Select Section Jewish Culture & Yiddish: 24JEWISH ALERTS large selection videos and feeds in each section

Hebrew Literacy and Beyond Block 1 Class 12

26.02.2012 

Michael Chabon, The Yiddish Policeman’s Union

 12.05.2007

See http://kwc.org/blog/archives/2007/200… for more video, photos, and notes.

Michael Chabon reads from his latest novel, The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, at a Barnes and Noble in San Jose.

 הוקמה מתוך אהבה עמוקה ליצירה ולתחום.

Cue הוקמה מתוך אהבה עמוקה ליצירה ולתחום.

בסיס פעולתה של החברה מגיע מתוך הבנה של הצרכים והייחודיות של כל פרויקט,

בעקרונות מנחים של מחויבות אמיתית לכל לקוח, תוך השקעה וקפדנות

מתחילת הפרויקט ועד לפריים האחרון …

בעזרת בניית קונספט נכונה וייחודית אנו מצליחים לעמוד במסגרת התקציבית של הלקוחות (גם כשהיא נמוכה) להפקת התוצאה האופטימלית.

העבודה מבוצעת ע”י צוות מקצועי בוגר אקדמיות לצילום ולקולנוע, ובעזרת הציוד המתקדם והעדכני ביותר.

When our spiritual sap starts rising

Posted: 09 Jan 2014 07:17 AM PST

11854688553_0ae44324f0_bYesterday when my son and I arrived home after preschool, I could see my shadow against the driveway’s thin layer of snow. Night falls early at this season, and the sun had long since set. The shadow came from the half-moon suspended over our rooftop.

“Look, mommy — stars!”  We stood there for a moment, our breath drifting up like fog, marveling at the sky. And then I hustled us indoors, because although we’re not in the deep freeze of the midwest, the mercury was hovering around zero.

Having a child who likes to look up at the sky helps to keep me attuned to the ebb and flow of the seasons, the waxing and waning of the moon. Of course, so does the Jewish calendar. I wasn’t surprised that the moon was half-full already; I know that next week is Tu BiShvat, which always falls at full moon.

The New Year of the Trees. The birthday of the trees. The day when we count trees as a year older than they used to be, even though we no longer tithe their fruits. The day when we believe the sap starts to rise to feed the fertile season to come. Even here, where the ground is rock-solid, impregnated with ice.

If we get days which are warmer than freezing and nights which dip back down into 20s, maple sap really will start rising soon. I always look forward to the year’s first maple breakfast at our local sugar shack — a sign of impending spring even though soft rains and crocuses remain months away. But Tu BiShvat is about more than literal sap creeping up the phloem.

Tu BiShvat is when our spiritual sap starts rising to prepare us for the coming spring. We’ve been reading the story of the Exodus from Egypt in our cycle of weekly Torah portions; at Tu BiShvat, we take our first step toward Pesach, our celebration of freedom which marks spring’s new beginnings. At Tu BiShvat, we assert our trust that our dry and cracked winter souls will be watered and nourished. We open ourselves to feel the abundance which is flowing into our hearts and spirits.

We are the trees, growing older year by year. We give ourselves over to trusting that in the fullness of time, our labors will bear fruit. That we will bring forth nourishment for ourselves and those around us. That this world of winter will end, and be replaced by spring’s warm breezes — and summer’s clear sunshine — and autumn’s blaze of red and gold — again and again, and again.

I make my way to the storage room adjacent to our garage where curls of etrog peel have been steeping in vodka since Sukkot. I decant the liquid, add a simple syrup of sugar-water, and bottle it: etrogcello, made from the pri etz hadar, the “fruits of the goodly tree” (a.k.a. etrogim) which were so central to our celebration of Sukkot. Pri Etz Hadar is also the name of the first haggadah for the Tu BiShvat seder, published in 1728.

When we sip this sweet bright fire at our Tu BiShvat seder next week, we’ll swallow a taste of the autumn behind us — and an anticipation of the autumn which is to come. Sunshine in a jar to nourish our souls, all the way down to the root.

 

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Everything I Needed to Succeed in Business I Learned in Jewish Day School – January 9, 2014

7 Biblical Secrets to Business Success

by Bob Diener
Everything I needed to be successful in business I learned in Jewish Day School.

Lessons from Extreme Makeover Weight Loss

by Emuna Braverman
How would you be different if you had the ultimate coach who believed in you?

Video: Building Fences

by Mrs. Lori Palatnik
Practical Jewish advice for preserving what’s important.

Video: What Does It Mean To Have Faith?

by Rabbi David Fohrman
Why did Miriam feel a need to sing her own song at the Red Sea?

Jeff Jacoby’s Son Missing

by Ari Yashar
16 year old boy has been missing from Brookline home since Monday amid record cold weather, fliers handed out with picture.

Way #12: Growth Through Teaching

by Rabbi Noah Weinberg
Don’t let your idea remain a hazy notion in your imagination. Transmit it to others and make it a reality.

Four Amazing Trees

by Sara Debbie Gutfreund
Spiritual lessons from trees, for Tu B’Shvat.

THE FREEMAN FILES: What Is a Rebbe?

Chabad.org
What Is a Rebbe?
Shevat 8, 5774 · January 9, 2014

Rabbi Moshe Yitzchak Hecht had been the Chabad presence in New Haven, Connecticut, since 1941. The demands on him grew year by year, with a synagogue, a school, a yeshiva and many other responsibilities that required a staff several times that which he could afford.

In 1974, he wrote to the Rebbe complaining that in 33 years of work he felt he was back at the same place as when he started and that he simply could not continue.

He signed off the letter with a heart-rending plea that “the Rebbe should help and do all he can.”

The Rebbe responded—not with counsel, but with light:

I’ve already followed your advice. I’ve sent there Rabbi Moshe Yitzchak Hecht. But it appears from your letter and from those preceding it that you still are not familiar with him and with the capabilities with which this person is endowed.

Whatever the case, you should get to know him now. Immediately, everything will change—your mood, your trust in G‑d, everyday happiness, etc., etc.

Who Is a Rebbe?

Rebbe means “my master” or “my teacher.” Whether you are a small child learning alef-bet, or an expert scholar sailing the seas of the Talmud, you call your teacher, “rebbe.”

There’s another meaning to the title rebbe, one especially associated with a rabbi they called the Baal Shem Tov. The Baal Shem Tov was a teacher who touched not only your mind and heart, but could reach into your essential being and guide you to find yourself there.

Before you can understand “What is a Rebbe?” you must first ask “What am I?”

A rebbe then is a guide to your true self. Which means that before you can understand “What is a rebbe?” and “Who is a rebbe?” you must first ask “What am I” and “Who am I?”

Who Needs a Rebbe?

