Friday, January 18, 2019

Parsha Beshalach, Tu Beshevat, Story, news

Parsha Beshalach

The last few Parshiyos were enslavement and the notion that the Bnei Yisrael shall be free. Finally, after 430 year from Bris between the pieces and 400 years after the birth of Yitzchak and 210 years after arriving in Mitzrayim, the Bnei Yisrael are free at last!

16:17 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not by the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said: 'Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt.'

Derek Eretz – way of the land. The people did not leave Mitzrayim by the shortest route or the natural way. Instead they would leave with wonders and miracles. G-D was building a nation form the slave mentality to that of a mighty spiritual and physical force. We see in 14:11-12 how they were afraid of war.

18 But God led the people about, by the way of the wilderness by the Red Sea; and the children of Israel went up armed out of the land of Egypt.

Armed they were but like modern Israel in 1948 had not real military training and weapons such as chariots were not in the arsenal.

19 And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him; for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying: 'God will surely remember you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you.'

While everybody was busy borrowing Jewelry, Moshe was taking care of finding where was the bones of Yosef.

20 And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness. 21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; that they might go by day and by night:

The pillar of fire and cloud guided them on their way.

22 the pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night, departed not from before the people.

The people went in the direction of the cloud and pillar traveling at a faster clip to get distance between themselves and Pharaoh. Still with children and animals, it was impossible to cover their tracks and despite the hours from dawn to night fall, still they could not progress too much.

14:1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 2 'Speak unto the children of Israel, that they turn back and encamp before Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, before Baal-zephon, over against it shall ye encamp by the sea. 3 And Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel: They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in.

At the time of the Bnei Yisrael being trapped, they could not see or feel the end results. However, HASHEM Yisborach has a complete plan ready from the outset and only after it is completed, the people could realize what was going on.

4 And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he shall follow after them; and I will get Me honor upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; and the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD.' And they did so.

The path with no way out except by the sea was done by HASHEM to make Pharaoh think that he had them trapped and he could easily kill the leaders and re-enslave them.

5 And it was told the king of Egypt that the people were fled; and the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was turned towards the people, and they said: 'What is this we have done, that we have let Israel go from serving us?

They went three days into the wilderness spies pursued them. When the fourth day arrived there was neither a sacrifice with prayers or the return of the people. Pharaoh missed his work force.

6 And he made ready his chariots, and took his people with him. 7 And he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, and captains over all of them.

Egypt was the super-power of that time. Can you imagine the modern equivalent of 600 well trained armored personnel carriers coming at a civilian population that had been brought up subservient. 

8 And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel; for the children of Israel went out with a high hand. 9 And the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon. 10 And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians were marching after them; and they were sore afraid; and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD.

They are trapped between the mountains and the sea with Pharaoh behind them.

11 And they said unto Moses: 'Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to bring us forth out of Egypt? 12 Is not this the word that we spoke unto thee in Egypt, saying: Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it were better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.'

We now see the reason that HASHEM did not take the Bnei Yisrael via the Plishtim. But still they are entrapped and at the mercy of the 600 Chariots and perhaps a back-up of many running infantry.

13 And Moses said unto the people: 'Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will work for you to-day; for whereas ye have seen the Egyptians to-day, ye shall see them again no more forever. 14 The LORD will fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.'

Just have faith in G-D saving you. Physically they were trapped and scared yet their logic told them that their own hope was to turn their eyes towards HASHEM.

15 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Wherefore do you cry unto Me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward.

What are you and the people whining about they should start walking into the sea.

16 And lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thy hand over the sea, and divide it; and the children of Israel shall go into the midst of the sea on dry ground.

So Moshe lifted the rod and the sea started to split.

17 And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall go in after them; and I will get Me honor upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.

Pharaoh had refused to accept the fact that he was not a god and that HASHEM HU HA ELOKIM. He was about to learn the hardest of ways and from a super-power to no power in a few minutes of horses, chariots and soldiers drowning in the sea.

