Friday, March 27, 2009

Parsha Vayikra, Halachos, Stories, Israel/Iran update

Please pray for Shmaryahu Yosef Chaim ben Pesha Miriam and Sara bas Yehudit (this Shabbos only). We can stop praying for Yitzchak ben Tikva who passed away and Chana bas Perach whom the family wants not more heroics for.

Parsha Vayikra

We start with a new book of Torah this week Sefer Vayikra (Leviticus) which is the only book in the Bible Code that has the DIVINE NAME hidden in it at intervals of 7 – the TETRAGRAMATION. Vayikra deals with a lot of Mitzvos like not putting a stumbling block before the blind or cursing the deaf even against incest, bestiality and homosexual relations. However the first part deals mainly with the Korbanos (Sacrifices) and the dedication of the Mishkan (Tabernacle) described in Shemos (Exodus).

I would like to discuss the Sacrifices which some people today find archaic and even barbaric. To get a proper perspective of the time of the giving of the Torah in the year 2448, we have to look back at how the people lived. Today you might say that if I give 10 to 20% of my earnings to charity that is a Korban for me. But then people earned money by growing crops and raising animals. The death of an animal instead of a human for a Korban, Olah, Olahv’yared, Chatas, etc. were instead of the person receiving death by the hands of heaven or some other punishment. Families often lived in one room houses and although it was rare an accidental relationship could occur between a close family member and the man. [Some examples like his mother is named Rachel, wife Rachel, Sister-in-law Rachel, Daughter-in-law Rachel etc., you don’t have to be a genius to figure out that an accident could occur. The sacrifices were brought only for unintentional sins like accidentally today ripping toilet paper, turning on or off a light, writing, etc. because one had forgotten that they were forbidden Melachos (mistranslated work) on Shabbos or eat forbidden fat from the tail or above the kidneys of an animal and thinking that it was just a piece of fat from the animal’s legs, etc.)]

There were other types of Korbanos such as the first born cattle or sheep being given to the Cohanim or a sheep instead of breaking the first born donkey. There were other Korbanos that the Baal Habeis (owner) ate. The Korban Todah (Thanksgiving) which we bench the Gomel Prayer instead for crossing the ocean, desert, etc. {I had a recent case in which a boor and Am HaAretz went up to the Torah and benched Gomel because he drove from Arad through the desert to the hotel at the Dead Sea – that was not the desert mentioned in the Torah or even today in Death Valley National Park where we have modern highways and communications unless one is attacked by a rattle snake, wolf, scorpion, etc.). We would bring a sacrifice if we happened to be standing next to the car that only partially exploded in the city of Haifa on the previous Saturday night (see miracle below). We had the three Korbanos of the three holidays which were eaten at that time and of course the Korban Pessach where 35 to 50 males participated in a family or friends group to eat of the sacrifice in one night. Now we are not talking gluttony but if a whole sheep or goat weighs so and so with its bones, head, hooves, skin, wool, tail, forbidden fat, etc. so the amount of lamb left over to share among 35 to 50 people is a very small portion. In fact usually this was eating with the holiday sacrifice – Korban Chaggigah. For my vegetarian readers in truth in the times of Tanach, not much meat was eaten by the people.

Taken from my weekly Drasha four years ago minus the Kabbalistic reason for the sacrifices as I have over 200 new comers who are meeting Torah Judaism for the first time: How are we to view an animal sacrifice? Based on a barbaric rite from the past? An outdated thing in modern times?

Or as Yaffa wrote in her Parsha this week: The animal sacrifice is the act by which we are taught the idea of subordination of nature to the Creator. The sacrificed beast, the wood to feed the flame on the altar (Misbayach) and the salt which accompanies every sacrifice symbolize the animal, plant and mineral realms, everything converges with the aim of serving the Al-mighty and only exists for this purpose. Yaffa continued stating that the animal sacrifice substituted an animal for a human sacrifice. Almost every culture had that up to the advent of Avraham Avinu and even then there was the Akeda.

Yaffa goes into the psychological and spiritual message behind the Korban that make it quite practical if we had the Beis Hamikdash today: The person who offers the sacrifice must picture the sacrifice of the animal part of him, of his brute instinctive will, and nullify it before the Al-mighty's will. In this way, we can arrive at desiring only what is agreeable to G-d. Ultimately our wishes will not aspire to anything but His will.

Only with such a disposition of mind can we assimilate the substance of the Commandments. Otherwise, how is it possible, for example, to fulfill the precept of "do not covet"? How can one control jealousy or covetousness? The answer is that the prohibition of stealing must be so self-evident, so deeply felt by us, that we could not come to steal even in thought by a covetous desire.

Attaining this spiritual level is tantamount to the sacrifice of our animal nature. We identify ourselves with G-d's will and we only act in accordance with it.

Sacrifice is acceptable only if it comes from a person dedicated to his brothers as well as to G-d. But he who is self-centered and aims at always taking for himself and giving nothing to others is unable to fulfill the essential condition of a sacrifice, which symbolizes the total offering of his being. His offering cannot be a sincere one and is therefore of no value.

1:1 The LORD called unto Moses, and spoke unto him out of the tent of meeting, saying:

Rashi brings down the change in language from the usual HE spoke unto Moshe etc. but calling is different:

And He called to Moses: Every [time God communicated with Moses, whether it was represented by the expression] וַיְדַבֵּר, “And He spoke,” or וַיֹּאמֶר; “and He said,” or וַיְצַו, “and He commanded,” it was always preceded by [God] calling [to Moses by name] (Torath Kohanim 1:2-3). [קְרִיאָה] is an expression of affection, the [same] expression employed by the ministering angels [when addressing each other], as it says, “And one called (וְקָרָא) to the other…” (Isa. 6:3). To the prophets of the nations of the world, however, He revealed Himself through expressions denoting coincidence and impurity, as the verse says, “and God happened to [meet] (וַיִּקָּר) Balaam” (Num. 23:4). - [Bamidbar Rabbah 52:5] [The expression וַיִּקָּר has the meaning of a coincidental happening, and also alludes to impurity. [See Deut. 23:11, regarding the expression מִקְרֵה לַיְלָה.]

The [Divine] voice emanated and reached Moses’ ears, while all [the rest] of Israel did not hear it. One might think that for each new section [representing a new topic], there was also [such] a call. Scripture, therefore, states, “and [the Lord] spoke (וַיְדַבֵּר) [to him],” [denoting that] only for speech, [i.e., when God “spoke” to Moses, or “said” to him, or “commanded” him,] was there a call, but not at the subsections. [For when these expressions are employed, they demarcate the beginning of major sections, i.e., when God first called to Moses and then proceeded with the prophecy at hand, unlike the beginning of each separate subsection, when God simply continued His communication to Moses without “calling” him anew. Now, if each subsection in the Torah does not represent a new beckoning from God to Moses, ushering in a new prophecy, then] what is the purpose of these subsections? To give Moses a pause, to contemplate between one passage and the next, and between one subject and another. [And if this pause for contemplation was given to the great Moses when being taught by God, then] how much more [necessary is it] for an ordinary man learning [Torah] from another ordinary man [to be allowed pauses between sections and subjects, to carefully contemplate and understand the material being learned]. — [Torath Kohanim 1:3]

Heb. אֵלָיו [That is, God spoke only to Moses. This phrase comes] to exclude Aaron. Rabbi Judah [Ben Betheira] says: “Thirteen times in the Torah, God spoke (וַיְדַבֵּר) to both Moses and Aaron together, and, corresponding to them were thirteen [other] occasions [when God spoke only to Moses] precluding [Aaron], to teach you that they were not said [directly] to Aaron, but to Moses, that he should say them to Aaron. These are the thirteen cases where [Aaron was] precluded: (1) ”To speak with him…,“ (2) ”…speaking to him…,“ (3) ”…and He spoke to him“ (Num. 7:89); (4) ”I will meet with you [there at set times], etc. …“ (Exod. 25:22) All of them can be found [in the above dictum of Rabbi Judah] in Torath Kohanim (1:4). Now, [even though it was Moses who exclusively heard the prophecies,] one might think that they [i.e., the rest of Israel, nevertheless] heard the sound [of God] ”calling“ [to Moses preceding the prophecy]. Scripture therefore, says: [not ”He heard] the voice [speaking] to him (לוֹ),“ [but] ”[he heard] the voice [speaking right up] to him (אֵלָיו)“ (Num. 7:89). [This verse could have used the word לוֹ, ”to him,“ rather than such an exclusive expression as אֵלָיו, ”right up to him." However, it uses this expression in order to teach us that only] Moses heard [the Divine voice calling him], while all [the rest] of Israel did not hear [it]. — [Torath Kohanim 1:4]

This teaches us that the [Divine] voice stopped and did not project itself beyond the Tent [of Meeting]. One might think that this was because the voice was low. Scripture therefore says, “[And when Moses came into the Tent of Meeting, he heard] the voice” (Num. 7:89). What is the meaning of “the voice” [with the definite article]? It is the voice referred to in Psalms (29:4-5): “The voice of the Lord is in strength; the voice of the Lord is in beauty. The voice of the Lord breaks cedars.” If so, why does it say, “[and the Lord spoke to him] from the Tent of Meeting” ? [To inform us] that the [Divine] voice stopped. A case similar to this [where a powerful sound uttered within the Holy Temple was not heard outside,] is: “And the sound of the cherubim’s wings was heard up to the outer courtyard…” (Ezek. 10:5). One might think that the sound was low. Scripture therefore states [further in that verse]: “…as the voice of the Almighty God when He speaks!” Why then does the verse say, “[the sound…was heard] up to the outer courtyard” [and not further, if this sound was indeed so mighty]? Because when it reached there, it stopped. — [Torath Kohanim 1:5]

[And the Lord spoke to him] from the Tent of Meeting, saying: One might think [that God spoke to Moses] from the entire house [that is, that the Divine voice emanated from the entire Tent of Meeting]. Scripture therefore states, “[and he heard the voice speaking to him] from above the ark cover” (Num. 7:89). [If so,] one might think [the voice emanated] from the entire ark cover. Scripture therefore states [further in that verse], “from between the two cherubim.” - [Torath Kohanim 1:5] Saying: [God told Moses:] Go forth and say to them [the children of Israel] captivating words, [namely:] “For your sake God communicates with me.” Indeed, we find this is so for all the thirty-eight years that the Israelites were in the desert, placed under a ban, [i.e.,] from the incident involving the spies and onwards, the [Divine] speech was not addressed especially to Moses, for it says, “So it was, when all the men of war had finished dying from among the people, that the Lord spoke to me saying …” (Deut. 2: 16-17). [Only then was] the Divine speech [again] addressed specifically to me. Another explanation [of לֵאמֹר is that God says to Moses]: “Go forth and tell them My commandments, and bring Me back word whether they will accept them,” as the verse says, “and Moses reported the words of the people back to the Lord” (Exod. 19:8). - [Torath Kohanim 1:6]

2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them: When any man of you bring an offering unto the LORD, ye shall bring your offering of the cattle, even of the herd or of the flock.

Heb. יַקְרִיב כִּי, when he brings. [That is, Scripture is not dealing here with an obligatory sacrifice, in which case it would have said, “a man shall bring ….” Rather,] Scripture is speaking here of voluntary sacrifices [and thus says, “When a man …brings a sacrifice”]. — [Torath Kohanim 1:12] Heb. אָדָם. Why is this term used here [as opposed to “ אָדָם ”]? [It alludes to Adam, the first man on earth, and teaches us:] Just as Adam, the first man, never offered sacrifices from stolen property, since everything was his, so too, you must not offer sacrifices from stolen property. — [Vayikra Rabbah 2:7] Animals: Heb. מִן הַבְּהֵמָה. One might think that wild beasts are also included [since sometimes wild beasts are included in this term, and therefore may be offered up as sacrifices]. Scripture therefore states [here], “from cattle or from the flock.” - [Torath Kohanim 1:16]

You shall bring: Heb. תַּקְרִיבוּ [The plural form of the verb] teaches [us] that two people may donate a voluntary burnt offering in partnership. — [Torath Kohanim 1:19] Your sacrifice: Heb. קָרְבַּנְכֶם [The plural form] teaches us that [a burnt offering] may also be offered as a voluntary gift from the community (Torath Kohanim 1:20). This sacrifice was called עוֹלַת קַיִץ הַמִּזְבֵּחַ, “the burnt-offering which was provision for the altar.” [Every year, each twenty-year old male was taxed to give a silver half-shekel for communal sacrifices. See Exod. 30:11-16. This voluntary sacrifice] was purchased with any money remaining [from the previous year’s collection of half-shekels, and was offered as a communal burnt offering when there were no individual offerings brought, in order to prevent the altar from being bereft of sacrifices. Thus, the name “provision for the altar”]. — [Shev. 12a]

3 If his offering be a burnt-offering of the herd, he shall offer it a male without blemish; he shall bring it to the door of the tent of meeting, that he may be accepted before the LORD.

