Friday, December 7, 2012

Parsha Vayeishev Part 1, Chanucha, Stories

D1) This question came up on Shabbos by an observant woman. Rabbi I was praying for somebody who passed away last night. Should I continue to say prayers as the status was Erev Shabbos or should I stop as this is a situation that is new on Shabbos? By all means stop - for a situation which is new would be a hen laying an egg and we could not make an eggnog for this was not ready before Shabbos. But a critically ill person who has passed away even though the status is new we would be praying in vain now that we know the true status.

D2) And the Malbim continues, and in his final words we find a crucial message for our time: “Because Yacov’s sons dedicated their hearts to Hashem and feared Hashem, Yacov’s sons’ fear of Hashem spread forth and was cast upon all the cities”.
Fearing the enemy – this is the surest way to lose a war. Fearing God, particularly for a Jew in the Land of Israel – this is the surest way to win a war. As long as we fear God above man, and as long as we are open about fearing Him, the fear of God will inexorably fall upon the inhabitants of the Land.
Should we fear God or Love him- I don’t understand this, completely.  In the Torah it says a fear and love God.  

Yes one needs to fear HASHEM and serve HIM in awe. I don’t know if you have ever heard 175mm and 155mm Howitzers going off and the booms and the ground shaking for miles around. I was sent from home to reserve duty for the first time as a Paramedic. I was trained to be a front line Paramedic but did not expect at the age of 30 to be sent to the border on border patrol opposite Fatachland. Being by nature the almost lonely Jew growing up on a block left me picked on and bullied many a time and not a fearless fight. As I stood there in a base just off of Kiriat Shemona for my assignment I had to make a choice to cry Mommy or to trust in HASHEM who put me in the situation to begin with. I said (Mishlei) “The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the L-RD” – yes that was it to fear the L-RD and not mortal man! Immediately, instead of being shell shocked a pleasant calm came over me. So much calm as we were lacking of sleep and everybody but the commander and I had dozed off in our half-track that I stood up leaning on the search light pointing it know very well that the first place a heat seeking RPV would hit would be that hot light. I put my entire trust in HASHEM and from a coward became fearless.

So fearing G-D is a good thing but the fear also is a derivative of love for G-D. How so? In human terms I love my wife. I fear of making her angry or doing something that would hurt our relationship so that is fear out of love. We are commanded to love the L-RD our G-D with all our hearts, our souls and might Devarim 6. There is no contradiction of fearing somebody you love and trust but not fear from a fear of a bully but in awe of the not wanting to make that loved one angry.

Parsha Vayeishev Part 1

This week I wanted to do a double Parsha as next week I have great plans to be with the grandchildren more however the process of helping my daughter and other family things mostly good caused me to cancel that idea. I was hoping to have a very relaxing week and concentrate academically on line-line of the Parshiyos. It did not work out that way. In fact what did Yacov Avinu want to do when he was sitting in Beer Sheva? He wanted to let his sons take over the family business and hand him a retirement stipend of food and clothing. He was a simple man and wanted to learn Torah and pray better and harder in his old age. Perhaps he wanted to teach Torah to his grandchildren too. After all he was 99 when he reached his father in Beer Sheva. I wonder if he made it home for his mother’s funeral and burial as she was 34 years older than him according to the Ibn Ezra. Since she died at the age of 133 one can wonder. If she was 3 like Rashi wrote then he would have 10 to 11 more years with her. Nothing is written about her death in the Torah which leads me to suspect that she passed away shortly before he arrived. There is a hint that he did not make it to her funeral in the fact that Esav and he buried their father and his mother is not mentioned.

Yacov made one parenting mistake and that he favored one child more than the others and even though he was an Orphan the brothers became jealous.

37:1 And Jacob dwelt in the land of his father's sojournings, in the land of Canaan. 2 These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old,

If I was asked to write about the generations of Yacov, I would start Reuven, Shimon and Levi and not Yosef. When the Torah deviates from normal logic it is telling us a gigantic Chiddush.

was feeding the flock with his brethren, being still a lad even with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives; and Joseph brought evil report of them unto their father.

These are the generations of Jacob: And these are those of the generations of Jacob. These are their settlements and their wanderings until they came to settle. The first cause [of their wanderings]: when Joseph was seventeen years old, etc. Through this [the events that unfolded], they wandered and descended to Egypt. This is according to the plain explanation of the verse, putting everything in its proper perspective. The Midrash Aggadah, however, interprets [the passage as follows]: Scripture bases the generations of Jacob on Joseph because of many things: one is that, with his entire being, Jacob served Laban only for Rachel [and Rachel bore Joseph]. In addition, Joseph’s features resembled his (Jacob’s), and whatever happened to Jacob happened to Joseph. This one (Jacob) was hated, and that one (Joseph) was hated. This one-his brother (Esau) sought to kill him, and that one his brothers sought to kill him, and likewise many [other similarities related] in Genesis Rabbah (84:6). It is further expounded upon [as follows]: “dwelt” (verse 1) When Jacob sought to dwell in tranquility, the troubles of Joseph sprang upon him. The righteous seek to dwell in tranquility. Said the Holy One, blessed be He, “What is prepared for the righteous in the world to come is not sufficient for them, but they seek [also] to dwell in tranquility in this world!” and he was a lad: He behaved childishly, fixing his hair and touching up his eyes so that he would appear handsome. [From Gen. Rabbah 84:7]

