Thursday, April 24, 2014

Parsha Kedoshim, Help for Izzy, News

Please pray not only in Tehillim but in the Synagogue this week for Adina bas Sara as she is recovering from a dangerous episode – she is on my weekly Tehillim list.

Kitniyos Debate Continues: I spoke to Rabbi Eliyahu Schatz Shlita who is part of the Sanhedrin Initiative and a few others about Kitniyos after Rabbi Auerbach Shlita the Rav of Chashmonayim did not accept the concepts of the Rishonim Rabbi Yechiel of Paris, Maharam of Padua, Maharam Rottenburgh etc. who were against the Minchag of Kitniyos. He stated that the Chief Kashrus Inspector of the Chief Rabbinute of Israel told him that if there was no Kitniyos prohibition one would have to invent it because of crop rotation. However, I have never seen a non-rice particle in a bag of rice – bugs yes. Rabbi Schatz said that perhaps a pebble the size of a grain of rice might get in. We got into the discussion on the pros and cons of rice because it swells and the Moroccans such as Rabbi Mimran Shlita do not use it. Yitzchak the son of the late Rabbi Atkin stated that with modern sieves and filters mixtures should not occur. I know that I have not found anything in a can of peas or frozen peas other than peas unless they are marked peas and carrots or peas, carrots, corn and the same for other crops. I still say that since corn is the staple grain, does not swell and is a distinct color from the 5 species, it should be permissible like tapioca and quinoa. The only two reasons you will not find me using corn on Pessach is my wife and son-in-law and Shalom Beis is more important than a principle as long as it does not violate Halacha.    

Nofyah wrote: Again, on the Kitniyos issue, and Sefardim, etc. I don't really have an issue with Ashkenazim who moved here and didn't change over. My issue is with Ashkenazi rabbis telling converts who live in Israel to follow the Rama instead of the Beit Yosef and the Rambam.
I could not agree more because there seems to be a general policy to interpret Kitniyos more as a Halacha than a limited Minchag and to force the worst       Chumras on people. In the States in Borough Park, I purchased 44 years ago corn-oil margarine and my friend Dave Loew used to get Kosher Le Pessach Peanut Butter. The elder Rabbi Landau gave out a Heckshir on Cottonseed Oil for Pessach but when he passed away the bullies came and it was thrown off the market. I have the backing of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein regarding the oils and he declared that peanuts are OK for Litvaks. I also have come to the conclusion that ALL Baalei Teshuva from the USA can eat Maize Corn on Pessach for it is the staple grain of the country and it produces a yellow flow that cannot under any circumstances be confused with wheat, barley, spelt, rye or oat flour.

Parsha Kedoshim

The last Parsha has forbidden relationships and there is a little bit of a continuation here. However, this Parsha is emphasizing holiness and next week Emor will emphasize the holiness of a Cohain. These three Parshiyos are enriched with a lot of Mitzvos. Although we have started counting the Omer the Mitzvah only appears in Parsha Emor. There original Torah ready was deep study and then once every 3 years but as the Congregations got weaker and weaker the weekly Parsha as we know it came about to go through the whole Torah within a Year. Kedoshim always falls after Pessach.  

19:1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 2 Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them: Ye shall be holy; for I the LORD your God am holy.

HASHEM ELOKAYNU sets the standard for holiness we are to emulate HIM.

3 Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and ye shall keep My Sabbaths: I am the LORD your God.

Just as HASHEM is the CREATOR of all, your parents are your biological creator and they deserve to be honored. In the Decalogue the Shabbos comes first, but here again is a link. Shabbos observance honors your parents in the next world.

4 Turn ye not unto the idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the LORD your God.

There are many false gods and ideologies. Ideology can be idolizing a politician who breathes today and could be gone tomorrow and I am talking about ALL political parties and then there are the sports idols and Hollywood idols. Even though the Pshat here is idolatry or strange gods which can be Islam Monotheism for a Jew, the Torah way with HASHEM before us always is our way.

5 And when ye offer a sacrifice of peace-offerings unto the LORD, ye shall offer it that ye may be accepted. 6 It shall be eaten the same day ye offer it, and on the morrow; and if aught remain until the third day, it shall be burnt with fire. 7 And if it be eaten at all on the third day, it is a vile thing; it shall not be accepted. 8 But every one that eatS it shall bear his iniquity, because he hath profaned the holy thing of the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from his people. 9 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corner of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleaning of thy harvest. 10 And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather the fallen fruit of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and for the stranger: I am the LORD your God.

