Thank you for your prayers.
Rabbi Besser left this world yesterday, but his legacy will live forever.
He is being buried today in Yerushalayim, on Har Hamenuchos.
The levaya is scheduled to be held at Shamgar in Yerushalayim at 6:30 pm on Wednesday evening, followed by kevurah on Har Hamenuchos.
Reb Shlomo Besser, his son, will sit shivah there all day Thursday at his daughters home, Greenberger family, Rechov Druk 40, in Yerushalayim, returning to New York on Friday morning.
In NYC Shiva will be held at 118 Riverside Drive Apt. #2B (corner 84th Street) in Manhattan until Tuesday morning 2 Adar/February 16. (The Rabbis Apartment)
We will be learning in his merit, and please G-d we will be having a Memorial Service in Los Angeles in one month. If you would like to participate in the learning please email me.
On behalf of his family, I thank you for your prayers.
The world has lost one of the great pillars of Judaism and humanity.
May we be comforted among the mourners of Zion,
Bila ha'maves la'netzach
— Rabbi Yonah Bookstein
Undergoing an operation needs healing for a week – Nachman Zev HaCohain ben Ita Sarah.
Time for a laugh before two very serious Parshiyos. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBRiWcqMX6M&feature=player_embedded#
21:1 Now these are the ordinances which thou shall set before them. 2 If thou buy a Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve; and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. 3 If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself; if he be married, then his wife shall go out with him. 4 If his master give him a wife, and she bear him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master’s and he shall go out by himself. 5 But if the servant shall plainly say: I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free; 6 then his master shall bring him unto God, and shall bring him to the door, or unto the door-post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him forever.
Forever means until the Yovel (50th year) when liberty is proclaimed throughout the land (this does not affect the Canaanite slave). The following Torah comes from the free thinking of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane HY”D - I may not have approved of his tactics but Torah is Torah and politically I could call myself on the verge of being even an enemy of the late Yishayahu Lebowitz (Communist) but his Torah was brilliant.
The Jew is commanded to ascend via humility and lowliness and to break down his own egotism. He is obligated to liberate himself from his enslavement to himself and to be a free man vis-a-vis everyone but G-d. To be a slave to mortal man or to oneself is a profound sin. If the slave of a Jew does not wish to go free [after six years], his ear is pierced with an awl, and our sages explain (Kiddushin 22b):
How is the ear different from all other parts of the body? G-d said, “If one's ear heard Me say on Mount Sinai (Lev. 25:55), 'The Children of Israel are slaves to Me', slaves to Me, not slaves to slaves, and he still went and acquired a master for himself, that ear must be pierced.”
R. Shimon ben Rebbe's exposition on this verse was like a gem: How are the door and the doorpost different from all other parts of the house? G-d said, “They were witnesses in Egypt when I passed over the lintel and the two doorposts, saying, 'The children of Israel are my slaves', and not slaves to slaves, and I took them out of bondage. And this person went and acquired a master for himself? Let his ear be pierced in their presence.
A man of flesh and blood should not take another human being as his master; neither should he be a slave to himself. He is G-d's slave.
The Torah commanded us to keep laws and statutes which conceptually serve as a constant reminder of how abominable is conceit and how essential humility. In actual fact, the first commandment given to Israel when they ceased their bondage to mortal man was one intended to imbue them with humility; namely, the commandment to burn one's
Chametz [bread and other forms of leaven] before Pesach (Ex. 12:19; 13:7). Chametz, with its yeast which causes dough to expand, is a symbol of conceit which inflates a person's ego, enslaving and destroying him. The person enslaved by his pride and lust, the arrogant man who rebels against his task here on earth, rebels against the purpose of his and the world's having been created. He rebels against his Creator.
By contrast, someone who suppresses his evil impulse, overcoming his pride and lust, fulfills his task in the world.
This is man's whole purpose, the reason for his having been formed: to know G-d, cling to His attributes and fulfill His commandments. Within this very process, itself, comes self-effacement, subjugation of the evil impulse and a declaration: “The L-rd is G-d and there is no other – surely not myself – besides Him.”
Therefore, precisely during our season of freedom and national pride, when we celebrate liberation from the arrogant Egyptians and when exaltation would have been befitting and proper, G-d commanded base humility so Israel would remember that vis-a-vis G-d, they would always remain slaves, serving Him forever. As our sages said (Sifri, Shelach 115):
When G-d redeemed the seed of His beloved Abraham, He redeemed them not as sons but as slaves. Whenever He made a decree and they rejected it, He would say, “You are My slaves”. When they when out to the desert, He began to decree a few severe commandments and a few lighter ones... and Israel began to rebel. He said to them, “You are My slaves. I redeemed you on condition that I be able to decree and have you obey.”
Now, instead of being slaves of G-d, a title which is no disgrace, but the greatest praise a person can receive, we have become slaves of slaves.
Observe what our sages said (Sifri, Vezos HaBerachah, 357): “Slave of the L-rd” (Deut. 34:5): The Torah is not defaming Moses but praising him. We find that the first prophets were called slaves, as it says, “For the L-rd G-d does nothing without revealing His counsel unto His slaves the prophets” (Amos 3:7)
[Similarly we find in Rabbi Kahane's “Peirush haMaccabee” on Shemos, Chapter 2, regarding the Cohain:]
The Cohen is the one who serves and obeys, like a slave before his master. The Torah says: And Malchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine; and he was a Cohain of G-d, the Most High [which the Targum Onkelos renders: “and he served before G-d Most High”]. And he [Malchizedek] blessed him [Abram] saying: Blessed be Abram to G-d, the Most High, Possessor of Heaven and Earth (Genesis 14:18-19). Here we see that a Cohain of G-d is the person who begins with the understanding that Hashem is indeed the Possessor of heaven and earth – space, time, everything. And what exactly does the word koneh (“possessor”) really mean? – He is the Owner and the Master, because He has acquired everything by having created everything (as Rashi puts it: By having made them, He acquired them as His own). And this Cohain is a slave of G-d, and he is called by His Master’s Name because what the slave acquires his master acquires, because the slave is no more than his master’s hand. The Cohain in Israel is the one who has been sanctified to serve G-d in His Holy Temple, and only someone like that is worthy of placing Hashem’s Name on the nation, as the Torah says: And they [the Cohanim] will place My Name on the Children of Israel, and I will bless them (Numbers 6:27). The Torah also says: And you [Moses], draw close to yourself Aaron your brother and his sons with him, from among the Children of Israel, to minister to Me (Exodus 28:1).
...Aaron and the Cohanim were chosen to minister to Me, to be the slaves who would serve and obey Hashem in ministering to Him. They have been acquired as slaves to G-d the Most High, the Possessor of Heaven and Earth, and every day they testify to His omnipotence, and that He is Hashem, L-rd of Legions.
A slave of G-d is obligated to accept the yoke of his Master in heaven. He is lowly and belittles himself out of fear and reverence for his Master, the L-rd, and he esteems and praises Him as much as he can, as great, mighty and awesome. Precisely of all these reasons, precisely due to his fear of G-d, his fear of flesh and blood falls away. Any slave of G-d will never be a slave to a slave, i.e., to flesh and blood. Whoever truly stands in fear and trembling before the exclusive power and might of G-d will never fear mortal man, who comes from dust and returns to dust.
Such is the fear of G-d: Whoever stands in fear and trembling before G-d's majesty, astonished at His power and might, greatness and omnipotence, is at once seized with fear and reverence for his Maker and King; yet at the same time, all fear of flesh and blood leaves him, for of what importance is man?
Woe to us that, due to the curse of the exile, we have violated G-d's terrible prohibition which states, “The children of Israel are My slaves. They are My slaves because I brought them out of Egypt. I am the L-rd your G-d” (Lev. 25:55).
Due to our fear of the nations, we have become slaves to them of our own doing. We, thus, deserve the punishment of the slave whose ear is pierced: “He shall then serve his master forever” (Ex. 21:6).
Whoever takes a flesh-and-blood master because he fears him and relies on him and leans on his strength and kindness, denies the existence of G-d, the Supreme Master. Not only does he do this, but he profanes G-d's name (Torat Cohanim, Behar, 9): “The children of Israel are My slaves... I am the L-rd your G-d” This teaches that whenever Israel go into slavery here on earth, Scripture treats it as if G-d is going into slavery as well.” The simple meaning of this is that G-d took Israel out of Egyptian bondage to sanctify His name by showing the nations His power and might. Hence, when Israel once more become enslaved, where is G-d's power and where is His might? There is no greater Chillul Hashem than this. It is as though G-d is being enslaved by the nations, so to speak.
Now if it is so when a nation attacks Israel and enslaves them, what can we possibly say when a Jew fearfully enslaves himself to the non-Jew? Could any Chillul Hashem be greater?
Our times constitute the beginning of the redemption and the footsteps of the Messiah. G-d in His kindness, in preparation for speedy redemption, presently demands of us Kiddush Hashem of the sort based on faith and trust in Him. Yet we, our children and our elders have sunk in the mire of exile, and have raised up on a miserable banner the fear and degradation of “It is forbidden to provoke the nations”. This theme, whose sorrowful conception and birth are in the exile, constitutes a humiliating affront to our people, and worse, a profanation of the great name of the Supreme King. If it suited the lowliness of the exile, when we were unwilling slaves to the nations, powerless to raise ourselves up to defend ourselves, how dare we bring that same disgraceful concept into the holy land, the land of G-d. While G-d has afforded us the greatest, most powerful miracles since the Chasmonean victories, we have remained that same exilic product, that same slave to the nations and slaves to slaves, with that same base spirit which led G-d to decree what he decreed against our ancestors in the desert. We must don sackcloth and ashes!
