Friday, November 28, 2014

Parsha Vayeitze and Stories.

Please remove Zev ben Rachel, Hena bas Gazelle, from your prayers except weekly.

This week we shall learn about Lavan who wanted to uproot all of Yacov and only a dream at the last minute stopped him. Here from Gail Winston is a quote from an article by Professor Paul Eidelberg: In your local Koran Sura 9:11, “exalts the Muslim who slays & is slain for Allah.”  These Muslims live in the belief that if they are slain while killing Jews they will enjoy everlasting bliss in a place called “Paradise,” where they will enjoy the pleasures of many virgins. … Woe unto them that call evil good & good evil. (Isaiah 5, 20)

Parsha Vayeitzei

Conflicting Midrashim: One has Yacov going first 14 years to the Beis Medrash of Shem and Ever (pronounced Ay but I write close to the English Translations) and then on his way. The original Pshat is that he left and did not stop. Another is that it became nightfall. Nightfall could be traveling with his nurse Devorah from Beer Sheva but from Yerushalayim to Beis El it is a relatively short distance then the next thing we know is the distance jump to Haran in Turkey. Time based on the age of Yosef it appears that Yacov did spend 14 years in the Beis Medrash. One must remember that Midrashim and the parables of the Talmud and some from the Zohar are hidden messages from Chachamim in troubling times with censors and built into stories. Nothing is always what it seems. 

28;10 And Jacob went out from Beer-Sheba, and went toward Haran.

And Jacob left: Because, it was due to the fact that the daughters of Canaan were displeasing in the eyes of his father Isaac, that Esau went to Ishmael, Scripture interrupted the account dealing with Jacob and it is written (above verse 6): “When Esau saw that Isaac had blessed [Jacob], etc.” And as soon as Scripture finished [the account of Esau’s marriage], it returned to the previous topic. And Jacob left: Scripture had only to write: “And Jacob went to Haran.” Why did it mention his departure? But this tells [us] that the departure of a righteous man from a place makes an impression, for while the righteous man is in the city, he is its beauty, he is its splendor, he is its majesty. When he departs from there, its beauty has departed, its splendor has departed, its majesty has departed. And likewise (Ruth 1:7): “And she went forth from the place,” stated in reference to Naomi and Ruth. - [From Gen. Rabbah 68:6] And he went to Haran: He left in order to go to Haran. — [From Gen. Rabbah 68:8,]

11 And he lighted upon the place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took one of the stones of the place, and put it under his head, and lay down in that place to sleep.

And he arrived at the place: Scripture does not mention which place, but [it means] the place mentioned elsewhere, which is Mount Moriah, concerning which it is said (Gen. 22:4):“And he saw the place from afar.” [From Pes. 88a] And he arrived: Heb. וַיִפְגַע, as in (Josh. 16:7):“and it reached (וּפָגַע) Jericho” ; (ibid. 19: 11):“and it reached (וּפָגַע) Dabbesheth.” Our Rabbis (Gen. Rabbah 68:9, Ber. 26b) interpreted it [the word וַיִפְגַע] as an expression of prayer, as in (Jer. 7:16):“And do not entreat (תִּפְגַּע) me,” and this teaches us that he [Jacob] instituted the evening prayer. [Scripture] did not write וַיִתְפַּלֵּל, [the usual expression for prayer], to teach that the earth sprang toward him [i.e. the mountain moved toward him], as is explained in the chapter entitled גִיד הַנָּשֶׁה (Chullin 91b). Because the sun had set: Heb. כִּי בָא הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ [Scripture] should have written [in reverse order]:“And the sun set (וַיָּבֹא), and he stayed there overnight.” [The expression] כִּי בָא הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ implies that the sun set suddenly for him, not at its usual time, so that he would have to stay there overnight. [From Gen. Rabbah 68:10, Chullin 91b] And placed [them] at his head: He arranged them in the form of a drainpipe around his head because he feared the wild beasts. They [the stones] started quarreling with one another. One said, “Let the righteous man lay his head on me,” and another one said, “Let him lay [his head] on me.” Immediately, the Holy One, blessed be He, made them into one stone. This is why it is stated (verse 18):“and he took the stone [in the singular] that he had placed at his head.” [From Chullin 91b] And he lay down in that place: [The word הַהוּא] is a restrictive expression, meaning that [only] in that place did he lie down, but during the fourteen years that he served in the house of Eber, he did not lie down at night, because he was engaged in Torah study. [From Gen. Rabbah 68:11]

Rashi used the Oral Torah of Medrash Rabbah here. Obviously the human brain needs sleep just as the body needs food and drink. However, his dreams were similar in nature to me falling asleep sitting at my computer writing the Drasha or answering questions. I do lie down but Yacov learned and we see later on: 30:40 my sleep fled from mine eyes. Yacov was in a constant state of alert as shepherd both night and day and his sleep was like that of a soldier on a border post – barely and lightly.

12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

Ascending and descending: Ascending first and afterwards descending. The angels who escorted him in the [Holy] Land do not go outside the Land, and they ascended to heaven, and the angels of outside the Holy Land descended to escort him.[From Gen. Rabbah 68:12]

When the contingent of Michael of Yacov went up the contingent of Samael of Esav was descending and vice versa. Rabbi Simcha HaCohain Kuk Shlita once said that Yacov saw Esav’s angels going up 2000 rungs and he got very upset.

13 And, behold, the LORD stood beside him, and said: 'I am the LORD, the God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac. The land whereon thou lie, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed. 14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south. And in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.

Thankfully the dream continues and Yacov receives some encouragement and prophecy.

15 And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee whithersoever you go and will bring thee back into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.'

G-D says I am going to stand by you whether you see me or not.

And behold, I am with you: [God promised Jacob this] because he was afraid of Esau and Laban. Until I have done: אִם is used in the sense of כִּי, [meaning that]. I have spoken concerning you: Heb. ל for your benefit and concerning you. What I promised to Abraham concerning his seed, I promised in reference to you and not in reference to Esau, for I did not say to him, “for Isaac will be called your seed,” [which would signify that all of Isaac’s descendants would be regarded as Abraham’s] but “for in Isaac,” [meaning part of Isaac’s descendants] but not all [the descendants] of Isaac (Nedarim 31a). Likewise, wherever לִי, לוֹ, ל and לָהֶם are used in conjunction with a form of the verb “speaking” (דִּבּוּר) they are used in the sense of “concerning.” This [verse] proves it, because heretofore, He had not spoken to Jacob.

16.And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said: 'Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.'

And I did not know [it]: For had I known, I would not have slept in such a holy place. [from Bereishith Rabbathi , attributed to Rabbi Moshe Hadarshan]

HASHEM is invisible and everywhere and in every creation. One cannot find tangible evidence in every place all the time so really how was Yacov to know? Rather he realized from his dream that the Shechina was with him in that place.

17 And he was afraid, and said: 'How full of awe is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.'

A short while back Rashi wrote Har HaMoriah and now Beis El and the Pshat indicates Beis El. The explanation then comes from Rabbi Eleazar in the name of Rabbi Yose. Haran is in North Eastern Turkey not that far from Iraq and ignoring the 14 years learning, the distance is quite a few days journey via mountains and legends have it that there was a space/time warp similar to the legends of Shlomo and the man who saw the Angel of Death looking at him strangely and asked the Melech to send him via THE NAME to Damascus. Shlomo then asked the Angel what was the meaning of this and he said, “I have been told to take the life of this man in Damascus at noon tomorrow and here he is in Yerushalayim.”

Than the house of God: Said Rabbi Eleazar in the name of Rabbi Jose ben Zimra: This ladder stood in Beer-sheba and the middle of its incline reached opposite the Temple, for Beer-sheba is situated in the south of Judah, and Jerusalem [is situated] in its north, on the boundary between Judah and Benjamin, and Beth-el was in the north of the territory of Benjamin, on the boundary between Benjamin and the sons of Joseph. Consequently, a ladder whose foot is in Beer-sheba and whose top is in Beth-el-the middle of its slant is opposite Jerusalem. This accords with what our Sages said, that the Holy One, blessed be He, said, “This righteous man has come to My lodging place [i.e., the Temple Mount]. Shall he leave without lodging?” And furthermore, they said: Jacob called Jerusalem Beth-el. But this place [which he called Beth-el] was Luz, and not Jerusalem. So, from where did they learn to say this? [i.e., that Luz was Jerusalem.] I believe that Mount Moriah was uprooted from its place, and it came here, [to Luz, i.e., at that time, Luz, Jerusalem and Beth-el were all in the same place], and this is the “springing of the earth” mentioned in Tractate Chullin, i.e., that the [site of the] Temple came towards him until Beth-el. This is the meaning of ויפגע במקום “And he met the place.” Now if you ask, “When Jacob passed by the Temple, why did He not detain him there?” [The answer is:] If he did not put his mind to pray in the place where his forefathers had prayed, should they detain him from heaven? He went as far as Haran, as it is stated in the chapter entitled, “Gid HaNasheh” (Hullin 91b), and the text, “and he went to Haran” (verse 10) supports this. When he arrived in Haran, he said, “Is is possible that I have passed the place where my forefathers prayed, and I did not pray there?” He decided to return, and he went back as far as Beth-El, and the earth “sprang toward him.” [This Beth-El is not the one near Ai, but the one near Jerusalem, and because it was the city of God, he called it Beth-El, the house of God, and that is Mount Moriah where Abraham prayed, and that is the field where Isaac prayed, and so did they say in Sotah (sic.) (Pes.88a) [concerning the verse] (Micah 4:2):“Come, let us go up to the Mount of the Lord, to the House of God of Jacob.” [It is] not [called] as did Abraham, who called it a mountain, and not as did Isaac, who called it a field, but as did Jacob, who called it the House of God. An exact edition of Rashi. How awesome: The Targum renders: How awesome (דְּחִילוּ) is this place! דְּחִילוּ is a noun, as in (Targum Exodus 31:3):“understanding” סוּכְלָתָנוּ; (below verse 20):“a garment (וּכְסוּ) to wear.” And this is the gate of heaven: A place of prayer, where their prayers ascend to heaven (Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer , ch. 35). And its midrashic interpretation is that the Heavenly Temple is directed exactly towards the earthly Temple. [From Gen. Rabbah 69:7]

