Pray for the ill: Men: Asher ben Malka, Avraham ben Devorah, Zvi Yechezkiel ben Leah, Naphtali Moshe ben Tzipporah, Shaul ben Sirel, Yaakov Dovid Ben Chaya Gittel, Shalom Charles ben Gracia, Bentzion Michael ben Chaya Zipporah, Zvi Moshe ben Miriam Rachel, Chanan ben Shlomit, David Yosef ben Feige Perel, Yoel ben Esther, Avraham Yehida ben Esther, Zev ben Rachel, Adin Yisrael ben Sarah, Please note I have removed some names where I lost the source - one more week pray for Zuriel ben Naomi THANK YOU ALL WHO PRAYED FOR ME AND WROTE ME THEIR CONCERN AS I AM B”H HEALING AND REGAINING MY STRENGTH SLOWLY BUT SURELY.
Keren Neshama bas Esther Ruth, Chaya Melecha Rachel bas Baila Alta, Zviah Simcha bas Devorah Yached, Bryna bas Gina Sarah, Rachel bas Chana, Fiege Rachel bas Taube, Hodaya Nurit bas Mazel, Chana bas Simcha, Chaya Miriam Bas Leba Rivka, Charna Tzipora bas Miriam Shoshana, Dina bas Hinda Golda
I personally pray all these names during the week usually twice a day so I do appreciate updates from those people who send me names.
This is the first of a series of events that would repeat throughout history. We were welcomed into Egypt as saviors of the country from famine. Yosef had reached the highest level for a non-Pharaoh. In Spain the Jews were ministers and advisors to kings. Berlin in the late 1800’s was the Jerusalem of the west. Only to have the same country turn around and like Egypt and Spain before it become a death machine. Trotsky and other revolutionaries were Jewish and three of the four wives of Stalin were Jewish and yet he blamed the Jews in the famous “Doctor’s plot”. Can it happen in America – with the built in safe guards of the constitution one would perhaps think not. Yet 70 years ago in WWII (Movie – A bad day at black rock) Japanese Americans were interned. Often I hear anti-Semitic comments by the extreme left and the old National Socialists – American Nazi Party even has a radio station in Denver and a Klu Klux Klan group here or there. It does not take much for the Mel Gibson types to come forward. Jews are too assuring of themselves and go blasting off their big mouths. All it takes is one Madoff and a few other Jewish names in finance to put us all under the microscope. Jonathan Pollard is rotting away in jail suffering from Cancer for a crime that should have had him out of jail two decades ago. I don’t know the answer to everything but it looks from my own Torah view and Inyanay Diyoma view that the Jews and Israel may be the sacrificial lamb of the Goyim. The Halacha is that we keep up our patriotism for our host country and obey the laws and the Torah way is make a home in Eretz Yisrael and preferably over the so-called Green Line to settle and rebuild the land for the coming of the Moshiach.
1:1 Now these are the names of the sons of Israel, who came into Egypt with Jacob; every man came with his household: 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah; 3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin; 4 Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher. 5 And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls; and Joseph was in Egypt already. 6 And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation. 7 And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them.
As much as the Bnei Yisrael were loyal to Pharaoh and part of the citizens of the country and contributing fully, they were still different.
8 Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph. 9 And he said unto his people: 'Behold, the people of the children of Israel are too many and too mighty for us; 10 come, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there befalls us any war, they also join themselves unto our enemies, and fight against us, and get them up out of the land.'
Somebody had poisoned the thoughts of this Pharaoh. A few generations of citizenship in the country and making their homes in the country, it would be only natural for the men to participate in the army and work for the government civil service. It might have been politically expedient for Pharaoh to blame the Jewish. One of the slogans of the Nazis that one can view in Yad Vashem translated from the German reads “The Jews are our misfortune”.
They started out with tax collectors then Pyramid building conscription until full scale slavery.
Man thinks and G-D laughs. They used the excuse about the Bnei Yisrael few in numbers and then the Bnei Yisrael had multi-births for HASHEM had other plans.
13 And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigor. 14 And they made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field; in all their service, wherein they made them serve with rigor.
