Thursday, August 30, 2012

Parsha Ki Tzeitze, Bible Codes and Halacha

I got this msg: Raphael Chaim ben Chaya Rochel (already on your list) is going for surgery Friday, repair of ruptured gall bladder and exploratory of immobile intestines. What I thought would be temporary for Zahava bas Sara is turning into another month of medical treatment so please continue to pray along with the rest of the list.

Ki Tzeitzei

This week’s Parsha has two of the six remembrances. Remember what happened to Miriam and remember what Amalek did which are positive Mitzvos.

21:10 When you go forth to battle against your enemies, and the LORD thy God delivers them into thy hands, and thou carries them away captive, 11 and see among the captives a woman of goodly form, and thou hast a desire unto her, and would take her to thee to wife;

[And you desire her,] you may take [her] for yourself as a wife: [Not that you are commanded to take this woman as a wife,] but Scripture [in permitting this marriage] is speaking only against the evil inclination [, which drives him to desire her]. For if the Holy One, blessed is He, would not permit her to him, he would take her illicitly. [The Torah teaches us, however, that] if he marries her, he will ultimately come to despise her, as it says after this, “If a man has [two wives-one beloved and the other despised]” (verse 15); [moreover] he will ultimately father through her a wayward and rebellious son (see verse 18). For this reason, these passages are juxtaposed. — [Tanchuma 1]

A soldier in battle which had not the Geneva Convention but to the victor belongs the spoils convention, it would be easy for a David to see a beautiful Chaggit with at least one child, Tamar. One such a capture of a woman was the daughter of Rav by a Babylonian/Persian soldier in the third century of the modern era. She gave birth to Rav Murray bar Martha. Why was he named the son of Martha? That was because she gave birth to him before she convinced her husband to convert. So this practice was not unusual. After reading the story below about what Orly saw in Afghanistan, I would say that some of the ladies in Burkas would be better off being captive by a modern person but they are out of luck for it is not done by the modern man.

12 then thou shalt bring her home to thy house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;

And let her nails grow: Heb. וְעָשְׂתָה אֶת-צִפָּרְנֶיהָ. She must let them grow, so that she should become repulsive [to her captor, to induce him to change his mind about marrying her]. — [Sifrei 21:7, Yev. 48a]

The soldier was given a Heter (or Hetair = permission/dispensation) to take this woman because of his powerful urges. Now he was to get used to living with her without her beautiful tresses and she was to have scratchy nails go to the Mikvah for Conversion without the testing of the Rabbinute. Having her head shaved, having nails grow into claws, having a kosher kitchen and refraining from being with this new husband for month might not be the biggest dream of marriage that she ever had and having a bald wife might be his biggest dream of a woman. On top of this not to mention that there might be a language, IQ and custom barrier in the way. Perhaps he will begin to wonder if he had his brain in gear when he took her.

13 and she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thy house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month; and after that you may go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife.

Up until now she was a captive that the man took by conquest and now he was to marry her and make her into a full wife.

14 And it shall be, if you have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, you shalt not deal with her as a slave, because thou hast humbled her.

What is the chance that the new wife who was taken by force would not be infatuated by the husband would not be madly in love with him would have a high probability. Perhaps out of fear or the Stockholm syndrome she would behave just the opposite.

15 If a man have two wives, the one beloved, and the other hated, and they have borne him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the first-born son be hers that was hated; 16 then it shall be, in the day that he causes his sons to inherit that which he has, that he may not make the son of the beloved the first-born before the son of the hated, who is the first-born; 17 but he shall acknowledge the first-born, the son of the hated, by giving him a double portion of all that he has; for he is the first-fruits of his strength, the right of the first-born is his.

A question arises regarding Yacov Avinu who gave the Bechor to Yosef instead of Reuven. There are three answers to this. One Yacov loved Leah and the proof is that he chose to be buried next to her in the Machpelah Cave. Secondly, Reuven by re-arranging Yacov’s bed after the death of Rachel from the tent of Bilhah forfeited his first-born rights as a punishment. The third and most powerful argument is that this all occurred before Matan Torah. For everything that was before the Torah was given was essentially under the laws of the Bnei Noach.

18 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, that will not hearken to the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and though they chasten him, will not hearken unto them;

(I remember learning the English Grammar rule regarding “If” the correct English is “have” and in Fiddler on the Roof should have been “If I ‘were’ a rich man”) The juxtaposition of the rebellious son to the captive woman brings about the cause and effect. If the captive woman is taken by the soldier in a more romantic way, he has conquered her heart but if she is forced there is a tingle of hatred within her. At this point she can be treated like a queen and yet produce an Abshalom who will rebel against his father to such an extent that he will endanger his life.

19 then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; 20 and they shall say unto the elders of his city: 'This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he doth not hearken to our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.'

The Talmud states in Sanhedrin that such a son never existed because our Sages said that he would have to eat something like a Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contest all the time and drink enough wine to probably kill the fellow by alcohol poisoning. In addition the law only applied to the age of 13 years and one day to 13.5 years plus he had to have signs of puberty and lastly both the mother and father would have to have similar voices aka to speak in one voice (the woman could not have a high soft voice and the man a bass voice but they voices would almost be indistinguishable). There is a dispute in the Talmud if there ever was such a case. One of the Sages claimed to have been to the grave of such a child.

21 And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die; so shalt thou put away the evil from the midst of thee; and all Israel shall hear, and fear. 22 And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree;

This will be a warning to others to instill fear of sin.

23 his body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt surely bury him the same day; for he that is hanged is a reproach unto God; that thou defile not thy land which the LORD thy God gives thee for an inheritance.

Even if he sinned, he is G-D’s creation and the dead deserve honor of a decent burial.

22:1 Thou shalt not see thy brother's ox or his sheep driven away, and hide thyself from them; thou shalt surely bring them back unto thy brother.

It is a great Mitzva to return lost property and declare such things. Also to help your neighbor:

…4 Thou shalt not see thy brother's ass or his ox fallen down by the way, and hide thyself from them; thou shalt surely help him to lift them up again.

5 A woman shall not wear that which pertains unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment; for whosoever doeth these things is an abomination unto the LORD thy God.

This is the third abomination that pertains to Homosexuality, cross-dressing, uni-sex, etc. Of the 6 abominations in the Torah 3 deal with deviant sexual behavior and two idol worship therefore we can ask ourselves what society is doing today. Does in anger the great and holy NAME of the L-RD?

6 If a bird's nest chance to be before thee in the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, and the dam sitting upon the young, or upon the eggs, thou shalt not take the dam with the young; 7 thou shalt in any wise let the dam go, but the young thou may take unto thyself; that it may be well with thee, and that thou may prolong thy days.

Only two Mitzvos in Torah have the proclamation of lengthening your days. This one and the honoring of ones parents have lengthening of life. It is said that once Elisha ben Avuya was walking and he saw a father order his son to climb up a tree and fetch the young birds. The son started the process and fell down from the height and died. He then discarded all that he had learned in Torah and went to living the life of a non-believer like a non-Jew. The Rabbis then proclaimed that he had made a great mistake for it is not lengthening one days in this world only but in the next.

