Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Sukkos, Gog & Magog - Armegodden, Parsha Beresheis

As we start Sefer Devarim let me remind you that for those who get my posts direct, if the Drasha does not arrive close to Shabbos Israel time then check www.rabbipauli.blogspot.com

Prayers for Men: Eliezer David HaCohain ben Naomi, Asher ben Esther Malka, Avraham ben Devorah, Zvi Yechezkel ben Leah, Naphtali Moshe ben Tziporah, Shalom Charles ben Gracia, Yoel ben Esther, Zev ben Rachel, Yehonatan ben Malka, Aaron ben Sara Chana, Aharon ben Miriam, Shraga Shlomo ben Sara, Shai Shalom ben Leah Chaya, Zvi ben Chava, Avraham ben Rachel, Shlomo Chaim ben Basya Raizal, Shmuel ben Zahava, Yosef Manus ben Sheina Pesia

Women: Karen Neshama bas Esther Ruth, Chaya Melecha Rachel bas Baila Alta, Rachel bas Chana, Hodaya Nirit bas Mazel, Rivka bas Idit, Kayla Rus bas Chaya Rachel, Tsvia Simcha bas Devorah Yachad, Sara Merkava bas Elisheva, Adina bas Sara, Esther bas Tziporah, Miriam bas Irene Taita Malka, Ruda Itzka Minyan bas Liba, Adele Chaya bas Edva, Marsha bas Raisel,

Svia forwarded this to me from the Aharon family that prays either in Chabad or the other Schul where I am a member of both. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SolGBZ2f6L0&feature=player_embedded

Quote or question of the week: From Sherilyn F. Mexicans worse off, Blacks worse off, jobs cut to part time, has everybody hating on Whites, threatens the elderly and veterans-- who is Obama helping?

A few words on Sukkos, Zos HaBracha on Simchas Torah: The Sukkos festival is one of the Shalosh Regelim that are mentioned in Torah. One comes to the Temple with a Korban Chaggiga. During Sukkos we read Zechariah 14 and on Shabbos Chol HaMoed we read about the war of Gog and Magog in Yechezkel 38:18 until 39:16 and Megilla Koheles (Ecclesiastes) and every day except Shabbos, we use the Lulav and Esrog and daily we pray Hallel and have the Hoshana Ceremony until Hoshana Rabbah when the willow branches are beaten in an ancient gesture for rain for our crops and rivers. It is a symbol of sort of a willow sacrifice of branches. We finish the yearly cycle of reading the Torah and restart with the first chapter of Beresheis followed by the first chapter of Sefer Yehoshua. (Suggested reading Zechariah 12, 14, Yechezkel 38, 39 and Koheles)

Scenario: How Gog and Magog might look (Armageddon)

The picture given by Yechezkel and Zachariah are as follows: Yisrael is living in peace in the land. The walled cities of his time and up to the middle-ages no longer exist. It was the advent of gunpowder and the artillery that put an end to walled cities. Walled forts are obstacles and still hard to conquer and a barrier but not like in the age of the Noviim. This is proof in what they saw was for a far future date.

The pictures that we receive of the war from the Noviim only take into account the conquest of Yerushalayim and not all of Eretz Yisrael. Let us look at the location of the enemy as it exists today. Lebanon and Syria are the main enemies in the north and in this token we have both defenses and offenses. The end result in the days of the Moshiach is going to be Eretz Yisrael up to the Turkish Border and perhaps with Autonomy with the Kurds at the Northern most parts of Syria – Iraq the picture is far from clear to me with the prophecy how we arrange this or with a massive slaughter of the Kurds by Al Qaeda as we have seen signs of this today both from Turkey and from the fighters in Syria.

It is the eastern flank of Eretz Yisrael that I want to write about. The force standing between Yisrael and the Shiites in Iran and Al Qaeda from Iraq are the two Kingdoms mostly Yarden and partially Saudi. There is not a great love of them for Yisrael but for their thrones and the two groups from Iraq and Iran threaten them more than us with Saudi more towards the Iran brand and the Yardenim afraid of both.

Maaseh Avos Siman Le Banim (The deeds of the fathers is a sign aka warning for the sons). Sancheriv came upon Yerushalayim with 185,000 officers that died in one night. In the Israeli Army depending on the unit there is somewhere between 15 and 30 men for each officer or even 1 to 7 for a medical field station. So all in all somewhere between 1,850,000 to 6,000,000 fighting men will attack Yerushalayim. Such a force would empty Yisrael of bullets and shells.

How will the forces converge on Yerushalayim? There are ways to get up to Yerushalayim from the foot of the Golan Heights, Beit Shean area, Har Gilboa area, Schem, Ramallah. However, it seems to me that the attack would come mainly from Ramallah a bit north of the city and the main Yericho-Yerushalayim 4 lane wide highway (aka 2 up and 2 down). (Having just come from a vacation in the Dead Sea one can view the horrible old roads of the British Mandate that have not really been improved on between Ein Gedi and the suburbs of Yericho to the modern highway leading to Maaleh Adumim and Yerushalayim.   

I imagine a large column of troops trying to push up the mountains from Yericho and being shelled in the various dips and valleys but still pressing on. Another force would come from the Schem Road towards Yerushalayim and perhaps a third from the Ramallah direction. The forces prepare to take the new city and Temple Mount via Har HaZayisim (Mt. of Olives) and then boom the most ferocious of earthquakes occur killings tens of thousands of enemies spread out in tanks and forces on the hills of Yehuda and the Shomron walls topple on them the tanks turn over and ignite those that survive flee for they realize WHO is fighting for Yisrael. The Art Scroll Yechezkel talks about this. Gog will say that Pharaoh was a fool in only wanting to kill the males, Haman was a fool tor try to take on all of Israel but I will take on their heavenly PROTECTOR directly and what was started under Communism and Atheism, I will finish. [See can man influence G-D below]. Then HASHEM IN HIS FULL GLORY will deal with Gog and his hoards.   

Another Possibility -Gaza has to become clean after Gog and Magog. In 5769 I wrote: Based on my father’s theory, it does not take major prophecy to know that the Arabs are looking for atomic weapons and other WMD. If the Jews are to be evacuated from the settlements, it most likely means that somewhere in Gaza the critical mass is going to be reached by the Hamas or other terrorists and they accidentally blow themselves off the face of the earth.

Parsha Beresheis

This year I am turning more and more Kabbalistic on the creation of the world. During the past few years I have discussed the creation from more the Science of G-D and it is now time for my readership to upgrade in spirit as the Messianic Period approaches us. The physical world and world order as we know it is about to change drastically. So in order to go into the depth of Kabbala let us review through these links the physical world as we know it.  http://rabbipauli.blogspot.co.il/2008/10/in-beginning-you-decide-beresheis-and.html http://rabbipauli.blogspot.co.il/2008/11/part-2-of-creation-3-good-shabbos.html ... http://rabbipauli.blogspot.co.il/2009/10/parsha-beresheis-starting-in-beginning.html  http://rabbipauli.blogspot.co.il/2010/09/normal-0-false-false-false-en-us-x-none.html  http://rabbipauli.blogspot.co.il/2012/10/parsha-beresheis-big-bang-wscience.html

Long before the start of the initial mass to produce the Big Bang was created from nothing AYN SOF (THE INFINITE ONE, THE EVERLASTING, THE MYSTERIOUS UNKNOW, THE UNLIMITED ONE) ruled alone with HIS 10 Attributes. Keter (The Crown), Chachma (Wisdom), Bina (Understanding), followed by lesser Midos Chessed (Mercy), Gevurah (Force or Severity), Tiferes (Beauty), Netzsach (Victory), Hod (Glory),Yesod (Foundation) and Malchos (Kingship). These coincide with 11 dimensions known to the world of physics but our subject today is Creation. [Many of us did not learn more than 4 dimensions in College. It was around the common year 1979 or ’80 that Dr. Schwartz of Cal. Tech. had articles published in Scientific American that made this concept public knowledge. In Graduate School or Advance Physics people had seen the 1923 paper of the famous Klein Bottle describing the 5th Dimension. As I wrote in my return to Judaism that I discovered phenomena of dreams that one dreamt of the future and then returned to his own time upon awakening. This indicated that the human mind had been elevated above the 4th dimension time either call it ESP, Psychic Phenomena or Prophecy but there was something in the universe that could travel back and forth in time something above the 4th dimension. In fact his indicate cosmic unity being able to go beyond time and three dimensional space into a different time and back. Recently it was discovered that based on the separation of Galaxies from the time of the Big Bang masses of atoms and molecules had to have been transported apart right after the big bang at a speed higher than the speed of light.]

The Zohar writes (in more modern terms) that prior to the big bang the little dot that would be our universe in the darkness the spectrum was place inside by the CREATOR. The Zohar explains the principle of the rainbow and prism containing all light in white light.