Imagine a rebbe as a ray of light. Light is not a thing for itself. Light is only light when it illuminates. Think of the space beyond our planet’s atmosphere; between the brilliant sun and the glowing earth is only darkness. For light to be light, you must provide something for it to enlighten.

If your major concern is getting from today to tomorrow, there is nothing to enlighten. If you consider yourself nothing more than a two-legged creature with an excess of neurons, Wikipedia and TED may be all you need.

But if you seek that which transcends physical sensation and satisfaction, if you feel a need to make sense of life, if you have ever asked yourself, “What am I doing here?” and you are looking for something deep inside yourself—then you need a rebbe to get you in touch with that inner self.

Context and Liberation

How does a rebbe do that? How could he show you something about you that you yourself could not discover?

Because as soon as you are connected to a rebbe, you are connected to a higher, wider context. A context in which you are no longer a lonely speck of dust in the vast, empty space, but a vital part of a greater whole. There, within that context, you discover where you are needed, what you are here to accomplish, and how you have the powers to fulfill that mission.

Context is everything. A sentence fallen out of a book can never make sense of itself without its story. Out of context, all meaning is distorted—often into its opposite. A precious ring in the snout of a boar, King Solomon the Wise tells us, just renders the beast yet more beastly. A swan out of context is an ugly duckling.

Connecting to a rebbe connects you to the whole.

Life out of context is called exile. Without your context, it’s not just that your place is missing. Without knowing your place, you cannot find your center, the very core of who you are.

Connecting to a rebbe connects you to the whole. And within that whole, you are liberated from exile.

Nucleus and Bonding

A rebbe is capable of doing that because he himself stands at the nucleus of that context.

All beauty in our universe begins with a nucleus. For a crystal to form, whether it be a snowflake or a diamond, a tiny nucleus of molecules must first become the basic structure from which a marvelous symmetry may extend. The same with life—whether it be a single cell, an entire tree or a human being—all begins with a tiny seed carrying the information that will unfold to form the limbs and organs of a mature organism.

All beauty and all life in our universe begins with a nucleus.

And we all form a single organism. Our bodies may be separate, but our souls are one. What makes them one? That they have a single nucleus. In that nucleus, all of us find our origin, and from it, we continue to be nurtured. Nurtured and bonded in a perfect union with one another and with the origin of all things. For that nucleus is the place where G‑d enters His universe. It is the place of a rebbe’s soul, and from there he invites you to join him.

We and G‑d

After all, what is a soul? It is G‑d breathing inside you; it is the divine presence invested within your physical body. It is what we call a neshamah—meaning a breath, as in the story of the creation of the first human being, “And G‑d blew into his nostrils the breath of life.” At every moment, G‑d breathes within us, and through that breath we are one with Him and He is one with us. In that breath, we are our Creator.

G‑d is one, and so He is found in our oneness.

G‑d is one, and so He is found in our oneness. Not as individuals, but as a whole; a singularity. Not as I, but as we. As a harmony of multifarious parts becoming one.

Which means that to find that oneness, that place inside you in which you are one with your G‑d, you must first connect your soul with other souls, which connect with yet more networks of souls, all forming a single cell around a single nucleus. That nucleus, in turn, is the nodal point at which G‑d’s breath enters. It is where all things become one.

In that nucleus, a rebbe stands, and from there he brings us together as one, to feel one another, to know us, to know ourselves, and to know our center, our core, the place where G‑d enters each of our souls. A rebbe connects us with our G‑d—and then gets out of the way.

Heads and Heads

Rebbe, they say, stands for rosh b’nei Yisrael. That means “A head of the Jewish People.”

Most of us think of a head as a control center. The head tells the heart, the lungs, the stomach, the fingers and toes what to do. Certainly, I am not interested in handing myself over to one who controls me. G‑d gave me my life to be me, not to be controlled by someone else.

But if you think of your own head, it is certainly not like that. That is, unless you are the philosopher who complained at the end of his days, “My whole problem, it turns out, is that I have no body, only a head.”

A head, before it is a head, is first part of a body.

The head we are talking about here is not a philosopher’s head, or an artificial head. It is the head of an organism, a body. Which means that before it is a head, it is first a part of this body. And so, the head is not concerned with consuming all other body parts into the head’s agenda. The head is concerned with the heart being a healthy heart, the stomach being a healthy stomach, the fingers doing what fingers are supposed to do and the toes keeping well within their own domain as well. The head is concerned with each body part fulfilling its own agenda.

So too a rebbe is firstly a servant of his people.

Knowing Your Name

Jerry Levine was an anchorman for Miami’s Channel 10 News, and a good one. He had won an Emmy for producing programs encouraging Floridians to participate in regular medical examinations. But in 1989, Rabbi Sholom Lipskar asked him to work for his organization, Aleph, assisting Jewish prisoners and military personnel and their families.

Jerry was young and thought, “Hey, here’s a great opportunity to try something new and different. And I can always get back into the news business if it doesn’t work out.”

So, at Rabbi Lipskar’s suggestion, Jerry wrote to the Rebbe to ask his advice, providing many details about himself and his personal goals.

The Rebbe’s response? A fax arrived on Rabbi Lipskar’s desk: “Tell me all his names.”

Jerry thought he had told the Rebbe all his names: Yosef ben Hirsch Leib ha’Levi. But when he went to talk with his mother about it, she told him it was YosefMordechai ben Hirsch Leib ha’Levi.

So he wrote again, this time with his full name. The Rebbe responded, telling him to ask the advice of a good friend.

“What I got from that,” Jerry says, “is that this is a different sort of leader.”

Any other leader would have been concerned with “What can this person provide my organization? How can he get us better media exposure?”

The Rebbe’s concern, in Jerry’s words, was that a Jewish boy didn’t know his own name. How did he know that? How did he recognize something was missing?

Why shouldn’t he? As a brain knows what the stomach needs, so a rebbe knows a Jew better than the Jew knows his own self.

That is the job of a rebbe—to help you find your name, your true self, and where you belong.

But it is not the knowing that is relevant here. It is the caring. That was the Rebbe’s first concern, because that is the job of a rebbe—to help you find your name, your true self, and where you belong.

Nothing For Yourself

Freddy Hager, came as a young man to see the Rebbe. He showed the Rebbe a picture of his grandfather, who had been a chassidic rebbe in Galicia.

The Rebbe asked him, “Do you know what it means to be a rebbe?” But Freddy didn’t respond. So the Rebbe answered.

“The Baal Shem Tov was the first rebbe. He would not go to sleep at night as long as he had anything of value left in his house. Whatever he had, he gave away to those who needed it.”

“That’s what it means to be a rebbe,” concluded the Rebbe. “Whatever you have, you have for others.”

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By Tzvi Freeman    More articles…  |   RSS Listing of Newest Articles by this Author

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman, a senior editor at Chabad.org, also heads our Ask The Rabbi team. He is the author of Bringing Heaven Down to Earth. To subscribe to regular updates of Rabbi Freeman’s writing, visit Freeman Files subscription.

