Friday, June 18, 2010

Parsha Chukas, Halachos, George C. Wallace & Stories

Tell me who your friends (not virtual ones) and I will tell you who you are. Tell me that that you are loyal to your spouse and I will tell you that you have happiness in marriage.

For a long time I have not written about Shabbos Kadosh. In the summer in up State New York and other cooler places out west, I liked to take a Shabbos walk in the afternoon. One could not carry and so I wore my handkerchief like a cowboy does with a cloth behind my neck. However there is a limit how far and how much one could walk.

From Chabad:

The Rambam's 320th prohibition is that we are forbidden to do Melacha on Shabbos. The source of this commandment is G‑d's statement, ["It is Shabbos to the L‑rd, your G‑d;] do not do any Melacha."

If the act was intentional, but the court has insufficient proof, Scripture specifies the punishment as Kores. If the act was intentional, and there is sufficient proof, the punishment is execution by s'kilah. If the act was unintentional, he must bring a sin-offering.

The details of this commandment are discussed in the tractate Shabbos.

The Rambam's 321st prohibition is that we are forbidden to travel [even by foot] on Shabbos. The source of this commandment is G‑d's statement, "No man may leave his place on the seventh day."Oral Tradition defines limit of "travel" as 2000 amos beyond the city limit; one may not walk even a single amoh more. However, one may walk within 2000 amos from the city limit in any direction. The Mechilta says: " 'No man may leave his place,' — this means beyond 2000 amos."

Our Sages said in tractate Eruvin, "For violating the prohibition of the Shabbos limit, one receives lashes by Biblical ordinance." Translated by Berel Bell

I know many righteous non-Jews whom I have met over the years. Because of US policies on Israel in Arkansas 20 die in floods, TN and other States have horrible flooding too although on different days. I received this e-mail just before publication:

Interesting that the day after the ASA declared the Kotel not in Israel the Icelandic volcano erupted and an ash cloud caused millions of pounds of losses to the air companies. I don’t know when these flotillas were planned and started their mission to sail to Gaza but could the oil spill and the terrible environmental catastrophe it has caused have anything to do with it?
We all know how Hussein Obama feels towards Israel. Maybe it is another plague.
Shabbat Shalom
Stephanie T.

Stephanie, I and many non-Jewish preachers have seen this now and in the past. It is painful when the righteous suffer because of a wicked rule.

Parsha Chukas

This week we are dealing with a subject most human beings try to avoid talking about and reading about. The Parsha is telling us about dying, death and purification of those who have come in the area or overshadowed by a dead body. It is strange in one way. One day all the men are gawking over the body of actress Marilyn Monroe and the day she passed away everybody shunned her dead body.

All this is of course because we have been given a bad view of death. Rav Amnon Yitzchak Shlita uses the example in Hebrew of the word “L’Patair” (to resign) "Putar" (fired) or "Petru" (was fired) to the word "Niftar". The first two words mean resigned/quit or fired. Gimmel resigned for his job at Grumman Aircraft to become an executive in the Boeing Corporation. So if we were talking about it in terms of death his job at Grumman died and he is living in Boeing. If we were to look at this example we see the Neshama leaves his job in this world and moves on to a new job in the heavenly world with better conditions and a true and fair recompense in the next. We would feel the same way for our loved one as if he moved from Grumman to Boeing but strangely we do not.

We this in mind let us take a look in another prospective at our Parsha and the world where the Neshama goes to.

19:1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying: 2 This is the statute of the law which the LORD hath commanded, saying:

I was going to write down part of the Zohar with Rabbi Pinchas ben Yair explaining to Rabbi Shimon and Rabbi Eleazar how the Shechina takes the dead soul under its wings but every time I wanted to write this something came up and prevented me from writing a full page story until I ran out of time. I will just say the Tuma caused by the dead is because life in this world is missing. A woman’s period is essentially the death of an egg and the flux of the Zav is the death of the sperm. The dead animal is too lack of life and that is the source of Tuma. In Hebrew a human corpse is called the father of the fathers of ritual impurity (Tuma). What we lack in this world if the person was a Tzaddik brings joy in the next. However, if the person was the opposite of a righteous person that brings light unto this world and sorrow for such a soul in the next world as I wrote last week the loss of Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu was a woe unto us in this world but a joy to the people in the next.

Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring thee a red heifer, faultless, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke. 3 And ye shall give her unto Eleazar the priest, and she shall be brought forth without the camp, and she shall be slain before his face. 4 And Eleazar the priest shall take of her blood with his finger, and sprinkle of her blood toward the front of the tent of meeting seven times. 5 And the heifer shall be burnt in his sight; her skin, and her flesh, and her blood, with her dung, shall be burnt. 6 And the priest shall take cedar-wood, and hyssop, and scarlet, and cast it into the midst of the burning of the heifer. 7 Then the priest shall wash his clothes, and he shall bathe his flesh in water, and afterward he may come into the camp, and the priest shall be unclean until the even. 8 And he that burned her shall wash his clothes in water, and bathe his flesh in water, and shall be unclean until the even. 9 And a man that is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer, and lay them up without the camp in a clean place, and it shall be kept for the congregation of the children of Israel for a water of sprinkling; it is a purification from sin. 10 And he that gathered the ashes of the heifer shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening; … 21 And it shall be a perpetual statute unto them; and he that sprinkles the water of sprinkling shall wash his clothes; and he that touches the water of sprinkling shall be unclean until even. 22 And whatsoever the unclean person touches shall be unclean; and the soul that touches him shall be unclean until even.

THE WEEKLY MITZVA By Rav Binyamin Tabory Much thanks to my Army Paramedic and Yeshiva Cousin Samuel for this

Parashat Chukas Tahara (ritual purity) and Tum'a (ritual impurity)

The first section of Parashat Chukas presents the laws of tum'at meit (ritual impurity caused by contact with a dead body). The Rambam (Sefer Ha-Mitzvot – Aseh 107) and Sefer Ha-Chinukh (Mitzva 398) counted the law of tum'at meit as a separate mitzva. In fact, the Rambam enumerated thirteen individual mitzvot relating to tum'a (ibid 96-109). The Ramban disagreed and argued that all these mitzvot are not obligations or prohibitions, but rather optional laws. Of course, we are forbidden from any involvement in the Mikdash and eating kodashim while in a state of impurity. However, there is no prohibition at all against becoming tamei, and if one indeed becomes tamei, he bears no obligation to become tahor. He may remain in his state of tum'a, as long as he refrains from the prohibitions involved. In the Rambam's rather lengthy introduction to this section, he appears to basically agree with the Ramban. He writes, "The mitzva is what is stated in this law, namely, that someone who contacts this (tum'a) is tamei," and he then proceeds to explain the halakhic ramifications of tum'a.

This controversy seems to revolve around the general methodology of enumerating mitzvot. There are certain mitzvot which are obligatory, such as Shabbat, and there are other mitzvot which merely tell us how to deal with certain given situations. For example, the Rambam counted the laws of shomerim (people entrusted with the property of another) as three separate mitzvot. There is certainly no obligation to appoint or become a shomer. Rather, the mitzva is to follow the Torah's dictates when a case of shomerim arises. Similarly, the Rambam counts the mitzva of tum'at meit (and others) even though this "mitzva" seems to involve merely the definition of tum'a and tahara, rather than an outright commandment. Indeed, in his introduction to Hilkhot Tum'at Meit in the Mishneh Torah, the Rambam states clearly that the mitzva consists of the law of tum'at meit.

The Ramban apparently disagrees and maintains that only mitzvot which are obligatory should be counted in the list of mitzvot. However, Rav Perla (Sefer Ha-Mitzvot – Rabbenu Saadya Gaon vol. 1, p.703) questioned the consistency of the Ramban's position in this matter. The Rambam counted kiddushin (halakhic engagement) and gerushin (divorce) as mitzvot, and the Ramban raises no objection against the inclusion of these laws among the 613 mitzvot. Rav Perla asked, why did the Ramban agree that these are to be counted as mitzvot? After all, they involve no absolute obligation, and serve merely to determine marital status for purposes of Halakha. One could argue with Rav Perla about these specific examples, and the laws of shomerim would have been a better example to show that there are laws of this type which even the Ramban counted as mitzvot. Nevertheless, Rav Perla's point is well taken.

In any event, one verse in the Chumash appears, at least at first glance, to indicate that there is an absolute prohibition against becoming tamei. In regards to rabbits, pigs, etc., the Torah writes, "Do not eat their meat and do not touch their carcass" (VaYikra 11,8). Rav Avraham Ibn Ezra (ad loc.) interpreted this statement literally, as introducing a prohibition against touching the meat or carcass of these animals, and he even claims that one who does so would receive makkot (lashes). However, in his book "Yesod Mora," Ibn Ezra counts this as one of the 613 mitzvot but writes that no makkot are involved.

