Friday, July 8, 2011

Parsha Balak, Perkei Avos Chapter 5 Mishnah 6 -15

From last week’s Parsha – Liab pointed out to me that there was a vague ending to my comment after 19:20 and I found something lacking for the next line too. (My love is teaching Torah but sometimes Erev Shabbos my wife has precedence over this Drasha - hence an interruption in my thought processes.)

20 But the man that shall be unclean, and shall not purify himself, that soul shall be cut off from the midst of the assembly, because he hath defiled the sanctuary of the LORD; the water of sprinkling hath not been dashed against him: he is unclean.

There is a qualification that is one must be in Eretz Yisrael and have the accessibility to the ashes. Nowadays, we have access to Yisrael but not to the Ashes. The Kares does not apply since the majority of the Bnei Yisrael are Tumay we are allowed now to sacrifice a Korban Pessach from Tuma. The other Korbanos could not be released for working on/with for they would require a higher level of purity.

20: 1 And the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, came into the wilderness of Zin in the first month; and the people abode in Kadesh; and Miriam died there, and was buried there.

The Torah offers a solution to the disease (Tuma) before it occurs. So death over takes Miriam and the method for purification from the Tuma is already learned and can be put to use.

Parsha Balak

I read on the internet this week an article by Rabbi Max Weiman which gave me an inspiration to write the following introduction. In past years, I wrote that Balak was an excellent magician. In fact if I recall, the Medrash or Zohar classifies him as a better magician than Balaam. However, Balaam possessed the knowledge and ability to find out the exact second when HASHEM was angry at mankind or creation. This second allowed him to curse people during the time of anger. What happened was that he prepared the Mizbayach with the Korbanos for that very moment. However, on the days that Balaam was prepared to curse, HASHEM withheld himself from getting angry. Thus there was no ability given him of cursing Am Yisrael. After two attempts he realized that he did not have a chance but Balak asked to try a third time. When this failed (based on the Drasha of Rabbi Yossi Jankovits Shlita) Balak cursed Balaam that he would not have prophecy. But even without prophecy, Balaam already knew what would happen to Balak and his nation. The hatred that Balaam harbored for the Israelites was so great that he was prepared to ruin them at any cost. So he gave Balak the idea of Baal Peor worship. The Midian Women opened up stores with an old lady in front selling new garments. Inside the tent there was a semi-nude (see through clothing) or nude younger woman selling garments. Since after 40 years there was a chance to get new clothing for themselves and their wives, they would go in. There near a bed was a statue of Baal Peor. The person was offered sex for defecating in front of the statue which was not bowing down or putting a Korban but unfortunately was the way of worship. (Where else in the history of mankind have we heard of a god of excrement?) It did not cross the minds of the Bnei Yisrael that this was the method of worship. Since the L-RD despises immorality and idolatry that was the way to undermine the Nation. Balaam came back to get is reward after he heard that thousands of the Bnei Yisrael died from his advice. The Bnei Yisrael after receiving such a blow were commanded to go into battle against these stealthy enemies who caused us to sin. "Whoever has three particular traits is counted among the students of Abraham, and whoever has three other traits is among the students of Balaam. He who has a good eye, humility and contentedness is a student of Abraham, while he who has an evil eye, arrogance and greed is a student of Balaam." (Talmud, Perkei Avos 5:22)

22: 2 And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. 3 And Moab was sore afraid of the people, because they were many; and Moab was overcome with dread because of the children of Israel.

Up unto now Balak has not interacted with the Bnei Yisrael but he is running scared. So he sees that the Hanhaga of the Bnei Yisrael is above what we call natural so he turned to divination and witchcraft to combat it. He hired the best curser in the world who could generate a curse with almost 100% guarantee of success.

4 And Moab said unto the elders of Midian: 'Now will this multitude lick up all that is round about us, as the ox licks up the grass of the field.'

Up until now Midian was not in the path of the Bnei Yisrael or threatened so they get into the dispute sort of above their desire.

24:1 And when Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD to bless Israel, he went not, as at the other times, to meet with enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness.

Up until the time that he saw the Angel he had a bad eye to humanity. Once his eye was opened by the angel and he had seen a holy being, he had become holier. An alternative thought is that he had an eye disease or genetic disease and one eye was blind or closed. But then we see now he has use of both eyes.

2 And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel dwelling tribe by tribe; and the spirit of God came upon him. 3 And he took up his parable, and said: The saying of Balaam the son of Beor, and the saying of the man whose eye is opened; 4 The saying of him who hears the words of God, who sees the vision of the Almighty, fallen down, yet with opened eyes: 5 How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, thy dwellings, O Israel!

The tents are goodly, in that one door was not opposite another door and nobody could peer inwards. Aka in modern terms at night the blinds were drawn.

