As we start Sefer Devarim let me remind you that for those who get my posts direct, if the Drasha does not arrive close to Shabbos Israel time then check www.rabbipauli.blogspot.com
Prayers for Men: Eliezer David HaCohain ben Naomi, Asher ben Malka, Avraham ben Devorah, Zvi Yechezkel ben Leah, Aharon ben Rishol, Chaim Zev ben Faige Tova, Naphtali Moshe ben Tziporah, David Zvi ben Sara Leah, Elimelech Yechezkel ben Leah, Shalom Charles ben Gracia, Yoel ben Esther, Zev ben Rachel, Binum Benyamin Tuvia ben Chana Friedel, Aaron ben Sara Chana, Yehonatan ben Malka, Aaron ben Sara Chana, David Zvi ben Sara Leah, Yacov David ben Chaya Gittel,
Women: Karen Neshama bas Esther Ruth, Chaya Melecha Rachel bas Baila Alta, Rachel bas Chana, Zvia Simcha bas Devora Yached, Hodaya Nirit bas Mazel, Rivka bas Idit, Kayla Rus bas Chaya Rachel, Nesha bas Chava, Miriam bas Yehudit as for now Chiena Sora bas Chaya Gittel is no longer in medical danger and is being monitored by the doctors so she can be removed from the prayer lists.
For those too ill to be in a Synagogue on Tisha B’Av via I-phone or Android http://www.ou.org/holidays/tishabav
A bit of light at the end of the tunnel before Tisha B’Av
My friend Zvi came up with some Gematria to bring help to the end of our mourning for the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash. We are now in the 207th cycle of the sun since creation. The Sun returns to the Maaseh Beresheis point (creation point) every 28 years on Rosh Chodesh Nissan. At that point we say Berchas HaHama. A few years ago we finished the 206th cycle (multiply 28 by 206 and you get the year). 207 in Gematria is equivalent to the word Ohr (light) or Aleph Vav Resh. The light of Moshiach will come in the 207th cycle.
In Yechezkel 38:2 see http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt1238.htm for the Hebrew in English: 2 'Son of man, set thy face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, starting with the Aleph of the word Nasi and with a skipping of 7 you get the word Obama which starts with an Aleph in Hebrew. So we have the main player now on stage in the war of Gog and Magog. The question is if we will survive and the answer is Repentance (Teshuva), Prayer (Tephilla) and Charity (Tzeduka) remove the evil decree along with Charity saves from death.
This week’s Parsha always falls before Tisha B’Av. It starts on Rosh Chodesh Adar and this Sefer is one be lecture series between the first and sixth of Adar for on the seventh, Moshe finishes the last words of the book and climbs the mountain to his eternal rest. I assume that he entered a cave and an earthquake or Yehoshua sealed the entrance and left it unmarked so that it would not become a place to visit in later generations but an unknown place.
1:1 These are the words which Moses spoke unto all Israel beyond the Jordan; in the wilderness, in the Arabah, over against Suph, between Paran and Tophel, and Laban, and Hazeroth, and Di-zahab. 2 It is eleven days journey from Horeb unto Kadesh-barnea by the way of mount Seir. 3 And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spoke unto the children of Israel, according unto all that the LORD had given him in commandment unto them;
Below is our time frame reference for the men gathered and future generations.
4 after he had smitten Sihon the king of the Amorites, who dwelt in Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, who dwelt in Ashtaroth, at Edrei; 5 beyond the Jordan, in the land of Moab, took Moses upon him to expound this law, saying: 6 The LORD our God spoke unto us in Horeb, saying: 'Ye have dwelt long enough in this mountain; 7 turn you, and take your journey, and go to the hill-country of the Amorites and unto all the places nigh thereunto, in the Arabah, in the hill-country, and in the Lowland, and in the South, and by the sea-shore; the land of the Canaanites, and Lebanon, as far as the great river, the river Euphrates. 8 Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which the LORD swore unto your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them.' 9 And I spoke unto you at that time, saying: 'I am not able to bear you myself alone; 10 the LORD your God hath multiplied you, and, behold, ye are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude.-- 11 The LORD, the God of your fathers, make you a thousand times so many more as ye are, and bless you, as He hath promised you!-- 12 How can I myself alone bear your cumbrance, and your burden, and your strife? 13 Get you, from each one of your tribes, wise men, and understanding, and full of knowledge, and I will make them heads over you.'
A reminder about appointing Judges and leaders not only in Moshe’s life but the for the future.
wise [men]: Desirable [men]. [According to the glosses of Rabbi Akiva Eiger on Sifrei, bashful men, men who are ashamed of doing anything wrong.] [According to Heidenheim, the word כְּסוּפִים is the definition of אֲנָשִׁים, not of חֲכָמִים According to him, the next heading reads: understanding [men]: [I.e., men] who understand [and derive] one thing from another. This is what Arius asked Rabbi Yose: “What is the difference between wise men and understanding men?” [Rabbi Yose said] "A wise man is like a rich money changer: When people bring him dinars to examine, he examines them. When they do not bring [money] to him, he sits doing nothing. An understanding man, however, is like a merchant money changer: When they bring him money to examine, he examines it, and when they do not bring it to him, he goes out and brings his own [money-i.e., he does not wait for people to come to him-he goes to them] (Sifrei) well-known among your tribes: Men whom you recognize, for if one were to come before me wrapped in his tallith, I would not know who he is and of what tribe he is, and whether he is suitable. But you know him, for you have raised him. Therefore, it says, “well-known among your tribes.” (Sifrei) and I will make them heads over you: As chiefs and respected persons over you, i.e., you should act towards them with respect and reverence.[The word] וַאֲשִׂמֵם lacks a י [after the שׂ; our editions, however, have it]: This teaches us that Israel’s transgressions (אָשָׁם) are hung over the heads of their judges, since they [the judges] should have prevented them [from sinning], and directed them along the right path (Sifrei).
And I will make them heads over you for this requires the agreement of HASHEM.
14 And ye answered me, and said: 'The thing which thou hast spoken is good for us to do.' 15 So I took the heads of your tribes, wise men, and full of knowledge, and made them heads over you, captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds, and captains of fifties, and captains of tens, and officers, tribe by tribe. 16 And I charged your judges at that time, saying: 'Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between a man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him. 17 Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; ye shall hear the small and the great alike; ye shall not be afraid of the face of any man; for the judgment is God's; and the cause that is too hard for you ye shall bring unto me, and I will hear it.' 18 And I commanded you at that time all the things which ye should do.
Due to the large amount of material, I have left the second half of the Parsha for next week. Most of the articles that I have brought down can be read in the afternoon Erev Tisha B’Av and on Tisha B’Av for me mourn for the Temple Oy what we had and lost and we mourn for the Torah School we had who slipped away from this world into the next. We also need to see why our Torah Leaders do not live 110 like Yehoshua or Yosef, 120 like Moshe but fall short in their life spans – could it be our behavior of our generation?