We must not ignore the poor but leave them gleamings; however, there is also a limit on how much we can donate to them or other charity without damaging ourselves.  

11 Ye shall not steal; neither shall ye deal falsely, nor lie one to another.

The Torah is Emmes, HASHEM’s seal is Emmes and we must act with Emmes the exception is Shalom in the home where a spouse can tell a small white lie for peace. Example the new dress I bought was with money I saved by such and such and was on sale when actually it was with other money and not on sale but it will put the husband’s mind at ease – preferably of course tell the truth.

12 And ye shall not swear by My name falsely, so that thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD. 13 Thou shalt not oppress thy neighbor, nor rob him; the wages of a hired servant shall not abide with thee all night until the morning.

The stealing in the Decalogue is that of a human into slavery, in Pasuk 11 falsifying and fraud and here by robbing either via violence or a sneak thief. 

14 Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling-block before the blind, but thou shalt fear thy God: I am the LORD.

Being a bully is easier than being brave and the Yetzer is great to shake hands with a deaf person and mumble what a nice idiot may be funny to the fool who does it or try to trip the blind oh ho-ho is disgusting. We are in the week of Omer of Gevurah or discipline of our Yetzer. HASHEM perhaps has reincarnated the person this way to over-come listening to Lashon Hara or some other reason and to laugh at one’s Tikun of a being created in G-D’s image is to laugh at the L-RD.

15 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment; thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor favor the person of the mighty; but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbor.

It is not only a poor man monetarily but a poor man in speaking vs. a tongue twisting liar and a good Judge should see this.

16 Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people; neither shalt thou stand idly by the blood of thy neighbor: I am the LORD.

You might have a juicy piece of information on somebody but it is like letting blood to embarrass them. Of course with public figures, photographers and reporters we often fall victim of seeing even censored shots of prince so and so with a wife or the younger prince with a mistress or rumors about this one or that one. There are some Frum people who avoid most news and news broadcasts not only because of wasting Torah time but also because of Lashon HaRa.

17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart; thou shalt surely rebuke thy neighbor, and not bear sin because of him. 18 Thou shalt not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the LORD.

For the fact that Hillel the Elder stated the last part was the main gist of Torah people forget the first part against hate and not taking vengeance. If is far easier to say, “I love all Jews” than to stop bearing a grudge or stop hating somebody who did a rotten thing to you.

19 Ye shall keep My statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind; thou shalt not sow thy field with two kinds of seed; neither shall there come upon thee a garment of two kinds of stuff mingled together.

The Biblical Zoo in Yerushalayim made a mistake of putting in a Zebra with a Donkey in the same pen and what resulted was perhaps natural but their fault. One is to separate this from happening it is the animal mixtures that is forbidden here and similar to bestiality.

20 And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, designated for a man, and not at all redeemed, nor was freedom given her; there shall be inquisition; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free.

If the owner freed her first and they lie together she becomes his common-in-law wife. Since she was sent to the Mikvah upon become a slave she is now a full convert when freed. However, if he does not free her, besides the Korban, Beis Din can give him a whipping aka Makkos of rebellion.

… 23 And when ye shall come into the land, and shall have planted all manner of trees for food, then ye shall count the fruit thereof as forbidden; three years shall it be as forbidden unto you; it shall not be eaten. 24 And in the fourth year all the fruit thereof shall be holy, for giving praise unto the LORD. 25 But in the fifth year may ye eat of the fruit thereof, that it may yield unto you more richly the increase thereof: I am the LORD your God.

This is the law of Orlah and it is now without the Temple permissible to eat in the 4th year.

26 Ye shall not eat with the blood; neither shall ye practice divination nor soothsaying.

Elsewhere we see conducting meetings with familiar spirits etc. This is not the same as having a dream or meeting with an angel like Eliyahu HaNovi but not all people receive premonitions and even those who do may receive them far and in between.

27 Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard. 28 Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor imprint any marks upon you: I am the LORD. 29 Profane not thy daughter, to make her a harlot, lest the land fall into harlotry, and the land become full of lewdness. 30 Ye shall keep My Sabbaths, and reverence My sanctuary: I am the LORD.

I could cry literally at all the good people whom I know who put a blotch on their Divine Neshama by violating the Shabbos. This includes some children more interested in an SMS than thinking about the Shabbos.

