
Inc.magazine ranked him #8 among the "most fascinating" entrepreneurs in the United States and called him "Edison's rightful heir".
Kurzweil has written seven books. Kurzweil speaks widely to audiences both public and private and regularly delivers keynote speeches at industryconferences.

Death gives meaning to our lives. It gives importance and value to time. Time would become meaningless if there were too much of it.
No matter what problem you encounter, whether it's a grand challenge for humanity or a personal problem of your own, there's an idea out there that can overcome it. And you can find that idea. Ray Kurzweil
Science fiction is the great opportunity to speculate on what could happen. It does give me, as a futurist, scenarios. Ray Kurzweil
Life expectancy is a statistical phenomenon. You could still be hit by the proverbial bus tomorrow. Ray Kurzweil

The Jewish Theological Roots Of Sir Isaac Newton's Scientific Discoveries

By Saul Jay Singer

Isaac Newton (1642-1727) was an English mathematician, physicist, astronomer, theologian, and author universally considered to be one of the most influential scientists of all time. His epic contributions – which include the three "Newtonian" laws of motion, the universal laws of gravitation, and the physics of light and optics – make him perhaps the fundamental figure in the history of the scientific revolution.

Portrait of Newton by Enoch Seeman.

Newton is particularly known for his monumental Principia Mathematica, first published in 1687, in which he laid out the foundations of classical mechanics. Still the most widely read scientific work of all time, it explains the motions of the planets with a single mathematical system and formulates the laws of motion and universal gravitation that remained at the center of the scientific view of the universe for two centuries until Einstein proposed his theory of relativity. Newton also invented calculus, designed and built the first practical reflecting telescope, and made the first scientific calculations of the speed of sound.


Newton was a devoted Christian raised in the Puritan tradition in the Church of England who nonetheless rejected key elements of religious orthodoxy, including principally the doctrine of the trinity, which he characterized as idolatry. The breadth of his "Christian heresy," however, became evident only after his death, when a box of unknown manuscripts – much of them in the form of original treatises as beautifully written and reasoned as his better-known scientific works – was discovered in a large box in his room.

Most authorities agree that Newton intentionally hid these heretical manuscripts and his theological views from the public, fearing ostracism from Christian religious authorities, the loss of his position at Trinity University, and the almost certain dismissal of his scientific work.

In The Newton Papers, Sarah Dry attributes important gaps in Principia Mathematica to Newton's desire to cover up the Jewish religious predicate for much of his work and his fear that he and his work would be shunned by the public were that fact to come to light.

One great scientist who believed that Newton had deliberately suppressed public disclosure of his theological writing was Albert Einstein who, in a September 1940 letter to Abraham Shalom Yahuda, opined not only that Newton had kept these writings secret for a good reason, but also advised that they remain unpublished.

In the letter, Einstein further detailed his views on the documents, praising them for shedding light on Newton's "spiritual workshop" and linking Newton's scientific discoveries to his theological thinking.

The manuscripts led to a major revision in the fundamental understanding of Newton's life and work. Jose Faur, a Jewish expert on Newton, may have said it best: Newton believed that "Christian scripture must be understood in light of Hebrew scripture, not the other way around."

Among other things, the documents prove that Newton subscribed to the fundamental Jewish belief that science is little more than the description of tools employed by G-d in creating the world. Convinced that, as the Talmud states, histakel b'oraisah u'varah alma – i.e., that Y-H-V-H, whom he characterized as "the unique god," wrote the Torah prior to the creation of the universe and thereafter used it as the architectural plan for creation – he believed that Jewish scripture, and the Hebrew language itself, reflect the cosmic heliocentric harmony of creation and that, in fact, the Jews knew that the sun was the center of the solar system centuries before Copernicus.

A page of Newton's writing featuring, in Hebrew, Yehi shem Hashem mevorach mei-atah v'ad olam ("May the name of G-d be blessed forever").

As John Maynard Keynes wrote in his seminal paper on the great scientist, Newton "regarded the universe as a cryptogram set by the Almighty." Newton was not only the first modern universally renowned scientist to reject the standard academic prohibition against mixing philosophy into pure science and the search for scientific truth, but the "hero of the Enlightenment" also deliberately integrated theology into his scientific analyses, in many instances incorporating specifically Jewish concepts.

