Thursday, July 5, 2012

Not all the wisdom is with Judaism but it is wise to look at our ancestors and think forward. “The deeds of our fathers are signs for the sons” – Chachamim. I found this quote on Shuli’s Kosher Culture Foundation that I thought is well put: In Iroquois society, leaders are encouraged to remember seven generations in the past and consider seven generations in the future when making decisions that affect the people. —Wilma Pearl Mankiller (Nov 18, 1945 - Apr 6, 2010), Cherokee Leader

I went to meeting of the “Experienced People” a nice way of saying people over 50 and most likely under 75 of Matay Benyamin. We were told that the way the insurance companies in Israel work is that they take money for elderly assistance & support in an old age home is as follows: One pays for years and as one ages the premiums go up. At a certain point if heaven forbid one needs the help, he or she must meet three criteria and assuming that this is met one must wait three months before receiving the first payment. Should the person in need pass on during this time, the payments are lost and not one cent is recovered. If this is not thievery, I don’t know what is. They play on the fears of people.

Once a person wanted to put up a Mezuzah on a house that he was renting but the man who rented to him would not let him put up a Mezuzah. The landlord was a lightning rod salesman. The local Rabbi then called the lightning rod salesman to his house and asked the man, “How much can I get if I have you dismantle the lightning rod and sell you the components?” The man looked at the Rabbi in shock and said “are you not afraid that lightning could strike your home and it catch fire?” The Rabbi replied, “Why should I be afraid as I have this wonderful Mezuzah that protects my home from everything!” The landlord got the message and allowed the Jew to put up a Mezuzah in the home. Of course nowadays we have scotch tape and if need be put the Mezuzah inside for hiding from Mezuzah thieves and anti-Semitic attacks in Chutz LaAretz.

The moral of the story is do not let the insurance companies play on your fears rather check carefully every single word in fine print on the policy before signing up for insurance. The other solution is to have money put aside and trusts in HASHEM as they have the statistics working against you. It is as bad as or worse than going to Las Vegas and putting in a dollar into a poker slot machine to win $5,000 on a straight for the probability of getting a straight is 64,000 to 1 and you are getting less than 8% of your statistical return or 12.8 to 1 in their favor. I do not know if the insurance companies are better or worse than Racketeers in Las Vegas.

Parsha Balak

Shuli reminded me that in the Torah there is a blessing said for the wisdom of the non-Jews... for in every nation some gems can be found... if only all nations were able to access their inner voice of truth and act on it. The Talmud recognizes the legitimacy of gentile thought (B. Berachos 58a). Moreover, our sages prescribe a blessing that is to be recited upon encountering a wise gentile, a blessing that is not unlike the blessing to be recited over a Jewish sage.
“Blessed are You Hashem, our G-d, King of the world, WHO has given of His wisdom to flesh and blood.” (See Teshuvot Ve-hanhagot 4:197 and Meshaneh Halakhot 7:116 regarding public praise of non-Jewish knowledge). Two such people were Balak and Balaam.

22:2 And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. 3 And Moab was sore afraid of the people, because they were many; and Moab was overcome with dread because of the children of Israel. 4 And Moab said unto the elders of Midian: 'Now will this multitude lick up all that is round about us, as the ox licks up the grass of the field.'--And Balak the son of Zippor was king of Moab at that time.

He had a choice after seeing what became of Sichon and Og to try to make a non-belligerence treaty or alliance with the Bnei Yisrael seeing that he had a small population and could not defeat such a mighty adversary but instead he sent a delegation far north to the land of Aram.

5 And he sent messengers unto Balaam the son of Beor, to Pethor, which is by the River, to the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying: 'Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt; behold, they cover the face of the earth, and they abide over against me. 6 Come now therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people; for they are too mighty for me; peradventure I shall prevail, that we may smite them, and that I may drive them out of the land; for I know that he whom thou blessed is blessed, and he whom thou cursed is cursed.' 7 And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand; and they came unto Balaam, and spoke unto him the words of Balak. 8 And he said unto them: 'Lodge here this night, and I will bring you back word, as the LORD may speak unto me'; and the princes of Moab abode with Balaam.

He had a way of meditating and communicating with HASHEM and was one of the three prophets called to Pharaoh to deal with what the Astrologers saw at the time of the birth of Moshe Rabbaynu so he must have been quite old at this time. He advised Pharaoh about destroying the babies. Yisro advised Pharaoh to treat the Bnei Yisrael nicely and Iyob stayed neutral and left. For this Yisro was rewarded with Moshe as a son-in-law and for him to become the ancestor of the Druze People. Iyob suffered terribly and Balaam received his due in this world and would die by the hands of the people whom he hated.

9 And God came unto Balaam, and said: 'What men are these with thee?'

This is not an unusual way of opening a conversation by G-D for example “Who told you that you were naked?” from Beresheis. It is not that G-D did not know that they ate from the tree or that who the men are but rather putting the person at ease.

10 And Balaam said unto God: 'Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, hath sent unto me [saying]: 11 Behold the people that is come out of Egypt, it covers the face of the earth; now, come curse me them; peradventure I shall be able to fight against them, and shall drive them out.' 12 And God said unto Balaam: 'Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people; for they are blessed.'

Now I ask you what would you do if you heard this? Perhaps if you charge for consultation take a fee or perhaps not but certainly, you would not put on airs about as if you had the power but to tell the truth and perhaps give some advice.

