Thursday, August 12, 2010

Parsha Reeh, Shoftim, Elul and Crazy Story

I am trying to save some thoughts from last week's Parsha that were still in my head. All other recent data not saved, I reclaimed from my BlogSpot thank HASHEM Yisborach.

Some of the people on my prayer list have had a turn of two for the worst so please go to my Devarim for this week I received two additions of Avraham Yehida ben Esther and Zev ben Rachel. The former has cancer and will need prayers for a long time, the second has kidney stones and other problems and will need prayers for at least a few weeks.

Sometimes things over whelm me. I hear bad news of a friend with advanced diabetes or with joy of a friend who successfully finished a round of Chemotherapy but can never ever comfort a person who loses a child whether naturally, by violence or terrorism or suicide. As my circle of readers expands, the joy and pain expands too. I only feel a small fraction of what the greats like Rabbis Feinstein, Soleveichik and the Lubavitcher Rebbe felt. The more I know the more humbled am I.

The more I get involved in politics and the closer and higher up I get in the attempt to save the USA from terrible Judgement this coming year - the larger the DIVINE Stick on the cesspool of politics on both sides. From the little slime of petty people to the top of the organic fertilizer heap - Ambitions of people will stop at nothing evening giving up their portion in the next world for a few minutes of glory in this world. Charlie Rangel and others both Republicans turn independents or an unknown crook trying to become governor of the fourth largest State with his ill gained fortunes spreading around filth at a clean person. I cannot swear on the Bible that my candidate for Congressman is Glatt Kosher but compared to the others he is as clean as possible. It is always easy for the power in Washington to add to your children's debt and throw your hard earned tax dollars away and tax your inheritance for your children and grandchildren if you managed to squirrel away more than a million dollars for the future of your family and somehow manage to either register or park their yachts in places where they don't have to pay taxes or like a Senator who passed away a while back manage to have a over half a billion dollar trust in the Philippines and pay less taxes on inheritance than the children of a small business owner. Rabbi Boyer Shlita when he became mayor of Bnei Barak warned all the Torah Students of the corruption of politicians in the Charedi City. I guess kosher and Charedi are mutually exclusive when it comes to politics.


Parsha Reeh Condensed

Two thoughts I saved from Ekev:

8:5 And thou shalt consider in thy heart, that, as a man chastens his son, so the LORD thy God chastens you.

Recently there have been many Missionaries in Israel from both Islam and other faiths gathering up Jewish souls especially among Russian Jews educated in Atheism so I want to contract act such arguments. While we don’t look to convert non-Jews to our religion to make it the –in thing- we don’t want to lose Jews out of ignorance. . I am not concerned how non-Jews pray but when they come after ignorant Jews like they claim 20,000 in Israel it is time to fire back a few words.

I want to refer back to Shemos 4:22 where Moshe goes to Pharaoh and asks for the release of the Bnei Yisrael – My first born is Yisrael (aka Yacov) and if you don’t release my MY first born, I will kill your first born. I have a question and an answer about this. For surely Adam HaRishon was really the first born of G-D. He was like an infant in maturity of the ways of the Gashmiyus World. However he could not be complete enough to be given the title of first born for out of his loins came Kayn. Then perhaps it should be Noach for he was righteous in his generation and walked with G-D. However, he walked like an older toddler who needed to be guided by a hand but produced a son like Ham who performed bestiality while in the Teva. Finally came along Avraham who was like an older teen who walked before G-D but he produced an off spring like Yishmael. Finally along came Yacov who contended with G-D and man and won with all his off spring Tzaddikim. So Yacov or Yisrael was not only physically but spiritually the real First Born Son of HASHEM. Therefore both physically from Adam and spiritually from Yisrael the Bnei Yisrael are children of G-D. This explains why the Jews have always been singled out and punished and blamed for things from all the Nations of the World. Simply like a man chastises his children if he truly loves them so that they will not go upon a foolish or crooked path so HASHEM does so to the Bnei Yisrael.

10:12 And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all His ways, and to love Him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul; 13 to keep for thy good the commandments of the LORD, and His statutes, which I command thee this day?

Although these two lines are from Ekev they are an introduction to Parsha Reeh. For many times a soldier, student, husband or worker don’t/doesn’t know the intentions of the commander, teacher, wife or boss. I comes out the question in Yiddish/German Was willst du von mir? Meaning: What do you want from me? The message is clear and concise and that you were given instructions from your CREATOR how to use your body and how to properly run your life observe them. Does anybody know the true effects of eating ants, snakes or camels cooked in their own milk? Nor do we know the ramifications of waving the Lulav and Esrog on Sukkos or the eating of fruit that has be sanctified by giving Teruma and Maaser? Or even the reward from refraining when given the chance to commit adultery? Murder? etc.

