Friday, January 3, 2014

Parsha Bo, stories and Tu B'Shevat reminder.

Dean Martin said, "I feel sorry for you people who don't drink. For when you wake up in the morning that's as good as you are going to feel all day."

Parsha Bo

This Parsha is not as mistranslated “go to Pharaoh” for it that was the case it would be “Lech” but rather come to Pharaoh. For I, HASHEM, am here to protect you. You are not coming to Pharaoh but to ME. When we left off last week, 7 Makkos had occurred the hail destroying a lot of the crops of Mitzrayim. This week, the locusts will come and finish off more of the crops. Last year, Egypt suffered another attack of locusts which spread to the Negev and a few individual ones as far as northern Israel. Israel survived the locusts with minimal damage. In Goshen, the locusts in Moshe’s time were nowhere to be seen.

10:1 And the LORD said unto Moses: Come to Pharaoh; for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might show these My signs in the midst of them; 2 and that thou mayest tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son's son, what I have wrought upon Egypt, and My signs which I have done among them; that ye may know that I am the LORD.'

At this point Moshe does not know that this is the beginning of the Pessach Seder which will be passed down from generation to generation to the end of time.

3 And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and said unto him: 'Thus says the LORD, the God of the Hebrews: How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before Me? let My people go, that they may serve Me. 4 Else, if thou refuse to let My people go, behold, to-morrow will I bring locusts into thy border; 5 and they shall cover the face of the earth, that one shall not be able to see the earth; and they shall eat the residue of that which is escaped, which remains unto you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which groweth for you out of the field; 6 and thy houses shall be filled, and the houses of all thy servants, and the houses of all the Egyptians; as neither thy fathers nor thy fathers' fathers have seen, since the day that they were upon the earth unto this day.' And he turned, and went out from Pharaoh. 7 And Pharaoh's servants said unto him: 'How long shall this man be a snare unto us? let the men go, that they may serve the LORD their God, know thou not yet that Egypt is destroyed?'

Up until this point, Pharaoh’s advisors were afraid to open their mouths so this time they got bold enough to beg Pharaoh to reconsider letting the Bnei Yisrael have a few days off for a sacrifice. After all the G-D of the HEBREWS  appears very angry.

8 And Moses and Aaron were brought again unto Pharaoh; and he said unto them: 'Go, serve the LORD your God; but who are they that shall go?' 9 And Moses said: 'We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds we will go; for we must hold a feast unto the LORD.' 10 And he said unto them: 'So be the LORD with you, as I will let you go, and your little ones; see ye that evil is before your face.

I see Evil in the Pshat it is that way for Moshe and the slaves are up to no good. However, the word for evil is Ra which is also a name of an Egyptian god and perhaps a comet or other astronomical body as Velikovsky suggested in his book “Worlds in Collision”.
Velikovsky took his idea from Rashi: See that evil is before your faces: [Understand this] as the Targum [Onkelos] renders it. I have [also] heard an Aggadic midrash, however [which explains the passage as follows]: There is a star named Ra’ah [i.e., רָעָה meaning evil]. Pharaoh said to them [Moses and Aaron], “With my astrology I see that star ascending toward you in the desert [where you would like to go], and that is a sign of blood and slaughter.” When the Israelites sinned with the calf, and the Holy One, blessed be He, sought to kill them, Moses said in his prayer, “Why should the Egyptians say, ‘With Ra’ah He took them out…?’” (Exod. 32:12) This is what he [Pharaoh] said to them, “See that Ra’ah [evil] is opposite your faces,” [implying that their blood would be shed in the desert]. Immediately, “The Lord repented of the Ra’ah [the sign of the star]” (Exod. 32:14), and He turned the bloodshed [symbolized by this star] into the blood of the circumcision, for Joshua [in fact] circumcised them. This is the meaning of what is said: “This day I have rolled away the reproach of the Egyptians from you” (Josh. 5:9), for they were saying to you, “We see blood over you in the desert.” -[from Midrash Shir Hashirim, Wertheimer 1:2]
See this Planetarium Lecture:  Velikovsky giving a lecture:

11 Not so; go now ye that are men, and serve the LORD; for that is what ye desire.' And they were driven out from Pharaoh's presence.

Not so: as you have said [that you want] to take the young children with you, but let the men go and worship the Lord. — [from Jonathan] for that is what you request: ([meaning] that worship) you have requested until now, [telling me,] “Let us offer and sacrifice to our God” (Exod. 5:8), and young children do not usually offer up sacrifices. — [from Exod. Rabbah 13:5] And he chased them out: This is elliptical, for it does not specify who the chaser was.

12 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Stretch out thy hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they may come up upon the land of Egypt, and eat every herb of the land, even all that the hail hath left.' 13 And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the LORD brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all the night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts. 14 And the locusts went up over all the land of Egypt, and rested in all the borders of Egypt; very grievous were they; before them there were no such locusts as they, neither after them shall be such. 15 For they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and they did eat every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left; and there remained not any green thing, either tree or herb of the field, through all the land of Egypt. 16 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste; and he said: 'I have sinned against the LORD your God, and against you. 17 Now therefore forgive, I pray thee, my sin only this once, and entreat the LORD your God, that He may take away from me this death only.' 18 And he went out from Pharaoh, and entreated the LORD. 19 And the LORD turned an exceeding strong west wind, which took up the locusts, and drove them into the Red Sea; there remained not one locust in all the border of Egypt.

