Friday, December 20, 2013

Parsha Shemos, stories


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


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, 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, David Zvi ben Sarah Leah. Yosef ben Shifra



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, Shoshana Rivka bas Zelda, Carol bas Esther, Henshi bas Nashe, Naomi Esther bas Tziporah. As for Hena bas Gizella please give her a few more weeks of prayers before putting her on the list below.


The following people are recovering from long term non-threatening injuries and need Psalms. Binum Benyamin Tuvia ben Chana Friedel, Adele Chaya bas Edva,


I neglected to mention that Rabbi Michael Katz who was from Chattanooga TN in the story last week now lives in South FL and instead of a southern drawl has a lovely British Accent and runs a Judaica Store on Sterling Road in the Hollywood/Fort Lauderdale area. 


Parsha Shemos


Sometime repeating history can be scary. Lavan who has only daughters at the time welcomes in Yacov into his home but after he gets sons turns on Yacov. Spain welcomed in the Jews, Berlin was the Jerusalem of the west and in Egypt the same theme applied. During the life of the brothers, and perhaps the second Pharaoh, Egypt was not so bad but then we have what happened here.

1:1 Now these are the names of the sons of Israel, who came into Egypt with Jacob; every man came with his household: 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah; 3 Issachar, Zevulun, and Benjamin; 4 Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher. 5 And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls; and Joseph was in Egypt already. 6 And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation. 7 And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them.


People marrying young and having children from puberty until menopause could lead for a tremendous population jump from the initial 70 people. If the average family were to have 10 to 15 viable births the population in the course of 100 or more years the population could hit million somewhere between the 4th and 5th generation so in 210 years it would not be a surprise that by the 7th or 8th generation 2,000,000 plus could leave Egypt on the Pessach.


8 Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph.


Let us calculate. The Bnei Yisrael came to Egypt when Yacov was 130 years which is 190 years after the birth of Yitzchak and they left 210 years later or 400 years from the birth of Yitzchak. Yosef was 39 years old at the time and died at the age of 110 or 81 years later. There was no problem until the last of the brothers died a number of years later. Levy died at the age of 133 and was perhaps 3 or 4 years older than Yosef based on the mentioning of the birth of the tribes. This makes the first 100 or 102 or 3 years of being in Egypt. This leaves plus or minus 110 years remaining. 30 years could be the time of an intermediate Pharaoh that requested conscription or national service but not slavery. Finally he passes away and a paranoid bigoted Pharaoh arises who fears the large Hebrew population and egged on by ambitious politicians/advisors comes and introduces slavery and murdering babies at the time when Moshe was born.


A new king arose: [There is a controversy between] Rav and Samuel. One says: He was really new, and the other one says: His decrees were new. [From Sotah 11a, Exod. Rabbah 1:8] Since the Torah does not say: The king of Egypt died, and a new king arose, it implies that the old king was still alive, only that his policies had changed, and he acted like a new king. [Rashi on Sotah 11a]


What is so surprising about a new king that did not study the ways of the old king? We are talking about 100 years later no film or recording document. Yet I am watching Obama doing the same mistakes that FDR made in dealing with the depression. Neither did he or Kerry who happens to have gone to school 3 or 4 years earlier than I and should have learned about the Munich Agreement with Neville Chamberlain appears to have forgotten that history less so an all new Pharaoh or a radical change would definitely not know Yosef.


9 And he said unto his people: 'Behold, the people of the children of Israel are too many and too mighty for us;


Israel up until this time was part of the national population but they stood apart from the idolaters and this bothered many because they were different. The Egyptians were darker in complexion and the Bnei Yisrael were lighter so there was also a racial tone. Mitzrayim is from Ham and Yisrael is from Shem. 


10 come, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there befalls us any war, they also join themselves unto our enemies, and fight against us, and get them up out of the land.'


Get ready, let us deal shrewdly with them: Heb. הָבָה. Every הָבָה [found in the Torah] is an expression of preparation and readiness. That is to say: Prepare yourselves for this. let us deal shrewdly with them: With the people [of Israel]. Let us act shrewdly regarding what to do to them. Our Rabbis, however, interpreted [that Pharaoh said], Let us deal shrewdly with the Savior of Israel [thus interpreting לוֹ as to him] by afflicting them [to die] with water, for He has already sworn that He would not bring a flood to the world. (But they [the Egyptians] did not understand that upon the whole world He would not bring [a flood] but He would bring it upon one nation In an old Rashi manuscript.) from Sotah 11a] and depart from the land: against our will. Our Rabbis, however, interpreted [i. e., depicted Pharaoh] as a person who curses himself but ascribes his curse to others. And it is as if it were written: and we will depart from the land, and they will take possession of it. [From Sotah 11a]


This is the first time that anti-Semitism is used on a national level against a people that would become a nation.


11 Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh store-cities, Pithom and Ramses.


Over them: Over the people. tax collectors: Heb. שָׂרֵי מִסִּים, lit., tax officers. מִסִּים denotes an expression of a tax (מַס), [so מִסִּים denotes] officers who collect the tax from them. Now what was the tax? That they build store cities for Pharaoh. to afflict them with their burdens: [I.e., with the burdens] of the Egyptians. store cities: Heb. מִסְכְּנֹתעָרֵי. As the Targum renders: קִרְוֵי בֵיתאוֹצָרָא, cities of storehouses], and similarly, Go, come to this treasurer (הַסּוֹכֵן) (Isa. 22:15), to the treasurer appointed over the storehouses. [From Exod. Rabbah 1:10] Pithom and Raamses: which were originally unfit for this, and they strengthened them and fortified them for storage.


At first the tax was reasonable and the people gladly paid it for the protection of the army, building of roads, etc. Eventually, the taxes were raised and became more and more oppressive to keep the population in their place. They were unarmed and had no way of getting out of what they were in.


12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad. And they were adread because of the children of Israel.


So did they multiply and so did they gain strength: Heb. כֵּן יִרְבֶּה וְכֵן יִפְרֹץ, lit., so will they multiply and so will they gain strength. [It means, however,] so did they multiply and so did they gain strength. Its Midrashic interpretation is, however: The Holy Spirit says this: You [Pharaoh] say, Lest they multiply, but I say, So will they multiply. [From Sotah 11a]


Affluent people often pursue luxuries and leisure pleasure and exhaust themselves but a person who is depressed will turn to three things either sleep, over-eating or other worldly pleasures hence the population increase.


13 And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigor.


With back-breaking labor: Heb. בְּפָרֶ. With hard labor that crushes the body and breaks it.


With all the labor and pains they might have asked for a message from the wife which of course might lead to other things.

14 And they made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field; in all their service, wherein they made them serve with rigor. 15 And the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah;


To the midwives: Heb. לַמְיַלְּדֹת. This is an expression similar מוֹלִידוֹת, [meaning] causing to give birth, but there is a light form and there is a heavy form, similar to שׁוֹבֵר, breaks, and מְשַׁבֵּר, shatters, דּוֹבֵר, says, and מְדַבֵּר, speaks. So are מוֹלִיד and מְיַלֵּד. Rashi classifies the Hebrew conjugations, those that have a dagesh in the second root letter, and those that do not. Of the seven conjugations, three have a dagesh, and four do not. Since it is more difficult to pronounce the letters with the dagesh, those conjugations are referred to as the heavy form, and those without the dagesh are referred to as the light (קַלִּים) [Sefer Hazikkaron] Shifrah: This was Jochebed, [called Shifrah] because she beautified [מְשַׁפֶּרֶת] the newborn infant. [From Sotah 11b] Puah: This was Miriam, [called Puah] because she cried (פּוֹעָה) and talked and cooed to the newborn infant in the manner of women who soothe a crying infant. פּוֹעָה is an expression of crying out, similar to “Like a travailing woman will I cry (אֶפְעֶה) " (Isa. 42:14). Rashi on Sotah 11b explains that she played with the infant to soothe and amuse him.


