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          EU Warns Diplomats Of "No-Go" Zones In Brussels, Cites Influx Of Russian And Chinese Spies      Cache   Translate Page      

EU officials have issued a bizarre warning to government, military and diplomatic staff working in Brussels, alleging that the European Union's unofficial capital has become a major hub of Russian and Chinese espionage and spying.

The EU authorities have reportedly advised European diplomats and other personnel to avoid specific areas of the city, especially night life entertainment venues, near EU institutions which have seen an uptick in foreign snooping and surveillance. 

European Parliament's main building in Brussels, via EPA

EU diplomats told German paper Welt am Sonntag they received a formal alert from the  European External Action Service (EEAS), warning them of the presence of “around 250 Chinese and 200 Russian spies,” according to the report.

The German report identifies Brussels' popular European Quarter, where the majority of the key EU institutions are based, as a key area being targeted by spies, specifically social hubs like bars and restaurants frequented by EU employees. The "no-go" places included a popular steakhouse and cafe near a building housing the European Commission headquarters, for example. 

The WELT report notes further that EU military officials were issued the same warning of a noticeable uptick in activity based out of the Russian and Chinese embassies, but without citing specific evidence, only a historic case from 2003 involving the European Council's building being bugged by an unknown foreign power. 

Brussels neighborhood pub close to the European Parliament. via The Bulletin

But in place of evidence for the claims, which seems more aimed at ensuring EU officials take precautionary measures, the alert referenced patterns of prior decades:

According to the security service, in earlier times Russian agents were most frequently represented in the European capital. Concrete figures were not mentioned in this context. According to internal security services, the Chinese and Russian intelligence agents work in Brussels primarily at the embassies or commercial representations of their home countries, WELT went on to learn.

The report called Russian, Chinese, and even American spying inside Brussels "an open secret" which is run out of local embassies involving "attachés accompanying diplomats" at social events

Concerning Beijing's attempts to gather information, often related to pressing geopolitical issues like the west's stance on Taiwan, the report said - according to a rough translation: "China seems to be increasingly expanding its spying activities in Europe."

It cited a new Lithuanian intelligence services review published this week, which found, "As China's economic and political ambitions in Lithuania and other NATO and EU countries increase, the activities of Chinese intelligence and security services become increasingly aggressive."

But we doubt that declaring local pubs as "no-go" spots for EU staff will actually do much to mitigate the types of "random" social encounters that foreign intelligence agencies capitalize on to gain information. 


          Daily Digest 2/9 - Oceans Broke Heat Records In 2018, Venezuela As The Pivot For New Internationalism?      Cache   Translate Page      
Daily Digest 2/9 - Oceans Broke Heat Records In 2018, Venezuela As The Pivot For New Internationalism?
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          Mental Health and Mitzvot: A Source Sheet      Cache   Translate Page      
Yes, I know I haven't posted here in forever. It's not for lack of things to say...

In any case: I'm scheduled to give a shiur this Monday evening on "Mental Health and Mitzvot". Specifically, I expect to look at four ways in which halachah addresses mental illness as a reason for exemption from the Torah's obligations. Because I'm including some material which people may not be familiar with, I thought I would post the source sheet here, for those who still frequent these cobwebbed webpages. I expect to post a recording of the shiur on YUTorah.org.


Cases
(1)   Susan, age 14, is undergoing nutritional rehabilitative therapy for life-threatening anorexia; her treatment team helps her develop healthy eating habits through regular meals, while she works on her underlying emotional issues. Yom Kippur is coming; must Susan fast?
(2)   David, age 55, has been in counseling for 30 years for anxiety attributed to lifelong emotional abuse by his father. The abuse was largely verbal, through criticism and insults, from early childhood through the present. David’s father passes away; is David obligated to sit shivah?
(3)   Samantha, age 25, is hospitalized with schizophrenia; her doctors believe that her delusions place her at risk of self-harm. Is Samantha’s family obligated to arrange kosher food for Samantha?
(4)   Avraham, age 18, experiences severe OCD, with a particular manifestation in the area of prayer. He cannot complete key lines, like the Shema, without hesitation and repetition which drag on for more than an hour at a time. During the treatment process, Avraham’s psychologist would like to try ERP, instructing Avraham to recite prayers just one time, even if the pronunciation or level of concentration are halachically inappropriate, and keep going. Is this acceptable?

Argument 1 for Overriding Halachic Imperatives: Halachah Endangers Health
1.   Talmud, Taanit 22b; Rashi’s commentary
יחיד שנרדף מפני נכרים או מפני לסטין ומפני רוח רעה על כולן יחיד רשאי לסגף את עצמו בתענית
מפני רוח רעה - שנכנס בו רוח שידה, ורץ והולך, ושמא יטבע בנהר או יפול וימות.
If someone is pursued by non-Jews, bandits or ruach raah, for any of these someone [else] may cause himself suffering by fasting [on Shabbat].
Rashi: The spirit of a sheid enters him, and he runs about; [one prays] lest he drown in a river or fall to his death.

