Friday, June 28, 2013

Parshiyos Balak, Pinchas with some thoughts and stories

Rafael Pesachya Yaakov HaLevi ben Aviva Sarah, Zvi ben Chava, Rabbi A.L. just sent me this urgent prayer request for a 5 year old EDEN BAS ALLA and for this week only, yesterday Orli bas Miriam underwent surgery in Ashkelon and she needs a full and fast revovery.

The Rabbis recommend genetic screening for Tay-Sachs, Cystic-Fibrosis, etc. before marriage and Angelina made the right decission at the right time.

Parsha Balak

While I was on vacation, I re-learned the Mussar Sefer Mesillas Yasharim to improve my own ethics and behavior. Boy there were places in cautiousness, zealousness, watchfulness, separation from sin, etc. that I have to work on myself to improve. Among other things, I thought about Parsha Balak. Some questions from the Medrash arose in my head. Balak was a greater magician and user of the Sidra Acher (Other Side) than Bilaam. If so why did he not have confidence in his own black magic?

Mesillas Yasharim discusses humility and false humility. Look what happens to Bilaam in the Parsha. Bilaam is capable of talking nightly to G-D in a dream. Not every psychic among the nations can do that! Yet when G-D tells him not to go to curse for the people are blessed, instead of stating the truth, he false humbly puts on airs that he was not given permission. Had he said that one cannot curse them as they are blessed by G-D the whole actions of Balak would be to humbly greet the Bnei Yisrael with bread and water and make an alliance with a blessed people. But no he continues to act falsely humble only riding a donkey. It is like the chief Rabbi driving one of the new cockroach size cars instead of having a Volvo and driver by the Chief Rabbinate.

Then the famous man who can curse is told off by his donkey that he has used instead of a wife since he was celibate. In the end he comes and blesses the people but not whole heartily and gives advice on how to cause death among them. Midian who was not even part of the dispute is lured in to committing sins with the Bnei Yisrael. Pinchas saves the day though his pure jealousy and zeal for HASHEM Yisborach.

Parsha Pinchas

Pinchas was caught in between the sons of Aaron and the next generation. He had been alive at the time they were ordained but had been too young to be ordained and too old to be a Cohain from birth. By his act of zeal for the honor of HASHEM, he succeeded in guaranteeing for himself and family an everlasting Kahuna.

There is a whole section on warfare, koshering utensils and how 33.3% of the army are fighters, 33.3% support and logistics and 33.3% engaged in prayer and a backup force for the other soldiers.

The section on the daughters of Zelaphad produces a lot of laws of inheritance. Since most of us know or go to Rabbis regarding the koshering of utensils, I figured that I would address some modern problems. What happens if the son goes off the path of Torah or heaven forbid leaves Judaism altogether but the father has a daughter or daughters on the straight path? What happens if the son maltreats a father? What happens if the father is worth many millions or billions will the daughter(s) be out on the street and the man’s widow becomes a beggar?

It is obvious that the Rabbis have attacked these questions not starting from yesterday but for generations. As the world has modernized and deaf mutes and women are well educated in the affairs of the world, the Halacha must take this into consideration. Deaf mutes can receive implants or be trained to communicate with regular people and braille makes a blind man capable of reading.

So Halacha does move with the times, but the question arises were Jewish women really treated as second class humans like the Arabs or the Romans and the rape of the Sabine woman. For that let us not rely on the inheritance of daughters mentioned in our Parsha but let us go back to the Avos. We see Avram and Sarai in a partnership making souls. Avram listens to his wife and marries Hagar and then he needs G-D to tell him to send Hagar away because she has given him a son. However, our Torah tells us “Listen to your wife!” The next time we see a female in action is Rivka with Yitzchak who takes the place of his mother, maintains the home and becomes a partner whom he loves. Rivka is depicted not a cow gal in a western “shut up woman” but rather. “My life is useless because of these daughters of Chet (Hittites) let us send Yacov away…” What does Yitzchak do? He gives into the ideas of his wife. For she is not an underling! And last not least the macho husband of four women consults with his wives regarding his plans to leave Lavan. It is not surprising that in Judaism the female has the title of Aim (mother), Bat (daughter) and Akeres Beis (household). For this reason the Cohain Gadol must have a second wife on Yom Kippur in fear that his wife might pass away for he must make atonement for his Beis and Chachamim interpret this to mean his wife and family but specifically, his wife.

Did the equality of women in Judaism only start with the Avos? No in fact we have to go back a bit further in time for the fundamental root of our belief in a female partnership something which the pagan religions did not have with their macho stories and their Venus or Aphrodite being a sex object. Our story begins here: 2:20 And the man gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found a help meet for him. 21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the place with flesh instead thereof. 22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from the man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 And the man said: 'This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.' So we are taught that out of Ish came the Isha and that they were essentially one flesh.

With all this in mind, how do we get around the Halacha that the sons inherit the land on their tribe? The daughters mentioned in our Parsha had to marry only males from their own tribe because of the land division. They are considered Just in their request. My mother wanted our inheritance divided equally between my brother and I even though she did not prepare a Halachic Will, I honored her request.

Without going into the vast Halacha and commentary there are loopholes that the Rabbis use when making out a Halachic Will. My wife and I have seen children throw their own parents out of their house while alive because the parents mistakenly decided to distribute the inheritance earlier. Therefore one should consult a knowledgeable Rabbi or Beis Din on how to work out a will. The main loophole allowing for a daughter to inherit comes from a dying person. He is in control of his property being of sound mind during his life time. He then can give away to his children (let us make the case of five children) let us say 20% to the oldest, 20% to the youngest and different proportions as gifts to the others.

I have a will for my possessions in disproportion because my mother played favorite with one of my children because she figured that he needed extra help. So I had to sort of balance out everything coming from me. Rabbi Davis of the Young Israel of Fort Lauderdale convened a Beis Din for people to make a statement before the Beis Din that this is their living will and it will take place a minute before they die as a lifetime distribution. In this way, my older son does not get a double portion; my daughter gets a fair share for herself and eventually my grandchildren.

Rabbi Davis and I are of the opinion that daughters should inherit possessions like the sons do. Bnei Banim Ki Banim Hem (the children of children are like children). However, the word is like or similar as grandparents don’t usually discipline or raise them but treat them with special love and affection that they too receive back and they play and pamper the grandkids something a parent cannot always do.


