Sunday, May 26, 2013

Mitzvos in Parshas Shelach

I want to try some new things in this blog. I like looking at Sefer HaChinuch, which discusses the 613 mitzvos as they occur in each weekly Torah-reading. Lists and summaries and things like that appeal to me, and I feel that knowing the mitzvos in each parshah is way of boiling it down to its essence. This week's parshah has three mitzvos from the 613 mitzvos (as enumerated by Maimonides), two positive and one negative. The positives: Taking challah, and wearing tzitzis. The negative, as the Sefer HaChinuch puts it, "not to go straying after one's heart and eyes." That seems to need a little explanation. The "heart" part seems to be entertaining thoughts that might lead to meenus--heresy, let's say. The "eyes" part has to do with entertaining physical desires for things forbidden by the Torah. That was easy, right? Just wait. Some parshas have a great many more mitzvos.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Iran's PressTV whitewashes Hungary's far-right Jobbik party

If you haven't been following Jobbik, here is the Wikipedia article. PressTV is happy to take all their ranting about "Zionists" at face-value: "Anti-Zionist demonstration held in Budapest":
About 1,000 people attended the demonstration, which was organized by the anti-Zionist Jobbik party, in the Hungarian capital on Saturday.

Senior figures from the opposition Jobbik party condemned the decision to hold the fourteenth conference of the World Jewish Congress in Budapest, which is scheduled to kick off on Sunday.

"Israeli conquerors, investors, and expansionists should look for a country in another part of the world because Hungary is not for sale," Jobbik party leader Gabor Vona said at the demonstration.

The event was held despite Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s efforts to ban it. Orban will be giving a speech at the opening session of the World Jewish Congress conference.

“Anyone who criticizes the policies of Israel or the spread of Zionism is labeled an anti-Semite so that the sins of Zionism can be covered up,” Hungarian MP Marton Gyongyosi told the protesters, adding,

"Our country has become subjugated to Zionism, it has become a target of colonization, while we, the indigenous people, can play only the role of extras," Gyongyosi, who is also a member of Jobbik, said.