The Gemara (Rosh HaShana 16b), by contrast, interprets this prohibition much differently, arguing that it is inconceivable that the Torah forbade Jews from becoming tamei. The Gemara draws proof to this effect from the fact that the Torah specifically forbids kohanim from becoming temei meit, clearly implying that other Jews may become temei meit. Now if a regular Israelite may become temei meit, which represents the highest form of tum'a, then certainly he may contract a lower form of tum'a, by coming in contact with the carcass of a non-kosher animal. The Gemara therefore arrives at a much different interpretation of this verse, that it introduces a specific prohibition against becoming tamei on Yom Tov.

The Rambam codifies this law in accordance with the gemara's explanation. He writes (Hilkhot Tum'at Okhelin 16:10), "All Israelites are commanded to be tehorim on the Festivals, since they must be prepared to enter the Mikdash and eat kodashim. The statement in the Torah, 'Do not touch their carcass' refers only to the Festivals. If one did become tamei, he does not receive Makkot. However, there is no such prohibition the rest of the year."

The Rambam appears to have understood that the biblical prohibition against being tamei on Yom Tov stems from the mitzvot of Yom Tov, which involve the Temple and sacrifices, and thus necessitate a state of ritual purity. This point may help resolve a difficulty raised by many commentators: why does the Rambam say that no makkot are involved? If this indeed constitutes a biblical prohibition, we would expect that a punishment would be administered to the transgressor. It has been written in the name of Rav Soloveitchik zt"l (Mesorah vol. 8, p.29) that this prohibition does not involve makkot because its underlying purpose is to enable us to fulfill the requirements of the mitzvot of Yom Tov. Now someone who does not fulfill those requirements would not receive makkot. Therefore, the prohibition that serves to ensure the fulfillment of the obligation cannot be more severe than the obligation itself. If a person who does not visit the Mikdash on a Festival does not receive makkot, then a person who becomes tamei on a Festival also does not receive makkot. This prohibition thus becomes akin to a "lav she-ein bo ma'aseh" (a prohibition whose violation entails no concrete action), for which a person is not punishable by makkot.

The Sha'agat Aryeh (67) writes that since the Rambam viewed the law of tahara on Yom Tov as merely a means of facilitating the fulfillment of the Mitzvot involving Mikdash and kodashim, these laws do not apply today, in the absence of the Beit Ha-Mikdash. He adds that this law would not ever apply on Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur – even during Temple times - since the obligation of aliya le-regel (going to the Beit Ha-Mikdash) and related mitzvot apply only on Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot, and not on Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur.

The Noda Be-Yehuda (in Tzion Le-Nefesh Chaya – Beitza 18b), however, disagreed with this interpretation and maintained that the Torah issued a general prohibition against becoming tamei. The logic employed by the gemara in Rosh HaShana teaches us that the prohibition does not apply all year round. If we would search for a time when it would be appropriate to be tahor, we would naturally come up with the days of Yom Tov, when we should attempt to reach a higher spiritual level. Once, however, the Torah forbids us from being tamei on Yom Tov, this prohibition extends beyond the specific purpose of facilitating our entry into the Mikdash. On the basis of this argument, the Noda Be-Yehuda postulated that this prohibition applies to Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur, as well. It also follows that it would apply even today, even without a Beit Ha-Mikdash.

We have seen that in the time of the Mikdash, there was an obligation on Yom Tov to refrain from tum'a and become tahor, and the Acharonim debated whether this applies on Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur and if it applies nowadays. The generally accepted view is that of the Rambam and the Ramban, that no such prohibition applies during the year. The Sefer Ha-Chinukh likewise writes (mitzva 159): "There is no sin to become tamei even if you do so intentionally. You may not touch kodashim until you become tahor. In any case, every understanding person should distance himself from tum'a, for the soul rises in a state of tahara."

2O:1 And the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, came into the wilderness of Zin in the first month; and the people abode in Kadesh; and Miriam died there, and was buried there. 2 And there was no water for the congregation; and they assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron. 3 And the people strove with Moses, and spoke, saying: 'Would that we had perished when our brethren perished before the LORD! 4 And why have ye brought the assembly of the LORD into this wilderness, to die there, we and our cattle? 5 And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? it is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink.' 6 And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tent of meeting, and fell upon their faces; and the glory of the LORD appeared unto them. 7 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 8 'Take the rod, and assemble the congregation, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes, that it give forth its water; and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock; so thou shalt give the congregation and their cattle drink.' 9 And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as He commanded him. 10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said unto them: 'Hear now, ye rebels; are we to bring you forth water out of this rock?' 11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and smote the rock with his rod twice; and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their cattle.

Our Rabbis said that he was supposed to make a very big Kiddush HASHEM though speaking to the rock only.

Moses Hits the Rock by Rabbi Shraga Simmons

This week's Parsha features one of the most perplexing incidents in the entire Torah. The Jews have been wandering for 40 years in the desert and they're thirsty. So God tells Moses to speak to the rock and water will come forth (Numbers 20:8). The instruction to "speak" to the rock is in contrast to 40 years earlier, when Moses followed God's instruction to hit the rock – and water gushed out (Exodus 17:6).

This time, Moses is to speak. Yet he again hits the rock. Nothing happens, so Moses hits the rock a second time, and water comes out.

God's response: "Since you HIT the rock rather than speaking to it, you will not lead the Jewish people into the Land of Israel" (Numbers 20:11-12).

New Generation

We read this story and think: Here's the mighty Moses, who confronted Pharaoh, arranged the Ten Plagues, split the Red Sea, brought the Torah down from Mount Sinai, and defended the people through trials and tribulations in the desert. Now he makes one little mistake and God takes away his dream of entering Israel. The consequence seems inappropriately harsh!

The first step in understanding this incident is to appreciate how the Jewish people were at the critical juncture of transitioning from desert life to Israel. At the rock, God's instructions to Moses are carefully chosen to reflect this transition. Forty years earlier, when Moses was told to HIT the rock, the people had just come out of brutal slavery in Egypt – and "hitting" was a language they understood. But this time, Moses was called upon to lead a generation who'd grown up in freedom; a generation which required the softer approach of "speaking."

Notice how in our Parsha, Moses hits the rock twice. First, he hit the rock and no water came out. At that moment he had the opportunity to reevaluate his approach and reflect more carefully on God's specific instruction to "speak." But Moses hits the rock again.

The commentators suggest that perhaps symbolically, we can learn about our own need to be flexible in our approach. Moses' punishment is not harsh; it is simply a consequence of his relationship to the new generation and their needs in entering Israel.

Jewish Education

We learn from this a crucial lesson about education. King Solomon says: "Educate each child according to his own way." The process of learning is different for everybody, and the approach that's effective for one is often not effective for another.

This defines the crucial difference between education and indoctrination. "Indoctrination" is when the teacher is concerned primarily with advancing his position. "Education" is drawing out from the student's own intuitive sense.

This idea is elucidated in the Talmud, which says: "Even more than the baby calf wants to drink, the mother wants to nurse." The simple understanding is that of course the calf is hungry and needs to eat. But even more so "the mother wants to nurse" – meaning that the mother is full of milk and needs to get it out.

However, I heard in the name of Rabbi Simcha Wasserman (20th century Los Angeles and Jerusalem) that the Talmud must be understood differently. Because if the mother's only concern is to get rid of her milk, then it would come out in one big gush. And we see instead that it comes out precisely in the right proportion to satisfy the specific needs of the calf. So when the Talmud says, "More than the baby calf wants to drink, the mother wants to nurse," it is saying that even more than the calf desires to eat, the mother wants that it should eat – not for the mother's sake, but because that's what's best for the calf. And that, said Rabbi Wasserman, is what good education is all about.

Jewish ideals have existed against all odds for 3,000 years – not because we've pounded people over the head, but because we've communicated those ideas in a rational, practical way. Anyone who says that yeshiva is a cult is woefully misinformed. Yeshiva is precisely the place to discuss the issues, ask questions, work it through, and make it your own.

American Ways

It is interesting that the experience of Moses in the desert can be understood in light of the experience of Judaism in the 20th century. In the shtetl of Europe, a rabbi might be able to communicate displeasure to his students by hitting the knuckles with a ruler. It was a language that was accepted and understood. But when tens of thousands of Jews moved to America, those who sent their children to Jewish day school found these same rabbis applying their European-style methods to children with American mentalities. These children, who were used to a more open and permissive approach, could not relate to Judaism as it was being presented. The result is that many of them shifted away from observance.

It has only been in the last 20 years – with American-born rabbis now taking the helm and explaining Judaism in modern, relevant terms – that American Jewry has seen a resurgence back toward traditional observance.

Berel Wein writes:

"In our always-uncertain world, it is natural to crave security and stability. Financial planners, estate planners, insurance experts and politicians in office all attempt to convince us that the way it is now is how it will be in the future as well. However, all of us in our secret hearts know that the only thing certain about the future is that it will not be the same as the present. Therefore, we should be prepared to be open to new circumstances, to a constantly changing world. We should not be afraid to try out new technology, new ideas and theories, to change careers and pursue our true interests and goals. There is an innate longing for greatness within all of us. That longing can never be fulfilled without a willingness to change, improve and try something new."