11:26 Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse: 27 the blessing, if ye shall hearken unto the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day; 28 and the curse, if ye shall not hearken unto the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.


Our Parsha gives us the opportunity to choose life over death and blessing with wealth and joy over a curse with desolation and sorrow. G-D has given you free will either use it or abuse it but it is yours to do. The name of the game is to follow the instructions mentioned in the Torah and raise the level of the mundane (Gashmiyus) into the spiritual realm (Ruchaniyus).

12:10 But when ye go over the Jordan, and dwell in the land which the LORD your God causes you to inherit, and He gives you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety; 11 then it shall come to pass that the place which the LORD your God shall choose to cause His name to dwell there, thither shall ye bring all that I command you: your burnt-offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the LORD.

This is the command to build the Mishkan in Shilo and afterwards the Beis HaMikdash in Yerushalayim. All the time when there are 12 Shevatim (tribes) and not one Nation the Mishkan shall be the center of life and then after that the Mikdash.

13:2 If there arise in the midst of thee a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams--and he give thee a sign or a wonder, 3 and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spoke unto thee--saying: 'Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them'; 4 thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or unto that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God puts you to proof, to know whether ye do love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 5 After the LORD your God shall ye walk, and Him shall ye fear, and His commandments shall ye keep, and unto His voice shall ye hearken, and Him shall ye serve, and unto Him shall ye cleave. 6 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken perversion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed thee out of the house of bondage, to draw thee aside out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put away the evil from the midst of thee.

This can be with teen love, young adult love or even a father to a son both wanting to believe that they will save the soul of the fellow Jew. In order to clarify it does not mean certain wisdom or philosophy of a person like Confucius; My joking example of teaching wisdom: Confucius he say, pilot who drink tea and fly plane upside down most likely to end up with wet pants. Confucius he say if person throws green colored eggs at lousy actor one is most likely to end up with green eggs and ham. This is wisdom only and not a religion. However, if the same man were to bring out a dream or sign and wonder in the name of Confucius, Buddha, Mohammed, etc. he is to be put to death for this is not the way of Torah.

Seriously a few good words about the philosophy of the east as they may have received a lot from the Bnei Yisrael fleeing the Galus of Sancherev spreading Ethics of the Fathers: Avos 5:11: "Pestilence comes to the world for death penalties mentioned in the Torah which are not in the hands of the courts [to administer] and for [the forbidden use of] Sabbatical year produce. The sword comes to the world for the delay of justice, the perversion of justice, and for those who expound the Torah not in accordance with Jewish law. Wild beasts come to the world for false oaths and the desecration of G-d's Name. Exile comes to the world for idolatry, adultery, murder, and the working of the earth on the Sabbatical year."

12 "During four periods (of the seven year agricultural cycle) pestilence increases: in the fourth year, in the seventh year, in the year after the seventh year, and following Sukkos (Tabernacles) of every year. In the first year because of [the neglect of] the tithe for the poor of the third year; in the seventh year because of [the neglect of] the tithe for the poor of the sixth year; in the year after the seventh year because of [the misuse of] seventh year produce; following Sukkos of every year because of the stealing of the [agricultural] gifts for the poor."

13 "There are four character types among people. One who says, 'What's mine is mine and what's yours is yours' is of average character, and some say, this is the character of Sodom. [One who says] 'What's mine is yours and what's yours is mine' is unlearned (lit., [of] the people of the land). [One who says] 'What's mine is yours and what's yours is yours' is pious. [One who says] 'What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine' is wicked."

14 "There are four types of temperaments. One who is quick to become angry and quick to calm down -- his gain is outweighed by his loss. One who is slow to become angry and slow to calm down -- his loss is outweighed by his gain. One who is slow to become angry and quick to calm down is pious. One who is quick to become angry and slow to calm down is wicked."

15 "There are four types of students. One who is quick to understand and quick to forget -- his gain is outweighed by his loss. One who is slow to understand and slow to forget -- his loss is outweighed by his gain. One who is quick to understand and slow to forget -- this is a good portion. One who is slow to understand and quick to forget -- this is a bad portion."

16 "There are four types of givers of charity. One who wants to give but that others not give has a bad eye towards others. [One who wants] others to give but not to give himself has a bad eye towards himself. [One who] gives and wants others to give is pious. [One who] does not give and does not want others to give is wicked."

17 "There are four types among those who go to the study hall. [One who] goes but does not 'do' receives reward for the going. [One who] does but does not go receives reward for the doing. [One who] goes and does is pious. [One who] does not go and does not do is wicked."

