Thursday, June 21, 2012

Parsha Korach, stories, Maimonides health guide

Back In Eretz Yisrael
For the last three Shabbosos, I was in FL and between Mincha and Maariv gave a lecture. I wondered if I had it in me to talk between 35 and 45 minutes without preparation. The first week was easy as I had prepared on the plane very well the Parsha and did my homework so I talked for 25 or 30 minutes and the rest of the time was an update on Eretz Yisrael news. The next week I added some Perkei Avos and the last week I gave what I am writing below along with some of the Parsha and some of my stories.
Cellphone and Computers on Shabbos the Halacha
I am told by those in the know that solid-state devices don’t create a circuit and therefore doctors use them in hospitals. However, I am told that the Kindle Device has E-ink which unlike other things that are not purposely saved is permanent. Thus for example on this screen I was to post in Hebrew “Yehi Ohr” or in English “Let there be light” if my battery would run out or the computer rebooted it is like writing on a scrabble board, with alphabet soup at the meal, sprinkling a message on a cake that I am about to eat. It is not permanent writing. Now I wouldn’t say to try this immediately for a starter but one would not be able to give out a Rabbinical Injunction for it. Also one does not exercise or work out with weights on Shabbos but if I need the place for guests, I a can move a few tons of weight from here to there without violating the Shabbos. However that is not recommended either. There are also things in the spirit of Shabbos.
What prompted me to discuss and write about this was the statistics written in the OU’s Action. 17.5% of Orthodox Teens text among themselves on Shabbos! It is not as a life-saving measure but rather a GD-SHBS from one end of the room to the other. In fact male teens text the average 3,339 texts a month and females over 4,000 in the USA which is 6 texts an hour during their waking time. When do they have time to learn, think and interact via a verbal conversation? But it is more that the problem of electricity and electronic devices on Shabbos, it is Beis Yacov girls putting on make-up which is “coloring/dying” and forbidden as a primary or Av Melacha on Shabbos. We have fallen victim to being modern without educating our Torah Values and Traditions. Putting on rouge or eye-liner goes back to the days of the Talmud or earlier so it is discussed in Maseches Shabbos.
The first discussions on the use of electricity and the Torah occurred close to 100 years ago. Was it the equivalent to fire by producing a spark or building as in building and completing a circuit? Now the Shabbos Clock can have a timer turn on and off an air-conditioner or light go on at a certain time. In case of bad timing like a cloudy day as long as we don’t turn it on and only the power of our pressing for the timer to go on in a half an hour or while on remain on instead of shutting off. Or once off to remain off for outside it suddenly cooled down or warmed up contrary to the weather report. This is a trick within Halacha and does not require a Shabbos Goy. In case my brief explanation is not enough I will try to re-read this, I suggest consulting your Orthodox Rabbi on how to achieve this.
Returning to computers, smartphones, I-Pads, etc. what is good for a Dr., Soldier in the Intelligence Corp, Cabinet Minister, Ambassador, Security Person, etc. is granted as the need for emergency services and situations. The Chazon Ish, Rabbi Shneur Zalman Auerbach and others looked into electricity and electronic devices and in more recent years other known authorities. Nobody has given a blank Heckshir to use the devices. We also might tend to prepare term papers from Shabbos to Chol with permanent texts. Going back over a century it is like using a bicycle where me might come to repair a chain or flat tire. Going back further, our Sages forbade riding a horse lest one break off a branch (Av Melacha) and making a switch for striking the horse to go faster. Lastly, we have not solved Halachically with a consensus what electricity is and why we cannot turn on or off a switch if it is part of an Av Melacha or a derivative (Toldos).
As for teen texting, I suggest that even during the weekday that children learn to communicate verbally and spend their time learning for a high grade average and the SAT’s. Sending 15 texts to 15 friends is not on the same level of intimacy and friendship of two of three friends getting together to have a chat in the living or on the porch of one of them. We must teach our children quality and not quantity. Quantity is good for the Arabs they willing give up their lives for the cause as another homicide bomber will arrive after the first, but we Jews need quality both in prayers, Torah Learning and weapons. We are few in numbers and have to stay ahead of the game.
A piece of trivia to many but not I or Rabbi Belinsky three apartments below me in FL. Both of us were hacked I found my AVG Firewall down. I don’t know who did it but my Google Translate went from English Hebrew to Arabic – Arabic or Farsi. A file in the Explorer and AOL is not working so I have backed up my computer with extra memory on an outside disk and if I must recover I will and quick. The wicked and Amalek are there all the time but yet our Nation seems to survive and empires have come and gone and we are still standing. My only compensation is since the Pentagon and State Dept. can be hacked a little computer inept fellow like myself should not be embarrassed.
Parsha Korach
This rebellion is the last rebellion recorded for 38 years until the time of Zimri. This Parsha seems to come after the spies for the people here are complaining that they have not been allowed to enter the land as promised.
16:1 Now Korach, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men;
Why embarrass the fathers of Korach with their mention in this Parsha only to teach us something. For Korach was a close relative of Moshe. Moshe was Chief Rabbi/King. Aaron was Cohain Gadol and another cousin the head of the Leviim and still another cousin was the leader of Kohat. Where was Korach in all this? He felt slighted for the hierarchy of Izhar was higher than the hierarchy of Moshe for in heritance. Therefore it would seem that Korach deserved by birth a special status. Not everything in life can be handed on a silver plate there cannot be ten gold medal winners at the Olympics no matter how good the athletes. The trend to give out in schools prizes to all is anti-Torah and anti-Chinuch (education). One must remember than some offices like the king or queen of England is from inheritance and others on merit. David Melech Yisrael was given the Malchus not on inheritance but on his merits and potential in the inheritance. The difference with David vs. Korach is that there was brotherly love and cousinly love and respect for one another and that was a basis for Moshiach.
2 and they rose up in face of Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty men; they were princes of the congregation, the elect men of the assembly, men of renown; 3 and they assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them: 'Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them; wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?'
Here like with Zimri’s Chutzpah later on, Moshe falls upon his face in Tachnun Prayer for this rebellion is not complaining directly against G-D’s leadership but the leadership of Moshe. In our case Moshe is hurt until the core of his being. Here he is a Tzaddik who does everything for the sake of head by the word or authority from HASHEM and he is being challenged.
