Is This Your City?

Learn why the drug cartel and terrorists support the BDSM

תוצאת תמונה עבור ‪drugs neighborhood‬‏

Victoria made the decision to finally move. How could such a good neighborhood get caught up in drugs? Why weren’t the police doing enough to apprehend those distributing drugs to minors? Victoria saw what was happening long before most and was successful for a time in setting up a task force of community oriented people to address the growing fear that drugs and crime were quickly seeping in. They approached the police and efforts were made for a time. Clemen suggested to the committee to look at studies and articles about success and failures of other communities who faced similar threats. It was at that point that things went cold. The police were no longer interested.

But here is part of the story that was never told.

This particular police precinct supports the BDSM against only the State of Israel and the Jewish people. When Clemen along with his neighbors presented the police department with their suggestions it included technology and know-how from Israeli police and tactical squads and Israeli start ups. This was not an option.

We know begin to see the effects of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions against only Israel and the Jewish people.

Make to mistake, the Jewish people and the State of Israel suffer from the effects of the BDSM but so do you!

And guess what, your hatred hasn’t helped the Palestinian people.

Advertisements

Hope For Spinal Injury – Not

This post focuses on the effects of the BDSM on individuals who suffer from spinal injuries. These people deserve a voice…

Roland understood his bitter predicament without being told. His wife had not left his side for over two weeks hoping for a miracle. The doctors told her that recovery is rare with a 1% chance of returning to normal functioning. Spinal injuries are devastating and in Roland’s case will force him to be completely dependent for every activity.

But there is another story that is not being told. How would you feel if you found out that hope was purposely taken away? Roland is being treated in a hospital that supports the only Boycott Divestment and Sanction (BDS) in the world against one country, the State of Israel and the Jewish people. Several Israeli doctors have developed a new therapy that rehabilitates the injured section of the spinal cord. The future success of this breakthrough therapy depends on the join efforts between academics and researchers from Israel and abroad. Roland doesn’t know that in any other hospital he would have qualified for experimental treatment to repair his spinal damage. In several trials patients with similar damage have made a complete recovery. But his doctors refuse to acknowledge any treatments, medical research that originates from Israel. So Roland and others like him including their families will suffer the big lie.

What people don’t realize is that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement against only Israel is a game of Russian roulette. Spinal cord therapy is being developed in Israel with the hope of exporting to the world to give them a second chance at life.

Next Post – Why terrorists and drug cartels support the BDSM….

Please see my previous post: What U.K. women need to know…

Label Me Not

In recent weeks I have been labeled a liberal, progressive and feminist. Although no harm was meant I realize sometimes it’s difficult discussing issues that have so many facets. Some of the issues included a woman I knew from my youth who recently became an Orthodox Rabbi of a synagogue, bridging the gap between Orthodox and Reform Jews and the continued negligence of the Chief Rabbinate in Israel towards the unaffiliated, North American Jewry and more.

Perhaps it’s my nature to be curious and rarely do I feel threatened by those that are different from me. My spiritual mentors remind me that categories are limiting and most often prevent growth. I think its important to engage with the Women of the Wall and communities that are outside my way of thinking. To ignore or refuse to except their presence is foolish.

Today we have new issues that need working in particular the polarization of views in the Jewish community. It seems that nobody likes to hear about other peoples’ community. When I recently talked about the Reform and Women of the Wall, my peers were quick to label them as angry, troublemakers and heretics while questioning my religious observance.

These comments doesn’t fly. Its the equivalent of saying that the Venezuelan people fighting for social democracy are troublemakers and Iranians fighting for freedom as angry and all without cause. I find that people insecure about their own personal ideology generally feel threatened by those that are different.

Although there is a real divide I find that there is more that binds us together then separates us. That was Natan Sharansky’s first impression as he arrived in Israel for the first time after being freed from prison. On his first day in Israel he was welcomed to the Israeli Parliament. The House Speaker opened by saying welcome to the Jewish Homeland. Within seconds member of parliament accused the Speaker of racism claiming that this country was the home to Arabs, Jews, Christians and more. Sharansky recalls thinking at that moment , “if they only understood how much more we have in common”. (Taken from his book Fear No Evil)

The second area is inspiration. We all need a bit of inspiration to move us forward. Why shouldn’t women have women leaders? Why can’t women advise women on religious matters? Why can’t a women lead a community? I fully support women to lead and inspire. Look around, we men haven’t done such a remarkable job with assimilation still relevant as ever.

People have grievances! In many instances they have a right to be angry and sometimes being a trouble maker is the only way to solve the problem. The Chief Rabbinate isn’t being attacked and disassembled because of their efficiency; its their contempt and abuse of their religious authority that people will go so far as to marry outside of Israel rather then to recognize the Chief Rabbinate.

