Erev Shabbat Kodesh
Rabbi Mordechai Sitorsky
~~ Shabbat shalom! ~~
Over the years, the nationalist idea begat a child that was named “religious nationalism.” The name implies that religion alone is not enough; it has to be perfected by adding nationalism. The very name “religious nationalism” constitutes a denial of one of the fundamentals of Judaism: “The Torah of Hashem is perfect” (Tehillim 19:19) – It lacks nothing: it is flawless. The Torah warns us, “Do not add anything to it” (Devarim 4:2) – and the Sages say: “He who adds [to the word of Hashem] subtracts [from it]” (Sanhedrin 29a). Since modern Jewish nationalism is essentially idol-worship, it follows that “religious nationalism” is nothing short of idol-worship coupled with service to Hashem. (Source: The Era Preceding Mashiach)
August 21st is the date of “the Great American Eclipse”, and the hype around it is already starting to reach a fever pitch. It is being called “the Great American Eclipse” because this will be the first total solar eclipse ever that is only visible in the United States. In other words, since the United States became a nation there has never been a total eclipse that was only visible here and nowhere else.And what is this world power, this leading nation of the free world being eclipsed by? The Moon, symbol of Am Yisrael!
...this eclipse will actually cast a “shadow” over the entire nation.
...Seventy is a double-sided coin, representing on one hand the ultimate unity, and on the other hand, the epitome of disunity. When Jacob and his household traveled down to Egypt to be with his son, Joseph, the Bible tells us, "All the offspring of Jacob, seventy soul." Not souls, in the plural form, but the singular word—soul. The commentaries explain that the degree of unity among the family members was such that they were as one man, one soul, one drive.
Yet earlier in history, a generation after the great flood in Noah's time, a group had arisen to build a structure that would reach the heavens. They would ascend it and fight G‑d. This became known as the Tower of Babel. As punishment for their rebellion, G‑d planted strife and disagreement among them by causing each to speak a different language and not understand his fellow workers. From the unfinished Tower of Babel, the different languages separated from each other, and formed seventy nations.
When disunity came to the world, it took the form of seventy. When we see a true example of togetherness in the Bible, it takes the form of seventy. It's a number than can be pulled either way, all depending on you.What a description of the United States! United in name, disunited socially and politically. And what a way for HKB"H to get the attention of the entire world right at the beginning of the Days of Repentance. It will be very interesting to see what follows "The Eclipse of America" and what state the world might be in by the time Yom Kippur arrives.
An all-day celebration of learning and fellowship for Jews and Christians of all backgrounds to honor the achievements of Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, who later became Pope John XXIII. The son of poor sharecroppers, Roncalli became a Vatican envoy who secretly saved countless lives during the Shoah and as Pope John XXIII revolutionized the Catholic Church and its relations with the Jews. If not for him, Jewish-Catholic reconciliation might not have been possible.There is no reasoning with them. They just won't stop this chillul Hashem!
Along with his love for Israel, Sharma is concerned about anti-democratic things happening in the country. “Israel’s strength and its ability to survive depends on the vitality of its democracy, its liberal and pluralistic nature, its freedom of press and freedom of expression, no less than its military superiority,” he says. "Values such as separation of powers and the free press, the fact citizens and organizations can criticize government policy without being outlawed or arrested—all of this makes Israel unique in the Middle East and grants it international legitimacy. Israel depends on the support of the West, which is based on shared values, shared morality and common governing methods. If Israel abandons these principles, in 20-30 years, it will not enjoy the same legitimacy and support it enjoys today.”
According to Sharma, “The democratic nature of Israel is as important as its Jewish nature, and I don't think you need to strengthen one at the expense of the other. Today, Israel's Jewish nature is expanding at the expense of its democratic and pluralistic nature. When you see things like this happening, it becomes increasingly difficult to identify with Israel from the outside. This is bad hasbara.” (Source)Ah! There you have it in a nutshell. We are only Eisav's "brother" when we are being "Ya'aqov" - his twin. But when we rise to the elevated status of "Yisrael," the relationship comes to an end. No doubt "Israel's Jewish nature is expanding" refers to recent controversies over conversion authority and egalitarian access to the Kotel.
“It’s very disappointing to us. It’s another example of our calendar not being respected,” said Adam Organ, Executive Director of the Raleigh-Cary Jewish Community Center.
...Several Jewish groups have marched in the parade in recent years.
Carolina Jews for Justice said in a statement that: “No group of people, Jewish or otherwise, should have to choose between our LGBTQ identities and the other identities that are important to us and shape our lives.”What are they upset about? That the holiness of the day is being marred by the public celebration of what is sin even for gentiles? No! They are upset that if they go to pray in the synagogue on Yom Kippur, they will be forced to miss out on the celebration.
Bentching on a Treif Hamburger, RL
by Rabbi Yair Hoffman for the Five Towns Jewish Times
A RELIGIOUS FRIEND WHO WORKS in an office in Manhattan related the following story:
A formerly observant colleague came into my office and said, “You are going to find what I did this past Shabbos pretty bizarre. I had a Slider at White Castle – and they are the best burgers by the way – before I took a trip. After I ate the burger, I bentched and said Tefilas haDerech.”
