Thursday, July 8, 2010

Parsha Matos - Massey (Massei), stories within the commentary, halacha

Fruma bas Rachel passed away this week.

I want to mention that I have the following names and I have no idea whether or not to continue prayers for them. Tahel Chaya bas Michal (old RM list), Rina bas Sharona , Chava Baila bas Elka, Sara Rivka Batya bas Sara, Devorah bas Chaya – with all the requests that I receive from various readers, I add them but after 10 weeks of Bamidbar and more weeks in Vayikra I have no idea if for example the Chemo stopped or the person is alive or dead. Therefore if I have no response I will remove the names.

Regarding Gilad: Yes but America never pays ransom since the Barbary pirates of" shores of Tripoli" fame

However when the us embassy people were held hostage by "students", not the Iran government, all Iranian funds were frozen. In the end the hostages were exchanged for the funds held hostage. Gaza receives 25 million dollars a month minimum from Israel plus Israel allows the transmission of EU funds and international "charity" funds to aza . If we held all the money for 4 years plus the $400 million from Hussein Osama we'd have several billion dollars hostage to trade. Further we have released hamas legislators and other Hamas prisoners who've "served their time" We could at least have held these things and more to trade.

If your son were captured would you let his kidnappers be paid every month?

David Cohen

Lynda wrote regarding Muslim marriages: Did anyone ever see the movie "Not Without My Daughter"? If not, you can rent it from Netflix and probably from other places that offer videos. Husband is from Iran-wife is an American. They have one child, husband works as a DR. in an American Hospital. Americans are talking about Muslims in front of him.

He tells his wife we will go to Iran ... See more for a short visit to my family. All three pack up and off to Iran they go. This is a true story and some Muslims has said it is not. I see no reason for the wife to lie about this. I thought I was in hell while watching this movie. It was something I had to do so I would know for myself. I urge you to see it and see for yourself. I am proud of what the wife did. I just hope she is now in a witness-protection program .

I do have compassion for the women not all of them as some don't appreciate Americans telling them how to live and treat their women. I sure hope there comes a day when those poor women are able to remove those heavy-hot Berkas -those that want to. If I had a daughter I would make sure she understands the customs of the Muslims. This is an educational film.

When I lived in New Jersey my DR was from Iran and I have never forgotten how he died. He treated me well but I had a problem and he didn't know after surgery what it was.
He was to depart New Jersey and return to Iran. The next thing I knew was that he had tried to cross the railroad tracks and the train ran over him. I cried as I knew this man and he was a perfect gentleman while I was under his care. Now, who knows what he would have been like, if he had lived and returned to his country.

I have only read and studied their faith, customs for my education. There have been quite a number of people who have converted and they seem perfectly happy with the Muslim faith. We are all given a choice and we have a free will.

Tanna Rabbanan: Light matters open up the heart to Torah. There is no use feeling beat from the heat or the three weeks. Rabbi A. L. sent me this:


A Yeshiva Bochur (young man) is about to go on his first date, and is nervous about what to talk about. He asks his Rabbi for advice.

The Rabbi replies: "My son, there are three subjects that always work. These are food, family, and philosophy."

The boy picks up his date and they go to a hotel lobby to talk. They stare at each other for a long time, as the boy's nervousness builds. He remembers his Rabbi advice, and chooses the first topic. He asks the girl: "Do you like spinach??" She says "No," and the silence returns.

After a few more uncomfortable minutes, the boy thinks of the Rabbi's suggestion and turns to the second item on the list. He asks, "Do you have a brother??" Again, the girls says "No" and there is silence once again.

The boy then plays his last card. He thinks of his Rabbi's advice and asks the girl the following question: "If you had a brother, would he like spinach??"

(I can just imagine this guy getting married at last and reading a Gemara on his wedding night and trying to explain a section to his new bride.)

Parsha Matos Massey

The background information in Parsha Pinchas is from the plague of Baal Peor: 25:16 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 17 'Harass the Midianites, and smite them; 18 for they harass you, by their wiles wherewith they have beguiled you in the matter of Peor, and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of the prince of Midian, their sister, who was slain on the day of the plague in the matter of Peor.'

However, before the Bnei Yisrael can take vengeance, the Holy One teaches Moshe the laws of making vows. 30:3 When a man vows a vow unto the LORD, or swears an oath to bind his soul with a bond, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.

King Yannai owned 2,000 towns and all were destroyed because of true vows – the Medrash and I would like to say all the more so vows that one makes that are not true. Now let us first read the following, take it at face value and then dig a little deeper into the full meaning and consequences with some true stories and examples.

4 Also when a woman vows a vow unto the LORD, and binds herself by a bond, being in her father's house, in her youth, 5 and her father hears her vow, or her bond wherewith she hath bound her soul, and her father holds his peace at her, then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she hath bound her soul shall stand. 6 But if her father disallow her in the day that he hears, none of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand; and the LORD will forgive her, because her father disallowed her.

A girl under the age of twelve and a half has a fight with some of the local boys. She makes a vow that she will never ever marry. Her father hears it and shuts up it is a vow but if her father says what non-sense are talking about the boys will grow up and behave better or something to calm her down then says something like when you grow up you will see that you don’t really mean this as men learn how to behave or something cancelling the vow it is annulled.

7 And if she be married to a husband, while her vows are upon her, or the clear utterance of her lips, wherewith she hath bound her soul; 8 and her husband hear it, whatsoever day it be that he hears it, and hold his peace at her; then her vows shall stand, and her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul shall stand. 9 But if her husband disallow her in the day that he hears it, then he shall make void her vow which is upon her, and the clear utterance of her lips, wherewith she hath bound her soul; and the LORD will forgive her.

At first appearance it looks like the female population are second-rate citizens under the Torah. Last week we found out that women can inherit their father and run that property. Suddenly a daughter or wife is secondary to the father or husband. However, there are reasons for this in which we shall see that the woman is semi-free and needs a logical instead of an emotional backing for the vow or swear that she made.

