Saturday, August 31, 2013

11 questions for each day of the 10 Days of Repentance

Day 1:
Describe a significant experience that has happened in the past year. How did it affect you? Are you grateful? Relieved? Resentful? Inspired?

Your Answer:

Day 2:
Is there something that you wish you had done differently this past year? Alternatively, is there something you're especially proud of from this past year?

Your Answer:

Day 3:
Think about a major milestone that happened with your family this past year. How has this affected you?

Your Answer:

Day 4:
Describe an event in the world that has impacted you this year. How? Why?

Your Answer:

Day 5:
Have you had any particularly spiritual experiences this past year? How has this experience affected you? "Spiritual" can be broadly defined to include secular spiritual experiences: artistic, cultural, and so forth.

Your Answer:

Day 6:
Describe one thing you'd like to achieve by this time next year. Why is this important to you?

Your Answer:

Day 7:
How would you like to improve yourself and your life next year? Is there a piece of advice or counsel you received in the past year that could guide you?

Your Answer:

Day 8:
Is there something (a person, a cause, an idea) that you want to investigate more fully in 2013?

Your Answer:

Day 9:
What is a fear that you have and how has it limited you? How do you plan on letting it go or overcoming it in the coming year?

Your Answer:
Day 10:
When September 2013 rolls around and you receive your answers to your 10Q questions, how do you think you'll feel? What do you think/hope might be different about your life and where you're at as a result of thinking about and answering these questions?

Your Answer:
Day 11:
What are your predictions for 2013?

Your Answer:

Why is US undermining Israel?

Carolyn Glick Sept. 1 2013
For the past two-and-a-half years, Israel has been doing an exemplary job of securing the first interest. According to media reports, the IDF has conducted numerous strikes inside Syria to prevent the transfer of advanced weaponry, including missiles from Syria to Hezbollah.

Rather than assist Israel in its efforts that are also vital to US strategic interests, the US has been endangering these Israeli operations. US officials have repeatedly leaked details of Israel's operations to the media. These leaks have provoked several senior Israeli officials to express acute concern that in providing the media with information regarding these Israeli strikes, the Obama administration is behaving as if it is interested in provoking a war between Israel and Syria. The concerns are rooted in a profound distrust of US intentions, unprecedented in the 50-year history of US-Israeli strategic relations.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

In the News


Self-led Jewish congregation ready for High Holidays
New rabbi joined group in January

Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg at a rally for Israel. (Jonathan Ginsburg Photo / August 27, 2013)
Deerfield, IL, USA

By Donald Liebenson, Special to the Tribune
August 28, 2013

With a relatively new rabbi at B'nai Chai and its first-ever steering committee in more than three decades of existence, the question as the Jewish High Holidays near is: Will success spoil the congregation?

No, assures JoAnne Kahn, a member of the steering committee. B'nai Chai, which began with about five couples, remains committed to its original and more intimate vision of a congregation for unaffiliated Jews who "wanted to bring Jewish community back into their lives," she said.

B'nai Chai, which will be holding its Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur services at the Caruso Middle School in Deerfield, is not a temple or synagogue. It does not have its own building. It is a chavurah, or self-led congregation, that meets monthly at the Rodeway Inn in Skokie for Friday night reform Shabbat services. There are other educational, social and cultural events throughout the year.

The congregation's original members were "mature empty nesters who came from other temples," Kahn said. "Their children were grown and had received their Jewish education. They didn't feel they needed an affiliation. They just wanted to meet in a group that was more like an extended family."

Originally, members took turns hosting Sabbath observances in their homes. But as the congregation aged, it became more difficult for some to accommodate the growing number of couples, which reached about 25, and so they sought space in local schools or hotels.

The congregation is currently at just under 50 members, but for the High holidays, attendance can swell to more than 200. (Tickets are available to the public.)

Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg, who joined the congregation in January, has presided over much bigger houses since he was ordained in 1982 (a Minnesota congregation of 1,400, among them), but B'nai Chai, he said, is a perfect fit.

"I retired from the full-time pulpit world, and this is very part time," he said. "And I love the people. Sometimes, within a large synagogue, some feel the loss of a sense of intimacy. This is a small group who all know each other."

Ginsburg, 57, is not one for labels or affiliations. "I went to an Orthodox day school when I was a kid, and have served in Conservative and Reconstruction synagogues," he said. "But I also attended Reform camps. So I just say I'm Jewish."