16 and he said: 'When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, ye shall look upon the birthstool: if it be a son, then ye shall kill him; but if it be a daughter, then she shall live.'


If it is a son, etc.: Pharaoh cared only about the males, because his astrologers told him that a son was destined to be born who would save them. [From Exod. Rabbah 1:18]


The Medrash says that he took counsel with Iyob, Bilaam and Yisro what to do. Yisro told him to be good to the Bnei Yisrael and the redeemer will work with Pharaoh. Bilaam, the wicked, suggest to enslave the Bnei Yisrael and murder all the male children born at this time. Iyob saw that Pharaoh was taking a liking to this advice and fled from advising as a result he suffered his afflictions from HASHEM for if he had sided with Yisro history would have been different.


17 But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men-children alive.


Like Irene Sandler and others of blessed memory who saved Jews during the hell of the holocaust the women risked the wrath of the government and their own lives:


But they enabled the boys to live: They provided water and food for them. [From Sotah 11b] [The word וַךְתְּחַיֶּיןָ is found in verse 17 and again in verse 18.] The first is translated וְקַיָּמָא, and they enabled to live, and the second וְקַיֵּמְךְתִּין, and you enabled to live, because in Hebrew, for the feminine plural, this word and others like it are used as the third person past tense and the second person past tense, e.g. “And they said (וַךְתֹּאמַרְןָ), ‘An Egyptian man מִצְרִי) (אִישׁ ’” (Exod. 2:19), the past tense, like וַיֹּאמְרוּ for the masculine plural; you have spoken (וַךְתְּדַבֵּרְנָה) with your בְּפִיכֶם (Jer. 44:25), an expression like וַךְתְּדַבֵּרְנָה, the equivalent of דִבַּרְךְתֶּם for the masculine plural. Similarly, You have profaned (וַךְתְּחַלֶּלְנָה) Me before My people (Ezek. 13:19), the past tense, an expression like חִלַּלְךְתֶּם, the equivalent of וַךְתְּחַלּלוּ for the masculine plural. If it was necessary to supply the infants with food, Ohr Hachayim asks why the midwives did not do it prior to Pharaoh’s decree. He answers that the Torah means that despite Pharaoh’s decree, the midwives continued their previous practice, that is, supplying needy children with nourishment. He suggests further that they particularly sustained the male children lest one die and they be suspected of being responsible for his death. Rashi explains that in the Hebrew, there is a conversive vav, (turning past into future and future into past). Therefore, since the future forms of the feminine plural, both in the second person and in the third person, are identical, the same is true for the past forms with the conversive vav. [Mizrachi] In Aramaic, however, since there is no conversive vav, the two past forms are different. [Divrei David]


18 And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them: 'Why have ye done this thing, and have saved the men-children alive?' 19 And the midwives said unto Pharaoh: 'Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwife come unto them.'


In order to save themselves they acted like they were among the wicked and the Pshat is that the Bnei Yisrael are on the level of wild beasts and we don’t have a chance to carry out your orders for like a beast they give birth before we can intervene. This is sort of likened to the Goebbels propaganda film talking about Jews and showing hundreds of rats running around so that Pharaoh would not suspect them.


For they are skilled as midwives: Heb. חָיוֹת, as skillful as midwives. The Targum מְיַלְּדֹת is חַייָתָא Our Rabbis (Sotah 11b), however, interpreted it to mean that they [the Israelite women] are compared to beasts (חַיּוֹת) of the field, which do not require midwives. Now where are they compared to beasts? A cub [and] a grown lion (Gen. 49:9), a wolf, he will prey (Gen. 49:27), His firstborn bull (Deut. 33:17), a swift gazelle (Gen. 49:21). Whoever [was not compared to a beast as above] was included by Scriptures in [the expression] and blessed them (Gen. 49:18). Scripture states further: How was your mother a lioness? (Ezek. 19:2). [From Sotash 11b]


20 And God dealt well with the midwives; and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty.


God benefited: Heb. וַיֵּיטֶב, bestowed goodness upon them. This is the difference in a word whose root is two letters and is prefixed by “vav yud” : When it is used in the causative sense, the “yud” is vowelized with a “tzeirei,” which is a “kamatz katan” (or with a “segol,” which is a “pattach katan” ), e.g., God benefited (וַיֵּיטֶב) the midwives ; and He increased (וַיֶרֶב) in the daughter of Judah (Lam. 2:5), He increased pain; And he exiled (וַַיֶּגֶל) the survivors (II Chron. 36:20), referring to Nebuzaradan, he exiled the survivors; and turned (וַיֶּפֶן) tail to tail (Jud. 15:4), he turned the tails one to another. All these are the causative conjugation [lit., causing others to do]. When it is used in the simple, kal conjugation, however, the “yud” is vowelized with a “chirik,” e.g., and it was pleasing (וַיִּיטַב) in his eyes (Lev. 10:20), an expression meaning that it was good; and similarly, and the people multiplied (וַיִּרֶב) (Exod. 1:20), the people increased; And Judah went into exile (וַיִּגֶל) (II Kings 25:21), Judah was exiled; He turned (וַיִּפֶן) this way and that way (Exod. 2:12), he turned here and there. Do not refute me from וַיֵּלֶ, וַיֵּשֶׁב, וַיֵּרֶד, and וַיֵּצֵא, because these are not of the grammatical form of those, for the “yud” is the third radical in them, יָלֹך, יָשׁב, יָרֹד, and יָצֹא, in which the “yud” is the third letter.


21 And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that He made them houses.


This is the first record of a hospital or maternity hospital in history.


He made houses for them: The houses of the priesthood, the Levitic family, and the royal family, which are called houses, as it is written: And he built the house of the Lord and the house of the king, (I Kings 9:1) [sic] 5, the priesthood and the Levitic family from Jochebed and the royal family from Miriam, as is stated in tractate Sotah (11b).


22 And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying: 'Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.'


This went also upon the Egyptians for he was so afraid of a redeemer coming to the slaves. You cannot out-fox G-D. You will even have the redeemer grow up in your own house as a grandchild.


All his people: He issued this decree upon them as well. On the day Moses was born, his astrologers told him [Pharaoh], Today the one who will save them has been born, but we do not know whether from the Egyptians or from the Israelites, but we see that he will ultimately be smitten through water. Therefore, on that day he issued a decree also upon the Egyptians, as it is said: Every son who is born, and it does not say: who is born to the Hebrews. They did not know, however, that he [Moses] would ultimately suffer because of the water of Meribah (Num. 20:7-13) [i.e., that he would not be permitted to enter the Holy Land]. [From Sotah 12a, Exod. Rabbah 1:18, Sanh. 101b]


2:1 And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi.


And married a daughter of Levi: He was separated from her because of Pharaoh’s decree (and he remarried her. This is the meaning of went, that he followed [lit., he went after] his daughter’s advice that she said to him, Your decree is harsher than פַּרְעֹה. Whereas Pharaoh issued a decree [only] against the males, you [issued a decree] against the females as well [for none will be born]. This [comment] is found in an old Rashi ), and he took her back and married her a second time. She too was transformed to become like a young woman [physically], but she was [actually] 130 years old. For she was born when they came to Egypt between the חוֹמוֹת and they stayed there 210 years. When they left, Moses was 80 years old. If so, when she conceived him, she was 130 years old, yet [Scripture] calls her a daughter of Levi. [From Sotah 12a, Exod. Rabbah 1:19]


In the future the Kahuna could not remarry a divorced wife. It is according to Rashi and tradition otherwise I would see it more as a separation and I sort of recall that there is a Medrash that backs me up. He simply abstained and did not have marital relations and was scolded this by his wife for being illogical.


2 And the woman conceived, and bore a son; and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months.


That he was good: When he was born, the entire house was filled with light. [From Sotah 12a, Exod. Rabbah 1:20]


He was also born circumcised and I recall a case in Ashdod of a son of a co-worker of mine. He was required to have a drop of blood removed from the remaining foreskin as a Bris.


3 And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch; and she put the child therein, and laid it in the flags by the river's brink.


