Saturday, 18 April 2015

Riots or Jobs?



This is what happens when government sees grants as the way to solve the unemployment crisis. 3.5 million taxpayers pay for everything and 17 million people get grants in South Africa.

One day when government realise that they need to create an enabling environment for small business and when government realises that home owners and SMME's can make the electricity this country so sorely needs, we will be on a road to mending.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Westake, Statues, Electricity, and our City and Country

Dear all

http://www.sabc.co.za/news/a/00eba98047ffa988b8d2ff4405f77b26/Nine-arrested-during-Steenberg-taxi-protest-20150413

It took me 1 hour 40 mins to get to Westlake Business Park today.

It normally takes 45 mins during traffic and 60 mins on a bad day and 30 mins without traffic.

At least it kept the petrol companies happy!

But it really destroyed the productivity of every business in Westlake today and possibly this entire week due to additional stress.

Additional unnecessary stress after the recent fires in the area where people also couldn't get to work.

Some of us really want to work and continue helping to make South Africa great - for ALL its people!

For myself, I returned to SA back in July 1995. I left the OLD South Africa in 1987 and returned to the NEW South Africa in 1995, 20 years ago this year.

As you all know, my blood type is B+ (be positive) and I am an optimist. I believe that if you are a cynic or pessimist, then you cannot survive in South Africa.

South Africa is an incredible place. Full of possibility. It's time for our leaders to stand up to this racism and nip it in the bud.

When people resort to violence BEFORE they have even tried to negotiate, then we are in trouble. And when leaders, like the UCT Council, cave in without regard for due process, then they set a really bad precedent. And then when rival taxi associations resort to violence in the middle of a busy city intersection, when they could have met elsewhere, then we have a potential crisis. Fortunately the police took appropriate action and I salute them today.

I personally think that ALL statues and monuments should be removed in South Africa. Who wants to spend money building monuments, maintaining them and fighting about them, when there are so many more important things to think about like electricity, water, nourishment, our air, pollution, etc?

In the past few weeks, there have been hardly any articles in the newspapers about Eskom and the electricity crisis.

Before the Statue crisis, there were all sorts of letters and articles in the press every day.

The public have been sidetracked into this stupid behaviour and are missing the point. Without Medupi power station, which should have been completed 2 years ago and which should have started supplying the grid with electricity long before that, there are at least a million people without jobs. Another million people don't have jobs because Kusile power station is incomplete. And millions more don't have jobs because so much more of our energy resources are corroded or incomplete.

It's time for us all to refocus our energies where they are needed. Not on some past issues that non of us can resolve, but rather on working together to make this country how we all want it to be, a land of opportunity, a land of ubuntu, and a land of wealth and plenty for all.

Regards
David

Friday, 10 April 2015

The Wealth (Rich and Poor) and Minimum Wage Debate

Question 1:

I am 50 years old. I earn more than I did when i was 18 years old. After I left school, I studied a degree. Then I studied another one. Then I studied one part time for 2 years and basically stopped my life during those two years to do it. I went to work and came home and studied. Why should I earn the same as an 18 year old?

Question 2:

I work anything up to 60 to 80 hours a week. And every hour I work is a real hour. Why should I earn the same as someone who has a 9 to 5 job and perhaps only does 5 hours of real work in that time?

Question 3:

If I am wealthy, which itself is relative: I don't have a Mercedes; I don't have a yacht; I don't live in Bishopscourt or Fresnaye; I don't own a plane: then I use my money to better my life: I build houses, shopping centres, etc. I use my wealth to build stuff which allows other people to have jobs. If I earn more because 400 people have jobs because of me, then why should I earn the same as someone who just uses what I have created?

Question 4:

The jobless and low earners want minimum wages, but there are at least 3 problems with minimum wages: a) everyone ends up earning the same and there is no incentive for people to better themselves; b) minimum wages serve the big corporations which can afford the minimum wages (in general), and therefore minimum wages force small business out of business; c) South Africa has at least 35% unemployment. Isn't it better for someone to work for R4,000 per month than for nothing, or for handouts from the government at R2,700 per person per month? If someone was on the dole and got a job at R4,000 per month, then perhaps the government should continue to fund the R2,700 balance until such time as the person earns the "minimum wage" at which point the government can start paying less.

