A correction for one name: Aaron ben Sarah Chana.
With great sorrow, my father-in-law, Mordechai Menachem passed away and this Dvar Torah is dedicated to his memory. A little bit of background on the man who passed away on the same day as the Rebbe from Vizhnitz! Reb Mordechai was born April 5th 1921 and grew up in a farming village in Romania. The family was at that time “well to do” they had a sewing machine and a radio! What luxury!
In Nov. 1946 he married and either late 1949 or early 1950 immigrated to Israel. He would walk kilometers to work as a construction worker. In the early 1950’s he moved with his wife to Moshav Nechalim. He had a goat and a few chickens to raise for income. The family lived in a house with a small kitchen and a tiny bedroom which would sleep four people. In 1956 he participated in the Sinai Campaign. In 1959 the Moshav was hooked up to the electrical grid and the family had the luxury of listening again to the radio with the vacuum tubes (Which the majority of my readers have never seen as they were born after the advent of the transistor). With the advent of electricity the family went from an ice box to a refrigerator and from a wash board eventually to a washing machine.
Mordechai acquired a cow and then another and they hand milked them. Eventually he had enough money to buy a butcher shop about 4 or 5 kilometers away in Petach Tikva and would walk there daily after the milking and then return in the evening for milking. He was the first one in the Synagogue and learned in the Shuirim between Mincha and Maariv some Halacha and some Mishnayos and when there was a Beis Medrash learned other things.
When he retired he would take with his car the elderly to the Schul and even lift up a man to bring him to Minyan. About 20 years ago when some of the founders began to pass away, he took upon himself to buy all the tuna, olives, crackers and rolls for the third meal of Shabbos which somebody else usually donated it unless he did so for a family Yahrzeit. He would clean up everything afterwards. During the meal he would distribute slices of bread with tuna and an olive or two to children.
But the last few years he weakened due to a week heart and bad knees. The man who could take a quarter to half a bull on his shoulders when he was my age could not move about. It was sad to see him go down but his mind was clear to the last day. When the funeral procession started to move, the skies opened up with a torrent of rain only to calm down as the burial started as if not to bother the burial society. May he rest in Gan Eden and learn Torah with the Rebbe from Vizhnitz.
Miracles this week
1) In Beer Sheva a missile landed in the middle of a lot of private houses nobody hurt.
2) In the Eshkol Region a kindergarten had just let out and a missile filled with pellets exploded on the side of the building putting large holes in the cement but the building was empty then.
3) A soldier girl was stabbed in the chest missing her heart and main artery by less than one centimeter or a third of an inch: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4203323,00.html
Parshiyos Vayakhel-Pekudei and Parah
Last week we heard that Shabbos was basically only a covenant between HASHEM and the Bnei Yisrael. This week’s double portion starts out with the holiness of Shabbos. As I have mentioned in the past HASHEM views the observance of Shabbos by the Children of Yacov as of the highest priority and importance.
35:1 And Moses assembled all the congregation of the children of Israel, and said unto them: 'These are the words which the LORD has commanded, that ye should do them.
When you call today a news conference or a Halachic gathering the most important item usually comes first. So as important as the Mishkan building was for Am Yisrael we find that the Shabbos is even more important.
Moses called… to assemble: Heb. וַיַּקְהֵל. [He assembled them] on the day after Yom Kippur, when he came down from the mountain. This [word] is a hiph’il [causative] expression [i.e., causing someone to do something], because one does not assemble people with [one’s] hands [i.e., directly], but they are assembled through one’s speech. Its Aramaic translation is וְאַכְנֵשׁ.
2 Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you a holy day, a Sabbath of solemn rest to the LORD; whosoever does any work therein shall be put to death.
If I am not mistaken up until now we have not seen any threats of punishment regarding the Shabbos for violation. Now one who purposely violates Shabbos will be put to death if there are witnesses and a warning. If not and it was an accident a Korban Chatas (sin offering) is brought as one is liable to Kares on Shabbos violations and the Korban atones for this.
The Chiddush (new concept) that Rashi brings down here is that even the holy work of the Mishkan does not supersede Shabbos Kodesh: Six days: He [Moses] prefaced [the discussion of the details of] the work of the Mishkan with the warning to keep the Sabbath, denoting that it [i.e., the work of the Mishkan] does not supersede the Sabbath. -[from Mechilta]
3 Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the Sabbath day.'
This is the only one of the 39 Av Melachos from the Torah actually mentioned in the Torah.
You shall not kindle fire: Some of our Rabbis say that [the prohibition of] kindling was singled out for a [mere] negative commandment, while others say that it was singled out to separate [all types of labor]. -[from Shab. 70a]
4 And Moses spoke unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: 'This is the thing which the LORD commanded, saying: 5 Take ye from among you an offering unto the LORD, whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, the LORD'S offering: gold, and silver, and brass;
There is a spiritual reason for each and every material - The materials other than their physical properties have spiritual properties.
Rashi views this Pasuk from that of a donor and not the reason for the use of each material: Generous-hearted person: Heb. נְדִיב לִבּוֹ. Since his heart moved him to generosity, he is called “generous-hearted” (נְדִיב לֵב). I already explained the offering for the Mishkan and its work in the place of their command [Exod. 25 through 34].
6 and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair; 7 and rams' skins dyed red, and sealskins, and acacia-wood; 8 and oil for the light, and spices for the anointing oil, and for the sweet incense; 9 and onyx stones, and stones to be set, for the ephod, and for the breastplate. 10 And let every wise-hearted man among you come, and make all that the LORD hath commanded: 11 the tabernacle, its tent, and its covering, its clasps, and its boards, its bars, its pillars, and its sockets; 12 the ark, and the staves thereof, the ark-cover, and the veil of the screen;
And the screening dividing curtain: Heb. הַמָּסָ פָּרֹכֶת. The dividing curtain, [which serves as a] screen. Anything that protects, whether from above or from the front, is called a screen (מָסָ) or a cover (סְכָ). Similarly, “You made a hedge (שַׂכְךְתָּ) about him” (Job 1: 10); “behold I will close off (שָׂ) your way” (Hos. 2:8).