18 And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put under his head, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. 19 And he called the name of that place Beth-el, but the name of the city was Luz at the first. 20 And Jacob vowed a vow, saying: 'If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, 21 so that I come back to my father's house in peace, then shall the LORD be my God,

What a prayer not for the flocks, herds, children and wealth that he would amass but for one set of clothes to wear and plain bread to eat and that he live in safety. Just like us today only slightly different.

22 and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God's house; and of all that Thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto Thee.'

Yacov has requested something from G-D so now this is his side of the bargain.

29:1 Then Jacob went on his journey, and came to the land of the children of the east. 2 And he looked, and behold a well in the field, and, lo, three flocks of sheep lying there by it.--For out of that well they watered the flocks. And the stone upon the well's mouth was great.

One did not have GPS then but there were paths and ways and the locals would guide a person on for the distance from Beer Sheva to Haran is great like 400 miles as a bird would fly and therefore over the mountains and hills it would be more. It was normally a 10 or more day trip.

3 And thither were all the flocks gathered; and they rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the sheep, and put the stone back upon the well's mouth in its place.-- 4 And Jacob said unto them: 'My brethren, whence are ye?' And they said: 'Of Haran are we.' 5 And he said unto them: 'Know ye Laban the son of Nahor?' And they said: 'We know him.' 6 And he said unto them: 'Is it well with him?' And they said: 'It is well; and, behold, Rachel his daughter cometh with the sheep.'

You have come to the right place and essentially here is your Shidduch. We see both from Rivka and Rachel that the women of the place were safe to walk with the sheep and respected not like the problems the daughters of Yisro had.

7 And he said: 'Lo, it is yet high day, neither is it time that the cattle should be gathered together; water ye the sheep, and go and feed them.' 8 And they said: 'We cannot, until all the flocks be gathered together, and they roll the stone from the well's mouth; then we water the sheep.' 9 While he was yet speaking with them, Rachel came with her father's sheep; for she tended them. 10 And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother's brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother's brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother's brother.

Yacov was 63 when he was blessed instead of Esav. He then went to learn in the Beis Medrash 14 years. He then arrives in Haran at the age of 77 yet acts like a youth in love. He removes the stone using the elementary physics principle of the fulcrum and a rock with a staff.

11 And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept.

And wept: Since he foresaw with the holy spirit that she (Rachel) would not enter the grave with him. Another explanation: Since he came empty-handed, he said, “Eliezer, my grandfather’s servant, had nose rings, and bracelets and sweet fruits in his possession, and I am coming with nothing in my hands. [He had nothing] because Eliphaz the son of Esau had pursued him to kill him at his father’s orders; he (Eliphaz) overtook him, but since he had grown up in Isaac’s lap, he held back his hand. He said to him (Jacob), ”What shall I do about my father’s orders?“ Jacob replied,”Take what I have, for a poor man is counted as dead." - [from Bereishit Rabbathi by Rabbi Moshe Hadarshan]

I find neither of the explanations above satisfying to me. The Pshat is that she is his Shidduch and she is beautiful and he may have kissed her and cried upon meeting her both tears of joy and thanks to HASHEM. What would the Charedim say today about kissing her! The fact of the matter is that this was an eastern culture and kissing of a cousin might not have been forbidden then or since she was his chosen, he showed her affection. She on the other hand might have been in shock until he tells her who he is.

12 And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father's brother, and that he was Rebekah's son; and she ran and told her father. 13 And it came to pass, when Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister's son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house. And he told Laban all these things.

The Medrash implies that he gave him a French kiss sticking his tongue inside to check for hidden jewels and hugging his garments for the same. The behavior of Lavan is something strange and criminal everytime we confront him and his behavior.

That he ran towards him: He thought that he (Jacob) was laden with money, for the servant of the household (Eliezer) had come here with ten laden camels.[from Gen. Rabbah 70:13] And he embraced: When he (Laban) did not see anything with him (Jacob), he said, “Perhaps he has brought golden coins, and they are in his bosom.” [from Gen. Rabbah 70:13] And he kissed him: He said,“Perhaps he has brought pearls, and they are in his mouth.” [from Gen. Rabbah 70:13] He told Laban: that he had come only because he was compelled to do so because of his brother (Esau), and that they had taken his money from him. — [from Gen. Rabbah 70:13]

14 And Laban said to him: 'Surely thou art my bone and my flesh.' And he abode with him the space of a month. 15 And Laban said unto Jacob: 'Because thou art my brother, should thou therefore serve me for nought? tell me, what shall thy wages be?' 16 Now Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 And Leah's eyes were tender; but Rachel was of beautiful form and fair to look upon.

Tender: Because she expected to fall into Esau’s lot, and she wept, because everyone was saying, “Rebecca has two sons, and Laban has two daughters. The older [daughter] for the older [son], and the younger [daughter] for the younger [son]” (B.B. 123a).

18 And Jacob loved Rachel; and he said: 'I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter.' 19 And Laban said: 'It is better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her to another man; abide with me.' 20 And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her.

For my days are completed: [The days] of which my mother told me. Moreover, my days are completed, for I am already eighty-four years old. When will I raise up twelve tribes? This is what he [meant when he] said, “that I may come to her.” Now, isn’t it true that even the most degenerate person would not say this? But he (Jacob) meant [that he intended] to beget generations. — [from Gen. Rabbah 70:18]

21 And Jacob said unto Laban: 'Give me my wife, for my days are filled, that I may go in unto her.' 22 And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast. 23 And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her.

Actually it is easy to fool a groom. The groom covers the maiden in a veil and perhaps then she was covered in a Burka type of dress. He did not see her face. There were no electric lights and just as he pulled a fast one on his father in place of his brother, his father-in-law pulls a fast one on him with a sister in place of his Rachel. 

24 And Laban gave Zilpah his handmaid unto his daughter Leah for a handmaid. 25 And it came to pass in the morning that, behold, it was Leah; and he said to Laban: 'What is this thou hast done unto me? did not I serve with thee for Rachel? Wherefore then hast thou beguiled me?'

What type of deal is this? You fool me and I married and consummated the marriage with Leah and not the one I love Rachel. Fate would have it that Rachel is not buried with him and that Leah lies next to him in their eternal resting place.

26 And Laban said: 'It is not so done in our place, to give the younger before the first-born.

So do you want two old maids? My 40 year old tells me of a friend of her where a classmate is not married because her mother never approved of the boy/man. The younger sister ignored the mother and married a few years ago. A still younger sister is not married as the fellow was not good enough for her etc.

27 Fulfil the week of this one, and we will give thee the other also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.' 28 And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week; and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife. 29 And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her handmaid. 30 And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years.

This time he got his wife as a down payment for his future work.

31 And the LORD saw that Leah was hated, and he opened her womb; but Rachel was barren. 32 And Leah conceived, and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben; for she said: 'Because the LORD hath looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me.'

Literally see a son meaning see I have produced an heir for you now can you love me like you love my sister?

33 And she conceived again, and bore a son; and said: 'Because the LORD hath heard that I am hated, He hath therefore given me this son also.' And she called his name Simeon.

Two Parshiyos ago, I discussed the love of Yitzchak towards Rivka that it grew. Here we see two other types of love. Love at first sight of Yacov for Rachel and on the surface a lopsided love of Leah for Yacov. Yet it was not really all that bad as in the end the loyal wife is buried side by side with her husband. Paraphrasing the command of Vayehi – I ask you Yosef ben Rachel not to bury me next to your mother but your aunt Leah in the cave of the Machpelah. Yacov had the choice to be buried with his love at first sight or Leah and we see he chose Leah in the family plot. So was she really that hated or loved but not the amazing love Yacov had for Rachel. This is really a romantic love and is something we don’t see elsewhere in the Chumash but rather the mature love partnership. I skipped over this where Yacov is angered at Rachel 30: 1 And when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and she said unto Jacob: 'Give me children, or else I die.' 2 And Jacob's anger was kindled against Rachel; and he said: 'Am I in God's stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?' And sometimes HASHEM tells a man to listen to his wife regarding the story of Yishmael and Yitzchak and the sending of Yishmael away.

… 31:1 And he heard the words of Laban's sons, saying: 'Jacob hath taken away all that was our father's; and of that which was our father's hath he gotten all this wealth.' 2 And Jacob beheld the countenance of Laban, and, behold, it was not toward him as beforetime.

