Thursday, July 25, 2013

Parsha Eikev, Stories, Agada and more

Chana Itta bat Hazzi needs prayers.

The presents this week going Cold Turkey thanks to my good Friend Rabbi A. L. : The first night of Hanukkah will be on Thanksgiving this year, for the first time ever, and never again!  So expect to see, or be sure to put turkey and latkes on the table.
This is the only time it will ever happen, read below to see the explanation!!! Thanksgiving is set as the fourth Thursday in November, meaning the latest it can be is 11/28.       
11/28 is also the earliest Hanukkah can be. The Jewish calendar repeats on a 19 year cycle, and Thanksgiving repeats on a 7 year cycle. You would therefore expect them to coincide roughly every 19x7 = 133 years. Looking back, this is approximately correct – the last time it would have happened is 1861. However, Thanksgiving was only formally established by President Lincoln in 1863. So, it has never happened before. Why won't it ever happen again? The reason is because the Jewish calendar is very slowly getting out of sync with the solar calendar, at a rate of 4 days per 1000 years! This means that while presently Hanukkah can be as early as 11/28, over the years the calendar will drift forward, such that the earliest Hanukkah can be is 11/29. The next time Hanukkah falls on 11/28 is 2146, which is a Monday. Therefore, 2013 is the only time Hanukkah will ever overlap with Thanksgiving!!!

Of course, if the Jewish calendar is never modified in any way, then it will slowly move forward through the Gregorian calendar, until it loops all the way back to where it is now. So, Chanukah would again fall on Thursday, 11/ the year 79,811. Given our trajectory with global warming, it is fair to say humans won’t be here then. And if there are no humans, the holidays will be cancelled.

So on November 28th 2013, enjoy your turkey and your latkes. It has never happened before, and it will never happen again.
Rabbi Rachamim says bring your own cranberry sauce to the festivities and apple sauce for the latkes.

The Orthodox Union speaks on one of my topics: As I mentioned that I am working on building up internal muscles aka core strength in dealing with my weight outside of dieting. For diet alone will make one into a skinny weakling and still unhealthy with less bad blood work as before. Aerobics and strengthening exercises are what also speed up the weight loss. At my age it is harder and harder to lose as our metabolism slows down along with certain medications that we take. By changing fat into muscles and even staying relatively the same weight we eventually will lose as muscles burn up more energy than fat. I have added 3 kilograms about 6.5 lbs of muscles in the last three months so hopefully I am on my way to better health and energy. My weight is almost the same but I am flatter and more slender than before. Read this and all the more so if one is younger. Wherever you are from “Down Under”, Europe, South America, North America where most of my readership is it is good to be a member of a gym and with a personal trainer even better.

Parsha Eikev

The root of the word in this week’s Parsha comes from the Hebrew for “heel” which gave us the name Yacov who touched the heel of Esav. But in our case it is more like ‘because of’ or ‘fundamentally’ or even because you stood by the ordinances of HASHEM. Chabad translates it as “And it will be because you will observes these ordinances”. It is always easier to understand in modern English. Let me remind you that if you see me sort of contradicting my forefather, Rashi, it is not out of Chutzpa but out of the fact that the Torah has 70 ways of approaching everything. Ibn Ezra also disputes Rashi at times. My comments are always the way I see things.

7:12 And it shall come to pass, because ye hearken to these ordinances, and keep, and do them, that the LORD thy God shall keep with thee the covenant and the mercy which He swore unto thy fathers, 13 and He will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee; He will also bless the fruit of thy body and the fruit of thy land, thy corn and thy wine and your oil, the increase of thy cattle and the young of thy flock, in the land which He swore unto thy fathers to give thee.

Like in Parsha Bechukosai if you observe than you get the blessings. The problem with human nature is that we tend to look for the blessings and wonder why we did not get them instead of reading the contract we have with HASHEM. 

14 Thou shalt be blessed above all peoples; there shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle. 15 And the LORD will take away from thee all sickness; and He will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou know, upon thee, but will lay them upon all them that hate thee. 16 And thou shalt consume all the peoples that the LORD thy God shall deliver unto thee; your eye shall not pity them; neither shalt thou serve their gods; for that will be a snare unto thee.

Thank you pork eating Moshe Dayan for not letting the Arabs flee from Yehuda and the Shomron during the Six Day War or for giving away the keys to the Temple Mount to the Mufti there. NOW TRY TO TELL ME THAT THIS WARNING DOES NOT TODAY like the Reform Rabbis tell us. Now call me old fashioned but I believe the blessings and the warnings to be true.

17 If thou shalt say in thy heart: 'These nations are more than I; how can I dispossess them?' 18 You shall not be afraid of them; thou shalt well remember what the LORD thy God did unto Pharaoh, and unto all Egypt: 19 the great trials which your eyes saw, and the signs, and the wonders, and the mighty hand, and the outstretched arm, whereby the LORD thy God brought thee out; so shall the LORD thy God do unto all the peoples of whom thou art afraid. 20 Moreover the LORD thy God will send the hornet among them, until they that are left, and they that hide themselves, perish from before thee. 21 Thou shalt not be affrighted at them; for the LORD thy God is in the midst of thee, a God great and awful.

Sometimes we need these words as having a G-D who is out of our spectrum of vision (we only cover a small amount of Angstrom Units of the entire visible spectrum). We might not hear G-D but perhaps a dog, whale or dolphin can. Since we don’t have idols we might forget that G-D is in our midst whether we win or lose it is up to HIM and not our normal strength or numbers.

22 And the LORD thy God will cast out those nations before thee by little and little; thou may not consume them quickly, lest the beasts of the field increase upon thee.

Because of the mine fields on the Golan Heights, there are many wolves, coyotes, deer, hyenas, boors, weasels, foxes, snakes an occasional Syrian Bear etc. there.

23 But the LORD thy God shall deliver them up before thee, and shall discomfit them with a great discomfiture, until they be destroyed. 24 And He shall deliver their kings into thy hand, and thou shalt make their name to perish from under heaven; there shall no man be able to stand against thee, until thou have destroyed them. 25 The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire; thou shalt not covet the silver or the gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein; for it is an abomination to the LORD thy God. 26 And thou shalt not bring an abomination into thy house, and be accursed like unto it; thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a devoted thing.

The Mosque on Har HaMoriah (Temple Mt.) was never holy until we reclaimed Yerushalayim and then the big lie spread through Islam. 72 figs in heaven because 72 virgins because of the similar Arabic Word. 

8:1 Every commandment which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD swore unto your fathers.

Sometimes we have to analyze what is the simple meaning. We have 613 directly written Torah Commandments which turn into 15,700 plus Halachos via the Oral Torah at Sinai. Let is for argument’s sake say we are similar to Karites who only want to observe what is written (even Karites have Oral Torah something that the layman does not know). Each of the 613 Commandments protect and maintain us in Eretz Yisrael. I recently encountered a dear friend who wanted to defend Eretz Yisrael on the propaganda front on Shabbos. I did not have this Pasuk before me, but I told that person that Shabbos is “Makor” or the source of all blessings.

The Pshat is to observe, do in order to live and multiply and possess Eretz Yisrael. Why do we deserve this because the LRD swore unto our fathers.

