Friday, October 30, 2009

Parsha Lech Lecha Part 1, halacha, stories

Parsha Lech Lecha

The first 75 years of Avram’s life without the oral tradition we would not know anything about it. Terach was an idol maker by profession and Avram at the age of three had questions about praying to man made statues. He thought about praying to the sun, but when it set it was replaced by the moon and visa versa. Avram came to the conclusion that there was a higher authority that created everything. Rabbi Avigdor Miller Z”L in his writings pointed out that Avram was born in 1948 and Noach was still alive until 2006 so he could have talked to and blessed each grandchild etc. until his passing.

Nimrod was the Saddam Hussein of his day ruling the Shinar Plain which later would be known as Iraq. The code of Hammurabi

This law was written in the life time of Avram. The question remains to me is that after he survived the fiery furnace if there was a mild revolution and Nimrod or the ruler was deposed and Avram put in power. Then Nimrod over throws Avram or the Rabbi about the time of Bavel and Avram flees. This would be in the time frame of Avram being in the age group of 23-25 years old and ruling to the age of 63 to 65. The laws of the code are similar to Torah Laws in many respects and I can only speculate as we have no Medrash regarding this time period. It is also possible that Avram was raised out the furnace and served as a prophet to Nimrod or the ruler until being forced out by cabinet pressure and influence on the king. When Eliyahu HaNovi comes, this will be a question to ask him.

The Parsha is rich with many subjects, from how to deal with people who murder husbands in order not to commit adultery with the wives and the miracle that occurs for Sarai, the message and teaching how to cope with the war of Gog and Magog (Armageddon) regarding the battle of the 4 kings vs. the 5 kings. The Bris between the pieces and the ability of G-D to take Avram above the planet Jupiter to show him that Astrology comes from G-D and that one who performs the Mitzvos of G-D and makes a Kiddush HASHEM can rise above the average Astrological influences. Instead the playing around with the Gematria of a couple’s name can be and influence in changing of the luck. (I know a woman who was having trouble remarrying and the Rabbi told her to change her name from Frieda to Shlomit and soon after she found a husband.) Finally the prophecy concerning Yishmael and the Bris Milah with Avram becoming Avraham via Circumcision concludes our Pasha.

12:1 Now the LORD said unto Abram: 'Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto the land that I will show thee. 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and be thou a blessing. 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.' 4 So Abram went, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him; and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. 5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.

A possible theory is that Avram fled the dictator Nimrod when the division of languages occurred in the year 1996 with the Tower of Bavel. During the confusion, the anarchy that occurred allowed for the peoples to disperse to flee others that spoke an unintelligent language and Nimrod lost most of his army and advisors. During this time, Terach fled with his children as Terach lost his son Haran. So in the northeastern end of Turkey was the city of Haran (near the Kurdish or in the Kurdish area that exists today). It was from here that Avram made some souls starting at the age of 52 through his example. By treating every body with Chessed (mercy) and being kind he gathered quite a few followers of the one and only G-D. Being told to move to a new land, he gathered his followers and moved on. Due to a famine he goes down to Egypt where a Miracle occurs for Sarai as mentioned in the Rashi and the Midrash.

13:1 And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the South. 2 And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold. 3 And he went on his journeys from the South even to Beth-el, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Beth-el and Ai; 4 unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first; and Abram called there on the name of the LORD. 5 And Lot also, who went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents. 6 And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together; for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together. 7 And there was a strife between the herdsmen of Abram's cattle and the herdsmen of Lot's cattle. And the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelt then in the land. 8 And Abram said unto Lot: 'Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdsmen and thy herdsmen; for we are brethren. 9 Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me; if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou take the right hand, then I will go to the left.' 10 And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of the Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou goes unto Zohar.

Anybody who drives from Arad to the Dead Sea can see the ruins of Zohar. It is much higher than the sea today but at the rate that the evaporation occurs now and even perhaps then, it might have bordered the sea. It was in an area of a Wadi (a rain water ‘river’ only) and I assume fresh water could be collected during the rainy season by a series of trenches and wells as one can see in Tel Arad and Tel Gurbrin nowadays. It could have been greener in those days like the Jordanian side near Wadi areas. This would have allowed the town/village/city of Sodom to thrive. This was well system was used in Mitzada to supply the water. Check out the model if you ever visit the site. It is written in both English and Hebrew.

11 So Lot chose him all the plain of the Jordan; and Lot journeyed east; and they separated themselves the one from the other. 12 Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelt in the cities of the Plain, and moved his tent as far as Sodom. 13 Now the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners against the LORD exceedingly.

Our Sages tell us that the L-RD hates immodesty and by nature, the land of Eretz Yisrael cannot tolerate what Rome, Greece, Paris and some American Cities did/do. This does not mean that tomorrow a 9.2 quake is going to hit San Francisco. However, I would not be surprised if the homosexual hangouts and certain congress people would not be affected by HASHEM in the future.

14 And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him: 'Lift up now your eyes, and look from the place where thou art, northward and southward and eastward and westward; 15 for all the land which thou see, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. 16 And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth; so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. 17 Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for unto thee will I give it.' 18 And Abram moved his tent, and came and dwelt by the oaks of Mamre, which are in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the LORD.

The souls that Avram made from birth stayed with him. Lot liked the sin city stuff in Sodom which was not with the modest (he thought prudish) ways of Avram and Sarai. As soon as Lot leaves, Avram is given the land and Mamre converts and becomes an Allie of Avram.

Now the Torah comes to tell us about the war of the two alliances of kings but it is also an example of the war of Gog and Magog in the future. Avraham, the Mikubal who prays near me also claims that this war represents according to the secrets of the Torah the war between the 4 ways the evil inclination attacks a human vs. his five senses.

14:1 And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim,

To be continued next week.

15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying: 'Fear not, Abram, I am thy shield, thy reward shall be exceeding great.' 2 And Abram said: 'O Lord GOD, what wilt Thou give me, seeing I go hence childless, and he that shall be possessor of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?'

since I am going childless: Heb. עִרִירִי. Menachem ben Saruk (Machbereth p. 137) explained it as meaning an heir, and a similar instance is (Mal. 2:12):“a son (עֵר) and a grandson (וְעֹנֶה).” Hence, עִרִירִי would mean without an heir, as you would say (Job 31:12):“and it will uproot (תְשָׁרֵשׁ), all my crops” [meaning] it will tear out its roots. Similarly עִרִירִי means childless; in Old French, desenfantez. It appears to me, however, that עֵר וְעֹנֶה is derived from the same root as (Song of Songs 5:2):“but my heart is awake (עֵר)” whereas עִרִירִי is an expression of destruction, as in (Ps. 137:7):“Raze it, raze it (עָרוּ עָרוּ)” and as in (Hab. 3:13):“destroying (עָרוֹת) the foundation,” and as in (Jer. 51:58):“shall be completely destroyed (עַרְעֵר תִּתְעַרְעַר) ,” and as in (Zeph. 2:14):“for the cedar work will be destroyed (עֵרָה).”

and the steward of my household: וּבֶן מֶשֶׁק בֵּיתִי, to be interpreted like the Aramaic translation, (וּבַר פַּרְנָסָה הָדֵין דִי בְּבֵתִי) : and this sustainer who is in my house). My entire household is sustained by his orders, as (below 41:40):“and by your orders they will be sustained (יִשַׁק).” [בֶּן מֶשֶׁק \'82 means]“my administrator,” but if I had a son, my son would be appointed over my possessions.

Damascus: Heb. דַמֶשֶׂק. According to the Targum, he was from Damascus, but according to the Midrash Aggadah (Gen. Rabbah 44:9) [the meaning is] that he pursued the kings until Damascus. And in our Talmud (Yoma 28b), it (the word דַמֶשֶׂק) is interpreted as a notarikon [acrostic דוֹלֶה וּמַשְׁקֶה]: he drew and gave to drink from his master’s teachings to other.

According to a commentary later on, Eliezer was black. Avram would like an heir but had no bigotry to give his equivalent of millions to his black servant. At this point G-D takes Avram in a vision heavenward and shows him that the planet Jupiter can be shifted on his horoscope if the changes his name as I previously mentioned.

16:1 Now Sarai Abram's wife bore him no children; and she had a handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. … 6 But Abram said unto Sarai: 'Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her that which is good in thine eyes.' And Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her face. 7 And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. 8 And he said: 'Hagar, Sarai's handmaid, whence did you come? And whither do you go? And she said: 'I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai.' 9 And the angel of the LORD said unto her: 'Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.' 10 And the angel of the LORD said unto her: 'I will greatly multiply thy seed, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. 11 And the angel of the LORD said unto her: 'Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son; and thou shalt call his name Ishmael, because the LORD hath heard thy affliction. 12 And he shall be a wild ass of a man: his hand shall be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the face of all his brethren.'

A wild donkey of a man: who loves the wilderness to hunt beasts, as it is written (below 21:20f):“And he was an archer; and he dwelt in the desert of Paran.”

His hand will be upon all: [He will be] a bandit. — [from Tan. Shemos] and everyone’s hand upon him: Everyone will hate him and attack him. And before all his brothers he will dwell: for his seed will be numerous.

All my teachers have pointed out to me that first he is a Jackass then a human.

13 And she called the name of the LORD that spoke unto her, Thou art a God of seeing; for she said: 'Have I even here seen Him that sees Me?' 14 Wherefore the well was called 'Beer-lahai-roi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered. 15 And Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael. 16 And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.

17:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him: 'I am God Almighty; walk before Me, and be thou wholehearted. 2 And I will make My covenant between Me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.' 3 And Abram fell on his face; and God talked with him, saying: 4 'As for Me, behold, My covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be the father of a multitude of nations. 5 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for the father of a multitude of nations have I made thee. 6 And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. 7 And I will establish My covenant between Me and thee and thy seed after thee throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee and to thy seed after thee. 8 And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land of thy sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.' 9 And God said unto Abraham: 'And as for thee, thou shalt keep My covenant, thou, and thy seed after thee throughout their generations. 10 This is My covenant, which ye shall keep, between Me and you and thy seed after thee: every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 And ye shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of a covenant betwixt Me and you. 12 And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every male throughout your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any foreigner, that is not of thy seed. 13 He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised; and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. 14 And the uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken My covenant.' 15 And God said unto Abraham: 'As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. 16 And I will bless her, and moreover I will give thee a son of her; yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be of her.' 17 Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart: 'Shall a child be born unto him that is a hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?' 18 And Abraham said unto God: 'Oh that Ishmael might live before Thee!' 19 And God said: 'Nay, but Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son; and thou shalt call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his seed after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee; behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. 21 But My covenant will I establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.' 22 And He left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham. 23 And Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all that were born in his house, and all that were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham's house, and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the selfsame day, as God had said unto him. 24 And Abraham was ninety years old and nine, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 25 And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 26 In the selfsame day was Abraham circumcised, and Ishmael his son. 27 And all the men of his house, those born in the house, and those bought with money of a foreigner, were circumcised with him.

Halacha/Chofetz Chaim Mitzvos

We learned that one may not embarrass anybody. Even calling somebody by a name or nickname which they're embarrassed about, is forbidden, One may not tell embarrassing stories about somebody in their presence; even if it doesn't entail Lashon Hara. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 29:17

On the first "Monday, Thursday and Monday" in the month following Pessach and Sukkoth the custom is to say extra Selichos. Some communities do this on the last "Monday, Thursday and Monday" of the month. Since Monday is "Yom Sheni" or "Yom Bet - ב" and Thursday is "Yom Chamishi" or "Yom Heh - ה" these days are referred to as BeHaB - בה"ב. Some people have the custom to fast on BeHaB. A special Mi-Sheberach was recited on Shabbat before the Torah was returned to the Aron Hakodesh to bless those who will fast. Despite being a "private" (not communal) fast day, a person need not "declare his intention to fast" during the Mincha-Amida of the preceding day, if he answered Amen to the Mi-Sheberach. Yet, answering Amen to the Mi-Sheberach does not oblige one to fast. Even if one intended to fast when answering Amen and then on the designated day there was a Seudat Mitzva (e.g. Brit Mila or Siyum or Pidyon HaBen) one should join the meal and not fast. However, if one "declared his intention to fast" during the Mincha-Amida of the preceding day, then one needs to fast. Tomorrow (Monday), and Thursday and next week Monday are BeHaB in most communities. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 127:3, 14

It's a Mitzva for every male Jew to write his own Kosher Sefer Torah. Even if you inherited a Sefer Torah, you still need to write your own copy. You may not sell your Sefer Torah; in case of dire poverty, consult a Rabbinic authority. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 28:1

We learned that every male Jew has to write his own Sefer Torah. If you cannot write your own Sefer Torah, you can hire a Sofer (scribe) to do it for you. If you buy a Sefer Torah and correct a mistake in it, it's as if you wrote it. Similarly if you buy an unfinished Sefer Torah and complete it, it's as if you wrote it. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 28:1

Everybody has a Mitzva to buy Seforim to learn from. This should include the Chumosh (5 books of Moses), Mishna, Talmud and Practical-Halachic works. If one does not understand them in the original, one must buy them with a translation, since the point is to learn them. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 28:2

One may not remove the inedible and unwanted pieces from ones food on Shabbat. Rather one must remove the food from the inedible or the unwanted pieces.
This should only be done during the meal, or right before it. (This is one of many Halachos of "Borer" - separating, one of the 39 forbidden categories of work on Shabbat.) Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 80:15

One should make every effort to emulate Hashem's "personality". Since Hashem is kind we should be kind. Since Hashem is merciful we should be merciful. Since Hashem overlooks our shortcomings, we should overlook other people's shortcoming. So too with all other behaviors that we find are ascribed to Hashem in the Tanach and Medrash. Applies to everybody, everywhere, all the time. Pasuk: Walk in His ways (Devarim 28:9)
Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Positive Mitzvah 6 My problem is that this makes me political as I must oppose the Atheist Communistic philosophy, be against the “Toayvah” (abomination) of Homosexuality and same sex marriage and against non-life saving abortions.

It's a Mitzvah to pray to Hashem every day. Prayer entails praising Hashem, then asking for ones needs and then thanking Hashem for all the kindness one has already received. Praying requires concentrating on what one is saying, ignoring all else, and assuming one is standing in front of the Divine Presence. One should not consider praying to be a burden that needs to be taken care of. Applies to everybody, everywhere, all the time. Pasuk: … and you should worship Him (Devarim 6:13) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Positive Mitzvah 7 Shabbat Shalom, - Danny

It's a Mitzvah not to create idols that one will worship. One who makes an idol by himself, or who one asks somebody else to make him an idol to worship has transgressed and deserves 39 lashes. Applies to everybody, all the time, everywhere. Pasuk: You shall not make for yourselves any idols (2nd of the Ten Commandments - Shemos 20:4) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Negative Mitzvah 9

It's forbidden to make idols that will be worshipped - even for non-Jews to worship. One who manufactures idols has transgressed and deserves 39 lashes. One who manufactures an idol for himself has transgressed twice; this sin and Mitzvah #14 - Do not create your own idols. Applies to everybody, all the time, everywhere. Pasuk: You shall not make idols (Vayikra 19:4) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Negative Mitzvah 10

It's a Mitzvah not to bow down to idols - even of it's not the way this particular idol is worshipped - since bowing down is the way we worship Hashem. One who transgresses deserves to be stoned to death by Bet Din. Similarly one may not offer sacrifices, incense or wine to an idol, since these are all ways we serve Hashem in the Bet Hamikdash; even if the idol is not normally worshipped in this manner. One should agree to be killed rather than transgress any of the above. If one dropped something, or one gets a thorn in ones foot in front of an idol, one should not bend down to take care of it, since it looks like one is bowing down to the idol. Rather one should turn around - or to the side. Applies to everybody, all the time, everywhere. Pasuk: not bow down to them (2nd of the Ten Commandments - Shemos 20:5) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Negative Mitzvah 11

Although I have stopped Inyanay Diyoma this one editorial I felt worthy of the Torah section:,7340,L-3795685,00.html

A different kind of real judgement (Justice and Mercy)

Shalom...tomorrow I will be heading to jail for a week (IYH) and they tell me that I will not be able to pass go and collect 200$ (grin). People keep telling me how lucky I am and what a good lawyer I have. People are so blind to the truth these days that they can't even see the basics of what went on here. I eluded about 20 police cars in a hi speed car chase ON COCAINE for 45 minutes, drove an ambulance off the road, ran over two of those tire poppers, swerved in and out of traffic, and terrorized everyone near me...AND ALL I GOT WAS A WEEK...if you want to chalk this up to my lawyer (who admitted to me he did absolutely nothing to minimize my sentence), luck, or any other lame phenomenon used by atheists/pathetic people then you will never be invited to any of my future birthday parties (and I was planning on having a pony and cotton candy). G-d hooked me up plain and simple, He didn't have to but He did anyway. I disgraced Judaism for 27 years of my life and then when I couldn't fall any lower I cried out to the Ribono Shel Olam and He answered. 7 days in jail (most likely), are you kidding me...I was facing 15-30 YEARS. When you realize that everything in your life was an illusion and you are completely clueless, like I did/was, your life will also start to turn around. You'll stop getting mad at things you can't control, l you'll start having a better relationship with your family, you're time at work will not be such a drag...EVERYTHING in life starts to turn around. There is a G-d in the world. If you still don't believe that then you need to be deported to Gaza. G-d stands by the Jews that stand by Him. G-d took a bleak court case and turned it into a miracle. The problem is it's only a miracle to the one's that care to see. For the rest of the sad souls out there, this was just another court case. SHAME ON YOU for thinking this. Start waking up to the fact that YOU are not in charge and you have a boss that is always watching you. Shalom and please post this link it will be a huge help to me and an even bigger Mitzvah!!!

A Parable

A Miser sold all that he had and bought a lump of gold, which he buried in a hole in the ground by the side of an old wall and went to look at daily. One of his workmen observed his frequent visits to the spot and decided to watch his movements. He soon discovered the secret of the hidden treasure, and digging down, came to the lump of gold, and stole it.

The Miser, on his next visit, found the hole empty and began to tear his hair and to make loud lamentations. A neighbor, seeing him overcome with grief and learning the cause, said, “Pray do not grief so; but go and take a stone, and place it in the hole, and fancy that the gold is still there. It will do you quite the same service, for when the gold was there, you had it not, as you did not make the slightest use of it.”

Learn to say I love you, I care for you , you’re important to me rather than keeping it in your heart and keeping it inside. Learn to do good, to help, to go out of your way, set the time aside for others, rather than just having good intentions.

That is what Rachel Emenu did for Am Israel, she stood up and defended Am Israel and succeeded to cancel the decree, what the forefathers and Tzaddikim weren’t able to do.

May HaShem will have mercy on Am Israel in her merit and we’ll see the redemption of Am Israel, very soon Amen.

Binyamin Jadidi

A Kashrus Story

A woman sent her husband to the Av Beis Din to check if the slaughtered chicken was kosher. (People were not rich in those days and the Av Beis Din knew that if he did not find a heter, the chicken would be considered trafe and the poor lady would have no meat for Shabbos seeing that the butcher shops were closed or closing.) He began searching for a heter. In the meantime, seeing her husband was delayed; the woman went to the Gaon of Vilna and he poskined that the chicken was Trafe. The Av Beis Din found a Heckshir and declared the chicken kosher. The wife said one thing, the husband said another. The husband ran back to the Dayan and upon hearing what was done the Dayan ran to Gaon with the Husband. “Rabbi Eliyahu, you are above all of us in Torah knowledge, but I am the chief of the Rabbinical Court; if you Poskin for the people, they will lose respect for the Beis Din and not come to me any more.” The Rabbi agreed and said to the man, “Tell your wife that she should go according the decision of the Av Beis Din and I will come to dinner tonight to partake in the meal.” I have heard 3 endings to the story.