4 And when Moses heard it, he fell upon his face. 5 And he spoke unto Korach and unto all his company, saying: 'In the morning the LORD will show who are His, and who is holy, and will cause him to come near unto Him; even him whom He may choose will He cause to come near unto Him. 6 This do: take you censors, Korach, and all his company; 7 and put fire therein, and put incense upon them before the LORD to-morrow; and it shall be that the man whom the LORD doth choose, he shall be holy; ye take too much upon you, ye sons of Levi.'
The sons of Korach did not participate did not participate in this debacle and from them issued Tehillim and Shmuel HaNovi. Why does he say the sons of Levi? Because already Korach has privileges in that he need not have a Pidyon HaBen for his seed and his family does non-Korban work in the Mishkan and later in the Mikdash.
8 And Moses said unto Korah: 'Hear now, ye sons of Levi: 9 is it but a small thing unto you, that the God of Israel hath separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to Himself, to do the service of the tabernacle of the LORD, and to stand before the congregation to minister unto them; 10 and that He hath brought thee near, and all thy brethren the sons of Levi with thee? and will ye seek the priesthood also?
Why do you undermine my authority and try to bring the Korbanos which you were not assigned. Be happy with your duties and lot in life!
11 Therefore thou and all thy company that are gathered together against the LORD--; and as to Aaron, what is he that ye murmur against him?'
Up until know, Korach might have had an argument for the sake of heaven based on his hierarchy of birth. Now Moshe, as humble as he is, warns Korach that he is playing with fire as his appointment was at Har Sinai with the burning bush. Moshe even wanted then that HASHEM send somebody else and HASHEM got very angry at Moshe. Now Korach wants to take away Moshe’s authority whom HASHEM appointed and not taken from empty space. HASHEM appointed three Shepherds to lead Am Yisrael. They are Yacov, Moshe and David and one Shepherd worried about himself and not the nation during a time of international pressure and that was Ariel Sharon.
12 And Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab; and they said: 'We will not come up; 13 is it a small thing that thou hast brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, but thou must needs make thyself also a prince over us? 14 Moreover thou hast not brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, nor given us inheritance of fields and vineyards; wilt thou put out the eyes of these men? we will not come up.'
Unlike Korach these vain men could only think of the physical and political power. Moshe had made a campaign promise to bring Am Yisrael into a land flowing with milk and honey and instead they were stuck in a desert.
15 And Moses was very wroth, and said unto the LORD: 'Respect not Thou their offering; I have not taken one ass from them, neither have I hurt one of them.'
Moshe in the Tachnun prayed that HASHEM ignore their sacrifice not matter what intent they had to present it before HASHEM. Their rebellion was personal against Moshe and it was too hard for him to bear seeing that he did not do anything to personally provoke them.
16 And Moses said unto Korach: 'Be thou and all thy congregation before the LORD, thou, and they, and Aaron, to-morrow; 17 and take ye every man his fire-pan, and put incense upon them, and bring ye before the LORD every man his fire-pan, two hundred and fifty fire-pans; thou also, and Aaron, each his fire-pan.' 18 And they took every man his fire-pan, and put fire in them, and laid incense thereon, and stood at the door of the tent of meeting with Moses and Aaron. 19 And Korach assembled all the congregation against them unto the door of the tent of meeting; and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the congregation. 20 And the LORD spoke unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying: 21 'Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.' 22 And they fell upon their faces, and said: 'O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and wilt Thou be wroth with all the congregation?'
Where was the rest of Am Yisrael to defend the honor of Moshe but instead remained neutral? From this I can learn no matter how painful the dispute is or divorce is a Rabbinical Judge must pick a side when he gives out his Psak or the court gives out the Psak.
23 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 24 'Speak unto the congregation, saying: Get you up from about the dwelling of Korach, Dathan, and Abiram.' 25 And Moses rose up and went unto Dathan and Abiram; and the elders of Israel followed him. 26 And he spoke unto the congregation, saying: 'Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be swept away in all their sins.' 27 So they got them up from the dwelling of Korach, Dathan, and Abiram, on every side; and Dathan and Abiram came out, and stood at the door of their tents, with their wives, and their sons, and their little ones. 28 And Moses said: 'Hereby ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me to do all these works, and that I have not done them of mine own mind. 29 If these men die the common death of all men, and be visited after the visitation of all men, then the LORD hath not sent Me.
HASHEM has given a sign wherein you will know that HE and only HE sent me and not my usurping of power. If the sign does not come to pass then do not believe me that I am a prophet of the L-RD.
30 But if the LORD make a new thing, and the ground open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down alive into the pit, then ye shall understand that these men have despised the LORD.' 31 And it came to pass, as he made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground did cleave asunder that was under them. 32 And the earth opened her mouth and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men that appertained unto Korach, and all their goods. 33 So they, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit; and the earth closed upon them, and they perished from among the assembly. 34 And all Israel that were round about them fled at the cry of them; for they said: 'Lest the earth swallow us up.' 35 And fire came forth from the LORD, and devoured the two hundred and fifty men that offered the incense.
A whole new phenomena was exhibited here. Usually when there is an earthquake the earth splits apart and leaves a crevasse or one side of the quake is visible in a height difference but here the earth opened up and swallowed them whole and closed upon itself. Medrash has it that people who walked by the split earth spot could hear coming from the crack “Moshe Emmet V’ Torato Emmet.”
17:1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 2 'Speak unto Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, that he take up the fire-pans out of the burning, and scatter thou the fire yonder; for they are become holy; 3 even the fire-pans of these men who have sinned at the cost of their lives, and let them be made beaten plates for a covering of the altar--for they are become holy, because they were offered before the LORD--that they may be a sign unto the children of Israel.' 4 And Eleazar the priest took the brazen fire-pans, which they that were burnt had offered; and they beat them out for a covering of the altar, 5 to be a memorial unto the children of Israel, to the end that no common man, that is not of the seed of Aaron, draw near to burn incense before the LORD; that he fare not as Korach, and as his company; as the LORD spoke unto him by the hand of Moses.
This Mizbayach becomes the brazen Altar and not like anything else.
6 But on the morrow all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron, saying: 'Ye have killed the people of the LORD.' 7 And it came to pass, when the congregation was assembled against Moses and against Aaron, that they looked toward the tent of meeting; and, behold, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the LORD appeared. 8 And Moses and Aaron came to the front of the tent of meeting.
