Friday, November 7, 2014

Parsha Vayeira, Stories and news updates

Last week I had the wrong name for Rabbi Glick: Yehuda Yehoshua ben Rivka ita Breindel.

Our Sages of blessed memory said that if you are worried about things especially mundane matters you cannot open up to Divrei Torah from Chaim B. An unaffiliated couple were invited to a Shabbos meal at a frum family's home. The frum host makes Kiddush Friday night on a full cup of wine. Then he makes a LeChaim after the fish on some fine Scotch. The the main course comes with some more wine. Then they bench with wine. 
Next morning - repeat. They make Kiddush on wine in Schul. Have loads of schnapps and food. They come home. Husband makes Kiddush for the wife with wine, LeChaim after fish, a nice cold beer with the Cholent and more wine for benching
After Havdalah, the husband 'phones his children back home and tells them. "I had a wonderful time at the Orthodox family I stayed at this Shabbat" he said. "I still don't really understand why they can't use electricity on Shabbat, but I do now understand why they don't drive!"

Parsha Vayeira

See Page 4 of This introduction to last week’s Parsha by Phil Chernofsky Shlita is a brilliant work and gives us a time line from creation until the passing of Yosef and his brothers.

We return this week just after Avraham’s Bris. Avraham is no ordinary man or even ordinary prophet. Angels visit him disguised as local idol worshiping Arabs. I picked this up from others on the internet who the late Emmanuel Winston Zal called Zin the moon god of Mecca others found the root of the name: so now you know how the crescent moon and star or planet has become the symbol of almost two billion people.

We then go into a place of over Chessed by Avraham. He wants to even stand-up to G-D for the sinners of Sodom if 50, 45, 40 until 10 righteous are in the city. G-D shows him that the city is so wicked that the Mida of Chessed cannot be used. There is no mercy or compassion for them left. If you think that this will not be the end of ISIS well it takes time but they are moving quickly to their own demise.

The angel who healed Avraham is no longer on a mission and returns to the bidding of HASHEM. The two remaining Malachim come to Sodom. One is to rescue Lot and the other to destroy the city. Lot is rescued on the merit of a few people. All the commentaries mention Avraham but he could just have been rescued and childless. I will be so bold as to say that he had some merits himself from the days he worked with Avraham and Ruth, David and Moshiach were also part of his reward and part of the reason for his rescue. Still the education and behavior towards and of his daughters is unhealthy and immoral.

The Parsha ends with the final test of Avraham if he is willing to go against all his philosophy against human sacrifice and that he will sacrifice his son as commanded. Of course all is well that ends well. The whole time line of this Parsha is 37 plus years from the Bris to the birth and placing Yitzchak on the Mizbayach.

18:1 And the LORD appeared unto him by the terebinths of Mamre, as he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; 2 and he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood over against him; and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed down to the earth,

We learn a lot from this Pasuk. First of all it was right after the Bris. Note: The original Torah like our Parchment Sefer today had no chapters, verses or even Parshiyos it was one of 5 Seforim which is bound together as one. G-D comes to visit Avraham and we learn the Mitzvah of visiting the sick. In fact the day was so hot something unusual for Eretz Yisrael but known to happen when it hits temperatures of Las Vegas or more. HASHEM wanted to let Avraham rest. Avraham is so intent on making a Kiddush HASHEM for the world and raising the level of the Gashmiyous to Ruchaniyos that he even breaks off the conversation with HASHEM. On top of this we learn the Mitzvah of Kiruv to HASHEM and hosting guests. From Cristina he loved peace and hospitality like Avraham Avinu:

3 and said: 'My lord, if now I have found favor in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant. 4 Let now a little water be fetched, and wash your feet, and recline yourselves under the tree. 5 And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and stay ye your heart; after that ye shall pass on; forasmuch as ye are come to your servant.' And they said: 'So do, as thou hast said.'

Unlike the politicians and others, Avraham says little and promises little but his hospitality is a lot. “Hurry make cakes of fine flower”.

6 And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said: 'Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes.'

Avraham promises only: 4 Let now a little water be fetched, and wash your feet, and recline yourselves under the tree. 5 And I will fetch a morsel of bread. But look what he delivers for starters butter, yoghurt, perhaps cheese and in the meantime Yishmael is preparing with Hagar a calf’s tongue which is the best of the animal and perhaps rump stake as the sinew was not forbidden until close to 150 years later when Yacov will wrestle with Esav’s Malach. This is the essence of a Tzaddik promise a little and deliver a lot. Avraham was humble, Moshe was humble and the Moshiach will be humble Zachariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion, shout, O daughter of Jerusalem; behold, thy king cometh unto thee, he is triumphant, and victorious, lowly, and riding upon an ass, even upon a colt the foal of an ass.  

