Men on my prayer list:
Asher ben Malka, Avraham ben Devorah, Zvi Yechezkiel ben Leah, Shalom Charles ben Gracia, Bentzion Michael ben Chaya Zipporah, Eli ben Merel, Zvi Moshe ben Miriam Rachel, Yosef Moshe ben Perel, Naphtali Moshe ben Tzipporah, Chanan ben Shlomit, Rafael Alexander Alter ben Sheina, Shaul ben Sirrel, David Yosef ben Feige Perel, Yosef ben Chaya Rash-sha (Updated last week: In the meantime, thank G-d, David Yosef has moved his arms and legs. He is currently heavily sedated and on a respirator.) Yaakov Dovid Ben Chaya Gittel is taking oncology treatments. Avraham Dovid Ben Bailah is taking no longer taking oncology treatments, now is very, very ill.
Keren Neshama bas Esther Ruth, Chaya Melecha Rachel bas Baila Alta, Zviah Simcha bas Devorah Yached, Sarah bas Yehudit, Bryna bas Gina Sarah, Rachel bas Chana, Fiege Rachel bas Taube, Hodaya Nirit bas Mazel, Miriam Rivka bas Adina Leah, Chana bas Simcha,
Goals and Standards that a person places for himself
Sometimes we disappoint ourselves when we don’t meet our own goals and expectations. Last week was one of my own failures to meet my goal. The object for me was to write about the Bnei Reuven, Bnei Gad and half of the tribe of Menasha including the daughters of Zelophad and their inheritance outside of the area of the initial promised land and the commit of these tribes possibly ending up with the three cities of Refuge.
My goal that I failed to achieve can be achieved next year possibly with additions if HASHEM will grant me the merit to do it. My goal is done voluntarily but what happens to people at work with financial goals that they fail to meet in savings, salaries, standard of living or advancement. Obviously to them the disappointment is more that a slight frustration and moving on with life. Or the case of an athlete who wants to be the next Mr. Brown and write his own ticket to be either rejected or barely accepted by the team or the teams playing the world cup or championship that lose by one point or the blowing of the whistle.
When HASHEM does not allow us to meet our goals like in my case blanking out my mind and then hitting my personal dead line for publication it is to teach us a value lesson or not to let us get pride or over stuffiness in our heads like with the case of business people, professionals or the athletes. As our Rabbis taught us it is for us to accept the bad with the good.
Other people make a gulf golf goof.
Finally before we start a new Sefer in the Chumash a few light words to put the mind at ease for learning from Rabbi A. L.: How to scare your high holiday guests -
We did the apple in the beehive itself.
You do not mind sleeping in a coffin; just like they did in the desert!!
We would have invited last years' guests back as well, but....
Yeah, we dress our pets in white as well. (Many Orthodox Jews do not have pets due to logistics, Muksah (forbidden to touch or carry on Shabbos), etc.)
We do not feed our fish on Yom Kippur either.... we just replace then the day after.
After some food falls on the floor during Yom Kippur, invoke the 5-second rule.
Rosh Hashanah activity: Bobbing for apples in honey.
We will wake you up for Schul at 8:00... with the Shofar. (Disclaimer: Do not actually go do this, it is Halachic problematic. Oh, and did not do the first 7 either). Want to learn during the break??
On Rosh Hashanah, count down from 10 at midnight (Note: Make sure to start the countdown 10 seconds before Midnight).
In the course of previous years I have opened up Devarim with the introduction as to a series of Mussar lectures by Moshe Rabbaynu before handing over the task of leading the people and conquering Eretz Yisrael to Yehoshua. Over 200 Mitzvos which up until these final days of Moshe’s life were turned from Torah Baal Peh (Oral Law) into written Torah are in our Sefer Devarim. Rabbi Wein Shlita who writes for the Jerusalem Post and the Torah.org has his Parsha sent out weekly by the Torah.org which is part of their many learning groups. He introduces the Sefer in a way different than I do. Since there are 70 interpretations of each word of Torah all the more so for explaining a whole Sefer from the 5 Books.
Parshas Devarim Review, Review, Review!
The final book of the Chumash, Devarim, is also known as Mishneh Torah – the restatement and review of the Torah. Though the book of Devarim does contain within it descriptions of mitzvoth/commandments there were not previously mentioned in the Torah, it nevertheless remains mainly a review of the previous books of the Chumash.
It rarely breaks new ground except for the prophetic portions of the book which mark its concluding chapters. The question may arise as to what the purpose and importance of the book might be. Repetitive works hardly hold the attention of the reader or student. Yet Jewish tradition and traditional Jewish educational methods emphasize clearly the requirement of constant review of Torah topics.
As an example, Shochtim, Jewish ritual slaughterers of animals and poultry are required to review the Halachic rules that are pertinent to their craft at least once every thirty days. The Talmud emphasizes the importance of reviewing Torah study, even sharply differentiating between the students who review one’s Torah lesson one hundred times to the ones who review it one hundred and one times!
Perhaps in times when individual powers of memory were so essential to success in Torah study, this idea of review was certainly pertinent and necessary educational methodology. But what of our current age, when all the knowledge of previous generations is available almost effortlessly with the press of a button on our computer keyboard? Is review of already stated laws and events truly necessary any longer? The answer of course is a resounding “yes” but why is this true. The matter has occupied my thoughts for some time.
I think that the review is always necessary for even though the words of the Torah are the same and are unchangeable, the person studying those words is constantly undergoing change. Human life never stands still. The words of Moshe to the Jewish people at the end of the period of the desert have taken on a different dimension and meaning than when he first taught those laws decades earlier.
Life shapes our appreciation of knowledge gained. It makes us wiser and more foolish all at one and the same time. Things that we thought we knew and understood are now mysteries to us and what we did not understand and appreciate at an earlier stage of life now become relevant and essential.
The Book of Devarim comes to teach us, according to the Talmud, that we really cannot appreciate knowledge learned and studied from our Torah teachers until “forty years” has passed. It is the review of the past learned knowledge that makes that knowledge truly meaningful to us. My teachers in the yeshiva always emphasized the importance of constant review of topics already studied and seemingly mastered.
“Forty years” has passed for me since those holy days of intensive Torah study in the yeshiva and only now do I begin to appreciate and understand those lessons learned and the knowledge then gained. The lesson of Dvarim therefore lies in its other title – Mishneh Torah – an ongoing review and restatement of Torah throughout our years of life.
Rabbi Berel Wein http://www.torah.org/learning/rabbiwein/5770/devarim.html?print=1 for more commentary: http://www.torah.org/learning/torahportion.php3
Regarding the idea of Review: A week ago, I was sitting in the Beis Medrash and discussing with Rabbi Mimran Shlita one of the laws we learned in Yoreh Deah to get our ordination. I told him that it was becoming already vague in my mind. Here I am a full-fledged Rabbi for a good number of years and forgetting the basics in Halacha all because of lack of review. Then the priority question comes along – do I learn more and put out a lower quality Drasha or not? I concluded that I will have to skim through the review so as to help others more and better than be selfish. I have always tried to draw the line between being selfless and selfish. Sometimes a person has to let the selfish succeed as Melech Shlomo wrote: A time for this and a time for that a season for joy and a season for weeping. The world has a balance just as all play and no work not only makes Jack a dull boy but a burden to himself and the world in the end. No play and all work leads to insanity or pre-mature death.
1:1 These are the words which Moses spoke unto all Israel beyond the Jordan; in the wilderness, in the Arabah, over against Suph, between Paran and Tophel, and Laban, and Hazeroth, and Di-zahab. 2 It is eleven days journey from Horeb unto Kadesh-barnea by the way of mount Seir.
Rabbi Pinchas Winston in his very advanced Torah Shuir this week pointed this Pasuk out. Only 11 days away from Mt. Sinai to the foot of entering Eretz Yisrael and the spies ruined the Bnei Yisrael entering the land 40 years earlier with their Lashon Hara on Tisha B’Av. What a loss! Each day the people could have conquered the 10 Sifros to join with Ayn Sof (THE NEVER ENDING) at the end of their journey and then entering the land complete as intended and bring heaven back to earth!
For example, hinted to in the above verses is the reason why everything goes wrong in history. EVERYTHING. Now, having said that, don't you want to go back and review the words of the above verses in search of what it might be that you missed the first time because, like most of us, you just assumed that what you see is what you get? Which word, or words, do you think
provides such an incredibly profound message about Creation and history?
And to think all my life I just read these words without paying attention to that 11 day detail!
3 And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spoke unto the children of Israel, according unto all that the LORD had given him in commandment unto them;
This is Rosh Chodesh Shevat 2488 and on the 37th day or 7th of Adar Moshe is going to pass away. So we now have the time frame for our Sefer.
4 after he had smitten Sihon the king of the Amorites, who dwelt in Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, who dwelt in Ashtaroth, at Edrei; 5 beyond the Jordan, in the land of Moab, took Moses upon him to expound this law, saying:
This is the first of the gatherings that was now going to conclude Moshe-s life. He had already been informed that after he defeats Midian that he was going to finish his role in this world. What did Moshe do? He went about post haste to finish off the Midian accounting. Yehoshua dawdled 14 years conquering Eretz Yisrael and for that he lost 10 years from his life. Moshe expedited the execution of the Mitzvah to clean up Midian and was allowed to fill out 120 complete years.
6 The LORD our God spoke unto us in Horeb, saying: 'Ye have dwelt long enough in this mountain; 7 turn you, and take your journey, and go to the hill-country of the Amorites and unto all the places nigh thereunto, in the Arabah, in the hill-country, and in the Lowland, and in the South, and by the sea-shore; the land of the Canaanites, and Lebanon, as far as the great river, the river Euphrates.
This appears to be from the Sinai Desert or at least Kadesh Barnea through all of Syria and Lebanon and parts if not all of Yarden in the future.
You are basically getting Eretz Yisrael on a silver plate but in order that the land will not be filled with snakes, scorpions and wild beasts the population would be driven out slowly and the houses gradually taken over. This should have been 40 years ago but instead the Lashon Hara ruined it for the population making them expire in the desert over the time period.
I refer back to Parsha Yisro where Moshe could not handle all the requests for judgement from morning until the night.
10 the LORD your God hath multiplied you, and, behold, ye are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude.-- 11 The LORD, the God of your fathers, make you a thousand times so many more as ye are, and bless you, as He hath promised you!-- 12 How can I myself alone bear your cumbrance, and your burden, and your strife? 13 Get you, from each one of your tribes, wise men, and understanding, and full of knowledge, and I will make them heads over you.'
This is how Rabbis and Judges came into being under the auspices of HASHEM and Moshe.
14 And ye answered me, and said: 'The thing which thou hast spoken is good for us to do.' 15 So I took the heads of your tribes, wise men, and full of knowledge, and made them heads over you, captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds, and captains of fifties, and captains of tens, and officers, tribe by tribe. 16 And I charged your judges at that time, saying: 'Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between a man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him. 17 Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; ye shall hear the small and the great alike; ye shall not be afraid of the face of any man; for the judgment is God's; and the cause that is too hard for you ye shall bring unto me, and I will hear it.'
There are still many cases that stump ordinary Rabbis and they bring them before a Torah Giant to get a Psak.
18 And I commanded you at that time all the things which ye should do. 19 And we journeyed from Horeb, and went through all that great and dreadful wilderness which ye saw, by the way to the hill-country of the Amorites, as the LORD our God commanded us; and we came to Kadesh-Barnea. 20 And I said unto you: 'Ye are come unto the hill-country of the Amorites, which the LORD our God gives unto us. 21 Behold, the LORD thy God hath set the land before thee; go up, take possession, as the LORD, the God of thy fathers, hath spoken unto thee; fear not, neither be dismayed.'
