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Friday, July 22, 2016

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Skim the News for Jews–July 22, Erev Shabbos Tammuz 16

-- Today’s Skim for Jews is sponsored by: Heichal Menachem of Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel. --
--
“We’re creating a new Torah complex, a community & youth center where every Jew will receive a warm welcome. --
-- LAST HOUR to donate, donations quadrupledDonate HERE 
--

Be informed, be a smart Jew in 5 minutes.  Here’s the news being talked about by Jews today…

yiddish_worldToday’s Skim of the News for Jews

- Kosher food disappears from stores in Vermont (USA).  “A wide variety of kosher foods have disappeared from grocery shelves in Vermont after the state’s strict GMO labeling law went into effect July 1.  A store explained that it could no longer offer certain kosher products because their manufacturers did not update their packaging to comply with the new law. With Vermont being not even 1 percent of their business, a fraction of a percent. With this new law in place, it's not worth it for them to bother with the paperwork.”  So if you’re headed to Vermont, bring your kosher food with you.

- Keter Plastics, a leading manufacturing firm in Israel, sells for $1.7 billion to UK investment companyKeter Plastics, one of Israel’s top manufacturing companies with sales throughout the US and Europe (check your local Home Depot), sold to BC Partners, a private equity firm with offices in London.  It was founded in 1948 in Jaffa as a factory for making toys and household utensils. 

- A British Member of Parliament has blamed Israel as being the cause of worldwide Islamic Jihadism.  “The treatment of the Palestinians by Israel is a major cause of the rise of extreme Islamism and Daesh (ISIS)”.  She also claimed Israel was provoking a generation of violent extremists who would have “a justified grudge” against Israel and Britain.  The MP is known for ongoing outrageous statements against Israel.  It’s the JOOOOOOOOOOS fault!!!!!

- High speed rail line between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem entering final stages.  The 28 minute high speed rail line between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, consisting of 10 tunnels and 6 bridges and underground stations is just a year and half from completion after 6 years of work.  Serious economic advantages are expected from linking Israel’s economic and beach tourism center (Tel Aviv) and government and religious tourism center (Jerusalem). 

- No dark matter found.  Scientists have come up empty-handed in their latest effort to find theorized dark matter.  For three years, scientists have been looking for dark matter— a theorized part of the universe used to explain why stars and galaxies are moving in a way that would seem to require much more “stuff” aka “matter” than can be seen visibly (hence the name “dark matter”) —nearly a mile underground in a former gold mine.  The announced results of the 3 year experiment are…no dark matter found.  Either the experiment is not the right type to find the theorized stuff, or the theory is wrong.

- Parshat Balak in the U.S., Parshat Pinchas in Israel. Parshat Balak is read this week in the U.S. , and is famous for the story of Bilam the prophet hired to curse the Israelites who ends up blessing them instead – a blessing which remains part of the Jewish prayerbook today.  And of course Bilam’s talking donkey!  It ends with the incident of Pinchas zealously killing a high-level official who was sinning publically.  Parshat Pinchas is read this week in Israel.  Pinchas receives the covenant of peace for his zealous actions for G-d, the Jewish people have a census (counted a special way), and the daughters of Tzelafchad petition Moshe Rabbaynu to not lose the family portion of land after their father dies, resulting in the changing of the laws of inheritance.

…and that’s the news of interest to Jews today…and GOOD SHABBOS!

We do NOT publish on the Holy Shabbos, Friday sundown until Saturday nightfall.

-- Today’s Skim for Jews is sponsored by: Heichal Menachem of Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel. --
--
“We’re creating a new Torah complex, a community & youth center where every Jew will receive a warm welcome. --
-- LAST HOUR to donate, donations quadrupledDonate HERE 
--

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Directing Your Heart to Heaven - Jewish Meditation



by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths
How
to gain a spiritual perspective. Meditation should be more than learning how to
detach.


