Friday, January 30, 2015

Parsha Beshallach, miracle and many stories

The soul of Naftali Moshe Ben Tziporah came to rest please remove him from the prayer list.

Parsha Beshallach

Oops our Parsha starts with Vayehi so could it be all good. It ended up well but 600 chariots and foot soldiers came after the Bnei Yisrael and that was the hidden bad in our Parsha.

During this year one Egyptian Archeologist claims to have found skulls and chariots in a spot on the lake area of Egypt but one cannot be certain. I know one thing, the Yam split whether it was a lake or in the red sea as claimed in a film that I had in past years.

13:17 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not by the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said: 'Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt.'

Slaves are submissive how can they fight a war with the Philistines? The only thing that they could do would be change their mental outlook.

18 But God led the people about, by the way of the wilderness by the Red Sea; and the children of Israel went up armed out of the land of Egypt.

Albeit round about and longer, they would taste freedom and be able to fight for it.

19 And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him; for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying: 'God will surely remember you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you.'

The children of Israel swore unto Yosef to take his bones to be buried in Israel and thus they did. The lesson learned from this is to be true to your word.

20 And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness. 21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; that they might go by day and by night: 22 the pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night, departed not from before the people.

The guidance of the L-RD is important. If we don’t have the L-RD to guide us we should go to the Chacham or Rabbi who uses the Torah as his guide. {See my commentary below on voting for bring the Moshiach and using the Torah as a guide in the coming elections in Eretz Yisrael.}

14:1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 2 'Speak unto the children of Israel, that they turn back and encamp before Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, before Baal-zephon, over against it shall ye encamp by the sea. 3 And Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel: They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in. 4 And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he shall follow after them; and I will get Me honor upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; and the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD.' And they did so.

Besides the very large distance involved in the evidence for sea splitting between the lower Sinai Desert in the narrow strip towards modern Saudi Arabia is the fact that most scholars seem to believe that Moshe and the people doubled back following the pillar and cloud. Either way moving children, the elderly and herds and flocks are no match for an army of young able bodied soldiers and chariots. Therefore it is no surprise that even with a three day head start, on the evening of the seventh day they would catch up.

5 And it was told the king of Egypt that the people were fled; and the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was turned towards the people, and they said: 'What is this we have done, that we have let Israel go from serving us?

What was the reason that Pharaoh hardened his heart? For this we have to go back to what Moshe said to Pharaoh in the beginning – let us go three days into the wilderness. I can only assume that the Egyptians were tracking the Bnei Yisrael at a distance and even through there was a doubling back according to some, they were not returning on the fourth day. The yes men of the Pharaoh suggested that the Bnei Yisrael were fleeing. It did not take too much of an excuse that the slave based economic policies was ruined and no great pyramid would be built for this Pharaoh if he lost his manpower. This combination was about to ruin Pharaoh and destroy Mitzrayim as a super-power. There is one ruler alive in the world today that has an uncanny resemblance to one of the Pharaoh Masks of the past. Could he be leading his country down the road to a similar fate with his inept political advisors?   

6 And he made ready his chariots, and took his people with him. 7 And he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, and captains over all of them. 8 And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel; for the children of Israel went out with a high hand. 9 And the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon. 10 And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians were marching after them; and they were sore afraid; and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD. 11 And they said unto Moses: 'Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? Wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to bring us forth out of Egypt?

There was great error in their logic. They were unable to analyze and see the larger picture. They thought that Pharaoh wanted to kill them. The only people that he might want to kill were two elderly men aged 83 and 80 who appeared before him with Chutzpa regarding the slave workers. They could not see his economic reasons. It is almost impossible for a true slave mentality to revolt against his master.

12 Is not this the word that we spoke unto thee in Egypt, saying: Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it were better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.'

These were the majority of the people who were afraid of change. Let me bring down some personal examples. My parent’s generation did not think too much of computers. My father when he first read about the possibility of genetic engineering back in the late 1950’s or early 1960’s laughed because they could not even do it on a frog and they were predicting great things. I originally thought who am I that I need a telephone where ever I go. However, as I wrote in my political commentary one cannot chase windmills and fight the technological or other revolutions but go into them with Halachic guidelines. This was the order of the resistance to change that a person established in their ways have. The slave mentality and welfare dependence on Pharaoh would be dominant in the thinking of many. It would take a Yehoshua Bin Nun and a Kalev or Hur to see the world clearly. It was dozens perhaps hundreds of people like myself coming from non-religious backgrounds during their prime of youth who were able to see Taharos Mishpacha over the sexual revolution which was dominating my “Woodstock” generation. Yet we see today a trend among people to return to modesty and longer lasting stable relations rather than the square dance of changing partners every few minutes (or months or years in flimsy marriages). The example of Rivka and Yitzchak may be extreme in one direction for some but it lasted while the trial marriages often fail.

13 And Moses said unto the people: 'Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will work for you to-day; for whereas ye have seen the Egyptians to-day, ye shall see them again no more forever.

You will never ever have to fear them again.

14 The LORD will fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.'
A number of years ago an army Chaplain or a Rabbi came across a West Point graduate with a Kipa on and he did not really look or act like an Orthodox Jew who was brought up in the Yeshiva World. The Officer told the Rabbi I was at the Military Academy and I asked my commander why we did not study the military tactics and victories of modern Israel especially the Sinai campaign and the Six Day War. The Colonel pulled the officer candidate aside. He said, “I know that you are Jewish and excited for your brethren. However, don’t ever question me in public about what I teach. I will tell you that by all accounts the Israelis should have lost all the wars. However, your G-D fights for you behind the scenes and that is why you win.

This is so true with the leaving of Mitzrayim the apparently aimless wondering around for 40 years before entering the land was under Chashgacha Pratius (individual guidance for heaven).
15 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Wherefore do you cry unto Me? Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward. 16 And lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thy hand over the sea, and divide it; and the children of Israel shall go into the midst of the sea on dry ground. 17 And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall go in after them; and I will get Me honor upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen. 18 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gotten Me honor upon Pharaoh, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.' 19 And the angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud removed from before them, and stood behind them; 20 and it came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel; and there was the cloud and the darkness here, yet gave it light by night there; and the one came not near the other all the night.

The cloud was strong like the plague of darkness that they could not move and the fear of the miracle gripped the soldiers. No one dared moved close to the camp of Yisrael.

And he came between the camp of Egypt: This can be compared to a person walking along the road with his son walking in front of him. [When] bandits came to capture him [the son], he [the father] took him from in front of him and placed him behind him. A wolf came behind him; so he put him [his son] in front of him. [When] bandits came in front of him and wolves behind him, he put him [his son] on his arms and fought them off. Similarly [the prophet depicts the angel protecting Israel when they drew near to the Red Sea], “But I sent to train Ephraim, he took them on his arms” (Hos. 11:3). — [from Mechilta]

21 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all the night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.

At first the sea did not split until Nachson ben Aminadav walked into the sea up to his nostrils and then it parted.  Medrash

With the strong east wind: [I.e.,] with the east wind, which is the strongest of the winds. That is the wind with which the Holy One, blessed be He, visits retribution upon the wicked, as it is said [in the following verses]: “With an east wind I will scatter them” (Jer. 18:17); “an east wind shall come, a wind of the Lord” (Hos. 13:15); “the east wind broke you in the heart of the seas” (Ezek. 27:26); “He spoke with His harsh wind on the day of the east wind” (Isa. 27:8). — [from Mechilta] And the waters split: All the water in the world. — [from Mechilta Exod. Rabbah 21:6]

22 And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.

I believe I brought down a movie with the low temperature of the desert of night where a forecaster states that with wind of such and such a velocity the water would freeze on the right and on the left. The Medrash remarks about 2 paths in the sea and the Pshat is one path wide enough to have all the nation, their goods, herds and flocks go through the passage in the course of the night.