Like Moses and the rock, our ability to adjust and customize our approach – while remaining true to Torah standards – will in large part determine how successfully we move our children, our students, our nation and ourselves forward into the "Land of Israel" – into the next exciting stage of personal and national destiny.

12 And the LORD said unto Moses and Aaron: 'Because ye believed not in Me, to sanctify Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.' 13 These are the waters of Meribah, where the children of Israel strove with the LORD, and He was sanctified in them. …

22 And they journeyed from Kadesh; and the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, came unto mount Hor. 23 And the LORD spoke unto Moses and Aaron in mount Hor, by the border of the land of Edom, saying: 24 'Aaron shall be gathered unto his people; for he shall not enter into the land which I have given unto the children of Israel, because ye rebelled against My word at the waters of Meribah. 25 Take Aaron and Eleazar his son, and bring them up unto mount Hor. 26 And strip Aaron of his garments, and put them upon Eleazar his son; and Aaron shall be gathered unto his people, and shall die there.' 27 And Moses did as the LORD commanded; and they went up into mount Hor in the sight of all the congregation. 28 And Moses stripped Aaron of his garments, and put them upon Eleazar his son; and Aaron died there in the top of the mount; and Moses and Eleazar came down from the mount. 29 And when all the congregation saw that Aaron was dead, they wept for Aaron thirty days, even all the house of Israel.

His death is described in the Zohar as a form of a kiss by G-D. Think of the death as follows – Moshe helps undress Aaron. He puts the Priestly Robes on Eleazar and on his head the Tzitz (Mitre) with the words Kodesh Le HASHEM. Aaron lies down on a flat rock in the cave as to go asleep. Imagine the bright light of the Shechina coming down from heaven and giving him a kiss sucking out his soul and then the soul and the Shechina lifting upwards as Moshe and Eleazar push a rock over the entrance to the cave or a Dead Sea earthquake moving the rock and more stones over the cave to close the entrance. Aaron was famous for making peace between husband and wife and making Shalom Beis (peace in the home) or in this case tents of Israel in the desert. It was more than the mourning for a great Torah scholar. It was the mourning for a loving fatherly figure who would soothe things over in every household in Yisrael.

21:1 And the Canaanite, the king of Arad, who dwelt in the South, heard tell that Israel came by the way of Atharim; and he fought against Israel, and took some of them captive. 2 And Israel vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said: 'If Thou wilt indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities.' 3 And the LORD hearkened to the voice of Israel, and delivered up the Canaanites; and they utterly destroyed them and their cities; and the name of the place was called Hormah.

Tel Arad can be viewed on the road about 10 or so kilometers out on the road towards Beer Sheva or the North. It is not a tremendous fort as one would think in modern terms but it controlled the traffic going to the north.

4 And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way to the Red Sea, to compass the land of Edom; and the soul of the people became impatient because of the way. 5 And the people spoke against God, and against Moses: 'Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, and there is no water; and our souls loathes this light bread.' 6 And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. 7 And the people came to Moses, and said: 'We have sinned, because we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that He take away the serpents from us.' And Moses prayed for the people. 8 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole; and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he seeth it, shall live.' 9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and set it upon the pole; and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he looked unto the serpent of brass, he lived.

Again complaints and punishment in return as shown above.

The following is the description of the war on the other side of Yarden and after the conquest; the Bnei Yisrael set up rocks in the form of foot prints to show that they had passed through and conquered this area. This is the land below the modern Hamat Gader. Og the King of Bashan is the Golan Heights up to the Hermon and a bit deeper into the modern Syrian side.

21 And Israel sent messengers unto Sihon king of the Amorites, saying: 22 'Let me pass through thy land; we will not turn aside into field, or into vineyard; we will not drink of the water of the wells; we will go by the king's highway, until we have passed thy border.' 23 And Sihon would not suffer Israel to pass through his border; but Sihon gathered all his people together, and went out against Israel into the wilderness, and came to Jahaz; and he fought against Israel. 24 And Israel smote him with the edge of the sword, and possessed his land from the Arnon unto the Jabbok, even unto the children of Ammon; for the border of the children of Ammon was strong. 25 And Israel took all these cities; and Israel dwelt in all the cities of the Amorites, in Heshbon, and in all the towns thereof. 26 For Heshbon was the city of Sihon the king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab, and taken all his land out of his hand, even unto the Arnon. 27 Wherefore they that speak in parables say: Come ye to Heshbon! let the city of Sihon be built and established! 28 For a fire is gone out of Heshbon, a flame from the city of Sihon; it hath devoured Ar of Moab, the lords of the high places of Arnon. 29 Woe to thee, Moab! thou art undone, O people of Chemosh; he hath given his sons as fugitives, and his daughters into captivity, unto Sihon king of the Amorites. 30 We have shot at them--Heshbon is perished--even unto Dibon, and we have laid waste even unto Nophah, which reacheth unto Medeba. 31 Thus Israel dwelt in the land of the Amorites. 32 And Moses sent to spy out Jazer, and they took the towns thereof, and drove out the Amorites that were there. 33 And they turned and went up by the way of Bashan; and Og the king of Bashan went out against them, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei. 34 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Fear him not; for I have delivered him into thy hand, and all his people, and his land; and thou shalt do to him as thou didst unto Sihon king of the Amorites, who dwelt at Heshbon.' 35 So they smote him, and his sons, and all his people, until there was none left him remaining; and they possessed his land.

22:1 And the children of Israel journeyed, and pitched in the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan at Jericho

Halachos and Mitzvos from Danny Shoemann

Thirty days after a firstborn son is born, his father needs to redeem him, by giving 5 Shekalim (~117 grams of silver) or items of equivalent value to a Cohen. The Cohen can use the money for anything he wants, it has no Kedusha - sanctity. One who had no father at the time, needs to redeem himself when he becomes an adult. If the firstborn's father or mother are Cohanim or Leviim, he does not need to be redeemed. Applies to Israelites, everywhere, always Verse: "..redeem the firstborn male son. Redeem him at one month old." (Bamidbar 18:15-16) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Positive Mitzvah 54

A firstborn male donkey needs to be redeemed by giving a Cohen a sheep in its stead. Even if the sheep costs a fraction of the price of the donkey, it can be used. If one does not own a sheep, one can give the Cohen the monetary value of the donkey. If the donkey belongs to a Cohen or Levi, it need not be redeemed.
Applies to Israelites, everywhere, always. Verse: "...and a firstborn donkey redeem with a sheep" (Shemos 34:20) - "...the firstborns... shall be yours" (Bamidbar 18:15)
Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Positive Mitzvah 55

One who has relationships with their father's brother deserves to be stoned to death by Beth Din.One who accidentally has relationships with their father's brother needs to bring a Chatat offering when the Bet HaMikdash will be rebuilt. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always Verse: "The nakedness of your father's brother you shall not uncover" (Vayikra 18:14) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Prohibition 114

One may not marry one's son's wife - even after the son dies or divorces her. One who has relationships with his daughter-in-law deserves to be stoned to death by Beth Din. By Rabbinical decree this includes one's grandson's wives. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always Verse: "The nakedness of your daughter-in-law you shall not uncover" (Vayikra 18:15) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Prohibition 115

If two males have marital relationships they both deserve to be stoned to death by Beth Din. If there are no witnesses they are punished with Karet. If done unintentionally, they each need to bring a Chatat offering when the Bet HaMikdash will be rebuilt. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always Verse: "Do not have marital relationships with another male" (Vayikra 18:22) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Prohibition 116

On Rosh Chodesh one should add Yaaleh Veyavo during the Amida and Birkat Hamazon. If one forgot to add Ya'aleh Veyavo during the Amida at night one does not need to make amends. During the day one needs to go back to רצה.
If one forgot Yaaleh Veyavo during Birkas Hamazon (during the day or night), and one remembers before starting the last Bracha, one can say:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם
אֲשֶׁר נָתַן רָאשֵׁי חֳדָשִׁים לְעַמּוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל לְזִכָּרוֹן

If one only realizes after starting the last Bracha, or one does not have the above Bracha readily available, then one does not need to make amends. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 19:10, 44:14

A person should strive to learn the entire Torah. A partial list would include Tanach (Bible), Mishna, Talmud Bavli and Yerushalmi, Rambam, Tur, Shulchan Aruch, and Midrash. Somebody who cannot sit and learn Torah all day should learn practical Halachos as well as Midrashim and Mussar (ethics). This way one knows what to do (Halacha), will have the drive to do so (Midrash) and acquire the ability to overcome obstacles when trying to do (Mussar). Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 27:3

After Shacharit (morning prayers) a person should have a fixed time to to learn Torah; at least one verse or a single Halacha. The Torah requires everybody to have a fixed time to learn Torah every day and every night. Somebody who does not know how to learn Torah, or cannot find the time to learn, should support others who do learn Torah and they share the reward. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 27:1-2

When seeing a rainbow one says the Bracha "Baruch... Zocher Habrit Ven'eman Bivrito Vekayam Bema'amaro" - "...Who remembers the covenant, is trustworthy in His covenant and fulfills His word".

