Sara and Miriam bat Yehudit needs prayers.
Many of us use products OU-D from Nature Valley but I received this notice: Dark Chocolate & Nut Trail Mix Chewy Granola Bars is without a Heckshir.
A note of last week’s Parsha: I used the stand translation Balaam because I had to reboot my computer and reinstall for hours on end all the programs due to an Arab attack on the net in Hollywood, FL. I had no time to write the correct name Bilaam. This week I have corrected the name with a lot of painstaking work to Pinchas from the name the translation uses.
Parental Warning even though many children read the Parsha with the Rashi at a young age from Pasuk 2 -8 use your discretion in telling it.
In order to see the whole picture one has to go back to the end of the last Parsha and that is why I start at the Maaseh (deed) Shel Pinchas. For the deed is the basis for HASHEM giving him the Bracha in this week’s Parsha. So let us analyze the actions that took place.
The last chapters of Pinchas deal with the Jewish Festivals and therefore we read these sections throughout the year. I also intend to skip this part in this year’s analysis.
25:1 And Israel abode in Shittim, (called so because of the trees that are abundant in that place) and the people began to commit harlotry with the daughters of Moab.
People have often asked me “Why are the Rabbis so against Yeshiva Youth going into the Israeli Army and mixing with the non-religious girls?” I once came across one when I was younger who did not know that I was married and told me if you remove your Yarmulke, I will show you a good time. Perhaps in this world for a few minutes here and there but based on the physical and that is exactly what happened to the Bnei Shimon. For they were situated in the camp closer to Moav and for forty years all these men saw were modestly dressed women in the desert and suddenly loosely clad women. The effect is the same for somebody from Meir Shaarim, Bnei Barak or Kiriat Sefer instead of going to the religious men’s beach in Ashdod or Tel Aviv end up with bikini clad females on a mixed beach and them coming and flaunting all over the young man. This is the effect it had on the Bnei Shimon and others who followed after these women.
2 And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods; and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods.
There is a saying of the non-religious in Israel to the effect that when one follows ones urges and Yetzer Hara the Saichel (intelligence/logic) goes away. What happened to Kashrus, HASHEM Echud, HASHEM rules Levado (alone) and no other gods besides ME? That went out with leaving the camp of Yisrael.
And prostrated themselves to their gods: When his urge overcame him, and he said to her, “Submit to me,” she took out an image of Peor from her bosom and said to him, “Bow down before this.” - [Sifrei Balak 1] Before I even dreamed of being religious, when I was 18 there was a fellow with a Jewish Star who was making out with a girl with a cross on needless to say the cross got entangled and intertwined with the Magen David. Among other things, I took it as a cautionary warning for myself.
3 And Israel joined himself unto the Baal of Peor; and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.
24,000 out of 600,000 is 4% of the population but it is enough to give a black eye to all for the leaders should have stopped it and they could not.
Peor: [פְּעוֹר was so named] because before it they bared פּוֹעֲרִין their anus before it and relieved themselves. This was the manner of its worship. - [Sifrei Balak 1 and this filth was the way the fertility god was worshipped (joke this was taking organic fertilizer to a whole new level).
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.'
Take all the leaders of the people: to judge those who worshipped Peor. — [Sanh. 35a] and hang them: The [idol] worshippers. and hang them: Heb. הוֹקַע. This refers to [death by] hanging, as we find with the sons of Saul [where a similar expression is used,]“and we shall hang them (הוֹקַעֲנוּם) for the Lord” (II Sam. 21:6), and there hanging is specifically mentioned. Idolatry is [punishable] by stoning, and all those stoned are also hanged [as is stated in Sanh. 45b according to Rabbi Eliezer]. facing the sun: for all to see. The Midrash Aggadah (Mid. Tanchuma Balak 19) says: The sun identified the sinners, for the cloud folded back from the area above him and the sun shone on him
5 And Moses said unto the judges of Israel: 'Slay ye everyone his men that have joined themselves unto the Baal of Peor.'
Each of you shall kill the men: Each one of the Israelite judges executed two, and there were eighty-eight thousand Israelite judges, as is stated in Sanhedrin [18a].
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.
Rashi now brings down what is the height of Chutzpa on the part of the defilers of Am Yisrael Then an Israelite man came: The tribe of Simeon gathered around Zimri, who was their prince, and they said to him, “We have been sentenced to death, yet you sit there [and remain silent] etc.,” as it is related in [the chapter of] Elu hen hanisrafin’ (Sanh. 82a). the Midianite woman: Cozbi the daughter of Zur (see verse 15). before the eyes of Moses: They said to him, “Moses, is this one forbidden or is she permitted? If you say it is forbidden, who permitted for you the daughter of Jethro…?” as is stated there (Sanh. 82a). while they were weeping: The law [that anyone cohabiting with a non-Jewish woman is to be executed by zealots] eluded him. [Therefore,] they all burst out weeping. At the incident of the golden calf Moses [successfully] confronted six hundred thousand as it says, “He ground it until it was powder…” (Exod. 32:20), yet here he appeared so helpless? However, [this happened] so that Pinchas should come and take what was due to him. — [Mid. Tanchuma Balak 20]
Moshe’s humility got in the way and he was approaching 120 years and did not jump up to answer that what he did and those before him was before the giving of the Torah when all were Bnei Noach. Once Moshe was silenced who would be willing to speak in his place. Well Pinchas did not speak he acted.
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.
Pinchas…saw: He saw the deed and reminded himself of the law. He said to Moses, “I learned from you, ‘If someone cohabits with an Aramean [heathen] woman, zealots have a right to strike him [dead].’ ” He replied to him, “Let the one who reads the letter be the agent to carry it out.” Immediately, “he took a spear in his hand….” - [Sanh. 82a]
This is the Halacha but Shulchan Aruch Eben HaEzer says - THAT WE DO NOT TEACH THE HALACHA THIS WAY AS WE ARE NOT TO BE ZEALOTS AND FANATICS!