23 And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.

At this point the cloud flew heavenly ward and the separation between Egypt and the Bnei Yisrael was removed. Could Pharaoh have been such a jerk that after the whole night of being stopped by the cloud continue on?

24 And it came to pass in the morning watch, that the LORD looked forth upon the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of cloud, and discomfited the host of the Egyptians. 25 And He took off their chariot wheels, and made them to drive heavily; so that the Egyptians said: 'Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the LORD fights for them against the Egyptians.'

There was panic and mutiny in the army. [This is the advantage that the people in modern Israel have when they fight, they know that their backs are to the wall and if they lose they will most likely be slaughter so they fight until the last bullet or in the case of Avigdor Kahalani on the Golan Heights to the last tank shell. On the other hand, we are luck nowadays, HASHEM is redeeming us even if we are not truly worthy but the time has come. Just as Moshe and the Bnei Yisrael did not forget their promise to Yosef, so too the good L-RD G-D does not forget HIS promise unto Avraham, Yitzchak and Yacov.]

26 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Stretch out thy hand over the sea, that the waters may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.' 27 And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.

When the morning appeared: This is a principle that I learned in the anti-gas warfare rescue drill. The best time to use chemical weapons is in the hours around dawn and dusk when the local winds die down. It can be that just before sunset the wind is coming from such and such a direct, one goes to Schul and it calms down. Then the wind can pick up later from another direction. And a similar phenomenon occurs around dawn. So based on the theory of the wind chill freezing the water on the left and on the right of the Bnei Yisrael and the temperatures starting to warm up, the result would be cracking and melting ice that cannot hold the water pressure back any more.

28 And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, even all the host of Pharaoh that went in after them into the sea; there remained not so much as one of them. 29 But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. 30 Thus the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea-shore.

The sea spat out the bodies of the Egyptians on the banks of the water. What happened to the souls of these soldiers that died that day? I assume if they feared G-D that much either they entered Gan Eden or were allowed to reincarnate as a Jew or become in a different life a Ger Tzeddek. (This is only a logical person thought based upon HASHEM doing Chessed to thousands and Emmes which we shall see later on when HE shows Moshe HIS back.)

31 And Israel saw the great work which the LORD did upon the Egyptians, and the people feared the LORD; and they believed in the LORD, and in His servant Moses.

We now have the Bnei Yisrael breaking out in son at once.

15:1 Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spoke, saying: I will sing unto the LORD, for He is highly exalted; the horse and his rider hath He thrown into the sea.

Then…sang: Heb. אָז יָשִׁיר. [The future tense presents a problem. Therefore, Rashi explains:] Then, when he [Moses] saw the miracle, it occurred to him to recite a song, and similarly, “Then Joshua spoke (אָז יְדַבֵּר יְהוֹשֻׁעַ)” (Josh. 10:12); and similarly, “and the house [which] he would make (יַעֲשֶׂה) for Pharaoh’s daughter” (I Kings 7: 8), [which means] he decided to make it for her. Here too, יָשִׁיר [in the future tense means that] his heart dictated to him that he should sing, and so he did, “and they spoke, saying, I will sing to the Lord.’ ” Likewise, with [the above reference to] Joshua, when he saw the miracle [of the defeat of the Amorite kings (Josh. 10:11)], his heart dictated to him that he speak [praises to God], and so he did, “and he said in the sight of Israel” (Josh. 10:12). Likewise, the song of the well, with which [Scripture] commences: “Then Israel sang (אָז יָשִׁיר)” (Num. 21:17), it explains after it, “Ascend, O well!, sing to it.” [I.e., in these three instances, the “yud” of the future tense denotes the thought, and after each one, Scripture continues that the thought was brought to fruition.] “Then did Solomon build (אָז יִבְנֶה) a high place” (I Kings 11:7); the Sages of Israel explain that he sought to build [it] but did not build [it] (Sanh. 91b). We [thus] learn that the “yud” may serve to indicate a thought. This is to explain its simple meaning, but the midrashic interpretation is [as follows]: Our Rabbis of blessed memory stated: From here is an allusion from the Torah to the resurrection of the dead (Sanh. 91b, Mechilta), and so it is [i.e., the future tense is used] with them all, except that of Solomon, which they explained as [implying] “he sought to build but did not build.” One cannot say and explain this form like other words written in the future, but which mean [that they occurred] immediately, such as “So would Job do (וָעִשֶׂה)” (Job 1:5); “by the command of the Lord would they encamp (יַחֲנוּ)” (Num. 9:23); “And sometimes the cloud would be (יִהְיֶה)” (Num. 9:21), because that is [an example of] something that occurs continually, and either the future or the past is appropriate for it, but that which occurred only once [i.e., the song that was sung], cannot be explained in this manner. — A horse and its rider: Both bound to one another, and the water lifted them up high and brought them down into the depths, and [still] they did not separate. — [from Mechilta] He cast: Heb. רָמָה, [meaning] He cast, and similarly, “and they were cast (וּרְמִיו) into the burning, fiery furnace” (Dan. 3:21). The aggadic midrash, however, [states as follows]: One verse (verse 1) says: רָמָה בַיָם, [derived from רוּם, meaning “to cast up,”] and one verse (verse 4) says: יָרָה בַיָם [meaning “to cast down”]. [This] teaches us that they [the horse and rider] went up and [then] descended into the deep, [i.e., they were thrown up and down]. [The meaning of יָרָה is here] similar to: “who laid (יָרָה) its cornerstone” (Job 38:6), [which signifies laying the stone] from above, downward. — [from Mechilta, Tanchuma, Beshallach 13]

My nephew was asked where is it hinted in this week’s Parsha on the resurrection of the dead in the future? The wording in Hebrew is: Then Moshe and the Bnei Yisrael will sing. When is then? In the days of the Moshiach!

… 17 Thou bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of Thine inheritance, the place, O LORD, which Thou hast made for Thee to dwell in, the sanctuary, O Lord, which Thy hands have established.

This has not occurred other than the sanctuary of the L-RD HIMSELF as there is no Mishkan or Mikdash yet and they have not yet received their inheritance. This is rather faith for a bright future.

18 The LORD shall reign for ever and ever.

To all eternity: Heb. לְעֹלָם וָעֶד. [This is] an expression of eternity, and the “vav” in it is part of the root. Therefore, it is punctuated with a “pattach.” But in “and I am He Who knows, and [I am] a witness וָעֵד” (Jer. 29:23), in which the “vav” is a prefix, it is punctuated with a “kamatz.”

19 For the horses of Pharaoh went in with his chariots and with his horsemen into the sea, and the LORD brought back the waters of the sea upon them; but the children of Israel walked on dry land in the midst of the sea.
20 And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. 21 And Miriam sang unto them: Sing ye to the LORD, for He is highly exalted: the horse and his rider hath He thrown into the sea. …

From such a high lofty elevation and the people were out of stock of grain for bread. They complain and sink to the basic level.

16:9 And Moses said unto Aaron: 'Say unto all the congregation of the children of Israel: Come near before the LORD; for He hath heard your murmurings.' 10 And it came to pass, as Aaron spoke unto the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and, behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud. 11 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 12 'I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel. Speak unto them, saying: At dusk ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God.' 13 And it came to pass at even, that the quails came up, and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew round about the camp. 14 And when the layer of dew was gone up, behold upon the face of the wilderness a fine, scale-like thing, fine as the hoar-frost on the ground. 15 And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another: 'What is it?'--for they knew not what it was. And Moses said unto them: 'It is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat. 16 This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded: Gather ye of it every man according to his eating; an omer a head, according to the number of your persons, shall ye take it, every man for them that are in his tent.' 17 And the children of Israel did so, and gathered some more, some less. 18 And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating. 19 And Moses said unto them: 'Let no man leave of it till the morning.' 20 Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and rotted; and Moses was wroth with them. 21 And they gathered it morning by morning, every man according to his eating; and as the sun waxed hot, it melted. 22 And it came to pass that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one; and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. 23 And he said unto them: 'This is that which the LORD hath spoken: To-morrow is a solemn rest, a holy sabbath unto the LORD. Bake that which ye will bake, and seethe that which ye will seethe; and all that remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.' 24 And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade; and it did not rot, neither was there any worm therein. 25 And Moses said: 'Eat that to-day; for to-day is a sabbath unto the LORD; to-day ye shall not find it in the field. 26 Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.' 27 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that there went out some of the people to gather, and they found none.

