Dora bas Dorit still needs our prayers. Shmuel ben Esther passed away.
Having trouble viewing any Hebrew then please go to www.rabbipauli.blogspot.com
Barbara M. sent me this cute piece: According to the Jewish calendar, the year is 5772. According to the Chinese calendar, the year is 4708. This means that the Jews went without Chinese food for 1,064 years. This period was known as the Dark Ages!! (Courtesy of the Organization of Organized Yentas)
Today is Yom HaShoah from the UN. Nobody can explain why one family member lived and the parents and siblings died or one escaped or all lived. Miracles happen even to an Arab infant: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4181501,00.html
The last of the Mohicans by the Autistic Children
I sent out two special posts to my direct readers recently regarding the deterioration in the heat of Rabbi Kaneivsky Shlita and Rabbi Eliyashiv Shlita for as we approach Moshiach the Torah Giants may be taken away from us as the old age and institutions fall and the lost sheep of a generation look for HASHEM AND Moshiach as our salvation. A new generation of Torah midgets will emerge and it will be like a one eyed person leading the blind. However, the simplistic faith and purity of spirit and purpose will move the generation forward. The Rabbinate has become corrupt with bureaucratic Kashrus money making business. If a piece of lettuce is made glossy and preserved with chemicals derived from pork and non-kosher chicken one cannot eat such lettuce or put it on bread with cheese and tomatoes. The Autistic Children have warned us in the past of the changes and there will be honest mistakes made in the process but the purity of heart and true political leadership of the Moshiach and his ministers will move Am Yisrael forward.
Dirty Potato Chips - Maui Onion Potato Chips should be marked OU-D instead of the parve OU.
10:1. The Lord said to Moses: "Come to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, in order that I may place these signs of MINE in his midst,
From the old bad translation I explained a lesson to my four year old grandson. I said to him of course in Hebrew. “Why does HASHEM tell Moshe to Bo (come) to Pharaoh instead of Lech (go) to Pharaoh. After all Moshe is here and Pharaoh is there and therefore far apart! Therefore the Torah comes to teach us that the glory of HASHEM is both here, there and everywhere for the whole earth is filled with HIS glory.
2 and that thou may tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son's son, what I have wrought upon Egypt, and My signs which I have done among them; that ye may know that I am the LORD.'
Pharaoh could have let the people go with the first five Makkos, the second five were added by heartening Pharaoh’s heart and the drowning of the Egyptians in the sea was for the purpose of educating and re-establishing the faith of the Bnei Yisrael in every succeeding generation.
3 And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and said unto him: 'Thus says the LORD, the God of the Hebrews: How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before Me? let My people go, that they may serve Me. 4 Else, if thou refuse to let My people go, behold, to-morrow will I bring locusts into thy border; 5 and they shall cover the face of the earth, that one shall not be able to see the earth; and they shall eat the residue of that which is escaped, which remains unto you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which grows for you out of the field; 6 and thy houses shall be filled, and the houses of all thy servants, and the houses of all the Egyptians; as neither thy fathers nor thy fathers' fathers have seen, since the day that they were upon the earth unto this day.' And he turned, and went out from Pharaoh. 7 And Pharaoh's servants said unto him: 'How long shall this man be a snare unto us? let the men go, that they may serve the LORD their God, know thou not yet that Egypt is destroyed?' 8 And Moses and Aaron were brought again unto Pharaoh; and he said unto them: 'Go, serve the LORD your God; but who are they that shall go?' 9 And Moses said: 'We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds we will go; for we must hold a feast unto the LORD.' 10 And he said unto them: 'So be the LORD with you, as I will let you go, and your little ones; see ye that evil is before your face. 11 Not so; go now ye that are men, and serve the LORD; for that is what ye desire.' And they were driven out from Pharaoh's presence.
We see a weakening in the support for Pharaoh in his advisors now yet HASHEM continues to harden his heart. Whatever is left of the crops from the hail will be destroyed by the locusts. Anybody who has seen films of giant locust storms will know that they fill up one area and eat everything before moving onward. There was a relatively small about of a few billion locusts about 5 or 6 years ago in Egypt and one part of Yarden and in the rest of Yarden and Eretz Yisrael preparations were made for spraying and controlling these pests but fortunately it was not needed in the end.
12 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Stretch out thy hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they may come up upon the land of Egypt, and eat every herb of the land, even all that the hail hath left.' 13 And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the LORD brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all the night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts. 14 And the locusts went up over all the land of Egypt, and rested in all the borders of Egypt; very grievous were they; before them there were no such locusts as they, neither after them shall be such. 15 For they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and they did eat every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left; and there remained not any green thing, either tree or herb of the field, through all the land of Egypt. 16 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste; and he said: 'I have sinned against the LORD your God, and against you. 17 Now therefore forgive, I pray thee, my sin only this once, and entreat the LORD your God, that He may take away from me this death only.'
This appears on the surface to be genuine repentance with regret and confession of guilt in the beginning but …
18 And he went out from Pharaoh, and entreated the LORD. 19 And the LORD turned an exceeding strong west wind, which took up the locusts, and drove them into the Red Sea; there remained not one locust in all the border of Egypt. 20 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not let the children of Israel go.
Pharaoh was like the atheists who pray when they are in trouble and then return to atheism when things get better. So Pharaoh was fickle too at this point.
21 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Stretch out thy hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt.' 22 And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days;
This is the first half of the plague.
23 they saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days; but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.
This is the second half of the plague where the situation got so bad that they could not move from their places.
24 And Pharaoh called unto Moses, and said: 'Go ye, serve the LORD; only let your flocks and your herds be stayed; let your little ones also go with you.'
Ok, you want to go and I will not hold your children as security only your monetary wealth. Pharaoh from his standpoint is now making a larger concession seeing that he only wants to insure that the slaves will return. So if the young ones go and the adults too without more than sustenance for a short time, they will have to return and the slaves will continue working as usual. (How many times have we seen Jews clinging to their fiancés in dangerous countries! The remaining Jews in Syria, Iraq, Iran and assorted Muslim Countries or even my grandparents in Austria until just about the last minute and barely managing to escape the Reich before the exits for Jews were closed. The clouds of anti-Semitism are gathering in the States and especially in Europe. I have reported it at occupied Wall Street gatherings, the burning of the Holyland Book Store and the fire bombings in Bergen County NJ. In each case the authorities have been at least sympathetic to the Jews not like the Mississippi Burning incident with the murder of blacks and Jews in the late 1960’s. It might be prudent to move more money to Israel if not buy a home to invest via an Israeli Investment Firm like Analysist, Excellence, Fischmann, etc. In case of wanting to go do not make the mistake of being held back by your capital investments or ending up like my grandparents.)
25 And Moses said: 'Thou must also give into our hand sacrifices and burnt-offerings, that we may sacrifice unto the LORD our God. 26 Our cattle also shall go with us; there shall not a hoof be left behind; for thereof must we take to serve the LORD our God; and we know not with what we must serve the LORD, until we come thither.'
Moshe is making the proper demand with G-D’s authority but as we see Pharaoh is still not ready to lose his source of slave labor.
27 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let them go. 28 And Pharaoh said unto him: 'Get thee from me, take heed to thyself, see my face no more; for in the day thou see my face thou shalt die.' 29 And Moses said: 'Thou hast spoken well; I will see thy face again no more.'
Moshe will not see Pharaoh any more.
11:1 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Yet one plague more will I bring upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go hence; when he shall let you go, he shall surely thrust you out hence altogether. 2 Speak now in the ears of the people,
This time it will not be a warning to Pharaoh but each Egyptian Neighbor will be warned.
and let them ask every man of his neighbor, and every woman of her neighbor, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold.'
What is going on now the people borrowing Silver and Gold? As an Egyptian the person would fear the L-RD and do anything to stay alive. Especially if it is only a loan so who cares, the Egyptian figures that he is going to get it back at the end of the sacrificial time.