How do you know love? By knowing G-d and realizing G-d is love. In every worldly sensation, there is an element of infinite love. This love is unconditional yet not exclusive. The one love you yearn for most is unconditional love. The one love that is hardest to give is unconditional love. Yet all other forms of love are an illusion next to unconditional love. True love is free from expectations and empty of preconceived notions. In unconditional love there are no disappointments, for there are no expectations, there are no rejections, for there are no preconceived notions at all. Unconditional love is giving yourself fully and receiving fully. In letting go of your own agenda and expanding the possibilities for receiving and giving love, you are able to surpass stubborn obstacles and emerge through the narrow confinements of your perception to greater visions of holiness and goodness.

G-d's love is not exclusive. This love does not discriminate between peoples, traditions, cultures, or even religions. G-d's love is inclusive for all creation, in all time, in every way. For all is in G-d, and G-d is in everything and everyone. You may not always be conscious of the infinite love that surrounds you, however, as you consider the things that have come into your life, from the grandiose to the minute, know that G-d brought them all to you. The supports and the challenges, the obvious blessings and the miracles hidden in the shadows, are all from the love of G-d. Sometimes you may get carried away in the light, or even in the shadow, and forget that it is the love of G-d that is encouraging your physical well-being, emotional growth, and spiritual ascendancy.

How often do we hear about the miracles of G-d's love. There may even have been such stories in your own life. These stories may sound simplistic at first, yet when you are awakened to the possibilities of miracles that emanate from G-d's love, you will begin seeing miracles pop into the ordinary occurrence of your everyday life.  How often do you hold back from giving fully out of the fear that you will not have enough for the next time? When you believe that G-d loves you always, unconditionally, then you can trust G-d's love, which becomes a template for how you can love others.

When you set conditions on loving G-d, yourself, or another, you build walls of limitations that cast shadows of doubt. Light and shadow cannot coexist in the same vessel. The vessel being you!  Unmet desires, plans, and expectations can lead to walls of limiting emotions such as worry, anger, and fear. These walls dispel the light and invite the temporary shadows of illusion. This is where you loose your way and the mountains of doubt grow quickly, leaving your spirit void of challenging the true love that surrounds you. In becoming non-judgmental of yourself and your thoughts, feel your energy loosening, your heart opening, and your consciousness becoming empty. In the emptiness you touch the void. It is here that you will return to the path of goodness and G-d. So whenever you find you are losing yourself in being critical and judgmental, pause and empty, then restart. 

The Lubavitcher Rebbe and the Ohr HaChaim HaKodesh

A Boyaner chasid came to Melbourne, Australia to be the chazan (cantor) for the High Holidays of 5771 (2010). Rabbi Mottel Krasnjanski noticed that from time to time in the middle of the services he would pause and glance at a little piece of paper that he had placed on the podium with his Machzor (High Holiday prayer book).
After the services were over, Rabbi Krasnjanski asked the chazan about the paper. The chazan replied that about 20 years earlier, shortly before the High Holidays, he had gone to the Lubavitcher Rebbe on a Sunday when the Rebbe distributed dollars to be given to charity. The chazan told the Rebbe that he was going to be a chazan in a certain Schul. The Rebbe's response was, "We must remember that we are praying to G-d."
The chazan appreciated the nice thought but didn't take it too seriously at the time. After the holidays however, it occurred to him that throughout the services he was so preoccupied with remembering the tunes, hitting the notes crisply, creating the right emotions through his voice, that he really hadn't thought much about G-d! He then realized that the Rebbe hadn't just told him a "nice thought," but rather had given him guidance and something to work on. Since then," the chazan concluded, "whenever I lead the prayers, I carry with me this piece of paper on which I wrote the Rebbe's message, 'We must remember that we are praying to G-d,' and look at it from time to time during the prayers to make sure that I never forget it!"
Rabbi Krasnjanski asked the chazan what brought him to the Lubavitcher Rebbe that Sunday for a dollar? The chazan answered that he had previously corresponded with the Rebbe, and then began to relate the following story:
"Years earlier, as a young man in Jerusalem, I would go every Thursday to the grave of Rabbi Chayim ben Moses ibn Attar (known as the "Ohr Hachayim" after his famous Torah commentary by that name). There in the cemetery on the Mount of Olives, I would study the weekly Torah portion with the commentary of the holy Ohr Hachayim.
"At that time period, the Mount of Olives was not a totally safe place to be. And, sure enough, one time when I was studying at the Ohr Hachayim's grave, I turned around and saw an Arab standing behind me with a drawn knife! Petrified, I turned back to the grave and beseeched the Ohr Hachayim to help protect me from the great and immediate danger in which I found himself.
"After my prayer, I turned back around and saw the Arab frozen in fear. An instant later the Arab was running away like someone running for his life! I started to run too, chasing the Arab out of the cemetery. I then continued running until I was back at my own home.
"After this incident, my mother insisted that I stop going to the Ohr Hachayim's grave each week, as she believed I was putting my life in danger. I disagreed. But she was so determined that I not go that she threatened to cut off her relationship with me. Finally I proposed that we would send a letter to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, and whatever the Rebbe would answer we would both accept.
A short while later the answer from the Rebbe arrived: 'Ask a Rav (a Jewish legal authority).' I asked the renowned chief judge of the "Badatz" rabbinical court, Rabbi Yitzchok Weiss. The Rav replied that if the Rebbe felt that I shouldn't go to the grave anymore then he simply would have said so. Rather it must be that the Rebbe wants me to continue, but with the added strength of a pesak halacha (Jewish legal ruling) and that was why the Rebbe had said to consult a Rav. 'Therefore,' said Dayan Weiss, 'I rule that you can continue going there!' And of course, that is what I did. That was my earlier correspondence with the Rebbe," said the chazan.
Rabbi Krasnjanski sensed that there was still something else that the chazan hadn't yet told him. After all, when he and his mother had had the disagreement, they both agreed to consult the Lubavitcher Rebbe. "Why him rather than a tzadik (pure, righteous person) or a Rav in Jerusalem?" Rabbi Krasnjanski asked.
The chazan smiled and answered that indeed there was one earlier connection already, and that involves yet another story:
"My wife gave birth to a set of twins. A few years later, one of them was diagnosed with a very serious illness. In addition to consulting with numerous doctors and specialists, we went to various great rabbis and tzadikim for advice and blessings. Someone encouraged us to get a blessing from the Lubavitcher Rebbe as well. We wrote, and the Rebbe's response was to go see a 'rofeh mumcheh yedid' (a doctor who is a specialist and a good friend).
We were very surprised at this advice because we didn't know any specialists at all, and definitely we did not know a doctor whom we considered a 'friend'!
We decided to make an appointment with a new doctor whom we had never before consulted, thereby fulfilling at least the 'specialist' part of the Rebbe's response. You can imagine our surprise when as soon as we entered the doctor's office, the doctor greeted me by saying, 'Ah my yedid is here, how can I help?'-calling me his good friend with the same expression that the Rebbe had used!
This doctor went on to diagnose the illness and he prescribed a course of treatment and medication. At the end of the appointment, I asked the doctor what he had meant by calling me his 'yedid'; after all, he never met me before and knew nothing about us before the visit!
" 'I really don't know, and I can't explain why I greeted you with that unusual expression. I can only say that as soon as you entered the room, a very warm feeling toward you enveloped me and that is why I called you my yedid.
"In amazement, I told the doctor of the Lubavitcher Rebbe's response to me, which was actually our reason for making this appointment. The doctor was equally amazed at this clear display of G-d's guidance, as well as the holiness and power of the words of a Tzadik. He promised to do everything he could for our child and refused to take any payment for his services.
"Needless to say the doctor was indeed the emissary to bring about the full recovery for the child.
"So you see," the chazan concluded, "my experience and relationship with the Rebbe really goes back a long time, and has repeatedly affected me in truly wondrous ways."
Source: Adapted by Yerachmiel Tilles from an article by Eli-Noson Silberberg in Living Jewish #351, originally posted on // Rabbi Silverberg is a Rosh Yeshiva in Chicago, but every summer he is the rabbi-scholar-in-residence at Machon Alta, a Chabad women's seminary here in the holy city of Tzefat.
Connection: 15th of Tammuz (2013: June 23) is the 270th yahrzeit of the holy Ohr HaChayim.
Biographical notes:
Rabbi Chaim (ben Moshe) Ibn Attar (1696 - 15 Tammuz 1743) is best known as the author of one of the most important and popular commentaries on the Torah: the Ohr HaChaim. He established a major yeshiva in Israel, after moving there from Morocco. Chassidic tradition is that the main reason the Baal Shem Tov twice tried so hard (and failed) to get to the Holy Land was that he said if he could join the Ohr HaChaim there, together they could bring Moshiach. His burial site outside the Old City of Jerusalem, on the Mount of Olives, is considered a propitious place to pray.
Biographical note:
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe (11 Nissan 1902 - 3 Tammuz 1994), became the seventh Rebbe of the Chabad dynasty after his father-in-law, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, passed away in Brooklyn on 10 Shvat 1950. He is widely acknowledged as the greatest Jewish leader of the second half of the 20th century. Although a dominant scholar in both the revealed and hidden aspects of Torah and fluent in many languages and scientific subjects, the Rebbe is best known for his extraordinary love and concern for every Jew on the planet. His emissaries around the globe dedicated to strengthening Judaism number in the thousands. Hundreds of volumes of his teachings have been printed, as well as dozens of English renditions.
I had the pleasure of meeting and spending a few Shabbosos with Eddie (Maimon) Ben Attar and knowing his brother from engineering. Both were great-great grandchildren of the Ohr HaChaim and although hard workering people kept up the G-D fearing tradition of their family. (See also my comment on M. Wolfberg’s story of the Rema regarding the Ohr HaChaim)