The female slave or servant who is Jewish: We must remember that marriage for females up until 50 or 60 years ago in the Russian Asian States, Muslim countries some parts of India and the Far East were made by the father for his 12 year old or teenage daughter. It was rarer that under the age of 12 marriages were contracted. So looking at the Jewish slave/servant girl takes it as follows. She is from a reasonably good family maybe the daughter of a poor Talmud Chacham who is sold into the house of a rich man basically for money for the poor family and eventually for a Shidduch (match) between the man’s son and the girl. She is literally being educated in cooking, sewing, knitting, washing and cleaning of the house by the boy’s mother.
The Canaanite slave is used by the master/mistress to produce more slaves. If the son desires her, she is freed from bondage and becomes a Jew in every way except that she can never marry a Cohain, but her children can like most Gerim (converts) that marry Jews.
7 And if a man sells his daughter to be a maid-servant, she shall not go out as the men-servants do. 8 If she please not her master, who hath espoused her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed; to sell her unto a foreign people he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her. 9 And if he espouse her unto his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters. 10 If he takes him another wife, her food, her raiment, and her conjugal rights, shall he not diminish. 11 And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out for nothing, without money.
We now skip forward to the laws of damages, injury, compensation, healing payments, embarrassment payments etc. Today we just use damages and injury although the Judges do take into consideration the other payments.
23 But if any harm follow, then thou shall give life for life, not so in accidental manslaughter and perhaps the manslaughterer must flee to a city of refuge. (Which does not exist today but we have prison systems) 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. 26 And if a man smite the eye of his bondman, or the eye of his bondwoman, and destroy it, he shall let him go free for his eye's sake. 27 And if he smite out his bondman's tooth, or his bondwoman's tooth, he shall let him go free for his tooth's sake.
25. a burn for a burn, a wound for a wound, a bruise for a bruise.
a burn for a burn: Heb. כְּוִיָּה, a burn caused by fire. [Rashi probably alludes to מִכְוַת-אֵשׁ in Lev. 13:24.] Until now [the Torah] spoke of an injury that decreases the value [of the victim], and now of [an injury] that does not decrease the [victim’s] value [as a slave] but causes pain, for instance if he [the assailant] burned him [the victim] on his nails with a spit, they [the judges] compute how much [money] a person like him would be willing to take to endure such pain. -[From B.K. 84a, Mechilta]
a wound: Heb. פֶּצַע, a wound that bleeds, where he wounded his [victim’s] flesh, navredure in Old French, all according to what it [the wound] is. If it decreases his value, he [the assailant must] pay [for the] damage; if he falls into idleness, he [must] pay for idleness, and for healing, shame, and pain. This verse is superfluous [because there is no difference between a wound and a burn. Whatever damage he inflicts he must pay]. In [the chapter] הַחוֹבֵל (B.K. 84a), our Rabbis interpreted it as making one liable for [the victim’s] pain even where there is [permanent] damage [which he must pay for], because although he pays him [the victim] the value of his hand, we do not exempt him from the [payment compensating for the victim’s] pain, reasoning that since he [the assailant] purchased his [the victim’s] hand [by giving the victim payment for its value], he may amputate it with whatever he wants. We say, however, that he should amputate it with a medication that lessens the pain. However, [if] he cut it off with [an] iron [implement] and caused him pain [he must give the victim compensation]. -[From B.K. 85a]
a bruise: Heb. חַבּוּרָה. This is a blow in which blood collects but does not come out. It only reddens the flesh on that spot. The term חַבּוּרָה is equivalent to tache in Old French [meaning] a spot, like “or a leopard its spots (חִבַרְבֻּרֹתָיו) ” (Jer. 13:23). Its Aramaic translation is מַשְׁקוֹפֵי, an expression of beating, batedure in Old French, [meaning] beating, knocking, and so, שְׁדֻפוֹתקָדִּים (Gen. 41:23) [is translated by Onkelos as:] קִדּוּם שְׁקִיפָן, [which means] “beaten by the [east] wind,” and similarly, “on the lintel (עַל הַמַשְׁקוֹף)” (Exod. 12:7), [is given this appellation] because the door bangs against it [the lintel]. [See commentary on Exod. 12:7.]
26. And if a man strikes the eye of his manservant or the eye of his maidservant and destroys it, he shall set him free in return for his eye,
the eye of his manservant: [This refers to] a Canaanite, but a Hebrew [slave] does not go out with [the loss of his] tooth or [his] eye as we have stated on “she shall not go out as the slaves go out” (Exod. 21:7).
in return for his eye: And so it [the law] is with the twenty-four tips of limbs: [i.e.,] the fingers and toes, the two ears and the nose, and the רֹאֹש הַגְּוִיָה, which is the male organ. Why were [both] a tooth and an eye mentioned [when the Torah could have mentioned only one]? Because if it had mentioned an eye and did not mention a tooth, I would say that just as an eye was created with him [at birth], so [does this apply to] everything that is created with him, but a tooth was not created with him [at birth]. [Therefore, I would say that if the master knocked out his slave’s tooth, the slave would not be freed.] If it mentioned a tooth and did not mention an eye, I would say [that] even [if the master knocked out] a baby tooth, which would be replaced [by the natural growth of another tooth, the slave would be freed]. Therefore, it mentions the eye [which cannot be replaced, to teach us that if the master knocks out a baby tooth, the slave is not freed]. -[From Kid. 24a]
The Torah goes on with moving property damages such as a fire, an ox and his animals eating fruits and vegetables from a neighbor’s garden and leaving a danger in a public place. Or negligence such as no fence around his roof or pool and somebody falls in and gets hurt or worst. Today it could be not taking care of one’s brakes or having the handbrake down in the car on a hill.
This is followed by laws of how to deal with a thief or robber.
… 37 If a man steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it, he shall pay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.
22:1 If a thief be found breaking in, and be smitten so that he dies, there shall be no blood guiltiness for him. 2 If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood guiltiness for him--he shall make restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft
2. If the sun shone upon him, [it is as if] he has blood; he shall surely pay. If he has no [money], he shall be sold for his theft.
If the sun shone upon him: This is nothing but a metaphor [meaning] if the matter is clear to you that he [the thief] is peaceably disposed toward you-similar to the sun, which represents peace in the world-so it is obvious to you that he has not come to kill [you]. Even if the owner of the money rises against him, for instance, if a father breaks in to steal his son’s property, it is known that the father has mercy on his son, and he has not come with the idea of murdering [him]. -[From Sanh. 72a, Mechilta]
he has blood: He [the thief] is considered as a live person, and it is [considered] murder if the property owner kills him.
. 3 If the theft be found in his hand alive, whether it be ox, or ass, or sheep, he shall pay double. … 11 But if it be stolen from him, he shall make restitution unto the owner thereof. 12 If it be torn in pieces, let him bring it for witness; he shall not make good that which was torn.
To have the thief pay for his crime as a deterrent to others – slavery to somebody on a 24/7 with no pay and only a Canaanite wife is no pleasurable thing. In the end the children belong to his master and his wife is lost to him unless he redeems her through purchase at the end of his 7 years. On Shabbos he cannot rest, he is sweeping the floor, washing the dishes, cleaning the table, setting up chairs if there are guests and waiting upon everybody. He does have one advantage, if the man has only one pillow and blanket he gets that before the householder.
13 And if a man borrows aught of his neighbor, and it be hurt, or die, the owner thereof not being with it, he shall surely make restitution. 14 If the owner thereof be with it, he shall not make it good; if it be a hireling, he loses his hire.
If its owner is with him: Whether he [the animal’s owner] is with him [the borrower] doing the same work, or if he was with him doing a different work. If he [the animal’s owner] was with him [the borrower] at the time of the loan, he [the owner] need not be with him at the time the limb was broken or the animal died [to make him exempt from payment]. -[From B.M. 95b]
if it is a hired [animal]: If the bull was not borrowed but hired, [and] it came to be hired into the hands of this hirer [for a fee] not through lending And he [the hirer] does not have complete benefit [of the animal] for he used it through its hire, and he does not have the status of a borrower to be liable for accidents beyond his control. [The Torah, however,] did not specify what his status is, whether he is judged like an unpaid custodian or like a paid custodian. Therefore, the Sages of Israel differed concerning him: How does a hirer pay [in the case of an accident]? Rabbi Meir says: Like an unpaid custodian. Rabbi Judah says: Like a paid custodian. -[From B.M. 90b]
This din applies to car rental and other rentals today and the courts act accordingly.
15. If a man seduces a virgin who is not betrothed and lies with her, he shall provide her with a marriage contract as a wife.
If a man seduces: Heb. יְפַךְתֶּה, he speaks to her heart until she yields to him. And so is its Aramaic translation: וַאִרֵי יְשַׁדֵּל. שִׁדּוּל in Aramaic is the equivalent of פִּךְתּוּי in Hebrew [and both signify persuasion].
He shall provide her with a marriage contract: He shall stipulate for her a dowry, as is the custom of a man to his wife, that he writes for her a Ketuba, and he shall marry her. -[From Mechilta]
This is a seduced woman and not a rape victim which Devarim (Deut.) deals with. Here she was willingly in love with the man and is happy to marry him. . If the woman was engaged then both she and he in our case here would get the death penalty or a divorce if there was only one witness. With the rape victim, I do not envy the man who falls under her vengeance and he cannot divorce her all his days. She’ll make him shape up
…19 He that sacrifices unto the gods, save unto the LORD only, shall be utterly destroyed. 20 And a stranger shall thou not wrong, neither shall thou oppress him; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. 21 Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child. 22 If thou afflict them in any wise--for if they cry at all unto Me, I will surely hear their cry-- 23 My wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.
