Friday, September 30, 2005


The young, Hasidic woman removed her shaitel; letting down her long, blond hair.
Styled in the latest fashion, she would pass; she was not so sure about her baby.
Hopefully he wouldn’t cry on the train, forcing her to change his diaper.
The Gestapo came through her car doing a spot-check. A dark–haired, German woman was removed: Bronia, the Hasidic ‘Aryan’, was complimented as the paradigm of German motherhood.
The SS soldiers were horsing around. “Pipe down,” Bronia admonished, “you don’t want to be waking up a future soldier.”

Late that night an Einsatzgruppen SS guard took the seat next to her. He was agitated, and must have judged her a sympathetic woman. The killings out east were too much, he said. He showed her pictures of the mass shootings.
She hoped her horror would be taken as sympathy for his shattered nerves. “In Zhitomer,” he said, “was the worst.”

I read this story in Yafa Eliach’s book. It was the most current reference of that once-vibrant Jewish city that I had heard. That line ‘in Zhitomer was the worst’ stuck with me.

Years after I read that dreadful story, I was in 770 – the address in Brooklyn that conveys the world of Lubavitch. As I finished davening, I overheard two young men, bochurim they are called, probably about nineteen years old talking about -- the name caught my attention --Zhitomer.

They were too lighthearted to be talking about, well, that. I eavesdropped. They were talking about a day camp one of them had just finished. He did or didn’t like the head-counselor, color-war was good, the 200 pair of tzitizis didn’t arrive ‘til the second week of camp, Russian kids like “American football” better than baseball; yeh, you try doing line-up in Russian. . .

The Romans were burning Rabbi Chanania at the stake; they had wrapped his body in Torah scrolls and drenched them in water to prolong his agony. His students, (how lacking a word!) his Chassidim, displaying a presence of mind I can’t call my own, asked him, “Rebbe, what do you see?” He, displaying a selflessness I see clearly in my Rebbe, answered “I see the scrolls burning, but the letters float into the air.”

Those letters -floating into the air- casually drop from the mouths of teenagers
who talk of Zhitomer in terms of day camps instead of concentration camps.
In terms of Jewish continuity (though it’s doubtful they know the term) instead of mass murder.
Oblivious of the revolution they are making they do line-ups and camp cheers.
In Zhitomer!
Like it was Brooklyn, Petach Tikvah or El Paso.
Singing Shma Yisrael where once it was screamed.
Oblivious to the miracle coursing through them.

It’s been over ten years since the scroll of flesh and blood was removed from the ark that was the only frame of reference I ever had. I could never have imagined spending a Tishrei -- the season from before Rosh Hashanah until after Sukkos and Simchas Torah -- without once joining the Rebbe. Hundreds came for the entire season. (When France passed legislation banning vacations abroad for longer than a two-week duration, there was talk of making an exemption for Jews going to New York for Tishrei. I don’t know how that all ended up.)

Thousands more came for parts of Tishrei, a Rosh Hashanah, a Simchas Torah. Rabbis and stalwarts of communities in the New York area had to be in their places for Yom Tov. You would see them rushing in after havdalah at the end of Rosh Hashanah, the end of Simchas Torah, to get Kos Shel Bracha, some of the blessed wine from the Rebbe's Havdalah cup. They came to "Bet Lekach", to say the beracha on the lulav and etrog.

I feel loneliness come Tishrei, this month of breathtaking awe, unmitigated joy, exuberance, quietude: all wrapped up in so fleeting a month. Did the Chassidim of Rabbi Chanania feel lonely? Or does the question ‘what do you see’ convey a dimension that is not tempered by the temporal? Perhaps if I had what they had I wouldn’t feel lonely.

But so what? I have heard the most eloquent response to the most unimaginable loss: Teenage counselors in Zhitomer. The landing of letters of fire. Burning, but never consumed.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

שלום בשערך - Peace in Your Gates

שלום בשערך - Peace in Your Gates: "The Rebbe on controlling ka'as (anger) (אגרות קודש - כרך י'ח עמוד קסט מניעתה – ע'י התבוננות בהשגח'פ)

ב) אודות מדת ההתרגזות והכעס שלה.

תבקש את המורים שלה, שיסבירו לה בביאור רחב ענין השגחה פרטית, שהוא מיסודי אמונתנו, ותוכנו, אשר בורא העולם ומנהיגו משגיח בהשגחה פרטית על כל פרטי דברי ימי חיי', ז.א. אשר בכל רגע נמצאת היא תחת השגחת הבורא, המביט על כל פעולותי', ולכשתתבונן בהענין כמה פעמים עד שיוחקק בזכרונה, בודאי שיפעול עלי' להחליש ההתרגזות והכעס וכו'.

כן תקיים המצווה ע'פ השולחן ערוך, שמי שפוגמים בכבודו, אפילו מתוך כעס, צריך לבקש ממנו מחילה גמורה, וכיון שבקשת מחילה קשה הוא על האדם, ובכל זה תתגבר על זה ותבקש מחילה, הנה בכל פעם שתעמוד להתרגז בטח יעלה בזכרונה, שאחרי כן תהי' צריכה לפעול בעצמה ביטול לבקש מחילה וגם זה יעזור לה להחליש מדת ההתרגזות וכו'.

ולהוספת ברכת השי'ת בזה, הרי עלי' להשפיע על החברות שלה בעניני אהבת ישראל וקירוב הלבבות בין אחת לחברתה, שאז במדתו של הקב'ה שהיא מדה כנגד מדה אלא שכמה פעמים ככה, מוסיפין מלמעלה בזה להמשתדל בזה.

בברכה לבשו'ט בכל האמור,

Free translation:

Further on your traits of your hard-heartedness and anger, you should request of your teachers to explain to you in detail the concept of Divine Providence, which is one of the foundations of our belief, and its contents, (specifically) that the Creator of the world who is also its Supervisor over every detail of our lives, at every moment, and to meditate upon this concept many times, until you have firmly implanted this idea in your mind, and then for certain it will have an impact and weaken the source of your anger and hard-heartedness.

So, too, should you try to fulfill the mitzvah mentioned in the Code of Jewish Law which stipulates that one who denigrates his friend even while angry, is required to request forgiveness of him. And since requesting forgiveness is difficult for a person, and nonetheless if he does gird himself and request forgiveness, then each time he is tempted to vent his anger he will remind himself that afterwards he will be required to ask forgiveness, and this thought will help him to restrain his anger.

And to add the blessings of God, the source of all blessing, upon you to increase your feelings of love for your fellows and to work on this"

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Last Best Place: 1st Siyum Sefer Torah ever held in Idaho

The Last Best Place: 1st Siyum Sefer Torah ever held in Idaho: "History was made last Sunday, 21 Elul, when the first Sefer Torah was completed in the State of Idaho. Chabad Lubavitch of Idaho celebrated the Siyum and Hachnosas Sefer Torah donated by Mr. & Mrs. Jack Jaffa.

Over 250 people joined the historic writing of the final lines, the dancing in the streets and the festive reception in honor of the Torah.

Community members were given the opportunity to assist the Sofer at the Alexander House, former home of Mr. Moses Alexander, the first Jewish Governor in America (who was elected as Governor of Idaho in 1915).

Following the Siyum the Torah was marched through the streets of downtown Boise, as members of the general populace gathered to witness the unique Jewish event.

The Torah was brought to the State Capitol building, where Governor Dirk Kempthorne welcomed the Torah to the State of Idaho and addressed the crowd, marking September 25, 2005 as Torah Day in Idaho. The local media was on hand throughout the event, and City and State leaders were delighted to participate in this monumental milestone for the Jewish community.

The Torah was escorted to the Boise Art Museum for Hakafos and an elegant Seudas Mitzvah dinner reception.
“We are honored and delighted to celebrate the completion of the Torah in Idaho, bringing the true spirit of Yiddishkeit to the people and streets of Idaho,” remarked Rabbi Mendel Lifshitz, director, Chabad Lubavitch of Idaho.

Honored guests who arrived for the event included members of the Jaffa family from New York, Rabbi Yitzchok Lifshitz of Blue Ash, Ohio and Rabbi Zalman Mendelsohn and Schneur Lifshitz.

With any luck, a similar celebration will be held in the not to distant future here in Montana, when Chabad finally establishes a presence in The Last Best Place :-)


Tuesday, September 27, 2005


There is an artist getting airplay with a song called 'King without a Crown'. The artist 'Matisyahu' (born Matthew Miller in White Plains,NY) is a hasidic jew, belonging to the Chabad-Lubavitch sect of judaism.
While the lyrics of 'King without a Crown' reflect the commonality of the mystical aspects of most religions, the association by 'Matisyahu' with the Chabad-Lubavitch sect is shown by his usage of the word 'Moshiach' which means 'messiah' and is used to emphasize the diiference between a judaic concept of a 'messiah' and the christian concept of 'messiah' as embodied in Jesus.
Additionally, the usage of the word 'HaShem' as a reference to his god is in keeping with the idea that the four letters of god's name (in judaism) never be uttered.
See here:
Why is bringing attention to Matisyahu's religious association so important?
Because the Chabad-Lubavitch sect is a primary purveyor of Zionism and Matisyahu has not -and cannot without abandoning his religious crutches- spoken out against the philosophy that permits the taking of anothers land and sustenance in the name of religion.
(Does the history of North and South america come to mind by the way?)
The evidence for this assertion can be found at:

especially if one clicks on he 'Torn Together' link on the left hand side of the 'home' page.

