Friday, January 16, 2009

Parsha Shemos, Miracles of the week, War stories, Good Shabbos Stories

Aaron Yehoshua ben Chaya Shoshana is a soldier who needs our prayers urgently. (He is the soldier critically injured the son of Rabbi Zev Krov of Netivot.)

Guest Rabbi From the True World thanks to Yosef Rabin: Among the people I correspond with is Rabbi Shlomo’s daughter I was over whelmed at what she wrote me back: I'm sitting here crying.. Thank you for sharing this with me.. He said those words so close to the time he left the world, I'm so blessed we're able to experience his message again now..
I'm going to share this video with everyone here, and I hope and pray it can give all of us renewed strength and conviction..
On a personal level, I'm sure you didn't realize how deeply I needed to hear this. I'm going to Israel to sing next week, and now as a mother to a 2 year old, have been feeling scared.. Thank you for reminding me about why I'm going..
May you be so blessed..
Best always

Also by Rav Shlomo C.: From Gershon/R’ A.L part of Psalm 23:

Parsha Shemos

The life of freedom and independence that our forefathers had in molding Am Yisrael as written in Sefer Beresheis has ended. Now as a nation about to bloom we are being molded not in a Gan Eden life but in the horrors of an idol worshipping culture in Egypt. Our blood and that of our children are worthless to them. Our Sefer opens with the convenient forgetfulness of the loyal citizens in Goshen who pay their taxes and work for Pharaoh into a suspect people that have to be made into slaves and at time to time killed to reduce their population.

I wrote this 4 years ago but it is good for the hundreds of readers whom I have picked up over the years: How did the Bnei Yisrael become slaves? Shortly, after Levi died, the Egyptians saw the bulging population of the tribes as a potential threat. The USA has many ethnic groups. People are classified whether they like it or not as Italian Americans, Irish Americans, Hispanics, Negroes, Polish, Jews, etc. In Egypt, we were just the Bnei Yisrael, Hebrews, and foreigners not native to the place. We were excelling in medicine, science and more. Our business attitude and thriftiness brought about hatred for us. So when Pharaoh had a voluntary building campaign for the Pyramids, who were the first to donate – our forefathers. Later, the Egyptians viewed it as a way to stop the opium of the Hebrew masses. A compulsory draft was issued. Levi was the last brother to die and his tradition Yeshiva kept going so that his children were Priests and therefore exempt from the draft. Later the draft became slave labor.

1:8 Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph.

8. A new king arose. [There is a controversy between] Rav and Samuel. One says: He was really new, and the other one says: His decrees were new. [From Sotah 11a, Exod. Rabbah 1:8] Since the Torah does not say: The king of Egypt died, and a new king arose, it implies that the old king was still alive, only that his policies had changed, and he acted like a new king. [Rashi on Sotah 11a] and who did not know. [means that] he acted as if he did not know about him.

Since we are talking about a time period of the stay in Egypt as 210 years, it appears to be the natural order of things that a new Pharaoh would have to arise. After the death of Yacov, Yosef lived another 64 years but Levi lived the longest to an age 23 years more than Yosef was at his passing. Now the tribes were in Egypt 17 years before the death of Yacov.

9 And he said unto his people: 'Behold, the people of the children of Israel are too many and too mighty for us;

Typical bigotry which starts off let us say all foreign elements then a certain ethnic group and perhaps a certain religion or bearded vs. non-bearded or brunettes vs. blonds. Then the demographics scare the Egyptians. They breed like rabbits or something similar.

10 come, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there befalls us any war, they also join themselves unto our enemies, and fight against us, and get them up out of the land.'

10. Get ready let us deal shrewdly with them. Heb. הָבָה. Every הָבָה [found in the Torah] is an expression of preparation and readiness. That is to say: Prepare yourselves for this. let us deal shrewdly with them. With the people [of Israel]. Let us act shrewdly regarding what to do to them. Our Rabbis, however, interpreted [that Pharaoh said], Let us deal shrewdly with the Savior of Israel [thus interpreting לוֹ as to him] by afflicting them [to die] with water, for He has already sworn that He would not bring a flood to the world. (But they [the Egyptians] did not understand that upon the whole world He would not bring [a flood] but He would bring it upon one nation In an old Rashi manuscript.) from Sotah 11a] and depart from the land. against our will. Our Rabbis, however, interpreted [i. e., depicted Pharaoh] as a person who curses himself but ascribes his curse to others. And it is as if it were written: and we will depart from the land, and they will take possession of it. [From Sotah 11a]

As an American or Britain etc. have you ever been asked what would happen if Israel were to battle the States where would your loyalty be? Nobody dares ask an Arab that question! Why only the Jews, after all we have not crashed planes into buildings on purpose or an underground ride in London or a commuter train in Madrid. Pharaoh and his inciters were just like that.

11 Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh store-cities, Pithom and Raamses.

Over the people. tax collectors. Heb. שָׂרֵי מִסִּים, lit., tax officers. מִסִּים denotes an expression of a tax (מַס), [so מִסִּים denotes] officers who collect the tax from them. Now what was the tax? That they build store cities for Pharaoh. to afflict them with their burdens. [I.e., with the burdens] of the Egyptians. store cities. Heb. מִסְכְּנֹתעָרֵי. As the Targum renders: קִרְוֵי בֵיתאוֹצָרָא, cities of storehouses], and similarly, Go, come to this treasurer (הַסּוֹכֵן) (Isa. 22:15), to the treasurer appointed over the storehouses. [From Exod. Rabbah 1:10] Pithom and Raamses. which were originally unfit for this, and they strengthened them and fortified them for storage.

Yosef and Mordechai set up a tax system for their respective kings. The Pharaohs abused the tax system with a slavery system. What was originally a 20% tax which was sufficient to protect the crops, maintain the army, pay for the roads, etc. became over a short time a slavery system. Modern governments have also turned into mass bureaucracies and regulators some regulations for health and soon to be controlling corporate and financial abuses can be good but others including the environment and safety can be over cumbersome. When children used to take a board and attach it to wheels to make a scooter, there were no requirements for crash and safety testing. My generation somehow survived until now but the fun of making a wagon or something similar is gone with safety rules and regulations (oh yes all our toys were made of metal and could be sharp and were lead painted – I hope at the time of this writing that I have not died from lead poisoning). Seriously modern governments should provide for education, garbage collection, sewer systems, health standards and hospitals, roads, public transportation, public safety such as fire departments, police, army, navy, etc. However, the individual should not be stifled. I once was working over time when my daughter got married. I worked on an exponential overtime system. My salary for 14 hrs of over time was something like 1014 NIS so the next month I worked 28 hours and received 998 NIS because I hit a different tax bracket. When I took on a teaching job sometimes for every shekel I earned, I took home 42 agorot and sometimes 39 agorot depending on my total earnings for the month. So is there incentive to work overtime or on a second job? You can answer that question. It was this abuse that eventually led Egypt into becoming a slave power.

12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad. And they were a dread because of the children of Israel.

But as much as they would afflict them. In whatever [way] they set their heart to afflict [them], so was the heart of the Holy One, blessed be He, to multiply [them] and to strengthen [them]. so did they multiply and so did they gain strength. Heb. כֵּן יִרְבֶּה וְכֵן יִפְרֹץ, lit., so will they multiply and so will they gain strength. [It means, however,] so did they multiply and so did they gain strength. Its midrashic interpretation is, however: The Holy Spirit says this: You [Pharaoh] say, Lest they multiply, but I say, So will they multiply. [From Sotah 11a] and they were disgusted. They were disgusted with their lives. (Others explain: And the Egyptians were disgusted with themselves, and it is easy to understand why.) Our Rabbis, however, interpreted it to mean that they [the Israelites] were like thorns (כקוצים) in their eyes -[from Sotah 11a]

This is the same question again are you a loyal American or more loyal to Israel? Are you a loyal American or a member of the Irish Republican Army? Are you a loyal law abiding American like LaGuardia, Giuliani, etc. or a member of the Italian Mafia? (My Italian Paisanos used to ask are you a cumba {one of us} or a scumba from the word scumbari {fool}) This attitude was really the first anti-semitism in history. While Lavan threatened to destroy Yacov and perhaps re-educate or destroy his grandchildren he was not per sec against the Hebrews (from that land over there, that different language, they are Caucasians and we are light colored Hamites).

13 And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigor.

Heb. בְּפָרֶ. With hard labor that crushes the body and breaks it. Rabbi Moshe Feinstein of righteous memory tells a story of his youth in the Soviet Union. The Communists (may their names be erased) saw that Pessach was coming and that the Jews were planning to observe it. In order to break the Jews they ordered that all school children would leave for school early and return home after a good indoctrination at 9 or 10 at night. Among them was little Moshe. His father knew that he could not do much with his son who was over-tired almost to exhaustion at the late hour that he came home from school. He took Moshe on his knee and said, “HASHEM took us out of Egyptian slavery unto freedom and will redeem us again in the future. Wash your hands for Matzah the bread of our affliction and say after the meal grace and go to bed.” I was once working at a large electronics plant in Ashdod with a Russian Engineer from Ashkelon named Sonya. We both had to work Chol HaMoed Pessach it was a few months to a year after the Yom Kippur War and we had to help with the logistics and advice regarding a drone plane and other goodies. We ate in the office and somehow she felt that I was staring at her. Perhaps I was because something was wrong with the picture and I could not figure it out. On one hand it looked normal for the work place but there was something out of time and out of place in the picture. There she was sitting in front of me eating bread. She was spouting propaganda that she had learned that people could not survive a week without bread. I tried to explain to her that Matzah from wheat was Pessach “bread” and the blessing was “HaMotzi” the same blessing for regular bread with the same grace after meals but I was speaking to a programmed robot. The Golem of Prague had more sense than somebody brainwashed in the Soviet Union.

