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Eishes Chayil – Woman of Valor – Judaism

This may be a reason why Hashem seems to withhold from some people their finding of the “right one” for a long time. They should contemplate the need for a spouse and sincerely request Hashem’s assistance in their quest.

As Mishlei sums up this matter in an earlier chapter (18:22): “He who finds a wife finds good, and he obtains favor from Hashem!”

Her Value Is Far Greater than Pearls

The connection to the first part of the verse is now obvious. After a search, one realizes that a wife is far more valuable than all of the possible wealth in the world.

People tend to misjudge the value of the marriage relationship. A person may feel if he had made enough money, he could buy most of the services that he would need and manage without marriage. But Hashem knows better. “It is not good for man to be alone!” A wife is the “good” helpmate that is that is the greatest find he will ever discover. Let him make the best of it and utilize the opportunity fully by appreciating Hashem’s gift to him in fulfillment of the verse: ‘Rejoice with the wife of your youth” (Mishlei 5:18). If you have the right attitude and you work on understanding and appreciating Hashem’s ways, you will have cause to rejoice endlessly. However, one who rejects a pious and wise woman fails the test and loses the greatest wealth.

Practical Applications

First, this verse obligates us to continuously pray to Hashem for assistance in “finding.” Tehillim (32:6) teaches: ‘Let every pious person pray to You at a time of finding.” The Gemara (Berachos 8a) explains: “At the time of finding a wife.” Thus, we must pray first to find the right partner and then continue to pray all of our lives that we should appreciate the fantastic find that Hashem has provided for us.
Second, Berachos (8a) teaches that the Sages would ask everyone, soon after they were married, whether they had “found” a wife or whether they were “finding” a wife. This is explained as referring to either of these verses:

“One who found a wife has found goodness” (Mishlei 18:22)
“I find more bitter than death a woman” (Koheles 7:26)

This is puzzling. What is the purpose of the question? The Vilna Gaon explains that the difference lies in the tense of the word “found” or “finding.” The verse in Mishlei is worded in the past tense, whereas the verse in Koheles is worded in the present tense. This teaches us that our happiness is in our hands! If we decide to appreciate the great find that Hashem has bestowed on us, we are fortunate. However, one who is still seeking will find trouble. We must open our eyes and rejoice!

He Trusts

Her husband trusts her wholeheartedly, and (as a result) he does not lack any treasure. (31:11)

The word for trust (bitachon) is usually used in connection with trusting in Hashem. Thus, we may wonder why this verse considers it appropriate for a husband to put his trust in his wife?
This issue becomes even more surprising when we study the initial instruction Hashem gives man in regard to his relationship with his wife: “Therefore a man should forsake his father and his mother, and should cling (davak) to his wife, and they should become [as] one flesh” (Bereshis 2:24). The word “cling” is the same as that used in reference to “cling” to Hashem (Devarim 10:20). A man is instructed to form a bond with his wife to the degree that they become as inseparable as if they were one person.

Thus, man’s reliance on his wife is a directive (mitzvah) of the Torah, which teaches them to form a union. Together, as one unit, they trust solely in Hashem Who created them both and made them for each other.

Whole Heartedly

The emphasis that he trusts her with his heart indicates that it is not mere logical trust, but one that is deeply rooted in his emotions as well.

The Torah’s emphasis “They shall be as one flesh” and the Gemara’s expression “His wife is as his body” (Berachos 24a) indicate that a husband should consider his wife as actually apart of himself. Thus, his feelings towards her supersede, in a certain sense, even his relationship with his parents.
Why does the Torah describe marriage as “forsaking one’s parents” (Bereishis 2:24), when the Torah itself teaches as one of the Ten Commandments the obligation to always honor one’s parents? The answer is that your spouse is like you, and your care for yourself in a fulfillment of honoring your parents, who desire your completion and achievements in perfecting yourself.

No Lack of Treasure

Hashem’s gift of a mate is designed to provide countless benefits. We are expected to consider the many benefits and to be as appreciative and excited as one who finds infinite treasure!
The word shalal (treasure) usually refers to spoils that are gained by a victor in battle or an unexpected gain. She fulfills his expectations and then much more than he was able to imagine.

Good and Not Bad

She provides him with good and not bad, all the days of her life. (31:12)

How do we imagine a person so virtuous as to never cause someone harm? Is she an angel?
This refers us to the unique capacity inherent in a wife. The Torah reveals Hashem’s miracle of a woman serving as a “helpmate opposite him” (eizer k’negdo)(Bereishis 2:18). Only the Great Designer could fashion a help that serves also as an opposite. A man and his wife perfect each other through their differences. They were not made alike: “Women are a people to themselves” (Shabbos 62a). Each has his/her own ways and attributes, and each is intended by Hashem to serve as a test to the other. Each complements the other, so that each one can harmonize and develop his/her potential to the fullest in the service of Hashem. Thus, even a contentious wife is a precious gift from Heaven, meant as a test in the service of Hashem (as the Gemara illustrates in Yevamos 63).

When we understand the benefits intended by Hashem even from the seeming bad that occurs in this world, we realize that it is not bad at all. A challenge is good, for it helps elevate and perfect a person when he approaches life with the attitudes taught by the Torah.

In Summary

The first three verses are a general introduction to the subject.

A wife is:

1. the greatest treasure one can find, 2. reliable and trustworthy,

3. all good.

We continue now by itemizing some of her specific attributes in detail.

She seeks [to buy] Wool and Linen

She seeks [to buy] wool and linen, and she manufactures [does] them with willing hands. (31:13)

The word used here for seek (doreish) is generally used for seeking Hashem. We understand that a virtuous woman’s efforts, even in her daily tasks, are performed with the pure intentions of doing Hashem’s will. She is always serving Hashem by building a loyal home of service for Hashem. Thus, working with wool and linen is not an interruption from the service of Hashem, but rather an intrinsic part of the service. It is a form of seeking Hashem because it is done for His sake.

The phrase “and she does” (va’ta;as) is reminiscent of the expression “to do” (la’asos) in Bereishis (2:3), where Hashem ceased from the work He had created “to do.” The addition of “to do” includes the lesson that Hashem prepared the world for man to take over and do. He is responsible to develop the world and use it for the service of Hashem.

She Seeks Out Wool and Linen

This reference includes her concern to fulfill the prohibition against using materials that are combined of wool and linen – shatnes (VaYikra 19:19, Devarim 22:11). A person looking for a suitable garment will check the fabric, style, size, and many other considerations. But the Torah instructs us to consider the separation of wool and linen as a primary consideration. A Jew places this issue at the top of his list.

With Willing Hands

This Torah attitude is taught in the Talmud (Nedarim 19b): “How great is work!” The Mishnah (Avos, ch. 1) also inspires us to “love work!”

Practical Applications

We may ask why we begin with her efforts for clothing before that of food? There is an underlying explanation for the prohibition of shatnes (mixed wool and linen) that teaches a perspective for everything else that we do in life. Pirkei D’ Rebbe Eliezer (ch. 20) teaches that the offering of Cain contained flax (Bereishis 4:3), whereas the offering from Abel was from sheep, which included their wool. Cain’s offering was not accepted by Hashem, and he subsequently became the first to shed human blood. Thus, the prohibition against wearing shatnes includes the symbolic lesson that the offerings of Cain and Abel must not even mingle in the weave of a garment. In order to succeed in life, we must keep in mind the principle that one should not mingle with those of lesser virtue.

