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      Baruch's Breeze
      by Baruch Gordon
      A refreshing and optimistic view on Israel, Torah and events.
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      Baruch Gordon founded the Arutz Sheva-IsraelNationalNews.com website in 1995 and directed its English Media Department for 14 years. Baruch studied and taught at the Bet El Yeshiva Center, later serving as Dean of its Program for Overseas Students and Program for IDF Veterans. 

      Baruch is certified by the Dor v'Dor Institute to counsel married couples and prepare hatanim for marriage.

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      Elul 23, 5772, 9/10/2012

      Former Meretz Head Yossi Sarid: Yesha Is Here to Stay

      The office of Knesset Member Yaakov Ketzaleh Katz released a complete breakdown by town of the Jewish population of Judea and Samaria. He gathered the stats from the Interior Ministry's Population Registry. Over 350,000 Jews live in Yesha as of June 30, 2012.

      In a recent article entitled Tisha B'av: Maybe Next Time We'll Succeed (Haaretz, July 27, 2012), former Meretz Party Leader Yossi Sarid basically throws in the towel. He writes:

      To view the complete breakdown by town of stats and to read quotes from Sarid's article, click here for the continuation.

      Elul 13, 5772, 8/31/2012

      Israel Folk Music Concert in Bet El

      For those of you not intimately familiar with the Israeli folk tunes scene, one of THE most popular bands which came on the scene in the 1960's and continues until today in a different line up is The Parverim.

      I would compare them to Simon and Garfunkel in their popularity and voice harmony.

      The Parverim came to Bet El last night and the Be'er Sheva Philharmonic Symphony joined in for a spectacular performance.

      Click here for a youtube video with highlights of the performance.

      Av 15, 5772, 8/3/2012

      A Less-Known Reason for Tu B'Av Rejoicing

      If you ask a secular Israel on the street what is Tu B’av (a mini-holiday which falls on Aug 3, 2012), he will inevitably answer, “The Holiday of Love.” And, in fact, there is an aspect of love in the holiday, because it was today that the tribe of Binyamin, some 2900 years ago, was allowed entry back into the Jewish People in an unusual, mass-engagement ceremony.

      The bachelors of Binyamin hid in the vineyards of the town of Shiloh, and as the young maidens of Israel came out to dance in the vineyards, each man came out of hiding and selected for himself a bride.

      This historic event, which saved the tribe of Binyamin from extinction, Israelis today call this holiday the holiday of love.

      The Talmud in the tractate of Taanit page 30 folio B, tells of seven historic events which occurred on Tu B’av, and each one is reason enough to establish Tu B’av as a day of rejoicing. I will explore one of the less known reasons.

      The Talmud calls this day “Tever Magal” which means the day of “breaking the axe.” What axes is the Talmud talking about and why is breaking them a reason for celebration?

      Click here for the continuation...

      Av 10, 5772, 7/29/2012

      How To Emerge From the Tisha B’av Fast Day

      By Rabbi Zalman B. Melamed
      Rosh Yeshiva of the Bet El Yeshiva Center

      Every year when the Tisha B’av Fast Day ends and mashiach (the messiah) doesn’t come, a feeling of intense mourning settles in with no consolation in sight.

      But, Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak HaCohen Kook of blessed memory, Israel’s first Chief Rabbi and the father of religious-Zionist thought, shows us a way to consolation: Tisha B’av is a day of mourning and great sorrow over the destruction, but we know also that on Tisha B’av, the mashiach is born.

      Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak HaCohen Kook

      Rabbi Avraham Yitzkah HaCohen Kook

      On the one hand, we are mourning and pained over the continuing state of destruction, as it says, “Anyone who during his days the Temple is not rebuilt, it’s as though the Temple was destroyed in his days.” The continuation of the state of destruction means that the sins of past generations haven’t been rectified, or at least not fully amended.

      On the other hand, we can definitely be consoled by the droplets of consolation, as Hashem shows us the first illuminations of the light of mashiach.

      Many generations of Jews saw no change for the good whatsoever.

      Click here for the continuation of this article

      Av 10, 5772, 7/29/2012

      Arafat’s Death: The Missing Link

      Yasser Arafat, also known as Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini, posthumously made headlines earlier this month after his widow, Suha, produced a bag of her late husband’s belongings on which were found traces of radioactive polonium, a deadly poison.

      Yup, Baruch figured out what killed me.

      Officially, we were told in October 2004 that Arafat had a bad flu after he vomited during a meeting. His situation deteriorated and Israel allowed him to be flown to the Percy Military Hospital in a Paris suburb. According to the Associated Press, doctors announced a month later at his November death that he suffered from a blood condition known as disseminated intravascular coagulation, "although it is inconclusive what brought about the condition.”

      But now, seven and a half years later, Suha’s findings have led to demands that his remains be examined to determine if it was the Zionist regime that poisoned him.

      Click here to discover the "missing link" in deciphering the cause of Arafat's death.

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