Friday, October 26, 2012

Parsha Noach 2, Halacha and stories

My memory is not what it was in my youth for I believe it was Carl Sagan, whom I had the pleasure of meeting as a teen and working at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory a few rooms from him, wrote regarding the Divinity of the Torah that given enough monkeys pressing on typewriter keyboards one could write a Shakespeare Sonnet by accident – not Stephen Hawkins whom I never met face to face in my life.


Parsha Noach 2

7:1 And the LORD said unto Noah: 'Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before Me in this generation.

Rashi and the Sages of the Talmud ask the following question. If Noach had lived in the generation of Avraham or for that matter Hezekiah would he have been righteous? We just have to look around us today. There are people who break away from religion and others who become more religious in our generation. A generation also about to undergo an abrupt change from the level of promiscuity of Sodom v’ Amorah to absolute sponging off of other people for instance third world people who come to Britain and other European Countries and take advantage of the welfare system and don’t work or work under the table so to say. In the States we have families on food stamps to claim a large number of dependents using a poor of children with other food stamp users. Society is breaking down and cannot continue like this.

A second claim against Noach was that he was not proactive in trying to bring people back to HASHEM but passive in making the Teva. I claim that if he had lived during the prime influence of Avraham that Noach would have been even stronger in his belief and fortitude. Nobody can claim that I am not proactive on Shabbos, Kashrus or Family Purity yet I want to tell a story from my own dealings:

I was once on a cruise with a completely non-religious friend of mine. He did make an exception or two he holds a Seder each year for his family like his wife’s father used to with full tradition and stays home for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The Cruise Line offered a service for Friday night which is basically the main observance of the Reform Jews. People had asked me to lead the Service. When I got to the meeting room now designed as a temporary Synagogue, I opened up the Prayer Book and I saw black before my eyes (or perhaps in non-Jewish terms horns, red and a pitch-fork). I never had seen such a butchering of prayers. I know that sometimes Israelis don’t like my pronunciation of some words as they cannot see the intent but this was from the out-set a rearrangement and abbreviation of the prayers. It was this Reform arrangement rather than the oral tradition prayer where the Yemenites, Sephardim and Ashkenazim make the same blessings and perhaps change a word or two here and there. Even this I was willing to lead with my Hebrew and point out to the page in English on one silly condition that the men sit either on the right or the left and the women sit on the opposite side. Now they wanted to pray mixed. Hey Buddy this is not Gan Eden where Adam and Chava are running around in their birthday suits as innocent as the day they were created most of the folks on the cruise were older than I and probably much more worldly than I. I asked nicely to the people just once for a few minutes of prayer to humor me. I felt at that moment just like Noach but not quite 120 years of effort. I had put only two or three minutes trying to persuade these folks that if they sat separately for perhaps a half hour they could pray with me but if not I could not pray with them. The Talmud brings down statements about a house with idols in it. HASHEM states as the Shechina removes itself from such a house that I and them cannot abide in such a place. (Or like the time in Fussen Germany where I tried to rent a Zimmer only to find a T with an idol of a man over the bed – I used an excuse and left the place for the same reason for I want to be under the protection of the Shechina all the time.) 

In short my non-religious friends who are used to attending at least on Rosh Hashanah, Bar Mitzvos and Weddings real prayers in Eretz Yisrael were there with mouths agape. They watched the pseudo-prayer Service rearranged and rewritten with mixed seating. It was not like the Conservative that basically with minor changes kept the same prayers it was so far in the outfield that it was completely out of the ball park or out of the football stadium for my non-US readers. As non-observant Jews they called it making a joke of the prayers and HASHEM and unfortunately my 6th generation Reform Jewish Cousins and their children and grandchildren grew up this way. In most cases the sin is by accident or Shogeg and not like the original Shabbtai Zvi followers and Socialists on purpose or Mayzid.

From all this I come to the conclusion that although it was Noach’s job to try to save his generation as Avraham tried to save the town of Sodom with his prayer arguments with the Angels up until 10 people – sometimes it is beyond human hope and effort. So just as Rebbe Meir, the miracle worker, made fun of King Menashe and was rebuked in a dream from the next world so too I believe that Chachamim should not have criticized Noach. It is stated in Perkei Avos “Don’t judge a person until you can put yourself in his place.”