West wind: Heb. רוּחַ-יָם, a west wind. — [from targumim] into the Red Sea: I believe that the Red Sea was partly in the west, opposite the entire southern boundary, and also east of the land of Israel. Therefore, a west wind thrust the locusts into the Red Sea [which was] opposite it [the west wind]. Likewise, we find this [written] regarding the boundaries [of Israel] that it [the Red Sea] faces the east [of Israel], as it is said: “from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines” (Exod. 23:31). [This signifies] from east to west, because the sea of the Philistines was to the west, as it is said concerning the Philistines, “the inhabitants of the seacoast, the nation of Cherithites” (Zeph. 2:5). [Rashi is apparently referring to the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Eilat, which are both branches of the Red Sea and thus are included in the expression “Red Sea.” The latter is the eastern boundary of the Holy Land, while the Gulf of Suez is Egypt’s eastern boundary. Since the Philistines dwelt on the Mediterranean seacoast, the Red Sea mentioned in that context was surely the Gulf of Eilat. The Red Sea mentioned here is the Gulf of Suez, where the locusts were deposited.]Not one locust remained: Even the salted ones [locusts] which they [the Egyptians] had salted for themselves [to eat]. — [from Exod. Rabbah 13:7; Midrash Tanchuma, Va’era 14]

20 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not let the children of Israel go.

A normal human who recognizes that it is the L-RD G-D would not be able to withstand the pressure therefore HASHEM has to harden his heart.

21 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Stretch out thy hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt.'

There is a theory which I saw on National Geographic that the Stromboli Super-Volcano produced so much ash (rocks exist in Cyprus that point to this volcano) that the clouds of smoke were blown by the same strong west winds that drove off the locusts. However, according to our tradition, the plagues occurred for 7 days and then there was a 23 day reprieve. It could be from the volcano but it would occur 23 days later also with wintery western winds a month before Pessach. The darkness is the 3rd of 3 Makkos and comes like numbers 3 and 6 unannounced.

22 And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days; 23 they saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days; but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings. 24 And Pharaoh called unto Moses, and said: 'Go ye, serve the LORD; only let your flocks and your herds be stayed; let your little ones also go with you.' 25 And Moses said: 'Thou must also give into our hand sacrifices and burnt-offerings, that we may sacrifice unto the LORD our God. 26 Our cattle also shall go with us; there shall not a hoof be left behind; for thereof must we take to serve the LORD our God; and we know not with what we must serve the LORD, until we come thither.' 27 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let them go. 28 And Pharaoh said unto him: 'Get thee from me, take heed to thyself, see my face no more; for in the day thou see my face thou shalt die.' 29 And Moses said: 'Thou hast spoken well; I will see thy face again no more.'

This time Pharaoh threatens Moshe and Moshe replies in kind. Aka you will get what you wish for but essentially saying that I am going to win.

You have spoken correctly: You have spoken appropriately, and you have spoken at the right time. It is true that I shall no longer see your face. — [from Mechilta on Exod. 12:31]

Pay attention to Chapters 11and 12!. In chapter 11 it is now the command to “borrow” gold and silver from the Egyptians for the Pascal sacrifice. The Yom Tov is mentioned and the L-RD says at Midnight but Moshe will say to mankind about Midnight for man can make a mistake in his measurements.  The last plague is described to the Bnei Yisrael and the Egyptians also here of it. Also mentioned is that a dog will not bark at the people when they leave Egypt.
11:1 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Yet one plague more will I bring upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go hence; when he shall let you go, he shall surely thrust you out hence altogether.

Moses said, So said the Lord: When he stood before Pharaoh, this prophecy was said to him, for after he [Moses] left his [Pharaoh’s] presence, he did not see his face [again]. — [from Exod. Rabbah 18:1, Mishnath Rabbi Eliezer ch. 19] At the dividing point of the night: Heb. כַּחִצֹתהַלַיְלָה, when the night is divided. כַּחִצֹת is like “when the meal offering was offered up (כַּעִלוֹת) ” (II Kings 3:20); [and like] “when their anger was kindled (בַּחִרוֹת) against us” (Ps. 124:3). This is its simple meaning, which fits its context that חִצֹת is not a noun denoting a half. Our Rabbis, however, interpreted it like כַּחִצִי הַלַיְלָה, at about midnight [lit., half the night], and they said that Moses said כַּחִצֹת, about midnight, meaning near it [midnight], either before it or after it, but he did not say בַּחִצֹת, at midnight, lest Pharaoh’s astrologers err and [then] say, “Moses is a liar,” but the Holy One, blessed be He, Who knows His times and His seconds, בַּחִצוֹת, at midnight. — [from Ber. 3b]

2 Speak now in the ears of the people, and let them ask every man of his neighbor, and every woman of her neighbor, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold.' 3 And the LORD gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh's servants, and in the sight of the people. 4 And Moses said: 'Thus says the LORD: About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt; 5 and all the first-born in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first-born of Pharaoh that sits upon his throne, even unto the first-born of the maid-servant that is behind the mill; and all the first-born of cattle. 6 And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there hath been none like it, nor shall be like it any more. 7 But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog whet his tongue, against man or beast; that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel. 8 And all these thy servants shall come down unto me, and bow down unto me, saying: Get thee out, and all the people that follow thee; and after that I will go out.' And he went out from Pharaoh in hot anger.

The question is did Moshe say this to Pharaoh as it ends with and Moshe left Pharaoh in hot anger. However, the Rashi indicates above in Pasuk 1 that Moshe had left Pharaoh and the end of this part Moshe had be angry, very angry.