2.   Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (20th century USA), Igrot Moshe Yoreh Deah 2:59
אולי יש לדון מצד מחלתו אם יאמרו הרופאים שיש בזה ענין פקוח נפש, כגון דעלול מזה להרוג את עצמו באם יהיה לו איזה צער, או דיעבור על דברים שאסורים גם בדיני המדינה ולא ישמע להפאליס ויריב עמם עד שיבא מזה שיהרגוהו, או שיאמרו דעצם המחלה היא סכנה שבאה לו מקלקול שבמוחו וא"א לרפאותו אלא במקום ההוא
Perhaps there is room to debate regarding his illness: If doctors were to identify a life-saving issue, such as that he might respond to pain with suicide, or that he might violate civil law, not listen to the police, and resist such that they might kill him, or that the illness itself is dangerous such that his brain is damaged, and he can only be healed there…

3.   Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (20th century USA), Igrot Moshe Even haEzer 1:65
באשה שנשתטית אחר הלידה בשני הילדים שהולידה והרופאים אסרו לה להתעבר אם יש להתירה לשמש במוך י"א תמוז תשכ"א.
הנה ודאי צדק כתר"ה ששטות הוא ענין סכנה לא רק לעצמה אלא גם להילדים הקטנים שאף מי ששטותו אינו לעשות רע, אפשר להתהפך שתרצה לעשות רעה לעצמה ולהילדים ח"ו ואי אפשר להעמיד שומרים על זה. ולכן יש להתיר לה לשמש במוך...
Regarding a woman who became insane after the birth of her two children, such that the doctors forbid further pregnancy. May she use contraception?
Certainly, his honour is correct; insanity is dangerous not only for herself, but also for her small children. Even one whose insanity does not currently incline toward harm could still change, wanting to harm herself or her children, Gd forbid, and one cannot stand guard for this. Therefore, one should permit her…

4.   Rabbi Isser Yehudah Unterman (20th century England, Israel), HaTorah v’HaMedinah 4 pp. 26-27
ובהעמק שאלה מפרש כי פלוגתתם תלויה בפלוגתת בן פטורא ורע"ק... ונפלאים בעיני הדברים מאד, כי אי אפשר לומר דכאן מיירי בסכנת נפש ממש שהאחרים ימותו בצמאון, דהאיך יתכן הדבר שר' יוסי יאמר כי כביסתן קודמת לחיי אחרים? ואעפ"י דערבוביתא דמאני מביאה לידי שעמום, מ"מ אין זה כלל וכלל בגדר סכנה קרובה ולא נחשבה אפילו לספק סכנה אלא לדבר שיכול להסתעף ולבוא לסכנה...
And in Haameik She’eilahhe explains that their debate depends upon the debate of Ben Petura and Rabbi Akiva [regarding choosing between saving one’s self and saving others]… This is very shocking for me, for one could not say that this case involves actual danger to life, that the others would die of thirst! How could Rabbi Yosi say that their laundry precedes the survival of others? And even though dirty clothes can trigger depression, still, this is not at all “imminent danger” and it is not even considered potential danger, but something which could evolve into danger…

5.   Rabbi Moshe Sofer (18th century Pressburg), Chatam Sofer Orach Chaim 83
מ"מ בהא סלקינן דלרוב הפוסקים משמע בפשיטות דבמה שמעמידו אצל נכרים אינו כמאכילו בידים... א"כ הכי שרי ובתנאי שכשיגיע לבן י"ג שנים ויום א' יוציאוהו משם עכ"פ.
Still, we conclude that from most authorities it seems clear that keeping him with non-Jews is not the same as personally feeding him [non-kosher food]… If so, one may do this, so long as they remove him when he reaches 13 and one day.

6.   Rabbi Yechiel Michel Epstein (19th-20thcentury Lithuania), Aruch haShulchan Orach Chaim 320:26
ודורס האדם שלג ברגליו ואינו חושש ואף על פי שלא ימלט דדרך דריכתו נימס מעט שלג מ"מ כיון דזהו דרך הלוכו לא שייך לאסור בזה וא"כ נהיה סגורים בבתינו כל ימי החורף ולא גזרו בזה...
One may trample snow without concern, even though some snow must melt when he walks. Still, since this is the way of walking, prohibiting this is not relevant; we would be locked inside all winter, and they did not make such decrees…

7.   Rabbi Ovadia Yosef (20th century Israel), Yabia Omer 3:Yoreh Deah 23
ראיתי להגרא"י אונטרמן שליט"א בשבט מיהודה (עמ' שיד) שאחר שחילק בין סומא לנכפה כאמור כתב בזה"ל, שוב התבוננתי כי אין לחלק בין זל"ז ויש סכנה ממשית גם לסומא, ולכן מקרי פקוח נפש לרפאתו מעיורון, משום שלא יתכן שהסומא ישב תמיד בבית, וכשעובר ברחוב אורבות לו סכנות שונות, וגם צריך לעלות ולרדת במדרגות ואין הסכנה נמנעת...
I saw that Rabbi Isser Yehudah Unterman wrote the following, after distinguishing between [the levels of danger involved for] a blind person and an epileptic: I then thought that one should not distinguish between them, and there is substantive danger for the blind person as well, such that healing him of blindness would be called 'saving a life'. It would be impossible for the blind person to stay at home eternally, and various dangers would lie in wait for him on the street. Further, he must ascend and descend stairs, and danger is not absent…

8.   Rabbi Yitzchak Weiss (20th century England, Israel), Minchat Yitzchak 4:8:2
אמנם נתעוררתי מת"ח גדול אחד, דאם מניעת התפילין יוכל לגרום צער להחולה, שנפשו עגומה עליו, לאיש ירא וחרד, על האי אפשרות לקיים מצוות תפילין, וחושש שלא להיות בכלל קרקפתא דלא מנח תפילין ח"ו, וחלישת הדעת הזו, תוכל לפעול ג"כ חלישת בהבריאות של החולה, אז יש להקל להביא עמו התפילין, - והראה לי שכה"ג כתב לו הגה"צ מליובאוויטש שליט"א, בנדון חולה אחד, שהי' שאלה בדבר אם מותר לו להתפלל וללמוד...
In truth, a great scholar pointed out to me that if withholding tefillin could pain the patient, as he is depressed about [missing] the chance to don tefillin, and he is intensely Gd-fearing, and he is concerned about being in the category of “the head that does not don tefillin”, Gd forbid, and this depression could catalyze weakness of the patient’s health, then one may be lenient to bring tefillin with him. And he showed me that the Lubavitcher Rebbe wrote thus to him regarding a patient where there was a question of permitting him to learn and study…