This is proof of the holiness of Shabbos day and a distinction from the profane week days unto Shabbos.

28 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'How long refuse ye to keep My commandments and My laws? 29 See that the LORD hath given you the sabbath; therefore He giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.'

This is the establishment of Shabbos boundaries.

30 So the people rested on the seventh day. 31 And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna; and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey. 32 And Moses said: 'This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded: Let an omerful of it be kept throughout your generations; that they may see the bread wherewith I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you forth from the land of Egypt.' 33 And Moses said unto Aaron: 'Take a jar, and put an omerful of manna therein, and lay it up before the LORD, to be kept throughout your generations.' 34 As the LORD commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the Testimony, to be kept. 35 And the children of Israel did eat the manna forty years, until they came to a land inhabited; they did eat the manna, until they came unto the borders of the land of Canaan. 36 Now an omer is the tenth part of an ephah.

This last line is to give you an idea of the measurement and people have found a stone in Yerushalayim which was an Omer weight.

17:1 And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, by their stages, according to the commandment of the LORD, and encamped in Rephidim; and there was no water for the people to drink. 2 Wherefore the people strove with Moses, and said: 'Give us water that we may drink.' And Moses said unto them: 'Why strive ye with me? wherefore do ye try the LORD?' 3 And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said: 'Wherefore hast thou brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?' 4 And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying: 'What shall I do unto this people? they are almost ready to stone me.' 5 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Pass on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smote the river, take in thy hand, and go. 6 Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink.' And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7 And the name of the place was called Massah, and Meribah, because of the striving of the children of Israel, and because they tried the LORD, saying: 'Is the LORD among us, or not?'

Instead of praying for water, they revolted and it became a showdown between Moshe and the people. It should have been a time for supplementation before the L-RD. So the punishment was swift to come.

8 Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. 9 And Moses said unto Joshua: 'Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek; tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.' 10 So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11 And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

The Gemara asks the question: Does the hand of Moshe really make or break a battle? No, rather when the people turned their eyes heavenward, then they received help from HASHEM in the battle. Now for the remembrance:

14 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Write this for a memorial in the book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.' 15 And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Adonai-nissi. 16 And he said: 'The hand upon the throne of the LORD: the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.'


Miraculous Escape before the vehicle caught fire:,7340,L-4620519,00.html

Start getting Rich this Tuesday by YISROEL SUSSKIND

On Tuesday, parshas Beshalach, January 25, 2008, at 1 PM, my colleague, Mr. Chaim-Yedidya Fischer, told me that date presented a special opportunity to gain a blessing for one's livelihood. There is an orally transmitted tradition going back to the Chassidic Rebbe Menachem-Mendel of Riminov (1755-1815) that one obtains a blessing for material bounty by reading the Torah verses (Exodus 16:4 -36) describing the manna on the Tuesday of the week of parshas Beshalach [2015: Jan. 27 -ed.]. Manna is the food that came from Heaven and sustained the Israelites during their 40 years in the desert.
Many people read parshas ha-mon ("the manna passage") on a daily basis, so you can draw on its benefits any day of the year. However, its powers to bring down blessings are particularly strong on the Tuesday of parshas Beshalach, the weekly Torah portion that contains the verses.
I fleetingly thought that this was a nice custom and prepared to move on with my day. But only three minutes later, at 1:03, I received a phone call from a friend, a man in his fifties who had been out of work for many months. He was having trouble finding a position commensurate with his qualifications that was as good as his last job. I had been concerned about the strain he was under. He announced that this week he had gotten an excellent position and felt that he had to call me today to share the good news.
Whoa! That got my attention. Coincidence? I went back to Mr. Fischer and told him the story. He reciprocated by giving me a copy of the Torah reading about the manna, with an accompanying prayer for a blessing for livelihood. He added that this custom had been popularized by "a revered rabbi in Brooklyn," who said that it is an oral tradition from Reb Menachem Mendel of Riminov
To place the Riminover in context: he was a student of Rabbi Elimelech of Lyzhinsk (1717-1787), known as "the Rebbe Reb Meilech," one of the leading students of the Maggid of Mezritch, successor to the Baal Shem Tov. Three of Reb Meilech's students had a particularly powerful influence on the development of the Chassidic movement in Galicia: The Riminover, the Chozeh of Lublin and the Maggid of Koznitz. One of the Riminover's students was Reb Naftali of Ropshitz, who in turn was the Rebbe of the Divrei Chaim of Sanz.
I am a psychologist; I was on my way to visit a client of mine who was depressed, who had been unable to motivate himself to seek work. I decided to take with me the reading provided by Mr. Fischer. When I showed it to my client, he pulled out his own copy, which had been distributed that morning in his synagogue. We agreed to read the verses together.
My client said to me that he believed the "revered Rabbi in Brooklyn" who popularized the custom was the Paya Rov, Rabbi Moshe-Dov Weinberger. Paya is the Yiddish name for Opalyi, a village in Northeastern Hungary, 30 miles northwest of Satmar.
After that appointment, I was scheduled to meet a colleague who is a Skverer Chosid. When I mentioned to him the issue of parshas ha-mon, he also pulled out a copy that had been distributed in his synagogue that morning. He told me that his grandfather, Rabbi Mordechai ("Max") Schwartz of Serdehel, Slovakia, had survived the Holocaust and then was fortunate to become a very wealthy man in New Square. He once asked his grandfather how he had become so successful. His grandfather attributed it to the fact that he began every day by reading a small portion of a book by Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Riminov
That book, Menachem Zion, discusses the weekly readings of the Torah. What is unique about the book is that the author relates each of his weekly commentaries to parshas ha-mon. For example, here is a very brief synopsis of his very first essay. In Gen. 2:3, it says, "He blessed the seventh day and sanctified it." What were the blessing and the sanctification?
Explains the Riminover, "He blessed it with manna and he sanctified it with manna." To "bless" means to give extra. Each day of the week, the Jews in the desert had one omer (a measure) of manna. But for Shabbos, they were provided a double portion, which fell on Friday. To "sanctify" means to make separate or different. Shabbos was set apart by the fact that no manna fell or was collected on Shabbos.
What does this mean in spiritual terms? Manna represents G-d's helping us to connect with Him through our limited intellectual powers of thought and speech; just as manna is a gift from G-d that we did not earn, so too is G-d's helping us to understand him through our intellect.
This concept is very similar to what the Alter Rebbe (of Chabad) says about the words "Toras Chesed al l'shona" in Aishes Chayil. The words "Toras Chesed" mean "a Torah of loving kindness." The Alter Rebbe asks "what is the chesed referred to in this phrase?" He answers that it is an act of loving kindness to us that G-d put Himself into the Torah in such a way that allows us to use Torah study as a means to get close to Him.
During Shabbos, those intellectual powers are increased. Therefore, we are advised that during the six days of the week we should focus on listening rather than speaking, on learning established material rather than teaching innovations, as preparation for Shabbos. Our capacity to give over and to receive innovations (chidushim) is enhanced on Shabbos.
At 6 PM, I called the Paya Rov's home to verify the story and spoke with an adult daughter. She said that her father confirmed the story: he had heard of the tradition from his father, Rabbi Yechezkel Shraga Weinberger, who had heard it from Rabbi Avraham Sholom Halberstam, the son of the Shinover Rov, Rabbi Yechezkel-Shraga Halberstam (1813-1898), who said that his father had related the tradition in the name of Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Riminov.
"Whoa" #2, #3 and #4. The Shinover Rov served for 7 years as the Rabbi of the town from which my ancestors came, Stropkov, Slovakia. I am descended from Weinbergers on both my father's and mother's side. And it appears that I am a very distant cousin of this Paya Rov. Further, the Rabbi Avraham Sholom Halberstam, just mentioned, took over from his father and became the Rabbi of my ancestors' town of Stropkov.
I began to research some of the details and found a missing link in this chain. Rabbi Menachem-Mendel of Riminov died in 1815, at which time the Shinover Rov was two years old. So the Shinover Rov must have heard of the Riminover's tradition from someone else. I called back the Paya Rov's household and was told he assumed that the Shinover heard it from the gabbai (personal attendant) and disciple-successor of the Riminover, Reb Tzvi-Hirsch. At one time, the Shinover was a student of Reb Tzvi-Hirsch.
I spoke with the current Stropkover Rebbe, Rabbi Avraham-Sholom-Yissachar Dov Halberstam of Jerusalem, who confirmed that there is a tradition in his family, which the Shinover passed down in the name of the Riminover, that saying parshas ha-mon on the Tuesday of parshas Beshalach is an auspicious act for receiving blessings of livelihood.
At this point, I decided to write up the story and emailed it to my list of friends.
I soon had a number of responses. One was from Rabbi Yosef Katzman of Crown Heights, who directed me to a teaching of the Lubavitcher Rebbe for parshas Beshalach 5253 on this topic (Likutei Sichos vol. 26, pp. 95-102). The Rebbe documents the custom of reading parshas ha-mon to strengthen two qualities: one's faith (emunah) that all that we have comes from G-d; and one's trust and confidence (bitochon) in difficult times that G-d will provide our needs. The act of experiencing that faith and confidence is a vessel that brings down blessings.
Nonetheless, the Rebbe sets some conditions on when parshas ha-mon should be read. He acknowledges that many prayer books contain parshas ha-mon at the end of the morning prayers. However, the Rebbe explains that the Alter Rebbe followed the example of the Arizal (Rabbi Yitzchak Luria of Tzefat) and did not include parshas ha-mon in his siddur. His siddur included primarily those prayers which could be traced back to the customs initiated by the Men of the Great Assembly (at the time of Ezra the scribe, ca. 3426/335 BCE - see Pirkei Avot 1:1-2).
Another response was from my previously un-employed friend. He called to say that he was offered another job, by his former employer. Apparently, the executive who had fired him was himself fired, and the new administrator wanted him back. He has agreed to resume working for them, but as an independent consultant. Thank you, Rabbi Menachem-Mendel of Riminov.
I have learned about three aspects of bounty. One, materially, is that pashas ha-mon offers a blessing for livelihood, especially, but not only, on Tuesday of parshas Beshalach. Second, spiritually, saying parshas ha-mon can strengthen our faith and confidence. Third, emotionally, there is benefit in following what stirs you emotionally. When this story began, I did not know that this story would lead me to connections in my family's personal history. I just felt a passionate stirring that I chose to value.
May it be that our spiritual and emotional connections to Torah and its precious words create a vessel for the ultimate bounty, with the coming of Moshiach, may that be immediately NOW!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Source: My good friend Dr. Yisroel ("Ed") Susskind (Ph.D.) is a clinical psychologist who practices locally in Monsey, New York, and internationally over the telephone. His email address is and his cell phone is 845-304-5481. He is careful to cite that this article was originally prepared for the Nshei Chabad Newsletter and benefitted significantly from their editorial input.
Biographical note:
Rabbi Menachem-Mendel of Riminov (1755-19 Iyar 1815] was an important Rebbe in the third generation of hassidism. His was a main disciple of the Rebbe Elimelech, and many rebbes of the succeeding generation studied with him. His teachings are collected in Menachem Zion and other works.

