Correction in two names: Yacov David ben Gittel Chaya and Yosef Moshe ben Chaya. HaRav Yehonatan Binyamin ben Sarah Rivka had major surgery and will need prayers for a few weeks.
Regarding Israel’s Independence Tzipora sent me this quote condensed by me: Happiness is watching young Jewish children who never knew what it meant to be a minority and never heard the words “zhid” or “kike” or “yahud”. Happiness is knowing that if anyone did call them that, he would find his face attached to the end of a Jewish fist. - Rabbi Meir Kahane HY"D
25:1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses in mount Sinai, saying: 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them: When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a Sabbath unto the LORD.
The Primal cause is that HASHEM Yisborach rested on the Shabbos and according to degrees of holiness a Jew rests on the Shabbos. Since the plant life and inanimate land of Israel is holy so the lands and plants rest on Shabbos.
3 Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the produce thereof. 4 But in the seventh year shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath unto the LORD; thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard.
The Jew by his actions is making the land holy and even the plants holy unto the L-RD.
5 That which grows of itself of thy harvest thou shalt not reap, and the grapes of thy undressed vine thou shalt not gather; it shall be a year of solemn rest for the land. 6 And the Sabbath-produce of the land shall be for food for you: for thee, and for thy servant and for thy maid, and for thy hired servant and for the settler by thy side that sojourn with thee; 7 and for thy cattle, and for the beasts that are in thy land, shall all the increase thereof be for food.
It becomes Hefker to all from the lowest of Jews and even animals to gleam in the Shmita year.
8 And thou shalt number seven Sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and there shall be unto thee the days of seven Sabbaths of years, even forty and nine years.
The 50th year shall be the holy of holies in terms of Sabbatical Years and it is called the Yovel.
9 Then shalt thou make proclamation with the blast of the horn on the tenth day of the seventh month; in the day of atonement shall ye make proclamation with the horn throughout all your land. 10 And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof; it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.
All Jewish slaves shall be freed. Any purchased fields shall revert to the family who owned them in the times when Yehoshua Ben Nun distributed the land. (This was not so after the destruction of the first Beis HaMikdash but the land should be returned to the previous family that owned it in the last Yovel.
11 A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be unto you; ye shall not sow, neither reap that which grows of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of the undressed vines. 12 For it is a jubilee; it shall be holy unto you; ye shall eat the increase thereof out of the field. 13 In this year of jubilee ye shall return every man unto his possession. 14 And if thou sell aught unto thy neighbor, or buy of thy neighbor's hand, ye shall not wrong one another. 15 According to the number of years after the jubilee thou shalt buy of thy neighbor, and according unto the number of years of the crops he shall sell unto thee. 16 According to the multitude of the years thou shalt increase the price thereof, and according to the fewness of the years thou shalt diminish the price of it; for the number of crops doth he sell unto thee.
This is a promise that in the sixth year the crops will be bountiful. From this abundance the food will be more than just to survive but in large quantities.
17 And ye shall not wrong one another; but thou shalt fear thy God; for I am the LORD your God. 18 Wherefore ye shall do My statutes, and keep Mine ordinances and do them; and ye shall dwell in the land in safety. 19 And the land shall yield her fruit, and ye shall eat until ye have enough, and dwell therein in safety. 20 And if ye shall say: 'What shall we eat the seventh year? behold, we may not sow, nor gather in our increase'; 21 then I will command My blessing upon you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth produce for the three years.
HASHEM will guarantee a great crop in the sixth year. The farmer who depends upon HASHEM for rain in the right amount and right time neither drought nor flood will depend on HASHEM in the sixth year and so will all the people of the land.
22 And ye shall sow the eighth year, and eat of the produce, the old store; until the ninth year, until her produce come in, ye shall eat the old store. 23 And the land shall not be sold in perpetuity; for the land is Mine; for ye are strangers and settlers with Me. 24 And in all the land of your possession ye shall grant a redemption for the land.
So you think that the land is yours, in truth it is MINE say the L-RD. I AM HE WHO DESTRIBUTES AND BLESSES THE LAND AND CROPS!!!
We now turn to the Jewish slave who out of desperation not to stave sells himself or the thief who is sold to pay for his thievery.
25 If thy brother be waxen poor, and sell some of his possession, then shall his kinsman that is next unto him come, and shall redeem that which his brother hath sold. 26 And if a man have no one to redeem it, and he be waxen rich and find sufficient means to redeem it; 27 then let him count the years of the sale thereof, and restore the overplus unto the man to whom he sold it; and he shall return unto his possession. 28 But if he have not sufficient means to get it back for himself, then that which he hath sold shall remain in the hand of him that hath bought it until the year of jubilee; and in the jubilee it shall go out, and he shall return unto his possession.
Back in the times of Moshe, worker’s compensation came into effect. The Talmud even talks of such a case of a man who was disappointed because his master had pledged things to the Temple and only upon redemption did he receive his accumulated pay and severance pay that amounted to quite a few camel or donkey loads.
29 And if a man sell a dwelling-house in a walled city, then he may redeem it within a whole year after it is sold; for a full year shall he have the right of redemption. 30 And if it be not redeemed within the space of a full year, then the house that is in the walled city shall be made sure in perpetuity to him that bought it, throughout his generations; it shall not go out in the jubilee.
Inside a town a house could be redeemed only one year and then it was owned by the new owner. Outside of a walled city it was like a field and would return to the original owner in the Yovel.
31 But the houses of the villages which have no wall round about them shall be reckoned with the fields of the country; they may be redeemed, and they shall go out in the jubilee. … 35 And if thy brother be waxen poor, and his means fail with thee; then thou shalt uphold him: as a stranger and a settler shall he live with thee. 36 Take thou no interest of him or increase; but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee. 37 Thou shalt not give him thy money upon interest, nor give him thy victuals for increase. 38 I am the LORD your God, who brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan, to be your God.
Interest bites and is considered bad. Only in the case of a business loan is it considered OK.
39 And if thy brother be waxen poor with thee, and sell himself unto thee, thou shalt not make him to serve as a bondservant. 40 As a hired servant, and as a settler, he shall be with thee; he shall serve with thee unto the year of jubilee.
We are talking a fellow Jew which includes a Ger Tzeddik or full convert.
41 Then shall he go out from thee, he and his children with him, and shall return unto his own family, and unto the possession of his fathers shall he return. 42 For they are My servants, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt; they shall not be sold as bondmen. 43 Thou shalt not rule over him with rigor; but shalt fear thy God.
All the Bnei Yisrael are to be considered as the children of Kings.
44 And as for thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, whom thou may have: of the nations that are round about you, of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. 45 Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them may ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they have begotten in your land; and they may be your possession. 46 And ye may make them an inheritance for your children after you, to hold for a possession: of them may ye take your bondmen forever; but over your brethren the children of Israel ye shall not rule, one over another, with rigor.
This is an opening for the Jewish ‘slave’ or servant that if he/she escaped from his master due to maltreatment we did no force him back but allow him to be free.
