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Elul is Mussar Time and Repentance Time
Part 1 Ignoring some horrifying things of modern times
21:1 If one be found slain in the land which the LORD thy God gives thee to possess it, lying in the field, and it be not known who hath smitten him; 2 then thy elders and thy judges shall come forth, and they shall measure unto the cities which are round about him that is slain. 3 And it shall be, that the city which is nearest unto the slain man, even the elders of that city shall take a heifer of the herd, which hath not been wrought with, and which hath not drawn in the yoke. 4 And the elders of that city shall bring down the heifer unto a rough valley, which may neither be plowed nor sown, and shall break the heifer's neck there in the valley. 5 And the priests the sons of Levi shall come near--for them the LORD thy God hath chosen to minister unto Him, and to bless in the name of the LORD; and according to their word shall every controversy and every stroke be. 6 And all the elders of that city, who are nearest unto the slain man, shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley. 7 And they shall speak and say: 'Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it. 8 Forgive, O LORD, Thy people Israel, whom Thou hast redeemed, and suffer not innocent blood to remain in the midst of Thy people Israel.' And the blood shall be forgiven them. 9 So shalt thou put away the innocent blood from the midst of thee, when thou shalt do that which is right in the eyes of the LORD.
This is left over from last week’s Parsha and I thought to comment on it but in the last minute let it go as I had passingly mentioned this a few weeks ago. Rabbi Itamar Auerbach Shlita set me back on the right track. Just think if the murder is close to Yerushalayim, the Sanhedrin, Cohain Gadol, Melech and leaders of the congregation go out to the spot of the deceased and the King and the High Priest and the Av Beis Din of the Sanhedrin HaGadol place their hands on the calf and declare what is said above. Woe unto us, where are we today? Husbands slay wives over the most frivolous of things or in a drunken rage. Children are murdered by parents or vice versa and people are slaughter on the roads because the conditions which were supposed to be fixed two years ago by Israel Rail and the Government was not performed on time. They cannot bring a Korban even if the Beis HaMikdash was built today or tomorrow. For they are in previous neglect and the same thing with the education of husbands and wives and children – therefore not wanted to be accused of neglect of an attempt for Shalom Beis, I add to the following guide. (Sometimes Shalom Beis cannot work because one or both of the couple is/are too impossible for words and this will be discussed in this week’ s Parsha.)
Part 2 Proper Behavior between husband and wife
In Judaism Family Honor is looking for and choosing a woman of valor or a husband of valor and integrity. See Shulchan Aruch Simanim 2 – 6 of the Halachos of Being Fruitful and Multiply. We learn how to check out the kosherness of the family that you are marrying into. You did not need the son or daughter of Al Capone as your spouse or that of your child. The checking of the Midos (personal characteristics of the potential bride and groom and the lineage is required. (However, if the groom or bride are a rotten apple in a line of Tzaddikim like Adam – Noach – Shem – Ever – Avraham – Yitzchak and young Esav is a real character that is capable of siring Amalek this does not help one iota as happened with a daughter/brother of a Chassidic Rebbe who was a the best quality who married her first husband of better family than could be imaged to only find out he was a filthy person.)
There is one danger of finding a loving and loyal spouse and that is called complacency. One cannot think that just because you are married that you can rest on your laurels. If as we say every day in the Sharcharis Shema Berachos that HASHEM renews each day Maaser Beresheis (the creation process) that our spouses should not be taken for granted. EVERY DAY WE HAVE TO REINSURE AND RENEW OUR COMMITMENT TO OUR SPOUSE SO THAT HE/SHE FEELS SPECIAL! During a woman’s clean days a good hug and kiss even for a minute can make for hours of Shalom Beis. And a good question like how was your day and how are you feeling goes a long way. Two or three words of sympathy or consolation for a bad day can go a long-long way and ignoring the spouse day after day can lead to tension until you feel that you are in a war zone and Afghanistan is the more peaceful alternative. And when it say in Beresheis that male and female HE created man that means that both are partners perhaps with different hormones and different education but equal in the home relationship. Last week an actress came out and stated that she could have children without a relationship with a man – how miserable she must be to want to be alone after her husband stabbed her in the back with an underhanded relationship. This is not how G-D created the world It is not good that man should be alone let US (royal WE) make man in our Image (DIVINE in Spirit and with Midos of the Heavens and a physical body of the earth). Therefore there should never ever be a hitting, punching, kicking or stabbing of the spouse. Believe me that everybody argues and fights some much less than others and some dispute ideas of the other peacefully. It is also imperative to make sure that one does not curse at the other. I can fly off the handle being married but if I ever caught myself raising my hand I would rather stop, say that I am sorry for raising my hand, hug my wife tell her that I love her and then say you made me so angry uuuuuuuu!!! The consequences of a strike no matter how angry and hurt we get is not worth the damage and distrust it does to the relationship. The refraining and acting civilized and even passive anger is more helpful until tempers calm down. Also watch out for hitting below the belt with comments. And Yacov’s anger was kindled against Rachael and he said to her – Am I in place of G-D seeing the he has withheld children from you! And Rachel was his truly beloved wife.
Finally the situation of a marriage should never reach the proportion of cheating on the spouse. With that I start the following guideline below.
I was watching Dr. Phil today (last Thursday) and we got as usual an old show in Israel. This one was partly a Book Promotion of Rabbi Shmuel Boteach’s The Kosher Sutra. He was dealing with building up a true physical relationship between husband and wife not based on male Libido and Female daintiness but a combination. But before I get into that, I saw on Facebook a couple celebrating their fourth month together he is 20 and I guess she is younger. I wrote him: The question is not the 4 months but do you know each other's likes and dislikes in food, clothing, and politics do your share the same passion for having and how you would like your children educated. Most young couples see the beauty, humor and fun and not the joining together both mentally as well as physically two strangers. You have to be on similar pages here.
My wife is more liberal in observance than I and more easy going on disciplining or reacting to our children considering my baby is now 36 and the mother of 6 lovely children thank the L-RD. My daughter and I are usually on the same page but her brothers at time can have some friction with me. She too had to compromise with her husband but knows when and where to exert herself as a couple is a partnership of two people and equal partners.
So what goes wrong with couples that are married in the bedroom after a while? This area as well as other areas of Shalom Beis (peace in the house) has to be a full partnership. When a couple gets married at the age of 20 the newly-weds view the bedroom as a recreation area. As children and financial problems or some health issue comes along they are too busy with the other aspects of partnership to be lovers. It is this complacent attitude that drives the partner into somebody else’s arms or some fights occur for no logical reasons at all. There comes a time in the evening when the internet should be shut down, the TV turned off and the time is only for talk or romance between the couple. A couple has to discuss their desires and fantasies together. It is no time to be embarrassed with your bone of bones, flesh of your flesh. This is important to be on the same page.
A two part story of Rabbi Akiva will show you how the Holy Sages viewed a couple’s relationship. I was once at a Torah lecture by the late Av Beis Din of Rehovot, Rabbi Zebulon Grass of righteous memory. He told us how Rabbi Akiva wanted to learn all aspects of Torah. Rabbi Akiva once confronted an elderly Rabbi and asked him the secret of his longevity. The students of the Rabbi chased Rabbi Akiva such that he had to climb a tree to save himself from a good thrashing. Rabbi Akiva then asked the Rabbi a question regarding Tuma and Taharos. Seeing that he was a Talmid Chacham and not somebody making fun of the Rabbi’s age, the Rabbi told his students to let Rabbi Akiva approach. Rabbi Akiva then was a given an answer regarding the Rabbi’s longevity. Rabbi Grass with a twinkle in his eye raised his voice and moved his thumb as one does bring a proof from the Talmud and cried out This is Torah.
The next story and you must remember that Rabbi Akiva was 40 when he married and had a number of children and then left his wife for 24 years to learn more Torah so he was no child in puberty. One night Rabbi Akiva snuck underneath the bed of Rabban Gamliel. Rabbi Akiva came from a family of converts and Rabban Gamliel came from generations of princes of Torah. (It could have been Rebbe Eleazar HaGadol) The Rabbi came to his wife and started caressing her and calling her by sweet nicknames and praising her beauty and perfume. During the foreplay from under the bed came the question – Rebbe is this how a Torah Scholar is supposed to address his wife? The surprised leader called out and asked Rabbi Akiva to get out from under the bed. He asked him Akiva what has brought this on? Rabbi Akiva replied This is Torah and I must know how to act halachically with my wife. The elderly Rabbi Grass sparkled again and shouted This is Torah as one should know the Derech Eretz of the bedroom. This had nothing to do erotic behavior but to know the Halacha (Derech means way or path and Eretz means land or the directions and behavior a G-D fearing person should have with his spouse in the room of rooms).
When I watch the Dr. Phil show, I am in shock that some couples do not have relations for months or years. We have a section in the Code of Jewish Law regarding maximum abstinence periods or Siman 240 in Orach HaChaim and Mishna Berura. I have come across a man who had under gone an Angioscopy and he refused to have a relationship with his wife sometimes it is a woman after menopause with her husband. A lot has to do with being there for each other from 9:30 or 10 PM until falling asleep. No children, no runs, no hits, no errors, etc. just the couple. A few complements like the ancient Sage did a caress or two softens up both sides. Both men and women want their ego built up by their spouse and they both have a libido which should be discussed and worked on each other’s fantasies within the confines of the Torah. One will be surprised that Kosher Sutra deals with the love interaction and after that is fixed then then the Kama Sutra can come into play as long as it complies to Torah time and place and public decency. 90% of couples don’t need either book, but if for some reason you do; first build up a true spiritual and physiological need of the partner before going into the physiological relationship each and every night if you can. This does not mean one must be a circus performer at an older age but all needs should be solve all the time. MAKE YOUR SPOUSE YOUR BUSINESS. Remember matrimony is a partnership and just as in business two partners must work together to make the company successful so too with marriage the two partners have to work hard together to have a really successful marriage.
