TRENDING TODAY

Moslem Murder In Manchester

Manchester is home to the second-biggest Jewish community in the United Kingdom. While a student in England, I regularly spent Jewish festivals with my cousins in Manchester. Needless to say, back then, even as a visibly identifiable Jew, one could safely walk almost anywhere in Manchester. For many years now, that has not been true. Starting in the 80s Muslim men attacked Jews walking home from synagogue with increasing frequency. Walking home from school became a terrifying ordeal for Jewish youngsters. Vandal attacks on Jewish property became endemic, yet the authorities did nothing. Why not? Because western leadership has become cowardly. Moslems often react violently to criticism while Jews do not so ignoring Jewish victims carried little cost. As the years went by, Moslem assailants became less fastidious when choosing their victims and the mayhem began to spread. By then cowardice was the default reaction from political leadership. Placating the Moslem population was seen as the avenue to peace. Last night the harvest was reaped. It goes without saying that not every Moslem is violent neither does every Moslem endorse violence. (Though the Palestinian Authority lends respectability to endorsing violence by compensating families of murderous terrorists.) Thought Experiment: If all the perpetrators of the last fifty savage attacks against innocent civilians happened to all be ballet dancers, how long before every ballet group in the world issued strong and definitive denunciations of terror? When a Jewish man killed 29 Muslim in Hebron about twenty-three years ago, Jews denounced him so widely you’d have thought nobody had ever done anything like this in all of human history. The government of Israel, every Jewish organization around the world and every rabbi condemned the murder. I’m just saying…
Meanwhile, Jews continue to serve the role of canary in the coal mine. I am nostalgic for the Manchester I used to know. These days large numbers of English-speaking people I meet in Israel are former residents of Manchester. Like France, Manchester is swopping its Jews for a considerably less peaceful population. Let’s hear how that’s all working out.

Vital Values

On July 4, 1826, exactly fifty years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, two of the men most instrumental in its drafting died. Former presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died within a few hours of each other.

To me, it was God linking these two statesmen for all time.  I can just see them approaching the Throne of Glory, arms around one another’s shoulders in eternal bonds of brotherhood.

On May 24, 1844, Samuel Morse transmitted the words, “What hath God wrought,” (Numbers 23:23) from Washington to Baltimore using electrical pulses and his Morse Code.  That year, May 24 fell on the Bible holyday of Shavuot/Pentecost, which this year begins after sunset a week from tonight, on May 30th.

Serendipitously, Shavuot, the anniversary of the day upon which God gave His message to mankind through Moses on Mt Sinai, was the first time in the history of humanity that people thousands of miles apart could communicate almost instantaneously.  Of course, for those of us who believe that serendipity or coincidence are simply words that people use to mask God’s involvement in the world, the date of the telegraph’s launch is striking.

What lesson did the Lord intend when He guided Morse to give the world electronic communication precisely on the Festival commemorating His bestowing upon us the Ten Commandments?

In true rabbinical fashion, I will answer the question by asking three others.

What words can the pacifist professor of philosophy utter to engage the vicious predator with cold eyes and no conscience who has just put a gun to the professor’s head?

What meaningful dialogue can possibly flow from a meeting between the president of Planned Parenthood and the Pope?

Wouldn’t it waste your time to eavesdrop as a Bible believer debates a militant atheist?

All these encounters are between people who don’t speak the same language.  Because they share no matrix of meaning there is little basis for communication. While the feathers may fly and the fireworks might be sensational, nothing of true consequence is likely to emerge.

It’s no coincidence that Samuel Morse’s breakthrough communication technology debuted on the very day upon which God presented His ultimate system of values to the world. The message is clear. To put it starkly: There cannot be lasting creative communication and collaboration between people who do not share values.

Marriage with a very attractive individual, but one with whom no ultimate values are shared, enjoys very little probability of long term success.

Diversity of values is no asset in a business, particularly in a smaller entrepreneurial endeavor.  The effective business professional will hire associates who possess the necessary skills and drive. However, just as importantly, they must also share the company’s value system, set by the founder.

Families should not expect their children to receive the education they anticipate at schools and colleges that do not share the family’s value system.

Values must precede all else. For this reason, Israel’s journey from slavery in Egypt to its own geographic and spiritual destiny in Jerusalem has a date at Sinai as its pivotal point. The quest for independence and development can only succeed when the people are fortified and fashioned by their common value system, the Torah. The Exodus would be pointless were it not followed by receiving that explanation of reality.

The upcoming shared anniversary of both the telegraph and the Torah reminds us to communicate our value system effectively to our families and our social and business organizations.  It is far more productive and far less stressful to live with and direct a group of people who share common values and vision.

While I used the phrase the Ten Commandments above, in reality that is a mistranslation. To understand why these ten statements are vitally important to your life, you need to look at them through the lens of ancient Jewish wisdom. Our office and store will be closed from sunset Tuesday, May 30th through nightfall on June 1st, in obedience to God’s command for Shavuot. We are making our audio CD, The Ten Commandments: How Two Tablets Can Transform Your Life, available on sale until we close. Save even more by getting The Ten Commandments as part of the Biblical Blueprint Set and get an additional four life-altering CDs at one very discounted price.

Adapted from Thought Tools, May 23, 2012

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Adams, Revere and…Trump?

One of my lovely daughters just treated me to three glorious days in Boston. Tamara and I immersed ourselves in 18th and 19th century history, wending our way along Boston’s Freedom Trail. I left my computer at home, didn’t access email, and our eyes and ears were tuned to the past rather than the present.

We respectfully stood at the graves of Sam Adams, Paul Revere and Increase Mather. We visualized life aboard the USS Constitution, the battleship nicknamed Old Ironsides, as it faced the British Navy in the War of 1812 and we saw too many names on too many memorials for boys who died fighting America’s wars.

