World Wide Christians Partner with Jesus' Place/
Would you like to react to this message? Create an account in a few clicks or log in to continue.
Who is online?
In total there are 14 users online :: 1 Registered, 0 Hidden and 13 Guests :: 2 Bots

Admin

[ View the whole list ]


Most users ever online was 115 on Wed 03 Jul 2019, 3:20 pm
Latest topics
» BIBLE STUDY on VERSE
AISH  - Page 12 EmptyToday at 10:13 pm by Admin

» WORTHY NEWS
AISH  - Page 12 EmptyToday at 10:12 pm by Admin

» Daily Disciples
AISH  - Page 12 EmptyToday at 10:09 pm by Admin

» ISRAEL VIDEO'S VARIOUS COVERAGES
AISH  - Page 12 EmptyToday at 10:08 pm by Admin

» servant @ TWO LISTENERS
AISH  - Page 12 EmptyToday at 9:51 pm by Admin

» The Cleansing Blood Old Testament and New
AISH  - Page 12 EmptyToday at 9:47 pm by Admin

» R.D SOUZA Saved by faith
AISH  - Page 12 EmptyYesterday at 10:47 pm by Admin

» KEITH NOTES FROM NANJING
AISH  - Page 12 EmptyYesterday at 10:45 pm by Admin

» NUGGET Today's Devotional
AISH  - Page 12 EmptyYesterday at 10:40 pm by Admin

» +Dev+ Michael D. Inman Pastor
AISH  - Page 12 EmptyYesterday at 10:31 pm by Admin

»  HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES
AISH  - Page 12 EmptyYesterday at 10:28 pm by Admin

»  HOLOCAUST STUDIES
AISH  - Page 12 EmptyYesterday at 10:25 pm by Admin

» THE BLAZE
AISH  - Page 12 EmptyYesterday at 12:27 am by Admin

» JIHAD WATCH
AISH  - Page 12 EmptyYesterday at 12:19 am by Admin

» BREITBART NEWS
AISH  - Page 12 EmptyWed 23 Sep 2020, 7:13 pm by Admin

» Black Lives Matter Riots and MORE
AISH  - Page 12 EmptyWed 23 Sep 2020, 6:54 pm by Admin

» CHRISTIAN NEWS NETWORK
AISH  - Page 12 EmptyWed 23 Sep 2020, 6:49 pm by Admin

»  HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES
AISH  - Page 12 EmptyWed 23 Sep 2020, 6:24 pm by Admin

» AISH
AISH  - Page 12 EmptyWed 23 Sep 2020, 6:23 pm by Admin

» Keith China Nanjing
AISH  - Page 12 EmptyWed 23 Sep 2020, 6:02 pm by Admin

Navigation
 Portal
 Index
 Memberlist
 Profile
 FAQ
 Search

AISH

Page 12 of 22 Previous  1 ... 7 ... 11, 12, 13 ... 17 ... 22  Next

Go down

AISH  - Page 12 Empty Re: AISH

Post  Admin on Thu 05 Apr 2018, 12:08 am

http://www.aish.com/h/pes/t/g/Jewish-Comedians-and-Splitting-the-Sea.html?s=mm
Jewish Comedians and Splitting the SeaJewish Comedians and Splitting the Sea
A surprising answer to why so many Jews become comedians.
by Rabbi Lawrence Hajioff 
Facebook120TwitterEmailMore59
When Robin Williams, arguably one of the greatest comedians died, some people gave him an interesting title: “honorary Jew.” Why the Jew label? Couldn't he have been left as a brilliantly comedic non-Jew?

Well if you look back at most of the great comedians from the previous generation, they were predominantly Jewish. This is a group it seems some people badly wanted him to be part of. Here is a short list of some Jewish comedians, with their real names:

Jack Benny (Benjamin Kubelsky),
Mel Brooks (Melvyn Kaminsky),
Milton Berle (Mendel Berlinger),
Gene Wilder (Jerome Silberman),
Jackie Mason (Yaakov Moshe Maza),
Buddy Hackett (Leonard Hacker),
Jerry Lewis (Joseph Levitch),
Danny Kaye (Daniel Kaminski),
Victor Borge (Borge Rosenbaum),
Rodney Dangerfield (Jacob Cohen),
Joan Rivers (Joan Molinsky)
And my personal favorite 
Tony Curtis (Bernie Schwartz)

Growing up I had a passion for jokes and stand-up comedy; I even performed once in a while. The fact that I became a rabbi instead of a stand-up comic tells you how good I was.

Why are Jews so funny? Is it a coincidence that nearly all the great entertainers of recent memory were of Jewish stock, or is something deeper going on?

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, one of my favorite commentators on the Torah, answered the question for me. He makes a short but remarkable statement which changed the way I looked at comedy and why so many Jews are comedians. The relationship between Jews and comedy actually goes back to our birth as a people.

When the Jewish people left Egypt they were pursued by Pharaoh and the Egyptian army who regretted letting them leave in the first place. Several days after leaving Egypt the Jewish people arrived at the Red Sea. Behind them were the Egyptian soldiers and in front of them was the sea. They were trapped.

The Torah describes the scene quite vividly, “…and when Pharaoh drew close, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians were marching after them; and they were very afraid; and the children of Israel cried out to God.” (Exodus 14:10-11)

You could have expected them to cry out to God, or to complain to Moses, but what they did after that was rather unexpected: “And they said to Moses: Were there no graves in Egypt, that you brought us to die here in the wilderness?”

What kind of statement is that? Of course there were graves in Egypt. Their own parents and grandparents had been buried there.

Rabbi Hirsch gives a short and fascinating explanation of this verse. He says, “This sharp and ironic statement was made at a time of the deepest anxiety and despair. This marks the sense of wit that is a characteristic trait of the clearheaded Jewish people.”

He’s telling us something remarkable: the Jewish people made a joke. They assumed that this was the end of the road. All bets were off. Hundreds of years of Jewish history were about to come to a gruesome and pitiful end. Instead of crying, they made a sarcastic comment. “Oh I see Moses, there wasn't a grave in Egypt that you had to shlep us to die here instead!”

Comedy and humor have a purpose. The Jewish people have gone through thousands of years of Jewish history, and along the way we have seen and been part of some of the worst atrocities the world has known. We have survived beatings, torture, forced conversions, exiles, pogroms and holocausts. We needed something to help us survive those hardships. One of the abilities that God encoded into our spiritual DNA from our earliest beginnings as a people was the ability to laugh. The Jewish people used comedy as one of many survival tools. And God knows, we've needed it.

A few years ago Leo Zisman of blessed memory, a survivor of Birkenau, and his wife Myrna, accompanied a group of young professionals to Poland on a tour that I was leading. Leo gave us a detailed explanation of what living during the horrors of the Holocaust was like. He also had a terrific and mischievous sense of humor.

I asked him how he had the mental stamina to survive such an atrocious experience. He replied that many people would tell each other jokes and funny stories from the shtetl in order to escape the terrible reality they were faced with on a daily basis. Those moments of laughter lifted them out of their misery for a few moments every day.

I even saw a book for sale in the Majdanek gift shop (yes, even the camps have gift shops) entitled “Laughter in Hell” that cataloged many of the stories, plays and jokes that were told in the camps.

Medical research has shown the benefits a good laugh can have on your mind and body. Among other things laughter can lower blood pressure, reduce stress hormone levels, improve cardiac health and trigger the release of endorphins, the body's natural pain killers.

The Talmud tells a story about the great sage Rabbi Beroka who one day met Elijah the prophet in the market place. Rabbi Beroka asked him, “Who in the market is worthy of achieving the next world?” Elijah pointed at two men and said they were ideal candidates. Rabbi Beroka was surprised as these two men did not fit the image of very righteous individuals. Intrigued, Rabbi Beroka approached them and asked, “What do you do for a living?”

They replied, “We are clowns and we tell jokes for a living. When we see people around us who are a bit down hearted we cheer them up with a joke and a few funny words.”

Using the power of humor to lift people’s spirits when they are down is worthy enough of assuring a place in heaven.

http://www.aish.com/h/pes/t/g/48952086.html?s=mm
Leave the Driving to GodLeave the Driving to God
This Passover stop the backseat driving.
by Sara Yoheved Rigler 
Facebook33TwitterEmailMore31
On Tuesday morning I called my friend Cindy with joyful anticipation. Monday was her final court date, after three long years of legal battles with her ex-husband, first over child custody, then visiting rights, and finally child support payments. I expected Cindy to be as relieved as someone who, wandering in a dark labyrinth for years, finally finds her way out into the sunlight.

"It's over!" I shouted gleefully into the telephone.

"Well, not quite." Cindy sounded morose. "We're going to a full trial. We have a court date for next September."

"Next September?" I cried. "That's six months away! What happened? I thought that the child support was supposed to be settled yesterday."

"So did I," Cindy sighed bitterly. "But it was a choice between letting the judge decide and going to trial, so we're going to trial."

"Are you serious?" I couldn't believe that Cindy would have to live in limbo, without monthly child support payments, for another half year. "What happened? Your ex just wasn't willing to let the judge decide?"

"Actually, he agreed. I was the one who didn't want to hand it over to the judge."

I was stunned. "He agreed and you refused?! But isn't it Judge A., who's been handling your case all along?"

"Yes, it's the same judge," Cindy affirmed.

"But Judge A. likes you! All along she's ruled in your favor on every point. And she clearly doesn't like your ex. Why don't you just let her decide?"

"Well, it's not so simple. If we let her decide, her decision is final. We have no right of appeal. If we go to a full trial, and we don't like her decision, we can always appeal to a higher court."

"But she likes you!" I repeated incredulously. "She'll give you a fair judgment."

"Well, I'm not so sure," Cindy answered uncertainly. "But something happened last night that's making me wonder whether I should trust her after all. Someone gave me a free ticket to the Tel Aviv Opera. I had never been before. In the ladies' room during intermission, who did I run into? Judge A.! Of course, she couldn't say anything to me, but she smiled at me this really loving smile. Since then I've been wondering whether I should just go ahead and trust her to decide."

LETTING THE JUDGE DECIDE

Letting the supernal Judge -- that is, God -- decide is one of the hardest spiritual challenges we face. God says explicitly that the whole purpose of the Exodus was so that He would become a God to us. "I am the Lord your God Who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be a God to you" [Num. 15:41].

God is the ultimate controller of the universe and everything in it. When we relinquish control to God, we allow God to be God. When we take our will and try to align it with the Divine will, saying sincerely to God, "Okay, this isn't the way I want it, but it's the way You want it, and I'll make Your will my will," then God becomes a God to us.

For most of us control freaks, it would be easier to climb Mt. Everest with our hands tied behind our backs. Oh, we're willing to let God be God on the cosmic scale -- creating the universe, keeping the planets rotating in their orbits, etc. But when it comes to the microcosm, to our own little fiefdoms, at home, in the workplace, with our families and friends, we usurp Divine control on a daily -- sometimes hourly -- basis.

Last week I needed to buy some medicine for my son. No sooner did I drive out of the Old City than I hit bumper-to-bumper traffic.

"At this rate, it's going to take me an hour to get to the pharmacy and back," I thought. "I'd better make sure they have the medication in stock before I blow a whole hour."

I called my husband on my cell phone and asked him to look up the number of the pharmacy and call them to make sure they had the medicine in stock. A few minutes -- and maybe 20 meters -- later, he called back to say they had it in the 250 mg. package. What size did we need? I checked the prescription. Yes, 250 mg., but I'd better just make sure. My husband gave me the pharmacy number, I called, and I spoke to the same pharmacist, the only one on duty in that small pharmacy. Yes, they had it.

No matter how organized, efficient, and reasonable I am, I can't control the world. I can't even control the purchase of one small medication.
A half-hour of crawling along in traffic later, I reached the pharmacy. After waiting in line for ten minutes, I handed the pharmacist the prescription. She looked at it and remarked, "Oh yes, your husband called and you called." She started opening and closing drawers and several minutes later returned to the prescription counter.

"We don't have it," she said.

"What?" I almost shrieked. "But we called! You said you had it!"

"We did have it," she said unapologetically. "We had two packages of it. But people have come in since you called. Did you expect me to hold it for you?"

All the way home in the traffic, I mulled over the maddening reality that, no matter how organized, efficient, thorough, and reasonable I am, I can't control the world. I can't even control the purchase of one small medication.

God runs the world. Most of the time, in my humble estimation, He does a grand job of it. (I write these words sitting out on my friend's patio, between the orange and red tulips and the pink and white snapdragons. Bravo! Bravo!) But sometimes when I have a perfectly good idea of how things should go, God deems otherwise. And that's the chance to let God be God.

Anyone recognize the following scenarios?

You spend three months planning your family's dream vacation, and then one of the kids gets sick.

You get locked out of your house and the neighbor who has your spare key is on vacation in Disneyworld.

You prepare an outstanding presentation for a perspective client, but you don't get the job.

You did everything the book says, but you still can't get your child to go to bed on time.

You've allowed exactly enough time to meet a friend -- or a date you're trying to impress -- at the box office ten minutes before show time, and the car won't start, or your mother calls with an emergency, or your pet absconds through the front door and won't come back.
 
Every time we don't get our way, we have a choice of response. We can get frustrated, angry, bitter, depressed, or we can let God be God.
Relinquishing control does not mean abdicating responsibility. Judaism obligates us to carefully plan the vacation, prepare the presentation, establish boundaries for our children, and show up when we say we will. But sometimes (often!) despite our best efforts, events go awry. These are the occasions when we are literally competing with God for control.

The prerequisite for surrendering control to God is to trust that He will do what is best for us. Frequently, like Cindy, no matter how often the Judge has ruled in our favor, we are afraid to trust Him. The great miracles of the Exodus were meant to be like Cindy's encounter with Judge A. at the opera. Just as Judge A.'s loving smile conveyed the message that she really cared for Cindy, so the miracles of the Exodus were meant to convince us, once and for all, of God's great love for us.

"LEAVE THE DRIVING TO ME"

Unlike the other holidays of the Jewish calendar, which demand great spiritual effort from us if we are to partake of the unique gifts they offer, Passover is a freebie. The redemption from Egypt, we are told, came not because the Israelite slaves were worthy, but because they cried out to God in their helplessness. Their liberation required only that they surrender to God's will by sacrificing the Pascal sheep (symbolic of following) and follow God into the desert, with no idea of what they would eat or drink in the vast wilderness between Egypt and the Promised Land.

Passover is the time to hear the Divine voice saying, "Leave the driving to Me."
Every year at Passover the same dynamic applies. Passover is the time to hear the Divine voice saying, "Leave the driving to Me." This doesn't mean that we should curl up in the back seat and go to sleep. But it does mean that we should stop being backseat drivers to the Almighty.

A backseat driver sits in the passenger seat issuing incessant commands: "Slow down!" "Turn right here!" "Watch out for that guy trying to pass us!" And when the car in front stops suddenly, the backseat driver slams down on the brake. Only there is no brake on that side of the car.

Similarly, most of us drive through life slamming our foot on the brake or the accelerator or tightly gripping the steering wheel, when there is no brake, no accelerator, and no steering wheel on our human side of the car. All the control devices are on the other side, and God is in the driver's seat.

According to Jewish thought, the only power human beings possess is the power to choose between right and wrong. Everything else is orchestrated by the One God, the only real Force in the universe.

To access the special liberating power of Passover, we need to stop trying to control our world and trust God to do the job. The optimum time for this is at the Seder, while we are eating the Afikoman, the matzah that comes after dessert and that is symbolic of the Pascal offering. While consuming the matzah, in silence, without distraction, speak to God in your heart and tell Him: "I truly want to align my will with Your will." You will taste no greater freedom
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 66329
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

https://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

AISH  - Page 12 Empty Re: AISH

Post  Admin on Thu 15 Mar 2018, 7:40 pm

http://www.aish.com/sp/ph/Is-the-Messiah-a-Christian-Concept.html?s=mm
Is the Messiah a Christian Concept?Is the Messiah a Christian Concept?
Why you should care about the Messiah.
by Rabbi Lawrence Hajioff 
When I was a teenager I was asked a question that shocked me. I was student at a Jewish high school in London and I had a strong Jewish identity, even if Jewish learning was not my top priority.

I was at shabbaton with a bunch of my friends and 200 other Jewish teenagers, and naturally we all thought we knew everything there is to know about being Jewish. A speaker stood up in front of us and asked, “You guys think you know a lot about Judaism. Well, let me ask you a simple question: what’s the name of Jesus’s mother?”

Without missing a beat a chorus of, “Mary!” rang out in the crowd.

“Okay,” he said, “What’s the name of Moses’s mother?”

Silence hung in the air until someone finally shouted out, “Miriam” and another “Tzipora!”

Both were wrong. None of us knew. (It’s Yocheved, in case you’re wondering.) How could I know more about Jesus than Moses? Furthermore I knew Judaism rejected Jesus as the Messiah, but I had no idea what the Jewish view of the Messiah was at all.

Fast forward many years and I now teach courses and seminars on the Jewish view of the Messiah. And it’s not surprising to me to hear that many Jews mistakenly believe the entire concept of a Messiah to be a Christian one.

It’s not. Here’s why.

Jewish history has a beginning, middle and end. Every challenge that has happened to the Jewish people throughout our history, every exile, crusade, pogrom and Holocaust, is leading us to what the Torah calls, “The End of Days”. It refers to a time when the Jewish people will return safely to our homeland Israel and be able to live in peace without being attacked for who we are and what we believe.

This final redemption will not only affect the Jews, but the entire world. The prophet Isaiah describes a vision of the peaceful world awaiting us; his words are etched into the wall outside the United Nations where it says, “They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” The world will come to recognize the reality of God and the truth of Torah, and war will finally be lifted from the face of world.

Think of it as the final page of a gripping novel or the last moments of an intense movie when the climax brings everything together and the arc of the story is completely revealed. Every episode of world history will finally make sense.

The Hebrew term for the Messiah is Mashiach. Jewish tradition teaches us that the Mashiach will be a normal human being, born of human parents. He will also be a great leader and an extremely wise Torah scholar. He will put these talents to use to precipitate a worldwide upheaval which will bring perfect social justice to all of humanity. The Mashiach will also be a great prophet, second only to Moses in his level of prophecy. He will need all of these powers in order to fulfill his mission.

As a Jewish king and redeemer he will have a number of tasks. Here are a few of them: (see Maimonides, the last two chapters of the Book of Laws for details)

Spread Torah knowledge to all Jewish people
Inspire Jews to return to their Jewish faith.
Return the Jews scattered throughout the world to their homeland Israel
Teach the entire world of the One true God.
Build the third and final Temple on Temple Mount in Jerusalem
Each one of these tasks and many more will establish a new world of peace over all of humanity and bring an end to all war and bloodshed, which will be the advent of a new era of peace and prosperity to all mankind.

The fact that none of these tasks have happened completely until now means that the final Messiah has not yet arrived on the stage of world history. But with everything we are seeing in the world today, from the return of the Jewish people to Israel, the city of Jerusalem being recognized as the eternal capital of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel, as well Jews from all over the world returning and reconnecting to their Jewish faith, all these are signs that the final Messiah is close to coming.

In the words of Maimonides, “The Messiah, who will be a king descended from King David, will be even wiser than King Shlomo. He will instruct the entire Jewish people in the way of God. Furthermore, the world’s nations will come to hear him speak, as predicted by the prophet (Isaiah 2:2-3), “At the End of Days the mountain of God’s house [the Temple in Jerusalem] shall be set over all other mountains and lifted high above the hills and all nations will come streaming to it. Many shall come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to God’s mountain, to the house of Israel’s God. He, the Messiah, will teach us his way, and we will walk in His paths.”

May we all see and feel this final redemption very soon and enjoy the peace we pray and long for every day.

Rabbi Lawrence Hajioff’s new book “The Future - A Guide to the Jewish Messiah, Israel and the End of Days” is available in Jewish bookstores worldwide and online at www.amazon.com/author/rabbilawrenc
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 66329
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

https://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

AISH  - Page 12 Empty Re: AISH

Post  Admin on Mon 05 Mar 2018, 5:42 pm

Queen Esther shows us how to overcome our obstacles and move forward, despite our fears.
http://www.aish.com/sp/pg/Queen-Esther-Five-Lessons-in-Personal-Transformation.html?s=mm
by Sara Debbie Gutfreund 
Imagine that you are an orphan who is being raised by your uncle. You are utterly alone in this world, always wondering where you really came from and if you’ll ever feel like you belong anywhere.

