In the U.S. the stunning of an animal in order to then slaughter it for meat is a common method.  In exactness it means the animal is not dead, when the limbs are removed.

So if someone is eating that meat, say leg of lamb, or thigh of beef from a cow, these limbs were removed before the animal was dead.  The animal was stunned first and then slaughtered.  Thus, the Noahide law of do not eat the limb of a live animal is relevant.   You see that the meat eaters are eating the limb of a live animal.

Probably no one would read that law and think they could ever do such a thing like eat the limb of a live animal.  But there you are, the animal was stunned, then the pieces of the animal were cut up and the slaughter of the animal was not completed.  The animal was alive when the limbs were removed.  Anyone eating those limbs even weeks later was eating a limb from an animal that was not killed when the limb was removed.

Therefore, much of the slaughter houses are working on the theory of stunning the animal in order to be ‘kind’ yet the laws of Noahide are being desecrated.  Sometimes people are well meaning and drop age old morality codes.  For example, the animal is stunned and later slaughtered.  But this is not how the universal laws, i.e. the Noahide codes, are set up for practice.  These age old morality codes, the Noahide laws, are not primitive.  They are the source of morality for the human race and not to be tampered with.  The above information is to expose to you the desecration and in this way you can change the operations of the meat business in the U.S.  to follow the Noahide laws.  The stunned animal is not the universal code method and get your local food businesses to return to the Noahide code methods of slaughtering animals for meat eating.  (Reach us at for guidance.)

In we have a thrust to introduce the discrepancies between what modern thinking invents as moral.   We are not chained to self-serving morality.  The modern thinker may have a gut feeling, but facts might get in his way.  History is something that is very exact.  What worked for thousands of years based on the source of God is nothing small or petty.  What needs to be done is to master the understanding of history and mankind’s morality.  It is a deep concept and feely touchy gut ideas are not to be taken seriously.  Step into the world of thoughtfulness and the Noahide Codes that God gave to mankind.

But people do take the feely touchy things seriously unfortunately.  Sometimes leaders and media take it upon themselves to pontificate what is politically correct, abandoning morality by God.   Let us introduce to your the above information and go to for any questions and we can field your concern to experts in science and universal modes of morality (i.e. Noahide laws).  Thank you!

European market photograph by Meir  Simcha Sokol, may his neshama have an alliyah

European market
photograph by Meir Simcha Sokol, may his neshama have an alliyah

Garden of Emuna, book by Rabbi Shalom Arush, translated (into English) by Rabbi Lazer Brody,

Faith is Emuna. Emuna is the Hebrew word for faith.  But Rabbi Arush does not just define faith/emuna.  His book Garden of Emuna is a road to true faith of the upper level.  It will not come to you by reading the book in a day.  But you can get from the book tools for you to become a man or woman with faith, true and deep emuna/faith!  And what that will do for you will give you a road of success.  And is all about me, Chana Tova, your grandma on the web,  giving you every tool to become a success!

Emuna has a few steps, which Garden of Emuna describes: step one is to spend an hour a day talking to God.   The book suggests doing so alone in a forest, on a path that is not full of people, in your bed alone in your room, or in bed under the covers with no loud whispering, but talking to God.

You are talking to yourself and God is hearing you say the four steps over an hour period.  Step one: thank God for everything.  Even, says Rabbi Lazer Brody, things like ‘thank You, God, that I am ill with this serious disease.’

Yes!  Just say thank You to God for everything!

After about 10 minutes of this, including, thank You, for your feet and for your heart beating and on and on.

Then Step two: pray for others.  Pray for people you barely know.  Pray for Israel.  Pray, for example, for all the people in the hospital in your town.  Pray for someone your heard about who is very ill or who has a serious debt and seems to have no hope of paying off his debts.  Just pray for people and ask God to help them.

Then Step three: ask God to forgive you for the wrong behavior you had in the last few days.  Maybe you overate or you were nasty to some loved one, or you spent loads of time thinking how you really feel you want to be in charge and not have God in charge.  Apologize to God about it and ask Him to help you so you don’t have to apologize about this again next week.  Or maybe ask God to forgive you for something you did years ago and it occurred to you only recently that it was really a disgusting thing to do.  Just think of things you might need to be sorry for doing.   Every day it could be something else or something on the same theme every day.  You know.

Then Step four: Ask God for something you want.  Maybe you want to stop being so angry, but don’t know how?  Maybe you want to wake up early every day and just get to work on time, ask God for help.  Whatever you want, ask for one thing of God, to have Him get it for you.

The Step five: Work on yourself to have more emuna/faith.  G-d, if faith means that I have these disappointments because You made these things happen to me, then let me understand it is truly from You and not because of my boss or my neighbors or my mother or my enemies.  It is YOU.   Let me deepen my faith in You.  That will give me such peace of mind and sanity.

These are the five steps and in a nutshell they all revolve around the Five Books of Moses with service to God using our Sabbath and our commandments as garments to wear in our lives.  There is even the Garden of Emuna/Faith by Rabbi Arush for people who are NOT Jewish!!!!  So that works perfect for our Noahide gentiles!!!!! which means you and I can give this book to anyone in the world, not just Jews!!!  Faith for one and all to hold onto!!!!

It is all about loving every Jew.  It is all about loving the nation of Israel.  So where does it start?  You see a man on the street that looks unkempt and you know he is a Jew and you feel angry about his appearance.  You read about a rich and fancy family and know they are Jewish and think badly about them, judging them as show offs.  You are Jewish and find you are doing it one way and other Jews do Judaism in a way you dislike or disapprove of.  Why don’t they do it like you?  I even think sometimes people see I am Jewish and disapprove of me and want to tell them I am just fine.  So all this is really not about loving every Jew.  What can be done?

G-d set the world up to give us so much splendor, so much purpose, so much to celebrate about.  And then we have frustrations and illnesses to manage in our lives and that makes for such a struggle.  The world is not mine to direct, you realize!