Connection: This year (2015), Tuesday in Beshalach week falls on January 27.
Editor's note:
For your convenience, here is a link to the original Hebrew text of Parshas ha-Mon, voweled, and with English translation.

Jan 27th marked the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. My cousin Herbert Heller tells briefly his story in a short documentary that won students a prize. Thanks to Vivian Heller Cohain

How does one explain the Taste of Shabbos?

A Facebook Friend of mine wrote about the new $242,000,000,000 high-speed trans-Siberian Railroad being built. There was a proposed 7 day train ride from Moscow to Beijing. There was a great dining car in the proposal.

I mentioned to him that a 7 day cruise I might not have any problem with (after all one has a private cabin and the ship is large and I ate kosher at a table for two daily but the small confines of a train!

I tried to explain it to him as follows but I don’t know how well I did in the little time from my schedule: Hi Richard,
The taste of and laws of the Jewish Sabbath are hard to explain.
One might be crossing a border on the Sabbath or they stop at a town and you are confined to a small space not like a large liner which also has a private room I personally would also feel cramped. The atmosphere of not having Shabbos with a group of more people is also not very appealing to me. That is why most Orthodox Jews take special kosher tours or plan their tours like the National Parks around Synagogues in Seattle, Salt Lake City, Montana or Las Vegas where to be on the holy Sabbath. For us Sabbath is a community and family celebration. It is similar to Moses saying to Pharaoh we will go 3 days in the Wilderness to serve our G-D and we do not know what is required of us. I have been in motels in SD but I had a private room to celebrate privately and walk around the town with my wife and see a museum and window "shop" on the Sabbath but I was basically encamped with my food. The pleasure of absolute rest and communion on a family level with G-D is hard to explain. It is as if 6 days we are in a lunatic world and one day we have a taste of heaven and the true world.
All the best,

From Gail Bus Driver Herzl Biton of Bus # 40 describes the attack

Stabber Bus driver seriously wounded in attack, purposely hit the brakes on his bus to drive the terrorist away from passengers.  By Ido Ben-Porat, Tova Dvorin  Arutz Sheva  First Publish: 1/24/2015,



Herzl Biton, the bus driver who was seriously injured while fighting terrorist Hamza Mohammed Hassan Matrouk during a stabbing spree in Tel Aviv Wednesday, described his ordeal in an emotional Channel 10 interview Saturday night. 
"I had no choice, I had to save the passengers," Biton stated, from his hospital bed in Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital. "He stabbed me while driving & went to the middle of the bus & began to stab passengers."
"Then he began to rock the bus from side to side, so that people standing on the street will notice that there is a problem," Biton added.
Biton said that he purposely directed Matrouk toward him so that he could enable passengers to escape while they could. 
"I had no choice but to bring him to me," Biton stated. "I hit the brakes so that he flew like a bird [up front] to my seat."
"I jumped out of my chair , grabbed his left hand, & started to spray him with tear gas," he continued. "I gave him a punch & he punched me back. Because I was losing a lot of blood, there was a pool of [my] blood next to me & I slipped in it." 
Meanwhile, passengers had wrenched open the bus doors & fled - but it was not enough to stop Matrouk, who left the bus & began walking toward Yitzhak Sadeh Street in the heart of the city. 
But despite his injuries, Biton "left the bus & started chasing him," he recounted. 
Biton was commended by Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi David Lau Wednesday night for his heroism during the attack, which injured 12 people. 
Rabbi Lau stated that Biton's actions saved lives & that he had the special privilege of being the messenger through which the commandment of saving a life was fulfilled - & would gain merit for it spiritually. 
"We believe that everyone who saves a Jewish life saves the entire world, & Herzl was a messenger for a mitzvah to save the passengers & we believe & pray that he will recover soon with all the other wounded," he said. 

