Thursday, February 28, 2013

Parsha Ki Sisa & Parah, Honoring Parents and Stories

Rafael Yisrael ben Esther Perel needs prayers for a recovery. A fellow with a strong allergy got a reaction to an ingredient in a soup that has him over a year in a hazy mental state.

The Shulchan Aruch tells us how to get up in the morning to prepare for prayers and it starts off like this: One should strengthen himself like a lion to get up in the morning to serve his creator. He should get up early enough to welcome in the dawn. [ And at least not after the Zeman Tefillah (time for praying) in which the congregation prays. Scripture says, "I placed Hashem before me always". This is a great concept in the Torah and is a paramount attribute for the Tzaddikim (righteous people) who walk in the way of G-d. For the way in which a person sits, moves around, and carries out his daily activities while he is alone his house is not the same way he should engage in these activities while standing before a great King. In addition, the way one speaks while amongst those in his home and the conversations he partakes with his relatives is not the same manner in which he would speak while in the presence of a mortal King. Surely when one considers in his mind that the mighty King, The Holy One blessed be his name, where the whole world is filled with his glory, stands before him and sees his deeds, as it states: "If a man will conceal his secrets and I will not see it, states Hashem; immediately the fear and the proper awed train of thought of Hashem will descend upon him and he will always be embarrassed before G-d. And one should not be ashamed before people who mock his service to Hashem. Also, when one is in private and when one lies on his bed, he should know before whom he is lying and immediately his should arise with enthusiasm to serve his creator and he will get up.]

Parsha Ki Sisa

Like last week we have a regular Parsha and a special pre-Pessach Parsha this week. The beginning of Ki Sisa is used in Parsha Shekalim which we read three weeks ago. The half Shekel of silver was to be used to pay for road maintenance and water resources upgrade prior to the Oley Regel to Yerushalayim including entrance paths and doors into the Temple.  More important Temple donations and maintenance came from other donations.    

30:11 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 12 'When you take the sum of the children of Israel, according to their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the LORD, when thou number them; that there be no plague among them, when thou number them.

When Jews are counted the evil eye can come upon them from the heavenly accuser therefore we give a donation before doing this.

Then there will be no plague among them: for the evil eye has power over numbered things, and pestilence comes upon them, as we find in David’s time (II Sam. 24).

13 This they shall give, every one that passes among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary--the shekel is twenty gerahs--half a shekel for an offering to the LORD. 14 Every one that passes among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and upward, shall give the offering of the LORD. 15 The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less, than the half shekel, when they give the offering of the LORD, to make atonement for your souls.

Financially this seems unfair taking the same amount from the rich and from the poor but Neshama wise all people are equal and that is our lesson here. Skip the Gashmiyous and go for the Ruchaniyos.

To atone for your souls: That they should not be struck by a plague because of the counting. Another explanation: to atone for your souls: [This was written] because [God] hinted to them [the Israelites] here [about] three offerings, because “an offering to the Lord” is written here three times. The first [represents] the offering [of silver] for the sockets [of the Mishkan], for he [Moses] counted them when they commenced with the donations for the Mishkan. Everyone gave a half-shekel, amounting to one hundred talents, as it is said: “And the silver of the community census was one hundred talents” (Exod. 38:25). The sockets were made from this, as it is said: “One hundred talents of the silver was [used to cast the sockets of the Mishkan and the sockets of the dividing curtain]” (Exod. 38:27). The second [offering mentioned here] was also [collected] through counting, for he [Moses] counted them after the Mishkan was erected. This is the counting mentioned in the beginning of the Book of Numbers: “on the first of the second month in the second year” (Num. 1:1). [For this offering] everyone gave a half-shekel, [the total of] which was [earmarked] for the purchase of communal sacrifices for every year. The rich and poor were equal in them [i.e., they gave equally in these two offerings]. Concerning that [second] offering, it is said: “to atone for your souls,” because the sacrifices are brought for the purpose of atonement. The third one [offering] is the offering for the Mishkan, as it is said: “Whoever set aside an offering of silver or copper” (Exod. 35:24). In this [offering] not everyone gave the same amount, but each one [gave] according to what his heart inspired him to give. -[from Shekalim 2b]

16 And thou shalt take the atonement money from the children of Israel, and shalt appoint it for the service of the tent of meeting, that it may be a memorial for the children of Israel before the LORD, to make atonement for your souls.'

We now continue after the redemption of the soul back to the building of the Mishkan.

17 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 18 'Thou shalt also make a laver of brass, and the base thereof of brass, whereat to wash; and thou shalt put it between the tent of meeting and the altar, and thou shalt put water therein. 19 And Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet thereat; 20 when they go into the tent of meeting, they shall wash with water, that they die not; or when they come near to the altar to minister, to cause an offering made by fire to smoke unto the LORD; 21 so they shall wash their hands and their feet, that they die not; and it shall be a statute for ever to them, even to him and to his seed throughout their generations.'

The giant water storage for washing the hands and feet of the Cohanim consisted of brass mirrors from the righteous women who went out of their way to groom themselves when the men gave up having relations due the evil of Pharaoh and they made themselves attractive with these mirrors for their husbands so that the Bnei Yisrael would physically continue.

22 Moreover the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 23 'Take thou also unto thee the chief spices, of flowing myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty, and of sweet calamus two hundred and fifty, 24 and of cassia five hundred, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of olive oil a hin. 25 And thou shalt make it a holy anointing oil, a perfume compounded after the art of the perfumer; it shall be a holy anointing oil.

I could write about this and the craftsmen mentioned in the next section or even my emphasis on keeping Shabbos but I want to go into the Zohar this week on the golden calf and therefore I am skimming over this for my readers to check out other commentaries this year.

31:1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 2 'See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; 3 and I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, 4 to devise skilful works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, 5 and in cutting of stones for setting, and in carving of wood, to work in all manner of workmanship. 6 And I, behold, I have appointed with him Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and in the hearts of all that are wise-hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee …
12 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 13 'Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying: Verily ye shall keep My sabbaths, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that ye may know that I am the LORD who sanctify you.

It is a covenant between HASHEM and the Bnei Yisrael and nobody else even a potential convert MUST violate the Shabbos until accepted by the Beis Din and purified in the Mikvah.

14 Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore, for it is holy unto you; every one that profaneth it shall surely be put to death; for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. 15 Six days shall work be done; but on the seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the LORD; whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.

A Sabbath of complete rest: Heb. שַׁבָּתשַׁבָּתוֹן, a reposeful rest, not a casual rest. (A Sabbath of complete rest: For this reason, Scripture repeated it [the word, שַׁבָּת], to inform [us] that on it all work is prohibited, even what is needed for food. Similarly regarding Yom Kippur, in whose context it says: “It is a Sabbath of complete rest for you” (Lev. 23:32), all work is prohibited. However, concerning festivals it says only: “on the first day is a rest, and on the eighth day is a rest” (Lev. 23:39), [meaning that] on them [i.e., on holidays] only servile work is prohibited, but work needed for food [preparation] is permitted.) holy to the Lord: The observance of its sanctity shall be for My name and by My commandment.

16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. 17 It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel for ever; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He ceased from work and rested.'

Also this next section Moshe is still in heaven with the L-RD and the behavior of the people are theoretical to him so that he can plead for them. For when he seems their behavior is wrath is kindled to the point that he “loses it” as we say and cannot stop his own temper an ability that HASHEM has with HIS long suffering.