Up until this time, everything was handed to you by G-D on a golden platter. You were learning how to be a nation and how to judge for yourselves so that when you will no longer have Moshe Rabbaynu around one of the judges of thousands or the 71 elders of the Sanhedrin will be able to set for Gezaras and clear cut Halachic Rulings.
22 And ye came near unto me every one of you, and said: 'Let us send men before us, that they may search the land for us, and bring us back word of the way by which we must go up, and the cities unto which we shall come.' 23 And the thing pleased me well; and I took twelve men of you, one man for every tribe; 24 and they turned and went up into the mountains, and came unto the valley of Eshcol, and spied it out. 25 And they took of the fruit of the land in their hands, and brought it down unto us, and brought us back word, and said: 'Good is the land which the LORD our God gives unto us.'
This was the initial report.
26 Yet ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God; 27 and ye murmured in your tents, and said: 'Because the LORD hated us, He has brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us. 28 Whither are we going up? our brethren have made our heart to melt, saying: The people is greater and taller than we; the cities are great and fortified up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakim there.'
Reminder there were two main reasons for all this rejection: 1) The spies like all politicians did not want to give up their job and power and if the people entered the land, their status would go down. Note: Yehoshua became the King and Calev was the leader of Yehuda during and after the land was conquered. (2) The former slaves were scared out of their wits for fear of battles.
29 Then I said unto you: 'Dread not, neither be afraid of them. 30 The LORD your God who goeth before you, He shall fight for you, according to all that He did for you in Egypt before your eyes; 31 and in the wilderness, where thou hast seen how that the LORD thy God bore thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that ye went, until ye came unto this place. 32 Yet in this thing ye do not believe the LORD your God, 33 Who went before you in the way, to seek you out a place to pitch your tents in: in fire by night, to show you by what way ye should go, and in the cloud by day.'
On one hand it is understandable that former slaves would be cowardly. I was the only Jew on my block growing up. It was either become a Jewish Version of the Karate Kid or run. My father had fled the Nazis and lived to marry my native of Brooklyn, NY mother. So I fled them all the time and was mocked. My friends were not on the side of the bullies of the school.
Rabbi Meir Kahane HY”D grew up in a Jewish Neighborhood he saw the world differently as did the boxing Rabbi Glixman whom only cancer managed to beat him in the end. Rabbi Kahane HY”D taught thusly:
Faith and trust (emunah ve'bitachon) in G-d are the foundation of the Torah.
Our sages said (Makot 23b-24a): Six hundred thirteen mitzvot were given to Moses... David emphasized eleven of them... Isaiah emphasized six... Micah emphasized three... Isaiah returned and emphasized two... Habakuk emphasized one, as it says (Habakuk 2:4), “The righteous man shall live by his faith.”
Emunah, faith, means accepting and knowing clearly that G-d truly exists, that He created everything, and that He performed great miracles for Israel's sake. In other words, it is decisive knowledge regarding something in the past, i.e., that G-d indeed created the world and performed miracles for our ancestors in Egypt and at the Sea of Reeds, and everywhere else described in Scripture.
Bitachon, on the other hand, is the direct result of emunah, and points to the future. It is the conviction that just as in the past G-d performed miracles and wonders, He will do so for us in the future, as well, as shall be discussed below. [...] Faith, emunah, relates to the creation of the world and everything in it ; the other aspect of faith is the belief that G-d performed great signs and wonders for our ancestors. Neither aspect is based on blind or theoretical faith, but on seeing, on real testimony. In Egypt and the desert, the Jewish People were direct witnesses, because G-d's miracles were performed before the eyes of all Israel. The Torah instructs us that throughout the Exodus, the plagues that broke Egypt were performed openly, so that Israel would see the reality of G-d, would believe in Him, revere Him and cling to His attributes and commandments.
The connection between the signs Israel saw and faith in G-d as Creator of the universe is alluded to in the Torah's starting out with Creation - “In the beginning G-d created the heaven and the earth” - and ending with the phrase, “all the mighty acts and great signs that Moses displayed before the eyes of all Israel” (Deut. 34:12). The mighty acts and the miracles and wonders performed before the eyes of Israel imbued them with the belief that G-d created heaven and earth, and that He is the One Supreme Power. The Torah's conclusion attests to its beginning. Such is faith. Bitachon, trust, on the other hand, is the result of emunah. Since we believe that in the past G-d performed the things I have enumerated, we are certain that He is capable of doing so in the future as well, and that He will fulfill what He promised us. Whoever does not trust in G-d shows that he does not believe in G-d's power and ability, a sign that he does not really believe in G-d's existence. Bitachon, trust, includes also the idea that G-d is all-powerful and in charge of everything, as well as the central idea that we, lowly, weak and finite, are incapable of dealing alone with our adversaries and our troubles. Trusting in G-d means admitting that we are few and weak, that we need to raise our eyes to G-d for help. “Keep my soul and deliver me. Let me not be ashamed, for I have taken refuge in You” (Ps. 25:20); “Place your hope in the L-rd. Be strong and let your heart take courage. Yeah, place your hope in the L-rd” (27:14); and, “Be strong, and take courage, all ye that place your hope in the L-rd” (31:25). From the last two verses, we learn the secret of true bitachon: it is exceedingly hard to withstand crushing misfortune, to stand on the brink of despair, and to trust in G-d all the same. This requires enormous strengthening, and it was for this reason that King David said “Place your hope in the L-rd.” Beset by misfortune, place your hope in the L-rd and trust in Him. If you try and it is hard, then “Be strong and take courage.” Fortify yourself and you will find the strength to trust in Him, and then your trust will strengthen you on its own.
The rule is this: Bitachon means a Jew's recognizing and acknowledging that he is a worm and not a man, dirt and dust, like a broken potsherd, weak and finite, and that only G-d can help him in times of trouble, because G-d is omnipotent and infinite, and none can stand against Him. The worse the situation looks, the greater the despair, the more one must strengthen himself with bitachon: “Many are the ills of the righteous man, but the L-rd delivers him from them all” (Ps. 34:20).
Rabbenu Bechaye says (Kad haKemach, entry: Bitachon), “Bitachon must not be tinged with doubt. Even if many evils befall a righteous man, he should serve G-d valiantly and truly trust in Him.”
Rabbenu Bechaye adds (Ibid.):
If someone has bitachon, then we know that he has emunah as well. Bitachon is like the fruit of a tree, and emunah is like the tree. Just as the fruit's existence signifies the existence of a tree or plant on which it grew, but a tree' s existence does not signify the existence of fruit, as some trees, such as shade trees, produce no fruit, so too does the presence of bitachon guarantee the presence of emunah, but not vice versa.
34 And the LORD heard the voice of your words, and was wroth, and swore, saying: 35 'Surely there shall not one of these men, even this evil generation, see the good land, which I swore to give unto your fathers, 36 save Caleb the son of Yephunneh, he shall see it; and to him will I give the land that he hath trodden upon, and to his children; because he hath wholly followed the LORD.' 37 Also the LORD was angry with me for your sakes, saying: Thou also shalt not go in thither; 38 Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before thee, he shall go in thither; encourage thou him, for he shall cause Israel to inherit it.
So you think that you are the generation of the flood or the tower of Bavel to go against the L-RD you shall now see who is in charge of the planet if the 10 plagues and other miracles were not enough for you.
39 Moreover your little ones, that ye said should be a prey, and your children, that this day have no knowledge of good or evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it.
I will raise up a generation that was not afraid of the Pharaoh/Nazis or being the lonely group in a sea of nations and they shall possess it.
40 But as for you, turn you, and take your journey into the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea.' 41 Then ye answered and said unto me: 'We have sinned against the LORD, we will go up and fight, according to all that the LORD our God commanded us.' And ye girded on every man his weapons of war, and deemed it a light thing to go up into the hill-country. 42 And the LORD said unto me: 'Say unto them: Go not up, neither fight; for I am not among you; lest ye be smitten before your enemies.' 43 So I spoke unto you, and ye hearkened not; but ye rebelled against the commandment of the LORD, and were presumptuous, and went up into the hill-country.
This was some brave Bar Kochba types that thought that if G-D would neither help or interfere that they could make it on their own. They were killed and never buried and became the valley of dry bones. (Yechezkel)
44 And the Amorites, that dwell in that hill-country, came out against you, and chased you, as bees do, and beat you down in Seir, even unto Hormah. 45 And ye returned and wept before the LORD; but the LORD hearkened not to your voice, nor gave ear unto you. 46 So ye abode in Kadesh many days, according unto the days that ye abode there.
Warning Tisha B Av this year falls earlier in the summer and on hotter and longer days make sure before the fast to drink plenty of water. A useful and easy fast וצום מועיל וקל
Mitzvos and Halachos by Danny Shoemann
It's a Mitzva to love all Jews. As a result, one has to be as careful with other people's money and honor as with one's own. Helping people get along with each other is included in this Mitzva One who makes himself important by degenerating others, loses his portion in the World to Come. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always
Verse: "Love your fellow Jew as yourself" (Vayikra 19:18) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Positive Mitzvah 60
One may not marry one's stepmother's daughter if one shares the same father. One who has relationships with his father's daughter (even if she is not one's mother's daughter) gets punished by Kares. One may marry one's stepsister if one doesn't share any biological parents. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always Verse: "...your father's wife's daughter..." (Vayikra 18:9) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Prohibition 128
In Mesectas Shabbos we learned that the Nephew of Rabbi Chiya came to him. He asked him how his brother is and the Nephew answered why not ask me how your sister is. Rabbi Chiya then asked how his sister was and he said ask me about your brother. From this we learned a number of things that a widow or divorcee with a child can marry a widower or divorced man with a child and the children being of opposite sexes can also marry each other upon reaching maturity. Rabbi Chiya then made the blessing – Blessed be the true judge, sat Shiva for a small part of an hour because the news came after more than 30 days from their passing and then went to the Mikvah to was up.
It is forbidden to marry one's father's sister. One who has relations with his father's sister gets punished with Kares. This includes a father's half – sisters. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always Verse: "...father's sister you may not..." (Vayikra 18:12) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Prohibition 129
It is forbidden to marry one's mother's sister. One who has relations with his mother's sister gets punished with Kares. This includes a mother's half sisters. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always Verse: "...mother's sister you may not..." (Vayikra 18:12) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Prohibition 130
As long as one's wife is alive, one may not marry her sister. This applies even to a divorcee's sister. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always Verse: "And a woman and her sister you may not marry in her lifetime" (Vayikra 18:18) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Prohibition 131
From Rosh Chodesh Av (tonight - Sunday evening) until midday on 10th Av (21 July) is the period known as the "9 days". The custom is to not eat meat and chicken and to not drink wine during the "9 days", except on Shabbat. Food cooked together with meat should not be eaten - even if one doesn't eat the meat. Those who need to eat meat (or drink wine) for health reasons, may do so. If possible, even they should refrain (with the Doctor's permission) from the 7th of Av; the day the Romans entered the Bet Hamikdash. At a Seudat Mitzva (a Mitzva meal) - a Brit, Pidyon HaBen or Siyum - one may serve meat and wine. Besides for close family, one may invite up to 10 friends whom one normally invites. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 122:8
Unless Moshiach comes first, the fast of 9 B'Av will start next week on Monday afternoon and will last for about 25 hours until after nightfall on Tuesday.
