Friday, November 27, 2009

The Birth Pangs of Moshiach and a survival guide.

A short time after I sent out my prayer list last week, I noticed that Aharon Michael ben Leah was removed from my source prayer list so please discontinue saying Tehillim for him. Keep praying for Yulia (Julie) bas Naomi Sarah, I spoke today on the phone with her aunt and she will need to have infusions for the next 3 weeks and after that I will update everybody. My Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Yechiel Yehuda Lieb London Shlita is able to sit in a wheel chair and I got to speak to him today.

Eliyokum wrote: "Stop whining and complaining about life and start appreciating what you have. Don't be an idiot like Esau and spurn the only thing that matters in life...spirituality and closeness with Hashem. The Jews were given the most important thing in life, the Torah."

The slow recovery of the youngster Yehuda ben Chava Rivka and be followed on:

The Birth Pangs of Moshiach and a survival guide.

I dislike spreading fire and brimstone – but as I wrote in the title this is a survival guide. Rashi in Shemos regarding the plague of darkness writes; Shemos 10.21 The Lord said to Moses, "Stretch forth your hand toward the heavens, and there will be darkness over the land of Egypt, and the darkness will become darker." 22. So Moses stretched forth his hand toward the heavens, and there was thick darkness over the entire land of Egypt for three days.

and there was thick darkness… for three days, etc.: Thick darkness in which they did not see each other for those three days, and another three days of darkness twice as dark as this, so that no one rose from his place. If he was sitting, he was unable to stand, and if he was standing, he was unable to sit. Now why did He bring darkness upon them [the Egyptians]? Because there were among the Israelites in that generation wicked people who did not want to leave [Egypt]. They died during the three days of darkness, so that the Egyptians would not see their downfall and say, “They too are being smitten like us.” Also, the Israelites searched [the Egyptians’ dwellings during the darkness] and saw their [own] belongings. When they were leaving [Egypt] and asked [for some of their things], and they [the Egyptians] said, “We have nothing,” he [the Israelite] would say to him, “I saw it in your house, and it is in such and such a place.” -[from Jonathan; Tanchuma, Bo 3; Tanchuma, Va’era 14; Tanchuma Buber, Bo 3]

Now we know that the deeds and happenings of our forefathers are signs for the children. We learn in another Rashi or the Medrash that 4 out of 5 of the Bnei Yisrael perished = 80%. We are told according to our Sages that 2/3rds of the world will perish in the war of Gog and Magog or over four billion people. Now this will this happen but who will survive. I cannot guarantee my own survival or yours but I can give you measures that will get you a higher probability of surviving.

When the war of Gog and Magog will occur the whole world will change due to the war. The war will start out with the followers of Yishmael making a Jihad on the whole world. The war will have atomic, biological and chemical weapons. For it says: 16:12 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. His hand will be on anything without worrying about the consequences and kicking around and stubborn as a jackass.

This war will continue until some “genius” gets the brilliant idea for “peace” and blame everything on Israel and then the major attack will occur against Israel for them to split Yerushalayim for worship between themselves. Then “On the mountains of Yisrael you will fall.”

During the first part of the war, the Muslims in China and far away countries will be inspired by their spiritual brethren to make a Jihad and kill millions upon millions of civilians. Then some Christians in Belgistan, Paris and Londonstan will wake up and Detroit, parts of Brooklyn, NJ, etc. will become battle grounds like Europe and the States have not seen before and the death rates will jump with dirty bombs, chemical weapons and biological weapons which will even go against their own co-religionist their main thought is the Jihad and Shahidim (martyrs).

During this war the wicked from Bnei Yisrael and the wicked from Goyim will perish and only a minority of the people will survive. Some families will fare better than others and some will completely disappear while others will just have a remnant.

One can now raise a question on why I write 80% of my co-religionists will be killed and ‘only’ 67% of those among the Nations of the world. Many of the people alive today are those from three time periods given a chance to repent. 1) Pre-flood where the people committed blood letting, disgusting sexual acts which violates the very nature of decency, idol worship (I could expand on this in modern terms with Hollywood or Sport Stars, Money, Fame, Power, etc.) and thievery. 2) The Generation of the splitting of mankind through the Tower of Bavel to make war against G-D. Where should I start with Communism, Fascism, Athleticism, Pro-Choice, Homosexuals, etc. …3) The generation of the mixed multitude in the desert who fought against Moshe Rabbaynu.

When the war of Gog and Magog will occur the whole world will change due to the war. The war will start out with the followers of Yishmael making a Jihad on the whole world. The war will have atomic, biological and chemical weapons. For it says: 16:12 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. His hand will be on anything without worrying about the consequences and kicking around and stubborn as a jackass.

This war will continue until some “genius” gets the brilliant idea for “peace” and blame everything on Israel and then the major attack will occur against Israel for them to split Yerushalayim for worship between themselves. Then “On the mountains of Yisrael you will fall.”

During the first part of the war, the Muslims in China and far away countries will be inspired by their spiritual brethren to make a Jihad and kill millions upon millions of civilians. Then some Christians in Belgistan, Paris and Londonstan will wake up and Detroit, parts of Brooklyn, NJ, etc. will become battle grounds like Europe and the States have not seen before and the death rates will jump with dirty bombs, chemical weapons and biological weapons which will even go against their own co-religionist their main thought is the Jihad and Shahidim (martyrs).

During this war the wicked from Bnei Yisrael and the wicked from Goyim will perish and only a minority of the people will survive. Some families will fare better than others and some will completely disappear while others will just have a remnant.

The mixed multitude is around today. Most of the Political Leaders in Israel, speakers of upper and lower chambers of governments’ world wide, went before Beis Din shel Maalah (The heavenly court) and claimed that they were not educated and intellectual enough to rule and were therefore the low level of society. So the Olmert type going against Judaism occurred in Israel and one does not have to be a Genius to see in the Press and USA and other places whom I am mentioning as these characters change with the voters opinions at the time until their going to oblivion in the war. There are religious leaders in Israel and among the 70 Goyim who are of this mixed multitude. “The longer the beard, the larger the thief” is a saying in Yiddish. I was flabbergasted at my finding of wickedness in the Charedi and Rabbinical Court System going on today. For every true Tzaddik like Rabbis Glixman, Feinstein, Soleveichik, London, The Lubavitcher, Gerer Rebbe, etc. there are perhaps 8-10 false Rabbis. I am sure among the Nations the number is equally depressing to true believers. Those who remember when I brought down Talmud Bavli Sotah 49 B a few years ago: “The truth will be absent and real heroes will be absent! On whom shall we trust? On our FATHER in heaven.”

A Rasha (wicked person) will be judged in heaven and see his evil inclination like a thin hair pulling him to evil while a Tzaddik will see a tremendous mountain before him trying to get him to fall into the pit. The Rasha will cry because of his judgement and that he succumbed to such a small Yetzer Hara and the Tzaddik will cry because he managed to overcome such a Yetzer. One will cry tears of woe and the other will cry tears of joy and be thankful to G-D for protecting him.

I left out one piece of our modern day puzzle. Up until now we have been under the party of the Yetzer. Riches, easy mortgages to luxury homes, promises of wealth from Ponzi scammers, delusions of the face heroes that the young look up from Hollywood where little miss constant virgin poses on the internet in very exposed pictures, a football hero murders his ex-wife and another furthers a dog fighting ring. We buy electronic equipment that perhaps half a generation ago were built to last and today after a few years or less our printers and computers fail us and we have to buy replacements. We are in a throw away age. Once upon a time a person would buy an automobile for 10 to 20 years on the road and a washing machine lasted for years upon years. Nowadays, everything is made purposely to fail after around four or five years so we will have to buy new ones. TV shows like “Father knows best”, “Leave it to beaver”, “Ozzie and Harriet”, etc. promoted family values and a good life. Instead we have the soap operas, all types of suggestive series and we wonder why more and more teens become pregnant and love is not that of Rivka and Yitzchak but consists of superficial things and lust. The wife gets fat during pregnancy makes it an automatic license to make fun of her and cheat by some superficial husbands. There is no such animal as “Unto Death do we part” in Judaism but people like Rabbi Sheinberg Shlita managed to stay married for 80 or more years to the passing of his wife. I guarantee you that her figure and spunk was not the same in her 90’s as in her 20’s but as the late Rabbi Aryeh Levine put it upon taking his wife to the doctor “My wife’s foot hurts us!” What has become of mankind today? The material world of Esav and the Satan and the ends justify the means will come crashing down perhaps not for good as Yacov too had wealth in this world, but it will no longer be the be all end all which it appears to be today.

Those that survive will see a lot of simple and honest people among themselves. There will be honest believing people who violated the three prime Mitzvos of Tahara HaMishpacha, Shabbos and Kashrus along with the very religious survivors who believed in G-D with all their might. What about people in between? The ones who heard from Joseph Goebbels that “Heaven is hell” or the ones today that are told that the millions who attend the tea parties are extreme right wing nut jobs. A person wanting to survive will fight against the lies and the Yetzer hara. He will instead remain steadfast in his faith in G-D the formula for survival is right here in these two sentences from Tehillim (Ps.) 1:1 Happy is the man that hath not walked in the counsel of the wicked, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in His law does he meditate day and night. This combined with constantly reviewing his deeds for repentance if necessary, prayer and charity will avert the evil decree. There is no guarantee carte-blank that he is going to live as sometimes a whole city is decreed evil like Sodom so Lot escaped not by his own merits but that of Avraham Avinu. Still Moshiach comes from his incestuous daughter.

In conclusion one must trust directly in G-D – just as G-D rose Avram and Sarai above their astrology to become Avraham and Sarah the fruitful parents, so too we can overcome this with repentance, prayer and charity. Some of us are better at repentance, some better at prayer and others a combination of both with charity beyond their means at times. Evil decrees and miracles can be made by true believers who put all their faith in HASHEM Yisborach. For in truth in the times of peril and terror to civilians by night and day there will be nobody to turn to. The IDF as strong as it is cannot fight off the armies of the entire world, miracles even greater than in the days of Moshe Rabbaynu will occur. People will realize among the survivors that the L-RD is one and we are his people. There will be still more of the righteous of Nations that will survive and these people will bind themselves unto the Bnei Yisrael that will survive.

One of my big Yetzer things is looking around for what will be in the war such as:

Whether you survive or not depends on your faith, deeds, prayers and charity. Remember Charity saves from death!

