Thursday, October 27, 2016

Parsha Beresheis, story

Prayers for­ Men: Eliezer David HaCohain ben Naomi, Yoel HaCohain ben Henya, Avraham HaCohain ben Yocheved, Avraham ben Devorah, Shalom Charles ben Gracia, Yoel ben Esther, Zvi ben Chava, Daniel ben Rivka, Nehemiah Arieh Liab Peretz ben Esther Rachel, Eliyah ben Chana, Reuven David ben Rachel, Aharon Chayim ben Ruchama, Mordechai ben Nina, Chaim David ben Chana Golda, Shmuel Tzvi ben Ita, Eliyahu ben Aviva

Women: Karen Neshama bas Esther Ruth, Chaya Melecha Rachel bas Baila Alta, Rachel bas Chana, Hodaya Nirit bas Mazel Yaish, Rivka bas Idit, Tsvia Simcha bas Devorah Yachad, Miriam bas Irene Taita Malka,  Golde Chaya bas Esther, Lydia bas Elvira, Shulamis bas Etta, Chana Friedel bas Sara, Drorah Rivka bas Chana, Devorah bas Sarah

The following person is recovering from long term non-threatening injuries and need Psalms. Binum Benyamin Tuvia ben Chana Friedel,

Perhaps the best quote from my Facebook Wall ever: I posted about term limits for Congress. Dr. Allen Seltzer PhD – Politicians are like diapers they should be changed frequently.

Parsha Beresheis

I wrote most of the commentary on the first day but then took off time to relax and look at both the Commentary of Rabbi Shimshon ben Rafael Hirsch of blessed memory and the Zohar. Both point out that Beresheis has the word “Rosh” or head or start in it. From R’ Hirsch I also noticed the word “Bara” or Create. We can then conclude that THE MYSTEROUS UNKNOWN in the beginning created the creation.

This week, I have no intention to go into depth of the four worlds of Creation which are Emanation, Creation, Nobility and Action in English. The Kabbalah speaks of the creation of Angels after the Creation of Torah and the various Attributes of HASHEM. However, my purpose is not to lead people into things about their heads but to give a bit of a practical guidance for the average Jew into understand not even all the six days of creation this year but the first few days.

Over the years I have started my discussion of Beresheis from both the Kabbalistic 13,000,000,000 plus years, 6 Day Creation concept and combinations of both. In Tractate Tamid 31B, the story goes that Alexander of Macedonia came to the Sages of blessed memory and they told him a simple story so as not to go into the question what was before and what will be after.

Today, I will attempt to explain actually what was before from a Jewish Standpoint! If I take that HASHEM Yisborach is a master planner, HE ruled what we might call in the physical realm empty space but actually HE is above all the dimensions that Physics can imagine.

So long before the physically creation of the pea sized universe held together by gravity that light and the 10 with 42 zero heat after it was created HE began to think out a plan. Since HE is above time and space the human mind can’t fathom how long it took HIM to put the idea of the present creation into place and the plan for Moshiach.

The creation of the unformed pea of matter in the void of darkness where light could not escape gravity could have lasted eons or a split second. But once the words “Yehi Ohr” went out either by thought or by speech, the Big Bang started. A book was written by Professor Weinberg on the first three minutes with detailed physical equations and explanations.

What we are interested in as Bnei Yisrael, or call us Jews today, is from what Rashi says, “This month (Nissan) is the head or first of all months”. The Rebbe of Lubavitch says, “When the Torah says ‘Six Days’ it means ‘Six 24 hour days’ as we know it.” Science seems to prefer the Kabbalistic 13,000,000,000 years. As a Jew living in Eretz Yisrael from a practical standpoint I am not interest in a negative universe or a host of universes but our simple, humble and relative small planet on a piece of land the size of New Jersey. We don’t have much in population numbers considering our people’s age or the size of our tiny nation with limited resources but our brains make up for the lack of material wealth. Our importance comes from as Rashi says when we were molded in and destined to leave the slavery of Mitzrayim. Just two weeks before the Exodus.