2 And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God hath led thee these forty years in the wilderness, that He might afflict thee, to prove thee, to know what was in thy heart, whether thou would keep His commandments, or not. 3 And He afflicted thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knew not, neither did thy fathers know;

During these 40 years you were sustained by a miracle of Mann.

 that He might make thee know that man does not live by bread only, but by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD does man live.

Hey big shot you planted seeds and they produced wheat, barley, or you earned a nice salary and can go purchase at the supermarket. Well guess what all income comes from HASHEM and not from your work. Your work is just a means to an end that G-D provides you with.

4 Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years.

How many people can wear the same outfit for up to a year without it going out of service though wear and tear or even just and dirt. How many people can walk miles upon miles each day in the same shoes and not wear them down on the rocks of Sinai? Yet this miracle occurred

5 And thou shalt consider in thy heart, that, as a man chastens his son, so the LORD thy God chastens thee.

This Pasuk is of the utmost importance as one could go on to say: How come Israel gets the rockets and the countries dominated by Hindus, Buddhists, Protestants, Catholics, Muslims, etc. prosper more than Israel? We don’t follow the Mitzvos then this Pasuk shows us that our problems stem from education of a misbehaved people. It is our duty to obey our FATHER OUR KING otherwise we are princes who have violated our sacred duty and are disciplined more than the pawns on the walls of the castle. Or perhaps in a modern analogy – if your son or daughter and the neighbor’s child misbehaves in school; you are not going to punish the other child but you will punish yours.

Rabbi Pinchas Winston Shlita wrote about how parents chastise their children either too little or too much. However: “God, however, has a great advantage over the average parent. He not only gets involved in our lives and chastises us because He cares about us, but He also knows exactly what to say to us, and how. Knowing us better than we know ourselves, He custom designs His criticism of us for maximum positive impact.

And thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, to walk in His ways, and to fear Him.

If you do not know the ways of G-D you should consult a Rabbi who will tell you how to follow, keep and walk in the ways. But you are not only to keep HASHEM’s ways all the time but you are also to fear him. Fear of G-D may not mean trembling in prayer but to avoid sin at all cost.

7 For the LORD thy God brings thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths, springing forth in valleys and hills; 8 a land of wheat and barley, and vines and fig-trees and pomegranates; a land of olive-trees and honey;

These are the 7 species of which we make the special after blessings either for grain, wine or fruit. We can eat apples and oranges but have no special after blessings. The after blessings are made on cake but the special blessing is made on bread.

9 a land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou may dig brass. 10 And thou shalt eat and be satisfied, and bless the LORD thy God for the good land which He hath given thee.

Up until this point we are given the blessings for the Mitzvah Observance. However, like in Bechukosai we have a warning about forgetting where and how our blessings came about.

11 Beware lest thou forget the LORD thy God, in not keeping His commandments, and His ordinances, and His statutes, which I command thee this day; 12 lest when you have eaten and are satisfied, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; 13 and when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; 14 then thy heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, who brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; 15 who led thee through the great and dreadful wilderness, wherein were serpents, fiery serpents, and scorpions, and thirsty ground where was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint; 16 who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that He might afflict thee, and that He might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end; 17 and thou say in thy heart: 'My power and the might of my hand hath gotten me this wealth.'

That is an Atheistic thought and very dangerous.

18 But you shall remember the LORD thy God, for it is He that gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore unto thy fathers, as it is this day.

This appears to be a command but is not listed as one of the 613 nor is it classed as one of the 6 remembrances ( The covenant  and this day indicates that it is in effect forever and will not be voided not on HIS part and cannot be voided on our part.

19 And it shall be, if thou shalt forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I forewarn you this day that ye shall surely perish. 20 As the nations that the LORD causes to perish before you, so shall ye perish; because ye would not hearken unto the voice of the LORD your God.

If this is so and that is so it is worth being prudent and to follow all the Mitzvos.

9:1 Hear, O Israel: thou art to pass over the Jordan this day, to go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than thyself, cities great and fortified up to heaven, 2 a people great and tall, the sons of the Anakim, whom you know, and of whom thou hast heard say: 'Who can stand before the sons of Anak?' 3 Know therefore this day, that the LORD thy God is He who goes over before thee as a devouring fire; He will destroy them, and He will bring them down before thee; so shalt thou drive them out, and make them to perish quickly, as the LORD hath spoken unto thee.

The L-RD is a Man of War and HE will fight your battles. You will raise your weapons and they will flee or at best their fortified walls will tumble down.

4 Speak not thou in thy heart, after that the LORD thy God hath thrust them out from before thee, saying: 'For my righteousness the LORD hath brought me in to possess this land'; whereas for the wickedness of these nations the LORD doth drive them out from before thee. 5 Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thy heart, dost thou go in to possess their land; but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that He may establish the word which the LORD swore unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. 6 Know therefore that it is not for thy righteousness that the LORD thy God gives thee this good land to possess it; for thou art a stiffnecked people. 7 Remember, forget thou not, how thou didst make the LORD thy God wroth in the wilderness; from the day that thou didst go forth out of the land of Egypt, until ye came unto this place, ye have been rebellious against the LORD. 8 Also in Horev ye made the LORD wroth, and the LORD was angered with you to have destroyed you…

It is not your righteousness that you are being given the land but rather the promise to your forefathers in the L-RD’s covenant with Avraham between the pieces and subsequently with the other fathers.

10:1 At that time the LORD said unto me: 'Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first, and come up unto Me into the mount; and make thee an ark of wood. 2 And I will write on the tables the words that were on the first tables which thou didst break, and thou shalt put them in the ark.' 3 So I made an ark of acacia-wood, and hewed two tables of stone like unto the first, and went up into the mount, having the two tables in my hand. 4 And He wrote on the tables according to the first writing, the ten words, which the LORD spoke unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly; and the LORD gave them unto me.
15 Only the LORD had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and He chose their seed after them, even you, above all peoples, as it is this day. 16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked. 17 For the LORD your God, He is God of gods, and Lord of lords, the great God, the mighty, and the awful, who regards not persons, nor takes reward.

G-D is not a man that you can say, “Let me win the big lottery and I will give 10 or 20% to charity” it does not work that way. Do what you are supposed to do and HE will deal with you on what you deserve and not what you think you deserve. If you get bad in this world and are quiet chances are you will get good in the next world see the story from Shabbos Daf 127A below.

18 He doth execute justice for the fatherless and widow, and loves the stranger, in giving him food and raiment. 19 Love ye therefore the stranger; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Rabbi Shraga Simmons Shlita writes about famous Gerim who moved all of Am Yisrael and that alone is enough reason to love the Ger.

20 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; Him shalt thou serve; and to Him shalt thou cleave, and by His name shalt thou swear. 21 He is thy glory, and He is thy God, that has done for thee these great and tremendous things, which your eyes have seen. 22 Thy fathers went down into Egypt with threescore and ten persons; and now the LORD thy God hath made thee as the stars of heaven for multitude.

Besides the miracle of the water from the rock and the Mann people 40 plus had been at Sinai or in Egypt many of whom were less than 60 now remembered well what happened then.