These few Mitzvos below until the end of the chapter are logical and perhaps another year I will delve into them

31 Turn ye not unto the ghosts, nor unto familiar spirits; seek them not out, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God. 32 Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of the old man, and thou shalt fear thy God: I am the LORD. 33 And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not do him wrong. 34 The stranger that sojourns with you shall be unto you as the home-born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God. 35 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meter-yard, in weight, or in measure. 36 Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. 37 And ye shall observe all My statutes, and all Mine ordinances, and do them: I am the LORD.
20:1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 2 Moreover, thou shalt say to the children of Israel: Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that gives of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death; the people of the land shall stone him with stones.

This applies also to a Ger Toshav who has taken on the 7 Mitzvos of Noach. Children were held over a fire. I have a gut feeling that the red string that is used by some today to ward off the evil eye is a derivative of this even though I have not checked deeply into it. For unlike the red string on Yom Kippur which is supposed to turn white upon forgiveness of sins, this one is supposed to stay red like the red fire of Molech. (I want to thank a potential convert named Katrin for pointing out the scape goat thread to me)

3 I also will set My face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people, because he hath given of his seed unto Molech, to defile My sanctuary, and to profane My holy name. 4 And if the people of the land do at all hide their eyes from that man, when he gives of his seed unto Molech, and put him not to death; 5 then I will set My face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go astray after him, to go astray after Molech, from among their people.

Even though the red string is not this, it turns people away by its belief from trusting in HASHEM and fortifying the Mitzvos.

6 And the soul that turns unto the ghosts, and unto the familiar spirits, to go astray after them, I will even set My face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people. 7 Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy; for I am the LORD your God.

Do you believe in ghosts? In the States the Sci-Fi channel seems to indicate the existence of souls that appear to be so involved in Gashmiyous that they cannot continue on the world of Ruchanius. There is a Jewish legend of ghosts and Shaydim that occupied a house and a Kabbalist was called in to release them. They had claimed ownership due to the sins of either the current owner or the previous owner of the property but he released them. 

8 And keep ye My statutes, and do them: I am the LORD who sanctify you. 9 For whatsoever man there be that curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death; he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.

He has cursed his father or his mother: [This phrase] comes to include [in this prohibition and its penalty], cursing one’s father or mother even] after [their] death. — [Sanh. 85b] His blood is upon himself: This refers to [the death penalty by] stoning. And likewise, wherever it is stated, “his blood is upon himself,” or “their blood is upon themselves” (see verse 27 below) [it refers to death by stoning]. And we learn [this principle] from [those who practice the sorcery of] Ov or Yid’oni, for regarding them, Scripture says (verse 27), “they shall pelt them with stones; their blood is upon themselves.” - [Torath Kohanim 20:103; Sanh. 66a] [According to] the simple meaning of the verse, however, it is like “his blood is upon his [own] head” (Josh. 2:19), i.e., no one is punished for his death but he himself, because he brought it upon himself to be killed.

Cursing by evoking the name of G-D will get the death penalty otherwise the Beis Din can decide on a lesser penalty.

Laws concerning family relationships some of which are not forbidden to the Nations of the World but if they do it do not deserve a commendation.

10 And the man that commits adultery with another man's wife, even he that commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.

This like drugs and homosexuality is a blight on society and undermines the whole family unit. It has to be eradicated from society even though we no longer have the death penalty today there is no choice but to divorce an adulterous woman. I have heard of a few cases where I know or knew the man who forgave and the woman did it again because something was basically wrong with her thinking and behavior.

And a man [who commits adultery]: [The term “man”] comes to exclude a minor [from the death penalty]. — [Torath Kohanim 20:105; Sanh. 52b] Who commits adultery with [another] man’s wife: [The term “man’s wife” comes] to exclude the wife of a minor. [From here,] we learn that a minor cannot hold [the legal status of Jewish] marriage. And for which “man’s wife” have I held you liable ? Committing adultery with the wife of his fellow: [Thus] excluding the wife of a non-Jew. [From here,] we learn that [the legal status of Jewish] marriage cannot be held by a non-Jew. — [Torath Kohanim 20:105; Sanh. 52b] For among other things they preach turning the other cheek and they are permitted to marry aunts, two-sisters and other close relatives which the Torah forbids and this adultery might not deserve the death penalty but is not proper conduct and deserves a good whipping by Beis Din. The adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death: Wherever a death penalty is mentioned in the Torah without specification [as to the mode of death, it exclusively refers to strangulation. — [Torath Kohanim 20:106, Sanh. 52b]

11 And the man that lies with his father's wife--he hath uncovered his father's nakedness--both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

Not only is this adultery it is a dishonor to his father.

