Yom Kippur in Israel. September 15-16, 2021 and Longest journey you can take by foot 22387 kilometers and The ADL Is Incompetent And Unqualified To Document Campus Anti-Semitism By Rabbi Dov Fischer -and a few jokes
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.
Yom Kippur in Israel is a unique day! Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement, the most solemn and holy day of the Jewish calendar. Falling every fall, ten days after Rosh Hashana, it is a day in which Jews of all levels of religiousness, and Israel as a whole, comes to a halt. It is afast day lasting 25 hours. The festival begins at sundown with what is known as Kol Nidre and ends the following evening. In 2021, Yom Kippur begins at sundown on September 15, and ends the following evening. Yom Kippur in Israel is an unusual, but interesting experience.
Yom Kippur & Covid-19
Across the globe, we are all trying our best to handle this new normal. But hopefully by this time most of our lives will be back to normal in order to go to synagogue, hear the shofar blow and experience communal atonement and forgiveness. This time of year is when we focus inward and consider what change and renewal this season may bring, and with such a chaotic year, maybe some time to refocus on what's most important to us is what we all need.
What's Yom Kippur in Israel Like?
Yom Kippur in Israel is the one day when normal life across Israel stops. All businesses close, including all restaurants and places of leisure. All transportation stops. Ben Gurion Airport, Israel's major airport, stops functioning, as does all public transport. Almost all private vehicles also stop so the roads become totally empty for the day, apart from the odd emergency vehicle and children and adults riding bikes! Biking on Yom Kippur has become something of a tradition.
Being a Tourist over Yom Kippur in Israel
As a tourist, during Yom Kippur in Israel there are almost no museums or cultural sites that are possible to visit. The best option is to walk, observe the varying ways Jews across society mark this day, observe the peace and unbelievable tranquility of a country where nobody is moving, no cars, and no noise, and observe a country where a large proportion of the population is fasting.
It is not forbidden for non-Jews to drive on Yom Kippur, however, nearl all citizens (religious or secular) refrain from driving. There are virtually no cars on the road. Driving is incredibly dangerous because there are many kids and families who will bike on major roads in Israel. It's one of the best days to explore big cities like Tel Aviv by bike.
Eating Out on Yom Kippur for non-Jews
Eating out during Yom Kippur in Israel can be slightly difficult as so much of the country is fasting. Hotels will run an almost skeleton staff. All leisure services such as gyms will be closed and there will be very few staff around. It is therefore highly unlikely that there will be fresh food or usual food service. Instead, it is likely that there will be a limited buffet of simple, pre-prepared food available to those guests who want it. Remember that many guests and tourists will also fast. If you are not staying in a hotel, it is likely that many hotels will prohibit you from eating in their restaurant. The best option is to purchase food the day before from a supermarket. Many sell great prepared food.
Ultimately, Yom Kippur in Israel is a unique experience and very interesting. It is important to know in advance that there is very limited service around on this day
The Three Musketeers at the Kotel
A few jokes
. Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
2. A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.
3. The one who laughs last, doesn't understand why everyone is laughing.
4. A day without sunshine is like, well, night.
5. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
6. Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.
7. Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.
8. The 50-50-90 rule: Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right there's a 90% probability you'll get it wrong.
9. It is said that if you line up all the cars in the world end-to-end someone from California would be stupid enough to try to pass them.
10. If the shoe fits, get another one, just like it.
11. The things that come to those who wait, may be the things that were left by those who got there first.
12. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat all day drinking beer.
13. Flashlight: A case for holding dead batteries.
14. God gave you toes as a device for finding furniture in the dark. (my favorite)
15. When you go into court, you are putting yourself in the hands of twelve people who weren't smart enough to get out of jury duty.
The longest walking route in the world is from Cape Town (South Africa) 🇿🇦 to Magadan (Russia) 🇷🇺. There is no need for planes or boats, there are bridges
The distance is 22,387 km and the journey time is 4492 hours, the number of days of non-stop walking will be 187 days, or 561 days of walking for 8 hours per day.
Along the way, you pass through 17 countries, 6 time zones, and all seasons of the year.
The ADL Is Incompetent And Unqualified To Document Campus Anti-Semitism
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B'Nai B'rith once had an important role to play in defending American Jews. Between 1881-1914, more than three million Jews flocked to America from Eastern Europe, as wild pogroms and anti-Jewish laws ravaged Jewish life after Tsar Alexander II was assassinated. These immigrants spoke little English, knew little of the West, and did not know the ways of standing one's ground in America. They had been preceded by a large but much smaller Jewish immigration, mostly from Germany, of 250,000 Jews to America in the mid-1800s.