Excerpted from OU MANUAL for Checking Fruits & Vegetables,
After delineating the various forbidden שרצים—vermin, the Torah makes clear that adherence to this stringency preserves the קדשוה of the Jewish people. Our spirituality and our nobility seem to be predicated upon refraining from their consumption. ‘‘For I am Hashem who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God, and you shall be holy as I am Holy’’ (ויקרא י"א ,מ"ה) . Rashi cites תורת כהנים where the term ‘‘who brought you up from the land of Egypt’’ is analyzed. So often in the Torah Hashem speaks of having brought us out of Egypt. Why with regard to forbidden שרצים does the Torah deviate from its usual phraseology? Based upon this inference, the school of Rabbi Yishmael taught the following lesson: ‘‘Says Hashem, ‘Had I brought the Jewish people up from Egypt for no other reason than that they should not defile themselves by eating שרצים as the other nations do, that would have been reason enough.’ ’’ In other words, by virtue of this mitzva the Jewish people have been raised to a unique status. Therefore the terminology, ‘‘Hashem, who brought you up’’ is used.
It is well known that the consumption of a single שרץ can be a violation of as many as six לאוין . As noted above, the consumption of a שרץ can also have a detrimental effect on a person, diminishing his or her spirituality.
What is a שרץ?
A terrestrial שרץ is defined as any living creature that is visible to the naked eye yet so small that its legs cannot be seen moving when it runs. When a mouse runs across the floor, one typically cannot make out its features well enough to recognize moving appendages, as would be the case with a dog or cat. Rather, it slithers—שורץ; the entire creature seems to move in unison. Though mammalian שרצים do not pose a threat to the salad-eating public, תולעים—insects and worms—do and often cling to the vegetables we eat.
In this guide, we will point out the most frequently used vegetables that require special preparation.
Method for checking Lettuce, Open Leaf:
1. Cut off the lettuce base and separate the leaves from one another.
2. Soak leaves in a solution of cold water and vegetable wash. The proper amount of vegetable wash has been added when some bubbles are observed in the water. (In the absence of vegetable wash, several drops of concentrated non-scented liquid detergent may be used. However, for health reasons, care must be taken to thoroughly rinse off the soapy solution.)
3. Agitate lettuce leaves in the soapy solution.
4. Spread each leaf, taking care to expose all its curls and crevices. Using a powerful stream of water or a power hose, remove all foreign matter and soap from both sides of each leaf. Alternatively, a vegetable brush may be used on both sides of the leaf.
5. Leaves should be checked over a light box or under strong overhead lighting to verify that the washing procedure has been effective. Pay careful attention to the folds and crevices in the leaf where insects have been known to hold tightly through several washings. Check both sides of each leaf.
6. In a commercial setting, a vegetable spinner is recommended. (The advantages of spin-drying are: (1) you will not risk an electrical shock when placing the leaves on the light box; and (2) the leaves will stay fresh and moist for a longer period of time.)
7. Three heads or handfuls of leaves from different areas of the bin should be checked over a light box or under direct light. Our experience has shown that if the leaves are washed properly, no insects will be found.
Why are we weak at mourning for the Beis HaMikdash? http://www.ou.org/jewish_action/07/2012/do-we-still-mourn-the-churban/
The Talmudic Story of the groundless hatred that destroyed the Beis HaMikdash Gittin 55B bottom of the page
R. Johanan said: What is illustrative of the verse, Happy is the man that feareth alway, but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief? The destruction of Jerusalem came through a Kamza and a Bar Kamza; the destruction of Tur Malka came through a cock and a hen; the destruction of Bethar came through the shaft of a leather. The destruction of Jerusalem came through a Kamza and a Bar Kamza in this way. A certain man had a friend Kamza and an enemy Bar Kamza. He once made a party and said to his servant, Go and bring Kamza. The man went and brought Bar Kamza. When the man [who gave the party] found him there he said, See, you tell tales about me; what are you doing here? Get out. Said the other: Since I am here, let me stay, and I will pay you for whatever I eat and drink.
56 A He said, I won't. Then let me give you half the cost of the party. No, said the other. Then let me pay for the whole party. He still said, No, and he took him by the hand and put him out. Said the other, Since the Rabbis were sitting there and did not stop him, this shows that they agreed with him. I will go and inform against then, to the Government. He went and said to the Emperor, The Jews are rebelling against you. He said, How can I tell? He said to him: Send them an offering and see whether they will offer it [on the altar]. So he sent with him a fine calf.1 While on the way he made a blemish on its upper lip, or as some say on the white of its eye, in a place where we [Jews] count it a blemish but they do not. The Rabbis were inclined to offer it in order not to offend the Government. Said R. Zechariah b. Abkulas to them: People will say that blemished animals are offered on the altar. They then proposed to kill Bar Kamza so that he should not go and inform against them, but R. Zechariah b. Abkulas said to them, Is one who makes a blemish on consecrated animals to be put to death? R. Johanan thereupon remarked: Through the scrupulousness of R. Zechariah b. Abkulas our House has been destroyed, our Temple burnt and we ourselves exiled from our land.
He [the Emperor] sent against them Nero the Caesar. As he was coming he shot an arrow towards the east, and it fell in Jerusalem. He then shot one towards the west, and it again fell in Jerusalem. He shot towards all four points of the compass, and each time it fell in Jerusalem. He said to a certain boy: Repeat to me [the last] verse of Scripture you have learnt. He said: And I will lay my vengeance upon Edom by the hand of my people Israel. He said: The Holy One, blessed be He, desires to lay waste his House and to lay the blame on me. So he ran away and became a proselyte, and R. Meir was descended from him.
He then sent against them Vespasian the Caesar who came and besieged Jerusalem for three years. There were in it three men of great wealth, Nakdimon b. Gorion, Ben Kalba Shabua' and Ben Zizith Hakeseth. Nakdimon b. Gorion was so called because the sun continued shining for his sake.9 Ben Kalba Shabua 'was so called because one would go into his house hungry as a dog [keleb] and come out full [sabea']. Ben Zizith Hakeseth was so called because his fringes [zizith] used to trail on cushions [keseth]. Others say he derived the name from the fact that his seat [kise] was among those of the nobility of Rome. One of these said to the people of Jerusalem, I will keep them in wheat and barley. A second said, I will keep them in wine, oil and salt. The third said, I will keep them in wood. The Rabbis considered the offer of wood the most generous, since R. Hisda used to hand all his keys to his servant save that of the wood, for R. Hisda used to say, A storehouse of wheat requires sixty stores of wood [for fuel]. These men were in a position to keep the city for twenty-one years.
The biryoni1 were then in the city. These people were fanatics like Tag Mechair today. The Rabbis said to them: Let us go out and make peace with them [the Romans]. They would not let them, but on the contrary said, Let us go out and fight them. The Rabbis said: You will not succeed. They then rose up and burnt the stores of wheat and barley so that a famine ensued. Martha the daughter of Boethius was one of the richest women in Jerusalem. She sent her man-servant out saying, Go and bring me some fine flour. By the time he went it was sold out. He came and told her, There is no fine flour, but there is white [flour]. She then said to him, Go and bring me some. By the time he went he found the white flour sold out. He came and told her, There is no white flour but there is dark flour. She said to him, Go and bring me some. By the time he went it was sold out. He returned and said to her, There is no dark flour, but there is barley flour. She said, Go and bring me some. By the time he went this was also sold out. She had taken off her shoes, but she said, I will go out and see if I can find anything to eat. Some dung stuck to her foot and she died. Rabban Johanan b. Zakkai applied to her the verse, The tender and delicate woman among you which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground. Some report that she ate a fig left by R. Zadok, and became sick and died. For R. Zadok observed fasts for forty years in order that Jerusalem might not be destroyed, [and he became so thin that] when he ate anything the food could be seen [as it passed through his throat.] When he wanted to restore himself, they used to bring him a fig, and he used to suck the juice and throw the rest away. When Martha was about to die, she brought out all her gold and silver and threw it in the street, saying, What is the good of this to me, thus giving effect to the verse, They shall cast their silver in the streets.