Kayn’s mistake after leaving Gan Eden was not offering up the choicest offering without blemish and fat but offering up an average or low grade offering while Hevel offered up the best of the best that he could find before the L-RD. Rashi explains the concept further:

Male: but not a female. When Scripture repeats later (verse 10) [that the burnt-offering must be] “a male [animal],” it appears unnecessary to state that [since Scripture has already taught us that it must be a male animal and not a female. Therefore, this repetition of the word “male,” comes to teach us that a sacrifice must consist of a completely] male [animal], not an animal of indeterminate gender or a hermaphrodite. — [Bech. 41b] Unblemished: Heb. תָּמִים, perfect, without a blemish.

4 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the burnt-offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him.

Laying of the hands on the Korban is making it basically take his place before the L-RD as atonement for his sins and transgressions.

5 And he shall kill the bullock before the LORD; and Aaron's sons, the priests, shall present the blood, and dash the blood round about against the altar that is at the door of the tent of meeting. 6 And he shall flay the burnt-offering, and cut it into its pieces.

This is one of the classical examples of the need to believe in and understand Oral Torah – The Mishnah, Talmud and Zohar. For the questions remain from the written Torah: 1) What blessing to make when slaughtering? 2) Where and how to slaughter the animal? 3) What type of instrument to use in the slaughter? 4) Can in be dull or must it be sharp? 5) Can the instrument have a defect or notch or must it be perfect? 6) Who can perform the slaughtering? {Can a madman, deaf mute or young child slaughter or must he be with all his facilities?) 7) How does one catch the blood? 8) What instrument catches the blood? 9) Can the blood coagulate or not? 10) Who flays and how is the animal flayed? 11) What happens if there is an internal blemish like a collapsed lung or a punctured stomach? All this is covered in over 60 Main Sections of Halachic Law and not to be taken lightly.

7 And the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire upon the altar, and lay wood in order upon the fire. 8 And Aaron's sons, the priests, shall lay the pieces, and the head, and the suet, in order upon the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar; 9 but its inwards and its legs shall he wash with water; and the priest shall make the whole smoke on the altar, for a burnt-offering, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the LORD.

All the process described here is also by oral tradition and the way the animal is laid out on the Misbayach (Altar) and the wetness of the wood or dried out is all oral tradition.

10 And if his offering be of the flock, whether of the sheep, or of the goats, for a burnt-offering, he shall offer it a male without blemish. 11 And he shall kill it on the side of the altar northward before the LORD; and Aaron's sons, the priests, shall dash its blood against the altar round about. 12 And he shall cut it into its pieces; and the priest shall lay them, with its head and its suet, in order on the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar. 13 But the inwards and the legs shall he wash with water; and the priest shall offer the whole, and make it smoke upon the altar; it is a burnt-offering, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the LORD. 14 And if his offering to the LORD be a burnt-offering of fowls, then he shall bring his offering of turtle-doves, or of young pigeons. 15 And the priest shall bring it unto the altar, and pinch off its head, and make it smoke on the altar; and the blood thereof shall be drained out on the side of the altar. 16 And he shall take away its crop with the feathers thereof, and cast it beside the altar on the east part, in the place of the ashes. 17 And he shall rend it by the wings thereof, but shall not divide it asunder; and the priest shall make it smoke upon the altar, upon the wood that is upon the fire; it is a burnt-offering, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the LORD.

2:1 And when any one brings a meal-offering unto the LORD, his offering shall be of fine flour; and he shall pour oil upon it, and put frankincense thereon. 2 And he shall bring it to Aaron's sons the priests; and he shall take thereout his handful of the fine flour thereof, and of the oil thereof, together with all the frankincense thereof; and the priest shall make the memorial-part thereof smoke upon the altar, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the LORD. 3 But that which is left of the meal-offering shall be Aaron's and his sons'; it is a thing most holy of the offerings of the LORD made by fire.

With this we finish the ingredients that make up the Korbanos.

A little Yeshiva type of learning for the more advanced.

Whenever I have a lot of new readers join many whom are Reform or Conservative Jews I emphasize the importance of the three pillars of Judaism which are Shabbos, Kashrus and Family Purity but for my older readers I now present a Yeshiva level Torah Drasha.

Vayikra 5769 - Angelic Speech by Rabbi Ari Kahn Shlita

Angelic Speech

God calls to Moshe from the midst of the Mishkan, and God speaks:

ויקרא פרק א פסוק א
וַיִּקְרָא אֶל מֹשֶׁה וַיְדַבֵּר ה’ אֵלָיו מֵאֹהֶל מוֹעֵד לֵאמֹר:

Rather than, “God spoke to Moshe,” or even, “God called Moshe and spoke to him,” the text reads “(He) called to Moshe, and God spoke to him”. Rashi, clearly bothered by this awkward syntax, explains that this verse serves as an archetype for all Divine communication: First, Moshe was called, and only then was he addressed by God. Before the Word of God came to Moshe, there was a preliminary step. God reached out to Moshe, engaged him, invited him.

רש"י על ויקרא פרק א פסוק א
ויקרא אל משה - לכל דברות ולכל אמירות ולכל צוויים קדמה קריאה לשון חבה (יומא ד' ויקרא ר') לשון שמלאכי השרת משתמשים בו שנא' (ישעיה ו) וקרא זה אל זה אבל לנביאי האומות עכו"ם נגלה עליהן בלשון עראי וטומאה שנא' ויקר אלהים אל בלעם:
For all the statements, sayings and commandments, a calling preceded; this is a language of affection, a language used by the angels who serve on high, as it says (Yeshaiyahu, 6): ‘One called to the other.’ But to prophets of the idolatrous nations, God reveals Himself in a fleeting language, (a language) of impurity, as it says “The Almighty happened upon Bil’am”.[1]

While we may have romantic notions of prophesy, there are times when the Word of God is described as a burden[2], especially when the message is a difficult one. A sudden revelation of the Word of God could cause sensory overload. We are therefore taught that the Word of God came to Moshe after a warm, loving invitation, preparing him emotionally, intellectually and physically for the awesome experience of communication from God.

Rashi cites a verse in the Book of Yishaiyahu in which the angels utilize this same form of preparation for their own prayers: they call and answer one another, using much the same language as God uses here when He calls out to Moshe. Interestingly, this proof-text contains a doxology: The angels prepare to speak to God, a reverse gesture to that of the verse at the start of Vayikra in which God speaks to man.

Speaking like Angels
We know of another instance in which the speech of angels, even the “secret speech of angels”, is mentioned; there, it was the Jewish People who utilized angelic speech to accept the Torah:

שבת דף פח/א
אמר רבי אלעזר, בשעה שהקדימו ישראל "נעשה"" ל"נשמע", יצתה בת - קול ואמרה להם, 'מי גילה לבני רז זה שמלאכי השרת משתמשין בו?' דכתיב, (תהלים קג) "ברכו ה' מלאכיו גבורי כח עושי דברו, לשמוע בקול דברו". ברישא "עושי", והדר "לשמוע":

Rabbi Elazar said: When the Israelites gave precedence to ‘we will do’ over ‘we will listen,’[3] a Heavenly Voice went forth and exclaimed to them, ‘Who revealed to My children this secret, which is employed by the ministering angels, as it is written, ‘Bless the Eternal God, ye angels of His, ye mighty in strength, that fulfill His word, that listen to the voice of His word.’ First they fulfill and then they listen. Talmud Bavli Shabbat 88a

Moshe’s Gift
All of Israel accepted the Torah; unified, as one, they proclaimed, “na’aseh (we will do) v’nishma (and we will listen),”[4] employing the angelic formula which puts action before listening. This is angelic speech, uttered by man and directed towards God; the angels use this formula in speech among themselves, and here in the opening verse of Vayikra, God uses this same type of formula to address Moshe.

רש"י על ויקרא פרק א פסוק א
ויקרא אל משה - (יומא ד' ת"כ) הקול הולך ומגיע לאזניו וכל ישראל לא שומעין
The voice travelled and reached (Moshe’s) ears; the rest of Israel did not listen…

The voice came only to Moshe. All others heard silence. Why? When the Voice of God rang out at Sinai, readily audible to the entire nation, the people recoiled; they were not ready to listen to the Voice of God. They begged that God speak to Moshe and that Moshe then transmit the Word of God to them. They did not wish to listen.

ספר שמות פרק כ
(טו) וְכָל הָעָם רֹאִים אֶת הַקּוֹלֹת וְאֶת הַלַּפִּידִם וְאֵת קוֹל הַשֹּׁפָר וְאֶת הָהָר עָשֵׁן וַיַּרְא הָעָם וַיָּנֻעוּ וַיַּעַמְדוּ מֵרָחֹק:(טז) וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֶל משֶׁה דַּבֶּר אַתָּה עִמָּנוּ וְנִשְׁמָעָה וְאַל יְדַבֵּר עִמָּנוּ אֱלֹהִים פֶּן נָמוּת:(יז) וַיֹּאמֶר משֶׁה אֶל הָעָם אַל תִּירָאוּ כִּי לְבַעֲבוּר נַסּוֹת אֶתְכֶם בָּא הָאֱלֹהִים וּבַעֲבוּר תִּהְיֶה יִרְאָתוֹ עַל פְּנֵיכֶם לְבִלְתִּי תֶחֱטָאוּ:(יח) וַיַּעֲמֹד הָעָם מֵרָחֹק וּמשֶׁה נִגַּשׁ אֶל הָעֲרָפֶל אֲשֶׁר שָׁם הָאֱלֹהִים:

15. And all the People saw the thunder, and the lightning, and the sound of the shofar, and the mountain smoking; and the People were shaken, and stood far away.16. And they said to Moshe, ‘Speak with us, and we will listen; but let not the Almighty speak with us, lest we die.17. And Moshe said to the People, ‘Fear not; for the Almighty has come to test you, and that fear of Him may be before your faces, that you sin not.18. And the People stood far away, and Moshe drew near to the thick darkness wherein (resides) the Almighty.

Their reluctance had profound ramifications. Despite their bold statement, “We will listen,” -- they would not to listen. It should come as no surprise, then, that the Word of God came only to Moshe.

Earlier, in our discussion of the sin of the Golden Calf,[5] we examined the symbiotic relationship between na’aseh and nishma. The Talmud and Midrash point out that the sin of the Golden Calf damaged the commitment the Jewish People had made to na’aseh: transgression of the commandment forbidding all idolatrous images was abandoned so soon after the Jews declared “na’aseh”- “We will do”, we will fulfill the mitzvot. At the moment they transgressed, they were stripped of the two crowns with which the angels had adorned each of them: the crowns of na’aseh and nishma were forfeited.[6]

שבת דף פח/א
דרש רבי סימלאי, בשעה שהקדימו ישראל "נעשה" ל"נשמע", באו ששים רבוא של מלאכי השרת. לכל אחד ואחד מישראל קשרו לו שתי כתרים, אחד כנגד "נעשה", ואחד כנגד "נשמע". וכיון שחטאו ישראל, ירדו מאה ועשרים רבוא מלאכי חבלה ופרקום, שנאמר, (שמות לג) "ויתנצלו בני ישראל את עדים מהר חורב". אמר רב חמא בר חנינא, בחורב טענו, בחורב פרקו. בחורב טענו - כדאמרינן. בחורב פרקו - דכתיב, "ויתנצלו בני ישראל" וגו'. אמר רב יוחנן, וכולן - זכה משה ונטלן, דסמיך ליה, (שמות לג) "ומשה יקח את האהל".

R. Simla lectured: When the Israelites gave precedence to ‘we will do’ over we will listen, six hundred thousand ministering angels came and set two crowns upon each Israelite, one as a reward for ‘we will do’, and the other as a reward for ‘we will listen’. But as soon as Israel sinned, one million two hundred thousand destroying angels descended and removed them, as it is said, ‘And the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments from Mount Horev.’ R. Hama son of R. Hanina said: At Horev they put them on and at Horev they put them off. At Horev the put them on, as we have stated. At Horev they put them off, for it is written, ‘And [the children of Israel] stripped themselves,’ etc. R. Yohanan observed: And Moshe was privileged and received them all, for in proximity thereto it is stated, ‘And Moshe took the tent’.

The two crowns with which Israel were adorned represent the two spheres that are uniquely human. Na’aseh represents creative human action, that uniquely human realm of purposeful ‘doing’, the realm of the hands and arms. Nishma represents the realm of human intelligence, of thought and understanding - the realm of the head. The choices they made, their actions and their reluctance to stand up and listen to the Word of God, caused the Jews to forfeit both crowns. Moshe, who had no part in the sin of the Golden Calf, who alone heard the Voice of God Mipi haGevura, was given all of the crowns that the Jews had forfeited. Rashi credits these crowns as the source of the glow of Moshe’s face.[7] Only on Shabbat do the rest of the Jewish People re-take some of this glory. This, according to the Ariza”l, is the neshama yeteira which we each receive on Shabbat. [8]

Citing this teaching of the Ariza”l, Rav Zadok of Lublin draws a fascinating parallel of cause and effect, spiritual malady and cure[9]: Rav Zadok connects the two crowns, representing the pro-active na’aseh and the intellectual nishma, to the Mitzva of the Tefilin (Phylacteries) of the hand and of the head.[10] The Jews corrupted these two human capabilities; as an antidote, they were given the commandment of Tefilin. This may explain why we do not don Tefilin on Shabbat. Additionally, women, who according to tradition did not sin at all in the Golden Calf episode, are not obligated to wear Tefilin.