7 And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetched a calf tender and good, and gave it unto the servant; and he hastened to dress it. 8 And he took curd, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.

Note there are two commentaries here: First he serves milk and then later meat while the other commentary says at this point Avraham is a Ben Noach and not bound by the prohibition s of waiting between milk and meat and the reverse. For a Ben Noach can even eat together milk and meat together and therefore no conflict within.

9 And they said unto him: 'Where is Sarah thy wife?' And he said: 'Behold, in the tent.'

Did they hear him say the name Sarah or did her fame spread or where the Angels about to reveal who they really were?

10 And He said: 'I will certainly return unto thee when the season cometh round; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son.' And Sarah heard in the tent door, which was behind him.—

This is already prophecy so I assume that the Angels after “eating” by burning the food as a sacrifice say this.

11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, and well stricken in age; it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.-- 12 And Sarah laughed within herself, saying: 'After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?' 13 And the LORD said unto Abraham: 'Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying: Shall I of a surety bear a child, who am old? 14 Is any thing too hard for the LORD. At the set time I will return unto thee, when the season cometh round, and Sarah shall have a son.' 15 Then Sarah denied, saying: 'I laughed not'; for she was afraid. And He said: 'Nay; but thou didst laugh.'

When Avraham heard that he would have a son, he laughed but out of joy while Sarah laughed out of doubt.

16 And the men rose up from thence, and looked out toward Sodom; and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way. 17 And the LORD said: 'Shall I hide from Abraham that which I am doing; 18 seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19 For I have known him, to the end that he may command his children and his household after him, that they may keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice; to the end that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which He hath spoken of him.'

This section above and beyond the call of duty Avraham appeals for the cities of the plain of Sodom even if they are wicked he wants Chessed HASHEM to over-come Tzeddek to save them. This is the love for his fellow man but mercy cannot over-come justice as the wicked are too many.

20 And the LORD said: 'Verily, the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and, verily, their sin is exceeding grievous. 21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto Me; and if not, I will know.' 22 And the men turned from thence, and went toward Sodom; but Abraham stood yet before the LORD. 23 And Abraham drew near, and said: 'Wilt Thou indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 Peradventure there are fifty righteous within the city; wilt Thou indeed sweep away and not forgive the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? 25 That be far from Thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked, that so the righteous should be as the wicked; that be far from Thee; shall not the Judge of all the earth do justly?' … 32 And he said: 'Oh, let not the LORD be angry, and I will speak yet but this once. Peradventure ten shall be found there.' And He said: 'I will not destroy it for the ten's sake.' 33 And the LORD went His way, as soon as He had left off speaking to Abraham; and Abraham returned unto his place.

When there is not even a Minyan of righteous men in Sodom and the other cities there is nothing to talk about and only be thankful that because of his original upbringing, education and Mitzvos that he learned, Lot will be saved. Of course this is mainly because G-D did not want to cause anguish to Avraham either.

19:1 And the two angels came to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom; and Lot saw them, and rose up to meet them; and he fell down on his face to the earth;

Rafael has healed the Bris of Avraham and is relieved of his chore as each Angel had a different task. Gavriel was to destroy Sodom and

 2 and he said: 'Behold now, my lords, turn aside, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your way.' And they said: 'Nay; but we will abide in the broad place all night.'

And they said, “No…”: But to Abraham they said, “So shall you do…” From here [we learn] that one may refuse an offer by a person of lesser importance, but should not refuse an offer by a great man (Gen. Rabbah 50:4). But we will stay overnight in the street: Heb. כִּי. This כִּי is used to mean “but,” for they said, “We will not turn in to your house, but we will stay overnight in the street of the city.”

3 And he urged them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat. 4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both young and old, all the people from every quarter. 5 And they called unto Lot, and said unto him: 'Where are the men that came in to thee this night? Bring them out unto us, that we may know them.' 6 And Lot went out unto them to the door, and shut the door after him. 7 And he said: 'I pray you, my brethren, do not so wickedly. 8 Behold now, I have two daughters that have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes; only unto these men do nothing; forasmuch as they are come under the shadow of my roof.'