The follow laws are now stated to protect the rights of the Ger Tzeddik. For often the Ger or Giores has no family whatsoever. 47 And if a stranger who is a settler with thee be waxen rich, and thy brother be waxen poor beside him, and sell himself unto the stranger who is a settler with thee, or to the offshoot of a stranger's family, 48 after that he is sold he may be redeemed; one of his brethren may redeem him; 49 or his uncle, or his uncle's son, may redeem him, or any that is nigh of kin unto him of his family may redeem him; or if he be waxen rich, he may redeem himself. 50 And he shall reckon with him that bought him from the year that he sold himself to him unto the year of jubilee; and the price of his sale shall be according unto the number of years; according to the time of a hired servant shall he be with him. 51 If there be yet many years, according unto them he shall give back the price of his redemption out of the money that he was bought for. 52 And if there remain but few years unto the year of jubilee, then he shall reckon with him; according unto his years shall he give back the price of his redemption. 53 As a servant hired year by year shall he be with him; he shall not rule with rigor over him in thy sight. 54 And if he be not redeemed by any of these means, then he shall go out in the year of jubilee, he, and his children with him. 55 For unto Me the children of Israel are servants; they are My servants whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
26:1 Ye shall make you no idols, neither shall ye rear you up a graven image, or a pillar, neither shall ye place any figured stone in your land, to bow down unto it; for I am the LORD your God.
One should not think that because the previous residents of Eretz Yisrael were idol worshippers, that you can continue this wicked form of worship.
2 Ye shall keep My Sabbaths, and reverence My sanctuary: I am the LORD.
This reference is written in plural to emphasize many weekly Shabbosos, Yom Tov, Shmita and Yovel. Rashi writes I am the LORD meaning that HASHEM will reward those who follow, observe and guard the Shabbos. I want you to note that Rashi does not use any fire and brimstone for non-observance or desecration of Shabbos. I assume that Rashi figured that his generation was well versed in Perkei Avos Chapter Three Mishnah One and would think deeply before violating the Shabbos. The concept of acting on impulse and everything here and now was a Roman pleasure concept and foreign to Judaism and the original off shoot Christians but as they became a religion for all peoples they incorporated and absorbed many symbols and customs. For if one would think what rest, spiritual reflection and strengthening immediate family ties does for one vs. violation of the Shabbos no one would ever rush head first over the cliff of temporary unsatisfied pleasure.
Clarification regarding the Omer Counting Week 4 means the 4th week we count today is day 24 which is 3 weeks and 3 days in Omer.
Day Three of Week 4: Tiferes of Netzach 24th Day of the Omer
Healthy endurance, directed to develop good qualities and modifying bad ones, will always be compassionate. The compassion of endurance reflects a most beautiful quality of endurance: an enduring commitment to help another grow. Endurance without compassion is misguided and selfish. Endurance needs to be not just loving to those who deserve love, but also compassionate to the less fortunate. Does my determination compromise my compassion for others? Am I able to rise above my ego and empathize with my competitors? Am I gracious in victory?
Exercise for the day: Be patient and listen to someone that usually makes you impatient.
Day Four of Week 4: Netzach of Netzach 25th Day of the Omer
Examine the endurance aspect of endurance, its expression and intensity. Everyone has willpower and determination. We have the capacity to endure much more than we can imagine, and to prevail under the most trying of circumstances.
Ask yourself: Is my behavior erratic? Am I inconsistent and unreliable? Since I have will and determination, why am I so mercurial? Am I afraid of accessing my endurance and committing? Do I fear being trapped by my commitment? If yes, why? Is it a reaction to some past trauma? Instead of cultivating endurance in healthy areas, have I developed a capacity for endurance of unhealthy experiences? Do I endure more pain than pleasure? Do I underestimate my capacity to endure?
Exercise for the day: Commit yourself to developing a new good habit.
Day Five of Week 4: Hod of Netzach 26th Day of the Omer
Yielding - which is a result of humility - is an essential element of enduring. Standing fast can sometimes be a formula for destruction. The oak, lacking the ability to bent in the hurricane, is uprooted. The reed, which yields to the wind, survives without a problem. Do I know when to yield, out of strength not fear? Why am I often afraid to yield?
Endurance is fueled by inner strength. Hod of netzach is the humble recognition and acknowledgement that the capacity to endure and prevail comes from the soul that G-d gave each person. This humility does not compromise the drive of endurance; on the contrary, it intensifies it, because human endurance can go only so far and endure only so much, whereas endurance that comes from the Divine soul is limitless.
Do I attribute my success solely to my own strength and determination? Am I convinced that I am all powerful due to my level of endurance? Where do I get the strength at times when everything seems so bleak?
Exercise for the day: When you awake, acknowledge G-d for giving you a soul with the extraordinary power and versatility to endure despite trying challenges. This will allow you to draw energy and strength for the entire day.
Day Six of Week 4: Yesod of Netzach 27th Day of the Omer
Bonding is an essential quality of endurance. It expresses your unwavering commitment to the person or experience you are bonding with, a commitment so powerful that you will endure all to preserve it. Endurance without bonding will not endure.
Exercise for the day: To ensure that your new resolution should endure, bond with it immediately. This can be assured by promptly actualizing your resolution in some constructive deed.
Day Seven of Week 4: Malchus of Netzach 28th Day of the Omer
Sovereignty is the cornerstone of endurance. Endurance that encompasses the previous six qualities is indeed a tribute and testimony to the majesty of the human spirit.
Is my endurance dignified? Does it bring out the best in me? When faced with hardships do I behave like a king or queen, walking proudly with my head up, confident in my G-d-given strengths, or do I cower and shrivel up in fear?
Exercise for the day: Fight for a dignified cause.
Day One of Week 5: Chessed of Hod 29th Day of the Omer
Week Five - Hod
If endurance is the engine of life humility is its fuel. As gevurah (discipline) gives Chessed (love) focus, hod gives netzach direction.
Humility is the silent partner of endurance. Its strength is in its silence. Its splendor in its repose. Humility leads to yielding, which is an essential element of Humility - and the resulting yielding - should not be confused with weakness and lack of self-esteem.
Humility is modesty; it is acknowledgement (from the root "hoda'ah"). It is saying "thank you" to G-d. It is clearly recognizing your qualities and strengths and acknowledging that they are not your own; they were given to you by G-d for a higher purpose than just satisfying your own needs. Humility is modesty; it is recognizing how small you are which allows you to realize how large you can become. And that makes humility so formidable.
Endurance draws its energy from the acknowledgement of humility. Human endurance goes only as far as your tolerance level. Acknowledging that your strengths come from a higher place gives you the power to endure far beyond your own perceived capacity. It gives you part of G-d's enduring strength.
A full cup cannot be filled. When you're filled with yourself and your needs, "I and nothing else", there is no room for more. When you "empty" yourself before something which is greater than yourself, you allow in much more than your limited capacity. Humility is the key to transcendence; to reach beyond yourself. Only true humility gives you the power of total objectivity.
Humility is sensitivity; it is healthy shame out of recognition that you can be better than you are and that you expect more of yourself. Although humility is silent it is not a void. It is a dynamic expression of life that includes all seven qualities of love, discipline, compassion, endurance, humility, bonding and sovereignty. Humility is active not passive. Not a state of being but an interaction even in its calm and inaction.
Day One of Week 5: Chessed of Hod
Examine the love in your humility. Healthy humility is not demoralizing; it brings love and joy not fear. Humility that lacks love has to be reexamined for its authenticity. Sometimes humility can be confused with low self-esteem, which would cause it to be unloving.
