The Bullet that DOESN’T Matter By Stephen M. Flatow and First Time in 20 Years: Euro & Dollar Dead Even and Both Are Worth 3.48 Shekel and The world map you are used to seeing is wrong, Africa is much bigger than displayed on the world map and the US and Russia are smaller and Hebron: An Animated Short History and Rabbi Wein on Modern values with parsha Pincus
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.
First Time in 20 Years: Euro & Dollar Dead Even and Both Are Worth 3.48 Shekel
On Tuesday morning I plugged 1 Euro into Google's online calculated and received this result:
For the first time in 20 years, the exchange rate between the euro and the US dollar is dead even. And this means that in Israel, those two coins are worth NIS 3.48.
Like many things these days, the Euro's fall happened courtesy of President Vladimir Putin, in response to fears of recession resulting from high inflation and the grim future of energy supplies in winter.
The European Union normally receives about 40% of its gas from the Russian pipelines, and now is trying to reduce its dependence on Russian oil and gas. Meanwhile, Russia has shut down its supplies for ten days for scheduled maintenance, which no one is sure will end in ten days. Russia has also cut back gas supplies to some EU countries by 60%.
According to Reuters, the US dollar is gaining based on expectations that the Fed will continue to aggressively raise rates as it tackles soaring inflation.
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.
The Bullet that DOESN'T Matter By Stephen M. Flatow
The bullet that the Palestinian Authority handed over to U.S. officials may or may not have been the one that killed Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh in Jenin earlier this year.
The bullet may or have been too damaged to determine conclusively whose gun it came from.
The bullet may or may not have been fired by an Israeli soldier.
All that matters is who bears responsibility—legal and moral responsibility—for Akleh's death. And it has been indisputably clear from day one who the guilty parties are: the Palestinian Arab terrorists who initiated the gun battle that resulted in her death, and the Palestinian Authority that coddles and shelters those terrorists.
Remember these facts: Jenin has been governed solely by the P.A. since 1995. There are no Israeli settlers there. No Israeli governor. No Israeli military administration. The only reason Israeli troops briefly entered Jenin on that fatal day was because they were chasing terrorists the P.A. had refused to arrest.
In blatant violation of the Oslo accords, the P.A. allows terrorist cells from Hamas, Fatah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (the gang that murdered my daughter, Alisa) to operate freely in Jenin.
According to the Oslo agreement, the P.A. is required to disband all terrorist groups, seize their weapons and outlaw them—in other words, to put them out of business. But they never did it.
The P.A. never outlawed terrorist groups. It has never made a serious effort to arrest their members or confiscate their weapons in Jenin or anywhere else. It could crush the terrorist groups if it wanted to: The P.A. has one of the largest per-capita security forces in the world. But it just doesn't want to. It treats terrorists in Jenin and other areas under its control like brothers, not enemies.
Even sources that are unsympathetic to Israel occasionally admit that terrorists roam free in P.A. cities. On March 23, 2014, for example, The New York Times reported that Israeli troops were forced to enter the Jenin refugee camp in pursuit of terrorists because although Jenin is under the "full control" of the P.A., "the Palestinian [security forces] did not generally operate in refugee camps."
That is why those Israeli soldiers went into Jenin; the P.A., by its deliberation policy of inaction, forced them to do it. The Israelis could not halt their pursuit when the fleeing terrorists reached Jenin; that would have left the terrorists free to murder more Jewish women and children. The Israeli soldiers had to chase them. It was their moral and legal obligation, even if it meant briefly entering a P.A.-run city.
That makes the P.A. partly responsible for the death of Shireen Abu Akleh.
The terrorists were the ones who were directly responsible for causing the specific circumstances that led to her death. When confronted by Israeli soldiers, they could have surrendered.
It's just like when a criminal is confronted by police officers in the United States. The criminal has a choice. He or she can surrender peacefully, or they can start shooting. If an innocent bystander is killed in the shooting—whether the fatal bullet is fired by the criminal or the police—it is the criminal who caused it. The police would not have shot their guns if the criminal had peacefully surrendered.
Likewise in Jenin. The only reason Israelis were shooting was because the terrorists were shooting at them. Obviously, the Israelis weren't aiming their guns at reporters in the vicinity. Israeli soldiers have never deliberately shot at journalists.
If the particular bullet that killed Abu Akleh came from a Palestinian terrorist's gun, then the terrorists are to blame. And if the bullet came from Israeli soldiers who were responding to the terrorists' gunfire, then the terrorists are to blame. Either way, the origin of the much-ballyhooed bullet really doesn't matter at all.
Like most of us, and since I was in school I'm used to this world map.
As you can see, Russia is wider than the whole of Africa. Even Greenland is almost the same size as Africa on this map. I forgot that this map is a two-dimensional representation of a sphere (which is three-dimensional), and when you do that, the map becomes imperfect.
So, one day a coworker shared a website showing the original sizes from different countries ( link below).
I was stunned: In fact, Russia is much smaller than the plains of Africa.
Moreover, this is the true size of the United States when compared to Africa.
This week's Torah portion warns us not to be swept away by current culture, media, and societal popularity, and by those who are quick to condemn others for their thoughts and actions.
When Pinchas killed Zimri and his consort, he was roundly criticized and threatened by those in Jewish society because of this act of zealotry. When this act occurred, society considered it to be wrong, harmful, and worthy of criticism. Later, in the full light and perspective of the time, this act was not only acceptable, but the obvious path necessary, and, in fact, heroic.
Pinchas' critics mentioned the fact that his own pedigree was uncertain, since, although he was the grandson of Aaron, he was also a product of a woman who was of Midianite origin. Moshe himself was married to a daughter of Yitro the high priest of Midian and did nothing. By what right, then, did Pinchas take it upon himself to commit this double killing?
Implicit in this is the accusation as to who made him the zealot, the enforcer, so to speak, of God's will. This was a usurpation of power and status that he arrogated to himself. In short, Pinchas was not to be seen as a hero or as a holy person. But, rather, he was considered the impetuous upstart that committed a double killing without proper sanction or legality. The Torah records that heaven itself intervened to set the record straight, and to clearly support and justify the behavior and actions of Pinchas.
There are so many times in history that this story has repeated itself, albeit always under different circumstances. History turns temporary heroes, beloved in their time, into eternal villains when judged by later historical facts and occurrences. History can also rehabilitate people and ideas that were once scorned, held up to ridicule and contempt, and show how the original judgment, event or person was faulty.
There have been many movements and personalities in the history of the Jewish people who achieved temporary fame and popularity, but who are completely forgotten in the long view that history grants us. And many who were criticized, called obstructionists and out of touch with society, have proven to be prescient and heroic in retrospect.
We are always quick to judge, especially when we have our own preconceived ideas as to what is or what should be. We can look back and see the mistakes of previous generations, of physical and spiritual tragedy within the Jewish world. Yet, somehow, we also continue today to allow our own personal biases to affect our judgment of events, leaders, and ideas. This is one of the most fundamental ideas we can learn from this week's reading. It is especially relevant to our current society and its challenges. Shabbat shalom