When I sent you this I wanted you to pay close attention to what was disturbing. We know German and other Axis nationals were interned. Also US citizens descended from Axis nations. What was not very known that South American citizens of German background were also interred. ALSO JEWS who had German citizenship automatically became enemy aliens. WHAT WAS EYE OPENING AND HORRIBLE WAS THAT FDR allowed FOR those Jews to be sent to Germany IN EXCHANGE FOR Americans held there.
MEN: Eliezer David HaCohain ben Naomi, Asher ben Malka, Avraham ben Devorah, Zvi Yechezkel ben Leah, Aharon ben Rishol, Chaim Zev ben Faige Tova, Naphtali Moshe ben Tziporah, Shalom Charles ben Gracia, Yoel ben Esther, Zev ben Rachel, Binum Benyamin Tuvia ben Chana Friedel, Yacov David ben Chaya Gittle, Mordechai Menachem ben Mindel. Shalom Yosef ben Chaya Moosha also the three other Rabbis: Yitzchok Tuvia ben Rickel (Rachel?), Aharon Yehudah Leib ben Gittel Faiga, Yisroel ben Chana Tzirel
Women: Karen Neshama bas Esther Ruth, Chaya Melacha Rachel bas Baila Alta, Zvia Simcha bas Devora Yached, Bryna bas Gina Sara, Rachel bas Chana, Feige Rachel bas Taube, Hodaya Nirit bas Mazel, Leah Nikia bas Bertha Sarah, Rivka bas Idit, Kayla Rus bas Chaya Rachel, Dora bas Dorit,
Chaya Esther bas Feige Yenta just this week only
21:1 These are the ordinances which thou shall set before them.
Egypt (Mitzrayim) had their laws as a Nation. Am Yisrael would have to have their laws. However, these laws were not man-made such as 80 kilometers or 50 miles an hour speed limit as we have today rather these laws were DIVINELY given in the Torah and for all generations. I do not have an Ox that can do damage today but I have a car. If my Ox hits a person he is entitled for compensation the same if an automobile hits somebody. Everything in Torah should be able to cope with any technology that comes along not put primitive bans on new things that are not fads. A real Ruv like Rabbi Moshe Feinstein dealt with everything and found a solution to the problems within the Torah and set boundaries. No Rabbi can shy away from every new thing. There have to be limits placed on technology within the bounds of the Torah. But I cannot see how a Rabbi will ban the internet from his followers and then broadcast Shuirim to others on the internet to give them Torah. Either the internet is forbidden completely or permissible to all with limitations!!! There is a gray area in Halacha which must be met and dealt with.
And these are the ordinances: Wherever it says, “these” [in the Torah,] it [(this word) is used to] separate from what has been stated previously. [Where it says,] “And these,” [it means that] it is adding to what has been previously stated (Tanchuma Mishpatim 3). [Thus] just as what has been previously stated [namely the Ten Commandments,] were from Sinai, these too were from Sinai. Now why was the section dealing with laws juxtaposed to the section dealing with the altar? To tell you that you shall place the Sanhedrin adjacent to the Beth HaMikdash (other editions: the altar). — [From Mechilta] that you shall set before them: The Holy One, blessed is He, said to Moses: Do not think of saying, “I will teach them the chapter or the law [both terms seemingly refer to the Oral Torah] two or three times until they know it well, as it was taught, but I will not trouble myself to enable them to understand the reasons for the matter and its explanation.” Therefore, it is said: “you shall set before them,” like a table, set [with food] and prepared to eat from, [placed] before someone. — [From Mechilta, Eruvin 54b] before them: But not before gentiles. Even if you know that they [gentiles] judge a certain law similarly to the laws of Israel, do not bring it to their courts, for one who brings Jewish lawsuits before gentiles profanes the [Divine] Name and honors the name of idols to praise them (other editions: to give them importance), as it is said: “For not like our Rock [God] is their rock, but [yet] our enemies judge [us]” (Deut. 32:31). When [we let] our enemies judge [us], this is testimony to [our] esteem of their deity. — [From Tanchuma 3]
2 If thou buy a Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve; and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.
It was customary to give him some sort of workers compensation as in many cases the reason a Hebrew person became a slave was because he stole or in some cases needed food and board because he had become so poor. Instead of working his own field or dying in a famine, he sold himself as a slave. After six years, the Torah did not want somebody to return to stealing or begging. The Torah viewed it as a great Mitzvah to bring the person back on his feet even to a point of marrying off the rich man’s son with the Hebrew maid servant or the Hebrew Slave with the rich daughter.
3 If he come in by himself, he shall go out by himself; if he be married, then his wife shall go out with him. 4 If his master give him a wife, and she bear him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself. 5 But if the servant shall plainly say: I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free; 6 then his master shall bring him unto God, and shall bring him to the door, or unto the door-post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him forever. (Until the Yovel aka Jubilee Year)
I was in the center of Modiin this week. I looked around and there were two teen boys on the street with earrings through their ear lobes. I said to myself poor slaves to a fad!
The Jew is commanded to ascend via humility and lowliness and to break down his own egotism. He is obligated to liberate himself from his enslavement to himself and to be a free man vis-a-vis everyone but G-d. To be a slave to mortal man or to oneself is a profound sin. If the slave of a Jew does not wish to go free [after six years], his ear is pierced with an awl, and our sages explain (Kiddushin 22b):
How is the ear different from all other parts of the body? G-d said, “If one's ear heard Me say on Mount Sinai (Lev. 25:55), 'The Children of Israel are slaves to Me', slaves to Me, not slaves to slaves, and he still went and acquired a master for himself, that ear must be pierced.”
R. Shimon ben Rebbe's exposition on this verse was like a gem: How are the door and the doorpost different from all other parts of the house? G-d said, “They were witnesses in Egypt when I passed over the lintel and the two doorposts, saying, 'The children of Israel are my slaves', and not slaves to slaves, and I took them out of bondage. And this person went and acquired a master for himself? Let his ear be pierced in their presence.
A man of flesh and blood should not take another human being as his master; neither should he be a slave to himself. He is G-d's slave.