To Be Angelic
The language of the angels may have an additional connotation. Every angel has a unique role and task; no two angels are bidden to perform the same task, and no angel is asked to perform two tasks.[11] Yet in order to offer praise to God, they call out, inviting one another to join in.

ספר ישעיה פרק ו
(ג) וְקָרָא זֶה אֶל זֶה וְאָמַר קָדוֹשׁ קָדוֹשׁ קָדוֹשׁ ה’ צְבָאוֹת מְלֹא כָל הָאָרֶץ כְּבוֹדוֹ:

And one cried to another, and said, 'Holy, holy, holy, is the Eternal God of Hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory.' Yeshayahu, 6:3

The Meztudot David explains that the invitation allows the angels to synchronize their prayer, to utter praise together. The sound that is formed is the sound of one voice, completely unified.

מצודות דוד על ישעיה פרק ו פסוק ג
(ג) וקרא וכו' - שרף קורא לחבירו לומר קדוש כאחד ולא יקדים האחד לחבירו. ואמר - הקול יוצא מבין כולם כאחד כאילו הוא קול אחד. קדוש וכו' –

This unity was also a central aspect of receiving the Torah, when the Jews stood "as one man, with one heart" at the foot of the mountain.[12] This unity surely colored their cry, “we will do and we will listen”; they spoke like angels, both in form and in content.[13]

To Teach Like an Angel
Rashi continues his comments with a statement of primary importance for all educators:

רש"י על ויקרא פרק א פסוק א
ויקרא אל משה - (יומא ד' ת"כ) הקול הולך ומגיע לאזניו וכל ישראל לא שומעין יכול אף להפסקות היתה קריאה ת"ל וידבר לדבור היתה קריאה ולא להפסקות ומה היו הפסקות משמשות ליתן ריוח למשה להתבונן בין פרשה לפרשה ובין ענין לענין ק"ו להדיוט הלומד מן ההדיוט:
The voice travelled and arrived at the ears of Moshe, the rest of Israel did not listen. You would think that the invitation was for the “pauses” as well; therefore it teaches “He spoke”: for speech there was an invitation, but not for the pauses. And what was the purpose of the pauses? To give space to Moshe to contemplate between sections and between topics. Certainly a common person teaching a common person (should conduct himself likewise).

The scene we have before us involves the ultimate teacher, and the ultimate pupil - the teacher is God, the student, Moshe Rabbenu. The teaching method employed was meant to assure maximum understanding: God invites Moshe to hear His words, and then “gives Moshe space" to understand, consider and internalize the lesson. All intellectual pursuits can be challenging. A teacher must have patience in order to assure that the information transmitted is understood, processed and internalized. If, says Rashi, this is true of this teacher and this student, kal vachomer - how much more so - when mere mortals are involved.

A Divine Pause
The pause that Rashi speaks of here is intriguing. This is the first verse of a new Book; where is there a pause for contemplation? The answer may be unexpected: The pause is represented by the white part of the parchment, the part not written upon, the part left empty. There are spaces between letters, between words, and at times between one sentence and the next, but the largest white space in a Torah scroll is between one Book and the other.

The Books of Sh’mot and Vayikra can not and should not be separated: In the final scene of Sh’mot, Moshe stands at the doorway of the completed Mishkan, poised to enter. As Sh’mot comes to an end, his quest is held in abeyance.

שמות פרק מ
(לד) וַיְכַס הֶעָנָן אֶת אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד וּכְבוֹד ה’ מָלֵא אֶת הַמִּשְׁכָּן: (לה) וְלֹא יָכֹל מֹשֶׁה לָבוֹא אֶל אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד כִּי שָׁכַן עָלָיו הֶעָנָן וּכְבוֹד ה’ מָלֵא אֶת הַמִּשְׁכָּן: (לו) וּבְהֵעָלוֹת הֶעָנָן מֵעַל הַמִּשְׁכָּן יִסְעוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּכֹל מַסְעֵיהֶם: (לז) וְאִם לֹא יֵעָלֶה הֶעָנָן וְלֹא יִסְעוּ עַד יוֹם הֵעָלֹתוֹ: (לח) כִּי עֲנַן ה’ עַל הַמִּשְׁכָּן יוֹמָם וְאֵשׁ תִּהְיֶה לַיְלָה בּוֹ לְעֵינֵי כָל בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּכָל מַסְעֵיהֶם:

34. Then a cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the Glory of the Eternal God filled the Mishkan. 35. And Moshe was not able to enter into the Tent of Meeting, because the cloud abode on it, and the Glory of the Eternal God filled the Mishkan. 36. And when the cloud was taken up from over the Mishkan, the Children of Israel went onward in all their journeys; 37. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up. 38. For the cloud of the Eternal God was upon the Mishkan by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the House of Israel, throughout all their journeys.

The Mishkan is completed, yet Moshe waits; he has time to think, to prepare, to contemplate. When the voice calls out to him, he enters; now the lesson can begin. The pause is the white parchment between the Book of Sh’mot and the Book of Vayikra. When we understand that Vayikra is very much a continuation of the book of Sh’mot, the seemingly awkward language used in the first verse becomes less strange – “And (He) called to Moshe” picks up where Sh’mot left off, with Moshe at the door of the Mishkan, waiting to be invited in. The encounter begins, but it is a continuation of the previous scene.

The stage is set: In this new/old scene, God speaks to Moshe, for the people choose not to be spoken to. The crowns which they had previously received have now been transferred to Moshe, and his face is adorned by a wondrous glow. Yet despite the choices the People have made, despite the sin of the Golden Calf, despite having opted to hear the Word of God indirectly – despite having been stripped of the crowns of na’aseh and nishma – the Jewish People is neither estranged from God nor unworthy of Divine communication.

רש"י על ויקרא פרק א פסוק א
לאמר - צא ואמור להם דברי כבושים בשבילכם הוא נדבר עמי שכן מצינו שכל ל"ח שנה שהיו ישראל במדבר כמנודים מן המרגלים ואילך לא נתייחד הדבור עם משה
“(He) called to Moshe, and God spoke to him, to say:” Go and speak words of endearment: ‘It is for you that He speaks to me.’ For we find that during the entire 38 years when Israel was as outcasts due to the (sin of the) spies, from that point onward God did not speak to Moshe…

Just as the source of Moshe’s glow is from the collective, the Word of God comes to Moshe because of the nation as a whole. In the merit of the collective, God speaks to Moshe; although the People rejected their ability to listen, forfeiting their commitment to nishma, the Torah still belongs to them. It is theirs, and Moshe becomes Moshe Rabbenu, Moshe our Master Teacher, because, from this point onward, his sole purpose is to act as a conduit between God and the Jewish People, returning to them what is rightfully theirs.

Perhaps Rashi’s kal vachomer regarding God’s teaching methods applies equally to the other elements we have noted in this verse: God calls out to Moshe, creating a warm and loving relationship, encouraging and engaging him. While an atmosphere of fear and intimidation may cause a student to be attentive, this is not the appropriate manner to transmit Torah. If we are to transmit the Words of the Living God, we must emulate God in this way, too.

When the Talmud describes the type of person from whom we should learn Torah, it brings a verse from the Book of Malachi.

ספר מלאכי פרק ב
(ז) כִּי שִׂפְתֵי כֹהֵן יִשְׁמְרוּ דַעַת וְתוֹרָה יְבַקְשׁוּ מִפִּיהוּ כִּי מַלְאַךְ ה’ צְבָאוֹת הוּא:

7. For the priest’s lips should guard knowledge, and they shall seek the Torah from his mouth; for he is an angel (messenger) of the Eternal God of Hosts.

תלמוד בבלי מסכת חגיגה דף טו/ב
וְהָא אָמַר רַבָה בַר בַּר חָנָה, אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן, מַאי דִּכְתִיב, (מלאכי ב) "כִּי שִׂפְתֵי כֹּהֵן יִשְׁמְרוּ דַּעַת, וְתּוֹרָה יְבַקְשׁוּ מִפִּיהוּ, כִּי מַלְאָךְ ה' צְבָאוֹת הוּא" - אִם דּוֹמֶה הָרָב לְמַלְאָךְ ה' צְבָאוֹת - יְבַקְשׁוֹ תּוֹרָה מִפִּיהוּ. וְאִם לָאו - אַל יֵבַקְשׁוֹ תּוֹרָה מִפִּיהוּ.
And so said Rabbah b. Bar Hana: R. Yohanan said, What is the meaning of the verse, ‘For the priest's lips should guard knowledge, and they shall seek the Torah from his mouth; for he is the messenger (angel) of the?’ [This means that] if the teacher is like an angel of the Eternal God of Hosts, they should seek Torah from his mouth, but if not, they should not seek Torah from his mouth! Talmud Bavli Chagigah 15b

An angel is a messenger of God.[14] Angels transmit the Word of God exactly as they have received it; they reflect the message, and seek to help those receiving the message to connect, through that message, with God. The angel does not attempt to re-create you in its own image; the angel reflects to you the Image of God, and helps you rediscover the Divine Image within yourself.[15]

The Divine Image which the angel reflects – both the Image of God who has sent the message, and the Divine Image within man that the angel addresses – is unique. As we have noted, each angel is unique; each angel has its own identity, its own task. Just as God is unique, His messenger is unique, and every person, created in the image of God, has uniqueness.[16] A teacher who strives to create pupils in his own image, accomplishes the opposite of true Torah education: The teacher of Torah is tasked with helping each and every one of his students find their own, unique Divine Likeness within.

When the Jewish People accepted the Torah, we spoke in a unified voice, like the angels; we gave precedence to na’aseh over nishma, like the angels. But when we stepped back, passing up the historic opportunity to listen to the Voice of God, we sent a messenger of our own to do the job in our place. Moshe listens for us; in turn he becomes the teacher, the messenger of God, the angel sent to reconnect us with Torah, with God, and with the Divine Image within each and every one of us.

The word of God comes to Moshe, spoken in the language of angels. It comes to Moshe because the people could not listen. But it comes to Moshe in the merit of the people who themselves once spoke like angels. To fulfill his role, Moshe must be like an angel; he must be a true teacher. To succeed in his task, Moshe must teach each person in a way most suited to their unique needs and capabilities. Moshe does not attempt to re-create Israel in his own image; rather, he becomes a conduit between man and God. Like an angel, he conveys the Word of God exactly as he received it, enabling the message of Torah to resonate within each individual’s tzelem Elokim. [17] We, in turn, put on the Tefilin of the arm before the Tefilin of the head, echoing the angelic formula which we hope to reinstate: “Na’aseh v’nishma- We will do, and we will listen.”

