Thursday, May 5, 2011

Parsha Emor, Omer, Avos Chapter 2 Mishnah 1 -7, Stories

Parsha Emor

This week I found myself distracted with some personal problems. So in order to fight my Gashmiyus Yetzer I had to just go back to thoughts in Vayikra of years before. In 5767 I opened up the book with a story about the Korbanos I shortened it for an opening today.


When a person sees the animal slaughtered before his eyes, he thinks, "Really I deserve this, but God is merciful and sparing." That's a powerful spiritual experience. Blood is real. It shakes a person. You see the heaviness of life.

Kirk Douglas, the legendary film star, was involved in a serious helicopter crash in 1991. The pilot and co-pilot were killed, but Kirk got out alive. The event shook him as much spiritually as it did physically. Lying in the hospital bed, he asked himself over and over again: Why was I the one who survived? Kirk eventually answered his question thusly: I survived because there is something important I have yet to accomplish in this world, a crucial contribution to make. Up until now I have been playing games. Now I see that life is more serious.

Kirk embarked on a program of regular Torah study and began to re-institute the Jewish traditions he'd remembered from his youth. And he began a search for ways to utilize his material wealth to impact the world. It was a transformation back to himself - despite the peer pressure of secular Hollywood fighting against him. Today, he's more committed than ever. He recently took on the responsibility of building a multi-media theater across from the Western Wall - in order to give tourists an authentic, inspiring Jewish experience. Kirk is driven to make up for lost time.

Just as in the Temple ... the scene of blood, the proximity to death ... thinking "this could have been me." It changes one's life forever. Will the Parsha inspire us to change, too?

21:1 … After Kedoshim this Parsha deals with the holiness of the Cohanim not defiling themselves for the dead and whom they can marry. They are the people who represent the Nation with the Korbanos before HASHEM. An example of purity can be found at the Torah Organization and later I bring more:

Things that Make Beds and Seats Impure - Metamei Mishkav u-Moshav @ Halacha Overview, Copyright © 2011 by Rabbi Dr. Azriel Rosenfeld and The author is Director of the Center for Automation Research at the University of Maryland in College Park.

A man who is impure on account of a running issue [as it says "If any man has a flow in his flesh..."1], a menstruating woman [as it says "And if a woman flows, her flow being blood in her flesh... and if the flow of a woman's blood flows for many days..."], and a woman who has given birth [as it says "If a woman conceives and gives birth..."] are all sources of impurity. They make a utensil impure if they touch it, move it (even if it is earthenware), sit or lie on it (if it belongs to them and is fit for the purpose), or are covered by it, and they make a person impure if they touch him, move him, or are moved by him. Rabbinically, non-Jews are also sources of impurity in these ways.

The body fluids of such a person and blood from the womb are sources of impurity by touch or movement, as it says "His flow is impure", and it says "And if the man with the flow spits on a pure man he shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be impure until evening", and it says "And the unwell woman in her isolation and the man with his flow". A seat or bed that such a person has been on is also a source of impurity by touch or movement [as it says "And a man that touches his bed shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be impure until evening... and anyone that touches anything that is under him shall be impure until evening; and one who carries them shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be impure until evening... and anyone who touches her bed shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be impure until evening; and anyone who touches any utensil that she sits on shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be impure until evening... and anyone who touches them shall be impure and shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be impure until evening"]. A man who has had sexual relations with such a woman is a source of impurity like her, except that his seat or bed [and body fluids], though impure, are not sources of impurity, as it says "[And if a man lies with her... he is impure for seven days] and any bed that he lies on becomes impure".

Such persons become pure when they have seven clean days (a total of fourteen days in the case of a woman who has given birth to a girl) and bathe [as it says "And if the man with the flow becomes pure from his flow he shall count seven days from his purification and wash his clothes and bathe his flesh in living water and be pure... and if she becomes pure from her flow she shall count seven days and afterwards become pure"

22:1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 2 Speak unto Aaron and to his sons, that they separate themselves from the holy things of the children of Israel, which they hallow unto Me, and that they profane not My holy name: I am the LORD.

A non-Jewish woman is permissible upon conversion to all of Israel except a Cohain who is especially holy. A problem arises if the Cohain marries a woman like this in a civil marriage. Nothing can be done in this case. The same woman marrying a Levi or Yisrael can eventually through a son have seed that could marry a Cohain.

3 Say unto them: Whosoever he be of all your seed throughout your generations, that approaches unto the holy things, which the children of Israel hallow unto the LORD, having his uncleanness upon him, that soul shall be cut off from before Me: I am the LORD.

There is also Tuma of a dead rat or crawling thing, a man with flux, the Metzora and the uncleanliness of a Dead Body. Even the hands have to washed and the feet washed at the brass laver. (see below)

4 What man soever of the seed of Aaron is a leper, or hath an issue, he shall not eat of the holy things, until he be clean. And whoso touches any one that is unclean by the dead; or from whomsoever the flow of seed goes out; 5 or whosoever touches any swarming thing, whereby he may be made unclean, or a man of whom he may take uncleanness, whatsoever uncleanness he hath; 6 the soul that touches any such shall be unclean until the even, and shall not eat of the holy things, unless he bathe his flesh in water. 7 And when the sun is down, he shall be clean; and afterward he may eat of the holy things, because it is his bread. 8 That which dies of itself, or is torn of beasts, he shall not eat to defile himself therewith: I am the LORD.