13 And Balaam rose up in the morning, and said unto the princes of Balak: 'Get you into your land; for the LORD refuses to give me leave to go with you.'

This would turn into a fatal mistake for had he said that the people were blessed and had given proper guidance, Balak would have taken a different course but the anti-Semitism burned in his heart perhaps from genes from either Lavan, Nimrod or both. In fact the Zohar attributes Balaam as a grandson or great-grandson of Lavan. Genetics is one thing but one does not have to hate so much seeing that he was probably not the only one from Lavan.

14 And the princes of Moab rose up, and they went unto Balak, and said: 'Balaam refuses to come with us.'

Obviously this over-blown personality of Balaam injected an air of superior in his answer to them and it was far from the truth for it appeared that it was on his accord and terms that he made them believe that the power came from him and that G-D did his bidding through his power. It is as bad as saying that the devil has independent power over his creator as some people would have their followers believe.

15 And Balak sent yet again princes, more, and more honorable than they. 16 And they came to Balaam, and said to him: 'Thus says Balak the son of Zippor: Let nothing, I pray thee, hinder thee from coming unto me; 17 for I will promote thee unto very great honor, and whatsoever thou say unto me I will do; come therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people.' 18 And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak: 'If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the LORD my God, to do anything, small or great.

Finally he starts speaking at least part of the truth about the power of HASHEM but does not talk about the nation being blessed.

19 Now therefore, I pray you, tarry ye also here this night, that I may know what the LORD will speak unto me more.' 20 And God came unto Balaam at night, and said unto him: 'If the men are come to call thee, rise up, go with them; but only the word which I speak unto thee, that shalt thou do.' 21 And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab. 22 And God's anger was kindled because he went; and the angel of the LORD placed himself in the way for an adversary against him.--Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him.-- 23 And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, with his sword drawn in his hand; and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field; and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way. 24 Then the angel of the LORD stood in a hollow way between the vineyards, a fence being on this side, and a fence on that side. 25 And the ass saw the angel of the LORD, and she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall; and he smote her again.

The wall was made from the stones of the Gal-Ayd of Lavan and Yacov Beresheis 32:44 And now come, let us make a covenant, I and thou; and let it be for a witness between me and thee.' 45 And Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar. 46 And Jacob said unto his brethren: 'Gather stones'; and they took stones, and made a heap. And they did eat there by the heap. 47 And Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha; but Jacob called it Gal- Ayd. 48 And Laban said: 'This heap is witness between me and thee this day.' Therefore was the name of it called Gal -Ayd; The wall was preventing Lavan’s great-grandchild from hurting Yacov’s great-grandchildren.

I do not intend to go into details that I covered in past years and it is well know the relationships between many middle-eastern people and their female donkeys and the Midrash covers this aspect for that was part of the answer of the donkey. One the donkey and talked and put the man to shame it has completed its purpose and it expires. One note from the Midrash is that Balaam was blind in one eye and therefore he talks about his eyes opening up to be able to see the Angel which must be an awesome sight as Daniel described his encounter. Interesting enough Yehoshua bin Nun stands his ground when talking to Michael and is ready to fight him until he hears whom he is. Yehoshua 5:13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand; and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him: 'Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?' 14 And he said: 'Nay, but I am captain of the host of the LORD; I am now come.' And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said unto him: 'What says my lord unto his servant?' 15 And the captain of the LORD'S host said unto Joshua: 'Put off thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou stand is holy.' And Joshua did so.

26 And the angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. 27 And the ass saw the angel of the LORD, and she lay down under Balaam; and Balaam's anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with his staff. 28 And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam: 'What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?' 29 And Balaam said unto the ass: 'Because thou hast mocked me; I would there were a sword in my hand, for now I had killed thee.' 30 And the ass said unto Balaam: 'Am not I your ass, upon which thou hast ridden all thy lifelong unto this day? Was I ever wont to do so unto thee?' And he said: 'Nay.' 31 Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, with his sword drawn in his hand; and he bowed his head, and fell on his face.

The men of Moav must have been laughing at this so-called holy man who has a relationship with his donkey. Did they not realize that if he could not answer back the donkey and want to kill it by the sword was not his ability to curse also limited?

32 And the angel of the LORD said unto him: 'Wherefore hast thou smitten your ass these three times? behold, I am come forth for an adversary, because thy way is contrary unto me; 33 and the ass saw me, and turned aside before me these three times; unless she had turned aside from me, surely now I had even slain thee, and saved her alive.' 34 And Balaam said unto the angel of the LORD: 'I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stood in the way against me; now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back.' 35 And the angel of the LORD said unto Balaam: 'Go with the men; but only the word that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shalt speak.' So Balaam went with the princes of Balak. 36 And when Balak heard that Balaam was come, he went out to meet him unto Ir-moab, which is on the border of Arnon, which is in the utmost part of the border. 37 And Balak said unto Balaam: 'Did I not earnestly send unto thee to call thee? Wherefore came thou not unto me? am I not able indeed to promote thee to honor?' 38 And Balaam said unto Balak: 'Lo, I am come unto thee; have I now any power at all to speak anything? the word that God puts in my mouth, that shall I speak.'

I don’t want to go into the blessings of Balaam for the blessing of a wicked man is not even on the level of a statement of rebuke of a righteous man. For the righteous rebuke from love and the wicked bless from hatred.