The fast of 9 B'Av commemorates 5 tragedies that befell the Jewish people on that date:
- It was decreed that the generation which left Egypt would remain in the desert for 40 years and not enter the land of Israel, after believing the inaccurate report of 10 of the 12 spies over 3,000 years ago
- The first Bet Hamikdash (Holy Temple) was destroyed on 9 B'Av almost 2,500 years ago.
- The second Bet Hamikdash (Holy Temple) was destroyed on 9 B'Av about 1950 years ago.
- The city of Betar was captured and tens of thousands of Jews were killed about 1,800 years ago.
- The wicked Turnus Rufus plowed the site of the Bet Hamikdash and its surroundings and renamed it Aelia Capitolina, about 1,800 years ago.
Since these tragedies occurred on 9 B'Av, it was decreed as a day of fasting and mourning. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 121:5
Other tragedies that happened on 9 B'Av:
- 4,000 Jews were expelled from England by King Edward I in the year 5050 (18 July 1290)
- 300,000 Jews were expelled from Spain by Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon in the year 5252 (2 August 1492)
- Word War 1 started in 5674 - 1 August 1914 - with Germany declaring war on Russia
One may do "minor" work on the fast of 9 B'Av, such as turning on lights and driving. Any work that takes times, as well as all business dealings, should not be done until noon, so as not to get distracted from mourning the destruction of the Bet Hamikdash - the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. While one may go to work and open ones business on 9 B'Av afternoon, it's commendable not to. One may have a non-Jew do ones work on 9 B'Av, and one may do any work needed to prevent a monetary loss.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 124:15
The "Seudat Mafseket - final meal" before the fast of 9 B'Av - is eaten while seated on the floor. The meal typically consists of only a cold hard-boiled egg and bread which is dipped into ashes. (One does not have to eat the ashes.) This meal must end before sunset. Before this meal one may eat a regular meal. One may wear ones leather shoes during this meal. One does not wear leather shoes on the fast of 9 B'Av; one must remove them before sunset - next Monday afternoon this year. One may wear shoes that have no leather in them; cloth, rubber and wood are OK. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 123:3, 5 Even one who cannot fast per the doctors or Rabbis; should eat the egg and ashes.
One makes Havdala as usual this week using wine (and spices and a candle). If there is a small child who can drink most of the cup of wine, then one gives it to him to drink.
If not, then the person making Havdala drinks the wine. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 122:8
Some people have the custom of using beer for Havdala this week. If one uses beer for Havdala then the first Bracha needs to be "Shehakol" instead of "Borei Pri Hagafen".
Source: Halachos of the 3 weeks by Rav Shimon Eider zt"l page 7 My Rosh Yeshiva - Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt"l - always used wine for Havdala and always drank it himself. One does not say Kiddush Levana (the monthly blessing over the new moon) until after the fast of 9 B'Av. On Motzei Yom Kippur one can say Kiddush Levana immediately after Maariv (the evening prayers). On Motzei 9 B'Av one may not say Kiddush Levana until one has broken the fast and put on shoes.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 124:19, 130:6 In FL it is the rainy season and I had some very-very bad experiences with this. Please contact your Orthodox Rabbi if you can make Kiddush Levana before Tisha B-AV.
For more of my writings on Tisha B’Av check out the following: http://rabbipauli.blogspot.com/2008/08/body.html or
http://rabbipauli.blogspot.com/2009/07/tisha-bav-special-there-is-method-to-my.html probably under Summary of Rav Aaron Adler Shlita on the Rav Tisha B’Av on the right hand side of page 1/14 of: http://www.parsha.net/pdf/Devarim/Devarim-9Av66.pdf
Rabbi A.L. sent me this about Anger Management. In the days before Tisha B’Av our joy is down it is not time to listen to music or watch entertainment except perhaps Animal Planet, National Geographic, The History Channel or Discovery which are educational in nature. No music, heat outside, kids off from school, something goes wrong, our temper is on edge. We then have to think of the law of the Garbage Truck: One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us!! My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches!! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us.
My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy... I mean, he was really friendly.
So I asked, "Hey, why did you just do that??!! This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!!" This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call: "The Law of the Garbage Truck."
He said: "You know, many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it, so sometimes they will dump it on you."
His advice? "Do not take it personally.. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Do not pick up the garbage others are trying to get rid of. If you do, you will take it with you and you will end up dumping it on people all around you, at work, at home, or on the streets." If you want to be happy.... do not let garbage trucks, your own or other peoples, overtake your day. Let go of anything that is not positive.
Life is 10% what you make and 90% how you take it! Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who do not.
Cooking Kosher by non-Jews
There is in Baltimore a very nice Star K-Kosher Chinese Restaurant owned and run by non-Jewish Chinese. My mother during her illness had a Philippine helper cooking for her in addition to the meals we supplied from upstairs. In both cases there was supervision and a Jew lit the flame. However, many times people are on the road or in a motel that supplies a cup of coffee either to drink there or take on the road this is permissible in a takeout cup even if the fast food place is Trafe and this I received from American Orthodox Rabbis via a private communication. (Some motels have in the morning a piece of fruit a small package of corn flakes or cheerios, a cellophane rapped bun with an OUD. – Note: unknown doughnuts are considered to be non-kosher.) Another question arose which I wrote about in Mail Jewish Vol 28 #61:
> From: Joe Harlin
> Basically, why should one be allowed to drink coffee from such establishments?
> Even if we assume the coffee is kosher, the utensils were definitely washed with hot non-kosher ingredients.
> On what do such individuals rely to drink coffee in such establishments?
I assume that the coffee is poured into paper hot cups with plastic spoons and sweeteners could have the OU. I once was driving along US 5 in Washington State and say big 60 cup hot water heaters with Tetley Tea or Taster's Choice plastic spoons and one time cups, and either sugar or sweetener. I found nothing wrong with the Kashrut but the coffee was sponsored by the local parish. Any ideas about this? (The problem being if I am getting enjoyment from an Akum place of worship or if I give a quarter and they make more than a Peruta’s worth am I donating to their worship? This is similar to using a Baal Peor House for a toilet.)
Richard (Rachamim) Pauli
The Right Type of Help By Rabbi Yirmiyohu Kaganoff Shlita
Shirley* asks me: "We hired a very nice Russian lady to help around the house, keep an eye on the kids, and do light housekeeping. Can we have her cook a bit for the kids while I am away at work?”
Mrs. Goldman is stuck in a typical commuter predicament. The traffic is not moving, and it is well past the time that she should be putting up supper. She calls the non-Jewish babysitter, Jenny, to apologize for the delay and asks her to find something in the freezer to warm and serve the kids. Jenny finds some blitzes and some fish sticks, places them on some ceramic cookware and pops them into the toaster oven.
That evening, when Rabbi Goldman returns from Kollel, Mrs. Goldman tells him about her frustrating commute home. Rabbi Goldman realizes that they may now have a kashrus concern in their house.
I received a phone call from Rabbi Black: “Our seminary has girls who work on work study programs. We just discovered that a girl who was working as our cook is not halachically Jewish. Do we need to kasher the kitchen?”
Each of these actual shaylos (questions) show the prevalence of bishul Akum (cooking by non-Jews) questions that come up regularly.
The Source in the Parshah
It is noteworthy that the Gemara tries to find a source for the prohibition of bishul Akum in this week’s parsha. When the Bnei Yisrael offered to purchase all their victuals from Sichon and his nation, Emori, they could purchase only food that was unchanged through gentile cooking (see Devarim 2:26- 28; and Bamidbar 21:21- 25). Any food altered by Emori cooking was prohibited because of bishul Akum (Avodah Zarah 37b).
Although the Gemara rejects this Biblical source and concludes that bishul akum is an injunction of the Sages, early authorities theorize that this proscription was enacted very early in Jewish history, otherwise how could the Gemara even suggest that its origins are Biblical (see Tosafos s.v. vehashelakos)? Chazal instituted this law to discourage inappropriate social interaction, which may lead to intermarriage, and also to guarantee that kashrus is not compromised (Rashi, Avodah Zarah 35b s. v. vehashelakos and 38a s.v. miderabbanan and Tosafos ad loc.).
Food prepared in violation of the laws that Chazal instituted becomes prohibited as bishul Akum and is fully non-kosher. The early authorities dispute whether equipment used to cook bishul Akum becomes non-kosher. The Shulchan Aruch concludes that the equipment indeed becomes non-kosher and must be kashered, although the halacha for kashering from bishul Akum is sometimes more lenient, as I will explain (Yoreh Deah 113:16).
Please note that throughout the article, whenever I say that something does not involve bishul Akum, it might still be forbidden for a variety of other reasons
Three Cardinal Rules
When Chazal prohibited bishul Akum, they did not prohibit all gentile-cooked foods, but only foods where the gentile’s cooking is significant. For example, there are three major groupings of gentile-cooked foods that are nevertheless permitted because the gentile's contribution is considered trivial. One might find the following acronym useful to remember these permitted categories: YUM, Yisrael, Uncooked, Monarch.
I. Yisrael – A Jew Participates
If a Jew contributes to the cooking in a significant way, the food is categorized as bishul Yisrael, cooked by a Jew, and is therefore permitted even when a gentile did most of the food preparation. For example, if Mrs. Goldman had asked Jenny to warm food that was already cooked, there would be no bishul Akum problem. I will soon explain some of the extensive details about this law.
II. Uncooked – Food Edible Raw
A food that could be eaten raw is exempt from the prohibition of bishul Akum even when a non-Jew cooked it completely. This is because cooking such an item is not considered significant (Rashi, Beitzah 16a). For example, if Mrs. Goldman had asked Jenny to bake apples or cook a fruit soup there would be no problem of bishul Akum since these fruits are all edible raw. However, baking potatoes does present a bishul Akum concern because potatoes are not eaten raw (Chachmas Odom 66:4; cf. Aruch HaShulchan 113:18).
(See the Rabbi’s note below as to kashrus questions – a cooked carrot or a baked apple would be no problem if made in a factory that cans baked apples or does apple sauce and other items such as apple marmalade or dried apples and the equipment is Parve or peas and carrots, etc. )
Bishul Akum applies only to food that one would serve on a king’s table alongside bread. Chazal did not prohibit bishul Akum when the food is less prominent because one would not invite a guest for such a meal, and therefore there is no concern that inappropriate social interaction may result (Rambam, Hil. Maachalos Asuros 17:15).
At this point, I want to explain in more detail one of the rules I mentioned above: When a Jew participates in the cooking, the food is permitted even when a gentile performed most of the cooking. For example, if a non-Jew placed a pot of meat on the fire, and a Jew stirred the pot, this act is significant enough to permit the food because it is considered bishul Yisrael (Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 113:7). Similarly, if a Jew placed food in the oven and it baked until it was barely edible, and then the food was removed from the oven and returned later by the gentile, who thereby completed the cooking, the food is kosher (Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 113:10, 11).
Ashkenazim versus Sephardim
How much Jewish participation is necessary to avoid bishul Akum? The answer to this question depends on whether one is Sephardi or Ashkenazi, since Ashkenazim are more lenient in these laws than are Sephardim. For example, Ashkenazim rule that if a Jew ignited the fire that is being used to cook, or even if all he did was add to a flame that the gentile is cooking with, that this participation is sufficient to permit the food as bishul Yisrael. Sephardim rule that it is insufficient for a Jew to simply ignite the fire – the Jew must be involved in the actual cooking of the food. Either the Jew must place the food onto the fire to permit it, or participate in some other significant way; but if all the Jew did was ignite the fire and a gentile placed the food on the fire, the food is prohibited. Thus an Ashkenazi household that utilizes non-Jewish help in the kitchen must have a Jew turn on or adjust the fires to avoid bishul Akum. In a Sephardi household, someone Jewish must place the food on the fire to cook, or stir it once it is cooking.