Non-Compos Mentos Dept.
1)    Two Arab Criminals either stabbed or murdered a third man they dumped him at a gas station with security cameras in the middle of the night. Road blocks were set up and the men in their 20’s were caught.
2)    Five High Ranking Police Officers have had to quit in the last couple of months at least 3 or 4 for harassing lesser police female officers. So you would think that the main candidate for head of the Israeli Police would cease and desist all contact with female officers. Nope-he continued harassment and a lesser officer reported that his lower ranking female policewoman was have psychological trouble after the big-boss sodomized her. Although I am against bringing in outsiders perhaps a retired police officer or general should take over and clean out the department of all the weeds that have grown up over the years.,7340,L-4619201,00.html
3)    Hi Security Arabic Speaking reserve IDF soldier targeted by idiots for speaking Arabic:,7340,L-4619343,00.html 

Finally from the Author about missionaries trying to steal Jewish Neshamos.

Last week Rabbi Dovid Winiarz Z”L died in an icy crash just look at this saved by a split second:

From Rachel: I have to share this story. Everyone has stories of inspiration about Dovid. I've got one to show you how Dovid got involved even in the ridiculously mundane details to help a friend. On September 4th, 2014, I was having one of my typical melt-downs trying to get ready for Shabbos. I know the date, because it is well documented in my Facebook private messages. So I was venting to Dovid as usual, trying to get some chizuk as I was running out of time to get stuff done, and I made a comment in exasperation telling him that I have to run to the store (which I have no time for) because I was totally out of toilet paper. His response, and I quote, "Out of toilet paper? That's B'S. Literally." He tells me to stay put, don't go to the store. Not 10 minutes later, he shows up at my door with a 12-pack of TP he just happened to have just picked up at Stop n Shop on one of his food pantry-donation business runs. One of the many days that my dear, sweet, irreplaceable best friend Dovid has saved my sanity. One of the many mundane ways he was also so HUMAN. I love this man. Dovid Winiarz, please come back with Moshiach already. We miss you too much.

Author Joan Peters Passes away! Part 1

It is a fact that she started out pro-Arab and her research told her different things. She ended up dying a convert to Judaism. This should have been published a few weeks ago but a poor busy Rabbi doesn’t always find time. Since this tribute is deservingly long, I have broken this up to a number of parts.

From Gail: It is with great sadness I write this -  
I am sorry to let you know our friend Joan Peters Caro has passed away. 
Funeral services are Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015 at 10AM at Anshe Emet, 3751 North Broadway Street, Chicago.  I do not yet have Shiva information.
Joan's amazing book From Time Immemorial, The Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict over Palestine, was published in 1984.  To quote another friend, Richard Baehr, "It would be fair to say that no book in the last 30 plus years, has caused greater unhappiness and psychiatric disturbance among the large number of Israel haters around the world than this book."
She was a personal friend (to many of us) and a champion for our beloved Israel.  I will miss her passion and wisdom, her great stories, her calls and emails and dinners with her and Bill.
Joan was a great lady...     FROM: Cheryl Jacobs Lewin

From:  Gail & Manny Z”L       

Gaza War Diary of Thursday Dec. 11, 2014 

Dear Family & Friends,
When I started M.E.I.R., (which means the Enlightener) Mid East Information Resource after the vote in the UN that Zionism is Racism on November 10, 1975 as a Jewish Speakers’ Bureau to fight Arab Propaganda, little did I realize that I’d still be doing it today – 40 years later. I began MEIR by teaching about the “Forced Expulsions of Jews from The Arab Muslim World” (see excerpts of Joan’s book below).
Joan Peters, z’l helped MEIR by volunteering to teach in our weekly seminars so we would know our history, geography, politics, ’real-politique’’et al’. She gave me the 16 mm film “The Dhimmi: To Be A Jew In Arab Lands” which I showed & taught in a group discussion. I still have that 16 mm film. It’s an antique now, but still a valuable tool – as is Joan’s monumental book: “From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Israel Conflict Over Palestine” (1984). Manny & I gave Joan our enthusiastic moral support while she spent the 7 years researching & writing this “sine qua non” masterpiece. She didn’t need any other help.  Joan was also my key-note speaker for several pro-Israel events & conferences.
Joan Peters, z’l, who wrote the amazing ‘sine qua non’ (without which there isn’t…) world awakening book: “From Time Immemorial: Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict Over Palestine”, was one of our best Seminar leaders. She taught us what you see in brief below: There were 850,000 Jews from Arab countries who had lived in the Middle East & North Africa for centuries – under total Muslim domination… as ‘dhimmis’- second class citizens. Joan gave me a 16 mm 45 minute film documenting their history – & why they knew we Jews could never, ever negotiate a peace agreement with the Arab Muslims as countries, tribes, or individuals. I took that film, a 16 mm projector, screen & documents to all the organizations who wanted & needed to know this piece of history we had never been taught. Why not? Because living under strict Sharia Law, the Jews were never allowed to, never free to write their own history.
Today, I am pleased to see that finally that history is beginning to be learned & understood by our people all over the world & especially in Israel where it is so needed. We in Israel are finally recognizing the history of the 850,000 Jews from Arab Lands & honoring them.
By now we should know we don’t negotiate with the Muslim Arab world & expect them to keep any negotiated agreement beyond 10 years. Because Mohammed signed The Hudabaiya Treaty with the Jewish Qaraish tribe in Mecca in the 7th Century for 10 years.  Because he broke it in 2 years when he was militarily stronger, attacked & defeated the Jewish tribe, decapitated 800 Jewish men, selling the women & children into slavery.
That is exactly what ISIS, ISIL, AQAP, IS, HAMAS, DAESH, PLO, PA…etc. are doing now. THAT’S from where & why the beheading, the murdering with knives, guns, vehicles comes to us all in the civilized world.

The Article is continuing next week and afterwards

From Joel W. All I can say is WOW! B”H who has produced such works of Creation!

In the last minute they got their act together people who are right wing who follow Rabbis both Nationalist and G-D Fearing. They have my vote and endorsement. Yachad-Otzma.
Now you might argue that I am going perhaps against what I wrote above as the majority of my guiding Rabbis vote for a pragmatic party but that party is more worried about avoiding army service and against the internet and smart phones in their newspapers. However they make an exception for business without placing Halachic boundaries on the use. I will not fight windmills on a Gezaira that their followers get around by being ‘businessmen’. If the Tzibur can’t follow the ruling then we must relax the restriction as one cannot fight technology. So when I vote I do have my commentary in mind: 22 the pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night, departed not from before the people. The guidance of the L-RD is important. If we don’t have the L-RD to guide us we should go to the Chacham or Rabbi who uses the Torah as his guide.
Now there was another political party on that right that I was thinking of but their leader unfortunately is moving away from their original Torah Principles and going after his own heart and eyes (Bamidbar 15) to make his party into an alternative for the Likud. So I became disappointed in a party that was going according to my political principles but going against the original principles of their Rabbinical Guides. Where I am today in my vote is both Torah and my heart for one needs an army and those unable to really be great Torah leaders should serve, people should pay taxes and obey the laws of the land and fix the laws if they are not within the confines of Torah. The ultimate goal when one votes should be the following question: Are the people that I vote for to rule Eretz Yisrael going to help or hinder the coming of the Moshiach and Redemption to our people and the world? What political party can best further the establishment of G-D’s Kingdom on this earth? So those of you who vote otherwise, I wish you all good health but only vote for the sake of heaven in Eretz Yisrael.