6 As valleys stretched out, as gardens by the river-side; as aloes planted of the LORD, as cedars beside the waters;

Cedars can rot with too much water and if they get higher than a giant then the wind can topple them. A Jew once cursed the people to be like reeds which are native to water and bend in the wind. Rabbi Jankovits points out that a curse from a friend is better than a blessing of an enemy.

7 Water shall flow from his branches, and his seed shall be in many waters; and his king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted. 8 God who brought him forth out of Egypt is for him like the lofty horns of the wild-ox; he shall eat up the nations that are his adversaries, and shall break their bones in pieces, and pierce them through with his arrows. 9 He couched, he lay down as a lion, and as a lioness; who shall rouse him up? Blessed be every one that blesses thee, and cursed be every one that curses thee.

Hugh? He came to curse the people of Israel and instead curses their enemies. Now what the heck is he doing to Balak who hired him to get rid of the Bnei Yisrael.

10 And Balak's anger was kindled against Balaam, and he smote his hands together; and Balak said unto Balaam: 'I called thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast altogether blessed them these three times. 11 Therefore now flee thou to thy place; I thought to promote thee unto great honor; but, lo, the LORD hath kept thee back from honor.' 12 And Balaam said unto Balak: 'Spoke I not also to thy messengers that thou didst send unto me, saying: 13 If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the LORD, to do either good or bad of mine own mind; what the LORD speaks, that will I speak?

Balak is ready to curse and kill Balaam. However, Balaam has a scheme on how to get the Bnei Yisrael on the bad side of HASHEM. For HASHEM hates idol worship and immodesty.

14 And now, behold, I go unto my people; come, and I will announce to thee what this people shall do to thy people in the end of days.' 25: 1 And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit harlotry with the daughters of Moab. 2 And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods; and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods.

According to the Medrash they defecated in front of Peor but that was the way the idol was worshipped and between that and wild sexual encounters the Anger of G-D was kindled against them.

3 And Israel joined himself unto the Baal of Peor; and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel. 4 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Take all the chiefs of the people, and hang them up unto the LORD in face of the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may turn away from Israel.' 5 And Moses said unto the judges of Israel: 'Slay ye everyone his men that have joined themselves unto the Baal of Peor.' 6 And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midian woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, while they were weeping at the door of the tent of meeting.

Moshe had married Tziporah before Matan Torah so he was exempt but now after the giving of the law, Zimri would now be guilty. Moshe could not complain because of his own permissible wife and it was if his mouth was filled with water and he was unable to reprove the man.

7 And when Pinchas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from the midst of the congregation, and took a spear in his hand. 8 And he went after the man of Israel into the chamber, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel. 9 And those that died by the plague were twenty and four thousand.

The Medrash describes miracles that occurred during the action of Pinchas.

Perkei Avos Chapter 5 Mishnah 6 – 15

6. Ten things were created at twilight of Shabbat eve. These are: the mouth of the earth [that swallowed Korach]; the mouth of [Miriam's] well;

Legend has it that Miriam’s well followed the Tribes around in the desert for 40 years from the time of Meribah until the time of her death and then lack of water.

the mouth of [Balaam's] ass;

This week’s Parsha allowing for the dumb animal to speak.

the rainbow; the manna; [Moses'] staff; the Shamir;

Fred Juneman speculated in R & D magazine in the 1970’s that the Shamir was some radioactive form of copper oxide it had the properties of cutting through or engraving on stone. Others and this is standard explanation that the Shamir was a special worm that could deposit some fluid that would etch valuable stones and cut the stones of the Beis HaMikdash. In the future we can use laser beams to cut rocks.

the writing, the inscription and the tablets [of the Ten Commandments]. Some say also the burial place of Moses and the ram of our father Abraham. And some say also the spirits of destruction

Spiritual Beings, which were created so close to Shabbos, that there was no time to give them a body.

as well as the original tongs, for tongs are made with tongs.

The Rabbis could not figure out a way to make molten iron tongs into tongs unless there was a previous tong. I can think of a method using rocks to make the wrought iron but it would not be my first choice.

7. There are seven things that characterize a boor, and seven that characterize a wise man. A wise man does not speak before one who is greater than him in wisdom or age. He does not interrupt his fellow's words. He does not hasten to answer. His questions are on the subject and his answers to the point.

I was told by somebody was a genius that some people with a high IQ tend to analyze the subject and can dissect it too much and even get off topic.

He responds to first things first and to latter things later.

Sometimes the nature of the question posed to the Rav is so that he is given the question in reverse order.

Concerning what he did not hear, he says "I did not hear." He concedes to the truth.

Often Rashi will say this is my opinion and it takes a man with guts to admit to the truth and swallow his pride.

With the boor, the reverse of all these is the case.

8. Seven types of retribution come to the world, for seven types of sin. When some tithe and others don't, a hunger caused by turmoil ensues: some are hungry; others have their fill of food. When all are unanimous in their failure to tithe, a hunger by drought ensues. For not separating challah, an annihilating hunger results. Plagues come to the world for those capital crimes mentioned in the Torah that have not been given over to the court, and for desecrating the produce of the sabbatical year.

