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Fox News guest Rabbi Chaim Mentz on pro-Palestinian protests: "Arabs want nothing more than to destroy our country" – Media Matters for…

Posted By on June 7, 2024

TRACE GALLAGHER (ANCHOR):I want to show the protests a few days ago at the gay pride parade between these pro-Palestinian protesters, these anti-Israel protesters, and the pride people. And this went on, Rabbi, and the whole concept here is you have the far-left going after the far-left.

RABBI CHAIM MENTZ (GUEST): Yes. When you dance with the devil, you are going to die with the devil. They thought: Hey, let's join the Palestinians and go after the Jews." But at the end of the day, the Palestinians used them, and the truth of the matter is, I hate your guts because you have American rights. In America, you have to wake up and start recognizing that this is literally what is coming to your doorstep. I'm an American but I know my history of the Jews, we have seen this, and them Arabs want nothing more than to destroy our country.

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Fox News guest Rabbi Chaim Mentz on pro-Palestinian protests: "Arabs want nothing more than to destroy our country" - Media Matters for...

Falmouth Jewish Congregation Set To Welcome Interim Rabbi – CapeNews.net

Posted By on June 7, 2024

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Falmouth Jewish Congregation Set To Welcome Interim Rabbi - CapeNews.net

Count me in as a responsible supporter of Israel – The Times of Israel

Posted By on June 7, 2024

Dvar Torah Parshat Bamidbar 2024 Rabbi Neal Borovitz Rabbi Emeritus Temple Avodat Shalom River Edge NJ

In 1993 Julie Silver an American Jewish singer- songwriter wrote a song entitled Count Me In!. For the next two decades I used this song as part of my Bnai Mitzvah family education programs at Temple Avodat Shalom. The words of the chorus are: Count me in, I can stand and be a part. Count me in, let me find my own way For I can be counted on, and Im accountable. So Count me in, count me in , today

This week marks the 80th anniversary of D Day, the battle which became the turning point for the Allied victory in WWII. It also marks 8 months since the Hamas assault on Israel murdered more Jews in a single day, since the Holocaust.

While visiting Israel in February on a volunteer mission, where I was bleseed to able to comfort and assist survivors and the loved ones of the October 7th Hamas attack, and when I stood at the beaches of Normandy at the end of Passover I thought about what it means to count myself in. When I sat down to write this Dvar Torah, my hope was that I could use this weeks Torah reading, as a filter, through which I could make sense of the events of this past year in Israel and the commemoration of the fierce battle of D-Day. and the massive loss human life that occurred on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

The fourth book of the Torah, is known by both its Hebrew name, Bamidbar , which means in the wilderness and its English, name Numbers, which comes to us through the Helenisitc Jewish tradition and the Christian tradition and aptly describes the subject matter of the opening chapters of the book where Moses is commanded to take a census of the Israelites. The two-fold purpose of this census was to draft an army who could defend the community and to recruit a class of public servants who would tend to the internal needs of the people. The bulk of the narrative found in the Book of Bamidbar deals with the theme of Julie Silvers song Count Me In. One story after another involves internal strife and dis-satisfaction with Moses and Aarons leadership and constantly points out the challenges of deciding whether we count ourselves in or out of a group or community, and whom else we count in or count out, as part of our family and community. Truth be told, the text itself of this weeks parsha is rather boring in its counting of the contingents of able bodied men suitable for the military to be drawn from each tribe as Moses begins his preparation for the conquest of the Promised Land. However, because of the coinciding of a number of events in the news week, Parshat Bamidbar, this portion about who is counted, and who can be counted upon, takes on for me a new relevance.

Who do you and I count in as part of our community? To which groups of people do we shout out COUNT ME IN! and more tragically whom do we count out, and from which groups with whom we might choose to affiliate are we counted out?

In current American politics there are so many instances in which the questions of who we count in and whom we dont from who has a right to seek asylum, to who can vote, and a plethora of other issues. The issues I feel most passionate about raising today, knowing there are no simple answers, are the serious and salient issues of who counts and who doesnt, in Israeli society; and who we and our fellow Jews around the world count in as members of People Israel.

Prior to the heinous attack of October 7th, 2023, Israel had experienced a decade of political instability during which the formation of a functional government was a continuous challenge. The invasion of Hamas on October 7th, and the murder and mayhem of that day, which included the taking of over 200 hostages and the slaughter of over 1200 innocent civilians has had both a unifying and a divisive effect within Israeli society and world Jewry.

The initial aftermath of the Hamas invasion of October 7th brought the political protest of the previous 10 months to a temporary pause. In the initial weeks of the war, Israeli society, world Jewry, and most Western nations rallied together and railed against Hamas. As we know, the sympathy for Israeli hostages, the families of those slaughtered by Hamas, and those displaced from their homes in both the areas bordering Gaza and in the North of Israel, where Hezbollah rockets have forced nearly 200, 000 Israelis to be evacuated from their homes over the past 8 months , changed dramatically as the Autumn turned to Winter and has, this Spring, mushroomed into a new wave of antisemitism around the world, including American college campuses. This war is now the longest continuous battle in Israels 76 year history. Should not both the Displaced in Gaza and the Evacuees in Israel, who are all dislocated be,Counted In as worthy of our concern and our care?

