Friday, May 17, 2013

Parsha Naso, stories and updates

I went to Elli-Chai’s One Stop Judaica in Wheaton MD not far from a Mall and Metro Stop. I saw a book in English from the Temple Institute that most Judaica Stores don’t carry. It is called Mishkney Elyon or in English “Secrets of the Future Temple” by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzatto. I am going to read it soon it sounds interesting considering the level of the Author in Torah Scholarship. He wrote “Path of the Just” aka Misillas Yisharim, “Ways of G-D” aka Derek HASHEM and more. If you cannot obtain it Google Elli-Chai One Stop Judaica Shop and the information is there.

Parsha Naso

With 176 Pasukim this the longest Sidra in the Torah, however let us not feel sorry for the Bar Mitzvah boy as many Pasukim repeat each other regarding the gifts of the princes so once he has learned well one, the other 11 follow easily except the name of the Prince. This week I skimped on the Parsha and wrote a few original very short stories.

If you recall I mentioned last week that the number of Leviim handling each section of the Mishkan was not recorded. This week they are recorded from 30 years old upwards unto 50.

Perhaps a nice introduction is this video by Rabbi Yechezkiel Freundlich Shlita:

The video reminds me of an industrial rule work hard to advance your boss if you want to advance. Betzalel did most of the craftsmanship along with the workers under him and the wise women but Moshe was the director of the building and he had to approve of each step in the process to see that it was just right. We are not told if it took a number of attempts until Betzalel got it right or it was inspired by heaven and Betzalel did everything right on the first attempt being that the work was under Chanchaga of Miracles and Wonders.  

4:21 And the LORD spoke unto Moses saying: 22 'Take the sum of the sons of Gershon also, by their fathers' houses, by their families; 23 from thirty years old and upward until fifty years old shalt thou number them: all that enter in to wait upon the service, to do service in the tent of meeting.

One has to scroll down to Pasuk 41 to get their census number.

24 This is the service of the families of the Gershonites, in serving and in bearing burdens: 25 they shall bear the curtains of the tabernacle, and the tent of meeting, its covering, and the covering of giraffe skin that is above upon it, and the screen for the door of the tent of meeting; 26 and the hangings of the court, and the screen for the door of the gate of the court, which is by the tabernacle and by the altar round about, and their cords, and all the instruments of their service, and whatsoever there may be to do with them, therein shall they serve. 27 At the commandment of Aaron and his sons shall be all the service of the sons of the Gershonites, in all their burden, and in all their service; and ye shall appoint unto them in charge all their burden. 28 This is the service of the families of the sons of the Gershonites in the tent of meeting; and their charge shall be under the hand of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest.

Each of the three different sections of Leviim had hard work assembling and dismantling the Mishkan. This group had to Tovel in the Mikvah from time to time the heavy cloths.

29 As for the sons of Merari, thou shalt number them by their families, by their fathers' houses; 30 from thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old shalt thou number them, every one that enters upon the service, to do the work of the tent of meeting. 31 And this is the charge of their burden, according to all their service in the tent of meeting: the boards of the tabernacle, and the bars thereof, and the pillars thereof, and the sockets thereof; 32 and the pillars of the court round about, and their sockets, and their pins, and their cords, even all their appurtenance, and all that pertains to their service; and by name ye shall appoint the instruments of the charge of their burden.

This is perhaps the most difficult work seeing that the boards had to be raised and held steady until the bars going across were placed in the sockets.

33 This is the service of the families of the sons of Merari, according to all their service, in the tent of meeting, under the hand of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest.' 34 And Moses and Aaron and the princes of the congregation numbered the sons of the Kohathites by their families, and by their fathers' houses, 35 from thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old, every one that entered upon the service, for service in the tent of meeting. 36 And those that were numbered of them by their families were two thousand seven hundred and fifty.

2,750 - Compared to the other tribes and doubling this perhaps for the 20 – 30 and 50 -60 year olds, multiplying by 3 we are still with rounded off numbers only around 15,000 for the whole tribe of Levi from 20 to 60 years old was at best a third of a smaller tribe. I wrote last week that since they were wealthier as Priests, they were busy with teaching and unlike the slaves did not come home and head straight to sleep from exhaustion. This led to the multi-child births that Rashi wrote about.

37 These are they that were numbered of the families of the Kohathites, of all that did serve in the tent of meeting, whom Moses and Aaron numbered according to the commandment of the LORD by the hand of Moses. 38 And those that were numbered of the sons of Gershon, by their families, and by their fathers' houses, 39 from thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old, every one that entered upon the service, for service in the tent of meeting, 40 even those that were numbered of them, by their families, by their fathers' houses, were two thousand and six hundred and thirty.

2, 630 - These Leviim dealt with the movement of the holiest items in purity. They did not have extra weight like the other two Leviim groups with perhaps the exception of the Aaron HaKodesh and the Golden Altar but they had to be wary of extra Kedusha.

41 These are they that were numbered of the families of the sons of Gershon, of all that did serve in the tent of meeting, whom Moses and Aaron numbered according to the commandment of the LORD. 42 And those that were numbered of the families of the sons of Merari, by their families, by their fathers' houses, 43 from thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old, every one that entered upon the service, for service in the tent of meeting, 44 even those that were numbered of them by their families, were three thousand and two hundred.

3,200 - They were the largest group probably because the coverings of the tent needed a larger number of people to fold, wash and erect and pull the heavy coverings over the tent posts.

45 These are they that were numbered of the families of the sons of Merari, whom Moses and Aaron numbered according to the commandment of the LORD by the hand of Moses. 46 All those that were numbered of the Levites, whom Moses and Aaron and the princes of Israel numbered, by their families, and by their fathers' houses, 47 from thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old, every one that entered in to do the work of service, and the work of bearing burdens in the tent of meeting, 48 even those that were numbered of them, were eight thousand and five hundred and fourscore.

All the other tribes had tens of thousands more and if we consider that these are 20 years out of a 40 range of the other tribes so even doubling 8,580 only yields 17,160 less than half of the smallest of the other tribes.

