UN HQ Menorah Lighting Dec. 16, 2020

UN HQ NY, NY DEC 16, 2020

The Isaiah Wall in front of the United Nations Headquarters has become a meeting place this past month of Kislev, as a meeting point for groups who defend human rights around the world.   The prophesy of Isaiah draws independent groups clamoring for respect for human rights and religious freedoms in their countries, to this corner of New York, known for the day when nations will beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hoods;  nations shall not lift up swords against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.   It is in this spirit that The Institute of Noahide Code, has gathered at Isaiahs’ Wall in front of the UN, to present the First Menorah of Peace Award.   This distinction was awarded to Mr. Jeffrey Davis, alongside his distinguished 94 year old Mother, who accompanied this group of members of the Institute, in the midst of New York’s first seasonal blizzard.   It is true that those who tearfully sow, will reap in glad song.   On the first night of Chanukah, members of the Institute of Noahide Code, directed by Rabbi Yakov Dovid Cohen, stood alongside members of Cuban groups who gathered on the 72nd Anniversary of the establishment of the Universal Declaration for Human Rights.   Chanukah, the festival of religious freedom, coincided with the secular commemoration of the universal code for human rights.   As a start, Rabbi Cohen delivered a speech to those present, advocating that universal rights are to include, the first declaration of rights, and duties, The Noahide Code.   Rabbi Cohen told those present that respect, the right to life and to freedom is due the world over, especially in Yemen, in Syria, among the million of Uyghurs held in China, to Cubans in their quest for freedom for the last 60 plus years, and now especially, in Europe, the challenge to religious freedom of the millennial tradition in Belgium, involving the practice of ritual slaughtering known as Schita.  Human rights and human freedom to practice a religion are enshrined in the Universal Noahide Code, which is fully covered by Torah.   It is the intent of Rabbi Yaakov D. Cohen as Director of The Institute of Noahide Code, to continue working in the sphere and realm of the United Nations, to promote freedom of religion the world over, and the duties and rights of nations, to its peoples, to respect their traditions whether as Uyghurs in China, or European Jews in their tradition of ritual slaughter for their food. 




Moment of Silence

Moment of Silence

IT’S A SILENT REVOLUTION, orchestrated by a single person on
a part-time basis, but it is already seeing success in the U.S., in Israel, and
in a dozen more countries. Here is the fascinating untold story of the Rebbe’s
inspired Moment of Silence initiative. In 1983 the Rebbe called for every
public school to begin its day with a Moment of Silence, in order to instill a
sense of reverence for the Eye that sees and the Ear that hears: “As many
parents have not given their child the proper moral upbringing…schools need
to become more involved in this process.” 
And then there is the matter of crime which is a direct result of lack
of morals and not, as some would say, a direct result of poverty. The Congressional
record of June 13, 2000, finds that “violent criminals are overwhelmingly those
who grew up without fathers.” Boys growing up without physical fathers
desperately need at least a spiritual Father, or a terrible lawlessness, a lack
of self-control and lack of conscience, is often result, G-d forbid. Boys
growing up without fathers need a connection with their Father in Heaven and
how, other than through a daily Moment of Silence, will they get it? As Rabbi
Avraham Frank says, “What will guarantee that our children will go in the correct
path? We must raise them with the awareness of a Higher Authority, a Higher
Being to whom they must answer, to ensure that they grow up to be moral
citizens.”

We are working with Rabbi Frank on an international scale.
There are now schools in British Columbia, Mexico, Trinidad, Australia, Nigeria
and Ireland, practicing the daily Moment of Silence. A principal in British
Columbia implemented MOS with the students, and contributed 120 letters towards
his upcoming book. The principal was so enthusiastic that he called the local
radio and television stations to report the success of MOS. This television
presentation was so successful that the neighboring TV station in Vancouver
wants to follow up and explore this further. Unofficially, we were told that over
800 schools have implemented it in South America. In Argentina IELADEINU has
taken some 300 children under its wings in a way that has drawn the attention
of UNICEF and become the subject of a book by UNESCO.

As the director 
of  the Moment of Silence program
around the world .We currently have over 1100 schools implementing this free
program. The goal of the program is to promote morality and uplift the
educational and psychological well-being of every student. Indeed, the program
is successfully doing just that, as evidenced by the letters the children have
written where they say that it calms them down, increases their focusing, makes
them happy, and increases bonding with siblings and parents.   

