If I could write
If I could sing
If my heart could sense the pain and suffering
If I could feel
If I could bond
If my heart knew the song
I am sure it would say
What all hearts cry
I am sure it would feel
What all hearts feel
I am sure it would compose an ode
To the one thing, from young to old
It is the eternal longing
But as we seek unity
We seek individuality
As we seek compassion
We seek assertiveness
And to understand how to be me and we
Where can I meld without melt
Where can I be, together with we
Where can I shine, with other stars
For this my friend, is the Messianic-Dream
For in the knowledge of our mission
In the unity of our purpose
In our joint command
In our unified front
In our all-encompassing raison…
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and the incompetent enemy marches on
Like most of the components of Iggeret HaKodesh, this pastoral letter too was addressed to the chassidic community as a whole. Why, then, echoing the words first addressed to Daniel (“To enlighten you with understanding”),1 does the Alter Rebbe open it in the singular?
In this letter the Alter Rebbe demands spiritual service of a caliber so seemingly formidable as to be attainable only by a chosen few. For in it he calls upon the reader not to desire physical things, even those things that are essential for his wellbeing and utilized in his service of G‑d.
Even such essentials, states the Alter Rebbe, should not be desired for their physicality but for their spirituality, for the spark of G‑dliness found within them. So much so, that even if a person finds that he is lacking (G‑d forbid) life’s essentials, he should not be pained by their absence…
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On August 22nd Quentin Sommerville produced a filmed report for BBC television news which also appeared on the BBC News website under the headline “Suspected informants killed in Gaza“.
The appearance of this filmed report and an accompanying written one on the BBC News website was particularly interesting because previous announcements in the local media with regard to the execution of four people on July 17th and the execution of thirty more people on or around July 28th had been completely ignored by the BBC despite its plethora of correspondents on the ground at the time. The reason for the anomaly appears to be that this time the information came from Hamas itself, as Sommerville noted in his report.
“On a Gaza City street just after Friday prayers a group of men are led to their deaths. Bound and hooded, they’re made to kneel. As…
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There are two things that typically result from reading recent news from Israel. The first is the response that yes this headline is upsetting, and yes the situation needs to improve … not just for 3, 24, or 72 hours, but that the threat—both the immediate and long-term threat—needs to be taken care of. The second are the personal stories that come from these headlines—the micro of the aforementioned macro—the individual lives that have been saved and lost. The faces behind the conflict
What can be said? What should be said? If you don’t know what happened … how this holy boy was taken from us, you can read this. But now is the time to reflect and learn. To learn some Torah in the merit of…
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The BBC – its funding public is told – “aspires to remain the standard-setter for international journalism” and to ensure that its audiences “remain informed about world events”.
Recently it has become apparent that BBC editors are of the opinion that those aspirations are served by providing audiences with commentary on current affairs from a teenager qualified with nothing more than a Twitter account.
Whilst it may be difficult to imagine that the BBC would deem commentary from such a source likely make any serious contribution to meeting its public purpose remit of informing audiences about British defence policy, in a certain part of the Middle East anything goes.
The August 26th edition of the BBC World Service radio programme ‘World Have Your Say’ purported to discuss what it described as the “Gaza Truce” as though nothing at all has happened in neighbouring Israel during the past 50 days…
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I laughed when I saw the headline…Rwandan troops to clean up the Gaza mess? Are you kidding? Then I read Shmuley Boteach’s article and found it eerily sensible. The main point, while he doesn’t state it explicitly, is that Israel can’t do this by itself, and that may be the main takeaway from the last conflict. I’ll write about that myself…in the meantime, give this some consideration:
Rwandan troops with grim evidence of genocide