13 the table, and its staves, and all its vessels, and the showbread;
The showbread: I already explained (Exod. 25:29) that it was called לֶחֶם הַפָּנִים because it had faces [i.e., surfaces] looking in both directions, for it was made like a type of box, without a cover.
I always thought that the Lechem HaPanim (Showbread) was the size of a Challah Bread but it appears from photos of Machon HaMikdash to be the size of a large rolls.
14 the candlestick also for the light, and its vessels, and its lamps, and the oil for the light; …
The best extra virgin Olive Oil was used for the lighting of the Menorah.
40:34 Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. 35 And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of meeting, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.-- 36 And whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward, throughout all their journeys. 37 But if the cloud was not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up. 38 For the cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and there was fire therein by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.--
Chazak – Chazak v’NitChazak! We have finished the book of Shemos and next week we start Vayikra (Leviticus) and we will deal with the Korbanos and various degrees of purity and modesty behavior in our relationships.
I guess for my wife this Parsha became too appropriate with her father passing away this week. The other side of the coin is the living that deals with a person who passes away. How do you handle a widow or even a widower who was married for 65 years and then suddenly without a partner all alone; but the Pshat of our Parsha only deals with a person who has passed away and become Tuma of death.
Bamidbar 19:1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying: 2 This is the statute of the law which the LORD hath commanded, saying: Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring thee a red heifer, faultless, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke.
Other Rabbis and I have attacked this Parsha almost upside down and sideward. The Talmud tells of a story of a Goy who had a red heifer born unto his herd. The Rabbis checked it over and agreed upon a price the agreed that the Rabbis would return on the morrow with cash. Being a bit anti-Semitic and wanting to fool the Jews, he decided to put a yoke upon the Parah Aduma for a few minutes because he realized that the Rabbis wanted one without a yoke. The Rabbis came the next day but noticed the neck hairs bent down like a yoke had been upon the cow. They cancelled the deal. From such sorrow of losing millions, the person committed suicide.
3 And ye shall give her unto Eleazar the priest, and she shall be brought forth without the camp, and she shall be slain before his face.
We learn out a derivative here that all slaughter needs kashrut supervision. Furthermore although the whole procedure is not done by the Cohain Gadol and the reasoning follows: This because the simple Cohain gets Tuma from the Ashes which is a mystery to us. The Cohain Gadol was not supposed to become Tuma anytime even for a close relative unless there was no one else to bury. For example if a Cohain loses a close relative another non-Cohain relative identifies the body.
4 And Eleazar the priest shall take of her blood with his finger, and sprinkle of her blood toward the front of the tent of meeting seven times. 5 And the heifer shall be burnt in his sight; her skin, and her flesh, and her blood, with her dung, shall be burnt. 6 And the priest shall take cedar-wood, and hyssop, and scarlet, and cast it into the midst of the burning of the heifer. 7 Then the priest shall wash his clothes, and he shall bathe his flesh in water, and afterward he may come into the camp, and the priest shall be unclean until the even. 8 And he that burns her shall wash his clothes in water, and bathe his flesh in water, and shall be unclean until the even.
As explained above this is why a simple Cohain deals with the Parah Aduma. Until the time of the resurrection of the dead we will continue to suffer from death.
A story an oldie but goodie thanks to David W.
Travis learning to convert subscribed to a Facebook Halacha site written obviously by a student: I do not want to go into the whole post but only the quote and my answer: "One may not use, tea, coffee or juices for Havdalah, because they are not intoxicating ..." Is grape juice intoxicating? This is pure ORGANIC FERTILIZER. THE WEEK BEFORE TISHA B'AV I ALWAYS USE TEA OR COFFEE BUT HAVE TO LET IT COOL ENOUGH TO DRINK A MAJORITY OF THE CUP. Also Kidney disease patients, heart patients, cancer patients must hey have Alcohol??? That is the problem with a student and not a Ruv or Rabbi writing the Halacha. Also what does my wife do when I am in the States fast from Shabbos to Shabbos because she does not drink more than a sip or two of wine even for Kiddush. WHAT IS NOT USED IS WATER, COCA COLA, FRUIT JUICES OTHER THAN GRAPE JUICES UNLESS THERE ARE SPECIAL HEALTH CONCERNS OR ANOTHER HEALTHY PERSON IS UNAVAILABLE TO DRINK WINE, TEA OR COFFEE IF THE ILL PERSON BLESSES OVER IT so that they will be no vain blessing. Also even if the student was following Rabbi Moshe HaLevi word for word, he must know how the majority of the Rabbis and Poskim hold. Had the person written Wine is preferred and beer second and if one is from Russia even a "revivis of Vodka" (heaven help us on the last but I have seen it done) that would be OK. - Lastly, I did not mention Orthodox Soldiers on duty who do not have any access to beer or wine are they to put civilian and soldiers’ lives in danger because they cannot make Havdalah on Coffee or Tea and must fast? (The Coffee or Tea, I learned it either from HaRav Tuvia Wein who was a student of the Chofetz Chaim or Rabbi Yerachmiel Boyer Shlita who studied under the strictest Rabbis from Bnei Berak)
If I do not put Chametz (leavening) into my closets I need not check. What have to be checked is shirt pockets and cuffs where crumbs may fall and since we may wear shirts, blouses, trousers etc. until Pessach they are done the last week. WARNING DUST ON THE WINDOWS MAY BE NICE TO CLEAN FOR SPRING BUT DUST IS NOT CHOMETZ.
Please check my back issues of the www.rabbipauli.blogspot.com for medications, the Mishnayos and various other Halachos for Pessach.