When is it time when HASHEM Yisborach sends us warnings and it is time to review our deeds? The Talmud States that if one of a member of a group passes away it is time for that group to review their deeds. A few weeks ago, I had the misfortune of visiting a family who lost a daughter in her early 30’s in a car accident. While I was on vacation, I learned of another family living not far from the first who lost a son who fell down (either a well or a pit) while playing ball with his children. Since we believers don’t believe that things happen by accident there appears to be a warning from G-D to shape up and check our deeds. In fact while reading through Mesillas Yasharim, I looked into my own watchfulness/caution with the Mitzvos, zealousness in performance, piety, pureness, humility and other deeds and I found myself lacking much. In fact, if the Moshiach was to come this minute, I feel quite unprepared all the more so for my own 120 years of which I do not know the date of. We need to review and review our deeds and performance of the Mitzvos.

If you protest too much against the government then time they skunked you:

Do not insult a person’s ethnicity if he is carrying an automatic rifle:

From Syd F. via Rabbi A.L. Something to think about:
 Imagine that you had won the following prize in a contest:
 each morning your bank would deposit $86,400 in your private account for your use. 
 However, this prize has condition - just as any game has certain rules.
 The first set of rules would  be:
 Everything that you didn't spend during each day would be taken away from you.
Y may not simply transfer money into some other account.
 You may only spend it.
 Each morning upon awakening, the bank opens your account with another $86,400 for that day.
 The second set of rules:
The bank can end the game without warning; 
 At any time it can say, it's over, the game is  over!
It can close the account and you will not receive a  new one.
What would you do?
You would probably buy anything and everything you wanted, right?
 Not only for yourself, but for all people you love, right?
Even for people you don't know, because you couldn't possibly spend it all on yourself, right?
You would try to spend every cent, and use  it all, even if some of the cash was wasted -  right?
Actually, this game is reality!
Each of us is in possession of such a magical bank, but we just can't seem to see it.
The magical bank is time!
Each morning we awaken to receive 86,400 seconds as a gift of life
When we go to sleep at night, any remaining time is not credited to us.
 What we haven't lived up that day is forever lost. yesterday is forever gone.
Each morning the account is refilled, but the bank can dissolve your account at any time...without warning.
So, what will you do with your 86,400  seconds?
 Aren't they worth so much more than the same amount in dollars?
Think about that, and  always think of this:
 Enjoy every second of your  life, because time races by so much quicker than you think!
So take care of yourself, be happy, love  deeply and enjoy life!
 here's wishing you a great day and may your seconds be well spent!

