Yehudis bas Sarah Rivka needs healing prayers.
44:18 Then Judah came near unto him, and said: 'Oh my lord, let thy servant, I pray thee, speak a word in my lord's ears, and let not thine anger burn against thy servant; for thou art even as Pharaoh.
Rabbi Barak Kockavi Shlita pointed out in his Drasha that Yosef knew his brothers but they did not know him. How can this be? The Rashi on 42:8 comments as follows:
Now Joseph recognized, etc.: Because he had left them [when they were already] full-bearded. — [from Yeb. 88a, Keth. 27b, B.M. 39b, Gen. Rabbah 91:7, Targum Jonathan] but they did not recognize him: Because when he left them, he was not full-bearded, and now they found him full-bearded. The Aggadic Midrash states:“And Joseph recognized his brothers” - when they were delivered into his hands, he recognized that they were his brothers, and he had compassion on them. But they did not recognize him when he fell into their hands, to behave toward him with brotherhood. — [from Yeb. 88a, Keth. 27b, B.M. 39b, Gen. Rabbah 91:7, Targum Jonathan]
Many Hieroglyphics do not show beards so could Rashi be wrong? I therefore did a search and in a number of Hieroglyplics there is indeed a beard on the man pictured there. http://www.google.co.il/search?q=hieroglyphics&hl=iw&client=firefox-a&hs=EWB&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=q8kFT9PdNIjAswadlfiCDw&ved=0CDkQsAQ&biw=1366&bih=604
for you are like Pharaoh: This is its simple meaning. Its midrashic meaning is, however: You will ultimately be punished with צָרַעַת because of him, just as Pharaoh was punished because of my great-grandmother Sarah for the one night that he detained her (Gen. 12:17). Another explanation: Just as Pharaoh issues decrees and does not carry them out, makes promises and does not fulfill them, so do you. Now, is this the “setting of an eye,” concerning which you said [that you wanted] “to set your eye upon him” ? [See verse 21.] Another explanation: For like you, so is Pharaoh-if you provoke me, I will kill you and your master. [From Gen. Rabbah 93:6]
They suspected Yosef of male to male contact and never dreamed that he wanted to bring Benyamin to himself to save him from the other ten brothers.
19 My lord asked his servants, saying: Have ye a father, or a brother? 20 And we said unto my lord: We have a father, an old man, and a child of his old age, a little one; and his brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother, and his father loveth him.
Why did they say that Yosef was dead when they fully knew that in all probability he was alive as a slave somewhere in Egypt? The logic is as follows: If he held Shimon to produce Benyamin then he can hold Benyamin and demand Yosef and they have no way of producing Yosef. Remember they see Yosef in the royal hat with a beard 22 years later and perhaps a bit heavier after being in the upper class of Egypt. He is dressed differently from them. Perhaps they have peyos and the ruler has none.
Rashi explains it thusly: and his brother is dead: Out of fear, he made a false statement. He said [to himself], “If I tell him that he is alive, he will say, ‘Bring him to me.’” [from Gen. Rabbah 93:8] alone of his mother: From that mother, he has no other brother. [From Targum Jonathan ben Uzziel]
21 And thou saidst unto thy servants: Bring him down unto me, that I may set mine eyes upon him. 22 And we said unto my lord: The lad cannot leave his father; for if he should leave his father, his father would die. 23 And thou saidst unto thy servants: Except your youngest brother come down with you, ye shall see my face no more. 24 And it came to pass when we came up unto thy servant my father, we told him the words of my lord. 25 And our father said: Go again, buy us a little food. 26 And we said: We cannot go down; if our youngest brother be with us, then will we go down; for we may not see the man's face, except our youngest brother be with us. 27 And thy servant my father said unto us: Ye know that my wife bore me two sons; 28 and the one went out from me, and I said: Surely he is torn in pieces; and I have not seen him since; 29 and if ye take this one also from me, and harm befall him, ye will bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.
and misfortune befalls him: For Satan accuses at the time of danger. [From Gen. Rabbah 91:9] you will bring down my hoary head in misery, etc.: Now that he is with me, I comfort myself over [the loss of] his mother and over [the loss of] his brother, but if this one [too] dies, it will seem to me as if the three of them died in one day. [From Gen. Rabbah ff. 93:8]
30 Now therefore when I come to thy servant my father, and the lad is not with us; seeing that his soul is bound up with the lad's soul; 31 it will come to pass, when he seeth that the lad is not with us, that he will die; and thy servants will bring down the gray hairs of thy servant our father with sorrow to the grave.
it will come to pass, when he sees that the boy is not here, he will die: His father will die because of his calamity [of the loss of his son].
32 For thy servant became surety for the lad unto my father, saying: If I bring him not unto thee, then shall I bear the blame to my father for ever.
For your servant assumed responsibility for the boy: Now if you ask why I enter the fray more than my other brothers, [I will reply that] they are all [standing] from the outside [without commitment], while I have bound myself with a strong bond to be an outcast in both worlds. [From Gen. Rabbah 93:8]
33 Now therefore, let thy servant, I pray thee, abide instead of the lad a bondman to my lord; and let the lad go up with his brethren.
please let your servant stay: I am superior to him in all respects: in strength, in battle, and in service. [From Gen. Rabbah 93:8]
34 For how shall I go up to my father, if the lad be not with me? lest I look upon the evil that shall come on my father.'
45:1 Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried: 'Cause every man to go out from me.' And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren.
Now Joseph could not bear all those standing: He could not bear that Egyptians would stand beside him and hear his brothers being embarrassed when he would make himself known to them. [From Tanchuma Vayigash 5]
I have always wondered if he then yelled out “Ya-amod Yosef ben Yacov”? I think at this point the brothers were in complete fear of Yosef and complete shock at what this man would do next.
2 And he wept aloud; and the Egyptians heard, and the house of Pharaoh heard.
and the house of Pharaoh heard: Heb. פַּרְעֹה בֵּית, the house of Pharaoh, namely his servants and the members of his household. This does not literally mean a house, but it is like “the house of Israel” (Ps. 115:12), “the house of Judah” (I Kings 12:21), mesnede in Old French, household. [From Targum Onkelos]
3 And Joseph said unto his brethren: 'I am Joseph; doth my father yet live?' And his brethren could not answer him; for they were affrighted at his presence.
they were startled by his presence: Because of embarrassment. [From Tanchuma Vayigash 5]
Imagine the reproof! They were frightened in this world from a man like Bilaam could not answer his donkey and his mouth was liked filled with water all the more so what happens to a person when he reaches Judgement in the Next World.
4 And Joseph said unto his brethren: 'Come near to me, I pray you.' And they came near. And he said: 'I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. 5 And now be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither; for God did send me before you to preserve life. 6 For these two years hath the famine been in the land; and there are yet five years, in which there shall be neither plowing nor harvest. 7 And God sent me before you to give you a remnant on the earth, and to save you alive for a great deliverance. 8 So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God; and He hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and ruler over all the land of Egypt. 9 Hasten ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him: Thus saith thy son Joseph: God hath made me lord of all Egypt; come down unto me, tarry not. 10 And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and thy children's children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast; 11 and there will I sustain thee; for there are yet five years of famine; lest thou come to poverty, thou, and thy household, and all that thou hast. 12 And, behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that it is my mouth that speaketh unto you.
And behold, your eyes see: my glory and that I am your brother, for I am circumcised, and moreover, that it is my mouth that is speaking to you in the holy tongue (Gen. Rabbah 93:10 as well as the eyes of my brother Benjamin: He compared them all together, saying that“just as I harbor no hatred against my brother Benjamin, for he did not participate in selling me, neither do I have any hatred in my heart against you.” [from Meg. 16b]
For up until this time, they were blinded from fear. I assume that at this point both Yosef and Benyamin had a good resemblance to Rachel and once their minds were reopened they saw it.
13 And ye shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen; and ye shall hasten and bring down my father hither.' 14 And he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck. 15 And he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them; and after that his brethren talked with him. 16 And the report thereof was heard in Pharaoh's house, saying: 'Joseph's brethren are come'; and it pleased Pharaoh well, and his servants. 17 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph: 'Say unto thy brethren: This do ye: lade your beasts, and go, get you unto the land of Canaan; 18 and take your father and your households, and come unto me; and I will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land. 19 Now thou art commanded, this do ye: take you wagons out of the land of Egypt for your little ones, and for your wives, and bring your father, and come. 20 Also regard not your stuff; for the good things of all the land of Egypt are yours.' 21 And the sons of Israel did so; and Joseph gave them wagons, according to the commandment of Pharaoh, and gave them provision for the way. 22 To all of them he gave each man changes of raiment; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred shekels of silver, and five changes of raiment. 23 And to his father he sent in like manner ten asses laden with the good things of Egypt, and ten she-asses laden with corn and bread and victual for his father by the way. 24 So he sent his brethren away, and they departed; and he said unto them: 'See that ye fall not out by the way.'
Do not quarrel on the way: Heb. אַל-תִּרְגְזוּ בַּדָּרֶ. Do not engage in a halachic discussion lest the way cause you to stray. Another explanation: Do not walk with large steps, and enter the city while the sun is shining (Ta’anith 10b). According to the simple meaning of the verse, we can say that since they were ashamed, he (Joseph) was concerned that they would perhaps quarrel on the way about his being sold, debating with one another, and saying,“Because of you he was sold. You slandered him and caused us to hate him.”