18 And He gave unto Moses, when He had made an end of speaking with him upon mount Sinai, the two tables of the testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God. 32:1 And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him: 'Up, make us a god who shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we know not what is become of him.'

that Moses was late: Heb. בשֵׁשׁ, as the Targum [Onkelos] renders אוֹחַר, an expression for lateness. Likewise, [in the verse] “is his chariot late (בֹּשֵׁשׁ) ” (Jud. 5:28); “and they waited until it was late (בּוֹשׁ) ” (Jud. 3:25). When Moses went up the mountain, he said to them [the Israelites], “At the end of forty days I will come, within six hours” [from sunrise of the fortieth day]. They thought that the day he went up was included in the number [of the forty days], but [in fact] he had said to them, “forty days,” [meaning] complete [days], including the night. But the day of his ascent did not have its night included with it [because Moses ascended in the morning], for on the seventh of Sivan he ascended. Thus, the fortieth day [of Moses’ absence] was the seventeenth of Tammuz. On the sixteenth [of Tammuz], Satan came and brought confusion into the world and showed a semblance of darkness, [even] pitch darkness, and confusion, [as if] indicating [that] Moses had surely died and therefore, confusion had come upon the world. He [Satan] said to them, “Moses has died, for six [additional] hours have already passed, and he has not come, etc.,” as is found in tractate Shabbath (89a). We cannot say that their [the Israelites’] only error was that on a cloudy day [they were confused] between before noon and after noon, because Moses did not descend until the next day, as it is said: “On the next day, they arose early, offered up burnt offerings…” (verse 6).

From the Zohar condensed the following story: There were among the mixed multitude besides the various craftsmen there were two magicians who had learned the art of magic perhaps witchcraft and wizardry from the Egyptians. Note that when Moshe goes before Pharaoh in Mitzrayim the message that he uses is that Yud Kay Vav Kay sent me meaning THE L-RD while the Egyptian Magicians use the finger of ELOKIM meaning gods or one particular god of the Hebrews but not our understand of G-D but one among many. Our ELOKAYNU has no other gods before/besides ME! We see here let us make a god vs the two tablets written the finger of G-D. This is the Pshat from the Zohar using the Oral Torah to bring down the story of the Magicians.

(The following two sentences come from the Midrash as I recall) At this point Hur stands up and opposes the mob first with long and then saying basically “Over my dead body”. The mob overcomes Hur perhaps beating him to death or stabbing him. Aaron realizes that the lack of leadership and mob rule and anarchy will lead to the destruction of the nation. Zohar: He tries to buy time as one sorcerer talks to him the other begins enchantments behind his back. Aaron is lacking prophecy at this time and it will cost him two of his sons as a punishment.

2 And Aaron said unto them: 'Break off the golden rings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me.'

Aaron is hoping that some will hesitate in losing gold but no they literally rip off the rings and damage the ear lobe in their zest. (Remember out of the whole Congregation of men that must have been 606,000 at the time only 3,000 or less than a half percent were members of this mob – the punishment comes from the fact that the rest of the people stood by and did nothing to stop them!)

3 And all the people broke off the golden rings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. 4 And he received it at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, and made it a molten calf; and they said: 'This is thy god, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.'

The Zohar claims that the sorcerers used enchantments to make it into such a good cast and shape.

A molten calf -: As soon as they had cast it into the fire of the crucible, the sorcerers of the mixed multitude who had gone up with them from Egypt came and made it with sorcery. [See commentary on Exod. 12:38.] Others say that Micah was there, who had emerged from the layer of the building where he had been crushed in Egypt. (Sanh. 101b). In his hand was a plate upon which Moses had inscribed “Ascend, O ox; ascend, O ox,” to [miraculously] bring up Joseph’s coffin from the Nile. They cast it [the plate] into the crucible, and the calf emerged. -[from Midrash Tanchuma 19]

5 And when Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said: 'To-morrow shall be a feast to the LORD.'

Aaron knew that he would offer a Korban unto the L-RD even though the others view the calf as a god. These people were not thinkers and philosophers like Avraham, Yitzchak and Yacov and could not fathom an abstract G-D filling the whole world all the more so the universe.

6 And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt-offerings, and brought peace-offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to make merry.

The Midrash states that what the people had seen was even more than what Yechezkel ben Buzi saw - The feet of a calf ‘Egel Regel’ and one of the heads on the DIVINE Chariot being a calf.  See the first chapter of Yechezkel. So Aaron sacrifices unto HASHEM and they dance around the Egel and we learn that there is no merriment but lust and other phenomena. THERE IS A GENERAL RULE THAT HASHEM HATES SEXUAL IMMORALITY.

They arose early: Satan roused them so that they would sin. To make merry: Heb. לְצַחֵק. In this word, there is [also] a connotation of sexual immorality, as it is said: “to mock (לְצַחֶק) me” (Gen. 39:17), and bloodshed, as it is said: “Let the boys get up now and play (וִישַׂחִקוּ) before us” (II Sam. 2:14). Here too, Hur was slain. -[from Midrash Tanchuma 20]

The question of whether Hur was slain in the beginning of the incident or when the immorality started does not matter much but he was slain for speaking Mussar and protesting this. For this reason more than his talent, Betzalel deserved to serve HASHEM and make the Mishkan. I quote the Soncino Translation that I have of the Zohar there. There is an Angel in charge of renewing the day and as the sun light rays fall on the mount top the idolaters call it “The pearl of Allah!”

7 And the LORD spoke unto Moses: 'Go, get thee down; for thy people, that thou brought up out of the land of Egypt, have dealt corruptly; 8 they have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them; they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed unto it, and said: This is thy god, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.' 9 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people.

Stiffnecked can be used for good by dying on a Kiddush HASHEM during the Inquisition or bad here for opposing HASHEM.

10 Now therefore let Me alone, that My wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them; and I will make of thee a great nation.' 11 And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said: 'LORD, why doth Thy wrath wax hot against Thy people, that Thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? 12 Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, saying: For evil did He bring them forth, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from Thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against Thy people. 13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Thy servants, to whom Thou didst swear by YOUR own self, and said unto them: I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it forever.' 14 And the LORD repented of the evil which He said He would do unto His people.

Moshe has unconditional love for his people and when the calf is theoretic to him he can argue nicely on their behalf but not if he was physically there with the calf in front of his face.

15 And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, with the two tables of the testimony in his hand; tables that were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written. 16 And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables. 17 And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses: 'There is a noise of war in the camp.' 18 And he said: 'It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome, but the noise of them that sing do I hear.'

[It is] neither a voice shouting victory: This voice does not appear to be a voice of the shouting of heroes crying “Victory!” or the voice of weak [soldiers] crying “Woe!” or “Flee!” a voice of blasphemy: Heb. קוֹל עָנּוֹת. A voice of blasphemy and reviling, which distresses (הַמְעַנִין) the soul of the one who hears them when they are said to him.

19 And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf and the dancing; and Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and broke them beneath the mount. 20 And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it with fire, and ground it to powder, and strewed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it.

Three punishments were melted out that day: 1) The rebels were killed (2) The sin of disobedience from Gan Eden which was removed when the Decalogue was received returned (3) Moshe made all of Am Yisrael drink the gold particles in the water for not stopping the rebellion.

21 And Moses said unto Aaron: 'What did this people unto thee, that thou hast brought a great sin upon them?' 22 And Aaron said: 'Let not the anger of my lord wax hot; you know the people, that they are set on evil. 23 So they said unto me: Make us a god, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we know not what is become of him. 24 And I said unto them: Whosoever hath any gold, let them break it off; so they gave it me; and I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf.' 25 And when Moses saw that the people were broken loose--for Aaron had let them loose for a derision among their enemies-- 26 then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said: 'Whoso is on the LORD'S side, let him come unto me.' And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.

