Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira arrested for book, The King's Torah

Last year the JTA published an article about Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira. I commented on it here. Turns out he was arrested for the book for suspicion of incitement. You can read about that on JTA’s site here.

Even though no charges were pressed and he was released, it’s nice to see the consensus held by the authorities about his work. Keep in mind this isn’t the only time he’s gotten in trouble. JTA also reported that he was arrested in January because 5 of his yeshiva students were charged for committing arson on a mosque in Yasuf back in December.

I mention this again to show the difference in attitude Israelis hold against their own when confronted with terrorist mentalities. It’s a stark contrast from the reactions we see in the Muslim world.

Cantor wants Jews to act before it is ‘too late’

Jews need to get more vocal and more active. With the increase of threats and action against Israel and Jews we need to do more to stop those who want to kill us in this generation.

via Cantor wants Jews to act before it is ‘too late’ | JTA – Jewish & Israel News.

Real Immortality

A couple of weeks ago I came across this article from Wired talking about three scientists who had discovered and isolated the protein responsible for immortality. It’s like reading science fiction and instantly conjures up a multitude of feelings and ideas. The headline, Nobel Winners Isolate Protein Behind Immortality, was one of the most amazing sentences I have ever read. I thought of the possibilities and how this would change medicine, much more, the world. I was floored.

Probably the second-most amazing sentence I have ever read followed, “It may be nature’s greatest double-edged sword. Coax cells into producing telomerase, and they will survive indefinitely, but they will also become cancerous.” With my family going through the diagnosis and treatment of my wife’s breast cancer, the sentence took on a poignancy I would not have experienced otherwise.

Last week synagogues around the world read the first parashah of the Torah, Beresheit. In it we read the creation of mankind, and his fall from immortality. For the last couple of days I’ve been thinking of this and how it related to the article from Wired. It seemed wonderful and magical that scientists had discovered a physical element in our humanity that allowed us to live forever. It was tragic that this discovery showed that the only fruit of turning this on would be the creation of cancer in our bodies—which ultimately makes us very mortal. The irony!

Cancer is not really as bad as it sounds. In its simplest terms, it is a cluster of cells that don’t die. They’re immortal… and they kill us. It’s essential for our survival that the cells in our body have a lifespan; they are born, perform their function, and die when done. If this process breaks our bodies turn against us.

I applied this to a global and biblical scale. It occurred to me that if we were to be immortal now, in our current state, humanity would become a cancer ultimately destroying itself and everything around it. Without the ability to coexist and be responsible with the world we live, we would destroy ourselves. Immortality would not be a blessing at this time.

Immortality for the human race would turn us into a cancer. For immortality to be a blessing it requires unity of purpose and goals. The Prophets speak of a time when there will be no more dying (Isaiah 25:8). There is much that must be done before we can enjoy that state of existence. Can science and medicine bring us into that state of existence without harmful repercussions? No.

Only when the world knows only one G~d will humanity be ready to live forever. Only then will our bodies and minds be tuned and prepared for the changes necessary to enable us to live peacefully forever with one another. May the day come soon, and may we all do our best until then to make the world a better place.

Interesting News about Israel

Here are a few interesting pieces of news pertaining to Israel that are worth a read. All articles are from JTA. Click the link to read the full article.

Obama official: Israel should sign non-nuclear pact

This article addresses a U.S. non-official request for Israel to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The poser with this is that it would confirm Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons. If you want to read about the NPT, check it out here.

Congressmen call for Gaza aid conditions

This brief article addresses a letter sent to Secretary of State Clinton by two Democratic congressmen. They request that terms need to be set for the Palestinians to receive the first 1/3rd of a $900 Million aid package (incindentally, this was part of the ‘stimulus’ package, but that’s another story…).

If the U.S. is going to follow through and actually give this terrorist state money, it must have conditions placed and met before a penny can be sent. Why we would do this befuddles me. It not only won’t go to the people it would be intended to help, but it would be used by it’s corrupt, terrorist government to fight Israel, thereby effectively placing the U.S. in a threatening posture towards Israel. Moreover, it would work to undo all the work Israel has been doing to combat the terrorism.