Trafe and Nevaila – even if one slaughter a kosher animal but not properly al pe Halacha, it is Trafe. Thus beef, poultry, lamb, etc. which are Kosher animals but slaughtered by a non-Jew or with an improper instrument or in an improper way even by a Jew is forbidden.

9 They shall therefore keep My charge, lest they bear sin for it, and die therein, if they profane it: I am the LORD who sanctify them. 10 There shall no common man eat of the holy thing; a tenant of a priest, or a hired servant, shall not eat of the holy thing. 11 But if a priest buy any soul, the purchase of his money, he may eat of it; and such as are born in his house, they may eat of his bread.

The food that the Cohain eats is eaten in holiness (now there is no Temple so the applicability is not practical today). A hired artisan cannot eat of the priest dues but his non-Jewish slave can eat of it.

12 And if a priest's daughter be married unto a common man, she shall not eat of that which is set apart from the holy things. 13 But if a priest's daughter be a widow, or divorced, and have no child, and is returned unto her father's house, as in her youth, she may eat of her father's bread; but there shall no common man eat thereof. …

21 And whosoever brings a sacrifice of peace-offerings unto the LORD in fulfillment of a vow clearly uttered, or for a freewill-offering, of the herd or of the flock, it shall be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no blemish therein. 22 Blind, or broken, or maimed, or having a wen, or scabbed, or scurvy, ye shall not offer these unto the LORD, nor make an offering by fire of them upon the altar unto the LORD. 23 Either a bullock or a lamb that hath anything too long or too short, that may thou offer for a freewill-offering; but for a vow it shall not be accepted. 24 That which hath its stones bruised, or crushed, or torn, or cut, ye shall not offer unto the LORD; neither shall ye do thus in your land. 25 Neither from the hand of a foreigner shall ye offer the bread of your God of any of these, because their corruption is in them, there is a blemish in them; they shall not be accepted for you.

The Korbanos that are brought whether obligated or of free must be also set aside to be special. And in case you don’t understand the reason(s):

… 31 And ye shall keep My commandments, and do them: I am the LORD. 32 And ye shall not profane My holy name; but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel: I am the LORD who hallow you, 33 that brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD.

23:1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them: The appointed seasons of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are My appointed seasons. 3 Six days shall work be done; but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation; ye shall do no manner of work; it is a Sabbath unto the LORD in all your dwellings.

The re-emphasis and again re-emphasis of the importance of the Shabbos for there are 39 Avos of Melacha on Shabbos and subsections that translates into hundreds of Halachos and details and review. To what can this be compared to? To the Navy Seals that took out Bin Laden. They trained and retrained on the same model of the building for months until they got it perfect. With Shabbos it takes a long time to learn all the Halachos of Shabbos or even the Tractate that is net 156 Dafim. (312 large Talmudic Pages)

It is no wonder why we sing on Shabbos Morning or Noon meal “Shabbos the day to HASHEM”. The Parsha continues with other holidays now.

4 These are the appointed seasons of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their appointed season. 5 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at dusk, is the LORD'S passover. 6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD; seven days ye shall eat unleavened bread. 7 In the first day ye shall have a holy convocation; ye shall do no manner of servile work. 8 And ye shall bring an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days; in the seventh day is a holy convocation; ye shall do no manner of servile work. {P}

… (Pessach) … 15 And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the day of rest, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the waving; seven weeks shall there be complete; 16 even unto the morrow after the seventh week shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall present a new meal-offering unto the LORD.

This is the 49 days of Omer counting until the 50th day that is Chag Shavuos.

17 Ye shall bring out of your dwellings two wave-loaves of two tenth parts of an ephah; they shall be of fine flour, they shall be baked with leaven, for first-fruits unto the LORD. 18 And ye shall present with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams; they shall be a burnt-offering unto the LORD, with their meal-offering, and their drink-offerings, even an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the LORD. 19 And ye shall offer one he-goat for a sin-offering, and two he-lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of peace-offerings. 20 And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the first-fruits for a wave-offering before the LORD, with the two lambs; they shall be holy to the LORD for the priest. 21 And ye shall make proclamation on the selfsame day; there shall be a holy convocation unto you; ye shall do no manner of servile work; it is a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations. 22 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corner of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleaning of thy harvest; thou shalt leave them for the poor, and for the stranger: I am the LORD your God.

Shavuos is the holiday like Pessach and Sukkos but without a Chol HaMoed. It is the start of the giving of the Bikurim or first-fruits from the trees of Eretz Yisrael or in this case from the wheat and barley. A farmer growing fruit other than the 7 species or other gains such as rye, spelt and oats is except completely from bring the Bikurim.

We continue on until the three festivals and the high holidays are all mentioned.

24:1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 2 'Command the children of Israel, that they bring unto thee pure olive oil beaten for the light, to cause a lamp to burn continually. 3 Without the veil of the testimony, in the tent of meeting, shall Aaron order it from evening to morning before the LORD continually; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations. 4 He shall order the lamps upon the pure candlestick before the LORD continually.

We now go into the section of Menachos or offerings like olive oil, wine and flour etc.

5 And thou shalt take fine flour, and bake twelve cakes thereof: two tenth parts of an ephah shall be in one cake. 6 And thou shalt set them in two rows, six in a row, upon the pure table before the LORD. 7 And thou shalt put pure frankincense with each row, that it may be to the bread for a memorial-part, even an offering made by fire unto the LORD. 8 Every Sabbath day he shall set it in order before the LORD continually; it is from the children of Israel, an everlasting covenant. 9 And it shall be for Aaron and his sons; and they shall eat it in a holy place; for it is most holy unto him of the offerings of the LORD made by fire, a perpetual due.'