He has amassed: Heb. עָשָׂה, lit., made, acquired, like (I Sam. 14:48)“And he gathered (וַיַעַשׂ) an army, and he smote Amalek.”

3 And the LORD said unto Jacob: 'Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee.' 4 And Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field unto his flock, 5 and said unto them: 'I see your father's countenance, that it is not toward me as beforetime; but the God of my father hath been with me. 6 And ye know that with all my power I have served your father. 7 And your father hath mocked me, and changed my wages ten times; but God suffered him not to hurt me. 8 If he said thus: The speckled shall be thy wages; then all the flock bore speckled; and if he said thus: The streaked shall be thy wages; then bore all the flock streaked. 9 Thus God hath taken away the cattle of your father, and given them to me. 10 And it came to pass at the time that the flock conceived, that I lifted up mine eyes, and saw in a dream, and, behold, the he-goats which leaped upon the flock were streaked, speckled, and grizzled.

It does not take much for one’s blood to boil in the Middle East and Yacov or the Jews becoming a scapegoat.

11 And the angel of God said unto me in the dream: Jacob; and I said: Here am I. 12 And he said: Lift up now thine eyes, and see, all the he-goats which leap upon the flock are streaked, speckled, and grizzled; for I have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee. 13 I am the God of Beth-el, where thou didst anoint a pillar, where thou didst vow a vow unto Me. Now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy nativity.'

At this point he tells his wives about his dream and prepares them to leave Lavan and their brothers.

14 And Rachel and Leah answered and said unto him: 'Is there yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father's house? 15 Are we not accounted by him strangers? for he hath sold us, and hath also quite devoured our price. 16 For all the riches which God hath taken away from our father, that is ours and our children's. Now then, whatsoever God hath said unto thee, do.' 17 Then Jacob rose up, and set his sons and his wives upon the camels; 18 and he carried away all his cattle, and all his substance which he had gathered, the cattle of his getting, which he had gathered in Paddan-aram, to go to Isaac his father unto the land of Canaan. 19 Now Laban was gone to shear his sheep. And Rachel stole the teraphim that were her father's.

To shear his sheep: that he had given into the hands of his sons, a journey of three days between him and Jacob. And [meanwhile] Rachel stole her father’s teraphim: She intended to separate her father from idolatry. — [from Gen. Rabbah 74: 5]

20 And Jacob outwitted Laban the Aramean, in that he told him not that he fled. 21 So he fled with all that he had; and he rose up, and passed over the River, and set his face toward the mountain of Gilead. 22 And it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob was fled. 23 And he took his brethren with him, and pursued after him seven days' journey; and he overtook him in the mountain of Gilead. 24 And God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream of the night, and said unto him: 'Take heed to thyself that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad.'

One does not rely upon a Nes. The Maccabees and in our case Yacov did what they should do to do things naturally. It was only because Yisrael was helpless in Egypt that HASHEM did a series of Nissim. But recently during the war there were people and soldiers who did things via the natural order. If a Nes occurred that was good. So here Yacov did not rely upon the Nes from Heaven and did is best to outwit Lavan and flee. However, moving small children, flocks and herds is not an easy task and Lavan is about to overtake Yacov. Therefore, HASHEM intervened to prevent the genocide of this chosen people. Was Lavan any better than Saddam who only because of his wife did not kill his daughters when he had his son-in-laws killed. Here too there was an uncertainty if he would kill them all.

25 And Laban came up with Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the mountain; and Laban with his brethren pitched in the mountain of Gilead. 26 And Laban said to Jacob: 'What hast thou done, that thou hast outwitted me, and carried away my daughters as though captives of the sword? 27 Wherefore didst thou flee secretly, and outwit me; and didst not tell me, that I might have sent thee away with mirth and with songs, with tabret and with harp; 28 and didst not suffer me to kiss my sons and my daughters? now hast thou done foolishly.

After HASHEM warned him he comes up with tall tale.

29 It is in the power of my hand to do you hurt; but the God of your father spoke unto me yesternight, saying: Take heed to thyself that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad.

Now the truth comes out.

30 And now that thou art surely gone, because thou sore longest after thy father's house, wherefore hast thou stolen my gods?' 31 And Jacob answered and said to Laban: 'Because I was afraid; for I said: Lest thou should take thy daughters from me by force.

This is a real fear that Yacov had.

32 With whomsoever thou find thy gods, he shall not live; before our brethren discern thou what is thine with me, and take it to thee.'--For Jacob knew not that Rachel had stolen them.—

He inadvertently gives Rachel a death sentence with a bad choice of words.

33 And Laban went into Jacob's tent, and into Leah's tent, and into the tent of the two maid-servants; but he found them not. And he went out of Leah's tent, and entered into Rachel's tent. 34 Now Rachel had taken the teraphim, and put them in the saddle of the camel, and sat upon them. And Laban felt about all the tent, but found them not. 35 And she said to her father: 'Let not my lord be angry that I cannot rise up before thee; for the manner of women is upon me.' And he searched, but found not the teraphim. 36 And Jacob was wroth, and strove with Laban. And Jacob answered and said to Laban: 'What is my trespass? what is my sin, that thou hast hotly pursued after me? 37 Whereas thou hast felt about all my stuff, what hast thou found of all thy household stuff? Set it here before my brethren and thy brethren, that they may judge betwixt us two. 38 These twenty years have I been with thee; thy ewes and thy she-goats have not cast their young, and the rams of thy flocks have I not eaten. 39 That which was torn of beasts I brought not unto thee; I bore the loss of it; of my hand didst thou require it, whether stolen by day or stolen by night. 40 Thus I was: in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep fled from mine eyes. 41 These twenty years have I been in thy house: I served thee fourteen years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy flock; and thou hast changed my wages ten times. 42 Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the Fear of Isaac, had been on my side, surely now had thou sent me away empty. God hath seen mine affliction and the labor of my hands, and gave judgment yesternight.' 43 And Laban answered and said unto Jacob: 'The daughters are my daughters, and the children are my children, and the flocks are my flocks, and all that you see is mine; and what can I do this day for these my daughters, or for their children whom they have borne? 44 And now come, let us make a covenant, I and thou; and let it be for a witness between me and thee.' 45 And Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar. 46 And Jacob said unto his brethren: 'Gather stones'; and they took stones, and made a heap. And they did eat there by the heap. 47 And Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha; but Jacob called it Galeed.

Gal-Aid this means a heap for witness and the stones were used to make the fence that Bilaam passed by and the donkey rubbed his leg against.

48 And Laban said: 'This heap is witness between me and thee this day.' Therefore was the name of it called Galeed; 49 and Mizpah, for he said: 'The LORD watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another. 50 If thou shalt afflict my daughters, and if thou shalt take wives beside my daughters, no man being with us; see, God is witness betwixt me and thee.'

All the wives were daughters of Lavan as the two other servant wives were daughters of his from his servant wife. (Thanks to Rabbi Tuvia Mushkin)

51 And Laban said to Jacob: 'Behold this heap, and behold the pillar, which I have set up betwixt me and thee. 52 This heap be witness, and the pillar be witness, that I will not pass over this heap to thee, and that thou shalt not pass over this heap and this pillar unto me, for harm. 53 The God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge betwixt us.' And Jacob swore by the Fear of his father Isaac. 54 And Jacob offered a sacrifice in the mountain, and called his brethren to eat bread; and they did eat bread, and tarried all night in the mountain.

The only reason that there was peace between the two was because of G-D coming to Lavan in a dream.

32:1 And early in the morning Laban rose up, and kissed his sons and his daughters, and blessed them. And Laban departed, and returned unto his place.

He basically had no choice but to be a father again to his daughters and a grandfather and let them depart.

2 And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. 3 And Jacob said when he saw them: 'This is God's camp.' And he called the name of that place Mahanaim.

This was the angels of Chutz LaAretz leaving and the angels of Eretz Yisrael coming to replace them. Later Yacov would return and wrestle with the angel of Esav.

This imagine which I copied and pasted did not come out last week so I send you the source: This is what the BBC did not post which Naftali Bennett held up.

From Rabbi Chaim Coffman Shlita: When Tragedy Occurs
Words cannot describe the terrible tragedy that occurred in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof. I happen to learn in the neighborhood every day down the block from that synagogue and the words "SHOCK" doesn't do it justice.
There is outrage and demand that something must be done to stop all the violence. What is the Jewish perspective on what is going on?
Unfortunately, tragedy is not new to the Jewish people. We have persevered over the millennia through many; the destruction of the two Temples in Jerusalem, the Chimenliki massacres, the Inquisition, the Holocaust...G-d's ways are hidden and we often do not understand what our eyes see.
There are a few things to take away from what has happened. 1) Never has there been an attack in Israel that occurred in a synagogue like this 2) The sheer brutality and lack of concern in the way this attack took place was just horrific.
The problem is that if we know that G-d is good and He alone runs the world, how do we explain what happened? There are no satisfactory answers but we do know that tzdikkim (righteous people) are taken as an atonement for us.
That means when there is a greater decree sometimes G-d has to take the best of our people as an atonement for the sins of the masses. This means that as the Talmud tells us the Jewish people are responsible one for the other, we have to look inward at what we possibly could do better so that these tragedies don't happen in the future.
At the same time, we sometimes get a glimpse in the future of why these things happen. Just like the three teens that were killed over the summer, the result was finding and destroying hundreds of tunnels that could have caused unthinkable damage. It just so happens that these three boys had to be the "sacrifice" for that to be uncovered.
This may add a little comfort for the grieving parents but it shows that nothing happens for no reason. Every bullet has its mark so-to-speak and G-d is the one who ultimately judges and makes it happen.
We with our tiny brains cannot fathom this. We just see things with lack of vision. We see destruction, murder and blood; chaos for no apparent reason. There is a bigger picture that we are not privy too but everything from above is calculated.
G-d runs the world and we have to accept that. He is the true judge. May we know no more sorrow and may He bring Moshiach speedily in our days!

Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky Shlita talks about the attack (Heb.):

From Rabbi D. Winiarz Shlita An Unintentional Intermarriage By Gila Davids

A strange thing happened on the way to my becoming a ba'alat teshuvah: I discovered I was not a Jew.

I made this discovery about fifteen years ago at the happy and lively Shabbat table of an engaging Kiruv rabbi and his family, another one of those inspiring Shabbat meals that had attracted us to greater Torah observance. My husband, Allen, and I were a year or so into our Jewish learning at the local outreach Kollel in the Midwestern city where we lived. Though we were still members of our Conservative synagogue, we were slowly adding more mitzvoth as we saw how they enriched our lives and deepened our connection to God. Our host, a rabbi at the Kollel, had just converted our kitchen into a kosher one and my husband and I had taken on observing the family purity laws. At the time, we were also considering the possibility of enrolling our young children in the local Orthodox day school.

A student of our host was also there with his non-religious parents. The student wanted his parents to meet his rabbi's family, and I think we were invited to represent "normal" people who had come to Torah on their own. I cannot remember how the conversation began, but at some point the boy's mother commented that she had grown up without knowing her father's parents and half of her cousins very well because they were not Jewish. I naïvely remarked, "That's just how I grew up; all my mother's relatives are not Jewish." I think it was then that I heard the Rebbitzen gasp.

I had learned enough Torah to realize - and the gasp confirmed - that maybe something in addition to my dishes was going to need converting.

My mother had converted to Judaism in a small Indiana town in the early 1950s in order to marry my father. Her conversion was overseen by the rabbi of the local Conservative synagogue, to which my family belonged throughout my childhood. Mom became a dedicated Jewess, learning as much as she could despite the limited resources available to her. We never had pork or shellfish in the house; we were regular attendees at our synagogue; she was president of the sisterhood and was our rabbi's right-hand volunteer. While we often visited my maternal grandmother, the influence of my father's family dominated. With eighteen Jewish cousins living nearby, there were plenty of Bar Mitzvahs and weddings to attend and holiday gatherings to anchor us in Jewish family traditions.

Rich Jewish memories bound our family members to one another, but as I built my own family in a large city far from my childhood home, I found that that was not enough for me. I sought to connect to the deeper riches I saw that Judaism had to offer. With the help of outreach programs and the religious families we met, my husband and I found a great treasure in authentic Torah observance.

Soon after my revelation at the Shabbat table, the niggling suspicion that we were headed for roadblocks in our path to greater observance grew into the realization that I needed to look into my mother's conversion. I had the conversion certificate, so Allen and I met with the rabbi of the Conservative synagogue where we had been members since our marriage.

Judaism is not a club one decides to join, nor is it a democracy where the majority make the rules. The only handbook for admission is the Torah, and the rules were decided by God. After reviewing the forty-year-old document, the rabbi confirmed that some streams of Judaism would question my mother's conversion - and therefore my Jewish status, as well as my children's. But not to worry, he said, he knew of an Orthodox rabbi who was coming to town in a few months who could fix the problem if we wanted. Otherwise, I was "Jewish enough" for him.

Some years earlier, we had been inspired by this same rabbi to begin moving towards keeping kosher and learning more about the mitzvoth. However, the classes and speakers he brought in just served to whet our appetite. To his credit, this rabbi had responded to our desire to learn even more by suggesting we attend classes taught by the local Orthodox Kollel. (The rabbis at the Kollel displayed an integrity and consistency we had rarely encountered in our religious, social or business lives. It was their sincerity and complete dedication to the Law of God that kept us going back to learn more.)

As I questioned my Halachic status, I slowly started to understand that even with my background, my memories, my desire to grow … it was not enough. It wasn't that I wasn't Jewish enough - I wasn't Jewish at all.

After thirty-eight years of participation in Jewish life, my desire to deepen my commitment brought me face-to-face with the realization that I - who had endured hours of after school classes to learn Hebrew and prepare for my Bat Mitzvah, who had been active in Jewish youth groups and went to Jewish summer camps, who shunned bread on Pesach and all food on Yom Kippur - was not a Jew. I, who reined in my enthusiasm for Torah growth until I thought my husband was ready for each step, could not only enjoy fluffy muffins on Pesach, but could also heartily eat shrimp on any fast day I pleased. Allen, a prime candidate for intermarriage who had never met a rabbi until we were engaged or stepped foot into a synagogue until we were dating, was a 100 percent kosher Jew. And he had indeed intermarried.

Early on in our journey towards observance, a few months before we began learning at the Kollel and more than a year before my Shabbat table announcement,
Allen and I had visited Israel and had stumbled into a class with the Rosh yeshivah of Aish HaTorah, Rabbi Noah Weinberg. We were impressed with the rabbi's "ABCs" of Judaism - a class that laid out the framework for an authentic Jewish outlook on life. (While we did not manage to remember the A or the B, the C stuck with us.) Rabbi Weinberg had said, "Don't believe a thing I say today, check it out." From then on, whenever we heard a new law or idea, an observance or a custom, we made a practice of reading up on it and asking questions until we understood. We found that every Orthodox rabbi we met, every book and article we read, not only confirmed our new understanding but also deepened it. Checking things out had proved to be good advice. (This is one of the reasons when I bring down a miracle except for stories of the wars before the internet, I try to bring down the newspaper source when available for verification unless I picked it up from the radio.)

This was the advice we applied to what was proving to be the greatest challenge to our embrace of authentic Judaism: the questions we had about my Halachic status. There were three Orthodox synagogues in town. We thought we'd check out what each rabbi had to say about my predicament.

The first rabbi we met with led a small congregation known for its friendly atmosphere. Rabbi S. reviewed the conversion document and surprised us with his frankness when he told us, in no uncertain terms, that my mother's conversion was not kosher, and since I was therefore not Jewish at all, I should just abandon the idea of Jewish growth, as it was not incumbent on me. His verdict may have been true, but it was also harsh. I felt as if my soul had just been torn out of my body. All I was, my entire identity, I realized, was connected to the holiness, the responsibility and the truth of Judaism. I seemed as if he had forbidden me and my children access to something that I thought was inherently ours. I was truly lost in between two worlds.

"Illegitimate converts" and their offspring are the innocent victims of those who undermine the foundation of holiness upon which Halacha stands. The candidate for conversion cannot possibly have a full understanding of the consequences of her choice, but the rabbi who accepts her most certainly does. One who seeks a non-Halachic conversion as a means to placate family or to find acceptance upon marrying a Jew may neither realize nor care that her Jewish status is not universally recognized. But if she regards her conversion as an integral element in creating a foundation for the new family she and her husband hope to build, she is misled if she thinks the foundation is a solid one. Unaware of the implications for the future, she will raise her children within the framework of Jewish life, and ironically, may be among the most committed “"
Jews" in her new family or congregation. The children, raised with a strong Jewish identity, will bear the full brunt of their parents' naïveté if, in their teen and adult years, they explore, as I did, an authentic Torah lifestyle. Such an investigation will undoubtedly reveal the shaky underpinnings of the Jewish identity to which they lay claim, causing confusion and pain for the entire family. (Chief Rabbi Amar decided a number of years ago when he limited the Beitei Dinim in the USA to have a special “relaxation” on intermarried couples who had intermarried to be admitted to classes to prevent complete mixing up of the family tree for future generations.)

Allen and I continued our investigation into my status with a rabbi known to be an expert in Halacha. Rabbi G. was a congregational rabbi who also taught Jewish law at a local university. The "Who Is a Convert?" issue is a growing and controversial topic, he said, and our case involved contradictory opinions, all of which are laden with agenda. Some try to find a way to accept the sincere non-Orthodox convert while others insist every one of these conversions is invalid. The intellectual rabbi objectively explained several options we could follow and the consequences of these choices. Allen and I learned a lot, but left him without a viable option that rang true for us.

The truth was that my earnest commitment, my core identity, my lifelong affiliation and my membership in Jewish organizations were irrelevant. Judaism is not a club one decides to join, nor is it a democracy where the majority make the rules. The only handbook for admission is the Torah, and the rules were decided by God. The only way "in" was for a Beit Din to conclude that I honestly wanted to shear away my past as a Gentile (which was painfully ironic), cling only to the Jewish people and sincerely commit to observing all of the 613 mitzvoth that pertain to me.

While we were indeed on our way towards a more observant life, Allen and I did not think we were ready for the monumental step of becoming totally Shomer mitzvoth. Doing so would entail selling the home we loved, leaving the synagogue and neighborhood where we had close friends (who did not necessarily understand our situation) and moving to an Orthodox community so we could observe Shabbat and holidays properly. It didn’t seem fair.