I read a little more of the Zohar and realized that until I studied it in depth with the Sulam Commentary to try to explain things in simple terms to the layman, I would start sounding like Philip Berg, who passed away this week, who was writing and writing and not saying too much (Berg was born as Shraga Feivel Gruberger in 1927). The Zohar explains the concept of the six directions of a three dimensional object aka length in two directions, width in two directions and height in two directions. Some other concepts of creation I found interesting but not fully able to understand them on my part. I therefore write this out on my level of understanding. The MYSTERIOUS UNKNOWN put HIS Palace on earth via HIS EMANATION known to us as ELOKIM and the sky by YKVK one being on the left side and the other on the right side but where the universe is the shape of a basketball or football the left and the right are in harmony and relative to the viewer which is left and which is right and part of ONENESS. ELOKIM formed the earth with Gehennom, Sheol and Avadon inside and this was in harmony with Gan Eden for in “it was good”. Why would Gehennom and Death for example be good because man could not declare himself a god like Hiram or Nebuchadnezzar did for man is mortal. Gehennom is a deterrent for the wicked from sinning. When the waters were created with ELOKIM hovering over the face of the deep, there was an emanation of Kael in the lower waters and Kael Elyon aka ELOKIM in the upper waters. The use of the various names of G-D, L-RD, L-RD G-D, ALL MIGHTY, etc. by the Zohar as a particular meaning to help our understanding with praying but starts to become very confusing for simple people who are not real Kabbalist so I left off here (probably as confused as most people are).   

The rest of the explanations of the Creation that I am using come from the Medrash Rabbah on the most part.

1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

When one reads the Zohar with NAMES and the water vapor floating around the primeval earth half gas and half molten molecules with the creation of Gehennom one could mix up if the earth existed within the pin-point of condensed matter or not therefore the Pshat sets us straight into understanding that first the vast space called heavens was created and both dark and other matter expanding from the big bang. In fact physicists are astonished based on the distribution of mass and separation of Galaxies that the beginning movement would have had to be faster than the speed of light. I already explained that having 11 dimensions no matter how minuscule gives the possibility of traveling from time to time even if the theoretical space is the size of a De Broglie Wave.

Mixed all into the creation and the position of the planet is the joining harmoniously of physical and spiritual earth with Avadon, Sheol, Gehennom co-existing with Olam HaZeh (this world) and the various levels of heaven or what we call Olam HaBa. As David HaMelech stated, “The ways of HASHEM are straight and bring joy to the heard!” Chabad translates Tehillim 19:8 as follows: The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul”

In the beginning: Said Rabbi Isaac: It was not necessary to begin the Torah except from “This month is to you,” (Exod. 12:2) which is the first commandment that the Israelites were commanded, (for the main purpose of the Torah is its commandments, and although several commandments are found in Genesis, e.g., circumcision and the prohibition of eating the thigh sinew, they could have been included together with the other commandments). Now for what reason did He commence with “In the beginning?” Because of [the verse] “The strength of His works He related to His people, to give them the inheritance of the nations” (Ps. 111:6). For if the nations of the world should say to Israel, “You are robbers, for you conquered by force the lands of the seven nations [of Canaan],” they will reply, "The entire earth belongs to the Holy One, blessed be He; He created it (this we learn from the story of the Creation) and gave it to whomever He deemed proper When He wished, He gave it to them, and when He wished, He took it away from them and gave it to us.

In the beginning of God’s creation of: Heb. בְּרֵאשִית בָּרָא. This verse calls for a midrashic interpretation [because according to its simple interpretation, the vowelization of the word בָּרָא, should be different, as Rashi explains further]. It teaches us that the sequence of the Creation as written is impossible, as is written immediately below] as our Rabbis stated (Letters of R. Akiva , letter “beth” ; Gen. Rabbah 1:6; Lev. Rabbah 36:4): [God created the world] for the sake of the Torah, which is called (Prov. 8:22): “the beginning of His way,” and for the sake of Israel, who are called (Jer. 2:3) “the first of His grain.” But if you wish to explain it according to its simple meaning, explain it thus: “At the beginning of the creation of heaven and earth, the earth was astonishing with emptiness, and darkness…and God said, ‘Let there be light.’” But Scripture did not come to teach the sequence of the Creation, to say that these came first, for if it came to teach this, it should have written: “At first (בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה) He created the heavens and the earth,” for there is no רֵאשִׁית in Scripture that is not connected to the following word, [i.e., in the construct state] like (ibid. 27:1):“In the beginning of (בְּרֵאשִית) the reign of Jehoiakim” ; (below 10:10)“the beginning of (רֵאשִׁית) his reign” ; (Deut. 18:4)“the first (רֵאשִׁית) of your corn.” Here too, you say בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אלֹהִים, like בְּרֵאשִׁית בְּרֹא, in the beginning of creating. And similar to this is, “At the beginning of the Lord’s speaking (דִּבֶּר) to Hosea,” (Hos. 1:2), i.e., at the beginning of the speaking (דִּבּוּרוֹ) of the Holy One, Blessed be He, to Hosea, “the Lord said to Hosea, etc.” Now if you say that it came to teach that these (i.e., heaven and earth) were created first, and that its meaning is: In the beginning of all, He created these-and that there are elliptical verses that omit one word, like (Job 3:9): “For [He] did not shut the doors of my [mother’s] womb,” and it does not explain who it was who shut [the womb]; and like (Isa. 8:4): “he will carry off the wealth of Damascus,” and it does not explain who will carry it off; and like (Amos 6:12): “or will one plow with cattle,” and it does not explain: “if a man will plow with cattle” ; and like (Isa. 46: 10): “telling the end from the beginning,” and it does not explain that [it means] telling the end of a matter from the beginning of a matter-if so, [if you say that Scripture indicates the order of creation] be astounded at yourself, for the water preceded, as it is written: “and the spirit of God hovered over the face of the water,” and Scripture did not yet disclose when the creation of water took place! From this you learn that the water preceded the earth. Moreover, the heavens were created from fire and water. Perforce, you must admit that Scripture did not teach us anything about the sequence of the earlier and the later [acts of creation]. God’s creation of the heavens and the earth: But it does not say “of the Lord’s creation of” (i.e., it should say “of the Lord God’s creation of” as below 2:4 “on the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven”) for in the beginning it was His intention to create it with the Divine Standard of Justice, but he perceived that the world would not endure; so He preceded it with the Divine Standard of Mercy, allying it with the Divine Standard of Justice, and that is the reason it is written: “on the day the Lord God made earth and heaven.”
2 Now the earth was unformed and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters.

There was only water covering the primeval earth ELOKIM was above the earth, steam and water which was in space in the form of ice condensing into bodies. The mass of the planet was in the center and under the water. At this point everything is joined together above the earth. At this point the earth is floating in the primeval light of creation cooling off there is not sun or moon at this point. Per Kabbalah the Throne of G-D is in harmony between ELOKIM and YUD KAY VAV KAY on top of the planet.

astonishingly empty: Heb. תֹהוּ וָבֹהוּ. The word תֹהוּ is an expression of astonishment and desolation, that a person wonders and is astonished at the emptiness therein. astonishingly empty: Astordison in Old French; [étourdissement in modern French], astonishment. בֹהוּ an expression of emptiness and desolation. (This does not appear in all editions.)בֹהוּ: on the face of the deep: on the face of the waters which were on the earth. and the spirit of God was hovering: The Throne of Glory was suspended in the air and hovered over the face of the water with the breath of the mouth of the Holy One, blessed be He and with His word, like a dove, which hovers over the nest, acoveter in Old French, to cover, hover over.

3 And God said: 'Let there be light.' And there was light.

We say there is no early and no late in Torah and the light was created most likely before the stars and earth condensed neither is there time as we know it for the earth was not rotating around the sun ,until the 4th day and then we beginning perhaps a zero time for the earth and sun.

4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.

And God saw the light that it was good, and God separated: Here too, we need the words of the Aggadah: He saw it that it was not proper for the wicked to use it; so He separated it for the righteous in the future. According to its simple meaning, explain it as follows: He saw it that it was good, and it was unseemly that it [light] and darkness should serve in confusion; so He established for this one its boundary by day, and for that one its boundary by night.

Good for even Gehennom which was created is called good as it warns the wicked to watch out and repent and therefore stopping sin and building up Teshuva which is good for the world and for the end of creation which is mankind.

5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

One day: According to the sequence of the language of the chapter, it should have been written, “the first day,” as it is written regarding the other days, “second, third, fourth.” Why did Scripture write “one” ? Because the Holy One, blessed be He, was the only one in His world, for the angels were not created until the second day. [i.e., יוֹם אֶחָד is understood as ‘the day of the only One’] So is it explained in Genesis Rabbah (3:8).