What type of father are you Mr. Lot? You tried to educate your daughters to remain virgins but to save strangers you will sacrifice them! Normally a man will fight to save his wife and daughter(s) from harm.

9 And they said: 'Stand back.' And they said: 'This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs play the judge; now will we deal worse with thee, than with them.' And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and drew near to break the door.

But they said, “Back away.”: Heb. גֶּשׁ הָלְאָה, “Get yourself away over there”; i.e.,“Draw near to the sides and distance yourself from us.” And similarly every [instance of] הָלְאָה in Scripture is an expression of distancing, as in (Num. 17:2) “Scatter away (הָלְאָה)”; (I Sam. 20:22, 37) “Behold, the arrows are beyond you (וָהָלְאָה).” Thus, גֶּשׁ הָלְאָה, means “Back away,” in Old French: trete de nos, go away from us. This is a word of rebuke, as if to say. “We don’t care about you,” and similar to it is (Isa. 65:5) “Keep (קְרַב) to yourself; do not come near me”; and so (ibid. 49:20): “Move aside (גְּשָׁה) so that I may dwell,” meaning, “Draw aside for my sake so that I will dwell beside you.” [The Sodomites were saying as follows]: “You intercede for the wayfarers? How dare you?!” In response to what he said to them about his daughters, they said to him, “Go away,” a mild expression, but in response to what he said in defense of the wayfarers, they said, “This one has come to sojourn.” You are the only stranger among us, for you have come to sojourn here, “and he is judging,” [meaning] and you have become our chastiser!?

10 But the men put forth their hand, and brought Lot into the house to them, and the door they shut. 11 And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great; so that they wearied themselves to find the door. 12 And the men said unto Lot: 'Hast thou here any besides? son-in-law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whomsoever thou hast in the city; bring them out of the place; 13 for we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxed great before the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it.' 14 And Lot went out, and spoke unto his sons-in-law, who married his daughters, and said: 'Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy the city.' But he seemed unto his sons-in-law as one that jested.

They mocked him like a madman.

15 And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying: 'Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters that are here; lest thou be swept away in the iniquity of the city.' 16 But he lingered; and the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him. And they brought him forth, and set him without the city. 17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said: 'Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the Plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be swept away.'

Flee for your life: Let it suffice for you to save lives. Do not worry about possessions. — [from Tosefta Sanh. 14:1] Do not look behind you: You dealt wickedly together with them, but in Abraham’s merit you are saved. You do not deserve to see their punishment while you are being saved. — [from obscure midrashic source] Flee to the mountain: Flee to Abraham, who dwells on the mountain, as it is said (above 12:8): “And he moved from there to the mountain.” And even now, he was dwelling there, as it is said (above 13:3): “until the place where his tent had previously been.” And although it says (ibid. verse 18): “And Abram pitched his tents, etc.,” he had many tents, and they extended until Hebron.

18 And Lot said unto them: 'Oh, not so, my lord; 19 behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shown unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest the evil overtake me, and I die. 20 Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one; oh, let me escape thither--is it not a little one?--and my soul shall live.' 21 And he said unto him: 'See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow the city of which thou hast spoken.

Meseches Shabbos states that Lot said to them the word of please as Nun-Aleph hinting that Sodom had 52 years of sin after Migdal Bavel but Zohar had only Nun-Aleph or 51 years of sin and should be saved.

22 Hasten thou, escape thither; for I cannot do anything till thou come thither.'--Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.—

Lot messed up on two things, not praying for the repentance of the city and not fleeing further like to where modern Arad is today as the Angels would do nothing until he escaped.

23 The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot came unto Zoar. 24 Then the LORD caused to rain upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; 25 and He overthrow those cities, and all the Plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. 26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

She pined on the way and did not take shelter like Lot and the two daughters.

And his wife looked from behind him: from behind Lot. — [from Zohar, vol. 1, 108b] And she became a pillar of salt: She sinned with salt, and she was punished with salt. He said to her, “Give a little salt to these guests.” She replied,“Also this evil custom you wish to introduce into this place?” - [from Gen. Rabbah 50:4]

Salt was up into the last century an expensive quantity as it was used as a preservative. “Worth his weight in salt” was a common complement. Venice and Saltsburg became wealthy from their salt. 