Humility brings love because it gives you the ability to rise above yourself and love another. Arrogance in the guise of love means loving yourself, or what is even worse: making others a part and an extension of yourself and your self-love.
Does my humility cause me to be more loving and giving? More expansive? Or does it inhibit and constrain me? Am I humble and happy or humble and miserable?
Exercise for the day: Before praying with humility and acknowledgment of G-d, give some charity. It will enhance your prayers.
Day Two of Week 5: Gevurah of Hod 30th Day of the Omer
Humility must be disciplined and focused. When should my humility cause me to compromise and when not? In the name of humility do I sometimes remain silent and neutral in the face of wickedness?
Another aspect of gevurah of hod: Humility must include respect and awe for the person or experience you stand humble for. If my humility is wanting, is it because I don't respect another?
Exercise for the day: Focus in on your reluctance in any give area to see if it originates from a healthy, humble place.
Excerpt from The Spiritual Guide to Counting the Omer, by Simon Jacobson. ©Copyright The Meaningful Life Center, 2011. All rights reserved. www.meaningfullife.com
Halachos from Danny Shoemann
The custom is to say extra Selichos on the first "Monday, Thursday and Monday" in the month following Pessach and Sukkoth. Some communities do this on the last "Monday, Thursday and Monday" of the month. Since Monday is "Yom Sheni" or "Yom Bet - ב" and Thursday is "Yom Chamishi" or "Yom Heh - ה" these days are referred to as BeHaB - בה"ב some people have the custom to fast on BeHaB. A special Mi-Sheberach was recited on Shabbat before the Torah was returned to the Aharon Hakodesh to bless those who will fast. Despite being a "private" (not communal) fast day, a person need not "declare his intention to fast" during the Mincha-Amida of the preceding day, if he answered Amen to the Mi-Sheberach. Yet, answering Amen to the Mi-Sheberach does not oblige one to fast. Even if one intended to fast when answering Amen and then on the designated day there was a Seudas Mitzva (e.g. Brit Mila or Siyum or Pidyon HaBen) one should join the meal and not fast. However, if one "declared his intention to fast" during the Mincha-Amida of the preceding day, then one needs to fast. Tomorrow (Monday), and Thursday and next week Monday are BeHaB in most communities.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 127:3, 14
When entering a Jewish cemetery - or seeing Jewish graves, one says a Bracha.
This Bracha is only said if one has not seen Jewish graves in the past 30 days.
The Bracha is:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱלקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם
אֲשֶׁר יָצַר אֶתְכֶם בַּדִין, וְזָן וְכִלְכֵּל אֶתְכֶם בַּדִין
וְהֵמִית אֶתְכֶם בַּדִין, וְיוֹדֵעַ מִסְפַּר כֻּלְּכֶם בַּדִין
וְהוּא עָתִיד לְהַחֲיוֹתכֶם וְלַקַיֵם אֶתְכֶם בַּדִין
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' מְחַיֵה הַמֵּתִים
"Blessed are you Hashem, Our Gcd, King of the universe, Who fashioned you with justice, nourished and sustained you with justice, took your lives with justice, and knows the sum total of you all with justice, and He will restore and resuscitate you with judgment. Blessed are you Hashem, Who resuscitates the dead.
One then continues with:
אַתָּה גִּבּוֹר לְעוֹלָם, אֲד-נָי. מְחַיֵּה מֵתִים אַתָּה, רַב לְהוֹשִׁיעַ. מְכַלְכֵּל חַיִּים בְּחֶסֶד, מְחַיֵּה מֵתִים בְּרַחֲמִים רַבִּים, סוֹמֵךְ נוֹפְלִים, וְרוֹפֵא חוֹלִים, וּמַתִּיר אֲסוּרִים, וּמְקַיֵּם אֱמוּנָתוֹ לִישֵׁנֵי עָפָר. מִי כָמוֹךָ בַעַל גְּבוּרוֹת, וּמִי דוֹמֶה לָּךְ, מֶלֶךְ מֵמִית וּמְחַיֶּה וּמַצְמִיחַ יְשׁוּעָה. וְנֶאֱמָן אַתָּה לְהַחֲיוֹת מֵתִים
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 60:11
If one experiences a miracle, one should celebrate the day of the miracle every year. On this day one should set aside time to thank Hashem for the miracle and to talk about the miracle. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 61:3
Before making the Bracha on counting the Omer, one should know which day one is going to count. If one has not yet counted the Omer, and somebody wants to know which day we're up to, you should tell them "yesterday was day such-and-such". If, instead, you replied "today is such-and-such" you may not be allowed to make a Bracha on that night's count, since you already counted. However, you should still count "properly" (without a Bracha) since you have to mention the weeks as well as the days.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 120:3
Umbrellas on Shabbat and Yom Tov: We learned in previously that making roofs on Shabbat is forbidden. Therefore it's forbidden to open an umbrella on Shabbat. Even carrying an open umbrella on Shabbat or Yom Tov is forbidden. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 80:82 Shabbat Shalom - Danny
A Private Miracle as retold from the 40th anniversary in 5766
Now on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of two private miracles, I am posting this week the occurrence of the first one and next week the continuation.
As I wrote last week, I am about to tell a very-very personal story. It was the spark that initiated my becoming Frum. But first a bit of a background first: I was brought up a 6th Generation Reform Jew. My grandfather, a cigar smoker, had insisted that I start learning in Reform Sunday School for my Bar Mitzvah so after the High Holidays of 1956 (5716) my mother enrolled me in the Steven Wise Free Synagogue. It was almost completely free of being a Synagogue and anybody who went there could not easily become the Wise son.
I was just a little over 9 and 1/2 when I introduced our first Chanucha into our house and little be known to me the first Seder that I was to conduct would only be reported to my dying grandfather in the cancer ward of Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx. I never had what Rabbi Simon Jacobson wrote this year:
“Tatte, ich vel ba dir fregen fir kashes…” (Father, I will ask you four questions).
That is how I – and millions of other children – would begin asking the traditional four questions at the annual Passover Seder.
This year, for the first time in my life, I do not have my father before me to ask him the questions. I will not sit at his table, as I did for so many years, watching him quietly smile as we would pose the four questions.
No I had to conduct the Seder myself, because my father had been a child sent to a Catholic Orphanage at the age of 3 during WWI and he never had a Seder from his anti-religious father. I even tried to answer the questions in my own way from my scanty knowledge of Torah on that first Seder. Due to my bed time and it was daylight savings time, the Seder was conducted before Sun down. In fact we had no knowledge of selling Chometz or the forbidden use of Chometz. This was in fact the first year that we had Matzos in the house. My mother treated me to a dish called Gefilte Fish that I had never heard of and for me made Matzo Ball Soup.
As the Reform wear their Tallisim as a scarf and we had no Tallis in the house, I grabbed the hand me down Scarf that I inherited from my anti-religious grandfather to have some sort of link to the elders and conducted the Seder in English from the Reform book that I had received from the "Temple". My father told me that I was making a joke of the religion to which I answered that I had no Tallis and this was the closest thing that I had and a link with my forefathers.