8 When thou build a new house, then thou shalt make a parapet for thy roof, that thou bring not blood upon thy house, if any man fall from thence.

One has to have a safety standard in his house and build it with respect to human life so as not to endanger anybody whether yourself, family or visitors.

…23:2 He that is crushed or maimed in his privy parts shall not enter into the assembly of the LORD.

What consists of crushed or maimed is covered in detail in Shulchan Aruch Eben HaEzer Siman 5

3 A bastard shall not enter into the assembly of the LORD; even to the tenth generation shall none of his enter into the assembly of the LORD. 4 An Ammonite or a Moabite shall not enter into the assembly of the LORD; even to the tenth generation shall none of them enter into the assembly of the LORD for ever;

Shulchan Aruch Eben HaEzer Siman 4 speaks about these cases, mixed up children and those found abandoned.

… 24: 1 When a man takes a wife, and marries her, then it cometh to pass, if she find no favor in his eyes, because he hath found some unseemly thing in her, that he writes her a bill of divorcement, and gives it in her hand, and sends her out of his house,

Although there are a list of physical defects including bad breath that one can find to divorce a wife, marriage should not be taken so lightly. If it is personality conflict, behavior irregularities, child or spouse abuse, immodesty, or deciding to observe Torah any more one has grounds for a divorce.

… 9 Remember what the LORD thy God did unto Miriam, by the way as ye came forth out of Egypt. 10 When thou dost lend thy neighbor any manner of loan, thou shalt not go into his house to fetch his pledge. 11 Thou shalt stand without, and the man to whom you do lend shall bring forth the pledge without unto thee. 12 And if he be a poor man, thou shalt not sleep with his pledge; 13 You shalt surely restore to him the pledge when the sun goes down, that he may sleep in his garment, and bless thee; and it shall be righteousness unto thee before the LORD thy God.

All loans except business investments that the Torah writes about are non-interest loans to brethren and one is entitled to receive a pledge for repayment. However, if the man is so poor; he may only keep the mediocre pledge until sundown and the poor man is entitled to his garment or his hammer, ax or whatever was used.

… 25: 4 Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treads out the corn.

It is the nature of the Ox to eat something from time to time and it is equivalent to torture to muzzle him from eating what his eye sees.

5 If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not be married abroad unto one not of his kin; her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of a husband's brother unto her.

Yebum or a Levirate Marriage was only done if the late brother had no children. However, a brother that had heirs was forbidden as that of “a brother” the Torah gave a dispensation for the brother who had no children. Because of the Orphans, a sister was allowed to married a widowed husband as she would have more affection to the children. (Remember two sisters are forbidden to marry the same man when both are alive. The punishment is Kares if violated.)

…17 Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way as ye came forth out of Egypt; 18 how he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, all that were enfeebled in thy rear, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God. 19 Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget.

I am asking my readers who plan to vote for Obama to skip this paragraph so as not to get them angry - Even though this is pure Prophecy from 2364 years ago We do not know in truth who is Amalek today. Sefer HaChashmal deals with Gematria and Bible Codes. One code starting on Cursed be Haman and blessed be Mordechai sells out the full name Aleph-(Vav) -Bet-Aleph-Mem-Hay then the words Bet I don’t know if there is an Aleph but there is a Resh Kuf and the name Hay-Vav-Samach-Nun aka Obama, Barak Hussein. I don’t have the Sefer before me and don’t have the passage now so I may have botched things up if it was the name with the Vav or not.

Hilchos Deyos of the Rambam

Halacha 5

Silence is a safeguard for wisdom.

Therefore, one should not hasten to answer, nor speak at length. He should teach his students in calm and tranquility without shouting or wordiness. This is what Solomon stated: "The words of the wise are heard in tranquility" (Ecclesiastes 9:17). (My favorite sign was in the house of a friend which said with a picture of a fish and a hook: Even a fish would not get into trouble if it kept its big mouth shut.)

Halacha 6

A person is forbidden to act in a smooth-tongued and luring manner. He should not speak one thing outwardly and think otherwise in his heart. Rather, his inner self should be like the self which he shows to the world. What he feels in his heart should be the same as the words on his lips.

It is forbidden to deceive people, even a non-Jew. For example, one should not sell a gentile the meat of an animal which has not been ritually slaughtered as if it were ritually slaughtered meat, nor a shoe made from the hide of an animal which has died of natural causes as if it were made of the hide of a slaughtered animal. One should not press his colleague to share a meal with him when he knows that his colleague will not accept the invitation, nor should he press presents upon him when he knows that his colleague will not accept them. He should not open casks supposedly for his colleague which he must open for sale, in order to deceive him into thinking that they have been opened in his honor. The same applies with all matters of this sort.

It is forbidden to utter a single word of deception or fraud. Rather. one should have only truthful speech, a proper spirit and a heart pure from all deceit and trickery. (People should know that many a used car can be sold honestly but to be slimy about the sale one violates a number of Mitzvos with Lashon HaRa.)

Halacha 7

One should neither be constantly laughing and a jester, nor sad and depressed, but happy. Our Sages declared: "Jesting and lightheadedness accustom one to lewdness." They also directed that a man should not laugh without control, nor be sad and mournful, but receive everyone in a friendly manner.

Similarly, he should not be greedy, rushing for wealth and possessions, nor lazy and an idler from work. Rather, he should be of a goodly eye and limit his business endeavors so that he may occupy himself with Torah study. He should be happy with the little which is his lot.

He should not be quarrelsome, of envious temperament, full of desires, nor pursue honor. Our Sages have said: "Envy, desire and honor remove a man from life in this world."

The general principle is that one should follow the midpoint quality of each temperament until all his traits are aligned at the midpoint. This is what is implied by Solomon's statement: "Make even the turning of your foot and make all your ways firm" (Proverbs 4:26). (One should know that the Chofetz Chaim had a sense of humor and so did our Sages and Rabbi A.L. and I are always sending jokes on the net – yet one thing is to make a man’s soul ready for Torah and one thing is to overdo it. Laughing Yoga to get people to say ha during the work out is good but rolling on the floor laughing is too much.)

Mussar before the High Holidays

I jumped ahead to chapter six for this Mussar: Hilchos Deyos Chapter Six

Description: Description:

Halacha 1

It is natural for a man's character and actions to be influenced by his friends and associates and for him to follow the local norms of behavior. Therefore, he should associate with the righteous and be constantly in the company of the wise, so as to learn from their deeds. Conversely, he should keep away from the wicked who walk in darkness, so as not to learn from their deeds.

This is [implied by] Solomon's statement (Proverbs 13:20): "He who walks with the wise will become wise, while one who associates with fools will suffer." Similarly, [Psalms 1:1] states: "Happy is the man who has not followed the advice of the wicked.

