President Truman’s Recognition Of Israel By Rabbi Hanoch Teller and Meet the Retirees Who Live on Cruise Ships and New train line from Modiin to Jerusalem to deliver 22-minute journey time and Orthodox women sue airlines after being grounded on flight home to New YorkBy Julia Gergely
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.
The Three are Rabbi Yehuda Glick, famous temple mount activist, and former Israel Mk, and then Robert Weinger, the world's greatest shofar blower and seller of Shofars, and myself after we had gone to the 12 gates of the Temple Mount in 2020 to blow the shofar to ask G-d to heal the world from the Pandemic. It was a highlight to my experience in living in Israel and I put it on my blog each day to remember.
The articles that I include each day are those that I find interesting, so I feel you will find them interesting as well. I don't always agree with all the points of each article but found them interesting or important to share with you, my readers, and friends. It is cathartic for me to share my thoughts and frustrations with you about life in general and in Israel. As a Rabbi, I try to teach and share the Torah of the G-d of Israel as a modern Orthodox Rabbi. I never intend to offend anyone but sometimes people are offended and I apologize in advance for any mistakes. The most important psychological principle I have learned is that once someone's mind is made up, they don't want to be bothered with the facts, so, like Rabbi Akiva, I drip water (Torah is compared to water) on their made-up minds and hope that some of what I have share sinks in. Love Rabbi Yehuda Lave.
New train line from Modiin to Jerusalem to deliver 22-minute journey time
Added connection to run every weekday including Friday and on Saturday evenings, starting with one service an hour
The line will run from Modiin-Maccabim-Reut every weekday including Fridays and on Saturday evenings, starting with one service an hour, with plans to increase to two services per hour in each direction.
The project connects Modiin to the high-speed line to Jerusalem and has involved the construction of 5.2 kilometers (3.2 miles) of electrified track, three bridges and a 650-meter-long tunnel. Modiin station has been expanded and accessibility arrangments improved to encourage commuters to make use of the new connection.
State of Jerusalem: The Maqdasyin
In addition, starting April 1, the electric line between Jerusalem and Herzliya will begin to operate on Fridays, with one train an hour in each direction. Services will be expanded and extended on the line between Modiin and Tel Aviv, including running trains on Saturday evenings.
Minister of Transportation Merav Michaeli said that her office was committed to speeding up projects for further electrification of tracks and enhancements to public transport services.
The expansion of services is designed to encourage greater use of public transport in place of private vehicles, according to the announcement.
Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli rides the new train line between Jerusalem and Modiin, on March 31, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Leon described Thursday's inauguration as part of a "real social and environmental revolution" that is working to connect intercity trains with city-wide light rail services and higher frequency bus routes.
Meanwhile, delays plaguing the construction of Tel Aviv's highly anticipated light rail will push its opening into the middle of next year at the earliest, according to NTA Metropolitan Mass Transit System, the government company developing Tel Aviv's mass transportation network.
The delay comes after officials last year pushed the opening time from August 2022 to November 2022.
The logjam is being caused by both delays in completing some stations and problems with the signaling system. The system controls the movement and timing of trains throughout the network, consisting of 34 kilometers (21 miles) of track and 34 stations.
The Red Line, which will run from Petah Tikva to southern Bat Yam via Tel Aviv, is the first of three planned light rail lines, which will include underground sections, along with the proposed addition of three subway lines.
The system is expected to significantly ease traffic congestion in Israel's financial and cultural heart, which has few public transportation options beyond buses, shared taxi vans, and an intercity commuter rail.
When completed, the light rail and subway network will cover the entire Tel Aviv metro area with 240 kilometers (149 miles) of track and hundreds of stations, linking Ra'anana and Kfar Saba north of the city, to Rishon Lezion and Rehovot to its south, as well as Lod, Ramle, Ben Gurion Airport and everywhere in between.
The six planned lines are slated to be completed sometime in the next decade at a cost of NIS 18 billion and counting. It is Israel's largest-ever infrastructure project.