Epilogue: Signs of our times: You are guilty until being proven innocent. I find people on the internet that had a maternal grandmother who was Jewish while our “Rabbis” are making trouble for Orthodox Gerim and Jewish men and women without proof. Funny the Nazis were able to accept less proof to burn Jews in ovens but many “Rabbis” don’t accept people educating their children from birth through High School as Jewish. Only a dishonest person disqualifies an honest person with the liar’s own fault!!! – The Talmud. Just wait until Gog and Magog and the coming of Moshiach boy are we going to be surprised and who is not who and what is not what. Check out this news item about the “next war”.,7340,L-3810005,00.html

The following is Mussar for my fellow Jews about Sinas Chinam or groundless hatred and bigotry. When the Moshiach comes there will be no distinction between Yemenite Jews and Ethiopian Jews or Pashtun Jews and the blond Jews from Northern and Eastern Europe will no longer poke fun at these people and the Halabi Jews will marry with non-Halabi Jews and the Western Jews with the Eastern Jews and the Sephardim with the Ashkenazim. No longer with the Tunisian Jews thumb their noses at the Moroccan Jews and the European Jews will not call these people by derogatory names and visa versa. For during the war of Gog and Magog, it will be the eastern Jews and the western Jews fighting side by side like in most infantry units or tank units today. One will have his life depending on the other. They will be friends and a friend will perhaps marry a sister of a friend and the usual bigotry will disappear. The tribes will blend and the past rivalries and snobbism will disappear for haters cannot exist with G-D and the Moshiach.

Toldos - The Blessings of Yacov

The second incident is Yitzchak’s desire to bless his oldest son and Yitzchak wanted to do it with the most tasty and pleasurable food so that he would be in a good mood to bless during such a moment. We must remember that Esav was very pedantic on honoring his father to his face; behind his back was a different story. Yacov was a far second in honoring his father. However, Esav had little respect for the Mussar of his mother while Yacov’s test was to listen to her order to take the blessing against the honor that Yacov had for his father even at the risk of eternal damnation of himself or his mother for the sake of honoring his mother’s wishes.

The rivalry with Esav started in the womb but continued to fierce anti-semitism with Amalek and plenty of groundless hatred through the centuries.,7340,L-3806502,00.html

27:1 And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his elder son, and said unto him: 'My son'; and he said unto him: 'Here am I.'

Rashi explains what is meant by old it is five years of age before one of his parents passed away. Since he just turned 123 and his mother passed away at 127, it was time to make a blessing. Now either Yitzchak had a cataract or some other eye condition that he was no longer able to see. Do not be surprised by this at the age of 98 Bob Hope had a condition of blindness and at the age of 105 plus or minus, Rav Schach had this condition too. There is a Medrash that claims because when Yitzchak was on the Misbayach (altar) to be a Korban (sacrifice) that he looked at the Shechina of G-D and was blinded by the glory. Still just slightly before the blessing he became blind as he had been blinded or years of Esav’s false honor towards his person but not his righteous ways. {Did you even encounter a lazy louse in your office who would work all day like stirring liquid in a cup of coffee while you worked yourself to the bone because it was your nature to do so. In the end he got the raise through his public relations stunt and you got held back because a person who works makes mistakes either once in a hundred or thousand and a person who spins the water around remains the same when the water stop spinning.}

2 And he said: 'Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death.

Yitzchak was going to live another 57 years, but not knowing the time of ones death makes him want to repent. For if one knew that he had another 57 years to live he might act carefree and not be in a constant state of readiness to meet his MAKER.

3 Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me venison;

Esav was such an expert hunter with a keen eye at a distance that he could with an arrow sharpened like a kosher slaughtering knife – slaughter the animal. The flint as a kosher instrument of slaughter is mentioned in Meseches Chulim first chapter.

4 and make me savory food, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die.'

Both would be getting in the mood for the blessing. Yitzchak would be in a well satisfied and good mood to add to the blessing and Esav that his father had given him such trust with his hunting and good mood. The Artscroll brings now that Yitzchak did give an order to Esav to sharpen his arrows for a glatt kosher slaughter.

5 And Rebekah heard when Isaac spoke to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it.

Yitzchak was blind in more than one way. Being a Tzaddik the son of a Tzaddik, it was hard to imagine that Esav, the son who according him such honor, was lose in his observance if not at all of all the Mitzvos. Rivka having be raised next to the deceitful Lavan in Aram was aware of con-artists and the wicked and saw through and through Esav. Rivka viewed Yacov as a true Tzaddik and after what Shem had told her about the two Nations in her womb she knew very well which child was which.

6 And Rebekah spoke unto Jacob her son, saying: 'Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying: 7 Bring me venison, and make me savory food, that I may eat, and bless thee before the LORD before my death. 8 Now therefore, my son, hearken to my voice according to that which I command thee.

Yacov was now put through the test of listening to his mother for true love at all risk being cursed or having his mother cursed by listening to her. For doing this he earned himself the blessing of Avraham. The urgency in her voice was like that of Avraham when he said hurry in order to feed and entertain the Angels.

9 Go now to the flock, and fetch me from thence two good kids of the goats; and I will make them savory food for thy father, such as he loves;

This was a hint to two future goats in the Beis HaMikdash, the one sacrificed and the one sent to die in the wilderness – the scapegoat with the sins of all
Am Yisrael. With the all the spices it was definitely impossible to tell the difference between a goat, KOY, YAEL or deer. The two in capital letters are as follows a cross between a deer and a kid and the other is the type of small deer found around Ein Gedi and the Dead Sea area. The deer would be more the those in the USA which are found more in the wooded areas such as the Ramat HaGolan today.

10 and you shall bring it to thy father, that he may eat, so that he may bless thee before his death.'

Yacov was reluctant to deceive his father and act dishonestly. It was against his very nature.

11 And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother: 'Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man.

There is a physical difference which a blind mad can easily recognize. Now Yacov is doing heroics to honor Rivka and avoid deceiving Yitzchak. The biggest loser will be Yacov.

12 My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a mocker; and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing.'

This is true and Yacov was sorely afraid as a blessing from a Tzaddik is a blessing and a curse is a curse. Again more excuses and heroics.

13 And his mother said unto him: 'Upon me be thy curse, my son; only hearken to my voice, and go fetch me them.'

I will take upon my head to receive eternal cursing from your father for you. A true mother will risk all for her children. The Rashbam states that she had complete faith in the prophecy that the older will serve the younger. The Chiskuni writes that “He, himself, will perceive that I am responsible for this and will not curse you.” This makes sense because probably as he heard it she waited a few minutes until Esav went his merry way and yelled for Yacov to come from the field. In this way, Yitzchak would know that what he said to Esav was only for the ears of three people – himself, Esav and Rivka. Yacov was out in the fields tending the flock at the time.

14 And he went, and fetched, and brought them to his mother; and his mother made savory food, such as his father loved.

Yacov did it with the haste that Rivka requested but reluctantly and the food being his favorite would make him filled with delight.

15 And Rebekah took the choicest garments of Esau her elder son, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son.

The Choicest garments were that of Adam which contained the smell of Gan Eden on them still. They were handed down until Nimrod took them over and Esav upon killing Nimrod took the garments for himself. He cleaned them and set them aside for use in serving his father in clean and pleasant smelling garments. (Now the opposite is true for Auschwitz where the smell of death from the crematoriums lingers to this day 64.5 years later – one is blessed and one is cursed.)

16 And she put the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck.

The fact of the matter is that a blind man should have been able to tell the difference between goat hair and human hair however HASHEM made a miracle and wonder and Yitzchak did not distinguish. Some say that at the age of 123 also his sense of touch was weakened. According to the commentaries, Yacov aged 63 asked Rivka to dress him in the garments mentioned in lines 15 and 16 so that he would be innocent of this trick.

17 And she gave the savory food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob. 18 And he came unto his father, and said: 'My father'; and he said: 'Here am I; who art thou, my son?'

Yacov swallows what is in his throat out of fear and goes in to face his father with humility and trembling about what is to come..

19 And Jacob said unto his father: 'I am Esau thy first-born;

The Hebrew allows for a better interpretation. “It is I; Esav is your first-born.” Yacov kept to the real truth and Yitzchak thought what he thought.

I have done according as thou bade me.

Again, Rivka did all the work except for bringing the two goats and Yacov has actually done nothing except perhaps bring in the meal to his father.

Arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me.'

He spoke in a more genteel way than Esav usually talked. His one was of high class respect vs. Esav’s gruff way of speaking.

20 And Isaac said unto his son: 'How is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son?' And he said: 'Because the LORD thy God sent me good speed.'

Now Yitzchak become suspicious. Yacov was always talking about HASHEM ELOKAYNU and Esav would refrain from that type of talk. Yitzchak would think that Esav is G-D fearing like most of the very pious today whom only use the ADO and HAY in prayers and not in everyday language. Rivka knew better for just as I don’t go around talking about Buddha, Allah or Yeshu so too Esav about the names of G-D. Yacov was a G-D fearing man while Esav could not give a hoot about G-D

21 And Isaac said unto Jacob: 'Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not.' 22 And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said: 'The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau.'

Yacov talked more refined and educated in Torah and Esav was more interested in strategy, hunting, sports, money, wine, women and song – The blessing was for this world which would be more for Esav anyway. Rivka on the other hand wanted Yacov to receive the blessing so that he would have sufficient means to learn and observe the Torah. There is nothing wrong with a person being spiritual like Rebbe and one of the richest men in Eretz Yisrael and a friend of Cesar Antoninus.

23 And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau's hands; so he blessed him. 24 And he said: 'Art thou my very son Esau?' And he said: 'I am.'

Yitzchak’s intonation showed that he was already convenienced that this was his son Esav before him. He then concluded that the refined statements and use of HASHEM is because Esav wanted a stronger blessing from Esav the perfect sacrifice before HASHEM.

25 And he said: 'Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son's venison, that my soul may bless thee.' And he brought it near to him, and he did eat; and he brought him wine, and he drank.

Having pleasure in this world through kosher delicacies helps prepare Yitzchak for a large blessing of wealth and rule in this world.

26 And his father Isaac said unto him: 'Come near now, and kiss me, my son.' 27 And he came near, and kissed him. And he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said: See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the LORD hath blessed. 28 So God give thee of the dew of heaven, and of the fat places of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine. 29 Let peoples serve thee, and nations bow down to thee. Be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee. Cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be every one that blesses thee. 30 And it came to pass, as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting. 31 And he also made savory food, and brought it unto his father; and he said unto his father: 'Let my father arise, and eat of his son's venison, that thy soul may bless me.' 32 And Isaac his father said unto him: 'Who art thou?' And he said: 'I am thy son, thy first-born, Esau.' 33 And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said: 'Who then is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before you came and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed.' 34 When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with an exceeding great and bitter cry, and said unto his father: 'Bless me, even me also, O my father.' 35 And he said: 'Thy brother came with guile, and hath taken away thy blessing.' 36 And he said: 'Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing.' And he said: 'Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me?' 37 And Isaac answered and said unto Esau: 'Behold, I have made him thy lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with corn and wine have I sustained him; and what then shall I do for thee, my son?' 38 And Esau said unto his father: 'Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me also, O my father.' And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept. 39 And Isaac his father answered and said unto him: Behold, of the fat places of the earth shall be thy dwelling, and of the dew of heaven from above; 40 And by thy sword shalt thou live, and thou shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt break loose, that thou shalt shake his yoke from off thy neck. 41 And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him. And Esau said in his heart: 'Let the days of mourning for my father be at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.' 42 And the words of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah; and she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said unto him: 'Behold, thy brother Esau, as touching thee, doth comfort himself, purposing to kill thee. 43 Now therefore, my son, hearken to my voice; and arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran; 44 and tarry with him a few days, until thy brother's fury turn away; 45 until thy brother's anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him; then I will send, and fetch thee from thence; why should I be bereaved of you both in one day?' 46 And Rebekah said to Isaac: 'I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth. If Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these, of the daughters of the land, what good shall my life do me?'

