Sunday, May 31, 2009

Yona Baumel dies without knowing MIA son's fate

Yona Baumel, 81, died on Friday without fulfilling his heart's deepest desire: to discover the fate of his son Zachary, who was last seen on the Sultan Yakoub battlefield in Lebanon 27 years ago.

article here.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bible podcasts

I just found this website.

Books read extend beyond the Tanach and include Christian books too.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Netanyahu-Obama dynamic

David Horowitz is always worth reading, and here is his latest piece on the Netanyahu-Obama meeting in Washington. There is criticism of Netanyahu's refusal to endorse Palestinian statehood in principle, but there is also an interesting description of PR-savvy Bibi's body language in the meeting:
WHERE YITZHAK Rabin and Ariel Sharon were regarded by their American presidential counterparts as experienced elder statesmen, and treated with deference, respect and affection, Obama and Netanyahu was a meeting of heavyweight and, let's kindly say, middleweight, as was clear in the body language and the presentation: Obama, sitting back relaxedly in his chair, was dominant, cool and dispassionate. Netanyahu, in the unaccustomed position of having had some of his arguments rebuffed by his interlocutor, switched from uneasy lecturer, when he leaned forward and looked almost plaintively at the president as he spoke, to subordinate, when he sought to bridge or mask the differences between them, looking down at the floor when his points were weakest.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Wake Up!

At the start of the Shmoneh Esreh we have the following words

He ... fulfills His trust to those who sleep in the dust.

That is the common translation of the term Liyshenei Afar - to those who sleep in the dust.

If you think about it - these words are quite striking.

Dust is a humbling concept to describe man as being related to - but what of sleep? Is this the sleep that a human being cannot function without?

Perhaps it isn't. Perhaps here, with the words those who sleep in the dust, Chazal are referring to a psychological state of unawareness - a state of being without really being - and at the same time the implication is - wake up!