A year or two later, I visited my friend whom I was to learn in my adulthood the son of members of the Communist Party. They invited me to a lunch at their house and they were going to put Bacon on their Matzos. Now eating Bacon on Bread during Pessach might not have bothered me but not on Matzos that were something holy during Pessach so I declined. This was perhaps one of some of the tests that I had from HASHEM but at that time it did not correlate with me but reflecting back over the years, the refusal although far from Yiddishkeit was a religious plus for a fellow too young to fully observe Mitzvos.
When I was close to 14 the Reform Rabbi of the Free Synagogue of Flushing was teaching me how to become an Atheist. I walked out of the Synagogue, left the Reform and eventually did become an Atheist or Agnostic at the age of 16 but I didn't need to be Jewish or have Synagogue for that. That test I passed, but the atheistic-liberalism from the Reform teaching had wounded my soul so perhaps this caused the slippage at the age of 16. For life is not a continuous Aliyah in gains but steps forwards and backwards.
Something else happened to me during these years, I spent my whole free time in Astronomy with the exception of dating like a red blooded non-religious fellow does. When the Ranger Seven went to the moon, the first photos were transmitted back live and I watched them with my friend. I told him, "I saw these photos before, I remember them." Then I recalled a series of dreams that I had around the age of 12 or 13 and passed it off a coincidence and my concentration on Astronomy.
During my first year of College in CCNY, things were not going as I had expected. I had managed to skip a year of College Chemistry and Physics, but going into the second year with first year of Calculus not under my belt and getting used to a new environment was hard. I had not listened to my friend Jerry who told me do the course again and “get a few A's under your belt.” Well that was my desire to graduate younger - I guess to get to Vietnam quicker. Still I entered CCNY and revised a non-existent Astronomy Club with the help of Professor Cotton. At the end of the year, I worked as an assistant for him and proctored the final examination. After the exam a woman came up to me old enough to be my mother. She was interested how a freshman could proctor an examination and where I learned Astronomy from. Her name by the way, Toby Willig* whom I would have years later for guidance on my path to becoming Frum. All this time, I lead weekend Astronomy expeditions to my country house in Greenwood Lake, NY. *She later become the President of Emunah and is the mother of Rabbi David Willig Shlita.
It was the weekend of April 21 to 23. Archie (aside note for those who remember the comic books – he was married to a Betty so I found out how the Archie comics that I read as a kid ended) drove me up to the bungalow. We were going to observe the last of the Lyrid Meteor Shower, took photos of the sky on Friday and Saturday nights. (Remember I am an Agnostic more Goy than Jew) On Sunday morning after coming up from our observing position on the dock with an 85 to 90% view of the sky I noticed a drunk driver had rammed the mailboxes on the side of road and I changed my camera setting from night to day (that would prove a bad mistake). I figured that I could get a write up about 18 year olds from NJ that drove to NY to drink in our local Greenwood Lake paper (but I never did in the end).
After resting up, we drove home to the City. The next morning I had a dream that was about to change my life. I dreamt that I was going to see the biggest fireball meteor that I ever saw in my life. (Including to this day) I dreamt that I was going to see this great fireball, get my name in the New York Times with the article starting on the front page and then meeting two female class mates outside of the Physics office in CCNY getting congratulations and a kiss on the check from them and being congratulated by Professor Mark W. Zemansky. (The famous Physics book in those days was Sears & Zemansky and he was a famous specialist in Thermodynamics. A great dream especially the part with the girls and that was that. (I bet you expected a young non-religious assimilated youth to dream of meeting Rav Moshe Feinstein, The Lubavitcher Rebbe and Rav Yosef Baer Soleveichik by the Physics Dept.)
But wait, that afternoon I was on the number 7 train home from CCNY on the elevated part of the tracks and I looked out towards the south and said to myself "The Meteor is going to come out of the South". It was late in the afternoon and I was restless. For some reason, I could not learn. I figured I would walk over 13 blocks to my friend Carl and go across the street from him to Dr. Glass's Pharmacy to purchase sunglasses.
Carl decided to walk me back to my house to get some exercise. We were going up Greenpoint Ave between 47th and 46th street when Carl said to me, "Take off those sunglasses you look like an idiot as the Sun has just set." No sooner did I remove them and place them in my pocket. Carl says, "Look at that it is too bright to be a meteor it must be a UFO!" Sure enough going from South to North was a meteor with a diameter as wide as the moon leaving a giant contrail in the sky. I raced home to get my camera. But I had my focus stop at F22 for the mailbox photo instead of F2 for the contrail photo.
Somehow the dream was in the background and I managed to call up the NY Times. I gave them my roll of film and a full scientific report on the meteor, speed, color, and other details. They wrote the article. Some lucky fellow managed to actually photograph the meteor in flight so I was out of luck especially because of my camera F stop. And the next day, everything fell into place.
So did I recognize the miracle - of course not. Why should I believe it was more than an accident and I went about my school work on April 25th, '66 with little worries and cares and bit of pride for making the NY Times. (In those days it was not known as an extreme leftist rag). All went about according to the laws of nature and I continued my studies through summer school to learn more Calculus like electron spin Matrixes.
In early August, I had finished my summer school and was back up at Greenwood Lake waiting for the Perseid Meteor Shower. It was a cloudy night so as I lay in my bed, I began to reflect on the physics behind my dream. Let's see my brainwaves were in my bed on the morning of April 24th and the earth was in such and such a point in space traveling in its orbit at 25,000 mile per day going around the Sun at 18,000 miles per hour with the Sun going around the galaxy at such and such miles per hour. My mind waves had gone to the observance of the meteor then to the NY Times that evening, the reading of the NY Times article on my way to College, the Physics Dept. the Next Morning and also on the Subway Train the previous day. Trying to figure out things I realized that my mind had been: (1) Back and forth in time. (2) My brainwaves had traveled back and forth instantly distances greater than the speed of light. This called for a new theory of Physics that could explain the phenomena. I began to go deeper and deeper into the consequences of my theory. There was a dimension above time and space for this travel (little did I know that Klein in 1923 had come up with a 5th dimension and in the future around 1980 Prof. Schwartz of UCLA was going to come up with 11 dimensions proven mathematically.) My conclusion was that one's brain waves somehow could travel physically back and forth to anyplace in the Universe instantly! I called this the Principle of Cosmic Unity or the Principle of Oneness. This would be the biggest thing in my family since the Exclusion Principle. My mind was ticking away faster than any quad Pentium D will ever be. Suddenly the Oneness hit me like a ton of bricks. The Universe is ONE! Suddenly, something vague buried deep in my subconscious from 9 years back in Sunday School hit me. One of the few sentences that I knew in Hebrew "SHEMA YISRAEL HASHEM ELOKAYNU HASHEM EHUD" (Hear O'Israel, The L-RD our G-D, The L-RD is One.)
