Rafael Matityahu Yaakov ben Gittel Rivka
25:19 And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham's son: Abraham begot Isaac. 20 And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Ara mean, of Paddan-aram, the sister of Laban the Aramean, to be his wife.
the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Padan-Aram, the sister of Laban: Was it not already written that she was the daughter of Bethuel and the sister of Laban and from Padan-Aram? But this is to tell her praise, that she was the daughter of a wicked man and the sister of a wicked man and her place was [inhabited by] wicked people, but she did not learn from their deeds. [From Gen. Rabbah 63:4]
Avraham too was a Tzaddik the son of an idol making Rasha so too with Rivka, Rachel and Leah but Yitzchak and Yacov were Tzaddikim the sons of a Tzaddik which gave them a lot of strength and power to succeed in worshipping HASHEM.
21 And Isaac entreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD let Himself be entreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22 And the children struggled together within her; and she said: 'If it be so, wherefore do I live?'
There appeared to be a conflict in her womb. When she passed the Beis Medrash of Shem and Ever, she would fell the child kick and when she passed the house of idolatry she would feel the child kick as if to say let me out to go in here. She thought that she had a child with a split personality. When she realized that it was a twin and two different worlds one wanted this world and the other the next, she was quiet but she would have to determine who was who. Yitzchak did not know what Rivka knew or he did not want to believe it of his beloved Esav.
And she went to inquire of the LORD. 23 And the LORD said unto her: Two nations are in thy womb, and two peoples shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.
struggled: Perforce, this verse calls for a Midrashic interpretation, for it does not explain what this struggling was all about, and [Scripture] wrote,“If it be so, why am I [like] this?” Our Rabbis (Gen. Rabbah 63:6) interpreted it [the word וַיִתְרוֹצִצוּ] as an expression of running (רוֹצָה) . When she passed by the entrances of [the] Torah [academies] of Shem and Eber, Jacob would run and struggle to come out; when she passed the entrance of [a temple of] idolatry, Esau would run and struggle to come out. Another explanation: They were struggling with each other and quarreling about the inheritance of the two worlds (Mid. Avkir). … she was in pain.
24 And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. 25 And the first came forth ruddy, all over like a hairy mantle; and they called his name Esau. 26 And after that came forth his brother, and his hand had hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob. And Isaac was threescore years old when she bore them.
Yacov grabbed the heel as according to the Medrash, his seed went in first and he was trying to claim the first born ship but Esav popped out first. The fight started in the womb and will continue until Yacov on Har Tzion will Judge Esav (see Novi Ovadiah).
27 And the boys grew; and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a quiet man, dwelling in tents. 28 Now Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison; and Rebekah loved Jacob.
She saw immediately that Esav was for the pleasures in this world – venison, hunting, fishing, hunting females Canaanites in the field, etc. Yacov was pure studying Torah in his tents and tending the flocks he did not care for various pleasures and luxuries in this world. His delight was spiritual and intellectual as Shem had predicted when the boys were in the womb.
G-d chose Abraham because of his behavior and his merits; He rejected his son Ishmael and chose Isaac, too, because of his merits; again, He rejected Esau and chose Jacob due to his behavior. So after three successive generations of Tzaddikim, all the subsequent offspring of the Patriarchs could be considered spiritually fit. G-d could forge them all into a chosen, treasured, and exalted nation, who would be His emissary to the human race and a light unto all the nations, to teach them the correct ways which they should follow.
This process of choice and rejection is realized to a good degree by the intervention of the Matriarchs, Sarah and Rebecca, who interpreted the behavior of Ishmael and Esau more correctly than Abraham and Isaac.
The mother instinctively recognizes the son because she raises him, she educates him, the child is in her trust, and when it comes to the child. The mother is the expert. And therefore, when talking about Rebecca, the Torah emphasizes that she was the mother of Jacob and Esau – that she understood both of them thoroughly. The holy language of the Torah expands the concept expressed by the word "em" (“mother”) to the extent that the word "Emunah" (“faith”) comes from the root "em". For who is more faithful and loyal to a child, who is more willing to sacrifice their very life for the child’s sake, than a mother?
And this is an additional reason that Rebecca is referred to there by the term “mother”: she faithfully clung to the truth, understood that Jacob had to be the spiritual heir – and for this, she was willing even to go against Isaac, to the extent of deceiving him. From a Translation of Rabbi Meir Kahane HY”D thanks to Tzipora.
29 And Jacob sod pottage; and Esau came in from the field, and he was faint. 30 And Esau said to Jacob: 'Let me swallow, I pray thee, some of this red, red pottage; for I am faint.' Therefore was his name called Edom.
Pour into [me]: I will open my mouth, and [you] pour very much into it, as we learned (Shab. 155b):“We may not stuff a camel, etc. [on the Sabbath] but we may put food into its mouth (מַלְעִטִין) .” - [From Gen. Rabbah 63:12]
some of this red, red [pottage]: red lentils. And on that day, Abraham died, lest he see Esau, his grandson, falling into bad ways, for that would not be the “good old age” that the Holy One, blessed be He, had promised him. Therefore, the Holy One, blessed be He, shortened his life by five years, for Isaac lived one hundred and eighty years, and this one (Abraham) [lived] one hundred and seventy-five years, and Jacob cooked lentils to feed the mourner (Isaac). But why lentils? Because they are [round as] a wheel, for mourning is like a wheel revolving in the world. (Also, just as lentils have no mouth [no crack], as other beans have, so does the mourner have no mouth, for he is prohibited from speaking. It is therefore the custom to feed the mourner eggs at the beginning of his meal, since they are round, and have no mouth. So too does a mourner have no mouth, as is discussed in Moed Katan (21b): “A mourner, for the entire first three days, may not respond to anyone’s greeting, and may surely not initiate a greeting. From the third day to the seventh, he may respond, but may not greet, etc.” [This is found] in an old [edition of] Rashi.)- [From Gen. Rabbah 63:12, B.B. 16b]
31 And Jacob said: 'Sell me first thy birthright.' 32 And Esau said: 'Behold, I am at the point to die; and what profit shall the birthright do to me?'
Sell me as of this day: As the Targum renders: כְּיוֹם דִילְהֵן, “like this day”; just as this day is clear, so sell it to me with a clear sale.
your birthright: Since the [sacrificial] service was performed by the firstborn, Jacob said, “This wicked man does not deserve to sacrifice to the Holy One, blessed be He.” - [From Gen. Rabbah 63:13]
He was very faint but far from death’s door for all the five evil things than he had done that day.
33 And Jacob said: 'Swear to me first'; and he swore unto him; and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. 34 And Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentils; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way. So Esau despised his birthright.
and Esau despised: Scripture attests to his wickedness, that he despised the service of the Omnipresent.
As Esav thought to himself more or less what the hell do I need to make a Korban to HASHEM and waste my time in this world?
1 … 34 And when Esau was forty years old, he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite.
forty years old: Esau was compared to a swine, as it is said (Ps. 80:14): “The boar from the forest gnaws at it.” This swine, when it lies down, stretches out its hooves, as if to say, “See, I am a clean (kosher) animal.” So do these [the chiefs of Esau] rob and plunder and then pretend to be honorable. During the entire forty years, Esau kidnapped wives from their husbands and violated them. When he was forty years old, he said: “My father married at forty; I, too, will do the same.” [From Gen. Rabbah 65:1]
35 And they were a bitterness of spirit unto Isaac and to Rebekah
Yitzchak is 100 years old and Esav marries out of the religion and good family so to speak. Intermarriage and that never gives parents too much pleasure at all to say the least.
27: 1 And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his elder son, and said unto him: 'My son'; and he said unto him: 'Here am I.'
were too dim: Because of the smoke of these [wives of Esau] (who would burn [incense] to the idols) (Tanchuma, Toledoth 8; Pesiktha Rabbathi 12). Another explanation: When Isaac was bound on the altar, and his father was about to slaughter him, the heavens opened, and the ministering angels saw and wept, and their tears fell upon Isaac’s eyes. As a result, his eyes became dim (Gen. Rabbah 65:6). A third explanation: to enable Jacob to take the blessings (Gen. Rabbah 65:8).
The Oral Tradition from Sinai was lost so the Sages guessed on three possibilities why the eyes of Yitzchak were dim. That is the spiritual reason, the physical reason might have been cataracts.
2 And he said: 'Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death.
I do not know the day of my death: Rabbi Joshua ben Korchah said: If a person reaches the age of [the death of] his parents, he should worry five years beforehand and five years afterwards, and Isaac was one hundred and twenty-three years old. He said, “Perhaps I will reach the age of [the death of] my mother, and she died at one hundred and twenty-seven, and I am thus within five years of her age; therefore, ”I do not know the day of my death," -perhaps [I will die] at my mother’s age and perhaps at my father’s age. [From Gen. Rabbah 65:121]
3 Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me venison;
your sword: Heb. תֶּלְי, your sword, which is usually hung לִתְלוֹתָה.
So, now, sharpen: שָׂא נָא an expression of sharpening, as we learned in the Mishnah (Beitzah 28a):“We may not sharpen a knife [on a whet-stone] but we may sharpen it (מַשִּׂיאָה) against another one [on Yom-Tov].” [Isaac said]: “Sharpen your knife and slaughter properly, lest you feed me Nevaila” [an animal not slaughtered according to ritual law] (Gen. Rabbah 65: 13).
and hunt for me: from ownerless [game], and not from stolen [animals]. [Gen. Rabbah 65:13]
Rashi comes to teach us that if an intended ritual slaughter was improper, it produces a Nevaila.
4 and make me savory food, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die.' 5 And Rebekah heard when Isaac spoke to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it. 6 And Rebekah spoke unto Jacob her son, saying: 'Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying: 7 Bring me venison, and make me savory food, that I may eat, and bless thee before the LORD before my death.
before the Lord: with His consent, that He will approve of what I do.
8 Now therefore, my son, hearken to my voice according to that which I command thee. 9 Go now to the flock, and fetch me from thence two good kids of the goats; and I will make them savory food for thy father, such as he loves;
and take for me: [“לִי” indicates that] they are mine, and they are not stolen, because so had Isaac written for her in her marriage contract, that she might take two kids every day (Gen. Rabbah 65:14).
two choice kids: Now did Isaac’s menu consist of two kids? But [the explanation is that] he sacrificed one as a Paschal offering, and one he made into tasty foods. [This is found] in Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer (ch. 32).
as he likes: for the taste of a kid is like the taste of a deer.
For Yitzchak was born on the stroke of midnight on the 15th of the Spring Month aka Nissan and that is Pessach and the reasons for two goats is for an atonement like the two goats on the day of atonement. Since Yitzchak married Rivka at the age of 40 and he is now 123 years old, it is of little surprise that a woman married to a man for 83 years would know what pleases his pallet.
10 and thou shalt bring it to thy father, that he may eat, so that he may bless thee before his death.' 11 And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother: 'Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man. 12 My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a mocker; and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing.'
will touch me: Heb. יְמֻשֵּׁנִי, similar to (Deut. 28:29):“feeling (מְמַשֵּׁשׁ) at noon.”
13 And his mother said unto him: 'Upon me be thy curse, my son; only hearken to my voice, and go fetch me them.' 14 And he went, and fetched, and brought them to his mother; and his mother made savoury food, such as his father loved. 15 And Rebekah took the choicest garments of Esau her elder son, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son.
the costly: הַחַמוּדֹת [means] the clean ones, as the Targum renders: דַּכְיָתָא [clean ones]. Another explanation: The ones [garments] that he had coveted [שֶׁחָמַד] from Nimrod. [From Gen. Rabbah 65:16]
which were with her in the house: But He [Esau] had many wives, [with whom to entrust his garments] and yet he entrusted them [his garments] with his mother?! He was well aware of their deeds, and he was suspicious of them. [From Gen. Rabbah 65:16]
We can even learn from the wicked one as he served his father with the best way he could. Unfortunately, he did not follow in his father’s ways and mocked the old man who was legally blind such as sticking out his tongue at him or other gestures when he walked out of the room but put on a wonderful act for the old man when he was with him. Esav at this time is 63 years old similar to my age but in great physical shape as a hunter. Yacov too was strong from lifting and tending sheep.
16 And she put the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck. 17 And she gave the savory food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob. 18 And he came unto his father, and said: 'My father'; and he said: 'Here am I; who art thou, my son?' 19 And Jacob said unto his father: 'I am Esau thy first-born; I have done according as thou bade me. Arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me.'
I am…Esau…your firstborn: [He meant]: I am the one who is bringing you [food] and Esau is your firstborn. [From Tanchuma Buber]
I have done: many things, as you have spoken to me.
sit down: Heb. שְׁבָה, an expression of sitting around the table [at a meal]. Therefore, it is rendered [by Onkelos] אִסְתְּחַר.
On one hand Yacov is honoring his mother but deceiving his father for it is not venison but goat meat but spiced up just right like Yitzchak loves it. But isn’t his deception part of the DIVINE Plan?
20 And Isaac said unto his son: 'How is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son?' And he said: 'Because the LORD thy God sent me good speed.' 21 And Isaac said unto Jacob: 'Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not.' 22 And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said: 'The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau.' 23 And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau's hands; so he blessed him. 24 And he said: 'Art thou my very son Esau?' And he said: 'I am.' 25 And he said: 'Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son's venison, that my soul may bless thee.' And he brought it near to him, and he did eat; and he brought him wine, and he drank. 26 And his father Isaac said unto him: 'Come near now, and kiss me, my son.' 27 And he came near, and kissed him. And he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said: See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the LORD hath blessed.
and he smelled, etc.: Is it not so that there is no odor more offensive than that of washed goat skins? But this teaches us that the fragrance of the Garden of Eden entered with him. [From Tanchuma Buber 16]
is like the fragrance of a field, which the Lord has blessed: for He gave it a pleasant fragrance, and this is a field of apples. So did our Sages explain it. [From Ta’anith 29b]
Actually a double miracle occurred here as the smell of Esav’s clothing and the delay in Esav’s return made the event possible.sss
28 So God give thee of the dew of heaven, and of the fat places of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine.
And may the Lord give you: May He give and repeatedly give (444 Gen. Rabbah 66:3). According to its simple meaning, it refers back to the previous topic: “Look, the fragrance of my son” which God has given him, “is like the fragrance of a field, etc.,” and furthermore, “May He give you of the dew of the heavens, etc.”
of the dew of the heavens: [It is to be interpreted] according to its simple meaning, and there are Midrashic interpretations of many kinds. (Another explanation: What is the meaning of הָאֱלֹהִים [I.e., why is the Divine Name which signifies God’s attribute of Justice used here? To teach that He will treat you] with justice. If you deserve it, He will give to you, and if not, He will not give to you. But to Esau he said, “The fat places of the earth shall be your dwelling place.” Whether righteous or wicked, He will give to you. And from him [Isaac], Solomon learned; when he built the Temple, he arranged his prayer, [saying that] an Israelite, who has faith and justifies the Divine decree upon himself, will not complain about You; therefore (I Kings 8:39): “and give to every man [Israelite] according to his ways,” for You know what is in his heart. But a gentile lacks faith; therefore [Solomon] said (ibid. verse 43): “You shall hear in heaven, etc., and do according to all that the stranger calls upon You for,” i.e., whether he is deserving or undeserving, give to him, so that he should not complain about You. [This is found] in an old and correct edition of Rashi .) [From Tanchuma Buber, Toledoth 14]
29 Let peoples serve thee, and nations bow down to thee. Be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee. Cursed be every one that curses thee, and blessed be every one that blesses thee. 30 And it came to pass, as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting. 31 And he also made savory food, and brought it unto his father; and he said unto his father: 'Let my father arise, and eat of his son's venison, that thy soul may bless me.' 32 And Isaac his father said unto him: 'Who art thou?' And he said: 'I am thy son, thy first-born, Esau.' 33 And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said: 'Who then is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou came, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed.'
Rashi comments that he shook because he saw Gehennom opening up before Esav but the Pshat is that he shook that he was deceived but he realized that HASHEM wanted it that was as soon he was to find out that Esav had sold the Bechor and the right to serve HASHEM with Korbanos.
34 When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with an exceeding great and bitter cry, and said unto his father: 'Bless me, even me also, O my father.' 35 And he said: 'Thy brother came with guile, and hath taken away thy blessing.' 36. And he said, "Is it for this reason that he was named Jacob? For he has deceived me twice; he took my birthright, and behold, now he has taken my blessing." And he said, "Have you not reserved a blessing for me?"
And he said,“Is it for this reason that he was named Jacob: הִכִי is an expression denoting the interrogative, as in (below 29:15):”Is it because (הִכִי) you are my kinsman…?“ Was he named Jacob (יַעִקֹב) because of the future, because he was destined to deceive me (לְעָקְבֵנִי) ? Midrash Tanchuma (Buber, Toledoth 23) [asks]: Why did Isaac shudder? He said, ”Perhaps I am guilty of an iniquity, for I have blessed the younger son before the older one, and thus altered the order of the relationship.“ [Thereupon], Esau started crying, ”He has already deceived me twice!“ His father said to him, ”What did he do to you?“ He replied, ”He took my birthright.“ He [Isaac] said,”That is why I was troubled and shuddered, for [I was afraid that] perhaps I [had] transgressed the line of strict justice, [but] now [that I know that] I actually blessed the firstborn, ‘he too shall be blessed’."
for he has deceived me: Heb. וַיַעְקְבֵנִי. [To be explained] according to the Targum וּכַמַנִי [meaning]: and he lay in wait for me. [The word] וְאָרַב [(Deut. 19:11):“and he lies in wait,”] is translated by the Targum as וּכְמַן Others read in the Targum [not וּכַמַנִי, but] וְחַכְּמַנִי [meaning]: he outwitted me.
reserved: [אָצַלְתּ] an expression of separation, as in וַיָּאצֶל (“and he separated”) (Num. 11:25). (Other editions read: וַיַּצֵּל (below 31:9). [From Targum Onkelos]
37 And Isaac answered and said unto Esau: 'Behold, I have made him thy lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with corn and wine have I sustained him; and what then shall I do for thee, my son?' 38 And Esau said unto his father: 'Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me also, O my father.' And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept. 39 And Isaac his father answered and said unto him: Behold, of the fat places of the earth shall be thy dwelling, and of the dew of heaven from above; 40 And by thy sword shalt thou live, and thou shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt break loose, that thou shalt shake his yoke from off thy neck.
And…by your sword: וְעַל חַרְבְּ is the same as בְּחַרְבְּ [by your sword]. Sometimes עַל takes the place of the letter “beth,” as in (Ezek. 33:26);“You stood by your sword (עַל חַרְבְּכֶם),” [which is the same as] בְּחַרְבְּכֶם (Exod. 6:26);“by their hosts (עַל צִבְאוֹתָם)” [is the same as] בְּצִבְאוֹתָם.
and it will be, when you grieve: [תָּרִיד] is an expression of pain, as in (Ps. 55:3):“I will lament (אָרִיד) in my speech” ; i.e., when the Israelites will transgress the Torah, and you will have cause to grieve about the blessings that he took, “you will break his yoke,” etc. [From Targum Onkelos]
I have the patience of an Arab and let the time come around until I shall exact my justice from Yacov with my sword as the old man will not live forever and then I will deal with Yacov.
41 And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him. And Esau said in his heart: 'Let the days of mourning for my father be at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.' 42 And the words of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah; and she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said unto him: 'Behold, thy brother Esau, as touching thee, doth comfort himself, purposing to kill thee. 43 Now therefore, my son, hearken to my voice; and arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran; 44 and tarry with him a few days, until thy brother's fury turn away; 45 until thy brother's anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him; then I will send, and fetch thee from thence; why should I be bereaved of you both in one day?' 46 And Rebekah said to Isaac: 'I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth. If Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these, of the daughters of the land, what good shall my life do me?'
Rather than upset Yacov with the real reason she is sending Yacov away, she tells Yitzchak that it is because of the children of Chet (guttural CH).
1 And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him: 'Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan. 2 Arise, go to Paddan-aram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother's father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban thy mother's brother. 3 And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou may be a congregation of peoples; 4 and give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou may inherit the land of thy sojournings, which God gave unto Abraham.' 5 And Isaac sent away Jacob; and he went to Paddan-aram unto Laban, son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob's and Esau's mother. 6 Now Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him away to Paddan-aram, to take him a wife from thence; and that as he blessed him he gave him a charge, saying: 'Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan'; 7 and that Jacob hearkened to his father and his mother, and was gone to Paddan-aram; 8 and Esau saw that the daughters of Canaan pleased not Isaac his father; 9 so Esau went unto Ishmael, and took unto the wives that he had Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael Abraham's son, the sister of Nebaioth, to be his wife.
the sister of Nebaioth: Since it says, “the daughter of Ishmael,” do I not know that she was the sister of Nebaioth? But this teaches us that Ishmael died after he had betrothed her to Esau, before her marriage, and her brother Nebaioth gave her hand in marriage. This also teaches us that Jacob was sixty-three years old at that time, for Ishmael was seventy-four years old when Jacob was born. Ishmael was fourteen years older than Isaac, and Isaac was sixty years old when they were born, hence [Ishmael was] seventy-four. He lived one hundred and thirty seven years, as it is stated (above 25:17): “and these are the years of the life of Ishmael,” etc. Consequently, Jacob was sixty-three at Ishmael’s death. We learn from here that he hid for fourteen years in the house of Eber and afterwards went to Haran. [This can be deduced from the fact that] he stayed in Laban’s house before Joseph’s birth only fourteen years, as it is said (below 31:41): “I worked for you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your sheep,” and the payment for the sheep took place after Joseph was born, as it is said (below 30:25): “And it came to pass when Rachel had given birth to Joseph, etc.,” and Joseph was thirty years old when he became ruler, and from then until Jacob descended to Egypt were nine years: seven of plenty and two of famine. And Jacob said to Pharaoh (below 47:9): “The days of the years of my sojournings are one hundred and thirty years.” Go forth and figure 14 years before Joseph was born, plus the 30 years of Joseph’s age, plus the 9 years from the time he became ruler until Jacob came. The total is 53. And when he [Jacob] left his father, he was 63, totaling 116. Yet he said [to Pharaoh, “I am] one hundred and thirty years old.” Hence, there are fourteen years missing. Thus, you learn that after he had received the blessings, he hid in the house of Eber for fourteen years. [From Meg. 17:1] (However, he was not punished [for these fourteen years] because of the merit [of having studied] Torah, for Joseph was separated from his father only twenty-two years, i.e., from age seventeen until age thirty-nine, corresponding to the twenty-two years that Jacob was separated from his father [when] he did not honor him. These are the twenty years in Laban’s house, plus the two years that he spent traveling [home], as it is written (below 33:17): “And he built himself a house, and for his cattle he made booths.” Our Rabbis of Blessed Memory inferred from this verse that he spent eighteen months on the road, for the house was for the rainy season, and the booths were for the summer. And, according to the calculation of the verses, which we calculated above, from the time he left his father until he went down to Egypt, at the age of one hundred and thirty, we find an additional fourteen years, therefore, it is certain that he hid in the house of Eber to learn Torah while on his way to the house of Laban. And because of the merit of the Torah, he was not punished for them [those fourteen years], and Joseph was separated from him for only twenty-two years-measure for measure. The above is from an old Rashi text).
to his other wives: He added wickedness upon his wickedness, for he did not divorce the first ones. [From Gen. Rabbah 67:13]
3:1 And Joshua rose up early in the morning, and they removed from Shittim, and came to the Jordan, he and all the children of Israel; and they lodged there before they passed over.
Children should learn from the deeds of our forefathers and that is quoting Benjamin Franklin: “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” Avraham Avinu rose early to sacrifice Yitzchak. At mount Sinai our forefathers rose early to receive the Torah and Yehoshua bin Nun rises early to conquer Eretz Yisrael. The human brain needs six to eight hours of rest according to the Rambam. Sports trainers tell their athletes to sleep close to 8 hours a night. Staying up late for a certain astronomical event or a onetime wedding party is one thing but not to habitually stay up late and sleep late. What Benjamin Franklin was hinting at was that one who gets up early and rested after a good night’s sleep is healthy for the body’s systems are not strained, fresh for go getting at work and his brain has rested. So when your parents tell you it is time to go to bed so that you will be fresh and not late for school, they are wise listen to them.
2 And it came to pass after three days, that the officers went through the midst of the camp; 3 and they commanded the people, saying: 'When ye see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it.
This is the famous song that we sing when opening the Ahron Kodesh every Shabbos that people should rise and move and your enemies will flee from you. Rashi explains why this will be new to the Bnei Yisrael: This journey differs from other journeys, for whereas previously, in the days of Moses, the pillar of cloud would lead the way, the Ark following in the very middle of the camp after two divisions, [comprising the first six tribes, had passed], now the Ark would travel ahead.
4 Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure; come not near unto it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go; for ye have not passed this way heretofore.'
The Aharon Kodesh radiated out Kedushah in all directions and being that distance it was easy enough for the shortest of people to jump up and see the Ahron. Another reason for this is that this allowed the army of the Bnei Yisrael to march and spread out over a great distance of a few miles. Any enemy who spotted miles of an army coming at him would have his heart melt away in fear.
5 And Joshua said unto the people: 'Sanctify yourselves; for to-morrow the LORD will do wonders among you.'
The soldiers all went to Mikvah for they had to make themselves ritually pure for a Holy War to conquer Eretz Yisrael. (Not so the nations of the world for the night before World War II invasion of Normandy, General Patton went out to give his troops a pet talk with such language that all the women in the audience walked out and he said among other things “This is a Jew War” - for the Goyim do not know the value of holiness and the help of HASHEM in fighting their battles which is fortunate for us.)
6 And Joshua spoke unto the priests, saying: 'Take up the Ark of the Covenant, and pass on before the people.' And they took up the ark of the covenant, and went before the people.
The people could see the radiant light of the Shechina on the Teva and were gripped with love for G-D, fear of G-D and awe!
7 And the LORD said unto Joshua: 'This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee.
Yehoshua as good a military leader and Talmud Chacham, he was not fully accepted by the people. For the people had rebelled a number of times against Moshe, all the more so Yehoshua. But now with the miracles that are about to occur, Yehoshua will get the respect due to the Gadol HaDor.
8 And thou shalt command the priests that bear the Ark of the Covenant, saying: When ye are come to the brink of the waters of the Jordan, ye shall stand still in the Jordan.'
The Teva was not light. For the Ahron was wood laden with gold work and five Torah Scrolls inside and the Keruvim on top. The weight would have been tremendous for a few Cohanim to stand for quite some time in the river. The trick of the matter is that that miraculously the Ahron could hover in the air from the Kedushah and the human element was added for making it appear natural. (Parents obviously some of the explanation here is for fifth or sixth graders and a second grader would need simpler language)
9 And Joshua said unto the children of Israel: 'Come hither, and hear the words of the LORD your God.'
One must listen carefully to learn Torah and do Mitzvos properly and not in a helter-skelter manner. Children, HASHEM likes people who observe the Mitzvos all the time and not in a hodge-podge way.
10 And Joshua said: 'Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you, and that He will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Hivite, and the Perizzite, and the Girgashite, and the Amorite, and the Jebusite.
We see that all the tribes of the 10 mentioned to Avraham only 7 ended being driven out from the land. Among them was the Girgashite. I have always wondered if the Shiite Muslims might not have come from this tribe and claimed them name for this? Today it is a philosophy but so is the Amalek Philosophy in existence today especially in Iran and Lebanon.
11 Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth passes on before you over the Jordan. 12 Now therefore take you twelve men out of the tribes of Israel, for every tribe a man.
Children, how many men were there?
13 And it shall come to pass, when the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, that the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, even the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand in one heap.'
The Soncino Rabbi Cohen commentary brings down that a small earthquake caused the Yarden to be clogged up once or twice in modern history. Again it is not the fact that a Natural Event caused the miracle it is the fact that at this hour and minute that the event that the Bnei Yisrael went through. Have you not heard the miracle of the baby sleeping in the crib cries and mommy picks it up only to have a Kassam or something else fall on the crib a minute later.
14 And it came to pass, when the people removed from their tents, to pass over the Jordan, the priests that bore the ark of the covenant being before the people; 15 and when they that bore the ark were come unto the Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bore the ark were dipped in the brink of the water--for the Jordan overflows all its banks all the time of harvest—
Pessach time always occurs in late March or April after the winter rains and the melting snows and the Yarden is filled with a lot of water.
16 that the waters which came down from above stood, and rose up in one heap, a great way off from Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan; and those that went down toward the sea of the Arabah, even the Salt Sea, were wholly cut off; and the people passed over right against Jericho.
From when the Adam Bridge is today at a point down the Yarden where the river should be wider all the way to the Salt or Dead Sea.
17 And the priests that bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan, while all Israel passed over on dry ground, until all the nation were passed clean over the Jordan.
When returning an object that you were asked to safeguard, or when returning a loan, it must be returned to the person who gave it to you. Giving it to a member their household is not acceptable; if something happens to the item you would be held responsible. However, giving it to the owner's spouse is permitted, unless you were explicitly asked not to do so, since spouses trust each other to look after each other's property. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 188:5
If you find Jewish property that is obviously lost, you have an obligation to return it to its owner. However, if the object was "put down" and not dropped, then you are not allowed to move it; if you move it you are preventing the owner from finding it. When in doubt, leave it alone, unless you know who the owner is and you will return it to them immediately. Similarly, if you can prevent somebody else's property from being destroyed, damaged or stolen, you have an obligation to do so.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 187:1, 3
All I can tell you is that once I found a gold bracelet on the stairs at work. I picked it up and put up a notice. I asked for identifications and she gave me a description. For had I not picked it up and put up a notice and a boorish person found it, the bracelet would never have been returned to the owner. For it is written by David Melech Yisrael and in Perkei Avos 6:9. Said Rabbi Yossi the son of Kisma: Once, I was traveling and I encountered a man. He greeted me and I returned his greetings. Said he to me: "Rabbi, where are you from?" Said I to him: "From a great city of sages and scholars, am I." Said he to me: "Rabbi, would you like to dwell with us in our place? I will give you a million dinars of gold, precious stones and pearls." Said I to him: "If you were to give me all the silver, gold, precious stones and pearls in the world, I would not dwell anywhere but in a place of Torah. Indeed, so is written in the book of psalms by David the king of Israel: `I prefer the Torah of Your mouth over thousands in gold and silver' (Psalms 118:72). [from the Chabad Translation]
This year - 5772 - has 12 months; as opposed to last year where the 11th month - Shevat - was followed by Adar-I and then Adar-II. This year we only have a single Adar. Jewish months alternate between being 29 and 30 days long. However, the months of Mar Cheshvan and Kislev sometimes both have 30 days (a full year), sometimes both have 29 days (a missing year) and sometimes follow the regular order with Mar Cheshvan having 29 days and Kislev 30. As a result, Chanukah (which starts on 25 Kislev and lasts 8 days) sometimes ends on 2 Tevet and sometimes on 3 Tevet. This year - 5772 - is a "regular year" with Mar Cheshvan having 29 days and Kislev having 30 days. As a result, events that happened during a full year on the 30th of Mar Cheshvan don't have a "date". The custom for Yahrzeit to commemorate somebody who passed away on 30 Mar Cheshvan is as follows:
- If, on the first anniversary there was no 30th Mar Cheshvan then the Yahrzeit is on the 29th Mar Cheshvan whenever there's no 30 Mar Cheshvan. However, Kaddish should also be said on the morrow (1 Kislev) if possible.
- If, on the first anniversary there was a 30th Mar Cheshvan then the Yahrzeit is on 1 Kislev whenever there is no 30 Mar Cheshvan. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 221:4
Thursday. In certain communities, Mincha (the afternoon prayers) on Yom Kippur Kattan includes prayers asking for repentance, so as to begin the new month with a "clean slate". Some even have the custom to fast on Yom Kippur Kattan. Thursday (Today) - is Yom Kippur Kattan. Rosh Chodesh Kislev will be on Sunday. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 97:1, 128:1
Since Today is Thanksgiving Tehillim 100 - 1 A Psalm of thanksgiving. Shout unto the LORD, all the earth. 2 Serve the LORD with gladness; come before His presence with singing. 3 Know ye that the LORD He is God; it is He that hath made us, and we are His, His people, and the flock of His pasture. 4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise; give thanks unto Him, and bless His name. 5 For the LORD is good; His mercy endures forever; and His faithfulness unto all generations.
The Dreams of the Angel's Wife by Rabbi Tilles http://ascentofsafed.com/cgi-bin/ascent.cgi?Name=729-08
In 1764, Rabbi Avraham "the Malach" ("the angel"), the pure, holy son of Rabbi Dov-Ber of Mezritch (the successor to the Baal Shem Tov as the leader of the Chassidic movement), became a widower. His father, the Maggid, sought a second partner for him as soon as possible.
The idea was suggested of a match with the daughter of the important sage, Rabbi Meshulam Feivish HaLevi Horowitz, the author of Mishnas Hakhamim. The Maggid sent two respected messengers to Kremenitz to try to arrange the shiduch. The two men traveled there in a large, beautiful carriage and wore expensive clothing in honor of their Rebbe and their holy mission.
When they arrived at the Rabbi's house they were told that he was engaged in Torah study in the nearby Study Hall. They began to negotiate with his wife, who had invited them in and also sent word to her husband. She, however, refused to take them seriously, saying, "Not only don't I know your Rebbe, but I've never even heard his name. Also, my daughter Gittel is only twelve years old and I'm not ready for her to be married."
But the two men were not put off so easily and they kept describing the holiness of their Rebbe and his only son. Finally, she warmed to the idea and said, "I have a brilliant husband, thank
G-d. Let him decide what is best for our daughter."
When R' Meshulam Feivish returned from the Bais Midrash soon after, he agreed to the shiduch and the writing of the tenaim (marriage agreement) right there and then.
When they reached the paragraph relating to the date of the wedding, the messengers said that it was necessary for the marriage to take place right away, and so the bride should travel back to Mezritch with them. But R' Feivish and his wife resisted. "Our Sages ruled that one should allow a girl twelve months after her betrothal. Besides, we never planned for our daughter to be married so soon and she has no dowry or a bridal gown, or any other appropriate clothes and jewelry."
The messengers responded, "We'll provide for all her needs but the Rebbe insists it is absolutely impossible to postpone the date of the wedding. She must come with us immediately."
Rabbi Feivel said that he and his wife would have to discuss this with each other in private.
After only a short time they returned and announced, "As it seems clear that this has come from G-d, we accept."
They decided that since R' Feivish was unable to travel at that particular moment, the bride should journey to Mezritch in the company of her mother.
The very next day, The Rebbetzin and her daughter with the two men left for Mezritch. During the trip, the mother and daughter began to wonder how they had allowed themselves to be talked into the wedding.
But then, when they arrived at the outskirts of Mezritch, the carriage was greeted by all of the men and children of the town. The crowd was so large that the carriage could hardly move. And when the carriage finally reached the town, all the women came out to greet them. It was a joyous moment and the mother and daughter felt themselves become completely at peace about the intended marriage. Next the carriage stopped in front of the Maggid's house and the Maggid and his son Avraham came out to welcome them. When Gittel saw her bridegroom she modestly showed no reaction, but she was thrilled inside.
The bride and her mother stayed at the local inn while the whole town got involved in preparing for the wedding. The marriage took place soon after that. The celebrations lasted for seven joyous days, filled with endless discussions of Torah.
From this marriage of the Malach, the son of the Maggid, and Gittel, the daughter of R' Meshulam Feivish, were born two sons, Sholom Shachna and Yisrael Chaim. [Rabbi Sholom Shachna had a son, named 'Yisrael' after the Baal Shem Tov, who became one of the most highly regarded Chasidic rebbes of all time, "the holy Rhizhiner." -yt]
Although young, the new wife of the Malach was no simple woman. During the first year of their marriage, she had a dream. In it she entered a large chamber where she realized it was the Divine Tribunal sitting in session. They ruled to take her husband away from her. She shed hot tears before them and presented many arguments in her attempt to dissuade them. She had the same dream the following night too, but again told no one.
On the third night the dream came again, but this time they told her that they had accepted her arguments and that they would extend her husband's life another twelve years. The next morning she reported the dreams to her father-in-law. The Maggid praised and blessed her effusively because through her pleadings she had extended the life of his son another twelve years. And so it happened exactly.
Several years later, the Magid, his son and family all moved from Mezritch to Anipoli. A short later the Maggid passed away, on Yud-Tet Kislev in 1772. Some time after that he appeared in a dream to his daughter-in-law Gittel on a Shabbat night. He told her that her husband should move into her room, or at least she should move his books from his study into her room. In the morning she came to inform her husband of this. He did not consider it significant, however, because his father had not told him but only her. The very next night, a fire broke out in R. Avraham's study, and by the time it was extinguished, all of his books were burned and lost.
In the summer of 1776, several years after the death of the Maggid, Rabbi Avrohom the Malach traveled to Fastov [Yiddish: Chavostov] where he accepted the position of Rabbi of the city. The elders of Fastov sent a messenger and several wagons to inform Rebbetzin Gittel of her husband's new position and to help her pack and move in time for the High Holy Days.
That night, when the messenger arrived at her home, she had a dream in which her father-in-law, the Maggid, came to her and told her not to travel in these wagons to Fastov. In the morning she accordingly refused to travel. This upset two of her husband's closest associates, the tzadikim, Rabbi Zushya of Anipoli and Rabbi Yehuda Leib HaKohen of Puma [the same two whose approbations are printed at the beginning of Tanya -yt], because they felt strongly that she should travel with the messenger to join the Malach. Nevertheless, she remained adamant in her refusal.
About two weeks later, R' Avrohom the Malach fell ill and died. A messenger was dispatched to Anapoli to inform her of his death. The two tzadikim, however, did not want her to know as yet, and they hid the news from her. They did, however, tell her son, R' Sholom Shachna, who was only a small child of about eight* at the time, so that he could say Kaddish for his father.
His mother soon noticed something unusual in her son's behavior, in that he was getting up very early in order to go to synagogue, something he hardly ever did before. One morning she decided to follow him and stood outside the wall of the synagogue. From there she thought she heard him saying the mourner's Kaddish, but she was not sure. After the prayers were concluded, she asked her son why he was saying kaddish and why he had hidden from her. He had to answer her, so now she knew the truth.
After her seven days of sitting shivah were over, she traveled to the town of Fastov to take possession of her husband's effects. She was received there with great honor. They prepared a special meal for her at the inn where she was lodging, and many townspeople came out of respect and to console her. But she was inconsolable. At the third meal of that Shabbat, nearly every inhabitant of the town was present.
As they sang the customary Shabbat zemirot songs, Rebbetzin Gittel, still filled with sorrow and sadness, sat on a comfortable couch next to the innkeeper's wife. Suddenly, and without transition, she was dreaming! She found herself in a great palace. The doors opened, and her husband, R' Avrohom the Malach, came out. His face was shining and he seemed to be very happy. Behind him trailed a number of wondrous-looking venerable old men. They sat around a long table. He said to them, "Here is my wife, may her days be long.
"During my lifetime I was quite ascetic, as you know, and so I denied my wife many things that she was really entitled to. I want to beg her forgiveness before you."
Gittel immediately interjected, "You are forgiven wholeheartedly."
Rabbi Avraham continued, "The Torah allows that she remarry, especially since she is a woman of only twenty-four, and I can not prevent her from doing so. But if she agrees not to marry anyone else, I pledge to fulfill all her needs, and each of our children will be assured of a good life.
When The Rebbetzin awoke from the dream, she felt consoled by her husband's words. Everyone noticed that her face lost its sad expression.
Soon after Rebbetzin Gittel returned to her home in Annipoli. She was able to maintain herself with honor and respect, and she lacked nothing. With help from the tzadik Rabbi Shlomo of Karlin, her two sons received fine educations and desirable marriage proposals. On occasions when she needed advice, the Maggid would never fail to appear to her and advise her as to what course of action she should take.
More years went by. The wife of Rabbi Menachem-Nochum of Chernobyl passed away. Rabbi Nochum expressed his wish to remarry with the Malach's widow , Rebbetzin Gittel. He spoke with her son Rabbi Sholom Shachna, who was also his grandson-in-law, who agreed it could be a good idea because his mother was still young.
So R. Nachum sent R' Sholom Shachna to speak to his mother. His first night on his way, R' Sholom Shachna had a dream. A great palace was standing before him, and his father, R' Avrahom the Malach, appeared at the door of the palace with his two hands stretched to the roof, crying out in a loud voice: "Who is he who dares to enter into my chamber?"
Immediately Rabbi Sholom Shachna awoke and understood the meaning of the dream. He returned to his house and refused to complete the trip.
In any case, Rebbetzin Gittel was not interested in remarrying at that time. At a certain point she decided to move to the Holy Land. There she declined to reveal her relationship with the Maggid and his descendants, which could have benefitted her, and instead supported herself on her earnings as a laundress. She lived the rest of her life there and is buried in the Old Cemetery of Tiberias.**
Sources: Adapted by Yerachmiel Tilles from the renditions in "The House of Rizhin" by Rabbi Menachem Brayer (Mesorah) and on //baalshemtov.com by Tzvi Meir Cohn.
Connection: Weekly Torah (3) - The passing of Sarah, the shiduch negotiations for the match between Yitzchak and Rivka, and the remarriage of the patriarch Avraham.
Rabbi Dov Ber (c.1700-19 Kislev 1772), the son of Avraham and Chava, known as the Maggid of Mezritch, succeeded his master, the Baal Shem Tov, as the head of the Chasidic movement. Most of the leading chasidic dynasties stem from his disciples and his descendents. The classic anthologies of his teachings are Likutei Amarim and Torah Ohr (combined by Kehas Publishing as Maggid Devorav l'Yaakov), and Ohr HaEmmes.
Rabbi Avraham the Malach ("the Angel") (1739- 12 Tishrei 1776). Son of Rabbi Dov Ber (the Maggid) of Mezritch. While still a young man he committed to an ascetic and secluded lifestyle. Upon his father's passing in 1772 he declined to assume leadership of the Chassidic movement, even though he was held in high esteem by all of hisfather's main disciples. He wrote a work entitled Chesed L'Avraham.
Rabbi Shalom Shachna (Friedmann) of Probisht (1766-1813) was the son of R. Avraham the Malach and grandson of Rabbi Dov Ber (the Maggid) of Mezritch. His wife was the granddaughter of Rebbe Nachum of Chernobyl. One of their sons was the famed Chasidic leader, Rabbi Yisrael of Ruzhin.
* Between six and ten - reports of his birth date differ.
** I found a genealogical reference online that she did remarry in Israel to an Eliezer Horowitz, a descendant of the Shelah Hakadosh. But this is unconfirmed. The story was based on last week’s Parsha.
HILCHOT MELACHIM U'MILCHAMOTEIHEM by the RAMBAM http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/1188343/jewish/Melachim-uMilchamot.htm
THE LAWS OF KINGS AND THEIR WARS
This text includes 23 Mitzvos; ten positive commandments and thirteen negative commandments. They are:
1) The obligation to appoint a king in Israel;
2) The prohibition against appointing a convert as king;
3) The prohibition against the king marrying many wives;
4) The prohibition against the king accumulating many horses;
5) The prohibition against the king amassing too much silver and gold;
6) The obligation to destroy the seven nations living in the Land of Canaan;
7) The prohibition against allowing any one of them to remain alive;
8) The obligation to destroy the descendants of Amalek;
9) The obligation to remember what Amalek did;
10) The prohibition against forgetting Amalek's evil deeds, including his ambush against the Israelites during their journey from Egypt to Israel;
l l) The prohibition against dwelling in Egypt;
12) The obligation to offer peace to the inhabitants of a city when besieging it; to carry out the laws governing the siege as prescribed in the Torah, in particular, the laws applying if the enemy agrees to surrender and those applying if it refuses;
13) The prohibition against offering peace to Ammon and Moab, in contrast to other nations, when besieging them;
14) The prohibition against destroying fruit-bearing trees during a siege;
15) The obligation to set up a latrine outside an army camp;
16) The obligation to carry a spike to dig with;
17) The obligation to anoint a priest to speak to the troops in the event of war;
18) The obligation to allow those who have consecrated wives, built houses, or planted vineyards to rejoice in their new status for a complete year, while releasing them from military conscription;
19) The prohibition against asking those mentioned in the previous category to perform any duties, including handling the needs of one's city or providing supplies to the troops during that year;
20) The obligation not to become frightened, nor to flee in the midst of battle;
21) The prohibitions and obligations regarding a yefat toar, a Gentile woman with whom the Torah allows relations in wartime;
22) The prohibition against selling a yafet toar;
23) The prohibition against subjugating her to perform menial duties after having relations with her.
These Mitzvos are explained in the coming chapters.
This week the Torah Organization brought down the laws too: 83. Kings and their Wars - Melachim u-Milchamoseihem
Seven commandments apply to non-Jews: idolatry, blasphemy, murder, fornication, robbery, eating from a living animal (as Noah was commanded, "But flesh with its life, its blood, you shall not eat"), and justice.[a]
1. Gen. 9:4
Halacha Overview, Copyright © 2011 by Rabbi Dr. Azriel Rosenfeld and Torah.org. The author is Director of the Center for Automation Research at the University of Maryland in College Park Questions or comments? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Dear Rabbi Rachamin,
You asked for Gog and Magog stuff, well here it is. I do ask one thing from you. Please let me know if you think this poem is too disturbing in your opinion to send out to others.
I ran to the rock
to hide behind in fear
it would not shelter me
said, "No hiding place here"
I hid in a hole
dug deep in the ground
but still was not safe
no solace would be found
I ran to the hills
but they were all falling
ran from the great sea
where the fish were calling
I hid from the sun
it became black as hair
the moon was blood red
and I trembled standing there
I ran from the Lord
but he called my name
just like eating the apple
I had acted the same
The stars up in heaven
fell down to the earth
I cried for my sins
was the day of rebirth
Who the rock will shelter
and who will cast away
will depend on our hearts
how we act and pray
The Lord hung a rainbow as a sign, it will not be water, but fire the next time. Do we really think we can walk around like the earth is our personal domain? That we can let enemies camp on our borders, and
live within our cities? That we can allow G-d's holy Mount to be defiled without repercussions? Those whose eyes are open, and whose ears hear, will go the rocks, holes, and hills, and be welcomed and
protected from harm. The rest will feast upon their neighbors, and disappear into the ground from which they came. (Har Tzion will be a Refuge and perhaps other Jewish areas but the rest of the world is fair game)
Below is a story that will blow you away!!!! thanks Orit for passing it forward!
Composed by King David, the book of Psalms has been a source of inspiration and a refuge from distress throughout the centuries for both Jew and non-Jew alike. To read from its pages is to enter into a conversation with G-d, whether to express our gratitude or plead for His compassion and confers upon the reader the ability to draw down a G-dly light which can light up the world.
Rabbi Hayyim Yosef David Azulai Ztk"l, the Pele Yoetz, wrote of the many benefits of reciting Psalms in his book Yosef Tehilot. One who is accustomed to reading the Psalms saves himself, his family and his generation from many afflictions and brings a spirit of blessing and goodness upon himself and others. There is an ancient tradition among holy and pious Jews to read the entire book of Psalms uninterrupted each day in times of crisis or suffering, or upon embarking on a dangerous journey. If you chant the Psalms with humility, you will witness great wonders. This is tried and tested. All of these benefits and more will accrue to a person who reads the Psalms in the proper fashion-letter by letter, word by word, in a happy and thankful voice imbued with humility and supplication. If you carefully concentrate on what you are saying, you will realize that these wondrous prayers enable you to destroy and uproot that which is harmful to your soul. The Psalms contain great praises and prayers to the Almighty; they are the words of the living God sung by King David with Divine inspiration. Even though we do not understand the full depths of their meaning, reading the Psalms bears spiritual fruits. The words should be recited slowly, without omissions or errors. Unlearned people should read the Psalms several times a day instead of sitting in idleness. A person should repeat the Psalms which he knows by heart even a thousand times while sitting in his store or walking on the road. He will be rewarded for this. You will be rewarded whether you do little or much, as long as you direct your heart to Heaven (Berachos 5b).
This is an amazing true story as told on Mysticalpaths.com:
My name is Rina (this is not her real name), and I live in Gush Etzion. A few months ago, when I was in my car, riding towards Gush Etzion, there was a serious traffic jam. When I reached the Gush, I saw the reason for the heavy traffic – there had been an accident, and cars were standing in the road. Out of curiosity, I looked quickly to see what had happened. I was startled to see a completely smashed car blocking the road, with a body lying on the road, covered with a sheet.
I wonder who the poor dead person might be, I thought to myself. Is it a single person or somebody married, somebody with a family or not, a man or a woman? Will there now be new orphans or perhaps bereaved parents who do not yet know what has happened? I got out of my car and took out a book of Tehillim, and I prayed with flowing tears and with great devotion. After a little while, the traffic started to move. I returned to my car and went home as fast as I could.
Two weeks later, I was sitting at home, and the phone rang. At the other end of the line, I heard an unfamiliar voice of a young woman. She asked, "Are you the one who stopped on Tuesday two weeks ago at the side of the road and read Tehillim?" "Yes, I am," I replied, wondering what the question meant. And the girl continued in a voice choked by tears. "Listen, I am the girl who was lying on the road. Everybody was sure that I was dead, and that is why they covered me with a sheet and waited for the ambulance. I lay there and experienced what is called 'clinical death.' As it were, my soul left my body, and I was able to see everything around me, from above. I saw my smashed car, the people who ran around the scene, and the long line of cars. I could even see my own body, covered with a sheet, lying on the road. When you started to read the Tehillim, all the letters flew around me, giving me a misty feeling and pulling me downwards. At that moment, a Magen David ambulance arrived, and the medics decided to try to revive me. They tried again and again, in an attempt to start my breathing and to get my heart pumping again. All that time I felt the letters of the Tehillim wrapped around me in a pleasant light, bringing my spirit back to me. The fact that you read Tehillim saved my life, and I am calling to say thank you!"
There was nothing I could say. I was completely speechless. Before this, I had no idea about the great power of prayer and what could be achieved by reading Tehillim. And I still did not understand how this anonymous woman knew who I was.
It turns out that she had not been religious at all. After this amazing event, she repented (no surprise at all!), and she repeatedly tries to convince people to read Tehillim. Of course, she recites Tehillim herself. After the accident, she asked many of her friends if they had been at the scene and if they had seen somebody reciting Tehillim. Somehow she found my name, and it was then easy for her to get other details, including my phone number.
Ever since these events I cannot stop thinking about my amazing experience. One can never know whom she is rescuing by reading Tehillim. Let us all recite Tehillim regularly, at least five minutes every day. The Almighty is sitting high above, waiting for us, His children, to ask for what we need. And He, the merciful Father, is always ready to give it to us and to forgive us for our sins.
As this story teaches us, the Tehillim that we read goes beyond our understanding. How great is our nation when we read Tehillim for another and are able to literally save them with their amazing hidden powers. We can implant deeper meaning into our reading knowing that we are able to rip the Heavens open with our prayers for Am Yisrael.
Good Shabbos Everyone. In this week's Parsha Chayei-Sorah, the Torah tells in great detail the account of Avrohom buying the burial plot for his recently deceased wife Sorah. The Torah describes how Avrohom did not bargain on the price; how he paid right away; and how he paid in cash. The Sages tell us that the deeds of the Avos - patriarchs are a sign of the proper behavior for us, the children of the patriarchs. We can therefore learn a lesson from the Torah's lengthy account of Avrohom's honest business dealings; namely, we must always be honest in business. The following two stories illustrate how being honest in business causes Hashem's name to be sanctified in the world.
A number of years ago, the Kleinbarts of Boro Park was expecting their sixth child. When labor began one morning, she told her husband, Yidel, that they had to rush to Mt. Sinai Hospital in Manhattan to deliver their child. "It's rush hour. How will we get there on time?" Yidel asked anxiously. "Don't worry, we'll get there," his wife assured him, a little nervous herself.
Driving through the streets of Boro Park was manageable, but the Prospect and Gowanus Expressways toward Manhattan were frightening. The roads were clogged. Every passing minute increased Yidel's fear and trepidation that they would not get to the hospital in time.
The quickest way to Manhattan is through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, but the lines of cars bottlenecking toward the tunnel seemed endless. In desperation, Yidel turned illegally into the lane reserved for buses and taxis, and sped along, a lone car among yellow cabs and commuter buses. When he reached the tollbooth, Yidel sped into the tunnel, without paying the toll.
As they emerged from the other side, a policeman, notified of Yidel's "crime" by tunnel authorities, flagged down the car. "What's going on?" the officer demanded. "My wife is in labor. We're rushing to the hospital to have a baby," shouted Yidel. "Why didn't you call us?" the policeman called back. "We would have given you an escort. Go!"
The Kleinbarts resumed their rush and made it to Mount Sinai Hospital on time. The baby was born that morning. That night Yidel returned to Boro Park from Manhattan via the Battery Tunnel, and when he reached the tollbooth, he handed two tokens to the toll collector.
"What's this?" the toll collector asked. "I was here this morning and I was rushing " Before he could finish the sentence, the toll collector said excitedly, "Oh, what did your wife have?"
Yidel was stunned. "How did you know?" he asked the toll collector in amazement. "They told us that a guy like you (a religious Jew) would surely come back and pay!' replied the toll collector. The officers in the tollbooth and the patrol car had seen Yidel for merely moments and yet were confident to make their evaluation of an Orhodox Jew! (p. 130 Echoes of The Maggid Rav Paysach Krohn.)
Before we continue with our second story, let us mention the words of the Sages: "In three ways does a person reveal his true nature: in his drunkenness, the way he spends money, and in the time of his anger." (Eruvin 65b) The Sage also tell us that the first question one is asked when he arrives to his Beis Din - Rabbinical court in heaven, is whether he dealt honestly in business. (Shabbos 30a) Let us now tell the second story.
One early afternoon, a eight year old boy Chaim Sholom boarded the Number 3 bus on Rechov Panim Meirot in the Mattesdorf section of Jerusalem, heading downtown.
Noticing the unusually long line of people waiting to board the bus, the driver opened both the front and back doors and called out, "Tell everyone to get on, and let those in the back pass up their money or cartisiot - bus cards." People jostled their way onto the already crowded bus. Those who entered through the front door had their cartisiot punched as they passed the driver, while those who entered through the back doors passed their cards or money forward.