The Rambam says further that one must remove himself from the wicked even if he has to live alone in a cave. So this cave man is not primitive but the last remnant of civilization seeking shelter. For at times there was Sodom or Rome with their orgies and wickedness. Once a Rabbi went to an Inn for the night and asked for a room. He insisted upon raising the bed to see if there was anything underneath it. There he found a dead child. Had he sat or slept on the bed he would have been accused of murder. There are wicked people in the world and we must be wary of them.

Tzeduka (Charity) before Rosh Hashanah saves from death.

Remember the poor elderly woman who was a bus monitor and bullied she gave more than 10% of the donations to start an anti-bullying foundation a wonderful Yiddisher Neshama at work:

The Torah is a tree of life for those who support and observe it. One cannot observe as an ignoramus. A boorish person cannot observe the Torah properly. One needs to learn Halacha daily and preferably in conjunction a Daf Yomi like on which has in English, Hebrew and Yiddish. Still the Torah is one of the three pillars that keep the world from being destroyed along with prayer and charity according to Perkei Avos 1:2 Shimon the Righteous was among the last surviving members of the Great assembly. He would say: The world stands on three things: Torah, the service of G-d, and deeds of kindness. (Gemilus Chessed or merciful deeds or charity)

One of the highest Mitzvos is to support all of Am Yisrael by support a Yeshiva or Kollel and giving charity money for the young men who learn. One cannot expect people who sit and learn 12 to 16 hours a day to go out and earn a living. We can expect them to share Torah and teach our generation and the prepare the next. However, they are not alive by breathing the air only or just sleeping on the ground and eating a morsel of bread and drinking a little water. They have the right to have a family, clothing, and money for buying Seforim, having children and educating them. That means some of us have to step up to perpetuate the Torah shiurim by donating to the Yeshivos and Kollelim.

In the there is an old photo of our night Kollel. We have a full time day Kollel not one to learn for just keeping the Torah going but to train young men to be Dayanim. I am reviving and reviewing my translation of the first section of Even HaEzer while the Kollel is in about year 5 or 6 of Choshen Mishpat. I used to be able to donate quite a few thousand dollars out of my pocket when I worked. Now that I am on pension, my 10% of charity has gone down. There is also a larger unemployment and lower incomes all around are down and we need money. I give and not a penny comes to me. I am asking my readers to consider sending money to the Kollel to help support these young men and their families. Please send checks to Kollel Beit Shlomo c/o Rabbi Mimran Rehov Ohr HaChaim 5/2 71919 Modiin Illit Israel

Please send some donation as the former rich people have been hit hard in this economy and the Kollel depends on checks of $10, $15, $25 and $50 instead of $100’s and $500’s as in past years.

The Question and Answer from the Lubavitcher Rebbe:

Why Separate Men and Women in the Synagogue? The Mechitzah Partition By Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, The Lubavitcher Rebbe

By the Grace of G‑d
10th of Nissan, 5721 [March 27, 1961]
Brooklyn, NY

Greeting and Blessing:

This is in reply to your letter and questions: Regarding the Mechitzah [partition between the men and the women] in the synagogue.

You mention several explanations which have been suggested to you, according to which the necessity for a Mechitzah would be qualified and limited to certain conditions only.

Let me preface my answer with a general observation about a misconception in this matter. It is a mistake to think that the Mechitzah is degrading to the honor or dignity of the Jewish woman. The best proof of this is that although the love of parents for their children is not only a very natural one, but has even been hallowed by the Torah, as we pray to G‑d to show us the same fatherly feeling (“As a father has mercy on his children”), yet there is a Din [law] in the Shulchan Aruch [the Code of Jewish law, the volume of] Orach Chaim 98,1 that it is forbidden to kiss one’s little children in Shul [synagogue], and, moreover, even not during the time of prayer. Not to mention the Din of the Torah to esteem and honor every human being created in the “image” of G‑d. To think that there could be anything degrading in the Mechitzah is to betray complete ignorance not only of the significance of the Mechitzah but of the whole attitude and way of the Torah.

One of the inner and essential reasons for the Mechitzah—since you insist on an explanation—is that the synagogue, and the time of prayer in general (even when recited at home), are not merely the place and time when a formal petition is offered to Him Who is able to fulfill the petition; it is much more profound than that. It is the time and place when the person offering the prayer unites himself with Him to Whom the prayer is offered, by means of the prayer. And as our Sages declare: Know before Whom you stand: before the Supreme King of kings, the Holy One, blessed be He. “Know” (da), as the term daas [knowledge] is explained in the Tanya, in the sense of unity, as in “And Adam knew Eve.” The union of two things can be complete only when there is not a third element involved, be it even a matter of holiness and the like.

From the above it follows that there certainly must be nothing to distract the attention and the attunement of the heart and mind towards the attainment of the highest degree of unity with G‑d.

From the above it also follows that the separation of the sexes by a Mechitzah has nothing to do with any particular condition or state in the women, as has been suggested to you.

It further follows also that the purpose of the Mechitzah is not just to set up a visible boundary, for which a Mechitzah of several inches might do, but it must be one that completely hides the view, otherwise a Mechitzah does not accomplish all its purposes.

I have indicated above, though quite briefly, some of the basic facts about a Mechitzah and the essential explanation behind it in order to answer your questions and satisfy your curiosity. I must say, however, quite emphatically, that the approach of testing and measuring Torah and mitzvoth by the yardstick of the limited and often fallacious human reason is totally wrong. The human intellect is a very unreliable gauge, and quite changeable from one extreme to the other. Even in the so-called exact sciences, the unreliability of human reason and deduction has been amply demonstrated, and what was one day considered as an “absolute” truth is the next day abrogated with equal certainty and absoluteness. Hence to presume to make conditions in regard to the eternal and G‑d-given Torah and mitzvoth is completely out of place.

Therefore, inasmuch as we have been instructed to have a Mechitzah in the house of prayer, it would violate even common sense to present a petition to the Almighty in a manner which displeases Him, and to add insult to injury, to declare that “the reason I do not accept this regulation is because my human intelligence suggests to act otherwise than is the will of the En Sof [the Infinite G‑d], yet, please fulfill my request anyway!”

Much more should be said on this subject, but it is difficult to do so in a letter.

I trust that in harmony with your search for knowledge which you display in your letter, you have regular daily periods of study of the Torah and the Torah view, and that it is the kind of study which leads to action and practice in the daily life, as our Sages emphasized that the essential thing is the deed.

The enclosed message will surely be of interest to you.

Wishing you and your fellow students a kosher, happy and inspiring Pesach [Passover],

With blessing,

Sent by C.H. is the sister of the woman mentioned here Serving in Afghanistan at age 56

Orly Avior, an Israeli woman in the American army, was in the country for eight months. - RHONDA SPIVAK

Orly Avior, a 56-year-old Jewish Israeli citizen, living in Netanya, was awfully surprised to get a letter in September 2008 from Uncle Sam telling her that the U.S. army was sending her to Iraq for active military service.