So how can you and I always love this world and always love every Jew.

And why should we have all this love, anyhow?

Because that is what life is all about.  Life includes death and illness and great happiness and dealing with the good times which are woven into daily challenges and disappointments.  That is life.  The management of this all is via serving God with happiness!  And The Chofetz Chaim wrote books to guide us to live a successful life serving God.  The books included Chofetz Chaim and Shmiras Haloshon.  Both books are set up in daily use via a website    This website is part of the organization that promotes the Chofetz Chaim’s writings.  Chofetz Chaim was a man with a full name of Rabbi Israel Meir HaCohen Kagan.  He authored books and one of the titles became his ‘name’.  Chofetz Chaim is one of his stunning books and it became his ‘name’, so to speak.  But if you name your son after him, the name will be Yisroel Meir (Israel Meir, English version).

Anyhow, we are all about love and success in this website  That is why I bring to your attention the website and organization  It will be a tool for you to study 5 minutes a day the laws that the website offers per day.  And the 5 minute readings on their website can be emailed to you to read and study.  These laws enhance your day and alert you to your speech.  In this way you and I can talk with no anger, with more gentle phrasing of our thoughts, with our thoughts altered to start being only positive about other people and ourselves.  It becomes a matter of training to become a kinder person.  Then the next thing happens: you and I have more love and less anger throughout the day.  It makes for better spouse relationship, better child-parent conversations and a world of love among each other.

So take time to study the laws of forbidden speech by the Chofetz Chaim.  The books are in many languages, not only English and Hebrew.  So you can tell you friends from around the world of this great tool: reading laws about forbidden speech.

Good luck and make our world better, direct it towards proper speech and love of one another.   and view topics on love and kindness:  Prayer, Prayer 101, Psalms, Faith


Topic: Birkat Hacohanim (birkat hacohanim, bircas hakohen, birkas hakohen, birkas hacohn, three-fold priestly blessings)

Synopsis: Birkat HaCohanim is an interesting issue for anyone in the world.  It is designed to publicize to all Orthodox Jewish men that there be duchening during our daily shacharis all over the world immediately and permanently.  It includes non-controversial solutions (point 1A and 2A).  There is  a request for Gadolim to formally institute the duchening. ( Terms for those who are not Orthodox Jewish are explained, but not in any detail.)  May this essay be read with love and yirei shomayim as it was written with love and yirei shomayim.  Its target is to usher in the meshiach.


In speaking with Rabbi Yitzchak Sokol, esteemed Orthodox Jewish rabbinical scholar, I was reminded of the project to get the duchening of the cohanim called birkat hacohanim instituted for daily shacharis in all Orthodox Jewish synagogues (i.e. shuls–I like to use the Yiddish word shul) outside of Israel.

Birkat HaCohen is ‘duchening‘.  Birkat is the Hebrew word for Blessing of  and HaCohen is Hebrew for The Priests.   Duchening is the Hebrew word duchen with an English ending  ING to make the word a gerund/noun.  Duchening is when a cohen stands in front of the congregation in shul saying the three-part blessings to the congregants.  (See the transliterated words  and English translation below in Section A.)  If you have ever met up with a Jewish man with the last name of Katz or Cohen, it is likely that such a person might be  a descendent of the  cohen/priest family.  Aron, the famed saint from the Five Books of Moses, was the brother of Moses.  Aron was bestowed with the priesthood by God, in brief he inherited the priesthood and his descendants to this day are categorized as priests.  Aron, therefore, was the first cohen/priest of the Jewish nations.  Although priest in the English language conjures up a Roman Catholic father, the priest for Jews is nothing of the kind.  The Hebrew word COHEN will be used for our essay below.  (This essay has no interest in explaining cohen, and all terms, but is out to describe the steps needed to now institute birkat haCohanim.)

The Vilna Gaon said that when birkat haCohenim is done at shacharis minyanim all around the world, then what will follow will be the meshiach.  This is a tall order, indeed.

I heard this over 15 years ago by Rabbi Sokol and it was a pressing issue then as well as now.    Recently I heard this again by Rabbi Sokol and decided to act on it by writing the below as a START.  No gadol is authorizing this international duchening as of 2014 and,too,  the Vilna Gaon during his lifetime was frustrated by his hard core efforts to get this happening, to put it mildly.  The Vilna Gaon failed in getting the duchening instituted 1. in all Orthodox Jewish shuls around the world  2. for daily shacharis minyanim.  Why would the Vilna Gaon emphasize this?  He was a halacha man.  So we are not talking about a feely touchy fun addition to our morning community prayers.  No, this is halacha.   And our sages explain that birkat hacohen is required halachically in daily shacharis prayer services, so its absence is shocking.

What can be done?  First let us see about the places that DO duchen daily.

1.  Weekday sharcharis duchening is now done in most Orthodox Jewish shuls (i.e. congregation of at least 10 men in prayer)  in Israel, which is certainly so desirable!!!!

2.  In Sephardi minyanim all over the world it is also done daily.

And back to WHAT CAN BE DONE?

1A. There are a few options: have ten Sephardi men join a Chasidish or Litvish, or Yeshivish minyan and they can duchen daily.

2A.   Or have a shul with a second shul room with open access to the shul.  In that second room have the Sephardi minyan and during duchening they would have the praying time coordination so they could duchen at the same time that the non-Sephardi minyan meets up with the point to duchen. Thus for the Litvish or Chasidish or whatever non-Sephardi minyan that does not do the duchening daily, they would hear the duchening of the Sephardim in the next room with the door wide open, sharing these blessings.

Any ideas would be ideal.  Getting a ‘posuk din’ by a gadol who would make it a shoe in and universal would be ideal.  Can that happen?  At the time of writing this essay it has not happened.   That  all Orthhodox Jewish men around the world have shacharis duchening  daily would also be vital, but can this happen spontaneously and without any any any controversy.   In this way above steps 1 and 2 would not be necessary and let us pray it happens soon. here.