Do we need statues in the modern age?

Why does a world that has the internet need statues?

Company Tax - who pays it?

All taxes are paid by consumers (end users, ie us). No tax is actually paid by companies. Yes I know, companies have corporation tax, but they just pass these costs onto their customers.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Pesach / Easter 2015: Energy, Aromatherapy and Crystal Healing’s Place in Judaism

I wrote this in 2007 for the Limmud Conference. It is applicable to Pesach / Passover / Easter, so I have published it here. I hope you enjoy it.



Energy, Aromatherapy and Crystal Healing’s Place in Judaism
Integrating Modern and Biblical Techniques
Talk by David Lipschitz at Limmud 10th August 2007; 26th Av 5767
© David Lipschitz 2007. Permission is given for the making of extracts from this work, subject to the author being acknowledged.


  1. Energy Healing (Using Energy to heal)


Just like planets, our human bodies possess energy fields.  These energy fields are called auras and can spread from the body to a few centimetres from the body to metres from the body.  Eg you may “feel someone’s presence” as the walk in to a room – and you want to be close to them. On the other hand, you sometimes find that you can’t stand too close to some people because they are draining you. These kinds of people are known as energy vampires.


One notices energy when someone close to you hurts themselves and there is the impulse to hug, hold and perhaps place one’s hands on the hurting area.  These impulses form the basis for energy healing.


Everyone has this ability.  It has been given to us by G-d.  We are energy beings.  Master Lam Kam Chuen explains energy brilliantly in the book, The Way of Energy:

“Our bodies are filled with energy, but it is blocked within us. We are born bursting with life, yet we grow old depleted of vitality.


The energy in our bodies is so natural and so spontaneous, we almost never stop to think about it.  It is like the constant rhythm of our lungs and the ceaseless circulation of our blood.  Thousands upon thousands of chemical reactions are passing through every part of the system.  Not only that, but we are all part of the entire flow of energy around us.  The intricate networks of energy in your body form part of the energy of the natural world.  You are a miniature field of the electromagnetic energy of the universe.”


  1. Torah: Pinchas: Numbers Chapter 25 vs 10 to Chapter 27


In Chapter 27, vs 13, we read that Moses placed his Hands upon Joshua when handing down his blessing to Joshua.  This might have been an attunement into the higher energies of the universe.  The kohanim (priests) raise their hands when they give the priestly benediction to the congregation on Yom Kippur and Yom Tov.  In Israel Kohanim give the blessing every morning.


  1. Reiki


Reiki is a Japanese system where the objective is to balance a patient’s energy.  When we hug someone like our child who may have hurt themself, we transfer our own energy to that person.  After a few minutes they get up and run around, but we feel drained.  The objectives of studying Reiki are to learn how to transfer energy to a patient, how to balance them, how to work with the body’s energy systems, and to be attuned to universal energy so that when we heal someone, we use universal energy instead of our own energy.


Attunement is a process where a master or teacher transfers the art, ie transfers special powers to the receiver or student thus giving the student some of the master’s capabilities.  There are three attunements in Reiki and after receiving the final attunement, the student becomes a master who is able to perform many healing techniques and also teach other students.  Our Reiki course has been taking place over the past 3 years.  One should be careful of weekend courses where there is no practical element and where one doesn’t really feel the energies or tune one’s body so that one is ready to receive an attunement.


Reiki isn’t mentioned in the Bible, but I believe that similar techniques were learnt by Moses from G-d, and that Moses performed blessings or attunements on the leaders, priests and judges.


Reiki is not massage.  In Reiki, one places one’s hands above the patient and usually only touches the patient to feel for missing energy flows or to cup the head when the patient is lying on her back or to hold the knees to feel for blockages.  One of my patients is a Rabbi and I can work over a metre above his body and still strongly feel the effects of the Reiki energy transferring into him.