Similar to the old Soviet Union, the government had spies and Kapos or Yuden Ratt everywhere.


4 And his sister stood afar off, to know what would be done to him. 5 And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe in the river; and her maidens walked along by the river-side; and she saw the ark among the flags, and sent her handmaid to fetch it. 6 And she opened it, and saw it, even the child; and behold a boy that wept. And she had compassion on him, and said: 'This is one of the Hebrews' children.' 7 Then said his sister to Pharaoh's daughter: 'Shall I go and call thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?'


He would not suckle the milk from the Egyptian women.


8 And Pharaoh's daughter said to her: 'Go.' And the maiden went and called the child's mother. 9 And Pharaoh's daughter said unto her: 'Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages.' And the woman took the child, and nursed it.


Not only does Yocheved learn that Moshe is alive but she gets to nurse him and get paid for it! HASHEM works in mysterious ways.


10 And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses, and said: 'Because I drew him out of the water.' 11 And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown up, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens; and he saw an Egyptian smiting a Hebrew, one of his brethren. 12 And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he smote the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand. 13 And he went out the second day, and, behold, two men of the Hebrews were striving together; and he said to him that did the wrong: 'Wherefore smite thou thy fellow?' 14 And he said: 'Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us? Do you think to kill me, as thou didst kill the Egyptian?' And Moses feared, and said: 'Surely the thing is known.' 15 Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian; and he sat down by a well.


The Medrash says that Moshe killed the Egyptian with the DIVINE NAME but Pshat says that somehow he slew him.


16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters; and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father's flock. 17 And the shepherds came and drove them away; but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock.


And drove them away: because of the ban. [From Exod. Rabbah 1:32, Tanchuma, Shemos 11]


18 And when they came to Reuel their father, he said: 'How is it that ye are come so soon to-day?' 19 And they said: 'An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and moreover he drew water for us, and watered the flock.'


He is called an Egyptian because he dresses and talks in an Egyptian accent. There are commentaries that complain that he should have objected to being called Egyptian. However, I disagree as nowadays I am referred to as American and a former colleague in engineering used to say that in Canada I was never a Canadian they thought of me as a Jew. Now I finally made the status as a full-fledged Canadian.


20 And he said unto his daughters: 'And where is he? Why is it that ye have left the man? call him, that he may eat bread.'


Midian was from Avraham and they learned their hospital so.


21 And Moses was content to dwell with the man; and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter.


He has 7 daughters and wants them married off. Now comes along this unmarried stranger who can tend to the flocks and help out so it was a good deal for both.


22 And she bore a son, and he called his name Gershom; for he said: 'I have been a stranger in a strange land.'


Ger means stranger or foreigner but most of the time it us used today for a person who converted and became a full Jew or non-Jewish citizen who accepts the 7 Mitzvos of the Bnei Noach.


23 And it came to pass in the course of those many days that the king of Egypt died; and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage.


This is after 80 years of slavery and with the Pharaoh dead nobody really remembers Moshe in the Egyptian Government so the prosecution of Moshe for an Egypt who died 40 years prior is long forgotten.  

24 And God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25 And God saw the children of Israel, and God took cognizance of them.

3:1 Now Moses was keeping the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the farthest end of the wilderness, and came to the mountain of God, unto Horev.


How could it be the mountain of G-D? This was bothering Rashi so he answers it as follows: To the mountain of God: [Mount Horeb is called “the mountain of God”] in view of the [events of the] future.


2 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.


How is it possible for a bush to be on fire? Fire needs fuel to consume!


3 And Moses said: 'I will turn aside now, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.' 4 And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said: 'Moses, Moses.' And he said: 'Here am I.'


Moshe was bewildered as he was being called by name but no person was visible to him in this desert spot.


5 And He said: 'Draw not nigh hither; put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou stand is holy ground.'


Take your shoes off: Heb. שַׁל, pull off and remove, similar to: “and the iron [axehead] will slip off (וְנָשַׁל)” (Deut. 19:5), “for your olive tree will drop (יִַַל)” [its fruit] (Deut. 28:40). is holy soil: [Lit., it is holy soil.] The place.


6 Moreover He said: 'I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.' And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God. 7 And the LORD said: 'I have surely seen the affliction of My people that are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their pains; 8 and I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Amorite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite. 9 And now, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto Me; moreover I have seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them. 10 Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou may bring forth My people the children of Israel out of Egypt.' 11 And Moses said unto God: 'Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?' 12 And He said: 'Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be the token unto thee, that I have sent thee: when thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.'


And He said, “For I will be with you…”: He [God] answered his former [question] first, and his latter [question] last. [Concerning] what you said, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh?” This [mission] is not yours but Mine, “for I will be with you.” And this vision which you have seen in the thorn bush, is the sign for you that it was I who sent you and that you will succeed in My mission and that I am able to save you. Just as you saw the thorn bush performing My mission and not being harmed, so will you go on My mission and not be harmed. [Concerning] what you asked, “what merit do the Israelites have that they should go out of Egypt?” I have a great thing [dependent] on this Exodus, for at the end of three months from their Exodus from Egypt they are destined to receive the Torah on this mountain. Another explanation: For I will be with you, and this [namely] that you will succeed in your mission [on which I am sending you] is the sign for you for another promise, which I promise you, [namely,] that when you take them out of Egypt, you will serve God on this mountain, for you will receive the Torah on it, and that is the merit that will stand up for Israel. Similar to this expression [where a future event serves as a sign for a still more distant event], we find: “And this shall be the sign (הָאוֹת) for you, this year you shall eat what grows by itself, etc.” (Isa. 37:30, II Kings 19:29). Sennacherib’s downfall will be a sign for you regarding another promise, [i.e.,] that your land is desolate of fruit, and I will bless what grows by itself.



13 And Moses said unto God: 'Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them: The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me: What is His name? what shall I say unto them?' 14 And God said unto Moses: 'I AM THAT I AM'; and He said: 'Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel: I AM hath sent me unto you.'


I will be what I will be - “Ehyeh asher ehyeh (I will be what I will be)”: “I will be” with them in this predicament “what I will be” with them in their subjugation by other kingdoms. He [Moses] said before Him, “O Lord of the universe! Why should I mention to them another trouble? They have enough [problems] with this one.” He said to him, “You have spoken well. So shall you say, etc.” -[from Ber. 9b] (Not that Moses, God forbid, outsmarted God, but he did not understand what God meant, because originally, when God said, “I will be what I will be,” He told this to Moses alone, and He did not mean that he should tell it to Israel. That is the meaning of “You have spoken well,” for that was My original intention, that you should not tell such things to the children of Israel, only “So shall you say to the children of Israel,” ‘Ehyeh [I will be] has sent me.’” From tractate Berachoth this appears to be the correct interpretation. Give this matter your deliberation.) [Annotation to Rashi] [There appears to be no indication of this interpretation in tractate Berachoth – I am ALL MIGHTY I control everything. I am above place and time and can be anywhere and everywhere in the universe at once from the biggest galaxy to the tiniest subatomic particle.


15 And God said moreover unto Moses: 'Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel: The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you; this is My name forever, and this is My memorial unto all generations. 16 Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them: The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, hath appeared unto me, saying: I have surely remembered you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt. 17 And I have said: I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt unto the land of the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Amorite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite, unto a land flowing with milk and honey. 18 And they shall hearken to thy voice. And thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him: The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, hath met with us. And now let us go, we pray thee, three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God. 19 And I know that the king of Egypt will not give you leave to go, except by a mighty hand. 20 And I will put forth My hand, and smite Egypt with all My wonders which I will do in the midst thereof. And after that he will let you go. 21 And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. And it shall come to pass, that, when ye go, ye shall not go empty; 22 but every woman shall ask of her neighbour, and of her that sojourned in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment; and ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your daughters; and ye shall spoil the Egyptians.'


HASHEM is showing Moshe what the end result will be prior to his traveling to Mitzrayim.


4:1 And Moses answered and said: 'But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice; for they will say: The LORD hath not appeared unto thee.'