Of course, there are minyanim where no one there is a cohen.  In such case there can be not duchening.  Preplanning is done in many shuls.  For example, outside of the land of Israel there was an Ashkenazi  minyan.  They knew they had no cohanim and so they requested a cohen come from a mile away to their shul for the high holidays.  It required preplanning with phone conversations.  The cohen did come for the mussaf duchening.

I was in Jerusalem on Shabbat and there was no cohen in the shul and thus no duchening.  I was floored and left before mussaf to find a shul with a cohen in order to get the blessings.  This was not necessary, probably, but I just am mentioning how around the world even with birkat cohanim for daily shacharis no cohen in the minyan is a possibility.  My husband told me that has occurred in his minyan for daily shacharis in Jerusalem.  So we are trying to get birkat hacohanim daily and that is the thrust.

Below is a song with a spirit to get everyone promoting the Birkat HaCohanim for daily prayers:  ( Hopefully it will be on a CD with this message and rekindle heartfelt interest in this three-fold blessing.  The song will be part of great publicity for all to sing with joy and lead to instituting the Birkat Hacohanim once and for all.)

Asher kiddishanu be’kedshato shel Aron v’zeevanu l’vrech et ahmo yisroel b’ ahavah.

Yevarechecha Hash-m v’yishmarecha   amen

Ya air Hash-m panav aylacha v’hoonecha   amen

Yisah Hash-m panav alecha v’yasem l’cha shalom   amen

Family of Israel peace to you all, Let us not stumble, let us not fall.

Mighty on High bestow on us peace, this is Your promise, enemies cease.

Crumbling values, Sabbath ignored, but enclaves of Jews still are on board.

Jewish men mornings gather in prayer, tefillin they lay, tallis they wear.

You’re waking us up, with pains, they sting.  Vilna Gaon tells us, bring Birkat Kohanim.

Jewry’s Gadolim renew G’d’s esteem, Institute all shuls, Birkat Kohaneeem

Birkat Kohaneem

Shacharis with Litvacheeem, Birkat Kohaneeem, daily morning duchening, birkat kohanim, every Chasid joi-oy-ning (joining), Birkat Kohanim, London, Melbourne, L.A., Queens.

Birkat Kohaneeeem, Vilna Gaon points the way, Birkat Kohanim, he says geulla will follow right away.

Birkat Kohaneeem, bless all Jews with peace daily shachareeeace… peace, peace, peace, shachareace, redemption.

Birkat Kohanim, Jo-berg, Moscow,  U0000man, Birkat Kohanim, not just on Yom tooveem, birkat Kohanim, Montrel and Budpest, Birkat Kohanim, Lakewood kolel Duchening.

B’Ahava  B’Ahava B’Ahava      written by Chana Tova Sokol your grandma on the web at in the merit of the meshiach’s arrival and resurrection


Asher kiddishanu be’kedshato shel Aron v’zeevanu l’vrech et ahmo yisroel b’ ahavah.

Yevarechecha Hash-m v’yishmarecha   amen

Ya air Hash-m panav aylacha v’hoonecha   amen

Yisah Hash-m panav alecha v’yasem l’cha shalom   amen

Translation of above Hebrew words which are in transliteration form:

“Blessed are You, Hash-m, our G-d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with the sanctity of Aron (Aaron/Aharon) and instructed us to bless His people Israel with love.

May Hash-m bless you and safeguard you. Amen.

May Hash-m shine His countenance upon you and be gracious to you.  Amen.

May Hash-m turn His countenance to you and establish for you peace.  Amen” (page 129, The Breslov Siddur–detailed below)

(English translation from page 129, Schonfeld Family Editon, The Breslov Siddur, translated and annotated by Rabbi Avraham Sutton,  Breslov Insights by Chaim Kramer, (Breslov Research Institute, Jerusalem/NY, 2014.)

Let it be clear that this essay has presented inspiration and information so that: All Orthodox Jewish men can institute duchening during our daily shacharis  all over the world immediately and permanently.



Dr. Jensen’s Guide to Better Bowel Care  A complete program for tissue classing through bowel management, Dr. Bernard Jensen,  1999, pp.244,, New York

The pioneer in nutrition for decades was Dr. Bernard Jensen.  He was based in California and traveled to 55 countries to study health and nutrition and healing.  Dr. Jensen’s Guide to Better Bowel Care A complete program for tissue cleansing through bowel management is a must read and do.  It would revolutionize the world of health care and billions of dollars would no longer be spent on pharmaceutical medications of every every every type.

Over one million copies of this book are in print, yes, a best seller about bowels.  But this is not a toilet joke or a dirty joke.  It is serious and worthy of’s attention.

Intuitive Eating is another great book to guide those eating food carelessly or dieting.  page 206: Quoting from this page in the book

“The following ‘rules’ will help you to achieve maximum physical–and spiritual–well-being: (here are the twelve rules which I hope you read and share with everyone you ever met and absorb them into your daily living.) 1. If your last meal has not left you entirely comfortable in mind and body, skip the next meal.  2. Eat only if you have a keen desire for the plainest food.    3. Do not eat beyond your needs.  Do not eat to satiety.       4. Be sure to thoroughly chew your food.    5. Forego a meal, if you are in pain, emotionally upset, not hungry, chilled or overheated.       6.  Never eat during acute illness.      7. Skin brush daily.  (brief explanation below)      8. Use a slant board daily.(brief explanation below)    9 Exercise daily.       10. Sniff breathe daily. (see below)    11. Do not smoke or drink alcohol.          12. Go to bed early.  If you are sick, rest more than normal.  Work out any problems in the morning, don’t take them to bed with you.  Sleep with good ventilation to the outdoors.”

The above require information which the book explains fully.

