Thursday, February 24, 2011

Parsha Vayakhel, Halachos, Stories

Laughter is the best medicine because what is going on in the world before the end of days will drive you nuts now the movie on Rahm Emmanuel English Translation:

From Adrian Honor killings the satire:

While the Orthodox Union certifies RAM Caterers at Shaarei Zion in Brooklyn and Magen David in Deal, NJ during the year, the Orthodox Union is NOT certifying the kashrus of RAM Catering at any hotels for Passover, such as The Hyatt Regency Bonaventure Resort in Ft. Lauderdale FL., and the Rye Town Hilton in Westchester NY. – you will have to check with the Rabbi doing the koshering for Pessach and his experience etc.

Parsha Vayakhel

Glossary for new readers: Mishkan = Tabernacle, Beis HaMikdash = Temple and Korban = Sacrifice, Beis Din = literally house of Judgement or Court, Shuir = lecture/class

Excuse the divergences in my Drasha this week as it is not idle ramblings but part is Medrash, part is Zohar and part is a lesson I want to teach.

35:1 And Moses assembled all the congregation of the children of Israel, and said unto them: 'These are the words which the LORD hath commanded, that ye should do them. 2 Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you a holy day, a Sabbath of solemn rest to the LORD; whosoever doeth any work therein shall be put to death. 3 Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the Sabbath day.'

Moshe assembled the congregation Motzei Yom Kippur after his second return from being on Har Sinai. Before building the Mishkan, Moshe retaught the laws of Shabbos. While Avodas HASHEM such as the daily Korban in the morning and the evening and the Shabbos Korban uprooted the laws of Shabbos; the non-required Sacrifices did not uproot (childbirth, thanksgiving, sin, guilt offerings). So too the work on building the Mishkan and later on the Beis HaMikdash did not overrule the laws of Shabbos. Whatever HASHEM demands of the Day supersedes the Shabbos such as Yom Kippur falling on Shabbos, Yom Tov and Erev Pessach with the Pascal Lamb being offered even on Shabbos.

4 And Moses spoke unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: 'This is the thing which the LORD commanded, saying: 5 Take ye from among you an offering unto the LORD, whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, the LORD'S offering: gold, and silver, and brass; 6 and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair; 7 and rams' skins dyed red, and sealskins, and acacia-wood; 8 and oil for the light, and spices for the anointing oil, and for the sweet incense; 9 and onyx stones, and stones to be set, for the ephod, and for the breastplate. 10 And let every wise-hearted man among you come, and make all that the LORD hath commanded: 11 the tabernacle, its tent, and its covering, its clasps, and its boards, its bars, its pillars, and its sockets; 12 the ark, and the staves thereof, the ark-cover, and the veil of the screen; 13 the table, and its staves, and all its vessels, and the showbread; 14 the candlestick also for the light, and its vessels, and its lamps, and the oil for the light; 15 and the altar of incense, and its staves, and the anointing oil, and the sweet incense, and the screen for the door, at the door of the tabernacle; 16 the altar of burnt-offering, with its grating of brass, its staves, and all its vessels, the laver and its base; 17 the hangings of the court, the pillars thereof, and their sockets, and the screen for the gate of the court; 18 the pins of the tabernacle, and the pins of the court, and their cords; 19 the plaited garments, for ministering in the holy place, the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons, to minister in the priest's office.' 20 And all the congregation of the children of Israel departed from the presence of Moses.

The Torah does not mince words as we humans who ‘chew the fat’ do. Rather the first time this was commanded by HASHEM to Moshe and now from Moshe to the Bnei Yisrael. For the Children of Yisrael are a generous nation and we give 10% of our take home income unto charity this includes even some of the neediest of us.

21 And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and brought the LORD'S offering, for the work of the tent of meeting, and for all the service thereof, and for the holy garments. 22 And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing-hearted, and brought nose-rings, and ear-rings, and signet-rings, and girdles, all jewels of gold; even every man that brought an offering of gold unto the LORD. 23 And every man, with whom was found blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair, and rams' skins dyed red, and sealskins, brought them. 24 Every one that did set apart an offering of silver and brass brought the LORD'S offering; and every man, with whom was found acacia-wood for any work of the service, brought it.

There is in the Medrash a Drasha that Yacov had brought down with him the wood or seedlings for building the planks of the Mishkan. Others say that he planted along the way as we can see until this day the Eucalyptus Trees planted by the first settlers north of Metulla all the way up to Agam Karoum in Lebanon. It was probably the custom of our forefather to plant trees for future generations of his children. (Three places were purchased in Eretz Yisrael and each despite the purchase are disputed unto this day and they are: Schem which the disputants claim is a fictitious name of Nabulus, the Machpelah Cave and lands nearby of Chevron and finally David’s purchase of Har HaMoriah [The Temple Mount]) So essentially, the land north of Metulla and the other three holy sites which were purchased instead of by conquest have caused a dispute for generation. On the other hand, Yitzchak took possession of the Beer (well) that Avraham had dug called Beer Sheva and it was acknowledged by Avimelech and Pinacol at the swearing ceremony. Beer Sheva in Hebrew means the well of the oath in which Yitzchak and Avimelech made the Shevoua (oath sounds to the English speaking ear as Shavua = week) and treaty before HASHEM. This is not to be confused with the number seven which in English writing and sound is the same as the name of the town. My personal conclusion from the history of our people is that HASHEM ordered us to possess the land. This means not to purchase but to take possession and by force if necessary for what does not belong to another should be repossessed by the rightful owner and not held as the Bnei Chet did with the Machpelah before Avraham.

25 And all the women that were wise-hearted did spin with their hands, and brought that which they had spun, the blue, and the purple, the scarlet, and the fine linen.

If you think that I diverged from the topic in the last section all you have to do is read the Zohar on this section. The Zohar goes into a process of dying and the Angel of Death hanging around at the funeral. Because Chava sinned with the snake in Gan Eden so the Tuma brought death into the world and the Angel mingles with the female descendants of Chava. One is to turn his eyes from looking at the faces of women following the mourning procession until the dead is buried for the Angel of Death walks among them. During the building of the Mishkan the Zohar goes on to say that the Angel hid in the hair of the women sewing. [This is another reason other than modesty for married women to cover their heads for in truth one does not want this Angel floating around his house making mischief. Remember in Judaism the Angel of Death is Samael and equated with HaSatan. In the opposite token, upon returning home to his house lit up with Shabbos Candles and singing Shalom Aleichem he wants the good Angel to force the accusing Angel to say Amen on the blessing of welcoming the Shabbos. ] We do not see these Angels in this world unless we are such Tzaddikim but when we are put on trial as we enter the next world the good Angels that we have created and testify to our Shabbos Observance go before Beis Din and testify on our behalf. If one does not observe the laws of Shabbos the opposite holds true.