The music is 'hot' and excellent,especially the guitar playing by David Duggan on 'King without a Crown' (as an aside, see the rhythmic flow of ABC's 'King without a Crown' and other similarities) BUT the words are also part of the song. And the disdain for marijuana makes a complete joke of the 'reggae' aspect put forth. Reggae is the music of Rastafarians and marijuana a sacrament and Matisyahu's marketing association with reggae is blasphemous to the Rastafri religion.

So between the disrespect Matisyahu shows for the Rastafari religion and the unwillingness (indeed,as pointed out earlier, he cannot renounce the Zionism without renouncing his religious association) or lack of sensitivity to other oppressed peoples (and no matter what the history, Palestinian's, currently, are oppressed by Israel) , the purchase or playing of Matisyahu's music -or going to a show- is effectively a subscription to the same disrespect of another's religion and approval of Zionism by the bigots who wish for the Rapture and the rabbi's who cannot recognize their own Torah teachings, and the same disrespect of another's religion by mullahs that refuse to see the Quoranic teachings of tolerance of others as being meaningful.

So call your radio stations and tell them not to play 'King without a Crown' until Matisyahu speaks out against the subjugation and bankrupting of the Palestinian people. And tell and and ' that you won't be buying anything associated with Matisyuahu until he speaks out against the subjugation and bankrupting of the Palestinian people.
Current Mood: high

yeshiva orthodoxy: Lubavitch builds 9 mill. $ center!

yeshiva orthodoxy: Lubavitch builds 9 mill. $ center!
lubavitch's hard work continues to pay dividends.

From the Chicago Sun Times :

It was once the site of a movie theater that played films like "Halloween 6" and "Speed 2." Before that it was an Art Deco Post Office and now it's an empty lot -- but not for long. Groundbreaking ceremonies were held Thursday at the corner of Chestnut and Clark Streets for the Center for Jewish Life, a $9 million synagogue and community center that will be run by the orthodox Lubavitch Chabad..

The Lubavitch men wear beards, big fedora hats and long black coats. But they say they don't pressure other Jews to be like them. "Our approach is open and inclusive," said Benhiyoun. Non-Jews are welcomed and some attend Lubavitch classes, but they are not encouraged to convert...

Maybe Lakewood should seek some advice from Lubavitch on raising money for another girl's school. Though I doubt they are going to welcome non jews.

Monday, September 26, 2005

dropitlikeitshaute: So Much to Write, So Little Energy

dropitlikeitshaute: So Much to Write, So Little Energy

JERUSALEM SYNDROME: a playground of messianic delusions.....: gettin' rebbe with it

JERUSALEM SYNDROME: a playground of messianic delusions.....: gettin' rebbe with it
I was just flipping the channels and couldn't resist stopping at the Chabad Telethon, the Jewish world's best-distributed examples of kitsch unawares. I got there just in time to hear a 70-something hasid with a big white beard standing next to a tacky oil painting of R. Schneerson z"l use the phrase, "The 'M' Generation". That is to say, generation moshiach. I feel so... hip? No, no, that's not it. But, then, again I don't really consider myself part of the M generation, so maybe I wasn't meant to feel included.

Now they've got 3 guys singing Kol Nidre, with tallitot on. They're a little early for annulling vows, and there's no obligation to tzitzit at night, so--well, I'm finding the whole thing a bit confusing.

It's actually kind of exciting to be alive to watch such a large-scale heresy unfold. This whole rebbe-died-and-will-come-back-to-redeem-us-as-the-messiah thing is really going to be one for the history books. Some Lubavitchers have actually started to sing, "Rebbenu Morenu Boreinu" (Our rabbi, our teacher, our creator. ) The whole thing is such a scandal. And a scandal with mainstream approval and props from W. I place the whole thing somewhere in that grey area between weird and scary.

In any case, you can catch some of the truly bizarre celebrity plugs (Tony Danza, of course, and even Bernie Mac) online, here. Actually, I think they're streaming the whole thing....

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Toratherapeutica: A Basic Toratherapeutic Thought - Tracht Gut Vet Zein Gut

Toratherapeutica: A Basic Toratherapeutic Thought - Tracht Gut Vet Zein Gut: "The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi M.M. Schneerson, speaks about healing, health and mental health in many of his talks and writings (especially in the Igros Kodesh - Holy Letters). There is a book that came out fairly recently (last year) that is a collection of letters that the Rebbe wrote to people about health and healing. It's awesome... Its title: Healthy in Body, Mind and Spirit. The second volume (which will hopefully come out this year) is about mental health and Chassidic philosophy. (The whole book is available online at Sichos in English - The Rebbe often quoted a saying of the Rebbeim, 'Tracht gut vet zein gut...Think positively, and you will see positive results.'

The concepts of positive thinking, affirmations, post hypnotic suggestions, etc., are often used in therapy practice, and have significant therapeutic merits. I guess someday science will catch up with the Torah...

Here is an excerpt from volume one which is originally from Igros Kodesh (The Holy Letters) Volume X, p. 358:

'... I believe that in the past I have already told you about the statement in the sacred Zohar (II, p. 184b) that when man below is of a “radiant countenance” and filled with joy and gladness, he then draws down upon himself the same qualities from Above.

This provides us with an even better understanding of the aphorism of our holy Rebbeim: “Think positively, and you will see positive results.”"

Bush: 'Chabad saved lives'

Bush: 'Chabad saved lives'

"In the days after Katrina hit, Chabad saved lives", US President George Bush told Republican Jews in Washington on Wednesday.

In a speech he gave at the 20th anniversary luncheon of the Republican Jewish Coalition, Bush called on the American people to keep on helping the victims of hurricane Katrina and praised the Jewish Community that raised $17 million for that cause.

Bush, in the second appearance in one week before Jewish audiences, told the story of Jewish Rabbis in Louisiana who launched rescue missions to help the victims, among them Chabad people that went out to the flooded city of New Orleans and rescued stranded residents, supplied kosher meals and gave shelter to those who lost their homes.

Bush also told the crowd of a Rabbi from Baton Rouge that helped a young African American woman to reunite with her family in Maryland. When she heard her relatives on the phone she cried "Thank you Jesus The Rabbi didn't have the heart to tell her she got the wrong Rabbi", joked Bush as he told the story.

Bush also reiterated his condemnation of the destruction of the Jewish synagogues in the Gaza Strip by Palestinians after the Israeli withdrawal.

"As we saw in the recent desecration of the synagogues in Gaza, the ancient hatred of Anti-Semitism still burns in the hearts of men," he said.

The US president called on the Palestinians to show they can govern the Gaza strip in a peaceful way. He stressed the US administration's view that the Palestinians cannot allow armed groups to operate in the areas evacuated by Israel.

"The policy of this government is to streamline the security forces so there is only one authority with security forces", Bush said. He praised again PM Sharon and called him "a partner in peace".

The Republican Jewish Coalition has 21,000 members and 40 chapters all over the US. The event in Washington DC marked not only the 20th anniversary of the group, but also the growing power of the Republicans among the American Jewish community.

"Weird Jews"

About a year and a half ago the synagogue got a new Chabad rabbi who is trying to revitalize the area.


The French equivalent to JAP (Jewish American Princess) is Shalala. The French girls in the house taught it to me, and told me that they consider it a big insult. It has become my new favorite word, and I use it quite a lot, which the French seem to find most funny. Thursday night a group of us were talking, the French girls were discussing anti-Semitic incidents that occurred to them, the stories were truly frightening, apparantly the Muslims in France are quite menacing when it comes to Jews and have a knack of spotting Jews in subway stations, etc.

On Thursday I went to the center of London for the first time since I have arrived. The first order of business was to get my LSE student card. Within 1 minute of standing in line to get my card I met the guy waiting behind me, he is a Jewish American studying European Integration in a one year masters program similar to mine. We walked around campus together and exchanged phone numbers, he seemed surprised that I do not answer my phone on Shabbat, as if I am some kind of religious extremist.

Friday I went shopping in Golders Green with two French girls from the Hillel. I was able to buy some meat and cheeses which I cannot get in the area (as its not kosher here). The prices are very expensive though and I have to shop carefully. What I still have to get from there is the Kosher food guide and a Shabbat belt for my keys (there is no eruv here).

Shabbat I stayed in the Hillel house. There is a synagogue about 10 minutes away. Kilburn used to be a very Jewish area. Over the years most of the Jews moved away and the synagogues withered away. About a year and a half ago the synagogue got a new Chabad rabbi who is trying to revitalize the area. On Friday morning I called up the Rabbi, and he immediately invited me, and anyone else from the house, to his home for lunch, and I accepted (it was Friday morning!). Friday night I ate at the house, the French residents of the house bought many friends so that more than half the meal was French, and they dominated the meal. The meal itself was very nice, and the French sang many zemirot which they knew. Here, as opposed to where I lived before, I cannot take religion for granted so I prepared a dvar Torah which I said at the table and which seemed to go over very well. I basically spoke about the Mitzvah of Bikurim, how it teaches us to be thankful for the small as well as the big, and how it says that you should be joyous - which shows that joyous observance of the Mitzvot is a sign of one's true desire to get close to God as opposed to keeping Mitzvot because of social inertia or expectations.

