Birkat Ha'Kohanim

(Vere, Stein Atle. ©2011. "Comment: Birkat Ha'Kohanim". brakha.blogspot.com.)

Awesome to see so many thousands participate in the Blessing of the Priests, the Birkat Ha'Kohanim ברכת הכהנים from the ancient days of Yisrael. Ten thousand arrive today.

(Vere, Stein. ©2011. “Birkat Ha'Kohanim”. Image in 2004.)

I cant wait to see the priestly Temple stand again.

In Yrushalayim (Jerusalem), on the aboriginal Holy Mountain, Moriya מוריה.

When the State of Yisrael finally does get around to reconstructing the Temple, the global annual pilgrimage tourism - not just Yhudim (Jews) but Notsrim (Christians) and Muslmim (Muslims), and others, coming to visit the Temple - will make Yrushalayim one of the wealthiest cities on the planet. Yrushalayim will become more successful than Roma and Makkah (Mecca) combined.

Of course, God is why the human species visits. But everything - spiritual and pragmatic - comes together when Yisrael makes God center.

• (Vere, Stein Atle. ©2011. "Birkat Ha'Kohanim". brakha.blogspot.com. Source of derivation. Bachrach44. 2004 share alike. "Birchat Cohanim". Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Birkhat_cohanim_1.JPG">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Birkhat_cohanim_1.JPG, 2011.)

See Also
• ("Thousands gather at Kotel for Birkat Hakohanim". JPost. http://www.jpost.com/JewishWorld/JewishNews/Article.aspx?id=217381, 2011.)


Two-Day Weekend

(Vere, Stein Atle. ©2011. "Comment: Two-Day Weekend". brakha.blogspot.com.)

In the modern economy, the State of Yisrael feels a need for a two-day weekend. One day for relaxation and one day for spirituality. Yisrael has been trying to institute a Sat-Sun weekend. But unlike the rest of the Western World, only a Fri-Sat weekend seems to work in Yisrael, where Friday is for relaxation and Shabat is for spirituality.

In a real Fri-Sat weekend, Friday is completely laborless. Thus Thursday is the last day of work. Here is a restful rhythm.

Thursday - Day Five is the last day of the five-day workweek.
• Thursday Afternoon: leave work, shop for weekend, get home.

Friday - Day Six is for relaxation.
• Friday Eve (Thursday Evening): vege to recupe from work, get cleaned up, spend the entire night seeing a movie, nightclubing, and partying.
• Friday Morning: sleep in all morning, relax.
• Friday Afternoon: clean house, prepare for Shabat.

Shabat - Day Seven (Saturday) is for spirituality.
• Shabat Eve: synagogue, family dinner, romance for spouses, slumber party for fellow synagoguers.
• Shabat Morning: synagogue, Tora.
• Shabat Afternoon: community lunch.

Sunday - Day One is the first day of the workweek - a time for new beginnings.
• Sunday Eve: quick Tora, havdala. Then home, downtime, tv, read.
• Sunday Morning: labor for a new beginning.

See Also:
• (Reichman, Libby. ©2011. "This Country Really Needs a Real Weekend". JPost. http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?id=216889, 2011.)

Shopping Isnt Rest

(Vere, Stein Atle. ©2011. "Comment: Shopping Isnt Rest". brakha.blogspot.com.)

Shopping isnt "rest". Shopping is slavery, the enslavement of people who are too poor to lose their painful jobs in the service industry and who therefore cant rest.

It is wrong to force the poor to accept randomized schedules - that destroy the rhythms of personal lives, make weekly obligations to family and friends impossible to fulfill, and create sadistic dependencies - under merciless exploitation by wealthy employers. It must be illegal to force the poor or even to "pressure" the poor to work on Shabat.

The poor have a human right to rest - literally a sacred human right to a rhythm of rest.

See Also:
• (Reichman, Libby. ©2011. "This Country Really Needs a Real Weekend". JPost. http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?id=216889, 2011.)

Shabat for Notsrim

(Vere, Stein Atle. ©2011. "Shabat for Notsrim". brakha.blogspot.com.)

For the State of Yisrael, the two-day weekend must be Friday-Saturday.

The majority of Yisrelim are Yhudim יהודים (Jews) whose Shabat is on Saturday. The largest minority are Muslmim מֻסְלְמִים (Muslims) whose day of rest is on Friday.

There is also a significant minority of indigenous Notsrim נוֹצְרִים (Christians), whose day of rest is now on Sunday. But Notsrim can be flexible.

