Kabbala 101 Lesson 3
1:1. In the beginning of God's creation of the heavens and the earth.
God’s creation of the heavens and the earth: But it does not say “of the Lord’s creation of” (i.e., it should say “of the Lord God’s creation of” as below 2:4 “on the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven”) for in the beginning it was His intention to create it with the Divine Standard of Justice, but he perceived that the world would not endure; so He preceded it with the Divine Standard of Mercy, allying it with the Divine Standard of Justice, and that is the reason it is written: “on the day the Lord God made earth and heaven.”
The Medrash explains this better than the Kabbala. As many pages are devoted to the debate in the creation of the world and the creation of mankind as the crown of creation. So where along the line, Angels were created to serve G-D and protect the plants and animals on earth. As for the DIVINE ATTRIBUTES of Justice and Mercy there was a debate within the heavenly court of G-D and each of HIS Sefiros and Attributes. Justice complained that man should not be created as with free will he will want to sin. Mercy argued for mankind to improve the mundane with man’s potential and make it spiritual. Justice countered with Tehillim 8:5 What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? What did HASHEM do? HE put down Justice that used the words of David Melech Yisrael and raised Mercy.
The Malbim brings down a dispute between Rav Nechemia and Rav Yehuda on the creation and that is whether or not absolute space exists between the Stars and Planets as the or there are particles flowing in space. When light was created first and then the material according to Rabbi Yehuda or the material and then the light would come. In Big Bang theory terminology we are speaking of the entire mass of the universe contract and exploding within an infinitesimal time period.
Establishing the time period of creation and at least having some semblance of scientific theory:
Axiom the whole of creation is from Telepathic thoughts becoming Telekinesis!
The simple way out is to take the clock maker example as told to me by the late Yacov Glicksman who may have received this from my Rosh Yeshiva or one of the leading Rabbis of our time. When one gets a watch from Switzerland or Japan and the time is ticking we can say if we want that the watch was there billions of years ago ticking this time or the watch was made yesterday ticking this time with all the parts in place. Not having been around when the watch was produced makes us exposed to various thoughts regarding the watch. The Universe is like the watch. HASHEM thought about it and placed it in its current state. Our Torah tells us 5771 years ago and so it was so. Our Torah tells us six 24 hr. days and so it was so. I do not have to ask if the watch has a maker or not as I see it is complicated. Yet when some people see the world filled with diverse creatures or the various systems inside of the human body, they start saying it happened by accident.
However, the known laws of physics and astrodynamics make me think of a different solution. Theory one could be that at the initial Big Bang the massive explosion and heat in the first few seconds was so great that the laws of astrodynamics as we know today were different and most stars and galaxies and galactic clusters were put into their places within 24 hours.
However, what happens if the laws of physics and astrodynamics then were the same as today there has to be a mechanism to move galaxies and planets into their places in 24 hours. The following is clear to me and may be over the head of non-scientists, but I have to supply a theory for massive teleportation of Galaxies on the day of the Big Bang within 24 hours to go to a 24hr. day. For me, it does not matter if the universe is 14,000, 000,000 or 5771 years old I have found nothing disturbing my faith either way.
Going back a conversation I had with Reb or Rav Rafael Solomon Shlita this Shabbos. He told me that the Lubavitcher Rebbe had written a letter that a day in creation is 24 hrs. that we know of. There are one or two other opinions on this in Torah terms and the Kabbala does explain the possibility of many years for each day up to the billions that scientists claim. However, to explain the Rebbe’s words I have to explain it according to the research of a non-believer back in early August 1966. At that time there was a woman named Gene Dixon who predicted among other things the Kennedy Assassination, sinking of the Nuclear Submarine Thresher and other events well in advance. A young student of Physics had to try to explain Mrs. Dixon’s brain waves moving into the future and returning. Assuming that the earth is rotating at 24,000 miles a day and moving around the sun at 18,000 miles per second for let us say she were to foresee an event on Tuesday and within a minute say what would happen in a month or three months from now that Tuesday the who thought process being less than a minute which would mean traveling back and forth in time. How is this? The speed of light is 186,000 miles per second so if I assume that the thought took place in a minute that would mean 60 seconds the total would be 11,160,000 miles. Let us take a month’s time. Now I can either assume the earth’s rotation needs to be taken into account and the distance of the sun plus the speed of the sun and the galaxy moving through space. However to make our calculations simple I will make only the speed constant and the distance in a straight line. In a month our earth would be moving in the simplest calculation 30 days x 3600 seconds a day x 18,000 or 1,944,000,000 miles which the brain waves must travel back and forth instantaneously or 3,888,000,000 miles. Obviously without taking into account the three other motions, the person with the ESP prediction has had his thought process go back and forth in time many times faster than the speed of light unless there is something above time.
This would mean that in theory my brainwaves could be here and physically be located on a planet around a sun many light years away and return to my mind instantly. How does one explain that physically as it appears to be travelling faster than the speed of light?
This is part of the Jewish religion: The Rambam’s 13 Principles of Faith list number 10 as: God's foreknowledge of human actions Or in Adon Olam “HE was, is and will be”.
To understand the physical universe we have in our three dimensional world length, width and height. Now according to Einstein there is a 4th dimension that we can measure called time. Our physical bodies see it over time. Time point A we have the Native Americans on Manhattan. Time point B we see Peter Stuyvesant and populace building a wall along a street in Manhattan and calling it Wall Street and another area there was a canal called Canal Street. Time point C we see the same streets after the American Revolution with George Washington being sworn in and time D the building of the Stock Exchange aka Stock Market opening there.
But to travel back and forth in time there had to be a dimension above that and it was first proposed by Klein in 1923 with the famous Klein’s Bottle. At that time a fellow who had just finished his freshman year in College said that I have found a principle of Cosmic Unity. Now the universe was one and one could essentially at least in theory be at any point in the universe in the picosecond or less that it takes to think. Then the student hit a stumbling block in his agnostic view when the oneness of the universe came into play and in the back of his mind came an old down trodden verse: Shema Yisrael HASHEM ELOKAYNU HASHEM Ehud. (Hear O’Yisrael the L-RD our G-D the L-RD is one) The name of the student with the theory but no mathematical proof or model was Richard Pauli.
In the late 1970’s or 1980 a Professor Schwartz or California Institute of Technology published a paper on an 11 Dimensional Universe (Sefiros anybody?) This would allow at small wave lengths between the dimensions of matter in theory to be transferred instantly though out the universe and whole galaxies during the big bang spewed out through space on the first day or stars condensing on the fourth day which each day being 24 hours.
Returning to Beginning:
Four worlds of Emanation in the creation development are mentioned in the Kabbala: 1) Beria or Creation (2) Yetzira or Formation (3) Asiya or Action and this is where we are today. Each level according to my understanding of the Tanya is 7,000 years which is unclear to me why the Rebbe who knew the Tanya backwards and forwards mentions 24 hour days but I can’t just go out and resurrect the Rebbe at this moment to ask him my question unless he were to explain it in a dream. 4) Azilut or the Noble world closer to Ayn Sof. After that world is Chayay HaOlam Haba (life in the world to come).
Picture this that at first the whole universe or universes is/are filled with the light of HASHEM and then HE undergoes Tzimtzum or condensation allowing for crevasses of space. The initial creation now takes place. There is no longer the pre-primeval light of HASHEM everywhere but the light of the Big Bang and patches of darkness further away or in areas where light giving material is not spewed. In this area is the planet earth with the Tzimtzum of HASHEM in the depths of darkness. A water filled globe with not mountains or vast depths in the ocean.