18 "There are four types of students (lit., among those who sit before the Sages) -- a sponge, a funnel, a strainer, and a sifter. The sponge absorbs everything. The funnel brings in on this [side] and brings out on the other. The strainer lets out the wine and retains the lees. The sieve lets out the flour dust and retains the fine flour."

I heard this from the Far East and it could attract some Torah ignorant Jews over towards Hinduism or Buddhism but we see it almost appears to be a spin off or a section perhaps a Beraysa (not codified Mishnah from Avos).

There are four types of knowing people: One who does not know that he does not know – he is a fool, one who does not know but thinks he knows is a fool in his folly (or something like that), one who knows but does not know he knows (sort of a lost resource) and one who knows that he knows, he is wise follow him. The saying is very appealing and for a Jew who never hear or read Perkei Avos could be tempted to follow some Eastern Religion or Cult instead of the source of wisdom. (see also the for more commentary under Ethics).

14:21 Thou shalt not seethe a kid in its mother's milk.

This is the third time that the Torah mentions this to indicate the three prohibitions involved. 1) Eating of a mixture of milk and meat together. 2) Cooking of milk and meat together. 3) Enjoying a mixture. Making a shortening cake with rich milk chocolate to be sold to a non-Jew or having an accidental cooked mixture in your house and throwing it out for your dog or cat to eat instead the expensive canned food. (This would include being a chief in a cheese burger joint but would not include selling a melted cheese sandwich to take out from your Pizza store and a hamburger from you meat store and the non-Jew then combining the two together.)

Parsha Shoftim

16:20 Justice, justice shalt thou follow, that thou may live, and inherit the land which the LORD thy God gives you. The sword comes to the world for the delay of justice, the perversion of justice, and for those who expound the Torah not in accordance with Jewish law.

So should we be surprised at the tension in the north and south of Israel or in the United States? When you have a wicked government who only do things according to staying in power with votes and public opinion polls and instead of leaders in both countries with have semi-gutless people at the head of state. (This is only because both the Prime Minister and Defense Minister of Israel in their youth stormed the Sabena Airplane that was hijacked). However the sign of cowardness was exhibited by both these politicians when they appeared in front of the enquiry commission this week and said that they were responsible BUT… The only one who was what we call a Mensch in Hebrew, Gever, was the Chief of Staff and he said that the -Buck stops here-! As a mediocre Engineer in my company, I stood behind my work and took full responsibility and my boss backed me up too. Maybe as a Sargent on the front line, I had nowhere to point to but up to my superiors who placed me there. It was like the officers after a terrorist attack who blamed the guard at the gate for the terrorist attack. Yes, he should have fired and yelled and if necessarily been killed but who trained and put the coward there in the first place.

In 1982 after a 4 year delay in my divorce request and tremendous damage to my children, I finally got a divorce. I worked with a woman who also went through a 4 year torture procedure by the same Beis Din and since she was anti-religious will never ever get married any more. A few months later, a sword came across the Northern Front and my unit was called up. There are Judges out there who do not know the consequences towards heaven of their postponements and perversion of Justice. After 120 years, the woman I mentioned will go before the heavenly court. She will be judged for her actions and she will say that the Beis Din’s delay caused it. Upon hearing that the true Rabbinical Court will then call those Judges before them and they will be held in account on that day, I would prefer on this issue alone to be in the woman’s shoes than that of the very religious Judges.

18:9 When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God gives thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.

The best example of following idols or demons which were worshipped by newer inhabitants of a land is today in Haiti. The vast majority of the popular are Catholics. However, since the earthquake, the simple uneducated people are going back to the Voodoo spirits to worship. This is what HASHEM was warning about in Canaan.

10 There shall not be found among you any one that makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, one that uses divination, a soothsayer, or an enchanter, or a sorcerer,

Not every prayer is answered or it is answered with a big NO. One should not run after gypsies who are con-artist enchanters. Even Uri Geller the so-called magician is bending his spoons with wires and only an entertainment act. It is not idolatry but what the Rabbis call the grabbing of the eyes away from the trick. Still he tries to sell himself as having power that he does not.

11 or a charmer, or one that consults a ghost or a familiar spirit, or a necromancer.

HaMelech Shaul was embittered and not being answered by the Urim and Tummim (maybe the Cohanim knew the answer but were afraid for their lives from this madman who killed their fellow Cohanim in Nov.

12 For whosoever doeth these things is an abomination unto the LORD; and because of these abominations the LORD thy God is driving them out from before thee. 13 Thou shalt be whole-hearted with the LORD thy God. 14 For these nations, that thou art to dispossess, hearken unto soothsayers, and unto diviners; but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do.

There is a kosher way and a non-kosher way for everything but some things are too dangerous to try even the kosher way. The Vilna Gaon had a way of using Chumash to do divination according to the Torah.