The Parsha ends with what happens to somebody who desecrates THE NAME and various laws of damages.

17th Day of the Omer

Examine the compassion of compassion. The expression of compassion and its intensity. True compassion is limitless. It is not an extension of your needs and defined by your limited perspective. Compassion for another is achieved by having a selfless attitude, rising above yourself and placing yourself in the other person's situation and experience. Am I prepared and able to do that? If not, why? Do I express and actualize the compassion and empathy in my heart? What blocks me from expressing it? Am I locked in any way? Is my compassion compassionate or self-serving? Is it compassion that comes out of guilt rather than genuine empathy? How does that affect and distort my compassion? Test yourself by seeing if you express compassion even when you don't feel guilty. Does my compassion come from a sense of duty or is it frivolous? On the other hand: Is my compassion alive; does it resound with vitality, or is it expressed only out of obligation? Is my compassion only a result of being a creature of habit who feels badly when another suffers, or do I actually apply myself to examine and refine my compassion, observing it's limitations and forms of expression? How do I express compassion? Is my compassion beautiful? Is it well rounded? Does it contain the other six elements of tiferet, without which my full compassion remains unrealized.

Exercise for the day: Express your compassion in a new way that goes beyond your previous limitations: express it towards someone to whom you have been callous.

Day Four of Week 3: Netzach of Tiferes

18th Day of the Omer

Is my compassion enduring and consistent? Is it reliable or whimsical? Does it prevail among other forces in my life? Do I have the capacity to be compassionate even when I’m busy with other activities or only when it's comfortable for me? Am I ready to stand up and fight for another?

Exercise for the day: In middle of the busy day take a moment and call someone that needs a compassionate word. Defend someone who is in need of sympathy even if it's not a popular position.

Day Five of Week 3: Hod of Tiferes

19th Day of the Omer

Compassion must include humility for it not to be condescending and pretentious. Hod is recognizing that my ability to be compassionate and giving does not make me better than the recipient; it is the acknowledgement and appreciation that by creating one who needs compassion G-d gave me the gift of being able to bestow compassion. Thus there is no place for haughtiness in compassion. Do I feel superior because I am compassionate? Do I look down at those that need my compassion? Am I humble and thankful to G-d for giving me the ability to have compassion for others?

Exercise for the day: Express compassion in an anonymous fashion, not taking any personal credit.

Day Six of Week 3: Yesod of Tiferes

20th Day of the Omer

For compassion to be fully realized, it needs bonding. It requires creating a channel between giver and receiver. A mutuality that extends beyond the moment of need. A bond that continues to live on. That is the most gratifying result of true compassion. Do you bond with the one you have compassion for, or do you remain apart? Does your interaction achieve anything beyond a single act of sympathy?

Exercise for the day: Ensure that something eternal is built as a result of your compassion.

Day Seven of Week 3: Malchus of Tiferes

21st Day of the Omer

Examine the dignity of your compassion. For compassion to be complete (and enhance the other six aspects of compassion) it must recognize and appreciate individual sovereignty. It should boost self-esteem and cultivate human dignity. Both your own dignity and the dignity of the one benefiting from your compassion. Is my compassion expressed in a dignified manner? Do I manifest and emphasize majesty in my compassion? Does it elicit dignity in others? Do I recognize the fact that when I experience compassion as dignified it will reflect reciprocally in the one who receives compassion?

Exercise for the day: Rather than just giving them charity help them help themselves in a fashion that strengthens their dignity.

Day One of Week 4: Chessed of Netzach

22nd Day of the Omer

Week Four - Netzach

Endurance and ambition is a combination of determination and tenacity. It is a balance of patience, persistence and guts. Endurance is also being reliable and accountable, which establishes security and commitment. Without endurance, any good endeavor or intention has no chance of success.

Endurance means to be alive, to be driven by what counts. It is the readiness to fight for what you believe, to go all the way. Without such commitment any undertaking remains flat and empty. It is an energy which comes from within and stops at nothing to achieve its goals. This, of course, requires that endurance be closely examined to ensure that it is used in a healthy and productive manner.

Ask yourself: How committed am I to my values? How much would I fight for them? Am I easily swayed? What price am I ready to pay for my beliefs? Is there any truth for which I would be ready to give my life?

Effective endurance needs to encompass the following seven ingredients: love, discipline, compassion, endurance, humility, bonding and dignity. The problems people have with endurance and commitment are due to a lack of one or more of these seven components.

Day One of Week 4: Chessed of Netzach

For anything to endure it needs to be loved. A neutral or indifferent attitude will reflect in a marginal commitment. If you have difficulty making commitments, examine how much you love and enjoy the object that requires your commitment. Do I love my work? My family? My choices?

For endurance to be effective it needs to be caring and loving. Endurance without love can be counterproductive. Raw endurance can come across as harsh and aggressive, which undermines the cooperation of others. Out of sheer determination one may often become controlling and demanding, driving others away. For endurance to be successful it needs a loving and caring attitude, it requires patience.