Unfortunately, I have to skip ahead over what I had covered before the computer line was hacked despite the firewall (if the Pentagon can be hacked so a little firewall of a private person on simple computer line all the more so).

8 And the sons of Noah, that went forth from the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth; and Ham is the father of Canaan. 19 These three were the sons of Noah, and of these was the whole earth overspread.

Due to the lack of time, I will only touch on a few minor points and the roots for some of what we shall see in the near future.

… 28 And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years. 29 And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years; and he died.

The flood occurred in the year 1656 after creation. Adding on 350 years we get the year 2006 and since Avram was born in 1948 and the whole earth at that time was one speech and reasonably concentrated in a relatively short distance between Turkey and India speaking the same language they were united in brotherhood. It is more than accident that our Sages say that Avram learned stories directly from Noach that had heard them from Metushalach who heard directly from Adam.  

I have underlined the main nations of the 70 that have or will have an effect on Am Yisrael from the time of Avraham until Goal Tzeddek.
10:1 Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japheth; and unto them were sons born after the flood. 2 The sons of Japheth: Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras.

Magog according to the Gaon from Vilna is Russia, Yavan is Greece and Tiras is Iran.

3 And the sons of Gomer: Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah.

Ashkenaz is Germany.

4 And the sons of Javan: Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. 5 Of these were the isles of the nations divided in their lands, every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations. 6 And the sons of Ham: Cush, and Mizraim, and Put, and Canaan.

Mitzrayim is Egypt, Put is Sudan, Ludim is Libya and Canaan are the original inhabitants of Eretz Yisrael who died off or migrated away.  

7 And the sons of Cush: Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabteca; and the sons of Raamah: Sheba, and Dedan. 8 And Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one in the earth. 9 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; wherefore it is said: 'Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the LORD.' 10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. 11 Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and Rehoboth-ir, and Calah, 12 and Resen between Nineveh and Calah--the same is the great city. 13 And Mizraim begot Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim, 14 and Pathrusim, and Casluhim--whence went forth the Philistines--and Caphtorim. 15 And Canaan begot Zidon his firstborn, and Heth; 16 and the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgashite; 17 and the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite; 18 and the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite; and afterward were the families of the Canaanite spread abroad. 19 And the border of the Canaanite was from Zidon, as thou goest toward Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest toward Sodom and Gomorrah and Admah and Zeboiim, unto Lasha. 20 These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, in their nations.

21 And unto Shem, the father of all the children of Eber, the elder brother of Japheth, to him also were children born. 22 The sons of Shem: Elam, and Asshur, and Arpachshad, and Lud, and Aram. 23 And the sons of Aram: Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Mash. 24 And Arpachshad begot Shelah; and Shelah begot Eber. 25 And unto Eber were born two sons; the name of the one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother's name was Joktan. 26 And Joktan begot Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah; 27 and Hadoram, and Uzal, and Diklah; 28 and Obal, and Abimael, and Sheba; 29 and Ophir, and Havilah,31 These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations. 32 These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations; and of these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood.

The first Sheva is in Africa aka Ethiopia and where the gold is in the land of Havilah is it in Africa near the Congo River or the Indus River which might be the second Havilah. One thing for sure is that they are two different nations with the same name. I would want to take an educated guess that the Sheva of Shem becomes Sherpa in modern days but I have no tradition or proof.  

11: 1 And the whole earth was of one language and of one speech. 2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.

At this point all mankind was living in one area united and speaking the same language.

3 And they said one to another: 'Come, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly.' And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar.

And they said to one another: One nation to another nation, Mizraim to Cush; and Cush to Put; and Put to Canaan. - [from Gen. Rabbah 38:8] Come: Heb. הָבָה, prepare yourselves. Every הָבָה is an expression of preparation, meaning that they prepare themselves and join for work, or for counsel, or for [bearing] a load. הָבָה, prepare yourselves, aparicler in Old French, to get ready. — [from Zohar , vol. 1, 75a] bricks: Because there are no stones in Babylon, which is a valley. — [from Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer ch. 24] and fire them thoroughly: This is how they make bricks, which are called tivles in Old French (tuilles in modern French): They fire them in a kiln.

4 And they said: 'Come, let us build us a city, and a tower, with its top in heaven, and let us make us a name; lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.'