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.
into the chamber: Into the tent. through her stomach: Heb. קֳבָתָהּ, as in, “the jaw and the maw (וְהַקֵּבָה)” (Deut. 18:3). He aimed for the male organ of Zimri and her female organs and everyone saw that he had not killed them for nothing. Many miracles happened to him…, as it is related there (Sanh. 82b).
The Zohar speaks of a number of miracles that he was able to enter the prince’s tent past the guards and went it at the precise moment so as to hit a bulls eye on the target. He then got the adrenaline strength to pick them up on his spear and carry them out, displayed their chutzpa to all of Israel and they died after he left them alone so he as a Cohain did not become Tamay.
9 And those that died by the plague were twenty and four thousand.
This is where this week’s Parsha starts:
10 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 11 'Pinchas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned My wrath away from the children of Israel, in that he was very jealous for My sake among them, so that I consumed not the children of Israel in My jealousy.
The L-RD got very angry at Am Yisrael. We were not brought out of Mitzrayim and Slavery to become slaves to the culture of other peoples. We were chosen to be the light unto the nations. We were above idolatry. Neither were we allowed to intermarry and bring up the child half and half it is like half tea and half coffee mixed in a glass. We could convert people in although we did not look for converts but we could not convert out. Judaism was a one way street if we tried to leave it would result in a complete dead end and when I write dead, I mean DEAD. It is a physical death to a family and a spiritual death for the person. Pinchas by his deeds succeeded in calming down the wrath of HASHEM.
Pinchas the son of Eleazar the son of Aaron the kohen: Since the tribes were disparaging him, saying, Have you seen the son of Puti, whose mother’s father [Jethro] fattened (פִּטֵּם) calves for idols (See Rashi, Exod. 6:25), and who killed a chieftain of an Israelite tribe? For this reason, Scripture traces his pedigree to Aaron. — [Sanh. 82b, Num. Rabbah 21:3, Mid. Tanchuma Pinchas 2] by his zealously avenging Me: Heb. אֶתקִנְאָתִי בְּקַנְאוֹ, by his avenging My vengeance, by his releasing the wrath that I should have released. The term קִנְאָה always denotes someone motivated to take vengeance for some matter, in old French, enprenemant.
12 Wherefore say: Behold, I give unto him My covenant of peace;
Pinchas makes war on the lewdness of the tribe of Shimon and he gets a Brit Shalom.
My covenant of peace: That it should be a covenant of peace for him. Just as a man owes gratitude and favor to someone who did him a favor, so here God expressed to him His feelings of peace.
13 and it shall be unto him, and to his seed after him, the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was jealous for his God, and made atonement for the children of Israel.'
Originally Pinchas although from the seed of Aaron and Eleazar was not mentioned as a Cohain, now he has earned the Kahuna. We see eternal covenants here and with David and his seed forever later on in Shamuel. His promotion in the field was like many war time appointments when ordinary enlisted or drafted men show courage and leadership and get a field officer commission.
an eternal covenant of kehunah: Although the kehunah had already been given to Aaron’s descendants, it had been given only to Aaron and his sons who were anointed with him, and to their children whom they would beget after their anointment. Pinchas, however, who was born before that and had never been anointed, had not been included in the kehunah until now. And so, we learn in [Tractate] Zevachim [101b],“Pinchas was not made a kohen until he killed Zimri.”
14 Now the name of the man of Israel that was slain, who was slain with the Midian woman, was Zimri, the son of Salu, a prince of a fathers' house among the Simeon. 15 And the name of the Midian woman that was slain was Cozbi, the daughter of Zur; he was head of the people of a fathers' house in Midian.
These souls would make a Tikun through the souls of Rabbi Akiva and Rachel.
16 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 17 'Harass the Midianites, and smite them; 18 for they harass you, by their wiles wherewith they have beguiled you in the matter of Peor, and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of the prince of Midian, their sister, who was slain on the day of the plague in the matter of Peor.'
Moav tried a curse and then stealthfully sent the fertility cult of the Midians to do their dirty work. The cause of 24,000 deaths in Yisrael could not go unanswered and it called for drastic action. There was something so evil about these people that they had to be dealt with in such a harsh way. One Poster out there is very upset what happened but I cannot understand the reasoning for such a command nor can I change or hide what was recorded 3284 years ago and to question Moshe and the command from HASHEM I cannot do such.
26:1 And it came to pass after the plague, that the LORD spoke unto Moses and unto Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, saying: 2 'Take the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, from twenty years old and upward, by their fathers' houses, all that are able to go forth to war in Israel.' 3 And Moses and Eleazar the priest spoke with them in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho, saying: 4 '[Take the sum of the people,] from twenty years old and upward, as the LORD commanded Moses and the children of Israel, that came forth out of the land of Egypt.'
In is of no surprise that in English Sefer Bamidbar is called Numbers. By us Bamidbar means in the desert or wilderness. Below is a table of census for each tribe upon leaving Egypt to the census just before entering Eretz Yisrael. Trying to break the monotony of counting and repeating myself, I have enriched some of the sentences below.
Reuven was initially 46,500 (see 2:11).
5 Reuben, the first-born of Israel: the sons of Reuben: of Hanoch, the family of the Hanochites; of Pallu, the family of the Palluites; 6 of Hezron, the family of the Hezronites; of Carmi, the family of the Carmites. 7 These are the families of the Reubenites; and they that were numbered of them were forty and three thousand and seven hundred and thirty.
This is 2,770 less than in the beginning for Reuven.
Shimon was initially 59,300 see (2:13).