Argument 2 for Overriding Halachic Imperatives: Halachah Imposes a Great Burden
9.   Talmud, Berachot 19b-20a
אמר רב יהודה אמר רב המוצא כלאים בבגדו פושטן, אפילו בשוק. מאי טעמא? אין חכמה ואין תבונה ואין עצה לנגד ד' - כל מקום שיש חלול ד' אין חולקין כבוד לרב.
מתיבי "קברו את המת וחזרו, ולפניהם שתי דרכים אחת טהורה ואחת טמאה, בא [האבל] בטהורה באין עמו בטהורה, בא בטמאה באין עמו בטמאה, משום כבודו," אמאי? לימא אין חכמה ואין תבונה לנגד ד'! תרגמה רבי אבא בבית הפרס דרבנן...
Rav Yehudah said, citing Rav: One who finds shaatnez in his own garment should remove it, even in the market. "There is neither wisdom nor understanding nor counsel opposite Gd (Proverbs 21:30)" – where there is desecration of Gd, we do not give honour to the great.
But we have learned, “After burying the body, when returning, if they have two paths, one tahor and one tamei, if [the mourner] takes the tahor path then they escort him on the tahor path, if he takes the tamei path then they escort him on the tamei path, for his honour.” Why? Cite Proverbs 21:30! Rabbi Abba explained: This is a beit hapras, which is only impure rabbinically.

10. Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan (Chafetz Chaim, 19th-20thcentury Poland), Shaar haTziyun 322:12
עיין בפרי מגדים שמצדד דהוא הדין דמותר לקטום הקיסם ביד כדי לחצות בו שיניו אם אי אפשר לו לחצות בו בלא זה, וכפי מה שכתבנו מקודם דקטימת הקיסם ביד הוא רק משום שבות
See the Pri Megadim, who contends that the law permits cutting the splinter by hand to pick one's teeth where he has no other way to pick his teeth. It is as we have written, that cutting the splinter by hand is only rabbinically prohibited.
11. Rabbi Moses Nachmanides (Ramban, 13thcentury Spain), Laws of Niddah 9:25
ומדיני החציצה לא טוב היות האדם מחמיר יותר מדאי ומחפש אחר הספיקות לפסול טבילתה בדבר הקל, כי אם כן אין לדבר סוף... לא יכניס אדם ראשו בספיקות החמורות אשר אין להן קץ וסוף.
With the laws of chatzitzah, one should not be overly strict, seeking doubts with which to disqualify immersion for minor matters. There would be no end to this… One should not insert his head into serious doubts, which are interminable.

12. Talmud, Moed Katan 27b
ואמר רבי יוחנן הכל חייבין לעמוד מפני נשיא חוץ מאבל וחולה.
Rabbi Yochanan said: All must rise for the nasi, other than a mourner or one who is ill.

Argument 3 for Overriding Halachic Imperatives: The Patient is Exempt
13. Talmud, Chagigah 3b
תנו רבנן: "איזהו שוטה? היוצא יחידי בלילה והלן בבית הקברות והמקרע את כסותו." איתמר רב הונא אמר עד שיהו כולן בבת אחת. ר' יוחנן אמר אפי' בא' מהן. היכי דמי? אי דעביד להו דרך שטות אפילו בחדא נמי! אי דלא עביד להו דרך שטות אפילו כולהו נמי! לא, לעולם דקא עביד להו דרך שטות... כיון דעבדינהו לכולהו הוה להו כמי שנגח שור חמור וגמל ונעשה מועד לכל. אמר רב פפא אי שמיע ליה לרב הונא הא דתניא "אי זהו שוטה זה המאבד כל מה שנותנים לו" הוה הדר ביה. איבעיא להו כי הוה הדר ביה ממקרע כסותו הוא דהוה הדר ביה דדמיא להא, או דלמא מכולהו הוה הדר? תיקו.
“Who is a shoteh? One who travels alone at night, and who sleeps in a cemetery, and who tears his clothing.” Rav Huna said: One who displays all of these at once. Rabbi Yochanan said: Even one of these behaviours.
But what is the case? If he acts apparently irrationally, even one [act] should suffice! If he does not act irrationally, even all of them would not suffice! No; this is where he acts apparently irrationally, but one could explain [each symptom in a rational way]… Once he performs all of them, it is like an animal that gores an ox, a donkey and a camel; it is now identified as dangerous for all.
Rav Pappa said: Had Rav Huna heard the lesson, "Who is a shoteh? One who destroys that which people give him," he would have recanted.
Does Rav Pappa mean he would have recanted from listing the trait of tearing his clothing because it is similar, or that he would have recanted from all of them? This remains unclarified.

14. Rabbi Yosef Karo (16th century Israel), Beit Yosef Even haEzer 121
ולכאורה היה נראה דחד מהני ארבע דתניא בגמרא בעינן ליחשב שוטה, אבל אי עביד שאר דברים אחרים דרך שטות אכתי בחזקת שפוי הוא... אלא דמדברי הרמב"ם שלא הזכיר דברים הללו אלא סתם וכתב "שנטרפה דעתו וכו' בדבר מן הדברים" משמע דהני ד' דברים השנויים בברייתא לאו דוקא אלא לדוגמא נקטינהו והוא הדין לשאר דברים. ונראה שהכריחו לפרש כן מדחזינן דבברייתא קמייתא קתני תלת ולא קתני "מאבד מה שנותנין לו" ובאידך ברייתא קתני "מאבד מה שנותנין לו" ולא קתני אינך תלתא...
It would appear that one of the four behaviours mentioned in the Talmud would render a person a shoteh, but performing other irrational acts would leave a person in his presumed status of sanity… but from the Rambam, who did not mention these acts and only said, "one whose mind is torn… in some matter," it sounds as though the four items taught here are not specific, and are only examples, and other behaviours could also do it. It appears that he was driven to state thus from the fact that the former source listed three behaviours and did not list "destroys that which people give him," and the latter source listed "destroys that which people give him" and did not mention the other three…

15. Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (20th century USA), Igrot Moshe Yoreh Deah 4:29
הנה ודאי איכא חילוק בין שוטה ובין פתי ביותר (עי' בזה מש"כ באגרות אה"ע ח"א סימן קס"ד לעניין חליצת פתי ביותר) - ששוטה לא תלוי בכשרונות הבנת דברים ועניינים. דאף בעלי כשרון להבין הדברים, אפשר שדעתם תהא משובשת ומטורפת, והיינו שיודע ומכיר שאיכא חילוק בין הדברים שרואה, אבל הוא טועה בדמיונו ומתחלף אצלו הדמיונות בזמנים קצרים מאוד...
Certainly, there is a difference between a shoteh and one who is exceptionally unintelligent – for being a shoteh is not about powers of understanding his affairs. Even one who is able to understand matters may have a confused, torn mind, meaning that he knows and understands that there are differences between the things he sees, but he errs in his delusions, and his delusions change in very brief periods of time…

16. Rabbi Yosef Karo (16th century Israel), Shulchan Aruch Choshen Mishpat 35:8
שוטה, פסול. ולא שוטה שהוא הולך ערום ומשבר כלים וזורק אבנים בלבד, (אלא) כל מי שנטרפה דעתו ונמצאת דעתו משובשת תמיד בדבר מהדברים, אף על פי שהוא מדבר ושואל כענין בשאר דברים, הרי זה פסול, ובכלל שוטים יחשב.
A shoteh is disqualified [from testifying]. This is not only a shoteh who wanders without clothing and breaks implements and throws stones, but anyone whose mind is torn, so that his mind is confused perpetually on some matter, even though he speaks and inquires on point in other areas. He is disqualified, and considered a shoteh.

17. Rabbi Moshe Sofer (18th century Hungary), Chatam Sofer Even haEzer 2:2
הנה לדון בדיני השוטים א"א כ"א בראיית עיני הדיין המבין מה טיבו ומהותו וא"א לברר בכתב מה ענינו וטבעו ומהותו וכמ"ש הרמב"ם פ"ט מה' עדות ואין לדיין אלא מה שעיניו רואות
Judging in the matter of shotimis impossible other than through the eyes of a judge who understands his nature. One cannot clarify his nature in writing. As the Rambam wrote), "The judge only has what his eyes see."

18. Rabbi Baruch Frankel-Teomim (18th-19thcenturies Galicia, Moravia), Ateret Chachamim, Even haEzer 18
ומה שרצה כבוד מעלתו להמציא שאם השטות מצד חולה מרה השחורה שאנו קורין מלאנקאלי אינו בכלל שוטה, לא מחוור, דתחת שם מלאנקאלי הוא גם משוגעים גמורים, כאשר ידוע לאשר יש לו ידיעה קצת בספרים המחוברים בזה... וממילא אם הגיע האדם בעל מלאנקאלי להתמיד שטות בדבר שמורה על טירוף דעת, בוודאי הוא מכלל השוטים לשיטת הרמב"ם... יהיה סיבתו מה שיהיה.
His honour’s wish to innovate that if irrationality derives from illness of black bile, which we call ‘melancholy’, then he is not a shoteh, is not clear to me. The class of ‘melancholy’ includes people who are entirely irrational, as is known to anyone who has some knowledge of the texts composed about this… As a result, if someone with ‘melancholy’ displays perpetual behaviour in a matter which demonstrates a torn mind, he certainly is within Rambam’s category of shoteh… regardless of the cause.

19. Rambam (12th century Egypt), Mishneh Torah, Laws of Testimony 9:10
הפתאים ביותר שאין מכירין דברים שסותרין זה את זה ולא יבינו עניני הדבר כדרך שמבינין שאר עם הארץ, וכן המבוהלים והנחפזים בדעתם והמשתגעים ביותר הרי אלו בכלל השוטים, ודבר זה לפי (מה) שיראה הדיין שאי אפשר לכוין הדעת בכתב.
Those who are especially foolish [peti], who do not recognize contradictory statements and do not understand matters as other normal people do. Also, those who are confused and hasty in their minds, and those who are especially foolish, are in the category of shotim. It is as the judge sees it; one cannot specify a mindset in writing.

20. Rabbi Yehoshua Falk (16th century Poland), Sefer Meirat Einayim, Choshen Mishpat 35:22
המבוהלים והנחפזים בדעתם והמשתגעים ביותר - נראה שכל הני פירושם הוא שאינם מתונים בעניניהם, אלא כל מעשיהן עושין במהירות ולא מבינים לסוף הענין ולתכלית המעשה, מ"ה זה ג"כ בשם שגעון ושטות יחשב:
"Those who are confused and hasty in their minds, and who are especially foolish" – It appears that the meaning of all of these is that they are not patient in their affairs. They perform all of their deeds hastily, not understanding the end of the matter and goal of the act. Therefore, this is also considered foolishness and irrationality.

21. Rabbi Shemuel de Medina (16th century Turkey), Even haEzer 239
ולכאורה נר' שאין לנו מבוהל ונחפז גדול ממי שהוא מנוגף בקדחת עזה והרי הוא בכלל שוטה שפסול מן התורה
It appears that none are more confused and hasty than a person who is struck with powerful fever; he is a shoteh, biblically disqualified.

