Monday, October 31, 2011

Bill Gates and the New Chairman

Bill Gates advertised for a new Chairman of Microsoft Europe. 5000 candidates show up at the job screening. They are assembled in a large room. Among them is Maurice Cohen, a French Jew, a small, bearded, bespeckled man. Bill Gates thanks the candidates for coming but asks all those who are not familiar with the JAVA programming language to leave; 2000 people rise and leave the room.

Maurice Cohen says to himself, "I do not know this language but what have I got to lose if I stay? I'll give it a try". Bill Gates then asks all those who have no experience of managing teams of more than 100 people to leave. Another 2000 people go.

Maurice Cohen says to himself, "I have never managed anybody but myself but what have I got to lose if I stay? What can happen to me?" Then Bill Gates asks all candidates who do not have outstanding academic qualifications to rise and leave; 500 people remove themselves. Maurice Cohen says to himself, "I left school at 15 but what have I got to lose if I stay? So he stays in the room.

Lastly, Bill Gates asks all of the candidates who do not speak the Serbo-Croat language to rise and leave; 498 people rise and leave the room. Maurice Cohen says himself, "I do not speak Serbo-Croat but what the hell! Have I got anything to lose?" He finds himself alone with one other candidate. Everyone else has gone. Bill Gates joins them and says:
"Apparently you are the only two candidates who know JAVA, have managed large teams of employees, have advanced PhD degrees, and who can speak Serbo-Croatian. I'd like to hear you converse with one another in Serbo-Croatian."

Calmly Maurice turns to the other candidate and says to him: "Baruch ata Adonai."

The other candidate answers: "Elohénu melech ha'olam."

Friday, October 28, 2011

Ivanka Trump Goes to Shul on Sukkot

Newspapers in the U.S. and in London have been running articles and photos this week of Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner pushing their baby daughter in a carriage (or pram). The media's interpretation of the photo is that of a celebrity launching a new hat style and her husband carrying flowers that he bought for her.
It doesn't take much for anyone familiar with the Sukkot holiday to see that she's wearing a hat because that's what Orthodox Jewish women do when they go to shul and what Kushner is carrying is a lulav, wrapped in the cheap plastic bag that it comes in.
Rabbi Jason Miller, a writer for Jewish and internet sites and blogger at, points out the cluelessness of the media with this situation. In his current blog post, Miller comments on two funny aspects of this celebrity sighting:
First is the fact that the well-to-do couple wouldn't be using a fancy etrog holder. As Kushner was pushing their baby daughter Arabella Rose on the second day of Sukkot, he was also carrying a lulav and etrog. One would think that Donald Trump's daughter and son-in-law would have a nice silver etrog carrying case, but it appears that the Kushner-Trump couple is sporting the simple cardboard box etrog carrying case along with the plastic bag the lulav comes in.
The second funny thing is that the Daily Mail first published this photo over the weekend in its online edition explaining that "Jared, wearing a casual black jacket, pushed little Arabella Rose's pram along the streets on their way to lunch. He also held some flowers in one hand - perhaps a gift for his wife." I suppose you could combine a palm branch with some myrtle and willow branches to form a bouquet of sorts, but I don't think it's a popular gift for ones wife.

There was no word on where the couple was headed for yuntif lunch or if they had their own sukkah outside of their Manhattan home.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Yesterday Paul McCartney went to shul

"I love her, yeah, yeah, yeah..." Sir Paul and Lady McCartney on Sunday.

On Sunday Sir Paul McCartney married his American Jewish fiancée Nancy Shevell in a civil ceremony in London. But the day before, he came to shul with her on Yom Kippur.

Most of the 900 or so worshippers at St John's Wood's Liberal Jewish Synagogue last Saturday were unaware until afterwards of the famous guest who had joined them.

Only a handful of LJS officials had known of the visit in advance after the ex-Beatle's office ordered 15 tickets for Ms Shevell and members of her family, who were over for the wedding.

"We knew her family were coming," said head of LJS security Peter Abrahams, "but we weren't sure if he was coming until an hour before he arrived."

Even emeritus Rabbi David Goldberg had no idea of the celebrity entourage sitting in the balcony when he officiated at the service. "I've got to the stage of eyesight when I am grateful to see beyond the third row, never mind the balcony," he explained.