… 12 The sons of Simeon after their families: of Nemuel, the family of the Nemuelites; of Jamin, the family of the Jaminites; of Jachin, the family of the Jachinites; 13 of Zerah, the family of the Zerahites; of Shaul, the family of the Shaulites. 14 These are the families of the Simeonites, twenty and two thousand and two hundred.
This was a loss of 37,100 men and even if we take into account the 24,000 people that died in the plague were only from Shimon, we still have 13,100 tribesmen less.
Gad was initially 45,650 see (2:15).
15 The sons of Gad after their families: of Zephon, the family of the Zephonites; of Haggi, the family of the Haggites; of Shuni, the family of the Shunites; 16 of Ozni, the family of the Oznites; of Eri, the family of the Erites; 17 of Arod, the family of the Arodites; of Areli, the family of the Arelites. 18 These are the families of the sons of Gad according to those that were numbered of them, forty thousand and five hundred.
The loss was 5,150. The Total for Degel Reuven was initially 151, 450. The final total at the end was 106,530 which is 44,920 short or almost a tribe in itself.
Initially Shevet Yehuda was 74,600 see (2:4).
19 The sons of Judah: Er and Onan; and Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan. 20 And the sons of Judah after their families were: of Shelah, the family of the Shelanites; of Perez, the family of the Perezites; of Zerah, the family of the Zerahites. 21 And the sons of Perez were: of Hezron, the family of the Hezronites; of Hamul, the family of the Hamulites. 22 These are the families of Judah according to those that were numbered of them, threescore and sixteen thousand and five hundred.
Yehuda has a gain of 1,900 men.
The Bnei Yissachar were initially 54,500 see (2:6).
23 The sons of Issachar after their families: of Tola, the family of the Tolaites; of Puvah, the family of the Punites; 24 of Jashub, the family of the Jashubites; of Shimron, the family of the Shimronites. 25 These are the families of Issachar according to those that were numbered of them, threescore and four thousand and three hundred.
Yissachar gained 9,800 men.
Bnei Zevulun were initially 57,400
26 The sons of Zebulun after their families: of Sered, the family of the Seredites; of Elon, the family of the Elonites; of Jahleel, the family of the Jahleelites. 27 These are the families of the Zebulunites according to those that were numbered of them, threescore thousand and five hundred.
The gain of the Bnei Zevulun were 3,100 men yielding a grand total of 201,300 or a gain of 14,900 and a real imbalance in the size of the camp seeing that they were now 1/3rd of the population of adult men.
28 The sons of Joseph after their families: Manasseh and Ephraim.
Menashe numbered initially 32,200 and were originally recorded after Ephraim in 2:21.
29 The sons of Manasseh: of Machir, the family of the Machirites--and Machir begot Gilead; of Gilead, the family of the Gileadites. 30 These are the sons of Gilead: of Iezer, the family of the Iezerites; of Helek, the family of the Helekites; 31 and of Asriel, the family of the Asrielites; and of Shechem, the family of the Shechemites; 32 and of Shemida, the family of the Shemidaites; and of Hepher, the family of the Hepherites. 33 And Zelophehad the son of Hepher had no sons, but daughters; and the names of the daughters of Zelophehad were Mahlah, and Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. 34 These are the families of Manasseh; and they that were numbered of them were fifty and two thousand and seven hundred.
This is a gain of 20,500 men and almost the size of the tribe of Shimon after the Baal Peor incident.
Ephraim had initially 40,500 members (see 2:19).
35 These are the sons of Ephraim after their families: of Shuthelah, the family of the Shuthelahites; of Becher, the family of the Becherites; of Tahan, the family of the Tahanites. 36 And these are the sons of Shuthelah: of Eran, the family of the Eranites. 37 These are the families of the sons of Ephraim according to those that were numbered of them, thirty and two thousand and five hundred. These are the sons of Joseph after their families.
This is a decrease of 8,000 men.
Shevet Benyamin started off with 35,400 men in 2:23.
38 The sons of Benjamin after their families: of Bela, the family of the Belaites; of Ashbel, the family of the Ashbelites; of Ahiram, the family of the Ahiramites; 39 of Shephupham, the family of the Shuphamites; of Hupham, the family of the Huphamites. 40 And the sons of Bela were Ard and Naaman; [of Ard,] the family of the Ardites; of Naaman, the family of the Naamites. 41 These are the sons of Benjamin after their families; and they that were numbered of them were forty and five thousand and six hundred.
This is a 10,200 man increase. The total of the whole Machane Ephraim was 130,800 or an increase of 22,700 which is 500 men larger than the total tribe of Shimon!
Dan started off their trek in the Midbar with 66,200 men in 2:26.
42 These are the sons of Dan after their families: of Shuham, the family of the Shuhamites. These are the families of Dan after their families. 43 All the families of the Shuhamites, according to those that were numbered of them, were threescore and four thousand and four hundred.
Here the tribe of Dan has a deficit of 1,800 men from the beginning.
Shevet Asher in 2:28 was 41,500 men.
44 The sons of Asher after their families: of Imnah, the family of the Imnites; of Ishvi, the family of the Ishvites; of Beriah, the family of the Beriites. 45 Of the sons of Beriah: of Heber, the family of the Heberites; of Malchiel, the family of the Malchielites. 46 And the name of the daughter of Asher was Serah. 47 These are the families of the sons of Asher according to those that were numbered of them, fifty and three thousand and four hundred.
There are a number of Midrashim on Serach bas Asher. One states that she lived 400 years and was alive at both the beginning of the exile to Mitzrayim and to the end. Another had her as an adopted daughter from his wife and since he raised her she was considered his. She was outstanding enough to be mentioned in the Chumash and it is uncertain if she was given a special inheritance with the tribe that she was mentioned here. Looking up Rashi the question about inheritance is not answered at all: The name of Asher’s daughter was Serach: Because she was still alive, she is mentioned here. — [Sotah 13a, Mid. Aggadah] This is a gain of 11,900 men.