In the Bris that HASHEM made with Avraham, the future Bnei Yisrael were to be slaves – working hard but not with rigor. The Egyptians added that by themselves and for that the Bnei Yisrael left early and were given rewards from the people of Egypt with a ruined land of Egypt which would take a few centuries to recover.
15 And the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah; 16 and he said: 'When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, ye shall look upon the birthstool: if it be a son, then ye shall kill him; but if it be a daughter, then she shall live.' 17 But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men-children alive.
The meaning here is that in order to facilitate his plan, Pharaoh built a maternity hospital for the Bnei Yisrael.
18 And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them: 'Why have ye done this thing, and have saved the men-children alive?' 19 And the midwives said unto Pharaoh: 'Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwife come unto them.'
The midwives were supposed to be Miriam and Yocheved, the first would have been a young child and that makes me wonder like three year old Rivka watering the camels but a 14 year old Rivka or a teenager Miriam would be credulous.
20 And God dealt well with the midwives; and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty. 21 And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that He made them houses. 22 And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying: 'Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.
Astrologically he saw a threat to his reign and therefore even the Egyptian male babies were to be sacrificed to preserve the Pharaoh Regime.
2:1 And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi.
Rashi took from the Sages that it meant that Yocheved was literally a daughter of Levi and 130 years when Moshe was born. And he took the daughter of Levi: it was spread from Pharaoh's decree (and took back. and that he went, he went on the advice of his daughter told him Gezaira difficult than Pharaoh, Pharaoh decreed if the males, not the females and you make the Gezaira on both. Yocheved was a hundred and thirty years was born in Egypt reflection inside the walls, and two hundred and ten years we'll have a name, and when she was eighty years old Moses. If so it appears that Yocheved was a hundred and thirty calls her daughter of Levi:OTOH, my mother was a bas Levi and was 31.5 when I was born. In my humble opinion, I would prefer to read her as being a woman from the tribe of Levi.
2 And the woman conceived, and bore a son; and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months. 3 And when she could no longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch; and she put the child therein, and laid it in the flags by the river's brink.
Why could she no longer hide him? After all he did not cry so loud as to reveal himself according to the Medrash. The reason being is that perhaps she was six months pregnant when she was really nine months pregnant to the Kapos and Pharaoh spies would give her a chance. There was no choice in this totalitarian gulag but to get rid of the baby either by adopting out or fleeing Egypt and perhaps risk being pursued by the Pharaoh Army.
4 And his sister stood afar off, to know what would be done to him. 5 And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe in the river; and her maidens walked along by the river-side; and she saw the ark among the flags, and sent her handmaid to fetch it. 6 And she opened it, and saw it, even the child; and behold a boy that wept. And she had compassion on him, and said: 'This is one of the Hebrews' children.' 7 Then said his sister to Pharaoh's daughter: 'Shall I go and call thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?' 8 And Pharaoh's daughter said to her: 'Go.' And the maiden went and called the child's mother. 9 And Pharaoh's daughter said unto her: 'Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages.' And the woman took the child, and nursed it.
G-D again laughs. You idiot you had the babies thrown into the river and now I have turned the river red as a sign but my Moshiach will grow up not as a slave but live the life of a prince and diplomat in your house under your personal protection and be raised by your daughter. Also since the river had turned red, the Gezaira of Pharaoh was rescinded.
10 And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses, and said: 'Because I drew him out of the water.' … But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian; and he sat down by a well. 16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters; and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father's flock. 17 And the shepherds came and drove them away; but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock.
They came after the girls for Yisro was placed under a ban because he only believed in one G-D and not all the gods. Another possible account is that they treated the unprotected girls with teasing and perhaps attempted abuse – but the first commentary is based on Rashi and the second based on my speculation of human nature and the behavior of Arabs towards females.
18 And when they came to Reuel their father, he said: 'How is it that ye are come so soon to-day?' 19 And they said: 'An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and moreover he drew water for us, and watered the flock.' 20 And he said unto his daughters: 'And where is he? Why is it that ye have left the man? call him, that he may eat bread.' 21 And Moses was content to dwell with the man; and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter. 22 And she bore a son, and he called his name Gershom; for he said: 'I have been a stranger in a strange land.'
A cultured person and a good Shidduch for Tzipora!