Ok bully take on the widow and the orphan as they are easy victims but be warned soon your wife may very well become of widow because of it. The last laugh is on ME for I am the L-RD.
24 If thou lend money to any of My people, even to the poor with thee, thou shall not be to him as a creditor; neither shall ye lay upon him interest. 25 If thou at all take thy neighbor's garment to pledge, thou shall restore it unto him by that the sun goes down; 26 for that is his only covering, it is his garment for his skin; wherein shall he sleep? and it shall come to pass, when he cries unto Me, that I will hear; for I am gracious.
If you take… as security: Heb. חָבֹל ךְתַּחְבֹּל. No expression of חִבָלָה means security given at the time of the loan, but [that which] is exacted from the debtor when the debt becomes due and he [the debtor] does not pay (B.M. 114). (חָבֹל ךְתַּחְבֹּל the Torah repeats the taking of the security [implying that one may take security] even many times. The Holy One, blessed is He, said: “How much you owe Me! Yet your soul ascends to Me every night, gives an account, is found guilty before Me, and I return it to you. You too, take and return, take and return.” ) -(Tanchuma 16.)
until sunset you shall return it to him: [For] the entire day you shall return it to him until the sun sets, and when the sun sets you may again take it until the next morning arrives. This verse speaks of a garment worn by day, which he does not need at night. -[From Mechilta, B.M. 114b]
26. for it is his only covering; it is his garment for his skin. With what shall he lie? And it shall be [that] if he cries out to Me, I will hear because I am gracious.
for it is his only covering: This is a cloak. -[From Mechilta]
his garment: This is a shirt. -[From Mechilta]
With what shall he lie?: [This comes] to include a spread. -[From Mechilta]
One must remember what was poverty then.
23:1 Thou shall not utter a false report; put not thy hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.
You shall not accept a false report: Heb. לֹא תִשָׂא, as the Targum [Onkelos renders]: You shall not accept a false report. [This is] a prohibition against accepting slander (Mechilta, Pes. 118a, Mak. 23a), and for a judge [it dictates] that he should not hear the plea of one litigant until his opponent arrives (Mechilta, Sanh. 7b).
do not place your hand with a wicked person: who files a false claim against his neighbor, for whom he had promised to be a false witness.
I personally know somebody who did a false report in front of Beis Din to get money from his neighbor. The neighbor not wanting to pursue the matter in the court of appeals decided that it was too much time and money on his part and problems for his health. So he has patience when the neighbor after 120 years comes before the heavenly court to receive his true punishment for the false statements in the court. This was not a thief or robber by violence but by mouth.
2 Thou shall not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shall thou bear witness in a cause to turn aside after a multitude to pervert justice;
You shall not follow the majority for evil: There are [Halachic] interpretations for this verse given by the Sages of Israel, but the language of the verse does not fit its context according to them. From here they [the Sages] expounded that we may not decide unfavorably [for the defendant] by a majority created by one judge. They interpreted the end of the verse: אַחִרֵי רַבִּים לְהַטֹת, “after the majority to decide,” [to mean] that if those [judges] voting [that the defendant is] guilty outnumber those voting [that the defendant is] innocent by two, the verdict is to be decided unfavorably according to their [the majority’s] opinion. The text speaks of capital cases [i.e., in regard to the death penalty] (Sanh. 2a). [Note that in monetary cases, the court requires a majority of only one judge in order to convict someone.] The middle of the verse וְלֹא-תַעִנֶה עַל-רִב, they [the Rabbis] interpreted like וְלֹא-תַעִנֶה עַל-רַב [and you shall not speak up against a master], meaning that we may not differ with the greatest of the court. Therefore, in capital cases they [the judges] commence [the roll call] from the side, meaning that they first ask the smallest [least esteemed] of them to express his opinion (Sanh. 32a). According to the words of our Sages, this is the interpretation of the verse:
You shall not follow the majority for evil: to condemn [a person] to death because of one judge, by whom those who declare [the defendant] guilty outnumber those who declare [him] innocent.
And you shall not speak up against a master: to deviate from his words. Because the “yud” [of רִיב, meaning quarrel] is missing, they interpreted it (רִב) in this manner [i.e., like (רַב)].
After the majority to decide: [signifies that] there is, however, a majority after whom you do decide [the verdict]. When? If those [judges] who declare [the defendant] guilty outnumber by two those who declare him innocent. And since it says: “You shall not follow the majority for evil,” I deduce that you shall follow them [the majority] for good. From here they [the Rabbis] deduced that in capital cases, we decide through [a majority of] one for an acquittal and through [a majority of] two for a conviction. Onkelos renders [this verse]: Do not refrain from teaching what appears to you concerning a judgment. The Hebrew wording according to the Targum is interpreted as follows: And you shall not respond concerning a quarrel by turning away. If someone asks you something concerning the law, do not answer by turning aside and distancing yourself from the quarrel, but judge it honestly. I, however, say, [differing from the Rabbis and Onkelos] that it [the verse] should be according to its context. This is its interpretation:
You shall not follow the majority for evil: If you see wicked people perverting justice, do not say, “Since they are many, I will follow them.”
and you shall not respond concerning a lawsuit to follow, etc.: And if the litigant asks you about that [corrupted] judgment, do not answer him concerning the lawsuit with an answer that follows those many to pervert the judgment from its true ruling But tell the judgment as it is, and let the neck iron hang on the neck of the many. [I.e., let the many bear the punishment for their perversion of justice.]
3 neither shall thou favor a poor man in his cause - in his lawsuit.
Neither shall you glorify: You shall not bestow honor upon him [the destitute man] by deciding in his favor in his lawsuit, saying, “He is a poor man; I will decide in his favor and honor him.”
THE TORAH DOES NOT RECOGNIZE “SPREADING THE WEALTH AROUND”. For that is called justice with an ‘in’ in front of the word. Just remember WHO made the man rich or poor. Sometimes the poor man is wrong in his lawsuit and sometimes he is right.
…6 You shall not wrest the judgment of thy poor in his cause.
This is not a contradiction for a rich man can be prompted by lawyers and the poor man has nobody but HASHEM and his own honesty to lean upon.
7 Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not; for I will not justify the wicked. 8 And thou shall take no gift; for a gift blinds them that have sight, and perverts the words of the righteous.
And do not kill a truly innocent person or one who has been declared innocent, for I will not vindicate a guilty person.
The story goes on about Rabban Gamliel and his sister who purposely wanted to show that a non-Jewish judge who was known as fair and appointed by Caesar was a bribe taker. It is in the Talmud and at the end of the judgement it went on with her saying because she gave the judge a lamp – may you be enlightened to my cause and her brother saying my donkey kicked over your lamp.
9 And a stranger shall thou not oppress; for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.
This applies to both the Ger Toshav (non-Jew who follows the 7 Commandments of Noach and lives in Eretz Yisrael) and of course the Ger Tzeddek who is a full Jew.
10 And six years thou shall sow thy land, and gather in the increase thereof; 11 but the seventh year thou salt let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of thy people may eat; and what they leave the beast of the field shall eat. In like manner thou shall deal with thy vineyard, and with thy olive yard.
This is the Shemita year.
12 Six days thou shall do your work, but on the seventh day thou shall rest; that you ox and your ass may have rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed.
These laws regarding Shabbos were given to people who witnessed the plagues in Egypt, crossed the sea of reeds, heard the voice on Har Sinai, were eating Man (Manna), ate the quail and saw water come out of a rock and made potable by a tree thrown in it. These were the people who received the warnings and Mussar (ethical sayings) about Shabbos. All the more so to those who purposely violate it today in the name of “being modern”. (Being Modern also entitles throwing off their clothing in public to protest furs for they don’t like the idea that G-D made skin garments for Adam and Chava when they were thrown out of Gan Eden – primitives.)
17 Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord GOD.
Three times, etc.: Since the context deals with the seventh year, it was necessary to say that the three pilgrimage festivals would not be uprooted from their place. -[From Mechilta] all your males: Heb. כָּל-זְכוּר. All the males among you. כל זכורך: הזכרים שבך: 18. You shall not sacrifice the blood of My sacrifice with leaven, and the fat of My festive sacrifice shall not stay overnight until morning.
Why only the males? I offer 2 solutions to this problem. 1) Women are at home raising children in a Torah lifestyle and therefore just as an emergency doctor, soldier, fireman, etc. would be exempt so too Torah Education which is one of the biggest Mitzvos out there. (2) Modesty for Women may or may not have their period. If most of the women came and so and so did not, chatter would break out that she has her period.
18 Thou shall not offer the blood of My sacrifice with leavened bread; neither shall the fat of My feast remain all night until the morning. 19 The choicest first-fruits of thy land thou shall bring into the house of the LORD thy God. Thou shall not seethe a kid in its mother's milk.
This is not only cruel and violates cruelty to animals it also teaches us not to cook milk and meat together.
20 Behold, I send an angel before thee, to keep thee by the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.
Behold, I am sending an angel before you: Here they were informed that they were destined to sin, and the Shechina would say to them, “For I will not ascend in your midst” (Exod. 33: 3). - [From Exod. Rabbah 32:3] that I have prepared: to give to you. This is its simple meaning. Its midrashic interpretation is: "That I have prepared": My place is already recognizable opposite it. This is one of the verses that state that the heavenly Temple is directly opposite the earthly Temple. [From Midrash Tanchuma 18]
We might not be deserving of the Shechina because of our sins, but instead of the Holy Spiritual connection to G-D we will have an Angel – for HE keeps HIS promises to Avraham, Yitzchak and Yacov.