12 And if a man lie with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall surely be put to death; they have wrought corruption; their blood shall be upon them.

Again this undermines the basic family unit on which society is made. In the previous Pasuk it was the son dishonoring the father and here it is reversed. It happened recently with a man who had a son who married a non-Jewish woman in a foreign country and she ran away with the father who murdered his biological granddaughter in Israel as such characters and behavior does exist.

13 And if a man lie with mankind, as with womankind, both of them have committed abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

As one would with a woman: [I.e.,] if he inserts [his membrum] as an applicator [is inserted] into a tube [of eye shadow]. — [B.M. 91a]

When a person sins they try to justify it in some way – I read this week and I refuse to give the source of an article in favor of an abomination before the L-RD but it claimed the existence two homosexual Orthodox Rabbis and may openly homosexual Orthodox Jews. I am not the Sanhedrin and cannot execute these people or the vast numbers of them. Some of the problem comes from learning in all boys schools and upon reaching puberty having no real contact with the opposite sex or being told the facts of life by shy Orthodox Parents who leave a void. I do not hate these poor misfits but I cannot stand idle while they affront G-D and the Mitzvos and make a mockery of the Torah from Sinai. These acts delay the Moshiach as much if not more than giving away parts of the land of Eretz Yisrael perhaps less than violating the Shabbos but they are deplorable and horrible. But when a person who, himself, does this abomination tries to write an article saying Rabbis do it does not make it justifiable.

I heard all sorts of things from people trying to justify themselves in sin. The Yetzer has a way of twisting words. I kid you not. Not you, I kid. Kid you, not I. I have heard of well-known Rabbi who has a mistress, couple-swapping in Borough Park, even found a woman who was still married civilly to her second husband who got a Halachic annulment of her first marriage and tricked a man into marrying her Al-Peh-Halacha in a private ceremony and all this does not make things 100% any more than the Italian Mafia hit man who was a pillar of his local church. I even had a friend who rented to a young woman who had strange visits by her sister’s husband and he gave up having a tenant and good money to keep his house clean and there was a story of a brother being caught with his brother’s wife. Do these horrible examples make things permissible? Certainly not and no G-D fearing person would take it as the new norm!   

There is a pernicious group within and on the borders of Judaism from the days of Shabbtai Tzvi and Yacov Frank who have been planning and trying to destroy not only Judaism but all religions by attacking the very foundations of the morals of society. It was the forerunner of the Reform Movement. They start out with a plan let us destroy the family unit. Let us make a drug culture, homosexuality a normal thing eventually replacing the family unit. It started with the philosophy of Playboy when I was young and in my teens growing up in a non-religious but moral environment and the experimental drugs like LSD and others. At least I kept away from the drugs and did not misbehave like I could have because I started becoming religious at the age of 19. If one opens his or her eyes they plan over the next 20 or 30 years to permit bestiality as the beginnings are showing in various ‘in’, ‘modern’ or ‘toleration’ magazines. They start innocently enough with a story like “Little Miss Muffett was eating her curds and whey”. Eventually our mind becomes a tune to thinking about curds and whey. Then they get the military involved like “The sailors were singing ‘Anchors Aweigh’ while the aircraft carrier churned up curds of foam in the water. Then it enters our mind that curds and aweigh by the military is permissible. Next Saddam Hussein uses mustard gas on Kurds who are eaten away. We are no longer shocked when we read about cannibals eating Kurds by the way because it has been planted in our mind that curds and whey are innocent as a young girl sitting and eating. That is how they started with homosexuality and are now working on bestiality. The world is becoming more and more depraved. Yes we need MOSHIACH NOW but at what price will those who fall into the pit and do not repent pay on “THAT DAY”. This is coming to a head soon and we must save whom we can. (One can read the two books of Rabbi Marvin Alterman ‘To Eliminate the Opiate I and II ‘ – highly recommended on this subject and listen a lecture by Barry Chamish on you tube regarding Shabbtai Tzvi is right before Inyanay Diyoma)   

14 And if a man take with his wife also her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you.

Making a mother and a daughter into romantic rivals is so utterly disgusting and repulsive but not necessary banned to the Nations of the World but is a destruction of all decency as a parent should always be on a higher level than a child and not equal. The Pharaohs married their daughters or siblings and keep up the dynasty that way but their depravity and idolatry was not the ways of HASHEM.