23 And it came to pass in the course of those many days that the king of Egypt died; and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. 24 And God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25 And God saw the children of Israel, and God took cognizance of them.
This was the first time that the Bnei Yisrael actually had time to pray hard with fervor in a Minyan since the slavery started.
3:1 Now Moses was keeping the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the farthest end of the wilderness, and came to the mountain of God, unto Horeb. 2 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. 3 And Moses said: 'I will turn aside now, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.' 4 And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said: 'Moses, Moses.' And he said: 'Here am I.' 5 And He said: 'Draw not nigh hither; put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou stand is holy ground.' 6 Moreover He said: 'I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.' And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God. 7 And the LORD said: 'I have surely seen the affliction of My people that are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their pains; 8 and I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Amorite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite. 9 And now, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto Me; moreover I have seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them. 10 Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayt bring forth My people the children of Israel out of Egypt.' Chabad translation: So now come, and I will send you to Pharaoh, and take My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt."
Rather than a complete command both translations indicate persuasion.
11 And Moses said unto God: 'Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh,…
Moshe the stutterer and humble one questions himself but it is also unbeknownst himself a question of G-D’s decision.
18 And they shall hearken to thy voice. And thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him: The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, hath met with us. And now let us go, we pray thee, three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God. 19 And I know that the king of Egypt will not give you leave to go, except by a mighty hand. 20 And I will put forth My hand, and smite Egypt with all My wonders which I will do in the midst thereof. And after that he will let you go. 21 And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. And it shall come to pass, that, when ye go, ye shall not go empty; 22 but every woman shall ask of her neighbor, and of her that sojourns in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment; and ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your daughters; and ye shall spoil the Egyptians.'
Moshe was stuttering humble and shy and was afraid to take on such responsibilities. G-D is giving him a prophecy of the future but he perhaps at this point is too upset and scared to even fully comprehend what has been told him.
4:1 And Moses answered and said: 'But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice; for they will say: The LORD hath not appeared unto thee.' 2 And the LORD said unto him: 'What is that in thy hand?' And he said: 'A rod.' 3 And He said: 'Cast it on the ground.' And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. 4 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Put forth thy hand, and take it by the tail--and he put forth his hand, and laid hold of it, and it became a rod in his hand-- 5 that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee.' 6 And the LORD said furthermore unto him: 'Put now thy hand into thy bosom.' And he put his hand into his bosom; and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous, as white as snow.
The serpent was the cunning talker and not Moshe. The rod is a steady support and the hand turning to Leprosy is because of his Lashon Hara questioning the belief of Am Yisrael.
7 And He said: 'Put thy hand back into thy bosom.--And he put his hand back into his bosom; and when he took it out of his bosom, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh.-- 8 And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign. 9 And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe even these two signs, neither hearken unto thy voice, that thou shalt take of the water of the river, and pour it upon the dry land; and the water which thou take out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land.' 10 And Moses said unto the LORD: 'Oh Lord, I am not a man of words, neither heretofore, nor since Thou hast spoken unto Thy servant; for I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.' 11 And the LORD said unto him: 'Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh a man dumb, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? is it not I the LORD? 12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt speak.'
At this point he begins trying the patience of HASHEM and still could have obtained the Kahuna for himself and his seed but instead it is given to Aaron as indicated in “Thy brother the Levite”.
13 And he said: 'Oh Lord, send, I pray Thee, by the hand of him whom Thou wilt send.' 14 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses, and He said: 'Is there not Aaron thy brother the Levite? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee; and when he sees thee, he will be glad in his heart. 15 And thou shalt speak unto him, and put the words in his mouth; and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do. 16 And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people; and it shall come to pass, that he shall be to thee a mouth, and thou shalt be to him in God's stead. 17 And thou shalt take in thy hand this rod, wherewith thou shalt do the signs.'
18 And Moses went and returned to Jethro his father-in-law, and said unto him: 'Let me go, I pray thee, and return unto my brethren that are in Egypt, and see whether they be yet alive.' And Jethro said to Moses: 'Go in peace.' 19 And the LORD said unto Moses in Midian: 'Go, return into Egypt; for all the men are dead that sought thy life.'