9 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Pharaoh will not hearken unto you; that My wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.' 10 And Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh; and the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not let the children of Israel go out of his land.

If you recall the first Rashi in Beresheis this is essentially the start of the nation of Yisrael. Before this was just a narrative now this is commandments that a nation receives. The laws are to go on forever except the putting of the blood on the Mezuzos of the door which was one time only. Also the not leaving the house was one time only. Chapter 12 deals with the calculations of how a new month looks like and the oral laws for preparing the Korban Pessach. The laws of not eating Chametz is established forever.

12:1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying: 2 'This month shall be unto you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. 3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying: In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to their fathers' houses, a lamb for a household; 4 and if the household be too little for a lamb, then shall he and his neighbor next unto his house take one according to the number of the souls; according to every man's eating ye shall make your count for the lamb. 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year; ye shall take it from the sheep, or from the goats; 6 and ye shall keep it unto the fourteenth day of the same month; and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at dusk.

The Egyptians could see their god bleeping and tied up by not one but all the Bnei Yisrael and were told it was to be slaughtered and they were sore afraid.

And you shall keep it for inspection: Heb. לְמִשְׁמֶרֶת. This is an expression of inspection, that it [the animal] requires an inspection for a blemish four days before its slaughter. Now why was it [the designated animal] to be taken four days before its slaughter, something not required in the Passover sacrifice of later generations? Rabbi Mathia the son of Charash used to say [in response]: Behold He [God] says: “And I passed by you and saw you, and behold your time was the time of love” (Ezek. 16:8). The [time for the fulfillment of the] oath that I swore to Abraham that I would redeem his children has arrived. But they [the Children of Israel] had no commandments in their hands with which to occupy themselves in order that they be redeemed, as it is said: “but you were naked and bare” (Ezek. 16:7). So He gave them two mitzvoth, the blood of the Passover and the blood of the circumcision. They circumcised themselves on that night, as it is said: “downtrodden with your blood (בְּדָמָיִ‏) ” (ibid., verse 6), with the two [types of] blood. He [God] states also: “You, too-with the blood of your covenant I have freed your prisoners from a pit in which there was no water” (Zech. 9:11). Moreover, they [the Israelites] were passionately fond of idolatry. [Moses] said to them, “Withdraw and take for yourselves” (Exod. 12:21). [He meant:] withdraw from idolatry and take for yourselves sheep for the mitzvah. — [from Mechilta, here and on verse 21] Note that on verse 21, Rashi explains that differently. shall slaughter it: Now do they all slaughter [it]? Rather, from here we can deduce that a person’s agent is like himself. — [from Mechilta, Kid. 41b] [Therefore, it is considered as if all the Israelites slaughtered the sacrifice.] the entire congregation of the community of Israel: [This means] the congregation, the community, and Israel. From here, they [the Rabbis] said: The communal Passover sacrifices are slaughtered in three [distinct] groups, one after the other. [Once] the first group entered, the doors of the Temple court were locked [until the group finished; they were followed by the second group, etc.,] as is stated in Pesachim (64b). in the afternoon: Heb. בֵּין הָעַרְבָּיִם From six hours [after sunrise] and onward is called בֵּין הָעַרְבַּיִם, literally, between the two evenings, for the sun is inclined toward the place where it sets to become darkened. It seems to me that the expression בֵּין הָעַרְבַּיִם denotes those hours between the darkening of the day and the darkening of the night. The darkening of the day is at the beginning of the seventh hour, when the shadows of evening decline, and the darkening of the night at the beginning of the night. עֶרֶב is an expression of evening and darkness, like “all joy is darkened (וְעָרְבָה) ” (Isa. 24:11). — [from Mechilta]

7 And they shall take of the blood, and put it on the two side-posts and on the lintel, upon the houses wherein they shall eat it. 8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; with bitter herbs they shall eat it. 9 Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; its head with its legs and with the inwards thereof.

Only eat the Korban roasted.

10 And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; but that which remains of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire.

At a regular Seder one would eat a Korban Chaggiga which would be brought every festival and then the Korban Pessach on a full stomach. I recently learned Daf Yomi Pessachim and ordered lamb ribs to get a practical taste of how the Korban must taste like. The meat is very fatty and the bones cannot be broken so one could only eat about the size of an egg. Usually 20 to 50 people participated in a Korban Pessach but still the fat and other things would have to be burned the next day.

11 And thus shall ye eat it: with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste--it is the LORD'S Passover.

You are going to eat in Mitzrayim in haste for tomorrow you are going out and traveling.

12 For I will go through the land of Egypt in that night, and will smite all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD.

This is our root for the commandments given in chapter 13 and later the Pidyon HaBen Mitzvah with 5 Shekels mentioned much later on in Chumash Bamidbar.   

13 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and there shall no plague be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. 14 And this day shall be unto you for a memorial, and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever. 15 Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; howbeit the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses; for whosoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.

Kares is a horrible punishment one can die before 60 and/or childless and be neither a righteous Goy or a Ben Yisrael in the next world!

16 And in the first day there shall be to you a holy convocation, and in the seventh day a holy convocation; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done by you. 17 And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt; therefore shall ye observe this day throughout your generations by an ordinance forever. 18 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even. 19 Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses; for whosoever eats that which is leavened, that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a sojourner or one that is born in the land. 20 Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread.'