I can just imagine if I went to a bunch of Reform Jews in NY and said that the L-RD appeared unto me. They would want to put me in straight jacket and send me to Belleview Hospital saying “Are you mad?” This was what was in Moshe’s mind. There are some people that can sell ice to Eskimos but Moshe could not sell them coal in the winter. So HASHEM explains to Moshe how to bring proof. He does get Leprosy for a minute because he did not talk bad about his abilities but about Am Yisrael being doubters.


2 And the LORD said unto him: 'What is that in thy hand?' And he said: 'A rod.' 3 And He said: 'Cast it on the ground.' And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. 4 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Put forth thy hand, and take it by the tail--and he put forth his hand, and laid hold of it, and it became a rod in his hand-- 5 that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee.' 6 And the LORD said furthermore unto him: 'Put now thy hand into thy bosom.' And he put his hand into his bosom; and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous, as white as snow. 7 And He said: 'Put thy hand back into thy bosom.--And he put his hand back into his bosom; and when he took it out of his bosom, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh.-- 8 And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign. 9 And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe even these two signs, neither hearken unto thy voice, that thou shalt take of the water of the river, and pour it upon the dry land; and the water which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land.' 10 And Moses said unto the LORD: 'Oh Lord, I am not a man of words, neither heretofore, nor since Thou hast spoken unto Thy servant; for I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.' 11 And the LORD said unto him: 'Who hath made man's mouth? or who makes a man dumb, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? is it not I the LORD? 12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt speak.' 13 And he said: 'Oh Lord, send, I pray Thee, by the hand of him whom Thou wilt send.' 14 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses, and He said: 'Is there not Aaron thy brother the Levite? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee; and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart. 15 And thou shalt speak unto him, and put the words in his mouth; and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do. 16 And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people; and it shall come to pass, that he shall be to thee a mouth, and thou shalt be to him in God's stead. 17 And thou shalt take in thy hand this rod, wherewith thou shalt do the signs.'


Our Rabbis said: Derek Eretz before Torah. Moshe has gotten orders from the L-RD G-D yet he politely requests his leave from his father-in-law. Why are manners so important? A rude person can be a Rabbi scholastically but he will turn people off to Torah through his rudeness. It is likened to a baker who bakes a wonderful confectionary and then puts horseradish on as the icing.


18 And Moses went and returned to Jethro his father-in-law, and said unto him: 'Let me go, I pray thee, and return unto my brethren that are in Egypt, and see whether they be yet alive.' And Jethro said to Moses: 'Go in peace.' 19 And the LORD said unto Moses in Midian: 'Go, return into Egypt; for all the men are dead that sought thy life.' 20 And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them upon an ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt; and Moses took the rod of God in his hand. 21 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'When thou go back into Egypt, see that thou do before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in thy hand; but I will harden his heart, and he will not let the people go. 22 And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh: Thus says the LORD: Israel is My son, My first-born.


All of mankind are children unto G-D but Yisrael is HIS first born son.


23 And I have said unto thee: Let My son go, that he may serve Me; and thou hast refused to let him go. Behold, I will slay thy son, thy first-born.'—


The threat to Pharaoh is warned here but ignored through the miracles of Moshe and the time of the plagues.


24 And it came to pass on the way at the lodging-place, that the LORD met him, and sought to kill him. 25 Then Zipporah took a flint, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet; and she said: 'Surely a bridegroom of blood art thou to me.' 26 So He let him alone. Then she said: 'A bridegroom of blood in regard of the circumcision.'


If an ordinary Jew does not perform a Bris on time, he may not be punished but a Moshe Rabbaynu must be free of the slightest blemish.


27 And the LORD said to Aaron: 'Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.' And he went, and met him in the mountain of God, and kissed him. 28 And Moses told Aaron all the words of the LORD wherewith He had sent him, and all the signs wherewith He had charged him. 29 And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel. 30 And Aaron spoke all the words which the LORD had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people. 31 And the people believed; and when they heard that the LORD had remembered the children of Israel, and that He had seen their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped.

5:1 And afterward Moses and Aaron came, and said unto Pharaoh: 'Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Let My people go, that they may hold a feast unto Me in the wilderness.' 2 And Pharaoh said: 'Who is the LORD, that I should hearken unto His voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, and moreover I will not let Israel go.'


For us we view this one way. However, put yourself in Pharaoh’s place who has Avoda Zara for every little thing. A god for the sun, a god for the moon, a god for the river, etc. so this is not an unreasonable question from his standpoint. He has not previous evidence of the L-RD for Yosef was over 100 years before.


3 And they said: 'The God of the Hebrews hath met with us. Let us go, we pray thee, three days' journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice unto the LORD our God; lest He fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword.' 4 And the king of Egypt said unto them: 'Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, cause the people to break loose from their work? get you unto your burdens.' 5 And Pharaoh said: 'Behold, the people of the land are now many, and will ye make them rest from their burdens?' 6 And the same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying: 7 'Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore. Let them go and gather straw for themselves. 8 And the tale of the bricks, which they did make heretofore, ye shall lay upon them; ye shall not diminish aught thereof; for they are idle; therefore they cry, saying: Let us go and sacrifice to our God. 9 Let heavier work be laid upon the men, that they may labor therein; and let them not regard lying words.' 10 And the taskmasters of the people went out, and their officers, and they spoke to the people, saying: 'Thus says Pharaoh: I will not give you straw. 11 Go yourselves, get you straw where ye can find it; for nought of your work shall be diminished.' 12 So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble for straw. 13 And the taskmasters were urgent, saying: 'Fulfil your work, your daily task, as when there was straw.'


Not knowing the L-RD he wants to put down the demands as he sees it as a labor dispute and not a religious request. He wants to show the people his strength and is waiting for them to beg and ask forgiveness. Some folks who survived the Holocaust asked me “Where was G-D?” We see here too that HE was hiding and the only answer that I can provide “I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE”. I cannot question a SUPREME BEING that knows ever soul living and dead.


14 And the officers of the children of Israel, whom Pharaoh's taskmasters had set over them, were beaten, saying: 'Wherefore have ye not fulfilled your appointed task in making brick both yesterday and today as heretofore?' 15 Then the officers of the children of Israel came and cried unto Pharaoh, saying: 'Wherefore do you deal thus with thy servants? 16 There is no straw given unto thy servants, and they say to us: Make brick; and, behold, thy servants are beaten, but the fault is in thine own people.' 17 But he said: 'Ye are idle, ye are idle; therefore ye say: Let us go and sacrifice to the LORD. 18 Go therefore now, and work; for there shall no straw be given you, yet shall ye deliver the tale of bricks.' 19 And the officers of the children of Israel did see that they were set on mischief, when they said: 'Ye shall not diminish aught from your bricks, your daily task.' 20 And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the way, as they came forth from Pharaoh; 21 and they said unto them: 'The LORD look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savor to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us.' 22 And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said: 'Lord, wherefore have Thou dealt ill with this people? Why is it that Thou hast sent me? 23 For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Thy name, he hath dealt ill with this people; neither hast Thou delivered Thy people at all.'


Moshe does not see the whole picture of plagues, splitting of the sea and the giving of the Torah so he is only living the here and now and despite the promise of riches is perturbed by the developments and his disability to help the people rather they are furious at him for stirring up the hornets nest.


6:1 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh; for by a strong hand shall he let them go, and by a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land.'



Champion of academics, athletics and the arts, Loren Galler Rabinowitz is focused on her role as a third-generation Holocaust survivor.

If she had graduated magna cum laude from Harvard – that would be impressive enough, “dayeinu.”

If she’d competed in the World Figure Skating Championships – dayeinu.

If she’d won two state piano championships – dayeinu.

If she’s a regular guest on CBS Newsdayeinu.

If she had authored a book of poetry under the tutelage of a Pulitzer-Prize winner – dayeinu.

At age 27, Loren Galler Rabinowitz takes the ideal of well-roundedness to the extreme. While the rest of us mortals struggle for excellence in a single endeavor, Loren’s success almost seems unfair.