The Torah commanded us to keep laws and statutes which conceptually serve as a constant reminder of how abominable is conceit and how essential humility. In actual fact, the first commandment given to Israel when they ceased their bondage to mortal man was one intended to imbue them with humility; namely, the commandment to burn one's Chametz [bread and other forms of leaven] before Pesach (Ex. 12:19; 13:7). Chametz, with its yeast which causes dough to expand, is a symbol of conceit which inflates a person's ego, enslaving and destroying him. The person enslaved by his pride and lust, the arrogant man who rebels against his task here on earth, rebels against the purpose of his and the world's having been created. He rebels against his Creator. (Condensed from Rabbi Meir Kahane by Tzipora Liron-Pinner
7 And if a man sells his daughter to be a maid-servant, she shall not go out as the men-servants do.
she shall not go free as the slaves go free: [I.e.,]-like the emancipation of Canaanite slaves, who go free because of [the loss of] a tooth or an eye. [See below, verses 26, 27.] This one [a Hebrew maidservant], however, will not go free because of [the loss of] a tooth or an eye, but she will work for [her complete] six years or until the Jubilee year or until she develops signs [of initial puberty]. Whichever comes first will be the first [event] to effect her emancipation, and [her master] will reimburse her for the value of her eye or the value of her tooth. Or perhaps this is not so [i.e., the intention of the verse], but “she shall not go free as the [male] slaves go free” [meaning] after six years or in the Jubilee year? Therefore, the Torah states: “Should your brother, a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman, be sold to you…” (Deut. 15:12). This compares the Hebrew woman to the Hebrew man in regard to all the ways he can be emancipated: just as a Hebrew man goes free following six years [of service] or in the Jubilee year, so too does a Hebrew woman go free following six years [of service] or in the Jubilee year. What then is the meaning of “she shall not go free as the slaves go free” ? [This means] she shall not go free with [the loss of] the tips of her limbs, as do the Canaanite slaves. I might think [then] that [only a Hebrew maidservant does not go free due to the loss of the tips of her limbs, but] a Hebrew man does go free with [the loss of] the tips of his limbs. [Therefore, the Torah] compares the Hebrew man to the Hebrew woman: just as the Hebrew woman does not go free with [the loss of] the tips of her limbs, neither does the Hebrew man go free with [the loss of] the tips of his limbs. — [From Mechilta]
8 If she please not her master, who hath espoused her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed; to sell her unto a foreign people he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her.
If she is displeasing to her master: [Meaning] that she does not please him to the extent that he would [want to] marry her. — [From Mechilta] who did not designate her: For he should have designated her and married her, and the money paid for her purchase is the money of her betrothal. Here Scripture hints that it is a mitzvah [for the master] to perform יִעוּד, designation for marriage, [with the maidservant] and it hints that she would not require any other betrothal. [I.e., neither money nor articles of value would have to be given to the girl’s father in order to marry her. The money the father originally received for selling his daughter now would become the money of betrothal from her master.]-[From Kid. 19b]
9 And if he espouse her unto his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters. 10 If he take him another wife, her food, her raiment, and her conjugal rights, shall he not diminish.
This is one time that I repeat myself in explaining that slavery in Israel was not like that of Egypt or the Deep South in the USA. The man takes a girl from a very poor half starving family ‘buys’ her from her parents with perhaps payments of food and clothing. Raises the girl as a daughter with the exception that she has a lot of household chores and if his wife likes her, he takes her as a wife to his son to produce his grand heirs. The little Jewish Cinderella goes from rags to riches – not such a horrible slavery I would say.
So now you know a little bit about the truth of the Torah and how slaves were treated in Judaism. It was more an act of mercy than what we think of as slavery.
11 And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out for nothing, without money.
She shall not be returned to being a slave or freed with money but the mature girl of 12 years old shall be free.
12 He that smites a man, so that he dies, shall surely be put to death.
Here we are dealing with a gray area for one must have two witnesses was it in a “fair” fight and self-defense or was he lying in wait or in modern terms placing explosives in the man’s car?
… 18. And if men quarrel, and one strikes the other with a stone or with a fist, and he does not die but is confined to [his] bed, 19. if he gets up and walks about outside on his support, the assailant shall be cleared; he shall give only [payment] for his [enforced] idleness, and he shall provide for his cure. וְרַפֹּא יְרַפֵּא:
The ending in Hebrew can also be read “The doctor will cure” meaning that HASHEM has made medical doctors messengers to cure the ill. Since some are excellent and others are good and some well could be better leaves us with checking who is the best doctor for one's disease. The one causing the damages has to pay for pain, embarrassment, medical costs and missing income.
… 28 And if an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die, the ox shall be surely stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be quit.
This is assuming that the owner took proper precautions to prevent the Ox from escaping and goring or the horns were chemically cut off.
29 But if the ox was wont to gore in time past, and warning hath been given to its owner, and he hath not kept it in, but it hath killed a man or a woman; the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death.
After the first time the owner is warned. If the Ox repeats the offense one more time, the owner should consider slaughter for the animal for the third time he, himself will be put to death as after the first and second time he was warned by the authorities.
30 If there be laid on him a ransom, then he shall give for the redemption of his life whatsoever is laid upon him. 31 Whether it have gored a son, or have gored a daughter, according to this judgment shall it be done unto him. 32 If the ox gore a bondman or a bondwoman, he shall give unto their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned. 33 And if a man shall open a pit, or if a man shall dig a pit and not cover it, and an ox or an ass fall therein,
The Ox is alive and moving, the pit is inanimate and stationary.
34 the owner of the pit shall make it good; he shall give money unto the owner of them, and the dead beast shall be his. 35 And if one man's ox hurt another's, so that it dies; then they shall sell the live ox, and divide the price of it; and the dead also they shall divide. 36 Or if it be known that the ox was wont to gore in time past, and its owner hath not kept it in; he shall surely pay ox for ox, and the dead beast shall be his own. 37 If a man steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it, he shall pay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.
22:1 If, while breaking in, the thief is discovered, and he is struck and dies, [it is as if] he has no blood.
he has no blood: [This signifies that] this is not [considered] murder. It is as though he [the thief] was [considered] dead from the start. Here the Torah teaches you [the lesson]: If someone comes to kill you, kill him first. And this one [the thief] has come to kill you, because he knows that no one [can] hold himself back and remain silent when he sees people taking his money. Therefore, he [the thief] has come with the acknowledgement that if the owner of the property were to stand up against him, he [the owner] would kill him [the thief]. -[From Sanh. 72a]
It is not even manslaughter if a thief that entered the house without permission or perhaps threatened or scared the household into knocking him out if too much force was used, the Burglar might be killed in the process. Therefore the house owner if confronted might over react and apply through the adrenalin more than necessary defense.
2 If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood guiltiness for him--he shall make restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft. 3 If the theft be found in his hand alive, whether it be ox, or ass, or sheep, he shall pay double. 4 If a man cause a field or vineyard to be eaten, and shall let his beast loose, and it feed in another man's field; of the best of his own field, and of the best of his own vineyard, shall he make restitution.
