As we start off a new Sefer, I would like to remind you that this Parsha can be read also on www.rabbipauli.blogspot.com
According to the Zohar, the entire period of time allotted for Techiyas HaMeisim is between 210-214 years in advance of 6000. These are not the opinions of obscure rabbis, but of Rebbe Yehuda HaNassi, the author of the Mishnah, and Rebbe Yitzchak, a central figure of the same time period. They are, therefore, mainstream opinions, with which no one argues, at least not in the Zohar. As hard as this may be to fathom, that Techiyas HaMeisim may be only 14-18 years away, there really is no reason not to believe it.
And, according to the Zohar, that begins after 40 years of Kibbutz Golios, which makes the beginning of it 22-26 years ago, around 1986-1990. So, if Kibbutz Golios lasts 40 years, and Techiyas HaMeisim comes at its conclusion, then Yemos HaMoshiach—the arrival and reign of Moshiach—must be part of the period of time called Kibbutz Golios, of which there is only 14-18 years left, according to Rebbe Yehudim and Rebbe Yitzchak.
Rebbe Chiya bar Abba said: It was fitting that Ya’akov descend to Mitzrayim in iron chains [to fulfill the decree of exile], but his merit caused that he descended honorably. (Shabbos 89b)
The question is why? Every other nation in the history of mankind, with few exceptions if any, became a nation on their own land. Why was it so crucial that the Jewish people become a nation on another’s land, and one that was so contrary to its raison d’etre. More importantly, what does it have to do with the current Palestinian problem?
Years ago I heard a story from someone who returned to Judaism later on in life. He told me about how he grew up with some Judaism, including a little kashrus in the house (treif outside the house), and how moving out, for him, meant moving up and leaving behind every last trace of Judaism, including going to shul on the High Holidays. Certainly kashrus was a dead issue for him.
And yet, when he moved into his non-Jewish dorm at a very non-Jewish university, he found himself gravitating towards Jewish friends. And, not surprisingly, shortly after, he found himself moving into an apartment of his own with his two Jewish friends. As assimilated a Jew as he was, and as many non-Jewish friends he had in the past, still, he found, he connected with other Jews better than with gentiles in terms of living habits.
However, what was surprising was how he decided to keep kosher in the apartment, for no compelling reason. His new roommates certainly didn’t demand it, nor did his parents expect it. It was as if keeping kosher was a way of remaining connected to home, even many miles away. It was if going to such a gentile environment caused his innate Jewishness to rise from within his depths, and that it pushed him in the very direction from which he had previously sought to flee. The power of exile.
Today he is an Orthodox Jew, who once told me that if you had told him but one year before he became religious that the next year he would be an Orthodox Jew, he would have considered you crazy. Little did he know how Jewish he was on the inside, and it took “exile” amongst non-Jews to bring it out.
There is another more fundamental reason for the Jewish people to have established themselves as a nation while in another country, to avoid what has happened to other countries that became nations while on their own land. In fact, it is one of the reasons historians cite for Germany becoming such a source of trouble in Europe: nationalism.
Nationalism is such a powerful force in history that for many countries it even replaces allegiance to God. It is one thing to be proud of your country, but it is something altogether different when that nationalism drives its countrymen to extremes, for the sake of the Fatherland, or the Motherland, or whatever the case may be.
We have experienced some of this national pride over the ages, and every time we do, it costs us. For example, after the miraculous victory at the end of the Six-Day War, when the Jewish people should have turned their eyes heavenward with thanks to God, as many did, Moshe Dayan instead ascribed the credit for the victory to the IDF. I believe he was even quoted as saying that God had nothing to do with the victory; the Jewish army was just too good for their Arab enemies.
What a mistake. Such statements go up there with others such as, “A ship that even God can’t sink,” a banner that was held up by passengers before the Titanic left on its fateful voyage during which it sunk after hitting, of all things, an iceberg. Apparently it was a ship that God could sink. The history books are not so kind when talking about Moshe Dayan, but it was only seven years later, in 1973, during the War of Atonement, that the IDF came close to losing the war to their Arab enemies, and might have had not another great miracle occurred. Nationalism does not suit the Jewish people, because we are, first and foremost, a Torah nation, and Eretz Yisroel is part of the equation of fulfilling that mandate.
Having said this, it is uncanny that the Torah makes an interesting prediction for the End-of-Days:
They infuriated Me with a non-god; they angered Me with their vanities; so I shall infuriate them with a non-people, with a vile nation shall I anger them. (Devarim 32:21)
1:1 Now these are the names of the sons of Israel, who came into Egypt with Jacob; every man came with his household: 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah; 3 Issachar, Zevulun, and Benjamin; 4 Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher.
The roots of the souls of the 12 Tribes came from the Tree of Life in Gan Eden. They were special souls with special qualities. Sefer Yetzira associates each tribe with a different Mazel (Constellation) in the sky even though we have from tradition that two or three brothers were born in the same Hebrew Month. The qualities of the brothers are divided to different Mazelos.
The Rabbis go out of their way to claim that Yocheved the mother of Moshe was born at the gates of Egypt but there are other ways of counting the number for otherwise she would be 130 years old when Moshe was born.
6 And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation. 7 And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them. 8 Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph.
Rabbi Pinchas Winston Shlita wrote: It is ironic that the Jewish people had to descend to Mitzrayim to become a nation. Until they went down there, they were but a large family of 70 souls. However, while in Mitzrayim, they greatly increased in number until Pharaoh had no choice but to recognize them as an independent nation: Eventually a new king came to power over Egypt who had no recollection of Yosef. He said to his people, “Notice that the nation of the Children of Israel are more numerous and powerful than we are.”
