Earliest depictions of biblical Deborah, Yael found at 5th-century Galilee synagogue and The Portion of Lech Lecha-When Is It Better to Be Childless? and ‘No confidence I’m fulfilling my roles’: Archival trove reveals Ben-Gurion anxieties and Lod: Arab rioters attack and injure students at Bnei Akiva branch and Rabbi Shwartz Jokes and That 'pintele' Yid- There is a question regarding certain Western immigrants to Israel that can have only one answer. by Shalom Pollack shout out to my sister on her Birthday
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.
Arab rioters on Tuesday evening broke into the Bnei Akiva branch in Lod and attacked the students with rocks.
According to reports from the scene, at least two teens were injured, including one who suffered light injury to his head and was taken to hospital. A second teen with light injuries received treatment at the scene.
The two filed a complaint with the police over the attack.
Otzma Yehudit chairman MK Itamar Ben Gvir responded to the incident and said, "The police must deal with terrorists with determination and immediately crush them. Every moment that passes harms deterrence and increases the risk of further terrorist incidents."
"Only a heavy hand, determination and strength, against terrorism, are able to restore deterrence and restore the sense of security to the residents," added Ben Gvir.
The Honenu legal aid organization said, "We call on the police to get their hands on the rioters, it is inconceivable that students in a branch of a youth movement in the center of the country will be attacked, injured, and the rioters will walk around freely. The Israel Police must put the rioters behind bars tonight."
The Three Musketeers at the Kotel
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 Portion of Lech Lecha
When Is It Better to Be Childless?
After Abram frees his nephew Lot from captivity, G-d reveals Himself to Abram and says: "Do not fear, Abram. I am your shield. Your reward is exceedingly great (Genesis 15;1)". It appears that Abram has some doubts with regards to G-d's promise. "And I am childless…Behold You have given me no seed (Genesis 15;2-3)".
The commentaries have a hard time explaining Abram's doubting the Almighty's promise with regards to children. The Midrash in Bereisheet Raba states that Abram doesn't doubt G-d's promise but rather says that if You grant me children who will not observe the Torah then it is better that I remain childless.
This explanation is alluded to in the addition to the letter "ayin" in the word "ariri" (childless) in which part points upwards and part points downwards, as if to say that if the Torah which comes from above is observed below then I will not be childless, but if not- better that I remain childless. (based on Sefer Harokeiach)
That 'pintele' Yid
There is a question regarding certain Western immigrants to Israel that can have only one answer. Op-ed.
I would like someone to write a book that answers a question that I have been struggling with for a long time.
In elections Israelis are presented with two distinct political/cultural/religious camps to choose from. Yair Lapid calls it "the future vs the past."
In broad terms, one camp represents uncompromising and proud Jewish identity, the centrality of the land of Israel. and "traditional (Jewish) family values.''
The other camp is represented by mostly secular and anti-religious Jews and their anti-Israel Arab allies whose worldview is not affected by a Jewish past.
I understand the anti-Israel Arabs. I also understand Jews who have become estranged from their faith and people for lack of Jewish education. Their Jewish identity has weakened and has been replaced with the "progressive" post-Zionist /Jewish narrative which surrounds them.
What I would like to understand is how there are Western Jews who made Israel their home and plan to vote for the post-Jewish camp.
I am especially curious about those liberal religious, educated Western Jews who will vote Left. After all, they made the decision to leave the "progressive," assimilationist West for something far different - a particularist Jewish state and a specifically Jewish land.
Having decided to immigrate to the (embattled) Jewish land, they still feel a need to "understand" the enemy who claims that very land. These Western "Olim" feel disdain for other Jews who unapologetically and uncompromisingly love and defend the land.
The latter are impatiently and snobbishly scorned as racists. Arabs, however, in their view, must be approached with patience and conciliation in the hope that they change their attitude towards Jews and the Jewish state.
This situation is not unique to Jews in Israel.
The well known psychological malaise of Jews in the West was best witnessed in the tragic history of Jews in Germany; apologizing for their enemies and despising those who are "too Jewish." Until it was too late.