The Ox in the other field is either trampling down the flowers and fruit or his teeth are grinding them for his daily food consumption.
13 And if a man borrow aught of his neighbor, and it be hurt, or die, the owner thereof not being with it, he shall surely make restitution. 14 If the owner thereof be with it, he shall not make it good; if it be a hireling, he loses his hire. 15 And if a man entice a virgin that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely pay a dowry for her to be his wife. 16 If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.
Why would a father want a rogue as a son-in-law unless they were both over excited in love and in the heat of passion succumbed to their Yetzer as sometimes happens with youths marrying.
17 Thou shalt not suffer a sorceress to live.
Either the person is using the power of the Sidra Acher or implying that there is competition to HASHEM.
18 Whosoever lies with a beast shall surely be put to death. 19 He that sacrifices unto the gods, save unto the LORD only, shall be utterly destroyed. 20 And a stranger shalt thou not wrong, neither shalt thou oppress him; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. 21 Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child. 22 If thou afflict them in any wise--for if they cry at all unto Me, I will surely hear their cry-- 23 My wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.
The laws are simple and logical to follow. However, the oppression of the widow or orphan is so heinous a crime (even more so that bestiality behavior) that the punishment is mentioned here. Bestiality is covered in Vayikra (Lev.) 18 with the punishment.
24 If thou lend money to any of My people, even to the poor with thee, thou shalt not be to him as a creditor; neither shall ye lay upon him interest. 25 If thou at all take thy neighbor's garment to pledge, thou shalt restore it unto him by that the sun goes down;
The man is so poor that the only thing he has to pledge is the shirt off his back. One does not leave a person with just a loincloth for warmth at night.
26 for that is his only covering, it is his garment for his skin; wherein shall he sleep? and it shall come to pass, when he cries unto Me, that I will hear; for I am gracious.
Those who understand will understand what will happen to them as fortune is in the hand of HASHEM.
27 Thou shalt not revile God, nor curse a ruler of thy people.
Leader is a Torah Leader of statute not a politician. However, one should have respect for the government as stated in Perkei Avos.
28 Thou shalt not delay to offer of the fullness of thy harvest, and of the outflow of thy presses. The first-born of thy sons shalt thou give unto Me. 29 Likewise shalt thou do with your oxen, and with thy sheep; seven days it shall be with its dam; on the eighth day thou shalt give it Me.
The offering of the Teruma and Maaser plus the first fruits, first born belongs to HASHEM. It was only after the golden calf that the work of the first-born was transferred to the Leviim.
30 And ye shall be holy men unto Me; therefore ye shall not eat any flesh that is torn of beasts in the field; ye shall cast it to the dogs.
We are given ritual slaughter and what is forbidden to us is given to dogs who did not bark when we left Egypt. This is the first mention of Kashrus and hence the starting Simanim of Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah start off with the laws of slaughter.
23:1 Thou shalt not utter a false report; put not thy hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness. 2 Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou bear witness in a cause to turn aside after a multitude to pervert justice; 3 neither shalt thou favor a poor man in his cause.
The Judge is only as good as the evidence and the witnesses and a lying tongue can win a case in this world but wait there is another JUDGE after life and there the truth will come out. As we go further on we see another way justice can be perverted by humans.
… 6 Thou shalt not wrest the judgment of thy poor in his cause. 7 Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not; for I will not justify the wicked. 8 And thou shalt take no gift; for a gift blinds them that have sight, and perverts the words of the righteous.
Bribes and Judges or Politicians is very old if this law was established 3300 years ago it must have been rampant.
9 And a stranger shalt thou not oppress; for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.
As much animosity that exists between the Arabs and the Jews in Eretz Yisrael, there was on Thursday morning this week a crash between a school bus carrying very young Arab children and a large truck that skidded head on into the bus. The bus caught fire. Israeli firemen, medics and ambulances were on the scene. In a joint effort with the Red Crescent many children were saved and some evacuated to the best Israeli hospitals. At first the Arab pride wanted all to be treated in their hospitals but after hours they blamed the Israelis for not taking care which is as usual a big lie. The Israelis gathered the children and brought them to the best hospitals. Strangers are treated well by us.
10 And six years thou shalt sow thy land, and gather in the increase thereof; 11 but the seventh year thou shalt let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of thy people may eat; and what they leave the beast of the field shall eat. In like manner thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, and with thy olive yard.
The number seven and rest appears before us again. This time with the Shmita year is mentioned.
12 Six days thou shalt do thy work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest; that your ox and your ass may have rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed.
The Torah places again an emphasis on Shabbos as the Yetzer to violate the Shabbos is great.
… 16 and the feast of harvest, the first-fruits of thy labors, which thou sow in the field; and the feast of ingathering, at the end of the year, when thou gather in thy labors out of the field.
Unlike the first born males, beasts and animals; the first fruits although not designated by the womb are designated by the farm and given to the Cohain starting with Chag Ha Shavuos.
… Thou shalt not seethe a kid in its mother's milk.
Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah continues after the laws of slaughter and a small section on blood to the laws of milk & meat, koshering and avoiding mixtures that are forbidden.
20 Behold, I send an angel before thee, to keep thee by the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. 21 Take heed of him, and hearken unto his voice; be not rebellious against him; for he will not pardon your transgression; for My name is in him. 22 But if thou shalt indeed hearken unto his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto your enemies, and an adversary unto your adversaries.
The wars of Yisrael are not normal military wars. They have a guiding hand and miracles occur. So many occurred during the Gaza campaign a few years ago that even the main stream non-religious leftists press even called them miracles. My favorite caught with a TV Camera was the houses in Ashdod - to the right damage, to the left damage and the middle house unscathed had a sign in Hebrew: Whoever guards the Shabbos, the Shabbos will guard him.
… 24:12 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Come up to Me into the mount and be there; and I will give thee the tables of stone, and the law and the commandment, which I have written, that thou mayest teach them.' 13 And Moses rose up, and Joshua his minister; and Moses went up into the mount of God. 14 And unto the elders he said: 'Tarry ye here for us, until we come back unto you; and, behold, Aaron and Hur are with you; whosoever hath a cause, let him come near unto them.' 15 And Moses went up into the mount, and the cloud covered the mount. 16 And the glory of the LORD abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days; and the seventh day He called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud. 17 And the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel. 18 And Moses entered into the midst of the cloud, and went up into the mount; and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.