9 And he said unto his people: 'Behold, the people of the children of Israel are too many and too mighty for us; 10 come, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there befall us any war, they also join themselves unto our enemies, and fight against us, and get them up out of the land.'
This is perhaps the first real anti-Semitic claim. The claim of suspected or dual loyalty which I heard of more than two years before I became Shomer Shabbos and religious by one fellow! I did not ask him if he has an allegiance to Italy as his ancestors came from there! My answer to such fact is that I am for G-D and Country. My G-D is the G-D of Yisrael and my country from my nativity is the United States. During the days of the Viet Nam War I was prepared to serve if drafted as I do not shirk my responsibility.
What bothers me recently is not reading about the past with Egypt but reading about the anti-Semitic attacks in NJ, the fire-bombing of the Holyland Judaica Store of Rabbi Michael Katz Shlita and the remarks of the occupied Wall Street crowd in various cities about the Jews and the Jewish Banks.
12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad. And they were adread because of the children of Israel. 13 And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigor. 14 And they made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field; in all their service, wherein they made them serve with rigor.
Our Sages tell us that the Bnei Yisrael were originally ordained to serve in Egypt for 400 years. However, once the Egyptians added the serve with rigor, the 400 years was reduced to 210 years. The punishment of the Egyptians was not supposed to be harsh but because they were harsh, the plagues and punishment including the loss of monetary wealth, cattle, food supply, etc. was huge.
15 And the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah; 16 and he said: 'When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, ye shall look upon the birthstool: if it be a son, then ye shall kill him; but if it be a daughter, then she shall live.'
These according to the Sages were Yocheved and Miriam. However, Miriam would have been under 8 at the time and Yocheved close to 130 years old it does not jive with our reality. Rashi explains the names but the Pshat is that these are two women by those names and different from the mother and sister of Moshe Rabbaynu.
17 But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men-children alive. 18 And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them: 'Why have ye done this thing, and have saved the men-children alive?' 19 And the midwives said unto Pharaoh: 'Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwife come unto them.'
The language as Rashi explains is basically. The Israeli people are like animals and give birth before we can get there and we cannot tell them that the child is still born else we be accused of murder.
And were mighty according to Rashi and the Medrash they gave birth to multiple births or six at a time and they all miraculously lived without incubators.
This is the first recorded house for birth aka gynecological hospital in history.
22 And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying: 'Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.'
His astrologers saw that the time of the Moshiach’s birth was near and therefore Pharaoh to be doubly sure also threw male Egyptian babies in the river too. He had a secret police that noticed when a woman showed that she was pregnant. They assumed that it was the fourth to sixth month and counted accordingly.
2:1 And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi. 2 And the woman conceived, and bore a son; and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months.
This was due to the calculation error possible by Pharaoh’s enforcement police.
3 And when she could no longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch; and she put the child therein, and laid it in the flags by the river's brink. 4 And his sister stood afar off, to know what would be done to him. 5 And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe in the river; and her maidens walked along by the river-side; and she saw the ark among the flags, and sent her handmaid to fetch it. 6 And she opened it, and saw it, even the child; and behold a boy that wept. And she had compassion on him, and said: 'This is one of the Hebrews' children.' 7 Then said his sister to Pharaoh's daughter: 'Shall I go and call thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?' 8 And Pharaoh's daughter said to her: 'Go.' And the maiden went and called the child's mother. 9 And Pharaoh's daughter said unto her: 'Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages.' And the woman took the child, and nursed it.
At this point the Nile turned to blood so Pharaoh knew that the Moshiach had been thrown into the river and he sensed that the danger to his throne had passed.
10 And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses, and said: 'Because I drew him out of the water.'
Man proposes and G-D disposes. He we have Pharaoh thinking that he can remove the Gezaira of HASHEM by murdering babies and HASHEM causing the Moshiach to grow up in the house of Pharaoh.
… 23 And it came to pass in the course of those many days that the king of Egypt died; and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. 24 And God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25 And God saw the children of Israel, and God took cognizance of them.
There is no explanation why does it take 210 years of which 80 were in slavery for HASHEM to hear the Bnei Yisrael other to say that it is a decree directly from HASHEM Yisborach. People routinely ask me for a reason for our current Galus being so long and the suffering of the Inquisition, Pogroms, Shoah and Talmud Burnings, pillage, murder, rapes and forced conversions by Christians and Muslims alike and I cannot explain the 1940 plus years or even when and why we will be redeemed. So it was with Moshe and partially with Ezra and so it will be suddenly in the future.
…4:21 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'When thou goest back into Egypt, see that thou do before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in thy hand; but I will harden his heart, and he will not let the people go. 22 And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh: Thus saith the LORD: Israel is My son, My first-born. 23 And I have said unto thee: Let My son go, that he may serve Me; and thou hast refused to let him go. Behold, I will slay thy son, thy first-born.'—
How many thousands upon thousands of Jews have been killed because of the foreign belief “And HE gave HIS son HIS only son to die for our sins.” Oops there is no son with divinity and Yeshu was not the first son for the Bechor or first born is Yisrael. That makes us HASHEM’s grandsons. Now tell me what grandparent does not love his grandchildren.
My daughter attends Orot Banot School. The Charedi men do frighten and harass people in front of the school and on nearby blocks. We have photos in our camera and cell phone. It is not overblown. Trust me on this one. Rhonda
Bikur Cholim: Halachic Guidelines
There are several Biblical sources for the mitzvah of Bikur Cholim, visiting the sick. Some of the details of this mitzvah are derived from the manner in which Yosef visited his ailing father, Yaakov. Indeed, some Rishonim consider Bikur Cholim to be a Biblical mitzvah. According to the Rambam, this mitzvah is subsumed under the general commandment of “v'ahavta l're'acha kamocha—you should love your fellow as yourself. ” The following are some of the more common Halachos concerning Bikur Cholim:
The Shelach divides the mitzvah of Bikur Cholim into three categories:
B'gufo, with one's body—by taking care of the patient's needs.