3 And the LORD gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh's servants, and in the sight of the people.
Pharaoh might have a reason to continue with slavery but the average Egyptian had no reason for the Bnei Yisrael to be slaves and have is crop ruined, animals killed, lack of drinking water, lice or getting plague they were will to help just keep the trouble away from them.
4 And Moses said: 'Thus says the LORD: About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt;
The time was really exactly midnight but since even people nowadays can be off by a little with most watches all the more so in the time of Moshe therefore the use of about.
5 and all the first-born in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first-born of Pharaoh that sits upon his throne, even unto the first-born of the maid-servant that is behind the mill; and all the first-born of cattle.
That the Egyptians give gold and silver to the Bnei Yisrael might help if given freely in the next world, this time charity will not save from death unless there was no first born male in the family.
6 And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there hath been none like it, nor shall be like it any more.
Even if one family unit did not have a first born son, the greater family unit of brothers and sisters would end up with a number of first born children who would die.
7 But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog whet his tongue, against man or beast; that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.
The Shechina will prevent this.
8 And all these thy servants shall come down unto me, and bow down unto me, saying: Get thee out, and all the people that follow thee; and after that I will go out.' And he went out from Pharaoh in hot anger.
Nobody dares talk to a king-god like that and live but Moshe did it and lived! Tzipora in her writings this week brought down Rabbi Meir Kahane HY”D on the subject: G-d's name cannot be sanctified through concession or compromise. The essence of Kiddush Hashem is complete trust in G-d, without the least fear of mortal man. The moment a person is ready to concede, when crowning G-d Supreme King would require total submission by the non-Jew [in this case, Pharaoh], his concession robs G-d of complete sovereignty. And if his concession stems from any kind of fear, his sin is sevenfold.9 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Pharaoh will not hearken unto you; that MY wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.'
Moshe didn’t worry or fear, for this will be the case that he will not listen to you so that I can glorify MYSELF before the Bnei Yisrael.
10 And Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh; and the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not let the children of Israel go out of his land.
We do not see Moshe or Aaron doing any wonders at this point but to predict the consequences so therefore this sentence must refer to all that had passed unto now.
12:1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying: 2 'This month shall be unto you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.
This is the section that we read each year in Parsha HaChodesh of the four Parshiyos. Moshe was shown by HASHEM how to calculate the months and what the new moon looked like and this would go into Oral Torah for years. Note in the Torah the first month is called Chodesh Ha Aviv or the month of Spring. For 3,324 years ago the Equinox was in Nissan. (The names of the Hebrew months would only be set after the Babylonian exile.)
3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying: In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to their fathers' houses, a lamb for a household; 4 and if the household be too little for a lamb, then shall he and his neighbor next unto his house take one according to the number of the souls; according to every man's eating ye shall make your count for the lamb.
His fathers’ house as one family a sheep or goat would be too much to eat on the night of Pessach but rather a larger group was needed. Usually the Korban Pessach consisted of 30 to 50 people according to the tradition that I received. One need only eat a Kezayis (eggs bulk) of the Korban and it was served on a full stomach. That is why we say that we do not eat anything after the Pessach and we use Matza today instead. Also eaten at the meal was the Korban Chaggigah or the Korban one brings on the three Regalim (festivals).
5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year; ye shall take it from the sheep, or from the goats;
The ram or Billy goat was used as the Korban came from the flock while certain other Korbanos came from the herd.
6 and ye shall keep it unto the fourteenth day of the same month; and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at dusk.
Practically speaking as we learned in Maseches Pessachim, the Korban Tamid (daily sacrifice) or Mincha Korban was done Erev Pessach at 6:30 hours of a day divided into 12 hours starting from sunrise to sunset. Then from 7:30 onwards, the Korban Pessach was slaughtered in 3 groups with the Temple drains plugged so that the blood fell in the middle and was stirred as not to coagulate. After the third shift, the blood was sprinkled on the Mizbayach (altar). One did not need the laying of the hands on the Korban by all 30 to 50 people but a member or two of the group would do so before the Cohain.
7 And they shall take of the blood, and put it on the two side-posts and on the lintel, upon the houses wherein they shall eat it.
This was a onetime Mitzvah to put on the Mezuzos of the outer door and only in Egypt.
8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; with bitter herbs they shall eat it.
We now have our standard Pessach meal described.
9 Eat not of it rare, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; its head with its legs and with the inwards thereof.
You shall not eat it rare: Heb. נָא Something not roasted sufficiently is called נָא in Arabic. The JPS translation of raw or insufficiently cooked is definitely correct too.
When the Beis HaMikdash existed the children would ask: On all other nights we eat meat fried, boiled or roasted on this night only roasted.
10 And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; but that which remains of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire.
This is counted as one of the 613 Mitzvos.
11 And thus shall ye eat it: with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste--it is the LORD'S Passover.
This was only for the one Pessach of leaving Egypt.
12 For I will go through the land of Egypt in that night, and will smite all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD. 13 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and there shall no plague be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.
I am going to do this MYSELF not an Angel or Messenger.
14 And this day shall be unto you for a memorial, and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever. 15 Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; howbeit the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses; for whosoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel. 16 And in the first day there shall be to you a holy convocation, and in the seventh day a holy convocation; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done by you. …
This is the establishment of the first Yom Tov for Yisrael and then the description of the Korban Pessach follows.
29 And it came to pass at midnight, that the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the first-born of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the first-born of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the first-born of cattle. 30 And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.
If not the man and his family, his father or brother or grandchild or father-in-law and a percentage of his cattle or even his favorite dog was dead.
31 And he called for Moses and Aaron by night and said: 'Rise up, get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as ye have said. 32 Take both your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also.'
Get out of here and give me a blessing for we do not need all of Egypt dead.
33 And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, to send them out of the land in haste; for they said: 'We are all dead men.'
Panic as fear grips them as to who will be next if they do not let the Bnei Yisrael go.
34 And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading-troughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders. 35 And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they asked of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment. 36 And the LORD gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked. And they despoiled the Egyptians.
On the surface it appears to be looting but think about 210 years in a country and 80 years of slave labor and it may not fully compensate the Bnei Yisrael.
that they dwelled in Egypt: after the other dwellings in which they dwelled as foreigners in a land that was not theirs. — [from Mechilta] was four hundred and thirty years: Altogether, from the time that Isaac was born, until now, were 400 years. From the time that Abraham had seed [i.e., had a child, the prophecy] “that your seed will be strangers” (Gen. 15:13) was fulfilled; and there were another 30 years from the decree “between the parts” (Gen 15:10) until Isaac was born. It is impossible, however, to say that [they spent 400 years] in Egypt alone, because Kehath [the grandfather of Moses] was [one] of those who came with Jacob. Go and figure all his years, all the years of his son Amram, and Moses’ 80 years; you will not find them [to be] that many, and perforce, Kehath lived many of his years before he descended to Egypt, and many of Amram’s years are included in the years of Kehath, and many of Moses’ years are included in Amram’s years. Hence, you will not find 400 years counting from their arrival in Egypt. You are compelled, perforce, to say that the other dwellings [which the Patriarchs settled] were also called being “sojournings” and even in Hebron, as it is said: “where Abraham and Isaac sojourned (גָּרוּ) ” (Gen. 35:27), and [Scripture] states also “the land of their sojournings in which they sojourned” (Exod. 6:4). Therefore, you must say that [the prophecy] “your seed will be strangers” [commences] when he [Abraham] had offspring. And only when you count 400 years from the time that Isaac was born, you will find 210 years from their entry into Egypt. This is one of the things that [the Sages] changed for King Ptolemy. — [from Mechilta, Meg. 9a]
Ber. 12:4. And Abram went, as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him, and Abram was seventy five years old when he left Haran. This would be 25 years before the birth of Yitzchak and I have a problem with a missing 5 years. For the Bris that Rashi speaks about occurred after this. 15:1. After these incidents, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, "Fear not, Abram; I am your Shield; your reward is exceedingly great." After these incidents: Wherever the term אַחַר is used, it signifies immediately afterwards; אַחִרֵי signifies a long time afterwards (Gen. Rabbah 44:5). After this miracle had been wrought for him, that he slew the kings, he was worried and said, “Perhaps I have received reward for all my righteous deeds.” Therefore, the Omnipresent said to him, “Fear not Abram, I am your Shield” from punishment, that you will not be punished for all those souls that you have slain, and as far as your being worried about receiving reward, your reward is exceedingly great. [from Aggadath Bereishith 16:2; Tan. Buber, Lech Lecha 15; Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer ch. 27] But how can I be sure that the Bris between the pieces was after in the first place? 15:9. And He said to him, "Take for Me three heifers and three goats and three rams, and a turtle dove and a young bird." So where are the missing 5 years? I have not figured it out and Rashi does not satisfy me. This appears to be some time of an incident with Nimrod like being thrown into the fire or the moving to Haran which was 5 or more years before Lech Lecha and it makes sense to me.