Maybe I think differently than Rashi but in our generation it is normal for 17 year old boy to comb his hair and dress well perhaps not a boy touching up his eyes but trying to appear well if not for the girls not to be called too much of a Nerd by his fellows at the Yeshiva.

with the sons of Bilhah: That is to say, he was frequently with the sons of Bilhah, because his [other] brothers would demean them, while he acted friendly toward them. [From Tanchuma Vayeshev 7] Also Bilhah was the logical stepmother to him after Rachel passed away as we see also with the incident with Reuven and the tent.  evil tales about them: Any evil he saw in his brothers, the sons of Leah, he would tell his father: 1) that they ate limbs from living animals, 2) that they demeaned the sons of the handmaids by calling them slaves, and 3) that they were suspected of illicit sexual relationships. For these three [tales] he was punished: For [the report that his brothers ate] limbs from living animals, “they slaughtered a kid” (Gen. 37:31) when they sold him, and did not eat it alive. For the report that he told about them that they called their brothers slaves, “Joseph was sold as a slave” (Ps. 105:17), and concerning the illicit sexual relationships that he told about them, “his master’s wife lifted her eyes, etc.” (Gen. 39:7). tales about them: Heb. דִּבָּתָם Every expression of דִּבָּה denotes parlediz in Old French, gossip, slander. Whatever evil he could tell about them he told. דִּבָּה is an expression of making the lips of the sleeping speak (דוֹבֵב).

Regarding the slaughter of animals and a limb from a living animal the Halacha is clear on this issue. A Ben Noach who does this is put to death. However, if one has a cow that fellow into the ditch on Yom Tov and it can be slaughtered before night fall so that it does not die and become Treif, even before it is completely dead once the ritual slaughter is done and it is breathing it lasts breathes, one can take a bite out of the raw meat from the neck where the blood has been drained so as not to have slaughtered from Yom Tov to a non-sanctified day. I don’t want to go into disease and raw meat or singed meat and taking a bite before sundown. What the brothers did was in the Halacha for the Bnei Yisrael but distained by a religious Ben Noach.

3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age; and he made him a coat of many colors. 4 And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him. 5 And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it to his brethren; and they hated him yet the more. 6 And he said unto them: 'Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: 7 for, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves came round about, and bowed down to my sheaf.' 8 And his brethren said to him: 'Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us?' And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.

The older brothers from Leah were out of their teen years already and don’t like this pipsqueak 17 year old talking like this.

9 And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it to his brethren, and said: 'Behold, I have dreamed yet a dream: and, behold, the sun and the moon and eleven stars bowed down to me.' 10 And he told it to his father, and to his brethren; and his father rebuked him, and said unto him: 'What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down to thee to the earth?'

His father saw the reaction of the brothers and henceforth got annoyed.

11 And his brethren envied him; but his father kept the saying in mind.

His father kept the thoughts of the dream within his memory for he knew the repeating dream had a message from HASHEM (as I wrote a few weeks ago about repeating dreams as a sign of a message or warning).

Awaited the matter: Heb. שָׁמַר. He was waiting and looking forward in expectation of when it (the fulfillment) would come. Similarly,“awaiting (שׁוֹמֵר) the realization [of God’s promise]” (Isa. 26:2), [and]“You do not wait (תִשְׁמוֹר) for my sin” (Job 14:16). You do not wait. [From Gen. Rabbah 84:12]

12 And his brethren went to feed their father's flock in Shechem. 13 And Israel said unto Joseph: 'Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? come, and I will send thee unto them.' And he said to him: 'Here am I.' 14 And he said to him: 'Go now, see whether it is well with thy brethren, and well with the flock; and bring me back word.' So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem. 15 And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field. And the man asked him, saying: 'What seek thou?' 16 And he said: 'I seek my brethren. Tell me, I pray thee, where they are feeding the flock.' 17 And the man said: 'They are departed hence; for I heard them say: Let us go to Dothan.' And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan. 18 And they saw him afar off, and before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him. 19 And they said one to another: 'Behold, this dreamer cometh. 20 Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into one of the pits, and we will say: An evil beast hath devoured him; and we shall see what will become of his dreams.' 21 And Reuben heard it, and delivered him out of their hand; and said: 'Let us not take his life.'

Reuven’s botched attempt at being leader: He should have forcefully said, he is our brother if you want to give him a scare to put him in his place but nothing more.

22 And Reuben said unto them: 'Shed no blood; cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, but lay no hand upon him'--that he might deliver him out of their hand, to restore him to his father.

Poor Yosef and poor Reuven he had good intentions but a bad plan. However, Reuven comes out a bit cleaner than the other brothers in the end it was HASHEM’s plan to bring down the tribes to Mitzrayim via Yosef that prevailed. Originally they were to be all brought down in chains but thanks to the merits of Yacov they went down and remained free men all the time that the brothers lived. (To be continued)


The Maccabees, which is an abbreviation in Hebrew for “Who is like unto you HASHEM”, were strong religious leaders. The ruler made a decree that all virgins had to come unto him before they married. Rabbi Itamar Auerbach Shlita describes the scene. Yehudis the sister of Mattiyahu had to go before the ruler. She was afraid that her indignity would be covered up and her brothers would do nothing. Instead she went unclothed through the streets to meet the ruler. She gave him plenty of salty cheeses and wine and kept soothing him until he fell asleep completely drunk. She then took his sword and cleaved off his head and showed it to all. Because of her the revolt started.