Moving Forward Despite Adversity

Chabad.org
Shevat 7, 5774 · January 8, 2014
This Week’s Features

By Yehoshua B. Gordon

A 1972 recording of a farbrengen with the Rebbe

Watch Watch (1:17:30)

How to overcome darkness and find the power to be joyful

By Chana Weisberg
Watch Watch (19:43)

Practical Parshah – Beshalach

By Mendel Kaplan
Watch Watch (1:08:57)
By Goldie Plotkin
Watch Watch (1:01:31)
By Tzvi Freeman
Watch Watch (1:10)
Aaron L. Raskin
Watch Watch (23:59)

A Chassidic Discourse for the 10th of Shevat

By Yehoshua B. Gordon
Watch Watch (1:09:15)

Torah Interpretations of the Rebbe

By Elimelech Silberberg

ESSAY: The Four Factions

Chabad.org
The Four Factions
Shevat 7, 5774 · January 8, 2014

Moses said to the people: “Fear not; stand by and see the salvation of G‑d which He will show you today. For as you have seen Egypt this day, you shall not see them again, forever. G‑d shall fight for you, and you shall be silent.”

G‑d said to Moses: “Why do you cry out to Me? Speak to the children of Israel, that they should go forward.”(Exodus 14:13–15)

We all know the feeling: you wake up one morning to the realization that the world is not as you would like it to be.

A common experience, to be sure, but different people have different reactions. One person embarks upon a quixotic crusade to change the world. A second gives up the world for lost, and retreats into whatever protective walls he can erect around himself and his loved ones. A third takes a pragmatic approach, accepting the world for what it is and doing his best under the circumstances. A fourth recognizes his inability to deal with the situation, and looks to a higher power for guidance and aid.

Our forefathers experienced just such a rude awakening on the seventh day after their liberation from Egypt.

Ten devastating plagues had broken the might of the Egyptians and compelled them to free the Jewish people. After two centuries of exile and slavery, the children of Israel were headed toward Mount Sinai and their covenant with G‑d. Indeed, this was the stated purpose of the Exodus: as G‑d told Moses, “When you take this nation out of Egypt, you will serve G‑d at this mountain.”

But suddenly the sea was before them, and Pharaoh’s armies were closing in from behind. Egypt was alive and well; the sea, too, seemed oblivious to the destiny of the newly born nation.

How did they react? The Midrash tells us that the Jewish people were divided into four camps. There were those who said, “Let us throw ourselves into the sea.” A second group said, “Let us return to Egypt.” A third faction argued, “Let us wage war upon the Egyptians.” Finally, a fourth camp advocated, “Let us pray to G‑d.”

Moses, however, rejected all four options, saying to the people, “Fear not; stand by and see the salvation of G‑d which He will show you today. For as you have seen Egypt this day, you shall not see them again, forever. G‑d shall fight for you, and you shall be silent” (Exodus 14:13). “Fear not, stand by and see the salvation of G‑d,” explains the Midrash, is Moses’ response to those who had despaired of overcoming the Egyptian threat and wanted to plunge into the sea. “As you have seen Egypt this day, you shall not see them again” is addressed to those who advocated surrender and return to Egypt. “G‑d shall fight for you” is the answer to those who wished to battle the Egyptians, “and you shall be silent” is Moses’ rejection of those who said, “This is all beyond us. All we can do is pray.”

What, then, is the Jew to do when caught between a hostile mob and an unyielding sea? “Speak to the children of Israel,” G‑d says to Moses in the following verse, “that they should go forward.”

Tzaddik in a Fur Coat

The road to Sinai was rife with obstacles and challenges. The same is true of the road from Sinai, our three-thousand-year journey devoted to the implementation of the ethos and ideals of Torah in our world.

Now as then, there are several possible responses to an adverse world. There is the “Let us throw ourselves into the sea” approach of those who despair of their ability to grapple with, much less impact, the world out there. Let us plunge into the sea, they say—the sea of the Talmud, the sea of piety, the sea of religious life. Let us sever all contact with an apostate and promiscuous world. Let us build walls of holiness to protect ourselves and our own from the alien winds which storm without, so that we may foster the legacy of Sinai within.

An old chassidic saying refers to a such-minded individual as ah tzaddik in peltz—a holy man in a fur coat. There are two ways to warm yourself on a cold winter day: you can build a fire, or wrap yourself in furs. When the isolationist tzaddik is asked, “Why do you think only of conserving your own warmth? Why don’t you build a fire that will warm others as well?” he replies, “What’s the use? Can I warm the entire world?” If you persist, pointing out that one small fire can thaw several frozen individuals, who may in turn create enough fires to warm a small corner of the universe, he doesn’t understand what you want of him. He is atzaddik, remember, a perfectly righteous individual. There is no place for partial solutions in his life. “It’s hopeless,” he sighs with genuine sadness, and retreats into his spiritual Atlantis.

The Slave and the Warrior

A second camp says, “Let us return to Egypt.”

Plunging into the sea is not an option, argues the Submissive Jew. This is the world in which G‑d has placed us, and our mission is to deal with it, not escape it. We’ll just have to lower our expectations a little.

This Exodus thing was obviously a pipe dream. How could we presume to liberate ourselves from the rules and constraints that apply to everyone else? To be G‑d’s chosen people is nice, but let us not forget that we are a minority, dependent on the goodwill of the Pharaohs who hold sway in the real world out there.

Certainly, it is our duty to influence the world. But then again, the Jew has many duties: it is his duty to pray three times a day, to give charity and to observe Shabbat. So, we’ll do the best we can under the circumstances. Yes, it’s a tough life keeping all these laws while making sure not to antagonize your neighbors, but who ever said that being a Jew is easy?

A third response to an uncooperative world is that of the Fighting Jew. He understands that it is wrong to escape the world, and equally wrong to submit to it. So he takes it on, both barrels blazing.

The Fighting Jew strides through life with a holy chip on his shoulder, battling sinners, apostates, Jew-haters, un-Jewish Jews and non-fighting Jews. Not for him is the escapism of the first camp or the subservience of the second—he knows that his cause is just, that G‑d is on his side, that ultimately he will triumph. So, if the world won’t listen to reason, he’ll knock some sense into it.

The Spiritualist

Finally, there is the Jew who looks at the world, looks at the first three camps, shakes his head and lifts his eyes to the heavens. He knows that turning his back on the world is not the answer, nor is surrendering to its dictates and conventions. But he also knows that “the entirety of Torah was given to make peace in the world”; that “its ways are ways of pleasantness, and all its paths are peace.”

“You hope to peacefully change the world?!” say the other three camps. “When was the last time you looked out the window? You might as well try to empty the oceans with a teaspoon!”