49 According to the commandment of the LORD they were appointed by the hand of Moses, everyone to his service, and to his burden; they were also numbered, as the LORD commanded Moses.

The three Mesechtas Negiaim, Sotah, and Nazir all in one place!

5:1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 2 'Command the children of Israel, that they put out of the camp every leper, and every one that hath an issue, and whosoever is unclean by the dead; 3 both male and female shall ye put out, without the camp shall ye put them; that they defile not their camp, in the midst whereof I dwell.' 4 And the children of Israel did so, and put them out without the camp; as the LORD spoke unto Moses, so did the children of Israel.

This Parsha does not deal in depth with the Tsoras disease and the people only it is a warning to remove such people from the camp!

5 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 6 Speak unto the children of Israel: When a man or woman shall commit any sin that men commit, to commit a trespass against the LORD, and that soul be guilty; 7 then they shall confess their sin which they have done; and he shall make restitution for his guilt in full, and add unto it the fifth part thereof, and give it unto him in respect of whom he hath been guilty.

This is taking from the holy items or a Korban, Teruma or Maaser and making personal use of this by accident or unwittingly then:

8 But if the man have no kinsman to whom restitution may be made for the guilt, the restitution for guilt which is made shall be the LORD'S, even the priest's; besides the ram of the atonement, whereby atonement shall be made for him. 9 And every heave-offering of all the holy things of the children of Israel, which they present unto the priest, shall be his. 10 And every man's hallowed things shall be his: whatsoever any man gives the priest, it shall be his.
11 and the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 12 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them: If any man's wife go aside, and act unfaithfully against him,

This is the law of the Sotah who left the straight path and has either brought suspicion upon herself by a jealous husband or has really done an act that is forbidden.

13 and a man lie with her carnally, and it be hid from the eyes of her husband, she being defiled secretly, and there be no witness against her, neither she be taken in the act; 14 and the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealous of his wife, and she be defiled; or if the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealous of his wife, and she be not defiled; 15 then shall the man bring his wife unto the priest, and shall bring her offering for her, the tenth part of an ephah of barley meal; he shall pour no oil upon it, nor put frankincense thereon; for it is a meal-offering of jealousy, a meal-offering of memorial, bringing iniquity to remembrance. 16 And the priest shall bring her near, and set her before the LORD. 17 And the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel; and of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take, and put it into the water. 18 And the priest shall set the woman before the LORD, and let the hair of the woman's head go loose,

From Rabbi Chaim Coffman Shlita: Parshas Naso: A Woman's Hair

"The Kohen shall have the woman stand before Hashem and uncover the woman's head, and upon her palms he shall put the meal offering of remembrances, it is a meal offering of jealousies, and in the hand of the Kohen shall be the bitter waters that cause curse" (Numbers 5:18)

Rav Moshe Sternbuch Shlita in Ta'am V'Da'as asks according to the Chasam Sofer how could it have been permitted to mention G-d's name in the pasha of Sotah if the woman's hair was uncovered? We know that the Gemara tells us that an uncovered woman's hair is considered licentiousness and a man is not allowed to say a blessing in her presence, so how could the Kohen mention G-d's name in the Parsha of Sotah?

We know the Rav continues that if a man must make a blessing in the presence of a woman and her hair is uncovered, he just has to turn his head to the side (not looking at the woman when making the blessing) and that would take care of the problem.

We see from this the stringency about a married woman covering her hair. Here the Torah compares the uncovered hair of a Sotah to a woman who is forbidden to her husband. The Rav explains elsewhere that the Torah does not give an amount of hair that if uncovered is ok.

We can infer from this that even if a little bit of a woman's hair is uncovered then it breaches a serious infraction of modesty. We see from the Rambam Hilchos Sotah Chapter 3 Halacha 5 that even if hair is covered but some is not she is considered immodest.

Some women think that if they cover their hair a little bit then they have fulfilled their obligation. We learn from the Parsha of Sotah that even where we have to uncover her hair for the sake of embarrassing her, we don't have to uncover it all the way since even uncovering it a little bit is enough!

This is a lesson for the Jewish woman that covers her hair, that she should be very careful to make sure all of it is covered since if a little bit is uncovered, it leads to breakage in the lass of modesty.

and put the meal-offering of memorial in her hands, which is the meal-offering of jealousy; and the priest shall have in his hand the water of bitterness that causes the curse.

She is fed barley which is usually a grain given to animals for fodder or feed.

19 And the priest shall cause her to swear, and shall say unto the woman: 'If no man have lain with thee, and if thou hast not gone aside to uncleanness, being under thy husband, be thou free from this water of bitterness that causes the curse; 20 but if thou hast gone aside, being under thy husband, and if thou be defiled, and some man have lain with thee besides thy husband-- 21 then the priest shall cause the woman to swear with the oath of cursing, and the priest shall say unto the woman--the LORD make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when the LORD doth make thy thigh to fall away, and thy belly to swell; 22 and this water that causes the curse shall go into thy bowels, and make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to fall away'; and the woman shall say: 'Amen, Amen.' 23 And the priest shall write these curses in a scroll, and he shall blot them out into the water of bitterness. … 28 And if the woman be not defiled, but be clean; then she shall be cleared, and shall conceive seed. 29 This is the law of jealousy, when a wife, being under her husband, goes aside, and is defiled; 30 or when the spirit of jealousy cometh upon a man, and he be jealous over his wife; then shall he set the woman before the LORD, and the priest shall execute upon her all this law. 31 And the man shall be clear from iniquity, and that woman shall bear her iniquity.

See my comments in previous years and the story of the Sotah and the Chida.

6:1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them: When either man or woman shall clearly utter a vow, the vow of a Nazirite, to consecrate himself unto the LORD,

The Talmud links either the Sotah getting drunk or becoming loose with drinking with a man or men. “If a person sees a Sotah in her perverseness let him vow from drink and become a Nazir” Sotah Daf 4 or  5.