22. Rabbi Yechiel Michel Epstein (19th-20thcentury Lithuania), Aruch haShulchan Even haEzer 121:13
בעלי המרה השחורה שאין עושין כלום דברים של שגעון רק יושבין בעצבות ורחוקים מחבורת אנשים ואין מבקשין לאכול וכשנותנים להם לאכול אוכלין, ואין מתחילין לדבר וכששואלין אותן עונין מעט דברים, ואין מדברים דברים של שגעון, יש להתיישב אם דינם כשוטה אם לאו ולפי הסברא אין בזה סימני שטות אלא מחלת העצבות בלבד ותלוי בראיית עיני הב"ד להבין דרכו ועלילותיו.
People of black bile who do not perform any irrational acts, but only sit in sadness, far from human company, and do not seek to eat but do eat when given food, and do not initiate conversation but respond a little when addressed, and do not speak irrationally, one should analyze whether they have the status of shoteh, or not. Logically, there is no sign of irrationality here, only a disease of sadness. It depends on the court’s view, to understand his ways and their causes.

Argument 4 for Overriding Halachic Imperatives: Enabling Future Observance
23. Rabbi Natan Zvi Friedman (20th century Israel), Netzer Mata’ai I 8:1
ואם הלימוד הוא "'וחי בהם' ולא שימות בהם", נכלל בזה גם רפואת חולי-רוח, שהרי מקרא מלא דיבר הכתוב (דברים ל) "לאהבה את ד' אלקיך, לשמוע בקולו ולדבקה בו כי הוא חייך ואורך ימיך." וכל זמן שהוא שוטה הוא פטור מכל המצוות שבתורה...
וכן מוכח דבר זה לפי הדרש האחר המובא שם ביומא בשמו של רבי שמעון בן מנסיא, שלומד דין פקוח נפש שדוחה שבת מדכתיב (שמות לא) ושמרו בני ישראל את השבת — חלל עליו שבת אחת כדי שישמור שבתות הרבה. מפורש להדיא שהיתר של פקוח נפש הוא כדי לאפשר לו קיום מצוות להבא, שאם לא נפקח עליו את הגל לא יוכל לקיים מצוות להבא. אם כן במקרה שהוא בריא בגופו אבל חולה ברוחו, והיום הוא לא יכול לקיים מצות כי שוטה פטור מכל המצוות, מצוה לחלל עליו שבת כדי שישמור שבתות הרבה. וזה פשוט וברור לפי דרשא זו.
If the deduction [teaching that we violate Shabbat to save lives] is from “’And he shall live by them’ – and not die by them,” this includes healing the emotionally ill, for Devarim 30 speaks explicitly, “to love Hashem your Gd, to listen to His voice and adhere to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days.” As long as he is a shoteh, he is exempt from all of the Torah’s mitzvot…
And so is clear within the other exegesis brought in Yoma, from Rabbi Shimon ben Menasya, who learns the law of overriding Shabbat to save lives from Shemot 31, “And the Children of Israel shall observe Shabbat” – Desecrate one Shabbat for him, so that he will observe many Shabbatot. It is explicit that the license to save lives is to enable future fulfillment of mitzvot, for if we would not overturn the debris for him, he could not fulfill mitzvot in the future. If so, in a case where he is physically healthy but emotionally ill, and today he cannot fulfill mitzvot because a shoteh is exempt from all of the mitzvot, it is a mitzvah to desecrate Shabbat for him, so that he will observe many Shabbatot. This is simple and clear, according to this exegesis.

Application to our cases
24. Rabbi Asher Weiss (21st century Israel), Halachik Challenges in Dealing With Mental Illness, 11/24/16
Many times in the past I paskened that girls suffering from anorexia could eat normally on Yom Kippur. Not l’shiurim [minimal amounts, below the standard of ‘eating’]. Because even though there is no direct sakkanah [danger], it’s a terrible ailment, and people, and girls, die from anorexia, to my dismay. I personally know a few families that lost children to this terrible malady. And the way to treat them is difficult, and it’s a long haul, and it takes a long time to design a plan of eating. And any interference, any interruption with that pattern could set the patient back months, or years, and ultimately could endanger the patient’s life. So it does seem to be a chiddush [novelty] to many, and some rabbonim didn’t really agree with my psak, but my psak was that girls suffering from anorexia, Yom Kippur, should eat in the normal pattern that was worked out in the personal, tailored plan for them, and they should not try to eat l’shiurim.

25. Rambam (12th century Egypt), Mishneh Torah, Laws of the Mourner 1:1
ואין אבילות מן התורה אלא ביום ראשון בלבד שהוא יום המיתה ויום הקבורה, אבל שאר השבעה ימים אינו דין תורה...
There is no biblical law of mourning other than on the first day, if it is the day of death and burial. The rest of the seven days are not biblical law…


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           Latvia and Lithuania resolve disagreements over air navigation over Baltic Sea - The Baltic Times      Cache   Translate Page      
VILNIUS – Latvia and Lithuania have reached agreement on air navigation over the neutral waters in the Baltic Sea, thus ending bilateral n......
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Jee-jee-oleme-maailma-parim-startup-riik!… NOT!Leedu on tegelikult täitsa tugev Eesti kõrval. Varjatult tugev. Oleme liiga kauaks oma loorberitele puhkama jäänud.Nt. terve ports fintech ettevõtteid kolib pärast Brexitit Leetu: Lithuania sees flood of fintech firms apply for licences ahead of BrexitA
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About 100 financial companies and start-ups from Britain and elsewhere are applying for a licence in burgeoning fintech hub Lithuania to ensure they have access to the European Union after Brexit, the country's central bank told Reuters.

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His Majesty Regular Dude of Poland, Grand Priest of Lithuania and Priest of Ruthenia, Prussia, Masovia, Samogitia, Kiev, Volhynia, Podolia, Podlasie, Livonia, Smolensk, Severia and Chernihiv.
          Deutsche Welle: Lithuania set to ban fake news from Russia      Cache   Translate Page      

Lithuanian lawmakers want to criminalize spreading distrust of the state and attempts to distort historical memory. Critics say the bill to crackdown on disinformation equates investigative journalism with propaganda. Read more here.