Food Service Cooking
This dispute is very germane to restaurants, caterers and other institutional cooking, where the kitchen help is often all non-Jews, thus potentially creating a bishul Akum concern. According to Ashkenazim, to avoid bishul Akum, it is sufficient if the Jew turns on the fire that is used to cook, or even for him to adjust the temperature setting upward. Thus, if the gentile already turned on the oven, but no food was finished cooking yet, the Jew can simply lower the setting and reset it and all the food cooked is considered bishul Yisrael. However, according to Sephardim, a Jew must actually place the food on the stove to cook. If the food is already on the fire, but is not yet minimally edible, it suffices for a Jew to stir the food to make it into bishul Yisrael.
This shaylah often affects the kashrus arrangements in restaurants and caterers. Since most Jews in North American are Ashkenazim, most hechsherim simply guarantee that a Jew turn on the fires to arrange that the food be bishul Yisrael, an approach that does not satisfy some Sephardic authorities, although some permit the food after the fact because of a combination of other heterim that we will discuss below (Shu"t Yechaveh Daas 5:54).
On the other hand, proper Sephardic hechsherim insist that the Mashgiach place all food into the oven or on the stove.
A More Lenient Approach
Some Ashkenazi authorities are even more lenient than above described and permit food when the Jew lit a flame, and the gentile used the Jew's flame to ignite a second flame that was used for cooking. According to this approach, it is sufficient if a Jew lights the pilot light that is then used to ignite all the stove and oven lights. Although pilot lights are now uncommon in household appliances, they are still fairly common in industrial kitchens.
Here is another case in which Sephardim and Ashkenazim differ in accepted bishul Yisrael practice. If a gentile began the cooking and it became minimally edible, Sephardim consider the food already prohibited because of bishul Akum. Following this approach, if a gentile cooked the food at the beginning until it was barely edible, and a Jew then completes the cooking and makes it quite tasty, the food is still prohibited, unless there is an extenuating circumstance, such as a major financial loss will result (Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 113:9).
However, Ashkenazim rule that if a Jew cooked it passed this point, it is permitted, since the product's delicious taste was created by a Jew.
Not Yet Edible
In the reverse case, one where a Jew cooked the food until it was barely edible and then the gentile cooked it past this point, the food is permitted according to both approaches (Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 113:8). However, if the food was not edible when the Jew's cooking ended, and subsequently a gentile cooked it without any Jewish participation, the food is prohibited as bishul Akum according to all authorities.
At this point, we can explain the concerns created by Jenny's warming the blintzes. Kashrus organizations usually make no arrangements to see that frozen blintzes or fish sticks are bishul Yisrael for a very simple Halachic reason: The products are still inedible at the time the company freezes them, and therefore nothing is accomplished halachically by having a Jew cook them at this early stage. When you remove these products from your freezer and heat them, you are cooking them, whether you realize it or not. However, when Jenny warmed these foods, she not only cooked them, but she also made them into prohibited bishul Akum, thus rendering the foods and the equipment non-kosher, although she meant no harm.
Even in the Comforts of your own Home?
When Mrs. Goldman's mother heard about the calamity that had befallen her grandchildren, in that they ate non-kosher bishul Akum food, she reacted with surprise: "But does bishul Akum apply in your own house?" Indeed she is not the first to raise this issue.
Does the prohibition of bishul Akum exist when the food is cooked in a Jewish house? Since neither of the reasons for the prohibition, the risk of social interaction, or the kashrus concerns, exists when the food is prepared in a Jewish house by a hired hand, perhaps the prohibition does not exist either. Indeed, one of the early Baalei Tosafos, Rav Avraham ben HaRav David, indeed contended that no bishul Akum prohibition exists when food is prepared in a Jewish house.
However, Rabbeinu Tam disputed this conclusion, contending that in the vast literature Chazal provided concerning the prohibition of bishul Akum, they made no such distinction. Furthermore, Rabbeinu Tam contends that there are still grounds for concern even in a Jewish house (Tosafos, Avodah Zarah 38a s.v. Ela). The Shulchan Aruch rules according to Rabbeinu Tam (Yoreh Deah 213:1), although some authorities rule that even according to Rabbeinu Tam the prohibition of bishul Akum does not apply to long-term hired household servants (Issur VaHeter, quoted by Taz 113:3). This approach is not accepted by most later authorities (Chachmas Adam 66:7).
Three Times and You're Safe!
There is a lenience regarding koshering from bishul Akum that does not apply to most Halachos. Ordinarily, if an earthenware or ceramic vessel absorbs non-kosher taste, there is no way to kasher the equipment and it has been rendered permanently non-kosher. In such a case, your beautiful ceramic may be used henceforth as a planter or for some other decorative purpose, but not for food production.
However, Chazal allowed lenience when the essence of a prohibition is rabbinic in origin, as is the case with bishul Akum. They permitted koshering even normally non-kosher able earthenware by boiling the vessel three times (Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 113:16). Thus, Mrs. Goldman may kasher her favor ceramic bowl by boiling it three times and then it can be returned to kosher use.
Would the same prohibition apply if Jenny had heated the blintzes in the microwave oven instead? Why should it make any difference?
Indeed one of our generations greatest Halachic authorities, Rav Vozner of Bnei Berak, rules that no difference exists between having a gentile cook food in a microwave oven or in any other means: it is prohibited as bishul Akum. However, I have read opinions from other Rabbanim who dispute this conclusion. I will explain some of their reasons:
(The question arises is that if placing in a microwave that essentially heats water molecules by infrared waves is cooking? What about placing in Aluminum Foil in a curved bowl in direct sunlight is this cooking or done with a Shinui (change) as neither of these appear to come under normal bishul. (Especially if it is in a designed solar cooker/heater.) In the original Shmirat Shabbat Kehilchato Rav Shneur Zalman Auerbach TzZA”L gave his approval to solar water heaters all day on Shabbos but later removed it. On the other hand cooking or warming up in a geothermic source would be considered bishul – see second Perek of Shabbos.)*
The Talmud Yerushalmi discusses whether there is a prohibition of bishul Akum when food is cooked by smoking. One should be aware that there are several different methods of preparing food that are all called "smoking," but for our purposes we are discussing food that is cooked by heating it in hot smoke. (Some types of sausage, including frankfurters, are often cooked this way.)
Why should smoking be different from any other type of cooking? Usual cooking is performed either in a liquid, usually water, or through baking or roasting, which are through direct heat without any liquid medium. Frying is also prohibited because of bishul Akum, since oil is likewise considered to be a liquid medium like regular cooking (Aruch HaShulchan 113:24). Smoking involves cooking food in a non-liquid medium, which is qualitatively different. The question is whether this distinction in the cooking method is significant enough that Chazal did not include it in their prohibition of bishul Akum.
The Shulchan Aruch rules that food smoked by a gentile is not prohibited because of bishul Akum (113:13). Thus, he concludes that where the method of food preparation differs significantly from what Chazal prohibited, the prohibition does not exist, even though the reasons for the prohibition of bishul Akum apply just as well.
Some foods are cooked in steam rather than in water. If cooked this way by a gentile, are they prohibited as bishul Akum? This is a very common case, since much commercial production, including canned vegetables and tuna, for example, are cooked in steam. In addition, many oriental foods include rice, which is commonly steamed when produced for these purposes.
This question became very germane in the 19th century, when factories began cooking food through steam. Similar to smoking, food here is cooked in live steam, which although closer to water, is still not exactly comparable, but is a medium that is not liquid and also not direct heat. Does the halachic lenience that applies to smoking apply equally to steaming?
This issue was debated by the authorities of the time. An early responsum debates whether cane sugar is prohibited because of bishul akum since the ground sugar cane was cooked in live steam.
(Others permitted cane sugar for a variety of other reasons [Aruch HaShulchan 113:23.]) Some authorities permitted steaming just as smoking is permitted, and others permitted for a different reason, contending that gentile steaming is permitted since it is a totally new production method that did not exist in the days of Chazal and was therefore not include in the prohibition. On the other hand, other authorities contended that the heter of smoking cannot be extended to something cooked in vaporized water (Darchei Teshuvah 113:16). We find that some later authorities relied on this heter but only in combination with other reasons to permit the food (Shu"t Minchas Yitzchak). I leave it to the individual to discuss with his Rav whether he permits the use of food cooked by a non-Jew with a microwave oven.
Thus, some Rabbanim would have permitted Jenny to cook the blintzes or the fish sticks in the microwave, whereas others would contend that this does not change the situation. I leave it to our readers to ask their own Posek for a decision on the matter.
At this point, I would like to address Rabbi Black's shaylah whether he needs to kasher his seminary's kitchen. The question was that they had discovered that the mother of their cook had been converted to Judaism in a questionable way, and was presumably not Jewish, which made the cook not Jewish either. Although no one planned this problem, the question is whether the seminary needs now to kasher its entire kitchen.
There are two possible reasons to permit not koshering the kitchen, both of which apply equally to the Goldman’s' ovens and pots. The household in which the food was cooked is Jewish, so that according to Rabbi Avraham ben Rabbi David the food is not bishul Akum, and in addition there are Rishonim who contend that although Chazal prohibited bishul Akum, they did not prohibit the utensils used to prepare the food. Both of these positions are rejected as the final position in Shulchan Aruch, but perhaps based on the two together one could avoid koshering. Since there are authorities who might permit the utensils under these circumstances, I suggest asking a shaylah from one's Halachic authority whether you need to kasher the equipment.
The Gemara teaches that the rabbinic laws are dearer to Hashem than the Torah laws. In this context, we can explain the vast halachic literature devoted to understanding this particular prohibition, created by Chazal to protect the Jewish people from major sins.
*Although all the stories here are true, the names have been changed for privacy.
*The use of hot water prepared Erev Shabbos from a Solar Hot Water Heater has no halachic problem until morning as no more water is being used this applies to bathing an infant with liquid soap or washing dishes in warm water. There was a discussion recently about a standard electrical or gas heater at home when the circuit breaker is thrown Erev Shabbos before the end of the last person washing or bathing and cooler water has been able to enter the system (the name of book on Shabbos is not on my mind now) that one can use such water to wash dishes or an infant. Otherwise we take a ‘third utensil’ to have colder water added to it for bathing a baby – see Warming dry food and caring for children on Shabbos. (Could be caring for infants – I think it was a pamphlet from Feldheim or Hebrew Publishing.)
The following article was written by Moshe Feiglin two weeks ago when I wrote my editorial about Gilad Shalit and reflects my sentiments too.
My wife and I and the entire family are focused only on our David. Not on the newspapers, the radio, television, internet – none of it. I had no idea what was going on in the world and it also did not interest me. Many people have tried to call to wish us well. I thank all of you from the bottom of my heart and apologize for the fact that my phone is off.
Now it is Friday, and I came home to bring clothing to the hospital for Shabbat. I decided to turn on the radio to hear the news as I drove home. I also saw the headlines of the newspaper at the grocery store and I understand that extreme pressure is being applied to Netanyahu to have Gilad Shalit released at all costs. I decided to write this article simply to attempt to save lives.
Every day, I pray for two captives: Jonathan Pollard and Gilad Shalit. Every day, I have the utmost respect for Gilad's parents, Noam and Aviva Shalit. It is impossible not to be impressed with them. It is also inappropriate to argue with them. I think that from my situation now I can identify with their pain even more.