We do not have to worry about UNESCO which is about 68 or less years old but our Nation which since we left Egypt is over 3,300 years old. So all this introduction is to understand the first Rashi.

1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

In the beginning: Said Rabbi Isaac: It was not necessary to begin the Torah except from “This month is to you,” (Exod. 12:2) which is the first commandment that the Israelites were commanded, (for the main purpose of the Torah is its commandments, and although several commandments are found in Genesis, e.g., circumcision and the prohibition of eating the thigh sinew, they could have been included together with the other commandments). Now for what reason did He commence with “In the beginning?” Because of [the verse] “The strength of His works He related to His people, to give them the inheritance of the nations” (Ps. 111:6). For if the nations of the world should say to Israel, “You are robbers, for you conquered by force the lands of the seven nations [of Canaan],” they will reply, "The entire earth belongs to the Holy One, blessed be He; He created it (this we learn from the story of the Creation) and gave it to whomever He deemed proper When He wished, He gave it to them, and when He wished, He took it away from them and gave it to us.

The Christian Countries should have known better from the Torah and the fact that the Arabs are from Arabia and other near-by areas. However, they are blinded by the traditional anti-Semitic bigotry which has plagued them for centuries and has cost the lives of perhaps 192,000,000 Jews according to the late Golda Meir and this was through murder, pillage, enslavement, forced conversion and in places like the far east assimilation.

In the beginning of God’s creation of: Heb. בְּרֵאשִית בָּרָא. This verse calls for a Midrashic interpretation [because according to its simple interpretation, the vowelization of the word בָּרָא, should be different, as Rashi explains further]. It teaches us that the sequence of the Creation as written is impossible, as is written immediately below] as our Rabbis stated (Letters of R. Akiva , letter “bet” ; Gen. Rabbah 1:6; Lev. Rabbah 36:4): [God created the world] for the sake of the Torah, which is called (Prov. 8:22): “the beginning of His way,” and for the sake of Israel, who are called (Jer. 2:3) “the first of His grain.” But if you wish to explain it according to its simple meaning, explain it thus: “At the beginning of the creation of heaven and earth, the earth was astonishing with emptiness, and darkness…and God said, ‘Let there be light.’” But Scripture did not come to teach the sequence of the Creation, to say that these came first, for if it came to teach this, it should have written: “At first (בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה) He created the heavens and the earth,” for there is no רֵאשִׁית in Scripture that is not connected to the following word, [i.e., in the construct state] like (ibid. 27:1):“In the beginning of (בְּרֵאשִית) the reign of Jehoiakim” ; (below 10:10)“the beginning of (רֵאשִׁית) his reign” ; (Deut. 18:4)“the first (רֵאשִׁית) of your corn.” Here too, you say בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אלֹהִים, like בְּרֵאשִׁית בְּרֹא, in the beginning of creating. And similar to this is, “At the beginning of the Lord’s speaking (דִּבֶּר) to Hosea,” (Hos. 1:2), i.e., at the beginning of the speaking (דִּבּוּרוֹ) of the Holy One, Blessed be He, to Hosea, “the Lord said to Hosea, etc.” Now if you say that it came to teach that these (i.e., heaven and earth) were created first, and that its meaning is: In the beginning of all, He created these-and that there are elliptical verses that omit one word, like (Job 3:10): “For [He] did not shut the doors of my [mother’s] womb,” and it does not explain who it was who shut [the womb]; and like (Isa. 8:4): “he will carry off the wealth of Damascus,” and it does not explain who will carry it off; and like (Amos 6:12): “or will one plow with cattle,” and it does not explain: “if a man will plow with cattle” ; and like (Isa. 46: 10): “telling the end from the beginning,” and it does not explain that [it means] telling the end of a matter from the beginning of a matter-if so, [if you say that Scripture indicates the order of creation] be astounded at yourself, for the water preceded, as it is written: “and the spirit of God hovered over the face of the water,” and Scripture did not yet disclose when the creation of water took place! From this you learn that the water preceded the earth. Moreover, the heavens were created from fire and water. Perforce, you must admit that Scripture did not teach us anything about the sequence of the earlier and the later [acts of creation].