 -
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Thursday, July 21, 2016

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Chabad needs Help in Ramat Beit Shemesh

Chabad in Ramat Beit Shemesh Israel needs help raising funds for a Youth Center.  If you can help, check it out and donate!  One wouldn’t suspect it, but many American, Canadian, English, Australian and South African teens have a hard time adjusting to life in Israel and become involved in the street.  This Youth Center is about countering that.

Can you help?  Donate here.

A3 Charidy poster-page-001

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Skim the News for Jews–July 21, Tammuz 15

-- Today’s Skim for Jews is sponsored by: Heichal Menachem of Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel. --
--
“We’re creating a new Torah complex, a community & youth center where every Jew will receive a warm welcome. --
-- We have to raise $250,000 with donations quadrupled ending TODAY! 
Phone +972-77-902-2770 to donate!” --

Be informed, be a smart Jew in 5 minutes.  Here’s the news being talked about by Jews today…

Today’s Skim of the News for Jews

- Heat Dome affects the central United States.  “High temperatures and humidity will bake much of the central U.S. this week, making it feel as hot as 115 degrees.  The weather system will push conditions to their hottest point so far this summer.”  “We’re not talking record-breaking heat by any stretch, the only thing is it is the warmest it’s been this summer, so in that respect people may not be prepared for it.” 

- Defense and foreign ministers from more than 30 nations gathered in Washington to plan the next steps in the fight against the Islamic State and to determine what more they can do.  U.S. Defense Secretary met with his counterparts on Wednesday to discuss how they can accelerate the campaign and build on some of the momentum.  The meeting of defense ministers at Joint Base Andrews just outside Washington, D.C., was the fourth time that the Defense Secretary has convened an anti-Islamic State coalition meeting.

- The largest French aliya flight of the summer landed in Israel this week. More than 200 French Jews were aboard the flight.  The arrival of the olim (new immigrants) comes days after a deadly terror attack rocked Nice, France.  “French Jews who immigrate to Israel are coming out of choice: they have a whole world of opportunities before them, and they are choosing to come to Israel.”

- U.K. National Union of Students strips Jewish Students of right to choose representative.  “The National Union of Students has voted to remove the right of Jewish students to choose their representative on the union’s Anti-Racism and Anti-Fascism Committee. Now the decision will be solely that of NUS’s National Executive Committee and its President Malia Bouattia. It was Bouattia who approved the amendment. Malia Bouattia has called Birmingham University a “Zionist outpost in higher education” because it has “the largest Jsoc [Jewish student society] in the country.” She has railed against “Zionist-led media outlets”, defended Palestinian terrorism as “resistance” and voted against condemning ISIS.”

…and that’s the news of interest to Jews today.

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The Hills of Jerusalem

​      by Reb Gutman Locks   

The Hills of Jerusalem

 

     A young, non-Jewish man came up to me at the Kotel and told me that he keeps the Seven Commandments of Noah but he feels that he would be better off if he converted and became a Jew.

     "You should become the best possible you. This means that G-d created you a gentile so there is no need to try to become a Jew. You should fulfill what G-d gave you."

     He walked away but then came back later and asked, "If you knew that there was a unique nation in the world, one better than the one you are from, would you want to join that nation?"

     "No. I want to be the best that G-d made me. G-d made me a Jew so I want to be the best Jew I possibly can be."

     He seemed to understand my point.

     It is like this wonderful, Holy Land that G-d has given to us. What if I heard that another land had more water, or more produce, or a better climate, would I want to move there? G-d forbid. This is where G-d told me to be. This is where I want to live. I want to breathe the air here and walk on this holy ground. This is where I will thrive the best … here in the place that Hashem has chosen for me. I will be far better off here than anyplace that I would choose for myself.

 

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

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Skim the News for Jews–July 20, Tammuz 14

-- Today’s Skim for Jews is sponsored by: Heichal Menachem of Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel. --
--
“We’re creating a new Torah complex, a community & youth center where every Jew will receive a warm welcome. --
-- We have to raise $250,000 with donations quadrupled this week only!  Phone +972-77-902-2770 to donate!” --

Be informed, be a smart Jew in 5 minutes.  Here’s the news being talked about by Jews today…

Today’s Skim of the News for Jews

- Authorities in southern France have detained a man who stabbed a woman and her three daughters at an Alps resort.  The man was reportedly upset with the mother and her girls, aged 8, 12 and 14, because they were wearing shorts and T-shirts.  No word on the man’s origin or religion.  Any bets?

