Friday, August 29, 2014

Parsha Shoftim, Elul, 2 Good Shabbos Stories after the news.

Please add Basya bas Chaya Miriam to the prayer list. Although not on my prayer list the worst injured soldier from the war is starting to communicate with his parents via gestures and recognizes them and has rearranged the Aleph-Bet in correct order as he recovers. Remember this when praying for the welfare of the Soldiers of Israel. Please pray for Joan Rivers who defending Yisrael and her fellow Jews eloquently recently she is in a Coma Joan Alexandra bas Beatrice

I just love it when the aftermath of a miracle is recorded on film so that people do not think I am exaggerating: HASHEM protects HIS people: The home front command says to wait 10 minutes from the siren to leave a secure area. It is probably more like 5 and they take spare. In an Ashdod shopping mall, the people went into a secure area they heard a boom from the iron dome and a second boom and left, but fragments of the rocket crashed through the glass cover of the mall injuring 2 slightly and sending 7 into shock. People are supposed to listen to the home front. I heard one boom when I walked with others from the Schul to the shelter and people started leaving then there was a second boom and I waited another minute and let gravity do the trick.,7340,L-4563278,00.html
Day 50 Great Miracle in Ashkelon. At 6:32 this morning the sirens went off. The children were asleep. The parents did not have time in 35 seconds to wake the children up and get them into the safe room but they did have time to get them out of the room. Seconds count and the room took a direct hit destroying completely the roof and knocking out the solar heater. Bursting glass injured 3 of the children slightly and another a total of 50 were taken to hospital including across the street and in the area were treated for abrasions or shock. The walls of the apartment across the street and all the blinds and glass windows and doors were blown out from the blast along with Shrapnel. The rocket that hit Yuval Cohen’s house was supposed to hit Tel Aviv but fell short. A fountain in photo sprung from a damaged water pipe:,7340,L-4563939,00.html other film

Third Miracle in 24 hours: The head of the PFLP was assassinated in Damascus by Al Qaeda for supporting Assad: Perkei Avos 2:6 (Hillel the elder) He also saw a skull floating upon the water. Said he to it: Because you drowned others, you were drowned; and those who drowned you, will themselves be drowned.
Forth Miracle in Ashdod - just two minutes before the rocket hit the two kindergarten teachers and their assistants were in the kindergarten. Just two minutes after the last kindergarten teacher locked the door, a rocket exploded in the outdoor play area if there had been children there with approximately a minute to seek shelter it is unknown if they would have made it. This was not the only Gan or School hit recently but the most devastating. Elsewhere another rocket towards the center of the country fell in an open area.,7340,L-4563939,00.html

Parsha Shoftim

This year, with 71 Mitzvos in the Sedra, I would be negligent if I started from the beginning of the Parsha and wear myself out before the middle.  Our Pasha goes from 16:18 through 21:9 which is a lot to cover. Rather it is time in the month of Elul that we all look into repenting. Chapter 16 deals with the establishment of courts and civil guardians of justice call them volunteers back in the day or full time judges and police that exist today there is a Mitzvah to keep law and order. One cannot plant a tree or set up a column which will become an idol. This of course does not rule out building a memorial to fallen loved ones or setting up a column stating for example “Here is where Yehoshua Bin Nun crossed the Yarden” or “This is where the meteors killed the Amorites”, etc.
Chapter 17 warns us not to sacrifice to idols or to make a distinction in judgement between rich or poor, intelligent or mentally less learned or a man vs. a woman but a truthful judgement as all blood is the same. It is a great Mitzvah to eliminate evil from Yisrael and to teach and observe the justice of the Torah. There is also a Mitzvah to establish a government and a WISE Melech to rule over Yisrael. I emphasized the word wise as woe to us if a cunning fool full of the hot air of a buffoon takes over the helm of State and makes us into Chelm! (Chelm was a real town in Poland which in tall tales became the butt of stories and jokes in Yiddish translated into English “The wise men of Chelm”.) Your king must be from Am Yisrael but like in the case of David can be descended from a non-Jew or other spiritual leaders like Shemaiah an Avtalion and of course Rabbi Akiva came from Gerim. The Melech cannot do everything to enrich himself but must remember to be humble, rule justly and write or commission a Sofer to write for him a Sefer Torah that travels with him like the atomic briefcase that accompanies the US President. Neither shall the king have more than 18 wives according to our Sages. He must be taught Torah and learn to be Just.
Chapter 18 starts off the fact that the Leviim and Cohanim are dedicated to education and working for HASHEM and can only have a small parcel of land in the cities of the Leviim scattered among the tribes for teaching. One must give Teruma and Maaser to them as a payment for their work for HASHEM. There is a reminder not to behave like the Nations of the world with their abominable practices and cults. This is followed by who is true or false prophet unto HASHEM.

16:18 Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the LORD thy God gives thee, tribe by tribe; and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. 19 Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons; neither shalt thou take a gift; for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous. 20 Justice, justice shalt thou follow, that thou may live, and inherit the land which the LORD thy God gives thee. ...
17:1 Thou shalt not sacrifice unto the LORD thy God an ox, or a sheep, wherein is a blemish, even any evil thing; for that is an abomination unto the LORD thy God.  ... 8 If there arise a matter too hard for thee in judgment, between blood and blood, between plea and plea, and between stroke and stroke, even matters of controversy within thy gates; then shalt thou arise, and get thee up unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose. … and thou shalt observe to do according to all that they shall teach thee. 11 According to the law which they shall teach thee, and according to the judgment which they shall tell thee, thou shalt do; thou shalt not turn aside from the sentence which they shall declare unto thee, to the right hand, nor to the left. … 15 thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose; one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee; thou may not put a foreigner over thee, who is not thy brother. …16 Only he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses; forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you: 'Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.' 17 Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away; neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. … 19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life; that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them; 20 that his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left; to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children, in the midst of Israel.
18:1 The priests the Levites, even all the tribe of Levi, shall have no portion nor inheritance with Israel; they shall eat the offerings of the LORD made by fire, and His inheritance. 2 And they shall have no inheritance among their brethren; the LORD is their inheritance, as He hath spoken unto them. … 9 When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. 10 There shall not be found among you any one that makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, one that uses divination, a soothsayer, or an enchanter, or a sorcerer, 11 or a charmer, or one that consults a ghost or a familiar spirit, or a necromancer. 12 For whosoever doeth these things is an abomination unto the LORD; and because of these abominations the LORD thy God is driving them out from before thee. 13 Thou shalt be whole-hearted with the LORD thy God.

… 19:1 When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations, whose land the LORD thy God gives thee, and thou do succeed them, and dwell in their cities, and in their houses; 2 thou shalt separate three cities for thee in the midst of thy land, which the LORD thy GOD gives thee to possess it.

Two weeks ago we mentioned the 3 cities of refuge on the other side of the Yarden but  now we have to designate 3 cities in the main part of Erez Yisrael.

3 Thou shalt prepare thee the way, and divide the borders of thy land, which the LORD thy God causes thee to inherit, into three parts, that every manslayer may flee thither. 4 And this is the case of the manslayer, that shall flee thither and live: whoso kills his neighbor unawares, and hated him not in time past; 5 as when a man goes into the forest with his neighbor to hew wood, and his hand fetches a stroke with the axe to cut down the tree, and the head slips from the helve, and lights upon his neighbor, that he die; he shall flee unto one of these cities and live; 6 lest the avenger of blood pursue the manslayer, while his heart is hot, and overtake him, because the way is long, and smite him mortally; whereas he was not deserving of death, inasmuch as he hated him not in time past. 7 Wherefore I command thee, saying: 'Thou shalt separate three cities for thee.' 8 And if the LORD thy God enlarge thy border, as He hath sworn unto thy fathers, and give thee all the land which He promised to give unto thy fathers-- 9 if thou shalt keep all this commandment to do it, which I command thee this day, to love the LORD thy God, and to walk ever in His ways--then shalt thou add three cities more for thee, beside these three; 10 that innocent blood be not shed in the midst of thy land, which the LORD thy God gives thee for an inheritance, and so blood be upon thee.

The section we just read was all for accidental manslaughter but the cities of refuge do not help against criminal neglect and a purposely done murder.

11 But if any man hate his neighbor, and lie in wait for him, and rise up against him, and smite him mortally that he die; and he flee into one of these cities; 12 then the elders of his city shall send and fetch him thence, and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die. 13 Thine eye shall not pity him, but thou shalt put away the blood of the innocent from Israel, that it may go well with thee.

The avenger of blood has the right to kill the man-slaughterer but only a Beit Din of 23 is allowed to give the death penalty for such a criminal..

14 Thou shalt not remove thy neighbor’s landmark, which they of old time have set, in thine inheritance which thou shalt inherit, in the land that the LORD thy God gives thee to possess it.

The landmark is important and the removal may increase or decrease the value of a property.

15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sins; at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall a matter be established.

The Torah does not want a he said/ she said situation and therefore there must be two against one so has to get a firmer picture of the situation.

16 If an unrighteous witness rise up against any man to bear perverted witness against him;

One witness [shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity]: This verse establishes a general principle [i.e., from here it is derived] that wherever the term“witness” (עֵד) appears in the Torah, it means two [witnesses], unless the Torah specifies [that] one witness is meant. — [San. 30a] for any iniquity, or for any sin: where his testimony would lead to the accused being punished, either with corporal punishment or with or monetary punishment. However, one [witness] may rise up to [compel his fellow to take] an oath, as follows: If one says to his fellow, “Give me the maneh [100 zuzim] that I lent you,” and his fellow replies, “I have nothing of yours,” and one witness testifies for him [the plaintiff] that he [the defendant] owes him [the money], [the defendant] is required to swear [that he did not borrow any money]. — [Shev. 40a] By the mouth of two witnesses [… the matter will be established]: [The expression,“by the mouth” means here that only the direct, verbal testimony suffices,] but they should not write their testimony in a letter and send it to the court, or have an interpreter stand between the witnesses and the judges. - [Sifrei]

17 then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges that shall be in those days. 18 And the judges shall inquire diligently; and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother; 19 then shall ye do unto him, as he had purposed to do unto his brother; so shalt thou put away the evil from the midst of thee.