21 Take heed of him, and hearken unto his voice; be not rebellious against him; for he will not pardon your transgression; for My name is in him.
MY angel is MY Ambassador between you and I so heed the Ambassador.
…12 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Come up to Me into the mount and be there; and I will give thee the tables of stone, and the law and the commandment, which I have written, that thou may teach them.'
Come up to Me to the mountain and remain there: for forty days.
The stone tablets, the Law and the commandments, which I have written to, instruct them: All 613 mitzvoth are included in the Ten Commandments. In the “Azharoth” that he composed for each commandment [of the Ten], Rabbaynu Saadiah [Gaon] explained the mitzvoth dependent upon it [each commandment]. [from Jonathan, Num. Rabbah 13:16]
13 And Moses rose up, and Joshua his minister; and Moses went up into the mount of God.
I do not know what business Joshua had here, but I would say that the disciple [Joshua] escorted his mentor [Moses] until the place of the limits of the boundaries of the mountain, for he was not permitted to go past that point. From there Moses alone ascended to the mountain of God. Joshua pitched his tent and waited there for forty days. So we find that when Moses descended, “Joshua heard the voice of the people as they shouted” (Exod. 32:17). We learn [from there] that Joshua was not with them.
I have seen this with Talmidim longing to be with their Rabbi for his teachings and others for his advice or blessing.
14 And unto the elders he said: 'Tarry ye here for us, until we come back unto you; and, behold, Aaron and Hur are with you; whosoever hath a cause, let him come near unto them.'
And to the elders he said: upon his departure from the camp.
Wait for us here: Wait here with the rest of the people in the camp [so that you will] be ready to judge each person’s quarrel. Hur: He was Miriam’s son, and his father was Caleb
15 And Moses went up into the mount, and the cloud covered the mount. 16 And the glory of the LORD abode upon Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days; and the seventh day He called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud.
To say the Ten Commandments, and [in fact] Moses and all Israel were standing [and listening to the Ten Commandments], but the text bestowed honor upon Moses [by mentioning only him]. Others say that the cloud covered Moses for six days after the Ten Commandments [were given], and they [these days] were at the beginning of the forty days that Moses ascended to receive the tablets (Yoma 4a). It teaches you that whoever enters the camp of the Shechina requires six days separation [seclusion from society] (Yoma 3b)
17 And the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel.
This only makes my argument stronger that the people who received the Torah wanted to be Shomer Shabbos, Honoring Parents, Not Adulterers or Liars and they were so infatuated with G-D they did not covet their neighbor’s wife or possessions.
18 And Moses entered into the midst of the cloud, and went up into the mount; and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.
This cloud was a kind of smoke, and the Holy One, blessed is He, made a path (another version A canopy) within it. -[From Yoma 4b]
Mitzvos and Halachos by Danny Shoemann
It's a Mitzva to not do Melacha (certain types of work) on the 10th day of the month of Tishrei. Any work forbidden on Shabbat is forbidden on Yom Kippur. One who does any of the 39 forbidden categories of work on purpose on Yom Kippur deserves Kares, if done accidental then he needs to bring a Chatas sacrifice. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always Verse: "It shall be a Shabbat of rest for you" (Vayikra 23:32) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Positive Mitzvah 31
One may not take collateral by force. One should not take collateral without permission from a Bet Din. Even Bet Din's messenger may not enter the debtor's home; he must wait outside and the collateral shall be brought to him. A cosigner may take collateral from a defaulted debtor by force, and may even enter the debtor's home to do so. Similarly, a worker who has not been paid can get permission from Bet Din to enter the employer's home and take collateral by force. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always
Verse: "Do not enter his house to take collateral" (Devarim 25:10) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Prohibition 59
One may never take collateral from a widow - whether she is rich or poor, and not even in Bet Din. One who takes collateral from a widow is forced by Bet Din to return it.
Applies to everybody, everywhere, always Verse: "Do not take a widow's property as collateral” (Devarim 24:17) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Prohibition 60
One may not withhold the collateral that one took from a debtor, if he needs to use it. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always Verse: "Do not sleep with his collateral by you" (Devarim 24:12) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Prohibition 61
A person must honor his father's wife and his mother's husband. A person must honor his father-in-law and his mother-in-law. A person must honor his grandparents, though his parents' honor has priority. A person must honor his older brother; even if he's a half-brother. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 143:19-20
Thirteen years ago - 1997 - תשנ"ז was a leap year - with an Adar-1 and an Adar-2 Boys born in both these months become Bar Mitzva next month - in Adar. As a result, a boy born on the first day of Adar-2 5757 will become Bar Mitzva this Sunday, 29 days before the boy who was born 2 days before him on 29 Adar-1 5757. A boy who was born on 30 Adar-1 should consult a competent rabbinic authority how to proceed, as there's a dispute if he becomes Bar Mitzva on Rosh Chodesh Adar or Rosh Chodesh Nissan.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 221, Lu'ach Dvar B'Itoh (30 Adar-1)
On a regular Shabbat, a Kaddish is said after reading the Parsha, before the Maftir is read. When 2 Torah scrolls are used - like this coming week - then the second Torah scroll is put on the Bema next to the first one and the Kaddish is said over both. (This Thursday will be Yom Kippur Katan.) Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 79:1
... is followed by the Haftarah for Shekalim from Melachim-2 Ch.11 This is to remind us of the half-Shekel that everybody donated yearly to finance the daily sacrifices in the Bet Hamikdash, may we merit to see it rebuilt, speedily in our days. Shabbat is also Shabbat Mevarchim of the upcoming month of Adar. Rosh Chodesh Adar will be on Sunday and Monday. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 140:1
The Mikvah and the spies
In the early days of the founding of the State of Israel the Jordan River Valley was often bombarded with shells and infiltrators. A number of Kibbutzim were set up there to defend the Galil, the Kenneret (Sea of Galilee) and Beit Shean. A number of Kibbutzim were set up along the border – Kfar Rupin, Ateret Zvi, Shluchot, etc. Ateret Zvi and Shluchot were Orthodox Kibbutzim.
Yarden sent a number of spies into Israel. One couple were trained in Hebrew and the laws of Shabbos, prayer and a few other things. This couple would pass coded messages of troop movements, guard duties, state of alert, weak spots in the lines and mine fields. The training was lacking in one thing. The wife was not taught Taharos Mishpacha (the laws of family purity).
The Kibbutz is like one big family and everybody ate together, drank together in those days. The women on the Kibbutz chatted among themselves who was expecting and other things. Now the Arab spy did not go to the Mikvah. After 9 or 10 months, the women began to tell the men that she should have given birth and did not observe Mikvah. The Kibbutznikim got suspicious that there was something wrong with this couple and their commitment to Torah. They also became suspicious that the man with a slight Arabic accent was not a Sephardi Jew but a spy. Under questioning, the couple broke down and were arrested. To this day the question remains how many Arab spies infiltrated the non-religious Kibbutzim where they did not have to worry about Shabbos, prays and Mikvah.
From Gene Alberts:
Once, Bolshevik soldiers conducted a surprise search of a synagogue and found weapons hidden in the bimah (where the cantor stands). They began asking who the rabbi was, and soon found out that it was R’ Itzeleh the brother of the Hazon Ish. They immediately arrested R’ Itzeleh and dragged him to the forest, where there was a brief trial. These trials usually ended in a death sentence, which would be carried out immediately.
R’ Itzeleh sister, who had managed to follow them and could see what was happening, noticed that whenever R’ Itzeleh was asked a question he would not answer, but would look up to the heavens. Eventually even the Bolsheviks realized that R’ Itzeleh was innocent, and they freed him.
Afterwards, his sister asked R’ Itzeleh why he had constantly look up to the heavens. “I was looking”, he told her, “to see whether the time of Minha (afternoon prayer) might have passed already.”
Tehillim tells us to constantly seek peace. As Hillel states in Pirkei Avos (1:12), “Love peace and pursue peace. “Make peace a high priority. When peace becomes an important goal for you, many things which previously would cause quarrels become much less important.\
Why is peace so important? You are child of Hashem and so are the people with whom you might quarrel. Every parent wants their children to get along with one another. Form this perspective, you will find it easier to speak in ways that are conducive to peace. The person with whom you might quarrel might not, at this moment, seem like someone you respect. However, when you focus on the fact that He is precious to your Father and King, you have a much more expansive view of who he is.
Peaceful communication creates peaceful relationships. This means that your tone of voice, as well as the choice of words, sound peaceful. Messages that linguistically appear only slightly different could be worlds apart. One is said in an angry tone of voice with words that are sarcastic, attacking, and condescending, while the other is said in a pleasant tone of voice with objective words that convey ideas, without eliciting negative responses.
Pursuing peace means that, at times, we will have to go out of our way for peace. We might need to apologize. Some people tend to view apologies as a sight of weakness. While, in truth, an apology is a manifestation of inner strength.
In this week’s Parsha, the Jews came to a place that was called Marah, there the water tasted bitter. The Baal Shem Tov ztv”k, explains that the reason the water tasted bitter was because the Jews were bitter to each other, and that’s why the water tasted bitter to them.
Pursuing peace means that we might have to strive for peace over and over again. How many times is sufficient? Until we achieve the goal of peace; real peace is worth it. And then everything will taste sweet.