The Good Mapamnik debates the man with the Kipa:
Politically, I was moving more to the right but religiously, I was still with Mapam and the anti-religious people. The week after my new physics theory, I was back in CCNY to pick up my grades and I stopped off at the Physics Dept. A fellow named Himmelstein was packing up his stuff as he was going for his MS and PhD at Columbia University and leaving us. I had never said more to him than hello or goodbye but my theory was in the back of my mind. I wanted to find out from him if G-D could exist. We debated and argued for a few hours about Cain meeting his wife and other G-D walking in Gan Eden, The Hand of G-D, etc. I had a Catholic concept of Heaven and Hell and he dispelled that. My whole Atheistic an Agnostic belief was just about out the window after about two hours of debate and me absorbing everything he said about miracles being natural events with minute probabilities. **
Still it was going to take another miracle to get me solid in my faith and a visit from my friend Howard to set me on the right track but that is going to be another story later on. I will only end this part of the story with a note. For some time I learned Chavrutha in Rehovot with Dr. Pinchas Fuchs. We debated whether or not one should say Hallel on Yom HaAtzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) or not. He replied to me that even for a private miracle one should say Hallel all the more so for a national miracle. I decided to look for the Newspaper Clipping that I had from ’66. It turned out that it said April 25, ’66. I looked up the date: Hey or the 5th of Iyar! (Ind. Day) The two days of Miracles occurred on the 4th and 5th of Iyar! 7 years after the meteor on the same Hebrew Calendar night, my son Asher Shalom was born! Copied and pasted from above is the very timely writing by Danny Shoemann If one experiences a miracle, one should celebrate the day of the miracle every year. On this day one should set aside time to thank Hashem for the miracle and to talk about the miracle. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 61:3
**To be continued ble Neder! All I can tell you that starting from Scratch in those days was hard. I had no fine friend like Nicole who sent me this site on prayer to guide me. http://www.jewfaq.org/prayer.htm#Berakhot It would take me close to a year and a half or two to get up to the understanding available to everybody on this site. Or these sites that Michael wrote me: http://ohr.edu/ask_db/ask_main.php/231/Q4/ http://www.jewishmag.com/92mag/blessings/blessings.htm
http://www.torah.net/eng/kids/brachot/meaning.htm Berakha at http://www.ottmall.com/mj_ht_arch/v49/index.html#VAR
An aside note to the above story, as I went through the Vayikra 5766 posts to look for a continuation of the story, I found interesting articles about the gathering of the Nations and some of Sanhedrin 97A on the coming of the Moshiach. But most tragic of all the stories was the story of Gush Katif which still hasn’t found permanent housing to many residents to this day. I found advice to husbands about loving and paying more attention to their wives and not taking them for granted.
From a non-Jew F.D. this individual has very profound thoughts. Searching for God
This won’t speak to the people who have too much at stake when it comes to living their lives in the lifestyle in which they have become accustom to. This is more for the people who’ve been searching their whole lives for that ultimate meaning and are willing to set their egos aside to stare in the face of utter reality for at least a moment at a time. Honestly.
But when my friends & family look at me strange at the comments I make and the way I live my life and why God is always in the picture. I wrote this for them. There’s a whole lot of do’s and do not’s in the Bible. But there’s no point in learning them to keep if you haven’t determined for yourself first. That there is a God who spoke them. Not a God who says things and you only listen to the “good” parts that fit in with your current value system. That would be just too convenient. There’s plenty of people I know that think God agrees with them but they’re really just saying things and don’t back it up. Again there’s that oh so convenient ignorance factor working in their favor. If you do this then how will you ever know the difference between what’s coming from an objective source –like God and what’s just coming from your ego?
I mean how do you know that God wants you to get a divorce or stay married? Or insert X statement that God supposedly agrees with me about. You just know? Or is that just what you want to hear? How do any of us know what God “wants”? Especially since many of us don’t really live convinced that he exists and is present or absent from our lives and the choices we make in them?
What IF God doesn’t really agree with you at all and you haven’t taken the time to find out what he’s really saying? Most people I know don’t feel comfortable at the thought of a “deity” not agreeing with their lifestyle choices. That just sounds too scary for some people. So God doesn’t exist either consciously or unconsciously. That’s their answer. The problem for some people is too, that they don’t know HOW to look. What kinds of questions do I need to ask myself in order to know IF in fact there IS or is NOT a God? Is God physical? That’s the biggest one. Can I “run” into him down town? See him crossing the street? Have a drink at the bar with him?
If you look at the Roman pantheon of gods they all ate, drank, dressed and had sex like humans. Is God human too? Somehow I don’t think so because someone would have HAD to have a picture with God on Facebook if that were really true. Just to “prove” he exists. But nobody does. (She obviously never heard HaRav Amnon Yitzchak’s tape with the physical proof of G-D under the title ‘Athos Pathos…’ which was given in Hebrew. But she found a similar argument below explained in English.) What’s the reason for that? To me, by process of elimination, God can’t be physical.
Obviously there is more that can and should be said on the non-physicality of God. But if God were truly physical then he would be “alive” like the rest of us which also means he can also “die” like the rest of us. That doesn’t strike me as a very all-powerful being. God can’t die can he? What’s left to us if God is not physical?
The Torah says one should KNOW that God exists. One of the 13 Principles of Faith! And second that he is not physical. If the inquiring mind has not given up there then the question is… well to me. So if there is a God and there are some choices I can make:
A) I decide what God is and wants. This is called “making up” your own religion based on your needs and wants.
B) Decide there is no God because I only live a physical life and if I can’t see it, smell it, taste it, hear it, see it. THEN it does not really exist.
C) Decide I don’t know enough –yet and I’m still searching. I’m willing to recognize that any existence outside my own will operate according to its own volition regardless of my own wants and needs. And I want to be intellectually honest enough to not let my own ego stand in the way of finding out if in fact there is a God or not.
If I choose “C” then it leads me to a new set of decisions. Well SOMEONE’s had to have found God because there’s all these organized religions to look into that supposedly speak for God. Let’s explore one of those. I don’t want to write a book on why I personally settled on Judaism. There is a plethora of writings out there. I explored Zen, outright paganism (Wicca), hardly look at Hinduism and quite by accident learned about Judaism.
For me it started with the Matrix and went from there… I’ve been studying on my own and only recently with various rabbis. But when it comes to proofs of God’s existence this website started me in a direction. Followed by a couple of others.
But let me save you the trouble because I know it would be too much effort to follow that link. Article to follow: I’m not going to tell you what to think. You’re all adults capable of making your own decisions. And that is in the end the entire point. God created us as thinking beings. As my favorite rabbi says I MUST follow my own mind. Don’t expect me to tell you how to think or what to think. That’s your job. But I am sharing with you what I think. Just step back and look at the results and decide for yourself.
Article on Torah.org Written by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman on Ibn Pakudah's Duties of the Heart. (She took this from the Torah.org site and the book is very-very deep and is translated from Arabic to Hebrew and then into English making it very difficult to learn – one of the few books that I have had for around 40 years and have not finished the Hebrew and English.)
The Duties of the Heart Ibn Pakudah Torah.org article Duties of the Heart Gate 1 Chapter 5 http://torah.org/learning/spiritual-excellence/archives.html
We're about to present and prove three logical premises. And the fact that each will be proven to be true will lead us to conclude without a doubt that G-d exists, and that He created the world (as will be expanded upon in the next few chapters). Now, we in modernity will be somewhat taken aback by the foreignness and seeming oddness of the arguments presented, since they'll be based on ancient systems of logic. But two points are to be made about that.
First that we're indeed capable of accommodating the trains of thought we'll be exposed to, if we just allow ourselves to suspend disbelief as the expression goes. And second that, as we indicated before, what we're being presented with here are Ibn Pakudah's own proofs of G-d's existence -- not the Torah's per se. As such, it's perfectly reasonable to expect them to be rooted in his time and place; and it's also perfectly reasonable to see them as one way of proving G-d's existence, rather than as the definitive one. Let's go on with that in mind.