ברוך אתה ה' אלקינו מלך העולם
זוֹכֵר הַבְּרִית וְנֶאֱמָן בִּבְרִיתוֹ וְקַיָּם בְּמַאֲמָרוֹ

This Bracha is said only once per rainbow. One should not stare at a rainbow for extended periods of time. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 60:4
The reason for not staring at the rainbow is explained in Chagiga (16:1). The prophet Yechezkel compares the appearance of the Glory of Hashem to a rainbow:
"As the appearance of the rainbow in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of Hashem."(Ezekiel 1:28) Staring at a rainbow is compared to staring at the Glory of Hashem, an impolite thing to do. The Gemara states that as a punishment for staring at the rainbow, ones eyesight could suffer.

It is forbidden to draw blood on Shabbat even from one's own body. One may not squeeze pimples or open up wounds or on Shabbat, as that would cause puss and/or blood come out. One may remove scabs on Shabbat, if one is sure that no bleeding will occur. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 80:54, 91:14

When a Rabbi doesn’t issue a Psak Din two stories

1) On Shabbos there was no Gentile to help a few older people when leaving Schul. I noticed that the elevator being next to stairs, I asked F. if I could help her take her walker downstairs. I noticed that she had pressed the down button on the elevator. I then saw L. on Yom Tov wanting to press the button. He told me that one of the Rabbis in the winter had said that one could press the button. I know of two Rabbis one Rabbi Lookstein Shlita from NY and Rabbi Lustig Shlita from OH. But it seemed odd to me that these Rabbis would give such a Heckshir. Rabbi Balinski Shlita and myself got into a discussion about this. He said that perhaps one of the Rabbis mentioned Yom Tov or the second day of Yom Tov and these people had mixed things up.

The next week we were walking with a third person who was a stroke victim. We both knew that he took the elevator but in front of the two of us he was embarrassed to do so. The other Rabbi suggested to him that he rest as he rest on a bench before the stair well and then walk down and not force himself to do it with us. We knew that neither of us would be there to help these people in the summer. Our conclusions were we are not going to change the violation of Shabbos that these people are doing so we should let the people continue with their misunderstanding rather than going to purposely violate the Shabbos to get to and from Schul. This is not the normal silence that nothing is wrong but the silence that something is very wrong but it is more like an accident because of ignorance rather and a forceful violation.

For more information regarding my part-time FL neighbor Rabbi Lookstein Shlita:

2) The next case is a divorcee I shall call A. A has recently become Shomer Shabbos and Mitzvos. A wants to respect the idea of purity during the dating stage through marriage. In the course of our conversation I mentioned to her about the Frum way of dating. One dates a member of the opposite sex and knows that they are dating only for marriage and companionship and not to have a temporary partner for whatever reason (the prom, for a movie, etc.). After about 3 to 6 times one should evaluate the relationship and see if there is compatibility in intelligence, religious outlook, social functions, etc. It is obvious that if Opera is not her style, he views mixed dancing as forbidden, she does not like ball games, he does not like late davening in Chabad, etc. they will have some conflict which will have to be ironed out before the wedding but these can be overcome before a wedding. One should be honest on health problems too.

A then mentioned to me that she was badly burnt by her previous marriage and even a sour relationship or two. She wanted more time. I told A that I cannot tell her how to act. She is already over 30 and a mature adult but she has to take into account a number of factors. AYN APPITROPUS LE ARAYOS – there is no guarantor against the physical Yetzer. She also mentioned that she was not looking for a bachelor but a divorced or widowed man. I told her a story of Rabbi X who is just around 40 now. When he was a bachelor he was sent by a group to lead non-religious students in a country outside of Israel to guide them to Frumkeit. One of the young females taught him that there was no guarantor. A woman at 30 plus and a man who most likely has been around a bit are not going to act like 20 year old Beis Yacov girls and Ponovez boys for any length of time. Also statistics show that couples who begin living together before marriage often have less of a success rate than those who just date decide to get married and marry in shorter time. I went through the Shidduch of Yitzchak with Rivka and Yacov with Rachel. Since I could not be in her shows or her boyfriend’s shoes, I told her that I could not advise her.

The conclusion is that if there is a high probability that a person will act and listen to a Rabbi, the Rabbi should tell them the correct thing to do. However, if there is a good chance or a 50-50 chance that somebody is not going to be able to follow the Halacha properly then one should not advise the other person. The general rule is that if I were in the case of the stroke victim regarding Shabbos I most likely would follow the complete Shabbos observance but if I were in the second situation and the time was stretching out like chewing gum – I could not guarantee for myself for passing the test as the time rolled by all the more so for a younger more vibrant man.

Guilt by Association on Moshiach Matters

I have had a policy which I following of trying to bring Jews to real Judaism and Gentiles to being Bnei Noach. With this in mind I have befriend Messianic Jews. Some I have let go and blocked as they were missionaries but others I have left as friends. I ended up with a strange e-mail recently and probably because of this.

you are in Israel? nice.
ok..we have been fb friends. i would like to ask you if you are orthodox or if you are messianic rabbi? no judgement from me. i am curious. do you believe in Jesus or do you believe as most orthodox Jews believe? for some reason i thought you were a messianic rabbi. please take no offense either way. i am curious as to who i friend through other friends. my best to you in our land of Israel. God’s land. anna (dina channa bas chava). as for me..i was born and raised by 2 full Jewish parents.

I am not Messianic unless you consider bringing back Jews to full Shabbos Observance, Family Purity Observance and Kashrus Observance Messianic. I believe in one and only one Moshiach as written and mentioned in the Kaballah and Oral Tradition.

ok thank you Rabbi, but that still did not answer my questions as to whether or not you believe that Yeshua (Jesus) is the one Moshiach you speak of. Anna

I thought my answer was clear. No Moshiach has come and we have been waiting for the Moshiach - the one who is a reincarnation of Adam and 5770 years so far have passed without the first and only coming of the Moshiach. I hope that is clear enough now.

Ok thank you. just that there are so many missionaries on facebook. each had a right to do that. but when someone is a rabbi i want to know if should read what they write. i have not heard of the reincarnation of Adam but it makes sense. i will ask my own rabbi about that. hope all is ok where you are. i would love to go back to Israel one day.

A few pages about the reason for the connection of Adam are given in the introduction of Megillas Ruth by Art Scroll Publishing.

I think this is the second time R’ A.L. sent me the story – I ALMOST SOLD A YID FOR A QUARTER

This is a really scary example of how much people watch us as JEWS, and will put us to the test!!!!

Several years ago, a Rabbi from out-of-state accepted a call to a community in Houston, Texas. Some weeks after he arrived, he had an occasion to ride the bus from his home to the downtown area. When he sat down, he discovered that the driver had accidentally given him a quarter too much change.

As he considered what to do, he thought to himself, "You had better give the quarter back. It would be wrong to keep it."

Then he thought, "Oh, forget it. It is only a quarter. Who would worry about this little amount?? Anyway, the bus company gets too much fare, they will never miss it. Accept it as a "gift from G-D" and keep quiet."

When the stop came, he paused momentarily at the door, and then he handed the quarter to the driver and said, "Here , you gave me too much change." The driver, with a smile, replied, "Are you not the new Rabbi in town??" "Yes" he replied.

"Well, I have been thinking a lot lately about going somewhere to worship. I just wanted to see what would you do if I gave you too much change. I will see you in shul on Shabbos."

When the Rabbi stepped off the bus, he literally grabbed the nearest light pole, held on, and said, "Oh Rebono Shel Olam, I almost sold a Yid for a quarter."

This is really scary example of how much people watch us Jew, and will put us to the test. Always be on your guard, and remember, You carry the name of Hashem on your shoulders when you call yourself a "JEW".

Watch your thoughts; they become words.

Watch your words, they become actions.

Watch your actions, they become habits.

Watch your habits, they become character.

Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.

I am glad a friend forwarded this to me as a reminder. So, I choose to forward it to you, my friend. May Hashem bless you, I hope you are having a wonderful day!!

The Reincarnation of George C. Wallace or not?

I have often written about bigotry in Israel. The Segregation keeps Kibbutzim from mixing with religious people and vice versa. In the News this week in Israel is a story of a Chassidic Sect almost like a cult that is few in numbers who follow their Rebbe. If I were a King of Israel I would behead him for going against the laws of the King. However, that is only the side the press would like us to believe. The criteria for selection in the school though was whether the person had a TV at home or not and not if he was Sephardi or Ashkenazi as some of the parents being sent to jail are Sephardim. THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH is that many of these people who don’t have a TV got permission to have a computer for internet work for business. Guess what one can get on their computer – Israeli TV stations, Fox News clips, series, movies, and movies that many of my readers would not think of downloading. So many are big hypocrites and other doesn’t like Sephardim in any way shape or form.

