Thursday, 26 February 2009


Peer Who Texted In Car Jailed For 12 Weeks

Lord Ahmed has been jailed for 12 weeks for dangerous driving after sending and receiving text messages from his car on a motorway.

Lord Ahmed arrives at court for a previous hearing

The 51-year-old peer pleaded guilty to driving dangerously on the M1 near Rotherham, South Yorkshire, on Christmas Day last year.

His Jaguar later hit an Audi which had stopped in the fast lane of the motorway in an incident which killed Slovakian Martyn Gombar.

But the judge at Sheffield Crown Court made it clear the text messaging had finished before the accident happened and was not connected to the fatal incident.

Mr Justice Wilkie said the exchange of messages with a journalist amounted to a conversation, which took place as the peer was travelling at around 60mph over a 17.8-mile stretch of the southbound carriageway.

The accident in which 28-year-old Mr Gombar died happened close to junction 35 of the motorway.

He had crashed his Audi minutes earlier and is thought to have been trying to retrieve his mobile phone from the vehicle when it was hit.

Subsequent tests showed he had been drinking and crashed his car into the central reservation, spinning it round.

As Lord Ahmed approached the Audi, it was facing the wrong way, straddling the two outermost lanes in total darkness.

But the judge said the peer's text message conversation ended 1.86 miles, or two minutes, before the collision.

He told Lord Ahmed: "It is of the greatest importance that people realise what a serious offence dangerous driving of this type is."

He concluded: "I have come to the conclusion that by reason of the prolonged, deliberate, repeated and highly dangerous driving for which you have pleaded guilty, only an immediate custodial sentence can be justified."

After jailing him, the judge also imposed a one-year driving ban and ordered the peer to pay £500 prosecution costs.

Lord Ahmed, who lives in Rotherham, has undertaken a number of high-profile roles for the Government.

These include negotiating with the president of Sudan to help secure the release of Liverpool teacher Gillian Gibbons.

He will serve half of his 12-week sentence.

Palestinian girl: Hamas responsible for war


In Stealth Conflicts, just click in here:


Michael Slackman has a troubling piece in today's New York Times. He's been wandering around Cairo, talking to regular Cairenes (nothing intrinsically wrong with that), trying to understand what the Obama Administration must do if they are really listening to the Arabs and wish to mend bridges to them. His answer, in a nutshell, is to abandon the American perspective on terrorism. According to the Arabs, terrorism is the word used by the Americans for what Arabs do, even though the real terrorists are the Americans themselves, and much worse than them, the Israelis.

I have no doubt this is indeed what most Arabs feel - nay: fervently and devoutly believe. They also believe Jews murder non-Jewish children for their blood, for example. The antisemitism the Arab world is drenched in these days can only be compared to the worst version of the Nazi form of it in its severity. It makes the antisemitism of the Guardian look like a mild case of benign and harmless distaste. I'm not saying this for the hyperbole. The Arab world really and truly is awash in Nazi-like hatred of the Jews; a fact Michael Slackman is totally unaware of (or he's aware and willfully disregarding, or he's aware and uncaring - so let's assume he's merely an ignoramus). So his article is totally lacking in context, lacking in history, but most peculiarly, it's also lacking in moral fiber. His thesis is "Hey, these people think we're hypocrites, so we're going to have to bend over backwards to prove to them we're not, including changing how we see the world and behave in it, otherwise they won't like us!"

Craven, silly, and of course dangerous. For the Americans, I mean.