As he plotted: But not as he did. From here [our Rabbis] said that if the first set of witnesses [before being proven false,] already killed the defendant [by their testimony], they are not to be put to death. — [Mak. 5b] To do to his brother: Why does Scripture state, “to his brother?” To teach, that in the case of witnesses who conspired against a married daughter of a kohen [by accusing her of adultery], that they are not executed with burning [the form of execution to which she would have been subjected], but rather, by strangulation, the form of execution of the adulterer. For it says [regarding such a woman] “she shall be burnt with fire” (Lev. 21:9) -“she,” but not her paramour [who is dispatched by strangulation]; therefore it says here, “to his brother”-“as he plotted to do to his brother,” but not as he plotted to do to his sister. With other crimes, however, Scripture regards women equally with men, and conspiring witnesses against a woman are executed in the same way as those who conspired against a man. For instance, if they testified that a women killed a person, or that she desecrated the Sabbath [and they are revealed to be false witnesses before she is executed], then they are executed in the form that they intended for her, for Scripture does not exclude his sister [by stating “brother”] except in a case where one may carry out the punishment of the conspiring witnesses by the form of execution of the adulterer [as opposed to the adulteress]. — [Sifrei and San. 90a]

20 And those that remain shall hear, and fear, and shall henceforth commit no more any such evil in the midst of thee.

Shall listen and fear: From here, [we derive the law] that a public announcement is required: “So-and-so and so-and-so are to be executed because they were proven by the court to be plotting witnesses.” - [San. 89a] [Note that Rashi on Mak. 5a and San. 89a writes that the proclamation is made after the perpetrators have been executed.]

21 And thine eye shall not pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

In the case of Rabbi Shimon Ben Shelach who hung 80 witches in Ashkelon had a son killed by the Beit Din because of two false witnesses. Eye for an eye is financial compensation because the eye desires this world and wealth.

20:1 When thou go forth to battle against thine enemies, and see horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, thou shalt not be afraid of them; for the LORD thy God is with thee, who brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

When you go out to war: Scripture juxtaposes the departure for war alongside this [“eye for eye etc.”] to teach us that a person with a missing limb does not go out to war. - [Sifrei] Another explanation: It teaches that if you execute righteous judgment, you can be sure that when you depart for war you will be victorious. Similarly, David says, “I performed justice and righteousness; do not leave me to my oppressors” (Ps. 119: 121). - [Tanchuma] Against your enemies: Let them be in your eyes as enemies; have no pity on them, for they will have no pity upon you. Horse and chariot: In My eyes, they are all like one horse. Similarly, it says, “and you shall strike Midian as one man.” (Jud. 6:16) And similarly, it says,, “When Pharaoh’s horse… came [into the sea]” (Exod. 15:19). - [Sifrei] A people more numerous than you: In your eyes, they are numerous, but in My eyes, they are not numerous. — [Sifrei]

Rashi comes to teach us not to be afraid of the massive hordes that the Arabs can gather against us nor fear the homicide bombers or those that steal bodies but be steadfast and HASHEM will be on our side.

2 And it shall be, when ye draw nigh unto the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people,

This is the assistant to the Cohain HaGadol as Eleazar was to Aaron and Pinchas to Eleazar. He will stand in front of the army and then declare to them as stated below.

3 and shall say unto them: 'Hear, O Israel, ye draw nigh this day unto battle against your enemies; let not your heart faint; fear not, nor be alarmed, neither be ye affrighted at them;

“Hear, O Israel”: Even if you have no merit other than the reading of the Shema , you are worthy that He [God] save you. — [Sotah 42b] Against your enemies: These are not your brothers, for if you fall into their hands, they will not have pity on you; this is not like the war of Judah with Israel, of which the verse states, “And the men, who were mentioned by name, rose up and took hold of the captives, and, and clothed all their nakedness from the spoils, and they dressed them and shod them, and fed them and gave them to drink, and anointed them, and led them on donkeys, every feeble one, and they brought them to Jericho, the city of the palms, beside their brothers, and they returned to Samaria” (II Chron. 28:15). You, however, are going against your enemies; therefore strengthen yourselves for battle. — [Sifrei ; Sotah 42a] Let your hearts not be faint; you shall not be afraid, you shall not be alarmed, and you shall not be terrified: Four warnings, corresponding to four practices in which the kings of the nations engage [during battle]: They hold their shields close together to strike them against one another, thereby producing a loud noise to alarm those confronting them, so that they should flee; they stamp [the ground heavily] with their horses and make them neigh, sounding the beating of their horses’ hoofs, and they shout loudly and blow horns and [other] kinds of noisy instruments. Let your hearts not be faint: Because of the neighing of the horses; You shall not be afraid: of the noise made by the fastening of the shields; And you shall not be alarmed: At the sounds of the horns; And you shall not be terrified: By the noise of the shouting. — [Sifrei ; Sotah 42a] And you shall not be terrified: By the noise of the shouting. — [Sifrei ; Sotah 42a]

In modern terms this would mean the ground shaking from artillery and bombs that your forces send behind you exploding in front of you. The noise is enough to scare an ordinary man. As General Avigdor Kahalani said “Anybody who tells you that they are not scared going into battle is either a liar or needs to be hospitalized in an institution.

4 for the LORD your God is He that goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.'

For the Lord, your God…: They are coming with the victory of flesh and blood, whereas you approach with the victory of the Omnipresent. The Philistines came with the victory of Goliath-What was his end? He fell, and they fell with him. Who goes with you: This refers to the camp of the ark. — [Sotah 42a]

This is the opening statement. Remember who can take your soul and if you live or die so do not fear. At the end of Inyanay Diyoma today there is an article of Nathaniel Maman who succumbed to his wounds. He was a 22 year old soldier away from the battle field when he stopped near his home to buy cigarettes and was a victim of shrapnel. It is no different from the soldier who asked Shimon Lachmy, his Sgt. In the Yom Kippur War to move his guard post from foxhole A to B as he was afraid in A. So he was moved to foxhole B where the Angel of Death took him. This is what the Cohain says to allow newlyweds and new home owners out (not in a Mitzvah War like we have today) and also the coward. The battle line was such that the best fighters were on the front and the big hulky fellows who were not the best in the rear to cut off the legs of those fleeing so that there would not be a routing of the forces.

5 And the officers shall speak unto the people, saying: 'What man is there that hath built a new house, and hath not dedicated it? let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man dedicate it. 6 And what man is there that hath planted a vineyard, and hath not used the fruit thereof? let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man use the fruit thereof. 7 And what man is there that hath betrothed a wife, and hath not taken her? let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man take her.' 8 And the officers shall speak further unto the people, and they shall say: 'What man is there that is fearful and faint-hearted? let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren's heart melt as his heart.' 9 And it shall be, when the officers have made an end of speaking unto the people, that captains of hosts shall be appointed at the head of the people. 10 When thou drawest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it.

When you approach a city [to wage war against it]: Scripture is speaking of an optional war, as is explicit in the context of this section (verse 15), “Thus you will do to all the cities which are very far away [from you]….” - [Sifrei]

This certainly was not our case in Protective Edge where we did everything to have a ceasefire the first week but was misinterpreted as a sign of weakness.

11 And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be, that all the people that are found therein shall become tributary unto thee, and shall serve thee. 12 And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against thee, then thou shalt besiege it. 13 And when the LORD thy God delivers it into thy hand, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword;

It is unfortunate for us that we cannot do this today because of the conventions of war. For if we could, there would be no enemy left to fight us for the future and no rearming and resupplying their military organization.

14 but the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take for a prey unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the LORD thy God hath given thee. 15 Thus shalt thou do unto all the cities which are very far off from thee, which are not of the cities of these nations. 16 Howbeit of the cities of these peoples, that the LORD thy God gives thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breathes, 17 but thou shalt utterly destroy them: the Hittite, and the Amorite, the Canaanite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite; as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; 18 that they teach you not to do after all their abominations, which they have done unto their gods, and so ye sin against the LORD your God.

This Mitzvah was given by our CREATOR for with years of exile in Egypt there could be no hatred or dispute with these nations. I believe that the command was given because HASHEM know that if we did not destroy everything there would be a Canaan Liberation Organization etc. that would try all the time non-stop to murder us or kick us out of the land.

19 When thou shalt besiege a city a long time, in making war against it to take it, thou shalt not destroy the trees thereof by wielding an axe against them; for thou mayt eat of them, but thou shalt not cut them down; for is the tree of the field man, that it should be besieged of thee?

We are talking about fruit trees in the land of Eretz Yisrael for which we will inherit.

20 Only the trees of which thou know that they are not trees for food, them thou may destroy and cut down, that thou may build bulwarks against the city that makes war with thee, until it fall.

21:1 If one be found slain in the land which the LORD thy God gives thee to possess it, lying in the field, and it be not known who hath smitten him;

We have a double Mitzvah here – taking care a dead person and repenting of the elders for his death for not accompanying him.

2 then thy elders and thy judges shall come forth, and they shall measure unto the cities which are round about him that is slain. 3 And it shall be, that the city which is nearest unto the slain man, even the elders of that city shall take a heifer of the herd, which hath not been wrought with, and which hath not drawn in the yoke. 4 And the elders of that city shall bring down the heifer unto a rough valley, which may neither be plowed nor sown, and shall break the heifer's neck there in the valley. 5 And the priests the sons of Levi shall come near--for them the LORD thy God hath chosen to minister unto Him, and to bless in the name of the LORD; and according to their word shall every controversy and every stroke be. 6 And all the elders of that city, who are nearest unto the slain man, shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley. 7 And they shall speak and say: 'Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it. 8 Forgive, O LORD, Thy people Israel, whom Thou hast redeemed, and suffer not innocent blood to remain in the midst of Thy people Israel.' And the blood shall be forgiven them. 9 So shalt thou put away the innocent blood from the midst of thee, when thou shalt do that which is right in the eyes of the LORD

A burst in technology, a drop in morality, and the Jewish return to Israel are all predicted as precursors to the Messiah.