The way we dress and clothing we wear remind us of the need to stay apart, so that even when we go out to earn our daily bread, we follow the Torah’s guidance for all of our endeavors.

As a Merchant’s Ship

She was a merchant’s ship, bringing her bread even from a distance. (31:14)

What is the meaning of this metaphor? A ship may need to travel from place to place, even to great distances, to accumulate its load. It may also need to search for appropriate sources in order to secure adequate profits. The virtuous wife is also committed to her tasks in a determined way, to do whatever is required of her and more.

Bringing Her Bread

The process of obtaining bread is demanding: “By the sweat of your brow you shall eat bread” (Bereishis 3:19). One of the reasons for this requirement is that it helps protect one from sin (Avos 2:2). Thus, it is an ideal that she is actively involved in positive causes to avoid “idleness which leads to immorality” (Kesubos 39b). Toiling for a livelihood is referred to as the yoke of derech eretz (worldly responsibilities) (Avos 3:5), which also means decent behavior.

While It Was Still Night

And she arose while it was still night, to give food to her household and a portion to her servants.
(31:15)

The Midrash (Yalkut Shimoni) relates this verse to “And Avraham arose early in the morning” (Bereishis 22:3). The righteous are energetic to rise as soon as possible to serve Hashem with alacrity. She rose at an early hour to supervise her household personally in accordance with the principle of “The energetic hasten early to do mitzvos” (Pesachim), and “It is more of a mitzvah to do it personally rather than through an agent” (Kiddushin 41a).

And She Gave Food

The words for food here, teref and chok, are a reference to Mishlei 30:8 where Shlomo HaMelech prays to Hashem for his basic needs. He pleads that Hashem should not make him too poor or too rich. He then concludes with the phrase hatrifeini lechem chuki0 provide me with the proper amount for my daily needs. A righteous woman stays in control of the situation to distribute her food supplies in a rational manner.
In addition, the word teref implies procured in a sudden manner (see Bereishis 8:11 and Yoma 39a, the first word of the Mishnah.) This indicates that one should always acknowledge that his food is a direct gift from Hashem, as if it had just appeared on your table through Hashem’s unlimited kindness.

Her Plans

She planned to obtain a field and she bought it; from the fruit of her hands, she planted a vineyard.
(31:16)

This verse seems strange to us. When we see a virtuous woman involved in producing clothing in verse 4 or food in verse 5, we understand it as appropriate activities. However, here she seems to embark on money-making ventures that seem out of place for a righteous woman. Yet, we must realize that her approach is to serve Hashem sincerely in every possible manner. When she can make investments that will help in the long run, she is involved with the same alacrity and single-minded devotion that she invests in her daily tasks.

She Planned

The word zamemah implies that she planned and maintained a savings program though constant thrift in order to accumulate sufficient savings to purchase a field.

She Planted a Vineyard

A vineyard has a prominent place in her program because its product, wine, is useful in promoting good deeds. When wine is used properly, as for Kiddush, Havdalah, wedding celebrations, Bris Milah, etc., it encourages the service to Hashem. “ Wine is called tirosh because if one uses it meritoriously, it assists in elevating him to a leadership position (rosh); but if it is misused, he becomes a pauper (raish)” (Sanhedrin 70a).

After the Great Flood, Noach began his agricultural rebuilding of the world by planting a vineyard. His intentions were surely virtuous, but he is still criticized for not beginning first with another plant, due to the potential risk with wine (Rashi, Bereishis 9:20). Thus, the virtuous woman, who has learned the Torah’s lessons from Noach, begins with another field and then plants a vineyard.

Vigorous Energy

She girds her loins with strength, and her arms with power. (31:17)

Although she has many children and many servants (as noted in v.15), she utilizes her own self in the service of Hashem. Her valor invigorates her entire body to join personally in the privilege of using her limbs energetically for Hashem’s sake.

As she continues to amass assets, she finds it necessary to gird herself in order to maintain her balance and to protect against the potential temptations that emerge with success. The Talmud uses the expression of this verse in regard to clinging to Torah scholars (Shabbos 63a). It indicates the fortification necessary to combat negative influences and to further one’s advancement in positive causes. Rashi says: “Cling to a Torah scholar, for eventually you will benefit from his teachings.”

We also learn that initially a person must struggle to accomplish a good deed. Mitzvos, as a matter of course, do not come easily. It is only when one perseveres and does his best that Hashem assists the person and helps him succeed.

Ongoing

She tasted the goodness of her efforts; she did not extinguish her light at night. (31:18)

Previously in verse 6, we spoke of her rising early, while still dark, to begin her program. Now we proceed to explain that when she sees success in her efforts, she continues to advance full speed ahead. This is the principle of mitzvah gorgers mitzvah (Avos 4:2) – one good deed leads to another.
Furthermore, the Moiré explains that the taste of success tends to throw people off the proper track. Thus, this verse emphasizes that although she was successful and grew wealthy, she did not become lazy and relax from her efforts. Her lights are still shining at night as she continues to produce.

Domestic Arts

She stretches out her hands to her spinning (visitor), and her palms support her spindle (palace).
(31:19)

Although she is involved in commerce and in business endeavors, she does not neglect domestic arts (spinning, weaving, sewing).

The word visitor also means “with kashrus” Vilna Gaon). She stretches out her hands with attention to all the laws of keeping kosher that pertain to all of one’s actions. Her efforts are in accordance with all of the laws of the Torah.

The word palace is used in Yoma (66b): “A woman’s wisdom is at her palace.” Her unique skills are typified be the ability to build from scratch. She is able to manufacture threads and develop garments. This capacity carries into all aspects of life. She is the expert at building her family, society, and the entire Jewish nation.

Her Palm
Her palm she spreads to a poor person, and her hands are extended to the very poor. (31:20)

Pariah

The word literally means to “break off.” She even shares from her own portion of bread by breaking off a piece for others.

Her Hands She Sends to the Very Needy

Why does is say she “sends” (sheltie) her hands? Pirkei Avos (5:13) teaches that the highest level of giving is to say: “Mine is yours and yours is yours.” We can explain “She sends her hands to the poor” as to say “They are yours.”

Snow-Wise

She does not fear the snow for her household, for her entire household is clothed in wool. (31:21)

Her Garments
She prepares fine bedspreads for herself, linen and purple wool for her garments. (31:22)

Her Husband
Her husband is famous in gatherings, as he sits with the elders of the land. (31:23)

Home Business
Garments she would make to sell, and belts she would give to merchants. (31:24)

She Rejoices
Strength and glory are her garments, and she rejoices in expectancy of her last day. (31:25)

Mouth Movements
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teachings of kindliness are on her tongue. (31:26)

Practical Applications
There is a requirement here for a person to utilize the skills of an actor. Even if a person does not feel up to it internally, it is essential to always speak only that which is wise and kind.

She Watches
She watches the ways of her house, and she does not eat the bread of idleness. (31:27)

To the Ways of Her House

Countless issues are included in “the ways” that she supervises. Safety is one of the prime requirements of a Jewish home and way of life. “Do not put blood upon your home” (Devarim 22:8), which refers to a failure to put up adequate safety railings. Parents must be on guard against many similar situations in order to prevent and mishap from occurring.