The Maccabees were fanatics in their belief so much so that the people of Meah Shaarim and Satmar would appear liberal next to them. Yet for some reason perhaps the lights in the month of Dec. in a similar fashion to the local non-Jews, the Reform picked up on the holiday of Chanucha and made it their own. What would Mattiyahu have done if he saw them eating a Kiddush on Yom Kippur, pork, mixed marriages and homosexual marriages? I can say a lot more than I do. I am too corrupted by modern society and coming from a Reform background myself find it hard to be super-proactive.

The story of the Maccabees has them hiding out in caves. There are a number of areas in Israel where natural caves exist and one of the places is the caves on the precipice of Moshav Shilat which is about two kilometers walk from the place where they found a grave with the Cohain Gadol symbol on the bone cover. It is not far from Media which is the traditional Modiin. In fact the whole area around to Beit Sira was a Maccabee stronghold. It is sad that just as then the little area of Beit Sira which is on the other side of the so-called  ‘green line’ as it was in enemy hands then is in enemy hands now.

On the grounds of Moshav Shilat is a little place mostly for children where one can see how the Maccabees lived then with an old olive press, a tent, an animal or two and other artifacts.

The Maccabees did everything in honor of HASHEM in the natural way they did not look for a miracle to happen. It was only when they found enough olive oil to burn for one night and it burned for eight did they realize that a Nes (miracle) had happened. Today we witness miracle upon miracle when we fight our enemies from the war of independence, six day war, Yom Kippur war, Lebanon wars, gulf wars and even with well over ten thousand rockets and mortars and so few injured or killed but it is our own fault that we do not  say Hallel. IT IS TIME FOR US TO GET SOME OF THE MACCABEE SPIRIT OF LOVE FOR HASHEM AND SACRIFICE OF OUR TIME AND ENERGY FOR TORAH, MITZVOS AND GOOD DEEDS!