… 24: 25 And Balaam rose up, and went and returned to his place; and Balak also went his way.

However before he left, he advised Balak how to weaken Am Yisrael through idolatry and promiscuity. For the L-RD hates both. He had also another purpose for he knew that Am Yisrael would destroy Balak and since Balak did not pay him anything other than the advice fee and in the beginning like the Shiites and Sunnis the two hated each other so much for years but they hated Am Yisrael and the chance of the success of Am Yisrael so much that they were willing to become suicidal in their dealings if they could kill off Am Yisrael.

25:1 And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit harlotry with the daughters of Moab. 2 And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods; and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods.

The idol was placed in the public toilet and defecation in front of the idol was the way of making a sacrifice it was the most disgusting of all the fertility cults that existed.

3 And Israel joined himself unto the Baal of Peor; and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel. 4 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Take all the chiefs of the people, and hang them up unto the LORD in face of the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may turn away from Israel.' 5 And Moses said unto the judges of Israel: 'Slay ye everyone his men that have joined themselves unto the Baal of Peor.' 6 And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midian woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, while they were weeping at the door of the tent of meeting. 7 And when Pinchas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from the midst of the congregation, and took a spear in his hand. 8 And he went after the man of Israel into the chamber, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel. 9 And those that died by the plague were twenty and four thousand.

Next week, I will continue with the story of Pinchas and the miracles that occurred for him.

Hilchot De'ot

Up until now, I have been so busy that I have been giving the English copy and paste without reading the original Hebrew. I sat down this week with Rabbi Mimran Shlita and we learned the first chapter and we had to re-read some parts.

I wrote over a month or two ago that these Halachos are the guide to healthy living from the Rambam aka Maimonides who was a court physician. I read this about 40 years ago and did not remember this chapter but is of the utmost value. For before one can go on a diet, one must work on himself and his own Midos so it is not a surprise that he takes Midos to two possible extremes and then tries to center them in the middle of the road. For one cannot be so humble that another steps on him like a cockroach. Rather be humble but not being swept on the floor like a mop or a broom but humble with the ability to stand up for ones rights. One should try to control his temper, etc. and that is why one must be psychologically whole within before starting on a healthy lifestyle diet

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.

Commentary Halacha 1

Each and every man possesses many character traits. Each trait is very different and distant from the others. - Many commentaries assume that the Rambam is stating simply that there are many personality types, which he proceeds to describe: e.g., the angry man, the calm man, etc. They quote various sources in support of this viewpoint, among them Berachos 58a: "Whoever sees a multitude of Jews recites the blessing: 'Blessed is...the wise who knows the hidden secrets,' because just as their natures are not similar, neither are their faces."

However, by stating that the many character traits are possessed by "each and every man," it is possible that Rambam is implying more than that there are people with different traits. Though in Moreh Nevuchim (The Guide to the Perplexed) 2:40 the Rambam himself elaborates upon that idea, it can be said that here his intent is different. He is emphasizing the degree to which each individual's personality is a combination of different traits, which may be unrelated and even distant from each other. Anger, generosity, and modesty, for example, can be found together in the same person, much in the same way that tenants of all sorts - unrelated to each other - can be housed in a common building.

To illustrate these traits, the Rambam employs concrete examples of extreme personalities, so that the contrasts can be appreciated more easily.

One type of man is wrathful; he is constantly angry. [In contrast,] there is the calm individual who is never moved to anger - Obviously, anger or passivity are not these individuals' only traits. Surely, they share the full spectrum of human emotions. However, in these individuals, these traits are most prominent.

See Halacha 2:3 for a further discussion of 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. - Chapter 2, Halacha 3, also deals at length with the contrasts between pride and humility.

There is the man ruled by his appetites, who will never be satisfied from pursuing his desires - Koheles Rabbah 1:34 states: "No person will die having accomplished [even] half of what he desires." This statement is difficult to comprehend since there appear to be many successful individuals who achieve their desires. Nevertheless, their accomplishments do not necessitate that their desires will be satisfied. As the Midrash continues: "A person who possesses 100 silver pieces desires 200. One who possesses 200 desires 400."

Desire itself is never satisfied. Instead, it puts the person on a constantly moving treadmill, with ever-increasing aims. As soon as one reaches one goal, he instinctively begins the pursuit of another.

And [conversely,] the very pure of heart, who does not desire even the little that the body needs. - This pair of contrasting personality types deal with a person's appetites which can be satisfied by sensual experience. For example, gluttony is stimulated and satisfied by taste. In contrast, the traits mentioned below - the desire for money or the lack of desire for it - do not involve the senses.

There is the greedy man, who cannot be satisfied - Literally, "whose soul is not satisfied." Perhaps the Rambam uses "soul," both here and with regard to the man ruled by his sensual appetites, because it is the desire that characterizes the man, not the performance of an action as such. A man may never indulge his passion for food, or actually amass money and yet, be gluttonous or greedy. Though, in practice, his ability to gratify his ambitions may be limited by external factors, the desires of his soul are, nonetheless, unlimited.

with all the money in the world, as [Ecclesiastes 5:9] states: "A lover of money never has his fill of money." - Here, the Rambam describes an example where the desire for money becomes a goal in itself. In contrast, a man who gathers money so that he can buy things or achieve power is not interested in money per se. Although he may be faulted for different reasons, he is not greedy for money. On the other hand, for the "lover of money," money itself becomes his raison d'etre.