14 And they made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field; in all their service, wherein they made them serve with rigor. 15 And the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah;

15. to the midwives. Heb. לַמְיַלְּדֹת. This is an expression similar מוֹלִידוֹת, [meaning] causing to give birth, but there is a light form and there is a heavy form, similar to שׁוֹבֵר, breaks, and מְשַׁבֵּר, shatters, דּוֹבֵר, says, and מְדַבֵּר, speaks. So are מוֹלִיד and מְיַלֵּד. Rashi classifies the Hebrew conjugations, those that have a dagesh in the second root letter, and those that do not. Of the seven conjugations, three have a dagesh, and four do not. Since it is more difficult to pronounce the letters with the dagesh, those conjugations are referred to as the heavy form, and those without the dagesh are referred to as the light (קַלִּים) [Sefer Hazikkaron] Shifrah. This was Yocheved, [called Shifrah] because she beautified [מְשַׁפֶּרֶת] the newborn infant. [From Sotah 11b] Puah. This was Miriam, [called Puah] because she cried (פּוֹעָה) and talked and cooed to the newborn infant in the manner of women who soothe a crying infant. פּוֹעָה is an expression of crying out, similar to “Like a travailing woman will I cry (אֶפְעֶה) " (Isa. 42:14). Rashi on Sotah 11b explains that she played with the infant to soothe and amuse him.

Here is the mighty Pharaoh who calls himself the incarnation of the sun god on earth speaking to some lowly midwives pleading with them. They in turn were the first Israeli diplomats in that they answered Pharaoh cunningly. He hates the Jews so they speak to him that the Jewish women are like animals giving birth in the wild. By playing to Pharaoh’s hatred and that of his advisors, they diplomatically kept themselves alive but also kept saving the children. So what does Pharaoh do? He builds a Mayanay Yeshua Hospital in Egypt (name of the large maternity hospital in Bnei Berak – if Rabbi Glixsman TzZal was telling this, I could hear him chuckle at this point). The same mentality exists among the Arabs today towards Jewish babies. Kill the males or female infants in their eyes for they will grow up to be soldiers. I have a friend who is turned off by Numbers 31 when all the males on a command from G-D starting with the age of zero were killed. Unfortunately, this was the moral standard in the world at that time and still exists today among our cousins the Arabs.

16 and he said: 'When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, ye shall look upon the birthstool: if it be a son, then ye shall kill him; but if it be a daughter, then she shall live.'

Heb. בְּיַלְדְכֶן, like בְּהוֹלִידְכֶן. See Rashi on preceding verse. on the birthstool. Heb. הָאָבְנָיִם, the seat of the woman in childbirth, but elsewhere (Isa. 37:3) it is called מַשְׁבֵּר Similar to this, [we find] who does work on the אָבְנָיִם (Jer. 18:3), the seat [i.e., place] of the tools of a potter. (Compare commentary digest in Judaica Press Jer. 18.3.) if it is a son, etc. Pharaoh cared only about the males, because his astrologers told him that a son was destined to be born who would save them. [From Exod. Rabbah 1:18] she may live. Heb. וָחָיָה, וְתִחְיֶה, she may live.

Pharaoh was a fool because an older male can still reproduce with dozens of females and increase the population. (Fellows if you want a happy life, I don’t recommend trying this tactic) It was a way to control the population but not very effective. It also was not a way to prevent the Moshiach of the time from coming either. The Astrologers could only see things under the stars but not above and find the creator of heaven and earth.

17 But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men-children alive. 18 And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them: 'Why have ye done this thing, and have saved the men-children alive?'

They provided water and food for them. [From Sotah 11b] [The word וַךְתְּחַיֶּיןָ is found in verse 17 and again in verse 18.] The first is translated וְקַיָּמָא, and they enabled to live, and the second וְקַיֵּמְךְתִּין, and you enabled to live, because in Hebrew, for the feminine plural, this word and others like it are used as the third person past tense and the second person past tense, e.g. “And they said (וַךְתֹּאמַרְןָ), ‘An Egyptian man מִצְרִי) (אִישׁ ’” (Exod. 2:19), the past tense, like וַיֹּאמְרוּ for the masculine plural; you have spoken (וַךְתְּדַבֵּרְנָה) with your בְּפִיכֶם (Jer. 44:25), an expression like וַךְתְּדַבֵּרְנָה, the equivalent of דִבַּרְךְתֶּם for the masculine plural. Similarly, You have profaned (וַךְתְּחַלֶּלְנָה) Me before My people (Ezek. 13:19), the past tense, an expression like חִלַּלְךְתֶּם, the equivalent of וַךְתְּחַלּלוּ for the masculine plural. If it was necessary to supply the infants with food, Ohr Hachayim asks why the midwives did not do it prior to Pharaoh’s decree. He answers that the Torah means that despite Pharaoh’s decree, the midwives continued their previous practice, that is, supplying needy children with nourishment. He suggests further that they particularly sustained the male children lest one die and they be suspected of being responsible for his death. Rashi explains that in the Hebrew, there is a conversive vav, (turning past into future and future into past). Therefore, since the future forms of the feminine plural, both in the second person and in the third person, are identical, the same is true for the past forms with the conversive vav. [Mizrachi] In Aramaic, however, since there is no conversive vav, the two past forms are different. [Divrei David] 19. for they are skilled as midwives. Heb. חָיוֹת, as skillful as midwives. The Targum מְיַלְּדֹת is חַייָתָא Our Rabbis (Sotah 11b), however, interpreted it to mean that they [the Israelite women] are compared to beasts (חַיּוֹת) of the field, which do not require midwives. Now where are they compared to beasts? A cub [and] a grown lion (Gen. 49:9), a wolf, he will prey (Gen. 49:27), His firstborn bull (Deut. 33:17), a swift gazelle (Gen. 49:21). Whoever [was not compared to a beast as above] was included by Scriptures in [the expression] and blessed them (Gen. 49:18). Scripture states further: How was your mother a lioness? (Ezek. 19:2). [From Sotash 11b] [
20. God benefited. Heb. וַיֵּיטֶב, bestowed goodness upon them. This is the difference in a word whose root is two letters and is prefixed by “vav yud” : When it is used in the causative sense, the “yud” is vowelized with a “tzeirei,” which is a “kamatz katan” (or with a “segol,” which is a “pattach katan” ), e.g., God benefited (וַיֵּיטֶב) the midwives ; and He increased (וַיֶרֶב) in the daughter of Judah (Lam. 2:5), He increased pain; And he exiled (וַַיֶּגֶל) the survivors (II Chron. 36:20), referring to Nebuzaradan, he exiled the survivors; and turned (וַיֶּפֶן) tail to tail (Jud. 15:4), he turned the tails one to another. All these are the causative conjugation [lit., causing others to do]. When it is used in the simple, kal conjugation, however, the “yud” is vowelized with a “chirik,” e.g., and it was pleasing (וַיִּיטַב) in his eyes (Lev. 10:20), an expression meaning that it was good; and similarly, and the people multiplied (וַיִּרֶב) (Exod. 1:20), the people increased; And Judah went into exile (וַיִּגֶל) (II Kings 25:21), Judah was exiled; He turned (וַיִּפֶן) this way and that way (Exod. 2:12), he turned here and there. Do not refute me from וַיֵּלֶ, וַיֵּשֶׁב, וַיֵּרֶד, and וַיֵּצֵא, because these are not of the grammatical form of those, for the “yud” is the third radical in them, יָלֹך, יָשׁב, יָרֹד, and יָצֹא, in which the “yud” is the third letter. God benefited the midwives. What was this benefit?

19 And the midwives said unto Pharaoh: 'Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwife come unto them.' 20 And God dealt well with the midwives; and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty. 21 And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that He made them houses.

The houses of the priesthood, the Levitic family, and the royal family, which are called houses, as it is written: And he built the house of the Lord and the house of the king, (I Kings 9:1) [sic] 5, the priesthood and the Levitic family from Yocheved and the royal family from Miriam, as is stated in tractate Sotah (11b).

22 And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying: 'Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.'

On the day Moses was born, his astrologers told him [Pharaoh], Today the one who will save them has been born, but we do not know whether from the Egyptians or from the Israelites, but we see that he will ultimately be smitten through water. Therefore, on that day he issued a decree also upon the Egyptians, as it is said: Every son who is born, and it does not say: who is born to the Hebrews. They did not know, however, that he [Moses] would ultimately suffer because of the water of Meribah (Num. 20:7-13) [i.e., that he would not be permitted to enter the Holy Land]. [From Sotah 12a, Exod. Rabbah 1:18, Sanh. 101b]

This is the dawning of the age of Pieces as Moshe was born on the seventh of Adar. The next few lines are out of sync with the Astrologers mentioned above but a continuation of the story in chronological order from the time of the building of the hospital.

2:1 And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi.

He, Amram, was separated from her because of Pharaoh’s decree (and he remarried her. This is the meaning of went, that he followed [lit., he went after] his daughter’s advice that she said to him, Your decree is harsher than פַּרְעֹה. Where as Pharaoh issued a decree [only] against the males, you [issued a decree] against the females as well [for none will be born]. This [comment] is found in an old Rashi ), and he took her back and married her a second time. She too was transformed to become like a young woman [physically], but she was [actually] 130 years old. For she was born when they came to Egypt between the חוֹמוֹת and they stayed there 210 years. When they left, Moses was 80 years old. If so, when she conceived him, she was 130 years old, yet [Scripture] calls her a daughter of Levi. [From Sotah 12a, Exod. Rabbah 1:19]

2 And the woman conceived, and bore a son; and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months.

When he was born, the entire house was filled with light. [From Sotah 12a, Exod. Rabbah 1:20] The boy was born circumcised and therefore Pharaoh’s spies would not see a mohel coming to the house. No intelligence gathering in this house in Goshen.

3 And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch; and she put the child therein, and laid it in the flags by the river's brink.

because the Egyptians counted her [pregnancy] from the day that he [Amram] took her back. She bore him after [only] six months and one day (Sotah 12a), for a woman who gives birth to a seven-month child may give birth after incomplete [months] (Niddah 38b, R.H. 11a). And they searched after her at the end of nine [months]. reed. Heb. גֹּמֶא, גִמִי in the language of the Mishnah, and in French jonc, reed grass. This is a pliable substance, which withstands both soft [things] and hard [things]. [From Sotah 12a] with clay and pitch. Pitch on the outside and clay on the inside so that the righteous person [Moses] should not smell the foul odor of pitch. [From Sotah 12a] and put [it] into the marsh. Heb. וַתָּשֶׂם בָּסוּף. This is an expression meaning a marsh, rosei(y)l, in Old French [roseau in modern French], reed. Similar to it is reeds and rushes (קָנֶה וָסוּף) shall be cut off (Isa. 19:6). [From Sotah 12b]

Actually Cecile De Mille’s version of a house to house search by Pharaoh’s soldiers seems more logical to me as such is the way of kings, armies and police.