“You’re absolutely right,” says the Praying Jew. “Realistically, there’s no way it can be done. But we are not subject to this reality that you are so impressed with.

“Do you know what’s the common denominator between all three of you? Your assessments and strategies are all based on the natural reality. But we inhabit a higher reality. Is not the very existence of the Jewish people a miracle? Ours is the world of the spirit, the world of the word.”

“So, basically, your approach is to do nothing,” they counter.

“Again, you are employing the standards of the material world,” answers the Praying Jew, “a world that views spiritual activity as ‘doing nothing.’ But a single prayer, coming from a caring heart, can achieve more than the most secure fortress, the most flattering diplomat or the most powerful army.”

Forward

And what does G‑d say? “Speak to the children of Israel, that they shall go forward.”

True, it is important to safeguard and cultivate all that is pure and holy in the Jewish soul, to create an inviolable sanctum of G‑dliness in one’s own heart and one’s own community. True, there are times when we must deal with the world on its own terms. True, we must battle evil. And certainly, we must acknowledge that we cannot do it on our own.

Indeed, each of the four approaches has its time and place. But none of them is the embracing vision to guide our lives and define our relationship with the world we inhabit. When the Jew is headed toward Sinai and is confronted with a hostile or indifferent world, his most basic response must be to go forward.

Not to escape reality, not to submit to it, not to wage war on it, not to deal with it only on a spiritual level, but to go forward. Do another mitzvah, ignite another soul, take one more step toward your goal. Pharaoh’s charioteers are breathing down your neck? A cold and impregnable sea bars your path? Don’t look up; look forward. See that mountain? Move toward it.

And when you move forward, you will see that insurmountable barrier yield and that ominous threat fade away. You will see that, despite all the evidence to the contrary, you have it within your power to reach your goal. Even if you have to split some seas.

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Based on the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe    More articles…  |   RSS Listing of Newest Articles by this Author

From The Inside Story by Yanki Tauber.
Republished with the permission of MeaningfulLife.com. If you wish to republish this article in a periodical, book or website, please e‑mailpermissions@meaningfullife.com.

VOICES: Learning to Love the Imperfect

Chabad.org
Learning to Love the Imperfect
Shevat 7, 5774 · January 8, 2014

Picture a deserted coral cove on the Mombasa coast in the early afternoon. My colorful kikoi flutters in the sea breeze as I lower it slowly onto the smooth sand beside the cliff. Then I quickly sit down on the kikoi and dig the four corners into the hard sand to anchor it. The teal sea is quiet. An underwater field of coarse seaweed waves back and forth with the motion of the waves. Baby waves tumble into a bubbly froth at the shore. When my eyes grow tired of the dazzling sunlight, I lie down under the coral overhang. The quartz crystals clinging to the sharp coral glint in the dim light.

Now, picture the orchestra of nature playing lazily in the late afternoon at the edge of Lake Naivasha. Monkeys catapult through the yellow and green acacia trees, avoiding the long thorns that cover every twig and branch. Hippos snort in the shallow, muddy water. Two purple-and-gray

Baby waves tumble into a bubbly froth at the shore

hippos, their tiny ears ridiculously sized in comparison to their massive bodies, lumber onto the grassy shore to graze. I stand very still, but the wind changes and the hippos smell my intrusive presence. They look up, and lumber back into the camouflage of the murky water.

These picture-perfect scenes are the stuff of my childhood, yet I know they’re not mine. I feel like a stranger here. Although I was born in Nairobi, neither of my parents are Kenyan citizens, so I’m not automatically granted citizenship. But more than that, I’m a Jew. I belong to a different land.

Fast forward more than twenty-five years.

Picture the green Carmel mountain range undulating along Highway 2. “Here’s where Elijah and the prophets of the idol Baal brought their sacrifices,” I call out to our children, strapped safely in the back of our car. “Imagine seeing fire coming down from the sky to burn Elijah’s sacrifice!” Leaving the hills behind, fields of wheat, sunflower, cotton and corn wave in the heat of the Jezreel Valley plains. Fish ponds lie like enormous puddles, pumps working vigorously to oxygenate the water teeming with bakalah, cod, that are headed for the Shabbat table.

A couple of hours later we climb the Golan Heights. Mountain sides, covered with tawny grass and dried-out thistles, slide gently into the Jordan Valley, where the Kinneret glitters like a jade harp in the late afternoon sun. It’s hot, and the air is drier than dead bones, but my heart swells with love and pride. I want to stretch my arms out, pull the scenery

It’s hot, and the air is drier than dead bones

towards me, and hug it tight, like a large gym ball, against my chest.

Because it’s all mine.

A day later, we follow a trail packed with hikers. I lose sight of my sons as they skip ahead. I bump into the woman in front of me, who’s cajoling her two-year-old into taking another step so that they’ll reach the stream that we’re all hiking towards. I notice an Eden water bottle stuffed into a scrawny tree, and empty snack wrappers flutter listlessly in the hot breeze. A small voice pipes into my consciousness, This isn’t picture-perfect nature like in Kenya. I shrug away the voice, and focus instead on the beautiful families that are out building memories with their children.

Outside our rented rooms, I lie on a wooden swing under the pine trees and watch the branches wave in the wind, patches of blue sky coming and going as the pine needles scratch the sky. I take a deep breath—and inhale the musty smell of cow dung from the cowshed fifty meters behind me. No, it’s not picture-perfect. But I love it because it’s mine—the country, the people, and even the cows.

Then it strikes me—my life is like that too. The child who rushes out every morning before I can remind him to eat a bowl of cornflakes and brush his teeth, the leak in my kitchen that has ruined an entire wall, the way the edge of my nostrils gets red and chafed whenever spring warmth sets off its pollen traps. It may not be picture-perfect, but I love it because it’s mine—packaged especially for me by G‑d.

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By Rhona Lewis    More articles…  |   RSS Listing of Newest Articles by this Author

Rhona Lewis was born and grew up in Kenya. She moved to Israel in 1991 and now lives in Beit Shemesh, where she divides her time between caring for her large, happy family and writing. She is currently working on a book of her memoirs.

