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Posts Tagged ‘Long Island’

This article is a re-posting from Laissez Faire Today, a daily e-letter club site dedicated to social/political awareness in the broadest sense. The root of this site is one concerning financial matters, but they expound on a variety of other concerns as well with informative thought brought to their reading public through a continual series of timely articles, book reviews and discount book offerings. With an incredibly vast array of perspective LF defies categorization other than that which might be considered somewhat anarchistic … but in a respectable and responsible manner.

I offer here one of their latest posts, one that describes a woeful tale of totalitarian government surveillance and civil disobedience brought together with an historical perspective on the manner of the world in which we now live. Prepare to witness how our civil liberties in general and specifically our 4th Amendment rights have been under ongoing assault and rapid diminishment through manipulation and lies since no later than the latter half of the 20th Century. See how Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell may well go down in history as one of the greatest philosophical treatises on liberty in Socratic dialog the world has ever witnessed.

For your reading pleasure, I present:

Thank You, RUSSIA?

August 2, 2013

Dear Laissez Faire Today Reader,

Baltimore, MD What happens when you spend a day at home searching the Internet for home appliances and maybe some back-to-school supplies? For most people, you get a lazy afternoon. But one couple in Long Island, N.Y., got a visit from their local police department. They had some questions about their peculiar Internet searches.

Better sit down before you read this. And move away any valuables you might throw at a wall in a fit of rage. (more…)

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Ehr Kumt

By Rabbi Schlomo Lewis

[Editor’s note: the following is a sermon written and delivered by Atlanta Rabbi Schlomo Lewis on the First Day of Rosh Hashanah, 2010. It is titled in Yiddish, Ehr Kumt, “He is Coming.”]

Many years ago, a Chasid used to travel from shtetl to shtetl selling holy books. On one occasion he came to a wealthy land owner and asked if he would like to purchase a book of Torah teachings. The banker agreed and not only purchased the book, but paid for it with a hundred ruble note. He then began to chat with the Chassid and offered him a cigar, taking one also for himself. The Chassid noticed that the banker proceeded to rip a page from the holy book he had just bought and, holding it to the open flame on the stove, used the page to light his cigar. The Chassid said not a word but simply drew out from his pocket the 100 ruble note he had just received from the banker, held it over the stove as well and used it to light his cigar.

This simple, little tale reflects a profound divergence of values. Our sympathy clearly and instinctively is not with the banker but with the pious Chassid. None of us would come to the defense of the banker. None of us would claim moral supremacy for the banker. None of us would justify his boorish deed. As the sages of the Talmud would say – “Pshita – It is so obvious.” Sadly though our planet is immersed in perversity where morality is not so manifest – where the book burner is a hero and the pious one, a villain.

I thought long and I thought hard on whether to deliver the sermon I am about to share. We all wish to bounce happily out of shul on the High Holidays, filled with warm fuzzies, ready to gobble up our brisket, our honey cakes and our kugel. We want to be shaken and stirred – but not too much. We want to be guilt-schlepped – but not too much. We want to be provoked but not too much. We want to be transformed but not too much.

I get it, but as a rabbi I have a compelling obligation, a responsibility to articulate what is in my heart and what I passionately believe must be said and must be heard. And so, I am guided not by what is easy to say but by what is painful to express. I am guided not by the frivolous but by the serious. I am guided not by delicacy but by urgency.

We are at war. (more…)

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