- Israel hi-tech scrambling for workers.  “As the number of high-tech companies grows and multinationals enter the fray, the race is on for good workers.  The number of high tech companies has almost doubled in a decade, and tech giants from Google to Apple are snapping workers up for their research and development centers in Israel.  ‘Companies are fighting over each developer’.  If you have hi-tech skills, there’s a job waiting for you in Israel!

- Low-tech Israel is among the worst of all modern Western countries.  A report on skills from the Bank of Israel highlighted some of the ways in which Israel might be characterized as having two economies, one a high-skilled, high-tech powerhouse and the other a low-skill, insulated laggard.  Israel's non-tech labor productivity is 14% lower than the average in advanced economies.   That lack of productivity is concentrated in a handful of sectors, most prominently the food and accommodation services, construction industry, and trade industries.  And government offices!

- Iran proudly expands nuclear program.  “Iranian Foreign Minister boasts of ability to renew full-scale nuclear program in coming years.  Calling it a “matter of pride”, Zarif said Iran would restore its full nuclear program in a decade, when limitations imposed as part of the nuclear agreement expire.”  “The US cannot do a dammed thing against us.”  Yeah, I trust these guys to follow an agreement.

- Efforts to blame Israel for U.S. shootings of black men.  A group calling itself Atlanta is Ready issued a set of demands to the Mayor of Atlanta, including: “We demand a termination to APD’s involvement in the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange (GILEE) program, that trains our officers in Apartheid Israel”.  The Mayor rejected the demand, finding that counter-terrorism training benefits the Atlanta Police Department’s ability to protect Americans.  There has been a multi-year effort by left-wing and Islamist anti-Israel, anti-Zionist, and openly anti-Semitic activists to hijack racial tensions in the United States and redirect that anger towards Israel.

- Leading rabbi of the Shuvu Banim movement extradited back to IsraelThe elderly rabbi has been accused of some improprieties of a criminal nature, of which he and his followers declare his complete innocence.  The rabbi and his followers are among the narrow sects of very religious Jews distrustful of the secular government, and the rabbi has been on the run from country to country to avoid being returned to Israel.  However his attorney says “the rabbi’s departure from Israel three years ago was unrelated to the investigation into his actions and that he was actually unaware of its existence when he left. He intends to cooperate with the authorities and that he hoped the investigation would be finished swiftly and efficiently.  Contrary to reports, the rabbi is suspected of acts of relatively low severity according to the law: Conspiracy to attack—and the attackers themselves were sentenced to community service—and indecent acts that are the lower limit of the relevant offenses. We have no doubt that at the investigation's conclusion, these suspicions will be refuted.”   One former Israeli state prosecutor wrote, “As a retired state prosecutor I express amazement at Israel hounding this old man all over the world on relatively minor charges. Major matters here drag on for years because of lack of police man power, but for this, they have both all the time and the money.”  Even if the rabbi is not happy to be brought back to Israel, his followers are dancing in the streets.

…and that’s the news of interest to Jews today.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

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Skim the News for Jews–July 19, Tammuz 13

-- Today’s Skim for Jews is sponsored by: Heichal Menachem of Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel. --
--
“We’re creating a new Torah complex, a community & youth center where every Jew will receive a warm welcome. --
-- We have to raise $250,000 with donations quadrupled this week only!  Phone +972-77-902-2770 to donate!” --

Be informed, be a smart Jew in 5 minutes.  Here’s the news being talked about by Jews today…

Today’s Skim of the News for Jews

- Republican Party Convention in progress in the U.S. The never ending American presidential election continues with the Republican party convention.  Is this season 2 or season 3 of this TV program?  While the U.S. election is enormously important, the never ending aspect of it is an overwhelming amount of irrelevancies.