With Yehoshua waiting for Moshe and Moshe away anarchy had broken lose in the camp. Aaron was a man of peace and his specialty was calming down husbands and wives. He was not the leader and shepherd that Moshe was. For Moshe during his growing up in the house of Pharaoh learned leadership and management techniques something that neither a slave nor a priest could learn.

27 And he said unto them: 'Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Put ye every man his sword upon his thigh, and go to and fro from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.'

These people who needed an idol would have to be killed whether a brother-in-law, cousin, uncle, father-in-law, etc.

28 And the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses; and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men. 29 And Moses said: 'Consecrate yourselves to-day to the LORD, for every man hath been against his son and against his brother; that He may also bestow upon you a blessing this day.' 30 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people: 'Ye have sinned a great sin; and now I will go up unto the LORD, peradventure I shall make atonement for your sin.' 31 And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said: 'Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them a god of gold. 32 Yet now, if Thou wilt forgive their sin--; and if not, blot me, I pray Thee, out of Thy book which Thou hast written.' 33 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Whosoever hath sinned against Me, him will I blot out of My book. 34 And now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee; behold, Mine angel shall go before thee; nevertheless in the day when I visit, I will visit their sin upon them.' 35 And the LORD smote the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made.

33:1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses: 'Depart, go up hence, thou and the people that thou hast brought up out of the land of Egypt, unto the land of which I swore unto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying: Unto thy seed will I give it-- 2 and I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite-- 3 unto a land flowing with milk and honey; for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people; lest I consume thee in the way.' 4 And when the people heard these evil tidings, they mourned; and no man did put on him his ornaments. 5 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Say unto the children of Israel: Ye are a stiffnecked people; if I go up into the midst of thee for one moment, I shall consume thee; therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee, that I may know what to do unto thee.' 6 And the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments from mount Horeb onward. 7 Now Moses used to take the tent and to pitch it without the camp, afar off from the camp; and he called it the tent of meeting. And it came to pass, that every one that sought the LORD went out unto the tent of meeting, which was without the camp. 8 And it came to pass, when Moses went out unto the Tent, that all the people rose up, and stood, every man at his tent door, and looked after Moses, until he was gone into the Tent. 9 And it came to pass, when Moses entered into the Tent, the pillar of cloud descended, and stood at the door of the Tent; and [the LORD] spoke with Moses. 10 And when all the people saw the pillar of cloud stand at the door of the Tent, all the people rose up and worshipped, every man at his tent door. 11 And the LORD spoke unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he would return into the camp; but his minister Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the Tent.
12 And Moses said unto the LORD: 'See, Thou sayest unto me: Bring up this people; and Thou hast not let me know whom Thou wilt send with me. Yet Thou hast said: I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in My sight. 13 Now therefore, I pray Thee, if I have found grace in Thy sight, show me now Thy ways, that I may know Thee, to the end that I may find grace in Thy sight; and consider that this nation is Thy people.' 14 And He said: 'My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.' 15 And he said unto Him: 'If Thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. 16 For wherein now shall it be known that I have found grace in Thy sight, I and Thy people? is it not in that Thou goest with us, so that we are distinguished, I and Thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth?' {P}
17 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken, for thou hast found grace in My sight, and I know thee by name.' 18 And he said: 'Show me, I pray Thee, Thy glory.' 19 And He said: 'I will make all My goodness pass before thee, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.' 20 And He said: 'Thou canst not see My face, for man shall not see Me and live.' 21 And the LORD said: 'Behold, there is a place by Me, and thou shalt stand upon the rock. 22 And it shall come to pass, while My glory passes by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with My hand until I have passed by. 23 And I will take away My hand, and thou shalt see My back; but My face shall not be seen.'

34:1 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first; and I will write upon the tables the words that were on the first tables, which thou didst break. 2 And be ready by the morning, and come up in the morning unto mount Sinai, and present thyself there to Me on the top of the mount. 3 And no man shall come up with thee, neither let any man be seen throughout all the mount; neither let the flocks nor herds feed before that mount.' 4 And he hewed two tables of stone like unto the first; and Moses rose up early in the morning, and went up unto mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him, and took in his hand two tables of stone. 5 And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. 6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed: 'The LORD, the LORD, God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth; 7 keeping mercy unto the thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin; and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and unto the fourth generation.' 8 And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped. 9 And he said: 'If now I have found grace in Thy sight, O Lord, let the Lord, I pray Thee, go in the midst of us; for it is a stiffnecked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for Thine inheritance.' 10 And He said: 'Behold, I make a covenant; before all thy people I will do marvels, such as have not been wrought in all the earth, nor in any nation; and all the people among which thou art shall see the work of the LORD that I am about to do with thee, that it is tremendous. 11 Observe thou that which I am commanding thee this day; behold, I am driving out before thee the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite. 12 Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest they be for a snare in the midst of thee. 13 But ye shall break down their altars, and dash in pieces their pillars, and ye shall cut down their Asherim. 14 For thou shalt bow down to no other god; for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God; 15 lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go astray after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and they call thee, and thou eat of their sacrifice; 16 and thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters go astray after their gods, and make thy sons go astray after their gods. 17 Thou shalt make thee no molten gods. 18 The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep. Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, as I commanded thee, at the time appointed in the month Abib, for in the month Abib thou camest out from Egypt. 19 All that openeth the womb is Mine; and of all thy cattle thou shalt sanctify the males, the firstlings of ox and sheep. 20 And the firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break its neck. All the first-born of thy sons thou shalt redeem. And none shall appear before Me empty. 21 Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest; in plowing time and in harvest thou shalt rest. 22 And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, even of the first-fruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the turn of the year. 23 Three times in the year shall all thy males appear before the Lord GOD, the God of Israel. 24 For I will cast out nations before thee, and enlarge thy borders; neither shall any man covet thy land, when thou goest up to appear before the LORD thy God three times in the year. 25 Thou shalt not offer the blood of My sacrifice with leavened bread; neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the passover be left unto the morning. 26 The choicest first-fruits of thy land thou shalt bring unto the house of the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in its mother's milk.'

Again this Mitzvah is repeated. Once for not cooking, the second time for not eating and the third time from not deriving pleasure or profit from the mixture of milk and meat.

27 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Write thou these words, for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel.' 28 And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten words. 29 And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of the testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses knew not that the skin of his face sent forth beams while He talked with him. 30 And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face sent forth beams; and they were afraid to come nigh him. 31 And Moses called unto them; and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned unto him; and Moses spoke to them. 32 And afterward all the children of Israel came nigh, and he gave them in commandment all that the LORD had spoken with him in mount Sinai. 33 And when Moses had done speaking with them, he put a veil on his face. 34 But when Moses went in before the LORD that He might speak with him, he took the veil off, until he came out; and he came out; and spoke unto the children of Israel that which he was commanded. 35 And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses' face sent forth beams; and Moses put the veil back upon his face, until he went in to speak with Him.

Despite the anger of HASHEM, the idolatry and lust; HASHEM was still at this point ready and willing to bring the people into the land. Had Moshe entered and conquered the land, no nation could have opposed Am Yisrael and removed them from the land.  However this was not to be.