Suddenly, you are forced into marriage to a man that you neither like nor respect. You are stuck in a foreign palace where you can only eat fruit and seeds. There is no one for you to speak to and nothing for you to do except wonder how long you will have to remain living this life that someone else has chosen for you.

This was Queen Ester’s life. She could have been filled with self- pity, thinking how unfair it was that she was born into this world without parents. And how, after all her suffering, she was forced into a role that could have so easily robbed her of her dignity and her faith. She could have given up. She could have sunk into a hole of her own despair. But instead Queen Esther became a heroine. She kept her faith and her dignity. She refused to give up even when everything seemed lost. She took her tragic story and used it to transform her life.

Here are five lessons in personal transformation that we can learn from Esther’s life:

1. The obstacle is the way. Esther took the suffering that she experienced as an orphan and used it to make her stronger. She knew what it felt like to be lonely. She knew that she had overcome pain as a child, and that she had the resilience within her to face new challenges. When she stepped into the palace, she used these obstacles of her past as stepping stones instead of excuses. She chose to use her pain instead of being suffocated by it.

2. Live for something greater than yourself. The more focused a person is on finding happiness for himself in this world, the more that happiness seems to elude his grasp. This is because we find the greatest happiness in giving to others and living for something greater than our own desires. Esther could have decided to make herself comfortable in the luxuries and pleasures of the palace and ignore the world and her people beyond its walls. But Esther wasn’t living for herself. She had grown up in the house of Mordechai, and she knew that she had a responsibility to stand up for her people.

3. Reach out to others for help. We often think that we need to forge our own paths without anyone’s support. Esther was the queen; she could have decided to use just her own resources to try to save the Jewish people. But she chose instead to reach out to every single person in Am Yisrael, the Jewish nation, and beg them to pray for her. She needed their prayers. She knew in her heart that ultimately, we rise and fall together. She had the humility to be able to say: I need your help. Please fight beside me.

4. Faith is persistence. When Esther risked her life and walked towards the king to beg for her nation, she felt the divine presence begin to leave her. She felt weak and afraid, like she couldn’t go on. But faith doesn’t mean that we always feel strong and courageous. Faith means that we persist even when we are exhausted and afraid. Esther did not give up when she felt like she couldn’t go on. Instead she prayed. She demanded to know: God, God why have you left me? I need You. She found the faith to reach out, to beg for strength and to find a way to make the impossible possible. She kept moving forward until she reached the king.

5. Fight evil by inviting it to the party. We often can’t overcome destructive habits and desires by fighting them directly. They are too strong and too deceitful for head-on battles. But we can trick them like Esther did when she invited Haman to one party after another. We can make them feel like they are welcome in our lives, and then we can turn around and channel them into tools for good. Use anger to fight for justice. Use beauty to build a home. Use pleasure to connect to enduring values.

Purim is an opportunity to transform our mundane pleasures into spiritual joy. Our fragmented communities into a unified nation. Our despair into redemption. Our stagnation into growth. Let’s follow Queen Esther’s path as we overcome our obstacles and move forward.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 66329
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

https://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

AISH  - Page 12 Empty Re: AISH

Post  Admin on Mon 05 Mar 2018, 5:37 pm

Queen Esther and 6 Other Extraordinary Jewish Women
http://www.aish.com/jw/s/Queen-Esther-and-6-Other-Extraordinary-Jewish-Women.html?s=mm
Jewish history abounds with strong Jewish women who ensured the survival of the Jewish people.
by Dr. Yvette Alt Miller 
Facebook657TwitterEmailMore110
Here are 7 remarkable Jewish women whose legacies continue to shape us today.

Queen Esther
Queen Esther, the famous heroine of the Purim story, was a Jewish orphan selected by King Achashveirosh to be his wife as he ruled over a mighty empire centered in ancient Persia. When the king’s wicked minister Haman proposed murdering the Jews, it was Esther who intervened, at great risk to her life, begging the king for mercy on her people.

There’s a lot that people didn’t know about Queen Esther. For one, her name wasn’t Esther. It was Hadassah, but she took the more Persian-sounding name as her public face. When Esther was chosen to be queen, she thought it prudent to reveal as little about herself as possible. Her new husband was brutal and had recently murdered his first wife, Vashti. Yet Esther, alone in the palace, never forgot who she was.

Jewish tradition teaches that Esther ate only seeds and legumes, cooked in her own private kitchen, so she would never violate the laws of kosher food. She secretly counted the days, keeping track of when it was Shabbat each week.

Perhaps it was this steely determination that gave Esther the courage to confront King Achashveirosh after he signed an order to murder all the kingdom’s Jews. Turning to her Jewish community outside the palace walls, Esther asked that every Jew fast and pray for her success. Then, she gathered up her courage and risked the king’s wrath and certain death by entering his chamber unbidden. Avaditi, avaditi she told her uncle Mordechai: if I perish, I perish. Esther knew that some things are worth risking all.

Sarah Schenirer
Sarah Schenirer was born in 1883 in Krakow, Poland, into a Chassidic Jewish family. At that time, the expectation was that Jewish boys would learn about their religion in special Jewish schools, and that Jewish girls would attend publich schools and be instructed in Jewish thought at home by their parents. This model may have worked in previous generations, but Sara Schenirer saw firsthand how Jewish girls were becoming woefully ignorant of Jewish topics and starting to assimilate. She saw a crisis arising.

Sarah herself left school at 13 and became a seamstress. Unlike many of her peers, she continued to read Jewish books and educate herself about Judaism and Jewish thought. As girls went to her to commission new clothes and for fittings, Sarah began to wish she had a way to show her clients the beauty of their heritage. Older girls merely mocked her, so Sarah decided to start educating young children and dreamed of opening a Jewish girls school.

She went to visit the Belzer Rebbe, the spiritual leader of Sarah’s community, to seek his blessing. Many thought she would fail: she was divorced and had no children of her own, and she was proposing something radical that even the greatest Jewish leaders of her time had failed to enact. The Rebbe, however, offered her two powerful words: Beracha v’hatzlacha - Blessings and success. In 1917, Sarah Schenirer opened a school with 25 pupils called Beis Yaakov.

Soon, other towns were contacting Sarah asking for help in opening their own Beis Yaakov schools for girls. By 1937, two years after Sara Schenirer’s death, there were 248 Beis Yaakov schools educating 35,000 girls. Today, Beis Yaakov schools continue to thrive the world over. In Israel alone, there are over 100 Beis Yaakov schools, educating over 15,000 girls and Sarah Schenirer is universally recognized as a visionary educator who saved the Jewish people.

Hannah Senesh
Born into an assimilated Jewish family in Budapest in 1921, as a child Hannah Senesh was drawn to Zionism and local Zionist youth group activities. When she was 18 she made aliyah (moved to what would soon be the state of Israel), settling in Kibbutz Sdot Yam, where she wrote poetry and a play about kibbutz life.

In 1943, with World War II raging, Hannah volunteered for the British Army, which presented her with a grave proposal: would she be willing to parachute into Nazi-occupied Europe in order to help Allied efforts to organize local anti-Nazi resistance movements? Hannah agreed and became one of 33 soldiers chosen for this top-secret, dangerous mission. In March 1944, she was dropped into Nazi-controlled Yugoslavia, where she fought with Tito’s resistance troops for three months. She then crossed the border into her native Hungary, where she was caught almost at once.

Viciously tortured over a period of months by the Hungarian police, Hannah refused to give any details about her mission. On November 7, 1944, at the age of 23, Hannah was executed by firing squad. She refused an offer to be blindfolded, staring clear-eyed at her murderers instead.

After her death, the following poem was found in her prison cell:

One, two, three… Eight feet long
Two strides across, the rest is dark…
Life is a fleeting question mark
One, two, three… Maybe another week
Or the next month may still find me here,
But death, I feel, is very near.
I could have been 23 next July
I gambled on what mattered most, the dice were cast. I lost.

In 1950, Hannah Senesh’s remains were returned to Israel and buried on Mount Herzl in Israel. Many of her poems, as well as the diary she kept, are classics in Hebrew literature today.

Dulcea of Worms
Much of what we know about Dulcea, a Jewish woman who lived during the Middle Ages in the German city of Worms, comes from the poetry of her husband, Rabbi Eleazar ben Judah of Worms (1165-1230). Her accomplishments and character traits convey a picture of a remarkably active community leader, leading a thriving Jewish community against the background of the reign of terror of the Crusades.

Dulcea supported her family and community in one of the only means of business open to Jews at the time: moneylending. Dulcea managed her community’s resources, taking charge of neighbors’ funds and investing them jointly at the most profitable rates. It wasn’t her unusual business acumen that impressed others, however, as much as her intense spiritual life.

Following the devastation of the First Crusade of 1096, which saw the brutal murder of thousands of Europe’s Jews, Dulcea and her husband became members of an intellectual group that studied and penned Jewish texts. Dulcea taught women and helped them express their spirituality.

As well as business enterprises, Dulcea was an accomplished craftswoman and embroiderer. She sewed books and did the needlework required to join panels of vellum to create forty Torah scrolls. She was also a matchmaker and helped Jewish brides prepare for their weddings, and performed tahara, bathing the dead and preparing the deceased for burial.

Dulcea was murdered, along with her daughters Bellette and Hanna, in November 1196, when two armed men broke into their home, attacking the family, as well as a teacher and a number of students who were staying with the family at the time. Dulcea’s husband survived the attack and wrote about it for posterity. Though he didn’t write that the attackers were Crusaders, many historians have posited that it might have been errant Crusaders who attacked Dulcea, perhaps because they knew of her money lending activities and hoped to find treasure in her home.

Deborah
In the time of Judges in ancient Israel, Deborah was a prophet and a leader, a military strategist who helped Israel fight and prevail against the repressive Canaanite king Yavin. While there are seven female prophets in the Torah, Deborah stands alone as a female military leader in ancient Israel. The Torah describes her in impressive terms: “Deborah was a prophetess, a fiery woman; she was the judge of Israel at that time” (Judges 4:4).

The Torah records that Deborah sat in judgment under a palm tree, and everyone who had disputes would bring them to her to adjudicate. Jewish tradition gives some clue as to why Deborah was seen as such a remarkable judge. She was a learned woman, yet her husband, Lapidot, was an unlearned, simple laborer. Deborah longed to elevate her husband, and she did so in an unusual way. Seeing that he was skilled at making wicks for oil lamps, Deborah encouraged Lapidot to bring some of his wicks to a place of worship in the town of Shiloh and donate them for holy use there. She didn’t urge him to do anything very different or make radical changes in himself. Instead she identified what his strengths were and encouraged him to make the most of them.

Under her guidance, Lapidot began to make innovation in his wicks, boosting the light at the sanctuary in Shiloh. Deborah skillfully encouraged her husband to maximize his best qualities, and put them to ever higher use. This was the wisdom of her judgment: discerning the strength inside people and encouraging them to use them for good.

Shlomtzion, Queen Salome Alexandra
The fact that Queen Salome Alexandra was called “Queen” at all was controversial: her husband, Judah Aristobulus I, led the Jewish people during a tumultuous period of internecine fighting and strife in the First Century BCE. He was the first leader of Israel since the destruction of the First Temple to claim the title “King” for himself. When Judah Aristobulus died, Salome married his brother, Alexander Jannai, a cruel and wicked ruler.

For years, Alexander Jannai was absent, off fighting in foreign wars, and Queen Salome ruled in Israel alone, a wise and judicious ruler. She removed blasphemers from positions in her government, replacing them with the greatest rabbis and scholars of the day, including her brother, Rabbi Shimon ben Shetach. Rabbi Shimon, along with Rabbi Joshua ben Gamla, instituted a rule that became a model of Jewish life for thousands of years, mandating that each town and city set up Jewish schools to educate all the local children, educating poor children for free if they could not afford tuition. So popular was Salome that she soon became known as “Shlomtzion”, or “Peace of Zion”.

Alexander Jannai did return to Israel and took power from his wife. He used his time in power to reverse many of her progressive decrees and put hundreds of Jewish scholars to death. After Alexander Jannai died at the age of 76 BCE, Queen Salome regained power and ruled for a further nine years until her death in 67 BCE. She strengthened Israel’s military, built fortresses, and Jewish tradition recalls her reign as a time of peace and prosperity, when the crops were miraculously abundant and prosperity reigned.

Sarah Aaronsohn
Sarah Aaronsohn was part of a large family that escaped anti-Semitic persecution in Romania by moving to the land of Israel, settling in and helping to build the nascent Jewish town of Zichron Yaakov in Israel’s north. Sarah was born there in 1890, and grew up cultured and educated, fluent in several languages; she was also an accomplished rider and a skilled shooter. Her older brother Aaron became one of the world’s foremost agronomists, and Sarah often accompanied him on trips to gather plant samples and help him with his research.

During her childhood, the Ottoman Empire ruled over what is present-day Israel, and the local authorities were ill-disposed towards Jews, making life as difficult and possible for the Jewish community there. As an adult, Sarah got an even more visceral insight into the cruelties of the Ottoman Empire. Travelling by train from Istanbul to Zichron Yaakov in 1915, she saw first-hand the violence in what would soon become the Armenian Genocide, in which one million men, women and children were murdered by Ottoman forces.

By then World War I was in full force, with Turkey fighting on the side of Germany. Sarah Aaronsohn was convinced that if they won the war, Turkey would kill the regions Jews, just as they had murdered their Armenian minority. Sarah, her brother Aaron, their siblings and some friends decided to form a secret espionage network to spy on Turkish military movements and relay information to Britain. They named their group NILI, an acronym for Netzach Yisrael Lo Yeshaker, “The Glory of Israel Does Not Deceive” (I SAmuel 15:29). Soon, NILI was the largest pro-British spy ring in the entire Middle East.

Unsuspected by Turkish authorities, NILI’s young members took note of troop and ordinance information and sent encoded messages to British forces. When her brother Aaron left to aid the British in Egypt, Sarah took over NILI, running the spy ring from her family’s home. In 1917, one of NILI’s secret messages was intercepted by Ottoman authorities. Sarah refused British advice to leave and save herself, and remained in Zichron Yaakov. She was arrested on October 1, 1917, and brutally tortured for five days. She refused to divulge the identities of other NILI members.

Finally, on October 6, 1917, Sarah was told she was to be transferred to Damascus for yet worse torture. Fearing she might break down and betray her fellow spies, Sarah asked for permission to return home one last time. As she was led down Zichron Yaakov’s main street, she sang a song about a little bird flying away: a secret message to her fellow NILI spies that their ring was broken. Once in her house, she secretly removed a hidden pistol from its hiding place in the wall, locked herself in the bathroom, and shot herself.

Following Britain’s victory in World War I, Britain formally thanked NILI, saying that without their activities, Britain would not have been able to win the war.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 66329
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

https://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

AISH  - Page 12 Empty Re: AISH

Post  Admin on Mon 05 Mar 2018, 5:13 pm

The Secret to Esther’s Beauty
http://www.aish.com/h/pur/t/dt/The-Secret-to-Esthers-Beauty.html?s=mm
How did Esther suddenly become the new "It Girl"? It wasn’t just her good looks.
by Rabbi Tzvi Nightingale 
With Purim coming up, let's review the background to the holiday through a quick synopsis of the main players in this drama:

King Achashverosh – King of Persia on the hunt for a new woman in his life after he rids himself of his wife, Vashti for refusing to appear with not much more than her crown in his attempt to display her beauty in front of his buds (who probably had imbibed a few too many Buds themselves).

Mordechai – The Jewish leader who stubbornly refuses to bow to Haman and thereby sets in motion a series of events that eventually caused Haman to draw a lottery – pur in Hebrew, hence the name Purim. The lottery was to set the date of a planned genocide against the Jewish people.

Haman – Real bad guy who is having major inferiority issues. Wants to wipe out an entire people because one of them doesn’t give him the respect he thinks he deserves. He tells his wife and friends that he has wealth, children and power but that it's all worthless as long as that Jew, Mordechai refuses to get on his knees and bow to him.

Esther – our reluctant heroine. The poor girl did not want to take part in the Persian version of America's Next Top Model that King Achashverosh created to find himself a new wife. When her turn arrives to meet the king, she is the only one who is not interested in the M*A*C goodie bag to make herself up. All the other girls get an AMEX Platinum and a day at the mall. Esther tells them, "No thanks." She wins the contest anyway.

Of all these lovely ladies, how did Esther suddenly become the new "It Girl" and get thrust into the limelight and palace? Was she so stunningly beautiful that even without any make-over she still looked way better than all the other contestants?

The Book of Esther reveals her secret by mentioning that the king loved her more than any of the women for "she had grace and kindness over all the others." Apparently it was not just her good looks but this "grace and kindness" that did the trick in securing her victory.

And herein lies the secret to real beauty. There is no denying that pure physical beauty has a certain power and magnetism that makes heads turn. But this alone is not enough to make one an extremely attractive person that can capture the heart and imagination of a king upon first sight. Indeed we have all met very good-looking people who quickly become ugly as soon as they open their mouth.

The Talmud relates that anyone who met Esther thought that she was from that person's nation. If you were from the USA, you thought she was American; if from the UK, you thought she was a Brit. Slovak, Russian, African, it made no difference – you thought Esther was your landsman. This is difficult to understand; people from different countries each have their own unique look, language, customs and nuances. How was Esther able to pull this off? Was she such a chameleon?

Esther was one of those rare people who have the unique talent of allowing others to feel as if she is one of them by instantly connecting with and relating to whomever she meets. She knew how to listen, see another's needs, quickly intuit a person's hot-button, and concentrate on the other and not herself. By giving another this total and undivided attention, every person who came in contact with Esther felt she knew and understood them so well that she must have come from their locale.

In Hebrew the word for charm is chain. Its root is from the word, chinam which means gratis. People will like you, for no apparent reason at all and freely, if you make them, and not yourself, the focus during your interaction with them. This is the "grace and kindness" that King Achashverosh and everyone else, immediately felt upon being in her presence.

Furthermore, Esther's reluctance to be the Queen was a crucial factor in winning over the King. She did not want, nay did not need, to be Queen because she knew it was not necessary to have that title and position. She exuded such confidence in herself from already knowing of her true royalty that came with her talents, morals, integrity and leadership – that it was completely unnecessary to have any formal recognition of it. She was not the least bit interested in formally being declared a Queen because she already knew that she was one.

In complete contrast to Esther was Haman who wanted so badly to be like a king. The problem was that he did not have any of the charm and grace of an Esther; a crucial quality for a King to relate to his many different subjects. Knowing deep down of his personal failings, his insecurity was so great that even though he had managed to amass tremendous power, it became meaningless if but one person would not recognize it. It only took one individual's refusal to bow to Haman to shatter his fragile ego and expose the fact that all the love and obedience shown to him was forced and false because it came through deception, lies and favors. Such is the frailty of the ego of a person who knows that all his success, admiration and wealth are a sham.

The irony is that those whose egos are so sensitive and in constant need for validation never really get the respect they so crave. However, those who are secure and happy in their knowledge of themselves, who need no accolades, who have enough love and confidence of self that they can easily share it with others – those people always end up becoming honored Kings and Queens in the eyes of family, friends and anyone who might have the good fortune to be in their presence.

As the Talmud so aptly puts it:

One who runs after honor, honor flees from him.
One who flees from honor, honor runs after him.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 66329
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

https://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

AISH  - Page 12 Empty Re: AISH

Post  Admin on Mon 05 Mar 2018, 3:38 pm

http://www.aish.com/sp/pg/How-to-Handle-Toxic-People.html?s=mm
Three pieces of advice from ancient Jewish wisdom.
by Rabbi Tzvi Nightingale 
Like it or not, life is full of disagreements and disagreeable people. The Mishna in Ethics of the Fathers sheds light on how to deal with people who can or have wronged us:

Nittai of Arbel says: Keep far from a bad neighbor, do not become connected to an evil person and don't ever give up on the notion of reward and punishment (Ethics of the Fathers, 1:7).

This Mishna is offering advice on three different levels of dealing with unsavory people.