Still as much as the Prophecy and meeting with HASHEM is, Moshe still had obligations to Yisro in this world and needed permission of his father-in-law (superior) to leave. Unlike Lavan and Yacov, Moshe and Yisro were in good standing between them and this continued with the elders of Yisrael in Parsha Yisro. Therefore there is absolutely no reason to flee Yisro and Yisro being a G-D fearing man on the highest level will believe what happened on the “Mountain of the L-RD”.
20 And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them upon an ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt; and Moses took the rod of God in his hand. 21 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'When thou goest back into Egypt, see that thou do before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in thy hand; but I will harden his heart, and he will not let the people go. 22 And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh: Thus saith the LORD: Israel is My son, My first-born. 23 And I have said unto thee: Let My son go, that he may serve Me; and thou hast refused to let him go. Behold, I will slay thy son, thy first-born.'-- 24 And it came to pass on the way at the lodging-place, that the LORD met him, and sought to kill him. 25 Then Zipporah took a flint, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet; and she said: 'Surely a bridegroom of blood art thou to me.' 26 So He let him alone. Then she said: 'A bridegroom of blood in regard of the circumcision.'
Now one question remains how is Aaron the Levite going to suddenly get up to meet his brother whom he has not seen for at least 40 years? The answer is now supplied.
27 And the LORD said to Aaron: 'Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.' And he went, and met him in the mountain of God, and kissed him. 28 And Moses told Aaron all the words of the LORD wherewith He had sent him, and all the signs wherewith He had charged him. 29 And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel. 30 And Aaron spoke all the words which the LORD had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people. 31 And the people believed; and when they heard that the LORD had remembered the children of Israel, and that He had seen their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped.
The caliber of faith of the generation to be redeemed was not like us today. They believed but try this today with a bunch of Yale, Harvard and Columbia Jewish Scholars and see what their reception would be to the signs of Moshe.
Chapter 5 is a classic case of totalitarian suppression until instead of giving up a little like a 3 day feast, one loses all forever. For example if Saddam had let the Inspectors from the UN in after 9/11; he could have kept on being President of Iraq and he along with his two sons would be most likely alive today. Pharaoh would have given them a three day vacation under supervision they would not have left Egypt in the manner in which they did. Instead he put a harder burden on the Bnei Yisrael.
5:1 And afterward Moses and Aaron came, and said unto Pharaoh: 'Thus saya the LORD, the God of Israel: Let My people go, that they may hold a feast unto Me in the wilderness.' 2 And Pharaoh said: 'Who is the LORD, that I should hearken unto His voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, and moreover I will not let Israel go.'… 22 And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said: 'Lord, wherefore hast Thou dealt ill with this people? why is it that Thou hast sent me? 23 For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Thy name, he hath dealt ill with this people; neither hast Thou delivered Thy people at all.'
6:1 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh; for by a strong hand shall he let them go, and by a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land.'
In the end you will not leave via permission but be kicked out with riches.
Jewish Grapevine Updates
Madoff and the ultra-rich Reform Donators being knocked for a loop have caused partially the closing of 800 Reform Synagogues in the past year. Most closed due to the elderly Reform Jews just passing on and the lack of new congregants and the up keep was too much. One such Synagogue out in the South-West was given over to the Orthodox who opened up a Mikvah and a Kollel and revised Judaism in a community.
PEANUTS ON PESSACH: Recently the Yeted Neeman Newspaper had a series of letters regarding a story about Rav Moshe Feinstein allowing the use of Peanuts on Pessach. R’ Yacov Elephant, a relative of Rav Moshe, told me that at the American Agudas Yisrael Convention in the early 1950’s Rabbi Aaron Kutler and Rabbi Moshe Feinstein agreed that since the US Jewry was a new community and mainly non-observant it would be a good idea to those who had no roots from Europe to be relieved of the Kitniyos (legumes and rice) restrictions of the old European Customs. Rabbi Landau the elder and Rabbi Moshe allowed people to eat peanuts on Pessach. Also Cottonseed oil was used in Israel and 41 years ago on Pessach, one could get corn oil margarine in the States on Pessach with a Heckshir.