As I mention above, the Torah portion of Bamidbar recounts a census for the purpose of military conscription. Before proceeding on the journey to The Promise land Moses, at Gods instruction does an accounting of whom among the Israelites would hold themselves accountable for the defense of the nation. Today, the small standing army and the reservists of Israel are under indescribable pressure as this war continues. The divisive debates within Israel over the issue of exemptions for Yeshiva students from military service are raging louder than ever within Israeli society. With the reconvening of the Knesset on May 20th the issue of who has a responsibility to proclaim Hineni, Im here to serve in the battle for Israels survival is front and center. Moreover, the questions of who, is counted in as part of the society and who can be counted upon to stand up and defend the nation is not limited to Israeli Jews. As the stresses between Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel grow larger, the questions of Arab participation in defense of the nation have once again risen. So too has the burial of Israeli soldiers who are Jewish under The Law of Return but not Halacha, brought renewed divisiveness into Israeli public debate. Can these fallen soldiers be buried in national military cemeteries or not?

While the Gaza war and its impact upon the civilian population of Gaza, including both those who have died due to acts of war and those who live with the fear of starvation, and the fate of Israelis held hostage by Hamas garner the headlines, I am equally concerned about the constant violence in The West Bank between Arabs and Jews which was the topic of a May 19th New York Times Magazine cover story and the violence that has occurred at protests within Israel and around the world in response to the Gaza War. Who do we count in and who do we count out? Who can Israel count upon to support them in their existential battle for survival? Who can Palestinians civilians caught in the crossfire of Hamass Attack and Israels response, count on for food, shelter and protection?

Taking a census has been throughout human history, including Jewish history and American history, a controversial issue. At times people are very reticent to let themselves be counted. The cliche Ive got your number is one reflection of the fear people have to let others know of their existence and residence. The controversies over counting all residents of The United States, in the 2020 census is the most recent example of how the powerful wanted to count out some members of our society and the powerless are too often fearful of being counted.

The positive consequence of a full and accurate census as reflected here in Bamidbar is giving each person the opportunity to stand up and be counted. I hear in both our Parsha this week and the American Constitutions call for a census once a decade, the responsibility of communal leadership to affirm that every one of us counts.

Bamidbar, this Book of Numbers, challenges us this year to commit ourselves to be accountable for Tikun Olam, the Repair of World. it calls upon as well to count ourselves in as responsible Americans responsible Jews and responsible Human Beings.

History shows that a society that affirms that everyone counts equally, is much more likely to have their citizenry confirm in the words of Julie Silvers song:

Count me in, I can stand and be a part. Count me in, let me find my own way For I can be counted on, and Im accountable. So Count me in, count me in, today.

Rabbi Borovitz was elected the Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Avodat Shalom in River Edge in June 2013 after serving the synagogue as rabbi for the previous 25 years. Prior to assuming his position in River Edge in the summer of 1988 Rabbi Borovitz served as Hillel Rabbi and Instructor in Biblical and Religious Studies at the University of Texas in Austin (1975-82), the Executive Director of the Labor Zionist Alliance on the United States, (1982-83) and as the Rabbi of Union Temple in Brooklyn, New York (1983-88). Rabbi Borovitz, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, received his B.A. from Vanderbilt University in 1970, his M.A. from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religious (HUC-JIR) in 1973 and was ordained at HUC-JIR in June 1975. In March of 2000, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity from HUC-JIR. Rabbi Borovitz is an active leader in community affairs. He has been a member of the Bergen County Interfaith Brotherhood Sisterhood committee for 25 years. He is the immediate past chair of Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey and has also served on the Jewish Federation Board. He currently serves on the National Board of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs; the Rabbinic cabinet of the Jewish Federations of North America and on the Foundation Board of Bergen Regional Medical Center, the county hospital in Bergen County NJ. He is past President of the Bergen County Board of Rabbis and the North Jersey Board of Rabbis as well as the founding chairman of the Jewish Learning Project of Bergen County Rabbi Borovitz is a frequent contributor to the Jewish Standard and the Bergen Record and a frequent lecturer on Judaism; The Middle East and Interfaith cooperation.

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Count me in as a responsible supporter of Israel - The Times of Israel

Find a Rabbi – My Jewish Learning

Posted By on June 7, 2024

With the arrival of Shavuot next week, Jewish wedding season swings into high gear, and rabbis like myself will find ourselves quite busy. Truth be told, while a rabbis efforts are highly visible during the wedding ceremony, the real work of ushering a new couple into healthy matrimony has typically taken place over months of conversation and learning. Its powerful work, and I know I find it a great privilege. A rabbi can make a significant difference in the religious and spiritual lives of a couple, whether they are both Jewish or not.