However, I am neither King nor do we have a Sanhedrin. Nobody complains about the Kibbutz rejection of people. What has happened is that he has snakedly turned this into a Charedi Education matter the separation of Ultra Orthodox Sephardim from Ashkenazim. By turning it into such an issue he has gotten the whole Charedi movement of hundreds of thousands of people on his side while 24 or 26 parents go to jail because of his orders – Remember Adolph Eichmann may his name be erased was just following orders.

People who normally defend the Sephardim in the community have had their mouths filled with water as the Rabbis have now made this into a religious / non religious war in Israel. Even I, who try to be the voice of Mussar and reason, cannot get through to anybody except Yemenites, North African Jews and of course my daughter.

ALL I CAN TELL YOU IS THAT THIS GROUNDLESS HATRED IS DELAYING THE COMING OF THE MOSHIACH AND BRINGING ABOUT VERY VERY VERY HARSH JUDGEMENTS FROM HEAVEN UPON US. I feel like Yirmiyahu, Yechezkiel and others before me who understood the message and the way of HASHEM YISBORACH and I am crying HELP for my people and it is as nobody hears me! REPENT NOW! – this Sept. will complete 40 years since my Aliyah to Eretz Yisrael and I have passed 39 years of working with Yad LeAchim to save assimilated Sephardic children and I watch the discrimination of possibly their children or grandchildren of people that I helped save. HaRav Deri, Bitton and others have fallen into line here. It is only a few brave individuals who dare speak out. I feel like the Glenn Beck of the-? G-D fearing Charedi World? And I dare question their fear and love of the Creator. Pirkei Avos: Who is honored – one who honors creation. Are not Ethiopian, Yemenite and Moroccan Jews parts of the creation?

The whole story stinks and is a big Chillul Shem (name) Shemayim (heaven) and defames the name of G-D.


The Rebbe's Communiqué to the Founder of Logotherapy As Told by Jacob Biderman, Chabad Sheliach in Vienna, Austria

/Dr. Viktor Frankl (1905-1997), a Viennese psychotherapist, spent three long years in Hitler’s concentration camps and lost his parents, brother, and pregnant wife to the Final Solution but did not lose his vision of human dignity./

/In the first half of his best-selling book, Mans Search for Meaning, he describes his harrowing experience in the camps and considers how it was that some of the inmates seemed to be able to transcend their surroundings. He writes: We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread . . . they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms to choose ones attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.
/ //
He concludes that even in the most severe suffering, the human being can find meaning and thus hope. In his words, Those who have a why to live, can bear with almost anyhow.

/After the war, Frankl returned to Vienna, where he developed and lectured about his own approach to psychological healing. He believed that people are primarily driven by a striving to find meaning in ones life, and that it is this sense of meaning that enables us to overcome painful experiences. In the second half of his book, Frankl outlines the form of psychotherapy that he developed based on these beliefs, called logotherapy the treatment of emotional pain by helping people find meaning in their lives./

/More about Viktor Frankl, and the impact he had in the area of mental health, later in this article//./

I arrived in Vienna together with my wife, Edla in 1981, to serve as Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries in Austria. We immediately started serving the local Jewish community by arranging Torah classes for children, programs for adults and youth, and the like.

We were aware that the famous Dr. Viktor Frankl resided in the city, but as he never associated with the Jewish community in Vienna, we did not have the opportunity to make his acquaintance. He certainly never stepped foot in the Chabad center we established.

How surprised we were when Dr. Frankl responded with a contribution to our annual appeal, which we sent out to all the local Jews along with a Jewish calendar in honor of the upcoming High Holidays. He continued this practice every year there after I never met him or spoke to him, but his donation always came.

We did not understand, until one day in 1995 when all became clear. It started with a visit I received from a youthful, energetic 85-year-old woman, who introduced herself as Marguerite Chajes.

"Perhaps you think you are the first emissary of the Lubavitcher Rebbe to Vienna," Marguerite told me, "but that is not entirely the case. You see, I performed an important mission here on the Rebbe's behalf long before you arrived in Austria."

*Marguerite Chajes*

Her mother's maiden name was Hager. The Hagers were no ordinary Jewish family but relatives of the Rebbes of the famed Vishnitz Chassidic dynasty. Marguerite was born in Chernowitz, but spent her childhood in Vienna. Marguerite became an opera singer; she married and had a daughter.

Just a few days before World War II, friends helped her escape, together with her husband and daughter, across the border to Italy, where they made it onto on the last boat to the US. Marguerite and her family settled in Detroit. Unfortunately, the rest of her family remained behind and perished.

Years passed. Marguerite's daughter grew up and married a doctor, who, in 1959, was honored at the dinner of a Chabad institution. In conjunction with that occasion, Marguerite had an audience with the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory.

"I cannot explain why," Marguerite said, "but while in the Rebbe's room I suddenly broke down in tears. I felt that it was fine to cry. The dam holding back my river of tears gave way. Like many Holocaust survivors, I had never cried before. If I were to start crying, I felt that I might never stop... I always felt that I have to keep my emotions in check in order to be able to function as a human being."

Marguerite told the Rebbe her entire life story. But more than that, a special relationship was born that night in the Rebbe's room in Brooklyn. Marguerite left that audience feeling that she had been given a second father.

*A Favor for the Rebbe***

Marguerite had also mentioned to the Rebbe that for some time now she had had a yearning to go back and visit her native land. The Rebbe requested that in the event that she would make such a trip, she should come see him again beforehand. Not much thereafter, Marguerite scheduled a trip to Vienna, and, of course, first came to the Rebbe to
inform him of her plan.

How surprised Marguerite was when the Rebbe asked her if she could do for him a favor. The Rebbe wanted her to visit two people in Vienna on his behalf. One of them was Dr. Viktor Frankl, who headed the Vienna Policlinic of Neurology.

"Please send Dr. Frankl my regards. And pass the following message on to him: that I said that he should be strong and continue his work, with complete resolve. No matter what, he should not give up. If he remains strong and committed, he will certainly prevail."

Arranging a meeting with Frankl was no simple task. Arriving at the clinic, she was told that the professor hadn't shown up in two weeks. With effort, though, Marguerite found Frankl's home address and made her way there. Marguerite knocked on the door, and it was opened by a woman. The first thing she caught sight of in the home was a cross,
hanging prominently on the wall. (In 1947 Frankl married his second wife, Eleonore Katharina Schwindt, a devout Catholic.) Taken aback, and already wondering whether this was a mistake, if perhaps this wasn't the person the Rebbe had wanted her to visit, she nevertheless asked whether there was a Herr Professor Frankl in the house.

Marguerite was asked to wait. Minutes later, a slightly annoyed-looking and apparently uninterested Dr. Frankl appeared. Marguerite, feeling very self-conscious, told him that she had regards for him "from Rabbi Schneerson of Brooklyn, New York."

Marguerite steeled herself and continued: "Rabbi Schneerson, known as the Lubavitcher Rebbe, sent a message for you: Remain strong! Continue your work with complete resolve. Don't give up. Ultimately you will prevail."

The hitherto apathetic doctor suddenly transformed before a shocked Marguerite's eyes. Tears filled his eyes. After composing himself somewhat he thanked Marguerite, and in the course of the ensuing conversation he told her that he had been planning to abandon his efforts to fight on behalf of his theory and philosophy, and actually was considering departing Vienna but now he would reconsider...

"So Rabbi Biderman," Marguerite concluded, "now you understand what I meant when I said that I served as the Rebbe's emissary to Vienna way before you arrived!"

*The Other Side of the Story***

Marguerite's story fascinated me. What had the Rebbe's message meant to Viktor Frankl?

What I had not known beforehand, but what Marguerite now explained, is that Frankl had not always been lauded and respected, as he is today. In his youth, Frankl had been a young colleague of Sigmund Freud and Alfred Adler. But his beliefs challenged their teachings. Whereas the dominant view at the time was that people are driven by the need to gratify physical needs, a "will to pleasure," he saw humankind differently. In Frankl's view, we are unique beings, driven by a "will to meaning," possessing free choice and the capacity for self-transcendence. "Between stimulus and response . . . is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom."

Frankl had begun to develop these radical ideas before the war and during his time in the Nazi death camps, seeing how some prisoners were able to eke out a sense of purpose and maintain a positive outlook even there, he had solidified them. Now he found himself a lone dissenter. All around him were loyal Freudian scholars. He was
taunted, and his lectures were shunned.

Understandably, Frankl experienced incredible emotional turmoil. The pressures were so great that he decided to simply give up. He decided to move to Australia, to join his sister who lived there. He was emotionally spent, and understandably dejected at the prospect of his life's work going to waste.

When Margaret Chajes arrived at Frankl's home, she told me, he had been sitting and drafting his immigration papers. She brought him a message from a Rebbe, a young Chassidic master from overseas he'd never heard of before. "Don't give up," she told him. "You will prevail."

