Thursday, April 28, 2016

Some Chol HaMoed Pics/Video in Jerusalem

Free Matzot for those visiting the Old City coutesy of Ateret Cohanim:

Some pics from King David's tomb.

Nice threads:

Outside the Old City near Jaffa Gate:

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Old Passover Posts

Browsing through the archives I found the following which may be of interest:

What to say, and what not to say at the seder table: Pesach=Peh-Sach

Gratitiude: Hakarat Hatov

Getting ready: Preparing For Passover

Some things never change: Blogger's Pre-Passover Guilt Trip

I would like to hear Yaakov Shwekey and Yonatan Razel sing this one: A New Song For the Passover Seder

Have a happy and Kosher Passover!

Monday, April 18, 2016

American Jews and Israel

I have been known to bemoan the state of American Jewry on this blog. This impending decline of non-Orthodox Jewry was well evident many years ago. There were those who spoke up about it, but they were ignored by the masses and villified by the establishment, much like Jeremiah the prophet before the destruction of the First Temple.

The decay of American Jewry has of course had an effect on its relation with the State of Israel, I recommend reading a series of essays at Mosaic Magazine that deal with the topic:

If American Jews and Israel Are Drifting Apart, What's the Reason?

How American Jews Have Detached Themselves from Jewish Memory

Unspoken Reasons for the American Jewish Distancing from Israel

Israel: The Canvas on Which American Jews Project Their Hopes and Fears

Dear American Jews:

"The Holy One Blessed Be He gave three good gifts to Israel, and all of them He did not give except through affliction, and they are: Torah, and the Land Of Israel, and the World To Come.(Berachot 5A)"
The time has come! You have been given three special gifts! Come and claim them!

Update: Rabbi Alderstein also took notice.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Only Good Tidings

R' Yisrael Rosenberg talks about his book, Rak Besorot Tovot (Only Good Tidings):

Here's an English transcript of the interview:

Arutz 2 Interview – English Transcript - The Menachem Toker Show, March 7, 2016

Menachem Toker, Host: Yisrael Rosenberg has published a book called, “Rak Besorot Tovot” (“Only Good News”), that collects within it all the positive prophecies of the Prophets of Israel. I understand that anyone who reads it – feels good.


Yisrael Rosenberg: That’s the idea. I came to Israel, and I didn’t know that within the Hebrew Bible, there are many good stories. I learned Hebrew, and began to read within the Hebrew Bible; and I saw that all the future of the People of Israel is only good! And I thought it was worthwhile that people would see this, and understand that we have a fantastic future.

Menachem: It is a book that essentially where you selected only the good sayings, the positive elements from the Hebrew Bible, right? Read me something. I need to feel good before breakfast.

Yisrael: With pleasure. I took from a number of prophets, and this is Ezekiel.

“So says the Lord God: In My ingathering of the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they have been scattered, and I have been sanctified through them in the eyes of the nations; then they will dwell on their land that I gave to My servant, to Jacob.

And they will dwell upon it securely, and they will build houses, and plant vineyards, and dwell securely; in my execution of judgments against all those who plunder them from all around them, then they shall know that I am the God their Lord." (Ezekiel, Chapter 28, Verses 25, 26)

Menachem: Wow! How beautiful! You were a senior consultant for an international information management company, right? You lived in Boston with your family?

Yisrael: Yes.

Menachem: While will this book give us … OK, we know that it will give us good things, but how will this influence ME, in my soul?

Yisrael: I think it’s very important to understand that we are in the middle of a very difficult period. The Rabbis of the Talmud told us that it would be hard. But – the Hebrew Prophets promise, in many different places, it will be good for the Nation of Israel and the whole world. We must continue with all the efforts that we are making – religious, not religious; Oriental Jews, Ashkenazim; [the differences are] not important – the Nation of Israel together is working on these things, and we will continue forward, and we will see good.


“The glory of this last House will be greater than the first one, said the Lord of Hosts. And in this place I will grant peace.” (Haggai, Chapter 2, Verse 9).

It came out good, it came out good for me. I just opened it … Why don’t you open it too? What you open is what you read. Four or five words. Something positive. We want to be able to leave here with … to bring to our viewers here some positive energy and a positive atmosphere from this show …

What are you looking at? Read what you see!

Liron Sharon: Nope. Didn’t come out good for me.

Menachem: It couldn’t be. Not with the book “Only Good News”!

Liron: Oh!

“And the tree of the field will give forth its fruit, and the land will give forth its produce, and they will be on their land in security.” (Ezekiel Chapter 26, Verse 27)

Menachem: See! Peace, fruit –

Yisrael: There are actually five things - I didn’t know this. I came from outside the Land of Israel. We didn’t learn the Hebrew Bible; that was for the gentiles to learn. We Jews were ‘above’ that kind of thing. :-)

But when I came to Israel and learned Hebrew, suddenly I understood that there are five things that the prophets actually say. They say that:

1. There will be an ingathering of the Exiles to the Land of Israel,

2. There will be ‘Return’, meaning the coming close of the People of Israel to the Holy One, May He Be Blessed [God], in every possible way. I’m not talking about any one direction. Every individual will come closer, as an individual and with the collective, to the Holy One, May He Be Blessed,

3. There will be a leader that will bring the Nation of Israel together, unite them, and he will succeed.

4. There will be a complete prosperity in the Land of Israel, first of all, like you [Liron] said, agriculturally, but also economically, technologically, everything will prosper.

5. And in the end, like you [Menachem] said, the magic word:

Menachem: Peace!

Yisrael: There will be Peace!

Menachem: Peace and Love! Thank you very much, Yisrael Rosenberg. ​

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