That said, the power a rabbi draws upon to transform two individuals into a married couple by American legal standards does not come from Judaism. Toward the end of the ceremony, just before a glass is stomped on, I declare as officially as I can, By the power invested in me by the Commonwealth of Virginia, I hereby declare you married. Ill further certify what I have declared by signing (in duplicate! in black pen!) the wedding license and returning it (within five days!) to the courthouse. This is what makes the couple legally married in the eyes of the state.

There is no part of a Jewish wedding ceremony when a rabbi (or cantor) marries a couple. While we have been certified by our states to perform weddings that have legal standing, we have no special Jewish powers to turn single people into a couple married in the eyes of God. To guests, it may appear otherwise. After all, the rabbi chants Hebrew prayers and blessings, pours wine into cups, and instructs the couple on what to say. But in reality, it is the bride and groom who marry themselves with two transformative practices.

The first occurs just before the ceremony when the ketubah, the wedding contract, is read. The traditional ketubah is a legal document that a groom presents to a bride in which he stipulates precisely how he will care for her during the marriage. In liberal and interfaith settings, the ketubah is more egalitarian, affirming the terms that both partners will adhere to in their relationship. Typically, it speaks of love, mutual support and being on a shared journey through life together.

A wedding ring appears during the second transformative practice. In liberal settings, rings are typically exchanged and the couple makes a mutual declaration to the effect that the rings symbolize the joining of their lives. In traditional settings, the groom typically gives the bride a ring and declares that she is now consecrated to him in accordance with Jewish law. By accepting the ring (or some other token of value), she indicates her agreement to the terms he has set forth.

The performance of these two practices constitute a Jewish marriage. While a rabbi typically directs the couple through these and other parts of a wedding ceremony, any layperson with Hebrew facility could do this. Interestingly, it was not until the Middle Ages that rabbis got into the wedding act as officiants. Before that, Jewish weddings were largely economic proceedings arranged by families.

So why engage a rabbi for a wedding at all? There are many reasons why I encourage couples to turn to a rabbi at this important milestone in their lives.

As a spiritual guide, a rabbi can help the couple see their wedding as part of their Jewish journey. As a gentle teacher, a rabbi can help them discover the Jewish wisdom and values that can lift up their lives together. Together, they can study the history and multiple interpretations of Jewish wedding practices and learn how to connect to them in a way that feels meaningful. When the ceremony takes place, the couple will not feel like passive observers. If they have learned to adapt ancient practices to their modern sensibilities, that is a skill they can turn to for future life-cycle events and holiday celebrations. Rabbis with special training can also provide premarital counseling from a Jewish perspective. For interfaith couples hoping to one day have children, the rabbi can share wise paths others have taken. And for sure: the rabbi will prepare the Jewish member of the couple to step up and find a supportive Jewish community if he or she wishes to one day have a Jewish home.

It can be challenging to find the right rabbi to play this role. But for the reasons I have suggested, I encourage couples to search for a rabbi and not at the last minute, as often happens, but at the same time they look for a venue or consider a date. And heres one more reason: When a rabbi officiates at a wedding, a couple is making a powerful statement about their identity. They are saying: Judaism matters to us.

This article initially appeared in My Jewish Learnings Shabbat newsletter Recharge on June 8, 2024. To sign up to receive Recharge each week in your inbox,click here.

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Find a Rabbi - My Jewish Learning

Picture of the Day – Anash.org – Good News

Posted By on June 7, 2024

The Biala-Pshischa Rebbe of Ashdod, Rabbi Yaakov Elimelech Rabinovitz, warmly received the sefer Dvar Malchus on Hilchos Moshiach, presented by Rabbi Eliyahu Ezagui, brother of the sefers compiler.

The Biala-Pshischa Rebbe of Ashdod, Rabbi Yaakov Elimelech Rabinovitz, warmly received the sefer Dvar Malchus on Hilchos Moshiach, presented by Rabbi Eliyahu Ezagui, brother of the sefers compiler.

Rabbi Ezagui showed the Rebbe an original print from Venice, dated 1484, exactly 500 years ago, in which the title of chapters 11-12 in Hilchos Melachim are printed correctly as Hilchos Melachim uMilchamos uMelech HaMoshiach.

The sefer is a collection of explanations by the Rebbe on the last two chapters of the Rambam, which discuss matters of Moshiach and Geulah.

The Rebbe explained that the most direct way to hasten the coming of Moshiach is through increasing ones Torah learning, especially in the areas of Moshiach and Geulah.

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Picture of the Day - Anash.org - Good News

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach: ‘Ben Shapiro only fired Candace Owens because of me’ – The Jerusalem Post

Posted By on June 7, 2024

Living in New York City, I have had the opportunity to cross paths with many influential and well-known figures in the Jewish world. Over the past few years, it has been a tremendous privilege to become close to Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who is known as Americas rabbi.