As it is written: 2. Now the earth was astonishingly empty, and darkness was on the face of the deep, and the spirit of God was hovering over the face of the water.
Astonishingly empty: Heb. תֹהוּ וָבֹהוּ. תֹהוּ is an expression of astonishment and desolation, that a person wonders and is astonished at the emptiness therein. on the face of the deep: on the face of the waters which were on the earth and the spirit of God was hovering: The Throne of Glory was suspended in the air and hovered over the face of the water with the breath of the mouth of the Holy One, blessed be He and with His word, like a dove, which hovers over the nest, acoveter in Old French, to cover, hover over.
3. And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. 4. And God saw the light that it was good, and God separated between the light and between the darkness.
And God saw the light that it was good, and God separated: Here too, we need the words of the Agadda: He saw it that it was not proper for the wicked to use it; so He separated it for the righteous in the future. According to its simple meaning, explain it as follows: He saw it that it was good, and it was unseemly that it [light] and darkness should serve in confusion; so He established for this one its boundary by day, and for that one its boundary by night.
Rashi has now explained for us the good and the lack of good. There was a far - away earth receiving light on one side and rotating into darkness on the other. The earth was receiving enough radiation from the center of the Universe at this time to develop on the third day plant life via amino acids. The latest theories about Titan the moon of Jupiter although far from the sun: http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/columnist/vergano/2010-06-06-titan_N.htm
So do not be rattled if a planet speeding through space from day one with primeval radiation now has the plant life on the third day and is waiting for a suitable star and proper distance for the animal life to begin. Roger P. sent me this link of Prof. Arnie Godfryd on this subject. Where faith and science meet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNj0lZdNpCQ&feature=player_embedded#!
Rabbi Shimon Leiberman of Aish HaTorah writes regarding what Kabbala is not an example of pure non-Torah reading of the Kabbala: A great scientist picks up these notes, reads them and ponders their meaning. He begins to construct a mega-picture. He tries to envision what the entire system may be like. He knows that there are no instruments, nor can there be, to actually see the particles he imagines, and therefore he gropes for metaphors that will accurately connect the bits of data that the physicist collected. Thus, he begins to speak of "super strings," "atomic tunnels," "energy bridges," and "ten dimensions."
Of course the light of the universe is more than the physical and the full not Kabbala 101 runs into hidden NAMES of HASHEM in one form or another, Angels, Attributes and Emanations as well as our own spiritual knowledge. There are 7 keys to opening up the Kabbala and I myself are not on the level of more than one or two. Simple translation is not enough and actually the best guide is the Sulam in Hebrew. However, the Sulam, Tanya and Etz Chaim or the works of Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzato are full of introductory Kabbala work the question is a matter of time and a matter of a level of understanding.
I am trying to make for myself mystical sense of light not penetrating of dark spaces in the crevasses in the Tzimtzum of HASHEM. For to have dark physical spaces billions of miles from a star with shadows of planets in front is one thing but to get spiritual lacking because of the contraction of the light of HASHEM is a different story. For there is more than meets the eye.
Parsha Lech Lecha
Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Jacobson Shlita wrote this week: Selfish
A big, burly man visited the rabbi's home and asked to see the Rebbitzen, the rabbi's wife, a person well known for her numerous charitable deeds. "Rebbitzen," he said in a broken voice, "I wish to draw your attention to the terrible plight of a poor family in this district. The father is dead, the mother is too ill to work, and the nine children are starving. They are about to be turned into the cold, empty streets unless someone pays their rent, which amounts to $6,000."
"How terrible!" exclaimed the Rabbi's wife. "May I ask who you are?"
The sympathetic visitor applied his handkerchief to his eyes. "I'm the landlord," he sobbed.
There is an image I read as a child, which I want to share with you today.
Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson, the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe (1880-1950) describes in his diary how his father, Rabbi Sholom Dov Ber, the fifth Rebbe of Lubavitch (1870-1920) would review the Torah portion of "Lech Lecha" (the third portion of the book of Genesis) each year on Friday afternoon, prior to the Sabbath. (This is an ancient Jewish custom, to review the weekly Torah portion on Fridays).
The Rebbe related how when his father would recite the opening words of the portion, "Lech Lecha Maartzecha", "two gigantic tears rolled down from his saintly face."
"Lech Lecha Maartzecha" are the Hebrew words expressing G-d's instruction to Abraham to "Go from your land, your birth place and your father's home, to the land that I will show you." Each year, recalling these words, the Rebbe's eyes swelled with tears.
But what did he see in this verse that melted his heart? What was it about this message that moved him so profoundly?
Capturing the Essence
This brief instruction to Abraham -- the first communication of G-d to the father of Judaism -- captures the essence, mystery and destiny of 4,000 years of Jewish history, a history soaked in so much courage, blood, tears and triumph. What is Jewishness? What is the ultimate meaning of Jewish existence? What is the calling of the Jew?
It is the response to a call: "Go from your land, your birth place and your father's home, to the land that I will show you." Go away from yourself and become Mine. Judaism, in its truest meaning, is about creating a paradigm shift -- from self-centeredness to G-d-centeredness; from my land to the land which I am shown.
3700 years ago, a lone human being, sophisticated and refined, heard a call. This was not merely an instruction about geography, a demand to relocate homes; it was an invitation to an existential shift. Leave yourself. Step away from your perspective, and begin to see things from My perspective. Stop living according to your habits and inclinations, and begin to live according to My will.
For one who never heard the call, this seems like lunacy. But Abraham and his descendant's heard a call and they could not remain indifferent. To betray it would be akin to a sensitive soul refusing to be moved by a heart-stirring poem or piece of music. When Abraham became aware of the living presence of G-d, there was no turning back. He could deny it all he wanted, but he knew that life without it would be that much more shallow and superficial. To reject the call might have spelled loyalty to the scientific demand for laboratory-type evidence, but would have come at the expense of betraying his deepest layer of self.
Close to 4000 years later, the call still summons us. "Go from your land, your birth place and your father's home, to the land that I will show you." Step out of yourself and commit to that which G-d desires of you. Allow your life to be linked to rays of truths looming larger than your ego.
Can we hear the call? Do we know how to respond?
External Influence, Inner Wisdom Rabbi Max Weiman
What leads one person to imitate others, while another person is a fount of originality?
We all tend to be influenced by the society around us. Our attitudes, style of dress, and sense of values get molded and shaped by people we associate with. It's only natural. It takes a special ability to fend off society's influence. That ability comes from within. And it's based on a burning desire for truth, the strength to oppose falsehood wherever it lurks. Every soul has this desire; it's part of who we are. It's our spiritual technology. But it gets covered over when we seek approval, when we don't want to stick out, when we don't want to be ridiculed. These fears are part of the "lower self," and they plague us in many ways, all day long.
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ABRAHAM THE ORIGINATOR
God spoke to Adam, who passed on a Divine message to his children. This tradition existed down to Noah, his son, Shem, and his great-grandson, Ever. But Abraham did not receive that tradition. He grew up and lived with idolators. And then one day, he looked out into the world, saw the design in nature, and concluded there must be an Infinite Creator. After developing a philosophy of life based on Monotheism, Abraham then came upon the school of Shem and Ever, who helped further his religious ideals. So Abraham's legacy to us is one of independence of thought. He didn't accept what his society was offering.