Anybody remember "the religion of peace" In case we don't know what Hamas, Hezballah, Iran, PLO etc. stand for: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKmUZprD3RA&feature=related
Funniest Serious Story of the Week: Louisiana man reportedly leaps off bridge in attempt to avoid DWI arrest
A Louisiana man reportedly leaped off a bridge during a traffic stop in an attempt to avoid his eighth arrest on drunken-driving charges. Thomas Robert Harter, 44, of Folsom, La., was arrested on charges of DWI, resisting arrest and careless driving on Sunday after leaping 20 feet into Lake Pontchartrain during a traffic stop on the Causeway bridge, the Times-Picayune reports.
Harter, who was stopped by police after being spotted swerving and speeding, "bolted" toward the edge of the crossover and jumped into the rough, 60-degree waters immediately after being asked to perform field sobriety tests, the newspaper reports. Harter, who was wearing a green St. Patrick's Day necklace and smelled of alcohol at the time, managed to grab onto a utility building at the base of the bridge. He was later charged with third-offense driving while intoxicated and is being held without bond on outstanding warrants for hit-and-run and reckless driving. He is also being held on a $15,000 bond on the alleged driving violations.
"He's a lot better off than being crabmeat," Causeway General Manager Carlton Dufrechou told the newspaper.http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/03/13/louisiana-man-reportedly-leaps-off-bridge-in-failed-attempt-to-avoid-dwi-arrest/?test=latestnews#ixzz1p51UW4Sn
Please note that some of you have received a few of the msgs already in the Gaza/Southern Israel war update.
dUsing the old Eisenhower system of backup systems for the army just in case of a Nuclear Attack on one or more: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4200438,00.html
Amazing with all the hundreds of miles for Libya to Gaza not one Egyptian policeman or soldier spotted these vehicles or did they? http://www.debka.com/article/21814/
This is Obama’s words and clarifications: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Izw8wddjqAw
Ed Op regarding Iran: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4200625,00.html
More rockets and on my personal front my father-in-law is getting worst and worst. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4201293,00.html
Sunday there was probably a computer glitch in the Iron Dome System and three rockets went through but Monday an 80% success in Beer Sheva and everything OK in Ashdod http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4201574,00.html
Israel issues a warning regarding missiles capable of hitting Tel Aviv (where our leftists live): http://www.debka.com/article/21816/
Israel now is prioritizing the Iron Dome System as a fourth one is coming soon on line. The fourth I assume will either go to Rehovot, Rishon or Tel Aviv and more will follow until the effectiveness of the terror weapons go out. However, hitting Tel Aviv or other cities and putting a few more millions under attack will probably make for lots and lots of Shahidim as each missile has iron pellets for maximum kill outside of the explosion. http://www.debka.com/article/21818/
Restaurants deliver food to shelters in Ashdod http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/153659#.T13CLfWPafM
The Jihad is part of Al Qaeda and Egypt wants them out of Sinai: http://www.debka.com/article/21820/
Where is the Democratic Head Debbie Wasserman Schultz on the war going on from Gaza to Southern Israel isn't she Jewish or a JINO?
Over 52 rockets today one went even north of Gedera and another landed in Ashdod injuring an elderly woman. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4201826,00.html
Home Front Command in Israel: http://www.oref.org.il/315-en/PAKAR.aspx
After the so-called we cease and they fire 15 rockets came into Israel a Grad landed in Netivot causing 20 people to be treated for shock and one to be slightly injured by glass: http://www.debka.com/article/21820
Obama helps support the Israeli Military Industries by denying Bunker Busters.
The ground Iran won this week from the Syrian army’s Idlib victory against the rebels was lost in the less important Israeli confrontation with Tehran’s Palestinian surrogate Jihad Islami in the Gaza Strip, according to the strategic analysis DEBKA-Net-Weekly publishes in its next issue Friday. America dropped behind Russia and Iran on the Syrian battlefield and backed away from the Gaza conflict. Israel gained little by throwing in the sponge. They were all testing the ground for the still unfolding Israeli-Iranian clash.
Dhimi Alert - Religious Tolerance among the PLO for the Christian Arabs who support them: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/153747#.T2BmqfWPafM
Translated from" http://www.nrg.co.il/app/index.php?do=blog&encr_id=f2b4c1b55be76d1e6d7b777256ea0370&id=3475
OBAMA - PLEASE LET US HAVE OUR BACKS BACK! By GAIL WINSTON, Winston Mid East Analyst & Commentator
President Barack Obama’s biggest claim to support of Israel is: "When the chips are down, I have Israel’s back." Sorry, Mr. Obama, that’s not what America needs to "have". We don’t need you at our Backs, pushing us. We are not human shields which you can hide in "back" of. We need America to stand side-by-side with Israel - and our other Western allies - to defend all Western Civilization from Nuclear Holocaust.
Susan Rice, US Ambassador to the UN says: "We remain determined not to rest until a democratic and peaceful state (sic) of Israel lives side-by-side with a viable and secure Palestinian state." All their maps show their "Palestine" with the Terror flag over, on top of, eliminating the Jewish State of Israel. Their letterheads, army uniforms, big pictures on the wall in front of where they host their guests for Television photo Ops...all show their map wiping Israel away.
We in Israel doesn’t need to live side-by-side with a Terror organization who unites with other Terror organizations like Hamas and Hezb’Allah. They threatens to wipe us off the map - and do so in all their public displays - supported by the Terror States of Iran (soon-to-be-nuclear), Syria (killing her own people) and the rest of the "POISONED NECKLACE"*** of the Arab Crescent.
Mr. Obama has lots of nice sound bytes in his speech for AIPAC (American-Israel Public Affairs Committee), but, for those in the know who examine his speech for trustworthiness and veracity, there is much to pick apart. See Caroline Glick below for just such an astute dissection of Obama’s speech.
Ms. Rice spoke about the (U.S.’s) "unshakable" relationship with Israel. Doesn’t she know that the very word for "Intifada" means to "shake off" (the Jewish State of Israel)? An Ambassador should be careful with the words she uses. They may have other meanings - especially to the hostile "Other" group she wants Israel "to live together with in peace and security".
By Obama and Rice, ‘et al’ "Having Israel’s Back", they are literally pushing Israel into defending not just herself but also America and the rest of the West. Israel is expected to take the existential (life-threatening and State-threatening) risks to get the job done. Hurray for our side! But, where is America and the rest of the West? Are they "resting" on Israel’s "Back"?