Speaking of religion it seems that while many here are observant to one degree or another there is nonetheless a large gap between the religious atmosphere that I was raised in and that I lived in at BIU, and what the other people here practice. Some of them have interesting stories, one British girl was telling me that she went to Catholic school (her father is Catholic, mother is Jewish) and did not like it and became interested in Judaism. She never had a Jewish education and so wants to learn more, specifically Talmud. I told her that while she certainly could learn Talmud, it is often arcane and very technical and I am not sure she would benefit so much from it, there are much better sources to study from which will give her a better understanding of the basics of Judaism. One thing I have already learned - I should be more positive about Judaism. Many of the people here seem to want to learn more about Judaism and have a favorable impression of Judaism, I have to realize that not every Jew is a Ha'aretz Op-ed writer and thus I need not be apologetic.

Getting back to the Chabad rabbi for a moment the lunch by him was a most enjoyable experience. I was there with another 3 Hillel students. Among his guests was Simon Hochhauser, who is the new president of the United Synagogue. We discussed many interesting topics, including the difficulties posed by the United Synagogue's (Modern Orthodox Org) reliance on the London Beit Din (Haredi Org) for Halachic advice and the need to develop Modern Orthodox rabbinical leadership. The Chabad rabbi seemed very open minded and his wife was talking about discrimination against women in the United Synagogue so I am glad that in the future when I come back I can feel comfortable about expressing my views. It is also good that I now know the Rabbi in the area so I can discuss with him any religious issues that may arise.

In other news Moshe Kaveh, the president of BIU, harshly condemned those rabbis who promote delusional visions and false Messianism. The Religious Zionist public is still sorting through the fallout from the disengagement, I hope the direction that it takes will be one of increasing engagement with the Israeli mainstream and more concern for social issues (such as increaing teacher's pay). There is a lot of energy to be harnassed here, it just has to be done in positive ways. In the meantime I am glad that Kaveh (and hopefully others) will not be afraid to stand up to those who are portrayed as infalliable and the final authoritoes on everything under the sun.

That is enough for now, there is a lot more that I could write about but I will stop here. To see a picture of me in Trafalgar Square this past Thursday just follow this link

Saturday, September 24, 2005

I met Matisyahu and told him that his lyrics saved my life

Sooooo today...

I woke up at 11 AM and got ready for work.
Work was pretty relaxed.
I left work to go to Shabbat dinner at Chabad.
I met Matisyahu and told him that his lyrics saved my life, I was honored to be sharing a Shabbat meal with him and thanked him for all he does. I met his kind, beautiful wife and saw his new baby. It was an absoulte honor for me and I was shaking when I sat down next to my brother.
I stayed late after Shabbat and got to know Adam a lot better than ever before and I must say I have never been this attracted to some one in such a long time. He told me something that made him so human to me. In the sense that I am attracted to people that have gone though something trivial in their life that makes them more mature...more approachable...I can relate to them...and they're human. His flaws made him beautiful to me tonight.
He told me that he's been thinking about the painting he's been making for me a lot, that he wants it to be perfect.
I also witnessed a car crash right by Chabad. Not chill bagles.
Then I headed over to AEPi house and chilled with Igor.
Julian was there...I think he understands now.
Igor was so chill to talk to all night.
I got to see Daniel...really chill bagles.
Daniel, Morgan and me planned a date.
Morgan only has one more week before she leaves for boot camp.
Christine ran in to Cindy...horrible person, ugly soul...her ex's fiance.

Tonight was amazing in so many ways. I've been blessed.
Ayn Od Maylvadoh

Mah Rabu: 770

Mah Rabu: 770

Fertile Blessings Indeed

September 25, 2005
Fertile Blessings Indeed

ONE recent afternoon, three sets of parents, each with early-teenage triplets in tow, arrived at the Old Montefiore Cemetery and filed into the entranceway of a roofless mausoleum, which was lined with shelves of lighted candles and prayer books. Inside is the gravesite of the Lubavitcher grand rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, who died in 1994, leaving no successor.

The children waited restlessly in the small courtyard around the rebbe's grave as their parents tore up pieces of paper bearing handwritten prayers and scattered the scraps by the grave. The parents said they had come to the cemetery, in Cambria Heights, Queens, to offer thanks. All had once struggled with infertility until they received a dollar bill and a blessing from the rabbi, who would dispense plenty of both on Sundays at 770 Eastern Parkway, the Lubavitch headquarters in Crown Heights.

Jews from Russia to Roslyn used to come seeking the rebbe's blessing. "Easy pregnancy, healthy child," he would tell them in Yiddish.

All three husbands at the cemetery that day still carried the rebbe's dollar bill. One of them, Uri Halabe, took his out and kissed it. He and his wife, Brigitte, an Orthodox couple from Los Angeles, said they'd tried unsuccessfully to conceive for nine years. "Then one day, I said, 'This is my last straw; I got to go see the rebbe,' " Mr. Halabe recalled. With the help of in vitro fertilization, Mrs. Halabe gave birth to Jonathan, Jeremy and Joshua, now 13.

Accompanying Mr. Halabe was his friend Ben-Zion Alcalay, whose wife, Carol, also became pregnant with triplets not long after receiving a blessing from the rebbe. The three 13-year-olds - Sofia, Eliahu and Benjamin - sprinkled shreds of torn-up prayers in front of the rebbe's modest headstone as men paying their respects rocked on their heels and chanted.

Many of the rebbe's followers and scores of non-Lubavitch Jews swear that he continues to bestow fertility from the grave. Dr. Richard V. Grazi, director of a Brooklyn clinic called Genesis Fertility and Reproductive Medicine, which has a patient base that is heavily Orthodox Jewish, said many previously infertile patients had told him they finally conceived after a visit to the gravesite. Prospective parents also seek a blessing online by e-mailing prayers to the grave via, a Lubavitch Web site.

"Many people believe disease is controlled to a certain extent by God and that infertility is a spiritual affliction," Dr. Grazi said. "You ask what brought them the child and they say, 'It was the rebbe.' And it's really impossible to prove either way."

Some Lubavitchers believe that the rebbe is the messiah and will return any day. As the children and their parents ate bagels and whitefish salad in a house near the cemetery that serves as a visitors' center, young Benjamin Alcalay suggested they hold another triplet reunion upon the rebbe's return, and everyone broke out in joyous laughter.

The Jews Of Framingham, MA

The Jews Of Framingham, MA
Posted 9/21/2005
By George (Yosef Modechai) Gati
In June of last year, my wife and I were invited to an evening bris at the Park East Synagogue in Manhattan. It had been raining all day. When I arrived, I had to walk up a flight of stairs and then down again to check my coat. I slipped down the remaining five steps and was hurt. My wife and several people had to pick me up.

I thought to myself that something good will come from this event. The bris was held in the beautiful synagogue upstairs and the reception followed downstairs in the ballroom. I met a young Lubavitcher from Chestnut Hill, MA who has a Chabad house there and gave him my business card and told him to e-mail me, so we could share a Dvar Torah. Even though I was in pain, I stayed to the end of this wonderful bris, where we met many friends.

Several days later back at the office, I got a call from a customer in Framingham, MA who asked me to send her samples from the Girls� Knitwear Collection. I started to do a nice amount of business with her store. Again, the buyer asked for more samples, so I sent them to the address in Framingham, Massachusetts. This kept going on for about three months. I could not believe the huge business I was doing at this address, 770 _______Street in Framingham, MA, which is the famous Lubavitchers` number, �770.``

On Rosh Hashana morning that September, I was in shul and I asked Hashem what I could do to help our fellow Jews in Framingham, MA. I felt I had to do something. The next Monday morning at around 11:30 a.m., this young Lubavitcher from Chestnut Hill, MA called me. �Wow!� Here was my answer. I asked him, �How far are you from Framingham, MA?� He said, �20 minutes away.`` I then asked him for his bank account number in New York. As soon as I hung up the phone, I ran to make a generous deposit in his account. There are about 80 Jews living in Framingham, MA and I am sure this young Lubavitcher will reach out to them and bring them closer to yiddishkeit.

May we all continue to learn Torah and perform mitzvoth until the arrival of Moshiach Tzidkeinu.

Chabad Jewish Center organizes Israel trip, exposes students to heritage

The Daily Illini - Features
Issue: 9/22/05

Chabad Jewish Center organizes Israel trip, exposes students to heritage
By Yuri Ozeki

Applications rushed in as registration opened on Sept. 8 for the 2005 10-day winter break trip to Israel. The Chabad Jewish Center, in coordination with two national Jewish groups Taglit-birthright Israel and Mayanot, is organizing the trip.

"We're going from North to South, West to East," said Rabbi Dovid Tiechtel, who will lead the trip. "The main places we will be hitting are Jerusalem, Safed, Tel-Aviv, Tiberius, and we'll float on the Dead Sea."

The trips, which mainly target college students, take place several times during the summer and winter breaks. The date for the University trip is tentatively set for December 18, arranged so that the participants will be spending Hanukkah in Israel. If students are unable to go on that date, they will be placed in another group with students from other schools and states departing at a different date. �

The deadline to register for all the trips is Oct. 27 at 10 a.m.