An excerpt from Rabbi Kaplan's Handbook of Jewish Thought.
The coming of the Messiah and the subsequent redemption of Israel is a basic belief of Judaism.
God will bring the redemption in His own time. If all Israel were to return to God, the Messiah would appear and the final redemption would be ushered in immediately. Otherwise, the redemption will not occur until the final time decreed by God. This is the meaning of the verse, "I, God, will accelerate it in its due time" (Isaiah 60:22). That is, if Israel is worthy, God will hasten the redemption; if they are not, it will come, but only in its due time.
Thus, we find two contradictory concepts regarding the advent of the Messianic Era in the Bible. There are many passages which indicate that the Messianic Era will be ushered in with miracles, such as, "In visions of the night, I beheld the likes of a human being who came with the clouds of heaven… and he was given… an everlasting dominion which will never pass away" (Daniel 7:13-14).
On the other hand, numerous passages indicate that the Messiah will come in a more prosaic manner, such as "Behold, your king comes to you… humble and riding upon a donkey" (Zechariah 9:9). Here again, we are taught that there are two basic ways in which the Messianic Era can commence. If Israel is worthy, it will indeed by accompanied by heavenly miracles. If not, the Messianic Era will arrive through an apparently natural unfolding of historical events. In either case, God Himself will guide the forces of history to eventually bring about the Messianic Era.
Redemption will not come all at once, but gradually, in a natural manner.
Many of our sages maintained that there would be very little difference between now and the onset of the Messianic Era except with respect to Israel's subjugation by other governments. Similarly, we are taught that the redemption will not come all at once, but gradually, in a natural manner.
Nevertheless, the Messiah can come at any time, totally without warning. The reason for this is that many of the traditions regarding events which will precede the Messianic Era are contingent upon factors known only to God. Not all are necessary conditions for the redemption. It is for this reason that one should not attempt to calculate the date of the coming of the Messiah. Our sages thus taught, "May the soul of those who calculate the end rot."
Many of our traditions predict that there will be an extremely advanced technology in the Messianic Era. All disease will be eliminated, as the prophet foretold, "Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, and the ears of the deaf will be unstopped. Then the lame man will leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb will sing" (Isaiah 35:5-6).
In order that man devote himself totally to achieving spiritual perfection, many forms of labor will become obsolete. A number of miracles are predicted, such as grapes as large as hen's eggs and grains of wheat as big as a fist. As we now know, all this can become possible with a technology not too far removed from that of today. Indeed, when Rabbi Gamliel spoke of these predicted miracles, he stated that they would not involve any change in the laws of nature, but are allusions to a highly advanced technology. Thus, so little labor will be needed to process agricultural products that clothing and loaves of bread will seem to grow on trees. Similarly, as we learn the secrets of all life processes, it will become possible to make trees bear fruit continually.
When we think of the miracles of the Messianic Age as being technological rather than manifest, then we have no trouble understanding traditions that predict such things as space flight and interstellar colonization in the Messianic Age, even according to those who believe that it will not be a time of manifest miracles.
All of this would be mere conjecture and even forced interpretation if it were not for the fact that our present technological revolution has also been predicted, with an approximate date as to its inception. Almost 2000 years ago, the Zohar predicted, "In the 600th year of the 6th millennium, the gates of wisdom on high and the wellsprings of lower wisdom will be opened. This will prepare the world to enter the 7th millennium, just as a person prepares himself toward sunset on Friday for the Sabbath. It is the same here. And the mnemonic for this is (Genesis 7:11), 'In the 600th year… all the foundations of the great deep were split'."
The Zohar predicts with almost uncanny accuracy the onset of the technological revolution.
Here we see a clear prediction that in the Jewish year 5600 (1840 CE), the wellsprings of lower wisdom would be opened and there would be a sudden expansion of secular knowledge. Although the year 1840 did not yield any major scientific breakthrough, the date corresponds with almost uncanny accuracy to the onset of the present scientific revolution.
The tradition may have even anticipated the tremendous destructive powers of our modern technology. Thus, we are taught that the Messianic Era will begin in a generation with the power to destroy itself.
The rapid changes on both a technological and sociological level will result in great social upheaval. The cataclysmic changes will result in considerable suffering, often referred to as the Chevley Mashiach or birth pangs of the Messiah. If the Messiah comes with miracles, these may be avoided, but the great changes involved in his coming in a natural manner may make these birth pangs inevitable.
There is a tradition that the Jewish people will begin to despise the values of their religion in the generations preceding the coming of the Messiah. Since in a period of such accelerated change parents and children will grow up in literally different worlds, traditions handed down from father to son will be among the major casualties. Our sages thus teach us that neither parents nor the aged will be respected, the old will have to seek favors from the young, and a person's household will become his enemies. Insolence will increase, people will no longer have respect, and none will offer correction. Religious studies will be despised and used by nonbelievers to strengthen their own claims; the government will become godless, academies places of immorality, and the pious denigrated.
Judaism will suffer greatly because of these upheavals. There is a tradition that the Jewish people will split up into various groups, each laying claim to the truth, making it almost impossible to discern true Judaism from the false. This is the meaning of the prophecy, "Truth will fail" (Isaiah 59:15).
It has also been predicted that a great wave of atheism would sweep the world. As a result, many would leave the fold of Judaism completely. This is how our sages interpret the prophecy, "Many will purify themselves… and be refined. But the wicked will do evil; not one of them will understand. Only the wise will understand" (Daniel 12:10). That is, only the wise will understand that this is a test from heaven and that they must stand firm in their faith.
Jews will return to the true values of Judaism after having been estranged.
Of course, there will be some Jews who remain loyal to their traditions. Still others will return to the true values of Judaism after having been estranged. They will realize that they are witnessing the death throes of a degenerate old order and will not be drawn into it. But they will suffer all the more for this, and be dubbed fools for not conforming to the debased ways of the pre-Messianic period. This is the meaning of the prophecy, "He who departs from evil will be considered a fool" (Isaiah 59:15).
There is an apparent tradition that there will be a population explosion prior to the coming of the Messiah.
There is a tradition that if Israel does not repent, God will raise up a king like Haman who will want to annihilate the entire Jewish people. This may be the reason for Hitler's almost incomprehensible career.
One of the most important traditions regarding the Messianic Era concerns the ingathering of the Diaspora and the resettlement of the Land of Israel. There are numerous traditions that the Jewish people will begin to return to the Land of Israel as a prelude to the Messiah. The ingathering will begin with a measure of political independence, and according to some, with the permission of the other nations.
As the holiest spot in the Land of Israel, Jerusalem is the most important city that must be rebuilt there. There is a tradition that the ingathering of the exile and the rebuilding of Jerusalem will go hand in hand as the two most important preludes to the coming of the Messiah. According to this tradition, first a small percentage of the exile will return to the Holy Land, and then Jerusalem will come under Jewish control and be rebuilt. Only then will the majority of Jews in the world return to their homeland. It is thus written, "God is rebuilding Jerusalem; [then] He will gather the dispersed of Israel" (Psalms 147:2).
There is a tradition that the Land of Israel will be cultivated at that time, after a long period of desolation. This is based on the prophecy, "O mountains of Israel, let your branches sprout forth; yield your fruit to My people Israel, for they are at hand to come" (Ezekiel 36:8).
There is another important reason why the ingathering of the exile must precede the coming of the Messiah. One of our traditions regarding the advent of the Messianic Era is that it will mark the return of prophecy among the Jewish people. Furthermore, according to the final words ever spoken by a prophet, Elijah will return as a prophet and announce the coming of the Messiah, as it is written, "Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and awesome day of God" (Malachi 3:23). This is necessary because the Messiah will be a king, and a king can be anointed only by a prophet. Besides this, the Messiah himself will be a prophet, the greatest of them all, second only to Moses.
Thus, the restoration of prophecy is very important in the unfolding of the Messianic drama. This, however, requires a number of conditions. First of all, prophecy can usually take place only in the Land of Israel, and not in any other land. The Land of Israel, however, is not conducive to prophecy at all times. Before prophecy can exist in the Land of Israel, it must be inhabited by the majority of Jews in the world. Thus, unless we assume that this rule is to be broken, more than half of the Jewish people will have to live in the Land of Israel before the Messianic Era commences.
One of the most important events in the Messianic Era will be the rebuilding of the Holy Temple (Beit HaMikdash). Indeed, according to Maimonides, it is the act of building the Temple which will establish the identity of the Messiah beyond any shadow of a doubt. There are, however, many things involving the Temple which can only be ascertained prophetically, such as, for example, the precise location of the Altar. When Ezra rebuilt the Temple after the Babylonian exile, the place of the Altar had to be revealed prophetically, and the same will apparently be true when the Temple is rebuilt in the Messianic Ages.
Regarding the conquest of the Land of Israel, the Torah states, "Clear out the land and live in it" (Numbers 33:53). Many authorities maintain that this commandment remains in full force today.
There is a tradition that the Land of Israel will only be regained through great suffering. This has been fulfilled to obtain that part of the Land which we possess today.
Although some measure of political independence has been obtained in Israel, the complete ingathering of the exile will only be accomplished by the Messiah. Regarding this, the prophet foretold, "On that day, God will stretch forth His hand a second time to bring back the remnant of His people… He will hold up a banner for the nations, assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth" (Isaiah 11:11-12).
There is a tradition that there will be great suffering before the advent of the Messiah. We are thus taught, "One third of the world's woes will come in the generation preceding the Messiah."
There are prophecies that there will be a "War of Gog and Magog" around Jerusalem. According to this tradition, when the nations hear of the success of the Jewish people in rebuilding their land, they will gather to do battle against them near Jerusalem, led by Gog, the king of Magog. The battle will symbolize the final war between good and evil. In Jerusalem, all evil will ultimately be vanquished.
The Messiah of whom we have been speaking will be a direct descendent of King David, from the tribe of Judah. He is therefore known as Mashiach ben Dovid or Messiah the son of David. There is also a tradition that there will be another Messiah, from the tribe of Ephraim, the son of Joseph, who will precede Mashiach ben Dovid. He is therefore known as Mashiach ben Yosef or Mashiach ben Ephraim.
There is a tradition that Israel's enemies will only succumb to a descendant of Joseph. Thus, Mashiach ben Yosef will be the one who will lead Israel to victory in the war of Gog and Magog. This is the meaning of the verse, "The house of Jacob will be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau stubble. They will set them ablaze, and consume them; there will be no survivor of the house of Esau, for God has spoken" (Ovadiah 1:18).
Elijah the prophet will announce the Messiah's coming.
Concerning the relationship between the two Messiahs -- the initial Messiah, Mashiach ben Yosef, and the final Messiah, Mashiach ben Dovid -- the prophet declared, "Ephraim's envy will depart and Judah's adversaries will be cut off. Ephraim will not envy Judah, and Judah will not harass Ephraim" (Isaiah 11:13). That is, each Messiah will perform his appointed task, without jealousy. It is likewise written, "Son of man, take a stick, and write upon it, 'For Judah, and the children of Israel, his companions.' Then take another stick, and write upon it, 'For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and all the house of Israel, his companions.' Join them together into one stick, so that they are one in your hand" (Ezekiel 37:16-17).
According to ancient tradition, the initial Messiah will fight and be killed in the war of Gog and Magog. He will be mourned by all Israel, as it is written, "They shall look to Me because they have thrust him through, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns his first born son" (Zechariah 12:10).
Before the appearance of the final Messiah, a prophet will arise to announce his coming and to draw the Jewish people back to God. This prophet is referred to as Elijah the prophet. It is thus written, "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and awesome day of God" (Malachi 3:23). His primary task will be to bring peace to the world by leading all people back to God. The prophecy thus concludes, "He will turn the ears of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I [God] come and strike the world with destruction" (ibid. 3:24).
There is a tradition that Elijah will reveal himself sometime after the war of Gog and Magog, immediately before Mashiach ben Dovid appears.
Some maintain that Elijah is a Kohen, who will serve as the High Priest in the days of the Messiah, in the Third Temple.
From "The Handbook of Jewish Thought" (Vol. 2, Maznaim Publishing). Reprinted with permission.