11:1 1 Therefore thou shalt love the LORD thy God, and keep His charge, and His statutes, and His ordinances, and His commandments, always. 2 And know ye this day; for I speak not with your children that have not known, and that have not seen the chastisement of the LORD your God, His greatness, His mighty hand, and His outstretched arm, 3 and His signs, and His works, which He did in the midst of Egypt unto Pharaoh the king of Egypt, and unto all his land; 4 and what He did unto the army of Egypt, unto their horses, and to their chariots; how He made the water of the Red Sea to overflow them as they pursued after you, and how the LORD hath destroyed them unto this day ….

Below is the second paragraph of the Shema Prayer

13 And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto My commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, 14 that I will give the rain of your land in its season, the former rain and the latter rain, that thou may gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and your oil. 15 And I will give grass in thy fields for thy cattle, and thou shalt eat and be satisfied. 16 Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; 17 and the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and He shut up the heaven, so that there shall be no rain, and the ground shall not yield her fruit; and ye perish quickly from off the good land which the LORD gives you. 18 Therefore shall ye lay up these My words in your heart and in your soul; and ye shall bind them for a sign upon your hand, and they shall be for frontlets between your eyes. 19 And ye shall teach them your children, talking of them, when thou sit in thy house, and when thou walk by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou rise up. 20 And thou shalt write them upon the door-posts of thy house, and upon thy gates; 21 that your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, upon the land which the LORD swore unto your fathers to give them, as the days of the heavens above the earth.

At this point the middle paragraph of the Shema ends.

22 For if ye shall diligently keep all this commandment which I command you, to do it, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, and to cleave unto Him, 23 then will the LORD drive out all these nations from before you, and ye shall dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourselves. 24 Every place whereon the sole of your foot shall tread shall be yours: from the wilderness, and Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the hinder sea shall be your border. 25 There shall no man be able to stand against you: the LORD your God shall lay the fear of you and the dread of you upon all the land that ye shall tread upon, as He hath spoken unto you.

It is said that Yehoshua dallied and that is why we never reached in his days Turkey or the Euphrates Border.

Editorial: Let’s set the record straight!

Sometimes we get carried away by the Media and start believing the agenda of the Staff of the Paper, Radio or TV Network. Politicians heard the name Zimmerman and thought him German or Jewish and their Media buddies Jumped on the bandwagon even though he was a Catholic Hispanic involved in an act that ended with the tragic death of a 17 year old high on Hashish (See a Black man blaming the Media ). In Israel we are being told over and over the rights of people who came from various Arab Countries into Eretz Yisrael to have a State for an non-existent people. WHAT DOES THE TORAH TELL US AND WHERE CAN WE LEARN OUR LESSON?

7:1 When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither you go to possess it, and shall cast out many nations before thee, the Hittite, and the Girgashite, and the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; 2 and when the LORD thy God shall deliver them up before thee, and thou shalt smite them; then thou shalt utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor show mercy unto them; 3 neither shalt thou make marriages with them: thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. 4 For he will turn away thy son from following Me, that they may serve other gods; so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and He will destroy thee quickly. 5 But thus shall ye deal with them: ye shall break down their altars, and dash in pieces their pillars, and hew down their Asherim, and burn their graven images with fire. 6 For thou art a holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be His own treasure, out of all peoples that are upon the face of the earth. 7 The LORD did not set His love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people--for ye were the fewest of all peoples--- . 16 And thou shalt consume all the peoples that the LORD thy God shall deliver unto thee; thine eye shall not pity them; neither shalt thou serve their gods; for that will be a snare unto thee. 17 If you shalt say in thy heart: 'These nations are more than I; how can I dispossess them?' 18 You shalt not be afraid of them; thou shalt well remember what the LORD thy God did unto Pharaoh, and unto all Egypt:

When viewed with a Torah outlook the answer is clear that we are not to fear and they should never have been allowed to stay when they fled during the Six Day War nor the keys to the Temple Mount given to them. However, when the people do not observe Torah and violate the cardinal principles of Kashrus, Family Purity and Shabbos so what do we expect other than Vayikra 18:28 “the land will vomit you out”! Wake up my brothers, observe the Mitzvos and turn away from the Yetzer to avoid observance. At worst Rosh Hashanah is in less than six weeks. See also Auschwitz Borders:,7340,L-4407403,00.html

First the original Hebrew then the English Computerized Translation
לא תהליך שלום, תהליך סרק
נתניהו ואבו מאזן נכנסים למשא ומתן רק כדי לא להצטייר כסרבנים. אין בו צורך. יש צורך בהצעת שלום באחריות האמריקאים
חגיגות השמחה על חידוש התהליך מוקדמות מדי משום ש"התהליך" איננו חשוב. אולי פעם הוא היה חשוב משום שהוא היה אמור לברר עמדות, לצמצם פערים, לקדם את נוסחת ההסדר. אלא שבסרט ההוא כבר היינו. העמדות הוצגו. הפערים צומצמו. קווי המתאר של ההסדר ידועים. ג'ון קרי ניסח אותם בכלל לא רע. הם כוללים גם התקרבות לקווי 67' וגם הכרה פלסטינית, לפחות מעשית, במדינת ישראל כמדינת העם היהודי.

- נתניהו מכחיש: לא יהיה משא ומתן על בסיס גבולות 67'
- במסגרת ההסכמות למשא ומתן, ישראל תשחרר אסירים קשים

הנוסחה הזאת מובילה אותנו, פחות או יותר, למתווה קלינטון. לא שתי מדינות, אלא שתי מדינות לשני עמים. הפרטים אינם קדושים. אפשר וצריך לבצע שיפורים, אבל זה הכיוון. כך שאם אין סיכום מוקדם על קווי המתאר - חידוש השיחות הוא עוד בזבוז זמן. לא רק ש"התהליך" לא יוסיף כלום, הוא רק יפגע. הוא יגדיל את התסכול.

בסוף הדרך כל השחקנים על המגרש ירגישו שהם צודקים יותר. הימין יהפוך לימני יותר והשמאל לשמאלני יותר. הפלסטינים, מצדם, יהפכו לעקשנים ולסרבנים יותר. וגרוע מכך, לפי ניסיון העבר, גם כשהאחריות להכשלה או לכישלון היא באופן די ברור על הצד הפלסטיני, הרי שישראל תואשם בהכשלת השיחות.

רק לפני קצת יותר מעשור זו הייתה "נבחרת החלומות" שניהלה את המו"מ. היו שם יוסי שריד ויוסי ביילין ושלמה בן עמי ואחרים. זה לא עזר. המסמך הפלסטיני משיחות טאבה מבהיר שבסוגיית הפליטים הציגו הפלסטינים עמדה שגם רוב מוחלט של השמאל הישראלי לא היה מסוגל לעכל. המסמכים הפלסטיניים המודלפים מהשיחות בעידן אולמרט מוכיחים גם הם שהעמדה הפלסטינית נותרה לא מעשית.

גם היום, מותר להניח, מרצ הייתה דוחה על הסף את העמדה ההיא. היה נייר עמדה אחד ויחיד שבו הציג סאעב עריקאת עמדה מתונה ושפויה. אלא שהעמדה הזו הוצגה לאירופים, ולהם בלבד, חודשים ארוכים לאחר שהשיחות הסתיימו, ועריקאת עצמו הסתייג בכל מכל מהעמדה הזו.