… 19:1 When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations, whose land the LORD thy God gives thee, and thou dost succeed them, and dwell in their cities, and in their houses; 2 thou shalt separate three cities for thee in the midst of thy land, which the LORD thy GOD gives thee to possess it. 3 Thou shalt prepare thee the way, and divide the borders of thy land, which the LORD thy God causes thee to inherit, into three parts, that every manslayer may flee thither. 4 And this is the case of the manslayer, that shall flee thither and live: whoso kills his neighbor unawares, and hated him not in time past; 5 as when a man goes into the forest with his neighbor to hew wood, and his hand fetches a stroke with the axe to cut down the tree, and the head slips from the helve, and lights upon his neighbor, that he die; he shall flee unto one of these cities and live; 6 lest the avenger of blood pursue the manslayer, while his heart is hot, and overtake him, because the way is long, and smite him mortally; whereas he was not deserving of death, inasmuch as he hated him not in time past:

The word kill and manslaughter is used here. The man is not a murderer but he deserves jail time even if confined to a city like Shem or Yerushalayim and able to walk a long distance about. Did people actually avenge blood as the Arabs did and still do? There is no written confirmation under Jewish sources but this was the prevailing custom at the time of the Chumash and is written here as a possibility. The close relative of the deceased could be himself even but he is forced to spend jail time in the city of refuge earning a living there. He cannot leave until the death of the Cohain Gadol. And the Gemara (Talmud) asks the question what if the man he killed was the Cohain Gadol? Is he stuck there forever?

19:15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sin; at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall a matter be established.

This teaches us that in money matters and life and death situations there has to be validation so it can never be a he said she said situation. Even if the couple was fighting and the neighbors heard but did not see the woman crying help rape it is as if she cried wolf - wolf for it might have been made up for alimony purposes.

The Coward’s escape clause

20:1 When thou goes forth to battle against your enemies, and sees horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, thou shalt not be afraid of them; for the LORD thy God is with thee, who brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

Many Jews who had done already army service in the 6 Day War became shell shocked at seeing their comrades killed or their friends trapped inside of a burning tank after being called from a Synagogue to war. I had that experience in 1977 when I was sent up to Metulla from the center of the country. We were supposedly having a quiet period. I had never hear a 155 or 175 mm Howitzer go off and the ground shake for miles around. Nor had I seen with my eyes real bullets and flares going off a half mile or so away with the later sometimes close to overhead. Even though we had the upper hand, I was unprepared for this. The units were being swapped a few days later and I was sent home for the weekend. It was a chance to enjoy Shabbos regain my composure and then get back prepared for what I was going in for aka border patrol. (Right meters away from the murder incident last week) A man viewing a tremendous enemy force opposite himself may not have to courage to stand with his friends the roar of the battle cries back then were frightening and the chariots and horses attacking invoking fear in the hearts of men. They either said to themselves like I did to myself – the beginning of wisdom is the fear of HASHEM. Meaning HASHEM and not a bunch of idiots yelling zin the moon god of Mecca will get you.

2 And it shall be, when ye draw nigh unto the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people,

This is known in the US Services as a section 8 or in Israel as a profile 24 or profile 21. Today with my medical condition and my age too I would be a profile 21 so I would be only a volunteer soldier perhaps manning the kitchen, guard post or the base radio or guard tower or a paramedic at a home base facility.

3 and shall say unto them: 'Hear, O Israel, ye draw nigh this day unto battle against your enemies; let not your heart faint; fear not, nor be alarmed, neither be ye affrighted at them; 4 for the LORD your God is He that goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.'

HE is your salvation. Do you think by being a coward that you can avoid the Angel of Death? If you got to go you got to go! If you have merit to live – A thousand can fall at your right and ten thousand at your left, you will not be touched!

5 And the officers shall speak unto the people, saying: 'What man is there that hath built a new house, and hath not dedicated it? let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man dedicate it.

A truly good excuse and an excellent reason but for a Mitzvah war we take a groom from under the canopy. If you recall even though the army could have excused Aaron Kirov for service the morning after his wedding, he refused to take a vacation and let his men into battle. He was almost killed and the worst wounded soldier of the Gaza Operation. He viewed it as a Milchemes Mitzvah. And that type of an example we don’t see too much in battle but more like the Defense Minister and Eric Sharon before he took ill. Other outstandingly brave soldiers were Major Roi Klein Zak who jumped on a grenade to save his Ethiopian underling and Major Eliraz Peretz Z"l. Eliraz was killed on Friday, March 26. Eliraz was a fighter and an admired commander. Eliraz's brother was killed in Lebanon 12 years ago in a battle with terrorists defending Israel's northern border. Eliraz lived in Givat HaYovel next to the settlement of Eli. His house is 2 houses away from the house of Major Roi Klein who was killed in the second Lebanon war. Eliraz left behind a wife, four children, a mother, two brothers and two sisters and Roi a wife and children and family.