This includes actually visiting him and raising his spirits. Often, the visit itself, particularly when the visitor is an important person, does wonders for the patient's medical condition. The Rambam writes that one who visits the sick should be prepared to tell cheerful stories or engage in idle talk so that the patient's mind will be temporarily distracted from his illness. The Rambam adds that anyone who walks into a patient’s room should do so happily, since a patient is sensitive to the mood of the people who visit him.
In our times, when patients lie in beds (and not on the floor), it is permissible to sit on a chair near the bed. It is preferable, however, not to sit near the patient's head.
Some Poskim maintain that the mitzvah of Bikur Cholim applies also to a man visiting a sick woman, or vice versa, as long as they are careful about yichud . Other Poskim disagree. Rav S.Z. Auerbach writes: "In my opinion, just as Nachum aveilim is permitted [across gender lines] so is it in regard to Bikur Cholim, but only to Daven for the patient or to see to his/her needs, but not to have lengthy conversations."
B'memono, with one's money—by covering the sick person's expenses so that he has peace of mind.
B'nishmaso, with one's soul—by Davening for the sick person. One who visits a sick person and does not daven for him has not performed the mitzvah of bikur cholim. One who is able to daven for a sick person and does not do so, is called a sinner.
When one davens for the health of a parent or a Rebbe, he should not honor them with any titles or descriptions. He should simply say, “my father ploni” or “my Rebbi ploni”.
When davening for a sick person, one should daven only in lashon ha-kodesh. If he davens in the presence of the patient, he may daven in any language. It is best if the sick person can daven for himself.
There is a dispute among the poskim concerning whether one is allowed to daven for the death of a patient who is suffering terribly and has no chance of recovery. Many allow it while some do not.
Contemporary poskim discuss the issue of fulfilling bikur cholim by means of the telephone. The consensus is that while certain aspects of the mitzvah can be performed over the telephone, other aspects cannot. They rule, therefore, that when a personal visit is impossible, a phone call should be made so that the mitzvah is at least partially fulfilled.
Question: May a kohen visit a patient in a hospital?
Discussion: In Eretz Yisrael, or in a hospital where the majority of the patients are Jewish, it is prohibited for a kohen to enter a hospital in order to visit a patient, except in the unlikely case where he knows for certain that there are no Jewish corpses anywhere in the hospital.
Outside of Eretz Yisrael, or in any place where the majority of patients are not Jewish, it is permitted—under extenuating circumstances, such as a man visiting his wife or another close relative —for a kohen to enter a hospital for the purpose of bikur cholim. Obviously, if the kohen is aware that there is a Jewish corpse in the hospital, he may not enter the hospital.
1. See Nedarim 39b and Sotah 14a.
2. Rashi, Bereishis 47:31. See Shabbos 12b and Gilyon ha-Shas. See also Shitah Mekubetzes, Nedarim 40a.
3. This is the view of the Ba-Hag, Ramban and Rabbeinu Yonah; see Sedei Chemed (ma'areches Beis 116) and Tzitz Eliezer, Ramas Rachel 2.
4. Hilchos Avel 14:1. See also Meiri, Nedarim 39b.
5. Vayikra 19:18.
6. Shelah, vol. 2, Maseches Pesachim, pg. 24.
7. See Nedarim 40a where the Talmud quotes an episode with Rav Akiva concerning this.
8. Kuntres Hanhagas ha-Brius (quoted in Kol ha-Torah, vol. 40, pg. 72).
9. Rama, Y.D. 335:3.
10. Beis Hillel, Y.D. 353:3.
11. Aruch ha-Shulchan, Y.D. 335:11; Zekan Aharon 2:76.
12. Tzitz Eliezer, Ramas Rachel 16 quoting Va-ya'an Avraham, Y.D. 5.
13. Written responsum published in Nishmas Avraham, Y.D. 335:4.
14. Rama, Y.D. 335:4. Although one can daven for a patient without actually visiting him, still it is better to visit him and witness his condition. The feelings and emotions which are heightened by the visit will intensify the subsequent tefillah for the patient; Igros Moshe, Y.D. 1:223.
15. Berachos 12b.
16. Birkei Yosef, Y.D. 240:4; Rav Akiva Eiger, O.C. 119:1; Tzitz Eliezer Ramas Rachel 13.
17. Y.D. 335:5 and Taz 4; Mishnah Berurah 101:16.
18. Bereishis Rabbah 53:19.
19. Tiferes Yisrael (end of Yoma, Boaz 3); Aruch ha-Shulchan, Y.D. 335:3; Igros Moshe, C.M. 2:73-1; She'arim ha-Metzuyanim B'halachah 194:2. Their view is based on the Ran, Nedarim 40a.
20. Tzitz Eliezer, Ramas Rachel 5, who rules that in this situation one should not daven either way.
21. Igros Moshe, Y.D. 1:223; Kisvei Rav Henkin 2:88; Minchas Yitzchak 2:84; Chelkas Yaakov 2:128; Tzitz Eliezer, Ramas Rachel 8:6; Yechaveh Da'as 3:83.
