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Showing posts from August, 2014

Our collective TOV potential is waiting to be tapped.

My two sons and I were watching a show on the Science Channel about the latest technology and recent scientific developments -- 3-D printing, androids (Geminarians), cyborg suits which allow the paralyzed to walk again, artificial limbs controlled by our brain waves using a structure to grow stem cells into organs and body parts!!! When you think about it, humans can be amazingly creative. I would even go as far as to say, we have the technology to solve most of the world's problems. No, I'm not caught up in waiting for some "Messiah." If humans could figure out how to tap human potential, it would be a very different world. Read Rabbi Leynor’s latest blog at -- http://tovcenter.blogspot.com/2014/08/our-collective-tov-potential-is-waiting.html

The Choice is Yours: Life or Death?

Today, I have been working on a very important section of the Torah. It is found in the final book, Devarim (Deuteronomy). It will provide the answer to the questions that Ezra and his fellow scribes worked very hard to answer as they recorded the words of the first scroll of the Torah. The questions are:
(1) Why did our United Kingdom divide into two separate and warring kingdoms – Israel & Judah?
(2) Why did foreign nations conquer Israel & Judah?
(3) What can we do to reunite and preserve the new kingdom?
The answers are found in the following words of the man who is viewed as the greatest priest and prophet of the Hebrew Scriptures – Moses. Read the complete BHC Bible study at -- http://bhcbiblestudies.blogspot.com/2014/08/the-choice-is-yours-life-or-death_99.html

TOV Parenting

Rabbi Jeffrey Leynor's latest blog is about parenting.

"I recently responded to a posting on FaceBook from someone deciding to leave their synagogue. I read their criticisms and complaints, having heard most of them before as a pulpit rabbi. The points they brought up are very valid.
Why should they spend so much money for dues, building funds, the Bar and Bat Mitzvah crush?
Why should they belong to a congregation, go twice a year, and suffer through a long service in a language they don't understand, not knowing why they are doing what they do?" 

Read the complete blog at -- http://tovcenter.blogspot.com/2014/08/tov-parenting.html

True justice involves virtue as well as choice.

Dr. Michael J. Sandel is the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government at Harvard University, where he has taught political philosophy since 1980. Two of Professor Sandel’s books – Justice: What’s The Right Thing To Do? & What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets – should be required reading for every America today (click here for links to them). Below is the definition of “virtue” followed by an excerpt from his book on justice.
virtue: from vertu (c. 1200); moral life and conduct; a particular moral excellence;[i]conformity of one's life and conduct to moral and ethical principles.[ii]
Professor Sandel:
The great questions of political philosophy are:
Does a just society seek to promote the virtue of its citizens? Or should law be neutral toward competing conceptions of virtue, so that citizens can be free to choose for themselves the best way to live?
According to the textbook account, this question divides ancient and modern political thought. In one important…

Love Your Neighbor: Only Israelites or Everyone?

It’s one of the most famous lines in the Bible:
“Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Leviticus 19:18).
Impressive. Fascinating. Inspiring. Capable of a thousand interpretations and raising 10,000 questions. A remarkable proposition coming out of ancient Judah, which was embedded in the Near Eastern world of wars, slavery, class and ethnic divisions and discriminations of all kinds.
One interpretation of this verse that has been making the rounds for years turns this grand idea on its head: The claim is that the verse means to love only one’s fellow Israelites as oneself. Instead of being inclusive, it’s actually exclusive. Is there anything to this claim?

Read the complete article at -- http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/bible-interpretation/love-your-neighbor-only-israelites-or-everyone/

The Last Generation Before the Great Flood

Look at the world in which Noah lived.
Now the earth was corrupt in the Creator’s sight and was full of HAMAS. The Creator saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. The Creator said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with HAMAS because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.