27 And Abraham got up early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the LORD. 28 And he looked out toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the Plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the land went up as the smoke of a furnace. 29 And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the Plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot dwelt. 30 And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar; and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters.

Eventually he did flee to the mountains but in a second step thus saving the town at the edge of the Dead Sea on the way to Arad.

31 And the first-born said unto the younger: 'Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth. 32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.'

A normal and better educated girl would want to seek out Avraham and marry him or Eliezer but rather the lust of Sodom had infected them. For education is based on schooling and environment. (Today we see generation of generation of people remaining in the slums and only the cream of the crop rising up and above them.) So the girls end their status as virgins and instead of looking further in the world using their father as their man.

33 And they made their father drink wine that night. And the first-born went in, and lay with her father; and he knew not when she lay down, nor when she arose.

I mentioned that Noach, Lot, Haman and Sisera all fell from their status because of drink. He had to be so drunk that he could not understand what he was doing but not drunk sick or unconscious.

34 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the first-born said unto the younger: 'Behold, I lay yesternight with my father. Let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.' 35 And they made their father drink wine that night also. And the younger arose, and lay with him; and he knew not when she lay down, nor when she arose.

Her behavior was representable but for the sake of producing offspring. The first names the child “from father” but the second “the son of my nation”.

36 Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father. 37 And the first-born bore a son, and called his name Moab--the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day. 38 And the younger, she also bore a son, and called his name Ben-ammi--the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day.

See translation above.

20:1 And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the land of the South, and dwelt between Kadesh and Shur; and he sojourned in Gerar… 17 And Abraham prayed unto God; and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maid-servants; and they bore children. 18 For the LORD had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abraham's wife.

This is similar to the incident with Pharaoh but Avimelech says to Avraham “The land is before thee” and welcomes him.

21:1 And the LORD remembered Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as He had spoken. 2 And Sarah conceived, and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. 3 And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bore to him, Isaac. 4 And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. 5 And Abraham was a hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him. … 9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne unto Abraham, making sport.

Rashi says that he was mocking Yitzchak with idols.

10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham: 'Cast out this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.' 11 And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight on account of his son. 12 And God said unto Abraham: 'Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah saith unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall seed be called to thee. …

Avraham was given the land and makes a mistake with a peace treaty which will boomerang until the days of David and Shlomo: 32 So they made a covenant at Beer-sheba; and Abimelech rose up, and Phicol the captain of his host, and they returned into the land of the Philistines. 33 And Abraham planted a tamarisk-tree in Beer-sheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the Everlasting God. 34 And Abraham sojourned in the land of the Philistines many days.

The final test of Avraham who protested all his life against human sacrifice: 22:1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did prove Abraham, and said unto him: 'Abraham'; and he said: 'Here am I.' 2 And He said: 'Take now thy son, thine only son, whom thou love, even Isaac, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt-offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.' 3 And Abraham rose early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he cleaved the wood for the burnt-offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.

Avraham rose early without hesitation but with anticipation to fulfil G-D’s commandment over his own will and love.

 … 16 and said: 'By Myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, 17 that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the seashore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; 18 and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast hearkened to My voice.' 19 So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beer-sheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beer-sheba.

This is a promise to the seed of Yitzchak. We shall see later how Yacov takes this blessing.

20 And it came to pass after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying: 'Behold, Milcah, she also hath borne children unto thy brother Nahor: 21 Uz his first-born, and Buz his brother, and Kemuel the father of Aram; 22 and Chesed, and Hazo, and Pildash, and Jidlaph, and Bethuel.' 23 And Bethuel begot Rebekah; these eight did Milcah bear to Nahor, Abraham's brother. 24 And his concubine, whose name was Reumah, she also bore Tebah, and Gaham, and Tahash, and Maacah.

This small section is for Yitzchak to have a Shidduch.

A foot note to this Parsha about Avraham running as he see the 3 Angels disguised as Arabs. He does not walk but runs. He was 100 – I saw my step father at the age of 80 jump. I wrote last week that at my age taking care of a boy of 9 is no picnic. I had my first child just before I was 24 years old and raised teenagers in my 40’s and that is a good age when people still have energy and strength. I cannot image having Yishmael at the age of 86 or Yitzchak at 100 unless I believe the Medrash that people did not show aging at that time. However, I heard a biography of Rabbi Yacov Moshe Toledano who was 80 and married a 20 year old woman. When asked he said, “I do not hold from Western Standards as I was born in the Middle-east.”