- One's father-in-law and one's mother-in-law. - One's grandparents, though one's parents' honor has priority. - One's older brother; even if he's a half-brother. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 143:19-20
סעיף יט - חייב אדם לכבד אשת אביו אף על פי שאינה אמו כל זמן שאביו קיים. וכן חייב לכבד בעל אמו כל זמן שאמו קיימת, ודבר הגון הוא לכבדם גם לאחר מיתת אביו ואמו. סעיף כ - חייב אדם בכבוד אחיו הגדול ממנו בין שהוא אחיו מן האב בין מן האם, וחייב אדם בכבוד חמיו וחמותו (כדמצינו בדוד המלך עליו השלום שחלק כבוד לשאול המלך שהיה חמיו קראו אבי, שאמר לו אבי ראה גם ראה) וחייב בכבוד אבי אביו, אלא שכבוד אביו גדול מכבוד אבי אביו
Section 19- one is obligated to honor his father's wife, though not his mother while his father was there. And must respect his mother with his mother all the time there, and decent thing is to respect them even after the death of his father and mother. Article about a man must honor his older brother whether he is brother of the father of the mother, and one should honor father-and-in-law (As we saw with King David peace be upon him some dignity to ask the king was His in-laws called my father, who told him my father See also) and must honor his father's father, but great respect for his father’s- father.
In a business partnership a Cohen does not get preferential treatment. One may not use a Cohen to run ones errands or do other mundane tasks, unless the Cohen has agreed to relinquish his Cohen status for this purpose. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 144:8-9
To clarify: A Cohen always gets called to the Torah first, so as to prevent the unpleasantness of people arguing as to whether a specific person is a Talmid Chacham worthy of displacing the Cohen or not. The Mishnah says Maumzer Talmud Chacham is better than Cohain Gadol Am HaAretz (Boorish).
A wealthy man by the name of Elimelech received many honors in the Schul of the Rebbe, Rabbi Chaim of Antonia. He had one of the important seats in the front, facing the congregation, near to the Rebbe’s own chair. At the tisch, he also sat at the table near the Rebbe, who would show him various signs of favor. For his part, Elimelech had great respect for the Rebbe. He would always bow his head before him, and contribute generously to the spectrum of charitable causes that the Rebbe maintained. The Chassidim, however, mostly did not think so highly of Elimelech, despite the affection the Rebbe openly displayed towards him. They suspected that his generous good deeds indicated only a superficial piety, and that at home he was not so religious as he appeared in public. Sharper tongues said that he was influenced by the so-called Enlightenment movement and its innovations and that this had already weakened his Fear of Heaven.
Okay, nobody’s perfect. And the rich man had a lot of redeeming qualities. As long as any failings remained between him and his Creator, it was easy enough to turn a blind eye. But now, an uncrossable line had been crossed: his son had enrolled in their high school, something no youth from any religious family had yet dared to do, never mind one from a Chassidic home and associated with the Rebbe, no less.
“What kind of example is this for our children?” complained the delegation of Chassidim to the Rebbe. “Can a person send his son to an anti-religious school and still have an honored place near the Rebbe?”
The Tzaddik was shaken by the report. He summoned his wealthy follower. At first he spoke to him amicably, attempting to get him to see his mistake. The rich man, who was nearly always submissive to the Rebbe’s opinions, this time kept firm. “My son wants a broad education, to be able to make his way in the world-at-large.”
When the Tzaddik saw he was getting nowhere, he changed his approach. “A pure Jewish education in a G-d-fearing spirit is integral to Chassidus,” he roared. “Until you take your son out of that school, I have no desire to see you among my Chassidim.”
Elimelech stumbled out, dismayed. How could he live without being near the Rebbe? For several days he remained in a state of confusion. It almost seemed that the Rebbe’s harsh words had slowly made their way into his heart. In the end, though, he decided that he was right; there is nothing wrong if his son wants to acquire a broad education. The problem was only that the Rebbe was too extreme. From that analysis came an obvious solution. “I’ll just have to find a different Rebbe,” he said to himself.
This proved to be easy enough, and he soon found himself in the doorway of Rabbi Yisrael of Vizhnitz…none other the brother of the Tzaddik of Antonia, the Rebbe he had just abandoned. Known for the great love he had for every Jew, the Vizhnitzer Rebbe was friendly and welcoming to all. He gave Reb Elimelech a big smile, invited him to sit near him at the Shabbos tisch, and exchanged friendly words with him each time they met.
Elimelech was ecstatic with his ‘find.’ He felt so good with his new Rebbe. Not only that, he felt reinforced that he had been right all along, and that his former Rebbe’s criticism was unjustified.
One day shortly thereafter, the Vizhnitzer invited Elimelech to accompany him on his evening stroll to the park. What an honor! And a pleasure too—the air was so pleasant, and the gentle breeze rustled the leaves and thin branches of the trees that lined the path.
The Rebbe turned to his companion. “These trees evoke in me the distant sweet memories of childhood. I remember how once, in the days before Passover, the teacher’s wife chased us outside so she could clean the house. We had to set up in the front yard in order to learn. We were small children, and although the teacher tried his best to get us to learn, we were too distracted–birds were chirping, a horse-drawn wagon rolled by, clouds on high floated over our heads–who could concentrate to study? When our teacher saw it was hopeless, he decided to try to give us a nature lesson instead. He pointed to the garden next door. ‘Do you boys see that tree over there,’ he asked, to draw our attention. ‘That’s a walnut tree. And next to it is a pear tree. And behind that is an apple tree.’ He continued on to identity all the different fruit trees for us.
“’How do you know?’ we asked, puzzled. Winter had just ended, the trees were bare of fruit and leaves. The teacher began to list different signs for us–the relative smoothness or bumpiness of the trunk, the quantity and thickness of the branches, the height of the tree, and so forth. We, though, small children that we were, were not able to absorb his erudite explanation.”
The Tzaddik clasped the wealthy man’s arm and continued his story. “So how were we able to distinguish which tree was which? Simple. Or so it became after a few months when the trees began to bear fruit. Then we know longer needed lessons or signs. Which was the pear tree? The one with the pears on it. The one full of plums? Obviously, a plum tree. Each tree was easily identified by its fruit. From this I learned an important principle,” said the Rebbe in conclusion. “When you don’t know for sure the nature and stature of a person, look at his fruit–his descendants. From them you can know who the person really is.”