26 And all the women whose heart stirred them up in wisdom spun the goats' hair. 27 And the rulers brought the onyx stones, and the stones to be set, for the ephod, and for the breastplate; 28 and the spice, and the oil, for the light, and for the anointing oil, and for the sweet incense. 29 The children of Israel brought a freewill-offering unto the LORD; every man and woman, whose heart made them willing to bring for all the work, which the LORD had commanded by the hand of Moses to be made.

It is only normal that when one takes up a collection that the initial donation(s) are insufficient and more has to be collected over time. Here is the greatness of Am Yisrael the donation and out pouring was so great that more than the usual 10% was donated. The donations were not the type we get when one person after another after another comes to your house and rings the bell and asks for charity but one where you like the Rabbi, Yeshiva or Kollel and donate money from the goodness of your heart. The Chumash is to tell us soon that a call went out to the people to stop donating. {Rav Boyer Shlita would comment sarcastically something like: Just like the politicians who take your taxes once they have enough money to run the government – oh yeah right on.} THE TORAH TELLS US THAT TO COLLECT MONEY OR GIFTS FROM THE PEOPLE FOR THE TEMPLE OR CHARITY IS ONLY WHAT IS NEEDED FOR THE BUILDING, RUNNING AND MAINTENANCE OF THE CHARITY AND NO MORE!!!

30 And Moses said unto the children of Israel: 'See, the LORD hath called by name Betzalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah.

Usually one would write only the father’s name such as Oholiab ben Ahisamach and Betzalel ben Uri; so the reason that Hur is mentioned here is that he died on a Kiddush HASHEM at the time of the golden calf. For he took up his sword and said “Over my dead body you will make this calf!” But unfortunately they murdered him and made the stature of what they wanted as a physical symbol of HASHEM for they had seen the following: Yechezkel 1:6 And every one had four faces, and every one of them had four wings. 7 And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf's foot; and they sparkled like the color of burnished brass. For they saw the foot of a calf in these Angels holding up the DIVINE CHARIOT 10 As for the likeness of their faces, they had the face of a man; and they four had the face of a lion on the right side; and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four had also the face of an eagle. So despite the prohibition on not making any images of heaven and earth for worship they took the calf’s foot and the face of an ox and made the golden calf. The Zohar goes into detail of this extra mention in the Chumash of Hur and gives him his rightful place as a spiritual hero along with the three heroes mentioned in Daniel.

31 And He hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship.

For it is Ruach ELOKIM that drives Betzalel to do things correctly as Moshe was shown. Moshe could see the Menorah and Aharon when HASHEM told him but he did not have the skills. Betzalel had the skills and he also received the image as one receives an engineering drawing with measurements and specifications and was able to do it correctly and skillfully something that Moshe was not capable of doing. The big difference between Islam and Judaism is indicated in these passages. Islam is for the general good so one is nullified in the community and is best served by becoming a martyr for the cause. Judaism starting with: Beresheis 1:27 And God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. Individually man was created and the whole world was created for one man. If a man dies it is like destroying the whole world – Avos. So Moshe, Aaron, Betzalel and Oholiav are great individuals and they serve the community of Israel during the building of the Mishkan as individuals. The Princes of the Tribes are individuals so in Judaism being a great living individual is important and even the little guy giving up a gold ring gets his individual merit too.

32 And to devise skillful works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, 33 and in cutting of stones for setting, and in carving of wood, to work in all manner of skillful workmanship. 34 And He hath put in his heart that he may teach, both he, and Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. 35 Them hath He filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of workmanship, of the craftsman, and of the skillful workman, and of the weaver in colors, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of them that do any workmanship, and of those that devise skillful works.

36:1 … 6 And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying: 'Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary.' So the people were restrained from bringing. 7 For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much.

A government run by the L-RD does not tax the people unnecessary nor gather in money for a rainy day but only what is necessary for the function FOR THE PEOPLE OF THE NATION.

… 37:1 And Betzalel made the ark of acacia-wood: two cubits and a half was the length of it, and a cubit and a half the breadth of it, and a cubit and a half the height of it. 2 And he overlaid it with pure gold within and without, and made a crown of gold to it round about.

Betzalel was essentially a gold and silver smith with expert knowledge but when it came to making the Aharon even the wooden part he supervised and gave the quality control measurements too.

3 And he cast for it four rings of gold, in the four feet thereof: even two rings on the one side of it, and two rings on the other side of it. 4 And he made staves of acacia-wood, and overlaid them with gold. 5 And he put the staves into the rings on the sides of the ark, to bear the ark. 6 And he made an ark-cover of pure gold: two cubits and a half was the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof. 7 And he made two cherubim of gold: of beaten work made he them, at the two ends of the ark-cover: 8 one cherub at the one end, and one cherub at the other end; of one piece with the ark-cover made he the cherubim at the two ends thereof. 9 And the cherubim spread out their wings on high, screening the ark-cover with their wings, with their faces one to another; toward the ark-cover were the faces of the cherubim.

It appears to me that the Keruvim (literally meaning in Hebrew bringing close to one another where the Shechina rested translated as cherubim) had been seen by the Am at the crossing of the sea and therefore easily identifiable not like most of us who only have foggy notions of what they were like.

10 And he made the table of acacia-wood: two cubits was the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof. 11 And he overlaid it with pure gold, and made thereto a crown of gold round about. 12 And he made unto it a border of a hand-breadth round about, and made a golden crown to the border thereof round about. 13 And he cast for it four rings of gold, and put the rings in the four corners that were on the four feet thereof. 14 Close by the border were the rings, the holders for the staves to bear the table. 15 And he made the staves of acacia-wood, and overlaid them with gold, to bear the table. 16 And he made the vessels which were upon the table, the dishes thereof, and the pans thereof, and the bowls thereof, and the jars thereof, wherewith to pour out, of pure gold.

Have you ever seen a film of a foundry or been to one? Those who entered Brooklyn Technical High School as 9th grades had the privilege of pouring a foundry mold. I was probably a bad mold maker and student but there were some people who were really good at this. Gases form during the process and the trick is to cast the metal without gas holes and spaces and that it sets smoothly. We read about this as if it were quite easily done. Not so for even making a good mold was a process which involved a wood carving and sand and then putting the two sides together.

17 And he made the candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work made he the candlestick, even its base, and its shaft; its cups, its knops, and its flowers, were of one piece with it. 18 And there were six branches going out of the sides thereof: three branches of the candlestick out of the one side thereof, and three branches of the candlestick out of the other side thereof; 19 three cups made like almond-blossoms in one branch, a knop and a flower; and three cups made like almond-blossoms in the other branch, a knop and a flower. So for the six branches going out of the candlestick. 20 And in the candlestick were four cups made like almond-blossoms, the knops thereof, and the flowers thereof; 21 and a knop under two branches of one piece with it, and a knop under two branches of one piece with it, and a knop under two branches of one piece with it, for the six branches going out of it. 22 Their knops and their branches were of one piece with it; the whole of it was one beaten work of pure gold. 23 And he made the lamps thereof, seven, and the tongs thereof, and the snuffdishes thereof, of pure gold. 24 Of a talent of pure gold made he it, and all the vessels thereof.