העמדה הפלסטינית אינה מעניקה לישראל פטור מאחריות. לצד העמדות המאוד נועזות שהציגו אהוד ברק ואהוד אולמרט, איש בשעתו, מפעל ההתנחלויות רק התרחב, לא רק בגושים אלא גם בתוככי השטח שמיועד לפלסטינים. חסידי ארץ ישראל השלמה מקווים שהמטרה הושגה ושהם הצליחו לגרור את ישראל למצב שבו אין סיכוי לפתרון שתי המדינות. אם הם צודקים, הרי שמדובר בניצחון פירוס במלוא הדרו.

בימים הקרובים ייפגשו ציפי לבני ועריקאת. נניח שהשניים הללו ידלגו על הברברת המיותרת ויגיעו למקום שאליו הגיעו לבני ואבו עלא לפני חמש שנים. ונניח אפילו שהם יקפצו עוד צעד קדימה, ויגיעו להצעת אולמרט. האם מישהו חושב ברצינות שנתניהו יסכים? האם יש סיכוי שאבו מאזן יגיד היום "כן" להצעה שהוא עצמו סירב לה לפני חמש שנים?

ככל שמדובר במשא ומתן מדיני, תמיד יש הפתעות. אלא שהסיכוי, צריך להודות, שואף לאפס. כך שאין צורך במשא ומתן. חבל על הזמן. יש צורך בהצעת שלום. האמריקאים והאירופים והקווארטט היו יכולים וצריכים להניח אותה על השולחן. קווי המתאר כבר ידועים. המשא ומתן היה צריך להיות על הפרטים, על השלבים, על הביצוע.

זו לא הצעה שתגרום למשבר קשה מנשוא בשני הצדדים. ויתור על רוב השטחים, מצד ישראל, וויתור על פנטזיית השיבה, מצד הפלסטינים, ייתקלו בימין יהודי נחוש ובאופוזיציה פלסטינית, לא רק חמאס, הרבה יותר נחושה.

נתניהו ואבו מאזן נכנסים לתהליך הזה רק כדי לא להצטייר כסרבנים. למרות ההסכמה על חידוש התהליך, שניהם חוששים מהאופוזיציות שלהם יותר מאשר מהקהילה הבינלאומית. שניהם אינם מוכנים לשלם את המחיר הנדרש עבור הסדר. זו תמונת הרקע. צריך להאמין בניסים כדי לחשוב שהתהליך המתחדש, בפעם האלף ואחת, יוביל לפריצת דרך.
היכנסו לעמוד הפייסבוק החדש של מעריב

Not a peace process, idle process
Netanyahu and Abu Mazen entering into negotiations just to seem as conscientious objectors. There is no need. A peace proposal for the Americans.

Celebrating the joy of renewing the process too early because "we think “that process”. Maybe once he was important because he was supposed to find out attitudes, reduce disparities, promote the settlement formula. But the movie is already used. The positions were presented. The gaps have been reduced. The outlines of the arrangement. John Kerry put them isn't all bad. They also include the ' 67 lines and recognition, at least, in the State of Israel as the State of the Jewish people.

Netanyahu denies: negotiation will not be based on the ' 67 borders.
-Within the framework of the agreements to negotiate, Israel will release prisoners difficult.

The formula leads us, more or less, to Clinton. Not two countries, two States for two peoples. The details are not saints. Can and should make improvements, but it's the direction. So if there is a summary on the outlines-renewal of talks is still a waste of time. Not just “that process” adds nothing, he's just hurt. It will increase the frustration.

At the end of all the players on the field will feel they're right. The right becomes left and right to leftist. The Palestinians, on their part, will become stubborn and unimaginative. And worse, according to past experience, as this Chair ... or entrapment campaigns fail to is quite clear on the Palestinian side, Israel charged in brokered the talks.

Just a little over a decade ago was "the dream team" managed as there were Yossi Sarid and Yossi Beilin and Shlomo Ben-Ami and others. It didn't help. The Taba talks Palestinian document clarifies that position the Palestinian refugee status that most of the Israeli left was unable to digest. The Palestinian talks Olmert era exposure proves that the Palestinian position also remains no.

Even today, it is permissible to assume, was Meretz rejects outright the position. There was only one position paper which introduced Saab Erekat was moderate and sane. But this position was presented to Europeans, and they alone, months after the talks ended, Erekat himself disapproves of this position.

The Palestinian position does not provide for an exemption from Israel. Along with the positions of very bold article Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert, at the time, the settlement was expanded not only in but also within the area designated for Palestinians. The entire Israel country advocates hope that the target has been reached and they were able to drag Israel to the point where there's no chance for a two-State solution. If they are right, it is a Pyrrhic victory in all its glory.

In the next few days meet Tzipi Livni, Erekat. Suppose that these two Hidalgo on the unnecessary babbling and where the son and Abu Ala five years ago. And even they will step forward and get suggested Olmert. Does anyone seriously think Netanyahu would approve? Is there any chance that Abu Mazen will say "Yes" to the proposal that he refused her five years ago?

As the political negotiations, there are always surprises. But chances are, you gotta admit, zero. So there is no need for negotiations. A waste of time. Peace proposal is needed. The Americans and Europeans and the Quartet can and should have been placed on the table. The outlines are known. The negotiations should be on the details, on the steps, on the execution.

This is not a crisis that will bear on both sides. Relinquishing most of the occupied territories, Israel and giving up the fantasy, from the Palestinian side, the right face determined opposition and Palestinian Jews, not only Hamas, much more determined.

Netanyahu and Abu Mazen entering this process only to be portrayed as conscientious objectors. Despite the agreement to renew the process, they fear their opposition to the international community. Both of them are not willing to pay the price required. This is the background image. Need to believe in miracles to think that the process of renewal, for the thousandth time, will lead to a breakthrough.