Once we have made amends between man and man we are ready to take on the repentance of making amends between G-D and man.
21:10 When thou go forth to battle against you enemies, and the LORD thy God delivers them into thy hands, and thou carries them away captive,
Esoterically this is your battle with the Yetzer HaRa (the evil inclination). It can appear in the form of loot, a beautiful captive or something else. One is supposed to be above this but human nature makes us physical animals. There are gold digging men and women who look for rich spouses due to their own laziness. One cannot find happiness in only physical things. There are more wealthy people who take drugs that the average person and why is this because the average person is often more satisfied in his lot. So instead of power he would rather fish, play bollards, watch or play a ball game or go to a theme park. Or like some of us just sit around and meditate on Torah. The average person looks more for spiritual satisfaction than monetary power. For sometimes your captive actually makes you captive so who is leading whom into captivity?
15 If a man have two wives, the one beloved, and the other hated, and they have borne him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the first-born son be hers that was hated; 16 then it shall be, in the day that he causes his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved the first-born before the son of the hated, who is the first-born; 17 but he shall acknowledge the first-born, the son of the hated, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath; for he is the first-fruits of his strength, the right of the first-born is his.
The question arises with Yacov Avinu and Yosef vs. Reuven. For Reuven was the oldest of all the brothers/tribes and a true first born both from his father and his mother so why did Yacov give Yosef a double portion with Ephraim and Menasshe? The answer is that actually Yacov contracted to marry Rachel only! Leah was forced upon him through trickery. It was not that he went out looking for Leah. He kept Leah for he did love her and the fact of the matter or proof in the pudding is that she is buried next to him. Rachel was his contracted wife and therefore she did deserve to have her first born get a double portion. Love and hate did not play a factor here regarding Leah and Reuven.
… 22:1 Thou shalt not see thy brother's ox or his sheep driven away, and hide thyself from them; thou shalt surely bring them back unto thy brother. 2 And if thy brother be not nigh unto thee, and thou know him not, then thou shalt bring it home to thy house, and it shall be with thee until thy brother require it, and thou shalt restore it to him. 3 And so shalt thou do with his ass; and so shalt thou do with his garment; and so shalt thou do with every lost thing of thy brother's, which he hath lost, and thou hast found; thou may not hide thyself. 4 Thou shalt not see thy brother's ass or his ox fallen down by the way, and hide thyself from them; thou shalt surely help him to lift them up again.
This is a derivative of love thy neighbor as thyself. This includes rebuilding a community after a fire, earthquake, flood or an enemy made disaster.
5 A woman shall not wear that which pertains unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment; for whosoever doeth these things is an abomination unto the LORD thy God.
This is another rare time that the Torah uses the word abomination. We are not talking about a Purim Play or Costume but a cross dresser. Obviously this is ranked by G-D on the same level as homosexuality and idol worship where we have seen the word used before. Draw your own conclusions for G-D gave the Torah this was given before 603,000 warriors on Har Sinai with their wives, children and the elderly there.
6 If a bird's nest chance to be before thee in the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, and the dam sitting upon the young, or upon the eggs, thou shalt not take the dam with the young; 7 thou shalt in any wise let the dam go, but the young thou may take unto thyself; that it may be well with thee, and that thou may prolong thy days.
This is one of the few Mitzvos that the reward is given - prolonging your days and honoring thy parents has the same results. However, if one was to see a father tell his son to climb up a tree or electric pole to take down a birds nest and the son fall down and die are we to then deny the Torah = no for long life might not be in this world but in the next.
8 When thou build a new house, then thou shalt make a parapet for thy roof, that thou bring not blood upon thy house, if any man fall from thence.
Nowadays, the insurance company would force you to do so if you had third party insurance. This is standard safety procedures. Back 3122 years ago when the Torah was given this was a radical Halacha compared to the rest of the world.
… 12 Thou shalt make thee twisted cords upon the four corners of thy covering, wherewith thou cover thyself.
The law of Tzitzis already iterated in Parsha Shelach this is a review Mitzvah.
13 If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her, 14 and lay wanton charges against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say: 'I took this woman, and when I came nigh to her, I found not in her the tokens of virginity'; 15 then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel's virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate. … 25 But if the man find the damsel that is betrothed in the field, and the man take hold of her, and lie with her; then the man only that lay with her shall die. 26 But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death; for as when a man rises against his neighbor, and slays him, even so is this matter. 27 For he found her in the field; the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her. 28 If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, that is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; 29 then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he hath humbled her; he may not put her away all his days.
The whole section is dealing with women’s rights. Sometimes it is necessary for a couple to divorce due to two good people not getting along or lack of partnership by one of the spouses. However, we have three cases above. The groom who got cold feet the morning after and lays vicious charges at his bride and there is in the section a clause that if the groom was correct then the marriage is over in the old days with a great punishment but nowadays with a divorce. The Engaged woman is not what we call engaged today it is called Erusin and it essential amounts to marriage via either a contract, money exchange or intercourse and she needs a Get to be divorced. Obviously the woman being raped in the city could easily call out for help while the one in the field had nobody who could come to her rescue. Finally this section deals with the seducer or the mutual consenting couple who were caught in the act then he is to pay a fine and can never divorce her. In other countries even today outside of Israel, if a woman was raped often she was subject to more rapes by the authorities and ridiculed by the mass. The Torah comes to protect the women here with rights unheard of in the world prior to the giving of the Torah.
23; 13 Thou shalt have a place also without the camp, whither thou shalt go forth abroad. 14 And thou shalt have a paddle among thy weapons; and it shall be, when thou sit down abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which comes from thee.
For the sake of modesty and holiness one has to dig a latrine for his own purposes (and the Talmud says using smooth stones to wipe himself - Shabbos). Obviously there is a problem and the hole and the stones prior to Shabbos had to be prepared by the soldier. There are a lot of Halachos for soldiers and especially on Shabbos and Yom Tov. I had to be with a Motorola Walkie Talkie on Shabbos as a paramedic this would mean carrying on a large Air Force Base under construction with no Eruv. So as not to make anybody err, I will not write what I did as it was permissible as Sofik Pekuach Nefesh (uncertain matter of life and death) rather it would have been best to tie a temporary knot with the device tied to my leg. Further to this if one wants once can check if the communications work. Being an Orthodox Jewish soldier on Shabbos is no fun and games.
Why?15 For the LORD thy God walks in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up your enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy; that He see no unseemly thing in thee, and turn away from thee. 16 Thou shalt not deliver unto his master a bondman that is escaped from his master unto thee; 17 he shall dwell with thee, in the midst of thee, in the place which he shall choose within one of thy gates, where it likes him best; thou shalt not wrong him. 18 There shall be no harlot of the daughters of Israel, neither shall there be a sodomite of the sons of Israel. 19 Thou shalt not bring the hire of a harlot, or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow;
G-D does not need our sacrifices and to pay for one with the prostitute’s wages or the price of a dog (Tumay animal) is so disgusting that this merits the use of the world abomination.
20 Thou shalt not lend upon interest to thy brother: interest of money, interest of victuals, interest of anything that is lent upon interest.
The free loan societies on one hand help many poor people marry off their children in Israel but it can produce a vicious cycle.
21 Unto a foreigner thou may lend upon interest; but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon interest; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all that thou put thy hand unto, in the land whither thou go in to possess it.
Business loans are different and with stocks the same as you become sort of a partner and a non-Jew one may loan to with interest. It once happened a few hundred years ago that a Jewish merchant lent a non-Jew a loan at a very high interest rate. The non-Jew was paying and paying until it was getting on his nerves. One day he took a gun and threatened the Jew with it and made the Jew eat the contract. It was not long before he became temporarily insolvent and needed another loan from the same Jew. This time the Jew made him write the contract on a Matza. The moral of this true story is not to be a loan shark but even when one lends to a non-Jew take a reasonable amount of interest. If long term bonds and CD’s are available like I have found at 5% or more so one can ask for let us say 8% due to the fact that the loan has no real Moody’s Index for it. But to charge like credit card companies that scalp the people would be a Chillul HASHEM .
22 When thou shalt vow a vow unto the LORD thy God, thou shalt not be slack to pay it; for the LORD thy God will surely require it of thee; and it will be sin in thee. 23 But if thou shalt forbear to vow, it shall be no sin in thee. 24 That which is gone out of thy lips thou shalt observe and do; according as thou hast vowed freely unto the LORD thy God, even that which thou hast promised with thy mouth.
That is why I sometimes give let us say $36 one year to Keren Ezrat LeYellidim and the next none and the third year $72 due to my income fortune in any one year.
… 24:1 When a man takes a wife, and marries her, then it comes to pass, if she find no favor in his eyes, because he hath found some unseemly thing in her, that he write her a bill of divorcement, and gives it in her hand, and sends her out of his house,
There is sometimes a Mitzvah to divorce a spouse for all sorts of reasons but only as a last resort and that one be prepared to live along for the rest of their life.
2 and she departs out of his house, and goes and becomes another man's wife, 3 and the latter husband hates her, and writes her a bill of divorcement, and gives it in her hand, and sends her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, who took her to be his wife; 4 her former husband, who sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD; and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God gives thee for an inheritance.
The abomination is not a woman marrying and divorcing her original love and remarrying and divorcing but the fact that they get together. For it is essentially prostitution and making a joke out of marriage. Poor $ marries Woman and they get divorced. Woman marries Rich $$$$$ and they get divorced now Woman wants to return to Poor $. This is the abomination for where this was so or not it would ruin the purpose of man on earth. Let the woman look for another husband and believe me there most likely will be another and if she does not adjust her desires or personality or attitude there will be one after another. Sometimes it is time to reflect and it does not have to be in the month of Elul.
At the point the Army during a conquest war that is not a Mitzvah can allow for temporary exemption: 5 When a man takes a new wife, he shall not go out in the host, neither shall he be charged with any business; he shall be free for his house one year, and shall cheer his wife whom he hath taken.