"Eight months earlier, I thought the army had agreed to put me in the retired reserves, given my age and physical condition.... When I got mail from them, I said to Ariel, my husband, my retirement has come through.... Then I opened the letter and saw they were sending me to Iraq. Ariel thought I was joking," said Avior, who made aliyah from the United States in 2005.

Avior grew up as Gigi Banjak, living in Sharpsville, Penn. Although her husband, Ariel, thought it was dangerous to send her – a Jewish Israeli middle-aged woman – to Iraq and began to make efforts to contact the U.S. State Department, Avior was prepared to go. "Her patriotism compelled her," said her husband.

Plans changed, however, and Avior ended up being sent to the United States for two months of training and then, via Kuwait, to Afghanistan for eight months. She returned to Israel this August, with a few souvenirs: a Meritorious Service Award presented by Gen. Huber of the 33rd Infantry Brigade, a certificate from the Afghanistan Ministry of Education for her volunteer work reviving Girl Scouts in Kabul and a long blue burka. "I can show people how hard it is to see through the burka and how uncomfortable it is to wear," she said.

In Afghanistan, Avior worked as the equal-opportunity noncommissioned officer, receiving complaints from any American soldier who felt discriminated against on the basis of race, religion, gender or national origin. "One soldier who gave a female soldier a pat on the butt was sent home," she said.

In addition to handling discrimination complaints, Avior got to sense firsthand the unpredictable pulse of life in Afghanistan. She met many Afghani soldiers, whom the United States is arming and training against the Taliban insurgency and al-Qaida.

Avior joined American security forces on "dismount" missions, where a convoy goes out to a village, "while a gunner and driver stay in the vehicle and the soldiers walk through the village speaking to elders and townspeople to try to get some intelligence."

It is through these missions that Avior said the Americans "get to know which villages are for us and which are Taliban sympathizers."

She said, "None of the women will talk to us, just the men talk and the women leave."

In one village, for example, the Americans learned on their dismount mission that the local school needed supplies and, accordingly, the U.S. army dropped off the supplies. "Then they [the villagers] were more likely to give us information on Taliban activity in the area," said Avior. "One time the village let us know that the Taliban had set up an improvised explosive device on the roadway, which we had disarmed – preventing soldiers' deaths."

Another time, the Americans did "a humanitarian drop of school supplies but then the Taliban came and burned the books and supplies.... We built several schools, but some are sitting empty because unless you are a boy and in a Taliban school, the Taliban doesn't want you in school. Luckily, we've had more success stories with schools than not."

The Taliban also has used children armed with improvised explosive devices. "They use the children because they know that the American soldiers are always giving them candy," explained Avior. "The Taliban made it impossible for us to be nice to the kids, for their own protection."

Last May, Avior e-mailed her family and friends, reporting on the Taliban's activities in the Zabul region near Pakistan: "They are blowing up roads and forcing teachers to shut down schools. They sliced off the ears of one defiant teacher.... A few months ago the Taliban threw acid in the faces of some of the girls walking to school to keep them from being educated. This is one of the reasons that we are getting 20,000 more soldiers, mostly to be sent to Zabul to prevent the area from falling back into chaos."

In addition to building schools, the American army has set up medical centers and "teaches the Afghani National Army medical aid." However, unfortunately, the Afghan army "is not forward thinking," according to Avior.

"If [Afghani] soldiers don't need something right now, they sell it," she said. "There isn't accountability. We're trying to teach them to keep the supplies they have. If they don't need it today, it doesn't mean they won't need it tomorrow. But the Afghanis will sell supplies to whomever will give them the most money, and that even could be the Taliban.... One thing I learned is you don't trust anyone there."

Avior is pessimistic about America pulling out from Afghanistan in the near future: "In the early 1970s, Afghanistan was a modernized country. We've been there for nine years. Obama has had to put in more troops. It could take a generation – maybe 20 years – before the Afghan army will be strong enough and educated enough to control their country."

Avior didn't tell people she was Jewish or Israeli. "Afghanis hate Israel," she said. "We hired Afghanis to set up Internet for our soldiers. To improve our system, we ordered parts and one of the parts ordered said 'Made in Israel.' The Afghanis wouldn't let the part into the country."

There is no postal system in Afghanistan, something that Avior discovered when an Israeli child in Ramat Poleg who is a stamp collector asked her to bring him back some stamps.

"I went into shops looking for them and learned that there weren't any, since there is no mail delivery," she said. "Afghanis have e-mail and cellphones but you can't send any letters or parcels by mail. It used to have a postal system many years ago, before it fell into chaos, but I don't know when. It's hard to believe it was once a functioning country. I was able to find my friend antique Afghani stamps at a bazaar."

Women in Afghanistan are treated "intolerably," Avior said. In Kabul, which is the "most modernized" city, the Taliban ruled a woman had to wear a burka and be accompanied by a male family member, otherwise "she could be beaten." Now, Avior said, in Kabul, most women won't go out by themselves but they will go out with a child. "Up to about 30 percent of the women in Kabul don't wear burkas but just wear a scarf," she added.

In the Afghan army, there are some women who enlist because, Avior said, "they have to feed their families." But, women can't make the rank of officer, only sergeant.

"The craziest thing is that many of the women in the Afghan army serve as security guards but the army won't issue them weapons. The women are in uniform but they are unarmed! I asked why they don’t allow women to have weapons. One of our captains asked an Afghani general about this and the general said it was because the men are afraid that the women will shoot them, so the army doesn't issue them weapons."

Avior also noticed that the female soldiers in the Afghan army were all wearing civilian shoes, not army boots. "This is because the women get the leftover men's boots and they are all too big to fit. When I realized this I donated some of my boots," said Avior.

As for the military accommodations on Camp Pheonix, Avior smiled and said, "We called the place we lived Lego Land. I lived in my own Conex Box, which was one bed wide and about a bed and a half long. We called it Lego Land because they [the American army] would take these Conex boxes and stack them one on top of another, and put one next to another, with a walk way between them. My Conex Box didn't come with a toilet, which was down the street."

This was deluxe accommodation, however, when compared to the B-Huts, wooden buildings that were shared among lower ranking soldiers.

"One of the B-Huts caught on fire and a couple of soldiers died, because it turned out that a whole hut could burn in only 15 minutes. That's because the Afghan locals we hired to do the work would thin their paint down with kerosene. So, you can't smoke or even light a candle in one of them, or else it can burn down very quickly."

Only at the very end of her time in Afghanistan, did Avior reveal that she was Israeli.

"There were two leaders in the Girl Scouts that I became really friendly with and when they asked for my address, I said I was Jewish and lived in Israel. I thought that they'd react more than they did, but it didn't seem to matter. But I never told the parents of the Girl Scouts, as some parents may have taken their kids out of the program."

Avior said one thing she wondered about the most during her time in Afghanistan was why the villagers, who were so poor, would have so many children, knowing how difficult a struggle it would be just to feed them.

"I asked my Afghani interpreter one day why women didn't believe in birth control and he said that most Afghanis have about five to 10 kids because they know that half of them aren't going to make it."

Rhonda Spivak is a Winnipeg freelance writer.