It is not a new phenomenon. It is natural spiritual damage incurred in a people who for too long were detached from their land and history and made to feel like unwanted guests.
The same torn souls brought the Exile psychosis to the "New World" and its self-destructiveness descends towards the oblivion of the Jewish community before our eyes.
The question is, why would Jews who identify with "progressiveness," multiculturalism, cosmopolitanism et al, move to the most particularist country in the world?
I asked one of them why some Jews from the West identify with the Left in Israel. He said that he was "raised on Jefferson and Lincoln."
I asked him to explain. He said something about "uniting and understanding".and asked that we not discuss politics. That is about as far as I get when I dare ask.
I don't think they made "Aliyah" to consciously remake their adopted Jewish state and reproduce the "Progressive" Jewish ghetto from whence they came.
Why did they make Aliyah?
I think that these people remain confused Jews in the Jewish homeland as others were in Germany and the New World.
On the one hand they are not able to relinquish their progressive identity and on the other, the "Jewish spark" within them draws them to the ancestral homeland and their people even as this spark is now gone in most of world Jewry.
Perhaps it can be compared to the inner instinct directing migrating birds. The "pintele Yid" calls out from within their souls.
People, and the more so Jews, are more complicated than birds and so I am still waiting for the book that will help me understand my fellow immigrants, some of whom attend my shul and who may vote for the post-Jewish and anti-Israel coalition on Election Day.
Founding-PM's diaries, in which he recorded everything he did — from watching theater to resigning — to be exhibited at Sde Boker, along with rest of 'dream come true' archive
The anxieties and day-to-day activities of David Ben-Gurion are revealed in documents set to go on display as part of a new exhibition of archival items belonging to Israel's founding prime minister.
Until now, the archive of Ben-Gurion's papers was not accessible to the public, but a new facility will allow them to be displayed at the Midreshet Ben Gurion research and education complex, next to Sde Boker in the south of the country, the kibbutz to which he retired and where he is buried, the Ynet news site reported.
In 1953, the year before resigning from his first prime ministerial period, Ben-Gurion was asked to complete a questionnaire by activists from Mapai, the predecessor to today's Labor Party.
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"What positions do you hold in the capacity of your job?" Ben-Gurion was asked in the document.
"I am in the positions of prime minister and defense minister. I have no confidence that I am fulfilling them properly," he responded.
"Do these roles constitute a burden on you because of the scope of matters you are responsible for?"
"Not a burden, but rather anxiety," he responded.
Questionnaire filled out by David Ben-Gurion. (Screen grab/Ynet)
The director-general of the Ben-Gurion Heritage Institute said the documents revealed a rarely-seen side of the iconic prime minister.
"The archive is a dream come true. We are constantly discovering more and more, like this questionnaire in which Ben-Gurion wrote that he has no confidence that he is doing things right. And he is considered 'Mr. Security,'" Eitan Donitz, told Ynet.
In a 1958 document, during Ben-Gurion's second term, the prime minister complained to then-finance minister Pinchas Sapir that a ministry official had apparently leaked details about the upcoming talks in the United States.
"I am astonished by the publication made by the Treasury spokesman," Ben-Gurion wrote.
"Why are we announcing what we will demand before it happens? Why brag? Why did they forget the correct warning that a man should not boast of his intentions before proving that he is capable of doing them? Look into the matter and if possible, correct."
While sorting through the documents, archivists uncovered previously-unseen papers and notebooks, including the former prime minister's diaries, embossed with the initials "D.B.G." in English, and revealing his everyday life.
"We discovered Ben-Gurion's original pocket diaries, documents we thought were long lost," said archive director, Dr. Adi Portugez, explaining to Ynet that the former prime minister used the diaries to record everything he did — from praying at synagogue to watching a performance of the "The King and I."
"I submitted my resignation to the president," Ben-Gurion wrote in a diary on December 7, 1953.
A few days later on December 14, he wrote: "I went out to Sde Boker this morning."