Prisoner Exchange by Yerachmiel Tilles

He shouted for his servants to bring clubs and whips to beat the tavern keeper....The news of this tragedy reached Rabbi Moshe-Leib Sassover.  Connection: Weekly Reading--- thrown in the pit-dungeon
The tavern keeper stood before his poritz quaking with terror. His rent was due that day but he did not have a penny to pay. He would have to ask for a postponement. Would the hard-hearted gentile landlord agree? The Jew shivered, waiting for an answer, hoping and fearing.
From the frown on the landlord's beefy face, he already had his answer. The heavy-set gentile growled as he said, "How dare you appear before me without bringing the money, you filthy Jew!"
He shouted for his servants to bring clubs and whips to beat the tavern keeper. They fell upon him with a lust of their own, striking him until he was bruised and bleeding. He suffered in silence, but his ordeal was still not over.
"Now take this Jewish dog, chain him and throw him into the dungeon. And throw his family out into the street."
Mere mention of the dungeon struck terror in all Jewish hearts. It was a damp, dingy underground pit in a cellar on the landlord's estate. It was used to punish all those who dared defy and displease the landlord, owner of the vast estate which employed dozens of Jews in various capacities. Not always did the victim emerge from this horrible pit alive.
The pain-racked Jew lay on the damp floor of the dungeon. He wept and thought, "Will I ever see my wife and children again? Will I ever get out of here alive?"
The news of this tragedy reached Rabbi Moshe-Leib Sassover, the great Rebbe whose heart wept for all of his brothers in sorrow. The plight of the homeless, fatherless family shook him deeply; the tears streamed involuntarily down his cheeks.
He arose and made his way to the landlord's mansion. Rabbi Moshe-Leib knocked boldly on the door. The landlord's gateman opened the huge door and was surprised to see a distinguished looking Jew standing outside.
"What do you want?" he asked.
"Take me to your master," Rabbi Moshe-Leib demanded authoritatively. "I must speak to him."
The gateman was so impressed by the rabbi's bearing and confidence that he led him straight to the poritz. The landlord was stunned to see this impressive Jew in his home.
"Sir," said Rabbi Moshe-Leib, "I have heard that there is a wounded Jew imprisoned on your property, in the dungeon of your castle."
"He deserves it!" the landlord replied hotly. "He did not pay his rent. That is the punishment for failing to pay rent."
Rabbi Moshe-Leib did not make any demands. With a suave tone, he said, "I would like to suggest an offer."
"An offer?" he landlord repeated, his voice rising with curiosity. "What could you possibly offer?"
"Look at the matter logically. What possible benefit can you reap from holding this Jew in jail? His suffering will not pay the rent; you surely can understand that. However, if you were to free him and imprison me in his stead, I am certain that my fellow Jews would hasten to redeem me for the amount that he owes and even more. What do you say to that suggestion?"
The landlord's eyes lit up. He would never have conceived such a thought. He would be able to demand any amount of ransom for this distinguished Jew. "I accept your offer," he said. He freed the Jew and imprisoned Rabbi Moshe-Leib instead, chaining him hand and foot.
Rabbi Moshe-Leib lay on the cold, damp stone floor, happy in his suffering, for he had freed a fellow Jew! The chains bit into his hands and feet but he gave them no care. He was so transported with joy that had he been able, he would have broken into a dance.
He lay there all morning, unconscious of any discomfort or pain. But in the afternoon, when the hour to pray Mincha drew close, he tried to rise and found that he could not do so. Now his imprisonment disturbed him.
"How will I be able to commune with my Creator?" Rabbi Moshe-Leib wept, sighing from the depths of his heart. "I cannot stand up!" The pain did not disturb him, but he suffered greatly because he could not pray erect.
Meanwhile, the landlord rubbed his hands in glee as he returned from the dungeon to this comfortable mansion. "It cannot take long for the Jews to find out that their beloved leader is being held prisoner here. Soon, they will send a delegation bearing a huge sum for his ransom. They will come begging on their knees for me to free him."
The landlord sat himself in a comfortable chair to await their arrival. Suddenly, a spasm shot through his head; he could not see straight. His entire body began aching. He groaned in agony and begged his family to fetch a doctor.
The landlord's private physician was summoned, but he could discover no cause for the strange pain. Specialists were called in, but they, too, were baffled. This was a strange disease which they were unable to diagnose or treat.
The landlord writhed in agony. His shouts and screams echoed throughout the castle and brought all the servants to his side. His family tried in vain to alleviate his pain, but they were utterly at a loss. They sought some clue to his illness. Perhaps, it was a result of something he had eaten? …Or done?
"What did our master do this morning?"
"He was fine until he came back from the dungeon. He released the tavern keeper and imprisoned the rabbi."