If one does not have a Minchag in his/her family it is preferable to following the ruling of these Torah giants rather than burden oneself with extraneous customs that neither the Sephardic or Yemenite communities held by. Rice was eaten in Pessach evidenced by the statements of Rabbi Yochanan ben Nuri in Berachos 36 and Pessachim 37 about rice on Pessach. Since there was a possibility by old farming methods that wheat or barley grains might get mixed with the rice people began to get strict with it. However during the time when disease was rampant in Poland, Rabbi Diskin, himself, eat rice before his Congregation on Pessach so that from the whole rice, they would get enough vitamin B to build up their immune system defenses. Therefore if one went according to the Pasakei Dinim of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein one may take fresh peanuts and add them to his Pessach Cookies, Pessach Cakes and even grind them up to make homemade Glatt kosher Peanut Butter. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO REASON TO TAKE ON AN OBLIGATION THAT ONE’S FAMILY DID NOT FOLLOW.
There are certain exceptions to my rule above. If one became a Baal Teshuva and then decided to take upon himself all the Halachos of Rabbi so and so and the Rav was his guide for everything then that Rav should be consulted and his ruling accepted even over Rav Moshe Feinstein and Rav Aaron Kutler as the Rav has become is complete Torah guide. (Example Rabbi J.B. Soleveichik and his son-in-law student Rabbi Lichtenstein.)
Utterly Ridiculous: One of my nurses in the hospital was telling me of a very wealthy area in Maryland perhaps a section of Columbia MD where the people are very wealthy. Instead of taking out the trash the rich hire somebody else to haul their trash from the house to the street. Instead of walking the child one block to school the mother waits with the child outside on a perfectly nice day for a school bus that invariably comes late to the school. NOW for the JEWISH CONNECTION – the intermediate school has girls and boys reaching the age of Mitzvos. Unlike my daughter who had about 10 to 12 friends over to our house for a private ceremony or my granddaughter who had a Bas Mitzvah with three other friends (one, her twin, did not even have one with friends); these people dress up their kids and have rehearsals and limousines with up to 300 children out of a school of 700 children participating. It becomes expensive as a wedding or more so and Bar Mitzvos can go further. I have to just think of people collecting in the poor neighborhoods of Israel money to buy the poorest Maturna baby formula for infants or used clothing from the poor for the poorer. Jews do yourself, your children, Am Yisrael and HASHEM Yisborach a favor and make a small party and let the money instead go to the poorest of Jews where it is really needed. I have a gut feeling that one Bas Mitzvah would more than pay for my day and night Kollelim for a year.
The unusual dream: I rarely dream as I work and sleep exhaustedly and it is too much for me to capture a dream. This past Shabbos, I had a dream and it went like this: I was going to lecture a group on the Tanach even though I am not an expert. My friend at the same time was giving a lecture in Hebrew. I told my wife to go to my friend’s Shuir seeing that I was giving mine which she would know and he had something to teach her. I began my lecture with “Koa Amar HASHEM” (Thus says the L-RD) and talked and then at the end I began talking about the Iranian situation and I ended the Drasha with either – “B’Krov Krov Meod yeheh Milchama Neyoum HASHEM (or) B’Krov Meod-Meod” – Soon, very soon there will be a war (or) very-very soon…The (word) Speech of the L-RD. I said, “Wait a minute, I am not a Prophet nor the son of a Prophet” and I kept muttering Neyoum HASHEM again and again. I asked myself perhaps this is a message from a dream and then I awoke. A warning or just a weird dream? To be on the safe side always be prepared!
Just when I thought that I had finished this column, I read from a reliable source of a bunch of Jewish Women falling under the influence of a cult like leader calling himself Rabbi who are going around attack Christians in the States that is as crazy as some Islamist in the States.
The Master Key A story: From Rabbi Y. Y. Jacobson Shlita
One year, the Baal Shem Tov said to Rabbi Zev Kitzes, one of his senior disciples, "You will blow the shofar for us this Rosh Hashanah. I want you to study all the kabbalistic meditations that pertain to shofar, so that you should meditate upon them when you do the blowing."
Rabbi Zev applied himself to the task with trepidation over the immensity of the responsibility. He studied the kabbalistic writings that discuss the significance of the shofar and its mystical secrets. He also prepared a sheet of paper on which he noted the main points of each meditation he needed to reflect upon while blowing the shofar.