All this comes from the behavior of the people in the land whether a majority or minority of the people the problems would come proportionally on the nation.

The sword comes to the world for the procrastination of justice, the corruption of justice, and because of those who misinterpret the Torah.

This is the fault of Beis Din. Delaying judgement for years on monetary or divorce cases or misleading the people through half-baked Torah learning and interpretation; this has nothing to do with deliberate violations of the Torah as the Reform do (Kiddush in their Schul on Yom Kippur).

9. Carnage by wild beasts comes to the world for false oaths and the desecration of G-d's name. Exile comes to the world for idol-worship, sexual promiscuity, murder and the failure to leave the land fallow on the sabbatical year.

There are four time-periods when plagues increase: on the fourth and seventh years [of the sabbatical cycle], on the year following the seventh, and following the festivals of each year. On the fourth year, because of [the neglect of] the tithe to the poor that must be given on the third year; on the seventh, because of the tithe to the poor that must be given on the sixth; on the year after the seventh, because of the produce of the sabbatical year; and following each festival, because of the robbing of the poor of the gifts due to them.

Mishnayos 8 and 9 are pretty self-explanatory and one can find explanation from Rabbis greater than myself on meanings.

10. There are four types of people: One who says, "What is mine is yours, and what is yours is mine" is a boor.

This is socialism and one can see what our Sages say on this.

One who says "What is mine is mine, and what is yours is yours" -- this is a median characteristic; others say that this is the character of a Sodomite.

This is the way of a democratic capitalist which is what you earn belongs to you and what I earn belongs to me. I can share or help you if you need.

One who says, "What is mine is yours, and what is yours is yours" is a Chassid (pious person).

This is a true Tzaddik who will help his neighbor even if he has to take the shirt off his own back if the neighbor is in need.

And one who says "What is mine is mine, and what is yours is mine" is wicked.

He wants everything an all cost even at the expensive of others to meet his own desires. An example of such a person is a thief or a rapists who violates the money or physical being of another to take what he wants.

11. There are four types of temperaments. One who is easily angered and easily appeased--his virtue cancels his flaw.

There are plenty of people who are stressed out and fly off the handle easily but once the volcano is over, they calm down.

One whom it is difficult to anger and difficult to appease--his flaw cancels his virtue.

Not all people fly off the handle easily but this type of person is hard to appease but once you get them to lose their temper they want to demand an apology for the wrong that they feel they suffered.

One whom it is difficult to anger and is easily appeased, is a Chassid.

Hillel the elder was able to control his anger but most people cannot but they should feel that after a few minutes it is non-sense.

One who is easily angered and is difficult to appease, is wicked.

He/she will always be flying off the handle at a drop of a hat and very difficult to calm down. It will never be forgive and forget but grudges will be held.

12. There are four types of student. One who is quick to understand and quick to forget--his flaw cancels his virtue.

It goes in one ear and out the other.

One who is slow to understand and slow to forget--his virtue cancels his flaw.

He may not grasp the learning immediately but once he learns he will not really forget.

One who is quick to understand and slow to forget--his is a good portion.

This is the type of person with a photographic memory or close to it with a great IQ.

One who is slow to understand and quick to forget--his is a bad portion.

The poor fellow learns and studies and then when the test comes or a practical example is out in the world he has forgotten what he learned.

13. There are four types of contributors to charity. One who wants to give but does not want others to give--is begrudging of others.

He is showing off – see how much I gave, I am great.

One who wants that others should give but does not want to give--begrudges himself.

When it comes to donating to places he does not donate to certain causes and when it comes to have others giving that is OK.

One who wants that he as well as others should give, is a Chassid.

I give to Kollel Beit Shlomo it is a great and worthy cause please give too and you will receive a blessing.

One who wants neither himself nor others to give, is wicked.

Bah Humbug!

14. There are four types among those who attend the study hall. One who goes but does nothing--has gained the rewards of going. One who does [study] but does not go to the study hall--has gained the rewards of doing. One who goes and does, is a Chassid. One who neither goes nor does, is wicked.

15. There are four types among those who sit before the sages: the sponge, the funnel, the strainer and the sieve. The sponge absorbs all. The funnel takes in at one end and lets it out the other.

The strainer rejects the wine and retains the sediment.

This is type of person who likes the Medrashim and stories and could not care less about the Halacha.

The sieve rejects the coarse flour and retains the fine flour.

This is the

Halacha from Danny Schoemann

When finding out joyous tidings or upon hearing good news from a reliable source, one says a Bracha.