4 And his sister stood afar off, to know what would be done to him. 5 And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe in the river; and her maidens walked along by the river-side; and she saw the ark among the flags, and sent her handmaid to fetch it.

to bathe, to the Nile. Heb. עַל הַיְאֹר. Transpose the verse and explain it: Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe in it. along the Nile. Heb. עַל יַד הַיְאֹר, next to the Nile, similar to: See, Joab’s field is near mine (רְאוּ חֶלְקַת יוֹאָב אֶל יָדִי) (II Sam. 14:30). יָדִי is a literal expression for hand, because a person s hand is near himself. [Thus, the word יָדSotah 12b): הֹלְכֹת is an expression of death, similar to: Behold, I am going (הוֹלֵ) to die (Gen. 25:32). They [her maidens] were going to die because they protested against her [when she wanted to take the basket]. The text supports them [the Sages], because [otherwise] why was it necessary to write: and her maidens were walking? her maidservant. Heb. אֲמָתָהּ, her maidservant. Our Sages (Sotahאַמָּה, hence the cubit measure bearing the name, אַמָּה, which is the length of the arm from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger.] Following [the rules of] Hebrew grammar, however, it should have been vowelized אַמָּתָהּ, with a dagesh in the mem. They, however, interpreted אֶתאֲמָתָהּ this denotes proximity.] Our Sages said (o mean her hand, [that she stretched out her hand,] and her arm grew many cubits (אַמוֹת) [so that she could reach the basket]. [From Sotah 12b, Exod. Rabbah 1:23] 12b), however, interpreted it as an expression meaning a hand. [The joint from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger is known as

This is the ultimate disgrace of the tyrant Pharaoh that what all his sun godliness and attempts to destroy the Gezara of G-D, he actually up keeps the will of G-D. Man proposes and G-D disposes.

6 And she opened it, and saw it, even the child; and behold a boy that wept. And she had compassion on him, and said: 'This is one of the Hebrews' children.' 7 Then said his sister to Pharaoh's daughter: 'Shall I go and call thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?'

Whom did she see? The child. Its midrashic interpretation is that she saw the Shechinah with him. [From Sotah 12b, Exod. Rabbah 1:23] and behold, he was a weeping lad. [Even though he was an infant] his voice was like that of a lad. [From Sotah 12b]
7. from the Hebrew women. This teaches [us] that she had taken him around to many Egyptian women to nurse, but he did not nurse because he was destined to speak with the Shechinah. [From Sotah 12b, Exod. Rabbah 1:25].

Moshe is rescued by Batya, the daughter of Pharaoh. Moshe will not suckle from any of the Egyptian Nurses so Batya asks Miriam to find a Hebrew wet nurse. Yocheved then nurses Moshe for payment. Can you imagine how HASHEM turns events around! Here is the threat that Pharaoh fears growing up in his own house and under royal guard protection.

8 And Pharaoh's daughter said to her: 'Go.' And the maiden went and called the child's mother.

So the girl went. Heb. הָעַלְמָה. She went with alacrity and vigor like a youth. [From Sotah 12b]

9 And Pharaoh's daughter said unto her: 'Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages.' And the woman took the child, and nursed it. 10 And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses, and said: 'Because I drew him out of the water.'

She prophesied but did not know what she prophesied. [She said,] This one is yours. [From Sotah 12b, Exod. Rabbah 1:25]
10. For I drew him from the water. Heb. מְשִׁיתִהוּ. The Targum renders: שְׁחַלְךְתֵּי, which is an Aramaic expression of drawing out, similar to [the expression] שֵׂינֵיתָא מֵחִלָבָא ְמַשְׁחֵל, like one who draws a hair out of milk (Ber. 8a). And in Hebrew, מְשִׁיתִהוּ is an expression meaning I have removed (משׁ), like shall not move away (לֹא יָמוּשׁ) (Josh. 1:8), did not move away (לֹא מָשׁוּ) (Num. 14:44). Menachem classified in this way [i.e., under the root משׁ in Machbereth Menachem, p. 120]. I say, however, that it (מְשִׁיתִהוּ) does not belong in the classification of מָשׁ and לֹא יָמוּשׁ, but [it is derived] from the root מָשֹׁה, and it means taking out and similarly, He drew me out (יַמְשֵׁנִי) of many waters (II Sam. 22:17). For if it were of the classification of [the word] מָשׁ, it would be inappropriate to say מְשִׁיתִהוּ, but הֲמִישׁוֹתִיהוּ, as one says from קָם (to rise), הֲקִימוֹתִי (I set up), and from שָׁב (to return), הֲשִׁיבוֹתִי (I brought back), and from בָּא (to come), הֲבִיאוֹתִי (I brought). Or מַשְׁךְתִּיהוּ, like and I will remove וּמַשְׁךְתִּי ) the iniquity of that land (Zech. 3:9). But מָשִׁיתִי is only from the root of a word whose verb form is formed with a “hey” at the end of the word, like מָשָׁה, to take out בָּנָה, to build; עָשָׂה, to do; צִוָּה, to command; פָּנָה, to turn. When one comes to say in any of these [verbs] פָּעַלְךְתִּי, I did, [i.e., first person past-tense], a “yud” replaces the “hey” : עָשִׂיתִי, I did; בָּנִיתִי, I built; פָּנִיתִי, I turned; צִוִּיתִי, I commanded.

So the L-RD has HIS will done and Moshe gets a good education in ruling, statesmanship, economics, logistics and supply.

... My posts years ago used to have a Parsha summary but since I am going into more detail I will skip a lot towards the end of the Parsha. Alright we miss out on the encounter between Moshe and the Shepherds and the marrying of Tzipporah and the burning bush but that will be our story in future years. ...

5:13 And the taskmasters were urgent, saying: 'Fulfill your work, your daily task, as when there was straw.' 14 And the officers of the children of Israel, whom Pharaoh's taskmasters had set over them, were beaten, saying: 'Wherefore have ye not fulfilled your appointed task in making brick both yesterday and today as heretofore?' 15 Then the officers of the children of Israel came and cried unto Pharaoh, saying: 'Wherefore deal you thus with thy servants? 16 There is no straw given unto thy servants, and they say to us: Make brick; and, behold, thy servants are beaten, but the fault is in your own people.' 17 But he said: 'Ye are idle, ye are idle; therefore ye say: Let us go and sacrifice to the LORD. 18 Go therefore now, and work; for there shall no straw be given you, yet shall ye deliver the tale of bricks.'

Heb. וְתֹכֶן לְבֵנִים, the count of the bricks, and similarly, " הַכֶּסֶף הַמְתֻכָּן, the counted money” (II Kings 12:12), as is stated in that section, “and packed and counted the money” (II Kings 12:11). — [from Onkelos] This reminds me of bosses in Engineering and Standards preparations that set deadlines for intellectual work some of which were easy to meet and others that were very hard to meet.

19 And the officers of the children of Israel did see that they were set on mischief, when they said: 'Ye shall not diminish aught from your bricks, your daily task.' 20 And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the way, as they came forth from Pharaoh; 21 and they said unto them: 'The LORD look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savor to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us.' 22 And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said: 'Lord, wherefore hast Thou dealt ill with this people? why is it that Thou hast sent me?

Why have You harmed this people?. And if You ask, “What is it to you?” [I answer,] “I am complaining that You have sent me.” -[from Tanchuma, Va’era 6] Moshe was one of the few people (Rabbi Levi of Berditchov was another) who would question HASHEM with a dialogue. Avraham did so also regarding saving Sodom but that was a Pekuach Nefesh matter to save the lives of a whole town.

23 For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Thy name, he hath dealt ill with this people; neither hast Thou delivered Thy people at all.'

6:1 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Now shall thou see what I will do to Pharaoh; for by a strong hand shall he let them go, and by a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land.'

You have questioned My ways [of running the world, which is] unlike Abraham, to whom I said, “For in Isaac will be called your seed” (Gen. 21:12), and afterwards I said to him, “Bring him up there for a burnt offering” (Gen. 22:2), yet he did not question Me. Therefore, now you will see. What is done to Pharaoh you will see, but not what is done to the kings of the seven nations when I bring them [the children of Israel] into the land [of Israel]. — [from Sanh. 111a] for with a mighty hand he will let them go. Because of My mighty hand, which will overpower Pharaoh, he will let them go. and with a mighty hand he will drive them out of his land. Against Israel’s will he will drive them out, and they will not have time to make provisions for themselves, and so He says, “And the Egyptians pressed the people strongly, etc.” (Exod. 12:33).

It is just a matter of a short time before you are redeemed. Before the dawn is usually the darkest and coldest part of the night and the same goes for redemption.

SOLVING G-D’S MESSAGES by: Rabbi Adam Winston - Jerusalem

As Orthodox Jews we know to always look for G-d’s hidden messages in every life event. G-d is everywhere, at every time. He seeks to educate us through the instructions contained in the Torah, both Written (Five Books of Moses) and the Oral (Talmud), as well as the events of daily life. If an Orthodox Jew slips on a pebble, he will often not just resolve to avoid unstable pebbles; he will hopefully ask himself “Why did that happen? What message is G-d sending to me?” Those of higher spiritual awareness live in a world of continual communication from a G-d whose messages they wish to hear.

Alternatively, those who wish to imagine that “they are in control”, that they “are independent from G-d” - will fanatically avoid hearing G-d’s messages, even when blatantly obvious. They want to be able to say “I did it My way”.

What conclusions can we draw from the various components of world’s ever-increasing financial melt down? Don’t lend to those who can’t afford to pay back? Don’t let yourself be fooled by improbably high returns? Watch out for the effects of greed on those who “hold the purse strings” and upon those who are supposed to regulate them? Indubitably. G-d made a world in a way that requires us to protect ourselves. So being prudent and watchful is also a means of listening to Him. But what else is He telling us? Are there messages we would rather ignore? How do you imagine G-d views the materialistic consumer lifestyle? Could the pursuit of economic success interfere with our real purpose in being on this planet? Will we find ways to “Solve the problem” - in this case the economic crisis - without hearing His messages? Will He need to send more severe messages in order to “wake us up”?

What about the security situation? We are required to protect ourselves in an effective and timely manner. We see the news and it captures our attention. We have great concern for those who are in danger and those risking their lives. We pray for their success and safety. But what is the message? Shall we “Win the battle” of security, but “Lose the war” of hearing the messages G-d is sending us?