A slant board  (see point 8 above) is a board that a person uses and is a better method than an enema bottle.   The slant board is a colema board with attachments.  The colema board should come with the tubing and attachments and two rectal tips.  You need  four or five-gallon buckets, which can be purchased locally.  (too expensive to have a supplier ship to you.)  You can even make your own slant board or buy one in a exercise sports store.  Slant boards for cleaning out the lower intestines can be purchased by internet, of course, and mailed to you.  Either buy Dr. Jensen’s Guide to Better Bowel Care and get all the details or go to Amazon.  Or both.

Skin Brush: 45 minutes brush your skin all over your body with a long handled natural bristle brush.

Sniff Breathing (point 10 above) this increases vital lung capacity.  In five steps here is what you do: (Robert Gaines developed this for the New York City Police Department.) quoted from page 15 Jensen’s Guide to Better Bowel Care) “1. Walk three steps while sniffing only through the nose using short, rapid inhalations, Sniff deeper with each step.    2. On the fourth step, exhale rapidly and completely.  3. For the next three steps, hold your breath.   4.  Exhale completely on the eight step.   5.  Repeat steps 1 though 4.  Do this exercise three times daily, for five minutes at a time, for one month.  Then increase it to four times daily, for eight minutes at a time.”





Purchase books and read them for healing the body and mind by Dr. Bernard Jensen.  Books: Foods that Heal, Dr. Jensen’s Guide to Better Bowel Care,  Beyond Basic Health,  Blending Magic, The Chemistry of Man, Doctor Patient Handbook, You Can Master Disease, Survive This Day, Nature Has a Remedy, Health Magic Through Chlorophyll from Living Plant Life, Food Healing for Man, Vision of Health  and more articles.

I wish to mention that Chanukah is coming

darkness: festival of lights

I wish to mention that Chanukah is coming.  it is called the holiday of light.

It so happens that Dovid wrote words about darkness and choosing life and happiness and light

and I wrote music to it a few days ago.

It is a topic that has to do with all people and perfect for the Jewish people all year long and then

more focused on Chanukah’s spirit.

Chanukah is all about darkness.  It falls during the shortest days of the year in Israel as well as New York area.

So darkness is extra hours.  And in a metaphor the Jewish people often have darkness with near annihilation

and we pray during those tough times for the light.

Chanukah is one big theme of festival of lights.  The menorah lights the outside from the window of the thousands of Jewish homes in Jerusalem and all over Israel and in many places around the world, for that matter.  There is a big list of how to light the Chanukah menorah and it is supposed to be, say the ancient rabbinical texts, Persunnee nee seem.

This means publicized. (Publicizing the miracle that God let us win over the Greek Syrians.  Publicizing the miracle that God let us purify the Temple after the Greeks did their immoral activities in the holy sanctuary.)

We are directed to put the lit menorah outside or by a window on a visible to the street sill.  Many people buy a glass box and put the menorah in there and put that outside on their fence or on a stand by their front stoop or in the courtyard of their apt. complex by the passing cars on the street.  Some put it in a window, but if a person lives on the 25 th floor that is not the way to do it.  It should be visible to street population.

This is publicizing that we had a miracle and remembering it.  It is all about being happy to tell one and all what God did for the Jewish people in Jerusalem thousands of years ago.

What happened?  Syrians wanted to take over Israel and the Greeks had taken the Syrians over.  So the Syrians were really Greek-Syrians.  And they  had the Greek strategy of takeover.  it was nothing like most empires conquering a satellite nation, by the way.  The Greeks had their own spin.  They knew they were a very elegant and respected intellectual culture.  They knew that when they conquered, everyone embraced their philosophies.

But Jewish people were just like every other country.  Jews did not want to drop their belief in God, did not want to have the sexual immorality pleasures the Greeks dictated.  Jews wanted to keep their Torah laws of daily living.

In this way the Greeks saw their takeover would not seep into the inner core of the land of Israel’s people.  This meant the Greek takeover would not be complete.

Now to most conquering empires a little bit of pressure by a massive army to a small population of citizens should do the job.

The Greeks offered introduction to beauty and lusts and vistas some country bumpkin outback countries might welcome.

But not the Jews.

So the Greeks analyzed it.

Antiochus was the Syrian Greek leader.  So to get himself revered as god, so to speak, was part of the acculturation and conquering of the land of Israel.  Its people, Antiochus strategized, could be taken over if their dropped a few things.  The Hellenists were there to help Antiochus.

why?  They liked the Greek ideas: sports in gyms where men were naked.  Many other fun activities and freedom to enjoy entertaining things.  Hellenist were Jews who dropped many of the laws of Judaism, replacing them with the passions of Greek style.

So what did Antiochus do?  He revamped his approach and correctly pinpointed what would destroy the Jews.  Not killing them, there was no wish to have a land of Israel emptied of Jews.    Under the rulership of the Greek empire Antiochus selected three areas that were end Judasim and let Greek style reign the land of Israel.

He  tried to take  (one) Sabbath and  (two) Bris /brit (circumcision) away from the Jewish people as well as  (three) New Month (rosh chodesh—

Why new month?  Because new month means celebrating the new month and thereby this causes a Jew to know the calendar to celebrate all the holidays and know when they are and when is Yom Kippur, for example—

And without this calendar in those times no one had the right as a Jew to decide the holiday dates–only historically has there been a change so we  Jews have fixed calendars—

A Jew without a calendar cannot keep any Torah correctly and  Judaism can be lost from such a detail.)

And the few Jews conquered/vanquished the many Greek Syrians.  These few did not want to forget Sabbath, bris or rosh chodesh (new month).

The Greeks really came up with this battle of wills in all their conquests!

The Greek Syrians had Jews called Hellenists fighting against the Jews who were a small committed to God group.

No one fought out of passion.

In fact the first battle only happened after great pressure.

There were about 1,000 Jews who decided to go to a huge wilderness cave and secretly keep Sabbath.

They were families with children and men and women young and old.

The Greek Syrians heard word that Sabbath in Israel was being observed and they said that no one can keep it.  It was a holiday that said God is ruler and Antiochus disagreed.  He was ruler, none above him.  His Greek way has no room for God.