"Rabbi Levi-Yitzchak Schneerson was the father of the Lubavitcher Rebbe of our generation. An outstanding scholar and leading Kabbalist of ther first half of the 20th century, he was the Chief Rabbi of Yekaterinoslav (the major Ukrainian city today called Dniepropetrovsk) until his arrest and exile.
Connections: Seasonal -- 20th of Av (2013: Shabbat, July 26-27) is the 69th Yahrzeit of Rabbi Levi-Yitzchak
The pilot and co-pilot started the engines of the large El Al aircraft and performed all of the routine checks preparatory to takeoff. Also in the cockpit was the flight chief, and sitting behind him was his son, a young man completing secondary/high school and about to be drafted into the Israeli army. As this was an air-freight flight, it was permitted for the crew to bring along a family member.
The plane was on the return leg of a flight to the Far East. The takeoff took place smoothly, as usual. Several hours later it landed, in order to refuel, at its regular stop in Alma Ata (Almaty), the former capital of Kazakhstan. The crew waited patiently in the plane for the fueling process to be completed, in order to take off to home, to Israel.
But then one of the mechanics approached the flight chief. "There is a problem with the door of the plane," he reported, startling all those who heard him.
The chief went to inspect the door himself. Sure enough, there was a problem, and it was so rare that although it was described in the instruction manual, no one had ever heard of it actually occurring.
It meant they would have to remain in Alma Ata for an unknown amount of time.
The crew members took their personal belongings and went to relax in the hotel next to the airport where rooms had been arranged for them until the repairs would be finished. In the process another problem came to light. All the crew had visas for Kazakhstan, but not the son of the flight chief. It didn't occur to anyone that he would need one, and now the local officials were refusing to allow him to leave the airport.
The flight chief had to spend hours on the phone. He requested, pleaded, cajoled, until finally some high-ranking Israeli officials that he was able to involve were able to exert sufficient pressure to obtain for his son a temporary pass.
The chief and his son were at last able to go to the father's room at the hotel. They were completely exhausted. Nevertheless, "We have to tell Eema ('Mom') about the delay," the boy said.
"You are right. Because of all the complications, I never got around to calling her. Let's do it right now," responded his father and picked up the room phone and began the process of placing an international call.
At that point in her life, the chief's wife had already started drawing closer to Judaism. She attended regularly a weekly class in Chasidut being given in her Moshav by a woman from Kfar Chabad (near Tel Aviv). Her husband was careful to respect her new interest, but he himself had made no lifestyle changes at all.
When he told his wife about the unexpected and indefinite delay, her immediate reaction was a groan in frustration. But then, right away, she shifted gear and called out excitedly, "Surely this is from Heaven! Today is the 20th of Menachem-Av on the Jewish calendar, which is the hilula (yahrzeit) date of Rabbi Levi-Yitzchak Schneerson, the father of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, and a great Kabbalist in his own right. And he is buried in Alma Ata!"
The flight chief was already accustomed to hearing tales from his wife about faith and Heavenly supervision. "So what do you want from me?" he asked in a weary, resigned voice.
She explained that the Yahrzeit of a tzaddik (pure, righteous Jew) is a day of great merit and opportunity. Therefore she would be so delighted if her husband and her son would go to the burial site and pray for whatever their hearts desired.
"Forget it," he responded quickly, "I'm much to exhausted for that."
Anyway, in his supervisory position, he needed to be on site. Already his mind was racing over all the problems that had emerged from the broken door and the delay. Meanwhile, the mechanics had reported that this was no simple repair.
After a succession of consultations of El Al's top mechanics at Ben Gurion Airport in Israel, they were forced to conclude that their best option might be to send a whole new substitute door. Every hour of delay was costing them a huge amount of money, as well as damages to their freight customers. Although it was frighteningly expensive to send a plane solely to carry a new door and a technical crew to install it, this was the most practical choice to cut their losses.
Immediately upon receiving confirmation of the decision, the flight chief notified all the crew members that they would have to wait for the special flight from Israel to arrive, and then for the installation of the new door.
As the crew grumbled to each other about how much longer they might have to be stuck there, they were interrupted by the flight chief's sudden - and astonishing - second announcement:
"I and my son are going to visit the grave of Rabbi Schneerson. Does anyone else want to come along?"
He didn't really believe anyone else would want to, but surprisingly, the co-pilot stood up right away and said he would like to go too. His companions stared at him in astonishment.
"My mother has some sort of connection to Chabad," he explained sheepishly, "and a number of times already she has asked me to go to the grave of Rabbi Schneerson one of the times we land in Alma Ata. I haven't done so until now, and this seems like the right opportunity."
After that, one after another stood up, until [nearly] the whole crew signed up for the expedition. They asked someone from the Israeli embassy in the capital for directions, but no one there knew. Finally one diplomat referred them to the local Chabad Center. When they telephoned to enquire, the Chabad rabbi told them he would be happy to guide them to the burial site, and invited them to meet him at Chabad House of Alma Ata. So later that day, after the special flight from Israel arrived, they set out.
After a warm reception including drinks and refreshments, the Chabad rabbi escorted them to the gravesite, helped them to wrap tefillin, and distributed books of Tehillim (Psalms). The crew members each read a few chapters and then murmured their private prayers. When they left the site, they all declared it had been a special, uplifting experience.
The flight chief telephoned his wife as soon as he possibly could. He knew his report would delight her. And indeed, her reaction was saturated with happiness. She also declared with certitude that of course now that they had prayed at the great rabbi's gravesite, the fixing of the door problem will go quickly and smoothly, and very soon they will be in the air to Israel.
Her husband chuckled at the naiveté. He explained that the door problem was quite complicated, so the repair would still take a long time, and they would have to accustom themselves to wait with patience.
His wife replied with even more confidence that while she understands nothing about airplanes, she is convinced that the real reason this rare problem overtook them was in order that he, their son, and the crew would attend the holy site on this day of the Yahrzeit.
"Heaven guided events to get you to go," she insisted, "Now that the goal has been achieved, there is no reason Above for you to have to be stuck there any longer. I'm positive about this."
The flight chief was skeptical - his usual reaction to his wife's faith-based outbursts. But she turned out to be right. Not long after they got back to the hotel, he received word that the door replacement had been accomplished much quicker than anyone had anticipated, and the technical team estimated that their work would be completed shortly.
Just a few brief minutes later, the crew was summoned to return to the airport, board the plane, and prepare for takeoff. "The new door is one hundred percent"' they assured the flight chief.
He glanced at his son and they both smiled. Said the father: "Eema may not know much about airplanes, but we have to admit that she does understand about Divine supervision."
[Source: Translated and adapted by Yerachmiel Tilles from the Hebrew weekly, Sichat Shavua #1335.]
Biographical note:
Rabbi Levi-Yitzchak Schneerson (1878 - 20 Menachmem-Av 1944), father of the Lubavitcher Rebbe of our generation, was considered by the Rebbe Reshab to be one of his three greatest Chassidim. An outstanding scholar and one of the leading Kabbalists of the first half of the 20th century, he was the Chief Rabbi of Yekaterinoslav (a major Ukrainian city, today called Dniepropetrovsk) until his arrest on the day before Passover in 1939. He was sentenced to exile in Kazakhstan, in the village of Chi'ili, where his health rapidly deteriorated. His extensive writings while in exile crammed into the margins of his books, were rescued, smuggled out, and brought to his son in Brooklyn. A number of volumes in the projected multi-volume set called Toldot Levi Yitzchak have already been published.

I am at an age that I am healthy enough to visit my busy children in the prime of their earning period and work pressure but read this article.
Elderly & Chinese Law For American parents it’s very often no more than a fantasy, but it’s now the law in China. By Rabbi Benyamin Blech

Chinese authorities were dismayed that the ancient tradition of reverence for the aged and filial respect for parents was starting to diminish. They considered it a threat to the spiritual core of their society. And so they took startling action.
As reported recently in the New York Times, the Beijing government enacted a law compelling adult children to visit their aging parents. The law, called “Protection of the Rights and Interests of Elderly People,” lays out the duties of children and their obligation to provide for the “spiritual needs of the elderly” in nine specific clauses. Children are required to go home on a frequent basis to see their parents as well as to regularly send greetings and inquire about them. More, to ensure compliance, companies are urged to give their employees enough time off so they can make parental visits.
Officials in a northern Chinese County have gone even further. Leaders are refusing to promote people unless they show sufficient filial piety, hoping they will set a good example to other citizens. Assessors quiz parents, in-laws and spouses about how well they are treated. Complaints from disgruntled relatives are enough to veto a promotion. "If we want to help the public have filial piety, officials should take the lead," said Qi Jinghai, party secretary of Weixian county in Hebei province. He said he believed in the Confucian teaching that filial piety came above other virtues and that those who do not care for their parents cannot be trusted with public affairs.
Granted, these efforts, infringing on personal liberties and imposing legal restraints on private behavior, seem discordant to our democratic society. But they put into sharp focus a troubling aspect of our contemporary culture that has created a climate of indifference, intolerance and often antipathy to the aged. Sociologists have given it a name: ageism. It is the derogatory stereotyping of the elderly, the one form of prejudice overlooked by today's guardians of political correctness even though it takes a far heavier toll than any other form of discrimination.
It is limited to no specific group; eventually everyone becomes its victim merely for the sin of survival.