"Perhaps…" the family hesitated to express their fear. Perhaps the rabbi had put a curse on the master; perhaps this was a punishment.
"Master," said a number of his advisors, "who knows if the Jew is not to blame? Maybe if you released him from the dungeon, you might get relief."
Unable to speak, the landlord merely nodded his head. Servants were quickly dispatched to free the Jew from his bonds and take him out of the dungeon.
When they arrived, Rabbi Moshe-Leib refused to be released, much to their amazement. "I demand that the landlord come here himself," he insisted.
Moaning and groaning, the landlord was carried to the dungeon. Supported on either side, he cried down into the pit, "Please forgive me for having imprisoned you. You are free to leave. I will also forgive my Jewish tenant."
Rabbi Moshe-Leib was still not ready to emerge. He had other demands. "I will not leave here until you allow the tavern keeper and his family to return to their home.
The landlord had not expected such a harsh demand. Despite his excruciation, he thought not to agree. But at that moment he had another severe attack, which served to remind him why he was suffering. "Very well," he said, "they can return to their home in the tavern. And now, you are free to go. Please, leave my property at once."
Rabbi Moshe-Leib had not come to the end of his demands, "I want you to guarantee to let him manage the tavern, as before. I want you to restore his lease."
"Anything! Just go!"
Rabbi Moshe-Leib finally agreed to let the servants unchain him and lift him up out of the pit. And lo! The very minute that the tzaddik stood on firm ground, the landlord's anguish began to recede. The closer Rabbi Moshe-Leib got to the main gate, the weaker it became. The moment he departed the property, the landlord was completely healed.
And from that day on, the landlord was wary of his Jewish tenants. He treated them with respect and care and never dared harm them again.
Source: Adapted by Yerachmiel Tilles from Tales of Tzaddikim (ArtScroll) by G. MaTov.
Connection: Weekly Reading - thrown in the pit-dungeon
Biographic note:
Rabbi Moshe-Leib of Sassov (1745-4 Shvat 1807) was the leading disciple of Reb Shmelke of Nicholsburg. He also received from the Maggid of Mezritch and from Rabbi Elimelech of Lyzhinsk. Subsequently a Rebbe in his own right with many followers, he was famous primarily for his love of his fellow Jews and his creative musical talent. His teachings are contained in the books, Likutei RaMal, Toras ReMaL Hashalem, and Chidushei RaMal.

Regarding my comments on the age and rape of Dina last week:
Rabbi Eliyahu Schatz Shlita views the Pshat that Yacov married Leah almost immediately and the therefore puts Reuven around 19, Shimon 18 and Levi 17 which would make a lot more sense and Dina around 12 – I would still place her as less but a 13 or so year old lad could go for a 10 to 12 year old better than a three year old. It depends if you view Pshat one way or go according more to Rashi. One thing for certain is perhaps it was a initially a complete rape and she was completely upset, confused, distraught by all of it. However, the Pshat says that he loved her and his soul was bound to her and he promised her a dream life as his wife and soothed her over. It could have been a bit of an infatuation which one thing led to another she said a loud NO and he could not stop and she cried and he soothed her with such words and promises even during the rape that he will love her forever and always cling to her and give her the world. We can only speculate.

Rabbi Zev. M. Shandalov Shlita: ANY abuse perpetrated against a child no matter how "minor" or seemingly "insignificant" can be damaging for life for the child; is illegal; is assur (prohibited by Torah law) and can potentially be actionable in a court of law. In addition, anyone seeking to protect the abuser, including but not limited to rabbis, professionals, community leaders, institutions, etc. are themselves culpable in the crimes that the alleged perpetrator commits after discovering the crimes and seeking to cover them up. The covering up of such offenses not only is in itself a Chillul Hashem (a profanation of the name of Hashem) but also adds to the abuse of the victims after the fact. Delivering information to the police in order to remove the offender from the streets and to protect further abuse is a Mitzva incumbent upon all who have knowledge of abuse. Additionally, the Mitzvah of "Al ta'amod al dam re'acha" (One may not stand idly by while another is being injured Lev.19:16) is found in the Torah to make it everyone's responsibility to help another in jeopardy. I hope that this has helped to clarify a very disturbing issue. WE MAY NOT REMAIN SILENT WHEN ANYONE IS BEING ABUSED AND CERTAINLY NOT WHEN THE PERSON BEING ABUSED IS A CHILD! You might want to bury your head in the sand, but Jewish mothers AT LAST can stand up to those PERVERT RABBIS who endorse PEDOPHILIA. – Thanks to Ruth C.
Other horrors from the Jewish Communities not in Yisrael but in the States have come to light by articles sent me: all charges against four men accused of raping and forcibly prostituting a Chabad Lubavitch woman from Crown Heights for nearly a decade would be dropped.