Lead rather then react. This would be my suggestion to the Chief Rabbinate in Israel, Orthodox Union and RCA. Stop worrying about the effects of sharing your title with women and be leaders. Lead the people. Nishmat didn’t wait for the approval or blessing of the Orthodox establishment regarding the Yoetzet Halacha. Nishmat saw a need and led the people without compromising Jewish tradition. This seems to be the reason for the growing success of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School and Yeshivat Maharat while Yeshiva University Rabbinic program is lagging behind.

Why do we assume only the negative? Why must their intentions be destructive and harmful? I believe that if we pay a little bit more attention to what they are saying and less to our ego we will become better listeners and better problem solvers. The days of pushing away are over.

I think we need to stop labeling people and start addressing important issues. Ultimately we are all family so lets work things out.

New Year Resolution

Perhaps we should change the way we talk!

One of the things I enjoy most about the approaching new year is seeing the replays and highlights of the previous year. Ironically this year I noticed something that I think needs to change quickly. I find more and more the media and social media are becoming an outlet for discrediting people more than anything else. Tragically social media has become the stomping ground for insulting, discrediting and tarnishing other people’s credibility without justification.

change

Israel bashing in the United Nation, Trump bashing in the news and religious bashing are only a few on a long list. The difference between being concerned and bashing someone because you don’t agree with their opinion runs a fine line. It reflects our personal inept, hate, intolerance and lack of respect. Because we are people we are all prone to falter at least once in our life. Our approach to calling out a misdeed is correct but it should reflect sensitivity, respect and a chance to improve. Blogs, social media and news outlets continue to make the world a smaller place but there should be an equal amount of sensitivity. Tragically too many people are using it to destroy decent people. Condemnation without due diligence is unacceptable and needs to stop. All people have feelings just like you.

So here are some possibilities for the new year. If you see an issue:

Join or start an association to tackle the problem. There are many lobby groups that would appreciate your support. Use constructive criticism because we all want to be better people. Remember that what we write or say can not be erased. And yes, words kill! People are killed every day because of what people say and write so be very careful.

Free speech is wrong and used more often to hurt others. Fair, just, honest, sensitive respectful speech should be the correct ammendment.

When in doubt remember the following:

Wise men, when in doubt whether to speak or to keep quiet, give themselves the benefit of the doubt,and remain silent. Napoleon Hill

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Jerusalem Biennale – A New Vision

Over the years I have had the pleasure to visit many museums and art galleries. I have  learned a lot about early cavemen, dinosaurs, the pyramids to the first exploration into space. I was fortunate to visit all the famous art galleries in Paris and London. The onus was on me however to decide how to use what I saw. Too often art exists without its true expression. The same thing applies to Jewish history and the State of Israel. With all the life and creativity that exists in this small country, there is no real place that captures our true ingenuity.

Image result for jerusalem biennale

Meet one visionary who is starting to transform how we look at art, Jerusalem and Jewish creativity. Rami Ozeri who up until a few years ago was a successful columnist on the rise and success of corporate Israel and gave it up to follow his true passion. He is the founder of the Jerusalem Biennale. Although Rami grew up as a secular Jerusalemite, he found great love for tradition from his grandfather who he remembers fondly. As he got older and met his future wife they began to embrace all aspects of Judiasm. Rami commented, “Jewish tradition isn’t just alive; its flourishing in every aspect and the world of art in no different. My goal is to blend Jewish tradition and modernity here in our capital. The word in Hebrew for law is Halacha, which means movement. Judaism is in constant movement and evolution and Jerusalem needs to be at the center to capture the wonders of contemporary Jewish Art.”

Image result for rami ozeriSince his first exhibition in 2013, there is a new buzz in the city. Artists are excited to work with Rami. They identify with his vision and realize that his ideas could be the game changer in Israel and Jerusalem. Rami invests in artists and not real-estate. The building is a mere backdrop for art.

To date, the Jerusalem Biennale has hosted over 100 different artists from every area of art and participants  from over the 30 countries around the world and the upcoming opening of the 2017 Jerusalem Biennale will be no different (October 1 – November 16, 2017).

Visit any of the venues around the capital and discover art like you have never seen.

Venues include the Tower of David, Van Leer Research Institute, Austrian Hospice, Bible Lands Museum, Bezeq Building, Skirball Museum at Hebrew Union College, Museum of the Underground Prisoners and Achim Hasid.

Private and group tours of the Biennale are available in English. Information: tours@jerusalembiennale.org

For times, locations and general information, click here.