6 And what man is there that hath planted a vineyard, and hath not used the fruit thereof? let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man use the fruit thereof. 7 And what man is there that hath betrothed a wife, and hath not taken her? let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man take her.'

I was lucky at the time of my divorce to find a wife and mother for my children but two plus months after my marriage in my first year, I was called up for the Shalom HaGalil War.

8 And the officers shall speak further unto the people, and they shall say: 'What man is there that is fearful and faint-hearted? let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren's heart melt as his heart.'

In boot camp I reunited with a Chabad friend of mine a new immigrant. He was not a bad fellow and got along with his wife much better than my ex and I got along. However, this fellow had problems. The men from the unit could see that he was not fit for a fighting force and wrote a letter to base psychology officer or social worker. The army gave him a 56 profile and put him close to his home and that ended is front line basic training. The Torah knows human nature and one fellow who was a weak Yeshiva type and afraid to threw a grenade eventually threw one but because he was not the military type had I been younger I might have shot him and I told him so. I assume after that he went to the Rabbinate or stayed well into the back lines with the Howitzers and yelled Mommy every time one of those babies when off. Some people are fighters and others rise up to the occasion while others will never belong in the army.

Mitzvos and Halachos by Danny Shoemann G-D will catch up next week.

By FRIMET ROTH 08/09/2010 J-Post

We, the bereaved families who feel the pain of terror every day must remind Israelis what 'releasing prisoners' for Gilad Schalit entails.

It's been nine years since my daughter Malki was murdered in the suicide bombing of Jerusalem's Sbarro restaurant and terrorism denial is still rampant.

Foreign diplomats may still preface their complaints against Israel with the formulaic "Israel has some genuine security concerns and they have to be met." But after that obligatory line, most feel free to attack Israel with no holds barred.

Some of Israel's home-grown critics don't even bother with such political correctness. Our security is no longer a justified concern in their view and they have no compunction about saying so. Suicide bombers? Intifada? Israeli terror victims? Not in their history books.

Writing recently in Haaretz, columnist Merav Michaeli described a variety of possible solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Her conclusion? It is incumbent upon us to "want to live in peace. Not in security, but in peace." Her column was even entitled "Not in Security, but Peace" in case the message was not clear enough.

Terrorism denial is the foundation on which the Free Gilad Schalit campaign has been built. At some point, its legitimate effort to pressure all involved parties to free Schalit was hijacked. Today its goal is nothing short of maligning and undermining Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for his unwillingness to release every last prisoner demanded by Hamas.

This campaign could not have galvanized so many - some estimate 200,000 joined its eleven-day march to Jerusalem last month - without the groundwork laid by terrorism denial. Were the faces of the 1,000 innocent Israelis murdered during the second intifada still fresh in Israelis' minds, warnings about the dangers of a mass prisoner release would not be dismissed as casually and as persistently as they are being now.

The statistics are chilling. According to government numbers, some 45 percent of released terrorists return to terrorism, while the rate of recidivism among Hamas members is 63%. And yet these numbers impact fewer and fewer Israelis.

Instead we hear Mayor Yoel Levi of Ramle, in an address to the Schalit march participants, calling the warnings against a prisoner release "scaremongering".

And we hear Noam Schalit, Gilad’s father, refer to them as "doomsday scenarios from twenty-five years ago."

In the current climate of terrorism denial, such attitudes gain traction with ease. It is left to the bereaved families to fight this dangerous phenomenon. We, who feel the pain of terrorism every minute of every day, must remind Israelis what "releasing the prisoners" to free Gilad Schalit entails. We must refresh the short collective memory of who those prisoners are, what they did and what can we expect them to do in the future.

Ahlam Tamimi is one prisoner that Hamas wants freed. As a woman, she garners much sympathy for their cause. The mere mention of "woman" and "prison" in one sentence is a surefire tearjerker.

But here are the facts. Tamimi is a mega-terrorist. She is responsible for the deaths of fifteen men, women and children, all of them civilians. She transported 10 kg of explosives hidden in a guitar case into west Jerusalem, handed them to her accomplice and escorted him through the city center disguised as a Western tourist. She led him to the target she herself had selected, an eatery filled with families eating lunch. She then warned her "weapon" to wait fifteen minutes before he detonated the bomb - allowing her enough time to escape unharmed.

After her conviction, Tamimi smiled with pleasure upon learning from an interviewer how many children she murdered. She told Ynet: "I am not sorry for what I did. I will get out of prison and I refuse to recognize Israel’s existence… Discussions will only take place after Israel recognizes that this is Islamic land.” She has served only six years out of sixteen consecutive life terms.