Contrast his thoughtlessness to the long interview Michelle Sieff has just published with Paul Berman. (I was directed to it by Jefferey Goldberg's valuable blog). Berman is one of the last representatives of a politically Left worldview that was admirable, humane, and the sort of intellectual home a fellow could feel proud to be in. Alas, it's a dying breed. Anything he writes is always valuable; this interview is by far the most important thing anyone has formulated on the Israeli-Hamas war, on contemporary antisemitism, and on where we are. It's absolutely excellent. Long, but mandatory reading. It starts out excellent, then gets better. Here's a section from the middle:

Oh, as Irving Howe said, "There is no heart so warm that it doesn't have a cold spot for the Jews." We like to think of hatred of the Jews as a low, base sentiment that is entertained by nasty, ignorant people, wallowing in their own hatefulness. But normally it's not like that. Hatred for the Jews has generally taken the form of a lofty sentiment, instead of a lowly one - a noble feeling embraced by people who believe they stand for the highest and most admirable of moral views.

Unlike journalism, this one is by someone deeply immersed in historical context.

taken from : Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations (


Posted by Mordechai Friedfertig

Q: My neighborhood (in Israel) has so many cats. They recently changed the garbage cans and the cats cannot open them. They are literally starving. It is permissible for me to buy them food with "ma'aser" money?A: The huge amount of cats in Israel is a known problem. They are also a great benefit since – in their merit – there are hardly any mice and snakes. At the same time, we need to solve this problem and reduce their population by spreading chemicals in their food which will prevent reproduction. But "ma'aser" money is for the poor: first for poor Jews, then for non-Jews and only then for animals. Mercy for animals is certainly important but we must first be merciful to people. The proper order of concern is first people and then the cats.
taken from : Torat HaRav Aviner (


Posted by Mordechai Friedfertig

NOTE: This has been Rav Aviner's stated position for years.See Be-Ahavah U-Be-Emunah vol. 3 #44 and Am Ve-Artzo vol. 2 #55

Rabbi Aviner in the News:Visiting Nazi Death Camps Forbidden
By Kobi Nahshoni – from 1 Adar 5769 –

Educational school trips to the Nazi death camps in Poland have become common among most Jewish sectors in Israel, but prominent Zionist Rabbi Shlomo Aviner recently claimed that they are in fact forbidden for halachic reasons, and urged schools to cancel them.

Answering a reader's question on the subject in the religious "Ma'ayaney Hayeshua" journal, Aviner stated that trips to Poland were "not good" due to the halachic ban on leaving Eretz Israel, and because they "provide livelihood to murderers."

In a conversation with Ynet, [Rav] Aviner explained: "As is well known, leaving Israel is permitted only for the sake of mitzvah, while visiting the death camps is not defined as a mitzvah by the Halacha. There are important figures and great rabbis who have not visited there.

"Clearly what happened in the Holocaust must be remembered, but this can be done using films, books, the Yad Vashem museum and there are even the testimonies of survivors who are still alive," he stated.

And what about the emotional experience?

"I once told educators that in any case the impression vanishes after six months, like any other emotional experience with a short shelf life. They smiled and said that it actually fades away after three weeks.

"[Rav] Aviner also said that the trips have not been proven to have an "educational value." "For some this experience is very difficult and they come back utterly distraught," he added.

'Why should Nazi collaborators benefit?'
Another argument against visiting the camps, according to the rabbi, was the fact that the Polish people "collaborated with the Nazis" and were now making a living off of these visits. "I'm not busy holding a grudge against the Poles, but we shouldn't provide livelihood to people who allowed death camps to be built on their land and who are now making a profit out of it.

"They are not my friends and I don't want to support them."

According to [Rav] Aviner, it was not accidental that the Nazis chose to erect the extermination camps in Poland. "They knew that the people would do nothing. One person was enough to blow up the railroad tracks. Why wasn't this done? Because they all said, 'good,' smiled and waited for what needed to be done to be done by the Nazis.

"Many Jews who escaped from the camps were later murdered outside by the Polish resistance. When the Jews came back to the city their housees were inhabited and they faced a pogrom. To this day trials are being held against Poles who stole houses," he concluded.
taken from : Torat HaRav Aviner (


This country has its own Pinocchio, known as "Pinocrates", he also is a P.M. but this one isn't in the mood to resign. Never mind, elections are coming.
The translation :
"I'm going to create 150.000 jobs"
This image was taken from an outdoor panel of the youth organization of one of the oposition's parties - the social democrat party (P.S.D.)
He's a big liar, believe me !!!

