Thursday, April 23, 2009

Parsha Tazria - Metzora, Many stories and Inyanay DiYoma

Dear Blog Readers,
As much as on my "word" program this appears in a uniform size Arial type style somehow when it is copy and pasted here, all sorts of type styles and sizes come into place. Perhaps some things are embedded.

Moriah bas Chana is no longer receiving cancer treatments, let us hope that the 
child will be cancer free in the future. 
I received the following from a friend regarding her sister with cancer – 
please pray for: Tzvia Simcha bas Devorah Yached

Quote of the week from R’ Benyamin Jadidi: AHMAGHINEJAD (Ahmadinejad) In Persian, AHMAGH means stupid. This is the right name for the leader of Iran.


I was asked either by a woman named Kim on Facebook or somebody else about the Canonization of the Nach. After all we have books like the Wisdom of Ben Sira, Macabee one and two, and others mentioned in the Talmud that were well known to all Jews in the times of the second Beis HaMikdash and yet these were not Canonized. Even the books of Daniel, Yechezkiel and two books by Shlomo HaMelech were almost thrown out.

GEMARA. Abaye said to R. Joseph: Did we learn, THESE ARE or AND THESE ARE? Did we learn AND THESE ARE [viz,] those that we have stated [in the former Mishnah]; or did we learn THESE ARE [viz.,] those that are to be stated soon? — Come and hear: One may not search his garments by the light of a lamp, nor read by the light of a lamp; and these are of the Halachos stated in the upper chamber of Hananiah b. Hezekiah b. Garon. This proves that we learnt, AND THESE ARE; this proves it.
Our Rabbis taught: Who wrote Megilat Taanis? Said they, Hananiah b. Hezekiah and his companions, who cherished their troubles. R. Simeon b. Gamliel observed: We too cherish our troubles, but what can we do? For if we come to write [them down], we are inadequate. Another reason is: a fool is not assailed. Another reason: the flesh of the dead does not feel the scalpel. But that is not so, for did not R. Isaac say, Worms are as painful to the dead as a needle in the flesh of the living, for it is said, But his flesh upon him hath pain, And his soul within him mourns? Say: The dead flesh in a living person does not feel the scalpel.
Rab Judah said in Rab's name: In truth, that man, Hananiah son of Hezekiah by name, is to be remembered for blessing: but for him, the Book of Ezekiel would have been hidden, for its words contradicted the Torah. Ezek. XVIII, 6. What did he do? Three hundred barrels of oil were taken up to him and he sat in an upper chamber and reconciled them.

Parsha Tazria – Metzora

This week we start our double Parsha with a woman giving birth. S.R. Hirsh Zatzal writes in a way that we read the woman giving birth as germination of our species as the over all way of Nature (even in Gan Eden, Adam was told to be fruitful and multiply). The Parsha starts out with a difference in blood coming from a mother giving birth between a male and a female. For a male the bleeding is impure for seven days and she goes to the Mikvah and afterwards the blood is ritually pure blood until the 40th day and then she brings her Korban on the 41st day. While for a female the period is double. The only reason I could see behind the apparent lack of logic is that during biblical times and in primitive societies today a girl is considered a lesser species and the longer confinement would make the husband want his wife back even through she “only produced a girl”. I have to go no further than my brother’s adopted daughter from China to show that girls are less desirable in certain cultures. Four years ago I wrote the following (since those days I have added a few thousand more readers so it is worth repeating).