In the Williamsburg case, Satmar Chassidim, the accuser was in sixth grade when she was referred to Mr. Weberman, an unlicensed therapist, by her Williamsburg religious school, a close family member said in an interview last month. Her parents were told she would be expelled from school unless they paid $150 an hour for him to provide her with therapy.

Instead, Mr. Weberman, who is now 53, repeatedly sexually molested her over three years, when she was 12 to 15, and told her that she would be expelled from school if she told anyone, the relative said. The girl then changed schools and told a licensed therapist what had happened. The therapist reported the girl’s allegations to the police.

After Mr. Weberman’s arrest in 2011, a campaign of intimidation is alleged to have begun against the accuser, her boyfriend and her family members. Prominent Hasidic Jews publicly proclaimed their support for Mr. Weberman, and, on May 16, hosted hundreds of Hasidic men at a local wedding hall to raise money for Mr. Weberman’s legal defense. To promote the fund-raiser, his supporters hung posters on lampposts and brick walls around. A member of the “Modesty Patrol which was included “Rabbi” Weberman was arrested for photographing the 17 year old as she described the rapes in court. There was even an attempt to murder a family by arson in Monsey which stunk high into Skevere Chassidic movement. Beresheis 49:18 I wait for Thy salvation, O LORD. I feel for Ruth and other victims who must be saying all day and all night -Tehillim 22:2 My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me, and art far from my help at the words of my cry? 3 O my God, I call by day, but Thou answer not; and at night, and there is no surcease for me. 4 Yet Thou art holy, O Thou that art enthroned upon the praises of Israel. 5 In Thee did our fathers trust; they trusted, and Thou didst deliver them. 6 Unto Thee they cried, and escaped; in Thee did they trust, and were not ashamed. 7 But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. 8 All they that see me laugh me to scorn; they shoot out the lip, they shake the head:
Ms wrote me: The Rabbinute does not care. It punished victims of domestic violence in divorce proceedings. Social services all over the world punish battered wives. Once a woman claims abuse, she is a "red flag" for social services, and some lose custody over things that parents do routinely.  I even had them say I was neglecting my children because I tried to get them to eat wheat bread and they wouldn't finish their sandwiches in school! I read an article that 75% of cases of domestic abuse that end in divorce, he husband, if he wants custody, is rewarded with custody because a battered woman is a "weak and problematic" parent  - not the abuser. In cases I have seen of child molestation, the Rabbis were all for doing something - police and social services dropped the ball… perhaps intentionally, perhaps because the victims were religious (this is in Israel where there is a lot of anti dati feeling in social services and among the police). Yes, we can get the frum community to wake up but let's not forget that if the police and social services punish the victims, there is not much we can do. The Rabbinute has a stronghold.

Why do Rabbis discourage Conversion:

The Astronaut
You are an astronaut, far beyond the earth on a very long journey. Let’s say you get fed up with the constant barrage of instructions coming in on your radio from home base. So you shut it off. With no regrets. And you relax, enjoying the awesome scenery out the window. And time flies by . . .
But eventually, you realize you have no clue where you are. Or how to get back to where you want to be. And you remember that you had a mission, but you can’t quite get straight exactly what it was. You panic. Finally, you remember the radio. You reactivate it. You hold the handset and call, “Home base? Astronaut calling home base! Answer me!!”
A faint reply is heard. It is the sweetest sound you’ve ever come by. Now you can get back on course. Mankind, too, was given a mission. (A thought from a student of the Rebbe, Dr. Velvl Greene—a thought the Rebbe much appreciated.)

In FL one can obtain some free Jewish Newspapers and Magazines at the Young Israel of Fort Lauderdale. One is a Jewish Weekly run by the Reform which advertises anything such as Wynn-Dixie Ham Specials, Non-Kosher Restaurants, etc. The other is the Israpost which is half in Hebrew and half in English and has a weekly anti-intermarriage section and only advertises Kosher Markets and Restaurants. Last but not least is the quarterly Action Magazine from the OU. 

One of the books I read when I became Frum was “How Strange was my Path” by Rabbi Avraham Carmel here is an article about him. and and

Don’t forget the blessings a simple way to light the Chanucha Menorah 101

This week a woman who was 116 years old passed away and a 92 year old Jazz Musician and Oscar Niemeyer almost 105 the very famous Architect but the one who made a difference in this world and the next at the age of 91 was a great Rebbitzen:

Inyanay Diyoma

Who has the right to build in greater Yerushalayim:,7340,L-4315646,00.html

You can imagine what would happen if a Jew or a group of Jews stoned Christians in Dearborn Michigan now what his from minute 1 to about minute 3. I did not see any more this is enough.!