Boteach is an eloquent public speaker and writer, as well as a popular television and radio host. He is the author of over 30 books, including The Israel Warrior: Fighting Back for the Jewish State from Campus to Street Corner.

For two seasons, he hosted the prime-time reality television series Shalom in the Home, which was one of the highest-rated shows on TLC. Boteach has met a myriad of celebrities, from Elie Wiesel to Michael Jackson, Pamela Anderson and Roseanne Barr, and has provided them with sound advice and guidance. At the same time, he has debated bigots and fought for the Jewish people in various arenas, from the halls of Oxford University to Times Square.

No matter where he fights the battle for Israel, Boteach is a force to be reckoned with. He has been described as one of the most influential Jews today. The Washington Post referred to him as the most famous rabbi in America; Newsweek named him one of the 10 most influential rabbis in the United States; and The Jerusalem Post named him one of the 50 most influential Jews in the world.

Boteach, who is married to Debbie, with whom he had nine children, is the founder and executive director of The World Values Network, a Jewish and Zionist nonprofit organization that he established in 2007. The mission of the organization is to disseminate universal Jewish values in politics, culture, and media. The organization is founded on the belief that Judaism, with its emphasis on improving the world and celebrating life, can help America address some of its greatest challenges, such as high divorce rates, teenager alienation, depression, and increasing ignorance and materialism.

It holds an annual Champions of Jewish Values International Awards gala, which has honored figures in the fields of politics, business, journalism, and entertainment who have promoted Israel and Jewish values. With the rise in antisemitism across America and the world, Boteach has taken it upon himself to fight the PR battle for Israel and the Jewish nation on a daily basis and does not show any signs of slowing down. I recently had the chance to speak to him regarding the state of the world today and what must be done for the nation of Israel to win the battle against bigotry and antisemitism.

Thats an excellent question. You would have thought that a Holocaust-level day of extinction in Israel would have reminded the world of the tragedies of the Holocaust and there would be more sympathy. Instead, we saw precisely the opposite. I guess the answer is that antisemitism was always lurking underneath, and it took some explosion to allow it to be manifest. For example, I had always heard that X, Facebook, and Instagram were sewers of antisemitism, and I had seen a lot of it. But, forget about it. What I have seen in my own interactions with the, lets say four to five thousand messages that I get per a day, the antisemitism is so extreme, the bile is so poisonous, the attacks are so personal, that I have seen a whole new side of the world that I had never seen before. If its true (as they say) that 70 percent of the Internet is promiscuous according to statistics, I wouldnt even say thats true. I would say that 70 percent of the Internet is antisemitism. Its astonishing how bad it is.

My answer to the students is the same as the answer to the question of why I debate with people like Alex Jones, Mohammed Hijab, Cenk Uygur, and Norman Finkelstein. Youre not going to change any of their minds and almost any of their followers minds. I mean, most of the followers of the people I just mentioned are antisemites, white supremacists, Islamists, etc. Theyre the worst antisemites from the extreme Right and the extreme Left, so why debate them? The answer is that the Jews are watching, and right now we are a very frightened people. So when one Jew gets up on TV or on a video platform or on a podcast and shows that he or she is not going to be afraid of these guys and will debate with them, it sets an example. I may not change any minds, but I will demonstrate fearlessness. Then suddenly, all the Jews that are watching are thinking, Yeah, why am I afraid? What am I afraid of? I can also fight. Thats my message to the Jewish college students. The Jewish college students are so much more powerful than they realize. For example, take NYU, where my son was an undergraduate a few years ago [now hes in the IDF fighting in the war], which passed two BDS proposals to have NYU divest from Israel. How many students passed it? Only 60 members from SJP [Students for Justice in Palestine]. There were 6,000 Jewish undergraduates, the largest Jewish population of any university in the United States. So how is it that 60 pro-Palestinian students can pass resolutions against Israel to divest and economically destroy Israel, and some of the Jewish students attending the university werent fighting it or responding? The Jewish students need to know how powerful they are when they raise their voices and they fight back and that they are actually very impactful. So if I a short five foot six inch Jew can fight these really bad guys in the media, and trust me its uncomfortable (I get afraid like anyone else), then they can as well. I get attacked all over the streets of New York, and I have been able to actually videotape many of these attacks in the past, as well as stand my ground.

The first thing is, you have to be filled with courage. The second thing is that if you are attacked on the street, you must film it because most of the people who are attacking you in the streets are cowards. Thats why they are attacking you when you are alone, not protected, precisely because they are cowards. What they are most afraid of is being exposed. When you film them, their employer sees it, their community sees it, their relatives see it. Then all of a sudden, some are not going to be very proud of them and wont be like, Oh, wow, youre an antisemite, Im so proud of you. Instead, they are going to be shocked and be like, Really? Youre attacking people on the street? You must shame them, get out your phone and be ready. The third thing is never back down, never have fear; stand in their face. Dont provoke them we are not like them, who harass people but stand your ground.