Elisha ben Avuya

(Hebrew: אלישע בן אבויה‎) (spelled variously, including Elisha ben Avuya) was a rabbi and Jewish religious authority born in Jerusalem sometime before 70 CE. After he adopted a worldview considered heretical by his fellow Tannaim and betrayed his people, the rabbis of the Talmud refrained from relating teachings in his name and referred to him as the "Other One" (אחר, Acher). Rabbi Louis Ginzberg, writing in the Jewish Encyclopedia (1901–1906), says that "it is almost impossible to derive from rabbinical sources a clear picture of his personality, and modern historians have differed greatly in their estimate of him. According to Grätz, he was a Karpotian Gnostic; according to Siegfried, a follower of Philo; according to Dubsch, a Christian; according to Smolenskin and Weiss, a victim of the inquisitor Akiba."

Little is known of Elisha's youth and of his activity as a teacher of Jewish Law. He was the son of a rich and well-respected citizen of Jerusalem, and was trained for the career of a scholar. The only saying of his recorded in the Mishnah is his praise of education: "Learning Torah as a child is like writing on fresh paper, but learning Torah in old age is like writing on paper that has been erased" (Avos 4:25). Other sayings attributed to Elisha indicate that he stressed mitzvoth (good deeds) as equal in importance to education:

To whom may a man who has good deeds and has studied much Torah be compared? To a man who in building [lays] stones first [for a foundation] and then lays bricks [over them], so that however much water may collect at the side of the building, it will not wash away. Contrariwise, he who has no good deeds even though he has studied much Torah — to whom may he be compared? To a man who in building lays bricks first and then heaps stones over them, so that even if a little water collects, it at once undermines the structure.

Elisha was a student of Greek; as the Talmud expresses it, "Acher's tongue was never tired of singing Greek songs" (Jerusalem Talmud, Megillah i. 9). The Talmud suggests that his study of Greek philosophy was one of the factors that led him to apostasy (Chaggiga 15b). Wilhelm Bacher, in his analysis of Talmudic legends, wrote that the similes attributed to Elisha (including the ones cited above) show that he was a man of the world, acquainted with wine, horses, and architecture. He evidently had a reputation as an authority in questions of religious practice, since Mo'ed Katan 20a records one of his Halachic decisions — the only one in his name, although others may be recorded under the names of his students or different rabbis. The Babylonian Talmud asserts that Elisha, while a teacher in the Beth midrash (Torah academy), kept forbidden books hidden in his clothes (Chaggiga 15b).

The Four Who Entered Pardes

The Aggadah regarding the four Tannaim (Mishnaic Sages of the 1st-2nd centuries CE) is found in the exoteric Rabbinic-mainstream Talmuds (Babylonian Talmud Hagigah 14b, Jerusalem Talmud Hagigah 2:1):

The Rabbis taught: Four entered the Pardes. They were Ben Azzai, Ben Zoma, Acher and Rabbi Akiva. Rabbi Akiva said to them, "When you come to the place of pure marble stones, do not say, 'Water! Water!' for it is said, 'He who speaks untruths shall not stand before My eyes' (Psalms 101:7)". Ben Azzai gazed and died. Regarding him the verse states, 'Precious in the eyes of G-d is the death of His pious ones' (Psalms 116:15). Ben Zoma gazed and was harmed. Regarding him the verse states, 'Did you find honey? Eat as only much as you need, lest you be overfilled and vomit it' (Proverbs 25:16). Acher cut down the plantings. Rabbi Akiva entered in peace and left in peace.[3]

In the commentary printed beside the Talmud text, Rashi says that Ben Azzai died from looking at the Divine Presence. Ben Zoma's harm was in losing his sanity. Acher's "cutting down the plantings" in the orchard refers to becoming a heretic from the experience. Acher means "the other one", and is the Talmudic term for the sage Elisha ben Avuya. Rabbi Akiva, in contrast, became the leading Rabbinic figure of the era.

Hosting Strangers a non-Jewish story of Chachnassas Orchim (hosting guests)

Here is an amazing story from a flight attendant on Delta Flight 15, written following 9-11:

"On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, we were about 5 hours out of Frankfurt, flying over the North Atlantic. All of a sudden the curtains parted and I was told to go to the cockpit, immediately, to see the captain. As soon as I got there I noticed that the crew had that "All Business" look on their faces. The captain handed me a printed message. It was from Delta's main office in Atlanta and simply read,

"All airways over the Continental United States are closed to commercial air traffic. Land ASAP at the nearest airport. Advise your destination."

"No one said a word about what this could mean. We knew it was a serious situation and we needed to find terra firma quickly.

The captain determined that the nearest airport was 400 miles behind us in Gander, New Foundland. He requested approval for a route change from the Canadian traffic controller and approval was granted immediately--no questions asked. We found out later, of course, why there was no hesitation in approving our request.

"While the flight crew prepared the airplane for landing, another message arrived from Atlanta telling us about some terrorist activity in the New York area.

A few minutes later word came in about the hijackings. "We decided to LIE to the passengers while we were still in the air. We told them the plane had a simple instrument problem and that we needed to land at the nearest airport in Gander, New Foundland to have it checked out.

"We promised to give more information after landing in Gander. There was much grumbling among the passengers, but that's nothing new! Forty minutes later, we landed in Gander. Local time at Gander was 12:30 PM! .... that's 11:00 AM EST.

"There were already about 20 other airplanes on the ground from all over the world that had taken this detour on their way to the U.S. After we parked on the ramp, the captain made the following announcement:

"Ladies and gentlemen, you must be wondering if all these airplanes around us have the same instrument problem as we have. The reality is that we are here for another reason." Then he went on to explain the little bit we knew about the situation in the U.S. There were loud gasps and stares of disbelief. The captain informed passengers that Ground control in Gander told us to stay put.

"The Canadian Government was in charge of our situation and no one was allowed to get off the aircraft. No one on the ground was allowed to come near any of the air crafts. Only airport police would come around periodically, look us over and go on to the next airplane.

In the next hour or so more planes landed and Gander ended up with 53 airplanes from all over the world, 27 of which were U.S. commercial jets.

"Meanwhile, bits of news started to come in over the aircraft radio and for the first time we learned that airplanes were flown into the World Trade Center in New York and into the Pentagon in DC.

People were trying to use their cell phones, but were unable to connect due to a different cell system in Canada. Some did get through, but were only able to get to the Canadian operator who would tell them that the lines to the U.S. were either blocked or jammed.

"Sometime in the evening the news filtered to us that the World Trade Center buildings had collapsed and that a fourth hijacking had resulted in a crash. By now the passengers were emotionally and physically exhausted, not to mention frightened, but everyone stayed amazingly calm.

We had only to look out the window at the 52 other stranded aircraft to realize that we were not the only ones in this predicament. "We had been told earlier that they would be allowing people off the planes one plane at a time.

At 6 PM, Gander airport told us that our turn to deplane would be 11 am the next morning. Passengers were not happy, but they simply resigned themselves to this news without much noise and started to prepare themselves to spend the night on the airplane.