A) the Gaon and Dayan came and they partook in the meal. (B) There was a tallow candle (made from forbidden fat known as Chelev in the Torah around the intestines, kidneys, etc.) and the candle tipped over by accident into the boiling soup and made it trafe. (C) The woman in her haste and excitement to prepare the meal spilled a tremendous amount of salt into the pot making it unfit for human consumption. [The later two endings show it as a sign from heaven that the Gaon was protected by heaven.] Whatever way it turned out, the Gaon never gave a Psak for the rest of his life out of respect for the Rabbinute.

The following are frequently asked questions which Rabbis receive from time to time due to a mistranslation of the Bible into English.

Greetings brother, I was just wondering if you could answer a few questions concerning the book of Isaiah. In chapter 7 Isaiah announced the coming of Immanuel born of a virgin 14 then Isaiah in Chapt 9 told us of a promised son and went on in 53 about a sin bearing servant. Are these one in the same and do you believe that they have came or yet to come? God Bless you brother and may our Fathers peace forever fill your heart! R.

I brought down the original Hebrew with the English: Chapter 7:14 uses the word Almah meaning young woman not virgin.
יד לָכֵן יִתֵּן אֲדֹנָי הוּא, לָכֶם--אוֹת: הִנֵּה הָעַלְמָה, הָרָה וְיֹלֶדֶת בֵּן, וְקָרָאת שְׁמוֹ, עִמָּנוּ אֵל. 14 Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: behold, the young woman shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Chapter 9
ה כִּי-יֶלֶד יֻלַּד-לָנוּ, בֵּן נִתַּן-לָנוּ, וַתְּהִי הַמִּשְׂרָה, עַל-שִׁכְמוֹ; וַיִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ פֶּלֶא יוֹעֵץ, אֵל גִּבּוֹר, אֲבִי-עַד, שַׂר-שָׁלוֹם. 5 For a child is born unto us, a son is given unto us; and the government is upon his shoulder; and his name is called Pele-joez-el-gibbor-Abi-ad-sar-shalom;

The Hebrew reads "Key Yaled Yulad Lanu" which is clear that 'we the people bear a son' this human 'will be an amazing hero who advises us and a minister of peace" - this is the translation (mine) of the long strung out name. You might want to translate wondrous instead of instead of amazing.

Of course I believe in the original Hebrew. However, I believe per my memory that Immanuel was referring to an actual person that was born while Isaiah was still alive.

I hope that this information helps you.
Best regards,

The following post belongs with Torah philosophy and therefore I added it here rather than in my news group at:

"KILL THEM ALL AND LET G-D SORT THEM OUT" by Emanuel A. Winston, Middle East Analyst & Commentator

Why do we call ourselves civilized when we allow rapists, pedophiles, sociopaths live to do it all again? Why do we give trials to hideous monsters who plan the death of nations and genocidal acts that astound the mind? Why spend the time discussing the minutiae of their crimes when we know what they have done - what they continue to do?

Col. Oliver North, in an adventure novel, "THE ASSASSINS", left us with a real and intended message. Gen. Oliver North is a warrior who sees things clearly and does not look for the political benefits for making his people expendable. Why not simply assemble judicious men, create a list of known monsters and summarily execute them at the earliest time possible? Why ponder while thousands are dying at their hands? Does anyone doubt that Mugabe of Zimbabwe deserves a bullet or a hangman’s noose? Why did the so-called civilized world wait for Pinochet to murder thousands when that "UN-civilized world" gave him the benefit of the doubt?

We Jews have a long and available list of past persecutors and those still planning our demise who deserve summary execution before they can carry out their well-known plans. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Iranian Ayatollahs have not only pledged the demise of the Jewish State of Israel but, they vow to kill all Jews. (Wasn’t that the same vow by Adolph Hitler in his "Mein Kampf"?)

Why not execute them now before they can carry out their promised Genocide? Are we so squeamish that we accept the idea of our families being slaughtered by a barbarous, pagan people whose atrocities are no less than cannibalistic? At least cannibals have this belief that they can absorb the heroic qualities of their victims by eating them.

Then there are the politicians willing to sacrifice their own nation and their own people to satisfy some pathological need to be admired by hostile nations who have exhibited barbaric hatred - even to the point of Genocide. Why are these politicians and generals any different than rapists or pedophiles who have irresistible urges that lead them to sacrifice their own people?

I cannot help but think of some Jews in Israel who, over the years, have conspired with our most vicious and dedicated enemies to put our people in mortal jeopardy and then preen and parade their duplicity to the nations, hoping for applause for their acts of perfidious treachery.

Politicians and Leftist Generals are allowed, even expected, to make grievous mistakes. But, when they repeat these mistakes, it’s not a "mistake" but it is a premeditated sin against their own people.

Granted, the average citizen cannot "connect the dots" but, those who can ought to act to protect all others. I will also grant you that the average person cannot pick up the tell-tale clues when they meet a rapist, a pedophile, even a genocidal maniac. These warped creatures smile; some even have families whom they treat well. However, the more aberrant give off subtle signals, reduced cues, "vibes" as to their true character.

Have you really listened to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad read the Koranic-based Charters of the PLO’s Fatah and Hamas? Or have you heard the Arab League as they brag about what they will do to the Jews?

Ahmadinejad is easier to spot because, besides his socio-pathetic character, he takes perverse pleasure in telling us all what he is going to do - not unlike a serial killer who visualizes what he will do to his next victim. In order to commit acts against humanity, be they pedophiles, rapists, politicians or generals, the "perps" must justify what they know is an act of maniacal vengeance against their selected victims. They claim it is the victims’ fault, especially if their victims resist and fight back.

Let’s progress from generalities to the personal. Would you who, no doubt, consider yourself a decent, caring person, accept putting your family in jeopardy because some law allowed a pedophile or a rapist to live safely in your neighborhood? Would you remain passive if a politician/dictator ordered you to accept Terrorists who were in striking distance of your children or your grandchildren, your home, wife, family? Who would be at fault? The Terrorists who have made their intentions well-known through prior threats and actions? Or the Politicians who arranged to put them or allow them to be there?

Why not consider both as one, given that the results will be either a day-to-day danger or, from past experience , a threat that had already killed neighbors, friends, family? Even if you are dedicated to observing the Law and have a moral conscience, is it your obligation to commit your family and yourself to the high probability of suicide and your nation to national suicide simply because "others" thought it was "in the best political interest" of the nation to do so?

Clearly the Biblical injunction to "kill those first - who come to kill you" is certainly applicable. Whether it’s a pedophile, a rapist or an evil ideological leader who is ready to put his nation and his people on a chopping block, there is no reason NOT to adhere to the Biblical injunction of saving yourself, your family and even your nation.

Now for two Good Shabbos Stories: “Take a hike” and “Peaking”