… 9 Remember what the LORD thy God did unto Miriam, by the way as ye came forth out of Egypt.
Guard yourself from Lashon Hara.
… 14 Thou shalt not oppress a hired servant that is poor and needy, whether he be of thy brethren, or of thy strangers that are in thy land within thy gates. 15 In the same day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the sun go down upon it; for he is poor, and sets his heart upon it: lest he cry against thee unto the LORD and it be sin in thee.
Bullying is not looked upon favorably by G-D. it once happened that a man contracted to work for years for his employer and he knew his employer to be a righteous person. At the end of the long time period, he asked for his wages. The employer could not give him anything. A short time later the Employer came with much merchandise, cattle, poultry and seeds for the man. The employer asked the man when I said to you so and so and such and such were unavailable for payment what did you think? I thought that perhaps your merchandise was already shipped for business you had sold a lot of your cattle, etc. etc. until finally I thought that you had dedicated the value of things to the Beis HaMikdash and the other things were held in escrow. The employer replied by thy life so it was. The conclusion of the Talmud on this story was to always judge a person with merit.
…17 Thou shalt not pervert the justice due to the stranger, or to the fatherless; nor take the widow's raiment to pledge. 18 But thou shalt remember that you were a bondman in Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee thence; therefore I command thee to do this thing. … Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treads out the corn.
These are Mitzvos of Chessed (mercy/charity) for man and animals alike.
25:17 Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way as ye came forth out of Egypt; 18 how he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, all that were enfeebled in thy rear, when you were faint and weary; and he feared not God. 19 Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given you rest from all your enemies round about, in the land which the LORD thy God gives you for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget.
Another one of the 6 Remembrances from the Torah.
A right wing Jewish Standpoint on this week’s Parsha:
When a camp goes out to war against your enemies, you shall guard against anything evil. If there will be among you a man who will not be clean because of a nocturnal occurrence, he shall go outside the camp ... For Hashem, your G-d, walks in the midst of your camp so as to save you and grant you victory over your enemy. Your camp must, therefore, be holy, so that He will not see a shameful thing among you and turn away from behind you. (Deut. 23: 10, 11, 15)
The milchemet mitzvah of the Jewish People is not like the wars of the gentiles. Rather, its conception and birth are in holiness. Following is Rambam (Hilchot Melachim 7:1):In both compulsory and noncompulsory war, a Kohen is appointed to address the nation during the war and he is anointed with the anointing oil. He is the one called the mashuach milchamah, the "anointed for war".Israel goes into battle behind the anointed of war. He defines and determines the nature of the war, sanctifies it through his words to the people and makes certain that Israel go to war in holiness and with trust in G-d.Such is Jewish warfare! It is based on holiness, on faith and trust in G-d that if someone fights the wars of G-d, evil will not befall him since he is fighting for the sanctification of G-d's name.The phrase "to save you and grant you victory over your enemies" means as follows:First G-d will save you from yourselves, by warning you about everything evil so that you will be holy. Only then will He grant you victory, saving you from them. Sifri (258) comments, "If you do everything stated regarding this matter, G-d will ultimately save you and grant you victory over your enemies."The Jewish war camp must be holy, as is fitting for a war over the sanctification of G-d's name. Nothing inflames the passions more than war, when acts generally forbidden become permissible. Given such license, the evil impulse attempts to take control of a person, and no temptation is more powerful than the sexual impulse. If women were allowed to be part of a military camp during wartime, the sins incurred would outweigh the merit earned for a milchemet mitzvah.There would be no avoiding licentiousness and promiscuity (as in the modern Israeli army camp, Heaven help us, when the Jewish state has not adopted Jewish laws of warfare).The army camp would, thus, be transformed from a holy camp, free of impurity and abomination (see Sforno, Ibid.) to a licentious camp. If it became so, a war meant to sanctify G-d's name would become a stage for sexual sin, the height of profanation of G-d's name. Therefore, a woman should not go to war with men.
Ramban explains:Scripture warns against sin where sin is most prevalent. It is known that soldiers going to war customarily consume every abomination, rob and steal, and are unashamed to commit adultery and every other outrage. The most upright person, by nature, becomes cruel and vicious when the camp goes forth against the enemy. Scripture therefore warned, "You must avoid everything evil" (Deut. 23:10).Sifri (Ibid.) comments, "This teaches that sexual sin causes the Divine Presence to withdraw. "Thus, sexual sin endangers the troops, for without the Divine Presence there will be no victory. The Torah, therefore, forbade women going to war with men, even in a milchemet mitzvah, so as not to turn the mitzvah into a sin.A Talmid Chacham does not go off to war either, even for a milchemet mitzvah. R. Elazar said (Nedarim 32a): Why was Abraham punished such that his descendants were enslaved to the Egyptians for 210 years? It is because he conscripted Talmidei Chachamim; "Abraham called his students [to battle]." (Gen. 14:14).We must be aware that "Talmid Chacham" refers only to someone whose Torah study is his sole occupation, someone totally absorbed in Torah study day and night, who never leaves it for anything in the world, a person who together with his study is crucial to his generation.There are two types of Talmidei Chachamim.The first is the one whose Torah study is his sole occupation. This individual is totally immersed in constant Torah study. Such a Talmid Chacham does not cease Torah study even to fulfill time-bound positive precepts incumbent on him personally,, if they are of Rabbinic origin, for example, the Shemoneh Esreh according to most opinions. He ceases only for precepts of Torah origin, such as the Shema.The other Talmid Chacham, the one whose Torah study is not his sole occupation, must cease study for every time-bound positive precept incumbent on him personally, even those Rabbinic in origin. Likewise, he must cease study even to do a mitzvah not specifically incumbent on him personally, i.e., a mitzvah of the community.Milchemet mitzvah is a communal mitzvah upon which the future of the Jewish People depends. It follows that any Talmid Chacham whose Torah study is not his sole occupation, who does not sit day and night studying Torah without earning any living or taking any vacation, will be obligated to stop studying so as to involve himself in milchemet mitzvah. Obviously, he should do this specifically in the "holy camp" framework, lest he fall prey to sin and abomination. Only the true Talmid Chacham, whose Torah study is his sole occupation, will be exempt from taking part in this mitzvah, because it can be performed by others. Yet listen to this, dear friends, and remember it: Not everyone who wishes to claim such a title may do so. If someone cloaks himself in the mantle of a Talmid Chacham whose Torah study is his sole occupation when he is unworthy of this, only to shirk the mitzvah of going to war, sanctifying G-d's name, taking G-d's revenge and assisting Israel against the attacking foe, he is a shedder of blood and his sin is unbearable. As Rambam said regarding the person commanded to fight (Hilchot Melachim 7:15); "If he does not strive to be victorious and does not fight with all his heart and soul, it is as though he has shed everyone's blood." What shall we say about him who was obligated to fight and did not fight at all? When it comes to the enemies of Israel who attack and beleaguer us and desire to destroy us, we are certainly required to smite them until they are consumed. It is a mitzvah – a milchemet mitzvah. The law states clearly that "assisting Israel against the attacking foe", which constitutes a milchemet mitzvah, refers not just to an enemy who attacks with intent to annihilate Jews, but to every attempt to hurt or plunder as well, even just theft. Obviously, it includes a situation where non-Jews demand a portion of the Land of Israel, for there is an outright prohibition against giving part of the Land to a non-Jew, as we shall see. Eruvin 45 teaches: "In a border town, even where the non-Jews are not attacking to kill Jews but just demanding hay and straw, we go forth armed to attack them, even violating the Sabbath to do so". Rashi comments: "Lest they capture it, making the rest of the Land easier for them to capture." Rashi's point is that for this reason we go forth even on the Sabbath. Yet, regarding the actual law of assisting against an attacking foe, surely, the very fact that non-Jews are demanding even just hay and straw or money and taxes is enough reason to attack them, and that is a milchemet mitzvah. Likewise, it is clearly forbidden by a grave Torah prohibition to let a non-Jew steal even the smallest part of the Land of Israel. After all, there is a prohibition forbidding us even to diminish the spiritually pure area of the Land of Israel (Moed Kattan 5b): "We do not put a marker marking a spiritually impure area far from that area, so as not to lose part of the Land of Israel. “Due to our sins, the reason we were exiled from our land, the laws of war have been so corrupted and confused by so many fine students that ignorance on this matter has surpassed all limits. Some have no understanding whatsoever of what a milchemet mitzvah is, and in their blindness ask whether the war between us and the Arabs today is such a war. Woe to the ears that hear this! It is a great mitzvah to hate evil and evildoers, and even to wage war against them, it is an even greater mitzvah to love goodness and the righteous, i.e., those whom G-d has defined as good and righteous. The mitzvah to love one’s fellow Jew, one of the Torah’s foundations, dictates that a Jew must save the life of every other Jew who is in danger. This is a mitzvah incumbent on an individual, and how much more so regarding the community. It is part of “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev. 19:18), yet it also stands independently (Ibid., v. 16): “Do not stand still when your neighbor’s life is in danger.”
Compiled by Tzipora from ‘The Jewish Idea’ of Rabbi Meir Kahane, HY”D
Mitzvos and Halachos by Danny Shoemann
If a loan was not repaid during the Shmita (7 year cycle) year, then it's a Mitzvah for the creditor to forgo his debt. If the debtor does return the debt after Shmita, the creditor may not accept it. He must say "I forgo the debt because of Shmita". If the debtor insists and says "nevertheless", the creditor may accept the money. Applies to everybody, everywhere From the Torah only when the Yovel (50 year) cycle is being counted, by Rabbinic decree always. Verse: "All creditors shall release their debt" (Devarim 15:1)
One may write a Prozbul to prevent having to forfeit the loan because of Shmita. (See http://halocho.blogspot.com/2008/08/halocho-156-whats-prozbul.html for details.)
Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Positive Mitzvah 64
It's a Mitzvah for the farmer to allow his workers to eat from the fruit they are picking. This applies to any work being done on produce, fruit and vegetables that have not been picked yet. The worker may eat from the tree or from the fruit he already picked - as long as it hasn't been processed to the point where one would need to separate Trumos and Maasros. A watchman may not eat from the fruit he is guarding, as his job does not directly involve the fruit on the tree. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always
Verse: "When coming into your friends' vineyard, you may eat..." (Devarim 23:25-26)Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Positive Mitzvah 65
It's a Mitzvah to pay a worker's wages on the day they are due. To fulfill this Mitzvah:
- A day worker needs to be paid before the next morning.
- A night worker needs to be paid before the end of the following day.
- An hourly worker who worked during the day needs to be paid on that day; if he worked during the night he needs to be paid during that night.
Applies to wages as well as to rental fees for equipment Applies to everybody, everywhere, always Verse: "Pay wages on that day" (Devoir 24:15)
Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Positive Mitzvah 66
It's a Mitzvah to adjudicate business disputes using the Halachos set down by the Torah. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always
Verse: "When you buy from fellow man or sell to him..." (Vayikra 25:14)Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Positive Mitzvah 67
Items that one stole need to be returned to their rightful owners, if their worth is more than a Peruta. (0.22 grams of pure silver - about 0.50₪ - $0.13 today)If the person one stole from died, one returns the objects to their Halachic heirs. If the stolen objects are no longer in one's possession, one returns their value. Included on this Mitzvah is returning money that one overcharged. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always Verse: "and he should return the stolen objects that he stole" (Vayikra 5:23)
Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Positive Mitzvah 68
A Cohen may not marry a Zona. A Zona being defined as:
- A woman who was not born Jewish, or
- A woman who had relations with a man she may not marry, or
- A woman who had relations with a Challal; a child born from a Cohen marrying a Zona
A child born out of wedlock may marry a Cohen if her parents were permitted [by Halacha] to get married. Applies to Cohanim ,everywhere, always Verse: "A Zona... they [the Cohanim] may not marry" (Vayikra 21:7) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Prohibition 138
If a Cohen has a daughter from a woman he is not allowed to marry, that daughter has the status of Challala. (The sons have the status of Challal.) Any woman who may not marry a Cohen yet has relations with a Cohen gets the status of Challala. A Cohen is not allowed to marry a Challala. Applies to Cohanim, everywhere, always
Verse: "A Challala... they [the Cohanim] may not marry" (Vayikra 21:7) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Prohibition 139
A Cohen is not allowed to marry a divorcee; if he does then their children are Challalim and he deserves 39 lashes by Bet Din. By Rabbinic decree a Cohen is prohibited from marrying a widow whose husband died without offspring and she underwent Chalitza by a surviving brother. Applies to Cohanim, everywhere, always Verse: "And a woman divorced from her husband he may not marry" (Vayikra 21:7)Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Prohibition 140
A Cohen is not allowed to become ritually impure - except for his parents, his father's sons and unmarried daughters, his own children and his wife. He may not touch nor carry corpses, nor be under the same roof nor hover over a corpse. The same applies to body parts as well as to blood from a corpse. A Cohen who becomes ritually impure deserves 39 lashes by Bet Din. A Cohen may help in the burial of a מת מצוה - if the burial will not happen without his assistance. Applies everywhere, always, to Kosher male Cohanim, but not to a Challal Verse: "He may not become impure for a non-relative" (Vayikra 21:1)Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Prohibition 141
Erratum: A Cohen is NOT allowed to become ritually impure - except for his parents, his father's sons and unmarried daughters, his own children and his wife.
It is forbidden to crossbreed different species of animals or birds. Applies to everybody, always, everywhere Verse: "Your animals you may not crossbreed" (Vayikra 19:19)
Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Prohibition 142
Any procedure that prevents a male from reproducing is forbidden. This applies to male humans and to male animals, both Kosher and non-Kosher animals. The prohibition includes using medication as well as surgical procedures done by either males and females. One may not even ask a non-Jew to neuter one's animal, though one may buy a neutered animal. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always Verse: "that which is bruised, or crushed, or broken, or cut... and don't do so in your land." (Vayikra 22:24)
Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Prohibition 143
Making sculptures of the human head (with or without the body) is forbidden and is punishable by 39 lashes from Bet Din. Drawing and engravings of heads are permitted.
Rings with seals of human heads:
- If the image is engraved, one may own it, but one may not affix a seal with it, since the seal will have an embossed head on it.
- If the image is embossed, one may not own it, but one may affix a seal with it, since the seal will have an engraved image on it.
One may not draw, engrave or emboss the likeness of the sun or moon. One is permitted to draw, engrave and emboss animals, trees and plants. One may not build a building with the same measurements as the Bet HaMikdash. One may not make a table identical to the one used in the Bet HaMikdash. One may not make a 7-branched Menorah out of any metal. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always Verse: "You shall not make..." (Shemos 20:23)
Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Prohibition 144 Rabban Gamliel had in his New Moon Beis Din (an extension of the Sanhedrin) drawings on the wall of the various phases of the moon some on the right side and some on the left side of the sun. He used to ask each witness individually if he saw the moon before or after the sun and how did it look. The pictures were specifically there to confuse the liar but would act as an aide to the correct witness.
It's forbidden to make scented oil using the recipe used for the Anointing Oil as described in Shemos Ch. 30, which was used by Moshe Rabbaynu to anoint the Mishkan and the Cohanim. This is forbidden only if one intends to use the oil as lotion. If one simply wants to learn how the Anointing Oil was made, then it's permitted to make it. Applies to everybody, always, everywhere Verse: "... and it's recipe do not replicate" (Shemos 30:32) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Prohibition 145
One may not produce incense using the recipe used to make the Ketores used twice daily in the Bet HaMikdash (Temple). It is forbidden to make ¼, ½ or ¾ or any other ratio of the recipe. If it is made for its aroma, it's forbidden even if it was not subsequently used. One is permitted to make Ketores for study-purposes only. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always Verse: "... and the Ketores incense... do not make for yourself" (Shemos 20:37, 38
Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Prohibition 146
One may not do any Melacha (work as defined by the Rabbis) on the first day of Pessach. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always Verse: "And on the 15th of the first month... all work you shall not do" (Vayikra 23:6) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Prohibition 147
There's a Mitzvah to be aware of Hashem's presence all the time. Any time one thinks of Hashem and the fact that He runs the world and that He is aware of our every movement and thought, one fulfills a Mitzvah. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 1:1
If possible, one should awaken at midnight and say Tikun Chatzos; lamenting the destruction of the Bet HaMikdash and the resultant loss of Torah learning as well as the numerous Mitzvos we can no longer do. If getting up at midnight is not an option, one should get up before dawn to say Tikun Chatzos. After Tikun Chatzos one should learn some Torah; Mishna or Tehillim or Mussar. At the very latest one needs to awaken in time to get to Schul before they start morning prayers. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 1:5
The Torah is divided into two parts: The written-law (Tanach) and the oral-law (Mishna and Gemara). Even if one knows parts of the written-law by heart, one should be careful not say them without a text. The exception being those verses that everybody knows by heart, like those Tehillim said often during prayers like אשרי If possible, one should pray from a Siddur, since Davening includes many verses that not everybody knows by heart. Blind people are allowed to say everything by heart.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 1:6
Upon awakening one should wash ones hands from a cup, alternating between the right and left hand until each hand is washed 3 times. Two reasons are given:
- You are starting a new day of serving Hashem; similar to a Cohen who had to wash his hands before serving in the Bet HaMikdash.
- Part of the soul leaves the body when one sleeps, therefore sleeping is considered a mini-death which generates impurity which needs to be washed away.
One should then wash ones face in honor of one's Maker, since the Pasuk says that man was created in Hashem's image. One should be careful to dry ones hands and face, for health reasons. One should also rinse ones mouth, in anticipation of saying Hashem's name during prayers. On fast-days one may not rinse ones mouth. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 2:1, 3, 121:10
Meat has to Kashered (soaked, salted and rinsed to remove the blood) within 3 days of being slaughtered. If this is not possible then the meat has to be hosed down every 3 days. It is forbidden to hose down meat on Shabbat, however one may ask a non-Jew to do so, to prevent the meat from becoming forbidden.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 80:56
The day before Rosh Chodesh is called "Yom Kippur Kattan". Mincha (the afternoon prayers) on Yom Kippur Kattan includes prayers asking for repentance, so as to begin the new month with a "clean slate". Some have the custom to fast on Yom Kippur Kattan. In anticipation of the month of Elul and the upcoming High Holidays, most communities say the Yom Kippur Kattan prayers before Rosh Chodesh Elul, in order to get into the Teshuva (repentance) mood. Tomorrow - Monday - is Yom Kippur Kattan for Rosh Chodesh Elul will be on Tuesday and Wednesday. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 97:1, 128:1
If one forgot to do so during the Amida of Maariv (evening prayers) - on either day - one does not need to make amends; since the Sanhedrin did not sanctify the month at night. If one forgot to do so during Sharcharis (morning prayers) or Mincha (afternoon prayers), then one has to return to the 17th Bracha of the Amida - רצה and make amends.
