Sunday, July 25, 2021

Pre-Yom Kippur "The 40 Day Challenge" Good All Year

The 40 Day Challenge: Daily Jewish Insights to Prepare for the High Holidays by Mark Wildes is a well written, beautifully presented guide to help us improve our lives not just the forty days before Yom Kippur but all year long.

As I rushed to finish reading The 40 Day Challenge so I could get this book review posted early enough to help market the book in time for Rosh Chodesh Ellul, I realized that the messages/exercises are really for all year long. Teshuva-Repentance and improving our religious observance, between man and Gd or man to man must be done 24/7. Judaism isn't a part-time religion. 
Rabbi Mark Wildes is the Founder and Director of Manhattan Jewish Experience (MJE), a highly successful Jewish outreach and educational program that engages and reconnects unaffiliated Jewish men and women in their 20s & 30s with Judaism and the Jewish community. In its 22 years of existence, MJE has successfully reconnected thousands of previously unaffiliated Jewish men and women with Judaism and the Jewish community, hundreds of whom are today living committed Jewish lives and sending their children to Jewish Day Schools. Rabbi Mark also teaches an outreach training seminar at RIETS, Yeshiva University’s rabbinical school, training new leaders for the future.
Forty is a special number in Judaism, and Wildes did a wonderful job in finding forty challenges for us to attempt. When you finish the forty, please don't put the book  away hoping to remember to take it out next Rosh Chodesh Ellul. Just start again from number one.

Each chapter ends with a question to help the reader succeed. The question puts the challenge into simple doable terms. Here's an example from the chapter about "gossip."


It's clear that Wildes doesn't expect us to become perfect overnight. But he does show that we can gradually in small steps.

I highly recommend The 40 Day Challenge as the perfect gift for yourself and others. It's not written in highfalutin fancy language. The 40 Day Challenge has a clear accessible message. All of us can use it to make our lives better. To purchase the book, click here- Kodesh Press.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

The Truth About Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream in Israel

I guess it's a slow week for big news, since only now are people realizing that when they buy Ben & Jerry's ice cream, they're supporting radical Leftist political issues, including those opposing Israel's security and the 1967 Six Days War survival/victory. 

Check your history books. No other country that survived a war in which its enemies had sworn/aimed for its destruction has ever faced demands to retreat from land won in such a war

My husband bought this container of Ben & Jerry's
chocolate ice cream in the local supermarket.
The licensee who runs Ben & Jerry's here in Israel is up a creek. The people who control the actual business are Radical Leftists who are cracking the whip in anger because the Israeli "end" is selling all over the country including places like... Shiloh. Apparently the licensee has been warned that his license won't be renewed since he refuses to tow the party line.

Therefore, many Israelis are davka buying Ben & Jerry's ice cream to show their support for the gutsy guy. 

Those of you ice cream eaters living outside of Israel, you have a choice:
  • Support anti-Israel radical Leftists by buying Ben & Jerry's ice cream.
  • Support the State of Israel -all of it- and patronize other ice cream brands.
I recommend Häagen-Dazs, which was founded by Rose and Reuben Mattus, who were generous donors to many institutions here in Israel. I even met them once when they came to Shiloh. IMHO davka Häagen-Dazs is a far more superior ice cream.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Rosh Chodesh Elul, Sooner Than You Think

This coming Sunday is the Fast of Tisha (the 9th) of Av, the saddest day on the Jewish Calendar. It commemorates not only the destruction of our two Holy Temples but the dangers of disunity of the People of Israel.

The recovery of these tragedies has taken two thousand years. Yes, we're now in a state of building and revival, of which the Modern State of Israel and the miraculous survival of the Jewish People are proof that Gd is most powerful. The Jewish return to Ancient Biblical Shiloh is part of this process. 

We live in Shiloh, where the Mishkan Tabernacle, which predated the Holy Temple stood for close to four hundred years. During that time Jews came from all over to pray. Most well-known was Chana Hannah who prayed for a son. Gd gave her Shmuel Samuel.

Now every Rosh Chodesh, beginning of the Jewish Month, women come to Shiloh to pray together. Next Rosh Chodesh is Ellul, 5781, Monday, August 9, 2021, and at 8:30am we'll meet to pray.

תפילת נשים ראש חודש אלול, תשפ"א, יום ב' 8:30 9\08\2021

For more information email shilohmuse@gmail.com, subject "Rosh Chodesh"

Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh is a beautiful archeological park with lots of things to do. It's off of highway 60 and is also accessible by public transportation. 02-5789122, visit@telshilo.org.il




 



Monday, July 12, 2021

Touring Beit El, Kfar Ivri, and More

Last week I joined a group of women from various parts of the country under the leadership of my neighbor Rachel Sela for an amazing tour.

There were only three stops/locations, and each was special representing our undeniable connection to the Land of Israel and Bible.

First we went to nearby Beit El, where they have a visitors center dedicated to the story of Jacob's Ladder. But for us the significance of Beit El concerned the split of the Davidic Dynasty, long after our Forefather Jacob slept and dreamt in Beit El.


Next stop was the real Givat Shaul, Hill of Saul, where archeologists have found remains of palaces from Biblical times. But this structure has nothing to do with the bible at all, though it was meant to be a palace. In the mid-1960s Jordan's King Hussein wanted a summer palace in  eastern Jerusalem, which he illegally occupied at the time. We were there on a very hot day, but the winds blowing through the incomplete shell were strong.

The Hashemites are long gone, and Jerusalem has grown tremendously under Israeli sovereignty.



Afterwards we visited Beit Hashivah, which although is in an Arab neighborhood and part of Jerusalem, the land is really owned by Jews. Prior to Israeli Independence there had been a Jewish farming village there, Kfar Ivri, near the present neighborhood of Neve Yaakov, which also has a history of being a Jewish farming village. 

We met some of the Jewish residents, new and old who told us the story and how they are trying to revitalize this Jewish neighborhood. A number of young families now live in the building, and there's a yeshiva where men learn during the day.

Over fifty years ago, my husband and I spent a few Shabbatot there as guests of one of the original families, so it was very moving for me to finally return.

The oldest and most veteran of the Jewish residents is the well-known Ezra Yachin, pictured on the left. In his youth is fought in the pre-state underground Lechi, aka Stern Gang. He has written many books about his experiences and related topics. His memoir, Elnakam is published in both English and Hebrew.

Ezra still travels around the country talking to young and old about his life and Israel's history.

We ended our tour with dinner on the roof of Beit Hashivah. It was truly a wonderful day.

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Kenes Shiloh 10 כנס שילה

Tuesday afternoon-evening I was among the many Bible, History, Archeology buffs who had a wonderful time at Shiloh Hakeduma's Kenes Shiloh 10 כנס שילה.

As I do every year, I took the tour to see the new findings. There wasn't much, because corona forced many of the usual digs to be cancelled. But tools had been found. 






After the tour showing us what had been discovered recently, there were a large variety of lectures. Of course, not all the speakers agreed with each other. I think that the lectures were recorded. For more information, contact Shiloh Hakeduma; facebook page.








Looking forward to next year's Kenes Shiloh, Gd willing.