Abba Sikra the head of the biryoni in Jerusalem was the son of the sister of Rabban Johanan b. Zakkai. [The latter] sent to him saying, Come to visit me privately. When he came he said to him, How long are you going to carry on in this way and kill all the people with starvation? He replied: What can I do? If I say a word to them, they will kill me. He said: Devise some plan for me to escape. Perhaps I shall be able to save a little. He said to him: Pretend to be ill, and let everyone come to inquire about you. Bring something evil smelling and put it by you so that they will say you are dead. Let then your disciples get under your bed, but no others, so that they shall not notice that you are still light, since they know that a living being is lighter than a corpse. He did so, and R. Eliezer went under the bier from one side and R. Joshua from the other. When they reached the door, some men wanted to put a lance through the bier. He said to them: Shall [the Romans] say. They have pierced their Master? They wanted to give it a push. He said to them: Shall they say that they pushed their Master? They opened a town gate for him and he got out.
When he reached the Romans he said, Peace to you, O king, peace to you, O king. He [Vespasian] said: Your life is forfeit on two counts, one because I am not a king and you call me king, and again, if I am a king, why did you not come to me before now? He replied: As for your saying that you are not a king,
56B in truth you are a king, since if you were not a king Jerusalem would not be delivered into your hand, as it is written, And Lebanon shall fall by a mighty one. 'Mighty one' [is an epithet] applied only to a king, as it is written, And their mighty one shall be of themselves etc.; and Lebanon refers to the Sanctuary, as it says, This goodly mountain and Lebanon. As for your question, why if you are a king, I did not come to you till now, the answer is that the biryoni among us did not let me. He said to him; If there is a jar of honey round which a serpent is wound, would they not break the jar to get rid of the serpent? He could give no answer. R. Joseph, or as some say R. Akiba, applied to him the verse, [God] turneth wise men backward and maketh their knowledge foolish. He ought to have said to him: We take a pair of tongs and grip the snake and kill it, and leave the jar intact.
At this point a messenger came to him from Rome saying, Up, for the Emperor is dead, and the notables of Rome have decided to make you head [of the State]. He had just finished putting on one boot. When he tried to put on the other he could not. He tried to take off the first but it would not come off. He said: What is the meaning of this? R. Johanan said to him: Do not worry: the good news has done it, as it says, Good tidings make the bone fat. What is the remedy? Let someone whom you dislike come and pass before you, as it is written, A broken spirit drieth up the bones. He did so, and the boot went on. He said to him: Seeing that you are so wise, why did you not come to me till now? He said: Have I not told you? — He retorted: I too have told you.
He said; I am now going, and will send someone to take my place. You can, however, make a request of me and I will grant it. He said to him: Give me Jabneh and its Wise Men,9 and the family chain of Rabban Gamaliel, and physicians to heal R. Zadok. R. Joseph, or some say R. Akiba, applied to him the verse, '[God] turneth wise men backward and maketh their knowledge foolish'. He ought to have said to him; Let them [the Jews] off this time. He, however, thought that so much he would not grant, and so even a little would not be saved.
How did the physicians heal R. Zadok? The first day they let him drink water in which bran had been soaked; on the next day water in which there had been coarse meal; on the next day water in which there had been flour, so that his stomach expanded little by little.
Vespasian sent Titus who said, Where is their God, the rock in whom they trusted? This was the wicked Titus who blasphemed and insulted Heaven. What did he do? He took a harlot by the hand and entered the Holy of Holies and spread out a scroll of the Law and committed a sin on it. He then took a sword and slashed the curtain. Miraculously blood spurted out, and he thought that he had slain himself, as it says, Thine adversaries have roared in the midst of thine assembly, they have set up their ensigns for signs. Abba Hanan said: Who is a mighty one like unto thee, O Jah? Who is like Thee, mighty in self-restraint, that Thou didst hear the blaspheming and insults of that wicked man and keep silent? In the school of R. Ishmael it was taught; Who is like thee among the gods [elim]? Who is like thee among the dumb ones [illemim]. Titus further took the curtain and shaped it like a basket and brought all the vessels of the Sanctuary and put them in it, and then put them on board ship to go and triumph with them in his city, as it says, And withal I saw the wicked buried, and they that come to the grave and they that had done right went away from the holy place and were forgotten in the city.18 Read not keburim [buried] but kebuzim [collected]; read not veyishtakehu [and were forgotten] but veyishtabehu [and triumphed]. Some say that keburim [can be retained], because even things that were buried were disclosed to them. A gale sprang up at sea which threatened to wreck him. He said: Apparently the power of the God of these people is only over water. When Pharaoh came He drowned him in water, when Sisera came He drowned him in water. He is also trying to drown me in water. If he is really mighty, let him come up on the dry land and fight with me. A voice went forth from heaven saying; Sinner, son of sinner, descendant of Esau the sinner, I have a tiny creature in my world called a gnat. (Why is it called a tiny creature? Because it has an orifice for taking in but not for excreting.) Go up on the dry land and make war with it. When he landed the gnat came and entered his nose, and it knocked against his brain for seven years. One day as he was passing a blacksmith's it heard the noise of the hammer and stopped. He said; I see there is a remedy. So every day they brought a blacksmith who hammered before him. If he was a non-Jew they gave him four zuz, if he was a Jew they said, It is enough that you see the suffering of your enemy. This went on for thirty days, but then the creature got used to it. It has been taught: R. Phineas b. 'Aruba said; I was in company with the notables of Rome, and when he died they split open his skull and found there something like a sparrow two sela's in weight. A Tanna taught; Like a young dove two pounds in weight. Abaye said; We have it on record that its beak was of brass and its claws of iron. When he died he said: Burn me and scatter my ashes over the seven seas so that the God of the Jews should not find me and bring me to trial. For more you can read on Tisha B’ Av the last lines on the page http://www.come-and-hear.com/gittin/gittin_56.html#PARTb followed by 57 A & B to 58A http://www.come-and-hear.com/gittin/gittin_58.html
Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv: Man of Truth & Tranquility
The pillar of Torah Jewry, Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, passed away today at the age of 102. Until a few months ago, he was still active, the world-recognized authority on Jewish law and acknowledged leader of the non-Chassidic Torah community.
Of the many great Jewish personages in the last era, he is probably the most difficult and enigmatic to describe to anyone who is not himself an active Torah scholar of the old school. It is easy for us to relate to acts of kindness and empathy as acts of spirituality. But the concept of Torah study in and of itself and the person who embodies those qualities is something that simply cannot be grasped by those who have never experienced or at least seen it.
When I arrived in Israel in 1970, Rav Elyashiv was still very accessible. He lived (until his demise) in a tiny, two-room apartment off Meah Shearim Street. He would study in a secluded synagogue nearby. The door was usually locked, but tiptoeing at a window one could peer in and watch him study hour after hour. He would gently sway, read over the words clearly and calmly, and reason back and forth out loud. He would be focused and oblivious to anything going on outside. There would be regular hours for the public to come and present questions and problems. Once a day he would deliver a lecture for lay people at a nearby synagogue.