Miracles Do Happen

She was brought up in a typical Arab village in Israel. Going to school, learning the Quran, and hating the Jewish people. But all that changed at the age of 18 when her mother informed her that she was Jewish. It was the best kept secret in the village, for fear that her children would be abused and treated as second-class citizens. But for Fatima this was an eye-opening experience. Soon she began to question her religion, and after a few months investigating what Judaism was about, she arrived at the women's shelter in Jerusalem. Since she didn't speak Hebrew, we brought in a tutor who knows Arabic to teach her the ways of Judaism and the Hebrew language.

Mohammad, too, was brought up in a typical Muslim village in Israel. He was subject to hateful lessons in school about the Jews. Something, though, didn't feel right to him. At the age of 20 Mohammad left the village for greener pastures and found himself more and more in the process of connecting to Judaism and the Jewish people. Finally, after learning in a yeshiva for a while, he converted to Judaism.

These two Jewish souls connected and are now happily engaged to be married and to start a Jewish family in the Land of Israel. A true modern miracle!

It is with your continued assistance to the "Chemla/Charity of Light Fund" that we are able to make such miracles a reality. Your ongoing help not only enabled us to bring these two beautiful people together, but the merit of this assistance will be with their children and grandchildren for all generations.

Levi Chazen
Chemla/Charity of Light Fund

From Belladonna: Something woke up the pintele Yid inside of him when the boys were kidnapped in June this son of a Holocaust Survivor sees the pure evil of the Amalek:

Jewish Taliban Community expelled from Central America after they fled Canada:,7340,L-4565489,00.html

We are in Elul - the month of repentance.

Israel was just through the kidnap and murder of three Yeshiva Youths. We were through a war where 70 soldiers and civilians died and scores injured at a tremendous cost to many families from losses of kin, business and property. It is now a time to reflect.
I am sure that the number of soldiers who started putting on Tephillin or saw miracles are wonderful and the extra Tehillim and Tephilla helped. We now add the Psalm Le David twice a day and hear the Shofar to wake us up. I cannot tell you which sins you have that is between you and HASHEM and for you to work on. I have enough trouble working with my own Bitul Torah (wasting time).
Each year every person resolves to improve themselves. Some of us with more Torah learning, some with more intent in prayers some with controlling food intake and others weaning themselves from the violation of Shabbos.   
I am not a Rabbi who condemns Technology but I also see us becoming more and more ‘hooked’ on it and we have to place limitations to the use of it and time devoted. Rabbi Yochanan Ben Zakkai said to his students “Repent one day before your death!” The students asked, “Only then?” He replied, “Since one does not know the date of his death, he should be in a constant state of repentance.”

I am not the Novi Yona but if I were, I might be sent to Iceland to warn them of a Volcano and Hurricane treat to their area.

Inyanay Diyoma

This follows the earlier update on Friday. Dozens of rockets falling most within the 40 km range from Gaza on Friday and a rocket fell in an empty area near Tel Aviv but usually they have one larger salvo or two for further away each day. 3 injured in a direct hit on a Synagogue in Ashdod and one man injured in Beer Sheva:,7340,L-4562008,00.html
Ed-op and inept government:
Motzei Shabbos Aug 23rd = Ohr L’ 28 Menachem Av 5774 end of day 47
Right before Shabbos little Daniel Traggerman, 4.5 years old, was next to the two cars outside when a mortar shell hit and killed him on Kibbutz Nahal Oz. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back and a mass evacuation of people from the sounding areas near Gaza started. Today there was a more massive bombardment and the IDF started dropping leaflets in Gaza warning people to evacuate. The IDF called up and sent a hell-fire missile to the roof of one of the 14 story refugee shanties in Gaza and then two bombs made them real refugees.
Yesterday before Shabbos rockets were fired at Tel Aviv area and today Rishon to Tel Aviv in more of an attempt to hit the airport area. The demonstration against Israel fighting Gaza was limited and was in the middle when sirens went off.
Flu season is on the way after firing at Jews this terrorist was given a shot by the police:

Aug 24 = 28 Menachem Av 5774 Protective Edge Day 48
80% of the people close to the fence evacuated the south elsewhere 70% WHAT THE HECK IS THE MATTER WITH BIBI - Obama sneezes and he has a BM in his pants?
A total of 120 rockets to the south which includes 5 to the Rishon-Tel Aviv Area were fired yesterday. Still we are being told that they are running out of Ammo! Statistics up in the air: A week ago I read that we destroyed so and so many rockets they have about 3000 rockets left and now the people are talking about between 2000 to 3000 so I asked general nuisance and he told. Oats, peas, beans and barley grows etc. That I think is how they do their statistics. The Hamas are even better the red crescent announced 18 injured yesterday but CNN took their statistics 25 injured when the apt complex fell including 11 children (fact 11 adults total) here 11 there 10 etc. The facts are different. In the Iraqi War the British injured about 60% children while here only 16% were injured by the IDF. So because Britain is a power and has a larger population they are exempt from UN scrutiny but the JEWS of Israel that is a different story.
2 Rockets fired from Lebanon yesterday probably PLO types one hits a Druze Village injuring 2 and 23 cases of shock. On the central Golan I assume ISIS or some rouge Assad Troops fired 3 times for a total of 5: You show your enemies that you are Namby-Pamby and they all jump into the war. Lebanese find the launcher:
Hamas Ministry of the Interior now level as more than 20 rockets hit the south this morning in an even heavier barrage. A young man was injured critically in his car yesterday and the first thing when my wife heard the first name was to call up her friend who has a son 18 with a car in this article. Rivlin speaks out at the funeral for the little boy, Daniel, victim number 68 of the current conflict.
Has the Troika running the army gotten enough criticism at home and in the public opinion polls after the death of Daniel HY”D that they will finally do something for election fever is starting to take off and is becoming a virus for Bibi.
What is the world coming to a commercial on the radio was interrupted by Home Command saying that 5 different Yeshuvim were under attack so at least 25 rockets were fired. Now the Advertising World is going against Bibi and that could hurt his re-election now that means a ground war!
Former MK speaks out and calls for eliminating Hamas:

The evening of day 48 of Protective Edge                               
By 18:00 hours at least 100 rockets were fired at Israel including to Tel Aviv open area and other cities.,7340,L-4563090,00.html
Bibi allows strikes on human shields after the little child was killed on the Kibbutz. We allow supplies to go to Gaza here but they shoot at the entrance Israeli Arabs wounded:
Missing Yeshiva Student has authorities worried:
Hamas executing people did not help world public opinion for them:,7340,L-4562954,00.html
Former IDF Rabbi Ronski criticizes the military leaders and goals:
I would not leave Israel to check out volcanoes in Iceland today or even Northern California right now.|main5|dl1|sec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D519612
Today we targeted the Gaza Finance Minister of Hamas and a bunch of stories that made money for them.,7340,L-4562675,00.html and
Iran adds to the equation blames us:

Aug. 25th = 29 Menachem Av 5774 Protective Edge Day 49
I take my dog relatively close by but still at a reasonable fast clip it takes 1 minute and 50 seconds to return home on the shorter trip and I have theoretically a minute and a half to find shelter but I think I got some spare by some seconds based on the booming that I once heard. Today is the Hebrew Birthday of my wife. Her English Birthday was already. Life goes on in Israel as normal as possible. The IAF has been given the orders to fly lower over the mortar range to try to catch some characters in the act. THERE IS NO BETTER DEFENSE THAN TAKING OVER THE TERRORITORY. NOT ONE MORTAR WAS FIRED WHEN WE WERE 3 km OR MORE IN GAZA. Still today up to about 4 PM there were over 80 rockets and mortars as far north as Herzliya and past Beer Sheva in the south
Before the update for Today I want to copy what Gail wrote last evening: Now, to the sad, deadly point of today’s bitter news!
ISIS is & equals Hamas.  ISIS is the Islamic State of Iraq & Syria which springs from the roots of Islam in the 7th Century.  So is Hamas!   ISIL (the twin of ISIS), Islamic State of Lebanon beheaded the American journalist James Foley.
Sharia Law allows Muslims to massacre infidels…following the benighted history of their prophet & leader:  Mohammed, who is heralded as the Chief Leader & Prophet of Islam.  He beheaded 800 Jewish men while breaking the 10 year Hudabaiya Treaty he had signed with the dominant Jewish Qaraish Tribe to worship in Mecca.  Mohammed was militarily weak at that point but, 2 years later when stronger, he came back to Mecca, broke the 10 year treaty, murdered the Jewish men by decapitating them – by the sword, of course, captured the Jewish women & children – selling them into slavery.1.
The Western world leaders, media, governments, US President Barack Hussein Obama, the UN (even some 200 Hollywood stars, (of all things), finally get the idea of how the Islamic world intends to establish an Islamic Caliphate over the whole world to be run under strict Sharia Law.  If you need to know all or any of those laws, just Google “Sharia Law”.  It’s worse than you might think!  No rights for women, non-believers in Islam, Sunni Muslims who believe differently than Shia Muslims; children. 
Muslims were & are the chief slavers in Black Africa.  Muslims were the brutal Barbary Pirates in the late 1700s.  They were the source of the Mujahadin, the Islamic Jihadists who raided all countries’ merchant ships, stole their cargoes & kidnapped their crews, holding them hostage for gold – for years. 2.
Remember that the Muslim Brotherhood was created in 1928 by Hassan al Bana.  Remember that Egyptian President al Sisi outlawed the Muslim Brothers.
Remember:   [GAIL’S partial REMEMBER LIST as of 2004] REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of PanAm Flight 103, 12/21/88 REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the World Trade Center in 2/26/93 REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the Marine Barracks in Lebanon, 10/23/83 REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of Khobar Towers, U.S. Barracks Saudi Arabia, 6/25/88 REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of U.S. Embassies-Nairobi & Dar es Salaam, Africa, 8/10/98 REMEMBER the MUSLIM attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon & (probably) the White House or Congress on 9/11/01 REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombings in Madrid 3/11/04 REMEMBER the MUSLIM murders of 368, ½ children in Beslan, Russia 9/1/2004 REMEMBER all the AMERICAN and other lives who were lost in vicious MUSLIM attacks. 1. Why Pretend? Read the Hudaibiya Treaty by Emanuel A. Winston 6/29/2008 2. Phantom Nation: Inventing the "Palestinians" as the Obstacle to Peace” Vol.1 (of 3) by Sha’i ben Tekoa
Brothers in arms & repugnance by Boaz Bismuth  Israel Hayom  