So, Mr. Obama, Let us have our backs back! Get off our backs! Don’t push Israel into fronting for the United States. We are NOT your human shields!
COMMENTARY BY GAIL WINSTON
****""The first "POISONED NECKLACE" article by Emanuel A. Winston, z’l May 23, 2001
The neo-terror state of Palestine will be the centerpiece in a deadly necklace stretching from Iran, Iraq, Syria to Jordan and Lebanon. Lebanon will be absorbed by Syria just as quickly as Jordan is being subverted by its majority population of Palestinians who are loyal to Arafat. From there the necklace spreads to Sudan where the Muslims are decimating the Christians.
Saudi Arabia will fall to Egypt which itself is under pressure by the Muslim Brotherhood to become another strictly Islamic State. Only this time Egypt, with its full complement of American arms will become an Islamic military colossus in the South, just as Iran is in the North.
Then there is the American State Department which is actually a "Shadow Government" only concerned with its own vested interests. Unfortunately, their misguided foreign policy and their blunders will probably lead to the Third and last World War. Historians will look back and identify the time frame where the U.S. State Department played a leading role in the destruction of Israel and coalescing the militant forces of radical fundamentalist Islam to face the West in a war to end all wars.
Israel’s demise will be the lynchpin that will release all the accumulated military energies of the Arab nations - all with our American help. We Americans have always looked off-shore for our enemies. Indeed, they were there. First the Soviet Union (now called Russia) and a growing China to whom we have transferred some of our most terrible technology - as well as North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Syria, etc.
If ever there was an evil empire, our State Department’s "Shadow Government" fits that description insofar as the Jewish State of Israel is concerned. Clearly, it is a dark castle that needs airing. Israel is and remains a high profile target on their firing range, despite deep and genuine support by the American people and the American Congress for the only democracy in the Middle East.
AS ALWAYS, CAROLINE GLICK GIVES THE BEST, FULLEST DESCRIPTION OF WHAT’S WHAT, WHO’S WHO AND WHO SAID WHAT TO WHOM:
OBAMA MAKES THE CASE FOR AN ISRAELI STRIKE ON IRAN by CAROLINE GLICK
March 5, 2012.
forwarded by Gail Winston, Middle East Analyst & Commentator
Obama tough talk
In his commentary in Maariv’s Friday news supplement, the paper’s senior diplomatic commentator Ben Caspit laid out a hypothetical lecture that if Israel’s supporters discuss Obama’s hostile treatment of Israel in the context of the election, they can expect to suffer consequences if Obama is reelected.
It is important to keep Blinken’s threats and Caspit’s scenario in mind when considering Obama’s speech to AIPAC on Sunday morning.
Obama’s speech was notable for a number of reasons. First, this was the first speech on an Israel related theme that Obama has given since the 2008 campaign in which he did not pick a fight with Israel. And it is due to the absence of open hostility in his address that Obama’s supporters are touting it as a pro-Israel speech.
While he didn’t pick a fight with Israel on Sunday, his speech did mark a clear attempt to undermine Israel’s strategic position in a fundamental – indeed existential – way. As many commentators have noted in recent weeks, Israel and the US have different red lines for the Iranian nuclear program. These divergent red lines owe to the fact that the US has more options for attacking Iran’s nuclear installations than Israel.
From Israel’s perspective, Iran’s nuclear program will reportedly become unstoppable as soon as the Iranians move a sufficient quantity of enriched uranium and/or centrifuges to the Fordow nuclear installation by Qom. Since Israel reportedly lacks the ability to destroy the facility, Israel’s timeline for attacking Iran will likely end within weeks. The US reportedly has the capacity to successfully bomb Fordow and so its timeline for attacking Iran is longer than Israel’s.
. The reason this is important is because it tells us the true nature of Obama’s demand that Israel give more time for sanctions and diplomacy to work. When one recognizes Israel’s short timeline for attacking, one realizes that when Obama demands that Israel give several more months for sanctions to work, what he is actually demanding is for Israel to place its survival in his hands. Again, once Iran’s nuclear project is immune from an Israeli strike, Obama will effectively hold the key to Israel’s survival. Israel will be completely at his mercy.
To understand just how dangerous this would be it is worth considering the other issues Obama covered in his speech. Obama’s speech essentially boiled down to three assertions, which he argued prove that he is the best friend Israel has ever had and therefore can be trusted to ensure its survival.
First, Obama asserted that military cooperation between Israel and the US has grown to unprecedented levels under his leadership. Second he claimed that his administration has served as Israel’s stalwart defender in the UN and generally when it comes to the Palestinian issue. Finally, he argued that he can be trusted to defend Israel from a nuclear armed Iran because of the sanctions that have been imposed on Iran by the US and the international community since he entered office.
The alleged expansion of US-Israel military cooperation under Obama’s watch has served as a regular talking point for Obama administration officials. The claim is convenient because it is based on classified information unavailable to the general public. You and I have no way of knowing if it is true.
But what we do know is that under Obama’s leadership, senior US military and defense officials have made repeated statements that are openly hostile to Israel. Then defense secretary Robert Gates called Israel "an ungrateful ally." Current Defense Secretary Leon Panetta demanded that Israel "get back to the damned table" with the Palestinians. General Dempsey and his predecessor Michael Mullen have spoken disparagingly of Israel and its military capabilities and so, at a minimum gave comfort to its enemies.
Aside from these rather uncooperative comments, under Obama the US has adopted policies and taken actions that have endangered Israel militarily on all fronts and in fundamental ways. With Obama at the helm the US not only stood back and allowed Hezb’Allah and Iran to take over Lebanon. The US has continued to supply the Hezb’Allah-controlled Lebanese military with sophisticated US arms.
Under Obama, the US intervened in Egypt’s internal politics to empower the Muslim Brotherhood and overthrow Hosni Mubarak. The transformation of Israel’s border with Israel from a peaceful border to a hostile one is the direct consequence of the US-supported overthrow of Mubarak and the US-supported rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists. These are indisputable facts. Their military repercussions are enormous and entirely negative.