The Article Below I received from the author about Portuguese and Spanish Jewry who did not take the path of my anchestors

David Ben-Abraham BENEI ANŪSIM (Part I)

THE HALACHA regarding the Spanish and Portuguese Jews who were compelled to adopt the Christian religion (henceforth: “Benei Anūsim”) or leave the Iberian Peninsula was clear to the rabbis of Israel in the 16th century CE, as they were still considered Jews who had not yet intermingled or intermarried with gentile families since the Spanish Inquisition of 1481 and the expulsion of Spanish Jewry in 1492, and the Portuguese Inquisition in 1536. In a responsum written by former Spanish Jew and exile, the RADBAZ - which is an acronym for Rabbi David ben Zimra (circa 1479 – 1589), a Rabbi who was also expelled from Spain as a child with the general expulsion of Jews in 1492, he was asked about those “Benei Anūsim” whose children were left uncircumcised (as the Christians of Spain) but who now wished to return to the Jewish religion and to keep its injunctions. Less than one-hundred years had passed since these Jews were forced to abandon their religion and to adopt the Christian religion, and their lineage was still well-known to themselves. In their case, all that was needed for them was to start keeping the commandments, while no more than this was required of them. When the “Benei Anūsim” needed to be circumcised, they simply did so – adding the blessing known as ‘Sheheḥiyanu’ (‘Who hast kept us alive’). There was no need to convert them to Judaism, because they were already Jews who had merely concealed their Jewishness! Here is a translation of that responsum.

Questions & Responsa of the RADBAZ, Part I (responsum # 434)

“YOU HAVE ASKED me concerning the ‘Benei Anūsim’ who have come to put themselves under the wings of the Divine Presence, whether or not they are required to make the blessing known as ‘Sheheḥiyanu’ (lit. ‘Who hast kept us alive’) at the time of their circumcision.

ANSWER: The matter is clear with me that he is required to bless, if he knows the blessing, for how can it be any different from he [who is a firstborn son] whose father has not redeemed him [at birth] and he comes to redeem himself [when he’s grown older]? He blesses, ‘[Who hast commanded us] to redeem the firstborn son,’ as well as ‘Sheheḥiyanu’ (‘Who hast kept us alive’). Likewise has Maimonides (of blessed memory) written, and has stated in writing that they didn’t enact ‘Sheheḥiyanu’ excepting over some joyous occasion [that happens to befall man], although here, in this case, he [that circumcises himself] is in sorrow by reason of his pain. Still, it presents no difficulty, since there is no joy except the joy of the heart. Moreover, it is written (Psalm 119:162): ‘I rejoice at your word,’ which verse was said to refer to circumcision. Although the body is in sorrow, the heart is glad, and as a result of the joy of his heart he makes the blessing. Now, if you should ask, ‘why hasn’t Maimonides (of blessed memory) written this [explicitly] about circumcision, just as he has written it about the redemption of the firstborn son?’ Perhaps we can say that because the one who is being circumcised is troubled [about the affair], he cannot adequately direct his mind [in what is required of him], wherefore, he has omitted it. However, if he is able to direct his mind and to make the blessing, who is it that will exempt him?! [Implied here that a grown man may still say ‘Sheheḥiyanu’ when he is circumcised].

With regard to the proselyte, since it is well-established with us that ‘he who is circumcised but who has not yet been immersed in a ritual bath, he is deemed as though he hadn’t been circumcised,’ let him (i.e. the proselyte) not bless during the time of his circumcision, but [only] after the immersion in the ritual bath let him bless ‘Sheheḥiyanu’ (‘Who hast kept us alive’), for at this time his conversion is completed insofar that he was immersed. [Needless to say], you already know that they do not immerse him until he is healed [from the wound of his circumcision], and then he has complete joy that he has come under the wings of the Divine Presence. [We might deduce, furthermore, by an inference from minor to major premise], that if concerning a specific commandment (i.e. the circumcision of one’s son) he is required to bless ‘Sheheḥiyanu’ (‘Who hast kept us alive’), as also to make the blessing, ‘Who has sanctified us, etc. [and hast commanded us] to bring him into the covenant of Abraham our forefather,’ had he come under [the obligation of] the Torah in its entirety by accepting it (i.e. as the “Benei Anūsim” who return to keep the Torah), is it not even more applicable for him to make the blessing?! The matter is quite simple. What appears as my opinion, I have written.”

* * * * *

The thing that is to be noted here is that there was never any question concerning the “Benei Anūsim” of Spain and Portugal, and about where they had come from. I also asked the confirmation of a Rabbi here, in Israel, and he said to me that, “it would seem by this that the pedigree (Heb. yechūs) of these ‘Benei Anūsim’ was known to them at the time,” meaning, it was evident at the time of writing this responsum that they were Jews who were forced to abandon their religion.

MAIMONIDES, in his “Mishne Torah” (Hil. Mamrim 3:3) also says something similarly about the children of the Karaites, viz., that they are to be viewed as though they were constrained to transgress against the Oral Laws of our nation, like a “babe who was taken captive amongst the gentiles,” seeing that they were born unto parents who are apostates and who deny the Oral Laws bequeathed to us by Moses. However, since Karaites are Jews who do not marry outside of the families of Israel, all that is necessary for them to do in order to return to Judaism is to repent and to begin to perform those laws. Nothing more is needed.

The guiding principle behind these matters is that wherever the people of Israel are gathered and are known to exist, these same families – in every Jewish community – are presumed to be untainted, and every Jew can marry the daughter of his fellow Jew, although she might be from another Jewish community (Maimonides, ibid., Hil. Issurei Bi’ah 19:17). However, this refers only to those Jewish communities where they clearly had a tradition of their being Jews. This leniency does NOT apply to marriages between Jews and gentiles, or to those who never held a tradition that they are Jews or to those families where intermarriage with gentiles was known to have existed.

A different type of discussion is brought down in the Tosefta (Yadayim 2:7-8; in other editions 2:17) and later in the Talmud (Berakhot 28a) about people who live amongst the gentiles but who are uncertain about their ancestral lineage. One proselyte named “Yehudah, the Ammonite proselyte,” who came from the country of Rabat Ammon (in trans-Jordan) stood up in the Beit Midrash asking the Rabbis if he was permitted to marry an Israelite daughter. He thought that he was a descendant of Ammon, of whom the Torah says (Deut. 23:4): “Neither an Ammonite, nor a Moabite, shall enter the congregation of Hashem.” Rabban Gamliel told him that it was forbidden for him to marry an Israelite woman, but Rabbi Yehoshua said that he was permitted to do so. Rabban Gamliel countered by saying to Rabbi Yehoshua, “But look! It is written (ibid.), ‘Neither an Ammonite, nor a Moabite, shall enter the congregation of Hashem.’” To this, answered Rabbi Yehoshua: “But are Ammon and Moab still stationary in their places!? Sennacherib has already come up and mixed-up all of the nations, as it is written (Isaiah 10:13), ‘I shall then take away the boundaries of the nations, and shall destroy their strength.’ Rabban Gamliel answered him, ‘The Scripture says (Jeremiah 49:6), ‘But afterwards I shall bring again the captivity of the children of Ammon (just as it was in the beginning), says Hashem.’” He answered him, “Until now they haven’t returned.” Rabbi Yehoshua went on to explain: “The Scripture says (Amos 9:14), ‘And I shall bring back the captivity of my people Israel.’ Just as these have not yet returned, so, too, they haven’t returned!” Yehudah, the Ammonite proselyte, said to them, “What then shall I do?” They said to him, “You have just heard from the old man. Lo! You are permitted to come into the congregation (i.e. to marry a daughter of Israel).” Rabban Gamliel then interjected, “Is an Egyptian (i.e. a Coptic) like unto this [situation]?” They answered him, “An Egyptian [is different in that] the Scripture has given him a fixed time period [to be in exile], as it says (Ezekiel 29:13), ‘At the end of forty years I shall gather Egypt from the nations where they have been scattered,’ and they shall return to their own land.”