Their name derives from a Notsri (Nazarene), an inhabitant of the Yhudi town of Natsrat נָצְרַת (Nazareth).

Yhoshua יְהוֹשֻׁעַ (Historical Jesus) himself is a Yhudi who "unlabors" שבת on Saturday (and also on Yhudi holy days such as Pesakh). Only centuries later at the Council of Nicaea, did the Roman Empire switch the day of rest from biblical Shabat-Saturday to Sunday (also from biblical Pesakh to Easter), literally for "convenience". Notsrim can make any day a day of rest.

To honor Yhoshua, modern Yisreli Notsrim can return to his Yhudi rhythm, and like him rest on Shabat (also on Pesakh).

By contrast, Sunday is Day One. This is a day for new beginnings, not rest. The Notsri worldview has Yhoshua resurrect on Sunday because, on that day, God begins the Six Days of Labor, to create a new creation.

See Also:
• (Reichman, Libby. ©2011. "This Country Really Needs a Real Weekend". JPost. http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?id=216889, 2011.)

Dilemma of Rest

(Vere, Stein Atle. ©2011. "Comment: Dilemma of Rest". brakha.blogspot.com.)

Modern Yisreli life can frazzle because, so far, it only has one day of rest. Each week, one Shabat.

There are two kinds of "rest": relaxing to rest from exhaustion and worshiping to rest from the mundane.

The Hebrew word "Shabat" שַׁבָּת (English cognate Sabbath) literally means "unlabor", to cease all mundane "labor" Mlakha מְלָאכָה . To escape the daily grind of the mundane.

The Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) makes the weekly day of unlabor the most holy time of the year, even more holy than the annual pilgrimages to the Temple on Pesakh (Passover), Shavuot (Pentecost), and Sukot (Tabernacles), and even more holy than the high holy days of Rosh Ha'Shana (New Year) and Yom Kipur (Day of Atonement). The Tanakh commands the kin of Yisrael to observe Shabat, and is deadly serious about doing so. Humans have a sacred human right to rest.

While this Shabat is a day of unlabor away from the mundane, it is also a day of work for the sacred: "the worship of God" עבודת השם . In Hebrew, the verb "worked" עבד can mean either worshiped or labored, in the sense of served. Indeed, Shabat can be a lot of "work".

The modern State of Yisrael has a dilemma. Either it "relaxes" or it "worships". Upto now, the one day a week doesnt give enough time to do both.

The ancients have plenty of spare time. Except for the harvest seasons that are truly exhausting, most of the rest of the time is their own. Amid this free time, Shabat belongs to transcendence. To God. However during the Modern Era, human free time evaporates, since the Industrial Revolution. Ironically, our time-saving devices provoke us to become more productive than ever. Moreover, the modern economy traps us into a vicious cycle of work-sleep-work-sleep-work-sleep with the poor having few chances to escape.

With only one day off, Modern Yisrelis must choose between a day of truly resting for the sake of health versus a day of truly transcending for the sake of meaningfulness. An impossible choice.

Yisraelis periodically try institute a two-day weekend, attempting the Western culture of Saturday-and-Sunday off from work. Hypothetically, Saturday is for God and Sunday is for recuperation, but this two-day weekend continually fails to take root within modern Yisraeli culture.

It seems obvious to me and others, the unique culture of Yisrael must make Friday-and-Shabat, the two-day weekend.

See Also:
• (Reichman, Libby. ©2011. "This Country Really Needs a Real Weekend". JPost. http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?id=216889, 2011.)

Your Fellow Is You

(Vere, Stein Atle. ©2011. "Comment: Your Fellow Is You". brakha.blogspot.com.)

Each human is free: an infinity of possibilities. The interrelationships among eachother invites each human to become an (unlimited) Open System, to move beyond the (limited) Closed System of ones own personal history, limitations, and expectations. The stranger is a surprise, someone beyond.

When the Tora (Vayikra 19:18) says, "And, you will love your fellow as you" ואהבת את רעך כמוך , your "fellow" companion is actually "you" yourself.

This "you" is your infinite self, the higher aspect of your self-identity, whose unlimited possibilities can encompass any identity of any human, who ever lived, lives, or ever will live.

The possibility for compassion חסד and altruism צדקה - to reach out to a stranger who you cant understand, to try see the world from someone elses point of view - is an encounter with your own infinite self.

When you and your stranger become fellows, by trusting eachother openly and striving to fulfill eachothers needs, this mutually unpredictable dynamic actualizes the infinite self that you and your fellow both share.

Loving your infinite self, is the only way humans have to actualize the love from God and to God.