Does my endurance cause me to be, or seem to be, inflexible? Does my drive and determination cause me to be controlling? Am I too demanding? Do others (my employees, friends, children) cooperate with me out of the sheer force of my will and drive, or out of love? Is my endurance unloving? In order to get my way would I allow others to get hurt? Do I believe that the end justifies the means? Would I stop at nothing to achieve my goals? When my endurance prevails and I overcome the obstacles in my way, am I still loving? Even when defending myself and others against unhealthy influences, am I driven by love or hate (see week two, day one)?

Exercise for the day: When fighting for something you believe in, pause a moment to ensure that it is accomplished in a loving manner.

Day Two of Week 4: Gevurah of Netzach

23rd Day of the Omer

Examine the discipline of your endurance. Endurance must be directed toward productive goals and expressed in a constructive manner. Is my endurance and determination focused to help cultivate good habits and break bad ones? Or is it the other way around? Does my endurance come from strength or weakness? Does it come out of deep conviction or out of defensiveness? Am I ever tenacious out of stubbornness and an unwillingness to acknowledge errors? Am I invested in certain decisions and not prepared to review them? Do I use my endurance against itself by being tenacious in my lack of determination?

Exercise for the day: Break one bad habit today.

Excerpt from The Spiritual Guide to Counting the Omer, by Simon Jacobson. ©Copyright The Meaningful Life Center, 2011. All rights reserved.

Halachos from Danny Shoemann

The custom is not do any work from sunset until after one has counted the Omer. This applies to men and women. This is hinted to in the verse (Shemos 23:15) which refers to the 7 weeks Omer-counting as "Sheva Shabbatot" using the word "Shabbat" instead of weeks. וּסְפַרְתֶּם לָכֶם, מִמָּחֳרַת הַשַּׁבָּת, מִיּוֹם הֲבִיאֲכֶם אֶת-עוֹמֶר הַתְּנוּפָה: שֶׁבַע שַׁבָּתוֹת, תְּמִימוֹת תִּהְיֶינָה Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 120:10

During the Omer period, the great sage Rabbi Akiva (who lived during and after the destruction of the second Temple) lost almost all of his thousands of Torah students; reducing Torah Scholars to a handful. As a result, 33 days of the Omer are customarily observed as days of mourning, during which weddings and haircuts are forbidden. One may get engaged during the Omer and even celebrate with a meal, but dancing and music is not allowed. The Sandek, Mohel and father of the newborn may take haircuts the day before the Brit. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 120:6 - 9

On Rosh Chodesh one should add Yaaleh VeYavo during the Amida and Birkas Hamazon. If one forgot Yaaleh VeYavo during Birkas Hamazon (during the day or night), and one remembers before starting the last Bracha, one can say: בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר נָתַן רָאשֵׁי חֳדָשִׁים לְעַמּוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל לְזִכָּרוֹן
If one only realizes after starting the last Bracha, or one does not have the above Bracha readily available, then one does not need to make amends.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 19:10, 44:14

Men wear Tefillin (phylacteries) every day during Shacharis (morning prayers) except for Shabbat and Yom Tov. Rosh Chodesh has some aspects of a Yom Tov, yet work is permitted. Tefillin are worn on Rosh Chodesh during Shacharis, Hallel and the Torah reading. They are removed before starting Mussaf. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 10:19
Chodesh Tov and Shabbat Shalom – Danny Thursday, 2nd day Rosh Chodesh Iyar 5771 - 16th day of the Omer

Perkei Avos Chapter 2 Mishnah 1 – 7

1. Rabbi [Judah HaNassi]* would say: Which is the right path for man to choose for himself? Whatever is harmonious for the one who does it, and harmonious for mankind.

Ever park your car in Israel and find that somebody parked his car in front of your car because it is convenient for him and does his business on your time? Ever come to a traffic circle in Israel and somebody is letting somebody else on or off in the middle of a circle? Think of what your actions will do to other people outside of your immediate selfish environment.

There are sometimes when a person does not put his brain into gear. A friend of mine was driving the other day and he saw that the light turned red so he began to glide towards the cars stopped at the light. Behind him was somebody honking who wanted to have my friend speed up to the red light! Or I went to the locker room a few days ago and it was fairly empty. Lockers or piled one upon the other. Some youth had put his garments right below my locker. It was obviously that somebody was using a space as there was a lock on it so why not move a little to the left or the right where there are no locks? We do these things and end up stepping upon somebody’s toes.

Be as careful with a minor mitzvah as with a major one, for you do not know the rewards of the mitzvoth. Consider the cost of a mitzvah against its rewards, and the rewards of a transgression against its cost.

What is a minor Mitzva? Perhaps the counting of Omer which costs nothing and one does not take more than a moment or two to perform each night for 49 nights or if one forgot said it during the day. Yet 49 Mitzvos are within this each year and who is to say were this stands with building a Sukkah or buying an Esrog?

Contemplate three things, and you will not come to the hands of transgression: Know what is above from you: a seeing eye, a listening ear, and all your deeds being inscribed in a book.

This statement is good for a believer as one who believes that there is a big tape recorder and DVD or video in the Sky of your actions. Many near death experiences describe that they see their whole life pass before them in a few instances – every word, action and thought is there. One cannot escape it. However, real Teshuva, Tefilla and Tzeduka can remove the pass evils from the records.

2. Rabban Gamliel the son of Rabbi Judah HaNassi would say: Beautiful is the study of Torah with the way of the world, for the toil of them both causes sin to be forgotten. Ultimately, all Torah study that is not accompanied with work is destined to cease and to cause sin.