25 And they went up out of Egypt, and came into the land of Canaan unto Jacob their father. 26 And they told him, saying: 'Joseph is yet alive, and he is ruler over all the land of Egypt.' And his heart fainted, for he believed them not. 27 And they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said unto them; and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived.
all of Joseph’s words: He (Joseph) gave them a sign, viz., in what topic he was engaged when he (Joseph) separated from him (Jacob). [That was] the section dealing with the heifer that was to be beheaded (עֶגְלָה עִרוּפָה) (Deut. 21), and this is what [Scripture] says, “and he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent,” and it (Scripture) does not say, “that Pharaoh had sent.” [from Gen. Rabbah 94:3] and the spirit of…Jacob was revived: The Shechinah, which had separated from him [because of his grief], rested upon him [once again]. [From Avoth d’Rabbi Nathan , ch. 30, Targum Onkelos , Targum Jonathan]
When one is in constant mourning or depression, the Shechinah cannot rest upon him. At this point Yacov became joyful.
28 And Israel said: 'It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive; I will go and see him before I die.'
46:1 And Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beer-sheba, and offered sacrifices unto the God of his father Isaac. 2 And God spoke unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said: 'Jacob, Jacob.' And he said: 'Here am I.' 3 And He said: 'I am God, the God of thy father; fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation. 4 I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again; and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes.'
At this point Yacov regained the ability to be a prophet.
… 27 And Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the land of Goshen; and they got them possessions therein, and were fruitful, and multiplied exceedingly.
48:1 And it came to pass after these things, that one said to Joseph: 'Behold, thy father is sick.' And he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. 2 And one told Jacob, and said: 'Behold, thy son Joseph cometh unto thee.' And Israel strengthened himself, and sat upon the bed.
It is a Mitzvah to visit the sick, comfort mourners but next to Talmud Torah is visiting elderly parents. Sometimes a visit of a child and a talk to the doctor can get a patient in Israel from the corridor into a room or can get oxygen to an elder having trouble breathing which might not be the case if they were left to their own devices.
3 And Jacob said unto Joseph: 'God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me, 4 and said unto me: Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a company of peoples; and will give this land to thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession. 5 And now thy two sons, who were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; Ephraim and Manasseh, even as Reuben and Simeon, shall be mine. 6 And thy issue, that thou begettest after them, shall be thine; they shall be called after the name of their brethren in their inheritance. 7 And as for me, when I came from Paddan, Rachel died unto me in the land of Canaan in the way, when there was still some way to come unto Ephrath; and I buried her there in the way to Ephrath--the same is Beth-lehem.' 8 And Israel beheld Joseph's sons, and said: 'Who are these?' 9 And Joseph said unto his father: 'They are my sons, whom God hath given me here.' And he said: 'Bring them, I pray thee, unto me, and I will bless them.' 10 Now the eyes of Israel were dim for age, so that he could not see. And he brought them near unto him; and he kissed them, and embraced them. 11 And Israel said unto Joseph: 'I had not thought to see thy face; and, lo, God hath let me see thy seed also.' 12 And Joseph brought them out from between his knees; and he fell down on his face to the earth. 13 And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel's left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel's right hand, and brought them near unto him. 14 And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim's head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh's head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the first-born. 15 And he blessed Joseph, and said: 'The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God who hath been my shepherd all my life long unto this day, 16 the angel who hath redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named in them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.' 17 And when Joseph saw that his father was laying his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him, and he held up his father's hand, to remove it from Ephraim's head unto Manasseh's head. 18 And Joseph said unto his father: 'Not so, my father, for this is the first-born; put thy right hand upon his head.' 19 And his father refused, and said: 'I know it, my son, I know it; he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great; howbeit his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.' 20 And he blessed them that day, saying: 'By thee shall Israel bless, saying: God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh.' And he set Ephraim before Manasseh. 21 And Israel said unto Joseph: 'Behold, I die; but God will be with you, and bring you back unto the land of your fathers. 22 Moreover I have given to thee one portion above thy brethren, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow.'
The blessings of the brothers from Yacov. As the Moshiach comes closer, I wanted mainly to do Levy for the Cohanim in the Beis HaMikdash and the Moshiach ben David and the Moshiach ben Yosef.
49:1 And Jacob called unto his sons, and said: 'Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the end of days. 2 Assemble yourselves, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father. 3 Reuben, thou art my first-born, my might, and the first-fruits of my strength; the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power.
and the first of my might: That is, his first drop [of semen], for he had never experienced a nocturnal emission. — [from Yeb. 76a] my might: Heb. אוֹנִי, my strength, similar to:“I have found power (אוֹן) for myself” (Hos. 12:9);“because of His great might (אוֹנִים)” (Isa. 40:26);“and to him who has no strength (אוֹנִים)” (ibid. 29). - [from Targum Onkelos] superior in rank: Heb. שְׂאֵת יֶתֶר. You were fit to be superior over your brothers with the priesthood, an expression of raising up the hands (נְשִׂיאוּת כַּפַיִם) [to recite the priestly blessing]. — [from Gen. Rabbah 99:6] and superior in power: Heb. וְיֶתֶר עָז, [i.e. superior] with kingship, like“And He will grant strength (עֹז) to His king” (I Sam. 2:10). - [from Gen. Rabbah 99:6]
4 Unstable as water, have not thou the excellency; because thou wentest up to thy father's bed; then defiledst thou it--he went up to my couch.
You have] the restlessness of water: The restlessness and the haste with which you hastened to display your anger, similar to water which hastens on its course. Therefore-you shall not have superiority: You shall no longer receive all these superior positions that were fit for you. Now what was the restlessness that you exhibited? he restlessness: Heb. פַּחַז. This is a noun; therefore, it is accented on the first syllable, and the entire word is vowelized with the “pattach.” [I.e., each syllable is vowelized with a“pattach.”] If it were a [verb in] past tense, [meaning: he was restless,] it would be vowelized פָּחַז, half with a “kamatz” and half with a“pattach,” and it would be accented on the latter syllable (פָּחַז). for you ascended upon your father’s couch; then you profaned: that Name that ascended my couch. That is the Shechinah, which was accustomed to going up on my bed. — [from Shab. 55b] my bed: Heb. יְצוּעִי, a term denoting a bed, because it is spread (מַצִּיעִים) with mattresses and sheets. There are many similar occurrences:“I shall not go up on the bed that was spread for me (יְצוּעָי)” (Ps. 132:3);“when I remember You on my couch (יְצוּעָי)” (ibid. 63:7). - [from Targum Onkelos]
5 Simeon and Levi are brethren; weapons of violence their kinship.
Simeon and Levi are brothers: [They were] of one [accord in their] plot against Shechem and against Joseph: “So they said one to the other, ‘…So now, let us kill him…’ ” (Gen. 37:19f). Who were “they” ? If you say [that it was] Reuben or Judah, [that cannot be because] they did not agree to kill him. If you say [that it was] the sons of the maidservants, [that cannot be because] their hatred [toward him] was not [so] unmitigated [that they would want to kill him], for it is stated: “and he was a lad [and was] with the sons of Bilhah” (Gen. 37:2). [It could not have been] Issachar and Zebulun [because they] would not have spoken before their older brothers. [Thus,] by necessity [we must say that] they were Simeon and Levi, whom their father called “brothers.” - [from Gen. Rabbah, Shitah Chadashah] stolen instruments: This craft of murder is in their hands wrongfully, [for] it is [part] of Esau’s blessing. It is his craft, and you (Simeon and Levi) have stolen it from him. — [from Tanchuma Vayechi 9] their weapons: Heb. מְכֵרֹתֵיהֶם, a term denoting weapons. In Greek, the word for sword is“machir” (Tanchuma Vayechi 9). Another explanation: מְכֵרֹתֵיהֶם means: In the land of their dwelling (מְגוּרָתָם) they conducted themselves with implements of violence, like“Your dwelling place (מְכֹרֹתַיִ) and your birthplace (וּמוֹלְדֹתַי)” (Ezek. 16:3). This is Onkelos’s translation. — [from Tanchuma Vayechi 9]
6 Let my soul not come into their council; unto their assembly let my glory not be united; for in their anger they slew men, and in their self-will they houghed oxen.