Harry Truman abruptly found himself president after FDR's sudden death on April 12, 1945. His ten years in the Senate had seasoned him to domestic issues, yet foreign policy was not, and would never be, his strong suit. Still, the one issue that he felt he could handle by himself was the vexing situation of the Jews after the Holocaust and the future of Palestine.
The President was ambitious in this assessment. Truman's daughter, Margaret, claimed that the future of Palestine was the most difficult dilemma of her father's entire administration. This is a remarkable comment about a president who was always aware of the fact that he was not elected, who had to end WWII, put his country back on peacetime footing, deal with the Soviet Union and the Cold War, help reconstruct Europe, and go to war in Korea.
Eight days after Truman became president, he was visited by a Zionist delegation headed by Rabbi Steven S. Wise. The President told his guests that he supported the Zionist goals, but he was very concerned about opposition from the State Department. The Secretary of State, George C. Marshall, whom Truman respected very much, was adamant that the matter of the Jews and of Palestine should be abandoned. If it weren't, it would require the involvement of hundreds of thousands of American troops, cost America a fortune, and undoubtedly cause WWIII.
Truman's fallback plan, without totally stepping all over his State Department, was to get 100,000 Jews (the markedly lower-than-accurate number that he believed were languishing in the DP camps) into Palestine.
Regardless, the plan was doomed, for the British who controlled Palestine would not allow it. The British were sticking to their White Paper which very seriously limited the number of Jews that could immigrate and forbade the sale of land to Jews.
On May 14, 1948, Harry Truman surprised the world and caused pandemonium in the UN by being the first one to recognize the new State of Israel. Right after he did this, Truman called his advisor on Jewish affairs, David Niles, and said, "I am telling you before anyone else, as I know how much this will mean to you."
Niles, who had also served in the same position under FDR, later claimed that had FDR lived and Truman not succeeded him, Israel would not exist. No one can say for sure what FDR would have done, but there is room for confusion as he had made conflicting statements and promises to both Arabs and Jews, telling them both what they wanted to hear. In fact, FDR, the quintessential politician, had made so many conflicting comments about Palestine, it was not even clear to those closest to him as to where he stood on the matter at the time of his death.
There are many reasons historians propose as to why Truman recognized Israel. We shall discuss two of them.
One explanation is humanitarian and moral. This is the reason Truman would have given, and in his memoirs he wrote that his "chief motivation was to find a peaceful solution to a world trouble spot based on the desire to see promises kept and human misery relieved." By "promises kept" he was referring to the 1917 Balfour Declaration which pledged a national home for the Jews in Palestine, later incorporated into the United Nations mandate granted to the British.
Ever since Woodrow Wilson, every single president had given their support to what FDR called "the noble ideal of giving the Jews a homeland in Palestine." The platforms of both the Democratic and Republican parties in 1944 supported a Jewish homeland in Palestine. As far as "human misery," Truman would have pointed not just to the Holocaust, but to the appalling conditions of the survivors ailing in the DP camps.
A report by Earl Harrison, a former commissioner on immigration and then the dean of the University of Pennsylvania law school, wrote in an official report that the conditions in the DP camps were not all that different than the conditions of the Nazi camps. He wrote about the refugees' hideous pajamas, starvation rations, and general total neglect. Here is a direct quotation form Harrison's report: "As matters now stand, we appear to be treating the Jews as the Nazis treated them except that we do not exterminate them. They are in concentration camps in large numbers under our military guard instead of SS troops. One is led to wonder whether the German people, seeing this, are not supposing that we are following or at least condoning Nazi policy."
Truman said that reading Harrison's report made him sick and he vowed that he was going to do something about it.
The second theory about Truman's support for a Jewish state is that it was purely political. He sought Jewish votes and contributions. This was the theory advanced by the State Department, the British Foreign Office, and several political scientists and revisionist historians. Truman contributed to this theory by complaining about the pressure put upon him, especially by New York politicians who had a large Jewish constituency.
There was a strong Jewish constituency in the Democratic party, and American Jews were beside themselves with grief over the revelations of the Holocaust and how they had been so complacent as one third of their people were murdered. Up until then, Zionism had only interested Europeans. The Jewish establishment in America had deemed the establishment of a Jewish state unnecessary and possibly even dangerous, as it might threaten their status as Americans and even make them suspect of having dual loyalties.