The Islamic State in Iraq & Syria group (also known as ISIS) & Hamas [Muslim Resistance Movement] are brethren. They are brothers in arms, brothers in religion, & brothers in repugnance. Two sides of the same coin. One hates anything different from it, while the other hates anything that is not Sunni. One group calls itself an "Islamic state" while the other is seeking to create one on our doorstep.
The Middle East, not coincidentally, sprouted both these plagues, and, as it was written on these same pages two weeks ago, the war against Hamas is the same as the war against ISIS. It is not only our problem, but we are the ones living in the same neighborhood & it appears, for us, the issue is more pressing. The war on Hamas should be the same as the war on ISIS. If not for us, then at least for the Muslims.
Hamas, similar to all Palestinian organizations, considers what is said about them important. This is perhaps the only discernible difference between it & ISIS. The European street is a good client. Hamas, a murderous terrorist organization, has managed to brand itself among the ignorant (which that continent does not lack) as a national liberation movement. After all, the Palestinians are the victims.
This is the narrative. How, they ask, can the Palestinian be a victim & a bitter enemy at the same time? Why, then, should we be surprised that an organization by the name of "Sheikh Yassin" (who was the founder of Hamas) participated in a protests in Paris earlier this month for the liberation of Gaza. Feel free to vomit.
In a phone call with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried explaining that "Hamas is ISIS, & ISIS is Hamas." From its base in Gaza, Hamas is aware of the sensitivity & repulsion surrounding ISIS, certainly following the beheading of American journalist James Foley & the targeting of Christians in Iraq.
Hamas is very anxious about the comparison to ISIS & has been quick to separate itself.
"This comparison is a lie intended to trick the American public. We are not a religious, violent group. … We do not target civilians," Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said in an interview with Yahoo News on Friday. Even though these are difficult days, it's nice to get a laugh.
Hamas, however, does not know how to behave like anything but a terrorist organization. DNA, after all, does not change. While Mashaal was spewing his fabricated & foolish clarifications, Hamas, since Thursday, was busy executing 25 Palestinians suspected of "collaborating with Israel" in the town square. Hamas, as we have already said, has established a state in Gaza, & its justice system is glorious.
"You need to give them a state as soon as possible." Human rights groups around the globe have been preaching this to us for years now. "You need to talk with Hamas." My heart truly goes out to the people of Gaza.
Even though Mashaal was offended by the comparison to ISIS, he should perhaps be reminded that Hamas & ISIS hold identical worldviews: Both organizations want to spread, establish a regime predicated on Shariah law, & destroy Western culture. & both are branches of radical global Islamist movements: ISIS is the product of al-Qaida, which appears moderate by comparison, while Hamas stems from the Muslim Brotherhood, an option that until recently was perceived by Washington as a sane alternative to the Arab dictatorial regimes. In both cases, we will receive Islamic caliphates where there is no place for the infidel. Hamas, like the Muslim Brotherhood, wants to bring the 21st century back to the seventh century. ISIS, like the Salafists of al-Qaida, has the same dream. Nothing good will come of either one.
In recent months, the Internet has been awash with grotesque videos & images of sickening murder rampages perpetrated by ISIS. It took the execution of a Western citizen to send a shock wave through the West. Hamas, however, like ISIS, terrorizes the population in the area it controls (just ask the members of Fatah's Force 17 who were in Gaza in 2007) & solidifies its regime through threats & executions, where masked men impose terror by murdering a helpless victim in front of a crowd. & there is also the aspect of educating the younger generation to fight the infidel to the death.
Both organizations persecute & oppress non-Muslim minorities, including Christians. They oppress women & infidels, violate international law & human rights treaties, & aspire to as many civilian deaths as possible in the territories they seek to control. It is so abundantly clear that Hamas & ISIS are one in the same -- does anyone think ISIS can be negotiated with?
How can one negotiate with those who preach faith in Allah -- yet are godless?

Hamas is in a panic and arresting anybody whom they might suspect:
The Islamic Jihad was so thoroughly decimated that they are willing to accept a temporary semi-long term ceasefire:,7340,L-4563312,00.html
Should I be comfortable with US Foreign Policy or internal policy? Arif Alikhan is Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security and is not worried about Muslims sneaking across the border with Mexico. Neither is Mohammed Elibiary Homeland Security Advisor nor Rashid Hussein the advisor to the Islamic Conference nor Obama’s advisor Salam al-Maryiati. When questioned if there was a danger Obama’s Czar on Sharia Imam Mohammed Magid was not worried and same goes for Eboo Patel advisor on faith based neighborhood partnerships. So rest assured that there is zero infiltration from the Mexican Tunnels by Islamists and sleep well at night America.
Brave? Bibi looking for another way out but Hamas doesn’t look ready to accept anything from weaklings.
A political murder of a popular principal Arab style:,7340,L-4563538,00.html

Aug 26th = 30th Menachem Av 5744 Protective Edge Day 50
A total of 4762 rockets and mortars hit Israel in the last 50 days. PLEASE PRAY FOR Aharon ben Hulda who has been missing since Friday. According to Rav Kanievsky he alive and being held captive in an Arab Village. Rabbi David Abuhatzaira said to say Tehillim 1000 times for him. 

Close to 130 or 140 rockets and mortars fired on Monday. Last night about the time I went to sleep, two rockets were fired at Metulla and another Yeshuv. A mortar landed in Israel from Syria caused no damage and we are staying neutral at present. Also last night we knocked down a 13 story building after the residents were evacuated so no innocents injured here. A regular rocket and mortar launching school and an UNWRA rocket launching school were taken out too. Also 6:32 - my wife was just caught on the highway between our house-airport and her mother’s house she heard 3 booms not pleasant but part of life here. They mounted a massive attack on Ashdod-Ashkelon and the center of the country especially the airport because of rumors of a cease and they fire for a month. Ed-Op: Good Old Fashioned Anti-Semitism for Progressives:,7340,L-4562127,00.html
This article has the view of the hole in the glass roof in Ashdod in the pictures:,7340,L-4563278,00.html
Netanyahu, he has as much fight in him as Obama’s “Red Line” on Syria:
Naftali Bennett speaks to Al-Jazeera
The whole picture of the area is getting clearer and more complicated. Egypt attacked the rebels in Libya as they are part of the extreme Jihad or Muslim Brotherhood. The Americans are angry that their Banana Republic did not tell them. Why should they, the US stabbed Al-Sisi in the back and he had to go to the Russians with Saudi Money so why should he tell them everytime he goes to take a shower! So new strange alliances are being forged from the old Arabic Saying “The enemy of my enemy” (not necessarily my friend). Yisrael-Saudi-Emerates-Yarden-Egypt-moderate Libyans and out of the equation but anti-ISIS is Syria and as I wrote all alone for two years that Assad is better to have as a known enemy. In the meantime miraculously Hezballah is killing ISIS and vice versa.
Jihad and Hamas are no longer in with the youth they trained. The younger generation likes a Caliphate:,7340,L-4563729,00.html
Besides the Arab Youths liking a winner the ISIS is planning to use drones against Israel. And a certain country north of Mexico:
Arab youths tried to lynch a family and the population saved them:,7340,L-4563835,00.html
In Israel it takes months to put in a traffic circle watch the Chinese build a 30 story hotel in 15 days.

Gail Winston comments: Dear Family & Friends,
First there were rocks [remember the Stanley Kubrick movie: “2001” how the ape used a club to kill his fellow ape - & that rock turned into a spaceship/rock-et?]    Now there are rockets.  In between, sticks, knives, swords, fire-bombs, Molotov cocktails, guns, explosives, bombs, missiles to rockets. 
Is this truly human nature?  I certainly hope not. This can’t be the best we can do.  G-d gave us wonders to live with on this earth …wonderful children, beautiful spouses, gorgeous scenery.  Why must our fellow humans muck it up with murder?  How can their religion tell them to brutally kill anyone who doesn’t believe like they do? 
Sadly, Islam is a death-cult. Gladly, Judaism is a life-giving source.
Must there be blood?  Must a 4 year old happy boy, three 16 year old Yeshiva students, 64 beautiful, accomplished soldiers die - in order for the rest of us to live?   Must we suffer such life-denying sacrifices?  Jewish life is truly wondrous & beautiful to behold.  Why can’t we just jump in & live it to the fullest?!  No one on this earth should be depressed or bored.  Just look around & see the wonderful people, the fantastic colors in what the world has to offer you – & just love it & them with all your heart.
In the meantime, we must fight to win this vicious war Hamas (today) has waged against us, the Jews today, & everyone else tomorrow… & against their own people.  Will it cost us our precious people’s blood?  I fear this is so.  However, it will cost much more later.  But, as Hillel said:  “If we are not for ourselves, who will be?  If not now, when?”
BTW, I just noticed that the media or the world has changed the description of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq & Syria) or ISIL (Islamic State of the Levant) to just IS (Islamic State).  I wondered why.  Because they have spread out their goal of an Islamic Caliphate in ‘just’ Iraq, Syria & Lebanon to the whole Muslim world (to start) & then the rest of the whole world.  Islam demands that Muslims must claim whatever land on earth where they have ever walked!?   Islam’s full extent in their spree of conquering extended all the way up into Europe, across Spain (Andalusia), half-way across France until stopped at the Battle of Tours/ Poitier (October 732), won in 732 CE by the Austrasian Mayor of the Palace Charles Martel, against an army of the  Umayyad Caliphate led by 'Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi, Governor-General of al-Andalus – who was killed by Martel.    (Wikipedia/Google).
Did you ever wonder why the European Union has the most number of Muslims living in France?  Perhaps it’s because today’s Muslims are preparing to re-conquer Europe in France exactly where they were first defeated in their quest for a Global Caliphate – starting in France/Europe.
Don’t forget!  There are 21 Arab Muslim countries in the world & a total of 57 Muslim countries in the world.  When the Muslim countries of the world coalesce to achieve their unearthly goal of a Global Caliphate controlled by bloody cult, brutal Sharia Law – with no human rights for humans, don’t forget that, among other violent countries, Iran will also participate in their ‘quest’ – along with their Nuclear Capabilities & already constructed Nuclear weaponry!!!  
Too many “Az’akas” today interrupting Kol HaMusica’s gorgeous music.  Mostly, around the South of Israel.  But, Sunday night while working under my open skylight, I heard one.  It wasn’t near but, I went down to my ‘miklat’ (bomb shelter) anyway, to follow protocol.  My smart Smart-Phone app showed me the “Red Alert” was in the Beit Shemesh areas, just down the hill from several villages but, not mine.  A friend heard 2 loud booms in Jerusalem of the “Kipat Barzel” (Iron Dome) exploding incoming rockets.  How comforting modern technology can be when it can prove that the others’ modern technology cannot hit you!  However, the Jewish communities in the South are being hit continually.  HOW MUCH LONGER WILL WE TOLERATE THEM?!!
Signing off with a wish for a peaceful, safe, quiet night, All the very best, Gail/Geula/Savta/Mom