Just as when a Baal teshuvah (BT) introduced to authentic Torah values often feels cheated by the vapidity of the religious system in which he was raised, the child of an illegitimate convert who does teshuvah feels doubly betrayed. He may think and feel Jewish to the core. A born Jew, whether he is Orthodox or agnostic, remains a Jew regardless of his actions or affiliation. But a non-Halachic Jew who remains committed to his Jewish identity may one day be faced with the devastating reality that he is not, at his essence, the person he thinks he is.

I could have been resentful and angry, but up until this episode, everything we had learned about authentic Judaism, despite the difficulties, rang of truth and compassion. We knew the truth, but where was the compassion?

We decided to see what the rabbi of the city's largest Orthodox synagogue would say. At that meeting, we found the first inkling of honest compassion we had seen throughout this heartbreaking ordeal.

Rabbi D. welcomed us into his office, made some small talk and soon got to the subject at hand. He listened intently, as if it were the first time he had heard such a case. Rabbi D. did not turn me away or lecture us on the state of Orthodoxy. He did not prescribe a shortcut. He was the first rabbi who did not make a snap judgment, taking the time to make some investigative calls before ruling that the conversion was not kosher. Then he did what no other rabbi had done—he sympathized and was painfully honest with us; he showed us courageous compassion.

He assured us that the problem was not a terminal one. Rabbi D. explained that the Jewish nation only exists because of the Torah. A Jew was designed to be a particular kind of creation and, as such, the Torah spells out the way we are to wake, eat, pray and sleep. While each of us is unique, Halacha is the framework through which we express our uniqueness in serving God, and it is essentially the same for every Jew - and only for the Jew.

Since my identity was firmly Jewish and I had been through thirty-eight cycles of the Jewish calendar (albeit superficially), and since my sincere teshuvah brought me to this discovery, Rabbi D. said he would work with me. When I was ready to be Shomer mitzvoth, he would convert me.

Allen and I were not ready to make the move to an observant community for almost a year. Since our children were also not Halachic Jews, Rabbi D. advised the local day school to accept them as potential converts. Allen and I continued taking classes and slowly took on more mitzvot. On the surface, we seemed like any other BT family. Eventually we became Shomer Shabbat, and uprooted ourselves from our home and community.

Finally, the day I was to go before the beit din arrived. Even though I knew and trusted the rabbis in this court of law, they presided with gravity; they were reserved and serious while I was intimidated and afraid. I knew that my life literally hung in the balance; I did not know how I could cope without halachah as the framework for my life.

After a grueling two hours, my new rabbi, Rabbi D., welcomed me as a sister into the Jewish people, and I dissolved into tears of relief and gratitude in his office. I stood in the mikvah and had the awesome opportunity of affirming my commitment to live my life immersed in truth.

Later that day, the rabbis of the beit din spoke with our children before they immersed in the mikvah. Rabbi D. took pains to explain to them, at a level they could understand, how this was a special turning point in their lives. Finally, Allen and I were married in a simple ceremony, surrounded by a few new friends and by the kollel couples who had taught us, counseled us and now celebrated with us.

But our story does not conclude here. For the children and grandchildren of an illegitimate convert, there is no happy ending. Sensitive family issues arise as my sisters, already challenged by our teshuvah, do not understand that they are not Jewish. Owing their strong Jewish identity to the values my parents instilled in us, my sisters married Jews and are raising their children with Jewish youth groups and summer camps, Brises and Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. Also raised in today’s culture of relative rather than absolute truth, my nieces and nephews are not equipped to appreciate the role of halachah in their lives. They ask me questions that have answers they cannot hear. Most likely, they will one day end up at a kiruv event at some college campus, and face the same realization and rejection that I experienced.

Sadly, there are thousands like me, children of non-halachic converts, intermarriage or both. And the number grows. One college campus outreach worker told me that as a rule, of the kids interested in his programming who have Jewish-sounding names (the Cohens and Goldsteins), over 50 percent are not halachically Jewish. Conversely, the kids with non-Jewish-sounding names who show up at his events (the Rogers and MacDonalds) are almost always the children of an intermarried Jewish mother. They are the Jews.

As the clock ticks, we are running out of time to save the millions of remaining Jews from adding to the skyrocketing statistics of intermarriage. Kiruv professionals have the monumental challenge of touching as many Jewish souls as possible and cannot possibly be expected to spend their precious resources counseling the child of a non-Jewish mother.

Do I encourage my interested relatives, give them books, invite them for Shabbat as one would reach out to any Jew with a desire to grow? And if they marry Gentiles, should I, an observant Jew, boycott the weddings because of the appearance of intermarriage? And if they marry Jews, do I risk further ostracization from my family with my objections? The most sensitive issues arise in the relationship between the converted child and the non-halachically converted mother. It is a painful irony that I owe a great deal of my desire to have a true Jewish home to my mother’s sincere commitment to Judaism. After 120 years, I will not be able to sit a proper shivah for either her or my father.

My story is not unique, but for most rabbis, the questions are. The she’eilot that have spun out of my geirut, conversion, have been among the most difficult my rabbi has faced in his career. Unfortunately, the problem is snowballing due to the broadening acceptance of patrilineal descent, and it presents enormous challenges for today’s Orthodox rabbinate. A rabbi advising the BT or Ger needs the blessing of an extra dose of insight to help us navigate the large questions and nuances unique to our new identity. Sensitivity is needed as well, as many of us have Jewish-born spouses as well as children in tow. The ability to wisely and compassionately guide us and uphold the incontrovertible truth of the Torah rests heavily on these rabbis’ shoulders.

One can be either a BT or a Ger, but not both. However, I feel like both, and I feel like neither. I share the same cultural background as many of my BT friends, made the same choice to claim our inheritance and deal with similar matters concerning our non-observant and intermarried families. Still, they cannot truly understand what it means to be a Ger. Emotionally and spiritually, I connect to the family of noble Gerim whom I have met. We overcame exclusion, suspicion and great hurdles that a BT cannot understand. We unequivocally affirmed our commitment and were reborn as Jews. And yet I cannot truly understand what it means to shear away a past in the same way that the Gerim I met did.

Yet, I would do it again. The raison d’etre for the Jew is to change and grow beyond the limits we imagine we have. As I look back fifteen years to the beginning of my odyssey, to the woman I was at the rabbi’s Shabbat table, and see where I sit today, I realize that when I cast my lot with the Jewish people and commit to doing God’s will, anything can happen.

*Gila Davids is a pen name. Linked with permission from Jewish Action, the magazine of the Orthodox Union (Spring 2008, Vol 68 #2). 

Dear Friends,
So many of you have showed concern and written, and even more of you have prayed. I have no words to tell you how much this means not only to me, but to every one of us. Thank God, Shmuli, my son-in-law, is much better. He is aware, able to communicate and reminded a friend that he is only giving him his seat on the morning bus to Mir temporarily. That doesn't mean that the story is over. If we closed the book here it would be a cruel denial of our having lived through a pogrom that left Har Nof with four new widows, and 24 new orphans. (Click here to read Rebbetzin Heller’s first letter. )
We buried the four men who were killed, and their death caused many of us to rethink our ideas about what death is really about. Is dying a brutal death at the hands of people you never met and certainly do not threaten in any way a senseless desecration of life? Is dying for no reason other than the fact that you are a Jew a meaningless tragedy? Death is never sweet for those who are left behind, but there is some comfort in knowing that the death of these four men was a reflection of the way that they chose to live.

Their deaths had meaning.

The men who died in Kehillas Bnei Torah died as they lived; they were dedicated to living with emunah, faith in God, and beginning their days with dedication. They were killed for not being Muslim. When my daughter Miri received the call from the hospital social worker telling her to get to Hadassah hospital as soon as possible and not to come alone, it was one of the worst moments that anyone could experience. All four people in the car spent the 20-minute ride saying all of the variations of "I can't believe that this can be happening. It sounds terrible" that you can possibly imagine. When we were allowed into the recovery room to see Shmuli after his initial surgery, there were no tears; we were too shell-shocked. It takes only seconds to assume a new sort of normal.
When I asked the nurse about the trickle of blood that I saw flowing out of Shmuli's ear, she told me that they were able to control the majority of the flow, and that this isn't really significant. When they do the second surgery they'll take care of it. The answer sounded reasonable and left me feeling relieved. I had accepted that blood coming out of a man's head was normal, and that a second surgery was something to look forward to. I don't know what Miri was thinking, but the one thing that I know never crossed her mind or mine was regret.


Neither of us wished that he would have stayed home from the synagogue that Tuesday morning any more than Sunday or Monday. Neither of us wished that my grandson Mordechai would be the kind of kid who doesn't like to go to shul with his dad. We both know that the villain of the story isn't the coincidences of time and place that led them to be in Kehillas Bnei Torah Tuesday morning. The villain is the man with the cleaver and the man with the gun.
They are the stars of the tragedy but you can't let yourself be blind to the fact that they are supported by a cast of thousands. The countless kids who are taught hatred from their earliest youth for anyone who isn't them. The kadi in the mosque who spews out Itbach al Yahud (kill the Jews) in his Friday sermon after duly praising Allah the Compassionate. There are bit players in the ongoing drama. They have made the media the message, and the subtle and not so subtle anti-Semitism disguised pathological hatred for Israel all deserve billing.
Neither Miri nor I thought about them at the moment. We were both aware of something much bigger, more real than the ongoing soap opera called Them against Us. It's called faith in God, Who can turn things around in a moment, and whose Will isn't known to us but His ongoing kindness is. It was the only thing that mattered in the recovery room.