What is the message? Hard to say, as we are not prophets. Still, the prophets and G-d Himself in the Torah has given us guidelines. We are all supposed to follow G-d’s Commandments. Those who already follow His Commandments are required to be constantly striving for higher levels in their service of G-d. There is a famous saying “There are no atheists in foxholes”. By putting us all into various kinds of “foxholes” - is G-d trying to guide us back to Him? He is infinite and has no needs. He gives us the privilege of serving Him through His Commandments as the means to come closer to the Radiance of His Splendor. It is solely for our benefit. It also the reason we are here in this earthly realm. By placing us into real and figurative “foxholes”, He insures that we are not wasting our lives. He insures that we do not become preoccupied with the “stage scenery” called planet Earth. The question is, do we want to hear Him? Or do we want to become consumed with following the news? Will He need to send us ever harsher messages, or will we chose to “Get the message”?

Kiddush HASHEM by YAR

(Sunday, January 4, 2009) This evening, my brother, who serves as a career military rabbi, told me the following story, which took place this past Shabbat, when the IDF entered Gaza.

He was one of three rabbis who spent Shabbat on a base not too far away from the border, together with a few hundred soldiers who were preparing for the ground incursion. After spending the day delivering shiurim and motivational speeches, the rabbis wondered if they should perhaps travel with the soldiers from the base to the staging location, in order to boost the soldiers' morale.

They deliberated and finally decided – with some hesitation – to go along with the soldiers.

Hoping to arrange a Mincha prayer service, the rabbis took a Sefer Torah with them. When it was time to get off the bus, my brother asked someone to pass the Torah to him (in order to mitigate the halachic issue of bringing something into a karmelit). However, when he got off the bus, the Torah stayed behind. He looked back into the bus and saw that the soldiers were passing the Torah from hand to hand. Each soldier took the opportunity to embrace it tightly.

Afterwards, a group of soldiers approached two of the rabbis. (The bearded rabbis stood out; one was holding the Sefer Torah, and the other was wearing his talit.) The soldiers asked the rabbis for a blessing. Since giving blessings isn't included in a military rabbi's standard job description, my brother told the soldiers that he would recite the blessing he uses for his sons on Leil Shabbat. To his amazement, more and more soldiers began approaching him. (According to him, most of them were traditional – i.e. not outwardly observant. The bnei yeshivot seemed less interested in receiving a blessing from the rabbis.) Soon, so many soldiers had amassed that the rabbis could no longer give personal blessings.

Instead, they spread out a talit over the crowd's heads – as is customary on Simchat Torah – and blessed everyone in unison.

With great emotion, several soldiers exclaimed that the rabbis' presence gave them strength and boosted their spirits. One soldier even added that the rabbis' blessing was more significant and meaningful for him than all the training sessions he had heard in the period leading up to the operation.

As the sun began to set, the long infantry columns set out towards the Strip. Meanwhile, the rabbis stood near the crossing with the Sefer Torah in their hands and called out words of encouragement and blessing to the soldiers. ("May Hashem be with you," "may Hashem bless you," and other phrases inspired by the Rambam's writings on fear during a battle.) The soldiers, in turn, kissed the Sefer Torah as they marched along.

Ashreichem Yisrael! (How fortunate are you, O Israel!)

My brother wanted to hear what I thought about the story, in terms of the Shabbat laws. He and his colleagues had been reprimanded by the brigade rabbi for permitting themselves to take the Sefer Torah with them. In fact, he claimed that the entire trip was problematic. (For instance, he rejected their argument that they were in a similar position to a husband who travels with his wife to the hospital on Shabbat when she is about to give birth, in order to give her emotional support.)

The commanding rabbi's words caused my brother to second guess himself. Although he was confident that he had acted in accordance with the worldview of IDF Chief Rabbi Rav Ronsky, he wasn't sure if he had acted properly.

I immediately assured him that in my opinion, his behavior constitutes an incredible Kiddush Hashem (sanctification of Hashem's Name).

How could anyone disagree? Posted By Ira Gidon

From David the forerunner of the Israeli Ski Patrol:

Latest Galaxy Creation Theory:

Fiction: A Holocaust survivor's memoir of love in a Nazi concentration camp, which was yanked from publication last month when he admitted it was a hoax, could reappear as a work of fiction. Berkley Books, a unit of Penguin Books, has canceled a planned publication of Herman Rosenblat's memoir, "Angel at the Fence." But York House Press, a small publishing house based in White Plains, New York, has said it was "in serious discussion" to publish the book as a work of fiction. "We believe Mr. Rosenblat's motivations were very human, understandable and forgivable," York House Press said in a statement, adding that the book, tentatively titled "Flower at the Fence," would be "grounded in fact." "We understand the dismay at this event of Holocaust historians who work tirelessly to assert the facts of the Holocaust and who must ensure the integrity of unimpeachable survivor accounts as a way to counter anti-Semites and Holocaust deniers of which there are still far too many.",7340,L-3653410,00.html

Assorted Miracles this week

A 770 Miracle: Rocket Hit Courtyard of Empty Chabad School, you can only imagine what would have been if the children were learning.

( A Grad rocket exploded in the courtyard of a Chabad school in Be'er Sheva Sunday morning. "It was a revealed miracle that classes had not been renewed," Chabad principal Simcha Weitzman said. The long-range missile hit around 7:30 a.m., when dozens of students usually are milling around in the educational facility in the 'Capital of the Negev.' "There usually are boys and girls arriving at school with their parents, or on buses at this hour," she added. "I have no doubt that the merits of the Rebbe protected us," the principal said, referring to the late Chabad-Lubavitch spiritual leader Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.

A miracle in Ashkelon: A frum family had the older son baby sitting for the sister and the cousin. He was on the top floor and ordered them into the sheltered room. He ran down the stairs and with a second or two to spare went into the room. The house took a direct hit. He said that if the sheltered room took a direct hit, he doubts that the and the other two would have survived. The family is crying over a blown up top floor and part of the lower floor but happy to be alive and unscathed except for a bit of shock.

Thursday evening: A similar incident in Beer Sheva where the sheltered room saves a man in his sixties and perhaps family members.

A miracle for Givati and one more for Golani: The Givati soldiers entered into a school to sleep. In the middle of the night, one of the soldiers woke up to use the facilities and he noticed wires all over the place. He quickly evacuated the rest and they found where the wires led and neutralized the bombs. The Golani Brigade came across a school and zoo next to the school that was wired up.

Tomer Goldstein was saved by a bone marrow transplant doctor aged 42 with his unit. He had either a blood filled or air filled lung collapsing it. His friends were told to keep him conscious by talking. I was at the Good Fence Israel/Lebanese Border when a Gynecologist and a Pediatrician were supposed to treat an injured South Lebanese Soldier who had lost blood from an artery. The doctor used to sewing up people explained to the Pediatrician how to perform an under clavicle infusion. The children’s doctor failed in split seconds the woman’s doctor had saved the man’s life. Now it was a matter of going to the hospital for transfusion and of course he sewed up the ruptured artery too or at least clamped it. For a normal patient in a hospital perhaps one would not think of Tomer’s procedure as a miracle but getting the right doctor at the right time with the right speed is the miracle.

Urban Legend from Gaza: It may already be an urban [combat] legend, but there are no atheists in foxholes.

An IDF soldier that entered Gaza along with his troop, passed by a house in Gaza. Next to the house he saw an old woman who warned him, "Don't enter this house, it's booby-trapped." The soldier ignored her, and continued towards the house, when to his surprise, he noticed the house was indeed booby-trapped.

The soldiers continued on into Gaza, and he saw the same old woman at another home, and she warned him once again, "Don't enter this house, it's booby-trapped." The soldier asked the woman, "You were at the other house, what are you doing here?"

The elderly woman replied, "I am Rachel the matriarch, and I'm here to protect you."

The solider called his Rabbi who told him that the previous day, his community was immersed in prayer, and beseeching Rachel to watch over the soldiers.

A miracle on the Hudson River. A US Airways plane with over 150 people on board after hitting a flock of birds and losing both engines managed to land safely in the very cold waters of the Hudson River and with the except of minor injuries and a bit of cold exposure, nobody was really hurt and all lives were saved!,2933,480108,00.html

A Shabbos Halacha

Is A Thermos Considered A Keli Rishon? (Definition below)

A “Keli Rishon” – a utensil in which food or liquid has been cooked – has the capacity to effectuate “cooking” in the Halachic sense of the term. This means that placing raw food inside a “Keli Rishon” on Shabbat violates the Torah prohibition of cooking on Shabbat. This applies even after the utensil has been taken off the fire, so long as it is still hot. However, if one transfers the contents of a “Keli Rishon” to another utensil, that second utensil – the “Keli Sheni” – does not have the capacity to cook. The walls of that utensil cool the hot liquid such that it is no longer capable of “cooking” as defined by Halacha. Thus, if one pours boiling water from its original pot into another utensil, one may cook raw food in the water in the second utensil.

Rabbi Moshe HaLevi (Israel, 1961-2001), in his work Menuhat Ahaba (vol. 2, p. 340), rules that this Halacha of “Keli Sheni” does not apply to a thermos. A thermos is specially insulated to retain the heat of its contents. As such, hot liquid poured from a “Keli Rishon” to a thermos cannot be assumed to have cooled, as it does in a regular “Keli Sheni.” We must therefore treat the thermos as a “Keli Rishon,” and it would be forbidden to place raw food or a teabag inside the thermos.

However, Rabbi Moshe Halevi adds, it would be permissible to pour hot water from a thermos onto a teabag to make tea. He reaches this conclusion on the basis of a combination of two factors. First, some Rishonim (Medieval Halachic authorities) maintain that liquid poured from a “Keli Rishon” does not have the capacity to cook; in their view, hot liquid can cook only while it is inside the original pot. Secondly, the water poured from a thermos into a teacup has come in contact with air twice – after leaving the original pot, and when leaving the thermos. This allows us to treat water poured from a thermos more leniently than water inside a thermos. Hence, although one may not place a teabag inside a thermos, one may pour hot water from a thermos onto a teabag in a teacup to make tea. This is also the ruling of Hacham Ovadia Yosef, as published in the pamphlet Kol Sinai.

This Halacha applies as well to an insulated tiger pot which people often fill with hot water from an urn and then bring to the table. It is permissible to pour from the tiger pot directly onto a teabag to prepare tea.