Yet with a wholesome dose of humility, grace and down-to-earth charm, Loren – who loves baking apple cake using her grandmother’s recipe – is more likely to inspire, than to arouse envy.

And through it all, Loren is so very Jewish. Her speech is peppered with Yiddishisms and old world inflections. As the grandchild of Holocaust survivors, she uses the public limelight as a platform to promote Holocaust education. She is traditional and striving Jewishly – caring deeply about Israel, keeping kosher, and an avid reader of

We caught up with Loren in Manhattan, where she was coming off a full day of studies at Columbia medical school, and an appearance earlier that day on CBS News. Aside from your myriad other activities, your current rotations in internal medicine have you getting up in the wee hours of the morning to observe major surgeries. Do you find the schedule demanding?

Loren: I like to be busy. In high school I would get up at 4:30 am and train for four hours before school. Then after school I would go back to the ice rink for more training. In college I also got up early to give youth skating lessons and tutor high school students. So for me, this medical school schedule is a bit of a slow-down! You are gifted with so many natural talents, which you have channeled into helping others. Where does this value stem from?

Loren: The secret of every Jew’s success is a Jewish mother. My mother runs a clinic in Barbados for malnourished children, and I’ve always spent a lot of time there. Barbados is a wonderful melding of cultures, and it was great for me to be exposed early on to a totally different way of life – especially to people who materially have so much less than what we’re used to in America. It made me painfully aware of being very fortunate, and wanting to help those less fortunate. Let’s go back in time. Where are your family roots?

Loren: My grandparents were childhood sweethearts in a small shtetl in southeastern Poland. There was no electricity or running water. When the Germans came in 1942 they were separated. My grandfather was sent to dig ditches at the front, and eventually survived by joining the Russian army.

My grandmother’s story is more harrowing. When she was 16, she and her seven siblings were packed into a cattle car destined for the Belzec death camp. A few of the children, including my petite grandmother, were able to fit through a small window in the train. Before she jumped, her father held her hand and said: “When you were born, the Belzer Rebbe was living in our house and he blessed you. I believe you will be the one to survive. Do not forget us.”

When my grandmother and her two younger siblings were pushed out the window, the SS guards positioned on top of the train shot at them. The bullets missed my grandmother but she had to bury her little brother and sister right there in the snow.

She then walked along the frozen train tracks back to her town, only to find there were no Jews left. People were already ransacking her family’s home. Nobody wanted to help her; they were afraid for their own lives. She kept walking and eventually found a family whose little daughter had recently died of tuberculosis. They gave my grandmother – who had blonde hair and green eyes – the identification papers of the dead girl. So she spent the duration of the war hiding with this family?

Loren: No, it wasn’t that easy. The Nazis went around scooping up Polish teenagers and bringing them back to Germany to perform manual labor. My grandmother was sent for slave labor on a German farm where she nearly starved to death. Miraculously, my grandfather managed to locate her after the war. She weighed 45 pounds. They traveled to Sweden, got married and had three children, including my mom.

Years later when I found myself standing in Auschwitz in the freezing cold, I could deeply appreciate how things might have turned out differently for our family. All us grandchildren are named after those who were murdered. We were never allowed to forget. How did they get to America?

Loren: My grandmother always dreamed of living in Israel, and some of our cousins ended up there. But when my mom was 9 her family got a visa to come to the U.S. They started off in New York where my grandfather tried to find work. One day he went to the newsstand to buy a copy of the New York Times, but mistakenly picked up a copy of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. He got a job and they ended up spending the majority of their adult lives in New Orleans. For European Jewish immigrants, that sounds totally out of their element.

Loren: Actually it was fortuitous. Living in the Deep South in the 1960s, during a period of marginalization of African-Americans, my grandmother saw similarities to what she experienced in the years leading up to the Holocaust. Jewish children were first forced to sit in the back of the classroom, then weren’t allowed to attend public schools at all – and nobody did anything to stop it.

She refused to let the same thing happen in her own backyard. This 4-foot-10 lady with a European accent would travel to high schools in Mississippi and Oklahoma, getting up on stage to tell her own experiences being marginalized as a child. She spoke out against the injustice of separate schools, benches and water fountains for black people. It was her way of fighting back after not being able to during the war itself.

My grandparents taught to bravely speak out for what is right, and how to persevere through the most impossible of circumstances. Telling their stories was wonderfully cathartic for them. They have since passed away, but we estimate that over the decades they spoke to 600,000 schoolchildren. You continue to speak about the Holocaust at schools and organizational events. What is the primary message you try to convey?

Loren: Ours is the last generation to witness those who actually went through the horrors of the Holocaust. In one sense it’s easy to identify with the victim – the stories are so touching and powerful. Yet it’s much more difficult to understand the perpetrator. Nazi leaders were highly educated – doctors, lawyers, PhDs – living in a technologically advanced society. How did Eastern Europe reach the point where people were killing their neighbors, robbing them, or turning them over to become chimney smoke? That was not the result of one sociopath. It was the result of millions of decisions by individuals and an entire society.

The best hope for not repeating what happened in Europe is to reach out to others who are different from us – to be thoughtful and generous and open-minded. Every human being has enormous capacity for good, and enormous capacity for not-so-good. We’ve all committed acts of unkindness, and we need to think about how our behavior impacts others.

My grandmother visited schools because she knew that to instill good values, it has to be taught at the earliest age. If a 5-year-old is taught to hate, it’s very difficult to undo that. But if you can reach children early on, you can make a huge difference. You served as Miss Massachusetts and competed in the Miss America beauty pageant, something that traditional Judaism would oppose. 

Loren: I kind of fell into it, actually. The Miss America organization is the world’s largest provider of educational scholarships for women, about $50 million annually. There is no prize money; it’s all in the form of educational scholarships. I met someone who told me that by entering a local contest I would become eligible for a scholarship. I wanted to go to medical school and thought this would help alleviate some of the burden.

So I entered a local pageant and to my surprise I won. Then I went to the next level, and to my surprise I won. I am a real klutz and tripped across the stage in my evening gown several times. In the end I found that what comes across is not just what you look like, but if you have something important to contribute, and can do it with passion. I wanted to be in a service position for that year and Miss Massachusetts gave me the opportunity to be very busy with volunteer work, up to 70 hours a week. Ice skating is not typically associated as a Jewish occupation. How did you get involved?

Loren: My mom is a very busy physician and professor at Harvard Medical School. From the time I can remember, she would be up at 5 a.m. to skate for fun and exercise. As a young girl I realized that accompanying her to the rink was a great way to spend private time with her. So how could I help but fall in love with what we were doing.

Even as I grew up and began skating competitively, that private time continued. My mom always traveled with me to major competitions – to China, Spain, Bulgaria, Russia, Norway, the Czech Republic, Japan. Those were wonderful adventures that we got to share together. It was also a great Jewish education because we would visit the shul in Beijing or the old synagogue in Prague to learn about those Jewish communities. When did you find time for schoolwork?

Loren: My ice skates were off-limits until all my homework was finished and there was an ‘A’ on every paper. Otherwise I could not go to skating practice. That was a very good motivating factor. There was no room for any ‘B-plus’! You are also trained as a classical pianist.

Loren: My family is very musically oriented. My father’s cousin is Leonard Bernstein, and my two younger sisters are both virtuoso composers of symphonies who have played at Carnegie Hall several times. I started playing piano at age one. I had too much shpilkes (restlessness) to practice, but after a long session of ice skating I would be tired enough where my mother could sit me down at the piano.. Did you feel pressure being raised in such a high-achieving atmosphere?

Loren: Except with school, where there were clear expectations of getting good grades, I never really felt pressure. My parents sort of gave us paintbrushes and a blank canvas to explore and grow. Playing piano was space and time that was just mine – sitting for hours and making music. It was such a different creative outlet than the physicality of skating. You never realized your dream of competing in the Olympic Games. How did you deal with that disappointment?