Let my soul not enter their counsel: This is the [future] incident of Zimri [that Jacob is referring to], when the tribe of Simeon gathered to bring the Midianitess before Moses, and they said to him, “Is this one forbidden or permitted? If you say she is forbidden, who permitted you to marry Jethro’s daughter?” Let my name not be mentioned in connection with that affair. [Therefore, the Torah depicts Zimri as] “Zimri the son of Salu, the prince of a father’s house of the Simeonites” (Num. 25:14), but [Scripture] did not write, “the son of Jacob.” - [from Sanh. 82a, Gen. Rabbah 99:6] my honor, you shall not join: My name shall not join them there, as it is said: “Korah the son of Izhar the son of Kehath the son of Levi” (Num. 16:1), but it does not say, “the son of Jacob.” In (I) Chronicles (7:22f.), however, it says,“the son of Korah the son of Izhar the son of Kehath the son of Levi the son of Israel.” - [from Tanchuma Vayechi 10] \b my honor, you shall not join \b כָּבוֹד, honor, is a masculine noun. [Therefore,] you must explain [this passage] as if he (Jacob) is speaking to the honor and saying, “You, my honor, shall not join them,” like“You shall not join (תֵחַד) them in burial” (Isa. 14:20). [Since the word (תֵּחַד) includes a prefixed“tav,” it can be either the second person masculine or the third person feminine. Since כָּבוֹד is a masculine noun, the verb must be second person.] their assembly: When Korah, who is of the tribe of Levi, assembles the whole congregation against Moses and against Aaron. — [From Tanchuma Vayechi 10]
This separation will eventually pit Pinchas against Zimri.
for in their wrath they killed a man: These are Hamor and the men of Shechem, and all of them are considered as no more than one man. And so [Scripture] says regarding Gideon, “And you shall smite Midian as one man” (Jud. 6:16), and similarly regarding the Egyptians, “a horse and its rider He cast into the sea” (Exod. 15:1). This is its midrashic interpretation (Gen. Rabbah 99:6), but its simple meaning is that many men are called “a man,” each one individually. In their wrath they (Simeon and Levi) killed every man with whom they were angry. Similarly,“and he learned to attack prey; he devoured men (אָדָם)” (Ezek. 19:3). and with their will they hamstrung a bull: They wanted to “uproot” Joseph, who was called “bull,” as it is said:“The firstborn of his bull-he has majesty” (Deut. 33:17). עִקְרוּ means esjareter in Old French, to hamstring, an expression similar to “You shall hamstring their horses” (Josh. 11:6). - [From Targum Yerushalmi]
7 Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce, and their wrath, for it was cruel; I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.
Cursed be their wrath for it is mighty: Even at the time of castigation, he cursed only their wrath. This is [in agreement with the idea behind] what Balaam said, “What shall I curse, which God did not curse?” (Num. 23:8). - [From Gen. Rabbah 99:6] I will separate them throughout Jacob: I will separate them from one another so that Levi will not be numbered among the tribes; hence they are separated. Another explanation: There are no [itinerant] paupers, scribes, or teachers of children except from [the tribe of] Simeon, so that they should be scattered. The tribe of Levi was made to go around to the threshing floors for heave offerings and tithes; thus he caused him to be dispersed in a respectable way. — [From Gen. Rabbah 98:5, 99:6, Shitah Chadashah]
8 Judah, thee shall thy brethren praise; thy hand shall be on the neck of thine enemies; thy father's sons shall bow down before thee.
Yehuda shows leadership and does not try to pass the blame or kick the can down the road.
Judah, [as for] you, your brothers will acknowledge you: Since he reproved the first ones (Reuben, Simeon, and Levi) with reproach, Judah began retreating backwards [so that he (Jacob) would not reprove him for the deed involving Tamar (Gen. 38:16 ff). So Jacob called him with words of appeasement, “Judah, you are not like them.” - [From Shitah ChadashahYour hand will be at the nape of your enemies: In the time of David: “And of my enemies-you have given me the back of their necks” (II Sam. 22:41). - [From Gen. Rabbah 98:9] your father’s sons: Since they were [born] from many wives, he did not say, “your mother’s sons,” after the manner that Isaac said (Gen. 27:29). - [From Gen. Rabbah 98:6]
9 Judah is a lion's whelp; from the prey, my son, thou art gone up. He stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as a lioness; who shall rouse him up?
In the Pasukim in Hebrew is hidden the time of Moshiach in these few sentenances but only a few Kabbalist know how to do the accounting at this point Yacov wanted to say when is B’Zeman-o for Moshiach and the Shechina left him and he was unable to tell the tribes.
A cub [and] a grown lion is Judah: He prophesied about David, who was at first like a cub:“When Saul was king over us, it was you who led Israel out and brought them in” (II Sam. 5:2), and at the end a lion, when they made him king over them. This is what Onkelos means in his translation by יְהֵא בְּשֵׁירוּיָא שִׁלְטוֹן, [he shall be a ruler] in his beginning. from the prey: From what I suspected of you, (namely) that“Jospeh has surely been torn up; a wild beast has devoured him” (Gen. 37: 33). This referred to Judah, who was likened to a lion. - [from Tanchuma Vayigash 9 my son, you withdrew: Heb. עָלִיתָ, you withdrew yourself and said, “What is the gain [if we slay our brother and cover up his blood]?” (Gen. 37:26) (Gen. Rabbah 99:8). Similarly, [Judah withdrew] from killing Tamar, when he confessed, “She is right, [it is] from me…” (Gen. 38: 26) (Aggadath Bereshith 83). Therefore, “he crouched, lay down, etc.” [This was fulfilled] in the time of Solomon,“every man under his vine, etc.” (I Kings 5:5) (Gen. Rabbah 98:7).
10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, as long as men come to Shiloh; and unto him shall the obedience of the peoples be.
The scepter shall not depart from Judah: from David and thereafter. These (who bear the scepter after the termination of the kingdom) are the exilarchs (princes) in Babylon, who ruled over the people with a scepter, [and] who were appointed by royal mandate. — [From Sanh. 5a] nor the student of the law from between his feet: Students. These are the princes of the land of Israel. — [From Sanh. 5a] until Shiloh comes: [This refers to] the King Messiah, to whom the kingdom belongs (שֶׁלוֹ) , and so did Onkelos render it: [until the Messiah comes, to whom the kingdom belongs]. According to the Midrash Aggadah, [“Shiloh” is a combination of] שַׁי לוֹ, a gift to him, as it is said:“they will bring a gift to him who is to be feared” (Ps. 76:12). - [From Gen. Rabbah ed. Theodore-Albeck p. 1210 ] and to him will be a gathering of peoples: Heb. יִקְּהַת עַמִּים denoting a gathering of peoples, for the“yud” of (יִקְּהַת) is part of the root [and not a prefix], like“with your brightness (יִפְעָת)” (Ezek. 28: 17), and sometimes [the “yud” is] omitted. Many letters are subject to this rule, and they are called defective roots, like the“nun” of נוֹגֵף (smite), נוֹשׁ (bite), and the “aleph” of“and my speech (אַחְוָתִי) in your ears” (Job 13:17); and [the “aleph”] of“the scream of (אִבְחַת) the sword” (Ezek. 21:20); and [the “aleph”] of“a jug (אָסוּ) of oil” (II Kings 4:2). This too, is [a noun meaning] a gathering of peoples, [meaning: a number of nations who unite to serve God and join under the banner of the King Messiah] as it is said: “to him shall the nations inquire” (Isa. 11:10). Similar to this is“The eye that mocks the father and despises the mother’s wrinkles (לְיִקְּהַת אֵם)” (Prov. 30:17), [i.e., meaning] the gathering of wrinkles in her face, due to her old age. And in the Talmud [we find]:“were sitting and gathering assemblies וּמַקְהו ֹאַקְהָתָא in the streets of Nehardea” [Pumbeditha] in Tractate Yebamtoh (110b). He (Jacob) could also have said: קְהִיּת עַמִּים [Since the“yud” of יִקְהַת is not a prefix denoting the third person masculine singular, but is a defective root, the form קְהִיּת עַמִּים would be just as appropriate.]- [From Gen. Rabbah 98:9]
11 Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washeth his garments in wine, and his vesture in the blood of grapes;
He binds his foal to a vine: He prophesied concerning the land of Judah [namely] that wine will flow like a fountain from it. One Judahite man will bind one foal to a vine and load it from one vine, and from one tendril [he will load] one young donkey. — [From Gen. Rabbah 98:9] a tendril: A long branch, corjede in Old French, a vine-branch. [ שרקה: זמורה ארוכה, קורייד"א בלע"ז [עריס]: He launders]…with wine: All this is an expression of an abundance of wine. — [From Gen. Rabbah 99:8] his raiment: Heb. סוּתֹה. It is a word denoting a type of garment, and there is none like it in Scripture. binds: Heb. אֹסְרִי, equivalent to אוֹסֵר, as in the example:“He lifts (מְקִימִי) the pauper up from the dust” (Ps. 113:7) [instead of מֵקִים];“You, Who dwell (הַישְׁבִי) in heaven” (ibid. 123:1) [instead of הַישֵׁב]. Likewise,“his young donkey” (בְּנִי אִתֹנוֹ) [instead of בֶּן אִתֹנוֹ] follows this pattern. Onkelos, however, translated it [the verse] as referring to the King Messiah [i.e., the King Messiah will bind, etc.]. The vine represents Israel; עִירֹה means Jerusalem [interpreting עִירֹה as“his city,” from עִיר]. The tendril represents Israel, [referred to as such by the prophet:]“Yet I planted you a noble vine stock (שׁוֹרֵק)” (Jer. 2:21). בְּנִי אִתֹנוֹ [is translated by Onkelos as] They shall build his Temple [בְּנִי is derived from בנה, to build. אִתֹנוֹ is] an expression similar to“the entrance gate (שַׁעַר הָאִיתוֹן)” in the Book of Ezekiel (40:15). [The complete Targum reads as follows: He (the Messiah) shall bring Israel around to his city, the people shall build his Temple.] He (Onkelos) further translates it in another manner: the vine refers to the righteous, בְּנִי אִתֹנוֹ refers to those who uphold the Torah by teaching [others], from the idea [expressed by the verse]:“the riders of white donkeys (אֲתֹנֹת)” (Jud. 5:10). [He launders]…with wine: [Onkelos renders:] “Fine purple shall be his (the Messiah’s) garment,” whose color resembles wine. [The complete Targum reads: Fine purple shall be his garment, his raiment fine wool, crimson and colorful clothing.]“And colorful clothing” is expressed by the word סוּתֹה, [a garment] a woman wears to entice [מְסִיתָה] a male to cast his eyes on her. Our Rabbis also explained it in the Talmud as a term denoting the enticement of drunkenness, in Tractate Kethuboth (11b): And if you say about the wine, that it does not intoxicate, the Torah states: סוּתֹה [which means enticement to drunkenness. The Rabbis, however, render the passage as follows: and with the blood of grapes that entices.].