Israel Matzav: Surprise! Hamas smuggling anti-aircraft missiles, Grad rockets plastic explosives during de facto 'ceasefire'#links#links

Israel Matzav: Surprise! Hamas smuggling anti-aircraft missiles, Grad rockets plastic explosives during de facto 'ceasefire'#links#links

Israel Matzav: Obama's newest Israel basher#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Obama's newest Israel basher#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: 'You got it, you got it, you got it, you got it....'#links#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: 'You got it, you got it, you got it, you got it....'#links#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: 'There is no choice'#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: 'There is no choice'#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: 'Reformed' UN 'Human Rights Council' praises Saudi human rights record#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: 'Reformed' UN 'Human Rights Council' praises Saudi human rights record#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Photo of the day#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Photo of the day#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Knife-wielding cowboy arrested in Emek Yizrael#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Knife-wielding cowboy arrested in Emek Yizrael#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: What did he plan to do with them?#links#links

Israel Matzav: What did he plan to do with them?#links#links

Israel Matzav: 'The peace process has died'#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: 'The peace process has died'#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: The IAF already knows how to get there#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: The IAF already knows how to get there#links#links#links

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Israel Matzav: How you pay for Hamas' lobbyists#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Kids say the darndest things#links#links

Israel Matzav: Kids say the darndest things#links#links



By Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum

Torah Reading: TERUMAH Exodus 25:1-27:19Haftara I Kings 5:26-6:13.


From this week's parshah of TERUMAH onwards until the end of the book of Exodus -- five parshahs -- the central theme is the Sanctuary built by the Children of Israel in the Wilderness. The Sanctuary is the prototype of the Holy Temple destined to stand eternally in Yerushalayim.

This week's parshah explains the design of the Sanctuary and its vessels, while next week's parshah of TETZAVEH explains the garments that were to be worn by those who were to minister in that Sanctuary -- Aaron and his sons. TETZAVEH also explains the sacrificial rituals that were to inaugurate the Sanctuary and its priests.

After TETZAVEH comes KI TISA, which continues the explanation of the form of the Sanctuary vessels and the sacrifices. When this explanation is complete, KI TISA goes on to narrate the sin of the Golden Calf and how Moses secured atonement for the people through the 13 Attributes of Mercy.

Then come the last two parshahs of Exodus, VAYAKHEL and PEKUDEY, which explain how Bezalel and the other craftsmen actually constructed the Sanctuary and made the priestly clothes. VAYAKHEL and PEKUDAY repeat practically word for word some of the corresponding passages in TERUMAH and TETZAVEH. PEKUDEY then concludes the book of Exodus with the account of the inauguration of the Sanctuary and the priests on the New Moon of the first Nissan after the Exodus. This was exactly one year to the day since Moses received the first commandments while still in Egypt: the law of the New Moon and the Pesach sacrifice, prototype of Temple sacrifice.

At the close of TETZAVEH and Exodus, we read how G-d's Cloud of Glory dwelled constantly over the Sanctuary. Leviticus opens immediately with the Voice of G-d emanating to Moses from between the mouths of the Cherubs in the Holy of Holies, giving him the detailed laws of the Temple sacrifices.

From this overview of the remaining five parshahs of Exodus, we see that the subject of the Sanctuary -- central to the Torah and to the whole world -- is introduced in "sandwich" form. TERUMAH and TETZAVEH explain the intended form of the Sanctuary and priestly garments BEFORE they were executed, when they were in the "mind" and will of G-d. In the middle of the "sandwich" is the account of the sin of the Golden Calf and it's atonement through the 13 Attributes of Mercy. Then on the other side of the "sandwich" come VAYAKHEL and PEKUDEY, which tell how the Sanctuary IDEA was brought from POTENTIAL TO ACTUAL through the thirty-nine labors of the craftsmen who made it.