Loren: The Olympics was something I wanted more than anything else in the world. I was extremely disappointed and rather than feel sorry for myself I volunteered at a hospital, caring for others and observing how they dealt with loss. It was incredibly rewarding and helped me get through a tough time. What was your take-away from all those years invested on the ice?

Loren: The main thing is that you can’t be afraid to fail. Competing as a professional athlete, skating 10 hours a day, you’re pushed by your coaches so much further than what you think you’re capable of. You stop thinking in terms of limitations. If you don’t keep pushing yourself, you’ll never know the limit. From an early age, my family made it okay for me to fail. So I just assume that anything is possible, until I fail at it.

I’ve been coaching figure skating since I was a teenager, and I’ve seen kids who were failing school that are now graduating from Harvard. All it took was a little confidence, of somebody telling them: “You’re capable of much more than you think.” People often need a push in the right direction – not a big push, but a little push. What type of Jewish environment did you grow up in?

Loren: We’ always kept kosher. I’d always eaten at home my whole life including at college, so when I moved to New York for medical school I had to think about what it means to have a kosher kitchen. I remember when I was 12 years old, baking with my grandmother, and she said, “Human beings need to eat to survive. Keeping kosher is a way to remind you three times a day of where you come from.” That thought stuck with me.

I also have lots of cousins in Israel and can’t wait to get back there again. And I stay connected through There’s so much negativity in the mass media, it’s nice to have a place online that provides a positive Jewish respite from it all. Did your family celebrate Shabbat?

Loren: We had Shabbos dinner every Friday. For a family of two doctors and three kids who were always busy with extracurricular activities, it was a wonderful time for us to come together. Especially because my dad, who was constantly off saving lives as a cardiologist, was home before sundown every Friday. It was a very clear message that uninterrupted family time is a priority. Work is wonderful, but you have to schedule time for relationships and family.

I would walk with my dad to shul every Shabbos and through this we became very close. He was not on his cellphone or running to the hospital, so we had time for special conversations. Especially in this generation, where we’re expected to always be connected – on a cellphone or texting or emailing – it’s important to prioritize time to just “be.” There’s so little room for it in our lives. Shabbos is like a mandated break from these distractions. I’m grateful that my parents instilled this in us and I want to raise my future family this way. As a future doctor, in what way has your father inspired you?

Loren: His knowledge is encyclopedic. It's stunning. He was trained without a computer to look everything up, so he has it all in his head. He attended yeshiva growing up, and went to medical school at Yeshiva University. He was trained from an early age as a Talmudist – not only to retain tremendous amounts of information, but also to synthesize it all. That training is an important part of what makes him such an amazing physician. Everyone in his family became a rabbi, and the joke is that he’s the one Jewish boy who disappointed his mother by becoming a doctor! Has your adjustment to medical school been difficult?

Loren: So many of the skills I acquired while skating are transferable to my medical career. Sleep depravation? Not a problem! Having an instructor yell at me? I’ve had 350-pound Russian ladies screaming expletives all day long. Lots of material to master? I learned to work with discipline and attention to detail, doing things over and over and over until it’s right. That whole time I was building skills that will now hopefully help me save lives. My skating career ended in disappointment, but my grandfather taught me that if you wait long enough, things always work out. I’m an incurable optimist. These days, how do you spend your free time?

Loren: Medical school is so overwhelming that there’s little time to do extracurricular anything! But I continue to travel and tell my grandparents’ story. I partnered with the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington to promote their traveling exhibit called “Deadly Medicine” which examines the role of Nazi physicians during the Holocaust and the implications for modern medical ethics. This hit home for me in multiple ways.

Carrying out my role as a third-generation survivor is something I cannot afford to take three years away from. My life seems incomplete unless I’m doing something good for someone else every single day. What’s in store for the future?

Loren: I’m interested in the doctor-patient relationship – how we can produce more doctors who are warm, trustworthy, sensitive, kind and compassionate. I’ve had enough injuries as an athlete to know what it’s like to be in an emergency room with a broken arm or a bleeding head. For a doctor, at the end of the day, there are no more tests and no more competitions to win. It’s just you figuring out how to help another person.


This might not be Halacha or Torah but it certainly makes sense and tries to reinstate the core values that we grew up in my school days thanks to Allen:


 Listen to the young people, F-this, F-that, and nary anyone will step up and correct them- even with wife and kids in tow! A MUST READ!!!!!!!!!


FINALLY - - Someone in the teaching profession had the courage to set the standards so badly needed NOW.


New high school principal

We watched high school principal Dennis Prager of Colorado , along with Sara Palin and Tom Brokaw on TV a couple of weeks ago....what a dynamic, down  to earth speaker. Even though Palin and Brokaw were also guest speakers they did little but nod and agree with him. This is the guy that should be running for President in 2016!


A Speech Every American High School Principal Should Give. By Dennis Prager.

To the students and faculty of our high school:

I am your new principal, and honored to be so. There is no greater calling than to teach young people.

I would like to apprise you of some important changes coming to our school. I am making these changes because I am convinced that most of the  ideas that have dominated public education in America have worked against you, against your teachers and against our country.

First, this school will no longer honor race or ethnicity.
I could not care less if your racial makeup is black, brown, red, yellow or white. I could not care less if your origins are African, Latin American, Asian or European, or if your ancestors arrived here on the Mayflower or on slave ships. The only identity I care about, the only one this school will recognize, is your individual identity -- your character, your scholarship, your humanity. And the only national identity this school will care about is American.

This is an American public school, and American public schools were created to make better Americans. If you wish to affirm an ethnic, racial or religious identity through school, you will have to go elsewhere. We will end all ethnicity, race and non-American nationality-based celebrations. They undermine the motto of America , one of its three central values – E-Pluribus Unum, "from many, one." And this school will be guided by America 's values. This includes all after-school clubs. I will not authorize clubs that divide students based on any identities. This includes race, language, religion, sexual orientation or whatever else may become in vogue in a society divided by political correctness.

Your clubs will be based on interests and passions, not blood, ethnic, racial or other physically defined ties. Those clubs just cultivate narcissism -- an unhealthy preoccupation with the self -- while the purpose of  education is to get you to think beyond yourself. So we will have clubs that transport you to the wonders and glories of art, music, astronomy, languages you do not already speak, carpentry and more. If the only extracurricular activities you can imagine being interested in are those based on ethnic, racial or sexual identity, that means that little outside of yourself really interests you.

Second, I am uninterested in whether English is your native language. My only interest in terms of language is that you leave this school speaking and writing English as fluently as possible. The English language has united America 's citizens for over 200 years, and it will unite us at this school. It is one of the indispensable reasons this country of immigrants has always come to be one country. And if you leave this school without excellent English language skills, I would be remiss in my duty to ensure that you will be prepared to successfully compete in the American job market. We will learn other languages here -- it is deplorable that most Americans only speak English -- if you want classes taught in your native language rather than in English, this is not your school.

Third, because I regard learning as a sacred endeavor, everything in this school will reflect learning's elevated status. This means, among other things, that you and your teachers will dress accordingly. Many people in our society dress more formally for Hollywood events than for church or school. These people have their priorities backward. Therefore, there will be a formal dress code at this school.

Fourth, no obscene language will be tolerated anywhere on this school's property -- whether in class, in the hallways or at athletic events. If you can't speak without using the f -word, you can't speak. By obscene language I mean the words banned by the Federal Communications Commission, plus epithets such as "Nigger," even when used by one black student to address another black, or "bitch," even when addressed by a girl to a girlfriend. It is my intent that by the time you leave this school, you will be among the few your age to instinctively distinguish between the elevated and the degraded, the holy and the obscene.

Fifth, we will end all self-esteem programs. In this school, self-esteem will be attained in only one way -- the way people attained it until decided otherwise a generation ago -- by earning it. One immediate consequence is that there will be ONE valedictorian, not eight.