Dipping Together by Rabbi Yerachmiel Tilles
The Tzemach Tzedek requested that the wagon driver join him for breakfast the next day.
A known righteous woman, called "Bubbie (grandmother) Chein," told the following story about her grandfather, Reb Efraim.

Reb Efraim was a wealthy man, and a chasid of the great tzadik, the Tzemach Tzedek of Lubavitch. Once he rented a wagon and its driver for a trip to his Rebbe. After their private meeting, the rebbe told him that he would like for the wagon driver to stay overnight, and eat breakfast with him and his sons together. A chasid doesn't ask questions, and so he requested this from the wagon driver, even though he couldn't explain why. The latter, a big, burly man who was far from being a chasid, got annoyed. "What does the Rebbe think, I don't have anything better to do than hang around here? I have to work for a living."
In order to fulfill the Rebbe's will, Reb Efraim was forced to pay him a substantial amount for his loss of time, for only then did he agree. The next morning, when they ate, the Rebbe had everyone dip their bread in the same bowl. After the blessings that concluded the meal, the Rebbe thanked the wagon driver and blessed him, and that was it.
But the chasidim were not going to let such an episode slip away easily. They cross-examined the driver mercilessly. How much does he learn in a day? When, how, where does he pray? Maybe he does special good deeds? Maybe he gives unusually large amounts of money to charity? They were sure he must be some kind of hidden tzadik. But to no avail; his perplexed denials proved that he was exactly as he looked -- a simple Jew.
But then, one of them asked him is something special ever happened to him in his life.
"This," he said," I can affirm. As a wagon driver working in the villages, often I am requested to bring a mohel (circumciser) from far away towns; and often I would not get back until after the eighth day, when the brit mila is to be performed.
"This caused me great anguish. So I took upon myself to learn to be a mohel. Then, whenever they would think to send me to bring one, I could save them the delay and do it myself. And that is what I did.
"Once, while passing through a gentile village, I heard a women sobbing and crying in Yiddish...'How wretched is my life!' she wailed.
"I asked her what happened. She told me that her infant son is now eight days old, and there is no one to perform the brit nor any money to bring in a mohel from elsewhere. I told her, 'Don't worry, G-d has helped you already--I am here, I am a mohel, and I will be happy to do it. Just, I need someone to hold the boy on his lap. Where is your husband?'
"But he had been in bed, paralyzed, for the last half year. And she was not able to do it either.* So I asked her if there were another Jew in the town, but she said there wasn't. Still, I took off to the streets to look for one.
"After a long search, I finally found someone on the edge of town--a short, bowed-over elderly Jew. I approached him warmly and asked him to come participate in the great mitzvah. But he rudely said that he had no time. I tried to persuade him, to no avail.
"So I decided, 'If he won't come willingly then he will have to come by force!' I grabbed him by the collar and tried to pull him. He shrugged me off with such a shake like I never felt in my life! 'How can this be?' I muttered to myself.
"Well, with good it didn't work, nor did it with bad. I felt stuck. And frustrated. I started to cry. Is it possible to be a Jew and not have mercy? After listening to me sob for a while, he agreed to come.
"We made the brit. Then the old man said, 'It is customary to make a festive mitzvah meal after a brit. What do we have?'
But the poor woman had no food in the house and all I had was a bottle of 96% spirits, which I use to help stay warm enough on winter drives. I went out and bought some bread.** We poured the liquid in a solitary bowl, and dipped our chunks of bread in it together. This constituted our mitzvah meal.
"Before the Blessing After Meals, he said, 'It is customary to bless with at least three Jews together, if there aren't ten. Where is the father of the infant?' I told him that he was in bed, paralyzed, and he asked to see him. He went into his room, wished him mazel tov. Then, in nearly the same breath, he told him to get up and to come eat and bless with us!
"But how could he? And yet, not five minutes passed, and the father was on his feet as though nothing had ever happened to him. We ate the bread dipped in the spirits, and blessed together. How this happened I cannot understand until today."
Later, the Rebbe said to the Chasidim, "Such a Jew who had the privilege to eat with Avraham Avinu (the patriarch Abraham) from one bowl, I wanted me and my children to have the privilege to eat with him from one bowl too."
Author's notes:
*It is written not to let the mother hold the baby for the circumcision, lest she flinch and the knife may cut where it shouldn't.
**Then it was permitted to buy bread from gentiles if there was no Jewish bread. Today's bread has many additions besides flour and water, and is therefore never permitted without rabbinical certification.