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A BURNING DESIRE
A great teacher I had the privilege of being near, Rabbi Yehuda Davis z"l, once looked at his students and said, "Some of you are smarter than me. Some of you have a better memory. You know the one thing that's different about me? I have a burning desire for truth." The sages say that because Abraham had a burning desire for truth, God opened him up like a wellspring of wisdom. In other words, somewhere inside us is a barometer of truth and a source of wisdom. The soul is your source of unbounded wisdom. One of the Talmudic sages, Rabbi Eliezer, was already a young man but he had never been able to learn. He had such a strong desire for truth that he repeatedly broke down in tears while praying for wisdom. Because of his strong desire, God opened up a path for him to eventually become a great sage. A well-known phrase expresses this well: "Nothing can stand in the way of desire."
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KNOW YOUR PLACE
A Talmudic tradition (Avot 6:6) says there are 48 facets of the human experience that enable us to access a higher reality. One of those is called, "The one who knows his place." In order to prevent societal manipulation, you need to know who you are and what you stand for. You have to have a spiritual backbone. Who are you? Who is around you? What is your job, your purpose in life? What unique talents do you have, and how does this provide you with both opportunities and responsibilities? Every situation needs to be treated differently. When is it the time to negotiate and when is the time to fight? Wouldn't life be easier if we could just be a hammer and treat everything as a nail? When we have a strong inner barometer, we are able to make these decisions more efficiently.You need to be able to approach life from the inside out, not react to life from the outside in.
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LIVING WITH GOD
One of God's nicknames is the Place; the injunction to "know your place" also refers to God. We need to discover the reality of living with the Infinite. He is always with us; we just don't always recognize it. If we are living with the presence of the Almighty, then we have a moral compass built in. God isn't influenced by society. It doesn't matter how many millions of people say your viewpoint is wrong. If you are one with God, their opinion will not affect you. The consciousness of being one with God is like a blowtorch for anything that may lead a person astray. When you reach a level of being impervious to praise or insult, when you are unaffected by your society, yet able to learn from its positive aspects, you will be God-like. And that is the greatest expression of individuality and independence. http://www.aish.com/tp/b/mt/48949941.html
After Adam sinned and G-d saw that it was impossible to achieve by natural processes a state in which all of mankind would be good, He decided to create a single emissary, one nation which would be anointed as G-d's Messiah on earth, a light unto the nations to teach them G-d's ways. This Messiah, this chosen people, was Israel. Israel was called “Adam” because it was they who were to continue the mission of Adam, who was created for this purpose yet failed. For two thousand years, G-d searched for the man who would undertake Adam's mission but execute it differently, who would fashion a nation – from his seed – which would be G-d's elect, a holy nation that would sanctify itself and thereby influence the world to accept the yoke of Heaven. G-d waited two thousand years, searching the world over to find one person who would be worthy to have this nation emerge from him. Yet, He did not find him until he enhanced the intellect and understanding of our forefather Abraham, making him ready for this mission if he would only use that understanding for self-sacrifice. This is the intent of Beresheis Rabbah 30:8, which stated that Abraham “was ready to direct the whole world in repentance.” Clearly, greatness cannot emerge from lowliness, and G-d perfects the spirits of certain beings for greatness. Yet, if they do not use this Divine gift, it goes to waste.
As our sages said (Esther Rabbah, 6:3), “Noach was ready to recognize his Maker”, yet he did not sacrifice himself for this. Abraham's intellectual improvement came about through his being from a family that was close to the monarchy and to priests of idolatry. It is obvious that this was so, for they certainly would not have allowed just anyone to fashion and sell idols as they did with Terach [his father]. Since Abraham was in this position, he had the opportunity to learn and ponder. The same goes for Moses. G-d arranged for Moses to grow up with Pharaoh so that he would be surrounded by royalty and greatness. All the same, whoever is unready for self-sacrifice forfeits G-d's improvement.
Nedarim 32a teaches, “When Abraham was three, he recognized his Creator, as it says, “It is because [“ekev” in Hebrew] Abraham obeyed My voice [and kept My charge, My commandments, My decrees and My laws]” (Gen. 26:5). Abraham lived 175 years, and “ekev” has the numerical value of 172. It is thus interpreted that out of his 175 years, he kept G-d's charge for 172 - “ekev” - years, i.e. all but the first three.
Rambam explains (Hilchos Avoda Zara 1:3): Weaned, but still a toddler, Abraham's thoughts began to soar. Day and night this great spirit would ask himself how our world could function without a master. He wondered who was directing it, for it could not possibly direct itself. No one had taught him or informed him of anything. He was immersed in Ur Kasdim among foolish idolaters, his father and mother and his whole nation, and he worshipped with them. Gradually his understanding grew until he grasped the truth through apt perceptions. He knew that there was just one G-d and that He conducts the world and created everything, and that in all the universe there is no G-d but Him. He knew that the whole world had erred, and that their error was due to their having worshipped the stars and images until they lost the truth. Abraham's knowing his Maker began with his understanding as a small boy that idols are meaningless. Terach made and sold them, and the boy certainly saw how they were made and understood that something man made cannot possibly be man's master.
Our sages said (Beresheis Rabbah, 38:13). “R. Chiya, grandson of R. Ada of Jaffa, said: Terach was an idol worshiper. One time he went out and left Abraham to sell idols for him. When a customer came in to make a purchase, Abraham would ask how old he was, and he would reply that he was fifty or sixty. Abraham would then say, woe to the sixty-year old who wishes to worship something one day old. The customer would be embarrassed and leave. One time a woman came, carrying a plate of fine flour, and said, take this and place it before the idols. Abraham took a staff and broke all the idols, placing the staff in the hands of the largest idol. When his father returned, he asked Abraham who had done this, and Abraham responded: I cannot lie to you. A woman came with a plate of fine flour and told me to place it before the idols. I did so and they all began arguing over which one would eat first. Then that large one took the staff and smashed the others. Terach then said: Why are you mocking me? Do they have minds? Abraham responded, can your ears not hear what your mouth is saying? Terach took him and handed him over to Nimrod. Nimrod said to him, let us worship fire, and Abraham replied , let us worship water which douses fire. Nimrod said, then let us worship water, and Abraham replied, if so , then let us worship the clouds which hold the water. Nimrod said, let us worship the clouds. Abraham replied, let us worship the wind which disperses the clouds. Nimrod said, let us worship the wind. Abraham replied, let us worship man, who is not moved by the wind. Nimrod said, this is all just talk. I only bow down to fire. Now I shall throw you into it, and let the G-d that you bow down to come and save you.”
Thus, once Abraham's belief was complete, he proceeded to risk his life for the Oneness of G-d, treating idolatry with contempt. First, he did so with his father's idols, and then he went out and chastised the public. Abraham completed his spiritual development by not retreating or denying his faith, instead sanctifying the name Heaven (see Pirkei DeRabbi Eliezer, Ch. 26, where it says that before he was thrown into the fiery furnace,he also sat in prison: “His second trial was his being imprisoned for ten years, three in Cutha and seven in Kardu.”) This is how Abraham grew to greatness. G-d searched for someone fit to inaugurate the era of Torah, someone from whom the Chosen People could emerge and become G-d's anointed emissary to disseminate the true Jewish idea throughout the world. Such a person had to be unique, someone who would find the truth himself and be ready to risk his life for it without and prophecy or revelation by G-d until after he had passed his test.