18 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gotten Me honor upon Pharaoh, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.' 19 And the angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud removed from before them, and stood behind them;

This was Pharaoh’s last chance to turn back and stop his army when they were separated by the cloud.

20 and it came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel; and there was the cloud and the darkness here, yet gave it light by night there; and the one came not near the other all the night.

This according to the laws of Pessach given is a Yom Tov but not mentioned as an Asseres (gathering) it is the culmination of Pessach so we do not bless Shecheiyanu (who has kept us alive).

21 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all the night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.

I have written that an east wind of about 40 mph or 60 kph at a temperature of around or above freezing would be enough to blow water aside and freeze it to stand in a column or columns on the right and on the left. (See last year or the year before in the blogspot).

22 And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.

The Pshat is one wall to the right and one to the left. There is a Medrash that says 12 paths one for each tribe. The spot where chariots were found between Sinai and Saudi Arabia that has a higher sea floor or not so far from the other side at the straight and the water level of the Red Sea at that time and world Glacial Period was much lower so that the wall of water need not be that high. Artifacts found on the western coast of Eretz Yisrael indicate that the sea level 3400 years ago was much lower than today.

23 And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.

The pillar and cloud stopping them moved itself and they immediately continued in their folly. Pharaoh like the movie played by Yul Brenner watched safely from the western bank.

24 And it came to pass in the morning watch, that the LORD looked forth upon the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of cloud, and discomfited the host of the Egyptians. 25 And He took off their chariot wheels, and made them to drive heavily; so that the Egyptians said: 'Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the LORD fights for them against the Egyptians.'

The wind began to die down and with it the wind-chill factor. The ice holding the walls of water began cracking and the trickling water turned the sand into quicksand and between the water, stuck wheels, pillar-cloud and heavy armor the Egyptians could not easily flee from the middle to either shore.
26 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Stretch out thy hand over the sea, that the waters may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.'

Even though horses are natural swimmers, when they are hooked up with chariots it is the equivalent to the mafia sending somebody off a boat weighted down. When the soldiers and their armor met the rushing water they drowned even if they knew swimming. The current would then push their bodies to the shore from the force.

27 And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. 28 And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, even all the host of Pharaoh that went in after them into the sea; there remained not so much as one of them.

There is a limit how much a person can swim against or even with a current. That is why when a rip tide hits the beach, you learn to swim with the tide and swim towards the side. If one is in a rocky Wadi in the Dead Sea area it is almost impossible to survive with the rocks when the Wadi grabs one or their vehicle. The only hope then is to try to find a place on the side quickly where one can get out of the water and rise up.

29 But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. 30 Thus the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea-shore. 31 And Israel saw the great work which the LORD did upon the Egyptians, and the people feared the LORD; and they believed in the LORD, and in His servant Moses.

At this time, our Parsha gets it second name “Shabbos Shira” or the Shabbos of Song because of the Song by the Sea.

15:1 Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spoke, saying: I will sing unto the LORD, for He is highly exalted; the horse and his rider hath He thrown into the sea.

Actually, the Hebrew reads: Then will Moshe and the Bnei Yisrael Sing. [implying that one day the people will be resurrected or perhaps reincarnated and sing. For even though our Sages talk of resurrection of the ‘dry bones’; after the Shoah and the massive burnings of bodies in the ovens of the camps; I tend to believe in reincarnation. I was once in a discussion with a lady around my age who claimed to be a reincarnation of somebody from the Shoah and I myself had dreams of trains that I wanted to avoid and riding one and seeing through the cracks grass and shrubs growing to a certain height on the tracks. The dream kept repeating itself that even though I was three at the time and my memory of how my friends looked like and what games I played are gone those dreams of 68 years ago remain implanted in my brain and the memories of the lady from her childhood too.

