Thursday, January 6, 2011

Parsha Bo, stories, halacha

Yehonatan ben Malka is suffering from Cancer.

As you know from time to time I receive questions or comments on the and this one I prefer to clarify as if my statement was unclear for one person it might be misinterpreted by a few others. I have one question... I was taught that Aaron became Moshe Rabbaynu's voice because Moshe had a speech impediment, not because Moshe "loses it". What does this mean; "loses it'? Just trying to understand. Miriam Shoshana

When I wrote that Moshe “loses it”, I was referring to the nerve to speak in front of Pharaoh and all his ministers for I have friends who stutter and the more and more official people, the greater the chance to stutter than on a one to one or a family basis. When I speak Hebrew at times, I can get over excited and get into a stuttering mode or that people don’t understand me because I mixed up a word, syllable or sound and my whole point or argument can go out the window. Also with my concentration since my car accident of over a dozen years ago, things are harder. The Medrash says that he burnt his mouth with a hot coal as a child and therefore Moshe had a very bad speech impediment. It was best that when he spoke that he had a translator. My young grandson when he was two would mumble something which my daughter or with the youngest in the USA my daughter-in-law could understand and it was clear to both but vague to me. So it was with Moshe, but Moshe being an adult and not talking to his grandfather is in a very intimidating situation. Henceforth, he literally loses his nerve. He might be strong enough to physically stand before Pharaoh without fear but in panic about making a public speech it is Aaron who gives him the backing at this point.

Parsha Bo

The combination of all the plagues whether you hold them to be a series of natural events or miraculous events come into the realm of miracles. For even one who holds that once every 6,000 years or 10,000 years or 1,000,000 years the Nile River will turn reddish in nature and I shall mistake it for blood then what happens when in such and such an hour, minute and second that Aaron’s movement occurs that the river will turn red. Now combine it with everything else. Then comes along a 200 years or 1000 years etc. locust attack so the numbers of a probability now has trillions of trillions to one for an event as part of the natural order. It becomes so infinitesimal that a statistician or scientist would have to draw the conclusion that a guiding hand is here. For Moshe to announce that on Rosh Chodesh will be such and such a plague in advance and then it lasts seven days with three weeks of reprieve it becomes impossible not to believe and to ignore.

10:1 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Go in unto Pharaoh; for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might show these My signs in the midst of them;

A profound thought: Psalms "What is man that YOU shall consider him?" Foolish men think that they are in charge of global warming if one eight of Yellowstone Park was to go volcanic we would be in an ice age for thousands of years. The god-ruler of Egypt and his servants think that they are the Baal HaBies of Egypt but this is not so. It is the L-RD who is hardening their hearts. Modern man is haughty he thinks that he can influence global warming or cool – well I got news for you. Some people don’t have a clue but I will give them a hint “May et HASHEM hata Zos he niflah baynaynu” (From the L-RD this is so, it is wondrous in our eyes). So Pharaoh, after 7 plagues that all start on the new moon and last for seven days, how can you be so brazen?

2 and that thou may tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son's son, what I have wrought upon Egypt, and My signs which I have done among them; that ye may know that I am the LORD.'

What is the reason? The reason is that Bnei Yisrael education must continue for generation after generation. For each generation one is Chayiv (is required) to view himself as if he left Egypt. For when one views himself as a freed slave from Egypt by HASHEM his education is complete and he is ready to educate the next generation.

3 And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and said unto him: 'Thus says the LORD, the God of the Hebrews: How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before Me? let My people go, that they may serve Me. 4 Else, if thou refuse to let My people go, behold, to-morrow will I bring locusts into thy border;

Our Sages tell us that there was a dispute between Egypt and her neighbors where the borders are. One could see greenery in Sudan and no plants in Egypt.

5 and they shall cover the face of the earth, that one shall not be able to see the earth; and they shall eat the residue of that which is escaped, which remains unto you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which grows for you out of the field; 6 and thy houses shall be filled, and the houses of all thy servants, and the houses of all the Egyptians; as neither thy fathers nor thy fathers' fathers have seen, since the day that they were upon the earth unto this day.' And he turned, and went out from Pharaoh.

The warnings in the past have proven to be true. At this point the advisors to Pharaoh have been shaken up for the Barley and other early crops were killed off in the hail storm.

7 And Pharaoh's servants said unto him: 'How long shall this man be a snare unto us? let the men go, that they may serve the LORD their God, know thou not yet that Egypt is destroyed?'

Let them appease their Yod Kay Vav Kay for us that HE will not take any more vengeance upon Egypt or our angering HIM.

8 And Moses and Aaron were brought again unto Pharaoh; and he said unto them: 'Go, serve the LORD your God; but who are they that shall go?' 9 And Moses said: 'We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds we will go; for we must hold a feast unto the LORD.' 10 And he said unto them: 'So be the LORD with you, as I will let you go, and your little ones; see ye that evil is before your face. 11 Not so; go now ye that are men, and serve the LORD; for that is what ye desire.' And they were driven out from Pharaoh's presence.

The Hebrew for evil is Ra which has a few meanings. 1) Evil 2) The Egyptian Deity – which was their sun god and creator of other gods 3) Something else out there perhaps in Astrology as Emanuel Velikovsky wrote.

12 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Stretch out thy hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they may come up upon the land of Egypt, and eat every herb of the land, even all that the hail hath left.'

This would be wheat, blossoming fruits and nuts and grass even for the cattle.

13 And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the LORD brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all the night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts. 14 And the locusts went up over all the land of Egypt, and rested in all the borders of Egypt; very grievous were they; before them there were no such locusts as they, neither after them shall be such. 15 For they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and they did eat every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left; and there remained not any green thing, either tree or herb of the field, through all the land of Egypt. 16 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste; and he said: 'I have sinned against the LORD your God, and against you.

This plague was so terrifying even above the hail plague as it was leaving now a completely dead land that momentarily Pharaoh repents. The repentance is out of dread and not from the heart and similarly a convert is not accepted out of fear. For as a Rabbi why should I accept so and so to convert if the main reason she wants to convert is fear of losing her boyfriend or husband after he becomes repentant. We want in the first case full regret and in the case of the Ger full love for G-D.

17 Now therefore forgive, I pray thee, my sin only this once, and entreat the LORD your God, that He may take away from me this death only.' 18 And he went out from Pharaoh, and entreated the LORD. 19 And the LORD turned an exceeding strong west wind, which took up the locusts, and drove them into the Red Sea; there remained not one locust in all the border of Egypt. 20 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not let the children of Israel go.

The late Rebbitzen Hedva Silberfarb Zal told the story which became known in book form as “Hedva’s Bridge”. A woman must cross the bridge to the other side in a raging storm the water under the bridge is rising the winds are blowing fiercely. She prayers to HASHEM that she will not speak Lashon Hara if she can reach the other side and her destination in safety. Suddenly the wind calms down and the water level stabilizes. As she continues across the bridge she thinks to herself perhaps I over reacted and maybe I should not have prayed that way. Suddenly the gusts return and the water level rises. The situation appears to be bad again – “HASHEM I did not mean it.” This was exactly what happened to Pharaoh. Like this women who liked tale bearing, gossiping, spreading evil reports, getting all the juicy dirt on people, etc. so Pharaoh loved his slave economy and the production capability. America grew great during the sweatshop era (that is when my great-great grandparents came to the USA to work hard for a dream) . China and India are gaining strength due to their cheap labor so it is not surprising the Egypt was a world power with their slaves – Rome too used slaves at the height of their power. {Politically I am not advocating for the USA to go back to the sweatshop era but to lower the standard of living to that of the 40’s and 50’s when the standard of living and expectations and person greed of poor were not sofar over their heads)

21 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Stretch out thy hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt.' 22 And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days; 23 they saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days; but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.