Machon HaMikdash recently collected enough money to cast a gold Menorah for the future Beis HaMikdash (may in be built speedily in our days). Using modern methods, machinery and processes this was a most complicated feat to establish. The Menorah is in Yerushalayim now in the old city just waiting for Moshiach.

38:1 … 24 All the gold that was used for the work in all the work of the sanctuary, even the gold of the offering, was twenty and nine talents, and seven hundred and thirty shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary. 25 And the silver of them that were numbered of the congregation was a hundred talents, and a thousand seven hundred and three-score and fifteen shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary: 26 a beka a head, that is, half a shekel, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for every one that passed over to them that are numbered, from twenty years old and upward, for six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty men. 27 And the hundred talents of silver were for casting the sockets of the sanctuary, and the sockets of the veil: a hundred sockets for the hundred talents, a talent for a socket. 28 And of the thousand seven hundred seventy and five shekels he made hooks for the pillars, and overlaid their capitals, and made fillets for them. 29 And the brass of the offering was seventy talents and two thousand and four hundred shekels. 30 And therewith he made the sockets to the door of the tent of meeting, and the brazen altar, and the brazen grating for it, and all the vessels of the altar, 31 and the sockets of the court round about, and the sockets of the gate of the court, and all the pins of the tabernacle, and all the pins of the court round about.

A valued message comes to us from here. That every public use of money should be accounted for before the people and the records open to all. Later on Moshe will say unto the people I have not taken a shoe lace or anything for my personal use. Imagine working 24/7 for 40 years and not taking as much as a shoe lace for one’s labor. Name me one of our current political leaders who do this and only a handful of religious leaders can be counted like this. Also Avraham Avinu did not take any spoils of war.

"Parsha Vayakhel Exodus 35:1-38:20 and Parsha Pekudei" Exodus 38:21-40:38

Moses received the divine commandments relating to the festival of Passover, the Sacrifice of the Passover lamb, unleavened bread (Matza), replacing leavened bread during the week of Passover, elimination of all traces of yeast and of leavened food (Chametz).

Our Sages say that the Chametz symbolizes the evil inclination which is always fermenting in us and the Matza, the good inclination which must overcome it, a constant battle raging within.

Creation, processed during one week, was planned in such a way as to conceal the Hand of the Creator, in order that man should merit its revelation by Divine service every week during his lifetime. The week of Passover has a special importance and represents the life of man during which we must constantly strive to eliminate the leavening that ferments evil in our midst and hinders us from perceiving the truth and the Divine Light.

This Light is limitless in time and space. It illuminates everything and everyone. If we do not perceive it, it is because we close our hearts to its clarity. Its reception depends on us, on our disposition to reduce the opacity of our "inner window". If we harden our heart and become unresponsive to the call of the Torah, we create what our Sages call "an iron curtain which separates us from our Heavenly Father".

This wall is so thick that if we had to pierce it by our efforts alone, we would not be able to attain it, even after thousands of years of inner labor. But if we invoke the Al-mighty to, "Purify our hearts", G-d listens to our prayer and purifies our heart, which means that He mellows it, makes it more and more receptive to the Torah by, lessening our inner darkness, our lack of vision, in a measure beyond human ability.

This is the profound reason why through prayer we can bring about Messianic redemption. If our heart is unresponsive to G-d's service, His glory is concealed, and if Divinity is "in exile", our people, too, are in exile. In other words, if we are deficient in trust in G-d, we cannot benefit from G-d's direct providential intervention and this has its repercussions on the material position of the people. The length of the Galus, exile, is proportionate to the extent of the concealment of Divine glory in our hearts. When we pray for our spiritual betterment, we bring about Divine assistance and our final redemption, as was the case in Egypt, "The children of Israel cried out and their imploration came up before G-d" (Exodus 2:23).

Ours, the pre messianic generation, as the revelation is approaching, has been experiencing intense sufferings because our hearts still need a great overall cleansing of all the evil ferments, and sufferings have the effect of subjugating us and making us fervently turn to G-d in prayer. If we seek Him, we will easily find Him, for Truth exists within us. It is only veiled.
Sources: Exodus 2:23, Midrash, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzato (Ramchal), Zohar, A. Hassan.


Some Halachos from me

On Shabbos there are concepts regarding sacrifices. Willful violation of Shabbos leads to a death penalty from the Torah and Kares Neshama (cutting off of the soul in the next world from Am Yisrael). There is a concept called Chayiv (guilty) which means he must bring a Korban Chatas (sin offering). Example a person knew it was Shabbos and knew it was forbidden to light a light but thought the light was attached to a Shabbos clock and would go on when the electromechanical clock hit a certain time. However, the circuit was an emergency lighting system circuit and it lit immediately. Since this was done in error, expect Grommar (the force of the person’s force – the principle in Shabbos scooters for the disabled, Shabbos phones for hospitals, etc.) the person does not deserve death or Kares but needs atonement. Chayiv on Shabbos usually comes from forgetting that something is a Melacha (writing, erasing, building, harvesting, winnowing, etc.) or what one is doing is one of the above like some leaves falling into the pet’s food and removing the leaves instead of removing the food for the pet. Chayiv can come from forgetting it is Shabbos. One knows that carrying from a private household to a public place on Shabbos is forbidden but one forgets it is Shabbos and carries out an apple that he is munching on. Lastly, there is a situation that happened this past Shabbos to me. I have a very slight balance problem since an auto accident and my dog pulled the leash pushing me off balance instead of falling I put my hand out to the nearby wall to regain my balance. I hit a double switch knocking out the light in the master bathroom and turning on a hall light. Since I had absolutely no intent on doing this and it was a complete accident I am less than Patur (exempt) from bringing a Korban for there was no intent to do anything other than prevent myself from falling. For there was no intent to either violating the Shabbos or to switch on or off the lights but remember where the Halacha says Patur it means Patur but it is Ossur (forbidden). In military camps there is a trick for two Jews to carry one or two mess tins out of the food serving tent to the eating area in the field so as to do a half Melacha and not be Chayiv so for the military camp one is Patur and in certain situations like answering a phone in the medical facility or carrying loaded weapons on border patrol or driving the jeep these situations are Sofek or real Pekuach Nefesh (live and death matters) and one is exempt but should do the minimum required for the situation. (In wartime, earthquake or other disasters we don’t even bother changes such as igniting the engine with the left hand or picking up the phone with the back of the hand, etc.)

