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.
A Jewish husband? G-d always has a backup plan so that we have free choice!
His kids call her ‘Momala’: Meet the Jewish husband of Biden’s pick for VP, A successful Biden-Harris ticket would make Doug Emhoff the first-ever second gentleman and first Jewish spouse of a US president or VP
Next week will mark six years since Doug Emhoff slammed his foot on a glass alongside Kamala Harris at their courthouse wedding ceremony in Santa Barbara. This year, the couple will likely have to celebrate this anniversary on the campaign trail, after the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee Joe Biden tapped Harris to be his running mate on Tuesday. As the first woman of color, first daughter of immigrants, and first Indian American to be on a major party’s presidential ticket, Harris’ nomination has been hopefully hailed as a prospective laundry list of firsts for the United States’ minorities. No one points out that a successful race would also make Harris’s husband the first Jewish spouse of a US president or vice president and the first-ever second gentleman.
Of all the nominees that Biden could have chosen, isn’t Ironic that he chose a Black woman with a Jewish husband? No, it was no accident, G-d always has a backup plan, so that we can have free choice. While we have individual free choice, we are playing against the GrandMaster who knows what to do whatever our choices. If we go one way, G-d has another way to save the Jewish people. We learn this lesson from the scroll of Esther, the Purim story, in Hebrew is called, “Megillat Esther.” “Megillah” comes from the root word meaning, “revelation.” The name Esther is related to the Hebrew word for hiddenness. So Megillat Esther suggests “the revelation of hiddenness.”
The hiddenness which is revealed on Purim is the hiddenness of G-d’s oneness. You see, the oneness of G-d is such that G-d can create a being (us the humans) who has free choice, yet, mysteriously, that free choice cannot oppose G-d’s will and plan. It can do other than G-d’s will, but it won’t in any way interfere with G-d’s will and plan.
We see this paradox illustrated throughout the events of the Purim story. The Jews of the Persian Empire are assimilating, (in many ways so are Jews of America now). The evil Haman decides to destroy the Jewish people, and proceeds to execute his plot, making his moves toward the final solution of the Jews. Today there is something called the “squad” in the Congress of today, Four Congresswomen who hope for the death of Israel The irony of the story of Purim, is that everything the evil Haman does to destroy us, destroys him-and saves us. By threatening our existence, Haman indirectly initiates a renewal in the Jews’ commitment to Torah, reversing the tide of assimilation which is always the greatest threat to Jewish survival. And Haman digs his own grave, or more accurately, builds his own gallows, for the gallows he had built to hang Mordechai are used for Haman’s own execution.
In the Purim story, there are no miraculous interventions, no sea splitting. In fact, G-d’s name is not even mentioned in the Book of Esther. This is a tremendous revelation of G-d’s oneness. The greatest revelation of G-d’s oneness is that G-d does not have to interfere. This is the revelation of hiddenness: that within the natural world, within the free choices of human beings, G-d’s plan is being completely fulfilled, step by step.
G-d has written a script, and we are the actors in that drama. The question isn’t whether we are going to play our parts, but how we will play our parts-whether consciously and willingly, or obliviously and with resistance. Whether we choose to work for G-d’s plan of growth, love, and oneness, or against it, is our choice.
Again, we see this illustrated dramatically in the story of Purim. Esther, who is secretly Jewish, has by a strange set of circumstances married the King of Persia. (Sounds like fate at work?) But soon after, Haman the Prime Minister begins to execute his plot to destroy the Jewish people. So Mordechai, Esther’s uncle, says to her: “We’ve got to save the Jewish people. Perhaps G-d has orchestrated things in this very manner so that you could be queen (or Husband in this case) and be in a position to save the Jewish people.”
But Esther isn’t convinced. She tells Mordechai, “You know the rules of the palace. If I go to the king without being invited, he could have me killed!”
To that Mordechai says something bizarre: “If you don’t do this, Esther, the salvation of the Jews will come from someplace else.”
What kind of argument is that? I mean, if you want to get somebody to do something what method do you use? Guilt! Mordechai should have said to Esther, “If you don’t do it, the Jewish people will be destroyed. This will be the end of Jewish history.” You are a Jew. ACT!
Instead, he says, “If you don’t do it, the Jews will be saved anyway, but you’ll lose out on the starring role.”
Mordechai was teaching Esther the secret of choice: In terms of G-d’s great plan, it doesn’t make a difference what you do. But in terms of your own life, it makes all the difference in the world. Do you want to actively, consciously participate in G-d’s plan, or not? If you don’t sign on, it will still happen. But you’ll lose out. You can be the star, or an extra on the set. That’s your choice.
And Esther decides to do it. The Jewish people are saved, with Esther in the starring role, because she chose to play her part.