In 2:30 the tribe of Naphtali was 53,400 men.
48 The sons of Naphtali after their families: of Jahzeel, the family of the Jahzeelites; of Guni, the family of the Gunites; 49 of Jezer, the family of the Jezerites; of Shillem, the family of the Shillemites. 50 These are the families of Naphtali according to their families; and they that were numbered of them were forty and five thousand and four hundred.
The population of Naphtali decreased by 8,000 men leaving a total for Machane Dan to be 163,200 or a total gain of 5,600 men.
What I think happened in the census that like Maaser the number of people was rounded off to the complete ten. This could have led to an error as large as 9 for each tribe or 108 man difference in both censuses. The total population of males in the Bnei Yisrael were almost the same in the beginning as at the end. Initially 603,550 and now 601,730 which is almost the same number with the difference 1820 males at this juncture. Some questions do arise if there were more women born in the tribes where the male population went down or were more women left as many males were killed by various rebellions against HASHEM and Moshe and the women like Mrs. Peleg ben On tried to stop these foolish acts. (She got her husband drunk on wine and salty cheese that he was asleep during the rebellion of Korach and he lived – as I commented in previous years on the fact that he is mentioned in the being of the rebellion and not in the actual offerings).
52 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 53 'Unto these the land shall be divided for an inheritance according to the number of names. 54 To the more thou shalt give the more inheritance, and to the fewer thou shalt give the less inheritance; to each one according to those that were numbered of it shall its inheritance be given. 55 Notwithstanding the land shall be divided by lot; according to the names of the tribes of their fathers they shall inherit. 56 According to the lot shall their inheritance be divided between the more and the fewer.' 57 And these are they that were numbered of the Levites after their families: of Gershon, the family of the Gershonites; of Kohath, the family of the Kohathites; of Merari, the family of the Merarites. 58 These are the families of Levi: the family of the Libnites, the family of the Hebronites, the family of the Mahlites, the family of the Mushites, the family of the Korahites. And Kohath begot Amram. 59 And the name of Amram's wife was Jochebed, the daughter of Levi, who was born to Levi in Egypt; and she bore unto Amram Aaron and Moses, and Miriam their sister. 60 And unto Aaron were born Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. 61 And Nadab and Abihu died, when they offered strange fire before the LORD. 62 And they that were numbered of them were twenty and three thousand, every male from a month old and upward; for they were not numbered among the children of Israel, because there was no inheritance given them among the children of Israel.
In 3:39 the number of Leviim from 30 to 50 were 22,000 so the tribe grew by 1,000.
63 These are they that were numbered by Moses and Eleazar the priest, who numbered the children of Israel in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho. 64 But among these there was not a man of them that were numbered by Moses and Aaron the priest, who numbered the children of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai. 65 For the LORD had said of them: 'They shall surely die in the wilderness.' And there was not left a man of them, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.
By making a Kiddush HASHEM and being willing to risk mob violence the way Hur lost his life with the Golden Calf these two men received a reward of a long life and time enough to enjoy the entrance into Eretz Yisrael and settle down and in Sefer Yehoshua we see Kalev marrying off his daughter to the conquer of Chevron (Guttural Ch.).
27:1 Then drew near the daughters of Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of Manasseh the son of Joseph; and these are the names of his daughters: Mahlah, Noah, and Hoglah, and Milcah, and Tirzah. 2 And they stood before Moses, and before Eleazar the priest, and before the princes and all the congregation, at the door of the tent of meeting, saying: 3 'Our father died in the wilderness, and he was not among the company of them that gathered themselves together against the LORD in the company of Korah, but he died in his own sin; and he had no sons. 4 Why should the name of our father be done away from among his family, because he had no son? Give unto us a possession among the brethren of our father.' 5 And Moses brought their cause before the LORD.
This story with their inheritance led me to wonder about Serach bas Asher.
6 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 7 'The daughters of Zelophehad speak right: thou shalt surely give them a possession of an inheritance among their father's brethren; and thou shalt cause the inheritance of their father to pass unto them. 8 And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying: If a man die, and have no son, then ye shall cause his inheritance to pass unto his daughter. 9 And if he have no daughter, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his brethren. 10 And if he have no brethren, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his father's brethren. 11 And if his father have no brethren, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his kinsman that is next to him of his family, and he shall possess it. And it shall be unto the children of Israel a statute of judgment, as the LORD commanded Moses.'
We leave the part of the future inheritance of the Shevatim in Eretz Yisrael and now go into Moshe’s own future. He knew that after he dealt with Midian, it would be a short time until he would be gathered unto his ancestors.
12 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Get thee up into this mountain of Abarim, and behold the land which I have given unto the children of Israel. 13 And when thou hast seen it, thou also shalt be gathered unto thy people, as Aaron thy brother was gathered; 14 because ye rebelled against My commandment in the wilderness of Zin, in the strife of the congregation, to sanctify Me at the waters before their eyes.'--These are the waters of Meribath-kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.—
15 And Moses spoke unto the LORD, saying: 16 'Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, 17 who may go out before them, and who may come in before them, and who may lead them out, and who may bring them in; that the congregation of the LORD be not as sheep which have no shepherd.' 18 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is spirit, and lay thy hand upon him;
The original ordination of Rabbis and Leaders in Yisrael was the laying of the hands on the head and blessing them. Today we are removed and we take a test or go before the Rav and get a piece of paper saying that we are Rabbis or the voters vote for a leader and they are sworn in. There is a big difference with voters who may vote for one person and get the opposite person and philosophy vs. a G-D appointed and blessed leader.
19 and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation; and give him a charge in their sight. 20 And thou shalt put of thy honour upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may hearken. 21 And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall inquire for him by the judgment of the Urim before the LORD; at his word shall they go out, and at his word they shall come in, both he, and all the children of Israel with him, even all the congregation.'
