Breaking news: Get on the list for the fourth shot and Knesset Gives Initial Approval to Connect Illegal Bedouin-Built Structures to Electricity Grid and Kahane on the Parsha by Rabbi Meir Kahane- Parshat VaYigash G-D'S WILL COMES FIRST and Regavim: Defense Minister Gantz is ‘Silver Platter on which State of Palestine is Being Built’ and Jerusalem Approves New Commercial, Hotel and Residential Building Project on Hebron Road
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.
I called on Friday to try to get my appointment for the new booster shot (4th shot). They told me that they weren't ready to make appointments yet, but they put me on the list to call me back on Sunday to make an appointment
For those that have a hard time with numbers, this piece below says it all. Wake up and smell the coffee
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Worldwide there have been about 2.5 million "adverse reactions" reported, many of which will have had nothing to do with the vaccines being administered and many of which are of little consequence as well.
Still that's a big number, right?
There have been 7.6 BILLION doses administered, the vaccines are thus 99.967% of the time completely safe and free of any adverse effect. Or you can say there is some adverse reaction .033% of the time or 3 in ten thousand injections.
The Three Musketeers at the Kotel
Regavim: Defense Minister Gantz is 'Silver Platter on which State of Palestine is Being Built'
The Regavim Movement issued a scathing rebuttal of Defense Minister Benny Gantz's statement on Wednesday comparing the Palestinian Authority's (PA) illegal takeover of land in Judea and Samaria to Israeli land grabs, accusing him of being the "silver platter on which the State of Palestine is being built."
The Silver Platter reference (Mgash Hakessef) is to a well-known Hebrew poem by Natan Alterman (check him out on your NIS 200 bill), published in his Davar newspaper column on December 19, 1947. It describes teen boy and girl who sacrificed their lives in the battle for a Jewish state. Its fifth verse reads:
And the two, silent, Will answer her: We are the silver platter On which the State of the Jews was given to you.
Gantz issued an official written reply to a parliamentary query, submitted by MK Keti Shitrit (Likud), requesting clarification of the Defense Ministry's response to the hostile takeover of the open spaces of Judea and Samaria.
In his response, publicized by Amiel Yarhi, political correspondent for the Kipah news site, the Defense Minister noted "attempts to trespass and to commandeer land in Judea and Samaria by both Palestinians and Israelis."
Gantz pointed to the renewal of the process of approval of construction permits for the Palestinian sector in Area C as the solution to the problem.
Meir Deutsch, Director General of Regavim, stated in response to the letter that "this document indicates that the present Defense Minister is completely clueless regarding the strategic issues involved. This is nothing less than a revisited 'Yom Kippur War-style' implosion for the Defense Ministry."
Deutsch noted in his letter that Gantz's equation was erroneous.
On the one hand, the Palestinian Authority has stated that its primary objective was establishing the Palestinian state in Area C, which is under full Israeli control. This objective is funded by European support in the hundreds of millions of dollars each year and has enabled the PA to pave dozens of kilometers of roads, put up thousands of electricity poles, build hundreds of public structures, schools and religious institutions in illegal outposts, supports agricultural work that has already taken over hundreds of thousands of dunams of Israeli state land, and orchestrate the construction of some 3,500 illegal structures each year.
"The Minister of Defense of the State of Israel compares this enormous, organized, systematic program of annexation to illegal construction in the Jewish sector in Judea and Samaria, the sum total of which amounts to some 3,000 structures all told, in the entire territory," he wrote.
Deutsch added that "the Defense Minister's utter lack of understanding of this matter is an existential threat to the State of Israel. It is clear to us that this disgraceful document, which reflects a dangerous and reckless approach to the problem, will be a key piece of evidence in the official hearings of the Commission of Inquiry, the updated version of the Agranat Commission [a National Commission of Inquiry set up to investigate failings in the IDF in the prelude to the Yom Kippur War], that will be appointed to investigate and analyze the conceptual failure behind Israel's acquiescence to the conquest of Israeli territory by the Palestinian Authority without a single shot being fired," he said.
Israel has rapidly been losing lands in area C to European Union-funded illegal construction projected executed by the PA.
In 2009, then-prime minister of the PA Salaam Fayyad laid out the Plan for the Creation of the State of Palestine, a methodical program for seizing control of territory in Area C, under full Israeli control as prescribed by the Oslo Accords, to form a broad and viable basis for a Palestinian state, specifically in the areas under Israeli control.
Fayyad's plan essentially bypasses all negotiations or compromises with Israel and creates facts on the ground.
According to data collected by Regavim, in 2009 the number of illegal Arab structures in Area C stood at 29,784, while in 2018 the number surged to 58,435.
The far more worrying statistic is the area covered by illegal Arab construction: In 2009, some 44,538 dunams of land in Area C were being occupied illegally by Arab construction. In 2018, over 78,626 dunams have been overtaken.
While serving as Defense Minister in 2019, Naftali Bennett threatened to demolish any illegal Arab construction in Area C, even if it was funded by the EU.