Parsha Parah

1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying: 2 This is the statute of the law which the LORD hath commanded, saying: Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring thee a red heifer, faultless, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke. 3 And ye shall give her unto Eleazar the priest, and she shall be brought forth without the camp, and she shall be slain before his face. 4 And Eleazar the priest shall take of her blood with his finger, and sprinkle of her blood toward the front of the tent of meeting seven times. 5 And the heifer shall be burnt in his sight; her skin, and her flesh, and her blood, with her dung, shall be burnt. 6 And the priest shall take cedar-wood, and hyssop, and scarlet, and cast it into the midst of the burning of the heifer. 7 Then the priest shall wash his clothes, and he shall bathe his flesh in water, and afterward he may come into the camp, and the priest shall be unclean until the even. 8 And he that burns her shall wash his clothes in water, and bathe his flesh in water, and shall be unclean until the even. 9 And a man that is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer, and lay them up without the camp in a clean place, and it shall be kept for the congregation of the children of Israel for a water of sprinkling; it is a purification from sin. 10 And he that gathers the ashes of the heifer shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even; and it shall be unto the children of Israel, and unto the stranger that sojourns among them, for a statute forever. 11 He that touches the dead, even any man's dead body, shall be unclean seven days; 12 the same shall purify himself therewith on the third day and on the seventh day, and he shall be clean; but if he purify not himself the third day and the seventh day, he shall not be clean. 13 Whosoever toucheth the dead, even the body of any man that is dead, and purifieth not himself--he hath defiled the tabernacle of the LORD--that soul shall be cut off from Israel; because the water of sprinkling was not dashed against him, he shall be unclean; his uncleanness is yet upon him. 14 This is the law: when a man dieth in a tent, every one that cometh into the tent, and every thing that is in the tent, shall be unclean seven days. 15 And every open vessel, which hath no covering close-bound upon it, is unclean. 16 And whosoever in the open field toucheth one that is slain with a sword, or one that dieth of himself, or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days. 17 And for the unclean they shall take of the ashes of the burning of the purification from sin, and running water shall be put thereto in a vessel. 18 And a clean person shall take hyssop, and dip it in the water, and sprinkle it upon the tent, and upon all the vessels, and upon the persons that were there, and upon him that touched the bone, or the slain, or the dead, or the grave. 19 And the clean person shall sprinkle upon the unclean on the third day, and on the seventh day; and on the seventh day he shall purify him; and he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and shall be clean at even. 20 But the man that shall be unclean, and shall not purify himself, that soul shall be cut off from the midst of the assembly, because he hath defiled the sanctuary of the LORD; the water of sprinkling hath not been dashed against him: he is unclean. 21 And it shall be a perpetual statute unto them; and he that sprinkleth the water of sprinkling shall wash his clothes; and he that touches the water of sprinkling shall be unclean until even. 22 And whatsoever the unclean person toucheth shall be unclean; and the soul that toucheth him shall be unclean until even.

Regarding my bringing down Pshat from the Zohar that is OK but  that is not Sod or hidden things. As for when it is time to start learning Kabbala: It is the RAMBAM notes in Yesodei HaTorah. Chapter 4 Halacha 13 Halacha 13 The matters discussed in these four chapters concerning these five mitzvoth are what the Sages of the early generations termed the Pardes, as they related: "Four entered the Pardes...." Even though they were great men of Israel and great Sages, not all of them had the potential to know and comprehend all these matters in their totality.

I maintain that it is not proper for a person to stroll in the Pardes unless he has filled his belly with bread and meat. "Bread and meat" refer to the knowledge of what is permitted and what is forbidden, and similar matters concerning other mitzvoth. Even though the Sages referred to these as "a small matter" - for our Sages said: "'A great matter,’ this refers to Maaseh Merkavah. `A small matter,’ this refers to the debates of Abbaye and Ravva" - nevertheless, it is fitting for them to be given precedence, because they settle a person's mind.

Also, they are the great good which the Holy One, blessed be He, has granted, [to allow for] stable [living] within this world and the acquisition of the life of the world to come. They can be known in their totality by the great and the small, man or woman, whether [granted] expansive knowledge or limited knowledge.

Laws of Honoring Parents Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 240

Seif  1 - One must be very fastidious in the honoring of his father and mother and in being in awe of them.
HGH: In any case, a court cannot enforce the mitzvah of honoring one’s mother and father, because it is a mitzvat aseh (positive commandment) for which the reward is described with it [i.e. in the verses], for which a court cannot compel regarding it.
Seif 2 - What is considered awe? He shall not stand in the place set aside for [his father] to stand in sage council with his colleagues, or his special place for prayer, and he shall not sit in his special place to recline in his house, and shall not contradict his words and not rule reagarding his words in front of him, even to say “My father’s words are sensible.” And he shall not call him by name, not during his life nor his death. Rather he shall say “My father, my master.” If his father’s name was the same as the name of others, he should change their names, if it is an unusual name that people are used to using
HGH: But a name that people are accustomed to use, he permitted to use for others, if it is not in front of [his father].
Seif 3 - To what extent is the awe of them (mother and father)? (If) a son was wearing nice clothes and sitting in front of the community, and his father and mother arrived and tore his clothes and hit him (the son) on his head and spit in his face, he (the son) shall not embarrass them, but rather shall be silent and will be in awe of the King of Kings of Kings, who commanded to do thusly.
Seif 4 - What is honoring? He feeds him and gives him drink and dresses and covers, he welcomes and escorts out. And he will give to him with a happy demeanor (lit. face), such that even if the son feeds fattened livestock on each day and shows him (the father) an angry demeanor (lit. face), punishment is brought on him (the son). HGH: And also is the opposite case: If he forces his father to grind with the millstone, but he has good intention to save him from worse work, and he speaks words of appeasement on his father’s heart and shows him that his intention is good (to the father) such that he is convinced to grind with the millstone; (he that does so) inherits the world to come. And he shall serve him in all the other things as the server serves his master.
Seif 9 - He is obligated to honor him even after his death. How so? If he said something that he heard from [his father’s] mouth, he should say, “So said my father, my master, for whom I am the atonement of his resting,” if it is within 12 months (of dying). And if it is after 12 months, he should say “may his memory be for a blessing.” HGH: And there is no difference between a mother and a father for all of this. There are those who say that if one writes something within 12 months (of his death) and mentions his father, he does not need to write “behold I am the atonement of his resting.” Rather, (he should write) “zichrono livracha,” because his writing will last after 12 months. And there are those who are stringent, even with writing, and this is how we act.
Seif 10 - One whose father or mother became senile, should make an effort to behave with them in accordance with their mental ability until there be pity upon them. And if it is impossible for one to stand it, because they are too mentally disturbed, he should go and leave them and command to others to take care of them properly.
Seif 11 - One who sees that he father tragressed words of Torah, he should not tell him, "You transgressed words of Torah," rather he should tell him "Dad, the Torah says so and so," as if he is asking from him and not chastising him, and he will understand himself and not be embarrassed And if he said some statement that was in error, he should not say to him, don’t teach such.
Seif 14 - If his father says to him: give me water, and his mother says to him: give me water, he leaves his mother and busies himself with the honor of his father. And if she is divorced from his father, they are both equal and to whichever one he wants, he gives first.
I could not find a translation for Siman 241 but Rav Aviner Shlita writes in his questions and answers: Rabbi Shlomo Aviner answers hundreds of text message questions a week. Some appear in the Parsha sheets "Ma'ayanei Ha-Yeshu'ah" and "Olam Ha-Katan." Here's a sample: A Convert and Honoring Parents
Q: Does a convert need to honor his biological parents?
A: Yes, just as a non-Jew would honor his parents (Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 241:9. See Shut Igrot Moshe Yoreh Deah 2:130 and Shut Yechaveh Da’as 6:60).