Of the 5 grains one cannot eat leaven but one is permissible according to the Torah Quinoa, Rice, Tapioca and grains that do not leaven along with fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, poultry, mushrooms, etc.

21 Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them: 'Draw out, and take you lambs according to your families, and slaughter the Passover lamb. 22 And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side-posts with the blood that is in the basin; and none of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning. 23 For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side-posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you. 24 And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons forever. 25 And it shall come to pass, when ye be come to the land which the LORD will give you, according as He hath promised, that ye shall keep this service. 26 And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you: What mean ye by this service? 27 that ye shall say: It is the sacrifice of the LORD'S Passover, for that He passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when He smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses.' And the people bowed the head and worshipped. 28 And the children of Israel went and did so; as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they.

Usually you have a few that complain about something but after seeing 9 plagues there was nobody who questioned anything. It should be noted that in Israel both the left, right and even the Israeli Arab Parties for their own reasons are interested in freeing Jonathan Pollard now and there is no dispute about him.

29 And it came to pass at midnight, that the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the first-born of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the first-born of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the first-born of cattle. 30 And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead. 31 And he called for Moses and Aaron by night and said: 'Rise up, get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as ye have said. 32 Take both your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also.'

Pharaoh personally came to call Moshe but there was nobody out on the street and he went from house to house calling from his chariot his message.

33 And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, to send them out of the land in haste; for they said: 'We are all dead men.' 34 And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading-troughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders. 35 And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they asked of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment. 36 And the LORD gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked. And they despoiled the Egyptians. 37 And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, beside children. 38 And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle. 39 And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt, for it was not leavened; because they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry, neither had they prepared for themselves any victual. 40 Now the time that the children of Israel dwelt in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. 41 And it came to pass at the end of four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the host of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt. 42 It was a night of watching unto the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt; this same night is a night of watching unto the LORD for all the children of Israel throughout their generations. 43 And the LORD said unto Moses and Aaron: 'This is the ordinance of the passover: there shall no alien eat thereof; 44 but every man's servant that is bought for money, when thou hast circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof. 45 A sojourner and a hired servant shall not eat thereof. 46 In one house shall it be eaten; thou shalt not carry forth aught of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a bone thereof. 47 All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. 48 And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land; but no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof. 49 One law shall be to him that is home born, and unto the stranger that sojourned among you.' 50 Thus did all the children of Israel; as the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they. 51 And it came to pass the selfsame day that the LORD did bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their hosts.

The self-same day is the 400th anniversary of the birth of Yitzchak.

13:1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 2 'Sanctify unto Me all the first-born, whatsoever opens the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast, it is Mine.' …15 and it came to pass, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go that the LORD slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the first-born of man, and the first-born of beast; therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all that opens the womb, being males; but all the first-born of my sons I redeem. 16 And it shall be for a sign upon thy hand, and for frontlets between thine eyes; for by strength of hand the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt.'

The last section above is the laws of redeeming the first born male of Yisrael and the Korban Bechor for the animals and a mitzvah to redeem a first born donkey.

Two famous Israelis passed away recently

It is not my habit to mention each and every Israeli Personality that passes away so when I do there is a reason. Many people when they become famous become above it all. I am sure that if I met Leonardo Dicaprio, Brad Pitt, or similar people on the street they would not give me the time of day even. One popular actor and singer was De-De Manousi who passed away last week. He was a simple non-religious Jew who wore a head covering on the street. When I lived in Ashdod a few times I met him in the Aleph Center near the bus stop. I said to him Shalom and he answered me we had a brief exchange of words. I always thought of him as a traditional Jew. He actually lived on a non-religious Kibbutz but his son became a Baal Teshuva and he encouraged him to seek his path. His son became a Rabbi and he is saying Kaddish for his humble simple father. May his memory be blessed.

The other person I met passed away this Motzei Shabbos was former minister Yosef Shapiro. I met him as a Minister for both the Lavi Project and my Yeshuv starting up. I was in his office a few times. Each time he received me with coffee and cake and was nice to me even though twice I came unannounced and just wanted to hand something to the secretary. He was humble and acted like my big brother. He had been the head of Bnei Akiva and despite my black Kipa which was a bit more religious than his movement he gave me encouragement and a pat on the back literally. It was not for nothing that his students called him YOSKE Shapiro. He was still active last year at the age of 86 and perhaps until his passing at 87. May his memory be blessed.

Patriots Traitors and Perfidy

In order to stop Kerry from ramming insecure borders down our throat:
We can see where the extremely pro-Arab stance is being taken. Netanyahu is sneakily hiding the facts from us. In an Op-Ed by Uri Elizur in the press Erev Shabbos he showed how Netanyahu and his secret negotiator and Tzippy Livni are willing to give away large chunks of Yehuda and Shomron plus the security of the Jordan River border. Kerry seems to have everything locked up but the secure border issue. We have to stand firm on this. This is the border that the enemy will attack and rise towards the valley of Yehoshophat in Yerushalayim for the war of Gog and Magog. But we don’t have to hand it to them on a silver platter.    