If it only affects oneself, then one says Shehechiyanu; "... who has kept us alive, sustained us and permitted us to reach this occasion."
ברוך אתה ה' אלקינו מלך העולם
שהחינו וקימנו והגיענו לזמן הזה
If it affects a group of people then one says HaTov Vehametiv; "..Who is Good, and bestows good."
ברוך אתה ה' אלקינו מלך העולם
הטוב והמטיב
If one cannot say the Bracha right away - due to an unclean location or hands - then one can say it later, as long as one still feel the joy. Even if the joyful event will probably cause one trouble at a later date, one still says the Bracha. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 59:1,3

After eating meat or chicken, one must wait 6 hours before eating milky products. The Sephardim hold six hours via Halacha while the Ashkenazim hold according to local custom or family custom. The shortest amount is either an hour or 72 minutes of the Dutch Jewry and then the time period is 3 hours and then 5 hours and a minute to be in the sixth hour. Vegetables or a parve substance cooked in a meat pot that is not pungent can be as Danny wrote below. There is an exception if it is pungent like onions, chili peppers, etc. for they tend to intermix with the meat nature of the pot and then one is best to wait the full time unless you have an Orthodox Rabbi in the immediate vicinity who could find a Heter. But a little garlic or onion powder neutralized by more than 60 times bland vegetables should not concern us like Danny writes below.
Even if one only chewed the meat, but did not swallow it, one must still wait. If, after waiting 6 hours, one finds meat stuck between one's teeth, one has to remove it and rinse one's mouth and eat something solid before eating Milky, though one need not wait another 6 hours.
The simple fact is that the amount of meat in between the teeth are less than an olive’s bulk and partially digested by the saliva.
If the food did not contain any meat, chicken or gravy, but was simply cooked in a meaty pot - even if the pot wasn't spotlessly clean - then one may eat milk right afterwards.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 46:9-10
Some have the custom of only waiting 1 hour or 3 hours, and not 6 hours between meat and milk. Everybody should follow their family Minchag.

Today - 3 Tammuz - is the day that Yehoshua told the sun and moon to stop orbiting, as recounted in Sefer Yehoshua Ch.10, verses 12-14. Kiddush Levana - (the sanctification of the new moon) - can be found in any Siddur; usually after the Maariv service. Men have an obligation to say Kiddush Levana every month. The custom is that women do not say Kiddush Levana. Kiddush Levana cannot be said before the new moon is 3 days (72 hours) old. Some even wait until it's 7 days old. Kiddush Levana can only be said while the moon is waxing. Kiddush Levanah should not be said while standing under a roof. However, if this is impossible or impractical, then it can be said inside by a window.
Source Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 77:7, 8, 10

After Shacharis (morning prayers) a person should have a fixed time to to learn Torah; at least one verse or a single Halacha. The Torah requires everybody to have a fixed time to learn Torah every day and every night. Somebody who does not know how to learn Torah, or cannot find the time to learn, should support others who do learn Torah and they share the reward. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 27:1-2

It is forbidden to draw blood on Shabbat even from one's own body. One may not squeeze pimples or open up wounds on Shabbat, as that would cause puss and/or blood come out. One may remove scabs on Shabbat, if one is sure that no bleeding will occur. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 80:54, 91:14
Shabbat Shalom - Danny


Kivi Bernhard relates [square-bracketed explanations are the editor's]:

"It was 1982, and this was now my second Rosh Hashana that I would be traveling from South Africa as a teenageyeshiva student to spend with the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Before I departed from Johannesburg, my father Rabbi Nachman Bernhard, [one of South Africa's most important rabbis, a former guest-speaker at Ascent, and] who was a very close confidant of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, pulled me aside at the airport and shared the following with me: "There are many rabbis, rabbeim, teachers, sages and mentors the world over. But Kivi, a Rebbe is an entirely different thing altogether. As you go now to be at the Rebbe for the Yomim Tovim [High Holidays] you have the opportunity to observe what a Jew is in its essence. Watch the Rebbe intently and study the details. You will glean gems of Judaism."

My father had given me a mission, not just an instruction, and I was now on my way. His words were almost prophetic, as the following small but profound encounter took place while I was privileged to be nearby the Rebbe.

There is a well known tradition amongst Jews to share honey cake with one another the days before Rosh Hashana to induce a sentiment of "sweetness" as we head into the days of judgment. The day before Rosh Hashana [and before Yom Kippur] the Rebbe would distribute lekach [honey cake] and a short blessing for success, to many hundreds of people for hours on end.

For me, as a visitor to Crown Heights (the Rebbe's headquarters), Brooklyn, this was a major opportunity to have some "private time" with the Rebbe, and I made sure to be there early and assume my place in line. I found myself behind a very nice man who was clearly of Sefardi tradition. We spoke awhile and he shared with me that he was a Yemenite Jew living in Brooklyn who made an effort to see the Rebbe of Lubavitch whenever possible. We stood on line for about an hour before finding ourselves in the Rebbe's chambers about to receive lekach and a blessing from him.

My new friend was now up and stood in front of the Rebbe. In keeping with his Sefardi tradition, he instinctively sought to take the Rebbe's hand to kiss it (a well known practice among many Sefardi Jews when greeting a great Torah sage and personality). Suddenly however, my friend withdrew in response to verbal and some light physical pressure that was suddenly thrust on him from some of the young "organizers" that were "helping out" the Rebbe.