But on further examination one can see how this is really a tool for Shalom Beis. I was about 13 when my mother was infuriated at my father’s mother. She had really lost her temper and told me, “G-D should strike me dead if I ever let this woman back into our country house.” I immediately responded that you have been infuriated by her now but you don’t really mean this and it will only cause a fight with dad. The incident was long ago forgotten by my mother and she had my grandmother back in the house. There are cases where women vote not to have relations with their husbands in a fight or at childbirth or not to have any more children. For if the husband allowed the vow against marital relations to exist within a month per the Shulchan Aruch Eben HaEzer they would have to divorce.

(I believe Rav Hamnuna) It once happened that the Rebbitzen gave birth to twins. She then vowed not to have any more children. Disguising herself and her voice she went to Rav Hamnuna and asked him what she should do. He told her that a woman is not Chayav (bound to) the command of – Be Fruitful and Multiply as that is a Mitzvah for men only such as Tephillin and Tzitzis. She asked him if she must tell her husband about the vow. He told her that she could drink certain roots that make it impossible for her ever to give birth. Sometime later he found out that this was his wife and in his Psak Din he actually had so to speak shot himself in the leg.

Now there are gray areas where woman can vow and only a Rav or a Beis Din can overturn the vow. That is a female between the age of 12.5 years of age and marriage or a divorcee and widow. I wrote this, years ago, about Leah my boss’s secretary. She was pregnant. While she was a bachelorette, she had vowed to name a boy after her grandfather. In the meantime, she married a fellow who had lost his father and very much wanted to name his son after his father. The ultra sound in Hadassah Hospital indicated that the baby was a boy. She came to me and asked – What she could do? I was very far from being a Rabbi at that time. I told her that on lunch break, I will gather two other Orthodox Jews together to make a Beis Din of religious men and we would dissolve the vow.

When the next day rolled around, I gathered from our area, Harold and Bernie and we sat down with the between Rosh Hashana to Yom Kippur statement of renouncing vows. We then proceeded to question her on things – if you had known at the time of your vow that you would marry an orphan would you have made a vow? NO. Do you regret that you made this vow? Yes. Would you like us to dissolve your obligations under this vow? Yes. I then asked her to read the Nusach (formula or prayer) to remove the vow. We then proceeded to read the – The vow is permitted to you, it is permitted to you. She then read a statement about not making vows in the future. Now the child that was born was a girl. After birth she left the standardization, processes and Components Engineering Department and went elsewhere. I asked her a number of years later when she worked in the Test Flight Department what happened. She told me about her daughter and after that she had twin boys. הסוד השם A secret of HASHEM is to those that fear HIM Yishtabach Shemo (praised be HIS NAME).

A lot can be learned from these stories. The CREATOR of female hormones and emotions supplied a solution to their temporary hurts, love (as in the case of the grandfather) and assorted emotions by letting them make a vow and removing it. It also happened to a male friend of mine who made a vow and the Pittsburgher Rebbe told him to get a Beis Din of 3 people together to remove his vow. The late Yacov Glicksman headed this particular Beis Din and he essentially taught me through this practical example what to ask the person requesting annulment.

31:1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying:

This is one of the most import times that this sentence is used in the Chumash. For otherwise people could say that it was an infuriated Moshe who took vengeance on his own cognizance so this comes to tell us that the servant of HASHEM is doing the bidding of the L-RD.

2 'Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites; afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people.'

Against the Midianites: But not against the Moabites, for the Moabites were involved in the matter out of fear, since they were afraid of being plundered by them, because all it says is, “do not provoke them into battle” (Deut. 2:9), but the Midianites were angered over a dispute which did not concern them (See Sifrei Matos 33). Another interpretation: Because of the two good doves [virtuous proselytes] whom I have [in mind] to bring forth from them, [namely] Ruth the Moabitess and Naamah the Ammonitess (I Kings 14: 21). - [B.K. 38b]

3 And Moses spoke unto the people, saying: 'Arm your men from among you for the war, that they may go against Midian, to execute the LORD'S vengeance on Midian. 4 Of every tribe a thousand, throughout all the tribes of Israel, shall ye send to the war.'

There was no need to mobilize all the 600,000 men of war for Midian was a relatively small nomadic tribe.

From all the tribes: including the tribe of Levi. — [Sifrei Matos 35]

5 So there were delivered, out of the thousands of Israel, a thousand of every tribe, twelve thousand armed for war.

From the word thousand being repeated 3 times in this sentence we learn: 12,000 warriors, 12,000 supply services (battle logistics) and 12,000 men sitting and praying for victory all the time.

For behind each fighting soldier, the army needs cooks, supply trains and prayers.

6 And Moses sent them, a thousand of every tribe, to the war, them and Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, to the war, with the holy vessels and the trumpets for the alarm in his hand.

the sacred utensils: The holy Ark (Sifrei Matos 34, Num. Rabbah 22:4) and the golden show plate (Mid. Aggadah), since Balaam was with them and through sorcery was able to make the Midianite kings fly, and he flew along with them, he [Phinehas] showed them the show plate on which God’s Name was engraved, and they fell down [to earth]. For this reason it says, concerning the Midianite kings, “upon their slain” (verse 8), for they fell from the air on top of those slain. Likewise, it says in the book of Joshua (13:22) in connection with Balaam, “upon (sic) their slain.” - [Mid. Tanchuma Matos 4]

7 And they warred against Midian, as the LORD commanded Moses; and they slew every male. 8 And they slew the kings of Midian with the rest of their slain: Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, the five kings of Midian; Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword.

The five kings of Midian: Do I not see that the verse lists five [kings]? Why was it necessary [for Scripture] to say “five”? But it is to teach you that they were all equally involved in the conspiracy, and they all received the same punishment. Balaam went there [to Midian] to receive his reward for the twenty-four thousand that had fallen from Israel as a result of his advice, and now he left Midian to meet the Israelites, and he offered them harmful advice. He said to them, “If, when you were six hundred thousand, you could not overcome them, and now with twelve thousand, you come to fight?” They gave him his just deserts-in full, without depriving him in the least. — [Sifrei Matos 40]

With the sword: He came against Israel and exchanged his craft for theirs.