12 His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.
red-eyed from wine: Heb. חַכְלִילִי, an expression of redness, as the Targum renders, and similarly (Prov. 23:29),“Who has bloodshot eyes (עֵינַים חַכְלִלוֹת) ?” For it is common for those who drink wine to have red eyes. from milk: Due to the abundance of milk, for in his (Judah’s) land there will be good pasture for flocks of sheep. This is the meaning of the verse: He shall be red-eyed from an abundance of wine, and he shall be white-toothed from an abundance of milk. According to the Targum, however, עֵינַיִם denotes mountains because from there one can see far away. [According to the Targum : His mountains shall be red with his vineyards.] The Targum renders it also in another manner, as an expression of fountains (as in Gen. 16:7, 24:16, 29, 30, 42, 43, 45) and the flow of the vats. [The Targum reads further: His vats (נַעִווֹהִי) shall flow with wine.] נַעִווֹהִי means “his vats.” This is Aramaic, [and] in Tractate A.Z. (74b):“Vats (נַעִוָא) are to be purged with boiling water.” [וּלְבֶן שִׁנַּיִם he renders:] יְחַוְרָן בָּקְעָתֵיהּ. He renders שִׁנַּיִם as a term denoting rocky crags. [According to this translation then, Onkelos renders: his rocky crags shall be white.]
13 Zebulun shall dwell at the shore of the sea, and he shall be a shore for ships, and his flank shall be upon Zidon. … 22 Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine by a fountain; its branches run over the wall.
A charming son is Joseph: Heb. בֵּן פֹּרָת, a charming son. This is an Aramaism, similar to [the word used in the expression]“Let us express our favor (אַפִּרְיוֹן) to Rabbi Simeon,” [found] at the end of Baba Mezia (119a). a son charming to the eye: His charm attracts the eye that beholds him. of the] women, [each one] strode along to see him: Heb. עִלֵי שׁוּר. The women of Egypt strode out on the wall to gaze upon his beauty. Of the women, each one strode to a place from which she could catch a glimpse of him. עִלֵי שׁוּר, for the purpose of looking at him, similar to“I behold him (אֲשׁוּרֶנוּ), but not near” (Num. 24:17). There are many midrashic interpretations, but this is the closest to the literal sense of the verse. (Another explanation: This is how it should read, because according to the first interpretation, שׁוּר means“a wall.”)] charming-: Heb. פֹּרָת. The “tav” in it is [added merely] to enhance the language, similar to“because of (עַל דִּבְרַת) the children of men” (Ecc. 3:18), (lit., concerning the matter of). שׁוּר is the equivalent of לָשׁוּר, to see. [Thus the meaning of] עִלֵי שׁוּר [is] in order to see. Onkelos, however, renders בָּנוֹת צָעִדָה עִלֵי שׁוּר : Two tribes will emerge from his children. They will [each] receive a share and an inheritance. [Scripture] writes בָּנוֹת, alluding to the daughters of Manasseh, [i.e.,] the daughters of Zelophehad, who received a share [of the land] on both sides of the Jordan. בֵּן פֹרת יוֹסֵף [is rendered] my son, who will multiply, is Joseph פֹּרָת is an expression of procreation פִּרְיָה וְרִבְיָה). There are midrashic interpretations that fit the language [of the verse, as follows]: When Esau came toward Jacob, all the other mothers went out ahead of their children to prostrate themselves. Concerning Rachel, however, it is written: “and afterwards, Joseph and Rachel drew near and prostrated themselves” (Gen. 33: 7), [denoting that Joseph preceded Rachel]. Joseph said,“This scoundrel has a haughty eye. Perhaps he will take a fancy to my mother.” So he went ahead of her, stretching his height to conceal her. His father was referring to this when he blessed him בֵּן פֹּרָת, a son who grew, [meaning] you raised yourself over Esau’s eye. Therefore, you have attained greatness. — [From Gen. Rabbah 78:10] of the] women, [each one] strode along to see him: to gaze at you when you went forth through Egypt (Gen. Rabbah 98:18). They [the Rabbis] interpreted it (עִלֵי שׁוּר) further as referring to the idea that the evil eye should have no influence over his descendants. Also, when he (Jacob) blessed Manasseh and Ephraim, he blessed them [that they should be] like fish, over which the evil eye has no influence. — [From Ber. 20a]
23 The archers have dealt bitterly with him, and shot at him, and hated him;
They heaped bitterness upon him and became quarrelsome: Heb. וַיְמָרִרֻהוּ. His brothers heaped bitterness upon him (Joseph), [and] Potiphar and his wife heaped bitterness upon him by having him imprisoned. [This is] an expression similar to“And they embittered (וַיְמָרְרוּ) their lives” (Exod. 1:14). - [From Gen. Rabbah 98:19] וימררהו ורבו: וימררוהו אחיו, וימררוהו פוטיפר ואשתו לאסרו, לשון (שמות א יד) וימררו את חייהם: and became quarrelsome: Heb. וָרֹבּוּ. His brothers became his antagonists, (lit., men of quarrel). This verb form (וָרֹבּוּ) is not a form of פָּעִלוּ, [the simple active קַל conjugation], for if it were, it should have been vowelized like רָבוּ in“They are the waters of Meribah, where the children of Israel quarreled (רָבוּ), etc.” (Num. 20:13). Even if it (וָרֹבּוּ) denotes the shooting of (רְבִית) arrows, it would be vowelized the same way. It is [therefore] only a form of פֹּעִלוּ, the passive form, as in“The heavens were devastated (שֹׁמּוּ)” (Jer. 2:12), which is [equivalent to] הוּשַׁמּוּ Likewise,“They are taken away (רוֹמוּ) in a second” (Job 24:24), is an expression like הוּרְמוּ, except that the expressions of הוּשַׁמּוּ and הוּרְמוּ mean [to be devastated and taken away] by others, whereas the expressions שֹׁמּוּ, רוֹמוּ, [and] רֹבּוּ denote actions caused by themselves: they devastate themselves, they were taken away by themselves, they became quarrelsome. Similarly,“The island dwellers have been silenced (דֹמּוּ)” (Isa. 23:2) is like נָדַמּוּ Onkelos also renders וְנַקְמוֹהִי, and they took revenge from him. archers: Heb. בַּעִלֵי חִצִּים, [called this because their] tongues were like arrows (חִצִּים) (Gen. Rabbah 98:19). The Targum, however, renders it as מָרֵי פַלְגּוּתָא, an expression similar to“And the half (הַמֶּחֱצָה) was” (Num. 31:36), [meaning] those who were fit to share the inheritance with him, [viz., his brothers]. [I.e., Onkelos interprets בַּעִלֵי חִצִּים as those who should take half.]They heaped bitterness upon him and became quarrelsome: Heb. וַיְמָרִרֻהוּ. His brothers heaped bitterness upon him (Joseph), [and] Potiphar and his wife heaped bitterness upon him by having him imprisoned. [This is] an expression similar to“And they embittered (וַיְמָרְרוּ) their lives” (Exod. 1:14). - [From Gen. Rabbah 98:19] וימררהו ורבו: וימררוהו אחיו, וימררוהו פוטיפר ואשתו לאסרו, לשון (שמות א יד) וימררו את חייהם: and became quarrelsome: Heb. וָרֹבּוּ. His brothers became his antagonists, (lit., men of quarrel). This verb form (וָרֹבּוּ) is not a form of פָּעִלוּ, [the simple active קַל conjugation], for if it were, it should have been vowelized like רָבוּ in“They are the waters of Meribah, where the children of Israel quarreled (רָבוּ), etc.” (Num. 20:13). Even if it (וָרֹבּוּ) denotes the shooting of (רְבִית) arrows, it would be vowelized the same way. It is [therefore] only a form of פֹּעִלוּ, the passive form, as in“The heavens were devastated (שֹׁמּוּ)” (Jer. 2:12), which is [equivalent to] הוּשַׁמּוּ Likewise,“They are taken away (רוֹמוּ) in a second” (Job 24:24), is an expression like הוּרְמוּ, except that the expressions of הוּשַׁמּוּ and הוּרְמוּ mean [to be devastated and taken away] by others, whereas the expressions שֹׁמּוּ, רוֹמוּ, [and] רֹבּוּ denote actions caused by themselves: they devastate themselves, they were taken away by themselves, they became quarrelsome. Similarly,“The island dwellers have been silenced (דֹמּוּ)” (Isa. 23:2) is like נָדַמּוּ Onkelos also renders וְנַקְמוֹהִי, and they took revenge from him. archers: Heb. בַּעִלֵי חִצִּים, [called this because their] tongues were like arrows (חִצִּים) (Gen. Rabbah 98:19). The Targum, however, renders it as מָרֵי פַלְגּוּתָא, an expression similar to“And the half (הַמֶּחֱצָה) was” (Num. 31:36), [meaning] those who were fit to share the inheritance with him, [viz., his brothers]. [I.e., Onkelos interprets בַּעִלֵי חִצִּים -as those who should take half.]