Good Shabbos Everyone. In our portion this week Noach, the Torah tells us of how Noach spent 120 years building the ark. Why did it take so long for Noach to build his ark? The commentators explain that Hashem wanted the people of the generation to have a chance to watch Noach and be motivated to change, to repent, to do Teshuva. Hashem wanted people to see the ark being built and to contemplate the flood which was coming. The following true story will inspire us all to change our lives for the better...
Guy, who recently turned thirty-one, is the son of an electrical engineer in Tel Aviv. In high school he was enrolled the enrichment program for gifted students. Upon completing his compulsory army service, Guy signed on for an additional five years as an officer specializing in logistics. He studied computer technology at college level, and at the same time, served as director of a private school which prepared students with learning difficulties for matriculation.
Even before Guy was discharged from the service, his parents decided to start observing Torah and mitzvos. It happened when Guy's mother and her sister, Guy's aunt, decided to surprise their own parents with a joint weekend trip to a luxury hotel in Ashkelon. That same weekend, an Arachim Seminar was being held in their hotel. Curiosity prompted them to ask about the program, and they decided to listen in on a lecture or two. The families enjoyed the lectures very much.
When an Arachim staff member phoned them about an upcoming Seminar, Guy's parents enrolled. As a result of what they learned at the Seminar, the senior Lavones decided to become ba'alei teshuvah. Mr. Lavone joined a local shiur for newcomers to Torah study, and Mrs. Lavone attends classes three times a week at a local institute for baalos teshuvah. Guy's younger brother, Tomer, saw how enthused his parents were and decided to attend a Seminar for singles. He came back fully convinced. His sister, Ravit, is also well on the way to teshuvah.
Guy finished off his stint in the army, then enrolled in university. However, he took no interest whatsoever in his family's new outlook on life. He enjoyed his visits back home, joined their Shabbos meals and found the new atmosphere a pleasant one, and he would do whatever he could to fit in with the rest of the family. However, for himself, he was happy with his life just the way it was. After a short visit with the family, he returned to his dorm at school and continued to pursue his studies.
Even so, in the long run, Guy was affected by the change at home. It made him stop to ponder life: Where was he headed? What did he want to accomplish with his life? His parents and his brother and sister seemed very happy in their new life; would he be happy in his own? Very gradually, he also began to draw closer to his Judaism. Without letting anyone know, he began to wash negel wasser in the morning. On Shabbos, he would manage not to write anything down. Here and there, he kept other practices that he noticed his family had adapted. He had some basic knowledge, and was willing to learn and do more, but the pressures of work and his studies kept him from going into the topic at depth. Guy received his diploma in computer sciences at the height of the recession in the field. Two or three years earlier, he would have been overwhelmed with job offers; now, even experienced programmers were suddenly out of work. Under the circumstances, Guy decided it was time to give himself a break.
When Guy's mother, Shoshana Lavone, heard of his plans to leave for parts unknown, her heart was not easy. It was clear to her that her son was not planning a tour of the standard tourist spots. She turned to Guy with a request: "For your sake, and for ours, please keep Shabbos fully, for two weeks in a row."
Guy agreed. In retrospect, when he looks back on those two days he spent absorbing the sanctity of the Shabbos, Guy feels that their special atmosphere accompanied him on his travels, giving him strength to carry on during the trials that befell him, without falling into utter despair even in the valley of death. But we are jumping ahead in Guy's story, Armed with his parents' prayers and good wishes, with a siddur and a copy of Tehillim that his mother slipped into his backpack, Guy took a flight to Argentina.
From there he flew to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, located on the archipelago that stretches out from the southern tip of Argentina and Chile as though trying to shake hands with the frozen Antarctic. On one side, Ushuaia is bordered by the meeting point of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans; on the other, by steep mountains topped by permanent glaciers. The region was dubbed the "The Land of Fire" by the Spaniards who conquered the area. They were struck by the campfires the local Indians lit on mountain tops as a means of communication.
Others say the name was given because of the numerous volcanoes the explorers found in the area. Guy arrived in Ushuaia in the middle of South America's summer, when the region enjoys twenty hours of sunlight out of every twenty-four. Even so, there are heavy rains during the season. The combination of melting glaciers and heavy precipitation causes the many rivers in the area to run fast and fierce. The region is noted for its spectacular waterfalls and abundant swampland.
In Ushuaia, Guy found himself a companion well-suited to his goal of spending time alone with himself in the bosom of nature. Michael, an Austrian, was an experienced mountain climber. An accomplished athlete in fine form, Michael suggested the two set out on a three-day jaunt along a route that would circle Ushuaia's glacier and meet up with the highway that led to the north. Guy left a message where he was staying that he would be back in a few days' time, and the two adventurers started out.
Their route twisted and turned up the mountain slopes, giving them one breathtaking view after the other. Rivers plummeted down the slopes and gathered in frothy rivers, often forming spectacular waterfalls. They looked down on crystal clear, blue lagoons that appeared untouched since the day they were first created. The original route seemed to easy to Michael. He pointed to the snowcapped peak beyond the lagoon and asked Guy: "Why not circle around that mountain, and come back to our starting point? The scenery there must be spectacular!"
Their new itinerary called for crossing a raging river whose waters were nearly at the freezing point. There was no bridge, only a large, slippery log joined the two banks of the frothy stream. One false move could cause a serious injury - or worse. Guy managed the crossing unharmed; but Michael tumbled into the frigid waters.
For a lesser athlete, it might have proven fatal, but Michael had his wits about him and pulled himself to safety. Together, the two adventurers climbed toward the peak, planning to descend back to their starting point once they reached the top.
However, when they reached the summit, they could see only one peak after the other. Before them lay an entire chain of mountains, with no end in sight. Guy wanted to return just the way they had come, but that was too tame a solution for an experienced adventurer like Michael.
"There must be a pass somewhere between the peaks," he insisted. "We just need to find it, and make our way back." Evening set in. They made camp, had supper from the provisions they had brought with them, and went to sleep. Next morning they arose refreshed, and carried on. They crossed a high plateau, thinking that they had almost reached the road that would lead them back to Ushuaia. However, they encountered an obstacle: a large lake blocked their path.
"No problem," announced Michael. "We'll just have to follow the shore and circle around it." The trek around the lake took them longer than they had anticipated. Darkness overtook them before they had reached their destination. Again they bedded down for the night. The next morning, they continued on their way. When they reached the river that flowed out of the lake, they followed along its banks. Their path led them onward until they reached a huge lagoon, which brought them to a dead stop. Where should they go from here? The expanse of water reminded Guy of Lake Kinneret, back home in Israel's Galilee.
It was about the same size, and brought back fond memories. At this point, Guy would have given a great deal to be in his native land, hiking in familiar territory rather than in the hostile Land of Fire. Now, however, the hikers had no alternative but to follow the shoreline. They plodded on and on, until night forced them to stop.
Exhausted, they ate the last of their provisions and fell into a deep sleep. Dawn woke them to a new day fraught with problems: no food, no direction, and no path to follow. It was then that Guy recalled the copy of Tehillim that his mother had tucked into his backpack. When they stopped to rest, he opened it and began to recite the heartfelt words of David Hamelech. It nourished his soul and renewed his hope.
Michael climbed up to a nearby hilltop to get a view of the area around them. Perhaps he would see a path that would lead to some sign of civilization. On his return, Michael reported that the only way open to them was the riverbed below. They made their way down to the muddy canyon.
Again and again, they slipped and fell, but each time, they helped one another up and slowing moved forward. After twelve hours of plodding, with nothing to eat, they reached another large lake that brought them to a halt. Once again, they would have to tackle the mountain heights respite their weakened state. Frothy streams slashed the steep slopes as they rushed down to the lake below. They continued to climb without having the least hint which way would lead them out of this beautiful, but forsaken land. At one point during their climb, they suddenly heard a deep rumble in the distance. The ominous sound grew louder and louder. Suddenly an avalanche of ice, snow and rock tumbled down the slope only a few feet away from them. How close they had come to being buried alive! It was a terrifying experience, but Michael had still not lost his confidence.
"Just wait," he told Guy. "I'm sure we'll see the road right around the bend." Guy was not convinced. An inner voice warned him that they were heading in the wrong direction. "Let's go up to the summit so we can see the entire region, and find out where we are," he suggested. to be continued... Good Shabbos Everyone.

We now continue with our story from last week...
...Meanwhile, it was growing dark. They took shelter under a ledge, to protect themselves from another avalanche. Morning found them hungry, but hopeful that the view from the top would answer the question, which haunted them: Where were they? Another few hours' climbing brought them to the peak.
The view left them breathless. The creation in its fullest beauty lay before them, displaying a chain of sharp mountain peaks that bordered a huge, open bay. Instead of the road they had gone so far to locate, they saw only water and more water, as far as the eye could see. It was the top of the world! Or, perhaps, the end of the world. In every direction, they found not a single indication that another human being had ever reached the area. Overhead, two huge condors circled round. Guy wondered: Were they eyeing what they thought would be their next meal?
The two travelers were stunned. The wind cut into them, the cold numbed their senses, and clouds were closing in on the summit. They were desperate for food, and completely cut off from any human contact. Clearly, their wisest step now would be to change their plan of action. Rather than searching for a way to get back to civilization, they must concentrate on surviving until a search party could locate them. The two found a sheltered ledge of level rock where they could light a fire. Perhaps the smoke would be seen by a passing ship or helicopter. They pitched their tent, and gathered some twigs. However, the wood was too damp to catch fire. They would have to try their luck lower down.
They packed their gear and carefully descended to a valley, where they found some berries. They broke their fast, and continued down to the shore of the bay. There they found all the berries they could eat. This was their sole source of nourishment for the duration of their ordeal. While exploring the shoreline, they discovered a peninsula, and decided to pitch camp there until they were rescued. Michael refused to rest for a single minute. He demanded that they do whatever they could to make sure they would be rescued. Even when heavy rains poured down, even when Guy declared it was his Sabbath, and he could not work, Michael was a whirlwind of tense, desperate activity.
In contrast, Guy was calmer. He continued to recite Tehillim. An inner voice assured him that, eventually, they would be rescued. On Shabbos, Guy felt that his prayers had an additional dimension of depth that gave him new hope. He would recall scenes from the Shabbosos at home, before he left. The tunes of his family's zemiros at the Shabbos table came back to him. He hummed to himself, again and again, and drew new strength. One song, in particular, echoed in his mind: "Ki eshmerah Shabbos, Keil yishmereni – If I guard the Shabbos, HaShem will guard over me." What meaning these words took on, there at the end of the world!
Every seventh day, the words infused Guy with renewed hope. Guy explained to Michael that a Biblical verse declares that Hashem's salvation comes "in the blink of the eye." "It can happen so quickly," he explained to his Austrian companion, "that we won't have time to prepare for it."
The seasoned mountain climber remained pessimistic. "Perhaps our salvation has already come and gone, and it was so quick that we didn't even notice it!" He was not affected by Guy's faith. Summer was drawing to a close. The days grew shorter, the winds colder. The sun's rays heated the earth less and less. Fall would soon be upon them. In its wake, would come an icy winter which would quickly freeze them to death. Michael looked to the future with dread.
Guy continued to read Tehillim. Verse after verse seemed to express exactly what he felt in his heart, and he drew his optimism from its words. One day they heard the drone of a helicopter, but the clouds hid it from view. They listened as the sound of its motor drew closer, and then faded away.
Another time, they spied a ship in the distance, shell fishing the bay's deep waters, but it did not see them. Late one afternoon, Guy stood scanning the horizon, when suddenly a thought occurred to him. The whole time, they had been heading south. If so, east was to their left. But that was where the sun was now sinking downward, toward the horizon. The sun was setting in the east! How could that be? Guy felt his strength suddenly drain from him. His mind was flooded with melancholy thoughts. Perhaps all his life he had been going in the wrong direction? Maybe this was just another mistake in a long series of mistakes? This might well be far more than just another error; it might prove to be his last.
He turned to Michael: "Tell me, in which direction were we going all the time?" "Southward," answered Michael, mechanically. "If we were going south," retorted Guy, "then look! That way must be east, and that's where the sun is setting now. Do you want to tell me the sun is setting in the east?" "You're right," said Michael with a shrug of his shoulders. "I made a mistake. A bitter mistake! But what good does it do us to find out now that we're helplessly lost?"
Now Guy decided that he must be the one to take the lead. Above all, they must not lose hope! Together, they would do everything they could to make themselves visible to a passing ship or plane. They found logs whose bark had been whitened by the fierce winds. As weak and tired as they were, both men sawed away at the wood and dragged it into place. They knew their lives depended on someone's spotting them from afar.
After they had formed a wooden SOS they added a white frame, the better to attract attention should another helicopter chance by. It took several days, but they had to try. It seemed their only hope. Guy kept track of the days, and each Shabbos, he prayed. He also recited Tehillim, and sang zemiros. He remained full of hope, confident that somehow, they would be rescued. They finished their project. Another day went by, and another.
On the third day, Guy prayed with more concentration than usual. He pleaded with HaShem that this be the day of their rescue. Suddenly they heard the drone of a motor in the distance. They looked up and saw a helicopter, headed their way. Closer and closer it came. Their logs had been spotted! They were saved! The helicopter landed!
As the two men rushed up to it, out stepped the pilot, South American, and the passenger, a Japanese who was en route to Chile to hire a team of photographers. They were the first human beings the lost pair had seen in thirty-three days! The pilot had spotted their SOS and decided to investigate. The meeting was moving for all four men.
Quickly they took down their tent, packed up their gear, and climbed eagerly into the rescue plane. As the rotors began to spin and the plane left the ground, their hearts swelled with joy. They would live! They would see their families and dear ones once again!
The melody of "Yeshuas Hashem keheref ayin – Hashem's salvation comes in the wink of the eye – ran through Guy's mind again and again. Indeed, Guy's situation had changed in the time it takes to blink an eye. From the helicopter's pilot they learned that they were not in Argentina, but in Chile, 200 kilometers away from the city of Ushuaia!
Their rescuers took them back to civilization. Guy's first step was to contact his family back in Israel. He had lost fifteen kilos, he told them, but thank Heaven, he was alive. His family told him that an expert search team was looking for him and Michael right then, but closer to Ushuaia.
Dozens of friends and relatives had prayed for him constantly; groups of women had gathered daily to recite Tehillim on his behalf. The family sought the blessings of a number of outstanding rabbis and asked them to join in their prayers on behalf of the two adventurers.
It was a fateful month for the Lavone family in Israel. Their hearts alternated between prayers and hope, and anxiety for their son's fate. Upon his return, Guy learned that until now, no one had ever survived more than two weeks in the Land of Fire and come out alive. The harsh conditions made survival almost out of the question.
After a short rest, Guy returned to Israel a different person. Convinced that Heaven had not guarded over him and rescued him for nothing, he was determined to make his life more meaningful. Now he followed his family's footsteps and delved more deeply into his Judaism. Today he attends a Torah study class regularly. He continues to find deep inspiration in Tehillim, and is certain that one verse, above all, will always be particularly meaningful to him: "Though I walk through the valley of death, I shall not fear, for You are with me."
In this week's Parsha, we read about how Avraham Avinu was commanded to leave his place of birth and upbringing and go to a new land. It would be in the new land that Avraham Avinu would become the father of the Jewish People. With this the Torah hints to what a Jew's approach in life should be, i.e., to always seek to go away from the norms of bad behavior and improve one's ways. Just as Guy from the story took both a spiritual and physical journey to better himself, so too, must we all, like Avraham Avinu seek to improve our lives, to take our spiritual lives to the highest peaks! Good Shabbos Everyone.