Why the top in heaven? Why start from a low valley and not start building from Mt. Ararat? Why were they worried about being scattered over the face of the earth which in the end was their punishment?

lest we be scattered: That He should not bring upon us any plague to scatter us from here. — [from Tan. Buber, Noach 28]

 5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men built.

They were so concerned with building the city for the common purpose that they forgot the individual human beings. If a man became trapped in the bricks or injured they did little to help but continued on like ants or bees in a hive to build. Possibly some on the way down tried to help the man but none on the way up the Migdal. When a man fell to his death they did not care or stop even for a moment of silence.

6 And the LORD said: 'Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is what they begin to do; and now nothing will be withheld from them, which they purpose to do.

Lo! [they are] one people: All this goodness they have: that they are one people, and that they all have one language, and they have commenced to do this!- [from Seder Eliyahu Rabbah, ch. 31] they have commenced: Heb. הַחִלָּם, lit. their beginning, like אָמְרָם, their saying; עֲשׂוֹתָם, their doing; they have commenced to do. will it not be withheld: This is a question. The word יִבָּצֵר means withholding, as its Aramaic translation (יִתְמְנַע). And similar to it (Ps. 76:13): “He will withhold (יִבְצֹר) the spirit of princes.”

7 Come, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.'

Come, let us descend: He took counsel with His tribunal due to His extraordinary humility. — [from Sanh. 38b] Come: Measure for measure. They said, “Come, let us build,” and He meted corresponding [punishment] out to them by countering with,“Come, let us descend.” - [from Tan. Buber, Noach 25] and confuse: [The word וְנָבְלָה means] וּנְבַלְבֵּל, and let us confuse. The “nun” is used for the [prefix for the first person] plural, and the final “hey” is superfluous like the “hey” of נֵרְדָה, let us descend. — [from Targum Onkelos] will not understand: This one requests a brick, and that one brings mortar; this [first] one stands and cracks his skull. — [from Gen. Rabbah 38:10]

I view it more like the Medrash on the Creation of man. For these people according to Medrash wanted to ascend to heaven to make war so that no flood could ever occur again. They did not believe in what HASHEM had promised Noach. I am sure that Noach, himself, Shem, Arpachshard, Shelah and Ever warned against this. Avraham was a revolutionary rebelling against the idols and painted by the main-stream politically correct of his day as a reactionary extremist.

 8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth; and they left off to build the city.

And the Lord scattered them from there: in this world. That which they said, “lest we be scattered” (verse 4) was fulfilled upon them. This is what Solomon said, (Prov. 10:24): “The dread of a wicked man-that will befall him.” - [from Tan. Buber, Noach 28]

Scattering was alo a punchishment given to the Bnei Yisrael with the first Mikdash aka Beis Rishon only scatter to Bavel. While with Mikdash Shayne throughout the whole world. Like with the generation described here, the Jewish People were initially scattered out of the land and defeated but united because their sin was idolatry or a rebellion against G-D. With the second Temple it was a scattering for the brutal hatred of their fellow man.   

9 Therefore was the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth; and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

Bavel is in modern Hebrew is not only scatter but to confuse.  For once the Persians spoke their language to the Chinese laborers they became confused and asked the Greeks. Only one family kept the original language and the source of the Bible Codes. Avraham had saved the day. He had also to speak Iraqi and Turkish in his area but managed to communicate. Sign language became a way to make things understood between the family of nations but no more universal language remained.

The Medrash describes precisely what happed to the Migdal Bavel. One third on the top was destroyed by heaven, the bottom third sank into the ground and the remaining third remained. Was this the Ziggurat of Ur?

and from there… scattered them: This teaches [us] that they have no share in the world to come (Mishnah Sanh. 107b). Now which [sins] were worse, those of the Generation of the Flood or those of the Generation of the Dispersion? The former did not stretch forth their hands against God, whereas the latter did stretch forth their hands against God, to wage war against Him. Nevertheless, the former were drowned, while the latter did not perish from the world. That is because the Generation of the Flood were robbers and there was strife between them, and therefore they were destroyed. But these behaved with love and friendship among themselves, as it is said (verse 1): “one language and uniform words.” Thus you learn that discord is hateful, and that peace is great. — [from Gen. Rabbah 38:6]

… 24 And Nahor lived nine and twenty years, and begot Terah. 25 And Nahor lived after he begot Terah a hundred and nineteen years, and begot sons and daughters. 26 And Terah lived seventy years, and begot Abram, Nahor, and Haran. 27 Now these are the generations of Terah. Terah begot Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begot Lot. 28 And Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees. 29 And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram's wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah. 30 And Sarai was barren; she had no child. 31 And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his son's son, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there. 32 And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years; and Terah died in Haran.