Yet again another challenge to Moshe and a small rebellion, for it is in the nature of the Genes of Am Yisrael to challenge and question everything even the existence of HASHEM Yisborach or the Rabbis or tradition and a desire for proofs. Part of this comes from intelligence and part comes from the critical challenges which in the end when the full satisfactory answer is given actually strengthen our faith. This need has produced people willing to go into fire, be branded and have their body parts gauged out by the inquisition without shaking their faith. We even had great Rabbis talk to HASHEM and debate HIM as would challenge or argue with a Chavrutha. Choni HaMagel did this regarding rain and Rabbi Yeshayahu Horowitz also argued but not out of lack of faith but in the form of a request or lack of understanding.
The challenge here in my opinion was not a rebellion against HASHEM but a complaint that Moshe with his Tachnun was responsible for the earth opening up and killing Korach. For perhaps they believed that HASHEM could have stopped Korach all together by causing the pans to produce something like heat, cold and equivalent of an electrical shock or just vibrate out of the hands of these wicked men. Instead they died!
9 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 10 'Get you up from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.' And they fell upon their faces.
HASHEM views it as an affront to HIMSELF. For an ambassador is the representative of his leader and this challenge whether good or bad and an attack on him is an attack on his country, leader, etc.
11 And Moses said unto Aaron: 'Take thy fire-pan, and put fire therein from off the altar, and lay incense thereon, and carry it quickly unto the congregation, and make atonement for them; for there is wrath gone out from the LORD: the plague is begun.'
This was a trick that the Angel of Death showed Moshe when he went to receive the two Luchos at Har Sinai. Because of this, Aaron with his unbound love of Am Yisrael was able to stop the plague.
12 And Aaron took as Moses spoke, and ran into the midst of the assembly; and, behold, the plague was begun among the people; and he put on the incense, and made atonement for the people. 13 And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed. 14 Now they that died by the plague were fourteen thousand and seven hundred, besides them that died about the matter of Korach. 15 And Aaron returned unto Moses unto the door of the tent of meeting, and the plague was stayed.
16 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 17 'Speak unto the children of Israel, and take of them rods, one for each fathers' house, of all their princes according to their fathers' houses, twelve rods; thou shalt write every man's name upon his rod. 18 And thou shalt write Aaron's name upon the rod of Levi, for there shall be one rod for the head of their fathers' houses. 19 And thou shalt lay them up in the tent of meeting before the testimony, where I meet with you. 20 And it shall come to pass, that the man whom I shall choose, his rod shall bud; and I will make to cease from Me the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against you.'
This is the proof from HASHEM.
... 23 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses went into the tent of the testimony; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and put forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and bore ripe almonds. 24 And Moses brought out all the rods from before the LORD unto all the children of Israel; and they looked, and took every man his rod.
25 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Put back the rod of Aaron before the testimony, to be kept there, for a token against the rebellious children; that there may be made an end of their murmurings against Me, that they die not.' 26 Thus did Moses; as the LORD commanded him, so did he. ...
As promised the Halachos of taking care of ones wellbeing: Dr. Moshe ben Maimon the Rambam
The Laws of Personal Development
They contain eleven mitzvot:
Five positive commandments and six negative commandments.
They are:
1. To emulate His ways
2. To cling to those who know Him
3. To love one's fellow Jews
4. To love the converts
5. Not to hate one's [Jewish] brethren
6. To rebuke
7. Not to embarrass
8. Not to oppress the unfortunate
9. Not to gossip
10. Not to take vengeance
11. Not to bear a grudge.
Chapter 1 Halacha 1
Each and every man possesses many character traits. Each trait is very different and distant from the others.
One type of man is wrathful; he is constantly angry. [In contrast,] there is the calm individual who is never moved to anger, or, if at all, he will be slightly angry, [perhaps once] during a period of several years.
There is the prideful man and the one who is exceptionally humble. There is the man ruled by his appetites - he will never be satisfied from pursuing his desires, and [conversely,] the very pure of heart, who does not desire even the little that the body needs.
There is the greedy man, who cannot be satisfied with all the money in the world, as [Ecclesiastes 5:9] states: "A lover of money never has his fill of money." [In contrast,] there is the man who puts a check on himself; he is satisfied with even a little, which is not enough for his needs, and he does not bother to pursue and attain what he lacks.
There is [the miser,] who torments himself with hunger, gathering [his possessions] close to himself. Whenever he spends a penny of his own, he does so with great pain. [Conversely,] there is [the spendthrift,] who consciously wastes his entire fortune.
All other traits follow the same pattern [of contrast]. For example: the overly elated and the depressed; the stingy and the freehanded; the cruel and the softhearted; the coward and the rash. and the like.
From Kosher Culture on Facebook the Accidental Anarchist: From the Diaries of Jacob Marateck By Bryna Kranzler
This is an excerpt from the book The Accidental Anarchist the true story of Jacob Marateck, an Orthodox Jew who was sentenced to death three times in the early 1900s in Russia -- and lived to tell about it. He also happened to have been the author's grandfather.
The “King of Thieves”
(excerpted from The Accidental Anarchist by Bryna Kranzler)
Still short of sunrise, under a cloud of fog as thick as snow, our barge inched away from the dock. With a consumptive cough, the engine pushed us upriver, or possibly downriver – there was no way to tell, either by the flow of the water’s oily skin or by the shoreline that remained invisible.
I asked a crewman where we were being taken. His shrug could have meant either that he didn’t know or didn’t feel it was worth his effort to tell me.
A more talkative crew member let on that, in the early days of steam, our particular barge had carried coal for the Imperial Navy. Having outlived its seaworthiness, it was renamed, “Little Russia,” and set to earning its upkeep for a few more voyages. Although it was no longer trusted to carry coal, it was still healthy enough to haul lower-value cargo, such as prisoners, on the first installment of their trek to Siberia.
That is, he whispered with a foolish grin, until the barge crumbled under our feet and was sucked down into the icy black waters. Although the crew treaded the same rotted decks as us, they seemed unaware or unconcerned that they were doomed to go under with the rest of us. Or perhaps they were more optimistic about their chances for survival as they weren’t weighted down by thirty pounds of chain.
In the evening, as I elbowed my way toward the railing, hoping to bask in a last glimpse of the expiring sun, I found myself beside a man who, even in a metropolis like Warsaw, would have stood out in any crowd. Tall, broad shouldered, and with penetrating eyes that appeared to look down from a great height, he had managed, even in that welter of filthy and ragged convicts, to remain dressed and groomed like someone about to preside over a court of law or lecture at a University.
