A conversation about G-d, mysteries of the universe and soul, Israel... and speculation about biblical prophecies and the end of days.

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Friday, July 29, 2016

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Skim of the News for Smart Jews–July 29, Erev Shabbos Tammuz 23

Be informed, be a smart Jew in under 5 minutes.  Here’s the news being talked about by smart Jews today…  (our skim is ethnically focused, but we’re thrilled for every reader!)

yiddish_worldToday’s Skim of the News for Smart Jews

- Unemployment in Israel falls to 4.8%   In Israel the unemployment rate fell from 5.2% in the first quarter to 4.8% in the second quarter.

- German University TEACHES sick outrageous claims of Israel harvesting “Palestinian” organs.  "This is an ugly and outrageous demonstration of Jew hatred. This is not a university - it is a hatred factory."  A German university faced scathing criticism for teaching students that the Jewish state is an apartheid government that harvests Palestinian organs and commits genocidal atrocities. The HAWK University of Applied Sciences and Arts in the city of Hildesheim in the German state of Lower Saxony has taught a course assaulting Israel’s existence for at least 10 years, including sick lies such as organ harvesting.

- U.S. pundit shares a reasonable scenario of martial law and uprising in the U.S.  “How much violence against authority would it take for President Obama to declare martial law and stay in power?  Less than you think. Television coverage will make every act of violence seem a hundred times worse than it is.”

- Blood donations in Miami, Florida halted over Zika virus fears.  In Miami, investigators probe four potential non-travel associated cases of the mosquito-borne Zika virus, which can cause birth defects. "In consideration of the possibility of an emerging local outbreak of Zika virus, and as a prudent measure to help assure the safety of blood and blood products, FDA is requesting that all blood establishments in Miami-Dade County and Broward County cease collecting blood immediately."

- Parshat Pinchas in the U.S. and outside Israel, Parshat Matos in Israel. Parshat Pinchas is read this week outside of 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.  Parshat Matos in Israel.  War is waged against Midian for attempting the moral destruction of the Jewish nation, and the tribes of Reuven and Gad are given the land on the OTHER SIDE of the Jordan (what today is the country of Jordan).

- Pictures of the day…  Looking north towards Haifa, Israel from inside the south Haifa high-tech industrial park.

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…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.  The next Skim for Jews will be on Sunday, G-d willing.

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

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Skim of the News for Smart Jews–July 28, Tammuz 22

Be informed, be a smart Jew in under 5 minutes.  Here’s the news being talked about by smart Jews today…  (our skim is ethnically focused, but we’re thrilled for every reader!)

yiddish_worldToday’s Skim of the News for Smart Jews

- More chaos as improvised Bomb set off by German government migration office.       “Huge” explosion occurred near the Federal Office for Migration in Zirndorf via a suitcase packed with highly flammable aerosol canisters.  People fled the scene in panic as a huge bang ripped through the quiet neighborhood.  Police said that a man and a woman planted the suitcase, the man was described as around 30 years old, shaved black hair and being of "a Mediterranean appearance" (Arab).

- Iranian General tours Syrian-Israeli border (on the Syrian side).     Iranian news just reported that a leading general toured the abandoned Syrian town of Quneitra on the Golan Heights Israeli border. Given that most forces, both Syrian government, Hezbollah and Syrian rebels have left the area over the past year, this visit would seem to be a symbolic threat to Israel from Iran.

- U.S. State Department again tells Israel building for Jews in Jerusalem is bad.        Tackling an ongoing housing shortage, the Israeli government approved 323 bids to build in East Jerusalem, and 770 units in the south Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo, which currently has thousands of homes.  Continuing to defy reality and maps which show a contiguous presence of neighborhoods of Jerusalem from Malcha to Beit Tzafafa (an Arab neighborhood) to Gilo, including the new cross-Jerusalem highway extension, U.S. State said “We strongly oppose settlement activity, which is corrosive to the cause of peace. These steps by Israeli authorities are the latest examples of what appears to be a steady acceleration of settlement activity that is systematically undermining the prospects for a two-state solution.”  The sky is green because the U.S. State Department says so…but Jerusalem is Jewish because G-d says so.

- Israeli Customs seizes HUGE shipment of fake Viagra.     Israeli Customs Authority inspectors seized two million fake Viagra pills and 100 kilograms of anesthetics that could have been used to mix with hard drugs. They were worth a total of $10 million on the black market. The authorities said the shipment posed a real health danger to the public.  Too many joke opportunities, must contain myself.

