Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor

Courage is Relative

Courage is subjective and relative. For example, some people are naturally assertive. They can easily speak up. They can easily ask others for things. They can easily ask questions. They can easily stick up for their rights. Others are naturally intimidated. They would rather do without, than say things that everyone would agree they have a right to say. For them, asking for what they need is an act of courage. Asking questions is an act of courage. Sticking up for rights is an act of courage

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Rod Stewart and Rita sing 'Sailing'

Why let jealousy ruin you? Beat it now.

Kahane on the Parsha Rabbi Binyamin Kahane- Parshat Korach

 

DON'T CONFUSE US WITH THE FACTS!!!

In the introduction to Eim HaBanim Smeicha, a book written during the Holocaust by one of Hungary's great rabbis on the obligation to live in Eretz Yisrael, the following disclaimer appears:

"My words in this book are intended only for those who wish to know the truth the way it really is; they will lend an attentive ear to the words written here I am not declaring, 'Accept my views'...Rather, whoever would like to refute what I say, let him refute it, but only with direct proofs from the words of our Rabbis like I have done. Only then will I debate him, with the help of G-d."

Rabbi Yisachar Shlomo Teichtal, the author of this book, was caught in a strange situation. His efforts to persuade religious (!) Jews to move to Eretz Yisrael met with failure. His lack of success was not due to a shortage of proofs or convincing logic, but rather to the fact that people simply did not want to confront his arguments.

That is why he prefaced his book by saying that his words are intended "only for those who wish to know the truth." We generally assume that everyone wants to know the truth -- the only argument being what the truth is. However, this is not so. There are some people -- and many times they comprise the majority -- who do not want to be convinced.

Korach was one such person. Our Rabbis state, "Korach was prudent. What, then, caused his folly?" The famous answer is that "his eye deceived him" (see Rashi to Numbers 16:7). However, the Midrash gives another answer. It states, "You do not find Korach answering any of the arguments Moses presented to him. This is because he was clever in his wickedness. He said, 'I know Moses is a wise man, and if I debate him I will lose and be forced to agree with him. Better that I not talk to him.' When Moses saw there was no point, he separated himself from him" (Tanchuma, Korach 6).

This Midrash is both amazing and shocking. Korach knew that if he talked to Moses, he would soon realize the error of his ways. He therefore avoided speaking to him. His need for honor burned in him so strongly that his greatest fear was being convinced he was wrong since it would force him to abandon his dream of taking power.

One may think that such an attitude is unusual and only characteristic of the extremely wicked. However, deeper reflection will reveal that it is actually very common. Very often a man sins and is well aware that his behavior is wrong, het he represses this knowledge so that it won't interfere with his everyday life. He knows that if he listens to someone -- even to his own inner voice -- he is liable to be convinced. Therefore, he clogs all his senses and continues on his merry way.

This is the sickness our Rabbis referred to when they said that "truth will be absent" in the days preceding the Messiah's arrival (Sotah 49b). It is important to realize that they did NOT mean that the truth ITSELF will be absent. G-d forbid!!! The truth will EXIST and will be ACCESSIBLE. What the Rabbis meant is that we will create a world WITHOUT TRUTH -- by ignoring it, concealing it, mocking it, and banning it from being heard by the masses....

Never before in our history was there a period of time when the truth was so obvious and necessary, yet at the same time so absent. This is because our leaders are terrified of it. It is obvious to them that if the truth were heard, it would conquer the hearts of the masses. Those in power, therefore, exercise all measures necessary to silence the truth. Disqualification, mockery, defamation, harassment, and imprisonment. With these tools, they avoid the painful truth so as not to get "confused by the facts."

"When Moses saw there was no point, he separated himself from him." The moment Moses saw that the problem was not Korach's error but rather his WILL to be in error, he left him alone and let the ground swallow him up.

But people do not always wish to remain in error. Sometimes a person harbors false beliefs and attitudes due to his education and environment but is willing to listen and learn. He has no special interested in remaining mired in falsehood. For such a person, there is hope!

Darka Shel Torah 1998

Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh Tov!

ALL ABOARD! Torah reading on the train to Tel Aviv

'The future of America no longer believe that Israel shares their values... And we are allowing Israel to be defined by its detractors' ‘Devastating’ survey shows huge loss of Israel support among Jewish college students

More than a decade ago, a diverse focus group of Americans was asked to describe a typical Italian house. Words like “lush, food, cooking, maternal, welcoming” quickly rolled of the tongue. The same group was asked about an Israeli home and a very different vibe was described: “concrete, strict, ultra-religious, middle-aged ultra-Orthodox men.”

This 2005 focus group was commissioned to explore the underlying image of Israel in the American psyche. The unanimous perception was a conflict-driven country filled with religious fundamentalists.

Not exactly a country they were keen on visiting — or supporting.

The loose consortium of volunteer marketing and advertising executives who commissioned the study now falls under the Brand Israel Group (BIG) rubric. While each member of this heterogeneous Mad Men coalition had his or her own reasons for wishing to change Americans’ innate view of Israel, for Fern Oppenheim, co-founder of Brand Israel Group, her tipping point came after the September 11, 2001, World Trade Center attacks.