But I ask all the people marching and pressuring Netanyahu to please stop. The Prime Minister is simply right. I know that you are motivated by warmth and love and that you want only the best. But there is no such thing as "at all costs." The statistics do not lie: Most of the terrorists murder again. There are those who argue that just because the sun set yesterday does not mean that it will set again tomorrow. Logically, there is truth to that argument, but practically, it is totally unacceptable.
Please understand that for all practical purposes, you are demanding that the Prime Minister allow an unknown number of soldiers and citizens to be murdered in exchange for Gilad. The question is not if they will be murdered – just how many will be murdered.
I am returning to the hospital. I will continue from there to pray for Gilad and I ask everyone who can to pray for the complete recovery of my son, David Yosef ben Faigah Perel. Thank you.
My question and answer regarding Jonathan Pollard is as follows: The same day that Benyamin Netanyahu was in Washington, the Department of Justice released 10 people who spied for an enemy power – why couldn’t they release Pollard who spied for a friendly country to the USA? The answer comes in 4 words: Shimon Peres, Rafael Eytan. It stinks to high heaven and after 120 years there will be a price to pay for a lot of people before the Beis Din shel Maala.
Torah Law finally wins out in Israel: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/138554
Pamela T. was born in the Ukraine came to the USA and married an Iranian Muslim. Similar to the story of the Jewish girl and the French lady last week, she literally had her daughter taken away from her. Her husband gave her a Muslim Divorce over the phone. (Big brave man similar to Mel Gibson who hates Jews so he takes out his anti-Semitism by hitting a woman with a child in her arms – wow such heroics among these people!)
Rabbi takes up the fight about a grave site: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3919876,00.html
IAI sold drones to the Israeli Air Force a top commander working with IAI asked for all the drawings for the Air Force. He then made copies and sold them to Elbit to become an Assistant General Manager. Now Elbit Engineers have even improved on the original. (Thanks to Seth) http://worldfocus.org/blog/2009/08/06/israel-unveils-miniature-spy-plane/6665/
Iranian turned spy reveals: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3917748,00.html
Listen to the interview here: http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/audio/audio_popup.php?id=535&table=tblEvents
Iran wants their nuclear plans to go unhindered via surrogate war: http://www.debka.com/article/8906/
A number of years ago an Israeli on a guided tour got a credit card bill from Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio where the tour did not go he did not know how this happened.: http://www.walletpop.com/blog/2010/07/07/new-atm-skimmers-out-to-steal-your-account/?icid=main|htmlws-main-n|dl6|link3|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.walletpop.com%2Fblog%2F2010%2F07%2F07%2Fnew-atm-skimmers-out-to-steal-your-account%2F
Editorial on the soldier dance has a statement that the IDF has become real and not criminals as the PLO portrays them: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3917436,00.html
It is time to strike the enemy before they strike us: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3918195,00.html
Illegal’s in Yisrael: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/news.aspx/138534
And these people have Israeli Citizenship and collect National Insurance: http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=181199
Hotsy-totsy you are a Nazi: http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=181498
What happens when you ignore a Psak of many Rabbis: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/138626
Keep your powder dry! by Richard A.
This is something everyone/everywhere should be concerned about. This came to me from a fraternity brother................ California Muslims
Looks like it is time to apply for that concealed weapons permit and buy some ammo...............
We now live about 30 miles from Fresno . We are up in the Sierras and Fresno is the first big town we encounter when we leave the mountains. We shop there often. I received the following from my ex-homicide partner who is still active in law enforcement circles in the Fresno area.
Excuse the language, but don't excuse the facts. Don't give up your guns, and buy the necessary ammunition if you can find it. Be cautious and alert. Be ready if, God forbid, we need to protect our families and loved ones.
From my ex-homicide squad partner: If You weren't at Rotary Friday. You missed the only decent speaker we've had in more than a year. LTC John Cotter is the 144th Fighter Wing's anti-terrorism officer. John had a two-part presentation. First part was describing his job as the units’ anti-terrorism officer. Pretty standard stuff … The second part was information that will curl your hair.
A Part-time air guardsman works as a checker at local Fresno store. Two women in full burkas buy every pre-paid cell phone in the store. Clerk/airman gets to thinking about it. Goes to Cotter and reports incident. Cotter asks store for surveillance video. It's scary enough that he contacts Fresno FBI. FBI investigates determines these women have been doing this all over the Valley. Cell phones shipped through Canada to Iraq/Afghanistan where they become triggers for roadside bombs.
The Shell station at Peach and Shaw: Every time a local GI goes there in fatigues they are asked specific questions by the Muslim clerks. What is your unit? When are you deploying? How many aircraft are you taking?
The F-16s out of Fresno fly CAP for west coast. As such they are the first line of defense so they have the U.S.'s most sophisticated air-to-air missiles. Foreign governments would like to get their hands on those missiles or at least learn how to build them, also how many we have, etc. Two spy groups are working on it, one based at Fashion Fair Mall (the F-16s take-off pattern) and one based at Sierra Vista Mall (the F-16s landing pattern).
Cotter, the anti-terrorist expert said, the rag heads (but we don't profile) are always probing the base. Two dorks in a pickup show up at the front gate wanting to deliver a package marked Air National Guard, Fresno. No postage, no UPS, no FedEx, no DHL, no nothing (Just a probe).
I asked Cotter why we haven't seen anything about this in the newspaper, on KMJ, on local TV news. He said they're not interested. Since Friday I've learned of two other things. My brother-in-law had a Muslim tech who took a leave-of-absence for 6 weeks in Afghanistan. After the 6 weeks were up he called from New York requesting an extension. My brother-in-law (who does profile) said, you're fired, and called the Fresno FBI who were very interested. Don't know the outcome.
A Muslim who owns a liquor store in my former hometown of Kingsburg was constantly bugging customers to buy guns for him. Finally one of the guys I grew up with called the FBI.
We are a country at war and the enemy is among us. I don't care what Janet Napolitano says, it's a fight to the death and we should be prepared as possible. Brother-in-law Frank has a theory and I think it may be closer to the truth than Homeland Security wants to admit. There are a certain number (probably a large number) of Muslims among us who are just waiting for the trigger date when they will begin randomly killing as many of us as they can, sort of a Fort Hood on steroids! I know I'm getting prepared to shoot back.***
Two items of interest. Sheriff Margaret Mims wants to grant concealed carry permits to all who are qualified. Columnist Jim Boren, among the most bleeding of bleeding hearts, says it's time for Fresno residents to arm themselves. Better LOCK and LOAD folks, you can bet this is happening in places other than Fresno. ****Many believe that the next attack will not be isolated, as 9/11 was, but attacks all over the nation. This shows how that could be carried out.
I am asking my brother Jews who are liberals to read this article as a Jew first and a liberal second and open your eyes: 6 MILLION WHO CANNOT SPEAK
by Emanuel A. Winston, Middle East Analyst & Commentator
Now there are only a few elderly survivors of the Holocaust still alive and most won-t/cannot speak out. They know from bitter experience that when government leaders become hostile to Jews, it-s dangerous to speak out in public. When some of us speak to elderly survivors and, if they trust you, you might hear something like this:
“We know that, as in Germany in the 30s, the hate is growing in the nations as they need someone to blame for their money going bad and for the lack of jobs. We see clearly that President Barack Hussein Obama has a visceral dislike, even hatred, for the Jewish people. We know from experience and instinct that President Barack Hussein Obama has grown very close to the Muslim Arab nations and wishes to please them by acting hostile to Israel.
We Jews who have experienced prejudice that resulted in our Genocide throughout the ages have very sensitive antennae. Regrettably, we deliberately ignore incoming messages of hostility because we do not wish to face a reality we know so well.”
The Six Million dead cannot speak but, if they could, they – no doubt – could tell us how to recognize the symptoms of when another people become bestial, urged on by their leaders who are hoping to re-direct their peoples’ anger away from their leaders' failure to solve their nation’s problems.
It wasn-t just Adolph Hitler who used this technique to explain the catastrophic effects of Super-Inflation on Germany’s money. Pointing a finger at the Jews, who had nothing to do with the Hyper-Inflation, provided a simple answer to enrage the people and absolve their leaders of blame for incompetent leadership.
Jews of that time knew what Hitler was doing but calmed themselves by saying he would soon be gone and everything would go back to normal.
I have numerous friends who escaped from different parts of Europe and Russia who migrated to Israel. They had to fight Arab Muslims who swore to finish the Genocide that Hitler and the Europeans had not yet completed. Now in their eighties, most survivors have a deep and accurate impression of what it means to be a Jew in Europe and to be confronted with the howling mobs of Muslim Arabs in Europe, Israel and the rest of the world - wherever Muslims have achieved a critical mass.
Such Jews can smell a Pogrom in the air. A Pogrom is an attack against the Jews, usually provoked by the village Priest or the Commissar, on orders from the Czar. Such survivors know when the natives are getting restless and they need to cannibalize someone. Many of us Jews of experience (old enough to recognize the signs) knew that the Obamas were bigots despite the façade of their double-speak.
We observed President Obama’s first speech from Cairo and knew that another Pharaoh had come on the scene. His visceral hostility was plain even though he used court Jews as his façade much the same as James Baker did with his court Jews.
How can you be called an anti-Semite when you have Jew-Boys on your staff who are selling your line?
The handful of surviving Holocaust Jews is mostly silent - especially when they see a new Pharaoh and his appointed Czars and Czarinas attacking Israel. We also see the Jew-killing nations of Europe bonding with the Muslim Arabs migrating into their countries who hate Jews from their earliest teaching in their Madrassas. Can you imagine not hating the infidel Jews and Christians when your text books, starting at three years old, picture Jews as demons?
Even though Christian Europe and America are also hated by the Muslims of 56 different countries as despised “infidels”, nevertheless, in the short term they make common cause with their pagan savage allies because they agree on their Jew-hatred.
The present Jews of America, even without personal experience of the Holocaust, have a certain instinctive fear of a man like Obama. 80% of American Jews voted for him and most of them are too embarrassed to admit to their “buyers’ remorse” as Obama’s true anti-Israel agenda emerges.
The Jewish leadership of all the Jewish organizations too quickly drop into silence and will not challenge the hostility of the Obamas. These are the “Sha-Sha” Jews saying be quiet lest “they” (the Muslims with the Nukes, Biologicals and Chemicals) unleash their full anti-Semitic rage (with Obama’s tacit approval). That cringing is understandable when you were a Jew living in medieval Europe, Russia or the Middle East, where you knew the monarchy, dictator, Ayatollahs, Church arranged accusations starting with a single Jew in public trials, knowing that the rest of the Jewish community would be similarly accused and persecuted. That cringing in normal fear has been imprinted onto our psyches through 2000 years of living and dying by the anti-Semitism within the leaders and population wherever we lived.
Sometimes the Pogroms were stirred up merely to satisfy the anger of the peasantry who were being taxed into poverty by the King or Church. Today that would be likened to unemployment, extraordinary taxes about to be imposed, free choice of your healthcare and insurance surrendered to a government run amok with power.
Today the target is Israel and there is a need to silence the Jewish community lest they appeal to Congress and speak out to the American people.
One cannot be fooled by a hostile President allowing Israel’s Prime Minister into the front door this week instead of the service entrance as in March because Obama needs Jewish votes in the mid-term elections. After November Obama has two years to savage Israel or force her surrender of her Land to the hostile Muslim Arabs before the Presidential elections in 2012.
That’s assuming Obama will not be impeached for cause when (not IF) radical Islamists planted in America, do not again succeed in another 9/11.
Some things never change.
BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA'S MIND-SET &
“CENTCOM's "Red Team" [Favors] Hamas and Hezbollah” by JONATHAN TOBIN Forwarded with major commentary by Emanuel A. Winston, Middle East Analyst & Commentator
As you read the following report by Jonathan Tobin, you could conjecture that part of the U.S. Intelligence network and those with CENTCOM (Central Command) which covers the Middle East, would have, under President Barack Hussein Obama, probably sided with Adolph Hitler and followed the thinking of Neville (“Peace In Our Time”) Chamberlain.
Have America-s 16 Intelligence Agencies, including Military Intelligence been penetrated by those who have already adopted Islamic goals such as destroying the Jewish Nation/State of Israel and accepting those policies that would lead to the conversion of America into an Islamic Caliphate under strict Sharia Law? If so, then the entire Free West is in deep trouble. Keep in mind that orders to accommodate Islamists originate in the Oval Office and the Arabist State Department.
One cannot help but be reminded of Hitler-s effort to penetrate U.S. Intelligence and secure support from Americans to rebuild a strong Germany. This acceptance of Hitler-s early anti-Semitic policies showed Hitler that Americans and others in the Free World would not confront him as he progressively eliminated the Jews. By accepting his early mild restrictions of freedoms, Hitler was encouraged that the world would not stop him. When the world let him take over the Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia, the world did not object. So, Hitler was permitted to implement his Genocide and finalize his plans to rule the world with his 1000 Year Nazi German Reich.
History also lists Josef Stalin-s efforts to plant as many agents as possible in America-s Intel, Army and among ordinary Americans. Marxist ideology was perversely appealing in the persuasive words of what is called “Communism”. It sounded good, but it delivered rotten promises something like Islam when they make promises to gullible Americans who believe them, every time. But, when they speak to their own ordinary Muslims in Arabic, you hear them quote their Quran to Kill the infidels (Jews and Christians). The Islamists vow to kill and take over First the Saturday people and then the Sunday people.” Remember that Israel is considered the Little Satan and America is labeled the Big Satan. The Islamists goal is to take over both Israel and America.
RECENTLY I LEARNED THAT AT THE YALTA MEETING FDR OFFERED AMERICA-S 6,000,000 JEWS TO THE ARAB SHEIKS FOR HELP IN THE WAR EFFORT! – Check out the library of Congress.
Today America has a President, Barack Hussein Obama, who sells Socialism, pledging: We will re-distribute the wealth! That-s his panacea to the unemployed American minorities and the incoming illegal aliens whom he has virtually invited to receive the entitlements earned by all the hard-working Americans who worked to build America and created the resources that provide those entitlements. What are these “entitlements? Free medical care, free education, food stamps, low or no-cost mortgages, safety provided by America-s Armed Forces.., and more, a free country, free press, freedom of religion and assembly. And Americans do not object.
But, he also shares American tax-payers hard-earned dollars with Muslim Arab Palestinian Terrorists, including Hamas. The Obama Administration intends to provide some $900 Million American tax-payers- dollars to Gaza (which Hamas controls). (1) and (2) And who protests?
Obama is taking from those Americans who worked hard and giving it to those who came in free. Then this block of 10,000 to 30,000 illegal aliens will be his built-in block of potential voters grateful for his ploy of amnesty.
If there are Intel Operatives and high-ranking officers in CENTCOM bonding with Islamic proto-Terrorists on Obama-s orders, they must be investigated as agents for foreign powers and dismissed from authority. Such activities are tantamount to betrayal of the nation as hostile operatives of foreign powers and the ideology of Islam.
Is CENTCOM about to lose its decent reputation, to be synonymous with the Vichy French who bonded with Hitler-s Nazi regime and turned their own Jews over to the Nazi Gestapo?
Perhaps now we can understand why Nidal Malik Hasan, the Fort Hood killer of 13 soldiers went unreported and was even protected by his superiors in the military. When the official report was drawn up, it did not mention or discuss the involvement that Hasan had with radical Islam. Especially via the Internet hookup in Kabul, Islamabad, with the al Qaeda imam who promoted radical revolutionary Islam to any Muslims who would listen. It was usually the educated, moderately well-off guys who were the most susceptible not necessarily the poor, uneducated. The plot of car bombings that was stopped in Britain in 2007 was committed by Muslim doctors.
So is history to repeat itself? Hitler had his loyal followers like Ford, the Dulles brothers, among others. Stalin also had his useful idiots easily recruited by Marxists and Communists words of a new world, with all sharing equally. The greatest useful idiots came out of the tinsel world of Hollywood.
Now, we have a Left-Liberal President who has friends, advisors, Czars and Czarinas who are anarchists, Socialists, Communists and Islamic Jihadists. They-re all Jihadists if the Obamas are confirmed as hostile to America and loyal to Islam, is that sufficient for impeachment?
It appears that even America-s guardians like her 16 Intel Agencies and her CENTCOM have followed the President-in-training-wheels guidance in his (mis)handling of the known Terror States and their proxies with his payment to them to be his promised extinction of the Jewish Nation/State of Israel.
A note to CENTCOM and the American Intel boys and girls: America has a wall with 58,000 names of dead U.S. soldiers in the Vietnam war. Israel also has a wall of her dead - killed by the Muslim Arab enemies surrounding her who are taught to hate and kill Jews. They hate Jews as much as they hate Americans. Now America will have to build another wall, listing dead Americans killed as soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan and as civilians in Islamist Terror attacks. I wonder if Obama will raise a wall of remembrance for Americans vaporized by 15 Saudi and 4 Egyptians Muslim Terrorists who bombed the World Trade Center Twin Towers on 9/11/01.
I fear America will be forced to pay a very heavy price for betraying her only real ally and friend in the Middle East. As the US economy collapses, the Gulf of Mexico becomes the Dead Sea, the land floods and dries out in extreme heat, what more will come because of Obama-s treachery?
THIS JUST IN July 6, 2010!: Fox News showed Administrator of NASA, Charles Bolden, speaking on Al Jazeera TV: that Obama has issued orders for Bolden “to ‘reach out’ to predominately Muslim nations to make them feel good about their historic contributions to science and engineering” and possibly integrate them into NASA’s research and development. These orders came as Obama has killed the NASA Space program. Bringing Muslim Islamists into NASA-s mission has been called:
By Charles Krauthammer: This is a new height in fatuousness, worst kind of group therapy, psycho-babble, imperial condescension and adolescent diplomacy.”
By Lou Dobbs: This is some kind of sensitivity training, group identity politics fools talking like this it-s just silly.”
By Brian Wilson: This is madness.”
Bringing Muslim Islamists into NASA exposes this sensitive industry of advanced technology for launching rockets into space. It would, of course, elevate their ability to build and launch missiles from short range to ICBM-s (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile) capable of reaching the U.S.
This order by Obama for NASA to reach out to Muslim dominated countries flows into the essay about CENTCOM below by Jonathan Tobin who illustrates the dangers of Obama-s policies.
ALSO JUST IN JULY 6, 2010 12:40 CDT: These Obama policies were inherent in today-s press conference with Prime Minister Netanyahu. Obama-s statements that: “the Israeli people have difficult choices at the strategic and tactical level [on which we must] work together” is alarming.
The sound bite of President Obama in his televised press conference today with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu: “The Bond Between Israel and the U.S. Is Unbreakable”, is a nice platitude but, let’s see how Obama’s actions follow through on that.
1. U.S. to Give $900 Million in Gaza Aid” by Helene Cooper New York Times, February 24, 2009
2. US Vows $900 Million for PA, Gaza; Hamas Pockets Recent Money” by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu Arutz 7, March 2, 2009 IsraelNationalNews.com
\COMMENTARY BY EMANUEL A. WINSTON
CENTCOM's "Red Team" [Favors] Hamas and Hezbollah by JONATHAN TOBIN – COMMENTARY MAGAZINE 06.30.2010 - 3:42 PM
It appears that the Hamas and Hezbollah terror groups have some friends in a rather unlikely niche of the American military. While the Obama administration has maintained the line that both these groups are terrorists and threats to peace, some senior intelligence officers at the U.S. military's Central Command (CENTCOM) think the United States should be making nice with them.
According to Mark Perry, writing in Foreign Policy, a leaked memo that was issued on May 7 by a CENTCOM "Red Team" asserts that the United States ought to be advocating for Hezbollah's integration into the Lebanese Armed Forces and a Hamas-Fatah merger for the Palestinians. He quotes the report as characterizing the Islamist terror groups as "pragmatic and opportunistic" and plays down the close ties between them and Iran, for which they are widely viewed as local proxies. The memo compared Hezbollah with the post-Good Friday Agreement Irish Republican Army and seems to envision its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, becoming the Gerry Adams of Lebanon and a force for peace. As for Hamas, not only did the report boost that Islamist group, but it also dismissed the much-touted efforts of Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton in helping to train a new Palestinian security force that would control terrorism.
Red Team reports are supposed to challenge existing policies and attitudes, but according to Perry, this apologia for Hamas and Hezbollah and repudiation of efforts to isolate these terror organizations actually "reflects the thinking among a significant number of senior officers at CENTCOM headquarters- and among senior CENTCOM intelligence officers and analysts serving in the Middle East."
If that is so, then it is a matter of deep concern for those who worry about the future of the Middle East. While the Obama administration has sought to distance itself from Israel, it has nevertheless resisted the temptation to repudiate the basic principles of American policy, which have always insisted that such groups must repudiate terrorism, recognize the State of Israel, and adhere to existing peace agreements before they can seek U.S. recognition, let alone the sort of Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval that the CENTCOM Red Team believes should be given to them.
Moreover, the memo's repudiation of efforts to aid Palestinian moderates ought to give Israelis pause. Both Israel and the United States have been active in supporting the efforts of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's attempts to create infrastructure that could resist Hamas and become a credible partner for peace. But calling for Hamas to be integrated into the forces that Dayton is training is tantamount to saying that the two-state solution is dead and that Israel is, more or less, on its own as it faces the challenge of Palestinian terror.
There are many problems with the Red Team's point of view, but the chief objection is that it completely misunderstands the power of extremist religion in determining the policies of both Hamas and Hezbollah. Both are guided by Islamist ideas that utterly reject the legitimacy of Israel and are steeped in anti-Jewish and anti-Western hatred. The notion that they can be house trained in the way that the Red Team envisions is not only ridiculous but also bespeaks a Western mindset that has no comprehension of extremist Islamic or Arabic political culture.
While there is no reason to believe that either the administration or outgoing CENTCOM commander Gen. David Petraeus has endorsed this radical departure from American anti-terror policy, the leaking of this memo and the notion that it represents the opinions of many in the Pentagon ought to scare Israelis and leave them less willing than ever to make the sorts of concessions Washington believes can strengthen the peace process. If many in the U.S. military are willing to rationalize Hamas and Hezbollah in the way this memo does, then Israelis may be forgiven for concluding that perhaps they need to re-evaluate their own faith in American guarantees of the security of the Jewish state.
Now for three M. Wolfberg stories:
Good Shabbos Everyone. We open our discussion of this week's Torah portion Pinchas, with a brief review of a topic we have discussed in recent weeks. We are referring to the power of our righteous Torah leaders to uplift us spiritually.