It came to pass at the end of four hundred and thirty years, and it came to pass in that very day: [This] tells [us] that as soon as the end [of this period] arrived, the Omnipresent did not keep them [even] as long as the blink of an eye. On the fifteenth of Nissan, the angels came to Abraham to bring him tidings. On the fifteenth of Nissan Isaac was born; on the fifteenth of Nissan the decree of “between the parts” was decreed. — [from Mechilta]
42 It was a night of watching unto the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt; this same night is a night of watching unto the LORD for all the children of Israel throughout their generations. 43 And the LORD said unto Moses and Aaron: 'This is the ordinance of the Passover: there shall no alien eat thereof;
Only a Ben Yisrael or a Ger Tzeddek can eat of the Korban Pessach.
This goes to include the circumcised Canaanite slave.
45 A sojourner and a hired servant shall not eat thereof. 46 In one house shall it be eaten; thou shalt not carry forth aught of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a bone thereof. 47 All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. 48 And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land; but no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof.
Only circumcised people were allowed to eat of this.
Either a Native Bnei Yisrael or a Ger Tzeddek.
50 Thus did all the children of Israel; as the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they. 51 And it came to pass the selfsame day that the LORD did bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their hosts.
13:1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 2 'Sanctify unto Me all the first-born, whatsoever opens the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast, it is Mine.'
This is one of the 4 Parshiyos of the Tephillin.
3 And Moses said unto the people: 'Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out from this place; there shall no leavened bread be eaten. 4 This day ye go forth in the month Aviv. 5 And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Amorite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite, which He swore unto thy fathers to give thee, a land flowing with milk and honey, that thou shalt keep this service in this month.
This is a condensed list of the original 10 nations promised to Avraham.
6 Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh day shall be a feast to the LORD. 7 Unleavened bread shall be eaten throughout the seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee, in all thy borders. 8 And thou shalt tell thy son in that day, saying: It is because of that which the LORD did for me when I came forth out of Egypt. 9 And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thy hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the law of the LORD may be in thy mouth; for with a strong hand hath the LORD brought thee out of Egypt. 10 Thou shalt therefore keep this ordinance in its season from year to year. 11 And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanite, as He swore unto thee and to thy fathers, and shall give it thee, 12 that thou shalt set apart unto the LORD all that openeth the womb; every firstling that is a male, which thou hast coming of a beast, shall be the LORD'S. 13 And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break its neck; and all the first-born of man among thy sons shalt thou redeem. 14 And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying: What is this? that thou shalt say unto him: By strength of hand the LORD brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage; 15 and it came to pass, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go that the LORD slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the first-born of man, and the first-born of beast; therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all that openeth the womb, being males; but all the first-born of my sons I redeem. 16 And it shall be for a sign upon thy hand, and for frontlets between thine eyes; for by strength of hand the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt.'
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 191:2
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 72:1-2 Shabbat Shalom – Danny This week I was at a hotel by the Dead Sea and the hotel was giving out wine with the meal was high quality. I did not drink it because the Kashrus Supervisor was not there and the man handing out the wine did not wear a Yarmulke.
The king is granted license to levy taxes upon the nation for his needs or for the purpose of war. He may also fix a duty on merchandise. It is forbidden to avoid paying this duty. The king has the right to decree that if someone does not pay these duties, his property will be seized or he will be killed.
These laws are derived as follows: I Samuel 8:17 states: 'You will be servants to him, the king.' Previously, Deuteronomy 20:11 states: 'They shall be subject to your levy and they shall serve you.' From this association, it is derived that the king may levy taxes and fix duties.
The statutes that he establishes in these and related matters are accepted as law for all the matters mentioned in the Biblical passage concerning the king are rights to which the king is entitled.
He may also send throughout the territory of Eretz Yisrael and take from the nation valiant men and men of war and employ them as soldiers for his chariot and cavalry. Similarly, he may appoint them as his body guard and as footmen to run before him as I Samuel 8:11 states: 'He shall place them among his charioteers and his horsemen and they shall run before his chariot.' He may also take the choicest of them to be his servants and attendants as ibid.:16 states: 'He shall take... your finest young men... to do his work.'
Similarly, he may take all those that are necessary for him from the nation's craftsmen and employ them to do his work. He must pay their wages. He may also take all the beasts, servants, and maids that are necessary for his tasks. He must pay their hire or their value as ibid.:12-16 states: 'He will set them to plough his ground and to reap his harvest, to make instruments of war, and gear for his chariots.... He will take your servants, your maids, your finest young men, and your donkeys to do his work.'
Similarly, he may take wives and concubines from the entire territory of Eretz Yisrael. The term 'wives' implies women who were married with A ketubah and kiddushin; concubines, women who were not given A ketubah and kiddushin. With the act of yichud alone, the king acquires her and relations with her are permitted him.
A commoner is forbidden to have a concubine. The only similar relationship is the union with a Hebrew maid servant after she has been designated by her master.
The king may make the concubines which he takes to his palace cooks, bakers, and perfumers as ibid.:13 states: 'He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers.
He may force those who are fit to serve as officers, appointing them as leaders of thousands and leaders of fifties as ibid.:12 states: 'He shall appoint them as leaders of thousands and leaders of fifties for himself.'
He may take fields, olive groves, and vineyards for his servants when they go to war and allow them to commandeer these places if they have no source of nurture other than them. He must pay for what is taken. This is stated in ibid.:14: 'He shall take your good fields, vineyards, and olive groves and give them to his servants.
He is entitled to a tenth of the produce of the seed and the orchards and the newborn beasts as ibid.:16-17 states: 'He will take a tenth of your seed and your vineyards...He shall take a tenth of your sheep.'
The Messianic king may take a thirteenth portion of all the lands conquered by Israel as his own. This will be an allotment for him and his descendants forever.
The property of all those executed by the king, belongs to the king. Similarly, all the treasures belonging to the kings of the kingdoms which he conquers become the property of the king.
In regard to the other spoil which is taken. The soldiers may take spoil. Afterwards, they must bring it to the king. He is entitled to one half of the spoil. He takes this portion first.
The second half of the spoil is divided between the combat soldiers and the people who remained in camp to guard the baggage. An equal division is made between them as I Samuel 30:24 relates: 'The portion of those who go down to the battle will be as the portion of those who stay with the baggage. They shall divide equally.'
All the lands that he conquers belong to him. He may apportion them to his servants and soldiers as he desires and keep the remainder for himself. In all these matters, the judgement he makes is binding.
In all matters, his deeds shall be for the sake of heaven. His purpose and intent shall be to elevate the true faith and fill the world with justice, destroying the power of the wicked and waging the wars of God. For the entire purpose of appointing a king is to execute justice and wage wars as I Samuel 8:20 states: 'Our king shall judge us, go out before us, and wage our wars.'