The true believer is known solely for his complete Bitachon, his readiness to sacrifice his life for Kiddush Hashem. Our sages said (Shir HaShirim Rabbah, 1:13): “My beloved is to me a bundle of myrrh” (Song of Songs 1:13): R. Azariah, in the name of R. Yehuda, interpreted this verse as dealing with Abraham: Just as his myrrh heads the list of spices [Ex. 30:23, for the sacred anointment], so is Abraham at the head of all saints. Just as this myrrh gives off no scent without fire, so were Abraham's deeds unknown until he was thrown into a fiery furnace.
In other words, there was no proof of the genuineness of Abraham's faith until he was ready to sacrifice himself for Kiddush Hashem, trusting not that he would be saved, but in the truth of G-d's existence and in His ultimate victory. Having Bitachon does not mean trusting that if one does a specific act he will be saved or that G-d will give him what he wants. When Abraham was ready to fall into a fiery furnace, he was not certain he would be saved, yet he was still ready to do it for the sake of Kiddush Hashem. He was certain of G-d's existence. Precisely his brother, Haran, who linked his trust in G-d to that G-d would perform a miracle for him, was killed. As our sages say (Beresheis Rabbah, 38:13): Haran was there, and he had conflicting thoughts. He said, “Either way! If Abraham wins, I will say that I am with Abraham, and if Nimrod wins, I will say that I am with Nimrod.” When Abraham entered the fiery furnace and was saved, they asked Haran, “Whose side are you on?” and he answered that he was with Abraham. They took him and threw him into the fire, and his innards burned up... He died in sight of Terach his father.
We see that G-d does not perform miracles for those who rely on them. That is not Bitachon at all but knowledge that one will be saved. Bitachon comes into play precisely where there is danger, when a person does not know whether he will be saved, yet trusts in G-d anyway, championing Divine truth destined to win out. This self-sacrifice is the pinnacle of Bitachon, as stated, and from it stems Kiddush Hashem. Kiddush Hashem is a trait that nothing else transcends; and because Abraham was ready to sanctify G-d's name even at the cost of his life, he merited to be chosen as G-d's select son, from who would emerge lofty, holy seed.
The Jewish people were conceived through the self-sacrifice of their founder, our forefather Abraham, and only through such self-sacrifice, the climax of accepting the yoke of Heaven, was it possible to anoint the messenger nation of G-d. The Jews are unique because they possess the truth and are, moreover, obligated to preserve in their self-sacrifice on its behalf, even if standing alone like Abraham, the first Jew. Compiled by Tzipora Liron-Pinner from "The Jewish Idea" of Rav Meir Kahane, HY"D
Mitzvos and Halachos by Danny Shoemann
One may not rip out hair from one's head while grieving over a deceased person. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always Verse "Do not make a bald spot... because of a death." (Devarim 14:1) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Prohibition 164
Divination: The practice of discerning the hidden significance of events and foretelling the future. (Britannica Concise Encyclopedia) Divinations - of both past and future events - is forbidden. Examples of forbidden divinations include:
- "My bread fell out of my hand - so I will not go shopping today"
- "I dropped my walking stick - so I will not travel today"
- "If such-and-such happens, I will do something-or-another"
If one acts based on one's divinations, one has transgressed this Mitzva. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always Verse: "Do not practice divination (Vayikra 19:26)
Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Prohibition 165
It is forbidden to declare certain times as auspicious or inauspicious. Thus it's forbidden to say "this time frame (hour, month, day, and month) is a good time to do something" or "this time frame is NOT a good time to start some activity". Whoever plans his activities based on auspicious or inauspicious times, has transgressed this Mitzva. Also included in the Mitzva is the sin of magical illusions by sleight of hand; giving the impression one is doing something amazing, when in reality nothing is being done.
Applies to everybody, everywhere, always Verse: "Do not act on the basis of auspicious times" (Vayikra 19:26)
Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Prohibition 166
A Kosem is somebody who beats the ground with his staff or belt while chanting gibberish until he goes into a trance; after which he starts to foretell the future. One who puts himself into a trance to foretell the future - or to make decisions - has transgressed this Mitzva. By Rabbinic decree one may not inquire about future events from a Kosem.
Applies to everybody, everywhere, always Verse: "You shall not have any ... thoughtful soothsayers in your midst" (Devarim 18:10) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Prohibition 167
One who does magic - using herbs, stones, potions or similar - deserves to be stoned to death by Beth Din. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always Verse: "There shall be no... wizards amongst you" (Devarim 19:10) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Prohibition 168 Anyone who has read all of Tractate Sanhedrin knows the story of the dying Rabbi Eliezer HaGadol telling Rabbi Akiva that his death is going to be harsh for he did not learn all that he could as there are the laws of witchcraft. This means that knowing what witchcraft is (as one knows words in foreign languages and doesn’t speak them) is not forbidden only the practice. Thus if one took a skull and said atlas poor Yurok I knew him well vs. divination via the skull of Yurok.
Chanting gibberish in order to heal is forbidden. Chanting gibberish as a protection from snakes and wasps is forbidden. If one does either of the above while waving one's hand or a stick, or while making any other motion, one deserves 39 lashes by Beth Din. By Rabbinic decree it's forbidden to do the above even without any motions. By Rabbinic decree it's forbidden to ask somebody else to do the above for one's own protection or convalescence. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always
Verse: "There shall be no... Witch Doctors amongst you" (Devarim 19:10-11)
Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Prohibition 169
"When a member of one's household is unwell, one should go to a Rabbi and ask him to pray for mercy" is what Rav Pinchas bar Chama taught us in Bava Basra (116a) based on a verse in Mishlei (17:14). It's customary to also give charity to the poor, since "Repentance, Prayer and Charity abolish evil decrees". The custom is to make a special "Mi Sheberach" prayer in the synagogue for the patient; even on Shabbat, if the condition is life threatening. In extreme cases, the patient's name is changed (usually by adding another name), as this is another effective way of abolishing evil decrees against a person. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 192:2
A person may not rely on miracles when it comes to health issues. When one is not feeling well, one must consult a qualified medical practitioner. Refusing to do so is a sign of arrogance, besides for the prohibition of endangering one's life. One should use the best doctors one can find; yet pray to Hashem that this doctor should be His successful messenger. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 192:3
Even though illness is divinely decreed on a person; the Torah commands the Doctors to heal, as it says in Shemos 21:19 - וְרַפֹּא יְרַפֵּא - and he shall be healed. It's a Mitzva for experts in the medical field to heal people; there is no greater Mitzva than saving lives. A Doctor who refuses to heal is considered a murderer - even if there are other doctors around, for some illnesses are decreed to leave only after a certain Doctor treats it. However, somebody who is not trained to be a medical practitioner should not try healing people, for mistreating illness is also considered murder. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 192:4
In order to save a life, one may take medicine that is not Kosher. One may also transgress any other Mitzva needed to save one's life, with the exception of murder, adultery and idolatry. In non-life threatening situations:
- One should not take non-Kosher medicine, if there's a Kosher alternative readily available.
- If only non-Kosher medicine is available, it may be used. However, if it has a pleasant taste, then one should spoil its taste, for example by adding something bitter to it, or wrapping it in tissue paper.
- If the medicine is a mixture of meat and milk, a Rabbi should be consulted, since normally meat and milk mixtures cannot be used as medicine. The same applies to Kilay Hakerem; grains and grapes that grew in close proximity.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 192:5, 6, 7 I cannot think of medicine off hand that is made from a milk-meat mixture but there are medicines made from cartilage that Orthopedists recommend for people who have lost cartilage and most are non-kosher. Since a specialist recommended this, and usually the pill can be swallowed; the Rabbis allow this for a number of reasons.