R’ Y. Jankovits Shlita: In the description of the plague of Darkness in verse 10:23; the Torah writes "No man could see his brother." The Gerer Rebbe zt"l says that when a Jew is not seeing his brother (ignoring and not helping) then he is suffering from the plague of Darkness.

It was no ordinary darkness. For the Medrash says it came out of Gehenna and could be felt. It might have been chemical blindness in nature for the same Medrash further on reveals that the Bnei Yisrael could go into the house of all these people and see even where they hid their silver and gold.

24 And Pharaoh called unto Moses, and said: 'Go ye, serve the LORD; only let your flocks and your herds be stayed; let your little ones also go with you.' 25 And Moses said: 'Thou must also give into our hand sacrifices and burnt-offerings, that we may sacrifice unto the LORD our God. 26 Our cattle also shall go with us; there shall not a hoof be left behind; for thereof must we take to serve the LORD our God; and we know not with what we must serve the LORD, until we come thither.'

Pharaoh and his advisors are suspicious that the slaves are about to make a run for it and their whole economy based on great memorial sites for Pharaohs is about to take a crash.

27 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let them go. 28 And Pharaoh said unto him: 'Get thee from me, take heed to thyself, see my face no more; for in the day thou see my face thou shalt die.' 29 And Moses said: 'Thou hast spoken well; I will see thy face again no more.'

We learn from this that Pharaoh as tough as he is will be taking a stand. Whoever is on the side of god-Pharaoh be with me and whoever is for HASHEM should be with Moshe. The next plague will come from itself and be so horrific that Pharaoh will free the slaves on his own accord.

11;1 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Yet one plague more will I bring upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go hence; when he shall let you go, he shall surely thrust you out hence altogether. 2 Speak now in the ears of the people, and let them ask every man of his neighbor, and every woman of her neighbor, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold.' 3 And the LORD gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh's servants, and in the sight of the people. 4 And Moses said: 'Thus says the LORD: About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt; 5 and all the first-born in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first-born of Pharaoh that sits upon his throne, even unto the first-born of the maid-servant that is behind the mill; and all the first-born of cattle.

The Bechor, first born, is something special whether in man or beast. It is a symbol among all creatures of following the first commandment of being fruitful and multiply. The section in this week’s Parsha of 13:1-16 specifically deals with this. There is mentioned in Tractate Shabbos about the third child being special as it deals with the strength of the womb of the mother. Moshe was the third child. Perhaps also with parenting ABC by the time the third child comes along the parents are finally more experienced and make less mistakes. Returning to the Bechor, more is expected from the Bechor and the leadership is supposed to come from the Bechor. (As we saw in Beresheis sometimes it works out that way but Reuven and Yehuda are exceptions while Yosef being the Bechor of Rachel does become the leader – the same with many families for the Bechora, first born daughter. Miriam is the eldest and given the task of watching baby Moshe go down the Nile in the ark of branches. So now the Chumash goes on to say what happens to a family when a first born dies:

6 And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there hath been none like it, nor shall be like it any more. 7 But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog whet his tongue, against man or beast; that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.

The reward for this is that Jews throw out their Trafe and Nevaila Meat to the dogs. (Or at least in our days to zoo carnivorous animals)

8 And all these thy servants shall come down unto me, and bow down unto me, saying: Get thee out, and all the people that follow thee; and after that I will go out.' And he went out from Pharaoh in hot anger. 9 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Pharaoh will not hearken unto you; that My wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.' 10 And Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh; and the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not let the children of Israel go out of his land.

Since all the plagues occurred on Rosh Chodesh if the next plague did not occur on Rosh Chodesh, Pharaoh would be misled into thinking that the G-D of Moshe gave up after he threatened Moshe’s life. He would be jovial and mocking among other things.

Thinking by Rabbi Yehonasan Gefen

One of the most distinctive aspects of the Ten Plagues was the persistent refusal of Pharaoh to recognize the error of his ways and accept that the God of the Jews was indeed all-powerful. Miracle after miracle failed to persuade him of the veracity of Moses' claims of being God's messenger and not merely an expert sorcerer.

During the first five plagues he refused to release the Jews while in full control of his free will. In the second five plagues he would have sent the Jews out of Egypt had God not hardened his heart. The Seforno explains, however, that this does not mean that the plagues caused Pharaoh to repent from a recognition of God's greatness. Rather his inability to bear any more plagues would have been the cause of permitting the Jews to leave. Accordingly, God's hardening of his heart gave him to strength to overcome his natural fear and make a 'reasoned' free will decision to continue to refuse Moses' requests.

Pharaoh's seemingly superhuman stubbornness aroused great wonderment in Rav Aaron Bakst, Rosh Yeshiva of Lomza. He used to give a class in his home every Friday night after the meal. On one occasion his students entered his house and were surprised to see him walking back and forth in his room, speaking to himself, "What was Pharaoh thinking when he saw these great miracles in front of his very eyes?!" Suddenly, he stopped walking, turned to the students and explained, "He did not think at all! Only through lack of thinking can a person come to ignore such great miracles without allowing them to influence him in the slightest!"

This explanation of Pharaoh's illogical behavior sheds great light on why people fail to change when they experience great events. They may even recognize that miracles have occurred but they do not think about their consequences.

An example of this was people's reaction to the open miracles of the Gulf War in which 39 scud missiles succeeded in killing just one person. Many people acknowledged that the nation had clearly witnessed then hand of God. Yet, they did not necessarily act upon their newfound realization of Divine Providence. One may ask, what were such people thinking? They had clearly seen God's hand in protecting the Jewish people and yet they didn't change. The answer is found in Rav Bakst's explanation: they did not think. Had one sincerely reflected on the remarkable events, he would have surely changed in some way.

Another striking illustration of this phenomenon is told over by Rav Dovid Kaplan. Rav Yechezkel Levensteil was traveling in a taxi with a non-religious driver. The driver turned to Rav Yechezkel and told him the following remarkable story: Several years earlier, he had been traveling in the jungles of Africa with some friends. Suddenly, a snake attacked one of them, wrapping its large body around him, causing him to suffocate. After concerted efforts to save him, they realized that there was no hope, so they told him to say the Shema before he left the world. He quickly said it and immediately the snake uncurled itself and left. This man was profoundly affected by this event and gradually returned to Judaism and he was now a fully observant Jew. After hearing how this even so drastically changed the friend's life, Rav Levenstein turned to the driver and asked him why he had not changed as a result of this miracle. The driver explained, "Oh no, it didn't happen to me, it happened to him."

