GOOD MORNING! My beloved friend and colleague, Rabbi Ephraim Shore, scripted a beautiful, uplifting 2 minute video for Aish.com in honor of Israel's 62nd Independence Day - Happy Birthday, Israel! You can see it at www.tinyurl.com/HBIsrael . One swells with pleasure. Here are some of the accomplishments mentioned:
After kvelling (gushing with delight) in these facts, it hit me that as wonderful as they all are, the Jewish people have given an even greater gift to the world - the values and principles which every nation professes and hopefully aspires - the vision of utopia that the world embraces:
1) Value of Life - People have the right to life, and to live with a certain basic dignity and rights.
2) World Peace - On all levels, communally and globally, people and nations should co-exist in peace and harmony with mutual respect.
3) Justice and Equality - All people, regardless of race, sex, or social status, have the right to be treated equally and fairly in the eyes of the law.
4) Education - Everyone has the right to be functionally literate as a basic tool for personal advancement and the ability to attain knowledge.
5) Family - A strong, stable family structure is necessary for the moral foundation of society.
6) Social Responsibility - Individually and nationally, we are responsible for each other. This includes responsibility for: disease, poverty, famine, crime and drugs, as well as environmental problems and animal rights.
If you would like to deepen your pleasure, knowledge and understanding in what the Jewish people have given to the world, you may buy a copy of WorldPerfect: The Jewish impact on Civilization by Rabbi Ken Spiro at your local Jewish bookstore, at http://www.JudaicaEnterprises.com or by calling toll-free to 877-758-3242. You may also see an excerpt from the book detailing where the values and principles of the modern world came from at http://www.tinyurl.com/WorldPerfect .
For more on "Jewish Values" go to ShabbatShalomAudio.com!
Torah Portion of the Week
This week's portion sets forth the standards of purity and perfection for a Cohen; specifies the physical requirements of sacrifices and what is to be done with blemished offerings; proclaims as holidays the Shabbat, Pesach, Shavuot, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot.
It reminds the Jewish people to provide pure olive oil for the Menorah and designates the details of the Showbread (two stacks of 6 loaves each which were placed on the table in the portable sanctuary and later in the Temple once a week upon Shabbat).
The portion ends with the interesting story of a man who blasphemed God's name with a curse. What should be the penalty for this transgression? Curious? Leviticus. 24:14.
* * *
based on Growth Through Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
The Torah states:
"And the Almighty said to Moshe, 'Speak to the priests, the sons of Aharon, and say to them: Let no (priest) defile himself amongst his people' " (Lev. 21:1).
The Chozeh of Lublin explained this verse to mean that Moshe was told that the priest should be worthy of being the descendants of Aharon (Aaron, the High Priest). Just as Aharon had the trait of loving and pursuing peace, so too, they should work on acquiring this trait. Therefore, the latter part of this verse warns them that even though they should try to make peace between people whenever they can, they must be careful not to defile themselves in the process. At times they might come into contact with very aggressive and violent people and they should not become too close to them lest they become negatively influenced by their faults.
CANDLE LIGHTING - April 30
(or go to http://www.aish.com/sh/c/)
Guatemala 5:56 - Hong Kong 6:30 - Honolulu 6:37
J'Burg 5:20 - London 8:03 - Los Angeles 7:18
Melbourne 5:17 - Mexico City 7:40 - Miami 7:33
New York 7:32 - Singapore 6:49 - Toronto 8:00
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
The only substitute for shouting is substance.
-- Juanita Kreps
With Deep Appreciation to
Rabbi Kalman Packouz
Click here for Rabbi Packouz's bio
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