"Gander had promised us medical attention, if needed, water, and lavatory servicing. And they were true to their word. Fortunately we had no medical situations to worry about. We did have a young lady who was 33 weeks into her pregnancy. We took REALLY good care of her. The night passed without incident despite the uncomfortable sleeping arrangements.

"About 10:30 on the morning of the 12th a convoy of school buses showed up. We got off the plane and were taken to the terminal where we went through Immigration and Customs and then had to register with the Red Cross.

"After that we (the crew) were separated from the passengers and were taken in vans to a small hotel. We had no idea where our passengers were going.

We learned from the Red Cross that the town of Gander has a population of 10,400 people and they had about 10,500 passengers to take care of from all the airplanes that were forced into Gander!

We were told to just relax at the hotel and we would be contacted when the U.S. airports opened again, but not to expect that call for a while. "We found out the total scope of the terror back home only after getting to our hotel and turning on the TV, 24 hours after it all started.

"Meanwhile, we had lots of time on our hands and found that the people of Gander were extremely friendly. They started calling us the "plane people."

We enjoyed their hospitality, explored the town of Gander and ended up having a pretty good time. "Two days later, we got that call and were taken back to the Gander airport.

Back on the plane, we were reunited with the passengers and found out what they had been doing for the past two days. What we found out was incredible.

"Gander and all the surrounding communities (within about a 75 Kilometer radius) had closed all high schools, meeting halls, lodges, and any other large gathering places. They converted all these facilities to mass lodging areas for all the stranded travelers. Some had cots set up, some had mats with sleeping bags and pillows set up.

"ALL the high school students were required to volunteer their time to take care of the "guests." Our 218 passengers ended up in a town called Lewisporte, about 45 kilometers from Gander where they were put up in a high school. If any women wanted to be in a women-only facility, that was arranged.

Families were kept together. All the elderly passengers were taken to private homes. "Remember that young pregnant lady? She was put up in a private home right across the street from a 24-hour Urgent Care facility. There was a dentist on call and both male and female nurses remained with the crowd for the duration.

"Phone calls and e-mails to the U.S. and around the world were available to everyone once a day.
During the day, passengers were offered "Excursion" trips. Some people went on boat cruises of the lakes and harbours. Some went for hikes in the local forests.

Local bakeries stayed open to make fresh bread for the guests. Food was prepared by all the residents and brought to the schools. People were driven to restaurants of their choice and offered wonderful meals. Everyone was given tokens for local laundry mats to wash their clothes, since luggage was still on the aircraft. In other words, every single need was met for those stranded travelers.

"Passengers were crying while telling us these stories. Finally, when they were told that U.S. airports had reopened, they were delivered to the airport right on time and without a single passenger missing or late.

The local Red Cross had all the information about the whereabouts of each and every passenger and knew which plane they needed to be on and when all the planes were leaving. They coordinated everything beautifully. It was absolutely incredible.

"When passengers came on board, it was like they had been on a cruise. Everyone knew each other by name.

They were swapping stories of their stay, impressing each other with who had the better time. Our flight back to Atlanta looked like a chartered party flight. The crew just stayed out of their way. It was mind-boggling.

Passengers had totally bonded and were calling each other by their first names, exchanging phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses.

"And then a very unusual thing happened. One of our passengers approached me and asked if he could make an announcement over the PA system. We never, ever allow that. But this time was different. I said "of course" and handed him the mike.

He picked up the PA and reminded everyone about what they had just gone through in the last few days. He reminded them of the hospitality they had received at the hands of total strangers. He continued by saying that he would like to do something in return for the good folks of Lewisporte.

"He said he was going to set up a Trust Fund under the name of DELTA 15 (our flight number). The purpose of the trust fund is to provide college scholarships for the high school students of Lewisporte.

He asked for donations of any amount from his fellow travelers. When the paper with donations got back to us with the amounts, names, phone numbers and addresses, the total was for more than $14,000!

"The gentleman, a MD from Virginia, promised to match the donations and to start the administrative work on the scholarship. He also said that he would forward this proposal to Delta Corporate and ask them to donate as well. As I write this account, the trust fund is at more than $1.5 million and has assisted 134 students in college education.

"I just wanted to share this story because we need good stories right now. It gives me a little Bit of hope to know that some people in a far away place were kind to some strangers who literally dropped in on them. It reminds me how much good there is in the world."

"In spite of all the rotten things we see going on in today’s world this story confirms that there are still a lot of good and Godly people in the world and when things get bad, they will come forward.

"God Bless America...and the Canadians."

As for me, I would have gone half out of my mind trying to get fruits, vegetables, kosher fish and perhaps get some kosher made bread with aluminum foil – yikes.

Now you know why the Israel Rabbinate do not support Reform “Rabbis” for they are missing Torah and Mitzvos.

Although I don’t usually pick up full articles from the papers and give the source I saw both Dror Ben Yemini in Maariv and Hagai Segal Yediot write this point I figured that it was time to write this down. Hagai: Last week South African police officers killed 34 striking miners. They were shot to death without the High Court of Justice and without B'Tselem. The local press responded with shock, but the government – not so much. It expressed deep regret, but claimed there was no other choice. The post-Apartheid regime justifies the use of live fire to settle labor disputes. Yes, this is the same regime that hosted the notorious Durban Conference and has been one of the staunchest critics of Israel's conduct in the West Bank. It has recently decided to label goods produced in the West Bank as originating from the ''Israeli Occupied Territories." The announcement was lauded by Israel's Left.

All of our legitimate measures to protect ourselves from the Palestinian enemy remind the current South African leadership of the oppressive white regime of the past century. After Israeli commandoes raided the Gaza-bound 'Marmara' ship, the South African ambassador in Tel Aviv was temporality recalled to Pretoria to protest the death of nine people in the incident. A day before the massacre of the miners, South Africa's deputy international relations minister said that he ''discourages'' South Africans from visiting Israel because the Jewish state "is an occupier country which is oppressing Palestine."

But it is okay for the South Africans themselves to oppress. “This is not the time for blaming or finger pointing," South Africa's National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega said following the terrible massacre at the platinum mine. The government's official website refers to the incident as a "tragedy." It is not hard to imagine what the South African government's website would have said had Israeli forces shot dead 34 Palestinian workers.

I received this from Z.I. regarding the Bible Codes and I am asking my readers who plan to vote for Obama to skip this paragraph in brown so as not to get them angry - Even though this is pure Prophecy from 2364 years ago, I will let it speak for itself as I have not done the research or have the program for the Bible Codes nor does my Hebrew spelling enable me to do such things. In the - the original Hebrew will appear.

Israel Insider: Torah codes predict, and warn about, Obama presidency
Posted by Israel Insider on November 7, 2008 at 5:18pm in Israel, Iran, and the Nuclear Threat

Two Jewish researchers, Joel Gallis and Dr. Robert Wolf, asserted with utter certainty in May 2007, long before Barack Hussein Obama had won his first primary and when it appeared that Hillary Clinton was a sure thing, that he would be the next president of the United States. [they were correct on this.]