3 he shall abstain from wine and strong drink: he shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat fresh grapes or dried. 4 All the days of his Naziriteship shall he eat nothing that is made of the grape-vine, from the pressed grapes even to the grapestone. 5 All the days of his vow of Naziriteship there shall no razor come upon his head; until the days be fulfilled, in which he consecrate himself unto the LORD, he shall be holy, he shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow long. 6 All the days that he consecrate himself unto the LORD he shall not come near to a dead body. … 22 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 23 'Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying: On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel; ye shall say unto them:  24 The LORD bless thee, and keep thee; 25 The LORD make His face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee;  26 The LORD lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. 27 So shall they put My name upon the children of Israel, and I will bless them.'

This is the blessings of the Cohain which is done daily in Eretz Yisrael and on Yomim Tovim in Gallus.

7:1 And it came to pass on the day that Moses had made an end of setting up the tabernacle, and had anointed it and sanctified it, and all the furniture thereof, and the altar and all the vessels thereof, and had anointed them and sanctified them; 2 that the princes of Israel, the heads of their fathers' houses, offered--these were the princes of the tribes, these are they that were over them that were numbered. 3 And they brought their offering before the LORD, six covered wagons, and twelve oxen: a wagon for every two of the princes, and for each one an ox; and they presented them before the tabernacle.

These wagons were used by the Leviim to transport the Mishkan from place to place in the various journeys of the Bnei Yisrael.

… 9 But unto the sons of Kohath he gave none, because the service of the holy things belonged unto them: they bore them upon their shoulders.

The holiest of items had to be borne on their shoulders and not by wagons pulled by oxen.

10 And the princes brought the dedication-offering of the altar in the day that it was anointed, even the princes brought their offering before the altar. 11 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'They shall present their offering each prince on his day, for the dedication of the altar.'

Somebody in the congregation may say “Here we go again!” but this was done to give equality to all the tribes so that no one was better than the other. The order went by drawing and not by order of birth of the tribes. In the eyes of HASHEM all the tribes were equal and therefore deserved individual mention.

12 And he that presented his offering the first day was Nahshon the son of Amminadab, of the tribe of Judah; 13 and his offering was one silver dish, the weight thereof was a hundred and thirty shekels, one silver basin of seventy shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary; both of them full of fine flour mingled with oil for a meal-offering; 14 one golden pan of ten shekels, full of incense; 15 one young bullock, one ram, one he-lamb of the first year, for a burnt-offering; 16 one male of the goats for a sin-offering; 17 and for the sacrifice of peace-offerings, two oxen, five rams, five he-goats, five he-lambs of the first year. This was the offering of Nahshon the son of Amminadab. … 18 On the second day Nethanel the son of Zuar, prince of Issachar, did offer: … 24 On the third day Eliab the son of Helon, prince of the children of Zebulun: … 30 On the fourth day Elizur the son of Shedeur, prince of the children of Reuben: … 36 On the fifth day Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai, prince of the children of Simeon: … 42 On the sixth day Eliasaph the son of Deuel, prince of the children of Gad: … 48 On the seventh day Elishama the son of Ammihud, prince of the children of Ephraim: … 54 On the eighth day Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur, prince of the children of Manasseh: 60 On the ninth day Abidan the son of Gideoni, prince of the children of Benjamin: … 66 On the tenth day Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai, prince of the children of Dan: … 72 On the eleventh day Pagiel the son of Ochran, prince of the children of Asher: … 78 On the twelfth day Ahira the son of Enan, prince of the children of Naphtali:

And the total sum is:

84 This was the dedication-offering of the altar, in the day when it was anointed, at the hands of the princes of Israel: twelve silver dishes, twelve silver basins, twelve golden pans; 85 each silver dish weighing a hundred and thirty shekels, and each basin seventy; all the silver of the vessels two thousand and four hundred shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary; 86 twelve golden pans, full of incense, weighing ten shekels apiece, after the shekel of the sanctuary; all the gold of the pans a hundred and twenty shekels; 87 all the oxen for the burnt-offering twelve bullocks, the rams twelve, the he-lambs of the first year twelve, and their meal-offering; and the males of the goats for a sin-offering twelve; 88 and all the oxen for the sacrifice of peace-offerings twenty and four bullocks, the rams sixty, the he-goats sixty, the he-lambs of the first year sixty. This was the dedication-offering of the altar, after that it was anointed. 89 And when Moses went into the tent of meeting that He might speak with him, then he heard the Voice speaking unto him from above the ark-cover that was upon the ark of the testimony, from between the two cherubim; and He spoke unto him.

A good marriage takes work. Even in Hollywood. By Slovie Jungreis-Wolff

Ben Affleck’s speech accepting Best Picture at the Oscars has got twitter tongues wagging. Thanking his wife, Jennifer Garner, he spoke about his marriage. Here’s the part that got people going:
“It’s good, it is work, but it’s the best kind of work, and there’s no one I’d rather work with.” The camera panned to his wife’s face; she smiled as her eyes filled with tears. Then the criticism rolled in.
Many felt his thanks was a faux pas, a revelation that this marriage is on the rocks. Some felt that he had insulted his wife by suggesting that marriage was hard. “Am I the only one who thinks Ben Affleck’s in trouble at home for telling the world his marriage is a lot of work?” went one popular tweet. You were even able to vote: did Ben sleep on the couch or in the bedroom?
We want to believe in the fairytale marriage, the perfect, flawless movie star romance. If you have the fame and fortune, obviously you have the ‘happily ever after’ too. Admitting to working on a marriage is just not a romantic way of expressing one’s love. It shatters our idea of fabulous Hollywood living.
Work equals sweat and we shouldn’t have to sweat in a good marriage. It should be automatic. Anyone who believes that to be true does not really understand what marriage is all about.
There are no perfect marriages that just happen. There are no storybook endings with husbands and wives who just live each day in absolute bliss. Husbands and wives struggle together. They face challenges, some larger than life and some that may seem so simple and small but somehow grow big – like when it becomes too arduous to give a warm smile. We are simply not in the mood but we must dig deep and be kind.
The myth is that only couples with awful marriages need to work on their marriage. But Affleck touched on something genuine here. No matter who you are, no matter how rich, how beautiful, how successful, how powerful, couples need to work together for their marriage to endure. This becomes a lifelong labor of love, not a lifetime sentence of painful labor.
Even the best marriages take hard work. When a couple tells me that they are newly engaged and so ‘in love’, I know that they have not yet really experienced true love. True love grows from those moments through the years where we learn to put aside our differences and seek peace. We strain as we attempt to forgive. Dark nights can seem endless. We climb mountains together. We stumble. We face difficult vistas we never dreamed of. There are incredible moments of joy and there are painful moments of sorrow. We journey through it all together and find that our love has grown stronger than we could have ever imagined. It requires constant effort, but at the end of the day we discover that we care for this person like no other. Ben Affleck’s speech was the sign of a good marriage.
And the work never stops. There is no age where we can say we can now just coast along. The Torah teaches us that when God revealed to Abraham that he and Sarah would have a son in their old age, He endeavored to protect their shalom bayit, their marital peace, and did not repeat to him that Sarah had said ‘my husband is old’. The message is that peace in our homes is our most valuable asset and can never be taken for granted. Not even in the home of Abraham and Sarah; not even at the age of 90 and 100.
How can we work on our marriage and help it grow stronger through the years?