Some congregants might have cottoned on that something was afoot from a clutch of paparazzi outside the building, who had followed Sir Paul from his home nearby on late Saturday afternoon. But despite their best efforts, the photographers and reporters were unable to slip past the synagogue security.

The family left as quietly as they came after about an hour and a quarter, not staying to break the fast with tea and honeycake at the synagogue. Reports that they had received a blessing from LJS were mistaken.

It is not the first Jewish event that Sir Paul, 67, has attended with Ms Shevell, 51. He made a surprise entrance at a Chabad House (Lubavitch) dinner in New Jersey in December, honouring her father Myron who donated $500,000 for a Torah programme. And it is said to be her influence that led him to play in Tel Aviv last year.

Sir Paul's first wife Linda Eastman, who died in 1998, was Jewish. His second wife, Heather Mills, is not – although she does sell a range of vegetarian products supervised by the Manchester Kashrus Authority.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

12 Things Happy People Do Differently

Studies conducted by positivity psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky point to 12 things happy people do differently to increase their levels of happiness. These are things that we can start doing today to feel the effects of more happiness in our lives.
I want to honor and discuss each of these 12 points, because no matter what part of life's path we're currently traveling on, these 'happiness habits' will always be applicable.

1.Express gratitude. - When you appreciate what you have, what you have appreciates in value. Kinda cool right? So basically, being grateful for the goodness that is already evident in your life will bring you a deeper sense of happiness. And that's without having to go out and buy anything. It makes sense. We're gonna have a hard time ever being happy if we aren't thankful for what we already have.

2.Cultivate optimism. - Winners have the ability to manufacture their own optimism. No matter what the situation, the successful diva is the chick who will always find a way to put an optimistic spin on it. She knows failure only as an opportunity to grow and learn a new lesson from life. People who think optimistically see the world as a place packed with endless opportunities, especially in trying times.

3.Avoid over-thinking and social comparison. - Comparing yourself to someone else can be poisonous. If we're somehow 'better' than the person that we're comparing ourselves to, it gives us an unhealthy sense of superiority. Our ego inflates - KABOOM - our inner Kanye West comes out! If we're 'worse' than the person that we're comparing ourselves to, we usually discredit the hard work that we've done and dismiss all the progress that we've made. What I've found is that the majority of the time this type of social comparison doesn't stem from a healthy place. If you feel called to compare yourself to something, compare yourself to an older version of yourself.

4.Practice acts of kindness. - Performing an act of kindness releases serotonin in your brain. (Serotonin is a substance that has TREMENDOUS health benefits, including making us feel more blissful.) Selflessly helping someone is a super powerful way to feel good inside. What's even cooler about this kindness kick is that not only will you feel better, but so will people watching the act of kindness. How extraordinary is that? Bystanders will be blessed with a release of serotonin just by watching what's going on. A side note is that the job of most anti-depressants is to release more serotonin. Move over Pfizer, kindness is kicking butt and taking names.

5.Nurture social relationships. - The happiest people on the planet are the ones who have deep, meaningful relationships. Did you know studies show that people's mortality rates are DOUBLED when they're lonely? WHOA! There's a warm fuzzy feeling that comes from having an active circle of good friends who you can share your experiences with. We feel connected and a part of something more meaningful than our lonesome existence.

6.Develop strategies for coping. - How you respond to the unfortunate moments is what shapes your character. Sometimes stuff happens - it's inevitable. Forrest Gump knows the deal. It can be hard to come up with creative solutions in the moment when manure is making its way up toward the fan. It helps to have healthy strategies for coping pre-rehearsed, on-call, and in your arsenal at your disposal.

7.Learn to forgive. - Harboring feelings of hatred is horrible for your well-being. You see, your mind doesn't know the difference between past and present emotion. When you 'hate' someone, and you're continuously thinking about it, those negative emotions are eating away at your immune system. You put yourself in a state of suckerism (technical term) and it stays with you throughout your day.