The first and optimum choice is to avoid them altogether – "Keep far from a bad neighbor." Some people we cross paths with are simply bad news, negative and toxic. The best advice is to try to completely avoid them. As I often tell my kids, “Nothing good can come from this." If you see a guy driving erratically on the highway, don't try and teach him a lesson, don't flash your lights or try to box him out. Let him go on his way and keep your distance so you don't get hurt by the collateral damage of his recklessness. Don't engage such people because "nothing good can come from this."

Every morning we say an important prayer: May it be Your will, My God and the God of my forefathers that You spare me today and every day from brazen and shameless people, from a bad person, a bad associate and a bad neighbor... from a difficult trial and a harsh litigant...

When it comes to being sued, very little good can come from it. Often when it comes to trials, court cases and the like, the best we are trying to do is get back to zero and limit the negative fallout. Nothing gets into the positive side of the scale in these situations and this is what this prayer and the first part of the Mishna are getting at: first and foremost we should do whatever we can do keep these people from entering our lives, including praying for it.

Unfortunately we can’t always avoid negative and toxic people. They may be family members, co-workers or your next door neighbor. That’s when the second statement of the Mishna comes into play. "Do not get connected to an evil person" is telling us that for those harmful people we cannot escape from, we need to keep our relationship with them to a bare minimum. Be cordial, be businesslike, don't look to pick a fight, and don’t do anything social with them unless forced to because of circumstances, and as the Mishna says, do not befriend or connect with them. You might have to share space with these people, but keep your distance emotionally and mentally.

And finally we have the third statement of the Mishna that, at first blush, does not seem to fit in: “Don't ever give up on the notion of reward and punishment.” The Mishna is addressing the situations when we can’t separate from bad people and, try as we might, they are in our lives and have had their negative impact on us. We are the victims of someone else's bad behavior, bad decisions, evil designs and the like. We have suffered financially, emotionally, materially or physically from the rotten choices of rotten people. No matter how much we would have preferred to avoid them altogether (Mishna statement 1) or kept it to a minimum (Mishna statement 2) sometimes it’s a sad fact of life that other people's garbage stinks up our lives.

So what are we to do? Hold a grudge forever? Jewish tradition tells us that there is a God, there is Ultimate Reward and Punishment and that we should never lose sight of that fact. What goes around comes around; measure for measure is built into the fabric of Creation and the righteous will eventually prosper while evil withers. away. 

We can see that on a national level where our enemies have disappeared to the trash heap of history while the Jewish People continues to grow strong and successful. The same is true on an individual level; eventually the good guys come out on top and the toxic negative people will self-destruct.

If we have suffered injustice, it will be addressed. Maybe not this year, maybe not next year maybe not in 10 years - but it will, if not in this lifetime, then certainly in the next. And if it's any consolation, how often have we seen situations where someone did something terrible to us, we ended up hating them at the time but then years later, in retrospect, we saw the good come out from this.

Life is not perfect and unsavory people insinuate themselves into our lives. Stay away if you can, keep them to a minimum if you cannot and when all is said and done don’t forget that there is a just God who never forgets the evil done to you by another. Take a measure of comfort in that.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 66329
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

https://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

AISH  - Page 12 Empty Re: AISH

Post  Admin on Wed 28 Feb 2018, 11:26 am

Poland, Purim and Masking the Truth
http://www.aish.com/h/pur/t/Poland-Purim-and-Masking-the-Truth.html?s=mm
Just when evil people and destructive ideologies seem to dominate the world, the darkness can turn into light.
by Emuna Braverman 
Facebook36TwitterEmailMore35
I used to think that it was silly to fight Holocaust deniers. What’s the point? Their viewpoint is so absurd and ridiculous. No serious person would believe them anyway.

But as I watch the Polish government deny the role of the Polish people in the Holocaust, I see that I am watching history being revised before my very eyes. It’s something that would have been unimaginable 30, 20, even 10 years ago. And yet now they are saying with a straight face that it was all the Germans, that they had no complicity. They are making it illegal to even suggest such a thing.

How is this possible? As absurd as it is to us now, for their children and even, God forbid, for ours, it will become the new “reality.” I use the term reality loosely since that is the way they seem to use it!

All the horror stories we were raised on, all the books we’ve read, all the articles we’ve researched about the abhorrent behaviors of the Poles, the Ukrainians, the Lithuanians are all going to be whitewashed? Banned? Destroyed? Did anyone in the Polish government see the documentary Shoah? The Poles themselves speak of their complicity, what they did, what they saw, what they heard.

And yet their governments are desperately trying to alter this reality, to use dishonest words to change facts, to challenge truth, to (and this is the crux) absolve them of blame and make them feel better about themselves. Unlike the Germans who at least have had the decency to acknowledge their evil, to document it and create memorials and come to some kind of uneasy reconciliation with their past, these other peoples are trying to recreate it, to make a new history for themselves, to do the seeming impossible.

When the world seems to be the most upside down, the Almighty reveals His Hand intervening behind the scenes and turns it all right-side up again.
In our confused world, this behavior is no longer deemed impossible. They seem to have bided their time and waited for the moment when there are so many untruths in the world – about the role of the Israelis in 9/11, about the facts on the ground in Israel, even about whether people actually walked on the moon (Google it and you will find multiple conspiracy theories suggesting it never happened!) – that they could just slide this one in.

Purim is fast approaching. We are taught that at the time of Purim the world was hanafoch hu, upside down – evil was ascendant and good was declining. But one of the true messages of the story is that just when the world seems to be the most upside down, the most backwards, the most confusing, the Almighty reveals His Hand intervening behind the scenes and turns it all right-side up again. It’s at the moment of greatest confusion that He can bring the greatest clarity.

Every year at this time something happens to reinforce this idea. The world seems to have lost its moorings. And then the ship is righted again.

It’s hard not to read the news these days and feel like we have fallen down the rabbit hole. But the story of Purim gives us hope. Just when the world seems to be at its darkest, just when evil people and destructive ideologies seem to dominate the world, the Almighty flips the switch, as it were. He turns darkness into light; good triumphs and evil is destroyed. Sometimes it’s so clear, sometimes it’s a little less obvious. But He’s always there.

It seems like this year we could use the more “obvious” intervention – but the Almighty knows best. I just pray that His intervention (covert or overt) occurs soon – before these damaging and dishonest ideas become, in what can only be the most appropriate use of the word, the ironically “new” version of history.


http://www.aish.com/jw/me/The-Olive-Branch-on-the-Temple-Mount.html?s=mm
The Olive Branch on the Temple MountRabbi Benjamin BlechThe Olive Branch on the Temple Mount
Two American Congressmen discover it’s a crime to bend down and pick an olive branch on this sacred spot.
by Rabbi Benjamin Blech 
Two American Congressman on a fact-finding mission to Israel last week found out far more than they ever expected when they visited the site of the Temple Mount.

Just before a planned visit with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Congressman David McKinley of West Virginia and Congressman Scott Tipton of Colorado decided to preface their meeting by going to the spot which for Jews is the holiest place on earth. They wanted to see for themselves what Jews experience on this most sacred site which, in the interest of peaceful relations with the Muslim world, Israel conceded to the control of the Waqf, the Islamic religious authority.

What happened to them is almost beyond belief.

The Congressmen, like tourists everywhere, thought it might be nice to bring home a souvenir. Spotting an olive branch on the ground, Congressman McKinley bent down to pick up the universal symbol of peace. The Waqf, the Muslim organization given authority over the Temple Mount, forbid people who are not Muslim from bending down, the equivalent of bowing. Similarly, nothing may be taken off the Mount by outsiders, whether it is an olive branch or even a stone or pebble.

So the Muslim Waqf insisted that the Congressmen be detained by the police, turning the olive branch into a symbol of irrational hatred.

The source of the olive branch as a symbol of peace comes the Torah. In the aftermath of the great flood, Noah sent out birds from the ark to check if the waters had receded sufficiently in order to return to dry land. The raven he sent out first found no place to rest and returned, alerting Noah that the time had not yet come. Next he sent the dove, but with similarly disappointing result. Finally, on the 301st day of the great flood, Noah sent the dove once more, and this time “the dove came unto him in the evening, and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf plucked off, and Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth” (Genesis 8:11).

It was a sign, too, that God’s anger had been appeased. It meant the end of destruction and devastation. God had completed his punishment of the generation that worshiped violence and was filled with corruption. It was time for a new beginning.

So the olive branch became a symbol of peace and good tidings. In ancient Greece, olive wreaths were awarded to Olympic victors. On July 4, 1776, a resolution was passed that allowed the creation of the Great Seal of the United States. On the Great Seal, there is an eagle grasping an olive branch in its right talon. The olive branch has 13 olives and 13 olive leaves to represent the thirteen original colonies.

However the American Congressmen learned that extending an olive branch of understanding, of love and of brotherhood on the Temple Mount is not part of the vocabulary of the mount’s present managers. Congressman Tipton summed up the status on the Temple Mount and the Middle East quite clearly when he stated that “The irony isn’t lost (that) they (the Muslims) have a problem with the olive branch.” The Congressmen strongly denounced the manner in which the Muslims forbid freedom of worship to non-Muslims. They were appalled, they said, when they saw that Jews are literally treated like herds of cattle – on the holiest site to the Jewish people. What made this even more painful to them was witnessing firsthand how Muslims treat the Temple Mount with total disrespect, discarding rubbish and debris everywhere and acting with total disregard to the sacredness of the area.

In this era of so-called peace talks it would be wise for us to acknowledge another message the Midrash teaches in connection to the dove bringing back the olive branch to Noah. What is the deeper significance of the olive branch, the rabbis ask, and why do we need to know that the dove held it in her mouth? Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki , the foremost biblical commentator, better known simply as Rashi (1040-1105) quotes the following teaching of the Talmud: “The dove said, ‘Better, let my food be as bitter as an olive from the hands of God and not as sweet as honey from the hands of flesh and blood.’”

The message is clear: The olive branch teaches us that rather than placing our trust in the promises of peace from man, we should place our trust in God. Even if in the moment, that may seem a bit “bitter,” ultimately, it is this promise and covenant that will prevail.

And it is God Almighty who promised us that the site of the first and second temples will eventually be host to the third – under Jewish control but enlightening the entire world with its message of peace and of love for all of mankind.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 66329
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

https://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

AISH  - Page 12 Empty Re: AISH

Post  Admin on Fri 16 Feb 2018, 12:37 am

http://www.aish.com/h/pur/b/The_Choice_of_Adar.html?s=mm
The Choice of Adar
Purim teaches us to appreciate the world's awesome beauty, amidst so much chaos and horror.
by Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller 
Facebook1.3KTwitterEmailMore145
Everyone knows that the Jewish year begins in Tishrei, with Rosh Hashana. But surprise, surprise -- there are actually two ways of calculating the order of our calendar. The more familiar version follows the calculations made by Hillel the Elder in the Talmudic era, and refers to the months by their Babylonian names -- Tishrei, Cheshvan, etc.

The other method is that used by the Torah itself. The Torah text does not assign names to the months, but rather refers to the "first month," "second month," etc. The "first month" is Nissan, featuring Passover, the anniversary of our liberation from Egypt. In the other calendar, Nissan would be the seventh month!

Jews seem to have a knack for complicating things. Actually, it is the natural result of looking at things deeply. From that perspective, something fascinating emerges from the two ways we count time:

Tishrei is the month that marks the creation of mankind. For us mortal beings, this is the central event of human history. Thus, Tishrei is the first month.

God, however, sees things from a different angle. As expressed by His Torah, the emergence of the Jewish nation is the beginning of meaningful history. Thus, Nissan is the first month.

Adar, the last month, is often described as the "month of darkness." Through the miracle of Purim, the darkness turned to light.
Which brings us to Adar, the month of Purim, the month that directly precedes Nissan. From the Torah's perspective, Adar is the last month of the Hebrew calendar. Adar is often described as the "month of darkness," because during Haman's time we were closer than ever to suffering total annihilation. The light of Nissan, the light of liberation, could have been extinguished, had Haman's plot succeeded. Through the miracle of Purim, the darkness turned to light.

Fish and Fertility

Adar is the Jewish month of good fortune. In fact, Purim is the most joyful time of the entire year. "When Adar arrives, we increase our joy," say the Sages. How did Adar get its well-earned reputation for joy?

The astral sign of Adar is the fish (Pisces). Fish are very fertile, and for that reason are seen as a sign of blessing and fruitfulness. The Hebrew word for blessing is bracha, from the root letters bet, reish, kaff. In Jewish numerology (gematria), the letter bet has a value of 2, reish is 200 and kaff is 20. Each of these is the first plural in their number unit. What this tells us is that the Jewish concept of "blessing" is intertwined with fertility, represented by the fish of Adar. After all, if there is something good, why not let it increase?

The opposite of blessing is constraint or limitation. Adar is the month in which Haman threatened to not only limit our presence, but to erase it entirely. But destiny had a different plan.

Moses' Birth and Death

At the time of the destruction of the First Temple, the Jews were exiled to Babylon, which was later ruled by the Persian Empire. This empire eventually included most of the known world, placing the entire Jewish population under Persian authority, regardless of where they lived.

Haman, the wicked prime minister of Persia, threw lots and came up with a designated day to make his entire kingdom Judenrein, cleansed of Jews.

Haman's "lucky day" was the 13th of Adar. And when he observed that this day came up, seemingly by chance, he rejoiced -- because the 7th of Adar was the day that Moses died. Moses was the quintessential Jew; the Sages say that he is equal to the Jewish people collectively -- the head that controls the "body" of the nation, providing it with vision, articulation and direction. To Haman, the lot falling in Adar meant that his plan to destroy everything that Moses built was bound to succeed.

What Haman didn't know, however, was that the same 7th of Adar was also the day that Moses was born. What Haman presumed would be the day of Jewish national death, turned out to be a day of national rebirth.

Humility and the Fish

There is yet more significance to the fish as the astral sign of Adar.

Fish live their entire lives underwater, unobserved by the human eye. Our Sages tell us that blessing does not come to something that is under close observation, but only to something that is hidden from the eye. This is due to the direct relationship between modesty and blessing.

Of course, from a Western view, where fame and success are identical twins, modesty seems inversely related to blessing.

The Torah teaches, however, that the cost of all this exposure -- rather than a blessing, i.e. maximizing oneself -- is to risk becoming the sort of person who has no self, other than the mask that is donned in order to be the person that you think others would like to see.

Moses is described in the Torah as "the most humble person." He lived with modesty, and this became engrained in our national Jewish identity. We have always prized humility over pride. For this reason, the fish, the sign of Adar, is the penultimate sign of the Jewish people.

Celebration of Hidden Miracles

One might expect the Megillah to be replete with descriptions of the miracle of Haman's defeat, giving credit to the Author of all miracles. Yet what we find is very different. God's name is not mentioned even once in the entire narrative. The Megillah is a great dichotomy, where the Hero is always off stage, but yet the most central figure of the entire drama.

Of course, not everyone who reads the Megillah will notice God's subtle yet compelling presence. The events that He orchestrated are covered with many layers of seeming coincidence, political machinations, natural cause and effect. The Sages refer to this event as a "hidden miracle," meaning that it is within our ability to appreciate the multi-layered reality unfolded before us -- or just as easily to deny it and attribute everything to chance.

Which brings us to an important question: Why would God simultaneously conceal and reveal His presence? Why not rescue the Jews through a thunder and lightning extravaganza that would merit an MGM movie on the scale of The Ten Commandments?

To answer this question, we must first ask a far more fundamental one: Why is the world so complex, so full of apparent contradictions? The world has intricate order and awesome beauty, yet at the same time there is so much chaos and unspeakable horror. Why?

The answer is that the choice is up to us to look deep and acknowledge both aspects of reality. It is tempting to take refuge in superficial simplification, to ignore the cracks in the facade of perfection that we like to see when we look in the mirror. Of course, this requires its own bit of effort, like avoiding the news and ensconcing ourselves in the secure refuge of our comfortable cars and homes. All this entails some major denial.

Every so often God opens the gates wide enough to give us a message that can sustain us when things seem hopeless.
The opposite approach is to take masochistic pleasure in painting the world black. The toll that such people pay in bitterness and jaded cynicism is high, but they feel they are getting something precious in return, which is "seeing things as they are." The problem is that such people are as much in denial of reality as the first group.

The Jewish view is to see that chaos and order in fact do co-exist, and that each one has a purpose. We are meant to meet the challenges presented by life's hard side, and to find inspiration in the beauty and joy that we see just as readily when our eyes are open. Every so often God opens the gates wide enough to give us a message that can sustain us when things seem hopeless. The message is: "I am here now, as I have been all along, and I will always be here for you. Not just when the sea splits, or when My presence overwhelms you, but when you elect to choose to see Me."

And this is the essential message of Purim. It is about making that sort of choice -- the most significant and joyous choice you will ever make.

Purim Practices

1) We read the Megillah twice, both at night (to celebrate the faith that we found in the midst of darkness) and during the day (to celebrate the fact that our faith was validated openly and joyously).

2) We give two kinds of food to at least one friend. This gift is not meant to alleviate need, but rather to create unity. We celebrate being part of a people who lives on miracles.

3) We give money to the poor. This spreads the pleasure of feeling cared for, and opens the hearts of both giver and recipient.

4) We strengthen our belief in God's presence in the real world by having a whopper of a feast. Invite all your friends. Wear a costume to celebrate the fact that things are not always as they seem. Drink until you are so intoxicated that you recognize there are no longer heroes and villains -- just characters in God's unending play that reveals His love and presence.
Click here to learn more about Purim. http://www.aish.com/h/pur/
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 66329
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

https://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

AISH  - Page 12 Empty Re: AISH

Post  Admin on Sat 10 Feb 2018, 1:01 pm

Why This Jewish Billionaire Keeps Shabbat
http://www.aish.com/sp/so/Why-This-Jewish-Billionaire-Keeps-Shabbat.html?s=mm
At first it seemed like a burden but it gives me time with my wife and children and friends.
by Jewish Breaking News
Adam Neumann, 38, is a young billionaire and considered one of the world’s most promising Israeli business men. Adam told Yediot Acharonot that he’s been keeping Shabbat with his wife and 5 children these past 2 years. “I totally disconnect. There’s no one I talk to and that’s something I’m not willing to compromise on,” he said in his interview. “At first it seemed like a burden but it gives me time with my wife and children and friends.”

Adam is the owner of WeWork which is based in New York and has 3,000 employees in 238 locations in 56 cities across 18 countries around the world. It’s worth $20 billion and it’s a work space business hub company that provides office space with advanced technologies which attract a lot of talented techies and start-up entrepreneurs. You can well imagine Adam’s work schedule which includes many flights on the Tel-Aviv- New York route. “Last week I had a crazy week with a lot of flights and work,” Adam says.

The more I keep Shabbat, the better my company does! Go figure that one out!
But on Friday morning Adam and his wife get up and say ‘we’re ready for Shabbat’ and when Shabbat does come Adam’s wife lights candles and tranquility settles on the house. “All our friends came for a meal that was cooked before Shabbat. At that time we’re disconnected but in reality we’re really connecting. I spend more time than ever with my family. I even see my mother more and call her during the week too. The more I keep Shabbat the better the company does, go figure that one out!”

WeWork founder Adam Neumann visits work share space in Israel. (left) Photo Credit: Shir Stein

Neumann grew up in Kibbutz Nir Am and went to New York immediately after completing his mandatory army service hoping to become wealthy quickly. But things didn’t quite work out initially. “I was always angry with people and felt this sense of entitlement,” Adam admits.

Adam and his wife Rebekah

But when he met his wife, things began to change. “She got me to stop smoking and stop complaining about the past and showed me how to be happy and do something that has meaning to me.” Before that he was in constant pursuit of wealth, after all what could be more important, thought Adam at the time. But then, 10 years ago Adam also had no idea how his life would look. “10 years ago, if you’d have asked me what my life would be like, I’d never believe I’d improve so much in the way I interact with people. I have a better approach to things and the most satisfying thing to me is to help all those who helped me in the past like my parents, my grandmother and my friends.”