He shall stand before Eleazar the priest: Here is [the response to] the request that you made [that your children should inherit you]; this honor shall not depart from your father’s house, for even Joshua will have need for Eleazar. — [Mid. Tanchuma Pinchas 11]
22 And Moses did as the LORD commanded him; and he took Joshua, and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation.
And he took Joshua: He took him [by encouraging him] with words, and informed him of the reward in store for the leaders of Israel in the World to Come. — [Sifrei Pinchas 23]
23 And he laid his hands upon him, and gave him a charge, as the LORD spoke by the hand of Moses.
He laid his hands: generously; over and above what he had been commanded. For the Holy One, blessed is He, said to him,“ and you shall lay your hand upon him” (verse 18), but he did it with both his hands. He fashioned him like a full and overflowing vessel, filling him with wisdom in abundance. — [Sifrei Pinchas 23, Sanh. 105b] in accordance with what the Lord had spoken to Moses: [That is,] also with respect to the majesty; He bestowed some of his majesty [radiance] upon him.
Like with the English Pomp of the Marriage or Coronation of a Leader so too in Yisrael it had to be done by a Cohain and before the Nation in order to gain acceptance. For even when HASHEM in HIS WISDOM choses a leader, it has to go into the minds and acceptance of Am Yisrael.
28:… Starts with the daily Korban and continues on to the holiness of Shabbos which although not on a daily basis is on a weekly basis and then afterwards goes into to the lesser sacrifices of each and every Chag or Chol HaMoed.
1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 2 Command the children of Israel, and say unto them: My food which is presented unto Me for offerings made by fire, of a sweet savor unto Me, shall ye observe to offer unto Me in its due season. 3 And thou shalt say unto them: This is the offering made by fire which ye shall bring unto the LORD: he-lambs of the first year without blemish, two day by day, for a continual burnt-offering. 4 The one lamb shalt thou offer in the morning, and the other lamb shalt thou offer at dusk; 5 and the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a meal-offering, mingled with the fourth part of a hin of beaten oil. 6 It is a continual burnt-offering, which was offered in mount Sinai, for a sweet savor, an offering made by fire unto the LORD. 7 And the drink-offering thereof shall be the fourth part of a hin for the one lamb; in the holy place shalt thou pour out a drink-offering of strong drink unto the LORD. 8 And the other lamb shalt thou present at dusk; as the meal-offering of the morning, and as the drink-offering thereof, thou shalt present it, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the LORD. 9 And on the Sabbath day two he-lambs of the first year without blemish, and two tenth parts of an ephah of fine flour for a meal-offering, mingled with oil, and the drink-offering thereof. 10 This is the burnt-offering of every Sabbath, beside the continual burnt-offering, and the drink-offering thereof. … 30:1 And Moses told the children of Israel according to all that the LORD commanded Moses.
The Korbanos discussed here close to the passing of Moshe were to be an important part in the functioning of Am Yisrael throughout future generations. For even though the Rambam claims that we will have no need for the Korbanos in the future it appears to me that this placement of the Korbanos at this juncture would indicate that we will return to the Korbanos. They will exist in conjunction with Teshuva, Tephilla and Tzeduka to complete repentance. Perhaps we don’t use sacrifices and the ceremonies in the modern world but then look at our moral degradation and wonder if we were to bring an animal watch the slaughter and think that it was in our stead for our behavior wouldn’t we improve upon ourselves? Some of the Korbanos of the Chaggim mentioned in our Parsha were for eating and increasing the Simcha of the Chag and the Korban Pessach was bring the family and most likely greater family together to remember Yetzias Mitzrayim (the exodus from Egypt) and the retelling of the tale binding the family and nation together. Where in England, the United States, Russia or elsewhere in the world do we have the male population forced to come to a spot three times a year to celebrate the National History? Nowhere but in Israel and I watched a film this week taken on a beach on July 4th on Long Island, NY asking people about the founding fathers of the States and many could not name them. It is not only a sad state of affairs that the nation’s history is not taught properly in schools but it is a lack of caring on the part of all in the system not to ingrain love for your own nation and people. The Torah is not this way and even the far out Reform Jews read about and maybe celebrate Chanucha and Purim and have some albeit week connection with the rest of the Chaggim. This is the secret of the Jew on which millions sacrificed their lives through holocausts, crusades, inquisition and conquest to continue on the links in the chain of Judaism.
From Rabbi A.L. The Rabbi Jacob S. Kassin Memorial Halacha Series
Authored by Rabbi Eli J. Mansour (2/16/2012)
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Description: Visiting the Sick and Comforting the Mourner: Which Takes Precedence?
If a person has before him the opportunity to perform either the Mitzva of Bikur Cholim (visiting the sick) or that of Nichum Avel (comforting a mourner), which of these two Mitzvot takes precedence?
The Rambam discusses this question in Hilchot Avel (13:7), and he writes (listen to audio for precise citation) that in such a case the Mitzva of comforting a mourner takes precedence. He explains that one who comforts a mourner performs an act of kindness towards both the mourner as well as the deceased, and therefore this Mitzva takes precedence over visiting the sick, which is beneficial only to the patient.
The Radbaz (Egypt, 1480-1574) commented that had the Rambam not issued this ruling, he would have concluded that to the contrary, visiting the sick takes precedence. The Sages teach that one who visits a sick patient "restores his life," either by offering assistance and encouragement, by praying on his behalf, or simply by virtue of his presence. Hence, neglecting to visit the sick is – in many cases – tantamount to killing a person. The same cannot be said about comforting a mourner, and therefore, the Radbaz remarked, intuitively he would have concluded that the Mitzva to visit an ill patient should override the Mitzva of comforting a person in mourning.
