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.
"There’s no place like home,” said Judy Garland as Dorothy in the 1939 classic film, “The Wizard of Oz,” as she clicked her heels and hoped for the return to the comforts of her own bed and her beloved Auntie Em and Uncle Henry.
Today we call it “homesickness,” and it’s an emotion shared by children and adults alike. What is it about home and family that make it difficult to leave?
Avigdor Miller (Avigdor HaKohen Miller was an American Haredi rabbi, author, and lecturer. He served simultaneously as a communal rabbi, mashgiach ruchani of Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin, and as a teacher in Beis Yaakov.
Born: August 28, 1908, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Died: April 20, 2001, Brooklyn, New York, United States) teaches us that
Even the most basic foundations of life overwhelm our thoughts. It says in the Gemora (Talmud Sotah 47a) that G-d causes people to love their home place. That’s how it is -your neighborhood finds favor in your eyes.
There are two reasons for that according to Rabbi Miller. First, G-d wants to make people happy so He makes them love their place. No matter what street you live on, that street has charm in your eyes. Even if you see other beautiful places, you come to your own home on your poor little street, and you feel there is nothing like your own home. Home sweet home! Your own home your own street, finds a special favor in your eyes, because G-d wants to make you happy.
The second reason is that G-d wants to involve your mind with your home. He wants to put this world into your mind so that you will be tested while you are alive. That is why people fall in love with their homes. It enters your heart and you become occupied, confused, and distracted. There is always something to do. We should paint, or make a bigger porch. We could plant roses in the front garden and make a place for the children to play in the back. Paying the rent or the mortgage is also on your mind. You are occupied with your environment.
This is why the first two pashas in the Torah gives the two protagonists their biggest tests. Noah and Avraham have to leave their homes and make new homes.
They have to leave their old lives behind and not mourn for them but face a new world.
Not only is your home on your mind but your profession as well. Everybody has a trade and G-d makes each one like his business (Brachos 43-b)
And most people never come out of their trances in life. They never break free from living lives of distraction in this world until they’re very old and close to death. Only when he's on the brink of leaving this world, he looks back and says why did I waste so much time at the office? And this was the lesson that Noah and Abraham are to teach us. The distractions are all hevel. It’s all nothing. Nothing built on top of nothing.
But we are to learn it’s all hevel if you are distracted, then it’s a big nothing. If you learn however that we are to transform everything to the service of Hashem, then nothing is hevel anymore. And that is why we say the Shema Yisroel. To think about Hashem at all times. One means that He’s the only thing worth thinking about. At this time of year when we are focused on the elections, remember G-d is in control and will watch out for the Jewish people and Israel.
Kahane on the Parsha
Rabbi Meir Kahane- Parshat Lech Lecha
FIGHTING FOR G-D
"They took Abram's nephew Lot and his possessions....When Abram heard that his brother had been taken captive, he armed his trained men born in his house, 318 of them, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. He hurried after the invaders...and he smote them" (Genesis 14:12-15).
With Abraham facing almost certain death, one might think it would have been better for him to have stayed home and done nothing. It is hard to understand how he dared go to war, especially when he and his tiny group were the only ones in the world who bore the truth that the L-rd is the only G-d. Why did Abraham endanger himself when his death would have put an end to the only man and group on earth that stood on the side of truth?
The answer is that it is a mitzvah to "assist Israel against an attacking foe" (Rambam, Hilchot Melachim 5:1). Since Abraham and his group were all of "Israel" at the time-- and Abraham was legally their prince and monarch--he knew that an obligatory war (milchemet mitzvah) was involved here, rooted in the sanctification of G-d's Name. For whenever a nation rises up against Israel, it is also rising up publicly against the G-d of Israel, and there is no greater profanation of G-d's Name than that. We are required to wage a milchemet mitzvah over this affront, and one cannot escape this duty because of danger to life. Our Rabbis taught (Bereishit Rabba 43:2):
" 'He armed (vayarek) he trained men': R. Yehuda and R. Nechemia disagreed. R. Yehuda said, 'They turned green [with anger] (horiku panim), saying: If five kings could not overcome them, will we be able to do so?' R. Nechemia said, 'Abraham turned them green with fear, saying: I shall go and die for the sanctification of G-d's Name!' "
In other words, Abraham said the circumstances called for a milchemet mitzvah; they called for saving Lot despite the danger involved since the sanctification of G-d's Name was at stake. Going to war was imperative; if G-d forbid he died in battle, so be it. In other words, when war is necessary, danger to one's life is irrelevant.