There is a story about a scientist who was worried about the problems of the world; he was deeply engrossed in finding answers. One day his son age seven came to his office to “help” him. He tried to send him out to play but when he saw he was stubborn he looked for something for his son to do. He took out the world map and started cutting in very small pieces. He then took a blank sheet of paper and glue gave it to his son and said “You like puzzles don’t you? Here take this picture and fix it. This is the world map all scattered let’s see if you can complete it yourself”. The scientist thought it will take days till the boy will fix the map, but after a few hours he heard his son calling him with excitement “Father, I finished! I succeeded in completing the puzzle”.
At first the father didn’t believe him, it can’t be he thought how could a seven year old complete a map, from scratch in such a short time? and a map which he never saw before, he stopped what he was doing and went to see for himself. To his amazement the map was complete every piece was in its place “How did you do it? You didn’t know how the world looks, and in such a short time?” his father was shocked. “Father , you’re right I don’t know how the world looks like and I wasn’t able to attach the pieces in the beginning but then I turned over one piece and I saw on the other side that there is a picture of a human, I turned over all the pieces and I started to complete the man. When I succeeded in completing the man I saw that I succeeded in fixing the world…..
Whenever you engage in an act of kindness, you are building the world. Your kind words might appear relatively insignificant, but you are in the process of building a person’s life. The same is true when you give someone change for a larger bill, tell someone directions to get someplace, offer someone food or drink, and myriad other small acts of kindness. You are participating in the building of another human being’s life, and each human being is part of the world. In essence, therefore every bit of kindness is an act of building the world.
Do you feel that this is an exaggeration? Do you minimize the impact of words and acts of kindness? Think of a time when you felt an intense need for something that depended on the kindness of another person. It might not have been difficult for the other person to meet your needs. It might not have cost him much time or take a large amount of energy but, for you, it was a lifesaver. It alleviated your state of desperation, emergency, and crisis. This person’s caring, compassion, or simple consideration and goodwill, made a difference to you-our world was being built.
Every act of kindness does have an impact on at least two lives- the life of the benefactors and the life of the recipient of the kindness. The entire world is now a kinder place because you are a kinder person and your kindness has a ripple effect. And you didn’t permit wickedness and vicious people (Ahmadinejad and others) have any place in your kind world. Help build the world. Look for opportunities that you might not have been aware of, had you not been seeking them.
Manners are everything!
There is a story about a person who wanted to try a fish cuisine, but he didn’t know how to make the dish. He went to the fish market and asked for a good fish and then asked the owner for a good recipe. The wife came out from the back and wrote down a recipe for him. He took the fish, went home and started preparing things in the kitchen. When he turned around he noticed that a cat grabbed the fish from the window and ran away with it. He calmly approached the window and shouted “you are not able to do anything because I have the recipe!!”
The first trait that is discussed in the Orkhot Tzaddikim is the attribute of arrogance. This is what is sated: “Someone who wants to uproot the trait of arrogance completely cannot do so by merely changing one’s thoughts. Rather, one must go to the opposite extreme, in action.” He goes on to give details of what this would mean, in practice. If a person has the fault of arrogance and dresses in an arrogant way, he needs to dress- for a while- in the opposite manner. If he said and did things in order to get honor and glory from others, for a while he needs to not only stop doing those things, be he should do actions that are the diametric opposite. He should maintain this until he feels that he has totally uprooted this trait from his being.
Similarly, if someone sees that he has a bad temper and angers easily, he should go- for a while to the opposite extreme. While going to the opposite extreme, he should ignore all slights and insults. He should keep acting this way until the anger is totally uprooted. Then a person should select the “middle path,” and act this way for the rest of his life.
This is the model we need to follow with all negative traits. First we need to go to the opposite extreme and after acting this way for a time, we should act in a balanced way. This is the way to repair all negative traits.
In order to do this properly, make a list of positive traits that you want to improve, and make a list of negative traits that you want to overcome. Then, consistently speak and act in ways that fit the positive patterns. Wit those negative traits that are the most challenging for you, act according to the opposite positive traits for a time.
When we think of different traits as being positive or negative, we need to keep in mind that every trait has its positive times and places, and every trait could be used negatively. When we refer to a trait as being positive or negative, we mean that it is usually positive or negative.
Awareness of our level in reference to various traits is the starting point of knowing what we need to focus on, to grow and improve. The mitzvah to develop our character traits is the command of “Walking in Hashem’s ways”.
Let’s work on some positive traits:
· Caring about others
· Honors others
Because if you don’t, you’ll just have the recipe (money, name,) but not the fish (manners).
Let’s all walk in the path of Hashem.
THE FLAGS THAT ONLY KILL
There’s a story about someone whom was driving on the freeway. All of a sudden he hears a loud sound under the car and the car begins pulling to the side. He exits from the freeway and stops the car on the side of the street next to a building that looks like a hospital. Indeed, it was a mental hospital. He gets out of the car and goes to the other side of the car. There, he notices that one of the tires is completely ruined and that the bolts have fallen off and are now lost. As he is standing there, he doesn’t know what to do. All of a sudden, he hears a noise from behind his. A man is standing by the building asking, “Can I help you?”
The driver turns around very surprised saying, “Yes, I am in a big trouble, and I don’t know what to do.” “What happened,” the man asks. The driver answers, “I have a flat tire and all of its bolts have disappeared! Can you use 3 bolts instead of 4 in each tire?” “Yes, it is possible. Take out one bolt from each tire and use them for this flat tire.”
“Wow, that’s a genius idea!!! But, I am shocked.” “Why are you shocked?” “I am shocked how such a wise man like you is in a mental hospital!” The man finishes by answering, “You’re shocked that I’m in a mental hospital? I’m shocked how you could be OUTSIDE!” The Torah talks about Pharaoh (the first Hitler) that used to slaughter 300 Jewish kids a day. In order to bathe in their blood to comfort himself from the pain of leprosy that he had!
How was he elected? Did somebody vote for him? Probably or maybe not - But did somebody tell him this is insane, not humanistic, it's wrong? The answer is No! Nobody complained. How could it be? How about right now in our times - How many crazy leaders are out there doing exactly the same thing, or about to plan the same thing and nobody complains.
G-d Forbid - And nobody is saying anything.
Sometimes people go overboard in criticism of Islam: The topic was Mohammed being a pedophile. In Islam and Judaism of the ancient world there was no Pedophilia if it was marriage contracted by the parents also the Hindu and Buddhist world. It was only western culture that such a concept existed. However, marriage is marriage and not taking candy and luring children. We usually were not talking Warren Jeffs but a teen with a teen or pre-teen. Modern Islam gives adult Hamasniks virgins between 7 to 10. Call it rape or marriage that is what they believe. I have different thoughts about my 7, 8 and 11.5 year old granddaughters. I find them far-far from mature for this type of life. I wonder why an adult would want a child in the first place and to me it is sick - really sick but then I was born in the USA. Of course this has nothing to do with preying on children by perverts.
Avatar and the Jews from Aish HaTorah: http://www.aish.com/j/as/83524437.html The connections with Torah and Hebrew words are just too frequent and striking to be accidental.
Jewish Feminism - Ladies First
Even in this day and age, most women graciously accept the traditional "ladies first" rule, whether it's getting off a sinking ship or going through a ballroom doorway. Commonly perceived as a concession to the weaker gender by the stronger, the rule is actually founded upon a very different rationale, at least in the Jewish tradition.
When G-d instructed Moses to prepare the people of Israel to receive the Torah at Mount Sinai some 3,300 years ago, He said: "Speak to the house of Jacob, and tell the sons of Israel" (Exodus 19:3). The "house of Jacob," our sages explain, are the women; "the sons of Israel," the men. In other words, speak first with the ladies.
Up until that point, the rule was "men first." Adam, as we all know, was created before Eve. Noah and his sons entered the ark first, followed by their wives -- at least that's the order they're listed in Genesis 7:13 (a "sinking ship" situation in the reverse, if you will). When Jacob traveled with his family, the males rode up front and the womenfolk behind them (Genesis 31:17) while Esau placed the women before the men (ibid. 36:6); the sages make note of this difference and see it as an indication of Jacob's moral superiority over his hedonistic brother.
So why did G-d give the Torah first to the women? The Midrash offers several explanations. For one thing, women are more religious than men (turns out that certain things haven't changed in all those centuries); get them to agree to accept the Torah, and the men will fall in line, too (another thing that hasn't changed). According to Rabbi Tachlifa of Caesarea, it's the other way around--the women are the rebellious ones, so they have to be won over first: "G-d said to Himself: When I created the world, I commanded Adam first, and only then Eve was commanded, with the result that she transgressed and upset the world. If I do not now call upon the women first, they will nullify the Torah."
Chassidic teaching delves deeper and finds the explanation in the essence of manliness and womanliness. Man derives from the "line of light" (kav) that penetrates the vacuum (makom panui) formed by G-d in which to create the world. But it turns out the that the makom panui is not an absolute "vacuum" -- a residue of divine light remained behind, forming an invisible ether of G-dliness that pervades and underlies our existence. It is from this "residue" that the female component of creation derives.
So man is an actor, a conqueror; his role in creation is to banish the earthly darkness and bring down light from the heavens. Woman is a nurturer, relating to what is rather than what must be done, finding G-dliness within the world rather than importing it from without.
Both are integral to the Creator's plan: our mission in life is to bring G-d into the world (the male role) and to make the world a home for G-d (the woman's specialty); to vanquish darkness (male), and to uncover the light implicit within the darkness (female).
For the first twenty-four centuries of history, humanity had its hands full battling darkness. So the male component dominated. But then came the day when G-d, yearning for the home He desired when He made the world, prepared to reveal Himself on a mountaintop in the Sinai Desert and transmit to His chosen people a Torah outlining the plans for His home's construction. Man will still have to do battle, but all his battles will henceforth be founded upon the principle that, underneath it all, the world is a G-dly place.