24 But his bow abode firm, and the arms of his hands were made supple, by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob, from thence, from the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel,
But his bow was strongly established: It became strongly established. His bow, his strength and his arms were gilded: Heb. וַיָּפֹזּוּ. This refers to the placing of the signet ring on his (Joseph’s) hand, an expression similar to“glittering gold (זָהָב מוּפָז)” (I Kings 10:18). This [elevation] came to him from the hands of the Holy One, blessed be He, who is the Mighty One of Jacob. From there he (Joseph) was elevated to be the sustainer of the rock of Israel, the mainstay of Israel, [Be’er Yizchak] an expression of“the initial stone (הָאֶבֶן הָרֹאשָׁה)” (Zech. 4:7), [which is] an expression of royalty. [Jacob, the Patriarch, was considered a royal personality.] Onkelos, too, rendered it in this way, [i.e., that וַיָּפֹזוּ is derived from פָּז, fine gold]. He rendered וַתֵּשֶׁב as וְתָבַת בְּהוֹן נְבִיאוּתֵיהּ, [meaning] his prophecy returned [and was fulfilled] upon them [thus rendering וַתֵּשֶׁב as “returning” rather than as“being established.” This refers to] the dreams he dreamed about them, עַל דְקַייֵם אוֹרַיְתָא בְּסִתְרָא, because he observed the Torah in secret. This is an addendum, and is not derived from the Hebrew of the verse. וְשַׁוִּי בְּתוּקְפָּא רוּחִצָנֵיהּ, and he placed his trust in the Mighty One. [This is] the Aramaic translation of וַתֵּשֶׁב בְּאֵיתָן קַשְׁתּוֹ, and this is how the language of the Targum follows the Hebrew: His prophecy returned because the might of the Holy One, blessed be He, was his bow and his trust. עַל דְּרָעוֹהִי בְּכֵן יִתְרְמָא דְּהַב therefore,“his arms were gilded (וַיָּפֹזוּ) ,” an expression of“fine gold (פָּז).” he rock of Israel: A contraction of אָב וּבֵן, father and son, [which Onkelos renders as אַבְהָן וּבְנִין], fathers and sons.
25 Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee, and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee, with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that coucheth beneath, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb. 26 The blessings of thy father are mighty beyond the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills; they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of the prince among his brethren.
from the God of your father: This befell you, and He will help you. and with the Almighty: And your heart was with the Holy One, blessed be He, when you did not heed your mistress’s orders, and [because of this] He shall bless you the blessings of father and mother: Heb. בִּרְכֹת שָׁדַיִם וָרָחַם [Onkelos renders:] בִּרְכָתָא דְאַבָּא וּדְאִמָּא, blessings of father and mother. That is to say that the ones who beget the children and the ones who bear the children will be blessed. The males will impregnate with a drop of semen that is fit for conception, and the females will not lose what is in their womb and miscarry their fetuses. father: Heb. שָׁדַיִם. [How does שָׁדַיִם come to mean father?] “He shall be cast down (יָרֹה יִיָּרֶה)” (Exod. 19:13) is translated by the Targum as אִשְׁתְּדָאָה יִשְׁתְּדֵי Here too, [שָׁדַיִם means the father] because semen shoots (יוֹרֶה) like an arrow.
27 Benjamin is a wolf that raveneth; in the morning he devoureth the prey, and at even he divideth the spoil.' 28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is it that their father spoke unto them and blessed them; every one according to his blessing he blessed them. 29 And he charged them, and said unto them: 'I am to be gathered unto my people; bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30 in the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite for a possession of a burying-place. 31 There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah. 32 The field and the cave that is therein, which was purchased from the children of Heth.' 33 And when Jacob made an end of charging his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and expired, and was gathered unto his people.
50:1 And Joseph fell upon his father's face, and wept upon him, and kissed him. 2 And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father. And the physicians embalmed Israel. 3 And forty days were fulfilled for him; for so are fulfilled the days of embalming. And the Egyptians wept for him threescore and ten days. 4 And when the days of weeping for him were past, Joseph spoke unto the house of Pharaoh, saying: 'If now I have found favour in your eyes, speak, I pray you, in the ears of Pharaoh, saying: 5 My father made me swear, saying: Lo, I die; in my grave which I have digged for me in the land of Canaan, there shalt thou bury me. Now therefore let me go up, I pray thee, and bury my father, and I will come back.' 6 And Pharaoh said: 'Go up, and bury thy father, according as he made thee swear.' 7 And Joseph went up to bury his father; and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt, 8 and all the house of Joseph, and his brethren, and his father's house; only their little ones, and their flocks, and their herds, they left in the land of Goshen. 9 And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen; and it was a very great company. 10 And they came to the threshing-floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, and there they wailed with a very great and sore wailing; and he made a mourning for his father seven days. 11 And when the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning in the floor of Atad, they said: 'This is a grievous mourning to the Egyptians.' Wherefore the name of it was called Abel-mizraim, which is beyond the Jordan. 12 And his sons did unto him according as he commanded them. 13 For his sons carried him into the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, which Abraham bought with the field, for a possession of a burying-place, of Ephron the Hittite, in front of Mamre. 14 And Joseph returned into Egypt, he, and his brethren, and all that went up with him to bury his father, after he had buried his father. 15 And when Joseph's brethren saw that their father was dead, they said: 'It may be that Joseph will hate us, and will fully requite us all the evil which we did unto him.' 16 And they sent a message unto Joseph, saying: 'Thy father did command before he died, saying:
Now Joseph’s brothers saw that their father had died: What does it mean that they saw? They recognized his (Jacob’s) death in Joseph, for they were accustomed to dine at Joseph’s table, and he was friendly toward them out of respect for his father, but as soon as Jacob died, he was no longer friendly toward them. — [From Targum Jonathan ben Uzziel; Tanchuma Buber, Shemoth 2] Perhaps Joseph will hate us: Heb. לוּ [The word] לוּ has many different meanings. לוּ is used as an expression of request or to denote “if only,” [as in these examples:] “If only (לוּ) it would be as you say” (Gen. 30:34);“If only (לוּ) you would listen to me” (ibid. 23:13);“If only (לוּ) we had been content” (Josh. 7:7);“If only (לוּ) we had died” (Num. 14:2). לוּ sometimes means“if” (אִם) or“perhaps” (אוּלַי) , e.g.,“If (לוּ) they had been wise” (Deut. 32:29);“Had (לוּא) you hearkened to My commandments” (Isa. 48: 18);“And even if (וְלוּ) I should weigh on my palms” (II Sam. 18:12). לוּ sometimes serves as an expression of “perhaps,” [as in]“Perhaps (לוּ) will hate us” (Gen. 50:15). And there is no similar use [of this word] in Scriptures. It is [used as] an expression of“perhaps” (אוּלַי) , like“Perhaps (אוּלַי) the woman will not follow me” (Gen. 24:39), which denotes“perhaps.” There is also an example of אוּלַי [used as] an expression of a request, e. g.,“If only (אוּלַי) the Lord will see [the tears of] my eye” (II Sam. 16:12);“If only (אוּלַי) the Lord will be with me” (Josh. 14:12). This is similar to“If only (לוּ) it would be as you say” (Gen. 30:34). Sometimes אוּלַי is an expression of “if” :“If (אוּלַי) there are fifty righteous men” (Gen. 18:24). - [From Targum Onkelos]
We can see from the dialogue that the brothers were in panic but Yosef was larger hearted than their fears for he was not called Yosef HaTzaddik for nothing.
17 So shall ye say unto Joseph: Forgive, I pray thee now, the transgression of thy brethren, and their sin, for that they did unto thee evil. And now, we pray thee, forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of thy father.' And Joseph wept when they spoke unto him. 18 And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said: 'Behold, we are thy bondmen.' 19 And Joseph said unto them: 'Fear not; for am I in the place of God? 20 And as for you, ye meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. 21 Now therefore fear ye not; I will sustain you, and your little ones.' And he comforted them, and spoke kindly unto them. 22 And Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he, and his father's house; and Joseph lived a hundred and ten years. 23 And Joseph saw Ephraim's children of the third generation; the children also of Machir the son of Manasseh were born upon Joseph's knees. 24 And Joseph said unto his brethren: 'I die; but God will surely remember you, and bring you up out of this land unto the land which He swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.' 25 And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying: 'God will surely remember you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence.' 26 So Joseph died, being a hundred and ten years old. And they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.
Even one who simply lifts his hand with the intent to hit is
called "wicked" as we will learn in next week's Parsha (Shmot); "[Moshe] said to the wicked one: Why are you going to hit your friend?" - even before he hit, he was referred to as the wicked one. Hitting back in self-defense is permitted, if there are no other options. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 184:1
If one is happy when seeing a very dear friend (including spouses, parents, siblings and teachers) after not having seen them for more than 30 days, one makes the Bracha of Shehechiyanu:
"Blessed... who has kept us alive, sustained us and permitted us to reach this occasion."