In the soiled half-light, his face wore an amused kind of serenity, the look of someone who might have joined our transport purely as a lark, or as a scholarly observer of our misery, collecting anecdotes with which to regale his colleagues tomorrow over cigars and wine. He struck me as a man who could, any time he chose, order our barge to halt and put out its gangplank so he could board a waiting troika [1] that, piled high with fur blankets, would whisk him back to his mansion in Petersburg, or even Vienna.
I spent hours of my worthless time trying to guess what a person of such quality was doing amongst riff-raff like us. He looked far too shrewd and self-assured to be a revolutionary. And if he was, indeed, a criminal, where in all the Russias had there been a policeman smart enough to capture him?
While the rest of us fell upon the hot, slime-coated cauldrons of cabbage soup or kasha with our tin bowls and grimy bare hands, I never saw him shove or be shoved, curse or be cursed. Yet by some effortless authority, he never failed to come away with a full bowl while the food was still hot, and without a sleek, red hair out of place. Truly a man born for leadership.
I spent several days covertly studying him like some rare specimen. In time, I felt his steady gaze pin me, too. I begin to think of him as the Prophet Elijah, or one of the legendary “Thirty-Six”[2] mystical beings known to appear incognito, from time to time, to comfort or rescue some deserving soul.
At other times, fascinated by the copper gleam of his hair and beard, I saw him as a Satanic emissary who walked the earth in one seductive guise or another, the better to plot the downfall of some unsuspecting innocent. Such as myself.
I finally made his acquaintance under unusual circumstances. Among us was a fiery young revolutionary I had known in Warsaw, a Russian named Volodya whose iron fists he never hesitated to use in a good cause.
One day, one of the less appetizing of our legitimate criminals suggested that Volodya, “like all revolutionaries,” was “no better than a damned Jew.” And Volodya, too simple-hearted to recognize the accusation as a compliment, unleashed his fist on the ruffian with such force that the sound was heard at the opposite end of the deck.
I was surprised to see the other criminals take Volodya’s little burst of temper with apparent good grace. But the following morning, no matter where I looked, there was no sign of my revolutionary comrade. After a while, someone advised me to stop searching because, during the night, Volodya had been quietly surrounded by half a dozen shadowy men, one of whom inserted a knife between his ribs while another shoved a rag into his mouth. His body had been gently heaved over the side. If a guard or a member of the ship’s crew heard the muffled splash, none had been foolhardy enough to wake the captain and suggest that he stop the boat to investigate.
With a little shiver of prudence, I decided that, while aboard this floating prison, I would try to avoid fights, at least until I was better acquainted with my fellow travelers and knew who was armed and who, if anyone, would be prepared to back me in a brawl to the death.
That evening, as I dozed under the shabby moonlight, the subject of my speculations materialized. He bent over so close to me that, after blinking the sleep out of my eyes, I could almost count each silken hair in his fine, cavalry mustache and lovingly trimmed beard. Meanwhile, his spotless vest seemed to have retained the odors of pungent Cologne water and tropical cigars. I recalled thinking that this was surely no prisoner, unless he was a criminal so wealthy that he could even buy an aura of respectability.
“ Apparently, it is not wise in a place like this to make enemies,” he said.
I was stunned by the banality of his remark, although he had only echoed my own thoughts. Could his words have masked layers of meaning that I was too drowsy to appreciate? His voice had a curiously nasal, unphilosophical quality to it. He sounded like a man so abruptly stripped of his worldly authority that he had not yet found a new tone in which to address his inferiors.
All I could think of replying was, “If you’re a convict, I’m Count Pototzky.”[3] He nodded modestly, and I could almost hear him blush.
“ I suppose I am a little different than the others.” With a touch of kindly authority in his voice, he asked, “Is there anything I can help you obtain? A loaf of bread, a warmer coat, a pair of boots?”
I considered his offer as solemnly as I did any other bad joke. “You own a department store below deck?”
He only smiled. “You mistrust me. In your place, so would I. But you may take my word for it; I am a criminal like you.” That avowal was invested with all the humility that only a truly great man could have summoned. “In fact, I have far more cause than you to be here.”
Making no effort to defend my well-earned right to be on a Siberia-bound transport, I waited for him to explain.
“ A man gets lonely all by himself,” he confided, as though pressed to justify taking up with a non-entity like me. I had already noticed that he was not on speaking terms with anyone on board.
“ Even with money?”
“ I don’t buy friendship,” he said scornfully. “As you should know, money is not an unmixed blessing among men who would slit your throat for the nails in your boots.”
I controlled my urge to ask why, then, he allowed himself to look so conspicuous, or how he expected to buy me such a costly item as a warm overcoat without exposing at least some fraction of his wealth.
“ I took you to be a man of some learning,” he said, “as am I.”
This struck me as curious coming from the mouth of a criminal, however distinguished he was. Only the tilt of his homburg and the elaborate knot in his cravat detracted from his aspect of professorial wisdom.
But ‘learning,’ where I came from, had only one meaning: the study of serious subjects like the Talmud and its commentaries, not the cluttering of one’s mind with the kind of paltry, secular information acquired at a university.
Before I could ask what he meant, or confess that my formal education of both kinds stopped before I turned thirteen, he demanded with a flare of contempt, “What have I in common with them? Murderers, drunkards, wife-beaters, wild-eyed revolutionaries?”
I was both amused and incensed at the way he lumped my social activism with the brutish crimes of violent gangsters and assassins.
Not without a little jab of sarcasm, I inquired, “Then what kind of misunderstanding brought you here, brother?”
I felt ashamed the moment the words left my mouth. It was not sort of question one asked of a new acquaintance, especially in a place like this. Not only on social grounds, but with our poor country liberally infested with Czarist spies, how could I be certain that he was not one of them?
My new friend, however, was not offended. “A bit of bad luck,” he said, as offhandedly as an English lord witnessing his yacht go down in a storm. “Some swine turned me in.”
At this, he smiled and granted me the knowledge of his name. (Out of respect for any descendants he may have, let us call him ‘Pyavka.’) I recognized it, at once, from all the months I spent submerged in Warsaw’s underworld, as that of the man respectfully known in certain sections of that great city as “The King of Thieves.”
Just one example of his renown: Some years back, the saintly Amshinover[4] Rebbe had come on one of his rare visits to Warsaw. During the few steps he took between the railroad station and a waiting drozhky, some insolent thief stole his fur-lined coat right off his back. The crime had shocked even a city as hardened to villainy as Warsaw. What’s more, it had been perpetrated in bitterest mid-winter so that the Rebbe’s hosts were justly concerned not only for his health but his very life.