She Does Not Eat the Bread of Idleness

Her supervision extends to all aspects of her household. As an example, we refer to the preparation of bread, which is the staff of life. Specifically, we are taught, “If there is no flour, there is no Torah” (Avos 3:21). Thus, she is energetic in preparing bread with realization that it is not merely a material meal but that it supplies the greatest spiritual benefits.

Praising
Her children arose and praised her, her husband [also arose] and praised her enthusiastically. (31:28)

It is a mitzvah to rise in honor of our parents. It is also certainly a mitzvah to praise them. Clayey Adam (call 67) explains that there are three parts to obligation of honoring parents: action, word, and thought. The Talmud relates that when Rebbe Josef would hear his mother’s footsteps, he would say: “I shall rise in honor of the Shoeshine (Divine Presence).” Thus, he would combine aspects of action (rising), speaking, and thinking. The more we consider greatness and importance in our parents, the more we will be fulfilling our obligation in this matter.

The husband’s moral obligation to pay his unlimited debt of gratitude to his wife is fulfilled in a small way be singing her praises all the time. Studying her praises and voicing them enthusiastically is a minimal form of hakaras hatov (gratitude).

Mosaic of Praise

Many daughters have achieved valor, but you (v’at) have surpassed them all. (31:29)

There are people who excel in one or more of the above qualities. But we are referring to one who excels in all of them. This is one of the purposes of alef-beis sequence of these verses. The virtuous wife is compared to the Torah; thus, she is praised with all twenty-two letters on the Hebrew alphabet, which forms all the words of the Torah.

The twenty-two praises compose a mosaic of perfection. She is lauded with all the praises possible. In order to be sure that we do not omit any commendations, we must use every letter, for God initially created the Torah composed of the letters of the alef-beis and subsequently utilized the Torah as the blueprint for the creation of the universe.

Exclusive Praise

Charm is false, and beauty is vain, a woman who fears Hashem is to be praised. (31:30)

Why did Hashem provide exceptional physical to Sarah, Rivkah, Rachel, and Yoseif (see Bereishis 12:14, 24:16, 29:17, 39:6) if it is not considered praiseworthy? We realize that these were people who achieved perfection in their fear of Hashem. Hashem granted them external beauty in order to advertise their unique virtue, as one who puts jewels into an expensive box to highlight the value of the contents. Give her from the fruit of her hands, and praise her at public gatherings for her deeds.

(31:31)

Her actions speak for themselves. We do not have to fabricate material with which to praise her. This verse underscores one of the primary themes of these twenty-two verses.
“Say little and do much” (Avos 1:15). She is not even depicted as talking until verse 26. She is constant motion, in the performance of good deeds. She is energetic and active.

Although her speech in verse 26 only consists of wisdom and kindness, we still wait until now before mentioning it. The priorities of the Torah are paramount in her life, and we learn from her how to gauge our efforts.

“Say little and do much.” This is her motto!

May each of us merit to appreciate and emulate the infinite attributes of the true eishes chayil – the woman of valor in our lives.

In Conclusion

Rabbeinu Bachya, in his introduction to the last Parasha of the Torah (VeZos HaBerachah), elaborates on the lessons from Eishes Chayil.

We learn mussar and derech eretz to search for a good wife, who will serve as the foundation of one’s home and to build a proper edifice.

A good wife, who has all of the good character traits, encompasses the entire Torah, for she is his assistant for success in Torah and Mitzvos, just as the body assists the soul to serve Hashem.
May we all aspire to these qualities of energy to serve Hashem in every possible way, as we find with all of the great personalities of Tanach, Talmud, and throughout our glorious history.

– Exert from: Gems from Mishlei

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Rabbi Meir David Kahane – מאיר דוד כהנא

Ideology

His overall views have been called Kahanism. Kahane believed that the Palestinians sought the genocide of the Israeli Jews, and therefore he proposed the population transfer and even forcible deportation of all Arabs from Israel including the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. In his view this was the only acceptable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Kahane also believed that Israel should become a theocracy governed purely by Jewish law known as the Halakha. He hoped that the Israeli government would pass laws, including a ban on marriages between Jews and non-Jews, in accordance with the traditions of Orthodox Judaism. Critics have compared this measure to Nazi Germany’s Nuremberg Laws.

Early life

Kahane was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1932. He came from a family that adhered to Orthodox Judaism. Kahane was an ordained rabbi, but he did not enjoy the thought of being a communal or pulpit rabbi. He was fully conversant with the Talmud and Tanakh. He subsequently earned a law degree from New York University.

He became an admirer of Zeev Jabotinsky and Revisionist Zionism as a teenager and joined its youth wing Betar. He personally led protests against Ernest Bevin the British Foreign Secretary who was visiting New York in the 1940s. Kahane organized and launched public demonstrations in the US against the Soviet Union’s policy of suppressing Zionism and curbing Jewish immigration to Israel by its Jews. He was a central activist in the “Free Soviet (Russian) Jewry” movement.

During the 1960s, Kahane joined the FBI and acted against anti-Vietnam war movements, undercover. He presented himself as Michael King, a Presbyterian journalist from South Africa. Kahane founded the Jewish Defense League (JDL) in 1968 in response to threats of violence against Jews by the Black Panthers and members of the Black Power movement of the 1960s.

Kahane was also in contact with the Joe Colombo, head of the Colombo mafia family and stood by him on 1971 when Colombo was shot dead by the Gallo family. Kahane confirmed his connections on an interview he gave to Playboy magazine in 1972.

Kahane was a book writer, a journalist writing for the largest Anglo-Jewish weekly, Brooklyn’s The Jewish Press and for a while one of its editors. He appeared often on American radio and television.

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Torah Basic Judaism

Torah, (תורה) is a Hebrew word meaning “teaching”, “instruction”, or especially “law”. It primarily refers to the first section of the Tanakh–the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, or the Five Books of Moses, but can also be used in the general sense to also include both the Written and Oral Law.

The Five Books of the Hebrew Bible are:

Genesis (Bereishit בראשית),
Exodus (Shemot שמות),
Leviticus (Vayikra ויקרא), Numbers (Bemidbar במדבר) and

Deuteronomy (Devarim דברים)

Collectively they are also known as the Pentateuch (Greek for “five containers”, where containers presumably refers to the scroll cases in which books were being kept), Hamisha Humshei Torah (חמשה חומשי תורה) (Hebrew for “the five parts of the Torah”, or just Humash חומש “fifth” for short) or Chumash.

A Torah is a specially written scroll of the five books, a Sefer Torah. Jews also use the word Torah, in a wider sense, to refer to the entire spectrum of authoritative Jewish religious teachings throughout history. In this sense it might include the entire Tanakh, the Mishnah, the Talmud and the midrashic literature.

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What is a Tallit 800-830-8660

The tallit, which can be spread out like a sheet, is woven of wool or silk, in white, with black or blue stripes at the ends. The silk ones vary in size, for men, from about 36 × 54 inches (91 × 137 cm) to 72 × 96 inches (183 × 244 cm). The woolen tallit is proportionately larger (sometimes reaching to the ankle) and is made of two lengths sewed together, the stitching being covered with a narrow silk ribbon. A ribbon, or a band artistically woven with silver or gold threads(called “spania”), with the ends hanging, and about 24 inches (61 cm) long by from 2 to 6 inches (5 to 15 cm) wide, is sewed on the top of the tallit.