The Radbaz's comments should reinforce in our minds the importance of visiting those who are ill. Many patients in hospitals and nursing homes need visitors and people to help them and raise their spirits, and anyone with an opportunity to make these visits must do so. These patients are "drowning," and we bear the obligation to rescue them through frequent visits. The Chofetz Chaim (Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan of Radin, Lithuania, 1835-1933) remarked that whenever a person attends a funeral, he must give serious thought to whether or not he was in any way responsible for the person's death. Some have suggested that the widespread custom to wash one's after a funeral stems from this notion. During the "Egla Arufa" ceremony conducted when a murder victim is discovered, the city's leaders wash their hands and declare that their "hands are clean" of any guilt with regard to the victim. We, too, must be able to leave a funeral with the ability to proclaim that we bear no guilt in the death of the deceased. It therefore behooves us to approach the Mitzva of Bikur Cholim very seriously, and commit ourselves to offering assistance and encouragement to ill patients, so that we do what we can to save and improve their lives.
Summary: A person faced with the Mitzva of visiting the ill and comforting the mourner should comfort the mourner; however, this Halacha in no way undermines the importance of Bikur Cholim, as visiting the sick in many instances has the capacity to restore the patient's life and even save him from death.
Hatred that holds off the Moshiach – Editorial
On the delayed day for the fast of the 17th of Tammuz another bad Gezaira was issued this time against Yeshiva Students. I served as a front line soldier and did not like Charedim pretending to be in a Yeshiva but actually working and earning money. The blanket exemption for religious students should be under scrutiny to make sure that they are what they claim they are. However, the way the Knesset is going about demanding that they be drafted is based on hatred for the religious and the Yeshivos which makes me equally angry. I know as a Rosh Kollel despite the filtering we do to only get serious people who are worth to be Rabbinical Judges both in brains and in learning ability, we have had a few pass through our filter. One became a Talmud Torah teacher which is useful to society. One we had to kick out for he came at 10:30 AM almost every day instead of 9AM. The only ones with such a privilege are the Roshei Kollel and not the paid students.
There needs to be an overhaul of the exemptions given to Charedim but those who learn should be allowed to continue and the law should not based on hatred of religion: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/157625#.T_ky2fWhnIU
Account of a Spirit Possession "Go quickly and call the wise Rabbi Shmuel Vital, for he can remove me from within her body." By Yerachmiel Tilles Shlita
Says the insignificant Shmuel Vital:
Today I will speak of a curious event that happened to me while I was in Egypt, and to Esther, the daughter of HaRav Yehuda Viser.
She had become stricken and had a pained heart for more than two months after she was married. One day, they urged me to come check on her. I went to visit her and I found her to be stricken. However, I was in doubt as to whether it was a "damager" (mazik) or a "demon" (shaid) or a bad Jewish spirit (ruach ra'a shel Yisroel) [each of which can enter a person's body and control it].*
I advised them to bring a non-Jewish practitioner in these matters to see her, which they did. As this was occurring, the damager spoke in a loud voice from within her and said that he was a gentile who entered into her from a desire for her. While he was speaking he mentioned that he had given me a small hit in my thigh, so that I should have pain there and not come and heal her.
After that, the gentile practitioner worked on her and said that he had already captured the damager in a small plate, and he buried it in the ground as he normally did.
Later on and quite suddenly, a voice screamed out from the mouth of the girl and said: "I remain alone in the body of this girl. I am the ruach-spirit of a Jew, therefore go quickly and call the wise Rabbi Shmuel Vital and order him to heal and remove me from here."
Immediately they called for me. I felt compelled to come because of the honor of those who had come for me. When I entered, I still was not certain if it was a Jewish soul, a demon, or a damager. I sat next to her as she lay there like a stone covered with a white blanket.
Unsure, I said, "Peace upon Israel." Immediately the girl's lips began to move, and she answered, "Blessed is he who has come…Peace be upon you…blessing and good."
I said to him, "Are you Jewish?" and he said that he was. I told him, "If you are Jewish, then say 'Shema Yisroel'," which he did.
I engaged him in conversation and everything I asked him he answered in a fitting and correct manner. I asked him who he was and who his father had been. I asked him where he came from, when he had died, where he was buried, how long he had lived for, what his sin was, if the gilgul (incarnation) was on the soul-level of Nefesh or Ruach, who was responsible for him, whether he was alone or if someone was appointed to watch over him.
Every question he answered properly, and he did not try to twist his answers. I did not have to make a decree against him like the rest of the spirits, as is known to those familiar with the process.
I asked him, "What do you want now?" and he said he wanted me to rectify him, and to remove him from the body with my great wisdom. Apparently, he recognized me from that they said about me in Heaven.
I asked him, "How can I help something that has said, 'I am the one who hit Shmuel in his thigh in order that he should not come again to me'?"
He answered that it had not been him, G-d forbid, but the gentile damager that had been with him, and that in truth it had actually been a complete lie just to aggrandize himself. Actually, he (the damager) did not have the ability to touch me.
I asked him, "Did you come to me in a dream on Tuesday night, the 17th of Tammuz, and cause me pain?" He said, "I did come to you, but the one who caused you suffering was the gentile damager. I have never sinned against you."
"Why have you come with him?" I asked him, and (he answered,) "In order to ask you for a tikun."
I asked him again, "What is it that you want now?" and he answered, "I want you to rectify my Nefesh and Ruach and remove me from this body."
I told him that I would do it.
The next day he returned and said, "Why did you delay and cause two spirits to suffer, my Ruach and the Ruach of this girl? You have the ability to do this." I became disheartened.
I made him take a strict oath that he will not act deceitfully, leaving only to return to her and that he will not cause any damage on his way out, not to the girl herself, not to her family, not to anyone standing there at the time he leaves the body, and not to any Jew anywhere. As well, he had to swear to never return to Egypt but instead to go immediately to Gehinom and be healed there. I told him that should he violate any of this then he will be declared in excommunication.