8.Increase flow experiences. - Flow is a state in which it feels like time stands still. It's when you're so focused on what you're doing that you become one with the task. Action and awareness are merged. You're not hungry, sleepy, or emotional. You're just completely engaged in the activity that you're doing. Nothing is distracting you or competing for your focus.

9.Savor life's joys. - Deep happiness cannot exist without slowing down to enjoy the joy. It's easy in a world of wild stimuli and omnipresent movement to forget to embrace life's enjoyable experiences. When we neglect to appreciate, we rob the moment of its magic. It's the simple things in life that can be the most rewarding if we remember to fully experience them.

10.Commit to your goals. - Being wholeheartedly dedicated to doing something comes fully-equipped with an ineffable force. Magical things start happening when we commit ourselves to doing whatever it takes to get somewhere. When you're fully committed to doing something, you have no choice but to do that thing. Counter-intuitively, having no option - where you can't change your mind - subconsciously makes humans happier because they know part of their purpose.

11.Practice spirituality. - When we practice spirituality or religion, we recognize that life is bigger than us. We surrender the silly idea that we are the mightiest thing ever. It enables us to connect to the source of all creation and embrace a connectedness with everything that exists. Some of the most accomplished people I know feel that they're here doing work they're "called to do."

12.Take care of your body. - Taking care of your body is crucial to being the happiest person you can be. If you don't have your physical energy in good shape, then your mental energy (your focus), your emotional energy (your feelings), and your spiritual energy (your purpose) will all be negatively affected. Did you know that studies conducted on people who were clinically depressed showed that consistent exercise raises happiness levels just as much as Zoloft? Not only that, but here's the double whammy... Six months later, the people who participated in exercise were less likely to relapse because they had a higher sense of self-accomplishment and self-worth.

by Dan Millman

Make this a Positive Day...unless you've made other plans!

Josh Broide

Why Palestinians Want This Video Removed

Monday, October 24, 2011

One last celebration

Highlights of this issue
  • Please vote for me in the Jewish Community Heroes contest - just CLICK HERE
  • Special class on Happiness and Success Tuesday Night
  • Memorial Prayer (Yizkor) on Thursday morning
Once again the Boca Raton Jewish Experience (BRJE) held a special beginner service for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur and more than 200 people participated from our community. It was a huge success and I can't wait for next year. The following week BRS and the BRJE hosted a Sukkot dinner and more than 100 people attended the magical experience in the beautifully decorated Sukkah. And just when you think it's all over, there is still one more holiday taking place this week called Shmini Atzeret / Simchas Torah. Why do we need another one?
Imagine for a moment that you hosted a huge party and invited everyone you knew. But this is no "regular" party: its one solid week of food, music and fun. Eventually things wind down and people begin to leave. As the host, you quietly go over to a few of your best friends and whisper: "Stick around after everyone else leaves - that's when I'm breaking out the good stuff."
Each year God has a weeklong celebration called "Sukkot." In ancient times in Jerusalem, the service in the Holy Temple during the week of Sukkot featured a total of 70 bull offerings. This, the Talmud explains, corresponds to each of the 70 nations of the world. The Temple was not just for Jews. When King Solomon built the Temple, he specifically asked God to heed the prayer of non-Jews who comes to the Temple (1-Kings 8:41-43). And the prophet Isaiah refers to the Temple as a "House for all nations" (Isaiah 56:7).
The Temple was the universal center of spirituality, a concentrated point where God-consciousness filtered down into the world. In fact, the Talmud says that if the Romans would have realized how much benefit they themselves were getting from the Temple, they never would have destroyed it!
And then, at the end of Sukkot, God added a special day. It's called Shmini Atzeret, literally the "Eighth Day of Assembly." On that day, only one bull was offered - representing the Jewish people. It is a day of great intimacy with our Creator, as He asks His Jewish children to remain with him for extra personal time together. (Talmud - Sukkot 55b).
What a special opportunity to get close to God and experience something new. I encourage you to read about the different celebrations that are taking place in our community and please contact me today if you have any further questions.
Next week we are starting a new semester of "beginner" classes and we are honored that Rabbi Efrem Goldberg, the Sr. Rabbi of Boca Raton Synagogue will be giving the first class on Tuesday night about success and happiness. Just CLICK HERE to register and read more about the class below. If you have a friend that you think would be interested in hearing this exciting class from a true superstar in our community, please forward them this email. The following week we will be kicking of our new season of crash courses and I hope that you can join us for these FREE programs, with different options every night of the week and learn something exciting and new.
Please don't forget to vote and help spread the word... it will only take a few seconds of your time, remember all you need to do is CLICK HERE.
Finally, please see the new film below from Jewish Pride Films, featuring our very own Dr. Steve Lemberg discussing Shabbat.
I hope that you enjoy the final festival of the holiday season.
If you would like to join us for Yizkor on Shmini Atzeret or you know someone that doesn't have a place to go, please forward them the information in this email. The details for Shmini Atzeret are all listed below. As far as Simchas Torah, the celebration will begin on Thursday night at Boca Raton Synagogue and also at the Boca Jewish Center Shaaray Tefila at approximately 7:15pm. Its an incredible evening of singing and dancing with hundreds of people from our community as we celebrate the completion and beginning of a new cycle of the Torah.
Inspire yourself to inspire others...
Rabbi Josh Broide
Boca Raton Jewish Experience
(561) 702-3864