Summary: One may not place raw food inside a thermos or tiger pot of hot water, but one may pour hot water from a thermos or tiger pot onto raw food, such as a teabag.
From Rabbi Eli Mansour Shlita as sent to me by Rafael M.:

Annie forwarded this to me from Arutz 7: An IDF rabbi shared this personal testimony...

I had the privilege this week [the week before the ground offensive into Gaza - ed of accompanying the Golani Brigade's Regiment 12 soldiers. I am the regiment’s rabbi, in reserves, and I was called up to serve just like the all the rest, to “aid Israel at its time of tribulation.”

As a long-time baal-teshuvah [returnee to observant Judaism, a rabbi in a yeshiva who usually walks around wearing a jacket and hat, I now had a major change of atmosphere: my black “uniform” became one of dusty dark green, the hubbub of the Torah study hall was replaced by not-so-pleasing army slang, and my wife's delicious food was given up for the “delicacies” of the mess hall, most of which I don’t eat because of one stringency or another.

We spent most of the week in wet tents, with the terrible cold preventing me from sleeping at night. (I apparently wasn’t working as hard as the other soldiers, because they fell asleep the second they hit the pillow.)

My work, as an official of the Army Rabbinate, was to give encouragement and strength to the soldiers, give out Books of Psalms [Tehillim] and distribute special prayers for those who go out to battle.

Psalms for All

And what did I discover down there in southern Israel? My brothers! The Golanchiks (Golani Brigade soldiers), about to go out to war, want to hold on to the Rock of Israel! There wasn’t a soldier there who didn’t equip himself with a Tehillim in his pocket or combat vest - but the big surprise we had was when we gave out tzitzit [four-cornered shirt with the required ritual fringes attached. Usually only the yeshiva guys take them, but this time, every soldier there seemed to want one!

“Rabbi, bring me some tzitzit, my whole tent wants.” “Hey, achi [my brother, take one of these, it’s better than the ceramic vest!” These were the types of calls we kept hearing over and over. Every package of tzitzit that we opened was snatched up within seconds.

There was one young fighter who came to the synagogue whose face fell when he heard that there were no tzitzit left. He was totally bereft, until one of the officers who wasn’t going out to battle took off his own tzitzit and gave it to him, saying, “Take it, achi (in the Golani you can’t say something without achi), you need it now more than I do.”

Email readers: Click here to watch video on tzitzit distribution in the IDF organized by

The Maariv evening prayer of Friday night, Parashat Vayigash, was simply unbelievable. The Rabbinate realized that the synagogue was too small to fit all the hundreds of soldiers, and so it turned the soccer field into an impromptu synagogue, with prayer books, Holy Ark, and everything else.

Whoever did not take part in that Kabbalat Shabbat [Sabbath Welcoming service, is like one who never took part in a Kabbalat Shabbat service in his life! Almost the entire Golani Brigade, officers and soldiers, yelling out the Kaddish and Tehillim prayers. If it wasn’t for the uniform I was wearing, I could have almost thought that I was at a Yom Kippur service in one of the large yeshivot!

No Questions Asked

Our loving Father, too, was there, enjoying every minute of His sons gathering around Him. Our Father doesn’t ask, “Where have you been until now? Why do you remember Me just when you go out to war?” He welcomes all His children and embraces them with love.

After the Sabbath meal, held in an atmosphere of a great “high,” we were privileged to be able to hold an Oneg Shabbat for the soldiers. Chief IDF Rabbi Avi Ronsky was with us the whole Sabbath, and he warmed our hearts with stories of the Nation of Israel, on compassion, on brotherly love, and more. We sat outside with cake and sunflower seeds in the cold, but inside our hearts it was warm.

During the Sabbath, we had to travel to the places from where the soldiers would leave for Gaza. We arrived and the soldiers were imbued with combat spirit, getting ready, trying to get in a last cigarette. Many soldiers tried very hard not to smoke that Sabbath, after I explained to them the importance of observing the Sabbath. They would come up to me every five minutes and ask if the Sabbath had ended yet.

We prayed Maariv there, recited Havdallah [the Sabbath-ending blessing over grape juice, a lighter [instead of a candles and an orange [in place of spice. And then it was time to go in. The Regiment Commander gathered everyone for last-minute words of strength, and explained to them about the “corrective experience” we were about to impart to the enemy.

When he finished, the Deputy Commander read aloud the prayer before going out to battle. “Repeat after me,” he ordered, and a whole regiment of hundreds of soldiers yelled out, “Ana Hashem hoshia na! Ana Hashem hatzlicha na! [O G-d, save us! O G-d, grant us success” After the prayer, the Deputy Commander asked me to blow the Shofar, just as thousands of years ago when we conquered the Holy Land.

Perfect Coordination

Though I’ve blown the Shofar in public before, this particular time was something that will remain with me my whole life. And then, as if I and the Israel Air Force were in perfect coordination, the very second that I finished blowing the Shofar, our planes bombed the enemy area, as if it were a signal to begin the ground offensive.

The soldiers lined up in two columns, and as I parted from them with handshakes, I thought to myself, “What a special nation we have! This is how a Jewish army looks as it goes out to war – not with boastful ‘We will win’ stickers, but rather ‘We will win with G-d’s help.’”

No Dispute

I will just end by saying that where I live in Modi'in Illit, we have a clever interpretation of the verse ‘G-d’s voice is powerful’ – the word for power is spelled with the letters kaf and chet, which we say are the initials of kova and chalifan [hat and suit], our usual garb. But as of this week, we now know that they are also the initials of the kumta chuma [brown beret] worn by the Golani soldiers. There, too, the voice of G-d is heard – and “lo pligi” (there is no argument between the two, both are right).

Translated by Hillel Fendel

One of the neighborhood kids that have grown up was injured lightly with Aaron Yehoshua ben Chaya Shoshana this is just a sample story from the Gaza war: To all of you who called today with messages of support and offers of help, Thank you. Yair was injured very lightly in Aza early in the morning and is in Beilinson hospital. We are hoping he will be released tomorrow. We ask that you continue to say tehillim for Yair's mefaked- Aron Yehoshua ben Chaya Shoshana. Yair, the "kashar" Nechemya and the mem-mem Aron were all injured in the same takrit. Aron is very seriously injured and is not out of danger at all. He needs all of our tefilot. Nechemya is moderately wounded, and Yair is physically ok. We will keep you posted, we thank you all again for your tefilot and concern.
Shlomo and Chevi

Inyanay Diyoma

Not everything in the world is run by Just People: The Hamas are eliminating the PLO members calling them informers of Israel and in Israel: I saw an execution of PLO members in a video on line but the site was too gruesome to fwd.

I don’t understand this idea of the Defense Minister crying cease-fire all the time. What is he afraid that Hamas will not be entrancement enough and that we might sneak here or there a victory against the terrorist. Anybody remember what happened when Shaul let Agag live one night longer? Try Haman and others after him for size. Further on this subject Emmanuel Winston wrote about Barak who runs from everything: Ehud Barak, Israel’s current Minister of Defense, has become known as "The Runner" for his "Midnight Run" from Israel’s Security Zone in South Lebanon. (By the way, "Runner" in Hebrew is "Ratz".) Barak abandoned Israel’s Christian Lebanese allies without a hint he was going to pull out Israeli forces. In his panicky retreat, he left four tanks and long-range artillery with pallets of shells.

Worse yet, in his run he also left a vacuum which was quickly filled by Hezb’Allah that resulted in the saturation Katyusha attack leading to the Summer 2006 Lebanon War #2 - which was fumbled by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Amir Peretz and Chief-of-Staff Dan Halutz. Does he want more of this?

Rav Lazer Brody - New Reporter comes to Israel:,7340,L-3654472,00.html

Pro-Israeli Rallies were held in NY, Baltimore, Miami, LA, Charleston, (this coming Sunday in Toronto) and other cities but of course there was no shoe throwing like with the Plishtim Rallies. This Plishtim one included not the peace of John Lenin but: Below is the observation of an anonymous person on Craigslist "Rants" section, of Saturday's "Pro-Pali" Demonstration held in Downtown S. Francisco. The reference to Oscar Grant ... Oscar was an unfortunate fellow who got in the middle of a fight on the Bart Train on New Years Eve. He allegedly was trying to break up a fight between 2 other guys (they were all Black). A Bart Police Officer shot him "accidentally" in the back and killed him while he was being held down by 2 other officers. So there were riots in Downtown Oakland near where my daughter works. She said it was very scary, as there were windows broken and cars vandalized, etc. How Oscar Grant has anything to do with Gaza is beyond me. But the protestors here in the Bay Area are usually paid, and go to any demonstration that is anti-Israel, anti-Jewish, anti-American etc. They are our local "anarchists". What a great group of humanity! LOL!

Shavua Tov,


Pro-Palestinian Rally

Rally was a joke. It was a mix of all kind of people including socialists selling Lenin, Marx and Trotsky's books, idiots that somehow connected death of Oscar Grant and war in Gaza, fat lesbians with signs that was impossible to read, a guy who was offering Reiki massage and others who just enjoyed this free circus show and a nice Saturday day.

THE BIG LIES! Cong. Dennis J. Kucinich LIES by Emanuel A. Winston, Mid East analyst & commentator

The key to countering Kucinich’s vile slanders is to dispute all of his lies and false accusations plus to show how Hamas is using American as well as European arms, illegally but freely with no one objecting. Hamas may have gotten those arms from the Palestinian Authority when they took over the Gaza Strip in a military coup after winning a "democratic" election.

The Leftist creeps are out in full force, searching for any angle with which to castigate Israel. What is being ignored is that UNRWA schools have been used previously by Yassir Arafat and now by Hamas. A video shows Hamas firing from an UNRWA school in Beit Hanoun October 2007. UNRWA has yet to investigate this incident to disprove Israel’s claim. Until the shooting stops, it will be dangerous to fully investigate the UNRWA school building from which Hamas was shooting on January 6th. However, some TV shots already show the Mortar pock-marks from the Hamas firing, which any ballistics expert could identity, and from the explosions of the weapons’ depot inside, which could be seen as filmed on long distance TV.

The UNRWA school building was seen by Hamas, not as an untouchable sanctuary for civilians, but a convenient place where they could hide and fire weapons on January 6th - all the while screaming "Sanctuary" to the willing Media and the likes of Congressman Kucinich.