Rabbi accidently locked in Auschwitz and arrested for 5 hours not so funny for him.,7340,L-4620645,00.html

Inyanay Diyoma

For France nothing but for his king!,7340,L-4618599,00.html

For Europe and other places: Kippa made of hair allows Jews to don religious headgear without revealing identity.,7340,L-4618132,00.html

ISIS Terrorists murder Japanese and want prisoner released:

Even Israeli Media Distributor caves into Arab Boycott Pressure so what do we want from the Goyim?

(Washington, DC): Dozens of national security professionals & conservative thought leaders have signed a letter to Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana congratulating him on his recent remarks to the Henry Jackson Society in London, during which he forthrightly identified the threat posed by the Islamic jihadist movement & the shariah doctrine it seeks to impose globally, & the fundamental incompatibility of that doctrine with American Constitutional freedoms.
Among those who signed the letter are: Lt. Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin, US Army (Ret.), Former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence; Executive Vice President, Family Research Council Andrew C. McCarthy, Former Chief Assistant United States Attorney, Southern District of New York; Bestselling author ofWillful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad & The Grand Jihad  Hon. J. Kenneth Blackwell, Former U.S. Ambassador, U.N. Human Rights Commission Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council Brigitte Gabriel, Founder & CEO, ACT for America  Amb. Hank Cooper, High Frontier Lt. Col. Kenneth J. Benway, US Army Special Forces (Ret.), Co-Founder, Special Operations Speaks

From Gail: David Bedein vindicated after 20 years for proof of HAMAS-FATAH terror agreement in this document:

According to independent sources from Gail the Hezballah and Iranians were planning an invasion of the Galil because of Netanyahu and Yaalon’s failure in Gaza to take out Hamas it is a sign of weakness. R.P. - Debka reported last week that it was an advanced base for sneaking in anti-Israel Druze fighters across the border from Syria and the setting up of a missile base to hit precisionally all of Israel.

Netanyahu blasted by Fox News. The real question is whether the Iranian threat is so great that it was necessary for Netanyahu to act against the President or is it internal Israeli Politics? Whatever the reason it does not look so good from a US internal standpoint.,7340,L-4618729,00.html

In areas where my son and I patrolled tension has increased. Alerts were sounded and tuned down last night again regarding armed men.

40 pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel protesters were evicted from the NYC Council Chamber after shouting abuse at the members during a meeting commemorating the 1.1 million people killed at Auschwitz.This was the angry response from Councilman, David G. Greenfield;

From Christina: Islamic Terror on Muslims:,7340,L-4619083,00.html

This was on the Israeli TV what happens when a non-Jew Swede puts on a Kipa in Malmo Sweden:

40 pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel protesters were evicted from the NYC Council Chamber after shouting abuse at the members during a meeting commemorating the 1.1 million people killed at Auschwitz.This was the angry response from Councilman, David G. Greenfield;

Extreme Leftists in Intel Unit Dishonorably discharged:

It was on the news in Israel but not the internet papers: US House Speaker: White House was notified of Netanyahu invitationDEBKAfile January 26, 2015, 7:29 PM (IDT)
US House Speaker John Boehner said Monday that a notice was sent to the White House some hours before he announced he was inviting Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyanu to address Congress on Iran and terrorism. “There is nobody in the world who can talk about the threat of radical terrorism,” said the Speaker, “nobody can talk about the threat that the Iranians pose, not just to the Middle East and to Israel, our longest ally, but to the entire world, but Bibi Netanyahu.”

Brilliant Satire from Chaim B. This is a comment made on the internet following the report of the murder of twelve individuals in Paris today:

"My condolences to the families of those killed.

More importantly, this attack only underscores the need for France to
immediately engage in negotiations with French Muslims that will
result in the creation of two states for two peoples, living side by
side in peace and security, with Paris as a shared capital..."

A Nuclear Bomb needed to put down Israel says Iranian Cleric: Dated Jan 4, 2014:

Analysis Hezballah wants to extract a bloody toll:,7340,L-4619561,00.html

Time for the White House Security to get Israeli Technology in exchange for Pollard.

From my cousin Ingrid: Rivlin at West Point.

Yesterday afternoon 4 rockets were fired in the direction of Israel. We replied knocking out a Syrian base which fired the rockets and at night destroyed a few more Syrian Bases. This morning at 11:35 AM an RPV was fired at an armored vehicle with injuries per the Hezballah TV photos could be dead. One Spanish soldier killed on the Lebanese side near the Hezballah post. We replies and firing back and forth is going on now. 6 injured in Tsfat and some helicopter evacuated in Rambam Hospital more troops being sent to the north at this time. Schools on both sides evacuated and the roads reopened. The Security Cabinet is meeting with the General Staff in the Kiriah in Tel Aviv. No special security message for residents except to have shelters open:
*Two soldiers were killed in the attack and of the injured 5 were soldiers in Tsfat and 2 soldiers in the Rambam the others were Alawite from the border town GHADAR. Update with names of the dead:

MISSING PEACE: How Iran Continues To Deceive The West
      Last week’s IAF strike on a Hezb’Allah convoy near Kuneitra on the Israel-Syria border in which six members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) were killed has led to increased Iranian threats to annihilate the Jewish State.
     Iranian top officials vowed to hit Israel with ‘devastating thunderbolts’ that would cause “the collapse of the Zionist regime”. The IAF strike killed Brig. Gen. Mohammad Ali Allahdadi who oversaw Iranian military actions in Syria on behalf of Syrian president, al-Assad.
     The presence of the IRGC members on the Golan Heights in Syria has led to speculation that Iran & Hezb’Allah were on the verge of executing a military operation against Israel.
Eyal Ben Reuven, a retired Israeli major general & former deputy head of the Northern Command of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) last week said that if the “highest level of Hezb’Allah & IRGC commanders were in the Golan Heights it means that what they’re planning could be an operation on a high level”.
      Other reports claimed that Hezb’Allah planned to bring rocket launchers to the Kuneitra area in order to open a new front against Israel from the Golan Heights.
     This seems to be pure speculation. The fact of the matter is that IRGC members were on a reconnaissance mission on the Golan Heights.
What does that mean? It is new evidence of Iran’s success in advancing its strategy for Syria & other parts of the Middle East (Iraq, Yemen, Gaza, Bahrain)
     The aim of this strategy is to widen Iran’s influence in the Middle East & beyond. It is for this reason too that Iran develops nuclear weapons & long-range ballistic missiles & it is one of the reasons it aims to destroy Israel, the sole regional superpower. It is therefore more reasonable to assume that Israel delivered a strong signal to Iran to not upset the delicate status quo on the Golan Heights & that it will put limits on Iran’s activities adjacent to Israeli borders.
Iran’s involvement in Syria
     Israel apparently realizes that Iran has taken over control of (what remains of) Syria from President al-Assad.
     Here is how that happened.
In late 2012 Assad was on the ropes in his battle with opposition groups such as al-Nusra in the north of Syria & the area around Damascus. He had to make tough choices & decided to shift his forces from the Qusayr area to the area of Damascus & to eastern Ghouta & Daraya.
     At that point Hezb’Allah & IRGC stepped in to defend Qusayr to make sure that Homs would not be cut off from Damascus & to secure access from the Beqa’a Valley in Lebanon to Damascus & Homs.
However as has become clear from a recent Der Spiegel report there was another reason for the Iranians to step in at Qusayr.  The German Magazine reported on January 9th that it had obtained secret information that made clear that the world had again been misled about Syria’s nuclear ambitions. A new nuclear facility had been built after Israel destroyed Syria’s nuclear reactor in Deir al-Zur in 2007.
    This new nuclear facility is located west of Qusayr, two kilometers from the border with Lebanon.  The area saw heavy fighting between al-Nusra & elite Hezb’Allah units in the spring of 2013. Hezb’Allah suffered heavy losses but succeeded in holding the area.
     Intercepted radio traffic between a high-ranking Hezb’Allah operative & Ibrahim Othman, the head of the Syrian Atomic Energy Commission delivered the clearest proof that an underground nuclear facility has been built in Qusayr.  The Hezb’Allah man referred to the site as the “atomic factory”.  During the intercepted conversations he also mentioned that members of the IRGC were working at the facility.
     According to Der Spiegel it is almost certain that Chou Ji Bu, the engineer who built the nuclear reactor in Yongbyon in North Korea is also involved in the new nuclear project at Qusayr.
Der Spiegel labeled the secret facility at Qusayr “a new Syrian push for nuclear weapons”. However the area has been controlled by Hezb’Allah & the Iranian Revolutionary Guard since mid-2013. The commander of the Iranian paramilitary al-Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani was the one who fully orchestrated the Hezb’Allah take-over of Qusayr.
    Though it is true that al-Assad originally directed the work in Qusayr that began in 2009, today it is clear that Hezb’Allah & the IRGC are the ones controlling the facility.
     Members of the Free Syrian Army in the area of Qusayr reported on January 12th that Iranian officers were supervising the secret facility & that the Syrian regime is only a cover-up for this.
     Another indication that Iran has de facto taken over Syria came from IRGC commander Haji Zadeh. He said that Iran is now manufacturing Iranian missiles on Syrian soil. He also said that Iranian missiles were made to hit Israel in the first place.
     From Zadeh’s statement it becomes clear that Iran uses the territory of Syria to advance its quest for regional domination & to advance its plans for the destruction of Israel.
Qusayr & JPOA
     It is no coincidence either that Iran now controls a nuclear facility outside its own territory. Although Syria is a signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons inspections by the IAEA are not possible because of the turmoil in the country. This is an ideal situation for Iran that is currently negotiating with the P5+1 countries about a deal designed to curb its nuclear program.
     Under the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) that was part of the interim deal between Iran & the six UNSC countries from November 2013, Iran should halt activities at its plutonium plant in Arak. The White House fact sheet stated: “Iran has committed to no further advances of its activities at Arak & to halt progress on its plutonium track.”
     Observers were quick to notice that the text contained a loophole. The reference to activities at Arak seemed to allow unlimited research & work on locations away from the site as long as they did not physically happen at Arak.
     Later it became clear that Iran had noticed the loophole too. Foreign Minister Zarif announced that Iran would continue construction at the facility. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki did not see any problem when reporters pressed her on the issue. “What’s the big deal about a road here or a building there”, she said.
     Foreign Policy last month reported that the United States has privately accused Iran of an international shopping spree to acquire components for a heavy water reactor such as in Arak. The magazine wrote that a U.S. delegation informed a UNSC panel of experts that Iranian procurement agents have been increasing their efforts to illicitly obtain equipment for the reactor at the Arak nuclear complex.
     It is not clear yet what type of nuclear facility has been built at Qusayr. Weapons expert Jennifer Dyer says it is certainly not a centrifuge facility like the complexes in Natanz & Fordo in Iran. It could be a plant where yellowcake is converted to UF4 & is metalized into fuel rods for a reactor. But it also could be a plutonium facility.
     The reactor in Deir al-Zur was assessed to be a gas-graphite reactor like the one in Yongbyon, North Korea. That reactor could produce enough plutonium for one or two plutonium bombs per year, Dyer wrote.
     Whatever the type of nuclear facility in Qusayr, the fact is that Iran has decided to use Syrian territory to advance its nuclear program.  The US State Department however, insists that the facility in Qusayr has nothing to do with the Iranian nuclear program & that the issue will not be discussed in the ongoing negotiations with Iran.
Israeli TV shows Iranian IBM
    Other evidence of Iran’s aggressive ambitions was published by Israeli TV Channel Two last week.
The Channel showed a satellite image taken by the Israeli EROS B satellite of a twenty seven meter long Iranian Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (IBM) on a launch pad close to Teheran. This type of missile is generally used to carry a nuclear warhead & can reach the United States.
     The existence of such a missile was known to Israeli intelligence. But Channel Two now reported that although images of the missile were never shown in the US & Europe, the existence of the IBM has been known to the West for at least two years. So both EU & US knew about the existence of the missile before they signed the interim agreement with Iran.
     Iran is obligated by United Nations Security Council resolutions to suspend work on ballistic missiles. The images published by Channel Two clearly show that Iran has violated these UNSC resolutions.
     More astonishing however, is the fact that the JPOA that was part of the interim agreement between Iran & the 5+1 countries did not impose any restrictions on ballistic missile development. Originally an US National Security Council official said that an Iranian ballistic-missile test would” be in violation of the agreement” & cause the deal to “cease to exist”.        
     Obama officials however, clarified their stance. Instead of imposing absolute restrictions on such tests, the JPOA apparently imposed no restrictions on ballistic missile tests. As a result Iran now possesses a missile that can carry a nuclear warhead to the United States.
Twelve fruitless years of negotiations
     These recent developments involving Iran show clearly that the regime in Teheran has not changed its ways & is still advancing its agenda of exporting the Islamic revolution by destabilizing the region.
It is also very clear that Iran keeps making progress on its nuclear program & is only conducting talks with the P5+1 -countries to buy time.
     How do we know this? In fact it is a simple story. The West has been negotiating with Iran for twelve years now. Iran’s position has remained unchanged since 2003 when the EU3 countries started to engage Iran regarding its nuclear program, through 2008 when U.S. Under Secretary of State William   Burns joined the negotiations, until today when the Obama administration is trying to obtain a deal.
     The regime in Teheran insists on its right to enrich uranium & to build new nuclear facilities. Iran continues to work on the development of ballistic missiles which are used to carry nuclear warheads. The Iranians also breached the JPOA by feeding gas into IR-5 centrifuges & by testing advanced IR-8 centrifuges.  They illicitly acquired parts for their heavy-water reactor & busted through energy caps every single month of the deal. Iran is also heavily involved in a new nuclear facility in Syria that could be a plutonium plant.
     Last week IAEA director Yukiya Amono said that Iran still refuses to give the Atomic Agency all the information it needs to determine if all of the Iranian nuclear activities are for peaceful purposes.
Here is what Amono said during a speech at the University of Indonesia last Friday: “As far as Iran is concerned, the Agency is able to verify the non-diversion of nuclear material declared to us by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement. But we are not in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material & activities in Iran, & therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.”
     When the moment of truth came in the current negotiations in July & November last year the Iranians refused once again to accept the proposals to limit their nuclear program.
     At the same time the positions of the West have totally collapsed. Gone is the demand that Iran dismantles its centrifuges & ship its uranium stock to a third country. Also gone is the demand that Iran ceases all uranium enrichment as well as the demand to downgrade its plutonium reactor. & finally the original demand to halt all proliferation-sensitive missile activity has gone too.
    The original Western threat that “all options (including the military) are on the table” to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear threshold power has become a joke. Now the U.S. administration even opposes a Congressional bill to impose deadline-triggered sanctions against Iran if no reasonable deal is reached by July of this year.
     During a closed-door meeting of Senate Democrats in Baltimore last week Obama charged that the Congressmen who favor the bill were doing so only to please “donors”. Everybody in the room understood that he meant Jewish & pro-Israel donors. Senator Robert Menendez who initiated the bill took this as a personal affront but Obama didn’t back away from his statement.
     In CBS’ ‘Face of the Nation’ Senator John McCain this weekend said that the president has lost touch with reality. He said that Iran is on the march everywhere & there is no strategy to defeat them.     McCain stated that there is a need for congressional ratification of any agreement that is made & that it is important that Israeli PM Netanyahu speaks to the American people about the dangers of a nuclear Iran.