Emunah means knowing that everything has one source, knowing that there is purpose and meaning. It means that you will one day account for your life to the One who gave it to you. It means that you are living on one page of an endless book, and the only thing that really matters is what kind of person you choose to become.

Choose Light

You can choose light. You can choose learning. You can choose acts of kindness. You can choose closeness to the wounded by continuing to pray for Shmuel Yerucham ben Baila, Chaim Yechiel ben Malka and Eitan ben Sara. The rabbis have strongly recommended lighting Shabbos candles earlier. Maharal tells us that the light of these candles is the same light that Torah sheds. You can transcend your limitations and your attachment to materialism by giving charity. A fund has been started for the widows and orphans left behind. Donations can be sent to Kuppat Hair, Fund 2159, (call 1-888-587-2842 to find out where to donate in your present location) which is earmarked for the victims of Har Nof's tragedy. Various funds have been started, but the rabbis of the neighborhood have recommended this one because they are able to provide you with an American tax-deductible receipt to those who wish them. Choose to be part of their lives at this time. After all, you are part of the family.
Post this to your friends who want to look beyond the surface.
Love always,

I think you might like this which I received from Gail W.: Sigd – What Lies Behind This Ancient Ethiopian Jewish Festival? by Rochel Sylvetsky
Fasting, prayer, love of Zion & festivities: how Ethiopia’s Beta Israel Jews enriched Israeli Jewish life with a unique, ancient festival. First Publish: Arutz Sheva -11/20/2014, 9:26 PM Israel’s Ethiopian Jews brought with them a deep love of Zion, willingness to volunteer for the IDF & a strong desire to contribute to Israeli society, despite the many difficulties they encountered in adjusting to their new home. They also brought a new holiday with them, one that has been added to the official calendar of the Jewish state.
Sigd, a holiday celebrated by the Beta Israel Ethiopian Jewish community & almost unknown to the rest of Jewry prior to the group’s aliyah to Israel, falls on the 29th of the Hebrew month of Heshvan, the 50th day after the Yom Kippur fast.
The word “Sigd” ( ሰግድ ) is based on the Hebrew word segida, which is used to describe a form of bowing in worship to G-d. The holiday is sometimes known as Mehallela (ምህልላ), meaning supplication.
Traditionally, the day is split into two: A lengthy service featuring prayers, supplications & fasting, & a festive meal at night.
This year, Cheshvan 29 is on Sabbath, November 22, so the Sigd holiday was moved up to Thursday
Ethiopian Jews, cut off from the rest of the Jewish world & the Oral Law for centuries, interpreted the biblical commandment “And you shall count from the day after the Shabbat… seven full weeks” to mean starting from the day after Yom Kippur, called “Shabbaton” in the Bible – whereas all other Jews count seven full weeks called “Counting the Omer”, during the 49 days that separate the Passover & Shavuot holidays.
However, Sigd has other aspects to its observance. It is also a yearly reacceptance of the Torah, modeled after the reacceptance ceremony led by Ezra the Scribe in the month of Heshvan, when the Jews returned from Babylon to build the Second Temple (Nehemiah 9, 1-3).
The 29th of Heshvan is also the day that G-d revealed himself to Moses for the first time on Mount Sinai, in Ethiopian tradition.
Rabbi Shalom Sharon, an alumnus of the Har Etzion Hesder Yeshiva & an Ethiopian immigrant, describes the holiday’s observance, summarizing its five central points :
Remembering the giving of the Torah & our love for it
Renewing the covenant with G-d as in Ezra’s time
Deepening Jewish identity despite the difficulty of Ethiopian isolation from world Jewry
Fasting & repentance
Promoting the community’s feeling of unity
The morning prayers include prayers for Jerusalem & requests for forgiveness from G-d & from fellow Jews – much like on Yom Kippur – the difference being that Yom Kippur emphasizes personal atonement & Sigd is intended more for communal introspection & repentance

For quiz and prize Check out or Facebook under Dry bones

I picked this up from a fellow named Kim: From the fellow in the movie: I became religious after a near death experience, very intense. You can also help spread the word

From Rabbi Elikan Shlita on honest reporting of terror in the Media. CBS fails Fox gets it right:

Beheadings have been around from the time of Rome, the French Revolution and Mohammed and was used by Jewish Kings against criminals who committed the same crime thrice and was brought to Justice each time.

Why do they keep the name of King George St. why not change it?
What a Chillul Hashem that a street in the capital of Israel be named after a
monarch who occupied this land & hung Jewish soldiers? They changed the name of Chancellor St. to Strauss so why can't they change this also?

Chabad Selfie the world’s record 2000 in the photo. Now to look for Rabbi Barak Kochavi here:,7340,L-4596358,00.html

Inyanay Diyoma

Gaza has been conducting new, longer range and more accurate rockets to missiles: Hezballah gets more from Iran and Syria:,7340,L-4594793,00.html

Time to expel all Arab trouble makers from Yerushalayim and Yisrael:

From Gail: Will Nov. 24, 2014 become another Sept. 28, 1938?

From Gail Don’t Run Away from Terrorism by Emily Arousi

Someone did the math & found that over the last 2,000 years, an average of five Jews have been killed every day. The chosen people, right? The count didn't start with the Muslims occupation & it didn't start in 1967. But still, the reports this week about the gruesome terror attack in Jerusalem focused endlessly on the fact that it took place "in a small, quiet neighborhood, far from the city's flashpoints." Quite a few reporters stressed the location of the attack in western Jerusalem, as though there is a difference between Jewish blood on either side of the Green Line. As though the Islamic State group & their Jerusalemite disciples care one bit about whether the exact coordinates of the site of a massacre were once under Jordanian sovereignty or not.
Anyone who thinks the 350 million Muslims living around us in the Middle East recognize the significance of the 1948 War of Independence is completely delusional. Ever since the Red Sea parted & then closed again on Pharaoh & his chariots, all our neighbors want is to see us floating in the sea. It doesn't matter if we concede, withdraw, do a little dance or sign an agreement with a blue pen. It doesn't matter whether Jews are murdered in a synagogue in Jerusalem or in Itamar or in Belgium.
Just like they did 70 years ago, various enemies are joining together over the bodies of Jews. Back then it was Adolf Hitler who joined forces with the mufti of Jerusalem, today it is swastikas spray painted all over Jerusalem & the Galilee (it has become a real trend). Anti-Semitism is rearing its head in Europe, Muslims with a penchant for beheadings are at our gates & Sinai is turning into Afghanistan. & what are we most concerned about? Construction permits beyond the Green Line!
In Germany, the selection process has begun anew: A performance by the ultra-Orthodox children's troupe Kinderlach at the German presidential palace was almost canceled when the German authorities learned that two of the troupe members live beyond the Green Line. The Germans asked to exclude the two from the performance. The Israelis avoided confrontation. Ultimately, a compromise was reached by which the Germans would not ask & the Jews would not tell. Good thing they didn't check who was circumcised.
As the blood in the Jerusalem synagogue was still being mopped up, key figures in the Israeli Left were already calling for a division of Jerusalem. Don't get me wrong, I have no interest in holding on to Jabel Mukaber. As far as I'm concerned, that hornets' nest may as well be in China. The issue here is strategy. The story is not them, it is us: Wherever there is terrorism, we run. It is a trick that works every time, & the Arabs just keep going & going. Gush Katif in Gaza, the security zone in Lebanon, Judea & Samaria, Jerusalem.
By the same logic espoused by the proponents of the division of Jerusalem -- those who dream of a concrete Berlin wall-style barrier in the heart of the capital -- we should say goodbye to the Galilee if there are riots in the Galilee; we should give up the Negev if there are riots in the Negev. This puts us in grave danger, not just because it disconnects us from our land, which simply belongs to us, but also because it is an unhealthy pattern. A bad way to confront problems.
So what should we do then? Sovereignty. Police. Security forces. Jabel Mukaber is not a Palestinian village, it is a neighborhood of Jerusalem, situated between the Jewish neighborhoods of Armon Hanatziv, East Talpiot & Nof Zion. At least nine psychopathic murderers were raised in Jabel Mukaber. If there was a problem with the rule of law in Mea Shearim, would we hand the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood over to an independent sovereign? What are we, nuts?
If underworld criminals were to overrun Netanya, would we put up a wall & declare that Netanya is now a part of Cyprus? Of course not. The forces of terrorism have overrun Jerusalem & the way to combat them is to assert our sovereignty, not the other way around.
Erecting a wall between Armon Hanatziv & Jabel Mukaber, two contiguous neighborhoods in Jerusalem, would give rise to bigger terror cells with much more self-confidence. Those who run away from terrorism get chased by terrorists. Those who root out terrorism gain 40 years of peace. A wall in Jerusalem would only serve to inflame the hatred behind it.
If, God forbid, such a division comes to be, taking the city 50 years backwards, the Arabs of east Jerusalem will no longer cross the street by foot, but rather through terror tunnels into schools & kindergartens. They will plant bombs & fire rockets at the Israel Museum. The division of Jerusalem will bring Gaza & Jenin into the capital. No thanks.