28:1 And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him: 'Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan. 2 Arise go to Paddan-aram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother's father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban thy mother's brother. 3 And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou may be a congregation of peoples; 4 and give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou may inherit the land of thy sojournings, which God gave unto Abraham.' 5 And Isaac sent away Jacob; and he went to Paddan-aram unto Laban, son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob's and Esau's mother. 6 Now Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him away to Paddan-aram, to take him a wife from thence; and that as he blessed him he gave him a charge, saying: 'Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan'; 7 and that Jacob hearkened to his father and his mother, and was gone to Paddan-aram; 8 and Esau saw that the daughters of Canaan pleased not Isaac his father; 9 so Esau went unto Ishmael, and took unto the wives that he had Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael Abraham's son, the sister of Nebaioth, to be his wife.

Suddenly Esav realizes that running around with (non-approved) women does not go over big with his parents. In the meantime he is busy with the creation of Amalek.

From Mike:

Speaking of Amalek - Another Esav hates Yacov story from David M. L. who wrote about a divorced woman RN and a true hate crime [I have purposely not put the story into one of a flowing nature so as not to change the thought process of the victim.]: I am working on a bullet point of dates and events actually. The police assigned a detective, they call it a hate crime and I'm not sure if they are going with attempted murder. My burns are healing well, I'm a good nurse. My hair was burned in one area that will just take time. I have e mail and text messages that I received but re the fire, it happened on Halloween and they were in costume, but said "leave the hospital alone if you know what's good for you" and called me a kike. They had on gloves I believe, I could not see skin color except for one of the three, I have a description of height weight and they were over puberty because of depth of voice, all male, but there is no lighter that they dropped, no fingerprints, the police took the burned clothing I was wearing and there was no accelerant. The hospital called the police to inquire about the event before e report was finished, I didn't tell them and I never contacted media. How did they know is the key question? on 11/3, I was terminated right after I brought in the union and was set on fire, all within a couple of days. It was during the final week that they involved my kids.

However just a few short days after being burned and a few other issues, I was terminated for a fabricated reason because the manager had tried for weeks to find a legitimate one and could not, so she falsified one just to get rid of the Jew. The irony is that I revealed protected information during my interview for the purpose of avoiding any discrimination issues: I revealed that I am an observant Jew that I will not work on the Sabbath or any work restricted holy days. Of course I followed that up with many things that I am willing to do to be a team player and help in all possible ways. I was hired immediately and rushed to start my job. I was immediately subjected to harassment, which I do not understand unless she is anti-Semitist ***even if you are already terminated? I have only 2 months worth of survival money, then my kids and I are homeless. I have been unable to obtain other work, I'm sure I am being blackballed. I have plastered the net with electronic apps and resumes, not one nibble after 17 years as a RN. semitic and hired me merely to mess with me.

Unique in its universality, intensity, longevity and irrationality, what is the root of anti-Semitism? By Rabbi Shraga Simmons

History provides far too many examples of man's inhumanity to man: social injustice, religious oppression, cultural clashes, ideological wars, class hatred, and most every other form of racism and intolerance.

One particular form, however, stands out amongst all others: Anti-Semitism. Unique in its universality, intensity, longevity and irrationality, anti-Semitism is a historical phenomenon which falls outside of normal sociological bounds.

In 1987, President Chaim Herzog of Israel commissioned a colloquium on anti-Semitism. Professor Michael Curtis of Rutgers University spoke there about the irrationality of anti-Semitism:

The uniqueness of anti-Semitism lies in the fact that no other people in the world has ever been charged simultaneously with alienation from society and with cosmopolitanism, with being capitalistic exploiters and also revolutionary communist advocators. The Jews were accused of having an imperious mentality, at the same time they’re a people of the book. They’re accused of being militant aggressors, at the same time as being cowardly pacifists. With being a chosen people, and also having an inferior human nature. With both arrogance and timidity. With both extreme individualism and community adherence. With being guilty of the crucifixion of Jesus and at the same time held to account for the invention of Christianity.

As historian Martin Gilbert observes in the Jewish History Atlas:

"As my research into Jewish history progressed, I was surprised, depressed, and to some extent overwhelmed by the perpetual and irrational violence which pursued the Jews in every country and to almost every corner of the globe. If, therefore, persecution, expulsion, torture, humiliation, and mass murder haunt these pages, it is because they also haunt the Jewish story."

Which leaves us with one question: What is the root of anti-Semitism?

"Jews Are Rich, Powerful and Control The World"

Many claim that anti-Semitism is a reaction to Jewish political and economic power. Consider the "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," a book invented by the Russian secret police, purporting to be the discussions of Jewish elders plotting to take over the world. It was -- next to the Bible -- the best-selling book in the world during the 1920s. In the United States, Henry Ford sponsored its publication. It has since been printed in numerous languages internationally, and presently has widespread distribution in Japan.

But could Jewish wealth and power really be the cause of anti-Semitism? The Jews of Poland and Russia (17th-20th centuries) were poor and powerless. Yet they were still persecuted. Cossacks didn’t check bank accounts before initiating pogroms. When the Nazis liquidated the Warsaw Ghetto, the Jews lived there under incredibly impoverished conditions. The reality is that poor Jews have been just as hated as rich Jews.

Furthermore, if it is true that Jews control the governments, then why didn’t even one country accept Jewish refugees struggling to escape Europe during the Holocaust? Surely with all their wealth and political power, at least one government would have allowed the Jews in! When government after government buried its head in the sand as Jews were being slaughtered en masse, the claim that Jews control governments becomes painfully absurd.

Jewish "success" may make an anti-Semite gnash his teeth, but that’s clearly not the root cause of anti-Semitism.

"Jews Claim to be the Chosen People"

The University of California at Berkeley conducted a survey, asking a group of non-Jewish Americans whether they believed a series of negative statements about Jews. By far the number one belief (held by 59%) was that Jews consider themselves as God’s chosen people.

It is true that Jews have always claimed to be different. Throughout history, Jews have kept to themselves, didn’t socialize with non-Jews, and had a completely different ethical, cultural and social system -- including different dress, laws, and language. To top it all off, Jewish allegiance was never primarily to the countries in which they lived. The Jew always dreamt of going back to Zion. They were the ultimate outsiders.

If anti-Semites hate Jews because they claim to be chosen, then what happens when Jews dropped their claim of chosenness? When the Enlightenment came to Europe, many Jews said “Now’s our chance!” They shed their foreign dress, shaved their beards, enrolled in universities -- and intermarried. In Germany and Austria, Jews for the first time said: "We’re no longer chosen. We’re going to become like you. Our home is here. Berlin is our Jerusalem.” After centuries of hatred, the Jews anticipated a warm welcome from their gentile neighbors.

Where do we see the most vicious outpouring of anti-Semitism? Precisely in Germany and Austria -- at the time and place that Jews dropped the claim of chosenness!

If chosenness is, in fact, the real explanation for anti-Semitism, then many of peoples should be hated for similar claims of chosenness. Americans have the concept of Manifest Destiny -- i.e. that it was the divine will of God to annex territory stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The name China means “center of the universe.” The name Japan means “the sun only shines for them.” But nobody hates them for this!

Other reasons have been suggested for anti-Semitism, but they also are lacking. Some say Jew-hatred stems from being different, or being outsiders, but as we have seen even when Jews been as German as the Germans, anti-Semitism has not lessened (usually the opposite). Others say Jews were a convenient scapegoat – but hatred must exist as a precondition to be chosen a scapegoat (i.e. no one ever chose midgets as the scapegoat for a country's problems).

Others suggest that anti-Semitism exists because of Deicide: Jews killed their God. But historians show that anti-Semitism existed much before Christianity, and has appeared in countless non-Christian countries.

We can see then that all the stated 'reasons' are not reasons at all, but rather are excuses for anti-Semitism. What is the real reason?

The Attempt to De-Judaize Anti-Semitism

In her diary, on April 11, 1944, Anne Frank wrote:

“Who has made us Jews different from all other people? Who has allowed us to suffer so terribly up till now? It is God who has made us as we are, but it will be G-d, too, who will raise us up again. Who knows, it might even be our religion from which the world and all peoples learn good, and for that reason and that reason only do we now suffer. We can never become just Netherlanders, or just English or representatives of any country for that matter. We will always remain Jews.”

Anne Frank said, in effect, that Jews have something special to contribute to the world -- and because of that they have been persecuted.

But by and large, the world would rather de-Judaize anti-Semitism. When The Diary of Anne Frank was adapted into a Broadway play, we hear her explanation of anti-Semitism quite differently:

“Why are Jews hated?” she asks, “Well, one day it’s one group, and the next day another...

In other words, the reasons for anti-Semitism have absolutely nothing to do with being Jewish. The Jews went through a Holocaust, the most systematic attempt to murder a people in the history of all humanity -- and it was not for Jewish reasons. Dumb luck. We were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Hitler’s Reason for Anti-Semitism

There was one individual, however, who stated clearly that hatred of Jews is because there’s something unique about the Jews: Adolf Hitler.

His driving ambition was to turn the world away from monotheism and bring it back to paganism. He stood for the superiority of the Aryan race: "Might makes right... survival of the fittest... eliminate the infirmed and handicapped."

There was only one obstacle standing in Hitler’s way: The Jews. Hitler knew it was the Jews who introduced the ideas of love your neighbor, helping the poor and the sick, and all men are created equal. Hitler hated the message of the Jews because it totally contradicted what he wanted the world to become.

As Hitler said:

“Providence has ordained that I should be the greatest liberator of humanity. I am freeing man from the restraints of an intelligence that has taken charge, from the dirty and degrading self-mortifications of a false vision called conscience and morality, and from the demands of a freedom and personal independence which only a very few can bear.”


“The Ten Commandments have lost their validity. Conscience is a Jewish invention; it is a blemish like circumcision.”

Hitler’s anti-Semitism was not a means to an end. It was his goal. Long after the Nuremberg Laws of 1935 had effectively dismantled the Jewish community of Germany, Hitler was still not satisfied. In 1942, at the Wansee Conference, Hitler launched the "Final Solution" of genocide.