In Reiki the healer and the patient work together.  The patient takes responsibility for the healing and automatically draws the energy where it is needed.  The healer must be detached so that the outcome is controlled by the universe.  Animals such as cats automatically receive Reiki energy.  When my wife and I do treatments, our cat almost always comes to lie under our Reiki table to get some of that energy that is flowing around.
From a Biblical point of view, Ordination, or installation into the service of G-d and Tabernacle, rendered the priest “holy.”  Special ceremonies were provided to symbolise the priest’s entrance into a new sacred status.  Moses put his hands on Aaron and transferred priestly powers to him.  Moses also used these processes for transfering capabilities to the leaders and the judges.
Note that from a Gematria point of view, Moshe is 345. 5 is the Pentagram, the symbol of the Priest; 4 is the Square representing Judgement; 3 is the Triangle representing harmony.  Melech (King) means a person who restores harmony.  The King’s responsibility is to restore harmony through his leadership.
  1. Shalom Aleichem
The modern greeting of the handshake starts with the putting out of the right hand.  In old times this was done because one was afraid and it was like holding out a spear.  If the other party held out his hand and shook, then it was as it a covenant of peace between the two parties was created.  A better greeting is “hi” where the hand is held high and a friendly waving jesture.
A Jewish way of doing this are either to say Yiyasher KoChaCha (Yasher KoAch in Yiddish) (May you be energised) and to reply Baruch TiHeYe (May you be blessed).
The best way is to use the ancient greeting of Shalom Aleichem to create positive energy between two people.  This is usually followed by a hug and a cheek to cheek kiss.  The following quote from Aish.com at http://www.aish.com/shabbathowto/fridaynight/Shalom_Aleichem.asp
“The Sabbath table is set with the finest china, crystal, and silver. (When it comes to Shabbat, nothing is saved for a special occasion, for this is the special occasion!) Those who went to shul have now returned, and the room is filled with the warm sounds of Good Shabbos greetings. Everyone is invited to the table, as we begin the meal with song.
“Shalom Aleichem! -- the traditional greeting used when two Jews meet, and the name of the song that begins the Shabbat meal Friday night. Shalom Aleichem -- May peace be upon you.
“Shalom ... peace ... from the Hebrew word shalem, which means complete.
“On the most basic level, by singing this song, we are asking God to bless our home with peace; that there should be no conflict between friends or family, especially on Shabbat.
“The Midrash says that when a person comes home from shul on Friday night, he is accompanied by two angels -- a good angel and a bad angel. If the table is beautifully set and there is a peaceful atmosphere in the home, then the good angel says, So may it be next week, and the bad angel is forced to say, Amen -- so may it be! But if the house is a mess (both physically and emotionally), then the bad angel says, So may it be next week, and the good angel is forced to say, Amen!
“Yet on another level, we are asking for completeness: that we should truly feel that we lack nothing -- that the world is complete on Shabbat. We sit back in awe at this revelation. Our weekday work is done.
“The only work now is the work of Shabbat, which is something much deeper and often much harder to attain -- that is working on oneself, on real completeness, the achievement of a more ideal sense of self.
“On Shabbat, one is no longer split. During the week there is the working you, the family you, the day-to-day you. But on Shabbat you are focused, with everything in harmony: family, learning, joy of life...”
Essentially we are invoking an ancient energy blessing: “May you have harmony.”  When you have harmony, you have peace.  Shalem in Hebrew means harmony (whole/complete).  Wholeness brings peace.  This is why Shalom eventually became Hello and Goodbye as well as Peace.
So now turn to the person beside you and wish each other Shalom Aleichem and reply Aleichem Shalom.  Hug each other if you would like to feel the flow of energy.


  1. Incense


Incense allows for purification and healing.  We are burning Frankincense here to purify and cleanse the room.  More below.