Lets be clear. Not only did Dennis Prager and Ben Shapiro fail to speak out and their silence became deafening, but they actually did speak out and they defended her. Dennis Prager has been a friend and mentor to me for three decades. Our friendship has been severely tested by his choice to proactively defend the foremost female antisemite in America. I was shocked when he did that, and we discussed it. I said, Dennis, I fear that you have forever stained your legacy. In the past, your legacy was being a champion of Israel, a champion of Jewishness, and now youre defending the foremost Jew hater in America. A woman who says that Israel is genocidal, a woman who promotes the idea that Jews drink the blood of Christians. A woman who says that Jews control Hollywood and run sex rings there. She is psychotic, and he is defending her. Even worse, though, is Ben Shapiro. At the very least, Dennis Prager didnt make money from it, but Ben Shapiro profited and we dont even know how much. Im guessing to the tune of millions of dollars because for two years after knowing what Candace Owens was, for two years after she came out and defended Kanye West, who said he loved and proclaimed Hitler, Ben Shapiro continued to profit from her daily broadcast. So what I would say to Ben Shapiro is You have disgraced yourself, and you have disgraced your own moral compass. You have also betrayed your people, the Jewish people. You have defiled the yarmulke on your head because if you wear a yarmulke, especially on national TV, you are declaring yourself as an ambassador of the Jewish people, and that comes with a lot of responsibility. If you are declaring that I am an Orthodox Jew and Im in the media and I make money from antisemites, then that desecrates your yarmulke. A yarmulke means Yere Malka that I fear God. No one who fears God is going to make money from those who assail Gods chosen people, including innocent Israelis and the IDF.

Candace Owens was only fired by Ben Shapiro because of the pressure that I and my daughter exerted upon him. So he cant really do teshuva [repentance] because he didnt really choose to fire her, and yet he called me disgraceful on the Piers Morgan show. The only teshuva that he can do is to have accountants do an analysis of how much money he and The Daily Wire which I call The Daily Liar with Candace Owens made and to donate that money to two groups. The first group is the victims of the families of October 7, and the second group is the IDF widows whose husbands fell in combat. If he does that, I will consider that proper teshuva. If he does not do that and he keeps the money that he made from Candace Owens for the past two years, then I guarantee him that there will be no blessing on that money, and it would be a curse to him.

I think that RFK, Jr. is the most pro-Israel of all the presidential candidates right now. He is a very special man. He actually lost a lot of support from his own people because of his stance, but he said, I can lose all of my support, but I am never going to change my support of Israel, and Im always going to be a champion of Israel.

That is the critical question. Lets just look at the numbers for a second. A lot of Jews are saying that there is no way we can win this battle. There are 400 million Arabs, 1.3 billion Muslims, and there are only 16 million Jews. So I always remind them, okay there are 16 million Jews, lets say just 10% of the world Jewish community were actually part of the pro-Israel community and are actively involved in the online wars on Twitter, X, Facebook and Instagram and they were actively protesting on the streets, actively writing columns and signing petitions. An army of 1.6 million can easily defeat an army of hundreds of millions. We saw it during the Second World War. How many American soldiers landed on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944, on D Day? Just 250,000. Yet they slowly pushed back all of Hitlers soldiers. An army of 1.6 million people is very significant, and our numbers would be great. The problem is that we only have one percent of the world Jewish community that are actually engaged. I would be surprised if more than 160,000 Jews (outside of Israel) more than 1% were involved. I think that in the United States we have around six million Jews and would be surprised if more than one percent of what we call the pro-Israel community were involved. Whenever you go to a pro-Israel rally in places like New York, its always the same people over and over again. We need more people to be involved and to help make a difference.

The writer received his undergraduate degree in business (cum laude) from Yeshiva University and his MBA with double distinction from Long Island University. He is a financial adviser who resides in New York City and is involved in Israel-based and Jewish advocacy organizations.

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Rabbi Shmuley Boteach: 'Ben Shapiro only fired Candace Owens because of me' - The Jerusalem Post

400% ROI on the Rebbe – Anash.org – Good News

Posted By on June 7, 2024

After the Rebbe announced on Simchas Torah that whoever went out of their limits for tzedaka would earn fivefold, Rabbi Avremel Silver wrote a check for all that he had. The results were astounding.

Heres My Story

Rabbi Avremel Silver is a businessman living in Crown Heights. He was interviewed in January 2024.

After getting married in 1975, I first tried pursuing a certain opportunity to be a Chabad shliach, but it didnt work out. So I got back on the bus, went back to Crown Heights, and started looking for ways to make a living.

There were a few other young men my age who were going to work in the diamond industry on Manhattans 47th street, so I wrote to the Rebbe about the opportunity. His response came back about two hours after I had sent in my question, and it was clear: Take the offer.