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          Lithuanian Matryoshka Coloring Sheet Printable file by AmyPerrotti      Cache   Translate Page      

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This coloring sheet is based on my original Lithuanian Matryoshka (Babushka, Russian Doll, Nesting Doll) illustration. Please see second image for full coloring sheet. Just purchase to immediately download the (size: 8.5"x11") PDF file (with the copyright wording that is diagonally across the image removed). Download, open and print out this fun and convenient coloring sheet. Print as many, and as often as you want. This sweet coloring sheet is a fun activity for parties, special occasions or anytime.

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          How the Father of Modern Hebrew Helped Fulfill Bible Prophecy      Cache   Translate Page      

I had the great privilege of knowing Ehud Ben Yehuda as a dear friend when I lived in Jerusalem in the early 1970s. I also knew his younger sister, Dola. Both were in their 70s. They were two of the three living children of Eliezer and his second wife, Hemda. The story of their father's work and mission in life against unthinkable odds is both heartbreaking and heartwarming, and many books have been written about his accomplishments.

My purpose is to describe the struggle this family underwent to raise the Hebrew language from the dead. Their story is a huge life lesson for those called to accomplish something extraordinary. I will present this incredible story in a series over the next few months.

What kind of person does it take to single-handedly resurrect a language which had been dead since the second century A.D.?

It is true that in the 19th century, there were a great many Jews who knew how to read the Torah and rabbinical books in Hebrew, or at least mouth the letters in the prayer book—especially in Eastern Europe. The ancient texts were chanted by religious Jews, but for the most part, barely understood. In Jerusalem there were a few Sephardic Jews (from Arab countries) who could even speak some Hebrew, but with a limited ancient vocabulary lacking all modern concepts. No one even considered that Hebrew could be a living language. Not one Jew spoke it as his mother tongue. For all practical purposes, the language was dead.

In the 1880s, there was a babble of many foreign tongues spoken by a grand total of some 30,000 Jews, who had come to the Holy Land from the four corners of the earth. Simply put, without Eliezer, it is doubtful there would have ever been a revival, literally, a resurrection of spoken Hebrew. Therefore, Eliezer Ben Yehuda bears the title of "The Father of Modern Hebrew" throughout the Jewish world.

Born in Lithuania in 1858, Ben Yehuda, the youngest in his family, learned the Hebrew Scriptures on his father's knee. He loved spending time with his father, and with a phenomenal mind, at the age of 4, he already knew significant portions of the Torah, the Talmud and commentaries by heart.

But his father had tuberculosis, and one day as he was studying the Torah with his 4-year-old, he suddenly coughed up a huge amount of blood, which covered the Torah page. His last words were, "Eliezer, my son, clean the Torah! Don't bring dishonor to our sacred book."

From that time on, the young child was sent to one religious boarding institution after another. He was always the best student wherever he studied. At one academy, his favorite rabbi slipped him a rare book that was not religious, but translated into Hebrew—Robinson Crusoe. It was that book that ignited his belief that Hebrew could be a living language once again.

In his memoirs, he wrote: "I fell in love with the Hebrew tongue as a living language. This love was a great and all-consuming fire that the torrent of life could not extinguish—and it was the love of Hebrew that saved me from the danger which awaited me on the next step of my new life."

That next step came when he was slipped a short volume of Hebrew grammar by his favorite rabbi, who had dared to taste of non-religious books. Of course, his ultra-religious uncle with whom he lived was horrified that his nephew was straying into areas outside rabbinical literature, and in a rage, threw the 14-year-old boy out of his house, telling him never to return.

A Chance Meeting That Would Change History

Devastated, Eliezer wandered through the night to a nearby town, went into the local synagogue and fell asleep. A Jewish businessman, Solomon Jonas—more secular than traditional—approached him and invited him to his home. Eliezer was immediately drawn to his library, but found he could not understand a single word. The only alphabet he knew was Hebrew. Even his mother tongue, Yiddish, was written with the Hebrew alphabet.

Jonas took him in as a son. Recognizing his brilliant mind, the whole family participated in preparing him for an entrance examination to a state (secular) school, and after that, a university. Jonas' daughter, Devora, was enlisted to teach him Russian and French—required for the state school. He taught himself mathematics and biology by reading books in his newfound languages. He excelled in school and made plans to attend university. Eliezer and Devora kept in touch by mail. Devora saw him as her prince.

Eliezer became very much a secularist, loving the great literary giants in Russian and French. No longer was he interested in Jewish things—except there was one thing he could not let go. He wrote, "That string was my love of the Hebrew language. Even after all things Jewish became foreign to me I could not keep away from the Hebrew tongue."

A New Movement: 'Nationalism'

Among the important events that lit a fire in this visionary was a rising "nationalist" movement among different peoples who wanted their own country. Eliezer saw how the Bulgarians were rebelling against their rulers, the Turkish Ottoman Empire, and he thought, If the Bulgarians, who are not an ancient, classical people can demand and obtain a state of their own, then the Jews, the "people of the Book" and the heirs of historic Jerusalem, deserve the same.

In the middle of the night, as he was reading newspapers, he said, "Suddenly, as if lightning struck, an incandescent light radiated before my eyes ... and I heard a strange inner voice calling to me: 'The revival of Israel and its language on the land of the forefathers!' This was the dream."

He then read a unique and controversial book by the famous author George Eliot in 1876, calling for a homeland for the Jewish people. That was the deciding factor that crystallized his mission for life.

He would go to Paris to study medicine and become a doctor. With that career, he would have a profession to earn a living for himself and his family. He planned to marry Devora, and they would go to live in Jerusalem.

His Catholic Confidant

Thus in 1878, Eliezer began his medical studies at the Sorbonne. He was penniless, but found an attic to rent and ate one meal a day. He spent his days studying in libraries across Paris. Visiting a Russian library, he met a new friend, a Russian/Polish Catholic journalist, Tchatchnikof, who promptly adopted him and opened for him the door to French literary society, introducing him to such literary giants as Victor Hugo.