This article originally appeared in Jewish Breaking News.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 66329
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

https://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

AISH  - Page 12 Empty Re: AISH

Post  Admin on Sat 10 Feb 2018, 11:55 am

Destiny: The Incredible Story of the Jewish People
http://www.aish.com/jw/s/Destiny-The-Incredible-Story-of-the-Jewish-People.html?s=mm
Ken Spiro’s new book explores why the Jewish people, a tiny nation, plays such a huge role in history.
by Rabbi Ken Spiro
Facebook856TwitterEmailMore97
When John F. Kennedy was a young man he told his mother, Rose Kennedy, that he wanted to be an actor. She answered, “Why play someone great when you can be someone great?” He certainly took her advice seriously.

The same can be said about us. We run off to the movies to escape our mundane existence and feel like we are part of something bigger, part of a great adventure.

But if it’s adventure that we want, we need look no further than our own history which is as exciting, action-packed and intense as the greatest Hollywood blockbuster! Unfortunately too many Jews don’t have the knowledge and perspective to realize how epic and unbelievable the story of the Jewish people really is.

Jewish history is so unique and unbelievable, but when the unbelievable happens to you on a regular basis you get desensitized to it and it just seems normal. David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime mister, probably said it the best: “In Israel, in order to be a realist, you must believe in miracles.” This is true not just about modern Israel but for all of Jewish history.

Even a quick look at some of the major facts of Jewish history clearly shows that there is something remarkable and unique about the Jewish people and their history:

Despite its tiny size, no people, pound for pound, have contributed more to the world than the Jews. (The fact that Jews are but .2% of the world’s population yet have received 23% of all Nobel Prizes since 1901 is just one of many examples of the Jewish people’s disproportionate impact.)
Despite all these contributions, no people have been more threatened, hated and persecuted than the Jews.
Notwithstanding this hatred and animosity, no people’s ideas have been more impactful and more transformative than the Jewish people’s.
Israel, the newest old nation on the planet and the only western, democratic state in the Middle East, is the most criticized, condemn, vilified and threatened country in the world.
Despite existential threats and political and economic isolation, Israel prospers and has contributed proportionally more to the world than any other nation on the planet.
Even the most cursory look at Jewish history begs us to ask so many questions:

What is so unique about the Jewish people and their ideas and how does this explain the transformative impact they have had on the world?
Why have they been so hated and why have so many of the most dangerous and evil people and nations throughout history felt so threatened by the Jewish people to the extent they have tried to wipe them off the face of the earth?
How have the Jewish people managed to survive and prosper when so many nations, including the greatest empires, have vanished into history books and museums?
How could any nation survive multiple exiles, be dispersed around the world for thousands of years yet come back millennia later and re-establish its state in its original homeland?
Throughout history, many of the greatest minds have taken note of the fact that there is something very unique – even supernatural – about Jewish history. Soviet-era Russian political and Christian religious philosopher Nicholai Berdyaev summed it up beautifully when he wrote:

Their [the Jews] destiny is too imbued with the "metaphysical" to be explained either by material or positive historical terms...Its survival is a mysterious and wonderful phenomenon demonstrating that the life of this people is governed by special predetermination...The survival of the Jews, their resistance to destruction, their endurance under absolutely peculiar conditions and the fateful role played by them in history; all these point to the particular and mysterious foundations of their destiny... – Prof. Nicholai Berdyaev The Meaning of History. (London. 1935)

Jewish history is not a Hollywood epic; it is reality, a reality that is relevant to each and every Jew on the planet. The Jewish historical experience begs us to ask so many important and pertinent questions:

Why has such a tiny nation played such and huge and fateful role in history?
Where is this story going?
And most importantly of all: What is my role in the story and how can I make a difference?
My just-published book “Destiny” attempts to answer these and many more questions that at are at the center of Jewish identity. This book explores the meaning of the Jewish people’s mission, from its very beginnings almost four thousand years ago to today and beyond. And it’s the greatest real-life story ever told.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 66329
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

https://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

AISH  - Page 12 Empty Re: AISH

Post  Admin on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 3:57 pm

http://www.aish.com/tp/b/sw/Getting-the-Message-Loud-and-Clear.html?s=mm
Yitro(Exodus 18-20)
Getting the Message Loud and Clear
In this week's parsha, three million Jews gather at the foot of Mount Sinai and personally witness God Almighty giving the Torah. Despite what you may remember from Hebrew School, let me assure you that Mount Sinai is the central event in Jewish history!

It is surprising, therefore, that the name of this parsha is "Yitro." Who was this man Yitro?

The Parsha begins:

"Yitro, the Priest of Midian, the father-in-law of Moses, heard all that God did for Moses and Israel... " (Exodus 18:1)

Yitro heard about the amazing events of the Exodus and came to join the Jewish people. Rashi asks: "What was it specifically that Yitro heard that caused him to come? He heard about the splitting of the Red Sea and about the war with Amalek."

But really the entire world heard about the splitting of the Red Sea and the war with Amalek! So why does the Torah single out Yitro?

The answer is that Yitro was a truth seeker. He had traveled around, trying every type of spiritual path, ultimately rejecting one after another as false. He was honest with himself and committed to the truth. Did others hear about the Exodus? Of course! But only Yitro was open to its message. It was this act of greatness which brought Yitro to become part of the Jewish people – and for that the parsha of the Ten Commandments bears his name!

Knowledge Or Faith?

Certainly the Ten Commandments is the most famous part of the Torah. But what is the first of the Ten Commandments anyway?

"I am God."

What kind of commandment is that? That's not a command – that's a statement!

Explain the Sages: This is the mitzvah to know there is a God.

But to whom is this mitzvah addressed? If it's for people who already believe in God, they don't need to be told. And if it's for people who don't believe in God, they don't care what the Torah says anyway!

The answer is as follows: The Torah does not say "BELIEVE" in God. Nor does it say to wonder, feel, intuit, assume, presume, hope, or aspire that there's a God. Rather, the Torah commands us to "KNOW" there is a God!

Western society typically associates religion with "blind faith." But the Torah commands us to use reason and logic to ascertain God's existence. This intellectual understanding is crucial; feelings alone can deceive. In the Aleynu prayer, we say "know today and place it on your heart." Rational knowledge comes first; only then are we to connect emotionally. "Know there is a God" is the first Commandment – the most central idea of Judaism.

How does one achieve this knowledge? One word: Objectivity. The Talmud (Avot 1:8) tells us: "Be a judge, not a lawyer." A lawyer may sometimes advance his position without regard for its truth or validity. A judge, on the other hand, weighs each side carefully. When considering a question as profound and deep as the existence of God, we must be an impartial jury!

The Torah suggests 3 tools for attaining this objectivity:

Tool #1: Listen to What Others are Saying

Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai are two famous disputants in Talmudic literature. They argued about almost everything and saw the world from nearly opposite perspectives. (For example, Beit Hillel says we should light one Chanukah candle the first night, and add one candle each subsequent night. Beit Shammai, on the other hand, says to light 8 candles the first night and then decrease one candle each night.)

Jewish law, interestingly, follows Beit Hillel. And the Talmud explains why: In any disagreement, Beit Shammai would always state his own opinion. Whereas, Beit Hillel would always first state the opinion of Beit Shammai, and only then state his own position. In this way, Beit Hillel demonstrated that he was not just concerned with being right, but was seeking the truth that lied somewhere in between. That's why Jewish law follows Beit Hillel.

We see this dynamic in our own relationships as well. We've all met someone who stubbornly defends a ridiculous position, to avoid admitting being wrong. (The irony is that ultimately there is far more embarrassment in stubborn persistence, than in admitting the truth.)

To elude this trap, we can train ourselves to take other people's ideas seriously. The cardinal rule is: stay focused and calm. Communicate and discuss, rather than yell-and-proclaim. If anxiety about needing to be right becomes the primary concern, you become entrenched in a position. Getting defensive, interrupting, and responding impetuously you've lost the battle. Hillel (and Yitro), on the other hand, was willing to listening to another's opinion, subjugate his ego and acknowledge a truth not his own.

This is particularly important in marriage. Each partner brings to the relationship different insights and strengths. The ways we differ is not a threat; it is our opportunity to grow. If God had wanted us to be free of the need for each other, He'd have created us to split like an amoeba. Marriage is a unit, and when we focus on our common goals, we begin to view life in terms of "we," instead of the narrower "you-and-I."

This is true on a national level as well. Today, a wide gulf exists between different Jewish groups. As times, it seems the gap is unbridgeable. But in fact, there is greater area of agreement than we might think. We all agree on the need for tolerance, mutual trust, respect and understanding. We must find those areas of agreement and use them as a basis for building our relationships.

Tool #2: Seek Friends Who Challenge You

The Talmud tells the story of Rebbi Yochanan, a great scholar who had a study partner named Reish Lakish. (Before becoming a rabbi, Reish Lakish was a bandit. But that's another story...) These two men studied together for many years, until one day Reish Lakish got sick and died. Rebbe Yochanan was seen walking in the street, totally depressed. His students asked him, "What's wrong?" He said, "My study partner died and now I have none." They told him, "Don't worry Rebbi, we'll take care of it." So they went and found a brilliant young man to study with Rebbe Yochanan.

Two weeks later, Rebbi Yochanan is seen walking in the street again, totally depressed. They asked: "Rebbi, what happened? Why are you so sad? We sent you the most brilliant study partner. What's the problem?"

He told them: "My new study partner is so brilliant that whatever I say, he brings 24 proofs that I'm correct. But when I studied with Reish Lakish, he showed me 24 proofs that I was wrong. That's what I miss. I don't want someone who will just agree with me; I want a partner who will challenge my position. In this way we will arrive at the truth together."

A good challenge – is that what friends are for? YES! The Sages say: "Better the criticism of a friend, than the kiss of an enemy." Your friend will tell you when you have spinach stuck in your teeth; your enemy will smirk and say you look great! The Torah speaks of Dikduk Chaverim, which literally means fine-tuning with friends. With this attitude, I see others not as adversaries, but as a welcome counterbalance to my own perspective. In choosing my friends, I want someone who will challenge me to become better in life, not just better on the tennis court.

Tool #3: Don't Be Afraid To Ask

One more story:

About 100 years ago in Europe, there was a wealthy man, named Rav Eisel Charif of Slonim. His daughter was ready to get married, so Rav Eisel sought the best young man. In those days, "the best young man" meant the top Yeshiva student. So Rav Eisel traveled to the town of Volozhin, which was brimming under the tutelage of its famous Rosh Yeshiva, the Netziv. (It is said that in the years the Netziv ran the Yeshiva, some 10,000 students passed through.) When Rav Eisel arrived, he walked into the study hall, made a loud klop on the table, and announced: "I have a very difficult question on a passage in the Talmud. Whoever can supply the correct answer will have my daughter's hand in marriage."

A great buzz swept through the study hall. The chance to marry Rav Eisel's daughter! Soon a long line formed, and one by one the students were given their chance to provide the answer. And one by one, Rav Eisel rejected the answers as incorrect. This went on for days. Some students even stood in line 2, 3, 4 times. But still no one came up with the correct answer. When the students had all exhausted their options, Rav Eisel packed his bags and began to head out of town.

He had just reached the edge of the city, when he heard a voice shouting after him: "Rav Eisel, Rav Eisel!" He turned around to see a young Yeshiva student running in his direction. The student explained: "Rav Eisel, I know I wasn't able to satisfy the condition for marriage, but just for my own sake, sir, could you please tell me what is the correct answer?"

"Aha!" shouted Rav Eisel. "You will be my son-in-law!"

In our lives, the pursuit of truth can sometimes be stifled if we don't have the courage to ask. Seeking another's help is an admission that I don't have all the answers myself. This may necessitate asking an uncomfortable question. Or humbly admitting I don't know. Or risking the appearance of ignorance. But all this is infinitesimal when compared to a life perpetuated in falsehood. The Yeshiva student demonstrated this courage; it is the hallmark of intellectual honesty.

The Sinai Experience

When the Jewish people stood at Sinai, they unconditionally accepted to fulfill all 613 Mitzvot. For those just beginning, 613 sounds like an awful lot... even overwhelming! Where does one begin to tackle such massive breadth and depth? If only there was one, powerful idea we could grasp. Something that summed up all the rest.

Rebbeinu Bechaye explains that while the Torah contains 613 mitzvot, everything is ultimately contained in the very first command, "I am God." It all boils down to that one line. Why? Because it is around this point that all else revolves. Once we "know there is a God," the rest flows from there – because we recognize it as a unified, holistic system.

What was the exact encounter at Mount Sinai? The Talmud says: Every Jew experienced God's Voice. A Voice so powerful that the people not only heard, but they "saw the sound waves" emerging from God's mouth. This physiological phenomenon is called "synesthesia," whereby all the senses are intensified and fused.

Jewish tradition tells us that each and every Jewish soul – past, present and future – stood that day at Mount Sinai. When The Voice tore through all 7 Heavens, the Torah was engraved on the stone tablets... but was first engraved on the heart of every Jew. The Voice spoke and we heard.

In Shema Yisrael, (the Jewish Pledge of Allegiance), we begin with the word Shema – "Listen." Carefully and calmly, we listen. Just like Yitro listened.

The Sfas Emes says that to receive the Torah, one has to desire truth. Do we truly want to attain clarity in life? Be a pursuer of truth. Listen carefully. For the mitzvah of "Know there is a God" invites us to rediscover the truth.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Shraga Simmons
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 66329
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

https://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

AISH  - Page 12 Empty Re: AISH

Post  Admin on Mon 29 Jan 2018, 10:13 pm

http://www.aish.com/sp/pg/Gems-of-Wisdom-of-the-Kotzker-Rebbe.html?s=mm
Gems of Wisdom of the Kotzker Rebbe
Nine wise, pithy quotes attributed to the great rabbi.
by Barbara Penn 
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Morgensztern of Kotzk, known as the Kotzker Rebbe, left a spiritual treasure house for the Jewish people. He was known as a giant scholar, a champion of unvarnished truth, and trailblazer who created Chassidic dynasties and forged unique paths in the service of God.

With piercing insight into the human psyche, the Kotzker Rebbe recognized the centrality of the ego and put emphasis on breaking it. He demanded rigorous self-analysis and continuous personal growth and disdained service of God that contained a hint of self-interest.

Reb Leibel Eger, a scholar in his own right, became a follower of Kotzk. After visiting the Rebbe for the first time, he described his learning experience there: “I learned three things; that a man is a man and an angel is an angel; that a man can rise higher than an angel; and that God created Bereishis – the beginning. Thereafter, man must create his world.”

We don't know a lot about the Kotzker Rebbe because he offered so little about himself. The last 20 years of his life were spent in seclusion. He wrote works in his lifetime but burned them all before his death. But his pithy quotes, which open a window into his sharp mind, are gems of wisdom that have become a cherished part of his legacy.

In honor of the Kotzker Rebbe’s yahrzeit (he died in the month of Shevat in 1859), here are some pearls of wisdom attributed to him:

1. “If I am I because I am I, and you are you because you are you, then I am I and you are you. But if I am I because you are you and you are you because I am I, then I am not I and you are not you.”

Identity is built from within. If we are all defined only by how we measure up to others, then no true self-identity can exist.

2. “Where is God? God is only where you let Him in.”

Our relationship with God is reciprocal. He desires the relationship, yearning for us to reach out to Him. The extent we bring Him into our life determines the quality of our relationship.

3. “All that is thought should not be said, all that is said should not be written, all that is written should not be published, and all that is published should not be read.”

There is a time and place for thoughts and utterances. And we need to have the humility to realize that some have no place at all.

4. “People are accustomed to looking at the heavens and wondering what happens there. It would be better if they would look within themselves to see what happens there.”

Though some believe that holiness is attained merely through pondering the mystical, perfection is only achieved by putting in the hard work to improve one's character. Honest self-reflection will yield more spiritual growth than lofty speculation.

5. “Do not be satisfied with the speech of your lips and the thought of your heart, all the promises and good sayings in your mouth, and all the good thoughts in your heart. Rather you must arise and do!”

Good intentions alone are just a means towards an end. Action is the desired outcome of intent. Real change requires doing, not wishful thinking.

6. “There is nothing so whole as a broken heart.”

When the heart comes before God with the acknowledgment of its weaknesses, it is repaired.

7. “Peace without truth is a false peace.”

Truth is a prerequisite to peace. Nothing permanent can derive from falsehood.

8. “Everything must be done for the sake of Heaven, even actions done for the sake of Heaven.”

Even spiritual pursuits can become tarnished by the ego.

9. Before his death, he was said to have uttered: “Death is actually no big deal; it’s just like walking from one room to a better one.”

Death is not the end of our journey but the next step.

The Kotzker Rebbe continues to inspire the Jewish people with the unique spiritual perspective he offered. May his memory be a blessing
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 66329
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

https://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

AISH  - Page 12 Empty Re: AISH

Post  Admin on Sat 13 Jan 2018, 2:54 pm

http://www.aish.com/ci/s/Smartphones-and-Kids-Harmful-Effects-and-What-to-Do-About-It.html#.WloWEGgXqTE.facebook
Smartphones and Kids: Harmful Effects and What to Do About It
Recent research on the impact of smartphones on children and how we can realistically protect them.
by Dr. Yvette Alt Miller
Facebook314TwitterEmailMore261
On January 6, two of Apple’s biggest investors published an open letter calling on Apple and other high tech firms to do much more to protect the health of their youngest users. Citing studies showing that smartphones can have grave impacts on kids’ physical and mental well-being, the investors – California State Teachers’ Retirement System and JANA Partners LLC – have opened a major debate, asking tech companies to develop more controls on their products for their youngest users.

What is so bad about kids and smartphones? With more researchers look into the impact of smartphones and other technology on children, here are some recent results, as well as suggestions for what we can do when it comes to protecting kids from smartphone abuse.

Stunting Babies’ Brain Development
The harm that smartphones and other screens do to kids is particularly acute in babies whose brains are still developing. Psychologists call the first three years of a child’s life “the critical period” in brain development because the way that brains grow during these years becomes the permanent base upon which all future learning relies. Receiving information and cues from the real world around them helps babies form neural pathways that make their brains strong and healthy. Stimuli from screens, including tablets and smartphones, get in the way of brains’ normal development, overwhelming their still-developing minds with stimuli.

The damage from too much screen time can be permanent. “The ability to focus, to concentrate, to lend attention, to sense other people’s attitudes and communicate with them, to build a large vocabulary – all those abilities are harmed,” warns Dr. Aric Sigman, an associate fellow the British Psychological Society and a Fellow of Britain’s Royal Society of Medicine.

The ability to interact with other people, to empathize and read people’s feelings all have their foundations in babyhood. Spending time interacting with screens instead of human beings can permanently alter our children’s brain structures, making tasks like forming friendships and understanding the world around them much harder.

Harming Teens’ Brains
While older kids don’t experience the same sort of intense brain development as babies, kids’ and adolescents’ brains continue to develop and can be harmed by too much smartphone use.

The problem is that teenagers’ brains are very adaptable. The experience of using a smartphone, switching rapidly between many activities such as texting and using social media, is associated with lower levels of brain matter in teens’ anterior cingulate cortex, the region in our brains that is responsible for emotional processing and decision-making. Less brain matter in this area is associated with higher rates of depression and addiction.

Another part of our brains, the prefrontal cortex, is necessary for interpreting emotions and for focusing on tasks, and is also harmed by smartphone use. This part of our brains doesn’t fully develop until people’s mid-20s, and excessive smartphone use can get in the way of that. “During our teenage years,” explains Paul Atchley, a psychology professor at the University of Kansas, ”it’s important to train that prefrontal cortex not to be easily distracted. What we’re seeing in our work is that young people are constantly distracted, and also less sensitive to the emotions of others.”

Harder to Make Friends:
Given the changes smartphones make to developing brain's ability to empathize with others, it’s no surprise that smartphone use is associated with difficulty in making friends.

For many teens, smartphones can become a crutch in difficult social situations. “When you’re with people you don’t know well or there’s nothing to talk about, phones are out more because it’s awkward," one Connecticut high school senior explained to researchers.

Yet this “new normal” where smartphones are such a part of social interaction is dangerous, warns Brian Primack, Director of the Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health at the University of Pittsburgh. “There’s strong research linking isolation to depression, and time spent socializing with improved mood and well-being," Dr. Primack explains. "If smartphones are getting between an adolescent and her ability to engage in and enjoy face-to-face interaction – and some studies suggest that’s happening – that’s a big deal.”