6 And God said: 'Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.'

Let there be an expanse: Let the expanse be strengthened, for, although the heavens were created on the first day, they were still moist, and they solidified on the second [day] from the rebuke of the Holy One, blessed be He, when He said, “Let there be an expanse.” This is what Scripture says (Job 26:11): “The pillars of the heavens trembled” the entire first day, and on the second day: “They were astonished by His rebuke,” like a person who stands in astonishment because of the rebuke of the one who frightens him. [Genesis Rabbah 12:10] in the midst of the water: In the middle of the water (Targum), for there is a separation between the upper waters and the expanse, as there is between the expanse and the waters that are on the earth. Behold you have learned that they are suspended by the word of the King. — [Gen. Rabbah 4:3]

In past years we have explained that the upper waters, ice, gathered together to form comets which would separate while the earth was passing through space and the lower waters were oceans, vapors and clouds with no dry land at this time.

7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so.

And God made the expanse: He fixed it upon its base, which is [what is meant by] “making” it; as [in the verse] (Deut. 21:12):“and she shall ‘do’ her nails,” וְעָשְׂתָה. above the expanse: It does not say, “on the expanse,” but “above the expanse,” because they [the waters] are suspended in the air (Mid. Ps. 19:4). Now why does it not say, “that it was good” on the second day? Because the work involving the water was not completed until the third day, although He commenced it on the second day, and an unfinished thing is not in its fullness and its goodness; and on the third day, when He completed the work involving the water and He commenced and completed another work, He repeated therein “that it was good” twice (sic): once for the completion of the work of the second day and once for the completion of the work of that [third] day. — [Gen. Rabbah 4:6]

8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.

The word “good” does not appear and there is a reason. The reason being that not every separation is good and perhaps at this point day two the creating was not finished and only on day three it became “Tov Meod” or “very good” when the completion of this section of creation finished.

And God called the expanse heaven: Heb. שָׁמַיִם [This is a combination of the words מַיִם שָׂא, bear water (Gen. Rabbah 4:7); שָׁם מַיִם, there is water; אֵשׁ וּמַיִם, fire and water. He mingled them with one another and made the heavens from them (Chag. 12a).

9 And God said: 'Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear.' And it was so.

The Hebrew implies the land mass together in one place and this one giant continent is what our scientist tell us. At this point all the seas aka oceans are one so Rashi in perspective is not off but in the physical aka geological terms he is not describing it as scientists see it as the Mediterranean as we know it today came when Europe  moved away or split from Asia and Africa. Rashi however, is describing the spiritual power of the Mediterranean and that is why 3 religions Judaism and Eastern and Western Christianity have their base in the Mediterranean. Islam the copy-cat of the others has its base elsewhere as does the eastern religions.

Let the water…gather: They were spread out over the surface of the entire earth, and He gathered them in the ocean, [the Mediterranean], which is the largest of all the seas. — [from Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer, ch. 5; Gen. Rabbah 5:2]

10 And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters called He Seas; and God saw that it was good.

He called seas: But is it not one sea? However, the flavor of a fish that comes up from the sea in Acre differs from the flavor of a fish that comes up from the sea in Spain. — [from Ekev 39]

This first good is the completion of what was started on day two.

11 And God said: 'Let the earth put forth grass, herb yielding seed, and fruit-tree bearing fruit after its kind, wherein is the seed thereof, upon the earth.' And it was so.

Let the earth sprout vegetation, seed yielding herbs: דֶּשֶׁא does not have the same meaning as עֵשֶׂב, and עֵשֶׂב does not have the same meaning as דֶּשֶׁא. And it would have been inappropriate for the Scriptural text to use the expression, תַּעֲשִׂיב הָאָרֶץ (let the earth bring forth herbs), for there are various species of דֶּשֶׁא, each one by itself which is called a particular עֵשֶׂב. And it would not be the correct term for the speaker to say, “such-and-such a דֶּשֶׁא,” because the term דֶּשֶׁא applies to the earth’s covering, when it is filled with vegetation. Let the earth sprout: Let it be filled and covered with a mantle of herbs. In Old French, דֶשֶׁא is called erbediz, herbage, all in a mixture, whereas each root individually is called עֵשֶׂב. seed-yielding: That its seeds should grow in it from which to sow elsewhere. fruit trees: That the taste of the tree should be like the taste of the fruit. It [the earth] did not do so, however, but “the earth gave forth, etc., trees producing fruit,” but the trees themselves were not fruit. Therefore, when man was cursed because of his iniquity, it [the earth] too was punished for its iniquity (and was cursed-not in all editions). - [from Gen. Rabbah 5:9] in which its seed is found: These are the kernels of every fruit, from which the tree grows when it is planted.

The earth was to be cursed in the future because the bark, leaves and wood was originally supposed to be designed to be ingested by mankind and taste like the fruit but when it gave forth the grass and trees we got what we have today including poison ivy and even deadly plants so than when man sinned the curse also applied here and this is the essence of what Rashi is pointing out above and the source has he noted is the Medrash. (Poison Ivy etc. is my own examples)

12 And the earth brought forth grass, herb yielding seed after its kind, and tree bearing fruit, wherein is the seed thereof, after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

And the earth gave forth, etc.: Even though לְמִינֵהוּ. “according to its kind,” was not said regarding the herbs when they were commanded [to grow], they heard that the trees were commanded thus, and they applied an a fortiori argument to themselves, [a קַל וָחוֹמֶר -from the minor to the major], as is explained in the Aggadah of Tractate Chullin (60a).

Most of our homeopathic medications and advice on dealing with health issues comes from these herbs it is still today good.

13 And there was evening and there was morning, a third day. 14 And God said: 'Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years;

Let there be luminaries, etc.: They were created on the first day, and on the fourth day, He commanded them to be suspended in the sky, and likewise, all the creations of heaven and earth were created on the first day, and each one was fixed in its proper place on the day that was decreed upon it. That is why it is written:“with the heavens (אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם) to include their products,”and with the earth (וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ)," to include its products. — [Gen. Rabbah 1:14]Let there be luminaries: Heb., יְהִי מְאֹרֹת It [the word, מְאֹרֹת is written without a “vav,” [thus, the word can be מְאֵרֹת meaning curses] because it [the fourth day] is a cursed day when children become ill with croup. This is what we learned (Ta’anith 27b): “on the fourth day [of the week], they [the men of the ma’amad] would fast so that children should not become ill with croup.”  to separate between the day and between the night: (This happened) after the first light was hidden away, but during the seven (another reading: during the three) days of Creation, the primordial light and darkness served together, both by day and by night. — [Medrah Yelammedenu , as quoted in Yalkut Shim’oni] According to the Ramban and early editions of Rashi , it appears that the reading, “during the seven days of Creation,” is the authentic reading. Ramban , however quotes the Genesis Rabbah , which states that the original primordial light served only during the first three days, until the sun and the moon were suspended in the sky. After that, the primordial light was hidden away, as in Rashi to verse 4. Note also that several early manuscripts and printed editions of Rashi read: “but in the seven days of Creation, the primordial light and darkness served, this one by day and this one by night.” This is also the reading of Mizrachi , and it appears more accurate than our reading, because, in fact, the light and the darkness did not serve together, as Rashi explains in verse 4.] and they shall be for signs: When the luminaries are eclipsed, it is an unfavorable omen for the world, as it is said (Jer. 10:2): “and from the signs of the heaven be not dismayed, etc.” When you perform the will of the Holy One, blessed be He, you need not fear retribution. — [from Succah 29a] and for appointed seasons: This refers to the future, when the Israelites are destined to be commanded concerning the festivals and they [the festivals] are reckoned from the first phase of the moon. — [from Gen. Rabbah 6:1]. and for days: The sun serves for half a day, and the moon for half of it, so that you have a full day. and years: At the end of 365 days (other editions: and a 1/4 of a day) they complete their revolution through the twelve constellations of the zodiac, which serve them, and that constitutes a year. (Other editions read: and that is 365 and 1/4 days), and they return and start a second time to revolve on the sphere like their first revolution.

As Rashi explains it took much time until the earth condensed and floating in space was captured in an order around the sun and the moon captured around the earth. At this point when we have a sun and a moon it is possible to measure time as we do now. Without the sun and only star light we have no difference between day and night.

15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth.' And it was so.

And they shall be for luminaries: In addition, they will serve in this function, viz. to shed light upon the world.

16 And God made the two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; and the stars.

the two great luminaries: They were created equal, but the moon was made smaller because it brought charges and said, “It is impossible for two kings to use the same crown.” - [from Chullin 60b] Rashi (ad loc.) explains that this derash is based on the discrepancy of the two expressions, “the two great luminaries,” which intimates that the moon was a great luminary, and “the lesser luminary,” which intimates that the moon was smaller than the sun. To reconcile this difference, the Rabbis asserted that the moon was originally created equal to the sun, but, because of its complaint that the sun wielded the same power that it wielded, it was forced to relinquish that power. and the stars: Because He diminished the moon, He increased its hosts, to appease it. - [from Gen. Rabbah 46:4 and Chullin 60b] i.e., The stars serve as the entourage of the moon. When it comes out, they accompany it, and when it sets, they too set. [Gen. Rabbah ad loc.]