If one already finished the Amida - by saying Yihyu leRatzon - יהיו לרצון - then one needs to restart the Amida. One also needs to add Yaaleh VeYavo - יעלה ויבא - in Birkas Hamazon. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 19:10
Today - Tuesday - is the first day of Rosh Chodesh Elul. Today's date is 30 Av 5770. Tomorrow - Wednesday - is the second day of Rosh Chodesh Elul, and first day of the month of Elul. The next 40 days, starting tomorrow, correspond to the 40 days that Moshe spent on Har Sinai, to receive the 2nd set of Luchos (Tablets with the 10 commandments written on them). Moshe came down with these Luchos on Yom Kippur. Ever since, these 40 days are especially auspicious for Teshuva; repenting. The custom is to blow the Shofar after Sharcharis (the morning prayers) from tomorrow, until Tuesday, 28 Elul (7 September) , as a reminder to start improving one's Torah observance and to repent for past misdeeds. On Erev Rosh Hashanah the Shofar is not blown, in order to create a break between the custom of blowing Shofar in Elul and the Torah-commandment to blow Shofar on Rosh Hashanah. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 128:1, 2 Chodesh Tov - Danny
Starting tomorrow - Thursday - Sephardim say Selichos before Sharcharis and continue doing so the entire month of Elul until Erev Yom Kippur. This year Selichos - for Ashkenazim - start on Sunday (26 Elul / 5 September), 4 days before Rosh Hashanah. Selichos should be said before Sharcharis, towards the end of the night. The end of the night is an "Et Ratzon"; an auspicious time when Hashem is more receptive to listening to ones prayers. When arising for Selichos one should wash ones hands even if it's still night, and make the Bracha "Al Netilas Yadayim". One should say the 2 Berachos of Birkas HaTorah before saying Selichos. After Selichos one should wash ones hands again (if the first washing was pre-dawn), but one does not repeat the Bracha. One should preferably stand during Selichos; during the "Kel Melech Yoshev", 13 Midos and the Viddui one must stand. The Chazzan for Selichos should preferably be a Torah Scholar, well liked and if possible married with children and over 30 years of age. However, any Jew can be a Chazzan as long as the community approves. The same applies to the Chazzan for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippour as well as the person blowing the Shofar.
Selichos are not said on Shabbat. Source: Shulchan Aruch 581, 1
Ktiva Vechatima Tova; may all your prayers be answered, Chodesh Tov - Danny
One may not cut off hangnails on Shabbat; not with an instrument, nor by hand and not even by biting it off. (Hangnail: A small piece of dead skin at the side or the base of a fingernail that is partly detached from the rest of the skin.) One may not cut nails on Shabbat. If a nail is partly disconnected it may not be detached on Shabbat. If a nail is almost completely detached - and will eventually fall off - and it's causing discomfort, one can remove it by hand but not with an instrument. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 80:55
In the later case some prefer to remove it by teeth.
From the beginning of the month of Elul until after Yom Kippur, one should add seasonal greetings when writing to friends. This can be done at the start or end of the letter.
One should wish them - or bless them - with a good year; to be inscribed in the book of good life. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 128: 2
Ktiva Vechatima Tova; with wishes for a year full of blessings Doing Teshuva - repenting - is a mitzvah mentioned in the Torah. Even though Hashem is prepared to accept our Teshuva all year round, the days from Rosh Chodesh Elul until Yom Kippur are an auspicious period for improving ones ways. This dates back to when Moshe went up to Har Sinai to receive the second set of Luchos; Moshe went up on Rosh Chodesh Elul and returned 40 days later on Yom Kippur with the second set of Luchos. At the very least one should choose one Mitzva or Halacha to improve on during this period. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 128: 1
According to some opinions, today (7 Elul) the 10 spies died as a punishment for talking evil about the land of Israel. Any speech that can result in a person being harmed - emotionally, financially or otherwise - even if it's true - is usually forbidden. When there's a real need for the information to be passed on - e.g. to prevent harm to others - it is often permitted to relay the information. One needs to learn the Halachos of when this applies, since sometimes it's forbidden to withhold the information, other times it's forbidden to relay the information. Source: Orach Chaim 580:2, Chofetz Chaim, Hil. Shmiras HaLashon, Intro.
Some people have the custom to get their Tefillin and Mezuzos checked yearly during the month of Elul. At the very least one should check ones Mezuzos twice every 7 years.
Tefillin that are used daily do not need to be checked unless that get wet. However, one should check them every few years since they do wear out eventually. Tefillin that are only used occasionally should be checked twice every 7 years. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 128:3, 11:25, 10:26 Vinegar made from non-Kosher wine or grape juice is not Kosher.
Vinegar made from Kosher wine or grape juice that was not boiled, can still become non-Kosher if a non-Jew touches it, unless it's so strong that it bubbles when poured onto the ground. On Shabbat it's forbidden to add liquids into vinegar with the intent of making more vinegar. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 80:56, 47:10
More on Jewish Native Americans
I watched Glenn Beck and asked my Facebook friends for the Video Colleen sent me this: http://www.glennbeck.com/content/articles/article/198/44417/
Unfortunately it is only the first half of the show and the second half had the Ancient Hebrew Inscriptions found in America.
The Name of G-D almost sounds Yemenite Jewish in nature: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTBxXdBEeD4
Grandmother White Eagle wrote me: 'Out of the Flame' by James Adair , written in the 1700's and published in England, about the Cherokee. Mr. Adair lived among the Cherokee and believed they were, because of their practices, part of the tribes of Israel. My personal belief is that his book also drew some unwanted attention from our enemies. Their hatred of our people, Israel and an insatiable greed for gold, gave birth to remove the Cherokee from their homeland, known as
'The Trail of Tears'. Joe wrote: "Eshter : Publisher: Cherokee Language & Culture; reprint edition (1998) ASIN: B003JKSOH4
I was struck by how many full blood Cherokees had dark black hair and the bluest eyes I have ever seen. I am also descended from Pocahontas a Powhattan Indian. I discovered that her name that her father called her was Matoka and he said he called her that because she was sweet. In reading a Jewish named book I found the male name Matok which meant sweet. I also met a Jewish professor in CA. She travelled up to the North Pole and met a young woman named Matoka. Did you know that a Jewish metallurgist, Joachim Gans, was here in America before Pocahontas was born. He was responsible for saving England from the Spanish Armada. I would just love hearing your ideas. --Andrea
Mussar against Sinas Chinam: In a private discussion that I had with Yosef on the treatment of Black and Sephardic Jews he wrote me: We are going to watch and see if the Darfur refugees are going to be treated better than us in ISRAEL by White-Supremacists wanabees. And we Jews are too dense to unite together in love. We are separated with hatred toward another Jew that look different. Yet, the Muslims ( Mafia, fraternity etc.)world are much more united with Sharia Law being implemented. They too got the color problem, yet united in building a mosque at ground-zero and to Islamize America. Note: Jews in America today are as dense as we were in Nazi Germany. We don't see the handwriting on the wall. (Mene, mene tikel Uphrasin)
Elizabeth is my filter she gives me the best of the best 2 short video bytes: Repentance, Prayer and Charity avert the evil Decree: http://www.aish.com/v/ho/50574397.html
A brilliant mind conquers the limitations of the body http://www.aish.com/v/ho/49591472.html
Gematria Miracle? http://www.aolnews.com/world/article/boy-13-struck-by-lightning-at-1313-on-friday-13th/19594131?icid=main|hp-laptop|dl1|link4|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.aolnews.com%2Fworld%2Farticle%2Fboy-13-struck-by-lightning-at-1313-on-friday-13th%2F19594131\
From Rabbi A.L. Regardless of make or year, all units known as "Human Beings" are being recalled by the manufacturer. This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype units code named "Adam" and "Eve" resulting in the reproduction of the same defect in all subsequent units. This defect is technically termed, "Serious Internal Non-Morality," but more commonly known as "SIN".
Some of the symptoms of the SIN defect:
1. Loss of direction.
2. Lack of peace and joy.
4. Foul vocal emissions.
The manufacturer is providing factory authorized repair services free of charge to correct the SIN defect.
The repair technician, Hashem, has most generously offered to bear the entire burden of the staggering cost of these repairs, to repeat, there is no fee required.
The number to call in for repair is all areas is: PRAYER.
Once connected, please upload the burden of SIN through the REPENTANCE procedure, Next, download ATONEMENT from the repair technician, Hashem, into the heart component of the human unit... no matter how big or small the SIN defect is, Hashem will repair it with:
Please see the operating manual, TORAH, for further details on the use of these fixes. As an added upgrade, the manufacturer has made available to all repaired units a facility enabling direct monitoring and assistance from the resident maintenance technician, Hashem. Repaired units need only make His welcome and He will take up residence on the premises.
WARNING: Continuing to operate a human being unit without corrections voids the manufacturer's warranty, expenses the unit to dangers and problems too numerous to list, and will ultimately result in the human unit being incinerated.
Thank you for your immediate attention.
Please assist by notifying others of this important recall notice.
Star of David Rabbi Shraga Simmons
In modern times, the Star of David has become a premier Jewish symbol. This six-pointed star (hexagram), made of two interlocking triangles, can be found on mezuzahs, menorahs, tallis bags, and kipot. Ambulances in Israel bear the sign of the "Red Star of David," and the flag of Israel has a blue Star of David planted squarely in the center. What is the origin of this six-pointed symbol? The six points symbolize God's rule over the universe in all six directions.
Through the Jewish people's long and often difficult history, we have come to the realization that our only hope is to place our trust in God. The six points of the Star of David symbolize God's rule over the universe in all six directions: north, south, east, west, up and down.
Originally, the Hebrew name Magen David -- literally "Shield of David" -- poetically referred to God. It acknowledges that our military hero, King David, did not win by his own might, but by the support of the Almighty. This is also alluded to in the third blessing after the Haphtarah reading on Shabbat: "Blessed are you God, Shield of David." Various other explanations exist on the meaning behind the Star of David. One idea is that a six-pointed star receives form and substance from its solid center. This inner core represents the spiritual dimension, surrounded by the six universal directions. (A similar idea applies to Shabbat -- the seventh day which gives balance and perspective to the six weekdays.)
In Kabbalah, the two triangles represent the dichotomies inherent in man.
In Kabbalah, the two triangles represent the dichotomies inherent in man: good vs. evil, spiritual vs. physical, etc. The two triangles may also represent the reciprocal relationship between the Jewish people and God. The triangle pointing "up" symbolizes our good deeds which go up to heaven, and then activate a flow of goodness back down to the world, symbolized by the triangle pointing down. Some note that the Star of David is a complicated interlocking figure which has not six (hexagram) but rather 12 (dodecogram) sides. One can consider it as composed of two overlapping triangles or as composed of six smaller triangles emerging from a central hexagram. Like the Jewish people, the star has 12 sides, representing the 12 tribes of Israel.