Maimonides writes in his Guide to the Perplexed that while it is true that we are enjoined to emulate God in our actions, i.e. just as He is kind and merciful, so are we to be kind and merciful, it is even more important to emulate God as regards the “motive” for His kindness. Just as God’s kindness and benevolence is directed by His wisdom and by His determination of what is the right course of action, so too perfection in man requires him to act out of wisdom and truth, rather than passion and sentiment.
Rav Elyashiv was the embodiment of this noblest form of emulating God. He was first and foremost a man of the mind and a person of study. He was not naturally extraordinarily brilliant, but his intense love for truth and study stemmed from the very core of his being. He was always calm, focused and thought out. It was only after going through a careful judgment process and determining the truth that he would allow some emotional inflection into his response.
Asking him a question was a profound experience in searching for the truth. He would listen, focused and thoughtful. He did not display impatience, but his presence did not encourage idle prattle. With a few short comments, he would do away with the unimportant points of the narrative, and ferret out points not presented. He would think a moment or two, and the response would be laconic and to the point, not missing any words, yet not excess verbiage.
Sometimes a person would try to argue, this way and that way, especially if it represented some difficulty for him. Rav Elyashiv had a way of opening his hands in simple query, as if to say, “But two plus two still equals four, doesn’t it?” You could feel your contrivances fall away.
A brilliant friend of mine once presented to him a Talmudic argument. Rav Elyashiv listened, and commented, “Brilliant, but you do know that this is not what’s meant by the text.”
What made his lectures and responsa unique were not brilliant flashes, deep hair-splitting or voluminous quotes. Rather they were unfailingly “the straightest line between two points.” When one studies it, one is confounded by how obvious it should have been. Whatever he personally wrote was clear, concise and devoid of any personal interdiction.
He did not like things that were contrived or pretentious. I once asked him about taking on a particularly popular stringency. He answered softly, “Why doesn’t following the letter of the law suffice?”
I once asked him about a particular obligation that our community wished to undertake for the sake of piety, but may impact some people negatively. He replied, “Piety that impacts people negatively is highly suspect.”
He was totally apolitical, though he has been painted to the contrary. By political I mean looking at the end to justify means. In politics one pays lip service to something he does not much believe in order to gain something more significant that one fervently believes in. One takes positions out of loyalty rather than out of true belief. One speaks in hyperbole in order to gain the public approval.
Rav Elyashiv looked at each point as it came up and opined accordingly. In videos of him meeting with people with whose general positions he agreed, he would not be automatically giving sweeping approvals. He would nod in assent at points that he agreed with, and would shrug away things that he felt were questionable, no matter how passionate the presentation. He was sometimes lambasted by the “right wing” (e.g., when he was part of the official rabbinate, or when he gave his approval to a certain halachically acceptable method of building a road on a graveyard), and many times by the left wing. Not only didn’t it faze him; it did not interest him in the least. Public opinion is not the determinant of right and wrong.
He never gave a public speech. He did not understand why words were needed to tell people to do what’s right or to refrain from wrong. Right is right and wrong is wrong.
He did not like to appear at public events. The hullabaloo of the events was anathema to him, and the precious time taken away from the study of Torah was unforgivable.
The great scholar, the Chazon Ish, once wrote words about himself that aptly describe Rav Elyashiv. An issue was stirring up the religious community in Israel, and an impassioned letter begged the Chazon Ish to become personally involved in some protest. He replied, “The heart of every Torah Jew resonates with the emotion you have so passionately expressed. But as for me, having spent a lifetime toiling in Torah study under the most difficult of circumstances, I have become accustomed to weighing my actions with the scales of my mind (rather than the passions of my heart) and I cannot join you.”
The wicked person is described as “raging in turmoil like the seas,” while the righteous know of peace and tranquility. When a person’s actions are determined by untamed drives and passions, and impulsive sentiment and emotion, he can know no tranquility. But the righteous man, who weighs his actions with the scales of truth and reason, and does not allow himself to be swayed by self-interest desire, is the happy and tranquil tzaddik.
Rav Elyashiv’s name was “Yosef Shalom,” literally meaning “increase of peace/tranquility.” When one would see him walk in the street, he would immediately feel the presence of greatness. Tall and slender, walking straight – yet no sense of self or arrogance – forehead furrowed in thought, proceeding calmly yet swiftly to his destination, without allowing his gaze to wander.
Talking with him allowed you for a brief moment to share a sense of pure and simple truth, and the calm and tranquility that is the lot of these men of unvarnished truth.
A Portrait of Greatness
Last week, over 300,000 people flocked the streets of Jerusalem to mourn the passing of Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, age 102. Rabbi Elyashiv was the undisputed leader of the Lithuanian Torah community and to a great degree his legal rulings were respected across the board in Chassidic, Sefardi, and Modern Orthodox communities around the world. He was viewed by many to be the contemporary leading authority on halacha, Jewish law. Despite his exceptional scholarship and influence, Rav Elyashiv was neither the head of a congregation, yeshiva, or particular community.
Destined for Greatness
Rav Elyashiv was the son of Rabbi Avraham Erener and Chaya Musha, the daughter of the kabbalist Rabbi Shlomo Elyashiv known as the Leshem. Born in 1910 in Šiauliai, Lithuania, Rav Elyashiv was the only child, born to his parents after 17 years of marriage. He arrived with them to British Mandate Palestine in 1922 at the age 12. His father adopted his father-in-law's surname, Elyashiv, in order to gain a certificate to enter the country at the advice of the famed Chofetz Chaim of Rodin, Poland.
In 1929, Rav Elyashiv married Sheina Chaya Levin, the daughter of the esteemed “Tzaddik of Jerusalem,” Rabbi Aryeh Levin, also known affectionately as the "father of the prisoners" due to the care he showed to the Jewish underground members incarcerated by the British during the Mandate period. The couple had 12 children – all of whom were raised in their modest two room apartment in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Meah Shearim. At the time of his death, Rav Elyashiv had nearly 1,000 descendants and had seen the birth of a sixth generation of offspring when one of his great-great-grandchildren gave birth to a son in 2009.
Although Rav Elyashiv never attended a formal yeshiva framework, he was recognized as a genius in Talmud study at a young age. He was appointed as a Rabbinic Court Judge (dayan) to the High Court of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel by Israel’s Chief Rabbi at the time, Rav Yitzchak Herzog – who exempted him from the rabbinical examinations due to his high level of scholarship. He resigned from this position in 1972 and for the next 40 years of his life, held no official positions. Although he never wrote any Torah works, his family members and students wrote down numerous volumes of his halachic rulings and Talmudic insights, while he devoted all of his time to his incessant studies and daily lectures.
Although Rav Elyashiv was the spiritual leader of the Degel HaTorah political party for the past 30 years, he only entered politics at the behest of the great Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Menachem Mann Shach. He personally despised politics and only agreed to get involved because he felt that he was genuinely needed, as it says in Ethics of Our Fathers, “In a place where there are no leaders, strive to be a leader.”
“He had one interest – to help the Jewish people,” said Rabbi Nachum Eisenstein, the rabbi of the Maalot Dafna neighborhood of Jerusalem and a close disciple of Rav Elyashiv. “He had no ulterior motives or personal interests.”