5. Woe is to me for I have sojourned in Meshech; I dwelt among the tents of Kedar. 6. For a long time, my soul dwelt with those who hate peace. 7. I am at peace, but when I speak, they [come] to [wage] war. Thus I learned that the balance of the Rav was done with logic and for the sake of heaven. The Lubavitcher Rebbe (whom I also met) went according to the rule of Malchus and long term path for Am Yisrael.
My Chavrutha of 25 years ago Rabbi Boaz Baruch Shlita told me that when he met HaRav Mordechai Sharabbi he too could feel the presence of the Shechina and sometimes a bright light would come out of his study through the cracks in the door when he learned with Eliyahu HaNovi.
Last but not least was my Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Yacov London who had or had not wasted his talent on bringing back simple and unlearned Jews to Torah and real learning. Prior to the founding of the Lubavitch Hadar HaTorah and all the other Baalei Teshuva Yeshivos, Rabbi London’s Jewish Boys High School and Yeshiva Haichal HaTorah was functioning. The Rabbi’s younger brother was also Gadol in Torah but eclipsed by his older brother. The two brothers operated with energy and hard work to get the boys into line somebody boys from broken homes, others orphans, others with all the attention deficiency that is known today but they did it without Ritalin. The people that I am in contact with who were before or after me at the Yeshiva are religious. The difference between the students of Rav Schach and the students of Rabbi London was that former would walk down the street thinking of Talmud in his heart and bump into a lamp post or street sign; he would be praised for learning Torah. Our ignorant group would witness the Rabbi bump into a lamp post and say excuse me, we would giggle.
There are many other Rabbis who are not so much Torah Giants like the above but these down to earth people the Rosh Yeshiva and Dayan Rabbi Chaim Druckman Shlita runs around at his age with more energy than I have at my age. The late Rabbi Chanan Porat Z”L also battled for Am Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael. My cousin the late Rebbitzen Chedva Silberfarb O”H fought for three years during her cancer treatments against Lashon Hara with such force.
I have worked with Yad LeAchim and Keren Ezrat Le Yeledim for 40 plus years and know the Rabbis at Arachim. As I posted on the Beit Medrash group: I try to bring people closer to religion. Anybody who reads this will note my Emphasis on Shabbos, Kashrus and Taharos HaMishpacha aka Family Purity. The behavior of throwing rocks the size of a fist or larger and a Bas Yisrael who is dressed reasonably modestly is beyond me. I would probably not say anything or calmly explain something to the woman about a neighborhood dress code as if these gangsters own the public street. I condemn this action in no uncertain terms and it turns people away from true Torah Judaism.
Joseph Isaac Korf Shlita -
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If the pictures of last week's destroyed outposts had been of Bedouin villages or illegal houses in the Galilee, the whole country would have been up in arms. Leftist author Amos Oz would have run to build the destroyed homes with his own two hands, the media would have incessantly interviewed the children who were thrown out of their beds in the middle of the night and enraged Arabs would have ignited all the mixed Jewish/Arab towns throughout Israel.
But Jewish children in their pajamas standing in the freezing cold outside their destroyed houses; Torah scrolls crumpled in the mud amidst the ruins of synagogues – none of that is 'news'.
There is no dearth of rivalry within the Left; both personal and ideological. But when they face off against the settlers and the Right, they present a united front. There are no 'extremists' in the Left. You can be funded by foreign governments to directly undermine your country and aid its declared enemies; you can organize violent demonstrations weekly, stoning IDF soldiers, injuring over 700 (!) soldiers and Border Police; you can refuse to serve in the army; you can break the law and riot as much as you want. If you are a leftist, fighting the Left's battle of disintegration and retreat – you are in the consensus; you have a reserved seat at the round tables, in the universities, on television and ironically – even at meetings with the settlers.
On the other hand, if you settle the Land of Israel with dedication, but not exactly according to the ideological nuances of one yeshiva or another – you are alone. On the morning after the destruction, no Amos Oz or other spiritual leaders will be there for you. The rabbi of one sub-group will be afraid to come to encourage and lend legitimacy to the outpost of the other sub-group. And vice versa.
When the home of Nati Ozeri was destroyed along with all the belongings inside and his widow and small orphans were thrown out into the frozen Hebron night, I came with just a few people to help. No settler leader or spiritual guide was there. In my eyes, this is the underlying reason that those thousands who considered themselves firmly ensconced within the consensus and the law suffered the same hell just a few years later.
The fear of supporting the basic rights of the person whom we perceive as more extreme than we are paralyzes us all. One does not have to agree with the controversial book, Torat Hamelech or the 'price-tag' operations in order to stand with the families whose husbands were expelled from their homes by army orders originally reserved for terrorists – and were then charged with spying.
As a resident of Samaria, I feel humiliated by the way we treat ourselves. Is it a surprise that we get the same treatment from the pogromchicks and Israeli society? The way that society relates to the settlers is simply a reflection of how we relate to ourselves. If the heads and rabbis of the settlement movement do not pick the Torah scroll out from the rubble and mud and rebuild Mitzpeh Avichai with their own hands their message is clear: Those people in the outposts are 'extremists', so the abomination that was perpetrated against them is legitimate. Why should the rest of the Israeli public think otherwise?
In the meantime, the evil winds are blowing and every week the militias in black show up in the middle of the night, biting off another house and another family.
When Ehud Barak sent the security forces to destroy Ramat Gilad, I came there to be with the residents of the outpost. Speaking before the large group that had assembled there, my assessment was that Netanyahu would not let it happen. "He has primaries in another month," I said. "He will not campaign for me. But as to the outposts that are not supported by the settler mainstream, Bibi calculates – unfortunately correctly – that he can destroy them now without causing himself any damage. So until January 31st you can all sleep soundly. Nobody will come to destroy your homes." It turns out that Barak had attempted to destroy Ramat Gilad without Netanyahu's knowledge; my assessment was correct.
The pressure on the Prime Minister before the Likud primaries may force him to authorize the law to 'legalize' the outposts before voting day. If that happens, it will turn out ex post facto that the fact that I am running against Netanyahu in the primaries has temporarily saved Migron and Givat Asaf.
But even if that happens, it will be just a temporary respite in the losing battle that the settlements have been waging ever since the Oslo Accords were signed. Today, nobody even remembers that Neveh Dekalim was built by the Labor party and Yitzhar by the Likud. Netanyahu has declared his intention to establish a 'Palestinian' state, every week Jewish families are thrown out of their homes, the only city being built in Judea or Samaria is the Arab Wahabi, and on their way to work, the settlers must drive through international border crossings.
The inability of the leaders of the Right and the settlement movement to give their full backing to the different sub-groups within – and their inability to establish an ideological alternative to the direction in which Zionism is retreating – plays into the hands of the Left and perpetuates the Oslo Accords.
Peace Now did not petition the court against Gush Katif and no legal problems threatened it. The evil winds that threatened Gush Katif are still threatening Ofra and Beit El, Migron and Givat Asaf – with or without the law to legalize the outposts.
RJC Wishes Senator Mark Kirk a Full and Speedy Recovery
Washington, D.C. (January 23, 2012) -- Republican Jewish Coalition National Chairman David Flaum and Executive Director Matthew Brooks released the following statement in response to news that Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois suffered a stroke: "We are saddened and deeply concerned to learn that our friend, Senator Mark Kirk, suffered a stroke over the weekend. We are reassured by reports that the Senator is expected to make a full recovery. "On behalf of all our members, we wish Senator Kirk a refuah shleimah - a full and speedy recovery - and pray for the comfort of his family and staff."