22. Rav S.Z. Auerbach (written responsum published in Nishmas Avraham, Y.D. 335:4); Shevet ha-Levi, Y.D. 105.
23. Igros Moshe, Y.D. 2:166.
Weekly-Halacha, Text Copyright © 2012 by Rabbi Neustadt, Dr. Jeffrey Gross and Torah.org. http://www.torah.org/advanced/weekly-halacha/5772/vayechi.html?print=1
One may hit one's own children - including adopted children - if done in a way that will educate them to be upright people. Before hitting, one should first try explaining the issue; if that fails and one must resort to hitting, one must be careful not to be cruel; one may not beat up a kid to vent one's anger. It is forbidden to forewarn a child that they will be hit later, as this can traumatize the child. If hitting is called for, one either hits or one keeps quiet about it. It is forbidden to hit children who will hit back - even if they are not yet Bar Mitzva - since one causes them to sin.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 184:2, 143:18: 165:1
The same would apply to loud music during siesta time or after they have put their kids to bed. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 184:4 Regarding this Halacha this applies to other noise over the head of somebody downstairs.
One may not write or draw using the water that spilled on a table. One may not use one's nail to make a mark on page, to enable one to find the place again, or for any other reason. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 80:62
This week is Shabbat Mevarchim of Chodesh Shevat. Rosh Chodesh Shevat will be on Wednesday Shabbat Shalom u’ Mevorach – Danny Regarding this Halacha if it is a case of Pekuach Nefesh one may write Chet Ayin or Tourniquet on the forehead of an injured person who received same or MO for Morphine so that doctors and medics in a different area or the evacuation hospital will know what happened and not overdose Morphine.
A Soldier, a Survivor, and a Song The nanny saved his life -- but also taught him to spit on the ground when a Jew walked by. http://ascentofsafed.com/cgi-bin/ascent.cgi?Name=736-15
In the fall of 1945, a Soviet soldier hoisted a 5-year-old boy aloft and paraded him through a Lithuanian synagogue that had been closed throughout a long Nazi occupation. For 65 years, the boy and the soldier carried that moment in their heads and hearts. Unknown to each other, they each told the story to family and friends. A Toronto songwriter memorialized it in song. The boy became a man and included the anecdote in his 2003 book. On Thursday, April 9, 2010, they met and embraced for the first time since then in Rabbi Leo Goldman's Oak Park living room.
Abraham Foxman, left, and Rabbi Leo Goldman meet again after 65 years. (David Brystowski for Detroit News) "It was very emotional, much more than I would have expected," says the former small boy. He is Abraham Foxman, the New York-based director of the Anti-Defamation League. In that role, he is a public voice against racial and religious intolerance.
The soldier is Goldman, 91, an Orthodox rabbi in Oak Park and an educator who continued to work as a Beaumont Hospital chaplain until a few months ago. "We tell this story every year," says Rose Brystowski, the Rabbi's daughter, who says her father has become too frail to interview. "It's very moving to us, because it's about survival, about a child symbolizing the future of our people." The memory remains vivid for Foxman: He had lived with his Catholic nanny, separated from his parents and concealed from the Nazis as a so-called "hidden child" for four years.
The nanny saved his life -- but also taught him to spit on the ground when a Jew walked by. In mid-1945, he was reunited with his parents. His father waited four months to take him to a synagogue on the holiday of Simchas Torah, an ancient and festive holiday that celebrates the completion of the annual cycle of reading the Torah on hand-written scrolls. "That was very smart of him because it is a fun holiday for children," says Foxman, who remembers walking by a church and making the sign of the cross upon entering the synagogue for the first time.
For Goldman, who had been wounded twice as a soldier, and lost his parents to the Nazis, the return to the synagogue in Vilna that day was also momentous. The concentration camps had been liberated, Jews were reuniting with their families across Europe, and in Lithuania, it was no longer a capital crime to be Jewish. Most had been dispersed or exterminated. Only 3,000 of Vilna's 100,000 Jews remained. "Are you Jewish?" the Soviet soldier, asked the boy. When he nodded yes, Goldman said, "I have traveled thousands of miles without seeing a Jewish child." Then he stooped down, lifted the boy and danced around the room with him. Neither man ever forgot that day, that celebration of religion and survival under extraordinary circumstance.
Getting to Thursday's reunion was circuitous. Only last summer did Foxman learn that the Jewish Soviet soldier he wrote about in his 2003 book, "Never Again?" was Goldman, still alive and living in the United States. Three years ago, Foxman told the story at Yad Vashem, the Israel Holocaust Memorial Museum. There, an Israeli researcher, inspired by Goldman's story, embarked on a quest for the dancing man in uniform that Foxman described. Finally she tracked down the song, and the songwriter had credited the Michigan rabbi as the song's inspiration.
For Foxman, that day "was a memory, a bittersweet memory." The soldier -- a stranger -- had embraced him in public, in a synagogue. He had carried him like a trophy around the synagogue. "That was for me the first time anyone took pride in me," says Foxman, who as "a hidden child didn't know who or what I was."
For both men, the memory was frozen in time, unattached to any living person. "I thought that story was a kind of legend," recalls Brystowski. "I always believed it in my heart, but on another level, I wondered, did that really happen?" She was stunned when she learned last summer, when Foxman called, that "this prominent, grown man" was the little boy she had grown up hearing about. The mythic boy had become a very real and famous man. "It shows us that any gesture, any mitzvah or good deed, can have an impact," she says.
On Thursday, the two men hugged and talked and recited a Hebrew prayer, a blessing that's a reminder of the importance of celebrating life in the moment. "It is a privilege to have lived long enough to have this moment," Foxman says Goldman told him. Goldman's parents and older brother were killed by the Nazis. Foxman's early years as a "hidden child," living with secrets and lies, led him into a career of speaking out publicly against injustice and hatred.