I interpret that since the creation starts with a Bet it must be that the Aleph was the creation of HASHEM’s plan and then the creation of all matter aka heaven and earth. The Torah as Rashi points out is not a science book But Scripture did not come to teach the sequence of the Creation, to say that these came first, for if it came to teach this, it should have written: “At first (בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה) He created the heavens and the earth,” and if the physical planet we call earth was created the second of the Big Bang or 4,500,000,000 years ago for spiritual purposes and that of the Torah we are not interested if it was created then or in one physical day which is the literal interpretation. “and the spirit of God hovered over the face of the water,” and Scripture did not yet disclose when the creation of water took place! From this you learn that the water preceded the earth. This is logical as the original creation was Protons and Electrons and the heat of the Nuclear Reaction. In time Helium combined at that heat to have Carbon and then Oxygen before Iron and this as Rashi says, the creation of H2O was before the earth but only upon the earth and in the internal pockets absorbed in rocks is water.   

God’s creation of the heavens and the earth: But it does not say “of the Lord’s creation of” (i.e., it should say “of the Lord God’s creation of” as below 2:4 “on the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven”) for in the beginning it was His intention to create it with the Divine Standard of Justice, but he perceived that the world would not endure; so He preceded it with the Divine Standard of Mercy, allying it with the Divine Standard of Justice, and that is the reason it is written: “on the day the Lord God made earth and heaven.”

There is a long and beautiful Medrash and I believe also in the Zohar how the internal attributes of G-D representing Justice argued but the Attribute of Mercy lengthy tolerance Rav Chessed and HASHEM pushed down Justice. If you have the Soncino Translation or a library with the translation, I suggest you read it.

Rabbi Shimshon Raphael Hirsch 1808 -1888 points out that the word Aleph Tav or Et is used but it comes from the root OT or sign as in OT Bris Kodesh. It is also like taking an Aleph Vav Dalet or UD or plucking a brand from the fire of creation and this was well over 50 years before the Big Bang Theory of Edwin Hubble 1929 and close to 90 or 100 years before the proof in 1965.

2 Now the earth was unformed and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters.

Astonishingly empty: Heb. תֹהוּ וָבֹהוּ. The word תֹהוּ is an expression of astonishment and desolation, that a person wonders and is astonished at the emptiness therein. Astonishingly empty: Astordison in Old French; [étourdissement in modern French], astonishment. בֹהוּ an expression of emptiness and desolation. (This does not appear in all editions.) On the face of the deep: on the face of the waters which were on the earth. And the spirit of God was hovering: The Throne of Glory was suspended in the air and hovered over the face of the water with the breath of the mouth of the Holy One, blessed be He and with His word, like a dove, which hovers over the nest, acoveter in Old French, to cover, hover over.

Even today we are astonished by the vast gaps in the Universe and its’s size. It does not matter if we are looking at dark matter or regular matter there are vast gaps of space between planets, stars and galaxies. Rabbi Hirsch calls it billowing, effervescence, ebullition, tumultuous but does not mean a deep abyss.  
 and the spirit of God was hovering: The Throne of Glory was suspended in the air and hovered over the face of the water with the breath of the mouth of the Holy One, blessed be He and with His word, like a dove, which hovers over the nest, acoveter in Old French, to cover, hover over. and the spirit of God was hovering: The Throne of Glory was suspended in the air and hovered over the face of the water with the breath of the mouth of the Holy One, blessed be He and with His word, like a dove, which hovers over the nest, acoveter in Old French, to cover, hover over.
3 And God said: 'Let there be light.' And there was light.

Physically it happened about 3 seconds or less into the Big Bang as at that time the massive gravity was released and photons could escape. But spiritual we view this as follows:

4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.