But the destruction of European Jewry meant that American Jewry was the largest and wealthiest Jewish community, and this was a grave responsibility. The fact that the Western democracies would not allow Jews in during the war and even after it strengthened the resolve of American Jewry to act on behalf of the Zionist argument that Jews would only be safe when they had their own country and could defend themselves.
This column was aided by a lecture I heard from Dr. Allis Radosh.
Meet the Retirees Who Live on Cruise Ships
People ask, 'don't you get bored at sea?'" says Janice Yetke, 77. "I say, are you kidding me?"
When Jeff Farschman, 72, first retired from his role as vice president at Lockheed Martin Services in 2004, he planned on spending his winters as a snowbird enjoying the warm temperatures of the Caribbean. But that all changed when Hurricane Ivan wreaked havoc on Grand Cayman, his island of choice, in September of that same year—so he made what would become a life-changing pivot. Since he'd already booked himself on a week-long cruise to Bermuda, Farschman decided to extend his travels to include six back-to-back cruises (four to Bermuda and two to the Caribbean) culminating as a 47-day trip. This extensive journey became the impetus for how he now spends his retirement: living seven-to-eight months annually aboard Holland America Line cruise ships.It turns out Farschman is just one of dozens of retired (and retirement-age) people spending a bulk of their time living at sea. There are plenty of ways to make it happen, from combining stand-alone itineraries to purchasing a unit on a residential cruise ship. "People ask, 'don't you get bored at sea?'" says Janice Yetke, 77, a (semi) retired travel agent who lives four months a year aboard a ship. "I say, are you kidding me? Let me show you a daily program. There's so much to do if you want to do it."
Yetke and her husband, Richard, 80, have found Holland America Line's Grand World Voyage—an annual cruise that circumnavigates the globe for up to 128 days—to be the perfect way to escape Chicago's harsh winters while seeing the world. "You have a room on the ship, and that's your home," says Yetke. "The staff feeds you, provides entertainment, and cleans your room twice a day. It all meets our needs at this stage in life, and of course we make friends—because the same people come back year after year." The Yetke's have already taken Holland America Line's Grand World Voyage 12 times, and they're tentatively booked on the 2023 voyage aboard Holland America's 1,917 passenger MS Zuiderdam. A big selling point for Yetke on the company's world cruises: They typically sail round-trip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. "I don't want to fly halfway around the world to get on a cruise ship," she says. "Florida is easy."
While Sydney-based wellness CEO Tony de Leede, 69, could retire, he's not yet ready. Instead, de Leede has found a way to run his various businesses while still living a portion of his life at sea. For eight years, de Leede owned apartments aboard The World, a private 165-residence cruise ship that launched in 2002. During that time, he spent three-to-five months aboard annually. "The concept of combining a nice environment to work from and then going to sleep in Veniceand waking up in Croatia," says de Leede, "It's great."
In fact, one of de Leede's fondest memories comes from his time aboard The World, when he was in the midst of balancing his work/sea life. "I was on the phone with one of my companies back in Australia," says de Leede, "and the captain came over the intercom and invited everyone to come and have a swim in the Arctic circle." De Leede ended his call, and minutes later he was jumping into the sea's frigid waters. "Now I can say that I've swum in the Arctic Circle," he says. "There aren't too many people who can say that!"
De Leede recently purchased a two-bedroom space aboard Storylines' MV Narrative, a larger residential ship set to launch in 2024 with 547 fully-furnished, one-to-four-bedroom apartments (most with balconies) and 20 dining options, including a Greek tavern and an oyster bar. The ship is also equipped with 24-hour fitness and wellness facilities, a lap pool, a dedicated co-working space, and an onboard bowling alley. But there's one real game changer, according to de Leede: "They're the first residential ship to allow pets on board."