A beautiful poetic like Medrash.

17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day. 20 And God said: 'Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let fowl fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.'

living creatures: That there should be life in them. a swarming: Heb. שֶׁרֶץ. Every living thing that is not much higher than the earth is שֶׁרֶץ; among the winged creatures, such as flies; among the insects, such as ants, beetles, and worms; and among the [larger] creatures, such as the weasel, the mouse, the lizard, and their like, and so [among] the fishes. [Note that in most early editions and mss., the reading is וְכָל הַדָּגִים, and all the fishes (and not וְכֵן הַדגָּים).]

The first animals created were water then land creatures. It was the invertebrate world of snails, crabs, shell fish and insects which would be combined with fish reptiles and amphibians. The order is stated by scientists but this was a “day” or part of creation. The Zohar states “G-D created many worlds and destroyed them before coming to our current world.” Theoretically it could have been that the dinosaurs were more intelligent that we think but their service to HASHEM was not in the way that please HIM so they were wiped out. The only indication that we as men are better off is that Noach was pleasing before HASHEM. In Chapter 6 of this week’s Parsha we have an indication of this point about wanting to destroy all flesh again: 5 And the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And it repented the LORD that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart. 7 And the LORD said: 'I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and creeping thing, and fowl of the air; for it repents Me that I have made them.' 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. So one Tzaddik managed to save the whole world and removed the evil decree that would have befallen all creation.

21 And God created the great sea-monsters, and every living creature that creep, wherewith the waters swarmed, after its kind, and every winged fowl after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

the…sea monsters: The great fish in the sea, and in the words of the Aggadah (B.B. 74b), this refers to the Leviathan and its mate, for He created them male and female, and He slew the female and salted her away for the righteous in the future, for if they would propagate, the world could not exist because of them. הַתַּנִינִם is written. [I.e., the final “yud,” which denotes the plural, is missing, hence the implication that the Leviathan did not remain two, but that its number was reduced to one.]- [from Gen. Rabbah 7:4, Midrash Chaseroth V’Yetheroth, Batei Midrashoth, vol 2, p. 225]. living creature: a creature in which there is life.

That these animals if guided by mankind could serve the purpose of raising the mundane to the spiritual and holiness upon this planet – we leave the Sukkah with a statement that we should merit the Sukkah of the skin of the Leviathan in the days of the Moshiach.

22 And God blessed them, saying: 'Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.'

And…blessed them: Because [people] decimate them and hunt them and eat them, they required a blessing; and the beasts also required a blessing, but because the serpent was destined to be cursed, He did not bless them, lest he [the serpent] be included. — [from Gen. Rabbah 11:3, Midrash Tadshe 1] Be fruitful: [The word פְּרוּ is derived from פְּרִי, fruit, meaning produce fruits. and multiply: If He had said only, “Be fruitful,” one would beget one and no more.“And multiply” was therefore said so that one could beget many.

23 And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day. 24 And God said: 'Let the earth bring forth the living creature after its kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after its kind.' And it was so.

Let the earth bring forth: That is what I explained [verse 14] that everything was created on the first [day], and they required only to be brought forth. — [from Tanchuma Buber, Bereishith 1] living creatures: which have life. (See above, verse 20.) and creeping things: These are the creeping things, which are low and crawl upon the earth and appear as if they are dragging along, because their movement is not discernible. Every expression of רֶמֶשׁ or שֶׁרֶץ [is translated] in our language [Old French] as conmovres , crawling creatures.

With certain exceptions of birds, certain fish and crocodiles, the link between the young and the parents are essentially nil. However, the creation of mammals provides a bodily link between the mother and the younglings. It is this bond that makes wolf packs, lion prides and herds of sheep and cattle while the other creatures created previously upon growing have no bond whatsoever upon reaching adulthood.

25 And God made the beast of the earth after its kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

And… made: He fixed them in their complete form, and in their full stature. — [from Rosh Hashanah 11a, Chullin 60a]

What creeps here are rodents in their variations who are close to the ground. 

26 And God said: 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.'

Let us make man: From here we learn the humility of the Holy One, blessed be He. Since man was created in the likeness of the angels, and they would envy him, He consulted them. And when He judges kings, He consults with His Heavenly household, for so we find regarding Ahab, that Micah said to him, (I Kings 22:19): “I saw the Lord seated on His throne, and all the host of heaven were standing by Him, on His right and on His left.” Now do “left” or “right” apply to Him ?! But rather, [the passage means that] these [angels] were standing on the right to defend, and these [angels] were standing on the left to prosecute. Likewise, (Dan. 4:14): “By the decree of the destructive angels is the matter, and by the word of the holy ones is the edict.” Here too, He took counsel with His heavenly household. He said to them, “Among the heavenly beings, there are some in My likeness. If there are none in My likeness among the earthly beings, there will be envy among the creatures of the Creation. ” - [from Tanchuma, Shemos 18; Gen. Rabbah 8:11, 14:13] Let us make man: Even though they [the angels] did not assist Him in His creation, and there is an opportunity for the heretics to rebel (to misconstrue the plural as a basis for their heresies), Scripture did not hesitate to teach proper conduct and the trait of humility, that a great person should consult with and receive permission from a smaller one. Had it been written: “I shall make man,” we would not have learned that He was speaking with His tribunal, but to Himself. And the refutation to the heretics is written alongside it [i. e., in the following verse:]“And God created (וַיִּבְרָא) ,” and it does not say,“and they created וַיִּבְרְאוּ.” - [from Gen. Rabbah 8:9] in our image: in our form. after our likeness: to understand and to discern. and they shall rule over the fish: Heb. וְיִרְדּוּ This expression contains both the meaning of ruling and the meaning of subservience. If he merits, he rules over the beasts and over the cattle. If he does not merit, he becomes subservient to them, and the beast rules over him. — [from Gen. Rabbah 8:12]

There is another concept of the 72 letter NAME consulting HIS on aspects in the other NAMES SUCH AS YKVK, SHAKKAI (K=D), ADON…, ELOKIM and the combinations with such as Chessed in Chessed, Gevurah in Chessed, etc. of each NAME. From this came out Adam the physical image of all this built a Siamese Twin with his mate, Chava. Man became a combination of physical and spiritual which raised him higher than the animals. For they have the animal soul(s) and mankind has Nefesh ELOKIM within himself and provides a place for the Shechina to rest upon when he is on the correct level.  

 27 And God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.

And God created man in His image: In the form that was made for him, for everything [else] was created with a command, whereas he [man] was created with the hands (of God), as it is written (Ps. 139:5): “and You placed Your hand upon me.” Man was made with a die, like a coin, which is made by means of a die, which is called coin in Old French. And so Scripture states (Job 38:14): “The die changes like clay.” - [from Letters of Rabbi Akiva , second version; Mid. Ps. 139:5; Sanh. 38a] And God created man in His image: In the form that was made for him, for everything [else] was created with a command, whereas he [man] was created with the hands (of God), as it is written (Ps. 139:5): “and You placed Your hand upon me.” Man was made with a die, like a coin, which is made by means of a die, which is called coin in Old French. And so Scripture states (Job 38:14): “The die changes like clay.” - [from Letters of Rabbi Akiva , second version; Mid. Ps. 139:5; Sanh. 38a] And God created man in His image: In the form that was made for him, for everything [else] was created with a command, whereas he [man] was created with the hands (of God), as it is written (Ps. 139:5): “and You placed Your hand upon me.” Man was made with a die, like a coin, which is made by means of a die, which is called coin in Old French. And so Scripture states (Job 38:14): “The die changes like clay.” - [from Letters of Rabbi Akiva , second version; Mid. Ps. 139:5; Sanh. 38a] male and female He created them: Yet further (2:21) Scripture states: “And He took one of his ribs, etc.” The Midrash Aggadah (Gen. Rabbah 8:1, Ber. 61a, Eruvin 18a) explains that He originally created him with two faces, and afterwards, He divided him. The simple meaning of the verse is that here Scripture informs you that they were both created on the sixth [day], but it does not explain to you how they were created, and it explains [that] to you elsewhere. — [from Baraitha of the Thirty Two Methods , Method 13]

This is the Siamese Twin effect or back to back.

28 And God blessed them; and God said unto them: 'Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that creeps upon the earth.'

and subdue it: The“vav” [in וְכִבְשֻׁהָ is missing, [allowing the word to be read וְכִבְשָׁה, the masculine singular imperative] to teach you that the male subdues the female that she should not be a gadabout (Gen. Rabbah 8:12), and it is also meant to teach you that the man, whose way it is to subdue, is commanded to propagate, but not the woman (Yev. Yev. 65b).