The driver saw a potentially life-changing event but did not change. Why? Because he did not think, he did not let the obvious consequences of this miracle cause him to reflect on his life direction. It is also instructive to note that his friend, the subject of the miracle, did change - sometimes an event can be so powerful that a person cannot help but think about it and allow it to influence his life. However, often, we ourselves are not the subject of the miracle and therefore it requires far more conscious effort to force ourselves to 'think' about the ramifications of events that we see and hear about.

The first stage of changing as a result of the world around us is to learn the lesson of Pharaoh and to 'think' - to let events that happen in the world at large, and that occur in our own private lives, cause us to reflect on our lives, and make necessary changes. May we all merit to think about that which happens around us.

Rabbi Pinchas Winston Shlita writes this week regarding about the not thinking part as perhaps not listening to the message: I once heard a story of two great rabbis who were very close. However, one was older than the other and presumably wiser as well. At the eulogy of the older one, the younger rabbi recounted a story where the two of them were walking home together discussing an important point. The elder rabbi, after trying several times unsuccessfully to have the younger rabbi understand his point finally told him, “You are not being a listener.”

In other words, the younger rabbi was hearing him, but not listening to him. He heard the words, but they were not registering on the level for which they were intended by the elder Rav, and therefore lacked the necessary impact. Apparently, the younger rabbi recounted, his own perspective blocked him from seeing the perspective of his mentor; it blocked him from being a proper mekabel—a receiver.

That is a naturally male thing to do. It seems, in general, more natural for men to be givers rather than receivers, usually because of pride. There is something about the male ego that demands that a man do things on his own, without the help of others. Men seem to need independence more than women do, which is why my wife is ready to ask directions the moment we are lost, and I won’t until I have made every effort to solve the dilemma on my own.

Rabbi A.L. wrote me a little story about listening and my wife bawled me out twice yesterday for being so engrossed in thought that I did not listen to her: Putting on our hand Tefillin first symbolizes that action is most important.

The following story illustrated the point. Reb Shneur Zalman, first Rebbe of Chabad and his son, Reb. Dov Ber were both engrossed in Torah Study. As they were so involved in study, Reb Dov Ber's child happened to fall out of bed. Reb Dov Ber being so engrossed in study did not hear his child crying and continued studying. His Father, Reb Shneur Zalman, who lived on the second floor, did hear the crying and came down and attended to the child.

When he later asked his son, why he did not attend to the child, he told his Father that he was so engrossed in study that he did not hear the child crying. His Father reprimanded him and said, "When one does not hear the cry of a child because of their Torah study, there is something wrong with the study!!" This is the lesson of putting the Tefillin on the hand first to show that action is what comes first and counts the most!!

12:1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying: 2 'This month shall be unto you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.

We have gone a full circle since Beresheis and this is the point that Rashi states for a Bnei Yisrael Nation this essentially is where the Chumash should start. HASHEM of course gave us the sections of the Chumash up to now to teach us lessons and also to the Nations of the world.

3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying: In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to their fathers' houses, a lamb for a household; 4 and if the household be too little for a lamb, then shall he and his neighbor next unto his house take one according to the number of the souls; according to every man's eating ye shall make your count for the lamb. 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year; ye shall take it from the sheep, or from the goats;

It is not a lamb per man but a family lamb. Thus a small family like mine would involve cousins from my father’s side too and that being small maybe even more cousins until there were enough people to eat both the Korban Chaggigah and a small bulk of meat from the Korban Pessach at the same meal. A family with six or more adult sons and they having about six or more adult sons each would in reality reach this criteria.

6 and ye shall keep it unto the fourteenth day of the same month; and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at dusk. 7 And they shall take of the blood, and put it on the two side-posts and on the lintel, upon the houses wherein they shall eat it. 8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; with bitter herbs they shall eat it. 9 Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; its head with its legs and with the inwards thereof. 10 And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; but that which remains of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire.

Up until now this is the rules for the a standard Korban Pessach throughout all generations but as for the first Pessach sentences 11 – 13 below are one time only for the first Pessach.

11 And thus shall ye eat it: with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste--it is the LORD'S Passover. 12 For I will go through the land of Egypt in that night, and will smite all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD. 13 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and there shall no plague be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.

Now the rest returns to Pessach for all generations with the first included.

14 And this day shall be unto you for a memorial, and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever. 15 Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; howbeit the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses; for whosoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel. 16 And in the first day there shall be to you a holy convocation, and in the seventh day a holy convocation; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done by you. 17 And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt; therefore shall ye observe this day throughout your generations by an ordinance forever. 18 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even. 19 Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses; for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a sojourner, or one that is born in the land. 20 Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread.'

From here on comes the laying of the hands on the Korban by at least one representative of the family and sacrifice and sentences 22 and 23 are again for Egypt only and we return to the general Korban Pessach.

21 Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them: 'Draw out, and take you lambs according to your families, and kill the Passover lamb. 22 And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side-posts with the blood that is in the basin; and none of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning. 23 For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side-posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you. 24 And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons forever. 25 And it shall come to pass, when ye be come to the land which the LORD will give you, according as He hath promised, that ye shall keep this service. 26 And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you: What mean ye by this service?

This is the question of both the Chacham (smart son) and the Rasha (wicked son) to his father on Pessach. The first wants to know the laws and the tradition and the second is mocking the service and the religion.

27 that ye shall say: It is the sacrifice of the LORD'S Passover, for that He passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when He smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses.' And the people bowed the head and worshipped.

Thus we have before us the Mitzvah of telling our children the Pessach story and the importance of children at the Seder. It does not matter if the small infant is sleeping the educational words are being picked up by the subconscious even if not really understood.

28 And the children of Israel went and did so; as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they.

The Parsha continues with the 10th plague and the borrowing of gold and silver from Egypt and the places where the Bnei Yisrael stopped on the way out of Egypt.

We then return to Pessach of the generations regarding the fact that no Gentile shall eat of the Korban Pessach. They can watch even eat the meal but not the Pessach (meaning Korban here). Also a non-circumcised Jew is forbidden to partake in the Korban.

43 And the LORD said unto Moses and Aaron: 'This is the ordinance of the Passover: there shall no alien eat thereof; 44 but every man's servant that is bought for money, when thou hast circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof.

Now a non-Jewish slave or a Ger Tzeddik can participate in the Korban. In this case a full gentile slave is better off than a Cohain that due to hemophilia or other disease did not get circumcised.

45 A sojourner Ger Tzeddik and a hired servant shall not eat thereof. 46 In one house shall it be eaten; thou shalt not carry forth aught of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a bone thereof.

On the first Pessach it was out of the house with the blood on the lintels but when the Temple existed it was out of Yerushalayim.

47 All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. 48 And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land; but no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof. 49 One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourns among you.'

The Torah informs us that the Ger Tzeddik is equal to a Ben/Bas Yisrael in every way. (Including Kares for violating the Shabbos or Taharos HaMishpacha)

50 Thus did all the children of Israel; as the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they. 51 And it came to pass the selfsame day that the LORD did bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their hosts.

… 13:15 and it came to pass, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go that the LORD slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the first-born of man, and the first-born of beast; therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all that opens the womb, being males; but all the first-born of my sons I redeem. 16 And it shall be for a sign upon thy hand, and for frontlets between your eyes; for by strength of hand the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt.'