Did ISIS err or do they have a problem in communication suddenly?,7340,L-4621063,00.html

Egyptian forces took a big hit by terrorists in a series of attacks last night.,7340,L-4620994,00.html

The Knesset Party list closed at midnight with either 25 or 26 different lists of which most are jokes and will get at best a few hundred votes each to perhaps a few thousand for the legalization of pot party with a few thousand votes and no chance of winning a seat. Bennett is so interested in running for Prime Minister that he lost his principles this week and it backfired on him in a big way. With Eli Yeshai joining with Otzma this week the side-line votes will move from Bennett and Shass towards him[R1] [R2] .

Now for M. Wolfberg’s Good Shabbos Story: “Good Yomtif Pontif” Part 1

 Good Shabbos Everyone.  In this week's Torah portion Beshalach the Torah tells us how Moshe Rabeinu (Moshe our teacher) instructs the Jewish Nation on the observance of Shabbos.
          We distinguish Shabbos from the other days of the week by sitting down to festive meals with our family and enjoying the spiritual recharge of this special day.  Anyone who keeps Shabbos can testify to the beauty of this special day.  There are those who claim to "observe" Shabbos "in spirit."   But in truth, only those who keep the Shabbos properly according to halacha, will reap the spiritual recharge which the special day has to offer every Jew.   
          This week, for the first time in the eleven year history of this publication, I will tell a story which happened about me, your beloved author of the “Good Shabbos Everyone.” 
          A few years ago, I met a Jewish lawyer in court, let’s call him Shraga Feivel.   Shraga Feivel and I have a lot in common and we and our families became fast friends, Boruch Hashem.  For the last couple of years, Shraga Feivel and I spoke about taking a trip together to Eretz Yisroel. The only time we could both realistically take off from work would be around December 25th, at which time business is generally slower.
       Finally in 5770, our schedules worked out and we reserved plane tickets to fly out Thursday, December 24th at 4 pm from Newark International, planning with Hashem’s help to arrive Friday morning in Eretz Yisroel at 9:30 am, with plenty ‘o time to rent a car and get to Yerushalayim for Shabbos Kodesh.
       For months we spoke and planned the trip. We had planned to stay in the Meah Shearim area for Shabbos and possibly daven at the Kosel Friday night and go see the Toldos Avrohom Yitzchok tish, etc. To say that we were looking forward to the trip, would be an understatement.
       Our wives, the Aishes Chayels that they are, agreed to stay home with the kinderlach, so that Shraga Feivel and I could maximize our time in the Holy Land.  Fast forward to Thursday, December 24th… as we sat down on the airplane, we discovered that our neighbor sitting next to us, was also a Jewish lawyer who worked in the criminal law field. This was the first of many interesting “coincidences" we experienced throughout our journey.
      After davening Maariv on the plane, we all eventually dozed off. At about 4:30 am, I looked out of the window and saw the sun beginning to rise on the horizon. Soon after, I got up out of my seat, to begin my “preparations” for davening the morning prayers. As soon as I got up, a flight attendant called out over the “p.a. system” that everyone must take their seats because the airplane was going to make an “unexpected landing” in Rome. In order to keep everyone calm, they called it “unexpected” instead of “emergency.”
       “Oh boy, here we go…” I thought to myself. Here we were, erev Shabbos, being delayed in Rome, on December 25th! On the flight update screen the languages changed to Italian and English and the distance to destination changed dramatically.
       Immediately, the plan made a swift descent.  The pilot announced that we should not be alarmed if we saw fire engines and emergency personnel waiting on the runway. I had images of sliding down those yellow slides. Everyone uttered prayers in their own languages. 
       Soon after, Boruch Hashem, we made an uneventful landing at Fiumicino - Rome International Airport. But now what were we going to do? The pilot informed us that there was no Continental staff to greet us in Rome because it was December 25th and they would have to wake up the staff, (and it would take long for them to sober up and make their way to the airport!)
       Once we were off the plane, the 25 or so religiously observant passengers formed a minyan and we davened Schacharis. Shraga Feivel and I began trying to desperately find another flight to Eretz Yisroel. We actually passed through security with El Al, but alas, the Italians told us it was too late to purchase a ticket. There was nobody there to guide us and we tried to speak to anyone who would help. Very few people spoke English, and nobody from our group spoke Italian, which of course complicated things. Our cell phones and internet did not work. I did not have any Euros to use the payphone. Everything was hectic and we were afraid to separate ourselves from the group as we did not want to miss any updates about our flight.
       Our poor wives were already expecting to hear from us that we had landed safely in Eretz Yisroel. However, when they called Continental, they were told at first that there is no information about our flight, which was not very reassuring. Only later, they were told that we had landed in Rome.
       Shraga Feivel and I began to consider the option of spending Shabbos in Rome, being that we had no idea if or when our plane would continue on its way to Eretz Yisroel. It was about 9 am at that point and Shabbos was to begin in about 6 hours from then. The flight itself to Eretz Yisroel takes two and a half hours from Rome.  There was still time, but with every advancing minute, the situation looked grim.
       In any case, I approached a police officer who seemed kindly and I asked him in Spanish, the closet language I know to Italian, if he would let me use his cell phone. I had managed to get the number for Chabad from a fellow passenger, and I wanted to call them to get an idea about the possibility of staying in Rome for Shabbos. When I asked the officer to use his phone, he showed me the international symbol with his thumb and fingers for “it costs money.” I had several hundred dollars in cash, but apparently the “almighty” dollar is not what it used to be, because when I showed a wad of singles to the officer, he still wouldn’t let me use the phone!!!
       At about 9:30 am, two Jewish musicians from the group “Simply Tsfat” who were on our plane, began to play in the airport. One played the guitar and one played the violin. We Jews had a unstoppable urge to dance to the music, and what do you know? In no time, we formed a ring around the musicians and were dancing up a storm.   A large crowd of people including non-Jews from our flight and passengers in the Airport gathered around to watch and take pictures.  
       It is told in the name of the holy Baal Shem Tov, that when one dances with Simcha – happiness, one can sometimes achieve more than  with prayer!  Sure enough, soon after the music stopped, they announced to our group that the plane was fixed and ready to continue on its way. Cheers erupted from the group, “Hurray, Boruch Hashem!”
       They announced that the flight would take off at 11:00 a.m. (12:00 p.m. Eretz Yisroel time), it would be tight, but we were going to make it!  Or so we thought at that time...
       Shraga Feivel and I were relieved, but our simcha quickly eroded… There was one solitary airport employee who was checking the passports of 250 passengers one by one.  Every time someone asked the airport employee a question, she stopped checking the passports and the line was delayed. Soon it was well past 11:00 a.m and the line was not moving.
       Finally, with great exasperation, the airport employee flew up her hands and announced that everyone could go onto the plane, without checking the passports. Not knowing whether to be relieved that we were finally getting on the plane or worried about the compromised security, we quickly made our way onto the plane and took our seats.
       By the time we were all settled into our seats it was probably about 11:40. The pilot explained what was the cause of the “unexpected” landing; namely, smoke was detected near the video system. The pilot told us further that they had disabled the video system (thankfully, in light of the trash they showed there) and we were to take off shortly. “Shortly” turned out to be another 20 minutes or so.
       It was then about 1:00 p.m. in Eretz Yisroel, and Shabbos was to start just after 4:00 p.m. and the flight was supposed take about two and a half hours from Rome.  The pilot announced that he could not guarantee exactly what time the plane would arrive in Eretz Yisroel, and therefore, anyone who was concerned about arriving on time for Shabbos should consider deplaning and remaining in Rome, although Continental would not take any responsibility for anyone who chooses to do so... Next week we will continue this exciting true story...
  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   In memory of  Tziporah Yita (Wienshienk) bas Reb Lipa , Erev Chanukah 5723

Wishing everybody a healthy and wonderful Shabbos,
Rachamim Pauli