When I was in my 30’s I was knocking myself out with overtime. From time to time I would take off time if I was ill or there was a special Torah lecture. I heard Kollel fellows talking that their income was small and that they needed more. I forgot after over 30 years the exact words but those were the words that I used in my teen years for my father literally gave me an unlivable allowance for a child or young adult at that time. I would have to negotiate with him for more money. Did he owe me an allowance – perhaps not but it was the custom to give money to the children my age for activities. I was a teen then without a family and the Kollel fellows were adults with children who had working wives. I said to myself, they should do something – be a Sofer, Teacher of Bar Mitzvah and Caterer on the side but earn some honest money.

Those who work for the community should do so for the sake of Heaven; for then merit of their ancestors shall aid them, and their righteousness shall endure forever. And you, [says G-d,] I shall credit you with great reward as if you have achieved it.

The key word is for the sake of heaven for it one works as a grave digger because the pay is better than an Engineer or Doctor that is not what Rabbi Yehuda HaNassi is describing. One who is a soldier and sleeps four hours a night or day guarding the border 24/7 and does it for the sake of heaven is included in the Statement. The pay of the person is not in this world but accordingly in the next and it depends how much is really for the sake of heaven.

3. Be careful with the government, for they befriend a person only for their own needs. They appear to be friends when it is beneficial to them, but they do not stand by a person at the time of his distress.

Poor Moshe Katzav, he was a Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and President of Israel and when some woman who voluntarily went with him to a hotel suddenly cried rape about 5 to 7 years after the incident, he stood alone only with his immediate family. This is the rule of political friends for when you are up you have many but when you are down you have few.

4. He would also say: Make that His will should be your will, so that He should make your will to be as His will. Nullify your will before His will, so that He should nullify the will of others before your will.

Many will recognize this if you do things for the sake of heaven and if they don’t get their will nullified take your lumps in this world for your place in the next.

Hillel would say: Do not separate yourself from the community. Do not believe in yourself until the day you die. Do not judge your fellow until you have stood in his place. Do not say something that is not readily understood in the belief that it will ultimately be understood [or: Do not say something that ought not to be heard even in the strictest confidence, for ultimately it will be heard]. And do not say "When I free myself of my concerns, I will study,'' for perhaps you will never free yourself.

It is dangerous for a Jew to separate himself from the community from one Schul in favor of another it is OK for one Rabbi in favor of another that too is OK but not from all Jewish functions. Don’t trust yourself to withstand your Yetzer. Rabbi Meir criticized King David and Bat Sheva so the Satan appeared on the other side of a river to be a beautify woman singing Meir – Meir and he did his best to find a way to get boards to navigate the river.

While I was preparing to marry my first wife, a certain fellow criticized me that I was moving things into our future apartment less than a month before the wedding. That summer the same fellow became engaged to a divorcee (obviously a woman who knew from her earlier life what being alone with a man is all about). He proceeded to paint her apartment and in the end never married her in the end. It was easy for the fellow to judge me when he was not in my place.

One should not talk anything that was said in confidence to another even in confidence for your breaking of the trust will start a chain of events that breaks trust. One is released from this confidence for example if one worked for the British Secret Service in World War II and after 25 or 30 years the government publishes the secret.

Lastly it is easier to waste time than to study the Torah put a few minutes aside each day to learn Mussar (ethics), Mishnah or Tanach.

5. He would also say: A boor cannot be sin-fearing, an ignoramus cannot be pious, a bashful one cannot learn, a short-tempered person cannot teach, nor does anyone who does much business grow wise. In a place where there are no men, strive to be a man.

Sometimes there is a lack of information. Perhaps this weekly blogspot covers too much of the needs of one Jew but it is designed for every Jew for some like learning, some like stories, some like news about Israel. I follow this Mishnah as my guide when writing as I try to fill in a gap in Am Yisrael.

6. He also saw a skull floating upon the water. Said he to it: Because you drowned others, you were drowned; and those who drowned you, will themselves be drowned.

Hillel saw the skull of a Roman murderer floating in the river. This week could not be more propitious a time for this Mishnah. Osama ordered the bombing of two US Embassies, the USS Cole and the 9/11 attacks. This week he was killed but it might not end here. Obama wants to visit Pakistan later this year. What is it for Al Qaeda to send in Kumasi squads of dozens of men to take out Obama? Hillel is saying basically what goes around comes around and measure for measure Judgement will be routed out and in the end there is a DAYAN EMMES and Din Emmes. We cannot see the whole future and the words of the Black Preacher; I brought down in Inyanay Diyoma on the true strategy of Obama. Nobody can claim that the Black Preacher talking to a Black Audience is bigoted against the president but Jews without Torah will put political ideology before Am Yisrael. I may express my political beliefs strongly, but I will never betray my people by supporting a known anti-Semite or a person who double talks between Jews and Muslims. Readers will recall what I wrote about Ann Coulter and her anti-Semitic statement. I stopped being a paying member of the Republican Party after George Bush via Condolese pressured Israel on land. Never become a Kapo to an anti-Semite in the end you might survive in the short term but in the long term you will have to go before Beis Din Shel Maalah.

Hillel’s message is in short, look into your actions and where they lead and do not think that you can get away from the consequences.

7. He would also say: One who increases flesh, increases worms; one who increases possessions, increases worry; one who increases wives, increases witchcraft; one who increases maidservants, increases promiscuity; one who increases man-servants, increases thievery; one who increases Torah, increases life; one who increases study, increases wisdom; one who increases counsel, increases understanding; one who increases charity, increases peace. One who acquires a good name, acquired it for himself; one who acquires the words of Torah, has acquired life in the World to Come.