In response to an inquiry on the issue by TPS, a senior official in the Defense Ministry stated that the "phenomenon of illegal Palestinian construction in Area C is one of the main issues that Defense Minister Bennett is dealing with, and he has already begun to work to eradicate the phenomenon."
At his meeting with EU ambassadors in December 2019, Bennet told the ambassadors that "illegal construction in their financing would be destroyed by Israel" and made it clear that "his position on the issue was unequivocal."
However, he has failed to act on his pledges.
Kahane on the Parsha Rabbi Meir Kahane- Parshat VaYigash
G-D'S WILL COMES FIRST
And Joseph made ready his chariot and went up to meet Israel, his father, in Goshen...and he fell on his neck and wept" (Genesis 46:29). "But Jacob did not fall on Joseph's neck and did not kiss him, for our Rabbis said that he was saying the Shema..." (Rashi).
Happiness is that which every man seeks. Indeed, in our times, it is happiness and the search for it- in material and physical terms- that have become the very purpose of life. Books are written about happiness and peace of mind and the masses devour them, searching for the Holy Grail in the shallowness that is fit only for McCall's or Cosmopolitan. The psychiatrists' couches groan beneath their weight; the airlines and drug peddlers both sell their trips; the race is on and non-stop, and not to the swift or the slow is the trophy awarded. The sadness is that happiness is not the essence of life, and how much did the Rabbis know when they said: It would have been better and more pleasant for man had he not been born, but since he was, let him search his deeds. Life is a series of difficulties and sadnesses, broken by occasional rays of light that pass.
Happiness is a wonderful thing, and what a life it would be if we could abolish tears and fears, worries and tribulations. But not for this was a man made, and if he persists in making it his raison d'etre, he is guaranteed misery. Man is not an island unto himself nor is his entry into this world like some sudden underwater eruption that thrusts a piece of land into the wide ocean. His is a deliberate and planned and reasoned birth. He came into this world to do good. And that which is "good" is defined for him, not subject to the independent and anarchistic commentaries of his own mind or breed. For the Jew there is the Halacha that shapes, molds, guides, and drives him to sanctity and spiritual holiness. It is for him a guideline and a compass; it gives him ritual and gives him concepts, and DEFINES HIS EMOTIONS, TOO.
Joseph was a boy of 17 when he left his father's home. For years Jacob thought he was dead, devoured by a wild beast. For years he mourned and refused to be comforted. "Nay, for I will go down to the grave mourning for my son" (Genesis 37:35). And suddenly he hears the incredible words: "Joseph is yet alive" and- wonder of wonders- "he is ruler over all the Land of Egypt!" (ibid. 45:26). Jacob cannot believe it; the joy is too much and he finally cries out: "It is enough! My son Joseph still lives! I will go and see him before I die!" (ibid. 45:28). And he does. He takes his family and goes down to Egypt. See the old man, the man grown aged and white from a life of sadness and tragedy. How he counts every moment; how he impatiently looks towards the south to see the first glimpse of the royal caravan! How he savors the moment when he can hold his son Joseph in his arms and kiss him! And then- at last- finally- the moment arrives, and Joseph rushes to his father's arms and embraces him and kisses him. and Jacob?
"But Jacob did not fall on Joseph's neck and did not kiss him for he was saying the Shema..." What greatness lies in a man who can take his deepest-felt emotions and discipline them to the Halacha and say: Wait! Wait, though I burst from impatience; wait, though my every limb cries out for release. Wait: I am in the midst of accepting upon myself the yoke of heaven, of recognizing the L-rd as one, and this is why I was created. Wait, my Joseph, wait, for though I love you more than all, this is my G-d.
Let us understand what happiness and rejoicing in the Law means to a Jew. To begin with, it is a COMMANDMENT. Can one command an emotion? Can one "say", be happy, rejoice, it is commanded? Apparently yes. Apparently, the purpose of Torah is to elevate man to holiness and sanctification that he can make his very emotions and feelings cry out: "Who is like You, my G-d!" Yes, the Torah can tell a Jew who has lost a beloved one not to mourn on the Sabbath, though his heart is breaking. It can tell a Jew to stand over the open grave of a parent or a son and say the words of the Kaddish: "May His great Name be exalted and magnified..." Yes, the Torah can tell a person who seeks joy: No, not now. There is no commandment to be sad. There is no law that declares that man must be miserable. This is not Judaism. But we are told that there is something greater than happiness and joy. It is the climb and the reaching up to holiness and sanctification, to beauty and dedication, the smashing of the ego and the greed and the selfishness and the "I." One should strive to be happy, of course. And if one can be both good and happy- how fortunate he is. But in the end, life is not a vessel for joy. It is a corridor in which one prepares his soul. Be happy with the Torah though your own soul is in agony. It is a command and, slowly, it proves to be a balm for the wounds that ache. The Jewish Press, 1977
Knesset Gives Initial Approval to Connect Illegal Bedouin-Built Structures to Electricity Grid
Photo Credit: Kobi Richter/TPS
The Knesset Plenum passed on Monday night in a preliminary reading a proposed amendment to the Electricity Law, which seeks to connect tens of thousands of illegal Bedouin-built structures in the Negev to the national electricity grid, despite their lack of permits and building plans.