[In contrast,] there is the man who puts a check on himself; - literally, he "cuts himself short." II Kings 19:26 employs a similar usage of the root ketzar: "And the inhabitants are broken, with shortened (i.e., weakened or useless) arms."

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. - This refers to a lazy person, who will not bestir himself even for that which is necessary. In Chapter 2, Halacha 7, this type is described clearly as: "lazy and an idler." This is the description, too, in the Rambam's Introduction to Avos- Shemonah Perakim, Chapter 4.

There is [the miser,] - In contrast to the "lover of money" mentioned above, the miser is not as bent on acquiring new wealth as much as hoarding the money and possessions he has.

Who torments himself with hunger, gathering [his possessions] close to himself. - The terminology the Rambam uses emphasizes the miser's need to be close to his money and possessions. Similar, but not exactly correspondent, expressions are found in the Bible (Proverbs 13:11) and the Talmud (Bava Kama 80a).

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. - Chullin 84b gives examples of such behavior: wearing linen clothing, using glass utensils, and hiring workers without supervising them.

All other traits follow the same pattern [of contrast]. For example: the overly elated and the depressed; - The Rambam is not referring to an average optimist and a pessimist. Rather, he describes personalities who do not have a grip on reality. onain is the term used for the bereaved who has not yet buried his dead. mehulal, the other extreme, is used by Jeremiah 51:7 to refer to a state of intoxication and delirious drunkenness.

the stingy and the freehanded - Our translation of shua is clearly evident from Hilchos Matnot Ani'im 7:11. It follows that chili represents the opposite extreme. (See also Ibn Ezra, Isaiah 32:5.)

The difference between this pair of traits and the miser-spendthrift pair mentioned above is that the latter refers to a person's conduct toward himself, while the former refers to his conduct with regard to others. The stingy man, unlike the miser, may spend money for his own needs, but is tightfisted when others are concerned. By the same token, a freehanded man need not necessarily indulge himself, though he is generous when giving charity. Though this may sound praiseworthy, when taken to extremes it can also prove dangerous, because a person may hurt himself in the process of giving excessively to another. (See Lechem Mishneh.)

The cruel and the softhearted; the coward and the rash and the like. - We find a longer treatment of personal characteristics in the Rambam's Shemonah Perakim, Chapter 4.

Because of the Commentary which I was unaware of when I first published, I ask my readers to return to:

Halacha 2

Between each trait and the [contrasting] trait at the other extreme, there are intermediate points, each distant from the other.

With regard to all the traits: a man has some from the beginning of his conception, in accordance with his bodily nature. Some are appropriate to a person's nature and will [therefore] be acquired more easily than other traits. Some traits he does not have from birth. He may have learned them from others, or turned to them on his own. This may have come as a result of his own thoughts, or because he heard that this was a proper trait for him, which he ought to attain. [Therefore,] he accustomed himself to it until it became a part of himself.

Commentary Halacha 2

Between each trait and the [contrasting] trait at the other extreme, there are intermediate points, each distant from the other. - The Lechem Mishneh understands this as follows: Let us imagine a line drawn from one extreme to another - between the stingy and the freehanded, for example. All who are neither stingy nor freehanded stand between them. They are all intermediate, whether they tend towards stinginess or freehandedness. Each point along this imaginary line stands apart - "is distant" - from the others on that line. In a diagram, this idea might be depicted as follows:
Stingy intermediate points freehanded.

However, it is highly unlikely that all the Rambam wishes to teach us is that there are many intermediate points of temperament between the extremes. After all, that is self-evident. Furthermore, in each set of associated temperaments - for example, stinginess and freehandedness - only three points on the line are of importance to the Rambam in clarifying his view of personality development: the two extremes and the midpoint. Why should he mention all the other intermediate possibilities?

Thus, it appears that the Rambam is telling us that there is a midpoint temperament between each pair of contrasting extremes. Given the entire range of human temperaments, there are a number of midpoints which are not necessarily related to each other. For example, the midpoint for generosity may be very different from the midpoint for humility. Thus, in Halacha 1, the Rambam stated that our personality traits are "different and distant;" in this Halacha, he makes a parallel statement about the midpoints.

With regard to all the traits: a man has some from the beginning of his conception - i.e., the Rambam distinguishes between genetic traits and those that are acquired.

in accordance with his bodily nature. - Here, we see an interrelation between body and soul. Certain temperaments are produced by or relate to particular physical characteristics.

[In Shemonah Perakim, Chapter 4, the Rambam states: "From the outset of a person's [life], he has neither virtues nor vices...." However, there is not necessarily a contradiction between Shemoneh Perakim and this Halacha. The possession of certain character traits does not determine whether one will use them for a vice or a virtue.]

Some are appropriate to a person's nature and [therefore,] will be acquired more easily than other traits. - i.e., these traits are not transferred genetically. However, a person is born with a tendency towards them.

In Shemonah Perakim, Chapter 4, the Rambam elaborates on this issue at length. He explains that some people are born with a brain whose internal chemistry is prone to intellectual achievement. However, if this person does not develop this tendency, he will not automatically become a thinker.