Police standing by leads to a fireworks attack on another Synagogue:

Jewish Nature of the State of Israel to be redefined at long last:,7340,L-4594845,00.html

Bullying of 4 year old boy for being Jewish reminds me of myself but I did not know it I just thought it was the big kids on my block.

It turns out that I personally know one of the injured in the terror attack Shmuel Yerucham ben Baila!
New law to prevent Shahid demonstrations:

Ed-Op the worst nightmare of the IDF is religious warfare and we are on the verge:,7340,L-4594757,00.html

Surviving 4 bullets at point blank range, Yehuda Yehoshua ben Rivka Ita Breindel to be released from the hospital.

Sadly the police call this criminal and not terror like the “traffic accident” by Hamas until proven guilty.

Rebbe from Vizhnitz calls to stop hiring Arabs:,7340,L-4595053,00.html Time to clean out the lice and their eggs!

Iran prospers and gets ready for THE BOMB,7340,L-4595532,00.html
Not only my opinion - Ed-Op on the verge of the bomb by military analysis:,7340,L-4595870,00.html Is Kerry so obsessed with the Nobel Prize for Peace that he is willing to risk millions of lives??? THIS LEAVES US WITH THE APPROXIMATE DATE OF PESSACH 5776 TO ROSH HASHANAH 5777 WHICH ACCORDING TO SOME KABBALISTS IS ‘ZEMANO’.

From Gail Winston an article by Dror Eydar on the Jewish Nature of the State bill:
Two kinds of people oppose the Jewish state bill (which, if passed, would become a constitutional Basic Law defining Israel as the national home of the Jewish people): Naive people, who pretend to be familiar with the content of the bill but don't really know what it is about, & people who actually oppose the idea of a Jewish state but try to disguise their opposition with generalizations.
           There are several versions of this bill, & on Sunday the cabinet voted in favor of the prime minister's bill, a revised version of the bill initially penned by Likud MK Zeev Elkin. I spoke with some of the bill's opponents in the cabinet & learned that they were willing to support the prime minister's version, but not Elkin's or the version penned by Habayit Hayehudi MK Ayelet Shaked. Fine. Let's see what they do down the line. 
           Contrary to the vicious propaganda surrounding the bill, none of the versions poses a threat to the individual civil rights of any of Israel's citizens. On the contrary, the bill reiterates the principles already legislated in the Basic Law: Human Dignity & Liberty.
          The idea that Israel is a Jewish state, & that every law & every government action should be interpreted through the prism of the state's Jewish character, is a concept first espoused by former Chief Justice Aharon Barak. But actions speak louder than words, & so far no one has really translated Barak's words into action. That is why this idea must be anchored in constitutional legislation. 
          The claim that this bill seeks to "place the Jewish character of the state above its democratic character" is a flat-out lie. Israel is a democracy in the broad sense of the word, which includes minority rights, full equality & protection. The only thing this bill seeks to do is to add Israel's unique identity to its existing laws. 
          As this bill evolved, its most vocal critics have been the same lawmakers who regularly advocate the establishment of a Palestinian state. But when it comes to anchoring Israel's Jewish identity in law, they object. That is the crux of the issue, not peace nor democracy.
         Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, one of the bill's biggest opponents, has accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu & the authors of the various bills that they are "destroying the state." On Sunday, after the cabinet approved the bill, she leveled additional criticism, saying that "if this was an effort to get back at me -- you have won." Not since King Louis XIV, who famously said "L'Etat, c'est moi" (I am the state), has such a ludicrous remark been made by someone whose popularity was so rapidly plummeting. She thinks that she is the state; she thinks that the very bill defining Israel as the national home of the Jewish people is meant not to secure the identity of the state, but to personally get back at her for whatever offense. 
          Incidentally, Livni, the self proclaimed defender of democracy, voted in favor of the anti-Israel Hayom bill because, according to her, this newspaper represents "a worldview that, in my opinion, runs contrary to Israel's best interests." The state is she; she is the state. Unbelievable. 
          Finance Minister Yair Lapid wrote Sunday that David Ben-Gurion, Zeev Jabotinsky & Menachem Begin would never have voted in favor of this bill. Professor Avraham Diskin, one of the people who formulated the bill, told me: "I met with Benny Begin [Menachem Begin's son] on this bill. He opposed the absence of the word 'equality.' I told him that there is absolutely no disagreement about the need for personal equality, & that it is worth mentioning in the bill. & then, in the presence of several witnesses in the room, Begin said: 'That is really an acceptable solution.'" As for his father, to say that Menachem Begin would have opposed the idea of a Jewish nation state on the basis of full equal rights for all its citizens is nothing more than a brazen lie. 
          Let me present you with the following remarks, written by Ben-Gurion in his journals about the 1929 massacres: "The Arabs of Hebron -- Muslims, zealots, infamous for their hot-headedness. … The religious sages gave them permission to take women & property [from the Jews]. The rioters went from home to home, unhindered, murdering & slaughtering without discrimination, the elderly & the young, man & woman." His description ends with the words: "Hebron was made Judenrein." Would the man who wrote these words oppose the idea of a Jewish nation state on the basis of full equal rights for all its citizens? 
          As for Jabotinsky, those who use his name to make arguments would be wise to re-read his excellent essay, "The Iron Wall": "As long as the Arabs feel that there is the least hope of getting rid of us, they will refuse to give up this hope in return for either kind words or for bread & butter. … When a living people yields in matters of such a vital character it is only when there is no longer any hope of getting rid of us, because they can make no breach in the iron wall. … Then we may expect them to discuss honestly practical questions. But the only way to obtain such an agreement is the iron wall, which is to say a strong power in Palestine that is not amenable to any Arab pressure." 
        That is exactly what this bill is going for: strengthening the conceptual iron wall of our existence here, in our ancestral homeland.

I listened to the radio in complete shock the other day. In Ashdod the Charedim are buying mace and other defense kits as they have begun living in fear of terrorists more than from the missiles of the past summer. It is so because not having any outside of Torah Training they have never learned simple Boy Scout survival tactics. Nothing! They believed that Torah alone could defend them but when Torah Scholars are slaughtered with heads decapitated, they had their faith shaken up. That is why the Charedim in Yerushalayim are shaking like a leaf as described in the film above to Rav Chaim Kanievsky Shlita but in Hebrew. 

Ed-Op Netanyahu was fiddling while Iran became a nuclear state:,7340,L-4595629,00.html

From my daughter-in-law Elisheva: The double standard for the world regarding Israel:

From Sheldon an ISIS video of hitting a helicopter on the ground:

From Sheldon Is she going to make a presidential bid as the liberal democratic candidate?

Anti-Semitism in the country. The refusal of a IAF Base Commander to let an Orthodox Jew keep his beard and the elitists against the religious in the army shows that we have not moved far since my days of being drafted to the IDF. The left thinks that they must decide what is correct for all.

Another all bluster and no do of Netanyahu as more destruction of the Temple Mount.

From Gail on Islamists: Our Sudetenland Is Israel then tomorrow Spain then France…

Israel blocks criminals and Jihadists from entry:,7340,L-4597196,00.html

Internet Pedophile runs over female policeman.

Rabbi exposes the truth that the Koran has no Yerushalayim:,7340,L-3082,00.html

Netanyahu’s procrastination hurts the IDF:,7340,L-4597276,00.html

Now for M. Wolfberg’s Good Shabbos Story “The Worm” and “Jacob’s Ladder”