We believe that we know our spouse and that we are the same person we were when we walked down the aisle. We are not. Life happens. We need to keep updated on our spouse’s emotions. Don’t get stuck believing that there is nothing new to learn about your spouse. Share your thoughts, your disappointments, and your goals. Ask about feelings, likes and dislikes. Envision life together. Dare to dream. Don’t assume that you know it all. You don’t want to wake up one day and realize that you have no idea who your spouse is.


We get caught up in our jobs, our children, our friends, even our days at the gym. We do not realize that the one person we are neglecting most is our spouse. It’s important to set time aside together and not just in times of crises. Establish your own traditions like a daily chat over a cup of coffee, nighttime snack or a weekly ‘walk and talk’. This time together must be your own, without distractions from iPhones or the kids. If you feel that there is someone who is undermining your relationship, you need to seek good solutions together and not allow this interference to dissolve your bond.


Respect builds strong marriages. Every husband and wife requires the respect of their spouse to feel appreciated and loved. Respect means that I do not badmouth my spouse to my children, friends or relatives. I don’t react with sarcasm, rolling eyes or ridicule when my spouse expresses thoughts or emotions. I avoid personal attacks and put downs when we disagree. I create an environment that feels safe. There is trust between us. Intimacy flourishes as both husband and wife feel free to share ideas and know that we are here for each other no matter what.


Ahava’, the Hebrew word for ‘love’, comes from the word ‘hav’ which means to give. Love grows when I invest in my relationship by giving. We forget that one little gesture shows our spouse that we do not take them for granted. It is our way of saying daily ‘I love you and appreciate you. You are important to me’. A recent study found that small acts of kindness boost marital satisfaction and that people who put their spouse’s needs first felt happier themselves. Do not let a day go by without doing something nice for your spouse. It does not have to be big or expensive. A text expressing appreciation, preparing a favorite snack, warming up the car, taking over childcare when it is not expected-ask yourself how you can create a loving atmosphere in your home. You will find that your bond grows stronger with time.


It can be a strain to always hear the downside. Everything does not have to be about financial obligations, problems with the kids, and the awful state of the job market today. Recognize your blessings and express them. When times are tense, don’t allow yourself to fall into a pattern of blaming and complaining. Lose the critical eye and focus on the positive. If you find that this goes against your nature, know that you have work to do so that you do not grow bitter and moody. Stop yourself from voicing constant criticism. Look for the good in people and situations. Don’t forget to laugh together. A relationship that is positive focuses on faith, hope, and the belief that we will share our tomorrows together with joy. We will get through things and endure together. Our love is strong.
When we work on our marriages and give of ourselves without expectations, we discover love and understanding. We tap into a joy that sustains us and remains with us forever.
This is the real ‘happily ever after’.


Under normal circumstances when I give a public Drasha and am prepared not extemporaneous it appears to go over well with an average audience consisting of Jews from various learning backgrounds. This time, however, I was giving in front of a Schul where my son has a reputation of being a scholar and in front of one of the leading Kashrus Leaders of the Star K and a former star pupil of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein – Rabbi Yona Gewirtz Shlita. So I had two problems before me and that was to do it on a level where my son’s reputation would not be lowered and that I would impress the Rav. B”H all went well the only criticism I got was from myself on my original writing of Megillas Ruth which I plan to edit a few things on the blog from 5770 to improve it.


I came especially right before the Drasha of Rabbi Gewirtz Shlita to hear him give a heart rendering powerful speech. You see less than three weeks ago he lost his wife to ALS. The last thing that she took time to write was a few lines blessing to my daughter-in-law when she heard that she was pregnant. It took her 40 minutes to write three lines of blessing with approximately 50 to 70 letters. The Rebbitzin’s last words a few hours before her passing was to wish a Mazel Tov on the birth of my granddaughter to my children. She was so happy for them.

The Rabbi told people not to be sad or sorry for themselves because of their personal loss of a parent, grandparent or spouse. Rather remember the loved ones by pledging Tzeduka in their name. He continued with the end of Koheles. 12:13 The end of the matter, all having been heard: fear God, and keep His commandments; for this is the whole man. It only matters what people say and think of a person in his/her passing. Everybody should try to do Mitzvos not because of other people or rewards but for the sake of heaven.