Similarly, we find that G-d restricts marriages with the people of Egypt and Edom until the third generation. Although they might convert to Judaism, Israel is not permitted to consummate marriages with them until the third generation. Yet, today, since other nations dwell amongst them and we no longer recognize who is an authentic Egyptian and who is an authentic Edomite, these nations are no longer prohibited. Anyone from them converting unto Judaism can marry a man or woman from Israel (Maimonides, ibid., Hil. Issurei Bi’ah 12:25).

The guiding principle behind this teaching, and which relates to our discussion on “Benei Anūsim,” lay in the famous rabbinic dictum: כל דפריש, מרובא פריש = “Anything that is separated [from another thing that was once prohibited], when called into question, it is assumed to be from the majority [of things that are permitted].” Maimonides brings down the same principle in his “Mishne Torah” (Hil. Issurei Bi’ah 12:25 ) when referring to the nations of Ammon, Moab, Egypt and Edom today, namely: “Anyone who separates himself from them (i.e. from any nation whose status may have been tainted and where it is no longer clear to him what his ancestral origins are) – in order to convert, it is generally assumed that he comes from the majority (i.e. whose equity and status were never tainted).” In short, we do not suspect that he came from one of the forbidden families.

Conversely, the same rule would apply to Israelites who left their native land and were mixed in amongst the gentiles and who no longer know their true ancestral heritage. The assumption that we are to follow here, in this particular case, is the same as the former case, viz. he is assumed to be from the general majority. If the majority were gentiles, we assume that he was a gentile, unless it can be proven otherwise. If the majority were of Israel, we can assume that he belongs to one of them, unless it can be shown otherwise.

Today, assimilation has plagued the descendants of some Marranos (who know that their ancestors were forced to convert to Christianity long ago). For this reason the rabbinic courts are reluctant to accept them as Jews, requiring them to undergo an orthodox conversion to Judaism.


Although RADBAZ rules in responsum # 434 (of Part I in his Responsa) concerning the “Benei Anūsim” of his day that they were still Jews, he also mentions cases where some “Benei Anūsim” had intermarried with gentiles and the children born from such unlawful unions, in many cases, were no longer considered Jews. See: responsum # 48 (of Part I, ibid.) and responsum # 651 (of Part II, ibid.). RADBAZ also points out that even in surnames given to the “Benei Anūsim” by gentiles, such as the family name “Cohen,” there is still no guarantee that they are actually Cohenim (i.e. priests of Aaron’s lineage) since one of his fathers who was compelled to live as a non-Jew may have actually married a divorced Jewish woman, making his sons thenceforth no more than profaned priests (i.e. Halal). Concerning this, see responsum # 683 (of Part II, ibid.), which same reply is repeated in responsum # 31 (of Part VII, ibid.).

Rabbi Yosef Karo (1488-1575), who is himself a Spanish Jewish exile, wrote in his Code of Jewish Law known as the “Shūlḥan Arūkh” (Yoreh De’ah 119:12):

“The ‘Anūsim’ who have remained in their countries, if they abide by the laws of ‘kashrut’ (i.e. in accordance with Jewish law) amongst themselves, although they cannot escape to a place where they can serve Hashem [without fear of retribution], it is permitted to rely upon their ritual slaughter (i.e. that it is Kosher), and wine which has been touched by them is not to be prohibited.”


האנוסים שנשארו בארצותם אם הם מתנהגים בכשרות בינם לבין עצמם ואין בידם להמלט למקום שיוכלו לעבוד את ה', סומכים על שחיטתן ואין אוסרין יין במגען

Here, again, it was clear to Rabbi Yosef Karo that the ordinary people who were called in his day, “Anūsim,” or “Benei Anūsim,” were untainted as far as their Jewish lineage was concerned. Otherwise, their ritual slaughter and wine would have been prohibited to eat and drink.

Inyanay Diyoma

Netanyahu is so far left he makes labor look right:,7340,L-4392500,00.html

Sunnis remove themselves from Syria not that they love Israel:

You might not believe this but the CA gunman was not Jewish or Christian:

Islam is officially against homosexuality but:,7340,L-4392730,00.html

Peace talks, Arab statehood, don’t believe it for it is a ploy:

In Israel there are a few Kosher Big Mac places well now the boycott because of the city of Ariel:,7340,L-4397712,00.html

Earlier there were statements about planned terror from Sinai but the terrorist in the Shomron and Yehuda do not being out done by the Gaza killers so:

Old Proper British Anti-Semitism Tally Hough Forth:

Guess who may end up with a burning gown for we get no second chance:

The USA is gradually committing suicide before Yom HaDin!