This indicates that the Tephillin should have the Parsha concerning the Bechor inside.

From Aish HaTorah:

Bo 5771 by Rabbi Kalman Packouz

GOOD MORNING! Were you ever caught up in your own angst that you failed to see the bigger picture?

I would like to share with you one of my favorite true stories: A young rabbi from Israel was traveling the D train from Brooklyn to Manhattan on his way to a meeting. As the subway rattles towards its destination, he sits quietly reading the History of Submarine Warfare in the South Pacific In World War II. Enters the train two post-six foot battle-scarred young men in gang jackets - with an oversized boom box playing at full volume.

Near the rabbi stands a little old lady tipping the scales at 80 pounds and reaching her full hunched-over height of nearly five feet. The little old lady does not like the booming "grunt" music and starts yelling, "Who's going to make them turn it off?" Everyone takes a deeper interest in what they are reading - including the rabbi.

One of the young toughs smiles wryly and says to the woman, "Lady, if you want to turn it off, you can turn it off." She shuffles across the subway car with her hand held in front of her, index finger poised to flick the power switch. And she turns it off! The young tough puts down the boom box and hauls back to deck her. Up jumps the rabbi and with a parrying move with his forearm, blocks the young tough's punch.

The young tough is puzzled and looks down at the rabbi and says, "What do you want, boy?" The rabbi replies with a big smile, "Just don't hit the lady," and returns to his seat to continue reading his book. The lady shuffles back across the car. And the young tough flips the power switch back on to bathe the car in full-force, deep-based, woofer and tweeter enhanced, penetrating sound waves.

The little old lady shries (yells), "Who's gonna make him turn it off?" Everyone re-reads their previous sentence with increased concentration. The young tough smiles and invites her over. Once again, the little old lady shuffles over, index finger extended and flicks the power switch off. The young tough then hauls back to hit her and the rabbi jumps up to block. The young tough looks confused and says, "Now you're getting on my nerves." The rabbi smiles and says, "Sorry. Just don't hit the lady" and returns to his seat. The little old lady shuffles towards the rabbi's seat and stands with her back to him. And ... both of the young toughs thankfully get off at the next station!

As the rabbi is settling back into his book, he glances up at the back of the little old lady standing right next to him and thinks, "Gee, I just risked my life not once, but twice to protect her ... and she doesn't even thank me!" And after two minutes of self-righteous indignation, the rabbi stops in his mental tracks with an incredible realization - "The Almighty just performed not one miracle, but two to save my life ... and did I stop to thank Him?"

There are probably many lessons to learn from this story - don't ride the subways in New York, beware of little old ladies who can get you killed, learn to love loud music, the power of an incongruous smile ... However, I think the most powerful lesson is to remember: When you point a finger at someone, three fingers point back at you... and be sure to thank the Almighty! I might add that Pharaoh also failed to see the bigger picture.

Halachos from Danny Shoemann

One is not allowed to hit one's servants, even as a means to force them to obey. One may hit one's own children - including adopted children - if done in a way that will educate them to be upright people. Before hitting, one should first try explaining the issue; if that fails and one must resort to hitting, one must be careful not to be cruel; one may not beat up a kid to vent one's anger. It is forbidden to forewarn a child that they will be hit later, as this can traumatize a child. If hitting is called for, one either hits or one keeps quiet about it. It is forbidden to hit children who will hit back - even if they are not yet Bar Mitzva - since one causes them to sin. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 184:2, 143:18: 165:1
Writing and drawing is forbidden on Shabbat - even if it's temporary. One may not use one's finger to write or draw on the condensation a window. One may not write or draw using the water that spilled on a table. One may not use one's nail to make a mark on page, to enable one to find the place again, or for any other reason. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 80:62
If one has a neighbor who suffers from headaches caused by noise, one must make sure to take them into account; one may not use a hammer if the neighbor will hear it and suffer. The same would apply to loud music during siesta or after they have put their kids to bed. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 184:4

Tomorrow (Tuesday morning) there will be is a partial sun eclipse in Israel and surrounding areas. There is no special Bracha said on seeing an eclipse, though on meteors and comets one says "Oseh Maaser Beresheis":
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱ-לקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם
עוֹשֶׂה מַעֲשֶׂה בְּרֵאשִׁית Blessed are You... Who makes the work of creation. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 60:2

It is forbidden to throw items into the street - or anywhere that people walk - if it could cause damage. This includes glass items and slippery items. If one dropped something dangerous one is responsible for the damage it causes and one has an obligation to clean it up. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 184:3

On Rosh Chodesh one says Hallel between the Amida and the Torah reading. On Rosh Chodesh one skips 2-half paragraphs of the Hallel. Hallel must be said standing, and one may not interrupt the Hallel by talking. If the congregation is saying Hallel while one is saying Psukei D'Zimra, one says Hallel with them, without its opening and closing Bracha. (This can only be done on days that one says the shortened "half"-Hallel.) If one arrives late to Schul and the congregation is already up to Hallel, one says Hallel with them, and then one starts one's morning prayers. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 97:4
Chodesh Tov and Shabbat Shalom - Danny

Prisoner of Zion Dept. besides Gilad Shalit there is another person in health wise worst shape. Unlike the Libyan Terrorist - Pollard has cancer as documented by his prison doctors. A bit of mercy is needed for this man who helped stop Saddam from getting the bomb.

Israel to issue new bank notes:,7340,L-4007847,00.html

The Tablecloth from Isaac F.

Subject: Beautiful Story

The brand new Rabbi and his wife were newly assigned to their first congregation to reopen a Schul in suburban Brooklyn. They arrived in early February excited about their opportunities. When they saw their Schul, it was very run down and needed much work. They set a goal to have everything done in time to have their first service on Erev Purim. They worked hard, repairing aged pews, plastering walls, painting, etc, and on 8th of the Adar (February 17th) they were ahead of schedule and just about finished. On February 19 a terrible snowstorm hit the area and lasted for two days. On the 21st, the Rabbi went over to the Schul. His heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster about 20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high. The Rabbi cleaned up the mess on the floor, and not knowing what else to do but postpone the Erev Purim service, headed home.

On the way home, he noticed that a local business was having a flea market type sale for charity, so he stopped in. One of the items was a beautiful, handmade, ivory colored, crocheted tablecloth with exquisite work, fine colors and a Mogen David embroidered right in the center. It was just the right size to cover the hole in the front wall. He bought it and headed back to the Schul. By this time it had started to snow. An older woman running from the opposite direction was trying to catch the bus. She missed it. The Rabbi invited her to wait in the warm Schul for the next bus 45 minutes later. She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the Rabbi while he got a ladder, hangers, etc., to put up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The Rabbi could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and it covered up the entire problem area.

Then the Rabbi noticed the woman walking down the center aisle. Her face was like a sheet. "Rabbi, "she asked, "where did you get that tablecloth?" The Rabbi explained. The woman asked him to check the lower right corner to see if the initials, EBG were crocheted into it there. They were. These were the initials of the woman, and she had made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Poland. The woman could hardly believe it as the Rabbi told how he had just gotten "The Tablecloth".