And God saw the light that it was good, and God separated: Here too, we need the words
of the Aggadah: He saw it that it was not proper for the wicked to use it; so He separated it for the righteous in the future. According to its simple meaning, explain it as follows: He saw it that it was good, and it was unseemly that it [light] and darkness should serve in confusion; so He established for this one its boundary by day, and for that one its boundary by night.

Physically it implies that the rotation of the earth started immediately upon forming.

5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

One day: According to the sequence of the language of the chapter, it should have been written, “the first day,” as it is written regarding the other days, “second, third, fourth.” Why did Scripture write “one”? Because the Holy One, blessed be He, was the only one in His world, for the angels were not created until the second day. [i.e., יוֹם אֶחָד is understood as ‘the day of the only One’] So is it explained in Genesis Rabbah (3:8).

It is also that since no sun and moon, we cannot see really day and night until the 4th day.

6 And God said: 'Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.'

Let there be an expanse: Let the expanse be strengthened, for, although the heavens were created on the first day, they were still moist, and they solidified on the second [day] from the rebuke of the Holy One, blessed be He, when He said, “Let there be an expanse.” This is what Scripture says (Job 26:11): “The pillars of the heavens trembled” the entire first day, and on the second day: “They were astonished by His rebuke,” like a person who stands in astonishment because of the rebuke of the one who frightens him. [Genesis Rabbah 12:10] In the midst of the water: In the middle of the water (Targum), for there is a separation between the upper waters and the expanse, as there is between the expanse and the waters that are on the earth. Behold you have learned that they are suspended by the word of the King. — [Gen. Rabbah 4:3]

The Pshat of the Pasuk is not my scientific explanation but the waters in the clouds and the waters in the oceans which were separated on the second day. Dr. Fred Whipple of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory called Comets dirty ice balls. Actually some have metal but many are only water. The lower waters are trapped in rocks deep below the earth and the seas, lakes and ponds are what we see on the surface for otherwise if there was no water up in the clouds and out of this world or deep in the belly of the earth, we would never have the creation of dry land. There of course is ice in glaciers and the two poles.

7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so.

And God made the expanse: He fixed it upon its base, which is [what is meant by] “making” it; as [in the verse] (Deut. 21:12):“and she shall ‘do’ her nails,” וְעָשְׂתָה. above the expanse: It does not say, “on the expanse,” but “above the expanse,” because they [the waters] are suspended in the air (Mid. Ps. 19:4). Now why does it not say, “that it was good” on the second day? Because the work involving the water was not completed until the third day, although He commenced it on the second day, and an unfinished thing is not in its fullness and its goodness; and on the third day, when He completed the work involving the water and He commenced and completed another work, He repeated therein “that it was good” twice (sic): once for the completion of the work of the second day and once for the completion of the work of that [third] day. — [Gen. Rabbah 4:6]

8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.

And God called the expanse heaven: Heb. שָׁמַיִם [This is a combination of the words מַיִם שָׂא, bear water (Gen. Rabbah 4:7); שָׁם מַיִם, there is water; אֵשׁ וּמַיִם, fire and water. He mingled them with one another and made the heavens from them (Chag. 12a).

Rashi explains the roots of the words. Over there is water or Shemayim. But actually the clouds hold in partially the fire of the sun (Aish) and water (Mayim). The Yiddish slag word for hard liquor is “fire-water” which is sort a taste of heaven.

9 And God said: 'Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear.' And it was so.

After the splitting of the upper and lower waters, it was possible now to have dry land so the next phase of creation moves ahead. With the initial light and heat still floating around from the Big Bang, there is enough to sustain plant life even though there is no sun and moon. Even though the Lubavitcher Rebbe says 24hour days, it is irrelevant without a sun and a moon as reference.