- Jewish deputy mayor of Istanbul, Turkey murdered in his office. Turkish TV reported that the assailant had stormed the office.  Related to being Jewish or related to the coup?  Or both?

- An axe wielding man shouting “allahu akbar” stormed a passenger train in Wurzburg Germany, killing 4 and wounding 14.   He has been identified as a 17-year-old Afghan who entered Germany as a lone refugee, though the “motive” is unknown.  Sure it is.

- Secret part of deal with Iran allows them to build nukes in only 9 more years.  “A previously secret addendum to the internationally negotiated nuclear deal with Iran reinforces Israeli concerns over the agreement and Iran’s ability to rush towards the bomb if it so chooses.  Key restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program imposed under the accord will ease in a decade, cutting the time Tehran would need to build a bomb to six months or less from present estimates of a year.”  Peace through letting your enemies do what they want!

- Study: At least 100 million muslims have a favorable view of ISIS and over 200 million support terrorism as a tacticThat’s only 10%…that’s a lot!

…and that’s the news of interest to Jews today.

-- If you’d like to sponsor Skim the News for Jews, contact akiva@mpaths.com --

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On Loan

​   by Reb Gutman Locks   

On Loan

 

     A young friend of mine from London is visiting Jerusalem. He is the rabbi of a shul there. He asked, "I have someone in my congregation who will only agree to anything if I can show him where it is written in the Torah. He wants to know where it is written in the Torah that it is forbidden to cremate a Jew's body."

     I answered, "It says it clearly. The body comes from the earth and it shall return to the earth. You are not allowed to destroy it. It is not even yours. It's on loan until the end of your time here and then it goes back to where it came from."

     "But where does it say that you are not allowed to cremate it?"

     "I told you, '…you were made from the dust and to the dust you shall return.'"[i] If someone is cremated, their body does not return to dust.

     "Tell him that he can't expect to see everything so very clearly spelled out that he doesn't need a footnote to help him. Like the day I did teshuva 40 years ago. I read that we are to take the money for a certain tithe, "bind it" to our hand, and bring it to Jerusalem. I didn't know that the expression 'bind it to your hand' means 'don't spend the money on the way'. So I took a piece of string and I tied the money to my hand and came to Jerusalem!"

     Without the Oral Torah, the Talmud, we would not even know what tefillin look like or tzitzis or most of the mitzvahs.



[i] Genesis 3:19 "…until you return to the ground from which you were taken: For you are dust and to the dust you shall return."

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Monday, July 18, 2016

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Skim the News for Jews–July 18, Tammuz 12

-- Today’s Skim for Jews is sponsored by: Heichal Menachem of Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel. 
--
“We’re creating a new Torah complex, a community & youth center where every Jew will receive a warm welcome. 
-- We have to raise $250,000 with donations quadrupled this week only!  Phone +972-77-902-2770 to donate!”

Be informed, be a smart Jew in 5 minutes.  Here’s the news being talked about by Jews today…

Today’s Skim of the News for Jews

- 2 Israeli soldiers were killed in an apparent error in use of a grenade while patrolling on Mt. Hermon in the Golan Heights.  Another 2 or 3 were injured (reports differ).  One of the soldiers killed was a dual-citizen American-Israeli who’s family lives in New Jersey.  May the families be comforted among the mourners of Ziyon and Yerushalayim.

- Attempted bombing of Jerusalem light rail stopped by alert security guard.  The guard stopped a suspicious man, who turned out to be a “Palestinian” from the Shomron (West Bank).  “The man was found to be carrying “a number of pipe bombs”.  Sappers disarmed “three pipe bombs wired together.” Mobile phones and knives were also in the backpack.”  Thank G-d it was stopped!

- Civil unrest continues in the U.S. with 7 police officers ambushed and shot in Baton Rogue – 3 killed, 1 officer ambushed and shot in Milwaukee, and ongoing actions against the police such as a police car torched in Daytona Beach.  The radical edge certainly seems to be spinning out of control.  On the other hand a noted pundit shared “I drove from Kansas and noticed something. Wherever I was, from Lawrence, to Kansas City, to St. Louis or Paducah or Nashville, it seemed as if white and black people were going out of their ways to be nice to each other.  As I’ve noted before, a lot of people seem to want to gin up racial tensions, but ordinary Americans don’t seem so big on that.” 