In our portion this week, the Torah tells us how Hashem commands Moshe to count the Jews. When commanding Moshe to count the Jews, the Torah uses the word "Seh-oo." (Bamidbar 26:2) The word "Seh-oo," can also mean "to uplift." As in the verse in Psalms "Lift your hands in the sanctuary and bless Hashem." (Tehillim 134:2) In order to learn a spiritually uplifting message from this parsha, let us try to understand the verse in the following way: Hashem is giving Moshe Rabeinu (our teacher) the power to uplift the Jews. As the verse states in the parsha: "Uplift the entire assembly of the Children of Yisroel..." (26:2)
Since the time of Moshe Rabeinu, Hashem has appointed in every generation Tzadikim (the exceedingly righteous Rabbis) to lead Klal Yisroel. Just as Hashem gave Moshe Rabeinu the power to uplift the Bnai Yisroel, so too does Hashem give the spiritual leaders of every generation the power to uplift Jews.
The following amazing true story demonstrates the tremendous power of our Torah leaders to elevate us. A very successful businessman, a Chabad Chassid by the name of Rabbi Chaim Gutnick who lived in Sydney Australia, was invited by the small Jewish community of "Adalide" to serve as their Cantor for the High Holy Days. Rabbi Gutnick was in a dilemma.
True, he had a pleasant voice, but he also had four small children at home, and had no desire of becoming a Rabbi or a Cantor. "They have a few months, let them find someone else." He thought to himself. Two weeks later he was surprised to see in his mailbox a letter from the Lubavitcher Rebbe, addressed to him.
The Rebbe wrote that he was disappointed to hear that Rabbi Gutnick refused the Adalide community. The Rebbe advised him to accept the offer, and not to forget the Egyptian Jews there.
(The community in Adalide got Rabbi Gutnick's name from the head Rabbi of Sydney, who also advised them to write the Lubavitch Rebbe if Rabbi Gutnick refused.) Needless to say, he took the job.
When he arrived in Adalide the morning before Rosh Hashanah, the first thing he did after getting settled in, was to go the Synagogue to meet everyone and get acquainted with the place.
After everyone had left, he sat down in the back of the quiet Synagogue, opened a Torah book and began learning. No one was in the building except him and the caretaker. A perfect preparation for Rosh HaShanah. About two hours later he heard the door open, and turned to see a middle-aged woman entering. She approached, apologized for the intrusion, and explained that although she herself was not Jewish, there was a Jewish girl outside who wants to know were the holiest place is in the Synagogue?
He pointed to the Ark in the front of the room, she thanked him, went outside, and returned seconds later escorting a blind girl of about fifteen years old.
She led her silently down the aisle toward the Ark, and when they reached the front of the room, the girl fell to her knees put her head in her hands and began weeping.
"Please G-d, send me a sign. Please, send me a sign. If you are there, and you hear me, send a sign!!"
After a few minutes she stood up, dried her eyes on her dress sleeve, and was escorted by her companion back out of the Synagogue.
Rabbi Gutnick was frozen from the incident. The room seemed a hundred times more silent than before, until the caretaker happened to enter.
"Oh, it must be one of those Egyptian Jews" he said to Rabbi Gutnick after he heard the story. "Nothing to get excited about. A small group of them arrived a while ago, but they don't seem to want to have anything to do with us. No big loss if you ask me. We tried to be friendly but they just keep to themselves."
Suddenly the Rebbe’s words flashed in his mind "Egyptian Jews". He ran outside to see if she was still there, but there was no trace.
The next evening Rabbi Gutnick led the Rosh Hashanah services, and after they were finished, the Synagogue president requested of him that they stand by the door and bless everyone as they exited. The only people that didn't file past, were a group that sat silently in the back corner waiting for everyone, including the Rabbis to leave.
"Oh, those are the Egyptian Jews," whispered the president when he noticed how Rabbi Gutnick was staring. "If I were you, I'd forget about them. Let's go."
The next day, after the morning prayers, Rabbi Gutnick didn’t wait for them to come to him. He walked over to where they were sitting, shook their hands and happily wished them all a happy and holy New Year. "And please wish the blind girl a good new year from me also."
Seven days later, the evening before Yom Kippur, the phone rang in Rabbi Gutnick’s hotel room.
"Hello, are you the Rabbi?" said the voice on the other end, "I am the blind girl. I want to...." suddenly the phone was cut off.
When she didn't call back he phoned the president, somehow he got her name, address, and phone number and Rabbi Gutnick called her back."Yes?" A man answered, "Who is it please?"
"Hello, this is Rabbi Gutnick and...." As soon as he said his name, the phone hung up.
So he decided to take things into his own hands. Although it was already late in the evening, he called a taxi, and a half hour later he was knocking at the blind girl's door.
When it opened he put his foot in, and insisted that they let him enter saying that he took a taxi, and had an important message for them. And it worked! They invited him in, and they all sat down together in the front room.
When Rabbi Gutnick explained what had happened, and how the Lubavitcher Rebbe told him to visit the Egyptian Jews in Adeline, they were stunned speechless; they had never heard of this Rabbi, how could he have heard of them? And who were they that he should even think about them?
But the girl began weeping and whispering, "This is my sign! Thank you G-d!"
After several minutes, her mother, with tears welling up in her eyes, broke the silence and told the following story.
"We fled from Egypt about a year ago, and almost as soon as we arrived in Australia, my husband and I found work here in Adalide. The only problem was finding a school for Betty. You see she is blind, and the only school we could find for her in this area is run by priests.
"At first it wasn't so bad" her father continued. "Tuition was low, Betty was making good progress, and...well Rabbi, we are almost not observant at all, so we really didn't care, as long as she was learning."
"But then things changed,” her mother continued. "They began suggesting, and then demanding, that she change her religion and become a Catholic."
"I'm a Jew", Betty said with tears streaming from her colorless eyes, "And something inside me says it's wrong to stop being a Jew. I don’t even know what a Jew is! But I'll never stop being a Jew, even if they kill me."
"Then one day they said that she should stop coming to school," her mother continued. "And if she wanted to be so stubborn she shouldn't come back."
"That's when my parents started pressuring me" whimpered Betty. "They said that I had to do what the priests wanted. And that’s when I really got confused."
"But what can we do?" Said her weeping mother.
"You can't just sit around in the house!!" said her father "Of course we don't want you to stop being Jewish!! But we aren't so religious anyway and it's for your own good! For your own good!”
"So one day last week when my parents were at work" Betty continued, "I asked the neighbor, and she took me to the Synagogue. I just had to pray to G-d to send me a sign what I should do."
"Then, the miracle happened! A few days later, my relatives told me that you asked about me in the Synagogue after the New Year's prayers. They were all laughing about it, but I was so excited I could hardly move. And then, believe me, it was not easy to get your phone number and call you."
At that point even Rabbi Gutnick was not succeeding in holding back his tears.
He dried his eyes, picked up the phone and called the president again. "You must come now to the blind girl's home, we have to get her connected with Yiddishkeit!"
"What!!?? It’s twelve midnight!!" Shouted the president over the phone. "Listen Rabbi Gutnick. You're a good Cantor, but I'm not coming to talk to anyone at twelve midnight, I'm already in my pajamas!!"
"So come in your pajamas," he answered. "You can come any way you want, but if you aren't here soon, you can find a replacement for Yom Kippur."
A half hour later he arrived in the girl's house, and in no time they had a list of ten telephone numbers to call after the Holiday, to set her up with a complete Jewish education. The story had a happy ending; the president found a place for Betty, and her relatives strengthened both their Judaism and connection to the community. The next time that Rabbi Gutnick was in "Yechidus" (private audience with the Lubavitcher Rebbe) The Rebbe told him, "That "sign" was for you also! It's a sign that you should leave the business world, and devote yourself completely to becoming a Rabbi!" Good Shabbos Everyone.
Good Shabbos Everyone. In the second part of this week's double portion Mato-Masei, the Torah details the journeys of the Bnai Yisroel (Children of Yisroel) as they traveled through the desert. Why is it so important for the the Torah to describe in such great detail the wanderings of the Jewish people? The commentator the Maor Eynayim explains that there is a reason for every place that we must go in life. Namely, we must go to that specific place to elevate the sparks of holiness, which lay there, waiting to be elevated. We elevate the sparks of holiness in that place, by making blessings over food and by doing mitzvahs in that place.
One Jew who makes it his business to travel around the world to elevate the holiness of people and places, is Rav Dovid Ordman, a senior lecturer for the organization "Arachim." Rav Ordman goes from Eretz Yisroel to distant Jewish communities such as Bangkok, South Africa, Los Angeles and Brazil, where he inspires Jews with little or no background in Judaism. Throughout the years, Rav Ordman has both heard and witnessed amazing stories. The following story is one such story which Rav Ordman heard in his travels.
Rabbi Ordman's most amazing story of all is the story of Dr. Barry Brand. Dr. Brand was a Jew who had intermarried. He knew absolutely nothing about Judaism.
One evening, he was on duty in the emergency room in a Los Angeles hospital. Suddenly they brought in a stretcher. On the stretcher lay a fellow, who seemed dead to all appearances. Apparently, the man had been walking on the street when he was suddenly struck down by a massive heart attack.
The crew attempted to revive him, but to no avail. Unfortunately, the man was D.O.A. - dead on arrival. Dr. Brand was left alone with the body as the other doctors and nurses filed out of the room. He had already removed his gloves and was about to leave.
Then suddenly, he realized that the dead man was trembling. Dr. Brand's protective mask was still in place, so he began to perform CPR once again. Mistakes do happen, after all...
Suddenly the fellow pulled off the doctor's protective mask and whispered something unintelligible. The doctor asked, "What did you say?"
The fellow repeated, "Are you Meir Chaim?" Dr. Brand was floored. No one other than himself knew his Jewish name. It had never been used once since his bris.
In complete surprise he answered, as he continued pumping the fellow's chest, "Yes, I am Meir Chaim."
The anonymous fellow asked, "Do you keep kosher?" "No," the doctor said.
"Then keep kosher. Do you lay tefillin?" came the next question.
"No, I don't," said the doctor.
"Then start!" Said the man before his head rolled back and he died - this time forever.
When Rabbi Ordman met Dr. Brand, it was clear he was not a person who suffered from hallucinations. Further investigation proved that he was a rationalist in the fullest sense of the word.
When Dr. Brand retold the story, he repeated that he did not know anything about the patient. As a matter of fact, the deceased was never identified.
Dr. Brand first made his way to an Arachim Seminar two years later, after his marriage fell apart. Only then did he remember the strange story and decide to do something about it. As we read these words, Dr. Brand is climbing higher and higher in spirituality.
It is difficult to read this story without becoming motivated to want to lead a more Torah- observant lifestyle. We may not see it, but there is an infinite spiritual world which exists around us. Let us be inspired by this amazing true story to tap into the spiritual world by increasing our Torah observance. Good Shabbos Everyone.
Good Shabbos Everyone. Tisha B'Av which falls out this year on Monday night to Tuesday night, commemorates the destruction of the second Beis HaMikdash (Holy Temple) in Jerusalem some two thousand years ago. In a certain sense, Tisha B'Av has become a national day of mourning for the Jewish People. Many tragedies have befallen the Jewish people on this sad day. For example, the expulsion edict from Spain and the formation of the "Final Solution" which brought about the Holocaust and the virtual destruction of European Jewry.
One of the more famous survivors of the Holocaust was the Bobover Rav Reb Shlomo Halberstam, whose tenth yohrzeit just passed. The Bobover Rebbe was one of the greatest Chassidic Rebbes and Torah leaders of recent memory. On December 31, 1973 at a grandchild's engagement celebration, the Bobover Rav told the following amazing story of how he and his son Reb Naftuli Tzvi, of blessed memory, survived Nazi persecution during the tough times of the second world war.