The Parsha comes to teach us a tremendous amount of things. The first is Tahor and Tuma. Although we translate it as 'pure or purity' and 'impure or impurity' in a spiritual sense it is rather a spiritual state of being. The woman gives birth produces a child. However, there is bleeding and the placenta dies it has no physical use in this world anymore. Death is one of the things that produces Tuma or perhaps negative spirituality. While the placenta was nourishing the future infant in the womb it had physical and spiritual use. Now it is lacking that, it is Tamay. The Torah gives us certain rules that distinguish from the sexes at birth. A mother, if she were Tamay, would be saddened at the Bris of her son, so the Torah tells her that even if she is bleeding, the blood is now pure for the next 33 days. We would be discriminating against a daughter who brings about 14 days of Tuma if we did not have as a balance 66 days of Tahor afterwards. The little boy is introduced to Mitzvos at the age of 8 days. The Torah gives responsibility to the female at the age of 12 years of age, while the male has 13 years of age.
The daughter will follow in her mother's path and the son will put on Tallis and Tephillin at 1320like the father. Now there are many Ashkenazim that wait until marriage for the wearing of the Tallis in daily prayer. The Torah wants to put us in our place. When the bride walks around the groom under the Chupa Canopy, she may appear subservient to him on the other hand she is like setting territorial limitations on the groom as if lassoing him. The Ketuvah provides a written contract that the wife is obliged to 5 things for her husband and he has 10 to her (Eben HaEzer 80). It does not matter if a female soul is embedded for one incarnation in that of a male or visa versa, the lesson HASHEM wants the soul to learn is not to be tampered with. As A. L. Tennyson wrote: "It is not to ask the reason why, but for us to do our die." - The charge of the light brigade.
As long as I mentioned women’s rights in Judaism here is one that was instituted between 2100 to 2200 years ago while other peoples were justifying rapes and other abuses to women. Talmud Shabbos 16B 'Simeon b. Shetah instituted a woman's marriage settlement and imposed uncleanness upon metal utensils.' But [the uncleanness of] metal ut ensils is Biblical, for it is written, howbeit the gold, and the silver [… etc.]? — This [the Rabbinical law] was necessary only in respect of former uncleanness. For Rab Judah said in Rab's name: It once happened that Queen Shalomzion made a banquet for her son and all her utensils were defiled. Thereupon she broke them and gave them to the goldsmith, who melted them down and manufactured new utensils of them. But the Sages declared, They revert to their previous uncleanness. What is the reason? — They were concerned there to provide a fence against the water of separation.
Certain aspects of Tuma and Tahara, even Melech Shlomo could not figure out so we do not try. Our Sages tell us that Tzaras which is translated as Leprosy comes from speaking Lashon Hara. It is hard for people to pass up a juicy tid-bit on somebody. In this case I always say that it is better for a person to talk what is happening on TV shows such as The Days of Our Lives, The Bold and The Beautiful, The Young and the Restless, etc. Now please don’t misunderstand me that I have given a blank heter for watching these nonsensical TV s hows where there is changing of partners and marriages which most violate every Kares sin written in Parsha Emor. It is only to show that if one cannot overcome such a Yetzer to speak Lashon Hara it is better to talk about the fictional characters instead of a real Sarah, Rivka, Rachel and Leah. The Tzaras is described in different forms on the skin and then later on in the Parsha how to determine it's nature if there is burn, bald patch, white spots on the skin, etc. The Tzaras on clothing and later in the Torah on buildings are also defined and the ways the priests examine them.
It happened years ago probably during the winter of 5732 that I was new to Israel and I put up plastic on the windows like American Storm Windows. This cut off most of the fresh air to my apartment in Ashdod. The winters in Israel get quite damp and one day it get pretty cool or even a bit cold and the next day or week warm. Airing out the room from time to time during the warmer period freshens up the house. It did not take more than 3 or 4 months when I noticed on an old woolen suit from my father of blessed memory that a greenish fungus mold with orange borders was appearing on the pants – probably from p erspiration when sitting for long periods in the Synagogue. It was easily brushed off and washed off with water. From then on, I learned to air out the apartment from time to time and not leave it like a heated home in New York during the winter. (I don’t know if I merited to see such a thing as Tzaras on a woolen garment or sinned so badly that it happened to one of the woolen garment in my possession. Or possibly just a plain fungus mold.)
Vayikra 15:1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses and to Aaron, saying: 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them: When any man hath an issue out of his flesh, his issue is unclean. 3 And this shall be his uncleanness in his issue: whether his flesh run with his issue, or his flesh be stopped from his issue, it is his uncleanness. 4 Every bed whereon he that hath the issue lies shall be unclean; and every thing whereon he sits shall be unclean. 5 And whosoever touches his bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. 6 And he that sits on any thing whereon he that hath the issue sat shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. 7 And he that touches the flesh of him that hath the issue shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. 8 And if he that hath the issue spit upon20him that is clean, then he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. 9 And what saddle soever he that hath the issue rides upon shall be unclean. 10 And whosoever touches any thing that was under him shall be unclean until the even; and he that bears those things shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. 11 And whomsoever he that hath the issue touches, without having rinsed his hands in water, he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. 12 And the earthen vessel, which he that hath the issue touches, shall be broken; and every vessel of wood shall be rinsed in water. 13 And when he that hath an issue is cleansed of his issue, then he shall number to himself seven days for his cleansing, and wash his clothes; and he shall bathe his flesh in running water, and shall be clean. 14 And on the eighth day he shall take to him two turtle-doves, or two young pigeons, and come before the LORD unto the door of the tent of meeting, and give them unto the priest. 15 And the priest shall offer them, the one for a sin-offering, and the other for a burnt-offering; and the priest shall make atonement for him before the LORD for his issue. 16 And if the flow of seed go out from a man, then he shall bathe all his flesh in water, and be unclean until the even. 17 And every garment, and every skin, whereon is the flow of seed, shall be washed with water , and be unclean until the even. 18 The woman also with whom a man shall lie carnally, they shall both bathe themselves in water, and be unclean until the even. 19 And if a woman have an issue, and her issue in her flesh be blood, she shall be in her impurity seven days; and whosoever touches her shall be unclean until the even. 20 And every thing that she lies upon in her impurity shall be unclean; every thing also that she sits upon shall be unclean. 21 And whosoever touches her bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. 