Halachos from Danny Shoemann

All firstborn sons (born naturally) have to be "redeemed" by giving 5 biblical Shekalim to a Cohen; unless the baby's father is a Cohen or Levi, or his mother is the daughter of a Cohen or Levi. The Mitzva is to be done on the 31st day of his life. If day-31 is Shabbat or YomTov then the redemption is done at night on Motzei Shabbat or Motzei YomTov.
It is customary to have a Seuda - a festive meal - to celebrate this ceremony. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 164:1

At the Pidyon HaBen ceremony the father has to give a Cohen 5 biblical Shekalim. 5 biblical Shekalim is about 117 grams of silver (3.77 troy ounces) with a value of about $123 at yesterday's rate. This value can be given in coins, or other goods. Bank notes, checks, IOUs and property are not acceptable for a Pidyon HaBen. If the Cohen wants, he can return the money to the father, after the ceremony, but he does not have to. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 164:1, 6

Usually a firstborn baby boy whose father is a Cohen or Levi, or his mother is the daughter of a Cohen or Levi does not need a Pidyon HaBen. If the firstborn's mother is Jewish but his father is not, then he does his own Pidyon at his Bar Mitzva. A daughter of a Cohen or Levi who slept with a non-Jew has lost her special status and does not exempt her firstborn son from a Pidyon HaBen, even if the firstborn's father is Jewish. A firstborn who was orphaned from his father before his Pidyon HaBen, should get redeemed by Bet Din, not by his mother. A firstborn who was not redeemed as a child, needs to do a Pidyon HaBen to himself as soon as he finds out; once he becomes Bar Mitzva.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 164:7, 8

[Comments in brackets are based on my observations, and are not in the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch] On day 31 of a firstborn's life (if he was born naturally and neither parent is a Cohen or Levi) the Pidyon HaBen ceremony is takes place - along with a festive meal. The Cohen washes and says HaMotzei over bread, starting the festive meal. The father then holds the baby [bedecked in jewelry on a silver tray] and says to the Cohen: "This is my firstborn son; he is the the first issue of his mother's womb and Hashem has commanded me to redeem him as it says in the Torah: "And those who must be redeemed, from the age of a month you are to redeem... five silver Shekel of the sanctuary..." (Numbers 18:16)" He then sets the baby down [on the table] in front of the Cohen, and the Cohen asks [rhetorically]: "What do you prefer? Your firstborn son or the 5 Shekels you need to redeem him?"
The father then answers: "I want to redeem my son, as we are commanded in the Torah, and here is the cost of his redemption"
While still holding the money [in Israel they have specially minted silver coins with the exact weight of a Biblical Shekel] the father says the Berachos:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' , אֱלקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל פִּדְיוֹן הַבֵּן
"...Who has sanctified us with His Mitzvos and commanded us regarding the redemption of a son"

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' , אֱלקֽינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָינוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶּה
"...Who has kept us alive, sustained us and brought us to this occasion"

The father then hands the money to the Cohen. While waving the money over the baby's head the Cohen says: "This is instead of that; this is in exchange for that; this is pardoned because of that. May this son enter into life, into Torah and into fear of heaven. May it be Your will that just as he was redeemed so too shall he enter into Torah learning, marriage and doing good deeds."

The Cohen then adds the following classic blessings:
יְשִׂמְךָ אֱלקִים כְּאֶפְרַיִם וְכִמְנַשֶּׁה (Genesis 48:20) יְבָרֶכְךָ ה
וְיִשְׁמְרֶךָ: יָאֵר ה' פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ וִיחֻנֶּךָּ: יִשָּׂא ה' פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ וְיָשֵׂם לְךָ שָׁלוֹם
(Numbers 6:24-26)
כִּי ארֶךְ יָמִים וּשְׁנוֹת חַיִּים וְשָׁלוֹם יוֹסִיפוּ לָךְ
(Proverbs 3:2)
ה' יִשְׁמָרְךָ מִכָּל רָע יִשְׁמר אֶת נַפְשֶׁךָ
(Psalms 127:7)
The Cohen then [hands the baby back to the father and] says the Bracha of HaGefen over a full cup of wine. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 163:4

Making a roof on Shabbat is forbidden; even if it's a temporary flimsy roof. A roof is defined as a cover, over an area of at least 1 Tefach (8 cm, 3") by 1 Tefach, and at least 1 Tefach of space underneath it. For example, on Shabbat one may not put a netting over a baby's crib - to protect the baby from flies - since one is creating a roof over the crib.
However, one may extend an existing roof, if the roof was already stretched out at least 1 Tefach. For example, one may roll up the netting over a baby's crib until the last Tefach, before Shabbat, and unroll it on Shabbat, since 1 Tefach was left unrolled. Even if the netting - when rolled-up - was wider than 1 Tefach, it does not count towards the unrolled section. One needs 1 Tefach unrolled, besides for the width of the roll. These Halachos apply to Yom Tov also. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 80:77
Shabbat Shalom - Danny

Michael wrote me: If one has already violated the prohibition of listening and believing Lashon Hara, whether Lashon Hara about someone's religious observance or about his personal characteristics, repentance is as follows:
1. The listener must strengthen himself and remove the words from his heart so that he does not believe them again.
2. The listener commits himself not to accept any other Lashon Hara about one of his fellow people.
3. The listener performs a private prayer, confessing the sin to G-d.
Through this process he repairs the violation of the positive and negative commandments which he violated through accepting Lashon Hara (listed in the introduction), provided that he has not yet repeated the Lashon Hara.

I received a letter from a woman who was complaining about Jewish men belittling women. (This happens but not necessarily by real G-D fearing men and the same with wife beaters and husband beaters. The Mechitza (separation partition) is due more to the male urge to chase skirts and be distracted from prayer than anything else and perhaps ritual impurity in Temple times.) I wrote a very short note that would take me a half hour to forty-five minutes to orally explain in detail that relationships are deeper than bone of my bones flesh of my flesh. As for women, they are on a higher spiritual plane than men and I wrote about this in the story of Abba Hilkiaya (Tractate Tanis 23) a few months ago in my rabbipauli.blogspot and also the story of Avraham being told to listen to Sarah.

However, like in all partnerships between individuals a couple is no difference one has one duty and the other a different duty. The father is Halachically responsible for conveying Torah to the children but in practically terms the mother conveys the most basic foundation for learning. Just as a man cannot nurse a baby unless he is a true hermaphrodite XXYY genes so too a woman who is nursing or raising children is exempt from meeting prayer time or putting on Tephillin or a Tallis.