Let the water…gather: They were spread out over the surface of the entire earth, and He gathered them in the ocean, [the Mediterranean], which is the largest of all the seas. — [from Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer, Ch. 5; Gen. Rabbah 5:2]

10 And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters called He, Seas; and God saw that it was good.

He called seas: But is it not one sea? However, the flavor of a fish that comes up from the sea in Acre differs from the flavor of a fish that comes up from the sea in Spain. — [from Eikev 39]

11 And God said: 'Let the earth put forth grass, herb yielding seed, and fruit-tree bearing (fruit trees producing) fruit after its kind, wherein is the seed thereof, upon the earth.' And it was so.

I put the parenthesis around the Chabad translation as the Medrash states that the trees were supposed to produce wood that tasted like the fruit. If not for human teeth for mice, beavers and many herbivorous animals.

Let the earth sprout vegetation, seed yielding herbs: דֶּשֶׁא does not have the same meaning as עֵשֶׂב, and עֵשֶׂב does not have the same meaning as דֶּשֶׁא. And it would have been inappropriate for the Scriptural text to use the expression, תַּעֲשִׂיב הָאָרֶץ (let the earth bring forth herbs), for there are various species of דֶּשֶׁא, each one by itself which is called a particular עֵשֶׂב. And it would not be the correct term for the speaker to say, “such-and-such a דֶּשֶׁא,” because the term דֶּשֶׁא applies to the earth’s covering, when it is filled with vegetation. Let the earth sprout: Let it be filled and covered with a mantle of herbs. In Old French, דֶשֶׁא is called erbediz, herbage, all in a mixture, whereas each root individually is called עֵשֶׂב. Seed-yielding: That its seeds should grow in it from which to sow elsewhere. Fruit trees: That the taste of the tree should be like the taste of the fruit. It [the earth] did not do so, however, but “the earth gave forth, etc., trees producing fruit,” but the trees themselves were not fruit. Therefore, when man was cursed because of his iniquity, it [the earth] too was punished for its iniquity (and was cursed-not in all editions). - [from Gen. Rabbah 5:9] In which its seed is found: These are the kernels of every fruit, from which the tree grows when it is planted.

Rabbi Mimran Shlita pointed out to me that there was one tree that produced wood that tastes like its fruit and that is the Esrog. From this we get the name Pri Hadar for the Esrog. But also there is a lesson to be learned from this. Even if everybody is not doing the proper thing (they bring home and keeps pens from the office or they hang out gambling in Las Vegas) one should separate himself from the wrong crowd and do what is proper even if he looks foolish for in the next world the true fools will be revealed.

12 And the earth brought forth grass, herb yielding seed after its kind, and tree bearing fruit, wherein is the seed thereof, after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

And the earth gave forth, etc.: Even though לְמִינֵהוּ. “according to its kind,” was not said regarding the herbs when they were commanded [to grow], they heard that the trees were commanded thus, and they applied an a fortiori argument to themselves, [a קַל וָחוֹמֶר -from the minor to the major], as is explained in the Aggadah of Tractate Chullin (60a).

Not the survival of the fittest but a command that diversifies the types of herbs and grasses.
13 And there was evening and there was morning, a third day. 14 And God said: 'Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years;

The original light of the Big Bang sufficed for three days according to Rashi. Thus for those like both Hirsch and the Lubavitcher Rebbe who go by Pshat and not Kabbalah the placement of objects in the heavens would have to have happened faster than the speed of light which we have yet to discover.