Smartphones and Depression in Kids
Indeed, heavy smartphone use is associated with higher rates of stress and depression in kids. One study conducted by the Center on Media and Child Health at the University of Alberta found that over the past three to five years, as smartphone use has skyrocketed, 90% of teachers report that the number of students with emotional challenges is increased; 86% of teachers report that the number of students with social challenges has gone up as well.

Many teachers blame smartphone use for these jumps. Kids used to go outside during lunch break and engage in physical activity and socialization. "Today, many of them sit all lunch hour and play on their personal devices,” one junior high teacher said.

Between 2010 and 2016, the number of adolescents who experienced major depression grew by 60%, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. Suicides have also increased significantly among kids ages 10 to 19 during that time. “These increases are huge – possibly unprecedented,” explains Prof. Jean Twenge of San Diego State University. She has found that since 2010, teens who spend more time using smartphones and other technology are more likely to report having mental health problems than teens who spend less time with their devices.

Prof. Twenge surveyed over half a million adolescents across the United States; her findings paint a troubling portrait of a generation both addicted to and harmed by smartphone use. Kids who spend three hours a day or more on smartphones or other devices are over a third more likely to suffer at least one suicide-related symptom such as feeling hopeless or thinking about suicide than kids who limit their smartphone and other device use to two hours a day or less. Among kids who used devices for five or more hours each day, nearly half reported experiencing at least one suicide related outcome.

Even moderate smartphone and other high tech use can harm our kids' mental health, Prof. Twenge has found. Kids who use social media every day are 13% more likely to have high levels of depressive symptoms than those who don’t. In her research, teens who ditched their smartphones some of the time and who spent the most time interacting face to face seemed to be the healthiest emotionally.

Breaking the Smartphone Addiction
Despite the drawbacks of excessive smartphone use, limiting tech time can be difficult. In fact, many psychologists now view smartphone use as an addiction.

This is partly due to the nature of teenagers’ developing brains. The anterior cingulate cortex, mentioned above in its connection to helping teens develop the characteristic of human empathy, is also a factor in decision-making and addiction. “We know for a fact teens have very underdeveloped impulse control and empathy and judgment compared to adults,” explains Dr. Frances Jensen, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and co-author of The Teenage Brain. As kids brains continue to develop, adolescents and teens are more prone to addiction.

Researchers have also found that the speedy interactions teens enjoy on their smartphones floods their brains with neurochemicals like dopamine, which induces a feeling of euphoria. It also can contribute to addiction, as kids learn to rely on the gratification they feel when they use their phones. Once an addiction develops, teens (and others) can experience feelings of anger, depression, fatigue and distraction when they’re not using their phones.

One rehab center near Seattle now offers therapy for smartphone and technology addiction, and has treated children as young as 13. Hilarie Cash, the Center’s founder, has explained that smartphones and other mobile devices can be so stimulating and all-consuming that they “override all those natural instincts that children actually have for movement and exploration and social interaction.”

Strategies for Change
Limiting smartphone and other tech use isn’t easy. In fact, in one recent study, teenagers were given a choice: would they rather break a bone in their bodies, or break their phones? It might not come as a surprise to teens and their parents that fully 46% of teenagers said they’d prefer to break a bone than their smartphone.

Yet change is possible. Here are three suggestions for starting to change: both for teens and their families.

Set aside a time every day to go phone free. That’s the advice of New York University Professor Adam Alter who wrote “Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked.” When the thought of giving up a phone seems too scary, try limiting phone use to certain hours each day: Prof. Alter recommends blocking out a time, such as 5-8pm each day, to go phone-free. This proposition might seem less daunting than a wider phone moratorium.

Lead by example. It’s hard to tell your kids to limit their smartphone use if you are glued to your devices. Try setting aside time for the entire family come together, phone-free. That’s the advice of child psychologist Yalda Uhls: specify a set amount of time for your family to interact with no devices in sight. This can help foster the face-to-face interaction and emotional empathy that is lacking from smartphone-based communication.

Consider Shabbat as an antidote to too much smartphone use. In my own family, we also struggle with too much technology time. Shabbat is the one day a week when we don’t have to worry about smartphones and other devices. For 25 hours each week we’re completely phone free. The results are amazing: a whole day without distractions, when we’re able to focus on each other and ourselves. While it can seem daunting to go a whole 25 hours without a smartphone, doing so is a welcome weekly respite from the tyranny of technology for us all.

Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 66329
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

https://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

AISH  - Page 12 Empty Re: AISH

Post  Admin on Sat 13 Jan 2018, 2:31 pm

What is the Jewish view of Divine Providence?
Three classical Jewish approaches.
by Rabbi Mordechai Becher

Watch Link Below
http://www.aish.com/sp/ph/What-is-the-Jewish-view-of-Divine-Providence.html?s=mm


Code:
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 66329
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

https://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

AISH  - Page 12 Empty Re: AISH

Post  Admin on Tue 02 Jan 2018, 9:09 pm

Wladyslaw Kowalski: The Polish Officer who Saved 49 Jews
http://www.aish.com/ho/p/Wladyslaw-Kowalski-The-Polish-Officer-who-Saved-49-Jews.html?s=mm
Risking his life, Kowalski’s house in Warsaw became a shelter for Jewish refugees.
by Menucha Chana Levin 

Wladyslaw Kowalski was an unusual Polish officer: he had a positive attitude toward Jewish people. During World War II, saving Jewish lives eventually became his mission.

Kowalski was born in Kiev, Ukraine in 1896. He obtained an engineering degree but enlisted in the Polish brigade to fight the Russians for Poland's autonomy before seeking a job in his chosen profession. In 1917 his parents, also supporters of Polish independence, were killed by the Russian Bolsheviks.

After World War I, Kowalski joined the Polish army. He served until 1935, retiring with the rank of colonel. He worked for Philips, a Dutch electronics firm in Warsaw, which later proved to be highly beneficial to himself and others.

When Nazi Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, Kowalski headed the brigade that defended Warsaw. Though his commander ordered him to surrender, he insisted on fighting for another two weeks. He was then arrested by the SS and taken to a prison camp with thousands of other Polish officers. Thanks to his work for the Dutch-owned Philips company in which Nazi Germany had an interest, he was released.

In the summer of 1940, Kowalski met a sick and hungry 17-year-old boy wandering the streets of Warsaw outside the ghetto. The boy, Bruno Boral, said to him, “I am a Jewish boy who’s being persecuted. I haven’t eaten for three days. Could you please buy me something to eat?”

Kowalski took Bruno home, looked after him and obtained a forged Polish passport for him. Then he found him a place to live and a job at the Philips plant. Thanks to Kowalski’s assistance, Bruno survived the war and later moved to Belgium.

That was the start of Kowalski’s efforts to save Jewish lives.

One August day in 1941, while walking past a ruined Warsaw building, he heard someone moaning inside. He discovered a Jewish man, Phillip Rubin, starved and petrified. He begged Kowalski to help him and his brother and sister who were also hiding inside the building. Kowalski immediately took all three of them to his home.

There is no further information mentioned about these three but Kowalski probably found other hiding places for them in Warsaw as he did later with others.

His job at the Philips company had another plus: the freedom to travel around in all parts of Warsaw. He had a pass even to enter the closed-off Jewish ghetto which he used to save several Jews and smuggle in medicine and weapons.

In 1943 he helped a widow, Leah Bucholtz, whose husband had been killed by the Nazis, to leave the ghetto with her son. He found them a safe place to stay in the home of a Polish woman. He brought other Jews out of the ghetto and found hiding places for them too.

His house in Warsaw soon became a shelter for Jewish refugees. He also found hiding places for others with his relatives and friends. Despite the danger, he provided the refugees with food and took care of them.

Although Kowalski was interrogated several times by the Gestapo on suspicion of helping Jews, he refused to divulge any information.

The Warsaw Uprising lasted from August to October, 1944 when all the inhabitants were evicted from the city. Yet Kowalski refused to abandon the 49 Jewish refugees he was protecting.

He found a bunker in the rubble and remained with them for four difficult months.

Their daily ration consisted of three cups of water, a tiny amount of sugar, and vitamin pills. They stayed hidden for 105 days and by the time they were liberated by the Russians in January 1945, they had been reduced to eating fuel.

After the war ended, Kowalski married Leah Bucholtz, the woman he had saved four years earlier. They eventually immigrated to Israel together with her son from her first marriage. Most of the refugees saved by Kowalski also settled in Israel after the war.

"I admit I saved only 49 Jews," said Kowalski in 1961, when he addressed a conference of immigrants from Poland in Tel Aviv.

Like many other Righteous Gentiles, he denied his heroism by insisting, “I did not do anything special for the Jews and I do not consider myself a hero. I only did my duty as a human being toward people who were persecuted and tortured. I did not do this only because they are Jewish, but rather I helped every persecuted person without regard to race and origin."

Władysław Kowalski at a ceremony in honor of Righteous living in Israel

In 1963 Kowalski was awarded the title Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem. One of the testimonies submitted to Yad Vashem stated: "Mr. Kowalski saved many people through supreme personal sacrifice, of course without any monetary or other recompense. He worked and he devoted his salary to feeding or clothing the Jews he hid in his home. As the director of a firm in Warsaw, during the whole course of the war he did not allow himself to buy new clothes, he walked in torn shoes and he preferred to devote his income to saving people."

Though regarded as a hero in Israel, Kowalski, by then aged 61, had difficulty adjusting to his new life. He and his wife Leah had a daughter, Miriam, but the marriage ended a few years later. He worked at a neighborhood grocery store in a town near Haifa and later held a part-time job in the documentation department at Yad Vashem. He spent the last years of his life at a convalescent home near Tel Aviv.

He died in February, 1971 at the age of 76 and was buried at Kibbutz Yad Mordechai. Engraved on Kowalski's tombstone is the image of the medal from Yad Vashem when awarded the title of Righteous Among the Nations. Beneath it is inscribed: "He risked his life to save Jews during the period of the Holocaust.”

A spokesman for the kibbutz said, “His wonderful character and his great deeds will serve us and our children as a symbol of the good and the pure in the human race and will reinforce in us the belief and hope that brotherhood of nations will ultimately overcome racial hatred and brutal nationalism."
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 66329
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

https://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

AISH  - Page 12 Empty Re: AISH

Post  Admin on Tue 02 Jan 2018, 3:45 pm

The Fateful Holocaust Secret
http://www.aish.com/sp/so/The-Fateful-Holocaust-Secret.html?s=mm
A mother who buried her Jewish identity, and her son’s astonishing quest to reclaim it.
by Rabbi Shraga Simmons 
Tom Gale never knew what hit him. En route to a weekend home from college, he was cruising along a Canadian highway at 95 mph in his bright red Triumph Spitfire. The nasal decongestant he’d taken that morning made him drowsy.

“I took my eyes off the road for a minute,” Tom recalled, “and that’s all it takes at 95 mph.”

The convertible, with its top down, rolled over him.

Tom awoke two weeks later. “Most of the bones in my body were broken, including all my ribs. The doctors kept me unconscious during those first, most painful weeks. It was more humane.”

Tom’s odds against living were set at 1,000 to one. But since he was young and in top physical shape, his body was able to fight back. “During those two weeks I lost 80 pounds. When I woke up, I didn’t even recognize myself.”

Tom had a massive spinal injury which left the lower half of his body paralyzed.

Born of strong stock, Tom came to relish the challenge. “I resolved to move my toe. As the furthest extremity from my brain, it was my most effective way to demonstrate voluntary muscle control.”

One day he felt his toe twitch. He was able to move it! Surgeons flew in from around the country to witness this groundbreaking achievement.

After 18 months of intense physical therapy, Tom managed to struggle back to his feet and walk with a cane.

“The doctors put the odds against that at 5,000 to one.”

The Search
The accident shook Tom to the core. “Facing mortality always gets you thinking,” he says.

He began to explore spirituality.

Tom grew up in a Christian home, the eldest of four children. “My mother strongly believed in God, and always said she was Christian. But she had no religious observance and never stepped inside a Church. I never knew why.”

There were other unexplained things as well: His mother’s staunch support of Israel. The aunt who had a Jewish home. And the grandmother who kept a box of matzah hidden under her bed.

A voracious reader, Tom explored the gamut of religions, from the traditional to the bizarre. He didn’t find what he was looking for.

But at one lecture he met the woman who would soon become his wife.

Katherine had grown up on a farm in rural Ontario, with a similar religious upbringing as Tom. The foundation of her home was a strong belief in God, without Christian overtones or imagery.

Gershom’s mother never uttered a word about the secret buried deep inside.
One day in 1983 Tom wandered into a Jewish bookstore in Toronto. “I told the man I wanted to study Talmud,” he recalls. “He looked at me rather strangely, then handed me an English translation of Tractate Brachot.”

Tom devoured the material. “I can’t explain it,” he says, “but it was pulling me like a magnet.”

One time Tom was reading the Talmud and weeping. His mother asked, “What’s the matter?”

“It’s just so beautiful,” he said. “This is speaking to me. I feel like I’m experiencing a ‘call home.’”

Tom’s mother didn’t say a word. But as he would eventually discover, it required superhuman effort to hold herself back.

Gershom Gale was an editor for 25 years at the Jerusalem Post (photograph: Michal Meyer)

In the meantime, Tom’s wife was looking on with curiosity. One day he brought home a copy of Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan’s “Living Torah.” Katherine read it and said, “I’ve been looking for truth my entire life. The answer is here. Now what do we do?”

Tom opened the phone book and called a rabbi who happened to be Orthodox. They began studying for conversion.

It took nearly five years, but when the conversion was finalized, Tom and Katherine – now Gershom and Dinah – fulfilled their dream and, along with their two young sons, moved to Israel.

Gershom was hired as an editor for the Jerusalem Post, where he would work for the next 25 years.

Warsaw, 1939
Amidst all this – search, discovery, conversion, aliyah – Gershom’s mother never uttered a word about the secret buried deep inside.

Gershom’s mother grew up as Miriam Zimmerman in a Jewish family in the Polish city of Lodz. They celebrated Shabbat and the Jewish holidays. In 1939, when the Nazis invaded Poland, Miriam’s father thought it would be safer in the larger city of Warsaw.

The move proved inauspicious. In time, the Nazi beasts clamped down on Warsaw’s 400,000 Jews, herding them into a 1.3 square-mile cage called the Warsaw Ghetto.

At the tender age of 13, Miriam became surrounded by starvation, disease, and deadly beatings at the hands of uniformed monsters.

The Zimmerman family lived in a cramped room. Miriam, whose blonde hair and blue eyes gave her a “gentile look,” was sent daily to forage for food.

By the spring of 1943, Miriam’s father decided that their prospect of survival was slim in the Ghetto, and they must go into hiding on Warsaw’s “Aryan” side.

Through the kindness of a Christian woman named Christine Panek, Miriam’s family was able to obtain false Christian papers.

Fake ID Care for Miriam Zimmerman, under the name Helena Maria Plochocka - "Mary" (courtesty: Azrieli Foundation)

Miriam Zimmerman henceforth became known as Helena Maria ("Mary") Plochocka, the “cousin” of Christine Panek. Miriam’s mother became her “aunt” Jadwiga Mozdrzvaske. And Miriam’s sister, Chaya, became a “cousin” named Helen.

These new identities became the family's unshakeable guard against getting caught. Throughout the war, they used their Christian names exclusively, and never once spoke of their true relationship as parent, child, sibling.

Even out of the Ghetto, the fear of death was never far. Carrying false papers was not sufficient insurance, as Miriam’s uncle discovered. He was stopped on the street by a group of Gestapo soldiers who demanded that he expose himself. When they saw he was circumcised, they shot him dead.

The Zimmerman family lived in an apartment with Christine, where they often hid in a cupboard so tiny that they were truly in danger of suffocating. "We were constantly petrified that our secret would be discovered and that we would all be killed," Miriam later recalled.

One time the apartment was broken into by a bunch of Nazis. A stormtrooper shoved Miriam into the bathroom, put a gun to her head and said: “If you do anything, I will shoot you right here.” Miriam looked up at him very calmly and said: “If you shoot me, I will haunt you for the rest of your life.”

He left her unharmed.

One day in 1944, pandemonium broke loose when a German officer was killed in the Wola district of Warsaw where Miriam’s family lived. The German response was a rampage of shooting, looting and raping of Poles. Forty Polish men were taken out of their homes and shot dead.

Miriam heard shots in the street. She ran outside. There she found her father... lying in a pile... of dead bodies.

A few weeks later, Miriam awoke at 2 a.m. to find someone sitting on her bed. It was her dead father: “I came to warn you. This house will be bombed in the next 10 minutes. You must get to shelter immediately.” Miriam believed it strongly enough to wake up her mother and sister and convince them to follow her. As soon as they exited, the building blew up.

Death March
Although they had Christian papers, Miriam, along with her mother and sister, were rounded up as “Polish political prisoners” and deported in a cattle car. “The heat was oppressive and we had no water to drink,” Miriam says. “Little droplets of water appeared on the walls of the train car, created by the breath of all the trapped people, and we tried to lick the droplets off the walls because we were so thirsty.”

The train took them to Ravensbrück, the notorious women's concentration camp filled with gypsies, nuns, Polish patriots, criminals, Soviet POWs, Communists, lesbians – and about 15% Jews.

As a “Christian,” Miriam was given a “red triangle” patch designated for political prisoners.

Soon after Miriam was transferred to Buchenwald. Conditions in that camp were unspeakable, with widespread starvation, disease, human experimentation, backbreaking labor, and execution. One time an SS officer kicked Miriam in the side of the face – knocking out half her teeth and breaking her jaw. “I could never open my mouth properly after this happened,” she says.

Miriam, at age 17, weighed 80 pounds.

The coat that Miriam wore in Buchenwald. Inset: Patch identefying her as a political prisoner. (courtesy: Azrieli Foundation)

Due to malnutrition, her legs became covered with oozing boils. "The sores were so deep that I could put my finger into them and touch the bone in my leg," she says.

She was forced to stand for hours in the cold, with bare feet and hands. To this day, her swollen hands are a grim reminder of freezing in Buchenwald.

In the spring of 1945, with the Soviet Red Army rapidly approaching, the Nazi machine decided to exterminate as many prisoners as possible, in order to “silence the accusing witnesses.” As the Russians neared closer and closer, the SS forced 20,000 prisoners on a death march.

For three weeks, Miriam, her mother and sister slogged through the freezing German countryside. Anyone who couldn’t keep up was shot on the spot. Eighty-five percent did not survive the march.

“We found dirty water to drink... and occasionally found some animal food,” Miriam recalls.

One day, their group was guarded by a single teenage soldier. When he fell asleep, the women sought to tear him to bits. But Miriam considered another idea: She threw his rifle into the river. When the soldier heard it hitting the water, he woke up to see 300 angry women staring down at him. He quickly ran away.

The women wandered into the town of Plzen, Czechoslovakia. The war was finally over. “A man came out of church with a little boy in his arms and stared at us,” Miriam recalls. “I saw his eyes go to my oozing legs with disgust.” The man handed Miriam his shoes and then went to bring them food.

Miriam, her mother and sister, who all miraculously survived, were sent to a displaced persons camp in Aschaffenburg, Germany. A Canadian Army officer named Arthur Gale had been appointed by the United Nations as director of the camp. Arthur didn't know any Polish and needed someone to interpret. The promise of extra food made Miriam Zimmerman immediately volunteer, despite knowing no more than 20 words of English.

As Miriam and Arthur spent more time together, they became good friends and decided to get married. "I told Arthur that I was Jewish," she says, "and he said he did not care at all."

(Miriam's sister Helen met a Jewish-American soldier and had a Jewish wedding in the DP camp. They were happily married for 68 years and lived a Jewish life in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Helen’s husband died in 2013.)

Meanwhile, newlyweds Miriam and Arthur Gale moved to Nova Scotia, Canada, where they raised a family of two boys and two girls.

Miriam tried to use her war lessons to help others. “I raised my kids to be tolerant and we welcomed immigrant families into our home,” she recalls. When neighbors from Jamaica encountered discrimination, Miriam “adopted” them. When refugees from China and Sri Lanka showed up in Toronto, Miriam moved them into her house and helped them get settled. “I did these things because of what Christine Panek did for us in order to save our lives in Poland.”

Miriam kept her mother and sister under a strict oath of secrecy.
And yet, Miriam was so traumatized from the war that decade after decade she insisted that her mother and sister perpetuate the charade of "a Christian family, whose father was a fallen Polish general, and whose mother had died of cancer." Under an oath of absolute secrecy, Miriam's mother and sister acted as “the auntie and cousin who adopted her” – forbidden from ever revealing anything about their real family background.