For each man, the memory of dancing in a Vilna synagogue was a pivotal moment. "I came home and told my father that I wanted to be Jewish," recalls Foxman. "It was the beginning of my life as a Jewish person." Each man had a memory of a moment -- a dance in a synagogue -- that symbolized then and throughout their lives the promise of freedom and faith and life.
At long last, the boy and the soldier, both of whom carried phantom memories, now know each other as two grown men who have, against the odds, survived to find each other.
Source: Adapted by Yerachmiel Tilles from an article in "The Detroit News" by Laura Berman, April 9, 2010, submitted by Avraham Leaf. Rabbi Goldman-may he live even longer years--married Avraham's parents and also was the mohel who did Avraham's brit mila.
Connection: The Fast Day of the Tenth of Tevet (Thursday, Jan. 5) is the accepted date for saying Kaddish for those Holocaust martyrs whose date of death is unknown. One can view the photo at the above link.
I’m going to be running in the 10-kilometer race preceding the Jerusalem Marathon this March 16 on behalf of the Ethiopian National Project. ENP is an organization that assists Ethiopian olim acclimate in Israel, doing tremendous work to help Ethiopian-Israeli teenagers, through youth-outreach centers and scholastic-assistance programs. The results are truly amazing (see: http://tinyurl.com/82d739q for an interesting video that discusses the organization, and their website, www.enp.org.il , for additional information). So I'm running to help raise money for this important cause.
On a personal note: though I’ve been jogging for years, I'd generally go around 2-3 miles, so a 10K run is a bit of a stretch. However, the race is scheduled just weeks before two important milestones in my life: my sixtieth birthday and the 30th anniversary of our arrival in Israel – so this is as good a time as any for taking up a challenge.
Please consider making a donation to help me meet my fundraising goal. All donations, no matter the size, are sincerely appreciated.
My fund-raising page appears at: http://my.israelgives.org/ENP_LPF
Would appreciate any Beit Shemesh incident views from Gedolei HaDor - in other words Das Torah - not commentary (in past generation from Z'TL: Chazon Ish; Brisker Rav – Henry A. Besides my own condemnation and past writings of this Chillul HASHEM and the recording of the Late Lubavitcher Rebbe, both Chief Rabbis and the Rabbis from all the religious/political spectrum have condemned this behavior – not the separation on buses as many Frum women prefer to ride with other women rather than being pressed against a man on a bus or subway. There is not one well known Rabbi who has not condemned this far out sect’s behavior and spitting on children. The problem is some non-religious idiot then spat on a poor ultra-Orthodox girl on the street.
The fact of the matter is that the mother of the original girl spat on does not have her hair covered to my own standard but it is none of my business how the woman covers her head. If she was my wife, I would say something or if she was a member of my congregation I might try to persuade the women but an ordinary woman not exposing herself except some hair is not my business to correct her. If she would attend a lecture that I might give on the subject maybe I could convince her without singling her out. However, spitting and calling her a woman of ill repute is not going to win her over to my side. The Derech (Way/Path) of Torah is Derachei Noam a pleasant path and all her routes are Derachei Shalom. I see no peace or a Kiddush HASHEM from this repulsive behavior.
Last but not least 30 years ago, I met my wife and her lack of head covering disturbed me to no end but I asked her nicely to cover her head. At first she covered it a bit more than but similar to the woman (mother) in Beis Shemesh. Slowly with the course of time and on her own free will she went to wearing wigs. The fanatics a few years ago came out against wearing wigs. Unless the Moshiach declares wigs forbidden, my wife will continue to wear wigs like many very Charedi women. Judaism is a religion with Mitzvos which we say Chai bachem aka live by them – live and not suffocate.
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta on Thursday will put the official Pentagon stamp on a new U.S. strategy toward Asia. The strategy will solidify efforts to refocus on countering China’s growing arsenal of missiles, submarines, cyber w Arabs on the rampage again: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/151490#.TwixI_JSS8seapons and other forces designed to push U.S. forces out of the region.
A senior U.S. official tells Inside the Ring that the strategy — produced in response to harsh defense budget cuts imposed by the Obama administration and expected deeper cuts from Congress — is focused on bolstering U.S. forces and alliances in Asia while seeking to maintain an effective military presence in the volatile Middle East.
According to the official, the strategy will try to force the military services to better use shrinking resources. Those weapons and forces cutbacks mean that the United States will no longer be able to fight two regional conflicts at the same time, increasing the risk that when a war breaks out in, say, the Middle East, adversaries will use the opportunity to launch wars in other places such as the Taiwan Strait or the Korean Peninsula. …
A similar post on the strategic retreat: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jan/5/obamas-strategic-retreat/
Last night between 11pm and 1am you may have heard army vehicles and helicopters, and seen some soldiers patrolling our ring road. This is what happened:
The army detected a break in the farther security fence - NOT the fence directly around the Yeshuv but the one closer to Na'alin. The army put the Yeshuv security team on standby alert while they checked it out. It seems that there were two Palestinians who were trying to sneak into Israel illegally. They were caught by the army and the alert was lifted.
Thank you to the Rav Shatz Zerubavel, the kitat konenut and the tzachi team for working together and sharing information during the alert.
Manny Winston wrote about the gathering of the Nations - Is the next enrichment site in Iran operational or near operational? http://www.debka.com/article/21633/
Visiting Catholic Bishops Decide: "Gaza is a Prison" by Giuliio Meotti
Eight Catholic bishops from Europe and North America have just visited the Christian community in Gaza. The Vatican high profile delegation included Patrick Kelly, archbishop of Liverpool; Richard Smith, archbishop of Edmonton, Canada; Gerald Kicanas, bishop of Tucson, US; Michel Dubost, bishop of Evry, France; and Riccardo Fontana, bishop of Arezzo-Cortona-Sansepolcro, Italy.