HAMAS is defined as violence, wrong, and being a false witness. It is used to describe “knocking off” part of a plant and “stripping its fruit.” This sounds a lot like the world we live in today, doesn't it? Read the complete article at http://bhcbiblestudies.blogspot.com/2014/08/the-last-generation-before-great-flood.html

Yeshiva Students Challenge Myths of the Menorah

It is a tale that seems at home in an espionage thriller about ancient religious secrets, such as the "The Da Vinci Code." For nearly 2,000 years, stories have circulated about the ultimate fate of sacred Jewish objects plundered from the Jerusalem Temple by Romans in A.D. 70—including a human-size, solid-gold Menorah. One widely shared theory among some Jews holds that the artifacts are hidden inside the Vatican, which many believe inherited the wealth of the Roman Empire. There is only one problem, say many scholars: It isn't true. Read the complete article at -- http://online.wsj.com/articles/yeshiva-students-challenge-myths-of-the-menorah-1408069132

Power: Some things history reveals about it.

I was working on a project today and came across a paper I filed away a few years ago about “power.” So, after cogitating on it for a little while, I decided to share some of the highlights with you. Understanding what power is and some time-tested truths about it is an essential step to more accurately understanding history, as well as changing things today. Read the Country Cogitator’s complete blog at -- http://thecountrycogitator.blogspot.com/2014/08/power-some-things-history-reveals-about.html

Suicide is About Pain

I was sitting and reading, when my daughter texted me about the death of Robin Williams. I, like so many people, was in shock. I grew up watching Mork and Mindy and listened to his standup routines howling with laughter, especially his use of different voices. His death, and the way he chose to end his life have special impact for me, because I specialize in suicide, homicide and domestic violence for the police, military and general public. I help people deal with the shock, anger, grief and devastation caused when someone chooses to end their life. Read Rabbi Leynor’s blog at -- http://tovcenter.blogspot.com/2014/08/suicide-is-about-pain.html

Why Hamas decided to pick a fight with Israel at this particular time.

What’s in it for Hamas? The West has fallen for all the clichés: Hamas wants to end the “occupation”. But there is no occupation. There hasn’t been a single Israeli soldier or settler in Gaza since the evacuation of Gush Katif in 2005. Maybe Hamas is fighting to end the “embargo”. Really? They’ve been shooting thousands of rockets at Israel. How did these rockets get into Gaza if the “embargo” is so air-tight? How did they build 3 kilometer long concrete terror tunnels under the border with Israel, if they have no building materials? So why is Hamas attacking? Read this article by Simcha Jacobovici at -- http://www.simchajtv.com/the-gaza-illusion/

Should they be remembered & honored -- or forgotten, put aside & ignored?

We live in a "throwaway society." Everything is about youth! So many products are created or in most cases tweaked to push back the hands of time. Skin treatments, plastic surgery, body contouring, instant weight loss miracles. The latest craze is testosterone, the answer to everything. Everything is done to avoid aging and getting "old." It seems when a worker reaches 50 years old, they are considered obsolete, useless, especially when a company can hire younger workers cheaper. There is a great difference between being smart and being wise. Hopefully we become wiser as we age. Being old is not a crime. The real crime is the treatment of these workers and people. Read Rabbi Leynor’s blog at -- http://tovcenter.blogspot.com/2014/08/should-they-be-remembered-honored-or.html

Parenting: The Creator’s Blessing & Hope

The first eleven chapter of the book of Genesis reveal the foundational core values and guiding principles the Creator gave for all humanity. Interestingly, the thing you will not find there is the founding of a religious institution. How is humanity supposed to learn the Creator’s core values and principles? It will be through the first sacred and spiritual institution established by the Creator – the family. Its leaders are called “parents.” It is found in homes -- not the institutions of government, education or religion. It should be the source of solutions for many of the issues and problems facing our society will be found. Read the complete article at -- http://biblicalheritage.org/DTB/0814_DTB_Parenting.pdf

Without a shared standard – who can you trust?

When I was growing up, there was a TV show, hosted by Johnny Carson called, "Who Do You Trust?" Back then, it appeared that there were many people to trust, the policeman, the fireman, the government, your doctor, your bank and banker, your religious authority, your neighbor, those companies and corporations whose products and services you bought with great loyalty. Today, we find we can trust none of these! How can we trust any of these entities when they all commit such terrible acts against us all?
Read Rabbi Leynor’s blog at -- http://tovcenter.blogspot.com/2014/08/without-shared-standard-who-can-you.html

Why do we let them exploit us?