Elimelech got the message. His true identity would be revealed through his children. That same week Elimelech the rich man withdrew his son from the non-religious school. [Translated and adapted by Yerachmiel Tilles from Sichat HaShavuah #547. First published in Kfar Chabad Magazine English] – [Yerachmiel Tilles is the director of the AscentOfSafed.com
A man, a follower of the great tzadik (righteous person) , the Shpoler Zeide, came to him weeping bitterly. “Rebbe,” he cried, “what am I to do? Stolen property was found in my courtyard, and I am being accused of being a thief. My lawyer tells me that I will not escape with less than three months in prison.”
The Shpoler Zeide listened and replied, “I will be a better lawyer for you, and you will receive only one month in prison.”
“But, Rebbe,” the man continued, plaintively, “I am an innocent man. Why must I be punished for a month?”
“I will tell you a tale of a similar incident which occurred to me, and you will understand. Once I was staying at the home of a very hospitable Jewish customs officer. I became friendly with another guest there, and when the Shabbat ended, we made plans to continue our journey together. Unbeknownst to me, the other man had stolen some valuable pieces of silver from the house.
“As we proceeded down the road, we heard the sounds of a carriage approaching very fast. The man asked me to watch his pack for a moment and he disappeared in the mass of trees. The carriage stopped in front of me and I recognized the customs officer and a gentile officer.
“‘Seize him,’” the Jew cried. “‘He is the thief!’
“And before I knew what was happening they threw me into the back of the carriage and we drove away. When I recovered from the initial shock, I tried to explain that it was not I, but the other man who had stolen the silver, but they scorned my words. It was obviously nothing would avail, and I accepted it as the will of Heaven.
“I was thrown into a cell full of frightening criminals who found my appearance an occasion for great mirth. They pulled at my sidelocks and beard, and I could only entreat the One Above to rescue me from their evil clutches. They tried to extort money from me, but when they saw I had none, they set out to beat me. The first one laid into me as two others held me down. As soon as his hand touched me, he cried out in pain. His hand swelled and gushed with blood. The thieves and murderers who surrounded me took conference with one another. One said I was a sorcerer, another claimed I was a saint; regardless of their opinion, they all agreed to leave me alone.
“When the immediate danger had passed, I looked around at the other prisoners. One, called “Gypsy” turned out to be, instead, a Polish Jew who had been imprisoned for horse-stealing. I realized that I had been incarcerated precisely in order to help this pathetic man repent. Little by little we spoke and I gained his trust. He related a sad tale of being orphaned and then falling in with a band of Gypsies, whose ways he adopted.
“One morning the man came to me in a state of terror. He had dreamed of his dead parents who told him to do whatever I would instruct him. They said if he refused, he would die in his sleep. From that moment on he was the most willing penitent. Slowly, I instructed him in the Jewish religion. He stopped eating forbidden food, began to recite prayers, and begged the Al-mighty to forgive his errant ways. After several weeks passed, he even began sleeping near me and became completely attached to me in word and deed.
“A few days later I dreamed that Eliyahu told me to flee from that place and go to the town of Zlotopoli where I would be offered the position of beadle of the town. But then I remembered the “Gypsy,” and my promise not to abandon him. But, I reasoned, if a miracle could come about for me, it could come about for him, too. I told the repentant man to follow me. When we came to the first door, we saw it was open. He held my belt and we passed through the door together, and continued into the black night, with no thought as to where we were going. Many hours later, we stopped at the house of a Jew who told us that we had found the path to Zlotopoli.
“Three days later, we arrived in the town, and I was appointed to the position of beadle. So you see, don’t complain about the judgements of G-d, for they are very deep and beyond the understanding of men. Just be strong in your faith, for I can assure you that everything that happens, no matter how it appears, is only for the good. And, as I promised, you will sit in prison no more than one month.” (Reprinted from www.LchaimWeekly.org – LYO / NYC)
"And you will be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation." (From this week's Torah portion, Nitro, Exodus 19:6)
Before the giving of the Torah, before the Ten Commandments, before the most momentous and splendorous ceremony in history, the Creator explains why. Before "Honor your parents", before "Guard the Sabbath day to sanctify it", before all the 'how', G-d explains why He gave us the Torah; why this trek from the House of Bondage to the Land of Israel. What is the destiny? What is the purpose?
"And you will be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation."
Without a nation, a king is not a king. To rule over His world and to lavish His goodness on every corner of creation, the Creator created a treasured nation, bringing it to a special Land so that it can live its life in a special way. In the holy city – the place chosen by G-d, this nation will build the Creator's royal palace. From there His Divine Presence will emanate to the entire world.
But who wants to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation? Let us just make ends meet! It is not in our hands. G-d's covenant with our Forefathers and the exodus from Egypt locked us into a national commitment from which we cannot flee.
Kaiser Frederick the Great used to debate theology with the French prince, Jean Batisse de Voyeaur: "Please give me a clear proof of the existence of G-d," the Kaiser demanded. The prince answered: "I have an exact and irrefutable proof for his majesty. A proof in one word: The Jews." (from the Hidabroot Hebrew website)
The supernatural, meta-historical existence of the Jewish nation is intrinsically bound in humanity's consciousness with the existence of G-d. Like it or not, we are the nation of the Creator and we cannot escape the responsibility that the position entails. All of humanity longingly desires the message of liberty pronounced by the Jewish Nation when it left the House of Bondage. It craves the message of liberty that descended from Mount Sinai. We have no choice other than to be ourselves: To choose destiny over mere existence, to choose to actualize our status as a treasured nation and not to deny it, to choose liberty over slavery. Shabbat Shalom, Moshe Feiglin
HISTORICAL TRIVIA As incredible as it sounds, men and women took baths only twice a year (May and October) Women kept their hair covered, while men shaved their heads (because of lice and bugs) and wore wigs. Wealthy men could afford good wigs made from wool. They couldn't wash the wigs, so to clean them they would carve out a loaf of bread, put the wig in the shell, and bake it for 30 minutes. The heat would make the wig big and fluffy, hence the term 'big wig... ' Today we often use the term 'here comes the Big Wig' because someone appears to be or is powerful and wealthy. The ancestors of those calling you a dirty Jew took a bath twice a year! At least most of our ancestors went to the Mikvah at worst weekly in honor of the Shabbos. Macbeth Act IV Scene 1 "All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand."
Forwarded by Gail Winston, Middle East Analyst & Commentator Fool me twice By CAROLINE B. GLICK Jewish World Review Feb 3, 2012 / 10 Shevat, 5772
The useful idiot who pre-election promised American Jewish leaders that Obama was Israel's best friend and only hope, was back in the Holy Land shilling. This time, though, he was pushing more territorial compromises in the name of peace.