Sixth, and last, I am reorienting the school toward academics and away from politics and propaganda. No more time will be devoted to scaring you about smoking and caffeine, or terrifying you about sexual harassment or global warming. No more semesters will be devoted to condom wearing and teaching you to regard sexual relations as only or primarily a health issue... There will be no more attempts to convince you that you are a victim because you are not white, or not male, or not heterosexual or not Christian. We will have failed if any one of you graduates this school and does not consider him or herself inordinately fortunate -- to be alive and to be an American.

Now, please stand and join me in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of our country. As many of you do not know the words, your teachers will hand them out to you.


Does the Vatican have the Temple Vessels? Well perhaps a few but…


Internal Israeli Politics with the people sick of Lapid, Lieberman feels that he can pick up again the anti-Charedi vote and keep the right wing balance in power with a coalition with the Charedim in the end depending on how much the Likud-Lieberman group gets.



How to wash out the theory of evolution without really trying and if the new Astrophysics string theory hologram holds water 6,000 become more feasible and ancient man and the world are only 6,000 years old:    Re: Neanderthals being portrayed as brutish while real evidence is contrary as they had to live in small communities. 70 years ago the most brutish inhumanity occurred by the most scientifically advanced and civilized nation since the Spanish Inquisition. Wives have been beaten and deformed in western countries but in Iran and Pakistan it is almost a past time. And we dare call Neanderthals brutish!!!


Netanyahu may face tremendous opposition for his playing Dictator of the Party for years:


From Albert: I inherited from my grandfather Zal a simple one which was left in the States 43 years ago but look at this complex one:



A lot of people were without electricity in the cold and hundreds of cars are being towed to clear the roads 4 people died and Tzefat was covered by 1 meter or about 40 inches of snow:


NOW THE THEORY IS THAT WE ARE ONLY GENERATED IN HASHEM'S MIND the scientists have not gotten to this conclusion yet but that is implied here



Kerry’s motorcade stopped traffic on road 443 during the middle of the blizzard and more cars got stuck. related:


From Shmuel: The information was there we just did not want to see.


These thieves of the elderly did not make the Tzaddikim register:,7340,L-4466714,00.html





We should check our Teshuva, Tephilla and Tzeduka:


Inyanay Diyoma


The Arabs pretend to be innocent as usual:


He does not want peace only Kerry and Israel want peace:


They don’t care about us but soon their very-very sorry rear ends are going to be on the line and we are the little Satan while they are bigger:


BHO get yourself a good advisor for this means that soon they can hit NY, Washington and you & Michelle in Chicago:


Oy Voy the illegal smuggling tunnels got flooded!,7340,L-4465234,00.html I was not thrilled with our giving for free pumps and diesel fuel to Gaza.


Google just bought this robotics company thanks to Sheldon:



Finally using our heads to fight the fifth column being sponsored by foreign sources:,7340,L-4465762,00.html


From Allen, Israel makes a great breakthrough in medicine.


Remember that all planes were grounded on 9/11 except a Saudi one that left that day:


Probably this murderer will get a medal rather than jail although Lebanon plans to try him for subordination:




Southern Sudan violence effects Israelis:                                                                                                                              



Trying to steal state lands by Yishmael folks.


China pressures Netanyahu and he caves in like butter in a hot frying pan.,7340,L-4466769,00.html


Trying to clear Pollard who should have served 2 to 4 years not 29 plus:





He was only doing spring cleaning tossing grenades out the window when he was killed:,7340,L-4467153,00.html


So much for Iranian sanctions and peaceful use:  The sanctions let up too quickly and Kerry is singing bye-bye happiness bye-bye Nobel Prize hello loneliness:




Russian is also blocking Obama on a Nuclear Free Middle-East designed against Israel.,7340,L-4467682,00.html


Obama may threw a monkey wrench into the gears of the Senate and House:,7340,L-4467643,00.html


These Jews need help after the storm damages:



Now for M. Wolfberg’s Good Shabbos Story “Doctors Orders” and “Burning Bush”


 Good Shabbos Everyone. It is said that the greatest Tzadikkim (righteous Torah leaders) in each generation possess ruach hakodesh, a divine inspiration, that enlightens them with an uncanny understanding of the past and makes them privy to many of mankind's secrets of the future. Using this power, the righteous can give blessings to those who come to them.
       We see this concept in this week’s parsha Vayechi, in which we read about how Yakov blesses his children. Although the blessings seem somewhat cryptic on the surface, the blessings with which Yakov blesses his children contain some of the deepest mystical secrets of the Torah. We will focus our discussion this week more in general, on the power of the Righteous to give brochos - blessings to people who come to them for such.
       There are those who say that the Chofetz Chaim, R' Yisrael Meir Kagan, of Radin, Poland, possessed the noble attribute of ruach hakodesh – a low level of prophecy. The story begins around the time after the First World War in Zhetel, Poland, the birthplace of the Chofetz Chaim.
       In that town lived a certain R' Zalman who held a rabbinical position in the early part of his career. A citizen of the town, R' Asher, had a nineteen-year-old son who wished to settle in Eretz Yisroel. Aware of the economic difficulties there, R' Asher decided to teach his son a trade so that he could find work in Eretz Yisroel. He bought his son a car and taught him to drive so that he could be a chauffeur. He would pick up passengers from the railroad station in Zhetel, and take them to their destinations.
       Soon enough, he became familiar with the various routes and back roads throughout the major cities of the region. One Friday afternoon, as people were going to shul, they noticed that R' Asher's son was still driving people from the station. It was just moments before Shabbos, and it was quite obvious that the boy, who came from a religious family, would not be home in time for Shabbos.
       Although no one actually saw him driving after nightfall, it would have been almost impossible for him to get home before then. In shul, people told R' Zalman what they had seen. After davening, the rav had the young man summoned to his home and reprimanded him. The young man claimed that it was an accident, that he thought he could make it home before Shabbos, but there was traffic, he got lost, and so on. He assured the rav that it would not happen again.
       A few weeks later, he was seen driving on Friday night. This time he was caught red-handed, and the witnesses were infuriated. They hurried to R' Zalman's home to tell him the news. Once again the young man was called in, harshly reprimanded and warned that the community would not tolerate his actions much longer.
       The father had no control over his now independent son and soon it became common for the boy to be seen driving on Shabbos. The religious people in Zhetel felt outraged and affronted. They had seen this boy grow up and his open defiance was deeply felt by everyone. Additionally, they felt that such flagrant violations of the Sabbath by one of their own could have a harmful influence on the other young people in the community. They pleaded with R' Zalman to convince the father to send his son away from Zhetel at once. R' Zalman agreed to do so.
       However, before R' Zalman had an opportunity to speak with him, R' Asher had a stroke and was rushed to the hospital. He lay there for some weeks, and although R' Zalman came to visit him a number of times, he felt that it was an inopportune time to discuss the doings of his wayward son. R’ Asher wanted to leave the hospital.
       The doctors, however, insisted that he remain. One night, R' Asher's deceased grandmother came to him in a dream. She told him that he was foolish for staying in the hospital and that he should follow her advice and leave at once. "What you need," she said, "is a brochah from the Chofetz Chaim. Go to him and tell him that you are from his hometown of Zhetel. His brochah will do more for you than all the medications the doctors have been giving you for the last six months."
       The next morning, R' Asher got out of his hospital bed unobserved, took his crutches and hobbled somewhat unsteadily down the back corridors of the hospital and made his way outside. He went home and began to prepare for his trip to the Chofetz Chaim. In a few days he was ready to begin his journey to Radin.
       While R’ Asher was traveling on a train to Radin, the Chofetz Chaim himself along with R’ Zalman (the Rav from Zhetel who was supposed to encourage R’ Asher to send his son away) were traveling home to Radin from a rabbinic conference in Vilna. R’ Asher happened to meet up with R' Zalman in the train station. R’ Zalman directed R’ Asher to the Chofetz Chaim’s train car. R’ Zalman was hoping to reach the Chofetz Chaim before R’ Asher so that he could tell him about R' Asher's son. Perhaps, thought R' Zalman, if the Chofetz Chaim would admonish R' Asher about the matter, R' Asher would then try to influence the wayward young man. They entered the train and walked through the corridors until they came to the car where the Chofetz Chaim had just finished Shacharis and was putting his tefillin away.
       Respectfully, they waited at a distance until he finished, and then R' Asher hobbled to the Chofetz Chaim and began talking before R' Zalman had a chance to say anything.
       As R' Asher began talking to the Chofetz Chaim he burst into tears, describing his illness and lengthy stay in the hospital. "I am from Zhetel, your hometown," said R' Asher gasping from his exertion. "My grandmother, who was a deeply religious woman, came to me in a dream and told me that I should come to you for a brochah."
       The Chofetz Chaim looked up at the man and said, "Yisroel Meir is not a brochah-giver. What can I do? How can I help you?" (The Chofetz Chayim often referred to himself by his first name Yisroel Meir.) The man pleaded and begged.
       Finally the Chofetz Chaim said, "We say every Friday night: 'Let us go towards the Shabbos and welcome it, for it is the source of blessing.' If Shabbos, which is the source of blessing is happy with you, then I too can be happy with you."
       "What do you mean, Rebbi?" asked R' Asher. "Well," said the Chofetz Chaim, "if Shabbos is observed in your home by the members of your family, then Shabbos will bless you. But if your son drives on Shabbos, and your daughter combs her hair in a manner forbidden on the Shabbos, then Shabbos is not happy with you. If so, what kind of brochah-giver is Yisroel Meir?"
       The man was shocked by the insight of the Chofetz Chaim's words and he promised that he would make every effort to see that his children would become true Sabbath observers. How did the Chofetz Chaim know these details about R’ Asher’s family? (p. 171 Rabbi Paysach Krohn, The Maggid Speaks.)
       Our righteous Torah leaders are conduits through which flows the divine goodness from above. By going to a Tzaddik, a righteous Torah leader, we can tap into this conduit and benefit from their blessings.
       Let us all be inspired by this week’s discussion to seek out our Righteous Torah leaders and flock to them to seek their brochos. Then we will all merit living happy and healthier lives.
  Good Shabbos Everyone.