New York Jewish Film FestivalE-Flux

Acclaimed filmmaker Wim Wenders also chooses two accompanying films that relate to Jewish culture. Wenders is one of the most important figures to 

Select Section Jewish Culture & Yiddish: 24JEWISH ALERTS large selection videos and feeds in each section

Holocaust art: “EVERYONE’S ZAYDE” (Elie Wiesel’s zayde ~ grandpa) by Akiva Kenny Segan ©

21.12.2013

Viewer’s note: The footage focuses around 15 seconds into the film).
Note: The wing from the bee-eater (bird from Kazakhstan that migrates over Israel & Palestine) is seen on viewer’s left; that’s Dodye Feig’s right shoulder in the drawing).
Filmed Feb. 14, 2013, artist Akiva Kenny Segan talks about ‘Under the Wings of G-d’ art series drawing 33 (done in 1997) depicting the murdered maternal grandfather of Holocaust survivor, teacher, author & Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel.
The portrait of Feig was based on a photo of Feig seen in Elie Wiesel’s autobiography “All Rivers Run to the Sea.”
Segan is best known world-wide as the creator of the “Under the Wings of G-d” Holocaust, the “Sight-seeing with Dignity” human rights art series and other Shoah (Holocaust) themed artworks.
The wings were drawn at the Univ. of Washington’s Burke Museum of Natural History.
The drawing was last exhibited at the Hillel Center, Univ. of Wash., Seattle, March – May 2013.
Art, film © A.K. Segan

1913 | “Klänge (Sounds)” by Vasily Kandinsky

 25.01.2013

For more information please visit http://www.youtube.com/1913

Prayer: Service of the Heart – Why we pray to G-d – Torah  – Chabad

Rabbi Yehuda Leib Schapiro, a noted Talmudic scholar, is the dean of the Yeshiva Gedola Rabbinical College of Greater Miami, the rabbi of 

Chabad Lubavitch Tampa FL Minyan shacharis – YouTube03:12

95 year old gets called up to the Torah Jan 2 2014.


New Torah for Chabad N Williamsburg Brooklyn – YouTube01:01

New Torah for Chabad N Williamsburg Brooklyn  Benny Friedman @Chabad of Kensington Dinnerby Rabbi Moshe C Levin341 views; 8:18


Hanukkah 2011 Chabad North Williamsburg Brooklyn – YouTube02:10

Hanukkah 2011 Chabad North Williamsburg Brooklyn  Exposing Chabad – חבד – עבודה זרה?by Rabbi Asher Meza15,511 views; 6:18. Watch Later

Chabad Gan Izzy Ilford Winter Day Camp 2013 – YouTube02:48

Over 30 children enjoyed a Winter Day Camp packed with fun. Run from theChabad Centre in Ilford, directed by Rabbi Odom & Henny Brandman of 

Chabad Rabbis Study session – YouTube01:26:11

study session – Captured Live on Ustream at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/cbs-classes.

Chabad Buckhurst Hill – Epping New Road – A tour! – YouTube02:03

In September 2013, the Chabad Lubavitch Centre of Buckhurst Hill moved into new premises at 107 Epping New Road. A frantic two weeks of 

Chabad rabbi responds to “Tiger Mom”… Part 3 — Jewish  – YouTube07:17

Rabbi Nochum Kurinsky runs Chabad @ The Beaches (chabadbeaches.com) in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida (greater Jacksonville). He is interviewed 


Hilarious Chabad Mafia Commercial braun – YouTube01:08

Hilarious Chabad Mafia Commercial braun Follow us on Twitter –https://twitter.com/Only_Ad_Videos Facebook 


From Fla., Chabad Rabbi tells a deep-frozen U.S. what trad’l 10:50

Rabbi Nochum Kurinsky runs Chabad @ The Beaches (chabadbeaches.com) in currently cold-but-not-as-cold Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida (greater 


The Talmudisation of the world 2 Chabad Lubavitch – YouTube10:40

The Talmudisation of the world 2 Chabad Lubavitch. Chino Mandarin·10 videos. SubscribeSubscribedUnsubscribe 1 


Chabad CLE Israel Mission 2013 – YouTube09:53

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Rambam: Tumat Ochalin, Chapter 6 – Rambam – Rabbi  – Chabad

Chabad.org – All Departments. Login. Email Address: …. Please send meChabad.org’s weekly Magazine and periodic emails. We will not share your 

A Twofold Blessing – Program 488 – Living Torah – Chabad

I mention you at the resting place of my father-in-law, the Rebbe, and he gives you his blessing.”

Feeling the Connection – Program 488 – Living Torah – Chabad

After having made numerous trips to New York to see the Rebbe, Rabbi Avrohom Michoel Halpern, the rabbi of Givat Tzarfatit in Jerusalem, tells the 

Rambam: Tumat Ochalin, Chapter 3 – Rambam – Rabbi  – Chabad

About this Class Rabbi Gordon studies one chapter a day from Maimonides’ classic legal work of Mishneh Torah. The original Hebrew text is read and 

Chabad.Info – News | Tag: Mitzvah Boulevard

אתר חדשות של קהילת חבד, בו מידע רב על פעילות חבד ברחבי העולם, רשימת בתי חבד, ניגוני חבד ושירותים נוספים לציבור הגולשים.

Neither famine nor War – Program 487 – Living Torah – Chabad

The Rebbe concludes the yearly study cycle of Maimonides’ Mishneh Torah in his home on President Street, Brooklyn.

Tending G-d’s Garden – Chabad

The last discourse that Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn, the Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe, published before his passing commences with the verse 

How to Inspire a Generation – Program 487 – Living Torah – Chabad

Upon accepting his first pulpit, Rabbi Sholom Ber Gordon consulted Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, on how to bring 

Chabad.Info – News | 8th Day Releases New Album “Hooleh”

By Yossi Zweig. The amazing 8th Day group we have all grown to love over the last few years is back with an all new album! “Hooleh!” is by far the 

The 39 Prohibitions of Shabbat, Lesson 7 – The Melachot  – Chabad

Please send me Chabad.org’s weekly Magazine and periodic emails. We will not share your email address. More in this Program. The 39 Prohibitions 
Velveteen Rabbi

Readiness


ReadinessPosted: 07 Jan 2014 06:58 AM PST

The first creative act of the new year: I find an empty manila folder, uncap a blue pen with a thick nib, and inscribe the tab with “POEMS 2014.”

It’s the first poetry-related creative act, anyway. I wrote a d’var Torah last week, beginning 2014 not with poetry but with prose.

That’s not surprising. I can’t remember a year when I began writing new poems as soon as the calendar page had turned. Poetry doesn’t require the kind of temporal spaciousness needed for writing a novel; it’s something I can work on in fits and starts, an hour here, an afternoon there. But it does require emotional and spiritual spaciousness. And that’s usually in short supply around the start of January.

Since late November, I’ve juggled Thanksgiving, our son’s birthday, Chanukah, a family simcha on the other side of the state, a visit to my family in Texas, Christmas, school break, winter storms, New Year’s, and more houseguests than I can count. Also synagogue work in all of its usual forms. There’s been a lot of wonderful! But precious little normalcy: the usual flow of weekdays and Shabbat, workdays and childcare, meditation and prayer.

Poetry — my poetry, anyway — requires emotional and spiritual breathing room.

January seventh. The old year is really and truly behind us. 2014 stretches ahead. And now my POEMS 2014 folder waits to receive the first slim draft.

