IDF soldiers are Tzaddikim

23,320: The Number that Should Change Your LIfe

Numbers that ring a bell, a bell that tolls. For Tzaddikim.

Published: Tuesday, April 21, 2015 , Arutz Sheva

Shmuel Sackett

Shmuel Sackett is co-founder of Manhigut Yehudit (The Jewish Leadership…

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Does the number 23,320 mean anything to you?

How about 4,958 or 553 or 116 or 52?

Do these numbers even ring a bell? They should… they definitely should. These numbers should send shivers down your spine because they are all connected to holy IDF soldiers who were killed in battle while fighting to defend the Land that G-d gave to Abraham and that was then inherited by… YOU!

23,320 is the total number of G-d’s messengers killed while protecting the Jewish nation.

553 is the number of soldiers who tragically have no burial place in this world.

4,958 is the number of IDF widows who cry themselves to sleep each night, all alone.

52 are how many military cemeteries there are in the small State of Israel.

And finally, 116 is the number of soldiers killed in battle since last year’s Yom Ha’Zikaron (Israel Memorial Day) – an average of one every three days.

These are real numbers that stand for real people. When asked what they gave their life for, many people would answer – as I wrote above – “to defend the Land” when, in reality, it is much more than that. Yes, the Land of Israel is important and we defend it with every ounce of strength we have. Jewish law permits us to violate Shabbat to defend the land and although we choose to live, we are ready and willing to give our lives in its defense.

However, when you sit down and think about it, we are defending much more than rocks and mountains. Our holy IDF soldiers are defending our status as a nation (Am Yisrael) and are bringing honor to our Father in heaven. To a Jew, nothing is more important than this and every IDF soldier is a walking, talking and breathing “Tzaddik” (righteous person) who is sanctifying G-d’s Name each and every day.

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Remember the Fallen

Letter from the Chairwoman of the IDF Widows and Orphans Organization

Bereaved families swing back and forth between the desire to continue living in memory of fallen loved ones, and the rest of the pain we experience.


Published: Tuesday, April 21, 2015 , Arutz Sheva

Nava Shoham Solan

The writer is Chairwoman of the IDF Widows and Orphans Organization.

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Dear Friends,

Memorial Day is a fixed ritual in an entire year of events – scandals, festivals, oversights, debates, disasters, accomplishments, successes, and victories.  We, the bereaved families, swing back and forth between the desire to continue living in memory of our fallen loved ones, and the rest of the pain we experience, both personal and national.

Yet, it seems as if Memorial Day bursts out anew into our consciousness each year.  On such a day, I know that once again, the heavy and awful price I have paid for our battle of survival will be remembered.  This year as in every year, the spotlight will shine on our loved ones, who gave their lives for our independence, and we, too, will be remembered: the families who ask to remember, and continue their lives in the shadow of memories. 

Again we will be discussed, and they will talk of how our lives split into two periods – before the bitter news and afterwards. Alongside statistics and numbers, with stories that sadden and ones that elevate our hearts, they will talk about us, the bereaved families.

Everyone knows that Memorial Day is not meant for the bereaved families, but for the rest of our society that needs to hear the siren in order to stop the crazy routine and remember those who gave us the chance to live such a routine.  I also know that we are surrounded by many people and their love throughout the year, and that many of our friends remember our fallen loved ones – and us – and remain close to us not only on this day.  Although the entire nation stands silent together, and many pay their respects at graveyards on this day, I would like to remind everyone about the day after Memorial Day.

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Misdirected efforts for Palestinian Arabs

The fake sincerity of pro-Palestinian commentators

While voices across the ocean wax poetic about protecting the wellbeing of Palestinians, many victims will languish in prisons and torture chambers

Print EditionPhoto by: REUTERS


04/18/2015, Jerusalem Post

Politicians, professors and journalists alike carry on mindlessly suggesting untenable immoral prescriptions that ostensibly help the Palestinians but which in fact brings about their demise.

Cognitive dissonance can be a funny, curious thing. Like a high school jock who wears shorts while lobbying the principal to ban all summer wear, those who play the “I’m-apathetic-but-I-like-to-call- myself-an-activist” game are the best at what they (don’t) do. Their exercises in self-imposed make-believe produce comical scenes in which these individuals are at variance with their own objectives and undermine the very positions they claim to represent.
Yet, such intellectual inconsistencies often provoke more than light chuckles. In the case of the Arab-Israeli conflict, they lead to the wholesale disenfranchisement and destruction of Palestinians – all in the name of Palestinian welfare.