From the four corners of the tallit hang fringes called tzitzit, in compliance with the laws in the Torah (Num. xv. 38).

The original tallit probably resembled the “‘abayah,” or blanket, worn by the Bedouins for protection from sun and rain, and which has black stripes at the ends. The finer tallit, very likely, was similar in quality to the Roman pallium, and was worn only by distinguished men, rabbis, and scholars (B. B. 98a; Midrash Genesis Rabbah xxxvi.; Midrash Exodus Rabbah xxvii.). The tallit was sometimes worn partly doubled, and sometimes with the ends thrown over the shoulders (Talmud references Shab. 147a; Men. 41a).

The Kabbalists considered the tallit as a special garment for the service of God, intended, in connection with the tefillin, to inspire awe and reverence for God at prayer (Zohar, Exodus Toledot, p. 141a). The tallit is worn by all male worshipers at the morning prayer on week-days, Shabbat, and holy days; by the hazzan (cantor) at every prayer while before the Ark; and by the reader of Torah.

A tallit is commonly spead over the canopy at the wedding ceremony.

In the Talmudic and post-Talmudic periods the tefillin were worn by rabbis and scholars all day, and a special tallit was worn at prayer; hence they put on the tefillin before the tallit, as appears in the order given in “Seder Rabbi Amram Gaon” (p. 2a) and in the Zohar. In later times, when the tefillin came to be worn at morning prayer only, the tallit was put on first, after a special benediction had been recited.

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How to light a Chanukah Menorah – Menorahs Jewelry Dreidels Decorations

Chanukah is the most known Jewish customs and yet is minor Jewish holiday. Jews light Hanukkah candles to remember the miracle of the Maccabees’ victory over the Greeks and the miracle of the oil that should have lasted one day and lasted for eight.

Time need to light your menorah will take approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 1 – You will need a Menorah or you can make your own.  And a match, candles or olive oil.

You will need a couple of terms. A list of them can also be found at the end of this page. Chanukah can be spelled Hanukkah or called Festival of Lights.  A Hanukkah Menorah is a Hanukkiah and has 9 candles.  The tallest candle is called the “Shamash.” The Shamash candle is used to light the other eight candles since it is forbidden to use the Hanukkah lights for any purpose other than viewing.

Step 2 – On the sunset of the 24th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev, is when the Menorah is first lighted.

Ideally the menorah should be lit as soon as the sun goes down but if you can’t do it then, it can be done later in the night. Everyone in the family should be present when the menorah is lit and the candles or oil should burn at least 45 minutes. If candles go out you may relight them except on Shabbos. On Friday the menorah should be lit before sundown and before the Shabbos candles. 

Step 3 – Blessings

All three blessings are said on the first night, and on the rest only the first two are recited.

Blessing one: Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us by His commandments, and has commanded us to kindle the lights of Chanukah. To pronounce it in Hebrew, here is the transliteration: Baruk Atah Adonai Eloheynu Melek Ha-olam Asher Kiddeeshonu Be-mitzvasov Vi-tsivonu Lehadlik Ner Shel Chunukah. Blessing two: Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe, who wrought miracles for our fathers in days of old, at this season. Transliteration: Baruk Atah Adonai Eloheynu Melek Ha-olam She-oso Nissim La-avoseynu Ba-yyomim Ho-heym Ba-zzman Ha-zzeh.

Blessing three: This blessing is said only the first night (the other two are said every night of Chanukah) Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has kept us alive, and has preserved us, and enabled us to reach this time. Transliteration: Baruk Atah Adonai Eloheynu Melek Ha-olam Sha-hekheeyonu Ve-keeyeemonu Ve-heeggee’onu La-zzman Ha-zzeh.

Each night you light the candles and recite the blessings, increasing the number of candles in the menorah to correspond with the night. Although the candles are put in beginning on the far right and working to the left, the last or the candle to the far left is always lit first and continues from left to right.

Step 4 – Now you are ready to light the Chanukah Menorah

On the first night, the candle or oil globe goes on far right (as you face the menorah). Another candle is used for the Shamash (helper candle). Say the three blessings below and then light the candle or oil using the Shamash candle.

Remember on Friday night you light the Menorah first, and then the Shabbat candles.

Many Jewish families have the tradition to recite Hanerot Halalu while lighting the candles and to sing Maoz Tsur once the candles have been lit.

To make clean up easier, line the table or window sill with tin foil to catch the candle drips. Either one menorah can be lit or everyone can light their own. If you have numerous menorahs in a window sill, keep in mind the heat from the candles could possibly cause the window glass to crack…keep the menorahs as far away from the glass as possible. Any kind of candles can be used in the menorah as long as they will burn for the required 45 minutes or longer after sundown. Olive oil can be used in oil menorahs and can be purchased at your local grocery store if necessary. Latkes (potato pancakes) and soufganyot (sugared or jelly filled doughnuts) are traditional Chunukah foods.  see Potato Latkes Recipe

  • Some Laws Concerning Menorah and Chanukah

Chanukah is a Jewish holiday, also known as the Festival of lights. Chanukah is a Hebrew word meaning “dedication”. It is also spelled Chanuka, Hannukah or Hanukkah. The first evening of Chanukah (called Erev Chanukah) starts after the sunset of the 24th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev. As in Jewish tradition the calendar date starts at sunset, Chanukah begins on the 25th. also see:  Chanukah rituals – Dreidel Rules – Chanukah Cards – Kislev

Hanukkah Menorah: also called a Chanukiah

Mitzvah – Commandment from God

Dates that Chanukah falls on in the Gregorian calendar Chanukah begins on the evening prior to these dates. Denver Community Menorahs

December 26, 2005 December 16, 2006

December 5, 2007

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Breslov – Basic Judaism

Judaism –> Breslove

 “If you believe that you can damage, believe you can fix.” 

– Rebbe Nachman of Breslov

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov was the great-grandson of Rebbe Yisrael, the Baal Shem Tov—‘Master of the Good Name’—founder of the Chassidic movement. Rebbe Nachman was born in 1772 (1 Nisan 5532) in the Ukrainian town of Medzeboz. He grew to be an outstanding tzaddik (saint), Torah sage, teacher and Chassidic master. During his lifetime he attracted a devoted following of chassidim who looked to him as their prime source of spiritual guidance in their quest for God, as ‘the Rebbe.’ From the autumn of 1802 until the spring of 1810 Rebbe Nachman lived in Breslov, Ukraine. He then moved to Uman where he passed away from tuberculosis six months later (18 Tishrei 5571), at the age of thirty-eight. He is buried there till today.

Rebbe Nachman was a Kabbalist and a mystic of the highest order, and yet at the same time was artlessly practical and down-to-earth. He told tales of princes and princesses, beggars and kings, demons and saints and he taught of the need to live with faith, honesty and simplicity.

When Rebbe Nachman passed away his followers saw no one to take his place. Instead of appointing a new rebbe, they continued to turn to Rebbe Nachman’s teachings for inspiration and guidance, continuing to look to him as “the Rebbe.” The Breslover Chassidim have done so ever since, studying his writings and endeavoring to follow his teachings in their day-to-day lives. In this sense Rebbe Nachman is still the leader of the Breslover Chassidim.