The bill, part of the coalition agreement between Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and the Islamist Ra'am party, passed with 61 in favor and 48 against.
The law will now pass for further preparation in the Interior Committee, and then for its second and third readings.
The bill proposes that the Minister of the Interior be entitled to stipulate in an order that "it will be possible to connect a residential building located in a certain area, defined in the order, to electricity, water or telephone even without the existence of a building permit and completion certificate for that building."
The conditions for issuing the order are a plan was submitted by one of the parties listed in the bill, that the structure for which the connection was requested was established by January 1, 2018, and no construction was added to them after that date.
The explanatory notes to the proposal claim that "in many localities in Israel, mostly Arab localities, the residents suffered for years from lack of planning, and therefore residents of these localities were unable to issue building permits and connect to electricity, water or telephone. In most cases, the same residents ended up connecting to electricity, water, or telephone illegally."
"This extortionate bill endangers the rule of law and national planning and construction policy. The legislative amendment proposed by the Raam Party to Israel's Electricity Law seeks to connect not only existing illegal structures but any and all illegal structures that will be built in the future. It is clear that approval of this law will result in a surge in illegal construction."
The bill initiator, Member of Knesset Walid Tahan asserted that it "will do justice to tens of thousands of citizens who were forced to build their homes without permits because it was simply impossible to issue permits."
Opposing the bill, MK Bezalel Smotrich stated that "this is a program that encourages chaos, gives a boost to all construction criminals in the Arab sector who are intentionally building illegally and will continue to build illegally to take over land, and not to pay property taxes. This is the law of anarchy and criminality and the surrender of [Minister of Interior] Ayelet Shaked and this government to the supporters of anti-Zionist terrorism in the Islamic movement."
MK Aiman Uda, of the Joint List, said the bill would address only 3% of the problem.
The Regavim organization, which combats illegal takeover of state lands, explained that the existing ban on connecting structures erected without a permit to the electricity grid is "one of the state's most effective tools against the national epidemic of illegal construction."
Meir Deutsch, Director General of Regavim, differentiated between different categories of structures, noting that there is a certain degree of logic in approving electrical connections for structures for which the government intends to approve permits – but "not a wholesale whitewashing of illegal construction."
"Structures that lack permits should meet basic criteria; otherwise, chaos will ensue and the government will lose its last remaining tool for preventing illegal construction and avoiding the complete breakdown of planning and land-use policy," he said.
Jerusalem Approves New Commercial, Hotel and Residential Building Project on Hebron Road
The Jerusalem Municipality, through the local planning and construction committee, approved a new plan for commerce, hotels and housing on Hebron Road.
The new project comes as the entire face of Jerusalem is changing. New high rise buildings have been going up everywhere in the last few years and new routes for the city's light rail are being developed. A visitor who has not seen the city in many years would likely not recognize it.
The biggest example of these changes is the entrance to the city, where the main highway from Tel Aviv meets Jerusalem. First, there was the Chords Bridge located right there which was built for the light rail trains to pass over street traffic.
Now, an entire complex of more than a dozen new buildings is going up between Jerusalem's Central Bus Station and its National Convention center, as well as in the area alongside it. What was once unthinkable for the city, high rise office buildings will soon characterize the entire area of the entranceway to the city, right where the train station for the new line to Tel Aviv was opened just a few years ago.
But this new construction is not limited to this area. What were once long ago the city's outer neighborhoods are transforming into an extension of the center of town, characterized by office spaces and commercial centers. And this is true for the length of Hebron Road as it heads southward away from the area near the Old City of Jerusalem.
The area to be developed sits on roughly a quarter of an acre of space in the Arnona neighborhood at the intersection of Hebron and Zvi Neumann Roads, on land void of construction.
The plan is for the construction of an 18-story building with 80 housing units, of which 47 will be reserved for long-term rentals for 15 years and 17 hotel rooms.
There will also be a commercial facade along Hebron Road with about 750 square meters of office space and about 200 square meters of public space built for welfare services, such as 2 intake apartments for new immigrants, apartments for the disabled, and a center for counseling services for citizens.
The plan was submitted in accordance with the construction and development policy along the light rail routes.
This is one of a series of projects being promoted for Hebron Road. The new projects will cross the future blue line of the light rail and has the goal of turning the Hebron Road into an urban boulevard with mixed residential, commercial, hotel and office use.
The planning and construction committee also heard objections to the plan and decided that what was submitted complied with the policy regarding overcrowding along light rail axes, and recommended that the district committee approve the plan.
Mayor of Jerusalem Moshe Lion said, "Jerusalem is developing, as is the need to expand the supply of apartments, public buildings and the cultivation of public spaces."
"The construction plans on the Hebron Road promote this and form part of the municipal policy to address the young people and the development of the city," he added and promised, "we will continue to do our best for the residents of Jerusalem."