The angels represent a wonderful merger between individualism and the collective. Each angel has its own unique role, its own unique voice. But it is specifically with this diversity of voices that the angels praise God - in unison. The uniqueness of each is maintained; disparate spiritual needs and levels, so much a part of individuality, are not sacrificed or disregarded. What a wonderful sound is achieved when each unique, individual voice calls out with respect and love to the others to join in worshipping God![18]

[1] The difference between “He Called” ויקרא and “happened upon” ויקר is the letter aleph; this distinction is diminished, due to the aleph being written with a small font (ויקרא). For more on the smaller font see .
[2] See for example Malachi 1:1.
ספר מלאכי פרק א
(א) מַשָּׂא דְבַר ה' אֶל יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּיַד מַלְאָכִי:

1. The burden of the word of the Eternal God to Israel by Malachi.
[3] Sh’mot 22:7
שמות פרק כד
(ז) וַיִּקַּח סֵפֶר הַבְּרִית וַיִּקְרָא בְּאָזְנֵי הָעָם וַיֹּאמְרוּ כֹּל אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר ה’ נַעֲשֶׂה וְנִשְׁמָע:

[4] Rav Yehonatan Eybishitz explains that Jews who have faith are transformed by action; others, who adopt a philosophical approach as their starting position, require to “hear” first, something which he understands as an intellectual process. This idea is echoed and elucidated by the Yismach Moshe (Moshe Teitelbaum), Parshat Mas’ei, page 86.
ספר יערות דבש - חלק ראשון - דרוש יא
ואיך לא נגיל ולא נשמח בכל לבבנו, ובפרט כי ע"י מצוה בעשותה בשמחה, נזכה להשגת חכמה והשגת רוח הקדש, כמבואר בגמרא [שבת פח.] בשעה שאמרו ישראל נעשה ונשמע, יצאה בת קול, מי גילה רז זה שמלאכי השרת משתמשים בו וכו', עושי רצונו והדר לשמוע בקול דברו. ויש להבין מה הרז הזה ומה שמשתמשים בו מלאכי השרת:
אבל הענין, כי מחלוקת יש בין הפילוסופים ובין התורניים, וביחוד המקובלים, כי דעת פילוסופים להשיג השגת אלהות, ואין צריך לומר דברי נבואה, צריך הכנה בהתחכמות בחכמות ומושכלות בטבעים לימודים וכהנה, להתדבק שכלו בדברים שכליים, עד שיוכל להפשיט הצורות מן החומר בשכלו, וישב ויתחכם עד הדבקו בשכל הפועל, ומשם בשכלים הנבדלים, ומשם בשכל אלוה, ולכך אריסט"ו וחביריו כפרו בנבואה, שאמרו למי יאות הנבואה יותר מהם, שהשכילו לדעתם ביותר, וכילו כל ימיהם בהסתכלות בעומק החכמות וחקירות. אבל התורניים ומקובלים חלקו על זה, ואמרו לא זה המביא לרוח הקדש, כי אם בעשות מצוות בשלימות וכונה רצויה, אם ירצה אלהים את פעלו ויאיר לנו באורו לזרוח עליו כבוד ה', והעושה סוכה לשמה בשמחה ובדקא יאות, יוכל לזכות יותר לשלמות שכלים נבדלים ושכל אלוה, מכל חכמות אריסט"ו וכת הפילסופים כל ימיהם:

ספר ישמח משה - פרשת מסעי דף פו/א
על פי היערות דבש דף ס"ה שפירש על אמרם (שבת פ"ח ע"א) בשעה שאמרו ישראל נעשה ונשמע וכו' (שמות כד ז), מי גלה רז זה לבני לשון שמלאכי השרת משתמשין בו. כי דעת הפילסופים להשיג השגות אלקות ודבר נבואה, צריך הכנה בהתחכמות בחכמות ומושכלות הטבעית עד הדבקו בשכל הפועל, ומשם בשכלי הנבדלים, ומשם בשכל אלוקית. ומקובלים חלקו על זה ואמרו כי לא זה מביא לידי רוח הקודש ונבואה, כי אם בעשות מצות ומעשים טובים בשלימות ובכונה רצויה. והנה ישראל בהיותם חונים על הים וראו מה שראו, הבינו כי עיקר השגת רוח הקודש ונבואה על ידי עשות מצות ומעשים טובים. וזה שאמרו נעשה ונשמע, כי על ידי מעשה, נזכה לשמוע בקול ה' היינו נבואה ורוח הקודש. וזה שאמר מי גילה רז זה שמלאכי השרת משתמשין בו, שאין זוכה לשמוע בקול ד' כי אם על ידי עשיית מצות ורצון בוראו, שנאמר (תהלים קג כ) עושי דברו לשמוע כו', עד כאן דבריו עיין שם. והיינו מה מצאו כו' כי רחקו מעלי מלשמוע מצותי, וילכו אחר ההבל כמו כת הכלדים והפילסופים בכמה מקומות, ולא אמרו איה ה' כו' המעלה אותנו מארץ מצרים, כי אז על ידי שיעבוד היו ריק מכל מדע, רק על ידי אמונה ושמועה למצותיו, העלה אותן למדרגת רוח הקודש, וראיה לזה שראתה שפחה על הים כו' (מכילתא בשלח) והבן:

[5] See my comments on Parshat Vayakhel 5769
[6] See Midrash Rabbah Shmot 42:1
מדרש רבה שמות פרשה מב פסקה א
וידבר ה' אל משה לך רד ר' תנחומא בר אבא פתח (משלי כה) נשיאים ורוח וגשם אין (שם) בארך אפים יפתה קצין מי שהוא אומר ליתן מתנה לחבירו ואינו נותנה למה הוא דומה לנשיאים ורוח ולברקים שהם באים וגשמים אינם יורדין זה היה דור המדבר כשהיו בסיני היו ס' רבוא של זקנים וכן של בחורים וכן של נערים וכן של נשים כיון שבאו לסיני וקבלו עליהם מלכותו של הקב"ה וענו כולם קול אחד ואמרו כל אשר דבר ה' נעשה ונשמע הרי קול שהיה קול כיון שבאו למדבר עברו על הכל ושחתו מעשיהם כיון שראה הקב"ה כן אמר למשה לך רד כי שחת עמך ואין שחת אלא שחבלו מעשיהם כד"א (דברים לב) שחת לו לא בניו מומם ולא עבודת כוכבים עשו בלבד אלא גילוי עריות ושפיכות דמים
[7] Rashi Talmud Bavli Shabbat 88a, for more about this glow see my comments to Bereishit 5769 “Clothing of Light”.
רש"י שבת דף פח/א
ומשה יקח - אותו עדי, לשון אחר את האהל, לשון בהלו נרו (איוב כט) והוא היה קירון עור פניו:
[8] See the comments of the Sfat Emet Ki-Tisa 5661
שפת אמת ספר שמות - פרשת תשא - שנת [תרס"א]
והטעם ביני ובין בני ישראל אות הוא. וצריך שלא להיות דבר המפסיק בינתים. וסמיך לפרשת השבת ויתן אל משה. כמ"ש במ"א כי בשבת יש הארה מלוחות הראשונים. שזהו כוחו של מרע"ה דכ' ומשה יקח את האהל. ובשבת מחזירן לבנ"י ומתחדש אותו הארה בכל שבת. ובכל שבת חוזר הקב"ה ונותן מתנה זו למשה שהוא הדעת של כלל בנ"י.

[9] Rav Zadok Hakohen Pri Zaddik Bamidbar section 10, also see Rav Zadok Hakohen Pri Zaddik Chanukah section 23, Rav Zadok Hakohen Pri Zaddik 15th of Av section 1.
ספר פרי צדיק פרשת במדבר - אות י
ועל חדא תרתי נהורא לה ימטי. אמרו חכמינו ז"ל (שבת פ"ח.) בשעה שהקדימו ישראל נעשה לנשמע כו' קשרו לו ב' כתרים אחד כנגד נעשה ואחד כנגד נשמע. ובפסיקתא איתא ק"כ רבוא של מלאכי השרת אחד קושר לו כתר ואחד חוגר לו זינו, והיינו כתר כנגד נשמע והוא נקרא כתר כנגד תפילין של ראש שהוא כנגד הנשמה שבמוח והוא כתר על הראש. וכמו שאמרו (מגילה ט"ז ע"ב) ויקר אלו תפילין וכה"א כו' אלו תפילין שבראש. ויקר הוא בחינת אור הראשון וכמו שאמרו כל יקר ראתה עינו ראתה עינו של ר' עקיבא כו' (מ"ר ותנחומא חקת) ואחד חוגר לו זינו חגורה כנגד נעשה והוא כנגד תפילין של יד שכל הפעולות מכונות על שם הידים. והוא כנגד הלב לשעבד תאות ומחשבות לבינו לעבודתו יתברך שמו. ובגמרא אמרו ב' עטרות שגם מתפילין של יד שכנגד נעשה נעשה גם כן עטרה בשעת מתן תורה דכתיב בעטרה שעטרה לו אמו ביום חתונתו זה מתן תורה שעטרו ישראל להקדוש ברוך הוא בעטרות נעשה ונשמע ואז נתעטרו ישראל גם כן בב' עטרות. וכמו שאמרו (ברכות ל.) את ה' האמרת וה' האמירך כו' אתם עשיתוני חטיבה אחת בעולם שנאמר כו' ד' אחד ואני אעשה אתכם חטיבה אחת בעולם כו' גוי אחד בארץ. אך אחר הקלקול איתא (שמו"ר פ' כ"ז) שברתם נעשה עשיתם כו' הזהרו בנשמע ונשאר רק כתר נשמע. ועל זה אמר בפסיקתא הנ"ל אחד חוגר לו זינו כנגד נעשה. והכתרים הם מאור הראשון וכמו שאמרו (שבת פ"ח.) וכולן זכה משה ונטלן דסמך ליה ומשה יקח את האוהל ופירש רש"י מלשון בהלו נרו על ראשי. והיינו אור הראשון שהוא על הראש למעלה מהראש כידוע ואיתא בפרי עץ חיים שבשבת מחזיר משה רבינו הכתרים לישראל.
ספר פרי צדיק לחמשה עשר באב - אות א
והיינו דמה שנאמר בעטרה שעטרה לו אמו, היינו דישראל יש להם ב' כתרים תפילין של יד ושל ראש דתפילין של יד הוא כנגד כתר נעשה שהמעשה שייך לידים והם משועבדין למצות ה'. ותפילין של ראש כנגד כתר נשמע שהוא כנגד המוח ומחשבה מוחא. וכנגדן אמרו (ברכות ו'.) השם יתברך מניח תפילין דמשתבח בשבחייהו דישראל. ומכתר נשמע כביכול השם יתברך מניח תפילין של ראש ומכתר נעשה התפילין של יד. וזה הפירוש בעטרה שעטרה לו אמו כנסת ישראל בנעשה ונשמע. ביום חתונתו זה מתן תורה ואם לא היו נשתברו לוחות ראשונות היה אז בי"ז בתמוז יום חתונתו ויום שמחת לבו יחד. ואחר שנעשה הקלקול אז נקרא יום הכפורים יום חתונתו שאז היה יום סליחה ומחילה ונתקן אז מה שקלקלו בנעשה במעשה העגל (כמ"ש במ"ר עקב). ויום שמחת לבו זה בנין בית המקדש שיבנה במהרה בימינו דאחר החטא נצרך לתיקונו לתורה שבעל פה

[10] Rav Zadok also notes that the Talmud (Megila 16b) associates the term Vayikar with Tefilin, these same letters are visually striking in the word Vayikra, where the aleph is written in a smaller font. This same point can be found in the Ahaiv Yisrael Vayikra
ספר אוהב ישראל - פרשת ויקרא
דהנה רש"י ז"ל מביא מדרש על כל דיבור ודיבור היתה קריאה והוא לשון חיבה לשון שמלאכי השרת משתמשין בו כמ"ש וקרא זה אל זה ע"כ. ולדעת במה יוודע איפה יתרון החיבה בלשון קריאה י"ל, דהתרגום אונקלוס תרגם על פסוק (ישעיה ו, ג) וקרא זה אל זה כו' ומקבלין דין מן דין… ולזה כביכול איהו דאזעיר גרמיה לדבר עם משרע"ה בזה הענין מעולם הזמן והמועד ולזה אל"ף של ויקרא היא זעירא. אמנם כן לאשר כי בודאי לפי ערך גודל בחינתו ומדריגתו של משרע"ה היה יכול הבורא בהוב"ש להכליל דיבוריו הק' אליו כביכול מעולמות עליונים הק' לכן נשארו אלו המוחין קדישין אצל משרע"ה במקום הנחת תפילין בסוד אורות מקיפים. וזהו ויקרא כמו שדרשו חז"ל (מגילה טז:) ויקר אלו תפילין וזהו מפורש בפסוק ויקר אל משה והאחד הוא זעירא. והטעם לזה כי להיות וידבר ה' אליו מאהל מועד היינו לפי שהיה צריך לדבר עמו מבהירות עולם הזמן והמועד לשון (איוב כט, ג) בהלו נרו עלי ראשי.

