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Rabbi Yossi's Blog

Welcome to Rabbi Yossi's Blog; where you can expect to find thoughts on current events, Torah learning and Jewish spirituality. And of course, some good Jewish humor.

McCain Reaches Out to Chabad

Republican nominee for President, Senator John McCain held a conference call yesterday afternoon, during which he addressed leading Chabad rabbis from over 40 states.

Prior to the conference call Rabbi Levi Shemtov (Chabad representative in Washington, D.C.) emphasized that this was is in no way an endorsement* of the Senator and was being held on the request of the McCain campaign.

Click here for an exclusive audio clip from this call (link no longer available).

"I believe this is going to be a tough race. We have for the first time gone ahead in the polls. But I think we are the underdog. We've got a lot of work to do. I'd be grateful for your support, it would mean a great deal to me. I believe that I can be the kind of President that is the President of every American and I will put my country first. And I want to promise you that I will put my country first and I understand the meaning of freedom and I will do everything in my power to make sure that the USA and our closest friend and ally remain secure and peaceful and prosperous and I thank you for this opportunity Rabbi Shemtov and thank you very much."

In response to a question on US/Israel relationship the Senator responded in part: "I worry about Hezbollah. I worry about Hamas. I worry a great deal about events in Lebanon where quote Hezbollah has veto power over the government of Lebanon..."

At an earlier point in the call McCain said "We will never allow another Holocaust."

*The Chabad movement does not endorse political candidates from any party.

Beginning of Life?

There is lots of controversy these days concerning when life begins. In Jewish tradition, the fetus is not considered a viable human being until after graduation from medical school.

Chabad in... China!?

Here’s a clip from a CNN report showing a glimpse of Jewish life in Shanghai.

Moving Heavy Stones

Last night, during the “Heaven on Earth” class, we briefly discussed the stones that where used to build the Temple in Jerusalem and their huge size; the largest being 44.6 feet by 11 feet and weighing 628 tons. Although we don’t know exactly how they managed to transport these immense stones without the help of modern equipment, this video shows one possible method:

Interestingly, last year, an excavation to build a girls' high school in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood of Jerusalem uncovered a quarry that archaeologists believe was the source of the stones used to build the base of the Western Wall and the Temple Mount. Pictures of the quarry can be seen here.

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