A more practical theory is that during the Bar Kochba rebellion (first century), a new technology was developed for shields using the inherent stability of the triangle. Behind the shield were two interlocking triangles, forming a hexagonal pattern of support points. (Buckminster Fuller showed how strong triangle-based designs are with his geodesics.) One cynical suggestion is that the Star of David is an appropriate symbol for the internal strife that often afflicts Jewish nation: two triangles pointing in opposite directions! The Star of David was also a sad symbol of the Holocaust.
The Star of David was a sad symbol of the Holocaust, when the Nazis forced Jews to wear an identifying yellow star. Actually, Jews were forced to wear special badges during the Middle Ages, both by Muslim and Christian authorities, and even in Israel under the Ottoman Empire.
So whether it is a blue star waving proudly on a flag, or a gold star adorning a synagogue's entrance, the Star of David stands as a reminder that for the Jewish people... in God we trust.
Moshe Feiglin writes: Translated from the NRG website
It was Shabbat, and I needed to re-enter the hospital, where my son, David, is being treated. The doors to the hospital are equipped with an electric eye, automatically opening as a person nears the entrance.
This presents a problem on Shabbat, when it is forbidden to activate electricity. An electric eye that opens doors cannot be used on this holiest day of the week.
But never fear; the Tzomet Technological Institute has a modern, technological solution for every Jewish-law challenge that arises. The Tzomet Institute engineers attached a special light for Shabbat observers onto the door of the hospital. They drew a line on the floor in front of the door. Whoever does not cross that line will not be detected by the electric eye. As the Shabbat observer stands behind the line, he must raise his eyes to the light above the door and wait for it to turn green. Every three minutes, the green light goes on, indicating that the electric eye is now taking its Shabbat rest. Even if an elephant would walk over the threshold during those seconds, the electric eye would not detect it.
There I stood, waiting for the green light in my finest Shabbat attire, feeling slightly out of place as pedestrian traffic flowed into the hospital. Suddenly a short man, shaven head, muscled arms, beach clogs, shorts and tank top – I assume that he had just thrown his cigarette away – approached the door. He did not notice me because he was in the middle of a lively conversation on his cell phone, pressed against his ear. He stepped up to the door and the electric eye faithfully opened it wide. But just then, something strange happened. The man moved the cell phone from his right hand to his left hand and used it to cover his head.
I don't know if the person on the other end of the line understood that he was being used as a temporary kippah: The man's right hand lifted in a movement that cannot be mistaken, his legs marched the width of the door and brought him straight to the mezuzah. The door did not like the idea, but patiently waited until the man kissed the mezuzah. The cell phone promptly returned from the man's shiny head to his ear. His legs carried him forward and the door also understood that the ceremony was finished and returned to its routine.
I don't know who was stranger in this scene – me or him. It seems to me that something was out of place with both of us. Stranded outside the hospital door, watching all the people stream past, I seemed to have taken G-d's word to a place that seemed patently unrealistic. The man with the cell phone seems to have taken reality to G-d in a way blatantly opposed to the interpretation of the Sages, who passed the Torah on from generation to generation. Clearly, the Torah is what the Sages say it is, whether I like it or not. Historically, anyone who has tried alternative interpretations of the Torah has simply disappeared from the Nation of Israel.
In the truly Jewish state, Judaism is supposed to blossom from its current contracted state of religion, to the broad dimension of all-inclusive culture. We are supposed to connect heaven and earth – not to separate them by means of religion or secularism.
So how should a hospital entrance door look in the truly Jewish state? There are two possibilities: One, that the doors in the Jewish state will open with a handle, just like they used to not so long ago.
The second possibility is much more fundamental and true. The Torah of Israel must become the vibrant and vital culture of our lives. It will be the Torah of the Land of Israel in all its glory, Torah that connects heaven and earth in the most direct way – in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Just as King David was not religious or secular, in the future there will no longer be religious or secular Jews. The original Israeli culture that will develop here will inspire the entire world. We can already see signs of that happening today. The shoulders of Israel's sages will broaden enough to connect the Torah to life and to re-delineate the borders of permissible and forbidden. I believe that when that happens, the doors will be wide open for everyone.
KEEP THESE DATES! http://www.ou.org/holidays/calendar#holiday
Funny not to many Arabs considering their population have won this prize: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/139219
The Russians are as sneaky as ever: http://www.debka.com/article/8968/
Nuclear Reactor to go on line: http://www.debka.com/article/8970/
Please supply me with alligators from FL or Hamat Gader with tears for this one: http://www.debka.com/article/8971/
You are drinking poison: http://geraldcelentechannel.blogspot.com/2010/08/fluoride-truth-hits-mainstream.html
Time is running out! http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/bomb-irans-bushehr-nuclear-reactor
Coinciding with the end of Zachariah and Chapter 2 of Gemara Shabbos: Lynette -
Zionists of a different type: http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/onward-christian-zionists
On Shabbos time runs out: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/139171
Jihad anybody?: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/139185
Once upon a time fairy tale from Washington DC: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3940383,00.html
For my readers in Texas this should really make your day regarding terrorists: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_border_bridges
BREAKING NEWS: New Evidence Shows Judge Reade Unlawfully Presided Over Rubashkin Trial, Participated In Raid Planning forwarded with commentary by Emanuel A. Winston, Middle East Analyst & Commentator
A lot more than meets the eye through the Mainstream Media occurred during the trial of Reb Shalom Mordecai Rubashkin, of Agriprocessors Kosher meat plant, in Postville, Iowa. The planning by the Justice Department and the FBI are exposed herein.
Before the sentencing of Rubashkin to 27 years in prison, we learned that all the charges of hiring illegal aliens were dropped and that he was acquitted on all 67 counts of child labor charges. All charges of defrauding the Bank were also questionable. Rubashkin paid the Bank, until the raid by the Department of Immigration raided the plant, forcing Agriprocessors into bankruptcy.
If so, what charges were left on which to convict this man? He had brought many advantages to the community of Postville, Iowa from which the residents benefitted. He paid his workers so well that they did not want to unionize and Agriprocessors brought the highest quality of Kosher meat to American Jews. Even Muslims bought Agriprocessor-s meat because it met their standards for "Hallal" meat.
It seemed more than unfair that his trial was moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota - far from his home and large family in Postville, where it was difficult for his supporters to continually show their support.
A continual drumbeat was implemented to terrify American Jews into silence. This includes AIPAC (American-Israel Public Affairs Committee) and other Jewish organizations who would or could lobby Congress and the Media on behalf of Israel.
Some will recall the recent attack on AIPAC to virtually shut them down - only to withdraw their charges after generating several years of offensive and false headlines.
Despite this vicious propaganda campaign, Jews from all different religious groups stood up for Sholom Rubashkin in solidarity.
Clearly, charges should be brought against the Justice Department, the FBI, and the U.S. District Court Judge Linda Reade for collusion in carrying out a propaganda plan, not unlike what Adolph Hitler demanded of the Nuremberg Judges.
COMMENTARY BY EMANUEL A. WINSTON
Is Life for Rubashkin Overkill? By Edwin Black
Part 2 - Forwarded without commentary by Emanuel A. Winston, Middle East Analyst & Commentator
The disputed case of Reb Sholom Rubashkin deserves more facts, more explanation of a complicated case. Edwin Black gives us a great deal of that. No doubt, more will be revealed.
Did the government plan the raid against Agriprocessor-s because the Meatpacker-s Union wanted to unionize the company against the workers wishes?
Did the PETA folks influence an anti-Semitic tilt to the humane nature of the Kashrut standards for slaughter?
Rubashkin was acquitted of the multiple charges of violating child labor laws and the charges of hiring illegal aliens were dropped.
The only charges left standing were that Rubashkin was late in paying those who provided his cattle – but – he paid them all – (maybe several days late) until the May 2008 raid that put the company into bankruptcy.
There is more, much more. Evidence emerging speaks of a Judge who plotted with the Justice Department and the FBI to entrap Rubashkin, not as much as a criminal but, as a Jew. The Judge, U.S. District Chief Judge Linda Reade, northern Iowa, should be charged, investigated, tried and impeached. Those who plotted with her or who knew about her manipulations should be fired at least.
Most Washington insiders know that this on-going crusade (including by the 16 American Intel Agencies) against Jews is intended to close down any Jewish lobbying or Congress on life-and-death matters dealing with Israel, Muslim Arabs, Palestinians and Iran.
Attacking Jewish Law, such as Kosher laws and distributors, Jewish organizations and/or individual Jews (like Jonathan Pollard) is too well known in Washington. Their cumulative purpose seems to be to twist Israel-s arms to accept the Obama Administration-s outreach to Muslim countries and organizations.
There are 57 Islamic countries in the world, of which 22 are Arab. This includes but is not limited to Iran, Syria, HezbAllah, Hamas and Muslims generally approximately 1.57 Billion Muslims worldwide, 23% of the world-s population.
When America-s Judiciary, courts and Judges, the Justice Department, Homeland Security and the FBI/CIA become an extension of the Obama political regime and policy toward Islam, a religion that is hostile to everything America and the Free West believes in, then we, as nations and peoples are in very bad trouble.
COMMENTARY BY EMANUEL A. WINSTON
Those who call for leniency for Rubashkin have plausible answers, explanations, and denials for every accusation. Upon review, many of those accusations are unproven, unprosecuted, and some are merely rumors. His defenders claim he is a charitable man who did not personally benefit financially from his business mistakes. He went awry of the law, they say, for the sake of providing abundantly and readily available kosher beef to the Orthodox. In this, he was successful, serving not just the larger Jewish communities such as those in Brooklyn and Miami, but those located throughout the distant corners of the nation. More importantly, his defenders say, Rubashkin went awry of PETA, the meatpacking unions, overzealous federal prosecutors in Iowa, and certain social dynamics within the Jewish community. His advocates assert that he has been overcharged, over-prosecuted and is now being over-sentenced for some very ordinary transgressions that would land a similar defendant in jail for only a few years. Now, he is facing life imprisonment for financial crimes that have nothing to do with the illegal immigrant worker scandal that made headlines. In many ways, those financial crimes were caused by the government itself, apparently as the sole means by which federal sentencing guidelines could be dynamically goosed up.
