Sixty-four. The number of squares on a chessboard. The age of the modern state of Israel. An auspicious sign being as it is intrinsically linked to the Golden Mean and the divine proportion. Chess is an ancient game combining skill and strategy played within the boundaries of strictly delineated rules of play, within which the players have the freedom to exercise individual choice, a free will ; every decision has a consequence which influences the response of the opponent and subsequent moves of the decision maker, thereby shaping the outcome of the game.When we look at Israel and its behavior, one can see the similarities between chess and the internal and external struggles of life to which the state is a participant and to which it influences and is influenced in its decisions; external threats both perceived and real and intractable internal divisions between secular law and that of torah and religious practice; each in their own way trying to be “a light unto other nations”.

---I also echoed the prevailing frustration that the Claims Conference, by far the richest Jewish foundation in the world, has still failed to provide adequate financial assistance to elderly and sick Holocaust survivors who live in abject poverty in the twilight of their lives. An organization which boasts that it currently holds in trust $900 million in assets, yet fails to rectify such a condition, must be held accountable for one of the greatest scandals in contemporary Jewish life.---Read More:

The internal aspects are the give and take between our dual natures and include those spiritual conflicts by which we maintain our self-identity, rationalize our behavior and carry on our lives. Back to Jacob fighting with an angel trying to reconcile the radical intensities of the higher and lower self.  The external struggles are the banal and ordinary stresses connected with living in the material world, preserving our health and survival. Ultimately, chess represents the individual’s exercise of free will while operating within the parameters of natural law. The parallel between the game of chess and our material lives is a central factor in grasping the esoteric properties, the poetry of mathematics, which find  expression not only in the game of Chess, but also in the Kaballah and the esoteric postures of Masonic thought and the Rosicrucians, either as integral to secular vision of Israel or in contradiction to the Torah.

This story surfaced on the eve of Israel Independence Day.( see link at end) …A woman living in Toronto has been formally charged in the U.S. with taking part in a scheme to steal from a Holocaust survivors’ fund.

---© Joseph-Nicolas Robert-Fleury Galileo before the Holy Office. This painting from the 19th century depicts Italian scientist Galileo at the Vatican in Rome in the 17th century.--- Read More:

In documents obtained by CBC News, the FBI alleges that Luba Kramrish was part of a conspiracy that falsified documents to claim financial support from a special fund created by the German government after the Second World War….The FBI announced charges against several U.S. citizens allegedly involved in the scheme in 2010. Now court documents show the investigation has reached into Canada.

The U.S. attorney’s office claims that Kramrish falsified details for her mother’s application to the fund and that once she realized how to cheat the system, she started recruiting applicants, about two dozen of them. In one case, the FBI says, she falsified details to get money for a man who never lived in an area occupied by Nazis. The U.S. indictment says that when he got the money, she took a cut. A court document states “Kramrish provided documents for approximately 20-25 different cases…[she] helped falsify these applications so that they would be approved.”…

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…The conspiracy to steal from the fund was uncovered in the U.S. just over two years ago. Greg Schneider runs the New York office where millions of dollars of claims are approved and distributed every year. He was one of the first to notice discrepancies in some of the paperwork coming in. “Within a couple of weeks we had a mass of material that we thought suggested there was something very wrong going on and we brought all of that material to the U.S. federal authorities, the FBI and the U.S. attorney general’s office.”

The FBI determined a massive fraud was at play and that it had been going on since the 1990s…

e FBI found that the very people who had listened to the stories of survivors had massaged the details and used fake names to submit claims of their own.

The investigation is still underway, but it is estimated that at least $60 million has been siphoned from the fund.Read More:

Chess and the number sixty-four is representative of a great truth inherent in the Cosmos: Life as struggle, suffering as part and parcel of facing threats and challenges all for the purpose of acquiring self-knowledge, at least within reason and not including such tragedies that are inexplicable and incomprehensible.  The exercise of free choice in the context of a Chess game, in which our decisions are limited only by the game rules, a form of natural law, certainly bears some resemblance to the exercise of free will in our lives. Chess, with its light and dark squares is a struggle of the individual with their inner self, fought out in a realm constituted by shades of gray to be perceived as illuminating, mournful, melancholic …


Giulio Meotti:We are reminded of Cyrus the Great, who became the messiah for the redemption of the Jews from their Babylonian captivity, who we now believe today was a descendant of the Pasargadae (sons of Gad) Israelite tribe called the Tribe of Gad. It also took a hidden Jew, Hadassah (Esther) who became the Queen of Persia and became the chosen emissary to deliver the Jewish people from a Persian holocaust orchestrated by the Persian Vizier Haman the Agagite. Are we willing to today to suggest that the ancient manifestations of G-d’s mighty hands will also become a part of the cycle of “History repeats itself!”? Are we willing to affirm that the modern day Haman [A(haman)inejad] will give us also a modern day Esther and Mordecai? Read More:


…In stating that the net assets of the Claims Conference in 2005 amounted to $900 million, Berman failed to specify whether that sum included the vast real estate holdings acquired since German reunification, which allegedly today makes the Claims Conference one of Germany’s greatest landowners. The dogged refusal to disclose detailed information concerning these properties to heirs, survivors and journalists and operate in a financially transparent manner has led to increasing concerns about possible real estate shenanigans and fuelled allegations of incompetence, impropriety and cover-ups.

THE FUNDAMENTAL problem is that since its inception in 1951, the board of the Claims Conference, comprising primarily non-elected representatives of the 24 founding organizations, has routinely endorsed all distributions recommended by the allocations committee. Whereas the allocations committee presumably comprises reputable people, in the absence of an independent board critically reviewing allocations, bureaucratization and domination by a small clique was inevitable. THE TIME is ripe for a discourse throughout the Jewish world to determine criteria for heirs and survivors and resolve ground rules of eligibility for providing grants to worthy organizations or projects, especially those that do not clearly qualify for inclusion within the framework of survivors or Holocaust-related educational activity.

Previous grants have generated controversy because, despite representing deserving causes, some appear to lack any genuine relationship with the Holocaust: e.g., the Tel Aviv Yiddish Theater, sprinklers in Israeli nursing homes, Jewish cultural centers in St. Petersburg, Hatzolah volunteer ambulance services in Brooklyn, Bnei Brak women’s organizations and birthright israel. There may be valid explanations for these allocations. But in the absence of open debate and transparency in determining the criteria for allocating funds, and given the dire needs of impoverished survivors, some seem bizarre and do create grounds for concern. Read More:

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