- 1,600 year old kiln found in northern Israel.      An ancient pottery workshop featuring an unusual kiln where jars were produced during the Roman period 1,600 years ago was unearthed in an archeological excavation.  ““What makes the pottery works so special is its unique kiln, which was hewn in bedrock and is unlike most of the kilns known to us that were built of stone, earth and mud”.  It is slated to become part of an archeological park as the area is developed for homes.

- Corsican separatists threaten Islamic militants.    Corsican separates, a radical group pushing for an independent Corsica from France, have threatened Islamists that if there are any attacks in Corsica there will be an immediate violent response.

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

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The Jewish Soul

   by Reb Gutman Locks   

The Jewish Soul

 

Alan asked:

     "The nefesh Elokis [Godly soul] is a chelek [portion] of Eloka mimaal mammash" [G-d on High, Really!] – What does it mean "chelek", what portion of Hashem is our nefesh Elokis? What does this mean?"

 

Gutman's reply:

    There is nothing besides G-d. He is all. When He creates He does so by willing matter into being as if by using "husks," or coverings, as if thickening His words which are either very, very thick as in a rock, or thinner, as in an animal, or thinner yet, as in the human's animal soul, and even substantially less covering, as in the Jew's holy soul.

     A chekek is a portion which is an area as opposed to a part. The concept "part" implies separate, while the concept "portion" envisions the portion to be merely an undisturbed area still resting within the whole.

 


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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

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Skim of the News for Smart Jews–July 27, Tammuz 21

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

yiddish_worldToday’s Skim of the News for Smart Jews

- Even more mass murders.       France, horrific church attack.  Two attackers entered a French church during morning services and recorded themselves slitting the throat of the priest and stabbing a nun at the alter.  One of the attackers had been arrested multiple times for attempting to go to Syria and join ISIS and was under home arrest monitoring.  Germany, medical clinic attack.  Early reports are sparse, but mention a murdered doctor and a dead attacker and an immediate statement from the police that "We do not have a single indication that this crime was motivated by extremism or Islamists."  Past statements are usually followed up about a week later with “we found ISIS literature on his phone”.

- Hamas terror cell that killed rabbi in Israel in early July caught.     One of the four man terror cell was killed when he attempted to shoot the arresting forces. Violent riots broke out between the soldiers and Palestinians trying to prevent the arrests of the suspects in the village.  “It’s a human rights violation arresting our murderers!”

- Iron Dome, the toy.      Toy model military vehicle hobbyists are getting a new model for their collections – the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system. Israeli military toy designer creates an Iron Dome model toy, joining other mini versions of tanks and military vehicles on toy store shelves.

- South African Jewish community under threat and on alert.         “There has been rumors that ISIS operatives were training in Cape Town. The South African police have arrested four terror suspects on charges of (planning) Terrorism. Included in the alleged targets were Jewish installations.”

- Israeli teen almost dies by drowning playing Pokémon Go.        An Israeli teen, 17, drowns (walking off a sea wall?) in the seaside southern city of Ashdod, Israel while distracted and trying to catch them all with Pokémon Go (a hyper-popular augmented reality game that places virtual creatures in real world maps and pictures.)  Teens and young adults are enamored with the phone game app that brings a very popular childhood game into a real world adult-ish model.  As for our teen, thank G-d his brother saved him, he’s now in the hospital for neurological evaluation. In related news, the IDF (Israeli Army) has banned the use of the Pokémon Go app from all Israeli army bases, given the the app’s feature to use the camera to superimpose the virtual creatures.  Such images could be transmitted or captured, becoming a security risk.

- U.S. Democratic Party convention features many Palestinian flags, no U.S. flags, and burning of Israeli flags.     A Palestinian flag was flown on the floor of the Democratic convention without complaint, and I Support Palestine banners held up, but no American flags were seen at the U.S. Democratic Party presidential convention.  Outside the convention, party supporters demonstrated by burning Israeli and U.S. flags while chanting “intifada”Unlike the politicians, I am speechless.

- Picture of the Day… the fruits of the land, a pomegranate tree in central Israel. Pomegranates are one of the Seven Species of fruits and grains enumerated in the Torah (Deuteronomy 8:8) as being special products of the Land of Israel.