אסתר פרק ח
(טז) לַיְּהוּדִים הָיְתָה אוֹרָה וְשִׂמְחָה וְשָׂשֹׂן וִיקָר:
תלמוד בבלי מסכת מגילה דף טז עמוד ב
+אסתר ח'+ ליהודים היתה אורה ושמחה וששון ויקר, אמר רב יהודה: אורה - זו תורה, וכן הוא אומר +משלי ו'+ כי נר מצוה ותורה אור. שמחה - זה יום טוב, וכן הוא אומר +דברים ט"ז+ ושמחת בחגך, ששון - זו מילה, וכן הוא אומר +תהלים קי"ט+ שש אנכי על אמרתך ויקר - אלו תפלין,
[11] See Bereishit Rabbah 50:2
מדרש רבה בראשית פרשה נ פסקה ב
תנא אין מלאך אחד עושה שתי שליחות ולא שני מלאכים עושים שליחות אחת:
It was taught: One angel does not perform two missions, nor do two angels together perform one mission,
[12] See Sh’mot 19:2, and Rashi’s comments.
שמות פרק יט
(ב) וַיִּסְעוּ מֵרְפִידִים וַיָּבֹאוּ מִדְבַּר סִינַי וַיַּחֲנוּ בַּמִּדְבָּר וַיִּחַן שָׁם יִשְׂרָאֵל נֶגֶד הָהָר:
רש"י שמות פרק יט
ויחן שם ישראל - כאיש אחד בלב אחד, אבל שאר כל החניות בתרעומת ובמחלוקת:
נגד ההר - למזרחו, וכל מקום שאתה מוצא נגד, פנים למזרח:

[13] See Rav Zadok Hakohen Pri Zaddik Pesach Sheni section 2.
ספר פרי צדיק פסח שני - אות ב
וכל נפש מישראל יש לו חלק באותיות התורה, והנה בעת עמדם על הר סיני והיו כלם כאיש אחד בלב אחד כלו לה' חפיצים ומשתוקקים מאד בשמחה רבה לקבל עליהם עול מלכותו והקדימו נעשה לנשמע לשון שמלאכי השרת משתמשין בו (כמו שאמרו שבת פח ע"ב) היינו כי אמרו נהיה כמלאכים שלא נוכל לעשות דבר נגד רצונו יתברך כמו המלאך שאין מלאך אחד עושה שתי שליחות כי לא יוכל לשנות עצמו מתכלית הבריאה שנברא לאותו שליחות, וכמו כן אמרו ישראל גם כן נעשה רק רצון השם יתברך את אשר יצוה לנו ולא נוכל לעשות שום דבר נגד רצון השם יתברך, ובכח הדברים האלו ובהתשוקה רבה הזו המשיכו את התורה מן השמים לארץ על ידי משה רבינו ע"ה,

[14] See Shem Mishmuel Vayakhel 5673
ספר שם משמואל פרשת ויקהל - שנת תרע"ג
וכעין זה יש לפרש קדימת נעשה לנשמע שהיא תכלית הביטול לרצון השי"ת, ואין לו מציאות להבחין הדברים אלא עומד הכן לעשות, ואח"כ ממילא יזכה עוד לשמוע, וזהו לשון שמלאכי השרת משתמשין בו (שבת פ"ח.), כי מלאך אין לו שום בחינה ומהות עצמית אלא מה שהוא שליח ה', וכל בחינתו לעשות שליחותו לבד, ובאבות דר"נ (פ"ט ה"ב) והאיש משה ענו מאד יכול שהי' ענו כמלאכי השרת ת"ל מכל האדם מאדם אמרו ולא ממלאכי השרת, והוא מטעם הנ"ל, שמלאך אין לו שום מציאות אלא ביטול ואם יצויר רגע אחד בהעדר הביטול איננו כלל במציאות והוא כלא הי', וא"כ אין ביטולו מלאכותי אלא טבעי, אבל אדם בעוה"ז ביטולו היא מלאכותי, וע"כ אי אפשר להיות ענו כמלאכי השרת, ומ"מ ישראל במעמד הנכבד הקדימו נעשה לנשמע לשון שמלאכי השרת משתמשין בו, שהוא ענין ביטול שאינו נחשב כלל ליש ומציאות בפ"ע:
[15] Rav Noach Weinberg shared this insight with me in a private conversation regarding Talmud Bavli Chagigah 15b. See comments of Ibn Ezra to Malachai 2:7.
אבן עזרא על מלאכי פרק ב פסוק ז
(ז) כי - דבק כי בהיות הכהן ישר ירבו הישרים והנה שפתי כהן דבק עם אשר למעלה כי מלאך שליח השם הוא בינו ובין ישראל

[16] This was a recurring theme in many of the lectures of Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik.
[17] See Sfat Emet Vayikra 5636.
שפת אמת ספר ויקרא - פרשת ויקרא - שנת [תרל"ו]
במד' ברכו ה' מלאכיו כו'. תחתונים שאינם יכולין לעמוד כו'. קשה דאין הקב"ה בא בטרוניא עם בריותיו. אך הפי' שאינם יכולין לעמוד בתפקידיו כי בוודאי יש בכל איש ישראל נקודה מיוחדת להשי"ת אשר הוא בחי' מלאך ממש. אך א"י לעמוד במדרגה זו תמיד רק לעתים כמאמר אין לך אדם שאין לו שעה. והמלאך הוא בכללו תמיד כן. אכן מכלל ישראל נתוסף כח לצדיקי הדור להיותם ממש כמלאכים כמ"ש דומה למלאך ה' צבאות. והנה בני ישראל הקדימו נעשה לנשמע כמלאכי השרת כמ"ש חז"ל מי גילה רז זה לבני שמלאכי השרת משתמשין בו כו' ואח"כ אבדו נעשה. ומרע"ה לא הי' בכלל החטא ולכן נשאר בו הקדמה זו. ולכן נתקיים בו לשמוע בקול דברו כמ"ש ויקרא לשון שמלאכי השרת משתמשין בו כמ"ש רש"י ז"ל. והוא התגלות עיקר חיות הפנימיות כמ"ש ויקרא לאור יום ואמרו חז"ל קריא רחמנא לנהורא ופקדי' אמצותא דיממא כו'. והוא התדבקות הנברא בהבורא. וכן התדבקות הנבראים זה לזה להתבטל ביחד לבוראם ית"ש. והנה בנ"י באומרם דבר אתה עמנו ונשמעה כו' לאשר נתנו כחם למרע"ה לכן בעת שניטל מהם מעלתם זכו לקבל מאמרי השי"ת ע"י מרע"ה. וזה הי' כל תיקונם אח"כ לאשר אמרו זה לשם שמים כמ"ש הטיבו אשר דברו כו':
[18] The Rambam (Guide for the Perplexed part 2 chapter 32) implies that at Sinai, each person saw revelation in a different manner, see Commentary of the Recanati Sh’mot 20:1.
ספר מורה נבוכים - חלק ב פרק לב
ואמנם מעמד הר סיני - ואף על פי שהיו רואים כולם האש הגדולה, שומעים הקולות הנוראות המפחידות על צד הפלא - לא הגיע למדרגת הנבואה אלא הראוי לה, ועל מדרגות גם כן. הלא תראה אמרו, "עלה אל יי, אתה ואהרן, נדב ואביהו, ושבעים מזקני ישראל"; הוא ע"ה - במדרגה העליונה, כמו שאמר, "ונגש משה לבדו אל יי, והם לא יגשו"; ואהרן - למטה ממנו, ונדב ואביהו - למטה מאהרן, ו'שבעים זקנים' - למטה מנדב ואביהו, ושאר האדם - למטה מהם, לפי שלמויותיהם. ואשר כתבו חכמים ז"ל' -, "משה - מחיצה בפני עצמה, ואהרן - מחיצה בפני עצמה":
ריקאנטי שמות פרק כ פסוק א
(א) וידבר אלהים את כל הדברים האלה לאמר [כ', א']. אמרו רז"ל במסכת חגיגה [ג' ע"ב] בעלי אסופות אלו תלמידי חכמים שיושבין אסופות אסופות ועוסקין בתורה, הללו מטהרין והללו מטמאין, והללו מכשירין והללו פוסלין, הללו מתירין והללו אוסרין, שמא יאמר אדם היאך אני למד מעתה, תלמוד לומר וידבר אלהים את כל הדברים האלה לאמר, כולן אב אחד נתנן פרנס אחד אמרן מפי אדון כל המעשים ברוך הוא. ואמרו [עירובין י"ג ע"ב] תלמיד אחד היה לו לרבי מאיר שהיה מטהר את השרץ במ"ט פנים. כל זה הוא כי בדיבור אשר נאמר עליו [דברים ה', י"ט] קול גדול ולא יסף, היו בו כל הפנים המשתנים והמתהפכים לטמא וטהור לאסור ומותר לפסול וכשר, כי לא יתכן להאמין שהיה הקול ההוא חסר כלום, ולכך בגודל הקול היו הדברים מתהפכין מכל צד זה לעומת זה, וכל אחד ואחד מן החכמים קבל את שלו, כי לא הנביאים בלבד קבלו מהר סיני אלא אף כל החכמים העומדים בכל דור ודור, כי כל אחד קבל את שלו שנאמר [שם ה', י"ט] את הדברים האלה דבר י"י אל כל קהלכם, ועל הענין הזה אמר [עירובין שם] אלו ואלו דברי אלהים חיים הם, כי אם היה אחד מהם טועה בקבלתו לא היה אומר כך, ואלו הם שבעים פנים שיש לתורה המתהפכין לכל צד, כי נחלק הקול ההוא לע' ענפים כאשר ביארנו. ובמדרש תלים אמרו רבותינו זכרונם לברכה [תהלים ס"ח, י"ב] י"י יתן אומר המבשרות צבא רב, היה הדיבור יוצא ומתחלק לז' קולות, והז' קולות לשבעים לשון, ורבי יהושע בן לוי אומר כאדם המכה את הסדן וניצוצות יוצאות לכאן ולכאן, כן המבשרות צבא רב, הפטיש כחו אינו אלא דבר אחד ומפוצץ הסלע לכמה שברים, כך הקול שנתנה בו התורה. וזה הענין יבאר לך ספיקות כשתתבונן עליו.

Now tell the following Halacha to your employer: The intermediary days of Pessach and Sukkot are known as Chol HaMoed. Some types of work are permitted, others are forbidden. Chazal (our Rabbis of blessed memory) have some harsh words for those who don't honor Chol HaMoed properly. Honoring Chol HaMoed includes eating meals and wearing clothes that are closer to Yom Tov standards than regular weekday standards.

On Chol HaMoed one may do all work needed to prevent a monetary loss. Preparing food for Chol HaMoed or the last days of Yom Tov is allowed. Gardening is forbidden besides for picking fruit for Chol HaMoed or Yom Tov, and to prevent plants dying, e.g. if they need to be irrigated. Planting is forbidden. Cutting hair is forbidden on Chol HaMoed. Cutting nails is only allowed if one also cut them before Yom Tov.

Writing is only allowed in cases of need: Writing down information so that it won't be forgotten is allowed. Writing letters to friends and family is allowed.
The custom is to write the first line at an angle as a reminder that writing is only partially permitted

- If it was impossible to launder before the Moed (e.g. one was locked up in jail) then one may launder on Chol HaMoed - Baby clothes that continuously get soiled and need to be changed many times a day may be laundered on Chol HaMoed. When laundering on Chol HaMoed one must ensure it's done in private. All medical procedures are allowed on Chol HaMoed. If one has the opportunity to borrow money and there's reason to believe that after Yom Tov the money will no longer be available, then one may borrow the money on Chol HaMoed (even if it means writing an IOU), even if it's for a post Yom Tov business deal. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 104 – Danny

It is also a Mitzvah to be happy on Shabbos and Yom Tov this includes Chol HaMoed. STORY: One time I had just finished patrolling the Syrian Border from the western side of Mt. Hermon to Kanitra for a week on a 24/7 patrol and alert status. I was sort of promised the next Shabbos off but I was transferred to a different tank unit in the same 188 Brigade that needed a paramedic. I was very down from lack of sleep. But that all changed as soon as I finished praying the Maariv Prayer as I made Kiddush for our unit. My eyes and being were aglow with the extra soul of Shabbos and I became happy and vibrant again which was an amazing transformation down and out from disappointment to the Simcha and rejoicing of Shabbos.

Kashrus Alert

Omega Buttery Spread: A limited amount of this certified product has been erroneously distributed with lids from the Light Omega Buttery Spread which bear an OU Pareve designation. While the Light variety is certified pareve, the regular Omega Buttery Spread contains dairy ingredients. Corrective action has been taken.

Berchas HaChama

Why 28 years? I was about to explain this but Aish HaTorah did the job for me on the following site that I condensed below:

In order to understand Birkat HaChama, a bit of astronomy is necessary. The Torah teaches that on the fourth day of creation -- that very first Wednesday of world history -- God created the sun (Genesis 1:16). A solar year is 365 1/4 days long -- i.e. 52 complete weeks, plus 1 1/4 days left over. That means each year, the sun returns to its starting point 1 1/4 days later in the week. The sun resets to its original starting point -- at the first hour of Wednesday morning -- only once every 28 years. (Do the math.)

We recite the blessing, "Who performs the act of creation," because as we watch the sun rise that morning, we're witnessing the sun aligned at precisely the same spot -- and on the same day and same hour -- where it stood at the beginning of time. This represents the completion of another cycle of creation, as the solar system resets, renews, and begins again.

The Talmud (Brachot 59b) teaches:

He who sees the sun at its season, the moon at its strength, the stars in their paths, and the constellations in their order, recites "Blessed is the One who performs the act of creation." And when does this happen? Abaye says: Every 28 years, when the cycle returns and the season of Nissan falls in Saturn, on the fourth day of the week.

According to the Mishnah Berurah (229:8), there are a number of other prayers to say that morning, in the following order:

  1. Psalm 148
  2. The blessing of "Oseh Maaseh Beresheis"
  3. "Kel Adone..." until "Chayot Hakodesh" (part of the first blessing of Shema on Shabbat morning)
  4. Psalm 19
  5. "Aleynu"
  6. Kaddish (in the presence of a minyan)

From Tsila: The Rabbi Jacob S. Kassin Memorial Halacha Series
Authored by Rabbi Eli J. Mansour (3/18/2009)
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Dedicated Today For Refuah Shelemah for Yitzchak ben Selha
by Anonymous

To dedicate Daily Halacha for a day please click here. Thank you.