When one keeps the Mitzvos and behaves like a Ben Adam, the animals respect him and will not attack him. As shown in the Sefer Daniel 6:17 Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spoke and said unto Daniel: 'Thy God whom thou servest continually, He will deliver thee.' 18 And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel. 19 Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting; neither were diversions brought before him; and his sleep fled from him. 20 Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. 21 And when he came near unto the den to Daniel, he cried with a pained voice; the king spoke and said to Daniel: 'O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?' 22 Then said Daniel unto the king: 'O king, live for ever! 23 My God hath sent His angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, and they have not hurt me; forasmuch as before Him innocence was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.';  however, if not done for the sake of heaven then: 25 And the king commanded, and they brought those men that had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and they had not come to the bottom of the den, when the lions had the mastery of them, and broke all their bones in pieces. Thus if you act the way you were created for you will be protected from wild beasts. If not and you act in a physical manner then you will be treated like the nature of physical world. [The same applies to Astrology – if you act spiritually you can over-come bad mazel and if you act physically then the mazel affects you. For Example – your stars say that you are going to have trouble with a foot, toe or hand and if you are worthy only the tip of your finger or toe nail will crack but if not you will have something worse happen to you via the outside influences. This is why we are told that there is no mazel Le Yisrael but as for the Goyim that is a different story.

29 And God said: 'Behold, I have given you every herb yielding seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed--to you it shall be for food; 30 and to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creeps upon the earth, wherein there is a living soul, [I have given] every green herb for food.' And it was so.

it will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth: He equated cattle and the beasts to them [to man] regarding the food [that they were permitted to eat]. He did not permit Adam and his wife to kill a creature and to eat its flesh; only every green herb they were all permitted to eat equally. When the sons of Noah came, He permitted them to eat flesh, as it is said (below 9:3): “Every creeping thing that is alive, etc.” Like the green herbs, which I permitted to the first man, I have given you everything. — [from Sanh. 59b]

31 And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

the sixth day: Scripture added a “hey” on the sixth [day], at the completion of the Creation, to tell us that He stipulated with them, [“you were created] on the condition that Israel accept the Five Books of the Torah.” [The numerical value of the “hey” is five.] (Tanchuma Bereishies1). Another explanation for “the sixth day” : They [the works of creation] were all suspended until the “sixth day,” referring to the sixth day of Sivan, which was prepared for the giving of the Torah (Shab. 88a). [The “hey” is the definite article, alluding to the well-known sixth day, the sixth day of Sivan, when the Torah was given (ad loc.).]

 "A Sukkot Thought" September 18, 2013- 15th Tishrei
Yom Kippur is the climax of the year. Yet, this awe inspiring and decisive day on which our destinies are sealed is not a goal in itself. The period starting in the month of Elul is one of intense spiritual preparation, then comes Yom Kippur as a means to purify ourselves through fasting, meditation and prayers. It is only in such a state of inner peace, resulting form the spiritual cleansing which we underwent and the high moral standard which we reached, that we are fit to celebrate Sukkot, the preeminent Festival of Joy. "You shall rejoice in your feast" (Deuteronomy 16,14).

We celebrate the joy of benefiting by Divine miraculous protection, symbolized by the tabernacle (Sukkah), a prominent feature during the Exodus from Egypt, and during the stay of our people in the arid and inhospitable desert. This protection continued through all the generations by virtue of our consecration as the chosen people. We also celebrate the joy of considering ourselves worthy of this election, worthy of being faithful subjects of the Eternal G-d, instrumental to the revelation of His glory. Inasmuch as we are still under the purifying influence of Yom Kippur, we feel the happiness of forever enjoying the benefit of the inexhaustible
source of Divine kindliness.

The feast of Sukkot also marks our absolute trust in the Providence to
which we subject ourselves. We leave our comfortable home for a fragile temporary hut, just in the beginning of the cool autumn weather when one appreciates the warmth inside. By this act, we exemplify the transient nature of the material assets of this world, which we have to leave sooner or later, and of the vanity of human power and pride. By entering the Sukkah and organizing our life in it, we put into practice our realization of the insubstantiality of material acquisitions, and man's material status on the one hand, and the value of trust in G-d and of the spiritual values of the Torah on the other.

We immerse in the realm of faith, of truth, of true life, of freedom, for "only he is free who puts all is concern in the Torah" (Ethics of the Fathers, Chap. 6,1). "Extend over us Your Sukkah (protection) of peace."  We pronounce this prayer every evening, when the night starts, when the darkness of vanity and falsehood conceals everything, giving the impression that man is almighty and that our success and happiness depend on our own power. We aspire to true peace of mind, which can only be acquired from faith in divine omnipotence and through studying and practicing the Torah. He who bases his life on the Torah, frees himself from the enslaving urges and from the chains of this world.

The pursuit of worldly possessions inevitably creates conflicting interests
and competition, leading to disunion and dissension. On the other hand, aspiration to spiritual riches based on love of the Al-mighty Creator, and of our brothers and sisters, leads to peace and harmony, for these spiritual riches are available unlimited to all those who seek them. 

So, if you build a Sukkah this year, be sure to invite guests to share your joy and this great mitzvah, "During these seven days you must live in thatched huts, so that future generations will know that I sheltered the Israelites in thatched huts when I brought them out of Egypt" (Lev. 23:42-43, Aryeh Kaplan translation). 
If you don't have one of your own, try to be a guest in someone else's, or become a part of a community Sukkah. It is well worth the experience. Give yourself a spiritual high that will stay with you forever.
Sources: Deuteronomy 16,14, Ethics of the Fathers, Chap. 6,1,  Lev. 23:42-43, Aryeh Kaplan translation, A.Hassan.

"Chag Sameach"
"L'shanah tovah tikatev v'taihatem" ("you should be written and inscribed for a good New Year")

In 1603, imprisoned for secretly practicing Judaism, Sebastian Rodriguez built a sukkah.

Throughout our long history, Jews have overcome all sorts of obstacles to observe the mitzvah of sukkah. But perhaps one of the most striking instances of the Jewish people’s love for this mitzvah – and determination to fulfill it at all costs – is the sukkah that was built in Mexico City in the year 1603 by a crypto-Jew named Sebastian Rodriguez.
Rodriguez had been arrested by the Inquisition for committing the crime of Judaizing – practicing Judaism in secret – and was sitting in jail. With Sukkot fast approaching, he decided to do the impossible: Build a sukkah. In prison. Under the eyes of his jailers, agents of the Spanish Inquisition.
There was only one question: How on earth was he going to do it?

A Precarious World

The fragile, temporary sukkah is supposed to remind us that life is transient. Our homes, our jobs, even our entire way of life, can be uprooted in the blink of an eye. The Jews of Spain learned that difficult lesson in the year 1391, when angry peasant mobs went on a rampage. By the time the rebellion was stopped, almost every Jewish community in Spain had been destroyed. Thousands of Jews were killed, and tens of thousands were forcibly baptized.
Many of these “New Christians,” who are also known as crypto-Jews or Anusim (the forced ones), only pretended to be good Christians. In their hearts, they still considered themselves to be Jews, and behind closed doors they continued to secretly practice their Jewish religion.
In some places, at least in the early years of the 15th century, their allegiance could be displayed more openly. Some crypto-Jews continued to go to family celebrations, and they even celebrated the Jewish holidays with their still-Jewish family and friends.
They also could see firsthand what the Church was doing to harass and oppress Spain’s dwindling Jewish population, since the Church hoped that poverty and degradation would convince these remaining Jews to abandon their faith. Therefore, many Anusim – who were able to keep their jobs and their wealth because they were Christians, even if in name only – tried to help. Before Sukkot, for example, some Anusim women would lend out their expensive fabrics and rugs to decorate the sukkahs in the Jewish ghetto. They would even lend their fine dresses and jewels to impoverished Jewish women.
The visit had nothing to do with the Jewish commandment to dwell in the sukkah – or so the Anusim said to outsiders.
During the holiday, Anusim would visit the sukkahs, and it certainly helped that medieval cities were very small. Should anyone question them, the Anusim would reply that they just happened to be passing by and were curious to see the little booths. Once they were inside, they accepted the offer to have some refreshments. But the visit had nothing to do with the Jewish commandment to dwell in the sukkah – or so the Anusim said to outsiders.
Those Anusim who wished to build their own sukkah would usually go out to a nearby field and build it there. If they were questioned, they again had a ready answer: They put up the booths because they heard that bad weather was coming.
This open contact between the two communities continued until 1478, when a new blow befell the Anusim: the Spanish Inquisition. Almost overnight, it became a punishable crime to have anything to do with the Jewish religion, and those pleasant memories of sitting in the sukkah came back to haunt them.
In the Inquisition’s records we can read the testimony of Elvira Martiez of Toledo, who in 1509 tried to convince her interrogators that her visit to a sukkah was “not on account of the ceremony but rather in order to see the said booth.” Juana Rodriguez was more defiant. Arrested in 1504, she said that she remembered lending a rug and a bordered sheet to a Jew, so he could make his sukkah, “all of which I did in honor of, and in keeping with the law of the Jews, thinking that I would be saved by it.”
But whether they responded with fear or defiance, the Anusim knew that the noose was tightening – for all of them.