At the synagogue the following morning, the Rebbe preached so powerfully that the very walls were said to have glistened with tears. But as it was Shabbos, the rabbi had forbidden the board to discuss, or even think about, worldly matters until after sundown. The instant Shabbos ended, the board went, as a body, to call upon “The King of Thieves” to plead with him to intercede in a crime that had, after all, taken place in his jurisdiction.
Since criminals were assumed to love money at least as much as did bureaucrats and policemen, the delegation had been authorized to offer a 100-ruble reward for the return of the coat, no questions asked.
Unfortunately, the board happened to intrude upon the King’s palatial home at the very hour he was giving a dinner party for some of his distinguished friends. Worse yet, these included several high Polish officials and even – the Devil take them – a couple of Russian officers in glittering dress uniform, none of whom a Warsaw Jew would lightly disturb at his pleasures.
But the moment the board’s spokesman stuttered out the reason for the intrusion, Pyavka excused himself from his astonished guests, without whose tolerance he could not have reigned for even an hour. He led the intruders into his paneled study, carefully closed the door, passed around a box of cigars and sat down to listen to every known detail of the outrage. He then instructed the delegation to go back and tell the Rebbe not to worry. Not only would he, Pyavka, exert his best efforts to recover the stolen coat, but he also all but guaranteed its return before the rabbi needed to leave the following dawn.
The King was as good as his word. As for the 100-ruble reward, he ordered that it be given to a charity of the Rebbe’s choice.
No doubt, you will have suspected that the Rebbe’s warm overcoat had been hanging in Pyavka’s cupboard, all along. The thought had occurred to me, as well. Nevertheless, in my present circumstances, the very idea of meeting this living legend left me as awed as a modern American boy who’d been granted an audience with Al Capone.
“ And you,” Pyavka demanded with a lordly wink. “What sort of thievery did they get you for?”
It surprised me that he had not instantly realized that I was not a member of his odious profession. I also didn’t take well to his patronizing tone. But he awaited my answer with such genuine benevolence that I hadn’t the heart to disappoint him. Even less did I want to endanger our still-green friendship by confessing that I was there precisely for certain types of activities that would, if successful, put an end to parasites like Pyavka and his high-born Russian protectors.
So I made up a story about how I had recently met a beautiful girl from a fine family, and under her tender influence had forsworn my thievish ways. But, alas, my past had caught up with me. An informer who had seen me in a coffee house with my fiancée summoned a policeman. As I carried a revolver, I could have saved myself by putting a bullet through the arresting officer’s heart. But I simply could not commit such a cold-blooded act before the eyes of this very pure and noble creature. Thus, I ended up clapped in irons while she looked on, her face streaming with maidenly pity. And now who knew if I would ever see her again?
I was so moved by my own recital, not only did I have tears in my eyes, but if you had handed me pencil I could have drawn a perfect likeness of the girl.
Pyavka, for his part, was so affected that he encircled my shoulders with his arm and declared, “Soon you will be reunited with her. You have my word. Why do I say this? Because at the first opportunity I intend to escape.”
I didn’t have time to react to his ludicrous statement because he continued directly: “Before taking you into my confidence, I spent several days observing you. I wanted to be certain you were one of us and not some fool of a political firebrand. But I judged by your eyes that you were far too intelligent to be anything but a thief.”
I acknowledged the compliment and awaited further revelations. Not that I believed, for a moment, he had the slightest chance of escaping. Granted, Russian guards were not famous for their hatred of money. But rather than take a mere portion of Pyavka’s wealth and let him run away, why not simply kill him and take it all?
“ And I have decided to take you with me.” Pyavka looked deeply into my eyes, and I exerted myself to make a proper show of gratitude for his preposterous offer. I wanted to hear more, if only to keep alive some spark of hope in my own heart. It also pleased me to be able, as the greater realist, to feel superior to him in something.
But as though he had already said too much, Pyavka volunteered nothing further. Instead, he solemnly began to reminisce about the tangled motives that compelled him, him, the brilliant son of a fine Jewish family, to take up his perilous and unconventional trade.
As I might have known, he viewed himself as anything but a common thief. What he saw in the glittering mirror of his self-esteem was a social reformer, a zealot who daily risked his freedom and reputation, indeed his very life, in order to redistribute other men’s ill-gotten wealth. “I am what the English call a ‘Robin Hood.’”
Moreover, he had convinced himself that it was he, and not the Bundists or Socialists or other such hollow-headed rabble, who was the true revolutionary, treading, until his cruel downfall, in the very footsteps of the great Hebrew prophets.
In the face of such impregnable delusion, there was little to do but keep silent.

[1] Russian: Carriage or sled drawn by three horses
[2] According to the gemara (rabbinical commentaries on the Talmud), in every generation there are 36 individuals who greet the Divine’s presence daily. Later literature suggests that they sustain the world.
[3] I have come across two possible Pototskys (also spelled Potocki) to whom this might refer: Count Valentin Potocki, an 18th century Polish nobleman, renounced Catholicism and converted to Judaism. For this heresy, he was burned at the stake in 1749, though it is unclear whether this story is factual or legend. Alternatively, this may be a reference to Count Felix Pototsky, who was one of the richest men of the 18th century. He is remembered for having built Sofiyivka Park in Uman, Ukraine, in honor of his wife, Sofia of Greece. (It is unclear whether Valentin and Felix were related). Although my grandfather might have been aware of both of these individuals’ by reputation, the context of the comment above suggests that he was referring to Felix Pototsky.
[4] Pertaining to the Hasidic dynasty originating in Mszczonów, Poland; Amshinover takes its name from the Yiddish name for the town of Mszczonów

The book is based on the diaries that my grandfather began keeping in 1905, during the Russo-Japanese War. In his diaries, my grandfather documented the many ways that the Czar (Nicholas II) had let down his own people, as well as illustrated what life was like for Jews in the Russian-occupied territories at a time when anti-Semitism was the official government policy. Despite hardships, including poverty, starvation, pogroms and war, my grandfather maintained his sense of humor and optimism, and those traits were what helped him survive.

In the chapter above that is excerpted from the book, my grandfather introduces Warsaw's self-proclaimed "King of Thieves" and the story of the Amshinover Rebbe's missing overcoat.