… 20 And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. 21 And Miriam sang unto them: Sing ye to the LORD, for He is highly exalted: the horse and his rider hath He thrown into the sea. 22 And Moses led Israel onward from the Red Sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water. 23 And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore, the name of it was called Marah. 24 And the people murmured against Moses, saying: 'What shall we drink?' 25 And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD showed him a tree, and he cast it into the waters, and the waters were made sweet. There He made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there He proved them;

From Eilat to Sharm El Sheik there are very few if any water sources and the same thing on the Saudi side of the Sea. The problem was that the waters were still and the stagnant waters gathered from the minerals a very bad metal taste. Putting in the wood absorbed the bad flavor and it became potable water.

26 and He said: 'If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in His eyes, and wilt give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases upon thee, which I have put upon the Egyptians; for I am the LORD that heals thee.'

Due what is correct and everything will be OK. Or sing the modern song with G-D “Let’s get together and it’ll be all right.

27 And they came to Elim, where were twelve springs of water, and three score and ten palm-trees; and they encamped there by the waters.

This was an establish Oasis and abundant water supply.

16:1 And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt.

It appears from the current Midbar Sin that the people moved north and west if it is our current Nahal Sin near Sde Boker.

2 And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron in the wilderness; 3 and the children of Israel said unto them: 'Would that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh-pots, when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.'

They were being supplied by HASHEM water but now after a month, their flour supplies had run out or was running out. When I was a new immigrant I did not have the luxuries and convenience of the States, I too complained for it is easier to see the negatives. Things then were not like they are now. Milk bottles had some cream on top then but the cream cheese was light in fat and a lot of other things did not exist. I complained to one foreman at work informally on the hardships of Israel. He gave it to me with the Pasuk above. He was right and I quieted down. It was not easy but I had come on my own and continued to make sacrifices. Gradually, I moved up in Israel society from the minimum wage to a higher level but not top notch. After 48 years, I am happier here than a lot of my friends in the States. I feel that I have better health care, my children had cheaper Jewish education and all the wealth they had went on education and health care. Compared to my classmates from grade school, I feel that I am better off. I do like the vacations in the States but there is something special about living in Israel.

4 Then said the LORD unto Moses: 'Behold, I will cause to rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day's portion every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in My law, or not. 5 And it shall come to pass on the sixth day that they shall prepare that which they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.'

This is the first indication of Shabbos being Kodesh. It is also a hint against gathering, going carrying from a public domain to a private domain even food on Shabbos or kneading it together into a Mann cake.

6 And Moses and Aaron said unto all the children of Israel: 'At even, then ye shall know that the LORD hath brought you out from the land of Egypt; 7 and in the morning, then ye shall see the glory of the LORD; for that He hath heard your murmurings against the LORD; and what are we, that ye murmur against us?' 8 And Moses said: 'This shall be, when the LORD shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for that the LORD hears your murmurings which ye murmur against Him; and what are we? your murmurings are not against us, but against the LORD.'

Not only will they have this daily fresh tasty Mann but for a month they will get flesh of quail.

… 13 And it came to pass at even, that the quails came up, and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew round about the camp. 14 And when the layer of dew was gone up, behold upon the face of the wilderness a fine, scale-like thing, fine as the hoar-frost on the ground. 15 And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another: 'What is it?'--for they knew not what it was. And Moses said unto them: 'It is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat. 16 This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded: Gather ye of it every man according to his eating; an omer a head, according to the number of your persons, shall ye take it, every man for them that are in his tent.'

The people asked themselves Mann Hu in Hebrew or what is this and the Omer of Mann became their bread. This Parsha is called Parsha Ha Mann.

17 And the children of Israel did so, and gathered some more, some less. … 20 Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and rotted; and Moses was wroth with them. 21 And they gathered it morning by morning, every man according to his eating; and as the sun waxed hot, it melted. 22 And it came to pass that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one; and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. 23 And he said unto them: 'This is that which the LORD hath spoken: To-morrow is a solemn rest, a holy Sabbath unto the LORD. Bake that which ye will bake, and seethe that which ye will seethe; and all that remains over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.'