We have to manage with hardships in this world as Rabbi Pauli pointed out from the Gemara in Berachos 5 that Elimelech was supposed to deal with managing the poor and not run away from the task. We are to be good people all our life as Rebbe Eliezer says: Shabbos 153 R. Eliezer said: Repent one day before your death. His disciples asked him, Does then one know on what day he will die? Then all the more reason that he repent to-day, he replied, lest he die to-morrow, and thus his whole life is spent in repentance. And Solomon too said in his wisdom, Let thy garments be always white; and let not thy head lack ointment. R. Johanan b. Zakkai said: This may be compared to a king who summoned his servants to a banquet without appointing a time. The wise ones adorned themselves and sat at the door of the palace. ['for,'] said they. 'is anything lacking in a royal palace?' The fools went about their work, saying, 'can there be a banquet without preparations'? Suddenly the king desired [the presence of] his servants: the wise entered adorned, while the fools entered soiled. The king rejoiced at the wise but was angry with the fools. 'Those who adorned themselves for the banquet,' ordered he, 'let them sit, eat and drink. But those who did not adorn themselves for the banquet, let them stand and watch.' R. Meir's son-in-law said in R. Meir's name: Then they too would [merely] look as being in attendance. But both sit, the former eating and the latter hungering, the former drinking and the latter thirsting, for it is said, Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty: [behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed:] behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart. Another, interpretation: 'Let thy garments be always white' — this refers to fringes; 'and let not thy head lack ointment' — to tefillin.  

The Baker (Murray Dunst)

The book reminds me of a story of a Psychologist named Cecil (Dumb?) who wrote a book on Jewish Behavior and Teshuva. He gave a lecture in Rehovot and said let us say that a man is told to murder somebody for the Mafia and do what the Arabs did to the bodies of the 35 who tried to reinforce Kfar Etzion in 1948. The man commits the murder but cannot desecrate the body. This is his first step in raising his moral level. If he continues on his more moral behavior perhaps in the end he will do complete Teshuva of course our lives are full of ups and downs.

My friend and neighbor Murray gave me a copy of his book available on Amazon. He was a cousin of the wife of Mayer Lansky and via Mayer and his friend Charlie L. had a reputation of an honest person who talked straight to everybody. He became an impartial media between 5 different Italian Families. He knew all the ropes and opened up an anti-fraud bureau which worked with independent doctors for the insurance companies. 

Murray was tough as nails and when the Korean War started joined the US Marines. He became a sergeant. He was told to take a hill which had between 18,000 to 20,000 enemy with 2000 marines. They took the hill with many enemy captured by lost over 1800 men in the process. Many of the enemy had grenades strapped to their bodies for suicidal murders of the captors.

Through his anti-fraud company and management he saved hotels and insurance companies a bundle and managed to stay at high class hotels for maintenance and staff costs for his room and a very large one at that. He made a deal in one hotel for a $350 room for $65 a night for a man nicked named Sammy the Bull about 45 to 50 years ago. The Bull had a cellphone but liked to talk from his room on the telephone in his room and was racking up a big phone bill. The staff in the hotel had asked him to pay the bill but Sammy said he won’t. Murray went over to him and said, “I got you a deal here on my good name and you are embarrassing me. Next year you can work out your own deal instead of mine because you have put my reputation on the line.” Sammy paid the bill. When he got to NY one day a CEO named John G. came up to him and said, “You got the Bull to pay his bills”. He answered, “Yeah it was putting my reputation with the hotel on the line.”

The above story about Sammy the Bull is not in the book but he was the fellow who had the connections to get a certain fellow named Neil Sedaka into the record business.

The dollar is going up wildly, Bank of Israel intervenes.

The IDF is like shooting itself in the foot:,7340,L-4377204,00.html

The draft let Bar Rafaeli and Aviv Gefen out but this poor thing they hounded.,7340,L-4378599,00.html

Evyatar Borovsky, 32, was murdered. Adelle Biton, 3, is unconscious in the hospital.

This story is old but crazies will finally got Jewish Taliban:

On Shabbos I came across a young woman who was in a mini skirt with too much area exposed above but no cleavage exposed. However, when we talked about Torah she appeared inside very Frum. This is according to Rabbi Meir on Perkei Avos - Do not look at the pitcher rather what is in it.

In Memorial: Dr. Joyce Brothers - Joyce Diane Bauer was born in 1927 in Brooklyn to Estelle (née Rappaport) and Morris K. Bauer, attorneys who shared a law practice. Her family is Jewish. She graduated from Far Rockaway High School in Far Rockaway, Queens in January 1944. She entered Cornell University, double majoring in home economics and psychology and was a member of Sigma Delta Tau sorority. She earned her Ph.D. degree in psychology from Columbia University She married Milton Brothers, an internist, in 1949, and they had a daughter, Lisa. Milton Brothers died in 1989 from cancer. Joyce Brothers resided in Fort Lee, New Jersey.

There are pros and cons to this issue but first clean up the non-religious fakers before attacking the religious who really study Torah: Conscientious objection to service:

Inyanay Diyoma

It was off then it was fake but this atheist confirms that he is boycotting Israel. It is claimed that Noam Chomsky was the person who persuaded him.

From Dennis: Anti-Semitisms is growing in America = Pollard, Rubashkin and now in the IRS all governmental:

Turkey is busy against Syria and not Israel:,7340,L-4378800,00.html

Films taken recently help Al Gore get busted on Global warming.

Lockheed-Martin anti-Kassam system successfully tested:

Obama gives the green light for Russia to participate in the Middle-East part of Gog and Magog as per the Gaon from Vilna get your Shabbos clothes read for Moshaich:

Watch out for this:

Israel treats Syrian child with heart problem via la difference:,7340,L-4380072,00.html

Ed-Op Bibi partitioning Yerushalayim:,7340,L-4378765,00.html

Israel is afraid of Assad falling and an Al Qaeda take over but does not like weapons to Hezballah so we have to walk in the middle of the rain here:

Russia warns Israel and will send anti-aircraft batteries there.

In another year approximately Iran will have the bomb:,7340,L-4380279,00.html

I don’t visit the mount because of Tuma but this is capitulation to terrorists:

Jon Stewart Slams Obama Again: You Can’t Keep Saying You Found Out About News At The Same Time As Us! "Jon Stewart tonight targeted President Obama for his reactions to major administration scandals in the past week and how every time there’s a big news item involving his administration, Obama always seems to have found out about the news at the same time as the rest of the public did."