In Ibn Pakudah's own words. The first premise is that nothing creates itself. The second is that since there's only a finite number of beginnings, there must be one instance of beginning that preceded all the others. And the third is that all composites had to have been created.
We'll go about proving that nothing creates itself-- our first premise-- thusly.
It only stands to reason that anything that comes into existence either had to have created itself, or to have been created by something or someone else.
Now, if it created itself, then we're forced to posit that it either created itself before it itself existed, or after. But both are absurd, obviously. Because if you contend that it created itself after it itself came into existence, then what did it accomplish? After all-- it already existed. And if you claim that it created itself before it itself came into existence, then it didn't exist when it was supposed to have created itself, and something that's non-existent can't create or indeed do anything.
Obviously, then, nothing can create itself (which is our first premise), and everything had to have been created by something or someone else.
We can explain Ibn Pakudah's second premise-- that since there's only a finite number of beginnings, there must be one instance of beginning that preceded all the others-- thusly. This will get more than a little complex.
Let's start off by pointing out a number of things. First, that whatever comes to a conclusion has a beginning. And second, that it clearly began at one particular, definitive point in time (since there can only be one definitive instant in which anything begins). We can say the same about everything in creation. Everything had to have come about at a particular moment in time.
Now let's point out a couple of other things before we come back to the idea of there being a definitive moment when things come about. Which is that infinite things can't be broken down into parts. Let's go about proving this last point. Imagine something infinitely long (we'll call it Line A). Then imagine removing a piece of it (which we'll call Line B). You'd certainly have to say that whatever was left of Line A is somehow shorter than it had originally been before you took Line B away from it (so we'll call it Line A- now). If Line A- was still and all infinite, then we'd have to say that infinite Line A was longer than infinite Line A-. But that's absurd, since infinite is infinite, not infinite plus and infinite minus.
You couldn't then claim that Line A- was finite, either. Because if you returned Line B to Line A- and thus made it Line A again, then Line A itself would now have to be deemed finite (since it would now have points at which it begins and ends), and yet infinite at the same time (as it had always been). Hence it's absurd to speak of removing a piece of something infinite.
Ibn Pakudah's point, then, is that since we can remove (i.e., isolate) a piece of existence (i.e., history) from the whole of it (in our minds), it therefore follows that existence is finite (since you can remove a part of it, and something infinite cannot be divided as we indicated above). Since existence has been proven to be finite (or, non-eternal), then as we said above, there must be a finite number of beginnings for it, and logic dictates that there had to have been one definitive beginning point, i.e., an ultimate beginning (which is our second premise).
And now we set out to prove Ibn Pakudah's third premise: that all composites had to have been created.
Composites (which all of existence is, in fact) are, by definition, comprised of an amalgam of parts. Needless to say, the parts that make up the composite had to have come into existence before the composite itself did (after all, the parts had to first be gathered and joined together for there to then be a composite), and the composite had to have existed after what (or who) ever created it.
Now, since eternal things have no causes (after all, they were always there), and since what has no cause has no beginning, and what has no beginning has no end-- it follows then that anything that has a beginning isn't eternal.
And since anything non-eternal had to have been created at some point, it then follows that all composites (including all of existence) are non-eternal, and had to have been created at a certain point (which is our third premise).
We've thus proven all three premises to be true. The reader would do well to keep this chapter beside him to refer to, for we'll be citing its premises again and again in the following ones.
Perkei Avos Chapter 3 Mishnah 1 -5 http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/682516/jewish/English-Text.htm
1. Akavia the son of Mahalalel would say: Reflect upon three things and you will not come to the hands of transgression. Know from where you came, where you are going, and before whom you are destined to give a judgement and accounting. From where you came--from a putrid drop; where you are going--to a place of dust, maggots and worms; and before whom you are destined to give a judgement and accounting--before the supreme King of Kings, the Holy One, blessed be He.
Temptation of the Yetzer HaRa is always waiting mankind. In order to fight the Yetzer, according to Rabbi Akavia, we have to reflect on these three things and we will refrain from sin. Elsewhere in Avos it is written to think of the reward for sin vs. the reward for a Mitzvah. Opportunities for impropriety often occur but one who does such things does not weigh the consequences of being caught. Just look at Dr. Phil on the miserable couples where one was caught in infidelity or other misappropriate actions and what it does to the marriage.
2. Rabbi Chanina, deputy to the Kohanim, would say: Pray for the integrity of the government; for were it not for the fear of its authority, a man would swallow his neighbor alive.
This is of course that the government will function properly so that your neighbor will not build a wall cutting off your light and air, over extend the property line, bully you with no one to turn to and this need not be a neighbor but a town bully. For without the authority of law the man or clan with the most family members could take over the area. In the USA there was a famed dispute between the Hatfield and McCoy families that last for centuries until a few years ago the original reason for hatred and murder was long forgotten and peace was made. This only occurred because originally the area was wild with no government. So as much as the Rabbis resented the Roman laws and authority they saw the rule of civil law necessary to protect the general populace.
Rabbi Chanina son of Tradyon would say: Two who sit and no words of Torah pass between them, this is a session of scorners, as is stated, "And in a session of scorners he did not sit" (Psalms 1:1). But two who sit and exchange words of Torah, the Divine Presence rests amongst them, as is stated, "Then the G-d-fearing conversed with one another, and G-d listened and heard; and it was inscribed before Him in a book of remembrance for those who fear G-d and give thought to His name" (Malachi 3:16).
This is advice on whom to choose as a friend and how behave with friends. One needs a friend that will raise his spiritual level and behave morally.
From this, I know only concerning two individuals; how do I know that even a single individual who sits and occupies himself with the Torah, G-d designates reward for him? From the verse, "He sits alone in meditative stillness; indeed, he receives [reward] for it" (Lamentations 3:28).
Not everybody can be with a Chavrutha 24/7 – at night restless in one’s bed, on a plane, train, bus or even walking. If one reflects in the word of HASHEM one is on the right path.
3. Rabbi Shimon would say: Three who eat at one table and do not speak words of Torah, it is as if they have eaten of idolatrous sacrifices; as is stated, "Indeed, all tables are filled with vomit and filth, devoid of the Omnipresent" (Isaiah 28:8). But three who eat at one table and speak words of Torah, it is as if they have eaten at G-d's table, as is stated, "And he said to me: This is the table that is before G-d" (Ezekiel 41:22).
The lack of Torah is equivalent in the eyes of Rabbi Shimon as idol worship. This is a hidden reference to the Roman dinners where they would eat until full and then act as bulimics and clean their stomachs out in order to eat more. One must act like Yechezkel ben Buzi HaCohain and eat like the dinner was that of a Korban before HASHEM.
4. Rabbi Chanina the son of Chachina'i would say: One who stays awake at night, or travels alone on the road, and turns his heart to idleness, has forfeited his life.