Frankl was beyond astonished. How in the world did this Rebbe know about his situation? And why should this Chassidic Rebbe care about him or the perpetuation of his philosophy?

It was exactly the shot in the arm that Frankl needed, and the timing could not have been better. Instead of joining his sister in Australia, he continued his practice as a psychiatrist and went back to his work, full of renewed motivation, vigor, and optimism.

*A Corroborating Conversation***

Marguerite's story certainly explained the annual contribution that Frankl would send to support the Rebbe's institutions in Vienna. And hearing the story stirred me to contact Dr. Frankl himself, thinking perhaps he'd have something to add.

A few days later, I called Frankl and asked to meet him..

But it was difficult for him to meet me in person. This was 1995, you must understand, and Viktor Frankl was 90 years of age. So we spoke over the phone. "Do you remember Marguerite Chajes?" I asked. Naturally he did; she had become a friend of the family.

Throughout this short conversation, however, Frankl sounded impatient.

"Do you remember a regards she gave you from Rabbi Schneerson in Brooklyn?" I asked him.

A change in his demeanor. Now Frankl responded warmly: "Ah... of course! Can I ever forget it? The Rabbi came to my aid during a very difficult time in my life. I owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude!"

*The Pursuit of Meaning Comes into Vogue***

What, indeed, was the result of Marguerite's mission?

Well, it was soon after that, in 1959, that Frankl's book, "Man's Search for Meaning" (see sidebar), was translated into English (at first it was translated under a different title), became a bestseller and classic psychiatric text, and propelled him into the international limelight. Frankl became a guest lecturer at universities on five continents. He received honorary doctorates from universities around the world, and national and international awards and medals for his pivotal work in psychotherapy. Before his death in 1997, his magnum opus had been translated into dozens of languages and sold millions of copies.

His brand of therapy inspired thousands of other books, seminars, workshops, new-age and spiritual groups, all based on Frankl's idea of the human being's unique ability to make choices and pursue his own meaning. From Scot Peck's "Road Less Traveled" to Steven Covey's "Seven Habits," and hundreds of other bestsellers during the last 30
years, all are variations of Viktor Frankl's perspective.

So many millions of people benefited directly or indirectly from the Rebbe's communiqué to Dr. Frankl. I sometimes shudder when I imagine what would have occurred if not for that perfectly-timed message.

*More Details Come to Light***

Haddon Klingberg, author of When Life Calls Out To Us: the love and lifework of Viktor and Elly Frankl, the only authorized biography of Viktor and Eleonore ("Elly"), writes:

"...after his death I asked Elly if he actually made these prayers every day. 'Absolutely. He never missed a day. Every morning for more than fifty years. But nobody knew this.' As they traveled the globe Viktor took the phylacteries with them, and everywhere, every morning, he prayed. He uttered memorized words of Jewish prayers and Psalms...

"(After Viktor died I saw his phylacteries for the first time. Elly had placed them in the little cubicle with his few simple possessions...)"

Indeed, Frankl's non-Jewish son-in-law confirmed this fact to me: "My father-in-law would close himself off in a room every day for a little while. Once I opened the door and saw him with black boxes on his head and hand. He was annoyed about my intruding on his privacy. When he was taken to the hospital, however, his practice of putting on
tefillin became public."

* * *

I've often wondered why the Rebbe took an interest in the success of Viktor Frankl, a secular and intermarried Jew, and sought him out to offer encouragement and support. It would seem that the Rebbe did this not only out of personal concern for Frankl's welfare, but also in order to advance a philosophy which he felt ultimately fosters belief in G-d, a spiritual perspective, and good values. The fact that this constitutes the real cure to a suffering soul is something the Rebbe repeatedly taught us.

I can't help but marvel over the Rebbe's wide reach, broad-mindedness, and remarkably visionary approach.

* * *

In a letter dated June 19, 1969 (3rd Tammuz, 5729), the Rebbe writes (free translation):/// /
I would like to take this opportunity to add another point that the medical condition of..... proves (if proof is needed in this area) the awesome power of faith especially when applied and expressed in practical action, community work, observance of mitzvot, etc. to fortify a person’s emotional tranquility minimizing and even elimination of inner conflicts, as well as complaints one may have to his surroundings, etc.//

This is in spite the theory that faith and religion demand the discipline to restrain and suppress natural instincts and drives, and is, therefore, generally undesirable, and particularly in the case of a person who requires treatment for emotional issues.

/I particularly took interest in the writing of Dr. Frankl (from Vienna in this matter. To my surprise, however, his approach has apparently not been appropriately disseminated and appreciated. Although one can find numerous reasons as to why his ideas are not widely accepted including the fact that is related to the personal lifestyle exemplified by the treating doctor nevertheless, the question still remains

A Story from the Talmud from the Jewish Defense in Canada

This week's sidrah, Chukas, begins with the mitzvah of the Parah Aduma (Red Heifer). The cow slaughtered as the Red Heifer had to be so completely red that even two hairs of another colour disqualified it (Rashi). Understandably, such a cow is an exceptional rarity. When needed, a Parah Adumah could command exorbitant prices.

The Gemara tells a fascinating story. (One version of this story is found in Talmud Bavli, Kiddushin 31a. The version I quote here is from Talmud Yerushalmi, Peah Chapter 1.) The Choshen/Breastplate worn by the Kohen Gadol (High Priest - see parshas Tetzaveh, Shemos/Exodus ch. 28) held twelve precious stones, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. Once, the Yashphe stone of the tribe of Benyamin fell out and was lost. The sages immediately set out to find a replacement, and were told that just such a stone could be found by a gentile, Damah ben (son of) Nesinah. They approached Damah, and asked if he would be willing to sell them the jewel. Yes, he replied, he would, of course for an agreeable price. Eventually they settled on a price of 100 dinar.

When he went to get the stone, however, Damah found that the key to the chest containing the stone was in the hands of his father (Nesinah) who happened to be fast asleep. (Others say he had fallen asleep with his feet on top of the chest.) Damah returned to the sages, and told them that although he certainly had the jewel, he could not give it to them presently. The sages assumed he was having second feelings about the price, and offered him more money for the stone. Eventually, the bid escalated to 1,000 dinar. Just then, Damah heard his father awake. He went and brought them the stone. The sages, elated that their mission was finally accomplished, began to count the 1,000 dinar that had been their final offer. Damah refused. What now, they wondered, more money? "No," Damah told them. "Do you imagine I will 'sell' the honour of my father, because of whom I could not until now bring you the stone, for some coinage?! I refuse to take more than the original 100 dinar!"

How did Hashem (G-d) repay Damah? The Gemara relates that the very same night, a Parah Aduma was born to him. The Jews came and paid him for it the cow's weight in gold.

Nothing happens by chance. Why was this righteous gentile, who was so meticulous in the mitzvah of kibbud av (honoring one's father), rewarded by being given a Parah Aduma?

LeChaim Dept. Southern Comfort

From R’ A.L: According to noted authority of alcoholic beverages Rabbi Shmuel Semelman, who is affiliated with the Jerusalem Religious Council Kashrut Division, there are three categories of Southern Comfort.

1. Produced in Ireland, with a Hechsher from Badatz Basel and Badatz Beit Yosef. This is ONLY the case if the Kashrut symbols are visible on the bottles, which are Parve. A special run has been imported with approval via the Jerusalem Rabbinate due to the efforts of Rabbi Semelman, BUT ONLY those exhibiting the Hechsherim listed above and they too are Parve.

2. There is another bottled in Ireland, which is authorized by the London Beit Din, but it is NOT under the organization's supervision. This is categorized as dairy Chalav Akum. (Produced in the United States of America and bottled in Ireland. This is sold in Israel and in duty free. The alcohol is distilled from whey DAIRY).

3. The third is manufactured in the United States, and it is not authorized, and it may contain non permitted wine. (Produced and bottled in the United States of America). When Rabbi Moshe Feinstein was alive the custom was to drink the blended Whiskey at Simchas. He had given a general Heckshir for this and only in recent years have Rabbis started to try to change this. If one has a bottle from the times that Rav Moshe was alive, he can rely on the Gadol and finish it. New bottles should be bought only with a Heckshir for we are certain that they are reliable.

The first year of marriage by Lori a video:

Inyanay Diyoma

Something stinks in Israel’s leadership:,7340,L-3903640,00.html

Oil stinks too and the BP clean up stinks even more an eye opener:

Saudi and Arabs regarding the Iran/Turkey axis:

Y-net opinion:,7340,L-3903698,00.html

A song on the Temple Steps (Shir HaMaalos) I will speak peace and they are for war:


Calling a spade a spade:,7340,L-3904385,00.html

Netanyahu finds the hole in the bottom of the sea:,7340,L-3905022,00.html

The danger of travel nowadays:

Turkey a member of NATO and a former military Allie of Israel has made 180 degree reversal.