The Medrash and other Oral Torah speaks about  the early life of Avram.
Parsha Lech Lecha

12:1 Now the LORD said unto Abram: 'Get yourself out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto the land that I will show you. 2. And I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you, and I will aggrandize your name, and [you shall] be a blessing.
And I will make you into a great nation: Since traveling causes three things: 1) it diminishes procreation, 2) it diminishes money, and 3) it diminishes fame (lit. name), therefore, he required these three blessings, namely that He blessed him concerning children, concerning money, and concerning fame. (Other editions: And this is the meaning of and I will aggrandize your name. I will add a letter to your name, for until now, your name was אַבְרם From now on [your name will be] אַבְרהָם, and אַבְרהָם equals 248, corresponding to a person’s limbs. (Found in an old Rashi . — [from Gen. Rabbah 39:11; Tan. Buber, Chaye Sarah 6)

This week’s Parsha starts off when Avram is 75 years old and childless. Since Shabbos is approaching and like Avraham was on the road a  lot I am leaving this for continuation next week rather than do a half-baked job.

Halacha 1
Since maintaining a healthy and sound body is among the ways of God - for one cannot understand or have any knowledge of the Creator, if he is ill - therefore, he must avoid that which harms the body and accustom himself to that which is healthful and helps the body become stronger.
They are as follows: a person should never eat unless he is hungry, nor drink unless thirsty. He should never put off relieving himself, even for an instant. Rather, whenever he [feels the] need to urinate or move his bowels, he should do so immediately.
Halacha 2
One should not eat until his stomach is full. Rather, [he should stop when] he has eaten to close to three quarter's of full satisfaction.
One should drink only a small amount of water during the meal, and mix that with wine. When the food begins to be digested in his intestines, he may drink what is necessary. However, he should not drink much water, even when the food has been digested.
One should not eat until he has checked himself thoroughly that he does not need to relieve himself. He should not eat until he has taken a stroll which is sufficient to raise his body temperature.
Alternatively, he should work or exert himself in some other way. The rule is that he should engage his body and exert himself in a sweat-producing task each morning. Afterwards, he should rest slightly until he regains composure and [then, he should] eat. If he were to bathe in hot water after exerting himself, it would be beneficial. Afterwards, he should wait a short while and eat.
Halacha 3
One should always eat while seated or reclining on his left side. He should not walk about, ride, exert himself, subject his body to startling influence, nor take a stroll until the food has been digested in his intestines. Anyone who takes a stroll or exerts himself after eating brings serious and harmful illnesses upon himself.
Halacha 4
Together, day and night make up [a period of] twenty four hours. It is sufficient for a man to sleep a third of this period; i.e., eight hours. These should be towards the end of the night, so that there be eight hours from the beginning of his sleep until sunrise. Thus, he should rise from his bed before sunrise.
Halacha 5
One should not sleep face down or on his back, but on his side - on his left side at the beginning of the night and on the right side at the end of the night. He should not retire shortly after eating, but should wait some three or four hours.
One should not sleep during the day.
Halacha 6
Laxative foods such as grapes, figs, mulberries, pears, melons, certain types of cucumbers and certain types of zucchini should be eaten first, before the meal. One should not eat them together with his main meal. Rather, he should wait until they have descended from the upper stomach and [then] eat his meal.
Foods which are constipating, such as pomegranates, quinces, apples, and crustumenian pears should be eaten immediately after the meal and not in quantity.

A Halacha from the laws of Lashon Hara

Calling a person by a nickname is forbidden unless the person himself likes the name. Example Richard could be Richie, Rich even Rich-man but someone may take offense to Dick, Dickie and certainly is offensive Rich-RATCH (Heb. Zipper). If one uses the nickname offensively he has no portion in the world to come.