Also from Gail via Yisrael Ha Yom Newspaper:  It's also now acknowledged by the Obama administration that Islamic State cannot be defeated unless & until it is attacked in Syria. The airstrikes the United States is now conducting against Islamic State in Iraq, & help to the Kurds, will not be sufficient. Here's what the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, said in an August 21 press conference:
     "Q: General, do you believe that ISIS can be defeated or destroyed without addressing the cross-border threat from Syria? & is it possible to contain them?
     "GEN. DEMPSEY: Let me start from where you ended & end up where you started. It is possible contain -- to contain them. & I think we've seen that their momentum was disrupted. & that's not to be discounted, by the way, because the -- it was the momentum itself that had allowed them to be -- to find a way to encourage the Sunni population of western Iraq & Nineveh province to accept their brutal tactics and -- & their presence among them.
     "So you ask -- yes, the answer is they can be contained, not in perpetuity. This is an organization that has an apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision & which will eventually have to be defeated. To your question, can they be defeated without addressing that part of their organization which resides in Syria? The answer is no. That will have to be addressed on both sides of what is essentially at this point a nonexistent border.
     "And that will come when we have a coalition in the region that takes on the task of defeating ISIS over time. ISIS will only truly be defeated when it's rejected by the 20 million disenfranchised Sunni that happen to reside between Damascus & Baghdad.
     "Q: & that requires airstrikes (OFF-MIKE)
     "GEN. DEMPSEY: It requires a variety of instruments, only one small part of which is airstrikes. I'm not predicting those will occur in Syria, at least not by the United States of America. But it requires the application of all of the tools of national power -- diplomatic, economic, information, military."
Also from Gail Five Goals To Win The War by David Rubin, former mayor of Shiloh, Israel.   8/24/2014, 10 AM (condensed by me)
Here are the five key goals in ever-so slightly modified form, taking new realities into account:
1. ALL terror tunnels need to be completely destroyed.
2. ALL terrorist weapons need to be confiscated.
3. ALL bomb factories & warehouses need to be totally destroyed.
4. Israel needs to take & maintain full control of Gaza to insure that the previous 3 goals are achieved.
5. A major public relations campaign needs to be implemented, unapologetically explaining our historical rights in Gaza & justification for this offensive, followed by firm Israeli resolve to ignore those who refuse to accept our absolutely legitimate explanations.
While those are the minimal requirements for any Israeli offensive to be considered a victory, there are other goals that would certainly be advisable, such as:
1. Totally eliminate the Palestinian Authority as a political force that Israel foolishly accepts as a "peace partner".
2. Confiscate all weapons in Judea, Samaria, & Jerusalem - that includes Islamic Jihad, Hamas & its unity government partner Fatah, as well.
3. Allow the reestablishment of the formerly thriving Jewish communities of Gaza, in place of the rocket launchers now occupying that sacred ground. It is our historic right to be there, but history has also shown that increased Israeli settlement brings an increased security presence.
4. Take steps to enable & encourage the peaceful emigration from Gaza of Arabs that don't want to live peacefully in a Gaza under Israeli sovereignty.

Day 50 Aug 26th Ohr L’ 1st of Elul 5774 supposed long term cease fire in place from 8 PM local time
Do you know why 80% of the citizens left the area near Gaza? Yesterday in Eshkol 26 sirens. That is a bit more than 2 an hour it is plain nerve racking. The Tragermann family has no intention of returning to live in Kibbutz Neve Oz.                                  
One soldier dead and 7 civilians or soldiers injured 2 seriously.
Ronny Daniel of Arutz 2 said that Hamas appears to be stronger than it really is it took a pounding for 50 days and kept its ability to send rockets.
Gaza celebrates their victory tonight. All they got was a fishing zone until 8 km from the shore instead of 3 km does that make so much of a difference? No port, no airport and at this point no release of any terrorists for dead bodies. There is no certainty that Israel and Hamas deal were not presented with different drafts for approval by Egypt, which will require nimble footwork from Cairo diplomats to bridge at some point, or that Operation Defensive Edge is indeed over. also,7340,L-4564456,00.html
They fired after the truce but not much. Explosions were heard but could be removing unexploded ordinance.
Bibi has a lot of internal opposition now in the government.
Woman gets seal of approval - cute news from Albert:

It appears that this round is over besides knocking out a lot of small businesses raising unemployment in our service industry, devaluating the Shekel and costing us 9 billion or more Shekels the Hamas did not achieve any more than scaring a large part of the civilian population and dictating where couples would or would not get married. As for what they lost it is nothing Qatar will give them billions and other Arab Countries. Their employment will flourish. It will not take them that long to recover and rebuild the 13, 14 and 17 story refugee shanties in Gaza. I assume that our school year will start on time. There will be a lot of shell shocked children and adults on both sides. The last day of the conflict 180 mortars and rockets were fired from Gaza according to Hamas.

Our weakness has awakened a sleeping Intifada in East Yerushalayim, Yehuda and the Shomron with fire bombs, rocks, etc. I am afraid that this is an ISIS takeover of the Syrian border as describe by Arutz 10 TV. Breaking news after this officer hit by bullet on the Golan.,7340,L-4564697,00.html

Yesterday a soldier was probably seriously injured in the shelling of Kibbutz Nirim but the people who died were not soldiers but local Kibbutz Security/Ambulance Head and his Assistant:

She was on my priority prayer list for a long time but there is a limit how much one can help after the situation stabilizes. My buddy since the age of 3 had a minor stroke recovered a lot but only to a certain point could coconut oil help I don’t know I asked a friend to try it on her husband with Parkinson and a deteriorating state of mind.

From Gail: Understanding the Israeli-Egyptian-Saudi alliance by Caroline Glick Thurs. Aug. 21, 2014