        The dynamics
are simple: Every day before school starts an announcement is made that the
school will be having a minute of silence. The parents are notified to please
discuss with their child what they should think about. About two weeks later,
the children are asked to write memos about what the Moment of Silence means to
them. Then, an assembly is held, where each child who wrote a letter, is
awarded with a certificate and a prize.

        I have had the
honor of working alongside Rabbi Yakov Cohen, who has been most instrumental in
spreading this program to places where it would not ordinarily reach. Through
Rabbi Cohen’s influence at the United Nations, I was asked to speak and was a
panel member on the topic of: how we can prevent terrorism around the world, in
front of anti-terrorist groups. I made the acquaintance of Ugogi  Ugoji A. Eze, Esq. President & Founder of
the Eng. Aja Eze Foundation,  who
introduced me to Emmanuel  Ande Ivorgba
Director of the New Era Educational & Charitable Support Foundation, Nigeria
URI West Africa Regional Coordinator, 
Project Happiness. I telephoned Mr. Ivorgba, and convinced him to
implement Moment of Silence. He was more than obliging, and has implemented
Moment of Silence in several schools already.

           Rabbi Cohen, in light of his prestige, will be continuing his campaign to introduce   Moment of Silence to several more African nations in the near future.

      




Purim 2020 UN HQ

Based on the teachings of the Rebbe of righteous memory ; adapted by Eli Touger

He saw him coming. Everyone else knelt to prostrate himself, but Mordechai sat upright. As Haman approached, his eyes met Mordechai’s. They didn’t see anger or rebellion, but rather the calm, resolute gaze of someone who knows what he stands for and chooses whom he stands with.

At that moment, Haman decided that he would try to rid the kingdom of Mordechai and his people.

A little lesson in history: Haman was the Persian viceroy, the most powerful man in the empire that ruled the world. Mordechai was the leader of the Jewish people; he “sat at the King’s gate,” serving as one of the royal counselors.

Haman had the king agree that all the people in the empire should worship him. Mordechai refused to comply.

Now why didn’t Mordechai bow down to Haman? Mordechai was a realistic person. He could have foreseen the consequences of his refusal. Why was he willing to risk everything – not only his own life and position, but that of the entire Jewish people?

So Haman was asking to be worshipped like a god. Big deal. Bow down to him and go further. Why waste more time about it? It definitely doesn’t make sense to give up one’s life – and risk those of one’s entire people – not to bow down.

But that’s the point. There are some things that are above making sense. There are immutable rules which G‑d wove into the very fabric of the universe. There is no way they can be broken. If a man tries, he will break himself against them.

Acknowledging G‑d and refusing to acknowledge any other power are the two most fundamental of these laws. Mordechai saw bowing down to Haman as a challenge to the fundamental core of his existence. Of course, he was not going to believe in Haman’s divinity. But no one was asking him a philosophical question. It was the deed that was most important.

Would he bow down to Haman and thus show his acceptance of the Persian empire as the most powerful force in his life? Or would he defy Haman’s decree and incur his wrath, but demonstrate his connection to G‑d?

For Mordechai, it wasn’t a question. Mordechai didn’t separate his faith from his live, or his principles from his day-to-day modus operandi. He lived what he believed in; he believed in what he lived. There was no dichotomy.

And this wasn’t true only of Mordechai. The entire Jewish people stood behind him. Even when Haman passed a decree calling for every Jew in the empire to be executed, they did not try to hide their Jewishness. On the contrary, they intensified their adherence to the Torah and its commandments.

Abstract idealism? An impractical approach?

Well, let’s see what happened. Haman was killed, Mordechai was given his position, and instead of the Jews being slain by their enemies, they annihilated all those who rose against them.

Not bad for idealism.

Because this was not just idealism, it was an awareness of the reality of our existence. It’s G‑d’s world. And when Mordechai and the Jewish people affirmed that, they were successful.

One further point: When Mordechai and the Jewish people affirmed of their Jewish identity and faith in G‑d, they did not retreat into isolationism. Mordechai became the viceroy; he – and his people – took a far wider role in Persian affairs than before. And while doing so, he proudly emphasized his Jewish identity; everyone referred to him as “Mordechai, the Jew.”

The two aren’t contradictory. Since one Judaism and one’s connection to G‑d are inherent facts of one’s existence, affirming them makes one more in sync with His order for the world, and more able to play a significant role within it.




L’IMAGE DIVINE




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