Then there is Syria. For more than six months, Obama effectively sided with Bashar Assad against his own people who rose up against him. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Assad a reformer. Now, as Assad butchers his people by the thousands, the US has still failed to send even humanitarian aid to the Syrian people. Almost unbelievably, Clinton said that Assad would have to agree to any US assistance to the people who seek to overthrow.
There have been reports that the US has warned Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Saudi Arabia about the possibility that Assad’s ballistic missiles and chemical and biological arsenals may be transferred to terrorists. Such a prospect constitutes a clear and present danger to US national security – as well as Israel’s national security. Indeed, the threat of proliferation of WMD is so dangerous that the administration could be expected to take preemptive steps to destroy or commandeer those arsenals. Certainly it could be expected to support an Israeli operation to do so. But according to reports, Obama has sufficed with empty warnings to the Arabs – not Israel – that this could perhaps be a problem. By failing to act against Assad, the Obama administration is effectively acting as the guardian of Iran’s most important regional ally. That is, far from enhancing Israel’s military posture, Obama’s behavior towards Syria is enhancing Iran’s military posture. He is acting in a manner one would expect Iran’s ally to behave, not in the manner that one would expect Israel’s ally to behave.
As to Iran, while Obama touts the new anti-Iran sanctions that have been imposed since he took office as proof that he can be trusted to take action against Iran, the fact is that Obama has been forced to implement sanctions against his will by the US Congress and Europe. So too, Obama still refuses to implement the sanctions against Iran’s Central Bank that Congress passed against his strong objections earlier in the year. As with the case of Syria – and Hezb’Allah in Lebanon – on the issue of sanctions, Obama’s behaviour has served to help rather than hinder Iran’s pursuit of nuclear capabilities. Beyond Israel’s immediate borders, and beyond Iran, Obama’s behavior towards Turkey has had a destructive impact on Israel’s military position and strategic posture. Obama has said that Turkey’s Islamist, anti-Semitic Prime Minister Recip Erdogan is one of the five foreign leaders he is closest to. He reportedly speaks to Erdogan at least once a week. The Turkish leader is the Middle Eastern leader that Obama trusts the most. Erdogan gained Obama’s trust at the same time that he ended his country’s strategic alliance with Israel and began directly funding the Hamas terrorist organization and providing aid and comfort to Hamas by seeking to end Israel’s lawful maritime blockade of Gaza’s coastline. What is notable about Obama’s relationship with NATO member Turkey is that he has not used his relationship with Erdogan to influence Erdogan’s behavior. Instead he has rewarded Erdogan’s behavior. Obama’s self-congratulatory statements about US assistance to the development of Israel’s missile defense systems ring depressingly hollow for two main reasons. First, the military cooperation agreement between Israel and the US for the development of the Iron Dome anti-mortar and rocket shield was concluded and financed under President George W. Bush due to the peripatetic actions of Senator Mark Kirk. Obama inherited the program. And in his 2012 budget, Obama reduced US funding of the project.
The second reason his statements ring hollow is because his actions as President have increased Israel’s need to defend itself from Palestinian mortars and rockets from Gaza/ Obama has empowered the Palestinians to attack Israel at will and pressured Israel to take no offensive steps to reduce the Palestinians’ ability to attack them.
This brings us to Obama’s statements about his support for Israel at the UN and towards the Palestinians. The fact is that it is Obama’s hostile position towards Israel that fuelled the Palestinians’ rejection of negotiations with Israel. As Mahmoud Abbas told the Washington Post’s Jackson Diehl, Obama’s demand for a Jewish building freeze convinced him that he has no reason to hold talks with Israel. Then there is his "support" for Israel at the UN. The fact is that the Palestinians only sought a UN Security Council resolution condemning Jewish construction in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria because Obama made them think that he would support it. It was Obama after all who called Israeli settlements "illegitimate," and demanded an abrogation of Jewish building rights outside the armistice lines.
The same is the case with the Palestinian decision to have the UN accept "Palestine" as a member. In his September 2010 address to the UN General Assembly Obama called for the establishment of a Palestinian state within a year. It was his statement that made the Palestinians think the US would back their decision to abandon negotiations with Israel and turn their cause over to the UN.
So in both cases where Obama was compelled to defend Israel at the UN, Obama created the crisis that Israel was them compelled to beg him to defuse. And in both cases, he made Israel pay dearly for his protection.
The fact is that Obama’s actions and his words have made clear that Israel cannot trust him, not on Iran and not on anything. The only thing that has been consistent about his Israel policy has been its hostility. As a consequence, the only messages emanating from his administration we can trust are those telling us that if Obama is reelected, he will no longer feel constrained to hide his hatred for Israel.
What these messages make clear is that if our leaders are too weak to stand up to Obama today, we will pay a steep price for their cowardice if he wins the elections in November.
P.S. Don’t be too depressed. Two other recent Jerusalem Post headlines:
"KHAMENEI ALLIES TROUNCE AHMADINEJAD IN IRAN ELECTION." March 5. Khamenei won 75% of Iran’s seats in parliament." A’jad may be a lame duck fo rest of term, however, he is expected to fight back. What does an irrational dictator do when defeated? He may start a war! Beware! &
"MISSILE DEFENSE CHIEF: ISRAEL CAN DEFEND ITSELF AGAINST BARRAGES FROM IRAN" 2/29/12 That won’t be pleasant but, it does indicate our survival against Iran’s retaliatory powers IF Israel strikes Iran’s nuclear sites.
HEY! WORLD! DOES ANYBODY HEAR? DOES ANYBODY CARE? by Gail Winston, Middle East Analyst & Commentator
Today is Day 5 of a War in Israel. Have you seen anything of importance in the MSM (Main-Stream Media)? I haven’t. Doesn’t mean it isn’t there BUT....!