For the blessing of Yitzchak was the - voice is the voice of Yacov and the hand is the hand of Esav.

For they are victorious only with their mouths, through prayer and supplication, and he came and adopted their craft to curse them with his mouth. So they too came against him by exchanging their craft for the craft of the nations, who come with the sword, as it says [concerning Esau],“And you shall live by your sword” (Gen. 27:40). - [See Mid. Tanchuma Balak 8]

Their castles: Heb. בְּטִירֹתָם, the place of their notaries (נוֹטֵירִין), [or the place of their palaces (פַּלְטֵירִין)] which is an expression denoting the residence of the priests, knowledgeable in their laws. Another interpretation: The residence of their lords, for the Targum renders “the lords of the Philistines” פְלִשְׁתִּים) (סַרְנֵי (I Sam. 6:4) as טוּרְנֵי פְלשְׁתָּאֵי. - [See Sifrei Matos 41]

9 And the children of Israel took captive the women of Midian and their little ones; and all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods, they took for a prey.

They took all the booty: This teaches us that they were virtuous and righteous, and were not suspect of theft, to appropriate the booty without permission, for it says, “ all the booty” (Sifrei Matos 42). In tradition, [i.e., in the Prophets and the Writings] Scripture explicitly refers to them, [for it says,]“your teeth are like a flock of ewes…” (Song 6: 6)-even your warriors; they are all righteous. — [See Rashi on Song 6:6]

Plunder: Heb. מַלְקוֹחַ, man and beast, but when “captives” (שְׁבִי) is mentioned together with “plunder” (מַלְקוֹחַ), the “captives” refers to people and the “plunder” to animals.

10 And all their cities in the places wherein they dwelt, and all their encampments, they burnt with fire. 11 And they took all the spoil, and all the prey, both of man and of beast. 12 And they brought the captives, and the prey, and the spoil, unto Moses, and unto Eleazar the priest, and unto the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the camp, unto the plains of Moab, which are by the Jordan at Jericho.

They fought and captured according to the conventions of war at that time. There was no formal Geneva convention but it was unwritten that the soldiers are killed and the women and children are captured into either marriage or slavery.

13 And Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and all the princes of the congregation, went forth to meet them without the camp.

They were the same ones: This shows that they recognized them [saying,] "This is the one who led so-and-so astray. — [Sifrei Zuta, Yalkut Shimoni]

On Balaam’s advice: He said to them, "Even if you assemble all the multitudes of the world, you will not be able to overcome them. Are you more numerous than the Egyptians, who had six hundred chosen chariots? Come, and I will advise you. Their God hates immorality [thus, entice them to sin with your women…] as appears in [the chapter of] Cheilek (Sanh. 186a and in the Sifrei (Matos 43).

14 And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, the captains of thousands and the captains of hundreds, who came from the service of the war.

Lest we forget, the captains of thousands and hundreds were leaders of Torah capable of teaching thousands of people and dealing with their problems. The captains of hundreds were not too far behind but less experienced but they had risen above the captains of fifty and ten already. The latter being like our Torah teachers to students and the former being already well or excellently known Torah Scholars and the level above them was already the Sanhedrin only 6 from each tribe minus two – sort of in rotation. The captains of thousands consisted of members capable of being on the local Sanhedrin of 23 and some of the hundreds filled the two back-up rows or acted as doctors. (The Talmud Sanhedrin describes that 120 people minimum had to be for a small Sanhedrin.)

15 And Moses said unto them: 'Have ye saved all the women alive?

Moshe was infuriated. What under normal circumstances would be acceptable was not acceptable here. The reason being that it was through the women of Midian that the Bnei Yisrael sinned and the plague started.

16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to revolt so as to break faith with the LORD in the matter of Peor, and so the plague was among the congregation of the LORD. 17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.

According to the tradition only girls three or under were considered virgins. To this day, the Muslims when they marry a girl have to have relations with her by the age of 7 or 9 and can have it at a younger age. It is also possible that the girls were up to 12 years of age and were examined by mid-wives or close relatives to that effect as the standard age for maturity has always been 12 among Jews. Nobody knew what pedophilia was in ancient times as marriage was contracted between fathers and worked for young pre-teens. (In order that readers do not err, from my age perspective I tend to view a female under approximately 30 as a child even if she is mother of quite a few children – my baby is just about ready to turn 36 this month. I was repulsed by the photos of 50 year old Warren Jeffs with a 12 year old girl – while if Warren was only 13 years of age I might not have thought it wise in this day and age but would not have be nauseated by such a photo.)

18 But all the women children, that have not known man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

We see from here that the true virgins among the girls were to taken and even offered in marriage to sons of families who brought them up. The whole incident was not in away way shape or form a genocide but a DIVINE Punishment for those particular 5 tribes of Midian. Yisro and the tribes under his influence were monotheistic and not effected by this Gezara from HASHEM and Moshe.

19 And encamp ye without the camp seven days; whosoever hath killed any person, and whosoever hath touched any slain, purify yourselves on the third day and on the seventh day, ye and your captives.

Standard Corpse contact purity.

20 And as to every garment, and all that is made of skin, and all work of goats' hair, and all things made of wood, ye shall purify.'

Washed and then washed in a Mikvah.

Massey - Journeys

There are a number of things I thought about writing this week on Parsha Massey but it is mostly regarding the travels of the Bnei Yisrael most of which occurred in the first few months and the last year the rest were very few wanders mostly for the water and the grazing of the animals.