It was a rare friendship because of the long history of anti-Jewish teachings by the church and state-approved anti-Semitism throughout Europe. Jews associated with Jews. But Tchatchnikof became a bosom friend, coaching him in the art of journalism and also giving Eliezer occasional work to help him support himself. Most interesting, Tchatchnikof began pushing the visionary towards acting on his dream of a Jewish homeland.

The journalist asked his friend, "Are there any other Jews who long to see their national life reborn?" Eliezer's answer was, "All Jews believe they will return to their land when the Messiah comes." But, he added, the educated "enlightened" Jews [who might have the means to do something] tend to assimilate, out of the fold.

The Pole then asked if anyone had ever published the idea of Zion returning to its land. Eliezer explained there was a Hebrew periodical called Hamagid.

"So, can you write in Hebrew?" When Eliezer admitted he was not sure how good he would be, the Catholic journalist countered, "If you can express yourself in Hebrew, you can write the article. Maybe that is why we have been brought together at this time, in this city which is the center of liberal nationalism."

When Eliezer suggested someone else could do it, Tchatchnikof burst out, "This is childish foolishness! Whoever has the first inspiration must be the one to state the case and get it published. Go to it, and let's have no more argument about it."

Eliezer wrote the article and sent it to Hamagid, which turned it down. Despondent, and also realizing his health was deteriorating, he felt that a little light had been lit, and then extinguished. He fell into depression, seeing himself as just another Parisian who succumbed to poverty and ill health.

Hey Friend, Don't Give Up

But Tchatchnikof became angry. "You show none of the hope and resilience that are the hallmarks of the Jews. You cannot give in, and you dare not lose hope. There must be another publication in Hebrew somewhere to which you can send your article," he said. And there was. Eliezer sent his manuscript to The Dawn, a Hebrew periodical in Vienna, and his article was accepted for publication.

A few weeks later, Tchatchnikof came to visit his friend and found he had been spitting up blood. He had contracted tuberculosis, very possibly years before from his father.

Eliezer told his journalist friend, "Too bad! I have just received a letter from The Dawn's publisher, who stated, 'I was very pleased with your article, and I am sure that you are destined for great achievements.'" "But," said Eliezer, "it is too late. I am spitting up blood—a sure sign of tuberculosis."

Instead of sympathy, Tchatchnikof went into a rage. "Did you go to a doctor? Are you sure it is tuberculosis—and do you know for a fact that it is fatal?" The Polish journalist took him to his own doctor, who sent him to a specialist. The diagnosis was that Eliezer had six months to live.

"Well, that's that—I will die in six months." Again, Tchatchnikof was furious. "You must not die," he declared. "Too many liberation movements were stillborn because their creator failed to insure his own survival."

He reminded Eliezer of the great Jewish philanthropist, Baron Edmond Rothschild, who helped Jews in need. Eliezer was hesitant to ask for help, but the journalist himself petitioned Rothschild, who sent the sick man to his hospital in the warm city of Algiers. He recovered his strength and began writing more articles.

Tchatchnikof came to visit him in Algiers, and Eliezer read him his third article. Here are a few lines:

Let us therefore, revive the language and plant it in the mouths of our youths and they will never betray it—but we shall not be able to revive the Hebrew language except in the land where the Hebrews form a majority of the inhabitants. Let us therefore, increase the number of Jews in our desolate land; let us return the remnant of our people to the land of their forefathers; let us bring back to life the nation—and the language will live, too!

If we revive the nation and return it to its land—the Hebrew shall live, too! For in the end, this is the only path to final redemption—and without that redemption we are lost, lost forever.

Tchatchnikof exclaimed: "Eliezer, what a shame you are not a Polish Catholic! You could become the youngest saint of our people ... I hope your people will realize what words of prophecy you are uttering. In your voice, I hear Jeremiah and Amos, Isaiah and Ezekiel. I have never felt one way or another about the Jews—but now I know that the seed of the prophets is still alive. Your people shall know the redemption you talk of—and you shall be known as a prophet of that redemption."

Eliezer won another influential ally—Peretz Smolenskin, the author and publisher of The Dawn. After reading the logic and the passion in Ben Yehuda's articles and then watching in horror the terrible pogroms in Russia, he realized the only answer was a land and a language that belonged to the Jewish people.

Back in Paris, Eliezer prepared to leave for Jerusalem. "It would be the height of hypocrisy for me to call my people to return to their desolate land while I myself stay in Paris." Tchatchnikof encouraged him and even gave him money to make the trip to the Holy Land.

Sadly, Eliezer knew he must terminate his relationship with Devora Jonas, the love of his life. As a man with tuberculosis, he might die at any time, or worse, pass the disease onto a wife. Anyway, he would not be able to support a wife and family.

He wrote a letter to Solomon Jonas, Devora's father, and explained that though for years he had planned to marry Devora, he now released her because of his sickness. He also explained that he was leaving to live in Jerusalem. He wrote, "I do not know what I shall do when I get to the Holy Land—I only know that I must go there."

He continued,

I have no choice but to terminate my promise to your daughter. Please believe me, sir; I am not doing this out of baseness. I have not fallen out of love with her. She is still very much in my heart—but I can no longer offer her anything! I cannot promise her a home and a family. Nor can I offer her a long marriage. Indeed, if she marries me, my doctors inform me, she may fall victim to this cursed illness of mine. Please sir, in your kindness, act as my messenger and convince your dear daughter that she must forget me and find another, more worthy man to love and marry. I shall pray that she is happy. Believe me, sir; she is better off without me.

The story will continue.

*I have leaned heavily for source material from Fulfillment of Prophecy, The Life Story of Eliezer Ben Yehuda 1858-1922, as it is written by Eliezer Ben Yehuda, grandson of the Eliezer Ben Yehuda, because he received firsthand information in great detail from his grandmother, Hemda Ben Yehuda. {eoa}

This article originally appeared in the Maoz Israel Report, taken from messiahsmandate.org.