Has Syria put chemical weapons on planes or is this an American rouse for an attack?
From Leon Yosef: Dr. Kedar refutes what the State Dept. says: whatever professional people are dealing with it

Last night the political party registration closed with 34 parties vying for 120 Knesset Seats. Some of the people seek glory and power and some have an idea how to fix the world but let us face it, unless one has the greatest message in the world a new party cannot make it. And as for Tzippi Livni and her new party, she is further left than the old socialist labor party. I have come to the conclusion that Jews are never satisfied and will fight for a new party here or there, get disappointed and move on to the next new party. Some of the parties like Livni’s are for politicians either rejected by their own party, looking to hold on to a seat or in one case somebody who could not stomach the head of his party. Most of the political parties are not exciting and some are one message parties – green leaves of pot for everybody. Choose wisely and try not to waste your vote it was bad enough for me in FL that most of my candidates or votes did not go through this years.

Now for M. Wolfberg’s Good Shabbos Story “Jew Jitsu” and “Cherry Tenukah”

Good Shabbos Everyone.  In this week’s parsha Vayishlach, the Torah tells us how Yakov fought with a malach - an angel until the break of dawn. On the simplest level, the verses are describing how Yakov had a knock down, drag out fight with an angel. After fighting, the angel gave Yakov a new name, Yisroel. The name Yisroel can also denote "Yashar K[el]" meaning "direct to G-d."; every Jew can have an individual relationship with Hashem, a Jew needs no intermediaries.
         On the marriage certificate from their fundamentalist X-tian wedding in 1990, their names were listed as Roy and Pamela. On their ketuba, signed this past September, their names are Levi Yitzchak and Penina Leah. Pamela grew up in an assimilated Jewish home in Northern California where she attended the local Conservative synagogue for Sunday school.
         "The Judaism I had been given wasn't enough. I needed a big G-d; I wanted to believe that the Bible is true." Instead, Pamela was expected to limit her spiritual yearnings to the few hours at Sunday school where she was taught that G-d doesn't have much to do with our lives and how to refute the miracles of the Bible.
         Pamela remembers watching many of the X-tian holiday television programs. For her, the holiday specials were just as enjoyable as the televised sermons and masses. And so, at the age of 13, after one very inspiring holiday special, Pamela offered her own prayer: "If all of this is real, show me a sign and I will believe that X-tianity is true." But no sign was forthcoming.
         Pamela finished high school and left home to attend college. Right before her nineteenth birthday, her boyfriend broke up with her. At the ice cream parlor where she worked part-time, a co-worker, who was part of a fundamentalist X-tian organization on campus, told her: "You're devastated because you don't have a relationship with G-d. The way to have a relationship with G-d is to accept [the Nazarene] into your heart. If you say this little prayer, you'll have a relationship with G-d. Say this short prayer, you'll feel better."
         Pamela hesitated but then said the prayer. "I did feel better! And I suddenly felt that this was the sign that I had prayed for when I was 13 years old." Pamela got involved with the missionaries on campus and, she says, was somewhat of a star. "I was special to the X-tians because I validated them. Even non-fundamentalist, mainstream churches that don't actually missionize Jews give a tremendous amount of money to organizations whose main objective is missionizing Jews."
         Pamela's parents told her to speak to their rabbi, but "he had no idea how to work with someone who had been missionized," she recalls. "He had no answers. He couldn't refute any of the missionary claims. He reinforced my feeling that Judaism doesn't have answers and that X-tianity is true."
         Pamela moved back home, at her parents' insistence, and began taking courses at the local junior college. She attached herself to the Maranatha Church which was preaching on her campus.
         Two years later, in 1984, Roy Weese appeared in Pamela's life, sort of. Roy came from a X-tian family and had been part of the Maranatha Church in Alabama. Unable to find an engineering job there, he wanted to try his luck in California. Roy began doing administrative work for the church in San Jose and looked for an engineering job.
         Pamela had noticed Roy at church and was interested in finding out more about him. After a few years of very casual interaction, Pamela privately submitted his name to the church. From that time on she was not permitted to show any interest in him. If and when Roy submitted her name, they could date. Roy revealed to her six years later when she finally confronted him and asked him what he thought of her, "I've always wanted to marry you but I didn't think you would want me." Pamela and Roy were married soon after that revelation in a "very X-tian wedding."
         Needless to say, Pamela's parents did not attend. "I'd been missionizing to them for years, telling them that they were going to hell. I had hurt them too much," says Pamela.
         Two weeks after they returned from their honeymoon, Pamela and Roy began looking for a new church. They had left the Maranatha Church after it had merged with another denomination. "We began attending a fundamentalist church, but it was huge and wealthy and very fancy. We didn't feel as if we fit in. We went to a smaller church that was more casual but we just couldn't make friends. It was as if G-d was pushing us along, showing us that there was no place for us in X-tianity. We tried a Messianic church but the services were long and boring. We were thinking about how we would raise our family. We wanted tradition, a short prayer service, nice music..." 
         Soon after, Pamela and Roy decided to convert to Catholicism because, as Pamela explains, the Catholics seemed to have answers to the questions in the Bible that still disturbed them. "We were still searching for Truth."
         The Weeses became disenchanted with Catholicism when they had major disagreements with policies of the Pope. "My husband eventually shared with me that he had always had trouble with the trinity. 'Maybe we should see what Jews believe,' he suggested. Personally, I was tired of telling people that they were going to hell. I was tired of feeling guilty when I wasn't preaching, but preaching is really there was. You're either a slave to their god or to the devil. It's all emotion."
         Pamela decided to learn how to do things Jewishly. She went to a Jewish bookstore and bought "how to" tapes from Chadish Media. She called Rabbi Mordechai Rosenberg, of Chadish Media, who told her, "You must go to Chabad." Pamela and Roy went to meet with Rabbi Yosef Levin, of the Greater South Bay. "
         After talking with Rabbi Levin I realized that Judaism did have answers. Rabbi Levin was so nice to both of us," Pamela recalls. "He treated us both so well. He was totally non- judgmental." Even though their experience had been so positive with Rabbi Levin, Pamela decided to speak with other rabbis because, "I didn't think my husband would want to be Chasidic. I went to another rabbi but he just kept telling us over and over again, 'Your marriage is a problem.' My husband was so hurt. Our marriage was all we had! We went back to Rabbi Levin which was the best thing that ever happened to us."
         To show how serious Roy was about Judaism, he and Pamela separated. Roy built a shack in their backyard and slept there each evening. "We were very grateful with the rabbis who were supervising Roy's conversion during this whole process," says Pamela. Roy studied Torah and began observing some mitzvos. The Weese's moved to Palo Alto to be closer to the shul and Roy built a new shack.
         After Roy's conversion, we began planning for our wedding. "My parents wanted to give us a trip to Israel as a honeymoon, rather than make a lavish wedding," says Pamela. But she told them, "'This is the only real wedding I'm ever going to have.' My mother didn't believe I could pull together anything decent. But I found a dress and Rabbi Levin helped us get the JCC. We had a caterer, flowers, and hassidic dancing. My mother said that had we booked the band a year in advance, we couldn't have done better!" I am finally home, with my Jewish soul-mate. I feel proud of my heritage, and have answers of why I am a Jew. This void is gone, and my search of being a Jew is finally over after many years." 
Good Shabbos Everyone