Trump has been the greatest supporter yet of the Jewish people. His Presidency has been even more dramatic, because he comes after eight years of Obama, whose own Minister was a rabid Anti-Semite. He sat each Sunday listening to the Anti-Semite Minister spew Jewish hatred, and was a product of what he heard. How ironic that his vice-president who helped with Jew-hatred vision is now in the position of maybe becoming President himself. But G-d doesn’t take any chances. If this happens, we will have a Jew in the White House, in case needs him. Let’s pray for the best
An Aleph Bet Bet
Bubbie Bayla was taking care of the kids for the weekend and she walked by her little granddaughter Rivkah’s room one morning to find her standing in the corner, reciting the Hebrew alphabet.
“Aleph, bet, gimmel, dalet…” said Rivkah
“What are you doing?” Bubbie asked.
“My teacher said that we’re supposed to daven every day,” said Rivkah. “But I can’t remember any of the prayers. So I’m just saying all the letters of the aleph-bet, and Hashem can put them together however he thinks best.”
Wafa News and other Palestinian news sources reported that former Likud Knesset Member Rabbi Yehudah Glick had “stormed” Al Aqsa Mosque located on the Temple Mount.
“JEWS STORM AL AQSA”…BUT NOT REALLY
“Dozens of Jewish settlers stormed the courtyards of the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque in Occupied Jerusalem on Sunday morning led by extremist rabbi Yehuda Glick and carried out provocative tours under heavy police protection,” wrote The Palestinian Information Center on Sunday. “Eyewitnesses reported that Jewish settlers performed some religious and Talmudic rituals before they assembled in the eastern region of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”
Among the offenses listed was the police allowing Jews to visit the site for an extra half-hour on Sunday, from 12:30-2:00 instead of limiting Jewish visitation to the site until 1:30. The Palestinian authorities also accused 28 Jews of breaking into the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Jews are expressly forbidden from entering the Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock located in teh Temple Mount Compound.
On the same day, The Palestinian Information Center reported proudly that “thousands of Palestinians performed Friday prayer in the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque despite strict Israeli measures.” While attributing the “strict Israeli measures” to the “occupation,” the restrictions were, in fact, from the Health Ministry and due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic is spreading at a high rate in the Arab sector.
RABBI GLICK: “I STORM THE TEMPLE MOUNT EVERY SUNDAY”
Rabbi Glick, the man accused of “storming” Al-Aqsa, was surprised to hear of his alleged exploits.
“I ‘storm’ the Temple Mount every Sunday,” Rabbi Glick told Israel365News. “I don’t know why the Arab media thought yesterday was different. Everyone is welcome to join me in ‘storming’ the Temple Mount.”
Rabbi Glick has been misidentified in the past by the left-wing media as “the most dangerous man in the Middle East” due to his advocating universal rights to pray at the Temple Mount. In 2014, Rabbi Glick survived an assassination attempt by a Palestinian who shot the rabbi four times at close range.
Rabbi Glick founded the Shalom Jerusalem Organization to “redeem the Temple Mount from the Muslim demands for exclusive rights there, ensuring that all religions enjoy total freedom of access to and worship on the Mount, in order to turn the Mount into the prophetic House of Prayer for All Nations and pave the road for the rebuilding of the Third Temple.”
NYC Urges Over 65s to Stay Home Due to COVID-19 Surge
(NEWSMAX) New York City’s Health Department is advising anyone 65 and older and people with underlying health conditions to stay home amid a surge in coronavirus cases.
“To protect yourself, your household members and your communities against the spread of COVID-19, you are hereby advised to limit activities outside your home, except leaving home to travel to work or school, or for essential purposes including medical care, grocery shopping or pharmacy necessities,” Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi said in a statement.
“I know that some people face a much greater risk for more serious illness from COVID-19,” he added. “This includes people who are older, who have an underlying health condition. That’s why today I’m issuing a Commissioners Notice that warns at-risk New Yorkers about the growth of COVID and urges appropriate precautions.”
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Chokshi issued the same notice in March when COVID-19 hit New York hard.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday outlined his winter plan in case of another surge, which included managing hospital capacity, adding beds, and identifying retired staff who can come back to work.
New York reported 6,816 new positive coronavirus cases on Tuesday, the highest since April 25, along with 57 deaths. More than 34,000 people have died in the state due to COVID-19.
When the Dodgers won the World Series, few Americans were watching the game that had once been dubbed America’s Pastime. The 2020 World Series broke all sorts of records, mostly bad ones, becoming the least watched world series. With an average of less than 10 million viewers, the series commanded the attention of some 3% of Americans.
32% dropin viewers came at a time when people, many stuck at home, are obsessively watching television. What were the other 13 million who had been watching last year do? The one thing they weren’t doing was watching a game they had once cared about.
It wasn’t just baseball.
The NBA finals ratings dropped 51%. Game 6 brought in 8.2 million viewers and the series only managed an average of 7.45 million viewers. That’s after the conference finals brought in just a little over 4 million viewers. And the NFL is facing its own ratings struggles as are other sports.
The media has frantically dug for apolitical reasons to explain these trainwreck numbers, but the simple reality is that sports used to be competitively divisive, but are now politically divisive. The truly woke viewers are exiting for the WNBA and women’s soccer, whose numbers are up, while conservative viewers are jettisoning current games for highlight reels of past glories.