On Friday evening Rabbi Barak Kokavi Shlita gave his Drasha

The difference between a Jew who has a goal of the next world and Amalek is when the Yetzer Hara gets weak; the Goy is very upset while the Jew rejoices. After his Drasha, I pulled him aside and told him that my wife was talking to me about the Miss Israel Beauty Contest being on the same date as our grandson’s Bar Mitzvah and she wanted to record it. I said to her, what do we need that for; the girls participating in it are just a few years older than our grandchildren. I guess I am not the Bill Clinton type with young interns as I view them differently. If one has no real Yetzer to steal or play the field with women other than his wife, he has conquered a lot. Still other ways the Yetzer gets to me by wasting time or sending me on a wild goose chase. Rabbi Mimran and I often are bothered by simple questions that if the person read his Halacha correctly would not have to ask a Rabbi. There are harder questions and even tough questions that I am not always certain how to answer and it takes me time. (It is not only with a Halacha as I found the same simple questions repeating themselves in Component Engineering.) At least with human dynamics the answers regarding family matters and Halacha are usually more interesting and the answers harder to give with 99% of time no two cases even being similar.

On Purim I heard a story from Mattiyahu about a boy who had been a Genius in his Yeshiva and even took over for the Rosh Yeshiva but went to the army and off went the Kipa and the Tephillin. He was planning to go to South America and his mother begged Mattiyahu to try to dissuade the fellow. Mattiyahu said that after 3 years of planning there was nothing he could do to dissuade the boy but she should give him his Tephillin to take with him. He took it and one day in the Jungles of Brazil wrote back. Mom, I am missing you I put on my Tephillin each day here in the jungle to remind me of home!

When Only Purim Will Do  issue 382

I was 19 years old, and was like every other religious boy from Jerusalem in those years. Long coat, long peyos, a fuzz of a beard. My brothers and I went to Eitz Chaim Yeshiva. I was a good student, and it wasn’t long before people began to suggest marriage proposals to my parents.
After a few months, I set out for New York to meet someone. Soon we got engaged and a summer wedding was planned. My parents wanted us to live in Jerusalem. Her parents wanted New York. They finally said, “Let the young couple decide.” But we couldn’t decide. Arguments broke out and by Passover the engagement was broken. I was devastated. My family was devastated, too. My parents insisted that I return to Israel, but I couldn’t face returning alone. And so I stayed in America.
A friend of mine, also from Jerusalem, told me that he had a job offer in Cleveland. It sounded good so I joined him.  It was a different life for me there. Little by little, I began to leave my upbringing behind. I changed my long coat for a short jacket, shaved my beard, and was encouraged by my new friends to try other new things in America. Everything.  I couldn’t bring myself to tell my parents of my new lifestyle. They only knew that I was in Cleveland, studying and working.
At Purim time I visited relatives living in Crown Heights, long before it was a Lubavitcher neighborhood. They almost didn’t recognize me. After eating the Purim meal I decided to go for a walk to get some fresh air. Suddenly, I saw two Chasidim running like crazy.
“What happened? Where’s the fire?” I asked.
The boy called out, “We’re going to the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s farbrengen.”
“Where?” I asked, and he pointed out the place.
I followed him inside, and saw hundreds of Chasidim listening to a man who I assumed was the Lubavitcher Rebbe.  It was hot and crowded, and I soon wanted to leave. This was no place for me. But as soon as this thought popped into my head, the talk ended, and hearty singing broke out and I was caught up.

Suddenly, all fell quiet. The Rebbe was speaking again. He spoke about the World to Come, Moshiach, and that of all the Jewish holidays, only Purim would remain in the future. I don’t remember everything, but I was fascinated with his beautiful explanation. It struck me when he said that on Purim every Jew’s neshama, his soul, is revealed much more than even on Yom Kippur.  With a creeping awareness, I felt that the Rebbe was talking about me. He said that the Evil Inclination is a talented artisan, an expert in his field. First, he comes to a young man and convinces him to leave the yeshiva and go to work, because after all, Torah and work go hand in hand. Then he convinces the boy that America is different from all other places; he has to fit in, in order to make it. Then he tells him that “time is money”: don’t worry so much about prayer and putting on tefilin. The Rebbe carefully described my descent, step by step, and concluded by saying that even Yom Kippur isn’t enough to arouse this youth.  But then comes Purim, self-sacrifice. A Jew says, “I will not bow down.” His neshama reveals itself, and he is able to climb out of the pit.
As the Rebbe spoke, my face was burning. I knew the Rebbe described me well. I hastened to reassure myself… Even though all the details fit, there was just no way the Rebbe could even see me. It was a coincidence. I was momentarily soothed. But the Rebbe continued, “Particularly when the young man comes from Israel, from Jerusalem. It’s possible that he is to be found here, even though he thinks that we don’t see him. Close but not seen. Seen, but…not close.”
The only thing that calmed me now was that no one understood except for me. No one was searching for a young man from Jerusalem in the crowd.  At that moment, the Rebbe stopped speaking and the lively singing recommenced. Men called out “L’chaim” to the Rebbe, and I too, felt in need of a little external fortification. I looked up.  Everyone was looking at me. The Rebbe was looking straight at me. He indicated that I should say “L’chaim.” A man gave me some vodka in a shot glass, but the Rebbe insisted — a large cup.
There was no way I could drink it, and I said so. The man said, “Just make the ‘L’chaim.’” I did and took a sip, but the Rebbe motioned for me to finish the whole cup. When I had finished, head reeling, he said, “Again.” I drank the second cup to the end.
I don’t remember anything else, just waking up on a bench, surrounded by sleeping Chasidim. It was early morning. I never told anyone what happened that day. It stayed a secret between the Rebbe and me.
Today, I live in Jerusalem, with my religious wife and beautiful children. I have come back to America. Each time I wanted to go to the Rebbe, to thank him. But each time I was afraid. How could I approach someone who looked through me as if I were made of glass?
This year I came to the Rebbe. Somehow, I got up the chutzpa. I stood there at the Ohel, and whispered to the wind, and the walls, and the one who knows me so well. And I finally told the Rebbe, “Thank you.”
The following personal story was submitted anonymously to the Kfar Chabad magazine. Though the magazine does not usually publish anonymous articles, they made an exception. (Translated by Goldie Goldbloom).  Reprinted from – LYO / NYC

Abraham’s Tent

A young woman thought she wanted nothing more to do with Yiddishkeit. She had grown up in a strictly observant family in Brooklyn, but questions began to arise in her mind. After a tumultuous marriage and divorce, she decided she was no longer going to be religious. She visited Israel, but tried to steer clear of religion, until she came to a new hostel, open for the summer in the Old City of Jerusalem, called “Abraham’s Tent.” She decided to choose Abraham’s Tent for her accommodations during her visit, and felt drawn in by the warmth of the Chabad couple, Rabbi Yosef and Sorale Eichenblatt, who run the hostel. It wasn’t merely a place to stay, but a place to become inspired. Along with the other visitors, she participated in lectures, tours and other fun and instructive activities. As a result of her stay, the woman returned to a level of observance she had not thought open to her again.
There are many similar stories among the 2,000 guests the Eichenblatt’s hosted last summer, when Abraham’s Tent first opened. The couple prepared Shabbos meals for 50-80 guests every week, many of whom had never experienced the beauty of Yiddishkeit. Of the guests, nine are now enrolled in Yeshivos and seminaries as a direct result of their experience at the hostel.
Setting up Abraham’s Tent was not easy for the Eichenblatts, who came to Israel from Sydney, Australia. The program runs from June until Tishrei, and much of the rest of the year is spent fundraising for the successful venture. The Eichenblatts hope that, G-d willing, Abraham’s Tent will soon have its doors open for the entire year.
A man named Abdul Kareem, with a Muslim father from Sierra Leone and a Ukrainian Jewish mother, ventured to the Old City to take photographs of the Dome of the Rock mosque. He ventured into Abraham’s Tent, and when he spoke of his mother’s heritage, was warmly welcomed. Abdul asked what a bar mitzvah was, and said he had never had one. During the Simcha, with tears in his eyes, he declared the ceremony was the most moving experience of his life. He later wrote to the Eichenblatts that he had adopted the Jewish name Ovadia and was involved in learning more about Yiddishkeit.
Abraham’s Tent provides a link between the inspiration experienced in Israel and the continuation of it in one’s life and community,” says Rabbi Eichenblatt.  for more information, e-mail  By Miriam Metzinger

"It is Purim Today--LeChaim!"