Time to have a word with the ladies, said G-d to Moses. For more on the male and female dynamics of creation see Tzimtzum
As much as I virtually shout and plead for everybody to observe Shabbos, there is one time we violate the Shabbos when a life of a Jew is in danger: http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/1113745/jewish/Saving-Lives-on-Shabbat.htm
Another topic dear to me on a very-very simplistic level is family purity: http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/680218/jewish/Family-Purity.htm
Is Syria ready for war? http://www.debka.com/article/8591/
Should Syria attack Israel’s cities directly - or through Hezb’Allah - then Israel should use the American tactics used on the city of Dresden during WW2, namely, a fire storm to wipe out Damascus. That in addition to destroying Syria and Hezb’Allah’s stationary and mobile missile launchers. IF Syria opts to target Israeli civilians, then all restraints and rules of war must be put aside. This would include Hamas and Hezb’Allah who follow no rules when they are targeting Israeli civilians. COMMENTARY BY EMANUEL A. WINSTON
Something positive for both the US Army and Israel: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3844162,00.html
Gas Mask Distribution starts in Israel on Purim. And Chagai Segal comments on a PA state: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3844847,00.html
Caroline Glick writes an editorial opinion: http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=167850\
Comments from the above article here: The history of WW2 speaks at length about Adolph Hitler’s efforts to seed subversives to cripple the Free World’s efforts to fight the Nazi Conquest. Similarly, Josef Stalin’s Communists had their subversive Fifth Column to weaken America by planting their subversives inside America, including starting anti-American policies in other countries. The following very credible (as always) article by Caroline Glick speaks to the same issue of subversives planted (or grown) in Israel, who are dedicated to first weakening the Jewish Nation/State aimed at causing her collapse - unable to face her hostile surrounding neighbors.
While we are totally aware of our Muslim Arab neighbors, we are less so about the European nation that fund and politically assist the Leftist "Fifth Column" inside of Israel. Regrettably, I must include the Arabist State Department as a large source of funds to these subversive organizations but, includes President Barack Hussein Obama who has demonstrably bonded with Muslims against the Jewish Nation/State. Obama was not the first oil-based President as in past years to oversee the funding of Islamic Terrorists - like Yassir Arafat, god-father of Modern Terrorism - and even anti-Israel so-called Jewish NGOs.
IF Israel is to survive these organizations, they must be shut down and then put the remains under the rock from which they emerged. Despite orders from the U.S. State Department, Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin (Bibi) Netanyahu must clear his house of subversives who are the moles who represent the enemy within.
COMMENTARY BY EMANUEL A. WINSTON
Iran and Syria: http://www.debka.com/article/8589/
George Bush said, “Islam is the religion of peace” – I only wonder what Laura would say about this?: http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2010/02/sexual-abuse-widespread-among-muslims.html
The Pashtun Tribe: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Radio/News.aspx/1925
I had an article by E. Winston and Hillel Fendel regarding Ehud Barack and Bibi Netanyahu having a Kristallnacht in the Talmon/Dolev area. Their hatred for Orthodox Jews destroyed a Synagogue because of the building freeze. Bulldozers moved in and destroyed the building. At least this neo-fascist saved the Sefrei Torah inside perhaps only because they knew that their coalition would be gone in an instant. So much for Torah and Eretz Yisrael and the original religious Zionism gone in one night by these wicked people may they stay in Limbo in the Afterlife. To my great luck, I did not delete the e-mail.
CONSTRUCTION FREEZE: STATE DESTROYS SYNAGOGUE by HILLEL FENDEL Arutz Sheva IsraelNationalNews.com forwarded with commentary by Emanuel A. Winston, Middle East Analyst & Commentator
This is not the first time Jewish leaders have betrayed their own - acting out their own abhorrence of observant Jews or by acting in the service of others. Photo of: Synagogue destruction, Kristallnacht November 9 & 10, 1938
Construction Freeze: State Destroys Synagogue by Hillel Fendel (Israelnationalnews.com)
Special Yassam units have destroyed a synagogue in the Shomron-Binyamin community that was built after the construction freeze was announced.
The Torah scrolls were first removed from the building, and the bulldozers began the destruction shortly afterwards.
Earlier this morning (Tuesday), it was reported that large police forces and special Yassam units had arrived in the Talmonim bloc and prevented entry to the communities of Dolev, Neriah, Talmon, Nachliel and Haresha. They thus wished to prevent residents from arriving en masse to thwart their destruction of a synagogue in Nachliel, said to have been built in violation of the two-month-old construction freeze.
The construction freeze was abruptly imposed on all new Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria by the government to entice the Palestinian Authority back to the negotiating table. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and other government ministers have vowed that the freeze will be removed after ten months.
The destruction of a synagogue, especially in Israel, is considered very serious, in terms of both religious sensitivity and the efforts, in the words of the Knesset Law Committee, to "prevent harm to synagogues around the world."
After the Disengagement/expulsion from Gush Katif in 2005, the government originally planned to destroy the synagogues that remained in Gaza, in order to avoid their desecration by local Arabs. However, even this fear was not considered sufficient reason to destroy those holy sites, and following opposition by rabbis around the country and much debate, the decision was rescinded.
Do you remember the site I gave you from Debka last week about Iran here is a comment on it:
US INTELLIGENCE FINDS 5,000 HEZB’ALLAH TRAINING TO SEIZE GALILEE TOWNS DEBKAfile with MAP!! February 1, 2010 forwarded with commentary by Emanuel A. Winston, Middle East Analyst & Commentator
A great deal precedes the following article - all of it true. Keep these things in your mind, although not necessarily in a sequential order.
We do know that the U.S. and Europe have been pouring funds into the Muslims goal and dream of World Conquest to create a Global Caliphate for Islam. The money comes in through various names but, one way or another, this ill-gotten gain follows its inevitable evil path into the bloody hands of Terrorists.
We observe U.S. Lt. General Keith Dayton training Muslim Arab Palestinians which he says to enable them to be "Peace-Keepers". But, in fact, those trained (along with the American techniques and technology they learn from their training) go directly from Dayton’s training into the bands of Hezb’Allah and Hamas and - from there - to Iran and/or Syria (or under their orders to act in place).
The pretense is that, training a mix of Muslims stays with those trained, along with the money. It’s an exact replay of what happened in Afghanistan when the American CIA trained, funded and armed a mix of Afghanis who eventually morphed into Al Qaeda, Taliban and, of course, Osama Bin Laden. America thought they were buying loyalty when, in fact, America was developing pure Terror that turned against the United States - which the Muslims called "The Great Satan".
As you read the following, keep in mind that the "Runner", Ehud Barak (again Israel’s Minister of Defense) in a deal with then President Clinton for $800 Million IF Barak evacuated the IDF’s (Israel Defense Forces) Security Zone in Southern Lebanon and had his soldiers follow him as he ran like a rat in the dead of nights.
Barak abandoned Israel’s Southern Lebanese allies, Israeli weapons - even tanks. The vacuum Barak left was quickly filled by Hezb’Allah which loaded up on missiles from Iran and Syria. Hebz’Allah started the Second Lebanon War with 12,000 missiles and now is minimally up to 60,000 - some with chemical war-heads - courtesy of Syria and/or Iran.
Ehud Barak should have been court-martialed and faced a firing squad if found guilty. But, Israel rarely punishes her politicians or generals who wander off the reservation.
It has been reported that Barak is at it again - acting as if he is also Chief-of-Staff. He has ordered the withdrawal of men and armaments out of Northern Israel, including the Golan Heights and the border area guarding against invasion from the Hezb’Allah in Lebanon. He says he plans to shift Israel’s Defense Forces to Southern Israel, to defend against the Hamas Muslim Palestinian Terrorists who have taken over the civilians in Gaza after Israel evacuated 10,000 Jewish men, women and children, leaving the bountiful Gush Katif to the Muslim Arab Terrorist Palestinians.
Thus, Barak leaves the Golan less guarded so that his fondest dream, that of abandoning the Golan to Syria, can be achieved. Be assured that the Arabist State Department and President Barack Hussein Obama, a pro-Arab President, born and raised when a child as a Muslim, can theocratically bring Syria in the U.S. orbit and away from Iran.
As you read the following Debkafile article, you may notice that a mix of Hezb’Allah troops/Terrorists are set to over-run certain Israeli towns. I, among others, have been writing about this likely occurrence as various Leftist Governments strive to weaken the patriotic settlers so they will sadly fall.
Not enough arms, not enough ammunition for self-defense of their families - while the Terrorists lack for neither. From Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, through Arik Sharon and Ehud Olmert - and now to Bibi Netanyahu and Ehud Barak - the Leftists press for the surrender and abandonment of the Land which has been given by G-d to the Jewish people forever. This abandonment of the Land has been and is still their foremost goal.
Israel is about to pay a heavy price but, so too is America under Obama. Both Israel and America have incompetent leadership who will leave a legacy of pain, corruption and a trail of despicable lies used to manipulate their citizens, thereby avoiding the consent of the governed.
They say the show isn’t over until the Fat Lady sings - only this time a screech will be heard around the world. For each negative reaction from the USA on Israel like in Sefer Iyob (Book of Job) – there has been a hurricane, flooding or something in the States. If this is so for a weak righteous one like Iyob the more so for the wicked Bilaam and the Muslim States that make war upon us. How many Katrina type storms or the one that damaged Papa Bush’s house in Maine occur until somebody besides a few Bishops and Preachers begin to see what is going on.