SETTLEMENTS FREEZE - AN OBSTACLE TO PEACE! By AMBASSADOR (ret.) YORAM ETTINGER
BORDER POLICE BURN SETTLERS’ BUILDING MATERIALS By Elad Benari ARUTZ 7 IsraelNationalNews.com
COMMENTARY BY GAIL WINSTON:
WHY IS ISRAEL BURNING AND (CONSIDERING) FREEZING SETTLEMENTS? If the Muslims make "freezing" all settlement building as their MO (Modus Operandi) to ‘only’ sit at the negotiating table with Jews, why must we Jews even consider Freezing?
If Freezing isn’t enough, now our vaunted Israeli Police are Burning Jewish wooden building materials and belongings - after beating the residents at Yissa Beracha near Mitzpe Yericho while forcing them out of their hand-built homes.
That is Arson and the Arsonists are subject to being sued as committing Arson. I don't believe the Police have a mandate by law to commit Arson.
How high up will the indictments go for committing Arson and the Conspiracy the Commit Arson?
Why does burning of Jewish assets and beating Jews sound so brutally familiar? It was ‘only’ 80 years ago.
The picture shown on Arutz 7 doesn’t show the burning. After being beaten with injuries needing hospital treatment while being driven from their homes in the middle of the night, the brave, pioneering settlers left the scene when the Border Police arrived. But, look at the peaceful, empty surroundings - with the destroyed Jewish homes and belongings battered on the ground. Who is Yissa Beracha offending?
We should be deeply offended at what some of our Jewish Police and IDF are doing at the behest of B&B (Bibi & Barak). COMMENTARY BY GAIL WINSTON
BORDER POLICE BURN SETTLERS’ BUILDING MATERIALS By Elad Benari ARUTZ 7 IsraelNationalNews.com
Border Police officers who came on Wednesday to the Yissa Beracha outpost near Mitzpe Yericho set on fire building materials brought to the outpost by local residents.
The residents, who were brutally evicted from their homes last week, brought the material in order to re-build their destroyed homes.
An eyewitness told Arutz Sheva that the residents had placed wood that they purchased using donations they received, for the purpose of renewing the community. On Wednesday afternoon, the eyewitness said, two jeeps carrying Border Police officers arrived. The men who were in the area feared they would be arrested and fled the scene, and the officers decided to light the wood on fire instead. The eyewitness added they also broke the wall of a synagogue in the area.
He added that one of the officers poured fuel on the wood and lit it while residents of nearby Mitzpe Yericho and other communities gathered in the area. There were no clashes between local residents and the officers.
Last week’s early morning eviction and demolition of Yissa Beracha was particularly violent. Police violently removed the families and beat protesters who had come to demonstrate against the eviction. Nine protesters were injured in the police violence.
Three of the protesters sustained injuries to the head, and were taken to Hadassah Ein-Kerem Hospital for treatment. Protesters said that one woman was injured when she was run down by a security vehicle; another protester who was hit on the head by police was refused medical treatment, witnesses said, with police preventing doctors from treating him until the evictions and demolition of the structures in the neighborhood were finished.
Among those evicted from their homes were newlyweds Tzvi Yitzchak and Sarah Cohen. Tzvi Yitzchak Cohen told Arutz Sheva the officers who evicted them "sprayed pepper gas at dozens of guys, threw one of them from the roof of a home. They used Arabs to remove our belongings and then demolished the houses. They took us out of our homes while beating us."
SETTLEMENTS FREEZE - AN OBSTACLE TO PEACE! By AMBASSADOR (ret.) YORAM ETTINGER, "Second Thought"
"Israel Hayom" Newsletter, November 4, 2011 http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=770
Abu Mazen's September 23, 2011 UN speech and the Palestinian Authority's education system reaffirm the fact that Jewish settlements within pre-1967 Israel – and not in Judea and Samaria (J&S) – are the root cause of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
In his UN speech, Abu Mazen highlighted the "63 years old occupation" since 1948; this message is reinforced throughout his K-12 education system. He heralded the PLO – which was established three years before the 1967 War and before the establishment of contemporary Jewish settlement in J&S - as his supreme authority. Abu Mazen denies the existence of Jewish roots between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.
Thus, the root cause of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not the J&S settlements, but the existence of the Jewish State.
Freezing Jewish settlements in J&S diverts attention away from the core cause of the conflict. Moreover, it constitutes an obstacle to peace, by reflecting submission to pressure, thus fueling further pressure, radicalizing Arab demands, intensifying Arab terrorism and eroding Israel's posture of deterrence, while the only peace-possible is deterrence-driven peace.
The pre-1967 area of Israel was the focus of the systematic campaign of Arab terrorism during the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, as well as of the conventional Arab wars on Israel in 1948, 1956 and 1967.
A giveaway of all Jewish settlements in J&S was offered by former Prime Minister Ehud Barak in October 2000. Abu Mazen and Arafat responded with an unprecedented wave of suicide bombings in pre-1967 Israeli towns, which are defined as "settlements" by Abu Mazen's school textbooks.
The September 2005 uprooting of 25 Jewish settlements in J&S and Gaza induced an unprecedented barrage of missiles, hitting Jewish settlements in pre-1967 Israel.
*If the 350,000 Jews, among 1.6MN Arabs, in J&S constitute an obstacle to peace, are the 1.5MN Arabs, among 6MN Jews, within pre-1967 Israel, an insurmountable obstacle to peace?!
*If Jewish construction in J&S should be frozen, lest it prejudge the outcome of negotiations, then Arab construction in J&S should be frozen as well, unless one wishes to prejudge the outcome of negotiations.
*If the uprooting of Jewish communities advances peace, why would the uprooting of Arab communities undermine peace?!
*The uprooting of Arabs communities would be immoral; so, too, is the uprooting of Jewish communities.
*No opposition to an Arab presence in pre-1967 Israel should be tolerated; so, too, should the opposition to a Jewish presence in J&S.
*Illegal Jewish homes in J&S are razed by Israel; so, too, should the 1,100 illegal Arab homes built annually in Jerusalem and the thousands of illegal Arab homes in J&S?
The 1950-67 Jordanian occupation of J&S was recognized by only Britain and Pakistan. The most recent internationally-recognized sovereign over J&S was the 1922 British Mandate, which defined J&S as part of the Jewish National Homeland. Article 6 of that Mandate acknowledges the right of Jews to settle in J&S. Judge Stephen Schwebel, former President of the International Court of Justice, determined that Israel's presence in Judea and Samaria was rooted in self-defense and therefore did not constitute "occupation." Eugene Rostow, former Dean of Yale Law School, former Undersecretary of State and co-author of UN Security Council Resolution 242, asserted that 242 entitled Jews to settle in J&S. The Oslo Accord does not prohibit the construction of Jewish settlements in J&S. Moreover, settlements are established on state-owned – and not private – land.
Peaceful coexistence and the determination to uproot Jewish or Arab communities constitute an oxymoron. The concepts of "Durable peace" and "Judenrein areas" contradict each other. The litmus test of Palestinian/Arab intent is the acceptance or rejection of Jewish settlements presence in J&S.
Jewish settlements in J&S are not the root cause of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. They are located at the roots of 4,000 years old Jewish religious and national aspirations. They are located at the crux of Israel's national security which also provides 40% of Israel's water supply. The mountain ridges and water aquifers of J&S are the "Golan Heights" of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and 80% of Israel's transportation, business, economic, health, education, scientific and irrigation infrastructure in the 9-15 miles wide sliver, which is the pre-1967 Israel.
Freezing of Jewish construction in J&S is not a peace-enhancer; it is an appeasement-enhancer, thus undermining the cause of peace and advancing the cause of war.
Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, "Second Thought: US-Israel Initiative" www.TheEttingerReport.com
A RETURN TO ANDALUSIA by Ambassador (ret.) YORAM ETTINGER
forwarded by Gail Winston, Middle East Analyst & Commentator
If you put this essay by Yoram Ettinger together with his of yesterday entitled: "THE WAR INSIDE ISLAM" you begin to achieve a realistic history of Islam then and now. Then, perhaps, you may be able to cope with and understand what must be done to survive as a free and sovereign people in a free and sovereign country.