Maximizing Every Single Moment
For the past 80+ years since his wedding, Rabbi Elyashiv's daily schedule began at 2 a.m. and included anywhere between 16 to 20 hours of intensive Torah study – despite the fact that he was stricken with several illnesses throughout his childhood and adult life. On one occasion, members of his household noticed that he had been standing during his learning and asked why he did not sit down. He answered that since he was tired, he feared that he may drowse while learning. If he stood, he would be sure not to doze off. Rav Elyashiv used to receive visitors from around the globe on a daily basis in addition to leading rabbis and politicians of Israel, answering their complex halachic inquiries. Despite his advanced age and illness, he continued responding to questions from rabbis around the world with total lucidity until the very end. Even when he was sick in hospital, he continued to rise at 2:00 a.m. for his regular studies.
For many years, Rabbi Hillel Weinberg, the Rosh Yeshiva of Aish HaTorah, would visit Rav Elyashiv almost every week, on Friday afternoons. Rav Elyashiv would receive people about an hour before the beginning of Shabbat, usually in the synagogue, where he would sit and study without interruption all day. “I always tried to arrive a little earlier than his official ‘office hours’ to watch him learn aloud,” Rav Hillel said. “Although he usually studied alone, he would explain the Gemara to himself, out loud, as if he were sitting with a study partner. He embodied the fulfillment of all the 48 Ways to wisdom which facilitate the acquisition of Torah, with an ear that listens, with lips that explain, and learning by teaching.
“He was meticulous about utilizing every moment of the day to study Torah, even during the hours he would receive people. When one person would leave the room and the next entered, Rav Elyashiv’s eyes would be on the page of the book before him, and his attention was wholly on the subject that he was presently studying to such an extent that one could stand before him for several minutes until he noticed that someone had come into the room.”
In his classes and writings he often quoted obscure texts entirely from memory. “If you have so much love for something, your brain remembers,” Rabbi Eisenstein explained. “Every word of Torah was so dear to him that he never forgot it. The only pleasure he had in this world was learning Torah.”
Whenever he issued a legal ruling, he made sure to examine the issue from all possible sides. When dealing with a question of technology he would always assign experts to research the situation in depth, so as to assure himself that he fully understood the facts before ruling.
The Wisdom of Silence
Despite his busy learning schedule, Rav Elyashiv used to meet with dozens, if not hundreds of people a day from every walk of life. Many were world renowned rabbis or politicians. “He would welcome all who came to him, treating them kindly and respectfully, and patiently answering any questions without hurrying the person who had come to seek his advice,” Rav Hillel recalled. “He also always gave priority to women and their questions.”
He made a point to never try to argue with someone unless he felt his opinion might be heeded. There are those who say that he attributed his long life to the fact that he never got angry. “He never told anyone what to do,” Rabbi Eisenstein said. “If anyone asked his opinion, he would gladly tell them, but if someone came to argue with him, he always remained silent. He never raised his voice, never gave people admonishment, and never insulted anyone. Even if he disagreed with something someone said, he wouldn’t say they were wrong unless he knew that they wanted to hear his opinion. Many people left a meeting with him thinking that he agreed with them even though he was vehemently opposed, simply because he remained silent. Why try to convince someone of something if he knew they wouldn’t listen? He spoke only when he felt he could make a difference.”
There was one exception to this rule: his students. “He was very demanding from his students and never supported them in something that he disagreed with,” Rabbi Eisenstein continued. “He didn’t cover up for their mistakes and he was fast to tell them if he felt that they were wrong because he knew that they wanted him to guide them.”
One time, someone accidentally pushed into the Rav at a crowded event. The man was devastated and asked for permission to request forgiveness from the Rav. Rav Elyashiv’s response was that he didn’t feel a thing and therefore there was nothing to ask forgiveness for. He knew that even if he forgave the man, that he would still feel bad, so instead he acted as if the incident had never even happened.
Gratitude for Life
Eight years ago, a vein in his heart burst, and the doctors said there were two options: if they operated on him, the chances of success were only three percent. If the surgery were not performed, he would live no longer than three days. The decision had to be made there and then, on a Shabbat. The Rav’s relatives travelled to his son-in-law, Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky in Bnei Brak on Shabbat, to hear his opinion on the matter, and he ruled that in the meantime, nothing should be done. On Saturday night, they found out about a specialist from the U.S. who could take care of the matter without anesthesia and surgery. The doctor, together with all his instruments, was flown to Israel and, miraculously, the treatment was successful. Everyone could see that God had answered the prayers of those hundreds of thousands who had prayed for Rav Elyashiv’s recovery.
“He defied medical statistics again and again,” Rabbi Eisenstein said. “There were many times that the doctors gave up, but he always pulled through. He attributed his recovery to the prayers of the Jewish people around the world.”
The Rav used to receive numerous invitations to serve as the sandek, or godfather, at circumcision ceremonies each day, but he traditionally only made rare exceptions to take time off from his busy schedule. After his miraculous recovery eight years ago, however, he began accepting every single offer that came to him. For the last eight years of his life he often attended three to five circumcision ceremonies each day – even when he was too sick to attend prayer services in synagogue. “He felt tremendous gratitude to the Jewish people for praying for him and wanted to pay back a minimum by becoming more accessible,” Rabbi Eisenstein said. “Although it was difficult for him to walk or even go to synagogue to pray – he still accepted each invitation. He had given them his word that he would attend, and his word was set in stone.”
Rabbi Elyashiv didn’t want to accept gifts from anyone. Each year, Rabbi Eisenstein used to bring him a set of the four species for the holiday of Sukkot. Rav Elyashiv used to force him to accept a check in return for them. When he saw that the checks weren’t being deposited, he started giving cash.
A world renowned heart specialist from America used to check him whenever he was in Israel, but refused to take any money. Rav Elyashiv didn’t understand that this was the doctor’s greatest honor of his career. At the Bar Mitzvah of the doctor’s son, Rav Elyashiv had someone buy him a huge, beautiful leather bound set of books on his behalf. He was so happy to be able to finally pay him back. On the inside cover of one of the books, he wrote a handwritten inscription. “It was probably the best present that the boy got,” Rabbi Eisenstein said, “but Rav Elyashiv didn’t realize that the greatest part about it was the inscription!”
Rav Elyashiv’s wish was that no eulogies be recited at his funeral and that he be buried at the Har Hamenuchot cemetery alongside his wife, despite the fact that a burial plot was reserved for him at the Mount of Olives – the traditional burial place for renowned Torah luminaries. This is testament, once again, to the fact that this Torah giant and leader of the Jewish people saw himself as nothing more than a simple Jew.
What Happened to the Jews of Arabia?
Did you know that Saudi Arabia once hosted a thriving Jewish community? For almost a thousand years (three times longer than the Jews have been in America), Jews lived in the oases of Teyma, Khaybar, and Yathrib (later known as Medina), in the northern Arabian Peninsula. According to Dr. Hagai Mazuz, an Orientalist specializing in Arabic language, Islam, and Islamic culture, “The Jewish community of northern Arabia was one of the largest ancient Jewish communities in the history of the Jewish people.”1
They were powerful and wealthy. They were respected by the local Arabian tribes for their religion, culture, erudition, and literacy. They built castles on mountaintops and developed productive plantations. They had military prowess, horses, and advanced weaponry. And they were almost totally annihilated in the short span of a few years.
Their story should make every Jew shudder.
The Jews of Medina were divided into three groups: The Banu Qaynuqa were blacksmiths, weapon wrights, and goldsmiths. The Banu Nadir had date plantations. The Banu QurayUa were wine merchants. These groups often quarreled. Sometimes the hostility among them broke out into actual fighting.