Miriam says: “I learned that to be Jewish meant tragedy … I simply thought about what I needed to do to keep myself and my family alive."

Imagine the irony of their oldest child, Tom, experiencing a near-fatal car crash and then "converting" to Judaism. 

Only later would he find out what a massive internal struggle his mother's silence was.

Revelation
Miriam remained in contact with Christine Panek, the righteous gentile who'd saved her life during the war without ever accepting money. Over the years, Miriam would send gift packages, and even went to Poland to visit Christine.

Warsay, 2006: Mary Gale visits the spot where her father and 40 other men were executed by the Nazis (courtesy: Azrieli Foundation)In 2006, to celebrate her 80th birthday, Miriam took a second trip to Poland, accompanied by her daughter. While visiting the spot where her father was murdered, Miriam could no longer control herself.

“I could see the bodies again and smell the burning rubber,” she says. “The trauma of my father’s death was right in front of my eyes.”

By this time, Miriam had two heart attacks, and the doctors told her she would not survive a third. The secret of her Jewish identity had been weighing heavily all these years, and she didn’t want to take that fact to the grave.

Plus, Miriam no longer had the strength to hold it all in.

Her iron will broke.

Twenty-five years after her son Tom converted and became Gershom, she told her stunned daughter: “We are not who you think we are. We are Jews.”

Miriam made her daughter swear not to tell anyone, even Gershom. And although the secret remained largely under wraps, slowly the walls came down. In 2010, Miriam’s other daughter, Christine (named after Christine Panek), became engaged to a Jewish man. Miriam again revealed the secret, telling her daughter: "You might as well have a Jewish wedding!"

Yet Gershom still didn’t know the truth. One day, his younger son Joshua was in Canada and asked his grandmother point-blank: “If you are Jewish, I have a right to know.” She broke down and revealed it. That’s how Gershom found out.

“I always suspected that Mum was Jewish,” Gershom told Aish.com from his home on the outskirts of Jerusalem. “Over the years I asked her several times if she was Jewish, and she always answered, ‘No, I’m Christian.’ She was very firm about it, and since she's my mother, I had no reason to doubt her word.”

Still, there were various signs over the years. Dinah recalls one incident: “The phone rang at home and when Miriam answered, the caller shouted ‘Jew!’” She was afraid she’d been discovered and that they were coming to get her. She turned white as a sheet.”

The German Kuebelwagon, sold in the U.S.

Gershom recalls an occasion when his grandmother had a panic attack. The Volkswagen Kübelwagen was used as a Nazi staff car during World War II. In the early 1970s it was sold commercially in North America as "The Thing." “My grandmother saw such a car driving down the road in Canada and she freaked out. She thought she was back in Poland.”

There were other signs as well. Dinah describes how before she was married, Gershom’s grandmother “leaned across the table, looked me straight in the eye and said, ‘Katherine is a Jewish name.’ I didn’t know what she meant at the time. In retrospect it was her way of saying: ‘Judaism is important and I want you to go in that direction.’”

Was Gershom upset with his mother for keeping the secret all those years?

“At first I was very angry. I had gone through a lengthy and unnecessary conversion process, and she stood silently while it was all happening. In exasperation, I told her: ‘You’ve been lying to me all my life!’ I eventually came to understand that she did it for my own protection. She endured a lifelong trauma and didn’t want me to ever repeat it.”

What about Arthur Gale? Gershom says: “My father once told me that Mum had a secret that only he knew. But he wouldn’t share with me what it was.”

What about Miriam’s sister, Helen, sworn to secrecy all those years? Gershom says: “She has apologized profusely for not saying anything all along, but my mother had her under strict oath not to tell.”

Destiny’s Child
Gershom Gale has accomplished a lot in life – variously as an editor, physicist, musician, artist and poet. But the near-fatal auto accident of decades ago has taken its toll. Gershom is now battling a variety of health problems and is confined to a wheelchair.

I tell Gershom how we occasionally hear stories of people who find out later in life that they’re Jewish, and then actively pursue it. But how many people have gone through a full Orthodox conversion, then only subsequently – in this case, decades later – come to realize they were born Jewish?”

At this, Gershom gets reflective. “The moment before the accident I recall looking up and thinking, ‘I’ve got it made.’ I took personal credit for my muscles, my brains, and my car. I was headed for who-knows-what kind of life. But the accident made me stop and think. Eventually I made a life in Israel. I came home.”

While Miriam has visited Gershom in Israel twice, she remains traumatized by the memories of having seen people shot, poisoned, hanged, and thrown out of windows. She has persistent “nightmares and deep fears,” terrified that should she admit, “I am a Jew," the hatred and horrors will revolve again.

For 60 years she kept her Buchenwald prisoner coat hidden in a box, along with her prisoner patch – number 29943. 

But the secret is no more.

Miriam now eagerly shares her story in recent TV and newspaper interviews, and a brand new Holocaust memoir for Canada's Azrieli Foundation, entitled "Identity Lost and Found."

Why did Miriam decide to tell her story now?

“The people in my past died because they were Jews, and I am still afraid to admit who I am.”
“I want to make amends with the people in my past, and I feel guilty for not carrying on the traditions of the Jewish people,” she says. “They all died because they were Jews and I am still afraid to admit who I am.”

Another reason is more personal: Miriam seeks to purge her demons.

“I feel like I am on a seesaw and sometimes I think that it is too late to change my life story,” she says. “My secrets are hanging me and they are very hard to undo. I feel like they are choking me to death.”

"I hope that telling my story will help with my flashbacks and that the truth will untangle me somehow. I am like a pot bubbling with lies and need to tell the truth rather than continue stirring the lies. But the prospect of telling the truth still terrifies me."

And what about her Jewish son who “converted” and made aliyah?

"I am pleased that some members of my family are carrying on the Jewish traditions that I learned as a child,” she says. “It is like a miracle to me that of all the religions, Gershom picked Judaism. Maybe it was his destiny."

Mary Gale quotes courtesy of the Azrieli Foundation and Ruth Krongold
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 66329
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

https://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

AISH  - Page 12 Empty Re: AISH

Post  Admin on Mon 11 Dec 2017, 3:22 pm

Raising Boys to become Good Men
http://www.aish.com/f/p/Raising-Boys-to-become-Good-Men.html?s=mm
For starters, they need to see that women are genuinely respected in your home.
by Slovie Jungreis-Wolff
With so many high-profile cases of men falling in disgrace, it’s a good idea for parents to reexamine how to best raise our sons to become good men. How our sons view women when they are children will impact the way they treat women when they venture out into the world.

We are given the responsibility to provide spiritual training to our children. Fathers and mothers are charged with the mandate to leave a spiritual imprint on our children’s souls.

If we expect the next generation to listen to us while they grow, they must hear us when they are young. What is the message we impart? How can we nurture our children’s character so that they leave this world better than when they entered? (It goes without saying the following points equally apply to teaching our daughters how to respect men.)

Honor the Women in your Life
More than any strong lecture about treating women properly is the firsthand view of what children observe. When parents honor one another, when they treat women with dignity, respect flourishes. Ask: How do we honor the women in our life? Do we easily disparage women’s thoughts? What is our tone and body language? Do we carelessly mock a mother’s concerns? Are grandmother’s ignored and made to feel irrelevant?

There are positive ways we can teach children, too. Instead of always having mom serve, tirelessly prepare and somehow make life run smoothly for the family, let’s involve our spouses and children. Even a toddler can learn how to bring a spoon or cup of water to mommy.

And as children grow: “Please sit, Mom, I’ll take care of this.” What beautiful words to a mother’s ears.

Expressing gratitude in front of your children is another avenue of honor. How often do we leave the dinner table or grab a snack that mom prepared without a backward glance? Mom is expected to sooth wounded feelings, heal scraped knees, mediate siblings battles, feed hungry tummies, supervise homework, ferry after school activities, be sure there are clean uniforms hanging, and still be the incredible woman she was meant to be.

If we want our sons to respect women, they must hear and see that respect modeled in the home.
Judaism recognizes the strength of women. Every Friday night we sing Eshes Chayil, A Woman of Valor, paying tribute to the women in our lives. We speak about her rising in the darkest of nights and never allowing herself to fall into the depths of hopelessness. Her flame is never extinguished though her heart may be full. She is exhausted but perseveres.

If we want our sons to respect women, they must hear and see that respect modeled in the home.

Teach Self-Discipline
All children require self-discipline to reign in emotions and actions that can harm others. Our technology-obsessed culture means that often there is ‘no end’. No end to the music, no end to the show, no end to the surfing – there is always something else to watch or listen to. How does one understand the definition of enough? From where does a child learn the meaning of ‘stop’? They keep scrolling down and clicking more.

In a society of instant gratification, children believe that their wishes come before anyone else.
Growing up in a world where wants are fulfilled with a touch of a button can strain a child’s ability to comprehend the word ‘no’. How many parents are able to repeatedly deny their children’s desires? In a society of instant gratification, children believe that their wishes come before anyone else. “I want it and I want it now!” Order from Amazon prime and it’s at your doorstep. Wants and needs are often confused.

Character training demands that a parent be unafraid to declare boundaries. Teaching right from wrong requires our stepping in and setting rules. Whether it is no phones at meals and homework time or limiting purchases on iTunes, we have the obligation to stand up for that which we believe in. Creating a space within a child’s world where it’s ok to not have it all, to respect the word ‘no’, to realize that it’s not what you have but who you are that creates happiness, are all essential rungs on the ladder to moral greatness.

Judaism provides us with built-in avenues toward self-discipline. Mitzvot help us train our children’s hearts.

“Yes, you want to have that chocolate bar but it is dairy and you need to wait between eating meat and dairy.”

‘Sure, you have a juicy piece of gossip but that’s lashon hara, and we cannot hurt others with our words.”

Plug into the positive energy of teaching your child the strength of ruling over one’s desires.

Teach Responsibility and Empathy
Here are two values to work on with our boys to help mold them into great men.

Begin with responsibility. When we hurt others we need to recognize the pain that we’ve caused. Teach children to own their actions. Apologize without ‘ifs’, excuses, or blaming others. Too many adults disclaim the harm they’ve inflicted. We cannot afford to rationalize our sons’ wrongs by excusing bad behavior. Saying things like ‘boys will be boys’ or ‘this is our culture now’ is pitiful. There is no justification for demeaning others. If you bring damage into the world through your words or actions, you need to be accountable.

Inspiring children to respect and have self-control nourishes the inner voice that becomes their moral compass.
Empathy means I am responsive to your feelings. In a world where we have stopped looking at others and focus mainly on ourselves, children have become selfish. Much of the damage inflicted has happened because self-needs take priority over the needs and emotions of the person I am hurting. We want our children to grow up being attuned to the hearts of others. There is no room for callousness. How can I cause pain to another human being?

Put names on emotions like sad, hurt, and feeling badly so that we place ourselves in another person’s shoes. Teach sensitivity. Guide children to distant themselves from writing and forwarding mean texts or leaving classmates and siblings out. Helping children be aware of how others feel will make them think hard about the ramifications of their deeds; a much needed asset when they enter the adult world.

When our sons grow up realizing that their actions impact others, they understand that what they do matters. Our choices can hurt or heal. Let us teach our children to grow sensitive to the feelings of others, to see the faces of those who surround them and recognize the shadow of pain in their eyes. Inspiring children to respect and have self-control nourishes the inner voice that becomes their moral compass.

We have the opportunity to teach our sons how to infuse our world with honor, kindness, and dignity so that they grow to become the good men we know they are meant to be.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 66329
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

https://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

AISH  - Page 12 Empty Re: AISH

Post  Admin on Fri 01 Dec 2017, 3:08 pm

Mazel Tov Prince Harry and Meghan MarkleMazel
Tov Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
http://www.aish.com/ci/s/Mazel-Tov-Prince-Harry-and-Meghan-Markle.html?s=mm
Five things we can learn from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s engagement announcement.
by Dr. Yvette Alt Miller
Facebook292TwitterEmailMore47
1. Meghan Markle isn’t Jewish
The internet is full of stories positing that Meghan Markle is Jewish. Some British tabloids have referred to Markle’s supposed “Jewish background”, especially in reference to a statement issued from Britain’s Westminster Abbey that, following church rules adopted in 2002, Markle, an American actress, would be able to marry in the historic church. (The couple recently announced they will wed on the grounds of Windsor Castle, instead.)

Left out of these speculative reports is the fact that it’s Markle’s previous divorce, not her supposed Jewish heritage, that would have disqualified her from marrying Prince Harry in the past. Markle’s first husband, Hollywood producer Trevor Engelson, is reportedly Jewish, but Meghan Markle decidedly is not. The daughter of a black mother and white father, even if her father is Jewish, which some publications have mentioned, according to Jewish law Meghan is not Jewish. And the actress's publicist has written, "Just to clarify… she is not Jewish."

When Prince William wed Kate Middleton in 2011, there was similar, and similarly mistaken, speculation that Kate was a Jew. One former BBC reporter went so far as to write a letter to The Times of London, erroneously declaring that she was. Even Birthright playfully fed into speculation about this imagined Jewish heritage; when Kate Middleton gave birth to Prince George in 2011, Birthright made him an outfit reading “His Royal Highness. Future Birthright Israel participant, 2031”.

2. Harry and Meghan are bucking a trend.
In getting engaged and planning their May 2018 wedding, Prince Harry and Ms. Markle are very publicly backing the institution of marriage, which is increasingly being sidelined in much of the world today.
According to a 2017 Pew Research Center survey, marriage is falling sharply out of favor in the US: from a peak of 72% in 1960, only half of Americans today are married. One of the fastest growing demographics are those who will never be tying the knot at all. About 20% of Americans over the age of 25 today have never married, more than double that figure from 1960.
Asked to choose between two opposite statements – that society is better off if people prioritize marriage and have children, versus that society is just as well off if people have different priorities in life than marriage and kids – a majority of Americans agreed with the second statement, that society is just as well off if people don’t focus on marrying and family.
Harry and Meghan’s engagement is something we should all celebrate.

3. They had a Jewish matchmaker.
Matchmakers are an old Jewish tradition and it seems that a Jewish matchmaker was responsible for introducing Prince Harry and Ms. Markle. In recent interviews, Prince Harry refused to reveal his matchmaker’s identity, saying only “It was through her” that the couple met. However, Britain’s Jewish Chronicle revealed that the royal shadchan was Misha Nonoo, a Jewish fashion designer who is close to the royal family.
While many people think of the negative stereotype of the meddling matchmaker in Fiddler on the Roof, Jewish matchmakers today are thriving, both online and in person, and countless couples owe their matrimonial happiness to matchmakers who helped them find the right one. Sometimes we all can use some help in finding and connecting with this special person.
While Prince Harry was planning on how he would pop the question a few weeks ago, Jews around the world were listening in synagogue to the story of the Torah’s first matchmaker, Eliezer. Abraham knew his son Isaac was special and wanted to help him find a woman who would match his unique qualities. Abraham asked his trusted servant Eliezer for help. Eliezer prayed to God for guidance, and soon after, he set eyes on Rebecca, Isaac’s bashert.
Like Harry and Meghan, we all can benefit from having a Jewish matchmaker in our corner when we need it.

4. The royal engagement is an answer to rising prejudice and hatred.
When I first read about Harry and Meghan’s engagement online, I scanned the “comments” section at the bottom of the article and did a double take. The venom and racism of the comments was so intense I had to check that I didn't accidentally stray onto a neo-Nazi website.
Meghan Markle is bi-racial; her father is white American and her mother African-American. She is also American and is divorced. For many people, it seems these qualities make her ripe for horrendous insult. In 2016, Prince Harry issued a rare public statement, saying that Meghan Markle had been subject to “a wave of abuse and harassment” and that the racism of opinion pieces and media trolls made him fear for her safety.
The racist bile being directed at Ms. Markle is part of an overall resurgence of hate that’s targeting not only her, but Jews, in much the world today.
The week that Prince Harry and Ms. Markle announced their engagement, a Jewish group in Australia announced a 10% rise in anti-Semitic incidents in Australia over the previous year, with neo-Nazi sympathizers largely to blame. In Britain, 2017 has seen a rise in anti-Semitic incidents to the highest levels since records began. In the United States, the first quarter of 2017 saw an 86% rise in anti-Semitic incidents compared with the previous year.
Against this rising tide of hatred, it’s important to take a stand and speak out, condemning racism, anti-Semitism and prejudice, whenever we encounter it. Harry and Meghan’s engagement is a vote for optimism and the future, and a rebuttal of some of the loathing and bile in the world today.

5. We wish them mazel tov!
Often translated as “congratulations”, mazal tov literally means “good luck”, or good fortune in the future.
While it might sound strange in English to respond to the news of “I got engaged!” with a reply of “Good luck!”, this response actually makes a lot of sense. By wishing someone mazel tov, we’re really saying a prayer: asking for good fortune and for Divine help in someone’s future endeavors. Saying mazel tov recognizes that none of us are truly alone, that we all require help as we try to accomplish our goals. It also forges a connection, as we join with others in earnestly wishing another person well and to pray for their success.
With that in mind, we can all wish Harry and Meghan a huge, hearty Mazel Tov!
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 66329
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

https://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

AISH  - Page 12 Empty Re: AISH

Post  Admin on Thu 30 Nov 2017, 8:13 pm

A Nazi in the Family
http://www.aish.com/ci/s/A-Nazi-in-the-Family.html?s=mfeat
Three years ago I discovered that my grandfather was a member of the SS and arrested for crimes against humanity.
by Derek Niemann

Late last year, I read an interview with a rabbi in my university city of Manchester, in which he said that things were so bad he could not see himself ending his days in Britain. I wanted to cry – how could this be happening in my own country? His words had a special resonance for me – at the time I was finishing a book about my own grandfather – an active perpetrator in the Holocaust.
My German grandfather died before I was born. My father told me that his father, Karl Niemann, was “a bank clerk, a pen-pusher.” He also told me that he was a member of the Nazi party. Out of shame, I kept that from my Jewish friends.
Three years ago while my wife prepared for a conference in Berlin a far more terrible revelation came. I decided to join her in the German capital for a short vacation. I asked my dad where he had lived during the war. I would look it up, maybe take some photos of the house for him. I checked online for any information about the street itself.
Karl pictured in his army uniform on the outbreak of the First World WarKarl pictured in his army uniform on
the outbreak of the First World War

While I was searching a page came up bearing the words: SS Hauptsturmführer Karl Niemann… crimes against humanity… use of slave labor.
I was to discover that in May 1945 my grandfather was arrested in the Alps by American soldiers and imprisoned in former POW camps for three years. My family closed that sordid chapter in their lives and never spoke about it again. But as a 50-year-old writer, I had a compulsion to dig into this new-found truth and to write about it. I trawled archives, went to concentration camps, spoke to Holocaust historians and relatives and began to piece together the story – not just of Karl Niemann, but also that of my family, who had been living a life in Berlin that was both bizarre and frighteningly ordinary.
My grandfather oversaw slave labor and the factories he visited were the likes of Auschwitz, Dachau, Buchenwald and Sachsenhausen.

My dad had vivid recollections of a childhood in which he saw much but understood little. During the war, his father was always going on ‘business trips’. No sooner was he back than he was preparing to go off again. The reality was that he was an overseer of slave labor and the factories he was visiting were the likes of Auschwitz, Dachau, Buchenwald and Sachsenhausen.
SS officers requisitioned inmates to do odd jobs around the house. My dad remembered men wearing “dirty grey striped uniforms, with ‘Jude’ written on the back”. They brought furniture, mended clothes, made bunk beds and an air raid shelter in the garden. His mother gave them coffee and cake. They told her they liked coming to her house. The children played in bomb craters: it was a million miles from the murderous regime in which their father was a working participant.
Karl pictured in his Nazi Party uniform with wife Minna, 1933.Karl pictured in his Nazi Party uniform
with wife Minna, 1933.