Furthermore, we learn from this episode that one need not fear shedding blood in battle. How so? The Rabbis relate the following:
"[After the battle] Abraham was afraid and said, 'Perhaps the population I killed possessed a righteous, G-d-fearing man.' Yet, it is like the person who passed the king's orchard and, seeing a bundle of thorns, went in and removed them. The king saw him, and he began to hide. The king asked him, 'Why are you hiding? How many workers would I have needed to gather those thorns? Now that you have done it, come and take your reward.' Just so, G-d said to Abraham, 'The population you killed were cut thorns'" (Bereishit Rabba 44:4).
We learn a fundamental principle here- that is, we need not have misgivings about shedding the blood of evildoers. Quite the contrary, it is a mitzvah, for it "rids the garden of thorns". This is precisely what we learn about King David in Pesikta Rabbati 2:
" 'A psalm, a song at the dedication of the house- to David' (Psalms 30:1). If Solomon built the Temple, why was it credited to David?
"David was worthy to build it and had planned on doing so. The only reason he never did is because Nathan the Prophet told him G-d did not want him to because he had 'shed much blood upon the earth before Me' (1 Chronicles 22:8). Hearing this, David was afraid. He said, "I have been disqualified from building the Temple!'
"R. Yehuda bar Ilai said: G-d said to David, 'Have no fear. As I live, the evildoers are to Me like a deer or gazelle [animals unfit for the Altar].'... Alternatively, G-d said to David, 'As I live, all the blood you spilled was to Me like sacrificial offerings...'
"David asked G-d, 'Why, then, am I not building it?' and G-d responded, 'Because if you build it, it will endure, never to be destroyed.' David then asked, 'And is that bad?' G-d responded, 'It is revealed before Me that in the future Israel will sin, yet I will take out My anger on the Temple and destroy it, and Israel will be saved...'"
Here we have a scathing response to the ignoramuses who twist G-d's words, arguing that David did not build the Temple because he sinned by shedding "much blood upon the earth." Even without the Rabbis' comments above, could anyone possibly think that David somehow sinned by fighting G-d's wars?
The simple reason why G-d did not want David to build the Temple is because the Temple symbolizes the perfect, all-good world G-d wishes for this earth. In such a world, war doesn't exist because there is no evil or evildoers. Therefore, even though it is a great mitzvah to wage war against the wicked and shed their blood in the right time and place, doing so cannot be associated with the Temple.
This reason is in addition to our Rabbis' explanation in Pesikta Rabbati--that had David built the Temple, it would have endured forever. In any event, it is clear that David was an outstanding saint and that his wars were fought for the sake of G-d and the sanctification of His Name. The distorters' words are not to be taken the least bit serious
With visitors away, Jerusalem’s Tower of David undergoes major facelift
Archaeologists using renovation of ancient citadel to study bastion’s medieval past in hope of learning more about the holy city during the Crusades
The coronavirus pandemic may be keeping tourists away from Jerusalem’s ancient citadel, but it has created a rare opportunity for the site to launch a massive restoration and conservation project.
In the process, Israeli archaeologists are studying the bastion’s medieval past in the hope of learning more about the holy city during the Crusades.
The Tower of David, the Old City’s iconic fortress, contains remnants of successive fortifications built one atop the other stretching back over 2,500 years. For centuries, pilgrims, conquerors and tourists visiting the city that is holy to Judaism, Christianity and Islam have passed beneath the stronghold’s towers through the adjacent Jaffa Gate.
The Tower of David Museum’s $40 million undertaking, financed in large part by the Clore Israel Foundation, Israel’s Tourism Ministry and Jerusalem’s municipality, seeks to preserve the ancient site and revitalize the museum a generation after it opened to the public in 1989.