When Mohammed fled from Mecca in 622, he went to Medina. At first, he entered into an alliance with the Jews. He studied in their study halls and adopted many of their customs into his incipient religion (e.g. not eating pork). But when, after two years, Mohammed could not convince the Jews to accept him as a prophet and convert to his religion, his attitude turned toward open hostility. He instructed his friends to murder and decapitate Ka’b Ibn al-Ashraf, a renowned Jewish poet and chief of the Banu Nadir (date farmers tribe), and ordered his followers, “Kill every Jew you can.” 2
Mohammed then besieged the Banu Qaynuqa (blacksmith tribe), knowing that the other two Jewish tribes would not come to their aid. Although the Banu Qaynuqa were proficient warriors, the lack of food and water due to the siege weakened them to the point of surrender.
Stop the story here! If I were reading a Hollywood screenplay that developed like this, I would reject it as unrealistic and absurd. Here the protagonist, Mohammed, has openly declared his intention to kill every Jew. And he has started his killing campaign with the grisly beheading of the head of the date famers tribe.
Mohammed’s forces at that point were weaker than the combined Jewish forces would have been. Why didn’t the date farmers and the wine merchants unite to break the siege and save the blacksmiths? How could they sit on their hands and let their brethren perish? Even if they hated their fellow Jews, surely they should have realized that uniting in order to eradicate the murderous Mohammed’s forces would be in their long-term self-interest. And these are supposed to be smart Jews? With a sneer, I would toss this screenplay into the wastebasket.
History, however, is less sensible than Hollywood. The other two Jewish tribes did nothing to save the Jewish blacksmiths. After the surrender, Mohammed wanted to slaughter the vanquished tribe, but his ally Abdullah Ibn Ubayyy prevented the massacre, and instead they were exiled to Edri (now in Jordan).
Mohammed confiscated their considerable assets. Strengthened by captured Jewish wealth, one year later Mohammed turned his attention to the next Jewish tribe, the date growers. To ensure that the tribe of the wine merchants would not come to the rescue of their fellow Jews, Mohammed made an alliance with the wine merchants.
This is crazy! The reviewer in me, who has rejected many a far-fetched plot, cannot abide this one. The Jewish wine merchants must have drunk their own stock and become totally plastered to ally themselves with a sworn enemy of the Jews against their own people. Is Jewish unity such a bitter pill that Jews would rather swallow cyanide?
Mohammed’s forces laid siege to the strongholds of the Jewish date farmers in 625. Like the previous Jewish tribe, they succumbed to the siege. Again Abdullah Ibn Ubayyy intervened, and instead of slaughtering the vanquished Jews, Mohammed exiled them to the city of Khaybar, which, according to Muslim tradition, was inhabited by descendants of the Jewish priestly tribe.
Three years later Mohammed conquered Khaybar, the wealthiest city in northern Arabia. Because the Muslims did not know agriculture, Mohammed permitted most of the Jews to live as dhimmis, officially second-class citizens who had to pay exorbitant taxes. Eventually the second Caliph banished the Jews of Khaybar, in obedience to Mohammed’s policy that permitted no religion other than Islam to be practiced in Arabia.
Back in Medina, the wine merchant tribe had only two years to relish their position as the sole surviving Jews. Then, in 627, Mohammed, with 3,000 soldiers, laid siege to their fortress. The Jewish tribe had only 450 trained warriors. Because Abdullah Ibn Ubayyy had died a few months before, the Jews knew that no one would intercede on their behalf. The leader of the besieged Jews proposed that they either convert to Islam or, similar to Masada, kill their own women and children to prevent their being ravished and enslaved, and then fight the Muslims to the death. The Jews rejected both options and offered to surrender and leave Medina.
Mohammed rejected their offer. The vanquished wine merchants tribe, who had twice refused to help the other besieged Jewish tribes, suffered the worst fate. The children were sold as slaves; the women were given to the victorious soldiers “for the Muslims to use,” and the men (except for three who agreed to convert to Islam) were decapitated in the marketplace. According to Muslim tradition, the blood of the decapitated Jews flooded the marketplace of Medina.
A large, powerful, affluent Jewish community was destroyed in just three years. Was it destroyed by Mohammed’s forces or was it destroyed by its own divisiveness?
Our sages say that the Holy Temple was not destroyed by the superiority of the Roman forces. It was destroyed by sinat chinam, senseless hatred among Jews.
“Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” Apparently the Jews of Arabia did not learn from our tragic history.
How many times will we have to play this re-run?
- “Massacre in Medina,” Segula Magazine, issue 3.
- Ibid. Dr. Mazuz, who is a Senior Advisor to the Gatestone Institute, based his article, “Massacred in Medina” on exclusively Muslim sources.
One morning Rabbi Zeira woke up feeling assured that he could live in the Holy Land; he had had a dream in which he received Divine assurance of his worthiness. But he still had to solve the problem of his teacher’s opposition. Then, one day, he happened to hear Rabbi Yehuda speaking and he caught a few wise words which made him feel ready to depart for the Land of Israel.
Journeying by foot, Rabbi Zeira came to a river with no bridge. Usually crossed by ferryboat, the boat was nowhere in sight. Rabbi Zeira spied a foot-bridge consisting of a narrow plank secured by ropes. Rabbi Zeira was not a young man, and this shaky bridge was used only by workers who had no time to wait for the ferry. Rabbi Zeira felt a great urgency to proceed and he grabbed onto the rope and mounted the slippery bridge. He slipped and slid his way across, occasionally falling into the river. When he mounted the other bank, Rabbi Zeira was greeted by a smirking gentile who said, “You are a rash and thoughtless race! Right from the beginning you acted without consideration. You said, ‘We will do and we will understand.’ First you should find out about something, and only then you make a commitment to it. Why didn’t you have the patience to wait for the ferry?” Rabbi Zeira explained, “I’m on my way to Israel. To live in Israel was the greatest wish of Moses and Aaron, but they were not permitted to realize their dream. I am no longer a young man. Who knows if I will live long enough to reach the Land of Israel. Every minute that I will live in Israel is precious to me. How could I lose time waiting for the ferry?”
From Edward Miracle in Gaza on film watch the first 6:40 minutes for the music from there onwards is forbidden so cut the sound: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9vgM770Tfs&feature=player_embedded
From Last week’s Parsha but Inyanay Diyoma in Israel http://www.torah.org/learning/perceptions/5772/matos.html
Perceptions Parshios Matos & Masei I Told You So by Pinchas Winston
In this week’s parshah, the Jewish people go to war against Midian, to avenge against Midianite involvement in the Shittim fiasco. As the Torah reports, each tribe contributed 1,000 soldiers to the cause, for a total army of 12,000 soldiers to be led into battle by Pinchas, the newly appointed Kohen Moshiach.
Hence, only two percent of Jewish males between the age of 20 and 60 went to war while the remainder stayed in the camp with the rest of the Jewish nation. What did they do in the meantime? What they had been doing everyday until that time: learn Torah. Obviously this was before the Tal and Plesnar Committees had their say.
Of course, in those days, there would have been no need for such committees or their reports. In those days, Absolute Truth ruled the day, not secular human opinion. At that time, every Jew believed in God and Torah from Sinai, and they knew that without Torah, the world loses its value and God returns it to null and void (Shabbos 88a). In Biblical times, the nation knew that success in the battlefield depended upon success in the Bais Midrash, to such an extent that a small percentage of the nation could bring about military victory far beyond their numbers if the driving force of the nation was Torah and mitzvos.