Then, with the Nazi invasion of Hungary in 1944, top German military officers determined that railway lines must be prioritized to transport vital troops and equipment to the battlefront. The Wehrmacht urged Hitler to provide this infusion of desperately-needed supplies. Ignoring their warnings, Hitler instead gave orders to allocate the precious rail-lines to deport hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews en masse to the extermination camps. Historians acknowledge this decision as a key factor in further debilitating the German war effort. Hitler, it seems, regarded the killing of Jews even more important than winning World War Two.

He said:

“If only one country, for whatever reason, tolerates a Jewish family in it, that family will become the germ center for fresh sedition. If one little Jewish boy survives, without any Jewish education, with no synagogue and no Hebrew school; it’s in his soul.”

The Torah View of Anti-Semitism

The Torah itself teaches that anti-Semitism will exist and that Jews will be hated for precisely the reasons echoed in Hitler’s words.

The Talmud (Shabbat 69) declares:

“Why was the Torah given on a mountain called Sinai? Because the great “sinah,” the great hatred of the Jew, emanates from Sinai.” (Sinah, the Hebrew word for hatred, is pronounced almost identically to Sinai.)

Before the Torah was given, people built their lives on a subjective concept of right and wrong. At Sinai the Jewish People were told that there is one God for all humanity who makes moral demands on human beings. You can’t just live as you please; there is a higher authority you are accountable to.

The Jews were given the responsibility to represent that morality and be a light unto the nations. So, despite the fact that they were never more than a tiny fraction of the world’s population, Jewish ideas became the basis for the civilized world. And with that, they became a lightening rod for those opposed to the moral message. That’s why the Russians, although they were a huge superpower in the 1970s, were threatened by a handful of Jews who wanted to study Hebrew.

Why would people hate the Jewish message?

Consider the words of Aldous Huxley, in his book, Confessions of an Atheist:

“I had motives for not wanting the world to have meaning; consequently, I assumed that it had none and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption. For me, as no doubt for most of my contemporaries, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation. The liberation we desired was simultaneously liberation from a certain political and economic system and liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom.”

For the one who rejects morality and conscience, the only way to get of rid of the message… is to destroy the messenger.

Why Be Jewish?

The solution to anti-Semitism is the flip-side of the cause. Jewish values are the cause of anti-Semitism, and Jewish values are the solution. Only by studying Torah – and teaching it to others -- can we ever hope to bring the world to a point where evil is eradicated.

When human beings embrace the moral doctrine that Judaism brought to the world from Sinai -- that there is a God who demands ethical behavior from every human being -- then there will be no holocausts.

And that is the exquisite irony of Jewish history.

The world cannot get the message unless the messengers learn it and teach it. The world desperately needs the Jewish message. Now go and study.

A miracle for Baby

At the time of this writing, it is uncertain how the baby fared but there is not life threatening danger. This past summer in Israel there was a tragedy on the upper part of the Yarden River a rubber boat over turned and a youth drowned due to lack of first aid. This past Shabbos a refrigeration fire broke out in an area near Haifa. The mother was on the second floor with her head out the window and was suffering from smoke inhalation. A reserve paratrooper managed to risk his life and run past the fire to rescue the mother. Once outside, she shouted “My baby, My Baby!” so in again he went. His wife was afraid that he would not get out. He managed to get the baby who was physically stuck in the crib either had poked its head through the bars or an arm or leg was tangled. Gave it two breaths and rescued it. His wife took over handling the baby outside. It turns out that he is a doctor in the Rambam hospital and his wife is a Pediatrician in the same hospital who were just visiting the Moshav where the two victims lived. The Paramedics arrived and rushed the two victims to the Rambam Hospital. An accident, happening or a miracle? There are many times that doctors in Israel visit Moshavim and never do they encounter a fire or smoke inhalation victims . It just violates the law of probability.

Even the time when Elisha B, was a baby and was standing next to Chaim davening as the Chazan (Cantor) for the Congregation of Yad Moshe swallowed a Bamba treat, one of the usual members of the Congregation noticed the child fall, Rabbi and Dr. Shalom Friedman and just applied a hand to the boy’s stomach placing him face down and a good tap on the back and the Bamba was out. Elisha today is a draftee of the IDF and very religious. Elisha did not swallow Bamba treats every day and not at the time when the doctor was around, but because the doctor and Chaim were usual in the same place you might say it was not so much of a miracle but the first one! Accident or happening – I think not.

Mitzvos and Halacha thanks to Danny Shoemann

It's a Mitzva to not listen to those who utter prophesies in the name of idols. One may not listen to them, engage them in dialogue or ask them for a sign or proof.
Even if they do a miraculous sign, one may not believe them, and anybody who suspects that they are true prophets has transgressed this Mitzva. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always. Pasuk: "Do not listen to that prophet" (Devarim 13:4) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Negative Mitzvah 22

It's forbidden to entice others - individuals or a group - to worship idols. One who tries to persuade others to worship idols gets put to death by stoning, even if nobody actually worshiped idols. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always. Pasuk: "If he shall entice you... to worship foreign gods..." (Devarim 13:7-12)
Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Negative Mitzvah 23

One may not love a person who entices others to worship idols. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always. Pasuk: "Do not love him" (Devarim 13:9)
Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Negative Mitzvah 24

One may not stop hating a person who entices others to worship idols. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always. Pasuk: "Do not heed him" (Devarim 18:9)
Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Negative Mitzvah 25

It's a Mitzva to say Birkat Hamazon after eating bread and being sated. Before eating one obviously has to make a blessing; if one has to bless when sated, all the more so when still hungry. Applies everywhere, always, to men, and maybe also to women. By Rabbinic decree it's a Mitzva for everybody to say Birkat Hamazon even after eating a K’zayis (olive's worth) of bread. Pasuk: "and you shall eat, be sated and bless" (Devarim 8:10)

Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Positive Mitzvah 13

It's a Mitzvah to put a fence or wall around ones roof to prevent people from falling off. The fence must be at least 10 Tefachim (~80 cm) high and must be strong enough that a person can lean on it and not fall. A roof that is never used does not need a fence. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 190:1 According to the opinion of the Chazon Ish it would be more like a meter high.

One must ensure that people do not get hurt on ones property. E.g. a well or pit needs a fence or a cover strong enough to ensure nobody falls in. Similarly one may not own a dangerous dog nor a shaky ladder. Source Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 190:1

The 8 days of Chanukah always start on the 25th of Kislev; the first candle being lit on the 24th in the late afternoon. This year Chanukah starts on Shabbat 12 December 2009. We will light the first flame on Friday afternoon, 11th Dec. A week later - (Friday afternoon, 18th Dec.) we will light all 8 flames for the 8th day of Chanukah. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 139:1

Each night of Chanukah one adds an extra light, starting at 1 and ending at 8. The custom is to add an extra candle each night - known as the Shamash.
This is insure that one doesn't accidentally use the light from the actual Chanukah lights, which is forbidden. After the Chanukah Menorah has been burning for half an hour after sunset, one may benefit from the lights of the Chanukah Menorah. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 139:14

If one needs to cross a narrow body of water on Shabbat, and one has the choice of jumping over it or walking around it, one should rather jump over it, since it means less walking. One may not walk through it, lest one squeeze out those clothes that got wet. On Shabbat one may not walk anywhere where there's a risk of slipping and falling into water. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 80:36 And then there was the time I walked over to my friend on Shabbos in the rain and my pants got drenched to the bone while my Gemara in the plastic bag stayed dry. Somehow I managed to put on a pair of his or his son as I was thinner in those days and we learned for an hour and then back wet all the way home. It happens when the wind blows the drenching drops at an angle and is not most pleasurable sensation and one should remove the clothing with no intent on wringing them out on Shabbos and no intent of washing them on Shabbos if mud splashed on them. One is the theory of the law and one is a practical example.

Once during the weekday a Jew crossed the street and fell into a sink hole that was deeper in water than his 6 foot frame. He managed barely to extricates himself.

The following from Gene Alberts appear to be genuine true stories:

Third night of Hanukah….

Take the story of BM, a New York City policeman. He was on patrol when he got involved in a shooting. He was face to face with the gunman. The felon took aim, at point-blank range, and shot three times. The gun did not fire.

The criminal was apprehended and the weapon was taken to headquarters for inspection. When Officer BM tested the gun in the station… shots rang out. No malfunctions. No misfires. A miracle? You be the judge.

The fourth night of Hanukah….

Take the story of the young lady who was prompt by design and punctual by nature. She was famous for her timeliness to the extent that some people even set their watches by her exacting temporal standards.

Each morning she would rise on time, without benefit of an alarm clock. Somewhere deep within herself, a built in bell would chime and she would get up. Then, she conformed to the same daily routine, she would leave her house at a given hour and invariable she preferred the identical route.

This morning was indistinguishable from any other. She completed her morning rituals and headed for the door. After she left, her mother noticed a set of keys on the kitchen table. She quickly grabbed a coat and ran after her daughter.

The young lady was near the corner when she heard someone call out her name. At first it was faintly imperceptible. Then it became clear. Recognizing her mother’s voice, she turned around. Seeing the jangling keys, she retraced her steps and went toward her mother.

Our young lady was not at her corner, at her usual stop, at her usual time. How fortunate. Because just at that moment, a bus lost control, careened onto the sidewalk and crashed into her usual spot. A miracle? You be the judge.

The seventh night of Hanukah….

Take the story of little MF. She was playing atop the roof of her apartment building. She was looking down at all the people walking along the street. She was amused at how tiny they appeared. She kept poking her head out further and further over the ledge, so that she might get a better view of the street. In her childish delight, she began jumping up and down. Suddenly, she lost her balance, broke through the protective barrier and went hurtling toward the asphalt pavement.

MF was snatched from imminent doom by a passerby. How fortunate to have been saved from death by falling in to the arms of a woman who happened to be passing along the street below at that very minute… her mother. A miracle? You be the judge.

Take the story of anyone… anywhere.. anytime…

Take any day.. every day..

Look around you always

You will discover an incontrovertible truth: Life, by its very definition, is miraculous, breathless and good to live.

So, take my humble advice. Live your life to its fullest. See every event as a miracle and be grateful to Hashem for giving it to you. Live your life in a meaningful fashion. Do something good to someone and certainly good will come to you. Live it and love it.. Al Hanisim here… there.. everywhere.

Shabbat Shalom,

Binyamin Jadidi

This one appears to be a parable and it reminded me of Yose Mayan who was an Engineer on the Lavi Project and later became the General Manager of Ministry of Science in Israel – he was a polio victim and his story is real.

Silence reigned in the courtroom. It was the last case for the day. Behind the desk on an elevated platform sat the most important person in the room- the judge. His white beard was combed to perfection and his black robe flowed gracefully. He sternly studied the people assembled in the vast room, then turned his attention to the members of the case. He took note of the impatient lawyer, the proud prosecutor, and the bored stenographer. His piercing gaze finally rested on Clark Maximilion, the defendant. Clark sat staring at the ceiling. His big brown eyes seemed to be defiantly counting the numberless tiles, arranged in various patterns across the ceiling. He looked a pitiful sight. His tattered rags were falling apart and his left arm lay limp in its sling.