More than 200 Qassem missiles and Grad-model Katyushas plus SA (Surface-to-Air) anti-air rockets smuggled from Libya have been fired from Gaza into Southern Israel since Friday March 9th for 5 days.
Can you imagine what it’s like to hear a Code Red Siren and have 15 seconds to find shelter? Twelve Israelis were hurt, B’H, none were killed. 200,000 children had no school because the schools have no protective rooms for their safety under missile fire. The rockets hit Beersheva, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Gedera (outskirts of Tel Aviv), Ofakim, and more.
The Iron Dome (Kippah Barzel in Hebrew) system of rocket-defense has increased its interception rate to 93%. Each interception costs $100,000, plus the costs of research, development and deployment of the 3 Iron Dome batteries Israel now has.
Was this ‘War’ started by the Jihad Islami in Gaza at Iran’s orders - to take the spotlight off Iran’s designated attempts to create Nuclear Capability? They used the excuse of Israel’s targeted killing of Zuhair Qaisi, head of Gaza’s Popular Resistance Committees who was preparing another large Terror attack
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said Sunday that all of the Terror groups in Gaza (and elsewhere) must know that the Israeli government will not accept such a situation and will eliminate the Gaza Terror infrastructure as well as hitting the Terrorist leaders where they stand. He said outright that leaders of all the Terror groups in Gaza - Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Committees were "dead men walking" and that "no one had immunity"..."Anyone who works to carry out attacks or fire rockets against Israel is a target." he said. "Israel will continue to act to protect her citizens." Hamas may claim that it is not responsible - that it was ‘those other Terrorists’ but, IF Hamas is supposedly in control of the Gaza Strip, Hamas has the ultimate responsibility to stop Gaza Terror - or Hamas is demonstrating its weakness.
The Set-up for the March Rocket War were the smuggled arms from Sinai which were actually smuggled from Libya into Gaza, thereby upgrading Hamas’s capabilities.
Now, let us consider the MSM (Main-Stream Media). Nothing in the Washington Post today (March 13th); a small article in the New York Times "Unannounced Truce Calms Violence in Gaza" today. Isabel Kershner says Hamas is allowing the smaller [Terror] groups to seek revenge. She also says that Islamic Jihad , the group firing most of the rockets (how did they get them from Hamas’s control?!), is challenging Hamas in Gaza. The chief of Islamic Jihad, which is backed by Iran, has remained in Syria. Oh, BTW, Syria is getting most of the newsprint in the NYT. I guess that’s because: "If it bleeds, it leads." And Syria is bleeding her own civilians to their deaths by massacre.
I don’t really know what’s appearing in America on TV or the print media but, I’m sure other Media Monitoring organizations could tell us. Are they reporting the situation or letting the Gaza rocket War drop because the other Mid East Wars are bloodier.
However, "Israel’s goal was only to "restore quiet" said Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon. Therefore, the Gazans have a green light to continue to dramatically improve the range, accuracy, payloads and sheer volume of weapons - as long as they don’t use them." How weak does our deterrence look now? Why is this Israel’s goal? To avoid shifting focus from Iran?
To avoid diverting resources that might be needed against Iran?**
So, Israel was attacked by more than 200 missiles in 5 days. Israel fired back. Did you see it in the news?
If not, why not? Perhaps the MSM isn’t paying attention to Israel anymore.
That could be a good thing but, I think they should know and should tell their reading, listening audiences when Jews in Israel are under fire.
**Quiet Should NOT be the Goal today in Gaza by Dr. Aaron Lerner 3/12/12 See full article at: http://www.freeman.org/online.htm
DEFENSE AND RETALIATION - NOT AN OPTION
BY Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger forwarded by Gail Winston, Middle East Analyst & Commentator
DEFENSE AND RETALIATION - NOT AN OPTION Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, "Second Thought"
"Israel Hayom" March 12, 2012 http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=1534
The war on terrorism cannot be won by defensive - but only by offensive – means, notwithstanding the impressive performance of the Iron Dome missile defense system.
More than 10,000 Gaza-based missiles have been launched, systematically and deliberately, at Israeli cities, kibbutzim and villages since Israel's disengagement from Gaza in September 2005 (1,700 annually), compared with 700 missiles launched from 2001 to September 2005 (140 annually). In addition, over 5,000 mortar shells have been launched at Israeli civilians since the disengagement.
250 Israelis were murdered by Palestinian terrorists between 1978 and the 1993 Oslo Accords, compared with 2,000 Israelis murdered by Palestinian terrorists since the conclusion of the Oslo Accords.
Since the 1993 Oslo Accords, Israel has transformed its policy of no-Palestinian state-solution to a two-state solution, highlighted by the importation of some 60,000 Palestinian terrorists into Gaza, Judea and Samaria from Yemen, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Tunisia, Lebanon and Syria. The two-state solution has been replete with systematic groundbreaking Israeli gestures, concessions and ideological and territorial retreats. It has yielded unprecedented Palestinian hate-education and terrorism; Palestinian smuggling and manufacturing of tens of thousands of missiles; multi-billion dollar cost of Israeli homeland security measures; severe erosion of Israeli confidence in Israel's own cause and capability to confront its enemies; and significantly undermined the Israeli posture of deterrence, which is a prerequisite for security and peace. The two-state state of mind has ushered in the assumption that the solution to terrorism is not military but diplomacy.
In 1993, the architects of the two-state solution dismissed the warning that such a solution would doom Israeli cities to a barrage of Palestinian missiles. In 2012, one million Israelis, in Beer Sheba, Ashdod, Ashqelon, Kiryat-Gat and scores of kibbutzim and villages in southern Israel, have been held hostage by Gaza-based Palestinian terrorism as a result of the 2005 Disengagement. Irregularity and missile alert sirens have dominated their daily lives at work, in kindergartens, schools and at leisure.
The PLO (Palestinian Authority) was the ally of the USSR and the Communist Bloc, of Saddam Hussein and Bin Laden. The PLO and Hamas are the allies of Iran, North Korea, China, Russia, Venezuela, Cuba, the trans-national Muslim Brotherhood terrorists, the emerging Islamic leaders in Libya and Tunisia and the ruling Islamic party of Turkey.