Schools, mosques, hospitals seized by Terrorists as firing positions and storage depots for Rockets, Missiles, Mortars, Explosives, Artillery and Ammunition should NOT be sanctuaries for Terrorists.

According to the Associated Press, two Palestinian residents said "they saw a small group of militants firing mortar rounds from a street near the school, where 350 people had gathered to get away from the shelling. They spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal."

This article deals only with one of Kucinich's lies regarding the UNRWA school. Several of his other lies are in his letter to Sec. Rice - to be countered in the future or by other resources.


1. UN School: Media Absolves Hamas Honest Reporting countering Media Bias

2. Letter from Dennis J. Kucinich, Member of Congress accusing Israel of using US arms against Hamas Terror - in violation of Arms Export Control Act + his letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, with many accusations [mostly false and very hostile], officially requesting an immediate report to Congress. [We must protest this in the Media and to his contact Nathan White (202)225-5871]

Log on to HonestReporting to get the onscreen photos & videos.

UN School: Media Absolves Hamas

Dear HonestReporting Subscriber, With Hamas using the civilian population of Gaza as a human shield, we warned in our last communique of the imminent danger of a future mass casualty event and the increased pressure on Israel from media reaction.

With Hamas losing on the battlefield, we posited that the terrorist group would hit back by cynically causing civilian casualties to achieve what it could not do on the battlefield - bringing about intense pressure on Israel to halt its military operation.

Tragically, Palestinian civilians lost their lives on Tuesday as an Israeli tank shell hit a UN school where they were sheltering.

In the past, journalists have complained that Israel has been too slow to present its side of the story to make the print deadlines. This time, the media has no such excuse. With righteous indignation, many media outlets have condemned Israel, choosing to ignore the responsibility that Hamas bears for this tragedy, which becomes clear following an initial IDF investigation into the incident:

· Hamas terrorists fired mortar bombs from the area of the school towards Israeli forces, who returned fire towards the source of the shooting. The Israeli return fire landed outside the school, yet a series of explosions followed, indicating the probable presence of munitions and explosives in the building. Intelligence indicates that among those killed were Immad Abu Iskar and Hassan Abu Iskar, two known Hamas mortar crewmen.

· While the investigation of the incident continues, one crucial detail is already apparent: this tragedy occurred because Hamas consistently uses its own population as human shields. While betting that Israel will hesitate to strike back at areas with civilians present, Hamas covers its bet with the knowledge that should civilians be harmed, Hamas still wins since Israel will be censured by the world's media.

According to the Associated Press, two Palestinian residents said "they saw a small group of militants firing mortar rounds from a street near the school, where 350 people had gathered to get away from the shelling. They spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal."

Make sure that your local media outlet covers this tragic incident fairly and from both sides of the story.

This is not the first time that Palestinian terrorists have abused UN school facilities. Click here or on the button below to see archive footage of Hamas mortar fire from the UN school in Beit Hanoun from October 2007.

Hamas Exploitation of Civilians as Human Shields

This study (completed during the first week of Operation Cast Lead) provides many examples of how Gazan civilians are used as human shields during terrorist attacks against Israel and combat against the IDF.

YNet News also reports that:

civilians are simply used as cannon fodder or human shields. Reports out of Gaza say residents who attempted to flee their homes in the northern area of the Strip were forced to go back at gunpoint, by Hamas men....

Other civilian complaints state that Hamas gunmen pull children along with them "by the ears" from place to place, fearing that if they don't have a child with them they will be fair game to the IDF. Others hide in civilian homes and stairwells, UNRWA ambulances, and mosques.

In other reported cases Hamas gunmen hold civilians hostage in alleyways in order to provide themselves with a living barricade to ward off IDF forces.

Log onto HonestReporting to see video footage of an armed Hamas terrorist grabbing an innocent young boy off the street to use as a human shield to save his own life.

The Jerusalem Post comments on Tuesday's incident and the issue of how the media, leaving out vital context, becomes part of the problem:

When readers of Britain's Guardian are confronted by a front-page photo of a father collapsed in front of his three dead children, they can be forgiven for losing sight of the bigger picture: that between 2001-2008, over 8,000 flying bombs were launched at Israel, traumatizing an entire generation of Israeli children; and that unless the IDF manages to stop Hamas, the months ahead could see life in metropolitan Tel Aviv become as perilous as it is in Sderot.

And when readers of London's Times see the headline: "We're wading in death, blood and amputees. Pass it on - shout it out" they, too, may be forgiven for overlooking the fact that Hamas purposely situates its launchers in densely populated areas.

When the Arizona Republic reports: "Israel ignores calls for peace," a photo isn't even necessary....

Too many news outlets have allowed their coverage of Gaza to be agenda-driven, to willfully disregard the duty of presenting news and images in context.

Cynically thrusting pictures of dead toddlers at readers and viewers obfuscates truth, bedevils news consumers, and robotically demonizes those "who could do such a thing."

What a devious way of giving succor to the uncompromising fanatics who are really to blame for the horror of it all.


2. Letter from Dennis J. Kucinich, accusing Israel of using US arms against Hamas Terror - in violation of Arms Export Control Act + his letter to Sec. State Condoleezza Rice, with many accusations [mostly false and very hostile], officially requesting immediate report to Congress. [Protest this in the Media & to his contact Nathan White (202)225-5871]

from: Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D.Ohio)

Israel May Be in Violation of Arms Export Control Act-Kucinich Requests Report to Congress Contact: Nathan White (202)225-5871

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 6, 2009) In light of press reports that Israeli forces fired on a United Nations school where civilians were taking shelter, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today sent notice to Secretary of State, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, that Israel’s actions in Gaza since December 27th, 2008 may constitute a violation of the requirements of the Arms Export Control Act of 1976 (AECA).

When the President is aware of the possibility of such violations, the AECA requires a report to Congress on the potential violation(s). The AECA outlines the conditions under which countries may use military articles or services obtained from the U.S. government, which include internal security or legitimate self defense.

The letter offers preliminary evidence that there may be a violation of the requirements of AECA. For example, Israeli forces have used F-16 fighter jets and Apache helicopters to precede and to support ongoing ground actions such as the one today in which 40 Palestinians were killed while taking shelter in a U.N. facility.

In the letter, Kucinich requests a response by the close of business on January 7, 2009 with the date that the report will be submitted.

The full text of the letter follows: January 5, 2009

The Honorable Condoleezza Rice , Secretary of State

U.S. Department of State 2201 C Street NW Washington, DC 20520

Dear Dr. Rice:

I am writing concerning Israel's military offensive against Gaza, which began on December 27th. I support Israel's security and its right to exist in peace, without the fear of rocket attacks from Hamas. Moreover, I abhor the violence being visited upon the citizens of our firm ally. However, no nation is immune from the legal conditions placed on the receipt of U.S. military assistance. I believe that with the current escalation of violence in Gaza, a legal threshold has been reached, warranting a Presidential examination and report to Congress. I hereby request an examination of Israel’s compliance with the provisions of the Arms Export Control Act of 1976 (AECA).

While neither the AECA nor the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (FAA) define internal security and legitimate self-defense, I believe that Israel’s most recent attacks neither further internal security nor do they constitute legitimate acts of self-defense. They do, however, increase the possibility of an outbreak or escalation of conflict, because they are a vastly disproportionate response to the provocation, and because the Palestinian population is suffering from those military attacks in numbers far exceeding Israeli losses in life and property.

Israel’s current military campaign in Gaza has inflicted a significant toll on Palestinian civilians and society. Israel’s recent aerial and ground offensive against Gaza has killed nearly 600 and injured over 2,500. The Associated Press reported: children are paying the price. . . . The United Nations has said the death toll includes 34 children. . . . But the broad range of Israel's targets--police compounds, fire stations, homes of militants, Hamas-run mosques and university buildings--means most shelling is occurring in residential areas." The extensive destruction of such civilian institutions violates Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the wanton destruction of property and collective punishment of a civilian population. There have also been reports of bombings of United Nations (UN) schools, despite the fact that Israeli Defense Forces were allegedly given coordinates of the facilities prior to the current escalation in violence. The blockade that Israel has imposed on Gaza since 2006 has further exacerbated the extent of collateral damage, as hospitals and morgues have been unable to cope with the magnitude of deaths and injuries as a result of the current escalation in violence and hospitals lack proper supplies needed to treat the injured.

I believe that Israel s use of defense articles provided by the U.S. in the current Gaza military attacks may constitute a violation of the AECA. At a minimum, the conflict is sufficient to warrant an immediate report to Congress as required by 22 U.S.C. 2753. Please contact my office by close of business on January 7, 2009 with the date the report will be submitted.


Dennis J. Kucinich, Member of Congress

WAR OF WORDS IN GAZA: WILL TRUTH BE TOLD WHEN THE WAR ENDS? by Emanuel A. Winston, Mid East analyst & commentator
Will the World Media tell the truth of Israel’s efforts to maintain their purity of arms in their retaliatory War against 8 years of Israeli civilians being targeted by Muslim Arab Hamas with 8-10,000 Rockets, Missiles and Mortars?
I don’t think so. In just this week miracles have occurred as Hamas hit a nursery school (35 children NOT killed - by a miracle), an elementary school, (thankfully empty - unknown number of children NOT killed - by a miracle).....
But, the Media coverage has pounded on incidents of cross firing which killed UN workers during a War where Israelis are only beginning to enter the crowded cities. Was the shot from Hamas? Each incident could be answered and has but, the Media never let up.

1. Gazans dying from lack of food. The World Pantry couldn’t accept anymore food because their warehouses were full. The Hamas are pilfering UN and other international aid. Is this not a war crime?
2. Victims not aided in cities. Israelis are just beginning to enter the cities on Day 14. Why didn’t Hamas find the victims and aid them? Is this not a war crime?
3. Women and children killed. Hamas is using their own families as Human Shields, but Israel gets blamed for their being killed. Why not Hamas? Is this not a war crime?
4. UNRWA school hit by Israel - knowing it was a UN school. Hamas launched mortars from that schoolyard just before the Israeli strike to the outside of the school - which caused huge explosions from inside the school - indicating a weapons’ depot exploding. Which is the war crime - the strike or the accusations?

  1. Civilians killed. Hamas is storing weapons and fighting from hospitals, mosques, schools and residential apartments. Is this not a war crime?


So much more. Alan Dershowitz article below gives the best overall coverage of the Hamas double war crime strategy. Thanks Professor Dershowitz.