Newspaper riles up women - Rabbi: Women mustn't run for Knesset,7340,L-4296854,00.html

One of most senior Religious Zionism rabbis, Shlomo Aviner, speaks out against women's right to vote or be elected to Israeli parliament. Taking part in elections 'is immodest and against Jewish Law,' he tells students
"A woman must not serve as a Knesset member. It's immodest," the rabbi, head of the Ateret Yerushalayim Yeshiva, told his students during a lesson. "Exposure in public is against the Jewish perception of 'All glorious is the princess within her chamber (Psalms 45:13).'"

MK Hotovely gets rabbi's approval

Aviner explained the role of the Prophetess Deborah, who held a public position, as "a matter of life-saving… There was no other choice, so she went to war… She led because there was no one else."

The rabbi's remarks stirred a row in the religious public, particularly ahead of the primary elections in Habayit Hayehudi-New National Religious Party, where many women are competing for a spot on the Knesset list.

One of those women, Liora Minka, chairwoman of the Emunah movement, said in response that Rabbi Aviner's comments were "further evidence of the standstill suffered by quite a few rabbis pretending to represent Religious Zionism. Their head is in the sky – or in that Jewish religious literature – while their legs have failed to reach the ground of reality.

"There is no wonder, therefore, that there is such a big gap – which is becoming wider and wider – between many parts of the population and the conservative, stagnated rabbinical establishment.

MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud), a religious lawmaker, presents a letter she received from Rabbi Aviner, in which he clarified that he was only speaking about an ideal situation and gave her his approval to take part in her party's primary elections.

Boteach Opponent Supports Renaming Park After Holocaust Denier: NJ congressional candidate Rabbi Shmuley Boteach released a letter in which his opponent supported renaming park after Holocaust denier.

My USA  second cousins stopped speaking to me when I called out Arab Terrorism here but now this article vindicates me.

This has never happened before but just as the Arabs like Obama so a Leading Israeli Rabbi Tells Americans in Israel to Vote Romney: Rabbi Eliezer Melamed of Har Bracha disappointed with Obama, calls on Americans in Israel to vote for the Republican nominee, Mitt Romney.

Inyanay Diyoma

When the computer was hacked, I lost some information about Iran and Hezballah preparations but one can figure out it was not birthday greetings that they were planning to send to Benyamin Netanyahu.

Politicians were busy with the Elections not expecting strength from the Hamas and a very badly wounded was an IDF officer:

As I suspected when I read Yeshaya Ch. 8 about 33 or 32 years ago. Gog and Magog will be Atomic, Biological and Chemical

Israeli Police computers were attacked:

From Albert: Your credit card may be transmitting info you don't want people to hack

Humor: I got this great joke either from Rabbi A.L. or Sheldon and it is not far from reality.

Indian Chief 'Two Eagles' was asked by a white government official, 'You have observed the white man for 90 years. You've seen his wars and his technological advances. You've seen his progress, and the damage he has done.'

The Chief nodded in agreement.

The official continued, 'Considering all these events, in your opinion, where did the white man go wrong?'

The Chief stared at the government official for over a minute and then calmly replied. 'When white man find land, Indians running it, no taxes, no debt, enough buffalo, enough beaver, clean water.

Women did all the work, Medicine man free. Indian man spend all day hunting and fishing; all night having be fruitful and multiply.'

Then the chief leaned back and smiled. 'Only white man dumb enough to think he could improve system likes that.'

Now for M. Wolfberg’s Good Shabbos Story “Go – go”

Good Shabbos Everyone. Hillel Avion (not his real name) was enjoying every minute of his visit to Eretz Yisroel. After all, he had much for which to be grateful. Hillel had faced several medical conditions over the past few years, and he was thankful to Hashem for granting him additional years, giving him the opportunity to visit the Holy Land and to spend time with his children and grandchildren.
"So what's on the itinerary today?" Hillel asked his son. "Oh, Abba, I forgot to tell you! Tonight you're in for a real treat. The children will be singing in a yeshiva choir. You will really get your nachas this evening!"

Hillel did indeed enjoy the evening. What a pleasure to hear the sweet voices of his offspring blending melodiously with the voices of so many other Jewish children! After the gala performance, Hillel joined his son and headed for home.
"Have you davened (prayed) maariv (the evening prayers) already, Abba?" "I did," Hillel replied, "but I'd be happy to accompany you."