The Accidental Anarchist is available at on, and better bookstores
Passengers on a Ship Turned Back from Its Journey: 64 Years Later, Exodus Survivors Meet For Lunch By Sherry Gavanditti
In their youth, they were just two strangers on the same journey; teenaged boys seeking their independence and a new life, two loners in a crowd of many hundreds of other strangers also taking that very trip. The mass Exodus.
The ship they boarded, Exodus 1947, carried Jewish emigrants from France on July 11, 1947, and headed to the British mandate of Palestine. Most of the emigrants were Holocaust survivor refugees with no legal immigration certificates to Palestine. When the British Royal Navy seized the ship, passengers were deported back to Europe.
Now, more than six decades later, on Israeli Independence day no less, these two veterans of the War of Independence for Israel learn of each other's existence; amazingly, they live a few hundred yards apart on the Menorah Park Campus, and are meeting for the first time, for lunch. Seated together in the corner of the Stone Gardens dining room, Oscar Saks, Stone Gardens resident for less than a year, and George Adler, Menorah Park Campus resident for eight years, are introduced. 'Oscar, meet George. George, meet Oscar.' They smile and nod at each other. Oscar, who knows six languages, is soft spoken. George is a bit hard of hearing. He and George both have accents that reveal their heritage, but the conversation becomes easier to understand as each man's story unfolds.
Oscar was 17 when he came from France to board the ship. George came from a boy's camp in Germany. He was just 15. George asks Oscar if he took a train to the ship. Oscar doesn't recall. He asks George how long he was on the ship. George tells him he was on the Exodus for seven days, then spent three weeks in the cargo hold on a British ship that intercepted. George recalls being sprayed with DDT, a poison. He remembers the final day on the British ship when the British soldiers demanded the Jewish passengers exit the ship. When they refused, the soldiers filled their space below with cold water, perhaps with the intention of drowning them all. As the water level reached chest-high, the passengers relented and left the ship. "There was nothing else we could do," George remembers. "So we got off." He then added, "But, we hid bombs in the ship so it would blow up after we got off." Oscar recalls the conditions were not as bad on the ship that he was on for two weeks, the Liberty, which he said was loaned to the British by America.
On the table in front of each man are photocopies that reveal facts and historical pictures from the Exodus. Neither man is in those snapshots of history, but the grainy black and white pictures reveal so much; a mother and daughter walking down the ramp, a pale young man smoking a cigarette on the deck, families separated after one last goodbye, weary passengers near journey's end, staring out into the waves for a sign of having arrived. George picks up the pages and touches one of the pictures, quiet, as if recalling the more intricate details of his journey. Oscar says he believes the Exodus 1947 eventually burned. History confirms that it remained moored to a breakwater at Haifa harbor as a derelict until it burned to the water-line in August 1952. In 1963, it was scrapped.
By the time his lunch arrives, each man has a mutual understanding and respect for what the other went through so long ago. Relaxed by the aroma of hot soup, tender pot roast, asparagus, rolls and mashed potatoes, they continue to talk, realizing they had more in common.
They laughed when each revealed he had thrown potatoes at the British soldiers who approached to force their ship to turn around. Oscar confesses he threw cans of sardines too. They said they had no regrets when each volunteered to fight in the Israeli war for Independence. Oscar operated a machine gun, George was a foot soldier.
"They needed everybody at that time," George recalls.
"I think about it," Oscar adds, "but not that often."
After the war, both men came to the U.S., each on his own different life path. Oscar worked at his Advanced Auto Transmission repair shop, George worked at a heating and air conditioning shop, then later, delivered dentures for a dentist. Both men were located within miles of each other in their adult lives, but never met. Not until this 64th anniversary of Israeli Independence Day.
As they slowly enjoy their lunch, Oscar tells George how he met his wife of 49 years; about his two kids, how he worked hard, and had a happy life. George tells him that he remained a bachelor, to which Oscar suggests he can meet a good woman at the Jewish Community Center, where he met his.
As lunch dishes are cleared, the two make their way into the chat room to bask in the warmth of the fireplace. They continue their conversation, realizing before they say goodbye, they are neighbors, residents of the same campus, and at anytime, at will, they can meet again with just a phone call or a short walk through a hallway or two. George wants to reciprocate and the two even discuss inviting others; seeing their smiles, anyone can tell they are no longer strangers with stories untold - but two men form a time in history when even if they had crossed paths so many years ago, would never have imagined they would someday be destined to meet as residents of the same senior campus; Menorah Park Center for Senior Living.

I’m Going Back to Hollywood By: Tzvi Fishman

I’m going back to Hotel California. That’s right. What am I, a sucker? Why should I send my kids to the Israeli army when they can become tennis pros in Beverly Hills? You think I’m kidding? An old friend from LA got me a job writing for a new sit-com, “Gay in the White House” about America’s first gay President and First Gay Lady. The show has a lot of potential, and I haven’t forgotten how to write trash humor, so why not use my talents to make a few bucks ($600,000 a year) instead of giving my stuff away free here at The Jewish Press?
Now that I think about it, I made a big mistake. Instead of bringing Tevye to the Promised Land, I should have brought him to Las Vegas to meet up with Meir Lansky and Bugsy Siegel in building the town’s first casino. First he throws off his embarrassing Tzitzis, then his milkman’s cap, then he shaves off his beard and finds himself a shicksa. Now that would have been a bestseller! Everyone loves to read novels about Jews who assimilate. Look at Norman Mailer. He had 8 shicksa wives. Philip Roth also forgot to marry a Jew. Plus he writes about hating his mother and makes fun of being Jewish, so of course the world loves him! Joseph Heller wrote a ribald satire about King David. And the great Jewish playwright, Arthur Miller, married Marilyn Monroe. You can’t top that for success! What a jerk I was to bring Tevye to the Holy Land to become a pioneer settler! It’s the exact opposite of what the world wants to read about! My old literary agent in NY loved the book, but said it was “too Jewish.” Meaning it was too pro-Israel, pro Torah, pro settlements, and too anti-assimilation. Imagine a publisher saying Tolstoy was “too Russian.” Or that James Cavell’s books were “too Japanese.”
Well, I’ve learned my lesson. By the time you read this blog, I’ll probably be on the plane to LA. My wife refuses to come with me, so who knows what could be? Maybe I’ll become Madonna’s new rabbi and follow her around on tour. Talk about publicity! I’d be famous overnight and Amazon Books wouldn’t be able to keep up with the demand for my books! California dreaming on such a summer’s day. If I forget thee, O Hollywood! In the meantime, here’s a short story from my collection of short stories, “Day of Mashiach”.