Those earlier German Jewish arrivals encountered more subtle forms of anti-Semitism. Unable to gain entry into fraternal orders, they eventually formed their own, B'nai B'rith. The German Jews likewise built Jewish hospitals like Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City because Jewish doctors were barred from practicing elsewhere.
And yet those same German Jews initially deterred the children of East European immigrants from practicing at Mount Sinai. There were real tensions between the landed and established German Jewish community and the newly arriving East Europeans, the "Ostjuden." But when Jews came under anti-Semitic attack, that was a time to pull together.
In 1913 Atlanta, Georgia, anti-Semitism took a dramatic new turn. A century ago parts of Georgia were the domain of Tom Watson and the KKK. One Easter, a young girl was found strangled in the basement of a local Atlanta pencil factory that was owned by a Jew. Without evidence to justify the accusations, only suspicions and unsubstantiated claims, a public hate campaign spurred by Watson, amid other factors, led to the arrest of the factory's manager, a transplanted New York Jew who had moved there to assume the job working for his father-in-law. Soon after arriving, he had become president of the Atlanta B'nai B'rith. That Jew, Leo Frank, was put on a show trial and was convicted amid mob violence outside the courtroom. He was sentenced to death. The governor, John Slaton, bravely commuted Frank's sentence. For that bravery, Slaton's political career was ruined, and he even had to flee Georgia for ten years amid death threats. Meanwhile, armed Jew-haters invaded the jail where Frank was being held, kidnaped him, and lynched him in August 1915 in Marietta, Georgia.
Thus emerged the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith. America's Jews desperately needed a defense organization, and B'nai B'rith, the fraternal order, was their biggest group, so was best situated to act. They formed the ADL. ADL emerged initially to defend German Jews in America, and soon they defended all as they became synonymous with Jewish legal defense.
But this no longer is the case. As the years have marched ahead, the ADL increasingly has lost sight of its fundamental purpose. Expanding its mission to focus on opposing other forms of hate, the ADL evolved into more of a general all-purpose human-rights organization. That can be a good thing if implemented fairly. Unfortunately, the ADL's demise as a Jewish organization was cemented in July 2015, ironically almost one hundred years to the day of the Leo Frank lynching, when they named Jonathan Greenblatt to be their new national director. Greenblatt, a hardened "progressive," had just served as Special Assistant to the President in the Obama White House. He is an Obama acolyte through and through. From the day he arrived, Greenblatt converted the ADL into a markedly left-focused organization. Under Greenblatt, the ADL has focused almost exclusively on combating right-wing hate and also attacking conservative non-haters among Republicans, Fox News anchors, and the like – while giving virtually a free passes to the Left.
For example, in its hate for President Trump, the ADL presented data on anti-Semitism during the Trump presidency that defied reality. In one egregious case, they reported a 57 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents during Trump's first year when other data showed a decrease. Notably, in blaming Trump's emergence, they included in their tally some 150 bomb threats made to Jewish institutions by a mentally disturbed Israeli teen who ultimately was convicted by a Tel Aviv court of phoning in thousands of such threats.
The demise of the ADL as a Jewish organization, and its conversion into a mouthpiece for Obama acolytes, has been mourned for the past five years. Seth Mandel has written about it in Commentary. Liel Leibovitz, another leading American Jewish commentator, wrote about it in the Wall Street Journal. Investigative journalist Daniel Greenfield exposed further details. Likewise Andrew Harrod in Jihad Watch. And Jonathan Tobin has written about ADL's pronouncedly left bias and "overhyped statistics" in several articles in JNS.
In an era of White Supremacist hate and an extraordinary outbreak of rabidly anti-Jewish hate on the Left, especially on college campuses with the Nazi-like BDS movement to boycott only the one country in the world with a Jewish majority, and even among Democrats in Congress like Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and others, it is regrettable that the Jewish community has lost a defense organization to the politics of unbridled progressivism. But that is the reality of the day.
And it is for that reason that American Jewish college students, who find themselves under the worst anti-Jewish siege on campuses within recall, cannot rely on ADL to serve as their honest broker in documenting campus anti-Semitism now.
The ADL has a blind spot. They see Jew-hatred stemming from the extreme right – as they should – but that is not the source of campus Jew-hate. Rather, the extraordinary plague of university anti-Semitism comes from the Left. Left-wing professors uses their classes and university web sites to attack Jews and Israel. Student governments at left-wing universities vote to boycott Israel. Jewish students on campus report being assaulted and fearful to identify with Israel. The hate on America's campus comes from the Left, not at all from the Right. And the ADL is AWOL.
What Is Yom Kippur?