The woman explained that before the war she and her husband were well-to-do people in Poland. When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave. Her husband was going to follow her the next week. He was captured, sent to a camp and never saw her husband or her home again. The Rabbi wanted to give her the tablecloth; but she made the Rabbi keep it for the Schul. The Rabbi insisted on driving her home. That was the least he could do. She lived on the other side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn for the day for a housecleaning job.

What a wonderful service they had on Erev Purim. The Schul was almost full. The Service was great. At the end of the service, the Rabbi and his wife greeted everyone at the door and many said that they would return. One older man, whom the Rabbi recognized from the neighborhood continued to sit in one of the pews and stare, and the Rabbi wondered why he wasn't leaving. The man asked him where he got the tablecloth on the front wall because it was identical to one that his wife had made years ago when they lived in Poland before the war and how could there be two tablecloths so much alike? He told the Rabbi how the Nazis came, how he forced his wife to flee for her safety and he was supposed to follow her, but he was arrested and put in a camp. He never saw his wife or his home again all the 35 years between.

The Rabbi asked him if he would allow him to take him for a little ride. They drove to Staten Island and to the same house where the Rabbi had taken the woman three days earlier. He helped the man climb the three flights of stairs to the woman's apartment, knocked on the door and he saw the greatest Erev Purim reunion he could ever imagine.

Based on a true story; God does work in mysterious ways!

As a member of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis, I get their quarterly bulletin. Since I have a few to catch up on, I figured that I would start with the Chanucha issue first. The articles that I managed to read contained a story about a Kidney Doctor who donated his own Kidney to his younger sister and why it is a Mitzvah to donate Kidneys, Stem Cells, part of a lung, etc.

Another article spoke about health care and being prepared for end of life situations. It brought back memories of last year’s summer issue that I was reading while my friend Yacov Zal was getting his radiation treatment in Hadassah Hospital. I mentioned something to him about this in passing but he wanted to hear nothing of it especially with his wife having returning cancer time and time again. There were many questions posed in the article about what a Rabbi should say in advice and basically we were told to look up current Rabbinical Response without answering these questions. One of them was: “If one found to be compatible as a bone marrow donor is he obliged under Halacha to donate?” This left out the possibility of a case like H who donated bone marrow to her sister G and because she had been infected years previously with EBV, she developed MS. Even if it normally would have been a Mitzvah, would it be in such a case? I would tend to say that for healthy people one should donate perhaps a close to a must but for people who have an ailment, I would tend to go on the principle of “Tadir v’lo Tadir” (a usual situation and an unusual situation) in which it is certain that both have diseases and it is uncertain if the bone marrow will take like in the case of H who passed away and it is also uncertain that if the unhealthy donor donates that he/she does not put himself into greater danger. (Also sometimes a doctor or two would have to be consulted for if the same case would be for a cancer patient and a polio victim would the danger be less or very great).

Pain for the children of the L-RD:

General Mills is discontinuing the OU-D kosher certification from all sizes of Bugles Original due to operational changes at the production sites, and will no longer be certified.

The OU-D symbol will begin to be removed from packaging in February of 2011. Consumers are likely to see some Bugles Original packages with the OU-D symbol and some without as the transition occurs. The Bugles with the OU-D are in fact kosher.

Inyanay Diyoma

Oldest Modern Human Remains found where the Bible said they would be found:

Saudi and Nukes:

Europe continues supply Iran & bully Israel - so whatever happens to them they deserve.

I am against DUI but also against losing my constitutional rights:

The Nuke Program continues:

Meir Dagan retires with a lot of achievements:

Health advice:

Many Democrats look towards the next elections:

On the Israeli Left by Caroline Glick:

Is this wishful thinking, propaganda or true?

Anti-Semitism in the USA grows:\

Lebonese eye natural gas:

SLOUCHING TOWARDS TEHERAN by CAROLINE GLICK Forwarded with commentary by Emanuel A. Winston, Mid East Analyst & Commentator

Some will recall the nations gathering in the time of Hitler, agreeing to appease Hitler by giving him the Sudetenland, Europe’s best defenses in Czechoslovakia. Europe’s Nations hoped the bribe would halt Hitler in his march across Europe. The Nations of Europe didn’t own the Sudetenland but, bribery, treachery and betrayal was in their blood. Hitler was never appeased but, rather encouraged by their show of weakness.

It’s all happening again as we see America’s President Barack Hussein Obama, in collusion with the Arab Muslims and Europeans, pushing hard to repeat their betrayal – only this time the target is the Jewish Nation/State of Israel. The primary betrayers are Obama, following the Muslim path set down by Saudi Arabia and Iran. Following those are the Jew-killing nations of Europe, well-known for their collaboration with the Nazis and their uber-efficient Jew-killing apparatus

Not much has changed as the same ‘collaborators’, like the French, the English, the Russians, ‘et al’, have joined in a pack – like hungry animals - again tracking down the Jews, only this time the entire Jewish Nation is their prey.

Of course, the Jews are now well-armed and should kill their enemies with no hesitation or pity. As for friends like Obama who is teaming up with the Saudis’ money and Iranian mighty arms, he is what he is. Should Obama’s friends in Iran manage to blow up an American city – or air craft carrier, then Obama must face trial for having exposed Americans to death and injury through their malfeasance in office.

SAUDI ARABIA IS ALIGNED WITH IRAN, HAMAS AND THE TALIBAN by RACHEL EHRENFELD from Ted Belman’s ISRAPUNDIT Forwarded with commentary by Emanuel A. Winston, Mid East Analyst & Commentator

As you read the following penetrating analysis of which nations are now working diligently to break the spine of America and her ally, Israel, by collaborating with the Saudis and their Wahhabi funding of global Terror stands out exposed. The focus on Iran which, with the cooperation of American (read: Obama) and European leaders, will allow Iran to achieve Nuclear capability and, therefore, the dominance and hegemony of the Middle East.

In the near future, there’ll come a time when the Free West will (hopefully) be forced to open their eyes and start the Global search for those who colluded with the Saudis and Iranians to subvert America and the Western countries so the worst nations will now come to dominate the Globe under the description of the New World Order underpinned by Sharia law.

We all know that black crude drives the cash flow ambitions of the multi-national oil companies and countries whose intentions are tied to greedy politicians who are ready to accept the Hitlerian world for their own benefits. I believe it was the Nigerians who suffered most under the oil predators who coined the phrase that black crude was the “Devil’s excrement”.

Perhaps a World Court will be convened as in Nuremberg for crimes against humanity. So who would testify with authority about participating in the subversion of America and Europe by their leaders’ collaboration with the Saudis and Iranians?

For a start, perhaps former President George Herbert Walker Bush and his Secretary of State James Baker could enlighten us as to their role if put under subpoena before a Grand Jury. Certainly, current President Barack Hussein Obama could tell the Court a lot with respect to his involvement as a (former?) Muslim along with his appointed Czars and Czarinas, his associates who are members Socialism, Communism, anarchists and other anti-American movements that dream about and connive to achieve the collapse of America and her successful capitalism.

After all, why should hard-working people, high-achieving Americans be brought down to the equivalent of failed Third World nations, at least according to Obama?

So, read the following but, remember America has enemies within.