The CNN strategy By Alan M. Dershowitz The National Post January 7, 2009

As Israel persists in its military efforts -- by ground, air and sea -- to protect its citizens from deadly Hamas rockets, and as protests against Israel increase around the world, the success of the abominable Hamas double war crime strategy becomes evident. The strategy is as simple as it is cynical: Provoke Israel by playing Russian roulette with its children, firing rockets at kindergartens, playgrounds and hospitals; hide behind its own civilians when firing at Israeli civilians; refuse to build bunkers for its own civilians; have TV cameras ready to transmit every image of dead Palestinians, especially children; exaggerate the number of civilians killed by including as "children" Hamas fighters who are 16 or 17 years old and as "women," female terrorists.
Hamas itself has a name for this. They call it "the CNN strategy" (this is not to criticize CNN or any other objective news source for doing its job; it is to criticize Hamas for exploiting the freedom of press which it forbids in Gaza). The CNN strategy is working because decent people all over the world are naturally sickened by images of dead and injured children. When they see such images repeatedly flashed across TV screens, they tend to react emotionally. Rather than asking why these children are dying and who is to blame for putting them in harm's way, average viewers, regardless of their political or ideological perspective, want to see the killing stopped. They blame those whose weapons directly caused the deaths, rather than those who provoked the violence by deliberately targeting civilians.
They forget the usual rules of morality and law. For example, when a murderer takes a hostage and fires from behind his human shield, and a policeman, in an effort to stop the shooting accidentally kills the hostage, the law of every country holds the hostage taker guilty of murder even though the policeman fired the fatal shot.
The same is true of the law of war. The use of human shields, in the way Hamas uses the civilian population of Gaza, is a war crime -- as is its firing of rockets at Israeli civilians. Every human shield that is killed by Israeli self-defence measures is the responsibility of Hamas, but you wouldn't know that from watching the media coverage.
The CNN strategy seems to work better, at least in some parts of the world, against Israel than it would against other nations. There is much more protest -- and fury -- directed against Israel when it inadvertently kills approximately 100 civilians in a just war of self-defence, than against Arab and Muslim nations and groups that deliberately kill far more civilians for no legitimate reason.
It isn't the nature of the victims, since more Arabs and Muslim civilians are killed every day in Africa and the Middle East by Arab and Muslim governments and groups with little or no protests. (For example, on the first day of Israel's ground attack, approximately 30 Palestinians,
almost all Hamas combatants, were killed. On the same day an Islamic suicide bomber blew herself up in a mosque in Iraq, killing 40 innocent Muslims. No protests. Little media coverage.) It isn't the nature of the killings, since Israel goes to extraordinary lengths to avoid killing civilians -- if for no other reason than that it hurts its cause -- while Hamas does everything in its power to force Israel to kill Palestinian civilians by firing its missiles from densely populated civilian areas and refusing to build shelters for its civilians.
It isn't the nature of the conflict, either, because Israel is fighting a limited war of self-defence designed to protect its own civilians from rocket attacks, while most of those killed by Arabs and Muslims are killed in genocidal and tribal warfare with no legitimate aim.
The world simply doesn't seem to care when Arabs and Muslims kill large numbers of other Arabs and Muslims, but a qualitatively different standard applies when the Jewish state kills even a relatively small number of Muslims and Arabs in a war of self-defence.
The international community doesn't even seem to care when Palestinian children are killed by rocket fire -- unless it is from Israeli rockets. The day before the recent outbreak, Hamas fired an anti-personnel rocket at Israeli civilians, but the rocket fell short of its target and killed two Palestinian girls. Yet there was virtually no coverage and absolutely no protests against these
"collateral" civilian deaths. Hamas refused to allow TV cameras to show these dead Palestinian children.
Nor have there been protests against the cold-blooded murders by Hamas and its supporters of dozens of Palestinian civilians who allegedly "collaborated" with Israel. Indeed, Hamas and Fatah have killed far more Palestinian civilians over the past several years than have the Israelis, but you wouldn't know that from the media, the United Nations or protesters who focus selectively on only those deaths caused by Israeli military actions.
The protesters who filled the streets of London, Paris and San Francisco were nowhere to be seen when hundreds of Jewish children were murdered by Palestinian terrorists over the years.
Moreover, the number of civilians killed by Israel is almost always exaggerated. First, it is widely assumed that if a victim is a "child" or a "woman," he or she is necessarily a civilian. Consider the following report in Thursday's New York Times: "Hospital officials in Gaza said that of the more than 390 people killed by Israeli fighter planes since Saturday, 38 were children and 25 women." Some of these children and women were certainly civilians, but others were equally certainly combatants:
Hamas often uses 14-, 15-, 16-and 17-year-olds, as well as women, as terrorists. Israel is entitled under international law to treat these children and women as the combatants they have become. Hamas cannot, out of one side of its mouth, boast that it recruits children and women to become terrorists, and then, out of the other side of its mouth, complain when Israel takes it at its word. The media should look closely and critically at the number of claimed civilian victims before accepting self-serving and self-contradictory exaggerations.
By any objective count, the number of genuinely innocent civilians killed by the Israeli Air Force in Gaza is lower than the collateral deaths caused by any nation in a comparable situation. Hamas does everything in its power to provoke Israel into killing as many Palestinian civilians as possible, in order to generate condemnation against the Jewish state. It has gone so far as firing rockets from Palestinian schoolyards and hiding its terrorists in Palestinian maternity wards.
Lest there be any doubt about the willingness of Hamas officials to expose their families to martyrdom, remember that the Hamas terrorist leader recently killed in an Israeli air attack sent his own son to be a suicide bomber. He also refused to allow his family to leave the house, even after learning that he and his house has been placed on the list of Israeli military targets.
The reality is that the elected and de facto government of Gaza has declared war against Israel. Under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, it has committed an "armed attack" against the Jewish state. The Hamas charter calls for Israel's total destruction. Under international law, Israel is entitled to take whatever military action is necessary to repel that attack and stop the rockets.
It must seek to minimize civilian deaths consistent with the legitimate military goal, and it is doing precisely that, despite Hamas's efforts to maximize civilian deaths on both sides.

-Alan M. Dershowitz is a law professor at Harvard. His latest book is The Case Against Israel's Enemies (Wiley, 2008).



Dr. Shore sends me a scary site about animal breeding in the States and other mass production areas:

From Eliezer ben Yair:

Political Cartoon on Gaza:

Somalis and Sudanese helping smuggle arms to Gaza:

Films about weapons in Mosques:

I just received this list of wounded Israeli soldiers and civilians. I am sure that it is incomplete.

I am also sure that everyone on the list would benefit from your prayers and tremendously

appreciate them!

Thank you! Warmly,

Rabbi Packouz

Li'el Hoshea ben Miriam – critical head injuries
Wahal Mijan – critical, metal shards in his brain, has had 3 operations and doctors are battling to save his life
Ben ben Netiva – critical head injuries, 1 hand amputated and doctors are battling to save his other hand
Neriya ben Rivka – very serious head injury
Noam ben Alisa - one leg amputated; doctors fighting to save the other
Yosef Chaim ben Ziva – very seriously injured on the entire left side of his body- regained consciousness

Raphael ben Nina– very seriously injured
Elishama Shalom ben Rivka Leah
Oren ben Chaya – seriously injured shoulder & hand – has had one finger amputated
Ronen Chai ben Leah – seriously injured
Ron ben Havatzelet – seriously injured with shrapnel over all of his body
Eitan ben Sarah – very serious leg injury
Gal ben Hedva – seriously injured with shrapnel to his jaw & mouth
Ran ben Merril – moderate shoulder injury
Idan ben Nadi – moderate shrapnel injuries
Yitzchak ben Navah - moderate shoulder injury
Netanel ben Navah - moderate shrapnel wounds to a lower extremity
Ohad ben Bracha – moderate facial injuries
Maxim ben Olga - light lower leg injury, operation to remove shrapnel
Yisrael ben Ilana - light shrapnel injury to an ear
Yo'ad Ido ben Frieda Elka (ben Frieda Rivka?) - light shrapnel injuries
Idan ben Liora - light shrapnel injuries
Nadav ben Miriam (Maria) - light shrapnel injuries
Sagi ben Osnat – light shrapnel injuries to his leg
Omer ben Dorit – light shrapnel injuries to legs
Evgeny ben Elizabeth – leg injury
Lior ben Mazal
Oleg Dizengoff
Avi Cohen
Roni Rapaport
Yaakov Wolf - hit by shrapnel in his neck that miraculously missed his jugular vein
Moshe ben Eidi – head injury
Yedidya Schlesinger
Tzviki Bar-Chai
Moshe ben Pnina Rose

Wounded Israeli Civilians:
Gavriel ben Sarah - from Sderot – child in severe shock from kassam attack
Yakov ben Rivka - very seriously injured from kassam rocket
Bat El Hila bat Phoebe – moderately injured from kassam rocket that fell in Netivot
Gila bat Odelia – moderately injured by kassam attack in Netivot

This reminds me of my border patrol days:

Netanyahu Speaks:

Warning phoney Vaad of Miami Charity Certificates only the following certificates are kosher:

In order to assist you with the determination of a card's legitimacy, we present the following:
The following certificates are valid at this time:
3018 Silberman
3032 Schwartz
3033 Harir
3034 Turnheim
3036 Moishe Hurwitz (note: Shmuel Hurwitz 3019 was only valid until Jan 6)
3037 Asper
3038 Abargel
3039 Gutwirth
3040 Nahari
3041 Shor (father and son, Meir and Chaim)
3042 Telnof
3043 Duek
3044 Steinberg, Meir
3045 Keipetsh
3046 Lipshutz
3047 Rotman
3048 Granat (starting Friday)
3049 Lutzkin (starting Sunday)

Now for two Good Shabbos Stories: Moshiach's Times and Family Planning.

Good Shabbos Everyone. Many people say “Next Year in Jerusalem... and the year after that, how about a cruise?” “Next Year in Jerusalem” does not refer to vacation plans. Next Year in Jerusalem means that we must believe that Moshiach will come at any minute and redeem us.
The Rabbis tell us that Hashem actually intended man to live a life of total enjoyment in the paradise of the Garden of Eden. Unfortunately, we were temporarily banished from paradise after the sin of Odam and Chava. Even so, Hashem has promised us that our final destiny is to once again experience the happiness and tranquility of the Garden of Eden. (When Moshiach Comes, R.Y. Chayoun, R.Y.M.Rappaport trans.) The coming of Moshiach is an important milestone in our road back to the Garden of Eden.