A worker at a construction site inside the Tower of David Museum in the Old City of Jerusalem, October 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
The citadel drew over half a million visitors in 2019, making it one of the city’s most visited sites. But after Israel shut its borders in response to the coronavirus pandemic in March, tourist numbers have dropped to virtually zero.
Jerusalem’s Citadel (Shmuel Bar-Am)
While the citadel stood empty of visitors, restoration work got underway in July. The galleries were gutted of their old exhibits and excavations began in the fortress’s courtyard.
“This is the jewel of the crown, because there’s no other site in Jerusalem that will tell you, from the finds, from the remains, the full story,” Eilat Lieber, the Tower of David’s director and chief curator, said Wednesday. She said the museum is embarking on a total redesign of its exhibits with cutting edge media to tell the city’s history, and the renovations are slated for completion by early 2022.
The overhaul includes improved accessibility, the construction of a new visitor’s center and entrance, and the addition of new galleries and educational space in an unused area beneath an adjacent roadway.
The undertaking has also allowed archaeologists to excavate previously unstudied areas of the fortress, particularly sections dating to the Middle Ages.
“All the massive renovation that is going on right here is a really rare opportunity for us archaeologists,” said Amit Reem, a Jerusalem archaeologist with the Israel Antiquities Authority. “It’s a pity to say, but the coronavirus enabled the Tower of David Museum to close the museum because there are no tourists, no visitors, and dedicate this period of time to the renovation and to the archeological project.”
Although many layers of the citadel’s history are visible to visitors, Reem said the tower’s form during the Middle Ages — the period of the Crusades and their aftermath — remains unclear.
Construction material lies on the grounds at the Tower of David Museum in the Old City of Jerusalem, Oct. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
Jerusalem fell to the First Crusade in 1099 and traded hands between Christian and Muslim powers several times in the subsequent centuries.
“We have the chance to explore the citadel from the perspective of modern archeologists,” he said, using advanced technology to render 3D images of the remains from each time period.
Reem and his team recently excavated and studied an unassuming underground chamber beneath the stronghold’s western tower. The museum had used it as a storeroom, but it proved to be a medieval cesspit with a long tunnel running beneath the city walls.
“We hope to find in the floor and under the floor some material that we will scrutinize by microscope, maybe to find to learn about the diet of the people here, about disease,” he said.
National Public Radio (NPR) does not serve the American taxpayers who are paying its bills. Most recently, NPR did its part to shield Joe Biden from the fallout of the Biden family pay-for-access corruption scheme. That’s nothing new. NPR has long served as the leftwing progressive Democrat Party’s propaganda arm. Back in 2016, for example, NPR shilled for the disastrous nuclear deal pushed by the Obama administration, after receiving funding from a pro-nuclear deal advocacy group. It is long past time to end the gravy train and defund NPR.
On October 22nd, NPR’s public editor rationalized NPR’s decision to suppress coverage of the New York Post’s expose of the Hunter Biden e-mails implicating Joe Biden himself in his son’s business dealings. NPR’s managing editor Terence Samuel tweeted: “We don't want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don't want to waste the listeners’ and readers’ time on stories that are just pure distractions.”
The Media Research Center retorted: “How exactly is doing what is supposed to be your job of reporting and investigating a story with credible sources to be a ‘waste of time?’
David Folkenflik, NPR’s media correspondent, tried to kill the messenger that broke the story on the e-mails which were reportedly recovered from Hunter Biden’s laptop computer. Folkenflik attacked the New York Post as “suspect” and speculated “whether those emails were somehow hacked and doctored, or completely fabricated.” Folkenflik repeated the baseless claim, debunked by the FBI and Director of National Intelligence, that the New York Post story may have been part of Russia’s disinformation campaign.
News flash to NPR: You are paid by the American people to report the news and let the people make up their own minds as to what stories constitute a waste of their time or are "distractions." If we want Big Brother to tell us what we should listen to and read, we might as well move to Communist China.