December 23, 2010

Conspicuously, neither Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz nor the rulers of any Arab or Muslim state are holding special national telethons to help raise funds for some 400,000 new Pakistani refugees. Many fled their homes after the Taliban took over the Swat valley, and others were forced to leave amid the fierce fighting between the Taliban and the Pakistani military. The Saudis say they are friends of the West and of all Muslim nations, but their real alliance is with Iran, Hamas and the Taliban–as you can tell just by following the money.

Indeed, to get hundreds of millions, and even billions, of dollars in emergency funds from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the Gulf States, the Pakistani refugees should have declared themselves Palestinian.

Since January 2009, or in just over four months, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States have given between $1.646 billion and $1.950 billion to the Palestinians, according to figures published on the Web site of Saudi Arabia’s embassy in the U.S.

Most of the money, as well as medical aid, food and building materials, went to Hamas-controlled Gaza. These donations were in addition to $1 billion donated on Jan. 19 by King Abdullah “to help rebuild the Gaza Strip.”

On May 6, a day after U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates sought Saudi help to fight off the Taliban in Pakistan, the Saudis announced a $25 million donation, not to Pakistan, but to rebuild the Palestinian Nahr Al-Bared refugee camp in Lebanon.

Meanwhile on May 7, at the Arab League’s meeting of foreign ministers in Cairo, Egypt, aid to Pakistan was not on the agenda. Instead, as reported by the Saudi Gazette, the League issued a warning about the imminent danger posed to Jerusalem by the Jews.

On May 10, while a new influx of 100,000 Pakistanis escaped the fighting between the military and the Taliban, Saudi Interior Minister Prince Naif, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal, chairman of the Kingdom Holding Company Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretary-General Abdul Rahman Al-Attiyah all found the time to meet with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama. They promised to send a high-level delegation “to consider the volume of assistance that could be rendered to rehabilitate the [internal] refugees” in war-torn Sri Lanka.

So what about Saudi aid to the suffering Pakistanis? On April 23, the Saudi King gave Pakistan 150 tons of dates, as “humanitarian aid.”

Is this an appropriate response from the “custodian” of the two holiest mosques, the second-largest Muslim country in the world and one that is 70% Sunni?

The Saudis are pouring money into Gaza, where Iranian-supported, Sharia-enforcing Hamas caused death and destruction. At the same time, they are avoiding supporting Pakistan against the Iranian-supported, Sharia-enforcing, murderous Taliban.

It seems that the Saudis care more about enforcement of the most radical form of sharia as imposed by Hamas and the Taliban, than they do about helping hundreds of thousands of suffering Muslim brothers in Pakistan.

Support to Hamas and the indirect endorsement of the Taliban are a telling sign of important changes in the Muslim world. The Sunni-Wahhabi Saudis and the Shiite radicals ruling Iran seem to have put aside their differences for now. The uniting factor is the opportunity to speed up the creation of the global Islamic nation–the Ummah in Arabic.

The Taliban, like Hamas, achieved political and territorial gains by brute force. Hamas threw the Fatah-run Palestinian Authority out of the Gaza Strip, and the Taliban took over Pakistan’s Swat valley, through relentless terrorist attacks. Both terrorist groups received tactical and strategic support from Iran and funds from the Saudis.

On April 28, former head of Saudi intelligence Prince Turki al-Faisal, who admitted funding the Taliban before 9/11, and who served as ambassador to Washington, was quoted in the Washington Times calling for “the speedy withdrawal of U.S. and NATO forces from Afghanistan,” saying that they are “not welcome” there.

Pakistan’s decision to cede power over the Swat Valley to the Taliban, and the Obama administration’s decision to talk with Hamas and Iran, only help to bolster these groups’ demands and increase their influence in the Arab and Muslim world. The more concessions the West makes to radical Islam, the stronger it gets and the closer it comes to the Islamic dream–and the rest of the world’s nightmare–of the coming Ummah.


The following came to me from William E.

Academic leader Leon Botstein knowingly allows Hamas-support group to use campus facilities and money to aid terror front group ISM by Lee Kaplan/ Stop The ISM

William’s NOTE HERE - You can reach Botstein @ - - (845) 758-6822 7401 S Broadway Red Hook, NY 12571 *******

Bard College is a small idyllic liberal arts college located near Annendale-on-the-Hudson in New York State. A shining star for Bard is supposedly its campus president, one Leon Botstein, Botstein has been the President of Bard College for the past seventeen years, a base from which he promotes his dual careers as an educator and music conductor. Botstein is also Jewish, born in Switzerland and the grandson of victims who died in the Holocaust. He is presently the second string conductor for the Jerusalem Philharmonic orchestra.

Botstein has decided to allow the International Solidarity Movement(ISM), a group that openly admits it works with State Department designated terrorist groups such as Hamas, the PFLP, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, to set up shop on his campus using campus facilities and student activity money to train ISM activists to go to the West Bank and interfere with anti-terror operations of the Israeli army, as well as to act as human shields for Palestinian terror groups.

The ISM at Bard has actually invited Huwaida Arraf, a co-founder of the ISM and one of the main organizers of the Gaza Flotilla boats that continually try to run the Israeli navy’s control of the sea lanes to Gaza to import weapons for Hamas. Arraf was invited to campus to do recruiting for ISM terrorism enablers once before and I alerted Botstein then, too, who did nothing about it. The Bard ISM campus group even recently raised money for the Gaza flotillas that included IHH, an al Qaeda-affiliated “charity” that was involved in the millennium bomb plot to blow up the LA airport in 2000. It is common knowledge the ISM organizes these flotillas in order to try to enable the Iranians to run weapons to the Hamas to attack Israeli civilians on Israel’s southern border with rockets and mortars. Photos are available of ISM activists receiving medals from Hamas leaders in Gaza.

Huwaida Arraf came to train ISM volunteers on that campus a year ago and to raise finances for them and organize similar trips sometimes even in Bard’s name. Bard ISM recruits are trained in how to lie to the Israeli border police in order to enter Israel illegally and go to the West Bank (also illegal) to assist in fomenting weekly riots from the mosques against Israel’s security fence. They are taught how to falsify their passports if caught and deported. The ISM always looks for scams in order to promote its agenda calling for complete dismantling of Israel as a Jewish state, so ISM activists have even in the past managed to lie about being Jewish to utilize the Birthright Program, a program set up by Jewish philanthropists to send Jewish students to Israel to appreciate the Jewish state. The ISM have had their activists pose as being Jewish to get free transportation to the Middle East where they could then interfere with IDF troops and encourage rioting and rock throwing as what they call “legitimate resistance.” Sometimes their activists pose as journalists or even students, one reason a Bard-ISM chapter comes in handy. The fact that Botstein and his “deans” might swallow some of the ISM’s lies about being “peace activists” or “human rights workers” would come as no surprise when they are really human shields for Palestinian terror groups, particularly Hamas. Such subterfuge is taught in ISM training manuals.

Getting a college like Bard to foot the bill through student activity money and lend legitimacy to their actions is quite a feather in the ISM’s cap. [Bill Levinson: see here an example and another example of the use of the domain by the International Solidarity Movement.] This is one reason why there are not other ISM chapters on colleges across the nation. That is, so long as some college presidents unlike Botstein don’t let them fool people into thinking they are part of the academic experience instead of terrorist enablers, the others don’t train activists to physically aid Hamas.