More recently, in August 2008, the scholars reported that Obama's name "intersects" with a passage in the apocalyptic book of Daniel, Chapter 7, and specifically Daniel 7:25, which speaks of the last "king" who would oppress [THE ETERNAL ONE'S] people under the rubric of bringing about "change" to the world. [amazing!]

The scholars show that the numerical equivalent of "Barack Hussein Obama" in gematria – the practice of finding the numerical value of letters and creating associations between words and phrases – is 501. [THIS IS GEMATRIA WORKING!]
In an article from August 2008, the scholars elaborate that this number is associated with the "end of days" and two factors that they say the Torah indicate would trigger the apocalypse: the rise of Islam and the fact that Jews are bring about their own fall – by overwhelmingly helping to elect Obama:

The connection is that the descendants of Yishmael are the evil that will befall the Jewish People at that time. We will anger [THE ETERNAL ONE] through the work of our hands, במעשה ידיכם (a gematria of 501), and the evil of the ישמעאלים (also a gematria of 501) will befall us. So what could we have possibly done with our hands that would anger Hashem? With our very own hands, we finance and work to put the wrong people in power over us. This action results in our downfall. By putting into power leaders in Israel who don’t believe in [THE ETERNAL ONE], we help bring about a spiritual collapse. And by electing dangerous leaders in America and other countries, we assist in bringing our physical and moral downfall. We vote for these people, we put them in power, and we raise money for them. This inappropriate work of our hands will bring evil upon us in the form of Yishmael. For not only is the 501 value of במעשה ידיכם (the work of our hands), and our punishment, the ישמעאלים , but it is also connected to the next President of the United States that we are helping put in power through Jewish efforts. For is 501 also the gematria of ראש representing the new head, or leader of America.

So who will be the new ראש of America? Our readers probably will be shocked to learn that 501 is also the gematria of ברק חוסיין אובאמה, Barack Hussein Obama. [a coincidence?!]
Hashem watches as countless Jews, especially in Hollywood, California, rush to send their money to Obama’s campaign chest. And so, with our own hands we are in the process of taking a descendant from Yishmael and placing him as our Rosh in the White House, just 7 years after 9/11. He is indeed the evil that will befall us at the end of days, the evil that Moses spoke to our ancestors about.

But there are those who argue that Obama is youthful and energized in his appearance and his ideas. Why shouldn’t we believe him when he says the magic words that he is a friend of Israel? How do we really know he’s dangerous to us? Not only is his name the same gematria as Yishmaelim, evidencing that he is a Muslim although he denies it, but it also has a further connection to a wave of impending evil against the Jews and the rest of the world.

At our Passover seders we spill a drop of wine when we mention each of the 10 plagues, and also when we mention the abbreviation of those plagues by saying דצך עדש באחב . Well this abbreviation of the 10 plagues also has a gematria of 501, the same as Barack Hussein Obama and the Yishmaelim.

Obama and radical Muslims will bring as much havoc, destruction, and confusion to the world as all the 10 plagues together brought to Egypt. It’s interesting how Rabbi Yehudah, who made the acrostic or abbreviation of the plagues, took the first Hebrew letter of each plague. However, with respect to the last plague, מכת בכרות , the killing of the first born, he took the bais (the first letter of the 2nd word of the plague), rather than the mem (the first letter of the first word). Perhaps he knew that in the future, during the end of days, there would be an Obama. Perhaps his message is a warning to us that has been encoded in the Haggadah for nearly 2 thousand years until today.

The foreign minister of Hamas has recently endorsed Obama for president. The Los Angeles Times devoted a lengthy front-page story headlined, “Allies of Palestinians see a friend in Barack Obama.”

Ali Abunimah, a resident of Obama’s district, claims that Obama said several years ago when running for the Senate, that he was sorry he couldn’t talk more about the Palestinian cause since his primary campaign had constrained what he could say.

Daniel 7 (25) deals with the last king of the 4th beast of exile who will humble 3 other kings. Rav Saadia Gaon stated that the 3 kings or leaders who will be humbled, are from Israel, Greece (representing Europe), and Yishmael (representing the Arab nations). This haughty, arrogant king will speak words against [THE ETERNAL ONE] and the Jewish People, and he will try to change the times and the law. How interesting is it that this very word, change, is the key word used by Obama in his campaign?

The coded, end of days message that Yaakov gave over to his sons was not deciphered by them. But our generation, the generation alive at the end of days, can understand the clues and break the code.

In Yaakov’s statement there are 4 words אשר יקרא אתכם באחרית (that will befall you in the end). The word אשר that describes the identity of the evil has a gematria of 501 the same as Barack Hussein Obama. And if you look at the word באחרית , in the end, the first 3 letters contain the initials of Obama. The bais is for ברק Barack, the aleph is for אובאמה Obama, and the ches is for חוסיין Hussein.

The scholars, using the clues of the book of Daniel, say that Obama will reign as "King" for three and a half years.

War game accident as infantry soldier is run over by a tank:

The laugh is on the dumb headed German Judge:

Besides the Bible Codes about him - Benyamin Netanyahu has been warned that HASHEM will deal with his treachery:,7340,L-4273298,00.html

Dates for the Jewish Holidays in 5773 and info on the holidays fast days are not listed:

Removing the winner is like Pharaoh striking out the name of Moshe from all Egyptian records - When bullies make everything Ex-Post Facto and attack true heroes:

One of my granddaughter’s friends could not get into her High School and refuses to attend an all Sephardi High School in Kiriat Sefer. Yediot had a picture of her school in the Hebrew Version:,7340,L-4274676,00.html

Inyanay Diyoma

Do as I say not as I do dept. Netanyahu says one thing and does the reverse so we shall believe him accordingly

Israel and Egypt comes to an agreement regarding Sinai:,7340,L-4272499,00.html

The west is afraid of Al Qaeda so they plan to deal with Syria’s WMD’s.

Abbas is against the Iranian conference not because of the love of Mordechai but for the hatred of Haman:

Muslim brotherhood opens Rafiah crossing to Hamas and now is shopping for nuclear capabilities.

On the agenda Chemical Warfare Terrorism:


We could have a surprise war any time because of this:

After 10 years of trying in the US Courts and being rejected they are taking up time in the Israeli Courts in trying to sue Caterpillar CAT and the IDF.

Egyptian & Gaza:

IDF replies:

In a 30 minute speech to calm down Israelis he did not mention Israel once:,7340,L-4273813,00.html

Soldier Safety first in Israel:

I come to slaughter all of you in English not a religion of peace translated to Hebrew subtitles.

Are the Russians abandoning Assad or have they finished their naval drill?