An official shows the signed document which proclaims the establishment of the new Jewish state of Israel declared by prime minister David Ben-Gurion, left, in Tel Aviv at midnight on May 14, 1948. (AP Photo)
On the famous date of November 29, 1947, when the United Nations adopted the Partition Plan, Ben-Gurion is known to have written a list of things that would be needed to establish a state: government, capital, army, court, flag, anthem, constitution, currency, ports, police and airports.
However, that particular diary entry has not yet been uncovered by the archivists.
"That hasn't yet been found, but I am optimistic that we will because we have discovered so many other documents," said Portugez.
Separately this week, the Ben-Gurion House in Tel Aviv, a museum in the building that served as a home for the former prime minister, honored Israel's under-19 men's soccer team reaching the country's first-ever European soccer final by releasing ticket stubs and letters Ben-Gurion wrote to teams and the soccer association to congratulate them on their victories.
"One of the first things that Ben-Gurion understood was that the State of Israel needed to be recognized in the world," Ran Levy of Ben-Gurion House told Channel 12 news. "And although he did not like football, after receiving advice from world leaders, he understood the importance of establishing a national football team that would play around the world.
Earliest depictions of biblical Deborah, Yael found at 5th-century Galilee synagogue
Mosaic uncovered by archeologists digging at the Huqoq site depicts Book of Judges story featuring the two heroines defeating the Canaanite commander Sisera
The Israelite commander Barak depicted in the Huqoq synagogue mosaic. (Jim Haberman)
Archeologists working at a dig in the Galilean town of Huqoq have uncovered the earliest known depictions of the biblical heroines Deborah and Yael, in mosaics that are thought to be nearly 1,600 years old.
The find, announced by the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill's Prof. Jodi Magness on Tuesday, joins a growing collection of ancient mosaics discovered over the past decade at the site of a former synagogue in the Lower Galilee.
Magness, a professor of religious studies at the university, has overseen a team of students and archeologists excavating the area for more than 10 years. Excavations at the site restarted earlier this year after they were halted for close to three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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The mosaics depict the biblical story in the Book of Judges when the prophetess Deborah told the Israelite military leader Barak to mobilize the troops of Naftali and Zevulun to fight against Canaan, whose forces were led by Sisera. Barak said he would only go to battle if Deborah joined him, and Deborah in turn prophesied that a woman would defeat Sisera's army. Sisera, fleeing flooding, sought refuge in the tent of Yael, who drove a tent peg through his head, killing him.
"This is the first depiction of this episode and the first time we've seen a depiction of the biblical heroines Deborah and Yael in ancient Jewish art," Magness said in a statement from the university. "Looking at the book of Joshua, chapter 19, we can see how the story might have had special resonance for the Jewish community at Huqoq, as it is described as taking place in the same geographical region — the territory of the tribes of Naftali and Zevulun."
According to the university, the three-part mosaic shows Deborah looking at Barak in the first portion; Sisera seated in the middle section, of which only a small portion is preserved; and Sisera lying dead on the ground after Yael killed him in the bottom section. UNC-Chapel Hill only released photos showing Barak depicted in the mosaic; it is unclear how well preserved the images of the two women are.
Mosaic depicting a fox eating grapes in the ancient synagogue at Huqoq in the Lower Galilee. (Jim Haberman)
The team working at the ancient synagogue, which was built in the late fourth-early fifth century CE, also uncovered a mosaic depicting vases holding sprouting vines with four animals eating clusters of grapes: a hare, a fox, a leopard and a wild boar.
All of the newest mosaics have been removed from the site for conservation, the university said.
The latest discovery joins a long line of ancient mosaic depictions uncovered at the Huqoq synagogue site. In 2019, before the project was frozen due to COVID, archeologists uncovered mosaics of the earliest known artistic rendering of the little-known Exodus story of Elim, and a partially preserved depiction of the Book of Daniel's grotesque four beasts, which signal the end of time.