The judge rapped sharply on the desk, the prosecutor rose haughtily, cleared his throat importantly, and began.

“Your Honor, Clark Maximillion, of 163 Classon Place was found begging at Homely Square in the Bronx. The crime took place at four o’clock PM on September 12, 1976. He is accused of violating the City Law Code Seventeen, which states that no man shall beg or solicit money that the latter hasn’t gained by his own labor. The witnesses presented the scene of the crime, and who are present at this hearing are James Patcheonly and Patrick Romato.”

The judge questioned the witnesses briefly. He then stroked his beard thoughtfully, wrinkled his forehead and slowly turned to the beggar.

“Why are different than the millions of people living on this country?” he said severely. “Of all people residing in our land why do you choose to be at the bottom of the barrel? Do you enjoy being the laughing stock of all who see you, while you wander in shabby clothing, never knowing where your next meal will come from? Do you derive pleasure from the scornful faces of those that turn you away mockingly? Speak! Justify yourself!”

“Your- Your Honor,” the beggar began haltingly. “I like to work, to support myself. But look, see here,” he said as he strenuously lifted his left hand with his right. “This hand is sick, I cannot use this hand. How can I work? Why do you torture me? Have pity on a crippled man! Please, I beg you!”

“That’s no excuse,” the judge interrupted firmly. “Why did G-d create a person with two hands? Were they created to sit at his side useless and limp? Be not a leech on society, a disgrace to your country. Let them not say of America- ‘the place where poverty flourishes, where beggars roam the streets’. Clark Maximilion, go out and start a new life!”

The judge banged twice on his desk and the case was dismissed. The guards led the beggar out of the courtroom and into a new world where he would start his life anew.

No sooner had the beggar left the room when the judge turned pale, his face breaking cold sweat. A hushed silence fell over the courtroom. The judge stood up feebly and stumbled out of the room on crutches.

Binyamin Jadidi

If you do not believe in the story of Rav Jadidi then read this:,2933,577105,00.html?test=latestnews

Thanksgiving Day Special - Hakaras HaTov(acknowledgement) from R' A. L.

"Thank you Hashem, for giving me the ability to share this message and for giving me so many wonderful people to share it with."

I dreamt that I went to Heaven and an Angel was showing me around. We walked side-by-side inside a large workroom filled with Angels.

My Angel guide stopped in from of the first section and said, "This is the Receiving Section. Here, are the petitions to Hashem said in prayer are received."

I looked around in this area, and I was terribly busy with so many Angels sorting out petitions written on voluminous paper sheets and scraps from people all over the world.

Then we moved on down a long corridor until we reached the second section.

The Angel then said to me, "This is the Packaging and Delivery Section". Here, the graces and blessings the people asked for are processed and delivered to the living persons who asked for them."

I noticed again how busy I was there.

There were many Angels working hard at that station, since so many blessings had been requested and were being packaged for delivery to Earth.

Finally at the farthest end of the long corridor we stopped at the door of a very small station.

To my great surprise, only one Angel was seated there, idly doing nothing.

"This is the Acknowledgment Section,", my Angel friend quietly admitted to me. He seemed embarrassed.

"How is it that??" There's no work going on here??" I asked.

"So sad," the Angel sighed. "After people receive the blessings that they asked for, very few send back acknowledgments".

"How does one acknowledge Hashem's blessings??" I asked.

"Simple," the Angel answered. "Just say, "Thank you, Hashem."

"What blessings should they acknowledge??" I asked.

"If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep.... You are richer than 75% of the world."

"If you have money in the back, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish, you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthiest."

"And if you get this on your computer, you are part of the 1% in the world who has that opportunity."

Also "If you woke up this morning with more health than illness you are blessed than the many who will not even survive this day."

"If you have never experience the fear in battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation... You are ahead of the 700 million people in the world."

"If you can attend a shul meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death.... You are envied by, and more blessed then, three billion people in the world."

"If your parents are still alive and still married.... You are very rare."

"If you can hold your head up and smile, you are not the norm, you are unique to all those in doubt and despair."

Ok, what now?? How can I start??

If you can read this message, you just received a double blessing in that someone was thinking of you as very special and you are more blessed over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all.


Have a good day, count your blessings, and if you want, pass this along to remind everyone else how blessed we all are.

Attn: Acknowledge Department. "Thank you Hashem!!"

It is funny Thanks or Praise in Hebrew is HODU and Turkey is called HODU also from India.

Sheldon sent me the following:

Participants' accounts

In a letter to a friend, dated December 1621, Edward Winslow wrote: "Our harvest being gotten in, our Governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a more special manner rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruit of our labors; they four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the Company almost a week, at which time, among other Recreations, we exercised our Arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest King Massasoit, with some 90 men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted and they went out and killed five Deer, which they brought to the Plantation and bestowed on our Governor, and upon the Captain and others."

Twenty years later, William Bradford wrote a book that provides a few more hints as to what might have been on that first Thanksgiving table. But his book was stolen by British looters during the Revolutionary War and therefore didn't have much influence on how Thanksgiving was celebrated until it turned up many years later. No one is certain whether the Wampanoag and the colonists regularly sat together and shared their food, or if the three-day "thanksgiving" feast Mr. Winslow recorded for posterity was a one-time event.

In the culture of the Wampanoag Indians, who inhabited the area around Cape Cod, "thanksgiving" was an everyday activity. "We as native people [traditionally] have thanksgivings as a daily, ongoing thing," says Linda Coombs, associate director of the Wampanoag program at Plimoth Plantation. "Every time anybody went hunting or fishing or picked a plant, they would offer a prayer or acknowledgment."

But for the 52 colonists - who had experienced a year of disease, hunger, and diminishing hopes - their bountiful harvest was cause for a special celebration to give thanks. "Neither the English people nor the native people in 1621 knew they were having the first Thanksgiving," Ms. Coombs says. No one knew that the details would interest coming generations.

"We're not sure why Massasoit and the 90 men ended up coming to Plimoth," Coombs says. "There's an assumption that they were invited, but nowhere in the passage does it say they were. And the idea that they sat down and lived happily ever after is, well, untrue. The relationship between the English and the Wampanoag was very complex." Since they did not speak the same language, the extent to which the colonists and Indians intermingled remains a mystery. But a few details of that first Thanksgiving are certain, says Kathleen Curtin, food historian at the Plimoth Plantation.

What was on the menu?

First, wild turkey was never mentioned in Winslow's account. It is probable that the large amounts of "fowl" brought back by four hunters were seasonal waterfowl such as duck or geese. And if cranberries were served, they would have been used for their tartness or color, not the sweet sauce or relish so common today. In fact, it would be 50 more years before berries were boiled with sugar and used as an accompaniment to meat.

Potatoes weren't part of the feast, either. Neither the sweet potato nor the white potato was yet available to colonists. The presence of pumpkin pie appears to be a myth, too. The group may have eaten pumpkins and other squashes native to New England, but it is unlikely that they had the ingredients for pie crust - butter and wheat flour. Even if they had possessed butter and flour, the colonists hadn't yet built an oven for baking.

"While we have been able to work out which modern dishes were not available in 1621, just what was served is a tougher nut to crack," Ms. Curtin says. A couple of guesses can be made from other passages in Winslow's correspondence about the general diet at the time: lobsters, mussels, "sallet herbs," white and red grapes, black and red plums, and flint corn.

"We have only one documented harvest feast that occurred between the cultures," Curtin points out. "You don't hear about [any other] harvests occurring between them. I assume that they did on some level, but it's fascinating that it is just that one source, one sentence in one letter. I wonder what else is there that someone just didn't jot down, and we now know nothing about."

Until the early 1800s, Thanksgiving was considered to be a regional holiday celebrated solemnly through fasting and quiet reflection.

But the 19th century had its own Martha Stewart, and it didn't take her long to turn New England fasting into national feasting. Sarah Josepha Hale, editor of the popular Godey's Lady's Book, stumbled upon Winslow's passage and refused to let the historic day fade from the minds - or tables - of Americans. This established trendsetter filled her magazine with recipes and editorials about Thanksgiving.

It was also about this time - in 1854, to be exact - that Bradford's history book of Plymouth Plantation resurfaced. The book increased interest in the Pilgrims, and Mrs. Hale and others latched onto the fact he mentioned that the colonists had killed wild turkeys during the autumn.

In her magazine Hale wrote appealing articles about roasted turkeys, savory stuffing, and pumpkin pies - all the foods that today's holiday meals are likely to contain.

In the process, she created holiday "traditions" that share few similarities with the original feast in 1621.

In 1858, Hale petitioned the president of the United States to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday. She wrote: "Let this day, from this time forth, as long as our Banner of Stars floats on the breeze, be the grand Thanksgiving holiday of our nation, when the noise and tumult of worldliness may be exchanged for the length of the laugh of happy children, the glad greetings of family reunion, and the humble gratitude of the Christian heart."

Five years later, Abraham Lincoln declared the last Thursday of November "as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwells in the Heavens."

"[Hale's] depiction is wrong much more often than it's right," says Nancy Brennan, president of Plimoth Plantation. "When this idea [of the first Thanksgiving] caught on, it became a big, popular subject for prints and books and paintings, all of which used whatever people could gather about what the environment might have been like in 1621."

A native view

With little mention of the native population, the Wampanoag presence was virtually relegated to the background, and the Pilgrim presence promoted to the fore.

"The Wampanoag, we sometimes forget, were the majority population," Ms. Brennan says. "In the 19th and 20th centuries, Thanksgiving was really a tool for Americanization amid the great influx of immigration. It was supposed to bind this diverse population into one union."

And so, over the centuries, that first Thanksgiving took on a shape of mythological proportions. But how Americans celebrate today has little to do with the convergence of two different populations across an enormous cultural divide.

One man who would like people to know more about the actual Thanksgiving is descended from the Wampanoag Indians who were such an essential part of the first Thanksgiving celebration.

He steps out onto the porch in front of the Flume restaurant in Plymouth and looks south. He lifts his face - marked by deep lines and dark, heavy eyes - toward the open sky.

"I'm looking down the river here now, and the sun is bright, and the tide is high, and the wind is blowing," he says. "My people would say that is the spirit coming from the southwest, where the corn and beans and squash come from. So we thank the spirit world - the fire, the moon, the sky, the sun, the earth."

This man's name is Earl Mills Sr., and he is a retired high school teacher and athletic director, the author of two books, and the owner of the restaurant.