Does any rational human being believe that this monster will enroll in a flower arranging course when she is released? Or sit at home writing a novel?

Former prisons commissioner Orit Adato, a staunch advocate of selective release of security prisoners, maintains that some prisoners must remain imprisoned. When asked "Do you think it is possible to rehabilitate the 'ideological' security prisoners?" she replied: "Not the hard core cases."

But neither expert views nor cold statistics are welcome by those eager for a mass prisoner release.

An extraterrestrial landing on earth for the first time would be forgiven for thinking that Netanyahu himself is holding Gilad Schalit captive. In a July 31 speech, marking the 1,500th day of Gilad's captivity, Noam Schalit addressed Netanyahu regarding his son: "Stop abusing him" he said, adding "A captive soldier is not a piece of real estate."

The truth is, Netanyahu has agreed to release 450 prisoners in negotiations with Hamas and another 550 unilaterally as a gesture to the Palestinian Authority. The 450 to Hamas includes over 100 terrorists who murdered more than 600 Israelis. Netanyahu has only refused to release the "mega-terrorists," those responsible for the six most horrific terror attacks of the second intifada.

However Netanyahu's concessions have not won him any friends among the Free Schalit activists. Nor did his call to the international community "to line up alongside the State of Israel and our unequivocal and just demand that our abducted soldier be returned immediately" impress them. They want nothing short of the fulfillment of every Hamas demand.

And with the Israeli media's unstinting support, the chances are they will ultimately win the government's acquiescence.

Columnists and reporters alike have stooped to absurd hyperbole in their coverage of the Schalit campaign. Haaretz's Yoel Marcus wrote last month of the march: "It was the most spontaneous, humane and impressive demonstration ever held here. At the risk of sounding schmaltzy, it was good to see the face of the beautiful Israeli."

Here is "the face of a beautiful Israeli" I would like this country to see today. It’s the face of a fifteen-year-old girl who cared passionately about disabled children and volunteered with them in myriad settings. Who loved and nurtured her own profoundly disabled sister unconditionally. Who studied the flute for years and played classical music on it that brought tears to my eyes. Who kept a diary throughout the last year of her life in which she detailed her activities in school and in her youth movement. Who recorded alongside those anecdotes the names of the victims of every terror attack perpetrated that year. Whose wish for the coming new year, which she did not live to see, was that her family remain close and supportive of one another. It is the face of my daughter, Malki, z"l.

On August 9th for the last eight years, I have urged others to remember the Sbarro bombing and its fifteen victims. One of them was Malki. Five others were the members of one family, a mother, father and three of their eight children. Another victim was an only child who was pregnant with what would have been her parents' first grandchild. One of the "injured," not even counted among the fifteen dead, is a young mother who has remained in a deep coma since that day.

This year, I beg you not only to remember them but to also to remind another person, someone who may have fallen prey to terrorism denial.

The author is a freelance writer in Jerusalem. She and her husband founded the Malki Foundation ( in memory of their daughter Malki who was murdered in the Sbarro restaurant massacre in 2001. Source:

Dedicated in Memory of Dr. Mark Spiegel July 15, 1952 - July 14, 2010

"May his soul rest in peace with all the righteous of Israel"


"The Month of 'Elul' is Upon Us"

According to tradition, it was during the month of ELUL that for the third time Moshe went up to Mt Sinai, and remained in direct contact with G-d for forty days. At the end of this period, on the 10th of Tishrei, Yom Kippur, Moshe bearing the second Tablets of the Law, returned to the people announcing their final forgiveness.

Ever since, these forty days have remained the most favorable period for the purification of the children of Israel. During this period we proceed to a daily examination of our deeds leading to Teshuva (repentance) and Return to H-shem, amendment of our conduct, and our reintegration into Torah Life.

ELUL is the month preceding Rosh Hashanah, (the beginning of the Days of Awe), and is the most favorable period for Mercy from heaven. During this time of the year, G-d offers us special assistance in our struggle to free ourselves from our inner enemy which aims to ruin us. When a person is summoned to judgment, he chooses the best advocates and duly prepares in advance, all the arguments and the elements for his defense in a maximum endeavor to obtain a favorable verdict.

On the approach of the Day of Judgment, summoned not before a human judge, but before the Supreme Judge Who decides our destiny, our subsistence, our fortune, our joy and our sufferings, our life itself, for the whole coming year, surely we need a great deal of preparation so as to find favor in the eyes of the Al-mighty. The only advocates to whom we can appeal are the good and sincere resolutions we take, to amend our conduct, conforming it to the Creator's will and to purify our actions, eliminating all tendencies to arrogance, honor, lust or any other selfish urge.