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱ-לֹקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם
שֶׁהֶחֱיָינוּ וקִיְּמָנוּ והִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמָן הַזֶּה
One can make this Bracha even if one received letters from them during this time. If one has not seen them for more than 12 months one makes this Bracha instead:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱ-לֹקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם
"Blessed... who revives the dead".
This is because anything 12 months old is considered to be forgotten. Therefore, if one communicated with them - or received regards from them - during the past 12 months, one says Bracha of Shehechiyanu. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 59:20
and Mincha. At Mincha, the 3rd Aliya also reads the Haftarah (דִּרְשׁוּ from Yeshayahu 55:6). Only somebody who is fasting should be called up to the Torah on a fast day. During the Mincha Amida, individuals add the "עֲנֵנוּ" prayer into the 16th Bracha; שְׁמַע קוֹלֵנוּ. If one forgot, one does not need to make amends. The Chazzan adds עֲנֵנוּ during both Shacharit and Mincha, as a separate Bracha before רְפָאֵנוּ.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 23:15, 19:14, 20:8
(a few minutes before the time for Motzei Shabbat - 17:10 in Jerusalem). Pregnant and nursing mothers are exempt from fasting. Anybody who isn't healthy shouldn't fast. When in doubt, consult your LOR (Local Orthodox Rabbi). Children are not allowed to fast. Those who are not fasting should limit their food intake to the bare minimum; only bread and water if possible.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 121:2, 9 That is good for soldiers or other healthy people such as doctors or nurses but people who are ill even if not very ill like getting over a flu or having a strong cold can eat and drink as usual if they want they can go to the bare minimum but that is not necessary.
Almost 2,500 years ago the wicked King Nebuchadnezzar laid siege against
Jerusalem which culminated in the destruction of the first Bet Hamikdash, a year and a half later. This is the King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon in whose court Daniel (who
survived the lion's den) served. The purpose of the fast is to awaken us to repent; if the Bet Hamikdash has not been rebuilt then we suffer from similar deficiencies that caused it to be destroyed. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 121:3 Trivia: We did not fast on Asara B'Tevet during 2011. :-) (It was on Shabbos so we fasted on Friday) - Danny
Mayor Bloomberg does not know what he is doing
In 46 B.C.E. the Roman emperor Julius Caesar first established January 1 as New Year’s day. Janus was the Roman god of doors and gates, and had two faces, one looking forward and one back. Caesar felt that the month named after this god (“January”) would be the appropriate “door” to the year. Caesar celebrated the first January 1 New Year by ordering the violent routing of revolutionary Jewish forces in the Galilee. Eyewitnesses say blood flowed in the streets. In later years, Roman pagans observed the New Year by engaging in drunken orgies—a ritual they believed constituted a personal re-enacting of the chaotic world that existed before the cosmos was ordered by the gods.
As Christianity spread, pagan holidays were either incorporated into the Christian calendar or abandoned altogether. By the early medieval period most of Christian Europe regarded Annunciation Day (March 25) as the beginning of the year. (According to Catholic tradition, Annunciation Day commemorates the angel Gabriel’s announcement to Mary that she would be impregnated by G-d and conceive a son to be called Jesus.)
After William the Conqueror (AKA “William the Bastard” and “William of Normandy”) became King of England on December 25, 1066, he decreed that the English return to the date established by the Roman pagans, January 1. This move ensured that the commemoration of Jesus’ birthday (December 25) would align with William’s coronation, and the commemoration of Jesus’ circumcision (January 1) would start the new year - thus rooting the English and Christian calendars and his own Coronation). William’s innovation was eventually rejected, and England rejoined the rest of the Christian world and returned to celebrating New Years Day on March 25.
About five hundred years later, in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII (AKA “Ugo Boncompagni”, 1502-1585) abandoned the traditional Julian calendar. By the Julian reckoning, the solar year comprised 365.25 days, and the intercalation of a “leap day” every four years was intended to maintain correspondence between the calendar and the seasons. Really, however there was a slight inaccuracy in the Julian measurement (the solar year is actually 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds = 365.2422 days). This slight inaccuracy caused the Julian calendar to slip behind the seasons about one day per century. Although this regression had amounted to 14 days by Pope Gregory’s time, he based his reform on restoration of the vernal equinox, then falling on March 11, to the date had 1,257 years earlier when Council of Nicaea was convened (March 21, 325 C.E.). Pope Gregory made the correction by advancing the calendar 10 days. The change was made the day after October 4, 1582, and that following day was established as October 15, 1582. The Gregorian calendar differs from the Julian in three ways: (1) No century year is a leap year unless it is exactly divisible by 400 (e.g., 1600, 2000, etc.); (2) Years divisible by 4000 are common (not leap) years; and (3) once again the New Year would begin with the date set by the early pagans, the first day of the month of Janus - January 1.
On New Years Day 1577 Pope Gregory XIII decreed that all Roman Jews, under pain of death, must listen attentively to the compulsory Catholic conversion sermon given in Roman synagogues after Friday night services. On New Years Day 1578 Gregory signed into law a tax forcing Jews to pay for the support of a “House of Conversion” to convert Jews to Christianity. On New Years 1581 Gregory ordered his troops to confiscate all sacred literature from the Roman Jewish community. Thousands of Jews were murdered in the campaign.
Throughout the medieval and post-medieval periods, January 1 - supposedly the day on which Jesus’ circumcision initiated the reign of Christianity and the death of Judaism - was reserved for anti-Jewish activities: synagogue and book burnings, public tortures, and simple murder.
The Israeli term for New Year’s night celebrations, “Sylvester,” was the name of the “Saint” and Roman Pope who reigned during the Council of Nicaea (325 C.E.). The year before the Council of Nicaea convened, Sylvester convinced Constantine to prohibit Jews from living in Jerusalem. At the Council of Nicaea, Sylvester arranged for the passage of a host of viciously anti-Semitic legislation. All Catholic “Saints” are awarded a day on which Christians celebrate and pay tribute to that Saint’s memory. December 31 is Saint Sylvester Day - hence celebrations on the night of December 31 are dedicated to Sylvester’s memory. U.S. News and World Report December 23, 1996
“Saint” Sylvester was no saint to the Jews under his reign as Pope there was plenty of Jewish Blood flowing on the Streets of Europe.
Mailed to me by Rabbi A.L. Hashem Doesn’t Forget to Reward Even a Brutal Nazi War Criminal for a Good Deed By Daniel Keren
Rabbi Lazar Brody, world renowned Torah speaker and translator of “Garden of Emunah” spoke earlier this month in the Flatbush shul of the Sephardic Lebanese Congregation. He recalled an incredible story he heard from the great Jewish historian and educator – Rabbi Berel Wein who also has a distinguished career as a pulpit rabbi. Rabbi Wein related an event that happened in the shul that he is currently rav of in Yerushalayim.
The Boys Had Perfect Payis, Sidecurls
One Shabbos, there was a man who came to Rabbi Wein’s shul accompanied by his three young sons, ages 9, 7 and 5. Even with their perfect payis, sidecurls, they didn’t look Jewish with their stunning blond Aryan hair and shining blue eyes. Additionally, the boys were unusually well behaved, not running out of their seats and around the shul like many little children do. After the davening, Rabbi Wein greeted the father and asked him where he was from. The guest said he was from Rechovoth. Rabbi Wein asked where his family originally came from and this made the man uncomfortable. Rabbi Wein apologized, and asked if he was perhaps a baal teshuvah.
A German Born Convert
The man explained that he was really a Gior, a convert to Judaism and that he had been born in Germany. Once started, he began to tell of how he embarked on his unusual and fascinating spiritual journey to Yiddishkeit. Not only was he a German, but his father was a Nazi war criminal (yemach shmo) who had spent 10 years in prison after the Second World War. The son went to study microbiology in a college in the United States and there he for the first time met and became friendly with many Jews. In Germany he had learned about that sordid chapter of his nation’s history in which his people, brutally mistreated the Jews and he could never understand why people like his father could so hate the Jews who in his eyes were such nice people.
Broke Off All Contact With His Father
After graduating from college in America, he enrolled in Hebrew University in Yerushalayim and earned a doctorate degree in microbiology, before becoming involved in researching many life-saving cures. At the same time he studied with some rabbis and converted to Judaism, breaking all contact with his father who as an officer of an SS Storm Troopers brigade had been responsible for the murder of many thousands of Jews. Shortly before he met Rabbi Wein, this convert had received a phone call from his mother informing him that his father was dying and that he should come and see him one last time. The Gair spoke to his rabbis and they told him, that one had to have a sense of gratitude to his biological father even if he was a despicable Nazi war criminal.
Returns to Germany with His Three Little Sons
So he boarded a plane with his three young sons and landed in Germany. He went to the hospital where his father was being treated. His father could barely look at his beautiful offspring because they all looked very frum. Finally, unable to control himself, the son asked his father “You must have done some good deed did that you came to deserve three such wonderful grandchildren?” The grandfather at first was unable to think of any good action of his that might have resulted in what happened. Finally he recalled that once he led a group of murderous SS troops into a Catholic orphanage in Warsaw Poland in 1942. They were looking for Jewish children hiding as Catholics.