Final Destination by Rabbi Berel Wein of the

This week’s Parshiyos mark the conclusion of the book of Bamidbar, the book with the longest narrative of the events that befell the Jewish people during their sojourn in the Sinai desert. On the whole, the events described in Bamidbar are fairly depressing. The great hopes of marching into the Land of Israel on a short three-day journey which appear at the beginning of the book were dashed by the acts of rebellion and foolishness committed against God and Moshe recorded in the latter part of the book.

Moshe himself is also destined to die now, never to reach the Land of Israel. So the recitation of all of the stops and oases that marked the Jewish journey from Egypt to the Land of Israel conjures up bittersweet memories. There is always a sense of what might have been, of opportunities lost and mistakes made.

I think that is probably true of all of us when we look back at our lives, journeys, decisions and behavior. Life many times is made up of a series of regrets. But the danger is to dwell constantly on those matters. It prevents further positive planning and actions and it weakens one’s resolve to live productively and meaningfully.

The recitation of the places in the desert where Israel dwelled is a reminder of both insights. It allows the people to recall the mistakes of the past but it points them towards the fulfillment of their goal of entry into the Land of Israel. One should never operate an automobile without looking regularly into the rear view mirror, yet one’s attention must constantly be riveted on looking through the front windshield to see the road and conditions ahead.

Over the long exile of the Jewish people and our complete dispersion over the face of the globe we have stopped at many locales. Sometimes the stop was a relatively short one but most times it was for the duration of many centuries. Babylonia (present day Iraq) was a Jewish home for millennia, while Iberia, North Africa, Poland, Germany and many other European countries housed us for eight hundred years. But, somehow, no matter how long we stayed in a certain place and how productive and secure we may have felt regarding our situation, all of our stops along the way proved to be temporary and impermanent.

The journeys of the Jewish people proved to be, in a manner of speaking, an endless trek. But it always seemingly had a goal. The great Rabbi Nachman of Breslov stated that “every step I take on this earth leads me towards Jerusalem.” All of the stops, no matter how long their duration in the Exile of Israel, were eventually nothing more than way stops.

Rabbi Meir Simcha of Dvinsk summarized it succinctly in his ringing assessment of Jewish exile: “Woe to the ones who imagine that Berlin is Jerusalem.” Well, we now all know that Berlin was far from being Jerusalem but there are names of other current cities in the Jewish Diaspora that can easily be substituted for Berlin in his prescient statement. We pray that our travels are finally coming to an end and that we can strengthen ourselves in that hope on this Shabbat of Chazak.

Shabbat shalom.
Rabbi Berel Wein

36:13. These are the commandments and the ordinances that the Lord commanded the children of Israel through Moses in the plains of Moab, by the Jordan at Jericho.

Chazak – Chazak v’nit 13. These are the commandments and the ordinances that the Lord commanded the children of Israel through Moses in the plains of Moab, by the Jordan at Jericho. Chazak. We have now completed Sefer Bamidbar for the year 5770

Halachos and Mitzvos from Danny Shoemann

After slaughtering birds or Kosher wild animals (like deer) one has to cover their blood with sand or earth. There needs to be a layer of sand or dirt on the ground onto which one slaughters, so that the blood will be covered below as well as above. There is no Mitzva to cover the blood of domesticated animals such as sheep, cows and goats.
Applies to everybody, everywhere, always Verse: "...and slaughter it and cover its blood" (Vayikra 18:13)
Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Positive Mitzvah 49

Every Cohen has a Mitzva to bless the Jews with the blessing:
יְבָרֶכְךָ ה' וְיִשְׁמְרֶךָ: יָאֵר ה' פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ וִיחֻנֶּךָּ: יִשָּׂא ה' פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ וְיָשֵׂם לְךָ שָׁלוֹם
"May Hashem bless you, and guard you: May Hashem shine His face on you, and be gracious to you: May Hashem lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace." (Bamidbar 6:24 - 26) If a Cohen does not go to up to bless the congregation when the leader calls out "Cohanim" (before the last Bracha in the Amida) he has missed doing this Mitzva. Applies to Cohanim, always, everywhere Verse: "So shall you bless the children of Israel..." (Bamidbar 6:22)
Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Positive Mitzvah 58

Even though a Cohen is not usually allowed to become Tumay - ritually impure - by being in contact or under the same roof as a corpse, it's a Mitzva for him to do so for his close relatives. The close relative are: parents, his father's sons and unmarried daughters, his own children and his wife. Applies to male Cohanim, everywhere, always
included in this Mitzva is the obligation for all Jews to "sit Shiva" and mourn their close relatives for a day. By Rabbinic decree "Shiva" is extended to 7 days, 30 days for lesser mourning and 12 months of mourning for parents. Verse: "To his mother, father, son, daughter, bother and unmarried sister... he shall become ritually impure" (Vayikra 21:2-3)
Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Positive Mitzvah 59
nowadays, it is better that a non Cohain such as a brother-in-law identify the body if the Cohain is Tahor or in the case of a mother or sister a different sister or distant female relative identify the body if they are not married to Cohanim.

It is forbidden to have relations with somebody else's wife. The punishment for both him and her is strangulation by Beth Din, unless her father is a Cohen, in which case she gets burned to death. If she is betrothed (i.e. only had Kidushin; the first part of the Jewish marriage ceremony) and she is still living at her father's home, then they both get stoned to death. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always Verse: "Thou shalt not commit adultery" (7th of the 10 commandments - Shemos 20:13) and "With somebody else's wife you shall not..." (Vayikra 18:10) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Prohibition 124

One may not marry the wife of one's father's brother - if father and uncle have the same father. One who has relationships with his uncle's wife gets put to death by Beth Din by strangulation, like any adulterer. If the father's brother already died, he gets punished by Kares. By Rabbinic decree this includes the wife of one's father's half brother - if father and uncle share the same mother By Rabbinic decree this includes one's mother's brother's wives. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always
Verse: "...and to his wife do not get close, she is your aunt" (Vayikra 18:14) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Prohibition 125