It was G-d's Will to associate His Mercy to His Justice, so as to offer the transgressors a chance to amend their faults. No matter how distant we believe ourselves to be from our Creator, an opportunity is always offered to us, and it is never too late to repent. The call of Maimonides is full of meaning, "The Baal Teshuva (he who amends his conduct) should not think that on account of his past faults he is far from the degree of the righteous for, on the contrary, he is loved and cherished by the Al-mighty as if he had never trespassed.

Moreover, his reward is very great for after having tasted sin, he subdued his evil inclination. Our Sages said, "The place reserved to those who amend their conduct is not accessible to even the perfectly righteous, for they the Baal Teshuva, are on a higher level than those who never transgressed, for they strive more to overcome their evil inclination."

The month of ELUL is offered to us, so as to engage in action and increase the number of Mitzvos. Even if we start to practice without conviction, the action of the mitzvah itself will exert a spiritual influence (Kedushah) on us, strengthening our faith and converting the habit into a deeply felt observance. Success is assured if we are ready to involve ourselves in this task.

ELUL is the month in which H-shem comes down and 'meets with us in the field,' an analogy of His Divine Closeness to us on earth at this time. H-shem say's to us, "rid yourselves of the evil inclinations which obscure Divine clarity from illuminating your way, and I, your G-d, will rid you of the harsh Judgments written".

Thus beginning with the second day of Rosh Chodesh ELUL, the Shofar is sounded every day in the synagogue after the conclusion of the Morning Services (excepting on the Shabbat). The blowing of the Shofar acts as a solemn reminder that the Day of Judgment is fast approaching, and that we should take account of our spiritual life, our achievements and failures, and make amends to G-d and man for the errors made during the past year.

The Jewish person who heeds the ELUL reminder, experiences a great spiritual uplifting in every field of conduct, and thus brings a great correction to his being and the world at large.

Sources: Mishna Torah of Maimonides Laws of Teshuva, Chap. 7,4, A. Hassan, 'Emunah'.


"Beyond all of the differences that stand between us, we are all the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We are all one family, with one
land, and one destiny"

Inyanay Diyoma

Gog and Magog get closer

During the past week three attacks occurred on Israel one also involved deaths in Yarden. One involved a miracle in Ashkelon where nobody was killed despite a hit in the center of the city on a housing complex. The last incident on the Lebanese border was documented by the UN and it actually worked in Israel's favor minus the death of a volunteer Lt. Col that was snipped to death by Lebanon soldiers. The only reason the Shomron is quit is this:

The evaluation by the army is that no war will break out in the near future. The Middle-East has its own dynamics and a misjudgement by the Arabs on how much nonsense we will take often results in a large scale action. All this right now is orchestrated by Iran to draw attention away from mass murders of oppositionists by the State. It will not help them in the end they will be either over-thrown from within or destroyed in the war of Gog and the later possibility looks closer than ever. The question is how many Israelis will die? Iran according to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom already has the bomb.

Up in Northern Israel it is no top secret that since the murder of Lt. Col. Dov Beari last week, Israel has poured in a division or two of soldiers along both the Lebanese and Syrian Borders. In Gaza in fighting between Hizballah lovers and Al Qaeda lovers are going on and we might get a few missile greetings from them.

So you don't invest but your job is a bit shakey or you might need a job the next days may be more critical for the poor than a Terresa Heinz Kerry with hundreds of thousands in tax free interest and dividends. She probably pays less taxes than you or I.