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

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

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Skim of the News for Smart Jews–July 26, Tammuz 20

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

yiddish_worldToday’s Skim of the News for Smart Jews

- More mass murder attacks world wide.       Florida (Ft. Myers) – teens, 2 dead, 16 injured after a night of fun in a local club.  Japan (Tokyo) – 19 dead, 26 injured in a disability & rehab center.  Just as copycat suicide spreads, mass murder and ISIS ideology is spreading.  “Inspired terrorism is actually more dangerous than directed terrorism.   Directed terrorism is easier to track. There will be planning. There will be communication. There will be money transfers. There’s always a chance that someone will report suspicious activity.  Contrast this with inspired attacks in which lone wolves decide to take it upon themselves – for whatever reason, be it anger, religious zealotry, or mental illness – to murder scores of innocent people and screech their allegiance to whatever terrorist entity of the day moves them.”

- China Bans Internet News Reporting as Media Crackdown Widens.     China’s top internet regulator ordered major online companies to stop original news reporting.  The government imposed the ban on major news portals. The companies have “seriously violated” internet regulations by carrying plenty of news content obtained through original reporting, causing “huge negative effects,”.  The agency instructed the operators of mobile and online news services to dismantle “current-affairs news” operations on Friday.  Henceforth, they and other services can only carry reports provided by government-controlled print or online media.  Good thing we’re not writing from China.

- No large hurricanes in the U.S. for a decade.       Despite predictions that the world was faced with increased extreme weather due to human-caused global warming, including more hurricanes that were more powerful, the United States has now set a record for the longest stretch ever recorded, 129 months, without a single major hurricane.  Global warming good?

- Lithuania death camp now a wedding venue.     In 1941, thousands of Jews were imprisoned, starved and finally massacred by Lithuanian Nazi collaborators at the Seventh Fort in what was then the largest mass killing in the country’s history.  Seventh Fort is an 18-acre red-brick bunker complex features massive underground passages and is carpeted with lush grass and flowers whose yellow blooms attract bees and songbirds.  It’s also where the remains of 5,000 murdered Jews are buried at the fort in mass graves that are marked by a few poles and rocks and a popular venue for graduation parties and wedding receptions, complete with buffets and barbecues, as well as summer camps for children who enjoy the elaborate treasure hunts around the premises.  Literally dancing on Jewish graves.

- U.S. Congressman calls Jews living in the Shomron (West Bank) termites.    Democratic U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson made the remarks while speaking at an event sponsored by the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.  “There has been a steady [stream], almost like termites can get into a residence and eat before you know that you’ve been eaten up and you fall in on yourself, there has been settlement activity that has marched forward with impunity and at an ever increasing rate to the point where it has become alarming.”  We’re alarmed by U.S. Congressmen saying stupid things and supporting propaganda causes for a non-native people.

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

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Overwhelming

​   by Reb Gutman Locks  

Overwhelming

 

     The father is a photographer visiting from S. Cruz California. His son is about to begin a three-year period in the Israeli army. The father cried when I had him put his hand on his son's head and bless him.

     The Kotel…the mitzvah of tefillin…blessing his beloved son who is going into the army…who wouldn't cry.

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Monday, July 25, 2016

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Skim of the News for Smart Jews–July 25, Tammuz 19

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

yiddish_worldToday’s Skim of the News for Smart Jews

- Intifada in Germany?  2 more mass murder attacks since yesterdays report…          Syrian Muslim refugee kills pregnant woman and injures 2 others with a machete near Stuttgart.  And suicide bombing by Syrian Muslim refugee with 1 dead and 12 injured near Nuremberg.  But Germans should not worry that a series of Muslim refugees are perpetrating mass murder daily, because “Given the current evidence, there is no indication that this was a terrorist attack” and “had tried to kill himself twice in the past and had spent time in a psychiatric clinic”.  Whether copy-cats, sick people, or jihadis, Germany now has it’s own intifada.  We urge the German authorities to agree to all refugee demands to stop the cycle of violence immediately.

- Israel internet infrastructure being upgraded to 300mbit at home, 1gbit in smaller offices, and “unlimited” speed at major office buildings.         “The Israeli telecom provider Bezeq (former the national phone company) is upgrading to “fast copper” for all homes and direct fiber where warranted.”  The tech is on trial in Modiin, Haifa, Rishon Lezion, Sderot, Tel Aviv, Ganei Tikva and Tur'an.  Home internet in Israel ranges from $18 to $40 per month, depending on speed and package.