So the army of the Greek Syrians closed the cave opening and put fire there and all the people were killed from the smoke!!!

That was the last straw.   Mattisyahu said: Who is for God?

About 8 people joined him!!!

Thousands of Greek Syrian soldiers went to do battle on a hilly area by the Modin Hills (30 minute car ride from Jerusalem).

The small group was lead by an old man who fearlessly fought thousands of soldiers of the Greek Syrians lead by Antiochus.  This old man was Mattisyahu of the Hashmonean family with his sons.  Really almost no one else came to battle.  They were in fear or had no faith.  The death of all the people in the cave just broke the spirit of the Jewish people.  And many of the Jewish people also were not committed to Torah as they were card carrying, certified Hellenists, assimilated Jews.

It was a very impossible battle of thousands against about 8 Jews.  Once the 8 Jews stood firm, so much mental fear came upon the Syria Greeks and it was a battle of wits, so to speak.  It was something of a miracle, because the Greek Syrian soldiers lost due to a spreading of fear that was like an open physical plague.

Many fights continued with other Jews joining later and many of the sons of Mattisyahu suffered, one was stumped on to death by the leg of an elephant.  Elephants were used by the Greeks to battle, which is something like we use tanks today.

Anyhow, it was not easy and it was frightening.

It was ‘DARKNESS” for the Jews.    After all, a great many Jews were Hellenists.  A Hellenist is a person who said they need not circumcise their sons and they need not guard the Jewish laws in the Torah.  They wanted to mix with the Greek Syrians and be cultural like them with sports at the men’s gyms and other party things that destroyed the Sabbath’s 26 hours of sanctity of God’s creation of the universe.  On and on the Torah was forgotten by the Hellenists.

The sons of Mattisyahu called themselves Maccabees.  But they were not fighters first and foremost.  They were observing Torah and leaning on God to survive in the battles.  The battles were not always physical.  Often it was a matter of running away from the eye of the Greek Syrians and secretly teaching the children about how to keep the Torah for future generations.

The life for a Jew was full of pressure and worry and threat to life.

Although the holy Temple was saved from total desecration because of the Maccabees in the Chanukah story, hundreds of years later the Temple did get destroyed from a similar story of Jews wanting to keep Torah and other Jews joining the conquering invaders.

We have darkness in our daily lives and in our history and oh, how we want Chanukah to remind us and public viewers of the big picture: G-d will always keep the Jewish people aflame with Torah and although it may seem flickering and almost dark, conquering forces will in the end always be vanquished.

G-d promised the Jewish people we are His eternal people, who must keep His Torah and He will return us to israel as it is the promised land He chose for us.

In the darkness of these current events this certainly is a welcomed and super hopeful message.

Love, Chana Tova your grandma on the web at

hanukah     Hanukah        chanukah Chanukah   Festival of Lights       Kislev holiday       Menorah time       Greek Syrian conquerers          Antiochus

Mattisyahu       God     Jewish people     publicizing the miracle     Modin           light and darkness                 land of Israel           God promised us the land of Israel                    God promised us we are the eternal people–His eternal people

In our own times there is a saint in Bnei Brak.  His name is Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky.  We are fortunate to live in a world where such a holy man lives and supports thousands of students and friends and family members with his profound wisdom.

When Passover comes, Rabbi Kanievsky makes a siyum .  He is a first born and his siyum makes it that the people attending the siyum who are also first born need not fast.

So what is this yearly siyum on.  What does the siyum cover?  This is what he finished yearly: the siyum covers Talmud Bavli, Talmud Yerushalmi, Mishnayos, Sifrei, Sifra, and Mishneh Torah ( I think I recall), parts of Zohar and many other texts.

No!  You may well say this cannot be.  But Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi spoke once and said that Reb Chaim has a mind that can grasp in minutes things.  And beyond that Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky studies Torah most of the day and night with little sleep.

His father was the Steipler Gaon.  You should know that his father enjoyed going to the Lederman Shul in Bnei Brak yearly to be at this siyum for the fast of the Bocher.  So it was a great accomplishment, giving the father huge joy to see Reb Chaim, his son, completely these many texts yearly.

My husband watched the seven and a half year world cycle of Siyum HaShas on the computer and in the video was Rabbi Kanievsky at the siyum on stage with many giant Torah scholars.  At one point time passed and Reb Chaim on the stage in the auditorium, took out his gemarra to learn.  Oh, that is what I read in a biography of his wife.  There is very little time that Reb Chaim sits idle.  Thus, even at a Torah gathering, he cannot afford missing his daily schedule to complete his yearly above list for the siyum.

That explains how he can be at a siyum or in a car to a celebration.  He uses his time to always learn.

My husband was so moved by the audience of young students from yeshivas in Israel.  They watched Reb Chaim slip off into his learning and it indicated the way one can become such a enormous scholar in Torah.  The students were cheering, as if it was, no comparison, God forbid, a rock star.  The yeshiva students were so excited to see this return to Torah learning.  Just persevering to learn always, anytime, any place, caused the students to clap and cheer on such tenacity and fervent love of Torah!!!!

Their cheers and clapping struck my husband in such a gentle part of his heart.  What love of Torah.  What tenacity!  What enthusiasm, Dear Creator, for Your words and commentaries on Your commandments!

Who is like Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky.  No wonder my husband came back with a terse blessings when he visited the great rabbi.  The rabbi, Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, said: Bracha and Hatzlocha.

My husband then went through the house of the Rabbi to leave and met the Rebetzin, no longer alive.  She spent time and gave a longer blessings and was very talkative and personable.

This all is indicative of how a person focused on one path can stay focused.  Rabbi Kanievsky does not veer left or right, but keeps his Torah focus for over 60 years now.  It is something I wanted to share with you.  It is impressive.  In short the community of Jews are given a gift of a golden saint and can see there is not time for him for golf games, not restaurant night out, nor handsome living room couches to sit on with hours in front of a tv or computer.  This is what it takes to be a great Torah scholar.  It also includes the God given ability to have a fine mind.