In general, whenever I wrote to the Rebbe, the answers I received were very clear and direct. Often, I had peers who wrote similar questions to the Rebbe at the same time I did, but the Rebbe would simply advise them to consult with knowledgeable friends.

So, in January 1979, I began working in the diamond industry as a broker; finding people who wanted to sell diamonds, others who wanted to buy them, and earning a commission of about $300 a week.

That year, on the first day of Sukkot, a close friend of mine had a son, and then during the second part of the holiday, on the night of Shemini Atzeret, my wife gave birth to a boy as well. The next morning, I waited on the steps of 770, and as the Rebbe was walking into the building, I told him the good news.

Mazal Tov, he told me, and then added that I should make sure to be called up to the Torah that day.

On Simchat Torah, my friend made a brit for his son, which was followed by a celebratory farbrengen. Of course, I attended, and being in a festive mood, I said a few lchaims. The next thing I knew, I woke up and it was dark outside, which meant that the holiday was already over. So I got up, dusted myself off, and went to see my wife and son in the hospital.

When I returned to Crown Heights, I stopped in 770, where the Rebbe had been holding the usual farbrengen at the end of the holiday. By then, I had missed the farbrengen itself, and now when I returned from the hospital, the Rebbe was in middle of distributing kos shel bracha pouring a little wine from his cup to each individual following Havdalah. At the same time, there was some kind of a commotion going on in 770. Soon, I learned what had happened during the farbrengen.

We are standing in a moment that is higher than any limitation, the Rebbe had declared. On Simchat Torah, we celebrate by dancing. Rather than opening up the Torah scrolls, studying from them, or asking anybody how much Torah they know, we keep the scrolls closed and dance with them as they are. On Simchat Torah, said the Rebbe, the most learned rabbi and the simplest Jew are equal; it is a time beyond reason and measurement. Therefore, if we take it upon ourselves to do something beyond our limits, beyond reason, then G-d will respond in kind and will give back to us without limits.

The Rebbe was saying all of this in the context of a talk about charity. Whoever committed himself, he said, to give a sum of money to charity without making any considerations whether he can afford it or not and this money could go to any charitable organization, not necessarily to the Rebbes own causes would receive five times that amount in return. In this, he made a reference to the biblical story of how, following the famine in Egypt, farmers would give one portion of their crops to Pharaoh, and then four portions shall be yours. This calculation, said the Rebbe, was meant literally: Youll be able to count it with your finger!

By the next morning, I decided I wanted to give all of our money to the Rebbe. I went to speak to my personal chasidic mentor, a sagacious man named Rabbi Shmuel Dovid Raichik of Los Angeles, about the idea. Rabbi Raichik thought that it would be appropriate, sensing that the Rebbe had presented all the young men of Lubavitch who, like me, had gone into business, with a special opportunity for giving charity.

I had five thousand dollars saved up at that point, and so I made out a check to the Rebbe for the entire sum. To put it into perspective, I was paying $250 in rent at the time, and that was my biggest expense.

In the meantime, I told the bank that if a check came in for a few thousand dollars, it wasnt fraud.

The next Shabbat, the Rebbe brought up what he had said during the farbrengen on Simchat Torah. He clarified that it was not his intention to make a charity appeal. Rather, he was challenging his chasidim to go beyond their limitations in a practical way, thereby testing themselves as to how much they were impacted by Simchat Torah. If someone donated the money with that mindset, it is a certainty that G-d would pay them back five-fold. However, one who only decided to make their donation later on, or not in the Simchat Torah spirit that he had described, ought not make it at all and should come by the office to take their donation back.

Now, I had only decided to make the donation once I heard what the Rebbe had said after Simchat Torah was over. Nevertheless, I decided that I wasnt going to come to pick up my check; let the Rebbe decide whether to cash it, I figured.

A week went by, and then a month. Eight or nine weeks later, on a Thursday, I got a call from the bank: The check had arrived.

Now, by this time, it was almost 1980 and the Iranian hostage crisis was going on. As a result, the price of precious metals had taken off, and a certain financial consultant I knew, named Bob Schwartz, had advised to invest in gold and silver. There were a few dollars left over from my kids birthday money, and so I went and bought some silver dollars for them, at the price of $24 dollars each.

We spent that Shabbat with my in-laws in New Jersey. At shul on Friday night, this Bob Schwartz was there, and he mentioned to me that he had also bought silver dollars but for $26. As soon as he told me that, I realized there was money to be made.

Bob, I told him. I paid $24, thats a two-dollar spread. Let me buy them for you, and well split the dollar.

Why not, replied Bob. Go out and buy $50,000 worth of silver coins for me.

To me, $50,000 was more money than the world, and I didnt have a dollar left to my name at that point. But I have no money, I told Bob.