Botox Generation

Americans worship youth. The Botox generation wants above all to conceal the indicators of age and to camouflage the signs that betray the passage of years, an unrealistic denial of reality which sociologists Taves and Hansen have labeled “the Peter Pan syndrome.” Grandmothers in their eighties persist in calling each other "girls" and try to dress accordingly. Elderly men refer to themselves by the self-demeaning descriptive "boys" and indulge in immature behavior far more appropriate to teenagers to better comply with contemporary values.
Getting old today is almost considered a sin. And with that comes disdain for the wisdom, the learning and the experience of the elderly as well as the gratitude that ought to be their due for all that they have given to the next generation.
Contrast this with the remarkable story the Midrash teaches about the way in which old age was first introduced into this world. The Bible says, "And Abraham was old, stricken in age" (Genesis 24: 1). Previous to this, no one had ever been spoken of with this descriptive. From this the rabbis infer that God introduced old age to the world in response to a special request from our first patriarch. Abraham came before the Lord with a plea. “Master of the Universe, a man and his son walk together and no one knows unto whom to give honor. I beg of you, make a distinction between us.”
In the traditional Jewish view, old age was not a curse but a positive response from God to a human appeal. It answered a need. How else would people know whom to honor? It is God's gift of a visible badge of identification to those who deserve the honor age ought to inspire.
Judaism deals with the problem of age by granting it status. American culture copes with it by denying its existence. In the implicit absurdity of this latter approach lies the reason for its inevitable failure. Peter Pan is a fairy tale; respect for age from others, leading to self-respect, is the only viable alternative.
The Jews and the Chinese, two of the world’s most ancient surviving cultures, share this passion of respect for the aged. Lin Yutang, in her classic work The Importance of Living, perceptively pointed out, “I have found no differences that are absolute between Eastern and Western life except in the attitude toward age. In China, the first question a person asks the other on an official call is: ‘What is your glorious age?’ If he replies apologetically that he is twenty-three or twenty-eight, the other generally comforts him by saying that he still has a glorious future, and that one day he may become old. Enthusiasm grows in proportion as the gentleman is able to report a higher and higher age, and if he is anywhere over fifty, the enquirer drops his voice in humility and respect. People actually look forward to the celebration of their fifty-first birthday.”
The Torah describes the special role assigned to the elderly: “Ask your father, and he will declare unto you, your elders, and they will tell you” (Deuteronomy 32:7). Opportunities to learn from those who have accumulated the wisdom of life were meant to be treasured.
Because we fear the process of aging we distance ourselves from the elderly, and their accumulated wisdom of personal experience. To downgrade and disregard our most important living natural resource is to deprive ourselves of innumerable benefits. We rob ourselves the opportunity to learn from those most fit to teach us. We omit a sense of ancestry, history and roots, and so lose a valuable understanding of ourselves.
The Chinese, as we’ve seen, have chosen to incorporate this concept into law. Jews have a more powerful way to achieve the same end.
The biblical verse dealing with our special responsibility to the elderly reads: “You shall rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of the old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the Lord” ([Lev. 9: 32). Why, the rabbinic commentators ask, does the verse conclude with the words "I am the Lord”? Because God's greatest concern is that in dealing with the helpless elder, "One may shut his eyes as though he has not seen him" (Kiddushin 32b ). Therefore man is reminded, "I am the Lord" – who knows not only the deed of the hand but also the neglect of the heart.
For Jews, it is far more than the law of the land – it is a fundamental law of God’s Torah.

Rabbi Pinchas Winston of the Torah.Org this week brought down in his Drasha the following Story which is good for Perkei Avos (Always Judge they fellow through Merits)
That is why we even have a mitzvah to judge our fellow man to the side of merit (at least up until doing so endangers us or others), as the Talmud explains:
Our Rabbis taught: He who judges his neighbor to the side of merit is himself judged favorably. A story is told of a certain man who descended from the Upper Galilee and who was employed by an individual in the south for three years. On Erev Yom Kippur, he told him, “Give me my wages that I may go and support my wife and children.”
“I have no money,” he answered.
“Give me produce,” he requested.
“I have none,” he replied.
“Give me land.”
“I have none.”
“Give me cattle.”
“I have none.”
“Give me pillows and bedding.”
“I have none.”
[So] he slung his things behind him and went home with a sad heart.
After the Festival his employer took his wages in his hand together with three laden donkeys, one carrying food, another drink, and the third various delicacies, and went to his house. After they had eaten and drunk, he paid him his wages. He said to him, “When you said, ‘Give me my wages,’ and I answered you, ‘I have no money,’ of what did you suspect me?”
“I thought that perhaps you came across cheap merchandise and had purchased it.”
“And when you told me, ‘Give me cattle,’ and I answered, ‘I have no cattle,’ of what did you suspect me?”
“I thought that they may be hired to others.”
“When you asked me, ‘Give me land,’ and I told you, ‘I have no land,’ of what did you suspect me?”
“I thought, perhaps it is leased to others.”
“And when I told you, ‘I have no produce,’ of what did you suspect me?”
“I thought, perhaps they are not yet tithed.”
“And when I told you, ‘I have no pillows or bedding,’ of what did you suspect me?”
“I thought perhaps you had sanctified all your property to Heaven.”
“By the [Temple] service!” he exclaimed, “That is what actually happened! I vowed away all my property because of my son Hyrcanus, who would not learn Torah, but when I went to my colleagues in the south they absolved me of all my vows. And as for you, just as you judged me favorably, so may God judge you favorably.” (Shabbos 127b)

Sometimes you show a bit a respect and quote somebody and they stab you in the back and insult you. I quoted a faceless character named Moshe Kerr who doesn’t have the guts to show his face on Facebook and then he managed to insult the Alaynu Prayer Ending stated by Chachamim and myself. Since his name appeared in by Drasha last week and it is out on the net, I felt that the good that he stated should be left but the character is very pompous. It is great to hide behind a blank or false picture. If I say something with the exception of an error, I stand behind it to back it up.
In a related thing about on-line behavior: Chutzpa of the new generation and on-line ethics somebody added me to a group Hindustani xxx on Facebook. If I was interested in such stuff, I would have searched for it. Confucius he say, “Better to send msg to ‘Friend’ to invite him into joining a group than making him a member.
Last but not least is Facebook itself who puts immodest advertisements on the side of my wall. It is bad enough when I take an article about a Senator monitoring the IRS that the photo published reads stop the IRS but how about a sports and health article that I published which showed muscle bound elderly women in bikinis on a friend’s page besmirching my reputation.

I often write about working out in the gym and health. However, somethings can be faked for you to get you to sign up to plans.