In 2018, the mosaics unearthed at the late Roman-era synagogue included images of the biblical story of the Israelite spies in Canaan. A year earlier, the earliest known mosaic of Jonah and the whale was uncovered, and in 2016, mosaic floors showing the iconic scenes of Noah's Ark and the parting of the Red Sea were revealed.
Previous Huqoq excavations have led Magness to revise previously held conceptions of the practice of Judaism in the Byzantine era.
"The mosaics decorating the floor of the Huqoq synagogue revolutionize our understanding of Judaism in this period," said Magness in a 2018 press release. "Ancient Jewish art is often thought to be aniconic, or lacking images. But these mosaics, colorful and filled with figured scenes, attest to a rich visual culture as well as to the dynamism and diversity of Judaism in the Late Roman and Byzantine periods."
In 2011, the relatively untouched and well-preserved Byzantine synagogue was discovered under the rubble of the modern Arab village of Yakuk that stood at the site until intentionally torched in 1948. Magness and her team began work there in 2012, and returned each summer until the COVID pandemic forced them to cancel for 2020 and 2021.
Amanda Borschel-Dan contributed to this report.
RABBI SCHWARTZ'S TERRIBLE HURRIED JOKES OF THE WEEK
Rabbi What do you call a South American girl who's always in a hurry? Urgent Tina
There's a special type of people who are always in a hurry. They are called Rushians.
Why was Batman in a hurry? He had to go to the Batroom.
What did the doctor say to the short guy in a hurry? You're going to have to be a little patient
Berel and his wife walked into a dentist's office. Berel quickly says to the dentist, "Doctor, I'm in one heck of a big hurry! I have two buddies sitting out in my car waiting for us to go play golf. So forget about the anesthetic and just pull the tooth and be done with it. I don't have time to wait for the anesthetic to work!"
The dentist thought to himself, "My goodness, this sure is a very brave man, asking me to pull his tooth without using anything to kill the pain."
So the dentist asked him, "Which tooth is it, sir?"
Berel turned to his wife and said, "Open your mouth, Honey, and show the doctor which tooth hurts.
Yankel calls the doctor and said, "Hurry! My wife's going into labor! What must I do?"
The doctor said, "is this her first child?"
"No" says the very overwhelmed Yankel says,"this is her husband!"
A wife was making a breakfast of fried eggs for her husband. Suddenly, her husband burst into the kitchen. 'Careful,' he said, 'CAREFUL! Put in some more butter! Oh my gosh! You're cooking too many at once. TOO MANY! Turn them! TURN THEM NOW! We need more butter. Oh my gosh! WHERE are we going to get MORE BUTTER? They're going to STICK! Careful. CAREFUL! I said be CAREFUL! You NEVER listen to me when you're cooking! Never! Turn them! Hurry up! Are you CRAZY? Have you LOST your mind? Don't forget to salt them. You know you always forget to salt them. Use the salt. USE THE SALT! THE SALT!'
The wife stared at him. "What in the world is wrong with you? You think I don't know how to fry a couple of eggs?"
The husband calmly replied, "I just wanted to show you what it feels like when I'm driving."
A young lawyer, starting up his private practice, was very anxious to impress potential clients. When he saw the first visitor to his office come through the door, he immediately picked up his phone and spoke into it, making belief he was actually talking to someone. "I'm sorry, but my caseload is so tremendous that I'm not going to be able to look into your problem for at least a month. I'll have to get back to you then." He then turned to the man who had just walked in, and said, "Now, what can I do for you? Make sure to do this fast, as I am in a mad rush, as you can see from the endless telephone calls of clients."
"Nothing," replied the man. "I'm here to hook up your phone."
Three hijacked passengers, an American, A Frenchman and an Israeli were captured by ISIS and were about to face a firing squad. Before their execution they were asked what they would like to eat for their last meal. The American prisoner asked for a juicy steak. He was served the steak and then taken away to be shot.
The French prisoner requested roast duck. He was served the duck and then taken away to be shot.
The Israeli prisoner asked for strawberries. "Strawberries?" asked the terrorists. "But they're out of season!"