The Israeli government is tested – by its citizens, enemies and allies - by its ability to ensure personal and national security, rather than submitting its citizens to periodic terrorism.
Personal and national security will not be advanced by the conclusion of another ceasefire with Palestinian terrorists, but by the destruction of the ideological, educational, political, financial, logistical and operational infrastructures of Palestinian fire.
Israel's security will not be enhanced by deterring Palestinians from launching missiles at Israel, but by denying them the capability to launch missiles.
Israel's security will not be bolstered by the power to retaliate against Palestinian missiles, but by the power to preempt and to prevent the launching of - and to eliminate - Palestinian missiles.
An effective offensive against Palestinian terrorist capabilities should not be surgical and limited in scope and time, but comprehensive, decisive, sustained and disproportionate, aiming to devastate all terrorist infrastructures and capabilities, bringing the enemy to submission.
A limited response to terrorism, and the pursuit of ceasefires, constitutes a prescription for a war of attrition – the dream of terrorists and the nightmare of democracies.
An effective offensive should not strive for engagement and coexistence with – or the suspension of - terrorism, but for uprooting terrorism.
Since Oslo 1993, Israel's battle against terrorism has been subordinated to the two-state solution state of mind, entrenching moral and operational ambiguity rather than clarity. Therefore, it has been addicted to defense, the belief that "restraint is strength," the assumption that there is no military solution to terrorism and the subordination of war on terrorism to the pursuit of peace, international pressure and international public opinion.
However, the nineteen post-Oslo years of unprecedented Palestinian hate-education, terrorism and non- compliance have documented that there is no political or diplomatic solution to Palestinian terrorism. Ignoring the lessons of the post-Oslo years, by refraining from a resolute, preemptive, preventive decisive and disproportionate offensive on Palestinian and Hezbollah terrorist infrastructures, will subject Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa to a terrorist assault that will dwarf the current predicament in southern Israel.
Israel battle against terrorism should reclaim its pre-two-state solution posture, highlighting roots and vision, determination, defiance of odds, the can-do and risk-taking mentality and gumption. It as that spirit which transformed the Jewish State from the remnants of the Holocaust into the most stable, predictable, reliable, capable, democratic and unconditional ally of the USA.
Yoram, "Second Thought: US-Israel Initiative" www.TheEttingerReport.com
Now for Mathis Wolfberg’s Good Shabbos Story “Purim Story and The Wise One”
Good Shabbos Everyone. Today is Shushan Purim, which celebrates our miraculous victory over the Iranians who sought to destroy the Jewish Nation, well over 2000 years ago. It is interesting that the Sages chose to call this holiday Purim, which means "lots", a reference to the lots that were drawn by the enemy to determine the day to exterminate every Jewish man, woman and child. Other holidays such as Chanukah and Pesach are named for the positive events which occurred on those occasions. Why should the Sages refer to this holiday by such a negative event; namely, the method used by our enemies to determine the day on which to wipe us out?
The answer to our question is the following: The Sages wanted us to understand the true happiness of this holiday. Namely, that we as Jews believe in Hashgacha Pratis - divine intervention. That is to say, that we believe that everything that happens in life is orchestrated by Hashem. Our enemies, the evil Persians, believed that everything is chance - like casting lots. Therefore, to show that we believe the opposite, namely that we believe in divine intervention, the Sages chose a name for this holiday which reminds us of the Jewish belief in divine intervention. The following amazing true story illustrates the exacting divine intervention with which Hashem guides the Universe.
Dana Streeves (not her real name) grew up as a typical Bais Yaakov (religious school) girl in New York about 30 years ago. Unfortunately however, Dana did not have the happiest childhood. Even though she had many friends and was popular, she had mixed feelings about her Judaism. On the one hand she could see the benefits of being observant; on the other hand, she had unexplainable thoughts of being uncomfortable with the do's and don'ts of the religion. Due to the fact that she had been raised in an orthodox family, the orthodox lifestyle was all that she knew. So, inevitably, she sweep her mixed feelings "under the rug," and continued to lead her life as an orthodox teenager. One Purim, however, all of this was to change.
On Purim that year, she and her friends put on bright blue wigs and a deluge of makeup, (as is the custom for some to dress up on Purim.) Dana's mother however did not approve of her outlandish costume because of its immodesty. Dana's mother told her that she looked like a "shiksa." Dana thought nothing of it and continued celebrating with her friends.
The night after Purim, the Rabbi who had arranged for Dana's adoption as a child, appeared suddenly at the Streeves family house. Dana had always known that she was adopted, however, she was not prepared for the news which the Rabbi told them. The Rabbi sat at the table crying, as he told of the horrible mistake, which had recently come to light, regarding Dana's adoption. Dana's birth mother "Martha" was not Jewish; which, according to Jewish law, made Dana also not Jewish.
The news hit Dana's family like a bomb. Her adopted mother fell ill and her adopted father could not speak out of shock. Dana was terrified! She had grown up a Jew and now they said she was not! All these years had been a farce. She now understood why she lacked feeling for Judaism.
Soon after, "Martha", Dana's birth mother, came to New York from Tennessee. Dana had mixed feelings. Dana, however, refused to see her. After weeks of crying and of not knowing where to turn, Dana and her adopted parents went to a leading Rabbi to ask for his advice. The Rabbi advised Dana that she could surely convert, should she want to do so. He told her to think about it and then make a decision. Dana was torn between two worlds.
Soon after, Dana decided to meet with her birth mother Martha. Martha was very kind and did not pressure Dana with her decision. Dana decided to go back to Tennessee with Martha, where she stayed a month. When she came back to New York, she said "goodbye" to her adopted parents. She would not convert. She realized that if she were to convert, it would only be out of guilty feelings and the desire not to offend her adopted parents. But she knew in her heart that she had no feelings for Judaism, beyond an appreciation of the culture and lifestyle.