It would be impossible to reinvestigate the details of this complex, years-long case. But this much is clear: Rubashkin and Agriprocessors have found themselves on the receiving end of extraordinary enforcement measures and prosecution that for many are hard to fathom.
Some of the details yield a stunning indictment of prosecutorial zeal. His attorney, Nathan Lewin, of the Washington D.C. firm of Lewin & Lewin, argues, “In the almost 50 years that I have been practicing federal criminal law first as a prosecutor and then as a defense attorney I have never heard of, or witnessed, as vindictive, excessive, and mean-spirited a criminal prosecution as the one conducted in the Northern District of Iowa against Mr. Rubashkin.”
This all stinks of anti-Semitism and a rotting government full of maggots. RP
Ted Turner cannot shake off his old Chevy Chase Anti-Semitic days:
HALF A TRUTH LEAVES HALF A LIE ON CNN!
by Emanuel A. Winston, Middle East Analyst & Commentator
All morning today, August 13th, CNN kept reporting on the apprehension of a man suspected to serial stabbing black men. His name is Elias Abuelazam, identified as an Israeli caught in Atlanta as he tried to board a plane for Israel.
That/s half the truth.
What they knew was that Abuelazam is a 33 year old Arab who happens to be accorded Israeli citizenship. Fox News reported that he was an Israeli Arab – which meant that news of his Arabic nationality was out and available to CNN. He is an Arab Israeli citizen, living in the US with a green card.
No doubt, sometime today, CNN - through peer pressure and sheer embarrassment - will reluctantly release the fact that Abuelazam is an Arab. Clearly, CNN has again demonstrated that its policy is pro-Arab and willing to distort the news to protect Arabs and Muslims. But, they are always quick to label Israel as a culprit through distortion or deliberately eliminating the facts of a story.
CNN remains an obvious State Department outlet along with being deeply influenced by the Obama regime. The word “Shame” is no longer part of the CNN lexicon, among other news outlets.
The facts of this story is that an anonymous tip on Wednesday August 11th to the TSA (Transportation Security Administration). Abuelazam is allegedly a serial stabber behind attacks in which 5 were killed and as many as 20 others wounded, over the past 2½ months in Michigan, Ohio and Virginia. Apparently, Abuelazam attacked mostly black men.
The investigation continues and police are searching for possible connections with other stabbing incidents.
We have all heard of the boom and bust cycle in economics, but it is tough to prove and figure out who is the reason behind them. A lot of us argue it is the Federal Reserve, and others blame the free market.
Well, it looks like the people in the Federal Reserve have an idea who is the culprit:
"Monetary policy is a useful tool, but it cannot solve every problem faced by the United States," Mr. Hoenig [Thomas M. Hoenig, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City] said in a town hall-style meeting in Lincoln, Neb. "In trying to use policy as a cure-all, we will repeat the cycle of severe recession and unemployment in a few short years by keeping rates too low for too long."
Mr. Hoenig added: "I wish free money was really free and that there was a painless way to move from severe recession and high leverage to robust and sustainable economic growth, but there is no short cut."
He was the lone dissenter in the 9-1 vote to buy Treasury debt instead of shrinking the Fed's balance sheet. But sometimes, all it takes is the first dissenter to have the courage to speak out, and others will join in. Keep your prayers on the alert for this.
‘THE SHIN BET WON/T LEAVE MY HUSBAND ALONE’ forwarded with commentary by Emanuel A. Winston, Middle East Analyst & Commentator
I am deeply ashamed of what was once a most honored security agency formed to protect the people of Israel. That changed once the politicians of the Leftist Labor Party found they could use the GSS to intimidate and conduct dirty tricks against the political Right. Soon, Court Judges were recruited to go along with illegal detention of Israelis. The once honored Police began to cooperate in a way that reminded older Jews of the Nazi Stasi agents and, in some cases, methods used by the Gestapo and certain nationals in other European countries to entrap Jews.
Much of this ugliness comes from politicians who want dictatorial control of the Israeli people and every government agency. To be fair, there are more honest agents than not - who risk their lives every day to protect the people and the nation of Israel. Then there are the politically biased directors who owe their high positions to crooked politicians whose greed for power has poisoned their role of government service. Biased courts, political security agencies were not what Israel was supposed to be but, regrettably, it is.
Israel was NOT supposed to be like her Muslim Arab neighbors, with hostile security agents mixed in with the populace but, those methods have, unfortunately, become quite common in Israel. There was a time when the people loved their Army, Shin Bet, Mossad because they were the peoples’ protectors. Then the politicians got their hands on these power structures and now people fear them. I wonder if the commanders and politicians ever think about what they are doing to their own nation by adopting the roles of thugs and enemies of the people whom they are sworn to protect.
And now for our Good Shabbos stories from Matis Wolfberg: Got Milk and Revenge is Sweet
Good Shabbos Everyone. Rosh Hashanah is quickly approaching. On Rosh Hashanah Hashem judges every individual, based upon their deeds and misdeeds of the previous year. It is therefore important, now more than ever, to do the right thing in life. What is the right thing in life? Thankfully, Hashem has given us the Holy Torah as a spiritual road map to guide us through life.
One of the fundamental principals in Judaism is that we have free choice. As we travel through life, we must make choices of what paths to take. Every traveler, especially a spiritual traveler, must have a navigator. The Torah tells us that our navigators in life are our Rabeim, our Torah leaders. Torah leaders are those who excel in their knowledge and understanding of the Torah as well as possessing a sterling character. Torah leaders are those who have climbed and who continue to climb the spiritual mountain through years of study and personal growth.
Because they have managed to climb to a higher point on the spiritual mountain, our Torah leaders have a unique perspective; a perspective which can help us navigate through life. Just as someone high up on a mountain can guide a person below to go in the correct direction, so too do our Torah leaders have the power to guide the Jews of the generation. Our Torah leaders are therefore a crucial part of our lives because they guide us in the right direction.
Regarding listening to Torah leaders, the Torah instructs us this week in our portion Shoftim: "According to the teaching that they will teach you and according to the judgment that they will say to you, shall you do; you shall not deviate from the word that they will tell you, right or left." (Devarim 17:11)
The Holy Ramban interprets this verse to teach us that if one listens to his Rav, he will have divine assistance to do the right thing in life. Thus, when we ask our Rabbis, it is as if we are getting a direct line to the will of Hashem.
The following amazing story illustrates the tremendous insight, which Hashem grants our Torah leaders.
Yosef G. remembered what it was like to be new in a yeshiva. So the experienced Yosef made a point of befriending many of the younger students, becoming like a big brother to them and helping to ease their way into the yeshiva schedule. Mendel was one of these boys. Yosef became his chavrusah - study partner, and the two spent many hours deep in study. In their conversations outside of learning, Yosef would motivate his friend to become more exact in his performance of the mitzvos and his fear of Heaven. One issue that bothered Yosef was Mendel's lenient attitude toward cholov yisrael, the requirement that the production of milk products be strictly supervised by a Jew. Yosef often reminded Mendel of the Halachic importance of cholov yisrael, and of how it helps avoid and eradicate timtum halev, impurities of the heart. But Mendel remained unconvinced. While he generally appreciated all that Yosef had to offer him, he continued to ignore him on this specific issue, instead continuing his lenient attitude toward Chalov Yisrael.
The years passed. Yosef and Mendel both left yeshivah, were married and embarked on their separate lives. Yosef later became a teacher of Torah. Over time, the two friends lost track of each other. Some time later, Yosef traveled to a city in the Midwest to attend the wedding of one of his students. It was then that, after many years, he finally met Mendel again. It was an emotional meeting.
Yosef, in particular, found it hard to control his feelings, especially when he noticed that Mendel was being supported in his chair by several medical pillows. Clearly, something was wrong.
"What brings you to this wedding?" Yosef asked, ignoring, at first, the obvious question about Mendel's health. Mendel smiled. "I was the one who helped bring this family close to Torah. They eventually became shomer Shabbos." "That's wonderful!" Yosef exclaimed. There was a short pause. Mendel shifted slightly in his chair.
"Listen, Yosef. Do you remember how you always encouraged me to be careful about cholov yisrael?" "Of course I do. Why do you mention it?" Said Yosef.
"Let me tell you a story. It will explain how I came to be in this condition and why the mitzvah of cholov yisrael is so important to me now." Said Mendel
Mendel had become seriously ill, and was hospitalized in preparation for major surgery. His condition deteriorated very rapidly. The doctors were pessimistic about his chances, giving him only a 5% chance of survival. His surgeon. Dr. Tony Menzalla (not his real name) was very curt when he instructed Mendel to say goodbye to his wife, children and parents. Mendel was delirious with fever when his family gathered anxiously about his bedside, yet he mustered his strength for the difficult task of bidding them farewell.
They had just left the room, and the doctor was about to inject Mendel with anesthetic in preparation for surgery when the phone suddenly rang. Somehow, Mendel reached out his hand and picked up the phone. "Hello?" "The Rebbe would like to speak with you," a strange voice said. "The Rebbe? Which Rebbe?" Mendel asked, confused. "The Rebbe of Tosh from Montreal (Rabbi Meshulem Feish Segal)."
"Who's that? I never heard of him." By now the Rebbe himself was on the phone. "Vein nisht, vein nisht, altz vet zein git, don't cry, don't cry, everything will be good." And then the Rebbe hung up. Mendel put down the phone as the doctor completed his preparations. "Who was that?" Dr. Menzalla asked curiously. "A rabbi from Montreal," Mendel answered shortly. "Who, the Tosh'er?" Mendel looked at the Roman Catholic doctor in amazement..
"That's right. Do you know him?" said Mendel. "Yes, I do. I go there once a year to get his blessing. So what did he say to you?" Said Dr. Menzalla.