[Adapted by Yerachmiel Tilles from . Ezra Rebhun, an American-born graduate of Brandeis University, is today a Chasidic Jew living in the holy land, in Tel Aviv. He heard this story from a well-known Belzer chasid.]
Biographical note:
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn [29 Elul 1789-13 Nissan 1866], the Third Rebbe of Chabad, was known as the Tzemech Tzedek, after his books of Halachic responsa and Talmudic commentary called by that name. He was renowned not only as a Rebbe, but also as a leading scholar in his generation in both the revealed and hidden aspects of Torah.

A Mutually Beneficial Encounter By Rabbi Tilles
Rebbe Meir of Premishlan once wrote to the renowned scholar, Rabbi Shlomo Kluger of Brody, asking that they should meet.

Rebbe Meir of Premishlan once wrote to the renowned scholar, Rabbi Shlomo Kluger of Brody, asking that they should meet, which they arranged to do in a certain village near Zlotchov. Arriving there separately at the appointed time, they found lodgings in different houses. The Chassidic Rebbe then sent his beadle to ask the learned rabbi who of them, according to the Torah, should go to greet the other - since both were guests in this village. The famous rabbi returned his learned opinion that according to the Torah it was his prerogative to wait at his lodgings and be greeted there by Rebbe Meir.
After fulfilling his duty, R. Meir asked for the source of this ruling, and R. Shlomo answered: "Its source is to be found in the passage in Exodus [18:7]: 'And Moses went out to meet his father-in-law…and they asked each other [literally: a man asked his fellow] of their welfare.' Rashi, following the interpretation of the Mechilta, explains that 'a man' refers to Moses. Now since he and Yisro were both journeying in the wilderness, why did Moshe go ahead and greet Yisro? In my opinion, the reason is that he had traveled only a short distance, while Yisro had come all the way from Midian. I, likewise, have come all the way from Brody, while you had only a few miles to travel. The prerogative of being greeted is therefore mine."
When they had spent some hours in scholarly discourse, and were about to part, R. Meir - whose days and earnings were wholly devoted to charity - shared the following thought with the rabbi from Brody:
"Regarding the meeting of Avraham and Malki-Tzedek, we read in the Torah [14:18] - 'And Malki-Tzedek king of Shalem brought out bread and wine, and he was a priest of G-d, the Most High.' When two such Tzaddikim meet, they each cleave to the sanctity of the other, and partake of each other's divine service. Avraham was chiefly occupied with the mitzvah of hospitality, with this house wide open to every wayfarer; Malki-Tzedek, who is traditionally identified with Shem, son of Noah,* was cloistered in his House of Study, pondering the depths of the divine Law. When they met, each learned a lesson from the ways of the other, and this is hinted at by a homiletical reading of the very same text: 'And Malki-Tzedek brought out - from Avraham - bread and wine'; that is, he learned from him the attribute of giving succor to the needy. And he - that is to say, Avraham - learned from Shem how to be a priest of G-d, the Most High, how to serve Him through the study of the divine Law day and night."
Source: Adapted by Yerachmiel Tilles from the rendition in A Treasury of Chassidic Tales (Artscroll), as translated by the esteemed Uri Kaploun from Sipurei Chasidim by Rabbi S. Y. Zevin.

Biographical notes:
Rabbi Meir of Primishlan [of blessed memory: ? - 29 Iyar 5610 (? - May 1850 C.E.)], lived in abject but uncomplaining poverty, yet exerted himself tirelessly for the needy and the suffering. His ruach hakodesh (prophetic spirit) and his ready wit have become legendary. He wrote no works, but some of his teachings were collected and published by his chasidim after his death.
Rabbi Shlomo Kluger (1786-1869) was born in Komarow, Russian Poland. From the earliest age he learned Torah with extreme diligence, and rose to become one of the leading halachic authorities of his time. He served as rabbi and rabbinical judge in several communities, but for more than 50 years he was the Rabbi of Brody. He was a prolific writer, writing more than 160 books, not all of which were printed. (From //, which translates many selections of his writings into English.)