From here until the end of our Parsha we continue with forbidden relations and other detestable things like unclean food or consulting spirits.

15 And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death; and ye shall slay the beast. 16 And if a woman approach unto any beast, and lie down thereto, thou shalt kill the woman, and the beast: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. 17 And if a man shall take his sister, his father's daughter, or his mother's daughter, and see her nakedness, and she see his nakedness: it is a shameful thing; and they shall be cut off in the sight of the children of their people: he hath uncovered his sister's nakedness; he shall bear his iniquity. 25 Ye shall therefore separate between the clean beast and the unclean, and between the unclean fowl and the clean; and ye shall not make your souls detestable by beast, or by fowl, or by anything wherewith the ground teems, which I have set apart for you to hold unclean. 26 And ye shall be holy unto Me; for I the LORD am holy, and have set you apart from the peoples, that ye should be Mine. 27 A man also or a woman that divines by a ghost or a familiar spirit, shall surely be put to death; they shall stone them with stones; their blood shall be upon them.

This precludes a dream where a deceased person comes to living person or like this story from Yacov Mark: An older gentleman I will call Mark that nearly died and went into a Coma. While in the Coma he saw the soul of one of his customer’s daughters going up to heaven, and also his grandmother telling him to go back and get out of here. As soon as he woke up he called his customer and sure enough their daughter had died and he was able to tell them she went up. He had been a devote atheist, but at that moment he learned that G-d does exist. So he began exploring his Jewish roots. This inspired his wife to also explore Judaism and to convert and so she labored for about 2 years of a conversion process. I In the meantime, Mark's father had been on his deathbed and Mark had asked that Rabbi Marcus look after him. When the Rabbi visited, he asked if the 90 year old man had ever put on Tefillin. He had not, and so he said would you like to? And so he did. This inspired Mark to also put on Tefillin for the first time. Since then Mark has been coming on Shabbos and putting on Tefillin during the week. He and his wife now eat Kosher as well.

And then another exciting thing happened. Mark's wife finds out she was Jewish already!!! After 2 years of work and converting to Judaism, she finds she did not have to go through the work. It would seem that Hashem wanted her to be in a position to choose Judaism.