A New World

Already in despair, things seemed to go from bad to worse in 1492, when the Jews were expelled from Spain and the Anusim community’s last tangible connection to Jewish life was severed. Then came the news that Christopher Columbus had discovered a “new world,” and that gave the Anusim renewed hope. Once the Spanish decided to colonize Nueva Espagna (present-day Mexico), they needed people to settle the new colony. The Anusim, who were eager to escape from the Inquisition, left Spain en masse. According to many estimates, by the middle of the 1500s there were more crypto-Jews living in Mexico City than Spanish Catholics.
Worried Catholic officials in Mexico wrote letters to the Spanish government to complain. The government responded in two ways: enacting the Blood Purity Law, which limited immigration to Mexico to only those New Christians who could prove that their families had been New Christians for at least the last three generations, and the establishment of the Mexican Inquisition, an arm of the Inquisition in Spain.
Despite the threat of discovery and possible death, the Anusim continued to practice Judaism to the best of their ability.
Interestingly, the Mexican Inquisition didn’t target the native Indians, even though there were many who continued to observe their pagan practices after their conversion. Instead, it concentrated on ferreting out heretics from among the European and mulatto populations. Protestants and Catholics accused of moral lapses figure prominently in the records. Crypto-Jews were another prominent group among the accused.
Yet despite the threat of discovery and possible death, the Anusim continued to practice Judaism to the best of their ability. Since they didn’t have access to a Jewish calendar, many communities calculated the dates of holidays according to the lunar cycle. Sukkot was therefore celebrated 14 or 15 days after the new moon of September was spotted. Over the years, the four species were forgotten, but the memory of the sukkah lived on. Some Anusim would continue to go out to the fields to build their booths, while others would find some other way to observe the mitzvah in secret.

A Hopeful World

The worst years of the Mexican Inquisition occurred early on. For instance, at the auto-da-fe that took place in Mexico City in December 1596, out of the 66 prisoners sentenced, 41 had been accused of Judaizing. Of these, 22 were reconciled to the Church, 10 were burned in effigy, since they had escaped from Mexico, and nine crypto-Jews were burned at the stake.
It’s very possible that the Sebastian Rodriguez of our sukkah story was among the crypto-Jews who were sentenced that December. The records tell us that a Sebastian Rodriguez and his wife Constanza were among “Those to be reconciled for guarding and observing the dead Law of Moses,” as were other members of his extended family, whose names also appear in the prison account.
The term “reconcile” sounds better than it was, which is perhaps why a popular expression of the time somewhat cynically stated “One can leave the Inquisition without being burned, but he will assuredly leave scorched.” To be reconciled to the Church meant that the Church was willing to let you live – as a Christian – but you were still going to be punished. In the case of Constanza and Sebastian Rodriguez, their punishment was “perpetual imprisonment” and the confiscation of all their goods.
What they did on Sukkot for the first six years of their imprisonment isn’t known, but there is a memorable record of what happened the seventh year, which appears in David Martin Gitlitz’s book Secrecy and Deceit: The Religion of the Crypto-Jews (University of New Mexico Press).
One evening during the holiday, Sebastian Rodriguez asked a man named Captain Lemos (who turned out to be an informer) to go and get a lot of branches. When Lemos returned, he was accompanied by four Indians, all of whom had been enlisted to bring willow branches to the prison. After a few of the prison’s corridors and an interior courtyard that was open to the sky were decorated with the branches, tables were set up in the corridors. Another table was placed in front of the room overlooking the courtyard where Rodriguez, his wife, and other family members and friends were imprisoned. Then, when all was ready, food was brought to the prison and served by family members who were still free.
This last bit wasn’t unusual, since families were expected to take care of their imprisoned relatives, which included bringing them their meals. What was unusual, though, was the festiveness of the occasion. Granted, the Rodriguez sukkah probably wasn’t 100 percent kosher. But according to Lemos, the happiness of Yom Tov was definitely there. Not only was there a lavish meal, but also music and singing and much rejoicing.
How did Rodriguez get away with it? He told the prison warden – who attended the meal as a guest, along with his wife – that this was a wedding celebration!
Was the warden really fooled? Was he bribed? Was he also a crypto-Jew, or someone with relatives who were crypto-Jews? We don’t know.
But we do know that, some 400 years later, Rodriguez’s decision to build a sukkah is still an inspiring example of the Jewish people’s determination to keep the Torah wherever we are – even if that’s under the nose of the Spanish Inquisition.

Heretics or Daughters of Israel?: The Crypto-Jewish Women of Castile, Professor Renee Levine Melammed, Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011.
Secrecy and Deceit: The Religion of the Crypto-Jews, David Martin Gitlitz, University of New Mexico Press, April 2002.
The Inquisition in New Spain, 1536–1820: A Documentary History, edited by John F. Chuchiak IV, Johns Hopkins University Press, April 2012.

From Sam K: Moe Berg:  A second-rate baseball player but a first-rate spy.

When baseball greats Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig went on tour in baseball-crazy Japan in 1934, some fans wondered why a third-string catcher named Moe Berg was included.

The answer was simple: Berg was a US spy. Speaking 15 languages—including Japanese—Moe Berg had two loves: baseball and spying.

In Tokyo , garbed in a kimono, Berg took flowers to the daughter of an American diplomat being treated in St. Luke’s Hospital--the tallest building in the Japanese capital. He never delivered the flowers.The ball-player ascended to the hospital roof and filmed key features: the harbor, military installations, railway yards, etc.

Eight years later, General Jimmy Doolittle studied Berg’s films in planning his spectacular raid on Tokyo .

Catcher Moe Berg

Berg’s father, Bernard Berg, a pharmacist in Newark, New Jersey, taught his son Hebrew and Yiddish. Moe, against his wishes, began playing baseball on the street aged four. His father disapproved and never once watched his son play. In Barringer High School , Moe learned Latin, Greek and French. He graduated magna cum laude from Princeton—having added Spanish, Italian, German and Sanskrit to his linguistic quiver, During further studies at the Sorbonne, in Paris, and Columbia Law School he picked up Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Indian, Arabic, Portuguese and Hungarian—15 languages in all, plus some regional dialects.
While playing baseball for Princeton University , Moe Berg would describe plays in Latin or Sanskrit.

Tito’s partisans
During World War II, he was parachuted into Yugoslavia to assess the value to the war effort of the two groups of partisans there. He reported back that Marshall Tito’s forces were widely supported by the people and Winston Churchill ordered all-out support for the Yugoslav underground fighter, rather than Mihajlovic’s Serbians.
The parachute jump at age 41 undoubtedly was a challenge. But there was more to come in that same year.
Berg penetrated German-held Norway , met with members of the underground and located a secret heavy water plant—part of the Nazis’ effort to build an atomic bomb. His information guided the Royal Air Force in a bombing raid to destroy the plant.

The R.A.F. destroys the Norwegian heavy water plant targeted by Moe Berg.
There still remained the question of how far had the Nazis progressed in the race to build the first Atomic bomb. If the Nazis were successful, they would win the war.
Berg (under the code name “Remus”) was sent to Switzerland to hear leading German physicist Werner Heisenberg, a Nobel Laureate, lecture and determine if the Nazis were close to building an A-bomb. Moe managed to slip past the SS guards at the auditorium., posing as a Swiss graduate student. The spy carried in his pocket a pistol and a cyanide pill. If the German indicated the Nazis were close to building a weapon, Berg was to shoot him—and then swallow the cyanide pill. Moe, sitting in the front row, determined that the Germans were nowhere near their goal, so he complimented Heisenberg on his speech and walked him back to his hotel.

Werner Heisenberg—he blocked the Nazis from acquiring an atomic bomb.
Moe Berg’s report was distributed to Britain’s Prime Minister,
Winston Churchill, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and key figures in the team developing the Atomic Bomb.
Roosevelt responded: “Give my regards to the catcher.”

Most of Germany ’s leading physicists had been Jewish and had fled the Nazis mainly to Britain and the United States .
After the war, Moe Berg was awarded the Medal of Merit— America ’s highest honor for a civilian in wartime. But Berg refused to accept, as he couldn’t tell people about his exploits. After his death, his sister accepted the Medal and it hangs in the Baseball Hall of Fame, in Cooperstown, N.Y.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt once described Moe Berg as “a most unusual fellow”.

When the war ended, Moe Berg found himself unemployed. He did receive occasional intelligence assignments, including a visit to the Soviet Union, where his ability to speak Russia was valuable. Traveling with other agents, when asked for credentials, by a Soviet border guard in Russian-dominated Czechoslovakia , he showed the soldier a letter from the Texaco Oil company, with its big red star. The illiterate soldier was satisfied and let them pass.