French Bishop Dubost's comment was, “Last week, I asked prisoners in the largest prison in Europe (in Evry) to pray for you”. The inference is clear: Gaza’s Christians are living in a big prison and terrified by Israel. News.va, the Roman Catholic Church news agency, published a report on the event, writing, “The signs of the 2009 conflict and the continuing Israeli air strikes are all around…”.
Not a word about the Islamic repression of that tiny Christian community in Gaza - and Bethlehem and the rest of the PA. The prison comparison was reiterated by another bishop. “I have just returned from visiting two of the largest ‘open prisons’ in the world – Bethlehem and the Gaza strip”, wrote William Kenney, auxiliary bishop in Birmingham who led the Catholic delegation. Bishop Kelly said that “violence is evil especially when it blocks humanitarian relief desperately needed”.
Raymond Field, auxiliary bishop of Dublin, also defined the Gaza Strip as “a large prison”. Last December, Palestinian Hamas leader, Mahmoud al Zahar, met with with Father Manuel Musalam, head of the Latin Church in Gaza, who is known for having a radical anti-Jewish stance (in 2006 Musalam met also with Khader Habib, a senior Islamic Jihad official in the Gaza Strip). “Christians are not threatened by Muslims” – Musalam said – everyone faces the same problem, that of Israel’s “humiliation”.
This Catholic head of Gaza once told the Palestinian Authority television: “The Jew has a principle from which we suffer and which he tries to impose on people: the principle of the ‘gentiles’. ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ are based on this principle, and anyone who reads the ‘Protocols’ feels that we are in this period with the Jews …”.
The Bishops’ official visit in Gaza is part of a recent Vatican course of action with the Palestinian Authority. Last September, Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal, named by Pope Benedict XVI, was at the White House for a meeting with the American administration as well as to support the PA statehood bid at the UN.
On December 1st, several Christian and Muslim dignitaries met in Beit Sahour for a conference on “How to live together in a future Palestinian state?”. Patriarch Emeritus of Jerusalem Michel Sabbah and Sheikh Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, attended the event, organized by Al Liqa, a Vatican ecumenical center based in Bethlehem.
Several days ago the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales compared the Palestinians to the Jesus’ passion. “We are to be freshly attentive to the needs of those who, like Jesus himself, are displaced and in discomfort”, Archbishop Vincent Nichols said during his Christmas Mass sermon at Westminster Cathedral. “A shadow falls particularly heavily on the town of Bethlehem tonight … We pray for them tonight”.
At the Al Liqa center Christmas’ celebration Muslim Palestinians presented a Qur’anic recitation of the birth of ‘Isa. Isa is the Islamic name for Jesus.
The writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author of the book "A New Shoah", that researched the personal stories of Israel's terror victims, published by Encounter. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Frontpage and Commentary and has been translated in the Hebrew media.
MKs Slam Espionage Charges for Protest Organizers: by Gavriel Queenann Arutz7
SETTLERS ARE TO BE ADMIRED & NOT SMEARED!! By Baruch Gordon
Forwarded with major commentary by Gail Winston, Mid East Analyst & Commentator
Jewish Settlers of today are the “tower and stockade” of this millennium. The kibbutznikim were proudly called that when were the builders and defenders of the Jewish State of Israel before and after the 1947-9 War of Jewish Independence. However, the Jewish value system came with the First Aliyah of the religious “settlers” in the 1880s and, forever after.
Today’s settlers in Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem and what was the garden community of Gush Katif/Gaza are today’s builders, defenders, redeemers of our Jewish National Homeland and the brave buffer against Muslim Arab Terror. The settlers are defending - with their own lives - those good Jews who live in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Beersheva and the rest of Israel who dare to denigrate the settlers.
Today’s brave, pioneering settlers are being attacked by Muslim Arabs daily with rocks, fire-bombs, knives, bullets and – at least 2 rockets a day (in 2011) from the ‘peaceful’ Hamas Muslim Arabs who squat on the homes and synagogues of the 10,000 great Jews who were expelled by other (not so great) Jews from their homes, farms, greenhouses, innovative agriculture, schools, shuls and even the graves in their cemeteries.
Today’s stalwart settlers, men, women and even their children are also being attacked - physically, morally, viciously, legally, (probably IL-legally) - by the hard-core Left within today’s Jewish police, soldiers, Shabak, Media, Courts. Of course, let’s not forget the NGOs (non-governmental organizations) funded by the Arab and Muslim world, the European Union, the United Nations and probably by the Obama U.S. Administration.
Today’s vigilant settlers are building homes of pressed plywood. No insulation, no electricity, no refrigerators, no windows, usually. Sometimes they succeed to build real houses with their own blood, sweat, tears and money – before the weak, blind, vicious government agencies send destructive Shabak, IDF and Police. Their favorite time of destruction is to come in the middle of the night and throw Jewish families with babies, very young children and pregnant mothers out of their beds in their pajamas and then demolish what they have lovingly built. No legal recourse before the demolitions.
The authorities seem to deliberately select for these noxious actions non-Jews, Arabs and very anti-religious/ anti-settler Yassam troops, chosen for their inner inclination to cruel brutality. The latest barbarity inflicted on the settlers is when our own Israeli government issues orders restraining them (especially the fathers) from living in their homes to care for and protect their own families and livelihoods. Husbands are being quarantined from their (B’H - often pregnant) wives and vulnerable children.
If you don’t believe what I am saying herein, the scenes of destruction are often shown on YouTube – devastating for the families and the viewers – but, essential to grasp the truth of today’s Jewish War Against the Jewish settlers.