- Per capita means per person in a population.  The famous Elder of Ziyon blog shares the chart below, showing that “Palestinians” receive 10x the aid of any other crisis or situation IN THE WORLD300,000 starving in Aleppo, but the aid is going to “Palestinians”.  Ask your congressperson or member of parliament, why are the “Palestinians” getting a 10x share when so many others are in real need? 

…and that’s the news of interest to Jews today.

-- If you’d like to sponsor Skim the News for Jews, contact akiva@mpaths.com --

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Sunday, July 17, 2016

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Skim the News for Jews–July 17, Tammuz 11

Shavua Tov – a good week, a peaceful week (we can hope and pray), a prosperous week, a blessed week!

Be informed, be a smart Jew in 5 minutes.  Here’s the news being talked about by Jews today…

Today’s Skim of the News for Jews

- UNESCO's World Heritage Committee, the UN organization that funds and “protects” world heritage, has been working on a draft resolution in Istanbul on Jerusalem that erases the Jews – or rather as they refer to it Al Quds and the Al Aqsa mosque complex.  Apparently Jerusalem being the ancient city of the Jews, and the Temple Mount being the location of the two Jewish temples long before Islam, is to be erased from world history.  The JOOOOS never had a history, didn’t come from Jerusalem, but should go back to where they come from.  It’s so confusing dealing with competing anti-Semitism.  The meeting ended early without resolution due to an attempt coup in the country (see next item). 

- Coup attempt in Turkey fails~3,000 Turkish soldiers attempted to overthrow the government and president of Turkey.  They failed when the president called for his supporters via Twitter (which he’s ordered blocked in the country in the past) to confront the military, which they did on the streets.  The soldiers, being unwilling to slaughter the civilians, were overrun and even beaten in their tanks.  ~300 killed in some military battles in the capital.  Rumors have arisen that the coup may have been staged or encouraged by the president, and it has also been noted that the supporters who confronted the military were all young Islamic men shouting allah akbar as they confronted the troops.  US President Obama and German Chancellor Merkel quickly came out in support of the Turkish president.

- Israel tech boom continues, with $2.8 billion invested in Israel in the first half of 2016.  “The industry is hard at work and the investors are still in the game.”

- In a related note, Haredi (ultra-orthodox) women in Israel have moved en masse into hi-tech jobs.  “Since 2000, haredi women's participation in the labor market has climbed by 30 percent. Seventy-five percent of them now have jobs, in line with Israel's overall female population.”  “Graduates of programming schools in the overwhelmingly ultra-Orthodox community of Bnei Brak…produce most of the firm's computer programmers.”  Some hi-tech companies are even getting rabbinical certification that the environment is suitable for religious women (example requirement – internal office doors should be glass to prevent mixed gender private meetings.)

- Huge explosion in Aleppo, Syria. “Nuke-like explosion rocking Syrian Army Defense Factories in Safira in Aleppo.  One report via Hezbollah says "technical error w/ explosives" led to explosions.”  No more information is available, but internet and cell phone service was immediately blocked following the event.

- In previous Paris terrorist attack that murdered 130 and wounded close to 400, reports have just come out that the murdered were horribly tortured and mutilated.  The results are reported to have been so inhumane and horrific that police and pathology personnel were literally sickened.  “I saw weeping from one of our colleagues who came outside to vomit. He told us what he had seen.  Bodies of the victims have not been presented to families because there were (censored).”  This link has the info, including the disturbing details:  here’s the linkThese terrorists literally don’t even consider their targets, that’s you and me, to even be human.

…and that’s the news of interest to Jews today.

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Never Too Soon to Start

  by Reb Gutman Locks   
    

Never Too Soon to Start

 

     This little boy was sitting by the tefillin stand at the Kotel writing a note to Hashem. A few minutes later a religious man from Lakewood NJ came over and began a conversation. He had an infant in a baby buggy and his three or four year old daughter with him.