Reb Noson was born to a well-to-do family in Nemirov, Ukraine in 1780 (15 Shevat 5540). Already in his early teens he was an accomplished Talmud scholar. He married the daughter of Rabbi Dovid Tzvi Orbach, a prominent rabbinic authority. Despite his religious and material success, Reb Noson felt a spiritual void, which he ceaselessly tried to fill. He was unsuccessful until he met Rebbe Nachman.

Reb Noson met Rebbe Nachman in 1802, just a few weeks after Rebbe Nachman settled in Breslov. For the remainder of Rebbe Nachman’s life—and his life—Reb Noson was a devoted disciple of Rebbe Nachman. We are indebted to Reb Noson for recording Rebbe Nachman’s works, for as Rebbe Nachman himself said, “If not for my Noson, not a page of my teachings would remain!” Reb Noson passed away in Breslov in the winter of 1844 (10 Tevet 5605) where he is buried.

One sampling of Reb Noson’s prayers, based on Rebbe Nachman’s Likutey Moharan, is from Breslov Research’s 50th Gate. Another sampling, arranged by topic, is from BRI’s Flame of the Heart.

Introduction to the teachings of the chassidic master Rebbe Nachman of Breslov (1772-1810).

Shortly before his passing, Rebbe Nachman told his followers that his influence would long endure. “My fire will burn until the Mashiach (Messiah) comes.” Generations of readers have been enthralled and inspired by his writings, which have been explored and interpreted by scholars around the world.

The growing interest in Rebbe Nachman—among academicians and laymen alike—led to the establishment of the Breslov Research Institute in 1979. Since then a team of scholars has been engaged in research into the texts, oral traditions and music of the Breslov movement. The purpose of the Institute is to publish authoritative translations, commentaries and general works on Breslov Chassidut. Projects also include the recording of Breslov songs and melodies on cassettes, CDs and in music book form.

  • The Writings is a link to a number of works of Rebbe Nachman himself, and to his major disiciple, Reb Noson.
  • Parsha and Siddur leads to a collection of short pieces on the weekly Torah readings and the Siddur (prayerbook).
  • The Tikun HaKlali is for those whose sexuality has been adversely affected, on-line or off.
  • With our Catalog you can purchase our publications and cassettes on-line.
  • The Chair tells you about Rebbe Nachman’s famous chair.
Wings of the Sun: Judaism has its own distinctive approach to healing, giving pride of place to the health of the soul. Rooted in the Bible, Talmud and Kabbalah, this tradition finds its fullest expression in the teachings of the outstanding Chassidic luminary, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov (1772-1810). The Wings of the Sun is a clear, informative study of Rebbe Nachman’s teachings on healing, providing sound yet easily understood explanations of profound kabbalistic concepts, and offering a wealth of practical guidance for those facing illness or caring for the sick. Topics include: Healing in the Bible & Talmud, The Rambam (Maimonides) on Health, The Baal Shem Tov as a Healer, Kabbalah’s View of the Human Body, The Ten Pulses, The Ten Kinds of Song/Translations of Rebbe Nachman’s teachings on healing with full commentary/Prayer & Meditation, Diet & Exercise, How to Keep Healthy, Common Medical Problems, Facing Serious Illness, and Recovery. Author: Avraham Greenbaum

MASHIACH: WHO? WHAT? WHY? HOW? WHERE? WHEN?
by Chaim Kramer

Who is Mashiach? What type of person will he be? What leadership qualities will he possess? What will life be like after he comes? What is Mashiach’s mission? What must he do to bring the world to perfection? How will he achieve it? When is he coming? This book provides full and satisfying answers to these and many more questions. The entire book is soundly based on teachings about Mashiach in the Bible, Talmud, Midrash and kabbalah, together with insighs from the writings of Rebbe Nachman.

Crossing the Narrow Bridge: A Practical Guide to Rebbe Nachman’s Teachings

by Chaim Kramer; edited by Moshe Mykoff

Rebbe Nachman said, “The world is a very narrow bridge. The main thing is not be afraid” (Likutey Moharan II, #48). Lively, down-to-earth and easy to read, this book gives clear, detailed guidance as how to apply Rebbe Nachman’s teachings in modern everyday life. Subjects covered range from faith, truth, joy and meditation to earning a living, health-care and bringing up children. Containing a wealth of anecdotes from the lives of leading Breslover Chassidim of recent times, together with their oral teachings, this works answers many of the practical questions that puzzle those who have begun to make their acquaintance with Breslov.

Size 5.5″x8.5″ 452 pages. Appendices. Hardback. ISBN 0-930213-40-8

Under the Table & How to Get Up Jewish Pathways of Spiritual Growth by Avraham Greenbaum – “The king’s son had gone crazy. He thought he was a turkey. He felt he had to sit naked under the table and eat crumbs. None of the doctors could do anything for him… Until a mysterious Wise Man appeared, sat down right next to the Prince, and cured him in a simple and highly original way.” [read more..]

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov was the great-grandson of Rebbe Yisrael, the Baal Shem Tov—Master of the Good Name— founder of the Chassidic movement. Rebbe Nachman was born in 1772 (1 Nisan 5532) in the Ukrainian town of Medzeboz. He grew to be an outstanding tzaddik (saint), Torah sage, teacher and Chassidic master. During his lifetime he attracted a devoted following of chassidim who looked to him as their prime source of spiritual guidance in their quest for God, as the ‘Rebbe.’ From the autumn of 1802 until the spring of 1810 Rebbe Nachman lived in Breslov, Ukraine. He then moved to Uman where he passed away from tuberculosis six months later (18 Tishrei 5571), at the age of thirty-eight. He is buried there till today.

RABBI NACHMAN’S STORIES
Translated by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan

The Sages always told stories to convey some of the deepest secrets about God and His relation to the creation. Rebbe Nachman developed this ancient method to perfection. More elaborate than any of his other teachings, his stories are fast-moving, richly structured and filled with penetrating insights — while spellbinding and entertaining. Rabbi Kaplan’s translation is accompanied by a masterful commentary drawn from the works of Rebbe Nachman’s pupils. Nowhere else does the English-speaking reader have access to the authentic interpretations of the stories.

RABBI NACHMAN’S WISDOM
Translated by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan
Edited by Rabbi Zvi Aryeh Rosenfeld

This classic work collects Rebbe Nachman’s conversations which range from comments on practical everyday topics to fundamental teachings about joy, faith and meditation, as well as explanations of the Kabbalah. The conversations were recorded verbatim, giving a vivid picture of the atmosphere surrounding the Master, his wit, directness and wisdom.
Also included is an account of Rebbe Nachman’s adventure-filled pilgrimage to the Holy Land at the height of the Napoleonic wars in 1798.

TZADDIK
Translated by Avraham Greenbaum

This work is an intimate biographical portrait of Rebbe Nachman by his closest disciple, Reb Noson, the one who knew him best. It includes numerous conversations, information relating to Rebbe Nachman’s lessons, and a variety of his sayings, stories, dreams and visions. Annotated, with full source references and supplementary information.

LIKUTEY MOHARAN
Translated by Moshe Mykoff and Simcha Bergman Notes by Chaim Kramer Edited by Moshe Mykoff and Ozer Bergman

The first authoritative translation of Rebbe Nachman’s magnum opus, presented with facing punctuated Hebrew text, full explanatory notes, source references and supplementary information relating to individual lessons. With appendices of a variety of charts to assist the reader with the kabbalastic teachings found in the text. Volume 1 contains Reb Noson’s introduction to the original work, short biographies of Rebbe Nachman and Reb Noson and a bibliography.