Similarly, others have leanings towards courage or cowardice. Nevertheless, these are merely tendencies, and they will not manifest themselves unless consciously developed. Also, these tendencies are, at all times, subject to man's control. We are granted free will, and choose our course of behavior.

Some traits he does not have from birth. He may have learned them from others - In Shemonah Perakim, Chapter 4, the Rambam writes: "From his youth, one becomes accustomed to acting in accordance with the accepted behavior of one's family and locale." In these few words, the Rambam includes all the people who might influence a person's character development: his parents, siblings, teachers, peers, and others. Also, note Chapter 6, Halacha 1.

Or turned to them on his own. - There are two ways of acquiring such traits

a) This may have come as a result of his own thoughts - i.e., an intuitive realization of the correctness of a certain course of behavior stemming from one's own creative thought.

b) or because he heard that this was a proper trait for him, which he ought to attain. - i.e., through study a person understands the value of a certain character trait and sets out to acquire it.

[Therefore,] he accustomed himself to it until it became a part of himself. - Unlike the inborn or easily acquired traits, these qualities must first be accepted intellectually. Then, through habitual actions, they become part of the personality. (See Halacha 7 for a detailed explanation of such a process of behavioral modification.)

This I saw on the Facebook Page of J.H.C. An Irish Kid with a Jewish Name By Tuvia Bolton

I heard this story from the Lubavitcher Rebbe's secretary, Rabbi Laibel Groner.

A woman from the Chabad-Lubavitch Community in Brooklyn was pulled over by a N.Y.C. traffic cop for some traffic violation. Standing outside her open car window and watching her search for her license and registration papers, the police officer caught sight of a picture of the Lubavitcher Rebbe in her open purse.

"Excuse me, maam," he asked, "are you one of the followers of this Rabbi?"

"Yes," she replied.

"Well, in that case I'm not giving you a ticket." He closed his ticket book and continued, "Do you know why? Because this Rabbi," he pointed to the picture she was now holding in her hand, "Did a very big miracle for me."

"Well," said the grateful woman, "since you aren't giving me the ticket, I have time to hear the story."

The policeman smiled and said, "It's my favorite story, but I haven't told it to many Jewish people, in fact I think that you are the first." The cars were whizzing by behind him and he had to raise his voice slightly. "The story goes like this: I used to be in the police escort that once a week escorted the Rabbi to the Montefiore Cemetery (where the Rebbe's father-in-law and predecessor, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, is interred). I got to know some of the young men who accompanied the Rebbe, and I learned a lot of things. They are very friendly people, which you probably already know, and we talked a lot while the Rabbi was inside praying.

"Well, one day I saw that all the fellows there were really talking excitedly to each other so I asked them what happened. So they told me that the Rabbi does a lot of miracles for people, but today he did a miracle that was really something. I didn't even ask what was the miracle that they were talking about, I just asked them if the Rabbi helps non-Jews also.

"'Sure,' they said, 'The Rebbe helps anyone who asks. Why? Do you need something?' So I told him, this young fellow, that me and my wife had been married nine years with no children, and a week ago the doctors told us that we had no chance. We had spent a lot of money on treatments, seen all sorts of big professors, we were running around like crazy for the last six or seven years, and now they told us that they tried everything and there is no chance. You can't imagine how broken we were. My wife cried all the time and I started crying myself.

"So this young man tells me, 'Listen, the next time that you escort the Rebbe to the cemetery stand near the door of his car and when he gets out ask him for a blessing.' So that is just what I did. The next time I was in the escort I stood by his door and when he got out I said to him: 'Excuse me, Rabbi, do you only bless Jewish people or non-Jews too?'

"So the Rabbi looked at me like a good friend, it was really amazing, and said that he tries to help anyone he can. So I told him what the doctors said, and he said I should write down on a piece of paper my name and my father's name together with my wife's and her father's names and that he would pray for us. So I did it, my hands were shaking so much I almost couldn't write, but I did it and you know what? My wife became pregnant and nine months later she gave birth to a baby boy! The doctors went crazy, they couldn't figure it out, and when I told them that it was all the Rabbi's blessing they just scratched their heads and -- Wow! I felt like the champion of the world!

"But here comes the good part. Do you know what we called him? What name we gave our baby boy? Just guess! We called him Mendel after the Rabbi. At first my wife didn't like the name because its not an American name, but I said, No! We're calling him Mendel! Each time we say his name we'll remember that if it weren't for the Rabbi this boy would not be here.

"But when our parents heard the name they really objected. They said, 'With a name like that, all the kids will think he's a Jew or something and they will call him names and be cruel to him. Why make the kid suffer for no reason?' 'That's just what I want,' I said to them. 'When he comes home and says that the other kids called him names and beat him up because he has a Jewish name, I'll tell him that I want him to learn from those other kids how not to behave. They hate the Jews for no reason, but you should love the Jews, you should help the Jews. You just tell them that without that Jewish Rabbi called Mendel you wouldn't be here at all, and then maybe they'll start thinking differently too!'

Black mobs now beating Jews in New York

Gruesome attacks leave broken bones, life-threatening injuries in their wake By Colin Flaherty

If Chaim Amalek had his way, no one would know that mobs of black people are attacking and beating and robbing Jews in the New York area. Or that they shout anti-Semitic epithets. Or that they target Jews because “they don’t fight back.” “Such information can only serve to heighten racial tensions between these two groups,” said Amalek, an alias for New York video blogger Luke Ford. “Let us all look beyond the issue of race (in any event a mere social construct) and instead celebrate our diversity.”