I also told him that he should give us a reliable sign on his way out, saying "Peace be upon you," which he later did. I said this three times, and then I called for the ten Torah scholars who were there. I began to knock with his right fist while I had intention for the verse, "Appoint a wicked man over him, and let an adversary stand at his right" (Psalms 109:6), which I have written down at length, as well as other kevanos of which I am aware to rectify his Nefesh and Ruach soul aspects.
After that, his lips began to shake, and he said out loud with me the entire mizmor, "May G-d answer you on the day of distress" (Psalms 20), and "Whoever sits in the refuge of the Most High" (Psalms 91). As well, he also said with me, "Please, in strength, etc." while I had intention for the Name, "Kuf-raish-ayin Sein-tes-nun"- "Kara Satan" (tear the Accuser), which is formed from the head-letters of the second verse of this very Kabbalistic prayer - and after that, the mizmor, "When I call, answer me, Oh G-d of my vindication" (Psalms 4).
After I completed this, I said the following prayer:
In the Name of the Unique Al-mighty; You are great and great is Your Name in strength. Please G-d, who is glorified and awesome, beautiful, magnificent, and holy, Who is exalted and blessed, Who investigates and searches. Who is straight and alone, the One Who is hidden and covered, the One Who overpowers with seventy-two Names, the First and Unique, the Clear and Pure, the One Who hears cries and accepts prayers, Who answers in times of trouble, Who turns His ear to my prayer, my supplication, and my request that I am praying before You…I ask the You accept in mercy and willingness this spirit that stands before You and who has reincarnated into this girl called "
At that time, I then said the Thirteen Traits, "G-d, G-d, Almighty, Merciful, Kind, etc." and blew the shofar as is done at all Selichot prayers [for forgiveness). After that, I said the "Thirteen Traits" found in the prophet Micha, "Who is like the Almighty, etc." (Micha 7:18), and then the posuk, "Matters of sin have overwhelmed me" (Psalms 65:4), and "Praises to the one whom You choose and draw near to dwell in Your courts, etc." (Psalms 65:5)
Finally, I said the verse, "Then all these servants of yours will come down to me" (Ex. 11:8) three times and then I said, "Leave! Leave! Leave!" while having in mind another verse with which I am familiar. As I finished the third "Leave!" the girl's left leg levitated before all those there.
It exited from the little toe of the leg with a great cry saying, "Peace be upon you!" (Shalom aleichem) three times. I answered him, "Go to peace, Go to peace!" (Lech l'shalom) three times.
Immediately, the girl regained consciousness and opened her eyes and glanced up at me. She became embarrassed and asked, "What are all these people doing here?" obviously having no knowledge of anything that had transpired. She kissed my hand, ate, and drank.
This I did on the fifth day of the week, on the 26th day of Tammuz, in the year 5426 from creation (1666), in Egypt. I have written all of this for those who will come after me, so that they should know that there is a G-d in Israel.
The insignificant Shmuel Vital.
*Editor's note: If R. Vital does not call it a dybbuk, I'm not going to either!
Source: Adapted by Yerachmiel Tilles from Shaar HaGilgulim, 40th Introduction, based on the translation by Pinchas Winston.
Connection: Seasonal - the date of the episode (as recorded in the final paragraph)
Rabbi Shmuel Vital (1598-1677) was the son of Rabbi Chaim Vital, the foremost student of The Holy Ari and the only one permitted to record his teachings. R. Shmuel inherited these manuscripts and arranged the publication of many of them. Born in Damascus where he officiated as a rabbinical judge for most of his life, he moved in 1663 to Cairo, Egypt, where he remained till his passing. He wrote a commentary on the siddur, according to the system of the holy Ari, which contained kabbalistic mediations for the prayers. He also wrote many other works, most of them unpublished, and collected his own and his father's novel insights on the Talmud.
Rabbi Chaim Vital (1543 - 30 Nisan 1620) Student of Rabbis Moshe Alsheich and Moshe Cordevero, but best known as the main disciple of Rabbi Yitzchak Luria and the authoritative redactor of his doctrines, as recorded in Etz Chaim ("Tree of Life"). Pri Etz Chaim ("Fruit of the Tree of Life"), and Shmoneh Sha'arim ("Eight Gates"). Author of several books of his own as well. http://ascentofsafed.com/cgi-bin/ascent.cgi?Name=763-42
If you save a life you save a world and he is now 103 B”H http://www.godvine.com/Man-Who-Saved-Over-600-Kids-From-Nazis-Gets-a-Touching-Surprise-1737.html
One can expect collateral damage in the next war: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/157552#.T_XHu_WhnIU
Hard to believe but Israel still has a few friends in the world but not that many: http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=276490
Makes me wonder why she suddenly decided to come two weeks before Romney? http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=276468
This is the weakening of the USA: http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2012/06/22/Contractors-Say-Defense-Cuts-Mean-Layoffs-and-Chaos.aspx?source=taboola#page1
A long editorial about Peres forgetting the past thanks to Martin S. http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=276448&fb_source=message
Assad is is hot water but continues: http://www.debka.com/article/22159/After-8-763-soldiers-killed-and-a-stream-of-defectors-Assad-still-thinks-he-can-win
Saudi ready to acquire Nuclear Capabilities quickly to fend off Iran: http://www.debka.com/article/22155/Saudis-are-buying-nuclear-capable-missiles-from-China
Navy has to protect Israeli Sea Gas Fields: http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?id=276633
Sudan the hidden war between Israel and Iran: http://www.wnd.com/2012/07/israel-iran-already-at-war/
Courtney wrote: "Rabbi Rachamim Pauli, do you have the Fox News channel there in Israel? Are you seeing this morning's special by Geraldo? I'm so infuriated by the terminology, "the occupation." Anyways, it's back on. Just wanted to see if you were seeing it. Shalom!"