The Day of Atonement
Yom Kippur In Brief
What: Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year, when we are closest to G‑d and to the essence of our souls. Yom Kippur means "Day of Atonement," as the verse states, "For on this day He will forgive you, to purify you, that you be cleansed from all your sins before G‑d."1
When: The 10th day of Tishrei (in 2021, from several minutes before sunset on Wednesday, September 15, until after nightfall on Thursday, September 16), coming on the heels of Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year, which is on the first and second days of Tishrei).
How: For nearly 26 hours we "afflict our souls": we abstain from food and drink, do not wash or apply lotions or creams, do not wear leather footwear, and abstain from marital relations. Instead, we spend the day in synagogue, praying for forgiveness.
History of Yom Kippur
Just months after the people of Israel left Egypt in the year 2448 from creation (1313 BCE), they sinned by worshipping a golden calf. Moses ascended Mount Sinai and prayed to G‑d to forgive them. After two 40-day stints on the mountain, full Divine favor was obtained. The day Moses came down the mountain (the 10th of Tishrei) was to be known forevermore as the Day of Atonement—Yom Kippur.
That year, the people built the Tabernacle, a portable home for G‑d. The Tabernacle was a center for prayers and sacrificial offerings. The service in the Tabernacle climaxed on Yom Kippur, when the High Priest would perform a specially prescribed service. Highlights of this service included offering incense in the Holy of Holies (where the ark was housed) and the lottery with two goats—one of which was brought as a sacrifice, the other being sent out to the wilderness (Azazel).
One Day, One People
While the High Priest generally wore ornate golden clothing, on Yom Kippur, he would immerse in a mikvah and don plain white garments to perform this service.
This practice continued for hundreds of years, throughout the time of the first Temple in Jerusalem, which was built by Solomon, and the second Temple, which was built by Ezra. Jews from all over would gather in the Temple to experience the sacred sight of the High Priest performing his service, obtaining forgiveness for all of Israel.
When the second Temple was destroyed in the year 3830 from creation (70 CE), the Yom Kippur service continued. Instead of a High Priest bringing the sacrifices in Jerusalem, every single Jew performs the Yom Kippur service in the temple of his or her heart.
What to Do Before Yom Kippur
Forty days before Yom Kippur, on the first of Elul, we begin blowing the shofar every morning and reciting Psalm 27 after the morning and afternoon prayers. In Sephardic communities, it is customary to begin saying Selichot early every morning (Ashkenazim begin just a few days before Rosh Hashanah)—building an atmosphere of reverence, repentance and awe leading up to Yom Kippur.
For the week before Yom Kippur (known as the 10 Days of Repentance), special additions are made to prayers, and people are particularly careful with their mitzvah observance.
Just as Yom Kippur is a day of fasting, the day before Yom Kippur is set aside for eating and preparing for this holy day. Here are some of the activities that we do on the day before Yom Kippur:
Kaparot is often performed in the wee hours of this morning
There is a beautiful custom to request and receive a piece of honey cake, so that if, G‑d forbid, it was decreed that we need be recipients, it be fulfilled by requesting honey cake and being blessed with a sweet year.
We eat two festive meals, one in early afternoon and another right before the commencement of the fast.
Many have the custom to immerse in a mikvah on this day.
Extra charity is given. In fact, special charity trays are set up at the synagogue before the afternoon service, which contains the Yom Kippur Al Cheit prayer.
Just before the fast begins (after the second meal has been concluded), it is customary to bless the children with the Priestly Blessing.
Holiday candles are lit before the onset of the holy day. Read more about the various candles traditionally lit before Yom Kippur.
How Yom Kippur Is Observed
Like Shabbat, no work is to be done on Yom Kippur, from the time the sun sets on the ninth of Tishrei until the stars come out in the evening of the next day.
On Yom Kippur, we afflict ourselves by avoiding the following five actions:
Eating or drinking (in case of need, see here and consult a medical professional and a rabbi)
Wearing leather shoes
Applying lotions or creams
Washing or bathing
Engaging in conjugal relations
The day is spent in the synagogue, where we hold five prayer services:
Maariv, with its solemn Kol Nidrei service, on the eve of Yom Kippur;
Shacharit, the morning prayer, which includes a reading from Leviticus followed by the Yizkor memorial service;
Musaf, which includes a detailed account of the Yom Kippur Temple service;
Minchah, which includes the reading of the Book of Jonah;
Neilah, the "closing of the gates" service at sunset, followed by the shofar blast marking the end of the fast.
Beyond specific actions, Yom Kippur is dedicated to introspection, prayer and asking G‑d for forgiveness. Even during the breaks between services, it is appropriate to recite Psalms at every available moment.
See you on Friday bli neder after Yom Kipper.
On Sunday bli neder before the holiday of Succout which starts on Monday night we are flying to Vienna to visit Miriam's parents in Czech returning before the final day of Sucout on Monday night the following week with the help of G-d which you need in general but specifically when you fly.