Friday, July 31, 2009

George Soros - A Jewish Riddle Resolved

How is it, you might ask, a Jewish multi-billionaire, an octogenarian, and a holocaust survivor could seek to dismember the Jewish state of Israel and undermine the yearnings of worldwide Jewry by promoting dissolution of Israel and scorn for the Jewish religion - as is evident by his financial backing of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic organizations? How could a successful Jew bring himself to this incredible level of hatred for the Jewish essence?

We find an answer to this question in today's weekly portion of Torah (Eschanan). On the verse (Dev. 6, 5), "And you should love G-d ... with all your soul and with all your might," Rashi explains the words, "all your might" to mean, "with all your money."

Wait a minute, you might ask, the Torah just told us to love G-d with all our soul; Then why bother to say, "and with all your money"? If a person loves G-d with all his soul, then surely he'd love G-d with all his money. Why add, "and with all you money" when that's self-evident?

Rashi teaches us about the unusual psyche of some people. Some people, he says, actually value their money more than their own personal being. It's these people the last clause addresses. These people, too, the Torah enjoins to love G-d "with all your might [=money]."

We now gain insight into this strange breed of person, who is willing to smother his heritage and his millennia-old traditions, only to propogate and swell his wealth. For, you can be sure, if he were not getting richer by supporting these leftist organizations, he would never do it.

Puzzle resloved. How can a man who has so much going for him, be a traitor to the very source of goodness he engenders - spitting in G-d's face and into the faces of his brethren? He is a species of person who worships at the idol of money -- to the point of self-sacrifice. Even if he's already got one foot in the grave, concern for his money is paramount. That he won't be able to take his money with him when he goes, let alone the judgements that will befall him on that fateful day, I doubt he takes the time to contemplate.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Physics Inching its Way to Torah

A fascinating, current issue in Physics, first proposed in 1964, continues the trend of Physics to catch up to the Torah point of view*. A significant finding, that of Bell's Theorem (named after the Irish physicist John Stewart Bell), proves there exist both LOCAL and NON-LOCAL phenomena in the universe.

Local phenomena imply that events associate by way of transfer of information, the fastest rate of which is the speed of light. Non-local phenomena, on the other hand, show instantaneous associative changes, as when particles many light-years apart influence each other instantaneously.

This, of course, is nothing new to Chassidus. Chassidus has always postulated that reality can either be of "inner presence" (being localized) and referred to as "Or Pnimi", or of omni-presence (being everywhere at the same time) and referred to as "Or Sovev".

* We are not talking about the pseudoscience of evolutionary or of global warming theories, both of which are merely sleazy political publicizations to promote a secular or socialistic agenda, respectively. Such "scientists" will never let solid science sway them from their crooked path.

More Elaboration

In order to push something, you have to touch it, or throw something at it. That is to say, somehow you have to reach it. Either you have to be right next to it, or through a chain of events exert your influence over it. This chain of events in Physics is called "localization".

Of the many intuitions that quantum physics shattered, the intuitiveness of localization is probably the biggest of them. Quantum mechanics asserts that two particles need not be physically or geographically adjacent to influence each other. Nor do the two particles need to be of the same kind. For example, one could be a neutron and the other an electron, and they can be at the opposite sides of the galaxy, and still one can influence the other immediately - faster than the speed of light.

This non-local simultaneous connection between particles ("quantum phase entanglement") takes the philosopher to new plains of thought, to real shaky ground. After all, non-localization describes a possibilty of having physical influence on something or someone without touching it (or him) and without an intervening chain of events. The physicist is really in a state of philosophical quandary, where the foundations of his "logic" are unravelling.

In Jewish teachings non-localization is well-entrenched. He who learned knows that a blessing, a thought or conversation can render the target a good influence (or vice versa). We know about reaching not just across large spaces but also across vast swaths of time, as in prophecy. We learned about "returning to G-d" - which can change, not only the future, but even correct the past.

Our sages always teach us to forego intuition or self-centeredness that pronounces our individuality, that makes us feel separate and apart. Rather, we have to feel that "all Jews are each other's guarantors, all Jews are intertwined". No matter where the other Jew is, locally or spiritually, that whatever one does has influence on another.

And therefore, we have to think good so that it will be good!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Eggs Are Good For You

If any clever doctor tells you to avoid eggs, or tells you they're not good for you, know that he contradicts the Jewish sages of the Talmud. In Berachot (44b) it states explicitly, "Anything the size of an egg - The egg is better than it."