Finally, the great moment arrived. It was the morning of Rosh Hashanah and
Rabbi Zev stood on the platform in the center of the Baal Shem Tov's synagogue, surrounded by a sea of worshippers. In a corner stood the Baal Shem Tov, his face aflame. An awed silence filled the room in anticipation of the climax of the day -- the piercing blasts and sobs of the shofar.
Rabbi Ze'ev reached into his pocket and his heart froze: The paper had disappeared. He distinctly remembered placing it there that morning, but now it was gone. He searched his memory for what he had learned, but his distress over the lost notes froze his mind. Tears of frustration filled his eyes as he realized that now he must blow the shofar like a simpleton, devoid of spiritual meaning and ecstasy. Rabbi Zev blew the litany of sounds required by Jewish law and returned to his place, an emptiness etched deeply in his heart.
At the conclusion of prayers, the Baal Shem Tov approached Rabbi Zev, who sat sobbing under his tallis. "Gut Yom Tov, Reb Zev!" he exclaimed. "That was a most extraordinary shofar-blowing we heard today!"
"But Rebbe... Why..."
"In the king's palace," said the Baal Shem Tov, "there are many gates and doors leading to many halls and chambers. The palace-keepers have great rings holding many keys, each of which opens a different door. The meditations are keys, each unlocking another door in our souls, each accessing another chamber in the supernal worlds.
"But there is one key that fits all the locks, a master key that opens all the doors, that opens up for us the innermost chambers of the Divine palace. That master key is a broken heart."
Trying to change history:
Besides trying to change the land of Israel to the land of Ishmael and a few other falsities, the Arabs via the UN has made Jews into Goyim:
A Jewish family comes home to discover their house festooned with holiday lights. By Jonathan Rosenblum
Rabbi Berel Wein was once invited to a meeting with the editor of the Detroit Free Press. After introductions had been made, the editor told him the following story.
His mother, Mary, had immigrated to America from Ireland as an uneducated, 18-year-old peasant girl. She was hired as a domestic maid by an observant family. The head of the house was the president of the neighboring Orthodox Schul.
Mary knew nothing about Judaism and had probably never met a Jew before arriving in America. The family went on vacation Mary's first December in America, leaving Mary alone in the house. They were scheduled to return on the night of December 24, and Mary realized that there would be no Christmas tree to greet them when they did. This bothered her greatly, and using the money the family had left her, she went out and purchased not only a Christmas tree but all kinds of festive decorations to hang on the front of the house.
When the family returned from vacation, they saw the Christmas tree through the living room window and the rest of the house festooned with holiday lights. They assumed that they had somehow pulled into the wrong driveway and drove around the block. But alas, it was their address.
The head of the family entered the house contemplating how to explain the Christmas tree and lights to the members of the shul, most of whom walked right past his house on their way to Schul. Meanwhile, Mary was eagerly anticipating the family's excitement when they realized that they would not be without a Christmas tree.
After entering the house, the head of the family called Mary into his study. He told her, "In my whole life no one has ever done such a beautiful thing for me as you did." Then he took out a $100 bill -- a very large sum in the middle of the Depression -- and gave it to her. Only after that did he explain that Jews do not have Christmas trees.
When he had finished telling the story, the editor told Rabbi Wein, "And that is why, there has never been an editorial critical of Israel in the Detroit Free Press since I became editor, and never will be as long as I am the editor."
The shul president's reaction to Mary's mistake -- sympathy instead of anger -- was not because he dreamed that one day her son would the editor of a major metropolitan paper, and thus in a position to aid Israel. (Israel was not yet born.) He acted as he did because it was the right thing to do.
That's what it means to be a Kiddush Hashem, to sanctify God's Name. It is a goal to which we can all strive.
An oldie and goodie: I do not know if the following is a "true" story but the lessons of the story rings true to me. B'shalom, Wendy
What would you do...you make the choice. Don't look for a punch line, there isn't one. Read it anyway. My question is: Would you have made the same choice?
At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question:
'When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection. Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do. Where is the natural order of things in my son?' The audience was stilled by the query. The father continued. 'I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.'