The eight-year-old boy made his way up to the driver and extended his cartisia to have it punched. "I already punched your card," said the driver. "No, you didn't," protested the boy softly.
It was hot. The driver had lost his patience a few stops earlier and was in no mood for an argument. "Get inside," he ordered. "You are blocking the people behind you." The little boy looked up to the stern-faced driver and said softly, "Am lo yachol, zeh geneivah. (I can't. It's stealing.)"
"I told you, I punched your card," repeated the driver. "Get inside." The little boy walked towards the middle of the bus, downcast. The bus began moving, and after a few hundred feet the driver stopped the bus. He had looked into his rearview mirror and noticed that the young boy was leaning against a pole in the back, crying.
The driver turned to the boy and called him up front. "What's the matter, young man?" he asked. "Why are you crying?" The little boy came forward, looked up at the driver, and repeated softly, "Ani lo yachol, zeh geneivah. (I can't. That's stealing.)" The driver took out his puncher, took the cartisia from the child, punched it, and gave it back.
He then patted the boy on the forehead and said with amazement and Jewish pride, "Zeh yafeh. (That's beautiful.)" (p.124 Along the Maggids Journey, Rav Paysach Krohn)
Through dealing honestly in business we will make Jews look good. And more importantly, we will make our Father in Heaven - Hashem look good. Good Shabbos Everyone
Good Shabbos Everyone. The Torah tells us "So Yakov drew close to Yitzchok his father who felt him and said: The voice is the voice of Yakov, but the hands are the hands of Eisav." (Bereishis 27:22) The Midrash explains this powerful verse in an interesting way. The power of Yakov (who represents the Nation of Yisroel) is in its voice with prayer and Torah study, while the power of Eisav and the nations is in its physical strength. (Midrash Eicha Pesichta, Aleph,Beis) As the Prophet tells us "Fear not, O' worm of Yakov." (R.Amonon Yitzchok, Shlita, citing Yeshiyahu 41:14)
Why is Yakov compared to a worm? The power of a worm is in its mouth. A tiny worm can bore through the strongest wood with its mouth. So too, the strength of Yisroel is in its mouth with prayer. (Rashi and Metzudas Dovid on Yeshiyahu 41:14) The nations may be bigger and stronger than we are, but we have the power of prayer, which is much stronger than their physical power.
One of the ways we can use prayer is to help others. If we hear that someone is not well, G-d forbid or perhaps someone is looking for a marriage partner, we can help them by davening - praying for them. Sometimes, our prayer can positively affect others without us even realizing it
In 1983, Rabbi Aryeh Rodin, a graduate of Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim in Forest Hills, New York, assumed the spiritual leadership of the newly formed Young Israel of Dallas, Texas. As a dedicated Rabbi he gave shiurim- Torah classes to the community at large, and with his painstaking outreach work, more families than ever before became committed to authentic Judaism.
One day Rabbi Rodin was sitting in his small office when a gentleman he had never seen before walked in. "Rabbi," he said in a deep Texan drawl, "Can I have a word with you?" "Sure," said Rabbi Rodin. "Please sit down." "My name is Leonard Fruhman," the man began, extending Rabbi Rodin a very firm handshake. Leonard and the rabbi spoke about Judaism and after a while Leonard said, "I would like to make a contribution to your synagogue."
Rabbi Rodin was surprised. People do not usually walk into a shul off the street and give money without being asked. Rabbi Rodin expected to receive a check for $100.00 Instead, he was astounded when Mr. Fruhman told him the check would be for $2,000.00! "I do not have any checks with me," said Leonard with an easy smile, "but I will be back next week. You can count on that, Rabbi." Rabbi Rodin returned the smile and wished Leonard well.
In his heart, though, Rabbi Rodin was convinced that Leonard would not be back. He had no synagogue affiliation or commitment to Orthodox Judaism, and $2,000.00 was a substantial amount of money for a first-time donation. Rabbi Rodin thought that Leonard would probably rethink his pledge and decide he had been too generous. No one gives that amount to a shul with which he is unfamiliar.
To the surprise of Rabbi Rodin, Leonard returned, but the check was not for $2,00.00. It was for three thousand dollars! "I thought about our conversation throughout the week, Rabbi, and I liked what you told me," Leonard said with enthusiasm, "so I increased the amount I am giving." Rabbi Rodin was speechless. When he regained his composure, he asked Leonard jokingly, "Perhaps you would like to come back next week?"
That first donation began a long relationship between the Fruhmans and Rabbi Rodin. When the rabbi moved to Far North Dallas in 1986 to establish Congregation Ohev Shalom, Leonard came along.
Leonard passed away tragically at the untimely age of 49, and shortly afterwards his mother and family made substantial donations to rebuild and renovate the Ohev Sholom synagogue in his memory.
At the shloshim of Leonard, a memorial held 30 days after his passing, Rabbi Rodin, in a moving eulogy, told the following remarkable story. In 1986 Leonard made his first trip ever to Israel. He was determined to "see all the sights." One morning he went to the Kosel (the Western Wall), where Jews the world over come to pray, and where many write "messages to G-d" on small pieces of paper and insert them in the crevices of the holy Kosel.
Unfamiliar with the conventional text of prayers, Leonard walked up to the Kosel, and respectfully put his right hand on the stones of the towering wall. Leonard closed his eyes and in silent prayer expressed to G-d his innermost feelings.
After a while Leonard became aware of a Yerushalmi Jew standing to his right totally immersed in prayer. Wrapped in his tallis, the fellow was swaying gently to and fro, his eyes glued to the worn pages of his Tehillim. Every once in a while, the Yerushalmi Jew would close his eyes, raise his hands to Heaven and sigh.
As Leonard observed the orthodox man, Leonard noticed the great happiness on his face, the peaceful simchah of a man connecting with his Maker. Leonard was overcome by a sense of spirituality he had never experienced before. He wished he could sense that bond between man and his Creator. If only he could touch it, feel it, or bottle it.
Leonard wished he could give the man some money but he would not even consider interrupting those moments of holiness. Leonard left the uplifted and strengthened, but, in a sense, empty. Suddenly the Judaism he had not been close to meant more to him now than ever before. The noble experience stayed with him for the remainder of his trip in the Holy Land.
When he returned to Dallas, Leonard went to the Jewish bakery to meet his friend, the owner, Mr. Abe Preizler. He told Mr. Preizler about his trip to Israel and then he described his emotional experience at the Kosel Hamaaravi. "Tell me," Leonard asked Mr. Preizler, "What synagogue in town do you think that man at the Kosel would feel comfortable praying in?" The reply came quickly, "In the synagogue of Rabbi Rodin." And that is how his friendship with the Orthodox community began, said Rabbi Rodin. And from then on, Leonard and his family grew in their commitment to Judaism.
Rabbi Rodin paused in his hesped - eulogy and then said with emphasis. "Imagine, for a moment, the scene when that Yerushalmi gentleman who was davening - praying at the Kosel comes to Heaven after his prescribed years in this world are complete. Hashem will tell him that he is about to be rewarded for being instrumental in maintaining and refurbishing a shul in Dallas. The fellow probably never heard of Dallas, and if he did he certainly would not know where to find it. Yet, because he davened the way he did, where he did, it turns out that we in this community owe that Yerushalmi so much. And his reward in the Olam HaEmes will be immense." Good Shabbos Everyone. Good Shabbos Everyone. M. Wolfberg is sponsored by Zivia Stern, in memory of her late father Yehoshua Beirach ben Tzvi and for a refuah shelaima for Ruchama Chaya Sora bas Chava Breindal. Refuah Shleima to Reb Mordechai Menachem Mendel ben Tziporah Yitta Refuah Shleima to Tsviah bas Bracha Leah
Wishing everybody a wonderful Shabbos and I will be taking a few vacation days here and there between now and Chanucha so some weeks will be double and then next one or two weeks may be without a Drasha.
Be well to you all, Rachamim Pauli