22 And whosoever touches any thing that she sits upon shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. 23 And if he be on the bed, or on any thing whereon she sits, when he touches it, he shall be unclean until the even. 24 And if any man lie with her, and her impurity be upon him, he shall be unclean seven days; and every bed whereon he lies shall be unclean. {S} 25 And if a woman have an issue of her blood many days not in the time of her impurity, or if she have an issue beyond the time of her impurity; all the days of the issue of her uncleanness she shall be as in the days of her impurity: she is unclean. 26 Every bed whereon she lies all the days of her issue shall be unto her as the bed of her impurity; and every thing whereon she sits shall be unclean, as the uncleanness of her impurity. 27 A nd whosoever touches those things shall be unclean, and shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. 28 But if she be cleansed of her issue, then she shall number to herself seven days, and after that she shall be clean. 29 And on the eighth day she shall take unto her two turtle-doves, or two young pigeons, and bring them unto the priest, to the door of the tent of meeting. 30 And the priest shall offer the one for a sin-offering, and the other for a burnt-offering; and the priest shall make atonement for her before the LORD for the issue of her uncleanness. 31 Thus shall ye separate the children of Israel from their uncleanness; that they die not in their uncleanness, when they defile My tabernacle that is in the midst of them. 32 This is the law of him that hath an issue, and of him from whom the flow of seed goes out, so that he is unclean thereby; 33 and of her that is sick with her impurity, and of them that have an issue, whether it be a man, or a woman; and of him that lies with her that is unclean.
Written in 5766: 15:1-16:11 distinguishes between a Zav, Zava and a Niddah (next week). The first has seminal discharges and the second one sees blood flow in addition to her period. The first two have been called a Trichomonas infection or a sexually transmitted parasite but the medical symptoms described are a bit different from the Torah description. In Talmud Bavli Shabbos, we are told that a Zav should not eat with a Zava even though they are on the same level of Tuma lest they come to perform an act involving the cutting off their Neshamos (souls). It is important to note that for the Zav one is unclean until the evening and for the Tzava and Niddah it takes 7 days. The Parsha defines a Niddah as a woman who has her period. Our Sages but a fence around the Torah and required 7 clean days from the ending of the 5th day at sundown until the night after the 12th day. If a woman can only become pregnant between the 8th and 12th days, there are halachic ways today with medications to make her impure for one day and then 7 clean days. The Zava is bleeding outside of the time of the woman’s expected period or the average period.
A man who is constantly involuntarily dripping seed tw ice or more a day is considered a Zav. This would not apply to a newly wed or a husband and wife ignoring the Rabbinical advice about relationships. The Zava is a woman who during her 12th through 21st day after her period starts bleeding. Even from an injury she would have to count 7 clean days.
Shabbos 13A to 13B until the next Mishnah: SIMILARLY … A ZAB MUST NOT DINE, [etc.]. It was taught, R. Simeon b. Eleazar said: Come and see how far purity has spread in Israel! For we did not learn, A clean man must not eat with an unclean woman, but A ZAB MUST NOT DINE TOGETHER WITH A ZABAH, AS IT MAY LEAD To SIN. Similarly, a zab, a parush may not dine with a zab, who is an 'am ha-arez, lest he cause him to associate with him. But what does it matter if he does cause him to associate with him? Rather say [thus]: lest he offer him unclean food to eat. Does then a zab who is a parush not eat unclean food? — Said Abaye: For fear lest he provide him with unfit food. Raba said: The majority of the 'amme ha-arez do render tithes, but [we fear] lest he associate with him and he provide him with unclean food in the days of his purity.
The scholars propounded: May a niddah sleep together with her husband, she in her garment and he in his? — Said R. Joseph, Come and hear: A fowl may be served together with cheese at the [same] table, but not eaten [with it]: this is Beth Shammai's view. Beth Hillel rule: It may neither be served nor eaten [together]! — There it is different, because there are no [separate] minds. It is reasonable too that where there are [separate] minds it is different, because the second clause teaches, R. Simeon b. Gamaliel said: Two boarders eating at the same table, one may eat meat and the other cheese, and we have no fear. But was it not stated thereon, R. Hanin b. Ammi said in Samuel's name: This was taught only when they do not know each other; but if they do, they are forbidden? And here too they know each other!-How compare! There we have [separate] minds but no unusual feature; but here there are [separate] minds and an unusual feature.
Others state, Come and hear: R. Simeon b. Gamaliel said: Two boarders may eat at the same table, one meat and the other cheese. And it was stated thereon, R. Hanin b. Ammi said in Samuel's name: This was taught only if they do not know each other, but if they do, it is forbidden; and these two know each other! — [No.] There we have [separate] minds but nothing unusual, whereas here there are [separate] minds and an unusual feature.
Come and hear: A ZAB=2 0MUST NOT DINE TOGETHER WITH A ZABAH, LEST IT LEAD TO SIN! — Here too there are [separate] minds but nothing unusual.
Come and hear: And hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, neither hath defiled his neighbour's wife, neither hath come near to a woman who is a niddah: thus a woman who is a niddah is assimilated to his neighbour's wife: just as his neighbour's wife, he in his garment and she in hers is forbidden, so if his wife is a niddah, he in his garment and she in hers is forbidden. This proves it. Now, this disagrees with R. Pedath. For R. Pedath said: The Torah interdicted only intimacy of incestuous coition, as it is said, None of you, shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness.
'Ulla, on his return from the college, used to kiss his sisters on their bosoms; others say, on their hands. But he is self-contradictory, for 'Ulla said, Even any form of intimacy is forbidden, because we say, 'Take a circuitous route, O nazirite, but do not approach the vineyard.'
[It is taught in the] Tanna debe Eliyahu: It once happened that a certain scholar who had studied much Bible and Mishnah and had served scholars much, yet died in middle age. His wife=2 0took his tefillin and carried them about in the synagogues and schoolhouses and complained to them, It is written in the Torah, for that is thy life, and the length of thy days: my husband, who read [Bible], learned [Mishnah],
-13B- and served scholars much, why did he die in middle age? and no man could answer her. On one occasion I was a guest at her house, and she related the whole story to me. Said I to her, 'My daughter! how was he to thee in thy days of menstruation?' 'God forbid!' she rejoined; 'he did not touch me even with his little finger.' 'And how was he to thee in thy days of white [garments]?' 'He ate with me, drank with me and slept with me in bodily contact, and it did not occur to him to do other.' Said I to her, 'Blessed be the Omnipresent for slaying him, that He did not condone on account of the Torah! For lo! the Torah hath said, And thou shalt not approach unto a woman as long as she is impure by her uncleanness.' When R. Dimi came, he said, It was a broad bed. In the West [Palestine] they said, R. Isaac b. Joseph said: An apron interposed between them.