Now for M. Wolfberg’s Good Shabbos Stories “Brazil Nut”, “Bad Roommates” and the oldie “Binds that Tie”

Good Shabbos Everyone. In this week's parsha Chukas, we read about the mysterious mitzvah of Parah Aduma, the red heifer.  The procedure of the Parah Aduma involved the use of the ashes of a burned red cow to purify those who had been  contaminated through contact with a dead body.  The mystery of the power of the Parah Aduma to purify lays in the deepest level of understanding the Torah.  Even the wisest of men Shlomo HaMelech, could not fathom the mitzvah of the red cow.
         One lesson we can however learn from the mitzvah of the red cow, is a lesson in human relations.  One irony of the red cow procedure is the following:  it purified the impure; while at the same time, it made impure the Kohen who performed the procedure. After the procedure, the Kohen would himself have to undergo a ritual purification, albeit a less complicated procedure than the one who had touched a corpse.  The lesson we learn from this irony is the following:  We must do chesed - kindness for others, even when it causes us a loss of time or money, for example.  
       Chaim Tzvi Schwartz was not a Lubavitcher Chassid -- before the war, his family had been followers of the Rebbe of Munkatch -- but a certain day in 1946 found him seeking the counsel of the then Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Scheersohn. Rabbi Schwartz was a young refugee who had lost his entire family, and the only world he knew, in the Holocaust, and was at a loss as to what to do with his life.   
       "Speak to my son-in-law, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson," said the Rebbe, and gave Chaim his blessing. The Rebbe's son-in-law suggested that the young rabbi take up residence in a certain city in Brazil. "Brazil?"   
       "There are a great number of Jewish refugees settling in Brazil. Due to the tribulations that our people have undergone in the last few years, most of them lack even the most basic rudiments of a Jewish education. Already, many have fallen prey to assimilation and intermarriage. It is the responsibility of every Torah-educated Jew to prevent the spiritual dissolution of our people. Go to Brazil and help build a community of knowledgeable and observant Jews." Chaim accepted the mission, moved to Brazil, and founded a Jewish day school there. Much effort and toil were necessary to find the funding, train the teachers, and convince the parents of the importance of granting their children a Jewish education.   
       Over the years, Rabbi Schwartz saw his school flourish and grow, and its graduates form the nucleus of a community of proud, committed Jews. Rabbi Schwartz maintained an infrequent but warm contact with the man who had sent him to Brazil, who had meanwhile assumed the leadership of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement following the passing of his father-in-law in 1950.   
       From time to time, Rabbi Schwartz would seek the Rebbe's advice on various challenges and decisions he faced in the course of his work. It was on one such occasion, several years after his arrival in Brazil, that Rabbi Schwartz truly realized the scope of the Rebbe's concern for his people.   
       Rabbi Schwartz related this incident to a Lubavitcher Chassid he met on a flight from Brazil to New York: One day-he began his tale-I received a call from the parents of one of the children in my school, requesting a meeting. While this was a fairly common request, the anxiety in the voices on the phone told me that this was no simple matter. I invited them to meet with me in my home that evening. "This does not concern our son," began the father, after they had settled in my study, "who is doing wonderfully in your school, but our eldest daughter, who grew up here before you came. As you know, we are not very observant, but it is important to us that our children should retain their identity as Jews. This is why we send our son to you, despite the fact that your school is considerably more 'religious' than ourselves.  
       "To get to the point, our daughter has informed us that she has fallen in love with a non-Jew and that they intend to marry. We have tried everything to dissuade her, but our arguments, appeals, threats and tears have all been to no avail. She now refuses to discuss the matter with us at all and has moved out of our home. Rabbi! You are our only hope! Perhaps you can reach her, perhaps you can impress upon her the gravity of the betrayal against her people, her parents and her own identity in what she intends to do!"   
       "Would she agree to meet with me?" I asked. "If she knew that we had spoken to you, she'd refuse."   
       "Then I'll go speak to her on my own." I took her address from her parents and rang her bell that very evening. She was visibly annoyed to learn of my mission, but too well-mannered not to invite me in. We ended up speaking for several hours. She listened politely and promised to consider everything I said, but I came away with the feeling that I had had little effect on her decision. For several days I pondered the matter, trying to think of what might possibly be done to prevent the loss of a Jewish soul. Then I thought of my last resort -- the Rebbe.   
       I called the Rebbe's secretary, Rabbi Hodakov, related to him the entire affair, and asked for the Rebbe's advice as to what might be done. A few minutes later the phone rang. "The Rebbe says to tell the young woman," said Rabbi Hodakov, "that there is a Jew in Brooklyn who cannot sleep at night because she intends to marry a non-Jew."  
        The unexpected reply confused me, and I failed to understand what Rabbi Hodakov was saying. "Who is this Jew?" I blurted out. Then I heard the Rebbe's voice on the other extension: "His name is Mendel Schneerson."   
       I slowly returned the receiver to its cradle, more confused than ever. Could I possibly do what the Rebbe suggested? Why, she'll slam the door in my face! After agonizing all night, I decided to carry out the Rebbe's instructions to the letter. After all, the fate of a Jewish soul was at stake, and what did I have to lose, except for my pride?   
       Early the next morning I was at her door. "Listen," she said before I could utter a word, "whom I marry is my own affair, and no else's. I respect rabbis and men of faith, so I heard you out when I should have shown you the door. Please go away and stop bothering me."   
       "There is one more thing I need to say to you," said I. "Then say it, and go."   
       "There is a Jew in Brooklyn who cannot sleep at night because you intend to marry a non-Jew."   
       "That's what you came to tell me?!" she said, incredulous, and proceeded to the close the door. Midway she stopped. "Who is this Jew?"   
       "A great Jewish leader Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, known as the Lubavitcher Rebbe," I replied. "The Rebbe is greatly concerned about the material and spiritual well-being of every Jew, and agonizes over every soul that is lost to its people."   
       "What does he look like? Do you have a picture of him?"   
       "I should have a picture somewhere. I'll go and get it for you."   
       To my surprise, she didn't object, and indicated assent with a mute nod. I rushed home and nearly turned the house upside down in search of a photograph of the Rebbe. I finally found a photo in a desk drawer and hurried back to the young woman's apartment. One look at the Rebbe's likeness and her face turned pale.   
       "Yes, it's him," she whispered. "All week long," she explained, "this man has been appearing in my dreams and imploring me not to abandon my people. I told myself that I was conjuring up an image of a Jewish sage and putting those words in his mouth as a reaction to what you and my parents have been saying to me. But no, it was no conjecture. I have never met this man in my life, seen a picture of him, or even heard of him. But this is he-this is the man I have been seeing in my dreams..."
 Good Shabbos Everyone.