Just how much did my grandfather know of the Holocaust and what was his involvement? In the last weeks of the war, he was one of four officers ordered to relocate with their families from Berlin to the Alps. The entourage stopped for two or three nights at Dachau on the way and my dad recalled overhearing a heated conversation between his parents as they looked out over a low building with a tall smoking chimney. His mother said: “You know what they’re doing there? They’re killing the Jews and burning their bodies.” His father was emphatic: “No, they wouldn’t do that,” he insisted.
There is simply too much contrary evidence for his denial to be credible. At his tribunal in 1948, the prosecution lacked incriminating papers that were being used at the time to help hang Karl’s boss, Oswald Pohl, the overall controller of concentration camps. Auditor Karl Niemann had produced accounts for the year 1942, in which he bemoaned the ‘loss’ of 8,000 workers from Majdanek. Eight thousand Jews had been taken out and shot – and Karl had written down the exact date of their killing.

He claimed he had never been to Auschwitz – yet it was the SS’s second biggest ‘factory’ and a Holocaust historian told me that it was inconceivable that he would never have visited it. And how could he have gone to camp after camp, and not seen all the signs of torture, the skeletal figures, breathed the smell of death? My grandfather found inmates to testify on his behalf that he had not physically abused anyone. What of the passive acceptance that allowed him to work for the SS for 10 years?
Most disturbing of all were the comments from the presiding judge that Karl Niemann, presented with the facts, showed no sign of contrition for his part in the enslavement and brutal treatment of innocent people.
It was hard to be objective. There were times when I hated my grandfather. There was a brief window – when I discovered that he had been working deals with the Gestapo to have inmates released – that I thought he might have been another Oskar Schindler. But in the end, I accept he was a flawed individual and look elsewhere for positives.
“I find this hard, but it is true, and you must tell it all.”

And there are positives to come out of this dreadful story. There is my family’s reaction to the book’s publication, most notably my uncle, still living in Germany, who read a draft and told me: “I find this hard, but it is true, and you must tell it all.”
A guiding light has been one Bernhard Gelderblom, whose own father died an unrepentant perpetrator. Bernhard has dedicated his retirement to teaching children in local towns and villages about the lives of Jewish communities before the Nazis came. He inspired people in these places to restore Jewish cemeteries smashed during Kristallnacht.
Throughout this process, I have been shaken, not by hostility, but by kindness. It seems that those closest to the Holocaust are girdled with compassion. Archivists have looked into my heart and said in soft voices: “It’s not your fault.” A lady who had lost family at Auschwitz even said: “Your grandfather probably couldn’t help it.” Kind words indeed, but for the sake of truth, I must value honesty above everything.

The author, Derek NiemannThe author, Derek Niemann
As Holocaust survivors pass away, I understand that I and others in my position have a role. As the grandson of a Nazi criminal, I can say to young people, this is what has happened, but I do not share my grandfather’s beliefs, I do not agree with what he has done. In the weeks since my book was published, I have found others who have been given a similar legacy to me and also want to carry a torch against hatred and bigotry.
I was deeply moved to be asked by Aish.com to write this article. The fact that it is possible speaks volumes for the willingness of good people, regardless of faith, to find understanding and common humanity.
A Nazi in the Family by Derek Niemann, was published by Short Books in March 2015 and is available as an e-book. Click here to order. https://www.amazon.com/Nazi-Family-Derek-Niemann-ebook/dp/B00U58T490/friendsofaishhat
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 66329
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

https://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

AISH  - Page 12 Empty Re: AISH

Post  Admin on Thu 30 Nov 2017, 7:39 pm

Ida and Louise Cook’s Remarkable Rescue Mission
Using their avid opera-going as a cover, the British sisters saved dozens of Jews in Nazi Europe.
by Dr. Yvette Alt Miller
They were an eccentric pair: spinster sisters who lived for opera, travelling the world to listen to their favorite performers sing. Yet Ida and Louise Cook harbored a secret. For years, they worked to bring Jews out of Nazi Europe, using their avid opera-going as a cover. In all, the sisters saved the lives of 29 Jews.

Louise Cook was born in 1901 and her sister Ida in 1904. By the time Nazism was ascendant in Europe, the sisters were confirmed middle-aged spinsters, living in their family home in London. Louise was an office worker, Ida a typist and later a prolific writer who published under the name Mary Burchell. Their single passion in life was opera, scrimping and saving to be able to visit the world’s great opera houses.
In 1934, the sisters’ lives changed at one of these operas. A few weeks earlier, Austria’s Chancellor Englebert Dolfus had been murdered by a gang of Nazis. All of Austria was in turmoil, but Ida and Louise cared only for music and travelled to Salzburg for an opera festival where they became friendly with the great Romanian singer Viorica Ursuleac. At the end of the festival, Ursuleac took the sisters by the arm and asked them to look after a dear friend, a certain Frau Mitia Mayer-Lismann, who would be travelling to London soon on a short trip.
MORE http://www.aish.com/jw/s/Ida-and-Louise-Cooks-Remarkable-Rescue-Mission.html?s=mm


Nothing was going to keep Richard Wade from seeing Murray join the 3000 hit club. Not even cancer.
by Rabbi Yehuda Appel
Facebook34TwitterEmailMore44
In the summer of 1994 in Cleveland, Bob Wade shared with me the grim news that his father, Richard, had been diagnosed with a particularly pernicious lung cancer. The doctors had given him at best a couple of months to live.
But this did not fit into Richard Wade’s schedule. He had a particular event he wanted to see and nothing was going to keep him from being around when it happened. Bob’s father, a modest, quiet individual, was a fanatical baseball fan with an absolute devotion to Cleveland’s first baseman, Eddie Murray. A top player and future Hall of Famer, Murray was on track to be one of the very few in baseball history to join the 3,000 hit club and Richard Wade had every intention of seeing the event.
When Bob’s father shared this hope with the oncologists, one of the doctors, an ardent baseball fan himself, replied, “I really wish it could be but Eddie Murray won’t reach the 3000 hit mark until next season and, well…. it’s better to make plans.”
Month after month passed by and somehow the senior Wade stayed very much alive. At the end of June, a full year after his diagnosis, Eddie Murray’s hit total had reached 2999. The Indians had gone up to Minneapolis to play a series with the Twins that weekend. The first game was Friday night, the second Saturday afternoon and I thought it a pretty safe bet that by the time Shabbat was over the Indians slugger would have reached the 3000 milestone.
When Shabbat was over, I called Bob’s house to ask how his father was doing. The line was busy and when I finally got through I asked Bob how his father was doing
MORE http://www.aish.com/f/hotm/How-Baseball-Hall-of-Famer-Eddie-Murray-Kept-One-Man-Alive.html?s=


Why I Became a Day School Proponent
Despite my concerns, sending my kids to day school has been crucial to their Jewish identity.
by Stephanie Rubel
Facebook24TwitterEmailMore23
My Jewish identity has never been about what I learned in school.
I’m the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, and my Jewish identity was shaped by my family history and my mother’s insistence on the importance of preserving Jewry in the Diaspora. I married a Jew and always planned to raise my kids Jewish.
I also always assumed that, like me, my children would go to public school and get their formal Jewish education from supplementary Hebrew school and maybe the Jewish Community Center, a Jewish summer camp or a youth group.
In truth, though, I never loved the idea of Hebrew school. As a child, I found it to be a waste of time.
Yes, I learned enough to be comfortable at High Holiday services and observe some of the better-known Jewish holidays, like Chanukah. I memorized a Torah portion for my bat mitzvah and learned to read and write Hebrew.
But I can barely speak any Hebrew, and when my mother-in-law gave us a basket of fruit and snacks at Purim, I had no idea that it was called mishloach manot or that it was one of the key traditions of Purim.
MORE http://www.aish.com/jw/s/Why-I-Became-a-Day-School-Proponent.html?s=mm


A Dry Run with Death
A practical, 12-point checklist to prepare for the inevitable.
by Martin I. Berger
Facebook63TwitterEmailMore62
The call came from my mother on my cell phone. She was screaming in the phone that my dad had collapsed at the movies and they were trying to revive him. By the time I got to the movie theater, eight paramedics were doing CPR on my 72-year-old father, repeatedly shocking him with no response. One look at his lifeless body and I knew it was over.
He had been in relatively good health. His heart surgery from 20 years prior had been a success and it was only a week before his death that he started to get a bit tired when walking long distances. His doctor said it was probably congestive heart failure, but that people live another 20 years with that condition. He would schedule some tests and everything would be fine. He never made it to the tests.
MORE http://www.aish.com/ci/s/62819587.html?s=mm


The Siege of Leningrad: The Harrowing Story of One Girl's Survival
And her closely-guarded Jewish secret.
by Valerie Greenfeld
In 1937, Yevgeniya Buyanova was born into a Jewish family in Minsk, Belarus. Eighty years later, she is one of the few remaining survivors of the Siege of Leningrad.
On June 22, 1941, under the codename Operation Barbarossa, the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union without warning. With the aim of conquering territory for natural resources and slave labor, this was the largest German military operation of World War Two.
Rather than spend troops and artillery to occupy the city, Hitler's infamous Directive No. 1601 ordered to "starve into submission" the people of Leningrad, saying that “we have no interest in saving lives of the civilian population.”
Yevgeniya spoke from her home in metro Washington, DC, summoning with detailed clarity the events of her youth in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg). Speaking mostly in Russian, she recalled the sirens signaling an imminent bombing; the explosions shaking her metal bed, causing it to move across the floor; and the harsh, freezing winters when the temperature reached minus-30 degrees Fahrenheit.
Indelible memories of the siege are carved into her soul. With pangs of hunger, fear of darkness, and pain of exposure – amidst hundreds of thousands of dead – 5-year-old Yevgeniya never knew life to be different. The food ration was 4 ounces of bread per day, per person – consisting primarily of “replacement” ingredients such as glue and sawdust. Neighbors stood in line for hours for a sliver of this “bread.”
MORE http://www.aish.com/sp/so/The-Siege-of-Leningrad-The-Harrowing-Story-of-One-Girls-Survival.html?s=mm


It all depends on who is its creator.
by Rabbi Benjamin Blech
Can a work of art be worth close to half $1 billion?
Obviously somebody – and he is still anonymous – seemed to think so when he made the winning bid last week of $450 million at Christie's auction house for Salvator Mundi, a 600-year-old painting reputedly by Leonardo da Vinci.
This stratospheric purchase price makes the 26-inch tall portrait the most expensive artwork in history, beating out the previous record for a painting sold at auction, Pablo Picasso’s Les Femmes d'Alger (Women of Algiers), which went for $179.4 million in 2015, while Paul Gauguin's Nafea Faa Ipoipo? (When Will You Marry?) commanded $300 million in a private sale the same year.
Perhaps most remarkable about the huge sum paid for what was billed by Christie’s as “The Last da Vinci” is the amount paid for this very same poster-sized portrait in 1958 before its attribution to Leonardo da Vinci. At that time it went for the grand price of sixty dollars at auction, not overly impressing its viewers with its artistic merit. As late as 2005, when the same piece was plucked from an estate sale, a buyer was induced to purchase it for $10,000.
Many art critics point out that even if Salvator Mundi was actually painted by Leonardo, a position which remains disputed, it almost certainly does not deserve acclaim as “a masterpiece.” Shortly after the record sale, art critic Jason Farago wrote in the New York Times that although he is not in the position to “affirm or reject [the painting’s] attribution,” he believes the so-called masterpiece is “a proficient but not especially distinguished religious picture from turn-of-the-16th-century Lombardy, put through a wringer of restorations.” Art critic Jerry Saltz, in an essay for New York magazine, called the portrait “dead” and “inert.”
MORE http://www.aish.com/ci/s/The-450-million-da-Vinci-Is-It-Worth-It.html?s=mm


Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest: The Legend of a Jewish Athlete
When I heard about Nathan’s contest, I knew I had found my sport.
by David Kilimnick
Facebook39TwitterEmailMore23
Thanksgiving got me thinking about food. Truth is, waking up gets me thinking about food so let’s talk about food. Other than the kiddush, nothing is more American than eating massive quantities of food as fast as you can. For that, I thank you America.
I have taken down bigger men before on the way to the cholent at Shabbat Kiddush
It was right before I moved to Israel, that I had the honor of competing in the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. Known to many as the Super Bowl of eating, I always wanted to be a professional athlete. The one thing holding me back was my athletic abilities. Then I heard about Nathan’s contest, and I knew I had found my sport.
Qualifying Round Competitor
It was around fifteen years ago when the only kosher Nathan’s at the time was in Los Angeles, so I flew in and competed in the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. The competitor I am, I showed up ready to eat.
They didn’t just take anybody. It was a serious competition, and I had to pass the weigh in. At the time, I was well over 200 pounds and I was able to fit into an XXL shirt with no problem. I was accepted. They were worried, as I was 40 pounds lighter than the closest competitor. This is a story of David and Goliath.
MORE http://www.aish.com/j/fs/Nathans-Hot-Dog-Eating-Contest-The-Legend-of-a-Jewish-Athlete.html?s=mm

Broken: My Encounter at the Western Wall
Would the stones of the Kotel touch my guarded heart?
by Chaya Levy
Facebook151TwitterEmailMore49
We dump our heavy bags and suitcases in the middle of the large, stone-floored apartment in Rechavia and hurry back out into the crisp morning air to hail a cab. It's my first time in Israel and, of course, we have to go see the Kotel, the Western Wall, first thing.
My pulse speeds up with the acceleration of the taxi and my fingers dig into the cracked leather hand rest on the door next to me. I'm anxious as I watch the white stone buildings fly by. I reflect on some of the incredible places I've traveled to, remembering in vivid detail the soaring mountains that dominated the landscape, the thundering waterfalls that shook me with their sheer power, and the vast, silent, wild lands where I contemplated my utter puniness in comparison to God's infinity.
I've heard about the soul stirring connections people felt at the Kotel, but I am doubtful. Will I really be moved by a pile of old stones? Or is it all a bunch of hype made up by some swooning, head in the clouds, uber-spiritual seminary girls.
Our cab bumps up a road surrounded by an ancient stone wall. The road curves up and I hold my breath, trying unsuccessfully to keep my body from being thrown side to side as the driver swings wildly around the turns.
Suddenly, we emerge from the shadows, the sky opening up before me. And there it is. The Kotel seems to glow in the sunlight. I'm stunned at the unbidden emotion that lodges in my throat. "So this is where I've been facing all those years of prayer," is my first thought.
MORE http://www.aish.com/jw/id/Broken-My-Encounter-at-the-Western-Wall.html?s=mfeat

102-Year-Old Holocaust Survivor Meets His Nephew for First Time
Eliyahu Pietruszka thought his entire family had died. Watch the moving video of him meeting the nephew he didn't know existed.
by Channel 4 News
Eliyahu Pietruszka, 102 years old, believed his entire family had died in the Holocaust. This week he met his nephew that he didn't know he had. Watch the moving video of the two meeting for the first time in the lobby of Eliyahu’s retirement home in Israel.
WATCH http://www.aish.com/jw/s/102-Year-Old-Holocaust-Survivor-Meets-His-Nephew-for-First-Time.html?s=mfeat



Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 66329
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

https://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

AISH  - Page 12 Empty Re: AISH

Post  Admin on Thu 30 Nov 2017, 4:18 pm


Ida and Louise Cook’s Remarkable Rescue Mission
Using their avid opera-going as a cover, the British sisters saved dozens of Jews in Nazi Europe.
by Dr. Yvette Alt Miller
They were an eccentric pair: spinster sisters who lived for opera, travelling the world to listen to their favorite performers sing. Yet Ida and Louise Cook harbored a secret. For years, they worked to bring Jews out of Nazi Europe, using their avid opera-going as a cover. In all, the sisters saved the lives of 29 Jews.

Louise Cook was born in 1901 and her sister Ida in 1904. By the time Nazism was ascendant in Europe, the sisters were confirmed middle-aged spinsters, living in their family home in London. Louise was an office worker, Ida a typist and later a prolific writer who published under the name Mary Burchell. Their single passion in life was opera, scrimping and saving to be able to visit the world’s great opera houses.
In 1934, the sisters’ lives changed at one of these operas. A few weeks earlier, Austria’s Chancellor Englebert Dolfus had been murdered by a gang of Nazis. All of Austria was in turmoil, but Ida and Louise cared only for music and travelled to Salzburg for an opera festival where they became friendly with the great Romanian singer Viorica Ursuleac. At the end of the festival, Ursuleac took the sisters by the arm and asked them to look after a dear friend, a certain Frau Mitia Mayer-Lismann, who would be travelling to London soon on a short trip.
MORE http://www.aish.com/jw/s/Ida-and-Louise-Cooks-Remarkable-Rescue-Mission.html?s=mm


Nothing was going to keep Richard Wade from seeing Murray join the 3000 hit club. Not even cancer.
by Rabbi Yehuda Appel
Facebook34TwitterEmailMore44
In the summer of 1994 in Cleveland, Bob Wade shared with me the grim news that his father, Richard, had been diagnosed with a particularly pernicious lung cancer. The doctors had given him at best a couple of months to live.
But this did not fit into Richard Wade’s schedule. He had a particular event he wanted to see and nothing was going to keep him from being around when it happened. Bob’s father, a modest, quiet individual, was a fanatical baseball fan with an absolute devotion to Cleveland’s first baseman, Eddie Murray. A top player and future Hall of Famer, Murray was on track to be one of the very few in baseball history to join the 3,000 hit club and Richard Wade had every intention of seeing the event.
When Bob’s father shared this hope with the oncologists, one of the doctors, an ardent baseball fan himself, replied, “I really wish it could be but Eddie Murray won’t reach the 3000 hit mark until next season and, well…. it’s better to make plans.”
Month after month passed by and somehow the senior Wade stayed very much alive. At the end of June, a full year after his diagnosis, Eddie Murray’s hit total had reached 2999. The Indians had gone up to Minneapolis to play a series with the Twins that weekend. The first game was Friday night, the second Saturday afternoon and I thought it a pretty safe bet that by the time Shabbat was over the Indians slugger would have reached the 3000 milestone.
When Shabbat was over, I called Bob’s house to ask how his father was doing. The line was busy and when I finally got through I asked Bob how his father was doing
MORE http://www.aish.com/f/hotm/How-Baseball-Hall-of-Famer-Eddie-Murray-Kept-One-Man-Alive.html?s=


Why I Became a Day School Proponent
Despite my concerns, sending my kids to day school has been crucial to their Jewish identity.
by Stephanie Rubel
Facebook24TwitterEmailMore23
My Jewish identity has never been about what I learned in school.
I’m the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, and my Jewish identity was shaped by my family history and my mother’s insistence on the importance of preserving Jewry in the Diaspora. I married a Jew and always planned to raise my kids Jewish.
I also always assumed that, like me, my children would go to public school and get their formal Jewish education from supplementary Hebrew school and maybe the Jewish Community Center, a Jewish summer camp or a youth group.
In truth, though, I never loved the idea of Hebrew school. As a child, I found it to be a waste of time.
Yes, I learned enough to be comfortable at High Holiday services and observe some of the better-known Jewish holidays, like Chanukah. I memorized a Torah portion for my bat mitzvah and learned to read and write Hebrew.
But I can barely speak any Hebrew, and when my mother-in-law gave us a basket of fruit and snacks at Purim, I had no idea that it was called mishloach manot or that it was one of the key traditions of Purim.
MORE http://www.aish.com/jw/s/Why-I-Became-a-Day-School-Proponent.html?s=mm


A Dry Run with Death
A practical, 12-point checklist to prepare for the inevitable.
by Martin I. Berger
Facebook63TwitterEmailMore62
The call came from my mother on my cell phone. She was screaming in the phone that my dad had collapsed at the movies and they were trying to revive him. By the time I got to the movie theater, eight paramedics were doing CPR on my 72-year-old father, repeatedly shocking him with no response. One look at his lifeless body and I knew it was over.
He had been in relatively good health. His heart surgery from 20 years prior had been a success and it was only a week before his death that he started to get a bit tired when walking long distances. His doctor said it was probably congestive heart failure, but that people live another 20 years with that condition. He would schedule some tests and everything would be fine. He never made it to the tests.
MORE http://www.aish.com/ci/s/62819587.html?s=mm