We’re Family After All

I had never been to their community or synagogue but somehow I felt I had something to loose. I felt a sense of cognitive dissonance and a chance meeting with a Rabbi I trusted set things right. I told him I was invited to a family wedding in a conservative community and I felt uncomfortable going because it would somehow infringe on my religious views and practices. The Rabbi assured me that ‘attending a family celebration was a good idea and not to be missed. Family is family!’ I’ve been thinking about this for a while and have come to realize that the basic problem was a lack of knowledge.

First, despite differences between Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Jews there is common ground. The Bible is still important and viewed as a guide to life; there is a strong need for social involvement or what many call Tikkun Olam and there is a genuine love for the Land of Israel and the Jewish people. Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks tells the story that someone returning from a Hillel Conference in the U.S. notices that their were four separate prayer services according to denomination but they all prayed the same style (nusach) -Carlebach.

Although there might have been a reasons for the split between the Orthodox and Reform communities in the 1800’s today it seems that we have more in common and our paths are on a collision course. The conservative synagogue I visited was full of energy, people who were curious and interested, a community on a self discovery journey between themselves and their Jewish heritage. Only the ten commandments were etched in stone. Perhaps this is the message we have to reaffirm. We are all on a journey on how to serve God and the Torah is our guide. If Chassidut was about approaching God from a different angle then Reform to me was about stepping back and refocusing and not about a disconnect. All these movements are important because they give focus. Its ironic that while the Temple stood in Jerusalem, there were no chairs. Everyone was moving, interacting and discovering. Everyone served God but not necessarily the same way. Perhaps now is the opportunity to hear the other side. We don’t have to pray together but we can hear and get to know.  Its ironic that we wouldn’t think of talking to the other side on our own initiative but travel to another part of the world and visit a Chabad House and all of a sudden we spend Shabbat talking with Jews who are complete strangers. If their was “a time to rend; then now is the time to sew” as King Solomon mentions in the Book of Ecclesiastes. After all, family is family!

The Power of Ones

In honor of the upcoming event, ‘Breakthrough Leadership – the Life of Baruch Tegegne z”l’ at the Beit Hatfutsot, Museum of the Jewish People, I would like to share some personal thought.

Baruch tegene
Machane Yehuda Shuk Jerusalem

In the early 90’s I was a teenager sitting in synagogue Saturday morning when a black mother and daughter entered the women’s gallery while and a few moments later a black father and twin boys entered the men’s section. I watched my mother quickly go over to say hello and signaled me to do the same to the father. This chance meeting led to an ongoing relationship between the Ethiopian Jewish community and our family. My mother invited them for lunch and we quickly discovered that there were hundreds of Jewish Ethiopian families brought by the JIAS to live in Montreal, Canada and money was earmarked for their integration into the Jewish community. As I sat and listened to my mother discuss with many of the families we discovered that the Jewish community as a whole did very little to welcome them in. My mom used whatever free time she had available to help ameliorate the situation. In time the community made effort to open up. As time progressed we came to know many of the families and in many ways they became like family.

One of the people that I came to know was Baruch. He was a quiet, somewhat mysterious and well dressed. When he talked about the past, there was always mention of well known leaders, heads of state, his personal trek from Ethiopia to Israel by foot and social protests. As I continue to study the history of Nelson Mandela and apartheid, black civil rights movement and the American Civil War I am slowly beginning to understand the unique role that Baruch played in helping Ethiopian Jewry achieve recognition in modern Israel.

baruch tegene protestIn the 1990’s blacks had rights and the Ethiopian community integrated fully into the broader Montreal community which is known as “Canada’s Cultural Capital”. But Baruch’s story is a bit different.  In the 70’s Baruch was a lone voice in Jerusalem advocating black rights at a time of apartheid in South Africa and social unrest in America. Baruch’s early years in Israel was at a time when there were no more than a few hundred Ethiopian people in all of Israel. Yet Baruch’s kind demeanor and sweet voice found the ear of a few individuals who saw a moral responsibility to fulfill our nations Law of Return granting every Jew in the world the right to settle in Israel. It was the lone decision of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Israel’s Chief Sephardic Rabbi who ruled following the Radbaz, that the Beta Israel were from the Tribe of Dan and confirmed the Jewish identity of the community. The Israeli government knew of the Ethiopian desire to immigrate since the early 1960’s but little was done. Again it was individuals like Dr. Graenum Berger who founded the American Association for Ethiopian Jews in the early 1970’s who kept the issue alive and relevant. Although Baruch, Dr. Berger, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and my mom witnessed the great miracles during Operation Moses and Solomon, the struggle continues today for social equality. May we merit in our days to respect and elevate the individual as John F. Kennedy once said, ‘Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings.’ יהי זכרו ברוך

A Circle To Close..A Center To Build – A brief look at Baruch’s activities in Israel in the last years of his life.