The people had gathered 2 Omers on Friday morning and from this we get the custom that is Halacha in nature of saying Motzei over two Lechem (two Challos or Challa and a roll.

24 And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade; and it did not rot, neither was there any worm therein.

Six Days a week it would rot, but on the Shabbos it will not rot showing the holiness.

25 And Moses said: 'Eat that to-day; for to-day is a Sabbath unto the LORD; to-day ye shall not find it in the field. 26 Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day is the Sabbath, in it there shall be none.' 27 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that there went out some of the people to gather, and they found none.

For the L-RD rested on Shabbos and did not make a miracle. If the CREATOR of the Universe acts this way, all the more so the Ben Yisrael who was commanded at Sinai to observe.

28 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'How long refuse ye to keep My commandments and My laws? 29 See that the LORD hath given you the Sabbath; therefore, He giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.' 30 So the people rested on the seventh day.

G-D was angry and disappointed that the Bnei Yisrael did not fully rest on the Shabbos as commanded.

31 And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna; and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey. 32 And Moses said: 'This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded: Let an omerful of it be kept throughout your generations; that they may see the bread wherewith I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you forth from the land of Egypt. … 17:1 And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, by their stages, according to the commandment of the LORD, and encamped in Rephidim; and there was no water for the people to drink. 2 Wherefore the people strove with Moses, and said: 'Give us water that we may drink.' And Moses said unto them: 'Why strive ye with me? wherefore do ye try the LORD?' 3 And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said: 'Wherefore hast thou brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?'

This is the third trial for HASHEM. Moshe was ordered to seal in perhaps a glass jar for future generations to see.

4 And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying: 'What shall I do unto this people? they are almost ready to stone me.' 5 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Pass on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smote the river, take in thy hand, and go. 6 Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink.' And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.

Moshe was about to produce water in a miracle.

7 And the name of the place was called Massah, and Meribah, because of the striving of the children of Israel, and because they tried the LORD, saying: 'Is the LORD among us, or not?'

The name of the place comes from the Hebrew for bitter and dispute meaning the name is called ‘bitter dispute’ for that is what it was before both Moshe and HASHEM.

8 Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim.

The root of the word means softness and because their faith softened, Amalek or more the people who championed the Yetzer had the power to harass the Bnei Yisrael. Amalek came from Esav. Rabbi Shimon (Bar Yochai) said, “Halacha which is know that Esav hates Yacov”.

9 And Moses said unto Joshua: 'Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek; tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.' 10 So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11 And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

HASHEM gave the men the power to make the victory, but they needed the psychological assurance of seeing Moshe holding the rod to over-come their slave mentality and fear. I believe that I wrote in the past that I was supposed to be a paramedic on an Air Force base far from the front lines as my training had been quite short. Instead, I got apprenticeship training on the front line and had come like many soldiers during the Yom Kippur War from a place far from the front. The noise of our artillery rattled the ground and even our own booms were scary for a peaceful reserve civilian. There I was trained to shoot half inch-wide bullets and full machine gun in a few minutes. There was one thing that kept me from panic and that was faith. Every morning I rose with the Proverb (Mishlei 9:10) on my tongue, “The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the L-RD!” The L-RD and not an RPG or bullet from Fatachland or today Hezballah on the Lebanese side.

14 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Write this for a memorial in the book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.' 15 And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Adonai-nissi. 16 And he said: 'The hand upon the throne of the LORD: the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.'

Every generation until Moshiach will deal with their own enemy who wants to obliterate Yisrael via Inquisition, Pogroms or Hamas and Hezballah of today.

Good news for Israelis. Tu Be Shevat should have ideal weather for planting trees but the ground may be very wet still.