From Gail Winston World News Daily of Oct. 24th Suez| Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry announced this morning that a team of underwater archaeologists had discovered that remains of a large Egyptian army from the 14th century BC, at the bottom of the Gulf of Suez, 1.5 kilometers offshore from the modern city of Ras Gharib.
            For centuries, the famous biblical account of the “Red Sea Crossing” was dismissed by most scholars & historians as more symbolic than historical.
The team was searching for the remains of ancient ships & artefacts related to Stone Age & Bronze Age trade in the Red Sea area, when they stumbled upon a gigantic mass of human bones darkened by age.
The scientists lead by Professor Abdel Muhammad Gader & associated with Cairo University’s Faculty of Archaeology, have already recovered a total of more than 400 different skeletons, as well as hundreds of weapons & pieces of armor, also the remains of two war chariots, scattered over an area of approximately 200 square meters. They estimate that more than 5000 other bodies could be dispersed over a wider area, suggesting that an army of large size who have perished on the site.
        This magnificent blade from an Egyptian Khopesh, was certainly the weapon of an important character. It was discovered near the remains of a richly decorated war chariot, suggesting it could have belonged to a prince or nobleman.

From Sheldon – PA text books lie about Rachel’s Tomb:

I think that Rabin is having enough problems in the next world without this:

In lieu of all the changes in the RCA, the Rabbi in Teaneck steps down from the Beis Din but clarifies why and why Rabbi Barry Freundel violated all protocol.

It took 2 years for the IDF to recognize the work of these IDF volunteers (youths with mental or physical handicaps) at first they bought their own uniforms and now they are full soldiers in every aspect. At about 2:30 you can see a neighbor of mine walking in the middle of two fellows on an air force base. The film is in Hebrew and some you can tell are handicapped while others are less disabled. Benny our secretary at the Haifa Airbase was normal mentally but had shakes and a head twitch which gave him a medical profile of 24 but he did his job and was pleasant.

From Gail Winston: G-d must love Rabbi Yehuda Glick.  His attempted assassin hit him point-blank with four bullets in his chest, stomach, neck & arm.  Each bullet missed a vital spot in his body.  To me that seems a really revealed miracle.  Baruch HaShem!  Thank you G-d!
BTW, the word “Assassin” comes from the word ‘Hashish’.  “The story is that these assassins smoked hash before going on their missions which often ended in death for the assassin because in those days murder was basically hands-on with a knife.”**(Thanks Sha’i ben Tekoah for the fact update.)

I received a touching note this week from a new convert who is one of many that I have guided on-line: From Avraham Zvi ben Avraham - Rabbi Pauli,                                        I appreciate the guidance that this group, and you in particular, give prospective converts. It helped me on my journey to the Mikva. I am, however, electing to leave the group. This group is an incredible resource and I wish you Hatzlacha that it should help many more people.

A quote from Ilana B. The Shabbos Project is amazing experience for all the Jews to come together to celebrate Shabbat!! I had the best experience last night celebrating The Shabbos Project with thousands of ladies making Challah!!

It is bad enough that our civil judges do what they do but regarding Rabbinical Judges Sanhedrin 98A: R. Simlai said in the name of R. Eleazar, son of R. Simeon: The son of David will not come until all judges and officers are gone from Israel, as it is written, And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross and take away all thy tin: And I will restore thy judges as at first

Israel's Chief Rabbinate appoints committee to decide on new policy in light of government's approval of controversial bill for Knesset vote. There is a fear that false conversions by job seeking Russians and Africans will dominate the convert status and not true Torah Converts.

Inyanay Diyoma

Rocket lands in Negev as weather hides things from drones.,7340,L-4586634,00.html

Attack on Beit Rivka girl in Crown Heights Brooklyn:

Does anybody know why Gail Winston is still counting the days (today is 118) and the reason is:

The lame duck after the elections is going to take on Israel:,7340,L-3083,00.html

Are we plain stupid or just fools not once but twice:

Finally somebody with brains proposes a law no revolving doors for terrorist’s murderers:

If you think that the State Dept. keeps US Law signed by George W. Bush then think again because Esav hates Yacov Halacha takes precedence in the Anti-Semitic State Dept.,7340,L-4587662,00.html

Down-under Sunni – Shia conflict this could not have happened to a nicer anti-Semite:

IAI granted contract to build wings and Elbit Helmets for F-35 Aircraft.,7340,L-4588050,00.html

Russia to take Iranian Uranium for Fuel Rods BUT…,7340,L-4588155,00.html

Ed-Op the 3rd Intifada is here (I don’t agree on the Israeli right wing comment),7340,L-4587894,00.html

Shia and Sunni in Syria keep our northern front temporarily quiet:

GAIL WINSTON Dear Family & Friends,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               “Right Wing Activist” is being used pejoratively.  Actually, that’s a real compliment.                                                                                                                                                                        “Right” means NOT wrong. “Wing” =  “On the Wings of Eagles” from Isaiah 40:31.  Described the mass Aliyot – how those who had never seen a plane before were flown here to Eretz Yisrael. “Activist” - better to be an activist than a couch potato.