One Halacha not really mentioned in the States but very important. : The "five grains" are wheat, barley, spelt, oats and rye. Grain that was planted and started taking root before the first day Chol HaMoed Pessach may be eaten immediately - and is called "Yoshon" (old). Grain that took root thereafter is "Chodosh" (new) and may not be eaten until after the 2nd day Chol HaMoed Pessach of the coming year. In Israel, Chol HaMoed Pessach starts on 16th Nissan, in the Diaspora on the 17th Nissan. The Torah prohibition of eating Chodosh applies to grain grown on Jewish land, according to all opinions. There is a minority opinion that Chodosh does not apply to grain grown in the Diaspora on non-Jewish land; the custom is to rely on this opinion in emergency.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 172:1-3

During the Omer period the great sage Rabbi Akiva (who lived during and after the destruction of the second Temple) lost almost all of his thousands of Torah students; reducing Torah Scholars to a handful. As a result, 33 days of the Omer are customarily observed as days of mourning, during which weddings and haircuts are forbidden. One may get engaged during the Omer and even celebrate with a meal, but dancing and music is not allowed. The Sandek, Mohel and father of the newborn may take haircuts the day before the Brit. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 120:6 – 9

On Shabbat we will take out 2 Sifrei Torah; the first for the double-Parsha 
"Tazria-Metzora" and the second for Rosh Chodesh.
 In the second Sefer Torah we will read Maftir from Pinchas (Bamidbar 28:9-15) 
- וביום בשבת - one of the rare occasions when we read about the Shabbat sacrifice 
on Shabbat.
The Haftorah is the one for "Shabbat-Rosh Chodesh" - הַשָּׁמַיִם כִּסְאִי - 
from Yeshayahu Ch. 66. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 79:7
Chodesh Tov and Shabbat Shalom - Danny

Don’t You Worry

Thanks to Gene Alberts

Alexander Mookdon (Alexander the Great) once found a huge stream with
 an enjoyable and pleasant smell emanating from it. He thought to himself it
 seems like this stream is coming from the Garden of Eden. So he announced
 “Open the gates (of Gan Eden)” they answered him “this gate is specified for
 those who fear G-d and only the righteous ones can enter”. 
Alexander answered them “I am an important king, and I came till here, pleas
e at least give me a gift from you”. They gave him something round. When he
 came home he weighed the object, but as much gold and silver coins he placed
 on the scale the object did not move. 

He decided to ask someone wiser than him; he went to the sages for an 
explanation. They told him this object is an eye from a person who was 
never satisfied. Whatever he saw he desired there was no end to it. 
“Prove it to me”. 
“Put some dirt on its eyes and you’ll see” the sages said. Alexander did so and 
quickly the scale tipped to the side. This is a person as long as he is alive he is 
never satisfied with how much he has. Only after he dies it stops when they put
 dirt on his eyes. 
Put some dirt on the eyes of AHMAGHINEJAD (Ahmadinejad) In Persian, 
AHMAGH means stupid. This is the right name for the leader of Iran.
Please use this name only for the leader of Iran. And don’t you worry, 
lots of dirt is going to cover his body very soon, when G-d defeats him,  Amen.
Binyamin Jadidi

A Holocaust Story an embarrassment to FDR and the Allies

Thanks to R’ A.L.

This month marks the 65th anniversary of a daring escape from Auschwitz by a teenager who then revealed the truth about the death camp - only to be ignored by the Allied leadership. In March 1944, the Germans occupied Hungary and began preparing to deport that country's Jews - numbering approximately 750,000 - to Auschwitz. A 19-year-old prisoner named Rudolf Vrba, together with fellow-inmate Alfred Wetzler, decided to do something that almost nobody had ever done before: escape from Auschwitz. They were determined to alert the world about the d oom that Hungarian Jews would soon face. On April 7, Vrba and Wetzler slipped away from their slave labor battalion and hid in a hollowed-out woodpile near the edge of the camp. On the advice of Soviet prisoners of war, the fugitives sprinkled the area with tobacco and gasoline, which confused the German dogs that were used to search for them.
On their second day in the woodpile, Vrba and Wetzler heard Allied warplanes overhead. "They came closer and closer - then bombs began to crunch not far away," Vrba later recalled in his searing memoir I Cannot Forgive. "Our pulses quickened. Were they going to bomb the camp? Was the secret out? Was this the end of Auschwitz?"
The Allied planes were actually bombing German oil factories in and around the Auschwitz complex. The idea of bombing the death camp had not yet been proposed to the Allied leadership, and details such as the location of the gas chambers and crematoria were not yet known to the Allied war command. But that was about to change.
On April 10, in the dead of night, Vrba and Wetzler emerged from the woodpile and began an 11-day, 80-mile trek to Slovakia. There they met with Jewish leaders and dictated a 30-page report that came to be known as the "Auschwitz Protocols." It included details of the mass-murder process, maps pinpointing the gas chambers and crematoria and warnings of the impending slaughter of Hungary's Jews.
"One million Hungarian [Jews] are going to die," Vrba told them. "Auschwitz is ready for them. But if you tell them now, they will rebel. They will never go to the ovens."
A copy of the report was given to Rudolf Kastner, a Budapest Jewish leader. Instead of publicizing the information, Kastner negotiated a deal that involved bribing the Germans to permit a train with 1,684 of his relatives, friends and Hungarian Jewish leaders to leave the country. Kastner's action became the centerpiece of a controversial trial in Israel after the war.
Another copy of Vrba's Auschwitz Protocols was given to Rav Michoel Ber Weissmandl zt"l, the hatzolah rescue hero in Bratislava, who then wrote the first kn own appeal for the use of Allied air power to disrupt the mass murder. Rav Weissmandl's plea to the Allies to bomb the railroad lines between Hungary and Auschwitz reached the Roosevelt administration in June.
Assistant secretary of war John McCloy responded that the request was "impracticable" because it would require "diversion of considerable air support essential to the success of our forces now engaged in decisive operations." He also claimed the War Department's position was based on "a study" of the issue. But no evidence of such a study has ever been found by researchers. In reality, McCloy's position was based on the War Department's standing policy that no military resources should be allocated for "rescuing victims of enemy oppression." The Nazis were not as stupid as the allies and knew that these rail lines were available for transporting troops and ammunition.
Vrba's report convinced the Jewish Agency leadership in Palestine to change its position on bombing. Agency leaders initially opposed bombing Auschwitz because they believed it was a labor camp, not a death camp. But after receiving the Auschwitz Protocols in June, agency officials lobbied British, American and Soviet off icials to bomb the camp or the railways leading to it. Their requests were rebuffed.
Most important, a condensed version of the Auschwitz Protocols reached the US government's War Refugee Board in June. It helped galvanize the board to mobilize international pressure on Hungary to halt the deportations to Auschwitz. Although that effort came too late for the more than 400,000 Hungarian Jews who had been shipped to their doom, it did spare the 200,000-plus who were still alive in Budapest.
The full version of the Vrba report was actually held up in Switzerland for three months by US diplomats who regarded it as low priority. And when the report finally reached Washington in October, the Office of War Information opposed distributing it; OWI director Elmer Davis claimed the report was actually part of a Nazi conspiracy to "create contempt for the [Jewish] inmates" by showing that the Jews were not resisting their killers.
Fortunately, Davis and his cockamamie theories were too late to blunt t he impact of the Auschwitz Protocols. The Hungarian deportations had been stopped, and Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler had played a significant role in bringing that about.
{Rafael Medoff-The Jerusalem Post/ Newscenter-Elisha Ferber}
Article taken from - The Online Voice of Torah Jewry - URL to article:
The Holiest Generation by Isaac Steven Herschkop Special To The Jewish Week
 from Chaim B.