When the body passes on, the body decays and Jews are buried in Eretz Yisrael without coffins where the body can return to dust only a few instances of non-decayed or partially decayed bodies are ever recorded. More possessions do lead to more responsibility and worry. Jews don’t have more than one wife today except in 819 or 849 special cases. Women are not into witchcraft today but competition among wives is in the story of Yacov Avinu between Leah and Rachel and then Reuven moving Yacov’s bed into Leah’s tent. Competition is a fierce thing and not all women are interested in time sharing a husband even if it were the Norm. We see that Sara brings Avraham Hagar only to have Hagar turn her nose at Sara so it must have been in the days of Hillel that women would turn to spells and perhaps poison to get their man. As for the maid servants and man servants it is almost self-explanatory. THE TORAH IS A TREE OF LIFE FOR THOSE WHO GRAB ON TO IT! Hillel was giving the best advice to people.

Sometimes, I find myself wasting time and I say to myself “Where are you”? If I am spreading Torah that is one thing but if I were to play games like I see many people doing, I would in the end inherit Gehenna. Bitul Torah is something very bad and the opposite is learning and teaching Torah.

I saw the end of the Volozyn Ghetto By Yitschak Ziskind

In the Spring of 1942, a rumor circulated that the North Western part of White Russia would be passed over to the Lithuanian government. This rumor caused much distress as it was known that, within three days after the invasion of the Germans, the Lithuanians cold-bloodedly murdered all Jews in the small towns. Therefore when we heard that Volozyn was to remain under White Russian control, I and my family, along with other families, moved from Olshan to Volozyn. This, however, was a flight from water into fire.

After a short while, on the 10th of May of that year, we found ourselves in The Valley of the Shadow of Death, in the midst of a terrible slaughter whose survivors could be counted on the fingers of one hand.

I recall a dream which I had dreamt on the night before that horrible day. In the dream, my father and I were walking to the synagogue. Suddenly, big stones were falling upon us from out of the sky. One stone hit my father and killed him. I was also hit by a stone, but I was not hurt.

The loud knocks on the door, which woke me up from the nightmare, were also the explanation for my dream, as well as an omen of the end of the Ghetto in Volozyn. In fact, already a day earlier we had seen that the Lithuanian militia had encircled the Ghetto. They had also been joined by militants from Latvia. We, however, did not understand the meaning of such activities.

At four a.m., the drunken murderers burst into the Ghetto like a storm, fired in all directions and kicked the Jews out of their houses. They then gathered them into a large building and from there took them in groups to the cemetery, where they shot them. On the streets that led to the cemetery, there already lay the dead bodies of hundreds of men, women and children who, through illness or weakness, had not been able to walk, and so had been killed on the way to the killing fields.

In the yard of one of the houses, the families that dwelled there built a hiding place underneath a pile of firewood.

On the night of the action, I slept in that house. When the drunken murderers attacked the dwellers of the Ghetto that early morning, I ran with a few others to that hiding place. We climbed a ladder to the top of the pile and then lowered ourselves into it. We then pulled the ladder inside, so as to hide our place. However, our footprints were visible on the grass, which was wet from the morning dew, and these led the hooligans to the pile of wood. With wild shouts, they pulled us out. One of them even came down into the hiding place and kicked me out along with two others who did not come out straight away.

When I reached the top of the wood pile, I suddenly jumped onto a nearby roof and then to the ground, and started to run wildly. The hooligans shot at me and hit me in the shoulder. With the remains of my strength I reached a little hut in one of the yards the hut served as an out-house. Without much deliberation, I jumped into the hole and sank up to my shoulders in excrement. The murderers would have never thought to look for me there.

In that state, as I was sitting in this hole full of stinking dirt and suffering from my injured shoulder which still had a bullet in it, I was destined to witness, through the cracks of the door of the hut, one of the most devastating scenes in our history.

Next to the large building in which they housed the Jews, there sat a German. His rank was “Gebis Komisar (district director). He conducted, in the most organized fashion and with much “expertise?, the selection of the groups to be sent to their deaths in trenches which had already been dug in the cemetery.

From amongst the condemned, the Germans selected a few trades people to be spared. They were allowed to have their wives join them. One of the selected was a bachelor. Two women jumped at him, each claiming to be his wife. One had a baby in her arms. The man was allowed to take the woman without the baby. The Germans then snatched the baby from the arms of his mother, threw him in the air and shot him. He fell lifeless to the ground.

The atrocities which I was forced to witness continued through the morning and afternoon. The hooligans then went on their way. One could still hear shots in the Ghetto. Later, I found out that White Russian policemen had searched the Ghetto, shot the people they caught in hiding places, and looted Jewish homes. These events all took place on Sunday, 10th of May 1942.

At nightfall, I carefully came out of the outhouse hole. I went to the closest house and climbed into the attic. Injured, dirty, and hungry like a dog, I lay there until Monday morning. Then I came out of my hiding place to try and find out what was happening. However, the noise of the crowds and the local policemen who came to loot the empty houses immediately forced me back to my hiding place. At nightfall, I decided that I needed to regain my courage and go into the houses in order to look for clean clothes, and perhaps find a means to tend my wound, which was beginning to bother me. However, when I crawled out, I heard two shots and then someone shouting in Russian: “Again we shot two Jews!? I ran back to my hiding place.