IDF soldiers are so restrained that they have to run or get injured:

Syrian Soldiers murdered in human rights violation but all is quiet in the world press:

From Ben S. Signs of our times where the means do not justify the ends and avoid responsibility just pass the buck around:

PA Wants a 'Shin Bet' Base above Route 443 Official request to Israel: approve building a PA "Preventive Security" base near Beit Horon.
By Gil Ronen First Publish: 5/12/2013, 8:31 PM

Route 443 checkpoint

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has filed an official request to Israel to establish a security base between the villages of Beit Ur al-Foka, Beit Ur al-Tahta and Bitunia, Arutz Sheva has learned.
The base is to serve the PA's "Preventive Security" arm, which is the equivalent of Israel's Shin Bet.
The area in question is on high ground, which controls Route 443 and would also make a good position for observing and firing at Modiin, which is located nearby, if hostilities were to flare up as they did in the Terror War of 2000-2005.
The request was handed in to the Israeli Civil Administration and to the IDF. The area being requested by the PA is part of Area C, which is under Israeli security and civilian control.
The IDF and Civil Administration have not yet decided on their position in the matter.

Now for Matis Wolfberg’s “Live and Learn” and “Torah-Torah-Torah”

Good Shabbos Everyone.  Why was the Torah given in the Midbar - wilderness?  To teach us that in order to be able to receive the teachings of the Torah, one must make himself like a empty desert, like a humble person who has no pride.  The concept of "Pride" in western society is considered a positive attribute.  However, other than "Jewish Pride" all other forms of pride (ga'avah) are generally shunned in Yiddishkeit - Judaism.  The verse states:  "...אשכון ואת דכא ושפל רוח להחיות רוח שפלים..." (Yeshayahu 57:15)  Which is homiletically explained to mean:  Hashem says: "I shall dwell within the humble..."  The following inspirational account which we read in the Talmud and Midrash, illustrates how one person, who had plenty of pride and honor, chose a spiritually fulfilling path in life.  
         Onkelos was the son of Emperor Hadrian's sister. Being a clever, handsome, well-mannered young man, he had grown up to be one of the most promising future leaders of the mighty Roman Empire. His uncle looked forward to the time when Onkelos would be ready to make his formal debut on the stage of public Roman life.
         By "chance," Onkelos had become acquainted with some of the noble Jewish families who had settled in Rome. Through them, he was introduced to the Jewish religion, and was very much attracted to it. Onkelos had to remember, however, that he was the noble son of the most eminent family of the Roman Empire. It was unwise for him to be observed associating with Jews. Still more dangerous would it have been, had he openly stated his intention of changing to the Jewish religion. It would have been sheer suicide. On the other hand, Onkelos felt increasingly drawn to the Jewish faith.
         After long deliberation, he worked out a solution to his problem. He visited his uncle, Emperor Hadrian. During their conversation he casually mentioned that he had become interested in the world of commerce, and that he would like to dedicate some time and effort to becoming fully acquainted with the principles and workings of this most important field of public endeavor.
         Hadrian, who was very fond of his nephew, was highly pleased at this show of interest in such complicated mat­ters as the theory and practice of economics. He gave Onkelos this advice: "The basic approach to commerce is the discovery of merchandise of a highly marketable product which has yet to come before the public. This type of merchandise is the most profitable kind of business."
         This is exactly what Onkelos wanted to hear. Now he was given a free hand to travel about and to associate with merchants, many of whom were Jews, without attracting unwanted attention and giving cause for suspicion. In the course of extensive trips he visited the Holy Land, and remained there to study Torah. Gifted with an extraordinary and keen mind, he easily overcame the difficulties of the Hebrew language, law and lore.
         After a while he was ready to adopt the Jewish religion and to abide by the commands of the Torah. Secretly, he became a ger, a convert to Judaism.
         Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Yehoshua were the spiritual leaders of the Jewish people in those days. Onkelos visited them and begged them to accept him as their disciple. The Sages saw the deep change that had taken place in the attitude of the young, noble Roman. Instead of haughtiness, he now showed humility and a readiness to study, like all other students of Torah. They finally agreed to the urgent request of the young ger, and spent much time and effort on his Jewish education.
         The time came when Onkelos could no longer delay his return to Rome. Confident in Hashem's help, he parted from the Sages who had become his revered teachers, and embarked on his trip home. 
         After his arrival in Rome, he paid his due visit to the Emperor Hadrian, who quickly noticed the deep change that had come over his nephew during his long absence. It was a more humble, yet wiser Onkelos, who now stood before him, than the one who had left to study commerce. 
         "What has happened to you, my dear nephew? Did you meet failure in your business ventures, or did any one dare to harm you?" the emperor asked him. 
         "Who would harm the nephew of the mightiest man in the world?" replied Onkelos with a smile. "Why then do I see such humility in your countenance, my nephew? Onkelos decided to be straightforward. "I cannot but tell you the full truth, my dear uncle. The reason for the change in me is the fact that I spent much time and effort in the study of Torah, the Law of the Jewish people. What is more, I even went so far as to adopt the Jewish religion as my own." 
         Emperor Hadrian's face grew red with fury over his nephew's confession. This spelled the end of Onkelos's political career and deprived him, his uncle, of the one on whom he had counted heavily in his future political plans. 
         When his fury abated, Hadrian felt that he should give his nephew a fair chance to explain his behavior before doing anything to punish him. "You have thoroughly disappointed my high hopes and expectations of you. Yet I am curious to know what caused such unbelievable foolishness on the part of such a clever young fellow as you. Perhaps there was some young woman who trapped you against your will?" 
         "My dear uncle and friend, to be frank, I must state that no such reason was at the root of my change of religion. What prompted me to take such a weighty step was none other than your sound advice before I parted from you." 
         Angrily, Hadrian retorted: "I would be the last man to advise you so stupidly." 
         "Yet remember, dear uncle, before I left, you advised me to search for merchandise that had the promise of being a best selling article. On my extensive trips and thorough study of many countries and conditions, I did not discover any merchandise that, at the present time, is considered lowlier or cheaper than the Jewish religion and the Jewish people. Yet, there is also no doubt in my mind that it will become the most valuable merchandise of all in the future. As the Prophet Isaiah said: `Thus said Hashem, the Redeemer of Israel, the Holy One, to him who is despised by men, to him who is abhorred by nations, to the servants of rulers; kings shall see it and rise up; princes, and they shall prostrate themselves.' I should think no reasonable businessman would miss the chance of such great profit." 
        The Talmud relates that [When] Onkelos the son of Kalonymus became a proselyte, the Emperor sent a contingent of Roman [soldiers] after him, but he enticed them by [reciting] verses and they converted to Judaism.
       Thereupon, the Emperor sent another legion of Romans after him, commanding them not to speak with him. As they were about to take him away, he said to them: “Let me tell you just a simple thing: [In a procession] the torch lighter carries the light in front of the torchbearer, the torchbearer in front of the leader, the leader in front of the governor, the governor in front of the chief officer; but does the chief officer carry the light in front of the people [that follow]?” “No!” they replied. So he said, “Yet The Holy One, Blessed is He, carries the light before Israel, as it says, ‘The Lord went before them… in a pillar of fire to give them light’ (Shemos 3:21).” Then they, too, converted.
       Again he sent another legion, this time ordering them not to listen to him. They took hold of him, and as they were walking he saw the mezuzah on the door frame, and he placed his hand on it saying to them, “Now what is this?” and they said: “You tell us.” He told them, “According to universal custom, a mortal king dwells within, and his servants guard him from the outside. However, [in the case of] The Holy One, blessed is He, His servants dwell inside while He guards them on the outside, as it says: ‘The L-rd will guard your going out and your coming in from this time onward’ (Devarim 6:9).” They, too, converted to Judaism, so he sent for him no more. (Avodah Zarah 11a)  
       Onkeles, who "had it all" chose the spiritual path in life.  If he had let his greatness stand in the way, he never would have been able to receive the Torah's teachings.  Let us all humble ourselves and "let the learning begin!"  Good Shabbos Everyone.