One may not marry one's brother's wife, even if he's only a half-brother. One who has relationships with his brother's wife gets put to death by Beth Din by strangulation, like any adulterer. If the brother divorced her or died, one gets punished by Kares. However, if the brother died childless, there's a Mitzva of Yibum to marry his widow. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always Verse: "And your brother's wife you may not..." (Vayikra 18:16) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Prohibition 126

One may not marry one's sister, nor one's half sister, nor a sister who was born out of wedlock. One who has relationships with his sister gets punished by Kares. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always Verse: "...your sister..." (Vayikra 18:9) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Prohibition 127

One may cut one's nails during the 3 weeks, until the week in which 9 B'Av falls. On each Shabbat of the "3 weeks" we read a Haftarah in which the prophet warned about the destruction of the Bet Hamikdash. The first week (this week) we read the first chapter of Yirmiyahu, which is the Haftarah for "Matos" in most Chumashim. The second week we read most of the second chapter of Yirmiyahu. The third week we read the the first chapter of Yishayahu - Chazon; most of it in the sad tune that Megillas Eicha is read.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 122:6, 5

We learned that the destruction of the Bet Hamikdash (Temple) started on 17 Tammuz with the breaching of the walls, and ended 3 weeks later when it was set alight. During this period of mourning we do not get married. Getting engaged is permitted during the 3 weeks. Until Rosh Chodesh Av one may even celebrate with a festive meal, but without music. After Rosh Chodesh Av one may not have a festive meal, but one may serve refreshments. One may even get engaged on a fast day, but no food may be served.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 122:1

The Kotel ("Wailing wall") is the western retaining wall of the Temple Mount where the Bet Hamikdash (Temple) stood until it was destroyed over 1,900 years ago. The Kotel "plaza" is outside the Temple Mount. Every prayer of ours - Amida and Birkas Hamazon - includes a supplication to once again be able to serve Hashem on the other side of the Kotel; from inside the rebuilt Bet Hamikdash. When seeing the place where the Bet Hamikdash stood, one needs to do Kriah; tear ones clothes in the same way that mourners do. One only needs to tear Kriah if one hasn't been in Jerusalem for more than 30 days. Source Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 561
The prevalent Yerushalmi custom is to not tear Kriah on days one doesn't say Tachanun, including Friday afternoons.

After the destruction of the Bet Hamikdash (Temple) certain types of joy were forbidden and certain acts of mourning were instituted "Zecher L'Churban" - as a reminder of the destruction. One may not plaster ones entire house; a square Amah (~50 cm x 50 cm) of wall opposite [or above] the front door should be left bare to recall the destruction.
The reason many people don't do so nowadays is unclear. A woman should never wear all her jewelry at the same time. Some ashes are put on a groom's head before the Chuppa (wedding ceremony) on the spot he usually wears his Tefillin. A bride's veil should not have gold nor silver threads. A plate is broken at the engagement, and a cup under the Chuppa. All these [and more] are done Zecher L'Churban - as a reminder of the destruction. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 126:1,2

When the month of Av begins, one diminishes joy. From Rosh Chodesh Av until midday on 10th Av is the period known as the "9 days". During the 9 days one does not do any laundry even if one only intends wearing the clothes after the 9 days. One may not even give laundry to a non-Jew to wash during the 9 days, but a Jew may do laundry for non-Jews. One does not wear freshly laundered clothes during the 9 days except on Shabbat. This does not apply to garments worn directly on the body; undergarments, socks, PJs and the like. One may not change bed linens, tablecloths and towels during the 9 days. The "9 days" starts on Sunday evening (11 July / Rosh Chodesh Av) and ends 10 days later on Wednesday after noon (21 July / 10 Av).
==> Therefore it's advisable to prepare a week's supply of shirts, pants, skirts, etc. by wearing them for a short while before Rosh Chodesh. One can also prepare towels by using them once. Baby clothing that get dirty all the time and needs to be changed many times a day are exempt from the above and may be laundered and used during the 9 days. Anything halachically required for her 7 clean days, a Niddah may launder and wear during the 9 days. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 122:9

A person on a business trip or out of town with a limited amount of garments should consult his local Orthodox Rabbi – this includes a person getting out of mourning.

Bathing is forbidden during the 9 days but if one regularly swims for health reasons, he/she can do so up until Halachic noon time (6 hours of the time between sun rise and sun set) Erev Tisha B Av. However, if one has an alternative such a stationary bicycle or an elliptical machine which serves the same purpose, one should consult his local Orthodox Rabbi. One who breaks out in a rash because of perspiration or due to conditions such as chemicals in the work place etc. may wash in cold or slightly lukewarm water prior to Tisha B Av and anti-fungal powder may be applied to the areas up until Tisha B Av as for the date itself a dermatologist and a Rabbi should be consulted or if there are other reasons a Rabbi should be consulted. On Tisha B Av the washing of the hands and face are forbidden see the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law) or the Mishnah Berurah. However, if one is preparing food for children, one should wash with soap – lave very well and then rinse properly with water. The ruling of the Sages is to live by and not generate sicknesses.

The wearing of leather shoes is forbidden on Tisha B’Av and Yom Kippur. This is also a Gezara (injunction) of the Rabbis. I thought one year with my foot problems that I would wear my non-leather shoes with my old arches back and forth to Schul. After months of pain I decided that I was a wee bit foolish as the suffering is for one day and not to knock somebody off his feet for months. THE TORAH IS MEANT TO USE ONE’S HEAD. However, on issues such as my own fasting on Yom Kippur as related to health, I consulted a cardiologist who permitted me to fast but to drink a little amount of water to take my medications. Also regarding other fast days my local Orthodox Rabbi forbade me to fast. One does not have to be a self-sinner like a Rabbi whom I know who has diabetes and fasts anyway. Some diabetics have passed away or been brought in dangerous conditions to hospitals because of this.