Today’s currently warped Israeli government seems to be practicing the policy of “RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS” – which would be strictly unconstitutional in America.
When will the rest of Israel’s good Jews wake up and realize that: Today they come for the settlers; tomorrow who will defend you when they come for you and your family?
COMMENTARY BY GAIL WINSTON, MID-EAST ANALYST & COMMENTATOR
MKs Slam Espionage Charges for Protest Organizers
Israel's state prosecutors found themselves in the crosshairs after charging protest organizers with espionage. by Gavriel Queenann
Nationalist MKs lined up to criticize state prosecutors for charging residents in Judea and Samaria who revealed IDF troop movements pertaining to demolition orders of Jewish homes with espionage.
MK Uri Ariel (National Union) told a Constitution Committee hearing on law enforcement in Judea and Samaria that the charges were an "immoral abuse" of power.
"The police and the prosecution put a black mark on Yitzhar by accusing people of spying," Ariel said. "Who is the enemy here? The settlers?"
"The criminal justice system that is actively working to destroy the homes of civil servants and army officers has now turned us into 'spies,' Ariel told the committee.
Turning to representatives from the state prosecutor's office, Ariel said, "You embarrass the legal profession."
Ariel also challenged the prosecutors to charge him with espionage. "I spy! I told about IDF movements in the evacuation of settlements. I am ready to stand trial."
"This is an immoral abuse and criminal," he added. "This persecution must be stopped".
MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) also railed against the decision to charge activists engaged in civil disobedience with espionage at the hearing, "You you are cheapening the term 'espionage.' Have you completely lost your minds?
"What's next?" she asked rhetorically. "Will you be accusing them of genocide? Charging them with genocide is utterly shameful."
Hotevely added, "Your behavior reminds us of dark regimes. Would you do it in Tel Aviv? Would you simply banish people? Distancing people from their homes, their wives, their children - are we in Soviet Russia?"
MK Nissim Ze'ev (Shas) told the committee, "I suggest the law enforcement system to take stock of its soul. It has taken a hostile line and allied themselves with enemies of the State of Israel. To accuse these people of espionage is an outrage".
"The police are arresting people without cause," Ze'ev added. "This is unacceptable. There is persecution and hatred toward the residents [of Judea and Samaria]."
National Union party chairman MK Yaakov Katz told the committee, "I call on every Jew in Israel who sees a military vehicle headed to destroy Jewish homes to inform all their friends so we can go and protest.
"We all received SMS messages about demolitions - are we all spies?" Katz asked. "When will you begin to execute people? The distance between accusations of espionage and shooting them is a short one."
Israeli governments "already killed in the Altalena incident citing the Rule of Law. Indeed, Binyamin Ben-Eliezer called for hilltop youth to be shot. And now you make up dirty stories about us and accuse us of espionage?" Katz asked.
"This blood libel will backfire on you," Katz added. "Your hatred may be the prevailing opinion of the prosecution, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and the police. But when you make up dirty stories today, what will happen to you in the future? You won't be able to complain if the same is done to you."
Shas faction chairman MK Avraham Michaeli said, "We are against administrative detention and distancing orders. Prosecute and the court will rule. There is selective enforcement against residents of Judea and Samaria. We live in a state of law and the law must apply equally to everyone.”
Rights observers noted that Anat Kam – who passed reams of classified documents to a Ha'aretz reporter – was charged with illegal possession of classified documents rather than espionage even though the materials she leaked contained sensitive information that could have compromised Israel’s national security and future war fighting plans.
Settlers are to be admired not smeared
Yesha Residents: Let the Facts Speak for Themselves By Baruch Gordon, Director of English Development for Bet El Institutions and former editor of INN. January 8, 2012
Over the years, many entities in Israel have made systematic attempts at delegitimizing the sector of the Israeli public that lives in Judea, Samaria and Gaza (Yesha). The media, politicians and various spokesmen have done their best to demonstrate that the Jews of Yesha are outcasts, on the fringe, and all in all, a burden on Israeli society.
But recently-released facts suggest otherwise. Compared with other sectors of Israel, the citizens of Yesha are outstanding in their contribution to society and take a disproportionate share of the burden in defending the country.
According to statistics from the IDF, the percentage of enlistment into combat units amidst the incoming soldiers from Yesha is 61%, compared to 36% of new soldiers from Greater Tel Aviv and 44.2% of enlistees from throughout Israel.
Students from the IDF Prep Academy in Bet El
Yesha residents have stepped up to the challenge of educating the next generation: 23.4% of the Yesha workforce is teachers, as compared to the national average of 12.6%. Many of these educators work at institutions outside of Yesha.
Religious teachers at a conference in Bar Ilan University
Absorption of new immigrants into academic institutions is particularly high in Yesha. For example, at the University Center in Ariel (in Samaria), 400 Ethiopian students are studying towards their BA and Masters Degrees, as compared to a total of 25 Ethiopian students at the University of Tel Aviv.
Yesha residents do, however, have a weakness: they are terrible at waste production. The average Israeli in Yesha produces only 1.31. kilograms of trash per day, while Tel Avivians average 2.09 kilograms
The future Tel Aviv skyline?
Women’s place in Israeli society has conquered the headlines in recent days, and in this regard too, the woman of Yesha have a higher than average employment rate standing at 64.2%.
Like Tennesseans (the Volunteer State), Yesha residents excel at chipping in for the sake of society. Ben Gurion University surveyed the various sectors of the Israeli public for the rate of volunteering for organizations. They found that 51% of Yesha residents volunteer, compared with 40% from Jerusalem and 32% from Tel Aviv.