Then he told the following story:
Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, 'Do you think they'll let me play?' I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.
I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, 'We're losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning…' Shay struggled over to the team's bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt.. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again. Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat. At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game?
Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball. However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact.
The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay. As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher. The game would now be over. The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman.
Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game. Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman's head, out of reach of all team mates.
Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, 'Shay, run to first! Run to first!' Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base. He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.
Everyone yelled, 'Run to second, run to second!' Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base. By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball . The smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team.
He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman's head. Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home.
All were screaming, 'Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay' Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, 'Run to third! Shay, run to third!' As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, 'Shay, run home! Run home!'
Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team 'That day', said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, 'the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world'.Shay didn't make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!
There are some Rabbis who deal with missionaries and attacks on Judaism by outside sources or Jews for Yeshu etc. I received an e-mail from a person last week asking me why I don’t believe in this extraneous source. What might keep the Goyim from Idolatry and other things is not necessarily something good for Jews. So I wrote the person off of my head in about four or five minutes the following: There are a number of reasons why we do not believe in Yeshu. 1) He did not end Roman rule of Judea.
2) He did not make the Jewish Peace and no more war in the world
3) He was not announced by Eliyahu HaNovi
4) He did not solve the Talmudic problems
5) He was a young Rabbinical student in his day and a bit of a renegade.
6) He was not on the level of a Sage yet
7) All his followers were boors and common folk who did not even observe the Holy Shabbos (picking grain on Shabbos)
8) He did not make the miracle of the loaves of grain but it was loaves of figs that was the son of Yehuda ben Prachya etc. etc. etc. (as I mentioned in the past the off shoot of the tree is in the Abu Synagogue in Zefat.
The Gospels are written by people who lived later except the one of Yehuda Ish Krayos who is not canonized either by the Goyim or the Jews.
There are no existing documents in Hebrew outside of the Talmud and it is not a flattering picture of the person.
I did not write her about the “Only son” bit and showed her Shemos 4:22 above.
Bombing empty buildings back: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4002589,00.html
Pollard is going to have Netanyahu as force to help him get released soon. But is it very late in the game: http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=200547
It is only because he is fighting Cancer: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/141312 http://christianactionforisrael.org/isreport/septoct99/pollard.html
From Valerie in Belfast N. Ireland: Do you know what I find so interesting R.P. President Clinton especially when he was in office, had no problem whatsoever in encouraging known terrorists, and not only known terrorists, but the godfathers of the Irish Republic Army, to become representatives in our local Government.
We have killers, and those who commanded others to kill women, men and children, sitting in high office at Stormont, our Government here in Northern Ireland.
Yet, he would not issue a pardon for Jonathan, who did not murder or instruct others to kill. Jonathan Pollard is a hero and he has been my hero for a very, very long time.
This can cause foreign species invasions in nature: http://www.ynetnews.com/home/0,7340,L-3082,00.html
Iranian Guards and Hezballah: http://www.debka.com/article/20484/
Something that I have been noticing prior to my leaving Israel – PM Netanyahu is trying to please everybody rather than firmly stand on the principles of the Likud and as a result he pleases nobody and just makes enemies: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4003497,00.html
Guest Editorial: It is time to get tough on Iran
Iran continues to defy the international community in its drive to acquire nuclear weapons. Arab leaders in the region rightly fear a nuclear-armed Iran. We suspected this before, but now we know for sure because of leaked diplomatic cables. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia "frequently exhorted the U.S. to attack Iran to put an end to its nuclear weapons program," according to these communications. Officials from Jordan said the Iranian nuclear program should be stopped by any means necessary. Officials from the United Arab Emirates and Egypt saw Iran as evil, an "existential threat" and a sponsor of terrorism. If Iran isn't stopped from obtaining nuclear weapons, it could trigger a regional nuclear arms race in which these countries would seek their own nuclear weapons to protect themselves.
That wouldn't be the only catastrophic consequence for American interests in the Middle East. Our credibility and reputation would suffer a serious blow if Iran succeeds in producing its own nuclear weapons after we've been claiming for years that such an event could not and would not be tolerated. A nuclear-armed and violently anti-American Iran would be an enormous threat to us and to our allies. Israel in particular would face the gravest threat to its existence since its creation. Iran's leaders have repeatedly called for Israel's destruction, and Iran already possesses missiles that can reach Israel. Once these missiles are armed with nuclear warheads, nothing could stop the mullahs from launching a second Holocaust. It's only a matter of time before Iran develops missiles that could reach U.S. territory.