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Mezuzah / Mezuzot Parchments

On the doorposts of Jewish homes. The mitzvah to place mezuzot on the doorposts of our houses is derived from Deut. 6:4-9, a passage commonly known as the Shema (Hear, from the first word of the passage). In that passage, G-d commands us to keep His words constantly in our minds and in our hearts, by (among other things) writing them on the doorposts of our house. The words of the Shema are written on a scroll of parchment, along with the words of a companion passage, Deut. 11:13-21. On the back of the scroll, a name of G-d is written. The scroll is then rolled up placed in the case, so that the first letter of the Name (the letter Shin) is visible (or, more commonly, the letter Shin is written on the outside of the case).
 

And it will be that if you hearken to my commandments that I command you today, to love the L-rd, your G-d, and to serve him with all your hearts and all your souls. And I will place rain for your land in its proper time, the early and the late rains, that you may gather in your grain, your wine, and your oil. And I will provide grass in your field for your cattle, and you will eat and you will be satisfied. Watch yourselves, lest your heart be seduced and you turn astray and serve other gods, and prostrate yourselves to them. And the wrath of G-d will be upon you, and he will restrain the heaven and there will be no rain, and the ground will not yield its produce, and you will be lost quickly from upon the good land that G-d gives you. And you shall place these words of mine on your hearts and on your souls, and you shall bind them as a sign upon your arms and they shall be ornaments between your eyes. And you shall teach them to your children to discuss them, when you sit in your house and when you go on the way, and when you lie down and when rise up. And you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house and upon your gates, in order to prolong your days and the days of your children upon the good land that G-d swore to your fathers to give them, like the days of Heaven over earth.

Halakha (הלכה in Hebrew or Halakhah, Halacha, Halachah) is commonly used to refer to the collective corpus of Jewish law, custom and tradition regulating all aspects of behavior. The name Halakha derives from the Hebrew הלך, halach meaning “going” or the “[correct] way”; thus a literal translation does not yield “law”, rather “the way to go.” Halakha constitutes the practical application of the commandments in the Torah, (the five books of Moses, the Written Law) as developed through discussion and debate in the classical rabbinic literature, especially the Mishnah and the Talmud (the Oral law).

Mile Chai Jewish Books Judaica and Everything to make your home kosher – Torah – Judaism copyright 2004
Spreading Torah at the Speed of Light copyright 2004

August 30, 2004 – site map

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Kippot and Kippah Judaica 800-830-8660

It is perhaps the most instantly identifiable mark of a Jew.

In the world, it is customary to remove one’s head covering when meeting an important person or entering a building, such as a school. In Judaism, putting on a head covering is a sign of respect.

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Israel – Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day)

Related to the wars

1948 Arab-Israeli War “The Independence War” (see also: 1949 Armistice Agreements) מלחמת העצמאות (גם מלחמת הקוממיות או מלחמת השחרור) י 1956 Suez War “Operation Kadesh” מבצע קדש או מלחמת סיני 1967 Six Day War מלחמת ששת הימים 1970 War of Attrition מלחמת ההתשה 1973 Yom Kippur War מלחמת יום כיפור 1982 Lebanon War “Operation Peace For Galilee” מבצע שלום הגליל 1990/1 Gulf War מלחמת המפרץ First Intifada אינתיפדה al-Aqsa Intifada אינתיפדת אל-אקצא The Israeli Defense Forces codenamed it “אירועי גיאות ושפל” (“Ebb and Tide events”) but it is unofficially referred to as the Oslo War in some Israeli circles. Politics and law Main articles: Politics of Israel and List of political parties in Israel. The Knesset is the Israeli parliament, located in JerusalemIsrael is a parliamentary democracy based on universal suffrage and proportional representation. Israel’s legislative branch is a 120-member parliament known as the Knesset. Membership in the Knesset is allocated to parties based on their proportion of the vote. Elections to the Knesset are normally held every four years, but the Knesset can decide to dissolve itself ahead of time by a simple majority. The President of Israel is head of state, serving as a largely ceremonial figurehead. The President selects the leader of the majority party or ruling coalition in the Knesset as the Prime Minister, who serves as head of government.2 Judiciary The Judiciary branch of Israel is made of a three-tier system of courts: at the lowest level are the Magistrate Courts. Above them, serving both as an appelate court and as a court of first instance are the District Courts. At the top of the judicial pyramid is the Supreme Court. Judges in Israel retire at the age of 70 and are appointed by a committee made up of representatives of the Knesset, Supreme Court justices and the Israeli Bar. The Israeli Supreme Court is regarded by many as Israel’s guardian of civil rights, but by others as the most activist Supreme Court in the world [3] (http://www.yaleisraeljournal.com/fall2003/courts.php). Constitution Israel has not completed a written constitution. Its government is based on the laws of the Knesset, especially by “Basic Laws of Israel”, which are special laws (currently there are 15 of them), by the Knesset legislature which will become the future official constitution. The declaration of the State of Israel has a significance in this matter as well. Israel’s legal system is a western legal system best classified as “mixed”: it has a strong Anglo-American influence, but in some parts has borrowed heavily from civil law tradition.

Religion

In the matter of Jewish religion versus secularism, the status quo achieved by David Ben-Gurion with the religious parties in the declaration of independence is still mostly held today. Religious authorities, which are comprised of the ministry of religion and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, have jurisdiction only in five distinct areas: marital and burial laws, Jewish status of immigrants, Kashrut and the Sabbath. They have no jurisdiction over human rights (other than those previously mentioned) criminal or commercial law, nor on education. Streets of Haredi neighborhoods are closed to traffic on Saturday, there is no public transport on that day and most businesses are closed; restaurants that wish to advertise themselves as kosher must be certified by the Chief Rabbinate. Importation of non-kosher foods is prohibited, but there are a few local pork farms in kibbutzim, catering for establishments selling “White Meat” (the Israeli euphemism for pork, forbidden under Kashrut laws) due to its popular demand (especially after the waves of Russian immigration in the 1990’s). The other major religions in Israel, such as Islam and Christianity are officially supported via their own establishments which have jurisdiction over their followers. The ministry of education manages the secular (largest) and religious streams of various faiths in parallel, with a limited degree independence and a common core curriculum. In recent years, secular frustration with the status quo has strengthened parties such as Shinui, which advocate separation of religion from the state, without much success so far. For example, though an estimated 70% of Israelis (according to polls) support the enactment of civil marriage (not requiring religious affiliation), it was blocked by religious parties (see below). Currently, civil marriages are only officially sanctioned if performed abroad. Local marriage licenses must declare to be Jewish, Muslim, Christian or any of the other officially recognized religions. Nevertheless, some breaches of the status quo have become prevalent, such as several suburbian malls remaining open during the Sabbath. Though this is contrary to the law, the government largely turns a blind eye for fear of strengthening its political rivals in liberal circles.

Coalition governments

Golda Meir, a former Israeli Prime Minister, joked that “in Israel, there are 3 million prime ministers”. Because of its Proportional representation electoral system, coalitions in the Knesset can often be unstable and are usually made up of at least two parties. Coalitions can be difficult to form and hard to keep together because of the large number of political parties, many of whom run on very specialized platforms, often advocating the tenets of particular interest groups. The prevalent balance between the largest parties means that the smaller parties can have disproportionately strong influence to their size, due to their ability to act as tie breakers; they often use this status to block popular legislation or promote their own even contrary to the manifesto of the larger party in office.

