Archive | June, 2014
Aside 24 Jun

This week’s words of Torah are dedicated to “our boys,” to Naphtali, Gilad and Eyal, who were kidnapped almost two weeks ago near Hebron and not heard from since.  It is known who the kidnappers were – two Hamas operatives recently released from jail in the Shalit deal.  Here is what the chief Bedouin tracker says,  “In every corner and in every room and tunnel that I go into, I see them in front of my eyes,” Major Mazarib, 37, commander of the southern West Bank’s specialized tracking unit, said in Hebrew. “As long as there are three missing, we’re going to keep going.” Major Mazarib and his 50 trackers, all Bedouin citizens who serve voluntarily in the Israeli military, were among perhaps 1,000 troops who converged Monday around the village of Beit Kahil.”  We are witnessing an unprecedented expression of Israeli unity.  It is significant that the whole country, not only the families of the kidnapped, stand behind this search.  Yes, there are the usual far-left loonies who attempt to justify this dastardly act, but overall there is more unity behind the search than behind anything that happened recently in Israel.  We will find our boys!
For something on the weekly Torah portion, check out If you’d like to delve a bit deeper and look into books on the subject, try  And finally, for a taste of Chabad in Jerusalem, go to  And here are a couple more options for the spiritually oriented: and  With all these options, you are sure to find something that suits your fancy!

Seeking Enlightenment

18 Jun

This entire week, we have been surrounded by the “Festival of Lights” in Jerusalem’s old city.  It is beautifully done, with several light paths meandering around the old city walls and into its alleyways, all cleverly laid out with various bulbs and projected images.  But, you know what?  There is no Jewish content in these lights and projections.  Why not inject a wee bit of Jewish content into the festival?  Isn’t that what we, the Jews are all about, illuminating and shedding light?  Directly in front of our headquarters, in the Hurva Square and in the shadow of the Hurva Shul, is an illuminated deck of playing cards, with nothing but the most cursory reference to anything Jewish.  What are the festival designers afraid of, that in the most Jewish quarter of the most Jewish city in the world, someone might actually receive a bit of Jewish knowledge?  The light show is a great vehicle for instruction, but if we don’t add some illumination to the lights, they are nothing but empty vessels.  Next year, let’s add some illumination to the light festival, shall we?  To shed some light on the weekly Torah portion, go to  For some light on Jewish meditation and prayer, check out  For just some local Jerusalem information, have a look at  And if all that is not good enough for you, pick up some more tidbits at and at   Plenty for everyone… 

No-Man’s Land

12 Jun

 Still in the shadow of Shavuot, we reach for another season of the year on the Jewish calendar.  It’s a spiritual “no-man’s land,” as we leave the festival and inch toward another spiritual event, looking around to discover what it might be.  It’s a good time for taking stock, for noting where we have been and where we now want to go.  Where we have been?  Dare we say, “one on one with the One above” during Shavuot?  And if so, where do we go next?  Clues are to be found in the weekly Torah portion.  This week it’s about sending “spies” to check out the lay of the land.  That’s a good thing to do when you’re thinking about taking a new direction.  You should always scout out where you want to go before going there.  For more on that, have a look at our weekly words of Torah at  And if you’re into not just words, but whole books on the subject, try  Finally, for some local Jerusalem news, look at  Here are a couple more good links for good measure;, and last but not least,  Enjoy and have a great week!