     When I heard that he was from Lakewood, I said, "You have a major problem in Lakewood."

    "What are you talking about?"

    "I've been told that the children as young as fifth-graders do not want to learn Torah and  are running away from it!"

    "What can we do?"

    "It happens because you teach like this… (I pointed my forefinger at him and shook it as if I was accusing him of something.) Instead of like this… (I held my hands palms up, and looking up at the sky I raised them as if yearning for Hashem.) It is an easy comparison to understand when you see it.

      What I was showing him was that today the Torah is almost always taught only as an obligation, a responsibility, ignoring the spiritual side of it so obviously the kids do not want it.

     Pointing to his small daughter, he asked, "How are you going to teach spiritual understanding to a child like this?"

     "First you have to get it yourself." I answered, "That's the real problem, but if you understand these things and live with them then they are easy to share. But if the adults do not have it there is no way you can teach it to anyone."

     I went on, "Even the smallest children can learn the deepest Torah. But, like everyone else, they learn it on their own level."

     I turned to the little girl, bent over and asked, "Where is Hashem?"

     She smiled and pointed to the sky.

     "Yes, that's right, but what about here, too?" I pointed to the ground.

     She nodded her head, "yes."

     I said very happily, "You're right. Hashem is everywhere!"

     I told her, "Be sure to watch Mommy when she lights her Shabbos candles every week. It is a very special time."

     Children are so honestly simple. Hashem loves their prayers. You should ask your children to pray for you.


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Friday, July 15, 2016

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Skim the News for Jews–July 15, Erev Shabbos Tammuz 9

Be informed, be a smart Jew in 5 minutes or less.  Here’s the news being talked about by Jews today…

Today’s Skim of the News for Jews

- Conversion controversy in Israel!  An orthodox Jewish convert could not certify their conversion, in a request to get married in Israel, according to the agreement between the Israel Chief Rabbinate and the Rabbinical Council of America in place since 2006. (Anyone converted in the U.S. after 2006 gets a special Council certificate, before 2006 needs to go to the Council and request a retroactive certification.) Although the convert’s supervising rabbi is a very well known reliable rav, the Israeli rabbinical court ruled “the process is the process, and we don’t go around individually investigating U.S. rabbis, that’s the Council’s job”.  (The rabbinate seems to be backing down on that position, given the pressure.) The big deal was the same rabbi also did the conversion for Ivanka Trump, U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump’s daughter – so it was headline news.  If you’re an orthodox Jewish convert making aliyah, make sure you’ve got the Council certification in order – the Israeli rabbinate is rigid in it’s process and you don’t need to find that out when trying to get married (or when your children go to get married) in Israel.

- Large terror massacre in south France during national holiday celebration.  84 killed including children and at least 100 wounded as a “man of Tunisian origin” (notice the lack of religious or community affiliation, or that the man was shouting Allah Akbar from a preliminary report – we wouldn’t want to cause Islamophobia) drove a large truck into a holiday crowd in the city of Nice and kept driving people over until police shot him.  Reports remain confusing over whether the driver was also shooting people, and whether the truck had grenades and other guns inside or they were fakes (equally weird).  5 Jews are among the injured.

- Parshat Chukat in the U.S., and Parshat Balak in Israel. Torah portion Chukat, read this week in synagogues outside of Israel, is famous for bringing the laws of the Red Heifer, the death of Miriam HaNavia the sister of Moshe Rabaynu, and Moshe’s hitting of the rock to bring water.   Parshat Balak is read this week in Israel, and is famous for the story of Bilam the prophet hired to curse the Israelites who ends up blessing them instead – a blessing which remains part of the Jewish prayerbook today.  And of course Bilam’s talking donkey!  It ends with the incident of Pinchas zealously killing a high-level official who was sinning publically and receiving the covenant of peace.  Go to synagogue and hear the Torah!