In the good old days, it was known that tipping the scale in the wrong spiritual direction was more dangerous for the Jewish nation than maintaining a small army. In fact, it was only after the Jewish people began to turn their backs on Torah and resort to more material and conventional means for protection that they were finally defeated and exiled. As the Torah warns, unlike with respect to the other nations, Jewish military strength depends upon closeness to God, not artillery or nuclear deterrents.
Apparently, though, this is true not just of Biblical times, but recently as well, though it depends upon whom you ask and what they believe.
Everyone has to agree that modern Israeli survival until this point has been disproportionate to its military might. The fact that the country possesses nuclear capability has not deterred the Arabs from attacking the country or from daily planning its extinction. They preach that it is better to die destroying the Zionist enemy than it is to live with it peacefully, and they have shown, on numerous occasions, and in countless ways, how far they are prepared to go to uphold such a principle. They certainly have the mentality and the numbers to do so.
So why has the State of Israel survived so well until now, and even thrived in such perilous conditions? “Because the Israeli soldier is more disciplined than his Arab counterpart . . .” a secular Israeli might tell you. Or, he might claim that the Israeli military “is more capable, cleverer.” However, some, being a little more realistic cite Arab incompetency as another reason for the IDF’s good fortune until today, even adding: “If we had to fight against the Americans or the Russians, we’d be history. Again.”
However, if you ask the average Torah Jew the same question, the answer is sure to be, “Miracles! Nothing but great miracles!” Press him further by asking, “Does God perform such great miracles for Jews who constantly break the Torah?” (even though historically, we see that He has on many occasions), he will probably answer, “Not necessarily FOR them, but THROUGH them, since they are also protecting all of those who are learning Torah. In the merit of those learning Torah, the miracles have occurred for the rest of the country.”
Tell THAT to a secular Jew, especially if he has fought in any of Israel’s many wars, and how much more so if he or she has lost relatives or friends in battle, and more than eyes will roll. And that is when it becomes clear that at issue here is not merely army service, and that the struggle to conscript what the secular Israeli world calls “Ultra-Orthodox” Jews is just a means to deal with an even bigger issue that goes back to the very founding of the modern State of Israel. In fact, though the Israeli papers failed to pick this up, The New York Times (which I’m not one to quote very often) did, stating that the “debate over these details masks a more fundamental and fractious one about evolving identity in this still-young state, where a ‘people’s army’ has long been a defining principle, and about the growing cleavage among its tribes”(Israeli Identity At the Heat of the Debate on Service, July 5, 2012). … (For more see the link above)
Rabbi Zev Leff Shlita on Tisha B’Av part 1 of 3 click the link and find the other 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WeQUI_wAV8
“I’ve lost everything.” M. Bar of Tel Aviv recounted her daughter’s plaintive e-mail to Rabbi Yosef Gerlitzky, Chabad emissary to Tel Aviv. M. Bar is a member of Rabbi Gerlitzky’s community, and told her daughter before she set out on her travels to contact Chabad if there was any trouble. Bar’s daughter had been traveling in Brazil and had ended up in a small village, Cuidad del Este, on the border with Paraguay. The young Israeli woman had been robbed and had nothing but the clothes on her back. Her traveling companion was in similar straits, and her camera had been stolen. The woman wrote to her mother from an internet café; she had to beg the owner for a few minutes online, since she had no cash.
M. Bar, alarmed at her daughter’s e-mail, looked up Cuidad del Este on Wikipedia, and learned that it is a place notorious for drug smuggling, human trafficking and is the fundraising headquarters in the region for Hezbollah. It wasn’t long before Bar received another message from her daughter, this time urging her mother to find the Chabad center in Paraguay. Bar was happy that, even as her daughter was staunchly secular, she was following the advice her mother had given her to contact Chabad.
The mother contacted Rabbi Feigelstock, Chabad emissary to Paraguay, who called and reassured her that his relatives had spent Pesach in Cuidad del Este, and it wasn’t as dangerous a place as it sounded. On learning that the woman had resorted to sleeping in a Cathedral for safety, Rabbi Feigelstock got on the phone with a man named Manuel Atias, a member of the Jewish community of the city, and who lived a few minutes from the Cathedral. In an hour, Bar learned that Atias had found her daughter and was driving her on a five hour journey to the Chabad House in Asuncion, Paraguay. The next message Bar received from her daughter reported that she was staying with the Feigelstock family and learning Tanya. The mother was able to wire her daughter money, and she journeyed safely home.
The conclusion of M. Bar’s letter, which was published on COL, read: “My daughter didn’t lose ‘everything.’ True, she lost her passport, camera and memory card, which is a shame, but she will never lose her Jewish identity and that was wonderfully revealed.” By Miriam Metzinger
Hungarian anti-Semitism: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4259291,00.html
From Ben: Al Gore and Obama guess who invented the internet and built it? http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444464304577539063008406518.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop
President Bush Released Him to Freedom, Despite the Fact that the Guy Murdered 17 in a Paki Prison and Lived with Millennium Bomber Ahmed Ressam http://www.debbieschlussel.com/51881/bush-released-bulgaria-bus-bomber-of-jews-from-gitmo-to-freedom-mi-fake-drivers-license-no-coincidence/
Two Ed-Ops by military correspond Ron Ben Yeshai: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4257626,00.html and http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4258099,00.html
US Politics and Israel: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4258378,00.html
In a brilliant move, Assad secures the Kurdish area: http://www.debka.com/article/22202/Assad-rebuilds-fighting-command-retaliates-against-Turkey
Another Sinai attack http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4258866,00.html
Netanyahu on current events. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bv9LdPzMi0s&feature=player_embedded#!
Now who was the genius who pulled the US out of Iraq too quickly? http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4258888,00.html
Winds of war but it might not be exactly now: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/158207#.UA6OvPWhnIU
Chief of Staff tries to calm down nerves: http://www.debka.com/article/22207/Israel%E2%80%99s-security-chiefs-rally-to-disperse-war-clouds
More Rockets from the south: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/158219#.UA7s4vWhnIU
Due to copyright this film was taken off the net but the article describes it: http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=278645
Audrey R. pointed this out to me: WATCH OUT EUROPE THE END OF DAYS ARE APPROACHING AND DON'T MAKE THE FUDGE CAUSE HERE COMES THE JUDGE http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4259976,00.html
ACORN hit her in the head: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=3CmkbShVqNA#!
US healthcare for the poor and soon for all just to make the non-filthy rich feel good: … (meds), though being on medication, permanently, is not something I want I really can't move w/o the relief. I'm paying my previously covered md out of pocket because the new "md from hell" they sent me to is too apathetic for what I need. They look at it as recent cause they just switched the HC plan even though I've been trying to get the right help for 6 yrs. In all fairness, they did eventually refer me to a specialist but I have to start all the x-rays all over and not happy when they make 'you' sign a waiver of your right to sue if they screw up. Instead of a tort reform that is fair to the doctor and to the patient if the doctor made a blunder.
Thousands of dollars from well-wishers have begun to pour in for a young woman who has made a miracle recovery after being shot multiple times in a Colorado movie theater last Friday.
Petra Anderson, 22, was at the midnight premiere of 'The Dark Knight Rises' in Aurora, Colo., when she was shot four times by a gunman who had opened fire in the crowded theater, the Associated Press reports.