I won’t write a poem today. I probably won’t write a poem this week. But my desk is tidied. The holiday wrapping paper which had taken up temporary residence on the floor has been cleared away. I’ve re-hung the poems and my Bennington diploma on the newly-repainted wall of my study. When I stop typing, all I can hear is quiet. These are first steps.

Many years ago, when I worked for the artist Jenny Holzer, I typed up the following quote on a piece of brown paper and hung it over my desk:

I do not write every day, I read every day, think every day, work in the garden every day, and recognize in nature the same slow complicity. The same inevitability. The moment will arrive, always it does, it can be predicted but it cannot be demanded. I do not think of this as inspiration. I think of it as readiness. A writer lives in a constant state of readiness. (– Jeanette Winterson)

Readiness. One breath after the next. Breathing in; breathing out. Right here; right now. The manila folder of my year is open. Receptive. Ready.

The Talmud Pays Little Attention to What Jews Believe, Yet Asks Tablet Magazine

Much of the Talmud, I’ve discovered in the year and a half since I began reading Daf Yomi, can be understood as a choreography of Jewish life.
See all stories on this topic »

COMMENT: The Objective Is War

Chabad.org
The Objective Is War
Shevat 6, 5774 · January 7, 2014

When Pharaoh let the people go, G‑d did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, for it was near, [and] G‑d said, ‘Lest the people reconsider when they see war, and return to Egypt’”

Exodus 13:17

Going from Egypt, the quickest route to Canaan runs through Philistine territory. But at all costs, G‑d did not want the Jews to face the prospect of war with this potential enemy. G‑d therefore directed the Jews to travel a roundabout longer route to their desired destination. This pattern of sparing the Jews the rigors of natural battle continued for some time. When the Egyptians pursued them through the desert, Moses instructed them not to fear: “G‑d will battle for you, and you shall remain silent.” Shortly thereafter, when the Amalekites attacked the Jews, a contingent of Jews was dispatched to defend the nation, but their victory was entirely supernatural: “When Moses would raise his hand, Israel would prevail” (Exodus 17:11). Despite the difficulty of slavery, the Jews in Egypt had developed a certain comfort zone—the prototypical battered person syndrome—and any battle could have potentially triggered a mass return to their point of origin.

Desert life was nice, but until they battled the elements in Canaan, the Jews had proved nothing

The Jews had forty years to prepare themselves for the great war which they would inevitably need to fight once they entered the land of Canaan. This war would be a completely natural military conquest (with the exception of the fall of Jericho), which would require gumption and military acumen. Only then would the Jews truly prove their courage and resolve.

All the above is true in a spiritual sense, too. The fledgling nation which left Egypt was in its spiritual infancy, and a return to the bankrupt values of the depraved Egyptian lifestyle was a real risk. However, leading a spiritual life while surrounded by a world which revolves around the pursuit of money and materialism is a real challenge. The Zohar says, “Bread by the tip of the sword is consumed.” Maintaining spiritual integrity and purity in a society with antithetical values is indeed a battle.

At least until they had developed strength, proper ammunition and spiritual defenses, G‑d saw the need to spare the Jews the vicissitudes of spiritual war—a war which could have prompted them to return to their old habits and lifestyle.

To this end He surrounded the Jews with clouds of glory, and fed them manna, quail, and water from the Well of Miriam. No careers and no worries. With miracles abounding and all their needs met, they were in effect training themselves for the spiritual mother of all battles which awaited them in Canaan, pitting a nation’s spiritual resolve against the real world’s tendency to consume those who enter her domain.

Desert life was nice, but until they battled the elements in Canaan, the Jews had proved nothing.

Something to think about next time you feel the struggles of life starting to get you down . . .


Incidentally, the first purely natural war which the Jews fought was against the nation of Midian. The word Midian shares the same root as the Hebrew wordmadon, which means “quarrels.” This name is very apropos for a nation which picked a fight with the Jews who had absolutely no designs of ever harming them or conquering their land.

There are many battles we are meant to wage, but the very first one we must fight is baseless hatred and mindless bickering. Only after this battle has been successfully concluded, and we constitute a united front, can we focus our energies on doing battle with all the other insidious forces, and hope to enter the Promised Land.

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By Naftali Silberberg    More articles…  |   RSS Listing of Newest Articles by this Author

Rabbi Naftali Silberberg is a writer, editor, and director of the curriculum department at the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute. Rabbi Silberberg resides in Brooklyn, NY, with his wife Chaya Mushka and their three children.

PARENTING: Who Am I?

Chabad.org
Who Am I?
Shevat 6, 5774 · January 7, 2014
Conflicting emotions of a baalat teshuvah

Most people who know me call me Jen. I am 34 years old. I am a mother, a daughter, a wife, a sister. I am an educator by profession. And I am an observant Jewish woman. Although I choose to continue using my English name as opposed to my Jewish name, I adhere to the modest dress of knee-length skirts and long-sleeved, high-necked shirts; I cover all of my hair, as is customary for married women; and I pray to G‑d every morning. I keep a strictly kosher diet, and I try to adhere to all of the Jewish laws that are applicable to me as a Jewish woman.

However, I grew up as a secular Jewish person from a traditional home. I attended synagogue three times a year on the High

I never anticipated covering all of my hair

Holidays, was lenient with my kosher diet, and was most comfortable in pants and T-shirts. I never anticipated covering all of my hair as a married woman, nor did I expect that a siddur (prayerbook) would be one of my most prized possessions. So, how did I get from there to here?

At the age of 24, I met my husband. He was an observant Jewish man; he kept Shabbat and consumed only kosher food. Through our courtship I quickly realized that if he and I could even consider the possibility of marriage, we needed to share the same family values. Therefore, I chose to experiment with an observant Jewish lifestyle for myself. I discovered not just a love, but a passion, for Shabbat, and I overcame the struggles of being strictly kosher. Over time the inconveniences of not always having food at my disposal became easier, as I learned to plan ahead by bringing food with me when necessary. On the whole, I felt inherently good about my choices.

After I gave birth to my eldest son in July 2007, I decided to explore the possibility of hair-covering and modest attire. Since my son would don the customary kippahand tzitzit at the age of three, I decided that if this was important for our son’s Jewish identity, then I wanted to find ways to strengthen mine as well. I began to cover all of my hair with scarves and wigs, and I easily transitioned to wearing only skirts and long-sleeved tops.

All the while, my purpose was to strengthen my relationship with G‑d. And as my passion grew, so did my commitment to prayer. Today, at the age of 34, I find myself lost without saying my daily prayers, I am uncomfortable in clothing too short or revealing, and I feel naked without my headcoverings. As I continue to move further and further away from the very secular community in which I grew up, and inch deeper and deeper into the religious community I choose to be a part of, I feel a sense of solace in my choices. I am used to being an outsider; now I am becoming an insider in a new space.