 He lived with his brother Samuel for seventeen years and, when evicted, spent his last final years with his sister, Ethel. A lifelong bachelor, he never owned a home or even rented an apartment. He never learned how to drive. When someone criticized him for wasting his talent, Berg responded:
“I’d rather be a ballplayer than a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.”

A sports cartoon about Moe Berg
He would often drop in, unannounced, at friends’ homes—expecting to be fed. He always wore a black suit (he had eight), a white shirt and a black tie. His interest in baseball continued throughout his life. Moments before he died (aged 70), Berg asked his nurse:
“How are the Mets doing today?”

His remains were cremated and his sister spread them over Mount Scopus in Israel .

Give to Legitimate Charities with certified collectors. I received this warning with the advice to mail directly to the organization: A message was left on our phone by someone with a 310 area code cell number, identifying himself as Rabbi Cohen.  He didn't give his first name, or the purpose of his collecting.  We left him a message that we need not only his complete name and why he was collecting, but the other information requested in Hebrew on our voicemail greeting, such as Teudat Zehut number and references with contact information. Following that, he left us a message that his name was Shalom Cohen, and he was collecting for "Bayit Lepletot".  None of the other specified information was provided.  We called again, and left a message that he needed to provide us with the information, especially regarding the person at Bayit Lepletot who (according to his claim) sent him. 

In the meantime, we contacted the organization, which has actually been in existence for several decades.  They informed us that they did not know anyone named Shalom Cohen who was authorized to collect for them.  They do have an authorized person who lives part-time in S. Florida, named Levy Chocron, and besides him, the only other legitimate potential collector is their director, R. Avraham Stern (but he has no plans to be here any time soon).  They also stated there is no other organization having their name.

No further response has been received from the collector.

Given all the above, we have no choice but to conclude that the above collector Cohen (if that is his real name) is collecting for himself, and we urge you not to give him anything--do not even give him a check made payable to the organization, since unscrupulous collectors have ways of cashing checks made to other parties in ways you might not suspect.  Instead, we recommend that you mail it directly to a worthy Tzeduka, possibly to the organization he was claiming to represent, and/or other organizations that do similar types of Chessed.

A Jew needing quick medical attention goes to a clinic in an Israeli Arab town where they benefit from child allowances etc. however he is attacked by a character. http://baltimorejewishlife.com/news/news-detail.php?SECTION_ID=37&ARTICLE_ID=41954

“Some by fire and some by water” the holy prayer before Kedusha from Rabbi Amnon of Magence as he was dying – this was so true in NJ where fires burned down blocks of stores and in CO with the floods. Thanks to Miriam:  http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/yom-kippur-inspires-determination-in-wake-of-colorado-floods/2013/09/16/

In practical terms this means that gradually the status-quo for Charedim remains the same: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/171969#.UjcQ11ffrIU

Blame their Rebbe! The Satmar Chassidim not only many like Iran in many cases they like abusers: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4428383,00.html

If one visits here he must say Baruch Atah … HaOlam Oseh Maaseh Beresheis: (thanks to Chaim O.) http://www.airpano.com/360Degree-VirtualTour.php?3D=Brasil-Argentina-Iguazu-Falls-2012

From my cousin David regarding the child of the Auschwitz Commandant and the Jews who kept her ID secret: http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/hiding-in-n-virginia-a-daughter-of-auschwitz/2013/09/06/1314d648-04fd-11e3-a07f-49ddc7417125_story.html

Inyanay Diyoma

I wonder what the British Parliament would have done if Assad had hit their base on Cyprus? http://debka.com/article/23261/Syrian-Hizballah-rockets-for-Palestinian-anti-Israel-proxy-reprisals-Syrian-Sukhoi-bombers-over-Cyprus

Maybe to stop villains in the Arab World democracy nonsense takes second place: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4427058,00.html

Let us hope and pray that they will disarm their WMD’s http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4427857,00.html

The peace in Belfast is breaking down with extremist and these are Christians that are educated in turning the other cheek not Jihad and the world wants us to make peace with Arab Nomadic Jihadists who have no relationship to the land of Eretz Yisrael!

I have been claiming my theory for years that when there is too much water in the artic the vapor will go over land condensing to ice well now the water appears be freezing with probably cooling of land too this year: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2415191/Global-cooling-Arctic-ice-caps-grows-60-global-warming-predictions.html

Arrow 3 missile to protect Israel beyond our borders so if atomic attack occurs it won’t blow up here: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/171873#.UjLEaFffrIU

Putin and Assad teach little school boy Obama a lesson: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4428764,00.html

In March Israeli Intelligence set before the world documentation of Gas = Chemical Warfare well let us see if this agreement will work out or if it is a trick? http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4429495,00.html

Arabs ambushed police and border police today: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/171921#.UjX_alffrIU

The Middle-East one political tinderbox or earthquake: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/171936#.UjZ-3lffrIU

Good Morning everybody the agreement with Syria and the reaction of Iran has the Israeli Public on the expectation of a war over the red line sooner than later. Right now we are in the stage of rumors of war and press euphoria over the prospects of peace. But this is as Yechezkel puts it: 13:9 And My hand shall be against the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies; they shall not be in the council of My people, neither shall they be written in the register of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD. 10 Because, even because they have led My people astray, saying: Peace, and there is no peace; and when it builds up a slight wall, behold, they daub it with white plaster;

He was discharged from the Navy for behavior problems: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4430677,00.html

Has Obama finally learned diplomacy towards Israel or has Bibi learned how to deal with Obama? http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/172006#.UjgPNFffrIU

Now for M. Wolfberg’s Stories “Le Shanna Tova” and “Kahuna”