One Inexplicable Moment of Pity
At first the grandfather was unable to detect any children. But then towards the end of inspection he noticed three boys whom he was positive were Jewish. And for some strange reason which he himself to the end of his life could not understand, he felt a sense of pity for them and turned his eyes as they quickly escaped from the danger he represented. The son shouted, “Father, why didn’t you save a fourth or fifth child? Do you know that neither my wife or I have infertility problems. But since the birth of our youngest child five years ago, we haven’t been able to conceive and have any more children. I now realize that our three sons are the result of that sole one good deed you did.”
Rabbi Brody asked the audience at the Sephardic Lebanese Congregation, what is the lesson of the above story? The lesson is that Hashem has gratitude and doesn’t deny the reward owed to a person, even if that individual is a despicable Nazi war criminal! If a Nazi can get such a reward as having three righteous grandsons, can we even imagine just what Hakodesh Baruch Hu has in store and will give as a reward to those of us who have served Him all of our lives with all of our strength?
The sorry saga of Tipper and Al Gore’s separation continues to fill the airwaves. After the initial shock came the speculation: Why? The scandal – with The Star reporting details of an alleged affair. And the contagion, with their daughter announcing a split from her husband of 13 years. But more than all these issues (which are real and relevant and each deserve their own column) are two prevailing emotions: sadness and fear.
The sadness reflects a loss of hope. Despite the rising divorce rates, we remain optimistic. Young girls still dream of marriage (even high-powered career women still dream of marriage) and couples still get married in record numbers -- just ask anyone who has tried to book a hall in June! We like stories of love and happily ever afters. We believed in the Gores, we believed in the power of their 40 years together and we feel hurt by their split.
This leads us to the deeper consequence -- the anxiety and fear. “If it could happen to them…” It’s a threat to our stability and world view. Certain couples made us believe it was possible to have long, loving relationships. The dissolution of their marriages threatens our whole belief system, throws us off, challenges our expectations.
We begin to second guess -- first them, then ourselves. We start to analyze and overanalyze. Was it too many years? Did they lead separate lives? Did they take each other for granted? Even the absurd -- did they never recover from the 2000 election loss?
We are desperate to get to the bottom of it – to learn what went wrong, not to titillate but so we can avoid the same mistakes. But perhaps it’s not necessary. After all, who can really understand the ins and outs of anyone else’s relationship? And who can judge? Yes, there are times when divorce is necessary. It’s the “after 40 years” that stuns us. I have no idea what happened inside the Gore home but I can comment on some of the common reactions to their break-up.
Perhaps the most frequent response has been to suggest that marriage was never meant to last this long, people are not created to be monogamous for that many years, our longer life spans permit us to lead two separate lives, one after the other…
This is a convenient excuse for the lack of one thing -- a true understanding of the meaning of commitment. And it can’t be blamed on longer life spans. Our world is full of people who lived to a ripe old age and stayed married for a wonderful 60 years, and sometimes even longer. Our forefather Abraham and his wife Sarah had their first child when she was 90 and he was 100 – their marriage survived hardships and challenges that we can’t even imagine. There is no suggestion of boredom or the need for novelty – that is the part that is new. Sarah never says “What about my needs?” That is the part that is new. Their friends don’t encourage Abraham to dump Sarah for a younger model. That is the part that is new.
Not only did Abraham and Sarah understand the meaning of commitment, they also knew what gratitude was. They would be shocked by the all-too-common phenomenon of the woman who puts her husband through medical school or raises the children while he’s jumpstarting his career and is then cast aside for a trophy wife. They didn’t focus on variety or witty repartee or drifting apart. They just dug in their heels, faced their challenges, and made it work. They were willing to put in the effort – constantly, always – for as many years as they had.
We’re disappointed by the news about the Gores. And we’re frightened. But are we willing to deepen our own understanding of commitment and to really do the hard work for the long run? Perhaps their unwillingness to do that, perhaps the unwillingness of many of us to do that, is the most inconvenient truth of all. So my readers commit yourselves!
20 And the man gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found a help meet for him. 21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the place with flesh instead thereof. 22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from the man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 And the man said: 'This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.' 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
New Living Translation (©2007) Mark 12:29 Jesus replied, "The most important commandment is this: 'Listen, O Israel! The LORD our God is the one and only LORD. The following shows that Yeshu was a student of Hillel Matthew 22:35-40 New International Version (NIV) 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with your entire mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” I think most of you can say those words in Hebrew. Does anybody see a mention in Mark of a Trinity or in all four books him claiming to be Moshiach or for that matter the Lubavitcher saying that he was the Moshiach rather I see a person giving a Mussar speech here to his followers and audience.
Now don’t get me wrong I have nothing to do with Christianity but a little outside fair prospective is in order.
I also saw this later on a post by David:
During a king's reign, he must write a Torah scroll for himself in addition to the scroll which was left to him by his ancestors. A court of 71 elders should check this scroll by comparing it to the Torah scroll kept in the Temple Courtyard.
If his ancestors did not leave him a Torah scroll or that scroll was lost, he must write two Torah scrolls:
one, in whose writing, he is obligated as is every individual Israelite, and which he places in his treasury;
the second, which should not move from his presence except when he enters a lavatory, the baths, or other places in which it is not fit to read the words of Torah.
When he goes to war, this scroll should accompany him. When he returns, it should accompany him. When he sits in judgement, it should be with him. When he dines, it should be opposite him, as Deuteronomy 17:19 states: 'It should accompany him and he should read it all the days of his life.'
'He should not amass many wives' Deuteronomy 17:17. The Oral Tradition states that he may take no more than eighteen wives.
The figure eighteen includes both wives and concubines. If he takes an additional wife and has relations with her, he is punished with lashes.
He may divorce one of his wives and marry another instead of the one he divorced.
He may not accumulate many horses, only what is necessary for his cavalry. It is even forbidden for him to have one additional horse to run before him as is customarily done by other kings. If he adds an additional horse, he is to be lashed.
He may not amass silver and gold to keep in his personal treasury in order to boost his pride or allow him to glorify himself. Rather, he may collect only what is necessary to pay his soldiers, servants, and attendants.
Any gold and silver which he does accumulate should be given to the Temple treasury to be kept there, in readiness for the needs of the community and their wars.
It is a mitzvah to accumulate such treasure stores. The prohibition is only against amassing personal wealth in his own treasure houses, as Deuteronomy 17:17 states: 'He shall not amass for himself...' Should he amass personal wealth, he is to be lashed.
The king is forbidden to drink wine to the point of intoxication, as Proverbs 31:4 states: 'It is not for kings to drink wine....'
Rather, he should be involved with Torah study and the needs of Israel by day and by night, as Deuteronomy, loc. cit. states: 'It should accompany him and he should read it all the days of his life.'
Similarly, he should not be overly indulgent in his relations with his wives. Even if he has only one wife, he should not constantly be with her as is the practice of fools, as Proverbs 31:3 states: 'Do not give your strength to women.'
When the Torah forbade the king from accumulating many wives, its emphasis was that his heart not go astray as Deuteronomy 17: 17 warns: 'lest his heart go astray.' His heart is the heart of the entire congregation of Israel. Therefore, the verse commanded him to have it cleave to the Torah to a greater degree than the rest of the nation, as it is stated: 'all the days of his life.'
We have already explained that kings of the Davidic dynasty may be judged and testimony may be given against them.
However, in regard to the other kings of Israel, the Sages decreed that they neither sit in judgement or be judged. They may not give testimony, nor is testimony given against them. This is because they are arrogant and the matter may cause a tragedy and loss to the faith.
Anyone who rebels against a king of Israel may be executed by the king.
Even if the king orders one of the people to go to a particular place and the latter refuses, or he orders him not to leave his house and he goes out, the offender is liable to be put to death. The king may execute him if he desires, as Joshua 1:18 states: 'Whoever rebels against your command ... shall be put to death."
Similarly, anyone who embarrasses or shames the king may be executed by the king as was Shim'i ben Gera.
The king may only execute people by decapitation. He may also imprison offenders and have them beaten with rods to protect his honor. However, he may not confiscate property. If he does, it is considered theft.
A person who negates a king's command because he was occupied with a mitzvah, even a minor one, is not liable. Whose words should have precedence in case of conflict, the words of the Master or the words of the subject? Needless to say, if a king decrees that a mitzvah should be negated, his words should not be heeded.
A murderer against whom the evidence is not totally conclusive, or who was not warned before he slew his victim, or even one who was observed by only one witness, and similarly, an enemy who inadvertently killed one of his foes - the king is granted license to execute them and to improve society according to the needs of the time.
He may execute many on one day, hang them, and leave them hanging for many days in order to cast fear into the hearts and destroy the power of the wicked of the earth.
From Shona - Leftist on Defense Ron Paul http://frontpagemag.com/2012/01/02/ron-pauls-soros-defense-plan/?utm_source=FrontPage+Magazine&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=3e606cb1a9-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&mid=56
This article needs no comment http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=2511
After all the rape and pillage of Christians in the Middle-East the Bishops speak out: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/151410#.TwU3MvJSS8s
Jews for Ron Paul Exposed as a Fraud! [The Jim C. Perry / Yaakov Perry Report] by Daniel Greenfeld http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2007/11/jews-for-ron-paul-exposed-as-fraud-jim.html
Ron Paul, the Anti-Republican candidate for President and a favorite of White Supremacists like David Duke, has unveiled a new defense strategy to counter charges of Anti-semitism. The campaign of the candidate who claims to disdain ethnic collectivism now boasts an organization called "Jews for Ron Paul."