A note to my readers: When I wrote that I was too busy for the blogspot I am not what we call in the Israeli Army the equivalent of crybaby when given guard duty or kitchen patrol. Even though the paramedic was not supposed to guard the tents at night, I never complained and fulfilled my duty. This week I had sudden chest pains and my pulse jumped, temperature rose and I felt faint. I ended up 26 hours on watch in the hospital. Fortunately, it was a false alarm. I only wrote this to show you that despite everything I feel that I produced a reasonable amount of “new commentary and explanations from a different angle on the Parsha”. I value my ability to teach and bring Torah to my readers. So sometimes when my commentary is a bit weak, please bear with me as I am only human.

The Paris to Petersburg Train Cabin by Rabbi Yerachmiel Tilles

In the year 1912 in Russia, Rebbe Shalom-Ber Shneersohn ("HaRashab") was the leader of the Chabad-Lubavitch Chassidim, and his son, Rebbe Yosef- Yitzchak Schneerson ("HaRayatz", who would become the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe after the passing of his father in 1920), was on a train from Paris to Petersburg. Life in Russia were not easy for the Jews, and the Rayatz was often sent by his father on long journeys to help Jews or even save Russian Jewry.
After several hours of travel, he left his cabin and went to the dining car for a cup of tea. As he sat down and looked around him, he noticed a finely-dressed clean-shaven businessman sitting at a table in the corner eating a fine meal of rabbit meat and drinking French wine with great savor.
The man was obviously an assimilated Jew. The Rebbe-to-be winced with each bite the man took. He couldn't bear seeing a Jew act that way. So he turned back to his cup of tea and tried to ignore him.
But then, he heard the man push back his chair, stand up and approach him. "Excuse me Rabbi," he said. "Excuse me, but are you the son or grandson of Rabbi Shmuel of Lubavitch?" (fourth Lubavitcher Rebbe - HaMaharash)
"Yes", the Rebbe turned to face him and answered, "In fact, I am his grandson."
The businessman just stood there speechless. His eyes filled with tears and he made no effort to wipe them away. He trembled slightly as though in shock, ran his hand over his eyes. Then he turned abruptly back to his table, paid the waiter and left the room without finishing his meal.
That evening, hours after this strange episode, the train made a short stop in Frankfort. The Rayatz had just stepped outside for a breath of fresh air when that same businessman again approached him. But before he could begin to speak he again began to weep, and continued doing so uncontrollably until the train whistle forced him to return to his place.
Both episodes perplexed the Rayatz. On one hand the man looked like a nobleman; a large trimmed mustache, elegantly dressed in fine silk clothes. But on the other hand he acted as though he was insane.
The next morning, just as the Rayatz finished praying in his cabin, there was a knock on the door. It was one of the porters. He reported that a certain passenger would like to know if he could see the Rabbi.
The Rebbe agreed and in a few minutes the same man appeared. He entered, closed the door behind him and said, "Please excuse me my emotional outbursts but…." and suddenly began to again weep uncontrollably. He put his hands over his face and his entire body was shaking with sobs.
The Rayatz didn't know whether to stop him or not, but after several minutes the man dried his eyes, looked at the Rayatz furtively and asked if could borrow the Rebbe's tefillin.
When the Rayatz answered yes, he again began to weep like a small child saying "Oy! When was the last time I put on Tefillin!! Oy!"
The man took the tefillin, removed them from their pouches, kissed them tenderly, put them on as one who was familiar with the commandment and began to pray.
The Rayatz left the man alone to pour out his soul before his Creator. After an hour he came out of the cabin, thanked the Rayatz, asked him if he could borrow a Sefer Tehillim (Book of Psalms) and left to his own cabin without saying another word.
That afternoon, several hours later, the man returned to the Rayatz's room. His face was pale and he looked as though he was undergoing drastic internal changes. He spoke in a weak voice.
"I would like to speak to you if possible. May I?" The Rayatz invited him to sit down; he closed the door and began.
"First, thank you for your Tefillin and book of psalms. And I'm sorry if I was of any inconvenience. My name is Y… I was born into a family of Chabad Chassidim by the name of Monison, although I know I don't look it.
"My childhood was very happy; our house was always filled with guests, Torah and joy. But when I was fifteen I somehow got drawn into a bad crowd of young people and I began to enjoy them.
"My father saw what was happening to me and decided to take me to Lubavitch for the High Holidays and it worked. The first moment I saw your grandfather the Rebbe Maharash, it had a deep effect on me. My father even took me in for a private audience.
The Rebbe spoke to my father for a few seconds, then turned to me and said,
"'The world can be very dangerous, never forget that you are a Jew.'"
"The experience completely changed me. I had absolutely no desire to even see my 'friends'. But gradually the effect wore off. Little by little I became cool to Judaism and warm to what I thought was freedom. I stopped praying, stopped doing the commandments and after a year or so I left my parent's house and moved in with my new 'friends'.