  Good Yom Tov Everyone.  Let us begin our discussion with the powerful words of the Mishnah: “Rebi Yossi ben Kismah said: Once, I was walking on the way and a person met me and greeted me and I greeted him back and he said to me: Rebi, where are you from? I said to him: I come from a large city of scholars and scribes. He said to me: Do you want to live with us in our place and I will give you thousands of gold coins and precious stones and pearls? I said to him: [Even] if you were to give me all the silver and gold and precious stones and pearls in the world, I would only live in a place of Torah. As it is written in the Book of Psalms by King David: “The Torah of Your mouth is better for me than thousands of gold and silver.” (119:72) And not only that, but at the time a person departs from this world, neither silver and nor gold nor precious stones and pearls escort him, rather Torah and good deeds only...”(Avos 6:9) The last shirt we wear on this earth has no pockets. We take only our spiritual accomplishments with us to the next world.
        One of the wealthiest Jews in the history of the world who understood this lesson was Sir Moshe Chaim Montefiore, (1784-1885). Sir Montefiore retired at age 40 in 1824 from the London Stock Exchange with a large fortune. Thereafter, Montefiore devoted himself to bettering the condition of Jews throughout the world. With all of his money and activism, Sir Montefiore remained dedicated to the Torah way of life.
        Once, Sir Montefiore hired a melamed (a tutor) to come from Poland to learn with him Torah. The melamed Reb Yitzchok was a tremendous Torah scholar who had lived modestly in a small village in Poland. Reb Yitzchok was therefore shocked to see the beautiful coach and willing servant that Sir Montefiore had sent to pick him up from the ship when Reb Yitzchok arrived from Poland. Reb Yitzchok climbed into the fancy coach with trepidation. He was not used to this kind of luxury. He became even more nervous when he saw that the inside of the coach had plush seats and gold and silver decorations.
        After traveling for a while, the coach arrived to an area with large fields, orchards and gardens. Reb Yitzchok, the simple melemad from Poland, became even more uncomfortable. “To whom do all these lands belong?” Asked Reb Yitzchok with naiveté. “To my lord Sir Montefiore.” Answered the servant.
        The coach turned into a long driveway and approached an enormous mansion. Reb Yitchok thought he was going to faint as he saw two well dressed attendants open the large oak doors to the mansion. The inside was even more fancy than the outside: antique tapestries, crystal chandeliers, with gold and silver everywhere. Reb Yitzchok and the servant entered a large hall and then a few smaller rooms. Soon after, the pair approached two ivory doors. The servant told Reb Yitzchok that they were about to enter Sir Montefiore’s private residence.
        Reb Yitzchok’s knees knocked together as the servant opened the ivory doors. Inside, Reb Yitzchok saw a huge oak table with a distinguished Jew sitting at the end. Sir Montefiore sat in front of a Talmud. Sir Montefiore smiled at Reb Yitzchok and greeted him. Reb Yitzchok sat down and held onto the table with sweaty palms and white knuckles. His whole body shook from fear.
        Sir Montefiore motioned for Reb Yitzchok to begin. Without further delay, Reb Yitzchok opened up the Talmud and began to learn with a shaky voice: “Rav Hunah said, the Chupah has a power to acquire through a Kal v’chomer (a logical argument).” Little by little, Reb Yitzchok’s voice grew stronger, “Rashi says such and such, but Tosafos says otherwise.” Reb Yitzchok was giving over the Torah with a burning excitement. “The Maharsha explains the Tosafos this way, but the Rashash disagrees. In practice, the Rambam holds that the rule in this case is…”
         When Reb Yitzchok stopped to take a breath he looked over at Sir Montefiore. Sir Montefiore had been quiet the whole time. Reb Yitzchok was surprised at what he saw: It was Sir Montefiore who held onto the table with sweaty palms and white knuckles, while Reb Yitzchok felt at home. It was Sir Montefiore who was shaking with trepidation as Reb Yitchok sang the Talmud with a beautiful tune. It was Sir Montefiore who felt faint while Reb Yitzchok felt elated. (Heard from Reb Efraim Wachsman)
        No matter how wealthy he was, Sir Montefiore recognized that true wealth is Torah learning.  As King Solomon teaches us in Proverbs: “Praiseworthy is a person who has found wisdom… for its commerce is better than the commerce of silver, and its produce [is better] than fine gold.” (3:13-14) Sir Montefiore spent the last ten years of his life on his estate in Kent, where he had established a shul and a Beis Medrash (study hall) composed of ten talmudic scholars.
        As we stand poised to receive the Torah on the Yom Tov of Shavuos, let us pause to reflect on the greatness of Torah study. The Rabbis teach us that every letter of Torah that we learn is a mitzvah. Thus, in this paper alone, there are about 8,500 mitzvahs! The following true story can inspire us to be more dedicated to Torah learning.
        Mr. Fred Silver (not his real name) was a retired boxer who lived in California with his son. Although Mr. Silver was proud to be a Jew, his pride was not enough to motivate him to observe the Torah. When his son “Moshe” was around nine years old, Mr. Silver sent him to learn in a local yeshiva day school. Even though Mr. Silver was not at all religious, he still wanted his son to receive a basic Jewish education.