Tim Geithner Funds Hamas: US Treasury Opens Avenue for Funding Hamas forwarded with commentary by Emanuel A. Winston, Middle East Analyst & Commentator
TIMOTHY GEITHNER IS BEING QUESTIONED RIGHT NOW. PLEASE SEND THIS TO THE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE NOW QUESTIONING GEITHNER ON SECRET TRANSFERS OF FUND TO AIG.
If there was any suspicion that Obama has directed his regime to take an Islamist track, this should have removed all doubt. Financing Terrorists is what we expect of Iran, Syria, the Russians, England and those others who wish to appease Muslim Arab oil Terrorist nations.
Deliberately funding Terror is clearly a criminal act, no matter how slick the transfer. Those who do this should be arrested, tried and jailed - regardless of status or rank.
Who would have thought an American President and his accomplices would have become allies of Terrorists like Hamas - among others.
COMMENTARY BY EMANUEL A. WINSTON
Subject: Tim Geithner Funds Hamas: US Treasury Opens Avenue for Funding Hamas - One more reason for which we MUST get this gang out of power long before January of 2013.
Tim Geithner Funds Hamas: US Treasury Opens Avenue for Funding Hamas
If you have any doubt of this administration's Muslim sympathies, you can lose that right now. The U.S. Treasury has allowed the terrorist organization, Hamas, to begin receiving funds from around the world, by removing all names of Hamas terrorists from the International terror list, except one, Musa Abu Marzouk. This was an unnecessary action, as an international lawsuit to stop this was a considered possibility.
The original report came from Arutz Sheva, an Israeli online news site. So far, blogs are hot on the story, but a search of Google News reveals no main stream media, anywhere, reporting. Thanks to Infidels are Cool for the heads up.
You might remember that Barack Obama's pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, printed Marzouk's Palestinian manifesto in his Sunday church bulletin on July 10, 2007. Marzouk was arrested at JFK airport in July 1995, and eventually evicted from the country. He is an American-educated Ph.D. with many aliases, among them: Moussa Abu Marzouk, Musa Abu Marzuq, and Musa Abu Marzook. He is believed to be operating out of Damascus, but was born in Gaza. Marzouk's terrorist connections are so obvious even Tim Geithner could not remove his name. How many American taxpayer dollars are streaming to Hamas bank accounts?
Here's the Israeli media's report. I hope you will read it all:
(IsraelNN.com) The United States Treasury has taken all but one member of Hamas off the international list of terrorists, thus enabling funds from the European Union to enter Hamas-controlled Gaza.
It is an open secret that large sums of money from the EU flow into Gaza in the guise of humanitarian aid and salaries for officials, but are actually funneled into the coffers of Hamas, which controls Gaza with an iron grip. This method of transferring funds into terrorists' hands could have been blocked by an international lawsuit, but according to journalist Avi Tarango, the United States Treasury has made this impossible by removing all but one Hamas man Deputy Chairman of the Political Bureau, Musa Abu Marzouk – from the list of international terrorists.
The updated terrorist list, published last week, takes up 443 pages. However, according to Tarango, who went over the list, none of the tens of thousands of people who form Hamas is mentioned – other than Abu Marzuk, who resides in Damascus. The terrorist list is meant for distribution in the world banking system, where the transfer of funds to anyone on the list is prohibited.\
Cleared for Funding
Abu Marzouk is listed as having been born in Gaza on February 9, 1951, and as bearing an Egyptian passport with the number 92/664. "While branches of Hamas appear in the list under different names, such as 'The Students of Ayash,' 'The Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza,' 'The Iz A-Din El-Kassam Battalions,' the rest of Hamas's men do not appear on the list at all," Tarango said.
"Musa Abu-Marzouk's presence on the list means that whoever tries to transfer money to him personally will be rejected by the world banking system and be accused of funding terrorism, but the transfer of funds to any other Hamas man will not arouse suspicion," he explained.
According to published reports and other sources, the journalist said, the EU sends millions of Euros every month to cover the salaries of 77,000 employees of the Palestinian Authority and about 70,000 recipients of welfare aid in Gaza.
"EU laws define Hamas as a terror organization and therefore the EU people need to verify on a name-by-name basis that none of the people receiving salaries and support is a terrorist," Tarango said. "This is done by the EU's cash transfer mechanism, PEGASE, which verifies that none of the recipients of salaries are members of Hamas's police force or activists of the military wing of Hamas, by comparing the names as received from the PA treasury department with the list of international terror activists. However, since the newly-updated list contains no Hamas officials except for Marzouk, the European check will find nothing and the funds for Gaza salaries will be transferred in whole to the Gaza banks."
The peasants are revolting from the Jerusalem Post warning Bibi it can happen here too: http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?id=168060
NUCLEAR DETERRENCE by Emanuel A. Winston, Middle East Analyst & Commentator
The weapon and the concept resulted in the philosophy that "Nuclear Weapons can deter enemies from attacking with either conventional weapons or Nuclear Weapons."
The Cold War with the Soviet Union and the accepted rule of M.A.D. (Mutual Assured Destruction) proved valuable for America and the Soviet Union. Each Super-Power understood their civilizations would be destroyed. But, that was based on two intelligent but hostile nations, understood that even if one conducted a surprise nuclear attack, the radiation clouds would not only saturate the attackers’ land but the entire globe.
Some will recall China’s above ground nuclear tests wherein the radioactive clouds circled the planet three times before dispersing and that was only one small test.
But, circumstances change: It is understood when Third World nations ruled by dictators, the rationality of not using Nuclear Weapons under the M.A.D. understanding was no longer viable.
Israel faces such a dilemma. She was forced to develop a deterrence against the Muslim and Arab nations who swore in their speeches and in their charters that they would destroy the Jewish State, would create a Genocide for all of the inhabitants and would occupy the Land whenever they were capable of so doing.
Israel, if she had to rely on conventional weapons and a minimal manpower against a dozen or so Muslim/Arab armies who are armed with the best money can buy, could not possibly deter them from attacking and carrying out their repeated pledge of Genocide against the Jewish people and the Jewish Nation/State. Thus, Israel may have developed the bomb-in-the-basement - never to be used except in a dire emergency when threatened with an existential threat.
So, what countries can be trusted or not trusted with Nuclear Deterrence? America, Britain, Israel, France, Germany....are a few examples of those who can reasonably be trusted.
Countries that cannot be trusted - either because of their radical religious passions or the likelihood that regime change of governments could bring known radicals or Terrorists into power: Iran, Syria, Libya, among others, cannot be trusted.
Egypt is currently somewhat stable under its present Government although, waiting in the wings are the Muslim Brotherhood***, a most radical and dangerous group who, without a doubt, would use Nuclear Weapons - as would Iran if or when they get their hands on weaponized Nukes.
Turkey is a mixed bag as Erdogan moves closer to Iran and Muslim ideology.
The Saudis (unless overrun by Muslim "Jihadis" (warriors for Islam) would likely desire Nukes as a matter of protection but, unlikely to use them for fear of their cities and oil fields being destroyed in a counter-strike.
At the present time, the radical Muslim Arab countries are ramping up their demand for equality with Israel to have nuclear capability. Here we find the United Nations, not so much in favor of Arab/Muslim powers having Nukes but, rather stripping Israel of her Nuclear Deterrence, knowing that, without this deterrence, the hostile Muslim Arab countries would simply overrun the minuscule Nation/State of Israel. We see this a prime goal of President Barack Hussein Obama as it was under then President George Herbert Walker Bush and Secretary of State James Baker III.
Perhaps it’s just a matter of time before one of the Muslim Arab nations develops a Nuclear capability. They would either use it or pass it on to their Terrorist proxies like Hezb’Allah or Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood or Al Qaeda, ‘et al’, who - when they used it, would cover the tracks of their provider. That could be Iran, Syria, or Pakistan, etc.
Let us not forget Russia, the perennial agitator on the planet who is presently providing Iran with Nuclear capability. I suppose I should also include North Korea as another one in the Nuclear Evil Empire.
If the good nations do not get control of the bad nations’ growing nuclear development, then they must accept destruction inside of their own nation. Perhaps next to be hit after Israel would be the U.S. because of Obama’s appeasement out-reach to Muslim Terrorist nations.
Clearly, Obama came into office with a secret agenda - to protect an expanding hostile Islam by attacking Israel. No doubt, you will recall Obama’s blatant lies to the American Jewish community, Evangelical Christians and Americans generally, when in his pre-election speeches, he assured us all that he would continue to support Israel. But, Obama has demonstrated that he is an accomplished liar and sophist. (A sophist is a person who can speak convincingly on either sides of any subject.) Obama not only lies but, has used his linguistic talent to explain away every failure of his policies. Obama’s bias against Israel reflects his early Muslim roots.
Additional COMMENTARY BY EMANUEL A. WINSTON
*** Note! Tariq Ramadan, who was just issued a permit to enter the U.S. although he is on the U.S. Terror list, is also the grandson of Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, he never denounced the radical teachings, such as those of his grandfather, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood and thus inspiration for all of today's major Islamic-based terrorist organizations: by Janice Kephart. (1)
1. "Did the President Really Tell Us That Tariq Ramadan Will Not Be Subject to Future Intelligence Assessments?" By Janice Kephart Center for Immigration Studies http://www.cis.org/kephart/tariqramadan January 27, 2010
--- The Real Agenda: Dimona by Moshe Dann (Israelnationalnews.com) August 14, 2006
"I understand those who protest that some countries have weapons that others do not. No single nation should pick and choose which nations hold nuclear weapons. That is why I strongly reaffirmed America's commitment to seek a world in which no nations hold nuclear weapons. And any nation - including Iran - should have the right to access peaceful nuclear power if it complies with its responsibilities under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. That commitment is at the core of the Treaty, and it must be kept for all who fully abide by it. And I am hopeful that all countries in the region can share in this goal." -- President Barack Hussein Obama, June 4, 2009
As a policy statement, this means that America (or any other country) cannot deny the right of any country to Weapons of Mass Destruction. It undercuts the reasons for America's attack in Iraq, assents to nuclear proliferation and precludes any action against Iran. It also turns the focus on Israel.