- Day of Rage planned for Friday in the U.S.?  ‘We are calling on a collective day of rage. A day of action centered around civil disobedience and the right to protest.’  “The potential for widespread violent protests in 37 U.S. cities has put the military on guard, with warnings to military personnel to avoid those cities on Friday. The potential protests are in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and the victims of police brutality.”  This may have started as a hoax but seems to be spreading virally and therefore will possibly come true.  Most protests are scheduled to start at 4pm, 5pm, or 7pm.  The list includes major and minor cities (Tampa?  Oakland?  Ann Arbor?) – if you live or work in those cities I’d check the list for areas to avoid (see here).  Similarly if you are Jewish and have a synagogue in those areas, Friday night Shabbos services could be in danger and I’d ask the local police for special protection.

…and that’s the news of interest to Jews today…and GOOD SHABBOS!

We do NOT publish on the Holy Shabbos, Friday sundown until Saturday nightfall.

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

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Skim the News for Jews–July 14, Tammuz 8

Be informed, be a smart Jew in 5 minutes or less.  Here’s the news being talked about by Jews today…

Today’s Skim of the News for Jews

- The Students for 'Justice' in 'Palestine,' an extremist anti-Israel group at NYU, is doubling down on its accusation that Israel is behind the training of police officers that 'causes' them to shoot black 'activists.'  “The IDF assists (via training) the NYPD and other American police departments in their oppression and murder of black people. These groups (the IDF and the U.S. police) share a common logic that manifests in several types of oppression, white supremacist racism among them.”  “The accusation that Israel’s counter-terrorism training of American officers contributes to police brutality is not new to Palestinian sympathizers.”  It’s the Jooooooooos!

- Not Kosher = Not Real! “Most everything we eat is fraudulent.”  Kobe beef? Nope. Extra-virgin Olive Oil, diluted. White tuna? Replaced with “ex-lax fish”!  Surprise, the FDA is barely checking ANY food claims, and many “high-end” foods, even most, are being faked to the mass market.  While kosher supervision only guarantees the product is kosher to Jewish religious standards, those standards include not eating animals that are diseased (each animal is checked after slaughter), and for manufactured products checking of every individual ingredient.  Any substitutions, dilutions or misrepresentations mean it’s not kosher.  (If a product sells itself as “honey-like” and includes honey and sugar-water, and both sources are certified, then that product is kosher.  But if it’s honey and they try to mix in sugar-water, that’s a kosher violation and the company will lose it’s certification.)

- The Zika virus is now being found in Florida and New York, with hundreds of cases.    ~5% of pregnant women who catch the virus will have a deformed child, which makes it terrifying.  U.S. cases are from people who had visited South America or Puerto Rico or who have had intimate relations with people who have the virus.  First they said the virus spreads only by mosquito, now they have added it also can spread via intimate relations.  “No local mosquito-borne Zika virus disease cases have been reported in US states, but lab tests have confirmed Zika virus in travelers returning to the United States. These travelers have gotten the virus from mosquito bites and some non-travelers got Zika through (intimate relations) with a traveler.”  Israel has had 9 cases, but all from people visiting problematic areas.  Israel does have a mosquito that can transmit Zika, and has instituted some mosquito spraying and elimination programs even though the virus is not spreading there (to prevent it from happening).

World Map of Zika Areas for Pregnant Women to Avoid – U.S. CDC

image

 

- In an update from yesterday, China is trying to take control of the South China Sea and has “Threatened to Impose an Air Defense Zone over the sea.  The vice foreign minister, said: "If our security is being threatened, of course we have the right to demarcate a [air defence identification] zone.”  China would require all aircraft entering the designated airspace to identify themselves (and threaten any aircraft that didn’t). China declared a zone over disputed islands in the East China Sea in 2013, escalating tensions with the United States and Japan.

…and that’s the news of interest to Jews today

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Leaving the Land

​   by Reb Gutman Locks   
     

Leaving the Land

 

     After learning Torah and making a family in Jerusalem for the past ten years Simcha has decided to return to England and go into the family business. He saw one of my videos and he stopped by the tefillin stand to say hello.

     He had never put tefillin on another Jew before, not once in his entire life. As amazing as this is to me, it is the sad situation with the vast majority of religious Jews. They do not see that since we are commanded to help pick up our fellow's fallen donkey… all the more so, are we to help him pick up his fallen soul.