In this case, the New York Post saw a pattern that most other media outlets never see. To some, it was jarring. “Anti-Jewish crime wave,” read the June headline about a series of recent anti-Semitic attacks. “In the most disturbing incident, a mob of six black teenagers shouting, ‘Dirty Jew!’ and ‘Dirty kike!’ repeatedly bashed Marc Heinberg, 61, as he walked home from temple in Sheepshead Bay (in June.)”

This is one of several black mob attacks on – and robberies of – Jewish people in Brooklyn over the last two years, leaving broken bones and life-threatening injuries in their wake. The assaults are part of a larger pattern in the New York area and around the country: Black mobs assaulting, robbing, destroying property and creating mayhem – hundreds of times in more than 60 cities. Orthodox Jews may bear a disproportionate amount of the violence in New York. But the lawlessness that black mobs inflict throughout the area is not limited to Jews. Much of it is on YouTube.

In February, four black people beat and robbed an Orthodox Jew in the New York suburb of Monsey. They were charged with hate crimes after it was determined they targeted the victim based on his religion. News accounts do not mention the race of the attackers, but the picture tells the story. In a three-week period after Thanksgiving 2010, the same group of black people was charged in three separate episodes of targeting, beating and robbing members of the Orthodox community. One of the victims, Joel Weinberger, spent four days in the hospital with broken bones and required 10 hours of surgery on his broken jaw and eye socket.

Ford and others, such as MSNBC news anchor Melissa Harris-Perry, say the media should not report news if it makes black people look bad. But most racial crimes and violence from black mobs in the New York area are usually not reported – not by the mainstream media anyway. Witnesses and others who know often find a way to drop a dime, or a video or Internet posting.

Just a few days before the Heinberg beating, a group of students from a predominately black school in a predominantly black neighborhood in Brooklyn were “evicted” from the 9/11 Memorial site in Manhattan “after they callously hurled trash into its fountains. The vile vandals from Junior High School 292 in East New York treated the solemn memorial – its reflecting pools honoring the nearly 3,000 people killed in the terror attacks – like a garbage dump.” One of the students was found carrying ammunition.

The story did not identify the race of the students. The picture for the article featured a young white person looking over the fountains. But people who posted comments to the story, many of whom said they lived near the school, identified the vandals as black – if only to defend them.

“The NYPD have destroyed enough young black lives,” wrote poster Blaque Knyte. “I’d be willing to bet you didn’t suggest jail for the little white suburban thugs who harassed that elderly bus matron to tears, which IS a crime by the way.”

Many of the commenters said the story should have identified the race of the miscreants – if only to protect the community from future mayhem. That was too much for “brooklynborn,” who said, “I am embarrassed for my fellow Americans who flaunt their racism so publicly. What they did was offensive, but the conditions of where we grew up – compared to the wealth of Wall St. – is also offensive.”

While New Yorkers continue to debate whether race has anything to do with crime, or whether it should be reported, the list of racially violent and lawless episodes continues to grow.

On May 12, black women taunted two teenage girls on a subway before “hauling” the girls off the subway, beating them and stealing one of their phones.

The local NBC affiliate did not disclose the race of the mob, but it didn’t have to: The attack was videotaped and posted on YouTube.

On Staten Island in December, two police officers were hurt trying to control a mob of 50 black people attacking a single family home. Firefighters finally disbursed the crowd with fire hoses to get them away from the officers. Several pictures and videos show some of the action.

Last June, hundreds of black people rioted on Brighton Beach in an annual event called Brooklyn-Queens Day. Four people were shot and one killed. Much of it was posted on YouTube.

According to the New York Post: “The shootings didn’t surprise neighbors, who’ve gotten used to trouble on previous Brooklyn-Queens Days.”

“These kids come not to swim, they come for turf fights,” said Pat Singer, president of the Brighton Beach Neighborhood Association. “It’s a problem every year. It’s really hard on the businesses. All day long, all you see are hundreds of teenagers. Of course you’re going to have problems.”

In May of 2011, more than two dozen black people on a “rampage … terrorized” a Dunkin Donuts. The “swarm mob” attacked patrons, destroyed the fixtures and stole food, reported the Daily Mail, which published the story with pictures.

A few months before, the same scenario unfolded at a New York Wendy’s. A mob of black people were fighting and destroying property, and a teenage employee was attacked and hospitalized with a concussion.

Also like the episode before, the New York Fox affiliate removed the videos of the attack from its website – but not before Hip Hop New 24-7 posted it.

This is a long list. New York is a big city.

Last summer, a Bronx man said he was taunted for being white and beaten by a black mob on a subway. No charges were filed, and police refused to list it as a hate crime.

In June of last year, 11 black people were arrested for rioting, fighting and mayhem outside of a Long Island emergency room.

On Memorial Day 2011, hundreds of black people created a “riot” in Long Beach at Nassau County. The local Fox affiliate removed its video coverage from its website, but witnesses to the event posting on the Long Island Patch said lawless behavior from mobs of black people was a regular feature of life at that beach town.