They felt they were doing the Rebbe a big favor by zealously discouraging anything that was not in keeping with the Chabad tradition. Even though there were many occasions where Sefardi leaders and Jews did in fact kiss the Rebbe's hand, it was not a custom of Chabad and might be seen as inappropriate amongst the "passionate" followers of the Rebbe. The Rebbe was clearly frustrated by this misplaced display of "righteous fervor" and the following fascinating and penetrating lesson unfolded.

As this Sefardi man responded to the pressure and retracted his hands that had reached out to kiss the hand of the Rebbe (in an effort to simply behave like everyone else), the Rebbe engaged him with a penetrating look and said,"Nu?" The Rebbe himself then extended his right hand back to the man, who then took it and kissed it.

The Rebbe then smiled at him, while all around registered what the Rebbe had just taught us. It was not only about the Rebbe insuring that another human being should not be embarrassed, but it was a critical message to validate the importance and bona-fide of a minhag klal Yisroel (established custom of the Jewish people), even though not the personal custom of the Rebbe or Chabad. This is why you see the Rebbe looking at the gentleman so intently while kissing his hand. The Rebbe wanted him to practice his tradition as a Sefardi Jew and to do so with joy, with passion and with completeness.

A Jewish custom and tradition is a holy thing. Through this encounter I had, the Rebbe certainly taught me, at least, that as we love our fellow Jews and draw them near, we must respect other Jewish traditions and practices, clearly understanding that they are not to become subject to our own personal interpretation or cultural whim and wham.

My father was absolutely right: the essence of the Rebbe served to show us who we are as Jews, not just what to do as Jews.

Source: Adapted by Yerachmiel Tilles from an email received from the Avner Institute .

Connection: Seasonal - Seventeenth yahrzeit of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, may his merit and his prayers continue to protect us.

Biographical note:
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe
(11 Nissan 1902 - 3 Tammuz 1994) became the seventh Rebbe of the Chabad dynasty after his father-in-law, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, passed away in Brooklyn on 10 Shvat 1950. He is widely acknowledged as the greatest Jewish leader of the second half of the 20th century. Although a dominant scholar in both the revealed and hidden aspects of Torah and fluent in many languages and scientific subjects, the Rebbe is best known for his extraordinary love and concern for every Jew on the planet. His emissaries around the globe dedicated to strengthening Judaism number in the thousands. Hundreds of volumes of his teachings have been printed, as well as dozens of English renditions.

Rabbi Kivi Bernhard grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, and today is based in Atlanta, Georgia, A passionate orthodox Jew, he has made that rare cross over into the eye of high profile corporate echelons across the globe, and does so with an extraordinary Jewish pride that has in fact become his signature. In 2010 was recognized by Meetings Magazine as a "top ten platform speakers in the USA."

One man who gave his own protection away to save and preserve his underling’s life: or the Sergeant and the Lt. Colonel.

Inyanay Diyoma from filthy laundry in Israel by the anti-religious extreme leftists still in power in the Israeli Injustice System: Following the arrest last week of Rabbi Lior for publishing Halacha from the Rambam; a second Rabbi detained for endorsing a Halacha of the Rambam. At that time Kassams fell in the Negev Hmmm may the good LRD is telling us something!!!,7340,L-4090145,00.html a follow up story:

What bothers me more than anything else is the arrest of Rabbi Yacov Yosef for endorsing the book. How many Rabbis read every word of every book that they endorse. It is obvious an attempt to shut up mouths. However, Tuma drenched professors can criticize the Torah with fully endorsement of Adolph's heirs and the Israeli prosecutors. Furthermore it is an obscure book of a Rosh Yeshiva of a small perhaps even second rate Yeshiva and yet they have made him into a Martyr over something that most Rabbis would never read. It seems that the Shin Bet and the prosecutors bought more copies than the Yeshiva World and the whole matter was a copy word for word of Maimonides who wrote it in Egypt under the Muslim rule. In short, the only conclusion one could logically draw from the Israeli government is that there was more Jewish Freedom of Religion under Muslim Rule than in Modern Israel today.,7340,L-4089995,00.html and

Can we fool the dumb Jews twice:

This is an interesting historical article:

Inyanay Diyoma

Written by my old settlement fighting buddy:,7340,L-4089361,00.html

I cannot figure out why Jews don’t put their love for Am Yisrael ahead of their politics both left and right: (You will not see me support Ron Paul),7340,L-4091471,00.html

It takes a non-Jew to wake up an apologetic Knesset:

Turkey still a problem:

Are they going to strip search a 95 year old cancer patient again? Harass my three year old grandson or will they start profiling like in Israel?

Yet maybe the solution to implanted bombs is already here?

From Rivka Ruth: New age anti-Semitism -

Gaza the Yetzer of Balaam and Balak lives on:

The coming DEBKA-Net-Weekly out next Friday uncovers Iran's surreptitious leaps and bounds toward a home-made nuclear weapon. Tehran has not only executed four nuclear-capable missile tests, but actually constructed a nuclear warhead prototype.
This issue will show how Tehran crossed every red line set by the West against Iran acquiring nuclear arms by furtively exploiting the months of furious Arab unrest for high speed, undisturbed progress. Western and Israeli intelligence are now waking up to some unpleasant surprises.


forwarded by Gail Winston, Middle East Analyst & Commentator

ISRAELIS PALACE COUP PLOTTERS By CAROLINE B. GLICK, Jerusalem Post July 5, 2011 Our World: Israel today faces the most daunting and complex threat spectrum it has ever seen.

On Monday, saboteurs bombed the Egyptian gas pipeline to Israel for the third time since former president Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in Feb. The move was just another reminder that Israel today faces the most daunting and complex threat spectrum it has ever seen.

From Egypt to Turkey to Iran to the international Left to the Obama administration, Israel faces a mix of military and political challenges that threaten its very existence on multiple levels. To meet these challenges, it is vital for the government and people of Israel to stand strong, unified and determined. The approaching storm will test our resilience as we have never been tested before.

Unfortunately, even if the government is competent, and even if the nation stands strong, there is reason to fear that Israel will fail to successfully withstand the dangers gathering against it. Unelected, unrepresentative and irresponsible senior government officials are liable to take actions that undermine the government’s ability to protect the country and weaken the public’s morale and unity of purpose.

Over the past week, we received two reminders of how dire the situation is. The first reminder relates to institutional impediments to the government’s freedom of action in preventing Iran from fielding a nuclear arsenal.

Since the beginning of his first term as prime minister 15 years ago, Binyamin Netanyahu has consistently warned that the greatest dangers Israel faces stem from the forces of global jihad generally and the Iranian regime and its nuclear program specifically. After taking office for the second time in 2009, Netanyahu made blocking Iran’s rise to nuclear power his top priority. He ordered the heads of the Mossad and the IDF to prepare plans to attack Iran’s nuclear installations.

Last Friday, HaAretz reported that former Mossad chief Meir Dagan and former IDF chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi refused to obey his order. Rather than prepare strike plans, Dagan and Ashkenazi warned that such a strike would foment a regional war. That is, rather than do their jobs, they made excuses for failing to fulfill their duty to obey Israeli elected leadership.
Not wanting to take them on directly, Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak decided to wait them out. Dagan and Ashkenazi were both set to finish their terms at the beginning of the year, and Netanyahu and Barak figured they could replace them with commanders who would abide by the government’s wishes. Specifically, Barak and Netanyahu believed that by replacing Ashkenazi with his deputy Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant, they would have a military leader willing and able to take on the central challenge of preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power.

Barak announced last August that Galant would replace Ashkenazi as IDF chief in January. Galant’s appointment was approved by the government and by the Senior Appointments Commission. But in late January, the government was forced to cancel it. And this week we received new indications that Galant’s appointment fell victim to what has been likened to a palace coup. That is, the government was denied its right to choose its military leader by a group of senior officials who deliberately usurped that power from the government.

In January, we learned that Ashkenazi’s close associate Lt.-Col. (ret.) Boaz Harpaz had forged a document that was transferred by Ashkenazi’s office to Channel 2. The forgery purported to be a memo written for Galant by the public relations firm owned by Eyal Arad - Kadima’s public relations guru. The forged memo detailed a public relations campaign that would discredit Galant’s rivals and Ashkenazi, and so pave the way for Galant’s appointment as chief of General Staff. Channel 2's broadcast of the memo seriously harmed Galant’s public image.

The police opened an investigation, and Harpaz admitted to forging the document. Despite revelations that Harpaz was in intensive, continuous contact with Ashkenazi’s wife Ronit and had a longstanding close friendship with Ashkenazi himself, the Military Advocate- General decided not to investigate Ashkenazi or any other officer about their ties to Harpaz and his forged document.

Over the weekend, Yediot Ahronot reported that last week Harpaz underwent two lengthy interrogations by State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss. Harpaz is reportedly divulging information about his connections to Ashkenazi.

Despite Harpaz’s own admission that he forged the document, Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein has abstained, to date, from indicting him. Although jarring, Weinstein’s actions are not surprising. It was Weinstein who personally overturned Galant’s appointment in January.

Harpaz’s defamatory memo wasn’t the only thing working against Galant’s appointment. A previously unknown environmental group called the Green Movement filed a petition with the Supreme Court calling for the cancellation of Galant’s appointment because in the past he had used the state lands around his family homestead in Moshav Amikam without permission. Since his actions were administrative infractions rather than criminal acts, the Senior Appointments Commission concluded that he was fit to serve as chief of staff.