On Tuesday morning I heard someone climbing the ladder leading to the attic. From behind the open door that concealed me, I heard the hooligan telling his friend (who was waiting downstairs) “There is no-one here". These were local residents who used to help the Nazis do the final “Chametz check before completing their atrocities.

In the evening, I went down and entered one of the houses. I found a piece of bread and a few cooked potatoes. I also saw there a discarded Sefer Torah in which the looters, it seemed, had no interest. An atmosphere of great sadness and abandonment cloaked me, which added to my loneliness and my heart’s despair.

The following day, I lost all that had remained of my strength, and I lay there half alive. The pain in my shoulder was very strong.

On Thursday, at twilight, I tried to come out of my hiding place, but could not move a limb. I managed to crawl to the attic window. In the street below, I saw a woman I knew. I wanted to call her, but I was too weak and too excited to be able to utter a sound. Later, I saw another acquaintance, a man I knew very well. Again, I was too weak to signal that I was alive.

Suddenly, I fell down and fainted.

I woke up to the sound of Yiddish conversation and strong hammering on the door below. Through the attic window, I could see men nailing up the door leading to the house in which I hid. I began to shout: “There is a Jew in here! Open the door!

The men took me to the house in which the tradesmen lived. There were a few other Jews there who had also miraculously survived. Amongst them there was a doctor. He managed, with a simple kitchen knife, to extract the bullet from my shoulder. In that house I also met a good friend of mine. I asked him how he had survived. He told me that the murderers had kept him alive so that he could bury the dead.

He had buried, with his own hands, his parents, his brothers and his sisters along with their children.

The Christian dwellers of the surrounding neighborhoods told me later that the ground of the big mass grave was moving up and down for a long time after that dreadful day, as many of the those buried there were still alive underneath.

I and a few other Jews who were not residents of Volozyn, decided to go back to our hometown, to Olshan. In normal times, it was a walk of about three to four hours. We walked for two days on side-roads and tracks, gripped by the fear of our enemy, which was lurking everywhere.

When we reached Olshan, the Jews there stared at us as if we had just returned from the dead. They had already heard about the destruction of the Volozyn Ghetto. They did not expect to see us alive.

And so I was the witness to the murder of three thousand five hundred Jews, residents of the Volozyn Ghetto, and I remained one of its sole survivors, with the duty to tell the world about the great tragedy that befell one of the most glorious Jewish communities in our history. As forwarded by Batzion Sachs

This coming week is the 45th anniversary of a natural occurrence that violated the laws of time and space as we know it and led me to become Frum. That will be our story next week without me vowing so.

Inyanay Diyoma


Now if Israel did this instead of the USA under the guise of NATO you can bet the world reaction would be different:,7340,L-4062612,00.html

Wake up Netanyahu:

The Obama Birth Certificate poses more questions than answers: Check the official web site for Kapiolani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital and according to the information there, the name of the hospital at the time of his birth should have been Kauikeolani Children's Hospital. According to the web site the name didn't change to Kapiolani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital until Kauikeolani Children's Hospital merged with Kapi‘olani Maternity Home in 1978. So how could his official long form birth certificate that was generated in 1961 have the name of the hospital that wasn't created until 1978!

I don’t trust the Pakistanis any more than India does:

From Nancy: Remember FDR was willing to give away 6,000,000 Jews a Black Preacher talks. But Pontus needs Jewish money to get re-elected so he is going to lie real low until 2013 to annihilate Israel.

From: Yitzchak David - Selling down the river on a Sunday afternoon with Ehud Barak,7340,L-4064026,00.html

Arab Revolution and Bin Laden take down:

Quit while the going is good? I am not into speculation but read this:

Don’t believe either the story from Bin Laden’s daughter or the changing tales of BHO:

The end of an era:

Was this Sabotage?,7340,L-4065059,00.html

“You should not distinguish between blood to blood, Din to Din or Nega to Nega” but it seems that only victims of the 9/11 disaster who were active in the Democratic Party were invited to the wreath laying ceremony!

Now for M. Wolfberg’s Good Shabbos Story from last week:

Good Shabbos Everyone. The two American Yeshiva students Dovid and Chaim were on their way back from the airport near Tel Aviv. They had escorted a fellow student to the airport. As they sat on the "Sherut" (group taxi), on their way back to the Yeshiva in Jerusalem, each passenger descended at his destination until there were only three passengers left in the taxi.
"Can you drop us off at the Zichron Moshe shul?" Dovid called to the driver. "We didn't daven maariv yet." "No problem," the driver called back. "And maybe you know somewhere for this young man to stay the night?" Said the driver.
Dovid looked at the last remaining passenger. He had not really noticed him before. The young man appeared to be his own age. His features did not make him look particularly Jewish, but he was dressed like a Jew.
"Where were you planning on staying?" Dovid asked the young man. "I was going to go to the youth hostel, but they're very strict there. No one's allowed in after midnight. My plane came in hours ago," he explained, "and the curfew shouldn't have been a problem. But they thought I was some kind of terrorist—they interrogated me for over three hours at customs."
Dovid stuck out his hand. "Dovid Dwick. This is my friend, Avrohom Moshe. What's your name?" The young man returned the handshake. "Jeffrey Weinberg. I'm from California."
"So what brings you to Israel?" Dovid asked. "Oh, that's a story in itself! A few years ago, I had an early morning doctor's appointment at the hospital. Fortunately, I slept right through my alarm, and I was only awakened later by an earthquake. I found out later that the hospital building had collapsed, and there were a lot of casualties. Thank G-d I was safe! I pledged to myself right then that I would take a trip to Israel and find out more about G-d. "Recently, someone offered me a free ticket to Israel. I remembered my resolution, and I decided to take him up on the offer. So here I am."
The three young men continued talking as the driver made his way through the winding roads of Yerushalayim to Zichron Moshe. Jeff, they learned, had a brother learning at Yeshivah Kol Yaakov, a baal teshuua yeshivah in Monsey, NY. Dovid relaxed a bit—at least the young man was Jewish! Jeff seemed like such a refined fellow. So, after a silent conference with Avrohom Moshe, Dovid invited Jeff to spend the night in their rented apartment. That night, the two young men invested their remaining energy to inspire Jeff with stories of life as a Torah-true Jew.
The next morning, Dovid and Jeff embarked on a tour of the Holy City. The Mirrer Yeshivah was the first stop. Jeff attended a university with a student body of over twenty thousand, but the sight and sound of thousands of young men delving into Torah study dwarfed anything Jeff had ever seen.
"Next stop—the Western Wall!" Dovid announced. "It's the last remainder of the Holy Temple, where G-d's presence is the strongest." Jeff was moved by the elevated atmosphere at the Kosel. He eagerly agreed when Dovid offered to put tefillin on him. As Dovid wound the leather straps, he offered up a silent prayer that Jeff would find his way to Torah and mitzvos.
Following up on his thoughts with positive action, Dovid led Jeff up the steps to Aish HaTorah - the famous yeshiva for Jews with little background in Torah learning. Upon inquiry, Jeff and Dovid were directed to the heritage office, where Jeff was whisked away while Dovid was ushered in to meet with the rabbi in charge.
"So where did you find this guy?" the rabbi asked. Dovid told him about their providential meeting in the taxi on the way home from the airport. "He seems like such a refined person." The rabbi agreed. "From the little I saw, he appears to have a lot of potential. But is he Jewish?"
"I assume so. He told us his brother is a baal teshuva. He learns in Kol Yaakov in Monsey." Said Dovid.
"Okay, so we'll put him in our youth hostel. Their primary goal is to place him in a yeshivah that's appropriate for him."
Two weeks later, a call from the youth hostel director took Dovid by surprise. "The guy you sent us is not Jewish." Dovid was confused. "But how about his brother, the baal teshuva?"
"We checked him out," the director answered, "and it turns out that his brother is a convert. We discussed the issue with Jeff. You and your friends impressed him so much, he wants to stay in yeshivah."
Dovid had a long discussion with Jeff, and Jeff said that he wanted to live the life of a Jew, and nothing was going to deter him. Jeff did stay on in the yeshivah, and after intensive study, converted to Judaism. He reached great heights in his learning, dedicating many hours of the day and night to Torah study. And he achieved another one of his dreams—to join the thousands of Jews immersed in Torah in the Mirrer Yeshivah.
Dovid has kept in touch with Jeff, now known as Ovadyah, throughout his journey to Torah. So when Ovadyah became engaged to a baalas teshuva, Dovid was one of the first to hear the news. "Wish me mazel tov!" Ovadyah announced joyously over the phone. "I'm a chosson! (engaged)
"Mazel tov, mazel tov, that's wonderful news! If there's anything I can do to help you out, please let me know." Said Dovid. Though Ovadyah didn't say anything, Dovid realized that Ovadyah really could use his help. After all, he needed to make a wedding and set up a new home. Dovid decided to help him get the funds together, to start Ovadyah off on the right foot. Dovid wasn't the only one to help Ovadyah. R' Chananya Beck was a rebbe in a cheder, who was not particularly wealthy himself.
Unfortunately, R' Chananya had been married for a number of years without any children, and he was always on the lookout to help others, in hope that Hashem would help him. When he heard about Ovadyah and his upcoming wedding, he jumped at the opportunity. R' Chananya scrimped and saved, denying himself the slightest luxury in his eagerness to supply Ovadyah with everything he needed. When the big day finally arrived, R' Chananya walked Ovadyah down to the chupah with tremendous joy.
Today, Ovadyah has a family and has dedicated his heart and soul to Hashem and His Torah. He works actively to help others find the path to Torah and mitzvos. Within a year of Ovadyah's marriage, R' Chananya Beck became a father. And as if that wasn't payment enough, R' Chananya also won a lottery valued at ten million shekels! ( Reb Yosef Weiss, Visions of Greatness #7 p.49)
We see from this story how the Jewish nation is guided by Divine Providence. We find support for this concept in our weekly portion. Hashem tells us, "You shall be holy for Me, for I Hashem am holy; and I have separated you from the peoples to be Mine." (Vayikra 20:26) Hashem cares about the Jewish nation, because, as the above verse states, we belong to Hashem. Hashem, as it were, has invested in us and therefore we can say Hashem wants us to succeed. In order to help us achieve our spiritual mission in life of performing the mitzvahs, Hashem guides us along the way.
Good Shabbos Everyone. Refuah Shleima to Reb Mordechai Menachem Mendel ben Tziporah Yitta Refuah Shleima to Tsviah bas Bracha Leah

A good Shabbos to all remember Monday is Israel’s Army Memorial Day and Tuesday Independence Day Celebrations.

Rachamim Pauli