"It would be impossible to retell in one night the entire miraculous story - with all its myriad details - of how we were saved. But perhaps, in honor of this simchah, the engagement of my son Harav Naftultche's (Naftuli's) daughter, it would be fitting to show gratitude to the One Above and to publicize just one aspect of our miraculous salvation.
It was the late spring-early summer of 1943. We were smuggled across countless borders throughout our ordeal — from Lemberg to Bochnia, from Poland to Czechoslovakia, from Czechoslovakia to Hungary, from Hungary to Romania... And it wasn't just crossing the border in the middle of the night. We had to swim through streams of water - all at the risk of being showered with bullets by the border guards. On seeing the flare of gunfire from the border patrol, who could have dreamed at the time that we would survive, build families and eventually many off our children? Therefore, out of gratitude to Hashem, I will share one ordeal that I experienced with my son, who was a bachur of twelve at that time.
We fled disguised as gentiles, so at first glance we would not be caught. We had hired non-Jewish agents to smuggle us across the border. With us was my mother; my grandmother, the Limonover Rebbetzin; and other family members. Obviously, we traveled in separate wagons so that they wouldn't realize we were from one family. Since I was dressed like a gentile, I hoped it would be difficult for our enemies to discern my Jewish identity. Nevertheless, my heart was pounding as we rode along with our smugglers toward Neimark, where other smugglers were waiting for us.
We arrived at the border on Friday afternoon. I had in my possession gentile identification papers, as well as Hungarian citizenship papers. I kept my Hungarian papers well hidden, and I had some money with me as well just in case I would need to grease some pockets. We were standing there at the border Plashow and a number of officers were guard there. They could not distinguish me as a Jew but they seemed to notice that Naftulche had Jewish features.
Since many Jews were giving away their children to gentiles at that time, the guards surmised that I was a gentile who was smuggling out a Jewish child. They pointed in Naftulche's direction and hissed, "Mali Zhidak (little Jew)." Then they ran off to summon a higher-ranking officer. The officer asked to see my papers and as he scrutinized them, I anxiously watched the people all around me board the train. I knew that if I missed the train and didn't cross the border that night, all would be lost. So I turned to the officer and said in Polish, "I'm not coming with you! I have to catch the train!"
The officer insisted, "You're coming with me." I mustered the gumption to answer, "Come board the train with me and I'll show you everything there because I have to catch the train!"
I had in my possession a forged letter from the head of Bochnia's Gestapo, authorizing me to travel. The handwriting, the signature and the SS insignia were all forged, but I took the chance and showed it to the officer. "Herr officer," I told him, "I have to go now." Then I took out a thousand zlotys and handed it to him.
When I saw that he was still hesitating, I added another five hundred and said to him, "Here's 1,500 zlotys — now let me go. You saw my papers already." This time it worked. Satisfied with his small fortune, he left me alone and I boarded the train. We arrived in Neimark Friday afternoon.
Packed into my rucksack were manuscripts from my grandfather, the Djikover Rebbe, Harav Moshe Pshevorsker's tefillin, and the Sanzer Ray's walking stick. I guarded these items carefully, hoping they wouldn't be confiscated at the border, But Hashem had His plans.
Suddenly, a raid was conducted by Gestapo officers and we were token off the train. I knew that my mother and the rest of the family were in other cars, so I looked around to see if they too had been removed from the train. But I didn't see them and didn't know where they were. They handcuffed us and led us to the Gestapo office. There was such a tumult among the officers.
"We caught Zhidsl" they kept shouting. We heard civilian gentiles telling each other, "You'll see, tomorrow they'll be hanged and we'll come and watch..." We were taken to the head of the local Gestapo — Kenzhar was his name. When he saw us, he started screaming, "Accursed Jews, you wanted to sneak across the border, didn't you?" He demanded to see our papers, and I took out the document with the Bochnia Gestapo chiefs signature verifying my Hungarian citizenship. He seemed surprised when he saw the paper and then left the room, leaving us with his Polish subordinate.
The Pole turned to me and said in Polish, "Within twenty-four hours you'll be behind bars. Listen to my piece of advice: just confess. Last week a Jew by the name of Rosenwasser was caught with the same type of forged documents from Bochnia. He was brutally tortured until he confessed. What they want to know from you is only the name of the person who wanted to take you across the border.
"Look," the Pole continued in a friendly tone of voice, "you'll be treated to a bullet in any case. But why suffer the additional torment? At the end you'll confess anyway under the whip, so do it before they torture you."
We were stripped of our clothing, and our money and all our belongings were confiscated. We were told that soon my son would be separated from me. When he heard this, twelve-year-old Naftuli went over to the Polish commissar and said to him in Polish," I beg of you. let me stay with my father."
At first he refused, but young Naftuli persisted. "Do you have a son?" he asked. "What would happen if your son asked you for something? Wouldn't you grant him his request? I am still a child. Have mercy and let me stay with my father." Somehow his heart softened and he took us both to the same prison cell.
It was Friday night and we knew it was the last night of our lives. Since my yarmulke had been taken away, I covered my head with a sheet and got ready to daven, I sat there thinking, "Master of the Universe, is it possible that I can leave this hell alive? And if I do stay alive, will I be able to appreciate the extent of the Hashem's chessed-kindness" According to all logic, we didn't stand a chance. It was Friday evening, so we downed Mincha and then sang Lecha Dodi. I don't know if I had ever sung such a sweet, stirring Lecha Dodi, because in my mind it was the last Lecha Dodi I would ever recite. I remember davening to Hashem and saying, "We are going to be korbanos (sacrifices), so accept the korban willingly and may it atone for all our sins..."
My heart went out to Naftulche, who was sitting next to me. "He's only twelve years old," 1 thought. "Does he know what's going to happen tomorrow?" I wanted to make Kiddush but on what? I found a small piece of bread in my pocket and deliberated over whether or not it was permissible to make Kiddush on a piece of bread. And if yes, then what would I use for lechem mishneh? (the double loaves traditionally used at Shabbos meals.)
Finally I decided that it was a matter of pikuach nefesh (saving a life); I felt that I just had to accept the holiness of Shabbos by reciting Kiddush. There was a basin in the room with a quart of water. We washed our hands, made Kiddush on the piece of bread, sang all the Bobover zemiros, and benched.
After the "seudah," I debated with myself about whether to talk to the boy about our impending fate. He had overheard the commissar say that we would be shot, so I decided to prepare him for it. I turned to Naftulche and said, "Naftulche, I ha
I have a request to make. Will you heed my request?" "Yes, father, I'll do as you say," he replied. "Listen, Naftulche," I said to my tender young son, "you should know that a Jewish soul cannot be shot. A Jew has a neshamah that comes from the Heavenly throne and a neshamah can't be shot. The body can be shot, but that is only the outer garment; our essence cannot be shot. Today, I'm your father and you're my son. Tomorrow we'll be two neshamos who were killed al kiddush Hashem. "I want to request something of you. You're a young child, they won't torture you. But me — according to what the Pole said, they're planning to torture me in order to get me to disclose the identity of our smuggler. But I'm not going to tell them. They'll beat me until the blood flows and we'll both cry out, 'Shema Yisrael Hasltem Elokeinu Hashem Echad!' We need to do it b'simcha, just like any other mitzvah, just like we do hakafos on Simchas Torah. I ask of you not to cry but to be b'simcha when we both say Shema."
As I was talking, Naftulche started to cry. "Why are you crying?" I asked him. "I won't be able to watch them torturing my father. I'll ask them to shoot me first."
Can anyone fathom the Creator's miraculous ways? The way our story ended was nothing short of an open miracle, We were up the whole night, and when we saw the sun's rays shining through a small slat, we washed our hands and davened the entire Shacharis of Shabbos. It was about nine o'clock when we heard a knock on the door. An officer walked in, holding a pistol in his hand, and told us to follow him. He led us into the Gestapo office, where the Polish commissar greeted us with uncharacteristic excitement.
"You are lucky!" he told us. "He woke up in a good mood today!" He was referring to the chief, but I didn't know what he was talking about. The Pole took us into his superior's room, and there sat the same man who had called us "accursed Jews" the day before. Now he spoke to us calmly. "You are indeed Hungarian citizens but still, it is illegal to come here without border passes. So you will have to be penalized for transgressing the law..."
As soon as I heard the word "penalized," I knew that we wouldn't be shot. In the end, the Gestapo chief bought us train tickets and sent us back to Bochnia along with a document to present to the border patrol stating that we owed a fine of one thousand zlotys for crossing the border illegally. I was stunned. How had things changed so drastically? First he had wanted to torture and kill me — and now he was sending me back to Bochnia!
When I arrived in Bochnia, I met a yungerman, Reb Yeshaya Veitzen (who himself was later killed by the Germans), and as soon as he saw me he cried out "Baruch matir assurim" (blessed is the one who frees the captives) I had left Bochnia under the most clandestine circumstances, but somehow he'd already heard that I'd been arrested. I tried to pretend I didn't know what he was talking about, but he answered, "We heard about everything that happened to you."
As soon as I learned what had transpired that Shabbos morning. At eight o'clock in the morning, the Gestapo chief in Neimark called up the Gestapo chief in Bochnia to find out if Solomon Halberstam was indeed a Hungarian citizen and if he'd been issued a travel permit. In truth, those papers had been forgeries, but through Divine Providence the German commander hadn't been in the office then.
A Bochnian Jew named Shlomo Shtruch, who owned a top-quality mattress factory, had close connections with Polish officers. On Shabbos morning at eight o'clock, Shlomo Shtruch was sitting in the Gestapo office talking to the Polish commissar — Kanarski was his name — when the phone rang. Shtruch overheard Kanarski say the name "Solomon Halberstam" as he was writing things down in his notebook. Shtruch inquired what the problem was with Solomon Halberstam.
"They caught him at the border and they're going to shoot him," said the commissar. Shtruch jumped up and shouted, "He's my Rabbiner, You can't let him be killed!"
The Polish commissar was impervious. "There's nothing I can do about it. He crossed the border illegally; he's going to be killed." Shtruch wouldn't give up. "Kanarski, you get lots and lots of money from me, and I know about all your activities. If you want ten thousand zlotys for Shlomo Halberstam, you'll have it in an instant. You must save Shlomo Halberstam!"
The Pole yelled back, "I'm not losing my life for him. They'll kill me instead!"
Shlomo Shtruch made no attempt to hide his anger. He said sternly, "Listen, Kanarski! You have committed so many crimes. You have shady dealings involving huge amounts of money. If Shlomo Halberstam lives, then you and I will live as well. But if he doesn't live, then you won't live and I won't live! I will go to the higher authorities and report everything I know about you. It's your choice. If you want to remain alive, then save Shlomo Halberstam!"
"What do you want from me?" the Pole shouted. "Call him back fast, before it's too late!" Shtruch demanded. "I'm going out to make sure the chief doesn't come in while you make the phone call"
The Pole picked up the phone and the chief in Neimark. "Yes, Shlomo Halberstam is a Hungarian citizen," he told him.
"So what should I do with him?" the Neimark chief asked. "Send him back to Bochnia." When I later heard about this chain of events, I was moved to tears mesirus nefesh that Shlomo Shtruch displayed on my behalf. The ways of Hashem are unfathomable. It was His will that we would survive and build a new generation. And so He orchestrated the incredible of events that led to our salvation."
The Jewish Nation is eternal. We have weathered persecution in just about every time and in every place. Jews and Jewish communities have been destroyed by the evil Nations. However, Hashem has promised us that the Jewish Nation, which stays faithful to the Torah, will prevail. Good Shabbos Everyone.
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, again A useful and easy fast וצום מועיל וקל