Real documentary on Golani 51 training.,7340,L-4406777,00.html

Once upon a time there was a King named David and he was the Melech of Yisrael:,7340,L-4406742,00.html

For the Children of Noach (Nations of the world) I found a book recommended by a Cherokee Chief Blue Otter

Not for losing weight but for ESS-ESS Mein Kind:,7340,L-4406152,00.html

10 year old visiting an art exhibition injured by rocks:

For 33 centuries Rabbis have been ordained by Oral Questions including myself although at the time I am sure that if given the exam in English I could have passed a written test. However, there is something to be said for a written test in that it sets a certain standard but nobody can argue with the knowledge and credentials of the candidates except for certain politicians in Israel. In the end either you know your stuff or you don’t either you are a Rabbi because you succeeded in passing a test or you are capable of giving a P’sak Din. Is a Rabbi a Posak or not and not that he is great at passing tests in Hebrew.,7340,L-4408676,00.html

Find the Jewish Connection: I wonder if her mother's mother was Jewish or only her mother's father? Catherine Elizabeth Middleton was born at Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading on 9 January 1982, and christened at St Andrew's Bradfield, Berkshire, on 20 June 1982.[10][11]:32 She is the eldest of three children born to Carole (née Goldsmith), a former flight attendant, and Michael Middleton.

Breaking news Israeli Scientists discovered a sensor that shows MD’s where to give a person an epidural shot. This maximizes the effect and reduces errors.

Inyanay Diyoma

One of the stupidest Pork Barrel ever: If this was DC to NYC or Boston to NYC I could see this.

They want an airport for homicide planes and terror supplies:,7340,L-4406567,00.html

Not so smart according to strategic studies professor:

Kerry appears to have achieved some negotiations and some prisoners with blood on their hands being released.

Syrian Rebels make a gain here and it is not their end yet.

Hezballah military wing terminated in Europe:

Thanks to Dina and Miriam - How the Shin Bet, FBI, CIA, NSA, KGB etc. keep tabs of you:

Egypt has problems with their offensive in Sinai:

Syria The New World Wide Jihad Base:,7340,L-4408947,00.html
A longer article shows that Israel is on its own as the McCain types don’t see what Putin and we see about the world Jihad taking over Syria from what was a good group.

Egypt not quite yesterday 9 were killed and already today violence:

Second stabbing in Yerushalayim in a week:,7340,L-4409333,00.html

Musician crosses the line between protest and disgusting anti-Semitism:,7340,L-4409388,00.html

How the Taliban work using suicide children:

Perhaps you will remember more than a year ago I wrote about the lost tribes of Israel and the Cherokee link to Yisrael. The following story is very interesting.

Now for M. Wolfberg’s Good Shabbos Story, “Hero of Israel”