 Good Shabbos Everyone.  The Torah tells us "So Yakov drew close to Yitzchok his father who felt him and said: The voice is the voice of Yakov, but the hands are the hands of Eisav." (Bereishis 27:22) The Midrash explains this powerful verse in an interesting way. The power of Yakov (who represents the Nation of Yisroel) is in its voice with prayer and Torah study, while the power of Eisav and the nations is in its physical strength. (Midrash Eicha Pesichta, Aleph,Beis) As the Prophet tells us "Fear not, O' worm of Yakov." (R.Amonon Yitzchok, Shlita, citing Yeshiyahu 41:14)
         Why is Yakov - Yisroel compared to a worm? The power of a worm is in its mouth. A tiny worm can bore through the strongest wood with its mouth. So too, the strength of Yisroel is in its mouth with prayer. (Rashi and Metzudas Dovid on Yeshiyahu 41:14) The nations may be bigger and stronger than we are, but we have the power of prayer, which is much stronger than their physical power.
         One of the ways we can use prayer is to help others. If we hear that someone is not well, G-d forbid or perhaps someone is looking for a marriage partner, we can help them by davening - praying for them. Sometimes, our prayer can positively affect others without us even realizing it
         Over 150 years ago in Russia there lived a Talmud scholar called Rabbi Yosef. He was an exceptionally gifted man both in mind and in humility. He know all of the Talmud -- both the Babylonian and Jerusalem versions --by heart, and was well-versed in the books of Halachah and Kabbalah as well. Now this Rabbi Yosef was considering applying for the post of rabbi in several large cities and, being a chassid of the second Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch, Rabbi DovBer, he traveled to Lubavitch to ask for the Rebbe's blessing and advice.
         But when he informed the Rebbe of his plan, the latter wasn't so enthusiastic. Rabbi DovBer looked up at Rabbi Yosef from his desk and said solemnly: "Rabbi Yosef, if you're ever offered the opportunity of being an important Rabbi, it's better for you to be a wagon driver."
         Even two days later, when he arrived home and told his wife what the Rebbe had said, he himself still hadn't exactly absorbed it. "If so", she said, "You must go down to the wagon drivers and ask their advice." "Advice on what?" he asked. "Advice on what type of carriage to buy. How much it will cost. How long it will take to learn." She answered. "Learn what?"
         He just shook his head in agreement every time his wife mentioned it, and went back to studying Talmud or something else and the time passed. Then about a month later a group of distinguished looking Jews knocked at Rabbi Yosef's door and officially offered him the prestigious position of rabbi of the city Minsk. They left with the promise that the would wait a week for his reply.
         As soon as they closed the door behind them, Rabbi Yosef's wife reminded him that now he had no choice other than to finally go talk to the wagon drivers.
         So the next morning Rabbi Yosef put on his fur coat and high boots and made a visit to the stables. At first the drivers thought he was a customer. Then they though he was joking or crazy. But when they saw he was neither, one of the older drivers agreed to show him around, carefully pointing out how each of the many things that a wagon driver did in the course of his workday was difficult, dirty, or dangerous.
         After several hours he returned home with a full report to his wife and a conclusion: a wagon and horse cost much more than they could afford, and that was the end of it. "Yosef!" said his wife emphatically. "Are you a chassid or not? The Rebbe wants you to be a wagon driver. I
ll sell my jewelry and our silver Shabbat candle sticks, and we'll buy a horse and a wagon." The next day they sold the jewelry, found a driver to teach him the ropes and even bought a wagon and a pair of horses.
         Two months later Rabbi Yosef was one of the town's drivers. He accepted his new job with as much joy as he could muster. He took good care of his horses and his carriage, and the other drivers always helped him and tried to give him the easiest trips. He also tried to keep himself as holy as possible. While he was driving he would recite the Talmud he knew by heart, and he never began working until he had devoted one hour to the morning prayer, but nevertheless his heart was broken inside him.
         One cold winter morning, as he was feeding his horses and getting the wagon ready for the day's work, a rich-looking, gentile businessman entered the stables and asked him if he was willing to take him to Petersburg. "That's a two-day journey", answered Rabbi Yosef. "I'll gladly take you, but I'm telling you now that I don't begin at the crack of dawn, like the other drivers. I am a Jew that believes in G-d and every morning I must pray for one hour." "Fine, fine,"
         The businessman replied. "Maybe on the second day I'll get another driver. The main thing is that I set out immediately. All my baggage is here and I want to leave as soon as possible." Rabbi Yosef wasted no time hitching up the horses and in fifteen minutes they were on their way. "Oy," thought Rabbi Yosef to himself as he was driving some lonely road far from town, "What will become of me? All day I have to look at the backside of these horses. What will become of me?"
         That night they stopped at an inn. Before they retired the businessman paid him for the day's journey, saying something about finding another driver that would leave early. They shook hands and the innkeeper showed them to their rooms. Rabbi Yosef woke, as was his custom, at midnight, washed his hands and began to recite the midnight prayer mourning the destruction of the Holy Temple. His heart was broken enough as it was, and when he began thinking of the terrible exile of the Jews the pain was too much to bear, he poured out his emotion into the words of the prayers. When he finished, he opened the volume of Talmud he always took along on his trips and began studying.
         At daybreak, he put on his tefillin and prayed the morning prayer. He had just put away tefillin back after praying, and was about to sit down and have something to eat, when suddenly the door opened and there stood his passenger. His clothes were disordered as though he hadn't slept all night and it was clear that he had been weeping. "I want to
put on . your tefillin," he said as he burst into uncontrollable tears and fell to one knee. "Oh please forgive me!" He wailed "My G-d, please, forgive me!"
          He collapsed on the floor with his face in his hands and his entire body shaking with heart-rending sobs. The astounded Rabbi Yosef watched with his mouth open in disbelief. He had never seen anything like this in his life! When the man had calmed down he explained: he was a Jew, but his lifestyle was exactly the opposite.
         The night before, he was about to go to sleep when he heard through the wall the midnight prayers of Rabbi Yosef. At first he paid no attention, and then he got angry because it was disturbing him; but then, slowly it woke up something inside of him. He remembered that when he was a boy his father used to pray like that. He now had long forgotten his youth but Rabbi Yosef's prayers changed all that. He decided firmly that he wanted to return to his true self -- he wanted to be a Jew again. Two days later they were standing before the Rebbe. Rabbi Yosef was informed that he had fulfilled the purpose of his strange career. For the wagon driver's passenger, the Rebbe wrote a treatise called Pokeach Ivrim to guide him on his journey back to Judaism, which is still learned to this very day.  Good Shabbos Everyone

 Good Shabbos Everyone.  In this week’s parsha Vayeitzeh we read about how, on the way to Charan, Yakov Avinu stopped to rest for the night. As he slept, Yakov dreamt that he saw a ladder. The famous dream of the ladder contains some of the most inspirational spiritual lessons of the entire Torah. The verse tells us that Yakov dreamt, and behold! A ladder was set on the earth and its top reached towards the heavens... (Bereishis 28:12)
         The Sages teach us that the ladder symbolizes the position of a Jew in this world. Although we stand on the ground like the base of the ladder, we strive to reach up to the heavens, like the top of the ladder in the dream. As the verse states, "A ladder was set on the earth and its top reached towards the heavens..."  The following story told in the first person illustrates the amazing climb of a few Jews in this world.
         My story starts many years before my own birth. My father grew up in Alexandria, Egypt, an avowed Communist and atheist. In 1949, when he was expelled from Egypt for illegal political activities, he moved to Israel, became an officer in the army and met my mother. Together they became members of a non-religious kibbutz.
         In 1954 they moved to Tasmania, Australia. The small Jewish community in Tasmania was totally assimilated. The president of the community approached my father and requested of him that since he was the only Jew in the community who knew Hebrew, would he please lead the services in the synagogue?
         Needless to say, my father was taken totally by surprise. "Are you absolutely crazy?" he asked. "I am an atheist. I know nothing about religion or G-d, nor do I believe in any of it!" Nevertheless, to his own amazement, the community won him over, and my father took on the job of leading the services. My father's belief in Communism had already been severely shaken years before when it became clear to him that the Communist "show" trials in Czechoslovakia were a sham.
         As a result, he and my mother started looking into Judaism and their feelings towards G-dliness gradually grew. They began to be attracted to the Torah and mitzvos and wished to abide by at least some of them. My mother remembered some of the laws of Shabbat and kashrus from her parents' home, so they kept whatever they could and thirsted for more. Yet this was not enough.
         Each day they prayed their own private prayers to G-d, that He should somehow send them some kind of information about Judaism. My mother, in particular, became convinced that since every generation in Jewish history always had a leader, anointed by G-d, to lead the Jewish people, there must be a leader assigned to lead and help the Jews of this generation, too. At that point she felt an urgency, and from the depth of her being cried out: "G-d! If there is a leader of this generation who has the absolute responsibility to help every Jew, then I demand of him, from this remote corner of the world, to reach out to us and help us, too!"
         Soon after this, Rabbi Chaim Gutnick, a Lubavitcher rabbi from Melbourne, Australia, unexpectedly received a letter from the Lubavitcher Rebbe, telling him to go to Tasmania. Although he had no idea why he was going, Rabbi Gutnick organized a visit to Tasmania.
         The moment he arrived in Tasmania, he was accosted by my parents who triumphantly announced to him: "Rabbi! You are the answer to our prayers! We have begged G-d to send us some information about how to be Jewish, and finally you are here. You must come to our house immediately and show us the ways of a Jew."
         So Rabbi Gutnick helped them and came back the following year as well. The Rebbe had literally stretched out his hand to a small island in distant Australia to answer the call of two lone Jews. This was the beginning of my parents' way up the eternal ladder of Judaism and their eternal attachment to the Rebbe.
         Later, it was my parents' turn to be the envoys of the Rebbe to save a Jewish soul. One day, out of the blue, my father received an invitation to go for nine months to Malaysia, a Muslim country with no Jewish community. He wrote to the Rebbe, who advised him to accept.
         During a private audience with the Rebbe, the Rebbe later told my parents that they were going to Malaysia on a mission to save Jewish souls. For the entire time that they were in Malaysia, however, they did not meet any Jews! They did meet a Buddhist monk called Mahinda.  Mahinda greatly admired the teachings of the Jews.
          One day, after they returned home to Sydney, Australia, my parents were contacted by a young Jewish woman from England. She told them that she had gone to Malaysia to search for spiritual truth and had wanted to study Budkhism with Mahinda. Mahinda asked her, "Why are you seeking truth in Budkhism? You can find all the truth you need in your own faith," and he sent her to my parents. The Rebbe's mission was successful: a Jewish soul was saved through their trip to Malaysia. The young woman is now married, and an active member of the Lubavitch community in Sydney!"  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 

Good Shabbos try to fortify your prayers, deeds and love for your fellow Jews so that the Moshiach can come speedily,
Rachamim Pauli