“I was fortunate enough to witness both incidents,” said Kevin Spelman in Patch. “The one on Friday (senior cut day) and the one yesterday. I would classify the people I saw over the weekend leaving garbage and vandalism in their wake as ‘unsupervised, poorly raised teenagers’! The group involved in the riot was overwhelmingly black. But to your point, does that mean all black youth are troublemakers? I watched two white kids vandalizing one of the benches on the boardwalk.”

Less than a year before, five black men were arrested and two police officers were hurt after another riot at that beach town. The police had chased a suspect into a Long Beach house, where he refused to leave.

According to the Long Island Press: ”When the door was finally opened, the two other suspects attacked the officer, a large crowd gathered and a melee ensued. ‘Many mem

members of the crowd began participating in the melee, cursing at, kicking and punching the police officers at the scene,’ police said.”

Near New York last summer, David Strucinski of Northern New Jersey came to the aid of his friend who was under attack by a group of 13 black people. He was “savagely” beaten and hospitalized with a coma and remained in critical condition. Nine black people were arrested, including the mother of one suspect who was trying to smuggle him out of the area in the trunk of her car.

From Sara: Sefer Chofetz Chaim

Defamation ...
Hold your tongue defamation laws guide Chofetz Chaim BS purple tested for salvation for the people of Israel have a solution to escape from all troubles, illnesses, and your problems and all the family, the difficult situation facing slope - unemployment, disease, avian flu, the virus, Gd forbid and save !! many single men and women, many divorced and deported, widows and orphans God have mercy, terror attacks, a state of terrible! forces us to Know that that there is quality tested and experienced protect you and all your family :: Letter rabbi's wife, Kanievsky Tlit" a women and girls expensive ! We need you to help us in prayer! Situation in a very difficult last visit us disasters many orphans and widows, and God forbid, any illness, came to ask my husband Rabbi Shlita, what is the cause of all disasters, Rabbi opened a Gemara and said it was because of profanity, and how we can fix ourselves? - Just keeping language, I wrote to Rabbi Segal Mtznz' slapped l, writes that "he had never seen a man who studied every day two laws in keeping the tongue, and having salvation, both children and pairings, both in medicine, both living, and educating children, and promised to teach object name life, is an attorney in his heaven "we conclude visible to people who have accepted the two laws every day and saved, when I read the article came to me a woman sobbing, and said she had a long line of older girls not yet married, I showed her the story of Rabbi Segal , and she said once she gets herself to learn all the day two laws within three days engaged one daughter, after months of the second, and God bless the lady saw a lot of salvation, and hundreds of girls who took upon themselves to learn save the language, got married, something else was, one woman With month-old baby said she was here with great sorrow year ago, she was married for twenty years without children, I advised her to learn every day two Laws and thank God, is an absentee and born to a male, and another story, a few weeks ago I received a broken woman, sobbing telling mother in the hospital, with a malignant tumor and asked me to give her something to get itself advised her that the whole family will take upon herself to learn every day two Laws of keeping the tongue, two days later the woman returned and asked to publish the miracle happened, she told the whole family gathered and they all took it upon themselves to learn Every day two laws, two days later they received a phone call from the hospital and told them to come to the mother, the tumor disappeared and the mother healthy whole and complete, and Ido many miracles that have happened, and Aciso, we all of us about ourselves without a vow, to learn every day two Laws of keeping the tongue, and pray with great devotion, that prayer heartfelt sacred mouth that keeps the tongue is accepted immediately before the Creator, and prevents many misfortunes and troubles and brings salvation to the world, and to come see for everyone how wonderful, how many lives saved, and the right of women / girls costly and piousness soon coming of the Messiah Today, May the Almighty it will fulfill all the wishes well for the better, in, Kanievsky distribute orders acquittal of the many read every day the two laws in the book "Saving the language" of the Chofetz Chaim, in every house they did so immediately saw a great Jesuit livelihood, marriage, doctor, etc. and in particular join the circle of "tongue guards around the clock" undertake careful speaking slander for 60 minutes {as} a day, morning or afternoon or evening at a constant, is considered as if they had all day so will for 40 days,

This woman is a real hero:! More info:

Don't desert me in old age:

Yitzchak Shamir and the Lubavitcher Rebbe: A short film -

Israelis live longer:

The left and anti-religious politicians want to draft the religious but they oppose an ultra religious brigade:,7340,L-4249979,00.html

More help regarding breast cancer:

Inyanay Diyoma

An election ploy or real because of Riyadh?

Hon. Allen West on judging a person based on the color of his skin:

Syrian Forces take over a town held by the rebels and literally make it a ghost town. A more strategic outlook though:

Anti-Israel daughter of Wehrmacht man exposed.

The last Israeli Prime Minister with Principles dies: Born in Ruzhany, then part of Poland in the Russian Empire and now part of Belarus, with the surname Yezernitzky, Shamir moved to British-ruled Palestine in 1935. Steely and secretive, he ran missions against British and Arab targets for the Irgun, taking his Hebrew name from an alias used to evade police dragnets.

Nobody cares about the Syrian people because of lack of oil but

This went off with a hitch and luckily not held for ransom.

By the sea by the sea by the beautiful sea

As the Egyptian control of terror wanes so we have to put up more defenses:

Will Assad be able to turn the war in his favor?