The Siege of Leningrad: The Harrowing Story of One Girl's Survival
And her closely-guarded Jewish secret.
by Valerie Greenfeld
In 1937, Yevgeniya Buyanova was born into a Jewish family in Minsk, Belarus. Eighty years later, she is one of the few remaining survivors of the Siege of Leningrad.
On June 22, 1941, under the codename Operation Barbarossa, the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union without warning. With the aim of conquering territory for natural resources and slave labor, this was the largest German military operation of World War Two.
Rather than spend troops and artillery to occupy the city, Hitler's infamous Directive No. 1601 ordered to "starve into submission" the people of Leningrad, saying that “we have no interest in saving lives of the civilian population.”
Yevgeniya spoke from her home in metro Washington, DC, summoning with detailed clarity the events of her youth in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg). Speaking mostly in Russian, she recalled the sirens signaling an imminent bombing; the explosions shaking her metal bed, causing it to move across the floor; and the harsh, freezing winters when the temperature reached minus-30 degrees Fahrenheit.
Indelible memories of the siege are carved into her soul. With pangs of hunger, fear of darkness, and pain of exposure – amidst hundreds of thousands of dead – 5-year-old Yevgeniya never knew life to be different. The food ration was 4 ounces of bread per day, per person – consisting primarily of “replacement” ingredients such as glue and sawdust. Neighbors stood in line for hours for a sliver of this “bread.”
MORE http://www.aish.com/sp/so/The-Siege-of-Leningrad-The-Harrowing-Story-of-One-Girls-Survival.html?s=mm


It all depends on who is its creator.
by Rabbi Benjamin Blech
Can a work of art be worth close to half $1 billion?
Obviously somebody – and he is still anonymous – seemed to think so when he made the winning bid last week of $450 million at Christie's auction house for Salvator Mundi, a 600-year-old painting reputedly by Leonardo da Vinci.
This stratospheric purchase price makes the 26-inch tall portrait the most expensive artwork in history, beating out the previous record for a painting sold at auction, Pablo Picasso’s Les Femmes d'Alger (Women of Algiers), which went for $179.4 million in 2015, while Paul Gauguin's Nafea Faa Ipoipo? (When Will You Marry?) commanded $300 million in a private sale the same year.
Perhaps most remarkable about the huge sum paid for what was billed by Christie’s as “The Last da Vinci” is the amount paid for this very same poster-sized portrait in 1958 before its attribution to Leonardo da Vinci. At that time it went for the grand price of sixty dollars at auction, not overly impressing its viewers with its artistic merit. As late as 2005, when the same piece was plucked from an estate sale, a buyer was induced to purchase it for $10,000.
Many art critics point out that even if Salvator Mundi was actually painted by Leonardo, a position which remains disputed, it almost certainly does not deserve acclaim as “a masterpiece.” Shortly after the record sale, art critic Jason Farago wrote in the New York Times that although he is not in the position to “affirm or reject [the painting’s] attribution,” he believes the so-called masterpiece is “a proficient but not especially distinguished religious picture from turn-of-the-16th-century Lombardy, put through a wringer of restorations.” Art critic Jerry Saltz, in an essay for New York magazine, called the portrait “dead” and “inert.”
MORE http://www.aish.com/ci/s/The-450-million-da-Vinci-Is-It-Worth-It.html?s=mm


Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest: The Legend of a Jewish Athlete
When I heard about Nathan’s contest, I knew I had found my sport.
by David Kilimnick
Facebook39TwitterEmailMore23
Thanksgiving got me thinking about food. Truth is, waking up gets me thinking about food so let’s talk about food. Other than the kiddush, nothing is more American than eating massive quantities of food as fast as you can. For that, I thank you America.
I have taken down bigger men before on the way to the cholent at Shabbat Kiddush
It was right before I moved to Israel, that I had the honor of competing in the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. Known to many as the Super Bowl of eating, I always wanted to be a professional athlete. The one thing holding me back was my athletic abilities. Then I heard about Nathan’s contest, and I knew I had found my sport.
Qualifying Round Competitor
It was around fifteen years ago when the only kosher Nathan’s at the time was in Los Angeles, so I flew in and competed in the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. The competitor I am, I showed up ready to eat.
They didn’t just take anybody. It was a serious competition, and I had to pass the weigh in. At the time, I was well over 200 pounds and I was able to fit into an XXL shirt with no problem. I was accepted. They were worried, as I was 40 pounds lighter than the closest competitor. This is a story of David and Goliath.
MORE http://www.aish.com/j/fs/Nathans-Hot-Dog-Eating-Contest-The-Legend-of-a-Jewish-Athlete.html?s=mm

Broken: My Encounter at the Western Wall
Would the stones of the Kotel touch my guarded heart?
by Chaya Levy
Facebook151TwitterEmailMore49
We dump our heavy bags and suitcases in the middle of the large, stone-floored apartment in Rechavia and hurry back out into the crisp morning air to hail a cab. It's my first time in Israel and, of course, we have to go see the Kotel, the Western Wall, first thing.
My pulse speeds up with the acceleration of the taxi and my fingers dig into the cracked leather hand rest on the door next to me. I'm anxious as I watch the white stone buildings fly by. I reflect on some of the incredible places I've traveled to, remembering in vivid detail the soaring mountains that dominated the landscape, the thundering waterfalls that shook me with their sheer power, and the vast, silent, wild lands where I contemplated my utter puniness in comparison to God's infinity.
I've heard about the soul stirring connections people felt at the Kotel, but I am doubtful. Will I really be moved by a pile of old stones? Or is it all a bunch of hype made up by some swooning, head in the clouds, uber-spiritual seminary girls.
Our cab bumps up a road surrounded by an ancient stone wall. The road curves up and I hold my breath, trying unsuccessfully to keep my body from being thrown side to side as the driver swings wildly around the turns.
Suddenly, we emerge from the shadows, the sky opening up before me. And there it is. The Kotel seems to glow in the sunlight. I'm stunned at the unbidden emotion that lodges in my throat. "So this is where I've been facing all those years of prayer," is my first thought.
MORE http://www.aish.com/jw/id/Broken-My-Encounter-at-the-Western-Wall.html?s=mfeat

102-Year-Old Holocaust Survivor Meets His Nephew for First Time
Eliyahu Pietruszka thought his entire family had died. Watch the moving video of him meeting the nephew he didn't know existed.
by Channel 4 News
Eliyahu Pietruszka, 102 years old, believed his entire family had died in the Holocaust. This week he met his nephew that he didn't know he had. Watch the moving video of the two meeting for the first time in the lobby of Eliyahu’s retirement home in Israel.
WATCH http://www.aish.com/jw/s/102-Year-Old-Holocaust-Survivor-Meets-His-Nephew-for-First-Time.html?s=mfeat




Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 66329
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

https://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

AISH  - Page 12 Empty Re: AISH

Post  Admin on Tue 21 Nov 2017, 10:39 pm

http://www.aish.com/sp/pg/Five-Ways-to-Improve-Your-Emotional-Fitness.html?s=mm
Five Ways to Improve Your Emotional Fitness
Practical tips on how to transform your emotions and live a happier life.
by Sara Debbie Gutfreund 

We can channel and transform our emotions way more than we think we can by implementing these five strategies that build the core of our emotional fitness.

Change your physical demeanor. When you feel any emotion, notice what is happening in your body. For example, when someone is sad he typically has a slumped posture and speaks slowly and quietly. Even the breathing pattern associated with sadness is different from more positive states; when someone is depressed or angry he tends to take shallow quick breaths instead of deep, slow ones. Once we are aware of how we express our emotions physically, we can often change our moods from the inside out by breathing deeply, correcting our posture and even changing the tone and speed of how we are speaking. Going for a run can do wonders for our bad mood.

Change your focus. What we decide to focus on in any situation creates our feelings. Do we focus on the problem or the solution? The gratitude or the lack? The mistake or all the things that we did right? What we can control or what we can’t? The more we look for things to be grateful for, the more blessings that we will see. The more we focus on what we can control, the more solutions we will find to deal with our challenges.

Pay attention to the words you use. The language that we use (even if it’s only words we are saying to ourselves) to describe our lives and the world around us radically affects not only our perspective of life but the meaning that we ascribe to it. For example, what is life like for someone who describes it as ‘getting through the day’ versus someone who describes life as sacred? Compare describing life as a dance versus life as a test. Our language creates the emotional fabric of our lives and sometimes just changing one adjective can shift our whole mindset.
Know your why. In order to understand and use our emotions, we need to know what motivates us to do what we do. What drives us? Once we understand our motivation (which is different for each of us), we can create a compelling future that harnesses the power of our why in life. Meaningful goals that leverage our emotional motivations allow us to consciously direct our feelings in constructive ways.

Clarify your beliefs. We are all driven by a number of unconscious beliefs that create our sense of identity. These convictions are often not even our own; they have been programmed into us by society. We live according to what we believe we are. If we believe that we aren’t enough, then nothing we achieve will ever make us feel like we matter. If we believe that we are “an angry or depressed person” then we will search for and find reasons to affirm that identity regardless of what is actually happening in our lives. If we instead identify with the part of us that is calm and happier and believe that we are merely feeling angry or sad for the moment, then our positive identity will prompt us to seek out people and ideas that will reinforce our identity as a generally happy person.
Each of us comes to this world with unique gifts and incredible potential; our emotions are tools that we can use to help us share those gifts with the world. But we need to harness their power and control their direction. Try using these five strategies to thrive and work on building the core of your emotional fitness. Our feelings are too powerful to waste and our lives are too precious to live without using all the gifts that we have been given.
*Many of these ideas are based on the work of bestselling author and speaker, Tony Robbins
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 66329
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

https://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

AISH  - Page 12 Empty Re: AISH

Post  Admin on Fri 17 Nov 2017, 6:09 pm

The Woman in the Burqa
http://www.aish.com/jw/s/The-Woman-in-the-Burqa.html?s=mm
A true story for any Jew who ever felt their name was too Jewish or that wearing a kippah wasn't cool.
by Dr. Jacob L. Freedman
I haven't been on a college campus in a long time. Back when I was an undergrad, being Jewish didn't place a target on my head. Sure I had my share of arguments with folks who made some inappropriate comments and even a scuffle or two (or twelve), but anti-Semitism wasn't as prevalent and out in the open as it is these days.

Last month a college newspaper in California published anti-Semitic cartoons about Alan Dershowitz that mirror Nazi propaganda. Pro-Israel freedom of speech is squashed even by Jewish organizations such as the Princeton Hillel where an Israeli diplomat was blocked from lecturing (they later apologized, but still – how did it happen in the first place?). And then there are the cowards from BDS movements who engage in libelous and even physically-intimidating tactics to scare Jewish and pro-Israel students.

So when I was recently asked to speak to a group of American college students on a trip to Jerusalem, I wasn't surprised to hear that all had felt intimidated because of their faith. They had been shouted down in class, embarrassed for wearing their kippot, and even presented with "eviction notices" to leave their dorms.

It was time to make them proud again to be Jewish. To help them appreciate that they are part of the most wonderful nation in the world charged with the mission to bring light to the world.
Preparing for my talk reminded me of a unique case I had in my clinic. I am a clinical psychiatrist and work at an Orthodox Jewish treatment facility in Jerusalem; the vast majority of patients that I see are religious Jews. I am inspired every day by the faith of my patients under adverse circumstances. One day the name Fahima was on my patient list and I was very curious to see who would walk in.
A religious Arab woman entered my office with her infant child. While I was surprised to see a woman wearing a burqa in my clinic that mainly serves the Orthodox Jewish community, I was happy to provide the same high-quality of care to all.

Fahima told me an awful story of her husband's brutal temper and how he's broken her ribs after she returned from the hospital the previous month having delivered a girl instead of a boy. He had subsequently began drinking alcohol on a daily basis and would threaten her life throughout the night.
As we spoke, it became clear to me that making a diagnosis was less important than finding this young woman a safe haven from her increasingly-abusive husband. With her permission, I contacted the local welfare office and was able to schedule her an intake at a domestic violence shelter in the city.

Within an hour, a social worker from the city had arrived to bring her to a safe place. As the episode neared its closure, I couldn't help but to wonder what had brought Fahima to our clinic as opposed to any of the other facilities in the area. Luckily Fahima answered my question for me as she walked out the door.

"God bless you Dr. Freedman. I had nowhere to turn in my own village but I knew if I came to the Jews that they would help me. God bless you."
I was grateful for her blessing, and I felt proud. Not of myself of course – I had only done the simple and obvious thing of connecting a domestic violence victim with social welfare services – but proud of the Jewish people. Her words echoed in my mind, "I knew if I came to the Jews that they would help me."

For every Jew who ever felt that the name Goldstein was too Jewish or that wearing a kippah wasn't cool, I beg to differ. And for every Jewish comedian that seeks to belittle their heritage for a few cheap laughs, I'd offer a rebuttal: nothing should make a person more proud than being part of a people with a national mission to fix the world.
And that was my message to those college students. "But it's so hard," one them said to me.
“It’s true,” I replied, “but a little bit of light can chase away a whole lot of darkness.”
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 66329
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

https://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

AISH  - Page 12 Empty Re: AISH

Post  Admin on Wed 15 Nov 2017, 2:08 pm

http://www.aish.com/sp/pg/Seven-Ways-to-Make-Your-Thoughts-More-Empowering.html?s=mm
Seven Ways to Make Your Thoughts More Empowering
How to bring more positivity and optimism into your day.
by Sara Debbie Gutfreund
Author and psychologist Wayne Dyer often said, “When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.” Here are seven ways to change our thoughts to build more positivity and optimism into our day.

1. Change the focus. Do we focus on what we have or on what we lack? On our goals or our obstacles? On what is right in our lives or on what is going wrong? We find what we search for; our minds can only focus on a limited amount at a time. Focus on what you want and who you want to become.

2. Start your day with something inspiring. Many of us are regularly and repeatedly exposed to negative messages without even realizing that the media we are consuming is influencing us. The news rarely informs us of happy events that reinforce a belief in the core goodness of most people. Instead we are bombarded with pessimism and tragedy often before we even have our first cup of coffee. Start your day with learning something that inspires you and directs your thoughts into a positive direction.

3. Learn to question yourself. Observe your own thoughts throughout the day and question them. Are they true? Are they helpful? Are they necessary? Clarity is power. Know exactly what your goals are and ask yourself often if your thoughts are helping or hindering those goals.
4. Start and end with gratitude. As soon as you open your eyes in the morning, train yourself to always have a grateful thought first. Think about the people you are blessed to have in your life. About your warm bed. The food in your fridge. The gift of another day. And right before you go to sleep at night, find a grateful thought that you can have about the day. A smile. A kind word. A new opportunity. Bookend your days with grateful thoughts.

5. Shift your locus of control. Unhappy people often have an external locus of control; they attribute everything that happens to them to outside circumstances. Changing our thoughts to an internal locus of control (believing that we can shape our lives and who we become) not only increases our happiness, but it also increases our motivation and our overall effectiveness in our lives.

6. Pay attention to your words. How we speak and the words that we choose deeply affect the content of our thoughts. Even seemingly innocuous phrases like “it doesn’t matter” or “I’m just saying” can change our perception of our own actions and words. We often downplay the significance of important aspects of our lives with sarcastic or dismissive words. Tim Grover, the author of Relentless, suggests that people never say “it’s only a job” or “it’s just a meeting.” Try taking words like “only” and “just” out of all of your sentences and see how your thoughts are moving you forward instead of pulling you back.

7. Substitute thoughts instead of fighting them. Many of us try to get rid of our negative thoughts but find that the more we try not to think about something, the more we ironically think about it. This is why it is sometimes more effective to instead replace unwanted thoughts with desired ones. This requires having a good book or source of wisdom ready nearby or a list of quotes that you can look over to change the direction of your thoughts. At any moment the thoughts we have can alter the direction of our lives and the lives of those around us. Don’t wait until you feel positive and inspired to transform the way you think. As the Lubavitcher Rebbe said, “If you wait until you find the meaning of life, will there be enough life left to live meaningfully?”
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 66329
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

https://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

AISH  - Page 12 Empty Re: AISH

Post  Admin on Wed 08 Nov 2017, 9:52 pm

AISH
They hid a number of Jews in the Paris apartment, at great risk to their lives.
by Dr. Yvette Alt Miller
Charles Aznavour, 92, is a towering figure in French music. For generations, his magnificent voice and sensitive singing have made him one of the most popular French entertainers of all time.
Some of Aznavour’s many fans might be forgiven for thinking the singer is Jewish. He has appeared in French films over the years playing Jewish characters, and his version of the Yiddish song La Yiddishe Mama has been one of his enduring hits. His haunting 2011 song J’ai Connu, “I Knew”, is told from the perspective of a Jew imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp. Aznavour has performed repeatedly in Israel, most recently in October 2017.
On this most recent visit to the Jewish state, Mr. Aznavour met with Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin who bestowed on Mr. Aznavour and his sister Aida the Raoul Wallenberg Medal, given by the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, in recognition of the Aznavour family for saving the lives of several Jews and others during World War II.
Aznavour receiving the Raoul Wallenberg Medal by President Reuven Rivlin in Israel.
Aznavour, the son of parents who fled the Armenian Genocide in Turkey of 1915-1918 to find safety in Paris, has previously said little about his parents’ heroic wartime activities.
That changed in 2016. Aznavour worked with Israeli researcher Dr. Yair Auron to write a Hebrew language book published in Israel that details the ways his family saved the lives of several people in wartime France. The book, titled Matzilim Tzadikim V’Lohamim, or “Righteous Saviors and Fighters” in English, will be translated into French and Armenian, too.
“We grew up together in the Les Marais district” in Paris, Aznavour recalls, where many immigrants mingled together, including both Jews and Armenian refugees. “They were our neighbors and friends.” By the time World War II broke out, a then-teenage Charles Aznavour lived with his parents Michael and Knar Aznavour and his sister Aida at 22 Rue de Navarin, in Paris’ 9th Arrondissement. That small, three-room apartment would become a safe haven, Aznavour explained, for Jews and others who were hunted by the Nazis.
A portrait photograph of the Aznavour family in the 1920s. Charles' father, Mischa (center), is next to his wife, Knar.
The first person the Aznavour family sheltered was a Romanian Jew who lived in Germany. That Jew, whose name the singer no longer remembers, was accused of subversion and had been sentenced to death. He’d escaped to France disguised as a German soldier, but had been discovered and he was being hunted by the Gestapo. A friend alerted Michael Aznavour of the situation and the family took him in.
Aida Aznavour recalls in the book, “We understood that the Jews were going to be the victims of brutality. We looked upon the Jews with sadness and sorrow.” Having escaped persecution in Armenia, “we knew what genocide was.”
It was clear that if the Nazis found this man in our house, they’d kill us right away.
She recalls that her parents never hesitated to shelter Jews, “even though it was clear that if the Nazis found this man in our house, they’d kill us right away. We told him that our home was his home, and we treated him warmly, like a good friend who had to extend his stay. For a few days, he even slept in the same bed as Charles.”
Later, a female acquaintance of the Aznavours asked them to hide her Jewish husband, whose name Charles and Aida recall was Simon. Simon had been rounded up with other Parisian Jews and sent to the Drancy concentration camp, but he had escaped. The Aznavours took him in, and later on, Charles and Aida recall, they sheltered a third Jew in their tiny apartment, as well.
As the occupation of Paris continued, the Aznavour family also sheltered Armenian soldiers who’d been forcibly drafted into the German army and had deserted rather than fight for the Nazi regime. At times, there were up to eleven refugees hiding in the family apartment, sleeping on the floor at night.
Michael and Knar Aznavour helped the refugees obtain false papers, and Charles and Aida offered aid as well. It was the teenagers’ job to burn the Nazi uniforms of the Armenian deserters and dispose of the ashes far from home, the siblings recall.
The Aznavour family was close with another Armenian couple living in Paris, Melinee and Missak Manouchian, who helped found and run an underground resistance movement in Paris called L’Affiche Rouge (The Red Poster). Charles Aznavour explains that though his parents were not formally members of the group, they helped members of the organization and even hid Melinee and Missak Manouchian for several months while they were hunted by the Gestapo, after their other friends refused to risk their lives to help.
Charles Aznavour explains, “My parents knew the danger was there every day, but my sister and I only grasped it later. We were ‘crazy’ young people. We were living out our youth and we followed in our parents’ footsteps. Only after the war did we realize how great the risk really was.”
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 66329
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

https://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

AISH  - Page 12 Empty Re: AISH

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 12 of 22 Previous  1 ... 7 ... 11, 12, 13 ... 17 ... 22  Next

Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum