Henry Moskowitz (ca. 1875 – December 18, 1936) was a doctor of philosophy, a civil rights activist, and one of the co-founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
ATTENTION ARABS PLEASE CONTINUE TO BOYCOTT ISRAEL AND OUR ANTI-CANCER VACCINE: http://unitedwithisrael.org/israel-develops-cancer-vaccine/
23;1 And the life of Sarah was a hundred and seven and twenty years; these were the years of the life of Sarah.
And the life of Sarah was one hundred years and twenty years and seven years: The reason that the word “years” was written after every digit is to tell you that every digit is to be expounded upon individually: when she was one hundred years old, she was like a twenty-year-old regarding sin. Just as a twenty-year-old has not sinned, because she is not liable to punishment, so too when she was one hundred years old, she was without sin. And when she was twenty, she was like a seven-year-old as regards to beauty. — from Gen. Rabbah 58:1]
2 And Sarah died in Kiriatharba--the same is Hebron--in the land of Canaan; and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her.
When a Tzaddik dies even the heavenly hosts cry for the world falls down a certain level and then there are tears of joy as the Neshama of the Tzaddik enters heaven.
24:1 And Abraham was old, well stricken in age; and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things.
had blessed Abraham with everything: [The word] בַּכֹּל is numerically equal to בֵּן [son]. Since he had a son, he had to find him a wife.
There are commentators that suggest בַּכֹּל also indicates everything including a daughter from Sarah and this is an oral tradition. No further mention is made of the daughter or the souls that Avraham and Sarah made until the Days of the Moshiach when they will be reunited with Am Yisrael either as Bnei Noach or Bnei Yisrael.
Once our Sages asked Eliyahu HaNovi what HASHEM is doing. He replied that HASHEM is busy making Shidduchim saying so and so the son of this man will marry the daughter of such and such. Matchmakers like doctors are only messengers of HASHEM in the direction of finding a mate.
One of the hardest things in the world is to find the right Shidduch (true marriage partner). Many of us are misled by beauty, others by wealth and others by a temporary infatuation. I have met people fooled by beauty and most end in divorce or the husband needing an intellectual partner will look for one on the side and call such an act “overtime”, “sport workout”, “education” because he fell in love with a brainless beauty. In one case the woman married a man below her intelligence and kept putting him down. He found somebody on his low intelligence level and divorced her and she found a fellow with a high IQ and they are happily married. Money Shidduchim usually lead to hatred unless both wife and husband are on high financial status and independent of one another. Temporary infatuations such as Amnon and Tamar in the Tanach led to rape and hatred.
Usually the same intellectual level, family background and financial level brings about harmony. It is true that intellectual, physical and emotional needs can lead a person of much higher wealth to marry a poorer person and have a wonderful relationship but again it is that triple combination of needs that over-come the money and perhaps family background. Such is like a pauper and a prince or princess who meets by chance. The recent marriage of the Prince of England with a Common Girl aka William and Kate were because both were in the same place and both had a click that lasted for years between them before they married. (And I ask you what is this modern nonsense of living together for years to check out compatibility why the trial?)
NOW ELIEZER WAS SENT TO LOOK FOR A SHIDDUCH FOR YITZCHAK
According to Rashi and his tradition when the marriage was contracted Rivka was 3 years old. According to Ibn Ezra and his tradition she was 14 years old. This would make the marriage last 130 years according to the first opinion or 119 years according to the second opinion. At the end of this section I will analyze what made the marriage a success.
2 And Abraham said unto his servant, the elder of his house, that ruled over all that he had: 'Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh. 3 And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife for my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell.
Rav Itamar Auerbach Shlita pointed out an interesting point about Eliezer and Avraham. When Eliezer is swearing to Avraham on the holy Bris, he asks the following question. (I know that you do not want a daughter from the Canaanite people but a special woman with the proper education and modesty.) What happens if the woman does not want to come back here? Should I bring Yitzchak there? The answer that Avraham gives is a guide for all of us. The Holy Land is more important than the righteous woman! Yitzchak, the perfect Korban (sacrifice) is not to leave the land!
4 But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son, even for Isaac.' 5 And the servant said unto him: 'Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land; must I needs bring thy son back unto the land from whence thou camest?' 6 And Abraham said unto him: 'Beware thou that thou bring not my son back thither. 7 The LORD, the God of heaven, who took me from my father's house, and from the land of my nativity, and who spoke unto me, and who swore unto me, saying: Unto thy seed will I give this land; He will send His angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife for my son from thence.
The Lord, God of the heavens, Who took me from my father’s house: But he did not say, “and the God of the earth,” whereas above (verse 3) he said, “And I will adjure you
[by the Lord, the God of the heaven and the God of the earth].” He said to him, “Now He is the God of the heaven and the God of the earth, because I have made Him familiar
in the mouths of the people, but when He took me from my father’s house, He was the God of the heavens but not the God of the earth, because mankind did not acknowledge
Him, and His name was not familiar on the earth.”
from my father’s house: from Haran.
and from the land of my birth: from Ur of the Chaldees.
and Who spoke about me: [Here לִי means]“concerning me,” like אֲשֶׁר דִבֵּר,“who spoke concerning me.” Similarly, every לִי, לוֹ, and לָהֶם used in conjunction with the verb דבר –
speak-is to be interpreted in the sense of עַל,“concerning,” and their Aramaic translation is עִלֵי, עִלוֹהִי, עִלֵיהוֹן. For in conjunction with דִּבּוּר, the use of the terms לִי, לוֹ, and לָהֶם
is inappropriate, but rather אֵלַי, אֵלָיו and אִלֵיהֶם [are to be used], and their Aramaic translation is עִמִּי, עִמֵּיהּ, עִמְּהוֹן However, following the expression אִמִירה [saying], the terms לִי, לוֹ,
and לָהֶם are appropriate.
8 And if the woman be not willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath; only thou shalt not bring my son back thither.'
you will be absolved of this, my oath: And take him a wife from the daughters of Aner, Eshkol, and Mamre. — [From Gen. Rabbah 49:8]
only…my son: “Only” is restrictive. My son will not return, but Jacob, my grandson, will ultimately return.
9 And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and swore to him concerning this matter. 10 And the servant took ten camels, of the camels of his master, and departed; having all goodly things of his master's in his hand; and he arose, and went to Aram-naharaim, unto the city of Nahor. 11 And he made the camels to kneel down without the city by the well of water at the time of evening, the time that women go out to draw water. 12 And he said: 'O LORD, the God of my master Abraham, send me, I pray Thee, good speed this day, and show kindness unto my master Abraham. 13 Behold, I stand by the fountain of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water.
He prays to HASHEM for help and sets sort of conditions and tests for the bride to be. 1) He will come to a well. (2) He will meet a maiden. (3) He will request water. (4) She will grant him water. (5) She will also offer to water his camels. (Sounds good? The Talmud says not so. What would have happened if she were a cripple, blind, deaf-mute, not from a good family or married? Or perhaps a woman from a very old profession?)
14 So let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say: Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say: Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also; let the same be she that Thou hast appointed for Thy servant, even for Isaac; and thereby shall I know that Thou hast shown kindness unto my master.' 15 And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder.
In the meantime part of his prayer is being answered because she is coming there and from the correct family line. (This is discounting that he enquired where the Nahor Family well was.)
16 And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her; and she went down to the fountain, and filled her pitcher, and came up.
a virgin: from the place of her virginity. — [Gen. Rabbah 60:5]
and no man had been intimate with her: in an unnatural way. Since the daughters of the gentiles would preserve their virginity but were promiscuous in unnatural ways, Scripture attests that she was completely innocent. — [Gen. Rabbah ad loc.]
17 And the servant ran to meet her, and said: 'Give me to drink, I pray thee, a little water of thy pitcher.'
And the servant ran toward her: Because he saw that the water had risen toward her. — [Gen. Rabbah ad loc.]
Please let me sip: An expression of swallowing, humer in Old French.
Rashi takes his commentary either from the Medrash, Gemara, perhaps Zohar and other Oral Tradition. Rashi has questions that bother him such as why does it say that the servant ran towards her? He answers the questions with the tradition that he received from his father and other teachers for he had this question and figured others might have the question too in the future. Often we are only able to translate words into sip because Rashi gave us the old French word.
18 And she said: 'Drink, my lord'; and she hastened, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink.
Let down or lowered the pitcher from her shoulder as she had filled the jug and was walking home with it.
19 And when she had done giving him drink, she said: 'I will draw for thy camels also, until they have done drinking.' 20 And she hastened, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again unto the well to draw, and drew for all his camels.
and she emptied: וַתְּעַר is an expression of emptying. There are many examples in the language of the Mishnah: “One who empties (הַמְעָרֵה) from one vessel to another.” It is also found in Scripture (Psalms 141:8):“Do not cast out (תְּעַר) my soul” ; (Isa. 53:12):“That he poured out (הֶעֱרָה) his soul to death.”
the trough: A hollow stone from which the camels drink.
21. And the man was astonished at her, standing silent, [waiting] to know whether the Lord had caused his way to prosper or not.
was astonished: Heb. מִשְׁתָּאֵה, an expression of desolation, as in (Isa. 6:11):“[until] the cities become desolate (שָׁאוּ) …and [the ground] lies waste (תִּשָׁאֶה) and desolate.”
was astonished: מִשְׁתָּאֵה [means that] he was astonished and startled because he saw his efforts on the verge of succeeding, but he did not yet know whether she was of Abraham’s family or not. Do not be surprised by the letter “Tav” in the word מִשְׁתָּאֵה [since the root is שׁאה], because there is no word [verb] whose first root-letter is a “shin,” which is used in the reflexive [Hitpa’el] form, in which a “Tav” does not separate the first two letters of the root, e.g. מִשְׁתָּאֵה [here]; or (Isa. 59:15) מִשְׁתּוֹלֵל which is from the same root as תּשׁוֹלָל or (ibid. 59:16) וַיִּשְׁתּוֹמֵם, from the same root as שְׁמָמָה or (Micah 6:16):“And the statutes of Omri shall be observed (וַיִּשְתַמֵּר),” from the same root as וַיִּשְׁמֹר. Here too, מִשְׁתָּאֵה is from the same root as תִּשָׁאֶה. And just as you find the expression מְשׁוֹמֵם used concerning a person who is astonished, dumbfounded, and engrossed in thought, as in (Job 18:20):“Those who come after shall be astonished (נָשַׁמּוּ) at his day” ; or (Jer. 2:12):“O heavens, be ye astonished (שׁוֹמּוּ)” ; or (Dan. 4: 16):“He was bewildered (אֶשְׁתּוֹמַם) for awhile”; so can you explain the expression שְׁאִיָה as referring to a person who is astonished and engrossed in thought. Onkelos, however, renders it as an expression of waiting (שְׁהִיָה) :“and the man waited (שָׁהֵי) ,” [meaning that] he waited and stood in one place to see “whether the Lord had made his way prosper.” However, we cannot translate מִשְׁתָּאֵה as meaning שָׁתֵי, “to drink,” because [the word מִשְׁתָּאֵה] does not mean drinking, for the “aleph” does not occur in the verb “to drink” (שְׁתִּיָה).
was astonished at her: [לָהּ means] he was astonished about her, as in [above 20:13]:“Say about me (לִי) , ‘He is my brother’ ” ; and as in [26:7]:“The people of the place asked about his wife (לְאִשׁתּוֹ) .”
What would be if she was the daughter of Nimrod or Chief Satan Worshipper Ministries and active in the Church? Perhaps she was betrothed or a slave. Perhaps HASHEM was telling him that he prayed stupidly and was going to be shown how stupid he was. Then again perhaps he prayed poorly but HASHEM understood his heart’s intention and HASHEM loves Avraham so he succeeded.
22. Now it came about, when the camels had finished drinking, [that] the man took a golden nose ring, weighing half [a shekel], and two bracelets for her hands, weighing ten gold [shekels].
half [a shekel]: This alludes to the shekels of Israel, half a shekel per head. — [Targum Jonathan]
and two bracelets: An allusion to the two Tablets paired together. — [Gen. Rabbah (60:6), Targum Jonathan]
weighing ten gold [shekels]: An allusion to the Ten Commandments [inscribed] on them. — [Gen. Rabbah 60:6]
This is was a lot of money but of no consequences to Avraham. It is equivalent today for Bill Gates, Carlos or Warren Buffett to give $10,000 or more of jewelry to a woman.
23. And he said, "Whose daughter are you? Please tell me. Is there place for us for lodging in your father's house?"
And he said, "Whose daughter are you?: He asked her this after giving her [the gifts] because he was confident that in the merit of Abraham, the Holy One, blessed be He, had caused his way to prosper.
for lodging: לִין means one night’s lodging. - לִין is a noun. But she replied, לָלוּן, meaning many lodgings. — [Gen. Rabbah 60:6] [Since לָלוּן is a verb, it does not limit the number of lodgings.]
He wants to see if his journey is successful or not. If not maybe they could guide him to a more fitting Shidduch.
24. And she said to him, "I am the daughter of Bethuel, the son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor."
the daughter of Bethuel: She answered his first question first and his last question last.
She answered like the way a Talmud Chacham answers – in order unless he explains that he would like to answer the second one first to explain the first one better. We have
Something missing here from the conversation or the manner of talking was different then. You would like at me twice if I said that I am the son of Felix whom Fredericka bore to Yitzchak whom Helene bore to Yacov. Our natural way of talking and getting an Aliyah in Schul is Rachamim ben Felix so I feel that we are getting a real concise summary of the whole dialogue.
25. And she said to him, "Both straw and fodder are plentiful with us; [there is] also a place to lodge."
fodder: All camel food is called מִסְפּוֹא, such as straw and barley.
Hospitality of Chessed that he had seen in Avraham’s house.
26. And the man kneeled and prostrated himself to the LORD.
The Goyim like to kneel unto this day in prayer but the prostration he received from Avraham for this was his way of thanking HASHEM for guiding the miracle of a Shidduch.
27 And he said: 'Blessed be the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who hath not forsaken His mercy and His truth toward my master; as for me, the LORD hath led me in the way to the house of my master's brethren.'
on the road: on the designated road, the straight road, on the very road that I needed. Likewise, every “bath”, “lammed,” and “hey,” that serve as a prefix and are vowelized with a “Patach” refer to something specific, already mentioned elsewhere, or of [some object] where it is clear and obvious about what one is speaking. [i.e., The “Patach” under the prefix denotes the הֵא הַיְדִיעָה, the definite article.]
This is a special bond between daughters and mothers: her mother’s house: It was customary for women to have a house in which to stay to do their work, and a daughter confides only in her mother. — [Gen. Rabbah 60:7]
29 And Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban; and Laban ran out unto the man, unto the fountain.
This man Eliezer got gold to spare, Lavan wants to trick him out of it all. Rivka runs home and tells her father and brother about the man and the fact that he is a servant of Avraham. Eliezer finds out that G-D has helped him. The ALL MIGHTY G-D of Avraham was with him and Rivka is from the proper family with the proper Midos (humane qualities). Now the question comes about will Rivka marry Yitzchak? The Midrash states that Lavan tried to poison Eliezer but accidentally poisons his father. Laban wanted to steal everything from Eliezer. Again G-D helps behind the scenes. Now Laban tries to delay the travel of Rivka. This time Rivka adds her two cents and says that she wants to be a part of the family of the Gadol HaDor (spiritual leader of the generation), Avraham.
30 And it came to pass, when he saw the ring, and the bracelets upon his sister's hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying: 'Thus spoke the man unto me,' that he came unto the man; and, behold, he stood by the camels at the fountain.
over the camels: to guard them, as (above 18:8):“And he was standing over them,” in order to serve them.
31 And he said: 'Come in, thou blessed of the LORD; wherefore standest thou without? for I have cleared the house, and made room for the camels.'
The Pshat is clear but Rashi has a Medrash from the Oral Tradition to add what also was cleared from the home.
when I have cleared the house: of idolatry. — [Gen. Rabbah 60:7]
32 And the man came into the house, and he ungirded the camels; and he gave straw and provender for the camels, and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men that were with him. 33 And there was set food before him to eat; but he said: 'I will not eat, until I have told mine errand.' And he said: 'Speak on.'
until I have spoken: Here אִם serves as an expression of אִשֶׁר, [that] and as an expression of כּי, as in (below 49: 10):“Until (עַד כִּי) Shiloh will come.” This is what our Sages of blessed memory said (Rosh Hashanah 3a): The word כִּי serves for four meanings. One of these is [the Aramaic] אִי, which is equivalent to [the Hebrew] אִם.
34 And he said: 'I am Abraham's servant. 35 And the LORD hath blessed my master greatly; and he is become great; and He hath given him flocks and herds, and silver and gold, and men-servants and maid-servants, and camels and asses. 36 And Sarah my master's wife bore a son to my master when she was old; and unto him hath he given all that he hath. 37 And my master made me swear, saying: Thou shalt not take a wife for my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell. 38 But thou shalt go unto my father's house, and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son. 39 And I said unto my master: Peradventure the woman will not follow me.
Perhaps the woman will not follow me: It [the word אֻלַי (perhaps)] is written [without a “Vav” and may be read] אֵלַי (to me). Eliezer had a daughter, and he was looking for a pretext so that Abraham would tell him, to turn to him, to marry off his daughter to him (Isaac). Abraham said to him, “My son is blessed, and you are cursed [Eliezer was a descendant of Canaan who had been cursed by Noah], and an accursed one cannot unite with a blessed one.”
40 And he said unto me: The LORD, before whom I walk, will send His angel with thee, and prosper thy way; and thou shalt take a wife for my son of my kindred, and of my father's house; 41 then shalt thou be clear from my oath, when thou come to my kindred; and if they give her not to thee, thou shalt be clear from my oath. 42 And I came this day unto the fountain, and said: O LORD, the God of my master Abraham, if now Thou do prosper my way which I go:
So I came today: Today I left, and today I arrived. From here we learn that the earth shrank for him [i.e., his journey was miraculously shortened]. Rabbi Acha said: The ordinary conversation of the servants of the Patriarchs is more beloved before the Omnipresent than the Torah of their sons, for the section dealing with Eliezer is repeated in the Torah, whereas many fundamentals of the Torah were given only through allusions. — [Gen. Rabbah 60:8]
43 behold, I stand by the fountain of water; and let it come to pass, that the maiden that cometh forth to draw, to whom I shall say: Give me, I pray thee, a little water from thy pitcher to drink; 44 and she shall say to me: Both drink thou, and I will also draw for thy camels; let the same be the woman whom the LORD hath appointed for my master's son. 45 And before I had done speaking to my heart, behold, Rebekah came forth with her pitcher on her shoulder; and she went down unto the fountain, and drew. And I said unto her: Let me drink, I pray thee. 46 And she made haste, and let down her pitcher from her shoulder, and said: Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also. So I drank, and she made the camels drink also. 47 And I asked her, and said: Whose daughter art thou? And she said: The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor's son, whom Milcah bore unto him. And I put the ring upon her nose, and the bracelets upon her hands.
And I asked…and I placed: He reversed the sequence of events, because, in fact, he had first given [her the jewelry] and then asked [about her family]. But [he changed the order] lest they catch him in his words and say, “How did you give her [the jewelry] when you did not yet know who she was?”
In the original order of things he acted very hastily so here he proceeded with the proper caution and etiquette in telling the story.
48 And I bowed my head, and prostrated myself before the LORD, and blessed the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me in the right way to take my master's brother's daughter for his son. 49 And now if ye will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me; and if not, tell me; that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left.'
to the right: [This refers to a wife] from the daughters of Ishmael. to the left: [This refers to a wife] from the daughters of Lot, who dwelt to the left of Abraham (Gen. Rabbah 60:9).
50 Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said: 'The thing proceeds from the LORD; we cannot speak unto thee bad or good.
And Laban and Bethuel answered: He [Laban] was wicked and jumped to reply before his father. ויען לבן ובתואל: רשע היה וקפץ להשיב לפני אביו: We cannot speak to you: to refuse in this matter, either with an unfavorable reply, or with an appropriate reply, because it is obvious that the matter has emanated from the Lord, according to your words, that He designated her for you.
Unless there was some reason for Lavan to take care of running things because his father was impaired, there was no reason in the world for him to act out of place. We do see this in a conversation regarding Schem ben Hamor with the brothers being cunning and Lavan was certainly cunning.
51 Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master's son's wife, as the LORD hath spoken.' 52 And it came to pass, that, when Abraham's servant heard their words, he bowed himself down to the earth unto the LORD.
that he prostrated himself on the ground: From here [we learn] that we must give thanks for good tidings.
So even though this was before Matan Torah at Sinai, some of the blessings were already established by Avraham and the blessing “HaTov U’Mativ” (the good and better) was already customary to say.
53 And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah; he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things.
and… delicacies: Heb. וּמִגְדָּנוֹת. An expression of sweet fruits (מְגָדִים), for he had brought with him various kinds of fruits of the Land of Israel.
54 And they did eat and drink, he and the men that were with him, and tarried all night; and they rose up in the morning, and he said: 'Send me away unto my master.' 55 And her brother and her mother said: 'Let the damsel abide with us a few days, at the least ten; after that she shall go.'
And her brother and her mother said: And where was Bethuel? He wanted to stop [Rebecca’s marriage]; so an angel came and slew him. — [Gen. Rabbah 60:12] a year: יָמִים [means] a year, as in (Lev. 25:29):“the time of its redemption shall be one full year (יָמִים).” For a maiden is granted a period of twelve months to outfit herself with ornaments. — [Ketubos 57]. or ten: [Meaning] ten months, for if you say that יָמִים is [to be understood literally as] days, it is not customary for people who make requests to request a small thing and [to say,] “If you are unwilling, give us more than that.” - [Ketubos 57].
I don’t know why the idea of the elderly man dozing off during or after a long diner or being not always aware of his authority or things never occurred to Rashi. Perhaps the life span was too short then?
56 And he said unto them: 'Delay me not, seeing the LORD hath prospered my way; send me away that I may go to my master.' 57 And they said: 'We will call the damsel, and inquire at her mouth.'
And ask her: From here we learn that we may not marry off a woman except with her consent. — [Gen. Rabbah 60: 12]
58 And they called Rebekah, and said unto her: 'Wilt thou go with this man?' And she said: 'I will go.'
and she said, “I will go.”: of my own accord, even if you do not desire it.
59 And they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and Abraham's servant, and his men. 60 And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her: 'Our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of ten thousands, and let thy seed possess the gate of those that hate them.'
may you become thousands of myriads: May you and your seed receive that blessing that was stated to Abraham on Mount Moriah (above 22:17): “and I will surely multiply your seed, etc.” “May it be His will that those children shall be from you and not from another woman.”
61 And Rebekah arose, and her damsels, and they rode upon the camels, and followed the man. And the servant took Rebekah, and went his way. 62 And Isaac came from the way of Beer-lahai-roi; for he dwelt in the land of the South.
coming from Be’er Lachai Ro’i: where he had gone to bring Hagar to Abraham his father, that he should marry her (Gen. Rabbah 60:14 and he dwelt in the land of the south: Near that well, as it is said (above 20:1): “And Abraham traveled from there to the south land, and he dwelt between Kadesh and Shur,” and there the well was located, as it is said (above 16:14):“Behold it is between Kadesh and Bered.”
Although nothing is impossible for HASHEM, under the normal way of things Hagar would be past child bearing age. Yishmael was born 14 years before Yitzchak and when Yitzchak married he was 40 making it a total of 54 years and Hagar did not give birth at the age of zero thus she must have been a minimum of 12 to 13 making her at least 66 to 67 years of age at the time. One thing is for one miracle to occur for Avraham and another thing is to have double miracles that are above and beyond the realm of nature.
63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide; and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, there were camels coming.
To Daven Mincha!
64 And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she alighted from the camel. 65 And she said unto the servant: 'What man is this that walks in the field to meet us?' And the servant said: 'It is my master.' And she took her veil, and covered herself. 66 And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done.
Yitzchak is going to meet his wife dressed in a Burka with her face covered. So certainly he is not marrying her because of her pretty face or other parts of the human body that attract men towards women. Eliezer explained her family, background and education so that she would be a proper intellectual and spiritual companion.
67 And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her. And Isaac was comforted for his mother.
He married her and she knew her duties and responsibilities as a wife and he as a husband. There was no infatuation period but immediate marriage arranged. By doing his best to please her and she doing her best to please him, they began to love each other. She replaced Sarah as woman of the house and he was comforted for the loss of his mother.
:1 And Abraham took another wife, and her name was Keturah. 2 And she bore him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah. 3 And Jokshan begot Sheba, and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, and Letushim, and Leummim. 4 And the sons of Midian: Ephah, and Epher, and Hanoch, and Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah. 5 And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac. 6 But unto the sons of the concubines, that Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts; and he sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country.
These children were given the gift of astrological knowledge, physical wealth and they learned family purity and eating food in holiness and purity and they became Brahmans in the east according to the opinion of David Isaac and other Jews from India, Burma and the east.
Good morning Rabbi: How are you doing this fine day?? This is MY Parsha, Vayera, my name is Avrohom and I am the EXPERT on Chessed and Bikur Cholim.
I thank Hashem each and every day, for giving me the strength to go on, and I am able to help others. Let me tell you a story of what Chessed and Bikur Cholim is all about.
Many years ago, my predecessor, and his name is Yonisan, and he was ill, and was in the hospital for an infection, so I decided that I would walk over to see him on Shabbos day, but what I did not know was that 3 other people also walked in to see Yonisan too.
So, at 5:00 pm, someone from Bikur Cholim of Borough-Park walked into the room, and said to us Good Shabbos, and we returned the same to him.
But then I said out loud, I am SO tired, and this person asked me why was I tired??
I told this person, that I walked from Ocean Parkway & Avenue M, and the other three people also walked far, one came from Avenue L and Bedford Avenue, one came from 23rd Avenue and 65th Street, and the last one came from Kings Highway and Ocean Parkway, and we told this person, that NO one forced us to come, and we did this on our own.
That is what I call Chessed and Bikur Cholim, and Yonisan was CRYING when he saw us. Yonisan was niftar (soul departed) a short time later, and since he did NOT have any family, I said Kaddish for him, and eventually took over his job of Shammis, Congregation Kehal Premishlan. If I were to print out ALL the stories of the Chessed I have done, along with the Bikur Cholim, it would take many disks to fill it up.
So, I can give you a story per week, which would last you an eternity. RABBI AL
THE FORTIES ARE NOW by Barry Chamish
We begin with a wedding in 1948. In the photo above are my grandparents, parents, brother, two aunts and one uncle. In the center is the bride, Freda, standing beside her mother Manya Frankel. I don't know if you can see it, but there are real unwanted emotions staring at you. Not four years earlier, many of my grandmothers' family, the Resniks, were slaughtered like animals, mostly in a Polish town called Miedzyrzec. I now know how it happened because Aunt Freda asked her mother where her family were from and she traced the records of the dead.
My last visit to Aunt Freda was when I was in New York a few years ago. I used the time to let her tell me about my maternal family roots. Manya arrived with her parents in Brooklyn around the time of the First World War, married Sam Frankel and had four children. When her parents decided to move to a Midwestern city with her sisters, she joined them.
Frida told me the married names of her sisters, Kosatzky, Marmel, Fireman and that they initially moved to nearby farm towns. Only Freda disliked prairie life so much that she moved back to Brooklyn.
If you look hard, there are two other emotions in the photo, joy and fear. Israel had declared its nationhood, a small reward in an awful decade.The Jews there faced the real possibility of being defeated and turning into the second Holocaust. My family put all their spare time and thoughts into working locally to save Israel. As happy a bride as was Freda, even her wedding day was haunted by recent massacres and the threat of another one any day.
When Freda died recently, she left this photo and a searing document telling how her mother's family met their heartless demise. As I read it, me, being who I am, saw awful parallels with Israel today. See if you agree.
Miedzyrzec prided itself on its religious life:
Unlike the general area, where most of the Jews tended to be part of various Hassidic sects, the majority of the community in Miedryrzec were Mitnagdim (those who opposed the Hassidim). The relationship between the Hassidim and the Mitnagdim was amicable. At one point the Hassidic Rabbi Yechiel Michael Halperin of Kuzmier served as the Rabbi of Miedzyrzec. Only during the 19th century, when Rabbi Yom Tov Raphael Lippman, an extreme Mitnagid, served as Rabbi, did an intense argument occur which culminated in Rabbi Lippman placing the Hassidim in cherem (excommunication). As a consequence of his action Rabbi Lippman was forced to leave the community and things reverted to normal.
Among the other important Rabbis were Rabbi Zvi Hirsch who served during the end of the 16th century, Rabbi Natan Netta Katzenelbogen who came to live inEretz Yisrael and died there in 1689, Rabbi Yehoshua Lieb Diskin who came to live in Eretz Yisrael and established the Diskin Orphanage, and Rabbi Issa Shapira who came in 1930. Rabbi Yitzhak Yakov Wachtfogel was a rabbi in Meah Shearim in Jerusalem, and Rabbi Shimon Yakov Halevi who was a rabbi in Tel Aviv, were both born in Miedryrzec.
Miedryrzec was a town that opposed Hasidim but the villages around it were mostly Hasidic. During the Holocaust, Miedryrzec was a holding center for the district's doomed Jews, and the Hasidim were crowded into the new ghetto along with the Mitnagdim. Ignoring obvious distinctions, to me this is the equivalent of the Hasidim and religious Zionists huddled together in the dying gasps of Judea and Samaria. The difference between the two groups in the forties is that some Mitnagdim survived, while the Hasidim were all but wiped out completely.
The Germans entered the city on the 13th of September 1939, and they were replaced twelve days later, by the Russians on September 25. The Red Army was only there for two weeks and with their retreat some 2000 young Jews managed to join them. The Wehrmacht reconquered the city on October 9, and on the 20th of October, the city was transferred into the hands of the Gestapo.
Why didn't the Hasidim youth retreat with the Russians? Everyone knows the answer because the exact same delusions are alive today in Israel. Their rabbis undoubtedly told them that God wouldn't abandon them and would soon send his Messiah. In actuality, it appears that God did abandon them and that no Messiah showed up. And no matter how many justifications have been fabricated to make Israel different, that the slaughter can never return, the Hasidim are in the exact same boat. And the rest of us could share the fate of the Jews who stayed in Miedryrzec.
Among the Nazi groups that were stationed in the city there were the Gendarmerie and the Schupo, (German police) who would later be responsible for murdering the Jews of Miedryrzec. Among the gendarmes was Sergeant Franz Bauer, who personally killed 1000 of the Jewish residents. In the summer of 1940 six separate work camps were set up where some 2000 Jews worked in terrible conditions. Many of the workers died of hunger and cold. The Jews no longer had any rights. Jewish factories were expropriated, among them the brush factory. Other factories were transferred to polish ownership. Jewish refugees continually came from Krakow and the surrounding area. In December 1941 Jews were ordered to hand over all of their fur coats to the Nazi's. Some 20 Jews were murdered on the city streets and another 75 died during the searches that were carried out by Jewish prisoners of War from the Polish army that were specially brought to the city...
On August 25 and 26 the first action occurred. 10,000 Jews were brutally assembled in the town square. They were forcibly marched to the train station where they were put on 52 cattle cars (shipment 566 according to the German inventory) and sent to Treblinka...The Second action took place between October 6 and 9. Some 7000 Jews were forcibly assembled in the town square. At this stage everyone knew what their fate was. The Czienki brothers, who managed to escape from Treblinka, informed the Judenrat of Miedzyrzec and other Jewish ghettos about the extermination that was taking place. The head of the Judenrat told the Gestapo about the brothers and they were shot on one of the small streets of the city.
Between October 27 and 29 and November 7 and 8 two actions took place without respite. The Germans, assisted by the Jewish police conducted searches in the Ghetto. Many Jews were captured and shot on sight. Others were sent to camps. At this time many lost their will to live and simply turned themselves over to the Germans.
We must face the fact: the Nazis organized Jews to run the local government, the Judenrat, and its Jewish police. Without their help, the Holocaust would have gone far slower and perhaps millions would have survived. Many studies have shown that these men were selected from amongst the Jews with low standing in the community and who relished the sudden rise in their social status. The lesson learned was that certain Jews were happy to do the dirty work of outsiders determined to destroy Judaism. These are the leaders of Israel! Israelis don't understand that their leaders, long before, had sold their souls to today's Nazis and were manipulated into power. I could but won't repeat my solid proofs at this time but just know, the Oslo "peace" Accord was the mayor of Miedryrzec inviting the Gestapo to come in and take care of Jewish security.
On May 2 and 3, 1943, after a long hiatus, a fifth action took place. Some 3000 Jews were captured and sent to different camps. Approximately 200 caught trying to hide, were marched to the cemetery, forced to undress, and were then shot. A Jewish youth named Chaim Foga attacked a German officer and threw acid in his face. On that day the entire Judenrat and Jewish police were shot to death.
In this horrific report, I personally relate to Chaim Foga. He knew every Jew was a walking corpse and he fought the executioner. As a result, he ended the delusions of the Jews working for the Nazis. The leaders of Israel should know, there is no escape for you either.
The first Western spy satellite images two days after the explosions at the Alghadir Revolutionary Guards base 45 km west of Tehran further deepen the mystery of their cause. The coming DEBKA-Net-Weekly out Friday proposes some intriguing answers. In seconds, the vast 52-square kilometer (20 sq. mile) area around the base was laid waste, as though ravaged by a nuclear blast – except for the absence of radioactivity. The Guards have placed the area off-limits and posted special operations units to bar entry.
Rabbi Aryel Nachman ben Chaim Shlita wrote: According to Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. The primary strategic uses of a neutron bomb would be as an anti-missile device, to kill soldiers who are protected by armor, to temporarily or permanently disable armored targets, or to take out targets fairly close to friendly forces.
It is untrue that neutron bombs leave buildings and other structures intact. This is because the blast and thermal effects are damaging much further out than the radiation. Although military targets may be fortified, civilian structures are destroyed by a relatively mild blast.
Armor, on the other hand, isn't affected by thermal effects or the blast except very near to ground zero. However, armor, and the personnel directing, it is damaged by the intense radiation of a neutron bomb. In the case of armored targets, the lethal range from neutron bombs greatly exceeds that of other weapons. Also, the neutrons interact with the armor and can make armored targets radioactive and unusable (usually 24-48 hours). For example, M-1 tank armor includes depleted uranium, which can undergo fast fission and can be made to be radioactive when bombarded with neutrons. As an anti-missile weapon, enhanced radiation weapons can intercept and damage the electronic components of incoming warheads with the intense neutron flux generated upon their detonation.
Research and bomb making facilities are typically contained in fortified underground facilities - the ground actually acting as part of the containment; this could explain the low number of casualties. Since the explosion was underground and the Neutron material is short lived, that would explain the lack of detectable radiation in the area. The best indicator of this being a Neutron device would be the electronics in the area. If the electronics are unusable, this would be evidence of the EMP (electromagnetic pulse). The Neutron bomb radiation is relatively short lived, thus, while the humans die off from the intense radiation rather quickly, the remaining buildings and land is habitable after a short period of time.
I want to add that Neutron Bombs cause EMP (electromagnetic pulse) which knocks out modern communications from phones to aircraft radar unless the aircraft is hardened for military purposes. It sends Gamma Rays through the area killing off the population.
WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE By CAROLINE GLICK Jerusalem Post 11/11/11; Freeman Center Broadcast 11/11/11; Townhall.com 11/12/11 forwarded by Gail Winston, Middle East Analyst & Commentator
WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE By Caroline Glick
The slurs against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu voiced by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and US President Barack Obama after last week's G20 summit were revealing as well as repugnant.
Thinking no one other than Obama could hear him, Sarkozy attacked Netanyahu, saying, "I can't stand to see him anymore, he's a liar."
Obama responded by whining, "You're fed up with him, but me, I have to deal with him every day."
These statements are interesting both for what they say about the two presidents' characters and for what they say about the way that Israel is perceived by the West more generally.
To understand why this is the case it is necessary to first ask, when has Netanyahu ever lied to Sarkozy and Obama?
This week the UN International Atomic Energy Agency's report about Iran's nuclear weapons program made clear that Israel - Netanyahu included - has been telling the truth about Iran and its nuclear ambitions all along. In contrast, world leaders have been lying and burying their heads in the sand.
Since Iran's nuclear weapons program was first revealed to the public in 2004, Israel has provided in-depth intelligence information proving Iran's malign intentions to the likes of Sarkozy, Obama and the UN. And for seven years, the US government - Obama included - has claimed that it lacked definitive proof of Iran's intentions.
Obama wasted the first two years of his administration attempting to charm the Iranians out of their nuclear weapons program. He stubbornly ignored the piles of evidence presented to him by Israel that Iran was not interested in cutting a deal.
Perhaps Obama was relying on the US's 2007 National Intelligence Estimate about Iran's nuclear weapons program. As Israel said at the time, and as this week's IAEA report proves, it was the NIE - which claimed that Iran abandoned its nuclear weapons program in 2003 - not Israel that deliberately lied about the status of Iran's nuclear weapons program. It was the US intelligence community that purposely deceived the American government and people about the gravest immediate threat to US national security.
Israel, including Netanyahu, was telling the truth.
So if Netanyahu never lied about Iran, what might these two major world leaders think he lies about? Why don't they want to speak with him anymore? Could it be they don't like the way he is managing their beloved "peace process" with the Palestinians?
The fact is that the only times Netanyahu has spoken less than truthfully about the Palestinians were those instances when he sought to appease the likes of Obama and Sarkozy. Only when Netanyahu embraced the false claims of the likes of Obama and Sarkozy that it is possible to reach a peace deal with the Palestinians based on the establishment of an independent Palestinian state west of the Jordan River could it be said that he made false statements.
Because the truth is that Israel never had a chance of achieving peace with the Palestinians. And the reason this has always been the case has nothing to do with Netanyahu or Israel.
THERE WAS never any chance for peace because the Palestinians have no interest in making peace with Israel. As the West's favorite Palestinian "moderate," Fatah leader and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas said in an interview with Egypt's Dream TV on October 23, "I've said it before and I'll say it again. I will never recognize the 'Jewishness' of the State [of Israel] or a 'Jewish state.'"
That is, Abbas will never make peace with Israel. Acknowledging this, on Tuesday Netanyahu reportedly told his colleagues that through their recent actions, the Palestinians have abrogated the foundations of the peace process. As he put it, "By boycotting negotiations and by going instead to the United Nations [to achieve independent statehood], they [the Palestinians] have reneged on a central tenet of Oslo."
That tenet, which formed the basis of the Oslo peace process, was "land for peace."
As Netanyahu explained, Israel gave up land within the framework of the Oslo Accords. In exchange the Palestinians committed to resolve their conflict with Israel through direct negotiations that would lead to peace. Their UN gambit, like Abbas's statement to Egyptian television, shows that the Palestinians - not Israel - have been lying all along. They pocketed Israel's territorial concessions and refused to make peace.
So why do the likes of Sarkozy and Obama hate Netanyahu? Why is he "a liar?" Why don't they pour out their venom on Abbas, who really does lie to them on a regular basis?
The answer is because they prefer to blame Israel rather than acknowledge that their positive assessments of the Palestinians are nothing more than fantasy.
And they are not alone. The Western preference for fantasy over reality was given explicit expression by former US president Bill Clinton in September.
In an ugly diatribe against Netanyahu at his Clinton Global Initiative Conference, Clinton insisted that the PA under Abbas was "pro-peace" and that the only real obstacle to a deal was Netanyahu. Ironically, at the same time Clinton was attacking Israel's leader for killing the peace process, Abbas was at the UN asking the Security Council to accept as a full member an independent Palestine in a de facto state of war with Israel.
So, too, while Clinton was blaming him for the failure of the peace process, Netanyahu was at the UN using his speech to the General Assembly to issue yet another plea to Abbas to renew peace talks with Israel.
Clinton didn't exhaust his ammunition on Netanyahu. He saved plenty for the Israeli people as well. Ignoring the inconvenient fact that the Palestinians freely elected Hamas to lead them, Clinton provided his audience with a bigoted taxonomy of the Israeli public through which he differentiated the good, "pro-peace Israelis," from the bad, "anti-peace," Israelis.
As he put it, "The most pro-peace Israelis are the Arabs; second the Sabras, the Jewish Israelis that were born there; third, the Ashkenazis of longstanding, the European Jews who came there around the time of Israel's founding." As for the bad Israelis, in the view of the former president, "The most anti-peace are the ultra-religious who believe they're supposed to keep Judea and Samaria, and the settler groups, and what you might call the territorialists, the people who just showed up lately and they're not encumbered by the historical record."
BY RANKING the worthiness of Israel's citizens in accordance with whether or not they agree with Clinton and his friends, Clinton was acting in line with what has emerged as standard operating practice of Israel's "friends" in places such as Europe and the US. Like Clinton, they too think it is their right to pick and choose which Israelis are acceptable and which are unworthy.
On Wednesday we saw this practice put into play by British Ambassador Matthew Gould. This week the Knesset began deliberations on a bill that would prohibit foreign governments and international agencies from contributing more than NIS 20,000 to Israeli nongovernmental organizations. The bill was introduced by Likud MK Ofir Okunis with Netanyahu's support.
According to Haaretz, Gould issued a thinly veiled threat to Okunis related to the bill. Gould reportedly said that if the bill is passed, it would reflect badly on Israel in the international community.
Last month, Makor Rishon published a British government document titled, "NGOs in the Middle East Funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office." The document showed that in 2010, outside of Iraq, the British government gave a total of £100,000 to pro-democracy NGOs throughout the Arab world.
In contrast to Britain's miserly attitude towards Arab civil society organizations, Her Majesty's Government gave more than £600,000 pounds to far-leftist Israeli NGOs. These Israeli groups included the Economic Cooperation Foundation, Yesh Din, Peace Now, Ir Amim and Gisha. All of these groups are far beyond Israeli mainstream opinion. All seek to use international pressure on Israel to force the government to adopt policies rejected by the vast majority of the public.
So for every pound Britain forked out to cultivate democracy in 20 Arab non-democracies, it spent £6 to undermine democracy in Israel - the region's only democracy.
And the British couldn't be more pleased with the return on their investment. Speaking to Parliament last year, Britain's Minister of Middle East Affairs Alistair Burt said the money has successfully changed Israeli policies. As he put it, "Since we began supporting these programs some significant changes have been made in the Israeli justice system, both civilian and military, and in the decisions they make. They have also raised a significant debate about these matters and we believe these activities will strengthen democracy in Israel."
In other words, as far as Britain is concerned, "strengthening democracy" in Israel means tipping the scales in favor of marginal groups with no noticeable domestic constituency. These shockingly hostile statements echo one made by then-presidential candidate Obama from the campaign trail in February 2008. At the time Obama said, "I think there is a strain within the pro-Israel community that says unless you adopt a[n] unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel that you're anti-Israel, and that can't be the measure of our friendship with Israel."
Scarcely a day goes by when some foreign leader, commentator or activist doesn't say that being pro-Israel doesn't mean being pro-Israeli government. And like Obama's campaign-trail statement, Clinton's diatribe, Sarkozy and Obama's vile gossip about Netanyahu and Britain's self-congratulatory declarations and veiled threats, those who make a distinction between the Israeli people and the Israeli government ignore two important facts.
First, Israel is a democracy. Its governments reflect the will of the Israeli people and therefore, are inseparable from the people. If you harbor contempt for Israel's elected leaders, then by definition you harbor contempt for the Israeli public. And this makes you anti-Israel.
The second fact these statements ignore is that Israel is the US's and Europe's stalwart ally. If Sarkozy and Obama had said what they said about Netanyahu in a conversation about German Chancellor Angela Merkel, or if Netanyahu had made similar statements about Obama or Sarkozy, the revelation of the statements would have sparked international outcries of indignation and been roundly condemned from all quarters.
And this brings us to the other troubling aspect of Sarkozy and Obama's nasty exchange about Netanyahu. Their views reflect a wider anti-Israel climate.
Outside the Jewish world, Sarkozy's and Obama's hateful, false statements about their ally provoked no outrage. Indeed, it took the media three days to even report their conversation. This indicates that Obama and Sarkozy aren't alone in holding Israel to a double standard. They aren't the only ones blaming Israel for the Palestinians' bad behavior.
The Western media also holds Israel to a separate standard. Like Obama and Sarkozy, the media blame Israel and its elected leaders for the Palestinians' duplicity. Like Obama and Sarkozy, the media blame Israel for failing to make their peace fantasies come true.
And that is the real message of the Obama- Sarkozy exchange last week. Through it we learn that blaming the Jews and the Jewish state for their enemies' behavior is what passes for polite conversation among Western elites today.
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.
THE IRANIAN NUCLEAR MAZE by Ambassador (ret.) YORAM ETTINGER forwarded by Gail Winston, Middle East Analyst & Commentator
THE IRANIAN NUCLEAR MAZE by Ambassador (ret.) YORAM ETTINGER, "Second Thought" "Israel HaYom" Newsletter, November 11, 2011
The assumptions that tougher sanctions could deny Iran nuclear capabilities, could pacify Iran's nuclear programs, and could produce a regime change in Teheran, defy reality. These assumptions and the suppositions that Mutually-Assured-Deterrence (MAD) would enable the Free World to co-exist with a nuclear Iran, and that the cost of a military preemption would be prohibitive, reflect a determination to learn from recent history by repeating – and not by avoiding – critical errors; a victory of delusion over realism.
US and UN sanctions against North Korea – which were initiated in 1950 - failed to prevent the Nuclearization of Pyongyang. Sanctions could not abort the development of impressive North Korean weapons of mass destruction
capabilities and its exportation – along with terrorism - to Iran, Egypt, Syria, Asia, Africa and the American continent. Sanctions have not toppled the Kim Jong-Il regime and haven't ended its relentless pursuit of the takeover of South Korea.
Sanctions against North Korea instilled a false sense of success, relieving Western policy-makers of taking tougher action, thus facilitating Kim Jong-Il's attainment of nuclear power. While sanctions brought down the comfort-driven White regime of South Africa, they generally do not deter rogue repressive Third World regimes, such as North Korea, Saddam's Iraq, Cuba and Burma, which has been targeted by US sanctions since 1990.