Hamas’s war with Israel is not a stand-alone event. It is happening in the context of the vast changes that are casting asunder old patterns of behavior & strategic understandings as actors in the region begin to reassess the threats they face.
Hamas was once funded by Saudi Arabia & enabled by Egypt. Now the regimes of these countries view it as part of a larger axis of Sunni jihad that threatens not only Israel, but them.
The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, & its state sponsors Qatar & Turkey, are the key members of this alliance structure. Without their support Hamas would have gone down with the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt last summer. As it stands, all view Hamas’s war with Israel as a means of reinstating the Brotherhood to power in that country.
To achieve a Hamas victory, Turkey, Qatar & the Muslim Brotherhood are using Western support for Hamas against Israel. If the US & the EU are able to coerce Egypt & Israel to open their borders with Gaza, then the Western powers will hand the jihadist axis a strategic victory.
The implications of such a victory would be dire.
Hamas is ideologically indistinguishable from Islamic State. Like Islamic State, Hamas has developed mass slaughter & psychological terrorization as the primary tools in its military doctrine. If the US & the EU force Israel & Egypt to open Gaza’s borders, they will enable Hamas to achieve strategic & political stability in Gaza. As a consequence, a post-war Gaza will quickly become a local version of Islamic State-controlled Mosul.
In the first instance, such a development will render life in southern Israel too imperiled to sustain. The Western Negev, & perhaps Beersheba, Ashkelon & Ashdod, will become uninhabitable.
Then there is Judea & Samaria. If, as the US demands, Israel allows Gaza to reconnect with Judea & Samaria, in short order Hamas will dominate the areas. Militarily, the transfer of even a few of the thousands of rocket-propelled grenades Hamas has in Gaza will imperil military forces & civilians alike.
          IDF armored vehicles & armored civilian buses will be blown to smithereens.
          Whereas operating from Gaza, Hamas needed the assistance of the Obama administration & the Federal Aviation Administration to shut down Ben-Gurion Airport, from Judea & Samaria, all Hamas would require are a couple of hand-held mortars.
Jordan will also be directly threatened.
From Egypt’s perspective, a Hamas victory in the war with Israel that connects Gaza to Sinai will strengthen the Muslim Brotherhood & its Islamic State & other allies. Such a development represents a critical threat to the regime.
And this brings us to Islamic State itself. It couldn’t have grown to its current monstrous proportions without the support of Qatar & Turkey.
Islamic State is obviously interested in expanding its conquests. Since it views itself as a state, its next move must be one that enables it to take over a national economy. The raid on Mosul’s central bank will not suffice to finance its operations for very long.
At this point, Islamic State wishes to avoid an all-out confrontation with Iran, so moving into southern Iraq is probably not in the cards. US forces in Kuwait, & the strength & unity of purpose of the Jordanian military, probably take both kingdoms off Islamic State’s chopping block for now.
This leaves Saudi Arabia, or parts of it, as a likely next target for Islamic State expansion.
Islamic State’s current operations in Lebanon, which threaten the Saudi-supported regime there, indicate that Lebanon, at a minimum, is also at grave risk.
Then there is Iran. Iran is not a member of the Sunni jihadist axis. But when it comes to Israel & the non-jihadist regimes, it has cooperated with it.
Iran has funded, trained & armed Hamas for the past decade. It views Hamas’s war with Israel in the same light as it viewed its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah’s war with Israel eight years ago.
Both in Iraq & Syria, Iran & Islamic State have shown little interest in making one another their primary target. Turkey & Qatar have often served as Iran’s supporters in the Sunni world.
This is the context in which Israel is fighting its war with Hamas. & due to this context, two interrelated strategically significant events have occurred since the war began.
         The first relates to the US.  The Obama administration’s decision to side with the members of the jihadist axis against Israel by adopting their demand to open Gaza’s borders with Israel & Egypt has served as the final nail in the coffin of America’s strategic credibility among its traditional regional allies.
         As the US has stood with Hamas, it has also maintained its pursuit of a nuclear deal with Iran. The US’s position in these talks is to enable the mullocracy to follow North Korea’s path to a nuclear arsenal. The non-jihadist Sunni states share Israel’s conviction that they cannot survive a nuclear armed Iran.
Finally, President Barack Obama’s refusal to date to take offensive action to destroy Islamic State in Iraq & Syria demonstrates to Saudi Arabia & the other Gulf states that under Obama, the US would rather allow Islamic State to expand into their territory & destroy them than return US military forces to Iraq.
          In other words, Obama’s pro-Hamas-, pro-Iran- & pro-Muslim Brotherhood-axis policies, along with his refusal to date to take effective action in Iraq & Syria to obliterate Islamic State, have convinced the US’s traditional allies that for the next two-and-a-half years, not only can they not rely on the US, they cannot discount the possibility of the US taking actions that harm them.
It is in the face of the US’s shift of allegiances under Obama that the non-jihadist Sunni regimes have begun to reevaluate their ties to Israel. Until the Obama presidency, the Saudis & Egyptians felt secure in their alliance with the US. Consequently, they never felt it necessary or even desirable to consider Israel as a strategic partner.
Under the US’s strategic protection, the traditional Sunni regimes had the luxury of maintaining their support for Palestinian terrorists & rejecting the notion of strategic cooperation with Israel, whether against Iran, al-Qaida or any other common foe.
So sequestered by the US, Israel became convinced that the only way it could enjoy any benefit from its shared strategic interests with its neighbors was by first bowing to the US’s long-held obsession with strengthening the PLO. This has involved surrendering land, political legitimacy & money to the terror group still committed to Israel’s destruction.
The war with Hamas has changed all of this.
          The partnership that has emerged in this war between Israel, Egypt & Saudi Arabia is a direct consequence of Obama’s abandonment of the US’s traditional allies. Recognizing the threat that Hamas, as a component part of the Sunni jihadist alliance, constitutes for their own regimes, & in the absence of American support for Israel, Egypt & Saudi Arabia have worked with Israel to defeat Hamas & keep Gaza’s borders sealed.
Most Israelis have yet to grasp the strategic significance of this emerging alliance. This owes in large part to the Left’s domination of the public discourse.
The Israeli Left sees this new partnership. But it fails to understand its basis or significance. For the Left, all developments lead to the same conclusion: Whatever happens, Israel must strengthen the PLO by strengthening Palestinian Authority Chairman & PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas.
Failing to recognize the basis for Israel’s emerging strategic partnership, led by Finance Minister Yair Lapid & Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, the Left is advocating using our new ties with Saudi Arabia & Egypt as a means of strengthening Abbas by organizing a regional peace conference.
What they fail to understand is that such a move would destroy the partnership.
Israel’s strategic cooperation with Egypt & Saudi Arabia owes to their shared interests. It cannot extend beyond them.   And they have no shared interests in regard to the PLO.
Threatened by the axis of jihad, no Muslim government can be seen publicly with Israelis. Asking Egyptian & Saudi leaders to have their pictures taken with Israelis is like asking them to sign their own death warrants.
Moreover, Israel’s required end-state in negotiations with the PLO – defensible borders & recognition of its sovereign rights to Jerusalem – is something that no Muslim regime can publicly accept – especially now.
So far from building on our new cooperative relationship, if the government heeds the Left’s advice & uses our incipient ties with the Saudis & Egyptians to strengthen the PLO, it will highlight & exacerbate conflicting interests & so destroy the partnership.
Moreover, the fact is that the PLO can play no constructive role for any of the sides in weakening our common foes. As he has for the past decade, during the current war Abbas has demonstrated that he is utterly worthless in the fight against the forces of jihad – both of the Sunni & Shi’ite variety.
At least for the duration of Obama’s presidency the interests that Egypt, Saudi Arabia & Israel share in preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons & defeating the Muslim Brotherhood/Islamic State as military & political threats can only be advanced through joint action.
The Obama administration would have forced Israel to bow to Hamas’s demands weeks ago if the Egyptians & Saudis hadn’t opposed a Hamas victory.
Without Israeli military action, Iran will become a nuclear power. In light of the US’s backing of Iran’s nuclear program, such an Israeli operation is effectively impossible without regional support.
As to Islamic State, right now the US is interested in cooperating with Iran in fighting the barbaric force. In exchange for Iranian cooperation, the US is liable to cede Basra & the Shatt al-Arab to Iran.
Effective cooperation between Israel, the Kurds & the Sunnis could contain, & perhaps defeat, Islamic State while reducing Iran’s chances of securing the strategically vital waterway.
Since the emerging partnership between Israel, Egypt & Saudi Arabia is a direct result of the Obama administration’s destruction of US strategic credibility, it is fairly clear that if properly managed, it can last until January 2017. Until then, in all likelihood, the US will be unwilling & unable to rebuild its reputation.
And until then, the parties are unlikely to find alternative means of securing their interests that are more effective than joint action.
Given the stakes, & the complementary capabilities of the various parties, Israel’s primary task today must be to work quietly & diligently with the Saudis & Egyptians to expand on their joint achievements in Gaza.
The Israeli-Egyptian-Saudi alliance can ensure that all members survive the Obama era. & if it lasts into the next administration, it will place all of its members on more secure footing with the US, whether or not a new administration decides to rebuild the US alliance structure in the Middle East.
ISIS analysis in Syria-Golan-Yarden-Sinai and Gaza the threat to the immediate region. WARNING THE FOREIGN PASSPORT HOLDERS IN ISIS THREATEN A SEPT. 11 IN THE STATES AND EUROPE.’s-complex-toils-in-both-Golan-and-Gaza-

Baruch Dayan Emmes a boy believed to be that of Aharon Sofer was found.

Israel allow Assad to fly planes close to the border as he regains some ground:

Now for Mathis Wolfberg’s “Saving Face” and a possible repeat “Got Milk”

  Good Shabbos Everyone.  Hashem tells us this week in Parshas Re'eh, "For you are a holy people to Hashem, your G-d and Hashem has chosen you for Himself to be a treasured people, from among all the peoples on the face of the earth."  (Devorim 14:2)  One of the definitions of the word "holy" is "separate, set apart."  We are truly a nation which enjoys a supernatural existence, with an extra special supervision from above.  The following amazing true story illustrates that we are a "holy people to Hashem."
     The pain and frustration of not having children had taken their toll on Dovid and Sarah Goldwasser. They had tried nearly every medical procedure, visited with almost every top specialist and had of course spent much effort and tears at the holiest sites in Eretz Yisroel. But, alas, they were married twenty-two years and still did not have children.
     The anguish would have crushed most people's spirits. But Dovid and his wife refused to give up hope and one day decided to go to Reb Chaim Kanievsky in Eretz Yisroel for a brocha - blessing. Reb Chaim was warm and caring, as well as sensitive to their needs. He asked a number of questions regarding whom they had gone to see and what procedures they had tried.
     Finally, Reb Chaim looked at them and sadly explained that sometimes Hashem in His Infinite Judgment does not grant someone a child. The couple both sat silently, contemplating the words which Reb Chaim had spoken. 
     "But Rebbi, there must be something to do. There has to be
" Dovid's plea carried with it so much hurt and aching for a child. 
     Reb Chaim thought for what seemed like an eternity and finally spoke. "Maybe there is a way. The Gemara (Shabbos 88b) speaks glowingly about someone who is able to endure the shame of someone embarrassing him and does not respond. Perhaps
," Reb Chaim spoke with a tinge of hope in his voice, "if you receive a berachah - blessing from a person who has endured humiliation and not responded in kind, then maybe " 
     It was all they needed. It was
if nothing else a glimmer of hope. But the problem they now faced was how to find someone who has suffered embarrassment at the hands of another, not responded and is prepared to give them a berachah. They resolved to do whatever they had to, whatever would help them... 
     Baruch Lipnick and his wife Rifka gave their new apartment a final once-over and were pleased that they had found a home in which they would be comfortable. Relatively new to the Bnei Brak area, they were pleased that their apartment search had come to an end. But as they opened the door to leave, they came face to face with a middle-aged woman standing at their door. "You're not buying this apartment, are you?" 
     The couple looked at the woman and then looked at each other. Neither of them knew who this woman was and could not figure out what she could have possibly intended when she issued her warning about the apartment. "I happen to know for a fact that this apartment has had a curse placed on it." 
     This announcement piqued their curiosity and alarmed them. They did want to buy the apartment but not at the expense of a shadowy curse. "How do you know that the apartment has been cursed?" They did not doubt her claim, rather they were just inquiring to get the full story. She looked at the two of them and defiantly declared, "Because I'm the one who cursed it." 
     She went on to explain that she lived in a neighboring apartment and a previous owner of this apartment had built an extension which she felt intruded on her privacy, and therefore she had placed a curse on the apartment. The woman seemed to be overreacting but before they were going to buy the apartment they wanted to make sure that they were not doing anything wrong. 
     They approached Rav Nissim Karelitz and explained the situation to him. Rav Nissim smiled and totally dismissed the woman's ludicrous claim, and justified his decision by explaining that the previous apartment owners had been given a permit by beis din - Rabbinical Court to proceed with their extension; hence the woman's claim was completely unfounded and contrary to a ruling of beis din. 
     In fact, Rav Nissim concluded, he had been a member of that beis din. Based on their conversation with Rav Nissim, Baruch and his wife were relieved and decided to go ahead with the purchase of the apartment. Within a month they moved in and before long were completely settled. 
     Although they were happy in their new living quarters, they still hadn't made many friends in the area. And so, when they were invited to a local Bar Mitzvah, Baruch was happy that his wife would be able to meet some of the other women in the neighborhood. 
     But unfortunately his happiness at the prospect of his wife meeting new women from the neighborhood quickly turned into a nightmare. In the middle of the Bar Mitzvah meal, the woman who had cursed their apartment burst into the room. She looked around and when her eyes finally locked onto Mrs. Lipnick's she let loose with a tirade directed at Mrs. Lipnick and her husband, claiming that they were "liars and cheaters, insensitive and uncaring." The entire barrage lasted for only about 2 minutes, but it felt like an eternity. 
     Mrs. Lipnick was mortified and was about to react to what had happened when someone tapped her urgently on her shoulder, "Please, I beg you, don't respond." 
     Mrs. Lipnick turned toward the woman who had tapped her and realized that she had never seen her before. The woman introduced herself quickly as Mrs. Goldwasser and again begged Mrs. Lipnick not to respond. So Mrs. Lipnick sat there quietly and suffered the terrible shame and indignity. 
     The crazed woman finally left and Mrs. Lipnick sat in her chair, feeling humiliated. "Please allow me to explain..." Mrs. Goldwasser sat down next to Mrs. Lipnick and told her about the entire meeting with Reb Chaim Kanievsky. "I've waited four and a half years to meet someone like you and I beg you to give me a berachah for a child." Mrs. Goldwasser's eyes were filled with tears and so were Mrs. Lipnick's. 
     And with heartfelt emotion, Mrs. Lipnick blessed her newfound friend that her years of suffering should end. And miraculously, twenty-six and a half years after they were married Dovid and Sarah Goldwasser cried tears of joy as they held their newborn baby boy in their arms. (Touched by a Story, Reb Yechiel Spero p. 235)   We are truly a nation which enjoys a supernatural existence, with an extra special supervision from above. Good Shabbos Everyone.