At the very center of this "sandwich" structure is the account of the sin of the Golden Calf -- which changed everything for the Children of Israel. In the heady days of the Exodus and the Giving of the Torah, the Children of Israel were elevated to the greatest heights. Then suddenly, forty days after hearing the Voice of G-d at Sinai, in one single orgy they sank to the lowest depths of degradation. From then on they had to learn the terrible pain of retribution, suffering and contrition. This was a loss of innocence parallel to the eating of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

But God had already prepared the remedy before the illness. Indeed, we might even say that the illness was sent with the very purpose of revealing the great power of the remedy. The remedy for sin is repentance, which saves man from himself and brings him back to the One G-d, bringing him atonement -- AT-ONE-MENT. The penitential "system" of the Torah is contained within the Sanctuary and its sacrificial rituals, which are a teaching to mankind about how man draws close (KaRoV) to G-d through his KORBAN ("sacrifice") -- literally, his "coming close". As the way of repentance for having elevated wealth to the status of a god, man is commanded to take gold, silver, copper and the richest fabrics in order to glorify and magnify the One True G-d. Man is taught how to configure the materials of this world so that instead of separating him from G-d through idolatrous uses and configurations, they will serve to draw him ever closer, until G-d Himself "dwells" with man.

TERUMAH and TETZAVEH present us the Sanctuary and sacrificial IDEA before we have even learned about sin. The lesson of the Golden Calf in KI TISA is harsh. But it is sweetened, because immediately after Moses secured atonement for Israel through the 13 Attributes of Mercy, the very next day he assembled the people and told them to bring gifts of materials and to get busy making the ACTUAL sanctuary, as told in VAYAKHEL and PEKUDEY. Thus the bitterness of sin in KI TISA is "sandwiched" between the sweetness of TERUMAH & TETZAVEH (the Teshuvah IDEA in all its innocent purity) and VAYAKHEL and PEKUDEY (the ACTUALIZATION of Teshuvah in the Sanctuary in this world.) [This "sandwich" is reminiscent of how in Temple times, Hillel would eat his Pesach sacrifice with the bitter herbs in a "sandwich" with his Matza.]

The Torah never wastes a word or a single letter. It is therefore a great wonder that many of the passages about the Sanctuary, its vessels and the priestly garments that we read this week and next in TERUMAH and TEZTAVEH are, as mentioned, repeated almost word for word in VAYAKHEL and PEKUDEY. The "mirroring" of the explanation of the IDEA in the account of its ACTUALIZATION comes to communicate something that is at the very core of the Temple-Sanctuary idea. The Temple or Sanctuary are a "replica" and "mirror" of the Heavenly Sanctuary, which is in the "mind" or will of G-d. They are a "replica" in which the materials of this world -- metals, wood, fabrics, etc. -- are used to bring a "reflection" of heaven into the minds and consciousness of ordinary people.

In this way, what is "above" -- "in heaven" -- actually dwells and exists in material form in this world "below". And through this, "below" becomes "above". "And they will take for Me an offering. And they will make Me a Sanctuary, and I will dwell WITHIN THEM" (Ex. 25 vv. 2, 8).

* * *


"And you shall make THE boards for the Sanctuary from the wood of cedar trees STANDING upright" (Ex. 26:15). On this, Rashi comments: "It should have simply said, 'you shall make boards' in the same way as was said of everything else. What are 'THE boards'? These were boards from those that were STANDING ready for this. Jacob our father planted cedars in Egypt and before he died, he instructed his sons to take them up with them when they left Egypt, and he said that the Holy One was going to command them to build a Sanctuary in the wilderness" (Rashi ad loc.)

In the Midrash which Rashi here brings about the wood of the standing boards or beams of the Sanctuary -- the "bones" that enable the entire structure to stand up -- he underlines the conceptual connection between the Sanctuary idea and Jacob.