When selling medicines, one is not allowed to charge more than the fair market value of the medication. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 192:10
Story of the week from A.J.
It is a sin to remind a person of their past and therefore although I was privileged to receive this writing am giving A.J. credit with HASHEM but keeping her private.
My Journey from the Church to Judaism on Friday, October 8, 2010 at 6:35am
- In response the countless emails I have received in the past and continue to receive, I have decided to post a general note of explanation for those interested in TRULY knowing. I want to start off by first saying to my friends from the church that please note that through out my note you will see me use various terms that "may" be offensive to you. This is NOT my intention. However, I am forbidden to speak the name jc or some other various xtian terms due to my personal belief in Hashem being ONE and not a 3 in one ordeal. I am not to mention the name of what we consider to be "other" gods.
Please note that:
Hashem = G-d (means the name)
xtian = NOT meant to offend
jc= NOT meant to offend
It all started back in 2004/2005. A…, being a studier and one to ask questions decided to go on a quest for "proof" that jc was G-d, the messiah etc. At that point I was only looking to confirm my own faith at that time. My digging however, surprisingly brought me to a whole different light and down a totally different Road Map. I have decided to keep this in an outline that would be easier to follow. I am going to address the 5 W's (who, what, where, when and why)
WHO: This transformation took place by forcing myself to meet with various xtians, pastors, Orthodox Rabbis and Orthodox friends. I wanted to understand full from both sides. Sadly as my questions got extremely deep and invasive, pastors were no longer able to give me proof texts, only the line "we believe by faith, you must too" However, on the flip side, the Rabbis I went to constantly welcomed me, enjoyed providing in depth proof contexts, and welcomed me back for more questions (maybe some regretted that invitation LOL)
I first started with only questioning if jc was truly G-d and where the roots of that came from. After determining he was not, and the trinity is a false man made doctrine, I went on to dig deeper to see if jc was at least possibly the messiah. We all know where that ended up. In my heart I wanted jc to be the truth. This is what I believed my whole life. I was scared to no end. Could it be possible that for 32 yrs. of my life I was being innocently deceived? If I let go of jc aren't I bound for hell. I cried out for someone to give me answers from the Evangelical world. Men that have doctorate degrees in Theology....but left me empty from any validity to my questions.
SO the WHO of my journey were Respectable Evangelical Pastors with Doctorate degrees, Orthodox Rabbis, Myself, My Children, and MY KNEES where I spent a lot of time crying out to Hashem for Truth. AHHH as always, He was faithful to come through. G-d brought my soul to Judaism. Where I am allowed to question anything, walk a much fuller spiritual life; see Hashem through totally different glasses, and a real means of drawing on Hashem for every part of my life.
WHAT: I used several resources in my journey. Here are a few....that I started with AFTER spending countless hours with both pastors and Rabbis.
These people were responsible for the foundation and grounding of my current faith besides my local pastors and Rabbis. I use the Chumash, Tanach, as the foundation of my proof texts and why the New Testament can NOT be validated when looked at through the original Hebrew texts - More of that later.
WHERE: So after I got to a comfortable level in my beliefs and realizing I wasn't going to 'hell' I decided to further my studies and walk by moving to Park Heights (Baltimore) where I lived for a year. This was when the HEAT OF REJECTION started. WOW, various people in my extended family (not my parents per say) no longer wanted to associate with me....first OUCH....then I would say just about 99% of my xtian friends turned and either accused me of so many things and the name calling begun....I was "Saul of Taurus", leading my children to hell, without salvation, and NO LONGER worthy of their friendships.
IT WAS SO - SO difficult. Converting from xtianity to Judaism leaves a temporary hole in a person’s social life that is for sure. It is an extremely difficult process not alone dealing with the havoc that many of the xtians put on me AND my children. Once I was in the Jewish Community though my walk became much stronger. Developed incredible friends and support and met SEVERAL people who have also gone through this journey. They lifted me up and carried me for a while. To skip forward a little bit.....I am now living in the local Chabad Community in ....VERY much love it, the Rabbis are wonderful, people are welcoming, there for you and we fit 100%
Here I would put a quick note on some answers to "when" because the actual bulk of my "note" will most definitely be in the "WHY"... Time Line: Left the church in 2005 Moved to … 2005/2006 to begin my official conversion process Moved to where hopefully B'H I will be completing my entire process.
Now for the big WHY:
Why did I choose Judaism? Why did I leave the very foundations of what I was raised to believe? Why would I reject jc when he is my means to salvation? Why is the NT a false document?
First of all, please understand, I am only sharing this as MY JOURNEY. My attempt is not to change anyone or try to convert. As Judaism DOES NOT allow proselytizing and the conversion process is EXTREMELY difficult. We have NO belief that ANYONE should become a Jew and they DO NOT need Judaism as a way of Salvation. Salvation was given to the righteous Nations as well as to the Jews. Each have their place in the world to come. What I do hope however, is that maybe this will prompt some of those who are quick to judge to actually learn for themselves and stop assuming on lack of knowledge and understanding. NO ONE wakes up one day and says hmmmmm today I want to become a Jew.....NEVER happens that way....NEVER...we would rather someone be a righteous Gentile than to take on the yoke of 613 Commandments, a righteous Gentile can abide by the 7 Noachide laws and obtain a place in the World to Come. For more information on that you can just visit http://noahidenations.com/ for a very simple explanation.
You may be asking WHY do I believe that jc is neither G-d NOR the messiah. Well I would have to have at a minimum a year to go into all of that and even provided a CLIFF NOTE version of explanation. But for the sake of this note I will try to briefly explain. 1. First of all, Protestantism itself was founded by Martin Luther. He was the original father of the church. WOW How many years of my life did I hail credence to our "church fathers" hmmm lets see? Calvin, Martin Luther, CONSTANTINE? and HAILED to the teachings of Paul, Timothy, the Gospels etc....Well let's briefly take a look at this:
Set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christians, and do not condone or knowingly tolerate such public lying, cursing, and blaspheming of his Son and of his Christians. For whatever we tolerated in the past unknowingly and I myself was unaware of it will be pardoned by God. But if we, now that we are informed, were to protect and shield such a house for the Jews, existing right before our very nose, in which they lie about, blaspheme, curse, vilify, and defame Christ and us (as was heard above), it would be the same as if we were doing all this and even worse ourselves, as we very well know. I advise that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing and blasphemy are taught, be taken from them.
My essay, I hope, will furnish a Christian (who in any case has no desire to become a Jew) with enough material not only to defend himself against the blind, venomous Jews, but also to become the foe of the Jews' malice, lying, and cursing, and to understand not only that their belief is false but that they are surely possessed by all devils. May Christ, our dear Lord, convert them mercifully and preserve us steadfastly and immovably in the knowledge of him, which is eternal life. Amen.
He states, "I have had much conversation with many Jews: I have never seen either a drop of piety or a grain of truth or ingenuousness—nay, I have never found common sense in any Jew.
Speaking to the Jews: 43 Why do ye not understand my speech? Even because ye cannot hear my word. 44 Ye (the Jews) are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. SO should we say that these were not "Real" xtians??? History is FILLED with persecution on the Jews all in the name of jc and forced to convert to xtianity or burn. BUT these weren't 'real' believers huh?
GIVE ME A BREAK.....
Let’s go further....