…The Amit Counter Terrorism Center in Israel recently released a report used by the Knesset in Israel about the ISM confirming it is a terrorist supporting movement. The Palestinians, of course, do have campus propaganda chapters all over the US college scene that usually call themselves names like Students for Justice in Palestine, General Union of Palestine Students or are part of the Muslim Students Union. These are affiliates of the ISM but those chapters usually engage only in propaganda and street theater. Bard’s ISM chapter is a different animal entirely.

The Bard ISM chapter is the only one that is known to exist today in the US on a college campus. While Bard’s does engage in propaganda, even promotes the boycott of Israeli and Jewish businesses and institutions like other anti-Israel campus groups, Bard ISM is the actual ISM by its own admission on its websites. They recruit human shields and send them to go to the West Bank and interfere with the IDF. They raise money that makes its way over to the Palestinians. They train students in how to interfere with anti-terror operations of the IDF and how to liaison with terror groups to work against Israel in what is euphemistically called “resistance” that can include throwing rocks or Molotov cocktails at IDF soldiers.

I wrote a letter to Botstein and explained to him the difference between the ISM actually using campus facilities to train, recruit and fund terrorist enablers overseas and just engaging in obnoxious and frequently untrue propaganda against Israel here at home. Botstein not only ignored the evidence, but he accused me of lying and insulting him—neither of which I did.

What is more, Botstein cynically accused me of “cloaking myself in the noble mantle of support for Israel” while citing his lost relatives from the Holocaust as excusing himself from his inaction, then declared himself a champion of freedom as he covered for a Hamas support group on Bard’s campus.

Botstein wrote me back that “The Deans here have received assurances that the group has not and will not, as you say, “train ISM activists to go to Judea and Samaria and Gaza to serve as human shields for terrorist groups and to interfere with anti-terror operations of the IDF.” The students’ use of the term “training” sessions is misleading. These sessions deal with Palestinian culture and society, and not with preparation for any “direct action” in Israel, the West Bank or Gaza.”

But here’s what the Bard ISM’s website says they did to send people to Gaza in support of the Hamas regime there. [Bill Levinson; all these Web pages have been downloaded for future reference in case they "disappear" as a result of Lee Kaplan's exposure. See also where Bard ISM says explicitly that it is actively engaging in "non-violent direct action, as well as assisting and training other volunteers to directly confront the occupation in Palestine." Note also that Bard ISM is promoting the "U.S. Boat to Gaza" (named The Audacity of Hope, by the way) whose mission is to enter Gaza illegally.]

“The training was led by 3 Bard students. 14 trainees were present,” and “Many were headed for December’s Gaza Freedom March to break the Israeli siege of Gaza.” Another site explains, “While there are other anti-occupation groups on campus, this one is part of a larger international social movement and will/would focus on direct action as a means of promoting change rather than solely hosting campus events.” The sites openly say they train students thanks to campus student activity money to go to “Palestine” with the ISM and to conduct “direct action.”

In fact, over the last year Bard has footed the bill to send some Bard-ISM students to the West Bank as ISM volunteers ostensibly in the interest of “human rights” (ISM activists do not care about the human rights of Israelis, only Palestinians and their leadership in Hamas and Fatah). No doubt Botstein’s deans accepted the usual line of local ISM activists that they are “nonviolent”, a ruse touted in their training manuals, but, what they say and do are two different things. Until recently their mission statement endorsed violence as “legitimate resistance” [Adam Shapiro: ""Palestinian resistance must take on a variety of characteristics, both violent and non-violent"] until I exposed that so they removed it from their US website. Many more ISM chapters worldwide still call for violence against Israel, from Vancouver to Paris. Bard-ISM’s representative on the campus website has stated that Bard-ISM is an official part of the International Solidarity Movement. Hamas is not into freedom, it is in fact part of the Muslim Brotherhood and is a totalitarian dictatorship of theocratic killers. Fatah is also a fascist government in the West Bank. Botstein’s equivalency between just a campus “club” that supports Hamas and calls for not only the destruction of Israel, but the annihilation of all world Jewry is grotesque.

Botstein also took exception to my using the term “Judea and Samaria” to describe Jewish communities in the West Bank. “I infer the substance of your political views from your use of the terms “Judea and Samaria” in a previous email,” he wrote to me, “ usage that pointedly reflects a political position with which many citizens, including elected officials and IDF veterans in Israel’s democracy, disagree. Disagreement within the Zionist movement has been a constant. In the history of Zionism there were, in the past, even distinguished advocates of a bi-national Jewish-Arab state, including Henrietta Szold, the founder of Hadassah, and Martin Buber.” What this means is Botstein is opposed to Israel’s existence as a Jewish state.

Botstein then claimed he’s a supporter of Israel. How does he do this? He tells us he is a conductor emeritus of the Jerusalem Symphony, his logic being the fact that Botstein is a guest conductor, thus meaning he’s not helping to destroy a Jewish state. And yet the ISM chapter he is shielding on the Bard campus also promotes boycotting that very same symphony from all over the world to destroy a Jewish state.

Asked by a colleague of mine how he can sleep at night supporting Jew-killers and murderers, Botstein replied, “I can sleep because in my life and work I am doing honor to my Jewish heritage.” It’s all academic to Botstein, you see, and besides, other campuses condone it through various Palestinian “clubs”, so why shouldn’t he do so? He says this as he encourages organized anti-Semitism on his campus. If such remarks don’t suitably rattle your cognitive dissonance, read on:

When I asked Botstein if he feels so strongly that allowing the ISM on campus is necessary for an academic atmosphere, would he then allow a Nazi Party Club on campus or a Ku Klux Klan Club on campus, he did not reply even though the logic is the same. Maybe he would do so if he was given a chance to conduct one of their symphonies. Further research showed that Bard also extensively used campus funds to send ISM subversives to the West Bank as a means of preserving “human rights”, perhaps even as many as fifty of them. Of course, to the likes of Hamas, “human rights” also means the right to lob missiles at Jews in Sderot and Ashkelon inside southern Israel.

Bard alumni and donors who are Jewish need to recognize this leftist moron’s stupidity and close their wallets. Allowing an ISM chapter on Bard’s campus that trains anti-Semites to go to the West Bank and encourage rioting and the dismantling of Israel only prolongs the war against Israel in the Middle East and bolsters the terror groups like Hamas that the ISM shills for.

Now for Mathis Wolfberg’s Good Shabbos Stories: “Correction” and “Russian Do Mitzvahs” (this might be a repeat of a previous story “Russian do good”.