COMMENTS BY GAIL WINSTON
A RETURN TO ANDALUSIA by Ambassador (ret.) YORAM ETTINGER Second Thought" "Israel HaYom" newsletter, January 25, 2012
The collapse of Israeli-Palestinian agreements from the 1993 Oslo Accords until today stems from the fact that both Israeli and US leaders ignore the real root of the conflict. The heart of the conflict is the denial of the existence – and not the size - of any non-Muslim entity on land that, in the eyes of Muslims, is Waqf – an inalienable religious land endowment.
On Jan. 9, 2012, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, a close associate of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, stated that all of Israel has been Waqf since 637 C.E. and will be forever. The statement was made at the annual rally of Fatah, which Abbas heads. It was broadcast on the official Mahmoud Abbas television station, and called for the killing of Jews to hasten the Islamic Resurrection. The message of the Mufti has become rooted in the Palestinian consciousness, with the help of Mahmoud Abbas' educational system. Thus, according a July 2011 poll, conducted by the leading US pollster, Stan Greenberg, a liberal-democrat, closely associated with former President Bill Clinton and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, 73% of Palestinians viewed killing Jews as a springboard to Judgment Day. On March 27, 2010, Abbas declared: "Jerusalem and all its surrounding areas are Waqf land, as provided by Allah. We must do everything we can to save them from the threat of Judaization."
The principle of the Waqf land is permanent, and transcends leaders and policies which are provisional. It applies to any land that was ever under Islamic control. It is an inseparable part of the legacy of Muhammad and Islamic law, especially at this time of the surge by the trans-national Muslim Brotherhood, which views Allah, the Koran, the Prophet Muhammad, jihad and martyrdom as the goal, the law, the leader, the way and the exalted aspiration respectively. Their loyalty to the Waqf land obligates Muslims to "holy wars" and the restoration of sovereignty in the Philippines, Thailand, parts of China, Kashmir, Chechnya, Israel, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Spain, Portugal and elsewhere.
The centrality of the Waqf land in the Muslim experience can be understood from the precedent of Andalusia, the Arabic name for most of the Iberian Peninsula, which was under Islamic rule from 711-1492 C.E. The Muslim Golden Age did not take place between the Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea, but rather in Andalusia, especially in the Alhambra palace/fortress in Granada. At the beginning of the 8th century, the Muslims conquered the Iberian Peninsula, southern France, Sicily and the Italian coastline and declared it "the Abode of Islam." In 1492, Spain was liberated from the occupation by Muslims, who today still view "Al-Andalus" as Waqf. The March 2004 Muslim terrorist plots in Madrid, which murdered 191 people and wounded around 1,800, intended to rectify the "Injustice of Andalusia." Currently, Saudi Arabia is constructing the second largest mosque in the world in Cordoba, the former capital of Andalusia, while mosques proliferate all over Spain.
Prof. Efraim Karsh, Head of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean Studies at King's College in London, writes in his book "Islamic Imperialism" (Yale University Press, 2007): "In 1980, there was a huge map in Afghanistan on which large parts of what was then Soviet Central Asia and China's Xinjiang Province were labeled 'Temporarily Occupied Muslim Territory….' Dr. Yusuf Qaradawi, a spiritual guide of the Muslim Brothers [reiterated the message of Muhammad that] the city of Hirqil [Constantinopol] will be conquered first … The other city Romiyya [Rome] ... we hope and believe that it too will be conquered … That means that Islam will return to Europe as a conqueror."
Recognition of foreign sovereignty over Muslim Waqf land amounts to humiliation, betrayal and servitude for Arabs and Muslims. According to the 628C.E. Prophet Muhammad's Treaty of Hudaybiyya – which underscores the shifty nature of contemporary Arab policies in general and the "Phased Plan" in particular – Muslims are permitted to conclude tactical agreements that temporarily relinquish Waqf land, but never abandon the overarching, permanent strategy of reclaiming it all at a later stage.
Persisting in the "land-for-peace" policy ignores the roots of Arab hostility; repeats – rather than avoids - past mistakes; plays into the hands of our enemies; raises Arab expectations and exacerbates violence and terrorism in the region.
Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, "Second Thought: US-Israel Initiative" www.TheEttingerReport.com
Good Shabbos Everyone. In this week's parsha Vaera, the Torah tells about the beginning of the exodus of the Bnai Yisroel from Egypt. The Jews had suffered terrible persecution in Egypt before the redemption. The Jewish nation has experienced horrible suffering during this latest exile. Before Hashem let the Bnai Yisroel out of Egypt, He showed many "signs and wonders" with the 10 plagues. So too when Hashem lets us out of this Exile, will he do it in a wondrous fashion. The following true story as told by a Holocaust survivor demonstrates some of the miracles which happened during the darkest hours of Jewish history.
"It was August, 1942 in Piotrkow, Poland. The sky was gloomy that morning as we waited anxiously. All the men, women and children of Piotrkow's Jewish ghetto had been herded into a square. Word had gotten around that we were being moved. My father had only recently died from typhus, which had run rampant through the crowded ghetto. My greatest fear was that our family would be separated.
"Whatever you do," Isidore, my eldest brother, whispered to me, "don't tell them your age. Say you're sixteen." I was tall for a boy of 11, so I could pull it off. That way I might be deemed valuable as a worker.
An SS man approached me, boots clicking against the cobblestones. He looked me up and down, then asked my age. "Sixteen," I said. He directed me to the left, where my three brothers and other healthy young men already stood. My mother was motioned to the right with the other women, children, sick and elderly people. I whispered to Isidore, "Why?" He didn't answer.
I ran to Mama's side and said I wanted to stay with her. "No," she said sternly. "Get away. Don't be a nuisance. Go with your brothers." She had never spoken so harshly before. But I understood: she was protecting me. She loved me so much that, just this once, she pretended not to. It was the last I ever saw of her. My brothers and I were transported in a cattle car to Germany.
We arrived at the Buchenwald concentration camp one night weeks later and were led into a crowded barracks. The next day, we were issued uniforms and identification numbers. "Don't call me Herman anymore," I said to my brothers. "Call me 94983." I was put to work in the camp's crematorium, loading the dead onto a hand-cranked elevator. I, too, felt dead. Hardened. I had become a number. Soon, my brothers and I were sent to Schlieben, one of Buchenwald's sub-camps near Berlin.
One morning I thought I heard my mother's voice. "Son," she said softly but clearly, I am sending you an angel. Then I woke up. Just a dream. A beautiful dream. But in this place there could be no angels. There was only work. And hunger. And fear.
A couple of days later, I was walking around the camp, behind the barracks, near the barbed-wire fence where the guards could not easily see. I was alone. On the other side of the fence, I spotted someone - a young girl with light, almost luminous curls. She was half-hidden behind a birch tree. I glanced around to make sure no one saw me. I called to her softly in German, "Do you have something to eat?"
She didn't understand. I inched closer to the fence and repeated the question in Polish. She stepped forward. I was thin and gaunt, with rags wrapped around my feet, but the girl looked unafraid. In her eyes, I saw life. She pulled an apple from her woolen jacket and threw it over the fence. I grabbed the fruit and, as I started to run away, I heard her say faintly, "I'll see you tomorrow."
I didn't believe she would come back. It was much too dangerous. But I returned anyway, the same time the next day. And there she was. The same girl. She moved tentatively from behind the tree, and once again threw something over the fence. This time, a small hunk of bread wrapped around a stone. I ate the bread, gratefully and ravenously, wishing there had been enough to share with my brothers. When I looked up the girl was gone.
I returned to the same spot by the fence at the same time every day. She was always there with something for me to eat - a hunk of bread or, better yet, an apple. We didn't dare speak or linger. To be caught would mean death for us both. I didn't know anything about her - just a kind farm girl - except that she understood Polish. What was her name? Why was she risking her life for me? Hope was in such short supply, and this girl on the other side of the fence gave me some, as nourishing in its way as the bread and apples.