 Good Shabbos and Happy Chanukah Everyone. We begin this week with a short story, which is related to Chanukah. Several years ago, there was a certain attorney in Los Angeles who had a case involving Greek speaking people. In order to facilitate communication with the Greek speakers, the attorney contacted a local university and contracted with them to provide for a Greek speaker to serve as an interpreter.
        On the appointed day, the interpreter arrived at the attorney's office. However, there was one glitch. The interpreter knew only ancient Greek, yet the Clients spoke modern Greek, two languages which are so different that the services of the interpreter were useless! What does this story have to do with Chanukah?
        The ancient Greeks are all but a few chapters in the history books. Nobody speaks the ancient Greek language, their religion is mythology, and the foods and customs of Modern Greece are for the most part totally different than they were 2000 years ago. We Jews however continue today with the same Shabbos, the same Bris Milah, basically the same customs and the same language we have always had. We have truly prevailed over the Greeks!
        Before we proceed to our amazing story this week, let us preface our remarks with a brief retelling of the account of Chanukah: About 2179 years ago, the Syrian Greeks who ruled Eretz Yisroel, tried to force the Jews to abandon their customs and to accept upon themselves Greek customs and the Greek value system. The Jews, led by Matisyahu ben Yochanan, the Cohen Gadol, fought back and were victorious with the help of Hashem. Today we celebrate Chanukah as the victory of Judaism over assimilation.
        One of the most important Jewish values is the mitzvah of welcoming guests into our homes. Welcoming guests into our homes epitomizes Jewish values. Therefore it is especially important that we welcome guests into our homes on Chanukah, a yom tov which celebrates the victory of Jewish values over foreign values.
        The following amazing and creepy true story illustrates the power of the mitzvah of welcoming guests into our homes. It was the first night of Chanukah and Rabbi Haber with his wife at his side, was about to light the menorah. The Habers, who lived in the Unsdorf section of Jerusalem, were delighted to begin their married life in Eretz Yisroel. R' Yaakov was studying at Yeshiva Torah Ore, where he enjoyed a close relationship with the Rush Yeshivah, Rabbi Chaim Pinchus Scheinberg.
        Suddenly, there was a knock on the front door. The Habers were not expecting anyone and their surprise turned to astonishment when they opened the door and saw a bedraggled, disheveled middle-aged man. His hat was turned askew, his clothes were filthy and his face unshaven. His right eye seemed locked shut, making him look like a pirate who misplaced his eye patch. "Do you think you might have a meal for me?" he asked politely. The Habers looked at each other and then back at the poor visitor. It was Chanukah, Hashem had blessed them with much good, and they could only imagine how lonely the fellow must feel. He didn't look dangerous, just sad. Why not share their bounty with others? "Yes, come in," said Rabbi Haber. "We're going to eat after I light the menorah. Please join us."
        The man tried to smile but his effort failed. He seemed to grimace as he thanked them softly. As he walked past the Habers into the dining area, they could smell the stench of his clothes that probably hadn't been washed in weeks. They would not go back on their word. He could stay for the meal and they would endure it. He said his name was Beinish* and he seemed pleasant though he didn't talk much about his personal life. He did mention that he lived alone and that he had fallen on hard times.
        The meal went by uneventfully as Rabbi Haber discussed some spiritual aspects of the festival. However before Beinish left, he asked the Habers if he could come back again. They assured him he could.
        Over the next few weeks Beinish began coming with increased frequency and soon the Habers found themselves hosting him on Shabbos and a few times in the middle of the week. Mrs. Haber didn't mind washing the soiled clothes that Beinish would bring her every few days, but when he started coming in mid-afternoons while R' Yaakov was in the yeshivah, it became uncomfortable. The Habers hinted to Beinish that it was better that he come in the evening, but he said that it was often hard for him to do so. He came and went as he pleased.
        The Habers were scheduled to move to the Romemah neighborhood, where apartments were more affordable. They wondered if they were obligated to tell Beinish when and where they were moving. Rabbi Haber asked a she'eileh (religious ruling) and was told that he need not reveal his new address or even tell Beinish that he was moving, so they moved to Romemah and didn't hear from Beinish again.
        The Habers settled in their new quarters and had their first child. A few weeks later. Rabbi Haber noticed a scorpion sprinting across his dining room floor. He caught up with it and made sure it would never come back.
        There are 1,300 species of scorpions worldwide, and some of the most dangerous are in the Middle East. There is only one species in the Unites States and there are almost twenty other species worldwide which have venom potent enough to be dangerous to humans. Eretz Yisroel is home to the most deadly of all scorpions, the Palestine yellow scorpion, whose sting can be fatal to children. Rabbi Haber wasn't taking any chances.
        A few days later a number of scorpions scooted across the floor. Rabbi and Mrs. Haber were frightened. Scorpions could be lethal. Soon scorpions came every day, so the Habers placed blankets over their infant's crib to prevent them from crawling in. They called an exterminator, who made two visits, but eventually he announced, "There is nothing more I can do here." The Habers were devastated. If the exterminator couldn't eliminate the scorpions, how could they?
        The strange thing was that no one else on the block had this problem. The final straw came one Shabbos morning. Rabbi Haber awoke to his wife's screams. She was standing on a chair pointing to a corner of the room where scorpions ran alongside the baseboard. Rabbi Haber hurried to get his Mishnah Berurah, for he knew that one may not kill a scorpion or any other insect on Shabbos, unless one is positive that it is one of the life-threatening species. Rabbi Haber jumped atop another chair, scanning the Mishnah Berurah (Orach Chaim 316:10)(a book of Halacha, Jewish Law), desperately trying to decide which kind of scorpion he was permitted to kill and which he would have to leave scampering around to its delight.
        After that harrowing Shabbos, Rabbi Haber went to see his Rosh Yeshivah, Rabbi Scheinberg. "Rebbi," he began, "my wife and I have been going through this terrible experience with scorpions roaming our apartment. It is frightening and dangerous. Have we done anything wrong? How should I view this spiritually? Why is this happening?"
        Rabbi Scheinberg is a world famous posek (halachic authority) and Rosh Yeshivah to thousands of talmidim in Eretz Yisroel and the United States. In the years that Rabbi Haber had studied under Rabbi Scheinberg and in the decades since then, never had he heard his Rosh Yeshivah base a halachic decision or practical advice from the source he quoted. "Let's take a look at Perek Shirah," said Rabbi Scheinberg.
        The theme of the six chapters of Perek Shirah is that everything in Creation has a role to play in Hashem's plan. To illustrate what that role is, Perek Shirah assigns a verse from Tanach to every being in the world, from huge mountains to tiny ants. The sefer is very ancient. Some say it was composed by Dovid HaMelech, some say by Shlomo HaMelech, and some say by Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi. (It is first mentioned in Yalkut Shimoni, Parashas Bo 187:11. For an in-depth commentary and historical background of Perek Shirah see Rabbi Nosson Slifkin's Nature's Song.)
        Rabbi Scheinberg took out a sefer that had Perek Shirah and turned to Chapter Six, which contains the "songs" of creeping creatures,such as the snake, snail and ant. He pointed to the entry on scorpions. [The scorpion says:] "G-d is good to all, and His mercy is upon all His handiwork." (Tehillim 145:9).
        Rabbi Scheinberg turned to Rabbi Haber and said, "We don't know the purpose of scorpions in this world. Even though some of them are lethal, the Ribono Shel Olam has compassion on scorpions and supplies them with food and with what they need to survive. Perhaps you failed to show compassion to someone. The scorpions song is one of rachmanus (mercy) and that's what we must adapt in our lives."
        Rabbi Haber was stunned! Suddenly the picture was becoming clear. In a sense he had abandoned Beinish, the poor man who had been relying on him and his wife. As he left Rabbi Scheinberg, he knew he had to find Beinish somehow, somewhere.
        One day as he was on a bus, Rabbi Haber spotted Beinish. He quickly got off the bus and ran over to the destitute man who seemed to be walking aimlessly. "Reb Beinish, we miss you and we need you! When can you come again?" Beinish smiled and said, "I miss you, too. Tell me when and where I should come."
        Rabbi Haber gave Beinish his new Romemah address, and that night Beinish came for supper. That was just the start; once again he began coming regularly. Beinish was the Haber's frequent guest, but the scorpions were gone. Not one returned! This went on until the Habers moved from Eretz Yisroel as Rabbi Haber accepted his first rabbinical position in his hometown of Buffalo, New York. (From "Reflections of the Maggid" Rabbi Paysach J. Krohn)
        During the coming days of Chanukah, we should all make a special effort to welcome guests into our homes. That way we will show that Jewish values have truly won out over Greek values.
Good Shabbos and a Happy Chanukah 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 blessed and healthy Shabbos and a happy Chanucha to all,
Rachamim Pauli