I have never been to Chicago or met the man, Izzy’s father is a Facebook ‘friend’ of mine. I thought it a Mitzvah to publish his story here for Photos go to the link above:
Learning how to embrace challenge from Shmuel and Chani Zundell’s inspiring example.
Although we never know how we will respond to a life-altering event until faced with it, it is hard to imagine anyone who could welcome such a test in the way personified by Shmuel and Chani Zundell. There is no sense of “why me?” or “why should such a sweet child be afflicted with such a terrible disease?” Instead the Zundells have used this challenge as a way to strengthen not just their own faith, but that of their children and their entire community.
At 11 months of age, Izzy Zundell could happily occupy himself with banging the pots and pans on the kitchen floor. His older brother Roovy, and sister Batya, delighted in playing with him and, other than the fact that he seemed to be a little slow to walk and talk, life was normal. When he was a year old, the Zundell family moved to Chicago.
As time went on and he lagged behind in the usual milestones of walking and talking, Chani and Shmuel took him for testing. The hearing deficiency discovered when he was 20-months-old seemed to explain the lack of verbalization, and he was promptly fitted for hearing aids. Early intervention therapists began working with him extensively. Izzy was cruising and walking holding on for a time, yet never seemed to progress further. The therapists were puzzled. While his undiagnosed hearing loss might have accounted for some spatial and balance issues impeding his initial ability to walk, they could not determine what was still holding him back.
Izzy’s official diagnosis of Leukodystrophy came right before his third birthday. Leukodystrophy is a fatal genetic disease that currently has no known cure. As it is not an inherently Jewish genetic disease, it is not tested for in the standard Dor Yesharim testing. There are currently more than forty different known varieties of this rare genetic disorder (there are many others simply deemed “type-unknown”), all of which are a result of problems with the growth or maintenance of the myelin sheath. Damage to this sheath slows down or blocks messages between the brain and the rest of the body. This leads to problems with movement, speaking, vision, hearing and mental and physical development.
Izzy has a rare form of this disease, Multiple Sulphatase Deficiency (MSD), which further complicates the treatment, and course of the disease. It is not known what Izzy’s life expectancy will be, but children with this disease rarely live past the age of 10.
Where some parents would find this a blow too difficult to face, Shmuel Zundell looks at it as a fantastic opportunity to espouse his tremendous trust in God, and to also bring people together.
“There is no better community for us to have found ourselves in, than Chicago. I often say ‘Mi K’amcha Chicago’ – who is like Your people of Chicago! Not just the members of our own shul (Adas Yeshurun), but people from the Chicago Center for Torah and Chesed, the Bikur Cholim and other local organizations have all rallied around us, even though we are relative newcomers to this community.
Hashem – He is the Lord” – I see it every day. I look back at the fact that though we could not see the ramifications, it was clear that God sent us to Chicago when he did, that Racheli (Izzy’s younger sister) was born before we knew the diagnosis that we would be facing, that everything in our life is here for a purpose, and my job now is to face this development with love.
“Izzy’s upsherin came out during the week of parshas Vayelech. In that Torah portion we read about the mitzvah of Hakhel, the gathering of all the people to hear the Torah, and it hit me that Izzy’s mission is hakhel – he has gathered together so many different people from so many walks of life, all connected in davening, caring and supporting us through this journey.”
The Zundells are seeing small but significant signs of regression in Izzy. Where once he would laugh and giggle, now there is little effect on his pixie-like face. Though he can hold his cup, it is now only if his parents’ guide his hands to the handles, where not so long ago he could pick it up on his own. Though he can eat and chew it is unknown how long this will continue. His daily meals are supplemented with Pediasure, and even though he seems to be consuming calories, he is not gaining weight and is so small for his age, that people ask if he and his sister Racheli (age 18 months) are actually twins. Izzy is also no longer capable of cruising or even crawling.
Shmuel finds the responses to his posting on to be a tremendous source of chizuk. Knowing that there are people across the globe rooting for them, saying Psalms and caring about Izzy is a tremendous comfort. He believes that God has “lent” Izzy to their family, and having more people saying Psalms and involved in chesed on his behalf can only be a help.
Shmuel and Chani try to be open in their communication with the two older children, letting them ask all their questions, and relating on their level that Izzy will not survive, and that everything comes from Hashem. Shmuel shared a very poignant incident about Batya in his on-line journal:
One often ponders how much of a difficult concept/situation can actually penetrate the mind of a 7 year old. After my previous one-on-one conversation with Batya I pondered this very idea. It didn’t take long to find a response to my query, as last night Batya requested another one-on-one meeting with me to further discuss her feelings about Izzy. I approach her expecting nothing specific but was prepared for anything and everything. What Batya had decided to share was nothing short of amazing. She mentioned that she requested permission from her teacher at school to address the class about Izzy today, because I told her yesterday that if something was bothering her and/or something was on her mind regarding Izzy, it is best that she expresses it, rather than let it fester inside – so long as she’s comfortable expressing her feelings. She said that although she was a little nervous about getting up in front of the class because she only recently learned about Izzy’s condition, she was determined to be brave. She addressed the class as follows:
She mentioned that although Izzy cannot talk or walk he’s special and that eventually God is going to take him back, and although we are all going to miss him because we love him, we know that he will be going to live with God, which is the best possible place to live. Therefore, we will all be happy to know that Izzy will be living in a far better place. She also explained that although he can’t talk on this earth, his soul has a special ability to be able to speak directly to God, and God is going to ask him what he did in this world and he’s going to say that he helped people get along and helped people to stop fighting. She concluded her public address that it’s important that everyone care for Izzy and everyone love Izzy because although he doesn’t know how to do many things by himself he can also help a lot of people get along.
Where Shmuel is open and forthcoming, Chani is more reserved. But there is no mistaking the pain in her heart as she holds Izzy on her lap. “No one sees the daily struggle,” she says softly. Not knowing what the progression of the disease will be, it is impossible to know if what happens each day is a harbinger of doom or simply the current plateau. “One afternoon Izzy took a nap from noon to 5. I was in his room every half hour checking his breathing and wondering if everything was okay. All I could think of was what if I had lost track of time and didn’t go in as often and might have found him not breathing?
“How will I know if it is a crisis?” One morning after his nap Izzy woke with a blotchy rash on his face, and his eye seemed a bit swollen. With another child, Chani would take a wait and see approach, and only if it progressed would she make a call to the doctor. But everything with Izzy is an unknown. Chani places the call, worrying that the day may turn on whether they have to take Izzy to the emergency room. Thankfully, the doctor feels it is something minor (probably a rash from his face resting on saliva that dripped while he slept) and the day returns to “normal.”
And of course, while Chani’s day is structured around Izzy, Racheli needs her mother as well, and she is trying to maintain life as normally as possible in a house of four children, a task that can be challenging even when life runs at an even keel. Shmuel says, “People keep on complementing me for my attitude, religious conviction and my determination, but what they fail to realize is Chani is my backbone; and without her I’d be nothing!”
When Racheli was born, Izzy was 22-months-old. Although at that time he was showing signs of delay, there was no suggestion of the dreaded diagnosis that they received only a few months ago. “It is hard to see Racheli developing at such a rapid rate – she walks, has started to talk – and look at Izzy who has regressed. God sent the cure before the disease – he gave us Racheli to remind us to laugh and be entertained by her toddler antics at a time when we are struggling with the challenges of Izzy’s disease.”
Although leukodystrophy is considered a terminal disease, the doctors have no way of knowing what Izzy’s lifespan may be. While the Zundells have seen definite signs of regression, these could plateau and there is no real blueprint for them to consult. For now, they are leaving no stone unturned in Izzy’s treatment. Chani has spent hours on the phone trying to get Izzy the custom-made wheelchair he needs to allow him to attend a specialized toddler program for several hours a day. He has aged out of early intervention therapies, but there are a variety of ongoing therapies they are pursuing, including several not covered by health insurance.
Izzy smiled today when we went to look at him waking up from his nap on the dining room floor. The sun was shining down on him and Chani said how she thinks he likes the sun. It was the most beautiful yet heartbreaking smile to me – beautiful, as there is nothing as charming as a smile on the face of a child; heartbreaking as Chani said they are few and far between.