This process usually occurs when the acolytes of armchair social justice mistake colloquy in echo chambers for sincere concern for the wellbeing of others. Politicians, professors and journalists alike carry on mindlessly suggesting untenable and, worse, immoral prescriptions that ostensibly help Arabs living in Gaza and the West Bank but which in fact bring about their demise. The logic of these academics, when put to practical use, reads more like a satirical pamphlet than advice intended to be taken seriously:
• Let’s prove we love Palestinians by creating a state which, under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority, has already robbed them of international aid, persecuted their minority population, and withheld from them the dignity of basic civil liberties – such as the right to vote, and the right to choose one’s own religion.
– Every pundit on CNN (et al) who advocates for a Palestinian state, without fully comprehending what they are calling for.
• Let’s prove we love Palestinians by championing the tunnel complex built by Hamas – even though those tunnels were built with the blood of Gazan children who were deemed to be expendable by the Hamas regime.
– Al Jazeera (et al) which, when describing the tunnel system as a “Palestinian assertion of political autonomy and resistance” failed to realize that it was symbolically standing on the graves of innocent Gazans in order to push a brutal political agenda.
• “Let’s prove we love Palestinians by suggesting that Hamas was ‘resisting’ against oppressive Israeli policies in the 2014 conflict even though Hamas reigns brutally over its own people á la Joseph Stalin.
– Every member of the glib pep squad that is Students for Justice in Palestine (et al) who serve as proxies running interference on campus for regimes that persecute their own people.

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No sign of life in universe

Search for advanced civilizations beyond Earth finds nothing obvious in 100,000 galaxies

April 14, 2015

Source: Science Daily , Penn State

This is a false-color image of the mid-infrared emission from the Great Galaxy in Andromeda, as seen by Nasa’s WISE space telescope. The orange color represents emission from the heat of stars forming in the galaxy’s spiral arms. The G-HAT team used images such as these to search 100,000 nearby galaxies for unusually large amounts of this mid-infrared emission that might arise from alien civilizations.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/WISE Team

After searching 100,000 galaxies for signs of highly advanced extraterrestrial life, a team of scientists using observations from NASA’s WISE orbiting observatory has found no evidence of advanced civilizations in them. “The idea behind our research is that, if an entire galaxy had been colonized by an advanced spacefaring civilization, the energy produced by that civilization’s technologies would be detectable in mid-infrared wavelengths — exactly the radiation that the WISE satellite was designed to detect for other astronomical purposes,” said Jason T. Wright, an assistant professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds at Penn State University, who conceived of and initiated the research.

The research team’s first paper about its Glimpsing Heat from Alien Technologies Survey (G-HAT), will be published in the Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series on April 15, 2015. Also among the team’s discoveries are some mysterious new phenomena in our own Milky Way galaxy.

“Whether an advanced spacefaring civilization uses the large amounts of energy from its galaxy’s stars to power computers, space flight, communication, or something we can’t yet imagine, fundamental thermodynamics tells us that this energy must be radiated away as heat in the mid-infrared wavelengths,” Wright said. “This same basic physics causes your computer to radiate heat while it is turned on.”

Theoretical physicist Freeman Dyson proposed in the 1960s that advanced alien civilizations beyond Earth could be detected by the telltale evidence of their mid-infrared emissions. It was not until space-based telescopes like the WISE satellite that it became possible to make sensitive measurements of this radiation emitted by objects in space.

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Children who survived Holocaust

Looking Back at the Holocaust, Through a Child’s Eyes


Reprinted from New York Times

Dolls on display at a new exhibit at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem. Credit Uriel Sinai for The New York Times


JERUSALEM — Jakov Goldstein survived the Holocaust as a child by hiding alone for two years in a narrow attic, sustained by the books delivered each day by the eldest daughter of the Polish family that shielded him. Eliyahu Rozdzial turned 13, hidden alone in the forest and farms around his hometown, Dzialoszyce, Poland, after his family had been killed. He observed his bar mitzvah by digging an imaginary synagogue from the earth and filling it with upright twigs to serve as a silent congregation.

And 4-year-old Martin Weyl survived life in the Terezin ghetto and camp, also known as Theresienstadt, just north of Prague. Forced there with his family, he drew a picture of a jeep that brought a Red Cross delegation to visit the ghetto, which had been showcased by Adolf Hitler to fool the world into believing that Jews were being treated humanely.

These and other children — some who lived, many who died — are being featured in a new exhibition, “Children in the Holocaust: Stars Without a Heaven,” which opened this week at Yad Vashem, the official Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem, for Yom Hashoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, on Thursday.

About 1.5 million children were killed during the Holocaust. The few thousand who survived the concentration camps and other horrors generally did not manage to keep any of their belongings. Some of the stories are illustrated by items from Yad Vashem’s collections of artifacts, art and archives, like the simple, precise drawing of the jeep ferrying the Red Cross. In other cases, only the memories remain.

“Children are the most vulnerable group in any society,” said Avner Shalev, the chairman of Yad Vashem. “They are innocent and symbolize in any given society the future, the hope.”

Nazi ideology did not differentiate between adults and children, and the plan was to wipe out the Jewish people in its entirety, meaning, according to Mr. Shalev, that “the children were doomed to be destroyed.”

As Israel observes Remembrance Day it is also introducing a program developed by Yad Vashem and the Education Ministry to help teachers approach the subject of the Holocaust with children as early as kindergarten age, and will expand Holocaust studies to schools in the Arab sector for the first time.