How can xtians take precious passages from the Torah or Tanach and mistranslate them to fit their agenda? I will only for sake of time, give you a few examples:
Isaiah 53 (which is one of the biggest ones)
NEVER POINT TO JC
Who is the suffering servant??? just read a chapter prior out of the Hebrew Bible the Tanach Isaiah 41:8-9 But YOU, ISRAEL, my SERVANT.... Isaiah 44:1 But now hear O JACOB my SERVANT ISRAEL whom I have CHOSEN Isaiah 49:3 and he said "YOU are MY SERVANT, ISRAEL, in whom I will be glorified Isaiah 53 fits totally with its surrounding chapters PROVING clearly that the Servant spoken of is the nation of Israel Isaiah 53:8 For the transgressions of my people (gentile nations) They (the Jews) were stricken. THIRD PERSON , plural proves it is the nation and NOT A SINGLE INDIVIDUAL...
THINGS TO CONSIDER:
IN THE ENTIRE TORAH / TANACH
There is absolutely NO mention of a Messiah Coming TWICE There is NO mention of a virgin birth (just another skewed translation of the Hebrew Text) ALMA or you woman No concept of a Triune G-d head JC was NOT the Messiah for NUMEROUS Reasons....
I welcome you to message me on ANY passage and I can help ANYONE understand better because it is TO much to cover here:
Here are a few reasons:
Jesus did not fulfill the messianic prophecies. ( NO HE REALLY DIDN"T I PROMISE What is the Messiah supposed to accomplish?
The Bible says that he will:
A. Build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28).
B. Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6).
C. Usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease. As it says: "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall man learn war anymore." (Isaiah 2:4)
D. Spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel, which will unite humanity as one.
As it says: "God will be King over all the world -- on that day, God will be One and His Name will be One" (Zechariah 14:9)
He must be a direct male descendant of King David and King Solomon, his son - "And when your days (David) are fulfilled, and you shall sleep with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who shall issue from your bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will make firm the throne of his kingdom forever..." (2 Samuel 7:12 - 13) The genealogy of the New Testament is inconsistent. While it gives two accounts of the genealogy of Joseph, it states clearly that he is not the biological father of Jesus. One of the genealogies is through Nathan and not Solomon altogether! He must gather the Jewish people from exile and return them to Israel -"And he shall set up a banner for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth." (Isaiah 11:12)
Are all Jews living in Israel? Have all Jews EVER lived in Israel since the time of Jesus? He must rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem - "...and I will set my sanctuary in their midst forever and my tabernacle shall be with them.." (Ezekiel 37:26 - 27) At last check, there is NO Temple in Jerusalem. And worse, it was shortly after Jesus died that the Temple was DESTROYED! Just the opposite of this prophecy!
He will rule at a time of world-wide peace - "...they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore." (Micah 4:3) Have you seen a newspaper lately? Are we living in a state of complete world peace? Has there ever been peace since the time of Jesus? He will rule at a time when the Jewish people will observe G-d's commandments - "My servant David shall be king over them; and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall follow My ordinances and be careful to observe My statutes." (Ezekiel 37:24)
The Torah is the Jewish guide to life, and its commandments are the ones referred to here. Do all Jews observe all the commandments? Christianity, in fact, often discourages observance of the commandments in Torah, in complete opposition to this prophecy. He will rule at a time when all people will come to acknowledge and serve one G-d - "And it shall come to pass that from one new moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me, says the L-rd" (Isaiah 66:23) There are still millions if not billions of people in the world today who adhere to paganistic and polytheistic religions. It is clear that we have not yet seen this period of human history unfold. All of these criteria are best stated in the book of Ezekiel Chapter 37 verses 24-28:
And David my servant shall be king over them; and they shall all have one shepherd. they shall also follow My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Yaakov my servant, in which your fathers have dwelt and they shall dwell there, they and their children, and their children's children forever; and my servant David shall be their prince forever. Moreover, I will make a covenant of peace with them, it shall be an everlasting covenant with them, which I will give them; and I will multiply them and I will set my sanctuary in the midst of them forevermore. And my tabernacle shall be with them: and I will be their G-d and they will be my people. Then the nations shall know that I am the L-rd who sanctifies Israel, when My sanctuary will be in the midst of them forevermore.
If an individual fails to fulfill even one of these conditions, then he cannot be "The Messiah." A careful analysis of these criteria shows us that to date, no one has fulfilled every condition - Certainly NOT Jesus.
I will leave with this on the "WHY" because ANYONE is welcomed to message me if they made it THIS Far :)
HOW CAN THE NT BE INFAILABLE? THE WRITERS DO NOT EVEN KNOW WHERE ABRAHAM WAS BURRIED!!!!!!!!!!!!
Where was Abraham Buried?
The Cave of Machpelah is where Abraham is buried. That's the information that's given in Genesis 49:29-31. According to Genesis 23:19, the cave is near Hebron, which is about 20 miles/32 kilometers southwest of Jerusalem, Israel. Also according to Genesis 23:19, that's the final resting place of the Patriarch's wife Sarah.
Acts 7:16–And they were carried back to Shechem and laid in the tomb that Abraham bought for a sum of money from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem. Everyone knows that Abraham and his wife and sons are buried in Hebron where Jews and Muslims visit his tomb to this day. OK probably MOST of you have given up on this note by now. It was in the days of Yacov that Shechem and Hamor lived.
Please know. ........I have studied now going on 7 years. My faith is NOT blind and Hashem is against Blind Faith. On more accounts than I can mention here G-d says or gives instruction to His people so that they may "KNOW" I am G-d. It's not a secret blind faith. Salvation is the same today as it was over 5000 yrs. ago: Blood is not necessary for atonement. This is taught in many places, including Hosea Chapter 14, where it says, "Israel, return to Hashem your G-d, for you have fallen because of your sins. Take with you words, and return to Hashem; say to Him, 'Take away all sin, and receive us graciously, and will we give calves with our lips.'" In other words, instead of sacrifices, when we cannot bring sacrifices we will pray, and we will bring Hashem words. Hashem will then receive us and forgive us for our sins.
It is within our ability to be righteous. The Torah itself says, "The word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou may do it." (Deut. 30:14). And if we miss the mark, when we fail to fulfill the good laws that G-d has provided for us, then we can obtain forgiveness through prayer, repentance and good deeds. When the Torah speaks of G-d as our Salvation or our Redeemer, it is not speaking of salvation or redemption from sin; rather, it speaks of salvation from the very concrete, day-to-day problems that we face, such as redemption from slavery in Egypt, or salvation from our enemies in war. Although animal sacrifice is one means of obtaining forgiveness, there are non-animal offerings as well, and there are other means for obtaining forgiveness that do not involve sacrifices at all. The Biblical book of Jonah tells of an entire community condemned to destruction that was forgiven when they simply repented and fasted, without ever offering any sacrifice, blood or otherwise. (Jonah 3) BOTTOM LINE....SALVATION IS NOT GIVEN THROUGH A BLOOD SACRIFICE. ACTUALLY HASHEM MENTIONS MANY TIMES THAT HE PREFERS REPENTANCE, PRAYER AND CHARITY....
BLOOD SACRIFICES FOR SALVATION IS A GREEK/ROMAN PAGAN IDEALOGY NEVER ADOPTED BY JEWS OR GIVEN BY HASHEM!
To end this note...although I could go on and on and on...... I leave you with this: Zechariah 8:23Thus says the L-rd of hosts: "On those days ten men out of all the languages of the nations shall take hold and seize the robe of a Jew, saying: `Let us go with you, for we have heard that G-d is with you.'"
PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO CONTACT ME WITH ANY QUESTIONS !!!!! THIS IS ONLY THE START OF UNDERSTANDING WHY I HAVE CHOSEN JUDAISM. I SHOULD DO MORE NOTES ON MY BELIEFS....MAYBE I WILL AS QUESTIONS COME MY WAY :)
Going back 44 years, I started my path from agnostic to Orthodox Jew and it took 2.5 years until I entered Yeshiva. My father thought it was a fad but better than being a hippie. Like you I alienated my entire USA family more or less and lost 'friends'. I went through all hell from the Orthodox Community members themselves - shame of them. This includes some Chabadniks too for this and that could not have happened to me for "Only the Rebbe this and that" Boy do I have news for them.
Why would I reject jc when he is my means to salvation? The fathers shall not pay for the sins of the children and the children shall not pay for the sins of the fathers. I cannot die for your sins only my own.
From the Vaad of Miami: Someone is in town named Shteyn, the proprietor who is collecting for a Schul for Russians in Milwaukee where they have a picture of the Rebbe near the Aron, along with the Russian word for G-d. We understand that the Rabbanim of Milwaukee are united against this, and we have been advised not to offer a certificate.
Nevertheless, he is walking around with a fancy "certificate" from someone who claims to be the "Vaad of Miami, Hollywood and Boca Raton". We do not recognize that as a "Vaad". We have nothing to do with that person/organization, and do not rely on such "certificates".
Story from R’A.L.:
My brother in law related an incident that occurred with him a while ago which I feel can be applied to shed some light on Avraham's work. My brother in law takes the "F" train from Brooklyn to Manhattan daily. Like every responsible Jew who utilizes public transportation as a means of getting to work, he had his Tehillim, travel Daf Yomi Talmud and a small Chumash with him. After all, one never knows how long the trip on a New York subway can take. While he usually does not find it a great difficulty to find a seat, that Friday morning was an exception. So, he stood there, holding onto the bar, while he recited Tehillim. Directly right in front of him sat a middle aged man and a woman, who appeared to be husband and wife. The wife, although not dressed in the latest observant haute couture, appeared to be of Jewish extraction. The husband appeared to be mistaken for Italian.
Noticing my brother in law hanging on precariously to the bar as the train sped along the rails, the man monitored to his wife to move over to make room for the Jew. Noticing that a place had been made for him, my brother in law thanked the couple, sat down, and proceeded to study Daf Yomi; Tehillim was over. In the back of his mind, the question that would bother most of us gnawed at him. Were they Jewish?? They certainly did not appear to be. As my brother in law was about to depart from the subway at the 50th Street exit, he turned to the couple and instinctively said, "Gut Shabbos!!"
Suddenly, as if a heavy cloud has been lifted from the man, his face lit up as he said, "That is the first time anyone has said that to me in years." Hearing this, my brother in law decided to remain on the train, even if it meant traveling to the Bronx and back. There began a conversation between a Bobover Chassid and two alienated Jews, one of which had grown up in a "semi", traditional family, but had been swept up in America's pop culture. The other one had never really be exposed to any form of tradition. They were two lost souls, waiting to be saved, but nobody had recognized them to be Jewish. No one had taken the effort to care. My brother in law took a chance. The worst that could have happened is that they would have ignored him. Today, the couple is beginning to observe, to believe, to return to the heritage of their ancestors.
HaRav Binyamin Diskin, Z”l, was a brilliant Torah scholar. He lived a short life, leaving the world at the young age of forty-six, but his legacy was one rich in Torah. Living in the city of Horodna where his Father, a disciple of Gaon of Vilna was Ruv, R' Binyamin became a distinguished Halachic authority and Torah genius. He attracted students, such as HaRav Yitzchak Elchonon Spector and HaRav Baruch Mordechai Lipschitz. In addition to his famous son, R' Yehoshua Leib, universally known as the Brisker Rav, his three other sons were each world-class Torah leaders. While Torah study was his life, he did not demur from involving himself in communal matters when the need arose.
During one such instance, he was compelled to speak at a celebration feting Napoleon following his liberation of Poland from under Russian rule. One evening, without prior notice, armed guards appeared at his home waiting to escort him to a celebration in Napoleon's home. Only on the way did he learn of his destination.
R' Binyamin entered a banquet hall that was dazzlingly illuminated, with brilliant décor, and equipped with every possible luxury. Napoleon's ego was apparently quite well known; the entire aristocracy of the land, both social and religion, was in attendance. The Rav was walking a tightrope. If he spoke too little, he would enrage Napoleon, and if his speech were flowery with unabashed flattery, he might arouse the ire of the Polish peasants against the Jews. When R' Benyamin turn to speak finally came, he began by describing what appears to be the strange and mysterious ways of the Creator. At first, they appear perplexing, but in due time, where cogently contemplated one sees how perfect they are.
R' Benyamin invited them to consider the story of Yosef HaTzaddik, a pure soul, who was subjected to years of hardship, languishing for years in a dungeon, relegated to spending his time with the social elite of the Egyptian prison system. This was after he was wrongfully accused of misdoing by his brothers, subject to their animus and ridicule. Why did Hashem ordain such a miserable life for Yosef?? Why was his life filled with such bitterness and misery??
R' Benyamin explained that the Almighty wanted someone who one day would hold the lives of people in his hands who could punish as well as pardon, to first taste the bitterness of suffering and imprisonment himself. He had to experience injustice and inequality personally. Later, when he would become a leader among men, he would know the meaning of being falsely accused, and how it felt to be imprisoned. He would sympathize with those who stood before him in trial thus, he would be able to mete out punishment accordingly.
An insight into Yosef's life might find a parallel with the Polish nation. The Creator knew that the Polish nation was destined for greatness. One day, it would rule over nations and dominate lives of thousands of human beings. It would decide, it would adjudicate; it would grant life, and it would mete out punishment. Thus, diving providence saw fit to give this nation a foretaste of injustice and oppression, so that it would empathize with those over whom it would reign.
R' Binyamin’s speech had its desired effect. While reflecting the festivity of the moment, it also called attention to the plight of the Jews who had been suffering pain, indignation and misery under the capricious tyranny of the aristocrats who were sitting on the very dais from which he spoke from. At the conclusion of his speech, the royal guard escorted R' Binyamin home.
This is a powerful story with a compelling lesson. One earns distinction, great people pay a price. It is all part of the Divine Plan. The leader who takes the lesson to heart will be a great leader. Avraham Avinu's trials were appropriate lesson for the father of our People.
R Are we rubber stamping conversions or not? http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3968304,00.html
A A day to do Mitzvos: http://www.aish.com/sp/lal/101545678.html VOTE FOR LORI FOR JEWISH HERO: http://www.jewishcommunityheroes.org/nominees/profile/Lori-Palatnik1/
Ehud Barak needs to read this: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/140029
Why we should not capitulate to the USA: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3966655,00.html
Why on Nov. 3rd or afterwards will there be more pressure from B. Hussein Obama on Israel: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3966757,00.html
Caroline Glick on Iran: http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=190612
Muslims attack Christians and guess who gets the blame thanks to Seth: http://www.honestreporting.com/articles/45884734/critiques/new/Squeezing_Out_Christians_and_Muslims_-_Irish_Times_Blames_Israel.asp
For 40 years I have heard the big brave Israelis complain why didn’t they assassinate Hitler but is Israel any better? MK Eldad: IDF should take him out: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3968649,00.html
Joe White Owl wrote me: A physics teacher in high school, once told the students that while one grasshopper on the railroad tracks wouldn't slow a train very much, a billion of them would.