Nearly seven months later, my brothers and I were crammed into a coal car and shipped to the Theresienstadt camp in Czechoslovakia. "Don't return," I told the girl that day. "We're leaving."
I turned toward the barracks and didn't look back, didn't even say goodbye to the girl whose name I'd never learned, the girl with the apples. We were at Theresienstadt for three months. The war was winding down and Allied forces were closing in, yet my fate seemed sealed. On May 8, 1945, I and others were scheduled to be sent to a certain section of the camp at 10:00 A.M, which we knew meant our deaths. In the quiet of dawn, I tried to prepare myself. So many times death seemed ready to claim me, but somehow I'd survived. Now, it was over. I thought of my parents. At least, I thought, we will be reunited.
At 8:00 A.M., there was a commotion. I heard shouts and saw people running every which way through camp. I caught up with my brothers. Russian troops had liberated the camp! The gates swung open. Everyone was running, so I did too. Amazingly, all of my brothers had survived; I'm not sure how. But I knew that the girl with the apples had been the key to my survival. In a place where evil seemed triumphant, one person's goodness had saved my life, had given me hope in a place where there was none. My mother had promised to send me an angel, and the angel had come.
Eventually, I made my way to England, where I was sponsored by a Jewish charity, put up in a hostel with other boys who had survived the Holocaust and trained in electronics. Then I came to America, where my brother Sam had already moved. I served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, and returned to New York City after two years. By August 1957 I had opened my own electronics repair shop. I was starting to settle in.
One day, my friend Sid suggested a shidduch for me. I met the girl soon after. As European Jews who had survived the war, we were aware that much had been left unsaid between us. She broached the subject. "Where were you," she asked softly, "during the war?" "The camps," I said, the terrible memories still vivid, the irreparable loss. I had tried to forget. But you never forget. She nodded. "My family was hiding on a farm in Germany, not far from Berlin," she told me. "My father knew a priest, and he got us Aryan papers."
I imagined how she must have suffered too, fear a constant companion. And yet here we were, both survivors, in a new world. "There was a camp next to the farm," Roma continued. "I saw a boy there, and I would throw him apples every day."
What an amazing coincidence that she had helped some other boy. "What did he look like?" I asked. "He was tall. Skinny. Hungry. I must have seen him every day for six months." My heart was racing. I couldn't believe it. This couldn't be.
"Did he tell you one day not to come back because he was leaving Schlieben?" Roma looked at me in amazement. "Yes."
"That was me!" I was ready to burst with joy and awe, flooded with emotions. I couldn't believe it. I told her that if she agreed to the Shidduch that I did too.
For many months, in the worst of circumstances, she had come to the fence and given me hope. Now that I'd found her again, I could never let her go. Boruch Hashem, she said "yes," and our Chasuna was soon after. And I kept my word: after nearly 50 years of marriage, two children and three grandchildren, I have never let her go! (as told by Herman Rosenblat, from the "The Apple Angel" The Ascent Newsletter 9 Teves 5768) Good Shabbos Everyone.
Good Shabbos Eveveryone. In this week's Parsha Vaera, we read about the beginning of the redemption from Mitzraim - Egypt. The Sages tell us that our enslavement in Mitzraim was a preparation for our receiving the Torah and becoming a nation at Mt. Sinai with our receiving of the Torah. We went from becoming servants to Pharaoh to servants of Hashem. We can see from here that Hashem has a plan for the world and specifically for us Jews. The following narrative as told by a Chabad Rebbetzin, Esther Kosofsky, illustrates this concept.
"Did you hear the one about the Chabad Rebbetzin, the Muslim cleric and the Buddhist monk? No, this is not a new joke; it is a true story that happened to me. I was contacted by the Southwick, Massachusetts, middle school and asked to participate in a religious diversity day when the students would be exposed to a variety of religions.
Realizing that I had been handed an irresistible opportunity, I agreed to attend, rather relieved to find out that the students would be split up and rotate from room to room to hear each representative individually.
As the day approached though, my apprehension grew and I wondered what could I say that would impact the students, not just give them the answers they needed to fill out the charts the teachers had prepared. These charts asked the typical questions about special foods, places of worship, holidays, significant books, and of course politically correct questions.
Southwick is a blue-collar town with very few Jews, so how could I reach out to them? The more I thought about it, the more concerned I became. How could I leave the students with any meaningful information beyond terms such as synagogue, rabbi, gefilte fish and matza? How could I move them and inspire them to live more meaningful lives? I finally hit upon one of the great equalizers, sports and for this time of year, football.
The first group of students shuffled into the room clutching their important papers and pencils, [and I was eager to see if they would] fill in the blanks under the "Jewish" column. While I certainly did not look like the religious leader they expected, they were not sure how to relate to a Jewish woman. They looked relieved that I did not have an accent, but they truly were not prepared for what I was about to describe.
"Imagine that you are a football coach" I began. Southwick is New England Patriots football country and the Patriots won two Super Bowls in the past three years, so when I saw some eyes light up and kids seemed to be paying attention, I knew it was a good beginning.
"Imagine," I continued, "you are the Patriots coach, coming off two world championships in two years. You are looking for a new challenge and are being offered two new options for coaching. Option A is to coach a team of hand picked all stars, players with instant name recognition. I am sure this team would include some famous players from the past - like Terry Bradshaw, Lynn Swann, Johnny Unitas and Earl Campbell - and several current ones. "With this team you could sit back and watch the players work together in harmony. All you would have to do is plan the Super Bowl victory party; the rest would be done for you. Just agree and you will go down in history as the coach of the best team of football players ever assembled. You will not only be the coach of the year, you might well be the considered the best coach ever.
"Option B would be to coach a team of, shall we say, misfits. This group of athletes is not quite in their prime, not quite as skilled and certainly not as talented as the first team. These players want to play but can't seem to get it together. These players have name recognition only with their mothers. They know the rules, but somehow come up short in execution. These are the players who might catch the ball and run towards the wrong goal and think they are actually scoring for their team. "But do you know what qualities these players have? They have heart and they have the drive to win. With hard work and constant practice, with coaxing, convincing, and consistent leadership, there is a chance that these players might be able to be groomed into a winning team. If you can teach them the fundamentals, if you are committed to working with them and will give them a clear and attainable goal, it would be the greatest challenge but you might just surprise the world.
"So you have a choice, Option A, the dream team or Option B, the not ready for prime time players. And now," I asked the students, "which team would you rather coach?"
The overwhelming response was Option B and the reasons given were obvious: this team presented a challenge for the coach. If you are going to invest time and effort into a project, you want to know that you helped make a difference. If you believe in your squad and are willing to put up with them as they follow their learning curve, there is a slim possibility that you will see amazing results.
As I scanned the room and saw that the students were with me to this point, I was ready to help them make the leap into the next part of our discussion. "Imagine you are G-d, and you want to coach a team, or in G-d's terms, you want to create a world. You already have a dream team; they are called angels. Angels don't fight, they don't get sick and they don't die. Angels listen to the word of G-d and carry out His request without question; in other words, they are perfect. But G-d wanted more. "There is no challenge in 'coaching' angels. So what did G-d do? G-d created humankind, He created you and me and gave us a game plan, a guidebook that teaches us how to live a champion life. We might not get all the plays right, sometimes we think we are doing the right thing but then realize that we were confused and end up in the wrong place at the wrong time. We often stumble. Yet when we manage to overcome all of the setbacks and touch the divine within us, when we commit ourselves to a life of love and light, this causes the greatest satisfaction to G-d, the Creator of the universe."
While I may not have covered all the facts in my 30 minutes with each class, hopefully I gave them something to think about the next Sunday during kickoff: that we can all do something not only for ourselves and the world, but also for Hashem." Good Shabbos Everyone.