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US dropped its red lines

5 key demands US dropped in Iran talks

Reprinted from The Hill


By Kristina Wong – 04/11/15 , The Hill

The framework deal on Iran’s nuclear program has come under heavy scrutiny as the Obama administration seeks to sell the agreement to skeptical lawmakers.

Many of the terms mark a shift from President Obama’s stated goals at the start of negotiations 18 months ago.

Democrats and the White House say those changes are the result of tough negotiations and are calling for time to allow diplomats to finalize the accord. 

But Republican critics say the administration made concessions that go too far and secured little in return. 

Here are five areas where the administration shifted course during negotiations:

1. Banning uranium enrichment

Before talks began, the Obama administration and the United Nations Security Council called for Iran to stop all uranium enrichment.

The framework agreement, though, allows Iran to continue enriching uranium and producing plutonium for domestic civilian use. 

“Zero enrichment” had been a key demand since 2009, said Michael Singh, a senior fellow and managing director at The Washington Institute. “We basically went from zero to a number that kept going up.” 

The deal’s critics worry any enrichment could quickly be diverted to military use.

Omri Ceren, senior adviser for strategy at the Israel Project, said the administration started “sliding” on zero enrichment after talks began. 

But U.S. officials have suggested that halting all enrichment was never a realistic goal, and instead a key bargaining chip to secure other concessions from Iran.

“As soon as we got into the real negotiations with them, we understood that any final deal was going to involve some domestic enrichment capability,” a senior U.S. official told the Wall Street Journal last week. “But I can honestly tell you, we always anticipated that.” 

Reza Marashi, research director at the National Iranian American Council and a former State Department official, said the U.S. had to budge on this demand for the talks to advance.

“It was the icebreaker. It was what allowed these negotiations to take root,” he said. 

He said it led to key concessions from Iran, including unprecedented inspections of nuclear facilities.

“It’s the single most important point in my opinion, in terms of getting negotiations off the ground,” he said. “Once that position softened, it allowed the Iranian position to soften.”

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Arab turmoil dangerous for Israel

The Middle East Turmoil and Israel’s Security

by Efraim Inbar
International Relations and Security Network (ISN)
April 13, 2015


The Middle East is in great turmoil. The statist order that underpinned the region for a century has collapsed. Several states have lost their monopoly over the use of force and are no longer able to provide law and order. This is especially true of Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, and Syria. Even Egypt, the only historic Arab state, has had difficulties effectively enforcing its sovereignty over its territory.

Many of the militias challenging these state entities have a radical Islamist ideology, reflecting the rise in appeal of political Islam in the Arab world. In contrast to the leaders of these states, who are inefficient and corrupt, the Islamists actually deliver services to the people and have a reputation for being brutal but honest. However, the likes of Al Qaida in Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) or the so called Islamic State (IS) are hardly the proper agents for modernizing their environments and their popularity dooms the Arab world to continuous ignorance and poverty.

For this and other reasons, Israel will need to remain vigilant in the years ahead.

Outside Looking In

The statist order that underpinned the region for a century has collapsed.

The decline of the Arab world has been paralleled by the rise of non-Arab Muslim powers – Turkey and Iran. Both countries fare better on development indices and display nowadays an ambitious foreign policy fueled by imperial and Islamist impulses. Under Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ‘zero problems’ approach to foreign policy, Turkey has gradually distanced itself from the West. In 2003, for example, Ankara rejected the United States’ request to open a “northern front” against Iraqi forces. More recently, Turkey has opposed sanctions levied by the United Nations and the West against Russia and Iran.

For its part, Iran has successfully advanced its nuclear program despite the displeasure of the international community. Comparatively, recent developments in the Middle East and beyond have also allowed Tehran to establish a ‘Shiite Crescent’ stretching from Tehran to the eastern Mediterranean. This has provided Iran with countless opportunities to project power into the Middle East and Balkans, much to the chagrin of Saudi Arabia and others. Indeed, the successes of Iranian Shiite proxies in Baghdad, Beirut, Damascus and Sanaa underscore the Tehran quest for hegemony in the Middle East.

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Israeli food is healthy for you

For healthy heart, include pomegranate-date combo in your diet

  • AFP |
  • Updated: Apr 08, 2015, Hindustan Times

Pomegranate juice and dates make a dynamic duo in the war on heart disease. (Photo: Shutterstock)


A four-ounce glass of pomegranate juice with three dates could protect against the buildup of lipids on the arterial walls by as much as 33%, reducing chances for a heart attack, according to researchers in Israel.

Pomegranate juice and dates make a dynamic duo in the war on heart disease because their respective phenolic antioxidants work differently, according to lead author Professor Michael Aviram.

The key ingredients in pomegranate juice, he says, are plant-derived polyphenolic antioxidants that slow the body’s oxidation process, thereby reducing oxidative stress.

Dates contain phenolic radical scavenger antioxidants, which hinder the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LCL) cholesterol, also known as “bad-cholesterol.”

These scavenger antioxidants found in dates also stimulate the removal of cholesterol from arterial cells that come into contact with lipids, according to Professor Aviram.

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