The former national debate champion at Glenbrook North High School has found another outlet for sharing Jewish teachings. His series of "Jew U" videos (there are at present 750) have earned him the moniker, "the YouTube Rabbi."

"This goes back to 2007," he said. "I (noticed) the only clergy on YouTube were extremists or ultra-Orthodox. I thought there should be a more moderate voice. I started doing one or two videos a day about Torah portions and Jewish holidays, and I have built classes around those videos."

This will be Ginsburg's first High Holiday observance with B'nai Chai. Yom Kippur, the most solemn Jewish holiday, is a time of reflection and introspection, he said, which he illustrates with the old joke about a man who comes across a barn with a large bull's-eye drawn on it and 24 arrows at its center. He knocks on the door to ask the archer how he did it, and the archer replies, "Easy, I shot the arrows and drew the bull's-eye around them."

A Jewish word for "sin," Ginsburg said, means "missing the mark."

"Human beings love to draw their own bull's-eyes," he said. "(For Jews), the Torah is the bull's-eye. This is what God wants us to aim for, and Yom Kippur is a time to say, 'I didn't do that, I regret I didn't do that, and I want to aim my life in that direction.'"

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Our do nothing leadership backing wrong side

Israel surrounded and our leaders are on the wrong side
Today we see Egypt in chaos as violent protests erupt nationwide, while in the insufficiently policed Sinai, jihadists are mobilizing and posing increased threats to Israelis.

In Syria, more than 100,000 are dead in the country's escalating civil war, the regime's cache of chemical weapons at serious risk of falling into terrorist hands.

Meanwhile, to Israel's north and south, Hamas and Hezbollah have stockpiled more than 65,000 rockets on Israel's borders. And in Tehran, Iran’s leaders continue to call for Israel's destruction, while rapidly advancing a nuclear weapons program that could do just that.

These are events that demand attention now. But where is Obama, Kerry, Samantha Powers, Susan Rice? Backing the wrong sides, doing nothing. and Hillary's top aid is from a family full of Muslim brotherhood terrorists, and the scandal ridden Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Foundation has taken huge money from radicalized Arab sources. Makes you pretty sure President Hillary will be even worse for israel then B. Hussein Obama has been. . Read this and get scared for our future

Sunday, August 25, 2013

From the parasha be strong and of good courage

Parashat Vayalech of this week's nitzavim vayalech

Parashat Vayalech of this week's nitzavim vayalech

Parashat nitzavim

Is obama aiding our enimies wilfully or out of incomptence?

Is Obama's traitorous behavior, aiding our enemies,  willful or just incompetence?

Egypt’s Islamic Chaos, America’s Islamic Threat
August 24, 2013 by Alan Caruba 4 Comments

Obama Brother Muslim Brotherhood Ambassador Patterson Egypt SC Egypt’s Islamic Chaos, America’s Islamic Threat
The President who, in 2009, said he thought it unseemly to “meddle” in the affairs of Iran when protesters against its regime were being shot dead in the streets of Tehran, announced to the world on August 15, 2013 that he was angered by the killing of civilians in the streets of Cairo as the Muslim Brotherhood was busy burning Christian churches and homes when they weren’t firing on the Egyptian military that was attempting to end its efforts to impose Sharia rule.

Egypt may be thousands of miles away, but the intent of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) to destroy America (and, of course, Israel) is close to home as the President and his national security advisors have misled Americans as to the true intent and threat of the MB.
In his new book, “The Brotherhood: America’s Next Great Enemy”, Erick Stakelbeck reminds the reader that in February 2011, “the Obama administration’s Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, portray(ed) the Brotherhood as an Egyptian version of the Peace Corps.” At the time, the “Arab Spring” protests were in full swing; and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was on the verge of being overthrown. Clapper described the MB as a “largely secular” organization that has “pursued social ends” and a “betterment of the political order.” This was and is utter nonsense, a deception.
Clapper is rivaled in his ignorance of Islam by the current Director of the CIA, John Brennan, who is a well-known fan of Arabs and Islam. He routinely refers to Jerusalem by its Arabic name “Al-Quds” and has called jihad “a legitimate tenet of Islam,” extolling Islam as a faith of “peace and tolerance,” of “goodness and beauty,” that has “shaped (his) own worldview.”
The fact is that the Brotherhood has been repeatedly banned in Egypt, starting in 1948. In 1954, the MB tried to assassinate then-president Nasser and, as Stakelbeck notes, “The Brotherhood would be severely repressed in Egypt for most of the next five decades.” So even in a Muslim nation, the threat the MB represented was understood.
The battles in the streets of Cairo, Alexandria, and other Egyptian cities reflect the ultimate intent of Islam to dominate the governance of the Middle East and to establish a global caliphate. It is doubtful that most Americans realize the threat it poses more than a decade past 9/11.