Now for M. Wolfberg’s Good Shabbos Story: Crazy

Good Shabbos Everyone. Hashem tells us this week in Parshas Re'eh, "For you are a holy people to Hashem, your G-d and Hashem has chosen you for Himself to be a treasured people, from among all the peoples on the face of the earth." (Devorim 14:2) One of the definitions of the word "holy" is "separate, set apart." We are truly a nation which enjoys a supernatural existence, with an extra special supervision from above. The following amazing true story illustrates that we are a "holy people to Hashem."
The pain and frustration of not having children had taken their toll on Dovid and Sarah Goldwasser. They had tried nearly every medical procedure, visited with almost every top specialist and had of course spent much effort and tears at the holiest sites in Eretz Yisroel. But, alas, they were married twenty-two years and still did not have children.
The anguish would have crushed most people's spirits. But Dovid and his wife refused to give up hope and one day decided to go to Reb Chaim Kanievsky in Eretz Yisroel for a brocha - blessing. Reb Chaim was warm and caring, as well as sensitive to their needs. He asked a number of questions regarding whom they had gone to see and what procedures they had tried.
Finally, Reb Chaim looked at them and sadly explained that sometimes Hashem in His Infinite Judgment does not grant someone a child. The couple both sat silently, contemplating the words which Reb Chaim had spoken.
"But Rebbi, there must be something to do. There has to be—" Dovid's plea carried with it so much hurt and aching for a child.
Reb Chaim thought for what seemed like an eternity and finally spoke. "Maybe there is a way. The Gemara (Shabbos 88b) speaks glowingly about someone who is able to endure the shame of someone embarrassing him and does not respond. Perhaps—," Reb Chaim spoke with a tinge of hope in his voice, "if you receive a berachah - blessing from a person who has endured humiliation and not responded in kind, then — maybe —"
It was all they needed. It was — if nothing else — a glimmer of hope. But the problem they now faced was how to find someone who has suffered embarrassment at the hands of another, not responded and is prepared to give them a berachah. They resolved to do whatever they had to, whatever would help them...
Baruch Lipnick and his wife Rifka gave their new apartment a final once-over and were pleased that they had found a home in which they would be comfortable. Relatively new to the Bnei Brak area, they were pleased that their apartment search had come to an end. But as they opened the door to leave, they came face to face with a middle-aged woman standing at their door. "You're not buying this apartment, are you?"
The couple looked at the woman and then looked at each other. Neither of them knew who this woman was and could not figure out what she could have possibly intended when she issued her warning about the apartment. "I happen to know for a fact that this apartment has had a curse placed on it."
This announcement piqued their curiosity and alarmed them. They did want to buy the apartment but not at the expense of a shadowy curse. "How do you know that the apartment has been cursed?" They did not doubt her claim, rather they were just inquiring to get the full story. She looked at the two of them and defiantly declared, "Because I'm the one who cursed it."
She went on to explain that she lived in a neighboring apartment and a previous owner of this apartment had built an extension which she felt intruded on her privacy, and therefore she had placed a curse on the apartment. The woman seemed to be overreacting but before they were going to buy the apartment they wanted to make sure that they were not doing anything wrong.
They approached Rav Nissim Karelitz and explained the situation to him. Rav Nissim smiled and totally dismissed the woman's ludicrous claim, and justified his decision by explaining that the previous apartment owners had been given a permit by beis din - Rabbinical Court to proceed with their extension; hence the woman's claim was completely unfounded and contrary to a ruling of beis din.
In fact, Rav Nissim concluded, he had been a member of that beis din. Based on their conversation with Rav Nissim, Baruch and his wife were relieved and decided to go ahead with the purchase of the apartment. Within a month they moved in and before long were completely settled.
Although they were happy in their new living quarters, they still hadn't made many friends in the area. And so, when they were invited to a local Bar Mitzvah, Baruch was happy that his wife would be able to meet some of the other women in the neighborhood.
But unfortunately his happiness at the prospect of his wife meeting new women from the neighborhood quickly turned into a nightmare. In the middle of the Bar Mitzvah meal, the woman who had cursed their apartment burst into the room. She looked around and when her eyes finally locked onto Mrs. Lipnick's she let loose with a tirade directed at Mrs. Lipnick and her husband, claiming that they were "liars and cheaters, insensitive and uncaring." The entire barrage lasted for only about 2 minutes, but it felt like an eternity.
Mrs. Lipnick was mortified and was about to react to what had happened when someone tapped her urgently on her shoulder, "Please, I beg you, don't respond."
Mrs. Lipnick turned toward the woman who had tapped her and realized that she had never seen her before. The woman introduced herself quickly as Mrs. Goldwasser and again begged Mrs. Lipnick not to respond. So Mrs. Lipnick sat there quietly and suffered the terrible shame and indignity.
The crazed woman finally left and Mrs. Lipnick sat in her chair, feeling humiliated. "Please allow me to explain..." Mrs. Goldwasser sat down next to Mrs. Lipnick and told her about the entire meeting with Reb Chaim Kanievsky. "I've waited four and a half years to meet someone like you and I beg you to give me a berachah for a child." Mrs. Goldwasser's eyes were filled with tears and so were Mrs. Lipnick's.
And with heartfelt emotion, Mrs. Lipnick blessed her newfound friend that her years of suffering should end. And miraculously, twenty-six and a half years after they were married Dovid and Sarah Goldwasser cried tears of joy as they held their newborn baby boy in their arms. (Touched by a Story, Reb Yechiel Spero p. 235) We are truly a nation which enjoys a supernatural existence, with an extra special supervision from above. Good Shabbos Everyone.

M. Wolfberg’s stories are sponsored by: Refuah Shleima to Mordechai Menachem Mendel ben Tziporah Yitta Refuah Shleima to Tsviah bas Bracha Leah Refuah Shleimah to Chana Ashayra bas Dodi & a mazel Tov in Hebrew which was not written too clear.

Have a wonderful Shabbos, rest and reflect on the creations and miracles of G-D,

Rachamim Pauli