The Chofetz Chaim wrote that the only reason that women do not get Aliyah LeTorah is Shalom HaTzibur (peace within the congregation literally the public). Imagine a woman with a tight fitting expensive dress getting an Aliyah to Torah then the next woman would want the same and husbands and wives would fight over costs. Or Sarah gets an Aliyah in June and August and Rivka got one in May and it is now late October and has not gotten one. She says to Leah - see that hussy I am sure that something is going on between her and the Gabbai.

Women and men are built differently with different hormones. I could not waste my time polishing my nails, putting on make-up etc. while my wife patiently does these things and it makes her happy. I am happy to wear white shirts with black pants and my wife had to tell me to get colorful shirts for my workout with better fitting training pants. It is our makeup.

I don't know if you watch Dr. Phil I do during my exercise in the gym. He says that he has no idea on how to match colors and his wife Robin does it for him. I am pretty much the same. So I have no idea why women would be insulted just lighting the Shabbos Candles Friday Night for that makes the blessing come on the entire household.

1) It is the Shabbos Candles that usher in Shabbos for the household.

2) Their light in the darkness brings about Shalom in the house and a warm feeling [especially in generations prior to the electric light or during a power failure].

3) If there is a lack of money in the household and one has either money for candles or for wine, he must chose the candles.

The man is delegated to sing Shalom Aleichem when he comes home and then praise his wife with Aishes Chayil and finally he has to sanctify the day which the wife already sanctified with the candles.

These are two tasks for two different partners.

If a wife is out of town a man lights one candle and if the man is out the woman makes Kiddush by herself. But how can she sin praise of herself in Aishes Chayil? The spiritual household is missing if one of the partners is missing. Man is Ish and Woman is Isha take away the Yod of the man and the Hay of the woman and you got Aish or fire. But put them together and you have Yod Kay of HASHEM. Then the Shechina rests upon the family.

My Rosh Kollel from years ago used to praise the women for letting their husbands study Talmud with him. He said that the husband would get merits for being in the Shuir but the wife would get merits for even the time when the husband started to doze off or not learn for her sacrifice was greater.

The first Yahrzeit of Rabbi Yechiel London is coming up soon. I would like to tell a story about him and Rabbi Yacov London. In 1988 the London Brothers heard that 4500 Russian Jews were going to come to the USA. The first plane load was to arrive in the USA Erev Rosh Hashanah. The Rabbis organized within two days an operation to bring new Russian Immigrants from the atheistic Soviet Union into Orthodox Judaism.

Rebbitzen Marsha and Rabbi Yechiel organized many cakes and drinks to greet the arriving Russians at Kennedy International Airport. They offered dormitory conditions for those who wanted to be with them for Rosh Hashanah. Rabbi Yacov was raising money and getting beds and housing ready for the families and meals. Rebbitzen Bernice was also around being a hostess with the meals. During the meals many of the Russians came carrying umbrellas and taking notes. The Rabbis spoke in Yiddish as many of the Russians knew Yiddish and only a few knew English.

Rabbi Yacov and Rabbi Yechiel lectured on the need for a Jewish Education and they would provide the children with this education and perhaps the value of Synagogue Prayer. Many of these new immigrants sent their children to learn in the various schools for each age group. Slowly as the children became educated in Yiddishkeit so did the parents. Many are now Shomer Shabbos and Mitzvos. (As a student of these Rabbis, I used to pass Chabad weekly Russian pamphlets to friends from Engineers to Janitors on Parsha HaShevua. One man told me how his family that went to Brooklyn were already Frum and that he was trying too. Sometimes, a Rabbi takes in a Baal Teshuva with no tuition money and a few Russians and his net gets cast far and wide. – In memory of Rabbis Yacov on Yechiel London and good health to their Rebbitzens and family.)

In order to prevent Fraud: Times are hard on all of us and my own Kollel is suffering badly but B”H we passed the government verification process with 100% in attendance at the date of inspection. We need money will request that tax donation checks be made out to as follows: Pay to the order of Wachovia Bank NA, For Deposit Only, United Orthodox Comm. Council 2000016758603 for Kollel Beit Shlomo Kiriat Sefer 763 Arthur Godfrey Rd, Miami Beach, FL 33140 or from Israel and Europe: Kollel Beit Shlomo C/0 Rabbi Mimran Rehov Sde Chemed 5/2 79219 Modiin Illit, Israel

Beware of the following people some have forged charity certificates and dates listed below they may be soon going under other aliases they appear in cities with large Jewish Populations:

Melanie Rosen. (At least that's the name she gave us, but didn't provide any ID) She claims to need an eye operation that would cost over $100,000, but that she can get it done for much less by South African doctors. We requested documentation and contact information for her doctors, but she refused, claiming that since the doctors were doing a great favor for her and not for others, they didn't want their identities revealed. We then requested that she accept our invitation to be examined by a local ophthalmologist at no charge, in order to confirm the need for the operation and provide us with its estimated cost. She refused this as well, saying she "had her own doctors" and when we told her that if she wanted a certificate from us, we would require the exam and her response was "forget it". We did see that she had a certificate from a different organization that claims to be the "Vaad of Miami, Hollywood and Boca Raton".

Itzhak Graz. We rejected him about 3 years ago, based on reports received by other Vaadim. About 2 weeks after leaving, he left us a message about how we must resign from the Vaad Hatzedakah, and if not, when he returns to Miami will teach us a lesson and deal with us, so that what happened to someone in London (who passed away) would happen to us. Vtireh mah yih-ye besof shelcha. This time his message was that if we don't provide him with a certificate, he would turn us (my wife and myself) into a pile of bones. Sick!! – He is not the Rav Gras with a Kollel in Bnei Barack on the name Rav Zevulun Gras the fraud fellow has a narrower face while the real Rav Gras has a very round face.

Ovadia Damari - claims to be collecting for "Chasdei Shalom" in Ramat HaShalom. We have information that the organization previously was legitimate, but is no longer doing chesed for the poor; apparently it's for his pocket. He is using an expired certificate of ours, as well as from numerous other Vaadim. Upon closely examining his letters of hamlatza (recommendations) from 4 different Israeli Rabbis, it is clear that the same person wrote the date on each of them. Calls to Rabbis have confirmed that the date was forged.

Noach Kramer - collected for Linas HaChesed--Jerusalem Open House previously for several years. We were informed that management isn't continuing his representation this year.

Moshe Habusha (Habosha) from NY is collecting with a forged Vaad certificate. We were alerted to this by someone who told us that this man was coming back to his place of business multiple times (against Vaad rules) demanding money, and was conducting himself very aggressively towards his secretary. We have received a copy of the forged document, and it can be identified as such in several ways:

1. The document is marked valid from February 1, 2011 to March 1, 2011. We haven't made any certificates with either of those exact dates in the "from" or "to" box.