Purim had arrived, and a poverty-stricken Jew who lived in a village on the outskirts of the town of Koznitz lacked the means to purchase the basic necessities for the festive Purim feast held on the afternoon of the holiday. He felt terrible about it, especially for his wife and children, that such a happy day should turn into a depressing one with no celebration to look forward to.
"Oh, well," he thought to himself; "at least I should do the mitzvah of hearing the Megilla in the best possible manner. Of the four special mitzvot of the day-hearing Megillat Esther, giving money and gifts to the poor, sending portions (mishlo'ach manot) of food and drink to friends, enjoying a Purim feast-it is the only one that does not cost any money. I'll walk to town early in the morning and hear the Reading from the Rebbe himself!"
'The Rebbe' was Rabbi Yisrael [named for the Baal Shem Tov because of his miraculous birth, but that's a different story for another time-ed.], the famous Maggid ('preacher') of Koznitz. The Maggid did not appoint a reader from among the knowledgeable members of the congregation, preferring to read it aloud himself from a scroll for the benefit of all assembled. The villager, although by no means a scholar, found this special reading to be inspiring. Despite his untenable financial situation, he began to be filled with the unique joy and good feelings of the Purim festival. But then….
After the Reading, everyone lined up to pass by the Rebbe and exchange individual holiday greetings with him. When our villager approached, the Maggid said to him, "Aren't you from the village just outside town? Well, then, why did you not bring me Mishlo'ach Manot, as is traditional?"
The poor man's newly acquired good spirits crashed. He stood, mouth agape, in stunned silence. He couldn't even afford a half loaf of bread for his children; how was he supposed to bring the Rebbe a present, even if that was what everyone else on the line was doing?
"Alright, my friend," smiled the Rebbe, "don't be sad. It is Purim today, after all. Everyone is invited to my house; come join us for a bite and a bit of whisky."
He didn't have to be invited twice, especially for the LeChaim part. As he cheerfully toasted two or three times, his cheerful Purim mood was quickly restored. [He lifted some spirits to lift his spirits!-ed.] Another cup or two and he was seized with a clever idea, as well as the chutzpah (nerve) to put it into action.
He excused himself from the table, and off he went to the nearby house of a wealthy wine merchant. When the man opened his door, the villager saluted him with an enthusiastic "Happy Purim, my dear fellow Jew!" Then he followed with "Please give me a nice bottle of wine on credit. Of course I'll pay you back. But if Heaven forbid it should happen that I don't, well, it's Purim today, isn't it? Merry Purim! LeChaim!"
The astounded merchant gave him a bottle with a shrug, a big smile and a "Happy Purim!" of his own. Our man, pleased with his success, went on with a bit more confidence to the fruit and vegetable store.
"Merry Purim, friend! Please give me a few juicy red apples on credit. Of course I'll pay you back. But if Heaven forbid it should happen that I don't, well, it's Purim today, isn't it? Happy Purim!"
The F&V man also became caught up in the visitor's enthusiasm and good cheer, and presented him with two large apples.

The villager ran as fast as he could back to the Maggid's house, and with a grin of satisfaction presented him with the wine and apples. "Happy Purim, holy rebbe, and L'Chaim! Here is mishlo'ach manot for you from me."
"Well done!" responded the Maggid. "You should remember every Purim to bring me mishlo'ach manot."

* * *
Thrilled with his good fortune in obtaining mishlo'ach manot for the Rebbe, the Jew decided to push his luck further. "My poor family is sitting alone at home, starving. They have no Purim joy at all. Let's see if I can take care of them too."

He strode over to the local liquor vendor and tried his same formula again. "Happy Purim, my brother! Please give me a bottle for l'chaim, on credit. Of course I'll pay you back. But if Heaven forbid it should happen that I don't, well, it's Purim today, isn't it? Merry Purim! And LeChaim!"
The owner laughed and gave him a bottle of plum brandy. This, in turn, inspired the flushed visitor to continue on to the bakery. "Happy Purim, friend! Please give me a large braided loaf on credit. Of course I'll pay you back. But if Heaven forbid it should happen that I don't, well, it's Purim today, isn't it? Merry Purim!"
It worked. Now all he needed was a main dish. He decided to try the nearby grocery store. "Happy Purim, friend! Please give me some delicious fat herring on credit. Of course I'll pay you back. But if Heaven forbid it should happen that I don't, well, it's Purim today, isn't it? Merry Purim!"
The grocer cheerfully obliged, and the Jew set out for home with both hands filled with goodies. Arriving just at the traditional hour for the meal, he burst in the door, proclaiming loudly, "It's Purim today, it's Purim today. Happy Purim, dear family. LeChaim!"
His wife and children never expected to see him in such a joyful, excited mood. They couldn't imagine what had happened to him and worried greatly-- had he "flipped out," lost his mind from the desperation of poverty on Purim Day?
He, however, was oblivious to the obvious concern on their faces, and continued his cheerful patter. Then he set out on the table the bread, fish and liquor that he had acquired, and told them to "sit, and eat, drink, feel good and be merry; it's Purim today! Happy Purim. LeChaim!"
Whatever had happened, they weren't about to refuse this enticing invitation. They set to with gusto as he sat down and joined them. After a few sips of LeChaim they too began to happily enter the spirit of the day, and soon they all jumped up and started dancing around the table, holding hands and singing loudly "Purim today! Purim today!"
* * *
Round and round they went on in this vein for quite a while, until suddenly they heard knocking at their door. "Don't open," he instructed his wife. It is probably someone ignorant of Purim that wants to ruin our celebration."

But the knocking didn't stop. Finally, his wife said to him, "I think I know who is there. It's that elderly non-Jew who lives near the forest and regularly comes around to sell us potatoes from his garden. I am going to open the door for him."
She did so and indeed it was him, but he was bruised and bleeding and appeared seriously injured. They quickly administered to him and washed and dressed his wounds as best they could, then gave him some of their food and a cup of the brandy [and perhaps said to him, 'LeChaim' and 'Happy Purim'-ed.].
After he ate and drank, he thanked them: "You restored me to life! I was a moment away from death out there." He went on to explain to them what had happened.
"My only son did this to me! He wanted me to advance him a large sum from his eventual inheritance, and when I refused to do so he beat me nearly to death and then threw me out into the freezing cold. I couldn't find anyone to help me except you.
"And since my son has turned out to be a cruel murderer and ingrate, I will never let him get his hands on any of my money. And since you were the only ones who cared enough to help me, I will show you where I have my fortune hidden in the forest. It is likely I will die soon from these injuries, and if I do, you can take the money as a present in gratitude for your kindness."
The Jew accompanied him into the forest and noted the tree under which the injured man said he buried his wealth. A few days later the man did indeed die as a result of the vicious beating. The week after that the Jew went into the forest and dug up the strong-box. It turned out to contain a small fortune-he was now, suddenly, a rich man.
The next Purim he returned to Koznitz and presented the Maggid with a large basket filled with expensive items of food and drink for mishlo'ach manot, and a generous monetary donation as well.
And so he did every Purim after that too. LeChaim and Happy Pour'em!
Rabbi Yisrael Haupstein, 1737- 14 Tishrei 1814, 'the Maggid' of Koznitz, a major disciple of the Rebbe Reb Elimelech, and author of the chassidic-kabbalistic work, 'Avodas Yisrael' and other books. His miraculous birth is the subject of a popular Baal Shem Tov story. Translated from Rabbi Zevin’s work and told by Rabbi Yerachmiel Tilles.
I only noticed this week "It is Purim Today--LeChaim!" the following msg [DO NOT reprint or publish in any form without written permission from . Yes, you can pass the email along.] So I wrote the editor: Pernission granted. I only put this warning/request when it is a story or translation that originates with me, which unfortunately is not as often as it used to be. Stay tune for a great one next week though. Happy Purim.