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Description: Reciting Birkat Ha'hama on a Cloudy Day

The Beracha of Birkat Ha'hama, which will be recited this year (5769/2009) on Ereb Pesah, may be recited only when one actually views the sun. If clouds cover the sun, one may not recite the Beracha until the sun becomes visible.

Some authorities address the interesting case where clouds covered the sun, but one nevertheless recited the Beracha, omitting "Shem U'malchut" (the phrase, "Hashem Elokenu Melech Ha'olam"). For example, the person recalled learning that when the sun is not visible on the day of Birkat Ha'hama, one may still recite the Beracha without "Shem U'malchut," and he therefore recited the Beracha in this fashion despite not being able to see the sun. If the sun subsequently appeared, should he recite the Beracha upon seeing the sun at that point (assuming that this occurred within three hours of the day, after which point the Beracha can no longer be recited)? Or, do we consider this individual has having already recited the Beracha, such that he may no longer recite it?

Rav Pinhas Zevihi (contemporary), in his work Ateret Paz (p. 224), rules that one may repeat the Beracha in such a case. There is a Halachic principle that a Beracha recited without "Shem U'malchut" does not have the formal status of a Beracha, and therefore the person is not considered to have recited Birkat Ha'hama that day. As such, he may and should recite the Beracha when the sun becomes visible.

Rav Zevihi further writes that if a very cloudy day is expected, but the sun happens to be visible at sunrise, then one may recite the Beracha immediately at sunrise, even before praying Shaharit. Although generally it is preferable to recite Shaharit before reciting Birkat Ha'hama, one may reverse the sequence in this case due to the concern that he would otherwise miss the opportunity to recite Birkat Ha'hama.

If the sun is covered by clouds, but the sun briefly appears while one recites Shema or the Berachot preceding or following Shema, may he interrupt his Shema recitation to recite Birkat Ha'hama?

Rav Zevihi (ibid. p. 227; listen to audio recording for precise citation) writes that in such a case, one should preferably complete the paragraph or Beracha that he currently recites, and then recite Birkat Ha'hama. If, however, the sun appears only momentarily, and one is concerned that he may lose his opportunity to recite the Beracha if he delays the recitation even for a moment, then he may recite the Beracha at that point, even in the middle of a paragraph. Birkat Ha'hama is a "Misva Oberet" - a Misva confined to a very limited time frame - and therefore one may even interrupt Shema or the Berachot of Shema to fulfill this Misva. Rav Zevihi adds, however, that in such a case one should recite only the Beracha itself, and not the verses, Psalms and hymns traditionally recited before and after Birkat Ha'hama.

This is also the ruling of Hacham Ovadia Yosef, in his Yehave Da'at (vol. 4, 18:8).

Summary: One recites Birkat Ha'hama only upon seeing the sun; if clouds cover the sun, he may not recite the Beracha until the sun becomes visible. If a cloudy day is expected, one who sees the sun early in the morning may recite the Beracha even before reciting Shaharit. Likewise, if the sun momentarily appears as one recites Shema or the Berachot of Shema, he may interrupt his recitation for Birkat Ha'hama. Preferably, however, he should first complete the paragraph or Beracha he currently recites and then recite Birkat Ha'hama.

R’ Chaim Yitzchak Cohen Shlita on this week’s Parsha with a story

This week's section begins the third and central book of the Five Books of Moses. While the first two were mainly filled with stories, here we have only commandments. Some Chassidim say that this is G-d's way of telling us that the only way to properly fulfill the commandments is by first learning stories about Tzadikim.

For instance, in this week's section we have a mysterious phrase describing the sacrifices;

"A pleasing smell to G-d". (1:9)

Rashi explains that G-d is saying that HE gets PLEASURE when His Will is done.

What does this mean? G-d is supposed to be infinite and certainly lacks nothing. How can we give Him pleasure? How can He get anything from us?

To understand this here is a story:

The small room was crowded but no one spoke. Only the difficult breathing of the old man on the bed broke the almost serene silence. Old Shlomo was dying. Several Rabbis of the Holy Society were standing around him silently reading Psalms, and behind them stood his family, but it was only a matter of minutes now.

For those of you that don't know, the "Holy Society" means the funeral staff. Traditionally in Judaism this task was (and still is) reserved for only the holiest and most spiritual of Jews, and here they were none other than the holy Tzadik Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Braditchev and nine of his pupils.

Suddenly the Rabbi broke the silence and leaning toward the dying man spoke forcefully..

"Rav Shlomo! Rav Shlomo! Why are you sad?"

Everyone had noticed that tears were streaming down Shlomo's cheeks but no one made much of it.

"You should be happy!" continued the Rabbi, "Everyone has to die sometime. You've lived a long fruitful life. Here, just look at your beautiful family! So why are you so sad? Why are you crying?"

"No no, not because of that!" the old man whispered. "Thank G-d, Thank G-d I'm not complaining. G-d forbid. It's just that, well...the Torah and the commandments...I never really cared. I always had other things on my mind. Who knows if I'll go to Heaven? Who knows? And even if I do, I'm pretty sure that it's not going to be very bright for me there." The tears kept running down his cheeks.

"Ahhh! That's your problem?" exclaimed Rav Levi Yitzchak. "How would you like my Heaven?"

"Ehhh!?" exclaimed the old man with all the surprise he could muster up.

"That's right, how would you like my Olom Ha Ba (world to come)?" repeated the rabbi.

"Ehhh?" Said Shlomo as his eyes widened and he raised his head slightly. "Ca..can you do that? Is such a thing possible? Are…. are you serious?"

"Certainly!" said the Tzadik as he turned to one of his pupils and asked him to bring a pen and a piece of paper. In just minutes he was dictating; "write, 'I Levi Yitzchak ben (son of) Sarah do hereby give my entire place in Heaven to Shlomo ben ehh…' what is your mother's name?" Ahh yes! Shlomo ben Yenta, right?" Old Shlomo shook his head in astonished agreement as the Rabbi told his pupils to sign the deed. .

A warm smile of gratitude spread over his face as he took the precious document from the rabbi. If he had any energy left in his drained-out body he would have begun dancing. He gave one last loving glance at his benefactor, another at his family as though to say everything was all right, said the final "Shma Yisroel" prayer, closed his eyes and blissfully passed on to his now significantly increased heavenly reward.

Later that day, after the funeral, his pupils asked their master if he could explain. What type of merit did old Shlomo have that he deserved such a gift? Perhaps he did some unique deed or special mitzvah? It must have really been something unique, after all Rabbi Levi Yitzchak's afterlife was no small gift!!

"Maybe" answered the Tzadik, "But I don't know what it was."

"You don't know?" blurted out one of his pupils in disbelief, "Then why did you give him your entire heaven?!!"

"Well" answered Rav Levi Yitzchak "It's simple. I just reasoned that G-d loves the Jewish people. So to make a Jew happy, even for a few moments, was worth my entire world-to-come. That's why I gave it to him."

Of course this is a very strange idea. A great tzadik like the Rabbi of Braditchev certainly had a very clear idea of the infinite pleasures awaiting him in the afterlife. But he gladly lost it all in order to make….. G-d happy !

But really he wasn't the first to do so. The first was Abraham the founder of Judaism. He was willing to sacrifice his only son because he knew it would please G-d.

In other words, this phenomenon is the foundation of the Jewish people. And it makes sense as well.

The essence of Judaism is that G-d and His Torah (and the Jewish people) are alive.

NOT that G-d just created the world 5000 plus years ago, gave the Torah 3000 plus years ago and since then occasionally gets involved. But rather, that He creates EVERYTHING (including the spiritual worlds) CONSTANTLY. And His inner true reason for doing so is the Torah.

In other words, G-d has a living personality (the mystics call it His ten "spherot"), the deepest aspect of it is HIS pleasure, and ONLY the Jews (and those attached to them through the seven Noahide commandments) can connect to it.

That is why the Torah cannot be fulfilled properly without first reading the stories of the forefathers and Moses. Because without these stories we can think that G-d is far far away, and that the Torah is only for US and for OUR pleasure.

We can miss the real point...that everything we do should be in order to give pleasure to our creator.

With this we can also understand why, according to one version, the Baal Shem Tov was born because of such a deed.

Some three hundred years ago in the Ukraine there lived a hidden Tzadik called Rabbi Eliezer. This man was so righteous that he was frequently visited by Elijah the prophet (who left this world some 2500 years earlier). One day the prophet came to Rab Eliezer and announced that he was willing to reveal ANY secrets he so desired, including the date of the arrival of Moshiach. This, to a great mystic like him, was the greatest of all presents. His only desire in life was to increase knowledge in order to serve G-d more completely, and this was like a dream come true.

"There is only one condition, however" added Elijah. "You must tell me what you did on your thirteenth birthday.

"Don't worry, I guarantee it will not detract from you portion in heaven. You should know that whatever it was you did made a very great stir in even the highest spiritual worlds but it is not known what it was. Now I have been given permission to reveal all secrets to you if you tell me, and I will reveal it to no one."

But Rabbi Eliezer, without even thinking refused. "I'm sorry" he apologized, what I did was between me and G-d, I want no rewards."

Because of this he was denied the knowledge he so desired, but instead it was decreed that he would have a son that would teach the world how to do what he did; think, speak and act only in order to please the Creator.

And that is why we pray (in the Musaf prayers), for Moshiach to build the third Temple so we can again offer the sacrifices and REALLY do G-d's will.

Not to say that the sacrifices in the first two Temples weren't G-d's will, but rather that then the JEWS didn't sacrifice them with the proper attitude; ONLY to give G-d pleasure.

But now we are praying that due to the teachings of the Baal Shem and his followers, especially the Chabad Rebbes (who called their teachings "Torat HaMoshiach"), we will merit to serve G-d with joy and complete surrender in the Third Temple with Moshiach NOW!

Miracle in Haifa: Police dismantle bomb planted near shopping mall

Explosive devices found in car near Lev HaMifratz center in Haifa bay, terror organization claims responsibility for bombing attempt. Mall was previously hit by Scud rocket during Operation Desert Storm. A private vehicle wired with explosives and parked outside the Lev HaMifratz shopping mall in Haifa was neutralized by security forces on Saturday evening, preventing a potentially deadly attack. The bombs were found after a partial explosion occurred, alerting local security. Police are currently operating under the belief that the motive for the attempted bombing is nationalistic.

Sappers alerted to the scene worked for a lengthy period of time to dismantle the remaining explosives, which were concealed in a bag. According to the police, the largest of the explosive devices detonated partially, leaving the rest of it intact. A number of smaller charges spread around it also did not explode. Officers later said that current estimates put the weight of the explosives involved at nearly 100 pounds.

A revised estimate is 100 kilograms or 220 lbs: Hidden in the trunk of a stolen Subaru, parked near a number of supporting columns holding up a part of the city's Lev Hamifratz mall, were one hundred kilograms of explosives. The explosives were packed into a number of bombs, and mixed with metal ball bearings to maximize the impact of the blast. The terrorists had hoped to detonate all 100 kilograms of the explosives simultaneously.

Sometimes a Rabbi gets a question where he doesn’t know the answer because of a dispute between Tanayim. Rabbi Eliezer HaGadol and Rabbi Yoshua both students of Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakkai disputed when the world was created. 25th of Elul or the 25th of Adar – (World Trade Center Day or this past Shabbos) and it would mean that man was created on the first of Tishrei (Rosh Hashanah) or first of Nissan (in the Spring). B. asked me the following: Hi, was yesterday a special date in the Jewish calendar? My Rabbi told us a story of a lady who was saved from a massive and famous terrible factory fire in NYC because she refused to work on Shabbat. It was apparently on yesterday's date corresponding to 1911, same double sidrah, same Jewish calendar date. On the same day all those people were saved from the would be bomb in Haifa. Interesting huh? Any ideas? – The Haifa miracle was on the 26th so that is a difference.

Halacha from Danny S. (Also note that the water that was from the well and cooled over night is used for backing matzos so that the temperature of the water will not allow the dough to rise before 18 minutes – this halacha does not take into consideration the soft Matzos made by certain groups like Iraqis. Matza is made from flour and water - Nothing else. The water is drawn from a well or spring the night before it is used. The water for Sunday's baking is drawn on Thursday night. The flour is ground from wheat that was harvested while still slightly green; once wheat is fully ripe it can become Chametz (leaven) even before being harvested, if it comes into contact with water. The wheat needs to be ground into flour at least 24 hours before it is used, to give it time to cool down. 18 minutes after water is added to flour the dough becomes chametz. Matza baking happens in 18-minute batches after which all equipment is thoroughly cleaned to remove all traces of dough. Matza used at the Seder needs to be made with the intention of it being used for a Mitzva; everybody involved in its production says "L'shem Mitzvat Matza" (for the purpose of the Mitzva of Matza) before all activities. This is known as Shmura-Matza. If a Matza has a fold in it, or a bubble more than a finger high (2.5 cm), then the fold or bubble are considered Chametz and need to be broken off and disposed of. The rest of the Matza can be eaten. One is forbidden to eat Matza on Erev Pessach. Most people have the custom to stop eating Matza from Rosh Chodesh Nissan already. Some don't eat Matza an entire month before Pessach.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch: 108, 109, And 110

From Ricardo on Yerushalayim:

The following is taken from:

I have condensed the work of a Rabbi Shlita in it he mixes numerology and daily happenings since there is one point that I disagree on at the end of his writings and many people take Gematriot with a grain of salt, I have omitted at present the Rav’s name. Still I found this interesting enough to include this week: Before it was Russia's and Germany's turn. Now, it will be...the United States of America! And also the same time, it will be in Canada and Mexico.