Living aboard a cruise ship doesn't come cheap. For example, fully furnished residences aboard the MV Narrative cost between $1 million and $8 million, and there are a limited number of 12- and 24-year leases available, which start at $400K. In addition, there are the monthly homeowner's association-style fees, which vary according to the size of a residence and cover everything from ship fuel to housekeeping, as well as all standard food and drink. In essence, it's a fee similar to the kind of packages that you often pre-pay for on a typical cruise ship.
In Farschman's case, his costs depend on the types of cruises that he's taking that year (for example, whether it's one Grand Voyage or back-to-back Caribbean cruises), if he decides to book independent tours at specific ports, and if he's paying for a windowless inside cabin or splurging on a waterside balcony room. "There are so many variables," he says, "but I probably average $200 to $300 a day including taxes for Grand Voyages and say, $150 to $200 a day for more traditional cruises." Like most other cruisers who spent a good chunk of their year at sea, he keeps a stationary home to be close to friends and family.
By booking longer trips rather than purchasing residences outright, world cruises still allow passengers like the Yetke's to settle in, make friends, and travel the globe on a line they feel comfortable with. "Longer cruises also provide more time for travelers to slow down and immerse themselves in a destination," says Carol Cabezas, president of the luxury cruise company, Azamara. In fact, Azamara will launch its first-ever five-month world voyage in 2024: a 155-day circumnavigation of the globe that will include iconic destinations such as India's Taj Mahal and the Great Wall of China.
Many world cruises are also broken up into smaller segments, so that friends or family members can join for a dedicated portion, say cruising the Panama Canal or a tour of the South Pacific. But for cruise-enthusiasts like de Leede and Farshman, the itinerary of a ship is often secondary—they simply love life on the water.
To date, Farschman has sailed on 165 cruises resulting in over 3500 days at sea, the bulk of which has been on Holland America Line. It's the company's large ship size, wonderful food, and excellent service that keeps him coming back, not to mention the camaraderie. He even travels consistently with two sisters he met aboard a Grand World Voyage in 2014. "My family is generally supportive of my onboard lifestyle," he says. "It makes the time that we spend together even more special. As for my friends, the majority of them are aboard these ships."
Orthodox women sue airlines after being grounded on flight home to New York
The group of young women and their chaperones were prevented from boarding a flight traveling from Amsterdam to New York allegedly for eating outside of designated mealtimes — a violation of the airlines' COVID-19 protocols.
However, in a discrimination suit filed Tuesday against Delta Air Lines and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, the plaintiffs said they only removed their masks to eat the kosher food they had brought themselves, and that airline personnel never informed them that they were not adhering to the mask requirements.
The complaint alleges that no other passengers were punished for removing their masks or eating their own food, and the women were singled out "solely for the purpose of unlawfully harassing plaintiffs because of their Jewish race, ethnicity, and/or religion."
The 19 plaintiffs, all from New York, were part of a tour group of 54 young Hasidic Jewish women and their chaperones. They had spent two weeks touring Jewish heritage sites in Ukraine, Hungary and Poland.
On Thursday, Aug. 5, the women were supposed to fly back to New York from Kyiv via Amsterdam. According to the complaint, a flight attendant on the first leg told a group leader that some of the women were violating Covid-19 security protocols by removing their masks to eat outside of mealtimes but assured her it was just a warning.
When the group attempted to board their next flight in Amsterdam, 19 of them were not allowed to board. Two of the barred passengers had not even been on the first flight from Kyiv to Amsterdam, the suit alleges. The plaintiffs spent the night in the airport.
The suit also alleges that the chaperones were told they would be arrested if they did not board the second flight without their charges.
The 19 travelers were also removed from a flight the next day after they attempted to switch seats with other, non-Jewish passengers in for those passengers to sit together. Other passengers who also switched seats were not removed from the plane, the complaint alleges.
In the end, the group took a train to Antwerp, Belgium — home to a sizable Orthodox Jewish community — where they spent Shabbat. They flew from Brussels to New Jersey on Sunday, August 8.
In a statement to Business Insider, Delta did not comment on the pending litigation, but said "compliance with flight crew member instructions for the safety and well-being of everyone is paramount. Delta also has zero-tolerance for discrimination in any form in all aspects of our business."