Let there be luminaries, etc.: They were created on the first day, and on the fourth day, He commanded them to be suspended in the sky, and likewise, all the creations of heaven and earth were created on the first day, and each one was fixed in its proper place on the day that was decreed upon it. That is why it is written: “with the heavens (אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם) to include their products, ”and with the earth (וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ)," to include its products. — [Gen. Rabbah 1:14] Let there be luminaries: Heb., יְהִי מְאֹרֹת It [the word, מְאֹרֹת is written without a “Vav,” [thus, the word can be מְאֵרֹת meaning curses] because it [the fourth day] is a cursed day when children become ill with croup. This is what we learned (Ta’anith 27b): “on the fourth day [of the week], they [the men of the ma’amad] would fast so that children should not become ill with croup.” To separate between the day and between the night: (This happened) after the first light was hidden away, but during the seven (another reading: during the three) days of Creation, the primordial light and darkness served together, both by day and by night. — [Medrah Yelammedenu , as quoted in Yalkut Shim’oni] According to the Ramban and early editions of Rashi , it appears that the reading, “during the seven days of Creation,” is the authentic reading. Ramban , however quotes the Genesis Rabbah , which states that the original primordial light served only during the first three days, until the sun and the moon were suspended in the sky. After that, the primordial light was hidden away, as in Rashi to verse 4. Note also that several early manuscripts and printed editions of Rashi read: “but in the seven days of Creation, the primordial light and darkness served, this one by day and this one by night.” This is also the reading of Mizrachi , and it appears more accurate than our reading, because, in fact, the light and the darkness did not serve together, as Rashi explains in verse 4.] And they shall be for signs: When the luminaries are eclipsed, it is an unfavorable omen for the world, as it is said (Jer. 10:2): “and from the signs of the heaven be not dismayed, etc.” When you perform the will of the Holy One, blessed be He, you need not fear retribution. — [from Succah 29a] And for appointed seasons: This refers to the future, when the Israelites are destined to be commanded concerning the festivals and they [the festivals] are reckoned from the first phase of the moon. — [from Gen. Rabbah 6:1]. And for days: The sun serves for half a day, and the moon for half of it, so that you have a full day. And years: At the end of 365 days (other editions: and a 1/4 of a day) they complete their revolution through the twelve constellations of the zodiac, which serve them, and that constitutes a year. (Other editions read: and that is 365 and 1/4 days), and they return and start a second time to revolve on the sphere like their first revolution.

Signs for Astrology but as Rashi says a Jew who does Teshuva, Tephilla and Tzeduka has nothing to fear. Either if he is destined to have a car accident it is a scrap in parking or a fender bender and not a horrible accident or if he is destined to be injured for a sin it is only light.

15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth.' And it was so.

And they shall be for luminaries: In addition, they will serve in this function, viz. to shed light upon the world. And they shall be for luminaries: In addition, they will serve in this function, viz. to shed light upon the world

So on the fourth day, the earth was captured by the sun and either it was an earth-moon system or the moon joined with the earth too on that day. The size of the disks were just right as to cover one another in an eclipse.

16 And God made the two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; and the stars.

The two great luminaries: They were created equal, but the moon was made smaller because it brought charges and said, “It is impossible for two kings to use the same crown.” - [from Chullin 60b] Rashi (ad loc.) explains that this derash is based on the discrepancy of the two expressions, “the two great luminaries,” which intimates that the moon was a great luminary, and“the lesser luminary,” which intimates that the moon was smaller than the sun. To reconcile this difference, the Rabbis asserted that the moon was originally created equal to the sun, but, because of its complaint that the sun wielded the same power that it wielded, it was forced to relinquish that power. And the stars: Because He diminished the moon, He increased its hosts, to appease it. - [from Gen. Rabbah 46:4 and Chullin 60b] i.e., The stars serve as the entourage of the moon. When it comes out, they accompany it, and when it sets, they too set. [Gen. Rabbah ad loc.]

There is a beautiful and long Medrash about the moon and the sun. The moon got the place for the Shechina and is therefore associated with Shidduchim and Romance.

17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.

The primordial glow had weakened enough for the “viewer” who was not yet created to view the stars in the sky along with the moon.

I am purposely skipping ahead to the creation of the Shabbos and the Kiddush for Shabbos. For I would be getting in a bit over my head at this point scientifically to say that the dinosaurs came after birds as the scientists think the opposite. There is a relationship but the Torah reverses the creation and then goes according to scientists if you check into the fifth day and I like to comment on more solid ground.

20 And God said, "Let the waters swarm a swarming of living creatures, and let fowl fly over the earth, across the expanse of the heavens." It appears to be first fish, then birds. 21 And God created the great sea monsters (הַתַּנִּינִם הַגְּדֹלִים), and every living creature that crawls, with which the waters swarmed, according to their kind, and every winged fowl, according to its kind, and God saw that it was good. Rashi interprets based on the Gemara sea monsters but it could also be dinosaurs as an interpretation. In any event, the Pshat of the second Pasuk is birds after these animals or fish.