We peered up at murals in the Boston Public Library by artist John Singer Sargent and at the same location smiled at Robert McCloskey’s sketches for his charming book, Make Way for Ducklings.

As we stood at the site of the Boston Massacre and at the location where thousands gathered before the Boston Tea Party, we discussed whether we would have sided with the Loyalists and King George or the rebellious Patriots had we been alive in those tumultuous times. We never came to a conclusion. Would we have wanted to be associated with aristocratic snobs who looked down at us or conversely with those who looted and tarred and feathered their adversaries?

Waiting for my flight home, after three days immersed in the noble, and sometimes ignoble, founding of our country, it was initially somewhat jarring to be surrounded by hysterical and shrill voices projecting from the airport TV screen. Although I wasn’t looking at the monitor, for the hour I sat there waiting for my delayed flight I couldn’t avoid hearing the President’s name repeatedly linked to the words impeachment and obstruction. Partisan people with predetermined conclusions were passionately pontificating about uncertain events.

Generations after a Boston silversmith named Paul Revere copied a propaganda drawing misrepresenting the shooting of colonists at the hands of British soldiers, personalities continue to inflame emotion and incite fervor by bending the truth. Generations after average citizens rose up in anger at an elitist, taxing, ruling class, their descendants continue to demand a more representative government. Generations after families, including that of Ben Franklin, were split apart as members supported different factions, people are finding politics imperiling their most intimate relationships. We can only pray that generations after a group of men with uncommon abilities, principles and courage gathered to form a nation, we don’t seek in vain for their worthy successors.

If you haven’t heard this 2 audio CD set and shared it with everyone of voting age, you should. The promises being made today aren’t new, nor are the dangers facing us. Look to Genesis to reveal the past, present and future.

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I’m trying to cut expenses, but my wife won’t get on board

I have been listening to your podcasts for about a year now and find them very insightful. I was raised a Baptist and am now a confirmed Roman Catholic. I find that every week your subject matter always seems to address something that is going on at that moment. 

I have had a lot of changes in my life recently, some by choice, others by necessity. At 38 I have realized that my wife and I need to start being good stewards of our money and to stop living beyond our means.

 I now have a career that requires that I have good credit but is a decent paying job. My problem is that I am having trouble getting my wife onboard with the idea. I realize that we need to tighten our belts for the time being. 

Do you have any advice on how to convince her of this?

Thank you for your time and God bless you.

Sincerely,

Frank G.

Answer: 

Dear Frank,

Congratulations on the new job as well as on entering the world of economic adulthood. Living beyond your means isn’t a good idea at any time, but recognizing that in your late thirties rather than later hopefully gives you time to turn things around.

You don’t mention how long you’ve been married, but it sounds like you are unilaterally changing the rules of the marriage. If until now, you and your wife have been spending indiscriminately and somehow making do, it shouldn’t be a surprise that you can’t just come home and announce a new way of living. You may have had an epiphany but your wife hasn’t.

The language you used in your letter suggests that your marriage and your finances both need work.  Note how you use the first person singular-I. “At 38 I have realized that my wife and I need to start being good stewards…”  One spouse might decide that a conversation is necessary or that he/she wants to discuss something but on important issues, we would have preferred seeing you say, “My wife and I have realized…”

We very much want you to stick to your new resolution. We would strongly recommend that you sign up for one of Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace courses along with your wife. However, you need to invest the time in building the partnership and then give her time to arrive at the same conclusion that you have. Independently decreeing  a new regime just won’t cut it.

For the sake of your marriage, you may initially need to make the greater sacrifice, cutting out more of your pleasures rather than asking your wife to cut out hers. If she is the good woman we assume she is, then when she sees you taking finances seriously as well as when she processes the information from the class, we think she will get on board.

May your marriage and work be blessed and bear fruit,

Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin

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THOUGHT TOOLS

  • Vital Values May 23, 2017 by Rabbi Daniel Lapin - On July 4, 1826, exactly fifty years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, two of the men most instrumental in its drafting died. Former presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died within a few hours of each other. To me, it was God linking these two statesmen for all time.  I can just Read More

ASK THE RABBI

  • I’m trying to cut expenses, but my wife won’t get on board May 16, 2017 by Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin - I have been listening to your podcasts for about a year now and find them very insightful. I was raised a Baptist and am now a confirmed Roman Catholic. I find that every week your subject matter always seems to address something that is going on at that moment.  I have had a lot of Read More

SUSAN’S MUSINGS

  • Adams, Revere and…Trump? May 18, 2017 by Susan Lapin - One of my lovely daughters just treated me to three glorious days in Boston. Tamara and I immersed ourselves in 18th and 19th century history, wending our way along Boston’s Freedom Trail. I left my computer at home, didn’t access email, and our eyes and ears were tuned to the past rather than the present. Read More

ON OUR MIND

  • Moslem Murder In Manchester May 23, 2017 by Rabbi Daniel Lapin - Manchester is home to the second-biggest Jewish community in the United Kingdom. While a student in England, I regularly spent Jewish festivals with my cousins in Manchester. Needless to say, back then, even as a visibly identifiable Jew, one could safely walk almost anywhere in Manchester. For many years now, that has not been true. Read More

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About Rabbi Daniel Lapin

Rabbi Daniel Lapin, known world-wide as America’s Rabbi, is a noted rabbinic scholar, best-selling author and host of the Rabbi Daniel Lapin Show on The Blaze Radio Network. He is one of America’s most eloquent speakers and his ability to extract life principles from the Bible and transmit them in an entertaining manner has brought countless numbers of Jews and Christians closer to their respective faiths. Newsweek magazine included him in its list of America’s fifty most influential rabbis.

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