Regarding Tisha B Av and the mourning customs I explained this to a Gentile: Because of the mourning for the Destruction of our Temple, from the new moon of Av until the 9th day we refrain from pleasure such as meat, wine, sitting in a bath dub or Jacuzzi, and drinking alcohol except for the Shabbat ritual blessings of the day on a small cup of wine and eating meat. On the day of Tisha B Av we only wash our hands the minimum and fast for close to 25 hrs unless one is ill or a child. If one has no orthopedic problems, he does not wear shoes as that is a pleasure or luxury. At weddings we break a glass and put ashes on the grooms head for mourning of the Temple.

Note Napoleon when he saw the Jews sitting and crying on the floor some 1700 years plus after the destruction of the Temple as if it were yesterday remarked that this nation shall continue forever.

This week we read the double Parsha of Matos-Massey. Parshat מסעי begins by listing the 42 encampments the wandering Jews had during their 40 years in the desert.
All 42 encampments should be read together during the same "Aliyah". Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 78:4
After the last Aliyah the congregation says "חֲזַק חֲזַק וְנִתְחַזַּק" in honor of finishing the 4th Chumash - Bamidbar.
The Haftarah this week is שמעו - the 2nd chapter of Yirmiyahu.

It is important to note that all the easements of the fast and wearing of shoes mentioned are not for a normal healthy person but for people with health problems and minor or major disabilities. When it comes to health and life only idol worship/public Chill HASHEM (desecration) , incest and forcing a person to be a murderer - not a court executor or soldier one must forfeit his life.

Must watch video - This expresses the true nature of a front line soldier who does only because there is no choice to defend against a Shoah.,7340,L-3915671,00.html

My son Asher wrote me regarding the Nahal Soldiers: I actually like this, it brings some kind of human aspect to a very bad area, live a little is the key for success. - Asher

From my friend the USA male nurse Major in the Reserves: If anyone has a problem with this, then you do it.... See how long ya'll last. That is all.

Inyanay Diyoma

Syria gets stuff from Iran:,7340,L-3913506,00.html

PLO to get armored troop carriers?

Bibi gives a black eye to Israel:

Lebanon has the Radar on a tall peak:

Hungary is already 1/3 rd fascist in voting now Latvia:

UN never fails to show anti-Semitism:

Major Michael has a wife who is a refugee from Syria and an Orthodox Jew but she cannot get a job as a translator of Arabic Documents but:

On Iran:

Using freedoms granted in the USA Islam is building up Sharia in America:

I originally had a different story but it turns out to be American Airlines so something is very rotten here:

A must watch video:

"I'm 63 and I am Tired" by Robert A. Hall

I'm 63. Except for one semester in college when jobs were scarce and a six-month period when I was between jobs, but job-hunting every day, I've worked, hard, since I was 18. Despite some health challenges, I still put in 50-hour weeks, and haven't called in sick in seven or eight years. I make a good salary, but I didn't inherit my job or my income, and I worked to get where I am. Given the economy, there's no retirement in sight, and I'm tired. Very tired.

I'm tired of being told that I have to "spread the wealth" to people who don't have my work ethic. I'm tired of being told the government will take the money I earned, by force, if necessary, and give it to people too lazy to earn it.

I'm tired of being told that I have to pay more taxes to "keep people in their homes." Sure, if they lost their jobs or got sick, I'm willing to help. But, if they bought McMansions at three times the price of our paid-off, $250,000 condo, on one-third of my salary, then let the left-wing Congress-critters who passed Fannie and Freddie and the Community Reinvestment Act that created the bubble help them with their own money.

I'm tired of being told how bad America is by left-wing millionaires like Michael Moore, George Soros and Hollywood Entertainers who live in luxury because of the opportunities America offers. In thirty years, if they get their way, the United States will have the economy of Zimbabwe, the freedom of the press of China, the crime and violence of Mexico, the tolerance for Christian people of Iran and the freedom of speech of Venezuela.

I'm tired

of being told that Islam is a "Religion of Peace," when every day I can read dozens of stories of Muslim men killing their sisters, wives and daughters for their family "honor";

of Muslims rioting over some slight offense;

of Muslims murdering Christian and Jews because they aren't "believers";

of Muslims burning schools for girls;

of Muslims stoning teenage rape victims to death for "adultery";

of Muslims mutilating the genitals of little girls - all in the name of Allah, because the Qur'an and Shari'a law tells them to.

I'm tired of being told that "race doesn't matter" in the post-racial world of Obama, when it's all that matters in affirmative action jobs, lower college admission and graduation standards for minorities (harming them the most), government contract set-asides, tolerance for the ghetto culture of violence and fatherless children that hurts minorities more than anyone, and in the appointment of U.S. Senators from Illinois.

I think it's very cool that we have a black president and that a black child is doing her homework at the desk where Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation. I just wish the black president was Condi Rice, or someone who believes more in freedom and the individual and less arrogantly of an all-knowing government.

I'm tired of a news media that thinks Bush's fundraising and inaugural expenses were obscene,

but that think Obama's, at triple the cost, were wonderful;

that thinks Bush exercising daily was a waste of presidential time, but Obama exercising is a great example for the public to control weight and stress;

that picked over every line of Bush's military records, but never demanded that Kerry release his;

that slammed Palin, with two years as governor, for being too inexperienced for VP, but touted Obama with three years as senator as potentially the best president ever.

Wonder why people are dropping their subscriptions or switching to Fox News?

Get a clue. I didn't vote for Bush in 2000, but the media and Kerry drove me to his camp in 2004.

I'm tired of being told that out of "tolerance for other cultures" we must let Saudi Arabia use our oil money to fund mosques and madrassa Islamic schools to preach hate in America , while no American group is allowed to fund a church, synagogue or religious school in Saudi Arabia to teach love and tolerance.

I'm tired of being told I must lower my living standard to fight global warming, which no one is allowed to debate. My wife and I live in a two-bedroom apartment and carpool together five miles to our jobs. We also own a three-bedroom condo where our daughter and granddaughter live. Our carbon footprint is about 5% of Al Gore's, and, if you're greener than Gore, you're green enough.