CHILDREN RECOGNIZED AS JEWS AND DID NOT NEED TO CONVERT! Perhaps because they were underage and their mothers converted as I do not know the details here. Chief IDF Rabbi Shlomo Goren, to convert the women to Judaism. Considering the special circumstances, the rabbis ruled that the children can be accepted as Jews even though their mothers were not. The nations of the world have children after the father - Shulchan Aruch Eben HaEzer.,7340,L-4031176,00.html

Fire and Brimstone Mussar: A man told me that he was a good Jew without observing Shabbos. So I showed him this film and told him that this is the best we can do for this world but in the next world we can do better and without need for the protective suit for those who don’t observe Shabbos:

Thus says the L-RD G-D of Yisrael:

Inyanay Diyoma

Sometimes the generals and admirals have a word about US security and defense interests:

From Eric no way to treat your best ally in the Middle-East:

Finally using brains by putting them into gear:

From Nancy:

What will come in place of this anti-Semite?

A few weeks ago I wrote about Halley Barbour’s visit to Israel. Now there is about his help to a Hamas related charity sponsored by Americans Against Hate:

Show me your friends and I will tell you whom you are as birds of a feather flock together note the smile contrary to the frown with Netanyahu:

Big Brother is watching you and I:

A major parliamentary victory for the right in Israel:,7340,L-4031997,00.html

Ehud Barak gets a slap in the face from the Knesset:,7340,L-4031997,00.html

The Arrow II missile: American Israeli defense and technology interchange is beneficial to both countries:

Serious Nuke Business in Syria:,7340,L-4033407,00.html

The story behind this article: Aleph 1 accused this man of sexual harassment. The police found her unreliable. Aleph 2 who was discarded by this man from working in his office begins accusing him 7 years after the alleged crime with no physical evidence only he said she said. Other women come forth about this man’s behavior. Nobody is saying that he was the Saint of our Generation but he was mostly prosecuted for his very right wing and religious views. (Do I believe the story of Aleph 2 that she went a number of times to a hotel with this man – yes; but rape close to 7 years later when for years she did not work for him sounds exaggerated.),7340,L-4033125,00.html According to Torah Law nothing can be proved here. Was there an abuse of power and did she advance in her pay scale at work disproportionately to other workers there might be reasons in civil law to go after both. Hanky Panky might not be kosher but there is a vast difference between consent, taking advantage, harassment and rape and due to the time period involved between the alleged action and complaint I would say something stinks on the part of this woman as well as the man. THE BIGGEST CRIMINALS INVOLVED ARE THE LEFTIST RUNNING A ONE SIDED INJUSTICE SYSTEM WHERE THE RIGHT GETS INVESTIGATED AND EHUD BARAK AND HERZOG FROM THE LEFT HAVE THEIR CASES CLOSED FASTER THAN ONE CAN SAY YACOV REUBENSON.

From Barbara M. "I'm 63 and I'm Tired" By Robert A. Hall

I'm 63. Except for one semester in college when jobs were scarce and a six-month period when I was between jobs, but job-hunting every day, I've worked, hard,
since I was 18. Despite some health challenges, I still put in 50-hour weeks, and haven't called in sick in seven or eight years. I make a good salary, but I didn't inherit my job or my income, and I worked to get where I am. Given the economy, there's no retirement in sight, and I'm tired. Very tired.

I'm tired of being told that I have to "spread the wealth" to people who don't have my work ethic. I'm tired of being told the government will take the money I earned, by force if necessary, and give it to people too lazy to earn it.

I'm tired of being told that Islam is a "Religion of Peace," when every day I can read dozens of stories of Muslim men killing their sisters, wives and daughters for their family "honor"; of Muslims rioting over some slight offense; of Muslims murdering Christian and Jews because they aren't "believers"; of Muslims burning schools for girls; of Muslims stoning teenage rape victims to death for "adultery"; of Muslims mutilating the genitals of little girls; all in the name of Allah, because the Qur'an and Shari'a law tells them to.

I'm tired of being told that out of "tolerance for other cultures" we must let Saudi Arabia use our oil money to fund mosques and mandrassa Islamic schools to preach hate in America and Canada , while no American nor Canadian group is allowed to fund a church, synagogue or religious school in Saudi Arabia to teach love and tolerance.

I'm tired of being told I must lower my living standard to fight global warming, which no one is allowed to debate.

I'm tired of being told that drug addicts have a disease, and I must help support and treat them, and pay for the damage they do. Did a giant germ rush out of a dark alley, grab them, and stuff white powder up their noses while they tried to fight it off?

I'm tired of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers and politicians of both parties talking about innocent mistakes, stupid mistakes or youthful mistakes, when we all know they think their only mistake was getting caught. I'm tired of people with a sense of entitlement, rich or poor.

I'm real tired of people who don't take responsibility for their lives and actions. I'm tired of hearing them blame the government, or discrimination or big-whatever for their problems.

Yes, I'm damn tired. But I'm also glad to be 63. Because, mostly, I'm not going to have to see the world these people are making. I'm just sorry for my granddaughter.

Robert A. Hall is a Marine Vietnam veteran who served five terms in the Massachusetts State Senate.

Non-Jewish Gog and Magog: More understanding of the 12th Imam or Mahdi of Islam click on the Glenn Beck Interview to view:

Report from Iran: Dear members

This morning I received a message from a member in our group: "Dear Avi,
thank you for the nice message of Iran Israel friendship Avi, I was arrested on Monday demonstrations and I am scared like hell, the interrogation was very scary, I need to delete the account for the security issues, but my friends and my ideas reside in my heart forever, u take care Avi, be well,, , we all have hope for a better future for all of us, Amen"

I am shocked and full of sadness. The horrific Islamic regime is like a beast making its last wild kicking before dying.

Such testimonies emphasize the need in our mutual support in Iran and the Iranian people. Nowadays, more than ever, it is extremely important to spread out message and invite others to our group. May our struggle reach its happy end soon, with no casualties or violence! – Avi

Muslim Brotherhood appointees of the Barak Hussein administration by David Lee O: [Excerpt: "Events which are currently unfolding in the Middle East are a consequence of the behind-the-scenes work of Islamic advocates within the Administration."] Examiner February 16, 2011 by Anthony Martin

An ex-CIA agent and counter-intelligence expert has revealed in a special report that Barack Obama has quietly appointed members of the Muslim Brotherhood to key posts within the Administration. Dr. Clare Lopez, professor at the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies, wrote a policy paper in December of 2009 which details the systematic appointment of Sharia-friendly advocates within the State Department and other government agencies.

For example, the Tehran-born Dr. Vali Nasr was appointed to co-direct Obama foreign policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan. Former Saudi Arabian supplicant Charles Freeman was appointed by Obama to chair the Administration's National Intelligence Council, but withdrew his name when it was revealed he issued a 2-page screed in which he postulated a conspiracy theory claiming he had been 'victimized' by American supporters of Israel. In addition, John Limbert was appointed to direct U.S. policy toward the Islamist regime in Iran. Limbert, who was taken hostage during the Iranian upheaval of the late 70s-early 80s, is an Iranian sympathizer who advocates negotiation with one of the most brutal dictatorships in the world.