Suspected FB troll - Warning this profile is not even Reform: RABBI/COACH ALAN J. WACHS PRESIDENT OF THE INDEPENDENT RABBIS GROUP OF FLORIDA. No other Rabbi in the world heard of this one. He claims to have gone to my Yeshiva of over 80 Alumni nobody recalls him

Although many of the modern Poles are friendlier to Israel the undercurrent of anti-Semitism is still there latently:

Enrichment in overtime:,7340,L-4275119,00.html

The British can talk about Obama from a neutral standpoint:

Now for M. Wolfberg’s Story: “Stand-by”

Good Shabbos Everyone. As we enter the Jewish month of Elul, we begin to increase our spiritual growth and improvement. It is especially important at this time to look back at the year gone past and to ask ourselves: What have my spiritual accomplishments been? What are my spiritual failures? As we approach judgment day on Rosh HaShana, we must make sure to correct all of our spiritual missteps and to resolve to be better in the coming year. The Torah tells us this week, “You shall be “tamim” with Hashem your G-d.” (Devorim 18:13) “Tamim” can be translated as “whole, flawless, perfect, honest, upright.” In order to learn a relevant spiritual lesson, we will read the above verse to say, “You shall be perfect with Hashem your G-d.” The mystical Torah teaches us that every mitzvah gives life to a different part of the body. When one violates the Torah, he therefore damages the spiritual power in the part of the body which did the offending deed. For example, when one violates the mitzvah of Lashon HaRa, (speaking ill of others) he damagesthe spiritual force in the mouth.
Therefore, when the verse tells us “You shall be perfect with Hashem your G-d” it is possible to say that the verse is telling us to do teshuva – to correct our spiritual wrongdoings. Because, when one does teshuva, he repairs the spiritual damage he has done to himself. So, only after teshuva – correcting one’s ways, can one’s soul be complete or ‘perfect’ in its relationship with Hashem.
Amazing stories of divine providence have a tremendous power to awaken our hearts to do teshuva. Because, if we can internalize the idea that Hashem supervises the entire world, then it will be easier for us to want to do teshuva. Because, through amazing stories such as the following, we will know with a certainty that nothing goes unnoticed in heaven…
A group of four frum (religiously observant) businessmen from Cleveland had arranged to travel together by plane early one Sunday morning to a New York City trade show. It was Rosh Chodesh Elul (the first of the month of Elul). One of the businessmen Reb Mordechai, had assured the others that, provided their plane landed on time at LaGuardia Airport in New York City, they would be able to catch any of a number of minyanim for Shacharis (the morning prayers) in Manhattan and still be at the trade show when it opened at 9:00 A.M.
R' Mordechai was supposed to pick up the others at 5:00 A.M. to catch the flight an hour later. But he overslept, and at 5:30 his brother, a second member of the group, came frantically to his house to see what had happened. R' Mordechai awoke with a start and told his brother to get the others and go without him; he himself would have to make the next plane. The three others made their way to the airport as R' Mordechai frantically put his things together, dashing around to find his tallis, tefillin, attache case, trade samples and car keys. Equipped with a cup of coffee and his radar detector, he drove with abandon and got to the plane just as the doors were about to be closed. The others were surprised that he had made it.
The plane took off from Cleveland's Hopkins Airport in perfect weather. But shortly after the flight was in progress the captain announced that he had just been informed that there was a thick blanket of clouds and fog enveloping the New York City area. He promised the passengers to keep them informed of any developments. The men began to become apprehensive, for they had not really left much time to get from the airport to a minyan and still be on time to the trade show.
The flight continued as passengers tried to figure out alternate ways of getting to their destinations if they couldn't land in New York. Soon the captain's voice came over the intercom again. The news was not good, he announced. The fog had traveled westward over the New Jersey border, and not only was it impossible to land in New York, it would be dangerous even to attempt a landing at Newark Airport. They would have to land further south - in Washington, D.C.
On board with these businessmen was a small group of chassidim. They had come to spend Shabbos in Cleveland Heights with their rebbe, Reb Mechele, and were returning to New York that morning as well. When the plane landed in Dulles Airport, in the nation's capital, the chassidim and the businessmen decided that perhaps they had better form a minyan right there, for by the time they could catch a connecting flight and land in New York, the time for reciting Shema would be long gone. They counted to see if they had ten. Indeed, the chassidim were six, and then they counted the businessmen: one, two, three - and R' Mordechai made four! They had their minyan -and only because R' Mordechai had caught the plane!
A member of the airline personnel designated a corner of the waiting room where they could say their morning prayers. The ten men congregated there, each in his tallis and tefillin. All this was in perfect view of any passersby who could watch the proceedings through the glass partition behind which the men stood.
As they were saying Hallel, a well-dressed man slowly and hesitantly walked into the area where they were davening (praying). A few heads turned to see what he wanted. "Would you mind if I said Kaddish?" the man asked softly.
One of the businessmen, R' Yankel, was taken aback. The man hardly looked Jewish. How did he even know about Kaddish, and what did he want with it? It was then that R' Yankel noticed that the man was wearing a black ribbon on his lapel.
R' Yankel motioned to the man to wait for a few moments and he did so. At the appropriate time R' Yankel went over to the man, gave him a prayer book and a yarmulke, helped him put on a pair of tefillin and said, "You may begin the Kaddish." The man looked around uneasily, then began. "Yisgadal veyiskadash ..." he whispered, and burst into tears. He regained his composure and continued, "... shemei rabbah ..." The men answered "Amen" with reverence. The gentleman struggled through the remainder of the words, as the men of the Minyan helped him get through the entire Kaddish.
When he finished, he nodded his head in thanks and asked, "Is there another one to recite later?" They told him that there was. He waited patiently and then after the davening they motioned to him once again to begin. And once again as he said the Kaddish he burst into tears. All in the minyan could not help but be touched by the sensitivity and sadness of the man.
When Shacharis (the morning prayers) ended, one of the Chassidim went over to the gentleman and introduced himself. After a few moments of conversation the Chassid said, "I couldn't help but notice that you were so emotionally torn as you prayed. Is everything all right with you?"
It was then that the gentleman told this incredible story. "You see," he began, "my father died just a few days ago, and last night he came to me in a dream and said to me, 'Robert, how come you're not saying Kaddish for me?'
"In my dream I replied, 'Dad, I hardly know how to say Kaddish , and besides, there are no synagogues where I live and I am always traveling:
"'I need you to say Kaddish,' my father insisted to me. I kept repeating that I just could not get to a place where I could say Kaddish for him. It was then that he asked me, 'But what if I send you a minyan? Would you then say Kaddish?'
"'Of course I would,' I replied, and that's when I woke up. I couldn't believe that dream. I was trembling as I awakened. As I was getting dressed I managed to convince myself that there was really nothing to that dream. But then I came to the airport to catch a flight, and there, to my unbelieving eyes, were all of you praying in a Minyan -in the Minyan that was obviously meant for me!" (R. Paysach Krohn, p. AROUND THE MAGGID'S TABLE)
Hashem supervises all of the Creation. Hashem has kept an exact accounting of all our deeds. Let us use this time before Rosh HaShanna wisely, to repair our spiritual missteps.
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

A healthy, blessed and peaceful Shabbos to all,

Rachamim Pauli