Today I have been married 27 years, more than half my life, to an amazing woman. I read The Five Languages of Love many years back. My love language is words of encouragement. It is not gift-giving, even though I should probably get her some flowers. It is not physical touch, but hopefully this blog will open the door ;-). So let me use my love language to communicate to my wife, Elana, how amazing she is.

  1. She is the kindest person I know; ready to drop everything to help someone in need.
  2. After 27 years, she is still beautiful. I mean, really HOT! I think she is more beautiful today than the day we got married.
  3. She holds no grudges. You have to understand that in the Moroccan Israeli community, holding grudges is a cultural value. Yes, she can get hurt, like all of us, but she values relationships over grudges and moves on quickly. She felt bad for the man who nearly killed her last month, through his reckless driving.
  4. She loves her daughters and enjoys few things more than spending time with them.
  5. Elana embodies the phrase what would Yeshua do, as opposed to what would Yeshua say.
  6. For a time she visited prostitutes on the streets just to let them know they are loved. (She would still be doing it, but the city of Tel Aviv removed them.)
  7. She loves Israel and loves to share her country with others. Anyone who has ever been on one of our tours knows this. (It would be wrong for me to use this special blog to plug our next tour in April, right? So please don’t go to www.LivingStonesIsrael.com)
  8. She is an amazing cook and I come from a family of caterers. Everyone knows that my mother is an outstanding cook, but Elana’s Middle Cuisine of couscous, spicy Moroccan fish and more is the best!
  9. She is the best Israeli folk dancer. When I first met her she was traveling with Paul Wilbur and Israel’s Hope doing Israeli folk dancing. When dancing she exudes a joy that I have never seen. Not like singers with fake smiles, but someone experiencing true delight.
  10. Elana can’t miss a party. If there is a celebration Elana will be there. She can be in bed with a 102 fever and suddenly hear there is a party or gathering. Within minutes she is healed and ready to go. My kids call it FOMO—fear of missing out.
  11. She loves others with deeds and action, not merely with words.
  12. Elana loves the IDF. Now you have to understand that the Israeli Defense Forces to an Israeli is like family. Elana was a drill sergeant so she sees herself in these precious young soldiers. She doesn’t see harden fighters (because 90% aren’t!), she sees her sons and daughters. She will give them rides, hugs, encouragement and sometimes gifts. I have seen her cry when speaking about IDF soldiers.
  13. She loves older people. Every Shabbat morning she goes to the beach, five minutes away, and plays matkot, the Israeli version of beach tennis, with older people. She told me last week of an elderly man she befriended. He has been meeting two friends every week for over 40 years. One of them died a few years back. And this week the other friend died. Elana asked him what was wrong and he broke down. She was crying just telling me the story.
  14. Elana is an amazing daughter in law. We got married in the US and lived there for 16 years—except for a year in Odessa, Ukraine and a half year in Budapest, Hungary. That meant that she had no blood relatives near her. However she became such an integral part of my family that I sometimes wonder if my parents love her more.
  15. She knows how to relate to my father. As I have shared before my father doesn’t open up to everyone. If he is comfortable around you, then you are blessed with the opportunity to enjoy the company of one of the best men I know. But it is not easy for him to feel so free around others. Elana ignores all that and simply loves him, hugs him and always reminds him that she will take care of him as he ages. (He’s got plenty of time!)
  16. She loves autistic children. For the past several years Elana has worked part-time as teacher and often her class is full of autistic children. Without any real training in social work, she is by a far stretch a favorite of the students. She often comes home full of life, telling me how much she loves these children suffering from autism.
  17. She loves children in general. There are some kids in our congregation that, as soon as they come in, they are searching for Elana and demand to sit with her during the worship.
  18. She loves her family. I married into a very ethnic family. Immigrants from Morocco to Israel—a very distinct subculture here in the Jewish state. Elana lost her father when he was just 47—just a year before we met. But she and her three siblings, plus mom, love to spend time together. They can spend hours sharing old stories after a Shabbat meal in Ashkelon or strolling at the port of Tel Aviv. They love to be together.
  19. She is not a spender. You know all those jokes about wives and credit cards? They don’t apply to Elana. While she is not too frugal, she is very careful about how she spends money.
  20. She is the best friend anyone can have. She never misses a birthday or an anniversary. And if you are going through something, she will drop everything to spend time with you—even your kids. Elana is not only faithful to her friends, but she calls up her friends’ kids in the army, in college, etc.
  21. Can I mention again, she is hot!
  22. She feels deeply. What do I mean? I mean that she knows when you are going through something. She senses when someone is in need of encouragement.
  23. She is prophetic. When she first met me I took her to my father’s business. She told me immediately that there was something not right with a certain employee. I told her that he was my favorite (I grew up in that store and was close to some of the employees). It turns out he was stealing from my father. She has had dreams of people doing really bad stuff—very specific—and when she gently confronted them, they were in shock as no one knew.
  24. Elana prefers telephones over email, face to face over Facebook. (I am the opposite, but that is what I love about her.)
  25. She scratches my back if she is watching TV and I want to sleep or if she is on the phone while I am driving. Understand, that for a good back scratch, I would give up state secrets! You wouldn’t need to water-board me! Just give me a good back scratch.
  26. She reluctantly agreed to move with our kids to Odessa for year. It was an amazing year, but a hard decision to make.
  27. And lastly, despite knowing how imperfect I am, she has never given up on me and still loves me.