Good Shabbos Everyone.  In this week's portion Balak, we read about the attempts of the evil Bilaam to curse the Jewish people.  When Bilaam opens his mouth intending to curse the Jewish people, Hashem causes Bilaam instead to utter praises of the Jewish people.  In Bilaam's first "blessing" he says about the nation of Yisroel, "Behold!  It is a nation that will dwell in solitude and not be reckoned among the nations."  (Bamidbar 23,9)  When the verse states that the Jewish nation will "not be reckoned among the nations," it means that we are different and special; i.e., Hashem does not treat us as He treats the other nations.  From here we see that the Jewish people receives special supervision from Hashem. 
       By examining history, we can clearly see that the Jewish nation has had a special fate among the nations.  The continued existence of the Jewish people, against all odds, in the face of persecution, demonstrates that we are truly a exceptional nation, a nation which will "not be reckoned among the nations."
       One of the most difficult periods in recent history was the Jewish experience in World War II.  While we do not know for certain why such tragedies befell our people, one thing we know for certain:  stories of amazing Divine Intervention during the darkest periods of history demonstrate that Hashem did not abandon His People.  The following amazing true story is one such story which illustrates a ray of light from Hashem during the darkest night.
       It was World War II, in Cracow, Poland.  Reb Yitzchok Isaac Klingberg's apartment had been commandeered by the invading Germans who then set up their headquarters in the building.  Amazingly, the Germans allowed R' Yitzchok to remain living in the hallway.  It was a precarious existence for R' Yitzchok, but he was thankful to be alive. 
       "Zhid!" The German commandant's officer awakened R' Yitzchok from a fitful sleep. "Get into the office!" he commanded. "The commandant wants to see you." R' Yitzchok scrambled to obey the man's orders. He followed the German officer into the office and stood at attention, while the drunken commandant managed to stumble around his desk and sprawl into his chair.  
       R' Yitzchok's eyes widened in terror as the commandant pulled his gun out of his belt and flung it on the desk between them. "You see this gun?" he barked at his shivering victim. "I'm going to ask you a question. If you don't answer me truthfully, I'll kill you." 
       R' Yitzchok managed to nod, but his heart sank. The commandant was so drunk that he would probably shoot R' Yitzchok with the slightest provocation—even if he did speak the truth.  
       "Vaas es das Rema—who was the Rema?" the commandant demanded. R' Yitzchok stared, speechless. What sort of question was this? Why would a German commandant want to know about the Rema, and acronym for Rabbi Moshe Isserles? (died 1572) The sixteenth century Torah leader was a towering figure whose works are among the foundations of Torah law. Rabbi Yosef Karo wrote the Shulchan Aruch, the guide to our daily lives, and the Rema added the Ashkenazic viewpoint on various customs and rulings wherever they differed. He was prepared to write the entire guide on his own, but he humbly abstained when he heard Rabbi Karo had already begun his work.  
       The commandant abruptly stood from his chair. "We were commanded to destroy the cemetery here in Cracow!" he shouted. "But then they sent us a telegram, telling us not to touch the Rema's shul, or his grave."  
       R' Yitzchok blinked in surprise. Could this really be true? "Vaas es das Rema—who was the Rema?" the commandant asked again, with drunken urgency. R' Yitzchok didn't know where to begin. Should he talk about the Rema's life, or simply mention his great written contributions to Torah Jewry? But before R' Yitzchok's could say a word, the commandant suddenly swayed—and then slid to the floor, passing out right at R' Yitzchok's feet. R' Yitzchok let out his breath with words of thanks to Hashem before beating a hasty retreat from the commandant's office.  
       R' Shimon Spira, R' Yitzchok's cousin, had a similar experience.  After the war, R' Shimon Spira walked slowly through the streets of his hometown of Cracow, Poland. It was so different now than it had been had been before the war! Where were the-sixty thousand Jews who had made Cracow their home before World War II? R' Shimon was among the paltry two thousand survivors who had managed to escape the hands of the Nazis. After the war, it was natural for him to return to the city where he had spent his entire life. But there was not much left to see in postwar Cracow.  
       As his feet led him through the deserted streets, his recollections were interrupted by a tap on his shoulder. "Excuse me, sir." R' Shimon turned to see a shabbily dressed young man, accompanied by two friends of about the same age. "We're looking for the grave of the Rema. Could you show us the way?"  
       R' Shimon raised his eyebrows in surprise as the sound of the holy Rema's name passed through this young man's lips. He himself had visited the burial site many times before the war. But what interest would three non-Jewish men have in the Rema's grave? 
       "Why do you want to go there?" R' Shimon asked. "I understand why you're asking us that," the leader of the group said ruefully. "But despite the way we look, we really are Jewish. We were pretty young when the Nazis took over, and we were forced to work for them. Our assignment was to knock down the tombstones in all the Jewish cemeteries across town." The man's voice grew hushed. "When we reached the Rema's stone and prepared to knock it down, the sirens went off, and we ran to take shelter from the air raid. When the all-clear sounded, we went to try again—and again the sirens went off It kept on happening. Every time we went back to knock down the gravestone, the sirens would go off, and we had to run away."  
       "We finally gave up," the second man added. "But we did manage to chip off a small chunk from the gravestone,' "Now we want to go back there to ask forgiveness,' the leader concluded. With the world completely shattered by war, three secular young men sought atonement for chipping a stone. Tears sprang to R' Shimon's eyes.   
       "I can show you where to go. "R' Shimon reassured the three men. He beckoned them to follow him toward the shut and the adjoining cemetery.  
       "Your tale does not surprise me,' R' Shimon remarked as they walked. "It is only fitting for this great tzaddik, the Rema, Rabbi Moshe Isserles." R' Shimon stopped suddenly. "See that beautiful building?" R' Shimon gestured to the high archway that marked the entrance to the old shul. "The Rema's father built it in his honor, four hundred years ago. The Isserles family was very prominent, very wealthy and very supportive of Torah learning."   
       R' Shimon fell silent for a moment. "On the Rema's yahrtzeit," he continued quietly, "so many Jews came to daven here. Every year—on Lag B'Omer." R' Shimon's final words, while unspoken, reverberated through the quiet streets. "No more more..."  
       "I showed them the grave," said R' Shimon as he finished telling his story. "Just like they said, the Rema's gravestone was still standing tall and straight. They asked the Rema for forgiveness—and then they vowed to change their way of life.  All in the merit of the Rema." (Reb Yosef Weiss, p. 138 Visions of Greatness.)    
       History demonstrates that we are a nation which will "not be reckoned among the nations."  We may not always understand Hashem's ways, but we clearly see that Hashem guides us with extra special Divine Providence.  Good Shabbos Everyone.
This story is the same theme as the Jordanian bulldozers trying to pave a road through the Mount of Olives overturning and the drivers killed each time they tried to plow over the grave of the Ohr HaChaim HaKodesh.