- Jewish head of U.S. Democratic Party booted after email archive hacked and published, showing the dirty manipulative side of the supposed “fair process”.          Debbie Waserman Schultz was first booted from the Democrat Party Convention speakers, then from her role as party head, as an archive of emails stolen from Democratic Party servers was eagerly reviewed by the public.  The “fair and democratic process” of the U.S. primary system is shown to be subject to major manipulation and control by a small council of party elite.  Supporters of the former Jewish Democrat candidate but anti-Israel Bernie Sanders are incensed at evidence backing their suspicions and are protesting.  Another side of this story is the hacking of the party email servers, and questions whether this was independent hackers or a foreign government manipulating the U.S. election cycle.  Blaming a foreign government sounds good, but has international repercussions and isn’t the kind of thing done publically unless one is ready to cause a diplomatic incident.

- Humor of the day… Worst auto-translate ever seen in Israel, spotted at a community swimming pool:

image

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

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Sunday, July 24, 2016

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Skim the News for Jews–July 24, Tammuz 18

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

- Today is the fast of the 17th of the Hebrew month of Tammuz, known as Shivah Asar B’Tammuz (delayed because of Shabbos).  It the start of a three-week mourning period for the destruction of Jerusalem and the two Holy Temples.  The fast actually commemorates five tragic events that occurred on this date.

- A retired Saudi general visited Israel last week for a series of meetings, in what is the latest sign of increasing dialogue, public appearances, and quiet cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Israel.  Public conversations between Israeli and Saudi figures have been increasingly frequent and visible in recent months. 

- Argentine Federal Judge Wants Iran's Former Foreign Minister Arrested Over Jewish Center Bombing. On July 18, 1994, the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) building in Buenos Aires—the country’s largest Jewish organization—was bombed, killing 85 and wounded hundreds more.  To this day, no one has been formally convicted in connection with the attack. Fingers have pointed at Hezbollah, which allegedly executed the attack “at the will of the Tehran government.”

- A federal judge in Mississippi, USA issued an injunction preventing a religious-liberty law from going into effect. The law preserves the right of those with “sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction” about same-gender marriage to refrain from participating in or validating such marriages, provided their actions do not impede the ability of same-gender couples to marry.

- Another Mass Murder, this time in a mall in Germany.  9 dead, 27 wounded, mostly teenagers.  18 year old Islamic German immigrant from Iran.  But “this had nothing to do with Islam, he was just fixated on mass murder.”  Ooooook.

- Turkish leader purging everyone who disagrees with him following the attempted coup.  Purged by Turkey: 15 universities, 19 unions, 35 medical clinics, 1,043 schools, 1,229 charities.  UN Human Rights Council urgent sessions: 0, resolutions: 0.  Last days of secular Turkey?

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

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How to Help

​   by Reb Gutman Locks   
     

How to Help

A Chabadnik in Australia asked:

     Can you please send me an email covering your guidelines for mivtzoyim [outreach] and putting tefillin on Jews?

     I want to print it out and put it up at my local Chabad yeshiva.

 

Gutman's reply:

    

     The Torah calls all of our offerings to Hashem, be they the most expensive animal offerings, or even the simplest, least expensive meal offerings, a "sweet savor." The Mishna explains that this comes to "teach you that it is the same whether a man offers much or little, so long as he directs his heart to Heaven."[i] This explicitly tells us that directing our hearts is an essential aspect of the mitzvah.

     Of course, each of the physical details of the mitzvah must be correct, exactly as commanded, but if we want to receive more than the physical awareness of the results of doing the mitzvah, we have to direct our attention to the Holy One Who has commanded us to do that act. It is not enough to merely fulfill the physical details of the mitzvah. We are told that we have to purposely set our hearts, which means to consider the greatness of the One Who in His kindness has instructed us to do these acts.    

     All the more so is this true when we are trying to bring a Jew to a Torah life by helping him to put on tefillin, or her to light Shabbos candles. We have to show them more than the physical requirements of the mitzvah. Rarely will someone learn to love the Torah by putting on tefillin one time unless you also show them how to open their hearts when they do the mitzvah.

     The easiest way for them to learn to love the mitzvah is after they read the Shema, or light the candles tell them:

     Doing a mitzvah opens a door in Heaven. This means that a spiritual opportunity comes. Take advantage of this. Close your eyes and picture everyone you love one at a time with light on their faces and smiling and ask G-d to bless them. Send blessings to everyone you love. Ask Him to protect the Jews in danger all over the world. Say thank you for all the wonderful things you have, like your health. Ask Him to send you whatever you need, and to guide you in your life. Picture the good things that you want to bring into the world. Take a couple of minutes and talk to G-d.

    Then stand back quietly and watch what happens.

    Hashem bless you to be able to show many Jews the joy in doing a mitzvah.



[i] Minacot 13:11





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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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