Eventually, Dana got married and settled down in Michigan and had a baby girl whom they named "Heather." Several years past and Heather was young lady. One day, three years ago, before Purim, Heather brought home a young man Simon, who was a self-proclaimed "once-upon-a-time-Jew." Simon and Heather had dated for a long time.
Simon was a very animated fellow. Simon explained to Dana and her daughter that the Jewish holiday of Purim was approaching. Dana feigned ignorance, as Simon proceeded to entertain Dana and her daughter Heather with a one-man "Purim show."
In a surprise move during his skit, Simon asked Dana for permission to marry Heather. Dana told Simon that she forbade him from marrying Heather because he was Jewish, even if totally secular! And, a Jew must not marry a gentile!
It was now Simon's turn to be surprised. Why would a gentile woman forbid Simon who was Jewish from marrying her daughter? Dana proceeded to explain the events of some 30 years previous. Simon left their home and moved away soon after.
A few years later, once again before Purim, Dana was surprised to see that she had received Mishloach Manos (a gift of food given to others on Purim.) Inside the package were hamataschen (Purim cookies) which Dana had not tasted for some 30 years. More surprisingly however, were the pictures and the wedding invitation which were in the package. The picture depicted a young man with a beard and yarmulke. The only thing familiar about the picture was the eyes. It was Simon, now called "Shimon." He had been inspired by Dana's speech a few years earlier. He had looked into his heritage and eventually he became a Ba'al Teshuva - a Torah observant Jew. And Shimon was now inviting Dana to his chasuna - wedding! (From HaModiah 10 Adar Beis, 5763)
Nothing in life is a coincidence! Hashem runs the world with an exact calculation. A Freilichen Purim Everyone.
Good Shabbos Everyone. In the 1920's, a secularist leader in Eretz Yisroel, who was known for his outspoken criticism of the Torah community, suddenly became critically ill. He was brought to the British Missionary Hospital in Jerusalem which, as its name indicates, was owned and operated by Christian missionaries. The hospital was open only to Jews, for its real purpose was not to heal the sick but to introduce Jews to gentile beliefs. Near every bed was a copy of the "New Testament" and the walls of each room were decorated with religious proclamations. Jerusalem's rabbinate had issued a strict ban against even setting foot into the Missionary Hospital.
After being in the hospital for four weeks, the secularist's condition had deteriorated to the point where doctors declared that there was no hope for recovery.
The man's family realized that the only ones who could help them at that point were the doctors at Shaarei Zedek Hospital. Shaarei Zedek had been founded by Jerusalem's Torah community; its staff, headed by the legendary Dr. Moshe Wallach, was known to be the best in the country. The family feared, however, that the patient would not be granted admittance into Shaarei Zedek, since he had ignored the rabbinate's ban and was known as a forceful opponent of the Torah community.
The family concluded that their only hope was to speak to the city's revered Rav, Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, who was known for his kindness and love toward every Jew. Someone was chosen to represent the family, and he went to R' Yosef Chaim's humble home in the Old City.
As the man made his way through the streets of Jerusalem, a terrific thunderstorm struck. Wet and shivering, the man entered the Rav's home and found him deeply immersed in study. The visitor apologized and related the entire story.
R' Yosef Chaim promptly closed the sefer before him, donned his coat and prepared to leave for the hospital. Outside the thunderstorm was still raging, so the visitor blocked the door, refusing to allow the Rav to go out in such treacherous weather. "I only asked for a letter, not that the Rav should go out in the storm," he said. To this, R' Yosef Chaim replied, "When a Jewish life is in danger, a letter is not enough. I must personally attend to fulfilling this great mitzvah. "
As the visitor later related: "Still speaking, the Rav dashed out of the room and in a moment he was up the steps. Young as I was, I had trouble keeping up with this seventy-five-year-old man. No sooner had we set out than the rain became torrential. I advised the Rav to wait until it let up a bit. In response, he only quickened his pace, exclaiming, 'Can a few drops of rain deter a person who is going to save a Jewish life?'
"I breathlessly followed the Rav until we reached the Jaffa Gate. There we boarded a carriage and ordered the driver to get us to the hospital as quickly as possible. The Rav drew his worn Tehillim from his pocket; I sat transfixed by the glow on his face as he quietly prayed."
As soon as they arrived at the hospital, R' Yosef Chaim wasted no time in arranging for the patient's immediate admittance. Two weeks later the man was released from the hospital having fully recovered. Knowing how agitated the man became whenever the Torah community came under discussion, his friends decided not to tell him of R' Yosef Chaim's involvement in his case.
During a speech at a groundbreaking ceremony one year later, this secularist declared, "We will build the land in our own way and with our own strength. We will build this land by waging a fight to the death against the black arm of Rabbi Sonnenfeld and his cronies!"
Seated in the audience was the messenger who had come to R' Yosef Chaim on that stormy day to seek his help on the man's behalf. Upon hearing the man's terrible remarks, he jumped up and shouted, "How dare you! Have a little respect for the saintly rabbi to whom you owe your very life!" The messenger then made his way to the podium and spoke at length about the efforts of R' Yosef Chaim to save the speaker's life. (Shabbos Stories, Reb. Shimon Finkelman, p. 122)
It states in the parsha, "and Bnai Yisroel had done everything that Hashem commanded Moshe, so did they do." Is it not redundant that the verse states, "so did they do?" The Torah is perhaps hinting to a basic principle in Jewish belief: we are obligated to follow the advice of our Torah leaders. The Ramban explains in parshas Shoftim, that it is crucial that every Jew listen to his Rabbi. Because, we are a society of laws, and the Rabbis are our judges. A society which does not heed its judges, is doomed to chaos.
We see the greatness of our Torah leaders from the inspirational story we told this week. R' Yosef Chaim was truly a Tzadik, a righteous person who lived an exemplary lifestyle which we can all emulate. 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
I want to wish everybody a wonderful warm and peaceful Shabbos and much joy, I hope this week’s Parsha will give an Aliyah to the soul of my father-in-law Mordechai Menachem (Mendel) ben Yosef.