While it is true that some of the initial appointees have departed from the Administration, the fix was already in. The Obama Administration is manned by Sharia-friendly appointees who help steer American foreign policy in the Middle East.

Why is this relevant to 2011?

Events which are currently unfolding in the Middle East are a consequence of the behind-the-scenes work of Islamic advocates within the Administration.

According to reports issued by NewsRealBlog, RedState, and LaborUnionReport, secret documents released by Wikileaks indicate that the United States government has been in the process of planning social and political upheaval in the Middle East for at least 2 years--beginning during the waning days of the Bush Administration and continuing under Obama. The goal was to push moderate Muslim dictators out the door in countries such as Egypt, while advocating so-called 'democracy' which would then insure the rise of Muslim Brotherhood-supported Islamists to fill the power-gap.

How would such a grand scheme be accomplished?

The reports expose a consortium of Leftwing organizations, Islamic groups, labor unions, and Obama-friendly corporations which would organize and fund a 'youth movement' in certain areas around the Middle East which would then take to the streets in protest against current governments.

Some of the corporations involved are Google, YouTube, MSNBC, Facebook, National Geographic, M-TV, and Pepsi. In addition, the U.S. State Department, Columbia Law School, and various Islamic extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, CAIR, and others are central to the plot.

The goal is to set in motion a domino effect, hoping that regime-change in Eqypt would spread to other nations in the Middle East, and eventually destabilize Europe, and ultimately, the United States.

No sooner had Mubarak been ousted in Egypt than demands were issued for war with Israel. Egypt's government and Constitution were abolished by the military. The Camp David Accords, which has kept peace between Egypt and Israel since the 1970s, was discarded.

Then, Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi issued a call to the Muslim world to wage war with Israel. There is upheaval in Jordon and Lebanon as well--Israel's closest neighbors.

And while the Obama Administration rushed to jump out in front of the uprising in Egypt to praise its so-called 'push for democracy,' a similar uprising this week in Iran has been met with deafening silence.


Perhaps some basic facts will provide clues.

Obama's top national security advisor declared that the Muslim Brotherhood is a 'secular' organization, non-extremist, and dedicated to 'peace.' Obama himself, in an interview with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, refused to refer to the Brotherhood as an Islamic extremist organization, in spite of the fact that the group's own charter, and recent statements made by its leadership, indicate exactly that.

And a Muslim board member of CPAC, of all things, declared in a news conference that 'there is no Muslim Brotherhood in the United States,' despite the fact that the group issued a document in 1991 indicating its North American objectives.

At the very least it is clear that things are not as they seem on the surface in Eqypt, Iran, nor within the Obama Administration and the American Muslim community. And, due to the fact that the mainstream media merely parrots the official Administration propaganda, the American people are being bamboozled.

Israel - America's Unique Ally by Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger

Forwarded with commentary by Emanuel A. Winston, Mid East Analyst & Commentator

As you read the following, you will understand some of the contributions Israel made to the U.S. in the Middle East. There is much, much more that Israel contributed as a willing, devoted and democratic Ally.

But, keep in mind that from before 1967 through today the U.S. State Department was anti-Israel, pro-Muslim/Arab and determined that Israel will cease to exist. They acted like a “Shadow Government” to run America’s foreign policy with outreach posts in all the Muslim and Arab countries called “Diplomats”.

These so-called “Diplomats” abandoned American interests and became representatives of the radical Muslim Islamist Jihadists and worked hard to influence Congress and a series of Presidents.

Oil was King and Israel was to be harnessed to Muslim/Arab demands.

Now President Barack Hussein Obama has joined a long line of Arabists who speaks false words, claiming to be an ally but, they mean to cause the disconnecting of America from Israel and the Jewish people.



Israel - America's Unique Ally by Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger
Follow me @YoramEttinger
For previous documents, please visit my new website, The Ettinger Report:
Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger 
"Second Thought: US-Israel Initiative," Jerusalem, Israel
"Second Thought"  YnetNews, February 18, 2011,7340,L-4030523,00.html

The seismic developments in Egypt and throughout the Arab Middle East highlight Israel's unique contribution to vital US interests.

The significance of Israel's strategic added-value is underlined by uncertain and shifty Arab ideologies, policies, alliances and allegiances, by the increasing vulnerability of pro-US Arab regimes, the intensifying unruly nature of Arab societies, the exacerbation of Islamic terrorism, the Iranian nuclear threat, the deepening penetration of the Arab Middle East by Russia and China, the recent erosion of the US posture of deterrence and the expected US evacuation of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Israel's reliability, capability, credibility, stability, democracy and non-conditional alliance with the USA are anomalous in the Middle East.

Egypt - a beneficiary of billions of dollars and state of the art US military systems - enhances strategic ties with North Korea, Russia and China, agitates the Horn of Africa and Sudan, consistently votes against the US at the UN and institutionalizes hate-education. A post-Mubarak regime could overtly join an anti-US axis.

Iran's Shah had access to the most advanced US military systems. However, the Shah was toppled; from a staunch US ally, Iran was transformed into the most effective anti-US regime in the world.

Libya's King Idris granted the US, in 1954, the use of Wheelus Air Base, which became the largest US Air Force base outside the USA. In 1969, Colonel Qaddafi overthrew King Idris and Wheelus serviced the Soviet Air Force.

Turkey shifted, in 2002, from a corner stone of the US and NATO posture of
deterrence to a major pro-Russia supporter of the anti-US Iran-Syria axis.

Jordan -a recipient of US foreign aid - was one of only two Arab regimes which supported Saddam Hussein's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Jordan's port of Aqaba became Saddam's most critical route of supplies during the preparations for the 1991 US-Iraq War.

Iraq was pro-Western until the1958 anti-Western coup. However, Saddam
Hussein - who ruled Iraq since 1979 - gained the confidence of the US. Therefore, he benefitted from a shared-intelligence agreement, the transfer
of sensitive dual-use American technologies and $5BN loan guarantees, until his invasion of Kuwait.

Yemen was assisted by the US in its war against Aden and has benefited from US foreign aid. Still, Sana'a supported Saddam's invasion of Kuwait and hosts anti-US Islamic terrorists, while occasionally fighting them.

Saudi Arabia depends on the US for its survival in the face of lethal regional threats. The 1991 and 2003 US Gulf Wars were largely induced by the concern of a Saddam takeover of Saudi Arabia. However, Riyad bankrolls the operations of anti-US Islamic organizations in the US and anti-US Islamic terrorists.