An unsuspecting woman was shocked to learn she was being set up by J's Witnesses

A file involving a down-and-out woman who was victimized by cult members was this week stamped "case closed" by Yad L'Achim's counter-missionary department.

N., a resident of Rehovot, never had it easy. Orphaned at a young age and raised in dire poverty, she married a man whose family rejected her.

Around half a year ago, it looked to her like her luck was about to change. Two friendly women showed up at her door with a "booklet on Judaism that will make you happier." They got her to invite them in, and listened sympathetically to details of her difficult life.

N.'s new "friends" quickly became fixtures in her home, visiting every week. At first they listened, but then they began talking, or, to put it more accurately, preaching. They gave her a copy of the "new testament." When she asked what it was, they said it was "an additional volume to the Tanach."

Over the course of several months, the missionaries became part of her life. At first she didn't know what to make of them. "If you speak with such fervor about Judaism, why don't you cover your hair," she asked.

"These commandments are no longer relevant," they answered.

One day, the phone rang; it was a woman asking her to contribute to an organization that builds mikvaos throughout Israel. The woman stressed that the donation would be a great merit for N.

N. shocked the caller with her response: "Today there is no longer any need to fulfill these Mitzvos."

The astonished woman asked where N. got such information and was told that she was being visited every week by "two good women from J.'s Witnesses who come to my home and teach me Judaism."

The woman immediately contacted Yad L'Achim with details of the story. Representatives of the counter-missionary department called N. and informed her that her "friends" weren't Jewish, but missionaries, and arranged to meet.

At their first meeting, which continued late into the night, the Yad L'Achim activists explained to N. how she had been led astray all those months. The more they explained, the more aghast N. became. At one point, she burst into tears: "I only now realize that these women wanted to convert me out of my religion and turn me into a Christian!"

The relationship between N. and the Yad L'Achim activists grew deeper and deeper. She informed the missionaries that she wanted to break off all contact with them and asked them stop visiting her at home.

Meanwhile, she registered her two daughters in local religious schools and began participating in regular Torah classes for women.

The last report in N.'s file described in short, moving words the latest development. The remarks come from D., one of the activists who befriended her.

"N. told me today, with tears in her eyes, that for the first time since her relationship with the missionaries began she visited the grave of her mother and recited Tehillim. This attests to the final break between her and the missionaries, as one of the foundations of the cult is complete rejection of remnants of the soul remaining with the body and visiting the grave of loved ones." I have become inactive in Yad L’Achim but once I was a bit active with them and for the last 42 years have donated to them.

Chief Rabbi Vote to gains candidates and backers but the problem remains that secular and laymen do the voting:

Thanks to Jay: Polish Jews with the India Schindler:

When Begin was wrong and Sharon was right:

Was this kidnapping of a child finally solved 21 years later?,7340,L-4348071,00.html The DNA evidence inconclusive.

I don’t know how you can buy votes seeing that one has a choice and this guy can only recommend whom to vote for:

Inyanay Diyoma

More Amalek but this time in Londonstan:,7340,L-4347931,00.html

Besides the Nukes Iran is working hard on international Jihad and terrorism:

Iran claims their own Uranium Deposits but no proof.

More and more disorder sponsored by the PLO,7340,L-4348816,00.html

Maybe Pollard did it from jail and spoke Chinese on the same that he was caught so was a Chinese - The Chinese spy went home and Pollard is still in jail.

We are getting ready for Iran something that Europe will regret in the future which will be their payback time for their years of anti-semtitism.

And she came from such an honorable Muslim family:,7340,L-4348941,00.html

Saudi citizens get angry over an HIV transfusion:,7340,L-4348829,00.html

Israel repatriates 6 of 7 Syrians wounded in the fighting.

Ed-op the Stockholm Syndrome in the Shin Bet:,7340,L-4348449,00.html

Hopefully not. In this time and age, unconceivable. However, how is it possible that this moral dwarf is in the short list for a future Pope?

*Will a Notorious Anti-Semite Become The Pope? *By Alan Dershowitz. (Alan Dershowitz is a professor of law at Harvard.)

"...The Vatican has rightly called anti-Semitism a "sin," and yet an unrepentant sinner is on the short list to become the leader of the Catholic Church. Is it because the other cardinals are unaware of Rodriguez Maradiaga's anti-Semitism? Unlikely, because he has made no secret of his bigotry against the Jews. Or is it because not enough of them care as much as they should? ...">

If Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga were to be elected pope, much of the good work done by recent popes in building bridges between the Catholic Church and the Jews would be endangered I have cut this short.

Perhaps the real dirt on the recent affair in the Israeli and Australian Papers: BEN ZYGIER'S AFFECT by Barry Chamish

   The bizarre case of Prisoner X is a security and moral disaster for Israel. Incredibly, it solves one issue. How could a ten man Mossad assassination team be so thoroughly exposed?

On January 19, 2010, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, one of the founders of Hamas's military wing, the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades, was assassinated in a hotel room in Dubai. The event is attributed to the Mossad to the extent that Lt Gen Dahi Khalfan
Dubai's Police Chief said that Interpol should issue a red notice to approve the arrest of Meir Dagan, back then the Mossad's Director.

It turns out that one of the planners of the hit, an Israeli-Australian, for reasons thoroughly not analyzed, got on a plane and sought immunity in Dubai. Yes, Zygier turned himself over to the Arabs, forcing Israel to kidnap him from Dubai and return him to Israel. What a movie that would make.

Dubai's police success was the result of a regretful Ben Zygier approaching them and coming clean. He was given immunity in exchange for the data he provided on the assassination. Subsequently, he went underground, was caught by the Mossad two months later, brought to Israel, and jailed in the X-Wing of the Ayalon Prison in complete secrecy, to the extent that he was provided with a fake identity.

    For three years Zygier was unknown to Israelis because of a gag order placed on the media.

Until yesterday, a court ruling by Judge Hilah Gerstel, President of the Tel Aviv District Court forbids Israeli media to publish details of the affair.

    But this past February 12, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), aired a documentary that exposed Zygier's incarceration and hinted at his murder 10 months later. The gag order was overcome and the Knesset finally acknowledged the Zygier affair.

Yesterday, the affair was
acknowledged by the Knesset and today even images from the X-Wing cell were published by local tabloids.

    Zygier was incarcerated in a supposedly suicide-proof cell which previously housed the patsy for the Rabin murder, Yigal Amir. One day he was visited by an attorney, Avigdor Feldman. He turned down a plea bargain deal and the next day he hanged himself in his suicide-proof cell.

"He wanted to clear his name," said Feldman, who
d presented Zygier with a possible plea-bargain deal. He was very rational and focused. He did not seem suicidal."
Feldman wouldn
t reveal the terms of the plea bargain, but he said Zygier had felt that it burdened him with crimes he didnt commit.

        ABC's documentary director Jason Katsoukis first discovered Zygier in a false passport front.

The source put him on the scent of three dual Israeli-Australian citizens, who, according to the source, worked for a Mossad-owned shell company operating in Europe; the company's business was selling electronic equipment to
Iran and others. 
"The story was that Mossad was recruiting Australians to spy for them using a front company in Europe," he told The Guardian. "It all seemed too good to be true."
To Katsoukis' surprise, "What I was told seemed to check out. The company did exist."