Op-Ed: Rabbanit Kapach, Queen Mother of Israel: In Memoriam by Rochel Sylvetsky

It is thirty days since the passing of Rabbanit Bracha Kapach, z"l. A tribute to Jerusalem's "woman of valor" whose presence will be sorely missed.
"Is this the woman you told us about?", my senior class students would ask in awe as the diminutive, smiling and unassuming Rabbanit Bracha Kapach, z"l, a cloche hat covering her hair and her dark eyes twinkling, would let us into her home where we could see firsthand how this one person dynamo managed to help so many people in so many ways.
The visit was part of the annual senior "Jerusalem Night", when twenty five to thirty years ago, the Horev high school graduating class and I would wander through Jerusalem neighborhoods lit by the moon and stars, to places where I had arranged for them to meet special women – not those who had reached personal pinnacles of achievement, but those who had chosen loving kindness as their career.
And the star of the evening, the most memorable of the experiences and the one that had the most influence on my students, was undoubtedly Rabbanit Kapach. Because that tiny, friendly and resolute woman, with her no-nonsense-do-something approach to every problem, who lived in in the picturesque and old Nahlaot neighborhood near the center of town, was actually a giant – in deeds.
In that house in Nahlaot lived a woman born in Yemen, married at age 11 to her first cousin, Al P Halacha there is nothing wrong with the parent consent and that of the maid as wieht Rivka, a Torah scholar who was to become Rabbi Dayan (Rabbinic Court Judge) Yosef Kapach. (The late Rabbi Kapach was internationally renowned  in the Torah world for his expert translation of the works of Maimonides – for which he also received the Israel Prize.) The couple immigrated to Israel when the Rabbanit was 17. One of their three children died as they made their arduous way and a fourth child was born in Israel.
The family settled in Jerusalem, where Rabbi Kapach, a brilliant Talmudist, learned and taught Torah without pause, soon serving as the recognized leader of Israel's Yemenite Community and member of the Chief Rabbinical Court; the Rabbanit found the time to run the household, raise her children, and make her mark on social welfare in Jerusalem.
The young mother soon became aware of the economic woes facing the Yemenite community in Israel and decided to make a difference. Using the traditional embroidery skills for which Yemenite Jewish women were famous, she opened an embroidery enterprise that eventually employed over 50 women. She closed the successful business when the needy began to occupy all her time, but not before she found jobs for all the women in her employ.
The Rabbanit then created the "Sgulat Naomi" charity organization in her mother's memory. Her home soon became the repository for used clothing as well as for used and donated wedding gowns for brides from poor families – at one point she even opened a Boutique for such brides – whose weddings she also helped to organize. Each year, for over fifty years, she raised money to purchase holiday food for the poor, especially seeing to wine and matza for Passover (a tradition known as kimkha depiskha). Large groups of student volunteers would help package the food that she distributed to thousands.
Her door was always open to those in need of advice and practical help and her annual fundraising event was filled to capacity with people who knew that every penny went straight to where it was most needed.
In 1999, Rabbanit Kapach was awarded the Israel Prize for her special contributions to society and the State of Israel. She and her husband are the only married couple to have both won the Israel Prize for individual achievements. She had already been awarded the Jerusalem Prize.
But it is the stories about her that reveal the greatness of the Rabbanit. This past Wednesday night, 30 days after her passing (called the shloshim in Jewish custom), hundreds of Jerusalemites of all ages and ethnic origins gathered at  Ben Tzvi Center's auditorium in the Rechavia neighborhood to talk about Rabbanit Kapach.
Members of the Emunah Women's Organization, on whose board she served for many years, extolled her part in the organization's charity works, but the most poignant stories heard were of her personal care for the needy.
"One Friday", said a granddaughter, "on my way to visit her, I heard a radio announcer talking about a poor, elderly man who lives alone and has nothing to eat. I arrived in the afternoon and found my own elderly grandmother at the stove .'What has happened; I asked, 'you always finish cooking for the Sabbath before dawn so you have time for your charity work'. 'I did', she responded, 'but I heard a radio program about a poor man who had no food, so I went to find him and gave him all our Sabbath food. Now I am cooking again.' I heard the same story, but she heard it and did something about it."
Perhaps her biggest contribution was effecting a complete change in the way the elderly indigent were taken care of by Jerusalem's Welfare Department. This is how it began:
"One day she left the embroidery workshop with money to deposit and as she walked, heard a woman screaming that she was ravenous. She went into the building from where the shouting came and found a half-clothed elderly woman in an indescribably filthy apartment, sitting on bundles of rags – instead of a mattress – who said she had not eaten in three days. The Rabbanit brought her food, cleaned the house, cut her hair and combed it into braids. "Who sent you", asked the tearful woman. "The Almighty", said the Rabbanit and from that day on, brought her food daily until she died five years later.
Slowly but surely, she heard of other elderly persons in need. She heard of a very old woman who had not been cared for in over 20 years. She found her full of lice and sitting on the floor, but undeterred, the personally fastidious Rabbanit brought a clean sheet to cover the floor, another to cover the woman, and cleaned her up – lice and all. She had all the apartment's contents burned and brought clothing and new furnishings from her own home, along with 5 boys she commandeered to clean the apartment. "This is my first night's decent sleep in years", the woman admitted.
An elderly woman was hospitalized for pneumonia and her inexperienced husband set the house afire lighting the stove. Rabbanit Kapach ran into the flames with a blanket, but he didn't answer her calls, until she felt him on the bed and he said that he wants to die. The Rabbanit dragged him out on her back covered in the blanket and refurbished the entire apartment: running water (which they had not had!), beds, linens, etc. The couple benefited from the Rabbanit's care for their remaining years.
More and more elderly people knocked at her door, more and more stories of neglect reached her home One day she had had enough of seeing the situation and went to the local Welfare Ministry to tell them how they are failing an entire population sector. The head of the office was called and had no choice but to agree with her. That is how the "Mataviot" project began – women employed by the Welfare Department who come to the houses of indigent and ailing elderly every day for several hours to clean, cook and shop for them. In fact, Rabbanit Kapach's large group of friends were the first "Mataviot" to be hired by the municipality and the project - expanded and available to all the ailing elderly - exists to this very day.
She also helped teenagers. One day, she saw a group of teens sitting on the fence in her neighborhood, bothering passersby and smoking. Never one to run away from a problem, she approached them and convinced them to take care of themselves, obtaining a rented room for them to live in at an elderly woman's home – one of her protégées. Every day she would go there at 8a.m. to talk to them, bringing them tasty food. One day, the leader of the group appeared with a regular haircut, dressed neatly and bearing the news that he had decided to do tshuva – become observant. The others followed in his wake and all ended up married and raising families; three hold administrative positions.
The Rabbanit would visit poor moshavim of Yemenites and once heard a child being beaten by a father who told her that he didn't want the child. The Rabbanit put the boy in a yeshiva and told the dean that she would pay for the best teachers to tutor him. They soon discovered that he was intellectually gifted – he served as an IDF officer and is now a community rabbi, father to 13 children, some of whom are married. He called the Rabbanit "Imma", a well-deserved title, as she even brought him candies to the yeshiva each Shabbat.
The IDF also knew about Rabbanit Kapach and after the Six Day War, the Engineers Corps asked her to embroider a large flag with their symbol. She and her friends did a beautiful job and the Commander of the Corps came to pay her. The Rabbanit would not accept money for helping the IDF, but did want one thing: a tour of the places recovered by the Jewish people in that lightning, miraculous war. "With my friends", she added, when the Commander agreed, little knowing with whom he was making a deal. In the end, three buses full of happy Yemenite women went on one of the first tours of Judea and Samaria, organized by the army, no less.
And that is a brief picture of the tzaddeket (righteous woman of valor) Rabbanit Bracha Kapach z"l. Books will be written about this indomitable Queen Mother of Israel, and hopefully, they will do her more justice than this writer's article can possibly attempt to do.
Rochel Sylvetsky is op-ed editor of Arutz Sheva's English site. She is a former Chairperson of Emunah Israel,1991-96, CEO/Director of Kfar Hanoar Hadati Youth Village, a member of the Emek Zevulun Regional Council and the Religious Education Council of Israel's Education Ministry. Her degrees are in Mathematics and Jewish Education.