Good Shabbos EveryoneAnyone wishing to see proof of the existence of G-d need only look at the Jewish people. We are a nation that by all estimates, should have been destroyed long ago. We are small among the nations. However, after years of persecutions, banishments, burnings, gassings, torturing and exterminations, Am Yisroel is alive and well.
        We read about the indestructibility of the Jewish nation in our Torah portion this week Shemos. The Torah tells us about how Moshe Rabeinu (our teacher) saw a prophetic vision in the form of a burning bush. The verse tells us "…behold! The bush was burning in the fire but the bush was not consumed."  (Shemos 3:2) The Midrash tells us that the bush symbolizes Yisroel.  Although the nations may try to destroy us, we are not consumed… we will never be consumed. (Midrash Rabbah, Shemos [Margolios] 2,14) We are the eternal nation. The following amazing true story illustrates the special character of the Jewish people.
        In the 1980's during the height of the Intifada, when Arabs stoned and shot at Israelis without provocation, Gadi Ramat, a member of the IDF (Israeli Defense Force), was driving an army jeep near the Arab town of Ramallah.
        It was late afternoon and he was patrolling the perimeter of the city. Suddenly, a sniper's shot rang out and Gadi fell out of the jeep onto the road bleeding profusely. The Arab terrorist was sure he had killed Gadi, so he left him on the road.
        Shortly after the shooting, a young Israeli, Shlomo Rimon, happened to be driving by and saw Gadi lying on the ground. He rushed out of his car, picked up the limp soldier and sped off to the nearest Israeli hospital.
        As Shlomo drove along the highway, he frantically called ahead to the hospital and told them that he was bringing in a seriously wounded soldier. "I have no idea if he is dead or alive, but please have medics ready when I get there, which will be in about seven minutes," he exclaimed.
        The emergency room was ready when Shlomo arrived. Four doctors were waiting to take Gadi from the car and begin treatment. The chief resident, Raffy Tekef, coordinated the rescue effort. He called for units of blood, summoned the trauma and surgical staffs and oversaw all procedures needed to save Gadi's life.
        Doctors and nurses acted swiftly and efficiently. In seconds Gadi was hooked up to tubes and monitors. The hospital called the local army office, which was able to procure Gadi's background information. His parents from Ashdod were called and told to rush to the hospital immediately.
        As the hospital staff seemed to be getting the situation under control, Shlomo slipped away from the emergency room and drove home. There was no reason for him to wait for the parents. He had no information on how the accident happened and he was not looking for thanks or recognition. He felt that every Jew would have done the same.
        Gadi's parents arrived about two hours later. They were told that although Gadi was in critical condition and had lost much blood, chances were good that he would survive. When Mr. and Mrs. Ramat asked who brought Gadi in, no one knew. Everyone was occupied with Gadi and no one had bothered to ask Shlomo his name. After two weeks, Gadi left the hospital to return to his home in Ashdod for convalescence.
        At that time Gadi's mother, Mrs. Tamar Ramat, put up signs in her grocery store asking anyone for information about the identity of the young man who saved her son. The Ramats were highly principled, deeply religious people who were beloved by all who knew them. They felt compelled to find the rescuer so they could thank him properly. The sign was up for months but no one had information. Mrs, Ramat kept the sign hanging as a daily reminder of her gratitude to Hashem.
        More than a year after the incident, Anat Rimon came to shop at the Makolet (grocery) owned by the Ramat family.  She had lived in Ashdod, but moved to Ranana years ago, and was back for a visit with friends. She came into the local makolet to get some items before she returned home. As she entered the store she saw the poster with the headline, "Information Wanted." The poster explained that the owner's son had been saved by an unknown virtuous individual and that the family sought to find him. She read the notice and then read it a second time. Could it be they were talking about her son Shlomo? He had told her about a wounded soldier whom he had brought to a hospital after seeing him lying next to his jeep, but he had made nothing of it. She recalled being so proud that her son sought no accolades or thanks.
        She went to the counter and asked the lady checking out items whom she could speak to about the poster.
        Mrs. Ramat looked up at Mrs. Rimon and said, "Why? Do you have information about it?
"Can we talk privately?" Mrs. Rimon asked.
Mrs. Ramat got someone to tend the counter and took Mrs. Rimon into a private room in the back. There was a small desk and two chairs surrounded by canned goods, boxes of food products stacked and piled on crowded shelves. Mrs. Rimon began to quiver. "A little more than a year ago," she began, "my son Shlomo came home and told me about a soldier he had brought to the hospital after seeing him lying in the street outside Ramallah. He told me that the doctors saved his life. Could that have been your son?"
        The two women began exchanging tidbits of information about the incident and it soon became apparent that indeed it was Shlomo Rimon who saved Gadi Ramat.
        The women embraced. "I can't believe you are the mother of that soldier." Mrs. Rimon said, "I am so happy for you that your son survived. How old is he by the way?"
        Mrs. Ramat was surprised at the question because it seemed Mrs. Rimon was getting at something.
        "Gadi is now 21," Mrs. Ramat said proudly.
Mrs. Rimon tried to hold back the tears. "You don't remember me?" she asked Mrs. Ramat.
"Am I supposed to?" asked Mrs. Ramat in return.
        "Close to 22 years ago," said Mrs. Rimon, "we were both expecting. I was living in Ashdod and already had two children and did not want to have another one. My doctor had told me that he could arrange for my pregnancy to be ended. You overheard me telling my friend about it. You called me and tried hard to convince me not to end my child's life even before it began. At first I didn't want to listen to you, but you didn't give up. Finally, you convinced me. The dear child that I gave birth to was Shlomo."
        Mrs. Rimon paused as she caught her breath and uttered the words that Mrs. Ramat will never forget. "You saved my son and now that son saved yours!"  (From In the Spirit of the Maggid R. P. Krohn, p. 215)
  Good Shabbos 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


Have a wonderful and peaceful Shabbos and guard your health,

Rachamim Pauli