Israeli police seize ancient Hebrew scroll

This is a great article about a piece of Israel’s history. This scroll is a piece of evidence proving Jewish existence in the land contested by Palestinians. The irony to this ‘proof’ is that those who need it would never accept it. Anyway, it’s a good read, check it out.

Napolitano: ‘Some things we just won’t do’

I can somewhat understand this from the viewpoint of questionable policies like the Patriot Act. I also understand it from the now infamous Benjamin Franklin quote, “Those who are willing to sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither.”

However, as a veteran, I also understand that exceptional times call for exceptional measures. Provided there are things in place to prevent temporary, extreme measures becoming permanent, we all have to sacrifice a little. That said, the more civil liberties are retained and encouraged, the less the government needs to get involved in enforcing security (I believe).

And that said, I also believe that if you’re not doing anything wrong then it shouldn’t be a problem in the first place. There are other assumptions here that I won’t get into, but you may read into the post.

Specifically relating to the quote from Napolitano below, I disagree with her statement “there are some things we won’t do.” What’s the context and concern here? Otherwise, I say sometimes there are things we have to do. All of these questions to her and on the subject of civil liberties don’t even address Marshall Law which can be enacted if deemed necessary. At that point, civil liberties are moot.

“Napolitano added that the Obama administration had a ‘strong commitment to making sure we do everything in our power within the Constitution’ to keep the country safe and that ‘utimately, you have to say there are some things we just won’t do.’”

Via JTA: Napolitano: ‘Some things we just won’t do’

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said an American journalist sentenced to eight years in prison on charges of spying for the U.S. should be allowed to offer a full defense at her appeal, the state news agency reported Sunday.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said an American journalist sentenced to eight years in prison on charges of spying for the U.S. should be allowed to offer a full defense at her appeal, the state news agency reported Sunday.
Iran president urges full defense for US reporter

This is video of Susan Rosegen putting down her professional credentials as a reporter and picking up boxing gloves. Please see the Power Line’s original post on this at Cheerleader Turns into Boo-Leader. I’m posting it because of the Power Line’s follow up article, Hiding the Evidence. Evidently CNN is pulling this video from YouTube. It is really embarrasing for them, but instead of putting a band-aid on it they need to address the disease. This is just another symptom of over-sensationalized news and reporters who need to get ratings to keep their jobs.


Obama maintains silence on Gaza | JTA – Jewish & Israel News

This piece from the JTA illustrates why many Israelis do not look forward to Obama coming into office. It appears to me from the way this is read that Obama’s stance is significantly different than Bush’s. I’m also put off by his inability to speak his mind. I’ve heard he’s very careful about the things he says in order not to alienate supporters.

Taking a stand on this issue is not a popularity contest. I’ll bet Obama is a yes-man.

Read what Bush said and record it somewhere. I don’t believe Jews and Israel will receive this kind of support from Obama…

WASHINGTON JTA – Barack Obama continued to decline comment on the situation in the Gaza Strip.

“There are delicate negotiations taking place right now and you cant have two voices coming out of the United States state [sic] when you have so much at stake,” the president-elect said at a news conference on Monday.

Obama referred to efforts by the outgoing Bush administration to bring about a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas terrorists currently at war in Gaza.

Bush, for his part, repeated his red line for a cease-fire: an end to rocket attacks on Israels south.

“All of us, of course, would like to see violence stopped — but not at the expense of an agreement that does not prevent the crisis from happening again,” Bush said at the White House. “I know people are saying lets have that cease-fire, and those are noble ambitions. But any cease-fire must have the conditions in it so that Hamas does not use Gaza as a place from which to launch rockets.”

via Obama maintains silence on Gaza | JTA – Jewish & Israel News.

Flagrant Anti-Semitism…

Karatzaferis, the head of the far right political party LAOS, says that with some effort the Jews could be placed among the nations of justice, “but what do you expect from a race that crucified God the only time he came to earth.” Later he asks rhetorically, “Yet would God killers care about a few hundred innocent children?”

via Greek weekly calls Jews ‘Christ killers’ | JTA – Jewish & Israel News.