Good Shabbos Everyone.   We read the Shma in this week’s portion Va’Eschanan, as the verse says “Hear O’ Israel, Hashem is our G-d, Hashem is the one and only.” (Devarim 6:4) The Shma is the most important verse in the Torah because it defines the Jewish Nation.   We are a nation which believes that Hashem is the Master of the Universe. Rambam explains this principle of Jewish faith in the following way: “I believe in perfect faith that Hashem is One. There is no unity that is in any way like His, He alone is our G-d -- He was, He is, and He will be.”  (Maimonides’ Principles, Aryeh Kaplan Anthology I, p.30) 
     It is a mitzvah from the Torah to read the Shma twice a day, once at night and once in the morning. Jews also have the custom to read the Shma before going to sleep at night. The mitzvah of reading the Shma two times a day, includes all three paragraphs of the Shma as found in every prayer book. The Great Code of Jewish Law tells us that one should read the Shma intending to fulfill the mitzvah of announcing Hashem’s oneness. (Shulchan Aruch, 61:1) The Shma should be read with fear and trembling. (Ibid) 
      When one looks at the first sentence of the Shma in a Torah scroll, one notices that two letters are larger than the others. The final letters “ayin” of the first word Shma and “dalet” of the last word Echad, are in large print. The Hebrew letters “ayin” and “dalet” spell the Hebrew word “Eyd,” which means ‘witness.’ By reading the Shma, a Jew is testifying to Hashem’s mastery over the world.  The following true if not unbelievable story, told in the first person, illustrates the power of saying the Shma. 
      It was the beginning of a long, hot summer in San Diego. We had left Israel for a few years so that we could return soon with a way to earn a living. Rachel, my wife, was in a nursing program and working. I, Mordechai, was looking for work. Money was tight and nerves were frayed. It was semester break, and we knew we needed to get away for a bit. Leaving the kids with a sitter, we set off in our little, dilapidated car for a drive in the desert mountains near Jamul.
       In the middle of the desert, alongside the road, we saw a fruit and vegetable stand and stopped for some peaches. A crazy bright green and orange jalopy drove up and stopped, too, bad music blasting as two rowdy young men jumped out. One of them wore his hair in dreadlocks, long, matted twists of hair, while his companion chose the other extreme. He looked as if he had shaved off all his hair with a Swiss army knife.
       The dreadlocks didn't look so strange to me. I remembered when I had worn dreadlocks myself not that many years before (I have since become boruch Hashem a Baal Teshuva). So I was the first to reach out. A casual remark about vegetables opened the conversation, and soon we were all talking together about organic produce and other things. Their car had come up from the south, where there was nothing but a bare expanse of desert reaching to the Mexican border. Where could they be coming from?
       The guy with dreadlocks explained that they had spent a few days on the Mexican side of the border as part of a "seed group" helping to set up a Native American spiritual gathering. People were coming from as far away as Canada for a three-day happening. The big attraction was a young Indian chief who was a famous healer and spiritual leader. He invited us to the gathering. No matter how much we told them we couldn't go, the two insisted on drawing us a map. On a napkin they sketched back roads that would take us out to the middle of nowhere on the Mexican side of the border.
       "By tomorrow hundreds of people will be coming," they assured us. "You shouldn't miss it." Then they hopped back into their bright green and orange jalopy and took off.
       Driving home, Rachel and I shared our thoughts. Why did we meet these two men? And why did they insist on drawing us a map after we repeatedly told them we weren't interested? And why was this unusual invitation presented to us just when we most needed to get away from our daily pressures?
       By the time we arrived home, we had agreed to go to the Indian gathering to see if there was some hidden divine plan awaiting us there. We packed the car and bought plenty of food. The next day, after Morning prayers, we set off with our kids and our tent. We drove southeast from San Diego through Tecate, the border town in Mexico. Poverty…lots of dogs…lots of garbage…We followed the marks on the napkin along lonely dirt roads that seemed to stretch out endlessly through the desert.
       Finally, after many hours, we came to a clearing and saw a group assembling for a major gathering. Many tepees and sweat lodges were already set up. About thirty people were there ahead of us, a mixture of Native Americans and Mexicans with a smattering of adventures Anglos looking for the unusual. We heard more Spanish than English.
       Inside a large tent four women were banging rhythms on a drum as big as a dining room table. The drumming went on for hours. We pitched out tent far away, in a remote, beautiful spot, and I walked up to a nearby mountaintop to daven mincha. Then we started a fire, cooked our dinner, and ate under a full moon. The children began to nod off. We tucked them into their sleeping bags and sat near the fire enjoying a quiet cup of coffee under the brilliants stars of the desert sky.
       A middle-aged, heavyset woman in a beaded leather dress entered our campsite. "I'm Minna," she introduced herself in American-accented English. She had seen our campfire and wanted to make sure we had lit it safely. We let her inspect it and she gave us her approval, adding, "You'd be surprised how many people don't know how to built a safe campfire."
       Despite her long, salt-and-pepper braids, her face, illuminated by the glow of the fire, didn't look Indian. We talked for a few minutes, and then Minna said, "Oh, you don't know that I'm Red Feather's mother. Red Feather is in charge of this gathering." Rachel and I were both thinking the same thing. It is that intuition that Jews have when they meet another Jew.
       Finally we asked her. "Yes, I'm Jewish," she said. "And you are, too." Minna was friendly and open. She had grown up as a young girl living on the streets. Then she had married a Native American and joined his tribe. After many years her husband had died, and her son, Red Feather, had grown up to be the new Indian chief and medicine man. He had healing powers and a way of communicating with the spiritual.
        "Does Red Feather know he's Jewish?" we asked. "Yes," Minna replied. "He knows."
       "Does he know anything at all about being Jewish?"
       "No, I never taught him anything," she answered. "I don't know much myself." My wife and I exchanged glances. Perhaps this was the divine plan. "Can we meet Red Feather?"
       "I can't promise," Minna said doubtfully. "He's very busy. But I'll try to connect you." Red Feather had had a recent dream that he considered a prophecy, Minna told us. In his dream, he had seen a twenty-pointed star and he was told to gather many, many people together in this place in the Mexican desert. Right now he was down in the center of the clearing, setting up a large replica of that star on the ground. In the morning, the Native American healing rituals would begin under his direction. Minna stayed a while longer and talked to us by the light of our campfire. She told us about the Native American calendar and we told her about the Jewish calendar, Lahavdil.
        After Minna said good night, I went down to the gathering to find Red Feather. I found him marking off a large circle about twenty meters in diameter. It was surrounded by twenty-eight two meter-high branches, whittled down very straight and smooth. Beside each branch was a pole stuck in the ground with a little sack of tobacco tied on top of it. The poles were connected to each other by a string decorated with feathers.
       Inside the circle, cornmeal was spread over the hard earth with designs drawn in it. The fragrance of burning sage was everywhere. Red Feather was deep in concentration, reconstructing his vision of the twenty-eight-pointed star. I guessed he was in his thirties, a short, very intense man with long, braided, dusty-blond hair. He didn't look Indian either, except in his dress. I walked into his line of vision, knowing not to get too close, and watched him silently.
       I knew Indians. I had taught them in the Alaskan countryside. Indians don't like idle talk. I watched him work and waited for him to be the first to speak. "This star came to me in a vision," Red Feather said at last.
       I replied in tight-jawed, sparse, Indian-style English. "Met your mother," He nodded. "She's Jewish." Again he nodded. "You're Jewish."
       "Yes," he answered.
       "Do you know Shema Yisrael?" I asked.
       "No." "Do you know the Hebrew letters?" "No." "Do you know who Abraham is?" "No." "Moses?"
       "No. I just know a little about the Merkava. I think the star in my vision is like it." He was speaking about the holy chariot seen in a vision by the prophet Yechezkel thousands of years ago. The Merkava is understood only by the greatest Jewish Kabbalists. It rides in worlds that we cannot enter while we are on this earth, and its secrets are among the deepest mysteries that will be revealed to all with the coming of Mashiach.
       I saw that Red Feather liked to work with his hands. He liked to bring the spiritual down into the physical. While he worked, I talked to him about the mitzvahs a man like him would appreciate. I told him about the spirituality of tefillin, tzitzis talis, the city of Jerusalem, and the Holy Temple.
       He listened intently. He wanted to put on my tefillin and was disappointed to hear that it could only be done in the daytime. "Tomorrow there will be a big medicine dance," he said. "We break at noon for fifteen minutes. Is that enough time?"
       "Yes," I answered, "if there is a quiet place nearby where no one will disturb us." Early in the morning before the others woke up, I prayed shacharis. Then we packed up our car. Hundreds of people were awake by then, drumming and dancing to a mind-numbing beat. We heard they'd be sacrificing buffalo hearts on an altar and doing who knows what other idol worship. We needed to get out of there, but I had made my promise to Red Feather. So we kept our children close to the tent and stayed far away from the dangerous, dark rituals.
       At twelve o'clock noon I walked to our meeting place by the star. Red Feather was there. "It's time. Come," I said, tight jawed. Red Feather took the lead and led me down a dusty trail to a secluded area out of view and far enough away to soften the pounding of the incessant drumming. I took the talis and draped it over his head. He repeated the blessing after me. I spoke to him about the ten sefiros, the ten Kabbalistic spheres. Then I took the tefilin out and told him about chesed (kindness), gevura (strength), and tiferes (splendor). Red Feather repeated the Hebrew blessings after me and I tightened the black leather straps on his left hand. Placing the head tefillin on his brow, I told him about chochma (wisdom), bina (understanding), daas (knowledge), and malchus (kingship).
       Then the young Indian chief, wrapped in my talis and tefillin, sat with me on a long rock and we said Shema. I suggested some powerful images for him to keep in mind while he meditated. Then I walked off into the brush, leaving him alone to pray to his Creator as a Jew for the first time. Ten minutes later, Red Feather was still motionless. I gave him another ten minutes.
       Meanwhile, back at my family's campsite, Rachel could hear people calling for Red Feather. Everyone was looking for him. She chuckled. If only they knew what Red Feather was doing right then. I checked on Red Feather again, He was still deep in meditation. Quietly, I sat down beside him. After a few minutes, I began to hum a niggun, a spiritual Jewish melody. Then I recited a psalm. He didn’t move. I told a story about the Baal Shem Tov. He still didn't move.
       Finally Red Feather spoke. He was very shaken. "My ancestors were calling me," he said. "I saw a vision of a woman with her hair covered. I have to learn more! Please stay after all the people leave and teach me more about my people and our way of prayer."
       "I can't stay," I said softly. "The rituals done here are not the ways of the Torah. I must take my wife and children away. Our Creator has brought us together. How are we to know when His plan for us has been completed? Maybe we have accomplished our purpose in each other's lives. I must go."
       Red Feather broke into tears and hugged me. I let him cry for some time. Then I gently took the Tallis and tefillin off him. We walked back to the gathering together and said our good-byes. I made sure to give him my pone number.
       Red Feather never called. Later we moved and our phone number changed. But I know that just as Hashem sent me to Red Feather at that moment in his life, so too will Hashem provide Red Feather with all the help he needs to come back to his people and his heritage. (Editor’s note: All names in the story are fictitious; all the details really happened. The narrator of the story is a resident of Tsfas. The writer, Chana Besser, is also a Tsfas resident.) 
      Let us recite the Shma everyday, twice a day, and cry out our perfect faith in Hashem, the One and Only G-d.
  Good Shabbos Everyone.
M. Wolfberg is sponsored by: Mazal Tov to Reb. and Mrs. Tuvia Wolfberg of Los Angeles, CA, upon the bris of their grandson Yehudah Nissan to their son Avrohom Dovid 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

All the best of health and have a wonderful Shabbos,
Rachamim Pauli