But most people have fine minds and do not take 18 hours a day to develop their mind and soul.  We are talking about 18 hours a day about 6 days of the week for over 60 years, over!! mind you.

His uncle, the Chazon Ish, learned with child Chaim Kanievsky, as they were next door neighbors.

Once as Reb Chaim was an adult with a new suit, he asked Uncle Avraham Yeshaya Karelitz, the Chazon Ish, a question.  Reb Chaim had a new suit and wanted to know if he should say a she-cheyanu.  The Chazon Ish asked why not, you have something new and you will enjoy it.  Then Reb Chaim said he would not get any enjoyment from a new suit.  The Chazon Ish never thought of that possibility and pauses.  Imagine, someone that gets no joy from any physical things?  The Chazon Ish asked Reb Chaim about this issue: do you enjoy any new things?  Then Rabbi Chaim said no.  Okay, agreed the Chazon Ish.  You need not say a shecheyanu.

This even was more that Chazon Ish, who was austere in material things.  Okay, just giving you a snippet of a great Rabbi in our times in Israel.  We must be aware of what is precious in our midst.



Rose garden in Jerusalem

Rose garden in Jerusalem



Stephen Flatow: The Amazing Story of What One Person Can Accomplish

By Rabbi Brenner Glickman, Rosh Hashanah 5775/2014

Tonight, I will tell you a story. It is the true story of a seemingly inconsequential man who, driven by passion and determination, has accomplished the extraordinary. It is a David and Goliath story of our times, and it continues to unfold. When you hear this story, I think you will agree that someone needs to write a book about this man. I can’t believe that no one has yet.
Our hero’s name is Stephen Flatow. He is a real-estate attorney in northern New Jersey. He does title work, mostly, out of a small, cluttered office. He is well-regarded in his field, but not especially well known. He makes a living. He is famous, however, in other circles, as an activist. His courage and determination are unmatched. This lone man has stood up to the greatest powers and has not blinked. He has challenged the State Department, the Justice Department, the courts, and the largest banks in the world.  He has failed and 
prevailed, stumbled and triumphed, over and over again. He does not quit. He is driven by the love of his daughter, a daughter who was killed by a suicide bomber twenty years ago. This is his story.
Alisa Flatow was a student at Brandeis University. She chose to spend a semester studying abroad in Jerusalem. After a few months in Israel, she and her roommates decided to spend a weekend at a beach resort in Gaza. This was 1995, soon after the Oslo accords, and Gaza was still under Israeli control. It seems unfathomable now, but people used to vacation in Gaza at the beach resorts. On the way to the beach, their bus was struck by a van filled with explosives. The terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the killing. Seven Israeli soldiers riding on the bus were killed. Alisa was severely wounded, but she did not die right away. The terrorist van was filled with shrapnel that exploded through the windows of the bus and struck her head. She was unconscious, but her body was unharmed.
The doctors called her father in America, and told him to come right away. When he landed in Ben Gurion airport, government agents met him on the runway, and escorted him straight from the plane to the hospital. By the time he arrived, Alisa was brain-dead. The doctors offered their condolences, and asked the father if he would be willing to donate her organs.
This was not a simple question. The Flatow family was Orthodox and observant. It was not customary for Orthodox Jews to donate organs, and they were not sure it was allowed by Jewish law. So the parents called their rabbi and asked what to do. He told them to donate the organs, and so they did.
That single act became a sensation in Israel. To understand its significance, I need to give a little background information. There is much in Jewish law and custom that would discourage organ donation. It has been our longstanding tradition to treat a dead body as sacred. Our custom is to watch over it, cleanse it, and prepare it carefully for burial. The body is buried whole and unaltered. That is why rabbinic authorities have generally discouraged autopsies.
But organ donation is special. It presents the opportunity to save a life. In Jewish law, the saving of a human life takes special precedence. You can violate just about all the other commandments if you can save a life. Therefore, Jewish law does not just allow organ donation, it requires it. Reform and Conservative rabbis immediately encouraged organ donation, and by the 1970s, Orthodox rabbis did as well.
The problem was that most Jews in Israel were not aware of this. The rates of organ donation were extraordinarily low. Israel was part of a European consortium of organ sharing nations, but was suspended because too few Israelis were registered donors. It was a stunning irony for a nation famous as an innovator of advanced medical technologies. The problem was that Israelis knew about the tradition of burying a body whole; they were not so aware that their rabbis allowed organ donation.
Throughout the 1970s and 80s, various medical groups and the government in Israel tried to educate the public, but nothing worked. Organ donation rates were terribly low. People were desperate for organs, but few were donating. It just wasn’t what people did.
And then the Flatows offered their daughter’s organs to the people of Israel. The news made headlines in every newspaper throughout the nation. Her heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, pancreas, and corneas were able to save six lives in Israel. Notably, at least one of the recipients was Arab Palestinian. The people of Israel were amazed, and grateful. They had felt so alone in suffering against terrorism, and here this family from America made such a gesture. They felt that the world Jewish community was with them. We were one.
Days later, Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin came to Washington DC and spoke before a gathering of 12,000 American Jews. What he told them would be printed in newspapers throughout America. He spoke about what Alisa’s gift meant to the Israeli people. “Today,” he said, “her heart beats in Jerusalem.” There is more. After Alisa’s death, the Flatows lives were shattered. Alisa’s mother withdrew into herself and her home. But the father, Stephen, decided to take action. He wanted justice. It was widely reported that the State of Iran was the sponsor and financial backer of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. It angered him that there were no consequences for Iran. They had funded his daughter’s murderers, and no one was doing anything about it. The bomber himself was killed. The terrorist ring was being pursued by Israel. Stephen Flatow decided to take it upon himself to go after Iran.
A lawyer by training, he sought justice through the courts. He had a brilliant idea. If he and other victims of terror could file suit against Iran, they could exact punishment on the regime. They would make it costly for states to sponsor terror, and then maybe Iran would think twice about doing it again.
But there was a problem. United States law did not allow private citizens to sue foreign governments. It was expressly forbidden. So Stephen Flatow went to Washington to change the law. His senator, the Jewish Frank Lautenberg, happened to be in Israel at the time of Alyssa’s death. He took a special interest in her family and drafted legislation. Flatow testified before congress, and even gained the backing of President Clinton. Congress passed the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1996 to make an exception to the longstanding rule. In cases of state-sponsored terror, individual US citizens could sue foreign nations for damages in US courts. It was the first victory.