For example, Newton relied upon Maimonides' Hilchot Kiddush Levanah ("Laws of Sanctification of the New Moon") in his analysis of the Julian calendar, and many respected authorities maintain that the Kabbalah was the source for his theory of gravity. (Interestingly, Gershom Shalom, a renowned authority on Jewish mysticism, argues that gravity is a force that had been known centuries earlier by the Jewish mystics.)

Accepting the Maimonidean idea that the Temple was a microcosm of the earth that revealed the works of G-d and that the depictions of the rites of the Temple service are the key to understanding the structure of the world, Newton drew sophisticated sketches of the Beit HaMikdash as the basis for his studies on the dimensions of the earth.

Newton also devoted considerable effort to examining the amah, the standard biblical unit of Jewish measure, and published his conclusions in A Dissertation upon the Sacred Cubit of the Jews and Cubits. Intriguingly, he applied his results to the measurements of the Great Pyramid of Giza, which he believed had been based upon the amah. These efforts were hardly marginal, as they underscored the accuracy of his most basic scientific work, including the accuracy of his gravitational theories.

In general, the Newton documents show that he had noteworthy interest in Jewish theology and manifested a deep knowledge of halachic sources, including the Babylonian and Yerushalmi Talmuds and a broad spectrum of rabbinic works including, for example, the commentaries of Saadia Gaon, the Ibn Ezra, Rashi, Sifra, Sefer HaChinuch, and the Bartinurah and Kabbalistic sources.

Contrary to Church teachings and most leading Christian scholars at the time, Newton – who could properly be described as a Zionist – believed that, consistent with the Jewish prophetic teachings, the Jews would ultimately return to Eretz Yisrael and reestablish sovereignty there.

Copy of document in which Newton predicts the arrival of the Messianic Era in 2060.

Fascinated by the central role Jews would play in the Messianic era, he attempted to compute when the End of Days would occur. Based on information from the Book of Daniel, which he determined projected the onset of the apocalypse to begin 1,260 years after some unspecified event, he commenced the count from the crowning of Charlemagne as Roman emperor in 800 and concluded that the Messiah would arrive in 2060. The document containing this apocalyptic prediction is among the Newton materials in the Israel National Library.

Newton, whom several critics – including Keynes – fittingly characterize as "a Judaic monotheist of the Maimonidean school," was especially fascinated by the Rambam. His library boasted a collection of his works, including a dog-eared copy of Moreh Nevuchim ("Guide to the Perplexed"), which underscored his own philosophical attempts to harmonize scripture, theology, and science. One Newton expert noted that he embraced what is essentially a Jewish monotheistic concept of G-d, going so far as to quote the Rambam's teaching that one can only learn about G-d indirectly through his acts.

Moreover, Newton apparently kept the seven Noachide Laws and, citing Maimonides, believed that Christian salvation could be achieved through observance of the Noachide Laws:

Although the precepts of Noah are not as perfect as the religion of the Scripture, they suffice for salvation…. Indeed, Jews had admitted into their gates heathens who accepted Noah's precepts, but had not converted to the Law of Moses.

As such, he wrote, there was no need for Jesus' expiatory death to atone for sins, perhaps the ultimate Christian heretical statement.

Copy of Newton's Hebrew exercise from the Fitzwilliam notebook.

Like most university students at the time, Newton acquired a superficial working knowledge of Hebrew as part of his basic education, but he apparently began to focus on developing a greater facility with the language early in his career. In what has become known as "the Fitzwilliam notebook," in which Newton recorded his thoughts, observations, and mathematical discourses during his years at Trinity College, one page under the heading Nova Cubi Hæbræi Tabella ("A New Hebrew Cubic Table") contains a complicated Hebrew exercise with 71 Hebrew words and their translations to Latin.

Copy of excerpt from Samuel Johnson's Nova Cubi Hæbræi Tabella.