L'Shana Tova Everyone.  On Rosh HaShanah we stand together in prayer before the Master of the Universe.  Boruch Hashem that we have Artscroll which has provided us with translated and even transliterated prayer books.  In any case however, each and every Jew still has a challenge on Rosh HaShanah to have in mind what he is saying, i.e., to daven with kavonah - intent.   The holy Shlah remarked in the name of the Abarbanel, that davening without kavonah, is like a body without a soul, it has no life.  The following story will help inspire us to have kavonah in during our Rosh HaShanah prayers.
          For Jews in the Ukrainian city of Lvov (Lemberg), 1989 was the year of miracles. It was that
year, in the wake of the Soviet Union's demise, that the city's main shul was returned to the
long-oppressed Jewish community. Even after decades of Communist rule aimed at eradicating
religious faith, Lvov contained a large population of Jews who, despite their complete lack of knowledge of their heritage, managed to cling tenuously to their Jewish identity. Therefore, even with fear of the authorUkrainian city of Lvov (Lemberg)ities still quivering in their hearts, throngs of Lvov's Jews poured into the restored synagogue on the first night of Rosh Hashanah in that year of miracles.
          With a mixture of caution and pride, they crossed the once-forbidden doorway with their children in tow, gazing around the room with the wondering eyes of strangers. The vast majority of people sitting there had no idea what to expect, nor what would be expected of them as they prepared to
pray for the first time in their lives!
          The chazzan who was to preside over this monumental occasion was Reb Eli Mintz of Monsey, New York. From the moment he had heard about the reopening of the shul for Rosh Hashanah, he was
driven by an urge to be a part of it. With no idea of what he would encounter, he offered to lead the prayers for the desperately starved neshamos - souls of the former Soviet Union.
          Reb Eli was well aware of the historic impact of this particular Rosh Hashanah service, in this
particular spot in the world at this singular point in time. It was an opportunity that had to be maximized — one single shot that had to hit its target, for there would never be another first time.
          The spiritual insurance he needed, Reb Eli determined, could best be obtained through Rabbi Shlomo Halberstam, the Bobover Rebbe. Who would better understand the tragic history that saturated the air of Lvov than the Rebbe, whose own father, the Kedushas Tzion, was murdered along with his family in that very city.
          Reb Eli succeeded in obtaining an appointment with the Rebbe. There, he told of the precious
opportunity that had been placed in his hands. How could he make sure that his tefillos penetrated the hearts of these bereft Jews? How could he help them connect to the Father Whose very existence had been invalidated by everyone and everything they had known for the past 70 years?
          The Rebbe, too, was awed by the gravity of Reb Eli's mission. The advice he provided
translated into an experience that moved Heaven and earth. 
          As Reb Eli stood before the curious, cautious congregation on that Rosh Hashanah, he understood
that few, if any, of the people there would have had the opportunity to learn how to pray. Teaching Hebrew had been forbidden for decades, as had been Torah learning and prayer services. Only those old enough to remember life before the Communists, or those brave enough to have practiced their Judaism in secret, would have even the most rudimentary tools for approaching the Rosh Hashanah prayers. What, then, could the chazzan say that would allow their hearts and souls to open to Hashem?
          Reb Eli began with a story. He spoke in Yiddish, with a community leader, Reb Melech Shochet, standing at his side translating into Russian: "Shalom Aleichem, everyone. We know that Hashem listens to our prayers. He understands every language, and He even understands our sighs and groans. Listen, my friends, to a story:
          There was a time when the Jews of Berditchev were having great difficulties. There were pogroms, exorbitant taxes and many dangers facing their community. On the morning prior to Yom Kippur, the holy Reb Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev spoke to his congregants. He urged them, in view of the dangerous and difficult times they were facing, to prepare for Kol Nidrei that night by coming to shul and praying from the deepest recesses of their hearts for Hashem to abolish the troubles that had been decreed for their community.
          "That night, every soul in Berditchev poured into the shul. The room resounded with their wrenching prayers. Among the crowd sat an uneducated wagon driver whose heart cried out as did the others, but whose lips were incapable of articulating even the simplest words of prayer. He had never learned, and that night, he cried with frustration at his inability to express the longings of his soul. Finally, unable to contain himself any longer, he turned to Hashem and
pleaded, 'Master of the Universe, You know that I do not know how to daven. All I know is the alef-beis, which my father taught me as a child. Please, Hashem, take the letters of the alef-beis that I will say to You now, and turn them into the right words.' He then began reciting out loud 'Alef... Beis ... Gimmel ...' Many of those around him wondered what he was doing, reciting a school-boy's alef-beis at such an urgent time.
          But when the congregation had finished its prayers, the Berditchever Rebbe addressed them joyfully, informing them that in the merit of the
wagon driver's alef-beis, the decree had been canceled."
          By the time Reb Eli finished this story, every eye in the shul was turned to him. He raised his
voice and pleaded, "My dear brothers and sisters, many of you who came today do not know how to
daven and it's not your fault. Please just do as much as you can. Say Shema Yisrael, say Am
Ma'amin, say whatever prayer you know and if you don't know anything at all then simply say the
alef-beis Yes, you can even say the alef-beis"
          Next to Reb Eli stood a frail old Jew dressed in a well-worn woolen suit. His weathered face had betrayed no emotion as he listened to the impassioned speech, but now, there were tears running down his drawn, brown cheeks. In Yiddish, he suddenly cried out to Reb Eli, "I want to say the alef-beis! I want to say it too! But I don't even know how to do that."
          With this old man's pained proclamation, Reb Eli suddenly understood the depth of spiritual
deprivation endured by the people seated before him. "My dear, fellow Jews," he announced. "Let
us say the alef-beis together. Repeat after me, Alef! ..."
          The hundreds of Jewish souls gathered together in the shul that night cried out in one
thunderous voice, "Alef!" And then beis, and then gimmel and daled, all the way to yud. Each new
letter fanned the roaring flames of their suddenly ignited souls, the sound carrying them higher
and higher. Reb Eli knew there was yet more within them, still greater depths to be plumbed, and
so when they came to yud, he urged them on, "Again, let's say it louder!"
          By this time, the emotion in the room was a riptide that left no one standing where he or she had started. People sobbed with emotion, crying like children whose only desire was to be once again held in their Father's embrace. To anyone who witnessed this scene, there was no doubt that these letters
ascended straight to Heaven, to be arranged into the most exquisite prayer the Jewish people could offer.
          "Now," said Reb Eli, "I am going to daven in the customary way." He began the evening services.
Nearly twenty years have elapsed since the doors of the shul first reopened to the Jews of Lvov,
and yet, the impact of that first Rosh Hashanah remains.
          To this day, Rosh Hashanah services
begin with the unique custom of reciting the alef-beis, reminding the educated and the ignorant alike that prayer, at its essence, is a "labor of the heart."
          Let us daven to Hashem with all our hearts and souls.  That way we will all merit a good year, a sweet year of personal and national salvation, of good health and happiness.  Shana Tova Everyone!

A Gmar Chasima Tova Everyone.   Yom Kippur begins tomorrow night, the holiest day of the Year.  The Torah tells us that as long as we do teshuva - repentance,   the day Yom Kippur itself has a power to wash away most sins.   We that live in free societies are blessed with the ability to daven in shuls with our family and friends.  The shuls are generally well-lit, and air conditioned or heated as is necessary.  We have machzorim and prayer books, Boruch Hashem.  Jews have not always had it so easy though.  The following account, told by the son of the person in the story, illustrates how some Jews overcame tremendous obstacles to be able to daven properly on Yom Kippur.
         "On Yom Kippur of 1951, my father, Rabbi Moshe Greenberg, faithfully prayed all the Yom Kippur prayers. All, that is, except one that is often regarded as the most solemn of the holy day's prayers, the Kol Nidrei. He was twenty years old and a prisoner in a Soviet labor camp in Siberia. His crime was trying to escape from Russia. He dreamed of leaving the country and reaching the land of Israel. But he was caught and sentenced to twenty-five years of hard labor. He was separated from his parents and two sisters. His brother was already a prisoner in another camp for a similar "crime."
         There were about 1,000 men in my father's camp, all laboring on the construction of an electrical power station. About twenty of the prisoners were Jews. As the summer drew to a close, the Jewish prisoners yearned to observe the upcoming High Holidays. They knew they would lack a shofar (ram's horn), Torah scroll and talesim (prayer shawls), but they hoped they could find a machzor, a High Holiday prayer book.
         My father spotted a man from the "outside," an non-prisoner engineer who worked for the camp on certain projects. He believed the engineer might be a Jew. So he waited for an opportunity to approach the engineer. "קענסטו מיר אפשר העלפן?" "Kenstu meer efsher helfen?" he whispered to the man in Yiddish ("Perhaps you can help me?").
         At that time, most Russian Jews were still fluent in Yiddish. He saw the flicker of comprehension in the engineer's eyes. "Can you bring a machzor for me, for the Jews here?" my father asked.
         The engineer hesitated. Such a transaction would endanger both of their lives. Even so, the engineer agreed to try.
         A few days passed. "Any developments?" my father asked. "Good news and bad news," the engineer replied. He had located a machzor with difficulty, but it was the only machzor belonging to his girlfriend's father, and the man was furious when his daughter asked him to give it up. Maybe she told him why she wanted it, maybe not.
         My father would not relent, however. Perhaps, he suggested, the man would lend him the book and he could copy it and return it in time for Rosh Hashanah.
         The engineer duly smuggled the machzor into the camp and passed it to my father. To copy it, my father built a large wooden box and crawled into it for a few hours each day.
         There, hidden from view, he copied the prayer book, line by line, into a notebook. After a month, he had copied the entire machzor. But there was one page missing -- the one containing Kol Nidrei, the very first prayer recited on Yom Kippur.   My father returned the book, and autumn arrived.
         The Jewish prisoners learned the dates of the impending holidays from letters from home and, on the holiday, they bribed the guards, probably with cigarettes, to allow them to gather in the barrack for services. With his handwritten prayer book, my father served as hazzan (cantor) and recited each prayer, repeated by others in low solemn voices.
         Seven days later, they met for Kol Nidrei services. But despite their efforts, none of the worshippers could recall all of the words of that prayer from memory. After nearly seven years in jail, my father, along with all political prisoners, were released, owing to the death of Joseph Stalin. The only item my father took with him was his machzor.
         He was reunited with his family near Moscow and later married. I was an infant when, in 1967, fifteen years after his release from prison, my family was allowed to immigrate to Israel. The machzor came with us.
         My father, who still lives in Bnei Brak, Eretz Yisroel, doesn't like to recall those painful years in Siberia. But on the rare occasions that I hear him tell a story from those times, he tearfully states that he had never participated in services as meaningful as those in prison.
         In 1973, he visited the Lubavitcher Rebbe in New York and presented the machzor to him as a gift.  A few months ago, I visited the Rebbe's library and saw father's machzor. I looked at the worn book with its fragile pages and Hebrew letters written in haste and with such respect and determination.
         I copied it -- on a copying machine. This Yom Kippur, as I lead the services at the Chabad Jewish Center of Solon, Ohio, I will have with me the copy of my father's machzor, with the Kol Nidrei prayer still missing. My father couldn't recite Kol Nidrei during his years in prison. This year I will ask my congregation, and all of us, to say it for him and anyone else who may not have the opportunity to do so."
         Let us all take advantage of the privilege we have to be able to daven and do teshuvah with the least amount of interferences!  Through davening with all of our heart and returning to Hashem, we will all merit a good and sweet new year!  Good Yom Tov Everyone.
M. Wolfberg is sponsored by: In Memory of CHAYA CHAVA BAS REB MOSHE YAKOV 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

To all a blessed, happy and healthy Sukkos and filled with extra Joy for a Chag Samayach and Shabbos Shalom. The next Drasha will be Ble Neder Parsha Noach.
Rachamim Pauli