With that thought in mind, read the following, obviously written by a good American .. Good idea .. . . one light bulb at a time . . .Check this out . I can verify this because I was in Lowe's the other day for some reason and just for the heck of it I was looking at the hose attachments. They were all made in China. The next day I was in Ace Hardware and just for the heck of it I checked the hose attachments there. They were made in USA .
Start looking ..
In our current economic situation, every little thing we buy or do affects someone else - even their job. So, after reading this email, I think this lady is on the right track. Let's get behind her! She wrote....."My grandson likes Hershey's candy. I noticed, though, that it is marked made in Mexico now. I do not buy it any more. My favorite toothpaste Colgate is made in Mexico ... now I have switched to Crest. You have to read the labels on everything ." They lost their OU status over this!
This past weekend I was at Kroger's. I needed 60W light bulbs and Bounce dryer sheets. I was in the light bulb aisle, and right next to the GE brand I normally buy was an off-brand labeled, "Everyday Value." I picked up both types of bulbs and compared the stats –they were the same except for the price. The GE bulbs were more money than
the Everyday Value brand but the thing that surprised me the most was the fact that GE was made in MEXICO and the Everyday Value brand was made in - get ready for this - the USA in a company in Cleveland , Ohio . So throw out the myth that you cannot find products you use every day that are made right here. So on to another aisle - Bounce
Dryer Sheets....yep, you guessed it, Bounce cost more money and is made in Canada . The Everyday Value brand was less money and MADE IN THE USA! I did laundry yesterday and the dryer sheets performed just like the Bounce Free I have been using for years and at almost half the price!
My challenge to you is to start reading the labels when you shop for everyday things and see what you can find that is made in the USA - the job you save may be your own or your neighbors!
If you accept the challenge, pass this on to others in your address book so we can all start buying American, one light bulb at a time!
Stop buying from overseas companies! (We should have awakened a decade ago) Let's get with the program.....help our fellow Americans keep their jobs and create more jobs here in the USA...I passed this on ......... will you???????
Now for M. Wolfberg’s Good Shabbos story from last week: Relax
Good Shabbos Everyone. The verse tells us that "These are the offspring of Noach, Noach was a righteous man..." (Bereishis 6:9) Why does the Torah double the word "Noach?" Why not just say "These are the offspring of Noach, a righteous man...?"
The answer is the following: The verse tells us that Noach was called "Noach"- which means 'relaxed' or 'tranquil', because Noach was a righteous man. We reread the verse above to mean "These are the offspring of Noach, [who was] "Noach" - relaxed [because he] was a righteous man..." We will see that those who uphold the Torah generally live more relaxed lives.
Noach distinguished himself in his generation as a righteous person who listened to Hashem. As the verses tell us "Noach walked with Hashem..."(Bereishis 6:9) "And Noach did according to everything Hashem had commanded him." (Bereishis 7:5)
On the merit of listening to Hashem, Noach's ark "drifted upon the surface of the waters." (Bereishis 7:18) While the world was destroyed, Noach floated peacefully on the water. Noach walked with Hashem, so Hashem only gave Noach the plans to build the ark, which saved Noach and his family. Therefore, we see that Noach lived a peaceful life because he followed Hashem's word. By following the example of Noach, who listened to Hashem, we too can learn to float over life's difficulties and live virtually stress free lives.
The following amazing true story shows how one Jew managed to float through a particularly difficult period in Jewish history. Almost 30 years ago, Mordechai Shababo was a typical secular Israeli who lived with his family in Tzefas, in northern Eretz Yisroel. Mordechai had been training hard as a wrestler for the 1972 world competitions, which were to take place in Munich, Germany.
Mordechai was the only real hope for bringing home a victory for the Israeli team. Although Mordechai himself was not an observant Jew, his family had a long and illustrious history in the religious community of Tzefas. An ancestor of Mordechai was Reb Yehoshua Shababo, who had been a student of the Arizal, some 400 years previous. Mordechai's father was a member of the local Chevra Kadisha along with being a Shammas at the famous Alshich Shul.
The holy Alshich (1508 - 1593?) was a pious scholar and rabbinical judge who had lived, taught and was later buried in Tzefas. Mordechai's father was responsible for the upkeep of the Alshich shul, which was next to the Alshich's grave. For a few days in the summer of 1972, Mordechai's father was unable to carry out his duties in the shul. The older Mr. Shababo therefore requested that his son Mordechai take care of the Alshich shul in his place. At first, Mordechai wanted to refuse his father's request, because the world competitions in Germany were quickly approaching.
However, something inside Mordechai's heart told him to help his father. Mordechai agreed to take care of the Alshich shul for a few days in his father's stead. One night, a couple of days later, Mordechai had a dream. The holy Alshich appeared to him, wearing all white. The scholar thanked Mordechai for making the shul so bright and clean, however, the saintly Rav added: "But where I lie, it is dark, filthy and neglected so that no one can approach my grave."
Mordechai woke up the next morning somewhat disturbed by the dream. However, Mordechai did not act on the Alshich's request to clean up the grave. But when the same dream occurred twice more over the next few nights, Mordechai became very alarmed. Mordechai's wife insisted that he do something about the grave of the holy Alshich.
Mordechai wanted to wait until after he returned from the world competitions in Munich. But Mordechai's wife insisted. So, 48 hours before the Israeli team was set to leave for the competitions, Mordechai hastily withdrew from the team, claiming that he was not feeling well. The team tried everything including bribery to force Mordechai to take part in the competitions. Mordechai, however, refused to join the team.
As his former team members boarded the plane for Germany, Mordechai was already busy cleaning up the grave of the holy Alshich in Tzefas. Several days later, news of the horrible tragedy in Munich reached Mordechai. Mordechai, along with the rest of the Jewish world was shocked by the report.
When he heard the news, Mordechai realized that the Hand of Hashem was upon him. He was spared from the tragedy in the merit of the saintly Alshich, of blessed memory. Mordechai began to become more and more Torah observant. His day began to revolve around the Alshich shul, where he prayed three times a day. Using his phenomenal strength, the wrestler Mordechai moved the heavy obstacles, which had blocked access to the cave where the grave of the Alshich was situated. After sixth months of backbreaking labor, Mordechai completed his restoration of the Alshich's gravesite.
Over the last 28 years, Mordechai has continued his holy work in maintaining several gravesites of tzaddikim in Tzefas. All of Mordechai's work is for the sake of heaven, for he receives no payment for his services. Today Mordechai lives a fully religious lifestyle with his family in Tzefas. (Jewish Tribune, [England] 08/24/00 p.4 Letters, R'M.Roberg)
Mordechai Shababo was able to ride out the tragedies which occurred in that horrible summer of 1972. Although Mordechai was distraught at the deaths of his teammates, Mordechai was able to recognize the amazing Hasgacha Pratis (divine providence) which led to his decision not to travel with the team to Germany.
Mordechai, like Noach was able to float peacefully above the destruction which rocked the world. By listening to Hashem's mitzvahs, we too can have peace of mind. Noach was "Noach" - relaxed, because he followed Hashem's word. Once we realize that Hashem is watching over us, we will naturally live more relaxed lives. We will be less subject to the ups and downs of every day life. Instead, we will have the inner peace of knowing that Hashem is our Father and Keeper. Let us therefore strive to follow Hashem righteously and then we will be better able to float over life's difficulties. 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.
Have a wonderful Shabbos,