Good Shabbos Everyone. In this week's Torah portion "Bo", Hashem commands us regarding Tefillin. As the verse states "And it shall be for you a sign on your arm and a reminder between your eyes - so that Hashem's Torah may be in your mouth - for with a strong hand Hashem removed you from Egypt." (Shemos 13:9) The Talmud teaches us that "Man always needs a sign of his bond with Hashem. Shabbos itself is such a sign, but on weekdays, the sign is Tefillin." (The Aryeh Kaplan Anthology, "Tefillin," Rav Aryeh Kaplan, citing Eruvin 96a)
Every mitzvah serves to draw us closer to G-d and strengthen the bond of love between Hashem and his people. In fact, the word Mitzvah comes from a root meaning "to bind." (Ibid.) In the case of Tefillin, this bond is physical as well as spiritual. (Ibid.) So by putting on Teffilin, we literally bind G-d's love symbol to our bodies. (Ibid.) The following story illustrates the power of Tefillin to bind a Jew to his Maker.
In the summer of 2000, 16-year-old Mordechai Kaler volunteered to help in the Hebrew Home for the Aged in Greater Washington. One of his responsibilities was to invite the residents to attend the daily services in the synagogue on the first floor. Some agreed and others refused, but even those who declined were pleasant about it.
However, there was one man, Mr. Klein (not his real name) on the second floor, however, who had been quite nasty and had even cursed another volunteer when he was asked to join the minyan. The volunteer was taken aback by the Mr. Klein's tirade, so Mordechai undertook the challenge of speaking to the angry gentleman.
One day soon after, Mordechai found Mr. Klein sitting in a wheelchair in a lounge filled with residents of the home. After introducing himself, Mordechai said softly but firmly, "If you don't wish to join the ser- vices we can respect that, but why should you curse the volunteer? He is here to help and he was just doing his job."
"Young man." the elderly gentleman said sternly, "Wheel me to my room. I want to tell you a story." When they were in the room alone, the old man told his story of horror, pain and sadness. He came from a prominent religious family in Poland and when he was 12 years old, he and his family were taken to a concentration camp. His whole family was killed except for him and his father.
In their barracks on the concentration camp there was a man who had smuggled in the tefillin shel rosh, the tefillin worn on the head. Every day the men in the barracks would try to seize an opportunity to put on that tefillah (the single form of tefillin), even for a moment, when there were no German S.S. guards nearby. The men knew that they hadn't fulfilled the mitzvah of donning tefillin shel yad, but their love for mitzvos compelled them to do whatever they could.
Mr. Klein continued telling his story, "But for my father that wasn't enough. My bar mitzvah was coming up and he wanted that at least on the day of my bar mitzvah I wear a complete set of tefillin. He had heard that in a barracks down the road, a man who had been killed had had a complete pair of tefillin.
On the morning of my bar mitzvah, my father, at great risk, went out early to the other barracks to get the tefillin. I was waiting nervously by the window. In the distance I could see him rushing to get back. As he came closer I could see that he was carrying something cupped in his hands. "As he got to the barracks, a German stepped out from behind a tree and shot and killed him right before my eyes! When the German left I ran out and took the pouch of tefillin that lay on the ground next to my father. I managed to hide it." The old man peered angrily at Mordechai and said vehemently, "How can anyone pray to a G-d Who would kill a boy's father right in front of him? I can't!" Mr. Klein pointed to the dresser against the wall and said, "Open the top drawer." In the drawer Mordechai saw an old black tefillin pouch, crusted from many years of not being used. "Bring me the pouch," Mr. Klein ordered. Mordechai complied.
Mr. Klein opened it and took out an old pair of tefillin. "This is what my father was carrying on that fateful day. I keep it to show people what my father died for, these black boxes and straps. These were the last things I got from my father." Mordechai was stunned. He had no words-no comfort to give. He could only pity the poor man who had lived his life in anger, bitterness and sadness. "I'm sorry," he finally stammered softly. "I didn't realize." Mordechai left the room resolved never to come back to Mr. Klein again. When Mordechai came home that evening, he could not eat or sleep. Mordecai returned to the home the next day, but avoided Mr. Klein's room. A few days later, as Mordechai was helping the men who had come to the shul, one of them said, "I have yohrzeit today and I need to day Kaddish. We only have nine men here today. You think you could get a tenth man?" Mordechai had already made his rounds that morning and had been refused by many of the residents. They were too tired, not interested or half asleep. The only one he hadn't approached was the old man Mr. Klein on the second floor.
Reluctantly and hesitantly Mordechai went upstairs. He knew Mr. Klein would scold him, but he still had to make an effort. He knocked on the door gently and announced himself. "It's you again?" the old man asked "I'm so sorry to trouble you," Mordechai said softly, "but there's a man in shul who needs to say Kaddish today. We need you for a minyan. Would you mind coming just this one time?" The old man looked up at Mordechai and said, "If I come this time, then you'll leave me alone?" Mordechai wasn't expecting that response. "Yes," he said in a whisper, "I won't bother you again." "Would you like to bring your tefillin?" added Mordecai after gathering up his courage.
Mordechai braced himself for a bitter retort - but instead the man said again, "If I bring them, will you leave me alone?" "Yes," Mordechai said, "I will leave you alone." "All right," Mr. Klein replied, "then wheel me downstairs and make sure that I'm in the back of the shul, so I can get out first."
Mordechai wheeled the old man to the shul and brought him to the back. "May I help you?" Mordechai asked as he took the tefillin out of the pouch. The gentleman put out his left hand. Mordechai helped him put on his tefillin and left the synagogue to do other work.
After the davening (prayers), Mordechai returned and the shul was empty - except for Mr. Klein. He was still wearing his tefillin and tears were running down his cheeks. "Shall I get a doctor or a nurse?" Mordechai asked. Mr. Klein didn't answer. Instead he was staring down at the straps of tefillin wrapped on his left arm, caressing them with his right hand and repeating over and over, "Tatte, Tatte (Father, Father), it feels so right."
The old man looked up at Mordechai and said, "For the last half hour I've felt so connected to my Tatte. I feel as though he has come back to me." Mordechai took Mr. Klein back to his room and as he was about to leave, the old man said, "Please come back for me tomorrow." And so every morning Mordechai would go to the second floor and the old man would be waiting for him at the elevator, holding his tefillin.
Mordechai would wheel him into the shul where he would sit in the back wearing his tefillin holding a siddur, absorbed in his thoughts. One morning Mordechai got off the elevator on the second floor but Mr. Klein wasn't there. He hurried to his room, but his bed was empty. Instinctively he became afraid. He ran to the nurses' station and asked where the gentleman was - and they told him. He had been rushed to the hospital the previous afternoon and late in the day he had had a stroke and died.
A few days later, Mordechai was given an award by the Jewish home for his work as a volunteer. After the ceremonies a woman approached him and thanked him for all he had done for her. Mordechai had no recollection of the woman. "Excuse me," Mordechai said, "do I know you?" "I am the daughter of that man you helped," she said softly. "He was my father and you did so much for him. You made his last days so meaningful. When he was in the hospital those final hours of his life, he called me frantically and asked me to bring him his tefillin. He wanted to daven one more time with them. I helped him with his tefillin in the hospital and then he had his stroke. He died wearing them. Bound to his Father - in Heaven. (Rabbi Paysach J. Krohn, Reflections of The Maggid)
Every Jewish male 13 years and over is commanded to put on Tefillin. If you are already performing this mitzvah, then let this inspire you to fulfill the mitzvah with more intent. If you are not putting on Tefillin, then this should inspire you to find out what you are missing. Good Shabbos Everyone.
Matis Wolfberg’s stories are sponsored by Refuah Shleima to Reb Mordechai Menachem Mendel ben Tziporah Yitta Refuah Shleima to Tsviah bas Bracha Leah