While his son ducked inside the building for the evening service, Hillel waited patiently in the courtyard. After several minutes, a saintly-looking elderly man, his beard long and white, wandered into the courtyard. Hillel estimated that the man must be in his mid-nineties. The elderly man addressed Hillel. "Do you know if a minyan for maariv has begun?"
Hillel gestured inside. "My son just went in for maariv a few minutes ago. The minyan has probably just begun." The man's face lit up at this information. He slowly and steadily made his way inside the building, only to emerge a few minutes later.
"Back so soon?" Hillel asked. "What happened?"
"I already missed Kaddish and Borchu," the man explained. "But they have ongoing minyanim here until eleven. I'll just wait for the next one." As the elderly man spoke, Hillel thought he detected a Persian accent. So he began conversing in Persian. The other man was surprised. "Are you Persian?"
"Actually, I am Syrian. I live in America now," Hillel replied.
"I spent some time in New York once," the man reminisced. "It was about thirty-five years ago. I attended Shaarei Tzion quite often." Hillel listened with interest. Shaarei Tzion was a Syrian synagogue he himself had been frequenting for years. "I have one friend there," the man went on.
Hillel's curiosity piqued. "Really? Who is your friend?"
"Hillel Avion." Hillel couldn't believe his ears. He eyed the old man closely, but he did not appear the slightest bit familiar to him. Hiding his surprise, he asked, "How do you know this Hillel Avion?"

"I was in America for heart surgery, and Hillel Avion was a tremendous help to me."
Something stirred in the back of Hillel's mind. "What's your name?" Hillel asked, hoping the name would conjure up the memory. "Gorgy. My name is Gorgy."
Yes, that's right! Gorgy! Now Hillel remembered. The man, a father of fourteen, had come from Israel to consult with an expert surgeon in New York. Gorgy had no medical insurance—and no money to pay the doctor's fee. So the surgeon had turned him away: "Fifty thousand dollars, or no surgery!"
Upon hearing of Gorgy's desperate plight, Hillel undertook the tremendous financial obligation. For two weeks, by day and night, through cold and snowy weather, Hillel knocked on the doors of friends, acquaintances and strangers. When he finally amassed a sizeable sum, he presented himself at the surgeon's office. Hillel placed an enormous bag on the table. "Here's the money," he announced. "Please perform the operation."
The surgeon summoned four nurses, who sat down to count the bills. Hillel watched nervously until the surgeon looked up with a smile on his face. Every penny was there, and the doctor agreed to go ahead with the surgery. Boruch Hashem, the operation was a complete success.

"Mr. Gorgy," Hillel burst out emotionally, "I am Hillel Avion!" He grasped Mr. Gorgy's hand and kissed it. "Can you please give me a brocha?"
"Hillel ben Rivkah," Gorgy answered earnestly, "there is no need for me to bless you now. Every day for the past thirty-five years I have prayed on your behalf. Every morning I wake up and say 'Hashem, please bless Hillel ben Rivkah.'"
The tears streamed down Hillel's face as the two men parted. Hillel shared the remarkable episode with his son when he rejoined him in the courtyard. Both men marveled at the reunion that had transpired.
"Every mitzvah is recorded in Heaven, and is paid back." Many a trial and tribulation had passed by Hillel in the past thirty-five years. Hillel was certain now that it was in the merit of helping Mr. Gorgy as well as Mr. Gorgy's daily blessings, that Hillel was alive today, enjoying nachas from his grandchildren in the Holy Land.

The Midrash teaches us that there are a few ways which a Jew can change his "Mazal," i.e, from bad to good. One of these ways is by moving to a new place, as Avrohom Avinu does at the beginning of this week's parsha Lech Lecha. Another way to change one's Mazal is by giving Tzedaka - charity. There is verse in Mishley which states "Tzedaka saves one from death..." (10,2) From our story above we see the power of Tzedaka. Now that we are reading the parshas of Avrohom Avinu, who personified the character trait of Chesed - Kindness, let us all strengthen ourselves in this aspect and resolve to give more and more Tzedaka. Hashem should then help us that by giving more Tzedaka we will all merit to good Mazal, to Mazal Tov! 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

Good Shabbos and next week I hope to be back on Track.
Rachamim Pauli