I'm tired of being told that drug addicts have a disease, and I must help support and treat them and pay for the damage they do. Did a giant germ rush out of a dark alley, grab them, and stuff white powder up their noses while they tried to fight it off? I don't think Gay people choose to be Gay, but I damn sure think druggies chose to take drugs. And I'm tired of harassment from cool people treating me like a freak when I tell them I never tried marijuana.

I'm tired of illegal aliens being called "undocumented workers," especially the ones who aren't working, but are living on welfare or crime. What's next? Calling drug dealers, "Undocumented Pharmacists"? And, no, I'm not against Hispanics. Most of them are Catholic, and it's been a few hundred years since Catholics wanted to kill me for my religion. I'm willing to fast track for citizenship any Hispanic person, who can speak English, doesn't have a criminal record and who is self-supporting without family on welfare, or who serves honorably for three years in our military. Those are the citizens we need.

I'm tired of latte liberals and journalists, who would never wear the uniform of the Republic themselves, or let their entitlement-handicapped kids near a recruiting station, trashing our military. They and their kids can sit at home, never having to make split-second decisions under life and death circumstances, and bad mouth better people than themselves. Do bad things happen in war? You bet. Do our troops sometimes misbehave? Sure. Does this compare with the atrocities that were the policy of our enemies for the last fifty years and still are? Not even close. So here's the deal. I'll let myself be subjected to all the "humiliation and abuse" that was "heaped on terrorists at Abu Ghraib or Gitmo", and the critics can let themselves be subject to captivity by the Muslims, who tortured and beheaded Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, or the Muslims who tortured and murdered Marine Lt. Col. William Higgins in Lebanon, or the Muslims who ran the blood-spattered Al Qaeda torture rooms our troops found in Iraq, or the Muslims who cut off the heads of schoolgirls in Indonesia, because the girls were Christian. Then we'll compare notes. British and American soldiers are the only troops in history that civilians came to for help and handouts, instead of hiding from in fear.

I'm tired of people telling me that their party has a corner on virtue and the other party has a corner on corruption. Read the papers; bums are bipartisan. And I'm tired of people telling me we need bipartisanship. I live in Illinois , where the "Illinois Combine" of Democrats has worked to loot the public for years. Not to mention the tax cheats in Obama's cabinet.

I'm tired of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers and politicians of both parties talking about "innocent mistakes, stupid mistakes or youthful mistakes", when we all know they think their only mistake was getting caught. I'm tired of people with a sense of entitlement, rich or poor.

Speaking of poor, I'm tired of hearing people with air-conditioned homes, color TVs and two cars called poor. The majority of Americans didn't have that in 1970, but we didn't know we were "poor." The poverty pimps have to keep changing the definition of poor to keep the dollars flowing.

I'm real tired of people who don't take responsibility for their lives and actions. I'm tired of hearing them blame the government, or discrimination or big-whatever for their problems.

Yes, I'm damn tired. But I'm also glad to be 63. Because, mostly, I'm not going to have to see the world these people are making. I'm just sorry for my granddaughter.

Robert A. Hall is a Marine Vietnam Veteran who served five terms in the Massachusetts State Senate. (Thanks to Chaim B.)

Daniel Greenfield article: Europe in Twilight Forwarded with commentary by Emanuel A. Winston, Middle East Analyst & Commentator

Europe is virtually dead, long live their new royalty: radical Islam. The corpse of Christian Europe pretends it’s alive but, more like a voodoo zombie, moving a bit when ordered to by Islam’s clerics and the burgeoning population of Muslims migrating in. Perhaps the “New World Order” first advocated by then President George Herbert Walker Bush will, indeed, become a reality as President Barack Hussein Obama bonds with Saudi Arabia and the Terror States of Iran, Syria and now under secret negotiations with Hezballah and Hamas. Clearly, America, under Obama’s misguided guidance is following the “New World Order” under Islam. COMMENTARY BY EMANUEL A. WINSTON

### Daniel Greenfield article: Europe in Twilight

It is not too incredible to imagine that within a century, German, the language of Goethe, Schiller and Mann, may become a dead language. That is already the almost certain fate of the Swedish and Norwegian languages. French, Spanish and English will survive as the pidgin languages of distant colonies, but in their own capital cities, these languages are swiftly becoming transformed into dialects, crossbred with Middle Eastern and African intonations and jargon to become increasingly alien to their own origins.

In hardly two generations we have moved from a world dominated by Europe, to one in which the peoples that not too long ago formed its ruling civilization may become extinct. The nations of Europe are caught between the economic un-sustainability of Socialism and the political fortunes of its overlords, who have built entire economic castles of cards on government entitlements and guest workers. The European Union has been proven to be unworkable, even as an authoritarian organization. It may survive, but like all overly enthusiastic parasites, its survival would only serve to quicken its host's doom.

The One-Worldism that once so animated European socialists is conceptually dead. The European Union is its last gasp, and the international organizations erected in desperate fits of optimism from the UN on down, have become a sham of a farce, unfit to do anything but promote the agendas of the most brutal and power hungry regimes. It was inevitable that European intellectuals, living in a cluster of nations with a long history of internal warfare, would try to embrace post-nationalism as the solution. But the hole in their One Worldism was the assumption that the rest of the world would be happy to follow suit, tossing national identities, religious ideals and all the usual dreams that come with them overboard, in order to be part of one big happy globe. That of course was not the case.

Nationalism did not doom Europe, post-nationalism did. WW2 would not have been the continent killer that it became, had Hitler and Mussolini not confronted an England and France who were no longer too sure about this fighting thing. It was not an excess of German nationalism that was the problem, but an excess of English pacifism, the cynical post-war poses which insisted that nothing was worth fighting for, and politicians who mirrored that horror of war by allowing Nazism and Communism to get away with murder, over and over again. Yet after WW2, the very same "thinkers" who had agitated against doing anything about Hitler, distributed the blame for the war equally to both sides, as if the SS and the SAS were moral equals.