A reminder of the damage Former US Congressman Robert Wexler has done --- and a warning of what he intends to do http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Former US Congressman Robert Wexler is a man worth listening to. Wexler served as then-senator Barack Obama's chief booster in the American Jewish community during the 2008 presidential campaign. He appeared everywhere and said anything to convince the American Jewish community that the same man who sat in the church pews listening to Rev. Jeremiah Wright's anti-Semitic vitriol for two decades, and listed among his closest friends and associates a whole host of Israel haters as well as former terrorists, was the greatest friend Israel could ever have.
Once Obama was elected, Wexler continued to serve as his Jewish shill. Wexler traveled to Israel multiple times in the early months of Obama's presidency to pressure Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to submit to Obama's demand and embrace the cause of Palestinian statehood. After Netanyahu finally announced his support for Palestinian
statehood at his speech at Bar Ilan University outside Tel Aviv in September 2009, Wexler returned with a new demand - that Netanyahu enact a moratorium on Jewish property rights in Judea and Samaria.
In an interview with the Jerusalem Post at the time, Wexler promised that Israel would be richly rewarded if it took the unprecedented step of denying Jews the right to their
property in Judea and Samaria simply because they were Jewish. Even if the moratorium were temporary, Obama would view the discriminatory measure as proof of Israel's good intentions. Moreover, he would expect the Palestinians and the wider Arab world to respond to Israel's move by taking steps to normalize their relations with Israel.
For instance, Wexler claimed that Obama had demanded that the Arabs respond to an Israeli moratorium on Jewish property rights by among other things opening trade offices and direct economic ties; conducting cultural and economic exchanges and permitting Israeli airplanes to overfly their territory. And in the event that the Arabs refused to rise to the occasion, Wexler proclaimed, "You can rightly say that all bets are off."
Wexler continued, "I want to call their bluff. I want to see, if Israel makes substantial movement toward a credible peace process, whether they are willing to do it. And if they
are not, better that we should find out five or six months into the process, before Israel is actually asked to compromise any significant position."
In the event, Netanyahu bowed to Obama's demand and enacted a temporary ban on the exercise of Jewish property rights in Judea and Samaria. And in the aftermath of his
stunning move, the Arab world did nothing.
Amazingly, far from calling their bluff, Obama doubled down on his pressure on Israel. Among other things, since squeezing the first temporary ban on Jewish property rights out of Netanyahu, Obama has demanded that the moratorium be made permanent and extended to Jerusalem.
As for his vision of the "peace process," Obama has demanded that Israel accept the 1949 armistice lines as the basis for future negotiations. He has used the US veto at the UN Security Council as a means of pressuring Israel to make further unreciprocated concessions to the Palestinians. And the pro-Israel US president has demanded no similar
concessions from the Palestinians.
This week Wexler, now the head of the far-left S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace was back in town. Speaking at the Herzliya Conference, Wexler said that Israel
should consider extending the ban on Jewish property rights to within the 1949 armistice lines. Wexler based his claim on then prime minister Ehud Olmert's 2008 peace offer to Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas.
Olmert's offer, which Abbas rejected, involved a "land swap," in which in the framework of a comprehensive peace deal, Israel would give the Palestinians land from within its
1949 boundaries in exchange for land in Judea and Samaria that Israel would permanently retain. According to media reports, Olmert offered Abbas 4.5 percent of Israeli territory in exchange for a similar amount of land in Judea and Samaria.
While Wexler appeared at the Herzliya Conference as the president of a non-partisan non-profit organization, his continued intimate relationship with Obama is well known.
Last fall Commentary's Omri Ceren documented that Zvika Krieger, Wexler's vice president at the Daniel Abraham Center authored documents for Obama's reelection campaign. Among other things, those documents cited articles authored by Krieger and Wexler in which they championed Obama's record on Israel from their nonpartisan perch at the Daniel Abraham Center.
Given Wexler's close ties to Obama, it is reasonable to assume that his suggestion that Israel cease exerting its national sovereignty over its sovereign territory in the
interests of the peace process is not simply his personal view.
There is much to criticize about Wexler's suggestion. But more important than its arrogant, insulting absurdity, and more disconcerting than Wexler's own hypocrisy, is
what his suggestion tells us about the dangers inherent in Netanyahu's current negotiations with the Palestinians. To understand the connection we need to recall the
nature of Olmert's offer to Abbas.
Olmert's negotiations with Abbas were based upon the proposition - repeated ad nauseum to the Israeli public -- that "nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to." The idea was clear. True, on the one hand, the prime minister was conducting negotiations far from the spotlight, and refusing to tell the public what was on offer. But on the other hand, we could rest assured that that nothing he offered would have any significance whatsoever unless the Palestinians agreed to a final peace deal with Israel. If they rejected peace, then everything Olmert said would become null and void, and tossed down the memory hole.
In accordance with this basic proposition, when Abbas rejected Olmert's offer, and made no counteroffer, it was naturally assumed that Olmert's proposal was rendered null and void. Yet four years later, here is Wexler, Obama's surrogate, advocating a policy of unilateral abrogation of Israeli sovereignty over 4.5percent of its national territory in
order to enable the eventual implementation of an offer that was predicated on the notion that "nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to."
And this brings us to the current negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. For the past month, under the aegis of the Middle East Quartet, Netanyahu's representative
Attorney Yitzhak Molcho has been conducting negotiations with Abbas's representatives in Amman, Jordan. Last week Molcho reportedly outlined the government's general positions on lands it is willing to cede to the Palestinians.
Without presenting any maps, Molcho reportedly said that a permanent agreement would involve most of the Israelis living in Judea and Samaria remaining in Israeli territory.
The media interpreted this to mean that like Olmert, Netanyahu expects for Israel to retain perpetual control over large blocks of Israeli communities that take up less than
ten percent of the overall landmass in Judea and Samaria.
For his part, Netanyahu this week reiterated his position that Israel must maintain a long-term military presence in the Jordan Valley. This has been interpreted to mean that
Netanyahu is willing to cede sovereign rights to the area to the Palestinians.
Taken together, what Molcho's statement and Netanyahu's statement indicate is that at a minimum, in exchange for peace, the Netanyahu government is willing to expel some portion of the 350,000 Jews living in Judea and Samaria from their homes and to transfer sovereignty over a significant portion of the territory to a Palestinian state.