Why I left the Conservative Movement by Zander Wold

The synagogue which I grew up in recently voted to allow ‘commitment ceremonies’ between gay couples. I would like to say I am disappointed or at least surprised, but the truth is, at this point, I am not. The question I keep hearing and tend to agree with is, ‘where do you draw the line in the sand?’ In the Conservative Movement the line has continuously been moving further and further away from what Judaism truly is. From driving and playing instruments on Shabbat to ordaining women rabbis, it seems the movement is drifting away from Torah and tradition. At this rate the line is not too far from performing intermarriages, accepting patrilineal descent, and ultimately denouncing Kashrut laws of any kind.
The main reason why I could not associate myself with the Conservative Movement anymore was because of the overlying hypocrisy that the movement stands on by making all these changes. Conservative Judaism has allowed many things that go against Torah prior to gay marriage. It is just so hypocritical that they use justification to try to give reason for why they really allow things that are clearly forbidden in the Torah and by Jewish law. What I have learned over the last few years is that people can justify almost anything they want to. A person can justify their political beliefs with feel good stories or evidence supporting their claim. The Conservative Movement is doing just this by somehow finding loopholes in Halachah every time there is an issue or ruling they want to change or modify.
The question I have is if you can find reasoning to change all of these laws and rulings, are there not valid arguments one can make to amend every mitzvah and law in Judaism? Ten years ago the movement would have said gay marriage is not permitted according to the Torah, yet shortly afterwards somewhere they find justifications and rulings supporting it. Well, I will not be surprised if ten years from now they can find a justification to support being able to eat non-kosher animals.
If the Torah keeps being edited and modified, why is it the Jewish guide they are using to teach their congregants? For example, if a history teacher kept finding problems within a textbook, such as stories and narratives they believe to be false, would they use that textbook to teach their class? Probably not. And if the Conservative Movement is finding problem after problem within the Torah I do not understand why it is still the book they believe is holy. And if they truly believe in the Torah, how can you believe that some of it has faults and is wrong while other parts are good and should be followed? It looks to me like this is a  classic case of picking and choosing.
In the late Second Temple period there was a large sect of Jews called the Sadducees. Many of them were of the wealthy class and one of the key differences between them and other sects was that they rejected the Oral Law and saw the written Torah as the sole source of authority. This reminds me greatly of the Conservative Movement today. The recent PEW study showed the numbers within the movement shrinking, yet many people find it hard to believe that Conservative Judaism will fade away. It is possible that two thousand years ago people thought the same of the Sadducees, yet the sect faded away quickly after the destruction of the Second Temple. If Jews do not believe in the entirety of Torah and it’s importance in every part of it, then that group or sect of Jews is going to find it hard to survive in the long run. There is a reason why no Jew today is a descendent of any of the founders of the Reform Movement. If you denounce the mitzvots and laws the Torah puts forth, then you have taken out the very core of what Judaism is. If the Conservative Movement wants a future, its’ leaders need to realize that they cannot continue moving the line in the sand further and further away from the Torah’s teachings. That is why the movement is rapidly shrinking, and the reason I can no longer associate myself with Conservative Judaism.
Zander Wold Zander Wold is a simple Jew who resides in Los Angeles and tries to balance a career and the spreading [More] of Judaism across the land.