l could not have been more than 4 or 5 when I asked her. It seemed to me,
 at the time,  to be an innocent, straightforward question: “Mommy, when
 do I get my number?” I was, of course, upset when she burst into tears and ran
 out of the kitchen, but I was also confused. This was Washington Heights in the
 1950s. It was an enclave of survivors. Every adult I knew had a number.
 Even my teenage sister had one in blue ink tattooed on her forearm. 
They were as ubiquitous on the benches of Riverside Drive as they were on the
 footpaths of Fort Tryon Park. If you saw an adult with some sort of hat on his
 head, he invariably also had a number on his arm. In the summer, when the
 community traveled en masse to Catskill bungalow colonies, 
or to Rockaway beaches, the numbers came too. 
I presumed it was a ceremonious part of becoming bar mitzvah, or perhaps
 graduation from Breuer’s or Soloveichik, our local yeshivas. No one appeared
 to be embarrassed by their number. ARG! 

I never saw anyone try to cover it up when they went swimming. It seemed to be a

matter of fact part of life. When, as children, we would ask our parents why there was a “Mother’s Day” and a “Father’s Day,” but no “Children’s Day,” the automatic response was “Every day is ‘Children’s Day’!” In Washington Heights, in the ’50s, every day was Yom HaShoah. Ironically enough, at the same time, no day was Yom HaShoah. The commemoration, as it exists today, was not around then. Breuer’s and Soloveichik consisted almost exclusively of children of survivors, yet neither school had any assembly, or recognition of any type, of the Shoah. The very word Shoah didn’t exist. The word Holocaust did, but it was never invoked. When on rare occasion our parents would make reference to the events that led them to leave Europe to come to America, they would label it “the War.” They spoke nostalgically of life “before the War”; they never spoke of what happened during “the War.” They spoke reverently of their parents and siblings who were “lost in the War”; they never spoke of their spouses or children who perished. After all, they had new spouse s and new children who didn’t need to be reminded that they were replacements.

I was already bar mitzvah when I first realized that my parents had been previously
 married and had prior children. Years later I was shocked to discover that my 
sister with whom I was raised was not my father’s daughter. When I finally came
 to understand that not every adult was a survivor, and people would ask me what
 survivors were really like, I never knew what to answer. There was Mr. Silverberg, 
our seatmate in shul, as jovial as Santa Claus, who always had a good word for 
everyone. On the other hand, there was Mr. Grauer, our neighbor whose face was
 indelibly etched in a frown and was always threatening to hit his wife or his 
children. In retrospect, as a psychiatrist, I could understand both, but who truly 
defined what it meant to be a survivor?  Did anyone, or anything?
I learned the answer from Rabbi Moshe Feinstein. This Gadol HaDor, the
 greatest sage of his generation, was so renowned he was referred to
 simply as “Rav Moshe.” The closest I came to this legend was at Yeshiva 
University High School, where my rebbe was his son-in-law, Rabbi Moshe Tendler. 
Rabbi Tendler, and every other rabbi, would speak of Rav Moshe in awe-stricken
 tones usually reserved for biblical forefathers.
One summer I was spending a week with my aunt and uncle in upstate Ellenville.
 Uncle David and Aunt Saba, survivors themselves, as the doctor and nurse in 
charge of the concentration camp infirmary, had managed to save the lives of
 innumerable inmates, including my mother and sister. After “the War” they had 
set up a medical practice in this small Catskill village, where, I discovered, to my
 amazement, they had one celebrity patient — Rav Moshe.
My aunt mentioned casually that Rav Moshe had an appointment the next day.
 Would I like to meet him? Would I? It was like asking me, would I like to meet God.
I couldn’t sleep that night. I agonized over what I should wear.  Should I approach
 him? What should I say? Should I mention that his son-in-law was my rebbe? 
Should I speak to him in English, or my rudimentary Yiddish? I was seated in the
 waiting room, in the best clothing I had with me, an hour before his appointment.
 It seemed like an eternity, but eventually he arrived, accompanied by an assistant
 at each side.  He didn’t notice me. I was frozen. I had intended to rise deferentially
 when he entered, but I didn’t. I had prepared a few sentences that I had repeatedly 
memorized, but I sensed that my heart was beating too quickly for me to speak
My aunt had heard the chime when he entered and came out of the office to 
greet him: “Rabbi Feinstein, did you meet my nephew Ikey? Can you believe a 
[unobservant] like me has a yeshiva bochur [student] in the family?” Rav Moshe
 finally looked at me. I was mortified. My aunt was addressing him irreverently. 
She was joking with him. She had called me Ikey, not Yitzchok, or even Isaac. 
Then it got even worse. She walked over to him. Surely she knew not to shake 
his hand. She didn’t. She kissed him affectionately on the cheek as she did 
many of her favorite patients. She then told him my uncle would see him in a 
minute and returned to the office.
Rav Moshe and his attendants turned and looked at me, I thought accusingly.
 I wanted to die. In a panic, I walked over to him and started to apologize 
profusely: “Rabbi Feinstein, I apologize. My aunt, she isn't frum [religious]. 
She doesn’t understand...” He immediately placed his fingers on my lips to 
stop me from talking. He then softly spoke two sentences in Yiddish that I
 will remember to my dying day: “She has numbers on her arms. She is holier
 than me.” Rav Moshe had understood what I had not. Our holiest generation
 was defined by the numbers on their arms.
Dr. Isaac Steven Herschkopf is an attending psychiatrist at the NYU Medical 
Center and the author of “Hello Darkness, My Old Friend: Embracing Anger to 
Heal Your Life.” This excerpt is from a forthcoming memoir.