"Several times my father tried to make contact with me but that only aroused my anger. I had made up my mind; I would not live my life according to some book. Six years later I finished university, married an assimilated girl like myself and broke completely with my past. I was free!
"At that time I joined a secret political movement whose goal was to help the needy. There had been several Pogroms (government instigated riots against Jews) at that time, and most of our efforts were directed to helping Jews.
"After several years of this work, we heard that the Lubavitcher Rebbe was to be visiting Petersburg in order to stop the Pogroms at the government level. We decided to let him know of several impending Pogroms that we had heard about.
"We arrived at the hotel where the Rebbe was staying and were met by a large group of Chassidim some of whom remembered me and greeted me warmly. Suddenly the Rebbe opened his door to come out to pray the afternoon prayer. He glanced at me and I immediately knew that he recognized me despite the fact that we had met for just moments over eight years ago. I was speechless
"Later one of the Rebbe's secretaries told us that the Rebbe would like to speak with us and we entered his room.
"His knowledge of the situation in Russia was nothing short of miraculous and the next few months we devoted ourselves totally to helping him in every way. We saw much fruit from our labors and saw how the Rebbe literally prevented tens of pogroms.
"Then one day as we were leaving his room and I was the last one out, the Rebbe called to me and said, "Tell me, when was the last time you put on tefillin? Please don't lie to me; I know exactly what you have been doing."
"I can't explain it, but I was so stunned I couldn't even open my mouth. I just made some strange gestures and left. Those few words made such an impression on me that that day I looked for a pair of tefillin and put them on for the first time in years and I even stopped eating non-kosher food.
"After the Rebbe left Petersburg I returned home, told my wife that I decided to return to a Jewish life to which she agreed and I eventually even renewed ties with my father. But I still was working with my friends in our organization and at the end of that year it became known to us that there were to be a series of massive Pogroms in the south of Russia.
"I was chosen to travel to Lubavitch to tell the Rebbe and when I entered his office I could tell he was happy to see me. We spoke for some time but he said that he had to go to the country for his health and we would deal with the problem when he returned in a few days.
"When we met again he told me that he had been at his father's (the third Rebbe, the 'Tzemach Tzedek' who is buried in Lubavitch) gravesite and his father told him that there was no real danger but nevertheless we must take steps. The Rebbe then gave me some letters and told me what to do. He was in a good mood as he paused for a moment, smiled and said.
"'It says that Moses, because he helped the Jews, G-d gave him the chips of sapphire from the Tablets that he carved out. You are helping Jews so you too deserve a reward.'
"The Rebbe looked me deeply in the eyes as he continued speaking.
"'When I told you that my father spoke to me at his grave I noticed that you smirked. The reason for this is that you are so involved in the physical that you have no appreciation for spiritual things.'
"The Rebbe then sat with me for over an hour explaining, with many examples and stories, what 'spiritual' means and he concluded with these words:
"'How long can a person live a life of physicality? Fifty years? Fifty five years? Remember who you are and where you come from. You are a son of a Chassid! May G-d protect you and give you true happiness.'
"I didn't really understand what he was getting at because I had already returned to Judaism for almost a year. But I thanked him warmly, took the papers he gave me, set out for Petersburg to give them to officials. On that trip I saw some open miracles.
"First, police stopped the train ordered everyone out and began searching each person for any political papers. I considered throwing the Rebbe's letters away before they got to me but the Rebbe's words made me think differently. And miraculously, when they came to me they just told me to get back on the train. I was the only one they didn't check!
"Then afterwards in Petersburg I got in to see the officials and hand them the papers with no trouble. And to top it all off the Rebbe, or rather his departed father, was right! The situation was not as severe as we thought.
"But despite all this, just like the Rebbe said, I had no appreciation of the spiritual. A few months later the Rebbe became ill and passed away at the age of forty-nine. After that, I gradually gravitated to my old friends again.
"Little by little I left G-d and His Torah and became a very successful businessman. That was thirty years ago. Believe me, for the last thirty years I never once even thought about G-d. Now I am retuning from my birthday party, I was fifty-five years old yesterday, and my friends made me a gala party in Monte Carlo.
"Then suddenly, like a flash of lightning, when I saw you I remembered the words of your holy grandfather. It touched me to the essence of my soul."
This businessman became a different person. He moved his entire business to a different country and became a pillar of the Jewish community there.
Source: Supplemented by Yerachmiel Tilles from the rendition of Rabbi Tuvia Bolton on the website of his yeshiva, //