I have found ways to contribute to my community through various leadership opportunities. I was the youth program director for my synagogue for three years, which allowed me to work with children within my neighborhood. As a summer camp director for a Jewish day camp, I have been able

I have found ways to contribute to my community

to work closely with Jewish children of all backgrounds from all over Toronto. I appreciate the trust parents have given to me to educate their children, regardless of my upbringing.

But I still have a sense of unease about my choices. As a public school teacher and the daughter of secular parents, I still need to be able to function within the secular community. And yet my husband, my children and I also want to live comfortably within the religious community. I am trying so desperately to understand how to coexist within both communities.

As I ponder all of this, I ask myself: am I simply moving away from the very secular community I am so attuned to, or am I making a conscious effort to leave? Or am I even leaving it behind to begin with? Is there an element of fear of abandoning the past that contributes to the very essence of who I am and who I want to be? And of course, I must ask myself—can the “here” and “there” be in the same place and exist at the same time, thereby creating a brand-new space? As I become more involved in the observant way of life and the very tenets of my religion, which is ever reshaping my identity, I ask myself—do I have to abandon all of the old me?

What happens to identity when we move from “there” to “here”—from one space to a different space? Where is “here”? Are the “there” and “here” fluid? And when I question this fluidity, I want to understand—are the secular and observant Jewish communities fluid to begin with? Is there a possibility that this “fluidity” I am curious to understand may just be an actual evolution; and if so, as I take on a new identity, am I shedding my old identity? Or, as aspects of the old me and new me come together, am I still the old me with some changes?

I’m using this curiosity as an opportunity for discovery. I’m learning more about myself. I’m discovering how to appreciate my past so as to use it to elevate me spiritually today and in the future. I no longer choose to keep the details of my past hidden.

I am starting to understand that there do not need to be finalities to decisions, and it does not need to be all or nothing. Had I understood this earlier in my life, then maybe I would have been able to make faith-based choices more easily.

I have started to realize that identity is not linear. My spiritual journey thus far has always been based on the pretense that I must know exactly where I am at any given moment. But I am now starting to learn that we may not have all of the answers, and maybe we don’t need them to make decisions. Moreover, our identities always include a small piece of who we once were, as we continue to reshape who we currently are. It is virtually impossible to forget our pasts, and it is extremely difficult to assume that our past experiences will have no bearing over who we will continue to be.

And as I continue to solidify my identity as an observant Jewish woman, embracing the mitzvahs and laws of our religion, I am beginning to understand that I do not need to abandon all of the old me, because it is a part of who I am. In fact, it has helped to foster a love for my religion and culture; it has helped me embrace a more stringent yet rewarding way to live.

Therefore, I am now beginning to have a clearer understanding of how the “there” and “here” coexist, and how it is very possible to be a part of both spaces at the same time. I can use my secular past to help others within the observant Jewish community. I can also remain in tune with my public school students, who are of numerous cultures, ethnicities and faiths. I would like to continue to strengthen my role as an educator, both as a teacher and camp director, so that I can be a stronger teacher of character—one who gives children the tools to learn about themselves and value their own discoveries. I want to teach children to appreciate who they are, irrespective of the thoughts of others.

I also realize that my own children will reach a point where they will begin to make decisions for themselves along their spiritual journeys. As they do that, they will take pieces of their history

It’s okay for my identity to always be evolving

with them, their memories influencing their decisionmaking. I would never want them to forget who they are or where they came from, so why should I?

I always thought that I needed a fixed identity; I never realized that it was okay for my identity to always be evolving. Today I sit at a crossroads about my name, wondering whether or not to go by my Jewish name. I now realize that I will probably remain here for a while. But I know who I am. And at times, even when I am confused, this is also acceptable. It is okay to have moments of confusion. This is also part of who I am. I have also come to realize that although many of the things I choose to do enhance my identity, they do not necessarily dictate who I am. Moreover, I will forever shift back and forth between spaces, at times allowing these spaces to mingle and overlap each other.

As I grow older, I am beginning to understand that I will always be in a state of becoming.

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By Jen Stark    More articles…  |   RSS Listing of Newest Articles by this Author

Jennifer Stark is an elementary school teacher with the York Region District School Board and the assistant director of Camp Breakaway, a Jewish day camp located in Toronto, Ontario. She was also the youth program director of Chabad@Flamingo from 2010–2013. Jennifer resides in Thornhill, Ontario, with her husband and three boys.

WEEKLY STORY: A Shabbat on the Battlefield that Saved My Life

Chabad.org
A Shabbat on the Battlefield that Saved My Life
Shevat 6, 5774 · January 7, 2014
The battle during the Six Day War

In 1960, I married an Israeli girl and, in 1964, we settled in Israel. I was conscripted to the Israeli army in 1965 and was assigned to the reserve troops.

In May of 1967, the Egyptians amassed troops in the Sinai Desert, close to the Israeli border, and closed the Straits of Tiran to shipping. Israel regarded this as a declaration of war.

While the diplomats were running between Washington, London, Paris and Tel Aviv, the Israeli public was preparing for war, expecting the worst. The Arab leaders were violently inciting their populations with dramatic promises to “push the Jews into the sea.”

In Israel, the army started a general mobilization. First, the pilots and armored corps were called up. Then, more and more reserves were called to duty.

The Jewish burial society of Tel Aviv alone dug fifteen thousand graves, ready for civilian casualties. The threat was real

More and more homes were left without parents and siblings. People were frightened, concerned for the future of Israel and their families.

Israel was outnumbered one hundred to one. The Egyptians had German scientists developing missiles and the Russians supplying them with tanks and combat jet planes. The French, who supplied Israel with Mirage fighter planes, declared an embargo on supplies to Israel with the excuse that they do not supply arms to a combat zone.

The Jewish burial society of Tel Aviv alone dug fifteen thousand graves, ready for civilian casualties.

The threat was real.

Shmuel in his uniform on the battlefield

I was called on May 25th to report for duty the following day, Friday, the 26th. My regiment organized themselves by Sunday, where we were moved to a hill, 500 feet from a Jordanian village called Budrus.

Prior to the next Shabbat, the commanding officer, Victor, announced that ten percent of the soldiers could go home for Shabbat, a twenty-four hour leave. We were 130 soldiers and the first permitted to leave were fathers of three children and more. I fell into this category.

Unfortunately, the truck that came to take us back to civilization arrived at 7:00 p.m., twenty-five minutes before Shabbat began. Therefore, I could not go—as doing so would have caused me to desecrate the holy day. The following evening, Saturday night, again, another thirteen soldiers could take leave and I was hoping that this time I would be able to go. But again the truck came at 7:00 p.m., while it was still Shabbat. Once again, I missed out.