  1. Spices, Oils and Fragrances: Pesach


Pesach is a spring festival in the Northern Hemisphere where nature comes to life.  Jerusalem at this time of year “buzzes” with the smells of spices and fragrances.  At the end of each Shabbat, we smell the Besamim, the spices, to welcome the new week with fresh fragrances.  Spices and fragrances and oils were used historically to anoint the new kings of Israel.  The annointing oils had a special formula which only very few people knew.


In ancient times, people couldn’t wash as they didn’t have access to water, so instead they used oils.  Other attributes of oils are that they don’t freeze at zero degrees and they keep one warm.


Psalms 23:5 “You have anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows.”  The highest quality anointing oil is enriched with Frankincense and Myrrh.  The Queen of Sheba originally brought spices to Solomon in the 10th Century B.C.E, 3,000 years ago.  Solomon created a perfume industry with Jerusalem as its headquarters.  In the past few years, Jerusalem has again been made home to the perfume, oils and spices industry.  See http://www.essenceofjerusalem.biz/History.htm.


All spices and incenses were imported from Somalia, India and other places.  The spice route went through Israel.


Some notes on the various spices mentioned in the Song of Songs (from various internet sites):




Frankincense and myrrh are both resins -- dried tree sap -- that come from trees of the genus Boswellia (frankincense) and Commiphora (myrhh), which are common to Somalia.


The way that people collect the sap is similar to the way people collect rubber-tree sap or pine-tree sap. Cutting the tree's bark causes the sap to ooze out of the cut. The sap used to create both frankincense and myrrh comes slowly and is allowed to dry on the tree. The hardened sap is collected and used as frankincense and myrrh.


Frankincense and myrrh are used to create incense sticks and oils.


Carol Margetts of Albatros Trading cc in Hout Bay says: “Frankincense not only removes germs and unpleasant odors, it is also one of the strongest substances for cleansing and clearing the atmosphere.  For thousands of years, people have considered the heavenly fragrance of frankincense one of the strongest stimuli for a human spirit that wants to be open to the heavens and is attempting to communicate with energies on a higher plane.  Frankincense works particularly well for us during prayer, meditation and reflection.  It is also a very effective remedy for stress.  It reduces muscle tension and provides a sense of comfort and warmth.


“Myrrh is a more precious resin.  Myrrh symbolises the sensuousness of earth.  In concentrated form, Myrrh contains the energy of the earth.  For that reason, myrrh resin serves to ground, calm, contract, and condence.  Burning myrrh is ideal when we need to get our feet solidly back on the ground and to calm a confused or exhausted spirit.  Be careful of using myrrh if you are suffering from depression.  Myrrh has medicinal properties, eg for treating wounds, healing, tissue strengthening, scab-building.”


There are Sephardi communities who came from the East where their used to be the custom in the days of the Talmud to clear the air by burning Frankincense.


Traditionally considered to calm the nerves and promote awareness and strengthen the mind.


The most precious and most expensive spice in the world: Saffron.

The Saffron filaments, or threads, are actually the dried stigmas of the saffron flower, "Crocus Sativus Linneaus". Each flower contains only three stigmas. These threads must be picked from each flower by hand, and more than 75,000 of these flowers are needed to produce just one pound of Saffron filaments, making it the world’s most precious spice.  It has therapeutic properties.


The ultimate skin treatment, pure aloe vera gel gently soothes mild burns, cuts and scrapes and other minor irritations.


  1. Torah: Korach: Numbers Chapter 16 to Chapter 18


Rabbi Mirvis says:


“The mixing of the spices for the incense is an art, it is Maase Rokeah – the work of a perfumer (Ex.30.25).  He needs to know the ingredients and their exact proportions for the blending of the bitter and the sweet, to produce a fragrance acceptable for sacred use.  


“The three letters constituting the term Rokeah – perfumer, may be rearranged to read Korah!  Inherent in Korah was the potential to blend the bitter and the sweet in developing a ‘fragrant’ personality suitable for leadership.  He did not meet the criteria, for his divisive stance - sweet unto himself - caused bitterness to others (he rebelled against Moses’s leadership).”


