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      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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      Cheshvan 5, 5772, 11/2/2011

      The Dead End Synagogue

      After a morning swim at the local mikva, I asked a Jew on the street where I could find a 7:30am minyan for prayer services. 

      Here's what he said: "7:40 minyan at the Dead End Shul."

      I was blown away. That sounded like a place for people like me. But I was puzzled, and my face showed it.

      The Yid continued: "Just take 147th street to the dead end. The shul is right there."

      Ladies and Gentlemen, click below on the JewTube video for my take on this.

      Tishrei 16, 5772, 10/14/2011

      A Gilad Shalit Thought From Ketzaleh

      I sat with Knesset Member Yaakov "Ketzaleh" Katz this morning and heard him commenting on the deal to swap some 1,000 convicted terrorists for IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.

      Ketzaleh noted that Gilad Shalit's father Noam visited him several times in his capacity as the Head of the National Union Party. Ketzaleh told him that all of his sons are in elite units of the IDF, and that he would without hesitation support 100% the risking of his own sons' lives in an operation to rescue Shalit. He said that there was a pleasant and respectful relationship between him and Noam Shalit, even though Ketzaleh never verbalized his support for freeing convicted terrorists.

      Regarding this week's deal, Ketzaleh told the true story of a young, very attractive girl in Israel who had cancer in part of her face. She begged the doctors to conduct the operation in a way that would not leave a large scar diminishing her beauty. Going into the surgery, she again pleaded with the doctors to go easy on her complexion.

      When the doctors cut into her face, they left tiny bits of the growth in place in order not to magnify the scar that would remain, as per the request of the patient. The girl died six months after the operation.

      One of the surgeons said that they simply could not stand up to her pleadings.

      It appears that the deal is a done deal, and we all look forward to seeing Gilad Shalit reunited with his family and nation.

      Elul 29, 5771, 9/28/2011

      High Holiday Advisory: How Not to Pray Like a Dog

      On Rosh HaShana, we all gather in synagogues, be they Orthodox, Conservative, or Reform, and turn out hearts toward the G-d of Israel to request forgiveness and atonement, life and sustenance.

      The Zohar, the foundational work of the Kaballah, says in the 6th Tikun: "Everyone howls in their prayers on Yom Kippur like dogs – ruff ruff! Give us sustenance and forgiveness and atonement and life etc… These people have audacity!"

      The Zohar check. Could this be you?

      Click here for full post...

      Elul 26, 5771, 9/25/2011

      Hebrew 101 - "Sandwich Shop"

      To facilitate the inevitable return of the Jews of the Diaspora to their native land, the Land of Israel, I will occasionally post short lessons covering the essentials of getting around in modern Hebrew.

      Let's say you're in Israel in the mood for a sandwich. Where would you go? A sandwich shop, right? Well how do you say "sandwich shop" in modern Hebrew?

      Click through to full post

      Elul 21, 5771, 9/20/2011

      The Sheikh of Bet El


      Yesterday, after meeting with a prominent Rabbi in Brooklyn on matters of Eretz Yisrael, I entered an adjacent pharmacy. Upon leaving the pharmacy, I sensed that my head was bare. A quick rub of the head confirmed my worst sensation: I was walking around bare-headed...

      The only immediate solution that I had was to take my tshirt and wrap it around my head like a Shiekh, the Sheikh of Bet El...

      Click here for full blog post

      The Shiekh of Bet El (Rolls Royce on right, just outside the photo)

      Click here for full blog post

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