Biographical notes (in order of appearance):
Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn [of blessed memory: 12 Tammuz 5640 - 10 Shvat 5710 (Jan. 1880-June 1950 C.E.)], known as the Rebbe Rayatz, was the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, from 1920 to 1950. He established a network of Jewish educational institutions and Chassidim that was the single most significant factor for the preservation of Judaism during the dread reign of the communist Soviets. In 1940 he moved to the USA, established Chabad world-wide headquarters in Brooklyn and launched the global campaign to renew and spread Judaism in all languages and in every corner of the world, the campaign continued and expanded so remarkably successfully by his son-in-law and successor, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.
Rabbi Shmuel Schneersohn [of blessed memory: 2 Iyar 5594 - 13 Tishrei 5643 (1834-Sept. 1882 C.E.)], the fourth Lubavitch Rebbe, known as the Rebbe Maharash, was the seventh and youngest son of his predecessor, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn, the Tzemach Tzedek.
Connection: Seasonal - The 69th yahrzeit of the Rebbe Rayatz.

I was sent this by Bishop Gabrielle of Australia. A man collects to feed the poor even though he is homeless and is fined.

More on the Shin Bet pressure and forced confessions.

Druze Minister faces police investigation.,7340,L-5447053,00.html

Search for holocaust victim’s bones continues in Hungary.,7340,L-5446862,00.html

Public opinion poll that forgot Aguda 6 or 7 seats.

New Prayer Book competes with Art Scroll.

Ramat Gan Vandals topple Holocaust Memorial and smash 6 chimneys.,7340,L-5447922,00.html