Technological Innovator Felix Zandman and the Shoah (Charity saves from death) by R. Pauli

Young F elix grew up in the city of Grodna in Lithuania. His grandparents were well off people with a summer cottage and their own house with a Polish maid. Poland and Lithuania were together at that time. They owned a factory. One day the Polish maid towards the end of her pregnancy came to grandma Zandman that her husband was drunk and had gotten violent with her. Grandma gave the maid their country house to live in. This act of Chessed did not go unrewarded as in 1943 it saved Felix from certain death at the hands of the Nazis. In 1944 he was saved from death another 8 times. Somehow he found refuge in Vichay while his family perished there. He was never to forget that.

In 1962, Felix with the help of others set up a company called Vichay. Vishay Intertechnology is one of the world's largest manufacturers of semiconductors and passive electronic components. Vishay has several production centers in=2 0Israel, China and five other Asian countries, Europe and the Americas where it produces rectifiers, diodes, MOSFETs, optoelectronic products, selected integrated circuits, resistors, capacitors, inductors, sensors, and transducers.
Felix got his idea for making a smaller resistor one day at lunch and jotted his idea down on either a paper napkin or a small piece of paper. He managed by no easy means to set up a company. I met him when he came to our electronics company to sell his resistors and capacitors as a passive components engineer. He may have sold more as I know other electronic component engineers were present that day. I believe in those days the company was called Vichay Electronics.I was impressed with the humbleness and hands on approach of this multimillionaire. I tried to encourage him to visit the Grodna Yeshiva in Ashdod about two to three blocks from my company and perhaps have him donate them some money but to no avail. On Yom HaShoa there was an interview with him and pictures of him receiving an award from President Bush.
I can tell you that his components are in every aircraft in the west and perhaps the east, missiles, the space program, navigation, radar, ships, electronic warfare devices and airport comptrollers and all this could have been destroyed by the Nazis had G-D not wanted this man to succeed and help the world progress. I can only wonder how many Felix Zandmans, Einsteins, Lisa Meitners and others perished by the hands of these Nazis and so few survived.
The Company put out their own history: Early Technology Breakthroughs
In the 1950s, patents were issued for the PhotoStress® products developed by Dr. Felix Zandman. These products reveal and measure stress distribution in airplanes, cars, and other structures under live load conditions. His research in this area led him to develop Bulk Metal® foil resistors, the most precise and stable resistors available — both then and now, over four decades later.
Dr. Zandman, with the financial support of Alfred P. Slaner, founded Vishay in 1962 to develop and manufacture Bulk Metal foil resistors. The Company was named after the village in Lithuania where relatives of Dr. Zandman and Mr. Slaner had perished during the Holocaust. The Comp any’s initial product portfolio consisted of foil resistors and foil resistance strain gages.
Passive Component Acquisitions
During the 1960s and 1970s, Vishay became known as the world’s leading manufacturer of foil resistors, PhotoStress products, and strain gages. Vishay’s subsequent decision to grow through acquisitions proved very successful. Starting in 1985, Vishay acquired resistor companies Dale Electronics, Draloric Electronic, and Sfernice. These acquisitions helped produce dramatic sales growth. In the early 1990s, Vishay applied its acquisition strategy to the capacitor market by purchasing Sprague Electric, Roederstein, and Vitramon.
Vishay acquired BCcomponents (former passive components businesses of Philips Electronics and Beyschlag) in 2002. This acquisition expanded Vishay’s portfolio of passive components and greatly enhanced its global market position.
Solutions for Weighing and Measurement
Through strategic acquisitions, Vishay’s original strain gage business has become the foundation of an extensive portfolio of products for weighing and measurement that includes resistance strain gages (in which Vishay is the worldwide leader), transducers (the metallic structures to which strain gages are cemented), electron ic instruments that measure and control output of the transducers, and complete systems for process control and on-board weighing applications that include hardware and software. Vishay designs, installs, and maintains customized systems for process control in paper mills, food processing plants, and other facilities worldwide. Vishay on-board weighing systems are used in the waste handling, trucking, forestry, quarry and mining, and aerospace industries.
Growth in Semiconductors
In 1998, Vishay acquired the Semiconductor Business Group of TEMIC, which included Telefunken and 80.4% of Siliconix, producers of MOSFETs, RF transistors, diodes, optoelectronics, and power and analog switching integrated circuits.
Vishay’s next semiconductor acquisition came in 2001, with the purchase of the infrared components business of Infineon Technologies. That was followed the same year by Vishay’s acquisition of General Semiconductor, a leading global manufacturer of rectifiers and diodes. The addition of Infineon’s infrared components group and General Semiconductor enhanced Vishay’s existing Telefunken and Siliconix businesses and propelled Vishay into the top ranks of discrete semiconductor manufacturers. In 2005, Vishay purchased the remaining 19.6% of Siliconix shares.
In April 2007, Vishay completed the a cquisition of selected discrete semiconductor and module product lines from International Rectifier®. The acquired product lines, which complement Vishay’s existing product portfolio, consist of planar high-voltage MOSFETs, Schottky diodes, diode rectifiers, fast-recovery diodes, high-power diodes and thyristors, power modules (a combination of power diodes, thyristors, MOSFETs, and IGBTs), and automotive modules and assemblies. The extension of Vishay’s product offerings in the high-voltage and high-power range for discrete semiconductors represents another step in Vishay’s successful strategy of being able to offer “one-stop-shop” service for discrete electronic components.
Vichay gained all this not through ruthlessness but through good engineering ideas and foresight. I took this ethics information from the company manual with names of people to call in the Americas, Asia, Europe and Israel: To Our Employees, Customers, Suppliers, and Subcontractors
Maintaining ethical business practices is the highest priority at Vishay. Our firm commitment to ethical business practices guides all activities by Vishay personnel, both internally and in interactions with Vishay’s customers, suppliers, and subcontractors. Vishay, as a Company, encourages and relies upon the integrity of all parties, both inside and outside Vishay.
If you are aware if any improper, unethical, or illegal activities involving Vishay, or if you have any questions about Vishay’s Corporate Ethics Program, we strongly encourage you to contact the appropriate person listed below.