A final point of interest is that in a survey held one year ago, 95% of Yesha residents said they led “happy” or “very happy” lives.
SEEING THEM FOR YOURSELVES WOULD MAKE YOU VERY PROUD TO BE A JEW! Note: Gail Winston
Good Shabbos Everyone. Several years ago, Rabbi Shlomo Chaim Gruskin was once on his way to St. Louis, Missouri. He was driving through rural Iowa late one afternoon when he realized that the sun was setting, and he would have to find a place to pray mincha - the afternoon prayers. He happened to be passing through a small town just then, so he pulled up to the post office and went inside. "Do you know if there are any Jews around here?" he asked the woman behind the counter. "There is a Jew who lives about a mile from here," she told him. "His name is Rosenfeld." (the name has been changed)
The woman in the post office gave Rabbi Gruskin directions and he was soon on his way to old Mr. Rosenfeld's place. Soon, Rabbi Gruskin arrived and knocked on the door. Rabbi Gruskin told Mr. Rosenfeld that he was looking for a synagogue to pray mincha. The old man laughed, telling Rabbi Gruskin that there were no synagogues anywhere nearby. Rabbi Gruskin then asked the old man if he could pray in his house. After finishing praying, Rabbi Gruskin asked Mr. Rosenfeld if he minded if he also ate his supper in his house. Mr. Rosenfeld agreed, but he invited Rabbi Gruskin to instead join him for dinner at his table. Rabbi Gruskin refused the generous offer, telling Mr. Rosenfeld that he had brought food with him from home and that all he needed was a place to wash his hands.
"I know what you are thinking," said Mr. Rosenfeld. "But really you can eat with me. I am Shomer Shabbos." Rabbi Gruskin was floored. A Shomer Shabbos Jew in these parts?!? Mr. Rosenfeld smiled at the reaction of surprise. Mr. Rosenfeld then proceeded to tell Rabbi Gruskin the amazing story of how he became Shomer Shabbos after being arrested several decades earlier…
In this week's parsha Vayechi we read about the death of another famous Jew who was arrested - Yosef Hatzadik. Because of false accusations, Yosef was arrested and sat in an Egyptian prison. After leaving prison, Yosef eventually became one of the most powerful men in Egypt. Although it was difficult for Yosef to be in prison, as he neared the end of his life, Yosef realized that even his imprisonment was for the good. As Yosef tells his brothers, "…Hashem intended it for the good; in order to accomplish - it is clear as day - that a vast people be kept alive." (Bereishis 50:20) If Yosef had not been arrested in Pharaoh's palace, he would not have interpreted Pharaoh's dream and he would never have become so powerful so that he could feed his father and their families. As Yosef neared death, he realized that everything that had happened to him was for the best.
We can learn from the example of Yosef, who recognized that everything that Hashem does is for the best. The Sages in fact teach us that one should practice saying "Everything the Almighty does is for the best." One who can internalize this message and the lesson of Yosef, will live a happier life. Let us now return to our story…
Like Yosef, Mr. Rosenfeld also spent time in jail. Mr. Rosenfeld had immigrated to the United States shortly after World War II. As an immigrant with poor English skills, Mr. Rosenfeld resorted to becoming a traveling salesman. One day, Mr. Rosenfeld found himself in a small town near Akron, Ohio. He knocked on doors and tried to sell his wares, but everyone in the town slammed the door in his face. He was baffled. He tried one last door - it turns out, it was the door of the Chief of Police. The Chief of Police arrested Mr. Rosenfeld on two counts: 1) for selling merchandise without a license, and; 2) for violating the Saturday ordinance laws. (The town was populated and governed by the Church of the Seventh-Day Adventists, who observe their Sabbath on Saturday.)
The next morning, Mr. Rosenfeld appeared before the court. Mr. Rosenfeld pleaded ignorance of the law. The judge told Mr. Rosenfeld that he would not mind acquitting him (letting him go) on the count of selling without a license. However, the judge could not understand why Rosenfeld - a Jew - was selling on Saturday. "Surely you must know about Saturday ordinances, after all, they are biblical prohibitions. For that I cannot pardon you. Fifty dollars or thirty days in jail." Said the judge.
"Please, I really did not know any better," pleaded Mr. Rosenfeld. "Rosenfeld," said the judge, "I will tell you what I will do, I will pardon you if you promise me faithfully that from today on, you will observe your Sabbath." Mr. Rosenfeld promised, and the judge released him on the spot.
The next Saturday morning, Mr. Rosenfeld woke up as usual and began to ready his horse and wagon for a day of peddling. As he walked to the horses, his mind went back to the previous week. He thought to himself: "last Saturday I promised to keep the Sabbath! How could I break my word?" From that point on, Mr. Rosenfeld was Shomer Shabbos. (From Visions of Greatness, R.Y.Weiss, p.32)
It was through his experiences in jail that Mr. Rosenfeld became Shomer Shabbos. Although it was difficult for him at the time of his arrest, Mr. Rosenfeld realized years later that everything that Hashem does is for the best. Because he was arrested, Mr. Rosenfeld was introduced to the beauty of Shabbos. He began to see Saturday as a day of rest from the noise of the workweek. Shabbos became a special time of happiness and inner peace. He was forever grateful to the judge who made him a Shomer Shabbos Jew.
Let us learn from Yosef and Mr. Rosenfeld. Everyday let us remind ourselves that "Everything the Almighty does is for the best." Good Shabbos Everyone. M. Wolfberg is sponsored by Refuah Shleima to Reb Mordechai Menachem Mendel ben Tziporah Yitta Refuah Shleima to Tsviah bas Bracha Leah