The incident is certainly quite sad. It should motivate us all to double down our efforts in bringing our estranged brethren back to their Torah birthright. The episode, however, does bring up a halachic question. Should someone who has consumed a treif burger bentch afterward?What the rabbi in the article does not address is the additional question of saying Tefilat HaDerech before traveling on Shabbat.
...it is true that fruits and vegetables grown decades ago were much richer in vitamins and minerals than the varieties most of us get today. The main culprit in this disturbing nutritional trend is soil depletion: Modern intensive agricultural methods have stripped increasing amounts of nutrients from the soil in which the food we eat grows. Sadly, each successive generation of fast-growing, pest-resistant carrot is truly less good for you than the one before.GMO TIMELINE: A HISTORY OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS
The Fourth Industrial Revolution, or 4IR, is the fourth major industrial era since the initial Industrial Revolution of the 18th century. The Fourth Industrial Revolution can be described as a range of new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds, and impacting all disciplines, economies and industries.
...The Fourth Industrial Revolution builds on the Digital Revolution, representing new ways in which technology becomes embedded within societies and even the human body. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is marked by emerging technology breakthroughs in a number of fields, including robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, quantum computing, biotechnology, The Internet of Things, 3D printing and autonomous vehicles.
In his book, The Fourth Industrial Revolution, Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, describes how this fourth revolution is fundamentally different from the previous three, which were characterized mainly by advances in technology. These technologies have great potential to continue to connect billions more people to the web, drastically improve the efficiency of business and organizations and help regenerate the natural environment through better asset management.
“Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution” was the theme of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2016 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland.
Transhumanism (abbreviated as H+ or h+) is an international and intellectual movement that aims to transform the human condition by developing and making widely available sophisticated technologies to greatly enhance human intellect and physiology.
Transhumanist thinkers study the potential benefits and dangers of emerging technologies that could overcome fundamental human as well as ethical limitations of using such technologies. The most common transhumanist thesis is that human beings may eventually be able to transform themselves into different beings with abilities so greatly expanded from the natural condition as to merit the label of posthuman beings.
Tycoon withdraws funds from Israel amid Kotel, conversion crisisPlease, Mr. Fisher! Keep your money!! If Israel needs it, HKB"H will get it to us another way, because it all comes from Him anyway! We Israeli Jews who are faithful to our Holy Torah do not want you and your kind to have this merit any longer. Furthermore, it seems your money anyway supports organizations with anti-Torah views. Better for us that your money remain in America.
“As you know, I actively support Israel,” [Isaac] Fisher began. “But I wish to inform you that my support is being suspended until the Israeli government changes its decision on the Kotel and conversions.”
Op-ed: Despite the injustice suffered by Jews in the US and other countries, the holy site’s fate won’t be determined by those who don’t live here. Without the active involvement of Israeli Jews, the public domain will be shaped by those who care more—in this case, the Haredim. ...At the moment, this battle is headed towards a major knockout.It's a lot more than just the Chareidim! They want it to be a war between Chareidim and all other Jews. I and my family would never be considered Chareidi or accepted into a Chareidi community, but our hashkafah is the same because it is TORAH hashkafah!! We have always stood side by side with our Chareidi brothers at public demonstrations and we will continue to do so in the future because real Jews unite around the TORAH.
...Haredi students learn that Jews have absolute right over the entire Land of Israel, as God promised Abraham. Textbooks in civics—a subject taught mostly to girls—show the ultra-Orthodox don't consider occupation to be unjust, but do believe the Palestinians, along with other non-Jewish residents of Israel, should be treated fairly and with caution. [Oh my, imagine that!]
"The liberation of the homeland is promised by the Creator of the Universe; it is not considered to be an 'occupation.' The only issue about which care must be taken is that of allowing the inhabitants to choose whether to remain in the land as foreign subjects, accepting the behavioral restrictions that would be imposed upon them, or to leave the land," according to the civics textbook As a New Citizen. [Pure Torah!]
...The Palestinian issue is mostly addressed in chapters dealing with what Haredi history textbooks describe as the greatest catastrophe to befall the State of Israel—the Oslo Accords. [The truth hurts!]
History of Recent Generations describes the results of the accords, "The Israeli government gave them authority and political, economic and military power without concern for the destructive consequences that might result from placing such might in the hands of the monstrous PLO terrorists and the PLO's military arm, Fatah."
... "The Haredi narrative is very clear, and continues throughout history," he explains. "Those who left the tradition—the Jewish Enlightenment, Zionism, the Reform Movement—they are all a direct continuation of the Hellenists. [Sure, because they left us and went to the other side.]
"This is exactly what we've been seeing recently with the Reform Movement and the Western Wall crisis, or the conversion crisis. The ultra-Orthodox are confident that anyone who thinks differently does so out of malice, stupidity, or indifference toward the Torah, piety, and the people of Israel. And that is a problem," he continues.Torah observant Jews' insistence on adhering to Torah law is a very great problem for the liberal humanists who hate God and hate religion and want to remove both from the world. One commenter remarks: "Fundamentalism in any religion can be hateful and dangerous." See? She has already been brainwashed.