  Good Shabbos Everyone.  In this week's Parsha Pinchas, we read about how Pinchas was rewarded for his act of bravery which we read about in last week's Parsha.  When Pinchas saw that Hashem's honor was being violated, he took bold action and he was rewarded for his deeds.  We see from here the importance of being bold and not bashful in the service of Hashem.  The Rema comments on the first law in the Shulchan Aruch, that one must not be ashamed to do mitzvahs even when people make fun of him.  The following true story told in the first person, illustrates the power of doing mitzvahs, in public, without shame.
       For most people long distance flights are a boring necessity of life but for me flights are often the ideal opportunity to put Tefillin (Two small black leather boxes containing four Torah parchments that are fastened to the head and to the arm by long black leather straps) on Jews. All I have to do is take out my Tefillin, get out of my seat and go down the aisle asking Jewish men if they want to put them on. And I never cease to be amazed at how many of them happily do so. I have been doing this for about twenty years and have many unusual stories to tell but one of the most unforgettable occurred just recently.
       It was a flight from Eretz Yisroel to New York on El Al. I began at the back of the plane with my Tefillin and worked my way forward with fairly good results; some fifteen men agreed to put them on so far and that was only one half of the plane. That was when I met Jacob.
       He was sitting in the aisle seat five rows from the front, next to two sleeping passengers. He was reading a magazine and, although he was neatly dressed, he looked unmistakably like someone from the previous generation; short, compact, well into his seventies, clean shaven, bald-headed with an open shirt and a golden 'chai' pendant dangling from his neck on a thin gold chain. He noticed me standing over him, looked up from the magazine and I did what I had done to all the other passengers before him: I held out the Tefillin and asked him if he would like to put them on. But he didn't say a word. He just kept looking at me blankly, almost as though he didn't understand English, so I repeated the question in Hebrew but still no reaction. He just stared like a zombie.
       At this point I just wanted to walk away; maybe he wasn't normal, or maybe he wasn't Jewish (both of which did certainly not seem to be the case) but I figured I'd give it one more chance anyway, so I asked him in Russian (I know about ten words) te' chochesh s'dielat Mitzvah? But when he didn't react to that either, I just kept smiling, nodded bye bye and turned to continue to the next row.
       Suddenly he said in English with a strong European accent, "I'm not going to put on Tefillin! I'm not going to do it! No way!" But it was as though he was speaking to himself as well as to me. I turned to him. He continued, "Nothing against you Rabbi, but I'm not putting them on. You can ask anyone in Holon (city in central Eretz Yisroel), where I live. Even the chief Rabbi there they will tell you who Yaakov P. is. Why the Rabbi, when he sees me on the street he crosses the street to shake my hand. I help people. That's right. I help people - a lot of people. But I'm not putting on Tefillin! Not me! After what I saw in the camps, in Auschwitz in Birkenau. I made a vow I would never put on Tefillin again. Never!" (Incidentally, a vow not to do a mitzvah is arguably invalid.)
       He said it with such conviction that I began to see in his eyes what he must have been through and, to tell the truth, it was a bit too much for me to take. I just tried to keep smiling as tears began to form in my eyes, told him that I didn't mean to upset him and wished him a good trip. "Nothing personal" he assured me once again. We shook hands, I went on to the next person who stood up and happily put on Tefillin and I forgot the whole episode.
       Finally I got to the front row where there was sitting an elderly couple. I asked them if they were Jewish and when the answer was affirmative I asked the man if he would like to put on Tefillin. He immediately smiled and said "No thanks" and then turned to his wife, smiled and added, "I think the last time I did that was when I was bar Mitzvah! About sixty years ago." She looked at me, looked at him, then at the Tefillin and finally at him again and said, "So why don't you do it now again, Max." I added jokingly, "after all, you don't have anything better to do, right? And it doesn't cost any money!"
       He shook his head no a few times more and looked at his wife again. She tilted her head to the side and raised her eyebrows as though to say 'why not' and finally he stood up, feigning defeat, and said, "All right, what do I have to do?" Moments later he had finished and was removing the Tefillin and thanking me profusely. It was the first time in sixty years he did it and he liked it!
       Suddenly his wife said, "Hey! Why don't you put on Jake! Did you ask Jake? Did you see him? He's sitting back there. Oh! Here he is!" I didn't know exactly who they were talking about until Jacob, the holocaust survivor that had refused me earlier, appeared behind them.
       "Oh, hi Jake!" she said, "Hey, do you know what Max just did?" she said motioning to her husband. "This Rabbi just put Tefillin on him and he liked it! Why don't you do it too?!"
       Then she turned to me as to introduce us. "Rabbi, this is Jake, he and us went through the camps together. We're good friends." Meanwhile Jake was in an inner turmoil mumbling to himself, "I'm not going to do it! Tefillin? Max put 'em on ehh? But not me, not me!! Why should I? I'm not doing it! Tefillin?"
       "Come on!" She said to him with a smile, "Forget all that! Look, Max enjoyed it what do you care? Look at this nice Rabbi. Do it for him!" "Sure,' I butted in "After all, I came all the way from Kfar Chabad just to put Tefillin on you!"
       Jake was really churning inside now, "But I said I'd never do it! Never! I made a vow!" He said a bit louder. It was the moment of truth. He looked at the Tefillin as though he wished they'd go away, but they didn't. He kept staring until finally he spoke quietly not taking his eyes off the Tefillin as he stuck out his arm and said.... "Alright," I put the Tefillin on him, gave him the page with the 'Shema Yisroel' prayer on it and tried not to look at his face as he began to read. Sure enough, after a few seconds I heard him crying and sniffling a bit as he haltingly read the ancient Hebrew words until finally he was silently sobbing away.
       Meanwhile his friends just stood there and didn't seem effected at all; they had been crying for sixty years and were 'used' to it. He took out a handkerchief, blew his nose, motioned for me to remove the Tefillin and when they were off the lady looked at her husband and at Jake and said:  "Today was like a bar-Mitzvah. I think you should be happy!" And she looked at me.
       I got the hint and began singing a well-known lively tune called "Am Yisroel Chai" (which means 'The Jewish people are alive') and took the hands of the two 'bar-mitzvah boys' and began dancing while she clapped her hands to the rhythm. There was hardly room to move but we bounced around at the front of the plane accompanied by the drone of the motors for about a half-minute at until Max stopped and gave me a warm handshake and Jake gave me a hug and a kiss.   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

A good Shabbos to all,
Rachamim Pauli