Even without nuclear weapons, Iran has provided arms used to kill American soldiers and Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan. Iran is also the biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world. It has shielded al-Qaeda leaders, including one ofOsama bin Laden's sons. Imagine how much worse it would be for us if this regime acquired nuclear weapons.
President Obama once said a nuclear-armed Iran would be "unacceptable." Yet, Iran's nuclear progress still continues unchecked. Russia continues to support Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactors. It also continues to sell arms to Iran — despite the Obama administration's much-touted "reset" policy with Russia. The administration trumpets the United Nations sanctions passed earlier this year, but those sanctions are not the " crippling" ones we were promised. Much more can be done, such as banning insurance for shipments to Iran, banning all military sales to Iran, ending all trade credits, banning all financial dealings with Iranian banks, limiting Iran's access to international capital markets and banking services, closing air space and waters to Iran's national air and shipping lines, and, especially, ending Iran's ability to import refined petroleum. These would be truly "crippling" sanctions. They would work if implemented.
Some have said the Israelis should undertake military action on their own if they are convinced the Iranian program is approaching the point of no return. But Iran's nuclear weapons program is not just Israel's problem; it is the world's problem. I agree with the former British prime minister Tony Blair, who said recently that the West must be willing to use force "if necessary" if that is the only alternative.
Standing with the people
But we also need to encourage a positive vision for Iran. Iran is not condemned to live under the totalitarian inheritance of the Ayatollah Khomeini forever. There is an alternative — an Iran where human rights are respected, where women are not subjugated, where terrorist groups are not supported and neighbors are not threatened. A peaceful, democratic Iran should be everyone's goal. There are many hopeful signs inside Iran that reveal the Iranian people's desire for this peaceful, democratic future. We must encourage their voices.
When the brave people of Iran take to the streets in defiance of their unelected dictatorship, they must know that we in the free world stand with them. When the women of Iran rise up to demand their rights, they must know that we women of the free world who enjoy the rights won for us by our suffragist foremothers stand with our sisters there. When Iranians demand freedom of religion, freedom of conscience and freedom to simply live their lives as they choose without persecution, we in the free world must stand with them.
We can start by supporting them with diplomacy and things such as radio broadcasting, just as we did with those who suffered under the former Soviet Empire. Most of all, we should support them with confidence in the rightness of the ideals of liberty and justice.
Just as Ronald Reagan once denounced an "evil empire" and looked forward to a time when communism was left on the "ash heap of history," we should look forward to a future where the twisted ideology and aggressive will to dominate of Khomeini and his successors are consigned to history's dustbin. - Sarah Palin Disclaimer the publication here does not mean at this time that I am endorsing her over other pro-Israel Candidates in the Republican Primary.
We do not celebrate Xmas or the Nativity Holiday as it is called in Hebrew. However in protecting our rights not to celebrate Xmas we don’t want to trample on people who do. Dear Friends,
An Executive Order that I issued last year encourages the celebration of Christmas and Hanukkah and prohibits any censorship of these religious holidays.
As you may know, in the past, state and local officials in Arizona (and elsewhere) have attempted to strip both Christmas and Hanukkah of their meaning, including establishment of policies forbidding state employees from placing religious items of celebration at their desks, re-naming of Christmas trees as “holiday” trees, and renaming of Menorahs as “candlesticks.”
Under my administration, I will call things what they are...a Christmas Tree and a Menorah... and will gladly allow both Christmas and Hanukkah to be celebrated at the State Capitol. I encourage my colleagues and fellow elected officials to do the same.
Finally, during this Christmas season, make a difference in our community by volunteering your time or making a donation to a worthy cause. An organization that I support, Hope & A Future, is making a difference this Christmas by providing gifts and clothing to foster children. I encourage you to learn more about Hope & A Future and make a difference in our community through this charity or another charity of your choice.
Merry Christmas! May God bless you, your home, and all of Arizona.
Have a great Shabbos,