Political parties

In the past thirty years, the largest parties have been the conservative Likud Party and the Social-democrat Labour Party. However, they do not attract sufficient support to govern without the help of smaller parties such as Shas, a Sephardi Haredi party which has a network of religious schools, and supports social spending; Shinui, a fervently secularist party that sees itself representing Israel’s middle class and a foe of religious (particularly Haredi) parties, that works to reduce social spending; the National Union Party, a right-wing nationalist party advocating “voluntary transfer” of Palestinian refugees and their descendents for resettlement in Arab countries; the Mafdal – the National Religious Party, affiliated with nationalist religious Zionists (kipot srugot), who favor creating a Jewish constitutional theocracy in the entire Land of Israel; and Yachad (former Meretz), a democratic socialist party which is supportive of the Palestinian cause. Most governments have so far avoided forming a coalition with parties representative of the Israeli Arab minority, such as the Arab-Jewish communist Hadash party, the Arab-nationalist Balad party or the conservative-Islamic bloc United Arab List party Raam. Exceptions were the ‘external’ coalition agreements between Yitzhak Rabin’s second government and Hadash and Raam, which were declared de facto coalition agreements by the Israeli Supreme Court. Parties of the Left dominated Israel’s elections until 1974, when following the Yom Kippur War, the ruling Labour party began to lose popularity. On the Right, the Likud party was formed by a union of the Liberals and the nationalist Herut party. The beginning of right-wing dominance in Israeli politics began in 1977 with the ascendance of Likud’s Menachem Begin as prime minister. With the exception of the Labour-Meretz coalitions between 1992-1996 and 1999-2001, the Likud continued to form most Israeli governments since 1977, sometimes in coalition with the Labour Party. In 2003, left-wing parties fared poorly in elections won by Likud government of prime minister Ariel Sharon.

Women in Israeli industry and politics

In 2002, women comprised 33% of director positions in government owned corporations, and 20% of managerial positions within the private industry (2005). The 16th Knesset (2003) had 18 women parliament members (15%) and 3 Government ministers (13%). The first (and only, so far) woman as Prime minister was Golda Meir, from 1969 to 1974, who was also the third woman Prime Minister in the world.

Military

Main article: Israel Defense Forces. Israel’s military consists of a unified Israel Defense Forces (IDF), known in Hebrew by the acronym Tzahal. Historically, there have been no separate Israeli military services. The Navy and Air Force are subordinate to the Army. There are other paramilitary government agencies which deal with different aspects of Israel’s security (such as MAGAV and the Shin Bet). See further discussion: Israel Security Forces. The IDF is considered one of the strongest military force in the Middle East and among the most technologically advanced in the world. It relies heavily on technology, training, and expert manpower, rather than possession of overwhelming manpower. Much of Israel’s heavy military hardware is bought from the United States (Aeroplanes, missiles) and Germany (Submarines, Ships). Many of the arms used by the IDF are Israeli-invented and Israeli-made, such as the legendary Uzi, Merkava tank, and advanced aerospace technologies such as IAI Ofek satellites. The IDF frequently enhances 3rd party equipment by Israel’s own military industries, usually making the upgraded equipment stronger than that available on the open market. Israel’s military doctrine aims to maintain a qualitative edge over all possible enemies. In recent years Israel has focused it’s military R&D efforts on resources for fighting Low Intensity Conflicts and ballistic missile defense. Most Israelis, males and females, are drafted into the military at the age of 18. Exceptions are Israeli Arabs, confirmed pacifists, and women who declare themselves religiously observant. Compulsory service is three years for men, and 20 months for women. Circassians and Bedouin actively enlist in the IDF. Since 1956, Druze men have been conscripted in the same way as Jewish men, at the request of the Druze community. Men studying full-time in religious institutions can get a deferment from conscription; most Haredi Jews extend these deferments until they are too old to be conscripted, although there has been some change in Haredi society, with a small group of single Haredi annually joining in to serve in various fields. Following compulsory service, Israeli men become part of the IDF reserve forces, and are usually required to serve several weeks every year as reservists, until their 40s.

Women in the Security Forces

Women were historically barred from battle in the IDF, serving in a variety of technical and administrative support roles, except during the 1948 war of independence, when manpower shortages saw many of them taking active part in battles on the ground. But after a landmark 1994 High Court appeal by Alice Miller, a Jewish immigrant from South Africa, the Air Force was instructed to open its pilots course to women (several served as transport pilots during the war of independence in 1948 and “Operation Kadesh” in 1956, but the Air force later closed its ranks to women fliers). Miller failed the entrance exams, but since her initative, many additional combat roles were opened. As of 2005, Women are allowed to serve in 83% of all positions in the military, including Shipboard Navy Service (except submarines), and Artillery. Combat roles are voluntary for women. As of 2002, 33% of lower rank Officers are women, 22% of Captains and Majors, but only 3% of the most senior ranks. 450 Women currently serve in combat units, primarily in the Border Police and other ground forces. The first female fighter pilot successfully received her wings in 2001. In a controversial move, the IDF abolished its “Womens Corps” command in 2004, with a view that it has become an anachronism and a stumbling block towards integration of Women in the IDF as regular soliders with no special status. However, after pressures from Feminist lobbies, The Chief of Staff was persuaded to keep an “advisor for Women’s affairs”.

Nuclear arms

Israel is widely regarded as being an undeclared nuclear power — it operates nuclear facilities and is generally believed to be in possession of nuclear weapons. Because it is not a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Israel rejects international inspections of its purported nuclear facilities and maintains a public policy of “nuclear ambiguity”. For further information, see: Israel and weapons of mass destruction.

Regional cease fire status

Israel is formally at war with Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Lebanon. A 1973 armistice agreement governs relations with its most immediate military adversary, Syria, and a de facto armistice persists with the other states as well. The chances for peace negotiations and/or full diplomatic relations with most Arab nations appear a more likely prospect once an independent Palestinian Entity is established.

Geography

Map of Israel Main article: Geography of Israel.