As discussed in UNIVERSAL TORAH commentaries on the parshahs in Genesis dealing with Jacob, it was he who made synthesis, order and structure out of the opposing polar tendencies of the two fathers and teachers in whose tents he sat -- Abraham (CHESSED, kindness and expansiveness) and Isaac (GEVURAH, power and restraint).

Jacob was the house-builder who built the House of Israel. And Jacob was a genius house-builder precisely because he understood domestic life perfectly. In his first appearance in the Torah (at the beginning of TOLDOS, Gen. 25:29) he is cooking lentil soup -- using the round lentils as a hint to his father Isaac (who was in mourning for the loss of Abraham, see Rashi) that life and death go in cycles. Jacob's grip on the heel of Esau indicates that Jacob possessed the power to take the simple things of this world (ASIYAH, Esau) and transform them into communicators of G-dliness.

Thus the components of the Sanctuary-Temple are the same as those of a home. It exists within a defined space, a court-yard, where curtains of modesty separate between what is outside (profane) and what is inside (holy).

The Sanctuary contains different areas. Its very heart is the hearth, the "kitchen". This is where the food is prepared (slaughter of animals) and cooked (on the "oven", the Altar). Within the "domestic quarters" of the House itself, there is a secluded, intimate living area with a lamp (the Menorah) and a table (the Show-bread Table), and a pleasant aroma (from the Incense Altar). Most secluded and intimate of all is the "bedroom", to which no-one except the most trusted has access. This is the Holy of Holies, where the "faithful of His house" may come "face to face" with the King in the height of prophecy.

The Sanctuary and Temple are replete with messages to us about how we must try to build our private homes and structure the lives we lead in them in ways that "reflect" G-dliness and enable G-d to dwell with us here in this world. This is how we lift up and elevate this world.

* * *


The sin of the Golden Calf pulled the Children of Israel down to the depths of degradation. But the remedy existed already from before: TERUMAH -- the elevation of mundane objects and materials, gold, silver, wood, fabrics -- through the service of G-d in "homely" ways.

The great beauty of the way of repentance that G-d has provided is that it enables man to repent with honor. Despite having sinned, man is invited to become a contributor. He is asked to give a TERUMAH -- to take the gold and silver that he has, the very thing with which sinned, and "contribute" and "elevate" it so that now it too has its proper place in what becomes a Sanctuary. Then the proper order is restored, and everything sings out the glory of G-d.

One of the ways we "contribute" is through the words of our daily prayers and blessings. For in essence, the Sanctuary is a House of Prayer. So too our homes should be filled with our blessings and thanks for all the good things of life that we enjoy and with our prayers for all of our needs.

King David (who prepared the way for the Temple) instituted that One Hundred Blessings should be recited daily (Rambam, Laws of Prayer 7:14). These hundred blessings (made up of the morning blessings, the thrice repeated Shmonah Esray, the blessings before and after two daily meals, etc.) correspond to the hundred ADNEY KESEF, "sockets of silver" (Ex. 26:19; Shaarey Orah). These ADNEY KESEF were the solid bases in which the "standing" boards that made up the Sanctuary walls were planted. These "sockets" of solid silver are what kept the boards upright. This silver came from the 100 KIKAR of silver contributed by the Children of Israel in response to the command with which our parshah of TERUMAH begins: "Let them take an offering.and silver" (Ex. 25:3 and Rashi ad loc.; Ex. 38:26-7).

KESEF, "silver", is related to the word for "longing" -- as in KISUFin. Thus 100 ADNEY KESEF alludes to the hundred times we bless the name of G-d (A-D-N-Y), our Lord, with longing and yearning for His holiness to dwell with us! This small "contribution" on our part is what keeps the entire Sanctuary standing!

MESHENICHNAS ADAR, MARBIN BESIMCHAH!!! "When Adar arrives, we maximize SIMCHAH!!!"

Shabbat Shalom UMevorach

Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum


PO Box 50037 Jerusalem 91500 Israel

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