Victor, my commanding officer, who was not a religious man, took pity on me and said that since I missed out on my leave because of my religious principles, he would let me go on Sunday night for forty-eight hours. To me, forty-eight hours was an eternity! I impatiently waited for the day to pass.

Prior to the next Shabbat, the commanding officer, Victor, announced that ten percent of the soldiers could go home for Shabbat, a twenty-four hour leave

On Sunday afternoon, we heard on the radio that Iraq sent two armored divisions into Jordan to bolster their army for the forthcoming war with Israel.

A little later, Victor came to announce that all leave was cancelled. Since we were in the center line defending Israel from Jordan, the readiness level was raised to the uppermost limit.

I was terribly disappointed, not so much because of the prospect of the war, but because my leave was cancelled!

I tossed and turned a whole night. On Monday, the 5th of June, at 5:00 a.m. I went to Victor’s tent and begged him to let me go see my family even for a short period of time. Victor told me he would let me go, but only for eight hours. I’d have to be back by 3:00 in the afternoon.

No one knew that the war was to begin in another two hours. Even Victor, a commanding officer, did not know.

Shmuel in his uniform with his wife Chava

I did not wait to argue about the eight hours. I took my rifle, put my prayer shawl in my backpack and ran! I got a lift with a motorcyclist and arrived in Jerusalem at 8:30 a.m., where my wife and children were at the home of my sister-in-law.

One can imagine the reunion with my wife and children!

Soon after, the radio reported that heavy fighting had broken out in the south. So the long-expected war had begun.

But in Jerusalem, people felt safe. Though Jerusalem was then a divided city, with Jordanian-controlled East Jerusalem in close proximity to Israeli West Jerusalem, no one believed Jordan would start hostilities.

But at about 11:00 a.m., the Jordanians started shelling West Jerusalem. We all went down to the air raid shelter, and I was the only soldier in a packed shelter full of women and children.

The truck that came to take us back to civilization arrived twenty-five minutes before Shabbat began

A little later, I called up the town-major to report that I was in Jerusalem and asked what I should do. I was told to return to my unit and, in fact, I should have not been away in the first place… So I had to say goodbye to my family and in midst of Jordanian shelling, made my way to the main road where I waited together with many more soldiers. I got a ride with a police car that dropped me off in Ramla. From there, I had to walk about two hours to join my unit on that hill near Budrus. All along the way, shells were exploding in the distance and also nearby.

I got to my unit at about 5:00 p.m. I tried to look for my foxhole to take cover but could not find it. Something had changed since I left that morning. I found Victor and reported that I returned. He looked at his watch and sternly told me off for being two hours late. I began excusing myself that I got stuck in Jerusalem and so on….

He then turned to me with a smiling face and tears in his eyes, “Now I know that there is a G‑d in heaven! At exactly 3:00 p.m., a shell fell and exploded in your foxhole!”

If I would have taken leave on the previous Friday night, I would not have been away on that Monday! And I would have not been here telling this story…

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By Shmuel Gurewicz    More articles…  |   RSS Listing of Newest Articles by this Author

Rabbi Shmuel Gurewicz is the Principal of Beth Rivkah Ladies College, Melbourne Australia.

NEWS: A Day for Student Contemplation, Study and Camaraderie

Chabad.org
This Week’s Features
Shevat 6, 5774 · January 7, 2014

By Menachem Posner
Completing the classic 1,000-chapter tome in a yearPost CommentPost Comment  |  Read Story
In Southampton, a 13-year-old and others share moments of discoveryPost CommentPost Comment  |  Read Story
Talk of the Planet
Campus Rabbis Honored in Israel for Birthright Activities
Two Chabad on Campus directors have guided thousands of students on 55 trips
High Marks for New After-School Program in Australia’s Capital
Parent volunteers help make the program for Jewish children a success

More News Briefs  

In the Media
Locals Honored at Chabad Center of Natick Gala
MetroWest Daily News – Natick, MAJewish Women’s Circle Gala to Focus on Healing Power of Laughter
Palm Beach Daily NewsChabad Launches Torah Studies Course
S. Augustine Record – FL‘Just Call Me Morah — Teacher’
Intermountain Jewish NewsCTeens of Central Florida Join for Winter Vacation Trip
Heritage Florida Jewish NewsSeeing the World From a Jewish Child’s Perspective
S. Diego Jewish WorldCreating a Special Day at Southampton Shul
Jewish Chronicle – UK

To Be a Jew in the Free World: Jewish Identity Through the Lens of Modern History
Chicago Tribune

Honorable Menschen
WWLP – Longmeadow, MA

Jewish Learning Institute Classes Highly Interesting
Heritage Florida Jewish News

More Media Stories  

New York Post’s Shameful Cover

by Sara Debbie Gutfreund
The headline shows a frightening disregard for the value of human life.

4 Ways to Deal with the Polar Vortex

by Yvette Alt Miller
How to use this unique period for spiritual growth.

Romney’s Grandchild

by Sara Debbie Gutfreund
We all yearn to belong. And it takes so very little to make someone feel that they don’t.

4 Ways to Build Resilience in Kids

by Adina Soclof
How to instill confidence in children that they can handle life’s challenges and disappointments.

Video: Tips for the Newlyweds

by Rabbi Yaakov Salomon
My son just got married. Now what?

Video: Jtube: What is Love?

by CVC Now
What is true love?

Great Expectations

by Judy Gruen
Scoring a professional goal can take a long time. A really long time. But it’s worth it.

One Direction’s Harry Styles Is Learning Hebrew! Could He Be Perez Hilton

This desire would definitely fall in line with what This Is Us producer Ben Winston said about Harry’s love of Jewish culture. He said: “He loves the 
PerezHilton
German speaking Jews were force behind European unityUniversity of Manchester

A little-remembered Jewish culture in Germany and Austria between the 1870s and 1930s was a hotbed of ideas which drove the formation of the 
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‘Judaism-obsessed’ One Direction star studying HebrewHaaretz

Harry Styles isn’t Jewish, but he’s fascinated by Jewish culture and loves kosher food, the Daily Star reports. By Haaretz | Jan. 6, 2014 | 1:43 PM 
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Poem of the Week / Bialik and the boys ask, ‘What is love?’Haaretz

Nearly every Jewish locale in Israel has a street named after him and there is even  a celebrity and had a powerful presence in the cultural scene of Palestine.  Bialik wrote in Ashkenazi Hebrew, enabling metric lines of a stressed 
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Jewish StorytellersJewocity.com Blog (blog)

Can science fiction be part of Jewish culture? From fantasy stories we know? And as I think of it, it begins to seem to me that it is and we do know.
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The Jewish Monkeys: Whatever people say they are, that’s what they Haaretz (blog)

The Jewish Monkeys (left to right): Jossi Reich, Gael Zaidner and Ron ….Through our music, we want to revive a culture and to present Yiddish as 
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