Good Shabbos Everyone. Sometimes in life we see Jews who are not behaving according to the Torah. What should we do? Should we correct them and risk offending them? Or, should we be silent, in order to keep the peace? This week we will discuss our obligation to correct others when we see them acting in violation of the Torah.
The Sages teach us a general rule: "just as it is a mitzvah to say something which will be accepted by the hearer, so too is it a mitzvah not to say something which will not be accepted by the hearer." (Yavomos 65b) Because, if we know that the listener of the rebuke will not accept the rebuke, we will in effect cause that person to violate the Torah knowingly, which is a much graver level of Torah violation than violating the Torah unknowingly.
However, it must be stressed that according the Rama on Shulchan Aruch (608:2), when the mitzvah involved is a mitzvah clearly stated in the Torah, such as Shabbos, one must rebuke the Shabbos violator even if the violator will not listen to the rebuke.
We read about this concept in the weekly Torah portion Vaera. Hashem commands Moshe Rabeinu (our teacher) to implore Pharaoh to release the Bnai Yisroel from Mitzraim (Egypt). Moshe refuses to accept Hashem's assignment to go to Pharaoh. Moshe says to Hashem "…the Bnai Yisroel did not listen to me, why should Pharaoh listen to me, for my lips are stopped up." (Shemos 6:12)
Perhaps, Moshe was alluding to the issue we discussed above: "just as it is a mitzvah to say something which will be accepted by the hearer, so too is it a mitzvah not to say something which will not be accepted by the hearer." The following story illustrates this concept.
Reb Yisroel of Vizhnitz was in the habit of strolling with his gabbai - attendant for half an hour every evening. On one such occasion they reached the house of a certain wealthy bank manager who was a maskil, a follower of the "Enlightenment" movement - in a word, he was a man who definitely was not a chassid of the Rebbe.
Reb Yisroel knocked on the door, and when a servant opened it, entered the house. The gabbai did not begin to understand the reason for this unexpected visit but, without asking a word, followed the rebbe inside. The host received his distinguished guest with all the marks of respect and politeness dictated by such an occasion; the rebbe for his part took the seat that was offered him, and sat for quite some time without saying a word.
Considering that it would be rude to ask the rebbe directly about the purpose of his visit, the host whispered his question to the gabbai, but the gabbai did not answer the host. At length the rebbe offered him his farewells, and rose to leave.
As a mark of respect, the host accompanied him in silence all the way to his home, but at the last minute, when he was about to leave, his understandable curiosity got the better of him, and he turned to the tzaddik: "Rebbe, pardon my question, but it would hardly have been proper for me to ask when we were in my home, so I am taking the liberty of asking now: why did you honor me with a visit?"
"I went to your house in order to fulfill a mitzvah," answered the rebbe, "and thank G-d I was able to fulfill it."
"Which mitzvah?" asked the bank manager.
The rebbe explained: "Our Sages teach that 'Just as it is a mitzvah to say that which will be heard, so is it a mitzvah not to say that which will not be listened to.' Now if I remain in my house and you remain in yours, I cannot fulfill the mitzvah of refraining from telling you 'that which will not be listened to.' In order to fulfill the mitzvah properly, one obviously has to go to the house of the man who will not listen, and there refrain from speaking to him. And that is exactly what I did."
"Perhaps, rebbe," said the bank manager, "you would be so good as to tell me what this thing is? Who knows, perhaps I will listen?" "I am afraid not," said the rebbe. "I am certain that you will not." And the longer the rebbe refused, the greater grew the curiosity of the other to know his secret, and he continued to press him to reveal "that which would not be listened to."
"Very well," said the rebbe at length. "A certain penniless widow owes your bank quite a sum for the mortgage of her house. Within a few days your bank is going to dispose of her house by public sale, and she will be out on the street. I had wanted to ask you to overlook her debt, but didn't - because of that mitzvah of 'not saying.'"
"But how is such a thing possible?" asked the bank manager in amazement. "Surely you realize that the debt is not owed to me personally, but to the bank, and I am only its manager, not its proprietor, and the debt runs into several hundreds, and if so…"
The rebbe interrupted him: "It is exactly as I said all along - that you would not want to hear." With that he ended the conversation and entered his house. The bank manager also went home - but the rebbe's words found their way into his heart and gave him no rest, until he paid up the widow's debt out of his own pocket. (From, A Treasury of Chassidic Tales on the Torah, R. Zevin, p.189) Good Shabbos Everyone.

Good Shabbos Everyone. In this week's Torah portion "Bo", Hashem commands us regarding Tefillin. As the verse states "And it shall be for you a sign on your arm and a reminder between your eyes - so that Hashem's Torah may be in your mouth - for with a strong hand Hashem removed you from Egypt." (Shemos 13:9)
The Talmud teaches us that "Man always needs a sign of his bond with Hashem. Shabbos itself is such a sign, but on weekdays, the sign is Tefillin." (The Aryeh Kaplan Anthology, "Tefillin," Rav Aryeh Kaplan, citing Eruvin 96a)
Every mitzvah serves to draw us closer to G-d and strengthen the bond of love between Hashem and his people. In fact, the word Mitzvah comes from a root meaning "to bind." (Ibid.) In the case of Tefillin, this bond is physical as well as spiritual. (Ibid.) So by putting on Teffilin, we literally bind G-d's love symbol to our bodies. (Ibid.) The following story illustrates the power of Tefillin to bind a Jew to his Maker.
During the massive wave of Russian immigration to Eretz Yisroel, many moving stories of the Jewish spirit reawakening in the spiritual wastelands of Russia were brought to light. The most remarkable of all the stories we have heard is about Pavel Koldyave, of Voronezh, a village about 14 hours outside Moscow.
The area were Pavel lived, was outside the so-called Pale of Settlement, where until 1917, Jews were forbidden to live. Those few who did manage to run the blockade lived outside the Pale in areas devoid of Jewish content and tradition.
A chance encounter with a book about Jewish history awoken the young man's curiosity, and an instinct about his Jewish roots gave him no rest. He sought to learn all he could about his religion, but there was no one in his city who could guide him on his path. So Pavel began to gather scattered crumbs of knowledge about Yiddishkeit.
A drawing of a religious Jew with a kippa on his head and tzitzis dangling from his garments, inspired Pavel to make a yarmulke and fashion strips of knotted fringes for the corners of his clothes. He found a mention in Dostoyeveski about a Jewish prison who wore small black cubes (containing passages from Bible) on his head and arm. Pavel therefore took a leather bag from his mother, forming it into two cubes. He copied passages from his Russian translation of the Bible onto parchment paper and placed them into these cubes. Every morning before heading to work, he placed one on his forehead and the other on his wrist - as a watch!

Eventually, Boruch Hashem, Pavel made his way to Eretz Yisroel, where he now wears real tefillin! (from CompuTorah, Dr. Moshe Katz)
The Sages tell us that Hashem, as it were, wears tefillin. The Gemara then asks, what is written in Hashem's tefillin? The Gemara answers with verse in Tanach: "And who is like Your people Yisroel, a unique nation on earth, whom Hashem went forth to redeem unto Himself for a people..." (Divrei HaYamin I, 17,21) Jews wear tefillin which praise Hashem, while Hashem as it were, wears tefillin which praise the Jewish Nation. Tefillin therefore demonstrate the love between us and Hashem.
How many of us have tefillin in the closet and never put them on? How many of us do put tefillin on every day but do it without feeling! Let us be inspired by Pavel to fulfill the mitzvah of tefillin properly. Good Shabbos Everyone.
(To see a photo of Pavel, go and goggle Good Shabbos Story or a combination with number 665)

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 and hopefully next week during my travels I will succeed in distributing more Torah,

Rachamim Pauli