 Good Shabbos Everyone.  Rosh Hashana is quickly approaching. On Rosh Hashana Hashem judges every individual, based upon their deeds and misdeeds of the previous year. It is therefore important, now more than ever, to do the right thing in life. What is the right thing in life? Thankfully, Hashem has given us the Holy Torah as a spiritual road map to guide us through life.
         One of the fundamental principals in Judaism is that we have free choice. As we travel through life, we must make choices of what paths to take. Every traveler, especially a spiritual traveler, must have a navigator. The Torah tells us that our navigators in life are our Rabeim, our Torah leaders. Torah leaders are those who excel in their knowledge and understanding of the Torah as well as possessing a sterling character. Torah leaders are those who have climbed and who continue to climb the spiritual mountain through years of study and personal growth.
         Because they have managed to climb to a higher point on the spiritual mountain, our Torah leaders have a unique perspective; a perspective which can help us navigate through life. Just as someone high up on a mountain can guide a person below to go in the correct direction, so too do our Torah leaders have the power to guide the Jews of the generation. Our Torah leaders are therefore a crucial part of our lives because they guide us in the right direction.
         Regarding listening to Torah leaders, the Torah instructs us this week in our portion Shoftim: "According to the teaching that they will teach you and according to the judgment that they will say to you, shall you do; you shall not deviate from the word that they will tell you, right or left." (Devarim 17:11)
         The Holy Ramban interprets this verse to teach us that if one listens to his Rav, he will have divine assistance to do the right thing in life. Thus, when we ask our Rabbis, it is as if we are getting a direct line to the will of Hashem.
         The following amazing story illustrates the tremendous insight, which Hashem grants our Torah leaders.
         Yosef G. remembered what it was like to be new in a yeshivah. So the experienced Yosef made a point of befriending many of the younger students, becoming like a big brother to them and helping to ease their way into the yeshivah schedule. Mendel was one of these boys. Yosef became his chavrusah - study partner, and the two spent many hours deep in study. In their conversations outside of learning, Yosef would motivate his friend to become more exact in his performance of the mitzvos and his fear of Heaven. One issue that bothered Yosef was Mendel's lenient attitude toward cholov yisrael, the requirement that the production of milk products be strictly supervised by a Jew. Yosef often reminded Mendel of the halachic importance of cholov yisrael, and of how it helps avoid and eradicate timtum halev, impurities of the heart. But Mendel remained unconvinced. While he generally appreciated all that Yosef had to offer him, he continued to ignore him on this specific issue, instead continuing his lenient attitude toward cholov yisrael.
         The years passed. Yosef and Mendel both left yeshivah, were married and embarked on their separate lives. Yosef later became a teacher of Torah. Over time, the two friends lost track of each other. Some time later, Yosef traveled to a city in the Midwest to attend the wedding of one of his students. It was then that, after many years, he finally met Mendel again. It was an emotional meeting.
         Yosef, in particular, found it hard to control his feelings, especially when he noticed that Mendel was being supported in his chair by several medical pillows. Clearly, something was wrong.
          "What brings you to this wedding?" Yosef asked, ignoring, at first, the obvious question about Mendel's health. Mendel smiled. "I was the one who helped bring this family close to Torah. They eventually became shomer Shabbos." "That's wonderful!" Yosef exclaimed. There was a short pause. Mendel shifted slightly in his chair.
          "Listen, Yosef. Do you remember how you always encouraged me to be careful about cholov yisrael?" "Of course I do. Why do you mention it?" Said Yosef.
         "Let me tell you a story. It will explain how I came to be in this condition and why the mitzvah of cholov yisrael is so important to me now."  Said Mendel
          Mendel had become seriously ill, and was hospitalized in preparation for major surgery. His condition deteriorated very rapidly. The doctors were pessimistic about his chances, giving him only a 5% chance of survival. His surgeon. Dr. Tony Menzalla (not his real name) was very curt when he instructed Mendel to say goodbye to his wife, children and parents. Mendel was delirious with fever when his family gathered anxiously about his bedside, yet he mustered his strength for the difficult task of bidding them farewell.
          They had just left the room, and the doctor was about to inject Mendel with anesthetic in preparation for surgery when the phone suddenly rang. Somehow, Mendel reached out his hand and picked up the phone. "Hello?" "The Rebbe would like to speak with you," a strange voice said. "The Rebbe? Which Rebbe?" Mendel asked, confused. "The Rebbe of Tosh from Montreal (Rabbi Meshulem Feish Segal)."
          "Who's that? I never heard of him." By now the Rebbe himself was on the phone. "Vein nisht, vein nisht, altz vet zein git, don't cry, don't cry, everything will be good." And then the Rebbe hung up. Mendel put down the phone as the doctor completed his preparations. "Who was that?" Dr. Menzalla asked curiously. "A rabbi from Montreal," Mendel answered shortly. "Who, the Tosh'er?" Mendel looked at the Roman Catholic doctor in amazement..
          "That's right. Do you know him?" said Mendel. "Yes, I do. I go there once a year to get his blessing. So what did he say to you?"  Said Dr. Menzalla.
         "He told me not to cry, that everything will be good." Dr. Menzalla gave a dismissive wave. "So, what are you worried about? The rabbi said it will be good." And with those words Mendel fell asleep. The next thing he knew, the surgery was finished. He had woken up and he felt great! No fever. No nausea. None of the terrible side effects that are usually expected after surgery. It was unbelievable.
         The doctor was pleased, but he cautioned Mendel, "You aren't out of the woods yet!" Dr. Menzalla planned on spacing out the surgery over time to minimize the danger. He wanted Mendel confined to bed-rest for an entire year. Only then would he conclude the surgery. Mendel was dismissed from the hospital with Dr. Menzalla's warning ringing in his ears. "Absolute strict bed rest! No long trips or plane flights. No standing or putting any strain on your back."
         Mendel had every intention of following these orders and with Hashem's help, regaining his full health. It wasn't long after Mendel returned home that the phone rang with another call from the Rebbe. "I want you to come to me to Tosh." Mendel was in a quandary. He didn't want to turn down the Rebbe but he was terrified of disobeying the doctor's orders. He decided to call his father and ask his advice. His father encouraged him to go to the Rebbe, despite the admonition from the doctor, who had himself expressed faith in the Rebbe.
          He and his wife flew to Montreal, and despite his fear he arrived feeling perfectly fine. A limousine had been arranged by the Rebbe to pick them up from the airport. On Friday night a huge crowd gathered for davening in the massive Tosh shul. Mendel too had come though he remained sitting down as his doctor had ordered. He watched with interest as the Rebbe entered a special roped-off area for prayer. Suddenly, the Rebbe turned around. He began pointing and motioning to Mendel. Mendel understood that the Rebbe wanted him to stand up and join him in the roped-off area. With the whole crowd watching, Mendel stood up and walked over to stand right next to the Rebbe. The davening resumed, with the Rebbe insisting that Mendel stand for the entire time. Mendel decided to do his best, though he hadn't stood up for this long in many months. Despite his fears, he managed to remain standing with no ill effects. After davening, the Rebbe asked someone to bring a chair with cushions. He had Mendel sit down, and then he gave Mendel a blessing.
          The same scene repeated itself the next morning. The Rebbe had Mendel come stand next to him for davening, and insisted that he remain standing the entire time. Mendel knew his doctor would never believe that he had been able to remain standing for so long. The Rebbe asked Mendel and his wife to visit him after Shabbos. When they were seated in his room, the Rebbe opened a sefer - Torah book and began learning with them. First he discussed the importance of not bearing a grudge against others who harm you. And then he brought up the subject of cholov yisrael - Jewish supervised milk. The Rebbe turned to Mendel. "I want you to accept upon yourself that you will be stringent with cholov yisrael. It will be good for your neshamah - soul."
          Immediately Mendel's mind flashed back to Yosef, his chavrusah - study partner, who for many months had stressed the same point. He had not taken it seriously then. But now, as he sat before the Rebbe, he finally pledged to be careful with cholov yisrael.
          "Yes, it's taking time, Reb Yosef," Mendel said to his friend as he concluded the amazing story, "but now, Baruch Hashem, I am slowly on my way back to health." In the years that followed, Mendel continued to maintain a close relationship with the Rebbe. On another occasion, the Rebbe blessed him, "You should be able to handle great things that come your way." This blessing, too, came to fruition, as Mendel has opened up many yeshivos around the world, and has encouraged young adults to learn and come closer to Torah. (From Visions of Greatness p.160 Yosef Weiss).
          Let us be inspired by this story to look to our Torah leaders, who have an extra special assistance from above to guide Jews through their spiritual travels in life. Good Shabbos Everyone.
M. Wolfberg is sponsored by: L'illui Nishmas Aryeh Leib ben Avrohom and Malka bas Tzvi Refuah Shleima to Reb Mordechai Mendel ben Tziporah Yitta  Refuah Shleima to Leah bas Tziporah
A healthy and peaceful Shabbos rest,
Rachamim Pauli