It did not last. The courts threw it out. So back to Washington he went for a new law, one written specifically to override the objections of the court. Once again he sued the state of Iran in a US court. But his time, one of his allies became an adversary. The Clinton administration began to see Flatow as interfering in national diplomacy. The White House was against Iran, but they did not want Flatow dictating the terms. So the U.S. Department of Justice intervened in the case, and actually filed a brief in support of Iran and against the victims of terror. Once more, Flatow returned to Congress and this time he got a third law that gave citizens even more strength to sue foreign governments, this time with teeth. 
Finally, in 1997, he received his judgment. A court ruled in favor of the Flatows and against Iran. The family was awarded $26 million in compensatory damages, and over $200 million in punitive damages.
But the issue was hardly over. How do you collect money from a rogue state? They weren’t paying. Stephen Flatow devised a plan. Since the United States had ended diplomatic ties with Iran following the rise of the Ayatollah, the Iranian embassy in Washington and the residence of the Iranian ambassador have been in control of the United States Government. The State Department holds them in trust with the goal of returning them to Iran someday when relations resume. Stephen Flatow now had a ruling that said the Iranian government owed him $247 million. He sought possession of the embassy and the residence, property owned by Iran. The State Department refused. They feared that if the United States confiscated sovereign property here, our embassies and properties abroad would become threatened. So instead, they paid Flatow $20 million from US funds with the understanding that the United States would collect that money from Iran someday.
Stephen Flatow was furious. His goal was not to get money. His goal was to make Iran pay so they would stop sponsoring terror. He had won in court and he had received money, but Iran had still not paid one cent.
And this leads to the third chapter of this amazing saga. Stephen Flatow did not give up. He began to look for other assets in the United States that were owned by the government of Iran. Officially, there were none. United States sanctions prohibited Iran from doing any business in the United States, or for anyone to do business with Iran in the United States. But Flatow had suspicions that a charitable foundation in New York was actually a front, laundering money for the Iranian regime.
Why would the Iranians funnel their money through New York? Because the financial exchanges are there, and you can’t get anything done internationally without going through New York’s markets. Iran’s economy, its nuclear weapons development, its sponsorship of Hezbollah and other jihadists groups – all required moving money across currencies. They needed a secret foothold in New York. The Alavi Foundation was established decades ago by the Shah to promote Iranian culture abroad. It owned a gleaming skyscraper on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, between Rockefeller Center and the Museum of Modern Art. Ivan Boesky used to office there. Stephen Flatow did a lot of digging, and then filed papers in court demonstrating that the foundation and the building were secretly operated by the Iranian government. And if they belonged to the state of Iran, they were subject to his financial ruling.
Stephen Flatow’s case was a civil matter, but it came to the attention of a young analyst sitting in a cubicle at the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. If what Flatow was saying was true, there was some serious criminal wrongdoing going on. That young analyst’s name was Eitan Arusy. Before he starting working for the District Attorney, he served in the Israel Defense Force as a spokesman. He was one of the first responders to the scene of the carnage on the day that Alisa Flatow’s bus was bombed. He had a special interest in the case. The district attorney’s office did their own digging, and came to the same conclusion as Flatow – the Alavi Foundation was actually a front for Bank Melli, the State of Iran’s government-owned national bank. But how did the Iranians do it? How did they get their money in and out of the United States? The district attorney’s office soon discovered that two European Banks, Credit Suisse and Lloyds of London, were moving money and falsifying documents for the Iranians. When the FBI raided the records of the charity, they found vast deposits from Credit Suisse and Lloyds. The banks cooperated with investigators. They provided emails and memos detailing how they took Iranian money and sent it to the United States in their own names. Without admitting guilt, Lloyds agreed to pay a fine of $350 million, and Credit Suisse $536 million.
They were not alone. It was soon discovered that most of the major European banks were laundering money for the Iranians into the United States, in direct violation of US law. Barclays Bank settled in 2010, paying the United States $298 million. In 2012, ING, Standard Chartered, and HSBC also settled. HSBC agreed to pay $1.9 billion.
Then came the big one. While all these banks were making deals with the US government, two employees of BNP Paribas became whistleblowers. They shared with investigators that their bank had laundered tens of billions of dollars of Iranian money. They had also laundered money for Sudan while its regime was committing genocide.
BNP is the largest bank in France. This summer you may have seen the news. BNP became the first bank to admit guilt in laundering money for the Iranian government. They agreed to pay $8.9 billion in fines to the United States. It was far and away the largest penalty ever paid by a bank in history. The New York Times headline said it best: “A Grieving Father Pulls a Thread that Unravels BNP’s Illegal Deals.” A dad lost his girl. The hole in his life will never be filled. He thinks about her every day. He never gives up. He is a small-time attorney doing title work in New Jersey. But his tenacity and his grit and his smarts were beyond anyone’s estimation. This one man in New Jersey uncovered an international conspiracy of bank fraud.
The story is not over. Stephen Flatow is not done. The man who instantly changed the culture of organ donation is Israel is trying to do the same here in America. He takes every opportunity to speak to Orthodox congregations to encourage organ donation. Though the rate of donation consent in America is strong at 60%, the rate among Flatow’s fellow Orthodox Jews is only 5%. He is on a mission to change that.
He and his wife have also established a foundation in Alisa’s name. They sponsor young Jewish women from around the world to take a semester of study in Jerusalem. The money they have received in their fight against Iran is now sponsoring women’s Torah study and the vitality of the State of Israel.
And, in the months ahead, he may finally achieve his goal of making Iran actually pay. A federal judge has the ruled that the assets of the Alavi Foundation be liquidated. The gleaming office tower in New York and other properties around America will be sold and the proceeds will go to the victims of Iranian-sponsored terrorism. That will be Iranian money. Finally, Iran will pay a price.
All of this because of one man in Northern New Jersey. One man who never quit. 
Earlier this summer, I did my own digging and I found Stephen Flatow’s contact information. I sent him an email. 
Dear Mr. Flatow, 
My name is Brenner Glickman and I am a rabbi with a congregation in Sarasota, Florida.
I admire you and am writing a sermon about you and your family for this High Holidays.
Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do for Israel and America.
You are an inspiration.
He replied the same day:
Dear Rabbi Glickman,
Thanks very much for your note. But it’s really Alisa who has been the source of strength and encouragement these past 19 years. As I like to remind people , I’m still her father and we do anything for our children.