The first reference is of course not to rabbis in a yeshiva, astronomers and people on guard duty but prowlers, stalkers and mad men. The roads at that time were filled with highway men and dangerous. (Remember the story of Rabbi Akiva and Nachum Gamzu?) Further reflection is that if a man goes even on the Torah Path but alone and against the consensus of the Sages he is putting himself in spiritual danger. The Nations of the World say that the idle brain is a devil’s playground and one will turn from doing good to going after his own heart and eyes which lead him astray.
5. Rabbi Nechunia the son of Hakanah would say: One who accepts upon himself the yoke of Torah is exempted from the yoke of government duties and the yoke of worldly cares; but one who casts off the yoke of Torah is saddled with the yoke of government duties and the yoke of worldly cares.
I look at the Kollelniks vs. most of us. They sit and learn in the Beis Medrash while the rest of the world worries about working and the rest of world is deeply involved in politics which the very learned Rabbis stay away from and only send lesser Rabbis to represent them in the Knesset or other governing bodies. One who is a financer of Torah activities is burdened by many things and many worries which distract from his own Torah learning. This was the agreement between Zevulun and Issachar where Zevulun did commerce and financed the Torah learning of Issachar and both benefited one from the charity and the other from the Torah learning that protected Zevulun too.
The Hareidi Soldier Jumped on the Grenade and Saved His Friends http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/144007
by Elad Benari
About 4,000 members of bereaved families gathered outside the Knesset on Sunday, the eve of Israel’s Memorial Day, for the second annual “Songs in their Memory” event. The evening included readings and songs in memory of Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terror, as well as clips documenting the lives of some of the victims.
This year, the first clip shown spoke of a fallen hareidi soldier who had saved the lives of the soldiers in his brigade after he jumped on a grenade that was thrown at them.
Moshe Yitzhak Toval was born on November 7, 1952 in Rehovot, to Malka and Eliyahu, Holocaust survivors from Romania. He studied at the Talmud Torah in Rehovot and Bnei Brak and later at a yeshiva in Haifa, and was discovered to have great talent, learning eagerly and persistently.
Toval also had a pleasant voice, was a wonderful prayer leader and was knowledgeable in the shofar blowing rituals. Moshe Yitzhak joined the IDF in January of 1971 and was assigned to the Nahal Haredi. His friends said that he “was a brave and good-hearted soldier, who was ready to give his all. During marches he could be always at the front, but he always chose to march in the back, not because of exhaustion, but out of a desire to help the weak.”
Toval spent the last few months of his army service done at the “Hamezach” post in the Suez Canal, where he was stationed at the start of the 1973 Yom Kippur War. The Israeli stronghold was attacked and he took part in the army’s attempts to stop the Egyptians, all the while being exposed to enemy fire. During one of the battles, Moshe Yitzhak was sent, along with three other fighters, to fight the Egyptians who greatly outnumbered them using only light weapons and hand grenades. During the battle one of the fighters shouted that a grenade had been thrown at the post. The four decided not to abandon the post and risk injury.
Moshe Yitzhak, who was firing at the enemy, jumped on the grenade and when it detonated, he absorbed most of the shrapnel and was killed while his three friends survived. His body was later handed to the Egyptians on a stretcher after the “Hamezach” post was surrendered. The Suez governor had promised to transfer the body for burial in Israel, but the body was returned only six years later, on September 12, 1979.
Moshe Yitzhak Toval’s family published a booklet in his memory with letters, pictures, and other memories, and his parents founded a synagogue in his name, “Heichal Moshe Yitzhak.”
Sunday evening’s “Songs in their Memory” event was initiated by the Knesset, the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Social Affairs. Among those taking part in the evening were Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, Social Welfare Moshe Kahlon, and other representatives, all of whom participated in readings in memory of the victims.
Israel’s annual Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism is commemorated throughout the day on Monday. It began on Sunday evening with the main ceremony at the Kotel Plaza.
Hillary gets the Charedi Boot: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4066616,00.html
Serious problems because of Syrian Refugees – nobody wants them : http://www.debka.com/article/20905/
Regarding my post on the Jet Fuel supply being contaminated at Ben Gurion Airport: Robert. K wrote - Out of all the fuel handled for the past 50 or more years, nothing has happened on this scale. The quality control and safety standards in the aviation industry make an accident next to statistically impossible. They use six sigma standards.
On Al Qaeda in Gaza: http://www.debka.com/article/20900/
For those who ride the rails in the USA: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4065375,00.html
Israel must keep her big mouth shut for once: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4065436,00.html
From Nancy – Hezballah ready for an attack in the States on many Jewish Communities: http://www.10news.com/news/27780427/detail.html
Iranian air strike is too dangerous for Israel only as a last resort http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4065739,00.html
Pakistan has a choice either a corrupt ISI or American Aide: http://www.debka.com/article/20912/
Pakistan is given another choice: http://www.debka.com/article/20914/
FBI will upgrade things: http://www.newsmax.com/Headline/fbi-bin-laden-death/2011/05/08/id/395615?s=al&promo_code=C3A9-1
Muslim Brotherhood and Obama: http://www.debka.com/article/20916/
Shhh- Hush super top secret not for mainstream media too religious: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/144044
Ugh my former University: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/144043
Back to the bad ole days as Cairo goes more and more anti-Israel: http://www.debka.com/article/20920/
SHAME-SHAME-SHAME on the ADL: http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?id=219994
Beware of the ides of May as Facebook makes for trouble with the Arabs along the Lebanese border and all over: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4067158,00.html
Real Inflation as the dollar devaluates See Sotah 49B: http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=297657
From Ralph R: Bin Laden’s One Mistake By Shmuel Sackett,
Manhigut Yehudit International Director http://www.israpundit.com/archives/35824One thing made Osama bin Laden public enemy #1. One thing made him a target for America ‘s hit squad. One thing – and only one thing – made his assassination justified and praised by world leaders. He didn’t just kill Jews. Had he limited his terrorism to Jews only, he would not have been targeted. The same world leaders who today take great pride in his death would have celebrated his life. He would not have been killed by President Obama; he would have dined with him. He would have been invited to the United Nations. He would have had a worldwide speaking tour. He would have won the Nobel peace prize.Think I’m crazy?
World history PROVES that I’m right! Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the President of Iran. His resume includes much more than just politics. He and his Persian mentors ordered Hezbollah to bomb the Jewish Community of Argentina in the `90s and killed hundreds of Jews. He has stated – time and again – that he wants to destroy Israel . He wants to kill the 6,000,000 Jews (interesting number) who live here and he is feverishly working to build a bomb that will do just that.
Has he been targeted? Is this animal on anyone’s “hit list”? Actually, just the opposite is true. He recently spoke in the UN. He was a guest speaker in Columbia University . Why? Because he is interested in killing only Jews. Khalid Mashaal is the leader of Hamas. Hamas is a sworn enemy of Israel. It has killed and maimed thousands of Jews since the “peace process” came about. It has fired more than 5,000 missiles into Israel, aiming for Jewish homes and hoping to kill Jewish children.
Has he been targeted? Is this beast on anyone’s “hit list?” Actually, just the opposite is true. Russian President Vladimir Putin recently invited Mashaal to Moscow .