From the vagueness of what has been reported, it is apparent that to date, Netanyahu has been far less specific about the scope of the territorial concessions he is willing to
undertake than his predecessor was. But then again, Olmert made his offer after conducting negotiations with Abbas for over a year. Netanyahu only entered these talks a
And while no one in or out of government believes that these negotiations have any chance of leading to a peace deal, the fact is that Netanyahu is feverishly working to ensure
that the talks continue. Netanyahu spent a good part of his day on Wednesday speaking on the phone to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and meeting with Quartet envoy Tony Blair and UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon begging the foreign leaders to convince the Palestinians not to abandon the negotiations.
As he put it in his joint press conference with Ban, "You cannot complete the peace process unless you begin it. If you begin it, you have to be consistent and stick to it." For his part, Abbas is doing everything in his power to make clear that he does not wish to negotiate, and that even if negotiations continue, that he will never cut a deal with
Israel. To underscore his bad faith, next week Abbas will travel to Egypt to meet with Hamas terror chief Khaled Mashaal. The two are set to discuss the means of implementing
the unity government deal they signed last May. Netanyahu is obviously under great pressure to continue on with these talks. A day doesn't go by without some US official or
European leader talking about the need for talks, or a leftist politician or political activist at home blaming Netanyahu for the absence of peace. But none of this pressure can justify the damage that is done to Israel's position by continuing to engage in these negotiations.
As Netanyahu's own experience with Obama (and Wexler) shows, concessions never bring a respite from the US leader's pressure. They only form the baseline for demands for further concessions.
Beyond the narrow confines of Obama's personal hostility towards Israel, Netanyahu's current engagement in negotiations with the Palestinians is devastating to Israel's
position in two ways. First, it makes it impossible for Israel to extricate itself from the lie of PLO moderation and to start telling the truth about its Palestinian "partner."
Quite simply, as Abbas's continued courtship of Hamas and his open embrace and glorification of mass murderers such as the murderers of the Fogel family make clear, the
PLO has returned to its roots as a terrorist organization. It is no longer credible to claim that the PLO has abandoned terror in favor of peace.
By engaging in peace talks with the PLO, Netanyahu renders it impossible to make this critical claim. Consequently, he damns Israel to a situation in which we continue to
empower and politically legitimize a terrorist organization committed to our destruction.
The second way continued negotiations devastates Israel's position is by eroding our ability to claim our rights to Judea and Samaria and so extricate ourselves from this
fake peace process with terrorists. As Wexler made clear, from the international community's perspective, everything that Israel offers at the negotiating table is
catalogued. Regardless of Palestinian bad faith, irrespective of actual prospects for peace, every theoretical Israeli concession becomes the new baseline for further
American "friends" like Wexler and Obama play Israel for a fool again and again. In truth, we should thank Wexler for coming here this week and reminding us of his bad
faith, and the bad faith of the President he serves. But it is up to Netanyahu to draw
THERE WAS NEVER A COUNTRY CALLED 'PALESTINE'!! by Jerrold L. Sobel forwarded by Gail Winston, Middle East Analyst & Commentator
THIS IS A GOOD, GREAT HISTORICAL DOCUMENT. Use Jerrold Sobel's verbal ammunition to defend Israel, Eretz Yisrael in her entirety whenever you hear or see her threatened. COMMENT BY GAIL WINSTON
THERE WAS NEVER A COUNTRY CALLED 'PALESTINE'!! by Jerrold L. Sobel Feb. 6, 2012
Please, forget one of the great misnomers of our time; Israel did not steal Palestinian land. It's not their land; it's never been their land; it will never be their land. This land was given to the Jewish people, as stated in the Bible, by the Creator, and will remain the homeland of the Jewish people in perpetuity. Despite 27 invasions of Judea and Samaria; erroneously called the West Bank, conquests by many, forced conversions, exiles, massive oppressions, generations of Diaspora and cowardly acquiescence by a cadre of 5th column Jews themselves, Jews have not only survived in what's known in Hebrew as, Eretz Yisrael (Israel), they've taken a desert wasteland and turned it into a powerful little democracy, the envy of the world; particularly their neighbors many of which despise themselves as much or more than the Jewish State (See Syria or Egypt). To her detractors which there are many worldwide, the mantra remains the same, ad nauseam. "Israel is complicit in doing this...." "She omitted doing that...." "We respect Judaism but are against Zionism".... Attempting to mask their anti-Semitism as anti-Zionism, her enemies propagandize the most vile accusations against Israel in such numbers that much of it sticks. To cite just a couple: Myth: "Israel discriminates against its Arab Citizens." The facts show otherwise. Israel is one of the most open societies in the world. Out of
a population of 6.7 million, 1.1 million are Muslims, 130,000 are Christians, and 100,000 are Druze. All have equal voting rights; it's one of a very few place where Arab women
have the right to vote; Arabs currently hold 14 seats in the Knesset. …
Good Shabbos Everyone. Let us begin this week with a short piece from the Kabbalah. The holy Zohar teaches us, that "Anyone who keeps the Shabbos, it is as if he has fulfilled the entire Torah." (Zohar, Part 2, 92a) The only way truly to understand this piece of Kabbalah is for one to keep Shabbos. Because, keeping Shabbos empowers a Jew to reach the highest spiritual heights. A Jew can only reach his potential with Shabbos.
We read about Shabbos this week in the 10 Commandments. As the Holy Torah commands us in the fourth commandment: "Six days you shall work… but the seventh day is Shabbos to Hashem, your G-d, you shall not do any work…" (Shemos 20:9-10) The Sages have taught us that more than the Jewish people have kept the Shabbos, Shabbos has kept the Jewish people. The following amazing true story, told by Rabbi Shlomo Chaim Gruskin, Rav of Congregation Bnai Zion in Detroit, Michigan, illustrates the power of Shabbos.
Rabbi Shlomo Chaim Gruskin, of blessed memory, was a chaplain of the State of Michigan. Part of his duties involve making rounds in hospitals for the mentally ill. Every year before Pesach, a secular Jewish man named Milton helped Rabbi Gruskin in the distribution of Pesach boxes to the mentally ill. One Sunday morning, Rabbi Gruskin received an unexpected phone call.
"Hello, Rabbi. This is Milton." "Milton! How are you?" There was a short silence. Then, "I'm calling from Sinai Hospital, Rabbi." Milton's voice broke. "Rabbi, please pray for me. I'm very ill." "I'm so sorry to hear that, Milton. Not only will I pray for you, but I'll also come down to see you as soon as I can."
Rabbi Gruskin went to see Milton the very next day. He had lost weight, his cheeks looked sunken, and his complexion appeared jaundiced. "Rabbi, please pray for me," Milton begged. The doctors say that I have a tumor in my pancreas." "Milton," Rabbi Gruskin began, "You're a kindhearted person, and you've helped me a lot during the past few years. I am certainly going to pray for you. But I have to tell you that there is someone else you should consider asking to pray for you-someone whose prayers will be answered faster than mine will."