YOU CAN HELP - Contributions to help Izzy can be made online at or mailed to: The HILL fund (Help Izzy Lick Leukodystrophyl )

Congregation Adas Yeshurun
3050 W Touhy Ave
Chicago, IL 60645

Please make the check payable to Congregation Adas Yeshurun, and include “Izzy Zundell – HILL” in the memo. Every dollar contributed will be used for Izzy’s care.
This article was previously published in The Magazine, a Publication of The Jewish Press

Halacha an old section revised with new data

Until Danny Schoemann was forced off the internet by Charedi bullies, I used to bring some weekly Halacha from him. Afterwards I tried my hand at bringing down the Rambam aka Maimonides from the Chabad Library. For years I have been instructing Baalei Teshuva and Potential Gerim to learn The Code of Jewish Law by Rabbi Ganzfried. Although it is not the final word in Halacha and a bit strict at times, nevertheless if one does not know any other Halachic advice following it will keep one away from sin. The easiest thing for me to do is to say click the link here: The link leads to Hebrew and English – I hand in mind as my objective is to try to teach and thereby copy while and paste but the site is embedded. So from time to time to time, I hope to write a few words of comments. In Chapters 4 through 7 with the laws of decency and modesty I may only put in a few words but it makes a big difference.
The link brings down the saying of Yehuda ben Tema like arising with the abilities of 4 types of animals on how to pounce out of bed like a lion, soar like an eagle etc. to serve HASHEM. The orginal source comes from here: It is very condensed and brought here as an example.

Part I: Orach Chayim


A person should not sleep too long (see 4:16) and should not lie down to sleep in the east-west direction (3:6;240:17). It is proper to feel sad about the destruction of the Temple and the exile and to express these feelings in prayer; the ends of the first, second, and third thirds of the night are especially appropriate for such prayers (1:2-4).
A person should keep in mind that G-d is always observing him; when he wakes up in the morning, he should get up promptly and prepare himself to serve G-d (1:1;2:2). He should cover himself with a garment before getting up and should take care that the garment not turn inside out (2:1,3). He should put on his right shoe first and take it off last (2:4-5) and should not go barefoot (2:6). He should stand in a humble posture and should not walk four cubits with an uncovered head (2:6).
A person should check whether he needs to use the toilet (2:6;3:17) and should behave modestly there (3:2,4,12). On proper toilet habits see 3:1-3,5,7-11,13-16. Every morning, and each time he has used the toilet, a person recites the blessing "...Who formed man in wisdom..." (4:1;6:1;7:1-4).
When a person gets up in the morning he must wash his hands and recite the blessing "...Who commanded us about washing the hands" (4:1). Even if he has been up all night, gets up before dawn, or sleeps during the day, he must wash, but without reciting the blessing (4:13-15). Water should be poured over the hands three times (4:2); the right hand should be washed first (see 4:10). The water should not be poured onto the ground and must be disposed of (4:8-9). Some things that are required in washing the hands before eating, regarding the amount and type of water and the method of pouring (see Ch.12), are not essential when washing in the morning; see 4:1,6-7,11-12,22. Some also wash their mouths out in the morning (4:17); on drying the face see 4:20. On things that should not be touched before (or even after) washing the hands see 4:3-5,21. On other situations, such as going to the toilet, that require washing the hands see 4:18-19,23.
Shulchan Aruch, Copyright (c) 2000 Project Genesis, Inc.
Also available on Project Genesis or is parts of the Mishnah Berura translated by Rabbi Philips while he was learning towards his Smicha.
Miracle Alert: Rocket narrowly misses Synagogue also two shootings at the IDF:

Not enough for some to settle in the land of Israel:,7340,L-4510645,00.html

Hot Air Business – people were paying lots of money for this nonsense until Putin put a stop to it in Russia:

These people had to convert despite their tradition because of lost links:

Genius Finance Minister does it again with his lack of education and throwing names around:

Descendants of the SS visit the Concentration Camps English subtitles:

My neighbor visiting the States came up with proof of global warming in a late Pessach this year: Sunday, the day before Eruv Pesach, it was 75degrees and the grandkids went into the sprinklers with bathing suits. By Tuesday night, during 2nd Seder it was in the 30s and there was about 2inches of snow on the grass and cars. Half the sidewalks had snow and half did not. By this afternoon, most of the snow melted, as it was in the 50s. Tomorrow, it will be raining and in the 50s. I am so glad, I was not in NY for the winter.- Denise

A Jew is dead but not too many are crying:,7340,L-4510994,00.html

Stephen a former US Army combat veteran sent me this Holocaust memorial reminder:

Before you listen to the tape of Barry Chamish for the roots of the hypocrisy read this:
Shabbtai Tzvi and the Jews but the beginnings with the orgies sounds like the Yacov Frank another false Messiah.

A town with the name “kill Jews” mulls name change:

Picked this up from Reuven about the Pig chief as they have nothing better to do but beat Charedim, protect Arabs and give out speeding and parking tickets while the Mafia runs wild petty thievery like a whole household is “Not in the public interest” and case closed:

Inyanay Diyoma

The man who designed the Oslo Agreement dies before his time:,7340,L-4509354,00.html

Sometimes you feel that you are just a stone's throw from your near-by Arab Village with the hospitality greeting committee.

The more communistic the regime becomes the more the national socialists fight it and the Jews are caught:

Ed-Op Secular Jews stop blaming the Charedim you are excluding women:,7340,L-4509188,00.html

Terrorist found with knife at Tapuach Junction, Rocket aimed at Ashkelon falls in the Gaza area and murder in cold blood near Chevron: Widow of victim tells her children:,7340,L-4510400,00.html

If the US would send a few B-52’s or B-1’s they could reverse the gains of Al Qaeda:

Bomb factory work accident – and the Holy One saves us from their hands:


Coalition falling apart after the behavior of the Arabs as Netanyahu loses his ability to negotiate further.

Har HaBeis has become a mount of Hamas instead of the Beis HaMikdash:

White Supremacists linked to 100 murders in the last 5 years:

Global Terror:,7340,L-4511132,00.html                           

They certainly don’t want it because of Islamic Terrorist who might attack them (link removed it had a pop-up that might be dangerous) CAIR Action Alert: U.S. Mosques Urged to Apply for DHS Security Grants I wonder if Synagogues have contacted DHS?

Why not treat a terrorist like a terrorist and shoot to kill instead of a bunker mentality?

Israel does not claim that Judaism is the religion of peace but gives freedom of worship:,7340,L-4511348,00.html By the churches in Yerushalayim CNN - Cable Nazi Network showed Christians on line being help up by Israeli Security Forces to prevent a Stampede like in Mecca or India and blaming us for letting in 10 at a time like in Disney World or the DC Museums.                                                                                                                                                               

Bennett if you are going to shoot then shoot:,7340,L-4512185,00.html

Yaalon goes after settlers for revenge and then not real peace:

Although this year I have not published again Rabbi Simon Jacobson Shlita counting of the Omer you are invited to go to the meaning of life-com or for the daily update. A blessed and peaceful Shabbos to all,
Rachamim Pauli