Newton copied the table from Samuel Johnson's Nova Cubi Hebræi Tabella, which was published in 1627. In the book, Johnson urges readers to "look at the roots in this table, which contains the whole thesaurus of the Hebrew language, at a single glance" and acclaimed it as the way to "discover all roots and commit them to memory in a more fruitful way." In his rendition, however, Newton improved the original work by including the Hebrew vowel points of the final root consonants to facilitate easier pronunciation.

Newton developed his Hebrew knowledge to the point that he could navigate the Pentateuch in its original language. His knowledge of Hebrew is evidenced, in part, by one of the Newton manuscripts, a work intended to enable readers to identify more than 1,000 words and to learn basic conjugations of Hebrew verbs, and by his personal library, which contained various Hebrew grammars and lexicons with his notes and reading marks.

According to at least one authority, however, Newton "learned about Jewish history and practice mainly through Latin and English translations by more advanced Hebraists." In fact, Newton himself denied any particular Hebrew skills and, in a letter to Hebraist Caspar Neumann, wrote that when it is necessary to understand difficult or perplexing Hebrew phrases, he turns to experts such as Neumann.

There is little debate, however, that to master Rabbinic literature and halachic sources, Newton did develop the ability to follow Hebrew citations and to evaluate arguments regarding the derivation and interpretation of Hebrew terms.

In his letter to Abraham Shalom Yahuda, cited above, Einstein expressed hope that the Newton documents be housed in a single location to facilitate researchers' accessibility to the material, and the story of how most of this material ultimately found a home in Israel's National Museum is intriguing.

The tale begins with Newton's death in 1727, when his descendants sought to donate his scientific manuscripts to his alma mater, the University of Cambridge. Repelled by the sacrilegious content of the material, however, the university rejected them and, two centuries later, family heirs finally decided to auction them off in a 1936 Sotheby's auction in London. As a result of the auction, the documents were dispersed amongst many buyers, including Keynes, who purchased most of Newton's alchemy manuscripts.

Abraham Shalom Yahuda

Yahuda (1877-1951), a Jewish polymath, linguist, bibliophile, forensic philologist, professor, and researcher, was almost alone in appreciating the importance of the treasure trove of the Newton materials on theology and Biblical exegesis. Arguably the world's leading expert on Semitic languages, he is considered to have been the only person on earth who could read and speak ancient Assyrian.

Also a collector of rare documents who had accumulated the world's largest and most valuable privately-held accumulation of rare Arabic books and manuscripts, he went on to successfully reacquire many of the Newton manuscripts for his own collection.

A fervent Zionist in his youth – he even insisted that he was the person best qualified to serve as president of the new Jewish state – Yahuda ultimately had a massive fallout with Chaim Weizmann and the World Zionist Organization over his view on the Zionist attitude toward Arabs. Nonetheless, his widow decided to donate all of her late husband's manuscripts to the Jewish National Library at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Although she publicly announced her gift to the library and spent years cataloguing the material, she ultimately failed to make any such bequest in her will. As such, when she died in 1955, one of the estate trustees objected to the donation, leading to a decade-long court battle ultimately resolved by the Supreme Court of Connecticut in Hebrew University Assn. v. Nye, which ruled in favor of the library.

The library, which put the documents on exhibit for the first time in 2007, has recently digitized the entire collection – about 7,500 handwritten pages – and made them accessible online.

A Sephardic Jew born in Jerusalem to a family that settled in Baghdad after the 1492 Spanish expulsion of the Jews, Yahuda launched his illustrious writing career with the publication of his first book, Kadmoniyot Ha'Aravim ("The Arabs' Antiquities," 1893) at age 15. He earned his Ph.D. in Semitic languages at age 17 from the University of Nuremberg with a brilliant thesis on Chovot Halevavot ("Duties of the Heart"), the magnum opus by R. Yehudah ibn Pakuda, a renowned 11th century Jewish thinker.

The son of a rav, Yahuda was rejected by his family when he was caught smoking a cigarette on Shabbat. As a professor at various prestigious institutions – including Berlin University where he taught Semitic philology as head of its Department of Biblical Studies and Semitic Languages – he refused to follow halacha; perpetrated his own controversial views of Judaism; and caused an uproar by lecturing on the Bible without wearing a yarmulke.

See you Sunday bli neder-Shabbat Shalom

We need Moshiach 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.