If Jews for Ron Paul puts you in mind of Jews for Jesus, you're not far wrong. Because Jews for Ron Paul is a scam. Jim C. Perry (James Christian Perry, the C is short for Christian), the Executive Director of Jews for Ron Paul and heavily featured as the spokesman for the front group. Like many Jews for Jesus figures, Jim C. Perry claims to be an Orthodox Jew. The JTA article featured many of Perry's grandiose claims.
For Perry, an Orthodox Jew, there is a connection between his own religious beliefs about personal responsibility and the Libertarian philosophy underpinning Paul's candidacy.
"It's the idea that people are meant to be equal and free in a just society. Those are the same things that draw me to be an observant Orthodox Jew," said Perry. "I believe Judaism puts strong emphasis on individual meaning, personal responsibility," he said, adding that God "calls us to take responsibility for our own actions.".
Here I am a kipah-wearing, fringes-hanging Orthodox Jew...
The real Jim C. Perry though is not an Orthodox Jew, though he makes a point of dressing up like one until he's virtually a cartoon. He's gay and is currently married to a gay man and a self-identified Churchgoing Unitarian Universalist. Here he identifies himself as a Seminarian. He has another account where he calls himself Reverend Jim C. Perry H.P., M.D.A. (he also claimed to have a doctorate in English which he apparently modestly left off here all at the tender age of 22) and a Pagan Minister. Briefly he appears to have gone Ward Churchill and began calling himself Jim FlyingEagle. (He may have also used James L. Rush and posted at Cherokee Pride as James L. Rushing River pretending to be Cherokee) I have incurred him under the Cherokee disguise as Cherokee tribe of Joseph for Yeshu. The story of the scam goes on and on.
Now for M. Wolfberg’s Good Shabbos Story “Turning over a new leaf”
Good Shabbos Everyone. In this week’s portion Vayigash tells us about the emotional reunion between Yosef and his brothers. During his opening remarks to his brothers, Yosef refers to the divine intervention which brought about the unusual set of circumstances of the reunion, namely, that Yakov’s sons had come to Egypt to ask for food from their long-last brother whom they had sold into slavery many years earlier.
The verse quotes Yosef as saying, Thus Hashem has sent me ahead of you to insure your survival in the land and to sustain you for a momentous deliverance. (Bereishis 45:7) We see from here Yosefs recognition of the concept of Hashgacha Pratis divine intervention, which is one of the foundations of Jewish belief. As the Rambam teaches us in the first of his 13 Principles of Faith: I believe in perfect faith that the Creator blessed is His Name, is the Creator and the Guider of all creations
Believing in Hashgacha Pratis divine intervention means believing that Hashem guides even the minutest details of the universe. From this belief stems the belief that life is not random. Rather, everything that happens in life is for a purpose.
Once, one of the Baal Shem Tovs students noticed that a leaf had fallen from a tree in the distance. The student asked the Baal Shem Tov about the significance of this occurrence; why did Hashem cause the leaf to fall? The Baal Shem Tov instructed his student to lift up the leaf, which the student did. Under the leaf was a caterpillar. Now the student understood the reason why the leaf had fallen; the leaf fell in order to provide shade for the caterpillar.
Back to yeshivah, Eli Berkoff was thinking as he rode along the green-fringed mountain roads. Although he was a friendly, outgoing person, at this moment he was glad to be sitting in the backseat, removed from the animated conversation taking place between his friends Chaim and Shmuel in the front.
The trip back from camp provided a brief time for thinking, for letting go of the relaxed mood of summer and embracing the challenges of the new year. In yeshivah, everyone knew Eli as a staunch, reliable friend, a serious student and, most notably, the "guy with the pushka." (the one who went around during minyan with the tzedaka box).
Every morning at Shacharis, Eli could be seen carrying the pushka around the beis medrash, collecting a few coins or a dollar from each student. No one could say no to Eli. Going back to yeshivah would be great, he said to himself. There was still so much to accomplish.
His eyes scanned the passing scenery as his friend Chaim's compact four-door Oldsmobile merged neatly onto the Garden State Parkway. The ride proceeded at a smooth, relaxed pace, and Chaim handled the steering wheel lightly, adjusting a little to the left, a little to the right as the road wound its way south. Suddenly, as if a phantom had grabbed the steering wheel, the car lurched sharply to the right. Chaim battled the steering wheel, yanking it with all his might back to the center, but the car had a mind of its own. Like a child's toy, it flipped on its side and began tumbling, crashing over the guardrail and launching Chaim, Eli and Shmuel into a free fall down a 100-foot cliff.
Eli landed just a few feet from the car, which lay like a dead insect on its back, its wheels jutting uselessly into the air. He didn't know how long he had been lying there before he regained consciousness. The first thing he noticed was the car. It could easily have landed on top of him, but Hashem had saved him from that crushing blow. As he looked around for his friends, however, he realized that they were trapped inside, perhaps seriously injured. Although he lay a few hundred yards away from a well-traveled highway, he felt as though he were utterly alone in a vast void a speck of dust floating through the eternity of outer space.
Maybe I can move, he thought. Maybe I can get out of here. But his muscles wouldn't respond to his wish. He was in the middle of the woods with no help in sight. Then he noticed something that turned the situation from merely frightening to potentially lethal. His upper arm was deeply gashed and blood was spurting from the wound faster than he could ever have imagined blood could flow. He tried to scream, but he had no strength. In the midst of the thick forest underbrush, surrounded by nothing but moss-covered rocks and trees, there was no one to hear him but G-d. "Hashem yeracheiml" he cried. "G-d, have mercy on me. I'm completely in Your hands. Please make a miracle ... save me!"
Suddenly, out of nowhere, two men arrived at his side. They were athletic, confident-looking men who seemed completely at home in this untamed swath of roadside wilderness.
"Hi, my name is Todd, and this is my friend Brian," the taller of the two men said. "Don't worry. We're going to help you. Just so happens we're a couple of soldiers on leave from the Army, and believe me, we're trained to deal with all kinds of crazy accidents. This is nothing compared to the time we had to ...."
Todd kept talking to Eli, apparently to prevent him from going into shock and sliding back into unconsciousness. Meanwhile, Brian ran to the overturned car, grabbed a jacket off the front seat and ran back to Eli, whose blood was still rushing from the wound.
"We're going to make you a tourniquet to stop the blood flow," Brian told him. He began wrapping the jacket tightly around Eli's shoulder. Todd fetched a stick and wedged it between Eli's arm and the jacket. He then twisted it to tighten the tourniquet as much as possible. The bleeding stopped.
"You're going to be all right," Todd told Eli. "An ambulance is on its way."
Eli watched helplessly as his two saviors receded back into the forest, leaving him alone once again, still desperately in need of medical attention. But before his fears could fully surface above his murky consciousness, he witnessed the magnificent sight of a crew of Hatzolah volunteers heading down the slope with a stretcher. Their faces betrayed the seriousness of the situation as they rapidly transferred him to the stretcher and edged carefully back up the slope, holding onto a rope they had rigged in advance to prevent slipping.
"This tourniquet saved your life," they told Eli as they examined Brian's and Todd's handiwork. Fortunately, this ambulance was one of the few equipped with a device called mast pants, which are pants that compress the legs and push blood back up to the heart. With the mast pants, the Hatzolah crew was able to keep Eli alive until he reached the emergency room.
There, Eli found out that, of the six pints of blood contained in a healthy human body, he had lost four. His blood pressure was unobtainable. "You were as near as you could have come to the Next World," the doctor told him.
His life had been saved, but recovery was slow. Yeshivah began that year without Eli, and his friends kept careful track of his progress. One day, a student reported to Eli's rebbi that the doctors felt they had no choice but to amputate Eli's arm. The tourniquet had cut off the blood supply so completely that the arm did not seem to be capable of recovering its full circulation.
"It's impossible," said the rebbi. "The hand that held that pushka every day will not be amputated."
And it was not.
Two weeks after the accident, Eli asked his mother to help him identify the men who had saved his life so that he could thank them. She contacted the state police and spoke to an officer who had been at the scene. "Sir, by any chance do you know who those kind men were who saved my son's life?" The officer replied, "What men? When we arrived, no one with the description you're giving was there." Mrs. Berkoff was confused. She decided to contact Hatzalah. Surely they would know who had helped Eli just moments before they arrived. But once again, she received a bewildered response.
As Eli and his family reviewed the frantic jumble of events surrounding the accident, they became certain that Eli's rescuers were "angels." Would men who were kind enough and able enough to save him have left him unattended? Would two soldiers on leave have been spending their time in the empty wilderness alongside the Garden State Parkway? Would they, under natural circumstances, have arrived at just the right moment, possessing just the right rescue skills?
Eli recalled the pure cry he had uttered from the depths of his soul "Hashem yerachaim ... have mercy on me," and he was certain that Brian and Todd were messengers of the Divine mercy for which he had pleaded. Just as Hashem had sent His messengers to our forefather, Avraham, in the form of travelers, He had sent these messengers to Eli! (Stories for the Jewish Heart Rabbi B. Pruzansky, p.67) 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