The French historian and progressive philosopher Fernand Braudel observed that throughout history there seemed to be a minority of people who held power and wealth, ruled society and exploited the population to sustain their power and privilege. If this were the case then the human history question of primordial importance is – “how does this minority do it?” See what the Country Cogitator says about it -- http://thecountrycogitator.blogspot.com/2014/08/why-do-we-let-them-exploit-us.html

Question about Noah’s Wife

[Question: In light of the Noah movie that just came out, a couple of questions has been asked me that I don't have a satisfactory answer for.  In earlier studies, it was suggested that Tulbal-cain's sister, Na'amah was Noah's wife.  I find that their father was La'mech and their Mother was Zil'lah. Noah's father was also La'mech.  Gen. 6:4-29.  Do you think that it was the same La'mech and that Noah married his 1/2 sister?  I can't scripturally tie Noah and Na'amah together as husband and wife. I would appreciate your opinion.]

Read my reply at -- http://bhcbiblestudies.blogspot.com/2014/08/question-about-noahs-wife.html

ISIS takes over Iraq’s biggest dam

It has just been reported that fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) took over Iraq's biggest dam unopposed by Kurdish fighters.Control of the dam could give ISIS the ability to flood major cities. Meanwhile, ISIS also seized two small towns in northern Iraq after driving out Kurdish security forces.The fresh gains by the Sunni extremist militants have forced dozens of residents to flee from the religiously mixed towns of Zumar and Sinjar, near the militant-held city of Mosul, to the northern self-ruled Kurdish region. Read complete story at – http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2014/08/03/Islamic-States-captures-Iraqi-town-and-nearby-oil-field-.html

Nervana Mahmoud, Blogger and commentator on Egypt, Arab world, Turkey and Iran tweeted: “The retreat of the Kurds, and the potential control of ISIS of Mosul Dam can significantly change Iraq forever. Bad news.., really bad!”

God Has A New Home: A $300 Million Mega Temple In Sao Paulo

“If you were to meet God himself in his own house, what would you wear?” This questionwas askedby the bishop Renato Cardoso, from the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God from Brazil, in an official video released by the church and intended to instruct the guests and the faithful who tomorrow will be attending the inauguration of Solomon’s Temple, a 10,000-seat replica of the Bible’s most famous temple, built in the eleventh century BC in Jerusalem. Thenew templeoccupies an area of over one million square feet in Sao Paulo and will serve as Universal’s new headquarters . . . . Macedo’s temple will also betwice as tall as the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, another iconic Catholic site in Brazil. The finishing details of the temple include exclusive chairs brought from Spain to accommodate an audience of 10,000 people, Italian marble and olive trees imported from Israel. It will have a conveyor belt designed to carry the tithe of the faithful from the altar right int…

Cease-Fire Collapses, IDF Officer Missing

On July 31, Secretary of State John Kerry and UN Secretary Ban Ki Moon announced that Israel and Hamas had agreed to a 72 hour humanitarian cease fire would come into effect at 8 AM local time today, though the IDF ground forces would continue to quietly uncover tunnels between Gaza and Israel. According to the Egyptian brokered agreement, during this humanitarian cease fire, delegations from Israel, the Palestinian Authority (including Hamas) The US and Egypt were to meet in Cairo for indirect negotiations to try to work out the details of a longer cease fire. Read Gil Elan’s complete update at -- http://swjcdallas.blogspot.com/2014/08/breaking-news-bulletin.html

Standing at our Trees of the Knowledge of TOV & RA

As I was reading Genesis 1, I noticed something that had not occurred to me before. Adam and Eve are standing in front of the tree of the knowledge of TOV (good) and RA (evil). They know that they are told not to eat from the tree. That was their boundary. When I was very young, I used to think that there was some type of magic in the fruit. I later understood that there was no magic. What they learned, was that they could disobey. Read Rabbi Leynor’s article at -- http://tovcenter.blogspot.com/2014/08/standing-at-our-trees-of-knowledge-of.html

Cease Fire - Middle East Style

In the Middle East, very few things are simple or straightforward. Arranging even a temporary cease fire in the Gaza war between Israel on one side, and Hamas and Islamic Jihad on the other side, is a case in point. Read Gil Elan’s latest update and find out why it’s so difficult -- http://swjcdallas.blogspot.com/2014/07/cease-fire-middle-east-style.html