He was unperturbed. I trust you youre Mottel Simons son-in-law. Come by my office on Monday morning, and Ill give you the money.

Sure enough, he handed me $50,000 in cash. Now I was in the precious metals business, which enabled me to start buying and selling for others as well. That very week, I earned $5,000 making back all of the money I had donated. The following week, I made $10,000, then $15,000 in the third week, and I kept on going throughout the year. I managed to pay off all of my debt, and then give a few dollars to charity as well.

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400% ROI on the Rebbe - Anash.org - Good News

UN Watchdog Files Complaint Against Official For Trying To Skirt Rules On Honorarium Offered By Fake ‘Chief Rabbi … – The Daily Wire

Posted By on June 7, 2024

A United Nations watchdog filed a complaint Monday morning against a top official at the international organization for trying to skirt the rules of accepting honorariums.

The complaint is based on a series of emails obtained by The Daily Wire in which a top official was duped by the satirical Chief Rabbi of Gaza to speak at an anti-Israel protest.Francesca Albanese, the UNs Special Rapporteur on the Palestinian territories, was fooled last month by the invite and honorarium offer to speak at Columbia Universitys encampment by the parody account Rabbi Linda Goldstein, known for using progressive talking points to mock anti-Israel protesters.

In the emails, Albaneses assistant proposed the eight-month anniversary of Hamas attack for the speech, asked for the Zoom link, and requested that the honorarium amount be given to an outside organization to fund her assistants fellowship.

Hillel Neuer, the executive director of UN Watch, filed a complaint on Monday calling for an investigation into Albanese illegally requesting payments for work done in her official UN capacity.

As the evidence shows, Ms. Albanese is engaged in a practice by which she knowingly and unethically circumvents this prohibition, by requesting instead that, in exchange for her lectures, payments by external groups be made to her research assistant, Neuer wrote.

Excellencies, in light of the foregoing, we respectfully request that you commence an immediate and independent investigation into Ms. Albaneses violations of the Code of Conduct, he added.

Neuer requested a full disclosure of all of Albaneses payments, whether direct or indirect, the name of the institute that was going to send the invoice, and an explanation into the legality of Albaneses actions.

The letter was addressed to UN Secretary-General Antnio Guterres and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk.

Goldstein is a well-known parody account that uses progressive anti-Zionist language to make jokes about the anti-Israel movement several times a day on X.

On behalf of the Gaza solidarity encampment at Columbia University, we wish to invite Special Rapporteur Albanese to deliver a keynote address at her convenience to the thousands of students gathered at the camp, Goldstein wrote to Albanese in the invitation. Many anti-Zionist Jews like myself have taken a leading role, and we would be honored to have you. I look forward to hearing from you.

Email correspondences indicate that Albanese was willing to participate.

Research assistant, Eleonora De Martin, responded to the invitation, asking for more details on the topic and the length. In full solidarity with what you are doing, Ms Albanese would like to know some more details on her intervention, De Martin wrote.

De Martin maintained interest in the proposition, even after being told it was a speech about the morality of the intifada.

[W]e want to hear about the Morality of the Intifada, which Zionists have co-opted and turned into a dirty word, Goldstein wrote. There is also a small honorarium available.

De Martin responded, asking if Albanese could speak on May 7the eight-month anniversary of the Hamas attack.

If I understood correctly, you would like Ms Albanese to deliver a keynote speech of around 15/20 minutes to the students, De Martin said, adding that Albanese could not officially accept an honorarium, but asked for it to go elsewhere.

Moreover, concerning the honorarium, she cannot take honorarium for anything she does in her official capacity, De Martin wrote. However, she kindly asks for this honorarium to be transferred to the Fellowship of her volunteer which supports her mandate work. Could you please provide some detail on the sum of the honorarium? The research institute will then send you the invoice for payment.

Sara Troian, another research assistant, told The Daily Wire that Alabanese never agreed to Linda Goldsteins request, even though emails show her team asked for a Zoom link. The assistant added that she wanted the honorarium to be sent to her university to fund her own work.

Francesca Albaneses staff asked to speak to the Columbia University encampment on the seven-month anniversary of the Hamas massacre of Israeli civilians.

Regarding the honorarium, there seems to be some confusion: it was me proposing that it would be sent to my University for the purpose to fund my fellowship, Troian said. The Erasmus University of Rotterdam, which hosts me as a Research Fellow, collects funds from individual donors with the only purpose of accompanying the Special Rapporteur in her country-missions. My work of support to the Special Rapporteurs mandate is fully voluntary and I do not get paid for it.

After Goldstein asked if the honorarium could be donated to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) instead, Albaneses team stopped replying.

Is it okay if its donated to UNRWA in her honor instead? Goldstein wrote. Since I was displaced from Gaza as Chief Rabbi after October 7 its near and dear to us.

Francesca Albanese, the embattled UNs Special Rapporteur on the Palestinian territories was duped by a satirical X account.