Hit them hard:

The late PM Shamir on Netanyahu:

Netanyahu’s July 4th message to the USA (he could not make it because of a broken leg):

Mark down the date Hashanah Rabbah and

If you think that the Negev is quiet then think again:,7340,L-4251573,00.html

The Russians are still the old enemy they once were:

July 5th: General Tlass of Syria, a close friend of B. Assad, fled to Turkey and perhaps onwards along with other Sunni Muslim soldiers and leaders. He is the son of Mustafa Tlass the former Minister of Defense and this is a great blow to Assad. This is the first time that the regime looks like it is beginning to fall apart.

Arafat and Aids:

Now for M. Wolfberg’s Good Shabbos Story “Take the plunge”

Good Shabbos Everyone. In our portion this week Chukas, Hashem commands us to perform one of the most puzzling mitzvahs of the Torah, the ritual of the parah adumah - the red heifer (cow). Hashem commands that a red heifer, perfect in its redness, be slaughtered and burned. Its ashes are then mixed in a special container with spring water, and sprinkled on anyone who was ritually impure as the result of coming into contact with a dead body. (see Bamidbar 19:2 to 19:22) The procedure of the red heifer served to purify a Jew and allow him to return to communal life. The following story illustrates the power of the purification in Jewish life.
After the Second World War, most of the Jews who had survived the inferno of Europe went on to settle in Jewish communities around the world, most of all in Eretz Yisroel and in North America. However, some of the Jews ended up in far-flung countries with little or no Jewish community presence. One such Jew was Solomon Fuchs (not his real name). Before the war, Mr. Fuchs was a chassid of the Gerrer Rebbe. Mr. Fuchs survived the war, however his dedication to Torah and mitzvahs did not survive with him. He left the ashes of Europe and made his way to New Zealand, which at that time in the 1940's hosted a tiny Jewish community.
Mr. Fuchs survived the war with a daughter. Although he himself was not religious, he felt that it was important for his daughter to receive a formal Jewish education. Being that New Zealand almost totally lacked formal Jewish educational institutions during the post-war years, Mr. Fuchs was forced to send his daughter to learn in the United States.
Some time in 1949, Mr. Fuchs came to the United States from New Zealand to visit his daughter who was learning in a girls school in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. At the time, Crown Heights hosted a bustling Jewish community. One of the most prolific Jewish organizations in Crown Heights was, and is to this day, Chabad Lubavitch.
When Mr. Fuchs arrived in New York after a journey of several days, he made his way to Crown Heights to visit his daughter. Soon after his arrival, Mr. Fuchs entered a certain building and waited for the elevator to come. He entered the elevator with a Torah scholar who had a penetrating glance. The Torah scholar asked Mr. Fuchs from where he came and what his business was here in America.
The man also asked Mr. Fuchs about the extent of the Jewish community in New Zealand. Sadly, Mr. Fuchs admitted that New Zealand lacked the most basic of Jewish communal services. Specifically, the man wanted to know if there were a mikvah in New Zealand. Unfortunately, the answer was "no," besides of course the ocean which surrounds the country. (The mikvah, a ritual pool, is one of the most, if not the most important institution in a Jewish community. In fact, if a community only has enough money to build either a mikvah or a synagogue, they are obligated to build the mikvah first. A minyan can pray almost anywhere, but only a mikvah can purify the impure.)
Mr. Fuchs was very impressed by the Torah scholar, who happened to get off on the next floor. The two parted with exchanges of blessings and good will. After the man left, Mr. Fuchs asked another person in the elevator who the man was. "That is the son-in-law of Reb Yosef Yitzchok Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Shlita."
Mr. Fuchs went on to meet his daughter. They enjoyed a nice visit together, before Mr. Fuchs returned home several days later. A few years after Mr. Fuchs had visited his daughter, the then Lubavitcher Rebbe Reb Yosef Yitzchok passed away, and his son-in-law, Reb Menachem Mendel Schneerson became the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Under the leadership of the Rebbe, Chabad grew tremendously, spreading out around the world to far-flung places such as Nepal, Morocco, S. Monica, South Africa, Hawaii and even New Zealand!
Meanwhile, Mr. Fuchs's daughter married and began raising a religious family. Mr. Fuchs himself was inspired by the holiness of his daughter's orthodox family. And soon, he decided to return to his Jewish roots, fulfilling the words of the Prophet: "He shall restore the heart of fathers to children..." (Malachi 3:24) He gradually increased his mitzvah observance and eventually became fully mitzvah observant.
Some 40 years later, in the late 1980's, when Mr. Fuchs was already a great-grandfather several times over, he made another visit to Crown Heights.
For the first time in his life, Mr. Fuchs had the opportunity to visit 770 Eastern Parkway one Sunday morning, where the Lubavitcher Rebbe used to hand out one-dollar bills to those who came to visit. Mr. Fuchs entered the shul alone and joined the large throng of Jews who had gathered that morning to take a dollar. Mr. Fuchs was alone with his thoughts and he spoke with nobody as the line moved along. When it came Mr. Fuchs's time to take a dollar from the Rebbe, the Rebbe motioned for him to stop. Immediately, the Rebbe asked Mr. Fuchs, "Nu," Asked the Rebbe sweetly in Yiddish: "Is there a mikvah in New Zealand yet?"
Mr. Fuchs was floored. He nearly fainted. The Rebbe had remembered the aged Mr. Fuchs who now wore a beard and sported a black hat. The elevator ride some 40 years previous must have lasted for no more than one and a half minutes.(Heard from E.Z.L)
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