Mr. Wolfberg’s Shabbos sponsored by: Refuah Shleima to Mordechai Menachem Mendel ben Tziporah Yitta Refuah Shleima to Tsviah bas Bracha Leah

In memory of Shosha Malka bas R' Avrohom 21 Cheshvan Refuah Shleimah to Chana Ashayra bas Dodi

Be well and have a great Shabbos.

Rachamim Pauli

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Parsha Noach, Halacha, Stories only

Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv B”H is better.

I received today a request for a young child who was brought to the hospital since

I am wary of H1N1 please pray this next week for Ofek ben Inbal.

A few months ago I asked everybody to pray for a Shidduch for this girl:

With great happiness and thanks to Hashem we would like to announce the engagement of our daughter Sara to Eran Shachad of Tel Aviv/Jerusalem May they be zoche to build a bayit ne'eman b'yisrael
May we all Share in many Smachot together.
Steve and Esther

I have decided with the advice of a few friends to remove Inyanay Diyoma from the Drasha. I will probably be sending out my News Bulletin again – If you do not receive it just send me an e-mail with news in the title and I will add you. Certain Jews like the Miracle of the baby carriage that rolled on to the tracks in front of a train entering the station and the baby only had a minor head bang, I will continue to add. Click the arrow to view even though it turns out all right, it is hard to view:


This would have been in the old Inyanay Diyoma about the times before the Moshiach from Eric: Shavua tov, Rabbi Pauli. We have some serious issues of the most grave nature taking place in Chicago right now with the rise of anti-Semitism against our community. Things are becoming pretty frightening after what took place at the University of Chicago on 10/15/09.... I assume that Olmert’s speech and the Arab protests before and After.

Parsha Noach

6:9 These are the generations of Noah. Noah was in his generations a man righteous and whole-hearted; Noah walked with God.

These are the generations of Noah-Noah was a righteous man: Since Scripture mentions him, it tells his praise, as it is said (Prov. 10:7): “The mention of a righteous man is for a blessing.” - [Pesikta Rabbathi 12]. Another explanation [for why the names of the children are not mentioned immediately following: “These are the generations of Noah”]: To teach you that the main generations [progeny] of the righteous are good deeds. — [Mid. Tan. Noah 2]

in his generations: Some of our Sages interpret it [the word בְּדֹרֹתָיו] favorably: How much more so if he had lived in a generation of righteous people, he would have been even more righteous. Others interpret it derogatorily: In comparison with his generation he was righteous, but if he had been in Abraham’s generation, he would not have been considered of any importance. — [Sanh. 108a, Gen. Rabbah 30:9, Tan. Noach 5]

Noah walked with God: But concerning Abraham, Scripture says (below 24:40):“ [the Lord] before Whom I walked.” Noah required [God’s] support to uphold him [in righteousness], but Abraham strengthened himself and walked in his righteousness by himself. — [Tan. Noach 5]

When ever we see generations (Toldos in Hebrew) we are dealing with children/progeny such as here and the children of Yitzchak. The Malbim writes about 3 types of progeny: 1) Biological Children. (2) Offspring of man’s godly aspect or lofty knowledge. Such as I receive from my Rosh Yeshiva: “What was bothering Rashi that he had to write that explanation in his commentary?” or in Talmud: “What is the CASE? LAW? REASON?” – Rabbi Yacov London of righteous and saintly memory who took me into the Yeshiva with no real means of payment but time and energy and before me in the Kollel sit two of the boys of Yacov Glicksman ZATZAL who was one of the older Talmidim in the Yeshiva. (3) We are told that Noach dealt by example with his fellow human beings. He was by nature Righteous and Upright. The later contrasts the behavior and double dealing of his generation. He was righteous in his generation. Rabbi Yehuda said that if he lived in the generation of Moshe he would not have been a Tzaddik. Rabbi Nechemia thinks all the more so he would be a Tzaddik as that generation was more righteous. The truth is that Noach lived until 950 years and Avraham was 48 years of age. His righteous could have been a foundation to Avraham. Rabbi Avigdor Miller Zatzal wrote that Adam taught the original knowledge to Methuselah who taught it to his grandson Noach who taught it Shem, Ever and Avraham.

Now in the generation of Avraham the nature of the earth had changed with the rainbow in the clouds. His generation was not stooped in sexual depravity. However, most of the generation forgot G-D and instead began to invent gods of this, that and the other thing. They worshipped stars, planets and constellations. The reasoning originally was that if the KING does this and that like on earth one must honor the ministers. Only Avraham proclaimed that G-D represented true belief and light. Noach walked with G-D like a small child going hand in hand with his father. Avraham walked before G-D as an older child and Moshe spoke to G-D face to face like a young adult speaking to his father for guidance.

10 And Noah begot three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 11 And the earth was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.

was corrupt: Heb. וַתִּשָׁחֵת is an expression of immorality and idolatry (other editions add: immorality, “for all flesh had corrupted (הִשְׁחִית) its way,” and idolatry), as in (Deut. 4:16):“Lest you deal corruptly (תַּשְׁחִיתוּן).” - [Sanh. 56b, 57a]

and the earth became full of robbery: Heb. חָמָס, robbery, (other editions add: as it is said (Jonah 3: 8):“and of the dishonest gain (הֶחָמָס) which is in their hands.”) - [Sanh. 108a]

Violence = Hamas in Hebrew and that was the way of all the people prior to destruction Rashi implies violent robbery and not a thief in the night burglarizing a home. And from this we learn that the Moshiach must be just around the corner as G-D does not let such corruption fill the earth for too long. Unfortunately many will die because of the corruption and bribery and only about one third of the world and a small percentage of the Jews will survive. Rashi in Shemos indicates 20% while the Lubavitcher Rebbe says the Shoah cleaned out the Jewish people. Let us hope and pray that the Rebbe is right.

12 And God saw the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth.

For all flesh had corrupted: Even cattle, beasts, and fowl would mate with those who were not of their own species. — [from Tan. Noach 12]

13 And God said unto Noah: 'The end of all flesh is come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

The end of all flesh: Wherever you find promiscuity (and idolatry), a pestilence comes upon the world and kills both good and bad alike. — [from Gen. Rabbah 26:5] Note that parenthetic words do not appear in Gen. Rabbah, Lev. Rabbah, or in early mss. and printed editions of Rashi. We have translated אַנְדְרוֹלוּמוּסְיָה as pestilence, following Aruch. See below.