US and UN sanctions against Iran have been ineffective for 16 years! US sanctions were initially legislated in 1995, and UN Security Council sanctions were initially approved in 2006. They intended to end Iran's nuclear program and its support of Islamic terrorism and to bolster the Iranian opposition. Additional US legislation has tightened the sanctions and intensified punitive policy towards violators. However, systematic non-compliance has been demonstrated by Russia and China, as well as by Turkey, Pakistan, Malaysia, India, Japan, South Africa, Venezuela and some of the European countries.
Disengagement from delusions and engagement with realism constitute a prerequisite for averting Iran's nuclearization, which constitutes a clear and present danger to the US, then to NATO, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, as well as to Israel and to global sanity. Therefore, the prevention of a nuclear Iran should constitute a top US national security priority.
In other words, Iran's mega-goal, since the 7th century, has been the domination of the Persian Gulf, irrespective of the Palestinian issue, Israel's policy or Israel's existence. Iran's mega-hurdle has been the US and NATO presence in the Gulf. Therefore, the development of Iran's mega-(nuclear) capability is primarily designed to force the US evacuation of the Gulf and the Indian Ocean, through deterrence and intimidation in the Gulf region, through beachheads in Latin America and the US mainland. Iran's mega-capability would allow it to occupy Iraq – its arch rival since the 7th century – and Saudi Arabia, which Iran considers an apostate regime. All Gulf States are perceived by Iran as key prizes, required to control the flow and the price of oil and to bankroll Teheran's megalomaniac regional and global aspirations.
Iran's geo-strategic goals are energized by its current Islamic zeal, viewing Jihad (Holy War) as the permanent state of relations between Moslems and non-Moslems, while peace and ceasefire accords are tenuous. Iran demonstrated its zeal to obtain the mega-goal at all cost, sacrificing some 500,000 people on the altar of the 1980-1988 War against Iraq, including approximately 100,000 children who were dispatched to clear minefields. Moreover, Teheran’s Mullahs are emboldened by the pending US evacuation of Iraq, which they consider an extension of the US retreats from Lebanon (1958
and 1983), Vietnam (1973) and Somalia (1993).
An Iranian nuclear cloud, hovering above the US and Israel, would not require the launching of nuclear warheads, in order to acquire significant extortion capabilities and produce economic, social, moral and national security havoc. Therefore, one cannot afford to await a smoking nuclear gun in the hand of Teheran; one must prevent the nuclear gun from reaching Teheran's hand. That excludes the options of deterrence, coexistence and retaliation. It highlights the option of a swift and a disproportional preemptive military operation, whose cost would be dwarfed by the cost of inaction.
The Iranian nuclear challenge constitutes the ultimate test of leadership. Will the US and Israel be driven by long-term conviction and realism, or will they succumb to vacillation, oversimplification and short-term political convenience, thus facilitating the surrender of Western democracies to rogue Islamic regimes!?
Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, "Second Thought: US-Israel Initiative", www.TheEttingerReport.com
Good Shabbos Everyone. In this week’s parsha Vayeira, we read about the greatness of the mitzvah of Hachnasas Orchim. The Torah tells us that Avrohom Avinu "was sitting at the entrance of the tent in the heat of the day."(Bereishis 18:1) Rashi explains that Avrohom Avinu was waiting to see if travelers would pass by, so that he could invite them into his home. When Avrohom Avinu saw that three men were approaching, Avrohom Avinu ran towards the men in order to offer them hospitality.
The Shlah comments that we are all guests in Hashem's world. Because if Hashem were to "pull the plug", so to speak, we the world would no longer exist. So, the Shlah writes, by fulfilling the mitzvah of welcoming guests into our homes, we are fulfilling the mitzvah of "going in Hashem's ways."
Reb Eliezer, the father of the Baal Shem Tov, was so hospitable that he used to send people out to bring in travelers who were passing by his village. After the guests had eaten, Reb Eliezer would give them gifts, and provisions for their further travels. The Heavenly Court took due note of his exemplary conduct, and it was decided to put Reb Eliezer to the test.
The accusing angel spoke up first: "I am willing to go down and test him.” But Eliyahu the Prophet said: "No, perhaps it would be better if I were to go," His suggestion was accepted, and the prophet appeared at the door of Reb Eliezer on Shabbos afternoon in the guise of a poor drifter, with a staff in his hand and a knapsack on his back, in flagrant breach of the holiness of Shabbos. (Carrying in the streets is generally forbidden on Shabbos.) Reb Eliezer simply opened up his door wide and said “Gut Shabbos,” and warmly welcomed the man inside.
Reb Eliezer remained calm in the face of the chutzpah of his guest in desecrating the Sabbath before his very eyes. Reb Eliezer let no harsh word pass his lips that might put the poor man to shame. On the contrary, Reb Eliezer hastened to serve the man the Seudah Shlishis, and in the evening, when Shabbos had passed, prepared for the poor man Melaveh Malkah.
The next morning Reb Eliezer gave the man a liberal donation for his further upkeep, still without breathing a word about the shameful conduct of violating the holy Shabbos.
At this moment, the prophet revealed himself to Reb Eliezer, and said: "Know that I am the Prophet Eliyahu, and I have come to test you. And because you withstood your test, and did not shame the one who came to your door, you have been found worthy of having a son who will light up the eyes of all Yisroel."
And in due course the blessing was fulfilled, and to this patient host and his dutiful wife was born the Baal Shem Tov. (A Treasury of Chassidic Tales, p.62, R.S.Y. Zevin, U.Kaploun, trans.) We see from this story the greatness of the mitzvah of welcoming guests into our homes.
In order for us to be able to perform the mitzvah of welcoming guests properly, we will now briefly detail the basic guidelines of this most important mitzvah. Most guests have traveled and are usually hungry and thirsty. This is hinted to in the verse which tells us that Avrohom Avinu ran to meet his guests. Ratz – (Ran) – is spelled Reysh - Tzadi, which are the first letters of the words ra-ev - hungry and tzameh - thirsty. Therefore, a good host will offer his guest something to eat and drink immediately after their arrival. As the verse states in Tehillim "...and You give them their food in its proper time;"(145:15)
Also, the verses tell us that “Avrohom hurried to the tent to Sorah and said ‘Hurry! Three seahs of meal, fine flour! Knead and make cakes.’ Then Avrohom ran to the cattle…”(18:6-7) Thus we see how important it is to serve guests quickly. Similarly, a host should avoid keeping a guest hostage by delaying the recitation of Bircas Hamazon – Grace after meals. This is hinted to in the verse, as Avrohom Avinu tells his guests: “I will fetch a morsel of bread that you may sustain yourselves, then go on…”(18:5) The Belzer Rav explains this verse to mean that Avrohom Avinu saw that his guests were in a hurry; so Avrohom Avinu did his best not to delay them.(As heard from Rav A.D.M. Bayer)
By following the basic guidelines and by learning from the examples of Avrohom Avinu and Sorah Emainu, we should have the merit to warmly welcome guests into our homes for many years to come. 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