Sports used to be a metaphor for America. Practice, play fair, and win. The rules might differ, but the meritocracy of talent and the ethics of sportsmanship were essential to American life. The metaphor is different now. Don’t bother playing, get woke, become a nuisance, score a $126 million contract with Nike, followed by a Netflix series about your life, and become an icon.
Sports is still a metaphor for America, but a very different kind of country in which talent doesn’t matter, but monetizing radical aggrieved victimhood is how the game is really played and won. And if that’s what it takes to become a sports icon, whatever your politics, why bother watching the game when you can tweet support for the BLM protests, or just get out there and riot?
Big Sports and the media are blaming the presidential election for their viewership drop. They’re not wholly wrong, but they were the ones who politicised the game. The message behind all the protests, the kneeling, the locker room boycotts, the emblems and the stunts, was that politics is more important than sports. Viewers took them at their word and changed the channel.
If politics is America’s real national pastime, why waste time watching a few failed Colin Kapernicks, who may have a better arm, but worse public relations timing, do their thing? If they had just dropped out and spent years protesting, they could have also been sports icons.
The problem with politicising everything is that everything then becomes irrelevant. If sports only matters when it’s political, then it doesn’t matter. Neither do food, fashion, music, or any of the other things that people used to care about before caring became exclusive to politics.
The Soviet Union only cared about sports as a vehicle for proving the superiority of the New Soviet Man so that even Soviet women playing sports turned out to be New Soviet Men. Soviet sports were uninteresting because they existed for ideological reasons. Players were advanced or tanked based on their sponsors within the Communist Party. Those athletes who could, did their best to escape the USSR so that they would be able to play for themselves.
But where do you go to defect from the NFL, MLB, or the NBA?
The Soviet Union flagrantly cheated when playing non-Warsaw Pact countries because the triumph of Communism was much more important than the rules of the game. But the whole point of a self-contained world with its own rules, absurd as they might occasionally be, is as a test of character. When the rules don’t matter, neither does the game. That’s the woke crisis.
Wokeness insists that the moral, ethical, and procedural rules that govern our lives don’t matter in the face of the systemic racism that leads police officers to shoot criminals. It’s okay to loot stores, ambush drivers on highways, and stab police officers. If human life and personal property don’t matter in the face of the urgency of woke politics, then what rules do?
And if we can’t agree on any rules, what’s the point of playing?
Big Sports began violating its own rules to accommodate woke protests against America. The impact may be less immediately destructive than Black Lives Matter rioters setting fire to a neighborhood, but ended up setting fire to the business model and ratings of the industry.
Sports has always been a form of ritualized combat whose purpose was a test of character. When character doesn’t matter and the rules don’t matter, all that’s left is the combat, and the real battles are taking place off the field and the court. And viewers are changing the channel to CNN or FOX News where the combat is closer to being real than in the sports bubble.
The media and Big Sports promise that will change when the election is over, but the fight isn’t over, it’s just getting started. Elections have become another game where the rules don’t matter. And in a country where ritualized political combat is becoming more combative and less ritualistic, ritualized combat that is becoming more political and less combative won’t play.
The NFL and MLB, and to a lesser extent the NBA, depended on a national consensus. The end of the consensus means the end of the nation and, much less seriously, their end. It’s no coincidence that the high point of the hero worship of great players came when Americans were united in their values and in their sense of national purpose, or that all of the above are passing.
Americans do fewer things together. The old network appointment viewing of sitcoms, dramas, award shows and games has given way to scattershot streaming geared to individual taste. Big Sports was never going to survive in an environment in which we agree on few things, and in which everything is a political test that will alienate a quarter of the country either way.
Big Sports, like their corporate partners, decided that pandering to the radical sports journalists, to woke companies, and to the Wokicrats who run much of the country mattered more. And in the process they revealed the underlying truth that Disney, Nike, and the cultural values of their executives mattered more than the games they pretended to care about. And the rest is history.
The falling ratings are a symptom of the end of sports. MLB, the NFL, and the NBA aren’t going away, but neither are they going anywhere except to Communist China. Like Hollywood, the country’s other big entertainment industry has abandoned America while expanding to China. Americans have less money and fewer people, and the rules of the game are too complicated.
In China, the rules are simple. Don’t mention Hong Kong or Taiwan, and praise the Party.
America’s cultural rules have become bewilderingly complicated as the country fractures, and there’s no way to win. Kneel or stand for the anthem, everyone still loses the Catch 22.
But the end of sports is the end of hundred million dollar contracts, not the end of the game. The games, the real ones, were played to see how far a ball can go and what a man can do. The familiar games we play had their echoes in the dust of medieval European towns and on Greek fields. The games will not be lost, only the huge corrupt industries that grew around them.
While the role of the billion dollar sports industries fade in the lives of ordinary Americans, the games will live on in backyards, cul-de-sacs, and grassy fields where we will go on playing them, instead of paying to watch others play, and we’ll do it by the rules we grew up with. We will go on standing for the anthem and testing our arms, our legs, and our hearts.
In sports, as in life, it is not the big organizations, but what we do as individuals, that define us.