Good Shabbos Everyone. Last week we began telling the amazing true story of how a fellow lawyer and I were trying desperately to get to Eretz Yisroel in time for Shabbos. In route to the Holy Land on early Friday morning, our plane experienced some sort of trouble and we had to make an emergency landing in Rome.
By about 10 am they fixed the plane, however, by the time we were actually ready to take off, it was about 1:00 p.m. Eretz Yisroel time, and Shabbos was to start just after 4:00 p.m. and the flight was supposed to take about two and a half hours from Rome. The pilot announced that he could not guarantee exactly what time the plane would arrive in Eretz Yisroel, and therefore, anyone who was concerned about arriving in time for Shabbos should consider deplaning and remaining in Rome, although Continental would not take any responsibility for anyone who chose to do so.
Shraga Feivel and I made a "Cheshbon" an accounting... We figured that at the worst, we could spend Shabbos the airport in Tel Aviv and at least there we could have kosher food. But staying in Rome would be risky, because we didn't know our way around and we didn't know the language and who knows where we would end up for Shabbos. It seems that our fellow Jewish passengers agreed with us and thankfully, none of them chose to deplane. If they had, our flight would have been even more delayed because it is well known, that a plane will not take off carrying the baggage of a person who is not on the plane (due to security concerns.)
In any case, the plane finally took off and the rest of the flight to Eretz Yisroel was uneventful. We watched the clock carefully. Every minute counted! We ended up landing a few minutes after 4 pm local time, mere minutes before candle lighting. It is important to note that while in America candle lighting is generally at 18 minutes before sundown, the custom in Eretz Yisroel is to light candles even earlier, usually about 30-40 minutes before sundown.
While the airplane was taxiing, I turned on my cell phone and attempted to call a friend in Ashdod, thinking that maybe we could make it close to him in time and walk the rest of the way. Thankfully, he didn't pick up, because there are many more closer places than Ashdod to the airport. I called a friend in Yerushalayim and his wife picked up. She was holding the match in her hand ready to light the Shabbos Candles! She told me to forget about Ashdod and to go to Bnei Brak.
Continental was courteous enough to announce that the Shomer Shabbos passengers should be given a preference when exiting the plane. Thankfully most of the passengers obliged. Once off the plane, Shraga Feivel and I hit the ground running, literally. When the security personnel saw me rushing off the plane, they parted like the splitting of the sea.
Anyone who has been to the new airport in Tel Aviv knows that it is a long way from deplaning to the passport control. Shraga Feivel and I both had one carry- on bag. We ran the whole way. Between my panting for breath I kept saying to myself quietly "Shabbos Koydesh" - the "Holy Shabbos." I had had nightmares many times of being stuck somewhere around sundown time before Shabbos, and now, it was really happening. Finally, we made it to the passport control. After a short wait, we made it through.
I told Shraga Feivel that we would have to leave our luggage there because there was no time. He didn't have anything to wear for Shabbos, but I told him that that was the least of our worries. We ran out to the street towards the taxis. I jumped into a waiting taxi but was quickly rebuffed by the driver who chastised me for not waiting in line. (Boy, has Israel changed over the years!) I kept running towards the last taxi in the line of taxis and amazingly, I found just what we needed... an Arab cab driver. It was truly one of the miracles of the day, for it would have been very tricky to drive so close to sundown with a Jewish (non-observant) driver, because he would no doubt have to violate Shabbos to drive away from wherever he would take us.
In short order, Shraga Feivel and I, along with a couple the Benders from Lakewood jumped into the Arab's cab and... what do you know? The Arab cab driver also refused to take us because we didn't wait in line!!! Thankfully, a police officer was there and understood what was happening and he told the cabbie to take us. The driver protested a little more but finally agreed to take us. He drove like a maniac to Bnei Brak, racing against the clock. On the way, I was able to call home to tell my wife what happened. We made it to the Bnei Brak in record time. It took us about 34 minutes from the time we landed to the moment we were standing on the street next to the bridge which leads into Bnei Brak! At first the cabbie didn't want to take dollars, and we had no shekels. Finally he relented and took the dollars. The streets were closed already for Shabbos by then and he let us off by the bridge by the highway across the street from the Coca Cola plant in Bnei Brak.
The streets were full of young people wearing their Shabbos finest. We were an odd sight, carrying our luggage on the street at that time. Initially we planned to walk with the Benders to the Vishnitz area, where they had friends who could put us up for Shabbos. However, on the way, a kindly Bnei Brak resident asked us if we had where to stay. I told him no, and he promptly invited us to stay with him for Shabbos. We accepted and parted ways with the Benders.
We went straight to the apartment of a neighbor so that I could borrow a Bekishe - a Shabbos coat, which I had sent in my luggage under the plane. (My Shtreimel and a shtievel I did have, thankfully). The neighbor of our host was surprised to see us carrying what we were carrying at that late hour and I hurried into one of his rooms where I unloaded my "Muktzeh" items (forbidding to handle on Shabbos) onto his floor. Among the things I dropped there was a large sum of cash and my passport. It was amazing, here I was emptying my pockets onto the floor of a person I never saw before in my life!
When I went upstairs to our host, I saw that Shraga Feivel was busy trying on the host's Shabbos suit. Miraculously, the suit and even the host's shoes fit. It was also a miracle that our host happened to wear a short suit on Shabbos like Shraga Feivel does.
Still wanting to catch a mikvah that day (it is the custom of Chassidim to go to the mikvah daily, as well as on Erev Shabbos), Shraga Feivel and I walked to a nearby mikvah. We managed to go to the mikvah, then daven mincha and still daven with a minyan Kabbalas Shabbos and Maariv! By the time we walked home after davening to the host's house, we were walking on air. We were shaking our heads in disbelief that we had actually made it! It was not exactly the Shabbos we had planned, but we made it! Kiddush had a special meaning that night, and I was very moved by the words I recited over the cup of wine. "And Hashem blessed the seventh day and He sanctified it..."
Besides the fact that we had barely eaten the entire day, we were thankful to be eating a hot Shabbos meal, instead of subsisting on dry bread, potato chips and nosh like the 9 passengers who we later learned were unfortunately left stranded in the airport in Tel Aviv. (Some had waited for their luggage others just couldn't handle the rush...)
We tremendously enjoyed Shabbos in Bnai Brak. Our host's hospitality was unforgettable. When I told him that I would be memorizing the event in my weekly publication, he asked to remain anonymous. On Motzoi Shabbos, I snapped a picture with Shraga Feivel (on the left) and our host. I partially obscured the host's face to protect his identity! (so he shouldn't be inundated with guests for Shabbos!)
Motzoi Shabbos we picked up our bags in the airport. The rest of trip was amazing. We experienced a true spiritual uplifting from the events surrounding that Shabbos. We hope not to descend from the "aliyah" we experienced then. We have told this story this past two weeks in the hope that those who read it will be influenced not to "test it," i.e., to avoid flying so close to Shabbos.
The importance of Shabbos is evidenced by the fact that Shabbos appears in the Ten Commandments, which is the seminal creed of the Jewish people. As we read in this week’s parsha Yisro in the fourth commandment: “You shall remember the Shabbos day to make it Holy. Six days you shall work and you shall do all of your labor. But the seventh day is Shabbos for Hashem your G-d, you shall not do any work...” (Shemos - Exodus 20:9) Many people are willing to accept upon themselves the Ten Commandments. However, one who does not keep Shabbos is only observing nine of the Ten Commandments. (Shabbos, Rav Aryeh Kaplan)
The Sages have told us in many places about the greatness of Shabbos. For example, “Whoever is careful with Shabbos observance will be forgiven for all of his sins, even idol worship.” (Ibid, citing Shabbos 118b) And, “Respecting Shabbos is greater than fasting 1000 days.” (Ibid., citing Tachuma, Bereishis 3) Also, “Whoever takes pleasure in the enjoyment of the Shabbos will be granted all his heart’s desires.” (Ibid., citing Shabbos 118b) And, “Observing Shabbos is equal to fulfilling all the mitzvahs of the Torah.” (Ibid., citing Pesikta) And, “Proper observance of just one Shabbos is equal to having observed every Shabbos since the time of Creation.” (Ibid., citing Mechilta, Ki-Sisa 31) Good Shabbos Everyone.
Glossary Muktzeh is forbidden to use or move on Shabbos like a candelabra, chain saw, rifle – however if you are saving or protecting lives on Shabbos you can use Muktzeh things such as gas masks, infusions, pistols and rifles. But if one is not saving the life of somebody who had a tree fall upon him on Shabbos one does not go around touching a chain saw.
M. Wolfberg’s stories are sponsored by: In Memory of Leah bas R' Dovid Edlen (Wolfberg) Refuah Shleima to Mordechai Menachem Mendel ben Tziporah Yitta Refuah Shleima to Tsviah bas Bracha Leah Refuah Shleimah to Chana Ashayra bas Dodi
Have a wonderful Shabbos, rest and reflect on the creations and miracles of G-D,