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Best Explanation is Many Times the Simplest

Japanese View of the Palestinians - Couldn't have said it better!
Talk about one picture being worth a THOUSAND words!
Is the world just plain stupid? An interesting questionnaire for Palestinian Advocates
By Yashiko Sagamori
If you are so sure that " Palestine , the country, goes back through most of recorded history," I expect you to be able to answer a few basic questions about that country of Palestine :

1. When was it founded and by whom?

2. What were its borders?

3. What was its capital?

4. What were its major cities?

5. What constituted the basis of its economy?

6. What was its form of government?

7. Can you name at least one Palestinian leader before Arafat?

8.. Was Palestine ever recognized by a country whose existence, at that time or now, leaves no room for interpretation?

9. What was the language of the country of Palestine ?

10. What was the prevalent religion of the country of Palestine ?

11. What was the name of its currency? Choose any date in history and tell what was the approximate exchange rate of the Palestinian monetary unit against the US dollar, German mark, GB pound, Japanese yen, or Chinese Yuan on that date.

12. And, finally, since there is no such country today, what caused its demise and when did it occur?

You are lamenting the "low sinking" of a "once proud" nation.. Please tell me, when exactly was that "nation" proud and what was it so proud of?

And here is the least sarcastic question of all: If the people you mistakenly call "Palestinians" are anything but generic Arabs collected from all over -- or thrown out of -- the Arab world, if they really have a genuine ethnic identity that gives them right for self-determination, why did they never try to become independent until Arabs suffered their devastating defeat in the Six Day War?

I hope you avoid the temptation to trace the modern day "Palestinians" to the Biblical Philistines: substituting etymology for history won't work here.

The truth should be obvious to everyone who wants to know it. Arab countries have never abandoned the dream of destroying Israel ; they still cherish it today. Having time and again failed to achieve their evil goal with military means, they decided to fight Israel by proxy. For that purpose, they created a terrorist organization, cynically called it "the Palestinian people" and installed it in Gaza , Judea, and Samaria . How else can you explain the refusal by Jordan and Egypt to unconditionally accept back the "West Bank" and Gaza , respectively?

The fact is, Arabs populating Gaza, Judea, and Samaria have much less claim to nationhood than that Indian tribe that successfully emerged in Connecticut with the purpose of starting a tax-exempt casino: at least that tribe had a constructive goal that motivated them. The so-called "Palestinians" have only one motivation: the destruction of Israel , and in my book that is not sufficient to consider them a nation" -- or anything else except what they really are: a terrorist organization that will one day be dismantled.

In fact, there is only one way to achieve peace in the Middle East . Arab countries must acknowledge and accept their defeat in their war against Israel and, as the losing side should, pay Israel reparations for the more than 50 years of devastation they have visited on it. The most appropriate form of such reparations would be the removal of their terrorist organization from the land of Israel and accepting Israel 's ancient sovereignty over Gaza , Judea, and Samaria .

That will mark the end of the Palestinian people. What are you saying again was its beginning?

Can this story be presented any more clearly or simply?