But Mr. Mills has another name and another job. As Flying Eagle, he is the chief of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe. Still, he doesn't see himself as caught between two cultures. Instead, he embraces both. With equal relish, Mills will spend an afternoon walking in peaceful silence, as his ancestors did, or an evening listening to the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He has always spent a lot of time thinking about the history of his people, however, and the confusion about what really happened back in 1621. "Things have changed so much," he says, choosing his words carefully. "Even Thanksgiving has changed. Young people today don't remember what it was like 50 or 100 years ago.

"Then, we picked our own cranberries from our own cranberry bogs, and we caught rabbits and hung them outside our garage doors." More recently, Coombs remembers that as she was growing up, her family celebrated the holiday as most other Americans did. She went to her grandfather's house, ate a turkey dinner, and watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on television. It wasn't until she was in college that she learned her ancestors had observed Thanksgiving in a different manner.

It is not just the eating, but the gathering together, preparing, and thanking that matters, Mills says. "The role of food is important, but it's gotten to the point where we become gluttons.... We could spend a lot more time really thinking about what's going on in our world and giving more thanks." Whose history is it?

Mills points to the Plymouth Rock on the town's waterfront as an example of differing views. The rock, first placed in 1774, is a monument to the landing of the Mayflower, the ship that brought the Pilgrims to Massachusetts 382 years ago. "They're saying this is 'America's hometown,' that this is the rock [the colonists] stepped on," Mills says. "I'm not against that, and it's nice to have the rock, but don't try to make it true when it's really a symbol, a mythology."

He's also disturbed by the fact that many people still don't know or seem quick to dismiss the native side of the story. "When I talk about Thanksgiving, [some people think] it happened too long ago to matter," Mills says. "But when they talk about it, well, it's history." Still, the Wampanoag now have many more opportunities to contribute to historical accounts of the region, offering insight into the traditions of their people that have been passed down orally through the generations.

"The two groups are working very well together in recent years," Mills says. "And those connections turn into a circle. No matter how small, how minor, they all contribute to the human beings that we are." In late 1621, remembering the first Thanksgiving gathering, Edward Winslow expressed a sentiment similar to Mills's call for sharing and giving thanks: "And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty."

What historians do know about Thanksgiving There are many myths surrounding Thanksgiving. Here are nine things we do know are true about the holiday.

1. The first Thanksgiving was a harvest celebration in 1621 that lasted for three days.

2. The feast most likely occurred between Sept. 21 and Nov. 11.

3. Approximately 90 Wampanoag Indians and 52 colonists - the latter mostly women and children - participated.

4. The Wampanoag, led by Chief Massasoit, contributed at least five deer to the feast.

5. Cranberry sauce, potatoes - white or sweet - and pies were not on the menu.

6. The Pilgrims and Wampanoag communicated through Squanto, a member of the Patuxet tribe, who knew English because he had associated with earlier explorers.

7. Besides meals, the event included recreation and entertainment.

8. There are only two surviving descriptions of the first Thanksgiving. One is in a letter by colonist Edward Winslow. He mentions some of the food and activities. The second description was in a book written by William Bradford 20 years afterward. His account was lost for almost 100 years.

9. Abraham Lincoln named Thanksgiving an annual holiday in 1863.


WHITHER AMERICAN JEWRY by Caroline Glick, JERUSALEM POST forwarded with commentary by Emanuel A. Winston, Middle East Analyst & Commentator

Many years ago Ehud Avriel,z"l author of "Open The Gates" and a hero for rescuing Jews from Nazi Europe, came to Chicago as a Consul General. Driving him home his first day, he told me that his primary goal was to promote Aliyah. I told him that most American Jews will opt out when it comes to making Aliyah to Israel. Most of them will opt out of defending her - except with a check.

More Jews from that era are making Aliyah now, especially their grown children.

But, some Leftist Jews - like those who created or joined the new anti-Israel "J-Street" and some of the others, like certain especially Leftist Hillels especially Berkeley and NYU), the New Israel Fund, the egregiously anti-Israel San Francisco’s Jewish Film Festival are all mentioned in Caroline Glick seminal essay on American Jewry.

They always seem willing to play the role of the infamous "Judenrat". Are they willing to bond with the enemy as loyal subversives against Israel IF they think it will bring momentary approval from our most dedicated enemies? I can hear them screaming now, saying: "Why are you killing me? Didn’t I help you get rid of Israel and those pesky Jews?"

Has Veshalom!" (G-d forbid!)

Traitors are never liked by either side. In the Muslim Arab world they are summarily executed, mostly without trial. COMMENTARY BY EMANUEL A. WINSTON



During a recent speaking tour in Canada, MK Nahman Shai (Kadima) shocked some of his hosts when he said that his primary goal in politics today is to bring down the Netanyahu government. Although indelicate, Shai's comment was not surprising. Kadima is in the opposition. And like all opposition parties in all parliamentary democracies, the primary goal of its members is to bring down the government so that they can take power.

Given that this is the case, it is unsurprising that until this week, Kadima leader Tzipi Livni tried to blame Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for US President Barack Obama's hostility towards Israel.

Far more newsworthy than her criticism of Netanyahu was her public rebuke of Obama this week for his attempt to strong-arm Israel into barring Jewish construction in Jerusalem's Gilo neighborhood.

On Wednesday Livni said, "Gilo is part of the Israeli consensus... and it is important to understand this for all discussions of borders in any future agreement."

Indeed. There is an Israeli consensus. The Israeli consensus regarding Jerusalem is based among other things on the understanding that no nation can give up its capital city and survive.

Livni wants to be prime minister one day. For that to happen, Israel must survive until she wins an election. And Israel will not long survive if it surrenders its right to its capital.

One might have thought that American Jews could be counted on to stand by Israel on this issue. But then, one would be wrong.

FOR THE past six years, Republican Senator Sam Brownback has repeatedly submitted a bill to the US Senate that, if passed into law, would revoke the presidential waiver that has allowed successive presidents to refuse to implement the 1995 law requiring the State Department to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem. This year Brownback co-sponsored his bill with Independent Senator Joseph Lieberman. As luck would have it, the Brownback-Lieberman bill was submitted two weeks before Obama launched his latest campaign against Jewish building in Jerusalem.

In the 1980s and 1990s, American Jews lobbied hard to get the embassy moved to Jerusalem. But now some American Jewish leaders recoil at the very notion. In response to the Brownback-Lieberman Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act of 2009, the Kansas City Jewish Chronicle published an editorial last Friday titled, "Bad move, Senator Brownback."

The newspaper's editors condemned their retiring senator and called his bill, "a cheap, grandstanding move by a conservative Republican on his way out the door, playing to Jews and Christian Zionists while trying to throw a monkey wrench into President Obama's diplomatic spokes."

According to Sen. Brownback's office, the paper never had any criticism of the same bill when he submitted it during president George W. Bush's tenure in office. But now, as Israel's government and opposition stand shoulder to shoulder protecting Israeli control over Jerusalem from assaults by Obama, Kansas City's Jewish newspaper's editorial board willingly bucked what it acknowledged are the wishes of "Jews and Christian Zionists," in order to stand by their man in the Oval Office.

Some of Israel's most high-profile supporters in the US are conservative talk radio and television hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck. But rather than thank them for their support, the Anti-Defamation League, which is supposed to be dedicated first and foremost to defending Jews from anti-Semitism, published a special report this week where it insinuated that they cultivate a climate of hatred and paranoia which could endanger Jews among others.

The ADL report, "Rage Grows in America: Anti-Government Conspiracies," dubbed Beck the "fearmonger-in-chief," for his opposition to Obama's domestic and foreign policies. It similarly castigated the so-called "tea party" movement which has attracted millions of Americans opposed to high taxes, and the townhall meetings this past summer where millions of Americans peacefully argued against Obama's healthcare policies.

The ADL's decision to issue a special report attacking Obama's political opponents and insinuating that Americans who oppose him cultivate an environment in which paranoid and dangerous fringe groups feel comfortable operating is strange given that the ADL never put out a similar report against parallel anti-Bush movements. As Commentary's Jonathan Tobin noted this week, the ADL was more likely to see overt and vicious anti-Semitic statements and placards being waved around at anti-Iraq war rallies than at anti-Obama healthcare and tax policy demonstrations.

Ironically, the ADL has a specific institutional interest in combating leftist paranoia. A recent movie attacking the ADL called Defamation, by leftist, anti-Israel Israeli filmmaker Yoav Shamir, is currently hitting the film festival circuit in the US and Europe. A major hit among anti-Israel activists and regular anti-Semites on the Left and Right, Defamation accuses the ADL of exaggerating the Holocaust and anti-Semitism to justify what Shamir views as its nefarious aims. Apparently, tribal loyalty to the Left trumps the institutional interests of the ADL.

It certainly trumps the interests of New York University's Hillel director Rabbi Yehuda Sarna. As James Taranto reported on Wednesday in The Wall Street Journal, this week Sarna called for NYU's Jewish community to join NYU Muslims at a rally that both commemorated the massacre at Ft. Hood and denounced NYU professor Tunku Varadarajan for writing a column in Forbes magazine. In his article, Varadarajan committed the crime of stating the obvious fact that Ft. Hood terrorist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan was motivated by his Islamic beliefs when he shouted "Allahu Akbar" and shot some 40 people, killing 13.

Given that people and groups like al-Qaeda and Hamas that share Hasan's views assert that all Jews should be killed, it would seem that the good rabbi would not feel the need to attack professors who point out that Hasan's views are dangerous. But then, it is no longer strange to see Hillels on American university campuses behaving in a manner that is not in line with what might be considered the interests of either the American Jewish community or the Jewish people as a whole.

Take UC Berkeley's Hillel center, for example. Since Ken Kramarz, Hillel's regional director for Northern California, started his job in June 2007, Berkeley's Hillel has adopted a hostile view towards Judaism and Israel. As pro-Israel community activist Natan Nestel notes, in the past year alone, Hillel held a dance party on Yom HaShoa, and it held a Cinco de Mayo barbecue on Remembrance Day for Fallen IDF Soldiers. It has also failed to hold community Seders for the past two years. Instead, last year, its members hung signs in the Hillel building declaring, "Matza sucks."

Beyond its derogatory treatment of Jewish and Israeli holidays, Berkeley's Hillel has allowed an extremist group called Students for Justice for Palestine to participate in its organizational meetings.

SJP calls for Israel's destruction through unlimited Arab immigration. It also advocates for UC Berkeley to divest from Israel. Edgar Bronfman, Hillel's International Chairman, has characterized SJP umbrella organization as "anti-Israel... anti-Semitic alarming..."

No doubt owing in part to Berkeley Hillel's decision to permit SJP members to spread their propaganda at its organizational meetings, Hillel's student leaders and members participated in SJP's Israel Apartheid Week this past March.The student meeting that SJP participated in at Berkeley's Hillel was sponsored by a group called "Kesher Enoshi."