Israel, on the other hand, was described by the late General Alexander Haig, who was a Supreme Commander of NATO and a US Secretary of State, as "the largest US aircraft carrier, which does not require even one US soldier, cannot be sunk, is the most cost-effective and battle-tested, located in a region which is critical to vital US interests. If there would not be an Israel, the US would have to deploy real aircraft carriers, along with tens of thousands of US soldiers, which would cost tens of billions of dollars annually, dragging the US unnecessarily into local, regional and global conflicts. All of which is spared by the Jewish State."

For example, in 1970, pro-Soviet Syria invaded Jordan, threatening a domino scenario into the oil-rich Persian Gulf. The US military was preoccupied with Vietnam and could not deploy troops to Jordan. Israel was asked to mobilize its military, and the Syrian invasion was rolled back. Thus, Israel denied the USSR a major coup and spared the US a potential economic disaster, without deploying a single US soldier.

General John Keegan, a former chief of US Air Force Intelligence determined that Israel's contribution to the US intelligence was "equal to five CIAs."

Senator Daniel Inouye, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and former Chairman of the Intelligence Committee: "The intelligence received from Israel exceeds the intelligence received from all NATO countries combined." He assessed that Soviet military hardware which was transferred, by Israel, to the USA (P-12 Soviet radar in 1969, Mig-21 and Mig-23 Soviet fighter aircraft in 1966 and 1989 respectively, etc.) tilted the global balance of power in favor of the USA and amounted to a mega-billion dollar bonus to the USA.

In 1981, Israel bombed Iraq's nuclear reactor, thus sparing the US a nuclear confrontation with Iraq in1991 and 2003. In 1982 and 2007, Israel
demolished Soviet surface-to-air missile batteries operated by Syria and a Syrian-Iranian-North Korean nuclear reactor in Syria. The battle tactics - which were the first ever to penetrate such advanced Soviet/Russian defense systems - were shared with the US Air Force, enhancing the US military edge over Moscow.

In 2011, US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan benefit from Israel's experience in combating Improvised Explosive Devices, car bombs and suicide bombers.

The Jewish State constitutes the most advanced battle-tested laboratory for US military systems. The F-16 jet fighter includes over 600 Israeli-induced modifications, which saved the manufacturer billions of dollars and many years of research & development. Hundreds of additional US military systems, operated by Israel, generate similar benefits, according the US defense industries a global competitive edge and expanding US export and employment.

Upgrading the current mutually-beneficial US-Israel strategic cooperation is required in light of the aforementioned benefits, and in response to the turmoil in Egypt and its potential regional ripple effects, while the US lowers its military profile in the region. For example:

*Upgrading the port facilities of Ashdod for use by the Sixth Fleet;
*Pre-positioning, in Israel, US homeland security systems, combat aircraft, missiles, tanks and armed personnel carriers, which would expedite US missions to preserve pro-US Arab regimes;
*Constructing, in Israel, US military facilities;
*Establishing a bi-national defense industrial cooperation fund, leveraging each country's competitive edge.

Enhancement of US-Israel strategic ties is natural and imperative in light of Israel's capabilities and the unique US-Israel common denominator: shared-values, joint-interests and mutual-threats.

Now for M. Wolfberg’s Good Shabbos Story “Open for business”.

Good Shabbos Everyone. “The Bnai Yisroel shall observe the Shabbos, to make the Shabbos an eternal covenant for their generations.” (Shemos 31:16) One of the most important tenets of our faith is Shabbos.
HaRav I. Grunfeld writes "Our Sages call the Sabbath Yesod Ha-emunah, the very foundation of our faith. This is no exaggeration. The loftiest principles which Judaism has ennobled the human race, the highest ideals for which our people have been striving for thousands of years at the cost of immeasurable lives, are all centered in Shabbos.”
In about the year 1800, a fire broke out in the city of Maerkisch-Friedland, where the illustrious Rabbi Akiva Eiger was chief rabbi. A large segment of the Jewish quarter was destroyed as a result of the fire, and many homes had to be rebuilt. Rabbi Akiva Eiger issued a proclamation advising all those planning to rebuild their homes to stipulate in their contracts with the builders that no work was to be performed on Shabbos or Yom Tov.
All members of the community complied with the Rabbi's directive, except for one man, who was the president of the community and its wealthiest member. He wanted his new house built without delay. To this end, he hired workers to do the work non-stop, Shabbos and Yom Tov included. All protestations from the Rabbi and members of the community fell upon deaf ears.
Rabbi Akiva Eiger himself then announced publicly that he was certain that whoever had his house built on Shabbos would not see it stand for long, yet the work on the rich man's house continued unabated.
The president's new house was not only the first to be completed, but also the largest and most magnificent of the reconstructed buildings. The Jews of the city were appalled by this flagrant display of insubordination to their great rabbi.
However, the episode did not end there. Not long afterward, one of the beams of the president's house suddenly collapsed and crashed to pieces. It was subsequently discovered that the entire wooden frame of the house had become infested with timber-decay, and the building would have to be completely demolished and rebuilt.
The builders and engineers were at a loss to explain why only that particular house became infested, while the other houses built at the same time from the same timber supply remained intact. But to the Jews of Maerkisch-Friedland, there was no doubt as to the answer of this puzzling question.
Shabbos is sign of the eternal covenant between Hashem and the Jewish People. The Torah defines "keeping Shabbos" as a sign that a Jew is spiritually in business. The Chofetz Chaim explains this principle with the following parable: A man once returned to his former neighborhood looking for an old restaurant. When he came to the restaurant, the door was closed and locked. He looked in through the window but nothing stirred. The sign reading "RESTAURANT" was still there, so he figured that since it was summertime, the owners were probably on vacation.
A few months later, he came back to the neighborhood, but he noticed that while other stores were doing good business, the restaurant was not only closed but the sign over the store had been taken down as well. "It's obvious," said the man to himself " that they've gone out of business. If the sign is not there, the restaurant is closed."
"The same indicator," said the Chofetz Chaim, "is valid with regard to a Jew's adherence to Torah and mitzvahs. While it is possible that at times a person may slip to an evil temptation, he can still be considered a committed Jew provided that he performs mitzvahs. But, if a Jew removes the signs of Judaism, the basic fundamental tenants that symbolize our relationship with Hashem, [the Jew has heaven forbid, disavowed his association from the Jewish nation.]"
Shabbos is a sign of the eternal covenant between Hashem and the Jewish People. By keeping Shabbos, a Jew demonstrates his belief in this Holy Covenant.
Good Shabbos Everyone.
M. Wolfberg’s stories are sponsored by: Refuah Shleima to Mordechai Menachem Mendel ben Tziporah Yitta Refuah Shleima to Tsviah bas Bracha Leah Refuah Shleimah to Chana Ashayra bas Dodi.

Have a wonderful Shabbos and pray hard for rain in Israel,

Rachamim Pauli