The book has just been published in France. The French appreciate good literature for literature’s sake. They compare me there to Kafka, Voltaire, and the master of fables, Jean de La Fontaine. Just like they say, no man’s a prophet in his own land. Anyway, enjoy the story. It’s a fable about the Jewish People. If you don’t have time to read it now, print it out and save it for later. And don’t forget to follow the serialization of Tevye in the Promised Land starting today in The Jewish Press. I’m sure you’ll like it! L’hitraot and see you in LA!
Ephraim Lane was born with the name Ephraim Lansky. In his youth, he was a voracious reader. By the time he was six, he could quote long passages from Hemingway, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, and Wolfe. When he was thirteen, he shocked his parents by refusing to have a bar-mitzvah. Judaism, he claimed, was lousy fiction. All human beings were chosen, he said. In the spirit of rebellion which was to characterize his future, he vowed to use his talents to erase all differences between gentiles and Jews.
Ephraim attended an elite boarding school in New England. He partied through four years at Harvard, and fought valiantly in the Marines. His first novel about the Second World War, written in his young twenties, and published under the more American-sounding E. Lane, was an explosive bestseller. The passionate account of manhood trial and fear was not just another copy of Hemingway, like so many books of the time, but the dawning of a brilliant new light.
His next piece of fiction was shorter and far more complex. The allegory about a society gone corrupt received good reviews but failed to attract an audience. Like the strong-hearted boxer that he fancied himself, he pulled himself up from the canvas and published his third work, a literary satire of Jewish life in New York which put his impish grin on magazine covers all over the country. A try at a Hollywood screenplay, a loud bout of drinking, a publicized marriage with a sexy actress, followed by a speedy divorce, sent the young author back down to the mat.
The film of his screenplay flopped. A collection of short stories was practically ignored. Ironically, many years later, when Lansky became required reading in courses in American Literature, the collection was considered a classic. He wrote a fine, miniature novel about baseball, and an uninspired tale of a writer with a pot belly and middle-age crisis. For years he seemed to be forgotten. At literary parties, he was invariably the center of some ugly, drunken brawl. Critics said what a shame. But Lansky surprised them all. With some great secret strength, he sat himself down at his typewriter and pounded out the bestselling book of the decade – a savage satire of a Jewish mother who destroys the life of her artistic son with Jewish guilt.
Throughout the summer, on beaches and subways, everyone was reading Lansky’s book. More readers rushed out to buy it when the Jewish community called the writer a self-hating Jew. The paperback edition broke all records for sales. Lansky’s second marriage to a curvy Swedish masseuse, four inches taller than he was, made all the society pages. All of his works were reprinted, and any article he wrote, whether on politics, women, space travel, or fishing, netted him gold. In the very same year, he won the Book Critics Award, the Pulitzer Prize, had a child with his Swede, divorced her, moved in with a black soul singer, went through spring training with the Dodgers, starred for three weeks in an Off-Broadway play which he directed and wrote, had a small heart attack, and walked out of the hospital engaged to his Puerto Rican nurse.
In interviews, he talked about repentance and giving up marijuana and booze. He split up with his singer, bought a house up in Maine, and took the summer off to rest from his heart attack and relax with Juanita, his much younger caretaker. In September, he mailed three-hundred manuscript pages and a note to his publisher, saying that he was thinking of scrapping the rest of the book. It was a powerful Kafkaesque intrigue, set in a Soviet prison, the story of a loyal party worker exiled for being a Jew. Even conservative critics had to take off their hats. “A metaphor of the soul imprisoned by a fantasy of hope and poetic despair,” the New York Times critic called it. The Jewish community turned to embrace him. Prophetically, the plight of Soviet Jews became an international struggle. On the eve of his nomination for the Nobel Prize, E. Lane, born Lansky, stood in the doorway of his snowbound Maine cottage and announced his marriage to his housekeeping nurse. On the pinnacle of his great success, a Newsweek reporter braved his way through the snow to ask Lansky what he hoped to do now.
“Drink beer, watch TV, and have as many children as I can,” the writer said with a laugh.
In short, in his forty-eighth year, the novelist became an American legend. Pictures, posters, and stories about him appeared everywhere. He was either loved or hated wherever he went. When his wife ran off with a rock star, Lansky bought an island off Tahiti and lived there without electricity or plumbing for months. Then suddenly, he abandoned the role of the hermit and came home to run as an independent candidate for the governorship of New York.
Perhaps his defeat, or his chain of busted romances, or the prospect of turning fifty was responsible for his change. Or perhaps all of the whiskey and nightlife were simply wearing him down. Whatever the reason, the seemingly indefatigable novelist sunk into a lasting depression. The occasional pieces he published, while still graced with genius, were flat. Instead of writing about the world, he wrote about himself. Even his most faithful readers grew tired with the subject. His publisher tried to release his old sellers in fancy new jackets, but the public wasn’t fooled. Ephraim became forgotten like a racehorse laid out to stud. His fourth marriage to a Japanese poet passed without fanfare. The petite Oriental barely came up to his shoulders. “Ephraim Lane has finally found a woman with whom he can feel like a man,” his first, or was it second, wife said. Their betrothal lasted a little under a year. In the meantime, two stinkers were published bearing his name, a fat novel about a South American revolution which substituted detail for depth, and another collection of essays, short stories, and solipsistic pieces which almost no one bought.
Lansky’s career seemed to be over. But people had forgotten about the old prizefighter inside, the crafty veteran lying on the ropes, blocking punches, waiting to catch his breath until he could score the big knockout. They forgot that to get to the diamond you had to bore through the coal. Ephraim hadn’t thrown in the towel. True, he knew he was falling. He recognized that his talent wasn’t the same. He lacked the quickness, the energy, and the stamina of his prime. Yet he kept on punching, unwilling to give up the electrifying roar of the ring.