        One day soon after he began learning at the yeshivah day school, Moshe came home wearing tzitzis. Mr. Silver took one look at the tzitzis and became very upset. He had wanted his child to have a traditional education, but tzitzis? This was just too much. He had not sent his child to school to become a religious fanatic. He told young Moshe that he was not to come into the house wearing tzitzis.
        Moshe was heartbroken. His Rabbi in school had taught him the greatness of the mitzvah of tzitzis and he had even been kind enough to buy the young boy his first pair. However, Mr. Silver was adamant that Moshe remove his tzitzis. Reluctantly and with tears in his eyes, Moshe took off his tzitzis.
        The next day in school, Moshe discussed the issue with the Rabbi. His Rabbi told him to try one more time to come home wearing the tzitzis. So, that day Moshe came home wearing the tzitzis. Mr. Silver shook his head right and left and said. “Well, it is your life. You are going to have to make your own decisions…” Moshe was happy with his tzitzis.
        Moshe went on to learn in Yeshiva and latter married and went to learn in a Kollel (a yeshiva for married men) in Eretz Yisroel. As Moshe grew throughout the years in Judaism, his father unfortunately did not increase his religious observance.
        While living in Eretz Yisroel, Moshe sent his father a weekly Torah portion sheet in English. One day, Mr. Silver read in one of the editions that the Holy Chofetz Chayim who passed away around 70 years ago, once remarked: “A Jew should not leave this world until he has learned a blatt (page) of the Talmud.” For some reason, Mr. Silver was very touched by the words of the Chofetz Chayim. He was in his 60’s and he had never learned any Talmud! In fact, at the time he could not even read the Aleph-Beis.
        The next day Mr. Silver called his son in Eretz Yisroel to tell him that he had decided to learn Talmud, “Dad,” said Moshe to his father on the telephone. “Maybe you should start with Chumash, because Talmud is a bit advanced…” Mr. Silver became very upset and offended by his son and he promptly slammed down the telephone.
        The next day, Mr. Silver went to the local yeshiva to seek admission. Understandably, the yeshiva refused to admit the elderly and under-educated Mr. Silver. Mr. Silver insisted, but to no avail. The director of the Yeshiva sympathized with Mr. Silver’s plight but there was simply nothing he could do. He suggested that Mr. Silver try the Cheder – the Jewish elementary school.
        Mr. Silver went to the Cheder the next day and the scene repeated itself with the director. Mr. Silver insisted, while the director of course refused. Eventually however, the director saw how much Mr. Silver’s Jewish soul burned to learn Torah. So, the director told Mr. Silver he could sit in on the first grade classes. The director told the parents of the young boys that Mr. Silver had come from the Department of Education to take a look at the school.
        Little by little, Mr. Silver learned more Torah and more about Judaism. Three years later, after much sweat and tears, Mr. Silver was ready to finish his first blatt (page) of Talmud. Excited at the prospect of his completion, Mr. Silver invited his teachers and family and supporters to celebrate his completion with the traditional “siyum.” A “siyum” – the ceremonial completion of a part of the Talmud or Mishnah, is usually held after the completion of an entire tractate. However, Mr. Silver was so excited at his completion of the one page, that he decided to celebrate in the normal fashion. He even invited the Torah giant Rav Moshe Feinstein, of blessed memory. Although he was very old and he was not well, Rav Moshe made the six hour flight from New York to come to Mr. Silver’s celebration!
        It was a beautiful evening. Mr. Silver finished his blatt (page) of Talmud in front of the crowd and then spoke a few words for the assembled. Prestigious Rabbis spoke and the atmosphere was uplifting. That night, Mr. Silver went home and put his head on the pillow and closed his eyes for the last time. He fulfilled the words of the Chofetz Chayim, “A Jew should not leave this world until he has learned a blatt (page) of the Talmud.”  We can be inspired by this story to put more time into studying Torah, when we see how much Mr. Silver put into his learning. These days, Torah is easily accessible to people from all levels.
        This lesson is especially important on Shavuos. Shavuos commemorates the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai. The moment that the Children of Israel received the Torah, they became the Jewish Nation. Because, as the renowned Torah commentator the Ohr Chayim explains, what distinguishes us from the Nations if not the Torah? In truth, every day we have the opportunity to receive the Torah. If we take time out of the day, even for five minutes, to learn a little Torah, then we will be affirming our membership in the Jewish Nation.
Good Yom Tov Everyone.  
M. Wolfberg is sponsored by:  L'zecher nishmas R' Y'isroel ben R' Meir Hertz (Green)  Etya bas Reb Dov Hacohen (Green) 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

A good Shabbos to all,
Rachamim Pauli