From Nancy:





forwarded with commentary by Emanuel A. Winston, Middle East Analyst & Commentator

Hopefully during the following litigation that U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will be deposed, along with President Barack Hussein Obama for whatever involvement or knowledge they may have had in awarding the AIG Bailout. In addition, during discovery any documents should be recovered which reveal communications to Geithner and Obama by Saudi Arabia and other Muslim nations where they recommend that AIG promote Shariah (very strict Muslim) Law and Shariah-based banks.

The main question is: Will President Obama and his staff illegally influence the Courts to have the case dismissed in any Court, Court of Appeals and on up to the Supreme Court?



Wednesday, 09 June 2010 06:22


Federal Court Must Decide: Is the Treasury Departments Support of AIG’s Shariah-Promoting Subsidiaries Constitutional?

How is it possible that the U.S. Government allows AIG to funnel more than $1 billion to companies that promote Shariah--the very Islamic legal system that calls for jihad against apostates and infidels?

For more information:
David Yerushalmi, Esq.
Law Offices of David Yerushalmi,
Tel: 800.714.9650 or 202.379.4960
Fax: 801.760.3901

June 8, 2010 – Washington, D.C.: – The Law Offices of David Yerushalmi, P.C., together with the Thomas More Law Center, filed a motion for summary judgment on Monday, June 7, 2010, on behalf of Kevin Murray against the Treasury Department and the FED in the federal lawsuit pending in the Eastern District of Michigan. The lawsuit, captioned Murray v. Geithner et al. was brought by attorneys David Yerushalmi and Robert Muise, representing the plaintiff, Kevin Murray, a taxpayer and former combat Marine who served in Iraq. The federal lawsuit alleges that the U.S. government’s takeover and financial bailout of AIG was in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
Specifically, at the time of the government bailout (beginning in September 2008 and continuing to the present), AIG was (and still is) the world leader in promoting Shariah-compliant insurance products. Shariah is Islamic law, and it is the identical legal doctrine that demands capital punishment for apostasy and blasphemy and provides the legal and political mandates for global jihad followed religiously by the world’s Muslim terrorists. By propping up AIG with tax payer funds, the U.S. government is directly and indirectly promoting Islam and, more troubling, Shariah.

In May 2009, Judge Lawrence Zatkoff rejected the government’s motion to dismiss the complaint and later rebuffed the defendants’ efforts to stay the proceeding so the government lawyers could take an extraordinary appeal to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The court then set the ground rules for discovery and granted the parties until May 2010 to conduct discovery.

After a year of document requests, depositions of current and former government witnesses, and three separate subpoenas issued to AIG and the New York Federal Reserve Board, Messrs. Yerushalmi and Muise filed Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment this past Monday, arguing that the undisputed facts demonstrate that the government, through its absolute control and ownership of AIG, and with tens of billions of tax payer dollars, have directly and indirectly promoted and supported Shariah as a religious legal doctrine. What makes this case all the more egregious is that this doctrine—Shariah—also happens to be the underlying legal and military doctrine animating jihad against the West by Muslims from the Middle East, Asia, Russia, Africa, and even right here at home. Each and every one of the domestic and foreign jihad terrorists have proclaimed their allegiance to Shariah and its call for “jihad against apostates and infidels.” Two experts on Shariah, Shariah-compliant finance, and jihad testified at length through affidavits in support of plaintiff’s case. The government could not—and did not—oppose this expert testimony with any contrary evidence.

A year’s worth of discovery uncovered the following facts in addition to what was known from the public record:

* AIG has five wholly-owned subsidiaries which promote and practice Shariah in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Bahrain, and the U.S

* These Shariah-compliant companies employ or otherwise retain the services of Shariah authorities to tell them how to conduct their business according to Shariah, including the Shariah-compliant charities to which these AIG subsidiaries must contribute.

* The government places absolutely no controls on how its billions are used by the Shariah-compliant companies or to whom they support with their “zakat” (‘charitable’) dollars. Moreover, these companies all accept Shariah’s mandate to support jihad with zakat insofar as they abide by the authoritative rulings of the world’s leading Shariah authorities.

* Over one billion taxpayer dollars have flowed through AIG’s headquarters into supporting AIG’s Shariah businesses worldwide.

* The government has actively promoted Shariah and Shariah-compliant finance in many ways and venues:

o The Treasury Department has published, edited, and updated articles about Shariah-compliant finance, which essentially promote Islamic law uncritically.

o The Treasury Department has created and staffed a position called the Islamic Finance Scholar-in Residence. No other religious law is so honored.

o Published presentations by senior Treasury Department officials lauding Shariah-compliant finance and stating explicitly that the U.S. government “places significant importance on promoting . . . Islamic finance” and has “recently deepened our engagement in Islamic finance in a number of ways,” including a “call[] for harmonization of Shari’a standards at the national and international levels.

o After the AIG bailout, the Treasury Department co-sponsored a half-day conference called “Islamic Finance 101” for government policy makers which was in effect a cheerleading program to promote Shariah and Shariah-compliant finance.

Mr. Yerushalmi remarked: “It is one thing that our government felt compelled to bail out AIG after its fortunes were destroyed due to the company’s own recklessness and bad acts. It is quite another thing to use U.S. taxpayer dollars to promote and support AIG’s Shariah businesses—all of which don’t just sell Shariah products to the Muslim world, but actively promote Shariah as the best, most ethical way of life. Indeed, the Shariah authorities relied upon by AIG’s Shariah Supervisory Committees actively promote jihad—and by jihad we mean kinetic war against the infidel West.”

Mr. Muise, senior trial attorney for the Thomas More Law Center and co-lead counsel in this case, made the additional point that “We have not only traced taxpayer money to support Shariah, we have found explicit public statements by senior Treasury officials actually telling the world that it is U.S. government policy to support Shariah in the form of Islamic finance and even ‘call[ing] for harmonization of Shari’ah’s standards.’ Since when is it our government’s position to involve itself in the internal theological debates surrounding religious laws?”

The government defendants also filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that whatever aid was provided to AIG’s Shariah businesses, it was both unintended and de minimus.

Richard Thompson, head of the Thomas More Law Center, added, “It’s outrageous that the federal government is the owner of a corporation engaged in a business with interests adverse to the United States. We filed this lawsuit not only to defend constitutional principles, but also to defend our national security. It’s clear we can’t leave the job of protecting America to the Washington politicians.”

The parties will now continue to brief the issue with cross-opposition and reply briefs and then the court will decide. Any decision is likely to end up on appeal at the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. If the government loses, it is quite possible the case could be heard by the Supreme Court.

About David Yerushalmi, Esq.:
David Yerushalmi has been practicing law for more than 26 years. He is a litigator specializing in securities law, public policy relating to national security, and public interest law. Mr. Yerushalmi is licensed and practices in Washington D.C., New York, California, and Arizona and currently serves as General Counsel to the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., one of the nation’s leading national security think tanks founded by former Reagan administration official Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., and has been Of Counsel and Senior Legal Advisor for Policy Affairs to the Institute for Advanced Strategic & Political Studies



Robert F. Heltman
PO Box 545
Hendersonville, NC 28793-0545
(828) 692 9333 Fax (828) 698 0007 cell 828 674 6240
Armatissimi e liberissimi
”The trouble with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.
- Margaret Thatcher (“Wants become “Needs” then “Rights
& exceed any tax-ability to pay for them.)

"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

“When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it." -- Dr. Adrian Rogers (1931-2005)

There are lots more to write in Inyanay Diyoma but I am now switching to Mathis Wolfberg’s stories: Yosef HaTzaddik and Dream Car