In the past, I have mentioned in posts briefly about what will be happening in the United States in the near future as you can check out at . But recently, I had come across many more details about the events that are soon going to be taking place.

Oh yeah, I have already encountered those who don't to seem to be worried, and don't think that anything drastic will happen in the United States. This is despite numerous videos online and former government employees giving detailed information of this upcoming operation, but I guess some people simply will not wake up until it is a little too late. So, let me fill you in on some details here:

First of all go to youtube
and type FEMA coffins (FEMA stands for Federal Emergency Management Agency). For a 29 page document of the powers that the United States will be executing, go to google and type "Operation Garden Plot and Rex 84", and press on the link to the first entry. Don't try checking out the FEMA website - unless you want to delude yourself to think that this country wants to only help its citizens. Oh yeah, the FEMA website has a link "Plan Ahead", which is about preparing for the next flood or hurricane. But I have a little different message to present here of what the real "Plan Ahead" is about.

What? Is the government of the United States going to turn into being Communists and Nazis? How can this be, you may ask, the United States has a guaranteed Constitution?!

My friends, nothing is a guarantee in life, except for G-d! I already mentioned in the past that the UnSupreme Court stepped on the Constitution that assures that only a naturally born citizen of the United States is allowed to run for the presidential office. The United States government, the corrupt media, and most Democrats have ignored or denied the facts about Obama. So, what is different from this than denying our religious rights and freedom, even if it's the First Amendment? This comes as no huge surprise to me. You see, Russia and Germany also had a Constitution of religious freedom and rights, but it went right out the window when Stalin and Hitler respectively took over the reigns of leadership.

As former FEMA workers tell us, it will happen something like this. At 4:00 in the morning (NOTE: spell 4:00 as 400 which is the numerical value of the last letter of the Alef Beit - Tav. The word Tav means sign/mark. Before the destruction of the First Temple, a spiritual mark representing bloodshed was made on the foreheads of Jews who were going to be killed), the White House will signal the butchers to go ahead with the evil deed. The government will maintain different color lists: Red List - Up the chimney for the "big rebels" - including talk show hosts and bloggers who write against what is going in the United States government (like myself, but I live in Israel so I am truly not worried). Blue List - Off to the concentration camp where most will not survive their alternate mind trick training. Yellow List - Everyone else who have been naive of what was going to happen, who will be given instructions as to what to do, which will include allowing themselves to be injected with a monitoring chip which will in effect be like the home arrest shackles around the ankles except that this will be inserted INSIDE the body. This yellow list package will happen under the name of martial law in two weeks after the haul off to execution or prison camp. And the FEMA coffins - those are the large boxes, along with the some 600 concentration camps, paid for by your income tax money, will house many corpses from the government torture. Also, this will be executed in the name of the "New World Order".

Now let's back to the timing of today's equinox of March 20, ending with the number 44? Sounds familiar? Oh yes, the 44th UnPresident of the United States! Well, Obama may be illegal for the position, but he is in acting power assuming the role of the 44th President of the United States. Now, the exact time in the part of the United States where the Capitol is at is (NOTE: it doesn't matter if it is Daylight Savings time - it goes by the time line that people hold by) - 7:44 (AM). Now in this case, the numbers 7 and 44 have something very much in common. The Hebrew letter for 7 is Zayin, which also means Weapon, and 44 which is the number Mem Daled, can be reversed to read Dam/Blood(shed)! Moreover, the two numbers add up to 51 - the Gematria of Edom which is most associated with the United States today, and indeed, it has in fact 51 states, because it includes the Capitol - Washington D.C. Moreover, the war that the United States started with Afghanistan some seven years ago has been associated with various Rabbis as being the war of Gog U'Magog which is supposed to begin on Hoshana Rabbah as indeed it happened this way. And the reason this special day is called with the name HoshaNA is because it is the 51st day from Rosh Chodesh Elul when we start asking for mercy from Hashem, despite our numerous sins, and is a most opportune time for our repentance to be accepted.

Speaking earlier of the Babylonian Talmud as the original written source for the Birkat HaChama, the Hebrew word for Babylonian is Bavli, which is the Gematria of 44. And don't forget, Sadam Hussein - president of Iraq, modern day Babylon - is considered to be the reincarnate of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon who destroyed the First Temple which took place on Tisha B'Av. And now, we have the 44th President of Bloodshed United States - Barak HUSSEIN Obama (who was politically born on Tisha B'Av (July 27) 2004, when he made a public speech endorsing then Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry)! So, if we trust in Hashem and follow the ORDER and ORDERS that Hashem tells us, especially as is sourced in the Oral Torah mostly in the Babylonian Talmud, then indeed, we will be able to fight the Babylonian/Bloodshed part of the exile and we will be spared the worst of this "New World ORDER". In connection with this, it's the 44th Parsha of the Torah that begins the Book of Deuteronomy/Devarim, also called Mishneh Torah, as it includes a review of many Mitzvot of the Torah mentioned earlier, spoken orally by Moshe Rabbeinu to the Jewish Nation; and thus this last book of the Chumosh is compared to the Oral Torah.

As I wrote in the past about the 44th Parsha of the Torah as it relates to the 44th President of the United States, there are a few things here that will confirm what I am saying here, and as related to the number seven. This 44th Parsha starts off the Book of Deuteronomy. Now, while it may be the 5th Book of the Torah, in a way, it is considered the 7th Book of the Torah. You see, there is this two verse section in Parshat Beha’alothecha - Numbers 10:35-36 - that is surrounded in the Sefer Torah by upside down Nuns. This section of the Torah, as Rashi points out, is inserted to separate between punishments in the Torah that are mentioned in relationship to the Jewish people. Thus, the Book of Numbers is in effect considered by the Midrash as three books; making the Book of Deuteronomy the 7th Book of the Torah; and thus, here is another connection between the numbers 7 & 44! Morever, the 7th day from when Obama took the oath of office fell out on Rosh Chodesh Shvat, the date that begins this 44th Parsha. Amazing!

Now, what is the very first word of this Parsha? Eileh (means these) - the letters comprised of Alef, Lamed. Hei. In Hebrew, this can spell the Hebrew number of 1,035, as the Alef in the first position assumes the number of 1,000 as opposed to the number 1. Now, 1,035 is five times the number 207. In the first day of Creation as related in the beginning of the Torah, the word Ohr, which is the Gematria of 207, is mentioned five times! And don't forget, the upcoming date of Birkat HaChama which begins the 207th cycle of the Ohr HaChama - "Light of the Sun" in its calculated position from Creation. Now, as I heard recently on, what is the 44th word of the Torah? It is within this very first section of the five mentions of light - V'LaChoshech - "FOR THE DARKNESS, Hashem called night". Well, we know what spiritual and physical darkness that (half) black Muslim Arab Obama contains, but if this wasn't enough, this Hebrew word has a Gematria of 364. It has been said that the word HaSatan/the Satan, also has a Gematria of 364, as out of the 365 solar days of the year, the only day that the Satan has no power over is Yom Kippur. Thus, the Satan has reign over 364 solar days. As per Satan's two other titles - one is Mal'ach HaMavet/Angel of Death, where HaMavet (the death) are the same letters as Tehom (the deep) as in the second verse in the beginning of Creation "Darkness on the face of THE DEEP". This word is also the same Gematria as Yishmael (451), the son of Abraham and the black Egyptian princess Hagar, who is the ancestor of the Arabs who are the main ones making Jews suffer at the very end of our nearly 2,000 year exile. The other title of Satan is the Yetzer Hara/Evil inclination. As I mentioned before about Deuteronomy 31:29 "...evil will befall you at the end of days, if you do what is evil in the eyes of Hashem, to anger Him through your handiwork". The Hebrew phrase for "do what is evil" is Ta'asu Et Hara, where the exact wording of Hara (the evil) is being used, like the Yetzer Hara, and I had mentioned earlier that this is a prophecy of the liberal Jews, who lacking in faith in Hashem, voting for the evil Obama - the evil at the End of Days, and have angered Hashem greatly through their "handiwork" of voting for him. (As everything does originate from the Torah, I should mention that the Christians mention an Anti-Christ, compared to the devil, in the End of Days. In fact, Obama IS Muslim, he just goes along with certain things that are Christian to fool the public)

So, I guess what we are saying here is that while we Jews follow the ORDER of Birkat HaChama according to the calculations of the sage Shmuel and as related by Abaye, the rest of the world follows what is seen as the true equinox on this date of March 20 at 7:44 AM as the time where the White House is, following strictly according to a solar cycle both with the seasons and the yearly calendar of 365 days, under the guise of what they call the NEW WORLD ORDER of supposedly helping to change the economy for the better!

Do you remember Lavan, the evil uncle of Jacob, as mentioned in the Haggadah as being credited for his attempt to destroy his own family - the future of the Jewish People? Lavan means white - and as the Midrash tells us, before Lavan's time, at least people were honest about their evil actions until Lavan came along and made everything sound "white" when he was full of tricks. Indeed, the "White House" - the Beit HaLavan - represents this same concept; it will just be a matter of a short time until it becomes obvious to all, but will be unfortunately too late for many to do anything about it. Our Rabbis tell us that the event pertaining to our Patriarchs - Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is a sign of what will happen to the Jewish People in the future. With all of Jacob's attempts to foil Lavan's plan, Lavan still managed to trick Jacob in having him first marry his daughter Leah, for whom Jacob did not care for at the time, instead of Rachel, whom Jacob had just worked SEVEN backbreaking years for.

Heed this message, my friends! The ultimate Holocaust will be G-d forbid where we least expect it - which is right under our noses, consisting of over 600 work/prison/concentration camps in the United States! Whatever the FEMA coffins will not bury immediately, the slave labor will
assist in that over time. And even if Moshiach comes right now, don't think that everything will be honky dory, and everyone will fly right over to Israel. You see, the Goyim will make one last attempt to stop us. I have already mentioned that according to the Book of Ezekiel where Obama's name is secretly encoded as Gog, the nations will all be coming to attack Israel, though Hashem will save us at the end - at least the ones who do repentance now. At least in Israel, Moshiach will be around to fight the final war. But don't expect Moshiach to come to the United States. In the U.S.A., Jews will be left to fend for themselves, and if it becomes a Communist country, Jews just may not be able to leave, as four fifths of the Jews were spiritually dead at the plague of DARKNESS that struck the Egyptians.

Note that we read the above 44th Parsha - Parshat Devarim - every year on the Shabbat before Tisha B'Av. Our Rabbis tell us that on the afternoon of Tisha B'Av, Moshiach was born. Whether this will mean physically as well, what I am implying here is that there will and I believe already taking place what is called Chevlei Moshiach/Birth pangs of Moshiach - the worst time for the Jewish People right before Moshiach comes, just like a woman has birth pangs right before giving birth. So right before Tisha B'Av, one of the fast days that our Prophets tell us will be a day of rejoicing in the future, which will represent the light of Moshiach being revealed, we will be going through the thickest darkness in history. It already started as early as the Holocaust about which is hinted in the Torah - V'Yamesh Chosech - "The darkness was felt" - about the plague of darkness for the Egyptians, as the letters preceding those of the letters in "V'Yamesh" spell Hitler! The only question is - how much longer is this darkness going to last? That depends on us. We can end it now if we all made Aliyah and trusted in Hashem. Let's face it - if you knew you had exactly 24 hours to flee the country, and afterwards, there would be no way of leaving, what would you do? Would you be asking, "Oh, but what am I going to be doing for a living in the future?" "Will anyone understand my language?" "Will I be able to get a little extension of time here?" You would be more than thanking Hashem for giving you a chance to escape harm's way, and only afterwards, would you deal with the less worries in life, after leaving the country whom you paid your income taxes behind with little more than the shirt on your back.

NOW is the time to leave the United States - but don't take my word for it if you have second doubts here. Watch some of the videos related to the FEMA coffins of those who will tell you to flee the States. With this equinox sign of 7:44 - WEAPON/BLOODSHED, I would be most frightened - and G-d forbid, the worse can happen in the States within the next three months before the coming summer solstice, or this coming year! I don't want to have to be in a position to tell others later "I told you so". I am doing my part here, but leave while you have the money with which to leave, before the ultimate economic crisis brings down the "democratic" United States, or whatever is left of it.