In order to participate, interested applicants must be Jewish, between 18 and 26 years old and must not have ever visited Israel in an organized group program.

"The idea of the Birthright Israel trip is for Jewish people outside of Israel, during these ten days, to learn more about ancient and modern Israel," Tiechtel said. "And it doesn't cost a dime."

Taglit-birthright Israel in partnership with the Israeli government, Jewish communities and philanthropists provide free trips to Israel. Birthright and Mayanot believe visiting Israel is a birthright for every Jew.

Zinovy Shkolnikov, sophomore in engineering, attended the 2004 summer Mayanot trip. "I wanted to learn more about being Jewish and about Israel," he said. "But with a free group trip, you don't really need much motivation."

Eugene Feygin, sophomore in LAS and an Illini Media employee, went on the Mayanot trip to Israel this summer.

"I didn't know what I was really getting myself into, but I had never gone to Israel," he said. "Everyone else in my family has, so I wanted to go."

Sam Zimbovsky, freshman in FAA, plans to join this winter's Mayanot trip to Israel: "I plan to study in Israel more extensively, but this trip will be a great opportunity for a glimpse into Israel."

Students have a full schedule once they arrive, including visits to underpriveleged children and Israeli soldiers.

"You get to see a lot of stuff that other people will never get the chance to experience," Feygin said. "Seeing the Wall - something that old still standing - was amazing. I go to Friday services, but this is something totally different. Five thousand people pack the wall with men on one side and women on the other."

Tiechtel agreed with Feygin, saying that it was not only about being there, but also taking in the culture.

"It's an experience," Tiechtel said, "It's not 10 days touring, but a 10-day experience of living, loving and learning. It's not only the sites you see, it's feeling the culture."

Reflecting on the trip, Feygin realized a big difference.

"When I entered the trip I went to services every week and I didn't think about what it meant to be Jewish," Feygin said. "Going to Israel, it unraveled to me what (Judaism) meant. (The trip) explained to me how big the world is, but how small the Jewish community is. Judaism is not just a religion, but also a special, close, tight knit group."

Tiechtel also assures of the trip's safety.

"I believe Birthright Israel is the safest way to visit Israel," Tiechtel said. "There is a lot of security. Out of the 80,000 students that have traveled to Israel through this program, only one got injured because she fell off a camel."

Through the many activities and various trips, strong bonds are created among the group. Wanting to keep in touch with his new friends, Feygin created a facebook group called "Birthright for Alumni" to stay connected as well as to provide information to prospective participants.

Interested students can visit the following Web site for more information:

Friday, September 23, 2005

FROM 770...

FROM 770...: "This is the place where we, the Talmiday Hashluchim can share our 'happenings' (peulos Etc.) with the world. whether from Southern Africa, or south America, North America, Northern Europe,the mid-East, The far East, the east coast, the West Coast, the Mid-West, down South, or even down under!"

Chaos Theory

Chaos Theory
A work on Hashgacha Protis
By: Mordechai Lightstone

The Anthropic Principle: This principle claims that millions of stars and distant galaxies generate (by means of gravity, magnetic and other energy fields) certain general physical conditions on the Earth which constitute the exclusive conditions necessary for the existence of humans and other forms of life. Indeed, even a small deviation from the present physical conditions on Earth would make the existence of human and other forms of life as we know it, impossible. These conditions are dependent on the joint influence of all the billions of stars and galaxies. This means that the entire universe is designed in such a fine way as to enable life on Earth (Mind Over Matter; Overview liii) ·

Prelude Brooklyn, New York 1948 The line outside of the Rebbe's room was long. People sat on the wooden benches of the anti-chamber, shifting uncomfortably in the warmth of the balmy New York summer and the heat generated from numerous bodies cramped closely together. ''Thank G-d,'' Muttel sighed to himself, ''After being stuffed in cattle cars it doesn't hurt to be so close together for a good reason."
Despite the heat that made so many others squirm, a shiver ran down his spine at the very thought of all of those souls, so recently martyred, his family. . . No. . . No! Muttel screamed in his mind, he would not let himself dwell in the past -he couldn't- life must go on; to sink into despair and self-pity would only be falling pray to their insidious plans. Muttel began to recite Tehillem (psalms) with renewed fervor.
''Mordechai Edelstein?"
Muttel looked up, was it his turn already? As a Chassid, Muttel knew his Rebbe was no mere rabbi but rather an awesome spiritual leader, a Moses of his generation. To go before him was to be stood bare, no longer protected by the mental walls of denial and ego -all of one's innermost thoughts were made clear. One must be ready before entering the Rebbe's chambers. Mustering all the strength that he could Muttel approached the Rebbe's room, knocked on the large door, and then entered with down cast eyes. Fear coursed through Muttel's body, a fear of being seen, of one's every deed being revealed.

News from Hebron: Jewish Cemetery stolen by Arabs in Hebron

News from Hebron: Jewish Cemetery stolen by Arabs in Hebron
Earlier this week, Hebrew residents discovered that two 'caravan' structures had been placed on property belonging to the ancient Jewish Ashkenazi cemetery in the city.

The cemetery plot lies adjacent to the plot where Menucha Rachel Shneerson Slonim, granddaughter of the "Baal HaTanya" and daughter of the "Mittler Rebbi" is interred. The land was purchased by Chabad in the early 1900s and it is unclear whether or not any Jews were actually buried there. The plot has remained vacant for decades.

According to sources close to Hebron, Arabs plan on 'building a school' on the land where the caravans were placed.

When Hebron leaders notified military and civil administration officials, they were told, "There is nothing we can do - this land was transferred to the 'Palestinian Authority" (the terrorists) as part of the 'Hebron Accords' and it is under their jurisidiction. They can do there whatever they want."

Hebron resident, Rabbi Danny Cohen, a Chabad 'shaliach' in Hebron, pointed out the security danger, being that every afternoon a group of men study in a small room above the cemetery. However, this plea was also ignored.

A Hebron spokesman issued the following reaction: This is absurd. Both the Ashkenazi and Sepharadi cemeteries were destroyed by Arabs following the massacre and expulsion in 1929. Now, the Arabs are stealing Jewish property, 100% ours, right under our noses and we can't do anything about it? We demand that the caravans be removed immediately and that the land be returned to the Jewish Community of Hebron.

Friends and supporteres are asked to call and fax:
The Defense Ministry: Tel: 03-6975436 Fax: 03-6976218
The Deputy Defense Minister: Tel: 03-6977155 Cell: 0544479787
The Civil Administration: Tel: 02-9967215 Fax: 02-9962254
The Hebron military commander

My Right Word: "Friends" of Chabad

My Right Word: "Friends" of Chabad

Dem life of a Lubavitch teen...

Dem life of a Lubavitch teen...

$9 million synagogue breaks ground - Chicago

$9 million synagogue breaks ground

September 23, 2005
Staff Reporter

It was once the site of a movie theater that played films like "Halloween 6" and "Speed 2." Before that it was an Art Deco Post Office and now it's an empty lot -- but not for long.
Groundbreaking ceremonies were held Thursday at the corner of Chestnut and Clark Streets for the Center for Jewish Life, a $9 million synagogue and community center that will be run by the orthodox Lubavitch Chabad.

Unlike other orthodox Jewish sects, which generally keep to themselves, the Lubavitchers see it as their mission to reach out to other Jews and encourage them to become more religious and observe traditional rituals.

They believe the center, which will have a synagogue, ritual baths, counseling, day care, a holistic health center, a kosher cafe and religious classes for adults and children, will help them to fulfill that mission.

"This is an edifice that will bring life and light, it will have programming that will bring goodness and kindness, education and productivity to the whole neighborhood and to the whole city," said Rabbi Meier Chai Benhiyoun.

Since 1987, Benhiyoun has been leading his congregation from rented quarters in the Loop, Gold Coast and Lincoln Park. As his followers grew in numbers, he began seeking a permanent home and acquired the land for the new center in 2000 for $2.6 million.

Now, he expects the first phase of the center, designed by architect Daniel Coffey, to be completed within the next year and a half. There is room in the plans for an expansion that would cost another $9 million.

The Lubavitch men wear beards, big fedora hats and long black coats. But they say they don't pressure other Jews to be like them. "Our approach is open and inclusive," said Benhiyoun. Non-Jews are welcomed and some attend Lubavitch classes, but they are not encouraged to convert.

Hardware merchant Bernie Turek is a major financial supporter of the new center, but like some others backing the effort, he does not consider himself an orthodox Jew. "I'm not observant, but I'm helping them financially and I love what they do."

"Will bring life and light''-->

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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

MS Weekly - Melbourne

MS Weekly
Amid extravagant plans of driving up to Sydney, and when that was quashed down the great Ocean road the fall back option of Chelsea would have to suffice. Some fall back option I might add, beach frontage, on site mikvah and a fully equipped kitchen.
Heading out 5 hours after the food the Yr 11 made it with about an hour left until shabbos. The official opening was a group photo on the beach back dropped by the sun setting changing the sky from its usual blue to a hue of pink. Mincha followed by a heart warming Seder Niggunim, in the distance long clouds streaked across the sky as if being pulled by the ever lower sun to provide a fitting curtain between Shabbos and School, mystical and mundane.

Lubavitch emissaries get their food by using the Ukrainian country roads

SUMY, Ukraine, Sept. 21 (JTA) —

Most people buy milk in a store. But the Levitanskys get theirs straight from the cow.