That’s when he decided to make a great comeback. First, he gave up the booze. And the drugs. And the women. He returned to his cottage in Maine. He hired a black man for a housekeeper, disconnected the telephone, and wrote. He wrote every morning until one. In the afternoon, he would nap then take a five-mile jog. Evenings, he spent with his kids. A half a year later, he had given birth to a book. It was a fable of King Solomon. A Solomon who the world misunderstood. An irreverent, autobiographical portrait of the king as a man and a writer with a thousand wives and a passion for every experience under the sun. It was, as one critic commented, “A portrait of the artist as a young man.” Almost everyone loved it. Only feminists and rabbis complained. The “Secret Diaries of Solomon” became the only book ever banned by the American Congress of Rabbis. His life, they claimed, was a public campaign to annihilate the Jew in himself. Some questioned if his parents were Jewish at all.
Lansky took up the fight. “There is no G-d,” he claimed. “The Jewish people are racists! I am ashamed of my Jewishness,” he pronounced. “If I could grow back my foreskin, I would.”
Another writer explained Lansky’s new battle cry by noting, “The man has a genius for keeping himself in the press.”
About the Author: Rav Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Creativity and Jewish Culture for his novel "Tevye in the Promised Land." For the past several years, he has written a popular and controversial blog at Arutz 7. A wide selection of his books are available at Amazon. The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of The Jewish Press He lives not far from Rabbi Pauli just a short drive on the road towards the airport or the coast.
From Shosha on the evacuation of the Ulpana:!
View the Kotel Tunnel explanations in English, French, Hebrew and Spanish:
Inyanay Diyoma
US probably will intervene in Syria before the US Elections or the same day as the Republican Convention:
Israel attacked from Sinai near Gaza:,7340,L-4243139,00.html
From Meir K. another secret of the US revealed for a re-election bid:
I got back from the USA to 40 Kassams in the south then a few border policemen injured:,7340,L-4245243,00.html
Now for M. Wolfberg’s Story “Money Talks”
Good Shabbos Everyone. This week's parsha Shlach describes many of the sacrifices which we were commanded to perform in order to gain atonement for misdeeds. The Sages tell us that these days, when we cannot bring sacrifices, we can attain atonement by giving tzedaka - charity. The following story illustrates this principle.
"Rebbe help please! My wife and baby are in terrible danger!" Pinchos ran into the Nadvorner Rebbe's shul in Tzefas crying bitter tears. His wife had been in labor for many hours, and the doctors had started to suspect that things were not going well. Her blood pressure had risen to a dangerously high level, and they told him that unless there were some drastic changes, both she and the baby were not going to make it.
The panic-stricken Pinchos begged the Rebbe to daven for him and his family. He could hardly control his emotions. The Rebbe looked at Pinchos and tried to calm him. Finally, he declared, "Pinchos, everything will be all right. I promise you. Everything will be fine!"
Although Pinchos was startled by the Rebbe's optimistic proclamation, he was not about to question it. He thanked the Rebbe and ran back to the hospital to be with his wife. Moments after he arrived, the doctors told him that they could not explain precisely what had happened, but that his wife's blood pressure was once again normal and she and the baby would be fine. Sure enough, an hour later his wife gave birth to a healthy baby boy.
The chassidim informed the Rebbe of the wonderful news, and the Rebbe wished them all a "Mazel tov." One of the more curious chassidim wondered aloud how the Rebbe could have possibly known that the mother and baby were going to be all right.
While some declared it a miracle, the Rebbe himself brushed this thought off as nonsense. Then, as the chassidim gathered around, the Rebbe began to explain how he knew that all would be well. It was a lesson they would never forget. "You see, a few days ago I was sitting in the front of the beis midrash when I noticed a poor person come into the room.
Pinchos was sitting in the back of the room, preparing for Minchah. We took out our siddurim, put on our gartlech, and began to recite Ashrei. "The beggar walked around the room, collecting. His face was an image of brooding and discontent. He obviously had a very difficult life. One by one, the men placed coins in his hand.
As soon as Pinchos placed a coin in the beggar's hand, however, there was a huge clattering of coins as they dropped to the floor, causing a commotion in the beis midrash. Everyone thought that the beggar had dropped the coins, but one quick look revealed otherwise. He had not dropped the coins, but had thrown the entire handful at Pinchos.
Besides the fact that the coins had hurt Pinchos, now everyone was staring at him. The man stared at Pinchos; it seemed as if his gaze would bore a hole right through him. None of the others said a word, hoping that the distraught man would just leave them alone, but it was not meant to be.
Suddenly, he lashed out at Pinchos with a verbal assault the likes of which they had never heard before. He was obviously channeling his anger at Pinchos only because he had been the last one to give a coin. The tirade lasted for a few minutes, with everyone looking on in horror. As the shul began to fill with more people, each individual who entered was treated to a whole new diatribe aimed at Pinchos. The man would ask them if Pinchos was always so cheap and despicable or if it was just this time. His invective tore through Pinchos' heart.
At this point, many tried to stop the beggar's unfair and unwarranted criticism. Everyone knew that Pinchos was one of the nicest and sweetest people in town. However, that day he demonstrated that he was more than just nice. He was a gibbor — a man of true might — and thus able to control himself in an unbelievable fashion. While everyone else was trying to get the man to stop, Pinchos sat there quietly.
The Rebbe continued telling the story to the large crowd. The next detail was the most amazing one.
"Then, Pinchos pulled out his checkbook and walked over to the beggar! .,. "'I am so sorry you felt that I was slighting you ... what would I be able to give you to help?'
The beggar himself was shocked. "Pinchos is not a wealthy man by any stretch of the imagination, but he felt the tzaar - pain of another Jew in a real way. He knew that this man lived a pathetic life and was terribly embarrassed after the scene he had created. He also knew that the yelling was not directed at him personally. Rather, the poor man was lamenting his own sad situation.
Pinchos wrote him a check for a sizable sum and wished him well, as he escorted him on his way." The Rebbe concluded, "The Gemara in Chullin (89a) tells us that the world is upheld in the merit of those who are 'bolem (seal)' their lips at the time of a quarrel, as the pasuk states, 'Toleh eretz al bli mah — He suspends the earth on nothingness' (lyov 26:7). I reasoned that if the entire world is upheld in the merit of these great individuals, then most certainly Pinchos' restraint would be able to save his wife and child." (A Touch of Warmth, P. 94, Reb Yechiel Spero)
Good Shabbos Everyone.
M. Wolfberg is sponsored by: In memory of R' Yaakov ben Naftoly, of blessed memory Refuah Shleima to Reb Mordechai Menachem Mendel ben Tziporah Yitta Refuah Shleima to Tsviah bas Bracha Leah
Have a wonderful and peaceful Shabbos,
Rachamim Pauli