I am not going to predict here when Moshiach will be arriving. As far as I am concerned, the beginning of this 207th era of LIGHT/OHR=207 - physical and spiritual light of the OHR Shivat HaYamim "LIGHT of the SEVEN days of Creation that Hashem hid until the Messianic Era- may well usher Moshiach's immediate coming on Erev Pesach, - as the beginning of Mishna Pessachim states OHR L'Arba'ah Asar - the context of searching for Chometz in the beginning of the night of 14 Nissan, the date for this Birkat HaChama - and begin with bringing the Pascal Lamb representing what the Jews ate on the night of their Exodus leaving the exile. But there is a date in the Hebrew calendar that bears the same letters as Tisha B'Av - Beit Av, Hei Tav Shin Ayin, that is, 2 Av 5770, or the letter Beit can mean "in" so it can mean "in Av, 5770". Yes, next year in the month of Av - I expect something big to happen - can't predict what (hopefully something good rather than otherwise), but I don't feel that this is a mere coincidence. But clearly, things are changing - rapidly, so don't be left behind in the spiritual and physical exile. You want to be in the right land at the right time when the spiritual revelations will be taking place and not miss any of it because you will not experience them in the United States. Say Goodbye to JerUSAlem, and proud fully declare Hello to Yerushalayim Ir HaKodesh, the Holy City that we mention in our prayers several times a day.

24 Adar, 5769

Will be posting again sometime next week, G-d willing, including new discoveries I have found about Obama in the Hidden Torah Codes! Note we have a tradition that erev Shabbos and erev Chag (Pessach as mentioned above) the Moshiach will not come. However, Motzei Shabbos, Motzei Chag, the Moshiach can come.

Inyanay Diyoma

A must read:

Yvette sent me this on AIG supporting Islam:

The Prophet of Islam and his 66 women part 4 is here and you can click back to parts 1 to 3 to learn more about this fellow:

From Howard: Escape from Hamas:

From Brooklyn WTC in trouble:

Hamas is becoming kosher from Naomi Romm:


From Joe Kaufman the author to me regarding hate in America:

Bombing Gaza bound weapons:

STOP AHMADINEJAD’S PLANNED NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST by Emanuel A. Winston, Middle East Analyst & Commentator

We have just heard President Barack Obama plead with the Mullahs of Iran to "just dialogue with us and we Americans will "kiss" you with so much respect that all will be forgiven". Perhaps Obama with his extraordinary lack of experience and plentiful naiveté has overlooked Europe’s kissing up to Iran for more than 30 years.

Nevertheless, the U.S. cannot allow the Mullahs to control the Gulf Oil States and the Saudi oil fields. Arabists in the Washington loop, including the State Department, many of the 16 U.S. Intelligence Agencies, such as the advisory NIC (National Intelligence Council) , ‘et al’ do not wish to tweak Islam’s nose by having the U.S. strike Iran’s nuclear infrastructure first. To view the sites where Iran has scattered its various nuclear R&D plants, see the map in the August 2008 National Geographic Magazine which shows these sites in plain view.

Knowing that Israel will be one of the Mullahs first targets, according to the frequent proclamations of Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, all of the above assumes that Israel will be forced into a live-or-die strike at Iran’s nuclear facilities.

That way the U.S. can claim they had no part of the "necessary" strike on Iran.

In fact, to prove how clean American hands were in the matter, the President, his Arabist advisors and the U.S. State Department will punish Israel in every way possible - after the strike - even to the point of breaking off relations.

Some will recall when Israel destroyed the French nuclear reactor (Osirak) in Iraq, how the U.S., Europeans, U.N. and Arabs went ballistic. The U.S. cut-off a shipment of F-16s Israel had paid for - among other penalties. However, all those seemingly angry nations were secretly delighted that the Jews had defanged Saddam Hussein’s nuclear capability just before the nuclear plant went live - especially when American soldiers entered the first Gulf War against Saddam’s attack and occupation of Kuwait.

In this case, as before, the nations who fear the Islamic backlash for daring to de-fang the Mullahs of Iran, want Israel to do the job but, they probably won’t say so out loud.

If Israel is successful, they will castigate Israel and possibly use Israel’s successful attack as an excuse to assemble a "Peace-Keeping Army" to bring foreign troops into the region so the world (read: OIL) will be safe.

The wheels of the Propaganda Machines in the White House, State Department and 16 Intel Agencies and their counterparts in Europe will be well-prepared to use the willing Leftist Media to slam Israel and get world propaganda so worked up that nothing they do against the Jewish State will cause objections.

I have written 7 articles in the past about "The Gathering of the Nations Against Israel". I have written about how NATO, now without a purpose or mission, is being prepped for a move against Israel under the dis-information that they are to be a "Peace Force". All of this is in motion even now.

"Two Birds With One Stone" would be an appropriate operation’s title. The Arabist State Department in linkage with the Multi-national Oil Companies and Oil countries and the Jew-killing Europeans have wanted Israel to be overrun ever since the U.N.’s partition of 1947. It was widely assumed that the well-armed Armies from 7 Arab Muslim countries would annihilate the minuscule new State of Israel armed only with World War 1 and 2 junk weapons they scavengered out of Europe - especially Czechoslovakia. Once those Arab armies overran the Jewish survivors of the Nazi death camps streaming into Israel, the "Solution to the World’s Jewish Problem" would be complete - or so they planned.

The U.S. under President Harry Truman and the Europeans in 1948 cut off all arms shipments to Israel, claiming they could not ship into a war zone. All were certain Israel would vanish in a sea of Arab soldiers. The partitioned area of Israel would be split up between the Arab armies of Egypt and Syria primarily. Naturally, the U.S. and Europe would send in supplies, body bags, medical equipment to ‘supposedly’ care for the Jewish survivors of the expected massacre in Israel and also show how concerned and humanitarian they were after this probable second Holocaust - which, of course, they participated in as much as they did in the first.

Now the "Two Birds With One Stone" plan supposedly knocks out Iran’s nuclear capability and then crushes Israel as righteous vengeance.

Suppose Israel adopted the same defensive attitude that the U.S. would rightfully take against invading forces.

Suppose Israel also adopted the NATO ‘raison d’etre’ (reason for being) which was to hold off and destroy Soviet troops invading Europe during the Cold War.

Suppose Israel objected to a conglomeration of forces coming to invade and control Israel - supposedly for the ‘good of all’.

Should Israel adopt the same defensive position as the incoming invaders and simply do their best to blow them out of the air and water? (Think about it!)

Because Israel was small and dependent upon re-supply from America, she bowed to pressure after each defensive war against the attacking Arab Muslims. She did not force a surrender and an authentic agreed peace.

Each time the Muslim Arabs lost a war, the U.S., Europe and the Russians stepped in to save the vaunted pride of the defeated Arabs and then sold them the arms to re-build for the next war. It was profitable business for the military/industrial complex of the West. Nothing like on-going wars for the arms manufacturers and their political regimes.

But now, Israel is faced with a radical Islamic regime which is building nuclear weapons that could obliterate Israel population centers. It’s no longer possible to please the West by sacrificing the Jewish nation.

Many see this in a different light. We Jews think that the Biblical prophecies are not children’s tales or myths. We Jews believe that the forecast of War between Gog and Magog will occur. We believe that it could be an Armageddon. Strangely, so do the Mullahs of Iran who strongly believe their Mahdi (their Muslim Messiah) will only come in the midst of a Holocaust (read: Nuclear War). They want it to come so they get a quick trip to Allah’s Warriors’ paradise with the promised rewards of rivers of Honey, 72 brown-eyed virgins, and all denied them on earth. So, Ahmadinejad will use Iran’s burgeoning nuclear capabilities to attack Israel. His missiles have demonstrated that his nuclear warheads can reach into Europe, Russia and, via submarines and/or ships, even hit America.

Will Ahmadinejad try to attack Israel despite Obama’s childish overture to dialogue? In a word, Yes! Especially if Israel is forced into surrendering more ancestral G-d given Jewish "Land for Peace", which would increase the Arab Muslim World’s perception that she is vulnerable.

In the Torah (Jewish Law) it is said that if a thief comes to kill you, it is permissible - even required - to kill him first. The Mullahs of Iran have pledged to kill Israel and later the Christian "infidels" (non-believers in Islam) within all nations.

It is time to kill Iran as Ahmadinejad increases Iran’s nuclear capabilities and missile accuracy and distance as he creeps up to kill Israel. Regrettably, rogue American Arabists side with the Mullahs, at least until they kill the Jewish State of Israel. Perhaps the chaos of the world, coupled with drought, famine, disease and destruction of the world’s rapidly failing money economies is merely the first phase of Gog making war across the Planet Earth.

Some know what happens to the nations for gathering against Israel. G-d Says: "I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you." For those who use computers, look up the "ring of fire", a 10,000 mile crack in the earth’s mantle. Should it open up a bit more, we would see a veritable linear volcanic wall of fire. Perhaps that is what is described in Biblical prophecy that "fire will sweep over the Islands" (Read: Nations).

But, if you don’t believe in all that mystical stuff, watch the money dissolve, the drying up of continents, the rampant incurable diseases like AIDS/HIV and MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) which even our best antibiotics cannot touch. Observe the rioting - especially the radical religious rioting - in some countries as overpopulation competes with dwindling food and water resources. Wait for the inner cities of America begin to writhe up in pain and burn down whatever is around them. Historians (if there any left) will speak about his as a natural phenomenon. Observant Jews, familiar with Torah forecasts will take a different view.

Using Israel as a lightning rod to re-direct the pain of the nations is a huge mistake and for which we are all paying - even now!

Now for Matis Wolfberg's "Beam me up" (which may be a repeat but a treat for new readers).

Good Shabbos Everyone. The Torah tells us this week how Moshe Rabeinu set up the Mishkan (the Holy Tabernacle). At the conclusion of the account of setting up the Mishkan, the Torah tells us how the Shechina - Hashem's holy spirit filled the Mishkan.
The Torah tells us that the Shechina dwelt on the Mishkan (the Holy Tabernacle) of the Bnai Yisroel "throughout their journeys." (Shemos 40:38) Because we know that the lessons of the Torah are eternal, we can learn out an inspirational lesson from this verse. Namely, that wherever the Bnai Yisroel will travel in exile, the Holy Shechina will escort them, as is hinted to in the verse "throughout their journeys." The following amazing true story shows how the Shechina escorts even those Jews who are the farthest from Hashem.
The Cohen family (not their real name) lived a secular existence in Eretz Yisroel. Although the Cohens were proud to be Israeli, they had little pride about being Jewish. Then one day, an event happened that forever changed their lives.
Every Saturday night, Mr.. Cohen and his wife used to take their three-year-old daughter to visit her grandfather. The grandfather was Torah observant, although his children had not followed in his religious footsteps.
One particular Motzoi Shabbos, the Cohen family headed over to the house of the grandfather in order to visit the older man. That Saturday night was different, however. For on that Motzoi Shabbos, the Cohens showed up a little earlier than usual, and the grandfather had not yet made Havdala. As Mr. and Mrs. Cohen and their three-year-old daughter gathered around, the grandfather made Havdala. The young girl was intrigued by the ceremony that she witnessed; she had never seen such a thing. The young girl asked her grandfather what he was dong.
The grandfather was surprised that the girl was ignorant of Havdala. The grandfather then asked the parents if they had ever taken the girl to a Beit Knesset..
"Abba," the girl said in her high-pitched voice. "I want to go to a Beit Knesset." The father quickly brushed off the request of the young girl. The three-year-old girl asked again, "Please take me to a Beit Knesset." The more the father ignored his daughter, the more she persisted. The family went home and the girl went to bed. The parents agreed among themselves that they were not going to take the girl to the Beit Knesset. After all, the Cohens were not religious and they did not attend shul.
The next day, the girl began asking again to be brought to a Beit Knesset. The parents refused again. The girl then did an extraordinary thing for a three-year-old. She refused to suck her thumb until she would be brought to a Beit Knesset. The parents still refused.
As the week grew long, the requests of the girl seemed to grow even stronger. By Thursday, the girl refused to eat anything unless she was brought to a Beit Knesset. Finally, having no other choice, the parents reluctantly brought the girl to a shul. That Shabbos, the mother lit Shabbos candles as the father took the young girl to shul. The parents were inspired by the tenacity of their three-year-old daughter who had insisted on going to shul. They thought perhaps that the young girl had a direct line to heaven. Little by little, the whole Cohen family became Torah observant -- all on the strength of their three-year-old daughter! Good Shabbos Everyone.

Mr. Wolfberg's Stories are sponsored by: In memory of Leah bas R' Dovid In memory of Shosha Malka bas R' Avrohom 21 Cheshvan Refuah Shleimah to Chana Ashayra bas Dodi

Be well and have a peaceful Shabbos,

Rachamim Pauli