In late August 2020, NPR’s Code Switch department gave Vicky Osterweil, author of In Defense of Looting, a free platform to spout the leftist’s support for looting as a vital aspect of the Black Lives matter movement. There was no pushback from the NPR interviewer. “When I use the word looting, I mean the mass expropriation of property, mass shoplifting during a moment of upheaval or riot,” Osterweil said. “It gets people what they need for free immediately, which means that they are capable of living and reproducing their lives without having to rely on jobs or a wage…riots and looting are experienced as sort of joyous and liberatory.”
After the fact, NPR’s public editor, Kelly McBride, tried to clean up the mess created by this interview, writing that “a book author with a radical point of view far to the left was allowed to spread false information.” But it was too little too late. NPR allowed itself to be used to disseminate disinformation, which it has regularly done with a sharp tilt to the left. This was the same Kelly McBride who defended NPR’s suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop e-mails story.
Talking about spreading disinformation, NPR served as one of the principal mouthpieces pushing the Obama administration’s talking points in favor of the disastrous nuclear deal with Iran. NPR’s ombudsman criticized the network for accepting money from the Ploughshares Fund, which was part of the “echo chamber” of organizations, experts and reporters that the Obama White House had set up to positively shape public opinion on the Iran nuclear deal. The ombudsman took the network to task for “the large number of Ploughshares-funded analysts and experts who made it on the air to talk up the deal, without any acknowledgement of that by NPR.” However, while saying that “NPR’s money came from one side of a very partisan debate on a specific issue to fund reporting on a specific topic,” NPR’s ombudsman ended up exonerating NPR. She concluded that “NPR did not accept money to report favorably on the Iran deal.” If you believe that, you'll believe anything!
Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser, explained the echo chamber strategy in a 2016 article appearing in the New York Times Magazine. “In the absence of rational discourse,” Rhodes said, “we are going to discourse the [expletive] out of this. We had test drives to know who was going to be able to carry our message effectively, and how to use outside groups like Ploughshares, the Iran Project and whomever else. So we knew the tactics that worked.”
Ploughshares gave NPR $100,000 in 2015 “to help it report on the pact and related issues, according to the group’s annual report,” the Associated Press revealed. “Ploughshares has funded NPR’s coverage of national security since 2005, the radio network said. Ploughshares reports show at least $700,000 in funding over that time. All grant descriptions since 2010 specifically mention Iran.” Joseph Cirincione, Ploughshares’ president, appeared on NPR at least twice in 2015 promoting the nuclear deal negotiations.
George Soros’s leftwing Open Society Foundations have been major funders of both Ploughshares and NPR. In 2016 alone, the Open Society Foundations bestowed NPR with a $600,000 grant.
Back in 2011, NPR’s senior director of institutional giving at the time, Betsy Liley, was caught on video expressing a willingness to accept a $5 million donation from a fictitious Muslim Brotherhood front group called the Muslim Education Action Center (MEAC) Trust. She even suggested how NPR could help the group shield itself from a government audit. This was all uncovered in a sting operation conducted by the conservative Project Veritas organization to expose how far NPR was willing to subvert government oversight to fund its biased programming. The sting also caught Ron Schiller, who was then the president of the NPR Foundation and vice president for development, making an anti-Semitic remark. “Zionist influence” doesn’t exist at NPR, Schiller said, but “it’s there in those who own newspapers obviously.”
Liley was placed on administrative leave. Ron Schiller and NPR president and CEO Vivian Schiller (no relation) resigned. But NPR continues to reek of anti-Semitism in some quarters.
Just last August, for example, a National Public Radio member station fired a Jewish meteorologist because he compared the Seattle riots and looting to Kristallnacht in a post on his own personal blog. Jewish residents and Jewish-owned businesses were being attacked in Seattle and the meteorologist was drawing on a notorious historical comparison to express his fears. Since NPR is publicly funded, its firing of the Jewish meteorologist for writing his thoughts on his own blog would appear to violate his First Amendment rights. As a writer for Get Religion put it, “What is appalling is that NPR doesn’t know the difference between legitimate speech and hate speech. Or maybe hate speech is whatever social justice workers disagree with at the moment.”
The Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 requires public broadcasters to operate with a "strict adherence to objectivity and balance in all programs or series of programs of a controversial nature." NPR has failed that test miserably for years. It does not deserve any further public funding. Let NPR go to Soros and other leftwing donors to stay afloat.