For reasons that historians will puzzle over for years to come, Americans elected, not just the first black President in 2008 and, despite a record of foreign and domestic policy failure, reelected him in 2012. They elected a man who makes no effort to hide his deep sympathy and support of Islam.
During his June 2009 speech in Cairo, President Obama, the son of a Muslim and adopted son of a Muslim who had spent four years of his youth in Indonesia (an Islamic nation), had attended an Islamic school, and even gone to prayers at a mosque, said “I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States of America to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.”
Stakelbeck noted that “The Obama administration reportedly ‘insisted’ that ‘at least ten Muslim Brothers (who were then in opposition to the Mubarak regime) be allowed to attend the speech.’” Earlier, in January 2009, Obama gave his first formal interview as President to the Arabic-language network Al-Arabiya; and, as we all know, in April 2009 at the G-20 Summit in London, the President of the United States bowed to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia “as other Western leaders looked on in shock.”
Earlier, Stakelbeck had described “the bow” as a “shameless act of groveling, performed in one of his first forays onto the international stage” that “signaled that debasing America and exalting Islam would be key elements in achieving his oft-stated goal of improving America’s image in the Muslim world.” We are all witness to how well that has worked out.
“Just thirteen days after Islamic jihadists murdered four Americans in Benghazi; the president stood before the world’s leaders” at the UN General Assembly on September 25, 2012 “and uttered the now-infamous line: ‘The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.’”
Founded in 1928, the Muslim Brotherhood is defined by its hatred of the West and of Jews. Stakelbeck warns that “The MB’s much-deserved reputation for violence, radicalism, anti-Americanism, and anti-Semitism is rapidly disappearing in the Age of Obama,” and that is why the struggle for a modern Egypt being fought there against the MB requires the full support of the United States as its military strives to drive its members and supporters from its streets. Obama’s response has been to take time from playing golf to denounce the current interim government that removed Muhammad Morsi from office.
What do you need to know about the Muslim Brotherhood? Consider its motto: “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Qur’an is our law.  Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.” It is devoted to imposing Sharia law on the world, a barbaric system that promotes beheadings, stoning, and discrimination against women and other religions.
“The Muslim Brotherhood”, notes Stakelbeck, “is now present in at least eighty countries, and according to one longtime Brotherhood leaders, boasts some 100 million adherents worldwide.”
It has long been active in the United States through a web of front organizations.
A demonstration of its utter contempt for America is a planned “Million Muslim March”  in Washington, D.C. on September 11 by the American Muslim Political Action Committee “to demand social justice by the U.S. government”, claiming that Muslims “continue 12 years later to be victimized by being made the villains.”
Despite 9/11, despite the murder spree by Major Nidal Hasan of solders at Fort Hood, and despite the Boston Marathon bombing, militant Muslims in America such as AMPAC’s spokesman, Isa Hodge, are claiming that “our government either sits idly by and does nothing to protect our freedoms or it exacerbates the problem with its constant war on terrorism in Islamic countries…” adding “These lies told to the American population have made it impossible for us to do true Dawa,” the practice of proselytizing or preaching Islam.
On September 11 in the nation’s capital, the lies Hodge has spoken will be repeated. Within them is hidden the greatest threat to the nation and the West, to Christians, Jews, and other “unbelievers.”
Stakelbeck warns that “We’ve neutered ourselves as a society and succumbed completely to a suicidal brand of political correctness imposed by the leftist gatekeepers of the media, the government, and academia. We’ve also just about dumbed ourselves down to the point of no return. And the Brothers know it.”
The threat that the Muslim Brotherhood, al Qaeda, and militant Islam poses will be like the smoke from an incipient forest fire wafting through the nation’s capital on September 11. Actual fires are burning in Egypt these days, and our enemies live and walk among us.

No fur shtreimels

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Senior Eda Haredit leader calls on ultra-Orthodox Jews to stop wearing Shtreimels

Satmar rabbi wearing a real fur shtreimel 
By: Eva Fett
A senior leader of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish organization Eda Haredit has issues a shocking proclamation calling on all ultra-Orthodox Jews to stop the practice of wearing shtreimels on Shabbat because they are made of animal fur.