If post-WW1 rejected of nationalism and embrace of anti-war clichés helped Hitler on his course, in the post-WW2 period they helped the USSR, and in the post-Cold War period, Islam. In each case, the aggressors who had not left behind an identity based will to power were rewarded with a compliant Europe. Twice the US bailed out Europe, but after the Cold War, America is suffering from the same disease. And so the US Army which shielded Eton graduates who rejected war on moral grounds from the consequences of their appeasement of Nazism, and the US Air Force which protected a Western Europe that decided war was barbaric from the threat of the Communist barbarians of the East, can no longer do anything to help stop the Islamization of Europe.

Europe's leaders surrendered their national identities and cultures bit by bit, expecting to find some new Utopian society on the other end. Instead all they found was debt and savagery. Socialism slashed the birth rate and hiked the budget. The immigrants and guest workers who were brought in to compensate for both, only inflated the budget further and fixed the birth rate in their own direction. England and France left behind their colonies, only to have those colonies follow them home, like ownerless dogs turned feral. And Europe's governments pretended that this was the best of all worlds. After all European culture and national sovereignty were being stamped out, but it was being replaced with a new identity. Not European, not post-National, but Islamic.

The victors of WW1 had been so certain that the losers were as willing as they were to move on. They were proven tragically wrong. The losers of the Clash of Civilizations are most certainly not ready to move on. What they want is a rematch, and they're getting one, even as Europe closes its eyes and pretends nothing is wrong. The creed that has not forgotten the loss of Spain was willing to wait, just long enough to begin winning an old war in a new way. Or a new war in an old way, depending on your perception of historical memory.

By abandoning its identities, Europe abandoned any form of meaningful self-definition, all that remained to define national identity were documents and television advertisements. (In this way Europe is at least one step ahead of us. All we have are the advertisements.) When you spend enough time asking, "Who am I?", you realize that there is no answer, and therefore devalue the question. The post-modern nations no longer have real identities, but strings of neatly woven together platitudes having something to do with the human spirit. They pride themselves on mocking their own old identities and on celebrating the other, even when the other is trying to kill them.

To fight for a nation, its citizens must see it as a meaningful part of their identity. Without that, it is easy enough to reduce all wars to greed and a refusal of the concerned parties to sit down at a table and work everything out like civilized people. But Europe's post-national project insisted on abandoning that Europe, and replacing it with a New Europe. And that New Europe was little more than documents and television advertisements, an entity in search of an identity. It prided itself on being cool, rather than meaningful, God Save the Queen played on an electric guitar, Prime Ministers being serenaded by rap stars and the flash and thunder of fireworks to drown out any difficult questions.

The New Europe was tolerant, just not of its own citizens. It did not particularly stand for or against anything, except the environment and human rights. It still saw itself as the leader, when in reality it had become the Third World's camp follower. It was an endless party that wasn't terribly lively and had in any case run out of money some years back. Its mores had gotten rowdier, its bureaucracy had become more byzantine, and its leaders more spineless. It was marking time, watching the hands of the clock sweep around the blue dial and its golden starred numbers. Pretending that it still had time left.

And so today Europe is in twilight, its sun has set and the shadows have grown. Huddled shapes are massing, gathering their forces and preparing for Europe's long night. A night it may never wake from. Burning cars and burqas, mosques and medieval mores being enforced again in Republics that had prided themselves on their showy modernism, The vandals of London and Paris, Brussels and Rome, know exactly what they're fighting for. A new golden age of Islam, built on the looted technology and wealth of Europe. Just as the old one had been built on stolen Roman and Greek texts that had somehow escaped burning by the Islamic hordes. But the reality may be more complex.

Europe had hoped to leave nationalism behind, but instead it replaced its own native nationalisms, with those of the Middle East, Africa and Islamic Asia. And much as some European countries still fancifully imagine that they can tie it all together with a revamped French or English identity, the way their American counterparts pledge allegiance to multiculturalism, it can't work. A leaning tree will not be tied in place with a paper rope. The strength of an identity is its fundamental security. And the strength of an identity derives from a meaningful identification. Take away that identification, and you have a weak construct that cannot stand on its own.

Culture abhors a vacuum, and the human mind will fill in identities where they are lacking. And while Islam could not contend with the complexity of European culture, its identity is far more uncomplicated and secure. The Muslims protesting against returning English soldiers understand their identity and role in a way that the bobbies directed to keep them apart, do not. And this problem extends all the way up the trunk of government, and down again by way of the poisoned sap of appeasement. For European Muslims, there is only the decision between Jihad Now or Jihad Later When We Are In the Majority. Europeans have to debate whether a Muslim cleric who calls for the implementation of Islamic law is compatible with their national values, but the followers of the cleric suffer from no such confusion. Their identity is strong because it is simple and brutal, and because while the oil rich tyrannies of the East have poured enormous sums into building up those identities, the native governments have squandered fortunes to reprogram the identities of their own people into a configuration more suitable for a world in which buses are bombed and every new week turns over a new terror cell.

While the Islamists continue programming identity into regional Muslims, Europe's governments instead focus on deprogramming their own citizens. While Turkey embraces both Islam and aggressive nationalism and yet demands EU membership, existing EU members are working to strip away the remains of their national identities. The outcome is clear. To disarm a man's identity is to take away his soul. It can be reversed, but is no easy task. And Europe's post-nationalism has produced a generation that despises war even more fervently than their grandparents did, despises the United States for its purported warmongering even while living on a diet of American culture, and prides itself on tolerance for immigrants and refugees. Even self-interest can only move them so far, considering that they have been taught that self-interest is a dirty word. (Along with unilateralism and colonialism, but not Communism.) But renewal can only come from identity, for people to wake up and fight for their rights, they must first know who they are, so that they will believe that their rights are worth fighting for.

A wonderful Shabbos to all and keep healthy drink plenty of fluids take in minerals and avoid over exertion in the heat.

Rachamim Pauli