Unlike the first Chabad families who arrived in Ukraine 15 years ago,
Rabbi Yechiel and Rochi Levitansky have a choice: They could have
Lubavitch-certified milk shipped to them in boxes. That’s what Yechiel
Levitansky’s sister, a Chabad emissary in Kharkov, does, as does Rochi
Levitansky’s brother, the Chabad rabbi in Chelyabinsk, Russia.

But when the young couple moved here from Santa Monica, Calif., in
September 2004, they figured they were putting their three kids through
enough, shlepping them to this ends-of-the-earth industrial city on the
Russian border where they’d be the only Orthodox kids in town, and
where most of their food would have to be flown or trucked in.

Boxed milk, too? Not on your life.

So twice a week, Yechiel, 31, and Rochi, 28, pile the children in the
car and drive a half-hour outside Sumy to a barn in the countryside,
where Yechiel watches a friendly Ukrainian farmer milk his cow. If
they’re late and the farmer starts without them, they can’t take the
milk he’s already got foaming in buckets — Lubavitch-kosher milk must
be watched by a rabbi from the time it leaves the udder.

“They don’t really understand why I have to watch, but they respect it,” Yechiel Levitansky says.

It’s not his first experience with milk fresh from the cow.
He remembers doing his same thing with his father 30 years ago in Santa
Monica, before milk that met their standard of kashrut was readily
available in California.

As the old car bumps its way along
pot-holed country roads in a mad dash to make it to the barn in time,
Yechiel recounts how, last fall, he spent two weeks going door-to-door
in this rural neighborhood asking farmers whether they’d mind if he
watched them milk. He didn’t understand why a few slammed doors until
he found out about an old Ukrainian superstition: A cow watched during
milking will dry up.

The locals might also have been put off
by his black hat, prayer fringes and American accent. Finally
Levitansky knocked at the door of Galina and Mikhail Fisatidye, an
older couple who agreed to help him.

“We’re from Zhitomir province; we had lots of Jewish friends,” Galina says.

As the car pulls into the muddy driveway, Galina’s broad, red-cheeked
face breaks into a huge, semi-toothless grin. She holds out her arms to
the three Levitansky children, hugs and kisses them, then takes them
behind the barn to pet the rabbits.

What began last fall as a twice-weekly business transaction has become something much warmer.
Starved for fresh, California-style produce, the Levitanskys began
bringing the Fisatidyes celery, asparagus, sweet pea and other seeds —
“things we like to eat,” Rochi Levitansky says — for them to plant.

Most of the seeds failed to take hold. The only crop that flourished
was romaine lettuce, and the Fisatidyes now have a greenhouse full of
the stuff.

“You can’t find this in the bazaar downtown,” Mikhail Fisatidye boasts.

But the biggest benefit of all stands in a small enclosure at the back
of the barn: two gleaming black-and-white calves, twins born this
spring to the Fisatidyes’ cow.

“They were worried when the cow
got pregnant because a pregnant cow usually gives less milk, and during
the last month it’s often bitter,” Yechiel Levitansky says.

Soon after Purim, the cow gave birth to not one but two calves.

“All the other cows in the neighborhood got pregnant from the same bull, but only this one had twins,” he says.

President's Remarks at Republican Jewish Coalition 20th Anniversary

President's Remarks at Republican Jewish Coalition 20th Anniversary

Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium
Washington, D.C.

12:00 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. Please be seated. (Applause.) Thanks for the warm welcome. Thank you. Thanks for the warm welcome. I'm honored to join you in celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Republican Jewish Coalition. The RJC has been a powerful voice for the values of limited government, free enterprise, and a strong national defense. I want to thank you for your patriotism; I want to thank you for the devotion to our country. Because of your efforts, I really believe America is a stronger and better place. (Applause.)

President George W. Bush addresses an audience, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2005 at the Republican Jewish Coalition's 20th Anniversary Celebration in Washington. White House photo by Paul Morse I'm particularly pleased to be invited to help pay tribute to one of the founders of this organization, Max Fisher. (Applause.) He was a trusted advisor to many presidents, starting with Ike. He has been a friend of my family's. I was honored to count him as a wise counselor. I'm honored to know his wife, Marjorie, who is with us today. Max Fisher was a man of generosity and accomplishment, a patriotic American, a friend of Israel, and a champion for peace. And he's going to be greatly missed. (Applause.)

As well, we mourn the passing of a great hero for freedom, Simon Wiesenthal. Simon Wiesenthal was a survivor and a witness, who served -- who seared the horror of the Holocaust in the collective memory of the world. He's one of these leaders that refused to back down. He spoke with clarity. He insisted that we remember the lessons of the crime. He insisted that we remember that hatred prepares the way for violence, and the failure to expose and confront intolerance can lead to atrocities beyond imagining.

note: Google search: Bush Family and Nazis

As we saw in the recent desecration of the synagogues in Gaza, the ancient hatred of anti-Semitism still burns in the hearts of men. And the best way we can honor Simon Wiesenthal's memory is to expose and confront anti-Semitism wherever it is found. (Applause.) By condemning this hatred at home and abroad, we stand with the victims of the Shoah and declare to the world: Never again. (Applause.)

I want to thank my friend, Sam Fox. I appreciate your friendship, you and Marilyn. I want to thank you for your leadership. I want to thank Matt Brooks. (Applause.) A smattering of applause out there for old Matty. (Laughter.)

I see some of the members of my administration here. I thank you all for coming. (Applause.) Don't linger too long, get back to work. (Laughter.) I appreciate the members of the United States Congress who are with us. I see senators and congressmen -- thank you all for coming. I know we got -- (applause.) We've got some statehouse folks here.

I think my friend Haley Barbour is here. He was looking for a meal -- he told me that on the plane yesterday. (Laughter.) Anyway, he's doing a fine job as the Governor of Mississippi. (Applause.) Governor Romney is here with us today. I appreciate him being here. (Applause.) Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele is with us -- Michael -- from Maryland. Thank you for coming. (Applause.) Lieutenant Governor Brian Dubie from Vermont is with us. Brian, thank you for being here. (Applause.)

President George W. Bush gestures as he addresses an audience, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2005 at the Republican Jewish Coalition's 20th Anniversary Celebration in Washington. White House photo by Paul Morse How about your Master of Ceremonies? Good to see you, Ari. Thanks for coming. How's the kid? (Applause.) Huh? Good. Good man and a good friend, Ari Fleischer.

I want to thank my friend, Lew Eisenberg, for being one of the chairmen of the luncheon; and Elliott Broidy. Appreciate you all taking this assignment on. (Applause.) You're honoring good people today. Bernie Marcus -- I appreciate the spirit of your corporation, Bernie. Or your -- your corporation during these tough times. It's remarkable. And I want to thank you for the outpouring of compassion you and your folks have shown.

Shelly Adelson -- congratulations, Shelly. It's good to see you. (Applause.) And of course, the man who is doing a fantastic job at the RNC, Ken Mehlman. (Applause.) I appreciate the fact that the Israeli Ambassador to the United States is with us today. He's a good man -- Danny Ayalon. Good to see you, Danny. (Applause.)

When I first came here, I looked around, I thought it might have been the ex-ambassadors club. (Laughter.) Former Ambassadors Bernstein, Price, and Sembler are with us. Thank you all for serving our nation, proud you're here. (Applause.)

We are a strong and resilient nation. I've seen that strength and I've seen that resiliency firsthand. One of the things that I hope you take comfort in knowing is that throughout our history, we've been challenged a lot, and every time we've been challenged, we have emerged a stronger and better nation. (Applause.) There is no challenge to man or nature that our citizens cannot overcome.

And we're facing some challenges these days. At this moment, our fellow citizens along the Gulf Coast are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters in this country's history. Hurricane Katrina caused immense destruction -- you cannot imagine what that countryside looks like down there. This storm swept away homes, it destroyed entire communities, it uprooted lives. And today, we've got another hurricane -- headed for Texas and Louisiana. I spoke to Governor Perry, I spoke to Governor Blanco yesterday about the preparations being made for this storm. Federal, state, and local governments are coordinating their efforts to get ready. Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for New Orleans and Galveston. I urge the citizens to listen carefully to the instructions provided by state and local authorities, and follow them. We hope and pray that Hurricane Rita will not be a devastating storm, but we got to be ready for the worst.

The scenes we witnessed in the past three weeks in Alabama and Mississippi and Louisiana have touched our hearts, and moved this nation to action. I'm not talking about just government, I'm talking about the whole country. (Applause.) There has been an amazing outpouring of support all across America, and it's sent a clear message to the victims of Hurricane Katrina: This nation cares about you -- you're not alone.

I made a pledge to the people of Alabama and Mississippi and Louisiana that we're going to stay as long as it takes. We'll do our job to help you recover. People need to hear that loud and clear. (Applause.) And I outlined our strategy for reconstruction on the Gulf Coast -- it rests on three commitments.

First, we're going to help meet the immediate needs of those whose lives were turned upside down. You got to understand, thousands of people had to leave their homes, and left all their possessions behind, and went to shelters all throughout America. We have a duty to help them. So far we've mailed checks to 600,000 -- 600,000 evacuee families to help them pay for food and clothing and other essentials. We helped them register for other aid that will be available because of laws on the books.