Rabbi Shlomo Pappenheim, a senior member of the Meah Shearim Edah Haredit group, publicly told his followers to stop using the natural fur hats, also known as shtreimels. Pappenheim also suggested that all men should wear shtreimels made ​​of synthetic fur.

Speaking at a conference on animal rights, Pappenheim said wearing shtreimels violate a Jewish law that prohibits unnecessary pain to animals, adding that due to the fact that animal welfare issues have broad public support today, continuing to wear shtreimels would desecrate God’s name.

"We live in an era where people are very concerned about animal welfare. So we need to stop this habit of doing harm to animals," Poppenheim said.

"Some say that the synthetic shtreimels are not so beautiful, but I say, must we really be more stringent than the founder of Hasidism, the Baal Shem Tov? I do not think the shtreimels used by students of the Baal Shem Tov were more beautiful than our synthetic shtreimels. I believe in evolution, not a revolution. We must reach a point where people are embarrassed to wear anything but a synthetic shtreimel," Pappenheim said.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Why do we blow shofar?

should we be worried?

Why has Obama not condemned the burning of 50 Churches by Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt? Could it be because they have a revolving door at the White House
and Hillary's top aid, married to Weiner, comes from family of them,
or because Obama's brother in Kenya is very active with them?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Intro to Rosh Hashanah

2,700-year-old Hebrew inscription found in Jerusalem

A link to Jerusalemites at the end of the First Temple period

2,700-year-old Hebrew inscription found in Jerusalem

First Temple-era pottery fragment features name similar to Biblical prophet’s father, archaeologists say

August 18, 2013, 11:29 am 31

2,700-year-old pottery fragment discovered in the City of David site in Jerusalem (photo credit: courtesy Israel Antiquities Authority)
2,700-year-old pottery fragment discovered in the City of David site in Jerusalem (photo credit: courtesy Israel Antiquities Authority)

Archaeologists working in Jerusalem have discovered what they say is a 2,700 year-old pottery fragment with an ancient Hebrew inscription possibly containing the name of a Biblical figure.
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The fragment, discovered just outside the capital’s Old City at the City of David site, in what is now the Arab village of Silwan, was likely part of a large ceramic bowl dating from between the 8th and 7th centuries BCE, the Israeli Antiquities Authority said Sunday.
The text fragment on the shard, roughly transliterated without vowels into English characters as “ryhu bn bnh,” is similar to the name of Zechariah son of Benaiah, the father of the prophet Jahaziel, whose name appears in 2 Chronicles 20:14 when Jahaziel spoke prophecy to King Jehoshaphat before the king went off to war.
“While not complete, the inscription presents us with the name of a seventh century BCE figure, which resembles other names known to us from both the Biblical and archaeological record… and provides us with a connection to the people living in Jerusalem at the end of the First Temple period,” the statement said.
The City of David, while today located outside the southern walls of the Old City, is understood by archaeologists to be the site of the ancient city of Jerusalem mentioned in the Bible.
Fragments of oil lamps, stamped handles and female figurines dating from the end of the First Temple period discovered at the City of David site. (photo credit: courtesy Israel Antiquities Authority)
Fragments of oil lamps, stamped handles and female figurines dating from the end of the First Temple period discovered at the City of David site. (photo credit: courtesy Israel Antiquities Authority)
The bowl fragment, along with a number of other small artifacts dating from the same period, was discovered by archaeologists Joe Uziel and Nahshon Zanton during an investigation of remains associated with the destruction of the First Temple, which occurred in 587 BCE at the hand of Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar.
Uziel and Zanton said that the letters inscribed on the bowl shard likely date from “sometime between the reign of Hezekiah and the destruction of Jerusalem under King Zedekiah.” Based on their analysis, they noted, the inscription “was engraved on the bowl prior to firing, indicating that the inscription originally adorned the rim of the bowl in its entirety, and was not written on a shard after the vessel was broken.”
The bowl possibly contained an offering, given by the person whose name was inscribed on the vessel, they said.