          Nathan Dwyer wins Kaunas Open 2019, in Kaunas, Lithuania      Cache   Translate Page      

Nathan Dwyer won the Kaunas Open 2019 with an average of 9.43 seconds. Tomas Jankauskas finished second (9.64) and Mantas Urbanavičius finished third (10.03).


          Linen collar shirt LILLE by notPERFECTLINEN      Cache   Translate Page      

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Button down collar shirt with comfortable elbow length sleeves. Straight cut and curved hem in front and back. Quite neat across the shoulders. Darts. We love pairing them with any our skirts or pants.

++++++++++++++++++++

DETAILS:

• made in Lithuania from medium weight (200 g) linen fabric. The fabric is really soft as the garment is prewashed to ensure no shrinkage in the future.
• color in the first picture - teal blue. Please choose another color in the drop down menu on your right.
• model in the first picture - S (174 cm; 5'8) and wears size S.
• made from OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified European linen fabric which guarantees you that it meets human - ecological requirements.
• please note that actual colors may vary due to your computer resolution and monitor color restrictions.
DESCRIPTION:

- made from Oeko-Tex certified 100 % European linen fabric which guarantees you that it meets human - ecological requirements. The linen fabric is of medium weight (185 g).
- models are size S (181 cm, 174 cm) and wears the shirt in size S.
- color in the picture - teal bue/cream. Please choose any other color on the right.
- not ironed (and no need to iron to have a relaxed look);
- handmade by small creative family.
++++++++++++++++++++

FIT:

Our collar shirt is quite fitted and neat across the shoulders. We recommend to order the size you wear to have the same look like on the model. If you have broad shoulders, please check the measurement carefully as it might be too tight in this area.

++++++++++++++++++++

TAKING CARE:

• machine wash gentle;
• dry gentle;
• we embrace the wrinkles and do not suggest to iron your garment, but if you still prefer it - iron upside down at medium high;

++++++++++++++++++++

SIZING:

(XS)

(mostly UK 6, USA 2, AU/NZ 6, IT 38, FRENCH 34, JAPAN 7)

BODY.
- bust in 30.75'' (78 cm)

CLOTH: (Measurements of the flat XS cloth (laying on the floor) :

- bust area +/- 18.1" (46 cm)
- length (from the neckline to the hem measured from the back) in +/- 22" (56 cm)
- armholes +/- 8.8" (22.5 cm)

++++++++++++++++++++

(S)

(mostly UK 8, USA 4, AU/NZ 8 , IT 40, FRENCH 36, JAPAN 9)

BODY.
- bust in 32'' (83 cm)

CLOTH.(Measurements of the flat XS cloth (laying on the floor) :

- bust area +/- 18.8" (48 cm)
- length (from the neckline to the hem measured from the back) in +/- 22.8" (58 cm)
- armholes +/- 9" (23 cm)

++++++++++++++++++++

(S/M)

(mostly UK 10, USA 6, AU/NZ 10 , IT 42, FRENCH 38, JAPAN 11)

BODY.
- bust in 34.75'' (88 cm)

CLOTH. (Measurements of the flat XS cloth (laying on the floor) :

- bust area +/- 19.6" (50 cm)
- length (from the neckline to the hem measured from the back) in +/- 23.6" (60 cm)
- armholes +/- 9,2" (23.5 cm)

++++++++++++++++++++

(M)

(mostly UK 12, USA 8, AU/NZ 12 , IT 44, FRENCH 40, JAPAN 13)

BODY.
- bust in 36.50'' (93 cm)

CLOTH. (Measurements of the flat XS cloth (laying on the floor):

- bust area +/- 20.4" (52 cm)
- length (from the neckline to the hem measured from the back) in +/- 24.4 " (62 cm)
- armholes +/- 9,4" (24 cm)

++++++++++++++++++++

(M/L)

(mostly UK 14, USA 10, AU/NZ 14 , IT 46, FRENCH 42, JAPAN 15)

BODY.
- bust in 38.75'' (97 cm)

CLOTH. (Measurements of the flat XS cloth (laying on the floor):

- bust area +/- 21.2" (54 cm)
- length (from the neckline to the hem measured from the back) in +/- 25.1" (64 cm)
- armholes +/- 9,8" (25 cm)

++++++++++++++++++++

(L)

(mostly UK 16, USA 12, AU/NZ 16 , IT 48, FRENCH 44, JAPAN 17)

BODY.
- bust in 40.75'' (102 cm)

CLOTH. (Measurements of the flat XS cloth (laying on the floor):

- bust +/- 22" (56 cm)
- the length (from the neckline to the hem measured from the back) in +/- 25.5" (65 cm)
- armholes +/- 10.2" (26 cm)

++++++++++++++++++++

WE CRAFT:
www.notperfectlinen.com


          New comment on Item for Geeklist "The Underappreciated Microbadges Geeklist - edition 2019"       Cache   Translate Page      

by HilkMAN

Related Item: Fail!

I think I have played games in Lithuania, so I just bought the badge. :)
          Lithuania sees flood of fintech firms apply for licenses ahead of Brexit      Cache   Translate Page      
By Andrius Sytas VILNIUS (Reuters) - About 100 financial companies and start-ups from Britain and elsewhere are applying for a license in burgeoning fintech hub Lithuania to ensure they have access to
          I need a logo designer      Cache   Translate Page      
Salomon Securities is a new investment bank based in Vilnius, Lithuania with Wall Street, USA heritage. www.salomonsecurities.com. We work with corporate clients all over the world and our working language is English... (Budget: £20 - £250 GBP, Jobs: Graphic Design, Illustrator, Logo Design, Marketing, Photoshop)


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