Elana, Happy Anniversary!

 

I am not a doomsday preacher. I always hope that love overcomes judgment. However America is sliding so fast in the wrong direction that we have to ask ourselves, “How long can God ignore this?” In this video we give four reasons why God just may indeed judge America. May he grants us repentance.

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Four Reasons God may Judge America

 

Who said this? “No [presidential] administration has done more for Israel’s security than mine. I am prepared to further strengthen the relationship.”

President Obama in his successful effort to get Jewish Congressman, Jerry Nadler, who has the largest Jewish district in the U.S., to vote YES on the Iran deal. That is one of the most laughable statements Obama has made. No President since Truman, who was the first among world leaders to recognize the new state of Israel, has treated the Jewish state with more disdain than Obama. From storming out of a meeting with Netanyahu in 2010, to publicly shaming Israel a few weeks ago when he (lied) claiming that Israel alone opposed the Iran deal (Everyone knows that Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and other ME states are terrified of the weak deal). It is amazing to me that any Jewish person (not to mention one who represents more Jews than any other congressman) could believe anything Obama has to say when it comes to the Jewish nation. By now, it should be clear to anyone with common sense, that Obama is hostile towards Israel and sees us (Israelis) as the problem in the Middle East.

Imagine it is late 1944. It has come to light to the allied nations that Hitler has set up death camps all over Germany and Poland. Let’s pretend that instead of defeating Hitler, the Allied nations agreed to a truce. Hitler saw his coming demise and reached out to the U.S., the U.K. and the U.S.S.R to reach a settlement. Of course, in addition to leaving the countries that he conquered, he would be required to dismantle the death camps, where somewhere around 100,000 Jews were still being imprisoned.

The parties meet; an agreement is reached. Hitler will leave the European countries and shut down the concentration camps, releasing the Jewish prisoners. This will be hard for Hitler as he believes that the Jews are a demonic bunch.

“…the personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew.” —Adolf Hitler (Mein Kamph)

The allies demand that there be inspections. They must know for sure that these death camps have been liberated. Hitler retorts that he could not let foreign, enemy forces into Germany, for they could be spies. They are at an impasse. But then an agreement is reach—a side deal, if you will. The SS Nazis will do the inspections!

Are you laughing? I honestly broke out into laughter as I wrote the last sentence of the last paragraph. It’s crazy, right? Hitler, a psychopathic killer who hates Jews—they are the devil personified—will be given the task of overseeing their release. Let’s not forget that he already broke his covenant with Neville Chamberlain (U.K. Prime Minister in 1939) when he promised to only take over part of Czechoslovakia. But, in our story, it is reasoned, we must not miss out on this chance at peace. The allies, despite having the upper hand, capitulate.

No reasonable human being would trust Hitler, but that is just want President Obama and the United Nations are doing with Iran. If it wasn’t enough that it would take 24 days for inspectors to be allowed onto sites—giving Iran plenty of time to move things, the United Nations has made a secret side deal that would allow Iran’s own inspectors to carry out inspections at it’s Parchin military site.

Iran will be allowed to use its own inspectors to investigate a site it has been accused of using to develop nuclear arms, operating under a secret agreement with the U.N. agency that normally carries out such work, according to a document seen by The Associated Press. (AP)

Would you allow former Subway spokesman and convicted pedophile, Jarod Fogel to be a kindergarten teacher?

Would you let A-Rod (assumed former steroid user) oversee his own steroids test?

Would you let a drug addict test his own urine?

The answer is NOOOO! And neither do you put serial lairs and belligerents, the greatest sponsor of terrorism in the world, an existential threat to my country Israel, the responsibility at any level to police themselves.

This is the agreement that President Obama said woud have “unprecedented verification.” Olli Heinonen, the former deputy IAEA director general charged with the Iran probe, agrees that it is unprecedented—but not in a good way. He said that he could not think of any other similar concession by the IAEA towards any other country.

This agreement was meant to be private. U.S. Congressman set to vote on the deal where not supposed to see it.

The White House has repeatedly denied claims of a secret side deal favorable to Tehran. IAEA chief Yukiya Amano told Republican senators last week that he was obligated to keep the document confidential. (AP)

I agree with Lindsey Graham, who told Fox’s Greta Van Susteren that if it was a good deal we would know about it. The fact that so much of this deal is secret, is proof that it is a bad, weak deal for the U.S. and certainly for us living in Israel. If it were a good deal, Congress and Netanyahu would be allowed to read it! As an egomaniac/narcissist, President Obama is so obsessed with his legacy that he has given Iran, formerly the weaker party in these negotiations, the upper hand in all things.

Iran is a radical Islamic theocracy. Their goal is domination of the Middle East and the destruction of Israel. Their leaders are motivated by the same murderous theology that motivates ISIS and Al Qaeda. They regularly call for death to America and annihilation to Israel. Why in the world would you trust a regime so completely untrustworthy? The stakes are high and Obama folds with a strong hand.

 

I thought it a bit strange as a new believer when people would “bless their food.” What does that mean? But then I saw that Yeshua blessed the fish and the loaves. In Jewish thought, to bless your bless is equal to giving thanks to God for the food. So when Yeshua gave thanks for the little that they had, God the Father honored that and a miracle of multiplication transpired. Are you in lack? Do you have a great need? I truly believe that when we are thankful for what we have, God will move on our behalf to supply all that is needed.

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giving thanks