The Roots Are The Same

I find this so beautiful, that deep down every belief system is about relationships, and most importantly consciously making an effort to treat others the way we would like to be treated.  My knowledge is in Judaism, and one of the greatest examples is The Rebbe, who encouraged an inclusive, warm community, and lighting up everywhere we go in the world.


Many hearts are aching this weekend. With the Rebbe’s 22nd Yartzeit this Shabbat, Tammuz 3, anyone who met, learned from, or connected with the Rebbe is feeling the yearn.

Those who are old enough to remember the earliest days of the Rebbe’s tenure, but five years after Auschwitz, yearn for those incredible days of rebuilding, when the Rebbe breathed life into a comatose community and adjusted their mentality from victim to champion.

Those who remember the 60’s yearn for the Rebbe’s revolutionary energy, when the Rebbe coached Chassidim to ride the wave of rebelliousness on the platform of Chabad Houses and Mitzvah Tanks into an unprecedented age of spiritual recovery and return.

Those who remember the 70’s yearn with smiles for that vigorous era when the Rebbe shunned retirement and old age and gave them all a lesson in hard work and boundless enthusiasm, as the Chabad House movement reached a tipping point and spread rapidly to the four corners of the world.

Those who remember the 80’s yearn for those glorious days when the Rebbe’s court brimmed with crowds as the Rebbe’s message of Ahavat Yisrael spread ever farther and farther and thousands streamed to 770 for the incomparable “Sunday Dollars” experience. The Rebbe was in his eighties but youthful and joyous and vibrant and as hungry for good news and good development as ever.

Those who remember the 90’s yearn for the euphoric celebration of “40 Years,” and the miraculous and wonder-filled years of the fall of Communism, and the impotence of Iraqi Scud missiles against the Holy Land. The Rebbe, more than ever, advocated and prodded and pleaded with world Jewry to stay focused on the coming of Moshiach and an era of peace and sanctity for it’s closer than ever.

And they recall with sadness those bitter years of the Rebbe’s illness and the agony and devastation of that humid, drizzly Saturday night, Tammuz 3, 1994, when the Rebbe’s soul ascended to the Heavenly Throne.

Those who never merited to see or meet the Rebbe yearn more than all, yearning and wishing to have had the opportunity and praying for Moshiach’s imminent arrival, when the opportunity returns.

Yes, this yearning is deep and rich and it must be said that an unfulfilled longing for holiness is healthier than many longings fulfilled. And who can estimate what great and eternal favor we do our Divine souls when a sigh of a spiritual hunger escapes our lips.

Still in all, even a thousand sincere sighs can’t compete with one concrete action, so here’s a Lubavitch to-do list of 20 things the Rebbe urged each and every one of us to embrace and more importantly, to do!

1. Light Shabbos candles (women and girls 3+)

2. Put on Tefillin (men and boys 13+)

3. Eat and drink (more) Kosher

4. Affix a Mezuzah to every eligible door of your house and business

5. Learn more Torah

6. Teach more Torah to more kids

7. Fill your shelves with more Jewish holy books

8. Love your fellow Jew

9. Give Tzedakah every weekday

10. Use a Mikva (women)

11. Think and speak positively

12. Stay joyous and don’t be glum

13. Be proud as a Jew

14. Don’t work on Shabbat

15. Try to see the best in people, not the opposite

16. Never dismiss anyone as hopeless

17. Think and talk about Moshiach, a lot

18. Remind yourself and others that everyone is indispensable

19. Celebrate your Jewish birthday and use your Jewish name

20. Have a lot of kids

Our Mitzvahs combined with all previously performed Mitzvahs are going to tip those cosmic scales and the good days they are a-comin’. And then the yearning will be fulfilled and the longing met.

And before the celebration is ten minutes old, the Rebbe will introduce a new, urgent campaign. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Shabbat Shalom, good Shabbos!

Rabbi Eli Friedman
Chabad of Calabasas

As humans, we all make mistakes, and hopefully we learn, grow, move forward, and become an example of how to operate, interact, communicate, and inspire.  I am baffled by the misunderstanding of Jewish people, Judaism, and Israel.  The article below goes through history and explains how choices have been made, and unfortunately have created the hateful and misinformed climate of today.

I am encouraged and hopeful when I see a powerful Palestinian voice calling for truth.  Thank you Bassem Eid for your passion, courage, and drive in bringing objective facts to the attention of the world.

Coach Yulia

Bassem Eid is founder and the former director of the Jerusalem-based Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group (PHRMG).
Born in Jerusalem, he spent the first 33 years of his life in the Shuafat Refugee Camp on the outskirts of the city. He became a prominent figure during the first Intifada, the Palestinian uprising, as senior field researcher for B’Tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories.
He publicly condemned the widespread killing of Palestinian collaborators, often for reasons unrelated to the Intifada. In 1995, following his report about the Palestinian Preventative Security Service, he came under attack by some Palestinian leaders for revealing human rights violations committed by the Palestinian Authority. He continued his criticisms of both Israeli and Palestinian security forces. Arrested by Force 17, the Palestinian Presidential Guard, he was released after 25 hours following widespread and international condemnation.
In response to the deterioration in the human rights situation under the PA, he founded the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group (PHRMG): it monitors abuses committed by the PA, and also deals to some extent with Israel. It is a non-partisan human rights organization, dedicated to exposing human rights violations and supporting a democratic and pluralistic Palestine.
His publications include: Neither Law Nor Justice: Human Rights in the Occupied Territories Since the Oslo Accords (co-written by PHRMG and B’Tselem); The State of Human Rights in Palestine I: The practice of torture by the Palestinian Authority, violations of freedom of the press and freedom of expression, deaths in custody, and police brutality (PHRMG); The State of Human Rights in Palestine II. In-depth report on the judicial system, illegal arrests, and long term illegal detention (PHRMG); Fatah and Hamas Human Rights Violations, in The Israel-Palestine Conflict, published by the university of California Los Angeles in 2011.
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel has awarded him its Emil Gruenzweig Memorial Award. He is also the recipient of the Robert S. Litvak Human Rights Memorial Award granted by the Faculty of Law at McGill University and the International Human Rights Advocacy Center, Inter Amicus; the International Activist Award given by the Gleitsman Foundation, USA; and the award of Italy’s Informazione Senza Frontiere (Information without Boundaries). In 2009, a book, Next Founders, profiled him as the leading Palestinian human rights activist.
I traveled widely to lecture on the Palestine-Israel conflict and to attend international conferences. In recent years he has been to countries including Canada, Italy, Japan and South Africa.

We Arabs managed our relationship with Israel atrociously, but the worst of all is the ongoing situation of the Palestinians. Our worst mistake was in not accepting the…

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