Second, we're going to help the citizens get their lives back together. We've got housing assistance going to evacuees. We understand they can't live forever in shelters -- we've got a strategy to help them go from shelter to apartment, or shelter to home. We've sent doctors and nurses to the region to help.

You know, an amazing thing that's happened is a lot of states have accepted the families -- the kids of these families into their schools. What a fantastic gesture of compassion and decency. In our own state of Texas, school district after school district has said, if you have a child that's school age, bring them to us, we'll help educate them. The federal government has an obligation to reimburse those school districts, and I'm going to work with Congress to make sure we fulfill that obligation. (Applause.)

And third, we're going to help ensure that the communities emerge stronger and better. The storm caused huge suffering, as I told you, but it's an opportunity to bring new life to neighborhoods that were suffering before the storm. So I've proposed some interesting ideas, and I want the United States Congress to listen carefully to these ideas. First, I believe we ought to create Gulf Opportunity Zones up and down the devastated areas to provide tax incentives and tax breaks to get business and jobs back in that area as quickly as possible. (Applause.)

If you want to grow something, you shouldn't tax it. If you want to encourage small business growth, we ought to incent it to grow in that part of the world. (Applause.) Somebody said the other day, well, that's a tax break. That region is going to have zero income anyway. There's nothing there, in many parts of it. It makes sense to provide economic incentive, create economic incentives for jobs to exist. We want people heading back there for good, decent, good-paying jobs. (Applause.)

I've proposed Worker Recovery Accounts to help evacuees be prepared for the jobs that are going to exist in that part of the world. Listen, there's going to be a construction boom down there. We want people from that part of the world being prepared to take on those jobs. And so these Worker Recovery Accounts will help with job training.

I believe in urban homesteading. That says we're going to identify federal property and provide lots for low-income citizens that they'll have for free, so long as they build a house on there with a mortgage or with the help of a charitable organization like Habitat For Humanity.

We've got a fantastic chance as we rebuild. See, when those streets are open, we want them to be lined with businesses, including businesses owned by minorities. When those houses are rebuilt, we want more owners and less renters. When reconstruction is complete, we ought to look back at Hurricane Katrina and say that this country grew not only in prosperity, but in character, as well. (Applause.)

There's a federal role to play, and we'll play it. We'll do our duty. But there's also a state role, and a local role. I believe as the vision of New Orleans emerges, it ought to be planned by people from New Orleans. And as the vision of that Gulf Coast of Mississippi emerges, it ought to be planned by the people in Mississippi. And we're going to help them. We'll help them make right choices. But we've got to remember that perhaps the greatest engine for change and growth will be the private sector. So as Congress thinks through its strategy, let's encourage the private sector to come in and help build those jobs and rebuild those lives. (Applause.)

We'll make sure your money is spent wisely. We're going to make sure we make tough choices and set priorities here in Washington, D.C. And we're going to make sure that the money is spent honestly by sending a team of inspector generals [sic] down there to review all expenditures. That's what the people of this country expect, and that's exactly what we're going to do. (Applause.)

The American people have got a role to play in this effort. And since this storm, our nation's armies of compassions [sic] have rallied and have come to the aid of people who are in desperate need of help. Our charities, and houses of worship, and idealistic men and women across this country have opened up their homes, their wallets, and their hearts -- there's been an amazing, amazing outpouring of help. And the Jewish community of this country has been on the forefront of the efforts.

At Tulane University, the Director of the Chabad, Rabbi Rivkin, brought teams of students to New Orleans, and southern Mississippi, and other communities hit by the storm. He called in folks to help. He didn't say, head away from the storm; he said, let's take it right to the middle of the storm area to help people. They helped rescue stranded people; they distributed bottled water and self-heating kosher meals; they cleaned up and helped salvage homes; they provided spiritual support for those who lost loved ones. And one of those rescued from New Orleans put it this way: In the days after Katrina hit, Chabad saved lives." (Applause.)

Rabbi Stanton Zamek of the Temple Beth Shalom Synagogue in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, helped an African American couple displaced by the storm track down their daughter in Maryland. When Rabbi Zamek called the daughter, he told her, "We have your parents." She screamed out, "Thank you, Jesus!" (Laughter.) He didn't have the heart to tell her she was thanking the wrong rabbi. (Laughter and applause.)

Jewish organizations have thus far raised $17 million to help the victims of Katrina. (Applause.) Our citizens are answering the call of the Prophet Isaiah: "If you give what you have to the hungry, and fill the needs of those who suffer, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your darkness will be like the brightest time of day." People are hearing that call all across the country. And there's more work to be done. I urge you to continue to pay attention to the folks down there by contributing to the Red Cross, or the Salvation Army, or the United Jewish Communities, or B'nai B'rith International, or the American Jewish Committee. (Applause.)

It's important. We got a lot of work to do. But when it's all said and done, people are going to realize that this country can respond to crises and help a neighbor in need. This country has got enormous heart and enormous compassion. After it's all said and done, because of the compassionate outpouring of our people, the country's heart, collective heart, is going to be stronger and better.

You know, something we -- I've been thinking a lot about how America has responded, and it's clear to me that Americans value human life, and value every person as important. And that stands in stark contrast, by the way, to the terrorists we have to deal with. You see, we look at the destruction caused by Katrina, and our hearts break. They're the kind of people who look at Katrina and wish they had caused it. We're in a war against these people. It's a war on terror. These are evil men who target the suffering. They killed 3,000 people on September the 11th, 2001. And they've continued to kill. See, sometimes we forget about the evil deeds of these people. They've killed in Madrid, and Istanbul, and Baghdad, and Bali, and London, and Sharm el-Sheikh, and Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv. Around the world they continue to kill.

They have a strategy. They want to achieve certain objectives. They want to break our will. They want the United States of America and other freedom-loving nations to retreat from the world. Why? Because they want safe haven. They want to topple government. Just think Taliban in Afghanistan. That's their vision. And we can't let them do that. We have a solemn duty as a United States government to protect the American people from harm. (Applause.)

We have a solemn duty to remember there are generations coming behind us. We have a solemn duty to stay on the offense against these people, to defeat them in other lands so we don't have to face them here at home. And we have a solemn duty to lay the foundation of peace for generations to come. (Applause.)

Iraq is the central battlefront in the war on terror. It's not the only place we're fighting the terrorists, but it's the central front right now. You see, the terrorists want to turn that country into what Afghanistan was. Imagine a place like Iraq, where they've got safe haven to plot and train. That's what they want. That's why they're pouring in there. That's why they're going into the country. That's why they're trying to create instability. They got a powerful weapon -- these car bombs that end up on our TV screens. They got the capacity to affect our conscience because we value every life. Every person matters to the United States -- people of the United States of America. It doesn't matter whether it's a -- living in Iraq, or right here at home, we care, deeply. And they know that. And they're trying to get us out of there, is what they're trying to do, for a strategic objective. They want to be able to continue their war against freedom-loving people, with Iraq as the base.

We got our own strategy. We got a strategy for victory. Our troops -- we've got incredibly brave troops -- are hunting these people down and bringing them to justice. We're training the Iraqis so they can fight -- take the fight to the enemy alongside of us. Our motto is this -- it's important for you to understand -- as Iraqis stand up, we stand down. That means as they become more and more capable. It's up to them to take the fight to the enemy, with our help. It's up to them to be on the front lines of dealing with these people.

We're also going to defeat the enemy because they have no vision for the future that's positive. You can't be successful in convincing people to follow you if your vision is so dark and so dim as that of the terrorists. They have nothing to offer except violence.

We've got something to offer, and that's freedom. And freedom is powerful. I believe this -- (applause.) I believe this. At the heart of my belief is, one, there's an Almighty; and two, that freedom is a gift from the Almighty God to each man and woman in this world. That's what I believe. (Applause.) Freedom is not exclusively American; freedom is universal. And last January, the people of Iraq showed the universality of that freedom. It seems like a decade ago, doesn't it, since those 8.5 million people went to vote, but it wasn't all that long ago. And a lot of people around the world didn't believe that there was this great desire to be free. And yet, 8.5 million people showed up to the polls. They said, we want to be free. We want something other than the dark vision of these cold-blooded killers, people who kill our children, and kill police, and kill aid workers, and try to kill coalition forces.

And now the people have come together in difficult circumstances, and written a constitution. And it's a good constitution. It's a constitution written with compromise, not with guns. It's a constitution where they're trying to overcome years of brutality because of a tyrant. And then the people are going to go to the polls again and vote for a government. No matter how many car bombs there are, these terrorists cannot stop the march of freedom in Iraq. (Applause.)

But that march of freedom is not contained to Iraq only. I don't know if you paid attention to it the other day, this past weekend, but the Afghan people went to the polls again. They had a successful presidential election; now they voted for the parliament. It's amazing progress in a country that not all that long ago was a safe haven for Osama bin Laden and his plotters, that plotted the September the 11th attacks.

But freedom isn't -- the march of freedom isn't contained in Afghanistan alone. We saw the march of freedom take place in Lebanon, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, and Georgia. These examples of freedom are inspiring others. Freedom is universal; people want to live in freedom, and the more the world becomes free, those who live in darkness will demand the light of freedom. And as freedom advances, we're laying the foundation of peace for our children and our grandchildren. (Applause.) Thank you all. Thank you. Thank you.