Hillary's top aid radical Islamic past

Extremism Found in Journal During Huma Abedin's Tenure

Mon, August 12, 2013
Huma Abedin, (left) shown with former Secretary of State and U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton. Abedin was an aide to Clinton beginning with an internship in the White House in 1996. She was Clinton's travelling chief-of-staff during Clinton's bid for the White House and deputy chief of staff while Clinton was Secretary of state. (Photo: © Reuters)
Huma Abedin, (left) shown with former Secretary of State and U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton. Abedin was an aide to Clinton beginning with an internship in the White House in 1996. She was Clinton's travelling chief-of-staff during Clinton's bid for the White House and deputy chief of staff while Clinton was Secretary of state. (Photo: © Reuters)
Islam expert Dr. Andrew Bostom, author of The Legacy of Jihad andSharia vs. Freedom, has discovered alarming extremism in an Islamist journal bearing the name of Huma Abedin, former Secretary of State Clinton’s Deputy Chief of Staff and wife of New York City mayoral candidate, former Rep. Anthony Weiner.
The Clarion Project helped bring attention to the Islamist ties of Abedin in July 2012, specifically her family’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and her position as an assistant editor of the Islamist journal from 1996 to 2008. More recently, we’ve covered thedonations from an Al-Jazeera lobbyist to the mayoral campaign of her husband, former Rep. Anthony Weiner.
The publication in question is the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs. Originally known as the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs Journal from 1979 when it began to 1995. The Institute was founded by Abedin’s late father and two Islamist colleagues that led the Muslim World League and World Assembly of Muslim Youth, two powerful engines of Wahhabism.
Abedin was the assistant editor of the journal for at least a dozen years, from 1996 (the year she began working as an intern at the White House) to 2008. She worked alongside several family members on the publication, including her mother, brother and sister.
Her mother, Saleha, has an especially strong Islamist resume, though the overlaps in the Islamist infrastructure can make it confusing. In short, Abedin’s mother is a member of the female counterpart of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the Muslim World League. She leads a group called the International Islamic Committee for Women and Child, a subsidiary of a Muslim Brotherhood-led group that is banned in Israel for its links to Hamas.
In 1999, the Abedin family journal and Saleha Abedin’s group published a book in Arabic titled “Women in Islam.” This was three years after Huma Abedin joined the journal.
The book teaches that man-made law is inherently oppressive towards women, while Sharia law is liberating. According to the text, Muslim women have an obligation to contribute to jihad; apostates are to be put to death; freedom of speech should be conformed to the boundaries set by Sharia and wives must have sex with their husbands on command.
The Center for Security Policy has published a 28-page analysis of the book. Page three of the Center for Security Policy analysis states that the organization led by Huma Abedin’s mother “advocates for the repeal of Mubarak-era prohibitions on female genital mutilation, child marriage and marital rape, on the grounds that such prohibitions run counter to Islamic law, which allows for their practice.”
Dr. Andrew Bostom found an issue of the family journal from 2000that states on page 125 that non-Muslims should give up resistingSharia governance and join Muslims in fighting secularism. It even states that this resistance to Sharia is nearly an act of treason.
“In the name of peaceful co-existence and religious harmony, non-Muslims should stop opposing the application of shari’ah by and for the Muslims … Moreover, the Ahl al-Kitab [Christians and Jews] should eschew all acts bordering on treasonable felony but cooperate with Muslims and, as scripturalists, should not support secularism.”
And what is the consequence of treason? Look at an issue from 2011after Huma Abedin left. It explicitly states that treason qualifies as a crime with a specific sharia-proscribed punishment. Left unsaid is that this punishment is death. The other offenses in this category are adultery, defamation of character, alcoholism, theft, apostasy and oppression.
This post-Huma issue explicitly states that the criminal justice system of sharia is to be implemented because it prevents chaos and vigilantism. “The Shariah penal code is best. People in societies where the Shariah is not operative have lost total confidence in the penal code of the existing laws, and hence they may resort to what one may call ‘jungle justice,’” it states.
The Abedin family journal reiterated that those that fight against the Islamist agenda deserve death in an issue in 2004, Huma’s eighth year at the publication. According to Bostom, page 167 states a summary of Abul Ala Maududi’s position as follows:
“Waging war with the Creator and His Apostle is serious for it amounts to a clear rebellion against the Islamic State where the principles of equity, justice and respect for all are established. So anyone who disturbs or attempts to disturb that system of life is an outlaw who deserves capital punishment. Abul-A’la Maududi explains that it does not make any difference whether that mischief is created by criminals or murderers who cause disorder in the settled and peaceful society, or by armed forces who attempt to overthrow an Islamic State and establish some corrupt un-Islamic system instead.”
Maududi is the founder of the Pakistani Islamist group, Jamaat-e-Islami. The Abedin family journal teaches that this radical thinker is a foremost authority and his words are to be followed today.
If Huma Abedin is an anti-Islamist Muslim, then she must explain how she reconciled her involvement with an Islamist journal. More importantly, the U.S. government must explain whether any of this was taken into account when granting her a top-secret security clearance. 