Good Shabbos Everyone. The Mishna teaches us: "Jealously, desires and honor-seeking remove a man from this world." (Avos 4:28) The Torah this week tells us about Korach, an individual whose honor seeking removed him from the world.
Rashi explains this week that Korach was upset that Moshe appointed Korach's younger cousin Elitzafan ben Uziel as the leader of the family of Kehas, instead of Korach. The commentary Orchos Tzaddikim explains that Korach wanted for himself honor and greatness which had not been conferred upon him by Hashem.(P.33, The Gate of Pride, Edit., Reb G. Zaloshinsky, Transl., Reb S. Silverstein)
When Korach failed to receive the honor he felt he deserved, Korach attempted to stage a revolt against Moshe. We see how Korach's search for honor eventually caused his own death and the death of others who supported him. The following true story and interview demonstrates how one person chose a life of meaning instead of seeking honor.
Yoseph Robinson, who was born in Jamaica, came to Brooklyn when he was twelve, and dropped out of school shortly thereafter. As a teenager, he moved to Philadelphia and became involved in a life of illicit street activities. In his early twenties and after a close brush with death, during which he was targeted by a rival Jamaican gang, Yoseph relocated to Los Angeles and set his sights on the Hollywood music scene.
He became a Hip-Hop promoter and producer, and signed a lucrative album contract with Universal/Bungalow Records. At the height of his musical success and while indulging in all the material abundance Hollywood had to offer, Yoseph chanced upon a Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch edition of the Chumash.
Yoseph’s life was transformed. He decided to reject the emptiness and egotism of the Hollywood lifestyle and embrace Yiddishkeit. Yoseph converted to Judaism and now lives in Brooklyn as an Orthodox Jew. The following are excerpts from a recent interview with Yoseph.
Question: What was your first experience with Judaism? Robinson: Interestingly, my first “experience” with Judaism or with Jewish people did not resonate with me at all. When my parents came to the United States my mother worked for a lovely Jewish family called the Schwimmers. My mother even kept a picture of the Schwimmer family on the mantelpiece in our home. I saw that picture almost every day of my childhood. In fact, my siblings and I were able to come to the U.S. only because the Schwimmers generously agreed to sponsor my family. The funny thing is, though, the Schwimmers being “Jewish” was simply descriptive, like saying the Schwimmers were Asian, or Puerto Rican. Jewishness or Judaism had no intrinsic or latent meaning for me.
My second contact with Judaism occurred when I was thirteen years old, a few months after I arrived in the U.S. I worked as a delivery boy for a kosher grocery store in Brooklyn. Since growing up in Jamaica was a unique cultural experience untainted with racial or religious prejudice, I had formed no previous conceptions about Jews. As a result, the kosher grocery experience left no impression on me one way or the other.
It was only when I randomly walked into a bookstore asking for a bible and received a Hirsch English edition of the Chumash instead that I began my fundamental connection to Yiddishkeit.
Question: Who performed your conversion, and what were the requirements? The Los Angeles beis din, under the leadership of Rabbi Tzvi Block and Rabbi Aharon Tendler, converted me. My geirus (conversion) studies program took about two and a half years to complete, and centered on the weekly parshah, the halachos of Shabbos and kashrus, and the taryag (613) mitzvos.
Question: How did friends and family members react? When I decided to convert, my friends thought I went off the deep end, and my family tended to agree with them. After realizing that my decision was a serious, lifelong commitment, however, I did garner the respect of those closest to me.
Question: What is your current study schedule like? I have a chavrusah with whom I learn Mishnah Berurah, I learn parshah and mussar almost daily, and I have begun venturing into the mighty sea of Talmud.
Question: How would you characterize your treatment and degree of acceptance by the frum community in Brooklyn? For the most part, I must say, my experience has been overwhelmingly positive. Many people have opened their homes and their hearts to me, and have treated me like members of their own family. These new lifelong friends are a true credit to Yiddishkeit, and beautifully fulfill the mitzvah of v’ahavtem es ha’ger. (you shall love the convert) As in every community, however, there are biases that persist. I do get stares and occasionally hear some thoughtless comments, but I choose to focus on the positive.
Question: Are you in touch with other black geirim (converts)? Interestingly, as time goes on, I have been privileged to meet many fascinating geirim (converts) of both genders and of many nationalities and ethnicities.
Question: Has their experience with Orthodox Judaism been similar to your own? By and large, their experience has been heartwarming and enriching. But they do voice some concerns of bias and unequal treatment. I certainly feel that some change or improvement needs to be made in this arena.
Question: What kind of change are you referring to, and how do you expect this change to occur? I feel that changes are necessary to allow a Yid such as myself, who happens to be dark-skinned, to feel secure and equally represented under the banner of Klal Yisrael. This kind of change can only come about when a community joins the effort. Without meaning to sound didactic, I feel that social change or justice will not come about through legislative bodies. It will come from ordinary people like you and me. It all starts with honest and open dialogue.
Question: What is your message to potential geirim (converts) of any color or background? My message to geirim (converts) is that if one is seeking spirituality, Judaism, practiced correctly, is the ideal vehicle for achieving that aim. I personally find it meaningful and fulfilling but, once you come aboard, keep in mind that while the Torah is flawless, people are not.
Question: What do you hope to accomplish with the publication of your book? I hope my book will appeal to people on multiple levels. In the U.S. there exists a fascination and mystique that surrounds all things Jamaican. In addition, my memoir provides an insider’s look into the dark side of drug running, which will ignite the imagination of a widespread American demographic. My first-hand accounts of the Hollywood music scene and celebrity lifestyles will leave readers thirsting for more tantalizing details. Finally, my decision to convert to Judaism leaves people simultaneously baffled and intrigued. I have infused my spiritual journey with a humor, intelligence, and wit that will also capture the curiosity of the sophisticated, high-end reader. In short, I hope to entertain, enlighten – and inspire as well.
Question: What’s next for you while you’re working to get your book published? Well, hopefully I’ll be able to talk with the President "brother to brother," asking him to let my people be. In all seriousness, though, I’m just striving to grow spiritually and, im Yirtzeh Hashem, hope to be discussing the success of the book with you in the near future!
We can be inspired by Yoseph's example to seek knowledge and personal growth instead of fame and fortune. Good Shabbos Everyone


Good Shabbos Everyone. In our parsha this week Chukas, Hashem commands us to perform one of the most puzzling mitzvahs of the Torah, the ritual of the parah adumah - the red heifer (cow). Hashem commands that a red heifer, perfect in its redness, be slaughtered and burned. Its ashes are then mixed in a special container with spring water, and sprinkled on anyone who was ritually impure as the result of coming into contact with a dead body. (see Bamidbar 19:2 to 19:22) The procedure of the red heifer served to purify a Jew and allow him to return to communal life.
There are many mitzvahs in the Torah for which Hashem gives us the reason, such as Tzitzis to remember the mitzvahs and Shabbos as a reminder that Hashem created the Universe. There are several mitzvahs however, such as the red heifer, which are a total mystery. There seems to be no logical connection between the actions of the mitzvah of the red heifer and the purpose of the mitzvah, to purify the impure.
One of the foundations of Jewish belief is that we perform all the mitzvahs even though we may not understand them. A father asks his son to do certain things. The son does not necessarily understand why he has to do what his father asks him. However, the good son does what his father asks him to do. The Torah tells us, "You are children to Hashem, your G-d…"(Devarim 14:1) Thus, when Hashem commands us to do a mitzvah, we do as a good son would, without asking for a reason why we have to do it. As the verse tells us: "The hidden are for Hashem, our G-d, while the revealed are for us and our children, forever, to carry out all the words of the Torah." (Deuteronomy 29:28) Again, the verse teaches us that although we may not understand all the mitzvahs of the Torah, we still must do all of them.
If we could look behind the curtain which covers the spiritual world, we would understand the secrets of the Universe. However, Hashem hides the secrets of the spiritual world. Sometimes however, Hashem opens the curtain a little and gives us a peak of the hidden mystical world.
Dreams are often a time when the hidden is revealed. The Sages in fact tell us that dreams have a power equivalent to one-sixtieth of prophecy. In the following incredible true story, Rabbi Dovid Goldwasser tells about one amazing dream in which a little bit of the hidden was revealed…
It was well past midnight on a particularly warm June night. Having had a busy week, I was intent on making sure that my sleep would be uninterrupted. As I drifted off, I became oblivious to the conscious world.
A few hours later I began dreaming, but the dream was frighteningly real.
I dreamt that I was riding in the passenger side of a car with a man whom I had never met. As he barreled down the highway, I noticed that his eyes had closed and he had fallen asleep. To make matters worse, we were quickly approaching a sharp curve in the highway. With the speeding oncoming traffic approaching from the other side of the median, I immediately shouted, "Wake up! Wake up!" However, the driver, whoever he was, lowered his head slightly and seemed to descend into an even deeper sleep. Desperately, I shouted the first thing I could think of-"Wake up! For G-d's sake, wake up!"
With those words, I woke up in a cold sweat. Somewhat relieved that I had been dreaming and was not actually in the car, I calmed myself with the words, "It's only a dream!" I looked at the clock on my night table. It was exactly three a.m. Needless to say, the dream was a horrific experience. I decided to give tzedakah and thank the Almighty that this event had not really happened.
The next morning, I bumped into one of my closest friends. He startled me by saying. "You will never believe what happened last night. My brother called me shortly after three a.m. He was driving his car on the Long Island Expressway, returning from North Carolina. I guess the trip was too much for him and he fell asleep at the wheel.
All of a sudden, he heard a voice screaming, 'Wake up! For G-d's sake, wake up!' Thank G-d he did! Baruch Hashem, he tricked the Angel of Death by executing a harrowing maneuver, steering his car around a dangerous curve on the highway. My brother-who as you know is not a religious man-instantly became a believer. He called me to ask if there was anything special that he should do to thank G-d for sparing him. I explained to him that it would be appropriate for him to donate money to charity."
I was stunned by my friend's story. I still vividly remembered my dream and was a little shaken up because of it. I related my dream of the previous night to my dear friend; we both were astounded. (from Stories of Inspiration, p.81 R. D. Goldwasser) Everything is real: the soul, Hashem, Torah and mitzvahs. 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

Have a great and peaceful Shabbos,

Rachamim Pauli