… 31 And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day (יוֹם הַשִּׁשִּׁי).

Here we have a combination of Yud and Hay together. Chapter 2.1 starts off with the words (וַיְכֻלּוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם). Thus we stand for Kiddush for witnessing for we add a Vav and a Hay which is the Tetragrammaton of the NAME. The end of the sentence regarding the six days and the start of Shabbos rest is (אֲשֶׁר בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים לַעֲשׂוֹת:). The ending of the words is Aleph, Mem and Tav or Emmet. Thus we stand for HASHEM Emmet and after our witnessing, we sit to make the blessing on wine as our Sages said it is unhealthy to eat or drink standing.

The Talmud says, “He who humbles himself, honor runs after him. He who looks for honor it runs from him.” On Simchas Torah they asked for the first residents to get a circling with the Torah. I was actually the first of those present in the Synagogue but was trying to hide myself. Well the next batch I was called and carried the singing around the central Torah reading platform.

On a narrow winding Safed street by Rabbi Yerachmiel Tilles

Every Wednesday I receive a booklet in my in-box from an important Rav-Mashpiah (one Rabbi who has spiritual influence or Rabbi and spiritual advisor) in Jerusalem. I read it from beginning to end on Fridays. In the 14-18 pages there are always a few gems to pass along at the Shabbos table.

But one Friday I was just too busy. In fact, it was only the following week when the new one arrived on the last Wednesday of 5776 that I realized I had yet to read the previous edition. I immediately did so. The section that particularly struck me was about the importance of saying Amen properly, and how important doing so is for the blessing and the blesser as well as the responder. He then told two remarkable stories to exemplify his message.

Here they are, translated, edited and shortened by yours truly from Yeshiva English to standard English.

1) Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin1 was meticulous in reciting a blessing only when someone else was present to answer "Amen."2 Once, while studying into the wee hours of the night, he felt he needed to drink a cup of water, but there was no one to answer Amen to his blessing. Just then, one of the top students of his yeshiva came to the Study Hall to ask him to explain a difficult commentary of Tosefos on the Talmudic tractate they were studying. Rabbi Chaim explained the Tosefos and then he said the blessing on the water. The student answered Amen and Rabbi Chaim thanked him, whereupon the student left
The next day, Rabbi Chaim said to the young man, "Thank you once again for answering Amen. I was so thirsty last night; I wouldn't have been able to continue learning without your help."

The student said he didn't understand what the Rebbe was referring to. He had slept the entire night.

Rabbi Chaim Volozhiner then understood that it was Eliyahu HaNavi (Elijah the Prophet) who had appeared to him, with the appearance of the student, to help him with his resolution to only say a blessing when someone was present to answer Amen.

2) Before making a blessing, Rebbe Shmelke of Nickelsburg3 also always made sure that someone would be near him to answer Amen. He explained that when one recites a blessing it creates an angel, but the angel isn't complete unless someone answers Amen to the blessing.

Once, when Rebbe Shmelke was traveling, he descended from the carriage in order to relieve himself. After that he needed to make the required blessing afterward, "Asher Yatzar…,"4 but there was no Jew in sight to answer Amen. Suddenly, he saw two people. Their appearance was inspiring. He said the blessing and they promptly answered Amen strongly. Then they disappeared.

Rebbe Shmelke guessed that these two 'men' were actually the angels Raphael and Gabriel. They came down from heaven, to help him complete the blessing properly. Shortly after, he fell asleep in the carriage, and it was revealed to him that he had assumed correctly. The two "men" were the angels Raphael and Gabriel, and his interpretation was also correct.