Half the Dubai hit men carried Australian passports and this led to a serious diplomatic row with Israel. At any rate, the passport issue became the preferred Israeli pretext for Zygier's demise.

Semi-formally, Israel claims that Zygier had met with Australian Intelligence and gave them secret details about Israel's use of Australian passports, to the extent that he was also accused of being a double-agent. Israel claims that on December 15, Zygier hanged himself.

 For the conventional story, read the original ABC report:

Now for M. Wolfberg’s good Shabbos Story

Good Shabbos Everyone. 
  Why did the Sages choose to call our celebration of the miracle of Mordecai and Esther - "Purim?" The Sages wanted to emphasize the nature of evil. The evil Persian King Ahasuerus used Purim - lots to randomly choose a date to kill the Jews. 
        This act symbolized the attitude of Ahasuerus, namely, everything in life is chance.
The idea that everything in life is chance, is the ultimate evil because such an attitude goes against the very foundation of our faith. We Jews believe that Hashem is the Master of the Universe who involves himself in even the pettiest details in the life of a Jew.
        One of the 13 principles of the Jewish faith is "I believe in perfect faith that the Creator, Blessed is His Name, creates and guides all creatures." One who believes that everything in life is chance, is effectively denying Hashem. 
        Thus the name Purim celebrates the victory over those who deny Hashem.  We are a nation which is guided by the Hand of Hashem. As Dovid Hamelech tells us "Hashem is my Shepherd, I shall not lack... Even when I walk in the valley overshadowed by death, I will fear no evil, for You [Hashem] are with me." (Tehillim 23:1,4)
        Among the prisoners at the Auschwitz concentration camp was the Veitzener Rav, Rabbi Zvi Hirsh Meisels, who had served his community with distinction until the German invasion. When the Nazis forced Rabbi Meisels and his family from their home, there was little time or opportunity to take anything along.
        One item that the Rav made sure to take with him was a precious tallis which had been presented to him as a gift by his father-in-law. The tallis had belonged to the renowned gaon and tzaddik Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum, author of Yeytev Lev.
        Our Sages teach that tzitzis protect a person from evil, and Rabbi Meisels was convinced that a tallis which had been worn by a tzaddik would provide additional protection in the dangerous times ahead. 
        Upon arriving at Auschwitz, the Jews were forced to surrender all their possessions. Thus, Rabbi Meisels had no choice but to hand over his precious tallis. He was determined, however, to do everything in his power to get it back. Through careful inquiries, he learned that all confiscated possessions had been brought to one central location in the camp. There they would be sorted; all items of substantial value would be sent to Germany for the government and army personnel to enjoy. 
        Somehow, Rabbi Meisels managed to join the group of prisoners that was assigned to sort these possessions. In the course of his work, he found his tallis. Joyously, he stuffed it inside his clothes and brought it back to his barracks. He knew that in doing so he had taken his life in his hands; if the guards found the tallis and realized that he taken it back without permission, he would probably be killed on the spot. 
        To minimize the risks, Rabbi Meisels was forced to cut the tallis and turn it into a tallis katan (small tallis) which he was able to wear underneath his inmates' garb. This, too, was fraught with danger; the gray inmates' clothing was very thin and upon careful inspection, anyone might notice that Rabbi Meisels's clothing looked somewhat bulkier than everyone else's.
        This, however, was a risk that he was willing to take.  Incredibly, he wore the tallis katan until the final days of the war, when he was working in a labor camp near the city of Branzweig. It was at that time that the Germans decided to empty the labor camp of its prisoners. The sound of American gunfire could be heard in the distance, and in attempting to flee, the ruthless Nazis took with them those Jews who still remained alive.
        Before boarding the cattle cars for yet another time, the inmates were searched in case they had anything of value on their person. It was then that the tallis katan was discovered. A German guard named Willy ripped the garment off Rabbi Meisels' body and threw it into a fire as the Rav watched in horror.  Rabbi Meisels was devastated. He firmly believed that the tallis katan had been a source of merit for him.
        Now, with the Germans in a panic as the Americans bore down on them, the danger was perhaps greater than ever. And his tallis katan was gone. Still, Rabbi Meisels knew that the other Jews who had survived to that point had done so without the benefit of a tzaddik's tallis katan. Just as Hashem had watched over them, He would continue to watch over him. 
        The Nazis herded their prisoners onto the cattle cars in their typically brutal way. The cars had little ventilation, and no food or water for the Jews, who were packed tightly next to one another with no room to move. Willy, the wicked guard who had destroyed the tallis katan, was one of those placed in charge of the car carrying Rabbi Meisels and his son, Zalman Leib.
        The guards made sure that conditions for themselves in the car were better than for their prisoners. They placed benches down in the center of the car and sprawled themselves out. They also made sure to have an ample supply of food and drink.
Darkness fell as the train wound its way along the countryside.
        Rabbi Meisels was overcome by exhaustion and attempted to sleep in the only way possible: as he stood, he turned his head to the left and rested it upon the shoulder of his son. Later, Zalman Leib would rest his head upon his father's shoulder. This was how they had slept on all their cattle car journeys since the war had begun.
        Rabbi Meisels had been asleep only a few minutes when he was awakened by his son's anguished voice. "  Tatte (Father), my shoulder hurts so much! I'm sorry, but I can't take the pain any longer." Rabbi Meisels had no choice but to raise his head, though he found his son's complaint strange, since they had slept this way many times before. Rabbi Meisels' neighbor to his right then told the Rav to rest his head upon his shoulder, while Zalman Leib, now also overcome by exhaustion, placed his own head upon his neighbor to his left.
        Moments later, the sound of American warplanes was heard. The drone of the engines soon mixed with the sound of gunfire as the Air Force crews, mistakenly assuming that the train was carrying German soldiers, strafed the train.
        Suddenly, the gunfire ripped a hole in the roof of the car in which Rabbi Meisels stood, and shot directly between the tilted heads of the Rav and his son — hitting Willy and tearing off both his hands. Soon after, the sounds of the planes grew fainter as they headed off. The Jews in the car were all unharmed.  Willy screamed in agony and pleaded for the others to do something for him. One of the other guards called out sarcastically, "Well, Willy, I guess you won't be able to throw the Jew's prayer shawl into the fire any more."
        Upon hearing these words, Willy turned to Rabbi Meisels and begged forgiveness. Rabbi Meisels still had with him a small Book of Tehillim, from which he had never stopped praying since the German invasion had begun.
        Now, he and his son sang a chapter in unison, "Behold! The Guardian of Israel does not sleep, nor does He slumber One of the Jews in the car, who was not religious, said to Rabbi Meisels, "Please continue to pray for us. It is obvious that G-d is watching over you. And just as He made that gunfire miss your heads and punish your persecutor, so may He soon rescue us all from these evil tyrants" (from Sefer Mekadshei Hashem).  (Shabbos Stories, p.175  R. Shimon Finkelman) 
        Just as Hashem rescued the Jewish Nation from the evil tyrants on Purim, so too should we all merit soon the ultimate rescue, the redemption speedily in our days, Amen.  Good Shabbos Everyone.
M. Wolfberg is sponsored by: In memory of R' Yaakov ben Naftoly, of blessed memory In Memory of Reb Yitzchok ben Reb Shimon (Friedman) of blessed memory Refuah Shleima to Reb Mordechai Mendel ben Tziporah Yitta Refuah Shleima to Leah bas Tziporah

Ble Neder next week the Drasha will start on the laws of Pessach and even now it is time to start cleaning. A happy and blessed Shabbos,
Rachamim Pauli