Troian said Albaneses team did not respond to the last message because they realized Goldstein was not a reliable account.

The character of Goldstein told The Daily Wire that she fears her arch-nemesis Hillel Neuer is probably the most effective Zionist.

All of us anti-Zionists (NOT anti-Semites) fear him, she said.

As the Chief Rabbi of Gaza, I know how it feels to be targeted by Zionists, Goldstein said. Perhaps if shed follow through with her speech and hadnt disrespected the Chief Rabbi of Gaza, her ethical issues wouldnt have come to light.

Albanese is known for inflammatory anti-Israel rhetoric which led to her being barred from the Jewish state in February after she contended that French President Emanuel Macron was wrong for labeling Hamas October 7 massacre as the biggest anti-Semitic massacre of our century. She instead said the attack was launched as a way to break the occupation against apartheid.

The Daily Wire previously reported in February that Albanese told Harvard University students that Israel did not have the right to defend itself from the terrorists who raped, murdered, and burned people and homes.

It didnt have the right to act in self-defense, meaning waging a war because it couldnt wage a war against the people it maintains under occupation, Albanese said. What Israel had to do was to repel the attack on its own territory, arrest and detain and treat humanely the people who had been arrested and ensure justice.

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UN Watchdog Files Complaint Against Official For Trying To Skirt Rules On Honorarium Offered By Fake 'Chief Rabbi ... - The Daily Wire

Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky Who Oversaw Thousands of Chabad Institutes Dead at 75 – The Jewish Press – JewishPress.com

Posted By on June 7, 2024

The Chabad movement on Tuesday issued this statement:

Rabbi Kotlarsky, who was born in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn in 1949, joined Merkos, the Chabad outreach division, shortly after he got married, when the movement was experiencing explosive growth in the number of Chabad emissaries worldwide. Starting in 1968, he traveled to remote Jewish communities, assessing their needs and collaborating with local leaders to plan future Chabad centers. Combining organizational abilities and fundraising skills, he became a vital link between field operatives and Chabad headquarters.

As Vice Chairman of the expansive network overseeing more than 5,000 institutions across 100 countries, Rabbi Kotlarsky presided over the massive annual Kinus Hashluchim conference in New York City for Chabad emissaries. He directed this event where more than 5,000 emissaries and families participated in workshops, social activities, a communal Shabbat, and a banquet. Kotlarsky also served as a top Chabad spokesperson, overseeing religious and educational institutions globally.

He cultivated relationships with major philanthropists worldwide who funded Chabads growth, including the late Sami Rohr and his son George, whose investments significantly supported Chabads expansion on campuses and in Eastern Europe. Rabbi Kotlarskys office administered the Bogolubov Simcha Fund, disbursing grants for family expenses to Chabad representatives internationally. He also facilitated individual grants for emissaries and community projects by connecting them with philanthropic contacts.

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Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky Who Oversaw Thousands of Chabad Institutes Dead at 75 - The Jewish Press - JewishPress.com

Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar Meets with Rabbi Yaakov Meir Shechter – CrownHeights.info

Posted By on June 7, 2024

Hagaon Hatzaddik Rabbi Yaakov Meir Shechter, leader of Breslev chassidim and Rosh Yeshiva of the Yeshivas Hamekubalim Shaar Hashamayim, met with the Chief Rabbi of Russia Hagaon Rabbi Berel Lazar who came to the Holy Land for a quick visit to benefit the klal.

Hagaon Rabbi Shechter welcomed his guest with a shining countenance and seated him at the head of the table. They conversed for a while on Torah matters, amongst which Rabbi Lazar repeated an explanation from the Lubavitcher Rebbe zatzal on the words of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai which he said about himself I can absolve the entire world from judgement. At first these words are difficult to understand, since how can Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai absolve a Jew who committed a grave sin and deserves harsh punishment? The Lubavitcher Rebbe explains that this is so because Rashbi connects with every yid, even one who is at the lowest spiritual level, and therefore he can absolve even such a person.Upon hearing this, Rabbi Shechter smiled widely and remarked that only the Rebbe can give such an explanation.

Rabbi Shechter shared that when his daughter was ill, he sent a letter with a request to the Lubavitcher Rebbe that he daven for her. The conversation continued as he took interest in the activities of the Rebbes Shluchim in Russia.

When Rabbi Lazar spoke about it being evident how a yids Neshama suddenly awakens, since the spark is always burning deep inside Rabbi Shechter reacted with great enthusiasm.

The fascinating dialogue touched upon a number of public matters, amongst which Rabbi Shechter expressed gratitude to Russias Chief Rabbi for his assistance to Breslev chassidim in Uman.

As the visit came to an end, Rabbi Shechter presented his guest with two of his new books, thanked him for the visit and walked him to the main entrance with great honor.

photo credit Maayan Yerushalayim

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Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar Meets with Rabbi Yaakov Meir Shechter - CrownHeights.info


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