Weinstein felt differently. Claiming that he had ethical problems with Galant’s behavior, Weinstein refused to defend the appointment to the Supreme Court. Weinstein’s announcement forced the government to cancel Galant’s appointment.

Ashkenazi’s chosen successor, Maj.-Gen. Benny Gantz, whom Barak had previously eliminated from the running, was appointed instead. Perhaps due to fear that Gantz might not stand up to Netanyahu and Barak as he and Ashkenazi did, Dagan shocked the country last month by launching an unprecedented public attack against Netanyahu and Barak. His clear aim was to discredit the option of an Israeli military
strike against Iran.

According to HaAretz, Dagan was motivated by his desire to cover up his failure to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Also according to HaAretz, Ashkenazi, together with recently retired IDF intelligence chief Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin, supported Dagan’s attacks through off-record briefings.

It is impossible for the public to know what is going on behind closed doors. We cannot know whether a worthy general’s rivals’ successful campaign to discredit him has doomed the country to another three years of defeatist, incompetent stewardship of the IDF and what’s worse, to a nuclear-armed Iran. What we do know is that a handful of unelected civil servants took it upon themselves to undermine the
government’s ability to lead the country.

The government is not the only target on the runaway clerks’ target list. Members of the nationalist camp are also subject to systematic campaigns of criminalization and demoralization. This week we were witness to the troubling spectacle of senior rabbis being dragged into police stations for questioning. Their purported crime involves writing blurbs praising a religious book written by another rabbi.

The book in question is reportedly a highly controversial tome that sets out the religious precepts governing the killing of enemies of Israel in times of war and peace. It was authored by Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira from Yitzhar.

Several leftist organizations filed a complaint against the book, claiming that it incites murder of non-Jews. Shapira was arrested and brought before the district court for arraignment in leg shackles and handcuffs last year.

And over the past several days, Rabbis Dov Lior and Yaakov Yosef have been arrested and questioned by police for the blurbs they authored that were published in the book.

It is hard to know the basis for the complaint. Generally Israeli law stipulates that there has to be a tangible connection between incendiary words and the likely commission of the crime they incite. No such connection seems to exist in the case of Shapira’s book.

In the wake of Lior’s arrest, his students staged raucous, enraged protests against the State Attorney’s Office and the Supreme Court. For their part, senior prosecutors announced that no one in Israel is above the law. And this is true enough. Unfortunately they do not practice what they preach. In arresting the rabbis, the police were acting in accordance with their instructions from Assistant Attorney-General for Special Projects Shai Nitzan. The bulk of Nitzan’s duties revolve around applying the law in a discriminatory manner against the Israeli Right.

Following Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination in 1995, then-attorney-general Michael Ben-Yair established Nitzan’s position. The position was specifically geared toward criminalizing Israelis who live beyond the 1949 armistice lines. Among other things, the assistant attorney general for special projects oversees the operation of an inter-agency group called the Task Force for Law Enforcement against Israelis in Judea and Samaria.

The task force was officially canceled in 1998 by the government, acting on the advice of then-attorney-general Elyakim Rubenstein. Rubenstein argued that the task force’s mission of enforcing specific laws against a specific population group was inherently discriminatory.

In breach of the government decision, the task force has continued to meet regularly. Nitzan has overseen its activities since he was promoted to his position in 2005. In 2009, MK Zeev Elkin convened a special Knesset hearing on the activities of Nitzan’s task force. According to an Arutz 7 report of the proceedings, he subpoenaed protocols from the meetings and found that its activities were deeply prejudicial and politically motivated. Among other things, the protocols disclosed that the task force members were required to file a minimum monthly quota of five criminal complaints against Israelis in Judea and Samaria suspected of building violations.

The quota system is doubly prejudicial. First, by making investigations an institutional requirement rather than a function of the suspected commission of specific illegal acts, it is an invitation for frivolous prosecutions and official harassment.

Second, inside the 1949 armistice lines, the general practice is to treat building violations as administrative rather than criminal offenses. By using a different practice for Israelis living outside the armistice lines, Nitzan and his team members enacted a separate legal regime for a select group of citizens, thus undermining the foundations of the rule of law.

Elkin’s 2009 hearing made no difference. And after Lior’s arrest last week, Elkin again demanded its disbanding in accordance with the government decision and the rule of law. And no doubt, the legal fraternity will continue to ignore his calls. Through their behavior, the legal fraternity is not merely making a mockery of the rule of law. They are undermining the social fabric of the country.

As for the government, the senior civil service’s erosion of the governing authority of the political leadership has risen to critical levels. As Galant’s scuttled appointment and Dagan’s and Ashkenazi’s behavior regarding Iran’s nuclear program make clear, we have reached the point where due to the subversion of senior officials, our elected leaders are denied the ability to perform their primary function of defending the country.

This state of affairs has simply got to end. The government and the Knesset need to put a stop to it. At the end of the day, the ayatollahs, the sheikhs, the UN and the anarchists are not our greatest challenge. Our leaders and our people can stand up to them. Our greatest challenge is to stand up to unelected officials who have taken it upon themselves to discredit the cause of victory, embrace weakness, and destroy our sense of national purpose.