"Who is it, Rabbi?" Milton asked anxiously. "I must call him immediately!" Shabbos, Milton. The Shabbos can pray for you." "What do you mean?" Milton asked. "Milton, start keeping the Shabbos," Rabbi Gruskin said. "In that merit, she [Shabbos] will pray to the Almighty to heal you."
Milton thought for a moment. "But I don't know anything about keeping Shabbos!" "Don't worry ," Rabbi Gruskin told him. "I will send you books that will introduce you to Shabbos, and describe every thing that you have to do." Several days after Rabbi Gruskin brought the books, Rabbi Gruskin dropped in for another visit. Milton was in a somber mood. "They think the tumor is malignant," Milton told him "and they want to operate." He paused for a moment. "I thought about our conversation, and I decided that I will keep Shabbos."
Milton pressed the call button for the nurse, and sat silently until she arrived. When the nurse came in, he said to her, "Tomorrow is the Sabbath. I don't want the television on, and I won't be taking any phone calls. I am going to observe the Sabbath from now on." Rabbi Gruskin turned to Milton and said "Let's shake on it." Milton took his hand and shook it vigorously.
Rabbi Gruskin came to visit Milton on the day of the operation. It was after 4 p.m. by the time he arrived at the hospital and he was sure that the operation would have long since finished, with Milton already out of the recovery room. But Milton's bed was empty. He must still be in the recovery room, Rabbi Gruskin thought. But he wasn't there either.
Nervously, he went downstairs to the surgical lounge, where he found Milton's family waiting on tenterhooks for news of the patient's condition. Just as he arrived, a doctor entered the corridor to meet the family and report on Milton's progress. The expression on his face already told them that the news was not good.
"The tumor was malignant. As we had suspected," the doctor said. "But that's not our problem now. We're having difficulty closing the incision, and he's hemorrhaging badly." He paused. "We don't expect him to make it through the night." Milton's wife broke down crying.
Rabbi Gruskin calmed her down the best he could. After she was somewhat calmed, Rabbi Gruskin said, " As long as Milton is with us, we must do everything we can. I'm going to shul now for the afternoon prayers, and afterwards I'll add the name Rafael to his name. We are in Hashem's Hands now." After davening (praying) Minchah (the afternoon prayers), the men recited Tehillim - psalms for Milton, and the name Rafael was added to his Hebrew name. (Rafael means "Heal him, G-d. " It is commonly added to the name of a seriously ill person as a prayer and plea to Hashem)
Rabbi Gruskin went back to the hospital at eleven-thirty that night. He found the family still sitting in the waiting room, hoping to hear good news from the doctors. Rabbi Gruskin stayed for several hours, giving them some badly needed emotional support. When he finally left, he reassured them that he would return immediately after davening Shacharis the following morning.
As soon as Rabbi Gruskin walked in the door of his home, the phone rang. "This is Bill, Milton's brother," a tired voice said. "The doctor just told us that he doesn't think Milton will live another hour. Do you think you could come back to stay with us during Milton's last moments?" "I'll be right over." Said Rabbi Gruskin
Rabbi Gruskin returned to the hospital, and he went to where the family was waiting. He asked the doctors for permission to see Milton. The doctors gave their consent, and Rabbi Gruskin quietly entered the room, with the family filing in behind him.
Milton lay quietly in bed, with tubes in his nose and mouth helping to keep him alive. As Rabbi Gruskin came closer, Milton suddenly opened his eyes. He looked at Rabbi Gruskin, looked at his family, and then raised his hand. He tapped his fingers against his thumb and pointed toward heaven. "Do you want us to pray for you?" Rabbi Gruskin asked. Milton shook his head, no. Rabbi Gruskin was puzzled; he could not figure out what Milton was trying to tell him.
Rabbi Gruskin went over to the doctor. "Is it possible to remove those tubes?" he asked. "It might be important to know what he is trying to tell us." The doctor thought for a moment. "I suppose it's all right," he said finally. Rabbi Gruskin turned to Milton. "Do you want the doctor to take the tubes out of your mouth, so you can speak?" he asked. Milton nodded vigorously. So the doctor removed the tubes and stepped back.
To everyone's surprise, Milton sat up in bed and began speaking. His voice was hoarse, and they had to strain to hear him. "All of you can go home, I am going to be all right," he whispered. "Rabbi please stay here." Milton's wife was in shock. The doctor was staring open-mouthed at his patient. They filed out slowly, turning their heads for one final look at Milton as they left the room. After they had gone, Milton said, "I had to ask them to leave, because they wouldn't understand what I'm about to tell you. The truth is that since the operation began, I have not been on this world-I have been in heaven."
Rabbi Gruskin looked at Milton a bit dubiously. It sounded like the effects of anesthesia to him. But Milton shook his head emphatically. "I know what it sounds like, Rabbi, but it's the truth. They told me up there that if the Rabbi will be at your bedside when you first open your eyes, you'll know that you'll live. But if he's not there, you will die." Milton stopped to catch his breath. "When I opened my eyes and saw you, I knew I was going to make it."
From that point on, Milton began the long slow road to recovery. Shortly after the operation, Milton told Rabbi Gruskin, "Thank you for praying for me. It saved my life." Rabbi Gruskin took hold of Milton's hands. "No, Milton, it wasn't me. It was Shabbos."
Milton stayed in the hospital for seven months, running up a medical bill that exceeded $260,000. When he was finally able to go home, he weighed a mere eighty-three pounds-and he is six feet tall! The horrible disease in the pancreas kills quickly-usually two or three months after diagnosis-but more than thirteen years have passed since Milton's operation. His oncologist says that Milton is a medical miracle. Today, Milton fully observes Torah and mitzvos. Every weekday he drives twenty-five miles to daven in shul. And for many years before Pesach, he continued to help Rabbi Gruskin deliver packages to the inner city. (from Visions of Greatness, p.26, Rabbi Yosef Weiss)
More than the Jewish people has kept the Shabbos, Shabbos has kept the Jewish People. If you are keeping Shabbos, let this encourage you to be more dedicated to keeping Shabbos properly. If you are not keeping Shabbos, let this encourage you to find out what you are missing. Good Shabbos Everyone Matis Wolfberg’s stories are sponsored by Refuah Shleima to Reb Mordechai Menachem Mendel ben Tziporah Yitta Refuah Shleima to Tsviah bas Bracha Leah