Belief in Moshiach is a basic point of belief in our religion. As we recite daily in the 13 Principles of Faith according to the Rambam: “I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Moshiach, even though he may delay, I anticipate his arrival every day.”
The Torah speaks about Moshiach in our parsha this week Vayechi. As the verse tells us: “The scepter shall not depart from Yehudah nor a scholar among his descendants until Shiloh arrives and his will be an assembly of nations.”(Bereishis – Genesis 49:10) Rashi explains that this verse is referring to Moshiach who will be a Jewish King from the tribe of Yehudah.
When Moshiach comes, the Nations will gather around him to seek the wisdom of Hashem.
When Moshiah comes, the entire character of civilization will change. (Ibid,citing Rav Sadia Gaon Emunos ve’Deos 8:6) As we read in the Haftara for the last day of Pesach “The wolf will dwell with the lamb, the leopard will lie with the kid.... They shall do no evil, nor will they destroy... for the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of G-d, as the waters cover the sea.” (Ibid, citing Yishayahu 11:6-9) The world will be a better place for everyone; suffering, violence, corruption, and evil will be replaced by universal brotherhood, peace and fellowship.
In 1777, Reb Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk led a large group of Chassidim to Eretz YisroeI, where they established a community in Tiberias. Some time after his arrival, some enterprising fool climbed up the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, and blew a mighty blast from his shofar. The simple folk who heard it assumed in their innocence that this was the long-awaited shofar of Moshiach, heralding the good news of the Redemption. But when the rumor reached Reb Menachem Mendel, he opened the window, looked around at the world outside, and said: "No. I do not feel that there is anything new in the air."
All of the strife in the world will disappear with Moshiach and the United Nations will be out of business forever. For this reason, we must long for the coming of Moshiach. The Midrash in fact tells us that “A generation which longs for the reign of Moshiach will be redeemed immediately.” (Ibid,citing Yalkut Shimoni, Eicha) The Sages also teach us that when a Jew is called to give a reckoning of his deeds before the Heavenly Court at the end of his life, the first question put to him will be: “Did you anticipate the redemption?” (Ibid, citing Shabbos 31a)
Reb Moshe of Rozvidov, the son of Reb Eliezer of Dzikov, was once talking of Moshiach in the company of a group of his chassidim. They came to discuss the different dates of the arrival of Moshiach which had been calculated by various tzaddikim. The Sages tell us that the world will last for a maximum of 6000 years. Out of all the years remaining until the six thousand years elapse, there are certain times when Moshiach was predicted to come.
"Believe me, my brothers," said Reb Moshe, "that even if the nine hundred and ninety-ninth year of the sixth thousand year comes around and we reach sunset of the last day of that year, right before the last minute, and Moshiach has not yet come - I will not despair, G-d forbid. I will confidently await his coming." (Sipurei Chassidim al HaTorah, p.158, Reb S.Y. Zevin, R.U. Kaploun trans.)
Reb Yaakov Yitzchak, the Chozeh (Seer) of Lublin, was once discussing these same calculations of the arrival of Moshiach. Those who predicted when Moshiach would come often based their predictions on a verse from the Torah. The Chozeh commented that even though the predictions proved to be not true, the intentions of those who made the predictions may be understood, and even encouraged.
"Jewish Law," explained the Chozeh, "teaches that if a son sees his father acting against the Torah (heaven forbid), the son is not allowed to correct his father outright, because of the mitzvah to honor his parents. Instead, the son should show his father the law, and say: 'Father, thus it is written in the Torah.'
Certain tzaddikim would like to get the message across to our Father in Heaven that in their opinion it is time for Him to have compassion on His children, and to bring about the Moshiach. How do they go about doing this? They calculate some date or another, connect it to some verse in the Torah that speaks of the Redemption, and thus hint to the Almighty: 'Father, thus it is written in the Torah.’(Zevin, p.158)
We conclude with the blessing we say three times a day: “Sound the great shofar for our freedom, raise the banner to gather our exiles and speedily gather us together to our land from the four corners of the world to our Land. Blessed are you Hashem, who gathers the dispersed of His people of Israel.” “Father, thus it is written in the Torah.” Good Shabbos Everyone.

Good Shabbos Everyone. Anyone wishing to see proof of the existence of G-d need only look at the Jewish people. We are a nation that by all estimates, should have been destroyed long ago. We are small among the nations. However, after years of persecutions, banishments, burnings, gassings, torturing and exterminations, Am Yisroel is alive and well.
We read about the indestructibility of the Jewish nation in our Torah portion this week Shemos. The Torah tells us about how Moshe Rabeinu (our teacher) saw a prophetic vision in the form of a burning bush. The verse tells us "…behold! The bush was burning in the fire but the bush was not consumed." (Shemos 3:2) The Midrash tells us that the bush symbolizes Yisroel. Although the nations may try to destroy us, we are not consumed… we will never be consumed. (Midrash Rabbah, Shemos [Margolios] 2,14) We are the eternal nation. The following amazing true story illustrates the special character of the Jewish people.

In the 1980's during the height of the Intifada, when Arabs stoned and shot at Israelis without provocation, Gadi Ramat, a member of the IDF (Israeli Defense Force), was driving an army j'eep near the Arab town of Ramallah.
It was late afternoon and he was patrolling the perimeter of the city. Suddenly, a sniper's shot rang out and Gadi fell out of the jeep onto the road bleeding profusely. The Arab terrorist was sure he had killed Gadi, so he left him on the road.
Shortly after the shooting, a young Israeli, Shlomo Rimon, happened to be driving by and saw Gadi lying on the ground. He rushed out of his car, picked up the limp soldier and sped off to the nearest Israeli hospital.
As Shlomo drove along the highway, he frantically called ahead to the hospital and told them that he was bringing in a seriously wounded soldier. "I have no idea if he is dead or alive, but please have medics ready when I get there, which will be in about seven minutes," he exclaimed.
The emergency room was ready when Shlomo arrived. Four doctors were waiting to take Gadi from the car and begin treatment. The chief resident, Raffy Tekef, coordinated the rescue effort. He called for units of blood, summoned the trauma and surgical staffs and oversaw all procedures needed to save Gadi's life.
Doctors and nurses acted swiftly and efficiently. In seconds Gadi was hooked up to tubes and monitors. The hospital called the local army office, which was able to procure Gadi's background information. His parents from Ashdod were called and told to rush to the hospital immediately.
As the hospital staff seemed to be getting the situation under control, Shlomo slipped away from the emergency room and drove home. There was no reason for him to wait for the parents. He had no information on how the accident happened and he was not looking for thanks or recognition. He felt that every Jew would have done the same.
Gadi's parents arrived about two hours later. They were told that although Gadi was in critical condition and had lost much blood, chances were good that he would survive. When Mr. and Mrs. Ramat asked who brought Gadi in, no one knew. Everyone was occupied with Gadi and no one had bothered to ask Shlomo his name. After two weeks, Gadi left the hospital to return to his home in Ashdod for convalescence.
At that time Gadi's mother, Mrs. Tamar Ramat, put up signs in her grocery store asking anyone for information about the identity of the young man who saved her son. The Ramats were highly principled, deeply religious people who were beloved by all who knew them. They felt compelled to find the rescuer so they could thank him properly. The sign was up for months but no one had information. Mrs, Ramat kept the sign hanging as a daily reminder of her gratitude to Hashem.
More than a year after the incident, Anat Rimon came to shop at the Makolet (grocery) owned by the Ramat family. She had lived in Ashdod, but moved to Ranana years ago, and was back for a visit with friends. She came into the local makolet to get some items before she returned home. As she entered the store she saw the poster with the headline, "Information Wanted." The poster explained that the owner's son had been saved by an unknown virtuous individual and that the family sought to find him. She read the notice and then read it a second time. Could it be they were talking about her son Shlomo? He had told her about a wounded soldier whom he had brought to a hospital after seeing him lying next to his jeep, but he had made nothing of it. She recalled being so proud that her son sought no accolades or thanks.
She went to the counter and asked the lady checking out items whom she could speak to about the poster.
Mrs. Ramat looked up at Mrs. Rimon and said, "Why? Do you have information about it?
"Can we talk privately?" Mrs. Rimon asked.
Mrs. Ramat got someone to tend the counter and took Mrs. Rimon into a private room in the back. There was a small desk and two chairs surrounded by canned goods, boxes of food products stacked and piled on crowded shelves. Mrs. Rimon began to quiver. "A little more than a year ago," she began, "my son Shlomo came home and told me about a soldier he had brought to the hospital after seeing him lying in the street outside Ramallah. He told me that the doctors saved his life. Could that have been your son?"
The two women began exchanging tidbits of information about the incident and it soon became apparent that indeed it was Shlomo Rimon who saved Gadi Ramat.
The women embraced. "I can't believe you are the mother of that soldier." Mrs. Rimon said, "I am so happy for you that your son survived. How old is he by the way?"
Mrs. Ramat was surprised at the question because it seemed Mrs. Rimon was getting at something.
"Gadi is now 21," Mrs. Ramat said proudly.
Mrs. Rimon tried to hold back the tears. "You don't remember me?" she asked Mrs. Ramat.
"Am I supposed to?" asked Mrs. Ramat in return.
"Close to 22 years ago," said Mrs. Rimon, "we were both expecting. I was living in Ashdod and already had two children and did not want to have another one. My doctor had told me that he could arrange for my pregnancy to be ended. You overheard me telling my friend about it. You called me and tried hard to convince me not to end my child's life even before it began. At first I didn't want to listen to you, but you didn't give up. Finally, you convinced me. The dear child that I gave birth to was Shlomo."
Mrs. Rimon paused as she caught her breath and uttered the words that Mrs. Ramat will never forget. "You saved my son and now that son saved yours!" (From In the Spirit of the Maggid R. P. Krohn, p. 215) Good Shabbos Everyone.

Mr. Wolfberg' s stories not mine are sponcered by: In memory of Shosha Malka bas R' Avrohom 21 Cheshvan Refuah Shleimah to Chana Ashayra bas Dodi

Have a wonderful Shabbos and a safe & peaceful one. And after a battle of 4 weeks and a little anti-biotics this week, B"H I think my cold-flu is finally finishing and I will be back in shape next week.

Rachamim Pauli