Editorial: Who is the King of Kings? (Answer Yud Kay Vav Kay)

What does the number 26 mean to you? In Gematria it is the Tetragramation. Has anybody but I notice that each time we release terrorists we are releasing 26 terrorists in all four releases. Another law outside of the laws of Gematria is from Nature (Teva = 86 = ELOKIM in Gematria) and that is the conservation of energy and the laws of entropy. It seems that if positive energy is removed negative energy is created.

There is another rule from Perkei Avos “If there is no flour there is no Torah and if there is no Torah there is no flour!” As the money for the Yeshiva World and even non-religious families in Israel with more children decreases the economy and security decreases. 400,000,000 NIS were cut from the Yeshiva and guess what HASHEM did? HE sent a snow storm that caused 400,000,000 NIS in damages. This is the law of Measure for Measure (Mida K’neged Mida).

In Psalm 8:4 it says “What is man that YOU should consider him?” However, as much as I can scream, demonstrate or protest or even if prophets like Moshe, Eliyahu, Daniel, Yechezkel, etc. were to appear with me and the victims of terror with politicians all around the world interested in their own reelection, Nobel Prizes, campaigns of anti-Semitism or other pursuits we will see more and more pressure on Israel. These hypocritical nations and leaders spy on us while Jonathan Pollard rots in jail. We release terrorists while Jews who attacked Arabs rot in jail. Somebody running things here has a combination with two left thumbs and no gears working in his brain other than the political survival instinct. Funny Eric Sharon had that too and where is he today and what influence does he have any more.

In conclusion it is 26 aka HASHEM Yisborach WHO is running things here. Isn’t it time to repent give more charity and pray harder?  

A.E.O. asked me a question regarding the non-Jewish New Year Celebration: Are we allowed to go to a party and drink with them?
On my Facebook wall, I gave a short answer. The longer answer from the Talmud is here: Originally the non-Jewish New Year was Avoda Zara (idolatry). It was the festival of Calendar and a two-faced god named Janus. Today, it makes the end of one secular year and the beginning of the next fiscal or financial year. The worship of Janus has been forgotten for 16 or 17 centuries but the revelry of the New Year continues. Today it is more like the celebration in the US of Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Martin Luther King Day, etc. and has no religious significance whatsoever. In Tractate Avoda Zara our Sages forbid non-Jewish Wine not only because it was often used on the altar which does not exist but also because of their women. The object was to prevent a Jewish male from going too far with a non-Jewish woman. The Sages did not forbid beer (either because it was never used on the Mizbayach or because the people would never accept it). So today I cannot drink wine with a non-Jew but whiskey, vodka, gin, rum, and non-grape products yes! However, there is the spirit of the Halacha and one must be careful that if he drinks it is a social drink and not a mini-binge. We also have to be careful about drinking even drinks aka pairs as it is written at the end of Tractate Pessachim where the 4 cups of wine are questioned for that reason. There is another reason not to over indulge as one because disgusting and we are forbidden by another Halacha to be disgusting. It is written in Perkei Avos “All their tables are full of vomit” (Surfeiting).
Do I celebrate the secular New Year? The answer is no but I live in Israel and do not have either a social or business reason to do so and even when I was in FL one year, I just looked out from my porch for a few minutes to watch the fireworks as I did on July 4th which I celebrated more.  

The number could be 28,000,000 in total but stream in slowly and must relearn Judaism after centuries of separation 7,000 wait Aliyah:

Sometimes Israel gets earth shaking events:,7340,L-4470459,00.html

I have protested on-line and mail order conversions. The seal of G-D is Emmes (truth). For $5000 a Rabbi can sell his soul and ruin our nation. 97% of the Rabbis have clean hands but there Rabbis and then there are “Rabbis”.,7340,L-4469279,00.html

From Reuven K. a beautiful view in Israel also one can see snow there:
An ancient Mikvah and winepress

This is one of the Charedi Cities over the Green Line:

From David - The Pelican Brief:

Inyanay Diyoma

I hope to write about the Perfidy of Bibi this week but Iran can now make high grade Uranium Quicker but look at our “friend” Obama:

We blasted them right back this time with no tolerance but they probably got away because most likely the rockets were set off by a timing device.,7340,L-4470564,00.html   Lebanon warned:

The families of the terror victims are upset.

As a Kassam lands in the south the High Court of In Justice rejects Jews in favor of terrorists:,7340,L-4471356,00.html

Which Jihad is preferable to the west play the Debka video listen carefully:’s-First-Joint-Military-Venture-Fighting-al-Qaeda-in-Iraq

I did not have the time to read this but if you have the time these are the 10 major cover-ups of 2013:

Police sometimes get out of hand - Pittsburgh:

The military budget has been cut too much:,7340,L-4472027,00.html

A time to let go – the family has decided no dialysis:

Beirut now Hezballah and Al Qaeda blast each other to pieces:,7340,L-4472567,00.html

There are a number of Iranian Shahids out there:,7340,L-4472710,00.html
Another Kassam was sent from Gaza in honor of the Kerry visit and a few hundred free Jonathan Pollard protesters greeted Kerry. Silently, the anti-missile missile shield is being developed.,7340,L-4472720,00.html