This group describes itself as "a progressive Jewish community that engages directly with Israeli civil society. We do this by educating ourselves and others about the day-to-day struggles of people in Israel by making direct connections with human rights/social change organizations in Israel, linking their struggles with those on campus and in the wider community, and building a community of active participants in social change in Israel."

This mission statement, which says nothing about Zionism, sounds an awful lot like the goal of the New Israel Fund. This month, three Arab "civil society" groups supported to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars by the NIF published a poster depicting an IDF soldier touching the breast of an Arab woman with the caption, "Her husband needs a permit to touch her, the occupation penetrates her life every day."

The poster was issued to publicize a conference in Haifa called "My Land, Space, Body and Sexuality: Palestinians in the Shadow of the Wall," whose purpose was to demonize Israel using post-modern jargon.

Unlike Hillel, NIF is widely recognized as a far-left fringe group. But as Arab Israeli NGOs use the dollars of American Jewish NIF donors to advance their "civil society" programs aimed at de-legitimizing Israel's right to exist, the Reform Movement - which is not a fringe group - decided unanimously two weeks ago to criticize and pressure Israel for what its leadership views as Israel's unfair treatment of its Arab citizens.

As this column goes to press, if its board members don't cancel their meeting, the San Francisco Jewish Federation will be grudgingly voting on a resolution that would prohibit it from sponsoring events that denigrate or demonize Israel or supporting organizations that partner with organizations that call for divestment, sanctions or boycotts against Israel.

The resolution follows the Jewish Federation of San Francisco's decision to co-sponsor the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival last summer. That festival featured Shamir's Defamation, and the egregiously anti-Israel film Rachel, about the late pro-terror activist Rachel Corrie. The film festival was also sponsored by the anti-Zionist Jewish Voices for Peace group, the American Friends Service Committee, which hosted a dinner for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in New York last year, the Rachel Corrie Foundation and other radical anti-Israel groups.

If the vote takes place, it will be a great victory for a small group of local Jewish activists. These individual Jews have banded together because they are deeply disturbed by the federation's willingness to use community funds to advance events whose basic message is that Israel should be destroyed.

KADIMA'S INTERESTS as a political party place it at loggerheads with the government on almost every issue. But its leaders this week were rational enough to recognize that they must support Israel's sovereign rights in Jerusalem despite the fact that doing so placed it on the government's side. Their display of sanity is a clear indication that Israeli society today is healthy and capable of meeting the challenges it faces.

It is clear that most American Jews believe that it is in their interests to support the Democratic Party and the Left. But like the anti-establishment Jewish activists in San Francisco, American Jews ought to realize that on issues like Israel's survival and their own survival as Jews they ought to stand by their interests even when they seem to clash with their leftist and Democratic loyalties. And they ought to stand by their friends on these issues, even when their friends are conservative Republicans.

It can only be hoped that the San Francisco pro-Israel upstarts' campaign against the federation was successful yesterday. Then, too, if the American Jewish community is to long survive, these San Francisco Jewish activists' demand that their community support Israel's right to exist must be joined by their fellow American Jews throughout the country.

Boomerang on the Israeli left who said that “Soldiers should not follow illegal orders.” It comes back to haunt them now.

The Amos Kennan Precedent: Why IDF Soldiers Resist Orders to Demolish Communities Israel Resource Review David Bedein forwarded with comments by Emanuel A. Winston, Middle East Analyst & Commentator

Clearly, it is time - under a higher law - for the Israeli people, be they civilians, reservists or soldiers to simply stand as a wall between Jewish citizens in their homes and those who would evict them under military orders - as occurred in Gaza. As it turned out, the incompetent leaders who "thought" this was a good idea had to later defend their horrific error in judgement which endangered all of the Southern areas of the Jewish State of Israel.

Merely because simplistic men called politicians are given control over an army doesn’t mean that soldiers must accept orders which are patently illegal, immoral, un-Jewish and dangerous to the Jewish nation and the world at large as well.



The Amos Kennan Precedent: Why IDF Soldiers Resist Orders to Demolish Communities Israel Resource Review by David Bedein

This past week in Israel, Israeli soldiers from elite Israeli army units erected huge signs on their barracks which proclaimed they would refuse orders to remove Jewish communities, if ordered to do so.

These soldiers were arrested and thrown into jail. The families of the soldiers expressed solid support for their sons, telling the Israeli media that an order to expel people from their homes and communities is both illegal and immoral and must be disobeyed.

The momentum behind these new protests emanates from a February 20, 2005 decision of the Israeli government to redraw the map of Jewish residency in the areas that Israel acquired in the aftermath of the 1967 war.

In August 2005, in the first stage of implementing this new map, Israel dispatched elite soldiers from its own Israel Defense Forces, the IDF, to forcibly remove the residents from 21 thriving Jewish communities in the Katif district of Gaza, along with 4 Jewish communities in Northern Samaria.

The new maps means that an additional 63 Jewish communities may now be expelled in their entirety by the IDF. These communities are spread throughout Samaria, Judea, Hebron and the Jordan Valley, demarcated on the National Geographic Atlas as the "west bank", alluding to the west bank of the Jordan River..

Now, with negotiations intensifying, and with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu clamping down an almost total freeze on Jewish building starts in all areas of Samaria, Judea, Hebron and the Jordan Valley, rumors abound that Israel is about to order the IDF to complete the February 20, 2005 Israel government decision to expel Jewish residents of these 63 Jewish communities.

However, Israeli law allows a soldier to refuse an order if that soldier deems the order to run against the grain of the conscience and moral code of the soldier.

Israel is the one nation that apply the letter and the lesson of the legal and moral code that emerged from the Nuremberg Trials, which established the principle that a soldier cannot just say that he was following orders, if these orders are illegal and immoral.

Two sharp precedents loom on the horizon where the Nuremberg principles were indeed applied in Israel.

The first was a 1956 incident in the Israeli Arab village of Kfar Kassam, which occurred while Israeli troops were engaged in full scale combat with Egypt. A curfew had been clamped on the village. A truckload of Kfar Kassam villagers violated the curfew, returning from war after dark. The IDF local commander gave an order to shoot the curfew breakers. More than fifty villagers were shot to death by IDF troops. The Central IDF Command determined that the IDF officer who had given this order had issued an illegal an immoral order. Every IDF soldier involved in the operation, down to the lowest private, was indicted by the IDF court and charged with carrying out an illegal and immoral order, in what came to be known as the Kfar Kassam massacre legal precedent.

The second precedent can be ascribed to activism of the Israeli writer, Amos Kennan, who passed away this past August at the age of 82..

Kennan served as a reservist in an IDF unit, north of Jerusalem. following the 1967 war. A senior IDF officer gave an order to demolish some of the Arab villages in the Latrun area where his unit was based. Kennan refused the order. Facing possible court martial, he went one step further, and galvanized support from all walks of Israeli life in opposition to this order, and the order was reversed.

Writing in the October 1968 issue of Midstream Magazine, publication of the World Zionist Organization, Kennan wrote a seminal piece entitled A LETTER TO ALL GOOD PEOPLE, in which Kennan related that "the action that I undertook was in flagrant violation of any military law. According to military regulations I should have been court-martialed. I have not idea what would have been the sentence of a Red Army soldier were he to violate national and military discipline in such a manner..."

After the village demolition orders were rescinded by the IDF, Kennan added in the piece that he asked for and received permission from the IDF to visit every area that Israel acquired after the 1967 war, to make sure that no orders like that would ever be issued again.

In passionate support of Kennan’s assertion that Israel cannot demolish communities, Prof. Eliav Schochetman, Dean of the Shaari Mishpat Law College in Israel, testified in 2005 at Israel’s Knesset Parliament Law Committee that any decision of Israel to demolish Arab or Jewish communities would represent a clear "human rights infraction " which violates Israel's own "Basic Human Rights Law" which oversees Israeli democratic institutions in matters of human rights and civil liberties, in the same way that the US Bill of Rights ensures that the US government can never trample on the human rights and civil liberties of American citizens.

In his testimony, Schochetman noted that this Israeli government decision to demolish Jewish communities, because of its new map, represented a blatant violation of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which all democratic governments are adherents.

Schochetmen added that Israel's decision to expel entire communities also represented a violation of international human rights law.

Prof. Schochetman cited clause 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which mandates that it is illegal for sovereign governments to expel their own citizens and ethnic minorities from their homes, from their private properties or from their farms. Since the only group that Israel now slates for expulsion are Jews, it should be recalled that the government of Serbia was held liable for international prosecution at the International High Court of Justice in the Hague, under the charge of "ethnic cleansing", after leaders of Serbia singled out one ethnic minority for expulsion, solely because of their religion.

Prof. Schochetman also recalled clauses in the San Remo Treaty that was ratified by the League of Nations in 1923 and ratified by the new United Nations in 1945 which provided international recognition of the right of Jews to purchase and dwell in the "Jewish Homeland", defined by both international bodies as any land which lies anywhere east of the Jordan River.

After Schochetman's testimony at the Knesset, the Knesset Law Committee could not find a single law professor in Israel who could or would contradict Schochetman's assessment of the Israeli government's intention to destroy and exile entire communities would indeed represent a massive human rights violation .

That is why the claim of some Israeli soldiers that an order to expel entire communities would present them with an illegal and immoral order that must be disobeyed.  

The following from Chaim B. came on Adobe so it is in two columns from the cut and paste.

Also from Chaim B. about “A right wing nut job from the Knesset” at least according to the liberal press but the man saves lives!


In an interview with Member of the Knesset Dr. Arieh Eldad in the New English Review...

I was instrumental in establishing the Israeli National Skin Bank, which is the largest in the world. The National Skin Bank stores skin for every day needs as well as for war time or mass casualty situations. This skin bank is hosted at the Hadassah Ein Kerem University hospital in Jerusalem where I was the chairman of plastic
surgery. This is how I was asked to supply skin for an Arab woman from Gaza, who was hospitalized in Soroka Hospital in Beersheba after her family burned her. Usually, such atrocities happen among Arab families when the women are suspected of having an affair. We supplied all the needed Homografts for her treatment. She was successfully treated by my friend and colleague Prof. Lior Rosenberg, and discharged to return to Gaza.
She was invited for regular follow up visits to the outpatient clinic in Beersheba. One day she was caught at a border crossing wearing a suicide belt. She meant to explode herself in the outpatient clinic of the hospital where they saved her life. It seems that her family promised her that if she did that, they would forgive her.

This is only one example of the war between Jews and Muslims in the Land of Israel. It is not a territorial conflict. This is a civilizational conflict.