Now for M. Wolfberg’s “Indian Summer”

Good Shabbos Everyone. In this week's portion Balak, we read about the attempts of the evil Bilaam to curse the Jewish people. When Bilaam opens his mouth intending to curse the Jewish people, Hashem causes Bilaam instead to utter praises of the Jewish people. In Bilaam's first "blessing" he says about the nation of Yisroel, "Behold! It is a nation that will dwell in solitude and not be reckoned among the nations." (Bamidbar 23,9)
Liora and her brother, Ayal, filled their pack backs with essentials, and took off from their native Israel for India. They traveled from one tourist attraction to the next, then split up to follow separate trails. Ayal stumbled uponArachim's Bayit Yehudi hostel. He enjoyed the hospitality and listened to some fascinating lectures. Drawn to the extensive library, he discovered new concepts that changed his life completely. There at the Bayit Yehudi in India, Ayal opted for a life of Torah and mitzvos.
In contrast, Liora wandered further afield. In the 'holy city' of Varanasi, she came across a cult headed by a charismatic guru. He spoke eloquently of the brotherhood of all mankind, the spirit of the cosmos, and efficient exploitation of the earth's resources. She was entranced, and thoroughly won over.
When Ayal learned of Liora's new affiliation, he tried to extricate her from the cult, but her attraction to her new mentors was too strong. As a last resort, Ayal suggested that they both return to Israel for a visit with their parents. He made a condition with her: she must agree to attend an Arachim lecture together with him.
Liora had no qualms; she agreed readily, fully confident that nothing could cut her off from her new source of inspiration. The cult was her whole life; nothing could take its place. Brother and sister flew back home. Together, they set out for an evening with Arachim. Together they sat in the hall, waiting for the speaker to appear - but in vain.
After a considerable delay, an Arachim staff member mounted the podium and announced that the evening's lecturer was unwell. So that the audience not leave entirely empty-handed, he read to them a short summary of Jewish law concerning lost property. He explained the Torah requires someone who finds a lost object to assume responsibility for it, and to make a reasonable effort to locate the owner. He also described how a finder must ascertain that the claimant is truly the owner by asking for simanim, identifying marks or characteristics, to prove that this watch or book really does belong to him.
Liora was unimpressed, to say the least. The lecture that was meant to open new horizons had put her to sleep. Ayal was devastated. The entire trip home was for nothing! How would he ever get his sister away from the cult? He nudged Liora to wake her up, and, with a heavy heart, trudged out of the hall to head for home.
Liora had dozed during the lecture, but the Guardian of Israel sleeps not.... Liora flew back to her cult in India. Ayal enrolled in a yeshiva for baalei teshuva in Jerusalem. It was only a short while later that Ayal was suddenly called out of the beis hamidrash at his yeshiva. A visitor was waiting to see him. He turned to the room where his mystery guest was waiting, opened the door, and was dumbfounded to find his sister Liora!
She greeted him with a wide smile. "What are you doing here?" he asked with a wide grin. Her answer left him even more mystified. "I want to enroll in a school for baalos teshuva," she replied.
"You?" asked Ayal, delighted, but incredulous. "What happened? What made you change your mind about your 'wonderful' cult and its guru!"
Liora told him the full story. Once back in India, she had gone straight back to the cult. One day, the guru asked her to accompany him somewhere. As the two of them were walking along the alleyways of Varanasi, the guru bent down and picked up a fat wallet that someone had obviously just dropped. He opened it and found it full of bills and documents. With a smile of satisfaction, he tucked it into his pocket.
Liora was speechless. Some tourist had just lost a considerable sum of money, a driver's license, and other valuable documents. His name, address, and other personal details were all there in black and white. It would be a simple matter to find him by contacting through the police or local embassy of the country he hailed from. Why did her guru just take it for himself? Wasn't that like stealing?
In reply, the guru embarked on a long lecture of about the unity of the universe, the brotherhood of all men, and the dynamics by which the "energy of the cosmos" had "transferred resources" from the former owner of the wallet to himself. The two of them were actually one soul, divided between two bodies, he explained. The wallet had been lost so that the money would reach its "rightful destination."
Liora recalled the Arachim speaker and his presentation of the Torah laws that apply in such a case. The sharp contrast between philosophy perverted by greed and loyalty to the truth brought her back to her senses. She opted for the truth, and booked a ticket back home. Her mind was made up; her choice was Torah, and Torah alone. Another Jewish soul, wandering far afield, had found its way home.
Good Shabbos Everyone. M. Wolfberg is sponsored by: Refuah Shleima to Reb Mordechai Menachem Mendel ben Tziporah Yitta Refuah Shleima to Tsviah bas Bracha Leah

Have a wonderful and peaceful Shabbos,

Rachamim Pauli