For the earth has become full of robbery: Their verdict was sealed only because of robbery. — [from Sanh. 108a]

From the earth: [אֶת הָאָרֶץ] is similar מִן הָאָרֶץ : “from the earth.” Similar to this is (Exod. 9:26): “When I go the city” [meaning] “from” the city; (I Kings 15:23): “He was stricken his feet” [meaning] “from” his feet (i.e., he suffered from a foot ailment). Another explanation: אֶת הָאָרֶץ means “together with the earth,” for even the three handbreadths of the depth of the plowshare were blotted out and obliterated.

When mankind was thrown out of Gan Eden the properties of the earth remained. As the Malbim shows later on, the whole nature of the earth changed. Before a mist would arise at night and water the land, now only rains and the salty water and pressure on the land changed its fertility.

14 Make thee an ark of gopher wood; with rooms shalt thou make the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.

Make for yourself an ark: Many ways to bring relief and rescue are available to Him; why, then, did He burden him with this construction? In order that the people of the Generation of the Flood should see him occupying himself with it for one hundred twenty years and ask him, “For what do you need this?” And he would say to them, “The HOLY ONE, blessed be He, is destined to bring a flood upon the world.” Perhaps they would repent. - [Aggadah Beresheis 1:2, Tan. Noach 5, Tan. Buber Beresheis 37, Gen. Rabbah 30:7]

Gopher wood: That is its name. Now why from this species (גֹפֶר)? Because of sulphur (גָפְרִית) with which it was decreed upon them to be blotted out. — [from Bereshith Rabbathi p. 66]

Compartments: individual dwellings for each domestic animal and wild beast. — [from Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer ch. 23]

With pitch: Heb. כֹּפֶר This is זֶפֶת in Aramaic, and we find in the Talmud (Shab. 67a, b, Ned. 51a, Git. 69b, B.M. 23b, 40a, 70a, Ar. 19a) the word כָּוּפְרא [meaning pitch]. In Moses’ ark [i.e., the ark in which Moses was placed in the Nile], since the water was calm, it was enough to have mud on the inside and pitch on the outside. Another reason: so that this righteous man [Moses] should not smell the bad odor of pitch. But here, because of the force of the water, he caulked it with pitch both inside and outside. — [from Gen. Rabbah 31:10, Sotah 12a]

The author of “In Search of Noah’s Ark” claims that analysis of wood brought back from Mt. Ararat which is above the tree line indicates oak. There is an old joke asking who was the first businessman in the Torah? The answer is Noach who floated a company while the whole world was under liquidation. Believe it or not, the Malbim raises a serious similar idea. The old world order is going to be disposed of in the deluge and a new world order kept afloat.

15 And this is how thou shalt make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. 16 A light shalt thou make to the ark, and to a cubit shalt thou finish it upward; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.

A skylight: Heb. צֹהַר, lit. Light. Some say [that it was] a window, and some say [that it was] a precious stone, which gave them light. — [Gen. Rabbah 31:11]

The Malbim associates the dimensions of the Teva (Ark) as related to DIVINE NAMES and the Kabbala spends time on this and the Zohar or light built in the upper area above the windows is a hint to the heavenly Rakiah above the Divine Chariot (Yechezkiel Chapter 1) with all the mystical significance mentioned there. As I mentioned in past years the physical stowage or holding capacity of the Teva was equal to railroad box cars lined up for 25 miles or 40 kilometers – Rabbi Avigdor Miller.

Bottom [compartments], second-story [compartments], and third-story [compartments]: three stories, one above the other; the upper compartments were for people, the middle ones for [animal] dwellings, and the bottom ones for waste matter. — [from Sanh. 108b]

It would appear to me that unless mankind had a waste management program before the flood the waste would be thrown perhaps not in the first 40 days and nights but later on overboard. I say this because the gases and stench of the decomposition would be too much or occupants of the Teva to take. Bears and other animals would most likely hibernate for about six months – that would be well according to the Tana who holds that the flood occurred in Mar Cheshvan as the bears would have eaten for the summer. But according to the Tana who holds that the flood occurred in Iyar, the bears in the spring are lean and could not hibernate – only if miraculously Salmon and other fished jumped through the window into the bear, lion, tiger, etc. cages. Still the job of feeding the animals would be tremendous unless there was a hopper system with auto-feed to the animals in place. This idea would be based on the fact that Tubal-Kayn and others did invent things prior to the flood. Still each cage would have to be checked daily that the system was working and each cage would have to be cleaned. Certain insects and reptiles would also pose a greater storage management problem than the mammals. I really don’t know how zoos manage all these creatures.

17 And I, behold, I do bring the flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; every thing that is in the earth shall perish. 18 But I will establish My covenant with thee; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee. 19 And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. 20 Of the fowl after their kind, and of the cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive. 21 And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them.' 22 Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.

And I, behold I am bringing: Behold I am ready to agree with those [angels] who urged Me long ago (Ps. 8:5):“What is man that You should remember him?” - [Gen. Rabbah 31:12]

The flood: Heb. הַמַבּוּל that wore out (בִּלָה) everything; that mixed up (בִּלְבֵּל) everything; that transported (הוֹבִיל) everything from the high [ground] to the low [ground]. This [the last interpretation] is [the basis for] the rendering of Onkelos: טוֹפָנָא, a flood [from טוּף, to float], because it caused everything to float and brought them down to Babylon, which is deep, and this is why it was called Shinar, because all those who died in the Flood were shaken out (נִנְעִרוּ) there. — [Yer. Ber. 4:1, Gen. Rabbah 37:4] the flood, water

And I will set up MY covenant with you: A covenant was necessary for the fruits, so that they should not rot and become putrid, and so that the wicked of the generation should not kill him. — [from Gen. Rabbah 31:12]

You and your sons, and your wife: the men separately and the women separately. From here, we deduce that they were prohibited to engage in marital relations [in the ark]. — [Sanh. 108b]

Of the fowl after its kind: (Gen. Rabbah) [Note that this derash is not found in Gen. Rabbah, but in Tan. Noach 12] Those that mated with their kind, and did not corrupt their way, and came by themselves, and all that the ark accepted, [i.e., the ark repulsed the unfit animals and did not let them enter], he brought into it. — [Sanh. 108b, Tan. ad loc., Zev. 116a, Gen. Rabbah 32:8 from 7:16; Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer ch. 23 from ibid. 15; only Mid. Hagadol from this verse]

The whole building process was over years of work and the collecting of the animals a long time too. There are some that say this lasted 120 or 100 years (see the Rashi on 14 above). It was called Noach’s folly by his generation. Despite his warnings to them that G-D was going to cause a flood, they just laughed at him. Prior to the flood, there was no mention of rain. There is a Medrash that says once there was a flood perhaps from an earth quake damming the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers and then bursting their banks in a massive flood that flooded 1/3rd of Babylon and wiping out a large number of people. Still the people chose to ignore Noach. Had they just believed enough to make an Ark for themselves of a smaller size, they too could have saved themselves even if they were not fully righteous just for the belief in G-D. This is the general command and the clean animals 7 pairs were to be taken for food and sacrifice after a year.

7:1 And the LORD said unto Noah: 'Come you and your entire house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before Me in this generation. 2 Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee seven and seven, each with his mate; and of the beasts that are not clean two [and two], each with his mate; 3 of the fowl also of the air, seven and seven, male and female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth. 4 For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I blot out from off the face of the earth.' 5 And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him. 6 And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth. 7 And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood. … 11 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.

And Noah…and his sons: The men separately and the women separately, because they were prohibited from engaging in marital relations since the world was steeped in pain. — [Tan. 11]

because of the flood waters: Noah, too, was of those who had little faith, believing and not believing that the Flood would come, and he did not enter the ark until the waters forced him to do so. — [Gen. Rabbah 32:6]

The second Rashi reminds me of my grandfather who had $300,000 in Switzerland and thought to retire in Austria when Hitler made Anschluss. As a result he brought the money back to Austria instead of looking for a safer place to retire with his money. Back in 1938 and 1939 that money was like $6,000,000 or more today.

On interest alone he could have retired with honor.

Here too we find a dispute between whether the 2nd month is Iyar which is after the rainy season in Eretz Yisrael or Mar Cheshvan which is the start of the rainy season in Eretz Yisrael. The Tanya who holds by Iyar presents a larger miracle. Eventually every thing died and the Malbim holds disintegrated. However, it appears to me that according to the laws of nature they would become fish/shark food.

8:1 And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that were with him in the ark; and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged;

And God remembered: Heb. אֱלֹהִים This name represents the Divine Standard of Justice, which was converted to the Divine Standard of Mercy through the prayer of the righteous. But the wickedness of the wicked converts the Divine Standard of Mercy to the Divine Standard of Justice, as it is said: (above 6:5ff.):“And the Lord (י-ה-ו-ה) saw that the evil of man was great, etc. And the Lord (י-ה-ו-ה) said, ‘I will blot out, etc.’” although that name is the name of the Divine Standard of Mercy. — [Gen. Rabbah 33:3, Sukkah 14a] That Noah prayed in the ark appears in Tan. Noach 11, Aggadah Beresheis 7:3, Sefer HaYashar.

And God remembered Noah, etc.: What did He remember regarding the animals? The merit that they did not corrupt their way before this [the Flood], and that they did not copulate in the ark. — [Tan. Buber Noach 11, Yer. Ta’an. 1:6]

And God caused a spirit to pass: A spirit of consolation and calm passed before Him. — [Targum Jonathan and Yerushalmi]

Over the earth: Concerning [events on] the earth.

And the waters subsided: Heb. וַיָשֹׁכָּוּ, like (Esther 2: 1): “when the king’s fury subsided,” an expression of the calming of anger. — [from Tan. Buber Noach 12]

Could HE have forgotten Noach? – of course not – however it made it did appear to Noach like a child with his parent watching that he was being ignored.