Now for M. Wolfberg’s Story which may be a repeat “Binds that Tie Part 1”

 Good Shabbos Everyone.   In this week's Parsha Bo, the Torah tells us about the mitzvah of Tefillin, which is one the first mitzvahs the Bnai Yisroel were commanded to uphold.  Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar said that the mitzvah of Tefillin was one of the mitzvahs that Jews throughout the ages were willing to sacrifice their lives for.    And the Talmud says further, that tefillin is one of the mitzvahs which Jews to this day are still fulfilling which self-sacrifice.  The Talmud goes on to tell us an amazing story about the mitzvah of tefillin:  
         Once the wicked kingdom (of Rome) decreed that anyone who placed Tefillin on his head would have his brains gouged out.  In defiance of the ban, the Sage Elisha put on his Tefillin and went out to the market place.  Sure enough, a Roman officer saw Elisha and ran after him. Elisha took the Tefillin from his head, placing them in the closed fist of his hand.  The Roman caught up with Elisha and demanded from him: "What is in your hand?"
          "The wings of a dove!" replied Elisha cryptically. When Elisha opened his fist he revealed the wings of a dove.  Hashem had performed a miracle for Elisha.  Why are tefillin called the wings of a dove? Because just as the wings protect the doves so do the commandments protect the Jews. And from then on Elisha was called, Elisha the master of wings."  (Shabbos 130a)   The following is an amazing true story from recent times which illustrates the statement in the Talmud that the merit of the mitzvah of Tefillin protects Jews.
         Hershel was born in a small town Dubova, near Munkatch, in 1918.  Hershel studied in the Yeshivah in Munkatch until it was time for him to start thinking about marriage and setting up his own home on the foundations of Torah and its mitzvahs, like other young men his age. But the rumblings of the second World War threw a dark cloud over his plans.
           Hershel was among the "lucky" ones who were sent to do slave labor for the German war machine. The Yeshivah students, like Hershel, and most other Jews in the camp, refused to eat treif (non-kosher) food. Even in the coldest winter days they would not eat the hot meat soup; whenever possible they would exchange it with non-Jewish slaves for a piece of bread.  
           Right from the beginning, Hershel made up his mind that, come what may, he would never part with his Tefillin, which he managed to smuggle into the camp among his few belongings. He was determined to put on his Tefillin whenever he had a chance to do so. It soon became known among his fellow inmates that he had a pair of Tefillin, and while someone kept watch, the Tefillin hurriedly passed from hand to hand. One of the camp guards, to whom Hershel used to turn over his soup and bits of meat rations, returned the favor by informing him when a search of the barracks was to take place. Hershel would then hide his Tefillin outside. 
           Once he hid the Tefillin in the snow and then had a hard time finding them. He was frantic, but he did find them, and he knew that Hashem was with him. The Tefillin gave him th strongest encouragement to hold on to his faith. He felt that as long as he had his Tefillin, he would outlive his tormentors. 
           Later in the war Hershel's labor camp was ordered to accompany the German and Hungarian divisions which invaded the Ukraine. The slave-laborers had to dig trenches for these soldiers right at the battle-front, under the constant fire from Russian artillery and air attacks. Hershel always had his Tefillin with him -- the one for the head in one pocket, and the one for the arm in another. 
           Once, in Kiev in the year 1943, he almost lost his Tefillin again. For some time past, his work detail had been sent out for a day's work and returned to the camp. Every day, before going out to work, he hid his Tefillin after praying. One day in August, he did the same as usual, but suddenly he felt uneasy about leaving his Tefillin behind. He quickly ran back to the hiding place and put the Tefillin in his pockets, taking them with him to his workplace. Great was his relief to learn that his heart had told him the right thing, for it turned out that they were to remain in the new place for six weeks! So Hershel was able to continue to pray with his Tefillin and enabling other Jews to do the same. 
           Thus passed the awful war years of 1942-1944, when danger surrounded Hershel daily. He saw so many times how Divine Providence protected him, and he felt certain in his heart that his Tefillin had saved him from many, many dangers. All through the following winter, weary, frozen and hungry German troops were forced to retreat with heavy casualties, dragging with them the remnants of the surviving slave-laborers, amongst them -- Hershel.
           In March, 1944, Hershel found himself in the Carpathian Mountains.  Realizing that the situation was getting most desperate, Hershel and his friends decided on a plan to escape and hide in the mountains. This, Boruch Hashem they succeeded to do. They disappeared into the nearby forests and separated into small groups, digging bunkers where they could hide. Hershel with a group of ten persons found a suitable place for their underground hideout. They dug their bunker under a hill, carefully covering up the entrance, praying to Hashem that they remain safe until the Nazis would be crushed and their power broken forever. 
           During the day they all stayed in their cramped tomb, barely able to move. German patrols roamed the woods, and it was dangerous to venture out. Only in the dark of night they crept out to stretch their limbs and get some fresh air. 
           One morning, just as Hershel had finished praying, and his Tefillin were being passed from hand to hand, they suddenly heard the barking of a dog and heavy footsteps approaching their underground hideout. German soldiers were on the prowl, with their bloodhounds.  Suddenly, the footsteps were directly overhead. Hershel and his friends froze with fear and held their breath. continued next week.  Good Shabbos Everyone

Keep healthy and if you are one of the Jews that are snowed in from Cleveland and Chicago to the East Coast enjoy the reading and have a good Shabbos,
Rachamim Pauli