From Aharon HaCohen: Tattoos From Auschwitz Horror Reunite Lost Inmates,2933,517103,00.html

Chaim Yitzchak Cohen posted this on facebook: Kabbalist Rav Dahan ("the mekubal who foresaw the tsunami") says in his latest shiur: You should know Yacov Avinu chai v'kayam (alive & well), Moshiach Tzidkaynu chay v'kayam. I'll reveal this secret--there is very little left, for Moshiach to receive the complete soul of Moshiach. He has received almost 95% of the Neshama--only 5% remains. When that descends to him, he will be complete & he the n will be revealed So as not to confuse people who heard from Chabad, the Rav Kadouri of saintly memory – this means that the Moshiach is here but still lacking 5% כח

Koach = strength or power to complete the will of HASHEM and the redemption.

A non-Jewish woman sent me this about Bible Codes. As you know a lot of the things with Bible codes should be taken with a grain of salt. But this particular post about Yishmael coincides with what the Malbim wrote on Daniel and the neither the author nor Kim would have read the Malbim on Daniel so quickly.

PETA in the USA or Europe always anti-semitic. and a related story:,2933,517233,00.html

Enora made a comment:
"it's not dark humor I'm laughing at. It's nonsense. You can say A LOT
 about countries
 like France. Having lived there for 20 yrs there's a lot I'd say myself about
 their blatant Antisemitism. I mean really, I'm living in a Muslim country now
 and feel LESS Antisemitism (and that says a ton about France doesn’t it?).
That said, for once France is the loudest country protesting against this
 European bill. (Huge meat producers, not because they care for Jews or Muslims)
Never the less, there is no point in outrage this time since the
 European Union’s agriculture site (the bill that is) and anyone can read it and 
see for themselves. Crazy that an Israeli newspaper would lack such journalistic 
professionalism before writing such an article."

From Marcie: My best friend is a Sabra living here in the US.
Both parents still with us -(B'H") who survived Auschwitz. I adore them, their immense chessed… Her father was taken, a boy around age 12ish on Glasnost Krystal Nacht ("Night of Broken Glass). He has told us everything in great detail. He always says: 'No matter what your eyes see or your ears hear, know ... Read More that it is the British who are our (all Jews) constant and greatest enemies in this world.' I have to just go with that. He has numbers ion his arm, and he's still got a twinkle in his eyes. We are yammering on about what we cannot know about. We can try to imagine, but we cannot know. We must look to our elders and teachers- and to our Precious Holy Toras Emes/Torat Emet and into our own Yiddishe Neshamos (well, not ours- Hashem's)! and create opportunities to be kind, decent loving and respectful of fellow Jews- maybe especially those who do not yet know that they do not yet know.

Friday and Shabbos are Rosh Chodesh Iyar followed in Israel by Soldiers Memorial Day and Yom HaAtzmaut (Israel Independence Day).

Marcie wrote me this with the hope of the near appearance of Moshiach: "No fear! 
Hashem is with us, but- are we with Hashem? Calling all JEWS. WAKE UP! 
WAKE UP. Our alarm is going off very loudly. If you hear it and know Jews 
who do not, Knock 'em "No fear! Hashem is with us, but- are we with Hashem? 
Calling all JEWS. WAKE UP! WAKE UP. Our alarm is going off very loudly. If you
 hear it and know Jews who do not, Knock 'em in the 'keppe'(Kepelah' Yiddish
 for HEAD) wake them 'em up! I am sounding a teeny alarm, one among so few. 
Get those Shofarot ready, JEWISH MEN, YOU WILL NEED TO BLOW them 
LOUDLY. Our still, small voices are being overrun. Over 80% of us have 
run away from Toras Emes. HELP! We promised Hashem at Har Sinai... 
They just murdered 6 million of us about a minute ago. 500,000 in WWI. In 
every generation...
AND BECOME A HOLY NATION? The more of us that do this, make this
 effort to learn ALL of TORAH... Somehow, I think The Mighty Israeli Army 
will nip that in the bud, like they did 19+ years ago when the 
OTHER Hussein (Sadam) had one pointed at Israel. 
One strike by the IAF (by the Hand of HaKadosh Baruch Hu: -POOF- no more nuke.
HaShem is calling us. Do you hear?"
From Rishona an article which is partially reflective since I know a sweet 
Korean woman married to a Yemenite Jew her age and we believe that every
 “pot has its lid” aka marriage partner. This does not mean that it is easy:

Inyanay Diyoma

Iran could produce first nuke in 60 days with 7,000 centrifuges working 24/7 – Western experts

DEBKAfile's military sources cite some Western intelligence and nuclear weapons experts as predicting that Iran could turn out nuclear weapons some time in the next 12 months.
This estimate is based on Tehran's announcement that 7,000 centrifuges are in operation to enrich uranium. If all those machines were to work at top speed day and night, seven days a week, they could produce enough weapons-grade uranium to build a bomb in 60 days, say some intelligence sources. According to American experts, given the current rate of the program's development, Iran will be in a position to manufacture as many as 60 nuclear bombs and warheads in 12 to 18 months.
This judgment was confirmed by Israel's military intelligence (AMAN) chief, Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin in his latest briefing to the cabinet Monday, April 20. He reported that Iran is going all-out for enriched uranium from overseas to shorten the process.
Japanese sources recently reported that a North Korean boat shipped a large quantity to Iran earlier this year. According to the big-circulation The Nikkei, the North Korean vessel's hold carried a secret cargo of uranium highly-enriched to 50-60 percent. The ship set out for Iran in December, moving moved at a leisurely pace so as not to call attention from Western spy satellites, surveillance vessels and warships. Earlier this year, the illegal consignment was dropped at an Iranian port for transport to a facility near Tehran, according to the Japanese paper.
Yadlin noted that extreme economic crisis has not delayed Tehran's headlong nuclear progress or curtailed its designs on other Middle East countries – Hizballah's subversive activities in Egypt are not a lone instance. Inflation is officially put at 30 percent but is probably closer to 50 percent, while unemployment is deepening, yet Tehran upped the 2009 appropriation for its nuclear program by 15 percent.
Rather than translating the crisis into leverage for persuading Iran to abandon its nuclear objectives, the Israeli intelligence chief noted that the Obama administration has opened the door to dialogue with all the extremists of the Middle East, including Iran, albeit "with open eyes."
Iran, for its part, is accelerating its nuclear program, taking full advantage of the undercover communications with Washington which are aimed at gaining Tehran's cooperation for the US war effort in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Obama’s softness on Iran could spark the war of Gog and Magog:

And why are my friends from Chicago not surprised by this on the war front:

From Shmuel:

This story is like Amir Peretz in Lebanon in '06 a man with no military experi ence. Strike while the iron is hot. I received this from Stephanie K.

From now on only a Miami Dolphin fan:,7340,L-3702692,00.html

Pre-Moshiach Troubles:

After his border police ruined the ability of a number of young men and women to reproduce this could not have happened to a more deserving person:,7340,L-3703360,00.html

India beefs up anti-terrorist security with an all weather satellite:

Wake up the pintele Yid inside and stop bullying Israel:

Chavez and the overthrow of the USA:

Lithuania still has anti-semites running around:,7340,L-3703848,00.html

For those who remember the story of my father’s escape from the Nazis via Munich to Switzerland will remember that he managed to stay on a student visa because he had an uncle in Zurich while the other Jew was shipped back to Munich:

Christians against anti-semitism:

Pieter sent me this book on the subject:

What the stimulus really means to your pocket in the long run not the here and the now of politicians: http://www.a

Dick Cheney videos:

Defense for Sderot:

From Tsila: Victory in Florida!!

The Florida House of Representatives passes a “Free Speech Protection” bill by Guy Rodgers, Executive Director

Dear Tsila,

On Saturday, while our staff was conducting training sessions at the “Citizens in Action” conference in Northern Virginia, I received an email from Adam Hasner, the Florida House Majority Leader, informing us that Florida’s version of “Rachel’s Law” had just passed. In a conference call a week earlier Rep. Hasner pointed out that ACT! for America chapter leaders and members in Florida played an active part in reaching out to legislators in the Florida House on this legislation.

As Rep. Hasner noted so eloquently: “This bill protects Floridians from having their right to free speech suppressed by those with radical ideologies. Foreign courts that do not place the same value on our constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech will no longer be used to intimidate Florida citizens.”

You may recall that “Rachel’s Law” was originally passed in New York about a year ago. It protects authors and publishers from intimidation lawsuits filed in foreign countries, and was dubbed “Rachel’s Law” because of a lawsuit filed against Rachel Ehrenfeld who wrote the book Funding Evil. A version of the legislation, entitled “The Free Speech Protection Act,” has been introduced in the U.S. Congress. We will be sending you an action alert on this legislation in the near future, so stay tuned!

I hope you are seeing the pattern we are seeing. Eighteen months ago there was very little good news we could report to you. That is no longer the case. We and our allies are going on the offensive and we’re winning victories. I fully expect that, over the next twelve months, we’ll see more victories like these. More and more people are waking up – and more and more elected officials are waking up. Yes, we have a long ways to go and a long fight ahead, but there is a message being sent loud and clear to radical Islamists, and that message is that America is a sleeping giant that is beginning to stir from its slumber, and that Americans are not going to roll over and allow Islamism to steamroller us as it has done in Europe.

In this vein, we have a simple action we would like you to take to help us improve our ability to educate and persuade elected officials throughout the country. Lisa Piraneo, our new Director of Government Relations, wants to build a database of every one of our members who has a relationship with at least one elected official, at any level.

Compiling this database will enable us to more effectively and strategically advance our legislative priorities and stop legislation that is harmful – whether at the city, county, state or federal level.

So please read over the following ACTION ALERT and help us once again help you!

Guy Rodgers

Stephanie K. sent me this article about self hating Jews:

Have a wonderful and peaceful Shabbos and stay healty,

Rachamim Pauli