Yes I am Infuriated and he gave so much time to that Arab Dr. Ashrawi with her poison and lies. He stood their complaisant. An assimilated leftist Jew! I would have preferred O'Reilly instead. RP Tsila sent me this on his past behavior: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2012/07/06/geraldo-rivera-holy-city-unholy-wars/
One cannot always remain neutral or in the third person but 98 times I and 19 times me in a 25 minute speech is a bit too much: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/i-me-obama-uses-first-person-pronoun-117-times-1-speech
On Monday 5 cars were hit with 15mm bullets from Gaza which is an anti-tank or anti-aircraft weapon one car hit had a bullet lodged in the dashboard another had the baby seat with a hole in it. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/157684#.T_soiPWhnIU
Finally not politics as usual: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/157692#.T_sqnvWhnIU
By 2015 Iran can hit NY, DC, Chicago, SF, LA with Nukes it is not expected that they will hit Detroit or parts of MN for some reason according to the Shahid Newspaper. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4253921,00.html
In the 1930’s Jews in Israel assessed the German threat before the European Jews understood now in 2012 the Israelis sense the threat to American Jews but like their forefathers in Europe they don’t get it – they just don’t want to view it: http://www.jpost.com/JewishWorld/JewishNews/Article.aspx?id=277013
Now for M. Wolfberg’s story “Bilaam and Balak”
Good Shabbos Everyone. In this week's portion Balak, we read about the attempts of the evil Bilaam to curse the Jewish people. When Bilaam opens his mouth intending to curse the Jewish people, Hashem causes Bilaam instead to utter praises of the Jewish people. In Bilaam's first "blessing" he says about the nation of Yisroel, "Behold! It is a nation that will dwell in solitude and not be reckoned among the nations." (Bamidbar 23,9)
There are many interpretations on this verse. One of the spiritually inspirational interpretations of this verse is the following: We Jews are different than the Nations of the World. The Talmud tells us that a Jew is distinguished by three character traits: shyness, mercifulness, and dedication to doing of acts of kindness. (Yevamos 79b) The Talmud goes so far as to say that someone who lacks one of these qualities must be checked out to make sure that he is really Jewish! The following inspirational story illustrates how our Torah leaders exemplify what it means to be a doer of chessed - kindness.
Yossi Berman was very anxious to spend the day at the yeshivah in Kfar Chassidim. That was where he hoped to be accepted to learn, under the tutelage of the famed mashgiach (principal) Rav Eliyahu Lopian, one of the great mussar giants of his generation.
It was Wednesday. Yossi planned to spend one day in the yeshivah to see if it was the right place for him — sit in on a couple of shiurim - Torah lessons, listen to Rav Elyah's mussar shmuess (ethics 'pep-talk'), meet some of the other bochurim - students — and then head home for Shabbos, which was about an hour and a half away.
After a short while, Yossi knew this was the right place for him. He felt comfortable around the young men, and enjoyed the davening and learning very much. Later that day, after meeting with the mashgiach, he would find out if he was accepted. The time came, and he was called to the mashgiach's office.
Although Rav Elyah was warm and caring, Yossi could not help but be intimidated and in awe of this great tzaddik. The mashgiach asked the boy about his home and family, and then asked some questions about the Gemara that Yossi had been learning. Yossi answered the questions on the Gemara very clearly and felt as though he had made a good impression.
Finally, Rav Elyah stood up, shook Yossi's hand, and welcomed him to the yeshivah. Yossi was incredibly impressed with the warmth of this man, and he looked forward to learning in the yeshivah and becoming close to him.
Although he was scheduled to leave the next day, Yossi decided to delay his departure for a few days and stay in the yeshivah for Shabbos. He didn't say anything to anyone about it, but on Friday he realized that he probably should have. He felt terrible, hoping the administration would not think him ungrateful or impolite by "barging" in for Shabbos.
His anxiety turned to panic when he was told that the mashgiach wanted to see him. Yossi was frightened. He was sure he would be chastised for assuming he could stay for Shabbos without asking, and he would probably lose his chance to learn at the famous yeshivah.
All his dreams were to be destroyed by this one error. He was so disappointed in himself. He walked into the mashgiach's office and waited for the mashgiach to speak, too nervous to utter a word.
"Didn't you tell me that you were going home for Shabbos?" asked Rav Elyah. The small window of hope had just been shattered. If there was any chance of his being called in for another reason, now that seemed to just slip away. Yossi confirmed that he had planned to leave on Thursday but thought he would stay for Shabbos so that he could enjoy the yeshivah atmosphere a little longer.
The mashgiach nodded slowly, looked at Yossi, and continued. "Yossi, I guess you realize that there is a problem with your doing that." Yossi was on the verge of tears. He wanted to tell the mashgiach how very sorry he was and how he would never act so irresponsibly again.
Just as Yossi was about to speak, though, the mashgiach started to remove his kapota - frock coat. "Here, try it on for size." Yossi looked quizzically at Rav Elyah. What was going on? Was the mashgiach mocking Yossi somehow? But Yossi had actually misconstrued Rav Elyah's action.
"I imagine if you are staying unexpectedly, then you probably did not bring the proper Shabbos clothing. Try my kapota on. If it fits, I will be happy to give you a shirt, pants, and jacket for Shabbos."
Yossi did not know if he should laugh or cry. He was so elated, not only that the mashgiach had not reprimanded him, but also because he now knew how very right he was in choosing this yeshivah. His mashgiach was an a Torah Great who thought about the needs of others just as he would think of his own needs.
Yossi ended up learning in the yeshivah for many years. He did not need any mussar shmuess (ethics 'pep-talk') to teach him how to act. He had already received the greatest mussar shmuess (ethics 'pep-talk') of all. The love that the mashgiach showed for him was enough to motivate him to learn Torah in that yeshiva for many years! (Rabbi Y. Spira, p. 98 A Touch of Warmth) 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