The child of Holocaust survivors, Oppenheim said she awoke from her sense of Jewish security that day. “I never thought I’d smell smoke living in New York,” she said in Jerusalem this week.

In this September 11, 2001, file photo, thick smoke billows into the sky from the area behind the Statue of Liberty, lower left, where the World Trade Center towers stood. (AP Photo/Daniel Hulshizer)

Her safety bubble popped, Oppenheim decided to throw her support — and skills — behind Israel. With her extensive marketing and management background at such companies as Kraft/General Foods, Oppenheim began to use her professional prowess to help the Jewish state, which she calls “the canary in the coal mine.”

The team had a revolutionary approach: Instead of the Jewish community’s typical “shooting from the hip,” said Oppenheim, the high-level marketing execs “rolled up their sleeves to get a research-based understanding” of mainstream Americans’ perceptions of Israel, and only then to create a strategy based on their research.

Since its initial coalescence in 2002, Brand Israel has commissioned a large-scale segmentation study in 2010 and a followup in 2016. For anyone with the slightest Zionist impulse, the downward slope of Israel support is disturbing.

While in Israel to present the recent 2016 BIG segmentation study, “Sounding the Alarm: The American-Israeli Relationship,” Oppenheim repeatedly used the word “devastating” — each time without hyperbole.

At UOIT outside Toronto, Students for Justice in Palestine activists staff their information table, 2016 (UOIT’s SJP chapter Facebook page)

In sum, the gap between Israel-supporters and detractors is widening. The current Israel advocacy programs are not working, and Jewish college students are the leading defectors from Israel support.

‘The future of America no longer believe that Israel shares their values’

Mainstream Americans are not starting from a neutral perspective on Israel; rather, they begin with misperceptions and negative assumptions. This creates “fertile ground” for delegitimization, said Oppenheim, who also spoke this week at the prestigious annual Herzliya Conference.

The 2016 segmentation study’s data shows that the current campaign of depicting the Israel beyond the conflict — specifically, highlighting high-tech achievements — is not effective. In fact, the more the study participants knew about Israel, the less favorably they felt about the country.

According to the report’s executive summary, since 2010, claimed knowledge of Israel has increased 14 percentage points nationally (from 23% to 37%) and is up among every demographic group (except for college students, where it is down 16 percentage points, from 50% to 34%). These increases, however, have not translated into increased favorability, which is down 14 percentage points (from 76% to 62%) nationally and by large margins across the board.

Fern Oppenheim, the co-founder of Brand Israel Group, ‘The paradigm of Israel beyond the conflict is not the right paradigm for capturing hearts and souls.’ (Amanda Borschel-Dan/Times of Israel)

“The paradigm of Israel beyond the conflict is not the right paradigm for capturing hearts and souls,” she said.

The key is to emphasize common values. To change an attitude about Israel, the camera needs to be pulled back to show the full face of the country and its people, she said. When Israel is an issue, and not a country filled with an incredibly diverse population, the field is open for boycott campaigns and other delegitimizing efforts.

“Shared values have been the bedrock of the American-Israeli relationship. Without this connection, the future of the alliance is in jeopardy,” claims the BIG group. And the biggest value gap is between core Israel supporters — basically older, wealthier, more conservative, whiter Americans — and those who are labeled as “at-risk” — younger, minorities, liberals.

The picture is even more dire when looking at the next generation of potential Jewish leadership. Between the 2010 and the 2016 surveys, Jewish college students dropped 27 percentage points on the question of whether they lean towards the Israeli side.

This is explained, said Oppenheim, by a perceived lack of shared values between the ultra-liberal Jewish college student and Israel.

On December 15, 2015, more than 300 Jewish activists in Boston marched for the Black Lives Matter movement, including members of Jewish Voice for Peace (photo credit: Ignacio Laguarda/Wicked Local)

“The future of America no longer believe that Israel shares their values. This is huge! Devastating,” she said.

According to the survey, 31% of Jewish students reported experiencing anti-Semitism; of that bunch, 59% say it was related to anti-Israel attitudes. But these experiences generally do not sway their opinions of Israel.

“The Jewish college student is the only group more favorable to Palestinians” now, rising 18 percentage points between 2010 and 2016, she said.

Much of this change she blamed on the rise of “intersectionality” on campuses. There is no longer nuance in campus conversations about Israel, she said. Instead, the “atmosphere is oppressor versus victim. Israel is just another symbol of this.”

Despite the plethora of organizations, campus advocacy does not appear to reach these students’ hearts. Using a morbid example, she said, “No one didn’t think that [Nazi “Angel of Death” Josef] Mengele wasn’t a brilliant scientist. But he was a monster. We need to drill down that Israelis are people” — not just high-tech geniuses.

“We are allowing Israel to be defined by its detractors,” she emphasized.

Mel Brooks' Amazing Trump Impersonation -From 40 Years ago

A few friends drop over for lunch--(very strange video)

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