The Brazilian Jewish Saint for Christians.,7340,L-5447935,00.html

Not only Yemenite babies were stolen and sold for money in the early days of modern Israel. My name is Hanan Shomrony and I’m searching for my brother. 
He was born in 1946, his parents’ first born, in Europe after the Second World War. In 1949, when he was two and a half years old, he and his parents made Aliya to Zfat in Israel. He was hospitalized a month later in the Emek Hospital in Afula because of dysentery. Two days later my father was informed that he had passed away. (Parents were not allowed to stay with their sick children so my father was obliged to leave him there.) 
There was no funeral and of course there is no grave. My parents were new immigrants, survivors of the holocaust, who had arrived only one month prior to this. They accepted this news without question and didn’t make any further inquiries. 
The Ministry of the Interior informed me, years later, that in 1963 someone with his ID number had left the country. However, in the Death Registry of the Religious Council in Afula he is registered as having died in 17.04.1949 and was buried in a common grave. 
His first name was Israel, the son of Chava and Yosef Heiventreager (sp) I.D. 0203317-3. It is possible that his first name stayed with him as he was already two and a half years old at the time. 
I was born six months later and know of him only from what my parents had told me. Unfortunately, my parents have passed away and the searches that I have been carrying on during the years have never provided any answers. I still hope that this story will awaken a spark of a memory in someone of a baby that was adopted at the age of two and a half, blond with bright eyes that spoke only Yiddish. He or those who adopted him were probably told that he was an orphan brought from Europe. He would be 65 or 66 years old today. 
I enclose pictures of him as an infant with our parents before coming to Israel. I regret that I don’t have any pictures of a later period. Perhaps this mail will, by some stroke of luck, be received by someone who will recognize or will find similarities in the faces of our parents and that of Israel. 
Please forward to this mail to anyone you can. Perhaps a miracle will happen and I’ll be reunited with my long lost brother.
Thank you,
Hanan Shomrony

Reform Hungarians against bone search for Kiddush H ASHEM victims.

Inyanay Diyoma

Shabbos IDF attacks Hamas after fence riots.

The insurance policy of McCabe and the rest.

Hezballah leader may be having health issues.

Hamas shows video of botched Gaza raid.

Erev Shabbos attempted stabbing of soldier in Chevron only terrorist injured.

Sixth tunnel found believed to be the last.,7340,L-5445732,00.html

IAF attacks underground military facilities of Hamas after rocket.,7340,L-5445711,00.html

Murder by truck or accident? A friend of mine died that way with an Arab Truck.

Not surprised his father was born in ’39 to a German-American family.

Two elderly people found murdered in area bordering east Yerushalayim.

Trump will ruin Turkey’s finances if they attack Kurds.

Male Arab Nurse tried to assassinate MK.

Teacher of Nazi Salute Students raises money for Auschwitz.

Why Israel stopped the ambiguity - Ed-Op Ben Yishai.,7340,L-5446006,00.html

Many battles of Chief of Staff – Ed-Op Yossi Yehoshua.,7340,L-5445952,00.html

Iranian spy arrest. Link or elsewise?

Challenges for the next Chief of Staff.

More on couple murder and seems 100% terror.

Iranian satellite launch fails in third stage.

Gaza the original sin/mistake by Daniel Pinner.

Search for holocaust victim’s bones continues in Hungary.,7340,L-5446862,00.html

Druze Minister faces police investigation.,7340,L-5447053,00.html

Kenya terrorist attack and kill 14 one was an American Jew.,7340,L-5447814,00.html

I have always been disturbed by the fact that the Israel Judges have been unjust. One case a female became a judge by supplying favors. The other a wife.

Russia might have been notified about last raids on Syria.

From DeHaan Chief of Staff retires and hands the reigns to the new Chief.

Fishman Ed-Op. Ending the Ambiguity on Syria.,7340,L-5446498,00.html

Proposed Palestine is denied by Greenblatt.,7340,L-5448227,00.html

Lebanon Hezballah leader’s strategy.,7340,L-5447935,00.html

10,000 Iranians tanks and troops massed in Iraq to cross into Syria.

Suspect arrested in the murder of Israeli-Arab girl.

Hamas builds Iranian funded luxury homes for families of jailed terrorists.

American kidnapped by Ramallah and jailed for selling land to Jews deported to USA.

Was he a spy or deranged individual who crossed into Lebanon.

Home of terrorist murderer demolished.,7340,L-5448915,00.html

Good Shabbos all and guard your health,
Rachamim Pauli