Topics: Rabbi Glickman, Stephen Flatow, N.J. lawyer, Iran, Government of Iran, terror, terrorism, Alisa Flatow, America, Israel, Palestinian Islamic JihadThe Alavi Foundation, BNP Bank in France, Banks:  ING, Standard Chartered, and HSBC, Frank Lautenberg, European Banks:Credit Suisse and Lloyds, FBI, laundering money, Bank Melli, the State of Iran’s government-owned national bank. with In Israel happy and holy things–Rabbi Kanievsky, Tower of David light show, Chai Farm, Winery visit, Kotel, Tel Aviv Hilton, Travel to Meron and Tiberias, Yossi Ben Galilee, Beaches, Tomb of David, Be in Israel

Terrorism and Evil–reading in  Evil, Terrorism, Anger, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Haunted by Stress Disorder

Digital  Creamy Oatmeal

Take your digital clock to make this delicious oatmeal that is creamy like butter without butter or milk!

Here is how I clocked it for your to follow:

Ingredients: 4 cups water, 2 cups cut oatmeal (for faster cooking)

Directions:  Digital Directions

9:33 a.m.  boil 4 cups water in stainless steel small pot (which has a lid) on medium high flame

9:37 a.m.  add oatmeal and put on lid.  (My lid is glass so I look in to see the oatmeal mix does not start to rise and pour out all over the stove top.)

9:39 a.m.  remove lid and stir (with a wooden spoon) a few seconds.  Put lid not completely on pot, so some opening for air.

9:41 a.m.  turn off flame.  Keep lid on tight.  Let stand to thicken.

9:46 a.m.  serve (Serving suggestions: serve two cups of cereal on a bowl with 1 t. of maple syrup or 1 t. honey.  May add 1/4 cup hazel nut ‘milk’ or real milk)  See our other Oatmeal recipe! in from your grandma on the web C.T. Sokol, always praying for you to have happiness, successful and closeness to the God of Moses)




Taiwan Style Soup

by Bubby Chana Tova Sokol (your grandma on the web)

A great soup for a winter meal

Serves 8 bowls.

Ingredients:   12 quart stainless steel pot with lid

1/4 c. olive oil

fresh ginger-wedge should add up to 1/4 cup

2 cups fresh bean sprouts

1 1/2 cups of split peas

1 carrot

Israeli pumpkin* wedge to equal 3 cups (alternative: butternut squash)

1 sweet potato

1 cup of fresh dill

3 cloves garlic

1 onion

1 kohlrabi

1 cup of fresh tomatoes

2 medium size pink potatoes

1 medium sized zucchini

1/2 t. Cayenne pepper

1/4 t. cumin

pinch of black pepper

10 cups of water


Peel the vegetables.  Chop dill and ginger.  Slice other vegetables for mouthpiece size eating.  Grandma Tip: Use a hammer on pumpkin and sweet potato–this means on cutting block place vegetable and hold knife ready to cut the potatoes and pumpkin, then hit the hammer on the handle of the knife to cut without using your own power. ( Makes the job much easier!)  If you have no pumpkin from Israel, then use butternut squash.

Put pot on stove with olive oil, heat up on medium flame and throw in onions to sauté.  After 3 minutes add ingredients above and then immediately the water.  Keep flame medium high.  15 minutes later put lid on pot with reduced heat at low flame.  About 20 minutes later turn off heat.   Keep lid on pot with heat off for 20 minutes, so soup/stew will still simmer in its own steam.

Stores in refrigerator for 5 days and freeze.   The whole pot stores in a 4 quart container.  Serves about 8 bowls.

Name has a story:

Mr. Sheldon Cheng was the representative at the United Nations for China (Taiwan) 1960.  When Red China took over to replace ‘China’ at the U.N., Mr. Cheng spoke a good parting speech at the United Nations General Assembly with tears.  He remained a liaison in New York for Taiwan with no seat at the U.N. and continued to meet the staff in our office at the United States Mission to the United Nations.  Our office among other tasks took applications for U.N. jobs.  Mr. Cheng worked with our office and sometimes met in a restaurant with our staff.  He had to call in the night before to the restaurant in order to have a special spicy hot soup prepared for a day in advance.  The soup included a great deal of fresh ginger and other spices similar to Cayenne pepper.  Taiwan soup is a  hint of the soup, but with many classic vegetables from the Western culture.  I salute Mr. Cheng here for his perseverance to connect with the U.N. in the light of being thrown out.  His democratic country was unfairly treated and in place of Taiwan the madness of Communism of Red China was overlooked.  Enjoy the soup! from

One burning question: why should Red China be allowed to enter the U.N. replacing Taiwan, why couldn’t the U.N. let Red China enter ONLY if Taiwan was still in the United Nations.  Why couldn’t Taiwan allow Red China to have a lower place and U.N. demand Red China not get a seat on the Security Counsel?  Answer: injustice is permitted, sad to say.