The effect on me lasted long enough to inspire some Amens with far greater focus than usual during Mincha. However, reading the booklet when I did have also caused me to be late for Mincha at my usual shul, and I had to attend another one instead, located in a different direction. In the middle of my walk back from that shul to my office in Ascent, on one of those narrow winding Tsfat streets, a man coming from the opposite direction suddenly stopped me by putting his hand on my forearm. He had a full size knitted yarmulke on his head, but no beard.

He looked up at me and I stared back at him. Neither of us uttered a sound.

Then, while still holding my arm, he slowly and carefully enunciated the forty-four word Asher Yatzar blessing!

I listened just as carefully and responded a hearty Amen.

Again silence.

Then he walked on in his direction and I walked in mine
* * *

Do you agree that there are many lessons for me to absorb from this complex lightning stroke of Divine Supervision? Which is your favorite?

May all my readers be blessed by the One Above with boundless revealed goodness.

Connection: Weekly Reading of Beresheis -- [On the sixth day,] G-d created the human body complete with all its complexities.

1 Chief disciple of the Vilna Gaon; patriarch of the Soloveitchik dynasty.
2 The Midrash says, "There is nothing greater for HaKadosh Baruch Hu than the Amens that [the people of] Yisrael answer." The Gemara says, "One who answers Amen is [doing a] greater [deed] than the one who says the blessing." The Zohar says, "Whoever doesn't answer Amen with Kavannah (focused attention), about him it is written, 'Those who disgrace Me, will lose their honor' (I Shmuel 2:30)." And in contrast, someone who is careful with Amen will receive honor. As it says, "I honor those who honor Me" (Ibid)."

3 A fellow disciple of the Maggid of Mezritch together with Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Chabad.
4 "Blessed are You…who created within [man] orifices and cavities…that if but one of them were to be blocked or…to be opened, it would be impossible to [live]…. Blessed are You…"

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Inyanay Diyoma

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Rigged System example Ohio:
During election night in 2012, the pundits breathlessly proclaimed that it was all going to come down to Ohio.  They told us that if Mitt Romney was going to have any chance of winning the election that he had to win Ohio, and so that was the state to watch more than any other.
One of the counties where Barack Obama really needed to run up votes was in Cuyahoga County.  But Barack Obama didn’t just solidly win in Cuyahoga County.  In fact, there were 16 precincts were Mitt Romney did not receive a single vote.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Earlier today I went to the official Cuyahoga County website, and the results from the last election are still up.  The following are the vote totals for Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in the precincts where Mitt Romney did not get any votes…
0154 CLEVELAND -02-Q: 542 – 0
0192 CLEVELAND -04-L: 388 – 0
0204 CLEVELAND -05-E: 597 – 0
0205 CLEVELAND -05-F: 483 – 0
0206 CLEVELAND -05-G: 257 – 0
0219 CLEVELAND -05-T: 386 – 0
0228 CLEVELAND -06-H: 405 – 0
0232 CLEVELAND -06-L: 70 – 0
0233 CLEVELAND -06-M: 419 – 0
0241 CLEVELAND -06-U: 118 – 0
0248 CLEVELAND -07-F: 361 – 0
0273 CLEVELAND -08-J: 472 – 0
0280 CLEVELAND -08-Q: 49 – 0
0285 CLEVELAND -09-B: 414 – 0
0288 CLEVELAND -09-E: 478 – 0
0523 EAST CLEVELAND -04-C: 486 – 0
There were also a whole host of precincts in Cuyahoga County where Mitt Romney received just one or two votes Overall, Barack Obama won more than 99 percent of the vote in more than 100 precincts in just this one county.
How in the world does that happen?
Well, I think that what ordinary voters were telling reporters on election day in Ohio gives us a big clue.  According to Fox News, there were voters in Ohio that said that they tried to vote for Romney but the voting machines kept switching their votes to Obama…
“I don’t know if it happened to anybody else or not, but this is the first time in all the years that we voted that this has ever happened to me,” said Marion, Ohio, voter Joan Stevens. 
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From one of my J.W. friends:

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Yes, the wind blew and the rain fell in Israel. Have a good Shabbos,                     Rachamim Pauli