"He told me not to cry, that everything will be good." Dr. Menzalla gave a dismissive wave. "So, what are you worried about? The rabbi said it will be good." And with those words Mendel fell asleep. The next thing he knew, the surgery was finished. He had woken up and he felt great! No fever. No nausea. None of the terrible side effects that are usually expected after surgery. It was unbelievable.
The doctor was pleased, but he cautioned Mendel, "You aren't out of the woods yet!" Dr. Menzalla planned on spacing out the surgery over time to minimize the danger. He wanted Mendel confined to bed-rest for an entire year. Only then would he conclude the surgery. Mendel was dismissed from the hospital with Dr. Menzalla's warning ringing in his ears. "Absolute strict bed rest! No long trips or plane flights. No standing or putting any strain on your back."
Mendel had every intention of following these orders and with Hashem's help, regaining his full health. It wasn't long after Mendel returned home that the phone rang with another call from the Rebbe. "I want you to come to me to Tosh." Mendel was in a quandary. He didn't want to turn down the Rebbe but he was terrified of disobeying the doctor's orders. He decided to call his father and ask his advice. His father encouraged him to go to the Rebbe, despite the admonition from the doctor, who had himself expressed faith in the Rebbe.
He and his wife flew to Montreal, and despite his fear he arrived feeling perfectly fine. A limousine had been arranged by the Rebbe to pick them up from the airport. On Friday night a huge crowd gathered for davening in the massive Tosh shul. Mendel too had come though he remained sitting down as his doctor had ordered. He watched with interest as the Rebbe entered a special roped-off area for prayer. Suddenly, the Rebbe turned around. He began pointing and motioning to Mendel. Mendel understood that the Rebbe wanted him to stand up and join him in the roped-off area. With the whole crowd watching, Mendel stood up and walked over to stand right next to the Rebbe. The davening resumed, with the Rebbe insisting that Mendel stand for the entire time. Mendel decided to do his best, though he hadn't stood up for this long in many months. Despite his fears, he managed to remain standing with no ill effects. After davening, the Rebbe asked someone to bring a chair with cushions. He had Mendel sit down, and then he gave Mendel a blessing.
The same scene repeated itself the next morning. The Rebbe had Mendel come stand next to him for davening, and insisted that he remain standing the entire time. Mendel knew his doctor would never believe that he had been able to remain standing for so long. The Rebbe asked Mendel and his wife to visit him after Shabbos. When they were seated in his room, the Rebbe opened a sefer - Torah book and began learning with them. First he discussed the importance of not bearing a grudge against others who harm you. And then he brought up the subject of cholov yisrael - Jewish supervised milk. The Rebbe turned to Mendel. "I want you to accept upon yourself that you will be stringent with cholov yisrael. It will be good for your neshamah - soul."
Immediately Mendel's mind flashed back to Yosef, his chavrusah - study partner, who for many months had stressed the same point. He had not taken it seriously then. But now, as he sat before the Rebbe, he finally pledged to be careful with cholov yisrael.
"Yes, it's taking time, Reb Yosef," Mendel said to his friend as he concluded the amazing story, "but now, Baruch Hashem, I am slowly on my way back to health." In the years that followed, Mendel continued to maintain a close relationship with the Rebbe. On another occasion, the Rebbe blessed him, "You should be able to handle great things that come your way." This blessing, too, came to fruition, as Mendel has opened up many yeshivos around the world, and has encouraged young adults to learn and come closer to Torah. (From Visions of Greatness p.160 Yosef Weiss).
Let us be inspired by this story to look to our Torah leaders, who have an extra special assistance from above to guide Jews through their spiritual travels in life. Good Shabbos Everyone.
Good Shabbos Everyone. At the end of this week's parsha Ki-Seitze, the Torah gives us the commandment to "wipe out the memory of Amalek from under the heaven -- you shall not forget!" (Devorim 25:19) Amalek had attacked the tired and weary Bnai-Yisroel when they left Egypt. Amalek's attack was a "cheap shot." Thus, it is a mitzvah to erase the memory of Amalek and to always remember their treachery in order to inspire hatred of the descendants of Amalek.
Historically, Germany has been associated with Amalek. Even if the only basis for such an association is "mashal", we can still learn from it. Just as we are commanded to wipe out the memory of Amalek which perpetrated a cowardly attack on the Bnai Yisroel, so too are we commanded to do to the Germans, who acted in a similar way during the holocaust.
How then do we blot out the memory of those who attacked us so cowardly? The answer is possibly the following: We can never undo what the Germans did; however, we can deny them their victory by perpetuating that which they sought to destroy. By raising big families who are dedicated to Torah observance, we will blot out the memory of the evil forces who destroyed us. The following inspiring true story illustrates one Jewish family's struggle to survive the cowardly German attack and to rebuild their lives.
R' Yisroel Zev Gustman, who passed away in Jerusalem in 5749 (1989), was a link to the glorious days of Torah greatness of pre-War Lithuania. At age twenty-two, he began serving on the Vilna rabbinate headed by the generation's leader, R' Chaim Ozer Grodzensky.
R' Chaim Ozer held the young rav in great esteem and forwarded halachic questions to him which were posed by the some of the greatest poskim of the day. When R' Gustman arrived in Eretz Yisrael several years after the War, he called on the world-renowned Tchebiner Rav, who was considerably older than him. The Rav recognized the name "Gustman" from a correspondence which he had once received when he had sent a question to R' Chaim Ozer many years previous. "Perhaps," the Tchebiner Rav asked him, "you are the son of HaRav Gustman from Vilna?" When the Rav realized that he was speaking to HaRav Gustman himself, he put on his hat and coat and recited the blessing one says when seeing an exceptionally great Torah personality.
Especially in his last years, R' Chaim Ozer's health was frail. On most afternoons, he was taken for a wagon ride in the forests on the outskirts of the city so that his lungs could inhale the fresh country air. Very often, he asked young R Yisroel Zev Gustman to accompany him, and the two would spend their time together discussing Torah topics.
One afternoon, for reasons which he did not explain, R Chaim Ozer broke with his usual practice of speaking words of Torah on their rides and instead used the wagon ride to give his escort a "guided tour" of the forest. "Over there," he pointed out, "is a cave . . . That plant over there is poisonous . . . The one over here, on the other hand, is not poisonous, and can in fact provide some sustenance ..." R' Gustman listened and nodded in understanding, but did not understand the purpose of all this information.
September 1, 1939 arrived. The Second World War erupted as Poland was invaded by Germany from one side and Russia from the other. Vilna, which was officially the capital of Lithuania, had been under Polish control since 1919.
Now, in what proved to be one of the great hidden miracles of the Second World War, Russia announced that it would be returning Vilna to Lithuania, and allowed that country to maintain its independence for the time being. Until the transfer officially took place, the border between Poland and Vilna would remain open. R' Chaim Ozer recognized this as an opportunity for rescue, and sent messages to the yeshivos in Poland to flee to Vilna even on Shabbos, in the hope that they could escape Russian tyranny and possibly depart from Lithuania for the free world.
The roshei yeshivah heeded R' Chaim Ozer's call and, along with thousands of yeshivah students, streamed into Vilna. R' Chaim Ozer, ill and often confined to bed, directed the massive organization and relocation of these yeshivos.
By fleeing to Vilna before the border between Poland and Lithuania was sealed shut, many roshei yeshivah and students were able to flee Eastern Europe, be saved from the horrors of the Holocaust, and play a major role in the revival of Torah study after the war.
Less than a year after the war's outbreak, in the summer of 1940, R' Chaim Ozer lay deathly ill. By that time, Russian troops had entered Lithuania and the situation had deteriorated. It would become considerably worse when the Germans declared war on Russia and invaded Lithuania.
As Jewry entered the month of Av, when we mourn the Destruction of both Temples, as well as other national tragedies of this long and difficult exile, it appeared that R' Chaim Ozer's time to leave this world had come. The rabbonim of Vilna were permitted to enter R' Chaim Ozer's room and take leave of him individually. When R' Gustman's turn came, R' Chaim Ozer grasped his hand and said, "You will overcome them — both the East and the West." To no one else did R' Chaim Ozer say these words.
Soon after the Nazis entered Vilna, they declared a certain day "Rabbis' Day," when they made a special effort to track down and eliminate every rav in the city, for they understood that the teachers of Torah infuse their people with faith and spirit. R' Gustman was seized by a Nazi soldier but miraculously escaped. He, his wife and their little daughter fled to the forests of Vilna.
It was then that R' Gustman recalled the day when R' Chaim Ozer had pointed out certain facts about the forest and its vegetation and where to hide in caves, and he now put that knowledge to use in trying to keep his family alive and well!
For almost five years they hid, and on numerous occasions were a hairsbreadth away from death. More than one hundred times during the war, R' Gustman recited Vidui (the confessional prayer said before death), certain that his final moments had arrived. In more than one incident, bullets scraped his scalp, barely missing his head. In several instances, Nazi soldiers looked straight at him but apparently did not "see" him. R' Gustman later said, "it was more than a miracle; it was a decree from Heaven. The Ribono shel Olam (Master of the Universe) Who decrees who shall die also decrees who shall live."
He and his family were among the very few to return to Vilna when the war ended. One night, a Jewish Communist knocked on R' Gustman's door to warn him that the Soviet regime which had regained control of Lithuania was planning to deport him the next day. That night, R' Gustman fled with his family, and eventually arrived safely in America and later to Eretz Yisroel. As R' Chaim Ozer had foretold, he had overcome the "East" — and the "West" — the Russians of Eastern Europe and the Germans of Western Europe.
The ultimate revenge against the Nazis is living a Torah observant life! 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.
Hebrew advertisement: י"בתשח זהבה בן רפאל אליהו לילד שלמה רפואה
י"בתשח 'חי בת פייגא להענה שלמה רפואה
Have a wonderful Shabbos, rest and reflect on the creations and miracles of G-D,