…20 And Noah built an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt-offerings on the altar. 21 And the LORD smelled the sweet savor; and the LORD said in His heart: 'I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. 22 While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.'

from his youth: This is written: מִנְעֻרָיו [i.e., without a “vav”] [implying that] from the time that he [the embryo] shakes himself [נִנְעָר] to emerge from his mother’s womb, the evil inclination is placed in him. — [from Gen. Rabbah 34:10]

I will no longer…and I will no longer: He repeated the words to denote an oath. That is what is written (Isa. 54:9): “That I swore that the waters of Noah shall never again pass over the earth,” and we do not find an oath concerning this matter except in this [statement, in] which He repeated His words, and this [repetition denotes that it] is an oath. So did our Sages expound in Tractate Shavuot (36a).

So long as the earth exists… shall not cease: Each of these six seasons has two months, as we learned: Half of Tishri, Marcheshvan, and half of Kislev are “seedtime.” Half of Kislev, Tevet, and half of Shevat are the “cold” season, etc. in B.M.(106b). (Other editions add:

Winter: Heb. חֹרֶף, the time for sowing barley and beans, which are early (חִרִיפִין) to ripen quickly. The cold period is half of Shevat, Adar, and half of Nissan.

Summer: קַיִץ This is half of Sivan, Tamuz, and half of Av, which is the time of the gathering of the figs and the time when they dry them in the fields, and it (the dried fig) is קַיִץ, as (II Sam. 16:2):“the bread and the dried fruits (וְהַקַיִץ) for the young men to eat.”

And day and night shall not cease: From here we deduce that they ceased for the duration of the Flood: the planets did not function, and day was indistinguishable from night. — [from Gen. Rabbah 25:2, 34:11]


To me it appears that before the flood, the seasons were like in Hawaii which has a basic temperature range from 60 to 80 F or 17 to 25C all year around. The season came about as a result of massive upheavals and changes on the globe.

The Malbim concurs with my view by bringing scientific evidence of bodies of Elephants and Monkeys which live in warmer climates being discovered in digs in the Artic Circle. The most famous being the Mammoth with buttercups undigested in its stomach embedded in a glacier indicating sudden and massive upheaval on the planet not giving the animal even time to flee southward but instant free.

9:1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them: 'Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth. 2 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, and upon all wherewith the ground teems, and upon all the fishes of the sea: into your hand are they delivered.

How can it be that sometimes animals do attack men? A Chassidic Rebbe was once riding in a coach in the forest and wolves were getting closer and closer to the coach and the horses. Everybody was in panic. The Rebbe after finishing up what he was doing opened up the window and stuck his head out and the wolves ceased. The coachman and the passengers asked him how this could be. “Simply”, he replied, “When somebody looks like a man and behaves the way G-D wants him, the animals fear him. If not and he acts like a beast, the animals see him not as a man and will attack him.” (Those who understand will understand and those who don’t, better still.)

3 Every moving thing that lives shall be for food for you; as the green herb have I given you all. 4 Only flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. 5 And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it; and at the hand of man, even at the hand of every man's brother, will I require the life of man. 6 Whoso sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God made He man. 7 And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; swarm in the earth, and multiply therein.

The above are the 7 mitzvos of the Bnei Noach one can google ‘Commandments of the children of Noah’ for further details.

10:1 Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japheth; and unto them were sons born after the flood. 2 The sons of Japheth: Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras.

I put in red these people/places because they have to do with the coming of the Moshiach and the war of Gog.

8 And Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one in the earth. 9 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; wherefore it is said: 'Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the LORD.'

Rabbi A. Miller wrote that he inherited the garment of Kayn that allowed him to hunt and Esav killed him as he was a dictator and took the garment and Esav became a great hunter too. The main reason for bringing down Nimrod is that he was the king who threw Avraham into the furnace along with Haran.

10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. 11 Out of that land went forth Asshur, and built Nineveh, and Rehoboth-ir, and Calah,

This I bring down because of the Prophet Yonah.

12 and Resen between Nineveh and Calah--the same is the great city…. 21 And unto Shem, the father of all the children of Eber, the elder brother of Japheth, to him also were children born. 22 The sons of Shem: Elam, and Asshur, and Arpachshad, and Lud, and Aram. 23 And the sons of Aram: Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Mash. 24 And Arpachshad begot Shelah; and Shelah begot Eber. 25 And unto Eber were born two sons; the name of the one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother's name was Joktan. 26 And Joktan begot Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah; 27 and Hadoram, and Uzal, and Diklah; 28 and Obal, and Abimael, and Sheba; 29 and Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab; all these were the sons of Joktan. 30 And their dwelling was from Mesha, as thou go toward Sephar, unto the mountain of the east. 31 These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations. 32 These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations; and of these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood.

11:1 And the whole earth was of one language and of one speech. 2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. 3 And they said one to another: 'Come, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly.' And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. 4 And they said: 'Come, let us build us a city, and a tower, with its top in heaven, and let us make us a name; lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.'

The Medrash states that one third of this tower settled underground, one third remained and the top third was destroyed. Many non-Jews Scholars picture it as either this something similar in nature:

5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men built. 6 And the LORD said: 'Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is what they begin to do; and now nothing will be withheld from them, which they purpose to do. 7 Come, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.' 8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth; and they left off to build the city. 9 Therefore was the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth; and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

This whole section was brought down to teach mankind about the dispersion of mankind to the various nations and languages. The sin of Bavel is not mentioned here.

10 These are the generations of Shem. Shem was a hundred years old, and begot Arpachshad two years after the flood. 11 And Shem lived after he begot Arpachshad five hundred years, and begot sons and daughters. 12 And Arpachshad lived five and thirty years, and begot Shelah. 13 And Arpachshad lived after he begot Shelah four hundred and three years, and begot sons and daughters. 14 And Shelah lived thirty years, and begot Eber. 15 And Shelah lived after he begot Eber … 16 And Eber lived four and thirty years, and begot Peleg. 17 And Eber lived after he begot Peleg four hundred and thirty years, and begot sons and daughters. 18 And Peleg lived thirty years, and begot Reu. … begat Nahor begat Terah. …26 And Terah lived seventy years, and begot Abram, Nahor, and Haran. 27 Now these are the generations of Terah. Terah begot Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begot Lot. 28 And Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees.

All this is to allow the children of Avraham to trace back their roots to Adam HaRishon. Up to this point the wives are modest background players in our narrative and not mentioned.

29 And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram's wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah. 30 And Sarai was barren; she had no child. 31 And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his son's son, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there. 32 And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years; and Terah died in Haran.

Haran was one of the few areas where one could live free from the dictatorship of Nimrod. Haran is located in Eastern Turkey close to the Kurdish area today and the rugged terrain kept out the forces of Nimrod from bothering with the few tribes in this area.

Halacha/Chofetz Chaim on Mitzvos

One may not eat nor drink Chametz (leaven) on Pessach. One may not even derive benefit from Chametz during Pessach (e.g. by burning it and enjoying the heat). One who eats an olive-worth of Chametz on Pessach on purpose, gets punished with the heavenly punishment of Kares. If one eats it accidentally one owes a Chatas-sacrifice when the temple will be rebuilt (speedily in our days). Applies to everybody, everywhere during Pessach. Pasuk: ...and do not eat Chametz... (Shemos 13:3) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Negative Mitzvah 4

During Pessach one may not eat any mixture of foods that include Chametz (leaven). If the quantity that one ate included an olive-worth of Chametz, then one has transgressed this Mitzvah. Applies to everybody, everywhere during Pessach. Pasuk: Any mixture of Chametz do not eat (Shemos 12:20)

Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Negative Mitzvah 5

One may not do any of the 39 categories of forbidden work on Shabbat. (See for a list.)

One also has to ensure that ones animals are not doing forbidden work. Since the laws of Shabbat are numerous, complicated and are applicable every week, one should be sure to study them thoroughly and review them often. Asking a non-Jew to do work for a Jew on Shabbat is forbidden by Rabbinical decree. Saving lives takes precedence over Shabbat observance. Shabbat is one of the bonds between Hashem and the Jewish people, and one who purposely transgresses the Shabbat publicly has the status of a non-Jew (for being counted in a Minyan or a Mezuzah, touching wine, being a witness, etc.) Applies to everybody, everywhere, every Shabbat. Pasuk: Do not do any work (4th of the Ten Commandments, Shemos 20:10) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Negative Mitzvah 6

The Torah forbids one to walk more than 12 Meel (about 12 Km) beyond the city limit on Shabbat, (according to the Rambam and the Rif). By Rabbinic decree one may only walk 2,000 Amos (about 2 Km) beyond the city limit on Shabbat, unless one extends it by another 2,000 Amos with an Eruv-Techumim. Inside a city one may walk without limit. Applies to everybody, everywhere, every Shabbat. Pasuk: Nobody should leave their place on Shabbat (Shemos 15:23) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Negative Mitzvah 7

It's a Mitzvah to fear and be in awe of Hashem. Fear and awe of Hashem is acquired by studying the awesome ways in which Hashem runs the world.

When one has the chance to do a sin and decides to refrain because Hashem watches everything we do, one has fulfilled the Mitzvah of fearing Hashem. Applies to everybody all the time, everywhere. Pasuk: You shall fear Hashem your G-d (Devarim 6:13) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Positive Mitzvah 4

One must be prepared to be killed - or lose all ones money - in order to publicize ones belief in Hashem and the Jewish laws. One must be prepared to be killed rather than agree to convert to another religion. Even pretending to agree to convert - in order to save ones life - is forbidden. One must be prepared to be killed rather than transgress any of the sins in the Torah publicly; i.e. in the presence of 10 Jews.