     He caught on right away. He liked helping. He came back a few times and now is comfortable asking Jews if they have already put on tefillin and bringing them in if they haven't.

     He is leaving in a month. I explained; "You are very fortunate that you have learned how to help Jews with tefillin and to show them how to open their hearts by talking to Hashem. You are leaving the Holy Land and although you do not realize it yet, you are going to miss something very important in your life …the holiness that we can easily experience here. If it were also so readily available in England there would be no motivation for Jews to come live here.

     "But now, thank G-d, you have learned to help another Jew to do a mitzvah and you see how this not only helps them, but it helps you, too. Take this lesson with you. At least once a week, take your tefillin and go out and look for Jews to help. See if you can find a few Jews who do not know enough to put them on themselves. Doing this will allow you to take with you some of the holiness that we have here."

     Learning the mitzvah of helping others to do a mitzvah has saved his spiritual life. At least, if he will follow up on it, it has. And doing this will affect his daily outlook, and this uplifting change will also spread to his family. Fortunate fellow.

 

 

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

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Skim the News for Jews - July 13 – 7 Tammuz

Be informed, be a smart Jew in 5 minutes or less.  Here’s the news being talked about today…

Today’s Skim of the News for Jews

- Did the U.S. State Department fund groups to defeat Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in Israel’s last election?  Seems they did, then deleted all information about it to hide this ILLEGAL MANIPULATION OF A FOREIGN ELECTION.  “A State Department official deleted emails that included information about a secret campaign to oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the country’s last election, the Obama administration transferred tax funds to anti-Netanyahu groups.  The administration provided U.S. taxpayer dollars to the OneVoice Movement, a liberal group that waged a clandestine campaign to smear and oust Netanyahu from office.”

- Pokémon Go, the hot phone app of the moment (that also is rumored to vacuum up all your person usage data) continues to work at the US Holocaust Museum and even at the Auschwitz concentration camp.  Catching Pokemon amid lessons of genocide certainly seems out of place, but "It's not like we came here to play, but gotta catch 'em all."  This is just wrong.  On the other hand, reports are hordes of children abandoning the couch and walking miles to find pokemon and have virtual battles in physical gym locations.  “I gotta walk 5 kilometers to hatch my pokemon egg”.

- US administration continues to let things rage out of control, as Department of Homeland Security Secretary lumps together the “events” in Dallas (the murder of 5 police offices) with Baton Rouge (where police shot a man who may have been robbing a store) and Minnesota (where an armed man was shot in a traffic stop though probably without reasonable cause). Black Lives Matter protest leaders are now openly calling for shooting and running over of policePolice where shot at yesterday, in one case 15 rounds at an officers HOME, but thank G-d no reports of police deaths.  In ongoing social conflict, off-duty police officers working as security at a basketball stadium walked off the job when the players came out in Black Lives Matter shirts.

- The German FBI has announced an alarming finding that Iran made at least nine recent attempts to acquire technology for nuclear arms development.  Despite all the happy talk from the United States and its Western allies Iran has never stopped working to achieve its nuclear ambition.  Any bets on whether the US administration will take any action as promised in such a situation and  by the US-Iran agreement?

- U.S. Republican party changes their party platform removing references to Palestinians and a two-state solution.  The new position “The US seeks to assist in the establishment of comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East, to be negotiated among those living in the region. “We oppose any measures intended to impose an agreement or to dictate borders or other terms, and call for the immediate termination of all US funding of any entity that attempts to do so.”  The “two-state solution” has been the default political position of the US and EU for the last 10 years, so this is a major change – though it’s only a party platform unless Trump wins.

- China has been taking over the South China Sea and stopping freedom of navigation by building islands and placing military bases on them.  The Philippines, on the other side of the South China Sea, took China to international court, where China lost.  China immediately rejected the ruling.  There is significant potential for armed conflict to develop there, with a corresponding major impact on the world economy.

…and that’s the news of interest to Jews today.

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