Istrael backs Egyptian military of course

Israel is working behind the scenes to encourage its allies to continue backing the Egyptian military regime, the New York Times reported on Monday.

The Jewish state is apparently deeply concerned that the E.U. and especially the U.S. will cut off military and financial aid to Egypt due to the recent brutal crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, which has already claimed hundreds of lives.

The alternative, Israeli officials are quietly telling their international counterparts, will be far worse.

"At this point, it’s army or anarchy," the Times quotes one official saying. "You may not like what you see, but what’s the alternative?" The official said that Israel is "trying to talk to key actors, key countries," and telling them, "First, save what you can, and then deal with democracy and freedom and so on."

Israel has thus far made no public comments on the events in Egypt, beyond boilerplate support for the official government, but its concerns are not surprising. At this point, a Muslim Brotherhood takeover would likely be a revolutionary one, installing a radical Islamist regime in a strategically important country on Israel's southern border.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

why Judaism opposes Obama's "spread the wealth" socialism

Rambam in hilchote matanoyt laevyonim has rules vs giving too much tzedakah also work requirements for the poor and the condemnation of dependency if avoidable Torah laws and much of talmud is based on rules governing private property splitting the baby in Solomon is seen as stupidity most kids start learning the baba's in talmud with 2 grab a tallis and both claim it is mine, key question is to whom does it belong REALITY trillions of dollars and 50 years after LBJ Great Society massive transfers of wealth to poor, we have accomplished 5 generations of welfare moms, 80% unwed teen mother births in ghetto, destruction of the Black family, record poverty and food stamps under Obama. liberals say they care about the poor but their programs destroy the poor that's why rambam #1 on tzeddakah hit parade is get a man a job a chabad guy What is Judaism's economic system? Is there one? I would describe it as "capitalism with a conscience." In promoting free enterprise, the Torah is clearly capitalistic. But it is a conditional capitalism, and certainly a compassionate capitalism. Winston Churchill once said, "The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent vice of communism is the equal sharing of miseries." So Judaism introduced an open market system where the sharing of blessings was not left to chance or wishful thinking but was made mandatory. Our Parshah gives us a classic example. Shemittah, the sabbatical year, was designed to allow the land to rest and regenerate. Six years the land would be worked, but on the seventh year it would rest and lie fallow. The agricultural cycle in the Holy Land imposed strict rules and regulations on the owner of the land. No planting, no pruning, no agricultural work whatsoever in the seventh year--and whatever grew by itself would be "ownerless" and there for the taking for all. The owner could take some, but so could his workers, friends and neighbors. The landowner, in his own land, would have no more right than the stranger. For six years you own the property, but on the seventh you enjoy no special claims. This is but one of many examples of Judaism's "capitalism with a conscience." There are many other legislated obligations to the poor--not optional extras, not even pious recommendations but clear mandatory contributions to the less fortunate. The ten percent tithes as well as the obligation to leave to the poor the unharvested corners of one's field, the gleanings, and the forgotten sheaves are all part of the system of compassionate capitalism. Judaism thus presents an economic system which boasts the best of both worlds--the advantages of an unfettered, free market allowing personal expression and success relative to hard work without the drawbacks of corporate greed. If the land belongs to G-d then we have no exclusive ownership over it. G-d bestows His blessings upon us but, clearly, the deal is that we must share. Without Torah law, capitalism fails. Unbridled ambition and the lust for money and power lead to monopolies and conglomerates that leave no room for the next guy and widen the gap between the haves and the have-nots. The sabbatical year is one of many checks and balances that keep our capitalism kosher and kind. Some people are too business-like. Everything is measured and exact. Business is business. If I invited you for Shabbat, then I won't repeat the invitation until you reciprocate first. If you gave my son $50 for his Bar Mitzvah then that is exactly what I will give your son. We should be softer, more flexible, not so hard, tough and business-like. By all means, be a capitalist, but be a kosher capitalist. What a person is "worth" financially should be irrelevant to the respect you accord to him. Retain the traditional Jewish characteristics of kindness, compassion, tzedokah and chesed, generosity of spirit, heart--and pocket. May you make lots of money and encourage G-d to keep showering you with His blessings by sharing it generously with others.