This isn't easy work. I see the members of Congress are still here, halfway through the speech. (Laughter.) I want to remind you it's not easy, what we're doing. But it's necessary. It's the calling of our time. It's an opportunity to say, we've done our duty. It's an opportunity to say we made this country safer, and we made the world better.

I got a partner in peace in Ariel Sharon. I've been impressed by his leadership. Sam mentioned the time when the RJC flew four governors -- and I happened to be one -- to the Holy Land. And we went to a briefing by the government of Israel then, and one of the Cabinet members was Ariel Sharon. And after the briefing he introduced himself. He said, would you like to go on a helicopter ride and take a look at the West Bank. I said, "Are you flying?" No -- (laughter.) I said, you bet.

It's interesting how history works, isn't it? In 1998, fall of 1998, the future President of the United States and the future Prime Minister of Israel were flying across the -- across that country, with him describing to me how to keep Israel secure. A couple of lessons I took away from there -- is, one, you know, how tiny the country is. You know, a guy from Texas, we got a lot of space there -- there's not a lot of space there. How vulnerable Israel can be. I also came away with the strong impression about how strong the people there -- not only want to defend themselves, but how much they love democracy, that democracy is a critical part of their existence.

Ariel Sharon has shown great leadership, and he made a tough and courageous decision. He decided to withdraw from Gaza. I'll never forget when he came and told me that. My immediate reaction was, this is a bold step for peace, Mr. Prime Minister, and I support you. (Applause.) He saw it, and I think I did, too, at the time, that such a decision would really force the world to recognize that only true peace will come when we defeat terrorism and establish democracy.

And so now there's an opportunity. And the opportunity rests with the Palestinian people to show that they can govern themselves in a peaceful way.

The policy of this government is to streamline the security forces so there's only one authority with security forces, and that's the authority that campaigned based upon a peace platform. The policy of this government is to help entrepreneurship flourish, to help small businesses start. The Arab world needs to help right now. They need to step in and help the peaceful democratic forces within the Palestinian -- within Gaza, to thwart those whose stated objective is the destruction of Israel.

The United States of America is firmly committed to defending the security and the well-being of our ally, Israel. (Applause.) And we'll work with our friends in the region and throughout the world to achieve the peace that all want. My hope is that someday there will be two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, living side-by-side in peace. (Applause.)

These are historic times, and they're challenging, but I've got to tell you, I've got great hope, too, for the future. You know, in our response to terror and tragedy, we have seen how great suffering can awaken an even greater love -- and we've been reminded there is no evil from which our Creator cannot draw forth greater good. You know, the attacks of September the 11th really causes us to be more determined than ever to defend our way of life. And it also gave us an opportunity to advance the cause of freedom that were previously unthinkable. And out of the horror of Katrina is going to come a rebirth for parts of our country that -- that will mean people down there will be able to live with greater hope and prosperity -- the hope of prosperity -- than ever before.

It's such an honor to be the President of a country that not only deals with our adversity, but is able to create good out of the adversity we face. And the reason why we're able to is we've got a indomitable spirit, and we've got a land full of people that are incredibly generous and strong and compassionate. And I appreciate being in a room full of such people.

I want to thank you for your friendship, thank you for the love of America. May God bless you all.

The Northernmost Jew: 1. Before I Go

The Northernmost Jew: 1. Before I Go: "Everyone says that since I am going to Deering, Alaska to teach, I should keep a blog. So this is it.

I tried to get candle lighting times for Deering, but it is too far north, and the program crashed. It is about 20 miles south of the arctic circle, so theoretically the sun rises and sets every day. I will contact the rabbi of the Chabad in Anchorage to ask."

Simplicity: Featured Blog: Chabad Hurricane Relief

Simplicity: Featured Blog: Chabad Hurricane Relief: "In a speech 9/20/05 to the Republican Jewish Coalition, President Bush cited
Chabad's work in the Katrina affected region as an example of America's armies
of compassion coming to the aid of those in need. "

Thoughts on Parshat Ki Tavo

Israel Hasbara Committee

Thoughts on Parshat Ki Tavo
A weekly Torah column from the OU’s Torah Tidbits

By Menachem Persoff

Parshat Ki Tavo reintroduces us to the command to bring First Fruits to the Bet Mikdash in Yerushalayim. This ritual was accompanied by much pomp and ceremony as the throngs gathered from all around the country for the poignant moment at which they would present their fruit baskets to the Kohen. The ceremony would climax in a moving declaration of gratitude to G-d for his eternal role as the Guide of Jewish history.

Indeed, one of the central themes picked up by the commentators is that of Hakarat Hatov, the declaration of thanks for Hashem’s bounty. But it is more than that. The Torah begins with the word “Bereishit” – ‘in the beginning’ – implying, according to the Midrash Rabbah, that the world was created for the Reishit, these first fruits brought by Bnei Yisrael.

The Abarbanel explains: More than any other mitzva, this command infuses into man’s consciousness that, “The earth, and all that is in it, is the Lord’s” (Psalms 24:1). By recognizing that the source of everything stems from Hashem, one is intrinsically accepting the yolk of the Kingdom of Heaven. That is one of the key elements of Judaism, one of the pillars on which all faith rests.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe noted that there is reciprocity involved in the ceremony. For by bringing the First Fruits to the Temple and displaying to G-d the product of His fields, Hashem, in return, confers His blessings on the people. May it be His will.

Source: Torah Tidbits, OU Israel Center.

Posted by with permission of the OU.

Edited by IHC Staff,

Israel Hasbara Committee -
You can find this article online at〈=

Arabs Establish Outpost on Hevron's Ancient Jewish Cemetery

Arutz Sheva -

Arabs Establish Outpost on Hevron's Ancient Jewish Cemetery
Wednesday, September 21, 2005 / 17 Elul 5765

In a provocation aimed at Hevron’s Jewish community, Arabs in Hevron have put down two trailers on one of the ancient city’s Jewish cemeteries.

Hevron’s Jewish community awoke Wednesday morning to discover that two caravan trailer homes had been placed on an ancient Jewish Ashkenazi cemetery frequented by the Chabad-Lubavitch movement due to the fact that Menucha Rochel, the grand daughter of the first Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, is buried there.

The cemetery had been destroyed during the years following the violent riots in 1929 during which Jews were thrown out of the city. It is now an empty area where Arab residents frequently throw garbage and refuse, with the grave of Menucha Rochel refurbished and cared for by a Chabad kollel [full-time Torah study group] that studies at the site daily.

The Jewish community re-purchased the entire area of the cemetery years ago, but has not built anything on the site, which is now the border between the city’s H1 area, controlled by the Palestinian Authority - and the H2 area, under IDF control.

The caravans placed on the cemetery are on the PA-controlled H1 side, however, and the Civil Administration, which usually acts to prevent unauthorized Jewish building, refuses to do anything to remove the structures.

Hevron’s Jewish community is outraged at the development. “Number one, it is 100 percent Jewish-owned land,” said Hevron spokesman David Wilder. “Number two, we have been told the Arabs intend to build a school at the site, which is a very serious security problem. There is a Chabad kollel there every afternoon and to have something so close is a mortal threat.”

Asked whether recent visits by left-wing MKs and declarations by left-wing radical groups that they would establish a headquarters to “defend” the Arabs of the Tel Romeida neighborhood in Hevron from Jews and the IDF may have played a role in the development, Wilder was not certain.

“I don’t know either way,” said Wilder, “but whenever the leftists come here in a provocative manner, it has always opened the door for things such as terror attacks to happen, because the terrorists see that they have support from these people for their goals and it whets their appetite.”

The Jews of Hevron say they will not allow the desecration of the cemetery to stand. “As the government uproots Jews and abandons holy sites, threatening expel Jews even from their inheritance in Hevron, the Arabs continue their stealing of land and desecration of Hevron’s ancient cemetery," said Hevron mayor Noam Arnon. "Until now, the area was guarded, but today it was suddenly abandoned. We demand the removal of the trespassers immediately.”

Post #212

Gematria Rebbe

A tourist view

Llegamos a la tienda, B&H (, especializada en electrónica, fotografía y video. Todos los dependientes son judíos. La mayor parte son judíos ortodoxos (lubavitch) por lo que llevan trenzas, barba y un pequeño sombrerito, puesto que para un judío siempre debe haber algo situado entre su cabeza y Dios. Preguntamos a un dependiente si habla español, y nos dirige hacia otro vendedor de un mostrador cercano, Federico, originario de Asturias, y con menos pinta de judío que ninguno. Cada uno compramos una tarjeta de 512 Mb, el precio es similar a España. En los 6 dias haremos más de 1.400 fotos entre los dos, una media de más de 200 fotos al dia. Al salir de B&H hay grupitos de judíos con las levitas negras, barbas, sombreros... son pintorescos, parece que fueran disfrazados.

We arrive at the store, B&H (, specialized in electronics, photography and video. All the clerks are Jews. The majority are orthodox Jews (lubavitch) for which they carry tresses, beard and a small one sombrerito, since for a Jew should always have something situated between its head and God. We ask a clerk if speaks Spanish, and directs us toward another salesperson of a nearby counter, Federico, native of Asturias, and with less paints of Jew that none. Each one we buy a card of 512 Mb, the price is similar to Spain. In the 6 you gave we will do more than 1.400 photos between the two, an average of more than 200 photos al I gave. Al to leave B&H there is grupitos of Jews with the black coats, beards, hats... they are picturesque, I seems that to be disguised.