Former US President Jimmy Carter has embraced Mashaal and considers him a “partner for peace.” Why? Because he is interested in killing only Jews. Yasser Arafat was the leader of the PLO for almost four decades. He has more innocent blood on his hands than bin Laden. Yet this murderer was a guest at the Clinton White House more than any other world leader! He spoke in the UN. He was accepted around the world as a leader and spoke in more than 30 countries. He won the Nobel Peace Prize. Why? Because he was interested in killing only Jews. [And his successor and former #2 deputy, Mahmoud Abbas, is as much of a Jew-murderer
as Arafat. Yet this terrorist leader, Abbas, was the very first person Obama honored with a phone call after being sworn in as president!]Although I can go on, I will give just one final example: Adolf Hitler. The world knew about his plans for the Jews as early as 1933. The world knew about Kristallnacht back in November of 1938, and of the concentration camps shortly thereafter. Yet the entire world called this monster “Herr” Hitler. They gave him respect. They recognized him as a world leader. But all that changed when Hitler invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. From that point on he became an enemy. Why? Because until that day he was interested in killing only Jews.
Osama bin Laden violated the golden rule: In addition to killing Jews, he also killed non-Jews. That is why he was targeted and for no other reason! The message to Jews – and the State of Israel – is very clear. Learn to defend yourself and your families. Learn to take revenge by yourself. Don’t hesitate to take preemptive action to save Jewish lives! The world will not help you with Iran, Syria, Egypt, Hamas, Hezballah, the Muslim Brethren, the PLO/PA, nor even – some would add – Obama.
Ahmadinejad, Abbas, and Mashaal will not make the same mistake as Bin Laden. They will continue to be accepted and embraced by the world. Understand this! Accept this! And deal with it!“ We have no one on whom to rely, other than our Father in Heave.” May today’s Jewish leaders – and the brave warriors of the IDF – engrave this on their hearts. And may they – very soon – do justice to these terrorists exactly as was done to Bin Laden.
Now for Mathis Wolfberg’s Good Shabbos Story “Smoking Gun”.
Good Shabbos Everyone. It was during World War II in March, 1944. The winds of war blew across the Atlantic, drawing United States forces into ground battle. R' Leizer Cohen was then thirty-six years old, married with three children. So, when an official looking letter from the United States Army appeared in the mail one day, R' Leizer did not become alarmed. But he was curious. R' Leizer opened the letter, wondering what the Army could possibly want from him.
When he read the contents, his face slowly lost its color until it matched the white paper in his hand. It was a draft notice! R' Leizer was overage, but the Army was understaffed. He was to report to the downtown Chicago address on Saturday morning. Anyone who failed to respond to the summons would be arrested. "On Shabbos?" R' Leizer whispered to himself. "There are no Jews downtown." But there was no getting out of it.
And this was just the beginning! How could he keep Shabbos— let alone observe all the Mitzvos—if he was drafted into the army? Despite his misgivings, R' Leizer gathered his belongings that Friday afternoon to spend Shabbos in a downtown hotel. He brought along Shabbos provisions—candles, wine, challah, a siddur and a Chumash, etc.
After his lonely Friday night meal, R' Leizer took out his Chumash to review the weekly Torah portion, Parshas Vayakhel. He reached the verse "Lo sevaaru Aish b'chol moslwosaichem b'yom Ha Shabbos—do not kindle a fire in all your dwellings on the Shabbos day (Shemos 35:3)."
For some reason, R' Leizer's mind refused to leave that verse. "Do not kindle a fire..." he kept repeating to himself. R' Leizer's eyes soon closed, but his mind still dwelled on the verse even in his dreams. "Do not kindle a fire..."
R' Leizer awoke the next morning, his heart heavy with dread. After Davening alone in his hotel room, he joined thousands of people in the induction center waiting to be examined by the Army doctors. It was a long day. R' Leizer was examined by doctor after doctor. For the first time in his life, he wished he wasn't in the best of health, but he passed each examination with flying colors.
Late in the afternoon, R' Leizer was seated opposite an obviously Jewish psychiatrist. After some routine questioning, R' Leizer voiced his concern about joining the Army. "Doctor, I'm an Orthodox Jew, and I'm very worried about how I'm going to be able to observe the Sabbath and all the other commandments in the Army. And who's going to take care of my wife and three children?"
R' Leizer waited for a response, but the doctor just shrugged, unmoved. R' Leizer watched him reach into his pocket to pull out a cigarette. As the match flared in the doctor's hand, the words of the Chumash from the night before flashed through R' Leizer's mind. "Do not kindle a fire..." "Doctor, you look Jewish. Why are you smoking on Shabbos?" R' Leizer admonished him. The doctor rolled his eyes. "Listen, it's been a long day— will you give me a break?"
But R' Leizer did not relent. He continued to expound on the prohibition of lighting a fire on Shabbos, that it was absolutely forbidden, and how could a Jew dare to do such a thing? As R' Leizer ranted on, the doctor furiously scribbled a few notes on the file in front of him. "Here," he said, interrupting R' Leizer mid-sentence. "Take this to the doctor in the next room."
The next doctor also appeared Jewish. R' Leizer handed him the file and sat down. The doctor looked down at the note, and then peered up at the man seated opposite him "Your name?" he began. R' Leizer responded dutifully to each question until this doctor, too, took out a cigarette and lit up.
The verse flashed again in R' Leizer's mind. "Do not kindle a fire..." R' Leizer couldn't hold himself back. "Doctor, you look Jewish. Why do you smoke on Shabbos?" The doctor looked up suddenly from the file and stared at R' Leizer "What?" he asked, incredulous. "Why do you smoke on Shabbos?" R' Leizer repeated. "Don't you know it's forbidden?" The doctor shook his head in disbelief.
"Oh, boy! You're too nervous for the United States Armed Forces. We don't need guys like you. Go home." Relieved, R' Leizer left the army induction center. He was so excited that he ran over four miles back home, where he told everyone about the miracle he had experienced. He went on to raise his family which continues to light up the world with Mitzvos and Chessed ... without of course ever "lighting up" on Shabbos!
We read about the holiness of Shabbos in this week's Torah portion Parshas Emor. When describing the Yomim Tovim (holidays) the Torah begins with the holiest holiday: Shabbos. Although it is difficult for us to measure in such a way, the commentator the Chasam Sofer writes that there is more holiness in one minute of Shabbos than in all the Yomim Tovim combined! Hashem tells us this week: "For six days labor may be done, and the seventh day is a day of complete rest, a holy convocation, you shall not do any work; it is a Shabbos for Hashem in all your dwelling places."
From this verse we learn many aspects about Shabbos. Shabbos is called a "convocation" which means "gathering." From here we learn the importance on Shabbos to spend time with family members with whom we may be too busy during the week to spend time. From the fact that the verse mentions "in all your dwelling places" we see the importance on Shabbos to be at home and not seek entertainment out in the world. Be being with our families at home on Shabbos, we Jews have been able to maintain a strong family unit throughout the centuries. This is only one of the benefits of keeping Shabbos properly.
Let us all therefore be inspired to make Shabbos "a day of complete rest..." Good Shabbos Everyone. Refuah Shleima to Reb Mordechai Menachem Mendel ben Tziporah Yitta
Refuah Shleima to Tsviah bas Bracha Leah
I met a Rav Tummim over 40 years ago. He refused to take off his Tzitzis for the US Army they classified him as crazy as far as Judaism goes both were fit as a fiddle.
Have a wonderful Shabbos and a peaceful one and good health to everybody.