Three shotgun pellets hit Anderson's arm and another went through her nose -- riding up the back of her cranium and hitting the back of her skull.
"Her injuries were severe, and her condition was critical…The doctors prior to surgery were concerned because so much of the brain had been traversed by the bullet," Anderson's pastor, Brad Strait, wrote in his blog.
Strait, who was in the hospital during the young woman's surgery, added that doctors were worried that Anderson's injuries could impair her speech, motor and cognitive abilities.
But incredibly, during the five-hour surgery, doctors soon found that Anderson's brain sustained very little damage and the bullet was removed cleanly.
According to Strait, Anderson was saved by a miracle birth "defect" that no one could have anticipated.
The doctor explains that Petra’s brain has had from birth a small “defect” in it. It is a tiny channel of fluid running through her skull…Only a CAT scan would catch it, and Petra would have never noticed it.
But in Petra’s case, the shotgun buck shot…enters her brain from the exact point of this defect. Like a marble through a small tube, the defect channels the bullet from Petra’s nose through her brain. It turns slightly several times, and comes to rest at the rear of her brain. And in the process, the bullet misses all the vital areas of the brain.
Though still in the hospital, Anderson -- who has already started to speak and walk again -- is expected to make a full recovery.
"She could have lost all kinds of function (if) the bullet traversed her brain," her mother Kim Anderson told the Sacramento Bee. "I believe that she was not only protected by God, but that she was actually prepared for it."
To support the young woman and her family, the Hope Rises Relief Fund has started a campaign for the Andersons. So far, more than $32,000 has been raised.
Anderson's injury has come at a difficult time for the young woman's family. Her mother is battling terminal breast cancer and the cost of medical bills for both women has proven to be a daunting challenge.
Nevertheless, as her sister, Chloe, said in this promotional video for the fundraising campaign, the family has not lost hope -- thanks in large part to the support and encouragement they have received from people in their community and across the country.
"Our family has been shaken by the events of last Friday but we have not been broken," she said. "We're watching heroes appear everywhere we look."
Watch the video produced by the family below and donate to the Petra Anderson fund here. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/23/aurora-shooting-survivor-_n_1695792.html?icid=maing-grid10%7Chtmlws-main-bb%7Cdl1%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D183189
Anti-Semite and US traitor out free while Pollard rots in Jail: Hanoi Jane Fonda the traitor: . . . Has now been chosen to play Nancy Reagan in her life story. I am sending this one out because so many do not know this truth....
and also because she was on 3 times this week talking about her new book... and how good she feels in her 70's... she still does not know what she did wrong. Her book just may not make the best list if more people knew... also....
Barbara Walters said: Thank you all. Many died in Vietnam for our freedoms. I did not like Jane Fonda then and I don't like her now. She can lead her present life the way she wants and perhaps SHE can forget the past, but we DO NOT have to stand by without comment and see her "honored" as a "Woman of the Century." (I remember this well)
For those who served and/or died. …
NEVER FORGIVE A TRAITOR. SHE REALLY WAS A TRAITOR!!
Now for M. Wolfberg’s “You’re doing the right thing” good Shabbos story.
Good Shabbos Everyone. It states in the verse in this week's parsha, "And you shall be guiltless before Hashem and Yisroel." (BaMidbar 32:22) From these words, our Sages teach us that a Jew must always be sure that his actions are understood as proper “by the people who observe them. (Yoma 38a) In other words, a Jew should not act in a way which may cause others to suspect him of wrongdoing. For example, one who is gravely ill heaven forbid, would be allowed to eat on Yom Kippur. However, such a person should eat privately so as not to raise the suspicion of others who may not know that he is gravely ill. Thus, such a person should not sit out on his front porch and eat on Yom Kippur.
Rabbi Yisrael Sekula, the late Sadavner Rav, was a man of great Torah scholarship, warmth, kindness, and personal integrity. He went to great lengths to avoid any hint of wrong-doing, both between man and Hashem, and man and his fellow. For many years, he was the mashgiach (kashrus supervisor) of a very successful Pesach hand-matzah bakery.
It was well known that the Sadavner Rav employed the strictest standards in making sure that the matzos were kosher for Pesach beyond any doubt. After many years, the bakery was put up for sale, and the Sadavner Rav decided to purchase it. It was assumed that he would remain as mashgiach (kosher supervisor;) he was universally respected as a talmid chacham - a Torah Scholar who could be relied upon. It seemed unnecessary to place the bakery under someone else's supervision.
The Sadavner Rav disagreed. "I am now running a business," he reasoned. "A businessman should not be deciding matters of Halachah in his own place of business." He, therefore, arranged for the renowned posek, Rabbi Moshe Bick, to serve as the bakery's mashgiach.
Toward the end of his long life, the Sadavner Rav suffered a stroke and was severely incapacitated. It was his custom to "shlag kaparos"^ before Yom Kippur at a place only a block away from his home. In his last year, this short trip was a very strenuous journey. It took one -half hour for his sons to bring him down one flight of stairs. But the Rav was insistent; he would go to do the mitzvah as in years past, only this time in a wheelchair.
By the time the Rav arrived at his destination, accompanied by his distinguished sons, there stood a long line of people waiting to purchase birds for the kaparos ritual. The Rau's sons knew that their father was in no condition to sit and wait on line for the hour or so it would take until his turn came. They suggested to their father that he allow them to wheel him to the front of the line. Surely, they reasoned, everyone would gladly allow an obviously ill person to go ahead of him.
The Sadavner Rav told his sons, "These people came ahead of me. I have no right to go ahead of them and make them wait that much longer. It is not worth it to do the mitzvah if this will cause a single Jew — even a child — any aggravation. I will wait my turn." The Rav's son, concerned that the strain was already taking its toll on him, responded that they were positive that no one would be upset. The ailing Rav then replied, "If I am to go ahead of them, you must wheel me down the line slowly and allow me to ask permission of each person and apologize for inconveniencing him."
So, with a tube in his throat which made mere speaking a strain, the Sadavner Rav apologetically asked each person, including children, permission to go ahead.
When the Rav had completed the ritual, he said to his sons, "These people granted permission only for me to go ahead of them. You, however, were not given any such permission.
The world-renowned posek Rabbi Yosef Sholom Elyashev (who passed away yesterday at the age of 102), of Jerusalem, was granted a fitting partner in life. Rebbetzin Chaya Sheina Elyashev, daughter of the renowned tzaddik Rabbi Aryeh Levin, dedicated herself to the Torah study of her husband and children and to acts of kindness. R' Elyashev sets aside one hour a day to allow anyone to visit him in his small Meah Shearim apartment and ask questions in Halachah.
People are admitted into his study on a first-come, first-served basis. On a visit to Eretz Yisrael, Rabbi Nosson Scherman sought to ask R' Elyashev a halachic question. As R' Scherman waited his turn, along with a number of others, Rebbetzin Elyashev appeared. She went over to each person in the room and said, "I must ask the Rav something. Excuse me for going in ahead of you." Only after saying this to each person individually did Rebbetzin Elyashev enter her husband's study. (from Shabbos Stories, p. 195, R. Shimon Finkelman) 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
According to the Roman Calendar the Beis HaMikdash was destroyed 1942 years ago according the Rabbis 1944 years ago on Tisha B’ Av fast may we repent and begin to love our fellow Jews. It is time to pray hard for Moshiach and the rebuilding of the Temple. Good Shabbos,