In private (without 10 Jews present) one must be be prepared to be killed rather than transgress one of the 3 cardinal sins: Idol worship, Adultery and Murder.
This applies even if the request comes from somebody with altruistic - and not religious - reasons. At a time of Shmad - when by law one may not be Jewish - one must be prepared to be killed rather than transgress any sin - even in private. One who is killed in the presence of 10 Jews rather than transgressing (as above) has done a public Kiddush Hashem and has attained the highest level of worshipping Hashem that one can reach.

Applies to everybody, all the time, everywhere. Pasuk: I shall be sanctified amongst the Bnei Yisrael (Yavikra 22:32)

Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Positive Mitzvah 5

On Rosh Chodesh one says Hallel after the Amida - but one skips 2-half paragraphs. Hallel must be said standing, and one may not interrupt the Hallel by talking. If the congregation is saying Hallel while one is saying Psukei D'Zimra, one says Hallel with them, without its opening and closing Bracha. (This can only be done on days that one says the shortened "half"-Hallel.) If one arrives late to Schul and the congregation is already up to Hallel, one says Hallel with them, and then one starts ones morning prayers. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 97:4

Causing a person's blood to drain from his face is considered murder. In Hebrew, embarrassing somebody is referred to as מלבין פני חברו - whitening a fellowman's face; since the blood drains from his face when embarrassed. Embarrassing somebody is forbidden - whether verbally or otherwise - and could make one lose ones portion in Olam Haba - the world to come. Embarrassing somebody is forbidden both in private and obviously in public. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 29:17

Stories and Parables

From Gene and F. Sinai posted this about Lashon Hara:

A tsunami starts quietly, hidden within the depths of the sea. A tsunami explodes- this one with the force of 9.5 million pounds of TNT- the equivalent of 23,000 of the atomic bombs that fell on Hiroshima. A tsunami erupts miles beneath the surface, so that a person drifting peacefully upon a small boat in the open sea, will notice nothing. A tsunami destructive forces surge forth beneath the surface, racing at speeds of up to 500 miles per hour. A tsunami can cause destruction thousands of miles away from its point of origin. It can travel 3,000 miles across the ocean, retaining its full power until it reaches its destination. A tsunami is uniquely deadly among all of nature’s destructive forces. No other force of nature can move this far, this fast and this quietly. Its victims only recognize what is hitting them when it is too late.

Tsunami is similar to Lashon Hara! Lashon hara stars quietly, hidden within the course of daily conversation.. Lashon hara explodes with immeasurable destructive force… Lashon hara spoken at a social gathering, as a person drifts peacefully through a conversation, can completely escape his notice. And yet a power has been unleashed that could surface years from that moment, and destroy someone’s friendship, business or even marriage. Lashon hara destructive forces surge forth, unseen, traveling, at the speed of sound. Lashon hara can cause destruction thousands of miles away from its point of origin. It can travel 3,000 miles across the ocean, retaining its full power until it reaches its destination. Lashon hara is a uniquely deadly force. No other destructive force can move this far, this fast and this quietly. Its victims only recognize what is hitting them when it is already late.

In this week portion of Torah, Parshat Beresheis we are introduced to the nahash (snake). The first malshin (slanderer, gossiper) that slandered behind Hashem. The snake was cursed and punished.

What was his punishment? Originally, the snake looked like a human being with hands and feet, now it was cut off. He had to crawl on the ground and the dirt became his food. This is a general formula for an expert slanderer. First they get a boost and a name by slandering and putting down others. But it’s very temporarily and they will end up crawling on the ground like the snake. And their curse will be that whatever they gain; money, wealth… it will turn to dirt, they will loose it all and they will never get to enjoy it.

Please do not hiss at least for your own sake.

Binyamin Jadidi

This story comes from R’ A.L. you might think it fiction but I hate to tell you this but it reminded me of a Holocaust survivor who met his wife in Israel and would visit her daily where my mother of blessed memory was in the Alzheimer Home in Ramat Gan. He would hold her hand for some time each day until about noon. RP

It was a busy morning, about 8:30, when an elderly gentleman in his 80's arrived at the hospital to have stitches removed from his thumb. He said he was in a hurry as he an appointment at 9:00 am.

I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would be able to see him. I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound. On exam, it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove the sutures and redress the wound.

While taking care of his wound, I asked him if he had another doctor's appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry.

The gentleman told me no, then he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife. I inquired as to her health.

He told me she had been there for a while and the she was a victim of Alzheimer's Disease. As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a little bit late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in the past five years now. I was surprised, and asked him, "And you still go every morning, even though she doesn't know who you are??"

He smiled as he patted my hand and said, "She doesn't know me, but I still know who she is." I had to hold back tears as he left, I had goose bumps on my arm, and thought, "That is the kind of love I want in my life." True love is neither physical, nor romantic. True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be. With all the jokes and fun that are in e-mails, sometimes there is one that comes along that has an important message. This one I thought I could share with you.

The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have. "Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain."

Now for M. Wolfberg’s story scoop.

Good Shabbos Everyone. Perhaps the greatest source of happiness in our lives is knowing that life has meaning. This week we are going to talk about how to make our lives more meaningful. When life has meaning, everyday is a happy day. The primary source of meaning in life is knowing that Hashem created us for a purpose and Hashem gave us a mission to carry out, which is detailed in the Torah.
This week is Parshas Bereishis, we read “In the beginning Hashem created the Heaven and the Earth.” This is the first and the most famous line of the Torah, and it is perhaps the most important principle for us to recognize. Hashem created the earth and everything on it and Hashem created everything for a reason. According to Rashi, the Torah begins this way to establish Hashem’s sovereignty over the universe. The first step to having meaning in life is believing in Hashem. The following story will inspire us to believe that there is a Ruler over the world.
Gershon Ber Jacobson was a well known journalist, according to some he was the journalist's journalist. He wrote for several major newspapers around the world, was fluent in many languages including French, English, Yiddish, Russian, Georgian and Hebrew, had a fluent, often stirring style, an eye for often uncomfortable detail and an unquenchable drive for often life-threatening scoops,.
But in addition to all this, or perhaps we should say foremost, he was a totally observant Jew and a devoted Chassid (follower) of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, perhaps the greatest, most erudite Jewish leader in history who teaches his followers to do everything possible to improve mankind. And it saved his life at least once.
The scene was immediately after the Six-Day war. Israel had decimated the combined armies of Egypt, Syria and the other Arab nations surrounding them and the idea popped into the mind of Gershon Ber, who at the time was the chief correspondent in New York for the Israeli newspaper 'Idiot Achronot' the biggest daily in Israel, to get a really hot story. He decided that the scoop of scoops would be to get into Egypt and get an interview with none other than the Prime Minister himself; Abdul Nasser!
He began to go about getting the necessary papers, when he got a phone call from another important personage from the 'other side' of the coin; 'Isar Harel' the head of the Israeli Secret Service the 'Mossad'. "Jacobson are you insane?" he screamed, "Listen, we have information that if you go through with this you'll never come back. Why, they'll arrest you as a spy and you'll never get out of jail! And we won't be in a position to help you! Do you understand? Don't go! And if you do we will take no responsibility!"
Jacobson thanked Harel, hung up the phone and called the headquarters of the Lubabvither Rebbe. It wasn't long before he got a reply. The Rebbe said he definitely should go but he should do the following things 1) Take several pairs of new Tefillin 2) Take a new 'sh'chita' knife for slaughtering birds 3) check into the best room in the most expensive hotel 4) before leaving write short letters to all his friends and important acquaintances telling them he is in Egypt and mail them as soon as you arrive 5) as soon as he enters the hotel call all the foreign ambassadors living in Egypt and 5) at the first opportunity visit the Jewish community there.
Gershon Ber did exactly what the Rebbe told him and a week or two landed in Cairo. He told the driver to take him to the finest hotel and on the way he stopped at the post office and mailed the letters he had written. Then he checked in to his room and immediately set about calling all the foreign representatives in Egypt as the Rebbe said. And the response was fantastic!
In fact one of the ambassadors was so impressed (he claimed that in the fifteen years he was in Egypt no one had ever called him) he insisted on coming to see him and when he arrived insisted on being Jacobson's personal driver!
"Very well!" he answered. "Then let's go visit the Jewish community here." With the ambassador (I heard it was the representative from Canada) as his driver they pulled up at the home of the head of the Jewish community. Jacobson brought greetings from the Rebbe and began asking journalist questions; how was life in Egypt, Was there anti-Semitism, was anything affected by the Six Day War? etc. etc.
The community leader answered that although there was not overt anti-Semitism it was nevertheless very difficult for them to get around and impossible for them to contact the outside world. For instance what they really needed were a few pairs of tefillin (phylacteries) because several had become disqualified for use and a sh'chita knife for slaughtering chickens because the one they had somehow broke and was irreparable. But they couldn't get out of Egypt to get these things replaced.
You can imagine his joy and amazement when he produced exactly these items and told him how the Lubavitcher Rebbe somehow sensed their need. Jacobson got the interview with Nasser and when he arrived safely back in New York he got another call from …. Isar Harel. "Listen Jacobson. We know for SURE that they were planning to arrest you for spying. But when you got there and made such a storm with those letters and phone calls they didn't want to arouse adverse public opinion. Tell me, where did you get the idea to do those letters and phone calls?" Good Shabbos Everyone.

Mr. Wolfberg’s Shabbos sponsored by: Refuah Shleima to Mordechai Menachem Mendel ben Tziporah Yitta Refuah Shleima to Tsviah bas Bracha Leah

In memory of Shosha Malka bas R' Avrohom 21 Cheshvan Refuah Shleimah to Chana Ashayra bas Dodi

Be well and have a great Shabbos. Mazel Tov to Leah Gila and Ariel Pasternak on the Bar Mitzvah of my eldest grandson this Shabbos,

Rachamim Pauli