  1. Torah: Tetzaveh: Exodus Chapter 27 vs 20 to Chapter 30 vs 10


This parashah contains the rules that govern the way that Aaron must minister in the Tent of Meeting, Ohel Mo-Aid.  It contains what he should say, what he should wear, what colours are essential, what stones and crystals should be worn and in what sequence they should be put on.


Chapter 28 vs 15: You shall make a breastplate of decision… 17] Set in it mounted stones, in four rows of stones.  The first row shall be a row of carnelian, chrysolite, and emerald; 18] the second row: a turquoise, a sapphire, and an amethyst; 19] the third row: a jacinth, an agate, and a crystal; 20] and the fourth row, a beryl, a lapis lazuli, and a jasper.  They shall be framed with gold in their mountings. 21] The stones shall correspond [in number] to the names of the sons of Israel: twelve, corresponding to their names.  They shall be engraved like seals, each with its name, for the twelve tribes.


Properties of these crystals:
Carnelian: an orange stone; repairing the body
Chrysolite: also called peridot: green: used for detaching; similar to hematite: prevents claustrophibia; prevents absorbing negative energies
Emerald: green: balances the heart; speeds up detoxification; brings calm by removing hidden fears
Turquoise: a blueish colour; has a reputation for protection; there is a belief that the stone will become paler when its owner is in danger; supports the immune system
Sapphire: deep blue; can balance the higher faculties of the mind as well as reduce levels of stress; speeds the flow of information
Amethyst: deep purple/violet/yellow; a combination of violet and yellow is ideal for balancing anxiety, fear and nervousness
Jacinth: yellow/red; also called Zircon; believed to provide the wearer with wisdom, honour and riches; helps raise one’s self esteem; helps to ground spiritual experiences and will ease any tensions that have arisen in the mind from psychic or visionary experiences
Agate: white or clear or multicoloured; amplifies and clarifies
(Quartz) Crystal – “The Seal of Solomon” a way of placing crystals around the body
Beryl: yellow; from gold bearing rocks; works best with the digestive system and is relaxing
Lapis Lazuli: rich blue; works best on upper chest, throat, head; helps those who are shy or introverted to communicate and express themselves; enlivens communication, the processes of thought and memory
Jasper: red; focusses on solidity and grounding
Gold: a great conductor of energy, helping to harmonise many of the different levels in the body; creates easy energy flow; releases stress from the nervous system, increasing the efficiency of the brain and the ability to repair damaged tissues

Saturday, 4 April 2015

David Lipschitz Easter Renewal Message 4th April 2015

Letter send to the people who I know in the City of Cape Town:

To my dear friends in the City of Cape Town

On this Easter weekend, a weekend of renewal, I thought these links might be of interest:

http://energytransition.de/2015/03/civic-energy-provides-50percent-of-uk-electricity-in-2050

http://cleantechnica.com/2015/03/31/unep-green-investment-17-103-gw-added-2014

By 2050, at least half of our electricity will be generated by us, homeowners, SMME's, ie Embedded Generation.

We know it's going to happen; and we know it's happening: Renewable Embedded Electricity Generation will become the norm with "at least half of generation being embedded in the system generated by civic society".

So why doesn't the City of Cape Town embrace this change? I know you are trying to increase electricity revenues as fast as possible, but at some point there will be a tax revolt. So why not increase rates revenues faster by getting more people to come and live sustainably in Cape Town and encourage us to use less electricity and less water and less sewerage and drive less and pollute our air less?

Why not pre-empt a potential tax revolt and also the number of illegal connections by making Cape Town and the Western Cape a Sustainable Hub? We have the people and the competence and the finance to make this happen. And if people become prosumers they will want to be connected to the grid, and illegal connections will disappear.

We have leaders employing old, out of date, methodologies, keeping South Arica in the dark ages rather than leading us into the light.

Instead these same leaders, with a small mind-set change, could create an environment for fast, sustainable, healthy, growth. And there will be many more voters as people become enfranchised to better their lives and contribute to a healthy integrated grid and web of communications and infrastructure.

Yours faithfully,
David Lipschitz