Israel, located in Southwest Asia, is a country whose exact territorial boundaries and borders are widely disputed. It is also considered to be one of the fifteen states that comprise the so-called Cradle of Humanity. The total area—excluding East Jerusalem and other territories taken over by Israel in the 1967 war—is 20,770 square km; the total area—including the aforementioned territories—is 22,145 square km. The territories taken over by Israel since the 1967 war are not included in the Israel country profile, unless otherwise noted. In keeping with the framework established at the Madrid Conference in October 1991, bilateral negotiations are being conducted between Israeli and Palestinian representatives (from the Israeli-controlled West Bank and Gaza Strip) to achieve a permanent settlement. These talks generated the Oslo Accords in 1993, which established mutual recognition between Israel and the PLO, and granted the new Palestinian Authority partial autonomy in areas of the Judea/Samaria and Gaza Strip. Talks were also held between Israel and Syria. On April 25, 1982, Israel withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula pursuant to the 1979 Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty. Outstanding territorial and other disputes with Jordan were resolved in the 1994 Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace. Administrative districts Main article: Districts of Israel. Six districts (mehozot; singular, mehoz) and 13 sub-districts (nafot; singular, nafa) Jerusalem District (Mehoz Yerushalayim). District Capital: Jerusalem North District (Mehoz HaZafon). District Capital: Nazareth Zefat S.D. Kinneret S.D. Yizre’el S.D. Akko S.D. Golan S.D. Haifa District (Mehoz Hefa). District Capital: Haifa Haifa S.D. Hadera S.D. Center District (Mehoz HaMerkaz). District Capital: Ramla Sharon S.D. Petah Tiqwa S.D. Ramla S.D. Rehovot S.D. Tel Aviv District (Mehoz Tel-Aviv). District Capital: Tel Aviv Southern District (Mehoz HaDarom). District Capital: Be’er Sheva Ashqelon S.D. Be’er Sheva S.D. Cities See List of cities in Israel. Economy Main article: Economy of Israel. Israel has a technologically advanced market economy with substantial government participation. It depends on imports of fossil fuels (crude oil, natural gas, and coal), grains, beef, raw materials, and military equipment. Despite limited natural resources, Israel has intensively developed its agricultural and industrial sectors over the past 20 years. Israel is largely self-sufficient in food production except for grains and beef. Diamonds, high-technology, military equipment, software, pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals, and agricultural products (fruits, vegetables, and flowers) are leading exports. Israel usually posts sizable current account deficits, which are covered by large transfer payments from abroad and by foreign loans. Israel possesses extensive facilities for oil refining, diamond polishing, and semiconductor fabrication. Roughly half of the government’s external debt is owed to the U.S., which is its major source of economic and military aid. A relatively large fraction of Israel’s external debt is held by individual investors, via the Israel Bonds program. The combination of American loan guarantee’s and direct sales to individual investors, allow the state to borrow at competitive and sometimes below-market rates. The influx of Jewish immigrants from the former USSR topped 750,000 during the period 1989-1999, bringing the population of Israel from the former Soviet Union to 1 million, one-sixth of the total population, and adding scientific and professional expertise of substantial value for the economy’s future. The influx, coupled with the opening of new markets at the end of the Cold War, energized Israel’s economy, which grew rapidly in the early 1990s. But growth began slowing in 1996 when the government imposed tighter fiscal and monetary policies and the immigration bonus petered out. Those policies brought inflation down to record low levels in 1999. Demographics Main article: Jew Jewish religion Etymology of “Jew” · Who is a Jew? Jewish leadership · Jewish culture Jewish ethnic divisions Ashkenazi · Sephardi · Mizrahi Temani · Bene Israel · Beta Israel Jewish populations Israel · United States · Russia/USSR Germany · France · Latin America England · Famous Jews by country Jewish languages Hebrew · Yiddish · Ladino · Dzhidi Judæo-Aramaic · Judæo-Arabic Jewish denominations Orthodox · Conservative · Reform Reconstructionist · Karaite Jewish political movements Zionism: (Labor / General / Revisionist) The Bund Union · Kibbutz movement Jewish history Jewish history timeline · Schisms Ancient Israel and Judah Temples in Jerusalem Babylonian captivity Hasmoneans and Greece Jewish-Roman wars Era of Pharisees · The Talmudic Era Middle Ages · Muslim Lands Enlightenment/Haskalah · Hasidism The Holocaust · Modern Israel Persecution of the Jews Anti-Semitism: (History / “New”) Main article: Demographics of Israel. At the end of 2003, of Israel’s 6.7 million people, 81% were “Jews and others”, and 19% were Arabs. By religion, 77% were Jewish, 16% were Muslim, 4% were Christian, 2% were Druze and the rest were not classified by religion.[4] Among Jews, 63% were born in Israel, 27% are immigrants from Europe and the Americas, and 10% are immigrants from Asia and Africa (including the Arab countries).[5]

6% of Israeli Jews define themselves as haredim (ultra-orthodox religious); an additional 9% are “religious”; 34% consider themselves “traditionalists” (not strictly adhering to Jewish halacha) ; and 51% are “secular”. Among the seculars, 53% believe in God.[6] see

Breslov – Chabad – Chassidus Of the Arab Israelis 82% are Muslim and 9% are Christian.[7] As of 31 December 2003, 224,200 Israeli citizens live in the West Bank in communities established before the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and re-established after the Six-Day War, and in numerous towns and settlements. All but a few of these were new settlements, established after Israel took control following the Six-Day War in 1967, and assisted in their development by government funding and military protection. This number does not include Israelis in “East Jerusalem”, which was captured by Jordan in 1948, and annexed by it from 1950 to 1967. About 7,500 Israelis live in communities built in the Gaza Strip. [8] Articles related to Arab-Jewish relations Immigration to Israel Anti-Semitism New Anti-Semitism Jewish refugees Balfour Declaration 1917 1922 Text: League of Nations Palestine Mandate 1978 Camp David Peace Accords between Egypt and Israel 1993 Oslo Peace Accords between Palestinians and Israel Camp David 2000 Summit between Palestinians and Israel Proposals for a Palestinian state Arab-Israeli conflict List of conflicts in the Middle East Israeli Security Forces Land of Israel Ancient kingdom of Israel Culture and religion The first stamps, designed before the new state adopted its name, featured ancient Jewish coins and the text “Hebrew mail” in Hebrew and Arabic languagesMain article: Culture of Israel Archaeology of Israel Music of Israel List of Israeli artists Science and technology in Israel Hatikva, the National anthem of Israel Judaism in Israel

Unique Israeli communal farms, see Kibbutz

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Golda Meir – Israeli Prime Minister

When the word “greatness” comes to mind, Golda Meir comes immediately to the forefront. Her commitment to her land and to her people was the paragon of human dedication. Her complete involvement, tempered with love, fired by fierce devotion, caused the world to know that she was a true mover of mountains.

Though born in Kiev, Russia, she moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her family in 1906. In 1915, she joined the Labor Zionist Party. In 1917, she married Morris Meyerson and they moved to Tel Aviv (then Palestine) in 1921. Later they became the proud parents of Sarah and Menachem.

Eighteen years ago today (March 7, 1969), Golda Meir was nominated by the Labor Party to be Prime Minister of Israel. She held this esteemed position until 1974.

Before Golda Meir became Prime Minister, she was the Foreign Minister for Israel from 1956 to 1965, During her time as Foreign Minister, she had the opportunity to work with the cooperative agricultural and urban planning programs between Israel and Africa. Golda Meir was very proud of her international, as well as domestic work.

Golda Meir House – Denver Colorado
“It was in Denver that my real education began…”

Because her parents would not support her desire to become a teacher, for a time Meir ran away to Denver, Colorado, to live with her married sister.

She also married Morris Meyerson, whom she had met in Denver.

In 1981, the tiny duplex at 1606-1608 Julian Street was first identified as the Denver home of Golda Meir. The house was inches away from demolition. An intense effort by a small group of concerned citizens including the  late Mel Cohen and his wife Esther [1] temporarily saved the structure, which narrowly escaped fire, a tornado, vandalism and repeated demolition attempts by the city. The house was moved twice before being relocated by the Auraria Foundation to the Auraria Campus in September 1988.

The importance of Golda’s Denver experience is documented in her 1975 autobiography My Life, where she states, “It was in Denver that my real education began…”

This web page is dedicated to the effort of Esther [Cohen] Strauss and her efforts to pass American Jewish History to the next generation.  Thank you Esther and G-d Bless.