Now for M. Wolfberg’s Good Shabbos story: The Worm and Jacob’s Ladder

Good Shabbos Everyone. It was a cold Russian morning in early September,1964 and the American Rav Braunstein was in Kiev once again. By 1964, Jewish communities in Russia barely resembled the vibrant Jewish life which had characterized Russia for so many centuries.
Communist Russia was a dangerous place where Jews were persecuted and killed and where Judaism was almost completely stifled. One sad example, thousands of miles of railroad tracks of the Russian railroad were literally laid down on the bodies of Jewish slave laborers who died in its construction.
Over the years, Rav Braunstein made several dangerous trips to Communist Russia, in order to perform bris milahs and to spread Yiddishkeit among the oppressed Russian Jews. Most of his work was done under fear of his life.
Several times the evil Russian police caught and beat Rav Braunstein. One time, after a particularly bad beating, when Rav Braunstein was near death, the Russians sent him to England on a special medical plane, in order that he not die in Russia. Thankfully, Rav Braunstein survived that beating and lived to return to Russia to continue his holy work.
One of the most memorable Rosh Hashanas that Rav Braunstein remembers is the Rosh Hashana he spent in Kiev, Russia in 1964. After the morning prayers on Erev Rosh Hashana, a Skverer Chassid approached Rav Braunstein and asked him if he would like to pray on Rosh Hashana with a special minyan of Jews in Kiev. (It is important to note that by this time after so many years of Russian persecution, Russian Jews for the most part lacked almost all external trappings of Judaism, although their hearts still beat strongly for Hashem.)
Rav Braunstein was intrigued by the offer of the Skverer Chassid and therefore he quickly agreed to join the minyan. Rav Braunstein was instructed to look for two men who would walk by his hotel the next morning at 7 a.m. The evil KGB was always lurking in the area, so the utmost care had to be taken to avoid detection. So, the Skverer Chassid instructed Rav Braunstein to carefully follow the two men, at such a pace so that nobody would notice that Rav Braunstein was following the men. It was only early September, but it was still very cold in Kiev, so Rav Braunstein was instructed to bundle up well.
Sure enough, the next morning at 7 a.m., as Rav Braunstein waited in the hotel lobby, two men walked by the entrance very quickly. As instructed, Rav Braunstein walked at a healthy distance behind the men.
The three, two ahead and one way behind, walked for what seemed like hours on that frigid winter morning. It was very cold and the walk was very long, yet Rav Braunstein walked with determination. Soon, Rav Braunstein and the others left the city and entered the fields surrounding Kiev.
Eventually, the group arrived to a small forest. At the entrance of the forest stood two righteous women. The Jewish women stood guard against unwanted visitors, such as the Russian police and the dreaded KGB.
As Rav Braunstein approached an opening in the trees, he noticed an amazing site. Several Jews milled around, some standing, some sitting on fallen trees which served as benches. This was the Rosh Hashana minyan, in the middle of a forest outside Kiev. This was a minyan made of up survivors, survivors of the evil Russian Empire. Rav Braunstein was amazed at what he saw…
We read about the power of prayer in our Torah portion this week Toldos. When our Yitzchok Avinu was near death, Yitzchok called his son Eisav to receive the blessing of the first born. Yitzchok told his son Eisav to go out and to hunt some game and then prepare a big feast for his father. When Eisav left the tent of his father Yitzchok to go hunting, Rivka, the mother of Eisav and Yakov hurried to tell her favorite son Yakov.
Although Yakov was the younger of the two brothers, Yakov was actually entitled to the blessings of his father Yitzchok; because, Yakov had purchased the birthright from Eisav. (Bereishis 25:31-34) Why would Yitzchok call Eisav to receive the blessing, if Yakov was now entitled to receive the blessing of the firstborn?
The Ohr HaChayim explains that Yitzchok was perhaps unaware that Eisav had sold the birthright to Yakov. And perhaps, there was too little time for Yakov to explain to his father Yitzchok that Eisav had actually sold the birthright to Yakov; because Eisav would soon return from the field with the meat for his father. Therefore, Yakov dressed in the hunting outfit of Eisav and approached his father Yitzchok to receive the blessing.
The Torah tells us “So Yakov drew close to Yitzchok his father who felt him and said: The voice is the voice of Yakov, but the hands are the hands of Eisav.” (27:22) The Midrash explains this powerful verse in an interesting way. The power of Yakov/Yisroel is in its voice with prayer and Torah study, while the power of Eisav and the nations is in its physical strength. (Artscroll Tanach Series, Bereishis, p.1133) As the Prophet tells us “Fear not, O’ worm of Yakov.” (R.Amonon Yitzchok, Shlita, citing Yeshiyahu 41:14)
Why is Yakov compared to a worm? The power of a worm is in its mouth. A tiny worm can bore through the strongest wood with its mouth. So too, the strength of the Jews is in their mouth with prayer. (Rashi and Metzudas Dovid on Yeshiyahu 41:14)
The nations may be bigger and stronger than we are, but we have the power of prayer, which is much stronger than their physical power. Against all odds, Yisroel will prevail over the nations with the help of fervent prayer to Hashem.
Thus, the Midrash explains, when the verse states “The voice is the voice of Yakov, but the hands are the hands of Eisav,” the Torah is telling us that as long as the voice of Yakov is heard in prayer and Torah study, the hands of Eisav and the nations are powerless against the us. (Midrash Eicha Pesichta 2,1)
One of the biggest Eisavs in history was the Russian Empire. Interestingly enough, the Torah tells us that Eisav was red. (see Bereishis 25:25) The color red is also associated with the Communist Russians...
The congregants huddled around what few machzorim there were, back in the cold Russian forest. Soon after Rav Braunstein arrived, a chassid began to lead the prayers. The minyan was made up of Skverer, Lubavitcher, Chernobler, and Breslever chassidim.
It was a davening that Rav Braunstein remembers to this day. Sitting nearby was an 80 year-old man who was too tired to stand up at all during the prayers. Apparently, the man had spent all his strength taking the long walk to the secret forest.
The old man sat on a log, in a talis which was in tatters; for new talesim and the like were not available in Communist Russia.
The old man sat crying on the log from ma tovu - the beginning of the prayers to Aleinu. Rav Braunstein watched in awe as the old man soaked his raggedy talis in tears
Soon, it came time to blow the shofar. This was the most dangerous time for the secret minyan. The baal tokeah wanted to immerse himself in a mikveh before blowing the shofar, as is the common practice for many. Where would they find a mikveh deep in the Russian woods?
The baal tokeah went off to the side and undressed. He then proceeded to roll himself in the snow several times before getting dressed and rejoining the minyan.
The voice of the shofar had to reach up to the ears of the minyan and onwards to heaven without alerting the Russians of the holy congregation. So the baal tokeah sat on the forest floor while the minyan crowded around, squeezed together and hunched over him.
Because of the conditions, the baal tokeah had to blow the required 100 blasts one after the other, instead of the usual custom. As the voice of the shofar rose up to the ears of the members of the minyan huddled above, tears rained down on the baal tokeah. Fervent prayers sailed up to shomayim, asking Hashem for forgiveness and begging an end to the evil Russian Empire.
Having shed so many tears on that cold Russian day, Rav Braunstein left the minyan and trudged back to Kiev. It was a Rosh Hashana he would never forget.
Nearly 25 years later, the Iron Curtain and the Communists finally came down; at least partly on the power of that secret minyan in a forest outside of Kiev in 1964. (as told by Rav Yosef Chaim Greenwald) As long as the voice of Yakov is heard in prayer, Yakov - Yisroel will prevail. Good Shabbos Everyone.

Good Shabbos Everyone. In this week’s parsha Vayeitzeh we read about how, on the way to Charan, Yakov Avinu stopped to rest for the night. As he slept, Yakov dreamt that he saw a ladder. The famous dream of the ladder contains some of the most inspirational spiritual lessons of the entire Torah. The verse tells us that Yakov “dreamt, and behold! A ladder was set on the earth and its top reached towards the heavens...” (Bereishis 28:12)
The Sages teach us that the ladder symbolizes the position of a Jew in this world. Although we stand on the ground like the base of the ladder, we strive to reach up to the heavens, like the top of the ladder in the dream. As the verse states, "A ladder was set on the earth and its top reached towards the heavens..."
The following emotional story illustrates how one Jew climbed very high in life through his spiritual dedication.
Reb Gedalia Moshe Goldman, who later became the Grand Rebbe of Zvhil, and Chaim Shaul Bruk, a renowned Chabad mashpia (mentor), were serving time together in a Soviet prison camp. Their "heinous" crime? Observing and spreading Judaism under the Communist regime.
One Shabbos, the sadistic commandant of the camp called Reb Gedalia Moshe into his office. "I have here the papers for your release," he said as he waved some papers in the air, "and if you sign them now you will be a free man."
"But it is Shabbos," replied Reb Gedalia Moshe. "I cannot and will not sign on Shabbos." The commandant – who, of course, knew that Reb Gedalia Moshe wouldn't transgress the Shabbos – shouted, "If you don't sign the papers now you will remain here another eight years!"
"Nevertheless, I will not sign and desecrate the Shabbos."
"Very well," sneered the commandant. "Don't sign. You will be in this prison for eight more years. And we'll see how your G-d will help you…"
"If you don't sign the papers now you will remain here another eight years!"
"If my G-d wants to help me, He'll do it without you. And if He wants me to be in this prison eight more years, I will be here eight more years even if you would decide to let me go," replied Reb Gedalia Moshe calmly. "It has nothing to do with you."
The already enraged commandant saw red. He whipped his pistol out of its holster, pointed it at Gedalia Moshe's heart, and screamed "Let's see who will help you now!" He cocked the gun…
At that moment his daughter walked into the office. She saw her father pointing the gun at Reb Gedalia Moshe and said in a bored voice, "Father, it's a waste of a bullet…" Slowly the commandant lowered the gun. "Don't think it was your G-d that saved you!" he shouted at Reb Gedalia Moshe who was standing there serenely. "If it hadn't been for my daughter you would be dead by now!"
He turned to an aide and yelled to him, "Bring in the other Jew trouble-maker, Chaim Shaul!" A few moments passed, and Reb Chaim Shaul was standing in the office next to Reb Gedalia Moshe.
The commandant made him the same offer as he had to Reb Gedalia Moshe: "Sign these papers and you can go free."
"Of course I can't sign the papers," replied Reb Chaim Shaul, "It's Shabbos, and I don't violate the Shabbos." "You will remain here another eight years." "I will not write on Shabbos."
Suddenly Reb Gedalia Moshe said, "Give me the papers. I will sign for him." The commandant was dumbfounded.
"What? You said you wouldn't write on Shabbos! You're going to be here for another eight years! And now you'll sign for him?"
"Of course I wouldn't sign on Shabbos to gain my freedom," Reb Gedalia Moshe replied. "But this is different. I'm strong, and I can withstand the conditions in this prison another eight years. But Reb Chaim Shaul is weaker, and he cannot stand this place any longer. It would be dangerous for him to remain here another eight years. Give me the papers and let me sign..." Both men were freed from prison within the next few days. For after all, it wasn't the commandant who was in control. 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