Republican Victory a Boon to Israel – Chicken fertilizer or not:

Canada Becomes First Country to Sign the Ottawa Protocol on preventing anti-Semiticism

 Police swiftly take out terrorist:,7340,L-4588444,00.html

Jordan recalls it’s ambassador but don’t expect Moshiach based on Sanhedrin 98A: R. Hama b. Channina said: The son of David will not come until even the pettiest kingdom ceases [to have power] over Israel:

This is not a Jewish “Tag” attack so the world lets the Muslims attack Christian-Orthodox Church:,7340,L-4588801,00.html

Treason does never prosper for what is the reason for it to prosper none dare call it treason- John Harrington:,7340,L-4589074,00.html

Israel praised for limiting civilian causalities:

Bennett blames Netanyahu on laxness in Yerushalayim:

From Gail Winston: Bill to apply all the law of Israel to Yehuda and the Shomron:

Horrible a second victim passes away HY”D may his death atone for us:

It’s a hit and a miss in Gaza as sirens sound in south Israel:,7340,L-4589209,00.html

Reported in Israeli Radio but not in the papers a senior Arabic Speaker at the State Dept. was supplying terrorists information last post was Tunis what happened and if put on trial is unclear as I caught the news while being distracted. Gail brought down an analysis by Lt. Col Michael Segall that the Shia Jihad is trying to take over Yemen and then Saudi but I think this is a Shia Jihad.

Congratulations to Mathis Wolfberg on the birth of his son as he enters the Bris may he continue to grow to Torah, Chupa and Ma’asim Tovim, “Be Nice”

Good Shabbos Everyone. In this week's parsha Vayeira, we read about Avrohom and Sorah's kindness in welcoming guests into their tent.   In fact, Avrohom Avinu built his tent with openings on four sides so that it would easy to welcome guests. Avrohom Avinu, the father of the Jewish people, was the paradigm of Chessed - kindness.    The Talmud in fact tells us that a Jew is distinguished by character traits: shyness, mercifulness, and dedication to doing of acts of kindness.  (Yevamos 79b) The Talmud goes so far as to say that someone who lacks one of these qualities must be checked out to make sure that he is really Jewish!  The following inspirational story, told in the first person, illustrates how one Jew went in footsteps of Avrohom and Sorah.
        "I was a student at Stern College of Yeshiva University in Manhattan. For the two-and-a-half years that I was there, I encountered many homeless people who sat on street corners and asked for money.
         Although I tried to help all of these people as much as I could, there was a man named Kenny who I went out my way to help. The unique thing about Kenny was that although he was probably paranoid and schizophrenic, he always had a smile; his face always radiated sunshine. Even if I did not have money for him when I saw him, I always tried to say just a quick hello to him every day to let him know that I cared.
        As soon as I finished my studies at Stern College, I left for Israel. Shortly after I arrived in Israel, my parents told me that they wanted me to fly back to New York to go to the graduation ceremony. Although I wanted to see my parents, I did not think it was worth us all of us going to New York (my parents are from Georgia) just for my graduation.
But my parents said it would be a highlight of their life to see me at graduation, so I agreed to go with them.
        After my graduation, when my dad, sister, and I were walking around Manhattan, I spotted Kenny. I had not seen him in about a year but we recognized each other. Kenny jumped up when he saw us and said to my dad, "Sir, your daughter was always so nice to me and would give me money or just say hello to me whenever she saw me. She made me realize that people care and she would make my day when I saw her."
        After we walked away, my dad turned to me and said, "Wow, hearing what Kenny said was one of the happiest moments of my life. It meant much more to me than your graduation, because seeing Kenny and hearing what he said made me feel like a success. I then realized that I did something right in the way I raised your sister and you."  (story from Rabbi Baruch Lederman) 
        Let us all endeavor to be like Avrohom and Sorah, the Patriarch and Matriarch, who always sought to do kindness with others.
  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