That is to say, to elaborate on the concise words of the sage (Rabbi Yanai, in the name of Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi): The egg is the best of foods! (And, it may well follow, that taking the white plus the yolk is the ideal, proportional mixture to take as is.)

Another sage, Rav Dimi, had the version a bit different, and adds, "... except for meat". What? Meat can be good for you? So many diet experts would get bent out of shape upon hearing this. Bear in mind we're talking about eating something the size of an egg, to be sure.

Also bear in mind, as Kaballah tells us (as per Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh), the main reason for all illnesses comes from excess intake. This concept derives from the Torah words, "VeSerach HaOdef" ("The extra cubit") (Shemot [Exodus] 26, 12) .
See an update to this post => here

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Monday, July 06, 2009

Get Rid of Monthly Phone Bills - with MagicJack

All you need is a computer always on, an internet connection, a regular phone device and this $40 gadget. The $40 dollars covers one year of unlimited States & Canada phone calls. Every year thereafter, it's another $20. You get a new number too. Other features are thrown in free. Go here.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Jewish Faith

This week's Torah portion (Chukat-Balak) tells about the first wars of the Jews on their way to The Land of Israel. They had to fight against the nations therein as well as against those who tried to prevent them from reaching their inheritance. The Torah alludes to the might and valor of Sichon, king of Emori, and of Og, king of Bashan. But the Jews handily defeated them - knowing G-d wrought them these victories.

This faith is lacking today. Incessantly they present us with pressures and problems we must face up to; Some of which are true, and some but illusions. All the while they cower with timidity. These political circles have only one type of solution to every problem - our surrender. Were we to take a stand on some vital issue, some real concern, these polititicos would immediately jump up and declare, "The Arabs will never agree to it." This leads to the usual solution; That we must further compromise, retreat and fold.

We need to know - we did not succeed in returning to the Land of Israel, and in freeing up large territories thereof, with our own strength. Far from it. By the rules of Nature, we had no such realistic possibilities. We prevailed against 7 Arab nations only because The Creator of the universe served as our right arm. Anyone who participated in the wars of Israel can tell stories of multiple miracles that occurred during the battles. Only due to the protection of Our Father in heaven did we survive against all odds.

A Slippery Slope

This is the crux of the matter. Without faith in G-d we keep sliding down with more compromises and more retreats - which will never end. This, after all, is today the Arab enemy's mindset. Having realized they can't beat us in war, they resolved to nip and tear at us over and over again; By tearing away more and more property, by wanting to infest us with tens of thousands of refugees - they mean to enfeeble us and, eventually, to beat us.

Unfortunately their strategy is working. You doubt it? Just sum up everything all Israeli administrations accomplished in the last 25 years and you'll see how each one contributed another step, one bigger one smaller, to this slippery downward slide. The Arabs did not move even one millimeter. But we always feel the need for more "progress" (read: compromise, retreat or fold).

When we decided to go through with that awful operation of uprooting the Gaza Strip and handing it over to our worst enemies, at the expense of critical property and of Jews who lived there (and nearby) for generations, some Israelis thought a sweet end would justify the cruel means. These people thought we'd then be able to solidify our hold on Yehuda and Shomron with American sanction. That Israeli administration explained the expected "achievement" for our self-sacrifice; The iron-clad claim on Yehuda and Shomron would be our reward for driving out tens of thousands of citizens from their homes and properties.

Today it's clear just how flawed was their argument. America today deems the West Bank settlements as illegitimate. We may have gotten some letter and signature for the Yehuda & Shomron issue, but it's only a worthless piece of paper (added to many such collections of paper). The American administration now is tightening the screws to stop all building in the West Bank. Also included in the American ban is construction in various areas and neighborhoods inside Israel proper, including Jerusalem! Again we retreated and folded - and got nothing in return.

A Brief Response

If, G-d forbid, we submit to American demands and freeze construction in these areas, the dismemberment of Israel will continue. It's not for nothing the Arabs are going all out in this direction, for Yehuda and Shomron is the only single area where we actually laid stronger foundations in the Land of Israel, despite the retreats and compromises.

We have to do all we can to tell the Americans, "NO!". It's high time Jews tell the world that the holy Land of Israel is ours, Jerusalem the holy city is ours - and we will continue to build and lay roots there. If we speak clearly, firmly, and out of faith - we will be victorious.