Chabad Hurricane Relief: August 2005

Chabad Hurricane Relief: August 2005

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Torah Blog

Torah Blog
About 30 years ago, Rabbi Vorst was starting his job as the Chabad representative in Holland. Right before Passover, Rabbi Vorst got a phone call from the Lubavitch Headquarters in Brooklyn, New York. Rabbi Hadokov, who was the Rebbe's personal secretary, told Rabbi Vorst that the Rebbe wants him to go to a small town and give shmura matza (handmade matza) to the Jew that lived in the town. Rabbi Vorst agreed to the task and asked Rabbi Hadokov for the Jew's name. Rabbi Hadokov replied by saying that the Rebbe didn't tell him the Jew's name. But Rabbi Hadokov informed him that once he goes to the town he will find the Jew. Rabbi Vorst explained that the town was very far away and he was busy preparing for the upcoming Passover Seder and he didn't even believe that there were any Jews in that town. But Rabbi Hadokov told him that he must go.

So the next morning Rabbi Vorst set out on his trip to this little town, which took serveral hours to get there. Once he got there, Rabbi Vorst spent additional hours looking for the Jew but was unable to find any Jew there. As Rabbi Vorst was getting ready to leave and give up, he stopped at the local gas station to get petrol for his return trip. The gas station attendent asked what brought Rabbi Vorst to this town, which he replied with his story. The gas station attendent told Rabbi Vorst that he believes that a Jew works in the local butcher shop.

So Rabbi Vorst figured that he has nothing to lose and he set off to the local butcher shop. As soon as Rabbi Vorst entered the butcher shop, the man working behind the counter took one look at Rabbi Vorst and fainted.

When the man recovered he told the Rabbi his story. The man and his mother were the only Holocaust survivors from his family and that they moved to this little town in Holland to get away from further persecution. The man went on to say that no matter what his mother would tell, she always would say to him that he must remain loyal to his faith and not to forget that he was a Jew. Many years went on with the man living in this small town with his mother and he passed away a few years before this story takes place. The kept telling that he will always his mother's words about remaining loyal to his faith. The man also said that the local priest would come in the butcher shop once in a while, but lately he was coming in more and more and he was talking to the man about converting. At first the man said that it was totally out of the question, but as time went on and the priest would keep coming back into the store and telling the man that G-D had abandoned and he must convert for him to find G-D again. So the man finally agreed to convert, although he didn't really want too. He told the priest that he should give him three days to think it over.

The man kept praying to G-D during those three days to ask G-D for a sign that he should remain Jewish, however he got no sign from G-D. On the third day with just hours away to his deadline, the man prayed even more and more asking G-D for more signs. Until finally the deadline was just an hour away, 50 minutes left, 40 minutes left, 30 minutes left, 20 minutes left. At 5:45 PM the man got ready to close up the store (the store closed at 6:00 PM and the deadline was 6:00 PM). At 5:55 PM, just five minutes away from the deadline, Rabbi Vorst walked into the door with matza in his hand. Rabbi Vorst was amazed at the story and he invited the man back to his seder that he was having, the man agreed and attended the seder.

Twenty five years later, Rabbi Vorst was in Israel at the wedding of a family member and he was praying at the Western Wall, when a man ran up to him and ask the Rabbi if he remembers him. It turns out that the man was the sole Jew from that little Holland town. The man went on to tell the Rabbi that he moved to Israel, got married, and now has a famiy. The man told the Rabbi that he owns everything to Rabbi Vorst.

[Adapted by Yrachmiel Tilles from the rendition of Rabbi Herschel Finman in his weekly e-mail "The Torah e-Parsha"]

posted by Shlomo Lieb Goldman | 1:38 PM

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Update from Rav Kaduri / Correction / Invalidation

Update from Rav Kaduri / Correction / Invalidation
In a previous post (here) I posted some information attributed to the holy master kabbalist, HaRav Yitzchok Kaduri, shlita, that stated an imminent prediction for natural disasters and a suggestion to move to Israel to avoid this.
Today, Rabbi Brody of Lazer Beams received some information that the source of this quote from Rabbi Kaduri was not accurate and gave Rabbi Brody direct contact information for Rabbi Kaduri. Here's what he found:
Since this morning, I received six letters claiming that Yehoshua Meiri is not a bona fide spokesman for Rav Kaduri shlit'a. One person put me in contact with Shimon Tetrashvilli, Rav Kaduri's personal attendant and bodyguard, as well as close associate of Rabbi Yisrael Kaduri, Rav Kaduri's grandson. Shimon, with the approval of Rav Yisrael Kaduri, dictated the following statement:
1. No one is a bona fide spokesman for Rav Yitzchak Kaduri shlit'a.
2. Accept only what you hear from Rav Kaduri first hand.
3. Although Rav Kaduri recognizes the value of making aliya, he has not called for immediate massive aliya. Indeed, the Rav continues to bless many of his followers who choose to remain abroad.
4. No website is sanctioned to speak in Rav Kaduri's name.
5. Rav Kaduri has not predicted or forecasted any natural disasters other than what appears already in the writings of the Navi'im (prophets).So, though some like to make jokes about it, turns out the mistake is believing everything they read and not giving anyone the benefit of the doubt.Assuming the above statement itself can be believed, the web site Kaduri.Net (hebrew) is also an unreliable source. Some have also noted that there are those collecting in the name of Rabbi Kaduri or to "get a request for blessing" to him. It would seem (and this isn't surprising) that they're not 'authorized'. Hashem YeRachem.(This site has some pictures and info about Rabbi Kaduri.)Tagged Topic(s): ,
Jewish Hurricane Relief - Click - Fix Israel! ClickThis article was posted on the Mystical Paths blog, If you're reading it somewhere else without an attribution, then it's without permission. Please check it out at the source, click here!

Monday, September 19, 2005

ThE bLoG: Merkoz Shlichus to Arkansas.

ThE bLoG: Merkoz Shlichus to Arkansas.: "Merkoz Shlichus to Arkansas.
Next week on Thursday I will be flying out of Newark Intl. Airport on my way to Little Rock, Arkansas. I will be based out of Little Rock for the most part of the three following weeks. We will be traveling around Little Rock, Fayetteville, Bentonville, Fort Smith, and other cities in Arkansas, as well as different cities in the states of Tennessee and Mississippi. Packed up with our portable burner, boxes and boxes of pasta, and a suitcase full of Jewish books in the trunk we will head out to a new destination everyday in the hopes of finding Jewish people to help with their observance of the Jewish Religion. I will be posting about daily findings and accomplishments."

Y o s s i !: MAZAL TOV!

Y o s s i !: MAZAL TOV!
Today I become a shliach!

After the longest wait of may life (as of aug.25 ‘05) I finally found out where I’ll be going on shlichus Bez”h for this year.

Yes that’s right after the news started coming thro I decided to become active (in the quest to find out my shlichus) as opposed to passive, and I called R’ Wenger at 7:00pm local time (in LA) –about 10:00pm in Montreal and the rabbi got strait to the point an notified me that I’ll be going to SOUTH AFRICA to R’ Wagner’s (not to be mixed up with Wenger) yeshivah, and that he thinks that they are expecting me around Rosh Chodesh Elul !? (10 days fom today and only 4 3 days from when I get home)

He said that the guys I will be going with are my Chavrusa Yankee Denberg and my cousin Avi Gniwisch and he says that we are the only guys going (to SA) from Montreal (at least as of this evening)

Please leave your thoughts comments and congratulatory remarks by clicking the “comments button” under the post.

-Burbank CA.

Chasidim Refuse to Set Timetable for Lakewood Withdrawal

Chasidim Refuse to Set Timetable for Lakewood Withdrawal

LAKEWOOD, NEW JERSEY - [] The sect of chasidim that have infiltrated Lakewood said today that they understand and respects the views of those who are calling for them to cut short their incursion, but warned that an immediate withdrawal would send a terrible signal to the litvaks.

“The litvaks would like nothing better than to see us cut short our attempt to teach them how to properly live their lives,” a chasid told reporters.

While the chasidim said that they would withdraw from Lakewood “soon,” they refused to set a timetable for their departure from the town, saying that much work there still needs to be done.

The chasidim, who have been spending much of their occupation condemning hemlines of the women in the neighborhood, said that they are making great progress in training Lakewoodians to take over that job for them, but cautioned that they are not yet prepared to do the job themselves.

“Once the Lakewoodians have shown that they are able to subjugate women on their own, we will withdraw from Lakewood, but that day has not yet come,” the chasidim said.

The chasidim were dismissive of polls showing that the public think their current stay is becoming a quagmire, much like their August 2001 invasion of Midwood.

In Williamsburg, spokesman Abraham Isaac defended the Chauvinister Rebbe's decision to keep his delegates in Lakewood indefinitely: “The Lakewoodians have much to learn. They don't police women's necklines enough. Also, far too few men are in kollel, many are actually supporting their families with these job things. We will stay until these Lakewoodians can properly live the correct Torah life on their own.” (Martin Bodek)

© 2005 All rights reserved. This material may be published, broadcast or redistributed as long as all the content remain intact, including this paragraph.